By Gloria James-Civetta

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What is criminal defamation?

Defamation is defined and governed under Section 499 of Singapore’s Penal Code. It is defined as words that are either spoken or read or any visible representations that intends to harm the reputation of a person. It can be directed at a person or a company, and it is defamatory if it lowers the moral or intellectual character of that body in the eyes of other people. This includes both print media and the spoken word.

The punishment for defamation extends to two years and/or fine. It is also an offence to sell any printed or engraved item containing defamatory material and the punishment is the same as above.

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Should you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our criminal representation lawyers at 6337 0469 or email us at

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