Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Season Of Apologies

On Friday, 4 January 2013, lawyers for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong advised blogger Alex Au that comments on his post ("PAP mis-AIMed, faces blowback") defamed Lee by various allegations of corruption on his part in relation to the transaction between the PAP Town Councils and Action Information Management Pte Ltd (AIM) and "will abuse his powers to cover up the matter or prevent any investigation into his corruption".  Because Au moderated the comments, the lawyers argued, it meant that he “subscribe to and endorse” the views expressed by those comments". Au has since removed the post and undertook "not to make any further allegations to the same or similar effect".

On following Saturday morning, Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) treasurer Dr Wijeysingha put up a post on the Facebook social networking site to "apologise unreservedly" to Acting Minister of Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin for supposedly defamatory allegations that are "wholly untrue and false". It referred to the December 2 note on the illegal SMRT Chinese bus drivers strike where, it was alleged, he insinuated Tan had been either dishonest or deceptive in his handling of the issue.

It looks like that 2013 might be a replay of 2012, same old, same old:
circa February 2012 -
Law Minister Shanmugam wanted removed a post allegedly containing defamatory comments about the minister's personal conduct;
circa February 2012 -
PM Lee wanted retracted a post that had, amongst other things, questioned wife Ho Ching's position in Temasek Holdings;
circa July 2012 -
A post alleging that plastic surgeon Woffles Wu received special treatment over a speeding offence was deemed to be in contempt of court, and the article was removed;
circa November 2012 -
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen asked for an apology over a allegedly defamatory post concerning a National Service disruption list that Ng  promised to make public. Ng's lawyers rejected the first apology which was deemed "not sincere or unqualified".

For the latest salvo, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu, in a post on her Facebook page, has written that that "taking aim at AIM misses a fundamental point - the management of AHTC". By implication, fair or foul, she is alleging Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) Chairman Sylvia Lim erred by explaining the fault (getting a "red band" for its collection of Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC) in the report card on town councils) is not theirs, but the PAP's, which terminated the financial systems provided by AIM. Gentlemen (or ladies), prime your (legal) engines....

Surely there are better ways to get one's 5 minutes of fame - or infamy, if you prefer - than trading allegations. Whatever happened to good old fashioned debate?


  1. 心里有鬼, 先发制人

  2. 天知,地知,人知,鬼知

  3. I find it funny that from a seemingly innocent blog, lhl can insinuate defamation. The Chinese has a saying 此地无银三百俩。The Emperor no clothes.

  4. the good old fashioned debate has yet to return again the current participating debaters are too silent and busy selling newsletter (instead of preparing for & actually debating)

  5. Sad Singaporean1/05/2013 9:49 PM

    same old same old

  6. Witch hunting.

  7. Raising appropriate questions about conflict of interests or a lack of checks & balances also defamatory meh ? PAP leaders starting from the old man know how to bully people only ?

    Anyone noticed why our NatCon never touched anything on conflict of interests & checks and balances on our PAP Govt ?

    Not important meh ? No need meh ? Our PAP MPs already whiter than white meh ?

    Or was it deliberately avoided ? Because it's too chim for our neighbourhood aunties in dialect to understand & talk about it ?

  8. Can any Yale professor who support the NUS-Yale partnership explain why should the yale university want to work with the regime that continue to silence critics, questioning and dissenting voices with lawsuit ?

    Leopard just never change its spot.

  9. Dictatorship regimes all used this strategy - silence of the lamb.

  10. Pretty soon only bloggers in exile can comment on Singapore affairs. Lucky for them, they are protected by the laws of 1st world countries.

  11. Back to the same old routine. What was the apology at Raffles PL 2011 about? Just don't get trick again in 2016.

    1. In 2006, he said don't vote for opposition or he will have to spend time fixing them and buying his supporters' votes. By 2016, it will be regret and repent or FU if you don't vote PAP?

  12. Key Question
    Was there an open tender for the sale of POSB?
    Did the Singapore President approve of the sale?

  13. Nice to know 2013 some things will remain the same........Uniquely we await 2016..........


  14. They can retract all they want. Meh, a tower with windows facing the wrong side sealed off entirely, noises loud and clear in the dead of the night after the visit to in-laws at Oxley Rise.

    1. Wow.

      Can you flesh out the juicy tidbits?

  15. It hurts plenty...1/06/2013 12:57 PM

    They are the unloved
    and will remain so.

    Despite all their claims of pursuit for the country's sake, it has been really all about their own well being.

    They do not love this island.
    If they did, it was for the ease in milking it dry. They could not replicate their skills and success elsewhere.

    Never have there been such systematic milking.
    And they did not do it for the love of you or I.

    1. Once they paid themselves out of this world salaries and tell the common folks to tighten belt to get by.
      Once they imposed OB markers to control speech that they didn't like.
      Once they amended every article in the Constitution to suit their political purposes.
      Once they sued, jailed and exiled every political opponent they couldn't deal with
      in a normal democratic way.
      They have lost all respect of the common citizens.
      Do they ever wonder how people would react when latter see banners, billboards display with their gigantic photos during festive seasons at residents' and taxpayerss' expense?

  16. Across the causeway, they sell cows to live in condos . Here ours sell computer software to live in bungalows.
    Over there, they asked to be paid under the table. Here ours asked to be paid over the sky limit.
    Over there they have the MadHatter as the greatest bully. Here we have the the Mad Mentor.
    Over there they don't need to wear white to be stained. Over here even when they wear white, they are just as stained.
    Over there whatever they say is tHe law. Here whatever they threatened becomes the law.
    Over there they worship the Allah. Over here they worship the God of Prosperity.

    So why do ours still need to brag they are whiter than white when simply said, they are the same kind of hypocrites?

  17. Hi!
    I'm from PAP.
    I'm here to serve & help Singaporeans.
    And you believed me.


    1. I played along so you continue to milk me for breakfast and not make me your dinner steak.

    2. "The coward dies a thousand deaths, but the brave just one."

      Keep voting PAP because you are a coward.
      And you die a thousand deaths.

      The brave dies because he/she was brave and that braveness causes his death.
      Sad as it may be he dies happily because it was doing what he believed in.

      The coward dies a 1,000 times because he is always in hiding.
      He always wonder what might had been, what will people say and is also afraid of the consequences of his actions even if the consequences may lead to a positive outcome.
      This constant thinking and dissapointment is like dying.

  18. Before AIM:
    PAP asked Singaporeans "Where is the money going to come from?"

    After AIM:
    Singaporeans ask PAP 'Where is the money going to?"

  19. They have the mandate thus they do not need to be transparent in the manners they conduct their business. People should never vote a party to the extent that they have the mandate.

  20. I thought Christmas is over?

    You better be good.........

  21. You better watch out......