Saturday, January 5, 2013

PM vs Alex Au: Some Common Sense from Tan Kin Lian

I agree completely with TKL. That's why I had to read Alex Au's post thrice to decide which parts were defamatory. I also picked up the same bits which TKL had. What his Swedish friends suggested is revealing.

Years ago, when NKF was riding high and behaving arrogantly it had succeeded in silencing a few people who suggested they were using donors' funds improperly. It took NKF to be stupid enough to sue SPH a firm with even more financial resources than it to reveal the truth.

Just last year we were reminded of the sad story of how Alan Poon suffered from the legal big stick City Harvest Church had brought against him. Justice had come very late for Alan Poon but the point is that demanding and getting a public apology for defamation does not necessary prove that the defendant was guilty. Therefore Alex Au apology doesn't amount to anything except that he must have felt bullied into apologizing. If we really want to have an independent legal view on this, try it outside Singapore. Try it in the UK.

In the court of public opinion, the PM has lost. Even the waiter who was serving as our tea at this evening dinner also thought so. I am too lazy to share how and what caused him to offer his opinion. This is a memory hook for me if I revisit this post in future.

We are already in 2013. To use a legal truncheon against your opponent is politically a damn stupid thing to do. I guess the PM is learning it the hard way now. Perhaps ten times more than the readership Alex Au usually gets (I am not his regular reader) have read the same post and concluded like TKL.

I like to end this post with a further comment by TKL to others responding to his post.

  • Tan Kin Lian I strongly disagree with the views expressed by Tan Hock. 

    The public express their opinion based on the facts that are available to them. They should not be expected to do thorough research just to express a view. In most case, they do not have acces
    s to the relevant information.

    If they are wrong, they can withdraw their statements. They do not need to be bullied with a lawyer's letter. With the kind of bullying that has happened over the years, Singaporeans have learnt to keep their mouth shut. They do not have any opinion. This has become the state of the Singapore character; nothing to be proud about.

    To avoid being sued, they now express their views anonymously. And they react in an extreme manner, uttering all kinds of rubbish. This is the sad consequence of the bullying environment. 

    If we are to become a mature and civil society, the government leaders have to remove this fear by stopping the use of legal demands.

The PM should have been magnanimous enough to cut the small guy some slack. I am disappointed that he failed to do so.

Update: Jan 7

This one I picked up from my S3 while waiting for the bus this morning after sending the car for its regular maintenance.


  1. What has magnaminity to do with this? As Tan Kin Lian has pointed out his Swedish friends see nothing defamatory in Au`s statements. And is it not in the interest of the country that an investigation be carried out to get to the bottom of this matter? And is it not the responsibility of the PM to see that this is done? His father ordered the investigation into allegations against the AG Tan Boon Teik and the UIC share disposal.

  2. Not only two Swedish friends,I bet 99.99 % of Ang Mohs who constantly and regularly praise PAP for being different would jump when they come to know the full details of this case,PM Lee has made a grave mistake,sad that no PAPies dare to question him due to an 88 years old old man hehind him,Sad for Singapore!We have many Singaporeans who have foreign connections,put in this case in their bloga and facebooks and see how foreigners response,this is what our global versed citizens ought to do,now,