Sociopolitical news site, The Real Singapore, has issued an official letter of apology [Source] to Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen for a particular defamatory letter, “NG ENG HAN LIED TO SINGAPOREANS ABOUT PROVIDING A NS DISRUPTION LIST” [Source], published on 17 Nov 2012. Defense MinisternNg Eng Hen, through the CEO of one of Singapore’s top law firms, Drew & Napier, a letter of demand was sent to an editor of The Real Singapore.
This is not the first time a sociopolitical website in Singapore that frequently criticizes the PAP government has been served lawyers’ letters, there have been 2 other occasions where sociopolitical site owners were served lawyers’ letters by members with the establishment.
1) Temasek Review: Temasek Holdings claimed that the socio-political site infringe its annual report’s, also called Temasek Review, naming convention [Source].
2) Temasek Review Emeritus(TRE): TRE editor Richard Wan was served two separate lawyer’s letter, one from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the other from the Prime Minister’s brother, Lee Hsien Yang for defamatory comments posted by others in the website [Source].
Update: Senior Counsel Davinder Singh, the CEO lawyer representing PAP Minister Ng Eng Hen has rejected The Real Singapore’s apology and instead lambasted it as an attempt to “undermine the purported apology, repeat the libel, breach the undertaking in your purported apology, and cynically leverage on your original libel and purported apology”. In short, Davinder Singh claims The Real Singapore has libeled his client the esteemed PAP Millionaire Minister again.
So here he demands that a second apology today before 5pm be put up or his client will proceed to service of a writ to claim damages of the original libel plus the aggravation/repetition.
Update at 5pm: The Real Singapore has snubbed Davinder Singh’s demand for a second apology saying one apology is enough. (Well done, bottoms up to TRS. It is the duty of patriots to rebel injustice)
WikiTemasek comments: Is this an act of online censorship or a threat to promote self-censorship before PAP suffers another blow similar that of GE2011 in the next election(which only this time they would really be voted out of power)? Or is this yet another isolated case of an over-reaction by a very narrow-minded person in power who could use his wealth and status to silence his critics?
Now we know why the dictatorship regime discourages anonymity on the internet. So what’s next? Will The Real Singapore shut down like Temasek Review did and there will forever be no more anti-PAP sites by 2016? That would be very naive. An apt chinese proverb would be best to describe sociopolitical sites in Singapore:
Even when the PAP outlaws criticisms, so long there is gross injustice forced down people’s throats, there will always be patriots who will risk persecutions to stand up against the tyrants.