Friday, July 4, 2008

MM's Press Sec misrepresents facts

Yeong Yong responds to Chee's assertation in toady's Today paper. My brief comments are below.
Friday • July 4, 2008
Yeong Yoon Ying
Press Secretary to Minister Mentor

In a letter to Today, Madam Yeong Yoon Ying, the press secretary to Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, responds to opposition politician Chee Soon Juan’s call forMr Lee or his counsel to produce part of a transcript from last month’s court hearing to assess damages arising from the libel suit against Dr Chee.

YOUR report “Nothing to do with political freedom” (3 July 2008) refers to my letter to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and toDr Chee Soon Juan’s response published on his website.

In my letter to the WSJ, I said that in the recent defamation cases, Dr Chee had called Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew ‘murderers, robbers, child molesters’ and ‘rapists’ in open court.

Dr Chee alleged that I had lied, and challenged me to produce the relevant transcript.

I enclose p. 115 of the verbatim court reporting transcript of the hearing on28 May 2008. Line 11 onwards reads:

Mr Davinder Singh: “ ... And to conclude on Dr Chee’s submissions, he says that he doesn’t wish Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Lee Hsien Loong ill. In that same breath, he says he stands by The New Democrat article, which alleged that they are ‘criminals, corrupt, and covered up matters in the NKF’. And under his breath he’s now just said ‘murderers and robbers’.”

--->>>It reads that he stands by what was written in the newsletter. So in the eye of the law, standing by a previous statement is in effect uttering it again??

Dr Chee: “And rapists, too, you might as throw it in, you know, right? Child molesters”.

--->>>Obviously heavily laced with sarcasm

Mr Singh: “And this is the man who says “I don’t wish them ill”.

Dr Chee has once again lied to Singaporeans.


The press sec is correct that the sentiments were reinforced ("criminals", "corrupt") and the words uttered (rapist, molesters). But her claim that Chee said all these in open court are losing the case is actually a misrepresentation of the facts.

Firstly, the case was afterall about allegations of government corruption made in an SDP newsletter. Hence the matter of the words used were brought up.

Secondly, the statements were not made after he had lost the case; something the Press Sec had said to make Chee appear petty. Quote:

"Having lost, Dr. Chee in open court then called the Singapore leaders "murderers, robbers, child molesters" and "rapists.""

Lastly, the sentiments/words were reinforced/uttered but the process of their delivery were manipulated by MM's Press Sec rather clumsily. She, working under the man, should realise how important one's words are.

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