Thursday, 31 August 2017

President Tony Tan reflects on his six years at the Istana

Channel NewsAsia Like This Page · 31 August
President Tony Tan's last day in office (Howard Law: Photo 12)

"Singapore has benefitted greatly from your calm and dignified presence, wealth of knowledge, and steady judgment": PM Lee pays tribute to Dr Tan.

Full story: https://cna.asia/2elv5fm

(📷: Howard Law)

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President Tony Tan ‘worked tirelessly’ to fulfil responsibilities: PM Lee
President Tony Tan 'worked tirelessly' at 03:06 - 05:27

He was a President who “worked tirelessly” to fulfil his responsibilities – bringing Singaporeans closer together, being the custodian of Singapore’s reserves, upholding the integrity of the public service & enhancing relations with other countries.

That was how Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong summed up Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam’s term as Singapore’s 7th President, which ended on Thursday (Aug 31).

Speaking at a farewell reception, PM Lee recalled how Dr Tan took office after a “hard-fought” election.

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PM Lee pays tribute to President Tony Tan: A ‘relationship based on mutual trust and respect’
1 of 3 President Tony Tan Keng Yam, with his wife Mary, getting a round of applause from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong & his wife, Mrs Lee, as well as other guests who attended his farewell reception at the Istana yesterday. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

In his 6 years as president, Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam was a "prudent and conscientious custodian" who made sure Singapore's past reserves were well guarded & its key public offices held by suitable, qualified people.

This was helped by the warm ties between the head of state and the Government, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last night.

"We were able to operate these presidential safeguards effectively & smoothly, because your office and the Government have had a close and constructive working relationship, based on mutual trust and respect," he said at a farewell reception for Dr Tan at the Istana.

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'It's been hard work but ... very rewarding'
MCI photo by Kenji Soon
As end of his presidency nears, Dr Tan stresses the need to further strengthen social bonds

President Tony Tan Keng Yam leaves office this Thursday as the head of state who preceded the biggest change to the elected presidency in its 26 years.

The move to entrench multiracialism in the highest office in the land, by ensuring members of the country's main races occupy it periodically, is a change he fully supports.

He believes it will stand the nation in good stead and further fortify the social fabric at a time when the terror threat to Singapore is at its highest.

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Dr Tony Tan added 5 new photos to the album Staff Appreciation Dinner 23 August at 21:02

My wife and I were happy to host a dinner to show our appreciation for our staff who have supported us throughout my tenure as President. The role of a President is multi-faceted. I am heartened that in my six years in the office, I had the strong support of a team of dedicated staff.

At last evening’s event, my wife and I took the opportunity to thank my staff for their attention to detail, effort and sacrifices in helping me discharge my duties effectively and put Singapore in a positive light both at home and abroad.

Thank you for playing your part in nation building.

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TONY TAN: SCHOOLING'S OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL A HIGHLIGHT OF MY PRESIDENCY

A Straits Times video featuring an interview with President Tony Tan to mark the end of his presidency has gone viral, but for the wrong reasons.

According to the video, President Tan listed Joseph Schooling's Olympic Gold Medal as one of the highlights of his presidential term.

However, this prompted netizens to flame him for trying to connect Schooling's gold medal with himself.

It had been reported that Schooling's gold medal had little to do with the support of Singapore Sports bodies and more to do with Schooling's unyielding determination to train and best himself.

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President Tony Tan roasted for calling Schooling’s Olympic win “highlight of my presidency”

The Straits Times has been doing a few articles chronicling the presidency of Dr Tony Tan. One of their videos on this series was captioned, “Witnessing Singapore’s first Olympic gold win was one of the highlights of my presidency,” in which President Tony Tan reflected on his six years at the Istana. Some netizens comments on the Facebook post of the video were nothing short of hilarious.

The following are the comments with the most number of likes in that post.

  • Kent Ong: “Apart from watching it to happen, what have you done to make it happen?”
  • Antony Lee: “Thousands and thousands were watching the event too, but not watching it “live” as you did. If that was ever one of your highlights in your capacity as a president, your failed terribly as one. One would expect you to do much more, as one would have “voted” for you not for traveling and watching sporting events, but to check and oppose governmental issues, and make significant contributions to the people of this country. Am I alone?”
  • Iain Wong: “Shouldn’t it be” Winning Singapore’s first Olympic gold win was one of the highlights of my life”? And that should be said by someone else. If your highlight is based on someone else’s achievement, something is wrong.”
  • Gakki Kutsu: “The best dream retirement job in the universe. Paid more than US president and do almost nothing at all….and yet talking about achievement.(others)”
  • Bob Koh: “To me, Schooling’s own family did everything themselves, money, time, effort. It is embarrassing for ‘them’ to even mention the Olympics gold medal because all ‘they’ are doing is trying to claim credit. Just leave quietly.”
  • Xlent Low: “Dear President, Witnessing something which you have no part in contributing to should not be a highlight of your presidency. Highlight should be something which you have contributed to, especially towards our nation, our people. If witnessing our first Olympic gold is your highlight, then in my honest opinion that incompetency is the only word to describe.”

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NETIZENS FLAMED TONY TAN FOR TRYING TO ASSOCIATE HIS PRESIDENCY WITH SCHOOLING’S GOLD MEDAL

One Bob Koh wrote: ““To me, Schooling’s own family did everything themselves, money, time, effort. It is embarrassing for ‘them’ to even mention the Olympics gold medal because all ‘they’ are doing is trying to claim credit. Just leave quietly.”

Another netizen wrote: “Dear President, Witnessing something which you have no part in contributing to should not be a highlight of your presidency. Highlight should be something which you have contributed to, especially towards our nation, our people. If witnessing our first Olympic gold is your highlight, then in my honest opinion that incompetency is the only word to describe.”

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Social Media:
 
HO CHING WEARS SANDALS TO PRESIDENT TONY TAN'S FAREWELL PARTY, TOTAL LACK OF RESPECT?
Thanks But No Thanks, President Tan
Tony Tan Failed To Do One Thing That Could Have Made Us Remember His Presidential Tenure Better
Tony Tan faking out Chief of Defence Force coming in for a handshake is the funniest way to end a presidency
WHAT PRESIDENT TONY TAN HAS DONE VS. WHAT HE SHOULD HAVE DONE
TONY TAN: SCHOOLING'S OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL A HIGHLIGHT OF MY PRESIDENCY
What exactly has President Tony Tan done during his tenure?
Tony Tan Explains What Tony Tan Has Done As President In ST Interview, And It’s Basically Facebook
President Tony Tan steps down
President Tony Tan roasted for calling Schooling’s Olympic win “highlight of my presidency”
WHAT PRESIDENT TONY TAN HAS DONE VS. WHAT HE SHOULD HAVE DONE
President Tony Tan says a warm thank you to staff at Istana appreciation dinner
President Tony Tan: Internet circulate fake news about Singapore
TONY TAN ASSOCIATE HIS PRESIDENCY WITH SCHOOLING’S GOLD MEDAL
Lee Hsien Loong praise Tony Tan: Calm presence and steady judgment
Did ST just report that President Tony Tan invites the Thai King to Singapore to eat KFC?
Is President Tony Tan’s Tenure A Success? That Depends On Your Understanding Of A President’s Role
President Tony Tan last NDP
The best of the Tony Tan memes
TONY TAN: SCHOOLING'S OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL HIGHLIGHT OF MY PRESIDENCY
SDP CSJ hurt President Tony Tan’s feelings
Tony Tan: President Must Not Oppose and Hold Back Gahmen from Performing its Duties
President Tony Tan announces that he will not be standing in the next Presidential Election
Lee Hsien Loong unable to recall what exactly Tony Tan did during presidency

As advised by a Geomancy Master, The Presidential Election polling day on Sep 23 is a special day:
  • 2 +3 = 5
  • 5 in Thai is "Ha" and in Malay is "Lima"
  • So, it is "Halima"
Hence "5 5 5" in Thai is "Ha Ha Ha"
related: "An Indian Muslim can be a Malay but a Malay Christian cannot be a Malay"
Decision On Who's Spore’s 1st Elected President Was Decided By Gov
Malay President, Chinese Prime Minister and Indian Chief Justice
Silent sit-in protest against PE2017
Singapore's 8th and first female President
No contest for Singapore Presidential Election 2017
President Tony Tan reflects on his six years at the Istana
PE2017: Mr Owl for President?
Elected President: CC vs AGC
2017 Presidential Election to be reserved for Malay candidates
Public Forum on Elected Presidency cancelled due to poor response
White Paper on Elected Presidency scheme
Spore push for minority President but not ready for non-Chinese PM
Changes to the Elected Presidency Scheme
Order of Succession And Baton Passing

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

PE2017: Mr Owl for President?

Accordimg to a Geomancy Master, The Presidential Election polling day on Sep 23 is a special day:
  • 2 +3 = 5
  • 5 in Thai is "Ha" and in Malay is "Lima"
  • So, it is "Halima"
Hence "5 5 5" in Thai is "Ha Ha Ha"

PM Lee meets with barn owl at Istana grounds again, marks 3rd biennial diplomatic visit

If you’ve been following Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s Facebook page long enough, you will have heard about the biennial barn owl who visits the Istana.

Indeed, the diplomatic visitor first showed up inside PM Lee’s office in November 2013. And returned again, promptly, two years later, in the height of the haze. And now it’s back again, inviting itself into the Istana’s highly secured grounds without giving a hoot.

We can’t be certain why owls visit the Istana at such regular intervals either, or if it’s even the same individual owl visiting, but we can make the following educated guesses for this latest visit:
  • It has decided it’s had enough of this presidential election nonsense and is volunteering itself for the role.
  • Someone at the Istana will be enrolled to Hogwarts for further studies.

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Lee Hsien Loong 25 August at 19:00

Quite an easy one, if you’ve been a long-time follower of my Facebook Page! The Istana appears to be a regular stopover for owls, with latest one dropping by after visits in 2015 and 2013. (It is rather curious why they only visit every two years!).

True to their reputed wisdom, they seem to have learnt not to fly into the Istana building (and then need help from Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore and Jurong Bird Park to extricate themselves). Our latest visitor was quite content to perch itself on the overhang that runs along the exterior of the Istana, keeping a silent watch over the main entrance. – LHL

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Comment: Jasmine P'ng Siok Lee 25 August at 21:06 · Edited

Jasmine P'ng Siok Lee Owl visit again? same bird from 2013 and 2015? What significant events happened during last 2 visit? Bird want to bring you a message? This year important event is President Election, restricted for Malay candidates only! Expect any issues or turmoil politically? Online debate hot up, much misgivings about timing of this special President election, government real intention or agenda to host this special President election this year. Government need to consider better way to engage citizens to have candid discussion on such sensitive political issues. Election during an Internet age can be difficult especially how to counteract fake news and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. Concerned.

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PM Lee's 'silent watcher' visits him at Istana again for the 3rd time in 5 years

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has been visited by a barn owl at the Istana for the 3rd time.

He posted a photo on Facebook that showed the cute creature nestling in the overhang along the Istana's exterior and wrote: "#guesswhoo's back?"

A barn owl had also made previous appearances at the Istana, in PM Lee's Sri Temasek, in 2013 & 2015, and it is possible that this one is the same bird.

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OWL SYMBOLISM – DEEPER MEANING OF OWL
Owl Symbolism - Owl Meaning

Yes, in certain cultures (China, Egypt, India) the symbolic meaning of owl is associated with death, but you must understand that the owl is nota symbol of death per se. Rather – it was revered (honored) as being the guardian of the after-life – a highly respected emblem indeed. Throughout many cultures, the symbolic meaning of owl deals with:
  • intelligence
  • brilliance
  • perspective
  • intuition
  • quick-wit
  • independence
  • wisdom
  • protection
  • mystery
  • power
Native American tribes (primarily plains’ Indians) viewed the owl as a protector against harm and their feathers  were ritually worn to ward of evil spirits. Ancient Athenians made the owl an emblem of wisdomand even emblazoned the image of the owl on their coinage.  To the ancient Greeks, the owl is a symbol of Athene who is goddess of foresight & knowledge. Taking symbolism from the owl directly, it is noteworthy that it is a creature of the night.   Nocturnal creatures are symbolic of inner-knowing, psychic ability, and intuition – so too is the owl.

If an owl has visited you, an incredible gift has been bestowed.  Also, keep in mind that animals are only called to those who share the same energy.  In other words, you hold within you some of the very same symbolic attributes the owl represents.

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Singapore’s first elected president Ong Teng Cheong gets a mountain named after him

Somewhere out there in south-eastern Kazakhstan, there’s a mountain named after a Singaporean — the first of its kind. And not just any Singaporean, but Singapore’s first elected president, Ong Teng Cheong himself.

The 4,743m-tall mountain sits in the middle of a remote Tien Shan range that stretches along the border between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and China, reported The Straits Times. Ong Teng Cheong peak — so named because it was first conquered by a Singapore team on July 29, 2005 — was formally recognized on June 28 this year by the Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Federation of Kazakhstan.

Mountaineers David Lim, Wilfred Tok, Mohd Rozani Maarof and Shani Tan were the first ones to ascend the mountain, and they named it after Ong, who was the patron of Singapore’s first Everest expedition in 1995 during his presidency.

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Mdm Halimah’s slogan “Do Good Do Together”?

Mdm Halimah Yacob unveiled her campaign slogan at the NTUC Centre on Tuesday (29 August) and introduced the members of her campaign team.

The former Speaker of Parliament and People's Action Party Member of Parliament announced that her campaign slogan is “Do Good, Do Together”.

She said, "It allows us together as one people to come together and do what is good for the community and the country – I think that is the most important part of it," and added, "We 'do good, do together' regardless of race, language or religion, and we come together to make Singapore a home we can all be proud of."

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Farid Khan: Vote for someone good for Singapore
Firms with $500 million capitalisation in minority
Presidential hopeful Farid Khan hopes voters will have Singapore's best interests in mind in the event they go to the polls later this month

The chairman of marine services company Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific yesterday urged Singaporeans to vote for the best person in the Presidential Election - "someone who is good for the country and will serve the country".

"I would prefer those who vote for me, to vote for who I am, what I stand for," he told reporters after performing morning prayers at An-Nur Mosque in Woodlands.

Mr Farid, 62, is one of the three people known to have submitted applications to contest the Presidential Election, which is the first to be reserved for Malay candidates.

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Mr Mohd Salleh Marican - Chief Executive Officer, Second Chance Properties Ltd 

Mr Salleh Marican founded Second Chance Properties Ltd and has been Chairman and CEO since its incorporation. He has 35 years of retail experience and a recipient of the 1996 Entrepreneurship Excellence Award of the Nanyang Technological University.

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related:
Elected President: CC vs AGC
2017 Presidential Election to be reserved for Malay candidates
Public Forum on Elected Presidency cancelled due to poor response
White Paper on Elected Presidency scheme
Spore push for minority President but not ready for non-Chinese PM
Changes to the Elected Presidency Scheme
Order of Succession And Baton Passing

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Presidential Election polling day will be on Sep 23

According to a Geomancy Master, The Presidential Election polling day on Sep 23 is a special day:
  • 2 +3 = 5
  • 5 in Thai is "Ha" and in Malay is "Lima"
  • So, it is "Halima"
Hence "5 5 5" in Thai is "Ha Ha Ha"

If there’s more than one person qualified to run

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has issued the Writ of Election for the Presidential Election, naming Sep 13 as Nomination Day. If we’re lucky to have more than one person who qualifies to run for the position of Singapore’s president, the polling day will be held 10 days later, on Sep 23.

As reported, debated and written about in various think pieces, the upcoming presidential election will only be reserved for Malay candidates, due to the implementation of a “hiatus-triggered” model, said to ensure multiracial representation in the highest office in the land. According to a press release by the Elections Department, the nomination place will be the auditorium of the People’s Association along King George’s Avenue.

Currently, there are only three big contenders who’ve publicly indicated that they’ll be running for president. There’s Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific chairman Farid Khan. There’s Second Chance Properties founder and CEO Mohamed Salleh Marican. And, of course, there’s (former) People’s Action Party stalwart Halimah Yacob, who recently stepped down from her roles as Speaker of Parliament and a Member of Parliament for the Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC.

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Lee Hsien Loong is with Arun Trivedi 4 hrs

I have issued the Writ of Election for the Presidential Election. Nomination Day will be on 13 September.

This is the first PE to be reserved for Malay candidates. I have explained in Parliament (http://bit.ly/2fcMNTZ), in last year’s National Day Rally, and in TV forums why we are adopting this “hiatus-triggered” model. (It means that if we have not had a President from a particular community for 5 consecutive terms, the next term will be reserved for a President from that community.)

We are a multiracial country, and every citizen should know that someone of his community can become President, and does become President from time to time, and thus represent all Singaporeans.

I hope Singaporeans will support the candidate who will best represent their interests and aspirations, and our nation. Not just at home, but internationally too. – LHL

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Presidential Election Polling Day on September 23: PMO

Singaporeans will vote for their 8th President on September 23, if more than one person qualifies to run for the position.

The winner will be the 2nd Malay president in Singapore's history, and the 1st to be chosen in a presidential election reserved for candidates of a specific community.

Singaporeans will know if they will get to cast their vote or if the election will be a walkover, on Nomination Day, which will be on September 13.

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Nomination Day for Presidential Election set for Sept 13, Polling Day on Sept 23

PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong has issued the writ of election for next month's Presidential Election, with Nomination Day set for Wednesday, Sept 13.

The nomination centre is the auditorium of the People's Association headquarters along King George's Avenue. If there are at least two nominated candidates for this election that's reserved for those from the Malay community, the Returning Officer Ng Wai Choong will declare Saturday, Sept 23 as Polling Day.

Applications for the Certificate of Eligibility and the Community Certificate must reach the Elections Department (ELD) by 5pm on Sept 4.

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Workers’ Party Blocked from Raising Elected Presidency Issue in Parliament ahead of PE2017
redwire-singapore-murali-pillai-workers-party-sylvia-lim
If not now, then when?

The Workers’ Party had intended to raise the “counting of presidents” issue in parliament on Monday (11 Sept).

This would have been a relevant discussion, considering that Singapore is set for Nomination Day on 13 Sept and Singaporeans will elect their next President on 23 Sept.

However, parliamentarians chose to scupper debate on the validity of the PE2017 reserved election, in favour of discussing namely “Community Sentencing and Other Rehabilitative Options”.

related: WP Raised “Reserved” Election Issue in Feb, but Maj-Gen Chan Chun Sing Shut Things Down

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Sylvia Lim’s Motion On Elected Presidency Will Not Be Discussed In Parliament Because Of Random Balloting
Workers’ Party Sylvia Lim’s Motion Not Selected Due To Random Balloting

Those keeping track of the political scene in Singapore are surely to have noticed yesterday (5 Sept) the unexpected announcement of the next Speaker of Parliament by our Prime Minister.

Amidst fallout of the news, you might have missed out on equally-as-important information provided by The Workers’ Party (WP) on their Facebook page just an hour later.

WP Chairman Sylvia Lim’s proposal to discuss the controversy regarding the recognition of Singapore’s first Elected President was not chosen for the 11 Sept Parliament sitting. Titled “Counting from President Wee Kim Wee or President Ong Teng Cheong for Reserved Presidential Election – Policy Decision or Legal Question“, the adjournment motion was supposed to be the final debate on the reserved presidential election.

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Workers' Party to raise reserved presidential election in Parliament

The Workers’ Party has filed an adjournment motion on the upcoming reserved Presidential Election (PE) for the next sitting of Parliament on 11 September.

In a Facebook post titled “Counting from President Wee Kim Wee or President Ong Teng Cheong – policy decision or legal question?” on Monday (28 August), the opposition party said that Aljunied GRC MP Sylvia Lim had filed an adjournment motion with the above title.

“In the wake of intense public discussion after the parliamentary debates and a court case on the reserved presidential election, the Workers’ Party believes it is in the public interest for the Government to clarify this issue surrounding the election of our Head of State,” the post added.

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The Workers' Party 3 hrs

Counting from President Wee Kim Wee or President Ong Teng Cheong - policy decision or legal question?

Sylvia Lim, MP for Aljunied GRC, has filed an adjournment motion with the above title for the sitting of Parliament on 11 September 2017. In the wake of intense public discussion after the parliamentary debates and a court case on the reserved presidential election, the Workers' Party believes it is in the public interest for the Government to clarify this issue surrounding the election of our Head of State.

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It is all about one man, Stupid!

We heard yesterday from People's Action Party (PAP) Ministers and the Emeritus Senior Minister a full rehash of their tired and by now totally discredited arguments for a reserved Presidential Election. For good measure, terrorism was also thrown in as part of the PAP's staple of fearmongering. Despite all the political sophistry, it is not difficult to penetrate the PAP's fog of propaganda. Fair-minded Singaporeans know that this dastardly election is all about denying one man, Dr Tan Cheng Bock, the Presidency. The entire Establishment has connived in this dishonourable venture. History will not be kind to them.

This racially divisive election has the same effect as segregating our various races into seperate and isolated settlements. How can the PAP compare it with the Ethnic Integration Policy in Public Housing designed to promote racial integration? Multiracialism and multiculturalism are all about inclusion and not exclusion, which is what the reserved election amounts to.

A Party that once rejected Bumiputra privileges and made a " Malaysian Malaysia " their battle cry is now reduced to feeble arguments based on race for a policy that has hung, drawn and quartered our National Identity. A policy that snubs meritocracy in the face and has no belief that the cream will always rise to the TOP, as Tiger Woods, Barack Obama and the new Irish Prime Minister, who is of Indian descent, have shown the world. It is most interesting to note that the printed version of the Straits Times today did not carry that part of Goh Chok Tong's speech where he admitted that:
"this reserved election made a large part of the population unhappy as it is against meritocracy."
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ESM Goh Chok Tong: Malay Presidency goes against Meritocracy

Former Prime Minister and Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong today (Sep 8) publicly acknowledged that the Malay Presidency goes against Meritocracy:
“The reserved election this year is quite unpopular with a large proportion of the population because it goes against the principle of meritocracy.”
Minister Goh Chok Tong however was quick to soften his tone. ESM Goh Chok Tong added that Singaporeans “should understand why the government is doing this”.

The former Prime Minister claimed that the Malay Presidency is just like the HDB housing rule having a racial quota per block: “The ethnic integration policy for public housing as an example. The policy helps to ensure an ethnic mix in HDB estates to help promote racial integration and harmony.”

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Mdm Halimah’s slogan “Do Good Do Together”?

Mdm Halimah Yacob unveiled her campaign slogan at the NTUC Centre on Tuesday (29 August) and introduced the members of her campaign team.

The former Speaker of Parliament and People's Action Party Member of Parliament announced that her campaign slogan is “Do Good, Do Together”.

She said, "It allows us together as one people to come together and do what is good for the community and the country – I think that is the most important part of it," and added, "We 'do good, do together' regardless of race, language or religion, and we come together to make Singapore a home we can all be proud of."

read more

Farid Khan: Vote for someone good for Singapore
Firms with $500 million capitalisation in minority
Presidential hopeful Farid Khan hopes voters will have Singapore's best interests in mind in the event they go to the polls later this month

The chairman of marine services company Bourbon Offshore Asia Pacific yesterday urged Singaporeans to vote for the best person in the Presidential Election - "someone who is good for the country and will serve the country".

"I would prefer those who vote for me, to vote for who I am, what I stand for," he told reporters after performing morning prayers at An-Nur Mosque in Woodlands.

Mr Farid, 62, is one of the three people known to have submitted applications to contest the Presidential Election, which is the first to be reserved for Malay candidates.

read more

Mr Mohd Salleh Marican - Chief Executive Officer, Second Chance Properties Ltd 

Mr Salleh Marican founded Second Chance Properties Ltd and has been Chairman and CEO since its incorporation. He has 35 years of retail experience and a recipient of the 1996 Entrepreneurship Excellence Award of the Nanyang Technological University.

read more

Salleh addresses claims of close connection with establishment for being board member on Temasek Foundation Cares

The Online Citizen wrote to Mr Salleh if he would like to address the claim, such as how such a position should not indicate his connection with the establishment, and why he had chosen to take up the position on the board. Mr Salleh in his prompt reply wrote:

  • Thank you for this opportunity to clear the air.  In May 2009, I was approached to be a founding director of Temasek Foundation Cares (TFC), a newly set up foundation to help Singaporeans.
  • They would like me to accept the appointment as I had been active in charitable work.  I accepted because it was something I believed in. TFC is a charitable body with IPC status, it is not a political body or in any way related to politics. The board members serve on a voluntary basis.
  • On 29 August 2013, I was appointed Treasurer for a 4-year term that ended on 28 August 2017. For further information on TFC please visit: Temasek Foundation Cares

Mr Salleh has submitted his forms required of him to stand nominated for the upcoming Presidential Election but it still remains to be seen if he will be qualified to stand as a candidate by the Presidential Election Committee as he does not automatically qualify under the recently introduced amendments to that of private sector candidates for the Elected Presidency.

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Veteran radio personality Hamish Brown questions Halimah Yacob’s independence to be Elected President

Prominent radio personality Hamish Brown has questioned if Presidential hopeful Halimah Yacob is as indeed independently-minded as she has claimed in a newspaper interview. In an interview with The New Paper Madam Halimah illustrated an incident where she abstained from voting on an issue after the Whip was listed, to make a point that she not always followed the directions of her political party elders in the People’s Action Party.

“An occasion she remembered clearly was when she abstained from voting on amendments to the Human Organ Transplant Act in Parliament in 2007. Changes tabled by then Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan would allow organ recipients to reimburse donors’ expenses if they wished. She was concerned that this would lead to poor people being persuaded to “sell” their organs. The party whip was lifted, and she abstained, sending a strong signal of her misgivings.  She recalled: “I decided not to say yes. I didn’t ask the Health Minister how he felt, but I can still remember the expression on his face.”

Writing in his Facebook Mr Brown said, abstaining from voting doesn’t send a signal that she agrees or disagrees. That Madam Halimah’s decision only showed that her position was a non-committal one.

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Hamish Brown 3 September at 19:47

I'm sorry to disappoint you Madam Yaacob but meritocracy went out the window as soon as this presidential election was reserved for one particular ethnic Race over all others. And, not to put too fine a point on it, but abstaining from voting during the Human Organ Transplant Act parliamentary sitting doesn't show that you do not toe with the party line, it only shows that between standing with voters who agree and voters who don't, your action was neither, rather your decided course of action was to abstain from voting altogether, an act that really means, I prefer not to stand for either option and just be a fence sitter (so if the proverbial s@&/,! Hit the fan, you would go on record as not having been party to it either way) that's what abstaining from taking a stand or voting means.

No madam, I'm sorry but abstaining from voting doesn't send a signal that you disagree or agree, it just says that your position is non commital.

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Criticisms of Elected Presidency persist despite explanations and justifications

In a Today report dated 15 September 2017, it is reported that despite the fact that it was the week of firsts for Singaporean to have the first reserved election which resulted in the city state's first woman President and the first Malay Head of State in 47 years, criticism of the election process for the Elected Presidency (EP) has persisted online.

Madam Halimah Yacob, 63, was sworn in on 14 September as President. However, instead of revelling in her role on a historic occasion, she had to answer questions about how she was going to unite a country divided by her election.

The report noted that the biggest reason why the criticism arose was because Singaporeans were denied to vote as the government had disqualified two other potential candidates.

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DPM Tharman ‘would have preferred a contest’ for Presidential Election
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Wednesday that he would have preferred a contest in the recent Presidential Election

Speaking at the first Majulah Lecture organised by the Nanyang Technological University on Wednesday (20 Sept), Tharman was quizzed on the 2017 Presidential Election after the lecture, according to media reports.

One student asked if the reserved presidential election is an indication that Singapore is “regressing as a society”, despite Singaporeans growing up reciting a pledge with the words “regardless of race, language or religion”.

In response, Tharman said while he was “proud” that Halimah Yacob was the first Malay president in 47 years, he told the audience of more than 1,500 it was “understandable” that Singaporeans had questions about the recent election, which was reserved for Malay candidates.

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HALIMAH YACOB IKON WANITA

It is one of the worst kept secrets this year, where she decided not to say yes until everything has been sorted out (she had to talk to her family, residents, consider her existing duties etc etc).

It’s not like she can suka suka drop everything and go for the presidency, and if she loses, it’s not like she can just say “Can put me back as Speaker?” right?

So what other worst-er kept secrets did Halimah Yacob have that maybe you already knew (or can just pretend you did)?
  • Halimah Yacob’s a Malay (no, you don’t say!)
  • She was a lawyer who took companies to court over workers’ rights
  • She started working at 8 years old at an illegal pushcart
  • She studied at Singapore Chinese Girls’ School
  • She lives in a 5 room HDB flat in Yishun

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A doctor’s prescription on ‘who is a Malay’ could settle Halimah’s Malay credentials
To be a Malay, said Mahathir, is no more an ethnic thing as today it is more of a legal matter

Who is a Malay? The debate is still raging in Singapore with many disputing the Malay credentials of the PAP’s Presidential election’s candidate.

But a doctor’s prescription on who is a Malay in Malaysia could save Halimah Yacob the day in the court of the social-media haranguers.

The book A Doctor In The House could eventually settle the issue of ‘who is a Malay’ and could endorse Halimah’s Malay credentials

read more

related: "An Indian Muslim can be a Malay but a Malay Christian cannot be a Malay"
Elected President: CC vs AGC
2017 Presidential Election to be reserved for Malay candidates
Public Forum on Elected Presidency cancelled due to poor response
White Paper on Elected Presidency scheme
Spore push for minority President but not ready for non-Chinese PM
Changes to the Elected Presidency Scheme
Order of Succession And Baton Passing

Monday, 28 August 2017

Qīxī Jié 七夕节 2017

CHINESE DOUBLE SEVENTH FESTIVAL (QIXI)
Chinese Valentine's Day (Double Seventh Festival)
7th day of 7th month on the Chinese lunar calendar

Check out these 10 Interesting Facts about Chinese Valentine’s Day (also known as Double Seventh Festival). How many of these do you already know?
  • Chinese Valentine’s Day is also known as the Qixi Festival or the Double Seventh Festival.
  • Double Seventh Festival is the most romantic day among all the Chinese festivals, and it is favored by young women who beg for bright heart and knitting and needlecraft skills from the goddess in heaven, pray for happiness, worship Qijie (the god of the weaver), and make wishes for a good husband. Therefore, this special festival is also called Chinese Valentine’s Day
  • Double Seven Festival of 2017 falls on August 28 in the Gregorian calendar, and it falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. In the Gregorian calendar, it often goes into August.
  • Double Seven Festival originated from a romantic love story, the legend of a cowherd and a weaver. The legend is very popular, and everyone in China, young and old, knows about it.
  • The legend is about an honest and kind-hearted man named Niu Lang (the cowherd) and a fairy from heaven Zhi Nu (the weaver girl) who fell in love with each other. However, their love was not allowed, and the final decision that the Queen Mother in heaven made was that they could only meet each year on the 7th of the 7th lunar month. Therefore, their meeting date has been called “Qi Xi” (Double Seventh).
  • On that day, Niu Lang and Zhi Nu meet on Que Qiao, a bridge made up of magpies, spanning the Milky Way.
  • Scholars have shown that Double Seventh Festival originated from the Han Dynasty (207 BC to 220 AD).
  • The legend of Niu Lang and Zhi Nu has root in the hearts of Chinese people, and Chinese people celebrated it as Valentine’s Day.
  • The owners of flower shops, bars, stores are full of joy as they sell more products for love.
  • Some of the popular food that Chinese people eat include dumplings, noodles, and wontons.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

The famiLEE feud: AGC to start legal action on Li Shengwu for contempt

The nephew of Singapore’s prime minister faces court

“IN NORMAL circumstances…I would have sued,” said Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister of Singapore, in July. He was responding to claims by his siblings that he was secretly manoeuvring to prevent the demolition of the house of his father, Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founding prime minister, in violation of the terms of the older Mr Lee’s will. In the end, the younger Mr Lee said in a public statement, he concluded that such action would “further besmirch my parents’ names”.

Singapore’s attorney-general, however, takes a different view. On July 21st his office wrote to Li Shengwu, the son of one of the critical siblings and thus the prime minister’s nephew, to denounce a private post on his Facebook page as “an egregious and baseless attack on the Singapore judiciary” and one which “constitutes an offence of contempt of court”. It demanded that he should delete the post and apologise by July 28th. Mr Li, an economist at Harvard University (and a former intern at The Economist), had described the Singaporean government as “very litigious” and the country’s court system as “pliant” by way of explaining the cautious international coverage of his father’s allegations. “This constrains what the international media can usually report,” he said. Screenshots from his page began to be shared publicly.

Mr Li asked to be allowed to consider the request until August 4th; on that day he tweaked his message, but neither removed it nor said sorry. The attorney-general’s office duly filed an application in the High Court to start proceedings against him.

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Complaint Lodged with the UN over Contempt of Court Action against Li Shengwu
redwire-singapore-li-shengwu-x834

Non-governmental organisation, the Community Action Network, has filed a complaint to the UN regarding the contempt of court action against Li Shengwu. CAN said that it filed a complaint with the UN Special Rapporteur – a group of investigators appointed by the UN to check on human rights issues.

In doing so, it explained that “concerns that private conversations among friends may also run the risk of contempt were raised by the activists and members of parliament; the government’s clampdown on Li Shengwu’s private facebook post has proven those fears to be justified.”

The Attorney-General’s Chambers has filed contempt of court action against Li, the nephew of PM Lee Hsien Loong, for a private Facebook post in which he called the judiciary “pliant”. The AGO called it an “egregious and baseless attack on the Singapore judiciary and constitutes an offence of contempt of court.”

read more

Li Shengwu Tells AGC He Has Nothing To Apologize For
Li Shengwu Refuses To Back Down To AGC In Contempt Of Court Case

Despite clarifying that he was not attacking the Singapore Judiciary system, the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) is still baying for Mr Li Shengwu’s blood.

This is unsurprising, given that Lee Hsien Yang’s son has continued to poke holes at AGC’s statements time and time again.

In his latest Facebook exposé on 21 Aug, Mr Li has released his response to the AGC’s continuous calls for an apology.

read more

Singapore court grants AG permission to begin contempt proceedings against Li Shengwu

Singapore's High Court on Monday granted leave for the attorney-general's office to begin contempt of court proceedings against Li Shengwu, a grandson of the city state's late founding leader Lee Kuan Yew, over comments he made last month about the country's legal system.

According to correspondence released by Li, the attorney-general's chambers (AGC) had offered to stop pursuing the case against Li, whose uncle is the nation's current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, if by Monday afternoon he apologized for a Facebook post from July 15. In that post Li had said that "the Singapore government is very litigious and has a pliant court system."

In a reply to the AGC's offer, Li wrote in a letter dated Aug. 18: "The truth matters: I cannot confess to a crime I did not commit in return for a discontinuance of the legal proceedings against me."

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High Court approves AGC’s proceeding against Li Shengwu; Li contests AGC’s claims and notes its double standards

The High Court granted approval for the Attorney General's Chambers to carry out the committal proceedings against Mr Li Sheng Wu the son of Mr Lee Hsien Yang and nephew of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, for contempt of court over comments made in a private Facebook post.

Earlier in a warning letter to Mr Li on 21 july, AGC claimed that Mr Li made “false and baseless allegations” about the lack of independence of the Singapore Judiciary in his private Facebook post made on 15 July 2017, asking him to “purge the contempt” by deleting the post from his Facebook page and other online platforms by 5pm, 28 July. He was also asked to “issue and post prominently” on his Facebook page a written apology and undertaking drafted by the AGC.

On 28 July, AGC wrote to the press, noting that it went ahead to file an application for leave in the High Court to commence committal proceedings for contempt against him as Mr Li has failed to purge the contempt and to apologise by the deadline.

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Lee Kuan Yew's grandson left Singapore because friends feared he would be detained

A grandson of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s late founding father and ruler for more than three decades, said he left the city state in July after friends expressed concerns he might be detained by the authorities in a contempt of court case.

"In Singapore, it is possible that one can be detained and interrogated for some time without a lawyer,” said Li Shengwu, whose uncle is the nation’s current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in an interview with Reuters. “My friends had warned me that they were concerned for my safety if I remained in Singapore."

Li declined to identify his friends or disclose if they had specific information. Reuters has no independent evidence that Li Shengwu faced any threats to his safety.

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Li Shengwu feared he would be detained by S'pore authorities
BT_20170819_SHENGWU19__3043771.jpg

LI SHENGWU, the nephew of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has said in an interview published on Friday that he left Singapore because of concerns that he might be detained by the authorities in a contempt of court case.

"I worry that Singapore's ruling party tries too hard to maintain a monopoly on credibility," said Mr Li.

related: AGC gets go-ahead to continue contempt of court proceedings against Li Shengwu

read more

Notes on Singapore’s Oxley Road scandal

Number 38, Oxley Road appears to be a fairly unassuming, stuccoed, gated residence in Singapore’s central River Valley area.

However the old colonial bungalow’s political capital has soared in recent weeks as it has become the centre of a convoluted and heated debate surrounding Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Since the middle of June, PM Lee has been mired in a series of allegations and rebuttals, aimed at him by his own siblings, in a very public spat over family property rights.

read more

Li Shengwu highlights PM Lee’s press secretary knew about contents of AGC letter to him

Li Shengwu has published in full the letters the Attorney General’s Chambers sent him on Aug. 8 and his response to them on Aug. 18.

Li wrote in a Facebook post on Monday, Aug. 21, that “the AGC privately revised its demands to me”, but “my uncle PM Lee Hsien Loong’s press secretary was aware of these revised demands, and disclosed them on 18 August”.

In response to this turn of events, Li released both letters as Google docs (see below) into the public domain.

related: Contempt of court proceedings to continue against Li Shengwu even if he’s not in S’pore

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Shengwu Li 18 hrs

In a letter on 8 August 2017, the AGC privately revised its demands to me. Surprisingly, my uncle PM Lee Hsien Loong's press secretary was aware of these revised demands, and disclosed them on 18 August. Thus, I am making public both AGC's letter and my response.

AGC’s letter: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9jJAm-8bFh8Ml9wQVVfd2JEbE0

My response: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9jJAm-8bFh8MVM1UDk4Qjc1UUU

DRIVE.GOOGLE.COM: Reply letter 18 Aug.pdf

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How did PM’s private secretary get access to private AGC correspondence? – Li Shengwu demands

Li Shengwu has released private correspondence between himself and the Attorney-General’s Chambers, since his uncle, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s private secretary somehow gained access to the private correspondence and released private information to the public.

Shengwu was referring to comments made my private secretary Chang to news agency Reuters on 18 August 2017.

In a separate development, the AGC has been given permission to continue contempt of court proceedings against the grandson of late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

read more

Singapore court grants AG permission to begin contempt proceedings against Li Shengwu
Li Shengwu who faces contempt of court proceedings in his homeland at Harvard University

Singapore's High Court on Monday granted leave for the attorney-general's office to begin contempt of court proceedings against Li Shengwu, a grandson of the city state's late founding leader Lee Kuan Yew, over comments he made last month about the country's legal system.

According to correspondence released by Li, the attorney-general's chambers (AGC) had offered to stop pursuing the case against Li, whose uncle is the nation's current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, if by Monday afternoon he apologized for a Facebook post from July 15. In that post Li had said that "the Singapore government is very litigious and has a pliant court system."

In a reply to the AGC's offer, Li wrote in a letter dated Aug. 18: "The truth matters: I cannot confess to a crime I did not commit in return for a discontinuance of the legal proceedings against me."

related: Li Shengwu says AGC accepts his private Facebook post can stay after amendment

read more

AGC to continue contempt case against Li Shengwu

The High Court yesterday gave the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) permission to continue with contempt of court proceedings against Mr Li Shengwu over a Facebook post he made on the judiciary.

Senior State Counsel Francis Ng told reporters the AGC has until Sep 4 to file the required documents.

Mr Li - the eldest son of Mr Lee Hsien Yang & nephew of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong - will be given all the documents for him to respond, said an AGC spokesman.

related: Li Shengwu says he left Singapore because he feared he might be detained

read more

AGC gets go-ahead to start contempt of court proceedings against Li Shengwu

The High Court has given the Attorney-General’s Chambers the green light to start committal proceedings against Mr Li Shengwu for contempt of court.

Justice Kannan Ramesh made the decision to grant the AGC’s application on Mon (Aug 21) afternoon. The AGC has 14 days to file an order of committal against Mr Li.

In a statement released after the decision, the AGC said it would next file a substantive application with the High Court for an order of committal against Mr Li.

related:
Mr Li will not return to Singapore to face the contempt proceedings
Li Shengwu amends Facebook post on court system 'to clarify meaning'
Li Shengwu's claim that he might be detained is 'inaccurate': PMO

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AGC to start legal action on Li Shengwu for contempt
AGC to start legal action on Li Shengwu for contempt
Li Shengwu made public his replies to the Attorney General’s Chambers on Aug 21

The High Court has given the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) the green light to launch contempt of court proceedings against Mr Li Shengwu, the son of Mr Lee Hsien Yang & nephew of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Permission was granted by Justice Kannan Ramesh during a closed door hearing on Monday (Aug 21), bringing proceedings to the next stage, Senior State Counsel Francis Ng told reporters. The AGC will have 14 days — until Sep 4 — to write to the court to start proceedings, then serve court documents on Mr Li, so that he has a chance to respond.

A hearing can go on whether or not Mr Li or his lawyers are present.

related:
AGC looking into FB post by Li Shengwu criticising Singapore's court system
Li Shengwu says he will not return home to face contempt of court proceedings
AGC to start proceedings against Li Shengwu for contempt of court over Facebook post

read more

Which Lee family member gave away classified documents from LKY’s house?

The Court of Appeal released the judgment transcript of Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang vs. The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) last week.

The younger children of Lee Kuan Yew and co-executors of his estate bid for control of oral history transcripts containing classified information that had allegedly been removed from the late founding Prime Minister’s home by “a family member” who handed the transcripts over to a government official, without authorisation.

In the hearing, Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang put forth that prior to Lee Kuan Yew’s death, a copy of the confidential transcripts were kept at his home as he was working on his memoirs. After his passing, the siblings allege that “a family member passed them to the current Cabinet Secretary, Mr Tan Kee Yong.”

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In Singapore, Family Feud Deepens Over Facebook Posts
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore during a visit to the Philippines in April. His siblings have accused him of betraying the legacy of their father, Lee Kuan Yew. Credit Mark R. Cristino/European Pressphoto Agency

Singapore’s government has been trying for two weeks to get the Harvard economist Li Shengwu, a grandson of Singapore’s founder, Lee Kuan Yew, to apologize for comments he made in a private Facebook post that were seen as critical of the country’s leadership.

The Singapore attorney general’s office even drafted an apology letter for Mr. Li to sign, in which he would admit to contempt of court and to making what it called “false and baseless” statements.

But on Friday, Mr. Li declined to give in to the demands of the government, which is led by his uncle, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and refused to sign the apology. In the Facebook post last month, he said that some foreign news outlets engaged in self-censorship when covering the prime minister because of the threat of legal action in Singapore.

read more


Shengwu Li 3 August at 21:09

On 15 July 2017, I made a posting on a “friends only” privacy setting, for the purpose of sharing a summary by the Wall Street Journal of the political crisis in Singapore. I also added a link to an editorial by the New York Times.

An unauthorized screenshot of my private post was however taken, and given to others that did not have access to my private post. Without my approval, the unauthorized screenshot of my private post, or content from my private post, was published and republished by others, including by Singapore’s mainstream media.

The Singapore Attorney General’s Chambers then sent me a threatening letter saying that my private post is an attack on the Singapore judiciary and is in contempt of court. It is not.

No one who published or republished my private post had approached me to clarify what I meant. Curiously, the Singapore media had time to seek statements from a Senior Minister of State and the AGC, but did not even do basic fact-checking – they inaccurately reported that the post was taken down, because they did not bother to contact me.

If my private post is read in context, it is evident that I did not attack the Singapore judiciary. In the context of sharing the summary by the Wall Street Journal, I intended to convey that the international media were restricted in their ability to report on the recent crisis, due to the litigious nature of the Singapore government, and the different legal rules with respect to press freedom in Singapore as compared to countries such as the United States. There is also flexibility in Singapore’s defamation laws – they just have different boundaries from the defamation laws in other jurisdictions. The government makes use of these legal rules to restrict unfavourable reporting.

It is not my intent to attack the Singapore judiciary or to undermine public confidence in the administration of justice. Any criticism I made is of the Singapore government’s litigious nature, and its use of legal rules and actions to stifle the free press. However, to avoid any misunderstanding of my original private post, I have amended the post so as to clarify my meaning.

read more

related:
The famiLEE feud: AGC to start legal action on Li Shengwu for contempt
The famiLEE feud: AGC looking into FB post by Lee Hsien Yang's son
The famiLEE feud: Protest at Hong Lim Park
The famiLEE feud: Demolish the house, end the saga, let's move on
The famiLEE feud: LWL, LHY to stop presenting online evidence
The famiLEE feud: Lee Hsien Yang responds to Parliament Hearing
The famiLEE feud: Parliamentary Hearing on Oxley's Dispute
The famiLEE feud: PM Lee Hsien Loong's Ministerial Statement
The famiLEE feud: Why LHY is speaking up
The famiLEE feud: July 3 Parliament session a cover-up & whitewash?
The famiLEE feud: Not another minister on the Will again!
The famiLEE feud: Lee Hsien Yang & his wife in Hong Kong
The famiLEE feud: Rise of the 'First Lady'
The famiLEE feud: Govt 'Poking Nose' into Oxley's fate
The famiLEE feud: Will House Debate clear the air?
The famiLEE feud: PM apologises for family feud
The famiLEE feud: Singaporeans sick and tired of endless Oxley Rd allegations
The famiLEE feud: "Past three days"
The famiLEE feud: "Will of Wills"
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Online squabble about "Hero-Worship" of the late Lee Kuan Yew
Family feud over how to mark LKY's death spills out online
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