Sunday, February 19, 2012

K Shanmugam should "Come clean with the people"

In a now infamous letter to Alex Au of Yawning Bread, K Shanmugam's lawyers declared,
1. We act for Mr K Shanmugam.

2. We refer to the following comments that you have made on your website,, under the Responses section of the blog posting entitled “The Media and Yaw Shin Leong” published on 8 February 2012:
“I take the points raised in the above two comments. Indeed, I think the role of the mainstream press in this issue needs to be contrasted with the relative silence when it came to allegations swirling around K Shanmugam and Foo Mee Har at various points in the recent past. That there were rumours is widely known, though as in the Yaw Shin Leong case, no one can point to any proof. But that’s not my point here. My point is that the mainstream media’s interest in the Yaw affair does not look like neutral journalism. “
(Response No 24 dated 9 February 2012 at 23:34hrs) (the “Blog Comments’)

3. The allegations against our client that you have referred to in the Blog Comments have been put up primarily by a person who calls himself “scroobal’ on the internet. The allegations are false and scurrilous.
 With reference to the above letter, K Shanmugam should clarify the following:

  1. What precisely are the allegations that K Shanmugam is claiming are "false and scurrilous"? K Shanmugam should state precisely what allegations he is referring to and deny them categorically. 
  2. Why is it a crime for Alex Au to talk about "swirling allegations" when these allegations were not originated from Alex Au and it is not even clear in the first place precisely what allegations Alex Au is talking about?
  3. Which other internet websites apart from Yawning Bread have been served with the same notice? Why does Alex Au appear to have been targeted personally and not other websites which talk about these "allegations"as well?
Singaporeans deserve to know precisely what the Minister for Law and Foreign Affairs is so worked up about and what precisely he is denying. Such allegations have implications on our perception of the character of the Minister and whether or not he is fit to hold ministerial office. K Shanmugam should come clean on what precisely the allegations are and hold himself to the same standard of transparency and accountability that his colleage Mr Khaw Boon Wan is holding the Workers Party to.

Secondly, if K Shanmugam knows that these allegations are false and scurrilous, why does he feel the need to serve such defamation letters to innocent people who did not even make the defamatory comments in the first place? Why doesn't K Shanmugam just come out and clearly to state and deny the allegations and just let that be that?

Thirdly, this letter looks like an attempt to intimidate an innocent blogger, and all other innocent bloggers, into refraining from talking about allegations which are not originated by them and which they are not responsible for making. Can K Shanmugam clarify precisely the limits of the freedom of speech on the internet and whether quoting allegations made by other people is a crime? Is it a crime for a person to talk about "rumours" when those rumours did not originate from the person talking about them?

K Shanmugam should put himself in the shoes of voters and ask himself if voters want a bullying, intimidating figure to be their minister or whether they want a person who can simply state the truth and move on. Such lawyers letters only serve to cast further doubt on his character and wonder what exactly is Mr Shanmugam trying to hide.


Anonymous said...

Whose fault do you really think it is? Is it eight ball sham or Alex or maybe it is the whole of the internet?

Where there is no unity, there can never be strenght.

My friend Gintai summed it up very well in this little story.

It is nice to see you again K, very nice indeed.

Darkness 2012

ed said...

Perhaps, it is not that Shanmugam has something to hide, but that he doesn't deem it anybody's business.

Anonymous said...

Here’s my favorite quote ;-

“In a truly transparent world a liar will always be outed as a liar anyway. And if everyone felt secure speaking freely, the whole world would change.”

And for those Khaw Bei Khaw Bu and big talks about "No difference with Political and Private life" , if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. The internet is after all, a free space, and accord everyone their rights to reply. Why won't they walk their talk?

Once again, this incident only prove that when the MIW demands high salary for their 'talent' and demand 'total impunity' for their 'integrity, honesty, reputation' through defamation recourse. Theirs is a privilege life indeed. They can stop all that hypocrisy about
Accountability & Transparency.

Anonymous said...

I am a layman in this.

But, don't an allegation remain an allegation (ie truth unproven) until tested for the truth in court or corroborated by witnesses or parties directly involved?

Shan's letter to Alex suggests that it is defamatory to even mention that an allegations have been made by others but Alex himself provided no details of such allegations!

This is reminiscent of the JBJ case where he was sued for defamation for informing the audience during an election rally that a police report has been made -which in fact was a factual statement! How was it he was found guilty of defamation for mentioning that a police report has been made which was the truth?

If Singaporeans, esp. those who are legally qualified continue to allow such perversion and grievous assault to our intelligence and sense of fair play while doing nothing to rid ourselves of this scourge, it would be all the way down the slope to a 'fourth' world country.

Gintai_昇泰 said...不见棺材,不会掉泪!/ Check it out!

This is the kind of "open and transparent" govt 61% have voted in. Why bully a simple innocent local blogger? He didn't start the rumor at all. So we can't quote "rumor" or we will be sued? Really langgar.

Thank you ny fren Darkness2012 for quoting me. Unity is strength but I see our opposition behaving like those stupid crabs trying to outdo each other. PE demonstrated it. In the end who won? They just pick up the pieces so to speak!

Anonymous said...

K Shanmugam and his boss PM Lee are the most experienced persons on this island who should put aside differences with opposition members and publicly advise Yaw SL on how to deal with so called indiscretions and move on....LOL

Anonymous said...

I heard the man did not stop There are plenty of rumors about what he was up to while at MFA