There’s been a great number of articles about Singapore lately in international media, from The Guardian’s piece about how living in Singapore is akin to making a deal with the devil, and Huffington Post’s articles which quotes opposition Dr Chee Soon Juan.
Have these articles been co-ordinated or coerced into publication? Why are Western liberal articles so adamant on publishing articles with such a flavour?
Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing today released a response to the ultra-liberal, left-wing American publication that is Hufftington, reminding them that Chee is not a serious political figure in Singapore
It will be of no surprise that the online newspaper, founded by champagne-socialist Arianna Huffington, will ignore it in the name of “freedom of speech”.
The Minister attacked Hufftington on several fronts, firstly on how he is not a serious politician and how the antics of the past make him and his party a circus out of politics:
Chan quotes: “Your website has given Dr Chee Soon Juan considerable but undeserved attention and space. You perhaps believe that he is a weighty political figure in Singapore. He is nothing of the kind.
Dr Chee has stood for elections thrice – and lost badly all three times, once receiving just 20 per cent of the vote.”
Chan then continues to highlight how dishonourable the man is, even against his fellow opposition members. He reminds readers of how he outsted “honourable” opposition stalwart Chiam See Tong.
“The party he now leads, the Singapore Democratic Party, was once the leading opposition party in the country. But that was when it was led by Mr Chiam See Tong, a man everyone in Singapore, political friend and foe alike, regards as an honourable man.
Indeed, it was Mr Chiam who brought Dr Chee into the SDP in 1992. He mentored the younger man and promoted him. Dr Chee then proceeded to betray Mr Chiam, isolate him and force him out of the SDP, a party that he had founded in 1980 and had nurtured over 14 years. Since then the SDP hasn’t won a single seat in Parliament, though Mr Chiam himself went on to win elections repeatedly.”
Then there is how Chee was dismissed from the NUS because of misappropriation.
“In 1993, Dr Chee was dismissed from the National University of Singapore for misappropriating research funds and for other serious misconduct, including surreptitiously recording conversations with university staff.”
Readers are reminded of the defamation suits from a series of politicians :
“He has been sued for defamation not only by ruling party politicians, a fact that he likes to trumpet in the foreign media, but also by the doyen of the opposition in Singapore, Mr Chiam, a fact that he doesn’t mention because it is embarrassing.
And in 1996, Dr Chee and three of his associates were convicted of perjury by Parliament tor submitting false statements to a Special Parliamentary Committee. This is the equivalent of Congress convicting someone of perjury, a most serious offence.”
The fact is, Dr. Chee is a political failure. Not because of persecution – many an opposition member, such as the Workers Party, has achieved and even wrestled a GRC away from the PAP without slandering, without pandering to Western provocateurs. Without any of the childish antics such as Dr. Chee and his party is capable of producing.
The man was disqualified from contesting the last two General Elections because he was declared a bankrupt in 2006 for failing to pay damages for libel towards former Prime Ministers Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chock Tong. The only reason why he was discharged from bankruptcy was because in 2012, the two litigants have accepted to reduce the sum of damages, that he may have a small bit of redemption for himself.
Chee now anticipates an early General Election. His party, the Singapore Democratic Party, has launched a (very) early election campaign. In the words of Singaporeans, a “kiasu” campaign. He is looking to foreign media for campaign assistance, mostly because foreign journalists don’t know him as well as Singaporeans do.
Minister Chan tells readers that Chee sees himself as the Aung San Suu Kyi of Singapore and claims he is forced to publish in foreign media because he has been silenced by the Singapore media. Now this is all hogwash.
There are many socio-political sites that Chee had actively been publishing on. Some of these have a reach amongst Singaporeans much wider than Huffington Post has. Even the Straits Times has carried several articles by Chee Soon Juan.
Singapore will benefit greatly from a quality Opposition. Chee is not one of them.