SINGAPORE: Tan Kin Lian, former CEO of NTUC Income and former presidential candidate, has entered the fray of an evolving political controversy in Singapore. This dispute involves two of Singapore’s ministers and Lee Hsien Yang (LHY), brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Tan expressed his sympathy for LHY and shared his personal experience with defamation suits in a recent Facebook post.
Approximately 15 years ago, Tan found himself threatened with a defamation lawsuit over allegations he republished concerning a land banking company.
In his post, Tan drew parallels between his past predicament and the current situation faced by LHY, criticizing what he describes as “outdated and unjust” defamation laws.
“I find it unjust and deplorable,” he wrote, arguing that the law enables the wealthy and influential to bully their opponents and ordinary people.
Tan’s comments came in the wake of recent legal threats against LHY from Ministers K. Shanmugam, the Law and Home Affairs Minister, and Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, the Foreign Affairs Minister.
The issue originated from a Facebook post by LHY, where he discussed matters related to properties rented from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA)—an agency that Mr Shanmugam oversees as Minister for Law, the felling of trees, and state-funded renovations at 26 and 31 Ridout Road. The ministers, both tenants of these properties, interpreted LHY’s comments as defamatory allegations.
In response to the ministers’ threats to sue, unless he retracted his comments and issued an apology, LHY stood firm.
He argued that he was merely stating facts already in the public domain, not accusing the ministers of acting corruptly or for personal gain. Adding another layer to the situation, LHY challenged the ministers to sue him in the UK, where his original post was made.
Moreover, Tan called on Mr Shanmugam – ironically, the same law minister threatening to sue LHY – to modernize defamation laws, making them more equitable for individuals who may not have the means to engage expensive lawyers for their defence.
Earlier in the week, under the instructions of Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong, the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) office issued a directive for LHY to issue a correction notice about his Facebook post.
Despite compliance, LHY defended his original comments, insisting they were not misleading.
In his original post that was subject to the POFMA directive, LHY leveled criticism against the People’s Action Party (PAP), accusing the current administration, led by his brother, of squandering the public trust inherited from their late father, Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of modern Singapore.
MSF Chief urges immediate ceasefire in Gaza, highlights dire impact on children
Leong Mun Wai steps down as PSP Secretary-General over POFMA directive received
Carousell halts sale of Taylor Swift concert tickets to combat scams
MHA: Singaporean influencers issued advisories over Gaza conflict content
Samlit executives investigated for suspected fraudulent business operations
Singapore Airshow faces criticism over recurring traffic and transportation issues
1M65 founder est. S$100k loss in interest from CPF Special Account closure for aged 55+
Singapore authorities heighten vigilance as Zika signals persist in Boon Lay Place
SDP Chief Dr Chee mulls legal challenge against govt’s stance amid POFMA spree
SSG and NEA defend ‘washroom cleaning’ course on SkillsFuture amid online bewilderment
SAESL’s US$180M investment to bring 500 job opportunities in new aerospace facilities
UOB junior staff to get a one-off extra month’s bonus to cope with rising living costs
Singapore2 weeks ago
PM Lee encourages more births in the year of the dragon amid declining fertility rates
Featured1 week ago
PA surveys community & govt confidence amid pending general election
Singapore2 weeks ago
Singapore surpasses nursing recruitment target in 2023 amidst high attrition rates
Comments1 week ago
PAP Marcus Loh accuses WP’s MP of alleged dishonesty on debate about reserves
Civil Society1 week ago
Singaporeans stand firm in support for Palestine amidst police scrutiny
Civil Society7 days ago
At least 9 individuals summoned by police over Palestine solidarity activities on 2 Feb
Community1 week ago
Connectivity struggles in Tengah town prompt online user discussion
Singapore4 days ago
Kenneth Jeyaretnam issued 6th POFMA direction over Ridout Road saga