Chia Ti Lik’s Blog

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The Wee Siew Kim Affair – Letter to ST Forum (Unpublished)

Dear All

I had on the morning of 25th October 2006 responded with biting criticism to the Straits Times report on MP Wee Siew Kim’s comments in defiant defence of his dear daughter.

I was totally disgusted by MP Wee’s comments which I will not let go pass untouched.

The ST’s Forum Editor had passed over my response and published another letter which was far less critical.

I am a strong proponent of freedom of expression, I will not stop at being silenced by elements of the mainstream press. Attached below is the letter that was targeted at our PAP AMK GRC MP Wee Siew Kim.

My purpose for publishing this letter is to encourage greater freedom of expression stronger and unrestrained criticism of the Ruling Party by all and I am taking the lead here.

Coincidentally, MP Wee made a statement in the press today which was of course published. This statement claims to be apologizing to the readers who were offended.

I have read MP Wee’s statement and I am not of the view that the apology is full and unreserved. I trust Singaporeans can come to their own conclusions on the matter.

“RESPONSE TO PAP MP FOR AMK GRC MR. WEE SIEW KIM’S COMMENTS IN STRAITS TIMES REPORT OF 24TH COTOBER 2006.  I had read in amazement of what Ms Wee Shu Min had written in her blog. I ruminated on her statements and her lineage and illustrious background and after much thought, decided not to criticize her in spite of the callousness she had exhibited at such a tender age. 

For to me, there is simply no reason to overreact to the ignorant bigotry of an 18 year old girl and that the matter is best left to rest after the barrage of criticism she met with on the internet. However, when I saw the Straits Times report of 24th October 2006, I read with disgust what Ms Wee Shu Min’s father PAP MP for AMK GRC, Mr. Wee Siew Kim had said in brazen defence of his dear daughter justifying her callousness and adding further insult and injury to Singaporeans. 

MP Wee, in his dismal attempt to soften the effect of his daughter’s ramblings, had sought to downplay the incident as a lack of sensitivity on her part and to quote him “Some people cannot take the brutal truth and that sort of language, so she ought to learn from it.” Whilst the less discerning may opine that MP Wee has apologized on behalf of his daughter, in truth both father and daughter have exhibited no more empathy or remorse than when the remarks were first made in Ms Wee’s blog. MP Wee’s remarks albeit more diplomatic had in fact exhibited an even higher level of arrogance and lack of empathy. 

MP Wee must note that her daughter has since removed the offending posting from her blog. That is itself discordant with the stance he exhibited in his interview in the Straits Times. One wonders whether the removal of the posting was a father-sanctioned public perception management exercise for damage control or was it a true indication of remorse and regret?  If indeed MP Wee had similarly been just as careless with his callous remarks, he ought to acknowledge so and then extend nothing short of an unreserved apology to all Singaporeans especially those who are in situations similar to that of Mr. Derek Wee. And upon doing so, MP Wee should also take steps to inculcate the appropriate level of humility in his daughter and do so in an early stage of her life, for MP Wee must remember that the government that he backs has taken bloggers to court, punished and shamed them for the undue comments they have made similarly for a limited audience.  

Whilst I do not hope that the current establishment gets richer as a result of whatever discussion that takes place, I do hope that the former does get a lot humbler and wiser for Singapore will need leaders who can truly empathize with the people instead of having to live with parrots perched tree high above ground and their dissonant cacophony of callousness and insensitivity.”

The PAP and its supporters are invited to attack this posting with unrestrained fervour.

Regards

Chia Ti Lik

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November 2, 2006 - Posted by | Politics

1 Comment »

  1. Thank you for writing to us. We do appreciate your making the effort.

    We receive 70 letters on average each day. Limited space means we can publish only about a dozen every weekday.
    This means having to make often-difficult editorial judgments on which letters to publish.

    We regret we are unable to publish your letter, and hope you will appreciate the constraints on space we face every day.
    We hope you will continue taking an interest in the Forum Page.

    Yours sincerely

    Ms Noor Aiza
    for Forum Editor
    The Straits Times

    Comment by ST Forum Page | November 20, 2006 | Reply


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