Sad State of journalism

You seem determined to propagate the myth that Mr Chiam See Tong “was ousted from SDP in 1993 by his protege, Dr Chee Soon Juan” (ST, 11 Sep 2000). Your own reports of the events will show clearly that Mr Chiam had resigned as secretary-general of the SDP in 1993 after the Central Executive Committee (CEC) refused to support a motion he had tabled. Even then, a few CEC members (myself included) tried to persuade Mr Chiam to rescind his resignation.

You also state that I was a “protege” of Mr Chiam, no doubt trying to add to the impression that I had ungratefully played him out. A protege is an individual who has been coached or groomed by another to take on a certain position or perform a certain task. I joined the SDP on my own accord in the firm belief that before anyone can lead a party, he or she had to win the support of party members. Proteges are good for an elitist political party, not one that upholds and practices democracy. I had not known Mr Chiam or any of the other SDP members before I had joined the party in late 1992. This fact, together with the short period of my membership in the SDP, could not have made me a protege of anyone in the party.

Since then, the SDP has moved on. We have published our manifesto (including several in-depth reports on the transportation system, economy and cost of living), sold tens of thousands of our newspaper The New Democrat, and forced the PAP Government to address several issues we felt were important to the people. Not only have you not published several of SDP’s media releases, but you have also refused to tell Singaporeans that the party has been actively working to highlight the problems that plague our economy, the mismanagement of our CPF savings by the PAP, and the dangers of the growing income disparity that we are experiencing.

All you seem to be interested in is to revive an episode in the SDP’s history that took place several years ago and cast the party in the worst light imaginable. Such is not the journalism that keeps your readers informed and updated.

Chee Soon Juan

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