Straits Times lies to cover up OA’s lies

August 13, 2008
Singapore Democrats

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The Straits Times covers up the lies from the Official Assignee’s office with another (and even more preposterous) lie. The newspaper says that it has rejected Ms Chee’s reply to Mr Malcolm Tan’s letter to its Forum page because it was already posted on this website.

“We are unable to publish your letter as the Forum page does not carry letters published elsewhere,” Mr Yap Koon Hong, the editor, said.

The matter concerns Ms Chee’s application to the OA’s office for travel to the US to attend a Summer Fellowship Program at Stanford University.

The OA first rejected the application because Ms Chee’s trip “would not benefit her creditors” but later changed its story saying that Ms Chee was not cooperative.

The Straits Times reason for not publishing Ms Chee’s letter doesn’t hold water. This is because on 29 May 08, Dr Chee Soon Juan had written a reply to Tunku Abdul Aziz’s letter over the Transparency International-Malaysia’s award to Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Dr Chee’s letter was posted then on this website the same day. The Straits Times nevertheless published Dr Chee’s letter the following day, 30 May.

Obviously the newspaper is not telling the truth because it has published letters first posted on the SDP’s website.

So what could be the real reason for not publishing Ms Chee’s reply? Could it be because the newspaper is helping to cover up for Mr Malcolm Tan because the assistant Official Assignee was caught playing fast and loose with his “facts” and now finds himself in difficulty answering Ms Chee’s rebuttal?

Rather than prolong the OA’s agony, the Straits Times decides to cut losses by censoring Ms Chee’s letter. But what reason does it give for not according her the right of reply?

Answer: By giving the cockamamie excuse that the letter was already posted on the SDP’s website.

We remind readers that Mr Tan’s letter was published in the print version of the newspaper whereas the Singapore Democrats’ website exists only online. The readerships are vastly different.

It is also interesting that it took a full week for the editor to decide not to publish Ms Chee’s missive which was sent to Mr Yap on 6 Aug but rejected only today. Why the delay in the response?

But such is the shameful practice of the Straits Times that Singaporeans have come to expect. The tragedy is that most Singaporeans will only get to read the PAP’s side of the story.

And that’s the only way that the PAP can beat the SDP, not by fair means but foul. Given an open and fair debate where Singaporeans can read both sides of the story and make up their own minds, the Singapore Democrats will emerge on top.

This is one more reason to work for media reform in Singapore.