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The Today newspaper wrote to Dr Chee Soon Juan asking for his response to Mr Chiam See Tong’s criticisms about the SDP. Its Senior Reporter, Mr Loh Chee Kong, said that he had interviewed Mr Chiam on Wednesday in which Mr Chiam said that the Singapore Democrats had engaged in “conspiratorial and destructive politics.”
Mr Loh wanted Dr Chee’s “take on what had happened within the SDP then” and what is Dr Chee’s present relationship with Mr Chiam. He added that Mr Chiam was sore that he was “forced out” of the party he founded. Mr Loh said that the story is slated to be published in this Saturday’s edition of the newspaper. Read Dr Chee’s reply to Mr Loh:
As apparent during the interview, Mr Chiam was still upset over the way he felt he was “forced out”– in his words — of the party he had founded. He was visibly sore that there were people in the party then who failed to understand his vision of a “two-party system” and were more interested in engaging in what he called “conspiratorial and destructive politics”. Mr Chiam added that he is not on speaking terms with you because of what had happened.
– Loh Chee Kong
Senior Reporter, TODAY
Dear Mr Loh,
First, let me say that I have no desire to let myself and my party be dragged by you into a mud-slinging match with another opposition party.
Readers will ask themselves: Why this and why now? The break up with Mr Chiam See Tong in the SDP happened nearly two decades ago. This was extensively covered and utilised by the PAP and its media to criticise the Singapore Democrats.
Yet, your newspaper decides to resurrect the issue today. One need not be a genius to see what motivates this present exercise. You are obviously trying to remind Singaporeans of the episode in the hope that you can turn opinion against the SDP again.
Why now? This is not hard to figure out given two recent developments: One, is that the general elections are expected to be called in the not-too-distant future and the PAP needs to run down the Singapore Democrats.
Two, the SDP has been calling for the opposition to work closer together. The PAP needs to halt this process as a united opposition is not in its interest. The PAP has always depended on the divide-and-conquer tactic to trump the opposition.
Mr Chiam’s views of the SDP are not news. If you are truly interested in political fallouts, a story about the “stepping down” of Ms Ho Ching as Temasek’s chief and what was really happening behind the scenes would thrill your readers no end, and assuredly send your newspaper’s sales to record highs.
Despite such real information that the newspaper should be telling your readers, you choose to write on something that happened in 1993 and which has already been milked dry by your colleagues.
Now that the Singapore Democrats are moving ahead and gaining momentum in attracting support especially on the Internet, the media knows that it needs to do something, however blatant and despicable, to halt our progress.
Thanks but no thanks, we prefer to concentrate our attention on the PAP.
Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party