Zuraidah Ibrahim, who incidentally is the sister of Minister Yaacob Ibrahim who wants to censor the Internet, wrote a piece in the Sunday Times.
It would take much time to rebut the things she said. So, I won’t. (Jentrified Citizen has rebutted her here.) But to show you the carelessness and laziness with which she wrote that piece, I’ll just point out one of her assertions.
“This is not the first time that the WP has turned its back on a scrap. When the Aljunied town council’s finances were debated in May, clear evidence was presented to show that the WP did not go through a tender process when it appointed its managing agents, who happened to have close party ties.”
I don’t know where Zuraidah has been but if she had just done some simple research, she would realise that WP did not “turn its back on a scrap”, not the one she mentioned, anyway.
She would know that WP in fact issued two statements explaining why and how it appointed FMSS as its MA. One of these statements was to rebut what Khaw Boon Wan had raised in Parliament in May this year. And she would realise that in fact it was Khaw who did not respond and kept silent.
Zuraidah has confused the PAP not accepting WP’s explanation with WP not explaining at all. The two are quite different. As deputy editor, she should know. How come she doesn’t? Only she knows.
And if she is raising the “close party ties” the MA owners have with WP, then surely she must – if she is fair – also mention that the PAP’s relationship with AIM is more than just “close party ties” – that it is in fact a severe conflict of interest, AIM being owned by the PAP itself.
But her piece is not to point out the shortcomings of the PAP in the matter. It is to pretend to be a piece of fair political commentary. Except that it is not. For if it is, she would not have made the erroneous assertion that WP had “turned its back on a scrap” and used the FMSS example to back up her point.
WP, in fact, did not turn its back on the matter. It issued two statements to defend its actions. Whether one agrees with its actions or not is another matter. But it is false to say that WP “turned its back” on the matter.
As deputy editor, one would expect her to choose her words carefully. On second thoughts, maybe she did choose her words carefully.
It is also worth noting that the WP had responded to PM Lee Hsien Loong’s statement in which he said that the entire Cabinet stood by Vivian Balakrishnan’s position in Parliament. PM’s press sec issued a short statement in response to WP’s statement. WP decided not to go on with the bickering. I don’t think anyone would say that this is WP “turning its back on a scrap” either.
Let’s not forget that the PAP is free to continue to attack WP. The fact that it too has stopped should tell Zuraidah something about who is “turning its back on a scrap”. The clue: the PAP was coming off as being extremely “bo liao” and petty in the matter.
Anyway, here are the two WP statements – one in 2011 and the other in 2013 (after Khaw raised the matter in Parliament):
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.