Mindef was no victim – part 2: Gov’t a helpless victim of “falsehoods”?

After having filed for protection under the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA), the Ministry of Law (Minlaw) now says “the Government  has never said that it needed protection from harassment.” (See here.)

“This case… had nothing to do with harassment,” Minlaw said. “It was about false statements.”

The ministry was responding to a statement from the Workers’ Party (WP) following the judgement of the Court of Appeal (CA) in the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) vs Dr Ting Choon Meng/The Online Citizen (TOC) case.

The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), acting for the Government (and Mindef), made the application “to obtain an order for [the two parties involved] to be prevented from or to cease publication of a false statement of fact and, if so, when it would be “just and equitable” to do so.”

In a nutshell, the CA, in a split decision, upheld the High Court’s earlier decision and ruled in January that Mindef/the Government did not constitute a “person” under the Act and thus has no recourse to it. Continue reading “Mindef was no victim – part 2: Gov’t a helpless victim of “falsehoods”?”

The bills

Arm healing nicely
Arm healing nicely

A lot of us, not without justification, worry about medical bills. This is especially so if you are hit with a serious illness which require extensive and expensive medical care. And there are such cases. I am not going to deny that there are not a few people and families who struggle with medical fees.

What I hope to do, however, that in spite of this, you may take heart that not everyone may have to go through such trying times, if you do not ignore symptoms and catch your illness early. This may not only save your life but also prevent potentially crippling medical expense.

Anyway, I have received the bills for my two medical procedures – both done in the same month of September 2016.

The two procedures are:

  1. Angiography
  2. Quadruple coronary heart bypass graft (CABG)

In this article, I will focus on the costs of these two procedures, as per my own case. Continue reading “The bills”

Deplorable and contemptible statement from MHA


Her son died in prison 3 years ago under very controversial circumstances – and she has been hoping for some explanation into the truth of how he died.

As the matter is now before the courts, I shall not say too much about the case itself. However, I will give my two cents about the entirely deplorable statement by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on 13 September 2013.

The statement was issued in response to the Writ of Summons served on the government, through the Attorney General, on 12 September, by lawyer for the family of Dinesh Raman Chinnaiah, the 21-year old who died in Changi Prison on 27 September 2010.

The writ sought aggravated damages from the government, and laid out the family’s version of the events which took place on that fateful morning in Changi Prison. The writ says that several prison officers had “intentionally assaulted” Dinesh Raman and caused his death. Continue reading “Deplorable and contemptible statement from MHA”

Istana used for LKY’s book launch?

“The Istana is the official residence of the President of the Republic of Singapore. ” – Istana website.

On 7 August, the news reported Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s launch of his latest book. It was also reported that the launch was held at the official presidential residence and office – the Istana.


Mr Lee no longer holds any official government position. His last was as Minister Mentor. He is also no longer in Cabinet. So, the obvious question is:

Why was his launch of a supposedly private and personal book held at the Istana? Continue reading “Istana used for LKY’s book launch?”

Attention: shoddy reporting damaging “high standards”

Picture from mrbrown.com
Picture from mrbrown.com

“Were they helping to clarify and reject online rumours, or were they helping to spread them or even create them?” Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim asked on 9 July 2013 in Parliament.

He was referring to what he described as “prominent members of the online community” and some online postings during the period when S’pore was covered by the haze. (See here.) He cited several examples of “rumours” being propagated online to justify the government’s introduction of new Internet censorship regulations.

I wrote a piece to rebut the minister. Read it here: “Yaacob Ibrahim’s opportunism and cheap shots“.

Taking pot shots at the online community has been quite the norm, compared to the government’s attitude towards the mainstream media. As far as the mainstream media are concerned, ministers heap praises on them. Former minister for Information and Communications, Lui Tuck Yew, described the mainstream media as “a trusted source” which is “accurate, timely and balanced in its reporting”. (See here.) Continue reading “Attention: shoddy reporting damaging “high standards””

A troubling question

After days of being criticised for not issuing any Stop-Work Orders for construction workers, especially foreign workers, two ministers – Ng Eng Hen, the head of the Haze Inter-Ministerial Committee, and Tan Chuan Jin, Acting Manpower Minister, together with the deputy secretary general of the NTUC, Heng Chee How – paid a visit to a construction site on Monday.

It is reported here on TODAY:


[Incidentally, interesting to note that the headlines say “ministries planning for worst-case scenario”. The original Haze Task Force was formed in 1994 and has thus been around for almost 20 years. One would think that “planning” for worst-case scenarios would have been done by now.]

The ministers had also conducted a press conference on the same day. The Acting Manpower Minister outlined what employers and employees should do if conditions should deteriorate and the haze returns. You can read the report on these in TODAY and the Straits Times. Continue reading “A troubling question”

Joseph Ong vs Warren Fernandez – one arrested, the other not. Why?

The news reported today that the police has issued a “stern warning” to the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and the Straits Times’ editor, Warren Fernandez.

The warning is the result of a 5-month investigation by the police into the conduct of an election poll by the Straits Times during the Punggol East by-election in January this year which is against election laws in Singapore.

In 2011, blogger Joseph Ong from the Temasek Review blog asked readers to post their vote choices on the Facebook page of the blog on Polling Day during the general election that year. Ong was arrested 3 months later and eventually was also given a warning by the police.

The outcomes of the two apparently similar cases – both given warnings – are perhaps no surprise.

What is worth noting is, however, the fact that one was arrested while the other was not.


At the time of writing, the Attorney General Chamber’s website has not uploaded the warning letter it had given to Warren Fernandez. When the AGC similarly warned filmmaker Lynn Lee for “having committed contempt of court” in another case, it published a write-up about the matter. (See here.) Continue reading “Joseph Ong vs Warren Fernandez – one arrested, the other not. Why?”