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Why PAP (and PMs) sue and sue

In Political governance on 28/12/2015 at 9:20 am

The decision of the High Court ordering blogger and wannabe politican Roy Ngerng to pay damages to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong following a civil defamation suit brought in 2014, brought an outcry from the overseas kay pohs like ICJ and their local groupies (people like Cat Lim, TOC and the cybernuts and rats of TRE like grandfather Dosh*, Oxygen etc).

While neo-colonial and CIA-front organisations, and good-hearted ang moh kay pohs can be forgiven for not knowing our history, their local groupies cannot. They should know better why the PAP sues. And that it has nothing to do with freedom of expression. It’s all about credibility and winning votes. (But maybe they do know their history and are being intellectually dishonest.)

But for the purpose of this rant, I’ll asumme they are ignorant.

Cat Lim’s rubbishy comments shows her ignorance of S’porean history is one reason New Citizens must be taught our history.

Actually this goes for most S’poreans too (Pioneer Gen excluded).

Why PAP sues and sues? It is because it doesn’t want history to repeat itself. At the very least, the failure of a govt minister to sue one Harry Lee in 1959 is a PAP Hard Truth* as to why the PAP won power in 1959.

The PAP administration’s version as articulated by that fount of knowledge, the National Library Board, a govt agency:

During the 30 May 1959 election campaign at Hong Lim Green, the PAP dealt its knockout blow to the SPA (the coalition of the Labour Front and Liberal Socialist Party) by disclosing that the SPA had received large sums of money from foreigners. The scandal which led to the resignation of Chew Swee Kee, who was then the Minister of Education, gave the perception that the SPA was corrupt and had sold Singapore to the foreigners. The SPA was trounced in the election. In the 1963 general election, the party was wiped out. It was dissolved when Singapore became independent.

http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_1149_2010-06-14.html

Actually the article is wrong about the 30 May date: really sloppy work by a govt agency.

In early 1959, Chew was accused of corruption by the PAP. The claim was that Chew accepted around S$50,000 from “an American source” in New York as a “political gift” in September 1958. Chew resigned from his posts on 3 March, 1959, just before a legislative assembly debate on the matter. He had earlier promised to defend himself. But he sat down (ie resigned as a minister and assembly member) and kept quiet. Not content, one LKY repeated the accustation and went on to make further accusations that again were met by silence by Chew and the govt. The named American bank (today known as Citibank) and US consular officials here denied the initial allegation. LKY accused them of lying and they kept quiet.

The unanswered accusations are credited for causing the Singapore People’s Alliance’s downfall. My primary source is Comber.

Update at 10.00am: A reader who knows his history pointed out that the money was established not to have come from the CIA but from the KMT. I should have reported that.

You should do better than regurgitating the false allegations against Chew Swee Kee. They were exposed as untrue by the Lim Yew Hock government which faced them publicly by appointing the late Justice Buttrose to head a Commission of Inquiry into affair. Kenneth Byrne who spread the rumour was grilled by Mr. Winslow (later the Solicitor-General and High Court Judge ) who led the inquiry for the government’ resorted to lying about being informed by a source in the Income Tax department. He related this to both Dr. Toh Chin Chye and LKY who then raised it in the Legislative Assembly. The money, $500,000/-, was from the Kuomintang, and deposited with Chew Swee Kee, who declared it in his income tax returns. The whistle blower, suspected to be a PAP snitch who rose to high position later, was never brought to justice under the Official Secrets Act. Dr. Toh himself breathed a sigh of relief in his later statement to the editors of the book on the early leaders at the close call. Read the Report of the Buttrose Commision which should be available in the National Library. By the way, JBJ represented the Controller of Income Tax in the Inquiry.

The question remainns why the deposit? Never explained.

———————————————————————————–

Singapore Correspondent. Political Dispatches from Singapore (1958-1962)
(http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/mai/new-book-singapore-correspondent/)
by Leon Comber*

Publisher:  Marshall Cavendish International Asia

Singapore Correspondent Book CoverSingapore Correspondent” covers five years of Singapore’s colourful political past – a period of living turbulently and sometimes dangerously. It is a collection of eye-witness dispatches, sent from Singapore to London, spanning a time when Singapore was emerging from British colonial rule and moving forward to self-government and independence. Many of the early struggles of the People’s Action Party (PAP) are described as the focus is on the political struggle taking place in which the PAP played a major part. Many important events which have long been forgotten are brought to life. These dispatches prove that political history need not be dull, and indeed can sometimes be entertaining and lively.

* MAI Adjunct Research Fellow
 

He was Han Suyin’s second husband and was the head of the Malayan Special Branch (one of it’s succesors is our very own ISD). He was asked to resign after she published in 1956 And the Rain My Drink, whose description of the Chinese communist guerillas against the British was very anti-British. He, in a 2008 interview, said: “The novel portrayed the British security forces in a rather slanted fashion, I thought. She was a rather pro-Left intellectual and a doctor. I understood the reasons why the communists might have felt the way they did, but I didn’t agree with them taking up arms.”

  ———————————————

Imagine if PM hadn’t sued Roy Ngerng: Roy and the other oppo politicans (think Mad Dog Chee, s/o JBJ, M Ravi, Goh Meng Seng and New Citizen Han Hui Hui) would have been able to say that Roy’s accusation that PM had stolen our CPF money was unchallenged by the PM.

As it is, before the GE, Roy admitted that he was wrong to accuse PM of stealing our CPF monies.And despite the admission by Roy, Dosh and friends are still alleging their CPF monies were stolen.

Related article:

The Chew Swee Kee affair revisited: querying the American involvement in Singapore

Abstract:

In the run-up to the 1959 general election in Singapore, People’s Action Party politicians alleged at election rallies that the incumbent Singapore People’s Alliance government had received monetary gifts from ‘Americans’. Allegations that the government was in the pay of a Western power and the subsequent revelation that Education Minister Chew Swee Kee had misappropriated the funds, critically eroded the integrity of the Singapore People’s Alliance. The incessant emphasis on betrayal and corruption did much to advance the political fortunes of the main opposition party, the People’s Action Party, which eventually carried the election. While the political consequences of the Chew Swee Kee affair have received much attention from historians, the veracity of the charge that the USA had funded the Singapore People’s Alliance remains unexplored. Utilizing American archival documents, this article examines the extent to which the United States government was involved in the Chew Swee Kee affair.

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ip/sear/2002/00000010/00000002/art00004

—————————————–

*He prefers, on his own admission, to spew anti-PAP BS on the internet, than play with his only grandaugter. How more looney can a person get? This?

**Or at least one of the reasons why the PAP won.

 

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  1. Cat Lim seems to believe that she can reform the PAP. I suppose thats what comes of Harry Lee calling her his conscience.

    Its one of the things I never get about anti-PAP personalities, be they her, or TOC, or TRE. Ok, maybe for Cat Lim, she’s actually a PAP supporter who wants change from within.

    But the rest are not, obviously. They want oppositioin to win. Ok, then do more to help the opposition. I’m still wondering why there’s so little tie-in between TOC, TRE and the opposition parties. Why only election time then try to cover them? Why not do exclusive interviews with key opposition members? Do more to showcase them in the 5 years between each GE.

    But no, the likes of those TOC editors and TRE bloggers prefer to pontificate and dispense their own wisdom on their own time. They would rather give more coverage to Roy’s CPF rallies I suppose.

  2. You should do better than regurgitating the false allegations against Chew Swee Kee. They were exposed as untrue by the Lim Yew Hock government which faced them publicly by appointing the late Justice Buttrose to head a Commission of Inquiry into affair. Kenneth Byrne who spread the rumour was grilled by Mr. Winslow (later the Solicitor-General and High Court Judge ) who led the inquiry for the government’ resorted to lying about being informed by a source in the Income Tax department. He related this to both Dr. Toh Chin Chye and LKY who then raised it in the Legislative Assembly. The money, $500,000/-, was from the Kuomintang, and deposited with Chew Swee Kee, who declared it in his income tax returns. The whistle blower, suspected to be a PAP snitch who rose to high position later, was never brought to justice under the Official Secrets Act. Dr. Toh himself breathed a sigh of relief in his later statement to the editors of the book on the early leaders at the close call. Read the Report of the Buttrose Commision which should be available in the National Library. By the way, JBJ represented the Controller of Income Tax in the Inquiry.

    • 8He never explained the reason for the money did he? Because it would have caused other problems. Anyway I’ll add yr bit to the piece.

  3. Further to my earlier post, Justice Buttrose castigated Byrne who claimed that his source, over the telephone, had an English accent. But for the seriousness of the matter, it wound have been hilarious because it turned out that that person was supposed to be the Deputy Comptroller who was an Aussie with a thick Austrailian accent.

  4. The reason for the money was, if you recall the political situation in South-East Asia at the material time, was the fight against the communists. The KMT was at war with the mainland communists and the PAP was seen as communist controlled and the Lim Yew Hock government was anti-communist and presumably could be used in the fight. Similarly the CIA was very active in this part of the world and funding persons or entities was used as proxies as evident from the excerpts you quoted. The leak to the PAP however, was to show that the Lim Yew Hock government was corrupt and had taken a huge bribe. Remember that corruption was quite rife then.

  5. […] – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor : Why PAP (and PMs) sue and sue […]

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