She now has as much credibility as Roy Ngerng and Amos Yee as far as I am concerned.
First the row with SPH where SPH has a legitimate reason (but whether the real reason or not will the subject of another post) not to publish her piece as she wanted it published.
Then on Facebook accusing her brother of abusing his power, wanting to set up a dynasty and of being dishonourable that it seems she has now taken down.
She had written
— “HL has no qualms about abusing his power to hv a commemoration just one year after LKY died”
— “if the power that be wants to establish a dynasty, LKY’s daughter will not allow LKY’s name to be sullied by a dishonourable son.”
Wonder what “Pa” would think of her? Ah well, she’s made her bed and must lie in it.
Given that she has taken down her accusations against her brother, that’s no longer something to comment on. So I’ll focus on her row with ST. As I said above, I’ll blog separately on what I think about ST’s actions: it’ll be juz as cynical and nasty. A good description of ST and Dr Lee is Oscar Wilde’s definition of fox-hunting:“The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable!”.
Dr Lee responded to ST’s story http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/why-dr-lees-column-was-not-published that she wanted to include material that was plagiarised: the demand was non-negotiable, and last-minute. ST could not accede to her request without itself getting into trouble for breaches of copyright.
My then SPH editor, Ivan Fernandez’s first response to my draft which included commemoration for Mao and Churchill, “Not using this, Wei Ling. Sticking with the original edited version. Will use your suggestion for the visual (if space permits): shot of the video you mentioned. Bits about Mao and Churchill are going off on a tangent. Distracting and do not contribute enough to the point that you’ve already made. Best to objectively maintain the tightness of argument and not appear to be airing a pet peeve.” There were 5 subsequent emails with regards to this draft, never did Ivan bring up the issue of plagiarism. Given that my article was posted on Facebook on 1st April, and this is 9th April, I wonder whether the powers that be had instructed SPH to criticize me and accuse me of plagiarism. I am a doctor, and writing articles like these do not advance my curriculum vitae which depends on publication on medical issues. So I leave my readers to judge me fairly, whether I intentionally plagiarized or as a filial daughter I wanted to stop any attempts at hagiography at the first anniversary of my father’s death.
My observations about Dr Lee based on this row with SPH and that other White Horse, s/o Devan Nair
— Her Facebook ramblings show that she needs a good editor (polite word in my book in her case going by her Facebook ramblings for rewriter” or “ghost writer” to put her tots into intelligible English. I once upon a time rewrote Terry Xu’s pieces for TOC, all the time telling the editor that Terry should stick to taking photos). The above FB post clearly shows she found a good editor. Good for her and her anti-PAP fans, both rational and nutty.
— It’s reasonable to conclude her ST pieces are really the work of ST’s editors, and are not her work. A White Horses’s stream of consciousness is turned into reasoned arguments and readable English. And to think that many yrs ago, I agreed with a Today editor who said her writings followed her dad’s logical, systematical way of looking at things. Seems to be no such thing. Her editors’ were thinking like LKY, not her.
— The care and attention that ST lavished on her (40 emails between her and her editor on the LKY piece that is the subject of the row) shows that she is a special person*.
— As someone who has to “publish or perish” to advance her career, she should be aware that wholesale cutting and pasting is plagiarising**, when there is no attribution. But to be fair, she doesn’t deny that she plagarised; she claimed mitigating circumstances: love of and filial duty to”Pa”.
It would be best for her reputation and that of the other S’porean natural aristocrats that she sit down and shut up. And I’m sure “Pa” would wish it lest it makes the rest of S’pore’s natural aristocracy look bad. Her sense of entitlement is astounding.
But we would be deprived of a great soap opera. So here’s hoping she’ll keep on KPKBing.
I’ll end with three great comments that a PAPpy (worships her “Pa” and Nathan) super troll made about her.
— ST has put forth great clarity on the issue and Dr. Lee comes up smelling as fresh as day old prawns. Left in the sun. Sad that she had a good cause but went about it with ultimatums which were correctly defied.
— Dr. Lee’s alleged conduct did not do her or the memory her legendary father any favours although her article itself would have. A tragedy it went the way it did.
— Be that as it, the ensuing fracas is regrettable and Dr. Lee came off third best. She is entitled to her own wishes and views about how her father wished to be remembered. Just as much and no less than PM was. And ST is not obligated to present her personal wishes and thoughts. Just as those who admire the late Mr. Lee Kuan Yew are free to conduct their own remembrance of the man on his 1st anniversary. Or subsequent ones.
He’s absolutely right.
Reminder, I’ll post my nasty, cynical tots on ST’s behaviour next. But not tomottow.
*Membership has its privileges
Many of us in the trade would’ve gasped to learn the number of email exchanges between Dr Lee and Mr Fernandez over the column in dispute: Over 40, all in one week in March.
That’s a full-time job in itself! No columnist I know of (including myself) would’ve had this kind of access to an editor’s time. The rule of thumb: If the copy from a freelance columnist is not delivered clean, with minimal edits, then it’s spiked (journalist’s jargon for killing a story). Rewriting it wholesale – and patiently taking the writer through the edits – is just not a done thing.
But we’re not talking about any columnist, are we?
**Do not copy and paste
Finally, according to ST, Dr Lee committed a cardinal sin in journalism and academia: plagiarism. Two passages, from The Guardian and an obscure website, were cited by ST as evidence.
Open-and-shut case: If one of my undergrads had done something similar, he would’ve received zero for the assignment and a warning from the school.
Instead, Dr Lee, in a Facebook update on April 9, defended her action, stating she doesn’t need the ST column to advance her curriculum vitae (err, beside the point).
She added: “So I leave my readers to judge me fairly, whether I intentionally plagiarised or as a filial daughter I wanted to stop any attempts at hagiography at the first anniversary of my father’s death.”
Why stopping hagiography requires an act of plagiarism (intentional or otherwise) is beyond me at this stage in my cerebral development.
http://themiddleground.sg/2016/04/10/lwl-saga-top-5-lessons/ Do read it. Great for laughs. Btw I tot Felix Cheong was once upon a time a ST journalist. apparently, i’m wrong after reading an Infopedia piece on him.