Bloggers are blogging about Prime Minister’s son, Li Hong Yi’s email. Here are the links to some of these blogs. Li Hong Yi was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Award for Math & Science in August 2006, as reported here by Channelnewsasia.
PM son’s army gaffe and why we have to worry (Post deleted by its author) – HUNGonline
Read this from the HardwareZone’s forums and confirmed the story with a friend in the military. A few bloggers have blogged about it too.
2LT Lee Hong Yi, better known as PM Lee’s son, had fired off an e-mail within the military network lambasting the “quality of leadership” in the SAF to the top brass, including the Minister of Defence and the Chief of Defence Force.
He had done it after being punished for an error that was largely not his.
What was his fault, however, was involving just about the entire military force of Singapore in this one small matter of his, by addressing the e-mail to entire battalions of people. Committed by an ordinary serviceman, the offence would have warranted a formal military charge – and in an officer’s case, his rank may be stripped.
Nothing so far (or so I hear) has been done to 2LT Lee, save that the Commanding Officer of his unit gave a speech to the entire unit the next day about “following the chain of command”.
While one might argue that the e-mail comes from the military intranet and should not have been circulated in the general public (i.e. in HardwareZone), 2LT Lee surely could not have expected the matter not to leak out when he addressed it to so many people, most of them National Servicemen rather than full-time regulars.
If you looked through the thread, what’s worrying is not the blatant abuse of family ties, by a person who is highly likely to take up an important position in our society in future.
Neither is it the fact that he is being given favourable treatment on two counts: first, the lack of punishment for his offence, and second, his pending disruption from the army (which he mentioned in the article), despite not being bonded under a government scholarship, which, as far as I know, is the only official way of obtaining disruption.
And of course, it’s definitely not the “quality of leadership” in the SAF that 2LT Lee questioned that worries me.
No, it is the perceptible sense of fear in the Hardwarezone thread where the topic was discussed. No one dared to give the full details: one had to sieve through several pages of the thread before getting the full picture. Nicknames like “Bored Dragon” and “Golden bar” were given to the persons involved. There were even warnings given by concerned forum members about the Internal Security Department and Military Security Department surveilling the thread.
If it were in other democratic countries like the US, such an incident would have been a scandal and generated a media frenzy. Questions would be asked about his conduct and suitability for an important position in future. The public would have a field day airing their views on his actions.
What would have been the effect? 2LT Lee would learn a painful lesson in humility, and the transparency of the government would be highlighted, because they did not shield even the son of the most important official when he had done wrong.
The resulting fire of the public would simmer and die down, and the public would have been satisfied that their views were heard and their indignation expressed. That fire would have been a cleansing one.
Instead, the entire deed is hushed up. The original thread on HardwareZone was deleted. But perhaps the worst thing of all is that the public is censoring itself. People dare not to speak up about the topic.
Instead of fire, the incident is met only with self-defeat and fear. The public has lost its voice and its own opinion, and surrendered its position as the main critic of the government. And as we know, the local media surrendered its own position a long time ago.
It shouldn’t be this way.
Governments should fear people, not the other way round.
It’s just a minor incident – after all, there’ve been worse offences committed by officers in the SAF – but it speaks of a larger, darker, and insiduous problem.
“It does not do to rely too much on silent majorities, Evey, for silence is a fragile thing…one loud noise, and it’s gone…Noise is relative to the silence preceding it – the more absolute the hush, the more shocking the thunderclap.– V, V for Vendetta
Errata: Li Hongyi does have the PSC Overseas scholarship, my bad.
Channel News Asia’s report
The Defence Ministry has formally charged and reprimanded a full-time National Service officer after he contravened orders by broadcasting a letter of complaint to other servicemen.Second Lieutenant Li Hongyi, who is the second son of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, had apparently sent an email to the Defence Minister to lodge a complaint against another serviceman.2LT Li is believed to have copied the email to other servicemen who are not directly under his command and are not in an official capacity to deal with the matter.
His action has been a subject of several on-line discussions here.
MINDEF said there were proper channels within the SAF to address grievances or concerns.
And in this incident, 2LT Li is said to have written a complaint against one of his superiors whom he alleged had been absent without leave on two occasions.
According to a statement by MINDEF, 2LT Li had also said in his letter that he had reported the matter to the officer’s supervisors but disciplinary action had not been carried out.
MINDEF added that arising from 2LT Li’s complaint, an investigation was conducted and appropriate disciplinary action has been meted out to the officers concerned.
The officer who was found to have been absent without leave will be court-martialled.
Two supervising officers have been issued warning letters for poor judgement in administering inappropriate disciplinary action.
MINDEF said that to maintain organisational discipline, all SAF servicemen with complaints or grievances should take them up through proper channels for redress.
This is to ensure due process and to protect confidential information.
All complaints which are not anonymous are investigated and dealt with properly.
Discussions on Li Hongyi’s email to top brass
PM son’s army gaffe and why we have to worry – Tomorrow.sg
Climate of fear – Hear Ye Hear Ye
Hero or zero? – Winter Is Coming
Li Hong Yi’s ethical dilemma – e pur si muove
Punished for blowing the whistle – Hear Ye Hear Ye
I support Li Hong Yi! – The Legal Janitor
Li Hong Yi – The making of a future leader – My Singapore News
A letter of complaint – The States Times
Li Hong Yi’s SAF email and his reprimand by Mindef – Takchek
Jumping the ranks – This Lush Garden Within
A Singapore Armed Forces officer’s alleged email – Warblings Of A Little Bird
Mass whistleblowing military style – Think Happiness
PM son shoot email complain SAF officers f*** up! – Talk Rock
Of emails and the chain of command – Winter Is Coming
Li Hongyi update – he’s famous now! – Alvinology
Li Hongyi vs SAF – Even PM’s son needs to have rights – To Fix A Mocking Peasant
Baby Lee Junior’s army gaffe – Roundup – Darth Grievous’ Dark Domain
Everyone is equal – Decay On The Net
Power of the bloggers – Alvinology
As a Citizen, I have a right to DEMAND..! – Diary Of A Singaporean Mind
Leaks, cover ups and official statements – Chemical Generation Singapore
The white horse is alive and well – Hard Hitting In The Lion City
Lee’s son makes the news – Zuco’s Blog
An autopsy on the SAF email saga – Simple Is The Reason Of My Heart
In support of Li Hongyi – No Fear Singapore
Li Hongyi case: Bloggers force officials’ hand this time, but… – Journalism.sg
Did 2LT Li commit an offence under the Official Secrets Act? – Decay On The Net
PM Lee’s Son did the right thing ? – Lucretius.sg
Blogger Remove Blog Post On PM’s Son – Pseudonymity
What’s your story – A Xeno Boy In Sg
Chain of fools – The Daily Backtrack
Thoughts on Li Hong Yi’s letter in regards to the media – Contredanse
The power of the blogosphere and the ensuing burden – HUNGonline
The Lone Tree Hill Incident at Lim Chu Kang – Perspective Unlimited
Chain of command might lead to nowhere – Singapore Patriot
Li Hongyi saga: Shame, shame, Singapore civil servants – eastcoastlife
Li Hong Yi is a Patriot – Mayspring
How to write a complaint letter – IZ Reloaded
Email by 2Lta Li Hongyi – Herry’s World
2Lt Li Hong Yi and the SAF – Just Me
The chain of command is ridiculous, I say – Young Jedi
Collateral damage – The Walk Of Jay
MINDEF, PM’s son and politics – cowg0esm0o
The Li Hongyi saga – Galaxy Raider
Thanks, Li Hongyi! – Planet Singapore
Why Li Hongyi was punished – Wacky Singapore
Standing up for what is right – JZ In Europe
PM Lee’s son’s true intent – Danzfuego
To blow or not to blow – To Live, Love and Loathe
Li Hongyi makes it to Financial Times – Diary of a Singaporean Mind
Li Hongyi – Abuse of email? – My Singapore News
Who turned on the spotlight on SAF? – My Sketchbook
2Lt Lee sticking it to the man and the political ramifications – The Void Deck
Support whistleblowing – Alvinology
Sticky: ST: Internet buzz over PM Lee’s son – Simply Me. Simply Jean
Why the support for Li Hongyi? – Hear Ye Hear Ye
Li Hongyi and I have something in common – Digital Terrorist
Who is this Lta X? – A Mind Of My Own
Thoughts on Li Hongyi’s email and the “chain of command” – The Double O Project
Support for Li Hongyi – Ryan’s Ramblings : It’s a Rugged Life
Lee Hong Yi fracas – I Hope
Don’t you hear the whistle blowing? – Singapore Life And Times
ST: Mindef explains its decisions over Li Hongyi affair – Simply Me. Simply Jean
LEE gong simi??? – Juzhansen
Maverick sons – Sophie’s World
A white horse reined in – ambarvalia
Importance of being visible – A Cat’s Eye View
International News Wires’ Coverage of the Li Hongyi saga:
Singapore PM’s son gets army rebuke for email gaffe – Reuters
Email by Singapore PM’s son backfires – Financial Times
PM Lee’s son steps out of line and gets army rebuke – The Standard
Singapore PM’s soldier son emails complaint to defence minister – AFP
Army rebukes PM’s son for email protest – The China Post
Singapore army rebukes PM’s son for email protest – MSNBC
Prime Minister’s son rebuked for unauthorised email – Southeast Asian Times
PM Lee’s son reprimanded for not following procedure – NST Online
Singapore Armed Forces Reprimands PM’s Son For Not Following Procedure – Bernama
Prime Minister’s Son Reprimanded By Military For E-mail Complaint – e-Sinchew-i.com
*This page will be updated periodically.