The Straits Times Forum published a letter by a certain Mr Syu Ying Kwok today, 8 July. The letter was titled, “Five years? MM Lee’s estimate was optimistic.”
In his letter, Syu gave his thoughts on MM Lee Kuan Yew’s earlier remarks about how it would take only five years for Singapore to be “unscrambled” should the opposition come into power.
There is nothing unusual about Syu’s letter – until this part where he made reference to Mr Tan Lead Shake’s “tragic event in his family”:
Recently, opposition politician Tan Lead Shake made headlines after a tragic event in his family. But what chills the bones is the fact that in the past three elections, an average of more than 20 per cent of the electorate voted for him or anyone else who stood for election with little consideration of his credentials or abilities.
We fail to see how the two are linked or can be linked – a personal tragedy in the family and the electorate voting for him. It is a cheap shot at a person whose family tragedy is used here to question the number or percentage of voters who voted for him in the elections. The words used in the letter speak for themselves – “chills the bones”, it says.
It is totally appalling and vile that such a letter could be published in a national newspaper which prides itself on integrity and respectability. Did the editors of the Straits Times Forum not go through the letter? By what criteria did they pass it for publication – with the above parts intact?
Where is the responsibility and common decency? How is it that a letter such as Syu’s, making tenuous connections between what is undoubtedly a very sorrowful time for the Tan family, and particularly Tan Lead Shake, and Tan’s participation in three general elections?
What is the purpose?
While we condemn Syu for the stupidity of his letter, our anger is directed at the editors of the Forum Page.
We call on the editors of the Straits Times, especially the editors of the Straits Times Forum, to issue an apology to Tan Lead Shake, and also to all its readers and subscribers.
As for Syu himself, we would like to ask him: Please show us or tell us the link between the two issues of Tan’s personal family tragedy and his participation in elections.
We would also like to urge all our readers, fellow bloggers and Singaporeans to write in to the ST Forum’s editors and express your disgust for allowing such a letter to be published.
You can send your letters to: [email protected]
You can post your letters sent to the Straits Times in the comments section for this article.