Tharman’s “public interest” remark removed by Straits Times

“Volkswagen and The Straits Times are brands with a successful history and a reputation of trust.” – Mr Leon Gumpert, general manager, Sales Singapore, at Volkswagen Group Singapore. (its Times, 15 August 2009)

“So they have to adapt but they have to remain objective, maintain a high quality newspaper and if you read something in the Straits Times or on CNA, you must know that it’s real.” – PM Lee in his National Day Rally speech in 2008.

In Parliament on 18 August, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was asked to reveal the reasons for Mr Charles Goodyear’s resignation from Temasek Holdings. In his reply, Mr Tharman said:

People do want to know, there is curiosity, it is a matter of public interest. That is not sufficient reason to disclose information. It is not sufficient that there be curiosity and interest that you want to disclose information.”

However, in the printed edition of the Straits Times the next day, 19 August, Mr Tharman’s “public interest” remark was inexplicably left out. The Straits Times published an ad verbatim transcript of the exchanges in Parliament betwen Mr Tharman and MPs. So, why was Mr Tharman’s “public interest” remark edited out of the transcript?

Straits Times, 19 August 2009

Did the Straits Times intentionally leave out Mr Tharman’s admission that the issue of Mr Goodyear’s resignation was of public interest?

Here’s Today’s report which included the remark left out by the Straits Times:

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