February 2012 will be remembered as the month in which defamation lawsuits, or at least their threat, made their unwelcome return to Singapore’s political landscape.
First, lawyers acting for Minister for Law and Foreign Affairs K. Shanmugam wrote to Mr Alex Au of yawningbread.org, requesting that he remove certain comments made by Mr Au (see: HERE). Mr Au has complied.
Then, just days after Mr Richard Wan identified himself in public as one of TR Emeritus’s editors for the first time ever, lawyers acting for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong served a letter of demand on him, demanding that TRE take down a specific article; publish an apology for a period as long as that article had remained on the site; and disclose the identity of the writer (see: http://journalism.sg/2012/02/20/hard-landing-tremeritus-welcomed-into-the-open-with-defamation-threat/). TRE has removed the article, and Mr Wan has said that TRE will apologise as well.