Hatchet job on Tan Jee Say

By Tan Jee Say

I wish to thank all my friends and netizens for your very kind words of support with regard to the misleading report in the Straits Times of 21 July 2012. Quite a few articles have been written following my initial FB posting on 13 August 2012, for example, 

The story behind Jee Say's exchange with Straits Times

Hatchet job on Tan Jee Say

Tan Jee Say should take The Straits Times to task and seek a full apology

Toh Yi residents:Straits Times also unfairly reported about us


I reproduce below one of them entitled "Hatchet job on Tan Jee Say" by 'Apolitical'.

Tan Jee Say, a losing contender for the position of President of Singapore against the ruling party’s preference for Tony Tan is obviously not on the Christmas list of the Prime Minister Office. 

Be that as it may, it is one thing to be selective in choosing one’s friends but quite another to demonise anyone it doesn’t like. It is not only unChristian but socially incompatible with gentlemanly conduct in daily life.

But then again in justification, the ruling party never claimed they are a gentlemanly lot what with their daily harangue against anyone with anything bad to say about them and the ‘founding father’s’ penchant for fixing the opposition and carrying axes in dark alleys. In his defence he claimed without the axe Singapore will be finished in four or five years. That explains why there are only two courses of action for him: try to live forever or train more axe carriers.

Straits Times wrote a piece that made Tan Jee Say looked bad because he had the misfortune of choosing a place of work which the tenant is in arrears of rental payment. Legally speaking it has nothing to do with him. He was an invitee to the premises to conduct his business whatever it may be as long as it is legal and in compliance with the law. Whether it is on an ex gratis basis, token payment or even full and proper market rate basis it matters not. Just because the tenant failed to pay his rent the owner of the premises has no right to drag his name in mud let alone any other third party be it Straits Times, our government or even the Pope.

If Straits Times and/or the government think/s Tan Jee Say is not in compliance with the law if he goes ahead to use the premises as planned then they should come right out and say so. In this instance it will be fair comments and proper news to be reported to a interested public. That it didn’t pursue this angle is not merely an act of hypocrisy but a calculated attempt to belittle and defame him.

The ruling party and its stakeholders display such ingenuity and long term vision when it comes to protecting their own tuff. If only they applied a fraction of the effort to promote the interest of Singapore, we would well have accomplished Swiss standard of living decades ago rather than banana republic polity that can hold its own against any Third World tinpot dictators.

This is a classic example of Straits Times being used by the government to push its agenda of demonising anyone with the courage to speak up against injustices and blatant wrong doings.

It could be the government didn’t actually ‘pull the trigger’ and Warren Fernandaz acted ‘instinctively’ as a person having lived under an oppressive society for so long he naturally knows which side his bread is buttered on. If so, PM Lee should openly declare the old days of curry favouring the incumbent for personal gains are gone. This one act alone will be the first genuine break from his father’s authoritarian modus operandi and set the tone for a true new beginning to right all that is wrong in Singapore (emphasis is mine, TJS).

Sometimes I really wonder about the intelligence of people in power. Even if they own the whole world they can’t live forever. They may succeed in punishing anyone that has differing views from them but they can never escape history judging them.

So what if you can bribe or threaten the inspector of your piling works thus allowing you to provide structural unsound foundation for a magnificent tall building that impresses at first sight. You can never bribe or threaten mother nature or its agent: time. Any structurally unsound building will not stand the test of time. The emperor with no clothes may learn a trick of two reading fairy tales and move ahead of the curve by frightening even little children and silencing them. But can they silence the wisdom of the crowd forever?

Abraham Lincoln said it best when he articulated these immortal words:“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”.