In a Channel NewsAsia report dated 8 October (Sunday), it is reported that Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam rejected claims by Dr Tan Cheng Bock that remarks he made in Parliament last week were inconsistent with previous statements he had made concerning the publication of the Attorney-General’s Chambers’ (AGC) advice on the reserved Presidential Election.
Mr Shanmugam said that Dr Tan might be "bitter", but that it was "no excuse for engaging in these elaborate charades", referring to a Facebook post made by Dr Tan on Saturday.
The Minister alleged that Dr Tan had "spliced my remarks, rearranged them, and put them together in a way to suggest something which I did not say" and quoted the full text which he had said to reflute the claims by Dr Tan.
However, in response to the report by CNA, many readers reprimanded the Law Minister and pointed that he was the one misleading on the matter. Some even wrote to challenge the Law Minister to file a suit against Dr Tan if he thinks the doctor distorted the views by him and the government.
John Yeo wrote, "Totally disappointed with law minister saying it is policy decision! Goodness do you think we are kids?"
Andy See wrote, "Shanmugam have a very strong record of bullying, intimidating & twisting facts against opponents. It’s unfortunate Singapore have such a sleazebags as our minister. It’s bordering embarrassing. Hope Tan Cheng Bock lead a team to contest him at Yishun in next GE. Save this mudslinging, let voters decide who is hold in higher regard."
Donald Tan wrote, "The response by Shanmugam is not unexpected. We expected that, this is what we call political sophistry."
Simon Teo wrote, "It is sad that we have come to this stage. Mud slinging and gutter politics. Instead of rebutting and clarifying, you resorted to character assassination and accused him of twisting your words to achieve his agenda.
From what I read (his FB and CNA record), based on my limited understanding of English, I don’t see how he twisted your words. Seems to me that what TCB said is true. Truly Disappointed."
Benson Tan wrote, "To me it is clear Shan is recanting. He said "we asked the AGC for advice. Once we get the advice, we will send it out". Any English reader will take it to mean the Government will send the AGC advice out when received.
Yes, the Government may have 10 minutes to respond. But why did Shanmugam and not (ANY) of the other 3 respond when Sylvia's question was clearly directed to those 3 - did they mislead parliament? Sylvia's question was NOT a question of Law that needed Shanmugam's reply."
Kovs Sky Chai wrote, "What a joke. Rearranging and put them in a way to suggest something else. Isn't that what our graceful politicians have been doing all along?"
Bee Chew wrote, "Hello Shame... As a jia-sai minister, at least speak honourable. If Dr TCB screw you, swack back and not just make another story. Do not proof that you really jia sai ."
SY Kong wrote, "Shanmugam, SHUT-UP LAH! Go sue Tan Cheng Bock if you so feel he had distorted your or the government's interpretation, and since you are the Law Minister, call the shot lor, why use the MSM to KPKB and whine like a spoiled kid?"
Henry Townshend wrote, "Even at this stage after the dust has settled and the puppet has been installed the establishment still do not want to let go of a chance to stab Tan Cheng Bock at all. There is nothing to argued at this point anymore. The election is indeed reserved. There is no vote cast. It is a walk over and the woman walk into this position without any contest in her path."
Sankarshan das wrote, "Singapore is absolutely non-different from North Korea, everything manipulated to promote the elitist class. The masses are kept at the level of fear and stupidity, with the media a running dog to run propaganda news."
Sadiq Hassan wrote, "Our Singapore government is going to crash to the ground. Cover one hole open three hole. Soon people will catch the government lies. Wow! Seems exciting. Should write a book about this white lies they say."
Simon Teo wrote, "Two things:
1) If it is a policy decision, why get the Law Minister to reply Sylvia Lim?
2) why PM Lee and DPM Teo and CCS day quietly and not answering SL questions? Afterall, it is CCS who challenged her to go to the courts?!"
Lee Jerry wrote, "Shutmugam. Do not show off with lies and deceit. You will never be PM because it is always reserved for a certain race unless it was a government decision to change and also no need to ask AGC."
Po Po wrote, "Mr Shanmugam. Talk so much for what? Do what you and your paps good at. Haul Mr Tan to Court lar. Then all Singaporean will know you innocent! I do not know with you guys. But, I look forward to seeing this!"
Sakthi Alderweilerd wrote, "Who lah you trying to smoke ? You think we all do not know that you blocked Dr Tan from coming in because you are scared that he will expose everything? Come on, this is 2017 already, people are not dumb anymore!"
John Jads wrote, "I don't know much about TCB and he does seems to be a big threat to PAPs, but I do know for a fact that KS did say its their policy decision to change presidential election. Now who the questions is who is going to challenge those Ministers when they are going to make adverse policy decisions?"
Ting Ting wrote, "Shame on you Shanmugam. Pot calling the kettle black. Who is playing with words? Well I guess only dumb people do not get it."
Chai Min Shiung wrote, "Previously had issues with his comments on fake news in Singapore when media here is already heavily sanctioned. As the Law Minister, is he speaking for Government or AGC? Now that he says it is a policy decision, why bother getting AGC advice? The way the PE was run cannot possibly be illegal, and after all AGC's role is to support Government's policies anyway. Just admit that you people screwed your "policy decision" already!"
David Lam Kiap Tan wrote, "Hello, who is the one splicing, rearranging putting words into the mouths of others? TCB or you,Mr. Sham, or sorry Mr. Shan! Hahahaha."
Henryace Ace wrote, "Shanmugam is the one engaging in elaborate charade. It is so clear that PM, DPM and CCS all gave the impression that it was AGC who advised to count from president Wee."
David Lim wrote, "So who is the one that is splicing and rearranging ? Because, how on earth can WKW who is not elected by the citizens become the first elected president?"
Jonnus Jun wrote, "If shamemuggan thinks TCB wrongfully accuse him of things he didn't say, then sue him to court lor."
Angeline Lim wrote, "The only charades in town happened in Parliament. Orwellian doublespeak by a team lacking in integrity who destroyed the principles of democracy to cling on to power."
Jeffrey Peter wrote, "Charade for you, but valid points why don't you answer the points then evade "argumentum ad homoieum"; which you are using is an evasion."
And there are those few who criticised Dr Tan for his Facebook posting.
Tan Hock wrote, "TCB, for all the crying, should just come out to contest in the next GE.
Show Singaporeans, you are genuine and that you have what it takes to be part of the governing body. Those who jumping onto your wagon, are there not because you are able and credible political alternative,
Basically, you were not slated for high office in your earlier days in parliament because you did not have the appropriate attributes."