The former Progress Singapore Party (PSP) member Mr Daniel Teo who was sacked from the party after admitting to have produced a defamatory video implicating Singapore People’s Party (SPP) chairman Mr Jose Raymond and others, has apologised publicly to Mr Raymond.
On 1 May, a short clip made the rounds online which claimed that the PSP, led by Tan Cheng Bock, has been “infiltrated by foreign proxies”. On that same day, PSP announced that it had expelled Mr Teo after his admission.
Lawyer for Mr Raymond Mr Eugene Thuraisingam from Eugene Thuraisingam LLP had issued the letter of demand on 2 May and had given Mr Teo three days to comply with the terms of the letter of demand which included paying damages and apologising unconditionally for the defamation and damage caused.
On 5 May, through his lawyer, Mr Teo accepted the terms stated in the letter of demand.
Said Mr Raymond’s lawyer Mr Thuraisingam, “A very serious false allegation had been made against Mr Raymond.
It could not go unchallenged. We were instructed by Mr Raymond to take immediate action against Daniel.
“While such a false allegation should never have been made in the first place, we are happy that Daniel has quickly come clean and admitted that the allegation was false and has sincerely apologised for his actions.
Mr Raymond has accepted his apology and has decided not to proceed to claim damages from Daniel, something which he is entitled to by law.”
In his apology which was posted on Facebook on 5 May, Mr Teo said that he admit and acknowledge that the allegations made in his video, are false and completely without foundation and unreservedly withdraw them.
As part of his settlement for the defamation, Mr Teo would need to leave his apology on his Facebook page for a year, and also undertake not to repeat the allegations again.
In lieu of taking out an advertisement to apologise in the Straits Times, Mr Raymond has asked that Mr Teo make a donation to the Straits Times Pocket Money Fund instead.
In a Facebook post, academic Derek da Cunha said the outcome of the legal redress for Mr Raymond was an “excellent outcome”.
“The manner in which this defamation has come to a conclusion ensures that he has acquired the moral and political high ground. It underlines the view that he is in politics to serve others.”
In a Facebook post put up on 6 May, the first time he had commented on the issue, Mr Raymond thanked his legal team for taking
Mr Teo is still under police investigations for the video as Mr Raymond and several others have filed police reports over the matter.
Teo expelled from PSP for defamatory video
According to the message sent by PSP Secretary-General, Dr Tan Cheng Bock to party members on 1 May and seen by TOC, Mr Teo confessed to him about having to commit the offense against the party and a few of its members.
Dr Tan noted that while Mr Teo had offered to resign from the party, the Central Executive Committee has decided unanimously to expel him with immediate effect.
He noted that the party has taken decisive action on this to preempt any rumor or speculation that may be detrimental to the party’s reputation. Noting that while the party values its members, it also expect its members to safeguard the interests of the party.
“Any action that hurts the party’s crediblity cannot and will not be tolerated”, wrote Dr Tan.
In a statement on 4 May, the party noted that the video content did not point to PSP having received foreign funding and that it would like to state categorically that the Party’s funding is in compliance with the Political Donations Act.
The party noted that Teo has made this allegation before to certain members of the Central Executive Committee previously and that no evidence was presented by him.
“Our internal investigations showed no such matters and his allegations were dismissed. We understand that some members of the Party who have been implicated in the video have made their own police reports and have sought legal counsel.” wrote PSP.
It added, “Should anyone wish to make potentially libellous allegations against any member of the party, proper evidence is required. The party does not react to hearsay or rumours”
This is the second incident where the party had to expel its member. It had previously expelled Jan Chan, who was formerly with the National Solidarity Party (NSP) from 2014 to 2019 after he posted an image of the Bible and the Quran with the accompanying caption, “For use during toilet paper shortages”, on the Facebook page of NUS Atheist Society, which he ran. The offensive post went viral leading the police to investigate the matter.