Yesterday (2 July), when contacted by a TODAY journalist for comments, Reform Party’s secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam took the opportunity to say a few direct words to People’s Action Party’s (PAP) K. Shanmugam instead.
The journalist Natasha Meah wanted to know what Mr Jeyaretnam’s response is to Mr Shanmugam’s query after Mr Shanmugam has read one of Mr Jeyaretnam’s Facebook posts.
Mr Shanmugam was Minister for Home Affairs and Laws, and heading the PAP team in their contest for Nee Soon GRC.
“Today Natasha Meah, a journalist from TODAY wrote telling me that Shanmugam had read my Facebook post and wants a response,” Mr Jeyaretnam’s Facebook post started. “For avoidance of doubt, you are writing to me for a response because, and I quote your query, “Shanmugam referenced an article from The Straits Times…He also mentioned that you put up a post on Facebook about this,” he clarified with the journalist in his email response.
This with regards to whether the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) had initially offered Nee Soon GRC to RP as mentioned by PSP’s candidate for Nee Soon GRC Brad Bowyer on 1 July.
Instead, Mr Jeyaretnam steered the agenda of what the journalist should be focusing on instead, which is RP’s campaign and its “brilliant manifesto” under “Build Back Better, Fairer”.”
He also found it “extremely pleasing that Shanmugam has publicly upheld me and my Facebook posts as truths to be relied on”.
“I’m glad Shanmugam is telling Singapore that he reads my Facebook page and has set a precedent for taking my Facebook posts as reliable truths.”
He then moves on to question Mr Shanmugam’s competency as a member of parliament and someone with past legal training if he “uses the Facebook post of a person that he disparages at any other time as his prima (facie) evidence”.
He also beseeched the journalist to share her thoughts on whether she concurred with his worries. “Natasha, do you share my concerns? Do you think the pressure from the cracks in the PAP is affecting his mind?”
Mr Jeyaretnam, in conclusion, requested the journalist to pass on a direct message to “her boss”:
How dare you comment on the quality of the Opposition and our mostly successful attempt at unity when your own party is in disarray and Mr Lee Hsien Loong and his brother are pitted against each other. My sincerest advice to you is to address yourself to your shambles on Nomination Day when my old Cambridge colleague, Heng Swee Keat, couldn’t even string a coherent sentence together. Now we all know he is just a seat warmer for the next generation of Lee but is that the best you’ve got?
The PAP has rigged this election before it started. So try to fight clean and not bring the process into disrepute.
My warmest wishes,