The Editor-in-Chief and founder of The Parrot Review (TPR), Wali Khan, says he harbours “no intention to harass or cause alarm or distress” in publishing the article and Instagram post about a National University of Singapore (NUS) Investigations Officer on 30 June.
Mr Khan explained that just a few hours after the article was published on TPR, the officer sent him a text saying that the article paints her as a “sexual assault[er]”.
“She also stated that she and/or her counsel are of the view that the contents of the article amount to harassment, as defined in the Protection From Harassment Act (POHA),” he added in a letter to readers on the same day.
“Accordingly, she has put me on notice that she wishes to apply for an expedited protection order (EPO) against me.”
In the letter, Mr Khan said he found it “puzzling” that the officer was communicating directly to him instead of via her attorneys. Still, he responded to her to inform her that “the article never once painter her, as she suggests, to be a “sexual assault[er]”.
He went on, “I take the respectful view that this is not, by any stretch, a reasonable and fair interpretation of the article.”
In the letter which is published on both the TPR website and Instagram, Mr Khan clarified his intention in publishing the earlier article in which he highlighted the officers “checkered” past as an ex-Senior Staff Sergeant from the Singapore Police Force.
In the earlier article, Mr Khan had highlighted that the officer had been one of the last three officers to have interviewed 14-year-old Benjamin Lim in 2016 for molesting an 11-year-old girl.
Tragically, young Mr Lim was found dead at the foot of his HDB block in Yishun just after 10 minutes of being released from Ang Mo Kio Police Division. His death was ruled a suicide.
The article also highlighted the officer’s prior conviction which led to five months in prison in 2019 for forging an alleged sexual assault victim’s testimony when she was still serving with the SPF.
In the letter to readers, Mr Khan stressed: “As any discerning reader would note, in my article and Instagram post about [the officer], I had never once issued a call to action or even, for that matter, advanced the argument that she should not have been hired.“
“In my humble opinion, all I did was present a fair and factual account of what had happened and I have given all parties involved a right of response/reply, although some have elected not to exercise that right for reasons best known only to themselves.”
Noting that EPOs are granted following an ex parte hearing—that is a hearing where only the applicant has the right to an audience before the court—Mr Khan said he has informed her to bring his response to the attention of the court if she wished to proceed with the action against him.
However, she responded to say that she was advised that she did not have a duty to do so. She also placed Mr Khan on notice that her attorney would take out proceedings in Court against him on Thursday (1 July).
Mr Khan also included screenshots of the messages he exchanged with the officer in question.
Mr Khan continued, “To reiterate, it is my position that the article was a fair, just and factual account of events that had occurred. As the matter is one of public interest, I believe it was just and equitable to issue a factual account of events that gave all parties involved reasonable time to respond.”
“I am writing this letter to make my position clear, lest it be distorted or, worse, swept under the rug.”
“In the meantime, I will seek legal advice.”