The Straits Times Threatens to Sue...
Then they prove themselves liars
by making a cowardly retreat., just as Helen Yeo did!
Angeline Joyce Lee, Senior Corporate Counsel of Singapore Press Holdings Ltd sent way back in May, demanded an apology from me stating, "In the event that you do not act on any of the demands stated by us within 24 hours hereof, we shall commence legal action against you without further ado." (Click to read)
In her email, Ms. Lee copied the highest levels of her organization, including college drop-out Cheong Yip Seng, Editor-In Chief, of the English/Malay Newspaper Division of Singapore Press Holdings, Patrick Daniel, Managing Editor, and Editor Han Fook Kwang. Some pretty important people for our modest website!
Hiding from us?
[Goh's Basic Annual Salary US$1,100,000 (SGD1,958,000)
US President US$200,000]
Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong (we want Jaws to play him in the movie) took the unusual step of visiting the offices of the Straits Times News Centre in Singapore Press Holdings' headquarters on June 5, 2003.
Why couldn't we find this event reported in the online version of the Straits Times? Was it because PM didn't want us to find out that he was discussing what could be done about our exposing his sonny boy, Dr. Goh Jin Hian.
More grows in the garden than the gardener sows...
The Association for Democracy in Singapore
Comes to Our Defense
Published in Fateha.com (which has been removed from the Internet),
The Voice of the Singapore Muslim Community
Press Release 22 May 2003
Does Straits Times lack journalistic integrity
We note with concern the ironic stance taken by The Straits Times and Singapore Press Holdings in its altercation with US-based writer Mr John Harding.
We understand that Ms Angeline Lee, Senior Corporate Counsel of Singapore Press Holdings Ltd, has taken offence to Mr Harding's allegations that a Straits Times report neglected to mention Dr Goh Jin Hian (Executive Director at Parkway Shenton), as a doctor who was late in diagnosing a SARS patient, is the son of none other than the Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong himself.
The Straits Times (ST) claims Mr Harding's statement is defamatory available on Harding's website (http://www.escapefromparadise.com/NewFiles/bc.html) towards the Straits Times and The Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). The paper claims the article shows the ST and SPH to have fabricated and disguised true facts of the story, were unprofessional and lacked journalistic integrity, practised political favouritism and were dishonest and corrupt in its business activities.
While we are unable to comment on whether ST intentionally fabricated and disguised the true facts of the story or whether it is corrupt in its business practices, it is clear that ST does lack jounalistic integrity and practices political favouritism.
Any attempt to claim that ST and its associated companies are fair and upholds journalistic integrity in issues with political implications, is an attempt to mock the intelligence of Singaporeans and contradictory to the statements and studies of various academics and commentators who have written extensively on the situation of the Singaporean media.
While we appreciate ST's and the Singapore Press Holdings' need to protect its reputation, we believe that it can only happen when ST shows journalisic integrity, not through taking out a lawsuit against a commentator, but to conduct itself with integrity. Journalistc integrity cannot exist only when it is convenient. Its denial should not happen when political effects requires a compromise.
If ST and its counsel requires further proof of its lack of journalistic integrity and its political favouritism, we will be ready to provide the necessary.
Zulfikar Mohamad Shariff
Statement from John Harding
I have been threatened with a lawsuit by The Singapore Straits Times. In their email to me of May 20, 2003, The Straits Times have asked for me to remove the information regarding Prime Minister Goh's son from this website, and given me the prepared text for an apology. Click to see.
I believe that this action has been instigated by Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong in an attempt to conceal his son's involvement in a mis-diagnosed SARS case, and to hide the fact that his son, only 35, has managed to head a medical empire with sales of S$337 million (US$195 million).
Nothing I have published on this website is untrue or undocumented. Singapore lawyer Helen Yeo threatened to sue me over our book, Escape from Paradise. Helen Yeo is the wife of Singapore Cabinet Minister Yeo Cheow Tong, who was appointed to his position by Singapore Prime Minister Goh.
Helen Yeo's threats caused Escape from Paradise to be banned in Singapore. Subsequently, the Singapore National Library removed all copies of the book from circulation.
Helen Yeo never sued me. However, I sued Helen Yeo in the United States District Court, District of Arizona (Case Number: CIV'02 1417 PHX JAT) for tortious interference with business opportunities and defamation. Helen Yeo never appeared in this lawsuit.
In their email to us on May 22, 2003, The Straits Times provided the clarification that the SARS patient was not "attended to" by Dr. Goh. The extent of Dr. Goh's involvment in this case has still not been made known to us. However, we have updated our comments on the involvement of Dr. Goh's involvement in this matter with the clarification provided by The Straits Times (our update, below, is in blue). The identification of the doctor who treated the SARS patient has still not been revealed to us by The Straits Times.
The Straits Times is hiding the fact that Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong's son failed to diagnose Singaporean Lee Chong Kian as having SARS even though Goh, Jr. / his clinic had seen Lee five times in a week.
The Straits Times in its article of May 20, 2003 (which it has removed from the Internet) does not reveal that the doctor whose clinic is at fault is Goh Jin Hian (right), the son of Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.
Any other doctor in Singapore would be quarantined and penalized...
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