The opening up of cyberspace and social media has given the critics a lot of room to air their grievances. Everything seems to be fair game for the commentators and policy makers would no longer be able to whitewash poorly crafted policies that adversely affect the people. Life has never been that good before until internet came to the scene. It used to be one way but not any more.
I must admit that attacking and questioning a policy is easy. Every policy, no matter how well conceived, would have flaws or would be good to some and bad to others. Some are more bad than good. The housing policy has been whipped and thrashed for quite sometime and will continue to be the angst of the people. But it has done a lot of good in increasing the paper value of property owners and none will be complaining about it. It also has severe consequences on those who come late and could not keep up with the runaway prices. The young and future generations will bear the full brunt of this bad policy.
It is right and proper to want to dismiss this policy for good and modify it to a more well balanced one to be kinder to the young as well. Putting on the pressure for change, kpkb, etc is fine. But the critics have to be careful not to end up attacking the policy maker and ended up with defamation suits.
Shanmugam has sent in his lawyers. Hsien Loong is also taking TRE to task. And the issues or complaints were defamation. They have their rights to clear their names from any accusations or allegations. And being where they are, they have more rights than others for sure. You can’t expect the country’s top leaders to be the same as the man in the street. Even celebrities have bigger rights by virtue of their income and public image which are important to their earning abilities.
So far the lighter touch policy is appearing to be intact with both parties asking for the removal of the offending articles and an apology. Let’s hope that in these cases, sorry is enough and no further action be taken, no cost and damages be lined up after sorry is said.
A reminder to all, criticize for all you want. Attacking and accusing someone for wrongdoings would require proof and the will and resources to go further in the courts of law when challenged.