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1/07/2013

Vincent Wijeysingha and Alex Au - Be sued or apologise


Within one day we witnessed two bloggers, one an aspiring politician and another a social activist, being issued with legal letters threatening to sue them if they did not remove what they posted and apologise to the purportly victims of their articles. Both admitted that they have posted things that are defamatory in nature. Both are also tertiary educated and are not the kopitiam gossipers that would shoot first and think later. They might know what they have posted were defamatory, or they did not and only knew about its defamatory nature after being threatened with a law suit.

What is material is that they got what they wanted to say across, in the social media and had their messages read and understood. The points were made, rightly or wrongly, truth or untruth does not matter any more.

On the part of their target victims, the latter had the options not to react, to do nothing or to threaten to sue and demand an apology. Not doing anything would be welcomed by those who believe in ‘freedom of speech’. It would also allow certain statements being made against them and by nothing responding, some may believe they are truths. By reacting, like suing, some may see it as a defense of their dignity and integrity. Some may see it as being overly sensitive and bullying. This could look bad in a way.

For those who wrote defamatory statements, by admitting so, does it mean that the statements are untrue and that they were making false accusations? When people have done wrong and when exposed, the whistle blower is just telling the truth and cannot be threatened or sued for defamation. The customers of the underaged prostitute, or those who admitted to have indiscretions, cannot sue anyone for saying these facts. In this sense, people who withdrew their defamatory statements were saying that what they said were untrue. Tiok boh?

So, for all that Vincent Wijeysingha and Alex Au had written, now that they had withdrawn the articles and apologised, it was all a hoax, no element of truth in them. Like the judge in the courts will now tell the jury to ignore whatever that were spoken as they were not relevant to the case. A better case would be to sue the whistle blower even if it is true as long as the whistle blower did not have the money to fight the lawsuit. That is the best kind of justice that money can buy.

What do you think?

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Right, and even the former NKF case against the "small fish", it was not properly investigated till NKF sued the "big fish."

Anonymous said...

Maybe CPIB can investigate and report to "public."

jjgg said...

RB..unfortunately..the scales of justice is always tilted towards those who can pay and are in a position to garner the better lawyers..if I'm ever a defendant, I would also look at the track record of past political suits as well. Perhaps we should look at the practice in come countries whereby the plaintiff faces jail terms if the charges are not proven..or perhaps..the defendant is awarded something more than just partial recovery of costs. To make the scales of justice even more equitable..we should have a Solomon who's appointed by an independent international body..put it this way...would u defend yourself over a posting? Just take it down and do the next posting la..

patriot said...

Chin Leng:

Well said, simple and straight to the point.

Just like to say that there is always the right to reply, respond snd or clarify.
Resorting to respond by legal means does not always invalidate the opiniion, view, understanding and suspicion of the one been taken to task by legal action.
In fact, when one has all the time and evidence to clarify but chooses to use authority(power/might) and or legal action, it may leave to others an impression of intimidation and or even oppression and abuse. It is a shame for anyone to discard opportunity to clarify and enlighten.

The other objectionable aspect of legal action is the refusal and or deny the Right of others to their understanding, view, opinion snd suspicion over a subject matter that has no clear definition and clarity.

As regard the Two People You mentioned here, many are of the view that there were/are plenty of opportunities for clarifications.
It is a shame that Sinkies are not clearing and clarifying allegation, accusation and suspicion before resorting to legal action.
Most are of the view that those with power and money usually emerge as the victors in legal actions. Dont ask why, it is just empirically evident.

patriot

Anonymous said...

Hi rb,

Money is only part of the full equation here. Even a tycoon cannot be certain of his legal action.

Can your own legal adviser provide advise and prosecute/sue you for the same wrongdoing?

What do you think?

faber

Anonymous said...

"I'm now watching Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung being fucked upside down with aggressive protestors. 130, 000 protesters want to bring him down for corruption. No need to go to Tampines courts to get cecilia sue lah.

Hong Kong got no direct universal suffrage. They don't choose their MPs or Chief Executive directly yet they got so much more political rights and freedom than "daft" Sinkies! (at least 60%)"
http://singaporedesk.blogspot.sg/2013/01/speaking-plainly.html?showComment=1357526182727&m=1

Anonymous said...

History is always written by the victorious. The vanquished and dead can't rise from the graves to rebut or defend. That's the name of the game. Make sure you don't end up in a hole like that Saddam Hussein or Gadaffi. Retribution is there awaiting for evil doers!

Anonymous said...

Redbean,
may you please enlighten me.

Can a company CEO sue his investors when they ask him to account for use of money and clarify monetary management issues and efficiency ? Can CEO claim that it is defamation because merely asking him fundamental questions implies that means he is corrupted, distress him and challenge his integrity and honesty ?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

It all depends.

Anonymous said...

We need to read the books by JBJ and Francis Seow on how our judiciary works. Ever since the famous polling station verdict by the former AG I have lost all believe in our legal system when it comes to politically motivated cases. Pinkie will never be respected.

Matilah_Singapura said...

The PAP will use any excuse to keep gay (ie LGBT) activists down, especially if those activists lean towards democratic social progressive liberalism.

Many aspects of Singapore society are dark-ages CONSERVATIVE. Being an asshole is a prerequisite for becoming career politicians and uncivil serpents.

Mean, nasty, immoral motherfuckers the lot of them.

Got defamation?

Anonymous said...

An apology from both does not mean they were wrong. They knew very well there is no way they can fight the case and win in our Singapore court, with everything and I mean everything, human or not, stacked against them.

Thankfully, netizens have been out in full force condemning the legal action taken against Au and Vincent. Looks like the PAP is going to loose much support in the next GE. We shall see.

Anonymous said...

Simply said, it reminds us of the NKF lawsuit where TT Durai won the lawsuit arguing he never travelled 1st class with NKF funds.

Isn't it wicked of people who has already done wrong and yet still deny it with a straight face ?

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