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So, for all that Vincent Wijeysingha and Alex Au had written, now that they had withdrawn the articles and apologised, it was all a hoax, no element of truth in them.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?