You call this fair, Mr George?
During the recent GE, Mr Cherian George rebuked The New Paper (“TNP”) for publishing an article about Mr Luke Koh, a candidate whom the Workers’ Party fielded in Nee Soon GRC.
Mr George deemed it a “scandal” that TNP reported “a minor WP candidate’s acrimonious divorce”.
How did he reach this conclusion? By ignoring the facts that were plainly before him. His critique showed an utter lack of objectivity. It seemed to take issue with the piece, primarily because it cast an opposition candidate in an unfavourable light.
What the article was really about
Contrary to what Mr George claims, the TNP report was not just salacious gossip about an “acrimonious divorce”. Serious misdemeanours were involved.
The article reported that Mr Koh was the object of a personal protection order (“PPO”). (PPOs are orders made by a court, when family violence is involved.)
That’s not all – it also said that Mr Koh was subsequently arrested and received a police warning, for criminal trespass and for breaching the PPO.
In other words:
- A candidate was accused of being violent to his family; so much so that a judge felt the need to intervene.
- And he disobeyed the court by breaching the PPO – a criminal offence punishable by fine and/or jail.
- He was also arrested, and warned for criminal trespass – another offence with a potential jail term.
How can this not be relevant?
That Mr Koh was a “minor candidate” is simply beside the point. If someone puts himself up for public office, aren’t these things that Singaporeans deserve to know?
The fact that a candidate has conducted himself criminally, violently towards his family, and acted in disregard of the law – can these plausibly be labelled irrelevant?
Mr George conveniently avoids these questions, but the answer is obvious.
What would Mr George say about an MP who climbs over the walls to engage in criminal activity? Would he think it was alright?
Would he have reacted the same way, if it were a PAP politician who did this?
In truth, Mr George seemed to be angry, just because these facts about an opposition politician had come out.
And what was Mr Koh’s response? Were the allegations true?
Mr Koh refused to answer any questions. And hid behind the WP spokesman. This reaction, in itself, speaks volumes.
Yet, Mr George would have local media stifle these matters, and leave Singaporeans in the dark. For him have suggested that, is truly a scandal.