The Online Citizen will not comply with PM Lee’s demands

The Online Citizen (TOC) has on Wednesday (4th Sept) responded to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s warning letter which was sent to its chief editor Mr Terry Xu on Sunday (1st Sept).

In his warning letter to the website accusing it of defamation, PM Lee had, among other things, demanded that TOC remove the supposed offending article immediate and issue an apology.

In addition to the “full and unconditional apology”, PM Lee had also demanded an undertaking from TOC that it would not publish similar allegations in the future.

The website was then given a dateline of Wednesday (4th Sept) to comply with PM Lee’s demands or the matter will be handed over to “his lawyers to sue to enforce his full rights in law”.

TOC will not comply with demands

Although the supposed offending article entitled “PM Lee’s wife, Ho Ching weirdly shares article on cutting ties with family members” was removed from the website on the very day Mr Xu received the warning letter, TOC has declined to accede to PM Lee’s other demands, namely to apologise by Wednesday (4th Sept).

Responding to PM Lee’s warning letter, Mr Xu said that he disagrees that the article in question was in any way defamatory and instead felt that it was fair comment.

Mr Xu added that although he “do fear that the cost stemming from the possible legal suit from you may be hefty, that is a price that I am willing to pay to not only uphold my principles, but also to uphold my obligations to Singapore and my fellow Singaporeans.”

Concluding, Mr Xu said, “I stand guided by my love for Singapore and Singaporeans. It is my moral obligation to help dissipate the climate of fear that permeates discourse in Singapore to ensure a more open, vibrant and robust society for the future of Singapore.”

TOC’s response to PM Lee is reproduced verbatim below:

4 September 2019

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE

Orchard Road

Istana

Singapore 238823

REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE

Dear Sir

DEFAMATION

1. I refer to your letter to me dated 1 September 2019 (the “Letter”).

2. I have always been a firm believer in the values of accountability, transparency and the rule of law. Ibelieve it is my role as the Chief Editor of The Online Citizen, Singapore’s longest running independentmedia outlet, to always speak truth to power.

3. Having reviewed the contents referred to, at paragraph 1 of the Letter (the “Article”), I am of the opinion that the contents of the Article are not defamatory. Instead, in light of the public statements that emanated from members of your own family, who, presumably, would have been privy to the events that the Article refers to, and the issues of public interest that arise, I believe that the contents of the article constitute fair comment. For the avoidance of doubt, I was merely republishing the words uttered by your siblings.

4. However, I am cognisant of the possibility that one reading the Article may be open to the misinterpretation of the timing of your removal as an executor and trustee of the will of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. It was not my intention to suggest that your removal as an executor in the will of Mr Lee Kuan Yew occurred after 2011. Neither did I intend to suggest that your removal as an executor and trustee of the will was a result of the issue of the gazetting of the 38 Oxley. I certainly recognise the possibility of the misinterpretation, which you have pointed out at paragraph 4 of your Letter. In that regard, I offer my apologies.

5. It must bear noting that the intent of the article was not to raise doubts or misunderstandings about the technicalities surrounding the allegations – in this case, the exact time at which you were removed as an executor and trustee of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s will. Rather, the focus of the article was on the bigger picture relating to the allegations of abuse of power and the state of the relationship between the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his son. I solemnly and sincerely believe that it is this aspect, and not the technicalities that you take issue with, that concern many Singaporeans as it relates to the values of Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

6. Although I do fear that the cost stemming from the possible legal suit from you may be hefty, that is a price that I am willing to pay to not only uphold my principles, but also to uphold my obligations to Singapore and my fellow Singaporeans.

7. I stand guided by my love for Singapore and Singaporeans. It is my moral obligation to help dissipate the climate of fear that permeates discourse in Singapore to ensure a more open, vibrant and robust society for the future of Singapore.

8. Accordingly, I will not be complying with the demands set out at paragraph 8 of the Letter.

Yours sincerely,

TERRY XU

Chief Editor

The Online Citizen

With an apology totally out of the equation, will PM Lee keep to this promise and proceed to ‘Davinder’ Mr Xu or will he forgive and forget the matter considering that General Elections is around the corner.

What do you think?

 

* The supposed offending article has been restored on TOC’s website.

 

 

 

 

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23 Responses to “The Online Citizen will not comply with PM Lee’s demands”

  • TruBlu:

    Very Good.

    It is only right to QUESTION when DOUBTFUL.
    It is only right for them to EXPRAIN IN SIMPLE SINGRISH.NO NEED SO FIERCE?
    Afterall, WE ARE ONE SINGAPORE?!!
    HAPPY NATIONal Day.

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  • Convince LWL To Go Court:

    Pinky is throwing his weight around. You think he can sue 100 people ? Then he will have no time to govern.

    Convince LWL and LHY to be witness and give him a big kick in the arse. He will shit in his pants as GE is near.

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  • @Convince LWL To Go Court

    If the VVVIPs are not already on Terry’s side and offering their support, you think he will be so stupid to fight a lawsuit that he has ABSOLUTELY NO CHANCE of winning meh?

    Like I say liao in other threads, the VVVIPs are dying to have their day in court and this case (if it proceeds to court) offers a perfect opportunity, a chance and maybe even the only chance of a lifetime to do just that.

    I tinki liz time round Terry sibei cheeky, dig a big big big hole for PM Lee to jump in so all can play proxy lawsuit. The outcome of the lawsuit would not be of any concern to him because of the big big big mountain behind him lor.

    The question remaining now is simple:
    1. Don’t take the bait and let the matter rest (after GE still PAP gahment wat, plenty of time and other chances), or
    2. Die die must have face and jump into the hole and end up covered with loads of shit.

    What do you think?

    Sidenote:
    If me no wrong, Libel suit means the person writing cock has to prove that what he wrote is the truth, so since Terry merely repeated/quoted what a famiLEE member has said, his only defense (other than fair comment – this case won’t win on that defense, no need to ask why) is for the famiLEE members to testify and prove what Terry has repeated is the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth.

    Opinion nia, If I say wrong I say sorry hor, please lon sue me. Thank you.

    .

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  • MarBowling:

    TRE Techie:
    September 5, 2019 at 3:10 am (Quote)
    @Convince LWL To Go Court
    If the VVVIPs are not already on Terry’s side and offering their support, you think he will be so stupid to fight a lawsuit that he has ABSOLUTELY NO CHANCE of winning meh?
    Like I say liao in other threads, the VVVIPs are dying to have their day in court and this case (if it proceeds to court) offers a perfect opportunity, a chance and maybe even the only chance of a lifetime to do just that.
    I tinki liz time round Terry sibei cheeky, dig a big big big hole for PM Lee to jump in so all can play proxy lawsuit. The outcome of the lawsuit would not be of any concern to him because of the big big big mountain behind him lor.
    The question remaining now is simple:
    1. Don’t take the bait and let the matter rest (after GE still PAP gahment wat, plenty of time and other chances), or
    2. Die die must have face and jump into the hole and end up covered with loads of shit.
    What do you think?
    Sidenote:
    If me no wrong, Libel suit means the person writing cock has to prove that what he wrote is the truth, so since Terry merely repeated/quoted what a famiLEE member has said, his only defense (other than fair comment – this case won’t win on that defense, no need to ask why) is for the famiLEE members to testify and prove what Terry has repeated is the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth.
    Opinion nia, If I say wrong I say sorry hor, please lon sue me. Thank you.

    Response:tend to agree 101% with your comments. No wonder recently his wifey Holee Jinx talked about it’s OK to severe relationship with TOXIC FamiLEE members(the 2 VVVIPs). Looks like her Grand Plan is to KILL 2 STONES WITH ONE BIRD(aka HIDE COURT)!LOL.

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  • never trust pap:

    Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling cannot be sued, since lky son the clown is afraid of more dirt being exposed if he abused his power once again.

    So lky son the clown tried to bully a non family member, Mr Terry Xu. As human nature has it, Mr Terry Xu is of far better mettle than lky son the clown. For one, lky son the clown supposedly slapped a Minister but needed papa to step into the fray and wouldn’t go goh cock tong to publicly deny.

    We are citizens of Singapore. We believe strongly, without hesitation, in this very instance, the clown is trying to abuse power to bully Mr Terry Xu. We are jobless folks without the court connections to beholden anyone so we are not of much help except to write our piece.

    But will Singapore continue under such slippery path of abuse of power to silence truth? Nah, A matter of time. Sooner or later.

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  • Tremendous:

    I am not for suing. Once every now and then, there are people making comments about us, appropriate or not. If he sets a precedent to sue, the whole issue will be complicated. Even if his siblings are out of the equation which is technically not possible, why didn’t he sue those who made similar remarks before TX made his ? If he devotes his time to sue all of them, then where is the time to run the country ? What about overseas parties ? Sure we have our views on what Carrie Lam could have done better, but she also gets her fair share of blasts from different people. So she has to go around suing people ? Go for measured engagements. Not sue or use the POFMA to classify whatever is publicly presented especially by ministers.

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  • Settle once n for all:

    If the 2 siblings dont come out to back up Mr Xu then we’ll never know who is telling the truth.
    Then we all kno theyre just a couple of moneybags hypocrites, just like their big brother..

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    The amount of Fake news-accusation-& what have you to THROW @TheTRUMP and he takes it all in his STRIDE and Walking Tall…

    Now we have an IDIOT who must have lost his Balls when operated on for Big C there… and Brains fried to a crisp through Chemo wants to SUE a FACT???

    He should go line up @Mamak stall for Prata and don’t forget to bring the family along too

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  • Spurmugam Darkvinder:

    He should use his personal capacity using his own money to sue and not using his pmo. What money is used ?

    Can LHL prove thin court that the allegations are indeed false?

    If he cannot then what he is making is just a claim anyone can make eg. I saw a unicorn at the corner over there.

    He is saying it as if it is a proven false allegation .

    Terry can ignore this kind of bullying.

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  • Using legal language:

    Use of legal language and knowledge to pick bones with layman use of language is using a unfair weapon against the defenceless and innocent.

    A layman speaks using layman language that are ambiguous, imprecise and informal. A lawyer is using legal language angle to attack such a layman speaking using layman language which is not precise and loosely spoken.

    We must not be bullied by lawyers.
    Ask them go fly kite!

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  • Harder Truths:

    Here we go again. The schoolyard bully and his gang beating up on people when they can’t stand the truth being reported.

    I hope Donald Trump says something about him. Let us see if he dares sue.

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  • bystander:

    After GE, PM Lee would continue to hunt down poor old Terry.
    Dun think LWL and LHY would stick out their necks to defend Terry. These 2 siblings are just playing a hide and seek game, come to the real crunch, they will withdraw behind a shell.
    The brother and sister siblings are just letting off fire crackers under the bed, and the d**honourable brother is capitalizing on their weakness.
    This is a proxy war between LWL\LHY and PM Lee, a proxy war between them under the guise of Terry and Online Citizen.
    Winning the suit over Terry is winning over his two siblings, warning them dun continue to push the boundary.

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  • opposition dude:

    It’s good that Terry has got guts but he also had better be careful after what happened to Uncle Leong and Roy.

    And I also want to see just how much goondu Loong will go after Terry.

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  • Realistically:

    Betta start crowd-funding NOW…..I’ll do my little part.

    I think got chance; even uncle Leong’s case got chance………Roy Ngerng’s case not same.

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  • Hairyporter:

    Did his siblings defame him in their use of words?That is the crux of the issue.Someone please reproduce their original words that came out into the public,and let the public decide if they were defamatory.If they indeed were,why PM did not sue them?

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  • Know the BIG Difference:

    patriot of TUMASIK:
    The amount of Fake news-accusation-& what have you to THROW @TheTRUMP and he takes it all in his STRIDE and Walking Tall…

    Now we have an IDIOT who must have lost his Balls when operated on for Big C there… and Brains fried to a crisp through Chemo wants to SUE a FACT???

    He should go line up @Mamak stall for Prata and don’t forget to bring the family along too

    He is not Donald Trump. Trump only took a $1 salary as president. Trump is greedy but not dishonorable. He knows when to take money.
    He wants to make America great again not for himself.

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  • Know the BIG Difference:

    Harder Truths:
    Here we go again. The schoolyard bully and his gang beating up on people when they can’t stand the truth being reported.

    I hope Donald Trump says something about him. Let us see if he dares sue.

    Trump couldn’t even spell this place, let alone knowing a clown.
    Forget it. Trump only recognizes countries with nuclear.

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  • Simply Incapable:

    Convince LWL To Go Court:
    Pinky is throwing his weight around. You think he can sue 100 people ? Then he will have no time to govern.

    Convince LWL and LHY to be witness and give him a big kick in the arse. He will shit in his pants as GE is near.

    Why not, there are plenty of well paid lackies doing the legwork.
    He has plenty of easy money from his milking factory to spend.

    Even without involving in litigation, this place is already a huge mess.
    To silence a few more wouldn’t make any difference.

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  • Fair is Foul, Foul is Fair:

    What is the real game at play?

    GE is very near. This suing the Xu will not bring him any extra vote. In fact, it may cost him votes. In this sense, he has defamed himself. Xu was merely commenting upon what his wife wrote on Facebook, which happened to be of public interest, because anybody with common sense can put two and two together and arrive at a certain conclusion, and this conclusion is intriguing and interesting. There is an oblique message to the public at large. And that message is:

    “You can break off completely from your close relatives if you think they are toxic!”

    (Whereas, sages of the past have said the opposite, i.e.
    “Blood is always thicker than water!”
    What is blood and what is water?
    Your brother and sister is blood, but your wife is water.)

    Xu has elaborated further by bringing out what his siblings have said. Many others, including some news sites, have already commented on what his siblings have written in their Facebook posts. So, why never sue them? What pick and chose to only sue TOC?

    Wrong move? I think someone must have given him wrong advice.

    Remember the NKF case? TT Durai sued SPH. In the end he landed up in hot soup. Moral of the story: Don’t any how sue.

    Xu must now prepare at least 1,000 questions (of relevance and of public interests) to cross-examine the key witness, i.e. the one who sues. Try to dig out skeletons from the old cupboards, if any.

    A good fight in the court, even if a fore-gone conclusion has been seen, is already a win for Xu, and for the powerless lots of this tiny island. (Prolonged is even better). Money can be earned back but the golden opportunity only comes once in a life time. Grab at it tightly. Don’t it let go.

    Win or lose, is a WIN. Start crowd-funding ……

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  • rukidding:

    If there are 20 more such articles contributed by another “Terry like” contributors….what will this “dreaming clown emperor” do ?

    Well,…i think it would probably end up looking like the same as that Hongkie Lam :)

    Good to know that Tery has the same guts as those Hongkie Protesters !

    Do you…”sillyzeans” have them ????

    Amos sure do !

    So,…will you just kpkb only or are you prepared to “join forces and unite” when the “call” comes ????

    One or two or three more persons “cannot have enuff strength”…and “easily crushed” by the “lobe sided justice”….but “MANY together” ….just like what we saw in the “SARs infected area”…the result will be an “epidemic” for these Pimps and prostitutes (Pap)

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  • Would CJ ask goondoo:

    Would the presiding magistrate ask the Lawyer hung proulding in the Hall of Fake why his goodoo did not sue the self claimed honorable son n daughter till their pants drop when they alleged what the father asked them to tell Singapore his dishonorable son if the allegation which Terry quote a bit too late perhaps Terry is waiting for the dishonorable to sue the honorable Lees but since no pants drop he ie Terry like most if not all Singaporeans take the cue that the allegations r true n being dishonorable he shamelessly stayed on going back he own words said in tandem with his world acclaimed father n Peanut Seat warmer who now resigned to beca quitter lodging with quitter daughter n trusted foreigner just like he n his kiasi put their lives in the hands of aliens. Wonder if they o not trust their lives in in Singaporeans, does that mean at the first sign of foreign invastion they would ran to their private airport n private plane pilotted by aliens running double quick to alien country for protection . Is that why they extend the use of military including air port facilities to IuS.
    what singaporeans should o, singaporeans should know how, when n what before singaporeans as lky said not going to alien country to slavery but what he didn’t say about his hidden agenda is slavery in SIN with their imported aliens.
    No where in the world democratic country, there is such a big number of bootlicking bureaucrats n nepotic apptments . Who would chase a internationally accaimed professor n planted an alien relative in his place. In US, UK there will be call for the nepotic blood!,

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  • N.Jungne:

    Why bother, make him suffer some losers. That is enough to hurt his EGO, good enough.

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  • Treason committed:

    All defamation suits in SIN r just like Trump whistleblower n just explained by a US senate spokewoman, they r to be investigated n not as trump demand, idetified n make known to him so he can order death to be imposed. So defamation suites won 100% r unconstitutional n the public institutions inactivity is felony itself.
    Trump impeachment problem reveal how democracy should operate. n GCT n LKY postmothusly owe Singaporeans a return to justice n should be all impeached.

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