Do you get why we are pissed?

The big news today is the Chairman of the Changi Airport Group (CAG), Mr. Liew Mun Leong has decided to retire. Mr. Liew who had accused his maid of stealing, ended up facing an angry backlash from people as it was revealed in open court that he had actually tried to frame the maid. Details of his announcement can be found here.

As mentioned in my previous posting, Mr. Liew came out of the incident looking like a cheap elitist bully who tried to bend the power of the state against someone who is classified as one of the lowest possible wage earners. The anger against Mr. Liew has spilled out and rebounded onto the organisations he was leading. The biggest target was Changi Airport, our proverbial jewel that we show off to the world. The airports Facebook page was bombarded with angry post as the following report describes.

Mr. Liew made the international headlines, though admittedly not in the way that he would have wanted.

I guess you could say that with this type of PR backlash, it was inevitable that Mr. Liew would have to bow out of every position he was holding. I guess you could call this a face-saving solution. While this was inevitable, its still not enough.

What’s particularly interesting about this whole incident is that there are those who aspire to be elite circles who don’t get why the public is upset. The Young Pork Guzzling Muslim Politician called to ask for my views on the matter and he sounded genuinely shocked by the public anger against Mr. Liew.

He isn’t alone. Our Minister of Law who is somehow unconflicted by the fact that he’s also the Minister of Home Affairs, said that something went wrong somewhere and it would be investigated but cautioned against a “witch hunt.” Then there was Mr. Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Temasek International (subsidiary of our second Sovereign Wealth Fund) came out to announce to us that Mr. Liew had made great contributions to Singapore and that we needed to hear his side of the story. It goes without saying that this has only made people angrier and the powers that be seem astounded.

I remember repeating the crux of the issue to the Young Pork Guzzling Muslim Politician – here we have Mr. Liew Mun Leong earning several million a year, going out of his way to crush an Indonesian maid earning what most Singaporeans would call a slave wage. It is an elephant going into a boxing ring with a gerbil.

This situation could have been easily avoided if Mr. Liew had been a little more generous with his most obvious strength – money. What he considers miniscule, she considers a fortune. While asking her to work in two additional areas is technically illegal, he could have offered her an extra hundred or two a month and she would never complained. Yet, it was $20 dollars extra for an additional 100 hours of work, which even the people from “Shithole” countries (just to use a Trumpism) would find exploitative. When she complained about the illegal deployment, he could easily have offered her say a grand for every year of service and she would have offered to work in another four areas.

Yet, he decided that she was to be destroyed. He’s now claiming that he suspected she was stealing for many years but tolerated it. If he really suspected she was stealing, logic has it that he could have stopped it years ago (Mr. several million dollars a year can’t afford to install cameras in the house?) I remember asking the Young Pork Guzzling Muslim Politician if he’d allow someone, he suspected of theft to pack their belongings on their own when you were sacking them – obvious answer – no.

It was clear that the intention was to set her up and what people find unforgivable was that it became a criminal and so it was the State against a maid instead of Liew Mun Leong against a maid. Had the police followed proper procedures and behaved like an impartial party, it wouldn’t be so bad. But as the judgement shows, they acted more like Mr. Liew’s force. The first judge allowed it dodgy evidence to be used. This wasn’t the elephant against a gerbil. It was a blue whale against a goldfish with the goldfish being tied up in his bowl while the whale gets to do whatever he wants.

Mr. Pillay coming up to talk about how we needed to hear Mr. Liew’s side of the story. Mr. Pillay, former Managing Partner at one of the most prominent local law firms forgot that the events leading up to Ms. Parti Liyana’s acquittal came out in court, the one place where raw facts are what matter most. Mr. Pillay forgot that Mr. Liew had been writing Ms. Liyana’s script as well as telling his story.

It’s like this, courts consider extenuating circumstances for example – a beggar who hasn’t eaten for 10 days deciding to steal an apple from the grocery store. A case of its technically wrong but his situation was such that he was compelled to do it. What were the extenuating circumstances for the whale to stich up the goldfish?

Singaporeans accept many things. We accept that life isn’t always fair. Yes, the rich and powerful have advantages and yes, the system is often stacked in practice. However, we do expect some equality before the law and we do expect the facts to speak regardless of who says them. This was a clear-cut case of the powerful not just using the full might of their power but also using illegal means to crush the insignificant. Then, when the rich and powerful get caught, the other rich and powerful rush to his defense, as if they’re trying to drill it into our heads that is somehow benefits us to allow the rich and powerful to do illegal things. Wealth and power should not make what is illegal – legal just because it is done by the rich and powerful.

 

Tang Li

*Although I’ve been based mainly in Singapore for nearly two decades, I’ve had the privilege of being able meet people who have crossed borders and cultures. I’ve befriended ministers and ambassadors and worked on projects involving a former head of state. Yet, at the same time, I’ve had the privilege of befriending migrant labourers and former convicts. All of them have a story to tell. All of them add to the fabric of life. I hope to express the stories that inspire us to create life as it should be.

 

 

 

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35 Responses to “Do you get why we are pissed?”

  • Tech: Would maid-fixer be a more appropriate word? He actually did not bash his maid. What do you think?Harder Truths:

    This maid-basher is so famous now. He should take a vacation in Indonesia after retiring. I am sure the Indonesians will love that.

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  • Xylorious=OwnselfchecksOwnself:

    The elites are absolutely haughty and xylorious (Ownself checks Ownself). They shall never understand the simple meaning of empathy,let alone sympathy.

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  • Xylorious=OwnselfchecksOwnself:

    The elites are absolutely haughty and xylorious (Ownself checks Ownself). They shall never understand the simple meaning of empathy,let alone sympathy…

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  • DeLorean:

    Whatever Mr.Liew might have thought was the truth in the matter, his treatment of the maid was exploitative. The illegality is beside the point. The man is does not know common decency.

    However, I think it is time to stop spending energy vilifying the man. He has resigned, investigations are underway, we become ugly ourselves if we hope for more dirt because we want one of the elites to be dragged through mud.

    It is better if we look at the whole structure of elitism in Singapore. Lee Kwan Yew believed in a class system. Where do you think Lee Hsien Loong’s “ Natural Aristocracy” idea came from? LKY’s model was the British prewar system, some of which survives to this day. Elite schools, top universities, a safe career, to produce the loyal mandarins to serve the empire. Leaders will decide, the lower class follow, no arguments. Our scholar system is part of that. You enter the elite through meritocracy. If someone is in that system, how do you think they see themselves? They are untouchable. This is a rot in our society. The cause of inequalities, lack of conscience, loss of empathy, loss of innovation and a waste of talent because of a sense of hopelessness. Meritocracy itself is meaningless when the metrics for measuring merit are decided by the elites and they have ample means for slanting the game to their advantage.

    The brakes on this decline are a focused, honest and dedicated opposition, effective civil society, an electorate that is clear minded and unafraid, and a judiciary that is completely neutral when discerning the facts of the case. We should never be indifferent to mercy. But everyone should be accorded that. I would argue that the more should be expected of elites and this should be taken into account when hearing appeals for clemency.

    Finally, Singaporeans, how do you treat your own maids? Start with that.

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  • oxygen:

    IN THE REAL WORLD, organisations have its own means of creating power (positions) and taming power.

    The brutality of dictatorship and bullying oppression does not last.

    A totally-pissed stakeholders or constituent can easily overturned the table and call “mafia” to account.

    Read what happened to Rio Tinto destruction of peasant aboriginal sacred sites backfired – a total miscalculation and now a TOTAL CAPITULATION with more to come.

    Rio Tinto CEO executives resign over cave scandal

    https://au.yahoo.com/finance/news/rio-tinto-heads-roll-over-juukan-gorge-000846490.html

    Rio made a fateful miscalculation, and it isn’t over yet

    https://www.theage.com.au/business/companies/rio-made-a-fateful-miscalculation-and-it-isn-t-over-yet-20200911-p55uqg.html

    In exploitative bullying of indigenous so-called “uneducated” aborigines, Rio nearly destroyed its own and the mining industry’s social licence to mine – INVESTORS OF MINING SHARES REVOLTED.

    POWER ONCE APPLIED (utilised) ALSO EXPIRED (wait for the consequences of fightback – it comes suddenly and sometimes unbearably overwhelming beyond containment).

    Even mafia sends beautiful eulogies to funerals of those they assassinate or plotted in the assassination. Mafia is not crass but cunning.

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  • Hypocrisy exposed.:

    The LML fiasco exposed the hypocrisy of PAP, Ho Ching, Temasek, and Shanmugam.

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  • PAP de Problem:

    So far, this is the one and only readable article I read Mr Tang.
    The rest were garbage and time wasters.
    Strange, that I m here giving u unsolicited feedback.
    Don’t read my feedback please.

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  • Maid Against The Machine:

    I once worked for people who’d rather bad mouth you than pay you a little more. I’ve witnessed people going out to tarnish reputattions just to secure business.

    Money is the guilding principle.

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  • How insulting. Apology needed.:

    Sorry to say, this post is totally insulting and stupid.

    Why say so much that Parti can be easily bought with money to do illegal things, i.e. working at 2 homes and an office. It is against Singapore law. Why is the writer so insulting? You think every low paid person can be bought off with money?

    Don’t be so insulting unless you have proof. An open apology is needed.

    You are insulting Parti, all maids and all low paid people.

    What a stupid post.

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  • Free Rider Singaporeans:

    Tang Li you said “somehow benefits us to allow the rich and powerful to do illegal things …”
    =============================================
    I loudly say yes, it benefits us to do illegal things…

    If you visit any 3rd world country, they even see commoners Singaporeans as rich and powerful ….

    Yes, see it this way. HDB Heartlander Singaporeans are faking “rich” and “powerful”

    HDB Heartlander Singaporeans also abuse their maid, making them everyday wake up 4:30am to wash car and then make breakfast and then send them grandma house to take care of grandma.

    Yes, Tang Li. You are right. “somehow benefits us to allow the rich and powerful to do illegal things …”

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$
    Lazy Singaporeans must be Cheaper, Better, Faster

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  • mike:

    How a country will fail is where the last bit of its fair and legal system fails. Plenty elites fail to see that from their side of the mirror (or dimension).

    Elites and peasants seems to be living in a parallel universe until some black hole sucked both together.

    I am waiting to see the review made by AGC and MHA, would it go public?

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  • TumasikPatriot:

    Tangfastic…you are doing Great…stay the course and of course the CAUSE for JUSTICE in la la land where IDIOTS rule and silly sheep provide the wool

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  • it is not a witch hunt:

    isn’t lying to pap agc lying to pap police lying to pap judge a criminal offence that merits a jail term?

    if liew mun leong is not jailed, the precedent set shall harm pap integrity which pap stroke heng has been trying very hard to sell to 61% sheep that pap is of integrity one.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    I just waiting for the Indonesian government to say something. This crook and family cannot be let off too easily.

    The Indonesian Embassy here must be watching very carefully!!

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  • xoxo:

    THIS IS THE TRUE SUBSTANCE if LIEW MUN LEONG.
    That he was a Distinguished administrator of GLCs was just FORM; any other Sg of fair management ability could have achieved the same in our MONOPOLISTIC BUSINESS environment where GLCs rule?
    DBS BANK?
    SINGTEL?
    SINGAPORE POWER?
    NTUC FAT-price???

    Nothing great of the FORM really,its the SUBSTANCE thar counts ultimately.

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  • Tremendous:

    Pillay’s argument sounds like this. Liew is guilty but he contributed a lot to Singapore. Haha.

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  • Hi Tang Li:

    Well said.
    I would like to say something.
    The “self-righteous” LML cannot accept that he has violated the laws and paid her domestic helper …
    He cannot drop the charges when he suspected or even knew, I think, his family members were framing the maid. He would lose face if …
    The system supported him … he went along …. family over a domestic helper …

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  • Baba Siâu:

    My billion dollar question: Is this just the tip of the iceberg? How many are there like him? Does that include our elite leaders? Well, Tang should comment on this also in his future contributions (dare?).

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  • ALi's pissed off beware....:

    What bloody shit! Connivers, deceivers Greedy Blind Pigs et al.

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  • Baba Siâu:

    It is the perennial paradox of mankind.
    The ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. Three kinds of humans. 1.Rich craving for power. 2.Poor craving for wealth. 3.Already Rich with Power but craving for fame/recognition.

    DeLorean:
    Whatever Mr.Liew might have thought was the truth in the matter, his treatment of the maid was exploitative. The illegality is beside the point. The man is does not know common decency.

    However, I think it is time to stop spending energy vilifying the man. He has resigned, investigations are underway, we become ugly ourselves if we hope for more dirt because we want one of the elites to be dragged through mud.

    It is better if we look at the whole structure of elitism in Singapore. Lee Kwan Yew believed in a class system. Where do you think Lee Hsien Loong’s “ Natural Aristocracy” idea came from? LKY’s model was the British prewar system, some of which survives to this day. Elite schools, top universities, a safe career, to produce the loyal mandarins to serve the empire. Leaders will decide, the lower class follow, no arguments. Our scholar system is part of that. You enter the elite through meritocracy. If someone is in that system, how do you think they see themselves? They are untouchable. This is a rot in our society. The cause of inequalities, lack of conscience, loss of empathy, loss of innovation and a waste of talent because of a sense of hopelessness. Meritocracy itself is meaningless when the metrics for measuring merit are decided by the elites and they have ample means for slanting the game to their advantage.

    The brakes on this decline are a focused, honest and dedicated opposition, effective civil society, an electorate that is clear minded and unafraid, and a judiciary that is completely neutral when discerning the facts of the case. We should never be indifferent to mercy. But everyone should be accorded that. I would argue that the more should be expected of elites and this should be taken into account when hearing appeals for clemency.

    Finally, Singaporeans, how do you treat your own maids? Start with that.

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  • Agreed:

    “I think it is time to stop spending energy vilifying the man. He has resigned, investigations are underway, we become ugly ourselves if we hope for more dirt because we want one of the elites to be dragged through mud.”
    Well said.

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  • Realistically:

    @ Tang Li

    >> Yet, it was $20 dollars extra for an additional 100 hours of work, which even the people from “Shithole” countries (just to use a Trumpism) would find exploitative. <<

    To put the $20 paid to his Indo maid for 100 hours of work into better perspective, he had paid his maid an average of 20 CENTS per hour.

    Compare this to Liew Mun Leong being paid $5 million, not including his various directorship fees and investment income and assuming he has 6 weeks paid annual leave, and that he ACTUALLY WORKed 44 hours a week – remember that he could be playing business golf and extra-long business lunches as part of his work, Liew's pay worked out to be $2470 per hour.

    20 CENTS per hour for his maid, as compared to his pay of $2470 per hour………

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  • NotMyProblem:

    mike:

    …..

    I am waiting to see the review made by AGC and MHA, would it go public?

    You can wait long long. AGC and MHA are now busy buying carpets!! Other agencies are looking for tai-chi masters!!

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  • truth or dare:

    when u tell the truth u only need to remember one version.

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  • Realistically:

    I think it is also important for the Registrar of the Supreme Court to give the reason why the hearing was only concluded on 11 August 2020 when the first hearing had commenced on 11 November 2019 with the 2nd hearing on 17 February 2020. Surely the so-called circuit breaker could not be the reason………and was it a coincidence that the written judgment was made AFTER the GE? I wonder.

    The link to the case is at:

    https://www.supremecourt.gov.sg/docs/default-source/module-document/judgement/-2020-sghc-187-pdf.pdf

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  • Realistically:

    What every comment, whether in the form of original post or subsequent comments by TRE readers, there is NO MENTION of the following which would cast great doubts about Liew Mun Leong’s character DEFECT.

    At the trial before DJ Olivia Low, Liew Mun Leong was reported to have said, according to the CNA report at:

    https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/liew-mun-leong-retires-cag-temasek-parti-liyani-13099110?cid=h3_referral_inarticlelinks_24082018_cna

    Liew Mun Leong retires from CAG, other public service and business roles after court’s decision on Parti Liyani case
    10 Sep 2020 07:47PM(Updated: 10 Sep 2020 08:40PM)

    During the trial, Mr Liew told the court that he had long suspected Ms Parti of stealing from his family home, but “tolerated” her behaviour.
    —-

    Yet in the Straits Times report he was reported to have said the following:

    https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/liew-mun-leong-steps-down-as-chairman-of-changi-airport-group-surbana

    Liew Mun Leong steps down as chairman of CAG, Surbana Jurong after ex-maid acquitted of stealing
    Published
    Sep 10, 2020, 7:57 pm SGT

    In his statement on Thursday, Mr Liew outlined why he lodged the report, saying: “When my family discovered some of our belongings in Ms Liyani’s boxes, I proceeded to make a police report the same afternoon I returned from overseas – because I genuinely believed that if there were suspicions of wrongdoing, it is our civic duty to report the matter to the police and let the authorities investigate accordingly.
    —–

    Notice in the ST report, Liew said that he made the “…Police Report the same afternoon on his return from overseas – because I genuinely believed that if there were suspicions of wrongdoing, it is our civic duty to report the matter to the police and let the authorities investigate accordingly”, BUT he failed to do so earlier even as though “…he had long suspected Ms Parti of stealing from his family home, but “tolerated” her behaviour.”

    How does Liew Mun Leong explain the obvious CONTRADICTION and clear his prima facie character defect that he is NOT an honest person?

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  • TumasikPatriot:

    PAP de Problem:
    So far, this is the one and only readable article I read Mr Tang.
    The rest were garbage and time wasters.
    Strange, that I m here giving u unsolicited feedback.
    Don’t read my feedback please.

    Give him a break bro…he is IMPROVING leh!!! I size him up likewise once too

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  • How insulting. Apology needed.:

    Don’t say too fast.

    LML family frame Parti for theft.
    This guy insults Parti to be no integrity, no character, can be easily bribed to break the law. Just because Parti was a lowly paid person.

    See this: “When she complained about the illegal deployment, he could easily have offered her say a grand for every year of service and she would have offered to work in another four areas.”

    KNN. Why look down on people with low pay? Still waiting for his open apology to all low paid people.

    TumasikPatriot: TumasikPatriot:
    September 13, 2020 at 12:05 am (Quote)

    PAP de Problem:
    So far, this is the one and only readable article I read Mr Tang.
    The rest were garbage and time wasters.
    Strange, that I m here giving u unsolicited feedback.
    Don’t read my feedback please.

    Give him a break bro…he is IMPROVING leh!!! I size him up likewise once too

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  • Realistically:

    @ DeLorean:
    September 12, 2020 at 8:05 am (Quote)

    >>Whatever Mr.Liew might have thought was the truth in the matter, his treatment of the maid was exploitative. The illegality is beside the point. The man is does not know common decency. <>However, I think it is time to stop spending energy vilifying the man. <<

    I totally disagree that Liew is being vilified. It is the exposure of Liew’s dishonesty and character flaw which helps to confirm the injustice/travesty of justice against his maid and raises the question of the obvious bias of the judiciary and unfair hearing by DJ Olivia Low in breach of her oath of office, which is consistent with the public disclosure by the emperor without clothes of ways to “FIX” his critics and or how to protect his so-called elite supporters…..remember what the emperor without clothes when he used the word “FIX” also mentioned of how he would “BUY” his supporters’ support? The “vilifying” of Liew is therefore justified as a means to expose the bankruptcy of the judiciary and of the emperor without clothes policies which his own siblings had described as an ABUSE OF POWER………..so that he could betray his own parents’ wishes to have 38 Oxley Road demolished upon their demise and Dr Lee Wei Ling moving out on her own accord.

    By the way, even Law Minister Shanmugam had described the outcome of the High Court judgment as revealing that “something has gone
    wrong”………certainly the Minister was NOT “vilifying” Liew in any way?

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  • Realistically:

    >>He has resigned, investigations are underway, we become ugly ourselves if we hope for more dirt because we want one of the elites to be dragged through mud. <>It is better if we look at the whole structure of elitism in Singapore. Lee Kwan Yew believed in a class system.<<

    Sorry, the Parti Liyani’s case clearly highlights the bankruptcy of the emperor without clothes regime of using the judiciary to “FIX” his critics, and to “buy” the support of his supporters…………and not generally about elitism. That the elites seem to be treated differently with more leniency only exposes the bankruptcy of the regime’s policy in contravention to Article 12 (1) of the Constitution mandating equal protection and treatment of all manner of people.

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  • Baba Siâu:

    How about Tan Kin Lian?
    Money Talks, Bullshit Walks

    TumasikPatriot: Give him a break bro…he is IMPROVING leh!!! I size him up likewise once too

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  • Harder Truths:

    Tech: Would maid-fixer be a more appropriate word? He actually did not bash his maid. What do you think?Harder Truths:
    This maid-basher is so famous now. He should take a vacation in Indonesia after retiring. I am sure the Indonesians will love that.

    If not sending her to prison for more than 2 years is not bashing, I don’t know what is. And he cannot claim he was not part of that. He knew his position would create a lot of problems for her.

    Let us call a spade a spade. Verbal bashing is still bashing. Making her life hell for no reason but being vindictive is still bashing. Ill-treating her while in employment is still bashing.

    Respectfully for the purposes of this forum if this word seems inappropriate then I stand corrected.

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  • Harder Truths:

    Tech: Would maid-fixer be a more appropriate word? He actually did not bash his maid. What do you think?Harder Truths:
    This maid-basher is so famous now. He should take a vacation in Indonesia after retiring. I am sure the Indonesians will love that.

    from the free dictionary
    https://www.thefreedictionary.com/bashing

    bash (băsh)
    v. bashed, bash·ing, bash·es
    v.tr.
    1. To strike with a heavy, crushing blow: The thug bashed the hood of the car with a sledgehammer.
    2. To beat or assault severely: The police arrested the men who bashed an immigrant in the park.
    3. Informal To criticize (another) harshly, accusatorially, and threateningly: “My point is not to bash teachers or healthcare providers” (Richard Weissbourd).
    v.intr. Informal
    To engage in harsh, accusatory, threatening criticism.

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  • TumasikPatriot:

    Baba Siâu:
    How about Tan Kin Lian?
    Money Talks, Bullshit Walks

    Tan ahhhh??? you need a good laugh once in a while and ah tan provides it lah!!!

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  • Baba Siâu:

    TumasikPatriot: Tan ahhhh??? you need a good laugh once in a while and ah tan provides it lah!!!

    I don’t see idiots like him as funny. PITA.

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