Ms Chua Lee Hoong, why do you even bother?

Written by Ng E-Jay
08 June 2008

Although I have been a contributor to the Straits Times Forum page now and then, I know full well that it is a well-oiled propaganda machine designed to support the establishment and spin the yarn of the PAP Government.

Throughout the entire hearing of PM Lee’s and MM Lee’s defamation suit against SDP leaders Dr Chee Soon Juan and his sister Ms Chee Siok Chin, the Straits Times has been telling the story in a one-sided fashion, demonizing the Chee siblings as inept trouble-makers out to create a political theatre out of a court case and peppering the court proceedings with irrelevant questions, questionable antics, even outright lies.

I would like to remind readers of what Lee Kuan Yew said in 1956 as part of the Legislative Assembly debates:

Repression, Sir is a habit that grows. I am told it is like making love – it is always easier the second time! The first time there may be pangs of conscience, a sense of guilt. But once embarked on this course with constant repetition you get more and more brazen in the attack. All you have to do is to dissolve organizations and societies and banish and detain the key political workers in these societies. Then miraculously everything is tranquil on the surface. Then an intimidated press and the government-controlled radio together can regularly sing your praises, and slowly and steadily the people are made to forget the evil things that have already been done, or if these things are referred to again they’re conveniently distorted and distorted with impunity, because there will be no opposition to contradict.” – Lee Kuan Yew as an opposition PAP member speaking to David Marshall, Singapore Legislative Assembly Debates, 4 October 1956

Today, we see this philosophy enacted in full by the Straits Times, which published an article in the Insight page written by ex-ISD officer and current Political Editor Ms Chua Lee Hoong on Saturday 07 June 2008. This article, which puts the finishing touches on a long and disgusting propaganda campaign against Dr Chee Soon Juan, was published at a time when Dr Chee is in prison and is unable to respond directly to her.

“… or if these things are referred to again they’re conveniently distorted and distorted with impunity, because there will be no opposition to contradict …”

No opposition to contradict, because the person is in jail!

Entitled “The squandered potential of Chee Soon Juan”, Chua Lee Hoong puts together such a splendidly craftily summary of the entire propaganda attack on Dr Chee Soon Juan and the SDP that it does not leave any doubt in my mind the true intentions of our state-controlled media in fixing the Opposition.

Chua Lee Hoong begins by saying Dr Chee created a stir when he first entered politics in 1992, drawing high praise from even the then-leader of the SDP, Mr Chiam See Tong. Then the niceties stop abruptly. She goes on to question rhetorically, “What has happened in the 16 years hence? Today, one cannot help but conclude that the trailblazer is more a sputtering meteor, and perhaps one with an antisocial personality disorder.”

Apparently, Ms Chua now wants to be a psychiatrist as well. Perhaps she aspires to be the “doctor” who allegedly told MM Lee that Dr Chee was “near psychopath”.

Chua Lee Hoong says the SDP of today is “hardly credible as an opposition party”.

So how does Chua Lee Hoong argue her case that SDP is not credible? She states that during the 3-day court hearing to assess damages in the defamation suit brought on by PM Lee and MM Lee, the public gallery was invariably full, whilst SDP supporters numbered at most 15 or so.

I say Chua Lee Hoong is hardly credible herself. Does she not recall that on the first day of the court hearing, it was announced in the state media, in particular the New Paper, that PAP grassroots members went down by the busloads to show their support for the Lees? I am amazed that the PAP can be considered to render other opposition parties less credible by merely pulling on their vast machinery and bringing out huge numbers in force.

And who is to say SDP did not have silent supporters in the gallery, who followed the proceedings without publicly showing where their hearts were leaning toward?

Chua Lee Hoong then goes on to say that the SDP argument that the ruling party has used all means at its disposal to suppress it cuts “no ice with the majority of Singaporeans”, citing Mr Chiam See Tong and Mr Low Thia Khiang as examples of Opposition politicians who have succeeded despite the odds.

My question: Succeeded in what sense? In the sense of just holding on to their single seat in Parliament? Or in the sense of building a more credible Opposition that can stand up to the PAP and provide a sound challenge to its power base?

How about the alternative explanation that the PAP has held back from destroying Mr Chiam and Mr Low, for whatever reason, but has chosen not to pull its punches when it comes to Dr Chee, for the simple reason that Dr Chee, if left unchecked, will provide a far more forceful and comprehensive challenge to the system? I will let my readers decide for themselves on this one, as I’m sure most already know where I stand.

Chua Lee Hoong claims that Dr Chee has “disappointed an entire generation of voters” with acts that include misuse of university funds, a hunger strike that included the intake of glucose, the ouster of Mr Chiam from SDP, and the so-called heckling of then-PM Goh Chok Tong near a Jurong hawker centre in 2001.

Look Ms Chua, I know you are trying your darnest to bring down that man, but do you really believe that thinking people will buy into this old refrain any longer? For one, Mr Chiam was not ousted from SDP by Dr Chee. He voluntarily engineered his own exit, contrary to what the state media would have us believe.

Dr Chee’s question to Goh Chok Tong, “Where is the money”, remains valid even till today, as Singaporeans are forced to helplessly watch as the nation’s reserve are funnelled into dubious foreign investments whilst their CPF is still earning a very low interest rate and they are forced to take up schemes such as CPF Life because the national pension system can no longer adequately take care of their retirement needs.

On the heckling of then-PM Goh, our dearest Ms Chua sobs that “It was my misfortune to have witnessed the incident with my own eyes.” Oh, poor thing, that is so sad! Another “Poor me! I’m a victim” mentality, so it seems — exactly the same thing she has accused SDP of having.

But Ms Chua is not done yet. She goes on to mention the International Bar Association (IBA) conference held in Suntec City in 2006 in which Ms Sylvia Lim distanced herself from Dr Chee by siding with the establishment in implying that our laws are fair and just, and saying that “Singaporeans are quite capable of deciding for themselves the kind of country they want and did not need foreigners to canvass our agenda for us … … Singapore is not perfect, and we don’t pretend that it is. But neither should we make it out to be worse than it really is.”

In a country where basic civil rights such as the freedom of speech and assembly are regularly denied, it is astounding how Sylvia Lim could have come up with such a blatantly one-sided comment. Yet our dearest Chua Lee Hoong spares no effort in putting Sylvia Lim on a pedestal so as to make Dr Chee look small in comparison.

So was that the end of her tirade? Fat hope. What came after this makes the previous parts of Ms Chua’s article pale in comparison.

Chua Lee Hoong said that last Monday (02 June 2008), it was JBJ’s turn to distance himself from Dr Chee. She quoted JBJ as saying, ” the counsel doesn’t have to agree with whatever has been done by the client.”

In the first place, that was blatantly taken out of context. JBJ’s main concern at that time was that he did not sufficient time to prepare the appeal for Dr Chee (against his contempt-of-court conviction) as the court had given them too short a notice. Mr Jeyaretnam, counsel for Dr Chee, had made two preliminary applications: one for Judge Ang to recuse herself from the matter, and the second for more time to study the facts of the case as he had only received the Judge’s citations only during the weekend. Both applications were rejected. Dr Chee accordingly discharged Mr Jeyaretnam as counsel and said that he would not be defending the charges.

And to top the icing on the cake, our dearest Ms Chua drags out Dr Chee’s Christian faith and unceremoniously questions whether “Christians will accept his pattern of behaviour as being particularly Christian”.

I wonder if any Christians are actually offended by the dragging of their faith into what is undoubtedly a political discussion, and a horribly lop-sided one at that.

As for our dear Ms Chua’s remarks that Dr Chee could be suffering from antisocial personality disorder (APD), even going to the extent of saying “if he does, we have got to feel sorry for him”, the tragic irony of her audacious claim is that people suffering from APD have a lack of regard for the rights of others, which is precisely what Dr Chee has been fighting for on behalf of all Singaporeans.

Let me say this, even if Dr Chee is indeed suffering from APD, our dearest Ms Chua need not feel sorry for him. I would feel sorry for her instead, for her shameless engagement in gutter journalism, for her putting up such a shoddy and lame attempt at finishing Dr Chee off.

Chua Lee Hoong has made absolutely no effort at hiding the true intentions of the state media which she works for. One propaganda piece after another, each one distorting the facts with greater and greater impunity, leaves me no doubt that Ms Chua and her state media are obsessed with putting the man down at all cost, even at the risk of destroying whatever credibility they have left (if any).

At the end of the day, Ms Chua cannot even put together a coherent piece that is even remotely rational.

Ms Chua Lee Hoong, why do you even bother to try?

28 comments on Ms Chua Lee Hoong, why do you even bother?

  1. welll…she has already being punished by god…in the look department! That’s why the rage. Let’s forgive her!

  2. I certainly take offence that my religion is being used to score political points. That in my opinion, has crossed the line.

  3. Strange, one moment chua said of SDP as:

    “hardly credible as an opposition party”

    Then why did she bother writing an article if Chee has no credibility.

    As for Chiam, what has he done to advance opposition cause? Building a walkway, whilst his so-called credible party is dying and will be gone?

    As for Sylvia’s confidence in the judiciary, why didn’t she showed confidence in it and advised Gomez to sue Lee when the latter made defamatory remarks? So much for confidence.

  4. Her looks are horrible. Why bother to put her face on the newspaper? Forgive her? Can if she can quit Shit Times and be anti-Pappies.

  5. Strange! Today also carried 2 articles by Nazry Bahwawi and Derrick Paulo in the same vein and in almost identical psychiatric assesement. Very co-ordinated and appears to be based on some kind of template.

  6. Bravo, to a well written piece!

    It is a shame (or sham?) that Chua Lee Hoong can be qualified to be a journalist?!

    By the way, since it is in print, can we report the use of religion to the police? Religion is one of the OB markers, but an ST journalist can use it blatantly? A pity I am not of Christian faith, so even if I file a police complaint, it does not work.

  7. What do you think of a person who proclaimed to go for a hunger strike but secretly drink glucose to survive the ordeal. This is cheating, absolutely. A primary 1 pupil rightly gave me that answer!

  8. Well written Bravo. The myopic mouth piece of lap dog Chua have failed to touch on the misuse of funds when the government opened up the telecoms industry where by a simple honest mistake millions were paid to Singtel for compensation (which was not return) versus a paltry sum of Chee misusing of a couple of dollars for postage. There are many other situations such as the choice of ministers Wee Too Boon (Corruption), Phey Yew Kok (Absconding with $$$) Teh Chean Wan (Corruption) that she chose not to write on
    Please Chua Lee Hoong stop wasting the earth’s resources – your articles would not even qualify for me to use it to pick up my dog’s poo

  9. I do not understand why people still buy and read the local MSM. All the news are availble on the internet. We should all boycott them and make them lose their circulation. This is the 21st century. They think they can influence people with their crap propagandas like the 70s-90s?
    Btw my impressions of the so called journalists of the local MSMs -bootlicking bunch even my dog would rate higher than them!

  10. Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To Act Justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

    Amos 5:15
    Hate evil, love good; Maintain Justice In The Courts . . . .

    Isaiah 30:18
    Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of Justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

    Luke 18:7
    And Will Not God Bring About Justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?

    2 Corinthians 7:11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, What Readiness To See Justice Done At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.

    Isaiah 29:21
    those who with a word make a man out to be guilty, who ensnare the defender in court and with false testimony Deprive the Innocent of Justice.

    Amos 5:12 For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. You oppress the righteous and take bribes and you Deprive The Poor Of Justice In The Courts.

    My prayers are with you all. My Christian faith is an integral part of who I am, what I believe in and what I stand for. God is a God of justice, righteousness and truth . . . . . and He is our Ultimate Vindicator.

  11. Waliao, hammer my fav Ms. Chua so hard for what?…She is only trying to earn a living with her writing.

    To balance your lopsided view of her article, I’ve written about this great insightful article of hers in my blog.

    You believe Chee has done no wrong? …The truth is in the numbers – how many will show up at the vigil. There is nothing worse for a politician than to be the lone brave soul.

  12. She should not have reference religion to shore up her POV. That’s totally unprofessional. I dont expect Dr Chee to know this (he should also not reference religion either). However, I feel the onus on a journalist must be higher. As a Christian. I am totally and completely shocked the editor in charge did not spot this and remove it.

    I wonder what would have been the effect, if it was paraphrased in terms of a Fatwah? Would that be acceptable. How would it come across, if lets say someone was branded an infidel. This may appear like taking the point out of context, but I dont think so. We have to be careful abt the whole business of faith entering the mainstream.

    I am going to write formally to Assoc of Christian Churches in Singapore and we will certainly consider issuing out an official statement to clarify this matter.

    I think it is one thing to say something is Black or White based on ones personal POV/ but it is quite another to reference it as Black or White because this is based on one’s faith and to use the medium of a state enterprise platform.

    The role of journalist is to report. Nothing more or less. If you want to tell your personal story, then please learn to blog.

  13. Chua Lee Hoong claims that Dr Chee has “disappointed an entire generation of voters”……

    This statement alone already shows there is no credibility on the part of Chua Lee Hoong. Did she carry out a survey asking every voter to state whether they had been disappointed with Dr. Chee. For one, she never did ask a voter like me such a question. So how she come to this type of conclusion is only known to her.

    If she cannot explain or justify this kind of statement, it must only goes to show that she is no better than a liar And how the Chief Editor from the Straits Times can sanction such crap from such journalists who do not hesitate to resort to telling lies in their writings is really kind of astonishing!

  14. “For one, Mr Chiam was not ousted from SDP by Dr Chee. He voluntarily engineered his own exit, contrary to what the state media would have us believe.” Ng E-Jay, you are absolutely correct. If one reads the 1994 Volume 1 of the Singapore Law Report at page 278, the following sequence of events were established:

    (1) On 17/5/1993, at a Cenral Executive Committee (CEC) meeting of the SDP, Chiam tried to introduce a motion to censure Chee SJ for his hunger stike. NOBODY (not even his 2 favoured party members (I’m not referring to CSJ) brought into SDP by him) supported him. Not being a team player, he wrote out a resignation note on the spot. (During the trial Chiam famously declared – and this was reported in the Straits Times – that he was like a General; when he gives an order everyone must charge!)
    (2) For the next few weeks, several attempts were made by CEC members to ask Chiam to withdraw his resignation. He refused and instead started making demands. Meanwhile, the CEC tried to keep a tight lid on Chiam’s resignation.
    (3) On 18/6/1993, when the local media started to sniff closer to the door, the CEC had no choice but to announce Chiam’s resignation and even then tried to put a positive spin to the event by praising Chiam for his contribution to opposition politics.
    (4) On 16/7/1993, Chiam did the unthinkable, and, to me as an outside observer, an unforgivable thing: he went to the very core of the PAP propaganda machine, namely, the Times House (then at Kim Seng Road), and gave a talk denouncing his fellow CEC members.
    (5) Events were then set in motion when the SDP CEC asked Chiam to appear before a disciplinary committee. Chiam was found guilty and expelled from SDP.

    Look, if you join a club with rules and you start bad-mouthing the leadership and your own members, the leaders really have no choice but to haul you up for discipline isn’t it? Although the judge found the disciplinary process against Chiam ineptly conducted – and there are some who do not quite agree with the reasoning of the judge – nonetheless it was Chiam who brought it upon himself. After the judgment, Chiam was reinstated as SDP member, but he chose to resign thereafter.

    So you see, the above sequence of events have been morphed, by a sleight of hand, assisted no doubt by the likes of Chua Lee Hoong, into Chee Soon Juan (the ingrate brought in by Chiam) having ousted Chiam See Tong.

  15. My heartfelt thanks to ‘blur by spin’ for this insightful information regarding Chiam’s “ouster” which was constantly blamed on Chee by the media and the general public was also hoodwinked. I wonder if “Mahjong King” is reading this. Without this website, I did not even know that Ms Chua Lee Hoong was formerly an officer in the ISD.

    I hope more readers can share with us more true information which we may never obtain by merely reading from the mainstream media.

  16. Chua as an ex-ISD staff is well documented. She herself alluded to it some years ago in print.

    A foreign journalist who worked breifly for the Shit Times also made this observation and documented it in his blog.

    As for Chiam, recent events have proven prescient. Largely a tireless municipal manager, he did not groom any successor and does not seem interested in growing opposition politics other than himself. That is one of the reason several NSP members broke with him.

  17. As the Hokkien saying goes ” teh kor hor lang khwar kar liow .” True colors revealed . What can one say?

    An American I met at the onset of the 2003 Iraq invasion gave me his insight. He said quote, ” We are all whores in our own way.” unquote.

  18. Since journalists are usually able to go into sensitive places and sites due to their occupation most countries recruited their journalists are as intelligence officers or sometimes these people don’t even know they are intelligence people. Of course they are intelligence people who pose as taxi drivers, security guards too.

    A few days just before the 6 day war in 1967 between Israel army and the armies Jordan, Egypt and Syria. It was “observed” that hospitals in Jordan and Syria started bringing in more beds as if though were expecting a big influx of patients, heavy earth moving vehicles like bulldozers and trucks were also requisitioned.

    So never look down on security guards and taxi drivers.

  19. she is doing her job,
    u are doing yours,
    at the end of the day we all stay in this small island.
    perhaps some with nice car n houses/condo

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