Photo of K Shanmugam from AFP

Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam today (1 Mar) defended himself in Parliament slamming online media, theonlinecitizen (TOC), and the Law Society for spreading falsehoods regarding the Benjamin Lim’s suicide case.

K Shanmugam said that TOC’s articles gave the impression that the police was lying and that they had intimidated the boy to confess to a crime he did not commit.

The Minister then cited an example where TOC mentioned 5 police officers wore shirts printed with “Police” on their back, but in fact, the police has sent 5 officers in plainclothes instead.

“It has gone on a planned, orchestrated campaign, using falsehoods, and has published about 20 articles or so as part of its campaign.

It is sad to see the level of dishonesty and politicisation of this matter. Where the police are wrong – we must and will take action. But we should not allow deliberate, dishonest attacks.”

Minister K Shanmugam then fired at the Law Society’s president, Thio Shen Yi, claiming that the latter made several false statements. K Shanmugam said that Thio Shen Yi implied that the suicide was a result of police intimidation, when the latter should have sought assessments from experts like psychologists.

“Mr Thio has a duty to be fair to the police officers involved. He need only to have referred to the police statement on Feb 1 to know that his facts are untrue.”

Minister K Shanmugam did not apologise, offer any words of comfort to the family or admit there is anything wrong with the police procedures in this suicide case. His conclusion from the case is to “study how the police and other institutions can respond in future to such falsehoods”.

The Minister is here clearly attempting to intimidate critics, implying defamation lawsuits against anyone who criticize the Singapore Police and government.