Social and Family Development (MSF) Minister Tan Chuan Jin openly defamed Opposition candidate Dr Chee Soon Juan by claiming the latter “disdainfully” called everyone a “hobo”. A hobo is a homeless person, and meant to be an insult.:
“Hmm. Mr Chee disdainfully says that we are all hobos 😁 Going round coffee shops just to say “ho boh ho boh?” (好吗 in Hokkien). Don’t see any hobos here as our activists and volunteers do housekeeping to make sure our Meet the People’s session files are in order so that we can better serve, groceries are organised for those who need the extra helping hand. I don’t see any hobos amongst our Grassroots/ People’s Action Party activists/volunteers who follow up and visit families. Every week. Nor are there hobos amongst the various stakeholders who discuss and trouble shoot issues whether municipal or families with difficulties or individuals with mental health concerns etc. Or any hobos amongst those who organize activities to bring the community together. Or any hobos who help go round visiting residents to say hello and gather feedback.
If this is what it means to ‘hobo hobo’…then I’d say that we are #proudtobehobo ! #itscooltobehobo”
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Minister Tan Chuan Jin is the third minister to defame the vocal Opposition leader, alongside Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat who yesterday said that the Opposition does not care about character and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who called Dr Chee “crazy” and “unrepentant”.
Defamation lawsuits work only in the ruling party’s favor and legalised corruption is a common practice in Singapore. The present by-election in Bukit Batok is by far one of the “dirtiest” in Singapore history with the ruling party firing baseless accusations and defamatory remarks at the Opposition. Dr Chee Soon Juan, having been sued bankrupted and jailed multiple times over the past two decades by the ruling party government, has so far restrained himself and refused to entertain any personal remark directed at him. Minister Grace Fu taunted him and called him “an unqualified unemployed”, while Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong called him “a fox promising to look after hens”. These comments if they were directed at the ruling party members would have invoked a defamatory lawsuit. The ruling party members have never once lost a case in defamation in history.