Law Minister K Shanmugam will likely prosecute the representative of Human Rights Watch (HRW) for “deliberate falsehoods” over a report titled “Kill the chicken to scare the monkeys”. The Law Ministry said on Friday (Mar 23) that the 34,000-words report is dubious:
“Serious allegations have been made to the committee against Human Rights Watch and its work. Questions have also been raised about how its board was appointed, the influence exerted by donors, the organisation’s links to the United States’ foreign policy establishment and its untrue statements in the report Kill the Chicken to Scare the Monkeys – Suppression of Free Expression and Assembly in Singapore.”
The PAP representative, Hri Kumar, said the report “suppresses the truth” and is an example of “deliberate online falsehoods”. An Israelis academic, Gerald M. Steinberg, also “testified” to the HRW “making statements on facts without basis.”:
“Human Rights Watch was more than typical of other human rights organisations, and hired people who held radical left-wing ideology. Its founder Robert Bernstein wrote in an opinion piece in The New York Times denouncing the organisation for losing its moral compass. The Human Rights Watch has a very specific set of political and ideological objectives. I don’t think any organisation that relies on donations from people who are politically or ideologically identified and committed will do something that will be inconsistent with that ideology. So funding makes a difference.”
The HRW representative is however not attending the public hearing in person, citing “other travel plans that cannot be changed”, possibly out of fear for his own safety. The unnamed representative will likely be arrested for his condemning report on Singapore.
The Ministry of Law criticised the HRW’s absence as being guilty:
“Human Rights Watch’s stance is disappointing, but not surprising. It has a pattern of issuing biased and untruthful statements about Singapore. It knows that its report will not withstand any scrutiny, and has therefore chosen not to come to Singapore to publicly defend its views…. by its conduct, it has shown that it cannot be taken seriously as a commentator or interlocutor on issues relating to Singapore.”