Whenever Law Minister K Shanmugam is unable to win an argument, he starts fabricating accusations and attacks on his opponent’s character and credibility. This can be observed from last month’s Parliamentary debate on GST increase, where he called Opposition MP Sylvia Lim “dishonest”. Less than a month later, the law minister employed the similar technique on Facebook’s representative Simon Milner and Oxford historian Dr Thum Ping Tjin, accusing them of dishonesty.
On all three exchanges, Law Minister K Shanmugam lost his debate and he was momentarily loss for words. Perhaps out of frustration, the senior counsel turned to the only method he knows best: character assassination. To worsen his dishonourable act, Law Minister K Shanmugam always demand to have the last word. It is not uncommon that after losing a debate at a public platform, he turned to his Facebook page to reinforce his attacks.
Just today (Apr 2), Law Minister K Shanmugam posted on his Facebook page explaining why he interrogated Oxford historian Dr Thum Ping Tjin for over 6 hours on topics unrelated to “deliberate online falsehoods”. The loose cannon minister said he is only defending former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s reputation, which according to historical records, fabricated fake news to arrest his political opponents:
“I have been asked why I spent some time asking PJ Thum questions. PJ’s main point, in his written submission to the Select Committee, was that Mr Lee Kuan Yew was the biggest creator of fake news in Singapore, a liar, and Operation Coldstore was based on falsehoods. These are serious allegations made in Parliament about our founding PM. Either they have to be accepted, or shown to be untrue. Keeping quiet about them was not an option.”
Law Minister K Shanmugam then lied saying that the historian “refused” to answer questions directly and dug out old arguments from the public hearing:
“Thus I told PJ I will ask him questions, on what he had said. PJ refused to answer many of the questions directly – if a person believes in what he says, and has gone through the documents carefully, then what is the difficulty in answering questions? It took 5 hours plus to go through the documents and records carefully. In the end, PJ said that he had not read some of the material published by ex-Communists on what happened in Singapore; that he disregarded the statements made by Chin Peng, the CPM leader; that the way he set out the most important documents (of December 1962) was not accurate; the key meetings of Barisan Socialis showed that they were prepared to use armed struggle to overthrow a Government of Singapore, if necessary; and the British had a honest view, in December 1962, that security action (which was Operation Coldstore), was necessary. People know me – I am direct, I deal with the facts, and say it as I think it is.”
Unfortunately for Minister K Shanmugam, video recordings of the exchange show otherwise. Dr Thum Ping Tjin has explained why some of the witnesses K Shanmugam mentioned are disregarded.
It is apparent again, the Law Minister wants to have his last say on the matter. Minister K Shanmugam now wants to challenge historical facts about his government fabricating propaganda fake news to achieve political outcomes. The shameless minister however would have an upheaval task going against the grain as Singapore’s state media is ranked 151th in the world for press freedom, and it is public knowledge that Lee Kuan Yew was a political beast who ruled Singapore with an iron fist.