1. I think before we go into that, we got to look at the present. It’s good to acknowledge for a start that PM is taking issue with those unnecessary comparisons and not those CPF researches Roy had done. Additionally I can only present myself in this post, readers can decide if they agree with me.
2. He’s now a blogger who claims to blog on issues affecting the people and hence blogs to be the voice of the people. Over the last 2 years, he had written over 400 pieces. His recent piece made unnecessary comparisons for which the letter was sent. He has technically 2 options, to apologize and pay damages, or go to court.
3. So for a start, as a blogger/writer, will he be willing to stand up and defend his piece, that he is able to substantiate what he had written and that PM Lee have no basis in sending him the letter? The best opportunity for him to do so will be in court. We will know by Friday 5pm if he will do just that. I would encourage him to do just that. If he does just that, whether or not he is able to successfully prove his case is a matter better left till conclusion of the case before any comments are made.
4. Should by Friday 5pm, he decides to apologize and pay damages, it would mean that he gives up the opportunity to go to court and to stand up and defend what he had written. (Paragraphs 4 to 7 will address the issue based on the assumption that he doesn’t defend his own post in court. And being assumptions, the scenarios presented shall be hypothetical). I would see no reason why would any blogger/writer not be willing to stand up and defend what he had written are indeed the truths, and nothing but the truths. And for his unwillingness or inability to defend just ONE piece of his, readers of his blog should really ponder the reliability and credibility of the other 400 pieces which he had written, and of the others which he would probably write in the future.
5. Moving ahead, when someone who is unable to stand up and defend his own work (just ONE out of the many) and to prove that it is true decides to represent Singaporeans in the Parliament, be in as a NMP or to run for elections as a MP, I would be very cautious.
6. I would wonder if that person, with his past record as a blogger/writer and it’s associated conduct, will he be able to dutifully perform the tasks required of a Parliamentarian. In the House, it would be expect that a NMP or MP have to raise a range of issues. Will the he be able to so constructively and to just address the issues, and not to distract the House from its formal business by making perhaps unnecessary comments. Imagine he does not distract the House with unnecessary comments, will he be able to present a credible presentation of a range of issues and be willing to back them up when pressed by other members of the House during Parliamentary debates? Remember, did he or did not stand up and defend ONE piece of his back then? Citizens would probably not desire such periodic incidences of Parliamentary gridlocks where time is spent clarifying on what has been said.
7. If he decides to run as a MP, it would be slightly more cautious. Because as a MP, in addition to his duties in the House, he would also have a constituency of citizens to look after, and to cater to various constituency matters and to help the residents. I would ponder if he would be able to perform his constituency duties well. One of the most basic duties of MPs are to give residents in need of help advices, and to help pen letters to the various ministries and governmental departments in the weekly Meet-The-People Sessions (MPS). Will he be able to stand up to the sort of advices and help he renders to the residents, bearing in mind not all letters of appeals will be successfully? Additionally, one can also ponder if he will be able and willing to stand by the decisions he had made in all constituency affairs? Smooth running of the constituencies is import because it affects all Singaporeans directly.
8. As Roy had previously indicated the possibility of him running in future elections, and to prevent such lingering concerns in the minds of citizens, he should perhaps take the option of proceeding to court, and to stand by his ONE article, with the same magnitude of courage, strength, and conviction he self-proclaims to possess when he blogs on issues affecting Singaporeans. The choice of proceeding to court will definitely be a much wiser choice in such a case, where he will have the opportunity to defend his work, and to prove his credibility, and that would be necessary to show to the people that he’s credible, and worthy of representing Singaporeans in the House.
9. Meanwhile, let’s see what decisions Roy would take come Friday, 5pm. If he doesn’t proceed to court but chooses to apologize and pay damages, you know my answer as laid out above. If he does proceed to court, I shall comment after the conclusion of the case, and depending if he’s able to effectively defend his work and prove that it’s true in through the judicial process.