SINGAPORE: & nbsp, Dr Chan Ying – Kit, who wrote an article for East Asia Forum, an Australia – based academic website that was issued with a correction direction from a Singapore government agency on Sep 13, has apologised for the distress it has caused.
In response to TODAY’s queries on Monday night( Sep 18 ), the Singaporean academic from the National University of Singapore( NUS) said in a statement that the Aug 18 commentary titled” A spate of scandals strikes Singapore” has also been retracted from the website.
Dr Chan said that he” sincerely and freely apologise” for the mistakes, errors and false claims made in his post, which was written on his own desire without NUS ‘ information.
” I am remorseful and profoundly sorry to the prime minister, CPIB( Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau ), NUS, and all the people whom I have named for my deeds and the problems my article has caused”.
On Sep 13, Ms Indranee Rajah, & nbsp, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act ( POFMA ) Office to issue the & nbsp, correction direction to East Asia Forum & nbsp, over the article, which she said contained various false statements on recent political controversies in Singapore.
The controversies included the & nbsp, rental of bungalows on Ridout Road & nbsp, by two Cabinet ministers, the & nbsp, extramarital affair & nbsp, between former Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan – Jin and Member of Parliament Cheng Li Hui that led to their & nbsp, resignations, and a CPIB investigation of & nbsp, Transport Minister S Iswaran & nbsp, for alleged corruption.
The falsehoods pertained to the & nbsp, independence of CPIB & nbsp, and & nbsp, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s approach & nbsp, in addressing certain matters.
Three days later, the Ministry of Communications and Information ( MCI ) announced that internet service providers in Singapore would be ordered to & nbsp, block access to East Asia Forum, after it failed to comply with the correction direction.
As of evening on Tuesday, the site remains blocked to some people, but is available to people. & nbsp,
Elaborating on the parts of his article related to CPIB, Dr Chan said he had” failed to consider the fact that the government approaches allegations of corruption and & nbsp, misconduct in personal lives differently, and that the PM has indeed not conflated the issues of corruption and marital infidelity”.
” I have even neglected to mention the protection that are indeed in place to ensure that the CPIB can freely do and chose on studies”.
As for his comments on a past controversial case in the 1990s regarding the purchase of properties by the late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and then – Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, where they were given unsolicited discounts by & nbsp, Hotel Properties Limited, & nbsp, Dr Chan said that he had overlooked the open parliamentary debates that had disclosed the full facts on this entire episode.
He also claimed to have ignored that both CPIB and & nbsp, Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean & nbsp, were responsible for investigating the & nbsp, Ridout Road & nbsp, case, and that the matter was & nbsp, debated openly in parliament.
” My abuse and monitoring of the details have resulted in a flawed and biased post, which lacked scientific rigour and conveyed false and misleading information to its users.
” I will practice greater prudence in my scholarship and therefore accomplish that I did not contribute to speculations and unsubstantiated rumours.”
He then went on to thank PMO for its corrections and said :” I am truly sorry and have retracted the article from & nbsp, East Asia Forum.”
TODAY has reached out to MCI for opinion on the position of the site.
This article was & nbsp, originally published & nbsp, in TODAY. & nbsp,