Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, his father – former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew – and intervening Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, have successfully obtained a defamation settlement of more than $US100,000 out of the New York Times:
Listing the Lees as an Asian political dynasty in a Feb. 15 article, “may have been understood by readers to infer that the younger Mr. Lee did not achieve his position through merit,” the Times said in an apology published Wednesday. “We wish to state clearly that this inference was not intended.”
How irresponsible of the Grey Lady to criticise the political system the Lees established that has given their party complete control over the country for 64 years, that has given Singapore one of the highest execution rates in the world, that applies ludicrously harsh penalties to minor offending, that pays the man in charge many times more than the US President, that implements strong deterrents against free speech that see opposition leaders and foreign journalists alike paying huge sums to the Lees for having the temerity to criticise them…
Singaporean police help a local man enjoy his civil liberties.
The Lees deserve respect, not condemnation for nepotism or authoritarianism or corruption or any of the other things that people who promptly get sued might say about them.
Despite it’s truly fascinating democracy (sic), Singapore actually has a pretty ok govt, considering the region.
The idea of paying their PM huge ammounts of money is not a bad one, you get what you pay for etc
Though now that the economy is slowing, all those annoying poor people are starting to think of voting for someone else, which they are warned the economy will implode if they do, and losing their jobs, and there is no welfare, and they dont have to worry about their import/export labour, they’re all phillipino, and the airports are so worrisome due to armed guards every three feet.
Still, terribly beautiful city, is singapore. I was there before christmas, magnificent.
Mind you their infrastructure is just wonderful, it’s a really easy place to get around.
11 bucks for a pint of tiger is where i draw the line though.
not like they need the $100,000.. but they cant hide the truth with lawsuits
everyone knows singapores (and the Lees) wealth comes from money laundering… for top indonesian officals and ****sued for defamation***
Lee Sr & Goh built a vibrant country out of a swamp. Naturally the left hate it. It is in stark contrast to Cuba, where people are poor and genuinely oppressed by the powerful family that has ruled them for the last 50 years.
Of course, leftists will always attack Singapore first, and show benign tolerance of Cuba. It suits their agenda to do so. For them politics trumps principles every time.
The NYT is now the paper of dunces. It is far more biased than Fox and its dwindling circulation is restricted to the gullible left.
“It is in stark contrast to Cuba, where people are poor and genuinely oppressed by the powerful family that has ruled them for the last 50 years”
yep, Singapore has done amazingly well, considering the crushing 50 year embargo
Yes, and it doesn’t matter at all what they had to do it.
Ends justify the means, don’t they, SB? Doesn’t matter who you have to trample on, what rights you have to violate, as long as the streets look clean.
When did I apologise for human rights abuses in Cuba?
To be fair, just because it’s a single party state, its worked wonderfully well. In terms of oppression, I didn’t notice any when I was there. The Strait is a great newspaper that the govt has a say in, but it isn’t sycophantic like The Australian. The people there who work, besides the imported dock workers and construction workers, earn a fair crust, and they reward effort in the workplace, if a ministers son and some bloke who worked his way up from the bottom are going for the same job, the bloke will almost always get the job.
Of course there are homeless people, but in terms of a commercialised state, it works.
Get off it’s back.
Keri, there are no perfect states, and among the newcomers, Singapore isn’t that bad.
There is a reason leftists will always highlight the relatively small problems of countries like Singapore rather than gaping sores of countries like Cuba. That reason is ideology, which reduces the left’s already vestigial powers of reason to pure willful blindness.
The question isn’t whether, say, a Cuba is given a pass, but rather whether it is passed over in silence while countries with much better records of human rights fell the wrath of the mighty leftists conscience.
I’m a lefty.
SB doesn’t let the facts get in the way of a good lefty-smear, Wisdom!
It’s particularly stupid to attack any given issue someone raises on the basis that they aren’t immediately attacking something else.
Sorry Wisdom, it was a bit broad-brush.
I just don’t get why Singapore is getting hammered. It is more in the category of “young democracy – could do better”.
They do have some good points, like in Australia you have to pay a professional for a good caning, whereas there all you do is drop some litter.
“I just don’t get why Singapore is getting hammered.”
Did you read the post? That’s why.
Just because there are worse countries doesn’t mean the Lees can do what they like without comment.
The point is that the comment should not be defamatory, as was this lazy slur, but deal with specific factual grievances.
corruption is a specific factual greivance.
“The NYT is now the paper of dunces. It is far more biased than Fox…”
Give me strength. Having had Foxtel and watched Fox News as my second ‘Comedy Channel’ and being a reader of the NYT, you truly make me laugh when spouting drivel like that.
“Sorry Wisdom, it was a bit broad-brush”
No-one could ever accuse you of that SB, not even yourself.
Singapore is awful, Cuba is worse. Singapore is “a vibrant country” – meaning it is wealthy. So fucking what? Righties like you accuse the Left of moral relativism all the fucking time, but somehow Singapore shouldn’t be criticised because it’s not as bad as other places run by nominally Leftist governments.
This kind of shit has a long tradition. I grew up being bombarded with Santamaria’s nonsense about the Left being unjustly critical of apartheid while letting the Russians and Chinese off the hook. We had to defend South Africa and South Vietnam because they were holding back communism. I’ve heard it all before. Selective outrage is not and never has been confined to one side of politics, SB. Get over it.
If Singapore does nasty shit (and it certainly does), call them on it. If Cuba or Venezuela does the same, do likewise. It’s not that hard. As one of the world’s few Catholic champions of free speech, I thought you would be appalled by the use of lawsuits to stifle criticism and debate, but alas I was wrong.
Wisdom, unless it is backed by facts and specifics, a bald charge of corruption is a meaningless slur.
Bloods: If Singapore does nasty shit (and it certainly does), call them on it. If Cuba or Venezuela does the same, do likewise. It’s not that hard.
This is exactly the position I was arguing for. My point was that with organs like the NYT it is always one-way traffic! Also, Singapore is not nearly as totalitarian as Cuba, and its people are not nearly as impoverished. The latter is due mainly to Singapore’s distaste for far left policies.
As one of the world’s few Catholic champions of free speech, I thought you would be appalled by the use of lawsuits to stifle criticism and debate,
I am appalled by it. Politicians should not have access to defamation damages. Defamation proceedings have been used to funnel money to politicians, and besides they have a platform to defend themselves from.
So distaste for far left policies makes you rich. I have a distaste for far left policies, but I am poor. What am I doing wrong? Is my distaste not violent enough? Do I need a bit of a Thatcher or a Pinochet injection? Or do I just need to be a ruthless cunt like some of the people we are discussing here, someone who is prepared to lock up a man for life for his political opinions?
You were not arguing for a balanced position as you claim SB, you were, as usual, impugning the motives of Leftist commentators by suggesting they exaggerate the misdeeds of Right-wing regimes and play down (or in your words, “show benign tolerance to”) Leftist ones.
You also made a ridiculous leap of logic in claiming that “the Left” hates Singapore because it has been successful in becoming wealthy. I don’t know the Left personally as you do, but I know a few people who are to the Left of you, and they think it’s a moderately unpleasant place with a somewhat repressive government. Thay also think that Cuba is a bit worse, but for some people it’s better. You know, the sort of nuanced, differentiated assessment that people make who are not driven by ideology. The sort of person you often claim to be but aren’t.
Throwing out provocative statements and then backtracking when you’re challenged is a bullshit artist’s way of having a conversation. Of all the arts, bullshit is the least honourable and the least least likely to yield truth.
SB sez: “Of course, leftists will always attack Singapore first, and show benign tolerance of Cuba.”
This leftist does neither of those things. I’m a big fan of Singapore, as it happens. I like clean streets and multilingual society, among other things.