Saturday, January 05, 2013

Defamatory statements

Alex Au had made a statement somewhat along the following lines,  "if the the Attorney General Chambers and the Corrupt Practice Investigation Bureau are independent bodies, they should mount an investigation into the sale of the town council software to a company owned by a political party". Some people said that this statement could be regarded as defamatory.

I do not understand why this should be the case; I consider it to be a fair statement.

I had met two Swedish public figures and told them about the background to this matter, shortly after they had read the news in the social media about the threat of legal action against Alex Au. Their first reaction was, "This transaction would be considered in our country to be corruption". I did not ask them to explain why this was the case; anyway, they are just expressing their opinion.

I have made several statements in the past that it is the duty of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Criminal Affairs Department to deal with the fraudulent investment schemes, rather than allow these schemes to be continued for years.

I considered that I was making a fair statement; although some "tricky" lawyer would write to me stating that I was alleging that these organisations were corrupt, or were neglecting their duty; and in so stating, I had damaged their reputation.

Fifteen years ago, in the course of my company's business, we received this type of "tricky" letter from a lawyer. It took a matter out of context (I forget the details of the matter) and twisted it to make several absurd interpretations followed by the usual bullying demands. We replied to deny all of these absurdities and followed up with a complaint to the Law Society against the unprofessional conduct of the lawyer.  The Law Society did not pursue the matter (for some reason or other); but the lawyer also dropped his demand. We did not really have the time to waste on these trivialities.


Lye Khuen Way said...

In almost all the apologies tendered so far, I always come across " that the allegations were baseless" mentioned as demanded by the lawyers.
It has always amused me. Baseless ? Or should it be " untrue" ? Sorry, as a layman, you have to excuse my poor grasp of the English Language as used in law.

Anyway, I agree with Mr Tan that Alex's alleged defamation is difficult to understand. Again, we are not lawyers.

Tan Choon Hong said...

The interests of the citizens would have been better served if there was a point-by-point rebuttal of the issues raised in the blog instead of a legal service on the blogger.

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