3 parties apologise to Singapore leaders for "libellous" article
SINGAPORE : Three parties have apologised to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew for an article written on February 15 this year in the International Herald Tribune (IHT).
The parties are the International Herald Tribune's publisher, editor of global editions and the article's writer Philip Bowring.
They also had to pay S$160,000 in damages to the three men - S$60,000 to PM Lee, S$50,000 each to the senior minister and minister mentor.
Davinder Singh, the lawyer representing Singapore's leaders, told MediaCorp the article was libellous and a breach of undertakings and so the leaders wanted an apology, damages and costs.
An apology on the IHT website published on Wednesday, said that in 1994, Philip Bowring, an IHT contributor agreed as part of an undertaking with the Singapore government leaders, that he would not say or imply that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had attained his position through nepotism practiced by his father, Lee Kuan Yew.
But in the February 15 article, Mr Bowring included these two men in a list of Asian political dynasties, which may have been understood by readers to infer that the younger Mr Lee did not achieve his position through merit.
The statement said this inference was not intended and apologies were made to the three leaders for any distress or embarassment caused by any breach of the undertaking and the article.
Subject: NY Times make a mockery of Singapore Judicial system
In quickly and willingly admit guilt and pay damages, the NY Times
is actually making a mockery of the Singapore Judicial system.
The article only mentioned : " Singapore's Lee Hsien Loong is
Lee Kuan Yew's son." a statement of FACT. Unless of course
the Lee Kuan Yew wants to tell us that Lee Hsien Loong is not
his son. That is the butt of the joke the New York Times is playing
on the Lees.
I cannot imagined these people are so stupid. In
their jealousy to defend their "reputations" they have actually
acted stupidly and damage their reputation even futher.
In short the NY Times is saying - there is no justice in Singapore,
so might as well pay the RANSOM $ as demanded by the Lees.
Read the offending article here and decide for yourself.
Strange that of all the leaders mentioned, only the Lees take actions.
That in itself speaks volumes about the character of the wicked
The offending article :
ALL IN THE FAMILY
By PHILIP BOWRING
HONG KONG - Are political dynasties good or bad?
Election time in the Philippines is a regular reminder of the roles that
feudal instincts and the family name play in that nation's politics. Benigno
Aquino, son of the late President Corazon Aquino, is the front runner to
succeed President Gloria Arroyo, daughter of Diosdado Macapagal, a president
in the 1960s.
Senate and Congressional contests will see family names of other former
presidents and those long prominent in provincial politics and land-owning.
But the Philippines is not unique. Dynastic politics thrives across Asia to
an extent found in no other region apart from the Arabian peninsula
The list of Asian countries with governments headed by the offspring or
spouses of former leaders is striking: Pakistan has Prime Minister Asif Ali
Zardari, widower of Benazir Bhutto, herself the daughter of the executed
former leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Bangladesh has Sheikh Hasina, daughter of
the murdered first prime minister, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman . In Malaysia,
Prime Minister Najib Razak is the son of the second prime minister, Abdul
Razak. Singapore's Lee Hsien Loong is Lee Kuan Yew's son. In North Korea,
Kim Il-sung's son Kim Jong-il commands party, army and country and waiting
in the wings is his son Kim Jong-un.
In India, the widow Sonia Gandhi is the power behind the technocrat prime
minister, Manmohan Singh, and her son Rahul is showing political promise and
being groomed in the hope of leading the Congress party and eventually
filling the post of prime minister, first occupied by his great grandfather
In Japan, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is the scion of a Kennedy-like
political dynasty: His father was a foreign minister, and his grandfather
was a prime minister.
Indonesia's last president, Megawati Sukarnoputri, is the daughter of its
first, and family ties could well play in the next presidential election
when the incumbent, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, must retire. In
Myanmar, the durability of the opposition to the military owes much to the
name of Aung San Suu Kyi's independence-hero father as well as to her
Thailand lacks obvious political dynasties but that is likely because there
is already a monarch. South Korea's rough and tumble democracy would seem to
leave little scope for dynasties but even there, the political career of
Park Chung Hee's daughter, Park Geun Hye, has benefited much from her
With the exception of North Korea, Asian dynasties are a phenomenon of
countries that are more or less democratic.
In China, family connections help immensely but the party is still a
relatively meritocratic hierarchy. Vietnam is similar. In the Philippines,
it is easy to blame dynastic tendencies for the nation's stark economic
failures. But its problems go much deeper into the social structure and the
way the political system entrenches a selfish elite. It is a symptom not the
cause of the malaise.
In India, the Gandhi name has been an important element in ensuring that
Congress remains a major national force at a time when the growth of
regional, caste and language based parties have added to the problems of
governing such a diverse country. In Bangladesh, years of fierce rivalry
between Sheikh Hasina, daughter of one murdered president and widow of
another, have been a debilitating factor in democratic politics. But their
parties needed their family names to provide cohesion and without them there
could have been much more overt military intervention. Ms. Megawati was a
poor leader but just by being there helped the consolidation of the
Dynasties can be stultifying too. In Malaysia, the ruling party was once a
grassroots organization where upstarts like former Prime Minister Mahathir
Mohamad could flourish but over time it has become a self-perpetuating
patronage machine. Too many of the key players are the offspring or
relatives of former leaders.
There are more fundamental problems, too. Most current Asian dynasties trace
themselves to the post-1945 political transformation. In that sense they
have become a crutch, reflecting a failure to devise systems for the
transfer of power to new names, faces and ideas.
Dynasties are a poor commentary on the depth of democracy in their
countries. Without parties with a coherent organization and a set of ideas,
politics becomes about personalities alone and name recognition more
important than competence. Parties run by the elite offspring of past heroes
easily degenerate into self-serving patronage systems.
So dynastic leadership in Asia's quasi-democracies can provide a focus for
nations, a glue for parties, an identity substitute in countries that used
to be run by kings and sultans. But it is more a symptom of underlying
problems than an example to be followed.
> In quickly and willingly admit guilt and pay damages, the NY
> Times is actually making a mockery of the Singapore Judicial
> system. ..........
> In short the NY Times is saying - there is no justice in Singapore,
How so ?
NYT did not say so in the Singapore court, nor did it say so
elsewhere ...not in the USA , not in Asia.
You are making it up...like you always do. No wonder
others take you as a liar.
A hundred thousand dollar is a small price to pay...for
a great boost to its sales. I suspect, NYT intentionally
bait LKY to sue the publisher...and then quickly pleaded
guilty....as a sales strategy...to increase the sales of its
I salute NYT ...for using LKY as a tool...like using nude
models..to boost sales.