Friday, April 23, 2010
Walter Woon is Not Welcomed by Pappies?
Slip of the tongue is a slip of the mind....
SINGAPORE - Professor Walter Woon, who stepped down as Attorney-General recently, said he "was kidding" when he told The Straits Times (ST) last week that he had "outstayed" his welcome.
"I was kidding. I was being facetious," Prof Woon told The New Paper (TNP) in an interview published on Friday.
According to the newspaper, Prof Woon was responding to a commentary in Today written by Mr P N Balji, the director of Asian Journalism Fellowship. Mr Balji had analysed the comments by Prof Woon during his exit interviews with the media.
In his interview with ST, when asked if he had annoyed "the powers that be", Prof Woon said: "Best to leave before you outstay your welcome, although I think among some people, I've already outstayed my welcome."
Referring to the quote, Prof Woon told TNP: "I was thinking more about the people I prosecuted rather than anything else."
On the public spat he had with Dr Lee Wei Ling, director of the National Neuroscience Institute, over whether ailing C K Tang boss Tang Wee Sung should be shown some kind of mercy for trying to buy a kidney, Prof Wong said the case wasn't meant to be high-profile.
"But considering the person who was making the criticism, you can't jolly well go down and ask somebody (like a spokesman or a senior official) to cross swords with her."
When asked why he didn't stay on until Senior Counsel Sundaresh Menon takes over as Attorney-General (AG) on Oct 1, Prof Woon said: "I wasn't asked. My term was up in April. And nobody said anything about staying. And I never thought about staying on."
According to Prof Woon, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had asked to see him at the Istana earlier this year to talk about the end of his two-year term.
"If he hadn't asked to see me, I would have asked to see him because it was about time to discuss it," Prof Woon told TNP.
It was during the meeting that Prof Woon learned that Mr Menon would be taking over from him as AG.
"It was like okay, fine," Prof Woon said when the paper asked him for his reaction.