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News Reports

People in the news

I didn’t read the papers over the weekend. And my life went on! Not good. Shows I can do without. But in the interest of this blog, and to hew to my view that a citizen must be engaged in this country’s conversation, I dutifully went through the copies….and found:

a. Gosh! Ram Tiwary got acquitted!

I have an interest in this Sydney double murder case because I was the ST news editor at that time and followed it real closely. It’s simply too dramatic a case. A couple of young Singapore men bludgeoned, knifed to death in their home – supposedly by their flat mate. Lives cut short, even as they were pursuing that Singaporean dream of getting a degree. I read all the statements, twists and turns, what the judges said. I noted every contradictory statement that Tiwary made. The wheels of justice grind very slowly in Sydney…after eight years, he’s acquitted by a court of appeal. After two previous juries pronounced him guilty.

I don’t suppose that means he is CLEARED of a crime, that is, it was definitely NOT him who did the deed? His lawyer says it’s due to lack of evidence, which means it is NOT clear that it was he who done them in. That is, he COULD have done it, but no one can prove it. Or maybe the acquittal was due a technicality as in his  earlier trial, where the judge was said to have wrongly advised the jurors. Or maybe the jury system isn’t working – can’t assess the evidence – so a panel of wise men had to deliberate….

Speculation is premature I suppose. But the implications for Tiwary and the families of the men are enormous, as Ben Nadarajan said on Saturday. Tiwary is getting a passport to return home. I wonder how he feels. Clearly, for the affected families, there is no closure for their grief. I can’t wait for the grounds of decision which led to his acquittal. Hopefully the wheels of justice in Sydney will turn a little faster.

b, Hmm….Desmond Kuek might be new SMRT head.

The third military man so far to head what is now commonly described as the “beleaguered” transport operator. Saw Phaik Hwa’s term now looks like an aberration. A woman. Spiky hair. Retailer’s instinct. Now man. Straight-backed. With experience in, I suppose, organisation and logistics. Looked like what the doctor ordered – go back and take the same old medicine. An image change as well although I’m sure the ex-CDF chief is eminently qualified for the thankless job of re-working the place. I like talking to military men. In my former  life, I’ve had to deal with them a bit. Usually straight-talking, no nonsense but in a language that only men in the military are familiar wth. I recall one encounter with Kuek when he was still CDF chief. He thanked me for a Page 1 story on some change to SAF. He liked it, he said. I said, Thank you, but I didn’t like the story at all. And we didn’t write the story for you..The surprise on his face! And those in uniforms  around him! Maybe I seemed ungracious and should have just said, You’re welcome. Maybe no one talks back  to the CDF? Anyway, he was interested enough to ask me why and I had a ball of a time telling him his people should speak in English instead of in army. And that half the population didn’tdo national service. He listened and I hope he will continue to do so. Heading the SMRT is more than a logistics exercise, it’s about dealing with people. The commuters. Whom we all know are an exacting bunch!

c. I mean…what is Tey Tsun Hang up to?

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So an academic got caught receiving favours, including a Mont Blanc pen and two tailored shirts (sheesh, she took his measurements?) Ok, he was charged with getting sex as well – apparently in exchange for giving the girl favorable grades. Which makes you wonder – did those favours REALLY result in her getting a second  upper law degree? She really didn’t earn it? Or did they just have consensual sex, a two-night stand under the influence?  I suppose it’s like the CNB guy who will go on trial because he had sex with someone who is involved in a business transaction with an agency. Did the women get what they want or said to have wanted? Will someone re-look her academic credentials?  After all, the NUS moved the rest of his students when the case came up to other law lecturers….

Beyond that, it’s intriguing howTey keeps referring to his academic writings. One particularly was named – on the supine, suppliant profession and its practice (being deliberately vague here because of contempt of court rules). Many people have read that to mean that he thinks the charges are to punish him for his academic work. That’s muddying the waters a bit. Does he think the whole thing came up because “people” were digging for dirt as some  kind  of  payback for his academic work? That his work is so water-tight that “people” couldn’t catch him out for that and so went on another tack? It’s like getting Al Capone for tax evasion, or getting someone  for possessing porno at home? Except that people like me wouldn’t know about his academic work until this case came up….so it has backfired on the “people”….Stupid “people”. Sex and politics is such a heady mix…

d. And there goes…..M Ravi

Bipolar or eccentric. Publicity seeker or crank. Tree hugger. Singer. Dancer. Don’t know. But he’s certainly entertaining.

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An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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