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Bertha HarianBertha Harian

News Reports

Waffling over Woffles

So the Woffles Wu case got an airing in Parliament – and it was so so NOT satisfying. Methinks ST gallery writer Lydia Lim was pulling her punches when she said the exchange between Minister Shanmugam and WP MP Sylvia Lim generated more heat than light. Actually, I don’t see how anyone could be enlightened by what went on. The only one who made any impression was WP’s chief Low Thia Kiang. He used the loaded word “intimidation” to refer to Mr Shan’s hectoring (?) of Ms Lim. His point: Isn’t question time about ministers having to answer questions from MPs not a debating ground? But that was what it turned out to be – two lawyers going at each other in a courtroom.

What did anyone learn? That there was six cases which Mr Shan maintained were comparable to Wu’s. Ms Lim did not say yes or no, but referred to another case, which Mr Shan responded to. Well, I have questions about the six – if my reading of the reports is right, then it seems like the six said “it wasn’t me who’s driving” to the police and somehow got found out. In Wu’s case, the fall guy said “t’was me” and Wu was caught out when someone called the CPIB and said the fall guy lied. So did the six actually finger someone else to take the blame? Mr Shan said the six did so multiple times too – did the police already know this, or found out it was multiple times only later? And frankly, if all six were caught multiple times – seems to me all should have had a heavier book thrown at them. So maybe there was no “favoritism” and the law is just bad?  Pity Ms Lim didn’t press the point

Pity too that Mr Shan didn’t take the platform to address the issue fully. What’s the point of sniping at Ms Lim’s “innuendo’ or “un-named lawyers” who appeared to have advised her, or whether she was a “fair-minded’ lawyer? Pity also that Ms Lim appeared to have no answer on whether other provisions of the law could have been utilised in Wu’s case. Mr Shan said he didn’t know of any and challenged Ms Lim to name them. Aiyah, So much stuff swirling on the Internet on the Road Traffic Atc, Penal Code, precedents, sentencing options! But even if she wasn’t fast enough on her feet, the G should have taken the chance to go through them point by point.

Pity. Because Mr Shan has a great capacity for intellectual elucidation – and we would all have got an education. Even though most of us are not lawyers, I would think we are “fair-minded” No need for the G to do so? I say there is a need simply BECAUSE we have to uphold our institutions. We must be clear about how they operate. Also because, as Ms Lim said: “I think all of us know that the public is concerned about this case. I did not make any allegation there that AGC has acted mala fide in any way. Unless the Minister says that there is no public concern on this matter, which I would be very surprised to hear.”

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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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