American blogger taunts Lee Kuan Yew, gets arrested
ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images Singaporean-American lawyer Gopalan Nair, who blogs at Singapore Dissident, threw the gauntlet down last week to the Singapore authorities: Ladies and Gentlemen, I am Gopalan Nair. Today is May 31, 2008 at 10.40am Singapore time. I am at present in Singapore at Broadway Hotel, Room 708, 195 Serangoon Road, Singapore, 218067. The ...
ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am Gopalan Nair. Today is May 31, 2008 at 10.40am Singapore time. I am at present in Singapore at Broadway Hotel, Room 708, 195 Serangoon Road, Singapore, 218067. The hotel telephone number is is 62924661. My local SingTel telephone number is 83764236. […]
Mr. Lee Kuan Yew [at left], look here. I am now within your jurisdiction and that of your corrupt police and your corrupt judiciary who will do anything you want of them, however criminal and illegal.
What are you going to do about it?
Turns out, a lot. Police quickly arrested Nair and charged him with insulting Belinda Ang Saw Ean, a judge whom the blogger had earlier accused of “prostituting herself” for Lee Kuan Yew during a hearing at which the former prime minister testified against opposition politician Chee Soon Juan, who was charged with defamation. Judging by comments like these, I think Nair got thrown in the briar patch, so to speak:
I repeat the threat that Lee Kuan Yew had made on day two of the show trial during the last 3 days in the High Court. When asked by Dr. Chee whether he will sue those who write on the Internet defamations against him, I mean defamations in the Singaporean sense, his definitive unequivocal answer was that he will sue them. There is no doubt in the Singaporean sense, I have defamed him and his Prime Minister son, not only in my last blog post but in almost all my blog posts since my blog’s inception in December 2006.
The U.S. embassy says it is “monitoring the case closely.” Stay tuned.
Blake Hounshell is a former managing editor of Foreign Policy.
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