Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 01/05/2013 00:09 | By Channel NewsAsia

Blogger to remove defamatory posts after PM Lee’s letter of demand

Blogger to remove defamatory posts after PM Lee’s letter of demand

Blogger to remove defamatory posts after PM Lee’s letter of demand

SINGAPORE: Blogger Alex Au will remove four posts published on his site, which are said to be defamatory to Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Mr Au told Channel NewsAsia he will also put up a letter of apology.

The moves came after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong demanded he takes down the article entitled "PAP mis—AIMed, faces blowback", which was on the sale of a computing system for the town councils managed by the ruling People’s Action Party, to a company called Action Information Management (AIM).

A letter of demand was sent through Mr Lee’s lawyers from Drew & Napier on Friday, pointing out that the article, together with 21 comments posted on Mr Au’s site, are "false and baseless allegations".

It said they can be taken together to suggest that the prime minister is guilty of corruption.

It demanded that Mr Au immediately remove the posts and publish an apology on his blog within three days. If he fails to do so, Mr Lee will take legal action.

When contacted, Mr Au said he accepts that several of his comments, as well as 21 other comments from readers are defamatory, and that he will take them down as requested.

While he will also issue a letter of apology, he added that the latest development should not distract from the issue of the sale of town council software to AIM.

From what has been disclosed so far, he said people would have many questions, and it is important that these questions be answered.

Mr Au’s post was first published on 21 December 2012, following an exchange of words between Aljunied—Hougang Town Council chairman Sylvia Lim and coordinating chairman of the PAP town councils Teo Ho Pin.

It arose from a town council management report for which the Aljunied—Hougang Town Council received a pending rating for corporate governance.

Ms Lim attributed it to the fact that its computer systems were being changed at the time.

The contract with AIM, which owns the software, was terminated — with mutual agreement — at the request of the new Aljunied—Hougang Town Council.

AIM is a company fully owned by the PAP.

The matter then morphed into issues of transparency and public interest, along with questions raised about why the software was sold to AIM, after only one bid was received.

Mr Teo has since defended the allegations.

— CNA/al/xq/de

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