Friday, October 16, 2009

All's Well That Ends Well

My blog posting "An Unconscionable Injustice" has generated considerable interest, very much more than I had expected, on the injustice done to my reputation in the political book "Men in White". The matter has now been amicably settled with the authors publishing a note of correction and apology in the Straits Times on 16-10-09 which I find it difficult not to accept gracefully as a vindication of my reputation. I must specially mention Mr. Richard Lim, one of the authors, as the person who worked earnestly and assiduously to find a solution to the problem that would be fair to me. I think I owe him a sense of gratitude for his altruistic spirit.

The manager of the blog "Temasek Review" has displayed exceptional camaraderie spirit in his dramatic presentation in support of my cause of seeking justice to vindicate my reputation. That he was doing all this out of an altruistic desire of righteousness was very much in evident. His blog has a very wide readership, both local and foreign, and the favourable comments which came from his readers were overwhelming. They could not have been without any impact on the people higher up.

I must offer my apologies for not being able to thank each and every one of the readers of his and my blogs who contributed striking comments and thank them sincerely for their exemplary show of support, which I will always remember.

I have indicated to Mr. Richard Lim that I will treat this matter as closed and so it will be.

Last but not least, I must not forget to express my gratitude to my former colleague and buddy Teoh Kah Chay for drawing my attention to the libellous references about me in the book "Men in White"; otherwise I would still be none the wiser for it.


MIng said...

This is the aforementioned letter published by the Straits Times in the forum page on October 16, 2009 Friday.

Men In White: Ex-CPIB head baffled by account

THE book, Men in White, is supposed to be an objective history of the struggle within the People's Action Party, but I found it baffling to be given quite a prominent mention in it. What have I got to do with the political struggle described in Men In White?

I cannot understand why it could not have been done with due care to a person's reputation. On page 441, (which describes why lawyer Francis Seow was asked to resign as Solicitor-General in 1971), it says: 'But in 1971, after a Police raid on his woman friend's apartment, he used his influence and friendship with the then Director of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, Yoong Siew Wah, to have four officers who had conducted the raid sacked. The Attorney General Tan Boon Teik intervened to reinstate the four officers. Seow was allowed to resign rather than have his actions investigated because of his track record in the legal service. Yoong was also asked to quit.'

If the authors had checked with me, I would have told them that the CPIB was duty-bound to investigate any formal complaint made by any complainant. In Mr Seow's case, he made a formal complaint and CPIB carried out investigations of the four detectives concerned. The investigation papers were sent to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, who made the decision to dismiss the detectives. There was never any question that I was asked to quit. You may care to check with the Internal Security Department (ISD) that I was appointed its director after my CPIB stint.

Do you think that a little note of correction in your newspaper is in order to preserve my reputation?

Yoong Siew Wah

EDITOR'S NOTE: The authors thank Mr Yoong for the feedback. What they wrote in the book was based on newspaper reports in 1986, which said that he had been boarded out as a result of the incident with Mr Seow. They apologise for not getting back to Mr Yoong to verify the reports and will do a correction in the next reprint of the book.

bohbehchow said...

Kudos to everyone involved in this. It is (unfortunately) unusual and most heartening to see an apology and amicable outcome to such a dispute.

Well done to Yoong Siew Wah for raising the issue in a measured and factual way, and to the Straits Times and Richard Lim and other authors for acknowledging the error and graciously apologising.

A good example of how rejecting kiasuism can reflect well on all involved.

Sunny Harvey Wee said...

Am glad that everything has come to an amicable close, especially given that it involves all my friends, your goodself, Teoh Kah Chay and Richard Lim.

MIng said...

This is an email I received from former long-term political detainee Dr Poh Soo Kai.

"It is all very baffling. Gets curiouser and curiouser. Questions senior reporters did not answer include: on what grounds did F. Seow complain about the four police officers ? What was the report by the police department investigation committee? Was this the ground for the sacking of the four officers? What grounds were given for their subsequent reinstatement? Mr. Yoong was made ISD director as a result of schuffling of
very seior ISD officers following the Black Operation. The Black Operation admittedly is part of the PAP's history. Could the senior reporters throw some light on Mr. Yoong's appointment ?"