Featured News Calvin Cheng tells Kirsten Han to clarify her statement

Calvin Cheng tells Kirsten Han to clarify her statement

Ms Han's comment on “potentially one day having 500,000 people on the streets” has drawn much flak with Calvin Cheng saying that it could possibly have been taken out of context and that she should be given a chance to explain

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Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Calvin Cheng wrote on social media about giving activist Kirsten Han the opportunity to be able to clarify her statement about “ potentially one day having 500,000 people on the streets”.

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam spoke on Wednesday (September 25) at a conference on foreign interference tactics and countermeasures in which he said that online news sites which receive foreign funding could be used as tools to advance foreign interests.

He also noted that Han had said on video that Singapore has failed compared to Hong Kong because 500,000 people do not march on the streets and that she wants to change that through classes run by New Naratif.

Cheng weighed in on the issue, saying, “I want to say that Kirsten is not a treacherous wicked-witch that some quarters make her out to be. Someone very close to me is her good friend, and I trust that this person does not become bosom buddies with wicked witches. Also, I think many of her aims are very noble – advocating for marginalised people in society can never be a bad thing”.

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He added that it was her tactics that he did not agree with, where she and “her friends blindly import Western-style civil disobedience strategies to Singapore, and even collaborate with foreign organisations that support these values, to try to mould Singapore into their image”.

Sharing an incident where his own quote was taken out of context and used, he said, “People are allowed to clarify, even if in the aftermath of the above situation, they did not offer me the chance to.

So here we offer Kirsten Han the chance to clarify”.

Cheng also asked if Kirsten and her friends denounce and renounce street protests and other western-style acts of civil disobedience, and if they deny they are collaborating with and taking funding from foreign organisations.

He concluded his post by saying, “As Min Shan would say : yes or no. It’s a simple question.
We are offering her and her friends to unequivocally clarify. Otherwise admit it. No shame in that.
But I suspect their response will be more mental and verbal gymnastics”.

Last year, a group led by Dr Ping Tjin Thum and dissident Tan Wah Piow met with Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad on August 30. The group invited Dr. Mahathir as a guest speaker at a conference on democracy.

The group that met with the Malaysian Prime Minister included author Sonny Liew, activist Kirsten Han, and civil rights activist and current Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) member Jolovon Wham.

The following day, Dr. PJ Thum put up a photo of himself with Dr. Mahathir on Facebook, writing, “I met with Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir today. I urged him to take leadership in Southeast Asia for the promotion of democracy, human rights, freedom of expression, and freedom of information. I also expressed hopes for closer relations between the people of Malaysia and Singapore, and presented him with a copy of ‘Living with Myths in Singapore’.

Dr. Thum has been criticized specifically by Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam, who characterized Dr. Thum’s doings as “a little sad, a bit regretful.” Mr. Shanmugam also said that a foreign politician should never be invited to intervene in our domestic politics, calling this “an absolute no-no.”

Dr Thum also faced many allegations of him being traitorous to the nation, which he has denied. /TISG

Read related: Are local opposition politicians and activists who met with Malaysian MPs doing another PJ Thum?

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