Former ISA Detainee Teo Soh Lung speaks out against PAP MP Seah Kian Peng

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Photo: YouTube screengrab

After the series of events involving Facebook posts from historian Thum Ping-tjin and former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Teo Soh Lung that received much criticism from netizens and PAP Member of Parliament Seah Kian Peng, Ms Teo spoke out, defending her comments in an article titled, ‘Is it right for a Member of Parliament to incite hatred against citizens?’.

Her piece, published on her Facebook page on Sunday, say almost 500 reactions and 355 shares.

In it, she said, “I was watching Channel News Asia last night when the news of what MP Seah Kian Peng wrote on his facebook appeared on the screen. Then out of the blue, my online comment and a screenshot of SDP election booklet of 2011 appeared.”

I was watching Channel News Asia last night when the news of what MP Seah Kian Peng wrote on his facebook appeared on…

Posted by Soh Lung Teo on Sunday, 2 September 2018

She continued, “My comment appeared at 17:08 when Mr Hishamuddin Rais was speaking. The full quote is: “17:08 Agree with Hisham. Democratic space is the first to be preserved. Singapore is part of Malaya la.”

Teo talks history and explains her comment

“If MP Seah had bothered to listen to the speech of Mr Hishamuddin in its entirety, he would have realised that the speaker was giving the audience a light hearted history lesson. He spoke about the beginning of the democratisation process in Malaysia as having begun when the Federation of Malaya gained independence in 1957 and not on 9 May 2018. As every student of history would know (regrettably, MP Seah probably never studied history in school), Malaya and Singapore were once colonies of Britain.”

She also added that MP Seah mis-informed the public that she was a member of the SDP.

In her rather heated post, Ms Teo also questioned MP Seah, asking, “Is this how a responsible member of parliament should behave? Is it right for him to incite hatred against citizens? Is a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods entitled to spread false information against innocent citizens? Should the prime minister take immediate disciplinary action against MP Seah?”

“Let me tell MP Seah in no uncertain terms, that I am in some ways more loyal to Singapore than him who has a seat in parliament. I was imprisoned under the ISA for two and a half years in the 1980s. I did not abandon Singapore but continue to fight for what I believe is for the good of Singaporeans”, Ms Teo said.

She concluded her post saying, “I urge MP Seah to remove his post immediately. I will not lodge a police complaint against him but he should as a member of parliament be responsible”.

Seah Kian Peng responds

In another Facebook post on Monday afternoon, MP Seah responded to Teo’s comments and apologized, but only to the SDP.

My posting over the weekend has indeed generated a number of comments. I thank those who supports and agrees with my…

Posted by Seah Kian Peng on Sunday, 2 September 2018

He said, “As Ms Teo had previously stood as a SDP candidate in GE2011, I had assumed she was still a member. I apologize for this wrong assumption and thank SDP for the clarification”.

He also said, “A shoutout to all again on social media – let us always remain civil in our views and comments on any matter”.

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obbana@theindependent.sg