Is Parliament’s attempt to seek clarification on historian Thum’s credentials a “classic witch hunt”?

The Office of the Clerk of Parliament revealed in a press release today that the Parliament Secretariat has written to historian Dr Thum Ping Tjin asking him to “clarify his academic credentials”.

The Office noted that Dr Thum had “stated that he was, amongst other things, a research fellow in history at Oxford University” in his written submission to the Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods but informed the committee when he appeared in Parliament to give testimony that he held a “visiting professorship in anthropology.”

Noting that Dr Thum later explained online that he was a “visiting research fellow in history within the dept of anthropology,” the Office said: “In view of these varying accounts, clarifications have been sought to ensure that the committee’s report correctly reflects Dr Thum’s positions, and to ensure that the committee is accurately apprised.”

Some netizens have felt that Parliament’s attempt to seek clarification on Dr Thum’s credentials is a “classic witch hunt” and an attempt by the authorities to “fix” him.

These views may have been caused by Law and Home Minister Affairs Minister K Shanmugam’s six-hour grilling of Dr Thum at the select committee hearing or the fact that ACRA rejected Dr Thum’s bid to set up company here, reasoning that the company would be “contrary to national interests”.


Other netizens, however, questioned why Dr Thum would offer three different versions of his credentials. Opining that there is no “witch hunt” or “fixing” going on, these netizens called on Dr Thum to clear the issue.