Singapore—Two days after bemedalled SEA Games marathoner Soh Rui Yong filed writ of defamation against Singapore Athletics (SA) in High Court, he took to Facebook to call a missive received from SA as a ‘“letter of intimidation.”
The runner took exception to the lawyer for SA, Chandra K Mohan’s disagreement with Mr Soh and his lawyers’ “afterthought” comments.
Since there was no mention of “afterthought” comments in his letter to SA dated September 6, the runner says he does not know what Mr Chandra Mohan is referring to.
Furthermore, Mr Soh expressed his unhappiness of being accused by that the lawyers for SA that their meeting held last Friday, September 6 was a “‘fishing’ expedition (presumably to fish for information that would help our case).”
He responded to this by writing “All along, I have been consistent in my approach. I wanted clarification and explanation on the defamatory statements, failing which I would commence a suit against SA. As there has been no satisfactory explanation even after our 3 hour long meeting, I have therefore commenced proceedings against SA for defamatory remarks against me. It was SA that wanted a meeting. I agreed to meeting SA without Malik Aljunied, yet Malik appeared for the meeting. And they now accuse me of ‘fishing’.”
He then wrote, sarcastically, “If Chandra Mohan likes fishing so much, he can go to Punggol fishing pond to fish.”
Mr Soh also expressed puzzlement concerning why Mr Chandra Mohan would first write that SA “wishes to state a few matters which we will be writing to you soon”.
But later in his letter, he wrote “perhaps… it is best not to litigate through correspondence”.
The marathoner asked,”Er… So can you make up your mind if you want to write to us or you don’t wanna write to us ah?”
The contention between Mr Soh and SA began last month, when the line-up of athletes for the 2019 SEA Games, scheduled at the end of the year in Manila was announced, with the notable exception of Mr Soh, a two-time back to back winner of the event in 2015 and 2017, the first Singaporean male marathoner to achieve this feat.
Mr Soh took exception to his exclusion from the SEA Games, which was due to having “displayed conduct that falls short of the standards of attitude and behaviour that the SNOC (Singapore National Olympic Council) expects of and holds its athletes to.”
He also expressed his disappointment with Singapore Athletics, which did not defend him nor contest the SNOC’s decision. Later on, the runner took the battle to social media, and then found himself blocked from SA’s WhatsApp chats and social media pages.
Afterward Mr Soh wrote two legal letters to the SNOC concerning the matter, as published on his blog, https://www.runsohfast.com.
On Wednesday, September 11, the athlete filed a defamation writ and statement of claim against SA in High Court. In his legal statement on Mr Soh called the SA’s statement about him “false and defamatory”. He also asked to be paid “damages for libel, including aggravated damages,” the amount of which is to be evaluated in court. Mr Soh has also asked SA to print a public apology in The Straits Times (ST)./ TISG
I would now like to address Singapore Athletics (SA) and their lawyer, Chandra Mohan K Nair, for what seems to be a…