A webinar organised by Raffles Hall association, which is scheduled for this Sunday evening (Nov 1) was originally supposed to have Professor George as well as fellow academic Donald Low, the authors of a book published last week entitled “PAP vs PAP: The Party’s struggle to adapt to a changing Singapore,” as speakers. However, after abruptly replacing the speakers the association drew much criticism.
In a Facebook post on Thursday (Oct 29) former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) weighed in on the issue, saying “the way it (the cancellation) was done was cowardly”.
Mr Cheng added that he had not read the book by Professor Cherian George and Professor Donald Low, and said: “I disagree a lot especially with Cherian George’s views, and especially the way he puts things.
However, his and Donald’s views are not seditious. They are not extremist religious preachers”.
“If someone somewhere whispered or gave instructions that this talk be cancelled, that person should have the testicular fortitude to step forward and take responsibility. Say why.
These petty acts make other pro-establishment people look bad”, he added.
“Don’t throw an umbrella at your opponent and run away”, Mr Cheng wrote.
Without explanation, the lineup of speakers was abruptly changed to Al Ramirez Dizon, a former journalist with Singapore Press Holdings, Shobha Avadhani, a lecturer in New Media from NUS, and Arun Mahizhnan, a special research adviser at the Institute of Policy Studies.
Professor Cherian George, one of the speakers who was abruptly replaced for a webinar titled “Public Discourse Truth & Trust” organized by Raffles Hall Association, said that he had been informed by the organizer last Friday (Oct 23) that the National University of Singapore (NUS) had wanted to cancel the event.