The academic from the Lee Kuan yew School of Public Policy who was critical of the Law Minister’s interview to the Today newspaper, has fallen in line after a sharp rebuke from the Minister himself. The academic, Donald Low, is an Associate Dean at the School.
Mr Low commenting on Mr Shanmugam’s interview to Today newspaper titled, ‘Penalties for crime must reflect public opinion’, said: “making laws on the basis of public opinion is populism by another name”, and that “[i]f criminal punishments are to reflect only public opinion”, one may as well “[j]ust run an opinion poll each time someone has been convicted”.
Mr Shanmugam last night charged that Mr Low had seriously misconstrued what he actually said. He reminded that academics, particularly academics from an institution which carries Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s name, have a duty to be meaningful, and sensible, without jumping quickly to criticise.
In a Facebook post, Mr Low said that he sent an email to the Law Minister on the topic saying he agreed with the Minister’s post and apologised if he had caused him any trouble or offence.
He explained that his post was a reaction to the headline of the Today article, which he thought didn’t represent Mr Shanmugam’s position accurately.
“My post wasn’t aimed at you or your comments in the article; it was my take on what was wrong with a criminal justice system based on public opinion. But I accept that my post, in the context of the Today article carrying your comments, might be viewed as a criticism of you or your comments. That wasn’t my intention at all.” – Donald Low, FB