Singapore—After writer Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh was featured in a post in Global Times Singapore’s (GTS) Facebook page about the South China Morning Post’s “clear China agenda,” he took to his own account to express concern over how easy it is for some to believe that people who are critical of the Government are automatically foreign agents.
On May 6, GTS published a post, most likely in reaction to Mr Sudhir’s SCMP’s opinion piece from the previous day, which was entitled “Coronavirus: is electioneering to blame for Singapore’s teetering pandemic response?”
GTS accused Mr Vadaketh, together with other Singaporeans who have published pieces in SCMP, including Ken Kwek, Tan Tarn How, PN Balji, former PAP MP Inderjit Singh and Donald Low, of pandering to the news site’s agenda and who “want a PAP dominated parliament to be weakened” as this would work in China’s favour. The post also implicated Hong Kong based media professor Cherian George and his wife, Zuraidah Ibrahim, one of SCMP’s editors who also used to work at The Straits Times.
As Mr Sudhir writes, GTS had “decided that I am a pro-China agent of foreign interference in Singapore’s domestic politics,” and added that supporters of GTS had labelled the writer as a traitor who “should be banned from entering Singapore”.
And while his first reaction was admittedly a snarky one, Mr Sudhir wrote that he decided to post a response to the GTS post, because such accusatory posts show “the emptiness of this relentless campaign against people who speak out of turn.”
In the absence of any logical arguments, pro-PAP forces use ad-hominem attacks which target the person, and the easiest way to do this is to call them “foreign agents,” the writer said, which was happened recently with activists Kirsten Han and Pingtjin Thum.
But what is more worrisome, Mr Sudhir wrote, is that some Singaporeans so easily believe the accusations that a person who “speaks out of turn” is a foreign agent.
On Wednesday Global Times Singapore, one of Singapore’s pro-PAP internet brigade, decided that I am a pro-China agent of…
Apparently the writer has been accused of having loyalties toward both the West and to China, and humorously added, “Haiyah, make up your damn mind, lah. My brown ass doesn’t like being tossed across the Pacific. I can feel my ancestors in India turning in their graves.”
He then sought to clarify his personal stance, saying that people who read his writing realize that he has “always personally been in favour of a PAP government” but believes that cutting it “down to size” would allow it to perform better.
What he is against is the super majority, as this “leads to arrogance and ignorance,” and that a larger opposition in parliament will be to the country’s advantage. He added, “In any other country I would be called a PAP supporter. In Singapore, well, for some I am now an agent of foreign interference.”
He also lamented the fact that GTS labelled him a foreign agent because of one single opinion piece, while he has written in the past for many publications, several of which support the PAP administration, and added in jest, “It should be blindingly obvious that I am not a Chinese agent; I am just a bloody whore.” —/TISG
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