The New Paper's Melvin Singh writes email to, wants us to run his rebuttal in full

tl;dr version: I am right because I am Melvin Singh.

Martino Tan| July 20, 11:53 PM

From using The New Paper's platform to defend himself and trying to be heard in the cacophony that is the Internet, TNP's Melvin Singh has graduated to using's platform to put in a word for himself.

A bit of context: In an email to on July 20, Singh has demanded that we prove him wrong by running his email to us in full on our own site for the benefit of transparency.

This was after he felt aggrieved that called out his flame-bait commentary ("Who's the real offender", July 18), where Singh argued that part of the blame of the recent MRT bullying incident lies with the youth for his offensive T-shirt. While Singh did not approve of the older man's act, he questioned whether the youth could be considered as an instigator and pointed out that "it may be useful to remember that idiocy is also a local affliction".

Therefore, we shall accede to his request to run his unwieldy unedited reply in full, since we are such nice blokes who value the freedom of speech:


"Hi Belmont,

I read your piece and while I appreciate a robust debate, I despise potshots:

Point 1: This after the tabloid published an unwieldy, unpopular and poorly-argued opinion piece by Singh (pictured above right).

You are entitled to your opinion. I respect that. I do look better in real life but I doubt you will want a chat over coffee.

Point 2: TNP’s piece, put out in the aftermath of the recent bullying incident on the MRT train, insinuated that part of the blame of the whole incident caught on camera lies with the victim, who was wearing a t-shirt that read “I’m F***ing Special”. This, in Singh’s opinion, was tantamount to instigating the bully to behave in a threatening manner. Yes, this is coming from someone who has spent 20 years in journalism.

I may be guilty of poor writing and not being clear with my arguments, in your opinion. But an insinuation suggests what inference and meaning YOU draw from reading the article. So your reading has me arguing that the T-shirt wearer instigated the older man to behave in a threatening manner. You left out the part where I said the older man's behaviour was inexcusable. To fit your perspective, you left out my point: behaving in a threatening manner is never acceptable. Period. As for wearing a T-shirt with a vulgarity that is likely to provoke a reaction, I maintain my point: it instigated a reaction. The reaction in this case was wrong.

Point 3: TNP’s Deputy Editor, he co-authored an article (“Is he SDP’s loose cannon“, May 3, 2011) alleging that Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) Sec-Gen Chee Soon Juan was about to lead his supporters on an “illegal protest” march after one of SDP’s General Election rally.

Why carry half a story? While you mention this article, you may have missed the follow-up:

In an dated May 5, 2011, The New Paper quoted Mr Chris Ang, the SDP’s permit holder for the rally at Jurong East stadium.

This was the rally Dr Chee attended.

Political parties must apply for a rally permit and the permit holder must ensure that the event stays within the law.

Dr Chee arrived near the end of the rally before 10pm. After greeting the people there, he walked with his party members, and was later followed by a group of supporters, some waving flags.

There were five or more in the group, a procession as defined by the law. We even ran the picture.

The police then intervened. A senior officer, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), told Mr Ang that he had to stop Dr Chee.

And Mr Ang did.

You can argue with the relevant people as to the merits of the law but the point remains: the permit holder was told to stop the march.

You failed to enlighten your readers to another point; As an undischarged bankrupt then, Dr Chee was not allowed to be part of the party’s campaigning, and that includes being at the rally.

Point 4: Potshots

On May 10, 2013, you were forced to carry an apology after earlier insisting in a New Nation article that my colleague, a photojournalist, had doctored a picture which showed reckless cyclists in action. I challenged your assertions robustly and ran a sequence of pictures showing the cyclists in action on Jan 16, 2011 at Changi Coastal Road.

This is not the first time you've taken potshots at The New Paper. Yes, the paper makes mistakes and when we do, we own up. I too am accountable when I get it wrong. If I've got it wrong, I am punished.

In your practise of journalism, do you expect a ping-pong match? You take potshots, aggrieved parties go through a lengthy process of defending his or her integrity, and you reflect only to start the game again. Why not extend your research beyond the Internet? You would have found the follow-up article to the march that way. And the nature of some cyclists.

Yes, your headline is absolutely correct. I personally wrote. Defend myself? No, I gave my arguments. Read into it what you will. Certainly, as a leader of, it is an entitlement.

Bloggers argue that they are merely stating their perspective and aggrieved parties have a right of response. My response has never been carried by any of the popular online opinion shapers who argue for media democracy.

Prove me wrong and run this in full.

Melvin Singh"


What is Singh referring to in Point 4? In the spirit of transparency, we bring to you satirical site New Nation's article.

Here's to full transparency, since does not have printing costs or politically-correct editors to consider.


And because ultimately, we care about both sides of the story being told.


(Editor's note: editor Belmont Lay is one of the founders of New Nation).



Articles you may like:

The New Paper’s Melvin Singh personally defends himself using TNP’s Facebook account

The New Paper stole an article from FourFourTwo football magazine

The New Paper uses ex-President SR Nathan as a flamebait


If you like what you read, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates.