SDP responds to Lina Chiam’s statement about SDP’s use of Chiam See Tong’s image
The image was used for a newsletter in June 2015.
On Friday (Apr 22), Lina Chiam, the wife of Singapore People’s Party’s leader Chiam See Tong, released this statement on Facebook:
My fellow citizens, Mr. Chiam and I understand that the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has been circulating an image of Mr. Chiam See Tong and Dr. Chee Soon Juan in SDP’s newsletter, The New Democrat.
We would like to clarify that Dr. Chee did not seek nor receive permission to include Mr. Chiam’s image in this newsletter. Mr. Chiam has not given his endorsement to any candidate for the upcoming Bukit Batok by-election.
Mr. and Mrs. Chiam See Tong
This led to Facebook pages like Fabrications About The PAP (FAP) and Falsehoods Led by Opposition Parties (FLOP) to say SDP’s Chee Soon Juan “lies” and suggested that Chee had used the photograph of him and Chiam to “fake the impression that Mr Chiam has patched up and endorse him (Chee).”
The Facebook posts are below:
SDP has responded to the Chiams’ statement with the following statement to the media:
To our media colleagues, this is a statement from Dr Wong Wee Nam, long time opposition supporter and retired GP, in response to Mr and Mrs Chiam’s recent statement.
“The image that Mrs Lina Chiam is referring to is an article in an issue of The New Democrat published in June 2015 which I had written. It recounts my effort in 2010 to try bring Mr Chiam back to the SDP.
I did this because I believe that the opposition should show greater unity and I have always tried to work towards that end. In this case it was not to be although to the SDP’s credit, it was open to the idea. The SDP was not seeking any endorsement from Mr or Mrs Chiam.”
Wong Wee Nam
For and on behalf of the SDP
The newsletter article in question was reproduced on SDP’s website which also carries the same photograph. The photograph was taken in 2010 at The Online Citizen’s Face-to-Face forum with several opposition party leaders.
Chiam See Tong founded SDP in 1980 and was its Secretary-General until he left in 1993. He had recruited Chee into SDP in 1992. Chee became SDP’s Secretary-General when Chiam left in 1993.
A popular and widespread portrayal of what happened was that Chee had forced Chiam out of the party. This account has been refuted by Chee (here) who said that Chiam had resigned. He said that this “falsehood” has been deliberately portrayed “repeatedly for more than 2 decades.”
Chee will be contesting in the upcoming Bukit Batok by-election against PAP’s Murali Pillai.