The Online Citizen apologises to PM Lee for saying he is going to sue

But the site tried to explain why they jumped the gun.

By Belmont Lay | November 14, 2017

The Online Citizen (TOC) has apologised to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday, Nov. 13.

The website said the prime minister intended to sue the publisher Epigram Books over a children’s book, The Phantom of Oxley Castle, when no such action has been taken so far.

TOC wrote:

“TOC apologises unreservedly to Mr Lee Hsien Loong for stating that he intended to sue the publishers and authors of the book for defamation.”

What TOC originally wrote

TOC’s Facebook post on Sunday said Epigram and the authors of the book, Chloe Tong and Liana Gurung, had been “notified that PM Lee will be suing them for defamation”.

However, the post was subsequently edited to say that the publisher and the authors have been told to expect a letter in relation to the book.

Epigram then said on Monday it did not receive “any letter of any kind from PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) or any individuals”.

TOC claimed in their article they received their information through a third party who had spoken to Edmund Wee, the chief executive of Epigram Books, which was why they queried him about the possibility of being sued.

But TOC also acknowledged they jumped the gun by claiming PM Lee is going to sue:

A phone call was made to Mr Wee on Sunday to verify the story. We asked if the publisher had received a letter from the Prime Minister Office or Mr Lee Hsien Loong.

His reply to TOC was that nothing has received yet, but told to expect on Monday.

TOC still stands by their claim

Following the apology to PM Lee, TOC then reiterated in the piece that they stand by what they wrote and also gave an explanation about why they published the Facebook post on Sunday: “We stand by the fact that we were informed by the Publishers of possible legal action that would come their way today (Nov 13). Our information and source were deemed accurate and credible at the material time.”

Some background:

Copies of ‘The Phantom Of Oxley Castle’ will not be delivered until matter is resolved: Epigram Books

About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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