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民主党主席黄素芝:

新加坡管理大学陈庆文对民主党的攻击感到惊讶!

在2016年5月9日,《新报》(The New Paper刊载了记者Foo Jie Ying一篇文章:《最佳的表现,但是,徐顺全应该去吗?》。这篇文章突出了新加坡管理大学(SMU)学者、也是前官委议员陈庆文文章。与此同时,另一篇文章的题目:《法律教授:徐缺乏后劲》。这篇文章就编排在主要新闻的侧边,同时支持陈庆文教授的看法。

很少人会期待诸如《新报》这样通俗的报章会有高水准的新闻记者。但是,对于一名学者在两篇文章里做出未经证实的和有偏见的评论在学术界是无法接受的。

以下是有关陈庆文教授的谬论。

例子1

“(徐博士)尝试赢得选民的同情。他着重于加强自己是被起诉——并不是一个人,而是整个家庭也同时遭受痛苦,因此,他希望获得人民的支持。”

徐博士本身是负责(补选)运动所专注的问题。问题是傅海燕是首先挑起的,由于徐博士没有工作经验,他不适合管理市镇会。

傅海燕这样的说法引起新加坡人强烈的反响。他们看到了傅海燕采取了如此无情的攻击手法。徐博士回应说, 他选择留不离开新加坡到其他国家继续他的学术生是要继续自己的政治斗争。

他把徐博士的回应说成是现在尝试“为了赢得选民的同情”。这是一种漠视现实的叫嚣!这是对一个长期以来恩爱和在背后坚定地支持徐博士的家人是一种羞辱。

例子2

“陈庆文也说,当行动党的王金发断然辞职时,他看到徐博士渴望在这场补选中取得胜利。徐博士是本身决定要参与这次补选的。‘他自我决定的。除了在电话里举行了中央委员会会议’。陈教授称呼徐博士是另一个自我。他说,‘这场补选不是有关到(他的)党、或者选民,纯粹就是他本人吧了。’”

民主党中央委员会的会议是属于本身内部的会议,并不是非中央委员的会议、更不是非党员会议和私人的会议。我们为此感到好奇,为什么陈教授会得出(民主党)没有召开中央委员会商讨有关武吉巴督补选 这样的结论。

当无法获悉民主党在武吉巴督补选问题上的真正有关派出候选人的决定事宜,身为一名学者,他怎么可以发出这样的说法,这是一个令人惊讶的事。

依据(民主党)于2016年3月16日的中央委员会特别会议会议记录,民主党是一致通过决定派徐博士代表民主党参与武吉巴督补选的。

身为一名学者,一名在新加坡管理大学的法律教授,为什么要在顾事实的情况下对徐博士做出这样肮脏的攻击。我为此感到惊愕。

例子3

“我从来就没有看到(徐博士)坐下来与老百姓一起讨论他们面对的问题。他确实没有举办过‘接见民众’的会议。他对帮忙选民根本就没有兴趣。他的兴趣是就是要获选将进入国会。”

如此的言论如果是来自行动党是可以理解的。但是,绝对不可能是来自一名学者。徐博士不是国会议员要如何举办‘接见民众’的会议?就拿‘接见民众’的会议事。我们在过去组织了许多与居民见面并聆听了他们的问题的活动。但是这一切活动都被行动党的市镇会所阻止了。

假设陈教授确实愿意不厌其烦地向我们了解情况的话,他将会知道民主党为武吉巴督一名被截肢居民安装了假肢。与此同时,民主党尝试在武吉巴督为居民组织基身体健康检查,但是,被裕廊-金文泰市镇会阻止。我们也建议建造一条斜道,以方便使用轮椅的居民。但是,市镇会却拒绝了。在国家问题上,在国民服役人员李瑞峰在服役逝世,我们在他的母亲主动与我们接触后为他们发出呼吁。

我们确实不明白为什么陈教授会得出结论说,“徐博士对于老百姓没有兴趣”呢?

例子4

“(徐博士)宣称他了解夹心层的问题。因为他自己就住在面积小的组屋里。让我们看看他做了些什么。看看他的拟定的政策是属于闭门造车或者是脱离现实的。”

这样言论是和内容是一名前官委议员所说的话吗?他是违背了自己的政治动机,更加严重的是极其悲哀的反映了 一名学者在自己阅读任何有关资料之前就做出胡乱评语。

民主党已经出版了有关自己提出的政策的详细和全面阐述。这些政策包括了贫穷、收入不均、无法承担公共住房、高昂的医药护理费、不必要的教育压力制度、最低工资制、为帮助穷人和老年人提供巨额的经济援助和裁员保险等一系列问题

我们的许多建议已经被行动党或它们的支部所采纳了。

但是,管理大学的教授还自己以是的以为我们的这些建议是“脱离现实的”。他的这些评语只能说明,他与我们提出关心新加坡人民的政策文件之间是具有差距的。

我们这些政策文件是耗费了很多的精力和时间进行了调查探索后产生的。它们根本不是民主党或者徐博士“闭门造车”想象出来的。

再进一步是说,这些政策文件的幕后工作,包括陈教授在内的许多人都不知道。在过去两届大选中,我们进行了策划和行政工作,其中包括了我们的基层工作、如筹措基金、培训党员和志愿工作者等等。

我们党是在徐博士全面的关注和领导下完成了所有这一切全面的工作。我们感到惊愕的陈教授忽视了这些一切事实,反而在嘲笑徐博士将在这场补选过后进入“冬眠状态”。

这并不是一名学者不可以、也不应该对政治或者政治活动者进行做出评语。事实上,我们强烈感到新加坡人都我们社会缺乏参与感。我们愿意看到更多的人参与进来。

无论如何,我们深深地被陈教授对徐博士的疯狂咆哮感到费解。因为他对徐博士毫不休止的个人人身攻击是建立非事实和合理的基础之上,而是建立个人仇恨的基础上。

我们很想知道,新加坡管理大学对它的教职员在没有拥有事实根据之前,就发表对问题的评论的时间的反应如何?——他本应该把矛头指向行动党的看法,却反过来指向徐博士。

 

新加坡民主党主席

黄素芝

 

SDP chairwoman, DR. Wong Souk Yee

 

 Shocking that SMU’s Eugene Tan can make such attacks

 

On May 9, The New Paper published the article, “Best showing, but should Dr Chee be going?” by its reporter Foo Jie Ying. The report featured prominently academic Eugene Tan from the Singapore Management University (SMU) who was also a Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP).
In addition, a separate article titled “Law prof: Chee lacks staying power” appeared as a sidebar to the main story, also carrying the views of Prof Eugene Tan.

Few people expect high-level journalism from a tabloid like The New Paper. But for an academic to make unsubstantiated and biased comments in the two articles is not an acceptable practice in the academic community.

Below are some examples of Prof Tan’s bizarre tirade:

Example 1: “[Dr Chee is] trying to milk voters’ sympathy. He was trying essentially to reinforce that he has been persecuted – not only him, but his entire family has had to suffer, and so that’s why he’s deserving of people’s support.

Dr Chee has been vilified, sued, bankrupted, jailed by the PAP in the past 24 years in his work to advance democracy in Singapore. All this has come at a huge personal cost to himself and to his family. However, Hhe has never used that as grounds for support – least of all in this the Bukit Batok by-election campaign.

Dr Chee himself was the one to call for the campaign to focus on issues. It was PAP’s Grace Fu who said that Dr Chee was not fit to run a Town Council because he was unemployed.

This elicited a stern response from Singaporeans who saw Ms Fu’s attack as below the belt. Dr Chee then explained that he chose to remain in Singapore to continue with the political fight instead of leaving for other countries which would have allowed him to continue his academic career.

To say that Dr Chee is now trying “to milk voters’ sympathy” flies in the face of reality and is an insult to a loving and supportive family who have has stood by Dr Chee through all the years.

Example 2: “The law don [Prof Tan] said he also saw Dr Chee’s hunger for power in the by-election. When the People’s Action Party (PAP) incumbent MP David Ong resigned, Dr Chee was the one who decided he would contest in the by-election. ‘He made the decision on his own accord. Unless he did a CEC (central executive committee) meeting over the phone,’ [Prof Tan] said. Calling SDP Dr Chee’s alter ego, he said: ‘The election was not about the party, or even the voters. It was all about him.’

SDP CEC meetings are internal party meetings that non-CEC members and particularly non-members are not privy to. We are curious to know how Prof Tan came to the conclusion that no CEC meeting was called to discuss the candidacy for the Bukit Batok by-election.

It is quite shocking for an academic to make such a statement when he has no knowledge of how the decision for the SDP’s candidate for the by-election was made.

For the record, an extraordinary CEC meeting was held on 16 March 2016 to decide on the SDP’s candidate for the by-election and it was a unanimous decision of the CEC to field Dr Chee.

Being an academic myself, I am appalled at how a law professor from the SMU could mount such a vicious attack on Dr Chee without even bothering to check the facts.

Example 3: “I have never seen [Dr Chee] sitting down to help people work through their issues. He has

never really held a Meet-the-People Session. He’s not interested in helping people. He’s interested in

getting elected into office.

This is the kind of language we would expect from the PAP but certainly not from an academic. How does Dr Chee hold a Meet-The-People (MTP) Session when he is not an MP? As for non-MTP Sessions, we had organised events in the past to meet with residents and listen to their problems but was stopped by PAP town councils.

If Prof Tan had bothered to check with us, he would have found out that the SDP had made rrangements for one of the residents in Bukit Batok who was an amputee to receive a prosthetic leg. In addition, the SDP tried to organise health-screening for Bukit Batok residents only to be stopped by the Jurong-Clementi Town Council. We are also in the process of building a wheelchair ramp for a resident who has asked but failed to get the Town Council to install one. More recently at the national level, we spoke up for Mdm Felicia Seah after she contacted Dr Chee over her son’s (Dominique Lee) death in the SAF.

How does Prof Tan come to the conclusion that Dr Chee is “not interested in helping people” from all this?

Example 4: “[Dr Chee] claims he understands what the heartlander issues are because he lives in a small flat. Let’s see what he does, whether he will go into deep hibernation or churn out policy papers which are out of touch with reality.

The language and content in the former NMP’s comment betrays his political motivation and, worse, reflects poorly on an academic who seems not to have read any of the material that he refers to.

The SDP has published detailed and comprehensive policy papers addressing issues such as poverty, income inequality, unaffordable public housing, expensive healthcare, an unnecessarily stressful education system, minimum wage, greater financial support for the poor and elderly, and retrenchment insurance.

Many of the ideas we proposed have been co-opted by the PAP or echoed by its MPs.

Yet, the SMU don thinks that these policy papers are “out of touch with reality”. The comment seems more a reflection of his limited grasp of what concerns Singaporeans than of the content of our policy papers.

These papers took much effort and time to research. They could not have been written if the SDP or Dr Chee had gone into “deep hibernation”.

 

 

In addition, there is much behind-the-scenes work which the public, including Prof Tan, does not see. These include planning and administrative work for our ground campaign, fund-raising, training of members and volunteers and so on – both during and in between elections.

All these require full-time attention which Dr Chee has provided throughout his leadership of the party. It is shocking that despite all this, Prof Tan asks cynically whether Dr Chee will go into “deep hibernation” after this by-election.

It is not that academics cannot or should not commentate on politics and its practitioners. In fact, we feel strongly that our society lacks such participation by Singaporeans and would like to see more of it.

We are, however, deeply troubled by Prof Eugene Tan’s unhinged rant on Dr Chee which seems to be based on personal animosity untethered to facts and reason.

One does wonder how the SMU would react if such commentary from one of its staff – even if it did not carry so much unsubstantiated vitriol – was directed at the PAP instead of Dr Chee.

Dr Wong Souk Yee

Chair
Singapore Democratic Party

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