No Choice But to Speak Against Kumaran Pillai of the PSP
Yesterday’s post about my experiences with Kumaran Pillai of the Progress Singapore Party is spreading like wildfire.
All over the Internet, on Reddit and Facebook and elsewhere, people are asking questions and casting aspersions. Here I’m going to address them.
Q: Kumaran Pillai’s candidacy was announced on 25 June. Why did you wait until Nomination Day?
My workday starts at 8.30 am and ends at around 11 pm. On a good day. Last week was no exception. I was only aware of the PSP fielding Mr. Pillai close to midnight on the 25th.
In the morning of Friday, the 26th, I made a note to dig up my old emails and revisit the events of 2014. That was all the time I had for before going back to work.
In the evening, my former colleague, Joyce Tan, contacted me to draw my attention to the PSP’s announcement. We decided it was time to speak out against him.
Over the weekend, we composed our respective grievances and compiled our notes. I cross-checked critical events and dates with Joyce and reconstructed the timeline of events. I drafted my testimony against Kumaran Pillai.
On Saturday, we contacted the media.
The plan was to submit our experiences to the media. They have a far larger platform than we do, and I thought they would be interested in covering this story. I would have been content to let the media do the heavy lifting.
Instead, there was only silence.
Asia One, The New Paper, South China Morning Post, Lianhe Zaobao and Lianhe Wanbao either refused to cover the story or simply refused to reply to our queries.
Mothership and The Online Citizen also did not respond.
On Nomination Day, the 30th, we decided we’ve waited long enough. Joyce shared her experiences, I published my testimony, and shared them on social media.
With over 3100 views, yesterday’s post is the most popular post I’ve written ever.
As of time of writing, the mainstream media and the alternative media has not even acknowledged our queries, much less my post.
The media, mainstream and alternative, chose to remain silent.
I had no choice but to speak on my platforms.
Q: What are your motives? Don’t you just want revenge?
If I’d truly wanted a crude revenge, I had plenty of opportunities in 2014 and 2015.
In September of 2014, I spoke with Joyce about my experiences. We consulted lawyers and they concluded we had a case against Kumaran Pillai.
We could have sent a lawyer’s letter. We could have filed a police report. We could have taken him to the Small Claims Tribunal. But we also recognized that it was a time-consuming and expensive process.
In the end, I chose the best revenge of all.
I lived my life as if Mr. Pillai didn’t exist.
For over half a decade, I did not even think of Mr. Pillai or The Independent Singapore. I was too busy building a life and a career. Dwelling on a bitter past leads only to greater bitterness. I had more important things to do.
I was perfectly willing to let it go. I knew that sooner or later his actions will catch with him. Karma is a law as inevitable and inexorable as gravity.
Then, on the 25th of June, I read about Mr. Pillai’s candidacy in the General Elections.
I, a private individual, was willing to move on from my experiences.
I, a citizen of Singapore, have an obligation to my fellow countrymen.
This election is about choosing the best leaders for Singapore. Kumaran Pillai, in my experience, is not qualified. Voting in a man like that would only bring disaster to the nation.
I had no choice but to speak against him.
Q: If this is all about unpaid invoices, why don’t you go settle with him at the Small Claims Tribunal?
It’s not about money.
If I’d just wanted the money, I would have acted 6 years ago.
This is about Mr. Pillai’s character. Or lack of it. A man like this has no business being a Member of Parliament.
There are better and more effective ways of claiming unpaid monies. But this is not about the money. It’s about the future of the country at a critical moment in history.
I had no choice but to speak.
Q: Are you a PAP supporter / IB / bootlicker / mole?
I co-founded The Online Citizen.
I argued for deregulation of the Internet as part of Bloggers 13.
I wrote many posts critical of the government on my website for nearly half my life.
If I’m a PAP supporter / Internet Brigade / bootlicker / mole, I’m doing a real poor job at it.
Q: Are you a member / supporter of the Opposition?
No. I do not have any relationships with any opposition party.
As of time of writing, I have received no response from the media, the PSP, or Mr. Pillai about yesterday’s post.
There will be many people who will never believe me. Certainly there will be people who will view my story with skepticism. For the latter I ask only that you come to me with eyes unclouded, to read what I have to say about passing judgment. Judgment can wait until after you have the full story.
If this were a dispute between private individuals, I would have let it go. I had let it go. But the elections are coming. This is bigger than me, bigger than him, bigger than the monies he owes. The future of Singapore is at stake.
I have no choice but to speak.
(Photo from The Online Citizen.)