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Pritam Singh gets charged, Balakrishnan meets Netanyahu

This week: Pritam Singh is charged in court, Vivian Balakrishnan tells Netanyahu that he cannot liddat, and a man gets sent down for four months for wishing violence on Lee Hsien Loong.

I love writing but I do not love writing headlines and email subject headers. I've been running this newsletter since 2018 and still stuck on how to write subject lines arrrrghhhh! Am testing out different formulations that might hopefully simplify things...


Workers' Party chief Pritam Singh has been charged in court for lying to a parliamentary committee. He's accused of having given false testimony at hearings held by the Committee of Privileges during the whole Raeesah Khan kerfuffle in 2021.

Singh was charged with two counts at the State Courts on Tuesday. The prosecution claims that he lied to the COP about how a meeting he had with Raeesah, Sylvia Lim and Faisal Manap had gone down, and also about what he'd said to Raeesah some time after that meeting. Singh has pleaded not guilty, so this thing is going to go to trial, unless he changes his position and pleads guilty at a later date.

Anyone fined at least $10,000 or jailed for at least one year upon a conviction for an offence will be disqualified from being a Member of Parliament. The maximum penalty for each of Singh's charges is a fine of up to $7,000, three years in jail, or both. It seems as if the prosecution will be asking for a fine for each of the charges, so it seems unlikely that Singh is going to be disqualified... unless they want to consider both charges as a single offence, whereupon the fine could come up to $14,000 and cross that $10,000 threshold. Will that happen? We'll just have to wait and see. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Regardless of what happens, one of the main reactions I've observed so far has been, "Ah, so elections coming then?" While Pritam's reputation might take a beating among some of the electorate, it'll also be hard to stop others from interpreting this political play.

Meanwhile, Singh is going to keep doing his parliamentary and town council work. The PAP is not seeking his suspension from Parliament at this point. WP also don't have much choice but to keep on keeping on and hope this isn't going to hit them too hard when it comes to election time.


Vivian Balakrishnan, the foreign affairs minister, has met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog. He has told them that they have "gone too far" and they cannot liddat. He called for an immediate ceasefire so that aid can get into Gaza. Yes, this is what Singapore should say to Israel. But it would have been nicer if they hadn't waited until after they'd let all those Israeli defence contractors into Singapore to exhibit their wares—including surveillance equipment and weaponry used on the people of Gaza—at the Singapore Air Show.


A 46-year-old man has been sent to prison for four months for incitement to violence. He'd been reported to the police for making shitty comments about Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, including posting a comment on a Facebook post about the assassination of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe that said "Pls someone do the same to our PM." Is this a good thing to do? No, of course not. It's not good to be wishing harm, violence or death on anyone. But how credibly dangerous were these comments, and is a four-month sentence proportionate? I don't get some of the comments that the prosecution highlighted as examples of inciting violence, as reported by CNA:

Mr Lee had uploaded a photo of himself with Mr Abe on his page, stating his shock over the shooting and condemning the "senseless act of violence".

Kong left a comment in Mandarin, which was translated in court documents to: "If you are going the right way, afraid that people would plot against you but you are not."

Kong later said he was trying to express his view in this comment that PM Lee "was not a good person", therefore "other people will plot against him".
About a month prior, Kong responded to a post on Instagram depicting a Tamagotchi toy that asked users to comment what it was, with "wrong answers only".

Kong replied saying the Tamagotchi was "the only weapon against (Singapore) PM".

I really don't get it. What's the Tamagotchi going to do to LHL? Beep at him? I mean, I guess that's really annoying (speaking from experience) but it's not actually going to hurt him, is it... Is there something missing from the news article here?

Personally, I've seen similar or even worse comments about me from pro-PAP trolls—as I've written about before, with accompanying screencaps of some egregious examples—with no police action taken. Some friends and I had even written to Lee Hsien Loong to complain about such harassment emanating from misinformation spread by his own party members, but nothing really came out of that.

Went to Xdinary Heroes's concert last week. I love them and it was the BEST time.

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