THE TEMASEK TIMES

News and views from an unique perspective

Posts Tagged ‘Vikram Nair’

Vikram Nair’s move to appease WP supporters backfired spectacularly

Posted by temasektimes on March 17, 2012

The Workers Party’s growing popularity among Singaporeans is being felt even by the PAP MPs who now have to take the feelings of its supporters into consideration when sparring with WP MPs in Parliament.

Heated and fierce exchanges between MPs in Parliament are common in many First World countries such as the United Kingdom when ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown was literally ‘torn apart’ by the Conservative MPs during an inquiry on the Iraq War two years ago.

While ministers from the ruling party are usually subjected to intense questioning from the opposition MPs, the situation is quite the opposite in Singapore where the opposition MPs are now becoming ‘shielded’ from the usual criticisms, sarcasms and attacks commonly encountered in parliamentary debates by their legions of hardcore vocal supporters in cyberspace as PAP MP for Sembawang GRC Vikram Nair discovered recently.

Before he became a MP, Mr Nair was one of the top debaters in the country and during a parliamentary session two weeks ago, he criticized a call by WP MP Chen Show Mao to the government to invest more money in Singaporeans without explaining where the additional funds to do so will come from.

Mr Nair’s criticisms of Mr Chen were relatively mild, but it still sparked an outcry in cyberspace from WP supporters forcing him to do an abrupt U-turn and hand an ‘olive branch’ to Mr Chen to appease them.

In an interview with Lianhe Zaobao which was coincidentally conducted by his schoolmate from Raffles Junior College class of 1995/1996 Ms Yew Lun Tian, Mr Nair said:

“The tone I used during the Budget debate was too sarcastic which caused me to be misunderstood. If there is a repeat, I will be more direct.”

(“我参与预算案辩论时用的语气,嘲讽意味太重了。这使我被误会,效果不好。要是可以重来,我会直截了当得多。”)

He tried desperately hard to explain that though he was ‘mocking’ Mr Chen at that time, he was hoping Mr Chen would explain how the government can improve on the Budget.

“I initially thought that since Mr Chen is a lawyer and an economist at the same time, he would be able to explain himself clearly. But he didn’t bother to do so.”

(“我本以为陈硕茂既然当过律师,也是经济学者,理应对我展开火力十足的反击并解释立场。但他却没有,只说对我的演讲没有要澄清或提问的。我为此感到非常过意不去,所以没有继续问下去。”)

Unfortunately, Mr Nair’s goodwill was not reciprocated by netizens as they continue to lampoon him for daring to question and criticize their beloved WP MPs who are so ‘perfect’ and without flaws that even committing adultery with other married women is acceptable to them.

Some responses from netizens on Facebook:

“Chen Show Mao is a class of his own. He did not stoop low for the childish challenges from V Nair. V Nair probably was trying to show to his bosses that he got some stuff. Unfortunately he ended up being shown as a small time irrelevant thinker.” – Rodney Tan

“Next time, filter thru your tiny little brain before your shoot your mouth. Then it can saved you from embarassment and explanation!” – Raymond Hay

“Nair’s pointed personal remarks against CSM not only was unwarranted, condecending and mocking, it carries no water nor substance. If the government can find $$$ for the sudden ballooned budget for the Youth Olympics and their own salary increases, they cannot find $$$ for the poor and needy? Maybe it is time the citizens ponder whether who are really representing them?” – Min Chew

 

Related articles:

Vikram Nair: I was too harsh on Chen Show Mao

Indian new citizen defends Vikram Nair

Vikram Nair being made to look like a ‘joke’ by TOC

Vikram Nair to sue TOC for defamation?

Vikram Nair: ‘Deceptive’ of TOC to attribute ‘lies’ to me

Vikram Nair to Chen Show Mao: Show me the money

Posted in News | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Vikram Nair now admits: I was too ‘harsh’ on Chen Show Mao in an interview by his RJC schoolmate

Posted by temasektimes on March 16, 2012

Less than a month after attacking WP MP Chen Show Mao ferociously in Parliament during a heated exchange on the Budget, newbie PAP MP Vikram Nair now did an abrupt U-turn and admitted that he was too ‘harsh’ on his political opponent in what appeared to be a desperate attempt to salvage his battered image among some young Singaporeans.

Mr Chen’s call to the government to invest more money in Singaporeans was challenged by Mr Nair who asked him to ‘show’ the money, comparing his ideas to a ‘Nigerian scam’.

”Let’s do more, let’s spend more,’ (they say), and, of course, they never talk of where this money is going to come from…I think many of us here have been working year in, year out, helping the vulnerable groups, and it is pretty hurtful coming from Mr Chen because he might have held this belief for a long time, but he came back only quite recently to help in this,” Mr Nair said then.

Mr Nair was severely criticized by netizens for his remarks after which he threatened to sue socio-political blog The Online Citizen (TOC) for defamation in an interview with inSing news:

“I hope not to take legal action but if there’s lingering damage I might have to consider it. It also depends on what they (The Online Citizen) do and how they respond to the matter. I just want to clear my name.”

Not only did Mr Nair ‘chicken out’ in the end and let TOC off the hook without taking legal action against the site as promised, he is now offering an ‘olive branch’ to Mr Chen to placate him and supporters of the Workers Party.

In an interview with Lianhe Zaobao which was coincidentally conducted by his schoolmate from Raffles Junior College class of 1995/1996 Ms Yew Lun Tian, Mr Nair said:

“The tone I used during the Budget debate was too sarcastic which caused me to be misunderstood. If there is a repeat, I will be more direct.”

(“我参与预算案辩论时用的语气,嘲讽意味太重了。这使我被误会,效果不好。要是可以重来,我会直截了当得多。”)

He tried desperately hard to explain that though he was ‘mocking’ Mr Chen at that time, he was hoping Mr Chen would explain how the government can improve on the Budget.

“I initially thought that since Mr Chen is a lawyer and an economist at the same time, he would be able to explain himself clearly. But he didn’t bother to do so.”

(“我本以为陈硕茂既然当过律师,也是经济学者,理应对我展开火力十足的反击并解释立场。但他却没有,只说对我的演讲没有要澄清或提问的。我为此感到非常过意不去,所以没有继续问下去。”)

Mr Nair’s repeated flip-flops like flipping a roti-prata is not only going to win him new fans from the opposition camp, but will cost him supporters from the PAP camp as well who are not used to seeing their leaders making capitulating to populist sentiments and making ‘concessions’ to the opposition so easily.

Related articles:

Indian new citizen defends Vikram Nair

Vikram Nair being made to look like a ‘joke’ by TOC

Vikram Nair to sue TOC for defamation?

Vikram Nair: ‘Deceptive’ of TOC to attribute ‘lies’ to me

Vikram Nair to Chen Show Mao: Show me the money

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 12 Comments »

Indian new citizen Fredric Fanthome defends Vikram Nair and attacks ‘spiteful’ netizens

Posted by temasektimes on March 7, 2012

Indian new citizen and YPAP leader Fredric Fanthome has lashed out at ‘spiteful’ netizens to defend beleaguered PAP MP Vikram Nair who was criticized and ridiculed by many in cyberspace for his empty threat to sue socio-political blog ‘The Online Citizen’ for defamation.

Mr Nair had earlier accused TOC of attributing ‘lies’ to him and threatened to sue the site in an interview with in Sing news last week:

“I hope not to take legal action but if there’s lingering damage I might have to consider it. It also depends on what they (The Online Citizen) do and how they respond to the matter. I just want to clear my name.”

However, TOC did not bother to ‘entertain’ to Mr Nair and refuse to remove the defamatory article on its site thereby making Mr Nair look like a ‘joke’.

The saga appeared to diminish Mr Nair’s credibility in the eyes of the online community as netizens took turns to take potshots at him, one of whom described him as a ‘smart ass’:

The thread was brought to the attention of Mr Nair who described it as ‘nasty’, prompting Mr Fredric Fanthome to jump to his defence almost immediately:

“We have faced these hyperbolic, spiteful blubbering types online before – those who don’t have the courage to come up with a well thought position and think spewing venom and name calling while hiding behind pseudonyms is the sum total of propagating freedom of speech.”

This is not the first time that Mr Fanthome had spoken out against netizens, having sparked an outcry earlier in 2010 for lampooning them as ‘anonymous hordes which spewed venom’.

Fredric graduated from the Indian Institute of Management in 2000 and is currently the head of Business Development at Clearing and Payment Services Pte Ltd, a Singapore SME.

In an article he wrote for Contact Singapore, an alliance of the Singapore Economic Development Board and Ministry of Manpower to attract global talent to work, invest and live in Singapore, he described Singapore as a place which “works”.

“The electricity never fails, the transport system works, the drainage system works. You can drink water from the tap without worrying about getting a tummy ache. And the air is clean, except when there are forest fires in Indonesia!”

Fredric did not reveal when he became a Singapore citizen, but it is pretty obvious that he is proud of his adopted country from his writings:

“I did not adapt to Singapore. I did not have to. Singapore was the kind of city I was always looking for……I don’t just live here. I am Singaporean. Singaporean by choice, and proud of it.”

[Source: A City which fits like a Charm from "The Singapore Experience" by Contact Singapore]

Meanwhile, Mr Vikram Nair still dare not follow up with his threat to sue TOC as the ‘damage’ inflicted on his reputation by the defamatory article lingers on. For unknown reasons, Mr Nair has deleted the above thread and comments.

 

 

Related articles:

Vikram Nair being made to look like a ‘joke’ by TOC

Vikram Nair to sue TOC for defamation?

Vikram Nair: ‘Deceptive’ of TOC to attribute ‘lies’ to me

Vikram Nair to Chen Show Mao: Show me the money

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

Vikram Nair continues to criticize Chen Show Mao, but has yet to take legal action against TOC

Posted by temasektimes on March 5, 2012

PAP MP for Sembawang GRC Vikram Nair continues to criticize WP MP Chen Show Mao on his Facebook following a terse exchange with the latter during a parliamentary section last week.

Mr Nair had earlier criticized Mr Chen for asking the government to spend more on Singaporeans without providing any details on how to fund the increased expenditure.

“My main quarrel was with the loud claims for spending in many areas without any detail on the trade-offs that were to be made in order to spend more in all these areas identified.  Mr Chen simply said they were investments and would be ‘self-funding’,” he wrote in his latest entry on his Facebook.

He also attacked the Workers Party for measuring ‘success’ on the basis of the spending itself rather than the outcomes:

“My concern was that the Worker’s Party were contemplating changes of substantial magnitude in government spending and seemed to measure success on the basis of the spending itself rather than the outcomes achieved.  When proposing such substantial changes, I think it becomes necessary to discuss revenue implications as every MP must be sure they can justify the additional burden this spending may incur to their residents.”

Mr Nair did not mention if he is going to take legal action against socio-political blog ‘The Online Citizen’ for attributing ‘lies’ to him which he threatened to do so in an interview with in Sing news last week:

“I hope not to take legal action but if there’s lingering damage I might have to consider it. It also depends on what they (The Online Citizen) do and how they respond to the matter. I just want to clear my name.”

Till today, TOC has not removed the defamatory article which really make Mr Nair look like a ‘joke’ for his outburst.

 

Related articles:

Vikram Nair being made to look like a ‘joke’ by TOC

Vikram Nair to sue TOC for defamation?

Vikram Nair: ‘Deceptive’ of TOC to attribute ‘lies’ to me

Vikram Nair to Chen Show Mao: Show me the money

Posted in News | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

No response from PAP MP Vikram Nair as he is labeled a ‘pussycat’ for not daring to sue TOC

Posted by temasektimes on March 4, 2012

There were no response from embattled PAP MP Vikram Nair as his public standing took a further plunge with his refusal to sue socio-political blog ‘The Online Citizen’ for libel.

Mr Nair was upset with a defamatory article on TOC which attributed lies to him and threatened to take legal action against it in an interview with inSing News:

“I hope not to take legal action but if there’s lingering damage I might have to consider it. It also depends on what they (The Online Citizen) do and how they respond to the matter. I just want to clear my name.”

He added that his decision will also depend if the website takes down the article and apologises, stressing that he hopes no legal action will be required.

Not only did TOC not apologize, it refused to remove the defamatory article from the site as well, thereby making a ‘fool’ out of Mr Nair who has since become a butt of joke among netizens.

Another socio-political blog TR Emeritus labeled Mr Nair as a ‘pussycat’:

It also mocked Mr Nair for ‘picking’ on TOC:

“So come on Pussy Vikram, how about suing the Straits Times instead of picking on small fries? Afraid to end up like TT Durai who got kicked in the butt by taking on the ST?”

Meanwhile, the traffic to TOC has increased after its spat with Mr Nair was made public.

TOC’s blatant refusal to cave in to Mr Nair was in stark contrast to TR Emeritus whose editor Richard Wan promptly apologized after being issued a lawyer’s letter by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Unless Mr Nair follows up with his threat with real concrete action, few Singaporeans will take him seriously again in the future.

Related articles:

Vikram Nair being made to look like a ‘joke’ by TOC

Vikram Nair to sue TOC for defamation?

Vikram Nair: ‘Deceptive’ of TOC to attribute ‘lies’ to me

Posted in News | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Vikram Nair being made to look like a ‘joke’ after TOC ignored his threat to sue them for defamation

Posted by temasektimes on March 3, 2012

First-term PAP MP for Sembawang GRC Vikram Nair is being made to look like a ‘joke’ after socio-political blog The Online Citizen (TOC) ignored his threat to sue them for defamation and continue to keep the alleged defamatory article written by Ng Ee-Jay on its site.

TOC had earlier published an article by Ng Ee-Jay yesterday with the misleading title “Vikram Nair compares Chen Show Mao’s proposals to a Nigerian scam” with a photo of Mr Nair on top and attributed to him the following quote: “Investing in People = Nigerian Scam”.

In a detailed explanation posted on his Facebook, Mr Nair rubbished the TOC’s article:

“The key thrust of this article is that I considered investing in the elderly, the disabled, the poor and other needy Singaporeans as being akin to a Nigerian scam.  The insinuation is that I do not care about these groups is totally false.” 

Mr Nair added that he had never said anywhere in his parliamentary speech that “Investing in people = Nigerian scam” and described the attribution as ‘false’ and ‘misleading’. He said that his joke about the Nigerian scam was taken out of context when he was responding to the Workers’ Party’s Chen Show Mao’s views on investments in social capital.

In an interview with inSing News, Mr Nair said:

“I hope not to take legal action but if there’s lingering damage I might have to consider it. It also depends on what they (The Online Citizen) do and how they respond to the matter. I just want to clear my name.”

He added that his decision will also depend if the website takes down the article and apologises, stressing that he hopes no legal action will be required.

However, TOC does not seem to care a hoot about Mr Nair’s threat to sue them. When approached by inSing news, TOC said that the article was by a contributor and the views are of the contributor.

“It was not a TOC editorial, and hence does not reflect TOC’s editorial or organisational position. Therefore, TOC does not see the need to reply to Mr Nair’s Facebook note.”

Until now, TOC has yet to remove the article in question though it has extended an ‘invitation’ to Mr Nair to ‘write to them and state his point of view’ which has been rejected.

TOC’s blatant refusal to ‘entertain’ Mr Nair has put him in a bad light as his threat to sue is not only not being taken seriously, but he is made to look like a ‘joke’ in the eyes of netizens too.

‘laoporkar’ posted on Hardwarezone forum:

“do you think he is joking again this time round?”

‘smith2006′ added:

“What a joker! Pay him to tell joke in the August Chamber?”

Mr Vikram Nair should ‘walk his talk’ by suing TOC for libel if he really think he has been defamed. Issuing empty threats via the media to intimidate TOC without following up with real concrete action is going to make him lose credibility and diminish his standing in the eye of the public.

 

 

Related articles:

Vikram Nair to sue TOC for defamation?

Vikram Nair: ‘Deceptive’ of TOC to attribute ‘lies’ to me

Posted in News | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »

PAP MP Vikram Nair to sue ‘The Online Citizen’ for defamation?

Posted by temasektimes on March 2, 2012

PAP MP for Sembawang GRC Vikram Nair is considering suing socio-political blog ‘The Online Citizen’ (TOC) for publishing a defamatory article about him.

The article in question was written by TOC editor Ng Ee-Jay and titled “Vikram Nair compares Chen Show Mao’s proposals to a Nigerian scam.”

Mr Vikram Nair was extremely upset with TOC for twisting his words to mislead Singaporeans and accused the site of attributing ‘lies’ to him.

In a detailed explanation posted on his Facebook, Mr Nair rubbished the TOC’s article:

“The key thrust of this article is that I considered investing in the elderly, the disabled, the poor and other needy Singaporeans as being akin to a Nigerian scam.  The insinuation is that I do not care about these groups is totally false.” 

Mr Nair added that he had never said anywhere in his parliamentary speech that “Investing in people = Nigerian scam” and described the attribution as ‘false’ and ‘misleading’.

In an interview with inSing News, Mr Nair said:

“I hope not to take legal action but if there’s lingering damage I might have to consider it. It also depends on what they (The Online Citizen) do and how they respond to the matter. I just want to clear my name.”

He added that his decision will also depend if the website takes down the article and apologises, stressing that he hopes no legal action will be required.

However, TOC does not seem to care a hoot about Mr Nair’s threat to sue them. When approached by inSing news, TOC said that the article was by a contributor and the views are of the contributor.

“It was not a TOC editorial, and hence does not reflect TOC’s editorial or organisational position. Therefore, TOC does not see the need to reply to Mr Nair’s Facebook note.”

TOC has a history of twisting and distorting the words of MPs. In December last year, it twisted the words of another MP Seng Han Thong made on BlogTV to make him sound like a ‘racist’, sparking an outcry among netizens who were misled by its article.

 

Posted in News | Tagged: , , , | 11 Comments »

Vikram Nair: It is ‘deceptive’ of TOC to attribute ‘LIES’ to me

Posted by temasektimes on March 2, 2012

PAP MP and lawyer Vikram Nair has slammed socio-political blog The Online Citizen (TOC) for attributing ‘lies’ to him.

TOC had earlier published an article by Ng Ee-Jay this morning with the misleading title “Vikram Nair compares Chen Show Mao’s proposals to a Nigerian scam” with a photo of Mr Nair on top and attributed to him the following quote: “Investing in People = Nigerian Scam”.

In a detailed explanation posted on his Facebook, Mr Nair rubbished the TOC’s article:

“The key thrust of this article is that I considered investing in the elderly, the disabled, the poor and other needy Singaporeans as being akin to a Nigerian scam.  The insinuation is that I do not care about these groups is totally false.” 

Mr Nair added that he had never said anywhere in his parliamentary speech that “Investing in people = Nigerian scam” and described the attribution as ‘false’ and ‘misleading’.

This is not the first time TOC had attributed lies to PAP MPs to portray them in a negative light. In December last year, it twisted the words of another MP Seng Han Thong made on BlogTV to make him sound like a ‘racist’, sparking an outcry among netizens who were misled by its article.

Read Mr Vikram Nair’s explanation on his Facebook here.

 

Posted in News | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Vikram Nair attacks Chen Show Mao: Show me the money to invest in Singaporeans

Posted by temasektimes on March 1, 2012

Workers Party MP Chen Show Mao (Aljunied GRC) came under heavy fire from PAP MP Vikram Nair (Nee Soon GRC) during a parliamentary debate yesterday as the latter asked him repeatedly to show him the money to pay for the extra expenditure proposed in his Budget Speech.

Mr Chen had earlier called on the government to invest more in Singaporeans:

“To invest in Singaporeans is to invest in the future of Singapore. It has been said so many times and for so long that the only resource Singapore has is ourselves, that our most important capital is our human capital. Inclusive growth must be built on the growth of our human capital.”

However, Mr Vikram Nair accused Mr Chen and other WP MPs of scoring ‘political points’ by repeatedly asking the government to do more for vulnerable groups without acknowledging what had already been done, criticising him for not having a plan to pay for the extra spending he proposed.

“The one question I have is: what does Workers’ Party intend to do on the revenue side? Is it planning to raise taxes or eat into reserves to pay for all these additional programmes? Because I think the objectives are noble. I am just wondering how you balance it out…,” Mr Vikram Nair said.

He also insinuated that Mr Chen might not understand the reality on the ground as he just returned to Singapore. Mr Chen worked overseas for a number of years before returning to Singapore to contest in the general election last year.

”Let’s do more, let’s spend more,’ (they say), and, of course, they never talk of where this money is going to come from…I think many of us here have been working year in, year out, helping the vulnerable groups, and it is pretty hurtful coming from Mr Chen because he might have held this belief for a long time, but he came back only quite recently to help in this,” he added.

In response, Mr Chen said he is proposing that Singapore run a ‘deficit’ to fund additional social spending, but to “look at the numbers both on the revenue side and how much we hope to make in terms of investments to come to a solution.”

Read Mr Chen’s Budget Speech here.

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 26 Comments »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,098 other followers