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.