f) The silence for 2 weeks
1 troubling fact is that TRS remained silent on their arrest for a full 2 weeks, and the matter only came to light when TNP released it last week. And since then, TRS has again remained silent except for an evasive reply that does not explain why they resorted to such an extravagant lie and after being caught, why didn’t they come clean?
And now with further evidence showing the handsome profits they have reaped and the fact that 2/3 of the editorial team is foreign, while the sole Singaporean is also a student abroad. How can they continue to claim to be fair and transparent when they clearly tried to hoodwink their readers for a long time?
Han Hui Hui has been part of TRS’s team for some time but their lawyer M Ravi has stated that fellow Looney Fringe Roy Ngerng is also paid by them.
M Ravi has claimed that Roy Ngerng is also part of the TRS team and is paid $3,000 a month. We know that Han Hui Hui is also part of it, and Alex Tan too in some capacity. Can all these 3 claim to be victimised, when they are also earning a slice of the TRS profits? If Ravi’s allegations are true of course, and I believe they are. So Roy and Ms Han have not be ostracised or rejected by employers, rather they have a found another novel way to earn money, and at the same time trumpet their own actions. TRS has always sided with the Looney Fringe in every single activity they partake. It’s no surprise then to find the connection between the Looney Fringe and TRS.
What Future does TRS Face?
This is of course the interesting bit. We already know that 2 of them – Yang and Takagi have been arrested by the Police and are out on bail. It’s therefore very likely that charges will follow. I’m given to understand that TRS made a fatal error in underestimating the Police, thinking their cloak of invisibility was beyond anyone’s reach. But the Police sent their crack teams from the CID – the Special Investigation Section and Computer Crimes Unit. If really these 2 units were involved then, the matter is very serious for them. If the Police are prepared to launch 2 of their top units to probe TRS, it means they are not taking things lightly. They can expect further and more serious charges.
TRS like many similar sites have been told/warned/advised by the AGC to issue an apology for articles relating cases like the above. But because of their then anonymity, they ignored it.
There’s also a possibility that the dreaded ISA might be used if it’s determined there’s a huge foreign influence by bodies operating out of Singapore. Melanie even boasted once they had found a significant foreign backer. Anyway this only relates to the case revolving around the seditious article. TRS has done much more. They were warned and instructed by the AGC to remove articles in contempt of the judiciary and publish a full apology and promise of no repeat. This they did not do.
They have also routinely fanned anti-racial and anti-religious fervour by allowing articles to be published without proper editorial control. And even now after the expose, they continue to publish defamatory articles – the latest was 1 last week alleging nepotism and cronyism by Lee Kuan Yew. Note these are the very things Chee Soon Juan got sued and bankrupted for.
Now anybody can think and assume such nepotism or cronyism, even corruption exists, they may even share it privately among friends and family, but it’s a totally different thing to publish them without a shred of evidence to show for it. And this is just the latest in a long line of such articles.
And even if we ignore their problems with the Govt, then there’s also a number of private individual or companies they’ve attacked and published articles that are inflammatory and with little evidence to support the allegations. Some private individuals may not have the means to take them to court, but some of those TRS ‘exposed’ are certainly not poor and certainly are unlikely to forget the damage the articles caused. A number of lawsuits might soon follow after the criminal case.
And of course the Govt might use the law to gazette them the same way they have done with TOC or even shut them down. Of course some say, this will just mean another will pop up. However I also think that even if that happens, the next group will be very wary and try to avoid the pitfalls of routes TRS has taken. The Govt knows who’s behind TREmeritus and yet they operate still. Sammyboy forums is another site that routinely lambasts the PAP with exposes. But unlike TRS, these do stuff sporadically and never bordering of the paths that lead to defamation or sedition.
Of course TRS has a right to continue, and they certainly are. They will be unwilling to let a cash cow go so easily, especially one that allowed them to operate with indifference, irreverence and with gay abandon for so long. Or it might be 1 last hurrah before the inevitable slew of charges and lawsuits follow, a final chance to build up their defense war chest.
TRS can continue to survive and thrive just like TREmeritus and TOC have, but it has to start with building credibility. If not they are on a slippery path that may eventually lead them to the ‘state apartments’ at Changi.
But the lesson here is that if you want to contribute and offer a platform, you should be honest, open and fair. Or maybe if you want it to counter balance the MSM or even as a platform to attack the PAP, you must do it in the proper way and not resort to falsehoods. And you should stick to the political stuff, not get too personal and be careful not to cross certain boundaries, no matter how tempting they might be. If you want anonymity fine, but don’t use your own bias and agenda or allow those with similar bias and agenda to use your site to gain an audience and cause distress to segments of society or even all of society. A cloak of invisibility is not a cloak of invincibility. This was a lesson I saw coming a long time ago, it’s a real pity TRS had to learn it the hard way. For all the good they have done, they allowed a lack of honesty and credibility ruin all of that, and worse, did a lot of damage along the way. Rather than help the opposition cause, it only helped them enrich themselves. And that’s The Real Shame with The Real Singapore.
This story was first published on AnyhowHantam
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