The G does NOT need protecting

Jan 17, 2017 08.43AM |

THAT’S because the G can’t be considered a person. In any case, the G isn’t exactly bereft of resources to protect itself from false claims and untruths.

That’s what Singapore highest court said about the Protection from Harassment Act which the Defence Ministry tried to invoke when it had to deal with Dr Ting Choon Meng who accused Mindef of dragging out a court case over a medical device so as to drain him financially.

You can read the background on the case here. The Online Citizen has been reporting the doctor’s claims and the individuals running the site have also been subject of Mindef’s ire. But it was no-go for Mindef and the Attorney-General took the case to the Court of Appeal.

MSM reported that the three-court judge was split with Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon as the sole dissenting voice. Under the provision, a person who is a victim of a false statement can ask the court to order that the statement not be published unless it drew attention to the truth. Mindef was among the first “people” to test the law which came into place in 2014. Judges Andrew Phang and Chao Hick Tin said Mindef didn’t qualify as a “person”, CJ Menon said it did. We’ll have more on this later.

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Now, let’s go to wealth.

Veteran banker Wee Cho Yaw, has bought all 45 unsold units at upmarket condominium, The Nassim, for $411.6 million.

The bulk sale gets developer CapitaLand off the hook over penalties that apply to unsold properties after a stipulated period. CapitaLand estimated that if the 45 units had been unsold by August, it would have had to pay $9.3 million in the first year. These fees would have jumped to $27.9 million by the third year, reported The Straits Times (ST). The unanswered question: what’s he going to do with 45 units? Rent them out and sell them when the property prices go back up?

Mr Wee was one of those who helped to boost private home sales last year. Developers sold 8,136 new units, up from 7,440 in 2015 and 7,300 or so in 2014. Private home prices have been slipping in the past three years – by 3 per cent last year, 3.7 per cent in 2015 and 4 per cent in 2014.

Still on wealth. An Oxfam report said that eight people in the world owned US$427 billion (S$610 billion) equivalent to what more than 3.6 billion people or the poorest half of the world have. Microsoft’s Bill Gates tops the the list with US$75 billion.

And finally, we end with US President-Elect Donald Trump, who has been busy making a lot of people unhappy, by predicting, among other things, an exodus from the European Union which he described as a vehicle fan instrument of German domination designed to beat the United States in international trade.


Featured image from TMG file.

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