Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is taking legal action against blogger Alex Au for making allegations in a blog post, The Straits Times reported today.
The allegations by Au were about the sale of computer systems used by town councils. The matter has already generated controversy in Singapore's blogosphere and on social media platforms. The town councils that are responsible for maintaining local Housing Development Board (HDB) estates have sold off their customised software (Oracle-based software) to a company called AIM-which is owned by Singapore's ruling party, People's Action Party.
Many bloggers have pointed out anomalies in the tendering process of this transaction and have questioned the justifications given by the relevant authorities on this sale.
The paper reported that Au was served a letter of the demand today. The letter said that his blog post ("PAP mis-AIMed, faces blowback"), "together with 21 other comments that the blogger allowed to be posted on his site, can be taken together to suggest that PM Lee is guilty of corruption in relation to the transaction between the PAP town councils and the firm Action Information Management (Aim)".
The sender of the letter, Senior Counsel Davinder Singh of Drew and Napier, said that the allegations were "false and baseless" in the letter of demand.
Au was asked to immediately remove the article and comments as well as publish an apology to PM Lee within two days.
In response, Au said he will take down the post and issue an apology, the paper reported. He has also reportedly admitted that his post and the comments were defamatory.
However, he urged Singaporeans to keep asking questions and not get distracted from the main issue.
Six months ago, Au had been asked to apologise for one of his blog post related to traffic offences and the bias of courts "towards the well-connected".
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