Cease & Desist What, Mr Zainudin Nordin? Discussion?
Dear Mr Gangasudhan,
You have posted a picture of me together with a quote “Gang rape, after all, is democracy in action”, which you have attributed to me. This is a statement by Terry Goodkind, and not me. Your post is therefore mischievous and highly defamatory of me, and calculated to embarrass me and cause me damage. I therefore demand that you remove your post immediately, failing which I will have no option but to take the appropriate legal action against you. All my rights are reserved.
Dear sir, I am puzzled as to why you might feel embarrassed by the combination of your image and a reproduction of what you posted publically on your Facebook page. But more importantly, as a voting member of the public, I am very disturbed by what seems to be your endorsement of this opinion that democracy can be explained away using a heinous crime such as gang rape.
Generally, I do not bother with politicians’ Facebook pages but when I chanced upon a Facebook posting elsewhere on Wednesday morning (https://www.facebook.com/sonofadud/posts/505031336210687) that described the post you had made regarding democracy, I was shocked – to say the least. I thus reproduced the statement attributed to you together with your picture to ask my friends why a politician receiving $192,000 of taxpayer dollars would even think to say such a thing. The picture is to identify the person who said it and the quote is a verbatim reproduction, thus I do not see what there is to be embarrassed about nor how could this be interpreted as mischievous intent. In fact, this was merely an act of free speech in posing a legitimate question to my friends – how could a highly-paid elected official who has taken office to represent the people through a democratic process imply that the very same process was akin to gang rape?Subsequently, through the responses from my friends, I was able to find a screen-capture of the posting as it appeared on your Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=523797831010442) and noticed that you had actually reproduced a quote from someone else and not directly made the statement yourself, thus I added the relevant information to reflect this new information on Wednesday night (see screen-capture below).
Looking at the quotation you reproduced on your Facebook page in full though, I am no more reassured by your position on the issue of democracy. The statement by Terry Goodkind suggests that the rights of the individual should not be infringed in the name of democracy, so are you saying that the Singapore government – a democratically elected institution - does not recognise the rights of the individual?
At best, the reproduction of Terry Goodkind’s statement demonstrates poor taste in discussing the concept of democracy – not to mention makes light of the very serious crime of rape (what more, with the world reeling from the news of the many brutal rape cases in India). As an ethnic Indian, I am actually offended at the insinuation that I would use the issue of gang rape to be “mischievous” in any way.
I am also disappointed that as an elected member of parliament who purports to represent the interests of your constituents, you have taken issue with a meme meant to invite discussion – i.e. instead of engaging in discussion and clarifying your position, you have attempted to remove the discussion altogether. This is not at all what I would expect from an elected representative of the people and I have somewhat lost faith in your ability to represent the best interests of the community of Singaporeans you serve.
I therefore hope that you will use this opportunity to engage in discussion and reassure me, a citizen of Singapore, rather than continue with what appears to be an exercise to silence me, thank you. In the meanwhile, I will share this exchange with my friends through my personal blog so that others can better understand the context of the meme I created as well as your thoughts on the matter, take care.
UPDATE 10/05/2013 @ 2345HRS
MP Zainudin Nordin replied at around 4.30pm with the following email message:
Dear Mr Gangasudhan,
It is clear from your initial posting that it was your intention to ridicule me, and not to debate issues. To do that, you deliberately and mischievously attributed Terry Goodkind’s quote to me and even extracted, without context, part of that quote. Your motives were plain and your response, contrived. You had no choice but to correct this egregious error, but I note there is no hint of an apology from you.
I think it is important to have open, honest debates on issues of the day. It is responses such as yours which in fact stifle honest debate and discourage people from sharing their views.
Sent from my iPhone