Oxford Project Southeast Asia calls on Select Committee to issue immediate and public apology for unacceptable treatment of Dr Thum

We, the undersigned Trustees of Oxford Project Southeast Asia, wish to express in the strongest possible terms our concern regarding the treatment of Dr PJ Thum in recent hearings of the Singapore government’s Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods. Co-ordinator of Project Southeast Asia, and a member of its Board of Trustees, Dr Thum is a historian of Singapore’s independence struggle of the 1950s and 1960s, and since completing his doctorate at Oxford on this subject in 2011 has continued his research, notably reviewing documentation released recently by the British government on that era, and making his findings available to a wider audience. The documentation provided by his original and carefully sourced research has revealed events and relationships between Singapore’s leaders of the period that run counter to the view of the country’s history as now promoted by the Singapore government.

Earlier this year, Dr Thum responded to the public call, by the Select Committee, for submissions on the current state of media information and its reliability in Singapore. However, when called to interview by the Committee, he found that the contents of his submission were not the object of their inquiry, and were never directly discussed. Instead, Dr Thum was subjected to six hours of questioning by the Minister for Law and Home Affairs which focussed on the findings of his academic research. In the course of this interrogation, which may be viewed in full online at the Government of Singapore’s YouTube channel, the Minister repeatedly expressed disdain for Dr Thum’s research, rephrasing its findings in general terms that misrepresented it, and attempting to get Dr Thum to agree to those rephrasings by attempting to force him to provide only yes/no answers. Dr Thum has since been subject to unflattering and one-sided reporting by the media.

Dr Thum’s research has already met the rigorous standards of examination at Oxford, and in peer review by fellow historical experts on the region. There is an evident irony in a Select Committee addressed to deliberate information falsehoods which proceeds by impugning and restating empirical findings. The implications for academic freedom, and for freedom of expression in Singapore, are very troubling. Instead of a hearing with the stated objective of securing truth in information, the actual conduct of its questioning appears designed to intimidate those who seek to publish the truth.

We call on the Select Committee to issue an immediate and public apology for this unacceptable treatment of Dr Thum.

Signatories of the statement

Dr Philip Kreager (Chair)
Dr Gerry Bodeker
Professor Jeff Burley
Dr Peter Carey
Dr Mari Mulyani
Dr Gillian Petrokofsky

 

Oxford Project Southeast Asia

 

 

 

 

 

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27 Responses to “Oxford Project Southeast Asia calls on Select Committee to issue immediate and public apology for unacceptable treatment of Dr Thum”

  • justtobefair:

    I sincerely hope this letter is published by the Straits Times in its forum section.

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  • Bapak:

    This is getting very exciting. Why it has to be foreigners to see true PAP’s scheme. Where are all the good men & women from 9locals?

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  • Titiana Ann Xavier:

    An increasing number of local and international voices are being heard demanding that the Select Committee apologises for its boorish conduct and shameless treatment of Dr Thum. Shanmugam’s contempt was plain to see and totally uncalled for. The most unpleasant takeaway from this episode is the perception that a minister was behaving like a thug.

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  • Disgraceful SHAM:

    SG is a dictatorship which controls the 154th ranked media as adjudged by Freedom House. All dictatorships think it’s only they who possess the key to the truth.

    There should be a backlash against the regime Ministers and its MPs and their families.

    As long as there are no backlash the ruling regime will continue to act like the mafia.

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  • LIONS:

    SELECT CON-mittee.
    Acting like a bulLEE.
    PLS have some self-respect.
    You invited Dr Thum for opinions.
    So why suppress him?
    If you want to hear only SOUNDS GOOD FEELS GOOD FAKE STUFFS,you shud just tune into MEDIACOCK 905 FM ibstead???

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  • vanity of the PAP leaders:

    justtobefair:
    I sincerely hope this letter is published by the Straits Times in its forum section.

    Who controls the Straits Times?

    If it’s anything critical of the PAP, Sinkies will not get to read or watch it on our msm.

    Of course, when anyone praises the PAP, even when it’s trivial, the news get splashed all over the msm. Such is also the vanity of the PAP leaders.

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  • Donno how 2b objective:

    Good. Now the world sees the imperfections of this so called 1st world gov and the ways they fix outstanding individuals who refuse to be “programmed by them” . PAPs are threatened by such intellects.
    I doubt if DrThum will get an apology..these miws all think theyre so perfect!

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  • Lee sham jiak sai:

    What to do Lee Sham is just following his master footsteps.No problem if cannot win sue sue sue.

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  • On thinking straight:

    “We seem to have trouble with critical thinking. And our political system doesn’t help.”
    - Barack Obama

    Don’t we put too much premium on presenting our views of a subject, while sidestepping its substance through undisciplined ruminations?

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  • Haigen-diaz:

    If there was ever a case of party before country, this is it. The Select Committee achieved a tremendous breakthrough in demonstrating the nauseating sycophancy and ineptitude of PM Lee’s government. It’s a disgrace. Makes you wonder why they are doing everything possible to hinder this. The Minister for Law and Home Affairs and this committee are using their positions to play politics plain and simple. We can’t allow them to self-regulate and decide what’s safe for the public without grave consequences. Most of us are powerless in this sordid political game; all we can do, other than our votes and meager contributions, is watch the abuse by K Shanmugam to bully and ostracize fellow Singaporeans Dr. PJ Thum, who is actually working in the field to collect information, for speaking up against fake news. Now the Trustees of Oxford Project Southeast Asia, as the standard bearer for the historical facts in this country, can call out injustice and fight for what is right with a huge platform. This is a complete exoneration for all of our intelligence community. .

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  • The Adulterer, ShameMoreCunt:

    The Select Committee, chaired by Charles Chong is itself a disgrace. He himself had not cleared himself of telling lies during the campaigning period of the 2015 GE, and had allowed himself and party to gain much advantages. So, many citizens considered that Committee is not appropriate for the finding of fake news. Now, the whole world gets to know how low this regime can get to, in order to character assissinate honorable and respectable oppositions.

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  • Bapak:

    Like that car crash in Buffallo St – LKY stopped car crash & the light in Gardens Bt The Bay. It was totally absurb. There are still idiots who wh**e-ship him like god.

    vanity of the PAP leaders: Who controls the Straits Times?

    If it’s anything critical of the PAP, Sinkies will not get to read or watch it on our msm.

    Of course, when anyone praises the PAP, even when it’s trivial, the news get splashed all over the msm. Such is also the vanity of the PAP leaders.

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  • wait long long:

    apologise?
    wait long long!

    buay song?
    dont vote for orekau la.

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  • patriot of Temesak:

    Dear Professors, you are dealing with curs that Bark & Attack on command…calling for an apology is liking to water off a Duck’s back, the more APPROPRIATE is to make a concerted effort of a JOINT STATEMENT from various affiliated UNIS to CONDEMN such actions from Dogs that bark and attack at command upon their master’s VOICE.

    Thank you,

    Patriots of a Nation(TruBlu not Fakes)

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  • Dr Tan Tai Wei:

    In ST, 18/4, Charles Chong says Dr Thum isn’t “an academic historian”, by which he means he isn’t an academic employee of a university, Oxford or what. I don’t how that pertains to Thum’s historical research, which is the matter presented to his Committee. Nevertheless, Charles should be made to consider the following. Does he really want to say that historical research creditability is necessarily determined by whether some university has employed you, and necessarily in its history department? One could say that, precisely that some research has had been published by accredited professional journals and well peer-reviewed, its author should arguably be better appraised, compared to full-time academics, whose job it is to similarly research and publish, but who perhaps has not, or not published as much as Thum. And having been acknowledged by Oxford that Thum, though researching elsewhere, had produced research that merited his being invited by Oxford, or having his application approved by Oxford, to become “visiting scholar” or so at Oxford, says more for Thum’s creditability than had he been a mere ordinary Oxford staff. Etc.

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  • INDIAN malay INDIAN president:

    we are true blue citizens of Singapore. we have completed full time NSF and full cycle NSR. we are more Singaporean than some pap Ljs such as malaysian cow boon hwan and malaysian puthu cherry who avoided NSF NSR.

    we are therefore entitled to say what is right or wrong in Singapore.

    we say 100% what Dr PJ Thum has said is right. pap is the prime source of FAKE news in Singapore.

    if pap Ljs and pap Cbs disagree call a National Referendum and let the citizens decide whether what Dr PJ Thum has said is true or not true.

    don’t abuse the one pap law two pap interpretations here. just because 70% sheep happens to be asleep does not mean 70% sheep shall be asleep always. as soon as 70% sheep wakes up New Government shall investigate and rewrite all the pap FAKE news in history books.

    call a national referendum. then no need to abuse power trying change truth into pap FAKE news.

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  • INDIAN malay INDIAN president:

    vanity of the PAP leaders: Who controls the Straits Times?

    If it’s anything critical of the PAP, Sinkies will not get to read or watch it on our msm.

    Of course, when anyone praises the PAP, even when it’s trivial, the news get splashed all over the msm. Such is also the vanity of the PAP leaders.

    bro, it is NOT vanity. it is FAKE news.

    when there are 3 things about pap, 2 bad and 1 good, and only the 1 good is broadcast by pap MSM while the other 2 bad are suppressed, it is FAKE news. and pap is the master of such FAKE news in pap.

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  • jaywalker:

    I have never laughed so much at a cartoon! My tummy aches so much at this very high level joke!

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  • jaywalker:

    Wondering how anyone with even one micrometer of skin could try to pass this off as an objective discussion. Puking non-stop!

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  • nizhemoshou:

    Do you think the SHam CONmittee will apologise? Hard to think it will.
    If the old fart is around, tan ku ku for any apology as he will be so rankled n hopping mad. It will start him thinking how to fix this Oxford project entity. How ? Twist n charge them for foreign meddling and interference and withdraw SG participation in their project . Right?

    His limpeh son will copycat do the same Get the state propaganda msm to play the bogey of foreign interference, Thum PJ part of this plot, making themselves to be the victim, ban the entity from SG OK . Deja vu. Like limpeh like son All SGs unite to kick out the limpeh son.

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  • Tremendous:

    I thought there have been repeated calls to publish all cited documents in the mainstream media. I ask you this, after so many days what did we see ? The articles can clear doubts of why the members of a certain party kept insisting on a one-way answer, unless of course, the Committee started off with a different agenda and had something to hide. I believe the chairman and minister will not take out the documents or show selectively, just see.

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  • Your response Shame?:

    So Shame your interrogation smacks of isd style of communication? Where is the transferred (sacked by shit times) former director?

    Can you confirm style? Is it isd method like they did Francis seow n the marxists?

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  • patriot of Temesak:

    Dr Tan Tai Wei:
    In ST, 18/4, Charles Chong says Dr Thum isn’t “an academic historian”, by which he means he isn’t an academic employee of a university, Oxford or what. I don’t how that pertains to Thum’s historical research, which is the matter presented to his Committee. Nevertheless, Charles should be made to consider the following. Does he really want to say that historical research creditability is necessarily determined by whether some university has employed you, and necessarily in its history department? One could say that, precisely that some research has had been published by accredited professional journals and well peer-reviewed, its author should arguably be better appraised, compared to full-time academics, whose job it is to similarly research and publish, but who perhaps has not, or not published as much as Thum. And having been acknowledged by Oxford that Thum, though researching elsewhere, had produced research that merited his being invited by Oxford, or having his application approved by Oxford, to become “visiting scholar” or so at Oxford, says more for Thum’s creditability than had he been a mere ordinary Oxford staff. Etc.

    Doc, when you ask an IDIOT who passes off as a Higher Mortal a question…most likely he will NOT comprehend and say you are a Lower Mortal…that is the kind of an IDIOT 1stClass that he is…a Tailless puppy may NOT have a tail to wag…this puppy is NOT only Tailless but Tongueless after REAPING off Millions from the PUBLIC!!!

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  • NO NO NO !!!:

    THE INQUISITOR MIGHT HAVE WON THE ARGUEMENT BUT SADLY LOST MANY HEARTS IN THE PROCESS. APPEARING SO SELF-RIGHTEOUS AND JUDGEMENTAL AND BRUTALLY DEMOLISHING ANY DIFFERING VIEWS AND DEMANDING STRAIGHT “YES OR NO” ANSWERS IS TOO REPULSIVE AND FAILS TO CONNECT. YOU WANT A STRAIGHT YES OR NO? – MY ANSWER TO YOU IS A BIG NO.

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  • Amos proved PAP hypocrisy:

    The Select Committee proceedings proved what Amos proved in US Court TWICE – THAT PAP IS INDEED A BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES. This is a fact.

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  • rukidding:

    Those Pimps and prostitutes ( P.a.p.) , especially that “keleng kwee” have certainly made themselves as “famous fools” and “Abusers and Bullies”…..generating their ownself “fake” opinions and stories.

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  • FFAKE QUERY?:

    It was reported in the Shit Times of 14 April, 2018 that, quote “the Parliament Secretariat yesterday wrote to Dr Thum asking him to clarify his academic credentials” and that it said “Clarifications have thus been sought to ensure that the committee’s report correctly reflects Dr Thum’s positions.”

    Do you think PAP, of all people, are concerned about correctness and truth? Knowing PAP’s modus operandi in character assassination, I believe the ‘clarifications” are meant by innuendos to cast aspersions and doubts on Dr Thum’s credentials – not, as they piously claim, to “correctly reflect Dr Thum’s positions”.

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