Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sorry Alfian, NMP Thio Li-Ann has finally earned my little bit of sympathy

After being terribly disappointed with NMP Thio Li-Ann’s performance (here and here) in the parliament for her infamous, homophobic speech, NMP Thio Li-Ann has finally earned my little bit of sympathy for being the target of a spate of ‘hate mails’. In my opinion, Mr Alfian Sa’at, a multi-literary award winner which includes the NAC-SPH Golden Point Award for Poetry and NAC’s Young Artist Award for Literature, should not have acted recklessly to include strong words such as “piss on your grave” in his email but use his excellent linguistic skills to rebut her. He has since apologised for his honest mistake and Ms Thio has decided to let the matter rest.

Why Alfian posted copy of e-mail to NMP online

IN THE report, 'Police question poet over e-mail to NMP' (ST, Oct 30), it was stated that I had 'emerged as the writer of the strongly worded e-mail to Nominated MP Thio Li-ann'. This might suggest that the exposure of my identity as the letter-writer was involuntary, and that it was a check with the police that had pinpointed me.

In reality, I had already decided to claim ownership and personal responsibility for the e-mail last Saturday. I posted a copy of the e-mail online, explicitly identifying myself as its author.

Contrary to some reports that stated that it was penned by an 'unnamed stranger', the e-mail was sent from my personal e-mail account, signed off with my own name.

Your article also stated, twice, Professor Thio's assertion that 'it was full of obscene and vile invective'.

I wish to clarify that the e-mail was no more than four lines in total, in which an impolite word appears but once.


Pkchukiss said...

Hmmm, I thought that his letter was mean too. You don't threaten to defile somebody's grave, even if that person rankles your irons. It shows a serious lack of self-control, and in my own opinion, sounded quite rude too.

I don't think it constitutes a charge under harassment laws though. I am surprised that as a law professor, she does not know better. Then again, when I recall her speech in Parliament, I realised that I shouldn't be. The lady appears to be letting her emotions get to her.

Anonymous said...

all of us have our moments of 'rudeness' and display of anger. naturally. but people living in ivory tower don't usually get rubbed the wrong way unlike regular people.

people with wealth, distinction and fame generally get better serviced and treatment even by strangers.

and when these privilege people get ONE obnoxious retort in their life( exaggerate to make a point here), the WHOLE WORLD must know about their bruised egos.

her display of wrath in respond to a clearly upset individual is rather immature for a leader really even though it's understandably offensive.

the leader should have maintained her composure and lead by example.

George said...

I can understand how AF must have felt. And I don't think that he should be judged solely on the basis of what TLA said. He is only human, it probably came about because her rather mocking words was like the last straw. So I think there are extenuating circumstances. And Thio certainly has no right to so insensitive in her remarks, esp, in of all places, parliament.

m said...

Shouldn't it be awfully clear how TLA was trying to blow up the matter? Alfian's email was meant to insult, hardly to harass. And seriously, how is the material within that email so objectionable that she chose not to speak of in Parliament when she went into much length talking about rimming. Granted Alfian might have stepped across the line but it is also very evident that she chose to pick on Alfian for his eminent position in the literary circle and gay community. I believe it was all considered, hardly an emotional outburst from TLA. A police report. Seriously. TLA gets no sympathy from me.