M Ravi calls out Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Suet Fern for hypocrisy

Nov 13, 2020 | 🚀 Fathership

Activist lawyer M. Ravi has been in the news again as of late. On November 8, the police confirmed that they have initiated investigations against him for an offence of criminal defamation in relation to a Facebook post alleging that lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam had told him that Law Minister K Shanmugam has said he “wields influence over the Chief Justice."

In the same week, Mr Ravi went on a tirade against Lee Hsien Yang and his wife, Lee Suet Fern in a Facebook post published last Wednesday (Nov 4).

He had insinuated that both Lees, who are rumoured to be worth $600 million, are implicit in their partipation in the alleged abuse of power and cronyism associated with the former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and his family.

Mr Ravi, who recently in September, praised Suet Fern for her kind soul, now calls her out for hypocrisy. He said, "...I told Suet Fern that she would be seen equally corrupted if she claims her in laws are corrupted (sic) given that she would have benefitted from Lee Kuan Yew's network."

Both Hsien Yang and Suet Fern previously accused their sibling Lee Hsien Loong - the current Prime Minister of Singapore - of abusing the organs of state for his own benefit.

Mr Ravi went on to imply that Lee Hsien Yang's appointment to top positions in SAF and government-linked corporations were due to his connection to the elder Lee.

He also implied that Hsien Yang and Suet Fern's net worth are the result of "seemingly ill-gotten gains" and that they should "come clean on their total assets own."

Mr Ravi went on by labelling Suet Fern as a "fake acquaintance" with "fake smiles". He recounted the past where Suet Fern derided fellow colleague Eugene Thuraisingam for billing clients involved in capital offence cases too low. According to Mr Ravi, Suet Fern allegedly said to Mr Eugene, "you join those Chinatown lawyers if you want to bill so low."

A different picture of Suet Fern

Mr Ravi berating of Suet Fern painted a different picture of the daughter-in-law of Lee Kuan Yew who just last month was featured on Yahoo! in what was perceived as a public relations campaign to prop up her image.

Suet Fern is currently embroiled in a legal saga where she was found guilty of misconduct by the Law Society in handling Lee Kuan Yew's last will.

The two-man tribunal appointed by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon described Suet Fern as a "deceitful witness, who tailored her evidence to portray herself as an innocent victim who had been maligned".

This was a "facade", the tribunal said. "Before us, she lied or became evasive whenever she thought it was to her benefit to lie or evade."

The Law Society in August this year set out its arguments on why senior lawyer Lee Suet Fern should be disbarred, saying she had been involved in its preparation and execution despite knowing her husband stood to gain from it.

Judgement has been reserved in the case. If Suet Fern were to lose the appeal, she may face a fine, suspension or even be disbarred.

As for Mr Ravi, he ended the post by saying that while he ended the lunch with dignity, he now prefers to eat at home rather than being treated to a meal with seemingly ill gotten gains, and that one should not believe in fake smiles and fake acquaintances - in an indirect stab to both Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Suet Fern.

Ouch.

See Mr Ravi's full post below:


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This commentator thinks MCI ad should not have featured poor Malays

May 12, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership
A Hari Raya advertisement by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) was 'cancelled' by certain netizens online for depicting lower income Malays according to reality.

"Message for Syawal", a two-and-a-half-minute video published last month (Apr 30) captures moments in the life of a low-income Malay family living in a rental flat.

Storyline


Pictured: Screenshot from MCI video "Message for Syawal"

The video, which is peppered with Malay proverbs, shows the family moving out of their rental flat to a new home several years later where they celebrate Hari Raya.

The father of the family works as a mover while the mother is a housewife.

Their young son, Syawal, skips school to earn extra income for his family before a teacher flags his absence from school to his parents.

The mother in the video later decides to return to work to alleviate her family’s financial difficulties while the father gets a new job.


Pictured: Screenshot from MCI video "Message for Syawal"



Why some netizens are outraged

The video sparked backlash online, with some viewers saying that it contained stereotypes about the Malay community.

The stereotypes:
  • The father works as a mover - commonly perceived to be a low-income job
  • The mother is jobless
  • The son plays truant
  • The family lives in a rental flat for low-income earners

Commentator implied that poor Malays shouldn't be portrayed in public to prevent stereotypes


Pictured: Screenshot from Homeground Asia video

A video commentary by The Homeground Asia went further by criticizing how the video propagates the narrative that Malays are poor and lazy, and that the ministry should have created a video that is more relatable to both the less fortunate and the more affluent Malays.

Adi Rahman, one of the interviewees in the video went further by making sweeping assumptions that the ministry lacked cultural intelligence and did not consult the community on the narrative.

Ironically, in talking about inclusivity, Adi implied that the realities of poor Malays should not be shown in public.

For example, his rationale suggested that the video contained characters (the mover, jobless mother and the son who skips school) that contribute to the problem of other races seeing the Malays in a stereotypical and reductive light.

In other words, show the good stuff but not the reality.

Adi even accused the ministry for not consulting the Malays in the vetting of the video narrative.

His accusations were without merit, however, when the Ministry said in a statement (Apr 30) that Malay-Muslim viewers - presumably a focus group - had seen the video prior to its release, and perceived the story to be heart-warming, although some expressed reservations.


Pictured: Adi Rahman - one of the commentators in Homeground Asia video



Stereotyping or masking reality?

The ministry said last month (Apr 30) the video was meant to show "a family’s journey of resilience in facing challenging circumstances and how mutual support and encouragement could nurture the process”.

Other netizens felt it was an overreaction and that low-income families shouldn't be dehumanized in a way that they are removed from the conversation. They felt that the video was a call-to-action for those from the underprivileged to strive for a better life through hard work and seeking help that's already available.

The only missed opportunity in the MCI video was perhaps the suggestion that Malays in low income families living in a rental flat could not celebrate Hari Raya unless they get a flat on their own.

But of course, like Homeground Asia, that is also a sweeping assumption.