Calvin Cheng, Internet troll extraordinaire, throws stones in glass house

Calvin Cheng, Internet troll extraordinaire, has done it again. He jumped into the fray of the already heated discussion over the Benjamin Lim’s case by calling for Mr Thio Shen Yi to step down as the President of the Law Society Singapore:

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How quickly he forgot that his own “killing children” remarks (CNA’s words, not mine) that so offended people so much that they went to make police reports against him! Even the chairman of the Media Literacy Council (MLC), which Calvin Cheng is a member of, admitted that those remarks were inappropriate, and appeared not be upholding the values of the MLC. I think that it was quite clear that his remarks sparked greater controversy amongst members of the public compared to Mr Thio’s article.

In fact, if Calvin Cheng had read Mr Thio’s article in its entirety and had half a brain, he would have concluded that Mr Thio didn’t imply that Benjamin’s death was caused by any specific reason. Let me quote the specific part of Mr Thio’s article that would have helped Calvin Cheng come to that conclusion: “Why did he jump? Could his death have been prevented? We can never know for certain…” And in case Calvin Cheng (or anyone) is too lazy to use their brains, I have explained in detail here why Minister Shanmugam’s accusation of Mr Thio was erroneous.

Judging by the online chatter that I’ve seen about Mr Thio’s very well-written article in the Law Gazette, most people think that Mr Thio was justified in calling for giving young persons assisting in police investigations timelier access to legal counsel. It also seems that most people didn’t think that Mr Thio implied that police intimidation caused Benjamin to commit suicide. So from what I’ve seen from online chatter, one can argue that Mr Thio’s article improved the reputation of the Law Society Singapore as a champion of justice tempered with compassion with Singaporeans.

Conversely, I think it was quite clear that Calvin Cheng’s “killing children” remarks (CNA’s words, not mine) brought disrepute to the MLC. I mean… police reports! And many emails flooding the chairman of the MLC calling for Calvin Cheng to step down! Then countless online comments condemning the MLC for keeping someone who did not demonstrate the upholding of the values of the MLC!

Yes… I agree. I came to the conclusion only through the online chatter that I’ve seen. Not necessarily statistically representative. But I doubt Calvin Cheng came to his conclusion that Mr Thio brought disrepute to the Law Society of Singapore through a rigorous and statistical study of Singaporean’s reaction to Mr Thio’s article. It is more likely that Calvin Cheng came to that conclusion simply based on his opinion and what Minister Shanmugam said.

But of course Calvin Cheng is free to call for Mr Thio to step down. Freedom of speech and all. But if we were being logical and rational, then if Mr Thio is to step down for his arguably justified remarks in his Law Gazette article, then Calvin Cheng should be booted out of the MLC for his “killing children” remarks (CNA’s words, not mine) which definitely brought disrepute to MLC.

Alas, not all of us are truly logical and rational. Least of all the Internet trolls.

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