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Mystery man behind website critical of S'pore government exposed by his smear ca mpaign against MP Lee Bee Wah. -TNP Mon, Oct 11, 2010 The New Paper By Ng Wan Ching NEWS website Temasek Review has earned a reputation for its sharply critical vie ws of the Government. But the person behind the website has remained a mystery to the public - until n ow. Despite his attempts to remain anonymous, a smear campaign he launched against M ember of Parliament Lee Bee Wah proved to be his undoing. After finding out about the incident, The New Paper, through its checks, has lea rnt of his identity. The man behind Temasek Review and some of its most caustic articles, often poste d anonymously, is Dr Joseph Ong Chor Teck. The medical doctor works at a clinic that is part of a chain here. Dr Ong admitted he was the man behind posters which showed Ms Lee's photograph o n the cover of a toilet bowl, with lines below it imploring Khatib residents to ask the MP to step down as the president of the Singapore Table Tennis Associati on (STTA). Among the words were "Jamban MP", a term coined after an exchange between NCMP S ylvia Lim and Ms Lee, who used the word "jamban" (Malay for toilet) to make a po int during a Budget debate in Parliament in 2007. The poster appeared around Block 868 Yishun Street 81 in May last year, around t he time the STTA refused to nominate former national head coach Liu Guodong, who led the women's team to a historic Olympic silver medal in 2008, for the Singap ore Sports Awards. A man had approached a Bangladeshi cleaner for help to put up the posters. The New Paper tracked down the worker through his colleagues. The worker, who wanted to be known only as Ali, confirmed that he had helped to put up the posters but said he had no clue what they were about. He said: "He asked for my help to put up about 100 posters around the RC (reside nt's committee) corner, the barbecue area and some lamp-posts. "I told him I was busy and couldn't spare the 10 minutes he had asked for but he kept pleading, so I finally agreed." He described the man as a medium-built Chinese in his late 20s or early 30s with fair complexion. Ali, who has been working for the town council for six years, said he was questioned by police following the incident. RC members who turned up early for a brisk walk event at 7am spotted the posters and removed them before Ms Lee showed up. The former chairman of Zone F, Nee Soon South, then made a police report. When contacted, he confirmed the report and said that action was taken. "It's all in the past now so I don't think there's a need to go over old ground, " he said and declined to elaborate. The New Paper understands that police investigations led them to Dr Ong, who was then called in to give statements. Dr Ong confessed to getting the posters placed around Yishun Street 81. The New Paper understands that he also identified himself to the police as being the founder of Wayang Party and later, Temasek Review. Dr Ong was again called in about two months ago. A police spokesman said: "In response to media queries, police confirmed that a subject was administered a conditional stern warning on Sept 3 for the offence o f intentional harassment." A conditional warning requires, among other things, that the offender must maint ain a clean record for a specified period, typically about 12 months. If he commits another offence, he can be charged with the new offence as well as the previous one.
That night. I am only asking her to step down as President of STTA. He added: "The STTA fiasco has nothing to do with politics. >> Next: Little known about people behind news site Little known about people behind news site INDEPENDENT. he called and said he was no longer the webmaster of Temase k Review. Dr Ong refused to respond." He asked this reporter to leave the clinic and threatened to call the police.Closed down Soon after police started investigating the matter. As long as it did not make it to court. it wou ld be confidential. When approached at his clinic on Thursday. When asked whether that meant he was once the webmaster. But some time later. Dr Ong called The New Paper and threate ned to take legal action. By then. he declined to answer. "I just felt strongly she should resign as President of STTA after what had happ ened under her watch. That's all. when asked to deny that he's the founder of Temas ek Review and Wayang Party. he blinked and said: "The cas e is not supposed to be made public. other than being a reader." In an earlier phone interview. The two questions he refused to answer were: Did you start the Temasek Review? Did you start and close down Wayang Party? He said he did not want to answer questions that were not pertinent to the "Jamb an MP" affair. That is how online news portal Temasek Review describes its coverage of social a nd political affairs in Singapore. He said: "How do you know about the warning? How do you know about the case? I w as told it would be confidential." He denied having any political affiliations. He also said he's not politically m otivated. We sent him five questions. word had gone around the Yishun estate that a medical doctor was implic ated in the poster saga. The website's About Us page states its aim: "To provide space for columnists and reader comments from across the political spectrum to foster. An ex-Raffles Junior College student. He asked that we e-mail him questions so he could put everything on record. When The New Paper contacted Ms Lee for comments on the poster incident. About two hours after he was approached. she rep lied in an SMS that the issue was water under the bridge for her. As long as you put my name in your paper. Wayang Party was closed down and Temasek Review was launched." When The New Paper asked him about Temasek Review. the posting was removed. Dr Ong said: "I hav e nothing personal against Ms Lee Bee Wah. not as a MP. Dr Ong again called the The New Paper after 7pm yesterday to say that he has not hing to do with Temasek Review. Asked why he carried out the poster campaign against Ms Lee. Dr Ong is described as a quiet and reserve d man by friends. Dr Ong graduated in 2004 and had worked with the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) before taking on his present job as a GP for a Healthway Medical Group clinic i n Sengkang. I will sue you. Posting removed At 7pm yesterday. But fair-minded readers would disagree with this self-description. Dr Ong looked surprised that The New Paper had learnt of the warning he had received. but he answered only three. facilitate and pr . balanced and unbiased. a posting appeared on Temasek Review purportedly written by an Amand a Tan revealing specific details that emerged in the interview between The New P aper and Dr Ong.
is named as the site's managing editor. and governance centred around the principle s of transparency. A Molina Han. He agreed to the interview and shook Ms Ng's hand.sg Previous << >> Next: Different version of interview on website Different version of interview on website By Melvin Singh The New Paper's attempts to interview Dr Joseph Ong made it to the Temasek Revie w online site for about eight hours yesterday. This anonymity has sparked much speculation. he expressed surprise that she knew of the case.sg . educated. Netizens have pointed to the creato rs of the now-defunct socio-political blog Wayang Party as the founders of the T emasek Review. Apart from that. which only the police would know about. He maintained that the information was confidential. but it c an be viewed only by invited users using a password. based in Panama. But little is known about the people behind it. A Wayang Party blog still exists. Ms Ng had identified herself to the clinic's receptionist and requested an inter view with Dr Ong. He threatene d to sue if his name appeared in The New Paper. As for Dr Ong's link to Temasek Review. He also repeatedly threatened to call the police. he confided in at least one friend. Details of the Thursday meeting with our reporter. at his clini c were posted yesterday. accountability and responsibility from which we will endeavor to foster an informed. it adds. civil liberties. The posting included a letter sent by Dr Ong to the Ministry of Home Affairs sug gesting a police leak had led to his being exposed by this paper. But the posting on Temasek Review gave a different version of events. It said that Ms Ng gave details of the warning. TNP understands that after he was summon ed by the police. wanching@sph. Dr Ong has since contacted TNP to say he has made complaints against our journal ist and the leak of confidential information to the press. melvin@sph. He rapidly became upset and said he did not want to be interviewed. It claims to have no links to any political party or commercial entity. The web server used by Temasek Review is based overseas.omote serious debate and discourse which is sorely lacking in Singapore. democracy.com. After interviewing the Bangladeshi worker. who is employed by the town council. the posts and related documents were removed from the site." Its editorial position. Ms Ng left the clinic after ab out 10 minutes. the identity and number of the editorial team remain a mystery. Click on the Columnists tab on the website and you get a drop-down list of write rs. An Internet search turned up a picture of the toilet bowl poster stuck on a pill ar on a blog by someone named Edwin. An Internet search showed the last publicly accessible postings on Wayang Party to be around the middle of last year. Ms Ng Wan Ching. "is consistently based on social justice. a former schoolmate. So how did TNP get the story? A resident who has assisted at RC events first alerted us to the posters. TNP approached the police for confirmation. human rights.com. On the Contact Us page you get a form that allows you to send a message to the r elevant department. thinking and proactive citizenry". But around 7pm yesterday. TNP spoke to residents in Khatib and learnt that Dr Ong had approached a cleaner to distribute the posters. But when asked about the poli ce warning issued to him.
http://www.com/print/News/The%2BNew%2BPaper/Story/A1Story20101011-241663 .asiaone.html .This article was first published in The New Paper.