Below is a unpublished letter to the Straits Times forum shared with me by a reader
Emotional responses to the ‘little people’ term unnecessary
by Lin Junjie
I read with amazement some of the responses to Dr Catherine Lim’s letter on the Mas Selamat affair published on Wednesday.
Mr Ooi Boon Hock wrote in to your newspaper on Friday accusing Dr Lim of being “very patronising in describing the officers” and “really out of sync”.
Some have even asked Dr Lim on her website for her definition of ‘little people’.
It should have been clear that she had in no way meant to disparage the officers punished in using the term. I believe Dr Lim would also have classified herself as ‘little people’ when compared with top politicians here.
In any case, it should be noted that the Straits Times editorial published on April 24 wrote: “If it is determined there was only one weak link, at junior escort level, then the people should stop carping about why it is usually small fish that get fried.”
The issue at hand–that the buck had stopped at the wrong place–should not be lost in the flurry of emotional responses just because some people have chosen to misread Dr Lim’s letter.