A rather weighty issue

Chua Mui Hoong weighs in on readers' responses to her recent columns and says:

One reader blogged about that article of mine. In his Singapore Social Activist blog, Ravi Philemon took issue with a sentence in my commentary that 1959 was important because "it was in that year that Singapore became a state of its own, with the right to confer citizenship".

He thought I needed to get my facts right, and went on to point out that a citizenship ordinance was passed in 1957. This gave Singapore citizenship to residents born here, but they were still British subjects.

In my article published on June 12, Friday, I mentioned both significant dates: "In 1957, citizenship rules were changed to give citizenship to local residents."

I then went on to say that 1959 was important because Singapore became a state in its own right in that year, with the right to confer citizenship of its own accord.

I wish readers like him would read ST articles more carefully before accusing us of getting things wrong. And I wish Ravi had used some other photo that didn’t make my face look so fat. It’s a weighty issue with me, okay?

---My Response---

Hi Mui Hoong,

Sorry about the dated photo. I do understand the issues of 'weightiness'. I have changed the photo on my post. Hope you are happy now.

I took issue with how you crafted your opinion piece; starting with perceived ambiguity of 1959 but ending with a resounding unambiguiness.

In my blog, I tried to point out that if any year besides 1965 is to be remembered, it should be "the year 1955...as it was on this day that the British government allowed Singapore to hold its first general election which was won by a David Marshall, the pro-independence candidate".

My argument was what significance does 1959 have when the citiizenship conferred then, was revoked on 16 September 1963 when Singapore became a part of Malaysia' and upon Singapore's secession from the Federation of Malaysia on 9 August 1965, a new Constitution came into effect, which repealed the Singapore Citizenship Ordinance of 1957 and granted proper Singaporean citizenship to all persons who were citizens as of 16 September 1963 by virtue of the secessation from being a British colony.

I appreciate feedback like yours for my blog; but would appreciate more if you would read "carefully before accusing (me) of getting things wrong".