Catherine Lim and The March of the Lilliputians
Catherine Lim is good at controversy. This time in her attack of the establishment published in the Straits Times Forum, her tongue in cheek reference to those punished for the escape of Mas Selamat as “little people” started a mini storm. Some people found her comment dismissive and patronising. Others saw that only the petty people read it out of context and that the writer-political commentator never intended to deride those punished, adding insult to their injury. Still, the anger at her choice of words was enough to make her come up with a clarification, but this was fuel to the fire as others screamed that only an apology sufficed. The Lilliputians were making a Gulliver out of her.
I doubt that she had malice in her heart when she chose the term “little people”. Nevertheless, she did choose it perhaps as a relatively bad taste literary flourish in retrospect. She probably regretted that term by now but because of pride and indifference, she did not bother to openly apologise for her sweeping comment. Why is it that the more self-conscious the public commentator, the harder he or she finds it especially hard to say “sorry” just for the sake of closure? This incident also goes to show that from Wee Shu Min to Catherine Lim, nobody gets a free pass and any commentator is fair game, without fear or favour, in the eyes of the Internet mob.