Editor's note

In a Facebook post last Friday, Dr Lee Wei Ling said that she would no longer write for Singapore Press Holdings, as "the editors there do not allow me freedom of speech".

She cited this as the reason for putting on Facebook her latest commentary on the anniversary of her father's death.

She also alleged that the three successive editors who had worked with her on her past columns were all "commanded to edit certain issues out".


This is altogether unfounded.

All professional newspapers require their writers to work with an editor, who gives a range of inputs on grammar, language, taste, relevance, coherence, judgment and the law.

This is not an issue of freedom of expression, but a matter of upholding standards.


This applies to all columnists, including Dr Lee, who has often written about not expecting or accepting special treatment.

Her recent demand that her latest column be published unedited, after a week of editing and e-mail exchanges, was simply not acceptable.

She then decided unilaterally to publish it on Facebook and has said she will do the same for all future columns.

That is her prerogative, which we will respect.

Rather than seeking to suppress her views, ST published her columns for many years, and even compiled them into a book, which it promoted extensively.

We thank her for her past contributions, and wish her well.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2016, with the headline 'Editor's note'. Subscribe