Straits Times: Net user apologises for taking WP youth chief’s ID

THE Internet user who used the name of opposition politician Perry Tong two weeks ago in a popular online forum, has apologised to the Workers’ Party (WP) Youth Wing president for doing so.

Mr Bernard Soh sent an e-mail to the media on Thursday, identifying himself as the person who had used the nickname “Perry Tong” on the popular Sammyboy website.

He also attached his letter of apology to Mr Tong, which Mr Soh said he had sent to the politician and posted online on the Sammyboy website as well.

Mr Soh said he was “very traumatised” that a police report had been filed earlier this week by Mr Tong for the fraudulent use of his name on the Internet.

He wrote to Mr Tong: “I would like to offer my sincere apologies to you if my action has caused you any distress or unhappiness in any way.”

Calling himself a fervent supporter of the WP for the past 10 years, he told the youth leader he used his name because he was disappointed at the “mudslinging” between WP members on the Sammyboy website.

He wanted to use the “authority” of someone like Mr Tong to get them to stop, he said.

Mr Tong had earlier posted a statement on the party’s Youth Wing website saying someone had used his e-mail address as a sign-on to the forum.

But Mr Soh denied he had hacked into Mr Tong’s account. He said he had used a fictitious e-mail address to register with the website.

“I registered the nickname ‘Perry Tong’ using a fictitious e-mail that doesn’t exist and not your e-mail,” he wrote to Mr Tong.

In his e-mail to the media, Mr Soh said: “It is most unfortunate that Mr Tong chose to report this incident to the police, and the irony of it is I am a WP supporter.”

No personal details of Mr Soh are available because he did not reply to The Straits Times’ e-mail message.

When contacted yesterday, the police said they have been informed of Mr Soh’s letter but the investigation is still ongoing.

Mr Tong was in the Philippines yesterday and could not be reached for comment.

KEN KWEK

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