Was former minister Dhanabalan ever slapped by Mini Lee?

A major credible alternative news website has rehashed an old story of current Singapore Prime Minister Mini Lee slapping former cabinet minister S Dhanabalan. This rumour first appeared in the book "Governance in Singapore", written by some angmoh called Ross Worthington. The angmoh wrote of the incident like maciam he was there: 

"In 1990, an incident occurred in a pre-cabinet meeting which was the beginning of entrenching further among the many in the core executive, resistance to Lee Hsien Loong’s long term ambitions for prime ministership. Prior to this meeting Lee Hsien Loong had gone to the office of Richard Hu, the Minister of Finance, and removed a number of files without Hu’s permission. At that time Lee’s office was on the 48th floor of what is now Temasek Tower and Hu’s was on the 50th floor.

At the pre-cabinet meeting Hu took Lee to task for doing this and was supported by Tony Tan. Lee’s response was aggressive and insulting, he directly insulted Tan and Hu, a man of his father’s age. This was a double insult to Hu, who was Lee’s superior in cabinet and a person of an age who should of itself deserve respect in Chinese society. Suppiah Dhanabalan intervened and chastised Lee for his behaviour, demanding that he apologise to Hu, withdraw his remarks and not interfere in other minister’s portfolios. A heated exchange occurred into which a number of other issues intruded and eventually Lee lost his temper, and reportedly reached across the table and slapped Dhanabalan across the face.

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This caused an uproar in the cabinet and Lee was severely chastised by Goh Chok Tong. Dhanabalan stormed out of the room and did not return for some time. Lee, in response to a demand from Goh, subsequently apologised to Dhanabalan, Hu and Tan. Hu, Dhanabalan and Tan all initially stated that they would leave the cabinet as a result of this incident. Goh later took up the matter with Lee Kuan Yew who reportedly verbally thrashed his son over the matter.

This was apparently followed by a more sober, educational but equally critical assessment from Lee Hsien Loong’s mother, a talented though background political adviser. Lee Kuan Yew reportedly met later that day with Hu, Tan and Dhanabalan, apologised for his son’s behaviour and requested that they not resign, supported by a similar request from Goh Chok Tong." 

 

Did this incident really took place? Or was it some invented fancy story? We all believe what we want to believe. Sometimes, we say Pinky is kinda sissy and sometimes we think that he is capable of slapping someone just because of who his father is.

Former stand-in Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong did deny this incident back in 2002 National Day Rally but that major credible alternative news site choosed to ignore it. Goh said:

"You may also have heard this old story about Loong {Referring to DPM Lee}. In case you have not, I'll tell you now. Back in 1990, Loong had a quarrel with Richard Hu. S. Dhanabalan sided with Richard. Loong lost his temper. He reached across the table and gave Dhanabalan a tight slap. The whole Cabinet was thrown into commotion. I then forced Loong to apologise. I must be suffering from amnesia. I just cannot remember this incident. Now you know how creative Singaporeans are." 

So what do you think? 

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