SINGAPORE (Mar 22): If there’s one story published by The Edge Singapore that I will never forget, it will probably be “Hunting for the truth” (Issue 641, Sept 1, 2014). The piece was intended to mark the first anniversary of the steep rise and sudden collapse of shares in Asiasons Capital, Blumont Group and LionGold Corp, an event that battered confidence in the local stock market and contributed to a subsequent slump in trading volumes.

The central element of that story — that John Soh Chee Wen had been identified by the authorities as the ringleader of the whole affair — garnered a significant reaction. Some were also surprised at a minor detail of the story: that Soh and former IPCO International CEO Quah Su-Ling had begun living together. A handful of companies and individuals mentioned in the story were indignant, however, and were threatening legal action within a week of the story’s being published. (Asiasons has since been renamed Attilan Group, and IPCO is now known as Renaissance United.)

In particular, officials at Blumont and LionGold challenged two points in the story, which we found to be mistakes. We had incorrectly reported that Blumont had sponsored an employment pass for Soh, and that LionGold had paid for a first-class flight for the CEO of a company that Blumont was in the process of acquiring. Both errors were corrected as quickly as possible. Blumont and LionGold were not upset about just those mistakes, though. The way they saw it, our story had made them out to be vehicles of Soh, and directly linked them to his activities. Both companies subsequently filed defamation suits against The Edge Singapore and myself.

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