Popular radio personality Joe Augustin says he was served with a lawyer’s letter on Tuesday regarding a joke he had posted on his Facebook page.
The 43-year-old said: “One of my jokes (yes, JOKES) has resulted in a lawyer's letter being sent to me threatening that their instructions are to "proceed immediately to prosecute" their clients claims against me unless I complied with their demands…”
The LUSH 99.5 presenter added that the letter was not related to the Government, any political parties, other radio stations or radio presenters.
Augustin who has two decades of radio experience, did not provide any information on the allegedly defamatory joke.
The radio presenter, with two decades of experience, is no stranger to controversy.
In 2009, he was fired from Power 98FM for a breach of contract. A year prior to that, Radio 91.3FM had fired him.
Augustin’s Facebook update:
“Dear fellow netizens with funny things to say (and possibly the people who didn't think what I had to say was funny),
I often find myself defending Singapore for what I believe to be the existence of free speech in this country. Now before you start breaking out the champagne because "Joe's finally caved", I *still* believe we have it.
Over the years, as long as my comments were substantiated or reasonably qualified, I would take the chance and say them.
But this evening, my commitment to that position has been tested in a most unexpected way.
One of my jokes (yes, JOKES) has resulted in a lawyer's letter being sent to me threatening that their instructions are to "proceed immediately to prosecute" their clients claims against me unless I complied with their demands by the end of business today. Significantly, this letter arrived this afternoon while I was sleeping.
I thought. This must be what it's like to one of the pigs in Angry Birds (TM)*. Yes we ate some eggs, but WTH?!
I have since acceded to 2 of their 3 requests... (OK, so they used the less friendly term "demands". Which I thought would make everything ok. At first.
But in the very final paragraph of their letter, they still expressly reserved "the right to seek substantial damages from me for defamation" amongst all other rights.
I am no lawyer, but I understand this to mean - We judge you have wronged us by our interpretation of the law. You must do such and such RIGHT NOW or we will start immediate legal proceedings against you. And *even* if you do what we ask of you we're not letting you off the hook.
This sounds WAY too much like my mum when I was growing up.
So I wait, hitherto unnamed party, represented by your lawyers. I wait for your further details on your last demand, other expressly reserved rights not withstanding.
** IMPORTANT!!! **
I wish to exclude the possibility that you might think that this party has anything to do with government or any political party. It is also not another radio station nor personality, not even Glenn Ong (I'm kidding Glenn). And please under NO circumstances, try and guess in comments section below who this allegedly aggrieved party may be.
** Message to lawmakers who may be reading this: If you are not a lawmaker, please mind your own business from here.. **
Maybe it's time we legislated a sense of humour. Nothing too serious. A simple incentive to look at the funny side of things so we all don't kill each other when things get a little screwy. Maybe we could start with a law that mandates that obvious jokes shall be beyond the purvue of lawyers and the courts.
And what happens if one should lose their sense of humour? I would say the case for Euthanasia is pretty compelling.
And since we're legislating, how about a minimum requirement of at least one "please" and a "thank you" in every piece of correspondence. You know... in the interest of a civil society.
Please? Thank you.
* Angry Birds (TM) is a Trademark of The Rovio Corporation. And it's use here neither should be taken to imply any endorsement of Joe Augustin nor his attempt at sarcasm.”