"If I want to fight on, I need to have your understanding!", said Sebastian Teo, President of National Solidarity Party
A letter from the President of National Solidarity Party (NSP) to Singaporeans:
" In recent days, my past convictions have been used by opponents of the National Solidarity Party to try to discredit and damage my reputation and that of the Party .
I make this statement to explain the facts behind my convictions, in order that the fair-minded and gracious people of Singapore, can judge for themselves whether the criticisms levelled at me personally are fair.
I was a young man of 27 when I committed those technical breaches of the law. I had already left the job, which gave rise to the charges, for 6 years before I was charged with the offences. Initially, I was adamant in wanting to defend myself against the charges and to clear my name. In hindsight, I wish I had done that. However, I was persuaded by my bankers and lawyers to plead guilty to the charges and to pay a fine, instead of dragging out the case, which would have been very damaging for my business then according to my bankers and lawyers. I was advised by them that as mine was a "technical" breach of the law which only merited a fine , I should plead guilty , pay the fine and move on with my business and life . They advised me not to be embroiled in a lengthy court case which would cost me much time and money, and take me away from my business. As I am not knowledgeable about the law, what my bankers and lawyers advised me seemed to make sense. It was on that basis that I pleaded guilty to the 2 charges against me.
I have stood in the past 3 elections without any anyone suggesting that I was ineligible to stand as a candidate. The timing of the recent articles to discredit me, by referring to my past convictions is therefore highly suspicious and is an example of the gutter politics and negative campaigning which the Elections Department have warned candidates against in the coming General Elections . The nature of these attacks against me are not befitting of a democratic Singapore and the type of politics which Singaporeans wish to see practiced.
In the 40 years following that episode, I have work double hard than other to become a respected businessman and constantly improved myself by studying for various degrees to become lecturer of various Universities. I have been given many awards for my contribution to society and academia. Leading the National Solidarity Party as President has been one of my proudest achievements in life. We have persevered despite the many obstacles in our way, and been able to offer Singaporeans an alternative voice in politics. My life experience is no different to that of many Singaporeans who have overcome setbacks to achieve much in life. I am proud of what I have achieved in life and I ask you for your understanding in this matter."