By John Donovan
Monday 30 October 2006
The comment below was posted on our Live Chat facility today.
“Guest 7262: I have heard enough of the spin you publish on your website on behalf of your friend “Dr” Huong. You are exploiting him to suit your own agenda. The rabid Huong left us with no option other than to use the courts. He was circulating wholly unfounded shockingly abusive allegations against named Shell managerial staff. It was our duty to protect the individuals he defamed. We had no other choice.”
I assume this was in response to our article published yesterday, 29 October 2006:
The first point to make is that at least Dr Huong had the courage and belief in what he was saying to put his name to his comments.
Secondly, the allegation that Shell had no option is simply untrue. The following letter sent by Dr Huong to Jeroen van der Veer and other senior Shell managers is self-explanatory. Does it sound like the ranting of a rabid man?
Date: 3rd June 2004
Dear Mr. Kandiahpillai and et.al. (including Jeroen Van der Veer, Malcolm Brinded, Jon Chadwick, etc.)
SUBJECT: WITHOUT PREJUDICE
It is obvious that I posed some difficult questions as I have not received any response. I was not trying to be awkward.
I simply want Shell to deal with me sympathetically as a long-term employee who was very deeply hurt by the unfortunate way my employment with Shell ended. It was terribly distressing for me after so many decades.
Frankly it would be much preferable for this matter to be resolved directly with Shell if that is at all possible, rather than continuing to be embroiled in acrimony.
On my part, I am very willing to make in good faith attempt to resolve the matter amicably if Shell is willing to do likewise. As they say, it takes two to tango.
If we could find a solution from discussions held on a “without prejudice” basis, it would save further Shell management time and avoid potentially substantial lawyers’ fees. It would also bring me some peace of mind.
I therefore believe that this is a sensible proposal which could produce a mutually beneficial result.
I am making this proposal to demonstrate that I am a reasonable person seeking a reasonable solution.
Dr. John Huong Yiu Tuong
The communication was ignored. I wonder how wise that was in the light of subsequent events, with relentless negative global publicity about Shell’s cruel persecution of Dr Huong in blatant breach of his human rights, including the right to freedom of expression.
If guest 7262 cares to provide some examples of the alleged “wholly unfounded shockingly abusive allegations”, we will be able to make a judgement based on specifics, rather than a sweeping generalisation.