Sunday, January 11, 2009

Correction Made Easy

I read an article on the Singapore edition of entitled "NCC Supporters Respond To Antinomianism Article"   which reported on Malcolm's blog entry, "Salvation Made Easy".  The report said that Malcolm posted in full on his blog an article entitled Salvation Made Easy? A Look into Antinomianism "written by Rev Peter Koh" drawing comments from pro-NCC netizens.

I emailed the reporter and informed him that the article by Rev Peter Koh was not original and that the true author is P G Mathew who wrote it in 1995.  The reporter has now amended his report this way:

The article entitled Salvation Made Easy? A Look Into Antinomianism which was
re-written by Rev Peter Koh, Pastor-in-Charge, Paya Lebar Methodist Church 
from an article by P G Mathew in 1995, and was posted in full on a weblog on Tuesday drew verbose and detailed comments from pro-NCC netizens. 
(emphasis in bold is mine)

"re-written" sounds so much better than "plagiarized", doesn't it?  This convenient "correction" by the reporter may offer those who find it hard to accept or explain away Rev Koh's plagiarism an easy solution - Rev Koh merely "re-wrote" P G Mathew's article but neglected to "acknowledge the source".  This is certainly a neater explanation than the "quotation marks indicating Rev Koh quoting from other sources" one offered by Sze Zeng.

By the way, I checked up on the meaning of plagiarize and here are the definitions from various dictionaries:

plagiarizeUK USUALLY plagiarise   Show phonetics
verb [I or T] 
to use another person's idea or a part of their work and pretend that it is your own:
The book contains numerous plagiarized passages.
If you compare the two books side by side, it is clear that the author of the second has plagiarized (from the first).

transitive verb: to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the sourceintransitive verb: to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

plagiarize definition

pla·gia·rize (plājə rīz′)

transitive verbintransitive verb plagiarized -·rized′,plagiarizing -·riz′·ing

to take (ideas, writings, etc.) from (another) and pass them off as one's own


/playjriz/ (also plagiarise)

  • verb take (the work or idea of someone else) and pass it off as one’s own.

  — DERIVATIVES plagiarism noun plagiarist noun plagiarizer noun.

  — ORIGIN from Latin plagiarius ‘kidnapper’, from Greek plagion ‘a kidnapping’.

AFTERNOTE - The reporter at has now re-amended his article to reflect Rev Koh's plagiarism:

The article entitled Salvation Made Easy? A Look Into Antinomianism, which appeared in the regular Paya Lebar Methodist Church newsletter under the authorship of Rev Peter Koh, PLMC's Pastor-in-Charge, and was posted in full on a weblog on Tuesday drew verbose and detailed comments from pro-NCC netizens. 

Two bloggers further noted that the article was plagiarised from an article written by P G Mathew in 1995. Malcolm Loh, who owns the weblog where the article appeared, added that Rev Koh, who is his pastor and to whom he wrote, has acknowledged the error and will be publishing an apology in the next edition of the PLMC newsletter.

1 comment:

Malcolm Loh said...

oh oh, I forgot to mention in my blog comments that I lifted the definition of "plagiarise" from Oxford. Will I be accused of plagiarism? ;-)

And to be fair to Edmond Chua, who happens to be CEO and Publisher of The Christian Post (Singapore), according to his email signature, he did include the following at the foot of his revised article...

Correction: The article posted Thursday, January 8, incorrectly stated that Rev Peter Koh is Malcolm Loh's former pastor. Loh is actually still a member of Paya Lebar Methodist Church but on sabbatical leave.