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K Shanmugam and Vivian Balakrishnan seek court’s permission to serve Lee Hsien Yang legal papers via Facebook messenger

Legal team of Singapore’s Law and Home Affairs Minister, Mr K Shanmugam, and Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, the Minister for Foreign Affairs is seeking permission to serve legal documents via Facebook Messenger, citing the impracticality of serving Mr Lee Hsien Yang personally in the United Kingdom.



SINGAPORE: On 2 August, Singapore’s Law and Home Affairs Minister, Mr K Shanmugam, along with Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, officially initiated a defamation lawsuit in the Singapore High Court against Lee Hsien Yang, the son of Singapore’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew.

As reported by the Straits Times, the court records indicated that attorneys representing the two ministers have requested permission to deliver legal documents to Lee Hsien Yang through Facebook Messenger.

This request was made on the basis that serving the court papers to Mr Lee personally in the United Kingdom was deemed impractical.

The two ministers are represented by three lawyers from Davinder Singh Chambers, including the prominent senior lawyer Davinder Singh, who previously represented Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in previous high-profile defamation cases.

The legal team argued that the Singapore court provided the most appropriate venue for the case

On 14 August, the legal team representing the ministers initially requested the court’s permission to serve the legal papers on Mr Lee “wherever he may be found in the United Kingdom.”

This request was made on the basis that the Singapore court was considered the most suitable venue to hear the case.

In their affidavits outlining the reasons for this choice, Mr Shanmugam and Dr Balakrishnan highlighted their well-known status as ministers residing in Singapore.

They also pointed out that the alleged defamatory statements related to events in Singapore and that these statements had been republished in Singapore and accessed by various individuals in the country.

On 16 August, the court granted the ministers permission to serve the legal papers on LHY outside the court’s jurisdiction.

The court order stipulated that within 21 days after being served with the papers, LHY must submit a document indicating whether he intended to contest the claim.

However, on 28 August, the lawyers representing the ministers submitted an application for substituted service through Facebook Messenger.

The lawyers stated that “substituted service by Facebook Messenger will probably be effective in bringing the court papers to the notice of the defendant”.

Substituted service involves alternative methods for delivering court papers when in-person service is unsuccessful, including posting documents on the defendant’s premises, sending them via registered post, email, or placing newspaper ads.

The ministers are requesting a court order to officially recognize the service of documents via Facebook Messenger, using the portable document format (PDF), to Mr Lee’s profile page on the social networking platform.

In 2016, the High Court established that court papers can be served through digital platforms such as Facebook, Skype, or internet message boards for defendants who are inaccessible in person.

The two ministers threaten legal action against LHY over defamatory allegations

According to the court documents, the lawyers of the two PAP ministers had sent a letter to Mr Lee on 27 July, demanding the removal of his post and all related comments.

Additionally, they insisted on a prominent four-week public apology on his Facebook page.

LHY is accused of suggesting that the ministers acted corruptly, receiving preferential treatment by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) through unauthorized tree felling and state-funded renovations of 26 and 31 Ridout Road. Both ministers have categorically refuted these allegations.

In the letter, each minister also sought $25,000, which they said they would donate to charity.

The letter stated that the sum was a fraction of the substantial damages each minister was entitled in law to recover if they were to start legal proceedings.

The statement of claim filed by each minister did not specify a specific figure for the damages they are pursuing. Typically, the claim amount in High Court civil litigation starts at S$ 250,000.

LHY dismissed the minister’s claims, defending that he was “simply stating the facts”

In a Facebook post, Lee Hsien Yang dismissed the claims made by the two Ministers.

He has further challenged the ministers to sue him in the UK, a response following their threats of legal action unless he retracted his statements and issued an apology.

In a Facebook post on 29 July, LHY addressed the controversy, stating, “My post did not assert that Shanmugam and V Balakrishnan acted corruptly or for personal gain by having the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) give them preferential treatment by illegally felling trees without approval and also having SLA pay for renovations for them. ”

“My post simply stated facts that were already widely published in the Singapore and international media.”

Lee Hsien Yang on 31 July further alleged that the two ministers were pressuring him to issue a public apology that he perceived to be falsified.

He claimed the ministers demanded he make a specific statement: “I recognise that the Post meant and was understood to mean that Mr K Shamugam/Dr Vivian Balakrishnan acted corruptly and for personal gain by having the Singapore Land Authority give him preferential treatment by felling trees without approval and illegally and having it pay for renovations to 31 Ridout Road.”

LHY staunchly defends his initial words: “Two ministers have leased state-owned mansions from the agency that one of them controls, felling trees and getting state-sponsored renovations.”

He believes his original statement does not equate to an allegation of corruption or personal gain, and criticizes the ministers for insisting on a “false apology” for words he claims he did not utter.

LHY: Public to judge why the two Ministers suing in Singapore and not UK

In his latest Facebook post on Monday (4 Sept), Lee Hsien Yang, the younger brother of Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said he invited the two PAP ministers to pursue legal action against him in the UK, where he “made the statement that upset them”.

“Instead, they have chosen to commence legal action in Singapore. It is for the public to judge their reasons.”

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Sad to see country infested with snakes

LHL said already case closed, sue what?? PM explained very clearly,

Whatever legal proceedings you guys want to take to save face, do it at your personal expense and not the public’s money.
Use your PAP run courts to save face and tell your PAP judges what verdict you’d like but use your own money!!

Yang defamed through the social media online, so he also gotten served the notice this way. Fair deal.
Yang can only make useless statements like begging people to sue him in UK and ask people to judge. Guess what is he going to do next, dig a hole to hide his head. Is he the same guy who thought of standing for presidential election?

All they need is to satisfy the local Courts that all means to serve Yang has been done both here, internationally and UK.
And the show shall begin!
Under the stand?
And of course without needing to wait for the curtain to fall, you and even the most stubborn oppo here already know the verdict and the final outcome to all this.
But of course even after the final verdict is out ,oppo losers will stll be in …..denial and claim….nonsense, no such thing, no justice ,no whatever father mother lah!

LHY cannot win in SG’s court because the court is going to prove what LHY’s son said about the court is right!

HY’s son, ShengWu was spot bloody on after all, way way back in 2017, that, … the SillyPore government was “very litigious” and has a “pliant court system” !!! And the above, … is the one and only reason, the RidOut pair wants their case heard, tried and, … won in SillyPore !!! C’mon, if the pair are entirely confident of their case and behaviour in it, … why wouldn’t they take up the matter in the UK. Furthermore, … costs would be borne by the “loser” anyways, as, … “costs follow the event” in the UK. Because, the pair,… Read more »

LHY will be at a disadvantage in a Singapore Court as the judiciary is under the Minister who is suing.

Go fight it out in U.K. hor (not using tax payers money hor)

Don’t use tax payers money hor….Thank you

Since the case is considered closed, Why bring it up again Why no POFMA instead of a legal case? What do you think?

CB (cuckoo bird) tells me : IF FB (fish ball) is the platform for anyone to use it for legal suits, HTEN WE SHOUDL ALL BOYCOTT BF. I supported Opposition by posting thumbs up, FB buay son, FB tries to threaten to remove by account. But CB tells me to remove my account voluntarily. Now I no longer a FB fan nor a supporter !!!

Thank you CB !!! Thank FB !!! Goodbye

So at last, their plan is working…sue, sure win, get judgement for compensation, he don’t pay, seize your oxley, sell to ‘someone’, have the property transferred to state amd gazetted!

Should n’t the Law Minister resign before he commences proceedings using our Courts ? Another Conflict of Interests? If he doesn’t resign, he should commence proceedings in the UK. Where is the integrity of the govt ?

The Court to retain its credibility should insist that he be served in person first. If that fails after 21days, the service should be in the British media. The Court must act to protect its integrity in what it allows and act in fairness to all parties.

FACEBOOK is working successfully towards supporting an authoritarian govt. It is a disgrace to all Americans.

PAP wins all the way…
Invincible PAP

LHY now dead duck
cannot come back
Defamation suite will succeed, compensation will be found against LHY
But he will not pay, of course.
Interest will accumulate and he cannot come back..

2 Rid Out serpents full of venom.

Scary indeed

The two biggest snakes who claim they accidentally became Ridout neighbours ….what a joke!