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Singapore ministers serve defamation suit via Facebook Messenger amid nation’s LKY centennial celebration

As Singapore marks the 100th birthday of its late founding father, Lee Kuan Yew (LKY), a legal drama unfolds. Ministers Shanmugam and Balakrishnan serve a defamation suit to LKY’s younger son, Lee Hsien Yang via Facebook Messenger, with courts’ blessing, overshadowing the nation’s commemorative events.



Singapore’s Law and Home Affairs Minister, Mr K Shanmugam, and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, have taken to Facebook Messenger to serve legal papers concerning a defamation suit to Mr Lee Hsien Yang (LHY).

On 16 September, LHY shared on Facebook, “Ministers Shanmugam and V Balakrishnan have just served papers for the alleged defamation on me. The Singapore courts granted permission for them to do so via Facebook message.”

Earlier, the ministers’ legal representatives had sought the court’s approval to serve the documents through Facebook Messenger, citing the impracticality of serving them to LHY in the United Kingdom.

The ministers are represented by three lawyers from Davinder Singh Chambers, including the renowned senior lawyer Davinder Singh, who is known for representing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in past high-profile defamation cases.

The timing of this revelation is notable, coinciding with the 100th birthday of the nation’s late founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, who is also LHY’s father. A day meant to celebrate Lee’s legacy, orchestrated by the People’s Action Party government, is now overshadowed by this legal drama.

On 14 August, the two ministers’ legal team initially requested the court’s permission to serve the papers on LHY in the UK, where he currently resides, considering the Singapore court as the most appropriate venue for the case.

In their affidavits, Mr Shanmugam and Dr Balakrishnan highlighted their prominent roles as ministers in Singapore and underscored the relevance of the alleged defamatory statements to events in Singapore.

By 16 August, the court permitted the papers to be served on LHY outside its jurisdiction.

On 28 August, the ministers’ lawyers proposed substituted service through Facebook Messenger, asserting its potential success in reaching the defendant.

Substituted service is typically sought and ordered when the plaintiff struggles to personally serve the writ on the defendant, resorting to alternate delivery methods such as registered post, email, or newspaper ads.

In 2016, the High Court acknowledged that court papers could be served digitally for defendants challenging to reach in person. However, in that case, the plaintiff had made multiple personal service attempts, whereas, in this situation, the two ministers are bypassing personal service in the UK.

The two ministers’ legal action against LHY originates from his Facebook post on 23 July 2023. In it, they claim he insinuated their involvement in corrupt practices with the Singapore Land Authority (SLA)—an allegation both ministers have categorically denied.

Per the court documents, their lawyers, on 27 July, asked LHY to remove his post and its related comments, demanding a month-long public apology on his Facebook page.

In their correspondence, they suggested a S$25,000 donation to charity, describing it as a fraction of potential legal damages. No specific amount was stipulated in their claims, but damages in High Court litigation typically start at S$250,000.

In a Facebook post on 29 July, LHY refuted the allegations by the two ministers, emphasizing he was merely conveying public facts.

He encouraged the ministers to sue him in the UK and clarified that his words did not imply corruption or personal gain.


LHY 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.

In a subsequent Facebook post on 4 September, LHY stated he had invited the ministers to pursue legal action against him in the UK, noting, “Instead, they opted to commence legal proceedings in Singapore. The public can draw their conclusions on their reasons.”

LHY must respond within 21 days after being served with the papers, indicating whether he intends to contest the claim by the two ministers.

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Wah FB messenger is now a legal tool to serve legal documents? LHY should report this as spam and block them, case closed.
Use META against them.

Is it fair to say 86% singaporeans bochup what is happening to LKY son?

Avoid using our tax payers money.

Don’t be hypocrites if you respect LKY !. thank you.

Play lah…LHY…the PAP …long arm of the law still can ‘get you one’!
The judgement is local, enforced locally, seizure also applied locally but as usual oppo losers cow peh cow bu…shout ..INJUSTICE!!!
LIM PEH and of course the usual KAN NI NA BEH!
But in the end …the PAP….ALWAYS WINS!😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣🤣

If old man is around, I bet they have the balls to sue. What do you think?.

When the big tree falls, all the monkeys will start to play.

Well done 61% !! Give yourself a clap or slap !!!!

2 Ah Neh ministers suing a Singaporean citizen – where got Chinese advantage, hor? Luckily another Ah Neh minister is currently under corruption investigations, otherwise maybe Shanmi/VB will get him to join them to sue Mr LHY, hor.

Do the 86% support or boh chup son of Lee? 🤣🤣🤣🤣👍👍👍🤝

LHY, counter sue in the UK for a wrongful suit, intimidation, harassment because you are LKY’s son. The lawyers in the UK will be able to think of counter suing these two as. Instead of going on their knees and apologizing to the people of Singapore, suing LKY’S son. Recuse, how to recuse when you are the Minister and your wife signed the Tenancy prepared by your staff? We have an authoritarian and a dictator as the PM. No need to have ethics because he can use CPIB or the AGC to certify that there is no wrong doing?… Read more »

lol. ZUCCbook. ask for so much money. ZUCC should tax them!

What do you think the 86% singaporeans think about this perceived “bullying”?

Will the 2 dogs bite the Righteous Brother if the dogs owner did not grant permission to bite? It’s a shame to the dogs owner’s father and mother…

The sad thing is that LKY’s legacy is being tarnished with this hounding of his (LKY’s) children (LHY and wife) and grandchild (Shengwu). All because the dishonourable son, our PM, did not honour his father’s will and expressed wishes of not preserving the Oxley home. To rub salt to the wound today would have been LKY’s 100th birthday. The whole world must be laughing at how Singapore can conjure magic like changing an Indian lady to being a Malay to qualify for president. And despite LKY himself having voiced his disdain to build monument to him (LKY), we have the… Read more »

This case again shows that our million$ clowns only think of their interest first, rather than what’s best interest of the nation. SG is trying to position itself as an international hub for Arbitration; this case if done correctly can be a show-case of our system of arbitration to the world. But instead our 2 clown-Ministers showed that the first option is the Nuclear Bomb button – sure win, mah. And apparently their Boss approves of it, implying that he too is a clown. The world must be laughing at SG system now. Another nice-to-have Hub down the toilet bowl… Read more »

why davinder?
any monkey in our zoo could represent the ridout brother with 100% success

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Maybe these 2 clowns is trying to pull a fast one to regain their so call reputation which was long lost. They file their case with Courts Singapore (the electronic and furniture store) instead Lol.


Singapore is first in many things…

  1. Senior minister/minister emeritus
  2. COE
  3. Indian by birth, Malay by elections
  4. ERP
  5. GRC
  6. 5 Mayors who do nothing for $800,000 each per annum
  7. Women’s Charter
  8. Defamation law where accused has to prove no defamation caused

Stop at 8… this is 8th lunar month..

Since when is FB the platform for sending legal documents? So next time can we do the same? tsk tsk tsk

Unique Singapore!!!

We must ask Singaporeans, should Ridout tender be opened to non-civil servants, mini-stars etc etc to avoid a conflict of interests?

Look what happens to AIM $1 company? Any conflict of interest? Fair to participate or qualify to tender with a $1 company? What do you think?

In defamation law in other countries the person need to prove that the damage has been done to him , financially or in some other way by the defamation. But here in what way did the 2 Rideout minister had damage to their reputation? Damage to reputation need to be proven . Loss in votes or loss of their career , business ? In what way cam someone explain?

The RidOut pair must be totally pissed and put right out, … and with good reason. Why can’t the nosey parkers abroad and kaypoh~ers locally, just leave them be, … to enjoy their “well deserved and entitled” bungalows, acres of greenery with trees and habitat dating back to the “dead one” and a bit of privacy, pleaseee !!! Instead, they’ve spent their tenancies, … issuing Pofma’s, refuting allegations, media interviews, having to clear themselves in their own “court” aka the parliament, and now, … initiating court proceedings !!! They are men of distinction, honour and integrity, and, … the people… Read more »

LKY had the “iron” in him to protect Singapore and its people’s interests. The current govt only has the iron to protect their own interests which they mistakenly conflated with that of the country and its citizens.

Why Facebook Messenger and not newspapers advertisement in UK papers to serve the legal papers? Is it they wanted to be more discreet as the advertisements will make them look like blood hounding clowns in the UK.

To me, the more they insist or wanted Singapore court to undertake this case, the more fishy it smell.


Long Live Singapore. Loong Leave Singapore (after he pays for all his wrong doings).

Not elegant, but still a distraction from the shenanigans of this party in Government. Ministers’ suit for defamation is a distraction, money spent is worth the time. The voters loose focus. This will drag on till the General Elctions… if it ends, SPH will resurrect the case to cause divisions and distraction. Cost? just monetary.. worth every single cent for PAP to remain in control of parliament, and that is paramount. Losing GRC etc hurts, but from their past experience, control of Parliament is key. Voters will be distracted and divided. That has always been the strategy. Most will not… Read more »

Anyway He can still use UK lawyers to reply. tsk tsk tsk…. Ask your lawyers to invite both of them to go UK court or else bo chap….What do you think?

Song ,right? LHY all those ill gotten gains from PaPa time need to cough out. This is what they call Karma.

There is still more to go, if your mouth is itchy.
Like they say, the goons and daft oppo thinks you turncost LHY is on THEIR SIDE.
But history says, turncoat are nothing but selfish bastxxd, who uses opportunity to turn things to YOUR FAVOR!
Which is just to say, turncoat are even much much worse than those who remain in either the PAP side or the oppo side.
But oppo fuckers are daft cos they are LOSERS ANYWAY!😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Snakes love to sue and shit