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Singapore court rules in favour of Ministers in their defamation suits against Lee Hsien Yang over Ridout Road remarks

The Singapore court ruled in favor of Ministers K Shanmugam and Dr Vivian Balakrishnan in their defamation suits against Lee Hsien Yang and granting an injunction on LHY from sharing the defamatory statements.

Damages will be assessed in a subsequent hearing, along with fixed costs.



SINGAPORE: The Singapore court has ruled in favour of Minister for Home Affairs and Law, Mr K Shanmugam and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan who filed defamation suits against Mr Lee Hsien Yang (LHY) for a Facebook post that he had made in regards to the Ridout Road saga.

The court has also granted an injunction order sought by the two ministers to restrict LHY from publishing or disseminating alleged defamatory statements against them.

The recent developments on the defamation lawsuit come after Mr Shanmugam and Dr Balakrishnan, successfully served legal documents to LHY through Facebook Messenger in mid-September.

In a verdict delivered on Monday (27 Nov) by Justice Goh Yihan, the court initially addressed whether the claimants, the ministers, fulfilled the requirements for a judgment in default of a Notice of Intention under the Rules of Court (2021).

The judge determined that these requirements were fulfilled, given LHY’s failure to file a Notice of Intention (NOI) within the specified timeframe.

A NOI signifies a defendant’s decision to contest or not contest a claim before the court.

Justice Goh emphasized that even if he hadn’t executed judgment in compliance with the Rules of Court, he would have still found the ministers’ defamation cases against LHY sufficiently supported to warrant the injunction orders they pursued.

Justice Goh said he would have established that the ministers had a valid cause of action in their defamation claims, which remained unopposed due to LHY’s omission in filing a notice of intention.

Owing to LHY’s failure to file this notice, the judge pointed out his inability to consider any “contradictory evidence concerning the claims.”

Instead, his assessment was confined to determining whether the ministers had substantiated their cause of action.

Two ministers served legal paper to LHY via social messaging

On 2 August 2023, the claimants commenced originating claim (OC) in the General Division of the High Court.

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, the two ministers served legal papers concerning a defamation suit LHY on 15 September.

The verdict noted that The evidence before the court was that the defendant saw the documents that were served on him, in which LHY On 16 September, LHY shared on Facebook, acknowledged that he had been served paper for the legal suit against him.

Justice Goh said that he found strong reasons to apprehend that LHY would repeat the defamatory allegations.

The judge commented that LHY had not removed the Facebook post despite being asked to do so, and he continued to draw attention to the post through subsequent Facebook posts.

This behavior was seen as indicative of the likelihood of repeating the defamatory allegations, said the judge.

Even if the interpretation of the Rules of Court (2021) required it, the judge found that the claimants’ Statements of Claim disclosed a cause of action in the tort of defamation.

The judge agreed with the claimants’ interpretation of the offending words in the Facebook post as implying that the claimants acted corruptly and for personal gain.

The judge granted the injunction order sought by the claimants, restraining LHY from publishing or disseminating the alleged defamatory statements.

The court also ordered damages to be assessed at a subsequent hearing, with costs to be fixed at the same hearing.

Defamation suit against Lee Hsien Yang

The heart of the dispute emerged in September when the ministers accused LHY of hinting at their potential corrupt actions in a Facebook post dated 23 July.

They assert that LHY insinuated they had received special treatment from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), manifested through unauthorized tree felling and state-sponsored renovations at 26 and 31 Ridout Road.

These allegations have been steadfastly refuted by the ministers, who deem them as unfounded and injurious.

Following the post, the ministers, through their legal counsel, pressed LHY to retract his statements, offer a public apology, and make a S$25,000 charity donation.

This suggested amount is seen as a fraction of possible legal damages, as damages in High Court cases often start at an imposing S$250,000.

LHY who has been firm in his stance, maintained that his original words neither imply corruption nor personal gain.

The son of late Lee Kuan Yew voiced his frustration at the ministers for demanding what he views as a “misleading apology.”

In a subsequent post on 29 July, LHY rebuffed the ministers’ claims, emphasizing his intention was to share public information.

He ardently stands by his initial words, “Two ministers have leased state-owned mansions from the agency one oversees,” and which also included the mention of tree felling and state-funded renovations.

LHY argues that this doesn’t suggest corruption or personal gain and reproaches the ministers for insisting on a “false apology” for sentiments he denies expressing.

Earlier in September, LHY had highlighted his preference for the UK as the litigation venue, subtly prompting the public to speculate on the ministers’ motives for preferring local courts.

The legal team of the two ministers has advised  them to have the case heard in Singapore.

Both ministers are of the view that Singapore is “clearly and distinctly the most appropriate forum for the trial.”

Police seeking the return of Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Suet Fern

It’s noteworthy that the Singapore Police – which Mr Shanmugam oversees – are also seeking the return of LHY to Singapore to assist with investigations against both him and his wife, Lee Suet Fern, regarding allegations of providing false evidence in judicial proceedings.

Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Mr Teo Chee Hean, revealed the police investigation into the Lees in response to a written parliamentary question by Member of Parliament (MP) Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim (PAP-Chua Chu Kang) on 2 March. This question pertained to an e-book published six months prior.

This topic also became a point of debate in the Singapore Parliament in March, where Mr Shanmugam and the Progress Singapore Party’s Leong Mun Wai sparred over Mr Shanmugam’s description of the Lees as having “absconded” from Singapore—a term suggesting a criminal offence.

Mr Leong highlighted that the couple hadn’t received written orders to report to the police for an investigation under the Criminal Procedure Code, a fact confirmed by the Minister in Parliament during his earlier response to questions filed by MPs regarding Mr Teo’s disclosure of the police investigations in the Lees.

Thus, Mr Leong contended that using the term “absconded” was inappropriate and wondered if such language implied ill intentions and a presumption of guilt on the Lees’ part.

In defending his use of “absconded”, Mr Shanmugam recounted the events leading up to the couple’s exit from Singapore. He noted that the police had requested the couple’s cooperation in their investigations, but they did not attend the interview and had already left Singapore by then.

Furthermore, the Minister mentioned that LHY had labeled himself a “fugitive” and told the media he wouldn’t be returning to Singapore.

Had LHY entered into appearance to the suits filed by the two ministers, he would have return to Singapore so as to appear in court in person to testify.

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Who would have imagined? Would kwa geok choo and LKY felt be grieved that the older dishonourable son would despatch two south asian dogs to attack his own flesh and blood younger son? What goes around comes.

There’s a God in heaven who will judge these south asian ministers. One of them call himself christian some more. But christian like him do end up in hell. Because there is a God of justice in heaven, sending these unjust south Indians to hell.

This eerily reminds me of Kim Jong Nam being poisoned and killed at KL airport by his brother dictator Kim Jong Un. Ruthlessly wicked indeed. This must have grieved lee kuan yew and kua geok choo immensely about this persecution by the dishonourable son.against his own flesh and blood brother and his family who are also LEEs.

煮豆燃豆萁,豆在釜中泣。本是同根生,相煎何太急?亲情血肉,兄弟姐一场,李家长子又何必苦苦逼害姐弟? 违背父母意念,六亲不认,这 样做算是孝顺李家父母双亲吗?所谓风水轮流传,难道李兄不相信会得到报应?

us? our taxes? if you mean courts in UK… lol they never went that far.

So much for having confidence in sg legal systems. I hope the 70% is happy with their votes.

Last edited 6 months ago by Jala

Shan lost his credibility to tell others what to do. The pillar on Top not showing the Right Example.

As the legal paper was served via social messaging, LHY must scan the $$$ and send via social messaging too.
That’s called fairness!!!

With all his wealth and social status, sadly Yang has no balls whatsoever.
In those past years he could not make up his mind.
Neither here nor there.
If he really wants to fight he must have that iron will and go all out for it.
Not poke and then withdraw into hiding again and again.
If he is with a political party, then claim and do it once and for all of what a political contender should do.

What goes around COMES around! You can make use of west minster courts as well.

Played into their hands which they had waited a LONG TIME!
Now proceed to summary judgement liao and amount of damages to award.
CB Yang again would not pay?
Then they seize Oxley loh!
Prefect! Which is what somone had wanted, to have it GAZETTED!😆😆😆😆😆😆

This CB Yang deserves his just dessert.
When the days he was wining and dining with these wolves when Papa was around, earning millions when the oppo was sued, fined ,jailed and even exiled, he felt …NOTHING!
Guess Karma did find this CB kia afterall when his GOOD TIMES are over …ONCE PAPA KICKED THE BUCKET!😆😆😆😆

“Kor kor! Kor kor!where are you 😭😭when your help is most needed, didn’t Pa always remind us to look after each and every member our family regardless of whatever different opinions each of us may uphold.”A complete disintegration of once a renowned family is certainly unfolding before each and everyone of us.Asian values has been discarded into the dust bin of history.So sad to see such thing do happen to a once happy family.

Old Lee mentioned about The Iron needed for one who governs SG.

Looks like there is Judicial Iron rather than Political Iron, and the Wrong Type of iron when applied to Opposition too.

Old Lee must have been grossly misunderstood or Old Lee is NOW told to FO.

This judicial outcome apparently many seen it as forthcomingly expected, carries the DNA of PAP Administration hegemonic power of command and control over Sheegaporeans who don’t toe the line.

hahha. take it to interpol and see what they say!

Many perceived SG Govt Services largely served the Interests, Objectives, and Political Mission of this PAP Administration, rather than the population of Singapore who paid various taxes to sustain them.

Last edited 6 months ago by 80twenty

Did anyone expect anything different? Just wasting taxpayers’ monies having judges. A programmed AI will suffice. They are both staying in State Properties and renting out their own First Class Bungalows. I am reminded of GCT’s wife’s, “Peanuts!” Up to date there has been no declaration if other PAP Ministers or Permanent Secretaries are doing the same. Iswaran’s case has become a cold but he is fed with an MP’s pay plus $8500/- monthly. 75 PAP MPs urinated on our constitution for the sake of one person who by accepting the urination has shown himself to be far removed from… Read more »

Million$ ministers acted so petty. But only because their boss sets the “cannot-lose-face-if-Ownself-is-incompetent” standards.

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Doesn’t change the FACTS. The fact that Shanmugam is living in a Ridout Rd bunghole. The fact that Vivian is also living in a Ridout Rd bunghole AFTER Shanmugam got bungholed 🙂

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Last edited 6 months ago by wee

Expected. ..

Any idea when old man making a come back?

Just use your pen wisely come 2025 erections.

Never learnt , just never learnt .

Aim Pte Ltd also boh tai chi