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Court to assess damages on 2 & 3 May in defamation case involving Ministers Shanmugam and Balakrishnan against Lee Hsien Yang

Singapore Supreme Court will hold a damages hearing on 2 & 3 May for the defamation suit by Ministers Shanmugam and Balakrishnan against Lee Hsien Yang, stemming from comments made in a Facebook post on 23 July 2023 about the Ridout Road controversy.



On 2 May and 3 May, the Supreme Court will hold a damages hearing for the defamation suit filed by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Law, and Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs, against Mr Lee Hsien Yang (LHY).

The case stems from a Facebook post by LHY related to the Ridout Road saga, which previously concluded in the ministers’ favour,  following LHY’s failure to respond within the required timeframe, resulting in a default judgment for the ministers.

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 via Facebook Messenger on 15 September last year.

In his verdict delivered on 27 November last year, Justice Goh said that he found strong reasons to apprehend that LHY would repeat the defamatory allegations and granted the injunction order sought by the claimants, restraining LHY from publishing or disseminating the alleged defamatory statements.

Central to the controversy are the remarks made by LHY in a Facebook post on 23 July last year, which stated, “Two ministers have leased state-owned mansions from the agency one oversees,” and included mentions of tree felling and state-funded renovations at the Ridout properties.

Mr Shanmugam, as the Minister for Law, oversees the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), which leases out the state-owned properties, including that which he rents on 26 Ridout Road.

The ministers argued that LHY’s comments in his 23 July 2023 post had implied corrupt practices, which they have vehemently denied as baseless and harmful to their reputations.

LHY, the brother of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and son of the late Lee Kuan Yew, maintains that his statements do not imply corruption or personal gain. He has criticized the ministers for demanding what he considers a “false apology” for accusations he never made.

The forthcoming court session, set to take place in Court 4E of the Supreme Court from 10 AM, aims to assess the damages LHY must pay.

The ministers previously proposed a S$25,000 charity donation as part of a broader retraction and apology before the commencement of the legal proceeding; however, they did not suggest a specific amount for court consideration. Typically, defamation damages in Singapore begin at S$250,000 in high court cases.

Representing the ministers is Davinder Singh Chambers LLC, with Senior Counsel Mr Davinder Singh at the helm—a distinguished legal figure and former People’s Action Party Member of Parliament, renowned for representing political figures in defamation such as in the defamation suits initiated by PM Lee and other high-profile cases, including the recent corruption charges against former Transport Minister S Iswaran.

LHY will not be represented at the hearing as he has chosen not to participate in the process. He previously expressed a preference for the United Kingdom as the venue for the litigation. However, the two ministers, advised by their legal team, argue that Singapore is “clearly and distinctly the most appropriate forum for the trial.”

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This is NOTHING but a “one sided huge phallus win” for the maharaj & maharuini of sinkapore!!!!

The damage caused to pap vote count will be one million votes going to opposition. Go ahead, use our courts to bankrupt and persecute dissenting voices again and again. There is nothing new about pap. Even the son of lee kuan yew you will persecute on behalf on the dishonorable son of LKY, you ingrates sham and vivian?

This is what we call democratic country and pappies are good at shutting people away. Good luck to the incoming PM.

If old man is still around and in charge, these 2 b&w greedy and arrogant bozos would be shown the door.

Shan & Vivi Boys after Million Dollar Payouts.
Haiz, Now Can Buy Brand New Bungalows, maybe 2.

The whole world must be laughing at us…
So malu lah..airing their dirty laundry in public…

If old man is around, I doubt this will happen? What do you think? tsk tsk tsk

I say,I say I say, YOU have no say ok,GIULTY!!!!!!

These 2 PAPs oredy made a fool of themselves with this ridout saga…
Why do they need such housing?
To entice, entertain & welcome newly mega rich who settle & park their $mils here ?
Out of peasants view? They cant do it in any official placed like the istana or the like …so..
Just thinking out loud.

Can u believe balakriskna is a christian??? What kind of christian? The kind heading for hell, he is

Sham!!! Shame to these 2 south asians!!!

How do targeting HY and his family add to growth and we’ll being of SG at large other than create jobs for u know who? Not to forget one was a liar of YOG excessive wastage of State Money, and, also used $20 millions of SG Reserves to POUR TEA.

Will SP open an odd for this case?
I wanna bet on my properties, my family, my life, my soul, etc. for the mini stars to win.

cotton and pineapple lovers what say you? tsk tsk tsk

Even w/o LHY ‘s presence , LHL will declare victory..
Interesting to see how this saga develops.

Kenneth … are you reading this? You can help by doing more digging 🙂

LHY should just ignore and not pay…see what they csn do?

The two ministerial tenants’ victory in a predilected SillyPore court is without merit and entirely subjugated and, … any further monetary damages awarded will only be in recognition of the comments made by ShengWu about the pliant nature of the island’s judiciary, … which he was duly prosecuted and fined for too !!!

If nothing else, this case and those affecting LHY’s family, … should be sufficient to highlight what persecution and specific targeting means in SillyPore, under this regime !!!

My reading skills must be poor because I read LHY’s post five times and also shared it with family members in the US and nobody could find any defamation in his post. However this is Singapore and the PAP are known to have their own dictionary. Perhaps the judge can redeem the State’s judicial branch by asking LHY to pay a token of $1/- as face saving for these two Ministers. Anything exorbitant will face a backlash at the ballot box. LW bring about the change please. No more defamation suits when you are in political office.

We all know the outcome. Home game using own referee and linesmen and bring own supporters to cheer on. So predictable!

You have to pay

Supporting Role the 60s