Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Lees VS The Chees

12 May 2008

The Court hearing of the defamation case brought up by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew against Dr. Chee Soon Juan (Secretary-General of Singapore Democratic Party), Chee Siok Chin (Central Executive Committee Member of SDP) and the SDP starts today.

PM, MM Lee had sued "Dr Chee Soon Juan and the party's leadership for repeating remarks alleging that they were corrupt and had covered up wrongdoings at the NKF."

For the critics of the PAP regime, this case would again highlight the repression of Opposition Parties by defamation suits. Not too long ago, former Secretary-General of Workers' Party, Joshua Benjamin Jeyaratnam was bankrupted via a series of lawsuits. In Singapore, being a bankrupt automatically disqualifies one to stand for elections.

For this defamation case, the worst case scenario would be that both Dr. Chee and Ms. Chee could be bankrupted. If SDP could not pay up the damages, it could also face the inevitable outcome of being wounded up.

Through my observations, I would attempt to make out some random (tongue-in-cheek) remark:

It seems that all Prime Ministers had sued the Opposition and won. Perhaps defamation suits offer a training ground for Prime Ministers. One way of training would be in the area of cross-examination. Then PM Goh Chok Tong had faced cross-examination by JBJ's counsel George Carman Q.C. Now, there could be a chance where PM Lee gets to face cross-examination. Hence, defamation suits provide "on-the-job" training for PMs. Maybe the next PAP leader that sues the Opposition would solve the predicament of the succession of PM? Haha.

Straits Times News http://www.straitstimes.com/Free/Story/STIStory_236463.html

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