A 3 day court hearing will determine how much damage Dr Chee and his sister will have to pay PM Lee and MM Lee for defaming the latter duo. The defamation took place in their party newsletter just before the 6th May polls in 2006 (2 more years to go to next election). The Chees have long been infamous for throwing claims on Lees on how the latter were corrupt – without presenting anything substantial to back their claims.

In fact, Dr Chee had a chance to face-off with MM Lee back in 2004. However, Dr Chee had a no-show for the court hearing. Needless to say, the results were not in his favour. One can’t help but wonder if he’ll pull a second fast one. I’m trying to look at things from the perspective of Dr Chee, but I am having trouble doing so – not because I am taking sides, but I find it hard to fathom his thinking process. If Singapore irks him so much, why won’t he spend the rest of his life peacefully elsewhere – since he probably knows that he’ll get nothing out of going against the system here. I’m not entirely supportive of the things that is being implemented in Singapore, but I can’t see how going against the system can help make lives better for everyone else. For ordinary people like me who are so comfortable with equilibrium, I only have time to care about my next bowl of rice, my next shelter over my head (metaphorically speaking).

Perhaps… just perhaps, he feels that it’s a calling for him; and maybe Dr Chee might gain more supporters if he’s able to show just a slight bit of evidence to support him. Too much allegations will just end up being noise – and it doesn’t help that, inferring from his arguments, the Singapore government is not allowing him access into his much-needed evidence. He’s a smart guy, but brute force isn’t always the way to go.

I’ve got so much things to say, but an entry isn’t sufficient. I wish him all the best.

THE Prime Minister and Minister Mentor are expected to go on the stand in a High Court hearing that starts on Monday.

The three-day hearing is to assess the damages Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan, his sister and the SDP will have to pay for defaming Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

The two leaders are likely to be cross-examined by lawyer M. Ravi, who is representing the SDP, as well as Dr Chee and his sister Chee Siok Chin, who are representing themselves.

If that happens, it will mark the first time that any PAP leader has been cross-examined by a political opponent in open court.

The opposition party and the Chee siblings were found to have defamed PM Lee and MM Lee in articles in their SDP newsletter two years ago.

The case began in the run-up to the 2006 General Election.

About a week before the May 6 polls, PM Lee and MM Lee had sued Dr Chee and the party’s leadership for repeating remarks alleging that they were corrupt and had covered up wrongdoings at the National Kidney Foundation (NKF).

The suit stemmed from articles in the SDP newsletter, The New Democrat. It centred on the NKF saga and drew parallels between how the charity and the Government were run.

Six SDP central executive committee members apologised subsequently. But two others, Dr Chee and his sister, did not, and contested the suit.

In June 2006, the High Court ruled that the SDP – which did not file a defence in the case – defamed PM Lee and MM Lee.

Three months later, in September 2006, the Chee siblings were found guilty of defaming the two political leaders.

The Lees are seeking aggravated damages, which are exceptional awards made by the courts where the plaintiffs have been wronged severely.

The last time MM Lee was on the stand in an open court hearing was in 2004, in a separate defamation case involving Dr Chee, who failed to show up for the hearing.

PM Lee was last on the stand in 1997, in a hearing to assess the damages opposition politician Tang Liang Hong had to pay for defaming 11 People’s Action Party leaders.

Over the next three days, Justice Belinda Ang will hear both sides present their case and decide on the damages to award.

The amount may not matter to the Chee siblings as they have already been declared bankrupt.

But if the SDP is unable to pay up, the 28-year-old party faces the prospect of being wound up.

However, before the hearing starts, the Chee siblings intend to ask Justice Ang to disqualify herself from the case because she gave the Lees a summary judgment in 2006 after the Chees had walked out of court.

Another matter is also pending. Lawyers for PM Lee and MM Lee have applied to strike out the affidavits of Dr Chee, his sister and former solicitor-general and opposition politician Francis Seow, on the grounds that they are scandalous, irrelevant and an abuse of process.

If their affidavits are struck out, the Chee siblings will not take the stand and be cross-examined by the Lees’ lawyers.

sueann@sph.com.sg

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 12th May 2008



Reader's Comments

  1. Daily SG: 13 May 2008 « The Singapore Daily | May 13th, 2008 at 11:09 am

    […] – Mr Wang Says So: Thank You For Reading My Blog, Aljunied Town Council Members – Simply Jean: PM Lee and MM Lee vs. Dr Chee and Chee Siok Chin in court face-off – URBANRANT: Seat belts in school bus: LTA deems it necessary to spend more time to study issue – […]

  2. bad breath | May 13th, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    you should maybe try wearing his socks( don’t even talk about wearing his shoes ok) before you beat an underdog down.

    he may not be a very smart man, but he has got guts and tenacity and that can only makes him smarter!

  3. kingfisher | May 17th, 2008 at 6:14 am

    Simplyjean,

    Agree with bad breath. You are one of those apathetic, contented selfish and materialistic soulless people in Singapore who care only for yourself and your own full stomach. As long as the PAP fills your tummy, you are quite contented and happy to surrender your soul and conscience. At least CSJ speaks up, sits up, and acts up even tho that ends up making his life a chaos.

  4. SGDaily Roundup: Week 20 « The Singapore Daily | May 17th, 2008 at 11:30 am

    […] – Mr Wang Says So: Thank You For Reading My Blog, Aljunied Town Council Members – Simply Jean: PM Lee and MM Lee vs. Dr Chee and Chee Siok Chin in court face-off – URBANRANT: Seat belts in school bus: LTA deems it necessary to spend more time to study issue – […]

  5. John | May 28th, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Directing at Kingfisher and Bad Breadth;
    Grow up and get real! Yes, there are bad decisions made by MM Lee, PM Lee, Goh and the PAP such as the two child policies, certain soverign funds investment “on paper”…etc That has been admitted and corrected. Overall, are you suffering from unemployment, poverty, deprive of education…etc? Have you live through the hard times? Please do not tell me those few crisis are hard times, they are nothing compared to the early days of Singapore developments. You guys think you are political and economic savvy? Think again. You think Singapore is small therefore it is easy to manage? Look around you. If you really know what management is. Running a country can be equated with managing a huge corporate magnified by ntimes. Fundamentally, we are talking about people. There are those so call external elements that can impact even the most prudent system that you have no control but to exercise diligence to contain them.
    The primary issue of this case here is integrity and reputation. You can disagree and voice your thoughts, no one is stopping you, but you need to support it with facts not fabrications. For you guys to pass silly comments regarding Simply Jean speaks volume of your frame of mind. Who’s Chee? What was his grand plan to make Singapore a better place? Does his contesting messages carry any substance? As a matter of fact, I will personally hold him in contempt of court as he is wasting my tax money where I think can be used to fund other needy areas. Don’t insult the intelligence of those Singaporeans who did not vote for him. It will further epitomize your shallow thoughts if you guys imply or insisted that those who do not object are brainwash and concverted. Get a hold of reality. Search your soul, talk to your parents and asked to give you a candid answer why didn’t they choose to leave Singapore in those turmoil years? Afterall, most if not all of our fore fathers/mothers are immigrants.

    Just for the record, I am not a PAP supporter neither do I care much of the opposition in Singapore. What I do care is contesting candidates credibility to make the country a better place to work, play and call it home. If you are so irk by what the PAP has done unto you, you have the choice to live wherever you can find refuge in. I suggest you try out America, Australia, Canada or any of those places where you think you are treated as first class citizen. Young friends, wherever you go, whether you are PR or naturalized, you are still second class citizen compared to your birth place. Oh yes, talk a walk to the library or search through web and learn a little more on American, Australia, Canada and those other country’s History. How it evolves and tell me, justice is serve to the aborigines of those countries.

  6. jacktheripper | October 29th, 2008 at 12:04 am

    hello, i hope i am not too late for this. i also don know much of politic. but Dr Chee, i hope you can fight more tactically. sun zi quote. striking at the right time. so i hope you can see it. at a different angle. i am a com technician. but now i am saving very hard to go study psychology. i know you are neuropsychology. i feel some how we are connected. in a way. a person will not go that far… in a way willing to give up almost everything he has or had. so i know you and me have the same mind in a way. you have to hang on. remember strike at the right time, and at the right SPOT…

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