So, Ms Chee Siok Chin, sister of Dr Chee Soon Juan, got charged and was found guilty of contempt of court yesterday. This was because the judge felt that their behavior in the cross-examination of PM Lee Hsien Loong and MM Lee Kuan Yew was grossly disgraceful and obstructed the delivery of justice.

Dr Chee will be brought to court on a later date and will be defended by Mr Jeyaretnam in court. Personally, I felt that the judge was extremely fast in bringing the duo to court, at least from the layman’s (me) perspective.

MS CHEE Siok Chin, the sister of Singapore Democratic Party leader Chee Soon Juan, was found guilty of contempt of court yesterday and will be sentenced on Monday.

Meanwhile, High Court judge Belinda Ang adjourned her brother’s hearing for a similar offence to Monday, ‘as a matter of courtesy to Mr (J.B.) Jeyaretnam’.

On Thursday, Dr Chee had engaged Mr Jeyaretnam, the former Workers’ Party leader and a lawyer, to represent him, but the latter could not make it to yesterday’s hearing.

Mr Jeyaretnam, when asked over the phone his reasons for taking on Dr Chee’s case, responded: ‘Why can’t I?’

Mr Jeyaretnam became an opposition MP in 1981, but has been in the political wilderness since 2001. That was when he was declared bankrupt for failing to pay damages totalling about $600,000 from defamation lawsuits.

He managed to settle his debts last year and made his political comeback last month by filing an application to set up the Reform Party.

Dr Chee has not commented on why he decided to have Mr Jeyaretnam represent him, after having either represented himself or engaged lawyer M. Ravi in almost all his cases in recent years.

Still, there was a point in court yesterday when Dr Chee appeared ready to jettison the 82-year-old in favour of Mr Ravi, who acted for his sister yesterday.

After Mr Ravi had concluded his defence of Ms Chee, Dr Chee stood up to ask for a short break. He wanted to have a discussion with Mr Ravi about the prospect of using him and his arguments instead of waiting for Monday and Mr Jeyaretnam.

However, when the proceedings resumed 15 minutes later, he said that he would stick with Mr Jeyaretnam.

The contempt charges against the Chees were for their behaviour during a three-day hearing this week to assess damages in a defamation suit brought against them by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

Justice Ang said on the third day of the hearings that Dr Chee and Ms Chee had behaved in a manner that ‘scandalised the court, adversely affected the administration of justice and impugned the dignity and the authority of the court’.

Defending Ms Chee, Mr Ravi used a total of four analogies to make the point that the contempt proceedings should have been made at the moment the offence was committed and not delayed until the end.

He compared it to fetching a fire extinguisher only after a building had burnt down, shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted, invoking self-defence as a basis for hostilities two days after warring parties had withdrawn from the battlefield and showing a red card to a player after a football game has ended.

‘There was no attempt to give a yellow card as warning in this case by way of citation of contempt,’ he asserted.

However, Justice Ang did not agree with his analogies and found Ms Chee guilty.

The Chees will appear in court again on Monday, Ms Chee for sentencing and Dr Chee to defend against contempt charges.

Going by Dr Chee’s previous contempt-of-court trial, the Chees could be in for prison terms.

Two years ago, Dr Chee was sentenced to one day in jail and a $6,000 fine for contempt in scandalising the court. He did not pay the fine and was jailed a further seven days.

jeremyau@sph.com.sg

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 31st May 2008



Reader's Comments

  1. J | June 18th, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Hey I was looking for this article as part of my research and I’m so lucky you put it up here! Thank you loads!

    Anyway if you’re looking for any updated news on the SDP its at http://yoursdp.org

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