Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong suffered completely no loss on account of an article revealed by TOC in August final 12 months, lawyer Lim Tean argued in his cross-examination of PM Lee on the primary day of the defamation go well with trial towards TOC chief editor Terry Xu.
The article, titled “PM Lee’s spouse, Ho Ching weirdly shares article on reducing ties with relations”, contained alleged defamatory statements made by PM Lee’s siblings Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling in relation to the 38 Oxley Street dispute.
Mr Lim, who represents Mr Xu, highlighted on Monday (30 November) that PM Lee and his staff had comfortably gained the Ang Mo Kio group illustration constituency on this 12 months’s basic election.
PM Lee earlier claimed that the article in query had gravely injured his character and fame, and that he had been “introduced into public scandal, odium and contempt” in consequence.
Mr Lim requested PM Lee to make clear on the loss and injury he had suffered on account of the article revealed by TOC.
“Lack of belief, lack of fame, lack of credibility, lack of respect,” PM Lee replied.
Mr Lim then prompted PM Lee on how he may “show” the loss, because the latter had given “completely no particulars or particulars” as to how he has suffered the loss.
PM Lee responded: “I can’t show that by producing individuals who will inform me that they’ve dialled me down, however I can say that what has been written has been learn by 100,000 folks not less than, and has been additional introduced consideration to by the defendant.”
Citing PM Lee’s staff leads to the latest GE, Mr Lim requested if the Prime Minister would agree that his staff has carried out properly by successful the Ang Mo Kio GRC.
PM Lee stated the election’s outcome was not affected by the 38 Oxley Street matter, however Mr Lim highlighted that the election is a “take a look at of your integrity” and fame.
“Your Honour, if counsel needs to go on this course, in 2015 earlier than these issues got here out the PAP gained 69 per cent of the favored vote,” stated the Prime Minister.
When Mr Lim confused that the query was about PM Lee’s “private outcome” in Ang Mo Kio GRC, he famous that his staff’s votes had additionally “got here down from about 78 per cent [in 2015] to 72 per cent”.
Mr Lim additionally introduced up in regards to the “severe costs” made by Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling towards their elder brother PM Lee in 2017, asking if he feels “content material” permitting his siblings to wreck his fame with their statements as a substitute.
However PM Lee famous that he has dealt along with his siblings’ accusations and has even introduced the matter to Parliament earlier than.
“I made two ministerial statements, I opened myself for questioning by the MPs. I invited them to place to me any accusations, suspicions which they could have in order that the matter might be clear. They raised nothing,” he famous.
PM Lee stated he had additionally “waived privilege” and republished his statements towards his siblings in and out of doors of Parliament in order that they’ll sue him to “clear their names and show the case”, to which he stated, “they haven’t achieved”.
“So so far as the general public is worried, me not suing my siblings doesn’t imply I condone or I consider their statements or that their statements are essentially true,” he added.
Following that, Mr Lim additional questioned PM Lee if his statements in Parliament on 3 and 4 July 2017 have “successfully debunked” the fees made by his siblings.
In response, PM Lee famous that whereas he can’t guarantee it was a “100 per cent success”, he believes his statements have had an impression on clarifying his stance on the matter.
“However that isn’t to say that if others repeated and I don’t act towards others for which my inhibitions towards suing siblings don’t apply, that won’t additional unfold the poison and worsen the injury,” he remarked.
Background of PM Lee Hsien Loong’s defamation go well with towards TOC chief editor Terry Xu
PM Lee’s defamation go well with towards Mr Xu pertains to an article revealed on TOC on 15 August final 12 months titled “PM Lee’s spouse, Ho Ching weirdly shares article on reducing ties with relations”.
The article contained alleged defamatory statements made by PM Lee’s siblings Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling in relation to the 38 Oxley Street dispute.
On the coronary heart of the 38 Oxley Street dispute is the home owned by the Lee siblings’ late father and Singapore’s founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew and the elder Lee’s want to have the home demolished as a substitute of being become a museum or authorities relic.
Mr LHY and Dr LWL are joint executors and trustees of Mr LKY’s property.
In a joint assertion launched on 14 June 2017, which was shared on their Fb pages, PM Lee’s two youthful siblings claimed, amongst a number of different allegations, that PM Lee and his spouse Ho Ching had defied Mr LKY’s want to demolish the home.
Additionally they alleged that PM Lee and Mdm Ho have been answerable for instilling and perpetuating the Authorities’s stance to protect the home at 38 Oxley Street, together with PM Lee’s purported transfer to display that Mr LKY had modified his thoughts on having the home demolished.
Mr LHY and Dr LWL additionally claimed that PM Lee had engaged in abuse of energy as Prime Minister to acquire a replica of the Deed of Present from then-Minister of Nationwide Growth Lawrence Wong, which was then handed to his private lawyer Lucien Wong on the time for his personal objective.
The youthful Lee siblings additionally alleged that Mdm Ho wielded important affect within the Authorities regardless of not being a public official. PM Lee issued a press release the identical day to counter the allegations.
Regardless of that, Mr LHY and Dr LWL continued to make claims towards PM Lee in subsequent Fb posts.
Following that, PM Lee introduced in June the identical 12 months his plans to ship a ministerial assertion in Parliament the subsequent month to handle the allegations made by his siblings.
The prime minister delivered his ministerial assertion on 3 July 2017, by which he branded the allegations as baseless.PM Lee additionally stated that he wouldn’t be suing Mr LHY and Dr LWL as doing so would additional besmirch their dad and mom’ title.
The following day, PM Lee delivered one other ministerial assertion, by which he stated that he wouldn’t name for a Choose Committee or a Fee of Inquiry to be convened into the 38 Oxley Street dispute and his siblings’ allegations.
Mr LHY and Dr LWL on 4 July — the identical day PM Lee made his second ministerial assertion on the matter — in a joint assertion alleged that PM Lee had improperly misrepresented to LKY that the gazetting of 38 Oxley Street was both “inevitable” or that the home was already gazetted.
Two days in a while 6 July, Mr LHY and Dr LWL collectively said that they might not put up any additional proof on the allegations if PM Lee and the Authorities don’t intrude with Mr LKY’s want — in addition to their very own — to have the home demolished.
PM Lee responded the identical day by saying that he couldn’t concede to his siblings’ demand to withdraw plans to ship his ministerial assertion and to carry the controversy in Parliament, in addition to disbanding the Ministerial Committee and never responding to their accusations.
Mr LHY and Dr LWL henceforth continued to make posts on issues regarding 38 Oxley Street.
Nonetheless, PM Lee determined to file a defamation go well with towards Mr Xu for publishing the article that contained the allegedly defamatory statements made by Mr LHY and Dr LWL in relation to the 38 Oxley Street dispute.
Previous to that, PM Lee’s press secretary Chang Li Lin wrote to Mr Xu, asking the latter to take away the “libellous” article and to publish a “full and unconditional” apology.
PM Lee later started authorized proceedings towards Mr Xu after the latter had refused the calls for made in Ms Chang’s letter.
The trial continues tomorrow on Tuesday (1 December).