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Defamation trial: PM Lee tells the court he and Ho Ching do not hold anything against LHY and LWL – Unfold Times

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Neither Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong nor his spouse Ho Ching “maintain something towards” the previous’s siblings Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling.

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Taking the witness stand, PM Lee testified in courtroom in the course of the first day of the trial of his defamation go well with towards TOC’s chief editor Terry Xu on Monday (30 November) that the “animosity”, alternatively, “is clear on one facet from my siblings”.

PM Lee’s defamation go well with towards Mr Xu pertains to an article revealed on TOC on 15 August final yr titled “PM Lee’s spouse, Ho Ching weirdly shares article on reducing ties with members of the family”.

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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 Highway dispute.

Answering questions from Mr Xu’s lawyer Lim Tean throughout cross-examination, PM Lee mentioned — referencing a piece within the article titled “The Lee household feud — that he doesn’t perceive what it was about.

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“As I defined in Parliament in 2017, I’ve indifferent myself from the reason for the feud. I not personal — I don’t personal 38 Oxley Highway, which was the difficulty. I’ve offered it to my brother and I’ve recused myself from the Authorities’s dealing with of the case fully,” PM Lee defined.

He pressured that he has “nothing to do with any selections” the Authorities makes on 38 Oxley Highway and that subsequently, there’s “actually nothing which I can do or not do which might affect” whether or not the home will likely be demolished.

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PM Lee mentioned that given the above context, he doesn’t perceive why there seems to be “persevering with animosity” and “repeated statements” on his siblings’ half.

“I’ve by no means carried out any Fb posts. I’ve not criticised them publicly. I’ve mentioned nothing apart from what I’ve put out in my ministerial statements,” he testified.

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“I hope towards hope that at some point issues could also be repaired,” mentioned PM Lee.

When questioned by Mr Lim as as to whether he had learn Mdm Ho’s Fb put up by which the “Right here’s why generally is it okay to chop web page ties with poisonous members of the family” article was linked, PM Lee mentioned that he didn’t, regardless of being on Fb on daily basis.

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He testified that he had solely learn “what TOC manufactured from the put up and commented upon it”.

When prompted by Mr Lim as as to whether he had actually not learn both Mdm Ho’s Fb put up or the article hooked up to the Fb put up, PM Lee mentioned that it was “not needed”.

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To him, he mentioned, it was “fairly clear” what TOC’s article was about — and it didn’t touch upon what Mdm Ho had posted.

“My spouse’s posting or sharing was only a peg for TOC to hit at me,” mentioned PM Lee.

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Mr Lim then requested PM Lee if he agreed that any one who learn Mdm Ho’s Fb put up would have inevitably concluded that it was a commentary on the Lees’ household dispute, given the background and context of the mentioned dispute.

PM Lee replied that he disagreed, as he believes that “completely different folks learn posts with completely different views”.

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He added that he has “full confidence in her judgment” that the article shared by Mdm Ho “had nothing to do with the TOC put up”.

When Mr Lim questioned him as to when he had learn the TOC put up, PM Lee mentioned he couldn’t keep in mind the date, however that it might have been proper earlier than his press secretary Chang Li Lin wrote to TOC asking TOC to take away the article and apologise.

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The defence lawyer identified that Ms Chang solely wrote to TOC on 1 September final yr — 15 days after the TOC article was first revealed.

PM Lee replied that he couldn’t keep in mind, however that it should have been “a while throughout these 15 days”.

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“[It] have would have taken me a number of days to work out with my press secretary precisely what line to take and the place to wrote to TOC about, so most likely lower than 15 days, however I noticed it quickly after it was posted,” mentioned PM Lee.

Background of PM Lee Hsien Loong’s defamation go well with towards TOC chief editor Terry Xu

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PM Lee’s defamation go well with towards Mr Xu pertains to an article revealed on TOC on 15 August final yr titled “PM Lee’s spouse, Ho Ching weirdly shares article on reducing ties with members of the family”.

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 Highway dispute.

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On the coronary heart of the 38 Oxley Highway 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 an alternative of being changed into a museum or authorities relic.

Mr LHY and Dr LWL are joint executors and trustees of Mr LKY’s property.

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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 had been liable for instilling and perpetuating the Authorities’s stance to protect the home at 38 Oxley Highway, together with PM Lee’s purported transfer to display that Mr LKY had modified his thoughts on having the home demolished.

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Mr LHY and Dr LWL additionally claimed that PM Lee had engaged in abuse of energy as Prime Minister to acquire a duplicate of the Deed of Reward from then-Minister of Nationwide Growth Lawrence Wong, which was then handed to his private lawyer Lucien Wong on the time for his personal goal.

The youthful Lee siblings additionally alleged that Mdm Ho wielded vital affect within the Authorities regardless of not being a public official.

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PM Lee issued an announcement 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 yr his plans to ship a ministerial assertion in Parliament the subsequent month to deal with the allegations made by his siblings.

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The prime minister delivered his ministerial assertion on 3 July 2017, by which he branded the allegations as baseless.

PM Lee additionally mentioned that he wouldn’t be suing Mr LHY and Dr LWL as doing so would additional besmirch their mother and father’ title.

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The subsequent day, PM Lee delivered one other ministerial assertion, by which he mentioned that he wouldn’t name for a Choose Committee or a Fee of Inquiry to be convened into the 38 Oxley Highway 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 Highway was both “inevitable” or that the home was already gazetted.

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Two days afterward 6 July, Mr LHY and Dr LWL collectively acknowledged that they might not put up any additional proof on the allegations if PM Lee and the Authorities don’t intervene 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.

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Mr LHY and Dr LWL henceforth continued to make posts on issues regarding 38 Oxley Highway.

Nevertheless, 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 Highway dispute.

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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.

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The trial continues tomorrow on Tuesday (1 December).

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