Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Singapore Law Society had set out its arguments to the Disciplinary Committee on why I should be disbarred. The following are my extracts of their written Closing Submissions dated Oct 19, 2010 with my responses. The Singaporean Disciplinary Committee have not yet come to a decision even though it has been more than 2 years since the incident involving Singapore Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean in 2008.
The lawyer representing the Singapore Law Society, who makes the following arguments is Peter Cuthbert Low, a local Singapore Chinese lawyer with an English sounding name of Colin Ng and Partners, 36 Carpenter Street, Singapore 6323 8383, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you outraged, disturbed or amused, or all of them, give him a piece of your mind.
So as not to forget what I am accused of, I set out the following:
Charge 1. Between the 26th of May 2008 and the 28th of May 2008, I was in a courtroom in the High Court Singapore, having just arrived from San Francisco, to observe the defamation case for damages between Lee Kuan Yew and Dr. Chee Soon Juan, his victim.
The judge appointed to do the dirty work for Lee Kuan Yew, was a woman Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean who conducted, what was to be for 3 days, a mockery of justice, a charade and a Stalinist show trial.
Both Lee Kuan Yew's lawyer Davinder Singh in collaboration with the Judge appeared as if they there to give anything the former wanted, to shut up Dr. Chee completely. Every single thing he said was ruled out, every argument declared irrelevant or improper, repeatedly threatened with contempt charges, and in the end as was expected she not only awarded Lee Kuan Yew whatever he wanted, she also sent Dr. Chee and his sister to jail for contempt for their temerity to have asked the Singapore Superman Lee Kuan Yew even the handful of questions they did.
After having listened to that shameful travesty of justice, you might have thought that the trial of the Rabbit who Stole the Tart in Alice in Wonderland was a far fairer trial than this. I was nauseated with the spectacle of this woman judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean bending so low and so shamelessly for Lee Kuan Yew.
Naturally I was angry, which red blooded human being wouldn't. So on May 29, 2008 in this blog, I wrote the post titled "Singapore. Judge Belinda Ang's Kangaroo Court", in which I had mentioned a number of clear egregious instances of bias by this Judge and added the words "The judge Belinda Ang was throughout prostituting herself during the entire proceedings, by being nothing more than an employee of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and his son and carrying out their orders." These words were a correct use of the English language, as "prostituting oneself" in all dictionaries means the abuse of authority by an officer for dishonest or base means as Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean so shamelessly did. Please read this blog post of May 29, 2008.
The blog's contents were not only proper in this egregious outrage of a judge publicly misusing the law, it was also necessary to be said. I stand by what I said and will gladly say it again. And again.
In a trial that lasted 11 days, for writing this blog I was charged and convicted of insulting a public servant and sent to prison for 3 months.
Nowhere in the world would I be disbarred for criticizing a disgraceful judge such as this in a blog, except I suppose in Singapore.
Charges 2 and 3. The next 2 charges refers to an incident near Little India, a district in Singapore frequented by Indians on July 4th 2008, American Independence Day, when I was accosted by about 6 men, not in uniform who demanded to know who I was and demanded to see my identity card while accusing me of "knocking" on their police car which was about 30 feet away. Not knowing who they were I naturally refused when I was abruptly assaulted, violently tackled, pinned to the ground, causing me injuries to the face and damage to my glasses. Subsequently they concocted a story that I had hurled abuses at them and behaved in a rowdy (disorderly) manner. In a trial that lasted as long as 18 days, I was eventually found guilty and sentenced to a fine of $3,000.00. I paid the fine.
The Singapore Law Society’s Lawyer’s charge prominently features the following obscenities which they claim I said "F***ck off. You policemen don't waste my time F***king time, "B***tard" etc etc.” What this lawyer for the Law Society is trying to do is to highlight these words and argue that a lawyer who loses his temper and yells vulgarities as policemen should be disbarred. Although I never said any of this, which is a product of their desperate imagination to make me look bad, I would like to tell him that losing one's temper with policemen and yelling at them with vulgarities is not a ground for disbarring a lawyer in any part of the world, except perhaps Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.
I never did any of what they have said. The only reason I can imagine for my arrest and conviction, was because they knew who I was and therefore an excellent opportunity for them to claim that I was a rowdy character, which would make their Belinda Ang Saw Ean case due to be heard soon, much easier for them. Even though their state controlled newspapers reported that 25 members of the public had watched my arrest, the only witnesses Sargent Vickneswaran Sockalingam, the Police Investigating Officer produced at trial were the 5 police officers who one after the other repeated exactly what was required to be said in a well rehearsed manner. For all you want they could have all said that I sang the latest Michael Jackson tunes and danced the Tango and the judge would still have accepted it.
Charge 4. After I was convicted in the Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean case and staying in prison, about November 12, 2008, just one week before my release, the police visited me and told me that I am now facing more charges, this time for contempt of court for remarks I made during my trial for yelling at policemen, because, according to them, I had made certain remarks that had offended the integrity of the courts, statements such as "these are politically motivated charges", and comments of similar nature! Naturally I was surprised why they were coming up with this now, since earlier the judge himself took no action when I was in court. If he was unhappy, surely the right thing for him to do was to charge me in his presence! Since he never took any action himself then, which we can assume to mean that he was not unhappy, how is it they come up with it weeks or months later! That is why I keep repeating that this is a classic Kangaroo court.
I did believe that the charges before the court in the yelling case was politically motivated and that is why I said it. I would say it again if necessary, because that was the truth. At no time did I personally insult the judge which is what is necessary for a contempt charge.
Nevertheless I was brought to court the next day from prison in chains and asked to answer to these new contempt charges. Not wanting to stay a day longer in jail, I apologized and promised not to repeat any such criticism again and offered to delete 2 blog posts about that court hearing in this blog. In other words I did anything the judge wanted so as not to prolong my detention and in return no more jail time was imposed. I was released the next week after having spent 2 months in prison for the Belinda Ang Saw Ean case, and returned to California.
However since I had no intention to apologize nor delete those blog posts, which I did so that my detention will not be extended, immediately after I returned to California on Nov 2008, I retracted my apology in this blog, and re-posted the 2 blog posts which were earlier removed.
In this charge, I am accused of reneging on the apology and re-posting the 2 blog posts after my return to California.
Charge 5 again refers to a blog post I wrote after I returned to California concerning Singapore Judge Judith Prakash who had sentenced 3 men to jail sentences just because they wore T shirts with pictures of a Kangaroo dressed in judicial robes.
It is titled "Judith Prakash. Another Kangaroo Judge" of Nov 30, 2008. The men were found in the vicinity of the Belinda Ang Saw Ean's court. They did nothing objectionable, did not chant any slogans or do anything else illegal. Wearing T shirts with pictures of Kangaroos is not a contempt of court. In this blog post, in addition to stating the facts I wrote the words:
" Judge Judith Prakash of the Supreme Court Singapore had prostituted herself in her capacity as a judge hearing the Kangaroo T shirt case on November 24, 2008 by being nothing more than an employee of Lee Kuan Yew and his son, whom he appointed Prime Minister. By her actions in sending these young men to prison and making them pay crippling court costs of $5,000.00 each, she has shamefully disgraced herself, her office of a judge, disgraced the Singapore Constitution and disgraced Singapore." The charge refers to this.
Failure to provide discovery: Singapore's Law Society Lawyer has sent me a bundle among other papers titled Complainants Bundle of Authorities Volume 3, but he has not sent Volume 1 or 2 if these were supposed to be sent. The bundle has some cases but he conveniently leaves out cases which are clearly inapplicable, but refers to passages from them anyway, a highly disgraceful practice .
What this lawyer is trying to argue: Other than a lot of verbiage about the meaning of statutes and such like which is nothing more than a waste of print paper, he says, because of an English case, In re a Solicitor (1960)2 QB 212, he argues that like that English lawyer I should be disbarred. He conveniently fails to provide the full law report, but the little he provides about it goes like this. The lawyer was convicted in 1956 of 2 cases of indecent assault under Sec 34(15) of the Metropolitan Police Act and given the maximum sentence possible. The Singapore Law Society conveniently fails to state what exactly these 2 serious indecent assaults in 1956 involved. Did they involve molesting young children or molesting multiple women in broad daylight? What indecent assaults did he do? For this the lawyer was suspended from practice for 2 years. Subsequently in 1959, he was charged with insulting behavior where a breach of the peace occurred, for which he was disbarred, but again Singaporean Law Society lawyer provides no more details.
Either he takes us all for a bunch of fools or he himself is one. This English case has as much relevance to may case as a lion is similar to a mouse or a sparrow to an eagle, or bloody murder to pickpockets.
For one I have not committed 2 serious cases of indecent assault on anyone and I unlike the English lawyer is a Singapore dissident and democracy activist working hard to topple the Lee Kuan Yew regime. I am working in the public interest for a just cause unlike that English lawyer. Instead of facing disciplinary proceedings, I should be honored and appreciated for my work, which I happy to state ordinary Singaporeans and the rest of the world do.
Singaporean Law Society then refers to another case to justify my disbarment which he again conveniently fails to provide either the full law report or the full facts. In Law Society of Singapore vs Wong Sin Yee, he was charged and convicted of assaulting another as well as saying the words "why you call your father, call Lee Kuan Yew or f*****ing police". Except to say that this man assaulted someone, he did not say how many bones he broke, whether the man lost consciousness, why did he beat the man, was it premeditated, was it related to his client etc. Again this case has no comparison to mine. I have not assaulted anyone. And neither have I yelled at anyone. And even if I yelled at anyone, it cannot possibly be a ground for disbarring anyone.
Again, the Singaporean Law Society's lawyer argues that in Law Society Singapore v Tham Yu Xian Rick (1999) 3 SLR (R) 68, the fact that the offense was unrelated to his professional work did not matter. But here again, except to say this, he conveniently fails either to provide the full law report on this case or to give us the facts. For all we know, Tham Yu Xian may have raped several women and even though raping several women was not part of his law practice, surely he can be disbarred. But I have not raped several women, if in fact Tham Yu Xian Rick actually did it. Here again we see the Singapore Law Society's dishonesty in selectively concealing the facts by relying on mere sentences taken out of context to further their case.
The Singaporean Law Society Lawyer then cites the case of Re Knight Glen Jeyasingham (1994) 3 SLR(R)366, where Jeyasingham was convicted under Section 6(c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act of using a false vehicle invoice to deceive his principle for which he was disbarred. Although the Law Society lawyer does not give any further information, it is common knowledge that Jeyasingham was a senior member of the Attorney Generals office who suddenly fell out of grace with Lee Kuan Yew government after which through a surprising series of events daily reported in the state controlled press, he was charged with criminal offices involving criminal breach of trust, which involved misusing his authority and office of Public Prosecutor, convicted of crimes and disbarred. Again Jeyasingham’s case of using a false vehicle invoice to deceive his principle has absolutely nothing to do with my case, no similarity whatsoever.
The Singaporean Law Society Lawyer then refers to the case of Re Hilborne (1983 to 1984)SLR(R)322, where "Hilborne marched unannounced and without prior appointment into the private chamber of a Judge alone, was discourteous rude and insolent to the late judge. He threatened to report the judge to high authority and addressed the judge in an angry manner". Hilborne was asked to show cause but since he was an Englishman returned to England and had nothing more to do with Singapore or their legal system. I on the other hand have not been discourteous to any judge in any courtroom or chambers. I did write a blog post in this blog about Belinda Ang Saw Ean. This case of Hilborne has absolutely no relevance to mine, again an instance of comparing of apples with oranges.
The Singaporean Law Society lawyer refers to another politically motivated case against me which was decided in 1993, at which time I was already in California. The case is Re Gopalan Nair (1993)1SLR375. The background to this case is as follows. In the late 1980s, JB Jeyaretnam was a staunch critic of Lee Kuan Yew. This is what happened. Lee Kuan Yew sued Jeyaretnam for several hundred thousands of dollars for defamation and won, as he always does.
Unable to pay Lee Kuan Yew, Jeyaretnam's Workers Party was made bankrupt. Jeyaretnam was trying to raise funds to pay this, because otherwise he too would be bankrupt. He asked the public for donations and asked me to be his trustee for the funds which I gladly agreed.
Among the many checks from donors, were 2 checks for small amounts about $100 or so payable to the Workers Party. Jeyaretnam had asked them to change the name of the payee from Workers Party to Jeyaretnam because, if the money went to Workers Party which was under bankruptcy, Jeyaretnam would not receive the money since it would go the Government Trustee. It appears the 2 gladly changed the payee's name to Jeyaretnam. As a result of this, even though the law was very clear that the money does not belong to Workers Party until they receive it, and the drawer of the check is free to change the name of the payee anytime, the Singapore court found Jeyaretnam guilty of criminal breach of trust and convicted him. The Government (or Lee Kuan Yew’s argument), believe it or not, was that once the drawer of the check writes a payee’s name, any attempt to change it to someone else is a breach of trust against the original payee!
Secondly, arising from these 2 checks, Jeyaretnam did not disclose these funds in his financial declaration of the Workers Party since this money did not belong to the party, but the court found that the money was indeed that of the party and convicted him of making a false declaration.
As a result Jeyaretnam was convicted of these false criminal offenses and disbarred. Jeyaretnam appealed his disbarment to the Privy Council in London. The parties to the case were JB Jeyaretnam and the Singaporean Law Society.
At the commencement of the London hearing the Judges had specifically asked the lawyer for the Singaporean Law Society in the 1980s, whether the Singapore Attorney General was aware of the hearing and whether he wanted to be heard, since the court was going to look into the legality of Jeyaretnam's alleged crimes. The answer the judges got from the Law Society lawyer was that the Singapore Attorney General, Tan Boon Teik was aware of the hearing and had not filed any request to appear in the proceedings. Satisfied with that the court went on the hear the case.
At the conclusion of the hearing their Lordships in London correctly stated the law that Jeyaretnam was not guilty of any crimes and made the following scathing attack on Singapore's corrupt legal system,
"Their Lordships have to record their deep disquiet that by a series of misjudgments, the appellant and his co-accused Wong, have suffered a grievous injustice. They have been fined, imprisoned and publicly disgraced for offences of which they are not guilty. The appellant, in addition, has been deprived of his seat in Parliament and disqualified for a year from practicing his profession. Their Lordships order restores him to the roll of advocates and solicitors of the Supreme Court of Singapore, but, because of the course taken by the criminal proceedings, their Lordships have no power to right the other wrongs which the appellant and Wong have suffered. Their only prospect of redress, their Lordships understand, will be by way of petition for pardon to the President of the Republic of Singapore."
This was a slap in the face for Lee Kuan Yew and a public humiliation of monumental proportions to his legal system which for the first time told the world that Lee Kuan Yew uses the law with the collaboration and connivance of his judges, prosecutors and the police to abuse the law for his political ends.
When Jeyaretnam returned from London with the verdict, he was certainly in high spirits. He could resume his practice and the English court vindicated his good name and showed Lee Kuan Yew and his government as nothing more than a tin pot dictatorship.
As the law then stood, although the London court could reinstate Jeyaretnam to the Singapore Bar, they could not reverse the criminal convictions against him since Singapore law only allowed criminal cases to appeal up to the Singapore High Court and no more. Therefore the only avenue available to Jeyartenam to clear his name was a request for a pardon from the President of Singapore.
Jeyaretnam did proceed to apply for a pardon which the President of Singapore denied through his Attorney General, Tan Boon Teik. Tan's letter as to why he refused the pardon was published in Singapore's state controlled press. His reasons were that 1)"because JB Jeyaretnam did not show remorse repentance and contrition for the crimes he committed, the President will not pardon him" and 2) because he (Tan Boon Teik) was not given an opportunity to appear at the London hearing the verdict of the court is flawed. But surely there is something wrong here. If in fact the London's Privy Council had said he is not guilty of any crimes, how does one show "remorse, repentance and contrition" for a crime one did not commit! If in fact anyone should show "remorse repentance and contrition" it should surely be Lee Kuan Yew himself for the crimes he committed by disgracefully misusing the law to destroy his political opponents.
This is where I come in. Naturally I was very angry reading Tan Boon Teik's response. So I wrote to Tan asking him why he says Jeyaretnam committed crimes when the Privy Council categorically stated that he was innocent and why did he say that he was not given an opportunity to appear in the London court when the Judges clearly asked about this and were told he did not want to appear. Tan's first response to me was that he was not involved and that if I needed answers I should ask Jeyaretnam. Not satisfied with his answer which was clearly unresponsive, I sent him another very polite letter telling him that his statements were contrary to the facts and that he should explain himself, otherwise I will make public the correspondence between him and me within 14 days. Not receiving any further response from him, I faxed my letters to him and his to me to all lawyers in Singapore.
The Singapore Law Society through the insistence of Tan brought charges, which were that I threatened the Attorney General demanding responses and threatening to publish them, that I threatened the Attorney General to give me satisfactory replies within a stipulated time and that I falsely accused the Attorney General of not wanting to be heard at Jeyaretnam's trial in London. After a prolonged Disciplinary hearing which lasted several months in Singapore, in which Martin Thomas QC, Jeyaretnam's London lawyer and Rose QC, the Singapore Law Society's London Counsel also gave evidence, I was found guilty. Before the matter came to the High Court of Singapore for sentencing, soon after I was found guilty, I left Singapore permanently in disgust, not wanting to practice in a Kangaroo court system like this. In 1993 when I was already in California, the matter came before three judges in the High Court, 2 of them being Yong Pong Howe and GP Selvam who suspended me from practice for 2 years.
There could not have been a greater travesty of justice than this. There is obviously nothing wrong for a lawyer to write a letter to an Attorney General demanding an explanation and telling him that if an explanation is not received within a stipulated time, those letters would be publicly distributed. I did not threaten to harm him or do anything to him. Yet surely this "threat", which they call a “threat” which was to publish correspondence for the public to know and telling him that what he said about not having a chance to appear in the London court was untrue cannot possibly be unethical. Yet the Singapore Law Society is trying to use my own case for being suspended for 2 years from practicing law just because I demanded answers from the Attorney General to have me disbarred!
From that moment, I made up my mind that I am going to fight this dictatorship for as along as I can which is why these proceedings are going on.
The Singaporean Law Society Lawyer then refers to the case of Ravi Madasamy (2007)2SLR(R) 300, where Madasamy admitted to a number of occasions where he had shown disrespect to a judge/judges before whom he appeared for his clients. He was suspended from practice for this for one year. Madasamy's case is nowhere similar to mine, again a case of comparing apples to oranges. I was never discourteous to any judge before whom I appeared. I wrote a blog post criticizing Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean's egregious absence of integrity as a judge and I stated with all decorum and civility in my "yelling at policemen case" that the case brought against me was politically motivated. Madasamy on the other hand decides to be disrespectful to the judge before whom he appears in court.
The Singaporean Law Society Lawyer has several more pages and passages where he states that I had shown no remorse, that I had no respect for the Singapore courts and that I had breached my undertaking to the court in Singapore when I withdrew my apology which I gave to the judge for the contempt charges. Yes I have no respect whatsoever for this puny tin pot tyrant's courts in Singapore which has now undoubtedly become the laughing stock of the world. You now have only 3,000 lawyers or less left in a country of 5 million and very soon with even more leaving; you will have to represent both sides of the argument.
Lee Kuan Yew, I can tell you is a fool. Abusing the law to stay in power is simply counter productive. It simply will not work.
This Internet is not good for the one party dictatorship which this Singapore lawyer is trying to protect. This blog post is going to be read throughout the world, mainly by Singaporeans Americans Australians and the rest of the world. It is not going to look good for the one party state with an 88 year despot who will die anytime soon.
I am waiting for the Disciplinary committee to make its finding which they have not yet done although it has been more than 2 years since the accusation, the delay very probably is because they don't know what to do now. With the Internet and everything about this case in the open, they are hard pressed to come up with a justification for disbarment, which is what they want to do. As the saying goes, I have got them by the neck.
And furthermore once the Committee decides, the matter would have to go the court which will decide the punishment.
I am not going to stop this work. I am thankful to God for this opportunity to fight the one party state which retains power by abusing the law.
As my case continues to unfold in public, I expect even more Singapore lawyers to either leave the profession or leave the country entirely in disgust as they have been doing to the present pathetic state of less than 3,000 lawyers. This is a pressure the one party state cannot possibly withstand.
This issue will continue to be alive and will be read in places as far away as Israel and Byelorussia. And what is written in this blog will exist for the world to read in perpetuity, which surely has to be very bad news for Lee Kuan Yew’s one party state and it’s state controlled judiciary.
And finally one piece of advice to this Singapore establishment. Pick your victims carefully, and try to avoid those such as myself who have an education and are passionate about such things as freedom. They may not roll over and act dead as you expect. Some of them may fight back, and in this day of the Internet, it may be you, not him that gets hurt.
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