Monday, February 27, 2012

Lee family will not sue for defamation outside Singapore

Ladies and Gentlemen,

After about a week of threats from several members of the Lee family who run Singapore against a blogger TR Emeritus for statements they did not like, and making him apologize, beg and crawl, one thing is very clear. You can say anything you want of him outside his island without any danger of his ever suing you.

Holding the world record for the largest number of defamation suits in Singapore against his critics and the record of never ever having lost a single one, his complete indifference to anyone saying anything about him outside his island may come as a surprise to those ignorant of his island.

Why is his reputation so delicate within Singapore but completely unharmed outside?

If he sued you in Singapore, for the slightest criticism of him or any or any family members or his government, you stand no chance of ever succeeding in any legal defense whatsoever.

In fact Singapore is one unique country where the moment he has sued for defamation, you know you have lost without ever stepping into the courtroom. The only thing left to be decided is the amount of damages, precisely how many hundreds of thousands of dollars, which will depend on how much you cower, prostrate, lick his boots and show remorse for your crime (that is what criticizing him within Singapore amounts to).

Every single critic of his has had no chance at all. JB Jeyaretnam was either foolish enough or courageous enough depending on your viewpoint to challenge him. I am not sure of the exact figure but he has had to pay several millions dollars, bankrupted and sent to jail. If that was not enough he has since died. Another person whom I admire a great deal who has suffered the same fate in similar circumstances is Chee Soon Juan. Today he is jobless, bankrupted, disqualified from politics and unable to travel outside the island.

Besides individuals he has successfully sued both local and almost all internationally recognized foreign newspapers including the Economist, Time Magazine, the Financial Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, the Asian Wall Street Journal, the Far Eastern Economic Review and Asiaweek.

The common denominator in all these cases is this. They were all sued in Singapore in his courts. Not a single individual or newspaper was ever sued abroad with one exception. There was one case some years ago when he sued a Canadian newspaper over statements made by his former colleague and president, Devan Nair. I understand that the Canadian court promptly dismissed his lawsuit reminding him that the Canadian courts are not his Singapore Courts.

In all these cases, the reason he puts forward for suing is to protect his reputation. He says if he does not sue his reputation would be tarnished adversely affecting his ability to rule. If this were so, why is his reputation not affected at all when someone calls him a liar from aboard, whereas the moment he says it within Singapore, his reputation becomes suddenly tarnished?

It is not what people write about him that destroys his reputation and lowers his credibility. It is his double standard of claiming that his reputation is hurt when someone within Singapore criticizes him whereas his reputation is untouched when the same thing is said from outside.

What destroys him and his family members is acting like thugs employing compliant judges within Singapore to financially ruin you with million dollar damage awards, for exercising your freedom of speech within Singapore but portrays himself as someone without the same courage to go after anyone outside the island because he has no recourse to his corrupt judges to deliver the judgment he demands.

This is not the actions of a man who is trying to protect his reputation. It is the actions of a coward who goes against you because he can win, but does nothing when he is not so sure.

It is not me who is destroying the Lee family, it is the Internet. This blogpost is being read by thousands of Singaporeans within Singapore and worldwide, yet he makes no effort to sue me outside his island. Remember Singaporeans within Singapore can read this message just as anyone else.

The Lee family has lost all credibility. They have lost their moral authority to rule by my action alone. I have been able to say freely that they are a corrupt lot of people who steal millions of taxpayer’s money, $3.7 million a year to be exact and calling it a salary, give out top jobs, handouts and government contracts to their family and friends and make a mockery of the administration of justice for their personal interest.

And by the way, isn't your reputation hurt by what I have said which people in your island, many thousands of them, have just read? Or once again, are you not very sure of winning in a California court?

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
Disbarred from practicing law in Lee's Singapore, imprisoned and refused entry to the island for criticizing Singapore's judiciary in this blog (see blogpost May 29, 2008 Singapore. Judge Belinda Ang's Kangaroo Court)
Actively practicing law in California and in good standing at the California Bar.
Member in good standing as a lawyer in England and Wales (Barrister).
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

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Anonymous said...

It is not true that the Lee family is not sure of winning in a California court. They know that they will LOSE.

I believe JB Jeyaretnam once appealed his case all the way to the London High Court and the justices found grave injustice had been done to this poor man. Subsequently, the Lee family prevented everyone from going to London.

They are just like the school yard bullies. They will threaten anyone in the school yard but become pussycats outside their territory.

In the meantime, they are enriching themselves through the state coffer.

History will not be kind to them.

Coward Lee Kuan Yew said...

Lee Kuan Yew only know how to bully Singaporeans.

Even Foreign talents get to be dual citizens but not Singaporeans.

If Lee were to sue in an American/London/Australian court, I think the court will dismiss the case as it is wasting their time.

Singaporeans still never learn from the Arab Spring.