Friday, May 9, 2008

Lee Kuan Yew vs The Singapore Democratic Party, Dr. Chee Soon Juan, Chee Siok Chin, et al. My arguments for Dr. Chee.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In order to refer to the Affidavit of Lee Kuan Yew relative to this article please see the article Chee hates me - LKY which appears in the Singapore Democrat of May 08, 2008 and particularly to the 72 page Affidavit of Lee Kuan Yew which is attached to the article.

The ugly public spectacle of Lee Kuan Yew abusing legal process to punish his opponents is before us once again. Yet again, Lee shows his ugly colors. He is determined once again to show us that he is unable to retain control through a fair and just democratic process. He is so weak that the only way he can retain control is to yet again, abuse the law through his compliant judges to silence his opponents.

No doubt before his corrupted judges, whom he has appointed at very high salaries, and bribes, they will find Dr. Chee liable once again and bankrupt him once again. But before the court of conscience of the people of Singapore, at the end of it all, it would have been Dr. Chee Soon Juan and the Singapore Democratic Party that has won a thumping victory. And in the not too long future, you will find Dr. Chee winning politically as well. There is no doubt about it.

I am taking this opportunity to write a brief for Dr. Chee with my limited material on this case, which he may find helpful.

Lee Kuan Yew vs The Singapore Democratic Party, Dr. Chee Soon Juan, Chee Siok Chin, et al.

Dr. Chee to the Court on a preliminary objection:

Your Honor, I appear in these proceedings under protest.

I understand these proceedings are concerned with the issue of the assessment of damages.

However these proceedings now are dependant on whether the judgment obtained against me in the earlier summary proceedings are in fact valid and sound.

I again raise the defense which I had raised in the earlier summary judgment proceedings, which is, that firstly the court had no lawful jurisdiction to find against me in summary judgment proceedings in a defamation case.

As your Honor is aware, since these proceedings were brought before Your Honor respecting the summary judgment, I had at all times, strenuously disputed all the allegations raised against me by the Plaintiff in his Statement of Claim.

This being so, there was clearly a triable issue and therefore summary proceedings, where witnesses are not available for cross examination was a patent misuse of the law.

In every Common Law jurisdiction, the rules governing summary proceedings are very clear.

Summary Judgment can only be issued in cases where there is no triable issue, thus making any trial a waste of judicial time.

This as you are aware was not the case.

I had strenuously disputed each and every allegation made against me by the Plaintiffs and my defense which I filed made it clear that I was denying all liability.

My defense had ample factual grounds to join issue with the Plaintiffs allegations and therefore clearly a triable issue was raised.

Section 5 of the Singapore Civil law Act makes it clear that the Law of England and Wales will be the basis of the civil law in Singapore; in other words Common Law prevails.

Since there was clearly a triable issue, it was wrong in law for Your Honor to have proceeded in summary proceedings, thereby denying me a right to cross examine my accusers and therefore making the judgment against me a sham and void in law.

Secondly, Your Honor is aware that the hearing for that summary judgment proceedings was itself conducted in violation of the rules of natural justice, in that, firstly it was conducted in the absence of my counsel who was taken ill and secondly, even I was not present during the proceedings in chambers.

This court was totally unreasonable and determined not to give my lawyer, M Ravi a chance to represent me.

Therefore Your Honor proceeding with the summary judgment in these circumstances was an egregious denial of natural justice.

Please refer to page 29, 30 and 31 of the Affidavit in Chief of the Plaintiff Lee Kuan Yew.

At page 29, para 70, it is admitted that my then counsel was seriously ill and physically unable to attend court.

Whereas any normal reasonable judge who would have given a reasonable time for the lawyer to produce a medical certificate, Your Honor was exceptionally and unusually opposed to offer any reasonable courtesy to a lawyer in these circumstances, by requiring him to produce a medical certificate that very afternoon!

Your determination not to provide any reasonable time for my lawyer who was clearly unwell shows bias and malice against me and a desire to favor the Plaintiffs.

Furthermore it is normal common courtesy at the Bar to take the word of a fellow member of the Bar if he claims to be ill.

This courtesy is offered in all civilized countries let alone common law jurisdictions which Your Honor was determined to deny.

In spite of the totally unreasonable position of Your Honor, I did manage with great difficulty to comply with Your Honor's unreasonable request by producing the required medical report that same afternoon.

Secondly, Your Honor not being a medical or dental practitioner was wrong in making a determination that very day that my lawyer was faking his illness and therefore must appear the very next day for trial.

I refer to Para 72 in page 30. Your Honor says " CSJ produced a note and a one day medical certificate (both from a dentist) for Mr. Ravi. Justice Ang found several discrepancies..........pericoronitis caused by poor oral hygiene in the area around the lower right wisdom tooth.............unfit for duty on Monday 11 September 2006.................pericoronitis which was a new development.......Davinder Singh counsel for LHL and LKY pointed out additional discrepancies.................the note was not in compliance of pt 2 Para 13...............the dentists note was in black ink whereas the date was in blue ink....................."

In Para 73 of page 30 of LKY's Affidavit it reads that Your Honor had fixed the hearing for 10 am the next day since the medical certificate was only for one day.

Even if M Ravi’s certificate was only for a day, it is customary for judges everywhere to give a reasonable amount of time, perhaps 2 weeks to fix another date for the continued hearing.

Therefore fixing the continued hearing the very next day showed a bias against me, almost a determination to make it as difficult as possible for me. Your Honor’s bias seemed very clear from your actions.

Firstly I submit that as Your Honor is not a qualified medical practitioner and neither a dental practitioner, you had no basis in law to make a judgment that my lawyer was not seriously ill and therefore under normal circumstances should have been given a reasonable amount of time to recuperate before required to attend court.

A reading of the record clearly gives the impression that Your Honor was determined not to give the common courtesy or the benefit of the doubt to my lawyer since he could in fact be seriously ill.

Your Honor's ruling to require my lawyer to come the very next day in the morning to court, less than even 24 hours, shows malice, ill will and a bias against me and favoritism for the Plaintiff.

In pages 31, 32 and 33 of Lee's said Affidavit, Your Honor goes on to justify why Your Honor proceeded in my absence but Your Honor’s attempt to do it is clearly without any merit and seen only as a judge who is in a great hurry to decide the case in favor of the Plaintiff.

In Paras 74, 75 and 76, the facts clearly show your Honor's bias and non compliance of legal principles.

Firstly, just because my lawyer’s medical certificate was for only one day, Your Honor is determined to assume that he is fit and well the very next day, which Your Honor knows to be not the normal case.

Humans just like any other living thing, need time to recover, especially since Your Honor is not a doctor and could not have known of the extent of my lawyer’s illness.

Furthermore, Your Honor makes an issue of my failure to attend the summary proceedings.

Your Honor should be aware that since Your Honor had already decided to proceed with the case without my lawyer present on that day, it is highly prejudicial to my case to defend my self being a lay person while the Plaintiff is being represented by Senior Counsel.

In these circumstances, it is patently unjust on Your Honor’s part to insist that I defend myself against a trained and experienced senior counsel without a lawyer.

Your Honor's pre-determined bias, malice and ill will against me is also shown by the fact that the Plaintiffs would have not been prejudiced in any way by Your Honor acceding to my request for a reasonable adjournment of not more than 2 weeks to enable either my lawyer to recover or for me to obtain alternative counsel.

Even if the case had been delayed for some time earlier, still, the Plaintiffs would have suffered no prejudice and judicial time would not have been wasted by allowing the short adjournment.

Had I not done anything in the mealtime, Your Honor would have been well within your rights to find against me.

However in Your Honor's determination to find in favor of the Minister Mentor and the Prime Minister of Singapore, Your Honor failed to provide that very short and reasonable time for either my lawyer to get better or for me to find another counsel in his stead, by reason of which I was seriously prejudiced.

Therefore your honor would see, by any yardstick that my refusal to take part in those proceedings was not only the right thing to do; it was also the legally correct position to take.

I was preserving my right to challenge the courts judgment by my refusing to attend since, had I attended without counsel, my attendance in these proceedings may be construed as a waiver of my right to counsel during the proceedings, thereby preventing me from raising it in any appeal against Your Honor’s decision.

Moreover it is clear from the minutes of the Summary Proceedings that Your Honor while in Chambers with Davinder Singh counsel for the Plaintiffs insulted my honesty and integrity called me dishonest and other such epithets.

I am in possession of those offending minutes which leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind that Your Honor has already decided even before the proceedings ever started that you were going to decide in favor of the Plaintiffs.

I therefore make the following preliminary objections at this stage.

Even though these proceedings are meant only to decide on the quantum of damages, Your Honor still has the power at this stage of the case to take judicial notice of the blatant abuse of the law before Your Honor at the summary judgment proceedings and therefore Sua Sponte, under Your Honor's inherent jurisdiction, you have the power to set aside the earlier summary judgment and give me leave to defend this libel action against me.

I therefore make this formal request that the Summary Judgment be set aside and that I be given leave to defend.

If Your Honor is not prepared to set aside the Summary Judgment; since Your Honor was the one that heard the summary judgment against me which I have publicly protested to be unjust and unfair and accused Your Honor of bias and misuse of the law; the correct thing for Your Honor to do is to recuse yourself and let another judge hear these proceedings.

As the legal aphorism correctly states: Justice must not only be done but must be patently seen to be done. In this case justice was not at all done and was not seen to be done.

If the judge decides not to grant the request either to recuse herself of to reverse the summary judgment and permit Dr. Chee to defend, then proceed with the case with the following.

Dr. Chee to the Court:

Almost the entire contents of Lee's Affidavit should be struck off as frivolous vexatious and an abuse of the court since almost all of it or a substantial part of it refers to accusations against me that I had tried to delay these proceedings.

Whether there was delay or not has no relevance to these proceedings.

These proceedings before us are to decide on one thing and one thing alone, namely the quantum of damages that the Plaintiffs are entitled to; since liability has already been decided against me in the Summary proceedings.

The matters relevant to these proceedings are only whether the Plaintiff is worthy or not worthy of respect; and if in fact he is respected, to what extent people respect him as a leader or even as a human being.

Therefore as you are aware, if the Plaintiffs is worthy of great respect in the eyes of the public, then he is entitled to greater damages whereas if he has only little respect in the eyes of the public, then the damages awarded would be less.

In extreme cases, where the Plaintiff is seen as a rascal, then he should not be awarded any damages at all and even if so awarded, only one Singapore dollar as nominal damages..

Since we are agreed that that these proceedings are for the purposes of deciding the quantum of damages, I humbly submit that the numerous pages, in fact a vast portion of the affidavit is applied in accusing me of trying to delay the courts proceedings.

Pages 25 to 40, paragraphs 53 to 98 should be struck off as totally irrelevant to these proceedings and as an abuse of the process of this court since it has nothing to do with the Plaintiffs reputation and instead unjustly accuses me of delay.

The Plaintiffs in these paragraphs, calling it 1st attempt to delay to 7th attempt at delay in sequential order is only doing nothing more than trying to unfairly scandalize my attempts to seek justice before this court.

In any case regardless of how many times the case was adjourned in the past by me, which I deny; it in no way either enhances or diminishes the reputation of the Plaintiffs which is the issue in these proceedings.

I therefore ask that these said paragraphs be struck off the record and that I be awarded costs of the action.

Cross Examination of Lee Kuan Yew

The general rule is first to deal with the allegations in the pleadings, namely Plaintiffs Statement of Claim and Dr. Chee’s defense. Dr. Chee has to show that Lee is without any respect in the community, that people consider him no better than a rascal and someone who will shamelessly use crooked means to amass wealth.

In the first instance, Dr. Chee’s attack on Lee’s character should be based on the pleadings. For instance if he says he was the Prime Minister of Singapore, to show that he got the position by dishonest means.

In this case, since Lee’s position is that the people would believe that just as the NKF, Lee is corrupt, prove that Lee in fact had control over NKF and since he did nothing to stop the corruption there, he was clearly complicit in it. Moreover his government is no different from NKF since there is no accountability and the newspapers are state controlled and a mouthpiece for propaganda.

Other than specifically trying to disprove Lee’s claim of respectability, defamation law permits a defendant to raise even extraneous evidence of lack of reputation.

Therefore Lee’s rigging elections to remain ion power, his misuse of the law to eliminate opposition politicians, his purchasing Jade condominium at a discounted price, his paying himself $3.7 million, his refusal to permit transparency for Tumasek and GIC are all matters that you can validly go into.

In other words, once a person sues another for defamation, his entire life including everything private and public is fair game to be attacked. Lee’s lawyer cannot raise objections as to relevancy since his entire life can be exposed.

As I do not have the benefit of the Statement of Claim and Dr. Chee’s defense, I am writing with the benefit of only Lee’s Affidavit in Chief.

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

In page 4, Para 8 of your Affidavit you claim that you were the first prime minister of Singapore in 1959, a post you held until 1990. Are you relying on that fact as a basis for claiming a reputation?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

Is it not true that throughout those years, you retained power by unjust means, such as falsely imprisoning your opponents such as Lim Chin Siong for many years on false charges?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

Is it not true that the average ordinary citizen of Singapore looks upon you as a dictator having retained power by unjust means in effect by abusing the law by bankrupting and imprisoning your opponents?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

In Pages 6 and 7 of your Affidavit, you refer to the NKF saga with the criminal implication of Mr. TT Durai. Let me ask you, is not TT Durai a member of the Peoples Action Party? Are you denying that it is common knowledge among Singaporeans that he is a member of your party, just as every other appointment in public or private office is?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

Are you willing to admit that the public assume even today that you are aware of the goings on in NKF because you are involved in all aspects of the running of the country including the charity?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

Do you not admit that it is commonly perceived that you either knew or you condoned the corrupt activities of the NKF since you have your tentacles all over the island? Therefore do you not admit that people may justifiably think, just like the NKF, the Singapore government too may be corrupt, thereby tarnishing your reputation?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

Please refer to pages 8 and 9 of your Affidavit, Para 20 with reference to the words of the SDP paper the New Democrat “It is about the idea that the political elite must be paid top dollar no matter how obscene those amounts are and regardless of who suffers as a result of it”.

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

Do you not admit that those words were true?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

Do you not admit that TT Durai was paid X hundred thousand dollars and X thousand dollars of perks etc?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

How much do your earn? I understand it is $3.7 million? Do you take any more money in addition to this? How much? Do you not admit that your income is obscene? Your son’s income is obscene? All your relatives take obscene salaries?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

Do you not admit that you do not have the consent of Singaporeans to pay yourself this much?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

Is not what I said in that paragraph “ It is about a system engineered over the decades by the PAP that ensures that it and it only has access to public information and by fiat decides what is allowed and what is not” true?

Is it not true that people have no access to any independent opinion other than the Internet; that you own and censor all newspapers in Singapore? Are you therefore not seen as a dictator rather than a democratic leader of country?

Do you not admit that people fear you and are unable to question whether or not you commit fraud embezzle and criminal breach of trust?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

Is not the words “Singaporeans must note that the NKF is not an aberration of the PAP system, It is instead a product of it” entirely true, since just as how the government is run without any transparency, so was the NKF run, entirely in secret with no transparency.

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

Is not my comparison of the NKF and your running of the GIC, CPF and all institutions as secretive as how the NKF was run; in secret.

Do you not admit that the public do not know how the CPF is run, how much money there is in it, how much money is in GIC as in every public organization.

Since the lack of transparency is so striking, is it not reasonable to assume that just as TT Durai, you too have been stealing public moneys in addition to the $3.7 million that you pay yourself?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

In the same paragraph, are not my statements that there is no transparency as regards GIC headed by you, HDB and CPF all entirely true, as no one really knows what is going on with the books of these organizations?

Since they are public institutions, are not the people entitled to know?

By keeping these things secret, are not the majority of Singaporeans entitled to assume that you are stealing the monies in them?

Therefore are not reasonably minded people entitled to assume that you are in fact a thief?

And so are your entire family members whom you have placed in positions of authority?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

As regards defamation suits, are you not world famous for using defamation actions to bankrupt your opponents?

Are you not doing the same now in these proceedings?

Do you not admit that there is not a single defamation case that you have won which has any merit?

Do you admit that it is generally perceived in Singapore as well as the whole world that the Singapore judiciary is beholden to you and do your bidding by eliminating your opponents in return for huge mind boggling salaries?

Do you not admit that by your actions the integrity of the Singapore judiciary has been comprised and this is common knowledge?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

Do you deny that the similarities between NKF and your government are in fact striking?

Power concentrated in one man, yourself?

You make sure that no one can challenge your authority by defamation actions?

By banning protests? Introducing GRCs?

In these circumstances, is it not reasonable for Singaporeans to think that just like TT Durai, you too could possibly be a thief, stealing the money of Singaporeans because if they question you, you will sue them?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

In page 10 of your Affidavit, do you not admit that with the control of the press, you can trumpet your so called successes and hide your failures; so that there is no way that anyone can ever know whether corruption and criminality goes on behind the closed doors?

In these circumstances, are not the people entitled to assume that corruption is going on, because if you are not corrupted, why then do you fear transparency and a free press?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

With regards to page 11, reference the CPF protest; is not the protest entirely within the rights of Singapore citizens which permit freedom of speech and assembly under the Constitution?

And in any case are not the questions raised by the protestors entirely true, since National reserves are not transparent, HDB and GIC do not provide any figures of the monies in them, are not the words “be transparent now” entirely legitimate since there is no transparency, and NKF CPF reference is true, since just like NKF, CPF refuses to publish any figures?

And principally because you refuse to publish figures, are not people entitled to assume that you and your family are stealing, just as TT Durai did?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

In page 17, with respect to the judgment of VK Rajah in relation to the protestors court action, is it not true that the judge was entirely wrong in his judgment, since Singaporeans have a legitimate right to peaceful protest under the Constitution and by your questioning this right, should not Singaporeans assume that you are doing nothing more than silencing dissent?

Do you not agree that the average Singaporean believes that every judge including the Judge in this court Belinda Ang as well as every other judge in Singapore including VK Rajah was acting at your behest and obliged to do your bidding by deciding cases in your favor regardless of its merits?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

Am I not entitled to raise the NKF issue as part of the elections of 2006 since the NKF is an organization under the control of your government?

In fact, do you not agree that in any other respectable democracy, the government would have resigned and admitted responsibility of the wrong doing in the NKF?

But instead of doing that, you are instead suing anyone who criticizes that organization or your government?

By these numerous court actions that you launch, is not a reasonable person entitled to assume that you may be a thief and trying to hide your wrongdoing by these court cases?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

In page 21 and 22, when Ministers Khaw and Lim in fact praise the NKF after the discovery of the wrongdoing instead of condemning it, surely the public is entitled to assume that there is something fishy going on and that perhaps you as well as Khaw and Lim are all corrupt?

Are not the public entitled to assume that?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

From pages 25 to 41, you have devoted it entirely to the progress of these proceedings and the continuances that were obtained for trial preparation.

What is the point of so much reference to it?

Do you not realize that no legitimate court would give exemplary damages against anyone just because they needed time for trial preparation and the conduct of the proceedings?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

In Para 100 page 41, you state that I have a deep seated hatred of you because, inter alia, you had called me a liar and a cheat.

Will you admit that it is not surprising that you feel that way because you perceive me as a threat?

Will you admit that it is only you and your government that has such an opinion of me?

In fact will you not agree that all true democracies in the world have an opinion of me which is just the opposite?

Here refer to the various commendations and awards and accolades of appreciation and respect showered on Dr. Chee by the rest of the world as an honest decent man, highly determined to bring justice for Singaporeans.

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

Is it not true that in relation to the NKF, just as Singaporeans had no way of knowing whether there were financial misappropriations going on, with Lee Kuan Yew and the Singapore government similarly, the public have no way of knowing whether you are siphoning off the peoples money?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

Is it not true that you commenced action against me and the SDP just before the 2006 elections during the campaign?

Is it not reasonable for the ordinary man to assume that you did it in order to intimidate voters away from the SDP and to distract us from concentrating on elections?

Is this not what the ordinary man on the street will think?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

Do you not agree that the injunction that you obtained stopping us from referring to the NKF during the election rallies of 2006 was an attempt to silence us from exposing the truth about the NKF and had we done so, it would have badly hurt your chances at the elections?

Would not people think of you as a coward using unfair means to win elections?

Dr. Chee to Lee Kuan Yew:

Are you aware that Singaporeans have the benefit of the Internet?

Are you aware that overwhelmingly both within and without Singapore you are seen as a bully willing to tolerate not even the slightest criticism by harassment intimidation false criminal charges and defamation actions?

Therefore do you not accept the fact that even if you are corrupt no one will know because no one can find out?

Do you not consider the salary you take of $3.7 million a year and several more millions both admitted and not admitted are seen as nothing less than corruption, plain and simple?

Here show the voluminous Internet articles and letters all calling this man a thief and a crook.

Here Dr. Chee should throw the whole kitchen sink at Lee Kuan Yew by producing every shred of document both in Singapore and the world which refers to him as a tyrant and a bully and a cheat. Lee’s reputation is in issue and therefore anything that you can find as to his bad character should be thrown at him. If the Judge were to object, then state your protest.

Dr. Chee to Judge:

Your Honor knows that this hearing is to decide the quantum of damages to be awarded to the Plaintiff.

Your Honor also knows that this entire exercise is one in futility since I have already been bankrupted and I am unable to pay.

Even if Your Honor were to award a trillion dollars against me, it will make no difference.

If indeed these proceedings are commenced by the Plaintiffs to recover monetary damages, I doubt very much if they will get a penny.

Indeed I am sure that the purpose of these proceedings is not for money but to try to silence me from further criticism.

I would like to tell this court as Your Honor is yourself aware that both you and the entire population of Singapore and indeed the whole world knows that this Plaintiff remains in power by silencing the opposition by abusing the law.

Your Honor knows that this is one reason why the educated and capable in Singapore continue to leave the country in droves and Singapore is losing its best people.

One thing both you and the Plaintiff can be certain is this.

I refuse to be silenced in my work of exposing this totalitarian regime and will continue to strive to bring democracy to this country.

Your Honor can decide whatever Your Honor wants to do.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107 Fax: 510 657 6914

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