Left Menu
Development News Edition

Singapore PM in court for defamation suit against blogger

Lee's lawyers said that the article contained "false and baseless" allegations and charged that Leong shared the post "maliciously" to damage their client.

Reuters | Singapore | Updated: 06-10-2020 08:00 IST | Created: 06-10-2020 08:00 IST
Singapore PM in court for defamation suit against blogger

Singapore's prime minister arrived at court on Tuesday for a case in which he is suing a blogger for sharing an online article linking him to Malaysia's 1MBD state fund money-laundering scandal. As the world's best-paid political leader and the head of a government that has pledged zero tolerance on corruption, Lee Hsien Loong, 68, is no stranger to protecting his integrity via legal channels.

Lee is suing financial adviser Leong Sze Hian, 66, over a November 2018 Facebook post which linked to an article by Malaysian news site The Coverage. Lee's lawyers said that the article contained "false and baseless" allegations and charged that Leong shared the post "maliciously" to damage their client. Leong subsequently deleted the post.

Leong has said he "merely shared" the article without adding comments or changing the content and rejected allegations that he maliciously posted the article. The trial is expected to run until the end of the week and Lee is set to take the stand and be cross examined.

Senior figures in the People's Action Party, including Lee's late father and Singapore's modern day founder Lee Kuan Yew, have previously sued foreign media, political opponents and online commentators for defamation. Singapore maintains tight controls over local media and enacted a fake news law last year that critics charged could further erode speech freedoms in the city-state. The government says it does not curb legitimate criticism or restrict free speech.

Lee in 2015 took the stand for hours, answering questions from a blogger who he had sued for implicating him in impropriety in connection with how funds in Singapore's mandatory retirement savings scheme are managed. In a twist ahead of this week's trial, police on Friday arrested Leong's lawyer for alleged criminal breach of trust.

The lawyer, Lim Tean, who was released ahead of the trial, said the arrest was politically motivated which the police denied.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Turbulence surrounding tobacco control in Ghana

... ...

Smart healthcare: IoT redefining the way healthcare is delivered

As the world is embracing the new wave of digitalization triggered by the pandemic and the arrival of 5G, the adoption of IoT devices will further boom. With adoption set to soar, IoT security issues and other challenges cant be ignored any...

Refugee compassion and response: Ideas to mitigate disasters now and in their future

Their homeland becomes a forbidden territory for them and more likely than not, their journey to foreign soil is no less traumatizing, not to say deadly. It is crucial to help refugees live a life of dignity and purpose....

Inadequate water infrastructure causes a tidal wave of coronavirus in rural Alaska

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Irresponsible "tough talk" with China is useless, says Canada foreign minister

Canada will keep pressing China to improve its human rights record but has no interest in irresponsible tough talk, Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said on Monday.Bilateral ties between the two nations effectively froze in Dece...

UN ‘extremely concerned’ for safety of Tigray civilians in regional capital, as refugee numbers grow

Due to a near total communications blackout across Tigray, establishing facts on the ground is proving difficult, but UN Spokesperson Stphane Dujarric told correspondents at UN Headquarters that more than half a million people remain in M...

U.S. holiday travelers voice dread, determination as they defy COVID-19 warnings

Millions of Americans appeared to be disregarding public health warnings and traveling ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, likely fueling an alarming surge in coronavirus infections before a series of promising new vaccines are expected to b...

Thanksgiving travelers give U.S. airports their busiest weekend since March

More than 3 million airline passengers passed through U.S. airports over the weekend, disregarding calls to avoid Thanksgiving trips and making it the busiest air-travel weekend since coronavirus lockdowns hit in mid-March. The Transportati...

Give Feedback