Warning: Very harsh, and vulgar, language ahead
I suggest you read my 9 Jun post Judiciary has not moved to check the Executive's misuse of the law before you go on. And sadly, what I said in my post on 2 Aug has come to pass.
Yesterday, the local news broadcaster CNA ran a short report........
Summary judgement granted in defamation suit against Chee Soon Juan, sisterThat was followed today by a report by TODAY......
By Noor Mohd Aziz, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 12 September 2006 2020 hrs
SINGAPORE : The High Court has granted summary judgement in the defamation suit brought by the Prime Minister and Minister Mentor against Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) leader Chee Soon Juan and his sister Chee Siok Chin.
The leaders had sued SDP and its executive committee in April, for allegedly defaming them in the party newsletter.
All but Dr Chee and his sister Chee Siok Chin had apologised.
After considering the case, Justice Belinda Ang granted the summary judgement. Damages will be assessed later.
This came after several hearings in court, including a judge disqualifying himself from the case, and Dr Chee questioning the constitutionality of such summary judgements.
On Monday, Dr Chee's lawyer M Ravi failed to show up. And on Tuesday, Dr Chee had applied to have the case adjourned and to change his lawyer, but both requests were dismissed.
A summary judgment is allowed when there are no disputes over the facts of a case, or if the other party has admitted certain facts.
- CNA /ls
Chees lose, SDP takes hitAnd let's not forget the Straits Times. They had a very prominent report in today's edition titled Chees defamed PM and MM, court finds. At the time of writing, I can't find a copy of the report online. I will post it here if I do. But suffice to say, the report is typical of the Straits Times. CNA, TODAY and the Straits Times jointly present one-side of the story. And only one-side. That of the ruling Peoples Action Party.
Loh Chee Kong
When the court ruled yesterday that Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan and his sister, Ms Chee Siok Chin, had defamed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, the siblings were nowhere to be seen.
For the second day in a row, their lawyer M Ravi did not show up in court. On Monday, the Chees produced a note from a dentist saying Mr Ravi needed a day's rest.
Yesterday, they said they had discharged their lawyer and said they needed time to find a new one. The Chees stormed out of the closed-door hearing even before Justice Belinda Ang rejected their application.
In the verdict read in their absence, the Chee siblings were ordered to pay damages — the amount will be assessed later — and bear the full costs of the hearings. They were also told to stop repeating the allegations made in their party newsletter.
The party was also sued and will have to pay damages too. It may be wound up if unable to do so.
The proceedings, which began on Aug 3, have been interrupted more than once. Justice Woo Bih Li, who originally heard the case, disqualified himself on the request of Mr Ravi, with whom he had had run-ins, in the past. Justice Woo wanted to avoid any perception of bias.
On Monday, Dr Chee claimed Mr Ravi was "physically and mentally exhausted". Yesterday, he wanted to discharge his lawyer. When Mr Davinder Singh, acting for the two ruling party leaders, opposed the application, the Chees said they "did not want to be part of the proceedings" and walked out of the courtroom.
Outside, Dr Chee told reporters Mr Ravi was still unwell but as the court wanted to "persist" with the proceedings, he had no choice but to seek an adjournment.
Today understands that the lawyers for the two People's Action Party leaders pointed to the past adjournments and objected to Dr Chee's "delay tactics".
The siblings were sued over an article in the party's news- letter, The New Democrat, which linked the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) affair to the Government.
Lawyers for the government leaders sought a summary judgment. This can be made when there are no disputes about the facts of the case, the other party has admitted certain facts or there are previous judgments relevant to the case. The lawyers led by Mr Singh cited a local defamation suit involving Microsoft about seven years ago, where a summary judgment was passed.
The lawyers said the statements linking the NKF saga with the Government were defamatory, implying that it was corrupt and tried to cover up the scandal. And they said the Chees were unable to cite alternative meanings to the offending statements, if they had not been intended to defame the PAP leaders.
The Chees were also unable to prove the statements were true, and their defence of fair comment and qualified privilege had "no basis either in law or on evidence". Mr Ravi could not be contacted.
Today understands that the damages to be paid by the Chee siblings and the party will be assessed at a later hearing.
Political observers are watching the developments closely, as they could mean the end of the road for the 26-year-old opposition party if it is unable to pay.
Unfortunately, majority of Singaporeans will see and read ONLY these reports. Sadly I'm afraid, most will not go beyond these reports to find out the other side of the story. There are those die-hard, mudderfucking lapdogs who will side with the ruling party. There are those who know about the ruling party's dirty tricks but say the SDP should've just kept quiet instead of courting trouble. And there are those who simply don't care. The majority will not give a damn about the underlying issues such as, the PAP's misuse of the law and abuse of power and the judiciary's & local media's slavish attitude and lack of independence, among others.
I'm not a member of the Singapore Democratic Party. But that doesn't matter. I don't have to be a member or supporter to see that what has happened is fucking injustice perpetrated by these bastards in power. And equally worse and as guilty as these bastards in power, are those prostitutes, who help the bastards stay in power to continue the injustices and many abuses of power. Among them, the local media & the judiciary. The local media reports and broadcasts whatever favors the PAP and the judiciary's conduct and passing of such judgements ensures the PAP never loses such cases. Both these institutions have, in effect, prostituted themselves to the ruling Peoples Action Party. Bloody mudderfuckers.
Unfortunately, the only time the majority of my fellow countrymen/women will overcome their fear or collective stockholm syndrome and do something is when the fucking house is on fire. (Go here for a definition of stockholm syndrome)
Here's the other side of the story............
Judge gives summary judgement without Chees' lawyer present
12 Sep 06
Judge Belinda Ang refused to grant Dr Chee Soon Juan and Ms Chee Siok Chin time to look for another lawyer to represent them in their defence against the lawsuits by Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Lee Hsien Loong.
Instead she awarded the case to the Lees in a summary judgement. Summary judgement is a hearing in the judge's chambers where witnesses cannot be called and the Lees cannot be put under oath and cross-examined. In other words, the Chees were denied a trial.
Dr Chee told the court on the morning of 11 September 2006, the scheduled date for the summary judgement hearing, that their lawyer Mr M Ravi was unable to attend court as he was not feeling well.
The Judge then directed that a medical certificate (MC) be produced. When the session was reconvened in the afternoon, Dr Chee presented the certificate from a dentist that indicated a one-day rest for Mr Ravi.
The Lees' lawyer, Mr Davinder Singh, insisted that the hearing continue the following morning. The Judge acquiesced.
Dr Chee arrived in court this morning and informed Judge Ang that Mr Ravi was still unable to attend court. He asked the judge to please give Mr Ravi time to recuperate as the lawyer had been under intense pressure handling cases such as the Falungong trial, the impending execution of Nigerian Mr Amara Tochi, and this present lawsuit by the Lees.
Dr Chee pointed out that these were high profile matters that few lawyers, if any, in Singapore would dare take up and that Mr Ravi had worked tirelessly to serve his clients. He also cited that in the Falungong case, the police were harassing the lawyer and his clients.
From all this, Dr Chee added, Mr Ravi was mentally and physically very weak and exhausted. The lawyer's dental problem was just a symptom of a more serious health issue.
Mr Ravi had also consulted a general practitioner on the evening of 11 September. The doctor diagnosed the lawyer as suffering from asthenia, a medical condition where one feels general fatigue and weakness.
But at every step of the way, the Lees' lawyer objected and said that the story was nothing more than a ploy to delay the proceedings.
At this point, Dr Chee shot back and told Mr Singh that this was the lowest form of argument any lawyer could make.
He told the Senior Counsel that he was happy to engage Mr Singh in a political fight at any other time and place (Mr Singh is a former PAP MP). But at the moment, a fellow legal officer's health was in question and it was unbecoming of a lawyer such as Mr Singh to cast such aspersion on a fellow professional.
Dr Chee said that Mr Ravi would have been present if at all possible but his health was in serious question. Dr Chee asked for some compassion and good sense to allow Mr Ravi to recover and continue arguing the case
Mr Singh pointed out again that his clients' instructions were to proceed with the summary judgement hearing.
Dr Chee said that if that was going to be the case he had no choice but to discharge Mr Ravi and look for another lawyer. He asked for a two-week adjournment to be able to do this.
Again Mr Singh objected and insisted that his clients wanted to proceed with the hearing immediately.
Dr Chee pointed out that he and Ms Chee would be without legal representation if that happened. He said that he was asking for only two weeks to try to get another lawyer and that this was not an unreasonable request.
Mr Singh vehemently objected.
Dr Chee then asked for permission to leave the courtroom because he did not want to be present arguing the matter further without a lawyer.
And so Judge Ang sat in her chambers with Senior Counsel Singh, and with no other parties present – away from the public and away from the media – during which she:
One, denied the Chees' application for a two-week adjournment to look for another lawyer.
Two, consented to the Lees' insistence to proceed with the summary judgement hearing despite the absence of legal representation of the Chees.
Three, awarded summary judgement to the Lees.
How much more tragic can it get?