5 Mar 2005

Interrogatories from Dr Chee Soon Juan to Mr Lee Kuan

The article below is so important that I just have to post it in full. It's the questions that Dr Chee is asking Lee Kuan Yew. You got to read this, not that I can imagine Lee Kuan Yew actually replying.

In his defence, Mr Lee cited Dr Chee’s surreptitious recording of his conversation with Dr S Vasoo, former PAP MP and the one who initiated Dr Chee’s sacking, as evidence to support his accusation of Dr Chee. Mr Lee, in his interrogatory, asked Dr Chee the following questions:

1. With respect to paragraph 10 (e) of the Amended Reply and Defence to Counterclaim, did the Defendant on 7 December 1992 bring a tape recorder to see Dr S. Vasoo, the Head of the Department of Social Work and Psychology?

2. If the answer to the 1st interrogatory is 'yes', did the Defendant tape the conversation between him and Dr Vasoo?

3. When Dr Vasoo asked the Defendant if their conversation was being tape recorded by the Defendant, did the Defendant deny that he was tape-recording their conversation?

4. Did the Defendant also tape record an earlier conversation between the Defendant, Dr Vasoo and a third party without first informing Dr Vasoo and the third party that he was tape recording their conversation?

In 1986, it was recorded that Mr Lee had used a tape recording of a Law Society meeting for a Parliamentary Select Committee hearing convened to debate the Legal Profession (Amendment) Act. If he considers his own action of taping the conversations of others as good and right then he cannot possibly accuse Dr Chee of being “a fraud, a liar and a cheat” for doing what exactly what Mr Lee himself did. For this reason, Dr Chee has asked Mr Lee the following:

1. In the 1986 there was an extraordinary general meeting of the Law Society to discuss the Legal Profession (Amendment) bill. Did the Plaintiff, through the ISD or any other means, tape them proceedings of the meeting?

2. If the answer to the above interrogatory is ‘yes’, was it done with the knowledge and consent of the participants of that meeting?

3. Did the Plaintiff cite some of the words that were spoken at the Law Society meeting mentioned inminterrogatory 1 during the Select Committee hearing of the Legal Profession (Amendment) Bill in 1986?

4. When asked how the Plaintiff knew about what was said at the Law Society meeting mentioned in interrogatory 1, did the Plaintiff say the words (or words to that effect): “In the age of the tape recorder, you want to know how I am able to get a transcript of what you said?”

Misuse of funds

Mr Lee also says that Dr Chee had misused his NUS research funds, proving that Dr Chee was a fraud, a liar and a cheat. In order to prove his case, Mr Lee wanted Dr Chee to answer questions regarding Dr Chee’s use of research funds to send his wife’s doctoral thesis to the US, and his claims for taxi fares.

In the same principle as the situation regarding the surreptitious tape-recording, Dr Chee argues that he cannot be any of those things that Mr Lee has accused him of if Mr Lee has committed similar acts but considers them legitimate and right. For example Mr Lee asks his press secretary (who is a civil servant and whose salary is paid for by the state) to issue statements on his behalf in the defamation lawsuits which he has taken out in his personal capacity. Such being the case can he then accuse Dr Chee of being a fraud, a liar and a cheat for using NUS funds for personal benefit (an accusation, by the way, that Dr Chee flatly denies)? The following are some of the questions that Dr Chee has asked Mr Lee to answer vis-à-vis the matter of misusing funds:

1. Did the Plaintiff direct his press secretary Yeong Yoon Ying to issue a press statement that carried the Plaintiffs remarks that the Defendant was misleading the public in an article published in the Straits Times on 16 September 2004?

2. Did the Plaintiff direct his staff to write and issue press statements for him in matters relating to the defamation lawsuits that the Plaintiff brought against J. B. Jeyaretnam and Tang Liang Hong?

3. Did the Plaintiff use his office hours to do work on the lawsuits such as consulting his lawyers and writing his affidavits?

4. When the Plaintiff attended court on 6 September 2004 did he apply for leave for the time he was in court?

5. When he traveled to court on 6 September 2004, did he travel in the state car that was assigned to him?

6. During the days he attended court with regards to other defamation lawsuits that he had taken, did the Plaintiff apply for leave? Did he travel to court in the state car that was assigned to him?

7. When the Plaintiff chartered a Singapore Airlines flight from London to Singapore to ferry his wife who had suffered a stroke, did the Plaintiff and/or his wife pay for the expenses of the flight?

8. If the answer is ‘yes’ to interrogatory 7, for which part of the flight’s expenses did the Plaintiff and/or his wife pay?

9. If the answer is ‘no’ to interrogatory 7, who paid for the flight’s expenses?

Indonesia loan

Mr Lee cited the Indonesia-loan incident to justify
his comments. Mr Lee’s and Mr Goh Chok Tong’s lawsuits
were awarded to the two former prime minister without
Dr Chee being given a trial. Now, Dr Chee wants Mr Lee
to answer the questions below regarding the matter:

1. Why was the loan to Indonesia not announced to Singaporeans when it was first made to the Suharto government?

2. Apart from the US$5 billion that Singapore pledged to loan to Indonesia for balance of payments support, did Singapore make a pledge of an initial US$5 billion (which could be increased as necessary) to buy the rupiah?

3. Is the Plaintiff aware that in 1997 Bank Indonesia (BI) was reported to be “negotiating with Singapore on the use of the balance of US$5 billion currently earmarked for rupiah market intervention” in an article in the Business Times entitled ‘Indonmstocks edge up as investors await loan news’ publishedmon 27 November 1997.

4. Is the Plaintiff aware that BI said it was talking to Singapore authorities on whether the funds earmarked for buying the rupiah could be used for the “development of small scale businesses, cooperatives, labour-intensive industries and exports”?

5. Did the Singapore Government reply to the enquiries raised by BI mentioned in interrogatory 4?

6. Did the Singapore Government inform the public about the enquiries made by BI in interrogatory 4 and its response, if any?

Overseas trips

Mr Lee has argued that Dr Chee’s numerous trips overseas means that Dr Chee is being manipulated by foreigners and therefore a flawed character. He has asked Dr Chee questions like “How much did each of these trips cost?” and “Who paid for each of these trips?” to support his contention.

In return Dr Chee has asked Mr Lee the questions below to in order to show that just because one accepts invitations and awards from overseas (as Mr Lee has done), it doesn’t mean that one is manipulated by foreigners:

1. Did the Plaintiff go to the US to receive the ‘Architect of the New Century’ award from the Nixon Centre in 1996?

2. If the answer is ‘yes’ to interrogatory 1:

1. How much did the trip cost?
2. Who paid for the trip?
3. Apart from the travel expenses, who paid for the daily expenses for the Plaintiff?

3. Over and above this award, did the Plaintiff make any other trips to receive any other awards or honorary degrees from institutions in other countries?

4. If the answer is ‘yes’ to interrogatory 1:

1. How much did each of these trips cost?
2. Who paid for the trips?
3. Apart from the travel expenses, who paid for the daily expenses for the Plaintiff during these trips?
5. Is the Plaintiff involved with the governing bodies of Chrysler-Daimler, JP Morgan and Total?
6. If the answer is ‘yes’ to interrogatory 5, what are these governing bodies and what responsibilities/duties are these bodies entrusted with?
7. If the answer is ‘yes’ to interrogatory 5, what position does the Plaintiff hold in these governing bodies?
8. If the answer is ‘yes’ to interrogatory 5, does he attend any of the meetings of the governing bodies of these corporations?
9. If the answer is ‘yes’ to interrogatory 8, where are these meetings held, how often does he attend them, and who pays for the travel and other expenses?
10. If the answer is ‘yes’ to interrogatory 5, did or does the Plaintiff receive any salary, remuneration, income, gifts, reimbursements, form of compensation, financial or otherwise, from these companies?

Acquisition of Optus

Mr Lee also accuses Dr Chee of being a flawed character just because Dr Chee advised against the acquisition of Optus, the Australian telecommunications company by Singtel, which is run by his son, Hsien Yang. Mr Lee asked Dr Chee “What ‘political interests’ did the Defendant [Dr Chee] believe Singapore Telecoms had in the acquisition of Optus amd what is the basis of that belief?” To answer Mr Lee’s questions, Dr Chee needed information from the Minister Mentor:

1. Does SingTel use its infrastructure and services for surveillance on opposition parties and/or its members?
2. Does SingTel use its infrastructure and services for surveillance on Singaporeans whom the PAP considers as its critics or dissidents?

Free Trade Agreement between Singapore and the US

Along similar lines, Mr Lee has said that Dr Chee’s opposition to the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement is another reason why he says that Dr Chee is a flawed character. Again, in order for Dr Chee to prove that Mr Lee is not justified in his comments the SDP secretary-general wants Mr Lee to answer these questions:

1. Is Batam included in the USSFTA?
2. If the answer is ‘yes’ to interrogatory 36, why is Batam (which is not part of Singapore or the US) included under the USSFTA? [Through a program called the Integrated Sourcing Initiative (ISI) electronics components from these islands will count as Singaporean content under the USSFTA, even though the Indonesian island is not subject to the labor and environmental provisions of the agreement. The real purpose of the initiative seems to be facilitating cheap offshore production using Indonesian low-wage sweatshops for export into the US. How does this benefit Singaporean workers?]
3. Did the Plaintiff or the Singapore Government seek the assistance of US corporations to lobby the US Congress to pass the USSFTA?
4. Did the Singapore Government ensure that Singaporean workers’ rights and interests are protected under the USSFTA?
5. If the answer is ‘yes’ to interrogatory 4, wherein the USSSFTA is this stated and how will theprotection of Singaporean workers be enforced?

Did the Singapore government organise any public forums or hearings to solicit the feedback
of Singaporeans on the USSFTA when it was being negotiated?

1 comment:

lee hsien tau said...

"Does SingTel use its infrastructure and services for surveillance on Singaporeans whom the PAP considers as its critics or dissidents?"

The answer is YES. Though why I am considered a critic or dissident I don't know. Can't a mouse even sqweak?

Of course once one realised that one had being monitored, being the customer, one had the right to information if one felt that one's privacy had been trangressed upon, the opportunity costs that one might have suffered as a consequence, or the party on whose behalf Singtel is monitoring one made nuisance calls. When Singtel refused to provide the said information, as one would expect it would, the customer - service provider relationship can be deemed to no longer operate, and one can in return refuse to pay the fees for services otherwise considered rendered to the extent that is fair and appropriate.

And of course when the uniformed goons refused to investigate, can one then not pay taxes to the same extent that is fair and appropriate?