1 Aug 06
The defamation suit between Messrs Lee Kuan Yew and Lee Hsien Loong against Dr Chee Soon Juan and Ms Chee Siok Chin will take place on 3 Aug 06, Thursday, at 10 am at the Supreme Court before Judge Woo Bih Li.
The Chees' lawyer, Mr M Ravi, will argue in the Originating Summons that the Chees have applied for that the summary judgement hearing should not proceed in the first place. This is because justice will not be served if the Defendants are not given a trial (see Mr Ravi's submissions). The Attorney-General Chambers will oppose the Summons.
The Lees are dead set against the matter going to trial as they want to avoid at all cost getting into the witness box and being cross-examined. Another reason why they don't want to go to trial is because the Chees have indicated that they would like to call witnesses such as:
1. Mr Goh Chok Tong (Senior Minister)
2. Mr Khaw Boon Wan (Minister for Health)
3. Mr Lim Hng Kiang (2nd Minister for Finance)
4. Mdm Ho Ching (Managing Director of Temasek Holdings and wife of PM Lee)
5. Mr Lee Suan Yew (brother of MM Lee)
6. Former NKF Board members
7. Head of the National Council of Social Services
8. Head of the Housing and Development Board
9. Head of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation
10. Mr Tang Liang Hong (sued by PAP leaders)
11. Mr Francis Seow (former solicitor-general and detained under the ISA)
12. Mr Tan Wah Piow (former University of Singapore student leader and jailed)
13. Ms Tang Fong Har (detained under ISA in the so-called Marxist conspiracy)
14. Mr Said Zahari (detained under the ISA for 17 years)
15. International experts/academics
The second argument against a summary judgement hearing is that the matter will take place in the judge's chambers away from public scrutiny. In any jurisdiction it is rare, if at all, that ordinary cases, let alone a case as high profile as this one involving the Prime Minister and Minister Mentor, are heard and decided in chambers.
The public must be allowed to hear first-hand what the arguments are on both sides and be able to see for itself if justice has been properly meted out.
Drew & Napier will represent the Lees for the summary judgement hearing which, if it proceeds, will take place after the Originating Summons hearing.
Queen's Counsel Mr Richard Gibbs from the Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada will be present to observe and record the proceedings.
So make your way down to the Supreme Court this Thursday and see if the matter will be conducted openly where the public can judge for itself the quality of justice administered in Singapore.