13 Sep 2006

Judge gives summary judgement without Chees' lawyer present

From Singapore Democrats
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?

31 comments:

W said...

Where is the MC since it is claimed that there is diagnosis.

Anonymous said...

I invite Mr Singh to give his side of the arguments on this blog within the next 7 days or any other period that is reasonable.

Let the public have the opportunity to make an informed judgement.

I will be patient and withhold my comments until then.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this the moment Dr Chee has been waiting all his life for? All the international eyes on Singapore and his chance to make havoc and spin tales?

Its hard to call him a Singaporean when he seemed to hell bent giving Singapore a bad name...all in the name of "democracy" when he is more driven to create himself as an icon, a martyr and a Singapore version of Martin Luther King. Seriously, he is too blinded by himself.

ycbi said...

Hmm 3 anonymous comments looks very much like PAP lackys to me .

Anti-Goblok said...

Let me state at the outset that I am nobody's lackey and I am not acquainted with nor am related to the *three* anonymous contributors. They could be just *one* individual making three different comments. Frankly, I don't give a fuck.

I am just a Singaporean with some time on my hands chewing the fat with an observation and comment to make on this thread.

The delays, excuses, non-appearance and even disappearance of lawyers, and attempts at adjournments are getting very old and rather tiresome.

This is yet another typical Chee's grandstanding tactic to garner sympathy and attention. The poor man being bullied. Poor, poor Dr. Chee. Boo hoo.

Anyone who believes this to be a genuine excuse - a sick lawyer unable to attend a court hearing - is either totally brain-dead, someone who still believes in Aesop's Fables and Santa Claus or just a Chee-lackey.

Objectively,
AG

Anonymous said...

So hasty to conclude the Lee's victory is what your demise is.

Matilah_Singapura said...

"A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers." — H. L. Mencken

So much for so-called "due process" in S'pore!

Anonymous said...

PAP lackeys, there are aplenty, 66.6%.You think you can beat them. No way. Even if Ravi is not sick, do you think the judge would give an otherwise verdict. Come on, this is a kangeroo court. It is a foregone conclusion that Chee is going to lose, whether he is right or wrong. You know , I know, everybody knows.

Matilah_Singapura said...

To quote Elenor Roosevelt: “Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.”

Anonymous said...

since the day i was born till the present day i'm still living, what i could see is more of injustice than justice!! getting sick of this country.

Anonymous said...

anti-goblok says he is impartial but what he writes is proven otherwise. In the first place, why do the Lees seek for summary judgemnt when they have boasted they were prepared to be cross-examined previously. The initated the suit so they should prove that the Chees have defamed them. Having this summary judgement granted without a trial, does this sound like good justice to U.
To quote Anwar Ibrahim " It stinks to the high heavens!"

Matilah_Singapura said...

> why do the Lees seek for summary judgemnt when they have boasted they were prepared to be cross-examined previously.

Maybe they have something to hide?

Gee, how I love open-ended questions! :)

Ummm..wasn't the first "delay" caused because Justice whats-his-name declared some conflict with Ravi?

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!"

Galven Lee said...

To Anti-Goblok:
What do you know of what M Ravi has been going through in the last few months? In case you are not aware, M Ravi is the only Human Rights lawyer I know of in Singapore. He handles numerous drug execution cases, including the recent Tochi case, the Falungong trial and the current Chee trial. He recently returned from a trip to Nigeria to lobby support for the Tochi case. Most of these cases involve clients who are too poor to pay for M Ravi's services, so he does it for them pro bono. I recently heard him speak at a forum, and am impressed by his dedication and commitment to defending these people for the reasons he believes in. I am not surprised that he is physically and mentally exhausted following these trials, and would give him the benefit of the doubt rather than call this typical Chee grandstanding. You might want to read M Ravi's Hung at Dawn (sold at major bookstores) to understand what he does.

On Dr. Chee, I had the opportunity to interview him last week. Yes, he criticises the Singapore government abroad and seeks to bring international attention to the repressive policies of the government, but it is crucial to amke the distinction between the Singapore government, and the Singapore people. Taking the example to the extreme, would you call a North Korean who seeks to bring worldwide condemnation on the actions of the dictator a patriot or a traitor? I don't see how Anonymous9/13/2006 11:56:10 AM finds it hard to call him a Singaporean. In the same vein, I should hesitate calling Aung San Suu Kyi a Burmese/Myanmarese. With due respect to your views, I respect the man for believing and committing himself to his ideas (though I might not agree with all of them), and neither are his ideas irrational - that democracy in Singapore is impossible if you seek to work through the electoral system only instead of pushing the boundaries. Democracy is inextricably linked to your pocket and livelihood. Your phrasing "all in the name of democracy" suggests you don't think it is a worthy enough cause to defend so ardently, when in our pledge, we have committed "to build a democratic society, based on justice and equality". With all due respect, open your mind. Your branding of Dr. Chee seems straight out regurgitation of the MSM's stereotyping of him. i.e. I would not have blinked if what you posted appeared in print in the Straits Times.

W said...

Ycbi,

Unlike you, I did not state anything else but factual of the case itself. I do not buy your perspective of victimhood. The judge did allow due delays as long as proper evidence was given.

W said...

Ycbi,

Unlike you, I did not state anything else but factual of the case itself. I do not buy your perspective of victimhood. The judge did allow due delays as long as proper evidence was given.

Anti-Goblok said...

To Galven Lee...

As said earlier, anyone who believes that excuse to be genuine and not mere delaying and more grandstanding tactics, is either brain-dead, someone who still believes in fairy tales or just a Chee lackey.

Comparing Chee with Aung San Suu Kyi? What next? Mahatma Gandhi?

I can see now where your objectivity is coming from and is truly grounded in reality in an altogether alternate universe.

Too funny.

AG

Joe90 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joe90 said...

To Anti-Goblok,

AG said, "To Galven Lee ... I can see now where your objectivity is coming from and is truly grounded in reality in an altogether alternate universe."

In contrast to Galven Lee, I find that you are the one who actually chooses to live in "an altogether alternate universe" that is divorced from reality.

It is clear that you, AG, are thoroughly prejudiced in your views when you totally dismiss or conveniently ignore the points that Galven is trying to make about his first-hand knowledge of the integrity and character of both M. Ravi and Dr. Chee Soon Juan.

What is more, what I find totally disgraceful and thoroughly pitiful about you is that you have revealed just how much lacking you are in social graces as well as intelligence when all the best you can come with in response to Galven's comments is to descend to base name-calling and crass condescension by declaring that Galven or anybody else who doesn't share your views is "either brain-dead, (or) someone who still believes in fairy tales or just a Chee lackey."

AG, I don't just find you hysterically and ridiculously funny, but totally and utterly pitiful.

Anonymous said...

Summary judgement for a defamation case of such magnitude. If we have had the avenue like before to appeal to a independant authority like the privy council, the verdict would have been obvious. Its grave mockery of the justice process. We can take what's happening and compile a book called "Law for dummies". I bet any self-respecting lawyer out there will know that justice has not been done. I'm just making a view from the legal standpoint..and I'm not even a lawyer

Anonymous said...

anti-goblok,
someone asked me a question sometime ago : why do U think our
top senior civil servants are paid so much much than their counterparts around the world, yes even in rich mature western democracies. Was it simply as preventing corruption and keeping top talents. If they were that talented, corporate companies would have been queueing for them by the truckloads.
Go figure!

Anti-Goblok said...

To Joe90

..."when all the best you can come with in response to Galven's comments is to descend to base name-calling and crass condescension by declaring that Galven or anybody else who doesn't share your views ..."

No.

Chee's grandstanding tactics are well known by most Singaporeans.

Have you forgotten the heckling of SM Goh during the previous election? That outrageous accusation of billion dollar loans to the Suharto regime? Then followed the apology. Then the retraction of that apology. The obfuscation and denial? The twists and turns that he executes so well?

What was that all about if not to intentionally invite the inevitable lawsuit and media attention?

So what's so different about this lawsuit and excuse this time around? Like I have said it's getting really old, this "wayang" of his. It's actually quite clever or disengenous depending on how you view Chee. If he gets a continual delay ad nauseum he makes a mockery of the court proceedings. If he gets slapped down then that gives him his ammunition ..."See, poor me and the lopsided and unfair Judiciary!"

What would you call someone who cannot and will not see or acknowledge the facts before him?

Either he is naive to the extreme and still believes in fairy tales, a lackey or totally brain-dead.

I would call this a logical conclusion and certainly not name calling.

AG

Anonymous said...

anti-goblok,
Are U Chua Lee Hoong in disguise?
U are singing her same tune!!!

Anti-Goblok said...

To Anonymous ...

Are U Chua Lee Hoong in disguise? U are singing her same tune!!! 9/14/2006 06:54:59 PM

___________________

You are confusing facts with tunes.

Get a new lyricist.

Can you point me to the source where Chua Lee Hoong purportedly echo my views?

If my views are pro-Chee and echo yours then it's genuine, original thought.

If it's anti-Chee then I must be someone else's clone.

Yeah, I get it.

Logical thinking. Ad hominems.

What next?

AG

Anonymous said...

anti goblok,
Hold whatever views and bias you may have against Chee.
Just ponder this.
The Lees initiated this suit against the Chees.The Lees should be out to convince the court that they have been defamed and the Chees should be accorded the same
right to defend the action, no matter how weak or flimsy their defence might be. An open trial would be a fair outcome,only then can we make a reasonable and justified verdict.It not one soley decided by one man's decision or in this case, on woman's without the due process

Anti-Goblok said...

To Anonymous
9/15/2006 01:33:18 PM"

"Hold whatever views and bias you may have against Chee."

I have a view (anti-Chee) so it must be biased.

You have a view (presumably pro-Chee) so it is objective?

Hey! I love this sort of assumptions, pretzel logic and absurd reasoning.

This is fun. A sure winner!

AG

Galven Lee said...

What's so different about this case? - asks Anti-Goblok.

I'll tell you what's so different, AG. Perhaps I did not make my point clear enough. I am not defending Chee so much as I am defending M Ravi with regards to this particular point. You are branding this latest fiasco as typical "Chee grandstanding". The point is that Chee's reason for delaying the trial was the state of health of their lawyer, M Ravi. By calling it "Chee grandstanding", you are accusing three persons of being complicit in this: Chee Soon Juan, Chee Siok Chin, and their lawyer M. Ravi.

What I pointed out in my earlier post was that Chee's reason is most probably true because M Ravi has been handling a flurry of Human Rights cases in the last 2 months, including flying to Nigeria to lobby for the Tochi case (and other efforts coordinating with other researchers to bring the issue of the mandatory death sentence to the ICJ). I got acquainted with him at a death penalty forum last month, and after reading about the other cases lining up for him, I more or less expected him to break down at some point. Of course, there is always a possibility that the three of them could be conspiring together. To deny this would be to say I can read the minds of all three and follow them around everyday. I was merely saying that I am 90% inclined to believe Chee because M Ravi's sickness and fatigue is highly believable. However, I still acknowledge the chance that all three could be involved in this conspiracy. You, Anti-Goblok, on the other hand, seem adamant that it is definitely "Chee grandstanding". Your logical conclusion seems to have forsaken the M. Ravi factor.

"Comparing Chee with Aung San Suu Kyi? What next? Mahatma Gandhi?" - Anti-Goblok

Another instance of your shoddy reading skills, AG.
I do not seek to equate Chee Soon Juan with Aung or Ghandhi. History will answer that question, in time to come. What I was doing was using an analogy to demonstrate my point-
Someone mentioned that he/she finds it "hard to call him a Singaporean" because he "seems hell bent on giving Singapore a bad name".
I countered that while Chee seeked to bring international attention to the Singapore govt's repression, it was not an attack on the Singaporean people, but on the government. In fact, it is in the interests of the people that such an attack is done. Whether or not you believe in Chee's sincerity, that is one thing. However, what I disagreed was with equating these actions with being un-Singaporean or traitor-ish. Therefore, if bringing int'l condemnation or attention on one's govt is being unSingaporean, what would you call Aung or Gandhi? That is the spirit in which I was comparing them - not on the strength of their character but on this principle. It does not matter whether the critic in question is Chee, JBJ or even me and you.

To conclude, you seem a rather intelligent person, Anti-Goblok. However, your shoddy reading skills might have contributed to the misunderstanding of my points.
In any case, I would not mind meeting you in person to discuss these issues. My name is Galven Lee, and I am a 17 year old Junior College student. A fruitful discussion in-person without name calling would be more beneficial. I could even ask my fellow interested students to come down and we could establish and informal political discussion group. If you have no time, I could provide you with my handphone number.

Anti-Goblok said...

To Galven Lee,

"I'll tell you what's so different, AG. Perhaps I did not make my point clear enough."

....................

Yes, and thank you for the clarification which has made your position very clear.

I take your point that Mr.Ravi could be genuinely unwell and the adjournment sought was a valid application. In this connection I would suggest that you do your own research to establish the facts about every run-in that Chee has had with the government and every lawsuit beginning with how he was sacked from his job, hunger strike and so on to the present.

"People are entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts."

Having established the full facts and you still believe that this present excuse is *possibly* genuine then I have to applaud youthful idealism and innocence. Forgive me if I am more cynical.

This thread started off in an adversarial manner with someone calling another a lackey just because of a differing viewpoint and would have accounted for my being less than diplomatic with my responses.

Being called a clone or some government lackey in disguise for spouting my views is something I don't take lightly.

I find it amusing that having clearly based my views on facts it has been called biased! No rebuttals to factual evidence produced or logic but simply pronounced as bias.

Around these parts it is clear that if your views are not in consonance with the majority or not even remotely anti-government then you must be a government lackey or biased.

I admire your interest in politics for someone so young and even more the level of maturity you have displayed in this exchange. You are to be congratulated.

AG

Anonymous said...

Woh! AG, you suck and your "full facts" suck even more.

What's wrong with Dr Chee heckling Goh CT? Don't all Singaporeans want to know what happened to the $billions loan to Suharto? I surely do! I suppose you don't, right? You prefer to keep dirty secrets hidden?

Up till today, we ordinary Singaporeans still do not know about the truth to the $billions loans.

Dr Chee is asking questions on behalf of we Singaporeans. He deserves our admiration.

Robert L

Anti-Goblok said...

To Anonymous ...

"Woh! AG, you suck and your "full facts" suck even more.

What's wrong with Dr Chee heckling Goh CT? Don't all Singaporeans want to know what happened to the $billions loan to Suharto? I surely do! I suppose you don't, right? You prefer to keep dirty secrets hidden?"

...................

What dirty secrets???

The billion dollar *loan* referred to was really a "Guarantee" promised to Indonesia in the wake of the Asian financial meltdown to help stabilise the situation there. Further, there was a condition attached to that Guarantee - that it could only be drawn upon after ALL the funds from the IMF and World Bank were first depleted. In any event it turned out that it was uneccessary. That Guarantee was never drawn upon.

I know that Dr. Chee is your hero but the next time he tells you there are little, green gnomes with red hats running in your garden, I suggest that you please go and and check for yourself before raving and ranting like some looney that your garden has been invaded.

The truth sucks doesn't it? Especially when it's not the answer you are looking for.

AG

Anonymous said...

AG,
"The billion dollar, blah blah blah"
You seems to copy this word for word from GCT's mouth and the SPH
press.
For goodness sake, go read the Financial Times or FEER for once b4 U shoot

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 9/27/2006 07:17:12 PM

Why? Are they are saying that there are gnomes in your garden too pray tell?

AG?