Chees want to cross-examine Lees on a host of issues

Dr Chee Soon Juan and Ms Chee Siok Chin will raise several issues during the summary judgement hearing that will take place on 3 August 2006. Specifically, the Defendants would like to cross-examine the Plaintiffs on the following issues, amongst others:

1. Why was NKF’s IPC reinstated despite misgivings about its operations from many quarters including that of the National Council of Social Services (NCSS)? What transpired between the Ministries of Finance and Health, NCSS and the NKF when this took?

2. Reports on the torture and abuse of ISA detainees and the use of the ISA by the PAP to crush the opposition especially during the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

3. The appointment of Lee & Lee, the law firm owned by Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s family members, as one of the few law firms to conduct conveyancing for the HDB and the amount of cases Lee & Lee has handled for HDB.

4. The business dealings between the GIC and Mr Lo Hsing Han, a Burmese drug lord.

5. The failure of the Suzhou Industrial Park project in China and the finances of the project.

6. The pricing of HDB flats vis-à-vis the labour and material costs that go into constructing the flats.

Because these matters are in dispute and require evidence to be adduced, summary judgement cannot be the means by which the matter is decided. It is precisely because the Defendants have advanced these arguments and intend to call for relevant witnesses and to cross-examine the Plaintiffs on these matters that the Lees are now running scared and resorting to summary judgement instead of allowing a full and open trial to proceed.

Lawyer M Ravi will also argue that under the Halsbury Laws of Singapore, the test of whether a statement is defamatory or not, the Courts must be considered in the view of the ordinary, reasonable person in the community. This means that it would not be appropriate for the judge to decide on the case he is certainly not a ordinary person in the Singapore community.

In fact the community has also likened the running of the NKF to the PAP running Singapore, which is the crux of the alleged defamatory article published in the SDP’s The New Democrat. Hence whether the words in the article are defamatory or not should be decided by a jury that would represent the community not by the views of a single judge.

Since there is no jury system in Singapore it is all the more important that the judge must hear evidence of witnesses as well as the testimony of the Lees under cross-examination. It is bad enough for the judge to award the case to the Lees when he, by the very nature of his position in society and his profession, does not and cannot represent the views of ordinary, reasonable people in the Singaporean community. But if he does this without even wanting to hear evidence from witnesses and cross-examination of the Plaintiffs, justice would be raped and bludgeoned in the most unimaginable manner.

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