Chees’ case against the Lees: Part I

Dr Chee Soon Juan and Ms Chee Siok Chin filed their affidavits for the summary judgement hearing on 3 Aug 06. The affidavit which presents the case against the Lees will be posted on this website in separate instalments. Part A is presented below:

A. Test of what is defamatory

1. In the Halsbury Laws of Singapore, the test of whether a statement is defamatory or not, the Courts must consider:

a. What meaning the words would convey to the ordinary person.

b. Whether the reasonable person would be likely to understand them in a defamatory sense.

c. The views of the community as a whole, and not just that of a limited class.

2. It is therefore important to show that the ordinary, reasonable person in the community had formed the same views following the scandal of the National Kidney Foundation (“NKF”). This is because if such persons had formed similar views, the words in The New Democrat article “The Govt’s role in the NKF scandal” (“the Article”) would not be deemed defamatory. The following sentence in the Article formed the main thesis: “It is impossible not to notice the striking resemblance between how the NKF operated and how the PAP runs Singapore.”

3. In December 2005, four months before the Article was published Yawning Bread, a website published by Alex Au, posted an article entitled “The political parallels to the NKF scandal” in which the author also compared the resemblance between how the NKF operated (under NKF CEO TT Durai) and the way Singapore was run by the Government:

“I can see five aspects of the NKF scandal that parallels features of Singapore’s political system, and now that the systemic failings of the NKF are being brought to public attention in such an ignominious fashion, they may cause longer-term complications for the ruling party. They are:

– The use of defamation suit
– Durai’s high salary and perks
– Incompetence in government
– Oversight of executives

– Dollars and cents as the criterion of success”

4. The community at large also compared the operation of the NKF with the running of Singapore. The Straits Times (6 Jan 2006) published reporter Li Xueying’s statement:

“Some people have drawn parallels between the NKF and the Government, namely the use and justification of high salaries to draw talents, the use of libel suits to silence critics and the political patronage.”

5. Discussions commenting on the similarity of the operations of the Government and the NKF in the Internet was rife:

Publish the salaries of PAP ministers for all to see

T T Durai, Defamation Lawsuits, And The PAP Government

Be Open on HDB Flat Pricing — Open Letter to PM Lee

NKF Saga III: Transparency & Accountability?

Where’s the defamation?

The Similarities Between Durai’s NKF & the PAP

Singapore’s Greedy Ministers Compared With Other World Leaders

NKF Scam Places Spotlight On Rediculous Minister Salaries

Understanding Legitmized Corruption – The NKF Scam

The Board Behind The NKF Scam