Here is another section of the cross-examination of Mr Lee Kuan Yew by Dr Chee Soon Juan.
LKY : That’s contrary to all the assessments and if you look at the publication, I can’t remember the title that the Supreme Court puts out, there’s a whole series of assessment made by seven or eight international rating agencies about Singapore. Also may I add the World Bank has recommended and in fact brought many delegations from many countries to study how the judiciary and the judicial system has progressed in Singapore and is now cited as a model.
CSJ : Is this the same World Bank that came and said that Singapore had brought this upon itself when it tried to restrict accredited NGO activists, accredited with the World Bank, coming into Singapore and conducting its activities. Is this the same World Bank that you are talking about?
LKY : We do not comply with every request being made because there are certain things which we believe we know better.
CSJ : Mr Lee, but your government has given the World Bank the green light –
LKY : No, just a moment, let me finish. You have asked me this question. Let me finish. If the World Bank did not hold Singapore’s judicial system in high esteem, it would not have come out with that report nor would they have brought delegations to come and study us.
CSJ : That is not my question, Mr Lee.
LKY : And there are endless delegations which have come to study our system –
CSJ : That was not my question, Mr Lee. You brought up the World Bank. I’m asking you, that World Bank that came and said that Singapore should have let in these accredited NGOs because, listen very carefully, because the Singapore Government had an agreement with World Bank to let them in and it was upon the very last minute that someone in your cabinet made that decision to say no.
LKY : I do not attend to these matters anymore. I’m only the Minister Mentor. I’m not in charge but I do know that we act in accordance with what we think is the best practice for Singapore and when we disagree with a particular prescription of how we should behave, or how we should conduct Singapore, we have to decide whether that is applicable.
CSJ : I understand.
LKY : And I know that there many liberal NGOs who are extremely uncomfortable that a system in Singapore which does not comply with their prescriptions is still up and standing and thriving.
CSJ : Yes, Mr Lee, these NGOs were accredited with the World Bank –
Judge : Dr Chee, I’m going to stop this line of cross-examination. It doesn’t get us anywhere on the assessment of damages.
CSJ : Okay, alright, let me move on, you honour. You have a situation where you are again claiming that your integrity is of the highest order, would you agree with that, Mr Lee?
LKY : That is the position that I have taken the day I took office in June 1959. I spent more than 50 years of, I would say 49 years of my life, being involved in the strengthening of the system and the institutions that would sustain itself even if there were flaws in the human beings that run the system. That is the reason why we are still what we are.
CSJ : I am impressed. Now –
LKY : Now, if you are impressed, Mr Chee, you would not have made these allegations.
CSJ : Mr Lee, is this the same integrity that you are talking about where now, declassified documents from London, that you have –
Judge : Irrelevant. Witness is not required to answer.
CSJ : He’s talking about integrity and I would like – Your honour, he has brought up integrity and I just want to be able to pursue that line just a little bit more. Is this the same integrity –
Singh : Your honour, are you objecting to the line of questioning?
CSJ : That you are referring to, Mr Lee, where now we begin to know, and as a young man I didn’t –
Judhe : Question is disallowed.
CSJ : As a young man I believed you. But now I’m reading declassified documents from London saying that somehow, Mr Lim Chin Siong was in his
Singh : Your honour, (inaudible) stop
Judge : Dr Chee.
CSJ : Political situation –
Judge : Question disallowed.
CSJ : And that somehow, you had – I beg your pardon, your honour.
Judge : Question is disallowed.
CSJ : You haven’t even heard my question yet. I’ll make my question and then you can disallow it, your honour.
Singh : The question is irrelevant on the little that we already know about it relates to specific instances which absolutely –
CSJ : That when you went to London –
Singh : Your honour, I would ask Dr Chee to show some respect to this court.
CSJ : You had allowed what you called “subversive (inaudible)
Judge : The question is disallowed.
CSJ : To come in play (inaudible) Mr Lim would have been disqualified.
Judge : Dr Chee!
CSJ : Your honour, I’m just trying to get at this fact that Mr Lee uses the word integrity and I want to show the courts right now that Mr Lee came into power because of certain things –
Judge : Not relevant to the assessment of damages.
CSJ : That his government did which deprived his political opponents –
Judge : Move on, please!
CSJ : Of challenging him. Will you answer that, Mr Lee?
Judge : The witness is not required to answer.
CSJ : You don’t want to answer that, Mr Lee?
Judge : He’s not required to answer.
CSJ : That settles the point, doesn’t it?
Acknowledgement: much of the written script is credited to the work of Martyn See at http://singaporerebel.blogspot.com/