Chee to Lee: I will proceed with countersuit

September 11, 2004
Singapore Democrats

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Dear Mr Lee Kuan Yew,

As Minister Mentor, I am certain that you have much on your mind these days. I will remove one worry by assuring you that I will return to Singapore to continue my countersuit against you.

Unlike you, however, I am not a millionaire (or is it billionaire) and therefore do not have the luxury of engaging an expensive lawyer. Not only do I have to contend with money, I also have to fight the courts to get a Queen’s Counsel.

In fact things have gotten so expensive that filing a simple application can cost up to a thousand dollars and more, a process which I am sure you are aware and approve of. Under such circumstances, things are a little slower in getting done on my side. Still, I want to let you know that I am just as determined now as then to proceed with my countersuit.

I hope that you will not insist that I have to put up security costs for me to proceed with my suit against you. If you do, it will send yet another signal that you really don’t want to face me in court.

Let me say again: You have much money, I have little. You have a Senior Counsel as a lawyer, I can’t get the courts to allow me one. This seems a tad unfair. Given such a scenario and your standing in Singapore, you wouldn’t want the people to see that your fight with your opponent takes place on less that an even playing field, would you?

Allow me to suggest this: Dispense with your lawyer (he does a terrible job anyway when he launches into his political diatribe and comes up short on the legal points) and conduct your own case. The advantage of such an arrangement is that you get to cross-examine me personally in court, something you so obviously relish.

You would not be disadvantaged because you are a lawyer, a Cambridge-trained one at that. I am certain that your training would put you in good stead when you come face to face with someone like me who has had no legal training.

To make your claims that you want to expose and demolish me truly believable, may I suggest that the entire court proceedings be televised live. The reason is this: The media has this terrible habit of editing the truth to always make you look good and your opponents the exact opposite. You wouldn’t want the people whom you are trying to convince to think that you are hiding behind the media, would you? The only way to overcome this is to let Singaporeans watch the debate live without the slanting and spinning by the media.

So for the sake of letting Singaporeans see and hear the unvarnished truth let our cross-examination of each other in court be broadcast live. This way your victory will be all the sweeter. Otherwise your triumph in court will ring hollow.

I await your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Chee Soon Juan
Secretary-General
Singapore Democratic Party