Sunday, April 23, 2006

The honour of being 1st to kenna lawsuit go to SDP!

Hohohohoh, looks like SDP isn't going to apologise to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew over the alleged defamatory remarks made in its party newspaper, The New Democrat.

So we can look forward to see a lawsuit being slapped on SDP members very soon.

Since we are talking about lawsuits, I am wondering is PM Lee and MM Lee is going to sue Dr Ross Worthington, an expert on governance who has written extensively about Singapore, who is employed by the World Bank for what he had said in the EnerNorth case.

EnerNorth said that the Singapore judgement "was granted by a corrupt legal system before biased judges in a jurisdiction that operates outside the law".

It presents evidence that it says reveals "Singapore is ruled by a small oligarchy who controls all facets of the Singapore state, including the judiciary, which is utterly politicised. The judiciary bends over backwards to support the Government's and ruling elite's interests."

Dr Ross Worthington said in an affidavit on behalf of EnerNorth that "all aspects of the governance of Singapore, including the judiciary, are carefully manipulated and ultimately controlled by a core executive of individuals who use their powers to maintain their own power and further their own political, economic, social and familial interests".

Shouldn't PM Lee and MM Lee sue their pants off for defaming them?

Don't you agree that these irresponsible people are destroying Singapore's clean image and they must pay for it?

Read this to see how Singapore's World Class Judiciary is being slander!!

I sincerely urge PM Lee and MM Lee to sue these people for slandering thus proving that we are clean!

Add on 23 April 2006, 9pm

Just read CNA and saw an article which reported Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng said that PAP will challenge any allegation casting doubt on its integrity and anyone who made an allegation against the government should be able to substantiate it in a court of law.

Since DPM Wong had spoken I eagerly awaits the time when PAP sue Dr Ross Worthington. Lets see if they do it or not.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Age
Suffering Singapore's slings, arrows

By Michael Backman
April 19, 2006
DOES Singapore have a sound legal system or is Singapore just another autocracy with a leadership that subverts the law to preserve its own power?

Should its court orders relating to commercial and other matters be enforced in countries that do have excellent legal systems? These are matters over which a Canadian court has been asked to rule in a case that is hugely embarrassing to Singapore's Government, particularly in an election year.

Singapore does well in Transparency International's annual survey of perceptions of corruption, but it needs to be remembered perceptions are surveyed, not reality. Sure, it's unlikely you will ever be asked for a bribe or a kickback in Singapore, but should corruption be so narrowly defined?

Canadian oil and gas company EnerNorth Industries set up a joint venture with Singapore's Oakwell Engineering in 1997 to finance, build and operate two mobile power plants in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

The Indian Government, at various levels, was obstructionist, and by 2002 it was clear to EnerNorth that plans for the power plants would not be realised. EnerNorth did not secure the agreed financing and so Oakwell sued it in a Singapore court in 2003, obtaining a favourable $US5.4 million judgement. EnerNorth appealed unsuccessfully.

EnerNorth has few or no assets in Singapore, so Oakwell next applied to Ontario's Superior Court of Justice in Canada for the Singapore judgement to be enforced there, so it could pursue EnerNorth's Canadian assets. The Canadian court ruled that the Singapore judgement should be enforced. EnerNorth appealed, which was heard last week.

What was the basis for EnerNorth's appeal? In 2003, Canada's Supreme Court said Canadian courts can only recognise a foreign judgement if the legal system that produced the judgement meets Canada's constitutional standards. And so EnerNorth's lawyers, in their written submission, argued that Singapore's legal system is not on a par with Canada's and so the Singapore decision against their client should not be enforceable in Canada.

The submission says the Singapore judgement "was granted by a corrupt legal system before biased judges in a jurisdiction that operates outside the law".

It presents evidence that it says reveals "Singapore is ruled by a small oligarchy who controls all facets of the Singapore state, including the judiciary, which is utterly politicised. The judiciary bends over backwards to support the Government's and ruling elite's interests."

Dr Ross Worthington, an expert on governance who has written extensively about Singapore, and is employed by the World Bank, said in an affidavit on behalf of EnerNorth that "all aspects of the governance of Singapore, including the judiciary, are carefully manipulated and ultimately controlled by a core executive of individuals who use their powers to maintain their own power and further their own political, economic, social and familial interests".

EnerNorth's submission also cites the regular use of defamation actions by senior Government figures to bankrupt opposition politicians, thereby disqualifying them from sitting in Parliament. Mentioned is the case of J. B. Jeyaretnam, when as Singapore's only opposition member of Parliament, was sued for defamation by a Government minister and ultimately bankrupted. Today he can often be seen selling copies of a self-published book near the underground train station exit, close to Raffles City Shopping Centre, a broken, lonely figure past whom many Singaporeans rush for fear of being seen near him.

EnerNorth's submission also cites the Societies Act, which requires that organisations of more than 10 people must have a Government-appointed representative, and no public meeting can proceed unless the police first issue a permit that specifies the duration of the meeting, the names of the speakers, their topics and the length of time they will speak.

Also cited is the state of Singapore's media — all outlets of which are owned either directly or indirectly by Government-linked companies — as is the change to the constitution so that Singaporeans who remain outside the country for 10 or more years can be stripped of their citizenship. It is a move that takes aim at Government critics who have gone into self-imposed exile.

Judicial independence is questioned: it is pointed out, for instance, that up to half the Supreme Court judges at any time are under contract and do not have security of tenure, including the chief justice. They are appointed by the executive and beholden to it.

A further EnerNorth contention is that Oakwell is part of the Koh Brothers Group, which is heavily reliant on Singapore Government contracts. EnerNorth also says that at the time of the first judgement, directors in the group included a former member of the Government's Inland Revenue Authority, a senior parliamentary secretary, a senior minister of state and ambassador, and a former president of the Government-affiliated National Trade Unions Congress.

And then there is the matter of the first presiding judge. Before his appointment to the bench, he practised at the law firm Lee & Lee, the firm founded by former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew and later run by his wife. It was this same judge, who on J. B. Jeyaretnam's appeal from a lower court, increased the fine that he was required to pay that led to his expulsion from Parliament.

So does Singapore have a fair and independent judiciary on a par with Canada's or, for that matter, Australia's? Should its decisions against Canadian or Australian companies be enforced in their home countries?

This is particularly pertinent given the huge and highly intrusive role that Singapore's Government plays in business matters in Singapore, and if judges are biased in favour of the Government as EnerNorth contends. The Canadian appeals judge has reserved his decision. But you don't have to. The full submissions of Oakwell and EnerNorth are available at www.enernorth.com/litigation.html. How the legal system operates in Singapore makes for extraordinary reading.

Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 22 April 2006 2313 hrs

SDP not apologising over alleged defamatory remarks on NKF issue
By S Ramesh and Patwant Singh, Channel NewsAsia
SINGAPORE : The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) is unlikely to apologise to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew over the alleged defamatory remarks made in its party newspaper, The New Democrat.

These were over the government's handling of the NKF issue.

Lawyer M Ravi comfirmed this when he told Channel NewsAsia he is acting for the SDP's Central Executive Committee (CEC) on this matter.

On Friday, the lawyer, Senior Counsel Davinder Singh, acting for both the PM and MM said letters of demand had been served on SDP Chief Dr Chee Soon Juan, his CEC colleagues and the company which printed the party newspaper.

This stated that the article in the newspaper had defamed the two leaders by implying they were dishonest and unfit for office.

The SDP was given an ultimatum - apologise by 10am on Tuesday next week, or face a defamation suit.

However, lawyer M Ravi said the instructions he has received is to defend their case vigorously.

This meant an apology is unlikely by the Tuesday deadline.

Recently, Mr Ravi defended Dr Chee in a contempt of court case where Dr Chee was jailed a day and fined $6,000.

But Dr Chee refused to pay the fine and was jailed an additional seven days.

On Saturday evening, SDP members were spotted selling the issue of party newspaper in question at the vicinity of the Yishun MRT.

When contacted over the telephone earlier, Dr Chee declined to comment on the case.

Meanwhile, the printing company which printed The New Democrat said it is unaware of its contents.

Melodies Printing Company was also served with a letter of demand from the lawyer acting for PM Lee and MM Lee on Friday.

This was to apologise for printing the allegedly defamatory remarks over the government's handling of the NKF issue, or be sued.

Speaking to Channel NewsAsia over the telephone, Mr Sum Kwai Lum of Melodies Printing Company said he was paid $13,000 to print 5,000 copies of the newspaper.

He in turn sub-contracted the job to someone else.

When asked for his response to the letter of demand, Mr Sum said he has contacted the lawyer from law firm Drew and Napier who served him the letter.

He had been advised to turn up at the firm's office on Tuesday, which is the deadline given for an apology to be issued.

All 12 members of the SDP's CEC, including Dr Chee Soon Juan, were also served with letters of demand.

- CNA /ls
Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 23 April 2006 1543 hrs

PAP will challenge any allegation casting doubt on its integrity: Wong Kan Seng
By Joanne Leow, Channel NewsAsia
The People's Action Party says its foundation is based on integrity so it must challenge any accusations made against it.

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng noted that anyone who made an allegation against the government should be able to substantiate it in a court of law.

This way, the public would have the full facts and the government would be able to argue its case.

With the character of its people at stake, the government has to react, says Mr Wong who is also PAP's First Assistant Secretary General.

Mr Wong said: "That is the government of Singapore, we take it very seriously, we take politics very seriously. We are not like other countries where statements, remarks, accusations, allegations can be made and insinuated in a way that will cast doubts on the leadership, we cannot accept this because we have earned the people's trust all these years, because of the system we have, because of the incorruptibility of the system.

"Anyone who is caught with corruption will be brought to court, no matter who he is, may be a minister, may be a minister of state, may be just an ordinary civil servant, or may be a prominent businessman, so that is the way we have been governing, we have set the tone for the whole of Singapore." ...

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