in December 3, 1999, Asiaweek published an interview with then PM Goh Chok Tong (GCT), entitled “Extracts of an interview. Goh Chok Tong on Singapore, Asia and himself”.
A question was posed with regards to using the judiciary to silence critics, “What about those who say you use the judiciary to silence critics?”
Goh replied, “That’s nonsense. What are these critics? There are many critics of the PAP in Singapore. They are not all hauled up before the judiciary. Political opponents, so long as they keep within the law, don’t need safeguards. They do not have to appear before the judiciary.”
Goh added, “But if they’ve defamed us, we have to sue them — because if we don’t, our own integrity will be suspect. We have an understanding that if a minister is defamed and he does not sue, he must leave cabinet. By defamation, I mean if somebody says the minister is on the take or is less than honest. If he does not rebut it, if he does not dare go before the court to be interrogated by the counsel for the other side, there must be some truth in it. If there is no evidence, well, why are you not suing?”
Dr Lee Wei Ling’s (LWL) and Lee Hsien Yang’s (LHY) allegations in their joint-statement on 14 Jun 2017, have indeed damaged Lee Hsien Loong’s (LHL) integrity as PM and as a private individual. Will LHL, in his personal capacity sue LWL and LHY as suggested by Goh? [GCT: “…if they’ve defamed us, we have to sue them — because if we don’t, our own integrity will be suspect.”]
If LHL does not sue LWL and LHY, his integrity and standing is found wanting. [GCT: “We have an understanding that if a minister is defamed and he does not sue, he must leave cabinet.”]
Mr Regal Jialat Liao