Lee Hsien Loong arrives at the High Court in Singapore.
Singapore’s prime minister arrived at court on Tuesday for a case in which he is suing a blogger for sharing an online article linking him to Malaysia’s 1MBD state fund money-laundering scandal.
As the world’s best-paid political leader and the head of a government that has pledged zero tolerance on corruption, Lee Hsien Loong, 68, is no stranger to protecting his integrity via legal channels.
Lee is suing financial adviser Leong Sze Hian, 66, over a November 2018 Facebook post which linked to an article by Malaysian news site The Coverage.
Lee’s lawyers said that the article contained “false and baseless” allegations and charged that Leong shared the post “maliciously” to damage their client. Leong subsequently deleted the post.
Leong has said he “merely shared” the article without adding comments or changing the content and rejected allegations that he maliciously posted the article.
Singapore's bid to muzzle fake news online comes under fire
Singapore deputy PM nods to future leadership role in speech to workers
Singapore PM's nephew loses appeal over papers in high-profile contempt case
The trial is expected to run until the end of the week and Lee is set to take the stand and be cross examined.
Senior figures in the People’s Action Party, including Lee’s late father and Singapore’s modern day founder Lee Kuan Yew, have previously sued foreign media, political opponents and online commentators for defamation.
Singapore maintains tight controls over local media and enacted a fake news law last year that critics charged could further erode speech freedoms in the city-state. The government says it does not curb legitimate criticism or restrict free speech.
Lee in 2015 took the stand for hours, answering questions from a blogger who he had sued for implicating him in impropriety in connection with how funds in Singapore’s mandatory retirement savings scheme are managed.
In a twist ahead of this week’s trial, police on Friday arrested Leong’s lawyer for alleged criminal breach of trust.
The lawyer, Lim Tean, who was released ahead of the trial, said the arrest was politically motivated which the police denied.
Lee had sued Leong Sze Hian, a financial advisor, after he shared on Facebook an online news article that linked the premier to a financial scandal at Malaysia’s state fund 1MBD.
The body of Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe was en route from Singapore to Zimbabwe on Wednesday, five days after he died in hospital in the city-state, according to an event schedule issued
Hotel occupancy rates of Singapore have climbed to their highest in over a decade as travellers and business events switched from Hong Kong, where pro-democracy protests have slammed tourist numbers and wider business sentiment.
Facebook, Twitter and Google have been under fire all over the world for not doing enough to police their platforms for misinformation. The Singaporean government thinks it has a solution: a law that imposes jail time and hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential fines for posting or failing to correct what it calls “online falsehoods” that harm the public interest.
A video shared on social media showed flood water gushing from an apartment building in Ankara along with furniture.
According to sources, many labourers were working on the bridge when one of its portions collapsed, and several of them are feared dead. However, the district administration of Bhagalpur, or Bihar government, has not provided any figures on casualties yet.
An average of 30 people a day were killed by firearms in S.Africa in the first three months of this year, according to official crime statistics. During the same three months, police recorded more than 4,000 cases of illegal possession of guns.
Sheikh Sultan praised the efforts of the multi-sectoral Unesco Regional Office and their continuous initiatives to support children in the Arab world, stressing that Sharjah always seeks to enhance cooperation in this field.