As some of you might know, my next hearing for the defamation suit is tomorrow, 12 January 2015 at 10am at Chamber 4D at the Supreme Court.
The hearing tomorrow will be to decide on how much I have to pay to the lawyers of the prime minister for their legal fees. (Note that this is not the hearing to determine how much I would need to pay to the prime minister – the hearing for this has not been set yet.)
The prime minister wants me to pay his lawyers $49,027.61 – for the lawyers’ representation for the summary judgment.
But not only that, the prime minister is also taking issue with another 9 more articles that I have written (one of which includes a video), so as to ask me to pay more costs.
I was previously asked to take down 5 articles and a video in May last year. In total, the prime minister has taken issue with 14 of my articles and 2 videos.
Why does the prime minister want to keep stopping me from talking? Am I such a threat or have what I said truly posed so much threat to him?
Or is it because of what I have said about the CPF?
In the latest round of censorship, the prime has taken issue with 9 more of the articles that I had published on my blog, The Heart Truths, from July to December last year.
(1) The first article was published on 17 July last year, where I published the prime minister’s first affidavit on my blog, in which he said that I have “defamed” him.
(2) On 17 July 2014 as well, I also posted an update on my blog on the first pre-trial conference for the case and the prime minister is taking issue with it as well.
“By May this year, the government deleted all evidence that I’ve traced of how our CPF is invested in the GIC and Temasek Holdings from the government websites. But by June this year, the government suddenly did an about turn and finally admitted the truth – that our CPF is indeed invested in the GIC,” I said.
“Why did they suddenly admit to the truth in June this year?” I had asked.
(3) Then, when I submitted my affidavit and none of the state-controlled media wanted to report about it, I talked about the unfair and biased reporting on my blog on 5 August 2014 but the prime minister did not like it as well.
I stated that “it is inconceivable that GIC does not know whether or not it manages CPF funds (as both the GIC and the government claims) when the (prime minister), the two deputy prime ministers and the ministers for Trade & Industry and Education sit on the board of directors of GIC.
“The Government and the GIC has made numerous changes and flip-flops in their stance, which has been shown to conceal important facts about how the Government and the GIC manages Singaporeans’ CPF. This is disingenuous and remains a threat to the security of how Singaporeans’ CPF are being managed. The Government’s and the GIC’s inconsistencies in their statements pose real risk to the lives of Singaporeans.”
(4) But the prime minister said that what I had said was “irrelevant” and an “abuse of the process of the Court” in his second affidavit which I posted on my blog on 29 August 2014. But he took issue with this.
He further added that I “continued to assiduously court publicity to raise (my) public profile, politicise matters, garner support and sympathy and continue (my) attacks against the (prime minister).”
But has it not always been political, right from my very being sued to being sacked from my job, and then charged with holding protests just so to demand for the transparency and accountability of our CPF?
(5) He then took issue with an article that I had published on 17 September 2014 where I said that I had hoped for a new beginning for Singapore, but he said that I was trying to “garner support and sympathy”.
“I believe that to be in this life, to live, is to learn to be human, or perhaps to learn humanity, to learn to be kind, compassionate and caring to another,” I had said.
“No matter what I do, I do it because it feels right, because it feels like my purpose to do, sometimes because it is a duty, as it is now.
“I am not angry with the PAP and the ministers or the rich affiliated to them, who have enriched themselves with our money. But I do ask, with the wealth they have hoarded, are they still in a position to ask for self-reliance, when in their positions, self-reliance becomes a frivolous thought.
“To which then, has the PAP shown empathy?”
Is the prime minister not happy that I had questioned the PAP’s sincerity in taking care of the Singaporeans? I had thought that this was a suit that he is taking on his own personal capacity?
What has what I got to say about the PAP got anything to do with his case?
Or was it intended all along?
(6) He also said that I “did not stop even after the summary judgment hearing” when I made a video and wrote an article that was published on 28 September 2014.
“I issue a challenge to the PAP ministers,” I had said.
“Let’s have a one-on-one debate about the CPF. Time to stop playing games and using distractions. How did you take Singaporeans’ CPF to use, to earn money for yourselves? Let’s talk openly and honestly, live, in front of Singaporeans. If you dare. It is hypocritical to use others as shields for you, and pretend to care for them.
“If you truly care for Singaporeans, then actually help Singaporeans.”
(7) Yet, he felt that I “did not stop” with another article that I had published on 29 September 2014 as well.
But what does he want me to “stop”?
To stop talking? To stop talking about the CPF?
Did I talk about him in these articles? Why does he want to stop me from talking?
Or is it because I questioned the PAP’s policies?
“As I learnt to analyse the PAP’s policies and to read between the lines, I realise that the PAP has come out with a systematic way of devising policies which would allow them to increase subsidies on one hand, but further increase the revenue they take from Singaporeans, so that whatever subsidies and payouts they give to Singaporeans would not come out from their own coffers but would be extracted from Singaporeans,” I had said.
“My question to Singaporeans now is this – what will you do?
“When will Singaporeans decide to stand up and fight for ourselves?
“At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide, whether there is too much at stake now or if there will be too much at stake if we don’t fight now.”
But the prime minister continued to insist that “even after the Judgment was issued, (I) continued (my) unreasonable conduct”.
He also said that my conduct “during the proceedings also compelled” the his lawyers to “expend additional time and labour” – and that is why he wants me to pay $50,000 to them.
And that my “false and baseless allegation constituted a very serious libel on (him), disparaged him and impugned his character, credit and integrity.”
(8) When I wrote an article on 26 November about my worries about how Singapore has become too divided, the prime minister said that I “continued to court publicity to raise (my) public profile, garner support and sympathy, and renew (my attack) against (him)”.
But how was what I had said about the PAP relevant to him, if this suit was taken in his personal capacity?
“Because the PAP wants to stay in power so that it can continue to protect its own wealth, it will attack the opposition and innocent Singaporeans just so it will get its way,” I had said.
“The PAP then uses the other estates of government, such as the civil service, and then turn it into their personal tools to attack Singaporeans.
“Today, our country is divided because the PAP would protect the rich over the poor and the middle-class, foreigners over Singaporeans (because of the agreements they have signed with the other countries) and their own cronies over Singaporeans.
“It saddens me to see how our country has become so divided, where the large majority of Singaporeans who are poor and the middle class, and where those who cannot help the PAP make the money they want, are cast aside as leeches.
“But before we see change come to Singapore, it requires the people to take a hard look at ourselves, to ask ourselves if we are ready, and whether we are willing to be honest to the reality of things and face up to things.”
Again, is the prime minister not happy that I spoke about the PAP? Then why did he take out a personal defamation suit against me? Why did he not take out the suit as a prime minister instead?
(9) Finally, when I wrote my last article on 1 December 2014 after receiving unverified threats to my family if I continued writing, the prime minister also said that this article was a renewed attack against him.
For goodness sake, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, it was my last article. It was an article of how I reflected on my life and where I had ended after being sued.
In what way does it look like it was an attack on you?
“And even among those you seek to help, even they among themselves are used to feeling so enslaved that they are not ready to see the possibilities of a better life as well,” I had said.
“And my wish is for a better place that we can live in, as soon as it gets, simply because treating people right is the right thing to do, and we shouldn’t have to waste time to get there.”
I do not understand why the prime minister took issue with these articles when most of them do not even mention him. In fact, the articles that he took issue with were the ones where I had questioned the PAP’s integrity and the state-controlled’s media unfair and biased reporting against me.
If anything, it is the government which is being used to launch a coordinated attack against me. How is what I say as an individual an “attack” against him when it was never even my intention to do so?
Has the prime minister Lee Hsien Loong become so consumed with his own power that he believes that he has a right to throw his weight around and dislike my articles at his own whims and fancies, with no rhyme and reason?
Ironically, the prime minister’s lawyer pointed out that I have said before that the prime minister “was seeking to prevent (me) from expressing (my) views on the CPF and to impose an unwarranted and unnecessary restriction upon (my) constitutional right, as a citizen of Singapore, to freedom of speech and expression.”
The judge who oversaw my case also said that “the court must bear in mind that the injunction should be carefully worded and sufficiently circumscribed such that it would not overreach and thereby infringe upon the right to freedom of speech or have a chilling effect”.
He also wants to “make it clear that (I) remain free to exercise (my) rights to freedom of speech under Art 14 of the Constitution, save for the repetition of the allegation that has been found to be defamatory in these proceedings”.
Yet, the prime minister has now taken issue with 9 more of my articles.
He also said that I kept “shifting” the “meaning” of my article.
He quoted me as having said that, “there is no transparency in the manner which CPF monies were invested by the Government, MAS, Temasek Holdings and/or GIC” and that “the Government (through GIC and Temasek Holdings) retains and enriches itself with a large proportion of the investment gains made by GIC and Temasek Holdings when they invest CPF monies”.
But he claimed that this is different from what I said, when I said “that the Government of Singapore enriches itself and its reserves by only returning a portion of the profits made by GIC and Temasek to CPF account holders and retaining the rest of the profits to grow its portfolio of investments into two of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world”, and that, “The legal retention of profits derived from the investing of CPF monies by GIC and Temasek, by the Government is simply not fair to Singaporeans”.
How are they different? Is it not the case that the PAP has taken Singaporeans’ CPF to invest in GIC and Temasek Holdings to profit from Singaporeans and has been unfair to Singaporeans?
Is the PAP government earning from the CPF of Singaporeans or not?
And even so, if the prime minister is indeed suing me in his own personal capacity, then why does he keep alluding to the PAP in his legal documents? Is the prime minister not himself “shifting” and flip-flopping in his stance, when he claims the defamation suit to be a personal one but would drag the PAP in when it is to his own convenience?
Or was it because the PAP knew that as a government body, they cannot sue me so they sued me on the pretext of using a personal suit from the prime minister?
Because I was exposing too much dirt that the PAP was trying very hard to cover up?
Yet, just 3 days ago, the prime minister said on his Facebook page that he “Was shocked to learn of the brutal attack at the offices of the weekly magazine, Charlie Hebdo, in Paris that has claimed many lives.
“It is yet another reminder of the threat posed by terrorism to all civilised societies, and that it is totally wrong to invoke religion to justify such savagery.”
Mr Lee would know that the attack on Charlie Hebdo has been seen by many as an attack on the freedom of speech.
Then, Mr Lee would also be familiar with this: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Yet, where faced with the very issue of the freedom of speech in his own country, my dear Mr Lee, has he chastised his own actions and call himself “wrong” or has he only “justified” his own actions of suing me.
I cannot hide behind walls of pretense when I speak of you anymore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong.
Your hypocrisy is deafening and and shameful.
I am sick of your pompous, willful and childish actions to protect your throne when what you should be doing is to get out and help the people, for goodness sake.
Stop being an arrogant brat who is so insecure that you would keep suing other people so that you can keep your “face”.
And stop claiming that you are being attacked when the whole of your government is being used to attack me. If I am not even complaining to you, then why do you keep whining at me?
For once, stop hiding behind your dad’s cloak and start to stand like your own man, will you?
Get out, actually spend money to help the people and stop pretending that if you were to even spend one more cent to help the people, that the whole of Singapore will sink like Atlantis did.
I am honestly sick and tired of your actions. If your government can do nothing better than to spend time suing its critics and covering up, rather than actually take action to help the people, then get out so that we can put in people who are cheaper than you and better than you at their job.
You inherited a system that allowed you to control everything, sure. But I regret that the system was passed into your hands when the very integrity of Singapore’s system is now crumbling in your hands.
All I have done was to seek for the government to redress the issue on the CPF and you didn’t like it.
It was very easy for you and the PAP to fix the issue. Go speak to Singaporeans – real Singaporeans, not just your grassroots activists – speak to them, increase their wages, increase the CPF interest rates, return them the CPF that you took from them to earn and their retirement funds will increase; Singaporeans will be able have a dignified retirement in their own country.
These are very simple things that you can do.
But instead you chose to sue me.
I asked if we could have an open dialogue on the CPF but you ignored me.
Quite honestly, please just stop playing petty politics and then blame me for doing what you do a thousand times worse.
After I write this article, you are most definitely going to take issue with it and you are going to stamp your feet and cry like a baby.
Who cares? I am tired of your overbearing antics, thinking that you can keep throwing your toys out of your pram and hoping that you can get everyone to bow down to you.
It is not my concern what you do anymore. You are the prime minister of the country, for goodness sake.
Your job is to take care of Singaporeans and protect the people.
As many have said, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
I worry that my country will go downhill, simply because it has a prime minister and a party in government – the PAP – which continues to live like an ostrich and bury your head in the sand.
I suppose you don’t find the $50,000 that you are asking me to pay your lawyers “derisory”. Even the average Singaporean doesn’t earn this hefty sum in one year.
But I suppose that is all I have left in donations and you might just as well use it up, why don’t you?
And yet, the hearing to decide how much I should pay you hasn’t even yet been set. You have filed the suit in the high court which oversees cases of more than $250,000 – so that’s at least what I am expected to lose.
I do not know what dignity you have or if you know no shame that after having taxpayers pay you for your $2.2 million salary every year (and this is not yet including your other bonuses) that you would still have the audacity to demand hundreds and thousands from an ordinary Singaporean who is asking you to do your job.
Do your freaking job.
Your actions disgust me.
Maybe go to the corner and reflect on your actions.