Saturday, August 05, 2017

My view about the statement by Li Shengwu

Li Shengwu, the nephew of PM Lee, posted a comment that we have a "pliant court system". The Attorney General has taken a proceeding in court against this comment, which is alleged to be a contempt of court.

I consider this statement to be just a personal opinion. It is not interfering with the administration of justice. It is not directed at any specific judge.

This statement does not seem to fit into the offence of scandalising the court, as explained here:…/Offence_of_scandalizing_the_cour…

In Singapore, the offence of scandalizing the court is committed when a person performs any act or publishes any writing that is calculated to bring a court or a judge of the court into contempt, or to lower his authority. An act or statement that alleges bias, lack of impartiality, impropriety or any wrongdoing concerning a judge in the exercise of his judicial function falls within the offence.

Mr Li 's statement refers to a "pliant court system". It is the opinion of one person. Most thinking people will form their own opinion, based on their own experience and information from many sources. They are not likely to be influenced by the opinion of a single person. I do not think that Mr Li's opinion had that much of an influence, with due respect to him.

By taking this action, the government and Attorney General are now caught in a bind.

If the court finds the statement to be offensive, it might reinforce the belief of a pliant court system. If the court finds the statement to be just a personal opinion, it might show the court to be independant. It is ironic.

It is best for the Attorney General to drop this case and let the matter rest. Mr. Li had already corrected his posting and clarified that he did not intend to bring the court to disrepute.

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