Socio-political activist Leong Sze Hian has expressed his bewilderment at being sued by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for defamation.
Posting a statement on his Facebook page, Leon said that he complied with the demand from the Info-communications Media Development Authority to remove the link to an article he had shared on Facebook but later received a letter from PM Lee’s lawyers demanding a public apology and compensation.
Leong denies the accusation that he set out to maliciously damage PM Lee’s reputation.
This is Leong’s statement, reproduced in full:
“There are a lot of inaccuracies about the defamation case which the Prime Minister has brought against me, as reported by certain State media.
I thought that it was appropriate that I make this post so that Singaporeans have an accurate picture of the facts and not be misled by what they read.
On the 8th of November, I shared an article that had appeared in the Malaysian online news media, TheCoverage.my
This article related to the IMDB saga. I did not add any comments or embellish the article by The Coverage.my, but merely shared it. It is therefore grossly inaccurate for certain State media to have represented to the whole of Singapore that I had made a post which was defamatory of the Prime Minister.
On the 10th of November, I received a notice from IMDA with a demand that the shared post be taken down within 6 hours. I complied with that demand.
I was therefore bewildered when Davinder Singh of Drew and Napier LLC sent me a Letter of Demand on the 12th of November alleging that I had defamed the Prime Minister and demanding that I make a public apology and compensate the Prime Minister for damages. The Letter of Demand also stated that I had posted TheCoverage.my article maliciously and to damage his client. I reject all these allegations categorically.
Yesterday, people came to my house and posted the Writ of Summons and other court papers on my front gate.
I attach below a copy of Davinder Singh’s Letter of Demand for the Prime Minister and a picture of the various court documents posted on my front gate.
I turned 65 on 23rd of November and belong to the so-called “Merdeka” generation. I have fought for fundamental human rights in Singapore for the better part of my adult life in the last 2 decades or so, and the freedom of speech is one of the most fundamental of these human rights.”