He was fined S$15,000 for contempt of court, for putting up a private Facebook post in which he called the Singapore courts “pliant”.
And he was given a public flogging by state media for this grave and disgraceful “travesty”.
But Li Shengwu, the son of Lee Hsien Yang and nephew of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has somehow not let that detract from his work as an economics professor at Harvard University.
Already, in 2013, he was elected to become a fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellow, which is rare distinction that anyone in academia would be familiar with.
Yesterday, he was awarded the prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship for 2023.
The fellowship is open to scholars in seven scientific and technical fields such as chemistry, computer science and mathematics.
Li, who is based in the US, will receive a two-year US$75,000 (S$101,157) fellowship which can be used to advance his research.
It is uncertain though if he will be invited by his uncle’s family to Chinese New Year reunion dinner next year.