Singapore

AGC to start contempt proceedings against Li Shengwu

Prime Minister's nephew failed to delete offending Facebook post and apologise

The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) has filed an application in the High Court to begin proceedings for contempt of court against Mr Li Shengwu.

In a statement last night, the AGC said it made its application against Mr Li, 32, the eldest son of Mr Lee Hsien Yang and nephew of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, yesterday.

The impending proceedings involve a Facebook post Mr Li published on July 15, which the AGC said was an "egregious and baseless attack" on the judiciary.

It asked that the post be deleted and that Mr Li sign and publish a written apology on his Facebook page.

Mr Li has not done so.

In the offending post, Mr Li wrote that the "Singapore government is very litigious and has a pliant court system", pointing out that because of previous legal action, foreign media had been cowed into self-censorship.

The post was set to the "friends only" privacy setting, but it was published by several websites and widely circulated on social media.

In his post, Mr Li shared a link to a Wall Street Journal newspaper article giving a summary of the recent dispute between his father and aunt Lee Wei Ling on one side, and his uncle on the other, over their late father's home on 38, Oxley Road.

The article was titled "Singapore, a model of orderly rule, is jolted by a bitter family feud".

He also included a link to a 2010 New York Times editorial that was critical of his late grandfather, founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, and the Government over what it deemed as censorship of the foreign press.

The commentary described the late Mr Lee as the "designer of draconian press laws", which have been used to suppress legitimate criticism.

On July 21, the AGC issued a letter of warning to Mr Li, asking that he "purge the contempt".

"The post is an egregious and baseless attack on the Singapore Judiciary and constitutes an offence of contempt of court," wrote Senior State Counsel Francis Ng in the letter to Mr Li, which was released to the media yesterday.

Mr Ng noted the clear meaning of the post "is that the Singapore Judiciary acts on the direction of the Singapore Government, is not independent, and has ruled and will continue to rule in favour of the Singapore Government in any proceedings, regardless of the merits of the case".

Mr Ng pointed out the fact that the post was republished widely was "an entirely foreseeable consequence".

"An application for leave to commence committal proceedings for contempt against him will today be filed in the High Court," said the AGC in its statement.


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