Singapore

Driver fined, disqualified from driving for filming PM Lee’s son

The driver who took videos of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's son while giving him a lift home was fined $900 and disqualified from driving for eight months.

Andrew Sim Kay Yong, 32, persuaded Mr Li Yipeng, 37, to get into his car. He then drove off and began recording videos of himself questioning Mr Li.

Sim pleaded guilty to one charge under the Road Traffic Act yesterday.

TAXI STAND

The court heard that Sim had spotted Mr Li at the taxi stand at the Esplanade Mall on March 15 and recognised him.

Sim pulled up at the stand and offered Mr Li a ride. Mr Li initially refused, but eventually got into the car and asked to be driven to Rochalie Drive.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Tay Jingxi said Sim then used his phone to record video clips of Mr Li. He held up his phone with one hand while steering with the other.

Sim asked Mr Li personal questions like what book he was reading, whether his father was strict with him and whether Mr Lee Hsien Yang visits his family, all while the car was in motion.

"In doing so, the accused lessened his ability to control the vehicle and diminished his concentration on the road," said DPP Tay.

Mr Li later asked to be dropped off at Tanglin Road instead of Rochalie Drive. Sim did not collect money from him.

Defence counsel Josephus Tan said Sim had offered a free ride to Lee "just like any Good Samaritan would", and circulated the clips only among close friends.

District Judge Lorraine Ho noted that she was "not sure whether that was the role of a Good Samaritan", and said Sim's car was clearly moving in most portions of the video.

She also noted that Sim had deliberately taken the videos and had made a concerted effort to hide his actions. Sim's phone was forfeited to the police to be destroyed.

COURT & CRIME