Goh Meng Seng Asks Lim Tean Not To ‘Sabo’ Him

The 1st day of the Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong versus Leong Sze Hian trial concluded on Tuesday (6 Oct), and it was marked by defence lawyer Lim Tean cross-examining Mr Lee for hours.

One of the questions Mr Lim asked was why Mr Lim did not sue other people who, like Mr Leong, also shared a controversial article on Facebook.

One of the people who was named was Mr Goh Meng Seng, founder of the alternative party People’s Power Party.

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In response, Mr Goh told Mr Lim in a Facebook post not to “sabo” him, and pointed out some differences between what he did and what Mr Leong did.

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Goh Meng Seng shared article, but added a comment

On 7 Nov 2018, Mr Leong had shared an article on Facebook that included allegations that former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak had signed deals with PM Lee in order to launder money from Malaysia sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Although Mr Goh had also shared that article, he was not sued for defamation by Mr Lee, unlike Mr Leong.

In his Facebook post on Tuesday (6 Oct), Mr Goh said that is because he added a comment in his post.

In the comment, he said the article contained “serious allegations”. He also called on PM Lee to take action if these claims are false.

More concerned about Singapore’s standing

Mr Goh also said that he shared the article because he was concerned about Singapore’s standing as a financial hub.

It was not meant to attack anybody’s integrity, he added.

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Goh feels Leong should explain why he shared article

In a comment he added to his original post, Mr Goh noted that Mr Leong had shared the article without any comment.

Hence, that could open “many interpretations and misinterpretations” as to his intentions, he added.

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One of these intentions might be to besmirch PM Lee’s integrity.

Thus, Mr Goh felt that Mr Leong should take the stand to clarify why he shared the article in the first place.

Lim Tean asked PM Lee why he didn’t sue others

Mr Goh wasn’t the only person Mr Lim named during his cross-examination.

He also pointed out that former presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian had also shared the article.

He then accused PM Lee of not suing people like Mr Goh and Mr Tan, but choosing to sue Mr Leong “because he is a staunch government critic”, The Straits Times (ST) quoted him as saying.

PM Lee denied this, saying that “flatters” Mr Leong.

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Mr Lim also questioned why Mr Lee did not sue Malaysian social news site The Coverage.

In response, PM Lee said he sued Mr Leong as it was the best way to vindicate his reputation, ST reported.

That’s because, after taking legal advice, the PM believed that the truth will come out when the matter goes to court.

Mr Lim to question PM Lee’s key witness in second day of trial

The defamation trial continues for the next 3 days.

On Wednesday (7 Oct), Mr Lim will cross-examine Dr Phan Tuan Quang, the University of Hong Kong’s Associate Professor of Innovation and Information Management. He’s an expert witness called by the prosecution.

If you want to catch the trial in person, you’ll have to wake up really early, as on the 1st day, all tickets to the public gallery were taken by 7am.

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Featured images adapted from Facebook and Facebook.