Li Shengwu Tells AGC He Has Nothing To Apologize For
Despite clarifying that he was not attacking the Singapore Judiciary system, the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) is still baying for Mr Li Shengwu’s blood.
This is unsurprising, given that Lee Hsien Yang’s son has continued to poke holes at AGC’s statements time and time again.
In his latest Facebook exposé on 21 Aug, Mr Li has released his response to the AGC’s continuous calls for an apology.
So here’s what the Lee Family Dispute has developed into. The nephew of the Prime Minister is being charged with contempt of court.
Because this issue is been around since what seems like forever, here’s a short summary on what has happened.
A quick refresher on the Li-gal proceedings
This whole debacle was a result of a leaked private Facebook post Mr Li had written on 15 July which had described the Singapore government as “litigious” and the court system as “pliant”.
The AGC threatened the Prime Minister’s nephew with a Contempt of Court lawsuit on 21 July as they deemed that Mr Li was suggesting that the “Singapore Judiciary [was acting] on the direction of the Singapore Government, and not [independently]”.
In the letter, the AGC told Mr Li that he had until 28 July to remove the post and issue an apology or face getting sued in court. The deadline was later extended to 4 Aug by 5pm.
On 18 July, Mr Li responded in kind with a Facebook post saying that he was not afraid of his uncle’s watchdogs.
However, he clarified and amended the statements on 4 Aug.
The Havard Junior Fellow contextualized his original comments, arguing that what he meant to say was that the Singapore Government had a tight set of legal rules when it came to press freedom.
He also suggested that making such a comment on a private post was not in contempt of court, in a Facebook post on 4 Aug.
Mr Li proceeded to submit his response to the AGC later on in the day so as to meet the stipulated 5pm deadline.
However, the AGC proceeded to file an application to begin proceedings against Mr Li arguing that he failed comply with the terms meted out including the 5pm deadline.
This was swiftly rebutted by Mr Li who argued that he had proof the letter was sent before the deadline.
AGC wants Li Shengwu to bend the knee
Here’s what’s new.
In a later letter sent to Mr Li on the eve of National Day, the AGC told Mr Li that the application for Contempt of Court was filed because the 5pm deadline was not met. While the AGC acknowledged that Mr Li had amended his Facebook post, they argued that he has still failed to apologize for the contents of the original post.
The AGC originally issued the following apology and undertaking statement for Mr Li to sign prior to the Facebook edit.
However, they have since told Mr Li that the third paragraph has been changed to the following.
Li Shengwu Makes 5 Important Statements In Latest Response
Clearly Mr Li has inherited the steel nerves his late grandfather was renowned for. Responding to the AGC letter dated 8 Aug, Mr Li took to Facebook to reveal some key points.
1. Sorry not sorry
Mr Li continues to maintain that he has not made any seditious comments and hence cannot apologize for something he did not commit.
2. AGC is relying on an unverified source
Mr Li continues to maintain that his original post was private and for his friends only. Unless someone who is a friend of Mr Li on Facebook comes forward to admit that they had ratted out the PM’s nephew, Mr Li will continue to question how did the AGC obtained his private posts.
3. PM Lee’s Press Secretary in the loop
The Straits Times reported on 21 Aug that PM Lee’s press secretary Chang Li Lin was well updated on the saga after responding to allegations that Mr Li fled Singapore because he might be detained.
4. Why no media blackout?
Mr Li questioned why the AGC was so preoccupied with his private Facebook posts when the mainstream media has been circulating the unauthorized screenshot of his comments. If the AGC was so concerned that their name was being dragged in the mud, why not ban the media from covering this saga.
5. Submitted late? Check your cameras
To rub salt into their wounds, Mr Li told the AGC to check their security camera’s in response to claims that he failed to meet the 5pm deadline. It would be curious if such footage became “lost” after Mr Li told them to check it.
The Straits Times reported on 21 Aug that the High Court has given the AGC the green light to continue with contempt of court proceedings against Mr Li.
Coincidentally, this happened after Mr Li issued his rebuttal on Facebook.
The AGC has until 4 Sept to submit the relevant documents.
With proceedings on the way, Mr Li better buckle up for a long drawn battle.
However, with the way that he has swatted aside everything the AGC has thrown at him during this entire saga, Mr Li seems well poised to defend himself in court.