The Online Citizen Editor Terry Xu Will Represent Himself In Court

As you may already know, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has sued Terry Xu, editor of local independent news site The Online Citizen (TOC), for defamation.

Mr Xu first landed in hot waters after he wrote and published an article on social media titled, “PM Lee’s wife, Ho Ching weirdly shares article on cutting ties with family members”.

On Tuesday (10 Sep), he wrote a long post on Facebook saying that he has decided not only to represent himself, but also to turn down all forms of donations to cover his legal expenses.

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Mr Xu did however, add that if anyone insists on supporting him, they should instead support TOC by subscribing to it.

This will keep the website up and running while he is busy preparing for the lawsuit.

He is currently the sole owner and operator of the site, with occasional volunteer writers helping him. With this lawsuit going on, he will have less time to write, and so less revenue for the website.

PM Lee will testify in court if necessary

A spokesperson from the PM office said on Tuesday (10 Sep) that the PM himself will testify in court if the lawsuit is taken to trial.

All these come after PM Lee’s office had told Mr Xu on Sunday (1 Sep) to take the article down and publish an apology for the bad things said in the article against the prime minister.

One of which insinuates that the PM had deliberately misled late Mr Lee Kuan Yew about the Oxley house matter. The exact quote from the article is,

Dr Lee also claimed that LHL eventually persuaded LKY that since Oxley had been “gazetted”, it was futile to keep LKY’s direction to demolish Oxley in his will.

The demands were to be met by Wednesday (4 Sep), failing which, they will take Mr Xu to court. Mr Xu, as we now know, refused to comply.

Terry Xu doesn’t believe his article is defamatory

Mr Xu expressed this in a letter to PM Lee.

In essence, Mr Xu does not believe that what he had written was wrong or defamatory, and hence, he considers it against his principles to accede to the request to take the article down.

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No trial date has yet been set. Hopefully, both parties will reach an amicable agreement.

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