Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Lee Hsien Yang pays security deposit for activist’s contempt of court appeal

SINGAPORE — Mr Lee Hsien Yang, the younger brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has paid the security deposit of S$20,000 for a civil society activist to appeal against his contempt of court conviction — the second time in about six months that he has given funds to activists fighting lawsuits.

Lee Hsien Yang pays security deposit for activist’s contempt of court appeal

When TODAY asked Mr Lee Hsien Yang (right) for confirmation that he had put up Mr Jolovan Wham’s bond, he said: “What reason do you have to doubt it?” Asked if this could be taken as confirmation, he replied: “No, you may not.”

SINGAPORE — Mr Lee Hsien Yang, the younger brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has paid the security deposit of S$20,000 for a civil society activist to appeal against his contempt of court conviction — the second time in about six months that he has given funds to activists fighting lawsuits.

The activist, Jolovan Wham, told TODAY that Mr Lee approached his lawyer with the offer, and the money need not be repaid.

“As for his reasons, it’s best you ask him,” added Wham, who first posted the news on Twitter on Wednesday (May 22).

When TODAY asked Mr Lee for confirmation that he had put up Wham’s bond, he said: “What reason do you have to doubt it?” Asked if this could be taken as confirmation, he replied: “No, you may not.”

Nevertheless, lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam, who is representing Wham on a pro bono basis, said Mr Lee had contacted his law firm on May 16, informing them that he had made a bank transfer of S$20,000 to the firm for Wham’s security deposit.

Mr Thuraisingam said: “We were only told that he had deposited S$20,000 into our client account for Jolovan’s security for costs of the appeal. Nothing else.”

Following the bank transfer, the law firm put up an undertaking to pay any costs awarded to the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) should the appeal fail. The deadline to file the undertaking is May 29.

On April 29, Wham and opposition politician John Tan from the Singapore Democratic Party were fined S$5,000 each for contempt of court after they were found guilty of the offence in October 2018. 

Wham had published a Facebook post in April last year alleging that Malaysia's judges were more independent than Singapore's in cases with political implications.

Security for costs is a common legal application involving cases of appeal. An individual has to put up security for costs, or a security deposit, to appeal against a court decision.

This is to cover the potential costs the other party might incur in arguing the appeal. The court has the discretion to decide the amount of the security deposit and a failure to provide it may result in the appeal being dismissed.

There are two ways to pay a security deposit: Transferring the money to the court or law firms can make an undertaking to pay costs awarded to the other party.

Early on Wednesday morning, Wham tweeted: “My lawyers have informed me that they’ve put in 20k to the prosecutor’s account as security for costs. This is for my appeal against the high court decision which found me guilty of scandalising the judiciary.”

More than 10 minutes later, he put up another tweet: “Fortunately, the Prime Minister’s brother, Lee Hsien Yang reached out to me and offered to put up the security for costs on my behalf. I’m grateful to him for his generosity.”

Last December, Mr Lee made a donation to blogger Leong Sze Hian, who is facing a defamation suit filed by PM Lee. Mr Leong had launched a crowdfunding campaign earlier this week to raise funds for his legal fees. 

At the time, Mr Lee had declined to reveal the amount that he gave to Mr Leong, telling TODAY that he gave a “meaningful sum”. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY KENNETH CHENG

 

Related topics

Politics Lee Hsien Yang Lee Hsien Loong

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa