*The following affidavit was ordered to be destoryed by Judge Chao Hick Tin on 8th May 1997 when he sat during the proceedings for assessment of damages in respect of the 13 defamation suits the defences of which were ordered to be strucked out by Judge Goh Joon Seng during an urgent night sitting on 10th March 1997 for non - compliance of a Mareva Injunction made by Judge Lai Kew Chai on 27th January 1997 against Tang Liang Hong and his wife Teo Siew Har demanding them to disclose their assets on a world wide basisup to the limit of S$12 million. This affidavit was based on a speech that was made in August 1994.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE
SUIT NO. 2523 OF 1996
LEE KUAN YEW
(NRIC NO. S0000003/E)
1. TANG LIANG HONG
(NRIC NO. S1096110/F)
2. TEO SIEW HAR
(NRIC NO. S0531156/Z)
A F F I D A V I T
I, TANG LIANG HONG, an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of
Singapore, of 75 Hua Guan Avenue, Singapore 589171, do hereby affirm and
say as follows :
1. I am the 1st Defendant herein.
2. Insofar as the content of this affidavit is within my personal knowledge it is true, and insofar as it is not within my personal knowledge it is true to the best of my knowledge, information and belief.
3. I refer to Lee Kuan Yew’s affidavit filed herein on 23 April 1997 which was only served on my solicitors late afternoon on 24 April 1997 (26th & 27th being Saturday and Sunday respectively). Hearing for Lee Kuan Yew’s application herein is fixed to take place on Monday, 28 April 1997, which the Plaintiff said would take place between 5 - 9 May 1997. He (the plaintiff) has always wanted to take me by surprise and left in a tight spot so that I would not be able to argue and present my case adequately in reply because he has had no courage to face strong arguments. He practically leaves me little time to prepare my reply to his lengthy affidavit and no time to reply to the other affidavits he will refer to in his application.
4. Lee Kuan Yew is a mean and coward man of extreme character. His affidavit contained a lot of materials irrelevant to this application but they have been put in just to attack me incessantly. I hereby wish to place on record that I had demanded and hereby demand again that Lee Kuan Yew retract his entire affidavit in issue of 27 January 1997 filed herein which was the basis for the order of Mareva Injunction of 27 January 1997 and the ensuing appointment of a Receiver (on 17 February 1997) against me and my wife’s assets world wide on the ensuing reason.
5. To rebut many of the unfounded allegations of Lee Kuan Yew, I would like to explain my case. My wife and I have fallen victims of the international game of politics by the senior minister Lee Kuan Yew and his PAP leaders of Singapore.
6. I received my law degree in English Language from the then University of Singapore in 1967. I am a solicitor, having qualified in 1968 and since then I have practiced law mainly in the fields of commercial and conveyancing. Apart from my family and my practice of law, I have always taken an interest in public affairs in Singapore in the fields of education and charitable organisations. I was a classical Indian dance student when I was young. I also learned western ballet. I speak English, Chinese and Malay. I enjoy and am knowledgeable about Chinese, Western as well as some Malay culture. I understand the importance of racial, cultural and religious harmony in an multi-ethnic society like Singapore. In my student days, I learned the Malay language and participated in Malay cultural activities. For a place like Singapore, I recognise the fact that Singapore is a multi-cultural and multi-language society is an asset and not a liability. For this reason, I have firmly believed that the students of all races must , in addition to English education, be properly educated in his own language and culture, but there has been a failure in this aspect.
7. My wife is a Buddhist and speaks Chinese and Malay and one of our daughter is a baptised Christian since 1990. My children are all English-educated.
8. I stood as a candidate for the Workers’ Party in the Cheng San Group Representation Constituency (GRC) in the recent Singapore General Election held on 2 January 1997. This was the first time I had participated as a candidate in an election. I would certainly not describe myself as politically experienced. When I participated in the general elections of Singapore in December 1996. I thought I was merely exercising my constitutional right, but the PAP leaders took it that I was going to cause harm against them and the state. I must therefore be stopped by them by all means and at all costs.
Labels Hung Around My Neck
9. The People’s Action Party (PAP) of Singapore was determined to prevent me from being elected as a member of Parliament of Singapore. Senior Minister Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and his team of PAP leaders publicly labeled me as :
(ii) a Chinese chauvinist;
(iv) a dangerous character;
(vi) anti-Islam; and
(vii) (impliedly) advocating to replace English with Chinese and helping China to turn Singapore into its base in future when China grows stronger in years to come.
(The above are not exhaustive as there are other labels hung around my neck.)
False Accusation against me of Making anti-Christian and English-Educated Speech in 1994
10. To support their false accusations against me as aforesaid, on 27 December 1997 the Singapore Straits Times reported amongst other things, Rear Admiral Teo Chee Hean, the then Environment minister and the current minister for education in the PAP Cabinet began to charge that I made an inflammatory speech in Mandarin at a Singapore national day celebration dinner in August 1994 (at which Rear-Admiral Teo was present). According to Admiral Teo, I "worked people up" over issues on language and religion, that my talk was "dangerous" and "quite improper". According to the press, Admiral Teo said that I implied that there were too many English-educated people and Christians in the government and that was not good and that I spoke in a forceful way and that he could see that some in the audience were perturbed by what was said and the way it was said. But there were others who were clearly swayed by the content and the tone of speech. He was also quoted as saying that I was an extremist who would undermine Singapore’s political stability, bankrupt the country and sow disharmony in the community. There was no basis whatsoever for him to have made this kind of accusation against me at all.
11. On another page of the same issue of the Straits Times, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong (apparently based on what Admiral Teo had told him) referred to the same speech made by me at the dinner in 1994. He indicated that I had criticised others for their (Christian) beliefs and for their English education. PM Goh said that Admiral Teo was at the dinner and that I had made the remarks, thinking Admiral Teo could not quite understand Chinese, but in fact Admiral Teo had understood what I had said. He said that I had played a very dangerous line, so that it was his and others’ duty " to expose such people".
12. The same issue of the Straits Times for 27 December 1996 also reported that, Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew claimed that I had said (evidently at the dinner of 1994) that there were "too many Christians in Parliament". (Lee Kuan Yew had conveniently forgotten that he was the one who had first pointed out that there were many Christians in his then cabinet). He said that I was a Chinese language chauvinist and publicly branded me as "anti-English-educated and anti-Christian". The Straits Times on 31 December 1996 also reported SM Lee as saying that "If he’s (Tang’s) against the English-educated, he must be against the Malay-educated even more. If he is against Christianity, he must be against Islam even more because Islam represents even a deeper exclusiveness. So this approach must be destructive."
13. The newspaper in Singapore also reported that PAP leaders had revealed that I had implied that cabinet Ministers and permanent secretaries were chosen because they were Christians and English-educated.
14. At about the same time, leaflets in the form of open letters to Cheng San voters were distributed by the PAP, which slurred me as an extremist who advocated that Chinese-educated Singaporeans should sit in sedan chairs to be carried by English-educated Singaporeans. I have never advocated that English-educated Singaporeans should carry any sedan-chairs, least of all chairs with Chinese-educated Singaporeans sitting in them. I simply wanted the usually silent Chinese-educated Singaporeans (also other non-English speaking Singaporeans including the Malay-educated and the Indian-educated) to have some say in national affairs. In fact, some ministers of state and members of parliament with Chinese education background in the past used to complain to me that their presence in the PAP team was just cosmetic and that they had been treated like messengers and running dogs and that they were made to behave as though they were carrying sedan chairs for the English-educated. I merely picked up the phrase of "carrying sedan chair" from them and echoed some of their sentiments which they felt more strongly than those outside the PAP team.
15. They also published certain statements allegedly made by me when having conversations with certain Chinese-educated PAP leader to support their false accusations against me. Many of the quoted statements are either not accurate or quoted out of the context. Some represented merely their personal opinions about me.
16. Assuming they (statements by the Chinese educated PAP leaders) are all accurate (which I deny), these statements cannot bear out those charges hurled against me as stated in item 9 above.
17. The above baseless charges against me are just a few examples and are by no means exhaustive.
18. The PAP leaders kept on requesting me to repeat what (they said) I had said which they said were dangerous and destructive. During the election campaign, my many explanations were not carried with the press.
19. On several occasions, the Singapore Press published some of my denials that I did not make anti-Christian and anti-English-educated statements. Lee Hsien Loong (Deputy Prime Minister) declared to the press that I could not deny and run away from what I had said because they (PAP) had had in their possession a video tape which had recorded my statements.
Attacks on My Speech on Singapore National Day in August 1994
20. The following are some of the many and massive statements made by Lee Kuan Yew and his PAP and Parliamentary colleagues concerning the alleged anti-Christian and anti-English educated statements made by me during a national dinner organised by Zeng Yi Association, in August 1994 and published in the local English newspapers. They do not include publications in Chinese, Malay and Indian press and telecast by television and radio stations :-
(a) "Be wary of Tang’s words, says PM"
The New Paper, 26 /12 / 96, Thursday, Pg 14)
WP Candidate in Cheng San GRC Tang Liang Hong is a "dangerous character" who plugs a "dangerous line", said PM Goh Chok Tong last night.
He told of how in August 1994, Mr Tang, a lawyer, had made a forceful Mandarin speech at Zhen Yi Association in Joo Chiat - in the presence of Environment Minister Teo Chee Hean.
"His basic point is, there are now many Christians in Cabinet, there are many Christians among the permanent secretaries and they are all English-educated. The implication is, we are Chinese-educated, we are not English-educated, how it is Singapore is run by Christians?"
Mr Goh described Mr Tang’s words as dangerous. Singapore is run along meritocratic lines where the most able lead. While there were many Christians in Cabinet, they were able ministers and tolerant Christians who do not push a religious point of view, said PM Goh.
(b) Serious men vs opportunists
The Straits Times, 27 Dec 1996
Mr Tang had also said in a speech in 1994 that many Cabinet ministers
and top civil servants were Christian and English-educated, noted Mr Goh.
This, the Prime Minister added, was a "dangerous position" as it amounted to advocating a racial quota system for appointments to top posts.
Rejecting this, he said Singapore’s policy was one of meritocracy, in which able men were appointed to key positions, regardless of their race or religion.
Making a similar point, SM Lee noted that it was odd that someone such as Mr Tang who was "anti-English-educated and anti-Christian" should join forces with Mr Jeyaretnam, who was both English-educated and a Christian.
(c) WP’s Tang Liang Hong a dangerous character, says PM
The Straits Times, 27 Dec 96, Friday, pg.27
Workers’ Party Cheng San GRC candidate Tang Liang Hong is a "dangerous
character" entering politics because he has a "personal axe to
grind", said Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong....
Two years ago, Mr Tang made a speech in Mandarin in which he highlighted the prominence of Christians here - in the Cabinet and among the permanent secretaries - who were all English-educated.
But at a Workers’ Party rally last night. Mr Tang said that he "pointed out certain phenomenon in Singapore to maintain racial harmony".
He said :"To retain Singapore’s harmonious society, we have to
look into the policies very carefully whether any particular group is going
to gain undue advantage.
"This is political, it is not religious.
"Now, my own daughter is a Christian. I send her to church on Sundays from time to time.
"My partner in legal practice is a Christian, several of my employees are Christians. That Christian problem is out of the issue, what I am worried about is whether we can maintain a harmonious society. That is all I am concerned about.
"In short, religion can only be between you and God, not between two human beings."...
On Wednesday, at a Cheng San GRC walkabout, Mr Goh referred to the speech Mr Tang made in August 1994 at the Zeng Yi Association, a Joo Chiat grassroots body.
Said Mr Goh: "He spoke in Mandarin and he was quite forceful ...
His basic point was there are now many Christians in Cabinet, there are
many Christians among the permanent secretaries, and they are all English-educated.
"So the implications is, now we are Chinese-educated, we are not Christians, how is it Singapore is being run by Christians ?"
Mr Goh said Environment Minister Teo Chee Hean was at the dinner and
Mr Tang had made this remark, thinking the minister could not quite understand
But in fact, he had understood what Mr Tang said.
The PM said the lawyer was plugging "a very dangerous line".
Singapore, he said, was run on meritocracy. He said that ministers who were Christians were able people and very tolerant Christians who did not push a religious point of view.
"By making this remark to other diners in Mandarin, he is playing a very dangerous line, so it is our duty again to expose such people. Now, why is he standing for election ?"
(d) Two WP men want your vote to pursue own interests: Rear- Adm Teo
Straits Times, 27 Dec 96, p.27
... Rear-Admiral (NS) Teo, who is part of the PAP slate for Pasir Ris GRC against the WP, said residents must consider two things when it comes to voting in an election: the character and programmes of the candidates.
He recounted a dinner he attended two years ago at which Mr Tang used his oratorical skills to work people up over language and religion.
The WP candidate had implied that there were too many English-educated people and Christians in Government and that this was not good.
Rear-Adm Teo said that Mr Tang spoke in a forceful way, and that he could see that some in the audience were perturbed by what was said and the way it was said. But there were others, he added, who were clearly swayed by the content and tone of speech.
"When he had finished, I told him bluntly that what he said was quite improper, and that the implications that he was drawing were outrageous, and that this was dangerous talk."
Rear-Adm Teo noted that after the speech, he concluded that Mr Tang was an extremist and would have nothing more to do with him.
[ Note : he said none of those things to me (Tang) after my speech on that fateful day and we had lunch on another occasion subsequently in a restaurant at Katong ]
He (Teo) said : "A man is entitled to his views ... But when a man aspires to a national platform to express his views ... then the public must know what kind of man he is and what kind of view he holds."
(e) Jeya and Tang are Strange bedfellows : SM
The Straits Times, 27 Dec 96, p.27
The two WP men are ‘language chauvinists’ brought together by political
Mr Lee said Mr Tang had pointed out that Environment Minister Teo Chee Hean was English-educated and a Christian, and that there were too many Christians in Parliament.
(f) PAP not unfair in using public funds for upgrading : PM
The Straits Times, 28 Dec 96, p.1
At a rally in West Coast, WP candidate Tang Liang Hong dismissed charges by PAP ministers that he was a "Chinese chauvinist". noting that he had become "dangerous" only after he decided to stand for election.
But Mr Goh last night challenged Mr Tang to repeat at a public rally the remarks he had made in 1994 that there were too many English-educated and Christian ministers and secretaries.
(g) PM to Tang : Repeat 1994 statements in public
The Straits Times, 28 Dec 1996, p. 15
Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong last night challenged Workers’ Party candidate Tang Liang Hong to repeat in public what he had said at a dinner in 1994 about there being too many English-educated Christian ministers and permanent secretaries.
Then the Government could rebut him.
Mr Goh speaking at a Hong Kah GRC rally last night, said: "Would he, at a rally repeat those points to the people?...
Mr Goh said the Government recruited people based on their ability and religion was a private matter. Even Chinese-educated MPs were uncomfortable with Mr Tang’s views, he added.
At the rally, Mr Tang’s former schoolmate and PAP candidate for Aljunied
GRC Ker Sin Tze urged voters not to vote for Mr Tang.
Otherwise, minority communities would feel very uncomfortable, he said.
There would be trouble in Parliament too, such as the row that erupted in Australia, when independent MP Pauline Hanson’s remarks on race and immigration damaged the country’s trade, tourism and reputation.
(h) Tang : I am dangerous because I am contesting
The Straits Times, 28 Dec 96, p. 15
...In August 1994, Environment and Second Defense Minister Teo Chee
Hean had heard Mr Tang say in a speech at the Zeng Yi Association, a grassroots
body, that Christians and the English-educated dominated the Cabinet.
[ Note : On 28 December 1996, I served letters on SM Lee and PM Goh respectively demanding them to withdraw false charges against me ]
(i) PAP focuses on Tang Liang Hong threat
Chinese-stream MPs rap candidate for ‘divisive views’
The Sunday Times, 29 Dec 1996
Mr Chng used an analogy to drive home his point, saying in Mandarin:
"Singapore is like a beehive where the people are working hard to
produce honey. Letting Tang Liang Hong into the Cheng San GRC is like throwing
a stone at the bee hive. The bees will fly out and sting not only the person
who threw the stone but others as well," he said.
Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew also warned voters about Mr Tang, saying he considered the Chinese-educated lawyer more dangerous than WP chief, J. B. Jeyaretnam.
..."The Things he says on stage are not the things he says in Chinese
gatherings," he (LKY) said.
(j) PM releases documents to explain why he must be firm with Tang
The Sunday Times, 29 Dec 96, p.18
Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong last night released documents which showed
that Workers’ Party candidate Tang Liang Hong held dangerous views on Chinese
language and culture.
He explained that it was important for him to be "very firm" with Mr Tang because, if elected into Parliament, the Chinese-educated lawyer would have a "damaging impact" on Singapore’s multiracial and multilingual society.
...Last Wednesday, he revealed how Mr Tang made a speech in Mandarin in 1994 highlighting the prominence of Christians in the Cabinet and among the permanent secretaries, who were all English-educated.
His implication, Mr Goh said, was: "Now, we are Chinese-educated, we are not Christians, how is it Singapore is being run by Christians?"
...Mr Goh last night asked Mr Tang to repeat these things at the rallies. He added that Mr Tang reminded him of Singapore Democratic Party Leader, Chee Soon Juan at the 1991 Marine Parade by-election.
Like Dr Chee, he looked reasonable, was articulate, able to sway the crowd and did not look flawed.
Noting that it would take time to understand a person’s character, he said he was confident Mr Tang would be beaten in Cheng San GRC, and added:
"I do hope that Tang Liang Hong, after his defeat, will continue to be around like Dr Chee, because we need a number of years to expose his true intentions in standing for elections ... for the people to judge over time what kind of man he is."
(k) PAP Candidate speak out against Tang
The Sunday Times, 29 Dec 1996, p.18
Two PAP candidates and a former Senior Minister of State who knew Mr Tang Liang Hong as a friend and former schoolmate have spoken out strongly against the Workers’ Party candidate for Cheng San GRC.
...They were referring to this remarks about the Government being dominated by the Christian English-educated at an association dinner two years ago.
Dr. Ker Sin Tze, PAP candidate for Aljunied GRC, made the point that
Mr Tang had the right to express his personal opinions, but if he is elected
as an MP, people outside Parliament would think his minority views represent
PAP stalwart Ow Chin Hock led the attack yesterday when he said that Mr Tang’s views were divisive and did the Chinese community more harm than good.
... He (Dr. Ow on his feedback of Tang as NMP) said :"I wrote that he had contributed to the Chinese community, to the trade and clan associations, the Hwa Chong Alumni and the Nanyang Academy of FineArts."
But he also said that he found the lawyer’s views on Chinese language and culture extreme and had reservations about his "emotional and temperamental" nature.
Asked if Mr Tang was more moderate now than in 1991, Dr. Ow replied that he (Tang) had, in fact got worse.
Our society is very fragile. We cannot allow this issue to tear us apart,"
At another press conference last night, held after Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s visit to Cheng San GRC, former Senior Minister of State (Community Development) Ch’ng Jit Koon said he objected to Mr Tang’s application to be a Nominated MP because his views on Chinese ethnic and cultural issues were "extreme".
SM Lee also gave his views on Mr Tang. Asked who is considered more dangerous : his old adversary J. B. Jeyaretnam or Mr Tang, he replied that the former could do him no harm or upset racial harmony ... On the other hand, Mr Tang’s views on race and culture were dangerous, said SM Lee, who noted that the WP candidate was hiding under a false appearance.
He said : "The things he says on stage are not the things he says in Chinese gatherings."
(l) English education, religion don’t affect duties : Dr. Tan
The Sunday Times, 29 Dec 1996, p.18
Deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan said that being English-educated and a devout Christian did not matter when he carried out his duties as a minister.
...He was responding to the controversy surrounding Workers’ Party candidate for Cheng San GRC, lawyer Tang Liang Hong.
In a dinner speech, he made two years ago, Mr Tang had implied there were too many Christians and English-educated people in the Government.
(Dr. Tan said) "You cannot allow your judgment or position to be influenced by your personal belief or whether or not you are a Christian."
He added that although Mr Tang’s remarks were made two years ago, the PAP was bringing them up because Mr Tang was standing for election.
He pointed out that there was a difference at a private function where the audience was limited, and speaking in Parliament, where the country was one’s audience.
Dr. Tan also joined Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong’s call in asking Mr Tang to repeat his statements, so that Singaporeans, particularly those in Cheng San GRC, would be able to judge whether he was a person they wanted in Parliament.
...It took, the DPM said, just one speech on race and immigration by independent MP Pauline Hanson in Australia parliament to spark a great furore in the country.
[ Note : On 29 January 1996, SM Lee and PM Goh replied in writing that they would continue their campaign of false charges against me (Tang) and challenged me to sue them in court ]
(m) PM Goh : I’m ready to go to court
The Straits Times, 30 Dec 1996, p.1
...Responding , Mr K. Shanmugam, a PAP MP and a lawyer for Mr Goh, said that his clients "stands by everything that he has said".
He noted that Mr Tang knew and accepted that the kind of person Mr Goh had made him out to be was a danger to racial peace and stability here.
Mr Goh’s statements, he added, were supported by evidence given by Environment
Minister Teo Chee Hean, as well as, MPs Ow Chin Hock and Ker Sin Tze and
former MPs Ch’ng Jit Koon and Chin Harn Tong.
...Rear-Adm Teo had recounted at a PAP rally speech by Mr Tang in 1994 in which he noted that there were many Christians and English educated Singaporeans in the Cabinet and Civil Service.
Despite this, Mr Tang had neither challenged the evidence given by the four MPs and Rear-Adm Teo, nor threatened to sue any of them, noted Mr Shanmugan. (There was no basis for PM Goh or his solicitors to say that I did not challenge the charges.)
...As a lawyer, Mr Tang would know that there was no law preventing anyone having a debate on his character and suitability to be an MP.
(Why then the Plaintiff sued me for calling them liars, subject matters concerning character?)
(n) Anti Christian Statements : Tang denies making them
The Straits Times, 30 Dec 1996, Monday, p.1
Speaking at a Workers’ Party rally in Hougang Ave 7, he said he could not recall clearly the words he used when he spoke at Zeng Yi Association, a Joo Chiat grassroot body, in August 1994.
"But I have definitely never said anything which concerned anti-Christianity," said Mr Tang, who is running for Cheng San GRC.
..."If I had really said those words, two and a half years ago until now, have there been any riots?
"But today, PAP, TV, radio and newspaper all repeat those words everyday. If there is a riot now, who will be responsible? PAP, right?
"Yes, PAP should be responsible. They keep repeating it. If those words could really cause riots, why does the PAP keep repeating them? So, they should be arrested first."
...According to Mr Goh, Mr Tang had said that there were many Christian and English-educated government ministers and permanent secretaries in the Civil Service.
"So the implication is, now we are Chinese-educated, we are not Christians, how is it Singapore is being run by Christians?" Mr Goh said.
"By making this remark to others in Mandarin, he is playing a very dangerous line, so it is our duty again to expose such people."
Mr Goh said he had no quarrel with those who defended the importance of learning Chinese.
"But that doesn’t mean you should criticise others for their beliefs - that you are English-educated, that you are running my life, and I am Chinese-educated, you are a Christian and there are so many of you. I think that kind of argument is very dangerous."
(o) Singaporeans want more opposition MPs : Tang
The Straits Times, 30 Dec 1996
Refering to the PAP attacks on him and calling him a chauvinist, he said. "I am facing bombardment from television, newspapers, my whole family was put in fear.
"They (members of my family) ask me: Why not consider quitting? You know the pressure. I never felt it before.
"Standing for election is like going to commit murder ? No, I’m just trying to contribute different ideas.
"Ideas different from the PAP. But they use the national mechanism, mounted the pressure against me."
(p) What Mr Tang told me :
The Straits Times, Tuesday , 31 Dec 1996, p.1
People’s Action Party MP-elect Seng Han Thong yesterday disclosed that Workers’ Party candidate Tang Liang Hong told him more Chinese-educated people were needed in Parliament and that there were too many Christians in the Cabinet.
Mr Seng, who was returned unopposed in Ang Mo Kio GRC, said the lawyer telephoned to congratulate him after reading about his entry into politics in April.
He told a PAP lunch-time rally at UOB Plaza yesterday that Mr Tang told him: "The Chinese-educated should come out to serve the Chinese community" and added : "Right now, many ministers in the Cabinet are Christians. I once told Teo Chee Hean that there are too many Christian ministers. There are many Taoist and Buddhist in the Chinese community, someone should represent them."
...Rear-Admiral (NS) Teo has said he has heard him suggest there were too many Christians in the Cabinet in a speech in 1994.
On Saturday night, at a Workers’ Party rally in Hougang Avenue 7, Mr Tang denied making anti-Christian statements and said he could not recall clearly the words he used at the Zeng Yi Association dinner in August 1994.
At the rally yesterday, Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew said that WP candidate was like SDP’s Chee Soon Juan : "He says one thing, he comes up to the stage and denies it."
(q) Chinese-educated ‘must decide what they want for the future
The Straits Times, 31 Dec 1996, p.15
"If he’s against the English-educated, he must be against the Malay educated even more. If he is against Christianity, he must be against Islam even more because Islam represents a deeper exclusiveness. So this approach must be destructive."
- Mr Lee on Mr Tang Liang Hong
(r) Tang a coward and a liar, says PM
The Straits Times 31 Dec 96, p.15
Mr Tang Liang Hong is a coward because he wants to pursue legal action against Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew only after the election.
He added that the WP candidate was a liar for saying that he had forgotten the comments he had made about the Chinese language and the number of Christians ministers in the Cabinet at a clan gathering attended by Environment Minister Teo Chee Hean.
(s) Tang ‘must be dealt with before damage is done’
Straits Times, 31 Dec 1996, p.15
Mr Tang Liang Hong and his extreme views on Chinese language and culture had to be dealt with now, not later, or damage would be done to Singapore and its relations with neighboring countries.
This is why, Mr Goh Chok Tong explained last night, he had to put the prestige of his office on the line and throw his hat into the ring in the Cheng San battle.
...Speaking at a press conference at the PAP’s Punggol branch during his visit to Cheng San GRC, Mr Goh said : "It’s not a personal battle between me and Tang Liang Hong. I do not know him personally. I have no grudge against him.
"But the idea he holds that the Chinese language is superior to other languages in Singapore, if advanced, is dangerous. That is what I am out to stop."
He said that if Mr Tang became an MP, Singapore could also end up with a "Pauline Hanson situation" on its hands - with grave implications for its relations with neighbours.
He was referring to the Australian independent MP whose anti-Asian comments had divided her nation increased attacks against immigrants there.
...He added that Mr Tang was an opportunist and was contesting the election not because he was concerned about Certificate of Entitlement or other issues, but because he wanted to put forth his views on the supremacy of the Chinese language.
He recalled that former MP Chin Harn Tong, who had known the candidate since their Nanyang University student days, had made the observation that Mr Tang had spent only a year at the Chinese medium Nantah before switching to the English medium University of Singapore.
Mr Goh said that at first, he did not think much of the switch, but on reflection, he could see the motive for it.
Mr Tang realised that the Barisan Sosialis was being licked by the PAP and, seeing that his extreme views on Chinese language would not gain much support, decided to cut his losses and switch to the English-stream university.
But now, with the emergence of China as an economic power and the rise of Chinese language, Mr Tang had begun to show his stripes again, he said.
If his views became pervasive in Singapore, alarm bells would sound for the country’s neighbours and the situation would invite foreign interference in domestic matters.
"The US will be afraid of Singapore becoming a possible base of China. Our neighbours will throw up their arms in alarm. Are we going to become a Chinese base ? We have no intention of being that.
"It’s good for us to do business with China. But we are Singapore," he said, stressing that English would always be the working language here.
Asked if the PAP’s tough stand against Mr Tang might upset Chinese-educated voters, he said there was such a danger and that was why it was important to persuade this group of voters that the Government was not against them.
Asked how the PAP would convince people that Mr Tang was a chauvinist when he appeared to be a reasonable man of moderate views at election rallies, he replied: "That is a difficulty we are going to try and solve.
He is a very clever dissimmulate. Those who have watched him will not believe that he is a danger. But we’ve got to plug away and tell the people that there is danger.
(t) Why Chinese chauvinism will destroy S’pore : SM
The Straits Times, 31 Dec 1996, p.15
He (SM) observed of Mr Tang, a 61-year-old lawyer: "In a certain inhospitable climate, he keeps his head low.
"If that climate changes, he’d be roaring like a lion. So we’ve got to keep him on the defensive."
Feelings for language, race and religion were deep-seated and primeval, he said, and created deep fault lines in society.
Elsewhere, religious or ethnic difference caused deep fault lines in society.
Elsewhere, religious or ethnic differences caused wars in Rwanda and Somalia, and in Lebanon and former Yugoslavia, where decades of peace had erupted into violence almost overnight.
...Mr Lee asked Singaporeans to reject the brand of chauvinism practised by Mr Tang, whose thinking was like that of the Chinese community in the 1950s and would bring harm to the country
"This is a government which has often stood up for what we believe to be right policies towards China.
"We are not anti-China but we are South-east Asian and we remain a South-east Asian nation. We cannot be otherwise.
"And we have to fight anybody who make it shift the other way.
(u) Why I am speaking up for the Chinese silent majority : Tang
The Straits Times, 31 Dec 1996, p.18
"Now the PAP are saying that they are the champions of Christianity. How Christian are they?"
..."Tang Liang Hong is not anti-Christian. If he is anti-Christian, why should he join me? If I am a Tamil chauvinist, why should he join me if he is a Chinese chauvinist?" Asked J. B. Jeyaretnam.
(v) I will sue, but not now as I have no time, says Tang
The Straits Times, 31 Dec 1996, p.18
"They say I am an anti-Christian, Chinese chauvinist. First of all, I have never said anything against Christians. It is up to them to prove. Number two, they say that I am a Chinese chauvinist.
"They don’t even know the meaning of chauvinist. Chauvinist means you only praise you own culture , you don’t respect any other culture. Am I such a person?
"I am a living example on stage. I speak good Malay. I speak Mandarin. I know Malay Culture quite a bit. I learnt Indian dance. What can you expect a genuine Singaporean to do more than what I have done? You ask all Singaporeans, the PAP say, the true Singaporeans have they done one-tenth of what I have learnt?"
(w) PM enters fray in Cheng San : ‘It’s me vs Tang’
WP Candidate’s Chinese chauvinism and anti-Christianity stand is single most important issue.
The Business Times, 31 Dec 1996, p.1
"It’s a battle for me as Prime Minister of Singapore against Mr Tang Liang Hong" he (PM Goh) declared at a lunch-time PAP rally at Raffles Place.
He was pointing out that the Workers’ Party candidate’s Chinese chauvinism and anti-Christianity stand was " the single most important political issue in the general election".
"I’m now fighting Tang Liang Hong to keep him out of Parliament. I’m doing do not because I worry that Mr Lee Yock Suan and his teammates would lose. I enter now in order to hand Tang Liang Hong and the other side a decisive defeat." he said.
...Mr Tang denied ever having said anything against Christians.
He claimed earlier that he could not remember the anti-Christian remarks made two years ago at a dinner attended by Environment Minister Teo Chee Hean.
But Mr Goh revealed yesterday that in April this year, Mr Tang phoned PAP candidate Seng Han Thong and repeated his remarks, adding that he had told Rear Admiral Teo the same thing.
Mr Goh went on: "He said he is not anti-Christian, that his daughter
became a Christian. Did he jump with joy or was he sad that his daughter
became a Christian?"
Mr Goh said what Mr Tang and the WP stood for also goes against the PAP’s policy of meritocracy : " You can go as high up as you can go depending on your ability, on your commitment, on your performance on your potential - not on your religious belief or the colour of your skin, or your ability to speak four, five, six languages."
Calling Mr Tang "an opportunist", he said his views are dangerous because the fault lines between races in Singapore will always be there.
"You look at Yugoslavia, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, Somalia. When there’s internal conflict, the fault lines became very clear."
What Mr Tang represents, if he wins, "is going to arose (in) others a similar sentiment and those forces once created and released will be difficult for us to keep down. And we are going to have a hell of problems in the 21st century."
Mr Goh said that the PAP is going all out now to expose Mr Tang because his views as a potential MP will have "a ripple effect throughout Singapore".
(x) Tang won’t seek court injunction
The Straits Times, 31 Dec 1996, p.1
Mr Tang yesterday maintained that he had never said anything against Christians and that he was not a Chinese chauvinist.
The PAP allegations against him were aimed at damaging his reputation and preventing people form voting for him in the election, he said.
(y) Stick with English as working language : SM
The Business Times, 31 Dec 96, p.2
Elaborating on the threat posed by Workers’ Party candidate Tang Liang Hong, whom he labeled a Chinese chauvinist, he (SM) said: "It is a problem because in 20, 30 years, you’re going to have a very strong, economically powerful and influential China. And the language is going to come up. But we must stay put.
He said that Singapore could not allow a strong Chinese language to push out English. "We do that, we destroy ourselves. Stay as we are, keep this bilingualism but the emphasis must be a common language : English."
(z) Heard and seen
The Business Times, Tuesday 31 Dec 1996,p. 2
"If he is against the English-educated, he must be against the Malay-educated even more. If he is against Christianity, he must be against Islam even more because Islam represents even a deeper exclusiveness. So this approach must be destructive."
- Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew on WP candidate Tang Liang Hong
(ai) DPMs join in battle for Cheng San
The Straits Times, 1 Jan 1997, p.1
Responding to this, a statement by the two DPMs yesterday said :"Both BG Lee Hsien Loong and Dr. Tony Tan consider Tang a Chinese chauvinist, who is anti-Christian and anti-English educated and whose views, if propagated widely, will causes big trouble in Singapore.
"They are solidly behind PM Goh in his determination to defeat Tang ...to keep him out of Parliament."
If they lose ... this Govt is disminished
‘So by a strange turn of events, Cheng San GRC becomes the focus of this whole election. The PM, two DPMs, are coming down tomorrow, spending the whole day, to show the importance of Cheng San. If they lose ... this Government is diminished. And because they are diminished, you will also realise, there are grave consequences for Singapore all round, including Cheng San. But I do not think they are going to lose.’
- SM Lee telling Cheng San GRC voters the significance of their vote tomorrow.
(bi) PAP leaders take legal action against Tang
The Straits Times, 1 Jan 1997, p.4
Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew and six other People’s Action Party members have taken legal action against Workers’ Party candidate Tang Liang Hong for saying they had committed a criminal offence and for calling them liars.
...At a PAP rally last night, Mr Goh said that Mr Tang had made a very serious allegation in saying that he, Mr Lee and other MPs have concocted lies.
"It is a very serious thing ... because if he is right and I am a liar, I should step down immediately as Prime Minister," he said.
(ci) Tang is ‘not what he make himself out to be’
The Straits Times, 1 Jan 97
Noting Environment Minister Teo Chee Hean’s disclosure of Mr Tang’s comments at a 1994 clan dinner questioning the number of English-educated Christians in the Cabinet and among permanent secretaries , Mr Chin (Harn Tong) concluded : "So he still remain the same person as in the past."
(di) He is ‘doubly dangerous’
The Straits Times, 1 Jan 1997
- Teo Chee Hean on Tang
"Mr Tang enjoys being called a dangerous man. He revels in it. This itself shows what kind of person he is. If he really believes that what he has said, and what I heard him say, is not dangerous, that is doubly dangerous.
"He doesn’t realise how extreme his views are, how easy it is to work people up over these issues. That makes him an even more dangerous person."
- Rear Admiral Teo Chee Hean speaking at the PAP rally at Boat Quay on Monday, on Mr Tang Liang Hong
(ei) No televised debate with Tang, only court case will do : PM
The Straits Times, Wed, 1 Jan 1997
The question of whether Mr Tang was a chauvinist could only be settled in a court of law, said PM Goh
(fi) Tang refuses to apologise for calling PM, SM Liars
The Straits Times, 2 Jan 97, p.1
He (Tang) said that on Tuesday, two lawyers had tried to serve a writ on him after a WP rally in Hougang, at a "very exciting moment".
..."I hope that they don’t try to serve me while I’m on my way out, because that is very dangerous. Because it will be beyond my control; I don’t know them.
..."If they really insist on serving while I am still here ... I will then ask the police to protect them, for them to serve and then for them to leave ..."
...I am going to lodge a police report against them for criminal offence. They are telling lies.
(gi) PM Goh tackles chauvinism
The Jarkarta Post (Editorial)
The Straits Times, 4 Jan 97, p.36
...Mr Goh was also upset by reports that Mr Tang had told a seminar two years ago that it was the Chinese-educated Singaporeans who "were carrying the sedan chair for others".
Mr Tang was also alleged to have complained about the abundance of Christians and English-educated senior officials in government
(hi) Tang faxes letter threatening his life to ST
The Straits Times, 5 Jan 1997, p.3
Mr Tang Liang Hong, a defeated Workers’ Party candidate for the Cheng San GRC said last night that he had received a letter which threatened his life.
...The letter was written and contained four brief paragraphs. Addressed to "Mr Tang Lian Hong", it said that based on the report on what ministers had said about him and from his election speeches. Mr Tang had attacked the community’s honour and feelings.
...It continued : " We will not rest in peace until you rest in peace. The only way out is for you to apologise publicly and ask for forgiveness.
"If not you know what will happen. We know where you work, we know where your children study. So think carefully."
(ii) Tang : I felt as I couldn’t take death threats lightly
Straits Times, 7 Jan 97, p.1
Mr Tang, who was branded an anti-Christian Chinese chauvinist by People’s Action Party leaders during the General Election campaign last week, told the BBC that the letter he received had said : "Death Sentence, God’s will".
...Noting this, Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew had said on Tuesday that he found it very strange that Mr Tang had not made a report to the police about the letter threatening his life, even though he had faxed it to the press.
Mr Tang, he added, was playing an international game by giving Singapore a reputation of being a terrorist state.
(ji) Letters tell Tang to ‘go back to China"
He has ‘evil thoughts’ against English-educated Christians
(The Straits Times 15 Jan 1997 p.3)
Two letters have been sent to lawyer Tang Liang Hong asking him to "go back to China" and accusing him of having evil thought against English-educated Christians.
...The second typewritten letter, which was undated and unsigned, put a curse on him for the "evil thoughts you have on all English-educated Singaporeans".
(Enclosed herewith photocopies of the relevant newspaper clippings containing the above statements) [ Exhibit A]
21. It is apparent that the sole and main basis put forward for the unfounded allegations of chauvinism, being anti-Christian, anti-Islam and so on, is the speech made by me during Singapore National Day Dinner in August 1994. By good fortune I had retained a copy of the video of my 1994 speech which I have transcribed and translated from mandarin into English. I suspect that the PAP leaders were unaware that I had kept a record of what I said. I enclose herewith for the court’s reference a copy of each of my Chinese and English transcripts of my 1994 speech and a copy of the said video tape. [Exhibit B]
Motive of Deliberate Distortion of My 1994 Speech by PAP Leaders
22. It is plain beyond argument that the topic of my speech was about religious harmony and that what I actually said at the dinner (at which Rear-Admiral Teo Chee Hean was present) was that I wanted to ensure that Singapore was protected and would remain stable and a harmonious society and religion without misunderstandings. I pointed out that the achievement by Christians in Singapore suggested that non-Christians in Singapore should learn from them. I expressed the hope that our Christian friends should understand confucianists’ philosophy. The organisers of the Singapore national day dinner and many among the audience were PAP grass-root leaders and supporters. In fact, my speech was anti-no-one.
23(1). No one hearing my speech could reasonably conclude that I am a chauvinist or English-educated or dangerous. Nor was there any ground to infer that I am a chauvinist or anti-English-educated or dangerous. Nor was there any ground to infer that I am also anti-Islam or anti-Malay-educated. I have not on any other occasion expressed myself in such a way as to justify these attacks on me, which are and were wholly unjustified.
23(2). Am I not entitled to call SM Lee and the other plaintiffs of the related actions as lying ? Of course I am. The plaintiffs of all the related actions are liable of defaming me based on false charges.
What Else the PAP Leaders Dare Not Do ?
24. If the PAP leaders dared to have made false charges against me by deliberately distorting my 1994 speech in such a daring and massive way, what else do they not dare to do if they consider the occasion necessary for them to do that.
I am Not a Chinese Chauvinist !
25. In 1991, there was a big group of Chinese intellectuals with some Chinese education background (including many PAP members and supporters) who considered that mother-tongue education in Singapore had slipped to the lowest level. The teaching time for the mother-tongue education occupied only about 5% of the total teaching time in schools for students of all races. We considered that was too little, and that 45% of total time at primary school level would be appropriate and it could be reduced at secondary level. This group of people merely comprised of Chinese-educated. Their intention was to have some dialogue with the authority on education in Singapore. The memorandum submitted by them to the government was therefore only confined to mother-tongue education in Chinese in Singapore, as they did not have the mandate to speak on behalf of other races. After this memorandum having been submitted to the PAP government, they appointed a committee of enquiry which was headed by Mr Ong Teng Cheong (who was then deputy prime minister) to look into the teaching methods of mother tongue education. Teaching time for mother tongue education for all races was slightly increased subsequently. I understand it is still below 10% of the total teaching time.
26. To use my involvement in the above activity as evidence of my being a Chinese chauvinist advocating to replace English with Chinese was absurd. To equate me with Pauline Hanson of Australia was equally absurd.
27. In reality, SM Lee and his party have been ceaselessly cultivating the growth of "PAP chauvinism" all these years. They have been boastful about Singapore’s achievements. They are ignorant of and therefore tend to belittle the people and the achievements of the countries around Singapore. PAP leaders and many Singaporeans have been jokingly described as a big and small "IBM" (International Big mouth) according to their status. The PAP leaders have been mindful to cultivate confrontational mentality amongst young Singaporeans. In fact, this is a disruptive approach and will be destructive not only for Singapore but also for the region as well.
Incitement of Religious Hatred is Prohibited by Singapore Penal Laws
28. I was therefore deeply hurt, by what appeared to be concerted attempt by the PAP leaders to deliberately misrepresent my 1994 speech and my beliefs in such a vicious and also damaging manner which they must have realised would be likely to provoke and incite religious disharmony and unrest and to instigate different religious communities to hate each other and to hate me and to cause harm to me and members of my family. This is prohibited under Singapore penal laws. According to SM Lee’s own reckoning, on paragraph 14.1 and 14.2 of Lee Kuan Yew’s own affidavit of 27 January 1997, my words / police report against the PAP leaders were said to have suggested that they had committed 7 to 8 offences under the Law.
29. I therefore called on SM Lee and PM Goh by way of letters of demand as well as in a speech during a mass rally on the night of 28 December 1996 to withdraw their allegations against me that I am an anti-Christian Chinese chauvinist, failing which I would commence proceedings for defamation. The purpose was to stress how utterly unfounded these inflammatory attacks on me were. My request was rejected in letters from their lawyers who invited me to start proceedings. These letters were released by or on behalf of SM Lee and other PAP Leaders to the press and widely reported. They publicly declared that they will continue their smear campaigns against me.
My Public Reply to False Charges Against Me Publicly
30. The campaign as aforesaid against me did continue in the press, radios and television in a massive way. The defamatory statements against me were also transmitted through internet accessible to worldwide users. When asked by a reporter from the Singapore Straits Times for my reaction having been accused of making anti-Christian and anti-English-educated statements, I replied that I was going to sue them for spreading lies about me and assassinating my character. I also said I was going to lodge a report with the police because the false accusations and the way they said them against me of religious and social bigotry had contravened the Singapore penal laws and because I was also apprehensive about my personal safety as a result of their false and preposterous accusations of me being an anti-Christian and I also felt myself to be in need of police protection. My above statement to the reporter appeared in the Straits Times on 31 December 1996. Since they had made false charges against me publicly I was therefore entitled to reply these false charges against me publicly. So that my reply might reach the readers to whom the false charges against me were targeted.
Using Law Suits to Reply My Public Reply for Calling them Lying
31. That night and the following morning at 6.45 am, I received writs of summons from SM Lee and PM Goh and 6 other PAP Leaders, suing me for defamation for calling them liars and demanded that I should read out at a Workers’ Party rally on 1 January 1997 (that is, the eve of the polling day) an apology to them and further that I should cause an apology to be published on polling day itself in the Straits Times and other newspapers. I challenged the PAP to have an open debate over the issue on television. However, the PAP leaders refused to so and said that the truth could be found and ascertained in court proceedings. They were seeking shelter from the Singapore Courts so that they could avoid dealing publicly my reply for calling them lying. One can clearly see how coward they are now. They have lost their courage to boast that they are prepared to argue with their opponents publicly on any issue.
Complaint to Police for Crime Committed by PAP Leaders
32(1). The information of the above legal actions against me for defamation by calling them lying was extensively published in the Straits Times and the other newspapers and announced over television and radios. SM Lee and other PAP Leaders sought to make the maximum political capital out of their actions against me. Naturally I could not in honour and principle apologize for what I said because they are and were true. False accusations against me being anti-Christian, anti-English-educated, anti-Malay and anti-Islam continued unabated. I felt threatened by the PAP leaders and by the possible harms to me and my family resulting from these unfounded and senseless false charges against me. The PAP leaders openly and massively instigating Christians, English-educated, Malay-educated and Muslims and others to act against me.
32(2). On the evening of 1 January 1997, I filed two reports with the police one of which concerns the crime committed by them. I received more writs of summons for defamation from the PAP leaders because of the police report filed by me. In my police report, I also highlighted hostile acts from unknown persons mingling among my supporters. As a citizen of Singapore, I sought police protection under the circumstances for me and members of my family and police help to prevent the PAP leaders from further publicly instigating certain communities in Singapore to act against me and members of my family. Can I liable for defamation for my acts? Of course not!
My Decision to Stay Away from Singapore
33. In fact, in the run-up to the election and after it, I received a number of threats on my life, which was why I considered it prudent to leave Singapore for a while until the furore had died down. [ See "Letters of threat" in Exhibit A ]
34(1). I did that also because I was afraid that I would be arrested by the PAP government because of the embarrassments caused to them by my police reports and standing as a candidate for the opposition and many of my arguments against them. The PAP leaders have accused me that my views and statements can disrupt the religious, racial and social harmony of Singapore and can cause racial disruptions like the Australian Independent MP, Pauline Hanson and can cause racial conflict in Singapore like what happened in Rwanda, Somalia, the Lebanon and former Yugoslavia. The PAP leaders can easily say that if they do not arrest me, it would be a failure of duty of its government. My fear of being arrested by the PAP government was not merely imagined.
34(2). I was chased by a group of people in cars who I believe are the Singapore secret police service from ISD (Internal Security Department - the Singapore version of KGB). I was chased all over Singapore in the early morning of 3 January 1997 until I jumped off my car and escaped somewhere near Raffles Hotel to avoid arrest. The PAP government is now singing a different song because they have not arrested me. When my life and personal freedom is threatened by unknown persons and by the PAP leaders themselves, how could any rational men under the situation would expect me to run to the Singapore Police to seek for protection. [ See Exhibit C - Straits Times report of 30 April 1997 ]
35. Lee Kuan Yew distorted my staying away from Singapore for the time being as act of me dissipating my wife’s and my assets from Singapore just to mislead the court to obtain the Mareva injunction against me and my wife. Several months have passed, but where is the evidence other than his own opinion and conjecture ? Do not I have the right to stay away from Singapore out of fear for my life and freedom ?
36. To overcome his difficulty of lack of evidence of my alleged act of dissipation of my assets, Lee Kuan Yew made disparaging statements against Johor just to discredit my reason for going over to Johor to avoid PAP persecution, regardless of disastrous consequences to Singapore for matter of mere personal interest for obtaining a Mareva Injunction against me and my wife. Acts of dissipation of assets and my staying away from Singapore are two very different things. Why did Lee Kuan Yew only picked Johor Bahru, and not Hong Kong or London as I also went soon after my short stay in Johor Bahru ? Malaysians and their government objected to SM Lee so strongly not just because of his disparaging statement against Johor Bahru on this occasion alone. SM Lee has been known for many of his abrasive and insensitive statements disparaging the peoples and countries in the region for years. In the past, and immediately before Singapore National day, some of my friends and I even betted on which country or countries he would pick next for criticism or attack in his speech conventionally to be made by him during every Singapore National Day. To boast the PAP achievement, SM Lee used to run down other people or nations. This is his habit.
Waves of Law Suits
37. As the PAP Leaders grotesquely misrepresented remarks made by me in a speech in 1994 and publicly defamed me in a massive way, when I am nothing of the sort, I replied to the attacks on me in the press. Because of my reply in the press calling them liars and also because of the police report filed by me against them about their criminal conduct for instigating the Christian community and others to hate me and to cause harm to me and members of my family, the PAP Leaders have since responded by filing more defamation suits against me.
38. When I said they had abused the law of defamation to destroy opposition and abused the legal process, they sued me for that . When I said, I did not trust SM Lee and PM Goh. They sued me for that too. As a citizen, I do not have a right to disbelieve them publicly, otherwise I am liable for defamation. The whole world now knew that they had 13 suits against me.
The Aim and Strategy of PAP Fashion of Legal Process
39. The aim and strategy of the PAP fashion of legal process are to wear me out in terms of time, energy and finance. In any of my defences, I have to deal with all kinds of lengthy and numerous statements and allegations. My counsels in London and I needed time to prepare and settle defences of so many suits within short periods of time. My requests to the PAP leaders’ solicitors and to the court for short extensions of time to enable me to prepare and settle my defences were rejected. They were not even willing to give one day extension. This was most unusual in legal practice. I had to file the draft defences as my defences proper on 24 January 1997. I managed to file my defences just in time because I finally found a stranger in London Heathrow airport who was reluctantly willing after much persuasion to carry my draft defences back to my office, and after having waited long hours eagerly and patiently and after having approached earlier many others who had refused to do that for me. At all material times, I was not confident at all that my defences could finalised in time for filing. I therefore had applied for short extension of time. Their refusal clearly indicated that they wanted to enter judgements in default of defences. When I had finally filed my defences on 24 January 1997, the PAP leaders were very disappointed because they could not enter judgement against me in default of the defences. When I applied for extension of time to file my defences, SM Lee falsely accused me of buying time to move my assets out of the jurisdiction to support his application for Mareva Injunction against me and my wife without legal basis and to mislead the public in Singapore. The PAP leaders have simply wanted to bury me financially and to wear me out with waves of lawsuits in "Singapore Courts".
Multi-Purpose For Smear Campaign
40. Here, I wish to say further that it was not an overkill for SM Lee and his PAP team to launch such a massive smear campaign against me in the recent Singapore General Elections as his purpose was manifold :-
Play of "China Threats" Theory
41. The tactic that at the beginning of the vile smear campaign by the PAP against me, they linked the charge against me of Chinese chauvinism in Singapore with the rising China prickled the nerve system of the Chinese government as it sounded like from those advocates of "China Threat" theory. Soon after the general elections, SM Lee made soothing statements in high praise of China whose leaders would (he thought) feel grateful to him and find him to be indispensable to counter the spread of "China Threat: theory.
Anti Christianity Scare
42. The false accusations of "Chinese chauvinism" plus "anti-Christianity" and "replacing English with Chinese" against me were meant to scare the western countries, so that they might not extend their concerns and sympathy for the opposition when the PAP crushed the opposition ruthlessly.
The Bogy of "Chinese Chauvinism" and "Anti-Islam"
43. The bogy of "Chinese chauvinism", "anti-Malay-educated" and "anti-Islam" was targeted to frighten the peoples and the governments of its immediate neighbours like Malaysia and Indonesia whose peoples are primarily Muslims. Some Indonesian newspapers therefore came out in high praise of the PAP government for its firm actions in putting down me and my Workers’ Party team candidates for Cheng San GRC. Malaysian newspapers have been more skeptical over the unfounded smear campaign. The intention was to mislead and to gain their support and to make them feel that SM Lee and his PAP are indispensable for peace and stability in South East Asia, so that they would be grateful to him.
To Toy the World
44. SM Lee has believed that he can continue to toy with the intelligence of the world people and their leaders who will consider and regard him a world saviour so that he can maintain or even improve his declining influence over world politics and so that eventually everyone will be grateful to him and the PAP for crushing devilish and wicked persons like me and members of my family.
Well Orchestrated International Game of Politics
45. My observations and conclusions of the entire election strategy of the PAP are that to smear me with all kinds of charges and accusations is just part and parcel of its international game of politics and this is the reason to explain why they had to play it big to achieve the desired effects but at my painful expense.
Plan to Close Big Show with My Arrest
46. To close the big show, they had planned for my arrest immediately after the election and to detain me under the Internal Security Act which may detain persons without trial, like what they had done to other opposition leaders in the past. Under detention, a detainee eventually will admit and sign confessions admitting all accusations hurled at him or else, he will not be released early. When a detainee confessed, he will be made to appear on television to admit all crimes hurled at him. A show will then be closed.
47. Prior to that, I had been closely followed in Singapore for a few days including the polling date on 2 and 3 January 1997 by persons who (I believe) came either from the police or Internal Security Department.
48. Between 2-3 am on the morning of 3 January 1997, my car was chased by several vehicles. When my car was along Hua Guan Avenue, Singapore, a few cars suddenly surfaced from behind. Instead of stopping at my house, my car turned into a side track and sped off. I was hotly followed. The cars chased mine until Woodlands, into a car park and backtracked to Orchard Road, then to North Bridge Road until I jumped off my car and hid myself behind a pillar of a row of vacant shophouses somewhere near Raffles Hotel when suddenly they gave up and let me go. At first I felt surprised. But going through the newspaper subsequently, I now realised that by that time, PM Goh had already announced that I had not violated any law when I made my speeches during the election campaigns and that I would not therefore be arrested.
49. That night, rather that morning (3 January 1997), I did not go home. I walked along the streets. I spent about 1 - 2 hours in the reception hall of the Mandarin Hotel. Early in the morning, I slipped into my office at Clifford Centre and fell asleep on my office desk until my staff started to arrive. It was quite a frightening experience.
50. At the Workers’ Party press conference at Imperial Hotel on the afternoon of 3 January 1997, my wife and children came with some clean clothes for me at my earlier request. After the press conference, my daughters showed me a letter of threat on my life which she received earlier and opened on my behalf. I was shocked. There and then, I helped her draft a police report and subsequently accompanied her and my wife and the other children to make a police report at Kreta Ayer Police Station. I personally handed over the original letter to the police. To me, it was a follow up of my police report made on 1 January 1997. Thereafter, I sent my two daughters home to 75 Hua Guan Avenue, Singapore. I did not enter my house, instead I headed to Johor Bahru immediately.
Accusing me of Playing International Game
51. Few days later, SM Lee however suddenly jumped to the fore and charged that I was playing an international game to tar the good name of Singapore internationally and that I not only had left foot prints in the sand, but on concrete and I could not get away. This really frightened me. Since then, the whole overtones of the Singapore press about me changed. No one in Singapore doubts that the Singapore press is controlled by the PAP and it reports reflect the PAP government’s stand. Some Malay members of Parliament also came out to say that they were frightened by my disruptive chauvinistic and racial statements when told by Admiral Teo. Minister Tarmngi even accused me of playing with Malay sentiments and emotions during election when I criticised that the PAP should not have linked the speed of construction of a mosque in Tampines GRC to pre-requisite requirements of casting votes for the PAP because the funds for the construction of the mosque came from monthly deductions from Malay’s wages and not from PAP or its government. I was in fact requested by some Malay voters to make comments on that issue during the election campaign. There were other signs that the PAP leaders had been building up a case for my arrest when I return to Singapore. I therefore continued to stay away from Singapore.
Persecuting Members of My Family
52. The tax department has never made any query over my tax returns. Suddenly they seized documents from my office and my home. My wife’s personal assets have now been placed under the Mareva Injunction and her passport seized and cancelled. And she could not leave Singapore. My wife and daughter have been followed day and night, wherever they went. It was financially tough for my family. Especially during the Chinese New Year when she had to borrow some money for the new year. (The bank would not release any of her own savings to her as a result of the Mareva Injunction). In addition, my wife and daughters were put under constant pressure and anxiety. They have been living in fear. I simply could not expect no worse treatment to me on my return to Singapore, than what they have done to my wife who is not even a party to the dispute with the PAP either politically or legally.
Oppressive Injunction Order : My Wife was Made a Defendant to All Law Suits and All Her Assets Were Also Frozen.
53. On 27 January 1997, the plaintiffs applied and obtained a worldwide Mareva Injunction not only against my assets, but also against the assets of my wife, up to the limit of $11,200,000.00. In the first place, I am advised by my counsel that there is no legal basis for granting such an injunction in defamation cases. The granting of Mareva Injunctions in defamation suits was unheard of even in the English Courts. The terms of the injunction was most unusual. There were no basis of account as to how this massive sum of $11,200,000.00 was derived at before judicial assessments. My wife has been made a defendant to all the legal suits filed against me by the PAP leaders. There is no reason at all to have my wife as a defendant to all these defamation suits and all her assets seized under the Mareva Injunction because she had had nothing to do with the words spoken by me allegedly to be defamatory to SM Lee and the PAP Leaders. My wife has been made a defendant to all these many defamation suits and she clearly would be forced to incur huge sums of money to defend suits which do not concern her. No litigation is free of charges and expenses. My wife and I, under the order of 17 February 1997 by Justice Lai, have to itemise in writing all our expenses from January 1996. Can anyone possibly comply with this kind of order without laying down completely all one’s other work and duty and without documents which have been seized from them? We are bound to be guilty of contempt of court at any event no matter how hard we would try.
Deployment of State Powers : Tax Officials Came to the Battle Line Front
54. On the same night, my wife was prevented from leaving Singapore to attend a close Malay friend’s Ramadan fast breaking dinner at Johor Bahru. She was stopped at the Causeway checkpoint. Her passport was seized from her and subsequently cancelled by the Singapore Immigration Department. Her appeal was heard by the relevant authorities and rejected. To this day, no adequate reason was stated in a written form to clearly explain why her passport was cancelled. On the same night when my wife returned home from the Woodlands Checkpoint, she was served with the said Mareva Injunction which was followed by the arrival of officers from the Inland Revenue Department. Our home and my office were raided by tax officials who arrived at around 12.00 a.m. and left around 4 a.m. with 76 boxes of documents and other things from our home and office. The official explanation was that my wife might possibly be involve in my possible tax problem. The PAP leaders have not only abused the legal process for political purposes, they have now flashed the muscles of the state machinery to persecute PAP’s political opponents and their families. This is Singapore version of the Chinese Revolution atrosity.
Fishing Expedition for My Tax Problem
55. There was an uproar in Singapore as well as outside Singapore over the tax-officials raiding my home and my office and taking away 76 boxes of documents indiscriminately. Attempting to pacify this uproar, the Inland Revenue Department came out with an explanation that they had began their tax investigation on me 6 months earlier. It was precisely the time when SM Lee and his son Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong sued me for my comment on their purchase of properties from Hotel Properties Limited (HPL), a public listed company. This is the subject matter of Suit No. 1116 of 1996. Since they have commenced their investigation on my tax problem, they must have come to a certain conclusion after 6 months of investigation and must have been able to have targeted on certain matters. Instead, they indiscriminately took away voluminous documents on the pretext that they wanted to prevent me from altering my documents. I have now more reason to fear that my documents would be tempered with.
Most Unusual PAP Fashion of Legal Process
56. On 17th February 1997, my wife was served with voluminous papers of applications in respect of many legal suits by SM Lee and other PAP Leaders, applying for an appointment of a receiver over her assets worldwide. She was required to attend court before Justice Lai at 5 p.m. on that same day for the aforesaid application. The PAP leaders’ solicitors began serving their application papers from 9 a.m. and the final set was served at 3.30 p.m.. My wife could not find a lawyer on such short notice to explain to her and to represent her in the application. My wife being legally ignorant had to face a group of some 20 experienced lawyers. Mr J. B. Jeyaretnam has been facing many law suits himself brought against him by the same PAP leaders. He just did not have the time to act for my wife. All the lawyers and staff left my firm. Only one clerk stayed behind. My second daughter is not legally trained and was only able to help in some administrative and clerical work. My wife could not find any lawyer in town to explain and to represent her in respect of such a complex application by people of massive authority, particularly at such short notice. Her request for an adjournment to allow her time to seek legal advice and representation was rejected by the judge. My wife, under pressure, finally broke down in tears and cried in court. Mr Davinder Singh, lawyer acting for SM Lee remarked that my wife was trying "to play with the sympathy of the court with her tears". This was sheer bullying by the PAP leaders with massive authority and their gang of lawyers in the presence of Justice Lai who ruled that she could not obtain an adjournment for the matter. In other words, the judge practically ruled that she had no right to have legally represented. Of course she can appeal the decision, but at high costs and expenses. (Now, the plaintiffs’ solicitors have demanded that my wife and I each have to pay $5000 per case for all the suits. That would amount to around $130,000 per appeal.)
The PAP Leaders Are More Equal Than Others Before Singapore Courts
57. My wife on 14th February 1997 made an application to get herself discharged from being made a defendant in all the lawsuits against me which do not concern her at all and to discharge or vary the Mareva Injunction to the extent that affects her. However, her equally urgent application could only be heard the following month (on 14 March 1997). While the PAP leaders could obtain instant justice in pre-set terms and my wife has to wait and suffer. Obviously, the PAP leaders are more equal than my wife before the Singapore Courts. How nakedly ugly it is. My wife made another application to direct the plaintiffs to serve their statements of claim to state which part of her assets is said to be held by her in trust for me. Justice Lai ruled on 2 April 1997 that there was no urgency on her application. Can one imagine that the plaintiffs being special people can seize my wife’s assets as they like under a Mareva Injunction with the approval of a Singapore court without the need to justify that first. Of course, my wife can again appeal, but at high cost and expenses as stated above.
58. This is the reason why the plaintiffs opposed to our consolidation applications by me and my wife so that we cannot be financially able to continue our legal proceedings and so that the plaintiffs can win by default. On 2 April 1997, Justice Lai also ruled that my wife and I could not use my funds at the hands of the receiver to pay our separate counsel bills, but the same instead, could be used to pay the plaintiffs’ taxed legal costs. The same judge had gone back on one of the terms of the order made by himself and the plaintiffs had also gone back on their words that " a reasonable sum" from our assets could be used for defending ourselves, as was announced by them to the world over BBC. What a shame !
59. The plaintiffs repeatedly challenged me to sue them. I at one stage did intend to do that. Having seen the Plaintiff’s magically wonderful ability to win all legal battles, big & small, I am reluctant to "throw my hat into the ring", I have lost faith and confidence fighting in Singapore courts. I hereby challenge SM Lee and all his PAP plaintiffs to repeat their accusations and charges made against me during the Singapore General Elections outside Singapore, say, in Malaysia, Hong Kong, England or Australia. I shall sue each and everyone of them. If they dare not do that, I shall call them cowards who are only able to drum their chest and shout within the precincts of the Singapore courts.
Is Singapore Police Acting Independently of Politicians
60. I am still waiting to see what steps the police is going to take on my complaint, against the PAP leaders for criminal defamation and for instigating and inciting religious groups to hate and to harm me and members of my family. My report was based on factual evidence against the PAP leaders who are Prime Minister and principal ministers of the present government of Singapore. Is the Singapore Police able to act independently without instructions from political leaders like its counterparts in other countries ?
61. Look at our situation, SM Lee is one of the PAP leaders, against whom I have lodged the police report for criminal defamation and other offences. He should have been put under investigation by the police. Yet he issued a statement giving the impression that as if he was the police spokesperson informing the Singapore public that I had not reported to the police station about a letter threatening my life and so on. SM Lee is not an ordinary man. He was a lawyer and was the prime minister and the current senior minister of Singapore. He is not from the police department. Neither is he the case officer of my complaint. He ought to have understood that. But he behaved the way he did. To him, it was absolutely normal !
62. I submit this affidavit because I want to invite this court to take judicial notice of my complaints concerning the events and affairs taken place in this court itself as well as in other government departments such as the Singapore Police and Inland Revenue Department as well as Singapore Immigration and to give all necessary directions to put matters right according to the law and order of Singapore.
AFFIRMED at Johor Bahru by )
the abovenamed TANG LIANG HONG )
this 28th day of MAY 1997 )
Singed Before me,
Gan Kim Sing
Johor Bahru, Malaysia
IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE
SUIT NO. 2523 OF 1996
LEE KUAN YEW
(NRIC NO. S0000003/E)
1. TANG LIANG HONG
(NRIC NO. S1096110/F)
2. TEO SIEW HAR
(NRIC NO. S0531156/Z)
A F F I D A V I T
TANG LIANG HONG
THE FIRST DEFENDANT
75 HUA GUAN AVENUE
FILED THE DAY OF 1997