SINGAPORE — Lee Hsien Yang, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s estranged younger brother, has paid a security deposit of $20,000 for activist Jolovan Wham to appeal against a contempt of court conviction, according to a Today report.
It was the second time that the younger Lee has helped fund activists contesting lawsuits. In December, he made a donation to blogger Leong Sze Hian’s crowdfunding campaign to fund his defence and counterclaim against PM Lee in the latter’s defamation suit.
Today reported on Wednesday (22 May) that both Wham and his lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam confirmed that Lee had deposited $20,000 into Wham’s client account. When contacted, Lee would not directly confirm that he had done so.
In the early hours of 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. If I lose, I may not get the full deposit back. Justice is not cheap!”
He then followed up with 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.”
On 29 April, Wham and opposition politician John Tan were each fined $5,000 on contempt of court charges. Both are appealing their sentence and conviction.
Wham made a Facebook post on 27 April last year stating that Malaysia’s judges were more independent than Singapore’s for cases with political implications. He had posted a link to an article entitled “Malaysiakini mounts constitutional challenge against Anti-Fake News Act” when he made the comment.
Since 2017, Hsien Yang and his older sister Wei Ling have been embroiled in a long-running public spat with PM Lee. The dispute is centred on the fate of their old family home at 38 Oxley Road and the last wishes of their late father and Singapore’s first PM Lee Kuan Yew.