- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
SINGAPORE — Terry Xu, chief editor of sociopolitical website The Online Citizen (TOC), has applied to bring Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s two siblings as third parties in the defamation suit filed by PM Lee in September.
According to The Straits Times, Xu filed his application in the High Court last Thursday (26 September), asking for both Wei Ling and Hsien Yang to bear damages should he be found to have defamed the Prime Minister.
Article contains ‘false and baseless’ allegations
Lee is suing Xu for defamation over a 15 August article on the TOC website titled "PM Lee's wife, Ho Ching weirdly shares article on cutting ties with family members". The article was also shared on TOC's Facebook page.
His lawyers said the article contained "false and baseless" allegations, including that PM Lee misled his father, the late Lee Kuan Yew, into thinking the family home in Oxley Road had been gazetted by the government.
The lawyers added that PM Lee "has been gravely injured in his character and reputation, and has been brought into public scandal, odium and contempt".
They had originally asked Xu to remove the article and publicly apologise to the Prime Minister, but Xu rejected the demands.
Article meant to be ironic, no malice intended
In a separate document filed last Friday, Xu insisted that the article meant no malice, reported The Straits Times. He said that it was meant to be ironic, s it concerned Ho sharing a post about cutting ties with toxic family members "given the publicised poor relationship" that she and PM Lee have with his siblings.
He said in his application that the article merely quoted directly from public comments made by the younger Lee siblings between 14 June 2017 and 15 August this year.
It also recounted the public feud between them and PM Lee in 2017 over the house at 38 Oxley Road and referenced a Facebook post by Wei Ling in which she set out a purported sequence of events related to the property.
"Other particulars relating to the truth of the allegation lie within the knowledge of LWL and LHY, and the Defendant reserves the right to cross-exam LWL and LHY to provide more information," said Xu, referring to PM Lee’s siblings by their initials.
PM Lee to testify in court if suit goes to trial
PM Lee’s press secretary Chang Li Lin had said on 10 September that he will testify in court if his defamation suit against Xu goes to trial.
In addition, his two sibling can decide whether they will testify together with Xu, and repeat the allegations in court concerning their disagreements about the family home at 38 Oxley Road and the final will drawn up by the late Lee.