Lee Hsien Yang ordered to pay RM698k each to two Singapore ministers for defamation

PETALING JAYA: The brother of Singapore’s former prime minister Lee Hsien Loong has been ordered by the Singapore High Court to pay S$200,000 (RM698,170) each to present minister K. Shanmugam and Vivian Balakrishnan for defaming the duo over their rental of state government properties in Ridout Road, Singapore.

According to Channel News Asia, both ministers, who had filed separate defamation claims against Lee Hsien Yang after the latter had made comments on his Facebook page on July 23, 2023.

Hsien Yang had suggested that the ministers had acted corruptly by having the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) give them preferential treatment in the rental of the Ridout Road properties.

Hsien Yang, who is presently not in Singapore, also stated that “trust in the PAP has been shattered”, pointing to then-PM Hsien Loong’s “failure of leadership”.

The comments made on Facebook came after the island republic’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) released findings a month prior, stating that there had been no wrongdoing or preferential treatment given to the two ministers.

Hsien Yang did not appear in court to defend himself against the allegations.

Both Shanmugam, who is the Law and Home Affairs Minister, and Foreign Affairs Minister Balakrishnan had taken the stand briefly in a hearing earlier this month.

ALSO READ: Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong submits resignation, Lawrence Wong nominates new cabinet