Singapore — Forty-four-year-old Kelvin Liu Chin Chan, the grandson of the man who founded OG department stores, was fined on July 15, Monday, for harassing the then-husband of his lover between 2016 and 2017.
Mr Liu was ordered by the court to pay S$3,500 since he was found guilty of one charge under the Protection from Harassment Act. This conviction was in connection with a private prosecution case brought by Desmond Tay Kwang Ju. The 40-year-old Mr Tay is a civil servant.
The grandson of the founder of OG sent pictures and made phone calls to Mr Tay, who was then the husband of Mr Liu’s lover, a woman only identified as “Madam Lin,” to whom Mr Liu is presently married.
Between June 2016 and January 2017, Mr Liu sent Mr Tay “belittling messages.”
In one message he asked Mr Tay if he “felt ashamed” of telling “so many lies,” according to a report from Channel NewsAsia (CNA).
In another message he wrote, “My point is that you are in la la land. Your kampong politics won’t work.”
Mr Liu’s former wife had reached out to Mr Tay in 2016, informing him that Mr Tay’s wife and Mr Liu were having an affair. But Madam Lin denied that she was cheating on Mr Tay, and so he hired the services of a private investigator to follow her around.
After which, Madam Lin requested that Mr Tay create a chat group made up of the two couples so that they could clear the air. Mr Tay entitled the chat group, “Confessions of Marco Polo”.
Later, a picture was sent by Mr Liu to Mr Tay of his nude torso, one that Madam Lin had taken. According to Mr Tay, Mr Liu sent him this picture on January 19, 2017, in order to humiliate, harass, and belittle him.
Mr Liu admitted to having been inebriated when he sent the text, which he said was done “a state of bad judgment”.
According to Eugene Thuraisingam, Mr Liu’s lawyer, his client had no intent to cause the recipient harassment or distress.
Mr Thuraisingam said that the real problem was that Mr Tay was unhappy because his wife had left him for Mr Liu.
He said, “But all is fair in love and war and the courts are not the forum to police matters of the heart. This long-drawn private prosecution has already cost (Liu) much time and expense, and on that account could itself be said to have been (Mr Tay’s) means of getting back at (Liu), rightly or wrongly.”
Mr Liu’s lawyer also pointed out that the two men had originally made complaints against one another, but Mr Liu had, of his own volition, dropped his complaint “in a show of good faith that he was willing to move on and put their differences behind him”.
He also said that the Protection from Harassment Act “was never intended to be used to prosecute cases of the present sort”, and that by using the Act for “what is essentially a private dispute is, with respect, perverse”.
However, the lawyer for Mr Tay, Luke Lee, is now asking Mr Liu to shoulder the costs for the court proceedings.
The presiding judge has asked for both parties to file submissions on this matter, which will be heard in August./ TISG