Founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s youngest son Lee Hsien Yang has confirmed to the press that he gave to blogger Leong Sze Hian’s defence fund as Leong prepares to fight Lee’s elder brother, current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in court over defamation charges brought against him by the head of government.
In his first direct remarks to the press since the news that he had contributed to Leong’s defence fund broke, Lee Hsien Yang told TODAY that he gave Leong a “meaningful sum”. When he was pressed on what was the exact amount he gave to Leong, Lee would only say: “It is not S$1.”
On why he decided to donate to the blogger’s legal fund, Lee quipped: “Surely it needs no explanation?”
Earlier, PM Lee commenced legal proceedings against Leong for defamation after the latter shared an article on his Facebook page that alleged that the head of government helped launder 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds.
Leong, who initially said that he was “bewildered” by PM Lee’s actions said on Wednesday that he is fighting the claims against him in court. Besides filing a defence, Leong is also filing a counterclaim against PM Lee for “abusing the process of the court in bringing the claim against me.”
That same evening, Leong revealed to this publication that “people have started to crowdfund for my Defence Fund. Lee Hsien Yang sent me a message that he has transferred – lo and behold he is the first one to do so into my account!”
The authorities in Singapore are also suing Lee Hsien Yang’s son Li Shengwu over a private “friends-only” Facebook post. The lawsuit against Li Shengwu was initiated weeks after Lee Hsien Yang and his sister Lee Wei Ling accused PM Lee of abusing his power to preserve their family home against their father’s willed desire to demolish the house.
The younger Lee siblings also asserted that their elder brother “misused his power as prime minister, and that he hijacked the organs of state to pursue his personal goals”.
PM Lee addressed the allegations against him in a Parliamentary debate where he declared that he has been cleared of all charges. Expressing that he “deeply regret[ed] that this dispute has affected Singapore’s reputation and Singaporeans’ confidence in the Government,” PM Lee added that he does not intend to sue his siblings.
Citing PM Lee’s inaction in suing his siblings for defamation last year, socio-political commentators have asked the head of government to extend the same leeway to bloggers and activists like Leong Sze Hian.
Leong, in the meantime, is hoping to raise at least $10,000 for his defence fund. You may contribute through the following channels:
Account Name: Leong Sze Hian
POSB Savings 064064070