Li Shengwu appoints lawyer to act on his behalf as contempt of court case proceeds


Late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s grandson, Li Shengwu, was not present at the first pre-trial conference held at the High Court today, of the contempt of court case he is facing.

32-year-old Shengwu – who is a junior fellow at Harvard University in the USA and is expected to become a associate professor at the University next year – has previously asserted that he has no intention to disrupt his “happy” and “fulfilling” life in the US by returning to Singapore to face the legal proceedings that were initiated by the Attorney-General’s chambers over a private friends-only facebook post.

The nephew of Singapore’s current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has instead appointed a lawyer, Mr Abraham Vergis, MD of Providence Law Asia, to act on his behalf during the case which Shengwu has called “politically motivated prosecution”.

The next pre-trial conference has been scheduled for 4 Dec, so as to allow time for Vergis to review the case. Vergis told reporters that he was the one who requested for time to review the papers filed by the AGC.

He also revealed that he was appointed to act on behalf of Shengwu on Monday but declined to say when he was approached to assist in the case.

Abraham Vergis and Li Shengwu

Shengwu attracted the attention of the AGC on 15 July after posting a private “friends-only” Facebook post, criticising Singapore’s government and judiciary.

Linking a Wall Street Journal article that offered a thorough analysis of the public Oxley Rd feud, Shengwu had said in his own words: “Keep in mind, of course that the Singapore government is very litigious and has a pliant court system. This constrains what the international media can usually report.”

He then linked a New York Times article on censorship and the use of defamation laws by both Lee Kuan Yew and Lee Hsien Loong to censor the foreign press.

In responding to media queries about Shengwu’s private post, an AGC spokesperson had said then, “AGC is aware of the post and is looking into the matter.”

Shengwu’s post followed the explosive Oxley Road dispute, in which his father Lee Hsien Yang and paternal aunt Dr Lee Wei Ling had been embroiled in a public feud against their elder brother, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The PM’s younger siblings alleged that the PM was abusing his power to preserve their family home against their father’s willed desire to demolish the house, in June and July this year.

They also accused the PM of convened a secret committee to make a decision on the house and claimed that state organs were being used against them.

PM Lee addressed the allegations against him in a Parliamentary debate where he declared that he has been cleared of all charges. He added that he does not intend to sue his siblings.

Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang reinforced their allegations, following this, but offered a ceasefire on releasing further evidence in favor of settling the matter in private, on the condition that they nor their father’s will be attacked or misrepresented.

Dr Lee Wei Ling has come out in support of her nephew when Shengwu’s post caught the eye of the AGC. Sharing his post on her Facebook page, she wondered whether government staff are used to monitor her family’s private musings and suggested that this case could be an example of how Singapore may be governed by a “big brother” system:

I am surprised that AGC takes such negative reaction to a private post. Is there a government servant whose duty is to follow the Facebook activity of all people related to Hsien Yang and I, including our private musings. Also, what Shengwu posted is a common topic amongst Singaporeans who are well informed. Is this not an example of ” big Brother government”. Perhaps it is a case of “if the hat fits, take it.”

Shortly thereafter, the AGC filed an application in the High Court for leave to commence committal proceedings against Shengwu for “contempt of court in connection with the publication of a Facebook post.”

Li Shengwu hits back at AGC’s “politically motivated prosecution”, releases missing correspondence AGC “mysteriously omitted”


  1. Singaporeans are shocked to learn that we have no absolute freedom of speech, especially our white monkeys cannot take criticism except praises!
    Dr Li Sheng Wu with PHD in economics should replace Ho Ching at Temasek Holdings
    Please do not chase away our young elite and do respect his private message to his friends as this is classified as freedom of speech among close friends!
    Singaporeans are worried as to whether our ruling governors are turning democracy into monarchy system

  2. If LSW is sentenced in absentia, SG is no different from the way Thai junta keeps Thaksin and Ying Luck out of TH to consolidate its own power base. If LSW is found guilty it is unlikely that he will be able to return to SG w/o legal repercussions, thus creating a clear path for his cousin/s to ascend the throne.

    • I dunno the Lee family well enough to conclude whether they are vindictive. However living in Singapore in the past one distinctive character of Singaporeans is poisonous vindictiveness . Whether they are rich or poor they tend to live in bondage of this trait if they don’t agree or accept the matter. It seem unable to evolve to be a graceful society even it boast of No 1 in this and that in infrastructure.

  3. All of you think it’s OK to say the things he said? About our judicial system.. I don’t think it’s very accurate what he said. The times when Lky used the system for his benefit.. And so the family benefited from this as well. I am just thinking.. The third generation Lee’s or Lis.. Are not as tough as the older ones.

    • That’s not what this article is about. Trouble with people is they mix everything up. The siblings have an issue with our PM and his unhappiness with the old man’s will. That is not passing irresponsible comments on the laws of Singapore in an international platform. He has a duty of care towards our international reputation. I guess…when people live abroad it’s easier to grow a pair of balls.

  4. They have no grounds to charge him. Is a matter of opinions. Is the same examples of Is against the law if u vote opposition party. If u have a different opinion not in favour of this govt, they will charge u. Be careful Singaporeans, this country seems to display a sign of dictatorship. Your last change of turn back next election. unless u Wan to be back to 3rd world

  5. When someone(Sin citizen)post to F/B friends only ( strictly private? )such damaging statements….” Sin Govt is very litigious and has a pliant court system……”AG does not do anything may mean to outside world Sin is….?!? Those who still think this non issue please check up in the dictionary….litigious….pliant

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