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


“I will not buy a quiet life at the price of my integrity”

This is how Li Shengwu has responded to news that the Attorney-General’s Chambers which is initiating legal action against him over a private “friends only” Facebook post published on 15 July.

The late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s grandson categorised the AGC’s initiation of contempt of court proceedings as “politically motivated prosecution,” adding that the institution has misunderstood the meaning and context of his private comment when he said that “the Singapore government is very litigious and has a pliant court system.”

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” yesterday since he had “failed to purge the contempt and to apologise by the extended deadline” of 5pm on 4 August. The AGC also released its correspondence with Shengwu online.

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 – asserted that he has no intention to disrupt his “happy” and “fulfilling” life in the US by returning to Singapore to face charges.

On his Facebook page, Shengwu also released a letter he had sent to the AGC that he claims the AGC “mysteriously omitted” in their release of correspondence on their website yesterday.

Since the AGC has seen fit to publish their correspondence with me, I thought it would be helpful to fill in the part that they mysteriously omitted.

Posted by Shengwu Li on Friday, 4 August 2017

In the letter, Shengwu has put forth that “AGC has taken my post completely out of context (and) misunderstood me” since his post was not meant to be a jab at the Singapore judiciary but a comment on how “the Singapore government’s litigation against the international media acts as a censorship to the coverage of the international media.”

Shengwu reinforced his point that his initial post was a private one that had been circulated without his permission and republished without clarification or verification by mainstream media outlets like the Straits Times and Channel News Asia. He emphasised that the AGC should take issue with the public reproduction of his post if it has to instead of targeting him for making a private comment to his friends. He said:

“I am not responsible for the widespread and unauthorized publication and republication in Singapore of my private post…Perhaps AGC should require the mainstream media and other parties who made my private post public to delete and remove their unauthorized publications and republications.”

The AGC has responded that it received the latest letter after the extended deadline of 5pm yesterday. A spokeswoman said that the AGC is unable to comment extensively as the matter is before the court but said:

“The AGC notes that the document does not purport to comply with our letter of demand that Mr Li purge his contempt and apologise, but will nonetheless place the document before the Court.”

In speaking with Yahoo, Shengwu took issue with the AGC’s basis for targeting him:

“The AGC’s letter directly mentions Singapore’s recent political crisis as justification for their action.  I thought Singapore was better than this.”

The AGC was likely pointing to the Lee Family Feud which gripped the nation in June and July 2017 when Lee Kuan Yew’s younger children Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang leveled allegations of abuse of power against the elder brother Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in connection with their father’s willed desire to demolish their family home at 38 Oxley Road.

The siblings alleged that the PM had convened a secret committee to make a decision on the house and 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.

After the ceasefire was accepted by the PM, Lee Hsien Yang’s son Shengwu attracted the attention of the AGC on 15 July after posting a private 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.


  1. We must not express even a facial expression of disdain against a strong-arm tactics regime, let alone utter even a word of contempt IN PRIVATE sphere – such as in a private conversation with “friends” (or in some cases private Facebook chat) on the totalitarian court system’s partiality!!!

  2. Like Father Like Son..
    Zero contribution, yet attempt to cause havoc and mess to Singapore..
    Then hideaway like cowards..
    Whole family should have been deported like whatever Ungrateful Professor..

  3. We are not interested with the quarrelling amongst the high profile siblings where we ourselves hardly have time to quarrel about putting food on the tables for our family.

  4. I think not hiding away. They are using Singapore’s strategy of fighting a war away from home. That’s why our Air Force are partly station overseas. If all our Air Force hardwares are stationed at home, we will be dead duck once enemy surrounds us. If our air force are based outside we can continue to send sorties to bombard at our enemy. Think this is Shengwu’s stratsgy.

  5. People must be free to voice up their personal opinions, needs, dreams and desires!!!
    Peace can never be attained by silencing the voice of truth as only the truth will set us free!!!
    To silence the voice of truth tantamount to silencing justice too!
    It is to deprive the Human Rights of freedom of speech and to suppress the emotional relief of
    the needs of a healthy mind !!!
    People must be free to cry when they are hurt, to ask for justice when their rights are trampled upon
    People must have that freedom that their comments will not be disrespected or threatened by anybody!!!
    True peace is in giving each person the dignity and freedom they deserve!!!
    Our Singapore national pledge is to achieve peace and progress regardless of race, language or religions!!!
    Read Haggai 2:22

  6. Am just wondering about his reservist obligations? If he does stay away for a lengthy period of time without proper exit permit (or watever it is called these days), then he can be deemed as a deserter right? If he ever returns to Singapore then if i am not wrong he will be sentenced to jail. Does anyone know about this angle of things? Thank you.

  7. The hard hand exactly the same for Amos Yee. Why bully the young? Shouldn’t the government be motivating the young? What are we teaching the younger generation?
    But, I support LSW stepping up against these bullies and held his head high against tyranny.

  8. Li said then, “The Singapore government is very litigious and has a pliant court system. This constrains what the international media can usually report.” Unquote. Li’s statement is a clear as daylight – he implies Singapore has kangaroo court. Anyone with basic understanding of English cannot mistook what it meant. Now he behaves like a snake tries to slither out when he faces a lawsuit.
    1. He defended his action by saying that he pasted his comments only among friends. If this defence is acceptable, what stop every Tom, Dick and Harry from doing it and get someone leak out. In this way, no one can sue anyone when their reputation is harmed.
    2. If he is really does not meant what he stated, he should have apologised when given an opportunity by the AG, he did not. This showed he meant every word in his FB.
    3. He should know that his grandfather, Lee Kuan Yew fought tooth and nail when others trampled on Singapore’s Judiciary system. Is he trying to dismember it?
    4. As grandson of Lee Kuan Yew, we would have expected a better performance from him but he did not. He did not apologise if he accepted what he said is a mistake; he did not fight this case if he thinks he is right to “expose” that the Singapore court system is pliant and can prove that judges wait for the executives to give them instructions. No, he did none of the above but turn his tail between his legs when face with a lawsuit! Mr Lee Kuan Yew will never done that as we know from all his actions in the past!
    5. 做个男子汉大丈夫,敢作敢當, 才是英雄好漢. 不要像一只缩头乌龟, 丢您的爷爷的脸

  9. Yeah, yeah…misquote…out of context…these excuses I have seen often in Malaysian news where the UMNO ministers did their flip flopping…look like Li ShengWu picks up a trick or two from them too…hehehehe.
    Anyway, back to serious matter. Li seems to argue that he did not meant that Singapore’s courts are “Pliant”. OK, maybe his English so powerful ordinary Singaporeans cannot understand exactly what he is saying but ordinary Singaporeans with standard English in their belt, having read “Singapore government is very litigious and has a pliant court system” can only mean that Singapore has Kangaroo Courts. So, his grandfather Mr Lee Kuan Yew had been working in “Kangaroo courts” so his grandfather was a Kangaroo too! Sorry, I don’t meant to insult Mr Lee but his grandson appears to have seriously insulted his grandfather! I rest my case, your honour!!! Hehehee.
    Li may have studied a lot of western ideas but relatively empty in his Eastern values…Parents faults??? Same Same as Amos Yee

  10. When people like JBJ and CSJ were speaking up, they were dismissed as madmen. Now even the Harvard educated grandson who benefitted from the close connections is speaking up, people still have their heads buried in the sand defending the status quo because it’s not your problem yet.

    When it becomes your problem, remember that these people who had everything to benefit from their privileged backgrounds tried to speak up for you but you were too busy trying to sell your soul to become one of them…

Comments are closed.