Singapore — Although 44-year-old Kelvin Liu Chin Chan, the grandson of the man who founded OG department stores, was fined for harassing the then-husband of his lover, it has been determined that Mr Liu does not need to pay for the legal costs of the prosecution.
This was confirmed by prosecution lawyer, Luke Lee, to The Straits Times (ST) on August 13, Wednesday, although the exact amount of the legal cost was not disclosed by the lawyer.
He did say however that it was a “five-figure sum”.
Mr Liu belongs to one of the richest families in Singapore. His grandfather was billionaire Tay Tee Peng, who opened the first OG store in 1971 in Chinatown. The family has been listed in Forbes’ wealthiest list.
Mr Liu could have been fined as much as S$10,000 and been jailed for one year on the harassment charge.
The man who bought the charge against Mr Liu, Desmond Tay Kwang Ju, now needs to pay for the costs, based on the decision of the decision by District Judge Ng Cheng Thiam.
Mr Liu was ordered by the court on July 16 to pay S$3,500 since he was found guilty of one charge under the Protection from Harassment Act. The conviction was in connection with a private prosecution case brought by 40-year-old Mr Tay, a civil servant attached to the Singapore Consulate-General in Shanghai.
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.”
Judge Ng ruled that Mr Liu guilty of one charge under the Protection from Harassment Act.
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 in “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.”/ TISG