K Shanmugam accused of misleading Parliament on “fugitive” label, disregarding context of LHY’s statement – The Online Citizen Asia

On Wednesday (21 Mar), Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Law, crossed swords with Non-constituency Member of Parliament Leong Mun Wai over the latter’s Facebook post, which criticized the disclosure by Mr Teo Chee Hean of the police investigation against Mr Lee Hsien Yang (LHY) and Mrs Lee Suet Fern (LSF) and Mr Shanmugam’s remarks that the couple had “essentially absconded.”

The heated exchange lasted for over an hour, with the two throwing questions against each other at points where they essentially spoke over each other.

Mr Leong’s Facebook post took issue with what Mr Shanmugam had earlier said in Parliament about LHY and LSF having “essentially absconded from Justice.”

In justifying the use of the term, “abscond” during the exchange on Wednesday, Mr Shanmugam explained the sequence of events surrounding the couple’s departure from Singapore, saying that the police had asked the couple to assist with investigations but they did not attend the interview and had left the country.

The Minister also pointed out that Mr Lee Hsien Yang had used the term “fugitive” on himself in his Facebook post and that Mr Lee had told the media that he would not be returning to Singapore — It should, however, be noted that LHY told Bloomberg that he was unsure “what the chances are that I will return to Singapore in the foreseeable future”

Tan Wah-Piow: deliberately misled Parliament by nit-picking on the word “fugitive”

Tan Wah-Piow, a former Singaporean political activist and lawyer in exile, commented in a Facebook post on Friday (24 Mar) that Mr Shanmugan would want Singaporeans to believe that LHY, who is not in the country, is a fugitive from the law.

Mr Tan, a student leader in the 70s accused of masterminding the ‘Marxist Conspiracy’, was stripped of his Singapore citizenship in 1987 under Section 135(1) of the Singapore constitution.

“The Minister unfairly suggested that LHY, by describing himself as a fugitive, is by implication guilty of criminal wrongdoing. ”

Mr Tan noted that this bold assertion of Mr Shanmugan is diametrically opposite to what LHY wrote in his 7 March Facebook posting,

“I am heart-broken that I have been made a fugitive by my own country, for standing up for a promise to my father, Lee Kuan Yew. “

Mr Tan argued that Mr Shanmugam deliberately misled Parliament by nit-picking on the word “fugitive” and ignoring the context of LHY’s statement.

He said the truth is that LHY did not abscond as he was under no legal obligation to assist police with their investigation, and certainly not if it was political persecution.

“He was pushed – and is now a fugitive from injustice.”

Mr Shanmugam had confirmed in response to queries that the police have not issued an order under the Criminal Procedure Code to compel LHY and LSF to attend any interview.

‘Personal attack on LHY and his wife’

Mr Tan also criticizes Mr Shanmugam’s personal attacks on LHY and his wife, Lee Suet Fern.

“This is because the word can be defined as someone who is running away from the law, or from injustice. In the context of the LHY Facebook posting, Shanmugan’s powerful personal attacks on not just LHY, but his wife Lee Suet Fern, are not tenable. ”

He further elaborated that LHY’s statement did not admit guilt as suggested by the Minister, but instead explained how he and his family were wronged by the People’s Action Party (PAP) establishment and his brother Lee Hsien Loong.

Mr Tan pointed to LHY’s statement describing how his family was described to have been subjected to a campaign of harassment, surveillance, and smear campaigns orchestrated under a system led by his own elder brother, which escalated the abuse of power that he and his sister had raised in 2017:

“We have been the subject of a concerted and vindictive pattern of persecution orchestrated under a system led by my own elder brother, an escalation of the very abuse of power that Wei Ling and I raised in 2017. My family and I have been subjected to a campaign of harassment and surveillance, as well as smear campaigns. These attacks intensified with the bringing of abusive and meritless legal proceedings. After what I have been through, I have no confidence whatsoever in the system.”

LHY, despite being a member of the First Family, was made a fugitive by his own country, as those campaigns of harassment and surveillance were orchestrated by institutions of the State, said Mr Tan.

“LHY is a man of good character. In recent years he had relearnt the truth of how the other side lived, struggled, suffered and sacrificed. ”

“Whatever one’s view of LHY as a potential political leader, or the ruling PAP, no reasonable-minded Singaporean can condone the Minister of Law consciously using loaded disparaging terms such as ‘absconder’ to criminalised Citizen Lee Hsien Yang even before he was formally convicted by a court of law, ”

Mr Tan believes that the sordid character assassination of Lee Kuan Yew’s second son in Parliament is not about the siblings’ rivalry or the future of Lee Kuan Yew’s home but about how the Singapore establishment deals with those whom they perceive as threats.

He noted that LHY is also a member of the opposition party and one of the few Singaporeans eligible to contest in the coming Presidential Election, which alone places him in the cross-hairs of PAP – the same party co-founded by LHY’s father – for elimination.

“Like other Singaporeans who fought for a better Singapore, Lee Hsien Yang and his family regrettably now share the pain of losing their “home, friends, wider families and our society”. I am sure his period in exile will be shorter than mine,” said Mr Tan.


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button