Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Lee Kuan Yew's grandsons fight for the leadership: Li Shengwu's decision to abandon his defence of the charges against him may signal war in about 10 years between Li Shengwu and Li Hongyi

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Li Shengwu unfriends cousin Li Hongyi, pulls out of legal proceedings with AGC

Lee Kuan Yew's grandson Li Shengwu, the son of Lee Hsien Yang has posted a message on Facebook, reposted by his father and his aunt, Lee Wai Leng, in which he has declared:

"... I have decided that I will not continue to participate in the proceedings against me. I will not dignify the AGC’s conduct by my participation>"

This of course means that Shnegwu will be found guilty of the charges against him, which involve according to the Singapore AGC, “scandalising the judiciary” .
Once found guilty any return to Singapore will be impossible for he is more than likely to be jailed once within Singapore jurisdiction. That then will rule him out as a future prime minister of Singapore and the successor to his grandfather's legacy,leaving his cousin Li Hongyi, son of PM Lee Hsien Loong, the only likely successor. 

However, the past is a different country and a decade from now Li Shengwu could well be regarded as the hero in  exile who was wronged and who must return to lead his country. This may well occur after his cousin Hongyi becomes PM, or when he attempts to assume leadership.

While Shengwu has in the past denied any interest in being Prime Minister of Singapore, Singapore's majority Chinese  are as clannish as Malays in Malaysia remain feudalistic. The contest between the cousins seems almost pre-ordained, regardless of what they may say, think or feel.

I have an announcement to make regarding the Singapore state’s prosecution against me. As you may remember, in 2017, during the events widely known as ‘Oxleygate’, my uncle Lee Hsien Loong was accused by his siblings of abusing state power to bully them and to subvert his own father’s dying wish. Shortly after, the Singapore Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) started prosecuting me for allegedly “scandalising the judiciary” in a private Facebook post. This prosecution has continued for years, and during that time the AGC has submitted thousands of pages of legal documents over one paragraph on social media.
Recently, the AGC applied to strike out parts of my own defense affidavit, with the result that they will not be considered at the trial. Moreover, they demanded that these parts be sealed in the court record, so that the public cannot know what the removed parts contain. This is not an isolated incident, but part of a broader pattern of unusual conduct by the AGC. For instance, when arguing jurisdiction in the court of appeals, the AGC argued that a new piece of legislation should be retroactively applied against me. The court saw it as unfair for the new legislation to apply retrospectively.
In light of these events, I have decided that I will not continue to participate in the proceedings against me. I will not dignify the AGC’s conduct by my participation.
I will continue to be active on Facebook, and will continue to regard my friends-only Facebook posts as private. However, I have removed my cousin Li Hongyi from my Facebook friends list.

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