Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) – COSP8. Photo: UNODC (Representational Image)
While the Singapore government has pledged zero tolerance of corruption, the Singapore’s leaders frequently go to courts to silence critics.
Leong Sze Hian, a blogger in Singapore, said today (April 5) that he has raised S$133,000 ($98,840) via crowdfunding on social media to cover damages in a defamation case filed against him by Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong.
Lee had sued Leong, a financial advisor, after he shared on Facebook a news article that linked the top leader to a financial scandal at Malaysia’s state fund 1MDB. Lee’s lawyers argued that the allegations were “false and baseless.” (Photo: CPIB)
Complying with a government request, according to a Reuters report, Leong had deleted the November 2018 Facebook post within three days of sharing it.
The report adds that the Singapore high court on March 24 ordered him to pay Lee S$133,000, the amount which he raisedin 11 days through crowdfunding when more than 2,000 people had contributed the full amount.
While the Singapore government has pledged zero tolerance of corruption, the Singapore’s leaders frequently go to courts to silence critics including political opponents and media outlets.
The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) of the Singapore Government claims that it combats corruption through swift and fair action in order to ensure good governance to make Singapore a corruption-free nation.
But as an authoritarian state, Singapore does not tolerate criticism. According to Reuters, leaders in Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party, including Lee’s late father Lee Kuan Yew, have previously sued foreign media, political opponents, and online commentators for defamation.