Plans to prosecute Li Shengwu over freedom of speech accusations announced as family feud grips city state
Singapores government is to take legal action against the grandson of founding leader Lee Kuan Yew over a Facebook post linked to a family feud that has gripped the city state.
The spat between Lees three children the present “ministers “, Lee Hsien Loong, the corporate executive Lee Hsien Yang, and Lee Wei Ling, a neurologist centred around what to do with their late fathers home, a century-old bungalow.
Lee, who is widely credited with transforming Singapore from a British colony to one of Asias wealthiest countries, stated in his will that he wanted the house torn down to avoid the building of a personality cult around him.
But the “ministers ” siblings said their brother is attempting to block the houses demolition to capitalise on their fathers legacy for his own political agenda.
In a statement late on Friday, the attorney generals chambers( AGC) said it was applying for permission to prosecute Lees grandson Li Shengwu over a Facebook post last month in which he alleged that the government was litigious and was stifling freedom of speech over the spat.
Li, an academic at Harvard University, is the eldest son of Lee Hsien Yang. He had also posted links to a summing-up of the conflict between his father, aunt and uncle.
The AGC had described his post as an egregious and baseless attack on the Singapore judiciary and constitutes an offence of contempt of court. It had asked Li to delete the post and sign an apology.
Instead, he elucidated his comments in a post on Friday, saying that it was not his intention to attack the judiciary.
Any criticism I induced is of the Singapore governments litigious nature, and its use of legal rules and actions to stifle the free press, he said.
The AGC said in its Friday statement: As Mr Li has failed to purge the contempt and to apologise by the extended deadline, an application for leave to commence committal proceedings for disdain against him will today be filed in the high court.
The 65 -year-old prime minister has denied the accusations of blocking the buildings demolition but said he would not sue his siblings.
Political adversaries and protesters have previously been hit with financially ruinous defamation suits filed by Singapores leaders.
Played out across social media, details of the feud have enthralled a city state unused to open criticism of its political leaders.
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