23 September 2005

Sue, Sue, Sue for Defamation

It must be a fashionable thing these days.

Sept 23, 2005
Ex-presidential hopeful Kuan sues MP for defamation
By Zakir Hussain

FORMER presidential hopeful Andrew Kuan is suing Member of Parliament Inderjit Singh for defamation. Mr Kuan, 52, is accusing Mr Singh of defaming him in a statement on his employment record and work performance at semiconductor company United Test & Assembly Centre Singapore.

The company had engaged Mr Kuan as a consultant for several months in mid-1998. It was founded by Mr Singh who was its president until 2001.

Mr Kuan claimed Mr Singh's remarks, which were reported in newspapers on Aug 13 and 14, were meant to be understood that he was not competent and was therefore summarily fired from his position. He also alleged the remarks implied that he was not reliable.

Their added sting, he added in his High Court suit, was that they were made at a time when he had applied for a certificate of eligibility to stand in the presidential election.

The lawsuit was filed 10 days ago, on Sept 13, against Mr Singh, 45, who is an MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC and Deputy Government Whip. The Whip, assisted by Mr Singh, maintains discipline in the People's Action Party (PAP).

On Sep 16, Mr Singh made known his intention to defend himself against the suit. His lawyers, Senior Counsel Davinder Singh and Mr Adrian Tan of Drew & Napier, have until Oct 7 to file a defence.
This "Mr Adrian Tan", by the way, is the Adrian Tan of The Teenage Textbook / Workbook fame, and a personal friend of Mr Wang. Oh, but as far as Mr Wang knows, Adrian Tan doesn't read this blog.
Mr Kuan, the chief executive officer and managing director of executive search firm Blue Arrow International, filed his suit unrepresented by
a lawyer.
Gaaah! Mr Kuan, you must be joking. You cannot do a case like this without a lawyer! Your layman brain will be addled beyond repair by the Rules of Court. That is, if you even know where to find a copy.
He alleged that the statements made by Mr Singh, who occupies positions of trust and responsibility in the Government, were intended to and would have been taken seriously by members of the public, and would thereby influence the public to be 'unduly and unjustifiably prejudiced' against him.

He is claiming damages and legal costs from Mr Singh.

Mr Kuan, who had been group chief financial officer of JTC Corporation from 2001 until last year, has served five terms as a town councillor and finance committee chairman of the Pasir Ris and Pasir Ris-Punggol town councils. He was a member of the PAP for about 10 years.

On Aug 11, two days before certificates of eligibility to stand in the presidential election were issued, JTC Corporation also commented on Mr Kuan.

The statutory board said Mr Kuan was asked to leave as it was not satisfied with his performance.

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