Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in late March revived a libel suit against American educator Christopher Lingle for an article that Lee says alleged political corruption in Singapore.
Lee sued Lingle and the International Herald Tribune over the October 1994 article Lee said libeled Singapore. After a Singapore judge found the paper defamed Lee, the Tribune settled the suit in December 1995 by printing an apology and paying Lee $213,000 in damages. Lee retained the right to take civil action against Lingle, who returned to the United States soon after the investigation began.
Since the issue of defamation has already been settled in the case against the paper, the High Court judge in Singapore needs only to assess the damages that must be paid to Lee.
According to Lingle, Lee is demanding that the judge require Lingle to pay a “substantially higher” amount than the sum paid by the Tribune in the separate settlement.
As a visiting university lecturer in Singapore, Lingle wrote an opinion piece that called the judiciaries in some Asian countries “compliant” to the wishes of politicians. Although Lingle’s published comments did not name any country or individuals, Lee insisted that it was clear that he was referring to Singapore, based upon the wording.