SDP Secretary-General Chee Soon Juan will use the proceeds from the sales of his latest book, Democratically Speaking, to try to pay off the damages that he has been ordered to pay former prime ministers, Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong.
Dr Chee was made a bankrupt in 2006 following the defamation suit that the two former prime ministers took against him in 2001. He was ordered to pay $200,000 to Mr Lee and $300,000 to Mr Goh.
The courts awarded the plaintiffs summary judgment which meant that the case never went to trial where the defendant could cross-examine his accusers.
As a result of his inability to pay the damages, Messrs Lee and Goh obtained a bankruptcy order against Dr Chee in 2006.
Dr Chee was again sued in 2006, this time together with the SDP and the CEC members. The plaintiffs were Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. All the CEC members apologised and paid undisclosed amounts of money to the Lees to settle the case out of court except the SDP, Chee Siok Chin and Dr Chee.
The plaintiffs were also awarded summary judgment and the court ordered the defendants to pay a total of $650,000 in damages. The Lees have not initiated proceedings to claim the damages.
The SDP leader wants to discharge himself from bankruptcy as he intends to contest in the next general elections due in 2016. To do this, he will try to raise the money from the sales of Democratically Speaking to pay off the damages.
Dr Chee has offered Mr Lee and Mr Goh a total of $30,000 to settle the case and annul the bankruptcy order. This is because he also needs to set aside some of the proceeds from the book sales as income for his family.
"The $30,000 I am offering to Mr Lee and Mr Goh is a huge amount for me but I hope to meet the target from the sale of my books."
Dr Chee adds that it is important that he clears the bankruptcy and leads the SDP to contest in the next general elections.
He said: "We are building up slowly but surely, and with each passing month and year, we are gaining momentum to becoming an alternative national party. It is important, therefore, that I am eligible when the next GE comes around."
Dr Chee has contacted the Official Assignee at the Insolvency and Public Trustee's Office to make the offer to Mr Lee and Mr Goh.
The book launch will be held on 5 August 2012 at The Substation at 3pm. The book comes in paperback and hardcover editions, priced at $30 and $50 respectively.