Leong Sze Hian being asked to pay a total of S$21,000 by High Court for cost after his counterclaim against PM Lee was struck out

Davinder Singh Chambers (DSC), the law firm representing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his defamation suit against veteran blogger Leong Sze Hian, has sent a statement on 14 March (Thursday) requesting Mr Leong to pay a total of S$21,000 for two summonses.

“As you know, on 12 March 2019, the Honourable Justice Aedit Abdullah allowed SUM 148 and dismissed SUM 428 and on 13 March 2019. His Honour ordered your client to pay out client costs of $6,000 (all in) in respect of SUM 148 and $15,000 (all in) in respect of SUM 428,” said the statement addressed to Lim Tean, who is the lawyer representing Mr Leong.

It is also written that the cheque of S$21,000 should be given to DSC no later than 5pm on 21 March 2019.

Last week, Justice Aedit Abdullah released his judgement and said that the Singapore High Court has struck out the blogger’s counterclaim against PM Lee’s defamation suit, citing Mr Leong’s failure to disclose a “reasonable cause of action” in his counterclaim.

The entire defamation case first started in November 2018 when PM Lee sued the blogger for sharing a link of an article that had been published by The Coverage on his Facebook page, without comment or amendment. The article claimed that editor-in-chief of investigative journalism platform Sarawak Report Ms Clare Rewcastle had mentioned Singapore as “one of the key investigation targets, alongside Switzerland and United States” in the 1MDB corruption scandal during an interview with Malaysian media.

Following this, Mr Leong filed a countersuit against PM Lee for the abuse of the process of the Court.

After Mr Leong filed the counterclaim, PM Lee’s lawyers made an application to strike out the counterclaim “on the ground that it has no basis in law and is completely hopeless”. In response, the veteran blogger then filed an application to strike out PM Lee’s claim for abuse of process of the court and the hearing for both their applications were heard on Monday (25 February).

As such, after hearing counsel from both sides, Justice Aedit released a judgement that strikes out the blogger’s counterclaim against PM Lee.