Transcript of politician and lawyer, Lim Tean’s livestream on 2 Oct evening to clarify the arrest made on the same day’s morning.
I know this is a Friday evening, but I wanted to do this live video because something dramatic happened today.
Now you would have heard in the news that this morning. I was arrested by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD). I was in my office at about 10:45 am preparing for the defamation case next week when I shall be defending Leong Sze Hian.
In proceedings brought by Lee Hsien Loong against him for defamation.
So this literally was the second last working day before trial. At 10:45, 3 CAD officers came into my office. Place me under arrest, handcuff me even though I am not violent or I was not resisting. I offered to work with them to the car. They insisted on handcuffing me.
I was brought to the CAD complex in Cantonment.
There I was interviewed by the investigating officer so-called. I was handcuffed throughout.
And let me tell you.
I did not answer a single question. I refuse to answer the question.
And I told the investigating officer. I was not answering any questions because I did not consider this to be a real investigation.
It is a politically motivated investigation, timed to disrupt my work as a lawyer and to disadvantage my client at a critical time just before a big trial
I spent about half an hour in the interview room.
I told the investigating officer what he was doing was a complete disgrace.
Totally against the rule of law and that he was being directed from higher-ups.
I was then led to a 10-meter cell with no chairs in it.
And so I had to stand the whole time.
There wasn’t even a toilet bowl. There was a shit hole with no toilet paper.
And they kept me there from about 11.45am till about 3.15pm when I was let back into the interview room.
And they attempted to ask me some more questions or he attempted to ask me some more questions again. I said I am not answering any questions because I am not going to dignify a process which is illegitimate and illegal.
Now after about half an hour, I was led back to my cell again and I stayed there all the way until about 7:00 p.m when I was released on bail.
Mr Leong, very kindly put up bail for me. I was not charged with any offences.
I see that the police have put out a statement, which is a gross misrepresentation.
Let me tell you the facts, my friends
In 2018, someone approached me to represent this Indian man who had been injured in an accident. You know, I am not an accident lawyer. I am not.
And this Indian man couldn’t pay fees. I agree to take on the case out of sympathy and kindness.
In the two years, I represented him.
I did not collect a single cent from him. Not a single Cent from him.
In fact, I often had to lend him money.
Because he had no money on him. He was always asking me for fifty, hundred dollars for food and to go back home.
I lent him the money. I must have lent him hundreds of dollars. I didn’t even keep count of it.
In 2019. I obtain damages for him. And there is now a huge dispute in the courts. Yes, because you know what he did subsequently after I obtain damages for him and the court awarded me legal costs of $18,000. That is my cost right? That is money belonging to me, right?
He then starts to play games. He changes lawyer. He changes to another lawyer.
And subsequently he changes back to me and then he changes back to the other lawyer again. So there is a huge dispute over monies.
Okay, I have not been paid a single Cent from the $18,000 which was awarded to me. He and his lawyer who now represents him have kept on to that money.
I am happy for this matter to be decided by the courts and you know apparently in November last year, he files a complaint to CAD or thereabouts. I can’t remember. I have seen those letters. You know what I did not even bother to reply to a single one of them.
Because he has a lawyer who is mad and I can say this he has a mad lawyer, a well-known lawyer who has brought this disrepute to the profession and is mad and I saw no need to go and waste any time on this frivolous complaint. Yeah. I didn’t reply he then files a civil suit against, not me. In fact, he was alleging negligence against me initially when he was represented by this lawyer.
This lawyer couldn’t proceed with a negligence allegations.
He then filed for application in court for accounts to be taken of my firm.
You know on the first day of that application, you know what this lawyer did? He withdrew the application.
Then he tries a third stunt. He then sues the insurance for the money and he dare not even sue me direct.
And now you know, you know, when was the first time I got wind of these allegations of these CAD actions?
Two weeks ago, it was a Wednesday.
Yes, it was Wednesday last week. I get a call from this inspector in CAD saying we would like you to come down for an investigation tomorrow.
I knew immediately that this was politically motivated.
I knew that this was done to distract me and to disrupt my preparations for Leong Sze Hian’s trial.
How conveniently timed isn’t it? How beautifully timed isn’t it? Less than two weeks before Lim Tean is supposed to represent the Leong Sze Hian. He has to go and attend to all these investigations. So what was the CAD doing between the end of last year and now?
And let me tell you this. I tell this to the CAD and to the police.
You go ahead and charge me if you want. And I will let the beans spill out in court.
Why am I so confident that this is a politically motivated charge because I have credible evidence that a powerful figure is involved in this.
This powerful figure was even boasting to his good friend, a senior lawyer at the bar that very shortly Lin Tean will be getting a couple of charges.
So go ahead and charge me. Okay, if you think you have a case go ahead and charge me but do not think that I am going to cooperate with you in any way in these investigations because as I told the investigating officer today, these are not real investigations.
And then you know what?
They say that there is a second complaint against me.
And you know, what is the second complaint? A lawful stalking of an ex-employee.
My friends I have never stalked anyone in my life.
I treat my employees with the utmost respect.
I have had employees work with me 11 years 12 years and I know who the employee is.
She worked here for only a month before she resigned. Why because she couldn’t make it and she knew it.
She’s not legally qualified. She had written to me in I think March or April — I’ve got to check — with an application for work.
She’s currently doing some business law degree, but she is no graduate. I thought okay, you know, I actually wanted to employ her as a paralegal. Yeah in that capacity.
But she couldn’t make it.
She was hardly ever in the office. Yeah.
You know, she worked with me for one month and then she tended notice and then she said she was served one month notice. So I had to pay her for that one month, right? I had to pay her for that one month, right which I did but you know what in that one month. She did she hardly came to the office and when other employees then occupy her room, she stormed back one day very angrily and kick them out and said this is my room until I leave the office.
And you know what? She was happily yakking away to other employees other people around the office that she had gone to a powerful figure and that powerful figure was helping her with a police report and this came to me only very very recently at about the time when the CAD called me up for investigations in inverted commas.
This is a bullshit rubbish investigations. Yeah, I rarely use the word bullshit, but this really is bullshit.
And the names will come out eventually.
I want to read to you what her resignation letter said
And we called the police to investigate into this but they refused. obviously they have not seen it. I want you to give me your opinion whether as a lady if you are stalked, you would be writing this resignation letter to me.
2nd June 2020
Dear, Mr. Lim.
Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from my position as legal executive with effect from the 1st of July 20/20.
Take this as my one month’s notice. I appreciate you opportunities for growth and development. You have provided during my tenure. Thank you for your guidance and support.
Please let me know how I can be of help during the transition period I wish you and the company the very best going forward.
If you are stalked, would you be writing such a letter?
Thanking me for my support and my guidance. You would be running miles away, right? You will be running miles away, you know, and you know what this lady?
When she was about to leave, sent me an angry message one day.
At that time, I didn’t know that all this you know, she was doing all this. I didn’t know that.
Send me an angry message saying I find it unprofessional that you are not responding to my text messages.
Hey, I’m a busy man. I am I am a busy lawyer. I’m a busy politician.
Why should I be responding to every message I get hundreds of messages every day. You know, why should I be? Yeah.
Is this the sign of someone who has been stopped who feels uncomfortable because of me?
And you know what this ex-employee was doing in the one month transition period in the one-month notice period she was supposed to be working right but she never came to the office she hardly claim she came once or twice.
She has sent me messages saying I will be working from home. Yeah, I didn’t quibble. That was the end of it, you know, when employees choose to leave I rather they leave on a happy note. Yeah. I am not a quibbler. Yeah as the Chinese say, “我不是那种斤斤计较的人”。
I was happy you know, she if she wants to work for she was not really doing any work. But you know what she did in that notice period? She was happily selling her own business. I was just alerted to this two days ago. She put up videos of interviews where she was selling her exercise program and this during the notice period.
So bring it on.
And you know what when the CAD first wrote to me.
They said we want to investigate you for this.
You know the mainstream media. That’s why I don’t talk to the mainstream media.
They say I have misappropriated funds. That is the terminology the mainstream media are using.
And they said we want to investigate you for this offence, which you may have information of and we want also to investigate you for unlawful stalking.
And so my lawyer M Ravi wrote back to them.
What is CAD doing investigating unlawful stalking? Where is the remit? What is your jurisdiction?
And then they come back.
They come back and they say oh no, the unlawful stalking is now being investigated by Central Police Station.
But you know if I’m not a lawyer I would have gone to that investigation.
And they would have jumbled up the two things and under the CAD which has no remit to investigate unlawful stalking.
And you know I saw in the police statement today that I had said I was not going to turn up for interview and that was why they came to arrest me, what total rubbish.
The first letter was sent to me last Wednesday.
On the Sunday my lawyer replied and said look here.
You are deliberately doing this when he is preparing for a very important trial.
And this investigation is politically motivated and we set out the grounds. We set out the grounds. I never said that. I was not going to turn up for an interview. Okay. I never said that.
They came to the conclusion.
Or they deliberately construed it as me not wanting to go for an interview.
When the IO had first called me on Wednesday last week. I said look here. I know what you’re doing. This is politically motivated. And in any event. I am not going to be available until after the 9th of October. The 9th October is Leong Sze Hian’s trial ends.
And he did mention that in his first letter.
So now to cover their tracks They have to say that yesterday. They sent a letter after four days, they sent a letter even though my lawyer had kept chasing them.
You know why we wanted to reply because if they insist on doing this we will go to court. We will take out the necessary judicial review applications. We would take out the necessary suit actions to sue them in the top of malfeasance for abuse of a public office. Yeah. No, they came yesterday with a letter late in the day saying we note that your client is not willing to turn up for an interview. We will do whatever that is necessary and first thing in the morning, they turn up and my office to arrest me.
My friends, I will say this.
Leong Sze Hian could not find anyone to represent him.
I was willing to represent Leong Sze Hian here because I believe in the finest traditions of the bar.
An Advocate must be fearless in pursuing the interests of his client and in obtaining Justice for his client.
That is the tradition of the bar and it does not matter if the Advocate’s life or safety is at stake.
I am often reminded of the fate of one of England’s most famous lawyer Henry Brogan when he defended Queen Caroline hundreds of years ago against charges of adultery.
Because the king wanted to divorce her on the grounds of adultery. Henry Brougham defended her and after that was ostracized by the bar and the society for years.
He was English’s finest Warrior.
But that was his fate. Although in later years. He was resuscitated.
You know something. The authorities may think that by their action today, they will wear me down. They will tire me. They will discourage me.
Other the lawyers may not have the guts to do the job properly or to cross-examine Lee Hsien Loong in the witness stand.
But this lawyer Lim Tian is not for turning.
And I can assure you that come Tuesday next week. I shall be defending Leong Sze Hian vigorously and to the best of my ability in court.
And all of us, it is not about fighting for fairness and justice for myself in these personal matters of mine.
At the end of the day my fellow singaporeans. Everyone of us has the duty to stand up to state oppression and state terrorism using the machinery of the Police.
Can you imagine what our society will be like if we do not stand up to this terror?
We do not want our children to always be in fear and this is what I have spoken about.
You know, a lot of Singapore parents are just scared stiff of the police. They are scared stiff.
But I’m telling you, it is something I am willing to fight for even I if I have to spend years in jail, okay?
It is something I will fight for and I will sacrifice my life.
And of course, I am a highly visible figure leading a political party that has called for many things that go against the grain.
Because Peoples Voice the party I represent.
We are always fighting for the interest of that ordinary Singaporean, that forgotten man, that Singaporean whose jobs are threatened and by foreigners.
Whose meals are taken away by foreigners and that is why Peoples Voice wants the abolition of CECA.
If I have to spend years in jail fighting for my political convictions, I will do so.
In the coming days and weeks, I will instruct my lawyer to do the necessary.
And we will release more information if we deem fit.
It has been a long day. It has been a wasted day a day when I could have spent the time, very productively preparing for Leong Sze Hian’s defense.
But I will turn up in court on Tuesday and I will be cross-examining Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday and Wednesday.
And I will be further posting the court notice of this upcoming trial very shortly so that you may attend if you wish to. It is open to the public.
Thank you very much. I hope I have explained things and I have clarified things.