Photo of Tan Cheng Bock from Facebook

In a subtle admission of their wrongdoing, the Singapore Court waived the S$30,000 legal costs for Dr Tan Cheng Bock who filed an appeal questioning the Singapore Presidency. Dr Tan Cheng Bock confirmed in his Facebook post saying the Court decided that he does not has to pay a single cent to the government but there is no statement admitting that the question was “a case of public interests”.

The former Presidential candidate wanted the Court to confirm President Ong Teng Cheong is the first elected President and hence render the reserved Presidential election illegal. However the Singapore Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal saying that they have no power to decide, and that only Lee Hsien Loong and his PAP-majority Parliament gets to decide who to be the first elected president.

According to Attorney General Lucien Wong (who is Lee Hsien Loong’s former personal lawyer), the Court should not interfere with the government’s “policy decision”:

“PM never said that the AG advised PM to start the count from President Wee. What PM said is that the AG advised (that) what the Government was proposing to do was legitimate” and the AG never advised the Government that President Wee was the 1st Elected President. The start of the count was purely a policy decision, which the Court cannot review. AG’s advice to the PM was ultimately irrelevant.”

MP Sylvia Lim tried to raise the same question in Parliament but was banned twice from fielding her question. The Opposition MP is trying to raise the question for the third time but the ruling party is likely to block the question again. MP Sylvia Lim and two other opposition MPs – Low Thia Kiang and Pritam Singh – are facing a S$33 million lawsuit by the PAP Town Councils, and they will lose their MP seat once they lose the court case.