In a tacit admission that the ruling party MPs had corrupted residential money without permission, the MP for Punngol East Charles Chong told state media reporters that he would not comment how much legal fees had been incurred. Giving a flimsy one-liner as excuse, the PAP MP said:
“I would not be commenting as long as the case is still before the courts.”
The PAP MP for Punggol East SMC, alongside six other PAP MPs from Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, had hired top law firm Drew & Napier to sue the 3 Workers’ Party MPs for S$33 million in a civil lawsuit. The CEO of Drew & Napier, Senior Counsel Davinder Singh took on the case by himself and led the prosecution attack personally in court.
None of the PAP MPs interviewed by the state media is willing divulge the amount of legal fees paid to Davinder Singh, a former PAP MP, which is estimated to be more than S$2 million in the 17-day trial.
Earlier in the week, the second prosecution legal team Shook Lin & Bok, complained to the state media that they had not been paid a single cent by the “independent panel”. The PAP-hired “panel” yesterday told state media reporters that the legal fees would be paid for by Aljunied-Hougang residents from their town council funds. Another court hearing would be called to determine the legal fees, according to the “independent panel”.
Over at the defence, the 3 Workers’ Party MPs informed the public that they had paid over S$1 million to their lawyers, with a receipt posted on their donation website. The 3 WP MPs had garnered over S$1 million in donations from the public in mere three days, thanks to States Times Review assistance.
The S$33 million lawsuit was lodged under the orders of dictator Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in a bid to unseat the 3 WP MPs ahead of the general elections in 2019.