A Question For Prime Minister Lee Over Legal Fee Amendment

A good evening to you PM Lee. On the nightly news this past Monday, I happened to catch a snatch of the parliamentary exchange between WP MPs (Ms. Lim and Mr. Low) and Senior Minister Ms. Indranee over the amendment in the award of legal fees to the Government in civil litigation. The ratified amendment now removes the ceiling on legal fees awarded to the winning party previously capped at the labors of 2 attorneys, and henceforth puts it under the judge’s discretion.

‘No big deal’ seems to be the essence of Ms. Indranee’s response to her colleagues’ queries… as she appears to suggest that any such litigants game enough to dispute their Government’s stance on issues are invariably of means. But it is her concluding remark as seen on TV that I find troublingly dismissive, and I quote (with some paraphrase): When costs are awarded in favor of the Government, that means the other party has ultimately failed in its legal challenge, meaning that that case should not have been brought in the first place.

With such a rationale in place, one has to wonder whether the new fee deterrent is in keeping with the theme of ‘inclusiveness’ — including those one disagrees with — that you as PM have so eloquently espoused and so frequently reminded the electorate of.


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