Sign up | Log in



Home >> Daily News  >>  Singapore News  >>  Politics >>  Singapore refutes Leahy's comment on libel

28 June 2010

Singapore refutes Leahy's comment on libel

Related Stories

June 16, 2010
Singapore questions US human trafficking report

April 27, 2010
Singapore amends charter, adding 3 more opposition MPs

April 2, 2010
Singapore high court overturns acquittal of opposition members

September 11, 2009
Report: Myanmar junta’s gas money kept in Singapore banks

August 9, 2009
Singapore PM calls for unity in National Day message

The Ministry of Law has refuted a comment by a United States lawmaker that Singapore's defamation laws - along with those in countries like Australia, Indonesia, England and Brazil - are weak, Channel News Asia reports.

In an e-mail response to MediaCorp, a MinLaw spokeswoman disagreed with Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy's comment, saying that the view "will not change our position on defamation".

Last week, the US unveiled legislation shielding its writers and publishers from "libel tourism", with Senator Leahy naming Singapore as one of several countries whose "weak libel protections" attracted libel lawsuits against US journalists and authors.

Libel tourism refers to foreigners filing defamation suits in a country where they will get a more favourable judgement.

The move by the American lawmakers would prevent US federal courts from recognising or enforcing a foreign judgment in a defamation case, in line with the first amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees the freedom of speech.

The purpose of defamation law, the MinLaw spokeswoman added, was to protect personal reputation -- which is as valuable as personal property -- from false attacks.

A person who feels that he has been defamed may seek to vindicate his reputation through a law suit and it was up to the accuser to prove his allegations, she said.

"These are the central principles underpinning Singapore defamation law. Political leaders, prominent businessmen, and ordinary citizens all benefit equally from its protection," said the spokeswoman, adding that the principles have "stood the test of public scrutiny".

Lawyers and legal experts told MediaCorp they have not heard of cases of libel tourism.

Singapore Management University's Assistant Professor of Law, Jack Lee, said he has not seen instances of libel tourism in law reports over the last 10 years, while a partner at Colin Ng & Partners, Mr. Peter Low, said: "It is an issue bandied around in the United Kingdom, Europe, but not in Singapore."

However, compared to the U.S., Singapore's law could be considered weaker, they noted.


Comment on this Article. Send them to

Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below 





1.  Verifier

1. Verifier

For security purposes, we ask that you enter the security code that is shown in the graphic. Please enter the code exactly as it is shown in the graphic.
Your Code
Enter Code

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

| Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy  | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2006-2021 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand