Thursday, October 17, 2013

Training For Prospective Lawyers

When Chief District Judge Tan Siong Thye passed sentence on National University of Singapore (NUS) law professor Tey Tsun Hang in June 2013, it was reported that his supporters - about 10 former students, former colleagues and friends who had been religiously showing up in court - cried and hugged him after the horny professor was found guilty of corruption. Even his $150,000 bail was posted in part by colleague and associate professor Chan Wing Cheong.

Tey's affiliation with the legal circles was not limited to NUS. He was previously Law Clerk to the former Chief Justice of Singapore, District Judge of the Subordinate Courts, and State Counsel at the Legislation Division of the Attorney-General’s Chambers of Singapore. He was a member of the editorial committees of the Singapore Journal of Legal Studies and the Singapore Journal of International and Comparative Law, and the Executive Committee of the Centre for Commercial Law Studies. Until 2008, he was the Deputy Chief Editor of Singapore Year Book of International Law. He was the Director of Centre for Commercial Law Studies and the Editor of the Asian Journal of Comparative Law.

Someone with such impeccable credentials should know about the law, or so we thought.

At the least, Tey should know the ramification for not showing up for his appeal - which was strangely launched after he had already served his sentence - the Criminal Procedure Code allows judges to throw out cases where appellants are absent. His own lawyer was informed of his planned absence 5 minutes before the court proceedings started, which reflects the kind of respect the don has for him, and other like professionals, in the legal system.

Why then, one might ask, bother to produce a new law school ("SIM University to host third law school") to focus on training prospective lawyers if law teachers don't know, or respect, the law? Professor Simon Chesterman and Dean of NUS Law Faculty said the new programme will increase options for Singaporean students with a passion for law - not nubile law students - and help ensure access to justice for all. Chesterman is rumoured to sympathise with Tey's predicament, supposedly holding view that the punishment was too harsh for philandering predilections. What is not rumour is that Chesterman is related to The President by marriage.

Don't even get started about "access to justice for all". High Court Justice Tay Yong Kwang has just dismissed an application for judicial review over the inquiry into Dinesh Ramesh's death. Apparently the Coroner’s Notes reveal that the Coroner asked one and only question, “What should he (prison officer) have done?” Pontius Pilate is reputed to have asked, "Truth? What is truth?" (Latin Quid est veritas?) and would not stay for an answer.  Tharman Shanmugaratnam is not a lawyer, but his answer (for Charles Goodyear’s abrupt resignation from Temasek Holdings) could well be taken as law:
"People do want to know, there is curiosity, it is a matter of public interest. That is not sufficient reason to disclose information. It is not sufficient that there be curiosity and interest that you want to disclose information.”


  1. Christopher Baldings should do an interview with Charles Goodyear to find out the reason, provided he is still alive.

    1. Why bother with an impostor when there are thousands who are still here making money and ripping off the economy working in MNCs and screwing local PMETs for their jobs? John Harding already has a site on Mr Chip goodyear...probably have changed his identity to disappear forever from the earth. We just don't know how much money he has skimmed off.

    2. Probably they would have sealed his mouth with enough monies to keep him quiet as part to the deal to cover it up? Otherwise is it not strange for a CEO to be unceremoniously fired like that without even a fight?

  2. So is it up to Minister only to decide whether there is sufficient reason or not to disclose the information on a matter of public interest?

    So suppose if any corrupt Minister is personally involved, it is also up to the corrupt Minister to decide unilaterally whether there is sufficient reason to disclose anything? Doesn't sound logical, isn't it?

    It is like saying if Chen Shui Bian decided there is sufficient reason not to disclose anything about his secret arms deal, he does not need to explain anything even if the public is curious enough?

    No wonder our PM says he has until age 70 to find the right capable candidate to replace him as PM, another way of saying none of the current DPMs is PM-material yet ie none of them is capable yet?

    1. Which is a nice way of saying

      1) There's no candidate in sight yet or
      2) I need to hang on to my power for as long as my father did.

  3. Training for prospective lawyers ?
    NUS Law faculty has appointed ex Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong as their first Distinguished Fellow and he is tasked with engaging current law students.
    I wonder what this bugger is going to teach the students ?....more of his outrageous logic and who are above the law ?

  4. It looks like Tey has some strong supporters out there. ST today reported that High Court Justice Woo Bin Li actually put on record the question that was on everybody's minds:
    "Even if (Mr Tey) was exploiting (Ms Ko) out of greed and lust, does that make it corruption?"

  5. This is what happens when you make a deal with the devil:
    "Almost three years ago, Singapore’s Internal Security Department (ISD) approached Tey Tsun Hang, a Malaysian-born law associate professor at the National University of Singapore (NUS), about becoming a “listening post” – meaning that he would provide information about goings-on in the law faculty, including his own work."

    Read the complete conspiracy theories here:

  6. Yes, the Prof steped on the wrong tail so get whacked but people know the same can happen to them. The same goes to the judge, he made the politically correct decision for refusing the judicial review, otherwise he might end up like the good Prof

  7. CPIB is pathetic and manipulated by PMO to nail Prof Tey and those confession under duress.

  8. I read a blog on legal industry declining in Singapore and I now see the light of hope. I commented there saying Singapore is growing with Law industry as several students are selecting law as their specialization, which means people know the importance of law and having a legal adviser Singapore.