When Is Winning A Case Actually Losing?

For those who believed that my brother’s recent judgment awarding damages to Allan Mah Kiat Seng was a blow at last against the long standing abuse of overweening police powers of arbitrary arrest and detention, the news today that Mah Kiat Seng will actually have to pay some $8,000 more to the AG in costs than he receives in damages despite winning 70% of his case will have come as a rude shock.

However no one should have been surprised. Philip’s judgment was carefully calibrated to deliver what appeared on the surface to be a win for individual rights and liberties against the overwhelming power of the PAP state in the end upheld the fundamental PAP principle: no one should ever be allowed to make money from opposing the PAP. In fact it must be driven home that if they persevere on that lonely path they will ultimately be driven into bankruptcy and even deprived of the most basic means of sustenance.

This is what happened to our father because he was too stubborn to learn the lesson and to many others who either saw the error of their ways and began to sing a more pro PAP tune or were either driven out of Singapore or rendered non persons or, like Mah Kiat Seng, and in the time honoured tradition of totalitarian states tarred with the brush of metal illness.

This principle of unremitting economic warfare waged with the full resources of the state against the individual who dares oppose the PAP and even, god forbid, makes money from doing so was starkly illustrated more recently when the PAP brought the full weight of their coercive and oppressive laws against the editors of The Real Singapore who were jailed and had their profits confiscated. What horrified and scared the PAP so much was that the editors were not only publishing anti PAP news stories but that they were making substantial amounts of money from doing so. It is fundamental to totalitarian states’ control over their people that no financially independent power centres be allowed to develop.

I must admit that when I first heard the name of the plaintiff I thought it sounded familiar. Then recently I realised that Mah Kiat Semg, whom I knew as Alan Mah, had been one of my father’s original CEC members when he founded the Reform Party in 2008. When I joined the Reform Party in 2009 I met Alan who told me that he had joined the Party because he wanted my father’s help in suing the police. As I was not able to help him, not being a lawyer, Alan Mah Kiat Seng resigned from CEC and the Reform Party. I have not heard from since. Clearly though his grievances against the police go back a lot further than his arrest in 2017 and suggest that there is a lot more to this case than meets the eye.

I have already mentioned how this case perfectly fulfills the PAP principle that citizens must nor be able to benefit financially from suing the Government, no matter how egregious the breach of their fundamental rights supposedly guaranteed under the Comstitution. Going even further back there was the case of the four Malay Singaporeans whom JBJ, through his persistent efforts to secure justice, saved from the death penalty and got acquitted after years on remand. The case was admirably detailed by Chris Lydgate in Lee’s Law. However when the defendants attempted to sue the AG for wrongful imprisonment they lost. Costs were awarded against them and they ended up being bankrupted. This servesd as a salutary lesson to ordinary Singaporeans not to think that they suddenly had acquired the same rights as the PAP elites and our ruling family Alan Mah Kiat Seng seems to be going down the same path.

On a final note this case not only illustrates that no matter the justice of your cause or the wrongs done to you you will not be allowed to receive redress from the PAP state. It also demonstrates the fundamental principle of PAP budgets, something I have for years been drawing attention to. This is that no matter how many decades of enormous surpluses have passed and trillions of dollars in assets should have been accumulated tbe fundamental principle of Singapore budgets will always remain: the money will always flow from the people to the Government’s coffers than the other way around. This is also an unchanging law.


Kenneth Jeyaretnam


About the author: I’m a Singaporean economist who became an opposition activist. I blog to provide an alternative to the porkies that the Pinkies tell. It just so happens that my alternative is the truth. That’s why I’ve never been sued in any civil or criminal court no matter how hard hitting my criticism. I’m quoted and interviewed and asked to speak across the world but largely censored in Singapore in an effort to silence my political opinions. The left hate me because they think I split their vote and because I eschew their outmoded economic models. Models that don’t work. The Right and the Conservatives hate me because I’m a liberal. I’m not sure what the middle think of me. I don’t think there are more than a handful of people in the middle, here in Singapore. I’m a Singaporean born and bred, dual heritage, my parents Singaporean established here before the State of Singapore was created. I’m not Eurasian. I read economics at Cambridge and could be broadly described as from the Keynesian school but I believe in interventions. I was formerly a successful hedge fund manager. After economics and politics my greatest interests are history, film and Makan. I run but I run so I can eat like a Singaporean.




8 Responses to “When Is Winning A Case Actually Losing?”

  • Bad Jeya:

    Poor JBJ. Insulted in life and in death.

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  • Pukom:

    No need b sad.evantually all will run road.wheather is under cover ” shell”game run road or genuine run road.

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  • Be patient and persevere:

    God is Great. His Justice is in play now.
    We can already witness with our eyes & ears , PAPs are running scared and bungling several times with loong and his band of mediocre ministars…
    Nees So many ministars, mps..mayors.grasslooters etc just to hold his hand..ğ
    The PAP establshment itself is a joke these days.

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  • xoxo:

    *What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffer the loss of his own soul.*
    *Form is emptiness; emptiness is form.*

    Karma will take its course,good or evil.
    You reap what you sow.
    It is easier for a camel to pass through the *EYE OF THE NEEDLE* than for a RICH(POWERFUL) man to enter the Gate of Heaven.


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  • MarBowling:

    What do you expect from the Hide Court? Heads I Win, Tails You Lose!

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  • In stark contrast, the law in China GUARANTEE that anyone being wrongfully imprisoned is ENTITLED to compensation from the states at a basic rate that is fixed.

    No need to engage a lawyer to sue, the compensation automatically kicks in when the victim is exonerated by the courts and is handled by an independent department in the AGC (lawyer from this department will act for the victim). However, if the false imprisonment was caused by malice and intentional fixing/setup of an officer of the law, the compensation amount can be upped from the basic rate if the victim wants to pursue the matter.

    To date, millions have been paid to these victims, and plenty of such news is plastered all over the internet and widely reported.

    Additionally, maybe there is, but I have not heard of AGC asking for costs in an appeal or civil cases against the authorities. Costs are mostly awarded in civil suit that does not involve the authorities.

    From the many incidents and cases that have happened just in 2022 alone, I am getting the impression that the AGC has morphed into a for-profit organisation. What do you think?

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  • Money,Money, Money:

    Extraction of money is the default practice.
    Embedded in law, passed by Parliamentarians.

    Failure to adhere to rules will incur monetary loss.
    From parking to renewal of certificates etc.

    Even non Government bodies adopt it
    MCST, Companies, Utilities, etc.

    Money is always used as the 1st stage of punishment & penalties.
    Childcare centres too.

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  • Police Assault:

    “In January, Mr Mah Kiat Seng, 48, succeeded in his claim relating to one officer, Mr Mohamed Rosli Mohamed, for unlawful apprehension. But he failed in a second claim that another officer, Mr Lawrence Tan Thiam Chin, had assaulted him while in custody.”

    Anybody dare to go for coffee session?

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