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Politician Tang bankrupted by leaders' libel actions


South China Morning Post. Feb 7, 1998.
REUTERS in Singapore

RELATED: Straits Times report: Feb 7

OPPOSITION politician Tang Liang Hong, who owes government leaders more than Singapore $4.53 million (HK$20.70 million) in libel damages, was declared bankrupt yesterday, lawyers said.

"The bankruptcy order was made by the court," said a lawyer acting for Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Mr Lee's lawyers filed a bankruptcy petition in January after failing to recover about S$740,000 in damages and interest, which Mr Tang owed following a slew of libel actions against him by Mr Lee, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and other members of the ruling People's Action Party.

Mr Tang's biggest asset in Singapore, a bungalow estimated to be worth S$4.5 million, is the subject of a dispute because his wife is claiming half ownership.

Mr Tang was sued after accusing Mr Goh and his colleagues of lying when they called him "an anti-Christian Chinese chauvinist" in the campaign for general elections held in January 1997.

The party won 81 of 83 parliamentary seats. Mr Tang fled Singapore, saying he feared for his life. He has not returned and was unrepresented yesterday.

In November, the Appeals Court slashed damages awarded by a lower court in 13 libel cases against Mr Tang from S$8.08 million.

It also ordered Mr Tang to pay most of the costs of the libel actions brought against him.

 Published in the South China Morning Post. Feb 7, 1998

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