By MICHELLE QUAH
WELL-KNOWN surgeon Susan Lim has a very different take on her meeting with Brunei's health minister in January 2009 than the headlines so far have reflected, court documents show.
The hearings have been adjourned for three weeks. Meanwhile, it has been widely reported that Dr Lim extended multiple discounts to the Bruneian authorities after they complained about the $25 million bill she handed to the palace for her recently deceased patient.
She even offered to waive all her fees in exchange for a 'letter of good standing', the reports said.
What has not been reported are Dr Lim's claims that she offered only one discount and offered to waive her fees on a second occasion, both times motivated by her long relationship with the patient.
She has also claimed that the Bruneians were not upset about her fees until as recently as that January 2009 meeting - when Dr Lim and her husband met Brunei's health minister and the husband of the late patient to discuss her charges.
In previously unreported minutes of that meeting submitted to the courts by Dr Lim, the minister is recorded as having asked Dr Lim if there was any room for the ministry to discuss a lower final amount to her satisfaction.
To which, Dr Lim is recorded as having replied that 'she had not come to this meeting to negotiate a settlement of the amount, but to make sure that the minister and his team understood the nature of the services provided'.
There is no mention of a letter of good standing in that version of the meeting.
This stands in direct contrast to Brunei's Ministry of Health's (MOHB) account of what was said during that meeting.