Cartoonist apologises, AGC drops contempt of court action

SINGAPORE - The cartoonist accused of scandalising the judiciary in a series of comics he posted on Facebook has apologised.

In a statement released by his lawyers on Tuesday, Mr Leslie Chew Peng Ee said he "accepted that his comic strips had misrepresented to the public that the Singapore judiciary administers differential treatment to individuals based on their nationality, social status and political affiliation, and that there have been specific criminal cases in which decisions were made by the Singapore judiciary on the basis of the above factors rather than on the merits".

The four comic strips in question were posted online between July 2011 and June last year.

Mr Chew said he has since taken down the comics and accompanying comments, and will undertake not to repost them, as well as not to put up any other post or comic strip that amounts to contempt of court.

"It was never my intention to scandalise the judiciary. I realise my mistake and I want to make amends for it," he added. "I draw to make people laugh, and I want to continue with my work within the boundaries of the law."

The Attorney-General's Chambers said on Tuesday that it will not proceed with the contempt of court charges against Mr Chew in light of his apology and undertaking, which he had initiated.

"All members of the public should note that the Attorney- General's Chambers will take firm action to protect the administration of justice in Singapore, and uphold the integrity of the judiciary," said a spokesman.

Mr Chew's case was due to be heard next Monday. His lawyers M. Ravi of LF Violet Netto and Choo Zheng Xi of Peter Low LLC said this is "the best possible outcome for all parties involved".


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