Chan Boon Siang and others v Jasmin Nisban

JudgeChoo Han Teck J
Judgment Date09 October 2017
Neutral Citation[2017] SGHC 249
Plaintiff CounselWong Tjen Wee, Michelle Lee and Kong Xie Shern (Wong & Leow LLC)
Date09 October 2017
Docket NumberHC/RAS No 18 of 2017 (DC Suit No 556 of 2016)
Hearing Date25 September 2017
Subject MatterStriking out,Civil procedure
Published date13 October 2017
Defendant CounselLau Kok Keng, Chia T-Chien and Quek Yi Liang Daniel (Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP)
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Citation[2017] SGHC 249
Choo Han Teck J:

The plaintiff is the treasurer in the Executive Committee of the Singapore Chess Federation (“SCF”). He is suing 39 members of the SCF for libel. The plaintiff alleges that the libel is found in a letter of requisition for an extraordinary general meeting (“EOGM”) signed by the signatories. The defendant sent the requisition to the Executive Committee to seek a vote of no confidence in the president of the SCF as well as the members of the Executive Committee. The letter of requisition is dated 6 January 2016.

The reasons for the request are found in an undated letter attached as part of the letter of requisition. This undated letter referred to the resignation of Miss Anjela Khegay (“Anjela”), who was employed by SCF as a trainer from January 2014 and resigned on 31 August 2015.

The plaintiff’s case is that the attached letter is defamatory because it claimed that Anjela resigned because of an incident which took place on 30 August 2015 in the SCF’s office, involving “two Council members” and “sexual misconduct in the premises of SCF”. The letter goes on to say that two vice-presidents of the SCF had been asked to interview “Anjela and the two Council members implicated (Tony Tan and Nisban Jasmin [the plaintiff])”.

All 39 defendants are part of the group of 51 signatories to the letter requesting an EOGM, but not all 51 had been named as defendants. 15 defendants are not involved because they are separately represented and are not parties to the application to strike out and this appeal. The other 24 defendants applied to strike out the plaintiff’s suit under Order 18 r 19(1)(a) and (d) of the Rules of Court (Cap 322, R5, 2014 Rev Ed). That order provides as follows —

19.—(1) The Court may at any stage of the proceedings order to be struck out or amended any pleading or the endorsement of any writ in the action, or anything in any pleading or in the endorsement, on the ground that —

it discloses no reasonable cause of action or defence, as the case may be;

it is otherwise an abuse of the process of the Court,

and may order the action to be stayed or dismissed or judgment to be entered accordingly, as the case may be.

The application was struck out by a deputy registrar of the State Courts. The plaintiff appealed to District Judge David Lim who allowed his appeal and restored the action. The defendants then appealed before me against District Judge Lim’s order.


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2 cases
  • Lee Hsien Loong v Leong Sze Hian
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 24 Marzo 2021
    ...v Cassell and Co Ltd [1972] AC 1027 (refd) Caine v Advertiser and Times Ltd [2019] EWHC 2278 (QB) (refd) Chan Boon Siang v Jasmin Nisban [2018] 3 SLR 498 (refd) Charleston v News Group Newspapers Ltd [1995] 2 AC 65 (refd) Chase v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2002] EWCA Civ 1772 (refd) Cheah C......
  • Lee Hsien Loong v Leong Sze Hian
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 12 Marzo 2019
    ...Choo Han Teck J also considered the application of Jameel in a more limited manner in Chan Boon Siang and others v Jasmin Nisban [2018] 3 SLR 498. At [7], Choo J noted that “although the court’s resources ought not to be used for the pursuit of trivial or pointless claims, each case must be......
2 books & journal articles
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Journal No. 2020, December 2020
    • 1 Diciembre 2020
    ...exemplary damages in defamation. 5 Goh Lay Khim v Isabel Redrup Agency Pte Ltd [2017] 1 SLR 546. 6 See Chan Boon Siang v Jasmin Nisban [2018] 3 SLR 498; Lee Hsien Loong v Leong Sze Hian [2019] SGHC 66; and Leong Sze Hian v Lee Hsien Loong [2019] 2 SLR 591. 7 See Practice Direction 143 of th......
  • Civil Procedure
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review No. 2017, December 2017
    • 1 Diciembre 2017
    ...SGHC 289 at [124]. 132 BNX v BOE [2017] SGHC 289 at [125]. 133 BNX v BOE [2017] SGHC 289 at [127]. 134 [2015] 5 SLR 1104 at [105]. 135 [2018] 3 SLR 498. 136 See para 8.36 above. 137 [1990] 1 SLR(R) 337 at [4]. 138 [2017] SGHC 271. 139 [2018] 3 SLR 356. 140 [2017] SGHCR 20. 141 [2016] 5 SLR ......

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