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It took me two and a half evenings to complete your un-put-downable book...it is a unique contribution to the appreciation of a life in Singapore. Thank you for having written it. C. V. Devan Nair, former President of Singapore.

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Dr Susan Lim’s threatening letter to Foreign Minister George Yeo


Susan Lim - looking a bit stressed

Susan Lim - looking a bit stressed

On March 1, 2010, Dr. Susan Lim, sensing trouble, sent a threatening letter to George Yeo.

She writes, “I presently face allegations in disciplinary proceedings brought by the Singapore Medical Council of overcharging [the Patient]. I may soon be asked to give evidence and I am very concerned that in order for me to defend myself properly, I will have to divulge sensitive information about my patient, her immediate family, the Brunei Government and the Palace.” Yes, that’s a threat.

Dr. Lim continues, “… I am deeply concerned that information will eventually come to public light, which will cause unnecessary embarrassment to Brunei. This, in turn, may affect ties between Brunei and Singapore.” Dr. Lim is really stretching it with this threat, implying that even her case may affect the eventual merger between Singapore and Brunei. Who does she think she is?

Next Dr. Lim comes up with, “I continue to look forward to a practical resolution of the matter, which I believe to be in the interests of Brunei and Singapore.” Here she gives her case and herself more credit than either deserves.

This is followed by another threat, “Moreover, if a settlement can be reached, I would not have to commence a civil action against the Brunei Government to recover my fees and disbursements, which presently remain outstanding.”

And finally, Dr. Lim finishes with a sweetener, “Whatever may happen in the disciplinary proceedings, Brunei will have to make payment of a reasonable amount for the services rendered, unless as part of an overall settlement I waive some part of this.”

On March 16, 2010, Singapore sent Dr. Lim her answer putting her down by writing, “I refer to your letter to Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo dated 1 March 2010. We have taken note of your letter. We wish to inform you that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not in a position to intervene in an ongoing legal process.”

The response to Dr. Lim from the Singapore government was not signed by George Yeo, but by a low-level staffer, Peter Lim. Dr. Lim had to be humiliated by the government’s terse response. Her threats and her sweetener did not work.

Dr. Lim not only showed her desperation by writing to George Yeo; she made a fool of herself, as well.

Living in Singapore, Dr. Lim should have known better.

34 comments to Dr Susan Lim’s threatening letter to Foreign Minister George Yeo

  • Tang LI

    Let’s make not mistake – the letter was downright stupid!

    However, she does have a point – she did work and was not paid.

    Funnily enough – she actually lost money in 2007. Is she supposed to sit there and not get collect money for work done? Funny way to expect a business to be run?

  • paul

    Having lived in Singapore for so long Dr Susan Lim ought to have known better that the government of Singapore is made of steel and not malleable as what she had hoped for. When MOH is out to get her its better for her to flee Singapore and escape from paradise. That will be a smart move.

  • Youcallmechantek

    @Tang Li. I do agree with you. It’s just another dirty tactic by Alvin yeo in using his limited vocabulary by making such a headline! Threatening isn’t the right word.I don’t think Dr Lim is so desperate as to resort to this method.it seems Alvin is in a desperate bid to win this case as he will be contesting in the upcoming GE. Alvin , you are not gentleman la.

  • Truthseeker

    I disagree with you John. How is her letter to the minister threatening? Look at her language. She is preempting him on the case as Singapore-Brunei relations might get affected if the matters of the case become public.

    Also, she is asking about some kind of payment for services rendered and she wants an amicable settlement. At best, this is a civil gesture on the Doctor’s part. At least, now no can say that she cared only about her millions, not about the image and relationship of Singapore with a neighboring country.

    • admin

      You say that Dr. Lim is “preempting” the Singapore government on what might happen to Singapore-Brunei relations. I would say “threatening to expose.” Who does this lady think she is – Viceroy Davinder Singh?

  • Ani Istri

    I am glad that this information about Dr Lim has finally come out.

  • Tang Li

    Yes, information is coming out like it has in this Brunei Times article:

  • Simple Simon Says

    Who were her lawyers and what kind of mindframe were they in when giving her legal advise? Or, perhaps, she was her own legal counsel?

    The patient was a family member of the Brunei royalty. She was not an employee nor agent of the Brunei government. If the patient (who has since died from her medical condition) did not pay her fees when she was alive, she should lay her claim on the patient’s estate. The Brunei government had no legal obligation to pay her any single cent. If her legal logic is to be accepted, every single member of the Brunei royal family should go to Singapore and seek “free” medical treatment since their government would have to pick up the tab.

    Maybe someone should tell Susan Lim to sue the Singapore government if any of her patients who are related to Singapore ministers does not pay her their consultation fees.

    It is a desperate attempt by this greedy surgeon (or is she only still a doctor?) to pre-empt criminal proceedings being eventually taken against her because what initially started as an act of overcharging seems to have taken on an angle of fraud and cheating.

  • Ann Jacob

    i read the letter in TODAY online – the document seems to have missing parts and its difficult to get an impression of “threatening” when we can’t read the whole letter. Was it in any way censured ? From my point of view, it was a cordial letter, and to give the doctor the benefit of the doubt, she may know something that she prefers not to reveal to the world and perhaps she is protecting her patient and the Royal Family’s confidentiality ?

  • Simple Simon Says

    Actually, the irony of it all is that while Dr Susan Lim’s request purportedly was done to prevent a thaw in diplomatic relations between Brunei and Singapore (her interpretation) the matter of the fact is that it is precisely because of this that the Singapore government had pressured the medical council to investigate the matter following a complaint made by the Brunei authorities.

    What started as a cursory investigation on a case of excessive over-charging (a civil matter) has now taken on a more serious proportion, with the possibility of criminal liability (fraud and deception). The MFA’s hint is very clear …it does not intervene in an ongoing LEGAL process (it deliberately chose not ti mention that it is an ongoing civil process).

    This case has all the bearings and scenerio much like Durai and the NKF affair – all the greed, arrogance, prima donna mentality, and repugnant stand against an official process conducted by an authority vested with public interests at large.

    Whilst Durai may have got his one-uppness riding piggyback on the political power of SM Goh Chok Tong’s wife, I would not be surprised if Susan Lim is of the opinion that she has the support of a political figure (who may have been her patient).

    The writing on the wall is very clear – she will undoubtedly end up like Durai, disgraced and probably has to serve time in incarceration.

  • Tang Li

    The patient was a senior member of the Brunei Royal Family and not a member of the Brunei Government….what’s the distinction here? We all know that the Brunei Royals are the government. It’s a bit like the way we all know Temasek Holdings is the Singapore government (owned by guess who) – even though the government tells us that Temasek is a private entity separate from government (almost technically correct).

    The other point is this – if the Brunei Government wanted to be separate from the patient – why did they pay her bills directly under their account for a period of 5-years? They could easily have given the money to her and let her pay the doctor…Instead they paid directly and I think common sense will tell you that they took on the responsibility for the bills and contractual obligations with the doctor.

  • Simple simon Says

    Tang Li

    From the point of law, sorry to say, you are wrong. Anybody can pay for somebody else’s debts. They do not need any contractual obligation to do so. It can be an act of a voluntary nature, a gift, or simple a one off act done as a charity, etc. If your brother were to be hounded by a loan shark, and to help him you chose to pay his creditor by monthly instalment, etc, that does not make you obligated to the debt. I don’t think there is any country with civil laws that treat this aspect otherwise. The recourse of the creditor (in this case, Dr Susan Lim) is to make a claim and sue the estate of her patient. The liability ends there. The law is very clear. Creditors cannot go round claiming from their debtors’s siblings, parents, uncles and aunties, their employers, etc.

    However, you are right from the point of fact, and that is, the Brunei government took the liberty of paying her bills on her behalf. But it was done in good faith and not out of obligation.

    What happened was the Brunei government took over payment of the patient’s bills out of good faith, compassion, and most importantly, to preserve the sanctity of reputation of the Royal family. When it became clear to the Sultan that Dr Susan Lim was milking them, and upon having obtained the evidence that she had inflated the fees of secondary consultants (claiming on their behalf)which were apart from her own consultation fees, it was too much to bear. Hence, the diplomatic recourse by making an official complaint through appropriate political channels.

    It must be borne in mind that it was not just the documents and files pertaining to the Brunei patient that was sequestered by the medical council. Altogether I am told, the files of many other of Dr Susan Lim’s patients (more than 50 files) were also taken for investigation purposes. the SMC probably had more than sufficient cause to warrant adopting such action (in other words, from the initial investigations conducted by the first committee there was probably enough meat to suggest this “over-charging” and deceitful billing was not just on the Brunei patient, but rather, a modus operandi of Dr Susan Lim.

    We should not speculate any further, but let the matter take its due course.

    • Tang Li

      From the words of one of her patients:

      http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=22044652&postID=1181310087996805090

      Hello, may i join in this conversation ? I have been following the susan lim saga because i am her patient and travel to see her every year. I know of the Royal patient because i have had the bad luck to have been referred to her male assistant in 2007 when she was “called away overseas to attend to an emergency” in JUne, which is when i usually have the time to make the trip.Despite being in Singapore for the whole week, i could not get an appointment and when i turned up unannounced, i was shocked to find her usually bustling clinic empty with her many staff sitting idle. There must have been many other patients like me that the practice had to turn away. This must have been a huge opportunity cost which the doctor must have factored in, to attend to a dying patient, while turning away us “living” patients. This week, i was in Singapore, and decided to attend the Hearing, since it was so highly publicised in Indonesia. I was quite shocked to find out that in fact, the doctor had sent her bills periodically throughout the treatment, so the patient would have known the fees, but still used Dr Lim’s services. What was even more of a revelation was the fact that the doctor had sent the patient away three times, once to NUH to be under Professor John Wong, and twice back to Brunei. But the patient kept returning to her care despite the fact that the doctor had sent her bills regularly to the Brunei Commission. I liken this to a client who has been a regular at a famous hair dressing salon over many years. In the last year, she frequents him daily for hair wash, shampoo and treatments, manicures and pedicures,but at the end of 6 months, she refuses to pay though she has received the same good service at the same rates. Worse still, she complains to the consumer organisation !
      Face it, this is a commercial world; if you insist and consume services, you must be expected to pay, at least at the rates you have been paying in the previous years. I fail to understand what is the case, and why so much time and money is wasted on this quite ridiculous persecution. But reading your blogs, I have come to a view that at the end, it IS money that drives the economy and its people, and it must be that the Senior Counsel for SMC sees in Dr Lim’s case, a cash machine, which must be earning him, after all this time, surely a few million. Are Singaporeans happy to line his pockets with their hard earned money when they can do so much more to help the underpriveleged, and where there is so much disaster, poverty and suffering in this world today ?

      10:31 PM

  • Tang Li: Please don’t misquote me. I am not wrong on any point of law and did not say a third party may be responsible for another debts. As former Deputy Commissioner of Singapore Inland revenue, and a tax expert, I can tell you that the US Internal Revenue service can go after their debtor’s siblings, parents, uncles and aunties, their employers, etc.

  • Simple Simon Says

    Tang Li

    I am very sad to see that you have missed the point completely. It is understandable since you have admitted you are one of her patients, therefore you have a vested interest to “protect” her.

    Are you aware of the following facts :

    1) The three doctors who wrote strong testimonies in favour of Dr Susan Lim all closed ranks to, like you, “protect” her for one simple reason – she is the source of referral for business for them. Indict her and they lose a valuable revenue source. I am pretty sure they are just as exasperated at her marking up tremendously their bills and passing them off as “original” billing by them in a deceitful manner.

    2) Dr Susan Lim had a previous controversial which came before the courst someyears ago, and the BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT was given to her although there was visible negligence on her part.

    John Harding is right. Only the IRAS or any other government institutions have the right to persue debts owing by the government, but only in so far as they have a prima facie case that funds belonging to the debtors have been transfered to somebody else for the purpose of avoiding payment (not applicable if such funds have been transferred for payment of other bona fide transaction).

    3) Dr Susan Lim’s charges, in as far as the royal patient was concerned, were way beyond the fees charged by even the best surgeons in the world. There are ethical issues at stake here, which was why a medical council has been set up long ago in the first place.

    It is quite understandable for you to have a partial stance on this issue. It is no fault of yours, we are all human beings. I have no issues with Dr Susan Lim, just pointing out some relevant facts which, unfortunately, throws very bad light on the surgeon.

    Like I said earlier, let the matter take its own course. If she is “innocent” of any perceived wrongoings, she will undoubtedly be cleared and she can continue to hold her head high. But she has already damaged her own reputation by, firstly, going to the courts to try and have the investigations by the medical council stopped, and secondly, writing to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs intervene. If she should “fall” from grace it is by her own hands.

  • paul

    Simple Simon

    Well said. In the Singapore legal context she is presumed guilty until proven innocent. This will be an uphill task for her after she herself have made overt behaviour where adverse inferences may be drawn against her. Circumstantial evidence is very strong that she is guilty and she was trying to exculpate herself from this mess.

  • Simple Simon Says

    Tang Li

    My humble apologies. In your earlier thread you were quoting from a patient of Dr Susan Lim, which I had inadvertently misttaken to be a representation of your own experience. My comment on your biased stance is, therefore, withdrawn.

  • Tang Li:
    Thank you.
    John

  • Pushpa Kaur

    Dr Lim is not only bold, highly sought after, and fearless, she is also able to read into the future “…I have no doubt that the local and international media will sensationalise aspects of the case, given the prominence of my patient, her family and her government.
    I am deeply concerned that information will eventually come to public light, which will cause unnecessary embarrassment to Brunei…. ” as her letter was written exactly one year ago, she has rightly predicted this media circus which has hogged headline news regionally. When the interest in Dr Lim subsides, all that will be left is the distasteful aftertaste of a Royal Family who used the services of a singapore doctor and defaulted payment. The world will also decry the fact that they made the doctor pay for their out-of-pocket expenses and aircraft charter, abused her trust, and have not even reimbursed her after 4 years ! It is precisely this distasteful news about our oil-rich neighbour that perhaps Dr Lim was trying to avoid sensationalism, but the SMC wanted to expose ! What goes around comes around !

  • Tang Li

    No worries. I was only a patient of hers once and that was ten-years ago when Daddy picked up the tab. Ever since I’ve had to pay my own medical bills, I try very hard to cure everything with aspirin and penadols – unless I’m forced to visit a polyclinic where I wait in line for hours and hours but pay in the tens of dollars.

    My issue with this case is not much to defend Dr Lim but to look at the processes of the Singapore Medical Council and the acceptance that it’s OK for judicial processes to changed to suite the prosecuting powers. I live in Singapore and I don’t like the fact that we, as a population will grumble about the government but continue be lack luster when serious breaches of due process take place.

    Susan Lim is not a sympathetic figure. Let’s put it this way – when has anyone liked rich doctors who only deal with patients who can pay? Her fees also sound outrageous ….though I will have point out that in her defense she can point to “work” being done as opposed to the Pastor who raised S$21million in 24 hours so that he could build a shopping mall.

    By putting up a fight, she’s forced two issues to be highlighted. These are serious issues but will unfortunately get covered by the very sexy S$25 million figure.

    The key points being:

    a – The arbitrary changing of the regulations freed the tribunal from having to disclose legal advice it received from a legal assessor to the defendant.

    The Second Disciplinary Comity made the point that they would use the change in regulation to decide Dr Lim’s fate.

    In football terms this is called “changing the goal post” and when the AG’s chamber said this was perfectly legal the judge actually said,”Are you serious……this can’t be right.” It’s only after this came out in the press that the AG’s chambers “clarified” their stance and said that Dr Lim’s rights would be protected.

    Now, Dr Lim may not be the most sympathetic of characters but if the powers that be can change the rules to suite themselves “to get” someone of Dr Lim’s prominence – what makes you think they can’t and won’t do it to ordinary people.

    It’s already bad enough that the police can hold a suspect until they finish an investigation – but now it seems judicial bodies can change rules to suite themselves. I know of people who have been convinced to confess to things they didn’t do and nobody has batted an eye lid and the police merely themselves on the back for arresting another crook (this is the same police force that is somehow inept at catching limping men).

    b – The many hats worn by Professor Saktu. As Director of Medical Services of Ministry of Health, he ordered the raids against her and more importantly lodged the complaint against her with the Medical Council. He is however also the Registrar of the Medical Council and therefore was the person who appointed the Complaints and Disciplinary Comities to investigate Dr Lim.

    This is already a clear violation of the Common Law Principle that “No man shall be judge in his own court.” I don’t think you need a law degree to see that this is a blatant conflict of interest – yet it’s perfectly legal. Professor Saktu is complainant, prosecutor and judge. Instead of distancing himself from the proceedings, the SMC Council actually went to seek his approval for the second disciplinary comity. Funnily enough, the SMC created a deputy registrar to take over Professor Saktu’s duties on the day the SMC counsel was arguing that Professor Saktu’s three hats were prefectly alright.

    Once again, Dr Lim may not be a sympathetic figure but she has to have something resembling a “fair” hearing and the SMC is not even pretending to be fair. They are falling back on the Singapore Government’s stance of “Trust Me, I’m Good and Fair,” when it persecutes people and expects them to roll over and play dead.

    The public seems quite content to allow blatant flaws in the system and we continue to put blind faith in the Singapore Government. This can’t be right and it’s important that we force judicial bodies to take due process seriously.

    I think we all know that Dr Lim will get a proverbial wacking by either the SMC or the Courts. However, before that happens, I think that we, in the public need to be hard on the judicial processes that are being used against her.

  • Simple Simon Says

    Tang Li

    Very well written. We all know that the administration of laws in Singapore can be ‘mischievous’ at times, the interpretation of justice being served is in the eye of the power that be. Every living soul who has been keeping abreast of political process in our tiny red dot can see this.

    The government has been using this tool (the ‘miscarriage’ of justice) for its own benefit and to suit its own purpose. John Harding can attest to this fact. You name it, they’ve done it. For instance, are Singaporeans that daft to really believe that there was a Marxist plot to overthrow the government in 1987? The more informed Singaporeans were aware that the whole operation conducted under the ISA in that year was centred on ‘fixing’ Francis Seow (to borrow Lee Hsien Loong’s iconic word) because he was getting more powerful politically outside of the electoral process, something which LKY could not tolerate.

    Dr Susan Lim should have been more subservient in her behaviour instead of choosing a confrontational approach. She forgets that what the government wants the government gets. Her success as a surgeon has got to her head, and behaving like a prima donna, she spouts an air of nonchalance when interacting with institutions of authority, something which the power that be could not tolerate. Ex-CEO of NKF, Durai once displayed the same demeanour, thinking he had the political clout under Goh Chok Tong’s wife to cpver his actions. We all know he had a great fall.

    Dr Susan Ng should have liken herself to Humpty Dumpty sitting on the wall. She should have known that the whole process was instituted from the office of a government department and not merely a civil matter involving the medical council. Whilst it is true that Prof Saktu may be wearing many hats, it must be borne in mind that’ firstly, he had no personal interest in the matter and had no personal agenda to fulfil, and, secondly, there is no scenerio of conflict of interest because he has no vested interest in the case, being neither an agent of the Brunei government nor a relative of the deceased patient. His many hats is a matter which can be subject of legal debate, but there is nothing wrong with wearing many hats. A lot of public officials wear many hats, some appointments of which are official while others being ex-officio. LKY himself seats on many offices. Our present Minister of Law is also Minister for Home Affairs (by your interpretation this would be the mother of all conflict of interest).

    But you have raised interesting points and issues which should open the eyes of those who have been apathetic towards the political development of our tiny island.

  • Some times it’s best not to fight City Hall, better to bow down to the system – especially in Singapore.

  • Tang Li

    A part of me thinks that if Dr Lim were “smart” she would take the TT Durai option – which is to roll over and play dead when you can see the writing is on the wall. TT served a mere three months in jail and then quietly went to Dubai and into a job paying him a mere $25,000 a month.

    There is also a case to say that she should have been “smart” and gone through the second disciplinary comity because based on the regulation change alone, she would have won at Court of Appeal. The judge in the current case said as much.

    So, there is a case to say that this court action is not so good for Dr Susan Lim. However, I would say that it’s been good for Singapore that the flaws in the process.

    As for the many hats that our public officials seem to wear, I guess we just accept it as normal. However, one has to question if it’s actually good and fair. LKY is both Minister Mentor and Chairman as GIC – wonder how many of GIC’s investments are based on sound investment principles and how many are based on “political” considerations? We will never know – even when GIC blows lots of money buying into toxic American Assets.

    You are right, I do have an issue with Minister of Law being Minister of Home Affairs – I think we must be the only country where the man who writes the laws is also the same person responsible for enforcing them. But it’s perfectly legal……………

    In Prof Saktu’s case, the three hats don’t normally cause a problem. Someone complains against a doctor and he’s in the position to ensure that the process works smoothly.

    It is only a problem in this case because he is the complainant (even if he claims he’s not acting on behalf of the Brunei Government or the patient -he’s still the complainant), prosecutor and judge. In the words of the judge “How can that be right?” Although SMC’s lawyer put up a vigorous defense for this case….SMC quietly created a deputy registrar position and promptly got the deputy registrar to take over Prof Saktu’s duties in the Susan Lim case.

  • Simple Simon Says

    Tang Li

    Regarding your smart observation of the SMC in being spontaneous in doing a quick fix by creating a deputy registrar position to facilitate a “unbiase” process, perhaps you would also like to know that when our first President from the Chinese majority, Mr Wee Kim Wee, was appointed it was an “illegal” and unconstitutional appointment made under LKY’s hand.

    Our Constitution at that time clearly specified that the President must be someone coming from the MINORITY race (for which the incidence of creating the presidency was to protect the interests of the minority races). This provision of the highest law in the law was clearly infringed. An Amendment was then subsequently passed to “correct” this fundamental problem. The focus of the presidency was then slowly but subsequently changed to from protecting the interests of the minority races to protecting the state reserves.

  • Simple Simon Says

    Pushpa Kaur

    You will undoubted get the greatest shock of your life when the whole real ugly truth emerges regarding Dr Susan Lim in the days yet to come. You comments seem to cast aspersion on the integrity of the Brunei royal family, especially on their creditworthiness.

    Keep yourself posted on developments in the case in the days to come. More unsavoury facts regarding Dr Lim’s modus operandi will be exposed in due course. Like they say, to catch the thief follow the money trail. The investigators took away not just the files relating to the deceased Brunei patient, but ALSO the files of a few other patients as well (more than 50 as I was told). Clearly someone was providing very vital information…..

    She is not on trial here. Let the investigators continue doing their job and, at the end of their mission, either exonerate her, subject her to disciplinary action in accordance with the provisions of the SMC, or refer her to the AG for prosecution.

    Pure speculation is not going to get us anywhere.

  • Simple Simon Says

    Just for the record for those who think very highly of Dr Susan Lim as being a much sought after surgeon the altercation highlighted below happened sometime in 1999 :

    Dr Lim performed an appendectomy on an engineer working here at Lucent Technologies in early 1999. The operation had gone sour as she had failed to remove completely her patient’s whole inflamed appendix causing infection to set in. Following some post-operation treatment her patient was told that she could have Crohn’s disease (which could cause inflammation of the intestines, a condition which Dr Lim thought was the source of her patient’s protracted inflammatory discomfort).

    Her patient subsequently went to the States where an operation was then performed on her at a Chicago hospital, wherein a remaining 4 or 5 cm of appendix was then removed. The American doctor identified this vestigial part as the source which caused the inflammation. The patient recovered fully after that.

    So much about the professionalism and hooha about Dr Susan Lim as being one of the top surgeons in the world.

    By being a part of the team of NUH surgeons who performed the first liver transplant in Singapore some years ago her name and so-called reputation had preceded her every time her name is being mentioned. That’s how the prima donna demeanour grow onto her. Few forget or even realised that she is just like any other surgeons having their off days. While others have their off period during difficult and demanding operating conditions, Dr Lim fell short while performing what most surgeon would consider as a minor operation.

  • youcallmechantek

    Everybody seems to quote that other top surgeons do not charge as high as Dr Lim.Can someone just name me one name?In court documents,it has been mentioned that Prof Ian Smith charge $150k for a 15 minutes consult with Pg Damit without having to do any physical check.Wow!!! if you times that to the amount of hours equivalent to what Dr Lim was doing for the patient,wouldn’t that be outrages charges as well?When a foreign doctor charge sky high,the Asian bow down and licked their boots,but when a local surgeon punched in their cash register to what they deemed is right for the work that had been rendered,tongues started wagging like stray dogs looking for bits of bones!

  • Harry

    youcallmechantek

    Is she worth even $150k per 15 minute? If you ask me she is not even worth $1k per 15 minute.

    She could not even perform a simple appendectomy (operation to remove inflammed appendix) properly. I remember that case mentioned by Simple Simon Says. The patient sued her for negligence. Dr Lim escaped liability by the hair’s breath because a lenient judge had given her benefit of the doubt maybe because of her high profile. But she certainly is worth that money. Remember, the Brunei patient died whilst most other patients who had breast cancer survive by consulting other doctors and surgeons.

    Anyway, the issue at stake is not so much the colossal sum she is charging – it is the fraud and deceit by which she is charging her patients.

  • Tang Li

    Simon – you are definitely not as Simple as the name suggest 😉

    I don’t think it’s much fun to case aspersions on the integrity of Brunei Royals as it would be on the late Mother Teresa. Just as Dr Susan Lim is not about to win the award for “Generous Doctor who Helps people for Free,” The Royal Family of Brunei is not about to win the award for “Most Saintly Family” of the Year. 😉

    If you read the following report in the Brunei Times, you’ll see that the late Pangiran Damit was not exactly angelic in her business dealings outside of Brunei. Mr Burby has yet to to receive payment that was awarded to him by the British Courts from the Royal Family.

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/leisure/article511361.ece

    This has no bearing on the question of whether Dr Lim “overcharged” the Brunei Royals and it doesn’t push her any closer to Sainthood. I am quite sure that the system in Singapore is going to drag her through the proverbial coals and give her a sound hiding.

    However, it should be quite clear that the people on the other end of the spectrum are not exactly angels either. I wouldn’t buy the narrative of them being innocents who got overcharged by the “greedy” doctor.

    Hard to believe that the royals who have dealt with the likes of Khashoggi and Fayed could be easily “duped” by Dr Susan Lim. While the doctor may not be as good a surgeon as her reputation suggest – her reputation is for surgery not salesmanship. Furthermore, when you are known to be as rich and powerful as the Sultan, doctors from all over the world come to you and display their wears.

    So as well as looking to punish the doctor and ensuring the SMC improves on its judicial processes – we might want to consider getting businesses to write in “due diligence” clauses into contracts with rich and powerful customers.

  • Tang Li

    Sorry – should have mentioned that the report is from the Times of London and not the Brunei Times.

    Anyway, I wonder if somebody would be interested in doing a study on the cases of greed and corruption in Singapore in the last decade. It would make for good reading, which unfortunately won’t be analysed much.

  • Simple Simon Says

    Tang Li, I agree with you that the parties at both ends are neither angelic nor charitable. The Brunei Sultan himself being involved directly in removing the late billionaire Khoo Teck Puat from the Brunei scene by “fixing” Khoo’s brother in the National Bank of Brunei scandal some years back. As the story the market is familiar with goes, it was his way of hitting back after his sultanate bought over the previous Holiday Inn from the Khoo family at a price which, on hindsight, the sultan felt he had been “conned”.

    Casting our periscope further in time into the mid to late eighties during the time Malaysian Tan Koon Swan was incarcerated in Changi Prison, some of us will remember about the talk of Ms Penny Chang (Tan’s girlfriend) constantly being seen in the premises of the Sultan’s court. The joke that was going the rounds then was “Penny wise Tan foolish”.

    Hey, thanks for the compliment about me being a simpleton. I’ll rather be Simple Simon than Humpty Dumpty !

  • Political SalesMaN

    Dr Lim is the First lady Lee Hsien loong wanted to marry her, She rejected him.He can’t get the bite.After so many year it is a trap to trap her.