Two days ago, I attended an event by BoardAgender, an initiative supported by the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO). The event seeks to promote the appointment of more women to boards and had a dialogue on having more women on boards.
I am surprised to see Suet Fen there as I thought she would be busy with the ongoing family saga, but what happened during the event shocked many of us, and I can’t help but to disgusted that a woman of her stature resorted to such actions.
Suet Fern stood up during the dialogue, and launched into a diatribe about her fight with Lee Hsien Loong. Amongst other things, she accused LHL of having lied under oath and that she was unfairly harassed by Ministry of Law over her firm’s application to tie up with Morgan Bockius Lewis. She claims that MinLaw gave her much problems about an inaccurate statement, accused her of lying under oath (over a minor inaccuracy) and that it took several months before it was sorted out.
Many of the participants were very uncomfortable with Suet Fern’s attempt to drag them into the dispute and found it distasteful. One of them told her that he did not think what she was doing was good for either herself or Singapore.
The organisers were very embarrassed.
While I have not met Suet Fern personally, I do know her by reputation. Her actions at the dialogue, and lack of concern for the impact it may have on the reputation of BoardAgender and SCWO, is not out of character for her. She is known to use her clout as being the sister-in-law of the Prime Minister to get her way. In fact, many in the legal fraternity whisper that both she and her firm would not be what it is today without her abusing connections.
When Stamford Law merged with Morgan Lewis, Suet Fern was the only person that got the better deal. Many of her junior partners (it takes around 8 years to become a junior partner) were demoted to associates. Imagine working 8 years to be promoted to a manager and when your firm has a merger, you got demoted. Many aspiring junior partners left the firm. And there is also the rumours of malpractice over an Osim case which was hushed up due to her connections.
In short, Suet Fern has no shame in using her connections when it benefits her. And when the benefits stop, she literally bites the hand that feeds her. This is further proof of the type of woman Suet Fern is …. self-serving!