When asked if this included giving Lucas a chance to respond, Mr Li said: “Yes. If they had done so, I don’t think we would be here today.”
“So if Lucas had been given a chance to respond, he would still be alive?” asked opposing counsel Darren Tan for the Debate Association (Singapore).
I’M SURE HE WOULD STILL BE ALIVE: FATHER
“I’m sure,” replied Mr Li.
Mr Tan pressed Mr Li: “Even if the allegations against (Lucas) were true, he would still be able to take it?”
“I’m sure,” replied Mr Li. “As long as he was given a chance to (give) his side of the story. It doesn’t matter whether it’s false, it’s true. The point here is that he was not given a chance to speak, so I can’t attest to whether the allegation is true or false.”
Mr Tan asked if there was a possibility that Lucas had killed himself because the allegations against him were true, but his father said “no”.
Mr Tan then referred Mr Li to an IMH report following Lucas’ visit there in October 2017.
Citing the report, Mr Tan said Lucas said men in his family had “anger issues”. He asked Mr Li who this referred to.
“Maybe he’s referring to the father, because the father is very hot-tempered,” answered Mr Li, referring to himself.
He added that his second son was also hot-tempered.
In the IMH report, Lucas said his father used to get physical. Mr Tan questioned Mr Li about this.
“When my second son was younger, I whipped him,” Mr Li answered candidly. He said his wife would cry when this happened, but he said he did not whip Lucas.
In the IMH report, Lucas said he was not close to his brothers. Mr Li explained this, saying that they had nothing in common, as Lucas was a debater but his two younger brothers were active in sports.
Mr Tan then questioned Mr Li about the prospective earnings Lucas would have earned.
“It’s the plaintiff’s own case that Lucas was a suicide risk,” said Mr Tan. He said Mr Li’s claims for prospective earnings by Lucas were “speculative at best”, as Lucas had this condition for a long time.
“As long as he doesn’t kill himself, I’m sure he will (earn). The potential of him moving up the corporate ladder is there,” said Mr Li.
Asked if his prospects would have been affected by employers knowing about his mental condition, Mr Li said they would not have been affected “at all”.
He said his son was in the top 10 per cent at Enterprise Singapore.
“Look at his income over the years,” said Mr Li. “It keeps escalating. One simple reason is that he keeps hitting his KPI (key performance indicators) and also his performance bonus.”
Mr Tan said when the allegations surfaced, they would have affected Lucas’ prospects anyway.
“Provided he’s guilty,” responded Mr Li. “If Lucas is guilty, if the allegations (are) true, he would have to face the music.”
The court heard that Lucas was giving S$500 per month to his mother and another S$500 per month to his father since 2016 up till the time he died.
Mr Li said that was based on his salary at the time.
“If he has a substantial jump in income, I’m sure he will increase his allowance to us. In fact, he told both of us not to worry, he will look after us and he wanted both of us to move in with him if he has his own house,” he said.
“Lucas was not given a chance to speak,” said Mr Li. “And the association at the same time also did not do a thorough investigation. When I say thorough, they need to listen to both sides of the story. But that was not carried out and I personally feel that the association did not follow protocol and as such I feel that Lucas has been unfairly treated.”
LUCAS’ MOTHER SAYS HE WAS A SENSITIVE PERSON
Lucas’ mother also took the stand briefly. She described her son as a sensitive person.
According to her evidence, Lucas had told her that he made a mistake in entertaining the advances of a former student in his debate training programme in 2014.
He insisted that there was no physical contact and they only exchanged photos, said his mother. According to what Lucas told her, this was consensual and the student was above 18 at the time.
Lucas also told his mother before he died that he was “a disappointment” to his parents and that he brought shame to the family.
When his mother asked him what happened, Lucas told her about the issue and said he had received an email banning him from the debate society.
Questioned on the stand, she said she was not familiar with the allegations against Lucas.
“I only knew of this through the (court) process, because basically, I was just very badly affected (by) the passing of my son and that was just my focus,” she said.
She was also questioned by opposing counsel Mr Tan about the IMH report where Lucas talked about his family background.
She said Lucas faced verbal abuse as a child from his father.
“The words used by the father would be very strong, so you would think it’s categorised under abuse,” she said.
Asked to give an example, she said: “He would say – ‘Why are you such a softie?’, ‘stand up! You are a man’. But Lucas is a very gentle person.”
The trial continues on Wednesday.
Source: Channel News Asia