Roy Ngerng applies to join RP

Mr Roy Ngerng (centre) with RP secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam (left) and party member Desmond Teng during a walkabout yesterday. Mr Jeyaretnam said Mr Ngerng could be fielded in Ang Mo Kio GRC.
Mr Roy Ngerng (centre) with RP secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam (left) and party member Desmond Teng during a walkabout yesterday. Mr Jeyaretnam said Mr Ngerng could be fielded in Ang Mo Kio GRC.ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Blogger Roy Ngerng has applied to join the Reform Party (RP) as part of his plan to stand in the coming general election.

RP's secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam, in announcing Mr Ngerng's membership application last night, said the 34-year-old could be fielded in Ang Mo Kio GRC. But the party's central executive committee would have to approve his application first, Mr Jeyaretnam told reporters before he started his walkabout in Telok Blangah Drive in West Coast GRC, accompanied by Mr Ngerng.

Ang Mo Kio GRC is helmed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who has successfully sued the blogger for defamation, with damages to be assessed. Mr Ngerng also faces charges of being a public nuisance, after he led a protest and disrupted a nearby YMCA event last September that was also being held in Hong Lim Park.

But Mr Ngerng told reporters yesterday he did not think the lawsuits would be an obstacle to his standing in the coming polls.

Agreeing, Mr Jeyaretnam pointed out that Mr Ngerng had been able to raise money for his lawsuits. He raised at least $110,000 through crowd-funding last year.

He was also given £5,000 (S$10,700) by London-based Media Legal Defence Initiative as financial aid for the defamation case that involved a blog post which suggested PM Lee had misappropriated Central Provident Fund savings.

On why he chose RP, Mr Ngerng said he had volunteered with the Singapore People's Party and attended events by the Singapore Democratic Party. But RP's manifesto is in line with what he has been advocating in the past two years, he said, adding that he expressed his interest in becoming an RP member to Mr Jeyaretnam in the middle of this year.

He also said he has no special preference for any constituency in which to stand, even though he has lived in Ang Mo Kio for 20 years and "is familiar with the area".

Mr Jeyaretnam remained tight-lipped on who his party's candidates are for the six-member Ang Mo Kio GRC. He, however, seemed impressed by Mr Ngerng: "I know Roy personally because he stayed with us in London.

"I know him to be a caring person. He was a healthcare worker. I think he has got a very good rapport with the people and I think he can provide valuable input to the healthcare policy and social policy."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 06, 2015, with the headline 'Roy Ngerng applies to join RP'. Print Edition | Subscribe