Blogger Roy Ngerng can continue to write about CPF: M. Ravi

Singapore - Blogger Roy Ngerng, accused of libel for a blogpost that alleges Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has misappropriated Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings, wants to continue to write on the subject.

His lawyer M Ravi said on Wednesday in a letter to Mr Lee's lawyer that Mr Ngerng's written undertaking not to "aggravate the injury and distress" to the Prime Minister through "similar other posts", should not forbid him from writing about the CPF.

Said Mr Ravi: "For the avoidance of doubt, 'similar other posts' should not be construed as a curtailment of our client's right to his freedom of expression to write or engage the public on the CPF issue and raise any matters relating to CPF that requires transparency and accountability to the public".

He gave this response to a point made in a May 26 letter from Mr Lee's lawyer, Senior Counsel Davinder Singh.

The letter stated that Mr Ngerng undertake in writing that "he will not further aggravate the injury and distress to our client through similar other posts, videos or other means".

Mr Ravi, in making his point, also said any attempt to curtail Mr Ngerng's freedom of expression would go against Singapore's Constitution, "especially since other posts do not refer directly" to Mr Lee.

He also quoted Article 23 of the Asean Human Rights Charter, which states that "every person has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, including freedom to hold opinions without interference".

Mr Ngerng's call for open dialogue on the CPF issue is also in line with recent parliamentary exchanges emphasising the importance of robust debate, Mr Ravi wrote.

He also said he has instructions to accept legal letters on the matter on behalf of Mr Ngerng.

This is the latest development in a saga that started with an allegedly libellous blogpost by Mr Ngerng. Today, he wrote on the blog The Heart Truths an article titled: "I Will Continue To Speak Up On Singaporeans' CPF To Protect Us".

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