Blogger Roy Ngerng found to have defamed PM Lee

Blogger Roy Ngerng was found to have defamed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a blog post comparing the Prime Minister to City Harvest Church leaders. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG 
Blogger Roy Ngerng was found to have defamed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a blog post comparing the Prime Minister to City Harvest Church leaders. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG 

SINGAPORE - Blogger Roy Ngerng was found to have defamed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a blog post comparing the Prime Minister to City Harvest Church leaders.

In a judgement released on Friday, High Court judge Lee Seiu Kin found that a reasonable ordinary person would have associated Mr Lee with criminal misappropriation after reading Mr Ngerng's May 15 blog post.

In the post, Mr Ngerng had compared Mr Lee to City Harvest Church leaders being prosecuted for allegedly misusing $50 million of church funds.

He had juxtaposed a chart detailing the relationship among the church leaders involved in the criminal case to another chart that he had created, which set out the relationships between the Central Provident Fund, Mr Lee, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Temasek Holdings, GIC and other Singapore companies.

In awarding summary judgement in Mr Lee's favour, the judge also said that damages would be assessed later.

In the meantime, Mr Ngerng has been ordered to stop publishing any allegations of Mr Lee having misappropriated the Central Provident Fund savings of Singaporeans.

But the blogger "remained free to exercise his right to freedom of speech under Article 14 of the Constitution", except for repeating this particular allegation, said the judge in a written decision.