PM Lee rejects Roy Ngerng's appeal to not pay for damages and legal costs

Blogger Roy Ngerng speaking at the Labour Day protest at Hong Lim Park on May 1, 2014. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will not be dropping his demand for damages and legal costs from Mr Ngerng, his lawyer Senior Counsel Davinder Singh said in a
Blogger Roy Ngerng speaking at the Labour Day protest at Hong Lim Park on May 1, 2014. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will not be dropping his demand for damages and legal costs from Mr Ngerng, his lawyer Senior Counsel Davinder Singh said in a letter on Friday, May 23, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will not be dropping his demand for damages and legal costs from blogger Roy Ngerng, his lawyer Senior Counsel Davinder Singh said in a letter on Friday.

Mr Ngerng now has until 5pm next Monday to send in a written offer. If he fails to do so, legal proceedings will be started against him.

Earlier in the day, Mr Ngerng had apologised to Mr Lee for a May 15 post on his blog The Heart Truths alleging Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings had been misappropriated.

In a letter sent by his lawyer M. Ravi, he also appealed against Mr Lee's demand for damages.

But Mr Singh's response was that falsely accusing Mr Lee of criminally misappropriating CPF savings is a "very grave and highly malicious allegation". Mr Lee is, therefore, fully entitled to damages.

The damages offered, said Mr Singh, should reflect "the gravity of the false and malicious charge".

Mr Ravi also claimed that Mr Lee could not, in his letter of demand sent on Sunday, ask for his legal costs to be compensated. Mr Singh's response was that, contrary to Mr Ravi's claim, Mr Lee is "entitled in law" to these costs.

Mr Singh added that PM Lee "reserves the right" to deal with the other matters in Mr Ngerng's letter "at the appropriate time".

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