PM Lee commences suit against blogger Roy Ngerng

Mr Roy Ngerng, a blogger, speaking at the Labour Day protest at Hong Lim Park on May 1, 2014. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 
Mr Roy Ngerng, a blogger, speaking at the Labour Day protest at Hong Lim Park on May 1, 2014. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has commenced proceedings on a defamation suit against blogger Roy Ngerng, who in a May 15 blog post alleged that Mr Lee had misappropriated CPF savings.

In the latest letter sent on Thursday, the Prime Minister's lawyer, Senior Counsel Davinder Singh also responded to a lawyer's letter sent by Mr Ngerng on Wednesday.

Mr Ngerng's lawyer M. Ravi wrote that although Mr Ngerng promised not to "aggravate the injury and distress" to Mr Lee through "similar other posts", this should not be understood as a curtailment of Mr Ngerng'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 accessibility to the public".

Mr Singh's response in Thursday's letter was that Mr Lee "has never once said" that Mr Ngerng is to remove his posts, including those on the CPF, other than those specifically identified in Mr Lee's letters, and Mr Ngerng knew that.

Mr Lee has, since the saga started on May 18, asked Mr Ngerng to remove a May 15 blog post that drew comparisons between the alleged misuse of church funds by City Harvest Church leaders and CPF funds, as well as four blog posts that re-publish this comparison.

Despite that, wrote Mr Singh, Mr Ngerng has in Wednesday's letter "sought to give the false impression that our client is seeking to prevent him from expressing his views on the CPF or from exercising his constitutional rights".

"This disingenuous suggestion was made in a letter which your client intended to make public, to bolster his standing and in aid of his continuing public campaign against our client," said Mr Singh.

Mr Ngerng on Wednesday shared his lawyer's latest letter on "freedom of expression" on his blog. The post was titled "I Will Continue To Speak Up On Singaporeans' CPF To Protect Us".

Mr Lee will invite the Court to "have regard to this malicious conduct when assessing aggravated damages", Mr Singh said in his letter on Thursday.

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