SINGAPORE: Blogger Roy Ngerng has been found guilty of defamation, with damages to be assessed.
Justice Lee Seiu Kin on Friday (Nov 7) has also ordered Ngerng to be restrained from publishing or disseminating the allegation that the plantiff, Prime Minster Lee Hsien Loong, is guilty of criminal misappropriation of the monies paid by Singaporeans to the Central Provident Fund, or any words and/or images to the same effect.
“I therefore find that the Disputed Words and Images convey the natural and ordinary meaning that the plaintiff, the Prime Minister of Singapore and the Chairman of GIC, is guilty of criminal misappropriation of the monies paid by Singaporeans to the CPF,” said Justice Lee in his judgement. “There is no doubt that it is defamatory to suggest that the plaintiff is guilty of criminal misappropriation of the CPF monies.”
The Prime Minister filed the defamation suit against Ngerng on May 29, and on July 10 applied for a summary judgment, where the plaintiff asks the court to rule without trial, on grounds that the defendant has no real defence to contest his claim.
The suit against Mr Ngerng arose from a blog post in May entitled Where Your CPF Money Is Going: Learning From The City Harvest Trial, which alleged that CPF monies had been misappropriated.
Mr Ngerng had been sent a letter from Mr Lee’s lawyers, demanding that he apologise, remove the post and offer damages. Though he complied with several of the demands, his offer of S$5,000 in damages was rejected as “derisory” by Mr Lee. Mr Ngerng had also emailed some local and international media on how to access other posts, which Mr Lee’s lawyers said was “further aggravation”.