SINGAPORE — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has begun a defamation lawsuit against blogger Roy Ngerng Yi Ling for allegations of misappropriation of Singaporeans’ money with the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board.
A writ of summons was filed with the Supreme Court yesterday, where the value of claims for civil cases generally exceeds S$250,000.
In addition, Mr Lee’s lawyer Davinder Singh yesterday responded to Mr Ngerng’s lawyer M Ravi, taking issue with his letter a day earlier that “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”.
Mr Singh said the suggestion was “disingenuous” and to aid Mr Ngerng’s continuing public campaign against Mr Lee.
“Our client will invite the Court to have regard to this malicious conduct when assessing aggravated damages,” wrote Mr Singh.
The lawsuit follows a series of lawyers’ letters exchanged since May 18, when Mr Singh issued a first letter of demand for an apology and for the removal of an article alleging misuse of CPF funds. Mr Ngerng was also to offer damages for “false and baseless” allegations in the article published on May 15, titled Where your CPF Money is Going: Learning from the City Harvest Trial.
The matter escalated to aggravated damages sought, after Mr Ngerng removed the article but posted new content and sent emails to local and international media informing them of where the other posts could be accessed after he had removed them from his blog, thehearttruths.com.
His offer of S$5,000 in damages was also rejected as “derisory” and without regard for the gravity of his conduct.
Mr Ngerng has indicated on his blog that he will continue to engage Singaporeans on CPF issues and Mr Ravi said he had no comment when contacted yesterday.