Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s lawyers has rejected blogger Roy Ngerng Yi Ling’s $5,000 offer in damages as being “derisory” and will be proceeding with legal process against Ngerng.
Mr Lee had demanded that Mr Ngerng made an offer on the amount of damages he was willing to pay Mr Lee before Wednesday, over a blog post which Mr Ngerng had published about a week ago.
The letter sent this morning by representing lawyer, M Ravi to PM Lee, indicated that Ngerng’s original letter of apology “was genuine and his references to right and truth were not intended in anyway to detract from the error and inaccuracy of the criminal misappropriation allegation. Rather, they relate entirely to the mismatch issue, and his feelings that it was right of him to highlight this issue. He has expressly noted, through his letter of apology, that his apology related only to the criminal misappropriation issue.”
M Ravi also proposed to pay PM Lee S$5,000 in damages with each party bearing their own costs. The sum was based on Mr Ngerng’s modest living and income.
However the letter sent by Senior Counsel Davinder Singh on Tuesday evening states that the offer of $5000 is derisory and completely disregards the gravity of Ngerng’s conduct. “the undisputed fact that the libel is false and malicious, and your client’s calculated and systematic aggravation of the injury and distress to our client.”
The senior counsel said that the apology was completely insincere and was designed to mislead PM Lee and the public.
The letter further added that despite Ngerng giving his word to remove the offending posts and video, he continued to make it available to a select group of people and send out the emails to a wide audience, including the local and international media where he republished the video and offending posts. The senior counsel said Ngerng has himself to blame for losing the opportunity of not having to pay aggravated damages.
Representing lawyer, M Ravi has until 5pm, 28 May to inform if he has instructions to accept the service of process on behalf of Ngerng