Blogger Roy Ngerng Yi Ling who has been sued for defamation by the Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong over allegations of criminal misappropriation of Central Provident Funds has called out for assistance in raising funds for his legal fees.
On 19th May, Ngerng was issued a letter of demand for defamation over an article published on 16th May titled, “Where your CPF Money Is Going: Learning From The City Harvest Trial” . Lawyers representing PM Lee claims that the said article contains offending words and images to Mr Lee and demanded that the article to be taken down immediately remove the blogpost, to publish an apology on the homepage of his blog and to pay compensation for damages and legal costs.
Ngerng has since accepted that he had defamed PM Lee in his article. He has also acceded to the requests of the prime minister and offered to pay damages in the amount of $5000, which PM Lee has rejected on the basis of the amount being derisory.
On 29th May, law firm, Drew & Napier representing PM Lee sent a writ of summon to Ngerng to initiate the legal process to claim damages from him over the defamation of PM Lee.
The court case will focus on a hearing involving assessment of damages since Ngerng has already apologised for the defamation of PM Lee. It will also entail cross-examination of the Prime Minister on the quantum of damages.
Ngerng points that his lawyer, M Ravi champions many Human Rights causes, most of which he undertakes without charge. He adds that M Ravi only has a small practice with finite resources. and in view of the magnitude of the matter, the amount of resources required and likely duration of the court case, there is an immediate need to raise the legal fees required.
He has placed the legal fees to be raised to be at $70,000. which would cover filing fees, research and laywer’s fees. Ngerng shares that the actual amount of damages, which is separate from the legal fees is still unknown and will only be decided after the court case is over.
Roy says in his fundraising post,
I am very grateful to the many Singaporeans who have shown your support during the period, and the words of encouragement from you and your families. Several Singaporeans have written to me and thanked me for standing up and speaking up. Please know that I very much appreciate your being here.
I will continue to stay strong and do what I can. This has been a challenging episode but with your support, we will get through with this.
I have done my best to this point, and will continue doing so. Thank you for being here.
Let’s be the change we wish to see. Thank you.
For the fundraising, he said that he will doing an update everyday on the funds collected and will also publish the statements when he receives them as well. He promise that every fund raise will be transparent and accountable.
Anyone who wish to help Roy Ngerng with his legal fees, can make a deposit to the following account:
• POSB Savings Account Number: 130-23068-7 (Ngerng Yi Ling)