Law firm, Drew & Napier LLC which represents Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has filed a writ of summon to claim damages from blogger Ngerng Yi Ling over allegations about PM Lee in an article published on his blog.
The writ of summon sent by solicitors at Drew and Napier pointed out that Ngerng published an article entitled “Where your CPF Money is Going: Learning from the City Harvest Trial” on his blog, the Heart Truth on 15th May 2014. The article was then shared in various media platform and reproduced in full on some of them.
They went on further to establish that Mr Lee is the Prime Minister of Singapore and the Chairman of GIC, and is well known in Singapore and around the world. The article which Ngerng wrote, contained sensational remarks and/or allegations against PM Lee and the article was published in the midst of the City Harvest Case.
They added that through the knowledge of the common facts and matters by the general public, PM Lee was identified by a large but unquantifable number of readers of the article.
The offending words and images in the published article described by the solicitors were understood to mean that PM Lee is guilty of criminal misappropriation of the monies paid by Singaporeans to the Central Provident Fund. They added that the offending words and images were calculated to disparage PM Lee in his office as Prime Minister and the Chairman of GIC.
The solicitors said that in doing so, Ngerng has gravely injured PM Lee’s character and reputation and has been brought into “public scandal, odim and contempt.”
They pointed out that Ngerng has accepted and admitted that the allegation that PM Lee is guilty of criminal misappropriation of the monies paid by Singaporeans to the CPF is false and completely without foundation. He also accepted that the allegation has caused PM Lee distress and embarrassment.
PM Lee is seeking to claim aggravation of damages from the allegation by Ngerng based on the following points;
- The nature and gravity of the defamation
- The position and standing of PM Lee
- The mode, extent and timing of the publication
- Malice on the part of Ngerng
- The matters set out in PM Lee’s solicitors’ letter of demand
- The matters set out in PM Lee’s solicitors’ letters dated 26 and 27 May 2014 to Ngerng’s solicitors
- Ngern’s derisory offer of damages and refusal to pay cost
- The matters set out in PM Lee’s solicitors’ letter dated 28 May 2014 to PM Lee’s solicitors
- Ngerng’s calculated and cynical conduct to use the occasion of his libels to promote himself and cause further distress and injury to PM Lee
Apart from seeking to claim damages, PM Lee is also seeking to have an injunction to restrain Ngerng from publishing or disseminating the said defamatory allegation or other allegation to the same effect, by any means, costs and further relief as the court deems fit.
TOC understands from lawyer, M Ravi who is representing Ngerng that the entire hearing will be focused on assessment of damages as to the amount of quantum to be paid by Roy. This will entail the cross examination of PM Lee on the extent of damage.
Ngerng has to enter an appearance at the Registry of Supreme Court to defend the claim and notify PM Lee’s solicitors within 8 days after service otherwise judgement may be entered against him without further notice.
(Original images from AFP)