By Howard Lee
Responding to an earlier affidavit filed by blogger Roy Ngerng, in which Mr Ngerng has claimed contained evidence about discrepancies in how the government and the GIC manages Central Provident Fund (CPF) monies, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has filed his affidavit to argue that these parts of Mr Ngerng’s affidavit are “inadmissible, irrelevant and/or an abuse of the process of the Court”.
PM Lee, currently suing Mr Ngerng aggravated damages over blog posts by Mr Ngerng that alleged misappropriation of CPF monies, had earlier requested for a the court to hold a summary judgement, to settle the case without going to trial.
In his earlier affidavit, Nr Ngerng has applied for the courts to allow a full trial on the case. He had claimed that his articles did not contain the “twisted meaning” that PM Lee’s lawyers have attributed to them, and that the issues he raised on CPF transparency remain valid.
However, PM Lee has responded to say that “many parts” of Mr Ngerng’s affidavit “dealt with matters that were not relevant to the issues in this application for the determination of meaning and for summary judgement” and that Mr Ngerng’s points were “designed to advance (his) political agenda, and contain legal arguments which have no place in an affidavit.”
Instead, PM Lee wished to respond to only one point that Mr Ngerng raised – that two of the blog entries PM Lee had earlier requested to be removed did not contain any mention of PM Lee, and hence should not be used as grounds for claims of damages.
PM Lee insisted that Mr Ngerng was aware of the reasons for removing the blog posts but, in reference to his earlier claim, did not remove them and chose to further disseminate them to media.
PM Lee’s affidavit did not clarify on why specifically Mr Ngerng’s other points were “irrelevant and inadmissible”. Neither did he clarify on why Mr Ngerng does not have the right to claim full trial to press for transparency on the CPF issue in support of his case.
Mr Ngerng has indicated that, as before, he will request for his lawyer to “resist the application vigorously” and press for a full trial.