The High Court has allowed summary judgement against Blogger, Roy Ngerng Yi Ling in the defamation suit filed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Mr Ngerng, is being sued by Mr Lee in his personal capacity for a series of articles which had accused Mr Lee of “criminal misappropriation” of Singaporeans’ Central Provident Fund (CPF) monies, said Mr Lee’s lawyers, by comparing the management of CPF monies by the Government Investment Corporation of Singapore – or GIC Pte Ltd – with the corruption trial of leaders of the City Harvest Church.
This judgement comes after the defense filed by Mr Ngerng to High Court on 8 August to dispute Mr Lee’s claims that the articles had in fact defamed Mr Lee as claimed in Mr Lee’s lawsuit.
Mr Lee’s lawyers from Drew and Napier had issued a letter of demand to Mr Ngerng on 18 May for the latter to withdraw the offending article on Mr Ngerng’s blog.
They also demanded that Mr Ngerng issued an apology and to make an offer of an amount of compensation to Mr Lee.
Mr Ngerng complied with all the demands.
However, Mr Lee’s lawyers dismissed the apology as insincere, and said that their demand for the removal of the article was not complied with, and that the S$5,000 offer of compensation to Mr Lee by Mr Ngerng was “derisory”.
On 12 July, Mr Lee’s lawyers filed an application with the courts for a summary judgment, arguing that Mr Ngerng has accepted and admitted to defaming Mr Lee in his apology, and thus Mr Ngerng has no defence to Mr Lee’s claims.
Mr Lee is also seeking aggravated damages from Mr Ngerng.
Apart from allowing summary judgement on the defamation suit by Mr Lee, the judge has also ordered an injunction to restrain Mr Ngerng from publishing or disseminating allegations that Mr Lee is guilty of criminal misappropriation of the monies paid by Singaporeans to the Central Provident Funds, or any words or images to the same effect.
The cost of the application is to be determined at the next hearing. Date of hearing to be fixed at the pre-trial conference on 13 November.
Representing lawyer for Mr Ngerng, M Ravi says that he is studying the judgement carefully with the legal team and will advise Mr Ngerng on the next course of action.