$10,000 compensation offer “unrealistic”: Lee Hsien Loong

Lee [left]; Ngerng [right]
Lee [left]; Ngerng [right]
Mr Lee Hsien Loong had deemed an offer of S$10,000 compensation from blogger Roy Ngerng as “unrealistic”, according to a report in the Straits Times on 2 July 2015.

Mr Lee, who is also the Prime Minister of Singapore, had successfully sued Mr Ngerng for defamation with regards to a blog post the latter had published in May last year.

Mr Lee had claimed that the blog post had defamed him in comparing his management of the Central Provident Fund (CPF) to that of the City Harvest Church which is also currently embroiled in a court trial over the alleged misuse of church funds.

Mr Ngerng had made a first offer of S$5,000 compensation to Mr Lee last year.

Mr Lee called it “derisory”.

In May this year, Mr Ngerng made the offer of S$10,000 compensation to Mr Lee.

Mr Lee is reported to have described it as “unrealistic”.

This, Mr Lee is reported to have said, is because of Mr Ngerng’s actions these past months.

Mr Ngerng said in court on Wednesday that he has also apologised to Mr Lee at least eight times, one of which has been on his website “for 405 days” so far.

Mr Ngerng had also apologised to Mr Lee in court on Wednesday, and said that he never meant to defame the latter.

Mr Lee, however, is unmoved.

Straits Times, 2 July 2015
Straits Times, 2 July 2015

His lawyers from Drew and Napier, in their opening address to the court, said that despite the apologies, Mr Ngerng continued to injure Mr Lee’s reputation, and had also exploited the situation to portray himself as being persecuted and as a champion of free speech.

Mr Lee’s lawyers, led by senior counsel and former PAP MP, Davinder Singh, noted that damages in previous libel suits involving government leaders ranged from S$100,000 to S$400,000.

The High Court, where the case is being heard, deals in cases where the value of any claim exceeds S$250,000.

The case, scheduled for three days, resumes today (Thursday, 2 July).

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