Lawyers for the Singapore Prime Minister has given a deadline of 17 May for blogger and financial adviser, Leong Sze Hian to pay up $262,357 for the damages, cost and disbursements ordered by the court in the defamation suit between the two.
On Monday (10 May), the High Court granted the full claim of legal cost and disbursement, totalling S$129,327 to Mr Lee Hsien Loong.
“Having considered the arguments of the parties, the Court is satisfied that the appropriate costs payable by the Defendant is as follows: Costs of $50,000 to the Plaintiff plus disbursements claimed of $79,327.22.” wrote the court in a letter addressed to both parties on Monday (10 May).
Mr Leong had previously successfully raised the full damage of S$133,000 awarded to PM Lee through a crowd funding campaign in 11 days.
As for the cost and disbursements, he has so far managed to raise $65,032 over the span of 26 days. This means that a sum of S$64,295 has to be raised within the next five days.
Those who would like to donate to Mr Leong’s crowdfunding efforts may do so using the following details:
Account name: Leong Sze Hian
POSB Savings: 064064070
PayPal: [email protected]
Background to Leong’s defamation case
Mr Leong was sued by PM Lee in 2018 for defamation over a Facebook share of an article alleging PM Lee’s involvement in the 1MDB scandal.
The blogger did not attach or insert any commentary at the time he shared the article.
Mr Leong took down the article at 7.30 am on 10 November 2018 after being instructed by the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) to do so a day prior.
Prior to his removal of the post on 10 November, the court noted that Mr Leong’s article had garnered “22 ‘reactions’, five ‘comments’, and 18 ‘shares’”.
Just last month, the High Court ordered Mr Leong to pay PM Lee S$133,000 for defamation, which includes S$100,000 in general damages and S$33,000 in aggravated damages.
The amount of damages was made in reference to another blogger, Roy Ngerng’s case.
Justice Aedit found that the defamatory statement in the article shared by Mr Leong was worse compared to allegations made in Mr Ngerng’s case.
On 23 Apr, Mr Leong decided not to appeal against the High Court judgement in the case, as there is “no greater verdict” than that of the people of Singapore.
In a statement released through his lawyer Lim Tean’s firm Carson Law Chambers on Friday (23 Apr), Mr Leong said that the love and support he received from the people of Singapore “is far more valuable” to him than any possible successful appeal to a higher court.