Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has commenced proceedings on a defamation suit against blogger Roy Ngerng, who in a May 15 blog post alleged that Lee had misappropriated CPF savings.
In the latest letter sent yesterday, the Prime Minister’s lawyer, Senior Counsel Davinder Singh, also responded to a lawyer’s letter sent by Ngerng on Wednesday.
Ngerng’s lawyer M. Ravi wrote that although Ngerng promised not to “aggravate the injury and distress” to Lee through “similar other posts”, this should not be understood as a curtailment of Ngerng’s “right to his freedom of expression to write or engage the public on the CPF issue and raise any matters relating to CPF that requires transparency and accessibility to the public”.
Davinder’s response in yesterday’s letter was that Lee “has never once said” that Ngerng is to remove his posts, including those on the CPF, other than those specifically identified in Lee’s letters, and Ngerng knew that.
Lee has, since the saga started on May 18, asked Ngerng to remove a May 15 blog post that drew comparisons between the alleged misuse of church funds by City Harvest Church leaders and CPF funds, as well as four blog posts that republish this comparison.
Despite that, wrote Davinder, Ngerng has in Wednesday’s letter “sought to give the false impression that our client is seeking to prevent him from expressing his views on the CPF or from exercising his constitutional rights”.
“This disingenuous suggestion was made in a letter which your client intended to make public, to bolster his standing and in aid of his continuing public campaign against our client,” said Davinder.
Lee will invite the court to “have regard to this malicious conduct when assessing aggravated damages”, he added. — The Straits Times/ Asia News Network