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Tham Yuen-C
Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Singapore

Blogger's new video repeats calls for CPF transparency

The Straits Times | Tham Yuen-C | Tuesday, May 27, 2014

SINGAPORE - A day after taking down a blog post alleging Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had misappropriated Central Provident Fund savings, blogger Roy Ngerng has put up a fresh 14-minute video repeating his call for the Government to be more transparent about how CPF funds are being invested.

He also said yesterday that he will make an offer of compensation to PM Lee that is within his means.

Mr Ngerng told The Sunday Times that he was still in discussion with his lawyer M. Ravi over what kind of offer to make.

The 33-year-old health-care worker, who made a bid to be a Nominated Member of Parliament last week, had been served a letter of demand and faced a defamation suit for a blog post on May 15 alleging PM Lee had misappropriated CPF funds.

As required, he took down the post last Monday, and last Friday made a public apology on his blog acknowledging that the claim was false and without foundation.

But he appealed for the payment of damages and legal costs to be dropped.

The request to drop damages and costs, however, was rejected by PM Lee's lawyer, Senior Counsel Davinder Singh, and Mr Ngerng was given an extension till 5pm tomorrow to make the offer before legal proceedings will be started.

Damages are awarded by the court based on its assessment of the damage inflicted by the defamatory statements, and not the ability of a defendant to pay.

Mr Singh said the damages "should reflect, among other things, the gravity of the false and malicious charge, the fact that your client knows and accepts that it is completely without foundation, its widespread circulation and the standing of our client".

He added that Mr Lee "reserves the right" to deal with other issues in Mr Ngerng's letter "at an appropriate time".


This article was first published on May 25, 2014.
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