On 13 January 2015, the Singapore courts ordered blogger Roy Ngerng, who was found to have defamed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last November, to pay Mr Lee Hsien Loong S$29,000 for legal fees and related expenses. The final damages to be awarded is still being assessed and will be decided at a late date.
The Prime Minister filed the defamation suit against Ngerng in May last year. The suit arose from a blog post by Ngerng that same month titled "Where Your CPF Money Is Going: Learning From The City Harvest Trial", which alleged that CPF monies had been misappropriated.
In November, a judge ruled that Ngerng had defamed Mr Lee with his posts. The blogger was ordered to be restrained from publishing or disseminating the allegation that Mr Lee is guilty of criminal misappropriation of the monies paid by Singaporeans to the Central Provident Fund, or any words and/or images to the same effect.
In a rare update on the Roy Ngerng Legal Defense Fund, Roy remarked “I suppose that is all I have left in donations and you might just as well use it up, why don’t you?” This is extremely puzzling as Roy had claimed to have raised in excess of $110,000 (more than the required $70,000) for his legal defence fund in 4 days.
Since then, despite his promise to be transparent and to account for all the monies he has collected, repeated calls by Singaporeans for Roy Ngerng to provide an update on the fund usage has gone unanswered. The calls for an update began when it was rumoured that Roy and Han Hui Hui had used the money to fund extravagant “study trips”.
In the clearest sign that the money well intentioned Singaporeans had provided Roy Ngerng is gone, a source close to Roy says that he is getting ready to make another appeal for donations.
We wonder if any of the well-meaning Singaporeans scammed by Roy Ngerng of their money will file a police report for criminal misappropriation.