• Thu
  • Aug 28, 2014
  • Updated: 7:35am
NewsAsia

Singapore PM demands that blogger delete 'false' graft accusations and apologise

But writer says he is 'being sued' for posting about the need for greater accountability and transparency on wealth fund

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 May, 2014, 5:09pm
UPDATED : Monday, 19 May, 2014, 5:29pm

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has demanded an apology from a local blogger for a posting seen as accusing him of corruption.

Lee’s lawyer Davinder Singh has written to Roy Ngerng Yi Ling asking him to take down the original article as well as the links posted on his Facebook pages and to post an apology by tomorrow

Singh said the allegations by Ngerng in his May 15 blog post were “false and baseless”.

“The article means and is understood to mean that Mr Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Singapore and the chairman of GIC, is guilty of criminal misappropriation of the monies paid by Singaporeans to the CPF (Central Provident Fund),” Singh wrote in the letter.

GIC is a sovereign wealth fund that manages more than US$100 billion of the city-state’s foreign reserves. CPF is the state pension fund.

Singh said the post constituted a serious libel against Lee, “disparages him, and impugns his character, credit and integrity”.

Health care worker Ngerng, 33, regularly posts commentaries critical of the long-ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) in his blog The Heart Truths.

Recent posts have called for greater transparency on how CPF funds are invested by the government through GIC and state investment firm Temasek Holdings.

“My articles have been calling for greater accountability and transparency, and instead of acknowledging these issues, the prime minister has decided to sue me,” Ngerng said.

“I am quite disappointed and at this point I am still in discussion with my lawyer on my next course of action.”

Singapore has ranked top in surveys as one of the world’s least corrupt countries.

But international human rights groups have regularly accused its leaders, including Lee’s father and former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, of using financially ruinous libel actions to silence critics and political opponents.

Singapore leaders have countered that the lawsuits are necessary to protect their reputations.

With the mainstream media perceived as pro-government, blogs have risen in prominence as avenues for citizens to vent their anger.

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This article is now closed to comments

537b13a3-fb6c-4007-a9ea-52bc0a3209cb
this blogger is no insider, he is the hater of the pap.
537adec3-a83c-42a5-9c08-350b0a320969
The son of Lee Kwan Yew showing his dad how he can be proud of him. It is a disgrace. This country is rued by an elite of mentally corrupt and arrogant men and women. It is no better than North Korea. Anyone daring criticizing this government of inepts will be silenced. Not by firing squad but through the corrupt courts whose judges are the being named by the Prime Minister himself. What a joke!!!
kongshan2047
Singapore is no better than North Korea? So N. Korea has a GDP per capita of US$26,000 plus? Did you bother to check how many people are dying or have died of famine in N. Korea? Secondly, in almost all common law countries, judges are appointed by the government of the day. I recommend you to go and check the index score on legal enforcement and rule of law in Singapore before making your criticisms.
asiaseen
Regardless of the truth, if the case goes to court, Mr Ngerng will lose.That's the Singapore way.
537b13a3-fb6c-4007-a9ea-52bc0a3209cb
he make a mistake by quoting people name.
LunarRepublic
Hong Kong by 2047, everyone.
kongshan2047
If HK can be as competitive as Singapore by 2047 then I wouldn't really mind.
KwunTongBypass
Singapore, aka "if you can't beat them- sue them" - the dream of every Hong Kong politician and government official!
JC
If you can't beat them - sue them? Why mate? Is Mr Roy Ngerng a threat that can't be demolished? Is it too much to expect everyone who criticizes or questions the authorities to ensure that they get their facts right? If you seek to intentionally slander someone with lies, then you must be prepared to defend yourself. Otherwise, the end result would be a slack and permissive environment of baseless personal attacks, all talk, hot air and freedom of expression, no action. High standards of debate and code of conduct must be enacted for democracy to flourish
rogergraham@gmail.com
"Democracy".

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