S’pore PM wins defama­tion case against a blog­ger

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - WORLD - Agence France-Presse let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

SIN­GA­PORE: Sin­ga­pore’s High Court ruled on Fri­day that an ac­tivist de­famed Prime Min­is­ter Lee Hsien Loong by ac­cus­ing him in a blog of mis­ap­pro­pri­at­ing state pen­sion funds.

In the first such rul­ing in the city-state over a purely on­line ar­ti­cle, a judge is­sued a sum­mary judg­ment against Roy Ngerng, a 33-year-old for­mer gov­ern­ment em­ployee.

Ngerng, who writes a blog called Heart Truths, was seek­ing trial to de­fend him­self but High Court Judge Lee Seiu Kin ruled that there was “no tri- able de­fence against the plain­tiff ’s claim”.

“There is no doubt that it is defam­a­tory to sug­gest that the plain­tiff is guilty of crim­i­nal mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion,” the judge said in a writ­ten rul­ing.

Da­m­ages will be set at a later date but in gen­eral, such civil suits are launched in the High Court when the value of claims is above Sg$250,000 ($200,000).

Ngerng has al­ready ad­mit­ted that his May 15 blog ac­cus­ing the prime min­is­ter, who i s also chair man of state in­vest­ment fund GIC, of mis­us­ing the Cen­tral Prov­i­dent Fund (CPF) was false and with­out foun­da­tion.

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