Hindustan Times (Lucknow)

S’pore PM wins defamation case against a blogger

- 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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