Update May 26 2014
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Singapore Prime Minister is once again acting the bully and thug by threatening blogger Roy Ngerng with defamation lawsuit and aggravated damages. Please see Straits Times article titled "Roy Ngerng agrees to remove blog posts, asks to extend damages dateline". May 26, 2014 http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/roy-ngerng-agrees-remove-blog-posts-asks-extend-damages
You would have thought that Roy Ngerng had committed murder by all the publicity in the state controlled press with the Prime Minister sending lawyers letters and threatening lawsuits. It is nothing of the sort. All Roy Ngerng did was to write a blog post in his blog the Heart Truths pointing out the fact that according to the figures, it appears that Lee Kuan Yew's son, the Prime Minister appears to have cooked the books about public funds.
Reading the article by Ngerng, it does appear that he has legitimate grounds for saying so as the numbers simply do not match.
But regardless of whether Ngerng was right or wrong, the Prime Minister action is clearly unlawful and an abuse of the law. Defamation law of today does not entitle a Prime Minister of a country to sue a private citizen merely because he accused him of misuse of funds. This is the law of all modern nations of today. Such actions are done only by tyrants and dictators of banana republics and third world sub Saharan Africa. The actions of the Singapore Prime Minister disgrace Singapore and is a stain on it's reputation.
This is why.
The law of defamation does allow a citizen to sue another for unjustly defaming his character. Therefore citizen A can sue citizen B if accused of dishonesty.
But different sets of rules apply to a public figure. The Prime Minister is a public figure. In the case of public figures, it is not enough that one has defamed another. In order for a public figure to succeed against a private citizen, in addition to proving the falsity of the charge, it has to be shown that the defendant had malice aforethought, in other words a personal desire to harm, the plaintiff. The higher bar placed on public figures as opposed to ordinary citizens is because the right to free speech is paramount and the courts should not muzzle public debate on matters of public interest and controversy. In addition, the Plaintiff has to show actual damage as a result of the Defendant's statement; not enough to merely allege perceived damage.
As a result, a public figure is faced with a very high threshold to overcome when suing a private citizen. And rightly so.
This rule was set in stone in the landmark case of New York Times vs Sullivan, a Supreme court case.
Here there is no evidence whatsoever that Roy Ngerng was motivated by any ill will against Lee Kuan Yew's son when he wrote the blog. He was merely a concerned citizen wanting to publicize his observation that the numbers simply do not match; that is all. Secondly the Prime Minister has shown no evidence that his image has actually been damaged as a result of Ngern's blog.
Although this rule is American law, all civilized nations including the UK have moved towards this standard, and it would be impossible for David Cameron, British Prime Minister to sue bus driver, Joe Blokes of Manchester because he said Cameron had his paws in the kitty.
This is the law throughout the world in all civilized nations, in UK, Australia, Europe, New Zealand or any other civilized country.
Singaporeans have no freedom of the press, no rule of law and no freedom of speech. Lee Kuan Yew's son the Prime Minister appears determined to keep everyone silenced and not even raise a squeak. This is a disgrace. And what is worse, he is deliberately keeping their citizens totally ignorant of their rights. In fact I don't think any Singaporean even knows that his rights are being violated by these Kangaroo court laws.
I hope you know why Lee Kuan Yew's son is so determined to silence his people. Singapore is a very unstable island. The economy is based almost wholly on foreign investment. Singapore Airlines survive by flying foreign businessmen who do business in the island. In order to ensure they continue their investment, it is necessary to make Singapore stable, strike free, protest free and complaint free, because the slightest sign of unrest and demonstrations would result in their pulling out and investing in Jakarta or anywhere else instead. His actions to silence dissent is not done in the interests of Singaporeans but wholly to please foreigners who have capital in the island.
Lee Kuan Yew's son fails to understand that he should please not only foreign capital in the island but also its own citizens. After all they are Singaporeans in Singapore.
I can tell you this sort of bullying cannot go on much longer. If they silence Ngerng as they surely will, there will be other Ngerngs and Lee would have to use ever increasing harsher methods against his own people. And a time will come, I reckon very soon, when he simply cannot keep them silent anymore. And that is when Lee Kuan Yew's son and his PAP will fall the way Humpty Dumpty did.
And by the way, the only reason why the Prime Minister of Singapore is not suing me for writing this is because I am in Fremont, California USA. If I was now in Singapore, he would confiscate my American passport and sue me too. I am sure he or his secret service, the Internal Security Department is reading every single word I write. Because this blog is being read in Singapore they are furious at me. But there is nothing they can do.
Hang tight. It won't be long.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525