Ladies and Gentlemen,
You know what is happening in that disgraceful defamation regime of that island city state Singapore where the rulers stay in power entirely through their Kangaroo Courts by suing anyone that criticizes them.
I am not sure if they are registered in the Guinness Book of records for the most defamation actions by rulers against their own citizens, but if it hasn't, it should.
With such a disgraceful record of almost daily defamation actions to silence their citizens, one can only assume that their rulers are so insecure that the only way they re-assure themselves is through these daily defamation lawsuits.
This is a country that stays in power through fear, force, violence, threats and intimidation against their people; one such weapon being the all too frequent defamation of character lawsuit.
The Prime Minister, the son of Lee Kuan Yew who started this disgraceful career, disgraces himself, the island republic and their judiciary whom every single citizen considers no better than Kangaroo judges.
The brief facts are as follows. Roy Ngerng, a Singapore citizen had written in his blog Heart Truths among other things that the state retirement funds are being misused and not accounted for and the Prime Minister is himself responsible for this.
Consequent therefore, the Prime Minister just like his father, as expected, commenced a defamation lawsuit before his courts, which always finds in his favor, against Ngerng.
Please see Singapore's state controlled newspaper article of May 29, 2014, "PM Lee commences suit against blogger Roy Ngerng" http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/pm-lee-commences-suit-against-blogger-roy-ngerng-20140529
Following an outcry from all the free countries in the world including the respected Economist magazine pointing out the disgraceful conduct of this tin pot tyrant suing his helpless citizens into submission, the Prime Minister wrote to the Economist trying to justify the unjustifiable.
In that response he disgracefully misrepresents the law to justify his cowardly action. Please see Singapore's state controlled Today newspaper article of June 19, 2014, "Blogger Roy ngerng case: PM Lees' Press Secretary issues response to Economist article" http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/blogger-roy-ngerng-case-pm-lees-press-secretary-issues-response-economist-article
I attach Prime Minister's response here in full:
SIR – I refer to the article “A butterfly on a wheel” (June 13th). You referred to an “alleged ‘serious libel’” by Roy Ngerng. This is not an allegation. Mr Ngerng has publicly admitted accusing Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister, of criminal misappropriation of pension funds, falsely and completely without foundation. After promising to apologize and to remove the post, Mr Ngerng did the opposite; he actively disseminated the libel further. This was a grave and deliberate defamation, whether it occurred online or in the traditional media being immaterial.
What is at stake is not any short-term positive or negative impact on the government, but the sort of public debate Singapore should have. When someone makes false and malicious personal allegations that impugn a person’s character or integrity, the victim has the right to vindicate his reputation, whether he is an ordinary citizen or the prime minister. The internet should not be exempt from the laws of defamation. It is perfectly possible to have a free and vigorous debate without defaming anyone, as occurs often in Singapore.
The Prime Minister disgracefully puts forward a lie and a complete falsity both on the law and the reality of today's world of Internet.
"When someone makes false and malicious personal allegations that impugn a person’s character or integrity, the victim has the right to vindicate his reputation, whether he is an ordinary citizen or the prime minister."
This is a complete misrepresentation of the law and a complete misrepresentation of the reality of today's world of free speech. The law has been clearly set out throughout the free world which follows the principles of the Supreme Court case of New York Times vs Sullivan.
The principle is that there are 2 sets of standards when suing someone for defamation; one for a public figure (in this case the Prime Minister) and another for an ordinary citizen.
An ordinary citizen when suing another has the burden of only showing that the defendant was at least negligent and the Plaintiff suffered a loss of reputation.
On the other hand the standards for a public figure are completely different. His burden is monumentally higher.
In order to succeed, he has to show in addition to the falsity of the charge, a malicious intention on the part of the defendant as well as actual loss and damage.
In other words he has to show that Ngerng had a personal grudge, ill will or evil intention against the Prime Minister when he wrote the article. Secondly the Prime Minister has to show that he has actually suffered a quantifiable monetary loss or that citizens have actually begun to disrespect him or hold him in contempt or ridicule consequent to Ngerng's article. And those persons have to be named. None of this has been proven or satisfied in the Singapore Prime Minister's case.
Anyone who understands the basis of any free society knows that in the case of a public figure suing for defamation, a balance has to be found between the virtue and the paramount need for public debate in a free society against protecting the reputation of the public figure.
Additionally, the burden in such cases against the public figure is even greater than otherwise, when the issue involves a matter of public interest and controversy.
Here Ngerng was talking about state run retirement funds, something which touches every single citizen in his country.
He wasn't saying that the Prime Minister had committed adultery or had taken an up skirt picture of a woman on an escalator, which he may or may not have.
No developed or respected country's Prime Minister would think of ever suing a private citizen for talking about the country's state run retirement funds, because no respected country would want to muzzle their private citizens engaging in free debate on government policies that affect their lives and that of their fellow citizens.
I can assure you that the American President, the British Prime Minister, the Australian Prime Minister or any other respected leader of the free world would stoop so low as this to sue a citizen for showing an interest in the way he is governed.
But I know of some state leaders who would; Kim Jong An, the beloved leader of North Korea, the former Saddam Hussein, former president of Iraq and the present president of Syria, Bashar al Assad.
The Prime Minister has argued that he has to sue Ngerng in order to protect his reputation. In fact it is the other way round.
By suing him, it raises serious doubts whether the Prime Minister has indeed embezzled monies from the state run retirement fund; because why else does he find the need to sue.
Only a guilty person would see the need to resort to a court action in circumstances where he knows the Kangaroo courts would find in his favor.
There are many other possibilities why the Prime Minister may be corrupt; perhaps if the courts were independent, he may not have sued, not knowing the result of such an action? He may be suing only because he knows beforehand he will win in his courts.
If he knew that the ordinary Singaporean did not suspect him of embezzlement, perhaps he would not have sued? Perhaps because he knows that the average Singaporean indeed believes that he is corrupt, that he finds the need to sue?
I can write in my blog if wanted to that President Obama is corrupt, that the British Prime Minister is corrupt and the Australian Prime Minister is corrupt as many times I want, without any fear of being sued.
Why, because they know they are not corrupt and so do their citizens. Indeed if I were to have said this, no one would have even batted an eye. Not in the Singapore Prime Ministers' case. Perhaps he is corrupt after all.
And most importantly the Singapore Prime Minister is not going to sue me. Why, because I live in the United States and his defamation action would not have the predicted result as in Singapore.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean In Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525