Sunday, June 29, 2014

Singapore Prime Minister's defamation lawsuit against blogger. The Prime Minister disgracefully misrepresents the law

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"

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"

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.

He says

"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.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean In Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525


Anonymous said...

LKY, with his deep love for the PRC, is on the wrong side of geo-politics.

This just announced:
Australia and India are deepening military ties and reviving the spirit of a four-way democratic coalition with Japan and the United States, in response to growing concerns about China.

Meanwhile, LKY and his son are flooding Singapore with Chinese from the PRC. Singapore citizens have no say in this.

I don't trust these people whose loyalties like LKY's are towards the Chinese motherland.

Anonymous said...

Nair wrote, "Singapore's PAP government gives the island population a complete blood transfusion. Locals totally disappear and foreigners completely take over."

Can't say that I am displeased.

Time for many (NOT ALL) racist Chinese Singaporeans to get a taste of the own medicine, and be discriminated by PRCs and Pinoys.

(Unfortunately even the good Chinese, i.e. the non-racist variety, will suffer from this influx.)

Anonymous said...

Play with race issue again you racist Indian pig.

Anonymous said...

Question: Did LKY consult anyone before implementing his racist polices. Or did he just know that the majority supported his proclivities on race.
I went to the SPC petrol station at Sembawang where the cashier is PRC who can't speak a word of English. While I was queuing to pay for my petrol, an old Malay uncle who was in front of me, was struggling to converse with the cashier. Let me just state for the record, that though he's old, probably 65, he could speak English.
Understand that pap are racist and they are pushing singapore to be majority Chinese.
Don't say it's rubbish because this is a fact of these greedy pap clowns.
my camp has no Malay except drivers and cooks. Before ROD, we had a closed door talk from our security officer (S3) regarding security but without Malay servicemen!! It was really upsetting!

Anonymous said...

The Lee family has a habit of breaking rules to serve themselves. LKY is a spoilt brat, when he face water rationing during his trip to study in the UK, he would wake up earlier to steal someone's else water to brush his teeth.

It is the same all his life, always trying to get his way, that is why Malaysia kicked him out. The Brits called him a ruffian.

But he will not let others have the same go, that is why he shut the doors of his political enemies, he refused to introduce welfare policies for the needy and aged because he himself abuse these - including helping himself to newspapers in the UK without paying.

History is written by the victors and the Old Fart gets to paint himself as a great leader without flaws. He learnt from Chinaman Mao not to let his legacy be damaged by his later years and promptly handover PMship to Goh, while he is at the top. He was manipulating from behind the scene. Because he did too much bad things. As a frail old man, he still retain as MP not to serve the people, but to serve himself and preserve his legacy.

Anonymous said...

LKY and his family have so much Money. And money in our Society means power.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
LKY and his family have so much Money.

Yes. But how did they get this money?

Netizens must investigate and educate.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is necessary to bring so many mainland chinese to Keep the System alive, especially when many singaporeans decide to leave the Country.

Anonymous said...

Keep the System alive

Yes. Come 2016, the Confucian majority will continue to vote for the PAP to keep the System alive.

The Confucian majority are insecure people who fear the unknown and don't have the courage to try new things and ways.

Their attitude has always been to let someone else take risks - JBJ, Dr. Chee, ...

Anonymous said...

Why Confucian Singaporeans deserve LKY and the PAP

In a letter to The Straits Times Sabrina Chen said that ''achieving true kindness boils down to having one characteristic which is missing among us: initiative. Singaporeans lack the initiative to care".

Some foreign workers in the city have few kind words about Singaporeans' manners. "They are the rudest f---ing people I have ever seen; they need some basic training in civic awareness," said Paul Stapleton, an IT manager from Sydney.

"The problem is the sole concern of most Singaporeans is money and economic wellbeing," a long-time British resident says. "The only reason the churches here are packed to the rafters is because people attend in order to network."

Anonymous said...

CPF GIC TEMASEK No transparency. Singaporeans want to know where their money is?
Will LKY and LHL explain.

Reminds one of Fastow, CFO at Enron, and his use of LJM partnerships to hide problems at Enron.

Andrew Fastow Pleads Guilty; Agrees to Serve 10 Years in Prison
Fastow admitted that he and other members of Enron's senior management conspired in wide-ranging schemes to fraudulently manipulate Enron's publicly reported financial results. Fastow also admitted participating in schemes to enrich himself at the expense of the company and its shareholders. Specifically, Fastow admitted that he conspired with senior management to cause Enron to enter into improper transactions with the LJM entities, which were under Fastow's control. And he admitted to engaging in self-dealing transactions to enrich himself and others in connection with the so-called Southampton transaction which involved the $30 million buyout by Enron of an entity called LJM Swap Sub, LP, which Fastow controlled. In engaging in these transactions, Mr. Fastow admitted that he violated his duty of loyalty and honest services to Enron's shareholders.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Fastow's fast track to infamy

Any parallels to Singapore's CPF 'scandal'?

Anonymous said...

Movie - Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)
A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall.

Watch this movie to see how the masters of the universe were exposed when people started asking tough questions about the 'black box' business model.

Recall that President Ong Teng Cheong asked similar questions about Singapore's assets and reserves, but was snubbed by LKY and told to go away.

Is now the right time to ask the same questions.

About GIC, Temasek, CPF, ministerial salaries. I think S'pore politicians should declare all their assets and conflicts of interest before taking office. Those in office who refuse to do so should be asked to resign.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Anti-gambling Ad run by the PAP: "I hope Germany will win. My Dad bet all my savings on them."
Unlucky choice of team, but still an Ad with good intentions.
The ad played during the half time break when Germany was already 5-0 up on Brazil!!!!
NO ONE thought to remove the ad or use some alternative during the actual semi-final match this morning.

Singaporeans do not take the initiative (or have the courage) to correct things when they see something wrong.
This ad will be remembered forever. Will the leaders responsible for approving the ad please come forward to accept your award. :-)

Anonymous said...

Nair wrote, "... I was not prepared to permit Lee Kuan Yew to unjustly retain my CPF funds..."

I bet you never realized that it is CPF that will lead to the downfall of the LKY regime.

The baby boomers, who all blindly voted for LKY, and slowly waking up to the CPF dilemma. It may be too late for them, but hopefully reforms and transparency will be better for the next generation of Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

Mr Lee Hsien Loong has applied to the courts for a summary judgement in his defamation lawsuit against blogger Roy Ngerng.

A summary judgment is a judgment entered by a court for one party against another party without the case going through a full trial.

Lee Hsien Loong is a COWARD.

Irene Puah Siew Hoon said...

You are correct in pointing out that politicians elsewhere could not give a monkey's whether anyone openly asks whether or not they are corrupt. It's highly suspicious when the most senior politician of a Far Eastern island the size of mosquito excrement uses a loudhailer to profess that he, as the world's only politician, is incorruptible. BIG question mark. BIG exclamation mark.

Anonymous said...

Today in Finance Minister admitted that CPF funds are mixed together with government assets for investment. The government has breached one of the most fundamental duty of Trustees not to mix Beneficiaries' funds with its own. Is there a Constitutional rule that empowers it to mix the funds and is exempted from the Trustee Act provisions and the common law on duty of Trustees. In other words can the government also be exempted from its duties as Trustees of the CPF monies.

Anonymous said...

Has any Singaporean ever thought of suing the PM for breach of trust and making his own exceptions to the law in relation to the mixing of CPF funds with that of the government just like the US Congress suing President Obama for overstepping his powers as President?