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    May 20, 2014

    Blogger accused of defaming PM Lee

    A BLOGGER has been asked to remove a post which alleges that CPF funds have been "misappropriated".

    In a letter of demand sent through his lawyer, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong asked for Roy Ngerng to take down the post immediately from his blog, The Heart Truths, and his Facebook pages.

    The letter, dated May 18, sent by Senior Counsel Davinder Singh from Drew and Napier, also calls for him to publish an apology on his blog within three days.

    In a chart accompanying a post titled "Where Your CPF Money Is Going: Learning From The City Harvest Trial", Mr Ngerng mapped relationships among Mr Lee, the CPF, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Temasek Holdings and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC).

    The chart was similar to one used by Channel News Asia to illustrate the relationship among City Harvest Church leaders, who have been charged with misappropriating $24 million through sham investments in two church-linked companies, and using $26.6 million to cover it up.

    Mr Ngerng claimed there was "uncanny resemblance" between the charts.

    In his letter, Mr Singh said that the post "is understood to mean that Mr Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Singapore and chairman of GIC, is guilty of criminal misappropriation of the monies paid by Singaporeans to the CPF".

    He added: "This is a false and baseless allegation and constitutes a very serious libel against our client, disparages him and impugns his character, credit and integrity. It is also clear that the article was published maliciously."

    Mr Ngerng yesterday posted a copy of the demand letter on his site, saying he is "being sued for defamation".

    When My Paper visited his blog yesterday, the post was still up, and no apology had been made.

    If he fails to follow the terms of the letter, he could be sued for defamation.

    In his post yesterday, Mr Ngerng claimed that he has tried his best to "speak" for his country, and "advocate" for his fellow citizens.

    "However, today, I am sued by the very government which should be protecting its citizens, such as me. This is disappointing," he wrote.

    Mr Ngerng, believed to be an employee of a local hospital, is being represented by lawyer M. Ravi.

    His blog has recorded almost two million views.

    In January last year, blogger Alex Au apologised to PM Lee for defamatory comments made in an article about a deal to sell computer systems used by town councils.

    Criminal lawyer Amolat Singh said that defamation may be direct or indirect - through innuendo, in which the defamation could be in what is unspoken.