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Singapore blogger faces financial ruin, while another to be held for psychological assessment

Excerpt of a CPJ Blog post by Sumit Galhotra, CPJ Asia Program Research Associate

"If we want our freedom, we have to fight for it," wrote blogger Roy Ngerng last year after he was sued for defamation by Singapore's prime minister. The case was sparked by a blog post in which Ngerng allegedly suggested Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had misappropriated funds in a state pension system. In November, the court ruled in favor of the prime minister.

A court will be assessing damages on July 1-3. But the blogger is worried that the damages, which will be announced after the hearings, will deal him a financial blow from which he may not be able to recover.

"When the damages come, it is likely that I would be made bankrupt," Ngerng told CPJ. "For me, it has been an enduring time of ups and downs, sometimes of hope and sometimes of dismay, at why your writing does not garner and harness the effect that it has [as in other places]. I do at times feel helpless and lost as to what I should do."

Read the full blog post on CPJ's site.

What other IFEX members are saying
  • Singapore: Teenage Blogger Ordered to Mental Health Institute

    In response to a Singapore court ruling that a 16-year-old blogger, Amos Yee, arrested for posting a video about the late Prime Minster Lee Kuan Yew, be held for two weeks for psychiatric review, Freedom House [said]: "This court ruling is a threat to freedom of expression in Singapore and also violates the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Singapore ratified in 1995 . . . Singapore is criminalizing online expression."

  • Singapore: Exonerate 16-Year-Old Blogger

    "The court has provided no adequate justification for Yee's further detention and has ordered forced psychiatric tests. He should be immediately released," Robertson said. "The ruling leaves in the balance whether Yee will be subject to 18 months of juvenile detention."

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