Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Roy Ngerng have just concluded their two days of cross examination yesterday (July 4) and their exchanges were recorded by Facebook Page, CPF Broken Promises as follow:
July 1 –
Roy asked the Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong if the CPF is invested in GIC.
Mr Lee said that CPF is invested in SSGS (government bonds) which becomes assets of the government, where some of it could be invested in GIC.
Then, Mr Lee said SSGS is not a matter of concern to CPF members.
Roy: Mr Lee, you said, “Our people should feel free to express diverse views,… We must give people a second chance.” (Lee Hsien Loong said this in his 2004 Swearing in Speech)
Roy then asked Mr Lee if he would give Roy a second chance.
Mr Lee then told Roy that he would settle the case and see how after that.
Roy then asked Mr Lee again if Mr Lee would give him a second chance.
Mr Lee then repeated the same thing.
Roy then said: “Ok, Mr Lee, you won’t give me a second chance.”
I have no more questions, Your Honour.
Roy: Your Honour, if I may, the Prime Minister has submitted that he is the Prime Minister of Singapore and the GIC chairman and he made several references inside his Opening Statement, that as the Prime Minister, he should be awarded damages that are high in his position in his position in the public office,
Now, Your Honour, if the Prime Minister also submits that in his role in the highest public office, he should receive high damages, then certainly because of his role in the public office, he has as much responsibilities as well.
And as they say, with great power comes great responsibility. If the Prime Minister has such great responsibility, certainly he could have used all the other resources that he has at his disposal to deal with me instead of taking legal action.
We would agree that as the Prime Minister, he should not first and foremost use the law against his ordinary citizen and that should be his last recourse.
Judge: Where is it written that he should not use the law against someone who defames him?
Roy: Your Honour, I will also like to add that this is the first time that an ordinary Singaporean is sued by the Prime Minister and as much as the defamation law in Singapore is established, there’s always a need to question how the law is being interpreted and how we are looking at the law.
Judge: How is it relevant to your question to him (Mr Lee) to use other means?
Roy: Your Honour, the fact that the Prime Minister, in his capacity as Prime Minister and who has a huge amount of resources at his disposal, did not use them before he decided to sue me only shows the recklessness of how the law is being used.
Now, under the damages, we have to look at the conduct of the Plaintiff (Prime Minister). Now, if the conduct of the Plaintiff has not been as pristine because he has not used other resources available, then there should be a need to question the amount of damages that should be given to him.
Second, if the Plaintiff has been reckless, then it would also satisfy the fact that under aggravated damages, I am not the only one who reckless as accused by the Prime Minister’s counsel.
If the Prime Minister himself has been reckless, then why should I take full responsibility for his reputation?
Judge: You want to establish the point that he (Prime Minister) has done nothing, other than suing you for defamation? Is that your point?
Judge: So, (Mr Lee), you confirm that this is the only action (suing Roy) that you took?
The Prime Minister said yes.
Roy: Mr Lee, you said that your solicitor thinks that the $5,000 is “derisory”.
Mr Lee: Yes.
Roy: Do you think it is “derisory”?
I think in the context of what you said and how you conducted yourself after that, it is not proportionate with the defamation that you have committed.
Roy: So, you think it is derisory.
Roy: Mr Lee, as the Prime Minister of Singapore, do you think it is right for you to ask your citizen to pay such high damages?
Davinder: That is irrelevant, Your Honour, the question of what is the appropriate amount of damages.
Roy: Your Honour, he is a public service holder and as the public service holder who earns a high salary, I do think that there is a certain decorum and decency as a public service officer.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that he has been following Roy Ngerng’s blog closely and said that Roy’s writings on the CPF has been veering towards defaming him.
He said that he has been watching Roy and decided to sue Roy for the Article.
Roy Ngerng: Mr Lee, let me ask you, if the trains breakdown, the SMRT CEO should take responsibility right?
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong: Well, of course
July 2 –
Something that Roy Ngerng repeatedly said in court when Davinder Singh cross-examined him on the second day of the hearing for the defamation suit, but was not reported in the media:
Roy Ngerng said that before he wrote his articles, Singaporeans did not know how their CPF is being used by the Singapore government.
He said that he had to trawl through 4 different government websites to find out that the CPF is invested in government bonds which are then invested in reserves, and where these reserves are managed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, GIC and Temasek Holdings.
There was no one single government website which provided this information, Roy said.
Roy said that he didn’t understand why the information cannot be found on just one website and if so, he could only surmise that the government does not want to let Singaporeans know how their CPF is being invested.
Roy also said that it was only after he was sued, that the government finally revealed for the first time that Singaporeans’ CPF is indeed invested in the GIC.
Roy Ngerng said that Davinder Singh lied to the court during the last day of the trial for the defamation suit yesterday.
Davinder pointed to some letters that Roy’s lawyers had written, as well as to his blog articles and affidavits and said that Roy wanted to mislead the court and lie to the court.
Roy said that he made mistakes in some of them and apologised for it. He also said that at the time of writing these, he had sworn that the information that he knew at the time of writing were accurate. At one point, he said that it was an “honest mistake”.
Davinder would not have any of it.
Finally, Roy pointed to one of Davinder’s letters and told Davinder that Davinder had lied to the court as well.
In one of Davinder’s letters, Davinder said that Roy put up the Prime Minister’s demand letter on 19 May 2014 and that it remained on the top of his blog for several days.
Roy told Davinder that this is incorrect and that on the next day, on 20 May 2014, there was already another article that he had posted up and that article was the one that is on the top of the page.
Roy then said that Davinder lied to the court.
Davinder did not respond to Roy.
Later, Roy told Davinder that he believed that Davinder could have overlooked the mistake and said that he’s willing to understand so, and then suggested why Davinder was not willing to do so.
On the last day of the hearing for the defamation suit by the Singapore Prime Minister, Davinder Singh said that the Prime Minister did not try to stop Roy Ngerng from speaking up about the CPF.
Roy said that it was incorrect and that he was being stopped.
Davinder asked him to show where.
Roy then pointed to the letter that Davinder had sent him, where Davinder asked him to take down 4 more articles and a YouTube video.
Roy explained that the Prime Minister had already admitted that in the 4 articles, none of them mentioned the Prime Minister in a defamatory light.
He also said that in these articles and the YouTube video, Roy said that it was clear that what he had written about was about the government’s use of Singaporeans’ CPF funds.
Roy then pointed to the letter that Davinder sent and said that Davinder had asked him not to publish anymore similar articles.
He said that this is clear proof that Davinder was trying to stop him from talking about the CPF.
Davinder Singh asked Roy, if he had said that the government has misappropriated the CPF funds of Singaporeans.
Roy said that he had said that the government has taken the CPF funds of Singaporeans to invest in the GIC and Temasek Holdings.
Davinder wanted to say that this meant that Roy had said that the Singapore Prime Minister had misappropriated the CPF funds.
Roy stopped him.
Roy then asked Davinder to show where in his question he mentioned the name, “Lee Hsien Loong”.
Davinder tried to ignore Roy.
But Roy pursued. He told Davinder that he has always said that it is the “government” that has been taking the CPF funds of Singaporeans to use. Roy said that at no point in time did he say that it was the Prime Minister who misappropriated because he didn’t believe that it was the Prime Minister who did it.
Davinder tried to ignore Roy’s pursuit of the point.
Eventually, Roy told Davinder that Davinder cannot show proof that he had said that the Prime Minister had misappropriated the CPF funds.
Roy told Davinder that at no point in time could Davinder tease out from Roy that he had said that the Prime Minister has misappropriated the CPF funds, because Roy never said that.
Roy then said that he has always questioned the transparency and accountability of the CPF, and how the government is managing it and told Davinder not to conflate the issues.
Roy told Davinder to draw the line clearly and reminded Davinder that he is a senior counsel. He told Davinder to keep his logic clear and not mix it up.
Davinder Singh tried to put it to Roy that he had said that the Singapore Prime Minister had misappropriated the CPF funds.
He said that what he has always written about has always been about the transparency and accountability of the CPF, and how the government has been managing it, and that it’s not about the Prime Minister.
It was at this point that Roy told Davinder that if the government thinks that Roy has defamed it, then he said the government can sue him.
He also reminded Davinder that Davinder is the Prime Minister’s lawyer and not the government’s lawyer.
Roy told Davinder not to act like the government’s lawyer, AGC, and if AGC thinks that Roy has defamed the government, then AGC should be the one in court to cross-examine Roy.
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