I heard about Roy Ngerng’s run-in with the PM earlier this evening on TV and had a quick look at the relevant post on his website.
What I could see was there he posted the letter of demand and then attached below the 15 May post that is the subject in the libel action…that and the tone of his response posted basically told me tt he appears to be eyeing a showdown.
Later, I checked out TRE and sure enough, there are already 2 articles published on the matter. So, I duly commented as follows;
It looks like Roy Ngerng is planning to proceed to fight the case.
I am not qualified to comment on the merits or otherwise of thelegal aspects of the article and the letter of demand. But I see the development from 2 angles;
1) The winds of change are blowing beneath the wings of people like Roy. Not just the younger electorate but also those of us older ones are seeing the unfairness, if not ridiculousness, of it all.
A PRIME MINISTER of more than 15 years suing a young citizen barely 25 years old – not just for retraction of the alleged libellous statements but full legal costs & compensation for damages? Where is the sense of proportion?
Again, the PM is truly out-of-touch. Dumb, even. If I was him, I’ll issue a demand letter but forget about the legal cost & the damage – unless the alleged defendant refuses to recant. At least, you start off on a higher moral ground. Neutral, reasonable people will say and agree that, yeah, it’s a matter of principle about one’s reputation.
But by demanding compensation – from a young person with his right to a viewpoint, even if a mistaken one – you come across as a blinking small-minded person, unbecoming of the standing of a PM.
Instead of taking the opportunity to reset and initiate the standard that you have always claimed to be your aim – open, honest & thoughtful discussions without recourse to personal attacks and defamatory allegations or insinuations, PM Lee has, instead, yet again try to stifle discussions. If you force people to go underground, you just create an ‘underground ecosystem’ that you, as a leader, cannot and will not be able to more accurately gauge to understand and to govern. To understand and to persuade.
Hence, from that angle, Roy Ngerng, with less commitments than many other older ones, you are in the right place and right time to make history for Singapore.
2. On the subject of the demand, CPF, it is something that much, much more have been exposed, debated, analysed in the last 30 months than the preceding 30 years.
We can see from comments and opinion pieces that there is much tt have been kept in the dark. And the govt has been giving hedged and half responses to questions and demands raised. They have tried to appear to engage with replies that are mostly qualitative and hence can be interpreted either way depending on which side one is on. But quantitative replies? Nope, not much.
But the pressures are on. Not to respond can only mean that more people reaching 55 and servicing their mortgages via CPF savings will only believe the worst thereof.
Therefore, on this, if Roy proceeds to contest, demands can be made to have CPF reveal more under duress of the courts. So, it is a positive development for us who want more straight answers via the courts, hopefully.
On that note, the merits of the case aside, I support Roy if he intends to fight it out. His moral victory in the court of the public opinion is already secured.
Though jobless now, I’ll chip in for him. G’luck, kid!