How else could the PM have handled Roy “Sexispider” Ngerng?
The accusations by Roy were absolutely baseless. He has the habit of taking two completely unrelated subjects and making spurious links to each other – as he has done by trying to link the City Harvest Church scandal to the Prime Minister’s involvement with GIC and Temasek.
I personally see every ground for a law suit. Roy’s articles are clearly malicious and the offending article defaming by nature. Yet having the Prime Minster of a country drop the legal anvil on small-time blogger seems to many like an overkill.
Yes, everyone has the right to legal redress. However, every responsible lawyer will tell you that there are consequences to legal action – most of the time it results in a broken relationship.
But what else could the Prime Minister have done? He could not possibly have sat on it. You also couldn’t say that they didn’t try hard to clarify what happens to your CPF money:
I spoke with 10 Singaporeans on their views on what else the PM could have done, very interesting ideas I must say.
“The Government has been saying that they want to be more engaged and start conversations. PM could have tried to converse and ask for the offending line to be tempered, but the fact that he didn’t is a signal that he isn’t confident of his ability to engage and negotiate. Legal action will only distance him more from a community that he has claimed he has been trying to get more in touch with.” – Daniel Yap, 35, works in PR
“I think a point by point rebuttal would be great but then if our pm needs to rebutt all these nonsense all year round he won’t be able to run the country. And he didn’t really sue yet right.” – Jefferson Soh
“I think PM did the right thing. There is a feeling among some in the establishment that “the centre is weak” – and this is the slippery slope to dysfunction. If we allow a madman to run amok, this is not being generous and magnanimous. This is just poor government.” – Michael Lee, 28, student
“If I was the Prime Minister, I would commission a team of political science students to have his articles analysed and rebutted.” – Juliana Kim, 29, banker
“I believe reaching out to the blogger and solving it would be better. The virality of the blogger’s sharing of the PM’s demand really paints the PM in a worse light and the latter might be perceived by the public badly – reinforcing different segments of public belief – even though this perception might not be correct.” – Clement Wong, 27, managing director, social media marketing
“There are some who say that the PM should not have sued. Like a mentally ill man on a bus – RN should just be ignored rather than provoked. The response should be to get off the bus ASAP. But- ordinary Singaporeans have the luxury of getting off the bus – the leader of the country must not only show that the man is mentally-ill but must treat him with respect and dignity. This is the PM’s job” – Tristan Tay, 38, lecturer
“The Prime Minister has done frequent tea sessions before, why is it so different for this guy?” – Leonard Wing, 36, accountant
“Do nothing – seriously, why even bother with small people like that?” – Neo Say Lam, 67, retiree
“Let the case escalate – get the judge to force an answer out of Roy Ngerng. I know that he would not be able to put forward a straightforward answer because if he could, he would have done so also. It would also give grounds for the Prime Minister to defend his position in a public arena” – Sandra Liew, 32, housewife
“Jail the nincompoop” – Jessie Ho, 33, executive
What about you? What do you think the PM could have done? Leave us your comments!
This magazine has also covered rebuttals against Roy in the past, have a read here: