Radio Australia interview with Roy Ngerng

 

The following is Radio Australia’s interview with Roy Ngerng. We have published the entire transcript for our readers and we’ll let you decide what you make of Mr. Ngerng and his antics.

 

<<Begin>>

 

It’s transpired that the Prime Minister of Singapore is suing a jobless blogger for criminal defamation.  The alleged offence, for which he faces two years in jail, is questioning the government.  It’s an old tactic in Singapore to silence dissent, but this time, there’s been an unexpected twist; citizens have rallied publicly in support of the accused blogger and donated more than a hundred thousand dollars to help fight the case in the courts.  Peter Lloyd reports:” (Peter Lloyd, Reporter, ABC News)

 

PL:  “Until a few years ago, Roy Ngerng lived a quiet life in Singapore.  He had a job in a public hospital and relative anonymity.  That all changed when he started blogging about what he saw as injustice and unfairness in Singapore.  He’s written about 400 articles, but one in recent weeks crossed the invisible barrier in Singapore locals call the ‘OB marker’, out of bounds:”

(Mr Roy Ngerng, Blogger)

Mr Ngerng:  “I have written an article which discusses how the retirement funds in Singapore are being used to be invested.”

PL:  “In Singapore, they don’t have superannuation.  The compulsory state saving scheme is called the Central Provident Fund (CPF).  In his article, Roy Ngerng questioned the rate of return the Government gives workers after investing their contributions:”

Mr Ngerng:  “Currently, the investment firms are earning 6.5 to 16 per cent. But for Singaporeans’ retirement funds, we are only earning only 2.5 to four per cent.  So my argument is that if investment funds are earning such a high interest but Singaporeans are earning such a low interest, then there needs to be some transparency and accountability as to how our retirement funds are being used.”

PL: “It sounds innocuous enough.  A call for transparency, says Roy Ngerng.  But that’s where the OB marker lies in wait.  The body that invests Singaporeans’ money for them has as its chairman, the Prime Minister.  So Lee Hsien Loong took personal offence at the call for more transparency.  His lawyer said the article accused the PM of criminal misappropriation.  Roy Ngerng backed out fast.  He removed the offending post, apologised and offered Mr Lee $5,000 in damages.  But the offer was dismissed as ‘derisory’.

Q:  “Are you surprised that you were sued for defamation by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong?”

Mr Ngerng: “Well, you know last year they came up with a MDA licensing rule where they say that if the Government is not agreeable with any articles that you put up, they will ask you to take it down and to pay a performance bond of S$50,000.  So I expected that at some point, I would be subjected to that rule to have to take it down. But to be sued is beyond my current expectations.  And I would say I would be more disappointed than…you know, because I would rather the Government engage a citizen, ordinary citizens who are asking them key questions on our retirement funds to actually let us have the transparency, the reports and to engage us in a conversation and we can then decide based on information that we know, we think that these are the solutions that should be done.  I think it’s better that way instead of the Government telling us and scaring us.”

PL:  “But the scare this time may have been in the Government’s ranks. 6,000 people turned up to support Roy Ngerng at this public rally.  And in what’s probably an even greater second shock, many of those demonstrators have put money where their mouths are, via crowd-sourcing money-raising platform online, more than $100,000 is being raised to pay the legal bills for a fight with the Prime Minister in the courts.  The first hearing is in July.  Roy Ngerng is settling in for a long battle.”

Mr Ngerng: “I think Singaporeans are frustrated that for a very long time, for more than the past 10 to 20 years, we have been giving the feedback to the Government on the CPF, the retirement funds and it has fallen on deaf ears.  And the Government hasn’t responded as much as it should and the solutions that the people want have not been heard.  So I think they see this as an opportunity for them to be able to speak up, perhaps using me as a platform, but to be able to at least have their voice heard.”

SL:  “Roy Ngerng, the accused Singapore blogger speaking there to Peter Lloyd.”

 

 

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1 Comment

  • this article is full of lies:

    The first one is Roy made the article private and send to every media he know and explain them how to watch and use.

    Second point the more important he defame the prime minister saying he use the CPF for is private need.

    i guess this reply will be censored, because is the true you wont listen

    PS: the rally was about CPF and attract only 2000/3000 pax , not 6000

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