Singapore blogger apologises to PM Lee Hsien Loong

A 33-year-old Singapore blogger has apologised to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for a post relating to a Central Provide Fund (CPF) Board scheme, but rejected his demands to pay compensation.

PTI| Last Updated: May 23, 2014, 14:53 PM IST

Singapore: A 33-year-old Singapore blogger has apologised to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for a post relating to a Central Provide Fund (CPF) Board scheme, but rejected his demands to pay compensation. Roy Ngerng Yi Ling, a healthcare worker, had posted an article on May 15 that was seen as accusing Lee of corruption.

However, Ngerng "unreservedly" apologised to Lee today, saying that the article contained allegations against Lee that were "false and completely without foundation", the blogger`s lawyer M Ravi was quoted as saying by the Channel News Asia.

The apology was for the distress and embarrassment caused to Lee by Ngerng`s allegation relating to the management of Central Provide Fund (CPF).

CPF is a compulsory percentage of wage-based contribution by workers and employers for the long-term worker savings scheme in Singapore.

"He admits and acknowledges that this allegation is false and completely without foundation," Ravi wrote in a letter to Drew & Napier, the lawyers for Lee.

Lee`s lawyer described the blogpost as constituting "serious libel". The blogger has also since posted up an official apology on his blog Website.

Drew & Napier on behalf of Lee on May 18 had demanded that Ngerng remove an article on his blog containing allegations against Lee, apologise, and pay damages by today, or face legal action.

Ngerng had posted the article, "Where your CPF Money is Going: Learning from the City Harvest Trial", on May 15, accusing Lee of misappropriating money paid by Singaporeans to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board.
City Harvest trial relates to a Church fund management. Ngerng had removed the article on Monday night, but posted a new article on CPF interest rates the next day.
According to media reports, Ravi has asked in the apology letter for the demand for damages be dropped, "so as not to reduce our client to a most assuredly disadvantaged position", and for an opportunity to have a "frank conversation" with the Prime Minister on the issue of CPF.