Well-known political activist and blogger, Roy Ngerng who was found guilty in 2015 for a blog post that was believed to be defaming Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has shown his unequivocal support for the thousands of Hong Kong residents who took to the streets in protest against a proposed extradition bill and its proponent Carrie Lam.
This time, Ngerng urged protesters not to allow “HK be like Singapore where people live in fear.” The statement was written on a placard he carried with him during the protest and he even had a photo taken showing his emphatic and unreserved support.
A Facebook album posted by Ngerng titled “Taipei rally to support the people of Hong Kong”, included several photos of an assembled throng of people, many holding placards that read “No China Extradition.”
Who is Roy Ngerng?
Roy Ngerng Yi Ling was the blogger/activitist who was sued by Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for defamation on May 29, 2014, subsequent to his blog post about the PM’s acts of fund misappropriation.
The blog entitled “Where Your CPF Money is Going: Learning from the City Harvest Trial” was posted on Ngerng’s personal blog, The Heart Truths, on May 15, 2014. In the said post, Ngerng made a chart that explicitly showed the connection between the PM, the Central Provident Fund (CPF), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Temasek Holdings, and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC).
On November 7, 2014, the High Court of Singapore ruled that Ngerng was guilty of defamation with damages to be evaluated. The PM Lee vs. Ngerng case is the first defamation legal suit in Singapore that was purely about an online article. The High Court Judge Lee Seiu Kin ruled that “there is no doubt that it is defamatory to suggest that the plaintiff is guilty of criminal misappropriation.”
The Supreme Court ordered Ngerng on December 17, 2015 to pay S$150,000 in damages to the Prime Minister for defamation. Of this amount,S$100,000 was for general damages and S$50,000 in aggravated damages.
Roy Ngerng is a Taiwan-based Singaporean and was a prominent opposition figure and politician in Singapore before his move to Taiwan in late 2016. He began his socio-political blog The Heart Truths in 2012.
In August 2015, Ngerng was part of the Reform Party six-member team challenging Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency in the 2015 general election. The Reform Party was defeated by the People’s Action Party headed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
In 2018, Ngerng had a part in an Al Jazeera documentary entitled Singapore: The House that Lee Built. The documentary is Ngerng’s very first media appearance since his participation in the 2015 Singapore general election.
The 2015 lawsuit which was covered extensively in local media pushed Mr. Ngerng to move to Taiwan in a self-imposed exile, citing difficulties in finding employment.