Singapore blogger crowdfunds $99,000 over defamation case
April 21, 2021
Asia

Singapore blogger starts crowdfunding $99,000 to pay PM damages over defamation case

SINGAPORE – A Singaporean blogger said on Monday he had raised S$133,000 ($98,840) via crowdfunding on social media to pay damages he was ordered to pay Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong over a defamation case filed by the same.

Lee had sued Leong Sze Hian, a financial advisor, after he shared on Facebook an online news article that linked the premier to a financial scandal at Malaysia’s state fund 1MDB.

Lee’s lawyers have said such links were “false and baseless”. Leong had deleted the November 2018 Facebook post within three days of sharing it, complying with a government request.

The Singapore high court on March 24 ordered him to pay Lee S$133,000.

“I am very happy, very grateful,” he told on Monday.

Leong made the announcement on Facebook late on Sunday, when he posted: “It is finished. All paid for.”

As the head of a government that has pledged zero tolerance of corruption, Lee, 69, is no stranger to seeking to protect his reputation via legal channels.

Senior figures in the ruling People’s Action Party, including Lee’s late father and the founder of modern-day Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, have previously sued foreign media, political opponents and online commentators for defamation.

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