Judge Ruled that I Have to Pay Prime Minister’s Lawyers $20,000; Hearing on Damages Not Yet Fixed

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Photo credit: Tan Yunyou

Hello everyone,

This morning, I went to court for (1) the hearing on how much the prime minister wants me to pay his lawyers for the summary judgment and (2) for the pre-trial conference – to set the dates for the hearing on how much damages I would need to pay the prime minister for the defamation suit.

(1) Hearing on How Much to Pay Prime Minister’s Lawyers for Summary Judgment 

At the hearing, the the prime minister wanted me to pay to his lawyers $49,027.61, including for filing fees.

However, the usual range of legal fees to pay is usually only between $5,000 and $15,000.

My lawyers had asked for $13,000.

Prime Minister Wants Me to Pay His Lawyers for “Additional” Work and “Indemnity”

The prime minister wants me to pay more than the usual amount because he said that his lawyers had done “additional” work and because of “indemnity”.

His lawyer, Davinder Singh, argued today that their lawyers have done “additional” work because they had to research where the article (that I was sued for) was republished, and needed to prove that people had downloaded and accessed the article, so that they could show the extent of damage that was done.

He also said that I had made the matter “unnecessarily complicated” because he said that I knew I was wrong but I made the prime minister to prove that he is not, so there was also “additional” work that their lawyers had to do.

Ravi also told reporters later that, “the prime minister’s lawyers tried to say that (I) have tried to collaterally damage the prime minister. He is asking for one third (more than the normal scale for the legal fees) to punish me.”

Prime Minister said His Lawyers had to Do “Additional” Work to Apply for Injunction to Stop Me from Talking about CPF

Davinder also said that at the summary judgment last September, they had applied for an injunction to stop me from talking about the CPF. He said that I was not willing to accept the injunction, so their lawyers also had to do “additional” work to prove that I should be given an injunction.

But my lawyer, Eugene Thuraisingam, reminded the court that the injunction had said that “the court must bear in mind that the injunction should be carefully worded and sufficiently circumscribed such that it would not overreach and thereby infringe upon the right to freedom of speech or have a chilling effect”.

He also wants to “make it clear that (I) remain free to exercise (my) rights to freedom of speech under Art 14 of the Constitution, save for the repetition of the allegation that has been found to be defamatory in these proceedings”.

As such, I “should be able to make statements of the prime minister and the ruling party (PAP) so long as I do no break any written law”.

Eugene then pointed out that in my subsequent articles, what I have done was to question if it is right that the prime minister sue me in his capacity as the prime minister, as he is not allowed to. Also, I have also kept questioning about the lack of transparency on how Singaporeans’ CPF is being managed, and of the MAS, GIC and Temasek Holdings.

I did not say anything that is defamatory or against the law.

It is my right to do be able to speak freely, as enshrined under the constitution.

Moreover, my lawyer, M Ravi, also explained that the summary judgment in September last year was not a “complicated” hearing. The court arguments were “straightforward”.

“If (Davinder) was doing too much work, it should not be (my) problem,” Ravi said.

Prime Minister Took Issue with My Articles about My Personal Experience to Say I Attacked Him

The prime minister also took issue with some of my other articles.

As mentioned yesterday, there were some articles that I had written which were my heartfelt sharing of my own personal experience but the prime minister said that I was “attacking” him in these articles.

Davinder also referred to an article where I had said that “I am disappointed with the prime minister.”

“We have lived in fear for too long.

“This is not morally right (to sue an ordinary citizen),” I had also said.

But Eugene refuted this and said that I had intended to “pour my heart out” in these articles. I had also talked about how I was made to lose my job, for example. And most importantly, I spoke about the CPF.

The prime minister’s lawyer said that I wanted to “destroy” the prime minister but it was never my intention.

I wanted to talk about the CPF.

Eugene also said that I have always commented on public matters because these are matters of public concern.

Moreover, Ravi said that an indemnity can only be asked when one has been dishonest or runs a frivolous defence.

I have done neither.

Prime Minister Said I Kept “Shifting” My Position

But the prime minister also said that I kept “shifting” the “meaning” of my article and “changed my position”.

However, Eugene explained that my argument has always been consistent, that “there is no transparency in the manner which CPF monies were invested by the Government, MAS, Temasek Holdings and/or GIC” and that, “The legal retention of profits derived from the investing of CPF monies by GIC and Temasek, by the Government is simply not fair to Singaporeans”.

Judge Wanted Me to Pay $20,000 to Prime Minister’s Lawyers

However, Judge Lee Seiu Kin ruled that there is no reason for indemnity. He also said that there is no reason to depart from the scale for legal fees (of between $5,000 to $15,000). However, he said that the costs should be at the higher end of the scale.

As such, I was asked to pay $20,000 to the prime minister’s lawyers, and an additional $9,000 for filing fees.

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Photo credit: Tan Yunyou

(2) Pre-Trial Conference to Set Dates for Hearing on How Much Damages to Pay Prime Minister

Today, the pre-trial conference was also held to decide on the dates for the hearing on how much damages I would need to pay the prime minister for the defamation suit.

Last year, the prime minister had wanted to have a closed-door trial but my lawyers managed to fight for an open trial.

Today, the prime minister then wanted to only have one day of trial.

However, my lawyers asked for 3 days.

Initially, the court said in a letter that it is only available from July to August.

However, Davinder said that he has other trials from July to September and wanted to change the dates for the trial.

He wanted to move it earlier to May.

My lawyer, Ravi, explained that he has hearings in May and would not be able to do so.

The court then suggested holding the hearing between 10 and 16 October.

But Davinder then suggested holding the hearing in two separate parts. However, Ravi rejected as he does not want the prime minister to be able to have time to do his “homework”.

In end, the court then said that it could have some dates available for the end of June and will inform us of the dates again.

The prime minister has filed for the defamation suit in the high court, which oversees cases of more than $250,000, so this is at least what I am expected to lose.

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40 comments

  1. landragon123

    A case is a case, but since the laws in Singapore is set by the PAP surely asking higher is a norm for their Lawyer is a Minister of Foreign Affairs. So you have to pay for a lawyer and a Minister, the charges is “Reasonable”. Sorry I am only writing as a Layman, please correct me if I AM wrong?

  2. A Singaporean

    You must take comfort that the world is rallying around France in solidarity to tell those who are anti-freedom of speech and expression to stop their assault.
    Yet in Singapore, we are ashamed to see the state and court is in cahoot to stop freedom of speech!
    Your case has solidified our resolve to take down PAP which is anti-freedom of speech and has high disregard for the Constitution of
    Singapore!

  3. RIP

    Ravi funny guy….reminds me of kumar…:). Incidentally….has he not heard of marked up goods and later sold at huge discount to make their customers happy?

  4. Lim

    What the fuck, still so happy, taking pics outside supreme court, smile smile smile, never learn lesson, never get wiser, serve you right, i pray to God the court awards the maximum damages to PM, make you bankrupt, maybe then you will stop mis-behaving, your mother never taught you to be a good citizen, maybe the court and PM will.

    • Ironclad

      Dont scold Roy lah. It is the crazy lawyer Ravi. Scold him lah for using Roy for publicity. It is Ravi who must kenna bankrupt not Roy because it is Ravi who steal all the money.

  5. teoenming

    Strange. Mediacorp TV Channel 8 Chinese News reported that Roy Ngerng Yi Ling is not willing to be cross-examined. But Roy has already indicated his intention to be cross-examined. Strange.

    Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)
    Singapore Citizen

    • teoenming

      Class 95.8 FM Radio has also just reported that Roy Ngerng is not willing to be cross-examined. The news is purportedly coming from the Prime Minister’s Office.

      Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)
      Singapore Citizen

      • teoenming

        Watch the Youtube video. It has been mentioned a few times that Roy Ngerng is willing to be cross-examined.

        Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)
        Singapore Citizen

  6. teoenming

    Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Want Teo En Ming Dead

    Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong want Teo En Ming dead. Lee Kuan Yew and Lee Hsien Loong want Teo En Ming to die young. I am only 36 years old. I do not want to die young. I want to live to a hundred years old and beyond!!! I want to live to a hundred years old and beyond!!! I want to live to a hundred years old and beyond!!!

    Teo En Ming has filed an official complaint against the Singapore Government at the United Nations Human Rights Council Branch and the International Criminal Court. Read the letter here:

    ***********************************************************************************
    ***********************************************************************************
    ***********************************************************************************
    ***********************************************************************************
    ***********************************************************************************
    ***********************************************************************************

    Teo En Ming’s Open Letter (Plea for Medical Help/Assistance) to World Leaders dated 27 Aug 2010. Read the letter here:

    http://lists.mcs.anl.gov/pipermail/mpich-discuss/2010-August/007811.html

    Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)
    Singapore Citizen
    Republic of Singapore

  7. Non Partisan

    I am very disappointed that you did not agree to be crossed examined, which would have enabled you to express your side of the story officially. Many have supported you, not just financially, and we were looking forward to hearing your arguments officially. Fighting for ‘Freedom of Speech’, and yet ironically declining the freedom to speak. Winning or losing is a secondary matter, but being able to coherently argue and stand by your beliefs is what matters, just like what Gandhi did. He did not shy away from such opportunities.

  8. CRIMOND G

    A Bloody shame that you are being silenced for exposing the Truth. Bloody Disgrace that the PM misuses his power and position to silence his critics…just.. like his father. Don’t worry boy.. They don’t believe in God…….but Mr Karma is still there to perform His duty and you will witness it Boy !. Just have Faith in your beliefs and if you need a break from all this quite unnecessary stress……contact this sender. Now get some sleep & rest. God Bless.

    • Xmen

      You should talk to those social workers who were paraded and made “confessions” in the MSM in the 80s. Perhaps you were not a little baby then (and still is… LOL)

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  10. President Teo En Ming, Federation of the Universe

    [YOUTUBE VIDEO] Launch of the Singapore Democratic Party Economic Policy Paper by Dr. Chee Soon Juan on 7 Feb 2015 Saturday

    Dear Citizens of the World,

    I have just completed uploading my video coverage of the presentation by Dr. Chee Soon Juan to Youtube at 6:25 PM SGT. Video rendering on my Intel Core i5 4430 desktop computer took a solid 4 hours for a 2 hr video. Youtube may take another 10 hours to process my video before it becomes online. Please wait patiently for my Youtube video. The presentation by Dr. Chee Soon Juan started at 2:00 PM SGT on 7 Feb 2015 Sat. I was late for the presentation by 45 minutes due to another important matter that I had taken up. I am very very sorry for being late.

    Filmed by Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)
    Singapore Citizen
    8 Feb 2015 Sunday Singapore Time GMT+8 / UTC+8

    COPYRIGHT NOTICE:

    COPYRIGHT © 2015 TEO EN MING (ZHANG ENMING)
    SINGAPORE +65-9117-5902

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