After the pre-trial conference (PTC) for the defamation suit on Monday, the prime minister’s secretary lied about what my lawyer and I said. Yesterday, she released another statement to continue to distort the truth to put words into my mouth.
On Monday, a PTC was held to decide on the dates for the hearing on how much in damages I would need to pay the prime minister. The prime minister has filed for the defamation suit in the high court which oversees cases of more than $250,000, which means that I would be looking at losing at least this amount. The hearing dates have not been set.
On Monday, after the PTC, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s press secretary Chang Li Lin sent out a press statement and said, “Mr Ngerng’s lawyer indicated at the hearing that Mr Ngerng did not want to be cross-examined.”
She lied. This is not true.
I have never uttered the words, “I do not want to be cross-examined.” I have also never said this in any other reiterations.
Yesterday, when the prime minister’s secretary was exposed to have lied, she did not apologise but continued to try to distort the truth to insist that I did not want to be cross-examined.
However, she changed her statement after being caught lying with her pants down.
This time, she said, “This was the clearest indication that Mr Ngerng did not want to be cross-examined.”
From making an assertion that “I do not want” to be cross-examined, Ms Chang now changed her statement to say that “this was the clearest indication”.
It is now revealed all and sundry that the prime minister’s secretary has lied.
She knows that I have never said that I do not want to be cross-examined and she knew that she has lied. And now she is trying to wriggle her way out.
The fact of the matter is that I have always stood ready to be cross-examined.
Ms Chang is the one who is uncertain if the prime minister would do so similarly as well.
On Monday, she was the one who changed her statement from saying that the prime minister was ready to be cross-examined “right from the beginning” to only being “ready to be cross-examined, a position he has earlier communicated to the Court”.
Not only that, yesterday, Ms Chang pointed to “notes” taken from the prime minister’s lawyers to try to justify that I did not want to be cross-examined.
However, in a statement my lawyer released this afternoon, M Ravi also said that nowhere in the “notes” released by Ms Chang did they say, “Mr Ngerng’s lawyer indicated at the hearing that Mr Ngerng did not want to be cross-examined,” nor did they say anything like it.
The prime minister’s secretary lied.
When I attended the hearing on Monday, I was advised by the judge to report on the case objectively, otherwise I could be charged with contempt of court.
It is now clear that the prime minister’s secretary has lied and has not reported on court proceedings accurately.
It is clear that Ms Chang has now been found in contempt of court. I believe that it is the due process for the court to charge the prime minister’s secretary for contempt of court.
Next, I would also challenge the prime minister’s secretary to sue me for defamation if what I have said about her lying about what I said is not true. Otherwise, the prime minister’s secretary would do well to carry an apology to me in all state-controlled media platforms, including on print, online, TV and radio.
It is disingenuous of the prime minister’s secretary to lie about what I have said when she knows, and the prime minister’s lawyers know as well, that I have never said that I do not want to be cross-examined.
That the prime minister’s secretary would put words into my mouth shows how insidious and treacherous she is in wanting to use state resources to pull my character, reputation and integrity down.
May I remind Ms Chang that she works for the highest office of the land. It is expected of her to hold herself in an upright manner and with integrity. Where Ms Chang would blatantly lie when she knows the truth not only puts the highest office of the land to shame but it also sets a humiliating example to Singaporeans and the public service as to how a top public servant should conduct and behave.
The prime minister’s secretary’s actions have called into the integrity of the public service.
May I remind her that her direct supervisor, the prime minister, had said yesterday at the ‘”Integrity in Action” Public Service Values Conference’ that, “we trust the Public Service to act with integrity, always in the public interest.”
“So first of all, the leadership must set the tone and continue to set the tone from the top all the way down, and act with integrity,” he had also said.
If the prime minister’s own secretary does not even have the integrity to uphold herself, then I believe our public service is in serious trouble.
The prime minister would do well to discipline his office and set an example by putting his office in order. His secretary’s actions are horrendous and disgraceful and is not befitting of the highest office in the land. I do not believe that we need to continue to see such derisory behaviour be ejaculated from his office.
The prime minister should also set an example by apologising to me on his secretary’s behalf. Don’t worry, I will not send a prepared apology letter like you had sent to me to make me put up on my blog, then have the state-controlled media mischievously mis-quote me on it.
May I also remind the prime minister’s secretary that it was her direct supervisor, the prime minister, who had initially wanted a closed-door trial for the hearing on the damages and that it has always been I who had wanted an open hearing, in the name of public interest.
May I also remind the prime minister’s secretary that it was also her direct supervisor, the prime minister, who had wanted me to submit the questions for cross-examination so that they would be able to know what my lawyers would want to ask in the actual trial beforehand.
Ms Chang, before you point your finger at someone else, please look at the number of fingers that are pointing back at you.
If the prime minister is to expect the public service and Singaporeans to carry themselves with integrity, it might be more appropriate and convincing if the prime minister gets his own house in order.
As if it is not bad enough that I am faced with the stress and pressure of having a legal suit sent directly by the prime minister and have the whole of the state machinery train its resources to prosecute and attack me, I do not need another barefaced lie from the prime minister’s secretary, no less.