Next Week, I will Face the Singapore Prime Minister in Court for the Defamation Suit

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Hello everyone, next week is the hearing for the defamation suit that I am currently facing from the Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The hearing will be held from 1 to 3 July, at 10am everyday, at the Supreme Court, at Court 4D.

The hearing will be an open trial. It is open to the public.

The hearing will be to determine how much I would have to pay the prime minister. The prime minister has filed for the suit in the High Court which oversees cases of more than $250,000, so this is at least how much I might be expected to pay him.

It is with a heavy heart that I go into the trial.

I still believe that there are better ways to allow us to manage this issue.

My intention has never been to defame the prime minister. It has always been to fight for the CPF (Central Provident Fund), the pension funds of Singaporeans.

As such, I am taking this picture to affirm my stand.

#ReturnOurCPF

For the past one year since I got sued, I have written about 100 articles to raise further awareness on how the Singapore government is using the CPF pension funds of Singaporeans to earn and not return it. I have written more than 200 articles on the CPF since I started the blog in 2012.

If you would like to support the fight or to ask the Singapore government to #ReturnOurCPF, you can also take a picture of yourself and send them to me at my Facebook at Roy Ngerng Yi Ling, to The Heart Truths Facebook page or to my email at royngerng@gmail.com.

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When I first started writing about the CPF three years ago, I was concerned about how Singaporeans’ CPF is being used by the government.

There were many rumours that the CPF is invested in the GIC and Temasek Holdings but no one really had the facts to know for sure.

Worse still, over the last decade or so, more and more elderly Singaporeans simply could not save enough inside their CPF and could not meet the CPF Minimum Sum, and could not retire.

The sight of seeing so many elderly Singaporeans work at the hawker centres and toilets as cleaners, and on the roads as cardboard starting becoming a common sight.

How do you help them, really, unless we are able to change the policies to increase their CPF, so as to enable them to be able to retire?

Finally, early this year, the government amended the CPF policy ever so slightly. For elderly Singaporeans, aged 55 and above, they would receive 6% in interest on (only) the first $30,000 of their CPF.

For elderly Singaporeans aged 65 and above, they would receive $300 to $750 every 3 months, but this is only for lower-income Singaporeans, and only if they are eligible.

On the surface, it looked like there were finally changes.

But the PAP hasn’t fundamentally reformed the CPF.

For all Singaporeans, the CPF interest rate is still just between 2.5% to 4% – still the lowest in the world among pension funds. Also, the CPF Minimum Sum underwent a name change to the Full Retirement Sum, but it will continue to increase every year, trapping more of Singaporeans’ CPF inside. This year, it was increased to $161,000.

Also, $300 to $750 given out only once every 3 months is actually just only $100 to $250 every month, which is clearly too little to support the needs of the elderly.

In short, the CPF has not fundamentally changed.

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A few days ago, I met a person who volunteers at the PAP’s Meet-the-People’s sessions.

“But if the CPF is not given to the GIC to use, then the GIC would have much lesser assets,” he said.

Yes, but the CPF monies are the people’s retirement funds.

You cannot take the people’s money and not tell them how you use it, I told him. The GIC has no transparent reporting.

Worse still, when Singaporeans are unable to save enough to retire today, it is even more unreasonable to want to continue to take their money to let the GIC and Temasek Holdings earn.

The CPF monies are hard-earned money which belong to Singaporeans and need to be returned to Singaporeans.

“But where will the money for the GIC come from then,” he asked.

Do you know the government has $20 to $30 billion in surplus, or more, that it does not declare to Singaporeans every year? This money can (and actually is) being invested in the GIC and reserves.

In fact, the Reform’s Party’s Kenneth Jeyaretnam has calculated that the government has accumulated surpluses of a total of more than $300 billion since 1999.

But the government does not report the majority of these surpluses to Singaporeans.

So, it’s not just the CPF. It’s also the tax revenue that the PAP takes from Singaporeans but does not return.

Where has our money gone?

Look, plainly, the CPF is Singaporeans’ retirement savings. You cannot route it somewhere else to earn from it, and not let Singaporeans know where our money is going, or not return it.

The CPF should be invested as it is – with the CPF, whatever returns it earns, whatever is given back to the people (minus the administrative charges). Singaporeans should have the right to decide how the CPF is invested and how it is used, I told him.

The CPF is the people’s money.

The GIC can take whatever tax revenue and surplus to invest and earn. Not the CPF.

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But he said, the government implements the CPF Minimum Sum to ensure that Singaporeans would have enough to retire on.

No, I told him. If you really want to increase people’s retirement funds, you increase the CPF interest rates. Once you do that, everyone will be able to meet the CPF Minimum Sum, every Singaporean would have enough to retire on, and they would be able to withdraw their CPF.

You won’t even need to put in a CPF Minimum Sum.

You increase their wages, then they would be able to set aside more into their CPF, and be able to save enough to retire.

But the government doesn’t want to do that, I told him. Wages have been depressed for the past 10 to 20 years and the CPF interest rates have been depressed to 2.5% and 4% since 1999.

The government keeps increasing the CPF Minimum Sum without increasing wages and the CPF interest rates. How then are Singaporeans expected to be able to meet the CPF Minimum Sum?

They would not be able to, I told him.

If so, it looks like the PAP does not want Singaporeans to meet the CPF Minimum Sum, does it?

If the solution is to increase wages and the CPF interest rates, why would the PAP not do it but increase the CPF Minimum Sum to lock up Singaporeans’ CPF instead?

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But do you know many poor people come to the Meet-the-People’s sessions and they would beg for money, he said.

But do you know why they have to do that, I asked him back.

They are too poor. Do you know that poverty is estimated to be 30% in Singapore? 30% of Singaporeans simply cannot earn enough to even spend on basic necessities.

Do you know that research has shown that when people are forced to live in poverty, their brains shrink as they are forced to spend too much time thinking about how to make ends meet. They are then forced to beg for money because they simply are not allowed to earn enough, to have enough to use.

By not paying people enough, we are crippling them!

The PAP knows this, I told him. The PAP knows that people are not earning enough. The PAP can implement a minimum wage to reduce the poverty rate in Singapore, but why doesn’t it want to do so?

Why does it want Singaporeans to beg them, I asked him.

And do you know that research has also shown that where the poor are given more money, they would invest the money in the education of their children, social mobility will increase, and their children will be able to find better jobs and move up the social ladder?

Research has shown all these, I told him.

You don’t want people to keep begging for money at the Meet-the-People’s sessions, the solution is very simply.

Implement minimum wage.

But you have to pay people what they are worth, he said.

How do you determine how much people are worth, I asked him.

Do you think it is right that the PAP ministers earn millions of dollars but pay cleaners only $1,000 a month?

If the PAP so claims that Singapore is in a precarious situation, then shouldn’t they reduce their own salaries? If they don’t, then why don’t they increase the wages of Singaporeans?

I told him, if the government did not increase costs to such an extent, today, minimum wage could be $1,500 and many Singaporeans would be able to benefit.

But as it is, the PAP tells Singaporeans, you cannot be a First World country without having First World costs.

Why then does Singapore have Third World wages, I asked him.

Also, the PAP keeps increasing rents, and then tell Singaporeans it cannot increase our wages because of rising costs.

But when rents increase, who does the profit go to? Who benefits? – the high-income earners, the PAP among them since their salaries are pegged to the high-income earners, and because those who are affiliated to the PAP also controls the largest companies in Singapore.

But do you think it is fair that the PAP pays themselves millions of dollars but refuse to implement minimum wage for Singaporeans? Do you think it is fair that the PAP would not increase health and education expenditure for Singaporeans, I asked him.

Look, I told him, it is very simply. Implement minimum wage, increase health and education expenditure, increase the CPF interest rates and increase social protection expenditure, and the poor and even middle income will be uplifted, I told him.

The solutions are simple. But why won’t the PAP do it?

As it is, the PAP spends the lowest on healthcare and education among the developed countries.

Meanwhile, the PAP also makes Singaporeans pay more than $70 billion in the Medisave but only lets us use less than 1.5% of it every year.

Where has the rest of the money gone?

And not only that, productivity has been negative for the past 4 years. Do you know why, I asked him.

Wages have been so low, working hours so long, how do you expect productivity to increase? And this is why we are seeing what we are seeing today.

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The man I spoke to has a good heart. He believes in reaching out to others, and that’s why he’s volunteering at the Meet-the-People’s sessions.

But I’ve met others like him who volunteer at these sessions, and some who eventually stop doing so.

A friend who had helped out before felt that the PAP does not really care about helping the poor. They keep giving out NTUC vouchers but this is not what I want to do, he told me. I thought that I could really help the poor and that’s why I volunteered, he said.

But he stopped after a while. He doesn’t find it fulfilling volunteering at these sessions. He went to volunteer somewhere else where he could really do good, he felt.

But of course, I might be generalising here.

Yet, I have met another person who was involved with the PAP, working in one of their committees. She too, stopped after a while.

It’s all about making business connections and networking, she told me. This is why people volunteer with the PAP. You get financial benefits and business opportunities.

I haven’t spoken to everyone but this seems to be the general sense I get.

No one is saying that it is wrong to want to benefit from these business connections.

But the PAP is currently the government. A government’s role is supposed to take care of and protect the people.

If the PAP wants to make money, then get out of government.

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But you cannot say that the government is taking the people’s money, the person told me. The money is just sitting in the GIC, he added.

Of course, I told him. But when Singaporeans cannot retire, do you think it is right that the money still sits in the GIC when people do not have enough to retire on, I asked him.

And we are not talking about a GIC which is doing poorly. The GIC has taken Singaporeans’ CPF to do very well, in fact. It is estimated that the GIC has at least $400 billion (of Singaporeans’ money) in assets and that the government has more than $1 trillion in reserves (again, of Singaporeans’ money).

Where has all the money gone?

Why is it not returned to Singaporeans?

Why is it that the money belong to Singaporeans but we do not know where the money has gone to, or even how much of our money there is?

Moreover, the PAP has also tried to hide the information from Singaporeans, that the GIC uses our CPF, I told him.

And the PAP has been trying to hide for the past 15 to 20 years.

Are you sure, he asked me.

So, I told him, in 2001, Lee Kuan Yew said, “there is no direct link between the GIC and the CPF”.

In 2006, Lee Kuan Yew also said, “there is no connection between GIC’s rate of return and the interest paid on CPF accounts”.

In 2007, the Worker’s Party’s Low Thia Kiang asked, “Does the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) use money derived from the CPF to invest?”

But then-Manpower Minister Ng Eng Hen also said, “The answer is no.”

What’s more, do you know that it was only after I was sued last year, that the PAP admitted for the first time that the CPF is invested in the GIC, I told him.

Not only that, before that I managed to trace on several government websites how the PAP took our CPF to invest in government bonds, which they take to invest in the reserves.

But do you know after I wrote about this, the PAP then took down the PDF document where I found this information from, deleted the words, “in reserves”, and then uploaded a new PDF document onto a new link, so that Singaporeans wouldn’t be able to know that the bonds are invested in the reserves?

Also, I managed to trace that the reserves are managed by the GIC, Temasek Holdings and the Monetary Authority of Singapore on the Ministry of Finance’s website.

But do you know the PAP then changed the information so that you would not be able to know who actually manages the reserves?

I showed him the before and after screenshots that I took.

He stared at them for a while.

And then he realised that I wasn’t just rambling.

I had evidence to prove what I was saying.

But how many people would believe me?

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Another friend then asked me, have you tried speaking to the civil servants or academics?

But I told her, how many of them would want to speak to me?

When you have a good job, good pay, and when you are within the system, why would you believe what I say?

Truth is, I told her, the many people who come to our protests – more than 10,000 people came to our 4 #ReturnOurCPF protests last year – and those who think alike are people who have lost their jobs, their homes, or who cannot retire or pay for their healthcare bills. Only then would they finally realise the reality of what things are like in Singapore.

Only when you do not have enough to retire on, and when you have to pay tens of thousands in hospitals bills, and when you have to give up your home and become unemployed and struggling, and when you cannot put food on the table, only then will you finally realise the system cripples you.

Only then will you realise what the PAP has been doing to Singapore, and how the PAP does not care for Singaporeans – and there is an estimated 30% of Singaporeans living in poverty today, and this is increasing.

But if you have not suffered, you won’t know it. You won’t feel it. And even then, when you are rich, Singapore is a wonderland for the rich, you won’t feel the pinch, not like the rest of us do.

And when you are an academic or a civil servant and you have seen what happened to those who have spoken up, would you do the same?

Or if you have a high paying job, would you want to threaten your rice bowl, I asked her?

Even if someone is not aware of all these, when we have learnt to conform in our thinking to think along the lines of how the PAP tries to get us to think or when we have learnt not to challenge them, how many of us can be truly aware of what is really going on?

Truth is, how many people understand the plight of the poorest 30% in Singapore, and the middle income after them – and a middle income class which is shrinking?

This is really why I write and why I try to shed light on the issues.

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I have always been concerned about wages, retirement, healthcare and education, because these are things that a government has a responsibility over its people for. And this is why I write about them.

But I have never intended to defame the prime minister, nor would I want to or will ever do. It’s simply against my principles to do that to anyone. I do not know the prime minister personally, nor do I take anything personally against the prime minister.

But if the prime minister feels distressed and embarrassed because of what I had wrote, I do sincerely apologise. I do not believe in causing hurt to another person, personally.

My intention has always been to speak up for Singaporeans, and to advocate for a government that will protect Singaporeans.

As such, yes, I advocate for a new government. I believe that it is time we remove the PAP from power.

Perhaps some within the PAP may feel threatened by me, by such a call. Or some among them would hold me with disdain.

But my belief is simple. If you have taken care of the people, people would continue to support you. Once you stop taking care of the people, the people will know and they will want you to go.

The PAP has stopped taking care of Singaporeans. Their profit and business-oriented motives only mean that they would want to keep earning more and more from Singaporeans and allowing themselves to get rich.

And this means also taking from Singaporeans’ CPF.

I cannot agree with that. As such, I believe we need to Vote Opposition. We need to vote for a new government. We need to vote for change, and for our future.

The PAP may not like this but it is nothing personal, I can only wish they can understand that. But I understand why they wouldn’t.

For them, power and money is at stake.

But my concern is for Singaporeans. At the end of the day, if things improve for Singaporeans, and for our fellow people, that is all that matters.

I wish I do not have to go to court to settle the matter next week.

But I have been found to have defamed the prime minister by the court. It has never been my intention, and never will be.

But I have to accept the consequences, for also speaking up in Singapore.

I can only wish that in time to come, we can see change. Then hopefully, we will see opportunities for us to make things for the better.

The hearing next week is in open court. It is open to the public.

I hope that things will go well. I would like to thank my lawyer, George Hwang, and his team of interns who have been extremely helpful and supportive of me.

I would like to thank them and am deeply appreciative of the work that they have done for me.

No matter what happens, you only live your life once. You can only answer to yourself.

At the end of the day, I believe that I have to be honest with myself and to be true to myself.

And that’s all that really matters.

May things change for the better.

#ReturnOurCPF

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38 comments

  1. Singaporeans

    It doesn’t matter how many articles you wrote, if all of them are based in your make up stories – they are just lies.

    You can write whatever you want but Singaporeans are no fool to simply believe.

    You said apologize but why you continues write lies after lies to discredit him (his leadership)? Anyway say whatever you want la …. Who cares.

    So grow up …. Be a man.

    • lea xian loon

      It doesn’t matter how much PAP tries the manipulate the mass media via mediacorpse. They are based in PAP’s make up stories – they are just lies. Even Commercial companies are revolted and wise enough not to place further ads with them

      PAP can have mass propaganda whatever they want but Singaporeans are no fool to simply believe.

      LHL only apologize in last election after Mas Selamat escaped. But why did he and his mati limpeh continue propagating write lies after lies to discredit others (and their leadership), who are much honourable and competent than PAP?

      Anyway say whatever you want la …. Who cares.

      GE coming liao. PAP mati liao

      LHL’s lanjiao too bad cannot grow up …. He lost his nuts in SGH to be a man.

  2. People

    I agree with the comment above by “Singaporeans” – at this stage you are still a recalcitrant liar.

  3. inumeals

    Roy, wake up! This is fodder for you. You know Phey Yew Kok is back and charged in court. It is not the long arms of the law but he comes to the law after the person whose premiership he committed the offence was gone. So no commendation for the police. I am curious why no attempts were made to bring him in after all these years. The conjecture was that he might spill the beans on PAP. Over to you…

  4. james

    PAP must account for our CPF money, what about you account for money donated to you for legal fee. Where have they gone to?
    Honestly, I don’t care what government do with my CPF money, as long as the money is still in my CPF account, and they pay me the interest they promised.
    Lastly, if KJ’s words can be trusted, shit can be eaten.

  5. Ray Coffee

    Congratz, Roy, on your incoming court hearing. Happy for you! I wish I can be there, but too bad I need go Europe for holiday.

  6. throughout ...

    it will be a very sad scene if Singapore Prime Minister LHL wanted 250,000.00 ,

    it disappointed our hearts and hope completely .

    很难过,不想看到这种场景。

    很遗憾 , 官方高层内部的几个次品,把本来可以化解的事情,不断以刺激双方, 把他们推向边缘。

    虽然一扇窗关死,另一扇窗自然就会打开, 天无绝人之路。

    但是,希望Roy首先必须以诚恳的态度向李总理致敬,并对不小心得罪之处道歉。相信李总理明白以和为贵是国家前途安定的保障,放 Roy一码, 以柔克刚, 给建立国民爱领袖的诸多理由。

  7. Kim

    Courage Roy ! Singapore can be proud to count a citizen like you. The government will do all it can to silence your dissident voice. But the facts that you uncover can’t be silenced. Whatever happens be sure that people with a clear mind and a good heart support you, and please keep investigating and keep informing us. A sound public debate around issues and decisions impacting our daily lives is essential to built a better society. Your contribution is (unfortunately) so unique and all the more precious. Our thoughts will be with you during these tough days in court.

  8. Pilfi

    The government has to invest because they need to pay interest to cpf accounts. some investment will make money, some will lose, and they profit has to cover the losses and the cost. Also, a lot of money, billions, are spent on education, military , healthcare, social services , infrastructure etc etc. Where does these tens of billions of dollars come from if there is no returns from investment ? Also, Singapore has to have a strong reserve because all our goods and products are imported from other countries, and without a strong currency, our inflation will be hyper inflation , and prices will soar every year. That’s why our inflation hovers from negative to a few percentage every year, which is the lowest around the world Many third world countries, their interest rates from bank deposits are very high, as much as 20%, because every year their currency devalue by as much or higher. One can choose to keep their money in these countries that pay very high interest, but when converted back, the value is lesser than the interest earned. These are simple logic, just that people like Roy and supporters choose to ignore them, and to criticise for the sake of it. Grow up, wise up, don’t be a fool because fools will continue to blame everything else than themselves for their failures.

    Lastly, look at how most many people in Singapore has lived comfortably, this shows that the system has benefitted most people, through the creation of jobs and opportunity. Sure, there will be people who don’t benefit from it, but it is down to their own doing, as evident by the fact that most and many many people has benefitted from the system. And so it cannot be that the system is bad. Otherwise you will see millions of people jobless and living in poverty like in many countries.

    • Singaporeans

      But Roy does not see this or rather refuses to admit this. He only can see the negative and unbelievable never see any positive sides that our government had done.

      If only he can be balance in his assessment …. ah never mind ….

    • lolz

      hear, hear! obviously people don’t realise how much we have grown as a state and an economy since we left malaysia… nitpicking about the small things when they already have so much compared to others in other countries.

  9. Ample

    To convert or influence readers, one has to make sense in everything they write, then will it convince them. By plucking stories here and there and form conclusion without any logic backing it, will never convert non-believers. This is as good as making up stories and telling lies, to achieve an ulterior motive. The result is that the angry will get angrier, while those who didn’t believe, remains unconvinced.

  10. Darwin

    the most ugliest Court had sold to the highest bidder A man who has everything , judges is only involved a business deal.

  11. Gician Tan

    Appreciate what the government has done for us. We are living under one of the best government in the world. Release our CPF early and we will become poor early.

  12. throughout ...

    1) 为什么Roy需要主動地向李總理道歉呢 ?

    —- 新加坡的儒家思想。 有时看似是一件很吃亏的事, 往往会变成非常有利的事。暂时吃亏,长远受益。晚輩要敬長輩,年輕要敬年長.

    2) 為什麼李總理需要放 Roy一码呢 ?

    —– 新加坡憲法賦予公民權, 對公積金的疑問, 在 Roy 最初的博客裡,沒有指名道姓,是您的團隊給您布下羅網。 按照公務員紀律,您應該處罰他們,而不是處罰根本分配不到國家財務半分錢的 Roy.

    拿國家錢最多的政治家, 要擁有足夠寬廣的胸懷為失業的年輕一代的言行負相應多的職責, 換句活說,總理起訴老百姓本身就是犯法行為, 需受譴責或辭職 。

    3) 關於法官於法庭 ?

    —– 非常誠實地說,是黑社會的會所, 打著調解裁判的幌子, 欺負歧視折磨家庭背景非常弱勢的族群, 法官是最後一個打手,

    4 ) 關於未來的新加坡 ?

    —– 給那些被犧牲掉的人家平反,協助鄧亮洪,蕭添壽他們葉落歸根, 這樣其實是賺取信任。

    不要再抓百姓拿來欺壓 ,不然,PAP 人民行動黨幾個字必須修改為 -- 打敗人民黨 。

  13. R

    Roy I will support you if you can give me the link to the research mentioned below :
    “And do you know that research has also shown that where the poor are given more money, they would invest the money in the education of their children, social mobility will increase, and their children will be able to find better jobs and move up the social ladder?”
    Thank you.

  14. Singapore Nang

    You are such a stupid prick with the rest of your useless stupid partners. U not only defamed the PM but u also do fames all of us Singaporeans and worse of all u r too stupid to see that u hv even defamed urself. U deserve what’s coming. Good lesson for you coz the fear of the sentence is worse than the sentence itself. Thks for the court incite. Will be there to see your stupid fearful face and to support Singapore.

    • So ?

      that is you gangs incite.
      seems you gangs sue him
      then push PM work for you ?

      until now you still owe the reasons

      1) why you want punish Roy’s writing ?
      2) why you a penniless , jobless guy to be shamed by your fix
      3) what is your agenda ?
      4) why you never honestly suggest to PM, that is great shame if he sue a common Singaporeans , who have no public servant contract with you . nobody owe you money , but you insist money, asking more money ?

      5) what do you want in the end ? killed him ? cut off his throat ? or united him ? when you conduct it , at same time you harm the justice and Court, they spent time and cost to purposely contrary to the rules of justice, contrary to the Constitution, paving the way for them to be karma

      6) maybe , PM will be forgiven , but this lawsuit not deserve to promote.

      • lolz

        how can a penniless, jobless guy influence the PM to do what he wants? and who exactly are these ‘gangs’ because if I had that kind of power to influence PM i don’t bother with RN already lo i use my connections to make lots of money…. and btw no one owes you anything 🙂 and stop talking like the PM needs your forgiveness because really he hasn’t done anything wrong.

        omg! secretly i’m part of this ‘office bitch gangs’. LOL

      • @ lolz

        1.
        yes YOU ARE one of the gangs 4 – – ” The Oracle ” .– secretary’s man.

        2. we are the owner paid CPF for our staff and continue more then10 years efforts, you are too entangled if we forgive PM, okay meet your taste , don’t forgive PM !

        3, why ? will share with everybody in next page about something wrong of PM. let’s go back to find your record first .

  15. lea xian loon

    “A couple of years later, the Leech King finally passed into the netherworld. With his death, the power now lies in the hands of his pink scion, who many suspect is hopelessly clueless about the fine art of balanced governing. The awaken slaves under the control of the evil white lords start whispering among themselves, trying to rouse those who have long resigned to their accursed fate, to mount one last fight. ‘The Leech King may be evil, but at least we got fed’, the slaves murmured. They must break themselves free from even more repressive tyranny.”

  16. Pingback: 20150630 CPF – the $282 billion question that PAP cannot answer | likedatosocanmeh
  17. Singapore Citizen Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)

    Subtle Denial of Medical Treatment by the Singapore Government for Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)

    Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)
    Singapore Citizen
    5 July 2015 Sunday

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