Thank you for continuing to contribute to help to raise funds to pay the Singapore prime minister for the defamation suit. I am thankful.
As of 12pm today, S$19,655.55 have been raised.
The funds were raised from the POSB bank account and PayPal.
(1) POSB Savings Bank Account 130-23068-7 (Ngerng Yi Ling): S$18,188.00
(2) PayPal (email@example.com): S$1,017.55
(3) Customer at my dad’s carrot cake stall: S$100
My dad sells carrot cake at Block 107 in Ang Mo Kio.
A customer of my dad’s went up to him and gave him S$100 to support the fund raising. Thank you for this!
Some people have said that they would like to visit my dad’s stall to eat the carrot cake. Just to let you know, he is open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from about 4pm to about 11pm/midnight.
In total, S$19,655.55 have been raised.
I still have to pay the prime minister S$150,000.
On Wednesday, I have paid S$30,000. From April 1, 2016, for the next 5 years, I have to pay $100 every month. Thereafter, from 2021, I have to pay $1,000 every month until I am 57 years old – according to maths done by some media agencies.
Thank You to My Friends
I would also like to thank some people here, because I do not know when I will have a chance again.
(1) My Family and My Parents
Photo of family taken by sister’s makeshift selfie sofa-stand perch
My family has been such a pillar of support. After I was sued, I had to sit down with them to explain to them what I have been writing on my blog, and to explain to them that it was never my intention to defame the prime minister.
I told them that all I wanted was to shed light on the socioeconomic issues in Singapore, in the hope of improving the lives of the people here.
At one point, tears flowed and I told them I am sorry and that I have let them down. I have never wanted any of this, and I was so sorry to have brought this upon them as well.
But I am very thankful that my family has been strong and has withstood this period with me.
When my parents and my sisters also attended court with me, I was touched. Mom and dad do not understand English but they insisted on sitting through the 3 days of trial. When I cried in court, it was also because of my parents. (It was not because of the court hearing.) I have been such a burden to them.
Many times, dad told me that he would give me moral support, even as he was worried for me and would preferred that I stop. Dad is old but he continues putting up a strong front, just for me. I really appreciate being born into this family. We might not be rich, or exciting people. But at least, I have a family who respects me and who supports me, no matter how hard it is. It hasn’t been easy for them. Thank you. I love them.
My sisters have also told me so many times that they are here for me, and that they love me. Whenever I pray at temples or churches, I keep praying that my family will continue to have good health and a good life.
(2) My Nieces
Photo of nieces and I taken by me – wefie!
I love my nieces a lot. I love children and having seen my nieces grow over the past 5 years and being an important part of their lives, I am grateful.
My nieces always make me smile, and maybe sometimes throw up my arms (Lol), and over these stressful few years, seeing them laugh and the joy that they have brought have helped made me smile and remember the happier things in life.
(3) My Friends
After I was sued, I lost some friends. A friend stopped talking to me and a friend was not ready to talk about what I was going through. To some extend, I understand why they did what they did. I know they don’t mean it, they have their reasons, but you cannot help but feel … Sometimes, you try to remember that what you are doing is because you believe in a greater good, and hope that that keeps you strong.
Still, after I was sued, I have met new friends who have made a difference in my life and who have helped me a lot over the past two years. I would like to thank them here as well.
(1) After the election, a photographer friend said that he has seen the previous photographs that I have taken and believe that I have the talent for it. He decided to ask me to join him to take photographs. I have since taken some weddings, birthdays and celebrations. I am glad that I am able to take nice photos, and am thankful to my friend for helping me to recognise my talent. Having something to do and being good at it helped build my confidence, especially now that I am jobless.
Photo of mom and dad taken by me
(2) I would also like to thank my videographer friend who also came onboard and took me on for some jobs. He knew that it was difficult but he went ahead with it. All this while, he has been patient with me and has also guided me, not only in photography and videography, but also advised me in many other areas. His advice has been crucial in many decisions. I look up to him as a father figure and am grateful for his presence in my life.
(3) This friend of mine came onboard early on when I was sued. He supported me by contributing to the fund raising for the legal fees at the start. But he has also assisted me numerous times after, during the election and until today. After the government made enhancements to the CPF, he calculated how much he would have benefited from it in one year and passed me S$1,200. He told me that this is what he would have gotten due to my efforts in the CPF advocacy and he felt that I should have the money. But beyond that, he has looked out for me and has been following my case, to make sure that I am taken care of. I am very thankful. He has helped me so much.
(4) The brother of a friend of mine is an artist. He took me on to teach me how to paint. Under him, I produced many paintings which I also posted on Facebook (here, here, here and here). However, I became busy with the court case and later with the election. After that, I stopped painting and decided to venture into photography. It disappointed him. He believed in me, and wanted to help me along and also helped open up my mind, with his way of looking at the world.
Painting by me
(5) I would also like to thank three of my friends whom have been by my side. Sometimes, when there was no one else, only you were there. I just met one of you a few days ago and you told me that sometimes, you just have to learn to see the funnier side of things. Thank you, I used to be quite a funny person but these few years, I have lost some of that. Also, to my other activist friends, I got to know you over these years and have learnt from you, as well as sought advice and help from you. Thank you for being my friends.
Over the past two years, these people have been the strength that have helped me through, as well as many more friends and supporters who have given me words of support and encouragement. I would not have been able to do it without you.
It Hasn’t Been Easy, So Thank You
You know, at times, you question yourself, you doubt yourself. Sometimes, I ask myself what I am doing. When bad press comes, and when support withdrew, it sometimes get me down, I go into depression and it makes me demoralised. But facing such a huge challenge, you learn to pick yourself up over and over again, you learn to believe again and you learn to keep fighting. But it’s not easy. And sometimes, you forget.
“It has not been easy, these two years. At some point, you can get depressed and question your self-worth,” I told Asia Sentinel.
But it is because of these people who have been by my side and who have supported me, that have helped me get up over and over again. Others might see me as a “hero” but they don’t realise that I am only just another human and have my failings. I put up a strong front because I believe in the cause and I wanted to use my hope to change things. But behind all that, I am like anyone else who try to put on a brave front but am also continuing to learn to be stronger as a person.
So, thank you everyone who have been here and who have been with me at each step of the way, and you, who have contributed funds to help defray the costs and damages. I thank you, sincerely.
As of this morning, S$19,655.55 have been raised.
If anyone would like to help to defray the costs and damages, you can also fund raise to the bank account at POSB Savings Bank Account 130-23068-7 (Ngerng Yi Ling) or PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
I will continue to update on the funds raised and used, on the blog, as and when the funds come in.
Background: In 2014, I was sued by the Singapore prime minister for defamation. The judge ruled in a summaryjudgment that I have defamed him. I have apologised to the prime minister. I was ordered to pay damages of S$150,000 to him. In a settlement reached with the help of my lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam, I am to pay an additional S$30,000 in costs. In total, including the previous payment that I have made to the costs of the summary judgment (S$29,000) and application for the Queen’s Counsel (S$6,000), I would have paid/will pay S$215,000.
You can also read the previous update on the funds raised in 2014 and its usage. I would like to thank The Straits Times for reporting about it. There were also inaccurate online reports that the funds were used to pay overseas trips. This is untrue. You can read more about these in the update here.