Good Monday morning. I hope you had a good weekend. I took a break from updating on the funds raised yesterday because the funds coming in have slowed down.
I was also at my sister’s place with my parents to help take care of my nieces, whom I love very much.
As of 12pm this morning, S$22,522.41 has been raised.
The Singapore prime minister sued me for defamation. I have to pay him S$180,000 in damages and costs. I have paid him S$30,000 last Wednesday and there is still another S$150,000 to go.
The funds were raised from the POSB bank account and PayPal, and also from customers at my dad’s stall who have been kind enough to support. Also, on Wednesday, a nice lady recognised me on the street and also gave me some money.
(1) POSB Savings Bank Account 130-23068-7 (Ngerng Yi Ling): S$19,731.00
(2) PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org): S$2,287.41
Some people have been visiting my dad’s carrot cake stall at Block 107 in Ang Mo Kio, to also pass him some funds. Thank you. Dad’s stall was not opened over the weekend, so there were no funds raised from here.
Some people have also 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.
I will also be at my dad’s stall from 6.30pm onwards tonight, if you would like to say hi!
It has been Difficult for Me to Continue to Look for a Job in Singapore
Over the weekend, the Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) published an interview that I did with them.
HKFP reported me saying: “I have been applying for jobs with the government sector, non-governmental organisations and private organisations. I have received no replies. Unfortunately, in a landscape where most companies are beholden to the government, some by funding or contracts, most are fearful of hiring me.”
“A friend said there are people who support my fundraising effort, but hiring is impossible because they would face resistance from the government,” I also told Asia Sentinel in an interview.
iMediaEthics also interviewed me and reported: “Ngerng had been working at a hospital but was fired in 2014. He said he’s had trouble finding work since the firing.
“The official reason that the hospital gave was that I was ‘misusing working time, hospital computers and facilities for personal pursuits,'” Ngerng told iMediaEthics. Ngerng noted that he was fired days after he organized a protest and pointed out that the hospital sent a press release about his firing that alluded to the libel ruling saying staff “cannot defame someone else without basis, which essentially means knowingly stating a falsehood to the public.”
Over the weekend, activist-filmmaker Martyn See and some others also pointed out some discrepancies relating to my firing:
Photo credit: Martyn See’s Facebook page
Last year, a Hepatitis C outbreak at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) infected 25 patients and caused eight patients to die. The Ministry of Health (MOH) appointed a review committee to investigate. “Disciplinary action has been taken against 16 (unidentified) senior-level people,” but “it does not tell us who these people were, how they were at fault, and what disciplinary action has been taken against each of them,” Salma Khalik, Senior Health Correspondent at The Straits Times, said.
Ms Salma pressed MOH for details but a MOH spokesperson said: “Adhering to staff and patient confidentiality norms, we would like to assure the public that the staff who were involved in the incident have been disciplined accordingly.
“The disciplinary actions were decided based on the specific roles, responsibilities and job nature of the officers, as well as the nature of the incident and the impact of their actions in this episode,” MOH also said.
This has caused some people to query whether the gravity of my actions deserved the response of my firing. It cannot escape the perceptive eye how “staff confidentiality” was non-existent in my case and how two press releases were sent from the hospital that I was working at and MOH, to support my firing.
When I was fired, I had said that “the sacking is politically motivated“.
Regardless, I believe that the issue here is that there needs to be transparency and consistency in the way our country and the regulatory authorities carry out justice.
There are some basic principles to adhere to and we need to ensure that there is accountability and responsibility, based on the values of justice and equality enshrined in our pledge.
This episode (and several others) have shown why it is therefore important to ensure that our civil service remains independent from political interference and how review committees should also be independently appointed to allow independent oversight to exercise the appropriate actions that should have been taken.
Thank You for Your Continued Support and Belief in Me. I am Grateful.
Anyway, I have put things behind and have been looking for a job. It has been near impossible to look for a job in Singapore, in the field that I used to work in but I hope to be able to find a job somewhere where I could utilise my skills and experience to do something useful.
Otherwise, I have been considering working as a waiter or sales associate at a retail shop in Singapore, if it comes to that.
Meanwhile, you can also view my work experience and skills on my LinkedIn profile. I have been work in the field of health promotion, social marketing, partnerships and strategic planning, as well as in writing. Feel free to contact me if you think that I am a good fit for your job – overseas as well.
Once again, I would like to thank you for supporting this cause and your contributions. I am very grateful. It has helped me a lot and helped to put my mind at ease.
As of this morning, a total of $S22,522.41 has been raised. I still have to pay another S$150,000 to the prime minister.
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 email@example.com. 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 summary judgment 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.
Last Wednesday, I have paid the first tranche of S$30,000 to the prime minister. 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 finish paying.
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.