Congrats to Roy Ngerng
Congrats to Roy Ngerng on successful crowdfunding! 🙌
For random visitors or international readers who are new to this blog, Roy was sued by Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong over an article he wrote on his blog several years ago. The prime minister said he was “defamed” and Roy was ordered to pay Lee S$150,000 (US$112,000) in damages in 2016.
Roy revived his crowdfunding campaign on 7 April 2021 and reached the target amount in 8.5 days.
You can also read some comments from foreigners who decided to contribute to Roy’s campaign.
Leong Sze Hian, Round 2
Blogger and financial advisor Leong Sze Hian raised S$133,000 in April through crowdfunding, the sum he was ordered to pay in a separate libel suit by the prime minister.
Leong was sued for sharing an article on his Facebook page. The article was published by a Malaysian website that “alleged that Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had become a target of ongoing investigations in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal.”
Leong and Roy were the first to be sued by Lee over comments made online.
Leong Sze Hian was recently ordered to pay another S$130,000 for legal costs and disbursements.
If freedom and democracy are important ideals to you, do consider supporting Mr. Leong’s second round of crowdfunding. His PayPal address is in the pic below and you can follow his updates on Facebook.
Terry Xu of The Online Citizen
PM Lee is also suing Terry Xu, the chief editor of The Online Citizen (TOC), over an article published on 15 August 2019 titled “PM Lee’s wife, Ho Ching weirdly shares article on cutting ties with family members.”
You can support TOC’s independent media coverage through donating here.
A Comic on Singaporeans Who Have Been Sued
Humble and Intelligent x3
Amazingly, I managed to meet all three of these individuals (Roy, Leong and Terry) back in 2015 on one of my infrequent trips back to SG.
While it was a brief encounter and chit-chat session, I remember these men as being very humble and intelligent.
Their unwavering commitment to the truth and standing up against government propaganda is truly astounding.
“Singapore PM Suing Blogger for Defamation Says Action to Protect Reputation”
This Oct 2020 article from SCMP relays that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that “Singapore leaders’ track record of taking legal action against those who falsely impugn them has been vital to the government maintaining its clean reputation.”
Is that a joke?
I had to clean my spectacle lenses and reread the headline to make sure I wasn’t seeing things.
My mind fails to follow the logic of how successful crowdfunding for opposition views and international media coverage on this contributes towards protecting a clean reputation.
Furthermore, Singapore has fallen to #160 in the 2021 World Press Freedom index, a situation classified as “very bad.”
What is the point in sparkling streets and glistening skyscrapers if citizens don’t feel safe to express their thoughts or struggle to take genuine pride in their country due to a government that’s in denial?
This freedom of thought is something I’ve felt strongly about since my late teens when I was a socially awkward mass communications student in SG.
I may have been shy at the time, but that didn’t stop me from realising that these heavy-handed tactics were fundamentally wrong and destructive across a nation’s entire populace.
What I’ve Been Up To
The rest of this post is not politically-focused — they are a collection of random thoughts since my last post was from some time ago.
I have not been active on Facebook for numerous reasons for quite a while, mostly because I find spending a lot of time on social media to be distracting and draining.
I still enjoy supporting causes that I feel strongly about, and have been doing so in a more monetary sense in my thirties.
I’ve been happily employed and bought a house with my long-term boyfriend a couple of years ago (we recently celebrated our two-year housiversary). The cost is DRASTICALLY different from the cost of a home in SG (I still get sticker shock about it even though I migrated from SG when I turned 20!).
I enjoy single-tasking over multi-tasking as it allows me to focus on quality over quantity.
This of course means that I generally don’t intensely focus on more than one blog at a time.
I revived Dragonsinn.net this year as it was the first website I created back in 1999.
It was one of the web’s first dragon websites. If you have any dragon pictures or material to contribute, feel free to send it over to share over there! I have a “Dragons in Singapore” draft sitting around somewhere and look forward to publishing that post once it’s completed.
Speaking about old websites and things…I sometimes waver between happy nostalgic and depressed nostalgic.
I came across an interesting article on Psychology Today which mentioned that “the late teens and early 20s are the time when we first take a serious look at forming our sense of identity.” The article included three pointers on how to enjoy the past and let it guide you in your present life (instead of being sad by being stuck in thoughts of a time that you can no longer get back).
Now that I’m in my mid-30s, I realised that I’m just 15 years away from turning 50 years old.
It’s made me more reflective and introspective. I slow down more often nowadays to really think about what brings me joy and meaning.
I got some creative writing published last year, which was fun after taking a multi-year long break from it. I would like to complete a short story collection set in Singapore at some point.
I would also like to continue reading / reviewing books / getting through my book shelf. I got a glass bookshelf last year, which is awesome!! It really keeps dust off the books and shelves.
Non-fiction and fiction reviews will be posted on my merged writing site (JessChua.com), while SG socio-political book reviews will be posted over here. I might do a light cleanup of this blog to feature a traditional static type of homepage.
Stay healthy in the meantime.
I drink a cup of matcha tea almost daily. 🍵