Nicole Seah on sued blogger Roy Ngerng: his defence smacks of false underdog martyrdom

Roy Ngerng's fund-raising platformSingapore opposition politician and media executive Nicole Seah has spoken out about the government’s legal action against blogger Roy Ngerng, coming to the defence of the authorities and describing the court battle as “thoroughly ridiculous”.

The IPG Mediabrands account manager, who currently works in Thailand, said on her Facebook page today that the defence campaign by Ngerng, who is facing financial strife after the prime minister of Singapore rejected an initial offer to settle a defamation suit, has been “politicized to create a false underdog martyrdom.”

Today, news emerged via his Facebook page that Ngerng and has been fired from his job, not long after becoming embroiled in a legal stoush with prime minister Lee Hsien Loong over blog posts that were critical of a mandatory government savings scheme.

Ngerng has raised thousands of dollars through crowdsourcing to aid his legal defence, which has also seen by some as a move to gain the moral high ground.

Seah wrote that the issue had been blown out of proportion and was a “ridiculous” affair, but added: “the whole crux of the matter really is – don’t make false and damaging claims that are unfounded and steeped in lies.”

Seah’s post in full:

I believe in the need for diversity in opinion and freedom of expression. But I cannot take on a us-versus-them at all cost approach when it comes to discussing such matters.

So even though I am an opposition supporter, I will also say that the whole defamation suit is thoroughly ridiculous on both parties and it’s been politicized to create a false underdog martyrdom, when the whole crux of the matter really is – Don’t make false and damaging claims that are unfounded and steeped in lies.

I know a lot of opposition parties and supporters are positioning this as a repression of the 99% in Singapore and human rights and whatnot, but it really isn’t. And the whole matter has been blown out of proportion on both fronts.

For those who argue that it is about CPF, the bugbear with CPF is not transparency. It’s really a stretch to claim that the government is cheating us of our money. The issue is with mismanaged expectations on how it’s been allowed to be used for healthcare, housing, investment, etc. when one has all these big-ticket expenses to fulfill and finite funds in the pocket. That’s another issue that takes into account housing prices, healthcare premiums and subsidies, and the like.

It’s good for society to have the ability to express ourselves, but we also need to have discernment to look beyond seeing a situation in a simplistically black or white fashion.

Had to say it. Said in personal capacity. Now I await the backlash.

Former adman Calvin Soh criticised the government’s action against Ngerng as a “PR disaster” last week.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella Asia newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing