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Blogger agrees to remove blogposts and video

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's lawyers on Monday (May 26) sent a letter to blogger Roy Ngerng saying his apology to a previous post "was not and never meant to be genuine", and demanding he remove four further blogposts and a YouTube video, or face aggravated damages.

SINGAPORE: The law firm representing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday (May 26) sent a letter to blogger Roy Ngerng saying his published apology to a previous post "was not and never meant to be genuine", and demanding that he remove four further blogposts and a YouTube video.

Mr M Ravi, the lawyer representing Mr Ngerng, replied later the same day saying the blogger had agreed to remove the relevant posts and YouTube videos, and agreed to abide by terms in which he would not make similar posts which would aggravate the injury and distress to Mr Lee.

Later in the day, Mr Ngerng was granted an extension of the deadline to make an offer of damages to 5pm on Wednesday, May 28. It was originally slated for May 26.

Mr Ngerng was first issued a legal request on May 19 to remove an article referencing Mr Lee that the Prime Minister's lawyers said had been "published maliciously". The blogger removed the post that night, and on Friday submitted his apology via a legal letter as well as a post published on his "Heart Truths" website.

However, in the May 26 letter, Senior Counsel Davinder Singh of Drew & Napier argued that based on the tone and content of posts and a YouTube video that Mr Ngerng posted over the past few days, the original apology was insincere.

"It is now clear from (Mr Ngerng's) latest posts that his apology... was not and never meant to be genuine, and that it has always been intention to opportunistically use the occasion of our client's lawful and legitimate demand to raise his public profile, garner support and sympathy, and renew his attack against our client," the Senior Counsel wrote.

His client, Mr Lee, would be entitled to aggravated damages if four blogposts – two published after the original letter of demand, and two dating back to July 2012 and May 2013 – and a YouTube video published on Saturday entitled "Roy Ngerng's Message: Defamation Suit From Singapore Prime Minister" are not taken down, Mr Singh wrote.

The lawyer indicated that Mr Lee would be prepared not to claim any aggravated damages from these posts and video should they be removed by 5pm on May 26, while Mr Ngerng must agree in writing not to publish anything to "further aggravate the injury and distress" caused.

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