SINGAPORE: Un-certified statistician and MS Powerpoint expert, Roy Ngerng has finally paid $29,000 in costs to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong after missing two deadlines issued earlier by Mr Lee’s lawyers from Drew and Napier.
The S$29,000 is for legal fees and related expenses incurred by Mr Lee. It does not include the damages to be awarded, which the High Court will assess at a later date.
According to Mr Lee’s press secretary Chang Li Lin and Ngerng had attempted to pay Drew and Napier directly on Tuesday. But this was not allowed as under lawyers’ professional rules, a lawyer cannot deal directly with the opposite party without the consent of the opposite party’s lawyer, said Ms Chang.
Mr Lee’s lawyers wrote to Ngerng’s lawyer M Ravi on the same day asking if he had any objections to Ngerng making payment directly, but there was no reply, said Ms Chang. Another letter was issued to Mr Ravi on Friday asking that payment be made by noon next Monday (Feb 9).
Ngerng had gone to Mr Lee’s lawyers’ office with $29,000 cash to make payment but the payment was not accepted as his lawyer m Ravi had yet to authorise it. Instead of calling his lawyer, Ngerng decided to post a blog accusing the PAP of high-handedness.
Later in the same day, a representative of Mr Ravi called Drew and Napier to inform that they could accept payment directly from Ngerng.
Ngerng said he had given Mr Ravi the S$29,000 on Jan 22 and had received a receipt for it. But Mr Ravi had not processed the payment to Drew and Napier by Feb 2 because apparently issuing a checque was difficult to do, and Ngerng said he was handed back the money to pay Mr Lee’s lawyers directly. He said he was unaware of the letters sent by Drew and Napier to Mr Ravi on Jan 30 and Feb 3.
But in an email to the media today, Mr Ravi claimed that the blogger had “not been at all timely” in paying Drew and Napier even after the S$29,000 had been refunded to him. Mr Ravi claimed the money was refunded to Ngerng at the latter’s request, “in the presence of many other persons”.
“Roy claimed to be an expert in CPF investment but could not even handle $29,000,” said Sasha LeFoot, 27 a cross-dresser.
“Drama queen!” she shrieked.