Date
15 December 2017
People gather in Singapore's Speaker's Corner to demand reform in the pension system. Some 2,000 Singaporeans staged a peaceful rally led by blogger Roy Ngerng (right). Photos: AFP, Reuters
People gather in Singapore's Speaker's Corner to demand reform in the pension system. Some 2,000 Singaporeans staged a peaceful rally led by blogger Roy Ngerng (right). Photos: AFP, Reuters

Singaporean blogger unapologetic after saying sorry to Lee

A blogger who took on Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong over the country’s provident fund has taken down the offending post and apologized, but he is not giving up the fight.

Roy Ngerng Yi Ling, a 33-year-old healthcare worker, said the government should fulfill its responsibility to help people grow in an environment conducive to mental and social development.

Singaporeans’ discontent toward their government has reached a critical point, he told Hong Kong’s am730 newspaper.

The root of the problem is lack of a minimum wage. Hong Kong, which only recently adopted such policy, is superior to Singapore in that respect, he said.

Ngerng became a lightning rod in the largely tame city state after suggesting in a Facebook post that Lee had misappropriated savings in the Central Provident Fund (CPF). 

The post was one of many severely critical of the government’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, which Lee heads. CPF invests in GIC.

Ngerng deleted the posts and apologized after Lee sued him for defamation.

But it did not stop the blogger from going on about the state of affairs in his country.

He said Singaporean society is not as pretty as it’s made out to be in the eyes of the world. For example, low-income Singaporeans still earn 1996 wages of about US$640 a month today.

Singaporeans are only beginning to see the extent of betrayal by their government because of social media, he said.   

On Saturday, about 2,000 people protested against perceived inadequacies in the pension system, one of the largest shows of public dissent in the tightly regulated country, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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TL/AC

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