Blogger Ngerng denies 'absconding', says he is at KL conference

Blogger Ngerng denies 'absconding', says he is at KL conference
Blogger Roy Ngerng says he is in KL for a conference.

Blogger Roy Ngerng, who is understood to be among those the police want to interview over the Hong Lim Park fracas last month, has posted on his Facebook page that he is in Malaysia attending a conference.

Media reports had said the police had not been able to contact him for an investigation on the Sept 27 protest session that disrupted a YMCA charity carnival held at the same park, but on different lawns.

He was reported to be out of the country. But in his Facebook post yesterday evening, the 34-year-old said he had "not absconded" or "left Singapore", as he claimed was reported in the media. He said he was in Kuala Lumpur for a conference on media and Internet freedom.

The police had wanted to question Mr Ngerng as part of a probe into the disruption. Mr Ngerng, along with protest organiser Han Hui Hui, 22, had led a few hundred people in a march around the park, encroaching on the lawn of the charity carnival and frightening some special needs children who were performing on stage.

In his post, Mr Ngerng also expressed fear over his fate when he returns to Singapore. He wrote: "I might be arrested at the airport. Or I might be hauled (up) for investigations. I am not sure what will happen. But I will be brave."

The Regional Conference on Media and Internet Freedom that he is attending started yesterday and will end tomorrow. It is organised by Thailand-based regional media freedom group Southeast Asian Press Alliance. Mr Ngerng's speech at the meeting dwelt on Singapore's lack of freedom and rights.

He wrote that he told the participants the Singapore Government would "clamp down on Singaporeans for speaking up", and said "innocent Singaporeans might be arrested for speaking up at Hong Lim Park". He told them he had been "trying hard to fight" this state of affairs but lamented that Singaporeans had not joined in despite being supportive of his cause.

He said he also spoke to delegates from Indonesia and Myanmar, where people had lived in silence and repression. "This made me realise that the only way things will change in Singapore is if the Government changes, or if we change the Government," he said in the post.

Mr Ngerng also spoke on his pet topic: the Central Provident Fund (CPF). He said he told participants about how the Government "is taking our CPF retirement funds and money to earn for themselves". The blogger was sued for defamation in May this year over a blog post that accused Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of misappropriating Singaporeans' CPF savings.

Mr Lee applied to the High Court for a summary judgment, a process in which a plaintiff asks the court to rule in his favour without a trial. Both sides are awaiting the judge's decision. 

This article was first published on Oct 16, 2014.
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