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Singapore blogger crowdfunds $99,000 to pay PM damages in defamation case

Singapore blogger crowdfunds $99,000 to pay PM damages in defamation case
April 5, 2021

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A Singaporean blogger said on Monday he had raised S$133,000 ($98,840) via crowdfunding on social media to cover damages he was ordered to pay Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a defamation case filed by the city-state’s leader.

Lee had sued Leong Sze Hian, a financial advisor, after he shared on Facebook an online news article that linked the premier to a financial scandal at Malaysia’s state fund 1MDB.

Lee’s lawyers have said such links were “false and baseless”. Leong had deleted the November 2018 Facebook post within three days of sharing it, complying with a government request.

“I am very happy, very grateful,” he told Reuters on Monday.

Leong made the announcement on Facebook late on Sunday, when he posted: “It is finished. All paid for.”

Senior figures in the ruling People’s Action Party, including Lee’s late father and the founder of modern-day Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, have previously sued foreign media, political opponents and online commentators for defamation.