Within minutes of news breaking that blogger Roy Ngerng will be making repayment of the S$150,000 in damages owed to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for defamation over the next 17 years, a call for public donation was made.
Ngerng, in a Facebook post, has asked members of the public to help defray the cost of his legal woes, which amounts to S$180,000.
Ngerng is required to pay the S$30,000 costs for the Assessment of Damages hearing by this Wednesday, March 16.
This is followed by repayments in two tranches: The payments will start at S$100 a month for the next five years from April 1, 2016 until from April 1, 2021.
He will then have to pay S$1,000 a month until the full sum is paid by 2033.
This is certainly not the first time Ngerng has asked for money from the public.
In June 2014, Ngerng's first public appeal for donations to support his legal defence fund saw widespread support. He raised more than S$72,000 from the public in four days, exceeding his S$70,000 expectation.
The second financial appeal, to fight his public nuisance charges, was less successful, generating about S$10,000 in donations over several days.
Where the money went
However, in February 2015, Ngerng's previous lawyer M Ravi had a public falling out with his client.
Ravi lashed out at Ngerng, throwing shade and questioning where the public donations were.
When Ngerng was cross-examined by PM Lee's lawyer in court in July 2015, Ngerng said that S$70,000 had been paid to Ravi.
Another S$36,000 was used to pay Lee's lawyers in costs for the summary judgment as well as the Queen's Counsel application.
The remaining money was used to pay Ngerng's third lawyer George Hwang, with Ngerng receiving an additional £5,000 (S$10,500) from London-based human rights organisation Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI) to fund the case.
Ngerng and Ravi then appeared to have kissed and made up by September 2015, as they ran together in the six-person Ang Mo Kio GRC team contesting under the Reform Party banner in the General Election 2015.
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