It seems like Roy Ngerng's supporters have ceased transferring real money to him and are sending him Facebook Likes instead.
A call for public donation, made by Ngerng shortly after news broke that he 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, was met with muted enthusiasm.
In this latest donation drive, Ngerng received a grand total of S$420 from the public -- according to a declaration on his own blog, where the total sum was made by eight individual separate transactions ranging from S$10 to S$100.
This falls far short as the entire sum he is required to fork out is about S$180,000 -- inclusive of S$30,000 costs for the Assessment of Damages hearing last July 2015, which must be paid up in full by this Wednesday, March 16.
Previous more successful donation drive
This current paltry amount raised stands in stark contrast to the hundreds of thousands of dollars Ngerng received from the public about two years ago.
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.
In all, he raised more than S$110,000 during that round of crowdsourcing for money.
Interestingly, in this current drive, he has received more Facebook Reactions and Shares than money:
Where the money went
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.
Top photo via