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鄞义林:遭新加坡总理李显龙控诉‘诽谤罪“的博客主—鄞义林接受法国电台采访全文(中英文版本)

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鄞义林接受法广采访

2015年3月8日,我接受了法国电台RFL的采访。

我在采访中讲述了我如何搜集的人民行动党政府如何从公积金中动用了公众的退休金投资在他们的投资机构,但是,他们拒绝告诉新加坡人民这个事实。同时,在我将所搜集的数据汇总并写成两篇文章后,政府要求我把这两篇文章删除,在我说出来这两篇文章后,政府接着就把刊登在官方网站上相关讯息删除了。

 

您可通过以下网址收听这段采访,并参阅采访的副本(采访以中文进行):

中文版本转载自《新国志》:https://xinguozhi.wordpress.com/2015/03/08

您也可参阅此采访的英文副本:http://cn.rfi.fr/%E6%94%BF%E6%B2%BB/20150308-

法国国际广播电台/艾米    2015-3-8

鄞义林:遭新加坡总理李显龙控诉‘诽谤罪“的博客主

东南亚国家新加坡经济繁荣,也鲜少传出这个国家民众的抗议声。最近,一位新加坡博客主鄞义林(Roy Ngerng)来到法国,记者无疆界组织联系到我们,希望可以讲述他因为通过博客文章曝光新加坡中央公积金使用真相而被总理李显龙以诽谤罪起诉,失去工作的经历。他的讲述可以可能有助于我们对新加坡的政治与社会有进一步的了解。

首先他介绍了事情发生的缘由:

鄞义林:新加坡总理在20145月份告我说我诽谤了他,因为那时我写了一篇文章(《你的公积金款项去了哪里?城市丰收教会审讯的启示》),提到政府拿我们的退休金和公积金去用,进行投资,但是没有把利息还给新加坡人。在文章里,我将政府拿我们的公积金使用和一个教堂资金的用法进行比较,说的是教堂牧师和他的两个同事开了两个机构,将钱转进去,让他们的妻子使用……所以我就此比较说,政府的做法和教堂的做法有相似之处。所以,新加坡的总理就说我是在诽谤他,随后就向法院控告我。我在三个星期之后就失去了工作。

我在医院做艾滋病的宣传工作,开除我之后,医院高层也向媒体发出了信息,告诉新加坡人医院解雇了我。

八月份,我就将证据交给法庭,告诉他们我已经查到这些资料,表明政府如何拿我们的公积金使用,转进两个公司投资,但是他们并没有告诉公民。然后他们就让我把两篇文章从(博客上)拿下来。我的资料来源是新加坡政府的网络。在要求我删除我的文章后,这些资料也被删除了。

我也查到资料表明政府把我们的退休金投资在一个公司里,但是政府说他们没有参与到这个公司的管理,这个公司也说他们不清楚有没有用我们的退休金。但是我查到的是,新加坡总理,副总理和两个部长都是在这个公司里担任领导职位,所以他们就不可能不知道发生了什么事情。

但是我将证据交给法庭时,总理说这些证据并不重要,跟案件没有关系,所以不能当证据来用。

所以,这几个月以来,政府一直采取各种方式来我。比如去年九月份因为整个新加坡只有一个公园可以举行抗议活动,我们在这里举行抗议活动的时候,刚好遇到另一个机构举行另一个抗议,当时我们经过这个抗议活动的时候,政府以及十个部长,媒体都说我们在那里搞破坏。抗议过后,法官就说我诽谤了总理。所以我认为他们就是一直在想办法破环我的名誉,让我诽谤总理的罪名能够成立。

被告以后,由于需要资金来支付律师费用,我有一个捐款活动,三四千人共同帮我筹集到十万新币。因为有很多新加坡人支持我,所以政府就有意破坏我的名誉,让我比较难得到别人的支持。

法广:是新加坡的总理亲自告你,还是通过手下的机构?

鄞义林:其实,新加坡的总理不可以用总理或政府人员的身份来告我,所以他只能用私人的身份来告我。但是他一直在用政府的资源来帮助,比如他的秘书写信来攻击支持我的人。但是总理实际上是用私人的身份来告我,所以他不可以用他的秘书来帮他讲话。

法广:如果我理解正确的话,您认为新加坡政府总理利用退休金和公积金来为自己谋利,是吗?

鄞义林:实际上我从来没有讲这句话,是他们想办法说我讲了这句话,但是我没有讲过。

法广:你披露的这些与公积金有关的资料都是在政府的网络上得到的吗?

鄞义林:其实这些资料也没有在网络上公开,我需要在政府机构不同的网上收集资料。因为政府1520年来都没有让向新加坡人透露这些东西。其实,我们的公积金现在被投资在一个叫GIC的公司,但是GIC属于总理管。他们在200120062007年已经告诉新加坡人没有将我们的公积金放在GIC里,公积金获得的利息和GIC没有关系。但是去年他们在控告我以后,就曾首次透露公积金有投资在GIC

我之所以知道的原因并不是政府将这些资料放在网站上,我需要在不同的网站上收集资料,在20122013年写了两篇文章,解释政府如何将公积金的钱放在这两个公司。在告我的时候,他们也要求我把这两篇文章从网上拿下来,然后他们自己也从不同的网站上将这些资料拿下来了。

法广:您的爆料在新加坡引发什么样的反应?

鄞义林:如果你来过新加坡就可以看到,很多老人不能退休,他们要做清洁工之类的工作,所以新加坡有不少人都在讨论,为什么这么多的新加坡人不能退休,这就是因为他们的退休金和公积金不够。

另外,欧洲的一个报告指出,新加坡的退休金在不少国家中是最低的。有新加坡人支持我,首先是总理告一个普通的博客主,这也是第一例,但是在新加坡还是有很多反对党人和国际媒体被新加坡政府告过,所以我是第一个普通人被告。而且我也是因谈到公积金被告,我的博客这两年也有很多人阅读,所有这些因素就会让新加坡人质疑总理告一个普通人的原因,而且,我问的是国民的退休金和公积金的真正去向。

所以就有很多人支持我,有一个调查就显示,超过58%的新加坡人支持我说的东西,觉得我们的公积金不公平。但是,支持是有人支持,但新加坡人不敢站起来,因为新加坡人很害怕。

新加坡政府让国民没有发言权是有原因的,因为从外边看,新加坡是一个很有钱的国家,但是仔细看,人民的生活其实是蛮困难的。经济学家现在将新加坡排在最贵的国家行列,价钱和挪威和伦敦相差不大,而且有些东西甚至还要更贵。新加坡人的工资在发达国家实际上并不高,甚至是最低的国家之一,新加坡政府花在教育和医药领域的钱也是发达国家中最低。所以新加坡人需要自己掏钱来支付教育和医疗费用,消费很高,但同时我们的薪水又很低。

换个角度,如果要看在一个地方有多少钱才能生存,新加坡大概有38%的人每个月大约要花105%151%的薪水,就是说入不敷出。但是,这些情况从外边是看不到的,因为国家很有钱,但是这些钱都被投到新加坡政府控制的公司,新加坡政府部长的薪水也是居世界首位。回馈给新加坡人的钱就很少。

因此,新加坡政府就需要通过法律来阻止我们有自由发言权,是因为他们不想让我们将这些东西挖出来,透露出来。

法广:您目前失去了工作,靠什么生活?

鄞义林:其实现在很难找工作,新加坡政府现在控制整个社会。我的工作是社会义工,但是社会机构要生存都需要政府的钱,所以要在这方面找工作也很难。而且今年七月要有宣判,宣布我需要赔偿新加坡总理多少钱。这个案例已经到了新加坡的最高法庭,一般新加坡的最高法庭只管那些超过25万新元的案例,所以我至少要赔偿新加坡总理2530万新元,甚至50万。所以到时候如果真是这样,我就会破产了。因为我以前筹到的钱已经全部给了我的律师。

目前我暂时帮一些网络写些文章,但这也不是长远的东西。我想可能以后我要出国去找工作,因为新加坡肯定是很难了。

法广:您认为七月份的审判没有任何胜诉的可能?

鄞义林:这个比较难讲,因为之前被新加坡总理和政府告过的人从来都没有胜诉过,所以机会比较难。

实际上,我自己对目前的这种局面也感到十分惊讶,因为我觉得自己写的这些东西是为了帮助新加坡,让大家了解新加坡发生的事,也是让大家看到新加坡的另外一面,让我们以后作出正确的选择来帮助自己。

当然,我想过可能政府会叫医院解雇我,但是没有想到过政府会来告我诽谤罪,因为我真的只是想知道新加坡究竟发生了什么事,提出一些我认为比较客观和重要的问题。

其实我还是有点天真,因为这五十年来,政府从来没有停止过压迫新加坡人,他们一直用法律和条例来阻止新加坡人问的问题,所以我也没想到自己进入了这样大的一个洞。

但是同时,我也想告诉大家,很多人觉得新加坡是一个很漂亮的地方,看起来很美,很发达,但是其实很多新加坡人都享受不到这些东西,没有钱来享受,所以,我只是希望利用这个机会让人了解到新加坡到底是怎样的一个国家,如果一些政府希望学习新加坡的模式,这些国家的居民应该好好观察这些模式到底怎么用。

感谢来自新加坡的博客主鄞义林先生接受法广专访。他于2014年被新加坡雅虎列为年度新闻人物。

英文版本转载自: http://thehearttruths.com/2015/03/11/

 [Radio] My Interview with French Radio RFI on 8 March 2015

Last month, I gave an interview to the French radio station RFI, which was aired on 8 March 2015.

I spoke about how I managed to trace how the Singapore PAP-run government was taking our public pension funds from the Central Provident Fund (CPF) to invest in two of its investment firms but stopped telling Singaporeans about it. Also, after I put the information together and wrote two articles, I was asked by the government to take the two articles down and the government then deleted the information from its websites.

Dear listeners, Southeast Asian country Singapore is an economically prosperous and politically stable country. People on the outside also rarely hear about protests in Singaporeans. Recently, a blogger from Singapore, Roy Ngerng, got in touch with RFI, through Reporters Without Borders. He hopes to share about how he had written and exposed how the CPF pension funds in Singapore are being used and was subsequently sued for defamation by the Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and lost his job. His sharing might be useful to help us understand Singapore’s politics and society.

Please listen to the interview with Roy Ngerng.

Roy Ngerng: The Singapore’s Prime Minister sued me in May last year and said that I had defamed him, because I had written an article (“Where Your CPF Money is Going: Learning from the City Harvest Trial”), which talked about how the how the government has been taking our CPF pension funds to use and invest but did not return the interest earned back to Singaporeans. In the article, I compared how the government was using our pension funds with how a church was managing its funds. The church pastor, had with his colleagues, set up two companies to siphon off the church’s funds into these companies, to then use for his wife’s singing career. So, I compared and said how the government’s use of our pension funds is similar to the church’s mismanagement of its funds. The prime minister then said that I have defamed him and that I had said that he has taken our money to use. In May, he sued me and three weeks later, I lost my job. 

I was working in developing HIV/AIDS programmes at a hospital. When I was fired, the hospital and the government also sent out press releases to say that I have been fired. In August, I submitted evidence to court to detail how I had uncovered how the government has been taking our pension funds to invest in two of its investment firms but it did not tell us about this. The government also told me to take down the two articles that I had written about this, where I have traced the information from several government websites. After the government asked me to take down the articles, it also deleted the information from its websites.

The other thing that I found out was that the government had taken our pension funds to invest in one of its investment firms (GIC) but it told us that the government does not interfere in the GIC. The GIC also claimed that it did not know if it was using our pension funds to use. However, I revealed that the Singapore prime minister, two deputy prime ministers and several ministers also sit on the GIC’s board of directors so that is no way that the government does not know what is going on.

But when I submitted the evidence to court, the prime minister said that the evidence is “irrelevant”, “inadmissible” and an “abuse of the court process”, and has no relevance to the defamation suit and cannot be used as evidence.

So, for the past few months, I have been constantly prosecuted and “harmed’ by the Singapore government. In September last year, we held a protest. You cannot protest in the whole of Singapore, except in a small park in Singapore. When we held the protest, there was another organisation which was also holding an event. At that time, when we walked past that event, suddenly, the government, several ministers, members of parliament, state-controlled media and online media affiliated to the government said that we were trying to create trouble. After the protest, the judge then ruled that I have defamed the prime minister. So, the government have been trying to think about how to pull down my reputation, so that they can say that I have defamed the prime minister.

After I was sued, I conducted a fund raising because I needed to raise funds to pay for the legal fees. There were more than 3,000 or 4,000 Singaporeans who helped to raise more than S$100,000. There are many Singaporeans who support me, so the government kept thinking of ways to destroy my reputation, to make it difficult for me to gain support.

RFI: Do you mean that the Singapore prime minister was suing you personally or is he suing you using the agencies under his control?

Roy Ngerng: Actually, the Singapore prime minister cannot sue me in his capacity as a prime minister or as a government official. He can only sue me in his personal capacity. However, he has constantly used state resources to help him. For example, he has used his press secretary to write letters to attack others who have spoken up for me. But the prime minister is suing me in his personal capacity, so he cannot use his press secretary to speak up for him.

RFI: If I understand correctly, you believe that the Singapore prime minister was taking the pension funds for his own personal benefits, is that it?

Roy Ngerng: But actually, I have never said this. So, it is them who have wanted to make it sound like I have said this but I have never said this.

RFI: Just now, you also said that there are many people who support you and helped to raise funds. What is the reaction that your expose has triggered in Singapore?

Roy Ngerng: If you come to Singapore, you can actually see a lot of elderly Singaporeans who have to keep working and cannot retire. There are many elderly Singaporeans who are working as cleaners or work as cardboard collectors on the streets. So, many Singaporeans are discussing about why so many elderly Singaporeans cannot retire and why their CPF pension funds are not enough.

Also, an OECD report also revealed that Singapore’s pension funds are the least adequate among many countries. Singaporeans support me because first, the prime minister is bullying an ordinary blogger. Also, I am the first blogger to be sued but there have been many opposition politicians and international media which have been sued by the Singapore government before. In addition, I spoke up about the CPF pension funds. Fortunately, my blog has amassed many readers over the past 2 years (so it gave me some protection). So when all these factors are considered, many people asked why the prime minister wanted to sue an ordinary Singaporean without any rhyme and reason, and what’s more, I have also questioned where our CPF pension funds have gone.

There are many people who support me. A (Blackbox) survey showed that more than 50% of Singaporeans support what I say and think that the CPF pension funds are unfair. However, even though there is support, Singaporeans do not dare to stand up because Singaporeans are fearful.

There is a reason why the Singapore government wants to use the law to curb our freedom of speech. This is because from the outside, Singapore looks like a very rich country but when you look at the lives that the people are living, it is quite difficult. The Economist has ranked Singapore as the most expensive place in the world. When you compare Singapore’s prices with Norway and London, prices are not that much different. In fact, prices in Singapore for some things are even more expensive than in Norway and London. Also, the wages of Singaporeans are actually one of the lowest among the developed countries. Furthermore, the Singapore government’s expenditure on healthcare and education (as a percentage of GDP), is also the lowest among the developed countries and in fact, one of the lowest in the world. So, Singaporeans have to pay the most out from our own pockets for healthcare and education in the world. Yet, our wages are one of the lowest among the developed countries. Thus the income inequality in Singapore is also the highest among the developed countries.

And if you look at how much a person need to earn in order to survive, there are about 30% of Singaporeans who have to spend 105% to 151% of their incomes. So, they cannot earn enough. But you cannot see these things from outside the country because Singapore looks rich. But most of this money goes to the companies controlled by the Singapore government. Also, the Singapore ministers also earn the highest salaries in the world. So, very little money goes back to Singaporeans.

Thus the Singapore government wants to use the law to curb our freedom of expression because they do not want people to dig out this information to expose it for others to see.

RFI: Now that you have lost your job, how do you make a living?

Roy Ngerng: Actually, it is now very difficult (for me) to look for a job because the Singapore government controls most probably the whole of Singapore. I used to work in the social services and the social service sector all rely on the government for funding or it will be difficult for them to operate, so it will also be very difficult to find a job in this field. Also, in July this year, I have another hearing to decide how much I would need to pay the Singapore prime minister in damages. The prime minister has filed the defamation suit in the Supreme Court which oversees cases of more than S$250,000, so this is at least how much I am expected to pay, but it can go up to as high as S$300,000 or even S$500,000. So when the time comes, I will become bankrupt because with the money that I have raised, I have already used it to pay my lawyer (and the prime minister’s lawyers).

I am currently writing for some online websites but this is not a long term solution. I think in the long term I might even have to go abroad to find work because it is definitely very difficult (for me) to look for a job in Singapore.

RFI: Regarding the CPF information, did you obtain them from government websites to expose the information?

Roy Ngerng: Actually, the government did not disclose the information. I had to go to several different websites to put together the information because the government has over the past 15, 20 years not allowed Singaporeans to know this information (and has been hiding this information). The fact of the matter is that our CPF pension funds are invested in the GIC. However, the prime minister also controls the GIC (as the chairman). But in 2001, 2006 and 2007, the government told us that they do not give our CPF pension funds to GIC to use and that the interest earned in the GIC has no connection with the CPF. However, after they sued me last year, they admitted for the first time that yes, the CPF pension funds are invested in the GIC.

I know of all this information, not because the government has put this information on its website. I had to go through several different websites to trace this information. Then, in 2012 and 2013, I wrote two articles to detail how I had traced that our CPF pension funds were invested in the GIC and Temasek Holdings. Then when they sued me, they told me to take down these two articles and after that, they also took down the information from several of their websites. First, they have never told Singaporeans about this because there is no transparency. Second, they told me to take down my articles and then deleted the information from their websites.

RFI: Do you think that you have no chances of winning the defamation suit in July? 

Roy Ngerng: This is difficult to say because everyone who has been sued for defamation by the Singapore prime ministers have never won, so it is difficult.

Actually, at that time I was also quite surprised because I had thought that I had written all these things because I wanted to help Singapore, to let people know about what is going on in Singapore. It is also to let people see the other side of Singapore, so that we will make the right decision to protect ourselves.

I did think that the government might ask the hospital that I was working at to fire me but I did not think that I would be sued for defamation by the government, because I really wanted to know what is going on in Singapore and to ask more objective questions and questions that I think are important.

But actually, I am a little naive, because over the past 50 years, the government has never stopped prosecuting and oppressing Singaporeans. They have constantly used the different laws and regulations to prevent Singaporeans from asking them questions, so I did not realise that I was stepping into such a big hole.

But what I also want to tell everyone is that many people think that Singapore is a very good place, very beautiful and very developed, but in fact, many Singaporeans do not get to use these things and do not have the money to enjoy. So, I just hope that we can use this opportunity to let others know what Singapore is really like as a country and if the other governments want to follow the Singapore model, then their citizens have to ask their governments to carefully analyse the Singapore model.

The interview above is conducted with a blogger from Singapore, Roy Ngerng. He was ranked by Yahoo Singapore as the top newsmaker in Singapore in 2014. 

 

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