On Monday, a Singaporean blogger announced that he had raised S$133,000 ($98,840) via social media crowdfunding to cover damages ordered to be paid to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a defamation case brought by the city-chief. State’s Lee had sued financial advisor Leong Sze Hian after he posted on Facebook an online news storey linking the premier to a financial scandal at Malaysia's state-owned company.
Such connections, according to Lee's lawyers, are "false and unfounded." To comply with a government order, Leong deleted the November 2018 Facebook post three days after it was posted. On March 24, the Singapore high court ordered him to pay Lee S$133,000.
Lee, 69, is no stranger to using legal means to protect his image as the leader of a government that has vowed zero tolerance for corruption. Senior members of the ruling People's Action Party, including Lee Kuan Yew, Lee's late father and the founder of modern-day Singapore, have sued international media, political rivals, and online commentators for defamation in the past.