In a stunning development on Friday (6 Feb), noted human rights lawyer, M Ravi, who’s representing Looney Fringe Roy Ngerng in his defamation suit against the PM, lashed out at his client. He questioned his motives and called him a ‘swindler,’ no less. You can view his tirade in the video below.
And not content with that he again lambasted Roy in another interview he gave at his office the same day, when explaining his desire to stand for elections. However the video contributor one Teo En Ming has edited his video, deleting the portion where Mr Ravi lambasted Roy, calling him a swindler. He further alleged that Roy has been ‘rolling the money,’ that is to say using it for other purposes thereby increasing it by earning interest and by giving it to his father, who Mr Ravi claimed was an illegal money lender! These are shocking allegations and deserve closer scrutiny, as it openly questions Roy’s integrity. Let’s look at the video and review it:
M Ravi’s allegations
– Roy made an application to leave the jurisdiction to go to Norway (he has to seek permission not from the lawsuit but because he’s been charged with a criminal matter – Hecklegate).
– Until 5pm, he did not appear in court despite his lawyer’s presence.
– for the past week, he has not contacted Mr Ravi, despite several messages left for him to do so.
– the previous week, he waylaid Mr Ravi at the Fullerton Bay Hotel and requested the sum of $29,000 be returned to him, in order to pay the costs of the PM’s lawyers. Under the lawyer’s code of practise, the PM’s lawyers have to refuse this direct payment and only transact through Mr Ravi, his own lawyer. Mr Ravi had deposited the amount into the clients account of his firm (a requirement) and he could only use it to pay the costs as directed by his client (or the Court). So why did Roy insist on doing it on his own?
– Mr Ravi alleges that Roy wants to siphon this amount and that he has a further $40,000 maybe more. He has also failed to provide details on the accounts of the monies he’s holding.
– instead of attending court, he’s instead blogging. He’s accusing the judiciary of ineptness maybe even biasness, but doesn’t even have the courtesy to attend court or show the judge any respect.
– he questions why Roy handed over the monies to his father, even the excess amounts beyond this $29,000. He questions why Roy’s ‘rolling the monies’ and earning interest. He alleges that Roy wants to run away to Norway with the monies. He finally adds that while Roy is asking Temasek to account for the monies they manage, he too should account for the monies he’s holding and explain why he’s going to Norway.
– he also says he’s fed up of the way Roy’s been acting and will be discharging himself, if he continues with his antics.
And to add a bit to this, a few weeks ago Roy and others co-wrote an article in response to the Paris terror attacks and included Mr Ravi’s name. Mr Ravi considered it libellous and public distanced himself from it. You can read a bit about it here.
What’s Roy been up to?
Instead of communicating with his lawyer and taking his instructions, what’s Roy been up to?
– he’s been busy blogging about his ordeal at Drew & Napier, again crying that’s he’s an unfortunate ‘victim,’ and the PAP and media are out to ‘silence him and blacken his name.’
– he knew full well or it was made pretty clear to him very early on that SC Davinder could not meet him or accept the monies directly from without the consent of his lawyer.
– he refused to consult or instruct his lawyer of his actions or seek advise, and has not been answering calls.
– he has disregarded his lawyer’s advise from the get go. From the first instance (I wrote about this in earlier articles) right until now. Instead he went to aggravate the defamation and even now while one is reaching its conclusion, he goes out and writes another potentially libellous one, so much so that his lawyer has to distance himself from it.
– he’s still seeking donations from the public (for his Hecklegate matter) and I’ve been told that he and the Looney Fringe have come out with ‘another brilliant money making scheme.’ They now want 30,000 people to each donate $1 so that they can raise a constitutional challenge in the High Court. This was done via another of their Facebook mouthpieces – Empowering Singaporeans. Since he’s finding it hard to get people to donate larger sums like they did for the defamation suit, he hopes that people might be more willing to donate just $1.
No way, I’m not going to Norway. Roy Ngerng is all smiles as he poses in Norway. Who wouldn’t if they can travel to Europe while not working?
– and yes, he’s presently in Norway as this post confirms. And it seems he plans to go London thereafter! Not bad for an ‘out of work’ poor blogger/activist!
The questions raised
There’s a fair amount of questions raised by these latest developments. As I mentioned, M Ravi did raise the matter not just once outside court in a fit of anger, if you want to look at it that way. No he raised it twice, the second in his office where he was much more relaxed, talking about his intention to run as an independent. Again he called Roy a swindler, and again questioned what Roy was doing with the monies he received. To summarise – here are some questions and possible answers:
M Ravi may be a bit outrageous sometimes and he’s clearly in need of a rest, but there’s no question on his credibility as a lawyer.
1) The first has to revolve around M Ravi. It’s been announced that he’s again been denied practising temporarily by the Law Society as they want a psychiatrist to evaluate him before allowing him to continue. Mr Ravi suffers from a bi-polar disorder. So the question to be asked – Is Mr Ravi alright?
Well take a look at the video (and the other one too), does it suggest a madman? The answer is no. If it were so, why would he attend court promptly? His disorder may affect him in preparing and defending cases, but it does not mean he’s gone mad. Furthermore he’s been overworked recently as he himself admitted. Perhaps some rest and time off from lawyering will help him recuperate and come back fresher.
Someone told me this about him in regards to his bi-polar disorder. ‘Because he suffers from it, when he talks about general stuff, he sometimes rambles and strays off course. But when he’s talking about a specific person or incident, he’s extremely lucid and clear and it’s usually very accurate.’ An interesting observation, so make up your mind on whether Mr Ravi is/was alright when he made these allegations. My take is that he was and speaking from the heart and head.
And Roy Ngerng is always happy to pose for the cameras when he’s able to reel in a donation.
2) The next question is credibility. Who is more credible, Roy or Ravi? Roy frequently rambles on when a topic relates to his antics, at first admitting, then denying and finally playing the victim’s card. He defamed the PM, then said he didn’t. He did not do his job properly and deserved to be sacked, then later recanted and said it was politically motivated. He said he’s transparent but has not explained why he insisted on the lawsuit, instead blaming the PM for pursuing it. He claims he’ll be transparent with the monies received, but we get nothing on what he’s actually done with all of it. He admitted disrupting the YMCA event and apologised, then later recanted and said it was plot to entrap him, when in fact, his Looney Fringe gang had all along planned to disrupt the event. He claims he’ll fade away and stop everything, yet he goes on and on and still blames everyone but himself for his plight. He refuses to work or apply for work and claims he’s being victimised. He claims to be fighting for ordinary folks to get their hard earned CPF back, yet has no qualms in asking them to part with that hard earned sum to fund his activities. He expects a 17 year to lie for him to the police, then calls him a traitor when he doesn’t.
Sniff sniff. But he’ll be quick to put up a sad and whiney face when he needs to portray himself as a most unfortunate victim. In fact looking at all his antics and whiney stories, he might just about be the ‘most unfortunate Singaporean’ in the land.
That’s Roy for you. But what about Ravi? Has there been any such allegation against him? The only ones, are his strange antics – dancing and singing. His legal strategies can also be questioned, why always a need to appeal to the High Court to review legislation? But that relates to his work – he has a right to suggest to it – it’s up to the clients to decide if they agree. He’s a bit overworked recently, and maybe his bi-polar disorder is again acting up. But credibility wise, no one has come forward to level the same kind of allegations at him. Rather people know as a straight shooter – he says what he feels or believes in. Rightly or wrongly – he expresses his views honestly, which he’s entitled to. And most people consider him a competent lawyer who’ll fight tooth and nail for his client. And he’s considered a last option for many people who need someone to represent them all the way. There can be no doubt, in a credibility contest between Roy and Ravi, there’s only 1 winner – M Ravi.
3) And some of the things Ravi says can be corroborated. Why should Roy want to take the money, when clearly Drew & Napier will only deal with him? And Ravi himself said that he spoke to Davinder regarding the $29,000, that if not paid, he would recommend that the lawyer go to court and get a Mareva injunction. Why was Roy not answering his calls or those by his office? Why is Roy not following his instructions or advise? It’s pretty clear that Ravi has been fighting his case from day 1 for his benefit, there can be no doubt about that. Why did Roy not show up in court or give a call to explain why couldn’t make it, despite being contacted?
4) Why is Roy holding on to the money (the balance of the funds raised after paying costs)? Why isn’t he providing accounts for it? Why is it not deposited in Ravi’s firm’s client account – a public fund? Why did he give it to his father? These are monies the public donated to him, not his father. How much interest has been earned on them? Has the monies been ‘rolled,’ as suggested by Ravi?
5) And crucially, why must he go to Norway, and London for the that matter? Why must he go overseas? (He also went to KL). Who is he, that he must attend events? Has he been elected, did the public demand he go? Especially in the middle of his cases. Shouldn’t he focus on them? Why isn’t he working? Who is paying for these trips, or how is he paying for them? How much of the donated money has he used for them?
6) I wrote about how I was told by his fellow Looney Fringe Han Hui Hui twice that he engineered this whole episode so that he could seek asylum abroad. I’ve again heard rumours that the asylum thing is very much on, despite his denial. It does raise concerns whether there are any other ulterior motives are behind this trip to Europe now.
These are very troubling allegations made not by me or some distant observer, but by someone who’s not only his lawyer but his friend as well. If M Ravi can question Roy’s motives and antics, then surely ordinary Singaporeans must sit up and ask themselves that same questions. Roy claims he’s fighting for ordinary Singaporeans, but how many has he actually helped? How many who thought by donating to him, that they will get answers, but instead find him, flip-flopping, rehashing the same tired arguments and worse of all, is having a jolly good time flying off to countries they can only dream of going to? How many who still think he’s a ‘do good activist,’ can justify his actions of late? Even after being sued for 1 libellous article, he crafts another that even his lawyer has to distance himself from.
Roy and Ravi leaving Court. These are not just allegations or points raised by me which some may say are just “Anyhow Hantam.” These are made by someone who knows him well – his lawyer and most of all, his friend.
Why is he always upping the ante? And why after that does he always claim to be victimised? Why is he not working? Are there no jobs out there? Why is he leading a life of ‘luxury?’ Eating in cafes, blogging, painting a bunch of dubious portraits he claims to be ‘art’ and hopes to sell and always asking the public for funds, if not directly then through fellow Looney Fringe or their mouthpiece – Empowering Singaporeans. Why is it with the Looney Fringe that everything they do, has a financial request or price to it?
Roy Ngerng – very ‘busy at work’ at home. So busy that he does not respond to his lawyer.
Or is it as I have maintained from day 1 when this saga around him broke – he’s merely hopping on the opposition and anti-PAP bandwagon for his own benefit. He has nothing to offer, but has found a niche and novel way to earn money by doing practically nothing. He revels in the attention, good or bad, he doesn’t care, so long as he can be in the limelight and convince enough people to believe that he’s just a most unfortunate victim and must be helped and supported. And if things really become too hot to handle, he’ll again claim he’s being punished for his beliefs and then flee abroad and hopefully find a nice developed country where he can either claim asylum or settle down with the support of fellow activists there, who believe his story.
More evidence of ‘the hard work’ he’s been doing since he stopped working and searching for a job.
It’s high time people start looking at the facts, his actions and words. How many who believed him then, can still justify doing so now? How many who blindly supported him, can dismiss these allegations by his very own lawyer, not some PAP IB? And how many of you are still prepared to donate to him, in order for him to continue living ‘the dream?’ Those of you who have or still are, I again ask – Song Boh? (Are you satisfied).