Blogger Roy Ngerng’s lawyer expresses regret over MOH statement
SINGAPORE — Blogger Roy Ngerng’s lawyer yesterday expressed regret that the Ministry of Health (MOH) issued a public statement supporting Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s (TTSH) sacking of his client even before the conclusion of the defamation suit Mr Ngerng is facing from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Noting that the lawsuit is sub judice — a matter pending a court decision — lawyer M Ravi said neither the ministry nor the hospital is involved in the case, brought by Mr Lee for Mr Ngerng’s allegations that CPF monies had been misappropriated.
Mr Ravi added in a letter to TTSH and the MOH yesterday that the ministry is not a party to Mr Ngerng’s contract of employment.
“In these circumstances and while the civil proceedings are before the Court, it is to be regretted that the Ministry of Health has seen fit to issue a public statement that it supports TTSH’s decision to terminate Mr Ngerng’s employment at this time,” he wrote.
Mr Ravi also requested restraint in the issuance of public statements about matters connected with the lawsuit, in the interests of maintaining respect for the judiciary and public confidence in the rule of law.
Mr Ngerng, 33, was fired on Tuesday from his position as patient coordinator at TTSH’s Communicable Disease Centre.
The hospital had issued a press release saying Mr Ngerng had disregarded a warning not to use time at work and company resources to pursue his personal interests.
His actions, including the posting of defamatory content online, were incompatible with the values and standards the hospital expects of its employees, it added.
The MOH could not respond to media queries about Mr Ravi’s letter as of press time.
TTSH yesterday reiterated its reasons for Mr Ngerng’s dismissal and cited his public admission on May 23 that his allegation was false and completely without basis. “There was nothing improper in the hospital’s statement,” said a spokesperson.