Terry Xu Raises 8% Of Total Payable To PM Lee After Defamation

On Wednesday (1 Sep), editor of socio-political site The Online Citizen (TOC) Terry Xu was found guilty over defamation of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong by the High Court.

PM Lee Hsien Loong Sues TOC’s Terry Xu For Refusing To Take Down Controversial Article

Xu was ordered to pay $210,000 in total to PM Lee, Channel NewsAsia (CNA) reported.

The article written by Rubaashini Shunmuganathan was found to contain “libelous” remarks about PM Lee.

Although Xu said he would be considering his next move, he’s started a fundraiser for the damages, raising over $16,000 in a day.

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PM Lee wins defamation suit against Terry Xu

PM Lee had first sued Xu in 2019 after the latter refused to take down the offending article.

The article had made allegations about PM Lee that were “grave and serious”, Justice Audrey Lim found, according to CNA.

She granted an injunction that prevents Xu from publishing or distributing the defamatory statements in the article, which Xu said were made by PM Lee’s siblings, Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling.

The court also awarded PM Lee $160,000 in general damages and S$50,000 in aggravated damages.

This makes up $210,000 that Xu has to pay PM Lee in total.

The sum will be donated to charity, PM Lee’s press secretary Chang Li Lin said.

Terry Xu raises $16,000 of total payable to PM Lee in defamation suit

Xu said that there may be additional legal costs on top of the damages in a Facebook post yesterday.

He and his lawyer, Lim Tean, said that they are “disappointed” with the judgement, and mentioned that he will be working with his counsel on his next steps.

The same day, Xu started a fundraiser to pay for the damages.

Within the day, a total of 132 people donated between $9.80 to $2,000, for a total of $16,882.28.

Donors can contribute via both bank transfers and PayPal.

As of the time of writing, he has raised over $28,000.

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In the post, he expressed his appreciation to those who’ve chipped in.

Public fundraisers for defamation suits

This is the 3rd instance in recent times that an individual is using public crowdfunding following defamation suits by PM Lee.

Bloggers Leong Sze Hian and Roy Ngerng have also successfully raised funds previously.

Blogger Raises $133K Via Crowdfund To Pay Fine For Defaming PM Lee, Largest Donor Gave $5K

Leong had raised his $133,000 sum in 11 days, while Ngerng took 8 days for his $144,000 sum.

Goal can be reached in 12 or 13 days

It remains to be seen if Xu can reach his goal given he has to raise a substantially larger fee than those before him.

If he keeps up the current pace of 8% a day, he’ll reach his goal in around 12 or 13 days.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook and Prime Minister’s Office.