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When Roy Ngerng’s friends urged him to ask the public to help fund his bill for defaming Singapore’s prime minister, he was dubious: Six years had passed since the verdict.

Ngerng had been paying 100 Singapore dollars each month off the SG$150,000 ($112,000) that was subsequently awarded to Lee Hsien Loong for his accusation that Lee misappropriated Singapore’s state pension money. So it caught him off-guard last month when he raised the roughly SG$144,000 he still owed in just nine days of crowdfunding, via 2,132 people.

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