Soh Rui Yong Raised Nearly $42K in 48 Hours to Pay for Ashley Liew Defamation Suit Damages


Here in Singapore, Soh Rui Yong is the man everyone’s talking about at the moment.

First, it was because of the challenge he issued to the country to beat his 2.4km timing of 6 minutes and 53.18 seconds.

That’s super easy. We’re allowed to take breaks in-between, right?

Then, news emerged that the two-time SEA Games champion had lost a legal battle and was ordered to pay his former running teammate Ashley Liew S$180,000 for defamation.

Soon after the verdict, Soh appealed to the public for funds, saying he didn’t have the money “on hand”.

Fortunately for the 30-year-old, many members of the public have helped him out.

Soh Rui Yong Raised Nearly $42K in 48 Hours to Pay for Ashley Liew Defamation Suit Damages

In just 48 hours, Soh has managed to raise nearly S$42,000, he revealed in a Facebook post yesterday (1 Oct).

360 donors had generously contributed a total of S$41,890.07, which, as Soh noted, is 23.27% of S$180,000, his target for the crowdfunding drive.

The local marathoner also detailed the tough week he’s had since the verdict was delivered in a court recently.

“It’s been a frustrating week, dealing with an unfavourable verdict and a one-sided narrative carried by the media (based on the verdict) with no right of reply as I’m still appealing the verdict in High Court,” he said.

He added that some netizens have created fake accounts just to gloat over the verdict and insult him.


“Thankfully, I’ve also had immense support from those around me, people I had thought to be long lost friends, and even complete strangers. This episode has allowed me to connect with so many people that I would otherwise probably never have spoken to,” he said.

Said Story of Sporting Act Was “Untrue”

The incident which Soh was sued over occurred in 2015, during the SEA Games.

During one of the athletics events at the Games in which Soh was participating, Liew – his teammate at the time – noticed that the other 12 runners has missed a U-turn and taken the wrong route, which is why he had a 50m lead.

Instead of racing toward the finish line, Liew slowed down so his rivals could catch up with him. In the end, Soh won the race, while Liew came in eighth.

For his sporting act, Liew was awarded the International Fair Play Committee’s (CIFP) Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Trophy in 2016.

Soh, however, thought the story of Liew’s sporting act was “untrue” and made his feelings known publicly.

For his statements, Liew lodged a lawsuit in 2018, citing defamation.

The S$180,000 Soh was ordered to pay his former teammate includes S$120,000 in general damages and S$60,000 in aggravated damages.

In a similar case, the chief editor of The Online Citizen (TOC) managed to raise close to S$195,000 in just two weeks after he was ordered to pay Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong S$210,000 for defamation over an article published on the TOC website.


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Featured Image: Facebook (Soh Rui Yong; International Fair Play Committee)