Press Release From M. Ravi’s Office in Response to Today Online and to Straits Time Report on the High Court Filing for Judicial Review of US$4 Billion Loan to IMF
This response was sent out today from M. Ravi’s office on behalf of their client Kenneth Jeyaretnam who was responding to the reports in the Mainstream Media over the weekend:
Statement of Kenneth Jeyaretnam…..
Firstly, contrary to the impression conveyed by the Today Online report dated 7th July 2012, I took this action in my personal capacity as an ordinary Singapore citizen rather than as Secretary General of the Reform Party.
Secondly, I strenuously object to the above Today report which states that:
Over the past few weeks, Mr Jeyaretnam has been arguing on his blog
and also to the Channel News Asia report of the same date which states:
This is the central bank’s response to queries raised by the TODAY newspaper following a series of blog postings by Reform Party’s Secretary-General Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam.
I absolutely refute the impression given that this matter has only been raised on my personal blog.
In February the Reform Party put out an official press release in response to Budget 2012 which was distributed to all the press (http://thereformparty.net/about/press-releases/budget-2012-part-one/). Although the Reform Party is small and new we fielded 11 candidates in our first election with only two years preparation. The Budget release queried the non-transparent way the Budget was presented to Parliament and that it presented a misleading and incomplete picture of the government’s finances. In particular it did not follow the IMF protocols as set out in the GFS 2001 framework.
There is blanket censorship on my and our parties’ contributions or events unless they can be spun negatively and our Budget response was neither mentioned nor referred to. It is not in the best interests of the people to be denied our views. This is particularly so when dealing with the Budget as they are written by a qualified economist.
After distributing our press releases to the press they are put on our official party website. This is not a blog and under our repressive regime requires us to register formally with MDA.
After seeing news of our loan commitment on foreign news sites I wrote in my capacity as SG of the RP to the Finance Minister and the President on letter headed paper. These were official party letters.
They were all ignored.
I then wrote to the IMF on 28th June and I quote as follows:
Even if our government intends to hide behind some loophole, the loan commitments involve the potential use of our reserves or government savings that come from taxes on the people of Singapore. In a robust democracy a government does not hide behind technicalities and dispense with the need to make itself accountable to the people for the use of their money.
None of this correspondence had any connection to any blog in any aspect except for the fact that they were only printed and debated in cyber space because of the government’s control and censorship of the Main Stream Media.
I do have a blog, www.sonofadud.com, where I write in my personal capacity as an economist. It is not a political blog. It makes no attempt to persuade people to vote or not vote, it is viewed and copied all across the world for what it is-an exploration of economic themes.
Our MSM management are of course not independent since they are appointed by the government under Sections 9 and 10 of the Newspaper and Printing Presses Act (http://article14.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/media-in-singapore-structural-problem.html). Not only does this deny our citizens alternative views but it gives the government free rein to conduct a smear campaign. We have witnessed the use of the latter over the decades directed at whichever individual the government perceived as a threat.
I have experienced this at first hand. I wrote a letter to the WSJ (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203458604577264532773291426.html?KEYWORDS=challenging+singapore%27s+defamation+laws+kenneth+jeyaretnam) which was entirely factual and I stand by every word. MICA rushed out a hasty and sloppy response using state resources. They even misspelt my name. Our MSM then blanketed all the media with coverage of the erroneous response saying I had been rebuked.
Not one journalist asked me for my opinion. I was denied the right of reply.
In this instance I note the MSM have again used the phrase “rebuke”. Rebuke means:
Express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behaviour or actions.
and some synonyms are:
“reprove – reprimand – reprehend – scold – upbraid – chide”
You cannot scold a court claim. You can only rebuke a person. So the headlines of “The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) yesterday rebuked claims” in Today make a mockery of our nation suggesting that our editors (appointed by the government) have a poor grasp of English. This is sloppy just like the MICA response to my WSJ letter. They have clearly confused “rebuke” with “rebut” or “refute.”
Of course they cannot rebuke me. There are questions which need resolving and I have taken the course of action that I feel is best. As has been demonstrated the government ministries concerned failed to respond over a period of months aided by media censorship. The President merely arrowed me to MAS. Upon filing in the High Court on Friday at 3.30pm, at 8.07 pm I received an email from MAS. This was not a response just a message arrowing me to the MAS website. There I found a post which had been put up obviously in haste in a different font.
It is a sad indictment that it took a High Court filing for information to be released to the public domain for the benefit of our citizens I therefore say that the MOF and the president should be rebuked for unnecessary opacity and obfuscation.
I also note the ST report of 7th July which says “The Monetary Authority of Singapore has clarified that the Republic’s pledge to lend US$4 billion to the IMF does not breach the Constitution.” This is astonishing since the last time I checked the MAS was not the High Court. Surely to suggest that the MAS’s opinion has the force of law when this is precisely the matter that I am asking the Court to adjudicate is contempt of court?
In any democracy, whether robust, vibrant or ailing, the MSM do not produce damning articles on an individual whilst denying him the right of reply. In a democracy the government does not hide behind a wall of silence and technicalities. In a democracy the State media would not treat the judiciary as merely an arm of the executive whose independence does not need to be respected. In a democracy an opposition party’s official response would not have to be published on blogs and a citizen would not have to file a court order to have vital questions of public interest addressed.
H/P: 9146 1976
Email:email@example.comMr. M. Ravi
H/P: 82399 282
Sharlene Asha Naomi
For and on behalf of Mr. M. Ravi
M/s L. F. Violet Netto
Tel: 6533 1671
Kio has clarified for us that the PM’s Facebook is a political for how can it be not when it is started by a politician and worse managed by administrators other than himself? Personal Facebook? Duh.
You’re being plain silly over ‘rebuke’. Our MSM mangled the English language. Gross incompetence. They clearly meant ‘rebut’ or possibly refute. I don’t debate it. I highlight its use as being self referential to MICA’s response to my WSJ letter. All this is mentioned as evidence of an attempt by the State managed Media to continue a theme in a highly orchestrated smear campaign. Their tactic is that if they say it often enough it will stick and be seen as true.
jio You are just wrong or confused. Let me be clear. This is not a Reform Party Blog. Just as Ravi Philemon’s blog is not an SPP blog even though he is a member of that Party and will most likely contest GE 2016 with them – and I can give many other examples of people blogging and being politicians or having several hats. Rethinking the rice bowl is just that. Looking at economic social and political freedoms and what puts the meat in your rice bowl. I write as an economist and as a Singaporean. Most political parties have registered websites you can check out .
Looks like to ask the PAP government a simple question one has to file the question with the High Court before they will reply! Is this the New Normal?
This response sums up almost everything that is wrong with the Reform Party. It is not enough to try and bring attention to the issue, the whole thing must be accompanied by bitter, petty jabs and completely confusing claims. You cannot say you put this forward only as a concerned citizen but then in the next paragraph cite arguments made by the party. It is very difficult to say that sonofadud isn’t a political blog when it is run by a politician and carries only one politician’s point of view. Is it somehow possible for the PM to have a blog that is not politicial even though he writes his thoughts on political issues there? Are you really able to compartmentalise your politics so well?
Your whole issue with the word “rebuke” distracts from the actual issue. And even then is not the most valid complaint in the world. If the English language was confined to how one online dictionary defined it, then sure, you have made a point. But in any other site, merriam -webster or dictionary.com,.the limitation on rebuke applying to a person is not so stringent. The point anyway, what does it matter? Everybody understands what “rebuke claims” means. Why is it even necessary to debate it unless someone is trying to be a smart ass?
As an aside, your grandstanding final paragraph is appears to be somewhat naive. It is one thing to say, these are what the principles of democracy are. It is another thing to assert that this is what it is like in practice. Even Sacha Baron Cohen seems to have a better grasp of the kinds of crazy things that can happen in a democracy. Watch the last 5 minutes of the Dictator.
I actually thought your questions were valid. Now you’ve just put me off the whole thing.
Jio. You are now commenting on a legal action and a statement in response to reports of that leagl action. The action was not filed by any Party but by an individual in their personal capacity as a citizen. It is all spelt out in the statement.
I am trying to bring some clarity to the accounts of Temasek and GIC. I write here as an economist not as a politician. If I have to take legal action to get some transparency for these economic issues I am hoping to address then that is shameful.
Previously my Party put out official press releases on discrepancies in our budget and official letters about IMF frameworks and early warning systems. I can reference those public documents as an economist. I often reference WP for example. The statement makes it clear that this was not an issue merely restricted to blogs but some of it had in fact been out in public as official correspondence from an official, legally registered Party since February of this year.
The statement is a time line. SO public official, public official, public official, now individual legal action all commented on by bloggers including me. Letter to Tony Tan was an official Party letter, sonofadud article, ” you ask me?” is a blog comment on that letter. Do you get it?
” Is it somehow possible for the PM to have a blog that is not political” Yes, if he had any other skill he could surely blog on it. Maths maybe. Everything is political but it would be a blog on Math.
“. It is one thing to say, these are what the principles of democracy are. It is another thing to assert that this is what it is like in practice.” Firstly I was mirroring the statements put our by MICA and PAP and our overseas ambassadors who frequently say , “In a robust( vibrant) democracy X, Y and Z.” It is very common rhetoric. it is also a phrase used by John Mortimer when defending JBJ.
Anyway, don’t be ridiculous. You make democracy sound like some kind of mythical creature – a unicorn maybe. Yes, most Singaporeans have never lived in a democracy so have no idea what it is like in practice. Yes, it is obscene for the PAP to grandstand on what a democracy looks like in practice. But the world is ful of best practice examples and dangerous worst practice examples.