Talking about conversation diverts attention from bombshell!
I have highlighted articles from blog spot Article 14 previously on Rethinking the Rice Bowl. “Subra” states on his blog to be a Singaporean lecturer in law here and he clearly has the talented teacher’s skill of setting out complex subject matter in a simple, easy to understand manner. Several very good reasons why everyone should read his latest article: http://article14.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/everybodys-talking-about-talking.html But he has added a twist that I didn’t notice.
Previously he had blogged about my IMF loan case. Actually I disagreed with what he posited in that blog but I still posted the blog around, as it is good to widen the debate. That is, if in our State of National enforced silence, we can have a debate at all. Subra’s insight as a lawyer and a lecturer in law allows him to explain to us that Alice in Wonderland arguments can pass as legal logic even if they defy common sense.
Whilst I agree that the argument put forward by the AG in parliament could clearly have come out of the pages of Alice in Wonderland, I don’t see how it has passed as legal logic until it is tested in a court of law. The AG after all works for the PAP, whereas the courts are intended to be independent
So, I therefore felt it highly unlikely that the Ministry of Finance would re-state the argument used in 1997 when JBJ, http://www.facebook.com/groups/jbj.memory/ brought up the Loan to Indonesia exactly because it was clearly “Alice in Wonderland” logic. I had always felt that argument was indefensible and that the Attorney General may not have succeeded with it were it to have been tested in a Court of Law. The Attorney General from then is now Chief Justice and has just announced his retirement. Good timing?
You can see Subra’s argument here: http://article14.blogspot.sg/2012/06/singapores-pledge-of-us-4-billion-to.html.
The MOF then put forward their affidavit where they did not resurrect that argument. I filed a second Affidavit in response to theirs, which I and my legal team considered to be an outrage and an insult to common sense and the intelligence of the Singaporean people. My affidavit was not challenged.
Now Subra has noticed my blog about the Auditor General and the Ministry of Finance. He says,
In the meantime, what are we missing out?
And goes on with, “Well, the Auditor General has dropped a bombshell and almost nobody has noticed the explosion with the lone exception of Kenneth Jeyaretnam.” And, “Kenneth has done an excellent job on his blog in highlighting a Constitutional breach by the Ministry of Finance. ” I’m not quoting him to blow my own trumpet but to show you that there are constitutional breaches. The breach over this loan to the World Bank is an established fact. It is not my opinion as a blogger. I got it from government documents. The Auditor-General slams the MOF for it and the MOF clearly agrees that they breached the constitution because they scrapped the loan and declared it invalid.
What is interesting is the National Silence over it. In some countries a Minister breaching the constitution would be asked to step down.
Subra now clarifies and adds to my post on that constitutional breach. He says, ” Given the fact that the Auditor General considers any loan advanced without Presidential approval to be unconstitutional and void, (and given the fact that even the Ministry of Finance appears not to have disputed that……………………………………………………….. It is clear that the MOF thought that the lack of Presidential approval for the promissory note was an oversight. It is also clear that the Attorney General in 1997 argued that no Presidential approval was needed for the loan to Indonesia.”
Subra defines this as the Attorney General having dropped a bombshell. He surely has. Let’s say it again. In 1997 the AG said no Presidential approval was required and in 2011 the Auditor General says it is and the Ministry of Finance appears not to have disputed that. You don’t have to be living in Wonderland to see the inconsistency.
And why are we forgetting that Article 144 requires Presidential and Parliamentary approval. I don’t understand why everyone overlooks lapses from an elected parliament and representatives of the people to get upset over the actions of a ‘selected’ and then elected President.