President responds to Kenneth's letters

The Reform Party thanks the office of his Excellency Tony Tan for the response received yesterday to its two letters dated June 1st and June 16th 2012. We reproduce below his office’s response:

Dear Kenneth,

We received your email dated 2 June 2012 enquiring about Presidential Approval for IMF Loan Commitment.

Your query has been referred to MAS for their follow up and MAS will get back to you.


Yours Sincerely,





In the second of those letters, I put it to the President that Presidential approval had neither been sought nor given for our republic’s loan commitment to the IMF under Article 144(1) of our Constitution. I said that failure to answer by June 20th 2012 would be taken as confirmation that this was correct.

The President may be accused of ‘passing the buck’ or obfuscating the issue by forwarding my letter to the MAS without answering it. However my letter of June 16th makes it clear that by failing to furnish a denial the President has confirmed my understanding that his approval was neither sought nor given.

I am entirely satisfied with this. It is my belief as stated in my letter of May 29th 2012 to the Minister of Finance that this commitment requires Parliamentary, in addition to Presidential, approval in any case. 

I am sure we all look forward to reading the response from MAS and hope that this will not take a month. However I am disappointed that the Ministry of Finance feels no need to respond and be accountable.  They have neither replied to my letter requesting transparency over the loan nor to my letter asking for an explanation of discrepancies and omissions in the Budget and an explanation for its non standard layout.

I know many of you are concerned with our reserves and I do feel that I need some transparency as to the methodology used by MOF so that I can comment in an informed manner on our Government’s budget and other financial statements. Although even a brief, cursory glance at Budget 2012 would reveal causes for concern over its lack of transparency and omission of vital information to any competent businessperson, I am merely an economist not a forensic accountant or indeed a clairvoyant.

I am, in short, just an ordinary Singaporean citizen wanting to know how his tax dollar is spent and as such I will continue to press for transparency.

Kenneth Jeyaretnam

Secretary General