Letter: Did MAS conduct a thorough investigation before claiming that there is no conflict of interest by its Chief FinTech Officer

This is a follow-up letter from a member of the public, Emmanuel Chin to an earlier letter sent to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Heng Swee Keat, Second Minister of Finance, Indranee Rajah and Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean.

Did the Monetary Authority of Singapore really conduct a thorough investigation before its response* by Ms Sherry (from MAS’ Corporate Communications Division)?

It was claimed that Mr Mohanty would receive no compensation. But the Times of India just stated a list of benefits that “advisers” to the state of Odisha, that Mr Mohanty is one of, enjoys.

“The advisers would get other entitlements like office chambers in Lok Seva Bhawan or on premises of government organisations, personal staff and government quarters.”

The other “advisers” to the state are all political leaders. And Mr Mohanty is also mentioned in the article. The “advisers” stated they would work for free but the article suggest they are more than happy to enjoy their other entitlements. So is MAS’ definition of “no compensation” excluding benefits in kind? That is a very very scary thought.

Public servants in Singapore don’t even get those perks.

And given that the description of the job makes it sound rather involved, how much time away from his MAS job is Mohanty taking?

This should be a cut and dry issue. Either there is no conflict of interest and MAS should be able to easily explain it, or there is one but MAS failed in its duties to the public. Clearly the former is not the case since the news has been ongoing for more than a week yet no satisfactory response has been made.

There are Facebook articles, forum threads, foreign press and yet absolute silence from your agencies.

Someone failed in their due diligence the first time, please dont fail the Singapore people again.

*Ms Sherry in her reply to queries about Mr Mohanty’s possible conflict of interest, said:

“The article referred to in your email incorrectly describes the nature of Mr Sopnendu Mohanty’s engagement with the Odisha Government in India. He is not appointed as a Minister of State and is not part of the Odisha Government.

Mr Mohanty was approached by the Odisha Government to advise them on enhancing financial inclusion through the use of FinTech and digital technologies. He does so in his personal capacity and will not draw any compensation. It does not conflict with his role as the Chief FinTech Officer in the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

As Chief FinTech Officer in MAS, Mr Mohanty’s mandate is to help develop the FinTech sector in Singapore and help create new jobs in this space. He has played a key role in establishing Singapore as a leading global FinTech hub.”

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