[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index
GIC Druglord-Linked Fund "Liquidate (r)
- Subject: GIC Druglord-Linked Fund "Liquidate (r)
- From: cd@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 05:25:00
would someone PLEASE put the nation story in full on the net, thanks
> Letters in Response to The Nation article, October 20, ?Singapo''e?s
> Blood Money? by Bernstein and Kean
> Both response letters published in The Nation, November 24, 1997
> LETTER FROM THE SINGAPORE EMBASSY
> Washington, D.C.
> The Editor
> The Nation
> In "Singapore's Blood Money" (Oct. 20), Dennis Bernstein and Leslie Kean
> alleged that the Singaporean government is engaging in joint business
> ventures with drug lords in Myanmar. Bernstein and Kean are recycling old
> allegations made by an Australian television station, Special Broadcasting
> Service (SBS), in October 1996. In November 1996 the Government had
> rebutted these allegations. It pointed out that the Government of
> Singapore Investment Corporation was a passive investor in the Myanmar
> Fund, and was not involved in the investment decisions of the fund. Other
> investors included Air Liquids International and beneficial interests held
> by nominee companies such as Coutts & Co. (an old British bank) and Swiss
> Bank Corporation.
> The statement also explained that GIC kept securities with Morgan Guaranty
> Trust Co. because this was the common practice of most investment
> corporations. There is nothing sinister or secret about this investment,
> which had been publicly disclosed.
> As for opposition leader Dr. Chee Soon Juan's criticism, the Government
> had invited him to get his party to move a motion in Parliament calling
> for a Commission of Inquiry. There would be a full debate, and the
> Government would support the motion. Dr. Chee could then bring evidence
> to the Commission to prove that the Government had acted immorally and
> colluded with drug traffickers by investing in the Myanmar Fund. Dr. Chee
> declined to do so.
> In August 1997, a majority of other shareholders voted in favor of winding
> up the Myanmar Fund. As a passive investor, GIC supported the decision.
> Jean Tan
> First Secretary
> Singapore Embassy
> BERNSTEIN AND KEAN REPLY
> Mill Valley, Calif.
> The Singapore government's response again confirms the fact that the
> government, through the GIC and the Myanmar Fund, was doing business
> with legendary drug trafficker Lo Hsing Han of Burma. Indeed, the rush
> in August to shut down the Myanmar Fund--only one aspect of a
> complicated web of investments with Lo and Burma's
> narco-dictatorship--is a clear indication that something is very wrong.
> (As we noted in our article, Lo and his company Asia World are under
> investigation by narcotics officials in several countries.)
> Beyond this, Jean Tan's specific criticisms do not address the
> substance of our article. Nowhere did we say that the GIC?s use of
> Morgan Guaranty Trust Co. as a custodian was "sinister or secret." The
> newsworthy point is that a major U.S. financial institution had
> business ties to a known heroin dealer.
> Furthermore, Tan's assertion that the GIC was merely a "passive
> investor" is belied by the fund?s own documents, one of which says that
> the GIC is a "core shareholder" and as such has a representative on the
> investment committee of the fund. "The committee will determine whether
> investment proposals are viable and whether they should be approved for
> investment by the Fund" says the 1994 document. (As manager of the
> GIC since 1991, Eddie Taw Cheng Kong was the GIC representative on the
> fund investment committee until very recently. Taw was sentenced in
> May to nine years in jail and a $2.4 million fine for accepting bribes
> from companies whose shares were purchased by the GIC.)
> Tan's statement on Dr. Chee Soon Juan's refusal to set up a commission
> is misleading. Dr. Chee was not a member of Parliament and thus would
> have been excluded from the commission. His colleagues in Parliament
> were afraid of lawsuits and other repercussions. Dr. Chee had already
> been the target of a government defamation law suit and was forced to
> sell his house and borrow heavily to avoid bankruptcy. Amnesty
> International says that Singapore's leaders are systematically
> ?resorting to defamation suits as a politically-motivated tactic to
> silence critical views and curb opposition activity."
> Chee still had the courage to speak out, but his questions (in a
> letter to the Prime Minister and The Straits Times) remain unanswered
> by the ruling elite: Is Lo Hsing Han allowed to move freely in and out
> of Singapore, for example? Has the government investigated the
> background of Lo's son Steven Law, who has been denied a U.S. visa on
> suspicion of drug trafficking? Will the government state clearly that
> Burma?s junta is not helping or turning a blind eye to drugtrafficking?
> Although the Myanmar Fund is now undergoing liquidation, these
> investments represented only a small part of Singapore's total
> investment in Burma. The US government has reported that more than half
> of Singapore's $1 billion-plus investment in Burma is tied to Lo Hsing
> Han and his family.
> Dennis Bernstein and Leslie Kean
> Two Further Notes: The Kerry Investment Management reports that the
> Myanmar Fund "was formally placed into Liquidation on 29th August 1997.
> In response to the question: Is there any other Fund that has taken its
> place to continue Singapore's investments in Burma? The Singapore Embassy
> in the US responds, "No other Fund has been set up to replace the Myanmar