S'pore govt 'deeply disappointed' by US senators' pressure tactics

S'pore govt 'deeply disappointed' by US senators' pressure tactics

Summary: Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it is "deeply disappointed" by senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester's efforts to stop U.S. R&D funds to IME to pressure Singapore's police to hand over all information on Shane Todd's death to the FBI.


Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has expressed its deep disappointment over the actions of U.S. senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester. The two politicians had been hoping to "pressure" the Singapore police to hand over all investigation reports on American engineer Shane Todd's death by seeking to block research funding from the U.S. to Todd's former employer, the Institute of Microelectronics (IME).

In a statement issued Sunday, the MFA said: "We are deeply disappointed by the Senators' actions and statements. The Senators had requested the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) to be given 'full access' to all the evidence in the investigation conducted by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) over the case, based on the version of the facts provided by the family alone.

"The issue of applying 'pressure' should not arise between countries, which have had a long, open and cooperative relationship with each other based on mutual respect. Singapore has made every effort to be open and transparent in both the investigation of Todd's death and the IME's projects. We will let the outcome of the investigation and Coroner's Inquiry speak for themselves."

It added Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law, K Shanmugam, had met Sen. Baucus on March 12, 2013, and informed the latter the SPF was prepared to share relevant evidence with the FBI in accordance with the legal framework of both countries. He also said the IME was subjected to "rigorous internal audits" and the organization is prepared to have a team from the U.S. conduct a process audit to satisfy any doubts it has.

The MFA's statement came after the two U.S. senators from Montana tabled a proposal in the Senate to withhold research funds to the IME, according to a report by USA Today.

Todd's cause of death was thrown into the spotlight by a Financial Times report last month, which linked his demise with the work he did on gallium nitride for an unidentified Chinese partner company.


Topics: Government Asia, Government US, Tech Industry

Kevin Kwang

About Kevin Kwang

A Singapore-based freelance IT writer, Kevin made the move from custom publishing focusing on travel and lifestyle to the ever-changing, jargon-filled world of IT and biz tech reporting, and considered this somewhat a leap of faith. Since then, he has covered a myriad of beats including security, mobile communications, and cloud computing.

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1 comment
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  • Singapore knows which side has the butter on it

    China has been slowly replacing the US for decades now as Singapore's primary partner. This isn't news to anybody in the high-tech business. I don't think anything will come of the Baucus and Tester actions because the State Department's policy is to do exactly the opposite and throw money at allies who appear to be slipping into China's grasp.
    terry flores