Kenneth Jeyaretnam files application in High Court against Singapore government’s loan to IMF
Posted by temasektimes on July 7, 2012
Reform Party Secretary-General Kenneth Jeyaretnam has filed an application in the High Court to quash the Singapore Government’s pledge of a US$4 billion loan to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Mr Jeyaretnam is seeking the Court’s leave to make an application for a Prohibiting Order “prohibiting the Government and/or the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) from giving any loan and/or guarantee to the International Monetary Fund unless such loan was made in accordance with the provisions of Article 144 of the Constitution.”
In addition, he is also seeking the Court to grant leave to apply for a Quashing Order “quashing the Government and/or the MAS’ decision to make a US$4 billion loan commitment and/or guarantee to the IMF for contravening the provisions of Article 144 of the Constitution.”
Article 144 of the Constitution states that
(1) No guarantee or loan shall be given or raised by the Government —
except under the authority of any resolution of Parliament with which the President concurs; under the authority of any law to which this paragraph applies unless the President concurs with the giving or raising of such guarantee or loan; or except under the authority of any otherkwritten law.
In his affidavit, Mr Jeyaretnam argued that the IMF cannot accept the loan from Singapore as parliamentary approval for its release was not sought by the government and that the Minister of Finance, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam failed to respond to several open letters written by Mr Jeyaretnam raising the questions.
“In a robust democracy, a government does not hide behind technicalities and dispense with the need to make itself accountable to the people for the use of their money”, he wrote.
The affidavit concludes by highlighting the connection between domestic checks and balances on the use of public finances:
“Without accountability there is real danger that these forced savings, which cause real hardship for many poorer Singaporeans, could be dissipated through poor investment returns before we can do anything about it. This is not merely an idle academic exercise. It was not so long ago that Greece’s accounts were shown to have been manipulated.”
Kenneth is the elder son of the late opposition leader J.B. Jeyaretnam. He contested in West Coast GRC in last year’s General Election where he garnered 34 percent of the votes.