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'Completely in order' for PM press secretary, Consul-General to defend Singapore's interests: PMO

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) says it was "completely in order" for Mr Lee Hsien Loong's press secretary to respond to an article published in the Economist, and for the Singapore Consul-General in Hong Kong to respond to a South China Morning Post report.

SINGAPORE: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Wednesday (June 25) said in a statement that it was "completely in order" for Mr Lee Hsien Loong's press secretary to respond to an article published in the Economist, and for the Singapore Consul-General in Hong Kong to respond to a South China Morning Post (SCMP) report.

"This is in response to media queries over the propriety of recent letters by the Prime Minister’s press secretary to the Economist magazine, and the Singapore Consul-General in Hong Kong to the South China Morning Post," the PMO said in its statement.

"The Economist article was on the Government’s Central Provident Fund policies. It referred to PM’s defamation suit over an allegation that the PM had misappropriated public moneys. When aspersions are cast on the integrity of the Prime Minister and his Government’s policies, an official reply from the PM’s press secretary is completely in order. This is no different from what press secretaries in most other Governments do.

"Likewise, when a foreign newspaper carries an article with misrepresentations about Singapore, it is important that our diplomatic representative defend Singapore’s interests by correcting misrepresentations and providing a balanced view. Our Consul-General in Hong Kong did just that when he responded to the South China Morning Post article."

Click here to read the press secretary's letter to the Economist.

Click here to read the Singapore Consul-General's response to SCMP.

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