S'pore Disapproves

8 Dec

The leaked document recorded Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s (right) opinions on a variety of East Asian issues, including what he called the ‘psychopathic’ leaders of North Korea. — PHOTOS: AP/JOYCE FANG

SINGAPORE’S Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Tuesday joined the global chorus of disapproval over WikiLeaks’ release of secret American diplomatic cables, saying it had deep concerns about the actions, which it called damaging.

A spokesman for the ministry said protecting the confidentiality of diplomatic and official correspondence is critical, and that is why Singapore has the Official Secrets Act.

He added: ‘In particular, the selective release of documents, especially when taken out of context, will only serve to sow confusion and fail to provide a complete picture of the important issues that were being discussed amongst leaders in the strictest of confidentiality.’

The Foreign Ministry’s comments followed the release of more documents yesterday, including one which recorded a meeting between Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg in May last year.

The leaked document recorded Mr Lee’s opinions on a variety of East Asian issues, including what he called the ‘psychopathic’ leaders of North Korea, Beijing’s relationship with the reclusive totalitarian state, and how he thought Mr Wang Qishan, a current vice-premier, could succeed Mr Wen Jiabao as Chinese Premier, instead of Mr Li Keqiang, another vice-premier who is widely expected to do so.

Other governments – both friends and foes of the United States – also lambasted WikiLeaks’ actions on Tuesday.

Read the full story in Wednesday’s edition of The Straits Times.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Straits Times

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