Singapore diplomat denies participating in Bersih

Saturday, June 23, 2012
  • Bersih Singapore
The Singapore High Commission described the allegation of its officers' involvement as mysterious. (Graphic by: Dayang Norazhar/The Mole)
KUALA LUMPUR: A Singapore diplomat has denied participating in the Bersih 3.0 rally last April.

Its Deputy High Commissioner and Counsellor Ariel Eunice Tan on Thursday told The Mole:  “Singaporean diplomats did not take part in the Bersih rally.”

“None of us wore yellow or participated in the rally. I personally do not understand how people can make such allegations against us,” she added.

Ariel was commenting on a blog post at AnwarAIDC which alleged three Singaporean officers from the High Commission office were involved in the rally on April 28.

The blog named Ariel together with the two High Commission's First Secretary (Political) Regina Low and Philomena Aw taking  part in Bersih 3.0.

“To be frank, we were shocked to learn that people alleged us of something we did not do.”

“There were accusations of us wanting to interfere in the Malaysian politics. There is no reason for us to do that.”

She maintained of having no knowledge of how such allegations were made against them, describing it as mysterious.

Ariel said the diplomats’ jobs include strengthening ties between the Singapore government and the ruling government of Malaysia.

“We are very happy with the bi-lateral relationship we have now. We have been working hard to maintain that.”

Asked whether the High Commission would take any action against the perpetrator of the allegation Ariel said: “The problem is we do not know who we should lodge the report against. They were no names or any details of them.”

“There might be parties who are not happy with the good relationship we have. But I must say again, the Singapore diplomats do not wish to take part or interfere in Malaysian politics.”

Despite the denial, it was today reported that Wisma Putra had summoned High Commissioner Ong Keng Yong over the involvement of the three Singaporean diplomats in the Bersih rally on April 28.

Meanwhile Bersih 3.0 Singapore co-ordinator Ong Guan Sing in a news report on Friday denied allegations that the movement was linked with Singapore’s interference.

A blog post by MyMassa on Monday published several photos of PACA (Polling Agent and Counting Agent) Training Programme, which allegedly forms the basis for Singapore’s involvement in Malaysian politics.

Bersih 3.0 Singapore described the allegations as “ridiculous” saying the talk was a Malaysian event organised by Malaysians for Malaysians living abroad on their voting rights.

Prior to this, the visit of Singapore’s Foreign Minister Masagos Zulkifli has also ruffled some feathers in Malaysia when he allegedly decided to visit Pas Kedah administration centre in May.

A blog post at Mynewshub stated: “If this is true, we are mad because the action clearly show that Singapore simply disrespect their diplomatic ties between two countries as they visited the administration office of the opposition party in Malaysia.”

DESIDERATA: I will do some INVESTIGATION and may be able to "detect" who the ORI blogger is that wants to stir-shit; PATIENCE, eh?

UPDATEd@12.30PM: AFTER A BOURGEOSIE/Kapitalistik BF/lunch, Desi surfed the Net with some help from fellow BUMmer DPP and these are TWO BLOGS which carried the news breaks of the alleged THREE SINGAPORE DIPLOMATS' participation at the 428 Bersih3.0 rally, namely OutsyedTheBox and AnwarAIDC, and here's an earlier Post from the later's:~~

Bersih 3. 0 : Foreign diplomats’ named for alleged involvement – The alleged involvement of foreign diplomats during the Bersih 3.0 rally is widely discussed in the Malaysian blogosphere.
Apart from foreign diplomats’ involvement, few blogs also highlighted a special programme purportedly organised in Singapore which is specially designed to interfere with Malaysia’s 13th General Election process.
A blog post at AnwarAIDC named three Singaporean officers from the High Commission office to be involved which includes – its First Secretary (Political) Regina Low and Philomena Aw as well as Deputy High Commissioner and Counsellor Ariel Eunice Tan.
“The active participation of the three diplomats in moving along with the protesting group from Petaling Street to Dataran Merdeka was clearly in contravention of ethics under ‘Article 41 (1) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961’, which forbids diplomats from meddling in the affairs of another nation,” the post stated.
The post also linked the speech made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Seri Anifah Aman during a luncheon with Asean leaders on June 11.
During the speech, Anifah who received reports of the involvement by foreign diplomats during the rally said: “Whether such involvement or participation is truly for information gathering or otherwise, it is definitely not a good move.”
“I am worried that such a move may lead to some negative perceptions. Worse still, diplomats concerned may get involved or injured in unfortunate incidents, given the unruly nature of street demonstrations,” he added.
Following the allegation, another blog post at MyMassa urged the government to take serious action regarding the involvement of foreign diplomats in Malaysian politics.
“We view this matter seriously. We hope the government will call these diplomats and send a Protest Note to them,” the post read, adding that any inaction by the government will only leave impressions to Singapore that the Malaysian law and the police force is weak.
In another related issue pertaining foreign involvements for the Malaysia’s GE 13, a blog postby MyMassa on Monday published several photos of PACA (Polling Agent and Counting Agent) Training Programme, which allegedly forms the basis for Singapore’s involvement in Malaysian politics.
One of the photos showed a print screen from the PACA Facebook page where it stated that the programme, scheduled on May 19 was intended to teach participants to cheat in voting so that they can stop the cheating during the GE13.
It also stated there will be a shortage of PACAs for non-BN parties as compared to BN due to better machinery and resources during the election.
“However, as a PACA, you may volunteer for any party of your choice to ensure free and fair election,” the statement suggested.
Meanwhile, Utusan Malaysia columnist and deputy editor Datuk Zaini Hassan in his column on Wednesday wrote the authority should not keep allegations away from the public.
Zaini described the allegations, which showed how foreign power attempts to influence Malaysians and to overthrow the ruling government as shocking.
“Malaysia has always been nice to its neighbours under the spirit of Asean but it is often ignored. If such allegations are true, Malaysia should not let it persist” he added.
Attempts to contact High Commission of The Republic of Singapore for clarifications by The Mole have not been successful.

DESIDERATA: If the bloggers (or Foregn Ministry officials) have any evidence of the SHC deputy chief in Kuala Lumpur, and her two colleagues,being active participants at the rally, please provide theevidence. If you purported to have seen one of them donning a Bersih T-shirt, please make a copy to the Bloggers-lah! Otherwise, it reamins MERE ALLEGATIONS/HERESAY the three of them were present at the Bersih3.0 other than in their personal capacities as explained by its High Commissioner; and information gathering by being present as obsrvers is among the core functions for the foreig diploamts to report on the status of Malaysia -- political as well as socio-economic status -- back to their home countries. I believe Malaysian diplomats stationed overseas also do so by going to the ground (TURUN PADANG EH!) to gather infomration and feedback for reporting back to their home base, NO? Hey, I am sure many foreign diplomats will also be attending Opposition as well as BN ceramah when campaiging for the next General Elections starts. SOON. Okay, before June 2013!