The Straits Times
Published on Oct 22, 2012

Kenneth Jeyaretnam's bid to stop MAS loan pledge to IMF dismissed


The High Court has dismissed an application by opposition politician Kenneth Jeyaretnam to stop the Government from giving a US$4 billion (S$4.9 billion) loan commitment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Mr Jeyaretnam had charged that the commitment contravenes Article 144 of the Constitution, which states that "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".

But the court ruled that that Article 144 did not concern the giving of loans by the Government, and indicated that it had to be read by applying each verb to its appropriate subject. This would mean that the rule should be understood that "no guarantee shall be given and no loan shall be raised by the Government".

The court also said Mr Jeyaretnam did not meet another requirement for the application - that he had suffered special damage as a result of the public act being challenged and that he had a genuine private interest to protect or further.