Reporting on NAM meet inaccurate: Singapore envoy

Singapore's ambassador to China, Mr Stanley Loh, yesterday responded to the Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin's statement.

Dear [Editor-in-Chief Hu,]

I refer to your response to my letter of 26 Sept 2016.

The crux of the matter is that Global Times' report dated 21 Sept 2016 did not accurately reflect the proceedings at the recent NAM Summit. Global Times did not attend the meetings and had to rely on information from unnamed sources. In contrast, Singapore is a member of NAM and had participated in all the proceedings at the summit. Consequently, I have related the facts and this account can be verified by the public record of the meeting.

By the way, you misread my letter. The NAM Chair did not reject Singapore's request. In fact, the NAM Chair improperly rejected Asean's collective request to update the South-east Asia paragraphs to reflect the consensus of all 10 Asean member states. That is why Laos as Chair of Asean wrote to the Venezuelan Foreign Minister to put on record Asean's reservation to a paragraph in the South-east Asia section of the NAM Final Document. You failed to mention this Asean Chair letter which I had enclosed in my earlier letter to you. I have appended it again for your attention.

The other points you had raised are not relevant to the issue of the veracity of Global Times' report. Singapore has consistently adopted a clear and principled position. Our leaders have already addressed those issues on numerous previous occasions at meetings with your leaders. Our positions are not identical, but neither are we opposed. So we need to understand each other's position, accept differences and work towards enlarging shared interests with one another.

Once again, I request that Global Times publish my letter of 26 Sept 2016, including its annex, in full, in the print version where your report was first published. This is so that your readers can be fully and accurately informed in the interest of honesty, professionalism, objectivity and transparency.

Stanley Loh
Singapore's Ambassador to the People's Republic of China

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2016, with the headline 'Reporting on NAM meet inaccurate: S'pore envoy'. Print Edition | Subscribe