Ladies and Gentlemen,
It has been reported in the Jakarta Post of June 24, 2009 and July 13, 2009 of the sightings in Singapore, of 2 Indonesian criminals on the run from justice in Indonesia. In the first report of June 24, 2009, Joko Soegiarto Tjandra had defrauded banks of millions and had been sentenced to 2 years imprisonment as well as a restitution fine of US$54 million. However before he could be apprehended, left Indonesia for Port Morsbey, New Guinea and then arrived in Singapore. Singapore authorities have been officially told of his presence there but have not taken any steps for his arrest or repatriation.
In the July 13, 2009 report, Anggoro Widjojo had bribed a former legislator in the house of Representatives for a radio communication contract with the forest ministry for which he got the contract worth US$12.72 million. He was arrested, convicted and sentenced to four and a half years in jail, but managed to flee to Singapore. Singapore authorities however not only refused to arrest him, but have totally refused the demands of repatriation.
This practice of refusing to hand over convicted criminals to a neighbouring country, thereby frustrating their criminal justice system is thoroughly unacceptable especially when done to a so called friendly neighbouring country. This sort of behaviour does nothing to further neighbourliness among neighbouring countries, fostering instead ill will and disharmony.
As a Singaporean by birth, it shames me to see my country behaving in such a brazenly shameful way. It may be true for a country that has lost it's means of survival to resort to desperate measures. It is true that Singapore has lost most of it's financial reserves and is suffering from unprecedented joblessness. But this sort of behaviour is going a bit too far, even for a bankrupt country. Harbouring millionaire bank cheats from neighbouring countries because you can use their money is a lowly disgraceful means of living.
Lee Kuan Yew, stop it now. Return these fugitive criminals back to Indonesia. At least show a modicum of respectability. Don't stoop so low as to be another North Korea.
What will you do next? Start printing fake American money?
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