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Government Acknowledges No Proof of U.S. Funding for Opposition

June 5, 1988

SINGAPORE (AP) _ The government said Saturday its investigations have not produced evidence that an opposition politician received funds from the U.S. government.

Former Solicitor General Francis Seow was arrested on May 6 under the Internal Security Act and accused of subversive activities. The government subsequently claimed he had received money from U.S. sources to oppose Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s People’s Action Party that has governed Singpaore since 1959.

Singapore expelled a U.S. diplomat in the dispute.

A statememt issued by the Home Affairs Ministry said the investigation showed Seow had received the equivalent of $425,000 from foreigners, but it was unable to identify the contributors.

It said the Internal Security Department had not been able to interview people outside Singapore about Seow’s finances and added:

″This is insufficient to determine whether Seow has received money from any foreign powers or their agents. The results therefore remain inconclusive.″

Last month, the government claimed that E. Mason Hendrickson, a first secretary at the U.S. Embassy, had tried to persuade Seou and several other prominent lawyers to run against candidates of the People’s Action Party in general elections in the early 1990s.

The government expelled Hendrickson. Washington denied the allegations and in turn expelled Robert Chua, first secretary of Singapore’s Embassy in Washington.

Under the constitution, parliamentary elections must be held within five years, and the mandate for the People’s Action Party will expire in December 1989.

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