Minister sticks up for US envoy


A CABINET minister took to social media to defend US Ambassador Jonathan Kaplan after an internal watchdog in Washington reported the envoy had threatened staff and poorly promoted American interests.

Law Minister K. Shanmugam said he recently had a “very useful meeting” with Kaplan, in one of the first public remarks by a Singaporean official since the State Department’s inspector general released its report on Friday.

Kaplan “developed poor relationships with some Singaporean ministries,” which hurt progress on US efforts in the strategically important Asia-Pacific city-state, the report found.

“Have always found the Ambassador proactive and helpful,” the minister said in a Facebook post. “Based on my dealings with him, I have found that he, like several of his predecessors, has tried to ensure that the relationship between the two countries continues to be strong.” — Bloomberg

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