LKY School professor banned for being 'agent of influence'

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Academic's permanent residency cancelled for using position to advance foreign country's agenda, says MHA

A well-known academic from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) had his permanent residency cancelled yesterday for working with a foreign government to influence Singapore's foreign policy and public opinion.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said Dr Huang Jing, 60, and his wife, Ms Shirley Yang Xiuping, will be permanently banned from Singapore, in what is the first publicly known case of its kind in nearly 20 years.

It said Dr Huang has been identified as "an agent of influence of a foreign country" who worked with intelligence organisations and agents from that country, which it did not name.

Dr Huang was director of the Centre on Asia and Globalisation and Lee Foundation Professor on US-China relations atLKYSPP, and his views on China and foreign policy issues were regularly sought by organisations and the media.

Besides writing for Singapore newspapers, he also contributed articles to China's Global Times, a newspaper closely linked to the country's government.

He and his wife were born in China and are now US citizens.

"Huang used his senior position in the LKY School to deliberately and covertly advance the agenda of a foreign country at Singapore's expense. He did this in collaboration with foreign intelligence agents," said the ministry.

"This amounts to subversion and foreign interference in Singapore's domestic politics. Huang's continued presence in Singapore, and that of his wife, are therefore undesirable."

The Controller of Immigration has cancelled their entry and re-entry permits, MHA said. It noted that Ms Yang was aware of her husband using his position to advance a foreign country's agenda.

This amounts to subversion and foreign interference in Singapore's domestic politics. Huang's continued presence in Singapore, and that of his wife, are therefore undesirable. Ministry of Home Affairs

Dr Huang had engaged prominent and influential Singaporeans, providing them with what he claimed was "privileged information" about the foreign country to influence their opinions in favour of that country, the ministry said.

He also recruited others to aid his operations, it added.

It also said he gave supposedly "privileged information" to a senior member ofLKYSPP, so that it could be passed on to the Government.

"The information was duly conveyed by that senior member of the LKYSPP to very senior public officials who were in a position to direct Singapore's foreign policy," it said.

"The clear intention was to use the information to cause the Singapore Government to change its foreign policy."

The Government, however, declined to act on the information.

MHA said Dr Huang and his wife can appeal to the Home Affairs Minister under Section 14(6) of the Immigration Act.

They will have to leave Singapore within a grace period if their appeals are unsuccessful.LKYSPP is part of the National University of Singapore, whose spokesman yesterday said the matter is of serious concern and Dr Huang has been suspended without pay with immediate effect.

Dr Huang told the South China Morning Post he had been notified by the Government but said: "It is nonsense to identify me as 'an agent of influence' for a foreign country. And why didn't they identify which foreign country they are referring to? Is it the US or China?

"How can they treat me like this? If they have evidence, they should take me to court."