The Mystery of PM Lee’s Use of ST Aerospace’s Business Jets

Historically it has always been a bragging point of the PAP Government that the Prime Minister and his colleagues do not have a special aircraft or fleet reserved for their use. Instead they booked regular commercial flights in First Class on SIA if seats were available or presumably chartered an SIA aircraft if the destination was not on SIA’s regular route network.

Our state media often contrasts  this with other countries where leaders have bought status aircraft with state funds and frequently blur the boundaries between official and private business. Indeed Malaysiakini posted an article about Najib’s use of his official jet, an Airbus A319, to transport himself and his family to a holiday in Australia. The PAP troll, Fabrications About The PAP, posted a picture in 2015 of Lee Hsien Loong taking a Malaysian Airlines commercial flight to KL to show solidarity with Malaysian after the MH370 tragedy and contrasted it with Najib’s allegedly corrupt use of state resources.

This boast about the incorruptibility of PAP leaders was undermined when Lee Kuan Yew managed to charter an SIA Boeing 747 and had it turned into a hospital to bring his wife, who was a private citizen, back to Singapore after she had a stroke on a visit to London in 2003. However, after an outcry among netizens, LKY issued a statement saying that he would meet the full costs of the charter though no further accounting was provided either by SIA or the  medical teams to substantiate his claim so we have no idea whether he paid the full cost charged to members of the public or was given a discount like when he and other members of his family bought apartments in Nassim Jade.

Given the  high standards our leaders claim to meet and the public claims of modest lifestyles, I was therefore surprised to see PM Lee and his wife, Ho Ching, emerging from a Gulfstream business jet on their recent trip to Vietnam for the APEC summit. This was followed by a hop to Manila for the ASEAN heads of state meeting.  Someone alerted me by sending me a link to a thread on Sammyboys forum discussing  Ho Ching’s and LHL’s use of the Gulfstream with comments by the famous Scroobal whom Shanmugam’s lawyers spent a lot of money trying to track down for allegedly defamatory comments about Shanmugam’s marriage. A little bit of research showed that LHL has been using the jet since at least 2015 when a Philippines news media site carried a report on his visit to Manila headlined LOOK: Singapore’s Lee uses less extravagant plane”.

I found the aircraft appears to be owned by Pacific Flight Services, which is a subsidiary of ST Aerospace which in turn is part of the ST Engineering Group, 50% owned by Temasek Holdings. I would ask the following questions if I was in Parliament:

  1. Does Pacific Flight Services charge the Government the full commercial rate for the use of the aircraft given that ST Engineering is only 50% owned by Temasek? If not, then the private shareholders are subsidising the cost of the PM’s trips.
  2. Why has the PM consider it necessary to change from using SIA commercial flights and does this represent good value for the taxpayer?
  3. Does the cost of these flights appear in the Budget and if so which Government department? If not, why not since Parliamentary approval is necessary?
  4. Why is Ho Ching accompanying PM Lee on his trips given that she does not have a Government position? Who pays for this?
  5. Is Ho Ching using the Gulfstream and other business jets as CEO of Temasek? Is she able to use them for private business without paying or at a subsidised rate? Do other management get similar perks, including the chairman of ST Engineering, who coincidentally happens to be LHL’s first cousin? Since Temasek does not publish full accounts and is ultimately responsible to Ho Ching’s husband, there is no accountability for management treating company assets as available for their own personal use.
  6. Most importantly, does the Gulfstream jet get used for other trips by LHL and/or Ho Ching and other members of his family when they go on holiday to the US and other countries? What about cases where the PM and/or his family combine business with pleasure by conducting a state visit and then having a holiday?  If so are they charged the same rates as other commercial clients of Pacific Flight Services?

We know that LHL has a tendency to treat state resources as his own personal property as when he used his Press Secretary to defend his personal lawsuit against the unemployed blogger Roy Ngerng. He also spent a lot of taxpayer funded work time dealing with the suit. It would be reassuring if the PM would provide figures detailing his use of state owned private jets and under what circumstances to prove that no similar blurring of the boundaries is taking place here. It is particularly important when the WP MPs on the Aljunied Hougang Town Council are quite rightly being forced to account for any payments to related entities that similar standards should apply to our First Familee and their relatives.

 

Kenneth Jeyaretnam

* The author blogs at https://kenjeyaretnam.com/.

 

 

 

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28 Responses to “The Mystery of PM Lee’s Use of ST Aerospace’s Business Jets”

  • pap selected INDIAN president:

    when clown mama shipped back from london, sia aircraft was rejigged. we have been asking who paid for the whole works.

    is ah kong money, being our money, being citizens’ money, at the disposal of lees, at their whim and fancy?

    departed evil liar lky used to say, even a semblance of unethical use of money must not be allowed. yet no sound no fury from him when clown mama was shipped back from london.

    one rule two interpretations? that is why, INSIDE is not within 200m? that is why, INDIAN is malay? how to trust?

    we remain curious who paid for the shipping back of clown mama from london. also the medical services during the flight.

    even if abused privilege, cannot so blatant, in broad daylight. since ah kong money is NOT, is NEVER, lee money. ah kong money is citizens’ money.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    pap lies. all of them. from departed evil lky. to wooden. to clown. when top is crooked bottom all not straight. all 82 pap Ljs and pap Cbs lie. PERIOD.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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  • Samuel S:

    Do you think the PMO will answer KJ? In fact none of PAP MPs or Ministers will bother to give a detailed accounts. This government only speaks and appears to be honest but is this true, we Singaporean know the answer!

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  • rukidding:

    Don’t know what to say of this man leh ????….I am as puzzled as anyone when an Indian can suddenly be recognised as a Malay ????

    I am wondering if I was taught wrongly in school that when you practice Muslim religion…means you are a Malay ?

    I am also thinking if my teacher was wrong that a Man is a Man and not a Women over what has been use as an “argument” that ow says that as long as the Community at large says so…then it means it is So?

    Funny indeed…that means as long as a Community at Large says you are a Womnan ( even though you have a penis and dress an act as a Man , no makeups, no lip sticks, not enhanced breast,,,but Manly….you still can OFFICIALLY declare yourself as a WOMEN ( not even a transsexual )??

    That is the “Integrity-ness” of our LEEders ,…..I supposed ?

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  • LifeIsNotFair:

    KJ,you will have to “tan ku ku” waiting for a response.
    We are still waiting for marsiling yew tee By-Elections.
    How many of you oredi forgotten?
    Thats how these rats roll!
    This issue is “not in your interest to know”..”lets move on..”

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  • LIONS:

    KJ,looks like Auditor General Office needs to be AUDITED ?

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  • Nice picture:

    Nice picture! The crew all Chinese.

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  • MarBowling:

    Since Lee Kayu had already set a precedent of using a SIA retrofitted plane to carry his sick wife back from London, can Woody’s Peanut wife accorded the same privileged treatment under the same sickening situation? Understand now and then Woody and Peanut Wife Fly off to see their Quitter daughter and grandchilden. 70% what do you think?

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  • Trust only myself:

    Real talents are outside parliament and liars are inside parliament…..
    Most Singaporeans are stupid and cannot see and think once they receive vouchers and or chicken rice….

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  • That’s the answer!:

    Quote…..
    Mr Ho himself has a thick hide from being “chewed out so many times” by ministers in his 34-year career in the public sector.
    Such disagreements are par for the course, he said. “From time to time, we do have to tell the ministers, basically, this is a dumb idea.”
    Unquote…..
    “Civil service must never be politicised, says former chief”…. (Mr Peter Ho)
    The Straits Times 7/12/2017 Page A6

    They do come up from time to time with dumb ideas after all.
    What if the idea had gone through and implemented, unchecked?
    Possible?

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  • Don't expect WP to ask:

    The WP elected MPs are so quiet in parliamentary sessions that sometimes you feel that parliament is 100 % PAP! So don’t expect the WP MPs to ask about LHL and HC regarding their trips on private jets!WP did not persue more important issues like the train breakdowns and accountability, retrenchments unemployment issue, cost of living, lapses in govt ministries reported by AGO, the infamous 800K rubbish dump for the Art Gallery,, don’t xpect them to ask anything! Neitizens have to fight for themselves and their fellow citizens through the Internet! And thanks to back up from people like CSJ, KJ, Goh MS Lim Thean , Tan KL and SDP……….

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  • patriot of Temesak:

    RIGHT ON!!! …Ken you are your Father’s Son…Expose the LEEGal Corruption of an Evil FamilEE

    Oh how I wish you are in Parliament to POKE at all the HIDDEN shit in the closet

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  • To 70% Singaporeans:

    Technically, PAP owns everything in Singapore.
    What is to stop the PM from transferring money in GIC or Temasek or GLCs to his or cronies bank account?
    All the checks and balances, ownself check ownself is a farce.
    Look at 38 Oxley saga, Nassim Jade Mansion and 28 Scotts’s preferential and steep discount purchases, GCT’s inside polling station, Ho Bee’s Chua Tian Poh’s purchase of Sentosa Cove land – all these are only the tip of an iceberg, the rest are hush hush, not known to the public, because of OSA, cronism and fears.
    Will a civil servant report a wrong doing, even there is, will it go up to the CPIB or AGC, whose chiefs are appointed by PAP, approved by Indian-turned-Malay PAP-crony President, will CPIB or AGC take up the case, will the Court accept the case?
    The supreme judges are appointed by PAP, and rotated around in other roles. Their last resort judgement to be in line with PAP’s is that the laws or Act are a legislative one determined by Parliament which has been controlled by PAP since independence from the British.
    We do not know how much GIC, Temasek or GLCs have made or lost in their investment, or how much they still have in their bank accounts. They have huge investments in banks and properties in Singapore and overseas.
    Why is PAP in a rush to raise taxes despite the promises by DPM Tharman in GE2015 not to increase GST? The amount of taxes for social services, even any increase, is pittance. PAP says we need to have strong reserve to protect us? Why? Is it because our reserve has dropped to a dangerous level?

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  • omoon:

    Well done again KJ! Very few can write like you do.

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  • Boh Kia See:

    It is something that the Clown Prince takes for granted. Using State funds for private purpose. I hope Jolovan will lodge a police report about this habit of the Clown Prince. Totally shameless and taken as of right.

    As for Ho Jinks, one should ask how many days was she actually at her office, doing the work that she was so handsomely paid for. Why is she galivanting with the Clown Prince when she has a full time job to tend to.

    Apart from the SIA saga of getting Mommy home from London, there is also the Jade Garden issue and the Roy issue. For SIA, it was said that the Lees will pay for the charter–we have yet to get any confirmation of this. As for the other two incidents, funds were said to be given to charity–yet we are not aware of it and it did not seem to have surfaced in any charities annual reports. Charities in Singapore are still short of cash. So where did the purported fines and discounted benefits that was supposed to be given to charity actually gone to?

    There are a lot of things we don’t know and they call it a transparent Government!!.

    When they depart the scene, there should be a thorough accounting for all these actions that people are too frightened to bring up at this time.

    Frankly, I don’t think the PAP will ever depart the scene even when the votes turn against them. Declare vote null and void and continue to rule. Now you see why it is necessary to have the Indian/Malay president in office at that time.

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  • RDB:

    What has happened to his sibling LWL about him as a d**honourable son? She is a blunt instrument and the last we heard she was in Scotland. And her brother & wife were in HK.

    He even demolishes his own siblings with his Ho Jinx wiFee also gave LWL a monkey finger monicker slap in social media. Very respectable is it in her person?

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  • I Know:

    ST Aerospace took a 20-year loan to buy the jet so it shows as an expense on their balance sheet, not an asset. Sneaky, yah? Oppo should buy shares in the company and ask questions at AGM.

    The jet is owned by ST Aerospace but operated by a Australia-registered company with a PO box address. Macham Najib and his 1MDB shenanigans.

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  • The Rot Start From The Top:

    Surprising, ST never touch on this private jet when the PM and wife used this private jet to APEC and ASEAN meeting, Something fishy leh! Can the jet owned by the PM, but registered under Pacific Fight Services? It’s so secretive and I can’t help but suspect that is our money that is used for his private usage

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  • Bapak:

    Since there is no sound no air from AGO on that plane modifications, don’t you think LSW is proven right?

    LIONS:
    KJ,looks like Auditor General Office needs to be AUDITED ?

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    Use of Private Airplane to travel around instead of using the much cheaper commercial flights is another sign of self-entitlement of the PAP & their political elites. When govts & corporations mined their country & companies for riches for themselves, the end is not far. Look at Zimbabwe, Haiti; Enron, Worldcom, Barings Brothers & Lehman Brothers et al.
    Go read my note on how ridiculous is their pay structure for Ministers & Civil Servants.
    http://www.tremeritus.com/2017/12/06/only-stupid-believe-the-loaf-of-bs-from-pap/
    Fixed Pay Component of 16 months guaranteed;& Variable Pay Component ie. Bonus & Performance related amount to 14 to 16 months & that is not including GDP bonus if triggered. Where in the world does Private Sector renumeration compared with PAP’s own system of paying themselves millions & exaggerated levels on performance? When I researched on their pay structure, I almost felt sick & nauseated after reading on how their pay was constructed & determined. It was as if nothing was sufficient for them – their level of greed shown in their pay structure was ridiculous. No wonder they would like to continue their ruse that all (the economy) is hunky dory, when millions of dollars are riding on them to trigger their payouts on GDP.

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  • Same - Same ???:

    Rabble-rouser:
    Use of Private Airplane to travel around instead of using the much cheaper commercial flights is another sign of self-entitlement of the PAP & their political elites.

    -
    Years ago, I heard LKY spoke about – Not having a private jet for SG leaders !
    A conscious act so that SG leaders avoid – “self-entitlement”.
    -
    Well, the regional leaders who have private jets most welcomed this piece of news.
    “Welcome, you are just like Us!!!
    -
    To the 70% – look how far down SG leeders have dropped !!! :(

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  • Son unLike Father ???:

    How times had changed !
    -
    LKY made a conscious effort to remind SG leaders – Not to have private jet.
    The son now uses one.
    He keeps it quiet.
    -
    When LKY made his friend as Chief Justice, there were murmurs.
    LKY took the criticism head-on.
    He explained his reasons at the Parliament !
    -
    When the son made his personal lawyer as Attorney General, there were murmurs.
    The son kept quiet.
    -
    to 70% – Wake Up !
    -
    the son is unLike the father !!! :(

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  • AristoCAT vs d Peasant - Same?:

    the AristoCATs use private jets,
    even when years ago, LKY made a conscious effort for SG leaders – Not to have private jets !
    -
    We, the Peasants, have access to private jets???
    -
    Sure !

    -
    Every two years – just Visit the static display of private jets at the SG Airshow 2018 !!! :(

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  • AristoCAT vs Peasant - Same?:

    the AristoCATs now use private jets,
    even when years ago, LKY made a conscious effort for SG leaders – Not to have private jets !
    -
    We, the Peasants, have access to private jets???
    -
    Sure !

    -
    Every two years – just Visit the static display of private jets at the SG Airshow 2018 !!! :(

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  • KHAWk Peh Ling:

    The KIA SI’s are too timid to voice up and question.

    This is why they accept everything till their last day .

    This is a well proven fact.

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  • Why Leh?:

    How come the private jet is registered in Australia and not Singapore? Look at the tail number in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mR-jJUJ2hIk&t=24s

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  • Why Leh?:

    How come the private jet is registered in Australia and not Singapore? See the tail number in video of Pinky arriving at Clark Airport.

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  • LHL deserves Air Force 1:

    It is time to reward LHL with our version of Air Force One. The jet is required for him and his kakis to travel around without depending on SIA which is used by the unwashed masses.

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  • Bobo:

    Should ask the 70% loyal PAP supporters. They allowed ownself check ownself and no human rights in this country.

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