Singapore said the latest leaked reports by whistleblower Wikileaks implicating the republic’s Foreign Affairs Ministry’s officials should not be taken out of context.
“Any communication must not be taken out of context,” Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo was quoted by local media as saying to reporters who asked him on private comments made by his senior ministry officials on foreign leaders in the region.
One of the reports published by Wikileaks today was on comments by Singapore leaders who believed that Malaysia’s former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had sex with a male aide in an entrapment set by his enemies.
The report contained in a US State Department cable dated November 2008 and given by the whistleblower to Australia’s Fairfax media group detailed intelligence gathered by Australian and Singaporean intelligence on Anwar’s case.
Yeo was also quoted as saying it was best that the confidentiality of diplomatic communication be respected, adding: “There will be more coming out in the future and ‘you said this about me and I said this about you’ and it goes on.
“That is what certain individuals said about others. There could be a diversity of views. As I said, they probably said things about me which I may not agree with.
“But that is fine, that is to be expected. If you want to hear everything which others say behind your back, and take offence at it, you will be a very unhappy person.”
Yeo added that diplomatic relations could not be done “on the basis that there is a camera in the room recording everything”, and that when that happened, “we lose something”.
He also said that sometimes it was in the nature of “cocktail talk” where “people say things in a blunt forthright way, and we should not divorce, even if true, what is said from the context”.