'Economist' apologises to Singapore PM


The Economistinternational news magazine has apologised to Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and agreed to pay an amount of money in damages for an article on a government company run by his wife.

It issued a public apology to the newly sworn-in leader and Singapore's modern founder, his 80-year-old father Mr Lee Kuan Yew, for the report on the city-state's investment agency Temasek Holdings, headed by the prime minister's wife, Mrs Ho Ching.

The magazine also said it agreed to pay an unspecified amount in compensation.

The Economistpublished the apology on its website for its August 14th article entitled "Temasek, First Singapore, next the world", which focuses on Temasek's recent aggressive expansion.

In the apology, the Economistsaid its "allegations are false and completely without foundation" and agreed to compensate both Prime Minister Lee and his father for the "distress and embarrassment".

The magazine declined further comment.

Mrs Ho Ching was appointed in May 2002 as executive director of Temasek, which owns stakes in about 40 of the nation's biggest companies, including Singapore Airlines, Singapore Telecommunications and banking giant DBS Group Holdings.

The government has countered concerns about the appointment of Mrs Ho, and other members of the Lee family to state-linked companies, with arguments about a shortage of talent and the need for Singapore to be steered by an experienced elite.