Sometimes, one must give a little to get a little, a lesson Singapore is learning the hard way.
Specifically, if the city-state gives in and grants the FBI access to evidence collected in the investigation of US engineer Shane Todd’s death, it will continue receiving generous funding from the US government. Although the Singapore Police Force has agreed to work with the FBI, they released a statement clarifying that they will only divulge information “in accordance with the legal framework of both countries.”
In response to the lack of transparency, Montana Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester proposed an amendment that would block all funding to Singapore’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME) until the FBI had full access to evidence in the case. Singapore’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing how “deeply disappointed” it was in the senators’ actions, which it saw as uncharacteristically divisive considering that the two nations “have had a long, open and cooperative relationship with each other based on mutual respect.” Perhaps the threat of discontinued funding struck a cord. In 2010, the US gave nearly $500,000 in grants to the IME.
The solution to the problem seems somewhat obvious. Singapore can allow the FBI to investigate and resume collection of US funding. This solution, however, only remains an easy one if there is in fact nothing to hide.