Surbana Jurong thanks Liew Mun Leong for service after resignation in wake of Parti Liyani case

SINGAPORE: Surbana Jurong on Friday (Sep 11) thanked former chairman Liew Mun Leong for his service, saying that his “immeasurable contributions” to the company will never be forgotten.

The board of directors said in a media statement that it has accepted Mr Liew’s resignation, following his announcement on Thursday that he is retiring from his roles in business and the private sector. The positions were at Surbana Jurong, Changi Airport Group, Temasek Foundation and Temasek International. 

The announcement follows a recent decision by the High Court to acquit his former maid Parti Liyani of charges of stealing from his family.

READ: Liew Mun Leong retires from CAG, other public service and business roles after court’s decision on Parti Liyani case

“Throughout his tenure, Mr Liew demonstrated the exceptional vision, leadership, courage and passion needed for Surbana Jurong to succeed, grow and serve its clients around the world,” the statement read.

“His immeasurable contributions to the Group will not be forgotten. With deepest gratitude, we thank Mr Liew for his service and wish him the very best in the future.”

Mr Liew joined Surbana Jurong as founding chairman in 2015.

“Under his guidance, Surbana Jurong made a series of transformative acquisitions to forge an integrated technical consultancy services platform with a complete value proposition for the built environment,” the company said.

“Mr Liew encouraged Surbana Jurong’s foray into non-traditional consultancy fields including infrastructure fund management, through which the Group has formed valuable partnerships for project investments in the region.”

It added that Mr Liew “paved the way for Surbana Jurong to expand its global presence”, which led to the company increasing its revenue fivefold, more than half of which is derived from business outside Singapore.

He made “great efforts to strengthen the management bench and develop staff​, putting a strong focus on training and continuous learning and making time to personally interview ​potential senior management candidates”, the company said.

“He will always be remembered for the business and leadership lectures he delivered to staff and the Sunday Emails he invested time to write, a vehicle for sharing his wealth of insights and experience,” Surbana Jurong added.

Surbana Jurong CEO Wong Heang Fine said the company’s board, management and global workforce have the “collective resolve” to continue business as usual.

He said: “Everything we have achieved thus far serves as a solid foundation to advance our work as a technical platform for creating a smart, sustainable and resilient built environment. 

“We remain focused on our clients and supporting them in their plans for a post-COVID future.”

READ: Tan Gee Paw appointed acting chairman of CAG following Liew Mun Leong retirement

READ: Timeline: How former maid Parti Liyani was acquitted of stealing from Changi Airport Group chairman’s family


Mr Liew, the formal employer of Ms Parti, and his family accused her of theft in 2016.

She was convicted of four counts of theft in March 2019 and sentenced to two years and two months’ jail.

Last week, she was acquitted of all theft charges by the High Court, after Justice Chan Seng Onn said the convictions against her were “unsafe” due to the presence of an “improper motive” and that the prosecution had failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

She had filed a complaint to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in 2017 about being illegally deployed to clean the home and office of Mr Liew’s son Karl.

Mr Liew’s wife, Ng Lai Peng, was issued a caution and Mr Karl Liew was issued an advisory by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in 2018.

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After Abe – Who will replace Abe Shinzo after his resignation owing to illness? | Asia

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Japan PM Abe announces resignation over worsening health

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his resignation on Friday, saying his declining health would make it difficult to carry on.

“I decided that I should not stay in the position of prime minister as I am no longer able to perform my duty confidently,” Abe told reporters.

The prime minister, who is a few weeks shy of his 66th birthday, reached the decision following two visits to a Tokyo hospital in quick succession. He said he made up his mind on Monday after the second of those visits.

“I made the decision by myself,” he said, adding that he would stay on as a lawmaker.

Before the late-afternoon news conference, Abe conveyed his intentions to members of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party, according to the LDP’s secretary general for the upper house, Hiroshige Seko. Seko quoted Abe as saying: “I have been suffering from ulcerative colitis again, and there is a risk the illness will deteriorate. Therefore, I have decided to resign.”

Abe’s cabinet will resign en masse as soon as the LDP elects a new president. The party is likely to hold the vote in September.

Word of Abe’s plan to quit sent the Nikkei Stock Average plunging in afternoon trading. The benchmark index dropped over 600 points, or 2.6%, at one point before rebounding to close down 1.4% on the day. The yen strengthened to 106.11 per dollar.

Some had called on Abe to step down as the country faces the dual challenges of preventing the spread of COVID-19 and revitalizing the economy. Although he is Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, he is set to leave office without achieving his key goal — revising the nation’s pacifist constitution.

“I cannot regret enough about leaving office without finishing off the projects I had embarked on, such as signing a peace treaty with Russia or making amendments to the nation’s constitution,” Abe said on Friday, acknowledging that his call for constitutional reform “didn’t gain traction among the public.” He also expressed sorrow over his inability to secure the return of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea.

But at the same time, Abe said his government had created more than 4 million jobs, helped more women and seniors join the workforce, and strengthened Japan’s alliance with the U.S. He also said he was proud of how his active diplomacy led to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

Now, he said, is the right time to hand over responsibility “in order to avoid a political vacuum amid the coronavirus crisis.”

He noted that the coronavirus resurgence that began in July has started to ease and his government has put together a new package of measures to deal with the pandemic ahead of the winter flu season. “We have responded to the crisis as we gained insights about the virus,” he said, stressing Japan’s numbers of deaths and serious cases are relatively low.

Japan has recorded about 65,000 infections with around 1,200 deaths.

Abe, who abruptly ended his first stint as prime minister due to the same battle with colitis in 2007, has led the government since December 2012. But the social and economic toll of the pandemic has made this year particularly challenging.

Abe decided to forego his annual summer vacation at his villa in the Yamanashi prefectural village of Narusawa. The prime minister reportedly complained to aides of fatigue, and members of the media noticed him walking with difficulty.

“My condition turned since the middle of last month, causing my body to be physically quite exhausted,” Abe explained at Friday’s briefing. Echoing what he told LDP members, he said, “Early this month, I was diagnosed with a relapse of ulcerative colitis.”

The LDP has already begun preparing to choose a new party president.

Former LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba is likely to run, along with LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Fumio Kishida. Abe refrained from naming his preference to take the reins, saying, “It’s not something I should comment about.”

Typically, the party would hold a leadership vote among lawmakers and regular members. In the past, the campaign period has usually lasted seven to 12 days. Another option would be to hold an election involving lawmakers from both Diet chambers and representatives of Japan’s 47 prefectures.

The term of Abe’s successor will expire at the end of September 2021, when Abe’s term would have ended.

In the interim, there is a possibility that the government will recommend Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga or Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso to take over the current cabinet.

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Protesters Plan to ‘Save’ USPS; Call for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s Resignation

Several left-leaning organizations, including MoveOn, the Working Families Party, and the NAACP, organized a protest called #SaveThePostOfficeSaturday, which asks Americans to demand that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy resign from his position.

The protest called for Americans to show up at their post offices at 11:00 a.m. local time “to save the post office from Trump and declare that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy must resign.”

The announcement of the nationwide protests came after hundreds of activists protested outside DeJoy’s Greensboro, North Carolina, home on Sunday and gathered outside his apartment in Washington, DC, on Saturday.

DeJoy, who has only been on the job for two months, has already testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee over mail delivery questions as the 2020 election draws closer and mail-in voting becomes more of an issue.

DeJoy also said any “operational changes” to the postal system, including those having to do with mail-in ballots and mailbox removals, will be paused “until after the election is concluded.”

But those on the left are not convinced, saying it will disrupt the mail-in voting process before the 2020 election takes place. Washington, DC, as well as six states, Pennsylvania, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Delaware, and North Carolina, also sued the U.S. Postal Service over the upcoming changes.

The U.S. House will also meet for a rare Saturday session to pass legislation that would reverse recent postal service operations and use $25 billion in taxpayer dollars to support the agency before the November election.

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Mali’s president announces resignation after armed mutiny

BAMAKO, Mali – Mali’s president announced his resignation late Tuesday, just hours after armed soldiers seized him from his home in a dramatic power grab following months of anti-government protests demanding his ouster.

The news of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-government demonstrators and alarm by former colonial ruler France, and other allies and foreign nations.

Speaking on national broadcaster ORTM just before midnight, a distressed Keita, wearing a mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said his resignation — three years before his final term was due to end — was effective immediately. A banner across the bottom of the television screen referred to him as the “outgoing president.”

“I wish no blood to be shed to keep me in power,” Keita said. “I have decided to step down from office.”

He also announced that his government and the National Assembly would be dissolved, certain to further the country’s turmoil amid an eight-year Islamic insurgency and the growing coronavirus pandemic.

Keita, who was democratically elected in 2013 and reelected five years later, was left with few choices after the mutinous soldiers seized weapons from the armoury in the garrison town of Kati and then advanced on the capital of Bamako. They took Prime Minister Boubou Cisse into custody along with the president.

There was no immediate comment Wednesday from the troops, who hailed from the same military barracks where a coup was launched more than eight years ago, allowing the Islamic insurgency to take hold amid a power vacuum.

The political upheaval unfolded months after disputed legislative elections. And it also came as support for Keita tumbled amid criticism of his government’s handling of the insurgency, which has engulfed a country once praised as a model of democracy in the region.

The military has taken a beating over the past year from Islamic State and al-Qaida-linked groups. A wave of particularly deadly attacks in the north in 2019 prompted the government to close its most vulnerable outposts as part of a reorganization aimed at stemming the losses.

Tuesday’s developments were condemned by the African Union, the United States, and the regional bloc known as ECOWAS, which had been trying to mediate Mali’s political crisis. Former colonizer France and the United Nations, which has maintained a peacekeeping mission in Mali since 2013, also expressed alarm ahead of Keita’s speech.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sought “the immediate restoration of constitutional order and rule of law,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

But news of Keita’s detention was met with celebration throughout the capital by anti-government protesters who first took to the streets back in June to demand that the president step down.

“All the Malian people are tired — we have had enough,” one demonstrator said.

The detention was a dramatic change of fortune for Keita, who seven years earlier emerged from a field of more than two dozen candidates to win Mali’s first democratic post-coup election in a landslide with more than 77% of the vote.

Regional mediators from ECOWAS, though, had failed in recent weeks to bridge the impasse between Keita’s government and opposition leaders, creating mounting anxiety about another military-led change of power.

Then on Tuesday, soldiers in Kati took weapons from the armoury at the barracks and detained senior military officers. Anti-government protesters immediately cheered the soldiers’ actions, and some set fire to a building that belongs to Mali’s justice minister in the capital.

Cisse urged the soldiers to put down their arms.

“There is no problem whose solution cannot be found through dialogue,” he said in a statement.

But the wheels already were in motion — armed men began detaining people in Bamako too, including the country’s finance minister, Abdoulaye Daffe.

Keita, who tried to meet protesters’ demands through a series of concessions, has enjoyed broad support from France and other Western allies. He also was believed to have widespread backing among high-ranking military officials, underscoring a divide between army leadership and unpredictable rank-and-file soldiers.

Tuesday marked a repeat of the events leading up to the 2012 coup, which unleashed years of chaos in Mali when the ensuing power vacuum allowed Islamic extremists to seize control of northern towns. Ultimately a French-led military operation ousted the jihadists, but they merely regrouped and expanded their reach during Keita’s presidency into central Mali.

Keita’s political downfall closely mirrors that of his predecessor: Amadou Toumani Toure was forced out of the presidency in 2012 after a series of punishing military defeats. That time, the attacks were carried out by ethnic Tuareg separatist rebels. This time, Mali’s military has sometimes seemed powerless to stop extremists linked to al-Qaida and IS.

Back in 2012, the mutiny erupted at the Kati military camp as rank-and-file soldiers began rioting and then broke into the camp’s armoury. After grabbing weapons, they later headed for the seat of government under the leadership of Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo. Sanogo was later forced to hand over power to a civilian transitional government, which then organized the election Keita won.



Mediators this time around have urged Keita to share power in a unity government. He even said he was open to redoing disputed legislative elections. But those overtures were swiftly rejected by opposition leaders who said they would not stop short of Keita’s ouster.


Larson reported from Dakar, Senegal. Associated Press Writer Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.

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Bill Morneau’s resignation highlights why Canada is in trouble

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Morneau’s resignation came with the usual speculation about how the dollar would react and what might happen to bond yields. These are worries from a time when the finance minister mattered. After Flaherty resigned in 2014, Harper replaced him with Joe Oliver, who had little impact. Morneau was just another front-bench minister.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Global Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne and Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos are being circulated as possible successors. Unless Trudeau loosens the reins, who cares?

This government, with one voice, has been talking to us like we’re all children for five years now. The ministers all sound and act the same. At least Morneau, a little older than most of his counterparts and possessing some real-life experience, stood out as different. Now, traders can be certain that Canada is being run by a hive mind that responds to Trudeau and his tight circle of advisers.

And that’s just one of the reasons Canada is in trouble. The trade wars with the Trump administration exposed our world-beating economy as rather fragile. Business investment evaporated with the price of oil, while a surge in immigration pushed the economy to full employment and buttressed the housing market.

Nothing wrong with the latter. Immigration is one thing the Trudeau government got right. But now the COVID-19 crisis has killed that economic engine, along with so many others. It’s going to take an exceptional policy response to get out of this. And yet we are led by a government that dislikes debate and an opposition whose finance critic retweets an account named “Margaret Thatcher,” the former British prime minister who died in 2013, which is about when most of the world realized that her ideas about how to run an economy were rubbish.

This is the group that will lead the recovery phase of the COVID-19 crisis. It’s unheroic, and Morneau’s resignation guarantees he will be remembered as a mediocre finance minister, but you can see why he gave up on the lot of them.

•Email: | CarmichaelKevin

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Joan Rylah Resignation – Tasmanian Times

Media release – Joan Rylah, Liberal Member for Braddon, 27 July 2020

Announcement of my resignation as a Member for Braddon

This morning I have tendered my resignation to the Governor and advised the Premier of my decision to resign my seat as a Member for Braddon.

My decision follows lengthy consideration, however, now is the right time – time for me to depart at my choosing, and time to enable Felix Ellis to establish his credentials.

I wish to express my deep and heartfelt thanks to my many supporters and to the broader community – it has been an honour to serve the people of Braddon. I would like to congratulate the entire Liberal team, who it has been a pleasure working alongside since 2014, delivering outcomes that have significantly helped our community and taken it from strength to strength.

I’d particularly like to acknowledge Premier, Peter Gutwein, for his outstanding handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially here on the coast. Today I leave with Tasmania ranked number one economy in the country for the first time in more than a decade, and this is testament to both the work achieved by the Liberal team prior to COVID-19 and the strong management of the virus here in our state.

I sincerely thank my staff, the broader Liberal team staff, Liberal party members and my colleagues. I wish them all the very best as they continue their work to rebuild this wonderful state.

Media release – Senator Eric Abetz, Liberal Senator for Tasmania, 27 July 2020

Joan Rylah – An exemplary passionate and caring representative

The Tasmanian Parliament, Braddon and the Liberal party have all lost an outstanding servant with the announced retirement of Joan Rylah MP – Member for Braddon.

Joan’s work ethic and commitment to the people of Braddon was legendary. Her willingness to speak up for the people who earn a living by getting their hands dirty and actually create the jobs and wealth for our community will be missed.

Joan instinctively understood the needs of her electorate. She brought financial expertise and capacity to the Parliament and public policy discussion while having her feet firmly on the ground.

I wish Joan and husband Rod well for the future.

Media release – Madeleine Ogilvie MP, Independent Member for Clark, 27 July 2020


Madeleine Ogilvie MP, Independent Member for Clark today wished Ms Joan Rylah all the best for the future, upon her resignation as the Liberal Member for Braddon.

“I extend my sincerest good wishes to Joan Rylah and thank her for her substantial contribution,” Ms Ogilvie said.

“Joan’s work, particularly during the pandemic, was of the highest calibre and always came from a base of integrity and values. I have always found Joan to be collaborative, thoughtful and considered in her approach both within the Parliament and representing her community.

“I worked closely with Joan on a Parliamentary Inquiry into Palliative Care, and saw her seasoned and intelligent approach in action. She showed leadership, the ability to include all perspectives and to negotiate outcomes. These are fine qualities.

“I look forward to staying in touch with Joan and having more positive engagements over coming years.”

Media release – Peter Gutwein, Premier, 27 July 2020

Extending our sincere gratitude to Joan Rylah for work achieved as Member for Braddon

On behalf of the Tasmanian Government I extend my sincere gratitude to Joan Rylah, Liberal member for Braddon for her outstanding service, following her resignation today.

Ms Rylah is a passionate and dedicated member of the Liberal team and has been a staunch advocate for rural communities and primary industries in Tasmania.

She leaves a strong legacy as one of the four Liberal Braddon members to secure a historic result for the North West in the 2014 election, which delivered Tasmania a majority Liberal Government.

I sincerely thank Ms Rylah for her commitment, her strong voice for the North West community and her representation as the Premier’s Parliamentary Secretary.

It is always disappointing to farewell a member of the team, however, this also provides an opportunity for renewal and the next generation Liberal voice for the North West.

We wish Joan and her family all the very best for the future.

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‘The hospital didn’t help me’. An infectious disease specialist from southern Russia recounts her forced resignation during the coronavirus pandemic

In the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, located in Southern Russia, a number of residents who spoke out about the actual scale of the region’s coronavirus outbreak came under pressure from the authorities. A criminal case was launched against the hosts of the programme “Cherny Kub” (Black Cube), after they revealed the underreporting of coronavirus statistics in Karachay-Cherkess. In the nearby city of Stavropol, a wheelchair-bound woman by the name of Anna Dargan had her computer equipment seized — security officials suspected that she was running an opposition Instagram account called “Politika09.” Meanwhile, Leila Batchayeva, the head infectious disease specialist for Karachay-Cherkessia’s Karachaevsk district, came under twice the pressure. Security officials summoned her for interrogation several times, and she was forced to quit her job after speaking with Meduza and a few other media outlets and bloggers about the coronavirus pandemic. In her own words, Leila Batchayeva tells Meduza about the circumstances surrounding her resignation.

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