Singapore blacklist 'not to hit defense'

Nov. 21, 2012 at 10:18 AM

NEW DELHI, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Six Singapore defense companies have been blacklisted by India's Defense Ministry in the wake of a 2005 scandal.

The ban followed an inquiry by India's Central Bureau of Investigation into their alleged role in the Ordnance Factory Scam of 2005 and is to last a decade, with the most visible company named being ST Kinetics.

Singaporean Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen downplayed the significance of the ban, stating during his lecture on "Security Cooperation in a Changing Strategic Landscape" that instead, Indian-Singaporean defense ties were actually deepening.

"Actually no, it has not affected ties... Singapore has a working mechanism where even defense companies recognize that they have to work themselves as per international norms and ST Kinetics is well-poised to defend itself," he said in a Press Trust of India report.

When asked as to whether he might raise the ban with India, Ng replied, "I won't be bringing it up with Indian counterparts," adding, "I don't think we need to say anything on their behalf."

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