See? You don't need to (over)spend $387 million for the YOG (Balakishnan) or blow $150 million on the F1 (Iswaran) to put Singapore on the world map. Balraj Naidu did just that by going to Baltimore for some serious shopping, the ultimate Singapore Sale of the century.
Hogging the headlines of Reuters and other international news agencies is that convicted Naidu conspired to aid his political affiliation of choice, the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள் ). Naidu claimed that he didn't know the USA considers them as a foreign terrorist organization. Naidu faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
In April 2006, Naidu's Indonesian source unwittingly introduced him to an undercover agent in Maryland who purportedly had military weapons for sale. For US$900,000, some 28 tonnes of ammunition and weapons were airlifted to the US territory of Guam. On 29 Sept 2006, Haniffa Bin Osman (Singapore citizen, sentenced 37 months), Haji Subandi (Indonesian citizen, 37 months), Erick Wotulo (retired Indonesian Marine Corps General, 30 months) and Thirunavukarasu Varatharasa (Sri Lanka, 57 months) were arrested and indicted. After serving his jail time, Haniffa Osman was paid US$1,000 to remain in the US to appear as a witness against Naidu. With friends like these, you don't really need enemies. Even Judas was smart enough to ask for 12 pieces of silver.
Founded in 1976, the Tamil Tigers has advocated the violent overthrow of the Sri Lankan government, employing acts of violence, including suicide bombings, against both civilian and military targets. The U.S. Department of State designated the Tamil Tigers as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997. As such, the Tamil Tigers cannot legally raise money or procure operational equipment in the United States.
In Tom Plate's book, Minister Lee Kuan Yew is quoted to remark unfavourably on the present Sri Lankan leaders. Naidu should have known better he does not have same double-O license (for Overpaid Octogenarian) to broadcast his political sentiments. According to AFP reports, Sri Lanka's prime minister told parliament on Tuesday that Tamil rebel leaders based in the United States and Norway are still trying to revive their defeated separatist movement. .
Back home, the local media is simply delirious over Balraj Naidu's other political involvement in Kenneth Jeyaretnam's Reform Party. Nobody gives a damn about the Dr Ongs anymore. And Commissioner of Police Ng Joo Hee won't be losing sleep over the charge that police leaked confidential information to TNP reporter Ms Ng Wan Ching.