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Authorities unaware of 'specific nature' of Kenneth Jeyaretnam's medical condition


SINGAPORE: Reform Party leader Kenneth Jeyaretnam, who is under investigation by the police and the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office, did not provide any details about his medical condition before his Facebook post on Saturday (Jul 6).

"We do not know the specific nature of the medical situation and are unable to comment on it," said the police and the POFMA Office jointly said on Wednesday.

"Mr Jeyaretnam did not provide any details to agencies about his condition, prior to what he has publicly stated in his Facebook post."

In his Facebook post on Jul 6, Mr Jeyaretnam said he was in the UK and that he was "in plain sight and not in hiding". He added that he was "seriously ill" with several medical conditions, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and bilateral pulmonary embolism.

DVT is a blood clot in a vein, usually in the leg, and complications can be serious, while bilateral pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood to the lungs.

Mr Jeyaretnam added he had simultaneously contracted pneumonia and while that condition had been cleared, he is "currently unable to fly long haul".

On Jul 4, Mr Jeyaretnam was issued his eighth POFMA order for suggesting in a Jun 15 Facebook post that the government sets artificially high land prices for sale to the Housing and Development Board (HDB), among other false claims.

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) then said the police and POFMA Office are investigating Mr Jeyaretnam - the first time such a probe has been made public.

MOF added agencies have been in communication with Mr Jeyaretnam since April and that he had been invited to assist with investigations.

The ministry also noted Mr Jeyaretnam is currently out of Singapore and that he has "not made himself available to assist in investigations by attending any interviews".

On that, Mr Jeyaretnam said: "At no point did I receive any communication obliging me to attend or ordering me to attend. As reported, these are invitations only at this stage and as not reported, I assisted to the best of my ability given the physical limitations."

He also posted two email screenshots along with his Facebook post. Both screenshots indicated he was "under medical care and treatment in London", leaving him "unable to fly" without going into further detail.

Mr Jeyaretnam added he had made himself "available by email" and had "communicated with the agencies and RSVP'd within the time frame given".

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