Huang Jing, 60, was the director of the Centre on Asia and Globalization and Lee Foundation Professor on US-China Relations at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) of the National University of Singapore. He will be permanently banned from entering Singapore together with his wife, Shirley Yang Xiuping, the Singaporean Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced on its website Friday.
The couple are US citizens, and the decision is the first to be made public in nearly two decades, the Strait Times reported on Friday.
"Huang used his senior position at the LKYSPP to deliberately and covertly advance the agenda of a foreign country at Singapore's expense. He did this in collaboration with foreign intelligence agents," the ministry said.
"This amounts to subversion and foreign interference in Singapore's domestic politics. Huang's continued presence in Singapore, and that of his wife, is therefore undesirable," according to the MHA.
The ministry has not identified the country Huang is working for.
Such a public announcement expelling an academic is rare, as it often only applies to diplomatic personnel, Zhu Lijia, a professor of public management at the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times on Sunday.
It is also ironic, as Singapore is a country that takes much pride in its freedom of speech and open-mindedness, and the country's policy cannot be simply influenced by a professor or his "privileged information," Zhu added.
Perhaps Huang said something which conflicts with Singapore current political weather, Zhu said.
Yang Rui, the host of a talk show on CCTV News, said on his Sina Weibo account on Saturday that "it is not clear if Singapore is suppressing freedom of speech. But Huang's speech must have antagonized the relevant government, leading to his deportation." Yang referred to a Shenzhen TV station talk show program which showed Huang criticizing Singapore for making strategic mistakes between China and the US.
Huang called the act "nonsense," asking "why didn't Singapore identify which foreign country it is referring to," South China Morning Post reported.
This article was written by Deng Xiaoci and originally published in The Global Times.