Dickson Yeo Stripped Of Lee Kuan Yew School Of Public Policy PhD Candidature
It was like something right out of a Hollywood action film — a foreign land, espionage and an individual in the center of everything.
Unfortunately for Singaporean Dickson Yeo, his story wasn’t quite as thrilling. Just 2 days ago on Friday (24 Jul), he pleaded guilty to working for Chinese intelligence in the United States (US).
Besides facing a possible jail term or more, an immediate consequence was the loss of his PhD candidature.
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy revokes PhD candidature
According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) cancelled Yeo’s PhD candidature promptly after the news came out.
Prior to that, he had been a student in the Public Policy programme since 2015. He, however, took a leave of absence in 2019 for undisclosed reasons.
CNA noted that Yeo’s research mainly focused on how China treated small states.
Alleged links to former NUS professor
Former Singapore diplomat Bilahari Kausikan posted on Facebook that Yeo’s PhD supervisor was expelled professor Dr Huang Jing, who had gotten into trouble for similar allegations.
A 2017 report by The Straits Times detailed how Dr Huang allegedly worked with “intelligence organisations and agents” from a particular country and tried to influence the formation of Singapore’s foreign policy towards them.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) subsequently cancelled his Permanent Residency and banned him from entering Singapore.
Dickson Yeo awaiting court sentence
For his offences, Dickson Yeo could face up to 10 years’ imprisonment, reports CNA. He will reappear in the US court on 9 Oct for sentencing.
The prompt cancellation of his candidature is perhaps proof of how increasingly stringent educational institutions are towards offenders.
Whether this stance will be consistent remains uncertain, but we hope they’ll continue to uphold justice accordingly.