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Uniquely Singapore

Posted by theonlinecitizen on April 7, 2008

Uniquely Singapore

Public Accountability

Leong Sze Hian

In all the Parliamentary Debates, Singaporeans have never been told what the amount of our reserves is, by way of the Government Investment Corporation (GIC) and Temasek’s assets.

In the ChannelNewsAsia report,

“Young NTUC members ask wide range of questions at forum” (15 March 2008), it states that :

“The audience also got the answer to perhaps one of the biggest money question of them all.

Mrs Lim (Hwee Hua, Minister of State for Finance) said: “You asked how much reserves we have. I’m sorry – I am not able to give you that answer. There are many, many people who are interested in how much we have. It has nothing to do with not wanting Singaporeans to know. It’s only if we go public with you, a lot of other people will know.”

What harm can there be to disclose this information to Singaporeans? Wouldn’t it cause greater harm to Singapore’s reputation and standing by not disclosing?

Perhaps one possible reason I can think of may be that if we know the total assets, then it may have to continue to be disclosed every year. Then, we may be able to track the ups and downs of our investments and assets.

Are Budget surpluses and CPF added to the funds of GIC or Temasek? This is perhaps reminiscent of our late President Ong teng Cheong’s remarks, that when he asked for a listing of the nation’s assets, he was told it would take 54 man-years.

The Bloomberg News report (Mar 21),“Temasek Says It’s Not Affected by Paulson Pact on Wealth Funds”, states that “An agreement by government-run funds of Abu Dhabi and Singapore to increase transparency won’t shed more light on Temasek Holdings Pte’s $118 billion portfolio, because the company said it already meets disclosure guidelines.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said recently that funds, including the Government of Singapore Investment Corp, agreed to adopt rules for greater disclosure. Temasek, owned by Singapore’s finance ministry, said it already provides more information than government-run funds.

Temasek is not a sovereign wealth fund,” spokesman Mark Lee said by telephone today…. Temasek has to sell assets to raise cash for new investments and doesn’t require the government to give approvals.”

Temasek discloses a lot more than GIC and always has a strong sense of corporate governance,” Lee said. Paulson’s statement will not have any impact,” he said.

The company seeks approval from a board consisting of independent directors and a representative from the Ministry of Finance, its only shareholder, Lee said.

Temasek in 2006 headed an investor group that bought almost all of the stock in a Thai telecommunications company from the family of then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, triggering a chain of events that led to the Thai premier’s ouster in a coup.

The company also faces opposition in neighboring Indonesia, where the antitrust regulator has accused it of using stakes in the nation’s two biggest mobile-phone companies to fix prices.

Temasek is ultimately controlled by the government and it is not a private organization,” said Cohen of Action Economics. Temasek has many similarities to GIC.” (Bloomberg)

So, “Temasek is not a sovereign wealth fund”? A sovereign wealth fund is accountable to the citizens of it’s country – is it or isn’t it?

Why is it that there is so much information in Singapore that is secret?

I attended the Human Rights and Trade programme conducted by UNSW in March/April 2008, and stumbled upon another secret.

Secret settlement – If all money recovered, why so secret?

I refer to the editorial “Singapore’s great civil servants” (BT, Dec 12), the articles “UNSW agrees to repay $32.3m” (ST, Dec 12), “Australian varsity agrees to settlement” (BT, Dec 12), and media reports about the settlement.

The EDB would not reveal the total amount or the repayment period. An EDB spokesman said, “We are bound by the terms of the agreement which are confidential”.

As it involves about $32 million of loans and grants, which are taxpayers’ money, shouldn’t there be more disclosure and transparency, since the question had been raised in Parliament ?

Since it has been reported that the media “understands that UNSW has agreed to repay the full $32.3 million worth of grants and loans”, why does EDB still maintain that “the terms of the agreement are confidential” ?

Isn’t EDB contradicting itself by saying that it would not reveal the total amount or the repayment period, but yet the media “understands that UNSW has agreed to repay the full $32.3 million worth of grants and loans” ?

As UNSW officials also declined to comment, how did the media obtain its understanding that UNSW has agreed to repay the full $32.3 million ?

What about the $30 million to remove steel and concrete pilings already driven into the university campus site, which earlier media reports had said that the university would have to pay ?

In line with the Government Investment Corporation’s (GIC) statement on 10 December, 2008, in conjunction with its $14 billion stake in UBS, that going forward, it would set an example for others to follow, in providing more disclosure and transparency, government agencies should also do the same.

Are not government agencies accountable to Parliament and Singaporeans, instead of saying that the terms of any agreements are confidential ?

Surely, the least that Singaporeans can expect of our world class civil service, is to be told how many cents out of every dollar in total, will be recovered, and how long it will take!

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44 Responses to “Uniquely Singapore”

  1. Dr Syed Alwi said

    What is the point of having an Elected President who is supposed to guard our reserves BUT is not even allowed to know how much and what our reserves are ?

    The way I see it – the EP must be given more teeth in order to perform his duties. Also we need a multi-party system as a safeguard. I do not believe that the PAP will forever remain clean and pure. Especially after the Lees are gone.

    There MUST be a check and balance !

  2. […] Discourse – The Online Citizen: Public Accountability – The Lionheart: Spirals and Mirrors: The Birth and Growth of Extremist Terror – Singapore Patriot: […]

  3. Complacent Singaporean said

    Hiyah, never mind lah. Why want to know so much for what?

    We are supposed to be complacent Singaporeans, right?
    No need check and balance or accountability lah.

    Let them carry on keeping the secrets in the cupboard and wait
    one day all the skeletons will be too full for that cupboard to
    contain and the cupboard will just burst open mah.

    From:
    One Complacent Singaporean.

  4. Dead said

    Given the setup and the rhetoric put forward on GIC and Temasek, it leaves a question whether the people running it will step down should the opposition win a majority. I do not suppose there is a requirement that you must be elected to control or run GIC or Temasek. Can anyone enlighten? Given the refusal to disclose our reserves and lack of transparency one has to wonder about the real situation behind the closed doors which is effectly controled by a select few with close connections

  5. Gary Teoh said

    looks like something fishy going on ,they can’t disclose the reserves.may be our reserves already dry up.No body knows, EP also got no power,if like this, come EP election, i will just draw a tortoise head on the ballot box.Ong Teng Cheong dared to question them,but GCT got no balls to answer.

  6. confused said

    And I quote:

    “It has nothing to do with not wanting Singaporeans to know. It’s only if we go public with you, a lot of other people will know.”

    Who will know? Malaysia? Will they invade us if they found out about our reserves? No!

    Al-Qaeda? No!

    The US treasury? No!

    It is Singaporeans! Logically the only group of people they would want to hide this data from is Singaporeans and Singaporeans only. Because then, they would have to explain why they are so stingy on other policies such as health-care…

  7. sgcynic said

    Taken to the logical conclusion, Singaporeans don’t need to know anything. Then what?
    ‘Anyone who believes nothing can or will go wrong in Singapore is living in a make-believe world.’ Trust in the government to take care of things. You don’t know because you don’t need to know? It is already decided that it is in the country’s (government’s?) interest that you don’t know? Damn you because you were complacent and you did not play your part!

  8. Guano said

    Hi,

    I think there is a typo in the year in the paragraph that follows. I think it should be 2007 instead of 2008?

    In line with the Government Investment Corporation’s (GIC) statement on 10 December, 2008, in conjunction with its $14 billion stake in UBS, that going forward, it would set an example for others to follow, in providing more disclosure and transparency, government agencies should also do the same.

    Cheers and thanks for the great site! 🙂

  9. Weijia said

    my understanding of econs is shaky, but it seems like the confidence that investors have in our currency is based, at least in part, on the robust reserves that we have; the country can guarantee the value of our dollar.

    however, seeing as how no one actually knows how much there is in the reserves… perhaps such confidence is misplaced? maybe like Gary (Teoh) says, our reserves have already dried up and we’re just keeping it quiet. or our reserves are much smaller than they would have us believe.

  10. Alan Wong said

    Isn’t that a dangerous sign that something is wrong with this Gahmen ? I see it as sheer arrogance on the part of the PAP leaders.

    How arrogant for them to tell us CITIZENS that WE, the very people who have voted them into Government, need not know the truth about our own reserves ?

    Has their heads, and for that matter LKY & LHL’s heads, grown very much bigger than the hats that they are wearing ?

    Come election time, I do hope that their headaches will be much much bigger if they continue with this kind of sheer arrogance!

  11. gleechoo said

    How many countries in the world reveal the monies in the national reserve?

  12. Gary Teoh said

    I suspect,all our reserves already dry up losing $$ in investments til they dare not publish.Why our cpf money can’t be withdrawn earlier, and more and more this minimum sum to prevent you ppl from drawing money at one go.if all ppl withdraw at one go, the reserves will dry up.

  13. Let me tell you in my blog how much reserves we actually have…

    http://elfredinario.wordpress.com/

    (Curiousity kills the cats…)

  14. DA said

    How many countries in the world reveal the monies in the national reserve?

    +

    Maybe it has to be secret for a reason. For example, if a speculative currency attack occurs (ie asian financial crisis), the best way to defend against it is by digging into our reserves. As such, if speculator know exactly how much is there, they can calculate and plan the best time to strike and how much is needed to properly attack our currency. In this case, then, it would be better to keep it secret and keep them guessing. This example may be a bit farfetched, but is just an example of why we may suffer from having our reserves being known to everyone.

    +

    Look at it this way. If they reveal, if it’s smaller than expected, people will blame gov GIC and Temasek Holdings for wasting our money on bad investments. If it’s more than expected, people will blame the gov for keeping so much in reserve and not spending more on welfare. Either way they lose.

    +

    TH is privatised for a reason – so that it has the freedom to carry out it’s investments as it likes (to earn as much as possible). If it were restricted, or every move of it were to be made accountable to the Singaporean population, it would never get anywhere. For example, sometimes you have to hold an asset which seems to fall in value until it starts doing better again, so you can eventually earn a profit; if every move were made accountable, such an investment would not be possible.

  15. Daniel said

    DA ,
    Ask yourself this question. Has it been that government is honest and doesn’t take Singaporean as moron, will we be asking government to be transparent and accountable ? Instead of learning from mistake, all they do best is to continue to blunder the nation’s reserve like nobody’s business (ShinCorpse, NSW, etc) and then continue to keep silent on those issue due to their so-called security act.
    Moreover, those arrogant , idiotic remarks and actions really tell us about the Make-believe world created by the Lee family and coffers.

    Are you confident of these expensive leadership running the country shrouding in secrecy and once a while let a cat out of a bag ?

    Has it been honest, competent and credible people like President Ong running the country and perform the necessary check and balance rather by all the YES-terrified-MAN, we wouldn’t be bothered to question the order but what we have now is a very morally corrupted leadership that shamefully has to take vow to assure the citizen. Isn’t this a joke ? Even they vow to take care of Singapore but failed, nothing will happen to them because PAP need to project a aura and image of success to continue their arrogancy and elitism.

    So what we have is a lazy-bum president, clown prince, circus parliament, superficial law, sheer arrogant and senile MM, good for nothing SM, and their army of expensive clowns running the country that clueless of what happen to the citizen of Singapore.

    So what point are people telling us about investor speculation where speculator already make believe that Singapore is extremely wealthy make by MM ? Unless, the government has already blunder those wealth themselves, there is really nothing to hide. Those act of secrecy say very much about protectionism of complacency and ineptness in the government.

  16. Daniel,

    Did you find the figures of the reserves in my blog?

    If not, you can visit again, and again, and again. If you wanna understand how the gahmen works, I honestly tell you that’s where the answer lies.

    It’s nor arrogant nor idiotic nor moronic…

    http://elfredinario.wordpress.com/

  17. Daniel said

    elfred,
    I did read your blog and seems interesting though. You might have read and observe a lot and analyze a lot of things. Have we been so educated and so analytical that we no longer able to distinguish strongly what is right or wrong because somehow we can always find reasons to justify wrong doings ? Are our own judgement been impaired by the media, conformist and society as a whole ? Just because it is the ways thing are done in the past does not mean it is still applicable in the present and the future. What is considered a asset in the past can be a liability in the future.

    Hence I could not agree with what you have said in your blog most of the time. If there is a time to stand up for what you think is right or wrong, then take one side. Don’t be ambiguous in standing side and don’t bring too much ‘BUT’ because it will lead nowhere.

    Remember when MP Low ask about whether CPF is used for investment, isn’t minister say no and then say things aren’t so simple. So what’s the answer from the minister ? Yes or No. That is what the citizen want to know. Simple as that. Nothing rocket science.

    So if you think you are marginalized and perturb by those action and remarks by the gahmen, just say assertively. Don’t over-analyze thing because that things are actually very simple are made complicated by over-analysis.

    Trust your own human instinct rather than rationality to differentiate between right or wrong. Use more EQ rather than IQ. In Singapore, these are lacking as a result of PAP’s conditioning.

    If you see someone who used to be wise and intelligent now act and behave stupidly that jeopardise the lifelihood of those around him, do you not condone the action or rather just assure yourself that this someone has actually become wiser and smarter ?

    Don’t even try to comprehend the gahmen’s action as though they did it for good of citizen. This is Singapore Incorporated whose main aim is to generate profit. Investing in unnecessary infrastructure and creating so much useless hubs are nothing but marketing scheme just like in business company do to attract customers and exude a positive image. At the end of day, it is the substance not image that count. Singapore becomes a earthquake research hub, Cancer research hub etc ? How lame is that when these are announced after generating the excessive surplus. Pathetic citizen.

    If you ever are Taiwanese, I’m sure that you are just a bystander that neither support President Chen Shui-bian nor President Ma because you can’t decide which side to take (even though common sense will tell us to support President Ma), and forever analyze the complexity of those people to no end.

  18. James said

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sn.html

    Try this site for the estimated reserves of singapore

  19. Gary Teoh said

    President scare of Lee KY. dare not question our reserves, not like Ong Teng Cheong.When Ong passed away, there was no state funeral. Seem like the government don’t like him.

  20. Daniel,

    Hoho~ Guess I do have a reader from TOC after all. Welcome welcome. if you guys and gals have any boos boos or yahs yahs about what I wrote, feel free to point out at the respective postings’ comment area.

    I basically understand what ya are pointing at. But that’s the beauty of a neutral moderate ,a fence sitter, an observer… and in Singapore, an idle bo-chap.

    U c, for someone who dared to make a crude book, to present his version of thinking and in chinese: 献丑 to the well known father of Singapore since the readers of crude work might be just laughing, plus being a vocal since youth… My vigor, my push, my charging should be at least on par with you or Disgusted, or Fever Guy.

    Have anyone seen me challenging anyone online? Maybe, once in a blue blue moon.

    The reserves, first of all, is a tactical card in this game of economic play. It is unlikely that MM Lee will happily show his card when he plays UNO with you. There is also a political history on this. But it is not important.

    There is another version of why MM is unhappy with Mr Ong TC. That part shall not be told by myself. I only dealt with public resources.

    Daniel, have you ever wonder tat all of us are educated. And all of us knows that if we have 1,2,3 and we have add them up, the ans is conventionally 6. And we know what is right.

    I had this little discussion recently at YPforum with Robertteh, he said about the same thing that educated people should be trusted to know right and wrong. You may find that a nice read.

    But the point is, as I said b4, being a neutral is the toughest political stance among mortals. Only the best of the best minds can be neutral. Because being neutral doesn’t mean 1+2+3 must equal to 6.

    Forget about the gahmen, even if I were to be the MM, the NTUC folks will also not get an answer from me. An honest gahmen is not one who run around the streets naked.

    If the gahmen has the EQ of Malaysia or China gahmen in an Asian scenario, TOC won’t be around. I would have being nabbed by ISA for being so vocal. I am a well known big mouth, btw. When I see something wrong, there is a high chance the minister got my ‘feedback’, the PMO got my ‘views’… But mostly it’s done without being open about every single issue brought up.

    Pompous I may have appeared in forum, the real me is actually not so ‘active’. Hahahahahaha…

    Just want to let you know, when we discuss or ponder over national issues, it’s not possible to just see from our side of things. Which is why I m kinda unpleased with NTUC forum. You should assume the gahmen is a race of its own, and you have to think of their views as well. It’s not trying to justify for their wrong doings.

    It’s like when you cross a road, you look left and you look right, then you make a dash… and even if you are banged into… you still can crawl to the other side.

    If you ever noticed, Elfred is well known for being rather critical about the gahmen as well… … You can ask my minister, ask the MM if you got chance if I am a yes-man writing in nice nice things to sayang and bootlick leaders.

    So Fever Guy and the rest who accused me of being pro-PAP or anti-dissidents is pure nosense.

    There are many problems I experienced; including the high cost, the job situation, my seeking of gahmen aid to venture overseas or the infamous Elfred’s evacuation, the injustice I experienced in society and such…

    I always believe that being a neutral politically will be better in communicating with the gahmen. Of cos… the gahmen is made up of various leaders and their various… people. But if I start to take sides, start a Ti Lik kinda move towards street fighting… My whining will be perceived as an attack for the sake of attacking. So 1+2+3 is not always 6.

    I trust my human instinct. I sense issues as well. But I have to view issues from a broader perspective down. There is a time for everything.

    I literally encounter tons of rubbish on a daily basis, but you can’t expect me to go parliament house, stand there and scold everyday. Hahahahahaha…

    Assuming you have good judgements on gahmen’s deeds, you must also have good judgement to what to do…

    I can tell you, sometimes, the best front is to be just stupid. In real life, when I ever talk current affairs, I behave like a fool. Hahahaha… Unless the partner shown great personality and sincerity as a worthy soul, you cannot be serious.

    I am a very analytical person; actually, I am someone who from young will cut an apple to very very tiny pieces just to ‘see’ the most inner part of things. I can take 3hrs to decide which is the better pen for my money till the shopkeeper got fed up.

    If I just go with my momentary will and fancy… it’s only for fun, not on political decisions. That’s about me.

    PAP… PAP is the incumbent. The game for an incumbent and for the opposition, and for ikan bilis like us or for those rich or snobbish… are not the same. You read my blog, you might not agree, but you should know… that I have to remain in a parameter. Just becos PAP environment may not be conducive to an element like myself doesn’t mean a fish can just jump out of the tank.

    This lame citizen called Elfred has done something as well. And it’s not as if it’s easy without risks.

    If I were a Taiwanese… Yes, I would be a bystander trying to evacuate unless Mark Ma comes after me to join him handle China. Why?

    You read the blog you’d know why. Taiwan’s political reality is not what Singapore can handle. China’s political agenda on Taiwan will never be replaced by economics.

    You see USA’s huge trade figures with China, but has China even weaken a step on its political aspect with USA? No.

    So whether I choose Mark or Ah Bian is pointless. The choice should be looking to get out n help Taiwan lessen 1 casualty: Me.

    Assuming Mark is good and is meant for a glorious Taiwan era, if I choose Ah Bian, he’d still come enlist our service.

    This is how a political brain functions.

    There’d be an end, no doubt. Everything a party does, it sets off a trigger, going into a path of chain events, making the party with an offer choice and go into the same path… and that’s how you can see the future, and time it approximately. Or how do you think back 20years, I was already talking cock about now… … And how did I calculate the earliest chance of WP taking GRC way way before the last election?

    Daniel, I applaude you people for being concerned citizens and bloggers. But please allow me to hold a different stance… and a different view.

    In Chinese: 知人善用,知己知彼. This is very practical. There are many things the gahmen and the rich who are playing games won’t tell you. So you must have a habit to think. Then when you have a judgement, Elfred will look seriously at your judgement.

    Don’t be ambiguous in standing side and don’t bring too much ‘BUT’ because it will lead nowhere.

    There will always be a ‘But’ before the fence is broken, or when the time comes for no need of ‘But’.

    Many people are interested in the reserves… So what you know? So what you don’t know? The numbers jump everyday… So what then? Why are we so interested in to know something, spending so much energy to find out something you know MM will never tell?

    So what he tells, will you believe? Hahahahahaha… …

    Singaporeans must learn how to think.

    Wouldn’t it cause greater harm to Singapore’s reputation and standing by not disclosing?

    Our reputation now comes of how many billions they see we invest, not how many billions we don’t want to invest. In that case, we better don’t let them see. Hahahahahaha…

    Sorry for the typo$~

    http://elfredinario.wordpress.com/

  21. noone said

    http://www.straitstimes.com/ST%2BForum/Story/STIStory_225194.html

  22. Working backwards, Singaporeans are co-owners of Manchester City Football Club. Our$$$->Temasek->Shincorp->Thaksin->MCFC. Aiyah, you know what I mean 😉 Last heard, Thaksin is arranging for them to play here during the ’08 EPL break. Now isn’t that lovely.

    He who knows and knows not that he knows is asleep; wake him.
    He who knows and knows that he knows is a genius; follow him.
    He who knows not and knows that he knows not is ignorant; teach him.
    He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool; Avoid him.

    He who knows not and is constantly told that he must know not is a Singaporean! Just don’t know what the hell to do with him.

    Help! I’m bloody lost.

    With utmost respect, so was my favourite and most hardworking president, Mr Ong Teng Cheong!

    Where’s the money, how much is the money and whose money is it anyway?

    God bless Singapore!

  23. DA said

    Daniel: The point I’m making is simply that we can’t just assume every move by the government to be some greed-driven heartless act. I have qualms with many of the government’s policies, but nonetheless, some of them which sound unpalatable at first are actually very reasonable on further thought. What you’re essentially saying is “follow your instincts and don’t think so much”. Is that really how we should be judging our government? Merely by our first impulses rather than rational thought and consideration of alternative policy options? It would be best to consider both sides of the issue before coming to a conclusion, rather than jumping at your first thought, or worse, assuming outright that every action taken by the government is against the people, as you seem to imply in your statement: “Don’t even try to comprehend the gahmen’s action as though they did it for good of citizen. This is Singapore Incorporated whose main aim is to generate profit. Investing in unnecessary infrastructure and creating so much useless hubs are nothing but marketing scheme just like in business company do to attract customers and exude a positive image.”

    BTW, DA means devil’s advocate, to balance out the overtly and increasingly unreasonable attitudes or judgments of government policies on this blog. Some criticisms of government policies on this blog are fair, but others tend very close to just slamming every move taken by the government and preaching completely unrealistic alternatives. For example, I caught a comment before saying that since inflation is on the rise, the government should just give the people more money; this “solution” was proposed without considering its further implication.

  24. Why Not? said

    Daniel,

    DA and Elfred are very pro-pap and no point discussing with them. They don accept your thoughts and only want to sell their stale veg to you. We don need businessman to be ministers, what we need are people with a human touch. Businessman are never good people leaders and they are profit oriented to the core. Not only that they are lousy business leaders because they cant even honestly tell us our reserves. It is always second guessing. To sum it up, we are just numbers to the government and for them to compute everyday.

    Track your own MP/minister for what they have done for you! Gauge their performance to that of a private sector. If they cant make it throw them out the next election.

  25. What I have learnt said

    Frankly I am glad all this has happened and it has open my eyes to how the poor and the ignorant will eventually fade.

    the internet is God sent to Singaporeans as they now have the real views of Singaporeans.

    And many now know they are not alone in their silent thoughts.

    This is my prediction, the ruling party will suffer a major blow in the next elections.

    I am sure the people have had enough of drama

  26. Fever Guy said

    WHAT I HAVE LEARNT,

    I totally agreed with you that internet is the new media and the future of information. I have stop buying ST for about 5 years. My mind is more clear minded than ever before. Occasionally i do buy saturday papers to read but only for the recruitment and classified and will also read some of the local news. That is why i read the MM ‘s comment on last saturday ST news and was hugely disappointed. Guess what? I can sense the propaganda machine better than ever now. That points to whether our local news are worthy to read at all? Its your own judgement. Why spend time reading crap, read the online IHT, FT and CNN? Even the TOC is more news worthy.

  27. Fever Guy said

    Anyway, all the TV channels are showing Philipines having rice problem and are in very bad situation. My maid from poor family says her family members didn’t say anything. I believe the internet news channel like CNN also never mention about philipines ‘s rice problem. Why we keep such news rolling all week and never stop? What’s the motive? Is it to hint us Singaporean we are lucky to have expensive rice to eat?

  28. patriot said

    Hi;
    a country with only 4.5 million people need not worry about rice at all. Tell this to everybody beside You.

    Trying to frighten us, the people(Singaporeans). You are kidding Sir!

    There will be stock(rice) surplus soon(within months).

    patriot.

  29. Sick of All This Shit said

    For the gullible who still think the world of our politicians , who pay themselves 6 times the pay of the US president , read this report from Reutershttp://www.reuters.com/article/HedgeFundsandPrivateEquity08/idUSL0986422020080409
    This analyst thinks Citigroup shares may fall to US$10 (1/3 the moving average price)– and how much did our highly paid , supremely intelligent managers of our Nation’s reserves pay for Citigroup shares ? Really crap!

  30. Daniel said

    In the end, what is the conclusion ?
    Should the government let the citizen know of how much the reserve of Singapore and how it is spent ? Period. Either YES or NO. Do we need a summary judgement by the PAP judge to rule that we don’t need to know anything beyond what we need to know ?

    Yes, we need to hear our reserve straight from our government not from outsider like CIA. Is that too much to ask ? Tell me which world class government run the country as a business entity and the one party that doesn’t subject to public scrutiny over the use of reserve that result in heavy loss ? How much hiccups they need to cover up before the public cannot tahan and revolt ? Why are we to pay back over someone’s reckless and mindless mistake that we don’t even know of ?

    DA, not that most people are anti-PAP, but to have a top of line like LKY, to say such a thing and then continue to rule the party doesn’t give us confidence and assurance. Though I believe that there still good soul exists in the government but are these good souls been obstracised if they try to do right thing rather to do thing right (Just follow fear culture). Read the blog of MP Siew that I think is worthy of respect as he dare to question the establishment over policy that concern citizen of Singapore. At least, I glad that someone like MP Siew willing to do the unpopular work in the government but then is he been heard enough or been step over like a ant by elephant ?

    http://siewkumhong.blogspot.com
    MP Siew has set the precedent of how MP behave, one that spoke for the people and not pleasing his boss just to gain acceptance. I even glad that he use public Youtube video to mean business not superficial act.

    Why not ask the question why people in blogosphere tend to dislike the PAP ? Do we dislike it just to make us feel good ?

    Fever Guy, that is exactly why I seldom read newspaper and doesn’t trust the gahmen even if they did thing in good intention. Highlighting other problems of other countries without resolving our own plight show how much credibility our newspaper is.
    Of course, from economic point of view, we know very well that focusing on other country’s issue help in Singapore’s future because it give the perception that Singapore has no problem and thus make investor feel that Singapore’s stability is much worthy of investment over other countries. But doing too much of nation-building propaganda only seek to conceal actual problems in the society and end up people been disgust of mainstream media. (Isn’t there a MP that say there is no beggar in Singapore ?) Isn’t the GDP quoted in the newspaper been used as a excuse for minister’s payrise (Since they pegged to GDP ?) Isn’t inflating GDP part of nation building ? Ask the minister for answer if they even bother to answer.

    DA,
    “What you’re essentially saying is “follow your instincts and don’t think so much”. Is that really how we should be judging our government?”

    The question is isn’t this the way the government judge the citizen of Singapore ? Just a recent case of LKY, aka the voice of PAP party (Where is the rest of the voice ? LHL, president, SM ? Mute ? Censor ?) say Singaporean is complacent, minister that say we are immature for multi-party, CPF etc…
    Who are they to judge the citizen then ? If they don’t want to be judged then they should do the same otherwise be prepared to taste their own medicine.

  31. Daniel,

    When one day you discover that UNO can be played with cards opened to players’ knowledge, maybe the gahmen will tell you the truth of d reserves.

    To the rest who call me what pro-PAP,

    It’s totally unfair to me.

    —————————

    A few years ago, there was this meet of Asian leaders.

    You know lah, their states are plagued by common corruptions and…

    There was this girl… She stood up and questioned an economy-related thing emphasizing corruption.

    Now ladies and gentlemen… What do you expect the asian leaders to say? Of cos they’d give you diplomatic answers. Nothing else.

    And it created an opportunity cost since time is wasted on an answer which will never be meaningful.

    The girl is not ‘wrong’, but obviously not so right either.

    Point is… If you know people won’t display their cards playing UNO, why go and ask the players how many Wilds or Draw 4s they got?

    http://elfredinario.wordpress.com/

  32. Dear elfredinario,

    Please do not end all your postings with a url link to your blog. You can use the hyperlink feature when posting. (Your nick will be the link.)

    Thanks.

    Regards.

  33. WeLoveSg said

    We are critical of the PAP Government because we love Singapore. We cannot stand their arrogant and ‘know all’ attitude of an dictator treating us as 2nd class citizen to their elites and disrespect us as fool and etc.

    We are all law abiding citizen and we are kiasi/su to take to the street but WE WILL use our vote to protest even if it ended with a ‘freak’ result. That is how much I despise most the arrogant elitist PAP mps.

    Internet provides the way out for Singapore to voice their disapproval since MSM is under PAP gov control.

    We don’t need elfred and his likes to come and pour oil over our fire. We know and will support a good leader and a good pro-Singaporean policies from a dictator and self fulfilling policies. We refuse to be treated a dump digit in their scheme.

  34. Dear TOC,

    No problem. It’s just my signature. Ain’t a big issue.

    Have a good break.

    May I suggest TOC goes into more critical daily issues such as costs and those things since many bloggers look like taking cue on the topics at TOC to blog. That may help.

    Rgds.
    Elfred.

  35. WeloveSg,

    做人要有点人味儿。You claim the gahmen is ‘know all’, yet you claim ‘Elfred and the likes’.

    You claim the gahmen is ‘arrogant’, look at you. What is so different between what you despise and you are doing?

    Yeah yeah, you have your votes, and you can just do whatever you want.

    You say the gahmen is dictator, who are you to ‘ban’ Elfred and his likes or smear him n his likes like that?

    You don’t look very liberal nor understanding. Must Elfred say something you like so that I may not add fire to oil?

    Not that I have never come across such mindsets before… Chill off, baby~

    Rgds.
    Elfred.

  36. Concerned said

    Yes, chill off baby. Elfred is trying very hard to gain back some favour that he has lost. Give him a chance to prove himself, baby.

    He has been banned at Young PAP as well as Young NTUC. This place is his last option to seek attention. Have pity on him, baby.

    Cheers Elfred, nice to have you around. You provide a good sparring partner. Keep it up.

  37. Elfred said

    Concerned,

    When has ‘Gain favor’ my style for so many years?

    Petty thinking, and you actually claim to be worthy of an online spar partner…?

    Don’t make me laugh.

    NTUC forum and Gem’s forum are about the same to me. Had it not been ‘NTUC’, I would have gone somewhere else. There are just too many forums nowadays. Even for YPforum n Reddie’s mysingaporenews, it’s not hard to discover that I have been relatively ‘absent/slow’ for at least a year.

    Anyway, this sorta petty mentality is not doing you up better. You can’t handle an issue, you just can’t. Doesn’t mean squeezing out the better ones will make you look good.

    Concerned, TOC is not really ‘a last option’ to seek attention. But TOC does draw a lot of traffic to my blog before the search engines start working. Why?

    The way your mind is working is so… weird. Even if YPforum later bans me, it’s that an issue of anyone? What is your problem, kid?

    Rgds.
    Elfred.

  38. What I have learnt said

    Frankly, these are the problems that the people are facing with the current system

    Policies are conceived, delivered and discussed later on , its like having a teenage pregnancy.

    once that is done, we hear stories on how we have to keep up with the times when the situation to being with, was the silly policies that were created.

    In a nutshell, whos the problem created ? and whos the problem solver?

    If they claim to be the brains, then please lead the way with values that will benefit the Singaporean, mostly the poor.

    If the poor have to roam the streets and die sad and lonely. Then I think this is a major failure.

    So at the end of the day, where does all the money go to ? Singaporeans or only the selected few ?

    Please dont tell me to work longer and harder and accept a lower wage when your world class formulated policies fail the stress test.

    Why do you pay yourself long term benefits and the old and jobless get nothing ??

    Ask yourself this, are you here to serve yourself or the people ?

  39. patriot said

    To;
    What I have learnt. Hi; the old and lonely can avoid roaming the street for a living, teach them to live in a prison.

    This suggestion is to help the elderlies to entitle themselves returns from the mistakes of policies that caused them their plights. The Method maybe unconventional, however, it is a very good and effective solution.

    Anyone reading this can tell the old lonely folks to find ways to get into prison and I say this is not a radical but a very practical move.

    patriot.

  40. Prisoner of Conscience said

    In UK and some other EU countries, during the winter periods, many old people deliberately break the law to get into the prisons for the sake of survival instead of being frozen to death sleeping in the streets. This is a very ingenious practice. If the govt does not want to help them, they have to help themselves in whatever ways they can.

    People who are of better brains should help these old and lonely people by teaching them how to outsmart the highly intelligent and cunning self-serving scholarly elitists. Teach them to get free food and lodging from those who shirked their responsibilities.

    That is one practical solutions, not from helicopter view, but from the worm view.

  41. Disgusted said

    I encourage overseas Singaporeans to return to Sg during the next GE and vote for the opposition. I myself am planning to do just that. It is about time incompetent people got removed from power.

  42. […] Discourse – The Online Citizen: Public Accountability – The Lionheart: Spirals and Mirrors: The Birth and Growth of Extremist Terror – Singapore Patriot: […]

  43. Vote wisely said

    You asked how much reserves we have. I’m sorry – I am not able to give you that answer. There are many, many people who are interested in how much we have. It has nothing to do with not wanting Singaporeans to know. It’s only if we go public with you, a lot of other people will know.”

    Would you sacked this person if he/she was in your company ?

    This is a very lame reply and I hope we all see what is going on in this circus. Where clowns run the show

  44. It's about time said

    The real problem lies with the public for allowing the government to just do as they please. We have to swallow the shit that they dish out and nobody can say, argue or comment on their authority. It seems that our elected president is less powerful than the “appointed” ones before.

    Not accountability to Singaporean yet they want to be in power. Who put them there? The voters! Why should they be allowed to keep “secrets” from the people that put them in office.

    So, when the next election comes around, this and other questions, should be put to them. Then vote opposition.

    Not forgetting, why should Wong Kan seng be reelected? ( Just had to throw that in)

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