" There's definitely no fear that any of the PAP town councils' sinking funds will be wiped out"- Dr. Teo Ho Pin
"Sir, why don't you just tell us how much you lost instead of beating around the bush"
- Lucky Tan
If Chiam See Tong had invested a single cent of the Potong Pasir sinking fund in minibonds, he would have been called irresponsible and careless The Straits Times would be dispensing lessons on why voting for the opposition is unwise. Luckily, the town councils that lost money in minibonds were all from PAP GRCs[Link] so we are spared these lessons and we should be able move on because it is only a small matter.
The town councils have been increasing conservancy charges year after year telling us that costs have risen. However, what really happened is that the sinking funds have been rising to such levels that PAP town councils get to play fund managers. I guess old habits die hard. The PAP has never felt good unless it is sitting on busloads of citizens' money - when it comes govt reserves they have to build one far larger than what is necessary even as its citizens find it hard to make ends meet as they are squeezed to contribute to the govt's coffers. So what do they do when we have such a huge pile of money around - invest like fund managers. For Temasek, we have Ho Ching who is the best in the land for the job and coincidentally the wife of our current Prime Minister. The PAP guys, they are always so humble about their fund management skills they don't really tell us what they do with the money. We occasionally hear of the highlights of their achievements such as investing in troubled western banks and regional telcos such as the one owned by Thaksin. We have been told that these funds are needed so that they can be used to help Singapore(eans?) in times of crisis. However, a large part of it is invested in stocks and real estate that will be badly hit during crisis....so how is it going to help Singapore when the funds themselves will incur heavy losses?
Town councils are just mini-versions of the Singapore govt. The sinking fund is meant to provide maintenance for the housing estates with some buffer for emergencies. They are not meant to be so big that the town councils don't know what to do and put them risky assets such as stocks and minibonds. Many families struggle to make ends meet and for many paying the conservancy charges can mean depriving the family of better food and clothing. From govt to town councils, the PAP squeezing just never ends.