Saturday, July 04, 2009

Minibonds : Hong Kong to reach a different endpoint...

Two financial institutions, Sun Hung Kai and KGI Asia, have compensated their customers in full and 16 banks have offered to repay between 60-70% of the principal invested[Link]. The securities watchdog, SFC, is likely to reject the proposal by the 16 banks as they are demanding the banks pay investors in full. The Hong Kong authorities have found misconduct among the banks in the selling of these products[Link]. I believe Hong Kong banks will eventually compensate investors in full.
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In Singapore, 5350 out of 10000 investors filed complaints. Of the 5350, 66% or roughly 3500 received offers of compensation on a no-admission-of-liability-basis. 25% or roughly 1300 received full compensation[Link]. From what I heard, many were offered about 10% in compensation. MAS response when these structured products imploded was to send investors back to the banks to file complaints as individuals. This shifted the burden of proof to individuals and allowed banks to choose who they want to compensate. The Hong Kong authorities chose to handle the issue differently conducting thorough investigations and helping investors to get a collective settlement. In the initial part of the saga, Hong Kong authorities met up with representatives of investors to decide on an approach to will result in the best outcome for investors. In Singapore, MAS met up with the banks and came up with the complaints resolution process that sent individuals back to the banks to seek compensation. Banks decided who they want to compensate. This divide and conquer approach means that those who feel they were not offered fair compensation are unlikely to succeed in a class action lawsuit because those who can offer the strongest evidence of systemic misselling will not paticipate in such a suit because they have already been compensated.
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Catastrophic events such as the minibond saga that occurs in Singapore and somewhere else at the same time is rare but it allows us to compare the behavior of our leaders and the authorities with those of other countries. The type of outcome they aim for says a lot about where their interests lie.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Once again thanks for the insight! You are my inspiration. You give others hope that Singapore can change one day.


Cheers
Economist

Anonymous said...

These are observations that will never be compiled by our national papers. Goh announced the local resolutions with pride, as if a job well done. In the tangled mess of MAS, GLC banks and laced with decision makers who apparently are in a state of conflict of interests, we are expected to live with the outcome.

Your comments have revealed their evil. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky

This article of yours is good and reminds me of another 3 other cases which clearly demonstrate the want of heart from the PAP.

First it was the cruise ship that sank in the Straits of Malacca after being hit by a cargo ship. Many Singapore died in that tragedy. The Singapore government did nothing to help the victims' families so much so that victims' families weepingly lamented on TV that the authorities were doing nothing for them.

Next in two other incidents in which the SilkAir Flight 185 & SIA Flight 006 crashed in Indonesia and Taiwan respectively, the PAP govt also did not show enough concern even though many Singaporeans died in them.

In both crashes, SilkAir & SIA tried to quickly wrap up compensation issues with victims' families. It was clear what was uppermost in the minds of these PAP organisations was money, that is how much they have to pay - even when investigation into the crashes was still ongoing.

And despite such national tragedies, the PAP never felt the need to fly the national flag half mast. In other countries, this would have become second nature.

What are Singaporeans' lives to PAP? PAP top leadership has grown so callous that it does not understand what are people anymore. To them people are just economic units of production.

This is PAP, make no mistake about it. Mr Cow keeps assuring Singaporeans the govt will look after Singaporeans, even when he was advising Singaporeans to send their old folks to nursing homes in Johor.

I see a callous leadership nurtured by a man without a soul anymore. Beware PAP may do Singaporeans more harm than what Lucky had been talking about.

Those who still believe the PAP is okay had better wake up. The facts are laid bare before us. If you think only of the present that it is still Boleh Tahan, then you are too short-sighted. The power is in your hands but why are you not using it properly. I am talking about the vote!

Ghost said...

Considering how pro-business Singapore is, being paid back in full is a dream that will not come true for Singapore investors

Anonymous said...

What to do, come election still 50walkovers, 66% mandate and 98% seats!

PAP really have it damn good lah!

Anonymous said...

Thank God.

If DBS gets hit by such complaints, our DBS shares will drop. Then Temasek Holdings will lose money and there goes our reserves.

Now most banks will hold Singapore up as a good example of Governance and pro business. So what if a few (thousand) people got burnt?? (along with town council)

Anonymous said...

yknow, i know i'm going to get burnt for saying this, but those investors were compensated for the risks they took. Whether they were compensated enough for the risk is argueable.

But a bet is a bet. You have to take some resonsibilities for your decisions.

You have to understand that most of them bought these minibonds when times were very good, and lehman brothers was one of the most admired company in the world. At that point of time, it is not wrong to assume that the reward more than cover the risks of the credit defaults.

If we run the universe a million times, I can imagine many iterations of which they ended up gloating over their excess return over saving rates. In many of these universe, Lehman did not collapse. But alas, in this universe, it did.

Neither am I saying that there is no misselling by FAs and financial institutions, or I dun feel sympathtic for those retirees who lost their entire savings, or that MAS (for PAP for the matter) will never stand up for the little guys. These are probably all true.

But a bet is still a bet.

Anonymous said...

PAP has deceived some people including some of its opponents that there is little use in talking. LHL derided it by calling it NATO - No Action Talk Only.

But is'nt our dear friend's job mostly talk, talk, talk. Action also consists significantly of talk - he instructs, you discusses, you converses with other VIPs, he makes long speeches ... so forth.

At one time a PAP MP debated with an opponent and advised him to not just talk but rather act. In reality he himself was merely talking during the debate.

Besides much of PAP MPs' work is just talk - talk to residents, talk in Parliament, talk among themselves during meetings whatever.

Well this is all a clever cover up by PAP to deceive the people that they need not communicate amongst themselves. PAP is saying a free press that allows people to talk more freely is thus not important.

So PAP leaders tells you that all you have to do is take action like contributing to the community, donate to the welfare organisations, help others. Clever.

In the meantime they are playing golf and laughing their way to their banks by talking only.

Of course I am not talking about nonsensical talk. I am talking about the need to air reasonable and informed views. I read Lucky's blog here and I see there is much value in what he is talking.

He has also created a platform for like-minded Singaporeans to share their views.

There is a misconception that all the "whining and complaining" here, as some might humourously put it, is useless. I happen to think otherwise.

If you want to change the mind of those sitting on the fence and pro-PAP Singaporeans, you got to let them see what's seriously wrong with the system. The PAP press ain't doing this of course.

So under the circumstances, you mean you just keep quiet and expect these groups of voters to cast a vote against PAP?

Not so simple lah and that's exactly the problem with the current slate of opposition. They underestimate the tremendous effort needed to undo the effect of 4 decade-long PAP propaganda on the minds of Singaporeans.

This is one big reason the opposition has failed and will continue to fail. Simply because they have agreed or been deceived by the PAP suggestion that talk is not so important.

If they themselves are victims of PAP propaganda how can they enlighten the people?

So the opposition is dead wrong and they are too blind to see that it is through talk (press reports, ministers' speeches etc) that PAP has the majority of population continuously deceived !

Anonymous said...

To fellow Anonymous at 11:40 AM

I bet that you are an asshole. How about that?

Ender said...

The relative lameness of Singapore's actions as compared to Hong Kong is probably a reflection of the relative power relationship between the regulatory bodies vs the financial institutions.

In Singapore MAS regulates foreign banks of international stature who can easily shift their operations to other financial centers should they feel displeased by the strong measures. This is severely affect Singapore's drive to be a regional financial center.

In Hong Kong, the citizen have alternatives and a large number of banks are local and smaller in size. They can put their money in HK banks or with any other financial institutions in the mainland should they feel aggrieved. The citizen hold the upper hand as the failure to appease the citizens anger would mean poor long term prospects for the financial institutions involved.

Still, Singapore's limp wristed response is quite disappointing. For the focus is on who has the greater might and not what is fair and right. There is no incentive for action by anyone in the authorities as it may severely affect their career prospects. It is far better to wait passively and collect their quite substantial monthly income. With time it will all go away.

Anonymous said...

Lee Kuan Yew said,

The Minibond investors went in with OPEN EYES, have every opportunity to read the documents they signed - were they told of their risks for 4% Annual Interest?

We, Singaporeans voted the PAP as Singapore Government with open eyes, the PAP government lost all our national reserves - did we all voted for PAP?

Now we get a PAP Government and ministries and GLCs and their cronies AGAINST the people of Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Our leaders have warned us times and again that we should not be sooo dependent on the government. So I never expect them to help us like the authorities in Hong Kong. However, what confuse me most is that when you talk to people in Hong Long, they all have the impression that Singaporeans are very dependent on the government. I guess it shows the power of our media here!

Anonymous said...

Anon,2.36 PM

Ya,LKY just loves to tell the whole world that he takes care of all Singapore citizens that they just care for nothing.

I bet almost 90% of foreigners,even who have been to Spore or PRs of Singapore believe it.

Some call called PAP secret weapon:A world class prop[angada PR machine,I am duty bound to agree with him.

Anyway out?absolutely NOT,the only way out is to get out from this place.Get out while you can!

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 11:40 AM :

Either you are from the heartless gahmen or the evil bank !!!

The banks mispresented the Minibonds as very safe corporate bonds, when in fact they were derivates. But of course they kept this info to themselves so as to con Singaporeans into buying them. Even the Town Council got conned by these crooked banks of millions of our tax payers' money !

And MAS tells the Minibonds victims to their lodge complains with the evil banksters instead of conducting an independent inquiry ! Isn't it obvious whose side MAS is on ?? So you see, our gahmen policy time and time again is "you die your business" !

MAS - if you are reading this .. please tell us why we tax payers' have to pay millions for your salaries when you don't fight for us ??? Compare to the Hong Kong gahmen - you should be ashame of yourself !!!

MAS - The banks said you vetted and approved the Minibonds and they paid you fees for this. Why did you allow these toxic products to be sold to the public ????? Did you do due diligence or were you sleeping ????

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:43 PM, well said, well said!

Anon 11:40 AM does'nt seem to be well informed about the case. That's okay, because these are the people critics of the system should be trying to win over.

Lucky had written quite a no. of articles on this Lehman issue, so Anon 11:40 AM might want to read them by simply searching through his blog using the search box above his article.

Anyway one simple fact was that Singapore investors in those minibonds were going for a mere 4% interest a year, so it was very clear they were going for very safe kind of investment similar to fixed deposit.

Now if you know anything about bonds, they are among the safest of financial instruments because they are IOUs issued by governments - mostly from developed nations - all over the world. They earn low interest rates like 3 to 5% annually and hardly anyone has been burnt thereby.

Lehman minibonds were clearly not such bonds as Anon 7:43 pointed out. Lehman Brothers named them as minibonds to mislead and DBS, the chief reseller in Singapore cannot be ignorant about this. Yet it went along to deceive those very conservative, play-safe Singapore investors.

When things fell apart DBS disclaimed responsibility and pointed to the "small print" so to speak. Lee Kuan Yew loaded in insinuating that those Singaporeans must be damn stupid to walk into the investment with their eyes opened. Damn him!

His running dog the Straits Times also followed through saying that the risk of total loss was stated in bold letters on the front page of the prospectus or agreement.

Yeah, so why did'nt DBS know the risk itself, being the professional reseller in this area? And so why did it sell them to those pitiful investors who have now been robbed of their life savings.

If any of these investors are reading this now, I advise them not to take it lying down even if they have already received some compensation.

One deception is enough when being persuaded to buy the minibonds. But another deception by DBS that it was not a case of mis-selling, that DBS is not fully responsbile is simply going too far.

They should gang up and approach some international lawyer or even the world court to get back their due, just like the Hongkongers are now doing. Show PAP something, after all it is your life savings!

Don't be cheated by PAP!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for voicing our concerns.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lucky Tan for voicing our concerns.

Anonymous said...

In short - It is a Divide and conquer approach.

Anonymous said...

"In Singapore MAS regulates foreign banks of international stature who can easily shift their operations to other financial centers should they feel displeased by the strong measures. This is severely affect Singapore's drive to be a regional financial center.

In Hong Kong, the citizen have alternatives and a large number of banks are local and smaller in size. They can put their money in HK banks or with any other financial institutions in the mainland should they feel aggrieved. The citizen hold the upper hand as the failure to appease the citizens anger would mean poor long term prospects for the financial institutions involved.
" - Ender


Ender, I don't quite get your point. Singapore and Hongkong are quite at par as financial hubs. Both will run the same level of risk of offending international banks if the banks that missold the minibonds are taken to task more severely by the respective regulatory bodies - MAS and SFC.

There has never been a problem for people whether in Singapore or Hongkong to deposit their savings in banks even if international ones are not around.

As for investing in equities and bonds, why what's the problem? There are numerous financial institutions like insurance firms and specialised investment companies who are ever ready to service investors. Not to mention that in this Internet age, anyone can just remit money to a bank in another country to invest in any kind of financial instruments.

So your reasoning that the Singapore government has to be more wary than Hongkong in enforcing more stringent regulations on international banks is only valid as one big lame excuse for the PAP government for its dereliction of duty on 3 fronts:

:: as the owner of DBS,
:: as MAS the regulatory body and
:: as the government which is supposed to look after the interest of the people.

Please tell me in a more intelligent and informed way how you or PAP can justify itself on these 3 counts?

Anonymous said...

"Thank God.

If DBS gets hit by such complaints, our DBS shares will drop. Then Temasek Holdings will lose money and there goes our reserves.

Now most banks will hold Singapore up as a good example of Governance and pro business. So what if a few (thousand) people got burnt?? (along with town council)"


- Anon 11:23 AM


Hello Anon 11:23 AM, you okay or not?

You worry DBS share will drop and not that Temasek has lost 31% over a period 1 and half year?

You worry that being just and fair to misled investors will make a dent on the image of good PAP governance? I see, then the good PAP government that you have in mind is in fact a lousy one because it does not regulate well.

And you have the callousness to say: "So what if a few (thousand) people got burnt?"

Only a twit like you would talk like that. And the God you thank must be called PAP.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:40 AM replies:

I'm just someone looking at the Mionibond issue from a mathematical and probabilistic point of view.

Lets indulge in a hypothetical scenario: suppose you buy 10 year SGS bonds from the ATM today, and you are quite happy with the 2.85% yield. You are more than compensated from the risk of the Singapore government defaulting: it is unimaginable that a default can happen, since it has never happen before. Just look at their coffers: they have a huge and healthy balance sheet. 3 years down the road, something shocking happens. Your finance minister finally admits that Temasek and GIC has lost all of their money, and will not be able to service the interests those bonds requires. The Singapore Government is in fact bankrupt. The SGS bond defaults, and your life savings disappears overnight.

Now try substituting the above paragraph the word “SGS Bonds” for “Minibond” and “Singapore Government” for “Lehman Brothers”.

for anon 8.14 pm, do note that even Singapore government bond, considered by the rating agencies as AAA (but who trust the rating agencies anymore?), carries the risk of default. As an investor, he needs to do his due diligence regarding as to whether the Singapore goverment will default in his required timeframe, and what is the probability of that scenario. And lastly, he look at the interest to see if it covers those scenarios.

Remember that bonds are low-risk, not NO risk. Even US treasury bonds, the safest and riskless bond in the world, have a risk of defaulting. That’s why the Chinese government is hesitant about buying them and is consciously reducing their holdings.

for anon 7.43 pm, let me state that I'm not pro-PAP or from the banks. Believe me, pro PAP surfers probably won’t visit Lucky’s webpage too often, unless it’s the ISD monitoring people like you and me!

Interestingly, this minibond saga affects the man in the street as well as the scholars (I’m assuming the people who okays the investing on behalf of town councils are the scholars). So even those scholarly investors who read the fine prints are burnt by it.

For anon 12.00pm, I hope your bet is wrong. But I bet you are one of the minibond’s investors. If so, I extend my sympathy to you.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:16 PM, what you have just said can be summed up in your sentence "Remember that bonds are low-risk, not NO risk. ".

Of course we know that. The point is that Lehman minibonds were far from low-risk.

Look, bankers have known for years that the financial institutions in the US were unstable. Even ordinary people have heard from George Soros over our own TV 2 years before the subprime crisis that the US banking industry was headed for that.

Given this knowledge why then did MAS approve of the Lehman minibonds as safe investment for conservative investors? How could MAS and DBS rate these financial instruments as low risk?

Clearly MAS and/or DBS knew they were far from being low risk but they continue to sell them to investors who trusted in what the bank told them that they are the kind of low risk investment they were looking for.

As reported in the press, some investors had in fact gone to DBS to put their money in fixed deposits only to be persuaded to invest in those minibonds.

Apart from Lehman minibonds, 5 to 10 ago there were also certain structured products circulating in the market that were in doubt. MAS knew about these after complaints from investors and warned banks not to market them to investors

Yet during that time I had witnessed banks continuing to sell these same structured financial products to unwary Singaporeans many of whom were old folks who could not tell head from tail but trusted the sale person only to be misled to their regrets.

POSB even had a special desk to promote these products.

I remember this clearly because on a day when MAS came out with such a warning to banks, I was approach by my bank to invest in exactly the same kind of product. See?

So MAS people in charge was talk only but never actually monitored the situation, never bothered to get off their comfortable armchairs to inspect what the banks were doing.

This is how Singapore is actually run. Looks good from outside. Look deeper it is full of crap.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:40 AM replies:

for anon 12.07am

"How could MAS and DBS rate these financial instruments as low risk?"

What then would you classify as low risk?

Anonymous said...

both got good arguments similar to Economics: either pro business or pro labour. not easy to find the middle ground. Some people say GST is good in the long run. But do you really have to charge GST on staple foods, healthcare and utilities when the impact will be greater on the poor? Who cares if GST on Prada or Gucci is 10%!!!

the poor will suffer when GST go up from 7% to 10% on staple foods. You don't believe me? you just wait and see!

So the economic policies depends on the person whether he has a heart or not. Sad to say the Singapore economists who go to top uni using tax payers money do NOT have a heart.

Cheers

Economist - My heart still beating :)

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:38 AM

It has already been explained by one posting above but you do not seem to be reading. Anyway, if you need information on this the Internet is full of such information. Fundsupermart ratings of equities and bonds would be a good start.

But if you are a professional or student in this field, that is really an elementary answer you should not be asking at all.

Anonymous said...

To anon 11.40 am and 12.38 am

You said Singapore Gahmen is also risky like Lehman?

Are you all right up there?

SIngapore Gahmen is a Gahmen! If it defaults, every thing is gone, including the country and the Sing Dollar!

Lehman collapse but life goes on in the US! Life goes on in SIngapore except those victims of Minibonds!

You can compare but compare using your brain! You write so much and so well but your thinking and analysis is no sense!

Anonymous said...

"Thank God.

If DBS gets hit by such complaints, our DBS shares will drop. Then Temasek Holdings will lose money and there goes our reserves.

Now most banks will hold Singapore up as a good example of Governance and pro business. So what if a few (thousand) people got burnt?? (along with town council)"

- Anon 11:23 AM

To anon 11:23a.m.

Temasek holds DBS for long term, perhaps forever, like SBS Transit and SMRT, as they are being given monopoly status (for DBS, is together with the other three) and can earn higher economic profits.

Reserves will not be gone by drop in share prices.

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan,
how about writing another post that talk the interest rate cut in half for those who fixed-deposit money in DBS etc ? Definitely another case of screwing those with their eyes wide open. The DBS just change the term and screw those who already put money into DBS.

Anonymous said...

"In Singapore, MAS met up with the banks and came up with the complaints resolution process that sent individuals back to the banks to seek compensation. Banks decided who they want to compensate. This divide and conquer approach means that those who feel they were not offered fair compensation are unlikely to succeed in a class action lawsuit because those who can offer the strongest evidence of systemic misselling will not paticipate in such a suit because they have already been compensated.
.
Catastrophic events such as the minibond saga that occurs in Singapore and somewhere else at the same time is rare but it allows us to compare the behavior of our leaders and the authorities with those of other countries. The type of outcome they aim for says a lot about where their interests lie."


>>
Does this clearly shows that the govt of sg has more hearts than any other, or is it the complete opposite? it is the people who voted them in, or is it not?

Anonymous said...

Why there is such a big diff between SG & HK?
Shd we learn from HK, or the other way round?

Anonymous said...

hehehe, first class solution wat! for businesses only, not for singaporeans hor

Anonymous said...

If my salary if tied to that of the BIG bankers, I will help them, NOT YOU!!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW???

Anonymous said...

People will open eyes.
See who is helping & who is not.

Anonymous said...

Is such news reported in local newspapers?
Anyone knows?

Anonymous said...

Several PAP protagonists came here to air their views hoping to convince others that PAP is doing all the right things.

Unfortunately they did not their homework, not even knowing the principal facts behind the minibond saga.

They have been fully rebutted by PAP critics here but this is less because of their lack of preparation and bad reasoning but more because the facts point to the irresponsibility and uncaring attitude of the PAP government.

From all evidences, PAP started with the objective with it should protect its interests rather than to help the victims.

From there its old strategy of "divide & conquer" as Lucky aptly puts it, one which was also used during the SilkAir and SQ tragedies was implemented.

To top it up, a PAP man even appeared on the scene to champion the victims.

Who was that man and on whose side was he really on?

How were those who followed his lead compensated? 10% of their investment?

Be careful, PAP is full of tricks! It is not a government for the people anymore.

testtube washer said...

Many years ago, in school economics lessons, the example given for a Laissez-faire system was HongKong. Singapore was portrayed as a democratic-socialist model that looks after "welfare" of its citizens with transparent governance and affordable public goods (eg. housing, transport, health) while its citizens enter into a social contract to give up certain amount of civil liberties.

Gone of course are the affordable public goods (see threads on HDB and health costs). In Vienna (19th most costly city and one of the top 10 most livable cities in the world), an apartment in a top city center area will cost E4000/per square meter. In Singapore, apartments at a top district starts at S$20000/per square meter, and you need to ballot to buy it. And I just hope to buy a affordable new HDB flat but they are not building enough or should I splash out 400-500k to buy a 30 year old HDB, that is set to depreciate over the course of my working-life unless inflation gets so bad and our fiat currency system goes out-of-whack. Things don't look so bad 3-4 years ago when most of my peers got their HDBs...

Now I really wonder about the Laissez-faire-ness. Public goods are for public good, take it off the market pricing. Somebody recall our complicated electricity pricing structure and who owns our power generators ??

Singapore has become the 13th most expensive city in the world and for livable index - well it depends who you are asking. (a middle class SG or a rich foreigner) A sobering thought on the country of my birth and which I have pride in - but feel no longer economically feasible or sustainable place to grow old in.

Education changed over the years and now they are dumbing-down our kids intellect with NE. Stand up for Singapore - Hell Yeah !

And please mr mah, if you are reading this - build more HDBs on those empty pieces of land I see lying around.

Anonymous said...

testtube washer 4.27 pm

You are not the 66% who voted PAP so it's OK.

Ender said...

Anon 10:55

The difference in the final response can be partially attributable to the relative power positions of the regulatory authorities vs the financial institutions in the 2 countries.

Singapore's regulatory authorities is in a weaker position than Hong Kong despite its efforts at trumpeting its regulatory achievements.

A few points to note:

1) Hong Kong and Shanghai are in a much more competitve race to be the preferred financial center for the China. Hence any disaffection in one of the centers will shift the investor's allegience to another. The stakes are higher and Hong Kong have greater incentive to ensure that the investor's interests are taken care of.

With the emergence of the regional economies of India and China, Singapore's role as a financial center for the region becomes harder to define as it is nowhere near where the action is. Singapore is useful and convenient because this is where major financial institutions locate their regional HQs and the government is compliant as the recent minibond episode shows. Singapore authorities requires the favors from the financial institutions more than its citizens.

2) Hong Kong has a more vibrant political scene than in Singapore. The failure to act to protect the interest of the electorate will immediately impact the reelection prospects of the candidates and that creates more incentives to act.

In Singapore there is an in built buffer of approval rating and the authorities can weigh its options in how much percentage it is willing to lose while retaining powers when implementing actions that will hurt the electorate.

All in all, Singapore's handling of the Minibond issue ranges from poor to abysmal.

We can complain all we like about the sheep like nature of Singaporeans in response to the authorities. The Minibond episode help to demonstrate the sheep like nature of the authorities in the face of international financial institutions.

Onlooker said...

Hong kong handle this minibonds saga better.

Anonymous said...

Look like we could only resign to our fate.
Sad.

Anonymous said...

To 11:11 AM who asked "Is such news reported in local newspapers? Anyone knows?"

Our local papers are all running dogs of the gahmen, so they will not dare report any news which will put their masters in bad light ! Remember the editor who ran down a pedestrian but was only given 1 day jail ? Whereas 3 Singaporeans were given 3 months jail just for wearing T-shirts with a picture of a kangaroo outside the Court House !! Isn't it obvious this is abuse of power by the authorities !!

To the PAP dogs who are reading this - what say you ???

Anonymous said...

HK seems to be so nice to their people, so caring, yet they don't appreciate.
Why?

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:23 AM

This is a typical kinda of mentality when comes to GE...

Oh...if I vote for opposition...my property price will drop...oh..oh if I vote for opposition, my job will be gone...

oh oh if ppl start bashing DBS, share price will drop...and as shareholder, I be affected

So much for "I" no wonder PAP can still be voted in...

Look at bigger picture...

Anonymous said...

Dear 10:59 PM

Do not worry, there is always hope when things look hopeless. Take heart from Obama who had not been a prominent figure like Hilary or McCain and who being black it would have been unbelievable say 5 years back that Americans would want him as President.

Obama carefully planned his way up. He had like-minded people working quietly with him and boom he became the President and has since been settling all the big systemic issues - financial industry, foreign policies so forth - that have been troubling the US for decades.

Just that now Singaporeans need to be informed of the serious systemic problems in our own country. Only then can they yearn and call for the right leadership to come forth. Unfortunately too many think everything is okay, they still think PAP is smart and know how to run this country despite their complaints.

Insignificant as Lucky's blog and other similar anti-establishment blogs seems to be, I believe they represent a vital channel to tell people the true story and once more people come to know, they will feel concerned and want to look for an alternative seriously.

It will take much effort from Lucky and other PAP critics to write reasoned articles & commentaries.

If they work hard enough and a lot of people are talking about it even the politicians & mainstream press cannot help but address the issues brought up by the blogs.

Right now the politicians & mainstream media wants to pretend these anti-establishment are not there. At most I think the politicians send their "kakis" to debate or ISD moles to mess up the commentary page once a while.

If blogs like such can convince well, serious minded people who still trust the PAP would also come to such a blog to debate and hopefully change their minds.

It sounds idealistic that blogs can do this but there is no other way now as Lee Kuan Yew the dictator and xiao ren wants everything for himself.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ender 8:47 PM

I can't agree with you more about the "sheep like nature of the authorities in the face of international financial institutions".

In 1997/98 financial crisis, this was also how the PAP behaved. Instead of fending of the run on the stock market as the former Financial Secretary of Hongkong Donal Tsang urged, PAP insisted on obeying IMF not to "interfere" with the free market, ha!

Result ST index sank 60% while Hang Seng recovered from Hongkong govt injection of funds resulting in several $billions profit for the Hongkong govt.

In his book Ngiam Tong Dow, former top Singapore bureaucrat says that the US gave Singapore govt either S$ or US$ 1 billion after that.

Now you see how chummy Singapore is with former US administration cum IMF.

Of course when it comes to crisis in the US itself, countries like Singapore, Saudi Arabia and China were apparently told to chip in. Hence you read that these countries pumped in scores of $billions in the failing US banks.

The only difference was that Singapore being such a small country proportionately put in much more than China and Saudi Arabia.

What does that show?

LKY and the PAP leadership are just cowards of the highest degree. They are always so afraid to offend the big guys be they global banks, other MNCs or the US.

They would even empty our national coffers and then suck the people dry if it needs be to please what they perceive to be their masters.

Damn it. They have no confidence neither in this country, people or themselves.

Given such evidences, if faced with a formidable military threat from a large country, how can we expect them to stand up and confront the enemy?

They would probably be taking the first plane out.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11.53am,

this goes to show how small a red dot we are in the end.

putting aside all the arrogance we have had, what we've achieved in the past, we are nothing except for the reserves we have,the infrastructure we've built, and a the conducive business environment we've created.

The pro-business, highly obedient populance has worked well for Singapore in the past, i think this is the dilemma we have to face as a nation.

Unlike HK, we have different issues to face, as we develop as a nation.

The pro-business stance is beginning to show its ugly side. yes, many of us dont like it.

but its a tough battle to balance being pro-consumer/pro-people/socialist while we continue to attract businesses to come to Singapore (as our neighbours catch up with us). we are after all, only a 4million population nation.

rookielim said...

"But a bet is still a bet"...

A bet is when you go to buy 4D at Singapore Pools or speculate in the stock market. You do not knowingly bet when you buy mini-bonds in a established bank. You expect the banks (that earn fat commissions from selling these products) will do the homework for you and give the whole lowdown on what the ACTUAL risks are. That is the different!