Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Temasek : Ho Ching to stay indefinitely....

"There's no push factor for the current CEO to step down"
-Minister Tharman [Link]
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"No push factor after a $50B loss? ...."
- Lucky Tan
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When they brought in Goodyear, we were told that Temasek has been looking for a successor for Ho Ching since 2005 [Link]. It took them 4 whole years to find Chip Goodyear who turned out to be unsuitable so Ho Ching will stay. Minister Tharman said yesterday that Temasek has "no deadline" to find a successor. That I say is one heck of an incredible story. Incredible that they took 4 years to find Goodyear, incredible that they conduct such a search without deadlines, incredible that Goodyear turned out to be 'unsuitable' and incredible that they expect Singaporeans to believe this amazing explanation.
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I think the opposition in Singapore must be celebrating. Yes celebrating. Why? After losing $50B of taxpayer's money and making horribly numerous ill-timed investments ( selling BoA at the market bottom etc), they now expect us to believe they bungled the selection of Chip Goodyear for Temasek CEO. The arrival of Chip Goodyear and Ho Ching stepping down provided some kind satisfactory closure for many Singaporeans after the torrent of bad news. Whether they genuinely bungled by selecting Goodyear or there are other hidden reasons, it has caused great damage to the govt's credibility . This is going an issue that opposition parties can exploit during the next election especially if Ho Ching continues to stay at Temasek.
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The whole saga, however, did not start with the recent losses. Singaporeans viewed the appointment of Ho Ching in 2004 with great scepticism - they found it hard to believe there was no better candidate for the job at that time. It was explained at that time that despite apparent conflict of interest, Ho Ching was so capable there was no choice but to appoint her. In 2006, she lost billions investing in Shin Corp. This was described as "a spectacular misjudgment" by Forbes magazine and would have caused a dismissal if it happened any other investment company. But Ho Ching stayed on after the govt defended Temasek for the Shin Corp purchase. The Shin Corp saga left Singaporeans feeling that there was a lack of acountability at Temasek - someone can just get away with a serious misjudgement that caused billions in losses. The hefty losses in US financial institutions was the straw that broke the camel's back. Goodyear's replacement of Ho Ching would have repaired some of the damage.....but they bungled that and for many Singaporeans that destroyed whatever trust (for Temasek) that remained.
Ho Ching staying on at Temasek will be a great liability for the PAP govt.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, Temasek isnt just any investment company. Singaporeans are beginning to see it as a family business.

Anonymous said...

http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_418558.html

NEEDY Singaporeans do receive substantial help from the Government, and in fact the Government ensures that 'no needy Singaporean is left behind'.

Anonymous said...

Well, this is what happens when the ruling party is so entrenched that it is no longer accountable to the people it is supposed to serve.

Any opposition party member foolish enough to bring up this subject in the next election rally will for sure be sued to bankruptcy for defamation. Believe me you, regardless of what the fact is, the judge will rule that there is no nepotism, there is no incompetence, HC is still and forever will be the most qualified person to run TH. Damages for defaming HC will run into the millions.

The best we can hope that whatever investment she makes going forward will make money. With the equity market worldwide recovering, that shouldn't be too difficult, or.... sigh...

skeptic said...

Sing after me.

One People. One Nation. One Familee.

Anonymous said...

Actually it should be 'Famili'....notice how all the offsprings of the younger Lee, when their names are published in the papers or other medium, their surnames are 'Li' not 'Lee'. Perhaps they are trying to be 'role models' and ignore their dialect origins and showed to all Singaporeans that our names should be all in hanyu pinyin so that we can integrate with the mainland Chinese who became PRs. Or Perhaps it is a show of alignment with the Chinese Government. Whatever the reason, just find it quite interesting... : )

Anonymous said...

why dun they do what they do best, create new posts like "SCEO", "MCEO".
SCEO = Senior CEO, MCEO = Mentor CEO.

Anonymous said...

As long as PAP retains control over the mainstream media in Singapore, and the judiciary is kept compliant, their reputations will always be kept intact.

Who dare to say LKY's daughter-in-law is not capable enough? I sue you!!!

Anonymous said...

It is so strange that up to today, the Board has not dared to question the CEO to explain the losses because she happened to be the PM's wife ?

The Finance Minister also not dared to do anything about it because she is his Boss's wife.

The Minister Mentor (who once said that he will not hesitate to turn in his grave) has also not done anything unlike his usual self because she is his daughter-in-law?

It is exactly this kind of situations that would have been avoided if the CEO is NOT the PM's wife. And yet they dared to say that it served no strategic purpose.

Exposing TT Durai would also not serve any strategic purpose if TT Durai had not sued SPH, am I correct ?

Anonymous said...

TT Durai would never had been exposed if he had not sued SPH.

TT Durai went through an identical defamation suit, but he won it because he sued some small fry who did not have the resources to win a legal suit.

Point goes to show that to win a legal suit, you need much more than just the facts on your side. You more importantly need the financial means to sue, and need to be of more importance than the opposing side.

Anonymous said...

U ever heard of "calling a deer a horse"?

Guess what happens to folks who question Mdm Ho's status as the greatest investor in SG's history?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever wondered this hypothesis.... that Ho Ching was indeed not at fault, maybe she was never the person who made all the wrong decisions to start with??? Maybe, just maybe, she is the only one that can be entrusted to be the front-person, for someone else, who is really the only guy that can have the power to make all these decisions? Again, maybe this is why Mr. Chip Goodyear, when asked to operate under the same role, decided that he is unwilling to do the same ....???? No one knows for sure, but this can be the most convincing secnario, right??

Anonymous said...

She is the wife of the PM. I wonder who is powerful enough to make her a scapegoat...... Interesting scenario indeed.

Anonymous said...

when are they going add to her quotes on investment into our children's Social study textbook? plus a picture showing her conviction (even after loosing so much money) will be good.

Anonymous said...

"No push factor after a $50B loss? ...."
- Lucky Tan

Repeat after me ... Mdm Ho's KPI is not making money. Its making sure the money stay out of the hands of those who could use it to threaten their hold on money. $50b gone? Good job!

Is it really so difficult to understand?

Anonymous said...

Didnt they already featured her on 'Strategies for Success' ?

Anonymous said...

Madam Ho is truly a world class electrical engineer but a bad investment manager,judging fr her track record.

MM Li should make her CTO,Spore Inc,that is Chief Technological Officer,right job to the right gal

Dont you think,or you have secret info that she is indeed a great I.M.???although I do agree that some in 66.67% would definitely think so.

Not me though!

Onlooker said...

It take a rare talent especially of the talent of being A famiLee member.

Like the wrong who can't sing.

What to do? it happened......

Anonymous said...

My theory is that Ho Ching is there to help LHL hang on to power. If LKY dies, LHL is not likely to control the party well given his poor performance. He can't solve any of the country problems! Need wifey to hold on to country's pursestrings to consolidate power in case any of the other ministers get ideas about replacing him.

Anonymous said...

Aiyo u all wake up lah. Were Saddam Hussein or Mugabe voted out of office? Any despot will naturally seek to entrench perpetual rule.

Anonymous said...

That is a very good observation. Puts things into perspective.

Anonymous said...

how about this theory of mine?

actually goodyear was to deflect the heat from the gahmen, esp since elections might be called soon so as to get them in comfortably, whereas calling elections in the future will be disastrous.

however, economy might have turned, therefore there's no urgency to hold elections,no need to deflect bad luck, so she gets to stay on!

Anonymous said...

To echo the thought from "Aiyo u all wake up lah.":

This an English translated quote from Aesop:

The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny, and it is useless for the innocent to try by reasoning to get justice, when the oppressor intends to be unjust.

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