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Thread: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

  1. #61
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    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    2. Have you heard of unemployment benefits? Welfare? Social security?
    not applicable within a certain ~700 sq km of land on earth

    ďHow fortunate for leaders that men do not think.Ē - Adolf Hitler

  2. #62

    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by CTN View Post
    Most 1st world government provide social welfare to the unemployed, handicapped and elderly. They also provide essential services such as education and health care for free or a nominal amount.

    Governments exist to serve the population/society at large.
    They do not exist to put monies in their pockets. I will be very worried if you are part of the government.
    U are right. Fortunately, I am not part of them.

    U mentioned, 'most'. Do U want your Govt to be among the 'Most'? Or how would you want the Govt to manage the money?
    Last edited by Yappy; 24th January 2008 at 11:33 AM.

  3. #63

    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by SNAG View Post
    Hi,

    I concur with you on most of the following - however, here's some of my own perspectives:

    a,b,c) That's true all right - however, what has been GIC's performance returns on the whole? A short Google showed this, from ST in 2006:



    Unless we get more data, it's hard to analyse this in detail - good or bad, it remains to be seen. So I don't think we should pass any judgement calls on their performance based on some successful/failed deals in the past.

    d,e,f) I can't agree more - no matter what the risk is, there needs to be accountability for these fund managers for the investment decisions that they take, regardless of market conditions. This is the real world - if you can't perform, get ready to pack your bags. Hope I wasn't misconstrued in my previous post.

    However, on this whole SWF issue, I feel that there are some gripes on the following aspects (my personal comments though):

    1) Accountability of these SWFs seems to be lackadaisical in the public's eyes. There was a recent ST (or BT?) article commenting about GIC being one of the least transparent SWFs around:



    Without so little public information about them (from performance to accountability issues), people can only second-guess/analyse on what's going around them, and that can be misleading at times (whether good or bad).

    However, given the context that they are operating in - after all, they are a SWF, and there are a whole lot of other factors (from political concerns to national security), it may be difficult for these SWFs to be as forthcoming as say, the hedge fund around the street.

    Then having said that, I personally think that they shouldn't use this as a reason not to disclose at all - after all, from research, there are SWFs that have managed this better on a relative scale. But to be on the objective side, it's not as straightforward to do so either.

    EDIT: I missed out on your Post #49 - some interesting perspectives there though.
    Hi Snag,

    U have given us an overview objectively.

    Hope that everyone understand the concept and the rationale behind.

  4. #64

    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    1. Not happy cannot say anything? What kind of logic is that?

    2. Have you heard of unemployment benefits? Welfare? Social security?
    There is never a perfect system and no govt in the world can make all the people happy.

    Welfare state kills the economy of a country.

    I had seen people asking for financial help with a packet of cigarette(20 sticks about $9 to $10 per pack) in their pocket and I was told that sometimes food coupons were given to the 'needy', but do you know what they do to the food coupons?

  5. #65

    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by CTN View Post
    We should find another fund manager who can make one cent, and doesn't lose one cent.
    In the financial world, earnings volatility is undesirable, to be avoided.

    On another note, if we have a fun manager who refuses to discuss how many cents he makes or loses, we should not allow him to continue investing. In fact, we should sack him.
    Great. I concur.

    But please also note that no Fund Manager would like to join you.

  6. #66
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by Yappy View Post
    There is never a perfect system and no govt in the world can make all the people happy.
    Correct that is why transparency is so IMPORTANT and mandatory to keep things in check to ensure we are all on the right track, to reassure the public in general on the situation....etc

    I doubt anyone of us here is realling saying that what the govt or GIC does is not entirely in our collective interest and the good of the nation. We are all citizens here and should be treated as such. Whether it be about good news, bad news or just news to help keep us in the loop to know what's happening and if we need to brace ourselve and ride through a long term strategie that the govt or GIC or whoever is taking be it action or monetary investments. If we are all in it for the long haul, a more consultative approach is the way to go...wasn't that what our former PM Goh J T said as we moved away from the more parental approach to running the country when the old guards were bulding our nation back in the 60s.

    Having to make something transparent for all to see does not mean WE DON'T TRUST YOU. Try to look at it as a way to assure folk about whats going on. You can still make your moves, plan your strategies, take certain actions..etc but people who have a vested interest in the future of this country would like to just know. Even if everything is on the up and up and no foul play is taking place. You have to admit if you keep telling people not to question your judgement or action each time you are asked.... sooner or later, people will start to think otherwise. That is only human nature.

    We can not take things at face value always and just go on faith and keep our eyes close all the time and simply open our mouth and wait to be spoon-fed. So long as that is happening, we should always just keep our eyes close for the spoon with food is always coming because someone says so and that is all you need to know.

    If my investment agent takes my money to invest on my behalf, I would expect to know how he intend to do so. Tell me my risk. Tell me not just the good news of how much I could make but to also tell me what I could lose. He would also consult with me on how much I am willing to lose and what measures he might take if he encounter problems with or without consulting me. And to keep an open channel to me to keep me updated. He might not need my input to decide how to invest but I would like him to listen to me to know how I am feeling about the relationship we are having or feeling facing a down turn that is making me nervous especially if he is asking me to hold or cut my loses.

    And on my part, I would have to trust him and that he knows what he is doing. But if he take my money, put up an iron curtain and not tell me a single thing. Hands me my windfall or tell me we just lost money and no explanation is given as he feel I am not capable to understand or he just don;t think I shoul dneed to know. Then how can trust be created or maintained? Keeping me informed is like what I mentioned earlier about "transparency", it is not about distrust. It is just about keeping one informedm, maintain confidence and to ensure that we are both on the same objective. If he can't do that...yes he does deserve to be fired. Frankly even if he is making me more money then losing. Why? Because one of these days it 'might' be a lost that could wipe me out completely of all that I have gained and lose combined then whoes' the wiser? Now that may not happen but as you can see it is human nature to assume that in the absense of information. But it is easy to solve. Open dialogue. Yes some stuff you can't say over the air or whatever but you should still be able to release something good enough to calm some nerves yes? heheh..

    anyhoo..just a rant no need to reply lah hehe.....
    Last edited by sammy888; 24th January 2008 at 01:40 PM.

  7. #67

    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by Yappy View Post
    Welfare state kills the economy of a country.
    This is the kind of thing we've been taught since young, when this govt was against welfare.

    I don't believe such things any more, no matter how many times they want to say it at NDP rallies, or how many times ST writes about it. Not without proof.

    The same applies to you. Prove what you say please. Start a new thread please, it's OT.
    Last edited by waileong; 24th January 2008 at 06:34 PM.

  8. #68
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    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    double concur with sammy888. transparency is the key. It can be said that we should all argree to disagree. The numbers may show that we are losing money, but if the rapport and trust with the government is there, the nation as a whole will stand on the Gov't side and believe that the sun will rise again and good times will come again.

    However, sadly, we have been programmed into us that we must be a "city of firsts", we can only bask in glory and defeats be quickly swept under the rug. This said, we expect our leaders to be the same and that we can only win-win-win. So when our eyes are blindfolded, we have no trust and only listen out for the good news which we take for granted, when we hear bad news we question. This is made worse by the opacity that has been put in place, it further casts doubts in our minds "what is really going on? Why aren't they releasing details to us? What's there to hide?" The more doubts there are, the less we trust. I think the age of blindly following the leader has passed as mentioned.

    Also, for a head of any department or corporation to step down to save the body from embarrassment is a widely accepted social norm. It is all known that the guys at the bottom carry out hard work while the guys on top gives the direction. If all the fault goes to the guys at the bottom, then why do we need high paying management team/directors? Some one must be accountable for the losses and not blame on unforeseen market forces, etc... why? It is the guys on top who draft out guidelines and give the direction how to react in such a market.

    Charles Prince, who stepped down from Citigroup as CEO said
    "It is my judgment that given the size of the recent losses in our mortgage-backed-securities business, the only honorable course for me to take as chief executive officer is to step down,''
    He took the rap for having poor judgement and let the group lose money, he doesn't blame "it's due to xxx and xx further more pushed by yyy the group lost money. Also, in all businesses there risks, it's an honest mistake, let's move on"


    I'm sure many here have heard photographers saying "You're only as good as your last shoot"
    You can have a steady portfolio of good work done, but 1 big screw up and that's it.
    Last edited by yanyewkay; 24th January 2008 at 02:59 PM.
    ďHow fortunate for leaders that men do not think.Ē - Adolf Hitler

  9. #69

    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by yanyewkay View Post
    down,''

    "You're only as good as your last shoot"
    I have yet to have seen this being said here though there are some who borderline on NPNT.

  10. #70

    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by sammy888 View Post
    Correct that is why transparency is so IMPORTANT and mandatory to keep things in check to ensure we are all on the right track, to reassure the public in general on the situation....etc

    I doubt anyone of us here is realling saying that what the govt or GIC does is not entirely in our collective interest and the good of the nation. We are all citizens here and should be treated as such. Whether it be about good news, bad news or just news to help keep us in the loop to know what's happening and if we need to brace ourselve and ride through a long term strategie that the govt or GIC or whoever is taking be it action or monetary investments. If we are all in it for the long haul, a more consultative approach is the way to go...wasn't that what our former PM Goh J T said as we moved away from the more parental approach to running the country when the old guards were bulding our nation back in the 60s.

    Having to make something transparent for all to see does not mean WE DON'T TRUST YOU. Try to look at it as a way to assure folk about whats going on. You can still make your moves, plan your strategies, take certain actions..etc but people who have a vested interest in the future of this country would like to just know. Even if everything is on the up and up and no foul play is taking place. You have to admit if you keep telling people not to question your judgement or action each time you are asked.... sooner or later, people will start to think otherwise. That is only human nature.

    We can not take things at face value always and just go on faith and keep our eyes close all the time and simply open our mouth and wait to be spoon-fed. So long as that is happening, we should always just keep our eyes close for the spoon with food is always coming because someone says so and that is all you need to know.

    If my investment agent takes my money to invest on my behalf, I would expect to know how he intend to do so. Tell me my risk. Tell me not just the good news of how much I could make but to also tell me what I could lose. He would also consult with me on how much I am willing to lose and what measures he might take if he encounter problems with or without consulting me. And to keep an open channel to me to keep me updated. He might not need my input to decide how to invest but I would like him to listen to me to know how I am feeling about the relationship we are having or feeling facing a down turn that is making me nervous especially if he is asking me to hold or cut my loses.

    And on my part, I would have to trust him and that he knows what he is doing. But if he take my money, put up an iron curtain and not tell me a single thing. Hands me my windfall or tell me we just lost money and no explanation is given as he feel I am not capable to understand or he just don;t think I shoul dneed to know. Then how can trust be created or maintained? Keeping me informed is like what I mentioned earlier about "transparency", it is not about distrust. It is just about keeping one informedm, maintain confidence and to ensure that we are both on the same objective. If he can't do that...yes he does deserve to be fired. Frankly even if he is making me more money then losing. Why? Because one of these days it 'might' be a lost that could wipe me out completely of all that I have gained and lose combined then whoes' the wiser? Now that may not happen but as you can see it is human nature to assume that in the absense of information. But it is easy to solve. Open dialogue. Yes some stuff you can't say over the air or whatever but you should still be able to release something good enough to calm some nerves yes? heheh..

    anyhoo..just a rant no need to reply lah hehe.....
    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    This is the kind of thing you've been taught since young, when this govt was against welfare.
    these 2 have pretty much hit it on the head. Transparency would be a nice touch.

  11. #71
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    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments. Whose role then??? Thatís the question, every other answers posted are not wrong. Most of the inputs are right depending on which perspective. This is one of the few thread in CS with intelligent input, food for thought.

    Iíve no doubt that these investments in the various financial institutions are timely and would yield handsome returns; it may even double in 3 years.
    But Iíve a couple of moral issues here, how much and when is it enough? USD200B, USD400B?
    Is it intelligent, opportunity, ego or greed to keep investing and grow?
    What is the return? And where is it going?
    just1book, no kidding!

  12. #72
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    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by Winsonapm View Post
    Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments. Whose role then??? Thatís the question, every other answers posted are not wrong. Most of the inputs are right depending on which perspective. This is one of the few thread in CS with intelligent input, food for thought.

    Iíve no doubt that these investments in the various financial institutions are timely and would yield handsome returns; it may even double in 3 years.
    But Iíve a couple of moral issues here, how much and when is it enough? USD200B, USD400B?
    Is it intelligent, opportunity, ego or greed to keep investing and grow?
    What is the return? And where is it going?
    its a good question where are all the investment is going, especially all the yields returns, well, my guess is its not going back to us even if its our money they are investing in the first place... anyway what do you expect him to say when the other guy is sitting so near him in parliament... wait kena condemn...
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  13. #73
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by flowerpot View Post
    its a good question where are all the investment is going, especially all the yields returns, well, my guess is its not going back to us even if its our money they are investing in the first place
    Actually I am fine with that. This is where I agree with the other group here in that we can see at leasat the money is use to hire teachers, building facilities, parks, support the uniform groups in defence of the countries...etc. That money has to come from somewhere yes?

    I believe whether we agree or not with the topic here and sit on either side. What we simply want is transparency and not be brushed aside like we have no vested interest in seeing the nation prosper or that it is beyond our intellect to comprehend what is taking place and the mechanic of it all.

    If we don't, this is where we get to learn. And that is good, Learning just makes it easier to get behind a good idea they have. Be it a good position to earn more or to weather a bad storm to come. I am all for it if I only get to understand why they want to do it this or that way. When I do, I will be all for supporting them..hand to heart. I would like them to think that I complain and bitch not to rock their boat. It's not like I am trying to oust them out of their coop. I am simply doing so as I want what's best for this little dot I call home.

    I can "handle" my own stuff thus I am not complaining just to get a hand out, free money rebate or cheaper petrol. I am happy to work and get them on my own thank you very much. I just want to keep my roots here if I can. As for Tharman, he could have "handled" it better that is what I think.

  14. #74

    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    overtax us?

    ...you seem to like comparisons. perhaps you should compare our country's taxes to the rest of the world, and bring up strong examples where another country is relatively "lightly taxed". where your unemployment benefits are concerned.. i haven't found a country which provides GOOD COVERAGE as you say, and has low taxes. the equation would not balance.

    comparisons should be made to the governments expenditure
    rather than the percentage it collects.

    if OUR SERVANTS need a dollar but ask for two,
    when they return 50CENTs,
    is that sound?

    if it is to u,
    do u need a personal financial advisor???
    i m in

  15. #75

    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    1. Not happy cannot say anything? What kind of logic is that?

    2. Have you heard of unemployment benefits? Welfare? Social security?
    I LOVE U,
    provided u r a girl

    way to go!!!

  16. #76

    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalas View Post
    comparisons should be made to the governments expenditure
    rather than the percentage it collects.

    if OUR SERVANTS need a dollar but ask for two,
    when they return 50CENTs,
    is that sound?

    if it is to u,
    do u need a personal financial advisor???
    i m in
    can you prove what you say?

    if not, best not to comment and result in a display of inability to think logically or communicate

    %s or not, countries have their own living standards and costs. if you look at the countries which collect on par or even more than singapore and even base it on their equivalent living standards and the standard of infrastructure/public amenities, then i think you have just slapped yourself in the face - singapore is superior to most, honestly.

    i am extremely curious what england does with its taxes, for example. even in its capital (which is usually not the case), the buildings are old, the parks are seriously, not very well-maintained, and public infrastructure like buses, public toilets and the underground is horribly maintained. this is first-hand, and not postulation. i'm sure anyone who's had the dreadful experience of taking the tube after taking our local mrt can tell you that it's almost like heaven and hell. recently, there were "plans" and "talk" that they would upgrade the underground system by installing air conditioning so that at least consumers would have a better time in summer (where temperatures in the underground can rise up to 40 degrees and above).. and reduce number of heat stroke occurences. the maintenance company went bust, and then suddenly.. all that "talk" became hot air. you want to compare? open your eyes bigger.
    Last edited by night86mare; 24th January 2008 at 07:34 PM.

  17. #77
    Senior Member azul123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    can you prove what you say?

    if not, best not to comment and result in a display of inability to think logically or communicate

    %s or not, countries have their own living standards and costs. if you look at the countries which collect on par or even more than singapore and even base it on their equivalent living standards and the standard of infrastructure/public amenities, then i think you have just slapped yourself in the face - singapore is superior to most, honestly.

    i am extremely curious what england does with its taxes, for example. even in its capital (which is usually not the case), the buildings are old, the parks are seriously, not very well-maintained, and public infrastructure like buses, public toilets and the underground is horribly maintained. this is first-hand, and not postulation. i'm sure anyone who's had the dreadful experience of taking the tube after taking our local mrt can tell you that it's almost like heaven and hell. recently, there were "plans" and "talk" that they would upgrade the underground system by installing air conditioning so that at least consumers would have a better time in summer (where temperatures in the underground can rise up to 40 degrees and above).. and reduce number of heat stroke occurences. the maintenance company went bust, and then suddenly.. all that "talk" became hot air. you want to compare? open your eyes bigger.
    ooi, you fail to see this part

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalas View Post
    if OUR SERVANTS need a dollar but ask for two,
    when they return 50CENTs,
    is that sound?
    Wouldn't you want to know what happened to the 50cts? I would, cos this time it's 50cts, next time maybe larger amount. Needs transparency... there is no 2 ways about it.

    ../azul123

  18. #78

    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by azul123 View Post
    Wouldn't you want to know what happened to the 50cts? I would, cos this time it's 50cts, next time maybe larger amount. Needs transparency... there is no 2 ways about it.

    ../azul123
    ...so you also are of the thinking that the government is hoarding the money somewhere isit

    if they are, fair enough, but if i know that my money is being put to good investment (on average) and not being clowned around with, like it would be in some countries other than singapore, and the returns are not horrible.. then i say, this is what the people have voted for, this is what they have chosen.. and they should respect their own decision by putting faith in the elected. now, that is a very different story from what kalas has painted, no?

    jean jacques rousseau of the social contract fame, once said this about today's representative democracy - that essentially it has nothing to do with the ideals of democracy, where it's power to the people. he does have his points when he says that the people only truly have power during the election period, where they have the freedom of deciding something in their lives, some direction. and he also says that if they are willing to subject themselves to that, then they deserve this loss of freedom. now, rousseau seems very cynical to me, he fails to see that this form of democracy is perhaps a necessary evil - do we all have time to sit around and chat to decide on things as a country? judging from clubsnap kopitiam every decision would take 4 years to make already.

    so - like i've always said, if you not happy, if so many people not happy, then why do they not show it in the elections? the only logical deduction is that people are pleased. and none of the raving, headless accusations being levelled here are actually truly partaken in by the general masses. what sort of logic is being thrown here, you tell me - what need 1 dollar take 2 dollars give back 50 cents? why don't you say it out loud and see what it sounds like?

    perhaps it has to do with my personal philosophy in life - i am a firm believer of utilitarianism, and feel that it is only right to give people a chance until they prove you sorely wrong. has it really been that bad? does our government seem like it has a lot of murkiness? i read, i look, i hear, i compare, and from my point of view, i cannot see any sore injustice being meted out. every claim of injustice in itself is murky, with no logical basis, and thus can be attributed to hearsay. the other day in some other thread (or was it this one) someone complained that singapore has had no ministers resigning to what, "save the government embarassment", and the first thought was - since when should a government care first and foremost about its face? what have we become?

    on another note, i am surprised that no one (or any civil servants, public officers) has taken offense that kalas refers to them as OUR SERVANTS. civil servants =/= our servants. give the people some basic respect please.
    Last edited by night86mare; 24th January 2008 at 08:36 PM.

  19. #79
    Senior Member azul123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    ...so you also are of the thinking that the government is hoarding the money somewhere isit

    if they are, fair enough, but if i know that my money is being put to good investment (on average) and not being clowned around with, like it would be in some countries other than singapore, and the returns are not horrible.. then i say, this is what the people have voted for, this is what they have chosen.. and they should respect their own decision by putting faith in the elected. now, that is a very different story from what kalas has painted, no?

    also, i am surprised that no one (or any civil servants, public officers) has taken offense that kalas refers to them as OUR SERVANTS. civil servants =/= our servants. give the people some basic respect please.
    You said it, not me.

    I was talking about the servant.

    ../azul123

  20. #80

    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by azul123 View Post
    You said it, not me.

    I was talking about the servant.

    ../azul123
    sorry ar, i edited the post a few times, so you might not have seen the latest version of it.

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