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

  1. #81
    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
    sorry ar, i edited the post a few times, so you might not have seen the latest version of it.
    aiyah, why keep editing? difficult to follow the thread you know?

    ../azul123

  2. #82

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

    Quote Originally Posted by azul123 View Post
    aiyah, why keep editing? difficult to follow the thread you know?

    ../azul123
    cos ar, everytime got people keep ka cheowing me about how my post not all-rounded

    machiam like national debate, so now become bad habit, when come to this sort of issue

    must re-read.. and then add on.. quite stupid though, i must have no life

  3. #83
    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
    cos ar, everytime got people keep ka cheowing me about how my post not all-rounded

    machiam like national debate, so now become bad habit, when come to this sort of issue

    must re-read.. and then add on.. quite stupid though, i must have no life
    My guess is you have a neat tidy desk, you are the sort of person that goes back and check the i's are dotted the t's are crossed. Not really a spontaneous kind a guy, would be a good administrator but not a leader. Just my attempt at reading your personality.

    ../azul123

  4. #84

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

    Quote Originally Posted by azul123 View Post
    My guess is you have a neat tidy desk, you are the sort of person that goes back and check the i's are dotted the t's are crossed. Not really a spontaneous kind a guy, would be a good administrator but not a leader. Just my attempt at reading your personality.

    ../azul123
    ...hurhur really ot sia

    maybe i should take a picture of my desk right now, really quite messy got papers everywhere hahahaha

  5. #85
    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
    ...hurhur really ot sia

    maybe i should take a picture of my desk right now, really quite messy got papers everywhere hahahaha
    Temporary only, at the end of the day, you will tidy it all up. Accurate or not? ok lah enough of OT from me. Back to topic.

    ../azul123

  6. #86

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

    Quote Originally Posted by azul123 View Post
    Temporary only, at the end of the day, you will tidy it all up. Accurate or not? ok lah enough of OT from me. Back to topic.

    ../azul123
    yar, once every 2 days i will decide that it is too much and tidy it up

  7. #87

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Winsonapm View Post
    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?
    Yes, I've asked myself how much is enough. I think the answer is until we have accumulated enough to represent a big oil field/gold mine.

    We are actually very lucky to become what we are today considering we started off with nothing. If something disastrous were to happen and wipe out our reserves, we may never have a chance to make a come back. Take a war for example. The reserves is needed for food to feed the people and soldier, weapons and ammos for fighting, logistics etc. After the war is over, we'll need money to rebuild the infrastructure and country. We need the reserves to give us confidence. We need the reserves give us control of our fiscal policy (even if we may not use it, it acts as a deterrence people like Soros). We need it to kick start a lot of things again.

    Without it, we may work doubly hard and still not succeed. If I am the govt and responsible not only for the current generation but also to the future generation, I'll not splurge it unnecessarily. Some of you will say such a scenario may never happen. But if you're responsible, you'll never rule that out.

    If you compare to those country that is seemingly better us, I would say they have a more advantageous condition. European societies are more advanced and civilised. They have less hostility in their region. Hong kong doesn't have to spend much on their defence. If S'pore can spend less on defence, I'm sure everyone will be better off.

  8. #88
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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?
    If everything's nice and dandy.. then why not just be open about it? what's there to hide? Ok.. there seem to be returns, y% over x years.. but I would like to know how did they do it? I'm sure they hired top talents to handle the funds, however, by opening up the books, we can see if they could have done better. It gives them an avenue to receive feedback from experts outside the corporation and in future they can make better decisions, no? They are practicing a closed door system where any feedback is only confined to within the company. Only when they have lost big money and we learn it through some foreign media then we'll start to ask "oei, how come here lose so much money on "abc" investment"

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    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?
    The aging population look more for HDB upgrades and lift on every floor as well as better lit streets rather than anything else during elections. Do you see any bigger issues being brought up during election runs, maybe only 1 column in the entire full page of the ST maybe? Everytime I pick up the papers, it's always about "we have $xxx ready to be used for upgrading, we can provide lift, lights, etc.."

    Then there was this sweeping statement about how to "deal" with the opposition if they were elected instead of focusing on how to run the country.


    "There is no policy too sensitive to question, and no subject so taboo that you cannot even mention it."
    - DPM Lee Hsien Loong, Straits Times, 17 Jan 2000


    Anyway, stuff about elections is really OT already.
    ďHow fortunate for leaders that men do not think.Ē - Adolf Hitler

  9. #89

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

    i wrote a long argument that got swallowed up by clubsnap.

    about how there is no further happiness or benefit to be derived from opening the books to the public, if you ask me. if it's bad, it's bad, you won't be able to hide it long term. if it's good , it's good, from what i see from recent years and actions taken , we can easily, easily deduce that temasek is doing strong, despite all the opposition mudslinging about mistakes. i admit, in the past i was partially swayed, but as you read more and you take a wider view, i think you'll see that expecting an investment outfit to be right 100% all of the time is absolutely ridiculous. and saying that you should hold someone accountable for an investment gone sour is like saying that liu bei should execute zhang fei for screwing up half the time. but even liu bei for all his foolishness (and his brotherly love coughhackcough) was able to see that there was more benefit to keeping him around and alive and happily bull-headed.

    have we totally bombed? the recent move to buy into significance - mindyou, merill lynch isn't some small player on the market.. if you had the time to stop and think and look at what you're saying then you'll see that there is nothing to be worried about.

    to be honest, i think if the books were opened it would actually do more harm than good. you'll get all sorts of funny threads sprouting up over clubsnap saying "oh, my pay hasn't gone up." when they work for private company la.. or "wa, we should get more singapore shares? money".. yes, i'm all for welfare for the less well-off. i understand that life is hard for many (definitely not so hard for most people here, and definitely not me, life is good for me). i also can appreciate the reasoning behind people demanding more for the poor. but i also question whether an actual full-blown plan will be good - there is a thin fine line between welfare and spoiling the child. besides that, i am almost certain that the people demanding this help for the poor are thinking that they will be lumped together with the poor. unfortunately they will not be, so the complaints will not stop even then.

    anyways - about well-lit streets, i am seriously shocked. perhaps i will put up a "london at night" series soon or when i go travelling i will actually take the risks to walk around at night for some serious education - i'm sure you have been overseas too la. the capital of the world is unfortunately, one of the darkest at night. one place where you can definitely see some light is the houses of parliament though and the big ben. but around my residence, the street lamps have been spoilt since i've come, so it 's a long dark walk from the nearest tube station. luckily it is not a bad area. singapore is one of the brightest countries of the world - we have been spoilt, and we do not know it.

    on lifts, i have to agree that perhaps it is good to have lifts on every floor. then we come to the fact that studio apartments catered for the elderly with just that have been built, for those who plan to live alone. what about those who stay with their family? then i will ask you, what are family values for? we also come to the fact that living costs are rising and people always complain about hdb flats becoming more expensive. you can't have it all - limiting lifts will indirectly solve two problems (a little bit tongue in cheek here), our obesity problem, and costs.

    i also have a story to tell you about an old person i know who insists on walking the stairs despite being old of age (80+), having long term sickness, and not really that healthy/fit. she is my grandmother, and has a lift right outside her door. it isn't easy for her, but she says it's good for her because she gets to exercise, and sometimes we all worry for her, but i am proud of her. i think, sometimes through her i get to see a whisper of the past when we all used to be good and honest hardworking people, less concerned about money and more concerned about happiness and simple living. that unfortunately, is slowly dying out.
    Last edited by night86mare; 25th January 2008 at 02:47 AM.

  10. #90

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

    Quote Originally Posted by theonlyone View Post

    If you compare to those country that is seemingly better us, I would say they have a more advantageous condition. European societies are more advanced and civilised. They have less hostility in their region. Hong kong doesn't have to spend much on their defence. If S'pore can spend less on defence, I'm sure everyone will be better off.
    reserves are not only there to spoonfeed the latter generations. in times of economic crisis and all that, it is not surprising how singapore usually weathers through it relatively well. you have your answer there. today, there is less concern about war, though the shadow is always there.. but there should be more awareness when it comes to economic trouble. and in such a situation, money makes the world go round.

    i can only laugh when i read the statements you write about european societies having less hostility. advancement, not so sure. civilised, hahaha. i will tell you that every society is more or less the same, and if you do not wish to believe me, there's nothing i can say.

  11. #91

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

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    i think, sometimes through her i get to see a whisper of the past when we all used to be good and honest hardworking people, less concerned about money and more concerned about happiness and simple living. that unfortunately, is slowly dying out.
    Ya man, but i am not dying out.
    Dreams at Photoaid! Contact me, pls!

  12. #92

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

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    about how there is no further happiness or benefit to be derived from opening the books to the public, if you ask me. if it's bad, it's bad, you won't be able to hide it long term.
    the point is, do we want to wait for it to get to an irretrievably bad and unhideable state before we are told something has gone wrong...

    in the current case where the GIC is investing in the 2 banks... its great that we are told the amount of investment was made, the cost of the investment, the convertability and risks involved... good or bad, at least the people are informed of what was done... and if every quarter or every half or even every year, the people are kept up to date, as stakeholders in the country, wouldn't that assure us of the country's fiscal condition?... I don't doubt that the current and previous planners in GIC and Temasek have contributed greatly, but there can never be ironclad assurances for the future...

    as for government spending, I think the UK has a pretty big military bill... carriers and ballistic missle submarines amongst other equipment, and foreign deployments, are a huge drain on the coffers... whereas for places like Hong Kong, I believe their military bill is close to zilch (before, territorial security was by the British, now its by China)... that's one of the reasons why they can afford to have low taxes... Singapore has to pay for its own defences (militarily as well as financial and in other fields) as well...

  13. #93

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

    We have nothing when we start.
    Nobody cares about us and nobody is interested in us.
    We have to BEG and BEG the rich(MNC) to come to Singapore. We were humble and we learnt the hard way.
    Over the years, we have convinced the world that this tiny red dot is where you should invest and this is where your money should be put.
    It is safe and secure and it is heaven for investors.
    We were very skinny and had little muscle. But now we are better built and we are better equipt.
    Are we supposed to tell everybody what we have? Are we supposed to tell everybody how we spent our monies? I hate to use National Security as a reason, but I guess I have no choice.
    No country in the world would reveal everything they have especially when it threatens the national interest of a country.

  14. #94
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    Default Re: Tharman says not govt's role to comment on GIC, Temasek investments

    Quote Originally Posted by theonlyone View Post
    Yes, I've asked myself how much is enough. I think the answer is until we have accumulated enough to represent a big oil field/gold mine.

    We are actually very lucky to become what we are today considering we started off with nothing. If something disastrous were to happen and wipe out our reserves, we may never have a chance to make a come back. Take a war for example. The reserves is needed for food to feed the people and soldier, weapons and ammos for fighting, logistics etc. After the war is over, we'll need money to rebuild the infrastructure and country. We need the reserves to give us confidence. We need the reserves give us control of our fiscal policy (even if we may not use it, it acts as a deterrence people like Soros). We need it to kick start a lot of things again.

    Without it, we may work doubly hard and still not succeed. If I am the govt and responsible not only for the current generation but also to the future generation, I'll not splurge it unnecessarily. Some of you will say such a scenario may never happen. But if you're responsible, you'll never rule that out.

    If you compare to those country that is seemingly better us, I would say they have a more advantageous condition. European societies are more advanced and civilised. They have less hostility in their region. Hong kong doesn't have to spend much on their defence. If S'pore can spend less on defence, I'm sure everyone will be better off.
    The question remains unanswered. If it were not the govt’s role to question the GIC, the only one left to question about the investment would be the President (did we elect him? for a second term?).

    I’m not against investments, I’m all for it. Built up big reserves, built a strong defense, infrastructures and what have we. All of us whom have followed this thread and responded would have no problem accepting these realities despite the disagreement on accountability and transparency. It’s the man in the street, the underprivileged, and the poor and sick that the gov’t has to address, to make them understand why we are investing billions overseas. It’s a moral obligation. Paying GST for medicine, milk powder, education? Our elite scholars have got it wrong.
    Last edited by Winsonapm; 25th January 2008 at 10:46 AM.
    just1book, no kidding!

  15. #95

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Winsonapm View Post
    The question remains unanswered. If it were not the govtís role to question the GIC, the only one left to question about the investment would be the President (did we elect him? for a second term?).

    Iím not against investments, Iím all for it. Built up big reserves, built a strong defense, infrastructures and what have we. All of us whom have followed this thread and responded would have no problem accepting these realities despite the disagreement on accountability and transparency. Itís the man in the street, the underprivileged, and the poor and sick that the govít has to address, to make them understand why we are investing billions overseas. Itís a moral obligation. Paying GST for medicine, milk powder, education? Our elite scholars have got it wrong.
    There will never be an answer to all. I think the question remain on how to strike a balance between revealing the figures and its implication. Morale obligation no doubt but as long as it does not comprise the national interest of a country.
    There are many organisatons that provide reliefs to the needy. Do you know that if you are good enough, you would have collected, (I was told about $1500/month.) if you go round your estate and collect the various reliefs given by the various self help groups.
    Do you know that schools and MOE will make sure that every child has a place and they will do all possible to help them financially. They even provide the children with free meal and pocket money.

  16. #96

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Yappy View Post
    There will never be an answer to all. I think the question remain on how to strike a balance between revealing the figures and its implication. Morale obligation no doubt but as long as it does not comprise the national interest of a country.
    There are many organisatons that provide reliefs to the needy. Do you know that if you are good enough, you would have collected, (I was told about $1500/month.) if you go round your estate and collect the various reliefs given by the various self help groups.
    Do you know that schools and MOE will make sure that every child has a place and they will do all possible to help them financially. They even provide the children with free meal and pocket money.
    how does having transparency about government spending go against national security? The us has complete transparency about gov spending except for military spending. and their national security is far from compromised.

  17. #97
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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 will never be an answer to all. I think the question remain on how to strike a balance between revealing the figures and its implication. Morale obligation no doubt but as long as it does not comprise the national interest of a country.
    There are many organisatons that provide reliefs to the needy. Do you know that if you are good enough, you would have collected, (I was told about $1500/month.) if you go round your estate and collect the various reliefs given by the various self help groups.
    Do you know that schools and MOE will make sure that every child has a place and they will do all possible to help them financially. They even provide the children with free meal and pocket money.
    Sounds so pathetic for a rich and developed country liked Singapore to depend on voluntary org to help itís own poor and needy. Free meals, pocket monies, free books are peanuts. Itís the pride that matters and let these underprivileged keep their dignity. Itís not about handouts; itís a moral obligation for any govít. And it cannot be passed on to charity org. Another question is, can we afford it?

    A billion dollars lost in stupid investment will see to all of these basic necessities for years. I think its call accountabilities (heads do not need to roll).
    A few billions made are expected, for which those responsible are paid millions. I think its call transparency. Does any body know how much is the Chairman paid? Each MD, each head gets, bonuses?

    We were told of lots of bullshit over the years, they got away with some buying the stories. I, liked many, bought the bullshit. But cannot live with the issues on accountabilities and transparency.
    just1book, no kidding!

  18. #98

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Winsonapm View Post
    The question remains unanswered. If it were not the govtís role to question the GIC, the only one left to question about the investment would be the President (did we elect him? for a second term?).

    Iím not against investments, Iím all for it. Built up big reserves, built a strong defense, infrastructures and what have we. All of us whom have followed this thread and responded would have no problem accepting these realities despite the disagreement on accountability and transparency. Itís the man in the street, the underprivileged, and the poor and sick that the govít has to address, to make them understand why we are investing billions overseas. Itís a moral obligation. Paying GST for medicine, milk powder, education? Our elite scholars have got it wrong.
    My post to yours is to answer the question of how much reserves do we need. It is not to answer the question on transparency.

    As for GST for medicine, milk powder, education... the devil is in the details. There are expensive medicine and cheap medicine. There are expensive milk powder and cheap milk powder. Should we exempt all from GST? Or should those who are rich and opt for the more pricier items pay more? If the rich doesn't have to pay more when they opt for the expensive milk powder, does it mean that i'm actually helping to pay for them? Or is it better to have a uniform tax and then return it to those needy? Which one is easier to administer Just imagine you are being task to sort this out, which approach will you take?

  19. #99

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Winsonapm View Post
    Sounds so pathetic for a rich and developed country liked Singapore to depend on voluntary org to help itís own poor and needy. Free meals, pocket monies, free books are peanuts. Itís the pride that matters and let these underprivileged keep their dignity. Itís not about handouts; itís a moral obligation for any govít. And it cannot be passed on to charity org. Another question is, can we afford it?

    A billion dollars lost in stupid investment will see to all of these basic necessities for years. I think its call accountabilities (heads do not need to roll).
    A few billions made are expected, for which those responsible are paid millions. I think its call transparency. Does any body know how much is the Chairman paid? Each MD, each head gets, bonuses?

    We were told of lots of bullshit over the years, they got away with some buying the stories. I, liked many, bought the bullshit. But cannot live with the issues on accountabilities and transparency.
    There are "handouts" from govt organisation. Just that pple in need does not know how/where to get it.

    Again, I've often pictured myself being in charge of giving out these "handouts". My question inevitably comes to this: when you give out the money (from a limited pool) to the poor, do you consider his/her history?

    Eg. if the person has been rich once but gamble away his fortune, does he deserve it. what if a person is not taking care of his own health (never exercise, chain smoke etc) and rack up huge debts in medical cost. how about the one that waste all his money on women in batam.

    We can't do that because it is not practical at all.

    Ultimately, I arrived at the conclusion everyone must take responsibility for their own action. I think it is fair as long as the rules for giving out handouts are consistently applied throughout. So the next time you decide to splurge on the new camera/car/condo/flat/clubmembership/hobby that you can hardly afford instead of saving the money, then you have to be responsible for whatever future repercussion. It is quite clear what the living expenses for now and for the future. Next time if you need handouts, those rules still stand.

    So if you want to take it easy in life or work hard to build up your retirement funds, it is entirely up to you. The rules are consistent.

    What about those who are genuinely poor or unfortunate? I would say these handouts are sufficient. You will never die of hunger in Singapore. But if you're asking for handouts to afford handphone, scv, broadband, I think that is a bit too much.

  20. #100

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

    I believe that people who really want to threaten our national security would a) do it asymetrically, in which case the amount of reserves would be moot, or b) have the resources to find out how much are reserves are...

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