PAP has a system which is based on academic achievements instead of merit. As such, we see mostly scholars – who belong in the classroom – appointed to senior management of GLCs.
When faced with real world competition, these senior-management scholars have consistently underperformed. Their performance, resulting in billions in investment losses, has of course been covered up by an opaque government.
If Temasek’s return claims are factual, it would have to make hundreds of billions in profits to offset tens of billions in losses. This is of course impossible as Temasek’s portfolio is currently valued at only $275 billion and transferred state assets account for more than $100 billion.
Examples of multi-billion losses and submerged investments by our scholars, including Ho Ching, who know nuts about business:
1 In 2009, Temasek decided to give up on Chartered Semiconductor and cut more than S$10 billion in losses on behalf of taxpayers, after 22 years of competition with Taiwanese and US chipmakers. This was partly due to high business costs, especially land cost, inflated by PAP. (In 2008, Temasek sold 3 power generation plants for S$12. Whether this amount was used to cover up for Chartered’s losses, nobody knows because nobody asked in Parliament.)
2 A more recent case is NOL: a classic example of how to create negative value over 4 decades (below). NOL could have possibly lost more than $10 billion but then again, how will anyone know when MPs act dumb most of the time? 😦
3 A few years after listing Tiger Airways, PAP-approved CEO turned it into Kitten Airways. Privatised with SIA taking over the loser.
4 After sleeping at the wheel since 2014, ComfortDelgro management recently woke up after experiencing some discomfort; its share price began to tumble since 2 years ago. The top-heavy PAP-approved management has belatedly decided to mimic other cab operators with a Uber tie up. But since the terms are no longer dictated by Comfort, its earnings are likely to take a further dip.
5 Faced with competition, Keppel O & M was awarded contracts by engaging in corrupt acts. 😦
Doesn’t this go to show that our scholars are jiak liow bee? Doesn’t any Ahmad or Ah Kow know how to offer bribes?
Who’s next? SIA? PSA?