SPH chairman Lee Boon Yang should stop talking cock

Every PAP-appointed CEO who screws up will be covered up by PAP’s propaganda machine.

SPH CEO Alan Chan is no exception and has been repeatedly praised in the MSM, especially by former cabinet minister and SPH chairman Lee Boon Yang.

Boon Yang: “Chan has served SPH with great distinction in the last 15 years.”

The reality? CEO Chan screwed up big time so much so that not a single analyst has a buy call on SPH!
markets.ft.com

EPS has collapsed, net profits reduced by half during the last 5 years, dividends reduced, etc. Everything is going down except Chan’s remuneration.

It is precisely because Chan has screwed up that investors are now having a lelong sale.
After earning almost $30 million as CEO, Chan is now well-qualified to lecture on “How to destroy shareholder value and get away with it”. 🙂

Chairman Lee Boon Yang should not assume SPH investors are stupid and better cease talking cock.

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CPF scheme serves GIC, not CPF members

Fortunately for the PAP government, most CPF members have continued to absorb propaganda like sponge. It’s a pity that all the efforts by Roy and others to enlighten members have almost gone to waste.

One only needs to look at CPF statistics and think a little to understand that the CPF scheme is in fact a legalized scam.

CPF Ordinary Account

The primary objective of the CPF OA is to channel 23% of monthly wages – meant for retirement – into housing. This is of course pure folly as any idiot knows the result is a housing bubble.

PAP is aware that:
– The 23% in CPF OA will be depleted only in the initial 20 to 25 years of servicing a mortgage.
– OA balances will increase steadily after one reaches 40 years old.
– Many who have inherited properties do not dip into their OA.
– Others with partial inheritance have a substantial OA balance for decades.

As such, total CPF OA balances will continue to increase.

CPF OA balances increased from $85 billion in 2011 to $118 billion in 2016.

Although PAP is aware that there will always be a huge net balance in the OA, the PAP-controlled CPF Board has refused to pay a reasonable long-term interest rate. This has partly contributed to the huge retirement funding shortfall.

If Malaysia’s EPF could pay an average of 6% for 20 years, why does the PAP need to guarantee CPF members super low rates of 2.5%? Why does the PAP need to commingle CPF with state reserves when this is not practiced by any other government?

Paying CPF members lower rates appears to serve GIC because part of its returns are used to supplement the budget. Should GIC pay CPF members interest rates similar to EPF’s, its ability to supplement the government budget is questionable.

GIC claims it has been making a 6% long-term return but CPF members have been paid only 2.5% for 2 decades. The amount confiscated from CPF members is therefore not peanuts. Using the current CPF OA balances of $118 billion in 2016, GIC stands to gain $4.13 billion from CPF members this year.

​Through the PAP-controlled Parliament, CPF has been converted to state reserves, ie PAP forcibly took our CPF for GIC to speculate. 😦 😦 ​

Over the years, the government has benefitted tens of billions from such a convenient arrangement.

MOF: “The investment of our reserves provides a valuable stream of income for the Government Budget, ..”

Questions:
Why should CPF members help to supplement the government budget?
Since CPF members are contributing to the budget, is this not a form of taxation?
Since our economy has performed spectacularly, as evidenced by GDP growth, why does the government need to confiscate returns due to CPF members?
Is this ethical?

There is also a question of GIC’s expense ratio which has not been disclosed. Assuming GIC charges a 2% management fee, this would mean it will earn $2.3 billion from managing OA balances alone.

GIC is managed by PAP elites and it appears to have created multi-million dollar positions for them at GIC.

GIC has also been seeding funds set up by its former employees. If these fund managers are worth their weight in salt, money would have come knocking on their doors after leaving GIC. Instead, GIC was reported to have thrown billions of our CPF and reserves at them.

For example, Aje Saigal, who had been working at GIC for 30 years was seeking to raise $1 billion when he started Nuvest Capital. He had aimed to achieve the $1 billion target in 12 months. If Aje had any reputation to begin with, funds would have seek him out. Has Nuvest managed to raise $1 billion? It has not disclosed this on its website, similar to GIC which is afraid to disclose its AUM.

GIC also seeded another fund set up by former CIO Ng Kok Song. Bonus for Ng was another US$3 billion of our reserves came from Temasek. The elephant in the room: why do these veteran fun managers still rely on our CPF and reserves for their survival?

Together with a performance bonus, the expense ratio of GIC could easily amount to billions annually. Why do elected MPs continue to act dumb, pretending billions of our CPF and reserves are peanuts. 😦

It appears the CPF scheme serves only GIC, not CPF members.

Posted in CPF, GIC | 1 Comment

Collapse of government-linked companies not a question of if, but when (2)

When the government appoints former civil servants and army generals with zero private sector experience to head government-linked companies, rest assured it is digging its own grave. Or rather Singaporeans’ since it involves billions in tax dollars. 😦

In the real private sector, non-performing CEOs are given the boot. But when it comes to PAP-appointed ones, the remuneration is increased or they are simply transferred to another GLC to wreak more havoc.

SPH is a classic example of how PAP plans to put the final nail in a GLC’s coffin.

SPH, a media organization, has seen its readership declining since 2009. Despite this, CEO Alan Chan’s remuneration has doubled from less than $1.5 million in FY2009…

..to $2.914 million in FY2016.

If SPH has been able to increase its bottom line through acquisitions, doubling Chan’s pay would have been justified. However, its net income had tumbled by almost 50% since FY2012 and EPS basically collapsed.

Chan has been credited with expanding SPH which is investing in everything except its core business. In the private sector, the objective of acquisition is to improve the bottom line. In Chan’s case, profit after taxation in the year before he became CEO in 2003 was $73 million higher than in FY2016!
To reward an incompetent CEO must have been a big slap in SPH shareholders’ face.

When Chan became CEO in 2003, he was paid less than $1 million.

If Chan’s pay was pegged to his performance, shouldn’t he be getting less than $1 million since profit after taxation in FY2016 was lower than FY2003?

Instead of pegging Chan’s pay to his dismal performance, SPH increased Chan’s pay and reduce costs by shedding almost 10% of employees under the guise of restructuring.
link

How could any company with monopoly status earn lesser profits every year? How could readership have fallen despite the population increasing by more than half a million from 2009 to 2015?
If SPH was even serious about declining readership, it would have ceased disseminating daily propaganda for PAP.

It’s only a matter of time before SPH shareholders demand for CEO Chan’s head to roll but of course this is not going to happen. Instead, Chan has decided to kwai kwai “retire” after earning an estimated $28 million** as CEO. (**average of $2 million over 14 years.)

SPH is a sinking ship but after Chan leaves in September, SPH will be helmed by former paper general Ng who has actually sunk NOL, another GLC.

While SPH chairman Lee Boon Yang has anyhow praised CEO Chan for “steering SPH to greater heights ..”, Singaporeans should only expect appointed-CEO Ng to steer SPH to … great depths.

Former civil servants and army generals are ill-suited to be CEOs of government-linked companies. This is common sense.

Helmed by incompetence, the collapse of government-linked companies is inevitable.

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Scholar-CEO who ran NOL into the ground likely to do the same to SPH, no one complaining

I refer to “Ng Yat Chung to replace Alan Chan as SPH CEO from Sep 1”. CNA

Many Singaporeans are screaming with joy after learning that a former paper general has been appointed to head SPH because he is likely to take SPH down the same NOL path. 🙂

Besides stating Ng “was previously CEO of shipping firm Neptune Orient Lines”, nothing else was mentioned about Ng’s achievements in the CNA article. Hmm .. which company hires a CEO with no past achievements?

SPH shareholders should get to know the appointed CEO better and find out if former paper-general Ng is bringing anything at all to the table.

Ng created history when he sold NOL – after years of losses – to a French company last year. Despite this, Ng was praised by SPH chairman Lee Boon Yang, a former cabinet minister who had studied in Australia to be a vet.

Lee Boon Yang: “..will complement our diverse strengths and expertise. He will help us to steer SPH to greater heights of organisational and business excellence.” The Independent

Lee was obviously talking cock and there is ample proof of this.

Since Ng became CEO, NOL had lost money every quarter.


Shouldn’t SPH shareholders be really worried?

Before Ng was parachuted into Temasek Holdings, his only experience was 28 years in the military. He subsequently became CEO of NOL, a Temasek-linked company. Ng does not have any relevant experience to run SPH.

SPH is a media dinosaur as is evident from the destruction of shareholder value by scholar-CEO Alan Chan.
Point to note is SPH has no competitors and its main publication some refer to as ‘Shitty Times’ is supported by every government agency, schools and businesses. Since Alan Chan became CEO in 2003, the population has also increased by 1.6 million.

Logically, SPH share price should increase over time but today, it is lower than 14 years ago.

Chan himself was also parachuted into SPH after retiring from the civil service.   Can any civil servant who has been earning tax dollars all his life become a CEO overnight?

Chan was not running a media organisation but helping his political masters disseminate propaganda. That investors have started dumping SPH shares and will continue to do so should not surprise anyone.

CEO-designate Ng will bring nothing to SPH’s table and very likely to run SPH into the ground, just like he did NOL. But no one will be complaining. 🙂

Posted in POLITICS | 4 Comments

When the PM has to sell CPF snake oil/koyok, you know GIC is in trouble

The huge shortfall in retirement funding for Singaporeans is testament to the abject failure of our CPF scheme.

Instead of addressing the issue, PAP has engaged in propaganda to create an illusion that all is well, eg in 2011, PAP quietly amended the original objective of providing for an adequate retirement to include providing for our housing and medical needs.
Mission before 2011

Mission after 2011 changed without any announcement.

To cover its tracks, the government has removed all online CPF annual reports. How to trust such a scheming government likedat? 😦

Not only has the PAP dished out more propaganda in the MSM, PAP MPs and ministers have been roped in convince CPF members to continue allowing GIC to manage our NO-QUESTIONS-ASKED $328 billion CPF.

But when our failed pension system required PM Lee to sell CPF snake oil before the 2015 GE, Singaporeans had better start to sit up. The head of any state should not need to market a 6-decade old pension system, unless of course something is not right.
In “GE 2015: Singaporeans value CPF’s good returns, says PM“, PM Lee made a number of WTF-statements, insulting even to idiots.

PM Lee: “The Central Provident Fund (CPF) offers good returns, and the best evidence of this is the $500 million Singaporeans voluntarily put into their accounts last year.”

$500 million may seem a very large amount but this should be put into perspective. Considering total CPF balances of $275 billion at end 2014, $500 million is only …. 0.2%! It’s not even 1% but 1/5 of 1%. How significant is this amount?

Without any breakdown, it can only be assumed that wealthy Singaporeans are the ones who volunteered their funds for GIC to manage. In 2014, there were about 140,000 Singaporean millionaires. Even if slightly more than one third of them, ie 50,000 deposited only $10,000 each to earn a higher interest rate, this would have made up PM Lee’s “$500 million”.

Unlike ordinary citizens, wealthy Singaporeans could easily increase their CPF balances instead of having cash idling in banks or investments earning miserable yields. If wealthy Singaporeans have faith in the CPF Board, the voluntary amounts should have been at least $5 billion annually. (According to MOM, about 200,000 residents earned at least $10,000 a month in 2014.)

If CPF did offer good returns, Singaporeans from all walks of life wouldn’t have mind topping up with cash. Assuming only 2/3 of members top up $1000 each, CPF Board would have at least $2 billion additional funds every year.

In the case of CPF, good returns is subjective because PAP has been constantly shifting CPF goal posts to delay withdrawal. The “$500 million Singaporeans voluntarily put into their accounts last year” reflects little confidence in the CPF Board. 😦

PM Lee: “You go to DBS, cannot get that. You go to UOB, cannot get that.”

CPF members should be very worried when our $2.2 million PM had mistakenly thought CPF Board functions like a bank.
Can’t imagine President Trump or even PM Najib making such a silly comparison.

PM Lee: “I think it’s not bad, right? So why, when you go to opposition rallies, they never mention this? Because if they mentioned this, nobody will vote for the opposition.”

Although the CPF scheme has been failing Singaporeans for decades, PAP still has the audacity to own self praise own self.

PM Lee: “You don’t take it out… well, you earn good interest. You need it desperately, you take it out. You have that flexibility.”

PM Lee has continued to bury his head in the sand: the issue of retirement funding shortfall means there’s nothing for the majority to take out in the first place.

PM Lee: “So I think the CPF is taking good care of the old people.”

Is this how CPF is taking care of the thousands of elderly Singaporeans doing menial jobs to survive?
Thanks to Roy’s persistence in highlighting this issue, PAP was forced to return 20% of CPF at 65. But by then, about 18% of CPF members will not be able to enjoy PAP’s “flexibility” because it’s statistically impossible: they will be dead. 😦

PM Lee is totally divorced from CPF members’ reality and has continued to engage in propaganda and half-truths. Together with all the silly statements, he appears to be selling CPF koyok.

When the leader of a country has to resort to selling CPF snake oil, GIC is likely to be in financial dire straits. 😦

PS

If the PAP government wants to regain CPF members’ trust, it has to be transparent and open up GIC’s book.

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