Taxpayers and CPF members at higher risk with former president/failed GIC dy chairman appointed to newly-created GIC post

I refer to “Dr Tony Tan appointed director and special advisor of GIC“. CNA

There seems to be such an acute lack of talents that the PAP has to employ the former president and GIC executive director to a newly-created position in GIC next year.

GIC CEO and former Malaysian Lim Chow Kiat Tony’s “special advisor” role:
tony tanBut why why would GIC – which already has the most powerful political figures on its board – still require further assistance from a 77 year-old former president? I hope the board of directors are not jiak liow bee. ūüôā

GIC board includes the following directors:
– PM Lee
– 2 DPMs
– 2 ministers with extensive experience
– 1 former minister (clue: reportedly slapped by someone)

Tony’s competence is also highly questionable: GIC made the biggest investment boo boo in its history when he was dy chairman and executive director.

Investment losses are par for the course but to bet $25 billion in reserves and CPF monies on UBS and Citigroup Рat the height of the global financial crisis Рwas clearly reckless.

(It is widely believed that GIC was trying to recoup earlier massive losses but had instead dug a deeper grave. Subsequently, a series of unplanned CPF tweaks were implemented to entice members to top up CPF accounts. On the government’s end, legislations with a similar objective – channel funds to GIC – were enacted, eg GIC received $8 billion from the Pioneer Generation Package, etc.)

With regard to UBS and Citigroup investments, Tony gave these reasons for betting $25 billion during this interview in 2008:
– “We have been following the banks for many years. We know the banks manage money very well”.
– “So we are confident that these two banks will overcome their difficulties”.

From the chart below, it appears that Tony was only talking cock and really knew nothing about UBS after “following the banks for many years”.
tony
Tony: “We always look at risk first, how much money can we lose, what is the downside“.

Did Tony even know the Citigroup investment could have gone bust? ¬†According to a 2008 report by the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program: ‚ÄúWe were on the verge of having to close this institution because it can‚Äôt meet its liquidity Monday morning.”

Was GIC prepared to lose US$6.88 billion in reserves and CPF monies?

Citigroup was a lousy investment and this is reflected in its current share price.
tony1
GIC did not expect Citigroup’s problems to be so severe as to require the US government to prevent its bankruptcy with US$476 billion in cash and guarantees.

That GIC was fortunate to profit from Citi has nothing to do with good judgement but pure luck.

Seriously, a person like Tony who condoned recklessness and depended on luck in managing our reserves and CPF monies will have nothing to contribute to GIC.

Is PAP preparing to take higher investment risk – again – with Tony’s GIC appointment? Will there be a repeat of UBS/Citigroup?

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Talking khawk MOT minister thinks Singaporeans are fools

PAP scholars and ministers are so full of themselves and have always refused to apologise sincerely. One such outstanding minister is (Colombo Plan) scholar and LKY’s former PPS¬†Khaw Boon Wan.

By refusing to offer a sincere apology for LTA’s failure and perpetually doing the ‘twist’, Khaw has made himself into a laughing stock.

Khaw has even resorted to blaming dead PAP leaders for poor planning of the North-South MRT line. When Khaw claimed “we were simply short of cash” and “finance was tight”, he was in fact trying to write his own version of history.

According to his former boss, who may be turning in his gr_ _ _, economic growth actually defied gravity when NSL construction started in 1982.

In his 1984 rally speech (pg 12), LKY said:If Singapore did not have money during “exceptionally good years”, then shouldn’t we have been¬†dead during the first recession in 1985?

LKY even confirmed Singapore had lots of money for government expenditure. Bear in mind that every single cent of our CPF was legislated by PAP as loans to the government.

In 1983, CPF balance stood at more than $19 billion.
$19 billion in CPF – excluding billions in land sales revenue and budget surpluses – but money no enough?

Khaw was grasping at straws when he portrayed Singapore as a desperate for cash nation to explain away our broken MRT system.

Did PAP use our CPF for investment instead of constructing a proper MRT line?

Seriously, Khaw should not talk khawk and assume that Singaporeans are easily fooled.

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PM Lee helping Minister Khaw jinx SMRT?

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PM Lee issues motherhood statements to defend transport failure, ignores accountability issue

That the PAP government is a joke will become evident to even PAP supporters soon.

The MRT system cannot become reliable because the issue of accountability has not been addressed. Instead, leaders claimed they have confidence in fellow elite’s failure.

In a democratic country, the cow-prits would have been taken to task donkey years ago.

But in demoncratic Singapore, we have one Law Minister who has confidence in his failed colleague and a PM issuing motherhood statements. CNA

Commuters should be wary of PAP’s propaganda and understand that PAP is merely interested in preserving its tattered image. Worse disruptions akan datang.

PM Lee:
“It will take time to improve the train system ..”
“.. and there will be more hurdles to clear along the way.”

Perhaps PM should’ve just been upfront with commuters: It may take forever as we¬† currently do not have any solution.

PM Lee: “There are lessons to be learned from the recent problems on the MRT network …”.

But major disruptions are not “recent problems”. PAP had appointed former paper general Kuek to resolve “recent problems” 5 years ago. Another former paper general was also roped in as LTA CEO last year.

PM Lee: “We have made progress, but …”.

The natural aristocrat has again repeated another half truth in the hope that this will eventually become a fact to commuters.   Perhaps the entire cabinet should throw in their weight behind PM Lee?

PM Lee: ” .. improving train reliability is a very complicated problem, ..”.

Well, if running a train system is easy peasy, then LTA CEO would not have to be paid between $500k and $1 million, MOT minister $1.7 million and Desmond Kuek $2.3 million in 2015.

PM Lee: ” .. but the organisations need to be strengthened to deliver consistent high performance.”

Problem is, our MRT system has been delivering consistently poor performance for 1 decade despite organisations having more resources and increasing the salaries of top management.

Like Khaw and other PAP elites who do not commute by train, PM Lee kept asserting that our MRT system has improved but somehow commuters just don’t seem to realise this:
“And while efforts to improve the train network are showing results, it does not feel like that to the public“.

To applause from PAP members, PM Lee confirmed he will continue to support our failed MOT minister: ¬†“I want Boon Wan and his team to know that they have our full support and confidence, ..”.

Taking his nonsense to the edge of the universe, PM Lee:

When leaders continue to live in ivory towers and refused to even address the issue of accountability or acknowledge the severity of MRT issues, it will take more than a miracle to right our MRT system.

But with the PM supporting failure as if all else didn’t matter, we’d better ask Tin Pei Ling for her profound thoughts and hope that PM Lee hasn’t jinxed the system. ūüė¶

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Taxes should not be raised because the government has sufficient funds from land sales revenue, $12 billion in CPF returns confiscated last year

In another attempt to raise billion$ in revenue, PM Lee wants the public to believe that “raising taxes is inevitable“.

But if the PAP wants to increase revenue by only a couple of billion dollars, taxes need not be raised. This is because today’s ‘happy’ situation was anticipated decades ago and the PAP had already squirreled away billions in land sales revenue for investment every year.¬† Or so we’ve been told.

If properly invested by GIC, Singapore should have more than $300 billion in land sales reserves alone to more than adequately cover tomorrow’s expenditure.

A 6% rate of return generates $18 billion annually. A fraction of this would suffice for additional spending needs.

Singaporeans have also been told that the PAP needed to save for a rainy day. That rainy day has arrived but why is the PAP reluctant to spend what it had saved and invested for the people?

Does PAP intend to lock up our reserves forever? Or has the money been used elsewhere without the President’s knowledge? Maybe lost in lousy investments?

Since 2005, the government has earned $147 billion from land sales alone, excluding returns. Are these and earlier revenue see no touch?

On top of the humongous¬†land sales revenue, the government has also been confiscating about half of CPF members’ returns, partly¬†to supplement the budget.¬† This is a form of taxation.

Assuming what GIC claims is true, ie it earns long-term returns of 6%, and that average CPF interest rate is 3%, the government must have therefore confiscated $12 billion from CPF members last year. (see MAS report statistical index pg 15)

Isn’t the additional $12 billion contribution from CPF members, or even part of it, ¬†sufficient to cover rising expenditure?

The media has recently reported and given the impression of better than expected economic growth.  Even PM Lee was pleased to announce economic growth could exceed 3% this year.

Doesn’t higher economic growth¬†result in higher revenue for the government and therefore no need for taxes to be raised?

If higher growth – almost double last year’s 1.8% – does not result in higher revenue, then isn’t this growth kind of fake?
Or is¬†‘growth’ used to justify million-dollar ministerial salaries since higher GDP = higher bonuses?

In the face of economic headwinds and after all the recent cost increases, the government should not raise taxes to make life harder for citizens and businesses.

After all, PAP has already planned decades ago to use part of the hundreds of billions squirreled away in land sales revenue as the population ages.

Not forgetting about $12 billion¬†‘tax’ paid by CPF members via GIC last year. ūüė¶

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