John Harding’s book, Escape from Paradise – Paperback and Kindle Versions


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Now, available in Kindle and Paperback! Free Kindle if you purchase Paperback. After buying Paperback, go for the free Kindle!

It took me two and a half evenings to complete your un-put-downable book…it is a unique contribution to the appreciation of a life in Singapore. Thank you for having written it. C. V. Devan Nair, former President of Singapore.

Bought the book from Select this weekend and can’t put it down! It’s a great read! And so nostalgic for me—the good old days! Glen Goei, writer and director of the Miramax film That’s the Way I Like It and who played the title role opposite Anthony Hopkins in the London production of M. Butterfly. Mr. Goei’s latest film is The Blue Mansion – Click for the trailer!

It is a remarkable story and so full of intrigue that it reads at times like fiction.Jonathan Burnham, Editor in Chief & President, Talk Miramax Books.

“It’s quite a story The legendary Alice Mayhew, Vice-President & Editorial Director, Simon & Schuster.

This book out-Dallas, Dallas. No one has written so well of the other side of paradise,Francis T. Seow, former Solicitor General of Singapore

ThunderBall Films is successfully putting together the movie production of Escape from Paradise and has received a new LOI (Letter of Intent) from actress Bai Ling who starred with Richard Gere in the film Red Cross.

This includes a commitment from a CPA firm who does tax credit financing in Ireland, a possible location to film, as part of the package needed for investors – along with the CPA firm’s commitment to apply for and finance the tax credits if ThunderBall does shoot in Ireland and what portion of the budget they would provide.
For inquiries, please contact John Harding at jbharding@gmail.com.

Escape from Paradise – the Promotional Trailer

Charles “Chip” Waterhouse Goodyear IV and Saddam

Trading with the enemy

Goodyear

Goodyear

Saddam

Saddam

Charles “Chip” Waterhouse Goodyear IV was with BHP Billiton from 1999 until September 30th 2007.

Goodyear was with BHP back when Saddam Hussein was still in power. In fact, BHP was negotiating with Iraqi oil ministry officials for rights to develop oil fields in southern Iraq –  once sanctions were lifted.

The deal was complicated, corrupt, and illegal.

According to Andrew Lindberg, head of the Australian Wheat Board (AWB) “BHP had paid AWB for the wheat on behalf of Iraq in exchange for the grant of oil exploration rights in Iraq.”

In other words, Goodyear’s BHP was bribing Iraq with Australian wheat for oil.

Goodyear’s BHP was trading with the enemy.

In 2001, Goodyear’s BHP handed responsibility for the wheat bribe to a BHP “front,” Tigris Petroleum, which was quietly incorporated in Gibraltar, and conveniently run by two “former” BHP employees. Tigris approached AWB to  recover the “debt” which came to $7.8 million.

According to Lindberg, “It was agreed between AWB and IGB [Iraqi Grains Board] that the Tigris debt would be repaid by the inclusion of an amount in the contract price of wheat supplied by AWB to Iraq until the debt was extinguished.”

Lindberg’s words “inclusion of an amount” means illegally overcharging for the wheat.

The $7.8 million “debt” was allegedly hidden in two inflated wheat contracts given to the UN oil-for-food scheme.

In this way, Goodyear’s BHP  bribe money was stolen from the UN’s account designated to fund humanitarian shipments of food and medicine to Iraqis suffering under the UN sanctions.

Goodyear’s BHP wanted to get its bribe money back even at the expense of human suffering in Iraq.

To hide this illegal arrangement, AWB set up a “sham” services agreement, under which it paid Tigris Petroleum $7.8m out of the stolen UN funds – the exact amount owed to BHP.

In the continuing fallout from the Iraq oil-for-food scandal, in 2006, Goodyear’s BHP was reported in the press saying: “We did not participate in the oil-for-food program or participate in any oil and gas transactions with the Hussein regime.”

No, Goodyear’s company let its surrogate, Tigris Petroleum, do the dirty work for it.

Goodyear himself told the company’s annual meeting that BHP was “reviewing” its deals with Tigris Petroleum. He has said little else on the matter.

With his connections, CIA, or otherwise, Goodyear was able to avoid any personal or company damage over the matter.  Goodyear finally squirmed out of the accusation, as his buddies in the USA and UN said it the deal had involved only a “soft bribe.” A “soft bribe,” and what is that? Apparently, it is a just a plain old bribe, but made by a well-connected person, such as Goodyear.

Goodyear left BHP in 2007, and cooled it for a couple of years, retiring to his dingy office in a run-down part of New Orleans. (Which we covered in a prior post).

Goodyear resurfaced in February 2009 when he was appointed head of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, Temasek Holdings.

Certainly Singapore should have known about Goodyear’s BHP activities in Iraq, and of the theft of funds from the United Nations – or didn’t Singapore care? Maybe Singapore did care, as Goodyear was fired from Temasek Holdings on July 22 of this year, but with no explanation.

Once again the talented Mr. Goodyear has disappeared from view.

Today, three members of Singapore’s have tabled questions on the matter, and there will be some polite debate.

Odds are that Singapore won’t be getting at the truth.

Author’s note: Due to our following of the health care debacle in the US, we had not intended to publish this article. However, we received a comment, that addressed the facts of Goodyear’s BHP involvement with Iraq. This very informative comment prompted us to publish this article at this time.  A revealing  interview of Goodyear on this affair appears on website of the 7:30 Report.

19 comments to Charles “Chip” Waterhouse Goodyear IV and Saddam

  • Adrian Villanueva

    Really surprising news if it is substantiated by another source. Sorry for being over cautious as all kinds of rumours are flying around regarding Goodyear’s departure. As a Singaporean I want the truth so that Temasek must give an answer & be transparent (hopefully so).

  • Zack Choe

    Very interesting findings here.

  • Colin

    Is it really possible for a person “to be in the limelight” with a false identity?

    While the Singapore press maybe “beholden” to the PAP government, why aren’t the US press digging into Goodyear’s ill dealings? Is it because he is not “presidential material”?

    Just too many questions and not enough substantiated answers.

  • Pettrick

    Singaporeans are a really blind lot. This is not the first time Spore was taken for a ride by CIA.

    Many many years ago, the Nugan Hand Bank opened a branch in Spore. Why did the MAS (Monetary Authority of Spore) allowed the bank to open shop? It was a suspected vehicle for drug money laundering. Mr Nugan and Mr Hand (the founding partners of the bank — one of them was later murdered in Australia in a drug-related incident) were drug traders from their days in the Vietnam war.

    In the murky world of military intelligence, no one will never know the truth. It was believed that the bank was actually a CIA intelligence vehicle. It was used to re-channel drug money into covert CIA activities.

    Was the Spore MAS so blind, or was it “strategic” alliance with the CIA, or was there some arm twisting by the USA? I for one do not believe the MAS was blind. Certainly, a relatively unknown and tiny bank like Nugan Hand was not a name that Spore want to attract to help build up its reputation as a international financial centre. They were certainly privy to something that we were never know for sure.

    As a fotnote, when it became clear the background of the bank was no longer a secret, the MAS closed down the bank, and the scapegoat? A poor Mr Tan who was the local finance head, went to jail…..poor chap got nothing to do with it. He went to jail simply because he was the official “Local Principal” for the banking licence.

    • admin

      Pettrick:
      Thank you for your comment.

      The CIA has used front companies, like the Nugan Hand Bank, to supply needed revenue. Certainly, Singapore was a great place for the Nugan Hand, and Michael Hands office was right there.

      You are quite correct that Nugan Hand Bank was “a suspected vehicle for drug money laundering.”

      CIA agent Richard L. Armitage was associated with Nugan Hand in Thailand to oversee the transfer of heroin profits from Thailand. Assisting Armitage was Daniel Arnold, the CIA Chief of Station in Thailand, and business associate of the Chung Shih Ping family who fled from Brunei to Singapore.

      My wife met Daniel Arnold in Singapore on several occasions, with the Chungs.

      After being ousted from Brunei, where one of the Chungs was imprisoned for a year, the Chungs retained Queens Counsel Alexander Irvine and his assistant Richard Field to defend them.

      Richard Field had previously represented Nugan Hand Bank in Singapore.

      The influence of the U.S., through the CIA is probably still strong in Singapore. The Temasek takeover by Charles W. Waterhouse IV bears similarities (on a much larger scale, than the Nugen Hand Bank affair).

      The Chung family still lives in Singapore.

      Dan Arnold and Richard Field are mentioned in our book, Escape from Paradise, and on our website pages for Alexander Irvine, and Dan Arnold.

      When we wrote Escape from Paradise, our main concern was that we would have problems from the CIA. Instead, the banning of our book was caused by Singapore Lawyer, Helen Yeo, and her husband, former cabinet minister Yeo Cheow Tong.

      Yes, the thought has occurred to me that the Yeos were working for the CIA.

  • sam

    Most of the local population knows the PAP government answers to No One.They do whatever they think it’s right irregardless of what others think.Talk about transparency?To many Singaporeans,they regard the system as ‘legalize corruption’.

    • admin

      Sam: Very true, and the U.S. is beginning to look more and more like Singapore with little transparency, and the influence of the lobbyists in Washington.
      As it stands, without the public option, Obama’s health care will do little more than deliver 50 million new customers into the hands of the health insurance companies.

  • Colin

    John, do you have “a axe to grind” with the Singapore government? Just curious because you spent time in several countries besides Singapore (like Saudi Arabia) but you have “special interest” on Singapore only (of course besides your motherland USA), especially the negative events.

    I know your wife was treated like dirt by the Chungs, but I thought you were treated well by Inland Revenues.

    Like I have said, I am just curious……..

  • Colin:
    Inland Revenue treated me very well, and I have no “axe to grind” with that organization. I still have friends from Inland Revenue with whom I keep in touch. Like many Singaporeans (which I am not), I m against those who are corrupt and incompetent.

    The Soviet Union lost the Cold War because it ran out of money. The US is in a depression, not because of “bubbles,” but because it too ran out of money thanks the the $3 trillion war in Iraq. This is never mentioned by the media.

    Now the US is falling into the same trap with Afghanistan.

    Getting at the truth of the depression, the US health care fiasco, and the hiring and firing of the mysterious Charles “Chip” Waterhouse Goodyear, or whoever he was, are examples.

  • Colin

    John:

    If one looks at your homepage, and based on your reply, Singapore must be one of the “most problematic” countries in the world, alongside America. Mind you, I am a strong critic of LKY and PAP myself, but I think your lopsided focus on everything Singapore does not make you a creditable critic. Just an opinion.

  • So, I take it, you don’t think my calling out of Goodyear was right? There is no “lopsided focus.” It is important to expose corruption in countries like the U.S. and Singapore who profess to be the very best and most advanced. In Zimbabwe, Italy, or even Mexico, the populace knows that the politicians are corrupt. No education is needed there. It is only the dreamy Americans, and timid Singaporeans that need to be reminded about what is really happening in their countries. Sure, I could write about Switzerland or the Scandinavian countries – but what’s to write about there. Those countries are where Singapore and the U.S. claim to be – but, getting at the truth, we expose the differences.
    Colin – the truth hurts – doesn’t it?

  • Pettrick

    On balance, I am appreciative of what the PAP has done for Singapore. Even a simple old uneducated woman like my mother (passed away a few years ago, aged 86) who had such innocence in her, marvelled how her simple life had changed for the better over the years under the PAP.

    There was a time, prior Goh Chok Tong days, how I hated the PAP’s arrogance. By the good grace of God, the PAP had humbled and re-invented themselves tremendously. That said, I’m not as yet, a flag waver for the PAP.

    By most countries’ standards, Singapore’s corruption level is really marvellous. But as our local saying goes…low crime (or corruption) does’nt mean no crime. I appreciate your site is dedicated to the exposure of corruption in spanking clean Singapore. To me, whistle blowers make very positive contributions to society. But of course, I can see where your motivation came from. Which is a little sad because it’s rather like the late Jeyaratnam, and Chee Soo Juan. All the venom came from personal grudges not with the heart wanting to do good for the fellowmen.

  • Lee Kuan Yew has done a lot for Singapore, agreed, and I am sure your mother had a much better life for it.

    There is a Spanish saying that, “More grows in the garden than the gardener sows.” In other words, the people who came in on Lee Kuan Yew’s coattails, were not all the best. This includes Goh Chok Tong, and others, along with the poster boy for incompetence, Yeo Cheow Tong.

    It is a common trait among leaders, whether they are in government or in business, that they tend to put weak people under them – as they don’t want to be overthrown by someone brighter than they.
    I do not think that Singapore’s corruption level is “marvellous,” as you put it.

    For example, Singapore avoids extradition treaties with nearby countries, in order to lure crooks and their money to Singapore, as is the case with Liem Tek Siong, alias Sjamsul Nursalim, alias Liem Tjoen Ho who fled from Indonesia to Singapore with billions.

    Singapore is a center for money laundering and worse. If you want to name countries whose corruption level is “marvellous,” look to Scandinavia.

    I disagree that Jeyaratnam and Chee Soon Juan are against the PAP because of “personal grudges.” Jeyaratnam was a fool, and Chee is sincere in his beliefs.

    The only grudge I have with anyone in Singapore is with Helen Yeo and her husband, Yeo Cheow Tong. I have never made any attempt to hide this fact.

    Any criticism of Singapore that I may have, however, is not due to the Yeos. Your attempt to portray me as such is to destroy the argument by destroying the man – the well-know logical flaw of “argumentum ad hominem.”

    You are wrong about me, and you wrong about Singapore.

    We are living under the Chinese curse of “interesting times.” The U.S. economy will continue to collapse into a deeper depression, as 500,000+ Americans lose their jobs every month.

    Singapore, with its burden of a huge foreign population and a shrinking export market is in a very dangerous situation. Unlike the U.S., Singapore has no hinterland – Lee Kuan Yew pointed that out some time ago. The United States has a hinterland, and so does Mexico.

    It may come to the point that, to survive, Singapore must acquire a hinterland – which would mean re-integration with Malaysia. Lee Kuan Yew has said that, too.

    The last U.S. depression was solved by World War II. The U.S. may need another major war to survive the current depression.

    In these “interesting times,” do you really think Singapore’s leadership will be up to the task?

    Stop looking for an excuse, either with me, or Chee, or anybody else who criticize those you worship. I hold nothing personal against Singapore, and you should not attack Singapore’s critics on a personal basis.

    Your argument should stand on its own merits, and not on the criticism of others.

  • Colin

    John, somehow I am still not covinced about your motive. I see a hidden agenda.

    Did the Singapore government promised you the Temasek job and then gave it to Goodyear? Are you trying to get even on behalf of your wife, May?

    By the way, I salute both Jejaratnam and Chee for your guts!

  • Neither my wife nor I have any beef with the Singapore Government. I left Singapore when my contract with Citibank was coming to an end. Both my wife and I are very happy with Singapore. Some of her friends are in your top family, and I still have friends from IRAS (one of whom visited me in the U.S).

    Let’s set the record straight. I did not criticize Chee! Chee, his sister, and I have exchanged many friendly emails. Chee and his sister are two of the most courageous people in Singapore. More than anybody they have brought the attention of the world to the problems of Singapore. (Jeyaretnam is totally unknown outside of Singapore, as are his two sons.)

    Chiam See Tong recently requested a copy of our book, which we sent him, gratis. Earlier, your Chief Justice request requested a copy.

    My motives are straightforward – what about yours? I see a hidden agenda.

  • Colin

    John,

    I have no hidden agenda. I bought your book through my American friend.

    I am just very puzzled by your extreme interest in everything Singapore. Singapore is just a tiny “red dot” and when I travel (which I do 50% of the time), I notice that even non-Singapore newspapers find Singapore news not news worthy. And here we have a guy who just spent some years living in Singapore and married a Singapore wife putting Singapore “on par” with U.S. in terms of news worthiness.

    Why not Saudi Arabia? Is Saudi Arabia so perfect that there is nothing to “unearth”?

    As I have said earlier, I salute Jeyaratnam and Chee for their guts to stand up against the institutions. Neither am I puzzled because they are Singaporeans fighting a “Singapore cause”.

    I still don’t see your “motivation”.

  • Colin:

    Thanks for buying our book – hope you enjoyed it/

    I wouldn’t say that I have put Singapore on par with the U.S, on my blog. There are far more articles about the U.S. than there are about Singapore.

    The posts about Goodyear were as much about the U.S. as the were about Singapore.

    The question that Goodyear brings up about Singapore, is why hire Americans to do a job that a Singaporean is qualified to do?

    Maybe it has to do with wanting to keep information and control out of the hands of Singaporeans, or maybe Singapore is somehow deluded into thinking that foreigners are better perhaps due to a “colonial hangover.”

    I don’t agree that Singapore is not news-worthy. I get a tremendous number of hits on two subjects – Singapore is one, and Sarah Palin is the other. You can get an idea by looking at the size of the words in my Tag Cloud.

    I am working on posts regarding how the crooks in the U.S. Senate have defeated health care, and a second one on Obama’s folly of expanding the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan (yes, and Pakistan – the U.S. has troops there, already).

    There are only three countries that I probably won’t write about – Italy, France, and Switzerland – places where I might want to live someday.

    Police states like Singapore, and the U.S. can become dangerous…

    All the best,
    John

    Saudi Arabia? Well, I have been writing a book on Saudi Arabia to explain to the infidels what Saudi Arabia and Islam are really like.

  • Pettrick

    John, nothing personal. I’m just saying your gripes have its roots in Helen Yeo’s “malpractices”. But I do appreciate your exposures on all those Yeo Cheow Tong misdeeds. I remembered reading in the papers with disbelief about the million dollar salary Yeo’s daughter was promised by the silly US bank whilst she was still in the universty…and off my mind was the thought that there’s gotta something behind that. There, you’ve shown everyone the reasons.

    Chee Soon Chuan was a petty pilferer. His gripe has its roots in the treatment and shame he received after his misdeed was exposed. You will no doubt remember he was cheating in his expense claims forms….real small time petty cheat that diminishes his standing as a man. He now has issues to champion, and for the determination, the courage to challenge the authorities and sacrifices he is making, I salute him. But my problem with him is the credibility of his new found ideals, and the fact that he has been barking up the wrong trees on far too many accassions.

    Jeyeratnam’s gripe very few people really understood or are aware of. I’m sure you don’t too. Jeyeratnam’s is a personal feud with Lee Kuan Yew many years before LKY came to power. Back in the colonial days, LKY was a young and fiery lawyer and Jeyeratnam was a judge. LKY represented some bus unions in a case which was presided by Jeyeratnam. This is like Cinderella story, really. To cut it short, somewhere in the proceedings, LKY was seriously rebuked by the judge. That rebuke must have cut so deep that when LKY became Prime Minister and calls the shot in the island, the venom in his treatment of Jeyeratnam came from simple primeval motivation of vengeance. It’s really sad that great man can bemean themselves to those levels.