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


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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

Escape from Paradise – the Promotional Trailer

Reward for information regarding Seth Rich

One America News Network (OAN) is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in former DNC staffer Seth Rich’s murder case.

The Herring Networks, Inc. media company OAN joins a number of individuals and groups that are willing to pay for information that solves the July 10, 2016, killing of Mr. Rich. The election-season murder continues to spark conspiracy theories based on the suggestion that Mr. Rich provided DNC data to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

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Others offering rewards include the Washington, D.C. Police Department ($25,000); WikiLeaks ($20,000); and Republican strategist Jack Burkman ($130,000).

Is Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew the world’s richest man?

The most indebted countries (Fortune magazine)

The most indebted countries (Fortune magazine)

Tony Tan has been elected as Singapore’s next president. He won by the narrowest of margins, with 744,397 votes—only 7,000 some votes ahead of runner-up Tan Cheng Bock, who garnered 737,128 votes.

This was out of a total of 2,153,040 votes, which means that Tony Tan won only 35% of the votes cast. This is significant as it means that 65% of Singapore’s voters were against Singapore’s entrenched People’s Action Party (PAP)—the party of Lee Kuan Yew.

Interestingly, 37,826 ballots were rejected by the Singapore authorities. What Singapore needs are U.N. inspectors who could have made sure that the ballots were rejected properly.

Tony Tan, who lost billions as head of Singapore’s General Investment Corporation (GIC), and who has been plagued by scandals, will now be the country’s president. GIC is one of the guardians of Singapore’s national reserves, its sovereign wealth.

Maybe only a handful of people know the size of Singapore’s reserves. The amount was and is a closely guarded secret, known only to certain family members of Singapore’s de-facto ruler, Lee Kuan Yew.

Soon after his election to the presidency in 1993, Ong Teng Chong felt it was his duty to know the value of Singapore’s financial reserves.

The Singapore government resisted Ong, saying it would take 56 man-years to produce a dollar-and-cents value of Singapore’s immovable assets (real property) alone. Ong never found out the value of Singapore’s reserves. He completed his term as president in 1999 and died in 2002.

Now we learn from the August 15, 2011 issue of Fortune Magazine that Singapore has no sovereign wealth.

Instead it has a sovereign debt of US$254 billion, which is 95% of Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  This puts Singapore at 8th position as one of the world’s most indebted nations. Singapore is near the bottom of the pile; only seven developed countries are more in debt, in terms of GDP.

By this standard, France, Portugal, and nearly every developed country in the world is doing better than Singapore in terms of debt.

Apparently, Singapore has borrowed heavily from its own Central Provident Fund (CPF) which holds the retirement funds of Singaporeans. This explains why Singapore is not only raising the retirement age, but making it more difficult for Singaporeans to get their retirement funds even when they reach that age.

Like many Americans, it appears that few Singaporeans will ever be able to afford to retire.

The United States borrowed to pay for its continuing wars. That we know. Where, however, did all Singapore’s borrowed money go?
The Singapore government has always had a surplus of tax revenues over expenditures. It has virtually no social entitlements. You become poor in Singapore and all you may have is a cardboard box on the void deck, as the Singapore government will not be there to help you.

Only a few people control Singapore’s national reserves, in secrecy, and only they are in a position to use those reserves as they wish.

Maybe Carlos Slim of Mexico is no longer the world’s richest man.

Is Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew the world’s richest man?

Update May 4, 2014

Lee Kuan Yew’s 792,000 kilogrammes of platinum are worth approximately US$35,640,000,000!!!

PROJECT HAMMER
Covert Finance, the Parallel Economy & Elite Action s
By David Guyatt

(page 51)

…there are further, less well-known and far more shadowy, aspects about Lee Kuan Yew that the general public is not cognisant of. For some while now I have been in possession of a copy of a Certificate of Deposit for 792,000 kilograms of Platinum that is dated July 2, 1972 and bears the passport sized photograph, thumbprint and name of – yes, you guessed – Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.

The certificate and accompanying documents – which run to several dozen pages – contain some of the usual spelling and typographical mistakes (for example, “Jhonson & Mathew” instead of Johnson & Mathey) that have become the trademark of these “deniable” bullion certificates that bear the names of famous people, heads of state and politicians etc.[75]

Clearly, Lee Kuan Yew has been part of the Black Eagle gold story for the past thirty years and the phenomenal growth of Singapore as a model and powerhouse of new business ventures – and as an enduring Asian success story – may well be predicated on metal plundered during WWII?

Interestingly, some of the bullion and other assets plundered by the Japanese during the war came from Singapore.

[75] See my The Secret Gold Treaty for details of the purposeful typographical mistakes on these certificates – See also Seagrave’s Gold Warriors in which observes the same “deniability” phenomena.



 

131 comments to Is Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew the world’s richest man?

  • Singapore Man

    Your post of Singapore’s debt of US$254Billion is staggering!
    My god! I had no idea. No wonder the PAP govt is changing our CPF rules of our money withdrawals.
    This situation that our country is facing is really as bad as America.
    Our young men and women will have to work until they are 80 to get their hands on ‘their OWN MONEY’!

  • PT Lim

    I have to find another country to work!
    As it is, I can hardly breathe with the millions of people in Singapore. This includes the FTs.
    This is crazy.

  • LBT

    The reigning monarchs are planning to bring in more FTs, cheap labor. Singaporeans can’t keep up with their costs of living.

    PTLim- Where are you planning to run to?

  • S Ho

    Where did our government INVEST our money????
    I’m 31 years old, and work in shoe shop.
    Does this mean I have to work forever?

  • Omnia1

    Why did you conveniently fail to mention the assets held by the Singapore government ? Singapore currently has sufficient assets, whether it’s in gold, foreign currencies or other assets to eclipse its national debt. You can check out Singapore’s reserve statistics on the MAS website. The Ministry of Finance has also issued a clarification on this so called staggering debt reported by Fortune.

    It’s disgusting to read such deliberate misinformation that you have put out.

    • admin

      You do not understand accounting Assets minus Liabilities = either a plus or a minus. Singapore may have assets, but the liabilities offset those to the point that Singapore is in debt by US$254 billion. Don’t you think the US has assets, or even a person who is deep in debt. It is painful to receive such an ignorant comment as yours.

      • kin

        You really need to get the facts straight.

        If you don’t want to check the financial reports, at least read the clarification from the Ministry of Finance.

        • admin

          Sure – I am certain that the Singapore Ministry of Finance can explain the facts to many believing Singaporeans.

      • Omnia1

        Why have all my subsequent replies and comments been suddenly removed ? Is it because they contain facts and figures that are detrimental to the validity and integrity of this article ? I certainly hope not.

      • Censorship

        Admin: Why have all the subsequent replies and comments of Omnia1 been suddenly removed ? Is it because they contain facts and figures that are detrimental to the validity and integrity of this article ? I certainly hope not.

        • admin

          Whether Omnia1 was right or wrong was not the reason. It is all right to put forth any point of view on this website – the problem arises when one resorts to attacking the person and not the ,argumentem ad hominim, which is one of the ancient Greek logical fallacies. In addition opposing opinions are OK, but incorrect facts are not.

    • admin

      Enlighten yourself by reading my response to Timothy.

    • Omnia1

      Admin: I apologise for my less than civil posts; let’s keep to the argument then.

      I had pointed out previously that:

      1. Singapore’s US$254m national debt was derived before factoring in the assets owned by the government (eg: securities and gold). If we were to factor in those assets, Singapore’s net debt would be negative (ie: Singapore has zero net debt). This is because Singapore has assets in access of the national debt. MAS reported official reserves of US$242 billion as at June 2011 and this is not even all of the reserves held by the Singapore government.

      2. You then highlighted that such assets held by the government were often not liquid (do you agree with point 1 then?). I clarified that if we looked at IMF data on the breakdown of these assets (as provided by MAS), it shows that these assets comprised almost entirely of liquid assets in the form of securities, currency deposits and gold.

      For the benefit of readers, kindly point out which of these are “incorrect” facts and why you deem them to be incorrect.

      Given all of the above, how did you derive at the conclusion in your article that “Now we learn from the August 15, 2011 issue of Fortune Magazine that Singapore has no sovereign wealth” ?

      • admin

        Net net there is no sovereign wealth – assets, but not net wealth. The assets of Singapore are not all liquid. As my article states, “The Singapore government resisted Ong, saying it would take 56 man-years to produce a dollar-and-cents value of Singapore’s immovable assets (real property) alone. Ong never found out the value of Singapore’s reserves. He completed his term as president in 1999 and died in 2002.” “Immovable assets” are not liquid assets.

        Your statements are not supported by the facts ie your statement, “I clarified that if we looked at IMF data on the breakdown of these assets (as provided by MAS), it shows that these assets comprised almost entirely of liquid assets in the form of securities, currency deposits and gold.”

        As I said before, we have near zero tolerance for misleading statements. Our purpose, unlike that of Singapore’s government is not to mislead people, and misleading unsupported statements in comments are not welcome here.

        • Omnia1

          Yes, the assets of Singapore are certainly not all liquid. What I’m saying is that the liquid portion of the assets alone are enough to cover Singapore’s national debt (ie: zero net debt and positive net wealth). We don’t have to even look at the immovable assets.

          How do we know this ? The statistics on the IMF website clearly shows that as at June 2011, Singapore had US$242b official reserves, of which US$200b were in Securities, US$41b were in foreign currency deposits and US$211m were in gold. Immovable assets did not figure at all in these numbers.

          Tell me, what is your take on these reserve numbers ? How do they square with the claim that “Singapore has no sovereign wealth ?”

      • admin

        US$254 billion less US$242 billion is a minus. Your link does not work, so I cannot verify your figures.

        • ah huat

          the link does work

          I find your hatred of Singapore govt pretty amusing

          Singapore’s assets used to be grossly greater than its liability until the Ministry of Finance decided to increase its debt financing to fully utilize the balance sheet

          You claim that you are an accountant, so where do you think Singapore’s assets came from? but from the article and your various posts, it seems that you have absolutely no idea

          Please don’t tell me you bought your credentials

        • gyn

          Adding to Omnia1, let’s ignore ‘immovable assets’ as you’ve suggested. So with a debt of US$254b and official reserves of US$242b, that gives Singapore a negative US$12 billion – less than 5% of your the figure you’ve been harping on.

          In this argument it doesn’t matter whether it’s a plus or minus; by focussing on debt alone and ignoring the US$242 billion reserves in your article, you are the one misleading people here.

          the link does work, by the way.

          • admin

            It is very hard to talk about Singapore’s government assets, when they are kept in total secrecy.

            No country in the world other than Singapore keeps it assets a secret from its people.

            Only Lee Kuan Yew and is immediate family members know about Singapore’s assets or where they are stashed. No one but the Lees could begin to talk about Singapore’s assets.

            Ong Teng Chong, the former president of Singapore tried, but was prevented from finding out anything about Singapore’s assets.

          • gyn

            “It is very hard to talk about Singapore’s government assets, when they are kept in total secrecy.

            No country in the world other than Singapore keeps it assets a secret from its people.

            Only Lee Kuan Yew and is immediate family members know about Singapore’s assets or where they are stashed. No one but the Lees could begin to talk about Singapore’s assets.

            Ong Teng Chong, the former president of Singapore tried, but was prevented from finding out anything about Singapore’s assets.”

            What exactly is your point here? Is it about the lack of transparency, or about Singapore’s debt? The point I was driving across was that you have misled readers by intentionally ignoring Singapore’s liquid assets as published by IMF – transparency doesn’t even figure in this argument. Your reply is totally off-tangent.

            I suggest that you first admit that your article is deeply flawed, and then we can move on to the issue of transparency and checks & balances in the Singapore government.

          • admin

            I repeat “It is very hard to talk about Singapore’s government assets, when they are kept in total secrecy.” The article was about Singapore’s debt and Singapore’s lack of transparency.

            Can you read?

            How can anyone, even you, talk about Singapore’s assets, when we do not have the knowledge?

            How can you be the karki of people like Ho Ching? She hired the mysterious Charles “Chip” Waterhouse Goodyear IV and then England’s Baroness Vadera to manage Singapore’s assets.

            Baroness Vadera, I’m sure, is as secret from Singaporeans as Singapore’s reserves. Baroness Vadera’s real name is Shriti Vadera; born in Uganda of Indian parentage. She was appointed Baroness by British PM Gordon Brown She was his “squeeze.”.

            Are there no Singaporeans who are up to the job that Baroness Vadera can do, or are they all like you?

            Are you blur or what? Or are you just trying to help the Singapore government to discredit and hide from the Singapore people anything that it does not want said.

              I suggest you admit you are either stupid, or a slave/karki of the Singapore government.
          • gyn

            firstly, so much for censoring ppl for their personal attacks – it’s evident here that you are not guilty of it.

            back to the argument, i was quoting the IMF, can you read? unless you can prove IMF to be totally flawed that we discard anything that comes out of it, i say, kindly enlighten why you have decided to ignore the figures on the IMF website even after it’s been pointed out by readers.

            digressing, trying to use singlish, and resorting to personal attacks? very respectful. it’s your blog anyway, continue picking and choosing your verbal battles on your forum while brushing aside others.

        • gyn

          And don’t be mistaken, I acknowledge Singapore does have her issues, and I agree that many Singaporeans simply turn a blind eye as long as their day-to-day lives are unaffected. I just dislike glaringly one-sided, misleading articles like yours.

        • Omnia1

          Have to verified the information in the link ?

        • Omnia1

          Sorry, typo. What I meant to say was:
          Admin – Have you managed to verify the information in the link ? Please see also my subsequent comment and info on Singapore’s reserves. It is not true to say that Singapore’s reserves/assets “are kept in total secrecy”.

  • Quest

    Thats it PT Lim and LBT….couldn’t help but have a dog at the non-locals.

  • Facts of life

    Sg has many Number One, First
    and Most World Records.
    Singaporeans should be very
    proud if Monsieur Lee Kuan Yew
    is the World’s Richest Man.
    Majority of Sg maybe poor, but
    so long the World’s Richest man
    is in Sin, Singaporeans will
    share the glory, though not the
    money.

    • admin

      You are absolutely correct… Except for those Singaporeans who are unemployed thanks to Singapore’s imported cheap foreign labor (brought in to further enrich Lee Kuan Yew and friends).

  • timothy

    HAHA this guy has got something against Singapore. We have to ability to service the debt, does yours? Go back to wall street and soak in your debt

    • admin

      Actually the US has the means to service its debt because the US dollar is a reserve currency, while Singapore’s is not. Moreover, only 32% of the US debt is owed to foreign countries. Singapore’s debt is much more heavily invested in foreign countries posing a major foreign exchange rate threat to Singapore.

      The US can increase its money supply, while Singapore has a law against printing more Singapore dollars. Finally, Singapore is loaded down with foreign labor, who sends their money out of Singapore, thereby further reducing Singapore’s wealth. America is doing much the same, except for the fact that America’s cheap foreign labor lives outside of the United States (apart from illegal aliens).

      I have nothing against Singapore, only those who exploit others, be they Singaporeans or even Americans.

      Like America, the Singapore middle class is disappearing thanks to cheap imported foreign labor – laughingly called “foreign talents.” Singapore’s population is headed in the direction where it will consist of the very rich (including Singapore’s million dollar Ministers) and cheap foreign labor – with very few original middle-class Singaporeans left.

      • Jeff

        Remember, not all Singaporeans are holding the public debt; PRs and foreigners are also borrowing. Meaning, if anything happens and someone else run away… who will be clearing the mess?

        Singaporeans.o do you mean by “we” have the ability to service our debts when no one is getting more substantial salary increments against rising cost of living? Ask yourself if you are payng cash or by card.

        Wh

  • AT

    Why are we allowing and beliving such half truths to be said about our country? All I know is, I can travel almost anywhere, without a need for a Visa, with my Singapore Passport. All I know is many FT want to live and work in this little red dot that LKY put on the world map… All I know is we enjoy peace and stability… All I know is Life is NOT that bad in Singapore, no matter what you say.

    • Woei Shyang

      “Let’s do a fun calculation. Singapore owes $US254 billion. Singapore has a population of 5 million (more or less). By dividing $US254 billion by 5 million we get US$50,800. This is the amount that every Singaporean, man, woman, and child owes.”

      Except our money is not owed to other countries, but to the retirement fund.

      Worst case scenario the government completely screws over her people. It has been happening all the time… but it is not as forebidding as you put it.

      • admin

        No? If the money is owed to CPF, your retirement fund, given the amount involved, Singapore’s retirement fund must be just about empty. That’s not a problem? Well, it’s warm in Singapore and at least you won’t freeze living in cardboard boxes on the void deck – and the Lee family can always flee – like Gadhafi.

      • Anonymous

        Another typical Confucian mentality, which I always encounter at most times in Singapore.

    • Anonymous

      Dear AT,

      You comment speaks of a person with typical Confucian mentality, who would accept things as it is, unless of course when the situation affects your self-interest? Don’t you think that the elites are very happy to do whatever they want with this sort of ignorance from the mass? Tell you something. With the mass complicity, the evils can reign almost forever. And ask you another thing. Do “stability” and “peace” translate to an enlightened place to live in? Who else uses the word “stability” and the “peace” so often other than governments and corporations? Elites can maximise their profits effectively in a “stable” and “peaceful” environment. And when it comes to a point where the people have less than 3 proper meals to survive while getting meagre pay, do you still think that life is not so bad? If you still think so, you can stay in the rural areas in Africa for 10 years and tell me whether life is still not as bad, which I believe that you would rant that only proves my initial claim that you only care about yourself. Learn to question, just like what John Harding has been doing and stop leaving the thinking to the elites.

  • Time to Wake Up

    No wonder the government is doing all it can to help MPs make money, then refuse a minimum wage for workers, at the same time, raise the minimum age for retirement and withdrawal AND minimum sum that MUST be inside ‘our’ CPF accounts. Our money stolen right below our noses. I would like to know…. WHERE did the money go to????

  • Hansen

    I totally agree with what ‘admin’ had said.

  • PainRack

    WTF…… Do you even know how to read the data? Only in one year was there actually deficit spending, the year where we spent money to overcome the finanicial crisis.
    The rest were all spending within GDP. What the rest amounts to is the government creating a bonds market……..

    • admin

      Totally wrong. You do not understand – creating a bonds market has absolutely nothing to do with it. Either you should be a little less presumptuous and stick to something you can understand. I have served not only as a professor of accounting. but was also a Deputy Assistant Commissioner in Singapore’s Inland Revenue Service.

  • Raphael

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe the reports state the national GDP at $222.7 billion in 2010?

    Also could this influx in debt be due to the foreign companies that are in Singapore? Lets say that there were already 1500 companies from China and another 1500 from India and approximately 3000+ European companies in 2010 and at the peak of the financial crisis these companies debt followed thru by the lack of demand from their major purchaser which is the US due to the financial crisis. Would this then raise the national debt? Also the fact that the main bulk of the citizens are financing loans be it a car, house, etc. would that contribute to national debt as well?

    What I don’t agree with you on is this…
    “Interestingly, 37,826 ballots were rejected by the Singapore authorities. What Singapore needs are U.N. inspectors who could have made sure that the ballots were rejected properly.”
    25% equally divided over the 4 candidates is 9,456. By saying this we are not even sure whether or not these votes are 100% belonging to TCB. To win TCB had to garner approx >40% of that rejected votes. Possible? Maybe but what you would say would only mean that these 40% of voters for TCB would not have been paid enough attention to vote properly which is highly unlikely unless they didn’t care much for the elections in the first place.

    Looking forward to your reply. Thanks!

    • admin

      Don’t see that your first sentence is correct. Companies coming into Singapore and consumer debt have no bearing on national debt. On votes, I think such a high reject rate raises questions.

      • Raphael

        So what contributes to national debt then? What I have read online seems to state that consumer debt has an indirect bearing on national debt.

        • admin

          Consumer debt might have a bearing on national debt, if a country were to back or guarantee its consumer debts. Ain’t gonna happen. $4 trillion of the US national debt is due to America’s wars (and growing). Consumers debt does not enter into the cost of war, for example. President Bush destroyed America’s financial standing through his wars, and Obama is behaving just like Bush. Libya has cost the US $1 billion and counting. This is money that could have helped unemployed Americans, but war is good for Big Business, and Big Business is good for (and to) politicians. Instead of losing money on US banks, it might have been better for Singapore to invest in Singapore.

          Singapore could go to nuclear power and free itself of its dependency on Arab oil and on Malaysian water (water which puts Singapore one hand-grenade away from disaster).

  • Poooolitical SalesMaN

    There R still alot Daft Singaporean still don’t believe in your article.B 4 the last GE Dr Mahathir (Ex-Malaysia MP)already said Singapore is a broke country mean no more sovereign wealth left.

  • Singapore has a debt of US$256 Billion: Is LKY the world’s richest man?

    […] http://johnharding.com/2011/08/28/is-singapores-lee-kuan-yew-the-worlds-richest-man/ […]

  • bolt

    kinda self pawn.

    Facts vs assumption

  • Expat

    Come on – it’s similar to Belgium and France. And besides, look at how the national debt for SG did not increase during the recession as was the case for many other countries.

  • Raphael

    So actually what affects national debt? National involvement in funds? Does offsetting cost of living under HDB constitute as national involvement of funds? Or does funding entrepreneurs, giving grants, etc? I know that the government has huge stakes in those above mentioned sectors.

    BTW Singapore cannot possibly invest in Singapore on the basis that the economy isn’t able to hold its own. Singapore doesn’t have enough demand to keep the costs low.

    As for Malaysian water its more of good will to utilize water from Malaysia as they are our closest neighbors. If we don’t create some form of ties with our neighbors we cannot expect them to help us out in times of need. There are always reasons for decisions that are made.

    Anyway the nuclear plant think is utterly ridiculous a typical plant takes up 1037 acres of land. Singapore simply doesn’t have space.

  • Dave

    American houses sure are big and beautiful, no doubt about that. I myself, would love to live in such a house but look at your country, homeless people everywhere with nowhere to live. Call Singapore leaders money greedy which may be true but at least we do not have as many homeless people as compared in the USA. It is true that the middle class of Singapore is eroding away due to foreign talent but have you ever considered that these foreigners do the jobs that many singaporeans do not want to do? Have you considered that these foreign talents probably is fine with the pay they get but offer the same or better quality of work than singaporeans?
    It is the same in the USA, many of your citizens are just lazy and rather leech on welfare benefits instead of putting some damn effort into getting a job and take care of themselves.
    Look at London, look at what the welfare system did to the country! They spent all their money and now face so many problems, notably the recent London riots.
    Call Singapore leaders power and money hungry but for goodness sake, do you see any unrest in Singapore? No! They handle issues effectively and in the current recession, Singapore is one of the countries that could ‘survive’ economic troubles but look at the other countries, look at their social, political and economic problems!
    And since you have worked in Singapore before, I’m pretty sure you equally know how good the country is. Everything comes with a compromise and focusing too much on social services will effectively ruin the country. I dare to say that considering our only RESOURCE are our own people. If we had natural resources, we’d had the money to provide more welfare benefits.
    Please correct me as I’m pretty much biased.

    Have a nice day and god bless your country 🙂

  • Mordor

    Which debtor in the world sets the rules/rates with regard to returning the loan he owns to the creditor? Here in Singapore, my folks. Should it not logically be the reverse? It’s mind-bloggling. Definitely uniquely Singapore. There are too many naive Singaporeans who simply buy into the reasons PAP come up with, not even seeing the need to question them. It’s appalling and sad.

    • Dave

      And what MAKES you think you’re not naive? Hasn’t it occurred to you that you might be naive yourself?

      And please refute all I have typed down since you are supposedly one that questions every action done. Be my guest ,what you have written doesn’t even answer my views.

      Have a nice day and hope you don’t LABEL people since you are no better yourself.

  • Reuters

    For those who believed this load of craps, please read this report from Reuters.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/25/idUSWLA419020110825

    Singapore is one of the few countries in Asia Pac that has a credit rating of AAA

  • Poooolitical SalesMaN

    Y others Jounal cannot survive in Singapore.Y Reuters can survive so many years in Singapore.Is is equally to the Shit Times. Always report 98.5FM, always the good side of the story!!!!! Ah-ah-ah

  • Disgusted

    when lky’s wife suffered a stroke in london, lky was furious that she was not given immediate attention n criticised the british health care system. Then lky summoned his OWN SIA jet TO FLY THEM HME.

    the editor of daily telegraph responded that lky was one of the richest in the world.

    lky has been in power as long as Ghadafi.
    his money is all hidden away.

    but for us, I have worked for 35 years, and my CPF has a good amt in.
    but, they are changing the cpf rules, of withdrwal for the young people, and according to the amts they have in the cpf, we cannot withdraw our money.

    that’s no good.

    • Dave

      If your wife had a stroke, what would you do, my fine sir? Or maybe you are a heartless person that will take your time to treat someone that is dying?
      And maybe you did not learn social studies or perhaps too ignorant, don’t you know that the British healthcare system is third world standard? Imagine waiting for months to get treatment. I’m sure if you were in his position, you’d probably do the same thing.

      And for your information, don’t you know that many leaders in the world have their own jet? Are you too ignorant to even know that the president of the united states have his own jet? I suppose you’re saying he is wrong to have a jet of his own.

      • stupid s'porean

        did you know he mobilised saf to convert the sia plane into a mobile hospital to fly back his comatose wife? since when does saf and sia belong to lky?
        such blatant abuse of power…

        • Dave

          So you’re saying the president of the united states should not have air force one? Or any other leaders with their own transportation. Mind you, there is a differences between citizens and leaders.

          You are a cruel man that has little or no sympathy for people who may die in any moment. Shame on you.

  • Disgusted

    lky’s money is part of the lee family trust
    ie belonging to the whole famaily as a group. Of course the family trust/company i presume could be worth BILLIONS or so collectively but i’m just guessing.

  • GodBless

    Where did all the borrowed money go?

    So far as I know, the Singapore government has always had a surplus of tax revenues over expenditures. It has to be that the Lee family has the money stashed in foreign bank accounts. the Mexican Carlos Slim is not the world’s richest man.
    Long live LKY, the world’s richest man!

  • unlucky

    Lee ‘s family Trust behaves exactly like Chinese Tycoons of the Hong Kong Hongs !The British Genre of Trust Funds Rule the Waves eh ? Confucius Family Values Rule the Chinese Tycoon Trusts in the Family Way what’s the Difference ?

    That’s why I always will say that my only regret in life is I don’t have the parents of Lee Hsien-Loong leh !

  • Yap

    HK’s Li kah shing is quite close to lky, I imagine him dropping hints that the old man is the richest. li referred to someone in Singapoore as richer than him!.
    lkylkylky………

  • TTboy

    when the st made the statement that gic’s $40 billion losses hv been recovered is unacceptable. when gic panicked at the height of the financial crisis in 2008/2009 it sold large amount of shares in citibank n ubs at very low prices. gic has to show details on how gic recouped the heavy losses. i think if gic held on to these, it would be paper losses if these banks regain the prices which gic paid for them.

    since the usd n euros hv depreciated considerably, gic’s usd n euros investements shd depreciate accordingly.

  • wayne

    The only debt Spore has are the bonds issued so that CPF and insurance companies can earn a yield in SGD. The govt is so rich it doesn’t need to issue those bonds except than to give us a “generous” yield of 2.5%. Anyway the financial markets are smarter and faster than you. If it senses that we are in debt, our bond yields, currency and credit rating wont be where it is. The CDS for Singapore is zero because no counter-party would take a bet on a Singapore default. Pl do your financial homework before spewing untruths.

  • RT

    The Straits Times, etc. had better re-invent itself and come out with more truths and less censoring , because the other world spreads news like lightning The PAP will probably regret choosing Tony Tan when the result is 35 %.
    Tony has too much baggage from the past.
    LKY should realize that things have to change, with the new generation .All his achievements get buried under the pile of wrong doings ( esp. the ” favouring” of foreign students, crowded public areas,high cost of living, and ( what is coming back like a ghost to haunt him) the stories from the broken down singaporeans whom he imprisoned ).LKy is a cruel man, as he himself has said recently that prison is a cruel torture for clever people( like the opp. members that he destroyed).

  • YPH

    Only in Singapore

    If anyone lost 40 billion in investing in those failed banks ( already bought and sold- therefore a confirmed loss) he should be sacked and publicly shamed.
    It does not matter if Temasek ” recovered” that loss from other investments.. that 40 billion is gone.
    we would otherwise have 40 ( or 60?) billion more today.
    An idiot ( this word is perfect for anyone who loses 40 billion- whatever the excuse) who makes this kind of major error he usually resigns , or even commits suicide ( in honourable Japan).
    Only in Singapore does he go on to hold the highest office in the land.
    Warren Buffet said that he invests in companies that can ” run itself” because sooner or later an idiot would come and run it.

  • TPIiang

    TT is a high-ranking crony of LKY for 30 years, he lost all decency and conscience and became a clone of LKY . That’s why the loss of 60v did not bother him at all and he keeps giving his fake smiles.we have devils in our midst.

  • TTFan

    Dr Tony Tan now a protesant, and actually he is still a humble man, because in church even when he was the Dep Minister or minister of defense he assumed the humble position of an Usher in church and coledcting and circulating the collection bag which he still does to this day. Not many VIPs would do this.
    Thus we know have 2 ex scientists/mathematicians as president and {Prime minister.

  • Mr Khoo

    I am a fund manager and I was shock at 16/8/2011 issue of
    Fortune Magazine that showed Singapore has a sovereign debt of US$254
    billion(95% of GDP).

    At 8th position, we are just behind 7th position
    USA (indebtedness of US14.3 trillion – 99% of GDP). Japan is No. 1
    with indebtedness of US$13.8 trillion(234% of GDP). Guess we were all
    in the dark – the size of our govt.’s sovereign indebtedness.

    Japan is OK as it borrowed 100% from its own citizen (thru’ Postal
    Savings Accounts) and its debt is in Yen (no FX risks).

    US debt is 32% foreign-owned and is in US$ (no FX risks). US Fed (as a
    Central Bank) can print US $ notes to pay any coupons & fulfill all
    treasuries redemption if worst comes to worst. Like Japan , USA can
    NEVER default as they both can print Yen and US$ respectively to repay
    ALL sovereign debts/obligations they owned locally and to foreigners
    alike.

    Singapore govt. borrowed S$ from our CPF thru MAS/govt long term
    bonds. The bulk (no one outside PMO/GIC/Temasek know the figure) is
    converted to foreign currencies (with FX risks) and invested overseas.
    Late ex-President Ong TC tried but failed to get such info, despite
    govt. denial. These foreign investment is subject to FX risks and as
    MAS cannot print S$ at will (under Currency Board regime), Singapore
    govt. is limited in its response to adverse FX risks and may not have
    enough to repay CPF Board in S$ at the end of the day. We may not
    default, but our diminished foreign investment in S$ terms may face a
    huge shortfall ! !

    Little wonder that I can only see my CPF money at 65 years old (not 55
    as it was intended when I started work over 30 years ago). Worst, I
    can only draw down the min. sum at monthly staggered manner over next
    20 years.

    I suppose the govt. needed my CPF money and the rest of Singaporeans’
    to invest/cover losses for foreign investment? I did not give them my
    permission for govt. to use my CPF money after I reached 55 years old
    for risky foreign investment!

    Compared with Norway , Sweden , China , Saudi Arabia , Kuwait and UAE that
    have invested sovereign funds overseas, our GIC’s and Temasek’s
    returns are much lower (notice how GIC/Temasek always FAILED to
    provide comparison of their annual performance with others). These
    were always reported in absolute and not bench-marked. Bet you – they
    would not fail to highlight their out-performance against these
    foreign sovereign funds if these were so !

    The govt. should use our CPF money to invest locally in more schools &
    universities (generous subsidies/scholarship to citizens only), more
    subsidised HDB flats (citizens only), more hospitals & medical training
    capabilities(citizens only) and better transport, etc. These are good
    and safe infrastructure investment on this island-state and is in S$ –
    there is also no FX risks, just like Japan and USA .

  • Chan

    The idea of the elected president to safeguard the reserve (whatever it may mean) was mooted by LKY to safeguard the money from his grave through the proxy of the elected president.
    Now the Constitution amendment has backfired and they are being questioned themselves how they moved the money about and being accused of trying to by-pass the president with further amendments to the constitution.
    You see, the PAP politburo make their OWN RULES!

  • Mr Khoo

    It is common sense that GIC and Temasek should be transparent and let Singaporeans know how the money is invested and what are the losses and the gains.

    The money and assest to the nation and the Singapore people. That’s the job of an honest govt!
    It is not to be used for careful and calculated investments.
    For instance, I don’t see why our Sovereign Fund have allowed Khanazah Nasional Bhd (Malaysian Sovereign Fund) to buy and invest into our local Parkway Health,

    and our own Sovereign Fund did not invest in our local companies but in overseas projects which we have no control over the overseas economic environment.

    Examples are our huge losses in UBS and American Banks.
    Once our monies arre transferred to GIC and Temasek and are lost, they are gone forever !

    Hence people have speculated that because we have lost so much money through Temasek and GIC, that we have to pay more and more ……. and our money in CPF will be locked up until we die, the minimal amount to be kept in CPF (could not be taken out )is getting more and more.

    This is morally wrong, and totally corrupt to usurp other peoples’ funds for their gambling losses.

    If an ordinary Singaporean did that, he would be arrested, charged for FRAUD, and sent off to prison for taking money that does not belong to him.

    Isn’t that what our govt is doing to their OWN people?

  • Concerned

    First, I am very unnerved at the info being highlighted here.. but the fact is, after several crisis the world, and SEA faced, I am not surprised that Singapore might have made losses in investing.. wherever it may be.

    However, Mr Khoo made a good point.. “no permission was sought” to use CPF for “risky investments”. Trur transparency is still a long way to being relized on the real “gains or losses” from the GICs of Sincapore and the fact is, Foreign Talent has inflitrated into alot of jobs where when Singaporeans want to work, they are being edged out becos of the higher cost to employ them. I know this because I was at one such MNC who preferred to hire FTs than locals as they wanted cheaper labour. Giving the excuse that locals dun want to take up the jobs, they neither got to the root of why alot of locals leave after a short term, nor bothered to really fix the situation. The cheap FT labour market meant that they could replace any local that left with a snap of their fingers, as the FTs there were eager to introduce their friends and relatives.

    I will say that the sad truth that Singaporeans will have to face, is that they will have to work “until they die”, because living costs will never go down. Electricity is up, transport for the public keeps going up.. when have prices gone down? It just never ends.

    Every country has their own problems, and because Singapore is such a young nation, we still have alot to deal with. But if the mentality is to view the current “peace and stability” with a calm relaxation, with no heed to possible trends happening around the world.. or even in our “backyard”, then we risk “grabbing buddha’s foot” when the problem actually happens and hits us in the face. And when that happens, it might be TOO LATE.

  • plus

    Can you provide the link to your claim that Singapore has no sovereign wealth by fortune magazine?

  • JeffGoh

    “It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense. … They are themselves always, and without exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs.” — Adam Smith (1723-1790) Scottish philosopher and economist

  • SINGAPORE GUY

    I didnt know that singapore was in debt.
    Maybe the government doesnt want it’s people to worry and decided to keep it hidden. Dont worry guys they in the office will deal with it!

  • SINGAPORE GUY

    I didnt know that singapore was in debt.
    Maybe the government doesnt want it’s people to worry and decided to keep it hidden. Dont worry guys they in the office will deal with it!… jy SINGAPORE~

  • Mooncake

    Singapore Guy -> You are so deluded it’s not even funny. I bet you’re a PAP supporter.

  • Cao Mengde

    This article is utter rubbish. Go and read up on how Singapore is financed and governed before writing such hare-brained rubbish.

  • Tan Kok Tim

    I am sure he is not poor even though his house has not been renovated for decades.

  • Tan Kok Tim

    US$254 billion debts but are these foreign debts, debts owing to foreign creditors?

  • TRUTH SEEKER JOE

    The world’s political and social movement be it media, educational hubs and even religious set ups had been and are under the control and influence of a small group of people / Elite/ Establishment/Commitee of 300. Check out Club of Rome’s ten region module in 1973 and you will get to understand the gradual formation and break down of soverienties of all countries to accomplish these ten kingdoms under ten kings which even the bible in revelation chapter 17 had warned. They had long used the Hegelian Dialectic strategy since 1913 to bring forth these Paradigm Shift Change. Read Caroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope and Dr John Coleman’s Committee of 300.

  • Clowny

    US$254 billion is what the government owe the ppl of singapore thru CPF
    worst case.. is singaporean lose all their CPF money… at least we dun owe world bank or whatever…

  • Alp77S

    I’m also a Singaporean,
    I believe what the admin has said, and I have wondered for many years why Forbes never wrote that LKY is the richest in the world….
    CPF keep on increasing min sum etc… 35% in presidential election and u call that a mandate ….
    Rejected votes are probably not FOR Tony that’s why they find ways to reject….

  • ming

    he’s just selling controversy to get continued hits and sell his books.
    just ignore silly people like that.

    too many people already doing the same thing on the US scene and SG is a nice trending topic so it caught ur attention again?

    silly man

  • Sinagporeansanonymous

    John harding doesnt understand difference net debt and gross debt

    See imf fiscal monitor, compare and contrast statistical table 7 and 8 and explain the difference

    http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fm/2011/01/pdf/fm1101.pdf