Why the PM should ask Tony Tan to return to active duty

In GIC, Political governance on 07/08/2011 at 9:19 am

The finance minister has come out to say that the world economy will undergo a rough period three or four years.

Tony Tan helmed GIC through a very rough period recently and all indications are that GIC had a good crisis compared to Temasek. An example: Temask lost billions cutting losses within 15 months on its so-called 30-yr investments, Merrill Lynch/ BoA and Barclays. True GIC has a 50%ish book loss on UBS but it made money on Citi, its 30-yr investments.

If Tony Tan becomes president, he is only the security guard of the the reserves, True he can advise the PM, but the PM and S’pore will lack Tony Tan’s executive skills in a financial crisis.

So the PM should tell Tony Tan, “No more of this presidential rubbish, especially as your can’t communicate with “lesser mortals” to save their lives. Return to active duty for the sake of S’pore.”

And if TKL becomes president, so what? The PM can always get the doctors to certify him medically unfit to serve as president. They can use this very recent example

After the law minister made this statement, “The president cannot reject advice given by the Cabinet And he cannot engage in public debate with the government,”, TKL issued a statement implicitly agreeing with the minister.

Less than 12 hours later (albeit overnight), he came out to disagree with the minister saying, “I do not agree with his view that  the President cannot speak about anything else without the approval of the Government. I find the Law Minister’s interpretation to be too narrow. It seemed to give the President less freedom of speech than an ordinary citizen of Singapore.”

Shouldn’t he have said this in the first place?

And as to Tan Cheng Bock, if he was good enough for one Lee Kuan Yew to ask him to serve as a PAP MP when being asked to serve as a PAP MP was seen by the public as an honour unlike today (when the likes of  Kate Spade Tin, Foo, Wee Kiak and Puthu can become PAP MPs) , and for the government of the day (which the PM was a part) to ask him to head a feedback unit, waz the problem of having him as a security guard president?

And as the law minister said, the PM can ignore his advice. Say if and when he asks the PM to think of the people when making policy decisions.

  1. Err, better not lah. The main reason why realised losses not so bad for GIC is becoz they held onto most of the shares through the crash and immediate aftermath. GIC still booked $40B to $50B unrealised losses by Mar 2009. Any uncle who bought blue chip shares during the bear trap rebound in June 2008, but held on through end-2010 will also have done as well. It wasn’t due to Tony’s “expertise”. In fact if GIC had followed the principles of dynamic tactical asset allocation, they would have drastically reduced exposure to risk assets by Dec 2007 to Feb 2008 and totally avoided the 2008/09 crash.

    Temasek made the call (which was ultimately wrong) of selling a big chunk of stocks after the huge initial rebound in Q3 2009. Temasek wrongly forecasted that it was merely a very short-term bear market rebound like in late-1929 and early-1930, and that we would see another 80% drop in US markets just like from 1930-1933.

    Under Tony’s stewardship, GIC only provided 1%pa real yield over the last 10 years. Better if S’pore outsourced GIC to Norway’s sovereign fund. Cheaper some more.

  2. Uncle Cynical: here is a riddle for your cynical aresenal. Has it ever occurred to u that of the four Tans seeking the EC, three are or have been connected with GCT: TCB is his good friend all the way fm RI; TJS was his PPS and TKL was an assistant PAP branch @ Marine Parade. What are the stars trying to say? That this sort of linkages impossible to avoid in small-small SG? 🙄

    • Has crossed my mind. But as I have very little respect for GCT, I put down him being “godfather” at some stage to TSJ and TKL as bad judgement on his part. Or that he attracts weirdos who don’t know their constitutional law.

      As to TCB and GCT methinks TCB was being his kind self. He struck Toto when GCT became the anointed one.

  3. Norway has the almost the same population size as SG. And their fund is totally transparent, ethical and gaining good yields for its citizens. There’re no threats and bogeyman from Norway leaders that unscrupulous people will eye to steal their assets.
    So agree, I support the idea of outsourcing our funds to them. That way, all the GIC & TH million dollars stooges who are sucking blood from its citizens can go find other million dollar jobs in private sectors and be a normal mortal like everyone of us.

  4. But at least all the candidates have a POV. Tony Tan as suspected, is too carefully calculating what to say/not to say. He’s coming across as non-authentic. Everything has to be scripted perhaps because he’s been with the PAP machinery for so long, he has yet to find his long lost inner voice. And even when he does speak, is all so motherhood, sanitized, filtered and vague (like all his replies so far) there are just no gems = non reply.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: