Thursday, October 30, 2008

Toxic Towns

News about the Lehman bonds never ends, it seems. Now, it has been reported that PAP-controlled Town Councils are exposed to the Lehman bonds. The officials, people of the PAP government are trying to make light of this fact, saying that the exposure is not significant, that "only a small percentage of their total investments were spent on those affected products" (Yahoo News). Words such as "minimal", "no fear that....the funds will be wiped out...", "guarantees the principal amount..." are being trotted out to control the damage from this situation. On the other hand, Potong Pasir and Hougang, whose Town Councils are under Opposition control, reports that their investments are safe from these toxic investments, as they are either in government bonds or fixed deposits. A very wise, prudent and truly conservative approach to investing the people's money.

Now, if the situation were the other way around, wouldn't the PAP government hammer the Opposition for being irresponsible, reckless, nonchalant, financial fools, etc? Yet the fact is that it is the PAP-controlled TCs that are the ones deserving of these words. They are right - the TC sinking funds belong to the people in the town they manage. But they are wrong when they seem to imply that the losses are insignificant, for, to every citizen, every cent must be accounted for. Perhaps it is timely for these TCs who have invested and lost in the Lehman products to account for the investment in full - how much were purchased, what is the extent of their exposure, and what they potentially have lost. I suppose that TCs do not fall in the bracket of the old (i.e. > 62 years old) nor the ignorant, that instead, the banks will consider them as 'savvy' investors. Which means that they stand to lose the entire investment.

It is necesssary for the affected TCs to give a clear account and not sweep the losses under sweet words.

Image source: Author: Gracey


Anonymous said...

When TC suffered losses in the LB investment, where to get more money...very soon the conservancy charges will go up.

Anonymous said...

All PAP town councils should disclose the extent of the losses and be held responsible for it. The management of the TC should resign. This is about transparency and responsibilities. If the management cant even do the RIGHT THING please stop telling the people what to do. A very disappointing news!


tewniaseng said...

PAP TC should be transparent about any investment,any losses should be made known.Since they have so much surplus, why still want to increase S&C ? Really suck blood.Look at PP and Hougang TC,sinking fund is less, but they don't use your money to invest.We should vote in more oppositions to run TC.

Anonymous said...

I believe most singaporeans would prefer that the TCs not invest the funds in risky portfolios. Not even stocks and shares.

The sinking fund's aim is to improve the town's infrastructure and that should be its main use, not to generate returns.

In fact, I would support to extend the fund's use to help towners in trouble during the economic recession. Help those who can't pay their SC charges instead of sueing them in court.

Even if the TC makes good returns, towners are not benefitting from it. I rather they do the right thing ... improve the lot of those living under their council.

It is their duty.

I applaud the opposition wards for doing the right thing. PAP has to learn the basics again.

Angry Citizen said...

What is the meaning of Sinking Fund? The word "sinking" obviously suggests that the fund is to be sunk, that means it cannot be touched for any other purposes.

Then why are the greedy PAP TC executives gamble away with the people's money in the form of buying shares, stocks and dubious or toxic investments?

Just because they think they are smarter than the ordinary people and the ordinary people whose money being held in trust with them are taken as ignorant fools?

Wake up your fxxking ideas, PAP Town Councilors!

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