Monthly Archives: April 2007

Singapore Inc – PE Ratio not quite right

By Leong Sze Hian “If Singapore Inc were a listed company, what would its market cap be? Think about it. My GDP, which is profit earned in a year, is S$210 billion. The price earning ratio on SGX – average is now 20….I calculated if Singapore Inc went IPO, it is a 4-trillion-dollar company.” – PM Lee, channelnewsasia To the …

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Packed audience at SDP forum

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) held a public forum to a packed audience of between 160 to 180 people at the Sheraton Towers hotel on friday. The Singapore Police and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) had earlier rejected the SDP’s application for professional visit passes to be given to its overseas speakers to speak at the forum on the …

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Danger when simplistic benchmarks influence the wrong behaviours

This is filed under “Letters to TOC”. From “boboshooter” I would like to add to the discussions and debates regarding the latest round of ministerial and civil service pay increases. Firstly I applaud our Prime Minister for taking the lead and donating his increments to charity. I hope the other ministers will follow suit. However, even if they do so, …

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Damage control by the prime minister?

By Andrew Loh It is interesting to hear the prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, declare that he will donate his salary increment to charity at a time when the government’s moral authority is being questioned. The prime minister said: “To make it quite clear why I’m doing this, and also to give me the moral standing to defend this policy …

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Why the poor needs help now

By Leong Sze Hian According to Parliamentary and news reports, the PM will donate his salary increase for the next 5 years to charity. It states that “he does not expect other ministers to follow his example because although the salary increases were a Cabinet decision, it was he who had to carry the ultimate responsibility, and not the ministers …

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Public Forum: Development of Democracy in Europe and Asia

Update: The police has rejected the permit for this forum. Please see CNA’s report here. Announcement from the Singapore Democratic Party’s website. Dr Chee Soon Juan (pictured right) will speak at the Public Forum to be held on 13 Apr 07, Friday, at the Sheraton Towers Hotel (see below). He will address comments Mr Lee Kuan Yew made in yesterday’s …

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Ministers’ Salaries – is the government losing touch?

By Leong Sze Hian I refer to the increase in ministerial pay. Before the increase, political appointment holders take home $ 46 million in total a year, which is only 0.13 per cent of total Government expenditure, or 0.022 per cent of Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product. As to not having a sense of proportion in quarreling about $74 million, after …

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The First Tier of The First World: Beyond the Bottom Line

By Leong Sze Hian & Choo Zheng Xi Like a responsible board of directors, we may have been constantly keeping our eyes on the bottom line, obsessing over the most cost efficient solutions to build up the solidly reliable Singapore Brand. Perhaps, keeping a country together requires something more than keeping a company solvent, profitable and growing. But what is …

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Questionable benchmarking formula

This is filed under “Letters To TOC”. Firstly, I cannot understand or accept the PM’s and MM’s logic or rationale for the incredible pay hike for our cabinet ministers. Why do they want us to believe that our cabinet ministers are that avaricious, corruptible, self-serving and mercenary, and so open to the highest bidders? In justifying the astronomical pay for …

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Be mindful of the affective gap

From The Straits Times, April 5th, 2007 By Catherine Lim I HAVE followed with intense interest the current debate on increasing ministerial salaries to match those of the highest earners in the private sector. And I have noted the impassioned arguments from both sides: the Government insisting on its necessity if top talent is to be recruited to ensure good …

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