The following is a letter sent to TOC by Harrison Goh. The letter has also been sent to the Straits Times.
The highly unpredictable development of the on-going financial crisis is spiralling out of control. Globalisation has inflicted all financial centres and economies with unforeseen exposure which can potentially lead to chaos and economic depression, culminating in violence and war.
From the epicentre in the US, the crisis has now engulfed Europe. While some Asian leaders have been optimistic that Asia is in a much better position to ride over this crisis mainly on the premise of low debts or positive fiscal accounts, these are not foolproof that can protect Asia from the fast spreading financial SARS.
With high dependence on exports, Singapore’s exposure can be envisaged as substantial. Singaporeans lack official data nor credible market information to generate an informed analysis of the country’s position, especially the local banks’ exposure.
Our govt leaders have been vocal in stating that Singapore is fine and is in a position to tackle the impending recession. This is no doubt a consolation that Singaporeans wouldn’t mind having.
On behalf of fellow Singaporeans, may I call upon the government to guarantee all bank deposits in Singapore. Besides the reassuring confidence, Singaporeans can then focus on their jobs and businesses. This proactive action will be a vote of confidence for Singapore, something that citizens certainly need in a time of uncertaint.