Pictures and videos of Saturday's event below.
Andrew Loh / Deputy Editor
“Many investors have lost faith in their recommended approach,” Mr Tan Kin Lian said in a speech which was sent out to the media prior ot his appearance at Speakers Corner today. He was referring to the Government and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which had advised that collective action by investors of discredited structured products should be avoided.
“Our Government leaders and MAS have advised that this should be avoided, and that other avenues are open for the investors to seek their redress,” Mr Tan said.
He hopes that the MAS will respond to his requests for a meeting to discuss how the matter can be resolved fairly and that a costly legal action can be avoided.
Pending such a meeting, Mr Tan said that his “committee is discussing with a few lawyers on the approach to take on a collective legal action.” However, he reiterated that he and his team are still keen to seek an outcome that is fair to the investors and preserve Singapore’s reputation as a financial hub “that can be trusted to take care of the interest of the ordinary people.”
In his fifth appearance at Hong Lim Park, which attracted an estimated 400 people, Mr Tan gave an update on the petitions which he has sent to the authorities so far. The first petition, which he delivered to the MAS' Mr Andrew Khoo, on the 9 October, asked the authorities to look into “possible wrong-doings by the financial institutions”.
“I have not heard from MAS subsequently on the outcome of this Petition. I have sent two requests to Mr. Goh Chok Tong and to Mr Andrew Khoo for a meeting to discuss the progress,” Mr Tan said. “So far, I have not been successful in getting this meeting.” Mr Tan said that he has not heard from MAS if they intend to carry out an independent investigation into this matter either.
In the second petition, sent to the MAS on 17 October, it specifically asked the authorities to investigate the sales training and marketing processes of the financial institutions which distributed these securities. “I have not received any acknowledgment to this Petition. I have re-sent the Petition and asked for an acknowledgement for the record,” Mr Tan said.
He also asked the MAS, on 31 October, to set up an independent unit to receive the complaints from investors and to encourage the financial institutions to adopt a collective approach in offering fair compensation to the investors who were misled into investing in these securities. Mr Tan asked for a meeting with a senior official in MAS to discuss this petition but his request was denied.
“I reminded MAS that I am speaking on behalf of about 1,000 investors,” he explained. “If 1,000 voices are not loud enough, I wonder what will make our officials hear,” he said.
“I will continue with my effort,” the former Chief Executive of NTUC Income said.
At Hong Lim Park itself, angry investors of the structured products came with trash bags with the words "DBS High Notes" pasted on them, signifying that the notes were worthless. This week, the local media reported that most investors of these notes are most likely to have lost all that they invested in.
The strong sentiments were apparent when Mr Tan asked if it was fair that the MAS has denied all his requests for a meeting. The crowd shouted an empathic, "No!". When he asked them, "Will we give up?", again the crowd shouted, "No!". "I will be here every two Saturdays," Mr Tan told them. "This problem cannot just die away."
Watch the videos of Mr Tan's speeches here on TOC TV.
Some pictures from Saturday's event at Speakers' Corner: