The following is Mr Tan Kin Lian’s reply to the letter by Mr Chua Sheng Yang in the Straits Times forum page. Mr Tan has also sent his reply to the Straits Times.
18 November 2008
I refer to the letter entitled “Questions on investment products rally” by Chua Sheng Yang (Straits Times, 18 Nov 2008).
I organize the fifth rally on 15 November for the purpose of updating the investors on the status of the three petitions that were sent to the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The text of my speech can be found in my blog, www.tankinlian.blogspot.com .
I did not organize the rally for the purpose of promoting The Online Citizen, as suggested by Mr. Chua.
I do wish to acknowledge the coverage given by The Online Citizen and other online blogs. They help to bring my messages to the investors who were not able to attend the events at Speaker’s Corner.
The first petition, signed by 983 investors and submitted on 9 October 2008, asked the Government to carry out an independent investigation to find out if there were any wrong doings by the financial institutions that created and marketed these credit linked securities and, if there were, to take appropriate action under the law. Specifically, the investigation should look at possible breaches under section 199 of the Securities and Futures Act and section 27 of the Financial Adviser’s Act.
Mr. Chua asked me to state if the people, who are neither elderly nor uneducated, should be entitled to their money back. In my view, all investors who have been misled into these securities through mis-representation and mis-selling (if proven by the findings) should be fairly compensated, regardless of their age and educational level.
I do not expect the Government to reimburse the investors for the financial loss. I only urge the Government to help the investors to get fair compensation for their loss from the financial institutions. I do not expect the compensation to be in full, as the investors have to bear some responsibility.
Several articles, written by journalists and university professors, have been printed in the newspapers explaining the high risk of these securities and how the investors could have been misled. I wonder why people like Mr. Chua choose to ignore them. I can only recall the saying, “None are so blind as those who will not see the truth”.
Mr. Chua made a personal attack on my character in the last three paragraphs of his letter. I am surprised that your newspaper found it fit to print these unsubstantiated remarks, as they are not relevant to the main issue. I shall not respond to them.
Tan Kin Lian
As published on Mr Tan's blog here.