SINGAPORE — Non-constituency Member of Parliament, Mr Leong Mun Wai hopes that Temasek Holdings will publicly release its internal review report once it is completed, especially the recommendations and specific lessons learnt from its failed FTX investment.
On Wednesday (30 Nov), Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong responded to questions filed by Members of Parliament over Temasek’s write-down of its US$275 million investment in bankrupted cryptocurrency exchange FTX and the possible audits on Singapore’s two sovereign wealth funds, Temasek and GIC.
Mr Wong shared that an internal review will be conducted by a team within Temasek led by people separate from the investment team that made the decision to invest in FTX and is intended “to study and improve its processes, and to draw lessons for the future”.
Penning his thoughts via a Facebook post on Friday (2 Dec), Mr Leong from Progress Singapore Party (PSP) wrote that he had earlier noticed that the questions in relation to the FTX saga were placed towards the end of the Order Paper on 28 November.
“For an issue that is of great concern to many Singaporeans, I was concerned that MPs would have to settle for a written answer instead of being able to question the Government orally”
This is why he stood to raise a “point of order” at the start of the Parliamentary sitting on 28 November to clarify on why the questions were placed at the end.
The Speaker of Parliament said this was done in consultation with the Leader of the House, Indranee Rajah and those who wish to have their oral questions answered orally, may shift their questions to Wednesday (30 Nov).
Mr Leong said that many Singaporeans will be disappointed that the 45 minutes of Question Time was insufficient to address issues that they would like answers for and that it is meant for asking questions, and not a forum for debate.
Further noting that parliamentarians are also “restricted” to asking two supplementary questions, and usually do not get a chance to ask further follow-up questions.
“If we wanted a full debate, the issue must be raised in another motion, possibly after Temasek has completed and released its internal review,” said Mr Leong.
“The admission by DPM Lawrence Wong that Temasek had suffered reputational damage in addition to financial damage from having to write down US$275 million, barely a year after investment raised many questions about the investment process.”
“We hope that the report on Temasek’s internal review will tell us how Temasek intends to avoid such future lapses to allay the concerns of Singaporeans.”
Mr Leong had asked Mr Wong on 30 November if that review will be made available in a future session in Parliament.
In response, Mr Wong said:
“So as a matter of practice, GIC and Temasek, in fact, do not put out any information on specific individual investments. But in this case, precisely because of the unique of the circumstances leading up to it, because from Temask’s point of view, it recognized that it has incurred reputational damage.”
“Temasek decided to put out a statement disclosing the circumstances leading up to its investment decision, why it had done all the due diligence and despite the due diligence, found reasons to still proceed with the investment. All of that is on the Temasek website, including a series of FAQs. So all of that is available on the Temasek website.”