Friday, October 15, 2010

Sure Formula For Richness

Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim dominated the front page by offering to buy Liverpool Football club for $750 million in cash. Son of a fish monger, Lim made it rich as a remisier and an astute investor in logistics, paper production, education, health care and restaurants. In the Money section, we read of Dr Anthony Soh's botched $117 million takeover bid for Jade Techonologies because he had less than $300,000 cash in hand. And somewhere in the Home pages, a Singapore tycoon lost $100 million at the casinos RWS and MBS. But seafood mogul Henry Quek still holds the dubious world record for dropping $26 million in 3 days at the bacarrat tables.

The fortunes of some will wax and wane, but there is a select group whose wealth are doctored to head upwards only.

The guiding benchmark for ministerial salaries, we are told, is set at two-thirds of the median pay of the top eight earners in each of the six sectors: multinational corporations, lawyers, bankers, accountants, local manufacturers and engineers. Presumably some of the gentlemen mentioned in the first paragraph will be included in the sample at one time or other. Bouyant for the moment in the rough seas of the private sector, it's no guarantee their fortunes will not be wiped out in a single bad investment decision. So their name is scratched off the list of top earners. So the people who administer the benchmark looks for another top earner, probably a wealthier candidate, to be included in the list. Which should explain why Minister Lim Swee Say said, "Every month, when I receive my CPF statement, I feel so rich and the best part is, I know the CPF money won't run away. Not only is it earning good interest, my capital is protected."

Don't worry, it's all perfectly legal. Rationalising the discounts he and his family received for the HPL Nassim Jade condominium purchases, Lee Kuan Yew once told parliament that it's natural the hawker will give him extra egg for his order.


  1. Coincidentally, has our percetionally squeaky-clean MIW made it as an imminent responsibility of PAP for top govt Miinisters & officials to declare their assets ?

    If they have not done so, why not ? And why do they need to insist on wearing white for their political campaigns ?

    I believe any person will not be exceptionally clean or honest by what they wear just for a couple of days in a lifetime ! So what is the message they are trying to tell us, as what our Law Minister would often like to emphasize ?

  2. "The fortunes of some will wax and wane, but there is a select group whose wealth are doctored to head upwards only".

    We were told once that statements like the above were the "politics of jealousy". I wonder how the tattler would respond to this criticism.

    The select group never get to postpone immediate gratification for the sake of the common good. They have enough, more than enough, to buy a EPL club, blow money at casinos etc...

    And the "beauty" or con of this narrative is that the elite do it on the back of the middle and lower income groups.

    The chumps are the middle class: they sacrifice, save, work like crazy, postpone their need for gratification, pay the bils and use what's leftover to simply surive in their old age.

    The lower income sorta live for the day and dont know any better, except to save and simply survive.

  3. Can anyone reiterate the invocation of the Ten Commandments? Why is it relevant and should be related to the development of a small little dot? A simple reason is that it shares many similarites in the decays of a society.

  4. Pardon me, should i be guilty of finger pointing. It's quite unsettling whenever bloggers talk about wealth and investment while at the same time talk about the poor and downtrodden. It is not that there is absolutely no relationship between the two. What's not cogent is that it seems that these bloggers, many of which are professionals in the financial sector, want the rich investors to make profits for their investments. AT THE SAME TIME AND SAME BREATH are decrying that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. Was hoping that these bloggers could be more consistent with their championings and sympathies for the poor, weak and sick. Was also hoping that these professionals and experts will enlighten and lighten the pains by giving free advices and alms, however, this has yet happened.

  5. Perhaps the below hyperlink will lead to a better overview or an additional facet to add of the current issue...and perhaps how best to address it in the future moving forward thoughtfully...we should work with what we have...not what we don't have or want to have...[Only the intellectually challenged does it this "lazy-bum" way (Including paper qualified ones too...all those straight "As" doesn't mean you are "really" a intellectual)]...

    Good day.

  6. Mr Teh was the most honest of the lot...

  7. I like the suggestion to consider the Ten commandments. The idea of god or God is present in the living religions of our day and nearly all religions have some understanding of social justice.

    I work with the poor and am not a financial investor.

    The decision on the part of the rich to build solidarity with the poor helps to reduce the financial disparities which plague modern societies. Creating wealth is fantastic and distribuiting it fairly reflects the social contract which binds us together as a nation.