John Swire & Sons (South-east Asia) has appointed former Transport Minister Raymond Lim as a senior adviser to "provide both focus and expertise to efforts to develop and broaden the range of investments in the region." Little is known of the charter of the Swire Group entity which was incorporated only in August.
Swire Pacific Offshore (SPO) is the more well known local unit in the London based Swire Group, owner and operator of an extensive fleet of 75 offshore supply vessels (PSVs, AHTS) to support the oil and gas industry, including drilling, production, exploration, pipe-lay, subsea construction and FPSO operations. Lim was in finance before politics, one of the managing directors of Temasek Holdings and chief executive of DBS Vickers Securities. In a statement Lim said "I look forward to helping it grow in the region," presumably not in the land-based transportation industry.
The big question in everybody's mind is whether he is getting anything close to his former ministerial million dollar paycheck. In "Lee Kuan Yew, The Man And His Ideas" (Straits Times Press,1998), Lee himself said, "There's no way a prime minister can argue that any any minister can walk out of his cabinet and get this kind of salary." Not unless Swire pays its advisers big bucks. Fraser and Neave did. Lee Hsien Yang received $1 million as a business consultant after departing from Singtel, never mind if he had zero experience in food and beverage or property development.
It's interesting to note that nearly all the ministers who lost their appointments after May 7 have yet to get a "real job". After landing a Senior Advisor appointment with Malaysian conglomerate Kuok Brothers, George Yeo curiously labelled it as ""an informal arrangement." He added, " I'll join (the) private sector next year, " which makes one wonder what an adviser does for a living. Lim Hwee Hua seems more prolific in collecting "informal arrangements" (whatever Yeo means by that term), as senior advisor to global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) in addition to being appointed as a non-executive director at Jardine Cycle & Carriage. A recent update to her resume is an appointment as an independent non-executive director on Ernst & Young's Global Advisory Council (GAC). At least she's collecting all these stuff while she's out of the cabinet. Recall former PAP MP Dr Wang Kai Yuen, with 11 directorships under his belt, who used to lament that "some of the companies pay me as little as $10,000".