It's hard to ignore the underhanded insult that Chen "spent more than half his life abroad and came back to Singapore shortly before the elections", implying he's ill qualified to comment on the foreign worker situation here. But Chen achieved distinction working overseas, elevating the Singaporean brand status, and more important, he came home to serve. And where and what was Nair doing before May 2011? Writing for the P65 blog under a false declaration.
Chen's investment skills are world acclaimed, he was named one of American Lawyer’s 2010 "Dealmakers of the Year" in April 2011. Nair's association with the word is that of the Nigerian email scam. Like the $1.1 billion scam unfolding before our very eyes.
We were told earlier the big payoff was to buy 800 new buses. Then we are told it's for 550 buses (transitlink) and 250 new buses (perhaps from another bus operator). Latest revelation from Tharman Shanmugaratnam is that the $1.1 billion is for ramping up the bus fleet and covering operating costs - specifically $$280 million for 550 new buses and $820 million for operations - a significant deviation from pure asset acquisition to profit generation. At least the Nigerian scam was crystal clear and transparent.
Tharman says the government package amounts to a $110 million per year. What he does not care to disclose is that the bus companies paid out a similar amount in dividends for 2011 - exactly $129 millions(1,518,843,196 shares at 8.5 cents per share). The killer bit is his threat that if the government does not step in, commuters will have to pay 15 cents more in fares per journey. That sounds rather like Raymond Lim once upon a time telling us that if public transportation is subsidised, GST will have to be hiked:
“The money still must come from somewhere, right? It is about 1.5 percentage point increase in your GST. So now it’s 7 (per cent), you want it to be free? You want the GST to go up to 8.5 per cent, to run a completely free bus and MRT system?”