Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Weapons of Asset Destruction

Howe Yoon Chong (Chinese: 侯永昌;pinyin: Hóu Yǒngchāng) had a very brief sojourn as a minister in the cabinet (1979 to 1984) after an illustrious career history as CEO of the Housing and Development Board (HDB), Chairman of the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA), and Head of the Singapore Civil Service. Some attribute his abbreviated appointment to his controversial proposal in 1984 to raise the age for the withdrawal of Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings from 55 to 60 years. Under pressure from public ire, that part of the 54-page report of the Committee on the Problems of the Aged which he chaired was eventually dropped. Some blamed him for the controversial report, the loss of 12% of the overall votes in the 1984 election, and Chiam See Tong's vindication at Potong Pasir (Howe had dismissed the opposition candidates, including independent Chiam See Tong, as "court jesters" who had come out "to provide comic relief").

Urban legend has it that his acid tongue did not spare his political supporters. Looking at the grassroots leaders across the table in their eyes, he is rumoured to have castigated them, "I know why you are here", or words to that effect. Quite obviously, Action Information Management (A.I.M.) was not the first $2 company.

Demonstrating a kinder approach to her own cheer team, Intan Azura Mokhtar (Ang Mo Kio GRC MP) said yesterday, "The grassroots leaders... a lot of them are doing very good work but they don’t get time in the media." She was making reference to one who did make the headlines, Chinese national and Singapore permanent resident Yang Yin, who is accused of taking advantage of a retired physiotherapist diagnosed with dementia earlier this year. The niece of the elderly victim is applying to the court to suspend the Lasting Power of Attorney which has given Yang, self-styled professional music and dance teacher, control over her 87-year-old aunt’s assets.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Singapore quoted the South China Morning Post (SCMP) print edition in reporting that the court room drama unfolding will be reminiscent of the tussle between the estate of the late Nina Wang and self-styled fung shui practitioner Tony (now Peter) Chan Chun-chuen. Chan, who had claimed to be the sole beneficiary of her HK$100 billion fortune, was finally convicted of forging a will and sentenced to 12 years in jail.

Yang's instrument of choice was the Mental Capacity Act (“MCA”) which came into operation on 1 March 2010. This superseded the Mental Disorders and Treatment Act (“MDTA”), which had requirement that only a Committee of the Persons or Estate appointed by the Court may manage the personal welfare and finances of an individual of “unsound mind”. MCA supposedly sets out safeguards to protect vulnerable members of our society, such as the abuse of the new statutory document known as the Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”). It's perfectly legal, and the weapons are provided by the sitting parliament currently debating the use of handphones in moving vehicles.
Intan: He came to help out during grassroots events…

28 comments:

  1. The papers aren't asking why a Lasting Power of Attorney can be given to a non-family member. And a foreigner at that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reporters, journalists, editors here are daft as verified by a very old man.

      Delete
  2. This is the kind of Foreign Talents that we are attracting.

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    1. To be fair the world is full of conniving cheating people. Singapore is not immune to this. Individuals and the system need to be on guard.

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    2. The problem is that PAP accept any "talent" with a fake cert to come in.

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    3. /// To be fair the world is full of conniving cheating people. ///

      So conniving that he so easily con the PAP into accepting him as a grassroot activist? How many more such talents who have ingratiated themselves into the PAP machinery?

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    4. How can a PR, who can't even vote, be allowed to be a grassroot activist aka as a political activist? PAP sure have a unique way of circumventing our laws in allowing certain foreigners to participate while banning certain foreigners from even speaking on universal human rights violation!

      Just wonder what the old man has tobsay about this type of foreigner interfering with our domestic politics?

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    5. Old man: "Bleeah, dooorl, bloour blah, neeyrt.. money!!"

      Delete
  3. Did ICA check on Yang Yin's qualification before granting PR status to him? As mentioned by anon. 10.12am, did the authorities check and why a Lasting Power of Attorney will granted to Yang Yin ( a non-family member, a foreigner) when her other family members are available in S'pore.

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    Replies
    1. Did Intan Azura Mokhtar verify the fake credentials on Yang Yin's name card before accepting him into the grassroot? Maybe they are desperate to convert new citizens into PAP supporters and need all the help from a fake talent.

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  4. Great piece but the most important question raised is buried in the wonderful words you weave around it. What safeguards are there to prevent abuse in the new procedure when the Court supervision is dispensed with in favour of simplicity and costs?

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    Replies
    1. Our only safeguard is to vote in more Opposition MPs into parliament.

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  5. If family members cant be bothered to visit, enquire and look after their own elders, then a stranger will take over.
    Maybe they did visit but wills and death being taboo, no one asked, only for fear of being nosy and kay-poh.

    Prepare a will now and with each milestone, review and make amendments.Such is the basic task of everyone's life.... unless you have zero in your estate.

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    Replies
    1. I fully agree.
      LKY spent the last 30 years mentoring this present Prime Minister and his talented cabinet.
      What can possibly go wrong?

      Delete
  6. Surely the holder of a Lasting Power of Attorney cant be allowed to transfer assets to his or her own name? Any legal safeguards?

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  7. Intan Azura Mokhtar told the media that Mr Yang has been helping foreigners in Ang Mo Kio GRC to integrate into Singapore society. She forgot to mention that the foreigners are also helping themselves to Singaporean assets.

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  8. And why is it so difficult for a parent to apply for a Lasting Power of Attorney for a mentally disabled child and yet so easy for a totally unrelated foreigner/PR to apply for this right for a wealthy old woman? Can anyone tell me what sense does it make?

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    Replies
    1. It is easy when you have the right connections like Mr Yang.

      Delete
  9. There are quite a bit of disturbing issues/questions in this case:

    (1) how in the world could the LPA be granted to a foreigner and someone who is not even a relation?

    (2) was YY's PR application supported by any of his MPs, by virtue of his grassroots' connection?

    (3) it is currently a civil case before the courts and he can easily scoot back to China, never again to return, with his ill-gotten gains. Are the authorities looking into impounding his passport?

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  10. The Old Lady is impressed with Yang Yin and so is W/MP Intan.
    Can it be inferred that Yang Yin must be very impressive in his ability, deportation, ability and integrity?

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    Replies
    1. There lies the proof that soft skills is far more superior than hard skills.

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    2. MP Intan should be thankful she did not end up like Michael Palmer, brought down by another grassroots devotee.

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    3. He knows his Yin and Yang.

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    4. Would I be correct to infer that Intan shares the same power of good judgement in making choices as the Old Lady?

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    5. One wonders at the Mental Capacity of our Leeders, to be so easily duped by this conman. Last heard, he has resigned from the grassroots, and the SCCCI has made a police report. Good riddance to all of them.

      Delete
  11. Correction to the Comment above for the Word deportation which should read deportment.

    Apology fr Anon 3:22 PM

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    Replies
    1. No correction needed - he should be deported.
      Deportation! Deportation! Deportation.

      Delete
  12. One dubious PAP grassroots leader does not mean all PAP grassroots leaders are dubious.
    But one Singaporean man losing all his CPF money in Batam means that all Singaporean men will be losing all their CPF money on Batam women.

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