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Nepotism In Singapore

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  • sg_review
    Its all in the Familee Why it might be difficult for the government to withdraw from business BY Tan Boon Seng February 10, 2002 Some corrections: To check go
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2007

      Its all in the Familee

      Why it might be difficult for the government to withdraw from business

      BY Tan Boon Seng

      February 10, 2002


      Some corrections: To check go to http://www.sgdi.gov.sg/
      [1] Prof Wee Chow Hou is no more Dean of Business Administration in National University of Singapore. He's now a Professor at the
      Nanyang Business School, NTU.
      [2]
      LTC Fong Choon Khin is an LTC (NS)
      [3]
      Tan Eng Bock has retired from the force
      [4]
      Dr N Varaprasad is in NUS and havinrg a seat on the board called Health Promotion Board.

      Singapore Window obtained this documentation. As far as we know, the information is correct.
      IF readers know of any inaccuracies please contact the
      webmaster.

      GOVERNMENT-LINKED companies (GLCs) appear to be playing a bigger role in the Singapore economy than ever before. With Singapore experiencing possibly its worst economic downturn since independence, the government is re-examining its economic policies. The government's deepening and broadening involvement in private enterprise is among the policies being scrutinized by the government's Economic Review Committee. Some officials hint at a reversal of this practice but others appear to disagree.

      A closer look at the issue suggests that reversing this policy is difficult. The government's withdrawal from business could hurt the employment, income and ownership interests of people closely connected to it –

      1)      relatives of senior government leaders,

      2)      former senior government officials,

      3)      former senior military commanders,

      4)      current senior government officials, and

      5)      current and former ruling party politicians. The outcome may also hurt the government's efforts to co-opt its politicians from the private sector.

      The Policy Debate

      Minister of State for Trade and Industry Raymond Lim in November said that the government might in future do less of  "leading from the front". He also suggested the possibility of introducing competition law to address the dominance of GLCs. Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, in December said that: "What really matters for East Asia is a shift towards open, competitive markets, and away from the state-driven industrial policies and the collusive domestic networks that have led to low returns on investment."

      However, Deputy Prime Minister Brigadier-General Lee Hsien Loong, who is heading the Economic Review Committee, has clarified the extent to which the government will withdraw from business. He said GLCs would continue to be "one of the thrusts forward" for the Singapore economy. His wife, Mdm Ho Ching, who is Director of Temasek Holdings and Deputy Chairman of Singapore Technologies, has shared her dream for Singapore Technologies to become a "global champion", "to make the seemingly impossible, a reality". Mr S Dhanabalan, Chairman of Temasek Holdings, has also made it clear that the government will not withdraw from businesses it deems it to have a "strategic" interest in. Mr Dhanabalan said the government also intends to be involved in businesses of a high-risk nature. These remarks were made even before the committee's work had begun.

      The Interests of People Closely Connected To The government

      1) Relatives of senior government leaders

      That the government seems reluctant to withdraw from enterprise could be complicated by its potential effect on the interests of people closely connected to the government. DPM Lee and his father Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew are at the helm of GIC, possibly Singapore's largest GLC in terms of assets. DPM Lee's wife, brother, and a few other relatives are also holding key positions in GLCs. While the situation is presumably a coincidental outcome of free market meritocracy, it could be a source of constrain as DPM Lee considers how to revive private enterprise in Singapore. The following table illustrates the situation:

      Family Members

      Relationship To DPM Lee

      Present GLC Post

      Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

       

      Deputy Chairman of GIC

      Mdm Ho Ching

      Wife

      Chairman of Chartered Semiconductor, ST Engineering, ST Capital, StarHub, Deputy Chairman of Singapore Technologies, and Director of Temasek Holdings and SembCorp Industries (Singapore Technologies unit)

      Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew

      Father

      Chairman of GIC

      Brigadier-General Lee Hsien Yang

      Brother

      Chief Executive of SingTel Group and SESAMi Inc (SingTel unit), and Director of Singapore Technologies Industrial Corporation and National Computer Systems (SingTel unit)

      Colonel (Dr) Kwa Soon Bee

      Uncle (Mother's Brother)

      Managing Director of Jurong Bird Park , Chairman of Wildlife Reserves Singapore and Director of Keppel Land

      Mr Edmund Lee

      Cousin (Father's Brother's Son)

      Chief Executive of DBS Vickers (DBS and Singapore Technologies unit)

      Mr Kwa Chong Seng

      Cousin (Mother's Brother's Son)

      Deputy Chairman of Temasek Holdings (Ministry of Finance unit)

      Mr Ho Sing

      Brother-In-Law (Wife's Brother)

      Vice President of Singapore Precision Industries 2000 (Singapore Technologies unit) and Director of Advanced Materials Technologies (Singapore Technologies unit)

      Mrs Lee Suet Fern

      Sister-In-Law (Brother's Wife)

      Director of SembCorp Logistics

      Ms Lim Suet Boey

      Sister-In-Law's Sister (Brother's Wife's Sister)

      Senior Vice President of SembCorp Utilities

      In addition to the above list of DPM Lee's relatives, there's also Dr Lim Suet Wun, his sister-in-law's brother, who is Chief Executive of Tan Tock Seng Hospital. The "restructured" hospital remains a government department. But as one of Singapore 's largest hospital, it competes with the private sector in providing health care services. DPM Lee and his father are not remunerated for their leadership of GIC. However, several of their relatives are senior managers of GLCs, who are receiving not only salaries and bonuses but also stocks and stock options in the companies. For example, DPM Lee's wife Mdm Ho Ching owned 60,000 Chartered Semiconductor shares, 240,000 Chartered Semiconductor share options, 35,000 ST Assembly shares, 100,000 SembCorp Industries share options, and 50,000 Singapore Food Industries shares, among other interests in GLCs as of year-end 2000. And DPM Lee's brother Brigadier-General Lee Hsien Yang owned 2,120,000 SingTel share options as of March 2001.

      2) Former senior government officials

      Though not an explicit policy, it has become an institution of sorts that senior government officials in Singapore move on to hold key posts in GLCs after their service in government. Former ministers in the PAP government are at least close political allies of Deputy Prime Minister Lee and his father, while former senior civil servants are trusted appointees of the government. The following table lists a number of such people:

      Former government Official

      Former Government Post

      Present GLC Post

      Mr Lim Kim San

      Minister for Defence

      Executive Chairman of Singapore Press Holdings

      Mr S Dhanabalan

      Minister for Foreign Affairs

      Executive Chairman of DBS Group. Chairman of Temasek Holdings, Director of GIC

      Dr Richard Hu

      Minister for Finance

      Director of GIC, Chairman of GIC Real Estate

      Dr Yeo Ning Hong

      Minister for Defence

      Executive Chairman of PSA Corporation, Director of DBS Group and Singapore Press Holdings

      Mr Lim Chee Onn

      Minister without Portfolio, Prime Minister's Office

      Executive Chairman of Keppel Corporation, Chairman of Keppel Capital, Keppel Land, MobileOne and Director of Temasek Holdings, k1 Ventures, Singapore Airlines, and NatSteel

      Mr Goh Chee Wee

      Minister of State for Trade and Industry

      Group Managing Director and Chief Executive of Comfort Group, Deputy Chairman of NTUC Fairprice Cooperative, Comfort Transportation, Comfort Automotive Services, VICOM Nominee Investment, VICOM Inspection Centre, Comfort Properties, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive of VICOM, and Chairman of NTUC Media, VICOM Assessment Centre, Eurocom Motors, ComTrucks, Barcelona Motors, Sinamex Car Rental and Leasing, Comfort Driving Centre, Comfort Courier Services, Suzhou Comfort Taxi, Xiamen Comfort Taxi, Zhengzhou Comfort Tour Bus Service, Comfort Nominees, Comfort Group Investments, Comfort Myanmar, Comfort Diesel

      Mr Bernard Chen Tien Lap

      Minister of State for Defence

      Corporate Adviser to Singapore Technologies and Director of DBS Group

      Dr Ker Sin Tze

      Minister of State for Education

      Managing Director of Dragon Land ( Keppel Land unit)

      Mr Ho Kah Leong

      Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education

      Director of Comfort Group (Singapore Labour Foundation unit)

      Mr Sam Chong Keen

      Political Secretary for Education

      Chairman of NTUC Denticare Cooperative (Singapore Labour Foundation unit)

      Dr Wee Kim Wee

      President of Singapore

      Director of The Ascott Group (CapitaLand unit)

      Mr Lee Ek Tieng

      Head of Civil Service and Permanent Secretary for Prime Minister's Office

      Group Managing Director of GIC and Director of GIC Special Investments, GIC Real Estate and Singapore Press Holdings

      Mr J Y Pillay

      Permanent Secretary for Defence

      Executive Chairman of Singapore Exchange

      Mr Philip Yeo

      Permanent Secretary for Defence

      Chairman of CapitaLand (Singapore Technologies unit)

      Mr Teo Ming Kian

      Permanent Secretary for Defence

      Chairman of Singapore Technologies, and Director of PSA Corporation, TIF Ventures and T21 Holdings

      Mr Tjong Yik Min

      Permanent Secretary for Communications

      President and Director of Singapore Press Holdings

      Mr Er Kwong Wah

      Permanent Secretary for Education

      Director of SembCorp Marine and Jurong Engineering (SembCorp unit)

      Mr Lum Choong Wah

      Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs

      Deputy Chairman and Executive Director of SAFE Superstore Holdings (SembCorp unit)

      Mr Herman Hochstadt

      Permanent Secretary for Law

      Chairman of ECICS Holdings (Temasek Holdings unit)

      Mr Cheong Quee Wah

      Permanent Secretary for Defence

      President of SembCorp Waste Management and Director of Singapore Aerospace Manufacturing (Singapore Technologies unit)

      Mr Alphonsus Tan Chok Kian

      Permanent Secretary for Finance

      Chairman of Keppel Communications, Director of Keppel FELS Energy and Infrastructure

      Mr Ngiam Tong Dow

      Permanent Secretary for Finance

      Director of Singapore Press Holdings and SLF Leisure Enterprises

      Mr Sim Kee Boon

      Permanent Secretary for Finance

      Senior Advisor to Keppel Corporation, Director of Temasek Holdings and PSA Corporation

      Dr Han Cheng Fong

      Permanent Secretary for Labour

      Director of Vision Century Corporation (JTC unit)

      Mr Goh Kim Leong

      Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Law

      Executive Director of SembCorp Industries (Singapore Technologies unit)

      Mr Wong Hung Khim

      Permanent Secretary for Community Development

      Chairman and Chief Executive of Delgro Corporation, Chairman of SBS Transit, and Deputy Chairman of Singapore Telecom

      Mr Chee Keng Soon

      Auditor-General

      Chairman of Jurong Engineering, and Director of SembCorp Marine

      Mr Liew Mun Leong

      Chief Executive of SISIR

      Chief Executive of CapitaLand and Deputy Chairman of Raffles Holdings and The Ascott Group

      Mr Stephen Yeo Siew Chye

      Chief Executive of National Computer Board

      President and Chief Executive of Singapore Computer Systems (Singapore Technologies unit)

      Mr Lim Jit Poh

      Chief Executive of National Productivity Board

      Chairman of Comfort Group and VICOM, and Director of International Factors, Delgro Corporation, and The Ascott Group

      Mr Alan Choe

      General Manager of Urban Redevelopment Authority

      Director of Keppel Land

      Mr Khoo Teng Chye

      Chief Executive of Urban Redevelopment Authority

      Group President of PSA Corporation, Chairman of Changi International Airport Services (PSA unit), and Director of Keppel Corporation

      Mr Barry Desker

      Chief Executive of Trade Development Board

      Chairman of ST Marine and Singapore Network Services, and Director of Singapore Airport Terminal Services and SembCorp Logistics

      Mr Lim Hock San

      Director-General of Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore

      Director of Keppel Corporation and Advanced Materials Technologies (Singapore Technologies unit)

      Mr Ng Kiat Chong

      Chief Executive of National Productivity Board

      Director of Keppel T&T

      Mr Liu Thai Ker

      Chief Executive of Urban Redevelopment Authority

      Director of Singapore Offshore Petroleum Services (SembCorp unit)

      Mr Bertie Cheng

      Controller and Chief Executive of Post Office and Savings Bank

      Director of Singapore Petroleum Company (Keppel unit) and Singapore Technologies Aerospace

      Mr Michael Yap

      Chief Executive of National Computer Board

      Chief Executive of Commerce Exchange (IDA and Venture TDF unit) and Director of NTUC Link

      Mr Lee Yong Siang

      Chief Executive of Public Utilities Board

      Director of Keppel Hitachi Zosen

      Dr Judy Lim

      Chief Executive of Tan Tock Seng Hospital and National University Hospital

      Director of Pacific Internet (Singapore Technologies unit)

      Mr Goh Yong Hong

      Commissioner of Police

      Executive Deputy Chairman of Singapore Turf Club, Chairman of Singapore Pools, Director of Dragon Land and PREMAS International (CapitaLand Unit)

      Ms Low Sin Leng

      Deputy Secretary for Trade and Industry

      Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of SembCorp Industries, President and Director of Singapore Technologies Industrial Corporation, Director of Pacific Internet, Pacfusion.com, Singapore Computer Systems, STIC Investments, Singapore Mint, SembCorp SITA, Singapore-Suzhou Township Development, Sembawang Corporation, Sembawang Industrial, Bintan Resort Ferries, Bintan Lagoon Resort, Chairman of SembCorp Parks Holdings, SembCorp Energy, Singapore-Wuxi Investment Holdings and SembCorp Parks Management, and Deputy Chairman of SembCorp Utilities

      Mr Lim Ming Seong

      Deputy Secretary for Defence

      Group Director of Singapore Technologies, Deputy Chairman of ST Assembly and Chartered Semiconductor, and Chairman of CSE Systems and Engineering (Singapore Technologies unit)

      Mr Lim Chuan Poh

      Deputy Secretary for Communications

      Executive Vice President of Singapore Telecom and Director of FailSafe Corporation (SingTel unit)

      Mr Lai Seck Khui

      Deputy Secretary for Trade and Industry

      Deputy Chairman of Vision Century Corporation (JTC unit)

      Mr Lim Ho Kee

      Deputy Managing Director of Monetary Authority of Singapore

      Director of Keppel Land , Keppel Capital Holdings, and Singapore Post (SingTel unit)

      Dr Teh Kok Peng<

      (Message over 64 KB, truncated)

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