25 Jan 2007

Singapore feels heat on economic agenda

By John Burton in Singapore

Published: January 24 2007 00:10

As Singapore has prospered as a trading centre in a region with its fair share of economic laggards, the city-state has often stood accused of economic imperialism. Especially as Temasek, its investment arm, has acquired a growing list of assets in often strategic industries in neighbouring countries.

In what Singapore’s officials say are purely commercial investments by Temasek, local opponents have long seen “dollar diplomacy” at work and a political as well as an economic agenda.

But mounting efforts by Thailand’s government to reduce Temasek’s stake in Shin Corp, the telecoms group, have raised the regional political pressure on Singapore and Temasek to a new level. The stake was bought last year from the family of Thaksin Shinawatra, the prime minister ousted by Thailand’s current military rulers.

Together with other emerging issues – such as a threatened anti-competition probe into telecoms ventures in Indonesia – Temasek’s problems in Thailand have raised questions over whether it might be forced to focus its investments outside the region to where it provokes less controversy.

Chua Hak Bin, a regional economist at Citigroup in Singapore, said: “Recent events show that Singapore has to be cautious in investing abroad and not go into areas that are politically sensitive.”

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eks said...

please sar, we be only doing that we've been told to do by colonial master. esteemed colonial master taught well of modern strategies that sun tzu could not.

we learn many thing like money-politics, propaganda, leverage and hypocrisy. but colonial master not happy - imitation not best form of flattery.

please sar, please tell us what to do.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Yeah. Spot on.

The British East India Company laid the foundations in Singapore, and America (and other territories) In fact, if you look at the flag of the BEIC and the American flag, you will notice striking similariy.

The British East India Company was a Government Corporation (like S'pore's GLCs) It is one of the largest corporation in human history, because it owned and controlled a significant amount of the total human wealth at the time.

...so, I don't know what all the fuss is about.

There is no such thing as "economic imperialism". One party must first AGREE to sell an asset, either by accepting an offer made by a buyer, or offering the asset for sale on the open market, or amongst a few "special" suitors.

I don't particularly "like" GLC's. However this culture of Blaming The Buyer is a bloody nonsense.

These are the same sanctimonious wankers who will judge you if you BOUGHT (voluntarily, for your own reasons and enjoyment, with your own hard-earned money, mind you) cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, firearms, gas-guzzling cars and boats, fur coats, pornography, the services of a hooker, a whale burger, stuff made in China or Indonesia or some other place with "sweatshops") etc etc etc.

Shit, who invited these wowsers to our party?