Did reserves go into Temasek’s coffers?

October 14, 2004
Singapore Democrats

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It is reported that Temasek Holdings can draw on the Government’s past reserves for its business transactions but has yet to do so. With the recent amendment of the Constitution, where the meaning of the articles were changed to allow transfers of reserves to GLCs to take place but yet not have them considered as a draw on the reserves, one question that arises must be whether any transaction of the publics money to Temasek has taken place under this amendment.

It is also reported that Temasek Holdings recent annual report indicated that its annual average shareholders’ return over the last decade amounted to only 3 per cent and yet the group produced a spike of 46 per cent return in the past financial year. Did this have anything to do with the transfer of reserves under the new amendment to the Constitution?

This would fly in the face of the Governments refusal to allow even a small portion of the past reserves to be used for the elderly to defray medical expenses. And yet it makes available these funds for GLCs to use for businesses businesses that do not benefit Singaporeans and continue to register anemic returns.

The Singapore Democrats continue to be concerned about the use of the nations reserves for business transactions by the GLCs especially when the system is as opaque as it is.