Powerful Siblings in Singapore

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Links and text below for verification. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this post.

Reader Tip:  

“In Russia, they have the oligarchs and China the Princelings. In Singapore, we have the Siblings.”

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// UPDATE (4 Sept 2015):

Will update the bigger image later (Chew siblings; grandchildren of Tan Chin Tuan).

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Grandchildren of Tan Chin Tuan (uncle of President Tony Tan): Chew Gek Khim, Chew Kwee San and Chew Gek Hiang. They are relatives of Kwa Geok Choo through Tan Chin Tuan.

Chew Kwee San is an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court in Singapore. He is a Member of the Heritage Industry Incentive Program (Hi2P) Approval Committee of the National Heritage Board of Singapore and Member of Audit and Investment Committee of the Boy’s Brigade in Singapore.

Chew Gek Khim sits on the board of Singapore Exchange Limited and is a Member of the Securities Industry Council of Singapore, the SSO Council and Board of Governors of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. She was Chairman of the National Environment Agency Board of Singapore from 2008 to 2015.

Chew Gek Hiang serves on the advisory panel of the GST Review Board.

FIRST COLUMN

1. Alan Chan Heng Loon, Public Service Commission (PSC) Member and former principal private secretary to Lee Kuan Yew, has two “illustrious siblings“: Professor Chan Heng Chee and Chan Heng Wing.

According to Singapore’s Constitution and PSC’s 2012 Annual Report:

The Public Service Commission (PSC)’s constitutional role is to appoint, confirm, promote, transfer, dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over public officers in Singapore.

It considers the suitability of candidates for appointment as Chief Executive Officers of Statutory Boards; it is also responsible for the planning and administration of scholarships provided by the Government of Singapore.

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Kate Middleton, Prince William, PM LHL, and Ho Ching. Source: Getty

2. Ho Ching, wife of PM Lee Hsien Loong, has two brothers and a sister. Her sister is Ho Peng and one of her brothers is Ho Sing.

3. Teo Chee Hean has three sisters by the names of Hee Lian, Chai Lian and Swee Lian.

There is a Teo Swee Lian (director) in Singtel who was formerly a Special Advisor in the Managing Director’s Office at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). There is a Teo Hee Lian who was formerly the Director of Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM). This Teo Hee Lian has had “extensive experience writing cabinet memoranda, parliamentary replies, reports, papers, minutes of meetings, and speeches.”

Will update this section if anyone can verify that these two ladies are Teo Chee Hean’s sisters. Images below from CSCollege and Singtel.

4. Richard Ong and Charles Ong are Chinese-Malaysian brothers. Charles Ong spent 10 years managing investment projects for Temasek Holdings, and was described as the “right-hand man” to Temasek chief Ho Ching.

The last two funds Richard led or co-led (in 2011) raised around $5 billion combined. At a 2 percent management fee — an industry standard — that’s $100 million in annual fees alone.

According to Wikipedia and China Economic Review:

. . .the true reason that the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) denied Goldman permission to name [Richard] Ong to his new position was due to his family ties to Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings and his own role in the money-losing sale of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s Shin Corporation to Temasek.

  • NOTE: Ho Ching’s (CEO of Temasek Holdings since 2004; wife of PM Lee Hsien Loong; on the Forbes Power Woman list every year since 2004) mother, Chan Chiew Ping, was from Taiping, Malaysia.

SECOND COLUMN

1. Ng Chee Meng has two notable brothers: Ng Chee Khern and Ng Chee Peng (both were President’s Scholars). Ng Chee Khern was Chief of Air Force from 2006 – 2009. Ng Chee Peng was Chief of Navy from 2011 – 2014, and was appointed the CEO of CPF in Jan 2015. Former defence chief, Ng Chee Meng, has been touted as a potential office-bearer.

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Ng Brothers | Image by Roy Ngerng

As Roy Ngerng wrote in a FB post:

“Ng Chee Meng is expected to run for the PAP and would be the highest-ranking military officer to run for election. He could even potentially become a prime minister. This means that he could head the government. If so, the Ng family would control the government, the military and our CPF.

2. Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim has a sister, Zuraidah Ibrahim (political deputy editor at The Straits Times, married to Cherian George). Yaacob and Zuraidah have a brother, Ismail Ibrahim, who was the first Malay President’s Scholar in SIngapore. Thanks to The Unseen Singapore for making the original identification.

3.  Kwa Soon Bee, former Permanent Secretary for Health and Director of Medical Services, is a brother of Kwa Geok Choo (Mrs. Lee Kuan Yew). Kwa Soon Chuan was the first local appointed to the Colonial Administration. He is a brother of Kwa Geok Choo.

4. Lee Su Shyan, Money Editor / Business Editor at The Straits Times, is said to be the sister of Lee Yi Shyan. Will update this section if anyone can provide more verification.

THIRD COLUMN

1. Raymond Lim Siang Keat is the brother of Benny Lim, former ISD director.

2. Thio Shen Yi, President of the Law Society (2015), is the brother of Thio Li-Ann.

Thio Li-Ann’s views have been described as “anti-gay.” She described homosexuality as a “gender identity disorder,” said anal sex was akin to “shoving a straw up your nose to drink,” and opposed the repeal of a law in the penal code — known as Section 377A — that criminalizes sex between men.

[youtube.com/watch?v=vscnsmHyGhA&w=420&h=315;feature=youtu.be&]

(YouTube video of Thio Li-Ann in Parliament).

The Thio siblings’ maternal grandfather, Reverend Huang Yang Ying, was the founding Principal of Anglican High School (1956-1958).

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Thio family. Source: BookSG

3. Chua Lee Hoong is the sister of Chua Mui Hoong. According to a reliable offline source, Chua Mui Hoong was a desk officer in the ISD.

4. Chew Men Leong took over from Chew Hock Yong as the chief executive of Land Transport Authority (LTA) in 2014. A reader pointed out that these two could be brothers or relatives.

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Chew twin brothers. Source: Jasmine Tan / FB

5. Lieutenant-Colonel Chew Chun Chau is the identical twin brother of SLTC Chew Chun Liang. Chew Chun Liang is 1.5 hours younger than Chew Chun Chau.

6. Lim Suet Fern, wife of Lee Hsien Yang (brother of PM Lee Hsien Loong), has a brother called Lim Suet Wun, former CEO of Tan Tock Seng hospital.

Lee Kuan Yew on CPF

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1. LEE KUAN YEW on CPF:

“This is your wealth, the savings of people in individual accounts are not government reserves.”

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Screenshot: LKY’s Speech | Page 13

Source: Speech by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, at The Fullerton Square Rally on 19 December 1984 (NAS)

2. BOARD OF DIRECTORS on GIC:

GIC is a sovereign wealth fund (i.e. government-owned investment fund) established by the Government of Singapore in 1981 to manage Singapore’s foreign reserves. GIC and Temasek Holdings are the soverign wealth funds owned by the Government of Singapore.

GIC’s Corporate Gorvernance page states that “the government holds the GIC board accountable for portfolio performance, but does not interfere in the company’s investment decisions.”

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Screenshot: GIC Corporate Governance (1 Aug 2015)

The page goes on to list the GIC’s Board of Directors.

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Some of GIC’s Board of Directors | Source: GIC

How is the government supposed to “not interfere in GIC’s investment decisions” when government members such as the Prime Minister and several Ministers are on the GIC’s Board of DIrectors?

Is the Prime Minister not supposed to discuss GIC and Temasek Holdings with his wife, Ms. Ho Ching, who has been the CEO of Temasek Holdings since 2004 and is the world’s 59th most powerful female according to Forbes?

As Roy Ngerng says in a recent blog post:

“Can the GIC claim not to have any regard to the sources of funds it receives if the government also sits on the GIC’s board of directors?

Can the GIC claim not to know if it is using Singaporeans’ CPF to invest?”

(Source: Roy Ngerng / The Mysterious Circumstances of How GIC was Formed)

3. OTHER PERSPECTIVES:

A modest selection of commentaries on CPF.

a) Leong Sze Hian

I thought it may be in the public interest, to try to summarise some of the questions on CPF that Roy Ngerng and others have been asking.

  • Is there any other country in the world that keeps so much of the returns from the national pension fund – from the people?
  • Is it true that since 1999, the CPF had the lowest real rate of return amongst all national pension schemes in the world?
  • . . .Does it mean that we may have lost [about] 84 per cent of our total CPF funds of $151.3 billion in 2008 (CPF Trends, October 2013) in just one year?

(Source: Leong Sze Hian – What are Roy’s Questions about the CPF?)

b) Roy Ngerng / CPF Blogger

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Roy Painting | Source: SG Daily / FB

i) “DEMAND FOR TRANSPARENCY: What are the losses that GIC and Temasek Holdings have made since their inception? What have they done to manage the losses? How much “capital” has the government injected into the GIC and Temasek Holdings since their inception? Where does this additional “capital” come from?”
(Source: Roy Ngerng / 30 June 2014)

ii) As most Singaporeans would know by now, our CPF is being taken by the PAP to be invested in the Temasek Holdings and GIC. In 2008, Temasek Holdings lost $58 billion, which is equal to 40% of the value of our CPF (Chart 76). When this money is lost, who has to pay off the loss and the debt? It’s not them.

Short Version: When The PAP Started Turning Against Singaporeans

Video Version: When The PAP (Video)

iii) “This is the top viewed article on my blog and has been viewed more than 550,000 times. Many Singaporeans are angry because: the government said that since we borrowed our own pension funds to buy housing and they cannot pay us the interest on the money withdrawn, when we sell our homes, we will have to pay back this interest into the pension funds. This is possibly the article which started the government watching me.”

Article: Truth Exposed: The Dirty CPF-HDB Scheme To Trick Singaporeans

Video Version: Truth Exposed (Video)

iv) “This is my second attempt after I got sued, to trace how the government has been taking our pension funds to earn and use since the 1980s.”

Article: What PAP Has Done to Your CPF (The Real History)

v) “The Rothschild family used to control large swaths of the banking industry in Europe and effectively controlled their governments. In 1982, the PAP started working with them.”

Article: How the PAP Started Turning against Singaporeans from the Mid-1980s

c) Phillip Ang

i) PM Lee’s famous words which I think Singaporeans will now find them hard to believe: “Never forget that we are servants of the people. Always maintain a sense of humility and service.
(Phillip Ang, 1 July 2015)

ii) “The total balance of our CPF is not $282 million but $282 BILLION. GIC should not be allowed to continue managing our CPF without providing a proper set of accounts as it would be logical to suspect something’s not right.”
(Phillip Ang, 30 June 2015)

iii) “There wasn’t a whisper heard in Parliament on the CPF issue until Roy came along. And what’s more outrageous – PM Lee did nothing because he had probably assumed zero transparency and zero accountability did not matter, as during his father’s time.”
(Phillip Ang, 4 July 2015)

d) Christopher Balding

i) “The claimed 17% earned by Temasek in SGD belongs to the people of Singapore who provided the public surpluses and capital investment to build companies.”
(Christopher Balding, The Real CPF Scam)

ii) “I have said many times that if I am wrong, it is easy to prove me wrong with very simple and data that should have no reason to be secret. They could easily prove me wrong if the truth was on their side. It isn’t. I know it and they know it.”
(Christopher Balding, In Singapore: Truth is No Defense)

e) Kenneth Jeyaretnam

“GIC has confirmed what I wrote that in fact GIC’s funding comes from CPF. They say so here: GIC, along with MAS, manages the proceeds from the Special Singapore Government Securities (SSGS) that are issued and guaranteed by the government which CPF board has invested in with the CPF monies.
(Kenneth Jeyaretnam, Exposing the Problems with CPF / March 2015)

f) Chee Soon Juan

“PM LHL’s proposal to return retirees 20 percent of their savings upon retirement does nothing to resolve the problem of inadequate CPF funds. This move is symptomatic of Mr Lee’s leadership – trying to appease the public while sticking to unjustified, and unjustifiable, policies.
(Chee Soon Juan / SDP / February 2015)

g) Martyn See

“There are over 450 comments to this open letter titled DEAR CPF: GIVE ME BACK MY MONEY!, virtually all of which support the writer’s plea. Many also describe their personal stories of financial struggle. There is no better way to understand the lives of the working class Singaporean than to start here.”

Excerpts: Compiled by Martyn See (FB)

Saw Phaik Hwa, Former SMRT CEO

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* Thanks to SGClub Forum for the images.

A few choice excerpts on Ms. Saw Phaik Hwa, former CEO of SMRT.

1) “The rot really started with the appointment of Ms. Saw Phaik Hwa as CEO. Her only experience was in the retail business and she knew next to nothing in the running of SMRT and its maintenance. She was however successful in making hugh profits for the shareholders, especially Temasek Holdings, mainly through rentals of SMRT properties and for a time she was able to ride high in the organisation.

It’s amazing that the Government had not learned from the bitter lesson of Ms. Saw Phaik Hwa. The point is as long as the SMRT is privatised and profit-oriented, the poor and unfortunate commuters will suffer from frequent rail breakdowns, not excluding massive disruptions.”
(Source: Singapore Recalcitrant)

2) [Saw joined SMRT] in December 2002. Her appointment raised eyebrows then as her background was mainly in retail and marketing, and she had no experience whatsoever in running a public transport business.

In early 2002, she was retrenched when the global airport retailer [DFS] consolidated its businesses. She then started her own consultancy business in international retail before applying for the SMRT job. “I didn’t have to learn to be a CEO, all I needed was to learn a new trade,” she says matter of factly.
(Source: AsiaOne, 2011)

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3) When asked to describe her management style, Saw quips: “My dream management style is not having to do anything.”
(Source: AsiaOne, 2011)

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Financial Information | Image from SMRT

4) “Since SMRT is a Temasek Holdings owned company, would Ho Ching herself have a say as to whom she appoints to head SMRT as CEO? Can anyone verify whether Ho Ching is good friends with Saw Phaik Hwa on a personal basis?”
(Source: travelbug)

5) Saw, who lives in a landed property off Lornie Road and owns two luxury cars, a Ferrari California and Mercedes-Benz 500, earned $1.85 million in 2010. She also said she had earned her right to spend. . .on her million-dollar pay package, she said, “the package is benchmarked to the job that I do. . .and the pay is not top-end. It’s not top-end.”
(Source: Yahoo, 2012)

6) YouTube video of Ms. Saw with 8 Hunks. Video creator says: “Shouldn’t the profits from SMRT go towards helping the old and needy in Singapore, rather than spending it on a meaningless annual dinner?”