The best thing coming out from the SGX/ASX saga
In Singapore, whatever argument that the govt used must be right. The critics may disagree, but so what? If the govt says that it has nothing to do with Temasek or GIC, that becomes the gospel truth. If the govt says that there is no conflict of interest, there is no conflict of interest. If the govt says Temasek and GIC are independent commercial entities, they must be. Questioning the logic is like questioning the integrity of the govt. When Singapore bought into Thailand’s telecom company, the Thais opposed the deal, citing Singapore’s govt involvement. Of course the Singapore govt’s argument was that it was strictly a business deal and had nothing to do with it. The Thais didn’t buy it. Now come the SGX/ASX deal and the same criticism from the foreigners, and the same defense from the Singapore argument. The foreigners are not going to buy our logic or be easily convinced. They are going to tear everything apart and put them under scrutiny. Arguments that are seemingly sound and right to Singaporeans are not going to be so in the eyes of a different foreign party. How so, aren’t the arguments factual and correct? We may have the MM and PM as Chairman and Deputy Chairman of GIC or other senior govt ministers or officials in Temasek or SGX, but these organisations are run independently of the govt. Can’t the foreigners see this and accept this simple truth? The point is that the foreigners are not going to accept this simple logic just because our govt says so. They are not Singaporeans.