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.


Matilah_Singapura said...

There are a few things wrong with your assertions.

Firstly, the reasons for and against the merger are many and varied and cannot be broken down into a simplistic dichotomy of "foreign and local".

I happen to belive Temasek's position: they are not interfering. But it is difficult for them to - the merger has to make commercial sense to the board of the SGX -- mount a convincing argument, simply because the fact is the Sg.gov own 25% of the stock.

The loud voices in Aust are either anti-free market or anti-authoritarian S'pore govt. Capitalism has never enjoyed a "good name", free market capitalism even less so.

Aust. runs a full-blow welfare state. 1/3 of the population receives some kind of "social welfare" as doled out (pardon the pun) by the state's massive wealth redistribution machine: Centrelink. All these fuckers on "social welfare" absolutely HATE free markets and love receiving govt. "charity". "Getting free money" or "welfarism" is an indelible stain on general Aust political and social culture.

Instead of feeling ashamed about accepting welfare -- which is a healthy attitude -- people proudly claim it is "their right" -- their right to sit on their arse and have someone else (hardworking, bleeding, productive taxpayer) "finance" their lazy, irresponsible lifestyles.

Thus "market competition" -- the brutal by necessary mechanism of capitalism which is meritocracy in action is both FEARED and HATED, thus the screams of "more govt protection from foreigner economic invasion/ financial warfare".

None of these fuckers know what they are talking about. But they are loud, and their concerns are echoed by even bigger idiots -- those losers (who live of tax money and don't produce anything) who call themselves "members of parliament".

It is true that sovereign wealth funds or any state agency should not be involved in commercial enterprises.

However those days are gone. We are getting less free market by the day. The US Federal govt owns GM, and many of the banks.

If the US Fed govt can get into commercial enterprise, why not others. The Aust govt owns many "corporations" too. All govts in the world are now "doing business". And they all run some degree of "welfare state".

So, expect the noise to continue. We live in a world of mixed economies. Occasionally when political emotions run hot, they become command economies.

Matilah_Singapura said...

P.S. Speaking of welfare states, the SDP has just released its "economic policy".

Will S'poreans swallow their claims? I wonder...no in fact, I will say "yes" they will.

Many sheeple are so enamored by the idea of demo-Crazy, that the party who is successful in selling that mythical idea is going to gain political points.

Basically the historical formula is thus:

Demo-Crazy => Welfare State => Economically strangled private sector ==> failed state.

Anonymous said...

So unfortunate that i m not born an Australian, if only i m, i will definitely want a share of the nations' wealth. The minerals, gold, wonderful grasslands and vast productive landmass are natures' gifts to the Australians. Should they be claimed by just some politically, socially or gangsterly powerful factions? No, it should be shared as equitably as possible to the citizens. Can they be shared with foreigners? Okay lah if they help to value add to the production and harvest, although keeping all to oneself and slowly enjoy the resources will be a better option.
As for Sin, everything belongs to the State, including the sheeples. No need to elaborate, the sheeples know. Even if the State makes tons of money, the sheeples have yet to smell them.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Australia is a great country, no doubt about it. But to many people have an unearned "share" in the wealth due to govt policies of "redistribution" and wealth transfer. i.e. there are too many mooching bums in Australia who take, take, take without ever giving.

It is very easy for a foreigner to get a share of this wealth: if you are rich, you can buy Aust companies and real estate. If you don't have that kind of cash, you can always emigrate here, become a citizen and grab some of the "welfare" handed out by these nice Christian folks who have no problem being "charitable" with money extracted from productive people through taxes.

There are a lot of foreign welfare bums mooching off the welfare state. You can join them if you like -- there is no shame. People who don't have to work hold their heads up high here "proud to be on the dole".

Heaven forbid they feel a bit "shameful" from accepting state "charity" and actually get off their lazy arses and get a job> Hell no...what would be the point?

Even the "poorest" people have access to resources those who are hardworking and productive in other countries could only dream about.

So what are you waiting for? Head down to your local embassy and apply to emigrate!

Actually, despite all the things that piss me off about the place-- actually there is only ONE thing -- the interfering govt -- I absolutely love living here for many personal reasons. At the end of the day I find paying the high taxes and putting up with the regulations are simply "sunken costs" to be borne by anyone intending to live here.

Life is a series of trade-offs. I don't see any other way around that.