Notable quote by Hsien Loong

‘Drawing on our reserves should only be an absolutely last resort’ Lee Hsien Loong

Hsien Loong cautioned against the worsening world economy and that the govt may have to dip into the reserves again. But this will only be done as an absolutely last resort thing.

I also remember Leong Sze Hian saying that during Nathan’s term as President, the reserves were used for something like 29 times. Correct me if I have misquoted Leong Sze Hian. I think my memory is still ok and I am not suffering from dementia. And one of the reasons for using the reserves was for SERS, en bloc resettlement of HDB flats. True or not!

Pulling down old flats to build new ones is so serious that our reserves were used. Must be absolutely last resort or else something serious would happen to our economy or maybe the new immigrants will go rioting for not having a place to live.

If SERS scheme could justify for the use of the reserves, what else can’t? I think I must have heard wrongly, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with my dementia. Hearing problem? Maybe.


Anonymous said...

I only heard of only one last resort draw on the reserves during the financial crisis. How come there were 28 others? Did Parliament sanctioned them? If it did, surely Low and Chiam would have known and talked about them.

Just goes to show that Prataman could not say no when asked to surrender the second key. No wonder they praised him to high heaven with such superlatives as 'dignity and distinction'.

I think the words 'last resort' are as redundant as 'transparency' and 'responsibility'.

Anonymous said...

Hello, this is the link you must be referring to, on the use of the reserves - a speech by Leong at TKL's rally. Enjoy! But do be aware that this is bad, very bad, for your blood pressure!


Anonymous said...

29 times absolutely last resort. What could that be? Lost so much money needed to use the reserves for some adventures to patch up huge craters?

Anonymous said...

Me has no issue with how many time the Reserve had been used; money by the way is meant for currency not to be kept under the pillow doing nothing. But my no issue is also not about just currency.
See, does anyone get to see or smell the Reserve??? No, right? So, does it matters to anyone whether it has been used or not???


Anonymous said...


Past reserves tapped on to fund land reclamation and Sers

President S R Nathan's office has been approving the use of past reserves to fund land reclamation projects since 2001 and land acquisition for the Selective En-Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) since 2002.

Mr Nathan and his advisers have judged that these projects do not deplete the reserves because the resulting increases in land value ultimately add to the reserves.

According to the Constitution, all state land and buildings are considered part of past reserves.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Mr Nathan revealed that, in general, projects resulting in the creation or enhancement of usage of land can be considered for funding from past reserves. Such projects include Sers and land reclamation.

Before 1999, such projects were funded out of current reserves, even though the government of the day would usually not benefit from them. Mr Nathan noted that infrastructure projects often span across terms of government, which may disincentivise the government of the day to undertake them using current reserves, even though they benefited Singapore in the long term.

Therefore, if a project enhances the value of land through intensification or redevelopment, there are merits in considering funding out of past reserves.

Acquisition cost for Sers and direct land reclamation cost fall in this category, he said.

The President has approved the use of past reserves for the acquisition of land in 27 Sers projects since 2002.

The approvals were given only when the gross plot ratio of the projects could be increased by at least 30 per cent after acquisition.

Land reclamation projects, such as the ones in Tuas and Jurong Island, have been approved since 2001.

Mr Nathan said the president's office and the relevant government departments have agreed upon a set of guidelines for processing all such cases of land development.

The latest disclosure highlights the efforts to set out working principles between the elected presidency, a 20-year-old institution, and the government of the day.

The previous milestone came in 1999, when the Government and then President Ong Teng Cheong agreed upon a White Paper that set out, among other things, procedures for a draw down on past reserves.

Elgin Toh

Anonymous said...

Last resort or affordable. Just depends on situation i.e. if you earn $5 millions a year, HDB flat costing $800K is sooooo affordable....so I guess last resort can be up for interpretation too.

Anonymous said...

I think the second commenter is referring to this:


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Elgin Toh, welcome to the blog and thanks for the input.

A few points to consider when the reserves will be touched. One, the reserves are under lock and key and must not be touched for any fly by night scheme or maverick idea to make more money just because the idea makes money on paaper.

I am puzzled, why, when we have so much money everywhere, that land reclamation and Sers need to use past reserves. No more money?

When clever people think they have clever ideas and are allowed to open the reserves for their use, it is a very dangerous precedent to set. The reserves must not be touched but ONLY AS AN ABSOLUTE LAST RESORT as Hsien Loong said.

Breaking this cardinal principle is a violation of all the rules governing the past reserves.

And yes, the interpretation of absolutely last resort can be manipulated by any monkeys to their advantage. That is why I voted for checks and balance. Without checks and balance, the reserves could be gone tomorrow under the best justifications and the brightest schemes.

When someone is asking to open the safe to the reserves, he is desperate and putting risk to losing the reserves. This is like someone coming to you to borrow money. Many a time, the money will not be returned.

Never trust a desperado with your money.

Anonymous said...

wow, the reserve have been drawn for 29 Xs already ? Sers and land reclaimation is "last resort " ?

Then, I would prefer TJS' 60 billions economy plan which will benefit singaporeans much more !


Anonymous said...

This is what happens to SERS.


SERS flats converted to condo for expats

So the reserve is used to build condos for foreigners.

Anonymous said...

What about monies from sales of our assests like Power Stations, SPC etc; ???? Can't they use those ????

Anonymous said...

Reserve used for housing development and we the citizens ended up having to pay more for our public housing.



notanotherspinstory said...

After 29 times and we haven't a clue how much was released and when and for what purpose.

Why isn't the President bound to disclose when the reserves are being used?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Someone posted 27 times were for SERS. See how absolutely last resort SERS were?

Anonymous said...

All that talk about how important it is to have an EP holding the second key is fast turning into a sick joke.

The fact that they draw on the reserves 29 times and most of us thought that it was done only once, must also be the reason they are calling us daft, adding insult to injury.