Family bandyism
Posted on January 18th, 2012

by S L Gunasekara Courtesy The Island 

January 17, 2012, 6:00 pm

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Our late colonial masters, the British, have an institutionalized system of “ƒ”¹…”family bandyism’. Their Head of State will always be from one family. When the mother Elizabeth dies it will be her eldest son or failing him his eldest son or failing a son, a daughter who will succeed to the job of Head of State with all the allowances and perquisites that go with it at the expense of the people of the United Kingdom. They however make no bones about what they do. They do not claim to be a republic or a genuine democracy where the Head of State is elected by the people but proudly claim to be a monarchy where the job of Head of State always goes to a person based entirely on his family connections which have no relationship whatsoever to competence or ability. They, therefore, are transparent about their perfidy.

Other countries which claim to be republics and/or five Star democracies, and have, desecrated the words “ƒ”¹…”socialism’ and “ƒ”¹…”democracy’ with their outrageous practices have, however, also evolved systems of appointments through relationship and blood rather than through competence and ability. Thus, we saw in that supposed socialist Utopia named North Korea, that the mighty Kim Il Sung was succeeded by his son Kim Jong Il, who himself was succeeded by his brat of a son Kim Jong Un.

But, why do we go as far as North Korea? Let us take India. After the death of the mighty Jawaharlal Nehru, he was succeeded by another very great man Lal Bahadur Shasthri. After Shasthri’s sudden and untimely death, Nehru’s daughter Indira succeeded to the throne as Prime Minister. After the murder of Indira Gandhi, her heir presumptive Sanjay having predeceased her, her younger son Rajiv, who then had nothing to do with piloting the ship of State but only an air bus of Indian Airlines, was suddenly thrust into the post of Prime Minister. With the murder of Rajiv Gandhi by the LTTE, an Italian housewife, namely, his wife Sonia became the Head of the Congress Party and the most powerful person in India with the Congress government in power. Her son Rahul is tipped to succeed her.

Let us now come home. When the mighty D. S. Senanayake died, it was his weakling son Dudley who succeeded him. While Dudley is generally regarded as having been a “ƒ”¹…”great man’ in comparison to others who succeeded him, he himself was weak and treacherous and indeed agreed to the perpetual institutionalised discrimination against the Sinhalese people by the Dudley-Chelvanayakam Pact purely to be in power and/or to deprive Mrs. Sirima Bandaranaike of the chance of being in power. Be that as it may, with the resignation of Dudley Senanayake consequent to the Hartal in 1953, his successor was another relation Sir John Lionel Kotalawela. With the defeat of Kotalawela came Bandaranaike and after his assassination, [after a brief interlude with W Dahanayake], Mrs. Bandaranaike became the first female Prime Minister in the world not because anybody whomsoever recognized in her, a degree of competence in state craft but only because they felt that with the outpouring of grief over Mr. Bandaranaike’s death, she would make a candidate who could win and that her prospects of wining were far greater than those of Bandaranaike’s lieutenant C. P. De Silva who belonged to the Salagama and not to the Govigama caste.

After Mrs. Bandaranaike came J. R. Jayewardene and one of the first things he did was to appoint his young kinsman Ranil Wickremesinghe, a neophyte lawyer who had not even come close to distinguishing himself in any field and had hardly spoken a word in Court (if at all) as Deputy Minister of the important portfolio of Foreign Affairs knowing that with its Minister, the ineffective Hameed being abroad most of the time that kinsman could act and function as the de facto Foreign Minister. There can be little doubt that but for his kinship to JRJ, Wickremesinghe would never have even entered Parliament in 1977. That same Wickremasinghe succeeded to the leadership of UNP thanks to the LTTE and will not give it up despite his world record in serial losses.

Are things better in the SLFP? The answer is a resounding NO.

While the “ƒ”¹…”family bandyism’ that prevailed during the Bandaranaike regime was the “ƒ”¹…”family bandyism’ of the Bandaranaike family in terms of which one had to be a Bandaranaike or a Ratwatte to lead the SLFP, and the heir apparent was Mrs. Bandaranaike’s son Anura, a very well read man possessed of much intelligence but no industry or will to work. That heir apparent was later cast aside and his sister Chandrika, who had earlier abandoned the party, worked against it, supported a rival candidate Ossie Abeygunasekera [who later became a UNP MP] from the party she then purported to lead when he contested her mother Mrs. Bandaranaike, for the presidency and actively worked against the SLFP in several by elections etc succeeded to the leadership of SLFP and became the country’s President. There can be no doubt that she would never have come anywhere within reach of the leadership of the SLFP had she not been a Bandaranaike.

Today, we have Mahinda Rajapaksa, whom the Bandaranaike family did not want as President and with him a whole host of members of the Rajapaksa family in various high positions. It is no secret that even ministers pay unctuous obeisance to the Rajapaksa family whether they are technically higher or lower in precedence to them. They pay obeisance not because of any table of precedence or genuine respect but purely and simply because they realize that as things look today, it is only through the Rajapaksa family that one could get anywhere in politics. Is this over simplifying matters? I think not.

If we go through the results of our past elections we will find that in very many cases where a candidate or MP died, his widow, an offspring or a sibling would succeed him. Thus, we found Gamini Dissanayake’s widow Srima, who had never ever ventured into politics earlier becoming the Presidential candidate of the UNP after Dissanayake’s murder by the LTTE. We find that when M. H. M. Ashraff, the leader of the SLMC died it was his widow who succeeded him as the leader of the Democratic Unity Alliance which is a party that Ashraff had formed and that it was the same Ferial Ashroff who became the co-leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress together with Rauff Hakeem.

This is not all. The tragic tale goes on and on and on about family members succeeding other family members in public office wholly because of relationship and not because of any kind of competence, ability or suitability.

When Lalith Athulathmudali was murdered he was succeeded by his widow Srimani, who even got a ministerial portfolio not because of any ability on her part but because she was the widow of Athulathmudali. When P. Chadrasekaram, the leader of Upcountry People’s Front, died it was his widow who succeeded him as the leader of that party. When Saumyamoorthy Thondaman died it was not Sellasamy, Peri Sunderam or any other who had worked or rendered any service to the Ceylon Workers Congress and was known and recognised by the people as being a leading figure of that trade union/political party who succeeded him as leader of the CWC. It was his “ƒ”¹…”playboy’ grandson Arumugam who did, and he is now a Cabinet Minister and has been one in governments of all colours. Further, Sumithra Abeyweera became a Member of Parliament for the Kalutara District not because of any competence in herself but purely because she was the daughter of Indrapala Abeyweera, who was the Chief Organiser of the SLFP for Kalutara, murdered by the JVP sometime before the elections of 1989. Similarly, Hema Rathnayake became a Member of Parliament for the Badulla District and later a Cabinet Minister not because of any competence in her but because her husband T. B. Ratnayake, who had been the SLFP Organizer for Haputale had been murdered by the JVP. It was the same with Mrs. Sumedha Jayasena of Monaragala who became an MP for the area and later a Cabinet Minister not because of any competence in her but because she was the widow of Sumedha B. Jayasena, the SLFP organizer for Monaragala earlier and had died suddenly but peacefully before the General Election of 1989.

So hopelessly bad have things become that the infamous synthetic `Doctor’ Mervin Silva is reported to have announced that his thoroughly disreputable son, Malaka, who is not known for any ability in any field of activity will succeed him at Kelaniya!

So “ƒ”¹…”family bandyism’ thrives at home and in so many countries of the supposedly democratic/socialist East that one does wonder whether we could ever have a chance “”…” for family connections are not, and can never be, a substitute for objective merit and ability.

One reason for this malaise is that despite all the slogans they shout and their vain posturing at “ƒ”¹…”protests’ our People have not yet shaken off their feudal mentality and the “ƒ”¹…”feudal lord’ of yester year has now been replaced by the “ƒ”¹…”political strongman’.

If we are to progress and hold our own among the nations of the world, we must forthwith free ourselves from this horrendous feudal mindset of servility to politicians and allegiance to their families and replace the “ƒ”¹…”family bandyism’ that now reigns supreme with a “ƒ”¹…”meritocracy’. If we do not, we are surely doomed!

 

 

7 Responses to “Family bandyism”

  1. Kit Athul Says:

    Howe, howe, Mr. Gunasekara. What happened to PRAMADSA? Not one word about Pramadase. Your last sentence is disgusting. (If we do not, we are surely doomed) Are you campaigning for PRAMADASA’s son? This Rajapakse family has brought peace and now prosperity to country more than one would ask this family to do. Today any one can go to MADU CHURCH or NAGADEEPA with out been killed. What do you say to that, have you any answers? If you want to replace this family it has to be done by the ballott box and not by the way Pramadasa’s son is trying to do. Pramadsa’s son’s agents are now attempting to penetrate the Universities. That is not going to happen. Please don’t brand late Mrs. Srimanee Athulathmudali as uneducated. She was working in the UN office in Geneva before she married Lalith. Her ministry, the transport ministry did not have any budget to do any thing. I suggested to her that she cleanes up the bus repair garages and provide the required training for the mechanics, she replied I love to do that, but I do not have any money in the budget. The minister who took over from her, I think it was Hakeem, did he do better?

    SL, Sir you did a great job of getting rid of Chandricka, but before you write any illagical arguments against Rajapakse family please take a pause. Walk around your Coconut Estate, in the morning for about 3 hours and think about the good things that this family has done to Sri Lanka. Next as a mental excercise think of a hobby. I suggest you plant rare fruit trees between the Coconut trees. First you take a trip to Pakistan and get two types of Mango trees. “SUNDAIRI” and “MOTT”. Each mango is over 5lbs weight. Next go to Gujarath and get a mango called “ALFONSO” this is also over 4lbs in weight. I live in Florida USA and the weather is some what similar to Sri Lanka. I have all these 3 mango varities growing in front of my house. What if you can grow and sell these mangos as the way you sell Coconuts, don’t you think you are doing a service to Sri Lanka? Your article has the same connotation as an article GOMIN Daysiri published recently on Lanka Web. If you think you could put Pramadasa’s son or Pramadasa’s wife to be the next president of SL! Average Sinhala are no longer SIHALAYA MODAY KAUM KANNA YOUDAYA.

  2. douglas Says:

    Kit Athul – I think you have missed the point of what SL is trying to bring to light. These are events that have ravaged Sri Lanka and as a matter of fact most other countries specially in the Asian Region. As far as our country is concerned, if after Hon’ble D.S. Senayaka’s death, the party did not bring in Dudly Senanayake, a junior in the cabinet over a Senior viz. Mr. S.W.R.D.Bandaranayake, the history would have been different.The same was done on the death of Mr. Bandaranayake by bringing in Mrs. Bandaranayake, to her credit, at least she was involved in the “Mahila Samithi Veyaparaya” relating to women in Sri Lanka. Here it is not the question of “educational qualifications”, but it is the experience and the exposure these “Dynasty Nominations” that is being highlighted, in relation to governing a country. In that context, I appreciate SL’s presentation, in that, he has brought to light the cronyism that has spread through out the history as a cancer. Your last sentence beginning with”If you think you could put Premdasa”s son……..” is completely out of context and it is like “Yanne Koheda Malle Pol” talk.

    In the present day affairs, you must compile the “Family Tree” and you will get rumblings in the stomach. The extent to which cronyism has spread is so wide, that it has beocme a daunting task even to imagine. As you correctly said Rajapakse has brought us peace and do not think that it is going to last that long if the present state of affars continue. It is during peace, the people of this country are looking into matters of government in a transparent and critical manner. So if the authorities do not hear the cry and try to thrive on the “War Efforts” all the time, nothing would prevent them going into oblivion.

  3. Marco Says:

    Kit Athul,
    I do hope you enjoy the homegrown Mangoes and the marvellous weather in Florida and leave the Sri Lankan IN Sri Lanka to resolve the prevalent issues via the ballot box.
    As one career diplomat said..diashoras are “dime to cents”
    Srimanee had the good sense to leave behind the Lankan politics.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    What about Singapore?

    LKY is the LONGEST ruling dictator in the world.
    Then his firned.
    Then his son.
    After that his son or some other relative.

    All LKY’s relatives are in highly influential positions in Singapore.

    To get a balanced view, Gunasekara should have included Singapore as well.

    “Singapore, the land of nepotism and cronyism
    Our Prime Minister gets a monthly salary of only RM22,826.65, his deputy RM18,168.15 while the Cabinet ministers are paid RM14,907.20, according to the Members of Parliament (Emolument) (Amendment) Act 2005 which came into effect on Jan 1, 2004.

    The monthly salary of a political secretary effective from Jan 1, 2004 was RM5,709.99 ( here).

    So, critics and allegations that the PM receives more than RM50,000 a month is baseless. And those who all the while look up at Singapore as the most ‘graft-free’ nation, again they are wrong. Perhaps, Singapore is the country with the highest record of cronyism and nepotism.”

    http://justread-whatever.blogspot.com/2010/11/singapore-country-with-highest-nepotism.html

    1) Relatives of senior government leaders

    That the government seems reluctant to withdraw from enterprise could be complicated by its potential effect on the interests of people closely connected to the government. DPM Lee and his father Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew are at the helm of GIC, possibly Singapore’s largest GLC in terms of assets. DPM Lee’s wife, brother, and a few other relatives are also holding key positions in GLCs. While the situation is presumably a coincidental outcome of free market meritocracy, it could be a source of constrain as DPM Lee considers how to revive private enterprise in Singapore. The following table illustrates the situation:

    Family Members Relationship To DPM Lee Present GLC Post

    Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Deputy Chairman of GIC
    Mdm Ho Ching Wife Chairman of Chartered Semiconductor, ST Engineering, ST Capital, StarHub, Deputy Chairman of Singapore Technologies, and Director of Temasek Holdings and SembCorp Industries (Singapore Technologies unit)
    Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew Father Chairman of GIC
    Brigadier-General Lee Hsien Yang Brother Chief Executive of SingTel Group and SESAMi Inc (SingTel unit), and Director of Singapore Technologies Industrial Corporation and National Computer Systems (SingTel unit)
    Colonel (Dr) Kwa Soon Bee Uncle (Mother’s Brother) Managing Director of Jurong Bird Park, Chairman of Wildlife Reserves Singapore and Director of Keppel Land
    Mr Edmund Lee Cousin (Father’s Brother’s Son) Chief Executive of DBS Vickers (DBS and Singapore Technologies unit)
    Mr Kwa Chong Seng Cousin (Mother’s Brother’s Son) Deputy Chairman of Temasek Holdings (Ministry of Finance unit)
    Mr Ho Sing Brother-In-Law (Wife’s Brother) Vice President of Singapore Precision Industries 2000 (Singapore Technologies unit) and Director of Advanced Materials Technologies (Singapore Technologies unit)
    Mrs Lee Suet Fern Sister-In-Law (Brother’s Wife) Director of SembCorp Logistics
    Ms Lim Suet Boey Sister-In-Law’s Sister (Brother’s Wife’s Sister) Senior Vice President of SembCorp Utilities
    In addition to the above list of DPM Lee’s relatives, there’s also Dr Lim Suet Wun, his sister-in-law’s brother, who is Chief Executive of Tan Tock Seng Hospital. The “restructured” hospital remains a government department. But as one of Singapore’s largest hospital, it competes with the private sector in providing health care services. DPM Lee and his father are not remunerated for their leadership of GIC. However, several of their relatives are senior managers of GLCs, who are receiving not only salaries and bonuses but also stocks and stock options in the companies. For example, DPM Lee’s wife Mdm Ho Ching owned 60,000 Chartered Semiconductor shares, 240,000 Chartered Semiconductor share options, 35,000 ST Assembly shares, 100,000 SembCorp Industries share options, and 50,000 Singapore Food Industries shares, among other interests in GLCs as of year-end 2000. And DPM Lee’s brother Brigadier-General Lee Hsien Yang owned 2,120,000 SingTel share options as of March 2001.

    2) Former senior government officials

    Though not an explicit policy, it has become an institution of sorts that senior government officials in Singapore move on to hold key posts in GLCs after their service in government. Former ministers in the PAP government are at least close political allies of Deputy Prime Minister Lee and his father, while former senior civil servants are trusted appointees of the government. The following table lists a number of such people:

    Former government Official Former Government Post Present GLC Post
    Mr Lim Kim San Minister for Defence Executive Chairman of Singapore Press Holdings
    Dr Richard Hu Minister for Finance Director of GIC, Chairman of GIC Real Estate
    Dr Yeo Ning Hong Minister for Defence Executive Chairman of PSA Corporation, Director of DBS Group and Singapore Press Holdings
    Mr Lim Chee Onn Minister without Portfolio, Prime Minister’s Office Executive Chairman of Keppel Corporation, Chairman of Keppel Capital, Keppel Land, MobileOne and Director of Temasek Holdings, k1 Ventures, Singapore Airlines, and NatSteel
    Mr Goh Chee Wee Minister of State for Trade and Industry Group Managing Director and Chief Executive of Comfort Group, Deputy Chairman of NTUC Fairprice Cooperative, Comfort Transportation, Comfort Automotive Services, VICOM Nominee Investment, VICOM Inspection Centre, Comfort Properties, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive of VICOM, and Chairman of NTUC Media, VICOM Assessment Centre, Eurocom Motors, ComTrucks, Barcelona Motors, Sinamex Car Rental and Leasing, Comfort Driving Centre, Comfort Courier Services, Suzhou Comfort Taxi, Xiamen Comfort Taxi, Zhengzhou Comfort Tour Bus Service, Comfort Nominees, Comfort Group Investments, Comfort Myanmar, Comfort Diesel
    Mr Bernard Chen Tien Lap Minister of State for Defence Corporate Adviser to Singapore Technologies and Director of DBS Group
    Dr Ker Sin Tze Minister of State for Education Managing Director of Dragon Land (Keppel Land unit)
    Mr Ho Kah Leong Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education Director of Comfort Group (Singapore Labour Foundation unit)
    Mr Sam Chong Keen Political Secretary for Education Chairman of NTUC Denticare Cooperative (Singapore Labour Foundation unit)
    Dr Wee Kim Wee President of Singapore Director of The Ascott Group (CapitaLand unit)
    Mr Lee Ek Tieng Head of Civil Service and Permanent Secretary for Prime Minister’s Office Group Managing Director of GIC and Director of GIC Special Investments, GIC Real Estate and Singapore Press Holdings
    Mr J Y Pillay Permanent Secretary for Defence Executive Chairman of Singapore Exchange
    Mr Philip Yeo Permanent Secretary for Defence Chairman of CapitaLand (Singapore Technologies unit)
    Mr Teo Ming Kian Permanent Secretary for Defence Chairman of Singapore Technologies, and Director of PSA Corporation, TIF Ventures and T21 Holdings
    Mr Tjong Yik Min Permanent Secretary for Communications President and Director of Singapore Press Holdings
    Mr Er Kwong Wah Permanent Secretary for Education Director of SembCorp Marine and Jurong Engineering (SembCorp unit)
    Mr Lum Choong Wah Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Deputy Chairman and Executive Director of SAFE Superstore Holdings (SembCorp unit)
    Mr Herman Hochstadt Permanent Secretary for Law Chairman of ECICS Holdings (Temasek Holdings unit)
    Mr Cheong Quee Wah Permanent Secretary for Defence President of SembCorp Waste Management and Director of Singapore Aerospace Manufacturing (Singapore Technologies unit)
    Mr Alphonsus Tan Chok Kian Permanent Secretary for Finance Chairman of Keppel Communications, Director of Keppel FELS Energy and Infrastructure
    Mr Ngiam Tong Dow Permanent Secretary for Finance Director of Singapore Press Holdings and SLF Leisure Enterprises
    Mr Sim Kee Boon Permanent Secretary for Finance Senior Advisor to Keppel Corporation, Director of Temasek Holdings and PSA Corporation
    Dr Han Cheng Fong Permanent Secretary for Labour Director of Vision Century Corporation (JTC unit)
    Mr Goh Kim Leong Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Law Executive Director of SembCorp Industries (Singapore Technologies unit)
    Mr Wong Hung Khim Permanent Secretary for Community Development Chairman and Chief Executive of Delgro Corporation, Chairman of SBS Transit, and Deputy Chairman of Singapore Telecom
    Mr Chee Keng Soon Auditor-General Chairman of Jurong Engineering, and Director of SembCorp Marine
    Mr Liew Mun Leong Chief Executive of SISIR Chief Executive of CapitaLand and Deputy Chairman of Raffles Holdings and The Ascott Group
    Mr Stephen Yeo Siew Chye Chief Executive of National Computer Board President and Chief Executive of Singapore Computer Systems (Singapore Technologies unit)
    Mr Lim Jit Poh Chief Executive of National Productivity Board Chairman of Comfort Group and VICOM, and Director of International Factors, Delgro Corporation, and The Ascott Group
    Mr Alan Choe General Manager of Urban Redevelopment Authority Director of Keppel Land
    Mr Khoo Teng Chye Chief Executive of Urban Redevelopment Authority Group President of PSA Corporation, Chairman of Changi International Airport Services (PSA unit), and Director of Keppel Corporation
    Mr Barry Desker Chief Executive of Trade Development Board Chairman of ST Marine and Singapore Network Services, and Director of Singapore Airport Terminal Services and SembCorp Logistics
    Mr Lim Hock San Director-General of Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore Director of Keppel Corporation and Advanced Materials Technologies (Singapore Technologies unit)
    Mr Ng Kiat Chong Chief Executive of National Productivity Board Director of Keppel T&T
    Mr Liu Thai Ker Chief Executive of Urban Redevelopment Authority Director of Singapore Offshore Petroleum Services (SembCorp unit)
    Mr Bertie Cheng Controller and Chief Executive of Post Office and Savings Bank Director of Singapore Petroleum Company (Keppel unit) and Singapore Technologies Aerospace
    Mr Michael Yap Chief Executive of National Computer Board Chief Executive of Commerce Exchange (IDA and Venture TDF unit) and Director of NTUC Link
    Mr Lee Yong Siang Chief Executive of Public Utilities Board Director of Keppel Hitachi Zosen
    Dr Judy Lim Chief Executive of Tan Tock Seng Hospital and National University Hospital Director of Pacific Internet (Singapore Technologies unit)
    Mr Goh Yong Hong Commissioner of Police Executive Deputy Chairman of Singapore Turf Club, Chairman of Singapore Pools, Director of Dragon Land and PREMAS International (CapitaLand Unit)
    Ms Low Sin Leng Deputy Secretary for Trade and Industry Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of SembCorp Industries, President and Director of Singapore Technologies Industrial Corporation, Director of Pacific Internet, Pacfusion.com, Singapore Computer Systems, STIC Investments, Singapore Mint, SembCorp SITA, Singapore-Suzhou Township Development, Sembawang Corporation, Sembawang Industrial, Bintan Resort Ferries, Bintan Lagoon Resort, Chairman of SembCorp Parks Holdings, SembCorp Energy, Singapore-Wuxi Investment Holdings and SembCorp Parks Management, and Deputy Chairman of SembCorp Utilities
    Mr Lim Ming Seong Deputy Secretary for Defence Group Director of Singapore Technologies, Deputy Chairman of ST Assembly and Chartered Semiconductor, and Chairman of CSE Systems and Engineering (Singapore Technologies unit)
    Mr Lim Chuan Poh Deputy Secretary for Communications Executive Vice President of Singapore Telecom and Director of FailSafe Corporation (SingTel unit)
    Mr Lai Seck Khui Deputy Secretary for Trade and Industry Deputy Chairman of Vision Century Corporation (JTC unit)
    Mr Lim Ho Kee Deputy Managing Director of Monetary Authority of Singapore Director of Keppel Land, Keppel Capital Holdings, and Singapore Post (SingTel unit)
    Dr Teh Kok Peng Deputy Managing Director of Monetary Authority of Singapore President and Director of GIC Special Investments
    Mr Koh Beng Seng Deputy Managing Director of Monetary Authority of Singapore Director of ST Assembly and Testing Services and Chartered Semiconductor
    Ms Leong Wai Leng Deputy Chief Executive of SISIR Deputy Chief Executive of Raffles Holdings (CapitaLand unit)
    Mr Michael Khor Teik Hean Deputy Chief Executive of Public Utilities Board Director of SembCorp Energy and SembCorp Utilities
    Dr N Varaprasad Deputy President of National University of Singapore Director of SIA Engineering
    Lieutenant-Colonel Tan Kian Chew Principal Private Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister Chief Executive of NTUC Fairprice Cooperative, Director of NTUC Healthcare Cooperative
    Mr Phua Tin How Principal Private Secretary to the President of Singapore President of SBS Transit and Director of SLF International, China-Singapore Industrial Park Development and Transit Link
    Mr Seah Kian Peng Acting Principal Private Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister Managing Director of NTUC Healthcare Cooperative, Chief Executive of NTUC Media Cooperative, and Director of Singapore Telecom
    Mr S Iswaran Director of Ministry of Trade and Industry Senior Vice President of Temasek Holdings
    Mr Peter Tay Buan Huat Director of Ministry of Defence President of Singapore Food Industries and Director of ST Primary
    Mr Wu Tzu Chien Director of Ministry of Defence President of ST Kinetics
    Mr Koh Soo Keong Director of Ministry of Defence President of SembCorp Logistics and ST Logistics, and Chairman of Sembawang Kimtrans and Singapore Offshore Petroleum Services
    Mr Ng Kok Song Executive Director of Monetary Authority of Singapore Managing Director of GIC and Director of ECICS Holdings
    Ms Audrey Lee Executive Director of InfoComm Development Authority Executive Director of StarHub (ST Telemedia unit)
    Mr Khor Poh Hwa Director of Public Works Department Chief Executive of PWD Corporation and Director of Keppel Land
    Mr Ng Pock Too Director of Economic Development Board Chairman of NTUC Income Insurance Cooperative
    Mr Lim Leong Geok Executive Director of Public Works Department Director of Keppel Land
    Mr Tan Eng Bock Director of Police Force Director of Teledata (Intraco unit)
    Mr Tan Kit Jong Director of National Science and Technology Board Acting Chief Executive and Director of TIF Ventures (EDB unit)
    Mr David Lim Director of National Science and Technology Board Director of TIF Ventures
    Mr Freddy Orchard Executive Director of Monetary Authority of Singapore Advisor of GIC
    Mr Goh Tien Jin Executive Director of JTC Corporation Executive Vice President and Chef Information Officer of Ascendas, Chief Executive of JTCi Development and JTCi Consultancy, Chairman of Xinsu Industrial Development, and Director of Vision Century Corporation
    Ms Chua Soh Kheng Director of Institute of Productivity Training, Productivity and Standards Board Senior Vice President and Director of PSB Academy (PSB unit)
    Mr Low Huan Ping Division Head of Ministry of Defence Executive Vice President of Singapore Press Holdings, Director of Singapore Cable Vision and MobileOne (SPH unit)
    Mr Lee Kwok Cheong Division Head of National Computer Board Chief Executive of National Computer Systems and Director of SESAMi Inc (SingTel unit)
    Mr Anthony Seah Division Head of SISIR Chief Executive of PREMAS International (CapitaLand unit)
    Dr Chia Boon Tat Division Head of Defence Science Organisation Chief Executive of Keppel Communications and Director of Keppel T&T
    Mr Kwa Kim Chiong Division Head of Defence Science Organisation Chief Executive of JustLogin.com (Singapore Technologies unit) and former Deputy General Manager and Director of Singapore Engineering Software
    Mr Liu Shih Shin Division Head of Economic Development Board Director of Singapore Food Industries
    Mr Wong Lin Hong Division Head of Economic Development Board Managing Director of Temasek Capital and Director of Teledata (Intraco unit)
    Mr Billy Lee Division Head of Economic Development Board Director of SembCorp Logistics
    Mr Ng Yoke Weng Division Head of Systems and Computer Organisation Chief Information Officer of Singapore Telecom, Director of FailSafe Corporation (SingTel unit)
    Mr Han Wee Kwang Chief Quantity Surveyor of Public Works Department Vice President (Quantity Surveying) of PWD Consultants
    Mr Peter Chia Department Head of Post Office Savings Bank Executive Vice President and Division Head of Singapore Exchange
    Mr Saw Ken Wye Assistant Chief Executive of National Computer Board Director of Abecha (JTC unit)
    Mr Chua Tiow Chye Senior General Manger of JTC Corporation Executive Vice President of Ascendas, Managing Director of Vision Century Corporation, Director of Singapore Suzhou Industrial Holdings, RBF Development Corporation, Information Technology Park
    Mr Henry Heng General Manager of Productivity and Standards Board Chief Executive of PSB Corporation
    Dr Steve Lai General Manager of Productivity and Standards Board Deputy Chief Executive of PSB Corporation
    Ms Poh Mui Hoon General Manager of National Computer Board President of SESAMi Inc and Director of Abecha (JTC Corporation unit)
    Mr Lee Kheng Nam Deputy Director of Ministry of National Development President of Vertex Venture Holdings (Singapore Technologies unit) and Director of Silicon Illusions (Singapore Technologies unit)
    Mr Lee Cheok Yew Deputy Director of Ministry of Trade and Industry Chief Executive of SPH MediaWorks
    Ms Cheo Hock Kuan Deputy Director of Prime Minister’s Office Executive Director of Singapore Technologies, Chief Executive of Embrace (Singapore Technologies unit), and Director of Singapore Technologies Semiconductors
    Mr Teng Cheong Kwee Deputy Director of Monetary Authority of Singapore Director of ST Assembly Test Services
    Mr Wu Tek Ming Deputy Divisional Director of Productivity and Standards Board Chief Executive of PSB Certification
    Mr Ang Swee Tian Deputy Insurance Commissioner of Monetary Authority of Singapore President of Singapore Exchange
    Mr Lim Geok Hwee Deputy Director of NTUC Chief Executive of NTUC Choice Homes and SLF Management Services
    Mr Quek Keng Ngak Regional Director of Economic Development Board Group General Manager of Pacific Internet, Director of AIH and Information Frontiers (SembCorp unit)
    Mrs Christina Lim Senior Assistant Director of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Senior Vice President of Vertex Management (Singapore Technologies unit)
    Mr Lau Yin Cheng Assistant Divisional Director of Ministry of Labour Vice President of SembCorp Logistics
    Mr Patrick Daniel Assistant Director of Ministry of Home Affairs Editor of Business Times (SPH unit)
    Ms Chua Lee Hoong Assistant Director of Ministry of Home Affairs Senior Political Correspondent of Straits Times (SPH unit)
    Mr Seah Moon Ming Assistant Director of Defence Materials Organisation President of ST Electronics and Chairman of ST LogiTrack and mPayment (Singapore Technologies unit)
    Mr Benett Theseira Assistant Commissioner of Lands Chief Investment Officer of The Ascott Group (CapitaLand unit)
    Mr Lim Hung Siang Higher Executive Engineer in the Anti-Pollution Unit of the Prime Minister’s Office Chief Executive of CityCab (Delgro and Singapore Technologies unit) and DelGro Engineering
    Dr Lee Tsao Yuan Senior Lecturer in National University of Singapore Director of Keppel FELS Energy and Infrastructure, Pacific Internet, Keppel Capital
    Dr Steven Choo Senior Lecturer and Centre Director of National University of Singapore Senior Vice President of CapitaLand
    Mr Wong Toon King Senior Planner of National Computer Board Director of Raffles Holdings (CapitaLand unit)
    As with any business, state-controlled or otherwise, there is a tendency for managers at the top to appoint people whom they have shared a common past with. Since many past and present officials lead GLCs, these people tend to appoint other past or present officials to key positions in the GLCs. For example, Mr Liew Mun Leong was Chief Executive of SISIR from 1988 to 1992 when Mdm Ho Ching served as a Member of the SISIR Board. He is now Chief Executive of CapitaLand, the property arm of Singapore Technologies. Ms Leong Wai Leng was Deputy Chief Executive of SISIR from 1990 to 1993. She is now Deputy Chief Executive of Raffles Holdings, the hotel arm of Singapore Technologies. Mr Anthony Seah was a Division Head of SISIR from 1988 to 1991. He is now Chief Executive of PREMAS International, the property management arm of Singapore Technologies. Colonel Tham Kui Seng was General Manager of a SISIR subsidiary from 1991. He is now Chief Executive of CapitaLand Residential. Given the perceived shortage of talent in Singapore, Colonel Tham’s experience as the Army’s logistics chief is presumably valuable in efforts to develop “premier, high quality” homes around the world. Colonel Kee Teck Koon was Director of SISIR from 1991 to 1993. He is now Chief Executive of The Ascott Group, the serviced residence arm of Singapore Technologies. With nine years in the Armed Forces behind him, Colonel Kee leads “Asia Pacific’s largest serviced residence company”, building a “luxury brand that projects an elegant, meticulous lifestyle that appeals to top executives” and offering “the ultimate refinement in served accommodation”. Lieutenant-Colonel Ed Ng was General Manager of a SISIR subsidiary from 1990 to 1991. He is now Executive Vice President of CapitaLand.

    If the government withdraws from business, a prestigious and lucrative destination for senior government officials would be taken away. Senior managers of GLCs are compensated at globally competitive levels. Many of them are also shareholders of the GLCs they manage. Non-executive directors are paid regular director’s fees and are even given stock options, which can be substantial. The stipends are not pittance. They may lose out if the government gives up ownership of GLCs.

    3) Former senior military commanders

    DPM Lee, his wife, and his brother established their careers in the Ministry of Defence. DPM Lee was with the Armed Forces for 13 years, rising to Chief of Staff General Staff (Deputy Army Chief) before becoming a politician. His wife Mdm Ho Ching, whom he got to know in the Ministry of Defence, was with the Ministry for 10 years, rising to senior positions in Defence Science Organisation and Defence Materials Organisation before joining Singapore Technologies. His brother, Brigadier-General Lee Hsien Yang was with the Armed Forces for 15 years, rising to Director of Joint Operations and Planning Directorate before joining Singapore Telecom. The following table lists a number of their colleagues in the Ministry of Defence who have also moved on to GLCs or are holdings key appointments in GLCs:

    Former Military Official Former Military Post Present GLC Post
    Lieutenant-General Bey Soo Khiang Chief of Defence Force Executive Vice President of Singapore Airlines and Director of SIA Engineering
    Lieutenant-General Ng Jui Ping Chief of Defence Force Director of NTUC Income Insurance Cooperative
    Lieutenant-General Winston Choo Chief of Defence Force Director of Australand Holdings (CapitaLand unit), Keppel FELS Energy and Infrastructure, and Keppel Capital
    Major-General Lim Neo Chian Chief of Army Deputy Chairman of ST Engineering, ST Marine, ST Aerospace, ST Electronics, and ST Kinetics, and Chairman of ST Kinetics
    Major-General Raymund Ng Teck Heng Chief of Air Force Senior Vice President of Singapore Airlines
    Brigadier-General Wesley D’Aranjo Deputy Secretary for Defence Director of Singapore Zoological Gardens
    Brigadier-General Boey Tak Hap Chief of Army Chief Executive of Singapore Mass Rapid Transit
    Rear-Admiral Kwek Siew Jin Chief of Navy Chief Executive of Singapore Power
    Brigadier-General Michael Teo Chief of Air Force Director of Singapore Aerospace Industries
    Brigadier-General Gary Yeo Director of Joint Intelligence Directorate Deputy President of ST Aerospace, Chairman of ST Aerospace Systems, ST Aerospace Supplies, ST Perth Aerospace Engineering, and VisionTech Engineering
    Brigadier-General Lee Fook Sun Director of Joint Intelligence Directorate President of ST Electronics
    Rear-Admiral Larry Loon Chief of Staff in the Navy President of ST Marine
    Brigadier-General Patrick Choy Division Commander Executive Vice President (Marketing) of ST Engineering, Senior Vice President and Director of ST Kinetics
    Brigadier-General Andrew Tan Division Commander Senior Vice President of ST Kinetics
    Brigadier-General Chin Chow Yoon Commandant of SAFTI Military Institute Chief Executive of Bintan Resort Management, Chairman of Bintan Resort Development Corporation (Singapore Technologies unit)
    Brigadier-General Low Yee Kah Senior Officer in the Armed Forces Senior Vice President of ST Engineering, General Manager of Unicorn International
    Colonel Lau Kee Siong Assistant Chief of General Staff Managing Director of Embrace (Singapore Technologies unit)
    Colonel Michael Low Assistant Chief of General Staff Chief Operating Officer of DataOne Asia and Managing Director of DataOne Singapore (Keppel unit)
    Colonel Lee Wai Mun Assistant Chief of General Staff President of ST Synthesis
    Colonel Tham Kui Seng Assistant Chief of General Staff Chief Executive of CapitaLand Residential, Chairman of Australand Holdings, and Director of Raffles Holdings
    Colonel Ng Eng Ho Chief Signal Officer Chief Executive Keppel T&T, Director of Keppel Communications, Keppel Telecoms, and MobileOne (Keppel and SPH unit)
    Colonel Foo Jong Ai Chief Signal Officer and Director of InfoComm Development Authority Chief Executive of Netrust (Keppel unit) and Chairman of 1-Net (MediaCorp unit)
    Colonel Quek Poh Huat Senior Officer in the Armed Forces and Chairman of SISIR President of Temasek Holdings, Executive Director of Singapore Power, and Director of Singapore Telecoms
    Colonel Kee Teck Koon Director of SISIR and National Science and Technology Board Chief Executive and Director of The Ascott Group (CapitaLand unit)
    Colonel Tay Kok Khiang Head of Air Logistics in the Air Force Deputy President and Chief Operating Officer of ST Aerospace, Chairman of STA Engines, STA Systems, Aerospace Engineering Services, Singapore Precision Repair and Overhaul, STA International Structures, and Deputy Chairman of Singapore Technologies Training and Simulation
    Colonel Tan Nga Kok Division Commander Vice President and Executive Director of ST Engineering
    Colonel Poon Choon Liang Chief Supply and Transport Officer General Manager of Singapore Food Industries
    Colonel Quek Koh Eng Senior Officer in the Army Executive Director of Chartered Ammunition Industries (Singapore Technologies unit)
    Colonel Goh Chee Kong Commander of Officer Cadet School Executive Director of SMRT Corporation
    Colonel Tan Hong Huat Senior Officer in the Armed Forces Senior Vice President of SembCorp Industries and Director of Sembawang Kimtrans
    Colonel Chua Tiong Guan Senior Officer in the Armed Forces Managing Director of ECO Industrial Environmental Engineering (JTC and Singapore Power unit)
    Lieutenant-Colonel Ed Ng Brigade Commander Executive Vice President of CapitaLand and Director of Raffles Holdings
    Lieutenant-Colonel Tay Siew Choon Commanding Officer Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Singapore Technologies, Chairman of Singapore Computer Systems, Green Dot Internet Services, NexGen Financial Holdings, Asia Business Venture Holdings, SNP Corporation, KRDL Holdings, Vertex Management and Vertex Ventures, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive of Green Dot Capital, Deputy Chairman of Vertex Venture Holdings, Director of Singapore Technologies Telemedia, SembCorp Industries, PSA Corporation, Chartered Semiconductor, ST Telemedia
    Lieutenant-Colonel Teo Kian Bin Deputy Head of Joint Plans Chief Executive of Netrust (Keppel unit)
    Lieutenant-Colonel Fong Choon Khin Senior Officer in the Armed Forces Vice President and Chief Information Officer of MediaCorp Singapore
    Lieutenant-Colonel Chang Cheow Teck Senior Officer in the Air Force President of VT Systems and ST Engineering
    Lieutenant-Colonel Yoon Kam Choon Senior Officer in the Navy and Administrative Officer Chief Executive of TradeOne (Keppel unit)
    Lieutenant-Colonel Chong San Chew Senior Officer in the Armed Forces Group Corporate Planning and Business Development Manager of Comfort Group, Director of Comfort Courier Services, ComTrucks, Barcelona Motors, Comfort Myanmar
    Lieutenant-Colonel Tang Kok Fai Senior Officer in the Armed Forces Executive Director of SembCorp Industries
    Lieutenant-Colonel Chua Hwee Song Senior Officer in the Armed Forces and Deputy Director of National Science and Technology Board Deputy Director of TIF Ventures (EDB unit)
    The proprietary interests of certain former senior military officials are not insignificant. For example, Colonel Quek Poh Huat, President of Temasek Holdings, owned 823,228 ST Engineering shares and 36,890 SembCorp Industries shares, among other interest in GLCs as of March 2001. Lieutenant-Colonel Tay Siew Choon, Chief Operating Officer of Singapore Technologies, owned 54,598 SembCorp Industries shares, 1,479,578 SembCorp Industries options, 171,000 Singapore Computer Systems shares, 80,000 Singapore Computer Systems options, 270,000 Singapore Food Industries shares, 400,000 Singapore Food Industries options, 53,850 CapitaLand options, and 100,000 STT Communications options, among other interests in GLCs as of year-end 2000.

    The policy of early retirement for senior military men enables them to offer their innate and acquired abilities to GLCs. Former Commandant of SAFTI Military Institute, Brigadier-General Chin Chow Yoon, who is now Chief Executive of Bintan Resort Management, brings with him a lifelong experience of overseeing living environments such as the Officer Cadet School and leisure establishments such as the Singapore Discovery Centre. Colonel Goh Chee Kong, Director of Corporate Communications for SMRT Corporation, can draw on his experience talking to officer cadets and their trainers, as he was previously Commander of Officer Cadet School.

    4) Current senior government officials

    Senior government officials are holding key appointments in GLCs while still in government. Some of them receive not just directors’ fees but also stock options. For example, Lieutenant-Colonel Boon Swan Foo, Managing Director of Agency for Science, Technology and Research, owned 224,433 ST Engineering shares, 2,005,000 ST Engineering share options, 28,800 Chartered Semiconductor shares, 14,250 ST Assembly share options, and 53,850 CapitaLand share options among other interests as of year-end 2000. Colonel (Prof) Lui Pao Chuen, Chief Defence Scientist of Ministry of Defence, owned 161,444 ST Engineering shares and 12,950 SembCorp Industries shares, among other interests as of year-end 2000. Mr Liow Voon Kheong, Assistant Managing Director of Economic Development Board, owned 80,000 stock options in Chartered Semiconductor as of year-end 2000. The following table lists a number of officials who are at the same time directors of GLCs:

    Government Official Present Government Post Present GLC Post
    Dr Tony Tan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Director of GIC, and Chairman of GIC Special Investments
    Lieutenant-Colonel Lim Hng Kiang Minister for Health and 2nd Minister for Finance Director of GIC and GIC Real Estate
    Mr Lim Boon Heng Minister without Portfolio, Prime Minister’s Office Director of Singapore Airlines
    Mr Matthias Yao Senior Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Deputy Chairman of NTUC Income Insurance Cooperative
    Mr Hawazi Daipi Parliamentary Secretary for Education Director of PSA Corporation
    Mr Lim Siong Guan Head of Civil Service, and Permanent Secretary for Finance and Prime Minister’s Office Deputy Chairman of Temasek Holdings
    Mr Eddie Teo Permanent Secretary for Prime Minister’s Office Director of ST Engineering and Chairman of ST Kinetics
    Mr Tan Guong Ching Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Chairman of ST Telemedia and ST Marine, and Director of ST Engineering
    Mr Heng Swee Keat Permanent Secretary for Trade and Industry Director of Singapore Food Industries (SembCorp unit)
    Brigadier-General Tan Chin Tiong Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Director of ECICS Holdings (Temasek Holdings unit)
    Mr Liew Heng San Permanent Secretary for Law Director of Raffles City, Raffles City Hotel (CapitaLand unit) and NTUC Income
    Mr Lam Chuan Leong Permanent Secretary for National Development Director of SembCorp Industries
    Mr Moses Lee Permanent Secretary for Health Director of DBS Group and Singapore Airlines
    Mr Alan Chan Heng Loon Permanent Secretary for Transport Director of DBS Group and PSA Corporation
    Mr Peter Ong 2nd Permanent Secretary for Defence Director of Singapore Technologies and ST Engineering, and former Executive Vice President of Temasek Holdings
    Prof Tommy Koh Ambassador-At-Large Director of DBS Group
    Mr Ko Kheng Hwa Managing Director of Economic Development Board Chairman of Pacific Internet, Deputy Chairman of JTC International, and Director of Singapore Leisure Industries and JTC Corporation
    Lieutenant-Colonel Boon Swan Foo Managing Director of Agency for Science, Technology and Research (formerly National Science and Technology Board) Director of NTUC Income Insurance Cooperative, and Advisor to CEO of ST Engineering
    Brigadier-General Tan Yong Soon Chief Executive of Urban Redevelopment Authority Director of SMRT Corporation and SilkAir
    Mr Tan Gee Paw Chairman and Chief Executive of Public Utilities Board Director of Sembawang Construction
    Prof Su Guaning Chief Executive of Defence Science and Technology Agency Director of Singapore Technologies Holdings and Singapore Cable Vision (MediaCorp, Singapore Technologies, and SPH unit)
    Lieutenant-Colonel Chong Lit Cheong Chief Executive of JTC Corporation Director of Singapore Science Park, Venture TDF, Singapore Leisure Industries, Jurong Port, Ascendas, Abecha and JTC Consultancy Services
    Dr Ngiam Tong Tau Chief Executive of Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority Deputy Chairman of Singapore Food Industries, and Director of NTUC Fairprice Cooperative
    Mr Tan Kee Yong Chief Executive of Singapore Land Authority Director of SAFE Enterprises and SNP Corporation (Singapore Technologies unit)
    Dr Cham Tao Soon President of Nanyang Technological University Chairman of NatSteel, Director of Keppel Corporation
    Dr Jennifer Lee Chief Executive of KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital Director of PSA Corporation
    Mr Tan Tee How Chief Executive of National Healthcare Group Director of SembCorp Logistics and Chairman of Power Seraya
    Ms Nancy Teo Chief Executive of Singapore Labour Foundation Director of Comfort Group, Pasir Ris Resort, SLF Leisure Enterprises, SLF Management Services, SLF Properties, SLF Investments, and VICOM
    Mr John de Payva President of NTUC Director of SBS Transit
    Brigadier-General Lam Joon Khoi Deputy Secretary for Finance Director of ST Aerospace and SembCorp Engineering
    Dr Tan Kim Siew Deputy Secretary for Finance Director of Keppel FELS Energy and Infrastructure
    Rear Admiral Richard Lim Deputy Secretary for Defence Director of Singapore Technologies Holdings
    Mr Lee Chiong Giam Deputy Secretary for Foreign Affairs Director of NTUC Radio Heart
    Mr Jaspal Singh Deputy Secretary for Transport Director of Singapore Telecom
    Mr Gong Wee Lik Deputy Managing Director of Economic Development Board Director of SembCorp Utilities
    Ms Chong Siak Ching Deputy Chief Executive of JTC Corporation President and Chief Executive of Ascendas (JTC unit), Deputy Chairman of Vision Century Corporation (Ascendas unit)
    Mr Liow Voon Kheong Assistant Managing Director of Economic Development Board and General Manager of EDB Investments and EDB Ventures Director of ST Assembly and Testing Services and Chartered Semiconductor
    Dr Kaizad Heerjee Assistant Chief Executive of InfoComm Development Authority Director of Commerce Exchange (IDA and Venture TDF unit)
    Mr Goh Oon Tong Senior Director of Trade Development Board Director of Ascendas (JTC unit)
    Mr Benny Lim Director of Internal Security Department Director of SembCorp Utilities
    Dr Loh Wah Sing Divisional Director of Productivity and Standards Board Director of Novo Environment Technology Services (PSB unit)
    Lieutenant-Colonel Goh Kok Huat Executive Director of JTC Corporation Chief Executive of Ascendas Land Singapore and Executive Vice President of Ascendas (formerly Arcasia Land and JTC International)
    Brigadier-General Jimmy Khoo Director of Ministry of Defence and Defence Science and Technology Agency Director of Singapore Technologies Aerospace Engineering
    Colonel (Prof) Lui Pao Chuen Chief Defence Scientist of Ministry of Defence Chairman of Singapore Technologies Dynamics, JTC Consultancy Services and Director of ST Engineering
    Lieutenant-General Lim Chuan Poh Chief of Defence Force Director of Singapore Telecom and ST Engineering
    Brigadier-General Rocky Lim Kim Choon Chief of Air Force Director of Singapore Aerospace Manufacturing (Singapore Technologies unit)
    Major-General Ng Yat Chung Chief of Army Director of PSA Corporation, ST Aerospace Supplies, and ST Kinetics
    Mr Khoo Boon Hui Commissioner of Police Director of Ascendas
    Prof Bernard Tan Dean of Students in National University of Singapore Director of Keppel Corporation, Chairman of Keppel Group Cooperative Credit Union and Keppel Hitachi Zosen
    Prof Chen Charng Ning Senior Director of Nanyang Technological University Director of SembCorp Utilities
    Dr Tan Tin Wee Associate Professor and Centre Director of National University of Singapore Director of Keppel T&T
    Prof Wee Chow Hou Dean of Business Administration in National University of Singapore Director of Neptune Orient Lines and SembCorp Logistics
    Dr Phua Kai Hong Associate Professor of National University of Singapore Director of NTUC Healthcare Cooperative
    Mr Lai Yeow Hin Chief Information Officer and Deputy Director of Economic Development Board Director of ST Assembly Testing Services
    Mr Tay Kim Poh Chief Estate Administration and Property Officer of Housing and Development Board Director of NTUC Fairprice Cooperative
    Dr Lee Seng Teik Consultant Neurosurgeon of Singapore General Hospital Director of NTUC Healthcare Cooperative
    5) Current and former ruling party politicians

    The situation could be further complicated by present PAP MPs holding key posts in GLCs. The non-executive directors receive not just directors’ fees but may also have shares and share options in the GLCs they direct. For example, Mr K Shanmugam, MP for Sembawang GRC, owned 70,000 SembCorp Industries share options and 30,000 Chartered Semiconductor shares, among other interests in GLCs as of year-end 2000. The following table lists non-ministerial MPs holding senior management and directorship positions in GLCs:

    PAP MP Constituency Present GLC Post
    Mr Cedric Foo West Coast GRC Senior Vice President of Singapore Airlines
    Mr Charles Chong Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Senior Executive of Singapore Airlines
    Mr Chay Wai Chuen Tanjong Pagar GRC General Manager of NTUC Fairprice Cooperative, Director of NTUC Choice Homes Cooperative and NTUC Radio Heart
    Mr Chew Heng Ching East Coast GRC Director of Dragon Land (Keppel Land unit)
    Mr Davinder Singh Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC Director of Singapore Technologies and Singapore Airlines
    Mr Gan Kim Yong Holland-Bukit Panjang GRC Executive Vice President of NatSteel, Chief Executive of NatSteel Properties and NatSteel Resorts
    Mdm Halimah Yacob Jurong GRC Director of NTUC Thrift and Loan Cooperative and NTUC Healthcare Cooperative
    Ms Ho Geok Choo West Coast GRC Vice President of SIA Engineering
    Ms Irene Ng Tampines GRC Senior Manager of Singapore Press Holdings
    Mr K Shanmugam Sembawang GRC Director of SembCorp Industries
    Mrs Lim Hwee Hua Marine Parade GRC Managing Director of Temasek Holdings, Director of NTUC Income Insurance Cooperative and Senoko Power
    Mr Loh Meng See Jalan Besar GRC Senior Vice President of Singapore Airlines
    Dr Michael Lim Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Deputy Chairman of NTUC Childcare Cooperative
    Mr Ong Ah Heng Nee Soon Central Director of Comfort Group and Singapore Post (SingTel unit)
    Mr Sinnakaruppan s/o C Ramasamy Kreta Ayer-Tanglin GRC Director of SLF Leisure Enterprises and Family Leisure and former
    Mr Wee Siew Kim Ang Mo Kio GRC President of ST Engineering
    Dr Wang Kai Yuen Bukit Timah Director of Comfort Group, Comfort Transportation, Comfort Automotive Services
    Mr Yeo Guat Kwang Aljunied GRC Director of NTUC Club Investment
    Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon Jurong GRC Deputy Chairman of NTUC Income Insurance Cooperative
    Former PAP MPs also fill key posts in GLCs. The following table illustrates this situation:

    Former PAP MP Constituency Present GLC Posts
    Mr Kenneth Chen Hong Kah GRC Director of Dragon Land (Keppel Land Unit)
    Mr Chandra Das Cheng San GRC Chairman of NTUC Fairprice Cooperative and Director of The Ascott Group
    Mr Chng Hee Kok East Coast GRC Chief Executive of NTUC Thrift and Loan Cooperative and NTUC Club
    Dr Chau Sik Ting Thomson Director of Jurong Engineering
    Mr Chin Harn Tong Aljunied Director of SBS Transit
    Mr Goh Choon Kang Marine Parade GRC Division Head of Singapore Press Holdings
    Dr Hong Hai Bedok Director of Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SIA unit)
    Mr Lew Syn Pau Kreta Ayer-Tanglin GRC Chairman of Ascendas (JTC unit)
    Mr Peh Chin Hua Jalan Besar GRC Executive Chairman and Chief Executive of Dragon Land (Keppel Land unit)
    The government’s efforts to co-opt its politicians from the private sector
    The PAP has often looked to GLCs for potential candidates as MPs, parliamentary secretaries and ministers. GLCs provide a uniquely effective way for the party to assess potential candidates outside of the civil service. Without being able to own businesses in the private sector, the ruling PAP government might find it more difficult to find people whom it has worked with and whom it can trust. The following table lists a number of present PAP MPs who were selected as electoral candidates after working in a GLC:

    PAP MP Present Appointment Former GLC Position
    Mr Goh Chok Tong Prime Minister Managing Director of Neptune Orient Lines
    Mr Wong Kan Seng Minister for Home Affairs Manager of NatSteel
    Mr Mah Bow Tan Minister for National Development Chief Executive of Singapore Monitor
    Mr Lim Boon Heng Minister without Portfolio, Prime Minister’s Office Manager of Neptune Orient Lines
    Dr Lee Boon Yang Minister for Manpower Senior Manager of Primary Industries Enterprise (Primary Production Department unit)
    Mr David Lim Tik En Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts and Senior Minister of State for Defence Chief Executive of China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park Development and Executive Vice President of Sembawang Corporation
    Mr Abdullah Tarmugi Minister for Community Development and Sports and Minister in-Charge of Muslim Affairs Associate News Editor of Straits Times
    Mr Raymond Lim Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Trade and Industry Managing Director of Temasek Holdings
    Mr Yatiman Yusof Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Information, Communications, and the Arts Editor of Berita Harian and Berita Minggu (SPH unit)
    Mr Mohamad Maidin Packer Mohd Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Assistant to Editor of Berita Harian
    Mr Hawazi Daipi Parliamentary Secretary for Education Special Assistant Editor of Berita Harian (SPH unit)
    Mr Seng Han Thong Assistant Secretary-General of NTUC Senior Associate Editor of Lianhe Zaobao (SPH unit)
    Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed Mayor for North-East CDC Editor of Berita Harian and Berita Minggu
    Mrs Cynthia Lee Chief Executive of Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council Senior Manager in Esmaco (CapitaLand unit)
    Dr Ong Seh Hong MP Vice President of GIC
    Ms Penny Low MP Journalist with Singapore Broadcasting Corporation
    Miss Irene Ng MP Senior Political Correspondent of Straits Times
    The government’s Public Sector Divestment Committee in 1987 recommended that the government withdraw from commercial activities where its role was no longer needed to avoid competition with the private sector. Since then, the government has reduced its stakes in several GLCs through public offering of shares. It has also selectively divested a few companies.

    Yet its participation in the economy remains entrenched and has even become more widespread. The government continues to control many of the GLCs that are listed on the Exchange. New acquisitions, ventures into new businesses, and the corporatisation of services previously administered by statutory boards have expanded its involvement in the economy. The liberalization of certain industries previously monopolised by a GLC have resulted in only more GLCs.

    Given that state involvement in business could be benefiting the government and the people closely connected to it, it is appreciable that even greater resolve would be needed this time for a policy revision.

    http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/current-affairs-lounge-17/rampant-nepotism-cronyism-within-pap-lee-family-3203508.html

  5. Kit Athul Says:

    Marco, Srimanee did not leave politics, she was forced out by a set of UNP Vultures who joined DUNF. If I can remember right, one of them was good for nothing Karu Jaysooriya. It is not marvellous weather, in Florida as you think. Every two years or so a hurricane hits Florida and distroyes any thing and every thing that is on its path. This includes mango trees. Then you have to cut and remove the tree. After that you buy and plant a new mango trees. June July August are unbearably hot(100F), much hotter than SL. Only time one can enjoy the weather is from November to March. Now you got a country report, now lets get to article. At least in my opinion the article is biased against MR family. And the article omitted Pramadas’s son and his wife. Now what could one conclude, SL is supporting Pramadase’s son to be the next leader of the opposition. I’m I correct write your thoughts.

  6. Kit Athul Says:

    Douglas, yes you are right it is Koheda Yanne Malle Pol, but you should read deeply in to his mind set. None of this military victory or election of MR would have happend if SL did not prosecute Chandrica and get rid of her. SL should get lots of credit for this by historians, (Not British Colonial Clownes) will show that this case he won not only on behalf of SINHALA majaorty but also for every Sri Lankan. It was the beginning of the defeat for Tamil Nadu Tamils. What I critique is the stand he is taking now. For the last three months INDIAN RAW has distributed 3 million dollars to be distributed for any journalists writing against the Rajapaksa family. Well I think SL fell in to this trap. So was Gomin Dayasiri. Another sentance I challange SL is “It is through Rajapakse Family that one could get any where in politics. Is it over simpliying matters? (Answeres his own question) I think not. Sorry to say that SL have not taken into account that the INDIAN PUNKS HAVE ATTACKED the Sri Lanka Constitutin since it was written. My question is: who safe guarded the Constitution with the 18th Amendment? SL should get a clear picture of external attacks on Sri Lankan ecnomy by India and the British with their former colonies (CANADA, Australia Etc). By the same token one cannot get any where with out the Rajapakse family support. Why, because the oppersition lives in the British Colonial era. They speak ill of China but nothing about INDIA or the British. So how can average Sinhala support the opposition! this is why there is no oppersition party today.

    Lorenzo, thank you for bringnning up Singapore. This is an eye operner.

  7. cassandra Says:

    With his article, SLG has provided us with something really serious to think about although some of his observations are not the most sound.

    For a start, I think his reference to the British Monarchy is irrelevant. With a monarchy, be it in Britain or elsewhere, the office is inherited by birth. There is nothing strange about that – that is the nature of the institution. The monarchy is not a public office where the incumbent is chosen by popular vote. To compare the monarchy then with the office of an elected President or Prime Minister is as meaningless as comparing apples with oranges.

    I note that SLG refers to Dudley Senanayake as the “weakling son” of his father. This is not an uncommon comment but like others who choose to say so, SLG does not tell us where or how Dudley was weak. Is SLG suggesting that being compassionate and thoughtful and not being ruthless is a sign of weakness? And if SLG must refer to the Dudley-Chelvanayagam Pact, he should in fairness also refer to its predecessor, the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayagam Pact which reflected just as much ‘treachery’. Incidentally, we need to be thankful to the much maligned JR for having organised and led the opposition to the B-C Pact and succeeding in having it abrogated.

    Whoever succeeded DS as Prime Minister – whether it was SWRD (if he had not left the government before that) or Sir John or Dudley – it will have shown a family connection. That was the state of affairs at the time but let us remember the families concerned had distinguished themselves with public service. We should also remember that when Dudley became PM he had had more than a decade of service in the legislature. He had served his political apprenticeship. And when you consider how the other ‘contenders’ conducted themselves when they later became PM, you will have to conclude that DS showed sound sense in nominating Dudley to take over from him. And if Dudley’s only claim to succeed his father was being his son, the Party would not have turned to him again after the debacle of 1956.

    I think that this business of a feudal mindset can be overstated. As SLG’s narrative itself shows, SWRD was able to put paid to a Senanayake Dynasty just as Mahinda Raajapakse was able to end the ‘Bandaranaike Dynasty’- albeit, it seems, only to try to attempt a dynasty of his own! The emergence of Premadasa as Prime Minsiter and later President as a member of the UNP also demonstrates that this alleged feudal mindset was not insurmountable. Incidentally, it is interesting to note that SWRD’s government which contained the least number of relatives and whose cabinet was perhaps the most widely based, was to be succeeded by an administration that did indeed establish something of a dynasty, with his widow following him and later his daughter, to the highest office in the land.

    SLG states that our “people have not yet shaken off their feudal mentality and the ‘feudal lord’ of yester year has now been replaced by the ‘political strongman’”. What are we to make of this statement? In politics, who if not the ‘political strongman’ can succeed?

    SLG ends his piece with the observation that if we are to progress we must “replace the ‘family bandyism’ that now reigns supreme with a ‘meritocracy’. If we do not, we are surely doomed!” But how we are supposed to do this, SLG does not say.

    It seems to me that the corruption of the political process lies at the heart of today’s crisis. Those who succeed in politics are those who can master the political process and use it to their best advantage, and political parties will need to look at their own processes and revise them appropriately to ensure that individuals and groups are not able to use them undemocratically or otherwise unfairly. This is of course easier said than done. Human ingenuity knows no bounds and there will always be those who will take advantage of a loophole or find some creative way to get around regulations. But unless the potential for abuse is removed as much as possible, we will continue to have ‘strong men’ ultimately having their way. It has been observed that if people are given powers they will almost certainly use them. Such things as the 18th Amendment have invested the office of President with wide ranging powers which enable the incumbent to arrange things to his/her advantage. These powers need to be revised and simultaneously we need to see restored the independence of the institutions which served so well to provide the checks and balances so necessary for a healthy democracy.

    As Lord Acton’s adage has it, “all power tends to corrupt” and unless these matters are addressed as SLG says “we are surely doomed!”

    Reform is not easy but necessary, and in this context, it has always been traditional for the legal profession to show leadership. So, there is a meaningful role that SLG himself should be able to play.

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