It is important for our society to be operated on the principles of honesty and fairness. The minibond crisis has raised many issues of deep concerns to me, and many other people in Singapore.
When I organised the Petition last September, it was very clear that the financial institutions had failed in their conduct as required under the Securities and Futures Act and the Financial Advisers Act. The Petition, signed by more than 1,000 people, asked the authority to carry out an investigation and take appropriate actions under these law.
After a protracted period, which left many investors in deep anguish, the investigation report was published. The punishment meted to the financial institutions was light. Many investors, who lost large sums of money, were not compensated. This raised serious doubts on the question of fairness and justice in our society. It seems that the ordinary people are at the mercy of the powerful people and institutions.
Hong Kong took a different approach. The authority exercised its power and influence to get the financial institutions to make compensation of 60% or more, to the investors. The amount that is being compensated is many times of the compensation in Singapore. The situation is similar, in respect of wrong doings by the financial institutions.
The Hong Kong settlement is scantily covered in our local media, although it is a matter of great importance, not only to the investors who are affected and their families, but to the other people who are not affected. It shows two different approaches taken by two states on a similar issue.
This raise another serious issue of honesty and transparency. Why is such an important issue being swept under the carpet and not reported in the mainstream media? People are not blind. They can read the news in the internet and the blog. They have ears and can listen to gossips in the coffee shops and elsewhere.
I hope that the authority will reflect on this matter and re-approach it on the principles of fairness and honesty. It concerns the future of our country, the people and our children.
Tan Kin Lian
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