a) Sceptics. These are people who sneered at the effort and declared that there would be no support for the Petition and that the Government would not listen anyway.
b) Enemies. These are people who attacked me through anonymous comments in my blogs and elsewhere. They dislike me for various reasons or may be acting on the instructions of the financial institution or the authority.
c) Fear-mongers. These are people who created unfounded fear and warned me to be careful, giving their advice on how to avoid getting into trouble with the Government.
d) Lack of support from the media. Although I approached about 10 journalists three times, none of them covered the Petition. There was total silence. My emails remain unanswered.
My task was made more difficult by the unwillingness of the investors to step forward to speak. They did not want to be seen as trouble makers or be known that they had lost a lot of money. The installation of the cameras at Hong Lim was another deterrent. A Tan, who is helping me in FISCA, keeps complaining that if the investors are not willing to step forward, why should Tan Kin Lian take the brunt of the personal attacks and sacrifice? He compared the docile attitude of the Singapore investors, with the bravery of the Hong Kong investors.
I considered asking some opposition politicians to speak, but decided against it. I did not want to politicise this issue and make it more difficult for the investors to get the hearing of the Prime Minister.
But Providence is on my side. Two significant events occurred after the launch of the Petition. First, there was the Hong Kong settlement, which was surprising fair and favourable to the investors. It set a benchmark for Singapore to be compared. Second, Great Eastern Life decided to give full compensation to the policyholders who were mis-guided into investing in the Great Link Choice, which is similar to the structured notes.
To my surprise, the Petition collected more than the initial target of 300 signatures. With more signatures on 22 August, I hope that it will surpass the new target of 1,000 signatures.
To the credit of the Government, I did not receive any direct threat or harrassment for my efforts.
We are now counting down to the Gathering on 22 August, which is only 6 days away. I am encouraged by several investors, who thanked me for my efforts, even though they knew that it will be an uphill task. They felt that it was necessary to organise the Petition and Gathering to register the anger of the people who were treated unjustly and were let down by the leaders.
But, who knows? Providence may be on our side one more time. I am always hopeful and positive.
We are now counting down to the Gathering on 22 August, 5 p.m. at Hong Lim Park. See you there.
Tan Kin Lian
Tan Kin Lian