Monday, October 20, 2008

Petition #3 (To Mrs Lim Hwee Hua)

This Petition has been sent to Mr. Albert Tan to forward to Mrs. Lim Hwee Hua. It contains 127 signatures (collected within 12 hours).

20 October 2008


Mrs. Lim Hwee Hua
Senior Minister of State
Ministry of Finance
Dear Mrs. Lim,

Give Fair and Equal Treatment to All Buyers

As you are aware, a large number of us investors have been wrongly led to part with our life long savings for structured products eg Minibond, High Note and others which are not suitable for our class of investors. By the standard of professional investment managers, not more than 10% of a person's saving should be invested in high risk products.

In this saga, banks have persuaded most investors to part with a large part, if not all, of their life savings. The true nature of their products covered up by diverting attention to reference entities of large reputable banks when infact such products viability is hinged on swapped CDOs (collatoral debt obligations) details for which are not allowed to be released even after a default has happened.

How can banks be allowed to sell financial products without revealing the specifications of the underlying securities? How can they be allowed to refuse investors from knowing the true underlying securities even after the product has failed? It is more than a "mis-representation". It is a deliberate attempt to fool even the most savy investor including possibly MAS as otherwise MAS would not have registered the products. How can a structured product be called a bond? The word "Minibond" itself is inappropriate.

Now MAS has openly stated that those above 55 years and non-English speaking gets priority in compensation. The FIs will jump onto this and interprete it to mean something akin to modern day Robin Hood: take from A and pay to B. Those outside the "favored category" will suffer a double injustice.

Mrs. Lim, on our behalf, please advise MAS to re-state their position to ensure that the FIs grant fair and equal compensation to all the buyers of these toxic products irrespective of age or education level. Education only becomes a factor if language is the problem. In this case, even a university graduate will not be able to discover the true nature of the products.

(Particulars of 127 signatories)

The Petition is drafted by Albert Tan. He will organise a group of signatories to meet with Mrs Kim Hwee Hua. If you are willing to join him, please send an email to him at


Anonymous said...

Well done. I hope she will address this in Parliament, which I doubt. Anyway, more such petitions need to be initiated, we need to give the pressure. This could be one reason why the media especially TV is covering it practically everyday. I hope someone could compile a list of all affected structured deposits etc and put online, there are still many unaware. We need to reach out to the 9000 or more.

Anonymous said...

Method to resolve the problem:-

(1) All parties, the issuers, FIs, RMs etc who earned any income such as the commission from selling these products, should bear the responsibility. They should return revenue they received from this because they should not have sold these products at the first place.

(2) Four parties should shoulder the losses, the trustee (eg HSBC Trust) , MAS, FI, investors. Degree of sharing should be discussed.

(3) Be fair to all investors. Whether we are poor, rich, educated or uneducated, we are all low-risk investors. Compensation should be the same.

Anonymous said...

Mr Tan, thank you very much for doing this!!!

Anonymous said...

Compensation must all be the same. If customers are not happy with their compensation compared to the others, then their trust in the FIs will be gone. These customers have contributed substantially to the FIs profits all these years.

Remember these customers have contributed to how big the FIs have grown.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you all have to put on the pressure. This is how our government works. No pressure, nothing done. Pressure is the only way to get them to feel the heat and start working. It is now proven beyond any doubt that higher salary does not equal to more work done. Money is not the main motivator of work performance. Look at Mr Tan, not paid a single cent yet worked so hard. MAS, all the scholars with their market pegged salaries and regular increments, you make your own judgement.

Anonymous said...

If anyone is hoping LHH is going to be able to do anything about it, think again.

She didnt stop the Workers Dorms at S Gardens. She didnt even get the side road approved.

Dont hold your breath

SS Sim

Tan Kin Lian said...

The Petition is drafted by Albert Tan.

I suggested to Albert to get a group of investors to meet with Mrs Kim Hwee Hua.

Those who signed the Petition and are willing to join Albert Tan, please send an email to him at

All the best!

Anonymous said...

Dear Albert,

I doubt very much LHH can do much. SM Goh most properly will brash her away.

Can you redraft a petition to PM LHL? As PM of the country, he has the moral responsibility to protect his citizens. Otherwise his will lose our respect.

Anonymous said...

Hooray MAS...
Banks not at fault.
Investors are to blame for lack of educations.

Betsybug said...

Let's hope the SAF is not like SS Sim. Before even going to "fight", he/she is already prepared to surrender. The Americans have a rather apt (albeit somewhat blunt) appellation for this kind of behaviour - they would call SS Sim a "surrender monkey".

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that the financial institutions are the ones that everyone is looking to blame. Don't the individuals who have purchased these products have some responsibilities too? Like... doing your own due diligence.
I ran across this blog. I share his/her views. I think everyone is looking for the fall guy when the blame should be on both sides.

Anonymous said...

A cheat is a cheat, I really cannot understand how can one determine a cheat is less of a cheat in cases that involved educated ones.... sigh.

Anonymous said...

We have earlier wrote a petition letter to Minister of Finance. Guess what, we only recieved an official letter in reply that our letter has been forwarded to MAS, which will look into the matter and reponse direct to us. Lines drawn very clearly! Agreed that if this is not within the scope / power of Ministry of Finance, suggest we re-direct the letter to LHH.

Anonymous said...

I support a petition to LHH. I have lost confidence in MAS and ministers ability to handle this

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