Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Reply to Chua Sheng Yang

Chua Sheng Yang's letter:

18 November 2008

The Editor
Forum Page
Straits Times

I refer to the letter entitled “Questions on investment products rally” by Chua Sheng Yang (Straits Times, 18 Nov 2008).

I organize the fifth rally on 15 November for the purpose of updating the investors on the status of the three petitions that were sent to the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The text of my speech can be found in my blog,

I did not organize the rally for the purpose of promoting The Online Citizen, as suggested by Mr. Chua.

I do wish to acknowledge the coverage given by The Online Citizen and other online blogs. They help to bring my messages to the investors who were not able to attend the events at Speaker’s Corner.

The first petition, signed by 983 investors and submitted on 9 October 2008, asked the Government to carry out an independent investigation to find out if there were any wrong doings by the financial institutions that created and marketed these credit linked securities and, if there were, to take appropriate action under the law. Specifically, the investigation should look at possible breaches under section 199 of the Securities and Futures Act and section 27 of the Financial Adviser’s Act.

Mr. Chua asked me to state if the people, who are neither elderly nor uneducated, should be entitled to their money back. In my view, all investors who have been misled into these securities through mis-representation and mis-selling (if proven by the findings) should be fairly compensated, regardless of their age and educational level.

I do not expect the Government to reimburse the investors for the financial loss. I only urge the Government to help the investors to get fair compensation for their loss from the financial institutions. I do not expect the compensation to be in full, as the investors have to bear some responsibility.

Several articles, written by journalists and university professors, have been printed in the newspapers explaining the high risk of these securities and how the investors could have been misled. I wonder why people like Mr. Chua choose to ignore them. I can only recall the saying, “None are so blind as those who will not see the truth”.

Mr. Chua made a personal attack on my character in the last three paragraphs of his letter. I am surprised that your newspaper found it fit to print these unsubstantiated remarks, as they are not relevant to the main issue. I shall not respond to them.

Tan Kin Lian


Anonymous said...

Well said Mr Tan. I read the forum post with anger and it was indeed inappropiate for the papers to publish the biased and unsubstantiated report.

Anonymous said...

Yeong-Nathan beats Putney to win the women's title in at 44th QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup

First-ever victory for Singapore in the BWC history

Such a great victory but our local press is happier to promote Li Jiawei going to Beijing to hold her wedding.

Such are the sell out shameless ways of the Pappies and their minions in the press.


Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised that the Straits Times chose to print such unsubstantiated remarks.

G C said...

The issue on differentiating investors into group of educated and so call non "educated and old age" are weird and unfounded. Same logic you do differentiate those people who have been suffered from food poisoning into old age group, educated and uneducated. When you suffer from the same illness you are going to find the root cause of the illness and treat it accordingly.

There is no different in the poisoning of toxic financial products, one must go extra length to find out is there is mis-selling so to say or another other mis leading facts to the marketing of these products.

Any way when all willing to accept the fact that these products are :toxic" this has in the very first place warranted an investigation.

G C Tham

Anonymous said...

Allow people who lost their life saving to speak and write out, as they talk, they write, depressed mode and anger can slowly release...and the more they allow to write and talk, they can be peaceful in mind, and bite the dust. They will then phsycologically BALANCED.
This forum allows sufferred people to write and express. If they keep quiet, worst ....
AMong the comments, would all of us find a way to help each other to learn, to avoid and to document it for future smart investment, and to share the truth and avoid CON-investment scheme.
Today world, many people 'kena' wrecked, they can share their smart investment strategies and perhaps you should find out a few here. M dad 80+years, 60 years in insurance and portfolio investment, will you buy his stories?

Anonymous said...

Mr Tan,
You have my support. I have great faith in your character than many others, who true self is revealing in these tough times

Mr Lee

Anonymous said...

How much banks paid for newspaper advertisement in total from 2004..2008 on TOXIC financial Products. Mr. Editor should publish the figures , bank by banks to update readers..


Anonymous said...

It is very sad that the Straits Times that had been so quick to be righteous in condemning criticisms of the government should lend itself to personal attacks that obviously reflect a political agenda. By doing so, the Straits Times merely reinforces the feeling among many that the small investors do not have recourse to jutsice and fair play but are merely white washed by authoritarian and institutionalized forces. If the Straits Times is sinecere in distancing itself from its tarnished image of being a voice of the government (not of the people) which it must do in any case if it is to retain some credibility in the technological age the newspaper should redress this wrong that it has once again carried out.

Anonymous said...


You have done the right thing to put up the petition to ask government to carry out "investigation .. into possible breaches under section 199 of the Securities and Futures Act and section 27 of the Financial Adviser’s Act." on 9 Oct 2008.

You have done well for SINGAPOREANS. Thank you very much. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Mr Tan and all NTUC financial advisors can do a class action suit again Chua Sheng Yang and ST for this deflamation.

Anonymous said...

I havent seen that newspaper postup, can someone make it available herein

IF it does sound as bad or as skewed as it seems, then perhaps there could be an agenda for it to be

1. Submitted
2. Published
3. Circulated on a popular medium nationwide

Think carefully about the possibilities of that AGENDA

I dont know how to answer this, but perhpas blog owner might have an rough idea on the TOES he could have stepped on, on the path of justice so speak

Anonymous said...

in 1960..He told friends to buy a british listed share deal in discount house, when the share due to collect they quit, my dad could not forked out 10K and he sold all he got, car and borrow a few thousand. He cycled to sell insurance. THe british insurance boss in singapore (whom my dad carry his bag - like bell boy) when he arrived this small town to teach agents about insurance.
From the 10K shares, it ballons to 6 millions shares...after bonus dividend, the cost was 1 cent vs 1.60....rain and was MGOed at 1.60..during right and ICULs period a further 6 mil was gained from the paper and swap sell and subscription....

Friends, some shares can keep long term, same cannot even for a trading day.

US trained top bankers are all that smart. They were hired to squeeze our own countryman. Don't they feel guilty?

Anonymous said...

I am concern about Mr Chua statement on NTUC Income and their integrity as I bought several Income policies. Can Income explain if these had been unethical sale to me?
If what Mr Chua claim is true, does it mean I have bought some "junk" products or the premium could have been much lower?
Can I make NTUC Income compensate me for their unethical sale practice?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Tan,

I was very angry and disappointed that ST choose to print the irrelevant and sweeping remarks by SY Chua. It reflects the intelligence ( or could it be some hands in the making!! ) of the editorial team . There are so many rebutals make on DBS Chairman's remarks but was not published. I recalled someone going around HL Park seeking reporters and handing out reply to the Chairman statement.

On the other hand SY should get out of his house and make a trip to HL Park to see and hear for himself before he make such remarks. Or are you one of those that choose to stay in your 'Ivory Tower' and ignore the thousands' plees.

Unquote "“None are so blind as those who will not see the truth”.

Anonymous said...

I can only recall the saying, “None are so blind as those who will not see the truth”.

Referring to the pappies?

Anonymous said...

I seriously think the ST need to explain why that unsubstantiated article was published for the sake of preserving its credibility.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Tan, I wish to thank you for regaining my faith as a Singaporean and remind me of those younger day moral education value that my Chinese school had preached to me.

I am proud to be Singaporean and fellow country men but not necessary to love my politicians who are way out of context as Public Servant. They are no longer servant, it had became self service! While I cannot change the system, I would like to get out of it. As much as I can't bare to leave my friends, relatives and family, I hate to see that me and my children become slave to my own country!

I have promised myself that 5 years down the road if there isn't much changes to the system, count me in for the annual 1000 citizens that packed their bag and get out of here for good! Really appreciate your good demonstration of how to be a Singaporean. You made us proud, please keep up the good work. God speed and bliss you.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that The Straits Times published that letter by Chua. I feel that it is unfair and is an personal attack on Mr.Tan.
Anyway Mr.Tan, fret not, I support you. You are one of the fews I really respect. Now I am utterly disappointed with our govt officials who did not apologise for losing Singaporeans' money. Hmm, they should seek your expert views before they invest.

Last election I supported govt assuming they would do their job well and caring for the people, now I shall see. What does it say when our ministers said, " Open your eyes when you invest", greed? Not showing remorse when they lose people hard-earned money?

I think it is important to have 2 parties to check the govt. My biggest concern is that these govt scholars who think they are the cream of the crop think they are the best and thus ignore wise advise and invest, thinking they know everything. Now $14 million dollars and more is gone.

Anonymous said...

Apease apease


He who knows the truth knows the truth

The Liars will take care the rest.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

We already have two parties. Low Thia Khiang is already there. However, he seems to be quite nice to PAP these days. So let us be very certain, the number of parties in parliament make no difference. It is the quality that counts.

As for Mr Low, his town council reaped 6% profit much better than the PAP which lost $12m and did not apologise and even played with numbers and said it is just 0.6%. I dont understand why LowThia kiang did not take a swipe at them. This is a fair swipe, it also give some publicity for a well run TC which reaped 6%. He is smart guy, stay away from minibonds!!


Anonymous said...

Chua Sheng Yang's ST letter carried a heavy undertone of axe to grind. Ignore his flawed arguments. ST is foolish to publish it just to let readers have a diffrent angle of the credit link saga. There are so many credible arguments in this blog which deserves a wider readership than Chua's argument which is shallow and fraud with personal agenda. Worst of be published in ST causing massive distorted view of all unfortunate investors whether they're literate or illiterate!!

Anonymous said...

It is not a surprise that ST published Mr Chua's article. Because both have a common shameless master behind.

Concerned said...

Chua Sheng Yang statement that too many people are taking advantage of the situation to get back money from what they knew was a risky investment had cast a deep slur and do tons of injustices to thousands of innocent and unsuspecting investors. Can Chua S Y honestly claimed that he understands the structure and all the inherent risks in the product after reading the prospectus in the first 30 minutes. I doubt it and less than a handful in Singapore can do that. Even financial experts and economists have stated that it takes them some time and a few readings of the prospectus for them to understand the products and its risks.
Secondly, how did Chua know that Mr Tan and his agents adopted the same practies which he now deems unscrupulous. Without any evidence, this amount to an attack on the charcter of a person and an institution. It is a very serious
offence and is grossly unacceptable here.

Falcon said...

This episode in the saga reflects a troubling issue. In my honest opinion, we have here an honest man, who is also a talent with finance, who has frequently advised quite correctly on things financial, standing up for a group of misled investors and being chastised by a nobody in a national newspaper known for its rigorous editing standards.
The issues that are troubling are as follows:
1. Local Talent is not recognised.

2. Dubious Talents are utilised

3. Dubious personal attacks are recognised

4. Legitimate replies are not published

This does not bode well for Singapore's future. If we do not recognise valid local talents but chose instead to recognise non-talents (as evidenced by the mounting losses in Singapore's investments including the town council dabble in toxic minibonds) then all this talk about hard to find talent is rubbish because we have it but chose instead to choose the bad ones. This is a matter of bad recruitment and reflects on the bad analytical ability of the recruiter of talents. Furthermore, how is it that prominent people cannot get their legitimate views and replies published whilst a nobody can have personal attacks published in a national newspaper? So is the often cited view of the opposition that our press is biased is true? Has our press been used for political purposes?

Wealth Journey said...

It's amazing that one person is under such scrutiny by the public.

Almost all actions or speech can be translated into ulterior motives or personal agenda.

Can the public do something more productive and do the same level of scrutiny on your own members of parliament. Have they been performing up to par? Will they be purusing accountability on the town council investments. etc etc.

Be fair to both sides. Put both under the microscope.

Anonymous said...

dear all,

pse read the teleconversation between WYKulit rep and Mr Chua at

how amusing? case of boss who hire an "intelligence" consultant with his EYES Open.

Anonymous said...

The ST Forum editor was evidently unabashed in publishing Chua Sheng Yang's letter. Shame on you, editor! What's your underlying motive? Who are you serving or trying to serve? The present political leadership? Some people from the UK once told me "don't read The Straits Times." Why? Because it is full of half-truths and articles written with a clear bias favouring a certain political party.

Ass-reporting or publishing is a feature of The Straits Times, in case you people running the newspapers are not aware.

Anonymous said...

Open letter to our dear Straits Times, if Chua Sheng Yang had made the same unsubstantiated personal attacks on MM or PM, would you have had the guts to publish it? Shame on you Straits Times. Really irresponsible. If I was an employee of the Straits Times, I would hang my head in shame & dare not tell anyone I work for the Straits Times. Please go to & read the telephone interview with Chua Sheng Yang. He is a young 28 year old who has absolutely no clue what is happening & only got "bits & pieces from the media". So much for responsible reporting.

Anonymous said...

It reminds me of the Hougang Murder case many years ago where the husband dare not assassinate the wife but asked an ignorant school boy to do the dirty job. I see similarity in Straits Times biased reportings as long as they think it benefited pap politically. My friend wanted to be a journalist but I told him there is no prestige working for media who are among the lowest ranking in the world.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Tan,

I was horrified to read the letter in the forum page, especially with the ST putting a photo to go with the letter. This goes to show the lobsided attitude of the ST.

You have my full support as a person who is doing this thankless job to help the unfortunate investors.

Perhaps you should consider taking legal action against Mr Chua for tanishing your character.

Mr Chua Sheng Yang,

One can only conclude that you are either a person from the authorities who have taken the stand that "investors went in with their eyes open" or some crony who have been tasked with writing such a letter.

Concerned Investor

Anonymous said...

Dear mr Tan,
1.Please do not be distracted by people like Chua Sheng Yang that made malicious, but irrelevant comments
2.stay focus and continue your good effort in helping the affected investors - they really need your leadership
3.forget about defamation suit against this guy or Straits Times, even if you have a case. That's the main distraction intended by .... ? - not necessarily Mr Chua
4.advise your bloggers to stay focus too. Don waste time on this type of comments. Your reply letter to him is good enough for most.

Dark Knight said...

"Mr. Chua made a personal attack on my character in the last three paragraphs of his letter. I am surprised that your newspaper found it fit to print these unsubstantiated remarks, as they are not relevant to the main issue. I shall not respond to them."

Dear Mr Tan,

If Mr Chua has made unsubstantiated remarks, would you be considering taking legal action? If not, why not?

Our leaders have repeatedly said that such untruths should not go unchallenged lest they be seen as truths.


Anonymous said...

I do not have any Pinnacle Notes. What it went bust and I learned that Pinnacle Notes was launched at the end of last year, it took me a long time to convince myself that there was not any personal relations between MAS and Morgan Staney, as at that time, CDOs are known very risky to people with some financial knowledge.

Mr Chua, why not you ask MAS why they approved such a unfair product,
but instead shooting at Mr Tan?


siewkhim said...

Some people when they sue, their winning is 100%- sure win one regardless of the defendents. Other people when they sue, their chance winning is 50-50%.

Kin Lian don't sue because I think you and me belong to the "other people group". You chance of winning is 50-50%.

Consider this kind of unproven published slander as part of the job hazards.

Anonymous said...

Making untrue personal attack, ah! Just wondering if legal action should be taken against you Mr. Chua? It's common in Singapore anyway.

Anonymous said...

ST should apologise for publishing that highly provocative Mr. Chua article as it exactly fits into their very own warning of "Any user who posts offensive or irrelevant comments will be banned from this Discussion Board".

Anonymous said...

Absolutely true! Hey ah Chua, have guts then you ask why MAS approved such highly risky financial products into Singapore. Looks like these are much more deadly that those poison milk from China, haven't any Singaporean casualty yet.

Anonymous said...

To falcon. You are right. If Mr Tan is a foreign talent, the powers that be would be bending over backwards to accommodate his views and using his comments to browbeat the locals into submission. Who speaks for the pain and suffering of the many investors who were led astray? It may be that MAS should not speakup while investigations are going on. But what about the many elected officials of the people? Why are they not addressing the suffering? Surely, sympathy and show of compassion would be justified under these circumstances. This is not just a failing of the FIs but also of those charged with care of the people.

Anonymous said...

As expected, the Straits Times ran out of space to publish the last para in your letter.

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