The close ties in Singapore’s parliament

Do you know S Iswaran was Vice-President and Managing Director at Temasek Holdings from 1998 to 2006 even as a member of parliament? After 2006, he became appointed the Minister of State and then Minister for Trade and Industry and now, the Minister-in-charge of trade relations.

This 2020 election, corporate advisor from Temasek Holdings Tan See Leng was also brought into parliament on the back of a GRC. And right after that, he was made a Second Minister in Trade and Industry.

Sun Xueling was also a director at Temasek Holdings.

Why are people transiting from Temasek Holdings into Singapore’s parliament, and then straight into the ministerial roles of trade and industry?

In fact, why are Singapore’s office holders pooled from such a limited selection of individuals (as the chart in this post shows)?

Click to enlarge

We’ve already seen how military officers are parachuted to become ministers or ministers of state in education, manpower, environment and the industry, when they clearly have zero relevant experience.

Why are there 4 principal private secretaries of the prime ministers holding ministerial roles and all previously earmarked for prime ministership? Are we choosing prime ministers to lead the country or assistants willing to do the bidding of the current prime minister?

Also, why are there so many people related to the Lees in varying capacities also made office holders? (in the chart)
Why has Singapore’s Cabinet become confined to such a close circle?

Singaporeans do not get to choose the prime minister. Even though most Singaporeans favor Tharman, the PAP has still chosen among the former principal private secretaries and military officers to be the next prime minister, when Tharman is clearly the most capable among the whole jin gang – but he is obviously not part of the circle.

It is certainly quite unhealthy that the people making decisions for Singapore are beholden to just a small clique of people, no?

Should the close ties between Temasek Holdings and the cabinet make one uncomfortable? Yet, why does Temasek continue to operate without full transparency?

What good does putting military officers or principal private secretaries, or even people from Temasek Holdings into the Cabinet, do for Singapore?

So, more trade agreements can be signed with other countries. Temasek gets richer. But have Singaporeans’ wages gotten higher?

The people listed in this chart are given ministerial roles in not only trade and industry, but also in finance, manpower and national development. These ministries manage the reserves, CPF and HDB of Singaporeans (of which the CPF is used to fund HDB and land sold as part of HDB is also transferred into the reserves).

When there is no full transparency in the decision-making in Singapore, the conflicts of interest that arise therefore become even more worrying.

But as long as the PAP is government, Singaporeans are not going to get answers on these issues, because the PAP controls the information that comes out. In fact, S Iswaran is now also made minister of communications and information, and even though the trade and industry portfolio has been given to someone else, he is still in-charge of trade relations. Why?

All these musical chair rotations of Singapore’s ministerial positions are given without any justification or explanation to Singaporeans. Surely it is worrying, no?

Why are people transferred around and around in these top political positions which Singaporeans have to pay for?

And yet, does it seem like they are acting in the interests of Singaporeans, this close circle of people?

Many of these people in the chart are what PAP refers to as 4G politicians, but they have messed up the #COVID19 management.
And yet, they have retained their positions and remain ministers.

Lee Hsien Loong calls this the strongest cabinet he can put together. I see this as the weakest cabinet in Singapore’s history. Can you honestly tell me any of them can hold a candle to Toh Chin Chye?

Under this current PAP, I think Singapore has ventured into dangerous territory. We know the current ministers cannot do their jobs, we have seen how they have performed.

And yet, the ministerial positions remain in the hands of a close circle, and we still do not understand how they are being rotated around in their positions, since it is very clear most of them are not put into their positions based on relevant experience or expertise.

Does it make you wonder – are they serving Singaporeans or serving themselves?

Why then are we paying tens of millions of dollars to them every year?

Do you also wonder, how much of our money have they taken to become millionaires or billionaires?

When they are clearly not the right people for the job?

Meanwhile, cleaners in Singapore earn only S$5 an hour.

Something is very wrong here.


Roy Ngerng





10 Responses to “The close ties in Singapore’s parliament”

  • Hey:

    The 51% want it ………so that THEY can continue SUFFERRING!

    GD Star Rating
  • TumasikPatriot:

    Thaman is INDIAN…period!!!

    GD Star Rating
  • Mediocrity loves company:

    All a just well-connected civil servants paid top private sector pay without taking private sector risk and accountability.

    Lee Con You is from the “old school”. He believed in scholars even if they are not worth “puppy shit” in the real world. (My apologies to the puppy.)

    GD Star Rating
  • xoxo:

    So from SAF to TH to private secretaries to FAMIlies,ALL ARE ONE famiLEE.

    teochew people say ‘min kek kee,nang si KAKI NANG’???

    ‘CHEE’ (money) woo kow bor(enough or not)?

    bor yeow kin,buay kow ‘kiok geh’( leber mine,n enough,TAKE SOME MORE)!

    GD Star Rating
  • Stupidity has no bounds:

    Straits Times: SIA looks to launch ‘flights to nowhere’ by end October to mitigate Covid-19 fallout: Sources

    Only idiots will pay for a flight to nowhere confined a metal tube increasing the risk of getting COVID-19.

    GD Star Rating
  • interbreeding:

    thats how all super rich keep their money in the family circles.
    in some countries the rich sons & daughters are even forced to wed cousins or close relatives so their inheritence stay within the family.

    GD Star Rating

    Roy, you must be blind.

    What is it you like about his shining botak skinhead ?

    Tharman is a sly fox.

    He assured in parliament that those earning 1K salary could afford to buy a 3Rm HDB flat.

    Recently he took a swipe laughingly at WP Jamus Lim on minimum wage and rebuked him ” don’t assume you have the monopoly over compassion “.

    And you still prefer him as the next PM ?

    Not on my dead body.

    GD Star Rating
  • KT:

    In reply to writer “Not ready for a non-Chinese PM”, it seems to me the former DPM is not on the same wavelength or same channel with the local emperor. Many people supported him to be PM, but he said he was not interested for PM post. At the time, I was thinking from DPM to PM is a promotion, and why he behaved in such a way, and not shown any interest. That disappointed many people who preferred a non-Chinese PM. He now accepts the post SM which I think is a kind of retirement post under the ruling party for those who are “going, going, gone” case. I think he should instead step down or leave rather making himself unpopular.

    GD Star Rating

    Reply to : KT

    I’m afraid I have to disappoint many who still think he is a fond and charismatic choice for PM (not withstanding he if is chinese).

    How much do the citizens really know of him just because some hypes had floated on hot air about his presidential nomination at the IMF ?

    At least with HSK or CCS we know, rather than to approve the devil we don’t.

    GD Star Rating
  • Ivan Theng Sor Hai:

    I think govts should not run businesses. Most of the time they aren’t cusromer oriented.

    GD Star Rating

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