Thursday, March 19, 2009

AIG,Freddie,Fannie Bonus vs. Singapore CDC Bonus

Everybody knows, rescue package of US$700 billion from USA will be going to firms such as AIG, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to keep them afloat.

And outrageously enough, these companies ,'butt deep in their own faeces', are still audacious enough to announce retention bonus packages for their executives. Paying their top executives high dollar from the 700 billion that was given to them from the US Federal Reserves which was meant to tide them over this crucial period.

Frustrations from the US citizens and Federal Reserves had caused headlines all over the world in its different forms of broadcasting media. A raw nerve indeed.

Something closer to home now....
Singapore is the first country out of USA to follow suit in pulling the reserves out of the long deep hat in order to help out the Singapore banks that have been badly affected by the mortgage/loan crisis. Some 4.9 billion singapore dollars will be withdrawn from the reserves to balance the loan risks of banks and to ensure job stability of most Singaporeans. Both initiatives looks good in both its speech and printed form. The President of Singapore, S R Nathan, took 2 days to give his favourable reply and agreed in principle that in the deteriorating global economic situation, himself and his team of advisors have to accept the use of Singapore's reserves.

Well, until early March 2009, several news agencies, namely Straits Times and Channel News Asia did an article about how the Northwest CDC are paying bonuses of up to 8 months to its staff. Many netizens are airing their disgust on how the CDC Mayor is responding to the queries.

Northwest CDC is the considered to be local management committee that is supposed to take care of the community under its region. Below is an extract of their function from their website :

The North West Community Development Council(CDC) is your local administration, initiating, planning and managing community programmes to promote community bonding and social cohesion.

Together with North West CDC, our residents get involved in the community and work towards making life better for themselves and their fellow residents.

Truth is that, with the financial crisis that the nation is facing now, added the fact that Singapore have to dig deep into its pockets now, can our government agencies such as the CDC's afford such high payouts of bonuses to its staff?

To make matters worse, Town councils are able to make investments with their sinking funds. And in late 2008, some of the town councils have some of their funds invested in the failed Lehman related products. An amount of up to $12 million of such sinking funds had been c0-invested by a couple of local town councils. And if these investments incur losses, how would it affect the town councils financial health and its commitment to the town that it serves?

The Lycan Times 狼人時報 helps to understand and elaborate how each CDC gets their budgeted funding.

If there are expected surplus from the budgeted funds allocated for the council, shouldn't it be returned to the government's financial ministry whereby the monies can be put into better use?

Whom have the decision to spend our money or invest it mindfully?

I doubt all Singaporean "whom doesn't have a ex-PM daddy" will ever know.

Today is 19th March 2009
Time now is 17:00hrs

A media blackout has been executed for the Northwest CDC 8 months bonus issue.
Channel News Asia and Straits Times have their articles taken offline.

Several blogs in Singapore are already noticing the blackout.

Singapore Kini : News Blackout [ 17th March 2009 ]

Dee Kay Dot As Gee : News articles on North West CDC 8 months bonus disappeared from Mainstream Media?

AsiaOne could possibly be the last news agency that had some reference of the news from Straits Times on this topic

Last but not least, Wayang Party's open letter to Dr Teo Ho Pin, Mayor of Northwest CDC, requesting more information .

Below is Dr Teo Ho Pin's response on Channel News Asia

If he don't know, then who knows?

Perhaps Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan's comment of the late 2008 town council's Lehman's investment fiasco could be of some use now..

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