Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Temasek appoints former minister as chairman

Lim Boon Heng to take over as Temasek Chairman from S. Dhanabalan

Mr S Dhanabalan, the longest serving Chairman of Temasek, will be stepping down from the position with effect from August 1, 2013.

Taking his place will be Mr Lim Boon Heng, 65, who joined the Temasek Board as Director June 1, after a career spanning both the private and public sectors.

Mr Dhanabalan, 75, has accepted the Temasek Board's request to continue after his retirement in an honorary advisory role with Temasek Holdings.

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Truth Be Told

When his Ministry of National Development staff gave him a tearful send off in September 1992, Dhanabalan told reporters he would be spending more time with his church. When he had to make way for Lim Boon Heng as the new Temasek chairman on August 2013, he said same: spending more time with his church, currently Bukit Panjang Gospel Chapel.

You gotta take that with a large pinch of salt.

My uncle met him at a Varsity Christian Fellowship (VCF) gathering eons ago, when he first donned the white and white uniform (him, not uncle), and asked him why his political party seemed to be unpopular among some circles. The cocky response was that, with 70+ of the votes, they had to be popular. Period. End of sharing.

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Appointment of new Temasek chairman revives talk of new CEO

The appointment of a new chairman at Temasek Holdings has revived talk of a new CEO as well. Former Cabinet minister Lim Boon Heng has been appointed chairman of Temasek Holdings

The appointment of a new chairman at Temasek Holdings has revived talk of a new CEO as well.
Former Cabinet minister Lim Boon Heng has been appointed chairman of Temasek Holdings.

The 65-year-old will replace 75-year-old S Dhanabalan, who retires next month.
Mr Dhanabalan will, however, continue to serve as honorary adviser.

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Lim Boon Heng is new chairman of Singapore’s Temasek

Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd said it has named Lim Boon Heng as its next chairman, giving the non-executive role to a former government minister as the firm's long-serving chairman retires next month.

Lim joined Temasek's board a year ago and will replace S. Dhanabalan, who will retire on Aug 1. Dhanabalan turns 76 next month and has held the chair for 17 years.

The reshuffle will have little impact on day-to-day operations because the chairman is less influential than the chief executive in the running of Temasek. Ho Ching, the wife of Singapore's prime minister, has been chief executive since 2004.

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Bloomberg: Temasek Says Lim to Take Over as Chairman as Dhanabalan Retires
The Edge Singapore: Temasek says Lim to become Chairman as Dhanabalan retires
Business Times: Temasek appoints former minister as chairman
Free Malaysia Today: Temasek appoints new chairman
Channel NewsAsia: New Chairman for Temasek Holdings
Finance Asia: Lim Boon Heng appointed chairman of Temasek
The Malaysian Insider: Lim Boon Heng is new chairman of Singapore’s Temasek
Straits Times: Lim Boon Heng to take over as chairman of Temasek Holdings
AsiaOne: More foreigners may join Temasek's board: Dhanabalan

Filling Dhana’s shoes

Mr Lim Boon Heng’s appointment as Temasek chairman is probably a surprise to many, some of whom think he is too “lightweight’’ to fill in the shoes left behind by Mr S. Dhanabalan. This is despite his being on the Temasek board for the past year, a run-in period in all probability.

The man is better known as a labour leader (rather than a financial/commercial person) who also took on other hats such as Deputy Speaker in Parliament and held office in the Trade and Industry ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office. Many have forgotten that before he started his political career, the naval architect was in Neptune Orient Lines as part of a pioneering team that opened new markets such as the United States for the carrier

Doubtless, comparisons will be made between his abilities and those of Mr Dhanabalan, a former heavyweight Cabinet minister who happened to be a founder of the Government Investment Corporation of Singapore and had established the then Development Bank of Singapore. He was also Singapore Airlines chairman.

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Lim Boon Heng to take over from Dhanabalan as Chairman of Temasek Holdings

Mr Lim Boon Heng, who is a former cabinet minister and ex-NTUC Secretary-General, has been appointed chairman of Temasek Holdings with effect from 1 August 2013.

He succeeds Mr S Dhanabalan, 75, who will retire after helming Temasek Holdings since 1996.

Mr Dhanabalan has been the longest serving chairman of Temasek. Prior to joining the Temasek board, Mr Dhanabalan contributed significantly to the transformation of Singapore through decades of public service, and later on in his political career which included appointments as Minister in various Ministries such as Foreign Affairs, Culture, Community Development, National Development and Trade and Industry.

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Boon Heng the right person for Chairman of Temasek

Why are there so many complains and criticisms on Boon Heng’s promotion to Chairman of Temasek Holdings? The barrage of attacks were quite uncalled for and getting a bit rowdy and rude sometimes. I want to suggest that everyone should look at the positive side of this appointment. Put it this way, Boon Heng has the breath of experience that is incomparable and unmatched by anyone or any standard. No Singaporean has the kind of experience that Boon Heng has.

From all his portfolios, I think the two most relevant appointments to his new appointment must be the NTUC Secretary General and his special assignment to find ways to look after the welfare of the oldies. He was even sent to Japan with a team of high caliber officials to learn how to improve the welfare of old Singaporeans. These two appointments are related in one area, welfare of workers and the oldies.

Let’s see what Boon Heng can do for these groups of people with the huge funds under his charge in Temasek. This is a good opportunity for him to show that he cares

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On Princes, Generals, and Temasek

The announcement that Lim Boon Heng would replace S. Dhanabalan as the Chairman of Temasek Holdings is the changing of generals with nothing but the delusion of control over the course of history.  It is an announcement full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

From my personal conversations with people, I have actually heard generally complementary comments and anecdotes about Chairman Dhanabalan.  However, the control over Temasek is dominated by a small number of people and filling the Chairman’s seat requires above all the ability to know how and when to say yes.

The appointment of Lim Boon Heng ultimately comes as no surprise.  With no experience that would appear to suit him for the chairmanship of a major institutional investor other than being a PAP loyalist, he will fulfill the most important mandate of executing the policies faithfully as they are handed to him.  The position could have ultimately gone to any number of PAP men that know where power lies and what their role is within the larger power structure and at Temasek.

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Why Lim Boon Heng for Chairman of Temasek Holdings?

Former PAP cabinet minister Mr Lim Boon Heng has been slated to take over as Chairman of Temasek Holdings in August from the current chair, Mr S Dhanabalan.

Mr Lim’s appointment is puzzling because he does not appear to have much of a finance background. Mr Lim studied naval architecture in university and had his first job in Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) as a naval architect. Although he entered politics as a PAP MP in 1980, he only became a cabinet minister in 1991. He was instrumental in floating the concept of town councils, which later became a means of politicizing the grassroots organizations and tripping up the Opposition.

Mr Lim’s closest contact with finance and economics was as Senior Minister of State (and subsequently, Second Minister) for Trade and Industry, from 1991 to 1993. Thereafter, he was Minister Without Portfolio until 2001, and then Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office until his tearful retirement from politics in 2011.

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Lim Boon Heng on his appointment as Temasek Chairman: I have experience

Speaking to the media at a scholarship presentation ceremony yesterday (27 Jul), Lim Boon Heng, who will take over the Chairmanship of Temasek Holdings next month, said that assuming the appointment is something that is not totally new to him.

He said that his experience working at a “private commercial company” and later in NTUC running co-operatives, helps him get a “sense of what investments ought to be”.

He said, “I have (sic) worked in a private commercial company for 10 years before I went into politics.”

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Ultimate Stakeholders of the Fund

The last we saw of him was the indelible image of a grown man bawling his eyes out like a baby on national television, after learning that his salad days as full cabinet minister was over. Not only will he no longer enjoy a guaranteed million dollars each and every year, the ultimate status symbol of his residence being guarded by a daily 4-shift change of Gurkhas will also be a thing of the past. Of course his pains were soon soothed by juicy appointments with GLCs and other similarly related organisations.

Lim Boon Heng, 65, is flagged as the successor to Dhanabalan, 75, for the chairmanship of Temasek Holdings. Lim was Minister Without Portfolio for 8 years (1993-2001), and then Minister in the Prime Minister's Office  for another 10 (2001-2011). Same job, different name, and nobody is any wiser how he earned his money. If Lim Swee Say is pleased as punch about his CPF statements, imagine Lim being delirious over his bank balance. Definitely not something to cry about.

The finance professor of a local university was spot-on when he suggested that if they decide to appoint him, it would be because of his political background rather than his financial experience. Flowing along similar non-politically correct lines, he segued into the more obvious, "It is probably more important that the incoming chair possesses the requisite management skills and has a strong sense of duty to the ultimate stakeholders of the fund, that is, Singaporeans."

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Lim Boon Heng Was Crying During Answering Reporters

Lim Boon Heng was not able to control his emotions during a press conference, when he was answering the questions of the reporters. He is a chairman of the people Action Party in Singapore, and he was telling the names of candidates for the new batch of PAP.

His eyes were full of tears when he said, we were focusing on the people who have low income to upgrade them and brought some favour for them. We saw wages falling and stagnating. We talk about the poor workers", Lim Boon Heng paused, and he was crying before continues his explanations. Lim Boon Heng was against the casino's is allowed in Singapore. Now, He is agreed on the casino issue, because it will bring a big number of job for the people in Singapore. He said, I don't like the idea of casino, but I have to agree finally for the people who need the jobs desperately. The un-employment ratio is very high. There are many stories are fortune and unfortunate are happening in just one year time of the casino. This is the only reason I agree for this.

There are many questions will also be born after the casino's will start work. Lim Boon Heng more said, I really don't care if it is just connected with rich people, but it will also affect many families in the Singapore. We need to work hard for the country and our party as well, He said.

Minister Lim Boon Heng CRIED on TV when questioned

PAP Chairman Lim Boon Heng cried openly during a media conference today to introduce the latest trio of PAP candidates when asked by a reporter if ‘groupthink’ may emerge from the PAP policy-makers when there is little robust debate in parliament.

Mr Lim denied categorically that there is ‘groupthink’ with the monolithic PAP regime by using the casino issue as an example. Halfway through his explanation, he wept openly, stunning the audience into silence.

After stopping for a few seconds to compose himself, he used the trade union movement as another example:
“In the trade union movement, we are very concerned about the lower income and what globalization…..”

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Lying Crying Boon Heng's Freudian Slip - there is group think after all!

He was questioned if there is a group-think within the PAP. LBH then does a crocodile cry to "prove" there isn't any.

" have got to believe me, I didn't support the Casino and my heart has always been with the poor lowly paid" 

LBH says he does not like the idea of gambling to be used as an industry for Singapore, but at the time it was debated, employment was high. However today, the question is what kind of social problems would there be?

Lim Boon Heng does a crocodile-tears-LKY-sob

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