Monday, October 03, 2016

SMRT AGM - A Reflection of Singaporeans

So many small investors made noise and shooting angrily against the SMRT CEO and his management team of the rationale of selling the rail assets back to Singapore government LTA as well as Temasek Holdings privatizing plan but eventually, 98.84% voted yes to the sale of rail assets to LTA and 84.83% voted yes to the privatization of SMRT by Temasek Holdings!

What does that tell us?

I was told that there were many applause to people who raise pointed questions against the CEO Desmond Quek and Koh Yong Guan. Although Temasek Holdings did not have representatives voting in the privatization plan and did not put up sales pitch of why shareholders should sell their shares to them, SMRT management under the leadership of Desmond Quek were the ones trying to convince the shareholders to do exactly that!

It was so ridiculous until a shareholder actually asked why is the management making such advocacy for Temasek Holdings and who are they working for?!

But the final results speak volume of Singaporeans' mentality. They may make a lot of noise, putting up strong pointed questions against the authority, especially when their self interests have been compromised, but ultimately, when it comes to voting, they just too afraid to vote in protest! There was a shareholder who had made the point during the AGM that small retail investors should vote in protest but his call was somewhat grounded and overcome by some irrational fear.

So it seems that this is the nature of Singaporeans at large and I do not think Singapore as a Nation would vote courageously for their rights or for any reforms or Change. After making noise, they will just resign themselves to status quo. Just like the many taxi drivers who will complain high and low, day in day out about PAP government but when it comes to voting during GE, they will quietly vote PAP again.

If one does not fight for their own interests, don't even expect others to fight for you.

Goh Meng Seng