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Thread: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

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    Default In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

    http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline...1996-05-21.pdf

    It has been 20 years but this is worth a read. I found many interesting things including his comment about it being a "small development. Those not familiar, the land was where the famous Aw Brothers built their House of Jade which they opened to the public before it was acquired to develop Nassim Jade.

    The incident is also where the "law of 2 eggs for my Kway Teow" became acceptable conduct.

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    Default Re: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

    http://sgforums.com/forums/10/topics/127699

    The Hotel Properties Limited episode that sparked off a political storm in Singapore in 1996 has been buried alive by the PAP. But its ghost will continue to haunt those involved.

    It all started when the Stock Exchange of Singapore (SES) censured a publicly listed property development company called Hotel Property Ltd (HPL) for not seeking shareholders' approval for the sale of some of its condominium developments at a discount price.

    Dr Lee Suan Yew, Lee Kuan Yew's younger brother, was on the board of directors of the company. He had purchased a unit in a condominium project developed by HPL called Nassim Jade.

    Shareholders of HPL had been grumbling about the way business was conducted in the company especially when it came to dealings with the Lee family. Many of the shareholders were waiting to buy units at the said project. When the launch of the property never came to pass, the shareholders saw red and demanded an explanation.

    The stock exchange authorities quickly announced that HPL had breached regulations. One day later, Lee Kuan Yew and his son, Lee Hsien Loong, publicly revealed that they too had bought HPL condominiums. The story made headlines and started tongues wagging. The story was then traced back to one Ong Beng Seng, a property tycoon in Singapore, and Managing Director of HPL.

    Ong had developed two condominium projects at the choiciest districts of Singapore. One was the abovementioned Nassim Jade situated where opulent and expansive embassies and mansions were located around Nassim Road. The other, Scotts 28, was at the heart of Singapore's shopping and tourist district Scotts Road. Both projects consisted of condominum apartments valued at millions of dollars per unit before the property slump.

    More red faces

    It was also revealed that not only had Lee Kuan Yew, his brother and his son purchased these apartments, they were offered substantial discounts to boot. The apartments were due to be put on sale on the open market on 17 April 1995. Three days before the official launch, HPL conducted a "soft launch" where a select group of potential customers were invited to have first go at the apartments. This was not exactly an unheard of practice amongst property developers. The problem was that because HPL was a publicly listed company, it had shareholders to account to. Rules under the SES Manual Listing stated that approval had to be sought for transactions involving "connected persons" of the company involved and those persons' associates. The HPL did not seek the permission of its shareholders. Suan Yew, Lee's brother, was a non-executive director of the company.

    At the soft launch, Madam Kwa Geok Choo, chose an apartment to buy. She was quoted a price of $3,578,260 (or $1,583 per square foot) for the apartment. This was a seven percent discount on the list price. Buyers at soft launches are usually given only a five percent discount.

    Later, Kwa Geok Choo contacted her son, Hsien Loong, and told him of the Nassim Jade apartments upon which he called Aunty Pamelia Lee, wife of Uncle Suan Yew, and said that he and his wife, Ho Ching, were interested in buying the property as well. Aunty Pamelia then later came back to her nephew and offered him an apartment for $3,645,100 a discount of 12 per cent or $437,412 on the asking price. The Deputy Prime Minister accepted the offer.

    This was not all. On the Scotts 28 condiminiums, similar offers and purchases were made. Lee Kuan Yew and son bought two more units and paid $2,791,500 and $2,776,400 respectively for them, each bagging a five percent discount.

    All in all, Lee Kuan Yew received from HPL a total of $416,252 whilst Lee Junior got $643,185 in discounts. All the purchases amounted to more than $10 million and were carried out without mortgages and loans.

    It must be remembered that all this while, decisions of sales and the discounts were carried out at the directors' level which involved Lee Suan Yew. None of the shareholders nor the SES had the slightest idea of what was going on.

    And yet, this was just the tip of the iceberg.

    It was later found out that Lee Kuan Yew's entire family was in on the purchases. Daughter Lee Wei Ling, a medical doctor in a government hospital; sister Lee Kim Mon; and his two other brothers Freddy and Dennis; Kwa Kim Li, a niece of Lee; and Gloria Lee, Lee's sister in law, all bought the condos at hefty discounts. Wei Ling bought two apartments at Nassim Jade and was reported to have sold one off for a tidy profit. Again, all these transactions were carried out without the approval of the shareholders of HPL.

    Shareholders' anger

    News was leaking out about the Lee family's purchases of the HPL condominiums and the shareholders were getting increasingly alarmed and disgruntled. When pressure was brought to bear on the management, HPL decided to belatedly seek the approval of its shareholders a full eleven months later.

    The SES had no choice but to issue a statement censuring HPL for the breach of regulations. It noted that some of the discounts given to directors and their relatives in respect of the Nassim Jade units were higher than those given to non-related buyers and that the publicly listed companies have a duty to obtain the best price so as to maximise the return to its shareholders.

    Unanswered questions

    In spite of this, there was no investigation nor inquiry, merely a censure for the company. Meanwhile, Lee Suan Yew quietly resigned as a director with HPL.

    To date, many questions remain unanswered:

    1. Who made the decisions to sell the apartments at such discounts to the Lee family?

    2. Who authorised Pamelia Lee to sell the units to her relatives?

    3. How many more relatives or friends, apart from those readily identifiable, bought the units through such connections?

    4. Why did Ong Beng Seng, owner of HPL, offer the units, and presumably the discounts, to the Lee family?

    5. Why was there no enquiry into Lee Suan Yew's involvement in affair?

    19 Apr `05, 10:56AM
    As the story began to build up and as more revelations came to light, the pressure and embarrassment to Lee Kuan Yew mounted.

    Dr Richard Hu, the Minister for Finance, then announced that he had recommended to Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong that Lee Kuan Yew and his son, Lee Hsien Loong, consider giving back the money they had received in the discounts. Sensing that this might ease public disquiet, the Lees agreed. The move backfired. People were now asking why were the Lees returning the money unless they felt that they had done something wrong. To make matters worse, Goh Chok Tong refused to accept the money and instructed the Accountant-General to return it back to the Lees. Talk was that Goh did not want the Government to be involved with the money which might bring complications later on.

    Goh knew he had to do something about the situation if he was going to remain untarnished. He then appointed the Finance Minister Richard Hu and Monetary Authority of Singapore Deputy Managing Director Koh Beng Seng to investigate the matter.

    Despite the fact that Hu and Koh were not the most independent and appropriate persons to look into the affair, the "investigation" went ahead.

    It was then that Goh Chok Tong announced that a parliamentary hearing would be conducted for the matter to be debated "openly." At the same time, Goh announced that if anyone made any inappropriate comments about Lee Kuan Yew's purchases, in or out of Parliament, Lee would not hesitate to sue. So much for an open debate.

    The debate that never was

    Just before the hearing took place however, HPL owner Ong Beng Seng was reportedly forced by Lee Kuan Yew to call for a press conference. He also defended the transactions saying that it was good advertisement for HPL to have Lee Kuan Yew as a buyer.

    If that was the case, why then did all the rest of Lee's family and relatives also buy into the properties with substantial discounts? Was there any marketing value to this? Why was there a need to offer discounts to the Lee family when shareholders were straining to buy the units?

    In light of the property boom at that time, it would have been a silly move to sell units at less than maximum price. Did he know that Lee Suan Yew was offering units at discounts to his relatives? Who approved these sales? Why were the shareholders' permission not sought? It would seem that Ong would be asked to answer these questions. But Ong invited only Singapore's local media to his press conference so that troublesome questions by the foreign media could be avoided.

    Then came the parliamentary debate. Goh Chok Tong got up and proclaimed that there was no impropriety on the part of Lee Kuan Yew and Lee Hsien Loong in their purchase of the condos. Richard Hu echoed Goh's sentiments and exonerated the Lees of any wrong doing.

    During the parliament session, Lee started going on and on about how much his wife was worth ($20 million in his estimate), how a hawker selling char kuay teow would upon seeing him give two eggs intead of one, and how tailors would be falling head over heels to tryito clothe him. He said almost everything except answer the real questions about the involvement of his whole family in the purchases and the breach of regulations by HPL. He so intimidated the four opposition members of parliament that none of them dared ask any question.

    No questions allowed

    At about the same time, a Chinese weekly magazine called Yazhou Zhoukan (Asiaweek) interviewed Tang Liang Hong (who later joined the Workers’ Party to contest in the 1997 elections) for his comments on the affair. Tang questioned, "Why wasn't this matter handed over to the professional body like the CAD [Commercial Affairs Department] or the CPIB [Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau]? They are government departments not only rich in experience, but also well-known for being ‘iron-faced with selfishness’ [a Chinese phrase meaning firm and impartial]. They would be more detached and their reports would have been more convincing to the people. Koh Beng Seng and Finance Minister Richard Hu are after all not experts in this field."

    The result: both Kuan Yew and Hsien Loong sued Tang for making the statement.

    But Tang had made a significant observation. Richard Hu had not submitted a written report as to the scope or the findings of their investigation despite the gravity of the matter. Both he and his assistant Koh Beng Seng failed to report the following:

    * Why father and son had not checked the size of their discounts, as they claimed, despite the fact that they had bought the properties for investment purposes,
    * Why Lee Hsien Loong said he did not know of the size of the discounts he received depite the fact that he had in his possession at the time he bought the unit a copy of the price list of Nassim Jade,
    * Why they did not obtain information from Lee Suan Yew or his wife Pamelia as to what their roles were in the sales of the units,
    * Why they did not investigate into the circumstances of the purchases of the units by Lee Kuan Yew's extended family,
    * Why the HPL had not sought the approval of the shareholders to sale the apartments to the Lee family. This was despite the fact that the SES had censured HPL for failing to do just that.

    One country, two laws

    Lee Kuan Yew has never failed to brng anyone under the glare of the CPIB if there is a hint of corruption on his/her part. The late Teh Cheang Wan, then Minister for National Development, was driven to commit suicide when it was revealed that he had taken bribes for the construction of Housing and Development Board flats. Another official Wee Toon Boon was also punished severely for his role in a corruption case. Glenn Knight, a former public prosecutor, was charged and convicted for corruption in a business deal. During his case, Knight suffered a massive heart attack and was incapacitated for a period.

    In the HPL instance, there is more than ample evidence for the relevant authorities to commence an investigation into Lee's family. When news broke about the Whitewater affair concerning U.S. President Bill Clinton, an independent counsel was set up to investigate the matter. No one was above the law. At least, not in the U.S. In Singapore, however, Lee Kuan Yew cannot even tolerate calls for investigation into his family matters. Alas, he and his family are above our Singapore law.

    Perhaps, the PAP should stop telling the world that it is so incorruptible.

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    Default Re: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

    I remembered the old man laying bare his integrity in Parliament and he mentioned his son's husband quoting a Chinese idiom saying something like even a saint will have people passing snide remarks challenging one's honesty while the television camera panned to the most beautiful woman in Asian politics then and now. Anyone can recall?

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    Default Re: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

    When will estate duty be returned to legislature? Now or leeter?

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    Default Re: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade





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    Default Re: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

    Yes I remembered. It's the founding values of PAP, when u r in power, u can explain almost anything. But if u r in opposition, then even abusing taxi claims and using Govt monies to send your wife's thesis can be your downfall!

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    Default Re: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

    His attempt for explaining away the discounts offered to him and his son to be honest was hilarious. I can imagine CPIB interrogating someone for receiving discounts.

    CPIB: You are holding a public office and you are Division One officer and you think people give you discount because you are handsome?

    Walter: My wife is a conveyancing expert and the best in the land. She did not ask about the discount because she knew that discounts are bullshit.

    CPIB: So how did your wife value the property? Did an estimate fall from the sky

    Walter: If there was something shady my wife would have not gone thru with it.

    CPIB: Did anyone else get the special discount besides you and your son?

    Walter: I don't know?

    CPIB: So someone sell you a car, you just accept the price without checking.

    Walter: I am a man of integrity, if there is something wrong I will donate the excess to charity.

    CPIB: Just explain this. Do you think CPIB have a job if every Tom, Dick and Harry that holds an office of authority accepts items that are underpriced and then come out with a cock and bull story about accepting the price at face value. You think we are born yesterday.

    Walter: But I am just recovering angioplasty and stent insert.

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    Default Re: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

    So rich whoe family can buy multiple condos with cash still need discount.want money just say lah.bullshit so much for what

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    Default Re: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

    correct me if i am wrong, i think they later sold the apartments too...and the profits? No one knew....

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    Default Re: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

    Quote Originally Posted by red amoeba View Post
    correct me if i am wrong, i think they later sold the apartments too...and the profits? No one knew....
    PM said everyday got housing agents put flyers in his mailbox but he's not thinking of flipping.....you believe? I think those agents license kena revoked liao

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    Default Re: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

    Quote Originally Posted by Narong Wongwan View Post
    PM said everyday got housing agents put flyers in his mailbox but he's not thinking of flipping.....you believe? I think those agents license kena revoked liao
    I would ask him sell his hdb flat in that case since when housing agents or even ah Loong runner can approach private housing with secured perimeter to dump a spam advert.

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    Default Re: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

    And OBS open press conference famously said he sold out the units in a month and banked 190 million pre tax profit.....and said which businessman wouldn't be pleased with that.
    He also sidetracked when queried regarding him being in lky business delegation on an then recent official visit to UK.....and the F1 license.
    Fucking jiuhukia bribing the vile leegime

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    Default Re: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

    even with the scandal, many still think his only misssion is S'pore and S'poreans. lky is just a human being. if pussies fail to tempt him, $$$ will. given his wealth, the discount is nothing but who says no to a good deal?

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    Default Re: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

    yawn.... just an ordinary bloke....

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    Default Re: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

    I want to buy a nassim condo next time and host some illegal poker games,anyone know hiw much a unit cost?

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    Default Re: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

    Someone in this forum said that OBS paid a heavy price for it as the backlash from the old man was pretty bad. Frankly any businessman will do what HPL did as you draw people of a certain status to be associated with your endeavours. The onus was on the old man. If this incident happened to a civil servant, he would have been charged in court or asked to resign.

    Quote Originally Posted by Narong Wongwan View Post
    And OBS open press conference famously said he sold out the units in a month and banked 190 million pre tax profit.....and said which businessman wouldn't be pleased with that.
    He also sidetracked when queried regarding him being in lky business delegation on an then recent official visit to UK.....and the F1 license.
    Fucking jiuhukia bribing the vile leegime

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    Default Re: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

    [QUOTE=scroobal;2416918]http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline...1996-05-21.pdf

    It has been 20 years but this is worth a read. I found many interesting things including his comment about it being a "small development. Those not familiar, the land was where the famous Aw Brothers built their House of Jade which they opened to the public before it was acquired to develop Nassim Jade.

    The incident is also where the "law of 2 eggs for my Kway Teow" became acceptable conduct.[/QUOTE




    The incident is also where the "law of 2 eggs for my Kway Teow" became acceptable conduct.



    The Moral of the story :-


    its the Cha Kway Teow ( ie obs ) 's fault .

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    Default Re: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenDragon View Post
    even with the scandal, many still think his only misssion is S'pore and S'poreans. lky is just a human being. if pussies fail to tempt him, $$$ will. given his wealth, the discount is nothing but who says no to a good deal?
    The spin about the apartment being hard to find buyer as it was odd shaped with unuseable space even though it was the biggest unit was a lie so ridiculous only the dumbfuck 70% would swallow hook line and sinker.
    And CB lky and son feigning ignorance and pushing 'blame' to gecko as the one making the purchase

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    Default Re: In memory of the Old Man - "a small development" called Nassim Jade

    There is no greater satisfaction than picking up a bargain. Once i decided on a model, i asked around for the car's price across my island. To my dismay, prices are more or less fixed across the board for new cars. All except one location which was a good 10% cheaper so i bought it. I soon realize that there were some blemishes and i had to change 2 of 4 tires to make it safe on the roads.

    Now when you say the discounts on the apartment were inappropriate, are you privy to the details of the deal, the conditions of the assets? If you do know of a discount, surely it is prudence to put a buffer for possible defects? That the discounts were made presumably in exchange for political favours is all speculative! Yes, speculative. That is a most unfair accusation to the good and honorable Mr Lees!

    In the olden days i would demand satisfaction from curs like such, to defend the honour of my lord and liege. Consider yourself fortunate we live in a gentler age.
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    Swim or sink for you, no blame culture for me. Teehee!

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