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  1. http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/03/09/josephine-teo-gic-temasek-wont-take-more-risks/ Josephine Teo: GIC, Temasek won’t take more risks March 9th, 2014 | Author: Editorial Josephine Teo In Parliament on Friday (7 Mar), Senior Minister of State for Finance Josephine Teo said that any rise in Singapore’s spending needs over time should not drive GIC and Temasek to take on more risks. The solution lies in the government’s budgetary measures, rather than a change in these entities’ investment strategies, she told the House. Under the current Net Investment Returns (NIR) framework, the government can tap up to 50% of the long-term expected real return from the net assets managed by GIC and the MAS for its budgetary spending, GIC and Temasek “must continue to invest with the aim of achieving good, risk-adjusted returns over the long term”, which they have achieved so far, she said. Ms Teo was responding to Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Inderjit Singh, who was concerned that the government may be spending too much from its investment returns. Even so, some of GIC and Temasek’s investment losses in recent years appear to suggest that both entities may have been taking a lot more risk than Ms Teo is willing to admit. GIC In late 2007, GIC invested a massive 11 billion Swiss francs (then S$14 billion) – GIC’s largest investment ever – for a major stake in UBS [Link]. According to Reuters, GIC’s investment in UBS was later converted to UBS shares at 47.7 Swiss francs, making GIC the largest shareholder of UBS at 6.6% of equity [Link]. Based on Friday’s (7 Mar) closing price for UBS shares of 18.63 Swiss francs, GIC has lost some 61% or S$8.5 billion. UBS share price in Swiss francs (CHF): In its defence, GIC says on its website [Link]: For UBS, as we said in late 2008, our timing could have been better and the investment is still finding its footing. GIC’s view of UBS’ fundamental strength as a well-capitalised bank with a strong private wealth management franchise remains unchanged. GIC manages risk by investing in a well-diversified portfolio, with a balanced distribution of asset classes and their underlying business sectors and geographies. This, too, is why GIC’s performance has to be measured on the basis of its overall portfolio rather than by how much it makes or loses on individual investments. In 2006, at the height of the US real estate bubble, GIC made a US$675 million investment – comprising US$100 million in equity and US$575 million in loans – in the Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village complex in Manhatten, New York. The management of the complex, Tishman Speyer Properties and BlackRock Realty, defaulted on their loan in 2010. GIC then booked a loss on the US$675 million investment, as reported by Reuters [Link]. Reuters said, “GIC did not disclose its exposure or say how much it wrote off, although court documents indicate the Singapore fund held $100 million of equity and $575 million in mezzanine debt issued by the owner of the Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village complex in Manhatten.” Temasek Holdings What about Temasek? Let us see how Temasek made some of its investments. In May 2007, Temasek bought 55 million shares of ABC Learning at A$7.30 a share for a 12% stake. The investment cost Temasek A$402 million. As the share price fell in early 2008, it bought more shares and increased its stake to 14.7%, making it the second largest shareholder in ABC Learning [Link]. Then a series of events happened: An unexpected drop of 42 per cent in profit in the second half of 2007 to $37.1 million and its inability to service its $1.8 billion debt triggered a decline in the company’s share price. Several directors of the company were forced to dump millions of shares after receiving margin calls in February 2008 [Link]. In August 2008, shares of ABC Learning were halted from trade when the company failed to release its latest earnings [Link]. In November 2008, the company went into receivership. An estimated A$850 million was owed to its banks. Shareholders would not receive anything, the Sydney Morning Herald reported [Link]. By April 2009, it was announced that some of the ABC Learning centres were sold to charity, Mission Australia, for $1 each [Link]. Mission Australia spokesman Paul Andrews told the Australian media, “We got a really fantastic deal.” In less than 1.5 years from the day Temasek invested in ABC Learning, it was game-over for Temasek. In May 2009, Financial Times (FT) reported [Link] that Temasek had pulled out of its investment in Bank of America, selling its 3.8 per cent stake in the US group. Temasek is estimated to have lost at least US$2 billion on an investment foray that began with it taking a stake in Merrill Lynch in December 2007 for US$5 billion. The Merrill Lynch shares were later converted to Bank of America shares after Merrill Lynch merged with Bank of America. Temasek did not disclose when it disposed of the Bank of America stake or at what price, FT said. Are GIC and Temasek already taking a lot more risk than Josephine Teo has assured the House? What do you think?
  2. suchow again? https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2019/08/14/modis-govt-withdraws-request-to-world-bank-to-support-temasek-led-amaravati-capital-project/ According to a Reuters’ report last month (Jul 2019), the World Bank announced that it had withdrawn US$300 million of funding for the new capital in Andhra Pradesh, after the Indian central government dropped support for the project. In a statement, World Bank said, “On July 15 the Government of India (GoI) withdrew its request to the World Bank for financing the proposed Amaravati Sustainable Infrastructure and Institutional Development Project. The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has been informed that the proposed project is no longer under preparation following the government’s decision.” The World Bank website had also showed the status of Amaravati Project as “dropped”. The total project cost was US$715 million and the state government in 2016 had sought funding from the World Bank. However, it had committed US$300 million. But now, even this US$300 million has been withdrawn, thanks to the request from Modi’s central government. “For a change, good sense has prevailed upon the bank to withdraw from the disastrous programme,” Sreedhar R., the director of the Environics Trust, one of the activist groups that has been critical of the project, said in a statement. The project is a joint development between the Singapore Consortium led by Temasek-linked Ascendas-Singbridge and Sembcorp Development, and Amaravati Development Corporation Limited, a company set up by the former Naidu’s state government. Indian PM Modi laid the foundation stone for the project in 2015. http://projects.worldbank.org/P159808?lang=en Amaravati Sustainable Infrastructure and Institutional Development Project OVERVIEW DETAILS FINANCIALS PROCUREMENT RATINGS RESULTS MAP DOCUMENTS NEWS & MEDIA PROJECT AT-A-GLANCE Project ID P159808 Country India Region South Asia Status Dropped Approval Date (as of board presentation) N/A Closing Date N/A Total Project Cost** US$ 715.00 million Commitment Amount US$ 300.00 million Team Leader Raghu Kesavan, Jon Kher Kaw View More » LATEST PROJECT DOCUMENTS Project Information Document-Integrated Safeguards Data Sheet - Amaravati Sustainable Infrastructure and Institutional Development Project - P159808 (English) January 21, 2019 India - Amaravati Sustainable Capital City Development Project : Environmental and Social Assessment - Executive Summary (English) August 1, 2018 India - Amaravati Sustainable Capital City Development Project : Environmental Assessment (Vol. 2) : Environmental Impact Assessment : Environment Management Plan Report for Flood Mitigation Works (English) August 1, 2018 View All Documents » * The project abstract is drawn from the PAD, SAR or PGD and may not accurately reflect the project's current nature ** Total project cost includes funding from World Bank and non-bank sources in US$ millions. Active and Closed projects show commitment at Board approval. It does not reflect any cancellations. Proposed (pipeline) and dropped projects show the forecast amount. The commitment amount for projects in the pipeline is indicative and may be modified during the project preparation.
  3. Mods pls close off this thread if already started somewhere else... https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2019/07/01/analysts-predict-temasek-and-gic-to-have-negative-returns-in-last-fiscal-year/?fbclid=IwAR03ZvPXPBVTzaEZKjAiqcHDPFTKY7X0W10LJ3F2SC1BC6Z-Cgtd2VO2nVE Analysts predict Temasek and GIC to have negative returns in last fiscal year
  4. It is one thing to adopt more efficient technologies at generating power while reducing emissions, it is another thing to have something with potential to wipe out the entire region when a wrong move was made. Currently, nuclear fission based plants can produce power at a low cost but at the huge environmental impact with nuclear waste as a by-product. Nuclear fusion which is supposedly much safer is still quite sometime away. What's our fail safe plan if the plant encountered a melt-down? It's easy for her to say adopt a fail-soft approach which buys time but can we trust them with it? Nuclear plant breakdown is not the same as MRT breakdown. I know its not a new topic, but when she starts speaking to the media in public, we can be sure its a sure sign of things to come. Fire away guys.
  5. Straits Times Jun 21, 2011 Ho Ching not leaving Temasek, says report By Robin Chan TEMASEK Holdings' chief executive and executive director Ho Ching is believed to have told staff she is not resigning. Ms Ho reportedly told employees that if she had to leave on a high note, she could have done so last year, when Temasek's portfolio had more than recovered from the financial crisis, Reuters said, citing unnamed sources. Temasek's portfolio rose 43 per cent year-on-year to $186 billion at the end of March last year. A spokesman for Temasek declined to comment on the Reuters report. Speculation arose earlier this month when the Financial Times ran a front page story claiming Ms Ho may step down in August. It had said Temasek is expected to report further gains on its portfolio investments when it releases its annual report next month.
  6. Drive_carcar

    Temasek buys Olam stake for $303M

    What's so sh*tty about it? Well to start with, our CPF minimum sum increase (announced somewhere else today). They have just lost a fortune with ML/BoA, and what's left of the proceeds from dumping BoA, is not used to buy this. Wonder if they have already lost their reversed Midas touch yet?
  7. or blueberry cheesecake
  8. CHIA Song Hwee Head, Strategy Co-Head, Portfolio Management Co-Head, Singapore I just realised Chia Song Swee former Chartered CEO is now one of the top guys in Temasek.... Common.... anyone here from Chartered Semi??? We don't know how his EXACT performance is like in Chartered but it is a FACT that during his years as CEO of Chartered semi from 2002 to 2009, Chartered Semi shares plummeted like a rock. In the end, we sold Chartered Semi to Global foundries. Seriously, what did he do that makes Temasek want him as Head Strategy??? Did chartered Semi do extremely well? What did he do that makes Temasek hire him to manage our Portfolio and Strategy? What strategy did he implement in Chartered Semi that ended up with Chartered share price dropping like a rock, making losses for many quarters, and ended up being sold to Global foundries. This is crazy.
  9. Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte has told Standard & Poor’s in 29 pages why it shouldn’t mess with the state-owned investor’s AAA rating. Temasek, which managed S$223 billion ($165 billion) of assets as of last March, said the rating firm’s proposed new rules for grading investment holding companies lump Singapore with riskier nations such as Greece and Jamaica, according to a Feb. 2 response to the changes. S&P’s new criteria take into account the firms’ lack of direct ownership of assets, the challenges they face when selling in illiquid markets and volatility of assets they hold. Part of S&P’s proposal groups Singapore, which has had a AAA rating for 20 years, alongside Greece, a nation that may run out of cash this month. While Temasek would probably still enjoy the government’s top-grade overall rating, a weaker risk profile would be unwelcome at the company which has been considering offering bonds to individuals in Singapore. “A triple-A credit rating is a rare thing in today’s markets, and there is a prestige element to it,” Veljko Fotak, assistant professor of finance and managerial economics at the University at Buffalo, New York, said in a Feb. 5 e-mail. “Any chink in that armor, even if only in the stand-alone, rather than overall, rating, could have image consequences.” Temasek dollar bonds due in 2019 yielded 39 basis points more than U.S. Treasuries yesterday and its credit-default swaps were at 38.7, compared with 35.5 for Australia. Four Baskets S&P published in November proposed new criteria for assessing credit risk at IHCs, defined as firms holding equity stakes across at least three sectors. The ratings company asked for feedback from affected parties by Jan. 30. The new framework grades IHCs’ asset liquidity by splitting their main countries of operation into four baskets, based on a 30-year history of those nations’ share market swings, according to Temasek. Singapore falls into the third basket with markets including Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and Cyprus. The measure should instead “be assessed based on the number of days needed to divest assets” on those exchanges, said Temasek. “With its statement, Temasek is indirectly defending the standing of Singapore as a financial center,” Sven Behrendt, managing director at Geneva-based GeoEconomica, which researches sovereign wealth funds, said in a Feb. 4 phone interview. “It’s understandable to me that Temasek doesn’t want the country to be put in the same category as Greece, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.” Asia, America Temasek had 31 percent of its assets in Singapore as of March 31, according to its last annual report published in July. Investments in the rest of Asia stood at 41 percent and those in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand at 24 percent. About 70 percent of its assets were listed. The firm’s biggest holdings include a 52 percent stake in Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., valued at $25 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show. It owns a 6 percent stake in China Construction Bank Corp., worth $11.6 billion, and 29 percent of DBS Group Holdings Ltd., valued at $10.4 billion. “S&P regularly requests comments from market participants on proposed changes to its methodologies and assumptions,” Bertrand Jabouley, the Singapore-based S&P analyst who follows Temasek, said in a Feb. 5 e-mail. “The objective of this proposed criteria is to help the market better understand key risk drivers for investment holding companies, enhance global comparability of our ratings and improve transparency.” Stephen Forshaw, a spokesman for Temasek, declined to comment beyond the company’s statement when contacted by e-mail. Riskier Basket Under the criteria, S&P also assumes that firms such as Temasek operate in a “moderately high risk” industry. That puts IHCs in a basket riskier than pharmaceutical and oil and gas companies, said Temasek. S&P has downgraded 18 energy firms this year in North America as lower oil prices curb their cash flows and ability to pay debt, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The proposed industry classification could see a capping of IHCs’ so-called anchor ratings, which help determine stand-alone scores, at levels that don’t reflect the individual firms’ ability to pay debt, according to Temasek. “In our view, classifying IHCs as a uniform, homogeneous industry is not meaningful,” Temasek said in the statement. “A company should be assessed objectively, based on its individual credit quality, without being constrained by any cap.” S&P assigns an “extremely high likelihood of extraordinary government support” to Temasek, which means the investment firm’s corporate score would reflect Singapore’s AAA rating even if its stand-alone grade dropped. Surprise Easing The city’s economy grew an annualized 1.6 percent in the three months to Dec. 31 from the previous quarter, less than analysts estimated, after its manufacturing industry weakened with slowing growth in China. The country unexpectedly eased monetary policy last month, allowing the Singapore dollar to drop 1.7 percent versus the greenback this year. Temasek said in January 2014 it was looking at ways to offer bonds to individual investors in Singapore. Issuing fixed-income products will provide an “alternative investment opportunity” for investors seeking stable returns with lower risks, the company said in a statement that month. S&P’s proposed new criteria for IHCs “is part of a bigger focus on how to evaluate liquidity risk as it has been deteriorating across the world,” Jean-Charles Sambor, Singapore-based Asia Pacific director of the Institute of International Finance, said by phone Feb. 4. “It’s healthy that rating companies and firms such as Temasek are having a public discussion about these issues.” To contact the reporters on this story: Christopher Langner in Singapore atclangner@bloomberg.net; Klaus Wille in Singapore at kwille@bloomberg.net
  10. ShepherdPie

    Temasek CEO on 3 month leave

    http://business.asiaone.com/news/temasek-says-ceo-ho-chings-3-month-leave-not-linked-retirement hmmm... Any relationship with the update on PM 's facebook that he went to CPIB for Kopi yesterday ?
  11. bros in MCF, u still dare to say that u r busy and have no time to do things? Number 5 is scary. http://mothership.sg/2013/12/10-korean-actors-ho-ching/ By Jonathan Lim Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met with South Korean President Park Geun Hye at her official residence yesterday. PM Lee spoke about how Singapore and South Korea could further enhance bilateral cooperation in research and development, education, and aviation. During the meeting, he also mentioned to Ms Park that Korean dramas have a large viewer base in Singapore – including his wife Ms Ho Ching. While we have no idea what shows the PM’s wife likes to watch, we can only guess which Korean male lead she likes based on her existing taste – our Prime Minister. Check out these Korean heartthrobs who could possibly keep the PM’s wife glued to Korean dramas. 1. Lee Min Ho Source 2. Bae Yong Joon Source 3. Gong Yoo Source 4. Won Bin Source 5. Hyun Bin Source 6. Jang Dong Gun Source 7. Lee Byung Hun Source 8. Yoo Chun 9. Dennis Oh Source 10. Kwon Sang Woo Source
  12. Philipkee

    Temasek review

    Is there something wrong with the website? Keep getting message server down and when can access, the articles and comments cannot be read.
  13. A Temasek Holdings Pte unit offered to buy Olam International Ltd. (OLAM) in a bid that values the commodity trader at S$5.3 billion ($4.2 billion), about 16 months after it helped stave off an attack by short-seller Carson Block. Breedens Investments Pte is offering S$2.23 cash per share, the Singapore-based company said today in a statement, a 12 percent premium to Olam’s last closing price of S$1.995. It is also making an offer for Olam’s outstanding bonds and warrants. Temasek, Singapore’s state-owned investment firm, became the largest investor in Olam, one of the world’s top three coffee and rice traders, after concerns raised by short-seller Block in November 2012 caused the stock to plummet. The offer has the support of Olam’s founding family and management, with some agreeing to sell a proportion of their shares to the bidding group. “Temasek is already a large holder of Olam so they probably know the business better than everybody else,” said Robert Aspin, the Singapore-based head of equity investment strategy at Standard Chartered Plc. “The fact that they are willing to pay a premium is indicative of the value that they see in the underlying business.” Olam has rallied 30 percent this year through March 12 in Singapore, compared with a 2.2 percent decline in the benchmark Straits Times Index. The stock, which closed as low as S$1.395 after Block’s attack, reached a near 17-month high of S$1.995 on March 12. An employee walks past the logo of Temasek Holdings Pte at the company's headquarters in Singapore. Group Support Breedens also has an agreement with a group including Kewalram Singapore Ltd., Olam’s founding family shareholder, and 10 Olam executives including Chief Executive Officer Sunny Verghese to not tender their shares until six months after the offer closes, Breedens said in a statement. All totaled they hold 52.5 percent ofOlam shares. Kewalram and three members of key management have agreed to sell a 5.6 percent stake in Olam in acceptance of the offer. Credit Suisse Group AG, DBS Group Holdings Ltd., and United Overseas Bank Ltd. advised Breedens. Breedens doesn’t plan to make any major changes to Olam’s businesses or terminate employees. It also intends to keep Olam as a listed company, unless the minimum float requirements aren’t met, it said. “We believe a successful offer will provide Olam with a stronger and more stable shareholder base to support Olam’s strategy and business model for the long term,” Breedens Director David Heng said in the statement. “We have invested in Olam over the years, and share a common investment philosophy to invest and build for the long term.” Block’s Bet Block said in November 2012 he was betting against Olam because he questioned the trader’s accounting methods and asset purchases, pushing the stock to a more than three-year low in December 2012. Olam rejected the assertions by Block and his research firm Muddy Waters LLC. Block today declined to comment. “Olam has been oversold following the issues raised by Muddy Waters and has bounced back strongly as the company addressed those concerns,” Alan Richardson, a Hong Kong-based money manager at Samsung Asset Management, said by phone before the announcement. As well as adding Olam shares after the Block allegations, Temasek also backed a $750 million bond sale by the commodity trader. Olam said in December 2012 it planned to sell bonds and warrants to address any “lingering doubts” about its finances. The investment firm agreed at the time to buy any rights not taken up by other investors. Olam is a supplier and processor of agricultural products and food ingredients across 16 platforms in 65 countries. Temasek holds 24.6 percent of Olam through its units Breedens and Aranda Investments Pte, and the founding family has a 20.2 percent stake, according to today’s statement.
  14. The New TP School Uniform Quite funny... watch full video...
  15. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sin...1186538/1/.html Govt's role relating to Temasek Holdings, GIC clarified Posted: 02 March 2012 1420 hrs SINGAPORE: Minister of State for Finance Josephine Teo on Friday clarified the government's role in relation to the state's sovereign wealth funds. Mrs Teo said the government does not decide how Temasek Holdings and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) manage their portfolios. Mrs Teo said their respective boards and professional management teams are responsible for the decisions. She added the government ensures risks to the whole portfolio are not excessive, by assessing the impact of various adverse global scenarios. Mrs Teo was responding to concerns of overlapping investments among Singapore's sovereign wealth funds. Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency (GRC) Inderjit Singh said: "In recent times, they are starting to look very similar and also investing in almost similar assets. "This is not a good trend as we may be over-investing and lack diversification in our investments could come back and haunt us doubly-hard if these sectors are hit by problems." In response, Mrs Teo said: "First and foremost, we ensure that these investment entities have competent boards to oversee how their respective management teams execute their investment mandates. "We also ensure that these entities have proper mandates and objectives. Second, based on the overall risk profile of the government's whole portfolio, we decide how government capital should be allocated." - CNA/wk
  16. Johorat

    Temasek Review is back!

  17. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405...eTabs%3Darticle If Temasek's nervousness proves well-founded (that's a BIG IF considering its past history), then China, and consequently the entire world, is in for a rocky time. I knew the bull run was too good to last. At least Temasek made a billion dollar profit this time, instead of their well-publicised billion dollar losses like in the past.
  18. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sin...1128892/1/.html SINGAPORE : Workers' Party Chairman Sylvia Lim has resigned from her teaching position at Temasek Polytechnic. In a statement on Saturday, she said she tendered her resignation on Friday, after more than 12 years of service. Ms Lim expects her workload to increase as Member of Parliament (MP) for Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC), after the Workers' Party's win in the recent General Election. At Temasek Polytechnic, she taught full-time and part-time students. She also co-ordinated continuing education initiatives for adult learners. Ms Lim said that in the last five years as a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament, working hours have been spent on parliamentary activities, such as sittings and the occasional overseas trip. She decided that it would not be fair to the polytechnic's management, colleagues and students for her to continue in her post at Temasek Polytechnic as an elected MP. She said that while the polytechnic's management has supported these national platforms, she foresees the years ahead as an elected MP to be even more demanding. Ms Lim said that she has mixed feelings about leaving and thanked the polytechnic's management and colleagues for their understanding and friendship.
  19. I can't access www.temasekreview.com via my Singnet, how about the rest of you? M1 & Starhub can access?
  20. Grindcore888

    Temasek Review.com under DDOS attack

    http://theowlcritic.blogspot.com/2011/04/t...dos-attack.html WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2011 Temasek Review Downed By DDOS Attacks If you can't access the Temasek Review, it is because it has been downed by DDOS (denial of service) attacks. Similar attacks during the Sarawak Election brought down Malaysia's Alternative News Sites like Malaysiakini, Malaysia Chronicle and the UK-based Sarawak Report. The Sarawak Report was forced to go 'on the run' moving from server to server as each new server came under attack. In the case of Malaysia, there was little doubt that the attack was ordered by the BN. The PAP seems to have taken a leaf out of the BN's dirty tricks playbook and may be intent on doing the same to the Temasek Review. These attacks, we note, are illegal. The Singapore voter is expected to swallow the propagandic gibberish spewed by the Straits Times and other such 'news' sources to make his or her decision. The fact that the PAP is engaging in such tactics should be reason enough to vote against them. They wish to deny the Singapore voter, access to their most implacable, and no-holds barred, critic, the Temasek Review. It is an insult to the Singapore voter's intelligence that tactics seen as being succesful against natives in Sarawak's remote interiors are being used to deny them information. It is a clear sign that the PAP is afraid, and the PAP is desperate. And they now seem willing to use methods favoured by Malaysia's disreputable BN. No matter how despicable, or how illegal, such methods are. Posted by The Owl at 6:48 PM
  21. RadX

    Temasek Review bye bye

    Well, we know that he hard truth cannot be swallowed..... Temasek Review to shut down after July By Ng Jing Yng | Posted: 07 April 2011 1909 hrs Photos1 of 1 A screenshot of the Temasek Review website. SINGAPORE: Socio-political website Temasek Review (TR), which has often positioned itself as critical of government, will be shutting down after July. In a reply to Channel NewsAsia queries on Thursday, a TR spokesperson confirmed that no agency has asked it to shut down but added: "We would be lying if we say there's been no pressure from the Government." The spokesperson, however, said that the effect of the pressure was minimal as the TR team is based overseas. Last year, Singapore's investment company Temasek Holdings, asked the website to change its name, saying TR was trying to capitalise on its goodwill and reputation linked to the their annual report named "Temasek Review". The closing down of TR was first reported on Yahoo! Singapore on Thursday. TR editor Amanda Tan said that uncertainty over funding was the reason for shutting the site down. There was no external pressure and negative press on one of TR's past contributors, Dr Joseph Ong, did not influence their decision, she said. But the TR spokesperson however, said there was indirect pressure arising from mainstream media reports which "were aimed to shut us down". TR's growth was also stymied by its limited pool of contributors, the TR spokesperson told Channel NewsAsia. Despite its growing popularity, potential contributors stayed away because they were afraid of being associated with TR. This "fear factor bordering on paranoia did not help TR", he said. The website started seven years ago and garnered a strong following over the years, reaching 1.04 million visitors in just Singapore alone. TR's impending closure comes in the wake of socio-political blog The Online Citizen (TOC) becoming the first blog here to be gazetted as a political association in January. This means it cannot accept foreign donations. Singapore Management University assistant professor Michael Netzley, who has research interests in digital media, said that the question of governmental pressure would inevitably come up among the blogosphere. But these sites might then respond to come up with more balanced and thoughtful articles to enhance their reputation, he said. Political observer Azhar Ghani, however, believes TR's closure will not affect bloggers. Other sites will soon emerge to replace TR, he said. Political blogger Siew Kum Hong, who is one of the four persons responsible for TOC's compliance as a gazetted site, said: "I always back the principle of having more speech than less, and hence it is a pity to see TR shut down." But sustaining a site is very time-consuming, he said. TR has been funded by donations and advertising revenues, but there have been occasions when its team had to pay costs out of their own pockets, the TR spokesperson said. Netizen Quah Chin Chin, 25, said that while TR offers a one-sided view of issues at times, it still provides an alternative voice to the mainstream media. Readers would feel its loss, she said. -CNA/ac
  22. http://www.temasekreview.com/2011/04/05/on...lded-in-an-smc/