Yesterday I wrote about the $10.7 billion ridiculously rich bid which the Singapore Exchange (SGX) is making for the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
SGX CEO Magnus Bocker has been in his job just 10 months. Isn’t it rich? Got so much money to throw Down Under? Equivalent to slightly over a $1 billion for every month he’s been in the job!
Now contrast this with what one of my fav MPs said a couple of weeks ago.
“Some even ask for milk powder funding, and some just say, ‘Can I have some money to sustain me for the next week?’ It sounds strange in Singapore… (but) yes, I am meeting these problems here.”
Dr Lily Neo (left), the MP with a really and consistently big heart — she represents the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng ward under the Jalan Besar Group Representation Constituency — made this heart-breaking and guilt inducing comment on TV.
I believe every word Dr Neo said.
Demographically, Jalan Besar GRC is one of the oldest wards in Singapore. Half of its residents are above the age of 50. It is also made up of many low-income Singaporeans. Ten per cent of public assistance cases in Singapore come from this area and 50 per cent of its residents live in low cost rental housing, 4,500 units in all or about 10 per cent of all low cost rental housing.
I do have more than nodding acquaintance with a couple of families who live in the GRC. Picky Siti delivers basic groceries to them fortnightly while I sit in the car with mum. Picky calls them “orang miskin”. Now, if a maid from deepest Lampung can call them that, they are poor indeed.
But I digress.
Back to the $10.7 billion Singapore is going to throw Down Under, with $4.9 billion of that in borrowed cash!
For all SGX/Singapore and Mr Bocker’s efforts, Singapore and Singaporeans are getting insulted right and left by the Aussies for making the bid.
Now if the same amount is thrown at the orang miskin of Jalan Besar GRC, I’m sure there would be more gratitude.
Oh sure, the SGX bid is a business proposition and even if it wasn’t directing that money to ASX, it won’t be spending that amount on orang miskin in Jalan Besar GRC or anywhere else in Singapore.
I’m just juxtaposing the two realities hoping to better understand how it’s possible that there are some in Singapore who don’t even have milk money while others have billions to spend, even if it’s other people’s money!