Posted by: bigtalksingapore | October 15, 2008

Singapore public protest by its people.

Singaporean is finally facing the wrath of the US sub-prime losses since its exposure last year.

Thousand of Singapore investors are facing the risk of losing all their investment (DBS High Note 5, Minibond and etc. and who knows what)
This time round, many are really pissed off and coming out to show their fist.

A (sort of) protest was stage at Singapore Speaker corner last Saturday (11 Oct 2008) and thousands turned up.
It is quite a spectacle seldom seen in Singapore other than election time.

I waited for some time for Singapore media (“Today” and “My Paper”) to do a broad coverage of the event on their paper.
I was looking for some bird-eye view picture of the crowd but was not able to find one.
Perhaps they were under strict instruction to do minimum coverage.


From the report that I gathered below, there’re few issues at work here.

  1. While there is minimum coverage of the Singapore mini-bond protest in traditional media (Today and My Paper), we are seeing good coverage in the new media.
    Youtube coverage of the protest is quite extensive (See YouTube clips below) and clear.
    And I believed there are more people with good videos and pictures that can be uploaded into the net.
  2. Why does it take so long (From last year till now) before DBS fully disclose its sub-prime exposure to investors ?
    Obviously, they are trying to keep their sub-prime exposure under wrap from investors.
    They should have inform their investors last year and discuss with them to decide if they want to cut their losses while they can.
  3. Exactly how much damage was done ? (Refer News cutting #3)
    A total of $639 million was sold to about 9750 investors in Singapore. Average out to $65k per investor.
    DBS high note account for 1400 customer who invested $103 million. Meaning about $74k per customer.
    And I believed many are not rich.
  4. DBS express a willingness to compensate investors (Refer News cutting #2) for some of its products.
    So, which products is it referring to ?
    There’s one big condition on this compensation, which is that the evidence of mis-selling has to be  established first.
    Meaning to say, you can kiss your investment goodbye, unless you have a audio or video recording of the transaction.
    DBS will have to handle this problem with care, cos their reputation is at stake here.
    Look at YouTube #7 about an old lady who is going to lose her $400k life saving.
  5. DBS has also appointed international accounting firm KPMG to ensure a fair and transparent valuation process for the final credit redemption amounts for the affected notes in Singapore and Hong Kong (News cutting #3).
    Talk about fair and transparent, who is paying the bill for KPMG ?
  6. Is this the last of what we’re seeing from the sub-prime fallout ?
    Somebody may know, but “somebody” may keep quiet again until it’s too late.
  7. Nobody really know who is Mr Tan Kin Lian until now.
    Guess he is now famous for leading Singapore first protest in decades.
    The last I checked his blog ( ), it has over 500,000 visitors.

News Cutting #1: Today, 14 Oct 2008, Page 2

News cutting #2: Today, 14 Oct 2008, Page 1

News cutting #3: Today, 14 Oct 2008, Page 2

News cutting #4: Today, 15 Oct 2008, Page B3

YouTube #1: MiniBond Rally: Speakers Corner PART 1 OF 2

YouTube #2: MiniBond Rally: Speakers Corner PART 2 OF 2

YouTube #3: MiniBond Rally: Mr Leong Sze Hian

YouTube #4: Speeches on minibond issue – Part 1

YouTube #5: Speeches on minibond issue – Part 2

YouTube #6: Speeches on minibond issue – Part 3

YouTube #7: 75 year old lady lost $400K from Lehman’s minibond



  1. Warn all your family and relatives–don’t trust everything the bank sales people say. Don’t understand, don’t buy.

    Not happy, go to the bank and make noise. As long as you don’t bring big group, it isn’t illegal assembly. Voice your displeasure about misleading sales pitch. Even if it doesn’t bring your money back, it will hurt their reputation. That will teach them that making a customer unhappy is a costly mistake.

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