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Rise of shadow industries in Singapore

One of the main worries over a slowing Chinese economy is the proliferation of its shadow banking industry, where non-bank lenders such as hedge funds and special investment vehicles grant loans to companies without regulatory oversight. It is feared that hidden debt levels and unrestrained risk taking may trigger a far-reaching crisis in a severe slowdown. In Singapore, two forms of unregulated shadow industries are thriving as well, one also related to alternative lending and the other of a very different kind. And we saw these past two weeks how both government action and inaction could fuel their growth further….

Civil Service Job Poster

More public officers “breaking bad”

Another week, another public officer getting into trouble with the law. As Jesse Pinkman would ask: What’s the matter with you people, yo? What is disturbing in this CPIB case is that this happened right in the heart of the anti-corruption bureau itself. It’s not just about a staff getting caught for an offence; here the criminal activities were repeated and undetected for four long years, totalling eight separate acts of misappropriation and one of forgery. Fool me once, shame on you, but fool me over and over and over again? CPIB head Eric Tan must be feeling pretty daff…

Was Iskandar Rahmat given help?

Was Iskandar Rahmat given help?

I thought Police Commissioner Ng Joo Hee was smart to pre-empt any potential backlash against his force when he gave a sombre statement bracing his men for “an outcry critical of the police, questioning the quality and integrity of police officers. Some of it will be unthinking and plainly unfair. And still some will be deliberately malicious”. Maybe the pre-emption worked, or maybe the majority of Singaporeans are just more rational than he thinks, for I have not seen much of the supposed outcry blaming the police force for the tragic Kovan double murder. Personally, I see no reason for…


Questions remain on the curious case of Shane Todd

Now that the family of Shane Todd has left in a huff, the remainder of the coroner’s inquiry becomes a matter of going through the motions. We can expect more witnesses and experts to testify and throw further doubt on his parents’ murder claims. Going by news reports over the past week — bearing in mind they are largely from the local mainstream media — there seems little doubt that the former engineer with the Institute of Microelectronics (IME) had indeed committed suicide. Wrong to cry murder over it; the Singapore police must be feeling pretty smug now. Unanswered questions…

Coming to an HDB estate near you

CCTV is Jack’s best friend

Jack Bauer could well be headed to Singapore. Yes, I’m referring to the no-nonsense death-defying counter-terrorist government-agent-turned-rogue-protector of the USA from the acclaimed TV series 24. As fans are aware, the series ended its eight-season run in 2010. It was getting a bit tired towards the last few seasons to be honest. After all, how much more elaborate can the nuclear bomb plots be? How many more government moles can we grind our teeth over? But let’s not forget — Jack is still alive. And now there is a new playground that has all he needs to run around in…

Sex-for-contracts - Clockwork Orange version

Sex-for-contracts: An account in clockwork orange nadsat

(Nadsat is a fictional slang used in A Clockwork Orange. See dictionary) What’s it going to be then, eh? There was him, that is ex-Central Narcotics Bureau director Ng Boon Gay, and there was her, that is star witness Ms Cecilia Sue, and they sat in the courtroom in this trial on corruption. For more than a week, we slooshied about the little friendship they had, and how the gazettas love it for what a horrorshow story this is turning out to be. This sex-for-contracts case, O my brothers, has caught the attention of a malenky nation. Every day the lewdies,…