Saturday, July 22, 2006


Lee Hsieng Yang, the second son of Lee Kuan Yew and little brother of the current Singapore Prime Minister, is resigning from Singapore Telecommunications.

The Singtel's CEO and President took the region by storm during his 12-year reign. There were times, of course, when the company's appetite to eat up other telcos created suspicions.

The only red ink on Hsieng Yang's report book, perhaps, was his failure to buy into Time Engineering, a move which could have by now given Singapore a firm foothold in the Malaysian telecommunications industry.

That was the year Dr M asserted, seemingly in jest, that people were worried about Singtel perhaps because they "sing and tell".


  1. Anonymous10:08 am


    Aah Singtel. Didn't Business Times carried stories about it.You were BT editor. If remember correctly, BT, (well, specifically you,) was "warned" by the a certain powerful Cabinet Minister against carrying the stories. In fact, Didnt Tun Daim call you "anti-national" openly because BT was critical of the Singtel attempts/overtures? Didnt the proposed deal involved one of his cronies? Whyever did he call you "anti-national" beats me.

  2. rocky: that event marked not just someone having now "sung and told", but led to the erosion of confidence of foreign investors in Malaysia. International players don't like the goal posts being moved during the game of football; hence the FDIs have gone on a downtrend since. Of course the smiling MITI would have us believe this "stop" Singtel from buying into Time Eng had had not affected the foreign investments flow into Malaysia.
    Well, go tell it to the Sin-tellers! Or the mariners.

  3. Anonymous1:31 pm

    The Singaporeans must be very happy now knowing what the share price of Time now and the then offer price !

  4. Journo!

    Daim called Business Times "anti-goverment" because of the slant we took on the proposed SingTel-Time Eng deal, or so I believe. Years later, those people who were trying to do the deal to sell to Singapore told me that Time would have been on a better footing today if Dr M had not put a stop to the deal. As it is, as pointed out by Free and Fair, look at Time today. But I disagree with any suggestion that the Singaporeans would have been happy now knowing where Time is. I am inclined to believe that if that sale had gone through, SingTel would have been a very big player; perhaps it would have merged with Maxis or bought stakes in Celcom, and by now would be eyeing for Telekom Malaysia.

    We've seen it happen in Thailand and in Indonesia.

    And I don't think the Singaporeans would ever be happy until they achieve what they had failed so miserably to achieve when Dr M was around.

    Do look around .. I think we can see here and there, bit by bit, that they are succeeding.

  5. Anonymous1:19 pm

    while the price offered by SingTel for Time was attractive ; the deal envisaged an ownership by SingTel of some 22% of Renong Berhad ( and an indirect ownership of UEM & PLUS as well ).

    I thought at the time : SING & TELL was a reference to what S'porean GLC would have uncovered within the various veils of an UMNO and BN related business enterprise.

    Just go and figure the consequences post Sing Tel acquisition !

    I gave Tun 100 % for that decision.

    The earlier offer was in 1996 - but a significant minority in Time Telecoms was the company on the table...but the former FM ( circa 1996 ) blocked it...( in not so many words ..).

  6. Anonymous2:08 pm

    Only Tun can say No to Singtel offer. But of late, we sold Proton, Pantai Medical Centre to Singapore. I don't know why, mabe be the government get the wrong advice or advise by the wrong people or wrong people give wrong advice. I just hope that these people do not advise the government to sell Johor to Singapore.