Temasek’s General Counsel, Pek Siok Lan, was cheated of S$5.5 million in a fraudulent nickel trading scam. What happened, was that the scammer, Ng Yu Zhi, promised his investors a guaranteed return of 15% over a three-month period. One look and you can tell this is a crazy amount, given that the global economy is not doing well; this is obviously a scam to hook people who want quick money. How did someone like Pek fall victim to such a scam?
Reform Party’s Kenneth Jeyaretnam said in his blogpost,
“if Ms Pek was so gullible and indifferent to her own money, and so willing to be ensnared by a shady scheme that was undoubtedly marketed on the basis that it took advantage of legal or regulatory “arbitrage” (a euphemism for law breaking), what does that say about her ability to act as a steward of the nation’s reserves?
Is our reserves also being managed in such a careless manner? As a general counsel with Temasek, she is definitely a crucial staff when it comes to making sure that investments by Temasek fufils legal requirements. This includes cross checking that the terms in the contract are of minimal risk with minimal loopholes.
Also, as pointed out by Kenneth Jeyaretnam, the fact that Pek had $5.5 million to just put aside gives an indication of how much she is earning. Why are we overpaying someone that is so easily cheated? Also, Ho Ching must be earning even more! No wonder they so secretive!