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LKY’s Predictions

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Note: This was posted some time back elsewhere.
The Wayang Party Club blog has posted an article questioning the track record of the predictions of MM Lee Kuan Yew.

Does this old man still have any credibility left? Here are a few spectacular predictions which turned out to be disastrously off-mark:

MM Lee on 4th Apr 2007

“So for the average family earning S$1,500-S$3,000, we are talking of astronomical figures but for people like me in government, to deal with the money which we have accumulated by the sweat of our brow over the last 40 years, you have to pay the market rate or the man will up stakes and join Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers or Goldman Sachs and you would have an incompetent man and you would have lost money by the billions,” said Mr Lee.

Hmm which 2 companies exactly in Singapore lost money by the billions?  Whom are the heads of each?

8th July 2007:

FRAMED against a Saturday night Orchard Road crowd, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew last night sketched a rosy picture of a more vibrant Singapore in five years’ time – if it took full advantage of the opportunities now before it.
Investors from developed countries are pouring money into the region and Singapore is enjoying good economic growth and social development.

Economic giant China is pulling in foreign investments of US$70 billion (S$106 billion) and India, US$10 billion a year. Foreign direct investments here have maintained at about S$6 billion to S$7 billion.

The stock markets of some Asean countries have risen by an average of 48 per cent. Asian current accounts are running surpluses with reserves doubling since 2003 to US$2,500 billion.

‘If there are no wars or oil crises, this golden period can stretch out over many years,’ he said.

The key is having a good government which will get its policies right, to encourage economic growth.

Singapore’s economic growth this year will be around 5 per cent to 6 per cent – ‘not bad’ for a maturing economy with a per capita income of over US$25,000, he said at a Tanjong Pagar GRC event in Ngee Ann City’s civic plaza.

It might be noted that neither the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, nor the temporary spike in oil prices in 2008 triggered the current depression.

Oil prices ‘unlikely to rise further’
March 8, 2008 (Straits Times)

OIL prices are not likely to go higher, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said yesterday.

As crude oil prices hit US$105 (S$145) per barrel, MM Lee believes it is not likely to creep further up to US$110.

‘The oil suppliers are testing the limits. They believe that China and India now form a new long-term base demand. They may be right,’ he said.

‘I don’t think it can go up US$110, US$120, US$150 and the world economy goes on. Inflation will go through the roof.

‘Economies of the West will go down, hyper-inflation in many developing countries. So it will go into reverse. There’s no projection right to the end.’

Jan 31st 2008:

This economic downturn will mark the first time that when America sneezes, Asia doesn’t catch a cold. Yes, Asia will be affected, but not as severely. Because China and India will not experience a recession, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Asean countries will avoid it. Hence, Asian stock markets will rise from their lows of the selloff to reflect the real strength of their economies.

It’s pretty obvious that China and India, both developing economic giants would escape a recession.  However, MM Lee was flat wrong about ASEAN countries not entering a recession.  So did Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

Feb 12th 2008:

The Straits Times:
MM confident S’pore will ride out global slowdown
US troubles won’t hurt Asia for the first time, thanks to investments and region’s resilience
By Lee Siew Hua

SINGAPORE will do well despite trouble in the global economy, said Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.
And, for the first time, Asia will not tip into recession even though the United States economy is faltering, he said at his annual Tanjong Pagar Chinese New Year dinner yesterday.

So when UBS, Citigroup and Merrill Lynch needed a cash infusion, Singapore invested $22 billion in these distressed international banks.

‘When the share prices of these banks recover that $22 billion investments, it will be worth $50 to S$70 billion.”

The markets in 2008 proved LKY wrong YET again...

The markets in 2008 proved LKY wrong YET again...

I don’t have anything to add to the above. It’s self-evident. He made those comments a little over a year ago. Singapore’s economy contracted for three straight quarters in 2008 and was the first country in Asia to enter recession.  Let’s not even get started on UBS, Citi and Merrill Lynch.


Written by defennder

March 23, 2009 at 12:28 AM

2 Responses

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  1. Whatever ‘insights’ LKY spouts can be gleaned from Newsweek and CNN.

    What is more worrying is that LKY probably gets a lot of his ‘insights’ from reading many reports prepared by various ministries which says a lot about the quality of the ‘experts’, many highly paid, in them.


    July 17, 2009 at 10:59 AM

  2. I doubt you’ll be able to find reports from CNN and Newsweek declaring Singapore is entering its “golden period” back in 2007, and furthermore even if you could, remember Singaporeans are not paying CNN or Newsweek millions annually.

    Are you willing to pay a group of people millions just to read the news? I won’t.


    July 17, 2009 at 4:27 PM

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