Thought of the day

I thank whatever gods may be / For my unconquerable soul. / I am the master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul. ~William Ernest Henley, Invictus

Government's promises are like the Ringgit, they depreciate with time.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dare to Challenge!

I was among the first few hundreds to receive a copy of "The SIAS Story". Didn't really pay any attention to the slideshow when the emcee introduced the book and by looking at the cover, I reckon that I would not even finish the first chapter before I chuck the book somewhere which will be eventually buried under the newspapers pile and being thrown away when I get rid of the old newspapers. Well, you really can't judge a book by its cover.

As I was on my journey back from City Hall, I started to read the book due to boredom and was immediately hooked up by "The CLOB saga".

Financial ethics damned, Malaysia's outspoken Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad launched an offensive to freeze the CLOB (Central Limit Order Book) shares of foreign equity investors. (All in all, a hefty US$4.47 billion in value.)

If you remembered back in 1997, how the ringgit was hit badly when Malaysia was facing the brunt of the Asian economic crisis and how wise our premier then was to peg the ringgit against the US dollar. The CLOB saga is something which was initiated by Mahathir then, victimizing Singaporean retail investors, which led to the establishment of the Securities Investors Association (Singapore), a body which unified the retail investors

Tun Daim, then Malaysian Finance Minister, urged CLOB shareholders to either accept Effective Capital's offer(Effective Capital offered to pick up all the shares at an atrocious 50% discount.) or their shares would be transferred to the Malaysian Government. His threat was echoed by Dr Mahathir, who irked the Singapore investors with his impatient demands.

"Obviously, the threat was designed to engineer a hasty settlement on their terms," retorted David Gerald. "I was not impressed."

This is a story of how a group of resolute small investors joined forces and took on the challenge to free the frozen shares from the Malaysian government and subsequently became the largest organized investor lobby group in Asia actively promoting investor education, corporate transparency and corporate governance.

I am moving on to the second chapter. You might want to grab a copy today!

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