Invitation to a Cup of Coffee

Balding's World

As a responsible and humble academic, I would like to extend an olive branch the dear leader of Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Despite my best efforts to avoid it, I will be transiting through one of the best airports in the world Changi International Airport paid for and built by the great people of Singapore.  Prime Minister Lee, I would be honored if you would join me for a cup of coffee in the transit area in the Singapore Airlines lounge.

Though I am aware that you are an extremely busy with pressing matters to attend to, I believe that an open and honest discussion about the public finances of Singapore would benefit us both.  I would ask you to put aside the grave matter of arranging dishwashing for hawkers, to meet with me about irregularities in Temasek Holdings.  Though I am a big fan of South East Asian street food, it is my strong belief that the people you have entrusted to manage Temasek have hidden key financial information from about their performance.

Though I am aware that congratulating the Will and Kate on the birth of their beloved new baby boy is a time consuming endeavor, I hope it concerns you that SMRT has recently announced its business model is unsustainable.  Despite large subsidies and declining quality, this has a significant impact on national reserves which will impact Singaporean public finances.  This is a matter of importance to the finances of the state and the people of Singapore, especially given the plan to rapidly expand the population base.

Though I am aware that reminding Lim Boon Heng, the incoming chairman at Temasek, of the need for unfailing loyalty to following commands will take significant time given his proven ability to do so previously, I believe it is important that you better understand the problems of Singaporean public finances.  Despite near continual surpluses since your father ruled Singapore in the early 1970’s, Singapore has become one of the most indebted countries in the world.  Furthermore, even after factoring currency and cost of capital changes, Singapore assets are barely more than the total combined borrowing and surpluses.

Given the resolution of the Leslie Chew case and a better understanding of Singaporean law restricting the ability to criticize government officials, I may even be willing to apologize for own political cartoon.  As Singapore is ranked 149th and 13 spots behind Zimbabwe and one ahead of Iraq in the freedom of the press ranking, I now realize that my attempt at humor may have caused people to laugh at something they believe to be true and which strong evidence supports.  Your refusal to allow a free press or political cartoons, I am sure prevents Singapore from descending into the type of anarchy befalling Zimbabwe and Iraq.

I will not be leaving the transit area during my time flying the wonderful Singapore Airlines but I sincerely hope that we can arrange a time to meet.  My children are looking forward to movies and the wonderful amenities at Changi Airport paid for by the people of Singapore.

I sincerely hope you a great leader, can find time in your hectic schedule to meet with a humble academic.