Martin Lee @ Sg
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Hong Lim Park Roundup

Update: Videos added

Yesterday evening, more than 700 structured product ‘investors’ met up at Hong Lim Park for a gathering. I suppose that was the biggest turnout ever at Speaker’s Corner.


Mr Tan Kin Lian and Mr Leong Sze Hian addressed the crowd for a while before breaking them up into their respective groups.

I found it an irony that in “Speaker’s Corner”, proper speakers were not allowed to be used. Instead, a small mobile amplifier had to be used. As a result, many people in the crowd could not really hear the speech properly. Luckily, we have youtube so you can watch the recordings of the speech below.

Video of Speech (Part 1)

Video of Speech (Part 2)

Video of Speech (Part 3)

Media Interview of Tan Kin Lian

As expected, the event was widely covered by the press and online websites. I have provided links to their stories below. Quoting a line from one of the reports:

A few elderly investors broke into tears saying they had lost a large portion of their retirement savings.

When I read that, I couldn’t help but shed a tear as well.

A Few Investors Share Their Stories

Sadly, there are still people who did not know they had lost money up to now. Some people depended on word of mouth to know about the Hong Lim Park gathering. How are these people going to initiate the dispute resolution process as prescribed by MAS?

If they can’t get their family members to help, they might have to seek help from their MPs.

Investors Hold Protest Here (Straits Times)

演说角落沸腾的一天 近千苦主聚集求援 (Lianhe Zaobao)

投资苦主芳林公园请愿 投资者应该向谁投诉?(Lianhe Zaobao)

Angry Lehman Investors Hold Public Meeting in Singapore (Reuters)

Singapore Investors Decry Losses From Lehman Bonds (International Herald Tribune)

Irate Investors Rally in Singapore (AFP)

Angry Investors Turn Up at Hong Lim Park to Seek Redress (The Online Citizen)

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Leave a Comment:

Haiboss says 14 years ago

Hi LionInvestor,
Is there any way or indicators to findout a bankruptcy company.

Joe-The Retiree says 14 years ago

Hi lioninvestor,

There are many Investment Products docs. that will somehow carry the clause “Terms & Conditions” apply or “Disclaimer”
As an investor, and if we do not really understand those wordings due to lenghty docs. and doubtful clauses as spelt out in some docs. that we really cannot get answers but are in a hurry or pressured by Relationship manager to close the deal. Question is ?are we lawfully covered if we cancel those clauses by signing on to them in the event of any disputes.

    lioninvestor says 14 years ago


    in this case, MAS has told the FI not to take an overly legalistic approach. So, hopefully, that might help.

Anonymous says 14 years ago


Pai sei, couldn’t make it…

Last minute trip to Genting… 🙂

dorai says 14 years ago

Hi Lioninvestor,

Don’t be distracted about the Lehman Brothers Mini-Bonds…wonder what is the latest on Oilpods hearing? Is CASE addressing the issue? or just another story about investments gone wrong!

    lioninvestor says 14 years ago

    Hi Dorai,

    Oilpods investors would probably have to writeoff their investments. Let’s not discuss Oilpods here. Comments should be in the Oilpods posts. 🙂

Gerald Chee says 14 years ago

I heard there is a sit in organised at Shenton Way DBS building on Wednesday 15 September 2008 at 10 PM

This was reported in

Anyone has the details. I’m just fed up nothing has been done. I’ll definitely turn up.

    lye says 14 years ago

    Gerald, I think it’s organized by the DBS high notes investors. Mr Tan kin lian should have the contacts of these investors.

    DBS and MAS will definitely feel the pressure. Do not assign any leader among u, bcos if police come, they will deal with the leader first. Anyway, i feel no need to be afraid of police when u are trying to fight back your own hard-earned money.

    I think Minibond investors should do likewise.

      MinibondVictim says 14 years ago

      I agree the minibond investors should do the same. Perhaps we should visit each of the FI one after another eah day for a sit in, or just to “visit” the RM to get update which is legal. The large crowd itself will make our point and gain the FI management and MAS attention.

Peter W says 14 years ago

The common person is not able to discern the risk of these products. They deposit their money with the banks thinking that the banks will protect their savings. The product brochures publish the good points in bold and the unpleasant details in very small print. Is this not meant to deceive? This is a severe let down and at least the banks should offer compensation to the people who would now suffer hardship due to loss of life savings. I hope the authorities would be more proactive in helping those affected by offering free legal aid and investigate wrongdoing by the banks. At some stage even the savings bank were trying to convince people to take structured products when they see the account balance of these depositors.
Mr Tan and Organisers of the Hong Lim roundup, thank you for offering these people hope.
Finally for those who have taken a hard hearted ‘you deserve it attitude’, please sympathise and regard those who have been affected as your family and loved ones – are you not afraid of retribution?

Kenneth says 14 years ago

Hi lioninvestor,

Is Minibond Pte Ltd bankrupt yet? I thought only lehman brothers holding.


dorai says 14 years ago

Even lioninvestor could shed a tear!…………..imagine how serious it can be for retirees and uneducated or non English speaking Singaporeans to lose money through misinformation etc….or through greed!

Now that Singapore is officially in a technical recession, we hope those so called Bank Relationship Manager be made redundant and leave it to the so called Financial Planners to do the job professionally. If only Banks could concentrate on their core business on Banking matters, then that will suffice!

Jackie says 14 years ago

Lehman Minibond Series 5 & 6 should not be unwinded.

There is a subtle difference between the default situation of DBS High Note 5 and the Lehman Minibond Series.

In DBS High Note 5, Lehman Brothers as a First-to-default reference entity in note had gone into bankruptcy.

In the other 10 Minibond Series, it is the Lehman swap counterparty and Minibond Limited (Lehman’s special purpose company) that ceased to exist due to bankruptcy. As they cease to exist, it is unlikely that noteholders will still continue to receive any further coupon payment as it was the case in Minibond Series 5, 6, 7 & 8.

The difference is, in the first case, the underlying securites (CDO) has turned ‘bad’ but in the latter, the underlying securities (CDO) is still ‘good’, meaning no default has occurred. This mean, in the case of Minibonds, the cash flow of coupon payment and redemption directly from these underlying securities (CDO) will continue.

Lehman minibonds have also been sold to retail investors in Taiwan and Hong Kong. MAS and Singapore government must be careful in how they handle this Minibond case.

I suggest that MAS and Singapore government track how Hong Kong and Taiwanese regulators are handling the situation.

If MAS allows Minibond Series 5 & 6 to be unwinded by the trustee, HSBC in 2 weeks time and return perhaps 10% to 20% of Par value invested in these Minibond notes to retail investors but it turn out later that their Taiwanese and Hong Kong counterparts are able to handle the situation better, then it would negatively impact the image of Singapore regulators.

Unless any of the Minibonds underlying securites (CDO) has hit the default level, these assets are still ‘good’. It is almost a sin for any individual or company to buy these assets at a distress price of 10% to 20% as they are being unwinded and profit from them while retail investors stand out to lose significant part of their invested money.

MAS, together with the trustee, HSBC should engage DBS asset management and Lion Global Investors (a GE and OCBC company, formerly known as Lion Capital asset management) to explore how they could restructure these ‘good’ Minibond underlying securities (CDO) and retain most of the value for affected retail investors.

How MAS and Singapore government handle this issue is likely to be contrasted against the performance of their Hong Kong and Taiwanese counterparts.

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