Monday, May 31, 2010

Singapore’s table-tennis win triggers fierce debate

Singaporeans’ reactions to the Republic winning the World Table-Tennis Championships has been mixed.

The China-born but Singapore-raised trio of Feng Tianwei, Wang Yuegu and Sun Bei Bei stunned reigning champions and arch-nemesis China 3-1 in the final held in Moscow on Sunday.

While some Singaporeans feel that ultimately, it is still a “China versus China” competition and that the win is no big deal, others disagree, triggering a fierce online debate. To date, the post has garnered close to 600 comments within the first 12 hours of the post being published.

One Yahoo! Fit To Post user, Raj, comments, “What’s the point anyways, aren’t this kids Chinese migrants (sic)? Most athletes are imported in Singapore anyways, it’s just a sense of hollow value. Hardly any pride in it.”

Many others, however, beg to differ.

“Regardless of the nationality issue, this achievement is outstanding,” says reader Ignatius Albert Wijaya.

“The players might not have been locals but they train to become the players that they are in Singapore. I hope Singaporeans can show their respect to the players. That’s the least we can do,” he adds.

Judging by the comments on this post, most Singaporeans agree with Ignatius.

Another reader, Chris, sums up the general sentiment, “Feng Tianwei, Wang Yuegu and Sun Bei Bei won the game as Singaporeans, sang the Singapore anthem and wore the Singapore flag. Why complain about foreign talent winning the game for Singapore?”

Reaction aside, credit must be given to another stirring performance, in particular from Feng. Once again, just as she did in the 2008 Olympic women’s team semi-finals in Beijing against South Korea, Singapore’s world No 2 rose to the occasion.

First, Feng defeated China’s world No 4, Ding Ning, in the opening singles game but not without first having to engineer a stirring fight-back after having gone down 2 sets to love in the first 15 minutes.

That set the tone for Singapore’s famous victory as Wang then doubled the advantage for Singapore when she scored an upset over world No.1 Liu Shiwen 11-7, 11-8, 2-11, 12-10.

But Sun’s defeat to China’s Guo Yan in four sets, losing 11-6, 6-11, 4-11, 6-11, set up a dramatic finale for Feng to clinch the winning point 3-2 against Liu.

It was sweet revenge for the Singapore women’s team after they lost in the 2008 final and the Olympic final to the Chinese.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

AIA Chief Threatens to Quit

AIA’s chief executive has told friends and industry executives

that he would quit if the UK’s Prudential succeeded in its

US$35.5billion (GBP24.6billion) takeover of the Asian

businesses of AIG.

Mark Wilson has said he would step down once the deal

closed because the proposed combination of both Asian

businesses was “unworkable”.

Hong Kong-based Mr Wilson, 43, joined AIA from AXA in 2006

and boasts more than a decade of senior management experience

in the Asian insurance industry.

According to an undisclosed source, Mr Wilson “remains loyal”

to AIA, but does not plan to stay with the merged group

because he feels it is “a disaster waiting to happen”.

How many senior AIA executives, actuaries and agents remain

following a takeover is crucial for the combined group if it is to

execute the integration and deliver the sales increase being

flagged to investors to justify the price.

The news of Mr Wilson’s threatened departure comes amid

Prudential’s battle to win shareholder support for the takeover

and the US$21billion rights issue to fund it ahead of a vote on

June 7.

Investors have expressed concerns about the price tag for AIA

and Prudential’s ability to manage a complex integration in 12

Asian markets.

The uncertainty over Mr Wilson’s future will also cast a shadow

over Tuesday’s dual listing of the UK life assurer in Hong Kong

and a secondary listing in Singapore.

Prudential said on Monday that about 2 per cent of its shares

had been registered in Hong Kong ahead of the listing.

The Prudential prospectus for its rights issue released last

week said Mr Wilson would remain chief executive of AIA after

the takeover. However, it would be relatively unconcerned if he

did leave, according to one person familiar with Prudential.

The company told investors that it had moved quickly to stabilise

AIA by putting retention packages in place for senior

individuals. “Getting the people aspect right is vital and we

have moved quickly to stabilise the AIA business and put in

place appropriate retention arrangements,” Tidjane Thiam,

Prudential chief executive, said at an analyst presentation.

It was unclear whether Mr Wilson was offered these retention

arrangements. But the AIA chief has deep misgivings about

Prudential’s ability to execute the transaction or manage

relations with AIA staff and agents, people familiar with the

situation said.

Steve Roder and Peter Cashin, AIA’s finance and legal chiefs

respectively, have already quit the company.

Mr Wilson is widely credited with saving AIA last year when

AIG, its US parent company, nearly collapsed, earning the

loyalty of senior staff and agents. He also prepared AIA for an

initial public offering that was aborted three months ago in

favour of the Prudential deal.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Show Luo Appearance at City Square Mall

Get up close with Show Luo at City Square Mall, Level 1 Atrium from 7.30pm on 200510 !

For more detailed info, please visit:

Friday, May 07, 2010


Event Highlights

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« Exchange investment ideas with financial specialists
« Receive 'live' commentary on a newly released US economic indicator
« Learn how you can trade in foreign markets