Appeal to Singapore Government to take back Tuaspring to save citizens retirement fund
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We petition for the plight of 34,000 Hyflux stakeholders, many whom are Singapore Citizens and retirees who placed their CPF/SRS/retirement funds in Hyflux notes, perpetual securities and preference shares. It is clear now to us that Salim Medco (SMI) is no white knight and their offer is most disadvantageous to all stakeholders as they sacrifice junior creditors to maximise the value of Hyflux for themselves. SMI offers $400M for 60% of Hyflux which value Hyflux at $667M. This figure is just around 50% of the cost of building TuasSpring (TS) plant alone. Unfortunately, this massive loss in value is at the expense of our CPF/SRS investments and retirement savings!
Prior to TS fiasco, Hyflux was profitable. We understand it was the excess supply in the gas fuel contract and the prolonged weak power market which can be linked to Government (Govt) Agency policy that caused the Company to bleed badly, resulting in insolvency. What is most puzzling is why the Authority pre‐qualified only 2 bidders for TS which artificially depressed the price (resulting in only 1 bid) and yet approved foreign firm taking control of the entire Hyflux with TS as part of the deal at bargain price? This situation also allows SMI to place tough conditions on Hyflux as part of their investment conditions. Hyflux’s woes stemmed solely because they took on TS a Govt Public‐Private‐Partnership(PPP) Project.
Hyflux stakeholders now are facing this disastrous choice – Vote for the scheme and lose up to 90% of our investment or liquidate possibly get 0%. Faced with this dilemma, we have no choice but appeal to our Govt for help.
1. Tuaspring is a strategic national asset (One of “Four National Taps”)
Hyflux, for many years, was the pride of our nation (endorsed by our late Mr Lee Kuan Yew). Water is a critical asset to Singapore and NEWater together Desalinated Water formed two of Singapore much vaulted “Four National Taps”. A video on TS is also proudly shown on PUB’s webpage.
Therefore, TS cannot be seen as a commercial asset but strategic to Singapore much like Public Transport (MRT and Buses) and Infrastructure (reservoirs and water pipes). We cannot allow such asset to fall into foreign hands and face issues similar to that with Malaysia over water supply.
2. If the government can intervene with MRT and buses, why not Tuasspring?
Govt has already set precedence by acquiring formerly public listed SMRT because of public woes due to frequent train breakdowns. The Govt also spent $1.1 billion buying new buses for commercial bus companies to ease national transport problems. Similarly, TS which provides the nation with water is a matter of national interest and the government should step in to intervene to acquire it.
3. Our only hope of recovering our investment is Govt to acquire TS as Strategic National Asset.
The plant was initiated by PUB and built according to specs to serve National Needs. It is a bespoke National Strategic Asset. The Govt can justify taking over TS to protect national interest and to take ownership on a failed PPP. TS was built for $1.3 billion. Should the Govt acquire TS at Fair Asset Value, there will be enough money to pay off Malayan Banking’s lien on TS and some left to pay outstanding creditors. What’s more, Hyflux will remain viable as a going concern. This is not a BAILOUT but rightful Govt action.
OUR PLEA – All 34,000 stakeholders of about 150,000 family members, many Singapore Citizens and retirees whose livelihood will be severely affected if the Government do not step in to save our hard‐earned investment and precious retirement fund from being decimated by SMI.
We appeal to our Government to ACT Now to acquire TS plant as a National Strategic Asset at Building Costs (less depreciation) which should be worth more than S$1 billion. Please Acquire TS before the Restructuring Process starts or it will be too late for us after that to salvage our retirement funds.
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