I recall the buzz and excitement, at least among my friends and Facebook feed, when Jamus Lim was introduced as WP’s candidate in GE 2020. I’m sure many of us can remember his impressive resume, which included stints in the World Bank and Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, as well as qualifications from Harvard and the London School of Economics.
These are impressive credentials… Which made his suggestion that SG reveals our reserves to allow for currency speculation not only disappointing but alarming as well.
As Heng Swee Keat explained, allowing currency speculation is a risky business. We only need to look at what happened in Thailand and Malaysia during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis to see the effects of currency speculation.
Jamus’ idea of revealing the size of SG reserves is even more baffling – our sovereign reserves is a strategic asset, much like the amount of ammunition that the SAF have. In what world would reveal the size of our reserves does SG any good?
I should add that Jamus himself did spend a few years working for Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, and I can’t help but wonder if he similarly suggested to his bosses then that Abu Dhabi should reveal the size of its assets…
Anyway, the exchange confirmed that sometimes, understanding the theory is just not enough. These are matters affecting Singaporeans’ lives and livelihoods, and the Budget debate should be done seriously and responsibly.
I hope that in Jamus’ next few years as an MP, he would look beyond economic theories and research papers to put up practical suggestions. After all, as Heng Swee Keat pointed out, policymaking should not be theoretical musings.