Allow investors to renegotiate Tuaspring restructuring plan

Hyflux has been partially funded by 34,000 Singaporeans, many of whom invested their retirement and Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings in the belief that water security is paramount.
Hyflux has been partially funded by 34,000 Singaporeans, many of whom invested their retirement and Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings in the belief that water security is paramount. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

National water agency PUB is right in saying that water security for Singapore is paramount (PUB to take over Tuaspring for zero dollars if defaults not fixed, March 22).

Nonetheless, it should explain why it needs to take over the plant as soon as possible without allowing time for retail investors to negotiate settlement terms when the operational problems it describes have been ongoing for some time.

Hyflux has been partially funded by 34,000 mom-and-pop Singaporeans, many of whom invested their retirement and Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings in precisely the belief that water security is paramount.

They have been presented with a restructuring plan after a process in which they were allowed no input.

Many want to renegotiate the plan to make it more equitable for small investors, and they should be allowed a reasonable period of time to do so.

The financial security and CPF savings of a not insignificant number of Singaporeans lie at the edge of a precipice. PUB should avoid giving the mis-impression that it is tipping them over.

Hyflux has been partially funded by 34,000 mom-and-pop Singaporeans, many of whom invested their retirement and Central Provident Fund savings in precisely the belief that water security is paramount.

Jeremy Teo Chin Ghee (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2019, with the headline 'Allow investors to renegotiate Tuaspring restructuring plan'. Print Edition | Subscribe