- POSTED: 08 Oct 2013 18:36
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The Singapore government is maintaining a calibrated and stable approach towards the country's financial system. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said this was one of the key lessons learnt since the fall of Lehman Brothers five years ago.
SINGAPORE: The Singapore government is maintaining a calibrated and stable approach towards the country's financial system.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said this was one of the key lessons learnt since the fall of Lehman Brothers five years ago.
Mr Lee made this point in Bali, Indonesia during an interview with American broadcaster CNN, which aired in Singapore on Tuesday.
He told CNN that there have been a number of changes to financial rules in terms of liquidity requirements, and also in terms of the attitudes of regulators to the industry.
Mr Lee added that the government will continue to observe and adjust to manage the sector.
He said: "We would like to keep a calibrated, stable approach towards managing our financial system, financial industry - not so safe that you can't do business, not so free that you run unacceptable risks; somewhere in between keeping the risks manageable, but keeping a business environment where people can innovate, where people can meet new needs and where we can see when things are going wrong and step in before disaster happens."
On the ongoing South China Sea disputes, Mr Lee was asked if he is concerned about the "increasingly nationalistic tone" from both China and Japan.
Mr Lee said: "We are watching it carefully. I think these are very difficult issues to solve. They go back a long way.
"The claims from both sides are not very negotiable and it is very hard for any government to give up what it has claimed, because it will lose face and standing and domestic support. So you can only manage these issues, you cannot solve them."
Mr Lee also told CNN that Singapore's ministers, who are reputed to be among the highest-paid in the world, are compensated according to what their jobs are worth.
He was asked if he thought there will not be "so much dysfunction" if Washington lawmakers were paid more - in the context of the US government shutdown and US President Barack Obama's resulting absence from APEC meetings.
Mr Lee said: "First of all, we may have competitive salaries, but we are far from being the richest lawmakers in the world.
"I think we operate a clean system, an honest system. We pay people what their job is worth and what the quality of people is worth and we expect them to perform. And if they do not, well, they have to go, or the electorate will vote them out."