MPs to discuss Temasek’s investment in FTX, repealing S377A and amending the Constitution to protect definition of marriage
SINGAPORE: Temasek’s investment in collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX will be discussed at the next Parliament sitting, which starts on Monday (Nov 28).
Earlier this month, the state investment firm said it would write down its US$275 million investment in FTX, irrespective of the outcome of the cryptocurrency exchange’s bankruptcy protection filing.
More than 15 questions were raised by Members of Parliament (MPs) about Temasek’s investments and about FTX’s collapse.
MPs will also debate the Bill to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises sex between men, as well as the Bill to amend the Constitution to protect the definition of marriage.
MPs from the opposition Workers’ Party asked if the Government tracks the extent of investments by Temasek and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC.
MP Jamus Lim (WP-Sengkang) said that in light of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) proposed measures to reduce cryptocurrency trading risks, whether similar suggestions have been made to GIC and Temasek. He also asked if the Finance Ministry tracks the investments of GIC and Temasek.
MP He Ting Ru (WP-Sengkang) also asked if there are regulations or a governance framework as to the basic level of due diligence by key statutory boards and government companies handling government assets.
MP Leon Perera (WP-Aljunied) wanted to know if the Government will consider adding Temasek and GIC to the audit ambit of the Auditor-General’s Office and oversight by the Public Accounts Committee.
He also asked if the Government will consider creating a bipartisan standing committee to question Temasek and GIC on their performance, strategies, and risk management approaches, on a confidential basis.
MP Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim (PAP-Chua Chu Kang) asked about the impact of FTX’s collapse and about the due diligence or measures taken prior to investments in cryptocurrency trading platforms.
MPs Saktiandi Supaat (PAP-Bishan-Toa Payoh) and Mariam Jaafar (PAP-Sembawang) both asked about the value of Temasek’s investments in FTX and its subsidiaries.
Mr Saktiandi wanted to know whether the Government has any data on the exposure of Singapore investors to FTX in terms of the number of investors and the total value of their holdings.
Besides questions about Temasek’s investments, MPs also asked about the impact of the collapse of FTX.
MPs Tin Pei Ling (PAP-MacPherson), Lim Wee Kiak (PAP-Sembawang) and Desmond Choo (PAP-Tampines) wanted to know how many retail traders in Singapore were affected by FTX’s collapse and how this might affect Singapore’s financial market and economy.
Other MPs also asked about the regulations around cryptocurrency trading and the lessons learnt from the collapse of cryptocurrency exchanges such as Terra and FTX.
BILLS AROUND SECTION 377A
Five Bills will come to Parliament for a second reading, including one on repealing Section 377A of the Penal Code and another on amending the Constitution to protect the definition of marriage.
Both Bills were introduced on Oct 20.
The proposed legislative changes were expected after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his National Day Rally speech on Aug 21 that Section 377A, a colonial-era law in the Penal Code that criminalises sex between men, would be repealed.
But in order to maintain current family and social norms, which define marriage as between a man and a woman, Mr Lee said that constitutional amendments would be made to protect the current definition of marriage.
Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam tabled the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill to repeal Section 377A, while Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli introduced the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment No. 3) Bill to amend the Constitution.
Other questions raised by MPs include the workers affected by the recent tech layoffs and how the Government is helping such workers.
MPs also asked about the strategies around managing crowds at large-scale events and lessons learnt from recent stampede incidents in other countries.
More than 150 people died during a Halloween crowd crush in the Itaewon district of Seoul.
Singapore police later said that festive period crowd control measures, including restricting buskers from performing along Orchard at some times, were necessary.