Tan Cheng Bock: Try answering to shareholders

Dr Tan Cheng Bock suggested that fellow candidate Mr Tan Kin Lian should attend annual general meetings to see how tough it is to face shareholders, reported The Straits Times.

He was rebutting comments made by Mr Tan last Friday that Dr Tan 'does not have good financial experience', as he is a non-executive chairman of Chuan Hup Holdings and 'not involved in the management of the company'.

"If you are in a public-listed company, you have to present at the AGM what the company has been doing, all the financial matters pertaining to the group," said Dr Tan.

He also pointed out that heads of a private company or co-operative do not have to answer to shareholders.

Mr Tan is the former chief executive officer of NTUC Income, while Dr Tan once held the post of non-executive chairman at Chuan Hup Holdings since 1991.

"When you face the shareholders, then you can feel the heat is on you.

"For 20 years I got to answer to my shareholders. It's not easy. He should attend some of the AGMs and see how difficult it can be," said Dr Tan.

He explained at a press conference after a walkabout at Orchard Cineleisure that Chuan Hup had grown from a shipping company to an investment holding company over the years.

Dr Tan said that his work there has positioned him for the president's post, which includes managing the country's reserves.

He also recalled how he had been part of the team tasked to purchase the first MRT trains, worth $5.4 billion, while he was a Mass Rapid Transit Corporation board member from 1983 to 1985, and a director of SMRT from 1987 to 1995.