Dr Ng Cher Yew, a vet and now executive chairman of China-based abalone producer Oceanus Group, told The Sunday Times on September 27:
“I have three properties in Singapore and one in Shanghai. In 1997, I bought a 1,800 sq ft condominium unit in Bukit Timah for about S$1.1 million. It is rented out at S$5,200 a month.
“Last year, I bought a three-storey semi-detached house in the suburbs. It has a built-in area of 5,000 sq ft.
“Early this year, I bought a 2,400 sq ft condo unit in District 9 for slightly over S$5 million. It will be completed in two years’ time.
“I also own a 2,700 sq ft condo in Shanghai which is rented out for around S$4,000 a month. It was bought in 2005 for S$500,000. All my properties are fully paid- up.”
He also said he drives a Mercedes Benz S350 which he bought for S$328,000 last year and that he used to drive a BMW 7 Series.
I’ve met Ng many times.
I thought he was either an inarticulate person or a klutz.
He would haw and hum when asked how he was doing. He appeared evasive and secretive.
But maybe he thought I didn’t deserve his attention.
Maybe he was of the opinion that I wasn’t worthy of his time.
Obviously he wasn’t keen to kibitz with me.
Obviously he didn’t want to schmooze with me.
Imagine my surprise to read about him speaking so eloquently to The Sunday Times.
Inventorizing his assets.
Strange how some people won’t even be on the level with friends but would let it all out to strangers.
Another acquaintance Hsieh Fu Hua is a lot different. The ex chief executive of Singapore Exchange is more down to earth, humble even.
He has taken a major pay cut, with his annual remuneration package slashed by 44 per cent following a year of market turmoil.
According to SGX’s annual report released on September 24, Hsieh’s paycheck for the year ended June 30, 2009, came to S$4.02 million, down from S$7.18 million the previous year.
This was largely due to a 40 per cent drop in his yearly bonuses from S$5.3 million in FY08 to S$3.2 million in FY09, and the absence in FY09 of a long-term incentive, which in FY08 came to S$1.05 million.
Poor fella, hope he can cope with the loss of income.
Imagine your pay being cut by half.
That would devastate me if it happens to me.
Of course and needless to day, his half is not the same size as my half.
So I’m sure Hsieh can cope.
Anyway hope both Ng and Hsieh know that we aren’t wealthy until we have something money can’t buy.