I’ve been following the mini-bond issue for quite some time now. In a nutshell, these products have been rendered nearly valueless with the collapse of Lehman, and people started complaining that the products had been marketed to them as low-risk (or even risk-free). Apparently banks in Hong Kong are now offering to buy back the mini-bonds, whereas Singapore has just announced that it won’t do the same thing – it will instead adopt a system where the individual investors are left to shoulder the burden of proof in order to be compensated.
I’m not going to comment on the issue though – there’s probably enough being said about it right now. What I found quite interesting was the above picture (and caption) that was proudly emblazoned across the page in ST‘s print edition together with this article. I may be reading too much into it, but it seems like the press was attempting to show how disruptive the situation in Hong Kong is, which is why we shouldn’t “follow HK”.
Another interpretation I arrived at, however, was this – if the people do not fight for their rights, they will not reap the benefits. Is it possible instead that our (recently-relaxed) passive demonstrations are simply ineffective? I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the intended message, though, which is perhaps why they decided to use Heng Swee Keat’s profile for the online version instead.