Progress Singapore Party reveals other party members, all from different walks of life
A member of the Saudi military who was in the US for training opened fire at a naval base in Florida Friday. In the wake of the shooting that killed three people, the Trump administration has been repeatedly telling the public how sorry Saudi Arabia is about what happened.
The suspect, whom news outlets have identified as Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, killed three and injured seven others at Naval Air Station Pensacola before he was killed by local law enforcement, authorities said.
The incident has the potential to stress the alliance between the US and Saudi Arabia, but the president and other members of his administration seem determined to prevent that.
After expressing his personal sympathies, President Donald Trump tweeted Friday afternoon that King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had called the Trump to “express his sincere condolences.”
….The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2019
The suspect is said to have hosted a dinner party prior to the shooting where he and other Saudi students at the base watched mass shooting videos. Additionally, a Twitter page believed to belong to the suspect but that has since been suspended was reportedly filled with anti-American posts and Osama bin Laden quotes.
Speaking Saturday, Trump revealed that the Saudi Arabian leadership was “devastated” by the attack, adding that they will be involved in taking care of the families affected by the incident.
Trump on Pensacola shooting: "I spoke with the King of Saudi Arabia. They are devastated, Saudi Arabia. We're finding out what took place, whether it's 1 person or a number of people. The King will be involved in taking care of families & loved ones … they're going to help out" pic.twitter.com/6mAXc3HoGR
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 7, 2019
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also stepped in to highlight the feelings of his Saudi counterpart, Foreign Minister Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia.
I just spoke with Foreign Minister Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia who expressed his condolences and sadness at the loss of life in the horrific attack in Pensacola, Florida yesterday. The families and friends of those killed, and those wounded, will be in our thoughts and prayers.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) December 7, 2019
In response to Pompeo’s tweet, Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, tweeted: “It’s unnerving how eager everyone in this Administration is to be PR agents for the Saudis.”
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Saturday that he was not prepared to call the shooting an act of terrorism, perhaps because authorities and investigators have yet to determine a motive. Esper further explained that the incident at NAS Pensacola would not affect his decision making on US troop deployments to Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi Arabia is a longstanding partner of ours in the region,” he said.
After the tragic shooting Friday, Esper said in a statement that he is “considering several steps to ensure the security of our military installations and the safety of our service members and their families.” On Saturday, he clarified that entails boosting base security and strengthening the vetting process.
Trump has also said that perhaps the US needs to take a look at how the American military trains foreign nationals in the US.
SINGAPORE - President Halimah Yacob has been briefed by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and officials from the Ministry of Finance (MOF) on the Government's proposed expected long-term real returns on its assets.
These projections would be used to determine how much it will be able to tap into the nation's past reserves for the next Budget.
In a Facebook post on Sunday (Dec 8), President Halimah said the Council of Presidential Advisors (CPA) was also at the meeting last week.
Representatives from GIC, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Temasek were also present to share their views on the long-term market outlook, she said.
"This process is an important one within our annual Budget cycle," said Madam Halimah.
"We examine the assumptions used in the projections carefully, as the expected returns will be used to derive the amount the Government can spend from our past reserves under the Net Investment Returns framework."
Under the framework, the Government is allowed to take into the Budget up to 50 per cent of the expected long-term real returns on net assets invested by GIC, MAS and Temasek, after deducting liabilities such as Government bonds.
This ensures that any tapping into the reserves will be done in a sustainable manner, to provide future Governments with a steady stream of returns to support the Budget, said the MOF on its website.
Among the three investment entities, the Government's assets are mainly managed by GIC, a professional fund management organisation that MOF describes as a "fairly conservative investor" in mainly public markets and, to a small extent, alternative investments such as private equity and real estate.
Meanwhile, the Government also places deposits with MAS, Singapore's central bank, which holds its own assets as a statutory board on its balance sheet. A significant proportion of the MAS' portfolio is invested in liquid financial market instruments.
Lastly, the Government is also the sole equity shareholder of Temasek Holdings, an investment company managed on commercial principles to create and deliver sustainable long-term value.
Before the start of each financial year, the expected long-term real rates of return are proposed by the boards of GIC, MAS and Temasek, based on detailed study and assessments by investment professionals in the three agencies. A range of external expert views are also sought.
The Ministry of Finance then thoroughly reviews the methodologies used to propose the rates, and proposes the expected long-term real rates of return to be applied to the net assets invested by the three agencies.
The President will then consult with the CPA before she decides whether to agree with the Government's proposal.
In the event that the Government and the President do not agree to any of the expected rates of return, historical average rates of return from the past 20 years will be used to determine how much the Government can spend.
"The 20-year historical rate of return provides a neutral and pragmatic basis for resolving any dispute between the President and the Government, and avoids paralysing the government of the day," said the MOF on its website on how the process is carried out.
On Sunday, President Halimah said in her Facebook post that she and the CPA had "good discussions" with MOF as well as GIC, MAS and Temasek on macroeconomic issues and the basis on which the expected returns were derived.
"I will review the Government's proposal in consultation with the CPA," she added.