GIC does offer more points of comparison since two years ago. It now provides the five- and 10-year return of a portfolio made up of stocks and shares that a pension fund might hold.

Over time though, Mr Ng admits that there may be more information disclosed as GIC tries to respond to the challenge of helping the public understand what it does.

"It's a constant communication process. That's because the benefit is not as clear as a one-to-one where when GIC earns $1, Singaporeans get the $1.

"GIC's investment returns flow through to the government budget which then allows the Government to spend on different areas."

While the relationship between Singaporeans, GIC and the Government is one challenge, another is attracting talented Singaporeans to work for it.

The organisation now employs about 1,200 people here and overseas. Foreigners are needed as GIC operates in global markets, but Singaporeans are key too.

This is to ensure that the "management leadership has a sufficient number of Singaporeans who are committed to the long-term development" of the organisation, noted Mr Ng, whose successor is a GIC veteran, Mr Lim Chow Kiat. Mr Ng remains as an adviser to GIC.

sushyan@sph.com.sg


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