In January 2006, Singapore's state-linked investment firm Temasek bought nearly 50 percent stake in Shin Corp. Some 3,000 protesters marched to the Singapore embassy behind a banner reading "Get Out, Temasek!"
Thousands of Thais have demonstrated outside the Singaporean embassy, demanding a state-linked investment firm scrap the takeover of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's telecoms giant Shin Corp.
"We will wait for an answer from the embassy until 4:00 pm (0900 GMT). If we don't get the answer or the answer is unsatisfactory, we will start boycotting Singaporean goods and services immediately," said Rosana Tositrakul, a member of the anti-Thaksin People's Alliance for Democracy.
Singapore's state-linked investment firm Temasek in January bought a nearly 50 percent stake in Shin Corp, which was founded by Thaksin before he entered politics, transferring control to his family as he took office in 2001.
Thaksin's relatives made 1.9 billion dollars on the tax-free Shin Corp deal, sparking public outrage that has snowballed into mass weekly protests demanding the resignation of the prime minister.
The sale has also raised concerns about foreign ownership of the company that has interests in telecoms, satellites, media and aviation.
Some 3,000 protesters marched to the Singapore embassy behind a banner reading "Get Out, Temasek!" So far there were no reports of skirmishes between police and protesters.
The protest came as Temasek on Thursday looked set to acquire full control of Shin Corp as the investment firm's tender offer to buy the rest of Shin Corp shares would expire later in the day.
In addition to the nearly 50-percent stake from Thaksin's family, retail investors holding about 16 percent of Shin Corp. had "agreed to accept Temasek's tender offer as of early March," a Temasek official said.
Temasek is expected to announce details of the tender offer on Tuesday, the official said, shrugging off rumors in Bangkok that Temasek might cancel the tender offer deal due to escalating political tensions against Thaksin.
Anti-Thaksin activist Rosana also said protesters would stage a protest in front of a building housing the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) Thursday.
Sources and Relevant Links:
AFP Thousands protest over Shin Corp deal outside Singapore embassy
9 March 2006
Thai protesters burn images of Singapore PM
17 March 2006
Protesters burned posters of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong outside the city state's Bangkok embassy on Friday as a campaign to oust his Thai counterpart, Thaksin Shinawatra, took a nationalist twist. Waving placards saying "Thailand Not for Sale, Get Out," several hundred protesters urged a boycott of all things Singaporean in answer to the takeover of telecoms giant Shin Corp by its state investment arm, Temasek, from Thaksin's family.