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Durian diplomacy is apt name for S’pore, M’sia ties

In Malaysia on 30/08/2014 at 4:29 am
On Thursday, BT reported,
Agrobazaar opens in Kampong Glam – with durian diplomacy
Malaysian PM Najib gives PM Lee the spiky fruit; both sides affirm strong ties
Just as they did at their last retreat in Putrajaya in April, the leaders of Singapore and Malaysia engaged in a dose of durian diplomacy on Wednesday.
This time, it was at the official opening of an agro-food outlet called Agrobazaar Malaysia, located at Sultan Gate in the historic Kampong Glam district. The 464 sq m bazaar, which sells Malaysian produce such as fruit, sauces and coffee, is Malaysia’s first overseas branch of Agrobazaar.
During the opening ceremony, visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak presented his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong with a gift of durians, specifically the popular “musang king” variety, as well as an oil painting of them enjoying the spiky fruit during the April retreat.
Well the durian is a smelly, with a coating of thorns, and relations between the two countries are prickly and can stink: forever rowing.
Earlier in the week BT reported:

The arbitration process to settle a dispute between Singapore and Malaysia over development charges on certain parcels of former Malayan Railway land in Singapore has reached its final stage…. a spokesman from Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) revealed that the decision of the arbitration tribunal was expected “in a few months”.

This paves the way to potentially settle an outstanding issue in the Points of Agreement (POA) on whether Malaysia needs to pay Singapore a development charge on three parcels of land in Tanjong Pagar, Kranji and Woodlands.

This charge is a tax that is payable to the Singapore government to change the use of a land parcel. Singapore believes this tax must be paid, while Malaysia has argued otherwise.

The matter was eventually referred to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague, after Singapore and Malaysia reached an arbitration agreement in 2012.

Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to accept the arbitration award as final and binding. They also agreed that the decision would not affect the implementation of the POA …

 

 

More evidence PM is clueless about ordinary life in S’pore

In Political governance on 29/08/2014 at 4:39 am

It’s not juz eating cockles with mee siam which incidentally is at least an attempt in fusion food: Malay with Chinese.

Recently, PM was criticised by the usual anti-PAP cyber warriors, for comments he made at a dialogue session moderated by DBS CEO Piyush Gupta;  comments on the “divisive nature of the internet”. Actually I think, their comments show how self-centred are the critics.

This is because they missed something very important that he also said, while focusing on something that even my dogs* know is a PAP Hard Truth: “Internet is bad for the PAP. So rubbish and smear it.”

BT reported on 23 August that at the above gig, PM said “Our population is aging, we have to take care of our old folks, and give them assurance and security. But the purpose of life is not assurance and security. The purpose of life is to use that security in order to achieve something new and different, and do better than the people who came before.” Emphasis mine..

Well the words I highlighted show that he’s clueless (or insensitive?) about the importance of “assurance and security” to S’poreans, whether they vote for the PAP or not.

“Assurance and security” is something PMETs and their families (and the poor) need because their “purpose in life” is to pay-off their “affordable” 25-year HDB mortgages, or private property mortgages, and have enough to live on in retirement without “downgrading”, “lease-backs” (Uncle Leong shows how unfair are the terms) .or moving overseas (which is a great idea except that most S’poreans juz don’t want to move).

Because of “market-based” pricing mechanisms, is the “correct” pricing (Think CoEs and public housing),  pricing out of reach housing and cars for those without access to cheap credit? I suspect it is. 

When you think about it, govt must be thinking of “controlled” market, not “free” markets. .In both the property and CoE markets, the govt decides the availability of the product. Only the price is “free”. This is especially true of land: the government controls the supply of land for development, auctioning parcels at its own discretion to developers. The price that developers pay helps decide the value it then puts on land that is used to build HDB flats on. In the case of CoEs, there is, we are assured, a formula.

If the usual suspects had not been so self-centred, they could have accused the PM that his”$2m” annual salary, and his privileged background makes him clueless or indifferent, or boh chap about what matters most. And they would have a reasonable point.

——

*Dogs have the intelligence of a five-year old child. Better still, they can sniff out s**t. They’ll bark loudly at one of Roy’s and Hui Hui’s gigs. But will fall silent and wag their tails when Uncle Leong talks.

 

 

When will the last S’porean move on?

In Humour, Public Administration on 28/08/2014 at 4:31 am

A simulation by the South Korean parliamentary research service, shows the population there will decline from 50m today to 5m in 2172, 100,000 in 2379 – and total extinction before 2750. (Backgrounder: South Korea’s fertility rate of 1.3 children per woman, according to a 2012 World Bank estimate, which puts the country joint last in the birth stakes alongside nations including Singapore, Spain and Greece.)

I’m surprised that neither the population and talent unit in PMO  nor the Institute of Policy Studies have done such a study in order to alarm the sheep 60% who vote for the PAP.

The population unit and IPS have been known to do some really outlandish stuff. Remember the former’s Population White Paper was criticised by several scholars (Think Donald Low, ex civil servant and now in LKY School; and Yeoh Keong Lam, the retired chief economist of GIC.) for not being sound. Likewise, IPS’ defence of the White Paper was rubbishy.

Maybe, ST should be more constructive and nation-building? Or that wannabe Onion, New Nation?

 

 

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