atans1

Posts Tagged ‘Management’

Reason why S’poreans migrating, not reproducing?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 24/03/2014 at 4:23 am

… Google managers need to keep their staff happy because, Mr Teller says, you don’t need your manager’s permission to leave a particular section if you believe they are behaving in an obnoxious manner.

“Not only will you leave but everyone will leave and that guy is going to find himself voted off the island by his own people,” he adds. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25880738) Emphasis mine.

Hmm bit like general elections. Opps forgot that we got the GRC system. So we can’t vote the PAP out even if another 11%  of the voters change their minds about the PAP in the next GE. Those who predict that in the next GE, the PAP will lose power should remember this in their lucid moments when they lapse into sanity.

Seriously, maybe the number of true blue S’poreans, migrating (http://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/spore-inc-are-local-talents-emigrating-too-fast/) and the low birth rate* is the way S’poreans are telling the PAP that the PAP sucks? Even if 60% of the voters continue voting for the PAP.

But never mind, maybe PAP is thinking like this?

After the uprising of the 17th of June

The Secretary of the Writers Union

Had leaflets distributed …

Stating that the people

Had thrown away the confidence of the government

And could win it back only

By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier

In that case for the government

To dissolve the people

And elect another?

(The writer, Bertolt Brecht, was a famous playwright,  a Hollywood screen writer in the golden years of Hollywood in the 1930s) and a Marxist activist.) http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/rewriting-lkys-views-on-fts-and-if-so-why/

Coming back to the Google manager:

You must reward people for failing, he says. If not, they won’t take risks and make breakthroughs. If you don’t reward failure, people will hang on to a doomed idea for fear of the consequences. That wastes time and saps an organisation’s spirit.

Finding new transformational ideas is like sending out a team of scouts to explore uncharted terrain for new mountains to climb, he says.

“If you shame them when they come back, if you tell them that they’ve failed you because they didn’t find a mountain, no matter how diligently they looked for or how cleverly they looked for it, those scouts will quit your company.”

But this is no excuse for those in Home Team. They are not creative types: they are employed to prevent things happening (breach of border security) or escalating (senior police commanders). From the I(ndian?) http://theindependent.sg/review-the-home-team/

BTW, I’m glad the Indian stopped the self-defeating habit of not allowing one to read its article unless one “Liked” it. I always moved on. I mean how to “Like” something before one read it? So PAPpish or CCP, not the spirit of the world’s largest democracy.

——————————————————–

*Update at 5.00am: Juz read this

Now the big problem is a rock-bottom low birthrate — with a fertility rate under 1.2 – barely  half that necessary to replace the current population, which threatens to turn this ultra-dynamic city state into a giant old-age home.

The reasons for this plunge, according to demographer Gavin Jones at the National University of Singapore, lie largely in such things as long working hours and ever-rising housing costs, something that has been boosted by foreign purchases of private residences. With large apartments increasingly expensive, Singaporeans, particularly those with children, often think of emigrating to less expensive or at least roomier places such as the United States, Australia and New Zealand. One recent survey estimated that over half of Singaporeans want to migrate; the World Bank estimates upward of 300,000 Singaporeans have moved abroad, accounting for almost one in 10 citizens. …

.One key element relates to focusing on how to nurture families once again, and to recapture that sense of Singaporean-ness that makes the place so special. It is not so much a matter of financial incentives — these have not worked — as in controlling housing costs, expanding space for families,  and most importantly, finding better ways to balance life and work.

Already some initial steps to humanize the metropolis are taking place. These include a remarkable expansion and improvement of green space, and attempts to decentralize work around the newer state housing estates and commercial developments. Steps to increase the size of apartments, repurpose aging shopping and office structure for housing as well as encouraging more home-based work could also prove helpful. These changes will be critical if the world’s most successful city wants to remain so in the decades ahead.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2013/07/18/singapore-needs-a-new-sling/

Scholar, ex-SAF chief & Temasek MD fails to turnaround NOL

In Media, Shipping on 14/08/2012 at 7:00 am

Last week, NOL posted a larger than anticipated bigger net loss (by 76%) for the second quarter compared to a year earlier, dragged down by one-off expenses linked to impairment losses and restructuring charges, it said.

Net loss for the three months ended June 29, 2012, stood at US$118 million, which widened from a net loss of US$57 million for the same period a year ago. This result – which marks the sixth straight quarter of losses – missed market expectations of a net loss of US$67.6 million, a Bloomberg poll of six analysts showed: by 76%. Loss per share for the second quarter stood at 4.57 US cents, against a loss per share of 2.21 US cents.

Excluding these charges, NOL would have registered a turnaround for its core earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) over the year on higher freight rates and cost savings, NOL claims. It said that market conditions remain uncertain.

Funnily our constructive, nation-building media didn’t remind us of its CEO’s credentials for becoming CEO: great experience except in shipping, a specialist industry. He ain’t even a navy man.

When, Maesk’s container division reports its latest results, I’ll compare its performance (boss is a true blue shipping man) to scholar’s performance at NOL. Last time, he did badly http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/with-ex-general-scholar-at-helm-nol-still-underperforms-maersk/.

Wonder how the soldier boy going to be SMRT’s CEO will perform? As a ex-SAF chief, the trains should run on time, and safely: unlike when a retailer ran it. Also train depots would be secured against vandals and terrorists.  But can he improve its financial numbers, something the NOL CEO (another ex-general) failed to do at NOL.

Update on 16 August at 1.06pm: How the constructive, nation-building BT on 14 August reports CEO’s achievement of making US$7m on its core earnings. Sounds a story from a celebrity magazine or from the North Korean media on its new leader.

How SMRT can spend more on maintenance while cont’d paying gd dividends

In Infrastructure on 13/08/2012 at 6:55 pm

Find sponsors for MRT stations Dubai style.

The station at Changi Int’l Airport can be renamed after Changi Airport, or SIA or any airline wanting publicity. Raffles City can be renamed after Robinsons or Westin. Raffles Place can be named after a bank sponsor while Temasek can sponsor Dhoby Gaut.

While new CEO as an ex-SAF chief and senior civil servant (also a scholar) should ensure that the trains run on time (in the early 20th century in the US, retired generals were in demand to run railwa s because the army like the railways were complex organisations), he might not be gd for profits. As I explained here, SMRT is now seeing itself as an engineering co, not a transport co, but problem is that engineers tend to gold-plate their operations.

Another M’sian mega-IPO

In Malaysia on 31/07/2012 at 5:30 am

 (Or “No FTs, but still the mega IPOs come)

Astro All Asia Networks has applied for approval to go public. The IPO will be worth M$4.7bn (US$1.5bn or S$1.9bn) a deal that would add to Malaysia’s dominant position in IPOs this year globally. Part of Ananda Krishnan’s empire, it was once a listco before he took it private a few yrs ago,

And its bourse’s CEO is local, not an FT nor is his number 2, unlike on SGX.

Related rant

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/another-co-decides-not-to-list-on-sgx/

SGX learns from FAS?

In Footie on 27/06/2012 at 9:13 am

(Or “Uniquely S’porean? Rewarding Failure Again”)

A few weeks ago, the ang moh FT CEO of SGX got his contract renewed for another three years. This despite:

– Making a spectacular takeover bid for ASX which no-one tot would succeed. It didn’t because, as widely expected, the Oz authorities blocked the deal. 

– Failing to get mega-listings. MU is not listing here despite reports that SGX made huge concessions on corporate governance to attract MU. Apparently the central bank was not amused with the concessions. Now even KL is ahead of us in the Asian listings league. S’pore Tak Boleh?

– SGX’s dark pool joint venture Chi-East closed in May as business volumes were weak and unlikely to improve.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong exchange agreed to buy L.M.E. for £1.38 billion (US$2.16 billion). It outbid several American rivals, including NYSE Euronext, for control of the 135-year-old London firm. SGX found the valuations too rich to play. To be fair, so do investors in the HKEx. Its share price dropped. But its plans to introduce Yuan-based contracts and Chinese players into the LME could work. Then the LME price would be cheap*.  

So one would have tot it would be about time for the ang moh FT to move on. Nope, he stayed on. Juz like in the case of the Lions where the ang moh FT coach remained despite years of underperformance while the players were moved on.

FYI, the number two at SGX is an ethnic Indian FT. The S’porean who was his equal moved on earlier this year. Not that the S’pore Gan was that gd: he allowed all the S-Chips to list.

Related posts: http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/temasek-meritocracy-at-work/ 

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/fas-learn-from-chelsea/

*Update: FYI, HKSx paid 180 times last yr’s earnings, or 46 times forward earnings.

Temasek: the gd, the bad and the ugly

In Energy, Temasek on 27/05/2012 at 9:27 am

Ang  moh financial commentator says nice things abt Temasek (Bang yr balls SDP, Chris Balding, KennethJ and TRE. I hope TRE reflects that its heloo TJS has never said the nasty things that the others have said abt our SWFs. In fact by saying that S$60bn is “small change”, he implies that they are doing a gd job. But how would he know? He was in the loop over 20 years ago.)

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2012/05/09/temaseks-triple-personality-bodes-well-for-returns/

As I said yesterday, our SWFs didn’t do extractive industries presumably because one LKY didn’t understand “miners”, he said a few yrs ago. Gd advice: given this (credit downgrade) a few weeks ago;  and this (billionaire stalker of underperforming US cos) revealed yesterday that he had bought a 7.6% stake in Chesapeake Energy Corp and called for the natural gas producer to replace at least four directors, saying the board has failed “in a dramatic fashion” in its oversight of management).

The background and details on Temasek’s stake: http://www.tremeritus.com/2012/04/29/temasek-flops-again/

Maybe, balls-up like this resulted in Temasek last week naming Boon Sim, former global head of mergers and acquisitions at Credit Suisse Group AG, as its president for North America. He will also work closely with teams to support its interests in Latin America and Europe.

Temasek … said it expects the markets to enter a “period of stress” for the next one to two years amid the European debt crisis, adding risks to investments http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-22/temasek-says-markets-entering-period-of-stress-in-next-2-years.html.

With ex-general, scholar at helm, NOL still underperforms Maersk

In Shipping on 25/05/2012 at 10:12 am

I was looking forward to comparing the 1Q results of NOL (world’s 6th largest container shipping co) and Maersk’s container division (largest in the world) because as a holder of a few NOL shares (“peanuts” but gd yield) I was interested in seeing how ex-defence chief Ng Yat Chung (and ex-Temasek senior MD) would perform. Mr Ng took over as CEO on I January 2012. He was made made executive director in April 2011. The retired CEO, a shipping man thru and thru, is now an adviser to the CEO.

At the time I asked, “Wonder what relevant experience he brings to the shipping co? I can only think of the experience in a managing big complex organisation. But then I couldn’t think of any reason for his becoming a senior MD at Temasek.”

Well NOL, and Maersk’s container division both came out with unexpectedly very bad sets of results, showing that the container shipping industry is in worse shape than expected with a weak global economy, expensive fuel and plenty of capacity coming on-line.

But NOL’s numbers were still worse than Maersk despite its focus on moving stuff between East Asia and the the US. Maersk also moves a lot of stuff to from East Asia Europe, in addition to the US.  As readers will know, the US economy has performed better than the European economies in 1Q 2012.

Maesrk’s revenue was up 7% to US$6.31bn, while NOL’s revenue fell 3% to US$2.38bn. As to losses, NOL lost US$254m, while Maersk lost US$537m. Simplisticly, if Maersk had NOL’s revenue, it would have lost US$203m, i.e. 20% lower. But then along the same lines, NOL shld have made money, not lose money (US$10m) in 1Q2011.

Whatever it is, having a scholar, ex-senior MD from Temasek, and retired general as CEO of NOL, is of no benefit whatsoever when it comes to shareholder value. SIGH.

Let’s hope it’s different in the cabinet, where we have as newbies one ex-admiral and one ex-general, both of whom are scholars.

Maybe relevant, related post?

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/smrt-mgt-failures-what-does-it-say-abt-saf/

SMRT: “Cowboys” were right

In Corporate governance, Infrastructure on 14/05/2012 at 8:52 am

Since the trains started breaking down towards the end of last yr, bloggers and posters (not I) have been attacking SMRT for putting profits before safety, and disregarding the engineers’ advice (though without having a clue abt the said advice). Yacoob’s exemplar for the new media, the constructive, nation-building media were deafening in their silence on this national issue. I was silent because I was trying to figure out if I shld go buy some SMRT shares.

Well, based on the comments by the chairman, Koh Yong Gua, reported by ST and ST’s headline on an inside page, the inhabitants of cowboy towns were correct. (Explain that Yacoob and DPM Teo.)

“SMRT to refocus on its engineers” read the headline. This implied that SMRT had lost its focus on engineers somewhere along the line, assuming it once had such a focus.

Mr Koh said that “SMRT will be repositioned an engineering company”, begging the question “What was its earlier positioning?”. Retailer, property developer, financial engineer, or cash cow for Temasek? Since SMRT was listed in 2000, Temasek has received $694.3m in dividends (I’ve including the dividend declared recently).

The promotion of Mr Khoo Hean Siang in March 2011 to COO was meant to show the importance of engineers, he said. The previous COO who was “removed” was not a technical person. Wonder what was he? Ex-SAF officer or financial man? With the CEO a retailer, it surprises me that until 2011, the COO was not a technical man. And that board meetings did not include a very senior engineer in attendance.

Actually, I think Mr Koh still hasn’t got it. SMRT is not an engineering company. It is a company whose main business is moving large numbers of people around S’pore safely, and in reasonable comfort (most of the time). By focusing on engineers and positioning SMRT as an engineering company, he could be laying the seeds for a serious problem somewhere along the track. Investors in the West have found that companies dominated by engineers tend to goldplate processes and systems. Siemens, Rolls-Royce, Westinghouse, Boeing, Airbus and even GE, had to be run by non-engineers before shareholders benefitted.  

Commuters may say so what? So long as it is safer and doesn’t breakdown, power to the engineers. The problem is that goldplating is expensive, and eventually someone has to pay. This is likely to be the commuter (via fare increases) or his avatar or alter ego the taxpayer.

I was planning to buy into a rights issue when one is annced, as I expect. But given the positioning as an “engineering company” and its “refocus on its engineers”, I think I’ll give the stock a miss for the time being. But never ever bet against Temasek when it comes to a local company.

Related post:

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/smrt-quiet-re-nationalisation/

SIA: All the fault of previous CEO?

In Airlines on 13/05/2012 at 2:28 pm

In a posting on SIA’s results, someone in Oz who seems to know the airline biz laid the blame on the previous CEO. I reproduce it because although I know bugger-all abt the airline biz, I know poster was right abt the property sale (can’t remember the dollar values though):

Chew Choon Seng, the previous SIA CEO from 2003 to 2010,sold the SIA building in Singapore for $250 mil, and the new owner sold it away for $550 mil barely 6 months later. He gave ground handling subsidiary SATS to shareholders as an in-specie dividend, thus making millions in the process through this special dividend and losing control of ground handling in his hub.

He barely ordered any aircraft and kept shrinking the airline, in the name of protecting “yields” that he wanted but could never achieve. He introduced an enormous and absolutely space-inefficient business class, and has the lowest density 77W of any airline, as well as the lowest density A380 of any airline (for the all upper-deck business class A380 configuration)

He cut route after route, and refused to acknowledge Emirates as a competitor (which SIA has only done like, yesterday presumably)

Initially, SIA thought they could charge a price premium for those enormous seats, but today they are among the cheapest network carriers out of Australia and Europe in business class. Low density and low fares = disaster for yields

The only thing protecting SIA today is their strong balance sheet, and the fact that they’re sitting on billions of dollars in cash (which they don’t seem to be doing anything with) and no debt – but that was a result of the hard work of the management before Chew Choon Seng.

And the sad thing is, he inherited an airline in 2003 which was unrivalled in terms of profitability, network and inflight product. (Who had heard of Emirates in 2003). The Singapore economy has been booming for the last decade, and tourist arrivals have surged beyond belief. Labour relations in the airline are healthy, their cost base WAS very competitive (without the low density aircraft), and they operate a single hub operation which, compared to QF and other legacy carriers, should theoretically make their operations far more efficient.

They have also had a surging local currency, which should have helped their fuel prices in SGD. (Do note that from 2002 till today, AUD:SGD has been stuck in a 1.20-1.30 range, not withstanding a few months after the Lehman Brothers collapse, so the SGD basically has risen in tandem with the AUD against the USD for the last decade)

And yet SIA has shrunk through the last 10 years. It’s not like they can blame any catastrophe other than themselves for the dismal financial performance last year.

SMRT mgt failures: What does it say abt SAF?

In Infrastructure on 11/05/2012 at 10:19 am

“The experts questioned having the bus bridging services ply a route mirroring the entire train line as this may not be the most effective way to move people. They suggested that the bus bridging services should ferry commuters to one to three stations, or to the next working station.”

Huh? Having been lucky enough not to kanna caught in one of these disruptions (my 87-yr old mum on her only second MRT outing was at a station when a disruption occured), I’m surprised to learn that this wasn’t done or that it isn’t now SOP?

Given that it is a well-known fact, I believe, that retired SAF officers are given senior jobs at SMRT (presumably because they have the experience of managing large and complex organisations), I’m surprised that foreign experts recommended the following “fairly common sense and not rocket science” command and control procedures:

http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore/EDC120510-0000079/Foreign-experts-give-tips-at-SMRT-inquiry

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1200227/1/.html

We need genuine Talents to help us run our public transport systems, not ex-SAF officers, M’sian PRs or PRC bus drivers that we have been getting. And no “ang moh tua kee” attitude when getting Talents please. Hongkies, Japs, Taiwanese and Koreans who speak Inglish should be considered. No PRCs because China’s MRT systems are very new.

As to our defence, are we spending money foolishly on hardware, when what we need are a few good men? The government should be worried. It’s not us “lesser” citizens are at risk. It’s the FTs and rich S’poreans who need protection. An Indonesian pirate chief after reading of SMRT’s failures despite employing retired SAF colonels, may be tempted to raid Sentosa Cove, plunder it and kidnap people.

The Germans tot China could be the next growth market in 1975

In Political economy, Political governance on 17/02/2012 at 5:05 am

The German way:

– Long term thinking; and

do not have ‘return on capital employed’ as their most important goal. Contribution to society is always a very important point.” This should be a lesson to the government, Temasek and its TLCs, and other GLCs who are obssesd with two variants of “return on capital” : “returns on investment or equity.

Did the S’pore government which claims that “too much democracy” (I’m summarising it’s view) is not conducive to decision-making for the long-term, see China as the next growth market in 1975? I doubt it. S.poreans had difficulty getting permission from the S’pore government to visit China.

In October 1975 – 37 years ago, when China was in the chaos of the Cultural Revolution – the Financial Times described German policy towards the country: “China could be the next growth market”.

Talk about long-term thinking. In ultra-unlikely circumstances – where Chairman Mao was excoriating capitalism and the new Chinese constitution talked of a “dictatorship of the proletariat” – German capitalists had identified the big new market: the People’s Republic of China.

“The West German approach is typical of the very long-range view that German industry has taken,” said the FT.

“At the heart of the approach lies the cultivation of a market, even if the short-term results are not over-encouraging.”

Or take this from Die Zeit in the same year: “The image which Germany is trying to project in the largest and most populous developing country in the world is not that of a major political power, but rather of the most important industrial country in the world, a country whose tool-making and mechanical engineering can compete successfully on the world market.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17017217

And this should be a lesson to the govwernment, Temasek and its TLCs, and other GLCs, do not have ‘return on capital employed’ as their most important goal. Contribution to society is always a very important point.”

OCBC: Standards even lower than PM?

In Banks, Political governance on 19/01/2012 at 5:42 am

PM said abt his ministers as reported in the media: Negligent or dishonest ministers will be sacked, but short of that, there is a need to handle exits decorously and with dignity – and not turn them into public spectacles that deter more good people from entering politics.

“If a minister doesn’t perform well despite his best efforts, then I will move him to a less demanding portfolio where he is able to perform or, if necessary, I may have to phase him out discreetly,” he said. “Not every person who comes into government will succeed as minister. It’s a difficult job.”

What the Fish? Where’s the accountability? Looks like once a minister, can skive or tuang, juz need to show trying. No wonder Lim Hng Kiang is still a minister. Bet you he is the MR3 minister who gets more than other ministers except PM and DPMs. He’s got the senority being a cabinet minister since 1994. Raymond Lim and Mah should cry,”Not fair, PM”, and “Why us, and not Yacoob?”.

But WTF? OCBC is going one step “betterest”.

“After the succession, OCBC’s corporate bank will be divided into corporate banking and commercial banking, which will be led by Mr George Lee, currently head of investment banking, and Mr Linus Goh, currently head of enterprise banking and financial Institutions”.

I mean OCBC’s investment bank is a complete failure and the guy running it will run the corporate bank? Albeit one that is less impt than the previous corporate bank. At least PM moves duds to portfolios where he thinks they can’t do much damage. OCBC moves an underperformer to where he can damage the brand seriously.

Think I’ll stick to UOB, that I hold via Haw Par.

Citigroup: Its day is coming

In Banks, GIC on 12/01/2012 at 5:15 am

 UBS and Citigroup are stocks that the SDP, and KennethJ use to beat up GIC (and its then executive director) regularly

This explains why Citigroup might be the stock to own.

 Citi’s a strange creature. It’s dysfunctional. Its never missed a major financial crisis (loans to the developing world and US property loans in the late 1970s and 1980s; LBO loans in the late 1980s; dotcom stock recommendations in the late 1990s; and sub-prime mortgages recently). But at the operational level, it produces good managers who are in demand when it comes to running medium-sized banks in developing countries. The CEOs of DBS and OCBC were from Citi, as was  the CEO of RHB Babk.

Three Cheers for VivianB, Pls Go Yaacob

In Infrastructure, Political governance on 04/01/2012 at 5:31 am

No, I’ve not gone wacko like Quan Yifeng on the three occasions she was found guilty of mischief (twice) or criminal violence (one). (Err wonder if the tea or teas she was promoting had the effect of lowering or raising her wacko EQ?).  But despite all my previous rants abt VivianB, I think he deserves credit for acknowledging that there is a problem with the flood control system along Orchard Road. I mean the new CEO of PUB was in late December still in denial over the matter (S’poreans were complacent according to him, imitating SMRT’s CEO), witness the “ponding” media release.

This was shumething Yaacob refused to acknowledge even daring to claim that the flooding at Orchard Road was the fault of a 50-year flood. Yah great excuse. Two such floods in less than two months.

No but thaz not reason why he has to “move on”. As Arts minister, he is responsible for allowing one Melvyn the Dodger to perform at a venue that belongs to the state. The National Musuem website even had this

Dreaming Debussy : Melvyn Tan, Piano Solo

Venue Exhibition Gallery, Basement
Date Thurs 5 Jan & Fri 6 Jan 2012, 8pm.

Melvyn Tan opens the series …

DPM Teo rightly said years ago , Whether such NS defaulters, who have answered for their offences in Court and paid the penalty, should be eventually accepted back into our fold, is not something that MINDEF can determine. It is for society to decide. And society will also look at whether such individuals, apart from having paid a penalty, are sincerely contrite for having failed to serve our nation, and whether they have attempted to make amends.

(Note that DPM Teo admitted that the Dodger had gamed the system, Melvyn Tan’s case has highlighted an inadequacy in penalties for those who have defaulted for so many years that they are no longer able to discharge their National Service obligations in full. Perhaps MINDEF should have acted earlier. I concede that. But MINDEF will now be acting to address this inadequacy by asking the Prosecutor to press for jail sentences in serious cases of NS defaulters. This will help to send a clear signal that defaulting on National Service is not acceptable.

By allowing Melvyn the Dodger to perform in the National Museum (albeit the Basement), Yaacob is saying, on behalf of the cabinet, that dodging NS is acceptable. Will he and Mrs Yaacob grace one of these nights to show S’poreans that NS is for losers? And as a sign that his sons will give two fingers to their NS liabilities?

Yaacob kanna snookered? As I’ve written, Melvyn … gave two fingers to S’pore, and now to the performing arts elite, he is a heloo. What is beyond me is why the performing arts elite want him back? To put the noses of ordinary S’poreans out of joint? Or because he charges nominal fees because the elite treats him as a heloo, not as the pariah he deserves to be treated as? And why does the government allow this elite to get away with this? Hey PM, the voters have spoken. One FT MP sneering NSers is enough.  Voters also don’t care for self-appointed elites too much.

He was back last year for a concert, but ST didn’t cover his return, so only the artistic elite knew he was back. This year, the elite is determined to make us S’poreans eat crow over him?

SMRT SVP is great believer in shareholder value?

In Infrastructure on 18/12/2011 at 2:03 pm

Juz wondering if anywhere in any other first world city transport system got someone so dedicated to shareholder interests  like senior vice-president for communications and services, Mr Goh Chee Kong, who said last Friday, “If you are stuck inside a train, never smash the windows or force the doors open. Stay calm and wait for help”.

But what if passengers are in great discomfort or suffocating to death in the dark because the back-up system that was supposed to activate emergency lights within the carriages and provide ventilation was not working? And passengers don’t know when help is arriving because the driver is not authorised to tell them, or he doesn’t know?

Still no smash windows to breath fresher air, Mr Goh?

The reasonable implication of what Mr Goh says is that SMRT (remember he is SVP) prefers S’poreans to suffer great discomfort or die rather than damage SMRT property.

Shareholders will be pleased that they have someone, like Mr Goh managing SMRT, who is so concerned about shareholder value that he would rather people die than damage SMRT property.

I’ll go buy some SMRT shares tomorrow. With managers like him, nothing for shareholders to worry about neh?

Naming & shaming underperformers in footie and other national teams

In Footie on 06/12/2011 at 6:16 am

I knew our footie teams were not gd. But I didn’t know they were this bad, winning in 2011 only 24%, or seven of 29 matches, across all age groups. The full national squad won only one of seven games (14.2%) played this year, not counting friendlies.

A year ago the Lions team could only remain in the group stages of the AFF Suzuki Cup, and the players and coach Radojko Avramovic were criticised. Our footie authorities did shumething unique, not seen in footie. They sacked the team but kept the coach even though the coach had been around for a decade. When an EPL, Serie A or La Liga team does badly, the manager (we call him “coach”) gets sacked. They don’t dismiss the players and build a new team around the manager.

But if the Lions are replaced again, but the Lions’ coach remains unchanged, it would again remind me of what Bertolt Brecht German and Marxist playwright and poet   wrote. After an uprising in East Germany that was brutally crushed, he wrote:

After the uprising of the 17th of June

The Secretary of the Writers Union

Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee

Stating that the people

Had forfeited the confidence of the government

And could win it back only

By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier

In that case for the government

To dissolve the people

And elect another?

And while I’m on failure in sports, three cheers for Dr Tan Eng Liang. After the SEA Games in November, he clinically and dispassionately assessed the athletes and sports bodies, giving grades A to D based on medals won, or not won. He gave a D to eight sports – sepak takraw, weightlifting, archery, basketball, football, golf, dragon boat and petanque. They didn’t win a single medal.

He said, “I will make some recommendations to the SNOC and expect the players and NSA (national sports association) to do something with the situation. There could be tightening of selection criteria for example, sports that didn’t get any medals, we might be more strict with selection.”

As taxpayers money and national pride are involved, he is right expect high standards from the sports bodies and athletes.

Related post: http://atans1.wordpress.com/?s=footie

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