atans1

Posts Tagged ‘Population’

Why Japs smarter than Singkies

In China, India, Japan, Vietnam on 21/06/2014 at 5:18 am

http://im.ft-static.com/content/images/c272b0ac-d4f9-11e3-adec-00144feabdc0.img.

By 2050, elderly (65 and over) almost 40% of population

Next to Japan only. But no robots here, only FTs.

Japs smarter than us in avoiding the problems that FTs bring, like pushy Pinoys, wanting to change PM from Prime Minister to Pinoy Minister and SPF to S’pore Pinoy Force. But then they have friends like William wan, Kirsten Han, AWARE and Maruah. Their only public opposition is Gilbert Goh and Goh Meng Seng.

The govt should remember that when the Pinoys burnt our flag in the 1990s and it protested, the Pinoy govt gave the S’pore govt the finger, telling it nothing wrong with burning our flag.

 

Population White Paper: PAP’s suicide note?

In Political governance on 22/02/2013 at 7:18 am

“The longest suicide note in history” was a phrase used by British Labour Party MP Gerald Kaufman to describe his party’s 1983 election manifesto. .

The manifesto, pressing all the right buttons for Labour activists, but almost no-one else in the UK, called for unilateral nuclear disarmament, withdrawal from the European Economic Community, abolition of the House of Lords, and the re-nationalisation of recently privatised industries like British Telecom, British Aerospace, and the British Shipbuilding Corporation.

Well, in two elections in 2011, S’poreans expressed their anger at the “FTs are betterest policy” that even the govt has admitted led to strained public transport infrastructure, and which many S’poreans blame for high property prices and inflation, overcrowding, alienation and social disorder.

Well methinks the Population White Paper could become the new “longest suicide note in history” especially if ESM Goh Chok Tong’s sneers reflect the attitude of the PAP towards S’poreans concerns about an overcrowded S’pore swarming with FTs.. With PM, DPM Teo and the defence and the foreign minister (only Tharman is AWOL among the PM’s most trusted ministers) trying to assure us that the govt was listening to our unhappiness, ESM said, “But cannot say that I think much of speakers’ rhetoric. Too political, too one-sided, appealing to emotions only and not shedding light on important issues.”

If PM doesn’t give ESM a tight slap soon, PM’s and the govt’s cred will take another beating. Ministers must know that they have to listen more closely to us, as they have promised to do. If ESM gets away with his comments, what’s the worth the ministers’ promises?

Another reason why the PWP could be the new “longest suicide note in history” is because immigration is one of those issues that has a way of turning very toxic very quickly, as politicians from Britain and France to Malaysia and China can easily confirm.

The funny thing is that the PAP govt. could have avoided the problem by not laying its “We love FTs” cards so brazenly and openly. The White Paper could have focused just on the need to breed more, and how to do it. The govt had already promised to a sceptical public that it would reduce the “FTs by the truckload” policy. It had already started addressing the infrastructure issues by throwing our money on public transport, and housing.

It could have juz kicked the issue of having a lot more people here by 2030 into the “long grass” as the expression goes. Or at least until after the next GE. Yet as Uncle Leong pointed out the annual projections for PRs and new citizens, exceed 2011 numbers.

The PM should have rebuilt the trust that the PAP govt once had by focusing on improving our quality of life, using our money.

Instead, he chose to annoy me, and anger many of my fellow S’poreans. Has the PAP lost the will to live? Like the UK Labour Party in 1983? Or is it juz hubris at work?

Finally a foreign journalist’s take on the protest http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2013/02/protest-singapore

——–

*Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer compared the 2012 Republican House Budget to the above manifesto (in terms of comparable unpopularity) and then remarked about the House Budget, “At 37 footnotes, it might be the most annotated suicide note in history.” — Wikipedia.

“HK finds room for 7.2 million people”

In Hong Kong, Political governance on 20/02/2013 at 5:40 am

That was the headline of a SunT article in the same issue that downplayed the protest at Hong Lim Green, a downplaying that not only got me annoyed but upset a retired senior ink-wielding Imperial Storm Trooper http://berthahenson.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/reporting-hong-lim-park/.

One can only assume that as the same issue carried a front page story on why according to PM, S’pore is a great place to breed, that the story filed from HK was meant to reinforce the view that the 6.9m number that had gotten 5,000 S’poreans to protest was no big deal: their reactions were “emotional” , “unbalanced” or “not shedding light on important issues”*.

Unfortunately for ST, the article contained a table scan0001  comparing the land use in HK and S’pore. Two comparative figures stand out

– Land Use

HK        S.pore

1108       710 sq km

– Country parks and nature reserves

HK         S’pore

738*           57 sq km**

*66.6% of Land Use

**8%

Need I say more on why S’poreans are upset? Especially as the 8% grren space includes the Central Catchment area which will be ripped apart to accommodate the planned projected FT expansion

ST has rightly been given a lot of stick for its coverage of the 6.9m debate. But two cheers to it for the land usage comparison table which sabos the PM’s and his govt’s assertion that 6.9m people doesn’t mean living in a slum. Despite all the extra land and green spaces, even SunT’s HK eporter admits that life isn’t that comfy.

And “Yes’ fair-minded readers, and PAPpies can bitch that I used the comparison stats unfairly, but hey the PAP govt** and allies in the media and the think-tanks (ISEAS is an honourable exception), ain’t playing fair in trying to persuade us that living like battery-hens is high quality living.

*Er how can the PM, defence minister etc say that they are listening and have learnt from when one ESM Goh Chok Tong makes these remarks? PM should give him a tight slap to show that the and his govt are sincere in caring for S’poreans, unlike GCT. Remember during his premiership, FTs were allowed to sneak in under the radar. And our fears were dismissed.

***Donald Low, a senior fellow at the LKY School of Public Policy and a former senior civil servant, has criticised the white paper, “wasn’t even a References section to show what research the writers of the paper had done, what social science theories they relied on, what competing theories/frameworks they looked at … There was also a surprising lack of rigorous comparison with other countries that have gone through, or are going through, a similar demographic transition.”

ST editor calls leading economists and us daft

In Economy, Humour, Political economy, Political governance on 12/02/2013 at 6:06 am

According to ST editor Han Fook Kwang in his weekly SunT column (pg 37) “it isn’t possible for ordinary Singaporeans to absorb and fully understand all the arguments and implications. arguments and implications highlighted in the Population White Paper”. Hence our opposition. Hello Mr Han, so how come four leading S’porean economists, scholars all wrote this http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/02/09/economics-myths-in-the-great-population-debate/ (I’m linking to this republishing ’cause of the comments section)

So these four are daft too?

He was riffing on what the PM said, “Govt could have presented Population White Paper better”. And going further anddaring to call us openly what PM didn’t dare?

So how come,

– the Chief Communications Officer of the govt, s/o the former disgraced president,

– an unemployed MP who was the head of the regional business of an int’l PR firm,

– the editorial teams at SPH and MediaCorp,

– CoC Yaacob and his team at the Ministry of Truth & Spin, and

– the numerous PR senior managers in the govt and its agencies,

didn’t advise the PM and DPM Teo to take account of our daftness when presenting the PWP?

They too out of touch with us daftees? Or they dafter than us? Or did PM and DPM Teo ignore their advice? Hence they more dafter than everyone else in S’pore.

The ST Managing Editor, as a member of the Dark Side, should be using his skills to prevent us from thinking? Not provoking us to think “unhealthy”, non-constructive tots: like there are daft Men In White on the Dark Side.

With friends like this, the govt …

In Political governance on 08/02/2013 at 6:09 am

I was stunned when I read this report in ST on what PAP MP Seah Kian Peng.said on Monday in parliament

“The Government does not always know best, he acknowledged. “It may only know what is efficient, what is rational, what costs the most, or the least.”
Sometimes, he pointed out, it is right to do what the people want. “Not because we think it is right, but because they do.”
The Government must resist the “self-righteous, sanctimonious chant that ‘We do what is right, rather than what is popular’”, he said.”

He kicked (not juz slapped as what Low and gang would do) three Hard Truths. That:

– efficiency, rationality, cost effectiveness are what matters in policy making;

– what the people want should be ignored if it contracdicts what the PAP govt thinks is rational, efficient and cost effective.

– “We do what is right, rather than what is popular” is the way to remain in power.

Somehow I doubt he would be around in the next GE.

On the second day of the population debate, Inderjit Singh said there is a need to take a five-year breather to “solve all the problems created by the past policies of rapid economic and population growth”, said stressing the need to find a better balance between economic growth and social cohesion.

The numbers added to the Singapore population – in terms of PRs and citizenships handed out – must be more exact, and not planned on the basis of “hoping we hit some number”.

“We missed the mark the last 10 years, and are already paying a high price for that mistake,” he said. “As a government, we need to rebuild the trust and confidence among Singaporeans that our citizens matter most to us, and that we are willing to take a break from our relentless drive for growth to solve their problems. Let’s delay the plans for population growth for now, and focus on nation building.”

Hear, hear, Mr Singh.

And outside parly, Dr Tan Cheng Bock had earlier said something similar. Lest, we forget, he was a PAPpy, in the days when PAPpy MPs were respected by the public at large.

These are people that the govt should listen to, though pigs will fly first.

Here are “friends” the govt should give the finger to: despite having a reputation of being pro-business, not pro-citizens, the govt was savaged by business groups from having such a “low” cap on FTs. There was

– a letter from  the Singapore Business Federation;

– another from the S’pore Int’l Chamber of Commerce; and

– an open letter from nine foreign chambers of commerce (American, Australian, British, Canadian, European, French, Japanese, New Zealand and German chambers,

voicing their concerns over the impact of manpower constraints due to the “stringent” policies controlling the inflow of foreign labour. If give them 50% cap, they will ask for 75% cap, is my view.

The Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME) as usual whined and bitched for more, “We, therefore, call upon the Government to provide SMEs with more incentives to develop and improve their human resource systems and processes. Due to their size and resource constraints, many SMEs face difficulties in managing human resource. To attract and keep talent, SMEs need more resources to address employees’ problems and to provide better work-life balance, for instance. Without such ability, companies will likely see high employee turnover rate, which makes them less willing to send staff for training. As a result, we see a vicious circle, where productivity improvement remains a challenge.”

ASME (what an appropriate name) also felt that the White Paper’s projection of 3% productivity growth this decade and 2% in the next was “overly optimistic”.

Noting that companies continue to grapple with shrinking margins and resources [yah and the SME bosses keep buying even bigger houses and cars}, it said that a reckless drive for higher productivity in this context may lead to higher costs and even inflation.

“If these productivity gains do not materialise, the Government must be prepared to relax its tight control over the workforce to prevent the economy from being adversely affected. A buffer in manpower supply is critical to enable both the economy and local SMEs to better respond to rapid and multifaceted changes in external and internal economic conditions.”

What this tells us and the PAP government is that  the interests of businesses here (big and small, foreign and local) are not the same as that of ordinary Singaporeans. They want wages to be as low as possible to increase profits. Singaporeans will only benefit if higher economic growth (the PAP’s ultimate Hard Truth or is it a shibboleth or a sacred cow?) results in an increase in real wages.

The government should publicly repudiate that “Waz good for biz, is gd for S’pore”, a mantra of the 1990s. (I was in the central bank in the early 1980s, and I know people like Dr Goh were cautious in trusting businesses to do the right things by S’pore. The knew the importance of businesses to the economy, but that didn’t mean they trusted businessmen and executives.

The govt should listen to those who care for S’pore and who spoke out against the assumptions of the white Paper, be they be friends (like the PAP MPs and Dr Tan) or foes (WP, NSP, SDP, SPP etc: ya generous to WP, it’s CNY) or ex-govt officials like Donald Low, Lam KY). It should ignore fair-weather friends like the business associations. Remember businesses and their associations can’t vote, ordinary S’poreans can.

White Paper fiasco: Who goofed?

In Economy, Media, Political economy, Political governance on 03/02/2013 at 6:39 am

So we now know that the 6.9m figure in the White Paper is a “worse-case scenario”

– “Reiterating that the 6.9 million figure should be viewed as “the worst-case scenario”****, Mr Khaw wrote: “We hope we do not reach that figure; we may never reach that figure.”

–” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said … he fully agrees with Mr Khaw’s explanation that a 6.9 million population is not a target, but just a worst-case, aggressive scenario the Government must prepare for.”

(Excerpts from MediaCorp)

So why didn’t the media tell us this when the media reported the White Paper? The media reported the figure of 6.9m as though it was set in reinforced concrete that had platinum bars rather than steel bars. Surely when the staff of the s/o the disgraced president, and Yaacob*gave the local media their instructions local journalists and editors the customary briefing, they made it clear that the 6.9m figure is a “worse-case scenario”? And that the figure was used to ensure that there would be adequate infrastructure should this happen, which the government didn’t want to happen. And that if it didn’t happen, S’poreans would have even better facilities for which they should thank the PAP on bended knees.

But these messages were never reported. They came to the attention of “the inhabitants of cowboy towns” who were happily shooting holes into the White Paper, and other S’poreans only when the PM Facebooked and Khaw blogged these messages.

Then the local media parroted reported what the PM and Khaw had said.

Either the local media are staffed by stupid people, or are full of subversives, who take their 30 pieces of silver ** while saboing the PAP government. Or maybe the going rate is a lot more than 30 pieces of silver? And they are not getting it? Hence the government’s messages didn’t get broadcasted.

Or were the minions of s/o Devan Nair, and Yaacob, incompetent, stupid spinners? Journalists and editors are claiming that they were never ordered briefed that the 6.9m figure was a “worse-case scenario”. They claim to be as surprised as us netizens that the PM and Khaw are now making this claim.

Whatever it is, if WP Low is to get his wish of continued PAP hegemony, PM should get a grip on the PAP spin machine. He and his ministers can’t do all the spinning themselves. Maybe Auntie Sylvia or Show Mao, in emulation of a Tang dynasty official, can whisper this to the PAP, “behind closed doors”. Remember WP, yr mission is to preserve PAP hegemony.

**He used the phrase “worse-case scenario” when one LKY gave his Hard Truth on Malay Muslims not integrating.

Book PM could cite in validation of “Growth, ‘cheong’ all the way”

In Economy, Humour, Political economy, Political governance, Property on 01/02/2013 at 7:37 am

In “Planet of Cities”, by Shlomo Angel*, a professor of urban planning at New York University, argues that cities must prepare themselves for rapid growth, citing New York and Barcelona: In the 19th century both cities decided to prepare themselves for rapid growth. In 1811 New York’s city council approved a plan which allowed all of Manhattan to be built up and included the island’s now famous street grid. In 1859 Barcelona followed suit with a similar concept to expand the city nine-fold.

Err PM not planning to increase the population that much.

And on why working-age population matters:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2013/01/demography-0

Netizens, pls realise that the intellectual underpinnings are there for the White Paper. It’s the conventional wisdom. Raving, ranting and screaming will do no good.

Nothing will, not even the ballot box: “A vote for the WP is a vote for the continuance of PAP policies” says WP Low. So lie back and enjoy being raped. Think of the value of your property when you cash out and move on overseas.

Population cliff: Even China has a problem

In Economy on 28/01/2013 at 5:20 am

Updated to include links to analysis of  the White Paper on FT growth released on 29 January 2013)

There is a a demographic cliff ahead: even for China

http://simonhedlin.com/2013/01/21/demographic-cliff-ahead/

Chinese statisticians are screaming about it: In the past the NBS has counted anyone between 15 and 64 years old as of working age. That age range is consistent with international convention and China’s own statistical yearbook. But in announcing the decline last week, the NBS adopted a narrower definition: 15- to 59-year-olds. By doing so, it drew early attention to a demographic downturn that will soon apply to 15- to 64-year-olds and to the population as a whole. Ma Jiantang, head of the NBS, said he did not want the population data to be “drowned in a sea of figures” released at the same time.

http://www.economist.com/news/china/21570750-first-two-articles-about-impact-chinas-one-child-policy-we-look-shrinking

Sadly, the PAP is no longer believed because its habit of prophesying doom and gloom went too far. Biy like boy who called “Wolf”, too often.

Update on 29 January 2012 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-21/singapore-turns-against-itself-as-pressure-for-babies-irks-women.html

http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/01/29/population-white-paper-projecting-6-9m-u-turn-on-influx-of-foreigners/

Related link:http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/when-55-of-voters-were-fts/

When 55% of voters were FTs

In Economy, Humour, Political economy, Political governance on 25/01/2013 at 5:03 am

(Update on 29 January 2012 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-21/singapore-turns-against-itself-as-pressure-for-babies-irks-women.html

http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/01/29/population-white-paper-projecting-6-9m-u-turn-on-influx-of-foreigners/)

TRE readers are forever screaming that the PAP govt wants to swamp S’pore with citizens born overseas. They might like to know that  in 1959, according to the u/m book, only 270,00 out of the 600,000 voters were born here. If TRE readers are correct, the PAP is only restoring things to as they were when the PAP came into power. Is that so wrong? LOL.

Interestingly the author reported that when one LKY revealed the above fact in 1959, LKY also said,”we must go about our task (of building up a nation) with urgency … of integrating our people now and quickly”. Maybe he repented building up a nation?

Singapore Correspondent. Political Dispatches from Singapore (1958-1962)

(http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/mai/new-book-singapore-correspondent/)
by Leon Comber*

Publisher:  Marshall Cavendish International Asia

Singapore Correspondent Book CoverSingapore Correspondent” covers five years of Singapore’s colourful political past – a period of living turbulently and sometimes dangerously. It is a collection of eye-witness dispatches, sent from Singapore to London, spanning a time when Singapore was emerging from British colonial rule and moving forward to self-government and independence. Many of the early struggles of the People’s Action Party (PAP) are described as the focus is on the political struggle taking place in which the PAP played a major part. Many important events which have long been forgotten are brought to life. These dispatches prove that political history need not be dull, and indeed can sometimes be entertaining and lively.

* MAI Adjunct Research Fellow
 

.

More FTs on way, a lot MORE!: DBS

In Economy, Infrastructure, Political economy on 22/01/2013 at 6:29 am

OK, OK, I exaggerate: only 8% more of population if S’poreans don’t start breeding like rabbits.

DBS Vickers expects an upcoming white paper on Singapore’s population to raise its population target to 7 million from 6.5 million, which will benefit construction, land transport, property and healthcare companies. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/18/markets-singapore-stocksnews-population-idUSL4N0AN3GR20130118

SMRT is not on the “buy” list. It too has concerns about SMRT, like me and many others.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 199 other followers