atans1

Archive for April, 2015|Monthly archive page

Amos in remand again

In Uncategorized on 30/04/2015 at 6:34 pm

Amos Yee was remanded after the pre-trial conference, as he refused to set his blog posts to private. He had earlier flouted bail conditions by publishing two posts on his blog.

Unless someone one bails him ($30,000), he’ll remain in remand until 4th May. His parents again did not bail him.

Will we see an ang moh tua kee activist step forward? Or another kind Christian? The previous good Samaritan declined to bail him a second time.

Wonder what made him go wacko again. Everything had been planned as I reported this morning.

Earlier post

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/amos-a-changed-boy-why-m-ravi-went-bananas-misreped-again-and-again/

Bukit Batok, PAP or TRE rats in space?

In Uncategorized on 30/04/2015 at 5:48 pm

The team hoping to send a Singaporean to space has completed a groundbreaking experiment – after three rats sent to space returned to Earth alive.

The experiment, conducted in Hyderabad, India, saw the rats contained in a prototype capsule designed to reach an altitude of 32km. Pressure was kept constant, and the temperature was a comfortable 28 degrees Celsius. The rats returned to land in “very good condition” (CNA a few months back)

Hmm wonder if Ng Kok Lim was one of these rats?

For those who don’t yet know, Ng Kok Lim cannot help but misrepresent me. In his second latest BS on TRE he claimed I sympathised with Amos Yee, quoting me out of context, and saying I too didn’t help Amos. He conveniently left out the link I put in the article he selective choses quotes from: that he should be caned. Err that sympathy? But then that point disturbs the narrative of the misrepresentation,

In his latest piece, he shows that he read a lot of my pieces, yet quotes and misrepresents me, Chin Peng and the Plen extensively. (He makes Roy look like a paragon of truth on CPF when it’s a fact that Roy admitted that he lied about PM stealing our CPF*. M Ravi had a problem explaining to the court hearing the case why this admission shouldn’t be taken into account by the judge.)

Yet Ng cannot point to anything I wrote  over the years that called certain leftists “communists” as he alleged when he screamed: CI is making the same unqualified smearing of the Lefitsts by the PAP by labeling them as communists like those in Cuba and so on. Where is CI’s proof that the leftists were actually communists? https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/seek-truth-from-facts-tre-commentators-dont-misrepresent-me/

I ask him again: Where did I ever call the Coldstore detainees “communists”?

Ng may have wished I called some leftists “communists”, but where’s the proof?

*https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/roys-defence-has-me-confused/ Since then I’ve been told that one of the reasons why M Ravi went “bananas” and had to stop practising law, was Roy’s refusal to listen to his advice.

Derivatives: where the next crisis is coming?

In Banks, Financial competency on 30/04/2015 at 5:12 pm

Citi and Merrill Lynch used to be known as the the banks that always joined a party when it was just about to go wrong. The sub-prime crisis proved the point.

Well Merrill Lynch no longer exists but Citi survived, just. Now it’s big in derivatives, very big and GIC still has a stake in it (It’s one of LKY’s forever investments). Let’s hope it’s not curtains Citi when derivatives tank.)

CITIGROUP’S RESURGENCE Seven years after Citigroup teetered on the brink, the bank’s traders and investment bankers have come roaring back,Peter Eavis writes in DealBook. The bank’s resurgence on Wall Street, which has involved acquiring huge amounts of derivatives, comes as many of its rivals pull back in the face of new regulations intended to make the financial system safer. But even as the bank has surged ahead, it has not trumpeted its comeback. Instead, its most senior executives have largely emphasized streamlining operations that have little to do with Wall Street, like agreeing to sell a unit that focuses on subprime loans.

Citigroup’s investment bank is no longer involved in the toxic activities that were most dangerous to the bank’s health, Mr. Eavis writes. The bank also has higher levels of capital, the financial buffer that reflects a bank’s ability to absorb losses. Such steps have helped it slowly regain favor with regulators. “Still, figures for Citigroup’s Wall Street operations show a bank that is on something of a tear,” Mr. Eavis adds. The unit that encompasses the firm’s investment bank, for instance, had $1.06 trillion of assets at the end of last year, a 12 percent increase from the level in 2010.

“Perhaps most astonishing is Citigroup’s meteoric growth in derivatives, the financial contracts that allow banks and investors to place bets without actually owning an underlying stock, bond or currency,” even as new rules have persuaded many banks to cut back on the amount of derivatives they hold,” Mr. Eavis writes. Citigroup has flexed its muscles behind the scenes to protect its derivatives business from certain new rules. But the growth of Citigroup’s investment bank and its derivatives business has raised concerns among financial specialists who support tougher regulations.

(NYT’s Dealbook some months back)

Amos: A changed boy/ Why M Ravi went “bananas”/ Misreped again and again

In Uncategorized on 30/04/2015 at 5:24 am

Update at 5.30 am 1 May: Not bailed: in remand until Monday https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/amos-in-remand-again/

(Update at 2.40pm: What can I say? I forgot to check his Facebook page, website before I posted LOL this morning. Let’s hope he doesn’t go to court earting a banana. I’d be a right Charlie ((((((.)

(Update at 4.55pm: Phew he wasn’t eating a banana and was dressed in smart casual. 

And no, I’m not the guy in red who slapped him. Bet you the ang moh tua kees and their cybernut allies will be screaming that he should have had police protection. And that it was all a plot to intimidate him.)

(Update at 5.20pm: Yup, political figures are suggesting that it’s a disgrace it happened outside court. Thinking about it, maybe he needs to be in remand until his trial because his life is in danger?)

Amos Yee will appear in court today for a pre-trial conference.

I’ve been told, he’ll no longer be a ya ya papaya eating a banana to show that he doesn’t give a hoot about the law. And no, my source is not my Morocco Mole who once told me that WP would support the PAP’s immigration white paper. https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/wp-will-vote-for-the-white-paper-moley/ 

Seems his parents gamble in refusing to bail him paid-off. His spell in remand has sobered him up considerably.

I also understand that his lawyers will be asking for a postponement of the trial because they want to make representations to the AGC along the lines that he has repented (an apology is being drafted) and that the time spent in remand (four nights and three days) is more than sufficient punishment as a consequence.

Hopefully a fair and reasonable deal can be struck so that the only fruscos will be those ang moh tua kees and their anti-PAP cybernut allies who want him to be martyred for the anti-PAP cause; and those who want him hanged or caned for insulting Harry. All three groups are equally deserving of the scorn of reasonable people.

Though given his past behaviour (before remand to be fair), he could prove today that I’m talking cock about a changed boy. He may decide to revert to a ya ya papaya to secure the approval of the mob, and stick a finger into his parents’, bailor’s and lawyers’ eyes.

But if he remains quai chye, those who saw him as a human rights poster boy because he insulted the memory of one Harry Lee will spin a different tale.

Humans right activist, ISD detainee and 2011 SDP MP candidate wrote on her FB on 23 April : And at the pre trial conference last Friday, he was also handcuffed and led out of Court No. 17 into the holding area for alleged adult offenders. I am told he looked terrified.

So poor Amos spent several days among alleged adult offenders. I am told he is banging the wall and going crazy. He is apparently autistic.

Well going by the way he behaved when he was finally bailed last Tueday, by a Christian, not by a human rights wimp activist or an anti-PAP activist, it doesn’t look as though he was “nuts”or terrified. Here’s him waving.Image result for amos yee + pre-trial conference

Btw, it seems one Ng Kok Lim cannot help but misrepresent me. In his second latest BS* on TRE he claimed I sympathised with Amos Yee, quoting me out of context, and saying I too didn’t help Amos. He conveniently left out the link I put in the article he selective choses quotes from: that he should be caned. Err that sympathy? But then that point disturbs the narrative of the misrepresentation,

*In his latest piece, he shows that he read a lot of my pieces, yet quotes and misrepresents me, Chin Peng and the Plen extensively. (He makes Roy look like a paragon of truth on CPF when it’s a fact that Roy admitted that he lied about PM stealing our CPF**. M Ravi had a problem explaining to the court hearing the case why this admission shouldn’t be taken into account by the judge.)

Yet Ng cannot point to anything I wrote  over the years that called certain leftists “communists” as he alleged when he screamed: CI is making the same unqualified smearing of the Lefitsts by the PAP by labeling them as communists like those in Cuba and so on. Where is CI’s proof that the leftists were actually communists? https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/seek-truth-from-facts-tre-commentators-dont-misrepresent-me/

I ask him again: Where did I ever call the Coldstore detainees “communists”?

Ng may have wished I called some leftists “communists”, but where’s the proof?

**https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/roys-defence-has-me-confused/ Since then I’ve been told that one of the reasons why M Ravi went “bananas” and had to stop practising law, was Roy’s refusal to listen to his advice.

Cheapo ACS mum can’t sleep over $50 donation

In Uncategorized on 29/04/2015 at 4:22 am

I’m surprised that this cheap skate’s* children were admitted to ACS:

When contacted by The Straits Times, the housewife, who declined to be named to protect her sons, said: “The letter worked me up so much that I couldn’t sleep. You cannot force people to donate.”

The mother said: “My boys approached relatives, but they did not want to buy. One of my sons was so stressed he wanted to buy the tickets using his own savings but I told him not to do so.” She said it was “too much” to expect each boy to buy $50 worth of tickets as it is not a small sum.

(ST two weeks ago)

I never attended ACS but my neighbours did, and to them (and their parents) $50 (in late 60s and early 70s) was “peanuts” when it came to school donations. As far as they were all concerned, it was the price to pay to study in ACS. A price that they were willing to pay because they wanted a good education (which ACS then offered, and still offers) without the need to get into RI.

Yet this mother says $50 “not a small sum”. So want her kids to mix with the “right” kids but so cheap-skate? Or worse: poor but want to go to ACS? Where got class? Ever hear of keeping up appearances?

And I assume that the family wasn’t planning to attend the funfair. I mean if they were planning to, they’d need tickets?

Come on $50 is now like $1 in the late 60s and early 70s: “peanuts”.

Anyway, I’ll not be surprised if she lives in Ferndale Vale. Another example of lower standards at ACS. It was landed property in my time, no condos, let alone HDB flats.

*The upset housewife was bitchy enough to upload the principal’s letter (original PDF here) to STOMP and claimed that she couldn’t sleep over the letter as she felt that the students were being forced to donate.

Really even TRE is a more classy site than STOMP.

Brit hedgies bearish on Asia/ Khong kanna wait longer?

In Emerging markets, Property on 28/04/2015 at 6:09 am

From yesterday’s Lombard column in FT

Bearish hedgies have confined themselves to shorting shares in Asia-focused fund managers …

Crispin Odey is chief among Mayfair’s prophets of doom. The pioneering hedge fund manager expects collapsing eastern markets to tip the world back into recession. He has accordingly sold 6.4 per cent of Ashmore and 1.5 per cent of Aberdeen in expectation of their shares dropping. About 16 per cent and 8.6 per cent of these fund managers’ free floats have been sold short, according to Markit.

,,, Aberdeen, for example, is a skilled Asian fund manager in the view of pundit Mark Dampier of Hargreaves Lansdown. Short sellers probably just think Martin Gilbert’s group specialises in a product so dangerous that it would be transported in lead-lined vessels if it were a physical commodity.

Shares in asset managers offer geared exposure to the markets in which they specialise. Their overheads stay the same, at least temporarily, even as their assets balloon or deflate in response to fluctuating stock prices and fund flows. Bears are presumably shorting Asian stock index futures too, though less visibly.

If the bears are right, Khong and Blackstone may have to wait to receive their rewards from Sentosa

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/sentosa-cove-god-tells-khong-to-wait-5-yrs-2/

and

“Blackstone seems to look for distressed assets and deep value,” said Vikrant Pandey, an analyst with UOB Kay-Hian Pte in Singapore. “In the U.S. it lapped up mass market apartments for their rental yields and deep value. In Singapore the luxury segment is offering deep value compared to mass market.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-31/blackstone-singapore-property-bet-seen-winning-as-elections-loom

Govt sees StanChart as risky?/ LKY’s 30-year investments revisited

In China, Hong Kong, Temasek on 28/04/2015 at 4:42 am

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority says that it “takes a positive attitude should HSBC consider relocating its headquarters back to Hong Kong”, where it is the largest bank.

HSBC WEIGHS MOVE FROM LONDON HSBC was established in Hong Kong 150 years ago and moved its headquarters to London in 1993. Now it is considering a return trip. Citing changes in regulation, HSBC says it will study whether to relocate its headquarters out of London, reports Chad Bray in DealBook.

A big part of the issue is Britain’s bank levy, which was instituted in 2010 to help pay for the government’s financial crisis bailouts. While all banks operating in Britain pay the tax, Mr. Bray writes that “The levy hits British-based banks particularly hard, however, as they are taxed on their global balance sheets.” HSBC’s announcement could become a political issue as Britain nears a general election on May 7.

(NYT’s Dealbook)

Hongkong Bank is a HK quitter. It moved to UK in 1993, juz before PRC regained HK in 1997. But all is forgiven.

Both HK have S’pore have similar sized economies (about US$300bn in GDP).

HK is willing to be lender-of-last-resort to HSBC a bank with US$2,6 trillion in assets, despite HSBC being almost 9 times bigger than HK’s GDP.

Yet the S’pore authorities, it’s clear from hints in the FT, are unwilling to have StanChart HQed here (only 1.1 trillion in assets), despite Temasek being the largest single shareholder (which will benefit from reduced tax: HSBC shares were up 6% in HK yesterday), and despite many of StanChart’s operations being run from here.

The PAP administration is afraid of another of Temasek’s investments blowing up? After all StanChart is not as safe as our local banks: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/stanchart-not-as-solid-as-local-banks/

It also has weaker capital ratios than HSBC and the big US banks. So weak that the new CEO is expected to call for yet another massive rights issue.

Remember LKY and his bank investments that are forever? OK 30 yrs leh) Even longer than Buffett’s investments, he once said

In 2007/2008, our SWFs’ bot into UBS (GIC), Citi (GIC) and Merrill Lynch (Temasek) in a big way that ST characterised then as showing S’pore was a tua kee investor.

We lost serious money in two of the 30-yr investments by 2009.

— Estimate of Temasek’s realised losses on ML and Barclays:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/swee-say-said-that-gd-temasek-lost-billions/

— Estimate of GIC’s loss on UBS as at 2011:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/gic-not-reported-in-st-cna-or-today/

(BTW, Temasek’s 2012 purchase of Credit Suisse mandatory bonds:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/third-time-lucky-temasek/)

 

 

 

Temasek bidding for China’s POSB?

In Banks, China, Temasek on 27/04/2015 at 11:33 am

Bidders Seen for Stake in Postal Savings Bank of China UBS, BNP Paribas and Temasek of Singapore are said to be among the preliminary bidders seeking to buy 10 percent of Postal Savings Bank of China ahead of an expected initial public offering next year that could raise $25 billion.

NYT Dealbook

Cybernuts curse top economists

In Economy on 27/04/2015 at 4:37 am

Many of those who disagreed with the policies and actions of the Soviet Communist Party and the Soviet government and actively protested against these actions were sent to mental health institutes on the grounds that they were mentally ill. The reasoning was that only those mentally ill could think that the ruling communist party could do anything wrong.

Well, we have our anti-PAP cybernuts who are living proof that not all critics of the PAP administration are sensible, rational people like me.

Below is a piece,  I posted in the wrong place on this blog, binned it by accident and couldn’t recover  it, but TRE republished somehow. Waz’s funny and sad is that the cybernuts that congregate at TRE’s “comments” section like rats and bed bugs congregate at Bukit Batok and said nasty things about the economists Yeoh and Low, while commending and praising people like Roy Ngerng, Philip Ang, Ng Kok Lim and Uncle RedBean.

The only printable thing I can report is that they said that these economists talk rubbish because they couldn’t change govt policy when they were insiders.

Cybernuts indeed.

TRE discovers retired GIC

Actually it’s a TRE reader that discovered the economist.

Hopefully TRE readers start reading Yeoh Lam Keong’s pieces because he is a lot more economic literate than most of their heroes: people like Roy Ngerng, Philip Ang, Ng Kok Lim and Uncle RedBean.

Yeoh Lam Keong’s criticisms of govt policies are founded on facts and proven (or at least academically accepted) economic models , not BS or hot air. As are those of Donald Low: I’m now glad that TRE ie republishing Donald Low’s stuff.

Interesting while TRE is getting less and less the place where anti-PAP cybernuts gather, TOC (never a place of the anti-PAP cybernuts: in fact TOC made it respectable and fashionable to criticise the PAP administration online, showing that it could be done in a professional manner) is becoming the Hammer on-line. Hopefully the WP MPs will fund TOC from their MP allowances of $15,000 a month each. If no money is coming from the WP (WP not known to be supportive of allies) will leading members of TeamTOC be standing for election under the WP banner?

Even an eminent economist also can’t ‘tahan’ SG govt

Folks, I read two postings on Yeoh Lam Keong’s FB yesterday that I think are worth sharing.

 

Lam Keong is a prominent economist in Singapore and is heavily involved in public policy research. He is currently a private economic consultant and the Vice-President of the Economic Society of Singapore (ESS). He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, where he lectures on economics and social policy, as well as a Fellow of the Civil Service College.

You can google for the profound and inspiring socio-political writings of Lam Keong like these three on “Behind Singapore Inc”..

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/behind-singapore-inc—part-i—the-growing-class-of–working-poor-.html

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/behind-singapore-inc–part-ii—%E2%80%98gov%E2%80%99t-must-rethink-delivery-of-public-services%E2%80%99.html

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/behind-singapore-inc—part-iii—%E2%80%98pap-must-return-to-its-roots%E2%80%99.html

Here’s what he posted on his FB a/c yesterday.

(1) In pointing to an excellent, thought provoking essay by Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh (who co-authored the book “Hard Choices – Challenging The Singapore Consensus” with Donald Low).

“But sentiment is changing. Perhaps this moment, now, as we celebrate fifty years of independence, may herald the peak of our devotion to the old man. For the many problems brewing in Singapore society are, in fact, symptoms of the values he fostered. Yawning inequalities threaten cohesion and tilt the playing field, undermining social mobility. Elite governance has bred a seemingly entitled class out of touch with ordinary people.

The homogenous political landscape can no longer satisfy the demands of an increasingly sophisticated electorate. Persistent attempts to crimp free expression have dulled creativity. The heavy use of carrots and sticks has nurtured a population primed to extrinsic incentives but starved of intrinsic direction. And by defining progress in such narrow monetary terms, he has contributed to a vacuous sense of national identity.”

Read the rest here:-

http://poskod.my/features/remembering-lee-kuan-yew-singapores-mercurial-father/

(2) On Amos Yee versus Edz Ello…”Is there an inconsistency in the rule of law here?”

“Is there an inconsistency in the rule of law here? Amos Yee has since taken down all the offending materials or made them private and out of public site. However, other netizens have re-uploaded the content online in other places where he is unable to remove it. In a statement, the police explained that they take a stern view of any acts which could threaten religious harmony in Singapore…..

“Any person who uploads offensive content online with deliberate intention of wounding the religious or racial feelings of any person will be firmly dealt with in accordance with the law,” they said.

l

Regards;

Frank
Submitted by TRE reader.

Thailand, M’sia, S’pore got a problem/ S’poreans stupid?

In Economy, Financial competency, Malaysia, Property on 26/04/2015 at 3:21 am

Singapore – where the ratio of household debt is 75% About 75% of this household debts are mortgage loans – See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/opinion/eye-the-economy/story/spore-not-headed-debt-disaster-20141125#sthash.oh3vAXO3.dpuf

The “affordable” 25 year HDB loan is responsible for S’pore’s high household debt. And remember it’s not freehold not a 99-yr lease from the govt.

S’poreans like Brits are stupid? [T]he economists calculate that homeowners discount future benefits over the very long run at a rate of 2.6% per year. This is lower than the rates used by governments to assess infrastructure projects or by pension funds to evaluate their liabilities, and suggests that the general public is more patient than the authorities give it credit for.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2015/04/very-long-run-discount-rates

More CGT BS? Swiss Standard? What Swiss standard?

In China, India, Malaysia on 25/04/2015 at 5:19 am

Switzerland has been ranked the happiest country in world.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32443396

Singapore is ranked 24th But is tops in Asean and region. Thailand is placed at 34, Taiwan (38), Japan (46), South Korea (47), Malaysia (61), Hong Kong (72), Indonesia (74) and PinoyLand (90).  China and India are found lower down the scale at 84 and 117 respectively

Oil: Someone is wrong

In Energy on 24/04/2015 at 1:08 pm

Hedge funds have placed one of their largest ever bets on a rally in oil prices, just as evidence mounts that energy companies are hunkering down for a delayed recovery.

Exchange data show hedge funds and other large speculators have accumulated a record-breaking number of North Sea Brent futures and options contracts equal to almost 265m barrels of oil — the equivalent of almost three days of global oil demand.

At the same time, oil producers and other physical market players have rushed to lock-in prices, selling forward more than half a billion Brent barrels in a bid to protect against future price falls. It is the highest level since the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) started publishing position data in early 2011.

(Today’s FT)

LKY & the fragility of everything

In Uncategorized on 24/04/2015 at 5:37 am

Yesterday, was 30 days since LKY moved on. Here’s something to mark the date.

“[T]he thing that most impresses … is how quickly a life can go utterly off the rails, spiralling from stability to disaster in only a few years. A bit of bad luck, a couple of bad decisions, and a person such as Mr Shaikh can suddenly lose everything, including his life.” The writer was describing what had happened to a British man executed by the Chinese authorities for drug trafficking. He had for years lived a normal life.

Reading this, one can understand how the likes of Lee Kuan Yew perceive the world: one avoidable misstep (say the Opposition wins one more vote) and it’s downhill on the steepest of  a most slippery slope.

Sigemund Warburg, another control freak, and visionary genius, was described thus: “He walks through life like a character in a Greek tragedy, forever expecting the worst to happen, the last man in the dead centre of a hurricane, continually amazed that he is still alive. The frightful sound of the Erinyes [ancient Greek personifications of Fate] is always in his inner ear — especially when all goes well. That, he feels is the moment when one must watch out for the danger signs.”

Doesn’t this sound like LKY? Always concerned that something would go wrong. Warburg (a partner in a family owned merchant bank) fled Germany in the 1930s when he realised that Hitler wanted to kill the Jews. Lee Kuan Yew, educated in S’pore at RI, the training ground for clerks that would work for the British and where the students were taught that the British ruled by divine right, saw the British surrender S’pore to the Japanese.

Were LKY and Sigemund Warburg wrong to be pessimists?

Thirteen years after his death in 1982, SG Warburg, the UK merchant bank Sigemund Warburg founded was sold to Swiss Bank Corporation for a pittance.  When he was running it, it was the top UK investment bank. It was not as though he had dumb successors (people like Goh Chok Tong, Wong Kan Seng, Mah Bow Tan, Yaacob and Raymond Lim), the place was a meritocracy with people the equilvants of Goh Keng Swee, Lim Kim San and Tharman. Though he had officially retired in the 1970s and was living in Switzerland, he still retained a personal secretary to draft correspondence and “assist” with the operations of the firm. He was a bit like our very own Senior Minister and then Minister Mentor.

The world of finance had changed, and his successors had a run of bad luck when carrying out their chosen strategy. This is not to say that the strategy was right: in hindsight they should have become a boutique, not a full service, investment bank. But that’s with perfect hindsight.

The irony is that the rich-kid cousin Sigemund Warburg looked down on as a dilettante and bum did better than he did in terms of legacy. Two investment banks connected to the cousin (one he co-founded, the other he returned to) are today independent, thriving and still retain the Warburg name.

Life is fragile. And Lee’s pessimism about S’pore, self-serving though it may be, could be right. S’pore is changing. He foresaw one major change but could do bugger-all about it.

Mr Cheong Yip Seng (LKY’s favourite newsman, ex-ST chief editor) told us of an incident which showed that LKY was aware of the impact of new media. One November evening in 1999, Mr Lee telephoned Mr Cheong. He was troubled by a new information phenomenon, which was threatening to overwhelm the traditional media industry: eyeballs were migrating from print newspapers to cyberspace. Mr Cheong said that LKY was anxious about how the information revolution would impact the Singapore traditional media.

“He was anxious to find a response that would enable the mainstream media to keep its eyeballs. He wanted us at Singapore Press Holdings to think about the way forward.”

Well SPH, and the rest of constructive, nation-building media didn’t do what they were ordered to, did they? That despite throwing serious money and other resources at the problem.

And just because S’pore is changing in ways he may not like, doesn’t mean that all will be well either.

———

(Above’s a reworking of one of my earliest posts.)

EMERGING MARKETS LOSE THEIR LUSTER

In Currencies, Emerging markets on 23/04/2015 at 1:26 pm

Ang mohs lose interest in emerging markets i.e. Asean. We’ll suffer the consequences given that our listcos often seen as safe proxies for investments in these places.

Once seen as a necessity in portfolios, investments in emerging markets have lately become less appealing because of messy politics and staggering economies, DealBook’s Landon Thomas Jr. writes. The dollar’s upward climb and the growing acceptance that the Federal Reserve will soon increase interest rates are also causing concern. Now, emerging-market currencies are suffering the consequences. The Turkish lira and the Brazilian real have touched multiyear lows against the dollar and the Russian ruble remains volatile. The Mexican peso and the Indian rupee are also under pressure.

In Brazil, allegations of kickbacks and bribes at Petrobras, the country’s energy giant, threaten to derail the economy, Mr. Thomas writes. In Russia, a war with Ukraine and President Vladimir V. Putin’s erratic ways ‒ along with a collapse in the price of oil ‒ have rattled investors. In Turkey, the country’s president has added to existing currency jitters by suggesting that the head of the Turkish central bank is beholden to foreign speculators because he has not lowered interest rates fast enough. And analysts say there are deeper vulnerabilities in these and other emerging markets that will become more acute as the dollar continues to race ahead.

But while currencies have been volatile, capital flows out of emerging markets have not yet approached the levels of a year ago. According to the Institute of International Finance, the trade group for global banks, global flows into emerging markets nearly halved last month, to $12 billion from $23 billion, with money flowing out of Brazil, Ukraine and Thailand and into Indonesia and India. Since the beginning of the year, investors in the world’s largest emerging-markets investment vehicle, the $38 billion Oppenheimer developing markets fund, have withdrawn just $400 million ‒ an amount by no means indicative of investor panic.

Scholar Eng’s, Amos’s blind relation

In Uncategorized on 23/04/2015 at 5:08 am

This blogger raises raises an interesting issue in multi-cultural, religious S’pore

[Cassandra Chiu*] may think that she has a right to be in the shop with her [guide]dog, but so do the Muslims who also have the right to patronise the shop. If the shop allows her dog in, what about Muslims who are averse to any contact with dogs? What about people with allergies who cannot be in contact with animal fur and dander? Can they also say that they are being discriminated against if guide dogs are allowed on their premises?

http://www.aiseyman.com/2015/04/16/muslim-customers-also-have-the-right-to-eat-and-shop-in-a-dog-free-environment/

Without going into the rights of the blind vis-avis Muslims or allergics, or how a compromise can be reached, the issue shows the importance of empathy, tolerance and not insisting on one’s “rights” in a multi-racial, cultural society.

Or the need for draconian laws to ensure the peace in the absence of civilised behaviour.

Imagine if there was a Muslim, and an allergic in Zara when doberman Chui was about to stage her wayang? And the Muslim and the person with an allergy to dogs were just as full of their entitlement as she was? The Little India riot would be juzt a walk in the park.

As an owner of two dogs, my view is that this pushy bully of a blind lady is related to scholar Eng and the residents of Fernvale Dale. She should have her dog taken away and made to use a white cane.

Waz even more interesting is that on Facebook there are comments this lady does not signal in anyway that she is blind. Seems shop assistants are taken by surprise when she starts creating a scene. She related to Amos?

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/we-funded-astar-scholar-not-her-grandfather/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/fernvale-lea-owners-hiding-an-inconvenient-truth/

——-

*Since the posting by the blogger: “Cassandra Chiu resigns from Guide Dogs Association of the Blind”

http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/cassandra-chiu-resigns-guide-dogs-association-blind

Good riddance to bad rubbish. Can’t stop laughing that she was the ambassador for the Guide Dogs Association of the Blind notwithstanding her various public rows. What is even funnier is that the association said “We are also mindful that acceptance requires time and that there needs to be mutual trust, consent and understanding.” And yet the association’s ambassador was one untrained rottweiler going by her repeated public rows.

Why Buffett hates investment bankers?

In Financial competency on 22/04/2015 at 1:34 pm

They cost him money.

Something I just read. It appeared on 3rd March in the NYT Dealbook

BUFFETT’S WARNING ON BANKS Warren E. Buffett has long ridiculed the financial industry. But his annual letter to shareholders “seemed to amp up the pugnacity and was clearly noted by the industry,” Andrew Ross Sorkin writes in the DealBook column. Mr. Buffett used his letter, published over the weekend, to warn his followers about “the Street’s denizens.” He criticized investment bankers for urging acquirers to pay up to 50 percent premiums over market price for publicly held businesses and railed against spinoffs.

“No doubt, Mr. Buffett speaks the truth. There are countless examples of the build-it-up-and-tear-it-down phenomenon,” Mr. Sorkin writes. “But as Mr. Buffett often points out the foibles of the finance industry, he also extols the personal virtues of some of the biggest names in investment banking. Berkshire owns a stake in Goldman Sachs, and Mr. Buffett has talked publicly about owning shares of JPMorgan Chase in his own account.” He has praised Lloyd C. Blankfein, Goldman’s chief executive, and Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan.

What explains Mr. Buffett’s stance on the industry? One investment banker and blogger wrote over the weekend that Mr. Buffett “despises investment bankers and employs his considerable folksy charm to scare potential business sellers away from using us for the plain and simple reason that we make his job harder and more expensive.” For his part, Mr. Buffett, when reached at his office in Omaha, explained that he was trying to educate his shareholders. “There’s nothing wrong with looking at the biases of a given field,” he said.

Amos: Talk is cheap, very cheap/ Harry really needs no monument

In Uncategorized on 22/04/2015 at 4:53 am

Over the weekend, a Facebook post* bemoaning the charges against Amos Yee and his remand had many “Likes”, sympathetic comments,  and a few shares. It ended:  And the rest of us? The rest of us should play happily and gratefully in the corner we’ve so conscientiously painted ourselves into. The rest of must remember never to participate in the dangerous act of boundary-crossing. A 16-year-old did, and he is now being treated like a criminal – because jailing a child makes Singapore a much better place.

Looks like the writer and those who shared her sentiments really decided to  play happily and gratefully in the corner we’ve so conscientiously painted ourselves into. The rest of must remember never to participate in the dangerous act of boundary-crossing.

No-one came forward to post bail on Monday and it was only on late Tuesday (at 6.00 pm) that  family counsellor Vincent Law posted bail for him. 

Mr Law said that he came forward to post the S$20,000 bail as he is a Christian, and wanted to show he was not offended by Yee’s posts. “It seems the charges say he made disparaging remarks about Christianity. I’m a Christian and I’m stepping up to say I’m not offended,” he said, adding that he, too, is a parent.

The 51-year-old, who is not related to the Yee family, hopes that Yee will also be willing to be counselled by him, and that he may respond better to a third party. (CNA)

Three cheers for him, even though Amos Yee’s parents would it seems have preferred to have kept him in remand by refusing to bail him.

Three cheers too for Alfred Dodwell, Chong Jia Hao from Dodwell & Co LLC, and Ervin Tan from Michael Hwang Chambers LLC told the court they would be acting for Yee pro bono.(CNA)

They too cared.

And jeers and sneers for those who claim to support, sympathise Amos Yee but who stood aside. The absence of the anti-PAP cybernuts who pollute the comments section of TRE is not surprising. They after all are unwilling to fund TRE.

But where were the ang moh tua kee human rights activists like Kirsten Han (she wrote an eloquent, sympathetic piece on him in Yahoo) and the lady who so eloquently blogged on Amos? They left him to rot in jail, while they eloquently proclaimed his right (duty?) to slime one Harry Lee Kuan Yew, and hurt the feelings of 20-odd S’poreans? Seems, he’s a flag or mascot, not a human being to these ang moh tua kees.

My serious point is that these ang moh tua kee “activists” cannot be taken seriously. They are notprepared to walk the walk, just talk the walk.

LKY needs no monument. So long as these people are around, Harry will be remembered. He had contempt for them, and rightly so.

I hope Amos Yee will reflect on the kind of supporters he has. With friends like cybernuts and ang moh tua kee “activists”, he doesn’t need enemies.

I hope he apologises for his actions and agrees to be counselled. And I hope the AGC drops the charges in return. Let’s remember, he has spent four nights in jail.

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/amos-parents-finally-got-it-walk-the-talk-amoss-groupies/

————————

*A 16-year-old is spending the weekend in prison because of a YouTube video. His parents have decided not to post bail. It’s likely they’re holding back for fear the boy might breach some very onerous conditions imposed by the court. I imagine it must be stressful to have a child who insists on pushing boundaries – pushing hard despite knowing full well that doing so might mean serious trouble. The boy’s parents must be under immense pressure***.

But what boundaries did this kid breach? He insulted a dead politician. He made fun of a religious figure. He was rude. He was arrogant. He was “dumb” not to back down. And when authorities hauled him off to court, he smiled and ate a banana. How dare he? This boy, this attention-seeking child who won’t play by the rules we’ve all been conditioned to follow.

Twenty-one people thought it was their duty as upstanding citizens to report the boy for his behavior. The fabric of our society is apparently so fragile, so poorly woven together, one YouTube video is all it takes to tear us apart.

No one seems to be asking why we think so little of this fabric. Why are we not made of stronger stuff?

Even before the boy was arrested, one man openly fantasized about castrating the child and stuffing his private parts into his mouth. Online, other people said he should be put in prison, whipped, whacked, exiled. When the police came for him, a collective squeal of glee erupted across the Internet. Adults celebrated. They knew this would happen. It served him right. The kid, apparently, had it coming. He was fully aware that he’d crossed some invisible line, but he was not repentant. Even worse, he appeared to relish the limelight.

But was the line was in the right place, or even necessary to begin with?

And now, the boy is spending the weekend in prison. Police handcuffed him when they led him out of court. He is to be tried as an adult.

Twenty-one Singaporeans can congratulate themselves for defending the nation against a 16-year-old. For safeguarding the boundaries. For being offended enough, concerned enough, patriotic enough to set the police on a child.

And the rest of us? The rest of us should play happily and gratefully in the corner we’ve so conscientiously painted ourselves into. The rest of must remember never to participate in the dangerous act of boundary-crossing. A 16-year-old did, and he is now being treated like a criminal – because jailing a child makes Singapore a much better place.

Remember the person behind this angst is a groupie of convicted drug mule groupies, loving them to distraction. And despite her angst and those of her Facebook friends over Amos’s plight, why didn’t they post bail? Talk is cheap, walk the talk. But then money talks, BS walks.

Amos: Parents finally got it?/ Walk the talk, Amos’s groupies

In Uncategorized on 21/04/2015 at 3:49 am

A lot has been BSed about Amos Yee (Below* is something I came across on Facebook by someone who believes that convicted drug mules should not only not be hanged, and not caned, but be put up in five-star hotel suites and given food from Tung Loke daily.).

Me? I think it’s wrong that he is charged under the Protection from Harassment Act. He should not be charged under any law for his bad, loitish but non-violent behaviour. But sadly in today’s environment, using the law is the only way society can show its outrage at breaches of accepted norms of behaviour.

In the bad old days when Harry’s Law was the law, Amos’s dad would cane him six times and then say, “I’ve punished my son for his bad behaviour. Sorry leh for offence caused.”

We’d all move on. Boy got what he deserved, no damage done to his long term prospects.

Today Maruah, AWARE, Mad Dog Chee, Cherian George**  and all the other good-heatred but misguided ang moh tua kee kay pohs  would be yelling for the father to be jailed.

And if he didn’t cane his son, the police would pay him a visit and suggest that he did so. If he demurred, they’d offer to do it for him. If he further demurred, they’d take father and son in for questioning. If a spell in custody, didn’t soften up dad’s reluctance to allow his son to be caned, then there would be an accident involving the boy.

He’d get a black eye or two or a broken arm: accident leh, slipped on a bar of soap.

There would be be nods and winks, and we’d move on.

Well it seems that Amos Yee’s parents have hit on a variation of caning Amos or allowing him to be caned: they refused to cough up bail, allowing him to remain behind bars over the weekend and on Monday. No one has yet come forward to bail him out.

A bail review will be held later today at 4 pm while the next pre-trial conference has been scheduled for 13th May at 4 pm.

Err where are his friends like Roy, TOC? Not posting bail for him? Talk is cheap. Walk the talk, post bail. AGC was so kind as to ask the court to allow anyone to post bail for Amos, not just his parents. Yet no-one has yet come forward to bail him out. Certainly not the ang moh tua kee human rights activists like Kirsten Han (wrote a piece on him in Yahoo). They leaving him to rot in jail, while they proclaim his right (duty?) to slime one Harry Lee Kuan Yew, and hurt the feelings of 20-odd S’poreans? Seems, he’s a flag, not a human being to these ang moh tua kees.

I hope that if he comes out of remand, a more sober person, apologises for his behaviour and promises to behave himself in future, the authorities should drop the charges.

My serious point, is that society has to come up with modern variants of parents using or authorising corporal punishment. Using the majesty of the law for bad, loutish but non-violent behaviour by minors, demeans the law. But excusing Amos Yee’s behaviour as merely “boundary-crossing” (see below*) is equally unacceptable. But then what would expect of a drug mule groupie who thinks that convicted drug mules deserve the good life: air-cobn cells, no caning, Crystal Jade food.

Society’s anger at its rules being broken should be allowed to manifest itself without affecting the boy’s future too much. The issue is how without invoking the law and without vigilantism.

Maybe “six of the best” administered or sanctioned by the parents should be politically correct once more? Btw, LKY was a fan of “six of the best”. A friend who had the dubious honour of sitting beside LKY at two lunches (overseas) said that at one of them LKY was talking of lining up journalists against the wall and giving them “six of the best”.

But let’s end with three cheers for the parents: they are punishing Amos Yee in the right way.

—-

*A 16-year-old is spending the weekend in prison because of a YouTube video. His parents have decided not to post bail. It’s likely they’re holding back for fear the boy might breach some very onerous conditions imposed by the court. I imagine it must be stressful to have a child who insists on pushing boundaries – pushing hard despite knowing full well that doing so might mean serious trouble. The boy’s parents must be under immense pressure***.

But what boundaries did this kid breach? He insulted a dead politician. He made fun of a religious figure. He was rude. He was arrogant. He was “dumb” not to back down. And when authorities hauled him off to court, he smiled and ate a banana. How dare he? This boy, this attention-seeking child who won’t play by the rules we’ve all been conditioned to follow.

Twenty-one people thought it was their duty as upstanding citizens to report the boy for his behavior. The fabric of our society is apparently so fragile, so poorly woven together, one YouTube video is all it takes to tear us apart.

No one seems to be asking why we think so little of this fabric. Why are we not made of stronger stuff?

Even before the boy was arrested, one man openly fantasized about castrating the child and stuffing his private parts into his mouth. Online, other people said he should be put in prison, whipped, whacked, exiled. When the police came for him, a collective squeal of glee erupted across the Internet. Adults celebrated. They knew this would happen. It served him right. The kid, apparently, had it coming. He was fully aware that he’d crossed some invisible line, but he was not repentant. Even worse, he appeared to relish the limelight.

But was the line was in the right place, or even necessary to begin with?

And now, the boy is spending the weekend in prison. Police handcuffed him when they led him out of court. He is to be tried as an adult.

Twenty-one Singaporeans can congratulate themselves for defending the nation against a 16-year-old. For safeguarding the boundaries. For being offended enough, concerned enough, patriotic enough to set the police on a child.

And the rest of us? The rest of us should play happily and gratefully in the corner we’ve so conscientiously painted ourselves into. The rest of must remember never to participate in the dangerous act of boundary-crossing. A 16-year-old did, and he is now being treated like a criminal – because jailing a child makes Singapore a much better place.

Remember the person behind this angst is a groupie of convicted drug mule groupies, loving them to distraction. And despite her angst over Amos, why didn’t she post bail? Talk is cheap, walk the talk. But then money talks, BS walks.

**Cherian George, the Director of Asia Journalism Fellowship, cautioned people against treating Amos as an adult in a widely shared Facebook post. He pointed out that under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Amos is still a child, and regardless of how much he seeks publicity, he is at a stage of life where he needs to be protected—even from himself. Quoting Article 40 of the Convention, Cherian explains:

“Every child alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law” must be “treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child’s sense of dignity and worth” – which means, among other things, that states must guarantee that the child has “his or her privacy fully respected at all stages of the proceedings”.

***Well they didn’t bring him up the right way, did they? Though by refusing to bail him, they are atoning for that oversight.

Not uniquely S’porean: Pay high, get monkey

In Uncategorized on 20/04/2015 at 7:25 am

In the UK there is a row between an activist investor and the mgt of Alliance Trust.

Alliance Trust has delivered a below-average return of 52% over a five-year period. Other trusts investing in global equities have produced returns of more than 100% over the same time period.

The CEO, meanwhile, has doubled her pay over that period to £1.4m.

Err, I’m sure 65% of the voters can relate to this row. Only the hard core PAP voters who die die must vote for the PAP (those who voted for Tony Tan) can’t understand why monkeys shouldn’t be highly paid.

Unlucky Plaza: Uniquely S’porean

In Uncategorized on 20/04/2015 at 3:37 am

Go watch Unlucky Plaza (M18) at all theatres
A Ken Kwek movie not to be missed

The story: Driven to the brink of bankruptcy, hard-working Filipino restaurant operator Hernandez Onassis (Epy Quizon) takes on a motley bunch of wayward Singaporeans — a sexy, scheming scam woman, an Ah Long with a gun, a weak-kneed pastor and a motivational speaker (Adrian Pang) up to his neck in debts. Onassis’ weapons of choice: Anger and a meat chopper, which he wields with alarming accuracy.

Well put together with slick cinematography and editing, Singaporean director Ken Kwek’s latest work is the most ambitious to date marrying topicality with mass-appeal cinema. And it is done with admirable even-handedness to all sides of the debate (on the subject of foreigners in Singapore). Moral finger-wagging is kept to a minimum. Once all characters get locked up into one room for the film’s hostage crisis climax, things get cooking – John Lui in The Straits Times

This is what Ken Kwek said of his leading man Epy Quizon:
“Everyone knows that Epy is the son of the legendary Dolphy. But I had the great pleasure of knowing Epy on his own terms, and as a friend. And then I had the privilege of seeing him perform in a work that required talent for both comedy and very hard-hitting drama. I believe Epy has a greater range than his father as an actor. I say this with no less open-mouth admiration for the great Dolphy.”

Watch out … here comes Epy and his chopper.

Clement Mesenas's photo.

Not telling public who posted the above on Facebook, lest Goh Meng Seng or friends are upset with the post.

Uniquely S’porean. A S’porean film, directed by a local talent, starring a Pinoy who takes on a motley bunch of wayward Singaporeans — a sexy, scheming scam woman, an Ah Long with a gun, a weak-kneed pastor and a motivational speaker (Adrian Pang) up to his neck in debts

Couldn’t we have a S’porean hero thrashing crooked FTs trying to steal his lunch or his gal? Oh I forgot Pinoys already stealing our lunch, PRCs stealing our property and money, and Ang Mohs and Indians stealing our gals, and beating taxi uncles and the gals. And all have fake degrees.

But let’s face it, the S’poreans behind the film need to make money, and I’m sure they are hoping for audiences in PinoyLand given the Pinoy’s pedigree and the script of  Pinoy boy roughing up S’poreans. And who can blame them? Going by the way TRE and TOC are living hand-to-mouth, there’s no money here from the masses for things S’porean.

More FTs like him pls

In Malaysia on 19/04/2015 at 4:45 am

Born in Penang, Malaysia, before being raised in Singapore …

The founder and design director of Singapore-based SCDA Architects, Mr Chan has over the past 20 years built up a business that today employs more than 100 architects and designers.

Its past projects around the world range from luxury hotel resorts in Bali and the Caribbean, the National Design Centre in Singapore, a shopping centre in Beijing, a government building in New Delhi, to private houses from France to Malaysia.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32147965

Not only that, he got six sons.

And less of Foreign Trash like Han Hui Hui and local trash like Roy Ngerng anf Amos Yee and Lionel de Souza.

Iskandar: Dummies Guide on why it’s rubbish

In Malaysia, Property on 18/04/2015 at 4:08 am

Buy Klang Valley :

Klang Valley, in particular, is preferred because of the upcoming KVMRT and LRT lines, and potential KL-Singapore high-speed rail project, which will end at Bandar …

More importantly, the strong population growth potential in Greater KL and Klang Valley – a possible 40 per cent increase to 10 million by 2020 – offers more sustainable demand for properties, it added.

And Penang instead

Err both Oppo areas.

(Above courtesy of MayBank via CNA)

Sultan of Johor will not be happy. MayBank executives (esp analysts) should avoid JB. Neither will UMNO be happy even though most of Iskandar is in a DAP consituency (MP Lim Kit Siang: he and his son came down to see LKY when the DAP won Penang. Got kow tow meh?)

Caution advised on IskandarLand

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/caution-advised-on/1790094.html?cx_tag=recommend4u#cxrecs_s

The property oversupply situation in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, is “likely to get worse before it gets better”, said Maybank Investment Bank’s research … report, with property values in an increasingly crowded development space possibly declining over the medium term.

In a research note … (Apr 14) urged investors to be cautious about the region, noting that property transactions and prices in Iskandar have been dropping.

The value of property transactions in Johor had fallen by 33 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the Q4 2014, underperforming the country (-7 per cent) and other major cities such as Kuala Lumpur (-12 per cent) and Penang (8 per cent).

Property prices in Johor were also weaker than that of other cities, with the House Price Index (HPI) contracting 1 per cent quarter-on-quarter. In contrast, property prices in the whole of Malaysia dropped 0.2 per cent …

Residential and commercial property transaction values plunged 42 per cent and 43 per cent on-quarter in the fourth quarter 2014, respectively, compared to the 4 per cent dip by industrial properties.

“The latest statistics reaffirm our view that industrial properties are a better investment choice in Iskandar due to the relocation of small medium enterprises (SMEs) from Singapore and its relatively limited supply as compared to residential and commercial properties,” …

OVERSUPPLY AN ISSUE

… Malaysian developers have scaled back their launches and shifted their product mix to avoid direct competition with Chinese developers, and have lowered sales expectations for their projects at Iskandar.

“Judging from the number of approved high-rise projects, the Iskandar property market could be hit by too much supply of high-rise mixed development projects if there is still no coordinated planning and control – this will induce price volatility,” Maybank analyst Wong Wei Sum …

“The oversupply situation will be exacerbated by the huge incoming supply in 2015/2016, where units under construction have risen 18 per cent year-on-year in 2012 and 2013, respectively.”

“AGGRESSIVE” LAND GRAB BY CHINESE DEVELOPERS

… raised concerns about “aggressive landbanking activities” by Chinese developers in the already-crowded Iskandar region.

“Without coordinated planning and control, this could aggravate the oversupply situation and induce price wars, especially in the high-rise mixed development segment.”

 

For instance, Shanghai-based Greenland Holdings Group recently expanded its foothold in the space with the acquisition of a 128-acre freehold land in the south of Bandar Baru Permas Jaya. This was after its first purchase of 14 acres of land in Danga Bay in 2014. The company is also looking to acquire about 1,200 to 1,400 acres of industrial land near the Tanjung Langsat Industrial Complex, according to Maybank.

“If this materialises, Greenland will emerge as one of the largest land owners in Iskandar with a total landbank of 1,342 acres and it would pose strong competition to the local developers,” the report said.

RECLAMATION PROJECT PRESENT “HIGH ELEMENT OF RISK”

… it is “cautious” over “massive land reclamation” in Iskandar.

Reclamation works spanning 3,425 acres for the Forest City project has been given the green light from the Development of Environment. The development will spread over a 30-year period, and will consist of four man-made islands reclaimed in four phases.

“The execution and planning of such reclamation projects is complex, especially Forest City, and carry elements of risk and uncertainty. Hence, developers’ financial positions are paramount; else we may see projects being abandoned or price wars initiated to clear inventories or reduce sales risks by the developers,” …

“More importantly, the failure of any of these projects could erode buyers’ confidence and perception on Iskandar.”

… it remains cautious on property exposure in Iskandar, instead preferring developers with exposure in the Klang Valley and Penang.

 

Wanted: PRC princeling to be SGX’s CEO

In China, Hong Kong on 17/04/2015 at 12:39 pm

The Singapore Exchange (SGX), Bank of China (BOC) and BOC International (BOCI) are extending their collaboration on renminbi (RMB) initiatives and joint marketing initiatives. (CNA today)

And yesterday SGX denied “market rumours” in news reports that it will establish a stock trading link along the lines of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect.

What this tells us is that SGX (and S’pore: Remember who PRC sent to LKY’s funeral: an unranked politburo member; this despite LKY’s and the PAP administration’s self-serving claims that he had great personal ties with the last two presidents. None of them turned up did they?) doesn’t have any serious China connections.

So SGX should make it a priority that its next CEO has the best possible China connections. As US banks are now wary of employing princelings (could run foul of US anti-corruption laws) with the right connections, SGX should have an easier time finding one with the right connections.

SGG has a lame duck ang mog FT  CEO, an Indian FT as president and Indon FT as head techie. (By the way all these are people where the “T” stands for “Trash”.) Why didn’t it even try to get a PRC FT? Taz how screwed up SGX is.

Why such a trading link is so impt:

A stock trading link with China will make it easier for Chinese investors to buy Singapore-listed shares.

The Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect got off to a slow start when it was launched late last year. In recent weeks though, a surge of investments from mainland China has propelled Hong Kong stocks, including those of many smaller-cap firms, to multi-year highs. (CNA)

 

There goes the Eurasian, Malay vote

In Uncategorized on 17/04/2015 at 5:10 am

“Mr Lee was always conscious that he did not act alone, but as a member of a team. His core team included Goh Keng Swee, S Rajaratnam, Othman Wok, Hon Sui Sen, Lim Kim San, amongst others. It was a multi-racial team who complemented one another’s strengths, trusted one another implicitly, and through their joint efforts created a prosperous, fair and just society in Singapore …,” said the PM in parly on Monday.

No Eurasian meh?

Name check the Indian and Malay to make sure that people think that PAP is more than a Chinese-dominated party, but where’s the Eurasian, Barker? And perhaps LKY’s closest confidant* when it came to legal or  non-economic matters.

An honest mistake leaving him out? Whatever, the Eurasians will not be happy, especially those who cut and ran to settle in Perth. Another reason for them to curse the PAP. Remember they emigrated when LKY came into power, missing out on the prosperity of the 70s and 80s, and the asset inflation of the 90s and noughties.

An annoyed Malay 

Many non-Malay S’poreans (self included) were annoyed with PM and the new Malay minister for their comments on the importance of his appointment to the cabinet (first time two Malays are cabinet ministers). I tot the PM’s comments, patronising and condescending, while Masagos was sounding like the stereotypical “mat”, playing up to the Cina, Keland or Orang Puteh tuan besar.

But unlike others I kept my silence, in public at least. I’m not Malay.

So I was chuffed when a “Malay”, blogged

Aiseyman! When Masagos Zulkifli gets promoted, the entire Malay Muslim community gets a pat on the back for the “progress of the Malay community”. If it’s not enough that our Prime Minister patronises us, our very own Malay leaders lap up every drop of it like a primary 1 kid getting a star for successfully solving the equation 1+1=2.

If Masagos had come to where he is now through sheer hard work, his achievements will speak for itself. Is there a need to single out his race and extend his achievements to the entire community? Making a big deal out of it only fuels the condescending mentality that we are not good enough in our own country that every big or small accomplishment deserves to be highlighted and praised.

Like we don’t have any pride or self-esteem.

The government needs to stop treating us like kids and give us the respect that we deserve! Our Malay leaders also have to stop behaving like the pet anjings of the government and have some backbone to stand up for the community against racist and demeaning stereotypes!

http://www.aiseyman.com/2015/04/10/stop-treating-malays-like-kids-and-give-us-the-respect-we-deserve/

—-

*There was a story hat made the rounds in the 80s that ran as follows; LKY in a cabinet meeting spoke of renewing the cabinet. Barker said, “Right Harry, when are you resigning?” LKY had to mutter that he wasn’t thinking of himself.

 

 

Pharma R&D here/ “Fair and balanced” reporting and analysis?

In Economy, Media on 16/04/2015 at 2:26 pm

Last Friday, Today’s opening paragraphs of a story read:

Even as several multinational pharmaceutical giants are setting up their regional headquarters here to much fanfare, some have quietly wound down their research investments in the Republic.

In the past five years, at least three major pharmaceutical companies have shut down their research and development (R&D) operations here. In 2010, American pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and Company closed its R&D unit of 130 staff, nine years after it was set up.

Three years later, United States-based Pfizer closed its clinical research unit, which was set up in 2000. It laid off 30 employees as a result.

Last year, British firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) ended its eight-year-old R&D operations at Biopolis.

Noting the timing of the closures, which came after the end of tax breaks and other incentives offered by the Government for starting operations here, analysts noted that given the high business costs, it was inevitable for some pharmaceutical companies to rationalise their operations after being here for a while.

“It may not be so visible immediately, but the trend is catching up,” said Dr Siddharth Dutta, industry manager for life sciences at Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific. “Talent is expensive in Singapore and when the Government grants and tax breaks come to an end, it only adds to the cost of research operation. Sometimes it is cheaper to acquire a regional company with promising pipeline molecule instead of having a dedicated R&D site.”

Mr Jason Humphries, managing director of Good Pharma Consulting in Singapore, added: “Government grants do influence investment decisions in R&D as pharmaceutical companies continue to revamp their research portfolios.”

So not very good news for S’pore’s pharma R&D efforts, is it? Or at best, the prospects are mixed?

You’d be wrong to think so, it seems.

Guess what were the headlines?

“S’pore still ‘compelling location’ despite spate of R&D closures– Firms rationalise operations after lapse of tax breaks, other govt incentives, analysts say”

To support the “S’pore still ‘compelling location’” angle, Today then reported

Responding to TODAY’s queries, Mr Kevin Lai, executive director of biomedical sciences and consumer businesses at the Economic Development Board (EDB), said: “A pharmaceutical company’s decision to withdraw its R&D operations from Singapore is usually a global business decision and is taken as a result of reasons specific to the company. In most cases, Singapore is not the only location affected by the restructuring.”

He added that the statutory board works closely with affected companies to minimise the impact on the employees and to provide new employment opportunities in Singapore.

[He would say this wouldn’t he? His KPIs depends on pharmas’ R&D efforts here.]

Mr Humphries pointed out that the Republic’s focus was clearly on getting pharmaceutical firms to set up their “control towers for regional and emerging markets”.

He also noted that companies are consolidating after the recent spate of mergers and acquisition in the region.

Eight of the top 10 Japanese pharmaceutical companies, for example, have established their regional headquarters here. [Yes, but as my dog tells me, the Japs are marginal, struggling pharma players on the global stage.]

Last month, GSK also announced that it would use Singapore as a base to steer its growth in Asia, with the set-up of a new regional headquarters here.

And those who left still have some presence here:

Pharmaceutical companies, including some of those that have wound down their R&D investments here, are getting into external collaborations with Singaporean research and clinical groups, or outsourcing their R&D operations to these organisations.

For example, United Kingdom-based AstraZeneca is collaborating with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), the National University Heart Centre and the National University of Singapore.

Swiss drug-maker Novartis has also entered into several partnerships with Singaporean research institutes since it started the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD) in 2002.

A Pfizer spokesperson said: “Key to expediting the translation of science into breakthrough therapies of tomorrow will be driving greater, deeper and stronger collaborations across the healthcare landscape. At Pfizer, we know we can’t go at it alone and are actively supporting the development of an emerging, highly networked ecosystem.”

Mr Lai said the EDB continues to see interest from companies to invest, collaborate and conduct R&D here given Singapore’s “strong scientific capabilities and the growth of the Asian market”.

[He would say that wouldn’t he? His KPIs depends on pharmas’ R&D efforts here.]

For example, Chugai Pharmaceutical announced in February that it will invest S$476 million in total by 2021 into its Singapore research institute, Chugai Pharmabody Research.

Mr Lai said: “We are confident that Singapore remains a compelling location for pharmaceutical R&D, manufacturing and commercial operations, and a biomedical sciences hub for Asia and beyond.”

All in all the “S’pore still ‘compelling location’” rests on the say so of the EDB’s executive director of biomedical sciences and consumer businesses. The quotes of the private sector people in the article are motherhood statements.

I’m not saying that the S’pore isn’t a “compelling” place for pharma R&D. All I’m saying is that there isn’t evidence of this going by the article.

Double confirm June GE?/ Respect LKY’s ideals

In Political governance, Uncategorized on 16/04/2015 at 3:55 am

PM needs Ho’s help?

Temasek Holdings Chief Executive Officer Ho Ching will be on “part-time sabbatical leave” for three months ….”She will continue with her Board duties and specific stewardship duties,” according to the statement posted on Wednesday (Apr 15). (CNA yesterday afternoon)

FT suggests, “Arranging the family affairs of the man who led Singapore to independence in 1965 is expected to be a time-consuming process.’

My guess is that PM needs her beside him in the coming GE campaign. I had written earlier: Surely a June 2015 GE is on the cards? After all, that a 49-day mourning period is acceptable in the Confucian tradition. A traditional 100-day mourning period would mean that the Sept school holidays is the earliest possible time for GE. https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/lky-how-right-how-wrong-june-or-sept-ge/

“Respect LKY; Respect his ideals; Vote PAP”

“Most importantly, how we honour Mr Lee must be faithful to the ideals he lived by and fought for. Mr Lee made it very clear throughout his life that he did not need and did not want any monument. It was not monuments but ideals that were his chief concern, the ideals upon which he built Singapore: Multi-racialism, equality, meritocracy, integrity, and the rule of law. He hoped these ideals would endure in Singapore beyond him. We can pay no greater tribute to him than to uphold the principles upon which he built this country.”*

CNA 13 April reporting PM’s parly speech).

Want to respect LKY? No need monuments. Respect his ideals. Vote PAP. All the elected seats is a fitting tribute,” will the implicit theme of the GE campaign.

Will the 10% ** of voters that voted for Tan Cheng Bock in PE2011 but who voted for the Oppo in GE 2011 vote PAP?

If they do (And assuming the 60% of the voters continue supporting the PAP and “Why not?”), LKY would have the last laugh. He would have rise from his coffin to help the PAP.

True it wouldn’t match Peanuts Goh’s 75.3% share of the vote in 2001 but it would be a 10%age points swing too.

Better still, due to the large number of uncontested seats in 3001, only 675,306 of the 2,036,923 eligible voters (33.2%) actually voted. In the next GE, all the seats will be contested.

++++++++++++++++++++

*One of these days, I’ll post on why I sniggered when I read this.

**  Tony Tan and Dr Tan each had 35% of the vote: 70% supported these two PAP-aligned candidates. In GE, PAP only got 60% of the vote. Hence the 10% figure.

Another view of why MAS didn’t further ease S$

In Economy on 15/04/2015 at 12:04 pm

The entral bank left its policy of “modest and gradual” appreciation of the local currency unchanged in its policy review on April 14. Analysts had expected further easing. The MAS had raised their hopes in January with its unexpected decision to reduce the pace of the local dollar’s appreciation against a basket of other currencies.

Our constructive, nation-building media has spun this latest decision by implying MAS was confident that the economy was improving and that there was no need for further easing. A weaker Singapore dollar should boost the cost of imported goods and help arrest a slide in domestic inflation. It could also help the city-state’s exporters regain some of their lost competitiveness. The latest data show Singapore’s manufacturing industry shrank by 3.4 percent between January and March compared with a year earlier.

But an FT from Reuters pointed out:

But the flip side of a weaker currency is the prospect of a sudden spike in domestic interest rates. The benchmark 3-month interbank rate has more than doubled in the past eight months to slightly above 1 percent. If the U.S. Federal Reserve raises its target for short-term U.S. rates, investors might demand even greater compensation to hold a falling Singapore currency. Mortgage rates in the city, still ridiculously cheap at below 2 percent, might shoot up.

That could be problematic. The era of global easy money since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis has led to a doubling of outstanding bank loans. The multiyear credit boom has pumped up Singapore’s real estate. After rising 62 percent in four years, home prices have eased 6 percent over the past 18 months – helped by the government’s strenuous attempts to contain the mania. While gently easing prices would allow the property market to rediscover its balance, a collapse could hurt both borrowers and lenders.

Singapore’s war against stalling consumer prices and anaemic global demand would benefit from a cheaper currency. But those gains may not be enough to justify pricking a credit-fuelled property bubble. If air escapes too quickly, the damage could be far greater.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2015/04/14/singapores-war-on-deflation-hobbled-by-bubble/

SG50, LKY, Presentism and BS

In Uncategorized on 15/04/2015 at 3:19 am

I came across something on Facebook that I agree with in part.

The bit I disagree with I’ve drawn a line across.

I read the entire RSIS piece it refers to, and having read some of the alternative historians the writer castigates, I think they (the ones I’ve read) have a lot more intellectual rigour than the writer displays in writing the piece. The RSIS piece comes across as something that could be written by a third-rate ST journalist in the presence of the ghost of LKY.

My beef about the RSIS piece is that it is preaching to the faithful and converted, not talkingto  those who keep an open mind. The alternative historians make their pitch at those of us with open minds even if there is a lot of disingenuity and half-truths in their arguments. But at least they respect us. This writer does not even bother to respect us. He shouts at us.

We must keep both sides on their toes. Then the truth may emerge.

The FB posting:

Since the demise of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, opposition supporters and Alternative SiteS such as TOC published articles to doubt Mr Lee’s dedication to Singapore, and used 21st century western values to question his actions. Why is there a need for TOC to be so pro-west? Why didn’t TOC credit the unique Singapore values that made Singapore so successful today?

Presentism — “Evaluating past events and people by present-day values; the application of current ideals and moral standards to interpret historical figures and their actions.”

https://www.rsis.edu.sg/…/co15086-alternate-historians-pos…/

“..what really drives some Alternate historians and their supporters is what is called presentism – an orientation to the past coloured by current ideological and political biases and concerns.

Blind, uncritical imitation of the Western model however – as some Alternate historians and activists appear to crave – would be unwise. Evolutionary change, with one eye fixed firmly on Singapore’s unique geopolitical, demographic and sociocultural realities, remains the way forward in the post-Lee Kuan Yew era.”

My tots on the leftists

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/are-you-better-off-now-than-you-were-in-2011/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/seek-truth-from-facts-tre-commentators-dont-misrepresent-me/

U$875 million M’sian IPO/ SGX, where are the IPOs?

In Malaysia on 14/04/2015 at 1:03 pm

Malakoff Corporation, the largest independent power producer in Malaysia, will start taking orders on April 17 for its 2.7 billion ringgit, or $752.4 million, initial public offering, Reuters reports, citing people with knowledge of the share sale.

Meanwhile here our FTs in SGX are juz taking their salaries and doing bugger-all. Trying to revive S-Chip IPOs despite retail investors losing millions in last S-Chip bubble. WTF!

Sympathy vote? What sympathy vote?

In Financial competency, Political governance on 14/04/2015 at 4:01 am

The constructive, nation-building media are quoting the “experts” as saying that there will be a sympathy vote* for the PAP. The anti-PAP cybernuts are cursing their luck that their wish came true (LKY died) but are worried that the PAP will not now lose the GE as they had expected: taz how deluded or nutty they are.

Let’s cut to the chase and analyse nthe available data shall we?

First, the data on LKY’s lying-in-state and funeral

About 1.5 million people paid tribute to Mr Lee at sites around the country this week the government said.

  • 454,687 people filed past the coffin as it lay in state in parliament, averaging 6,500 every hour according to government
  • 1.1 million people paid tribute at 18 community sites around the country – a fifth of the population

[T]ens of thousands lined the streets to view the funeral procession carrying Mr Lee’s coffin through the city-state.

(BBC article)

Now the analysis.

If all the 1.5m that paid their respects were citizens and voters, that may conceivably result in the PAP getting 70% of the popular vote in next GE.

Not good news for the WP (their MPs would lose their cushy, well-paid jobs where the only KPI is how silent they are), Dr Chee’s SDP, people like me who want an end to the PAP’s hegemony, and the cybernuts.

But we can reasonably assume that there were people below the voting age who paid their respects. And we can also reasonably assume that of the 1.5m in attendance, only 0.96m are of voting age (In 2011, 2.1 m out of 3.3m citizens were of the voting age i.e. 64%)

Even if we assume that there were no FTs paying tribute (Impossible because, after all, he did say that FTs are more hardworking than S’poreans: respect begets respect) and no anti-PAP people paid their respects (but we know at least the Chiams, P(olitian) Ravi, Jeannette Chong anfd New Citizen Han Hui Hui** did go to some tribute), 0.96m is a lot less than the 1.2m who voted for the PAP in 2011. In fact, it represents only 45.7% of the popular vote.

Where’s the missing 14.3 of the popular vote that voted for the PAP?

Now 0.96m is higher than the 35% of the popular vote that die-die must vote for the PAP (the voters who voted for Tony Tan the PAP’s (and it’s rumoured LKY’s) preferred presidential candidate. But it’s a lot less than the 70% or 1.5m that voted for Tony Tan and Dr Tan Cheng Bock. Dr Tan has never renounced his PAP past, unlike Tan Kin Lian who lost his deposit, so we can assume that the 35% of the voters who voted for Dr Tan are willing to back the PAP.

So sympathy vote? What sympathy vote? Where’s it coming from?

There may be one, but how to prove it?

Seriously, what I’ve tried to show** is that the 1.5m figure (a very good turnout in the context of a population of 5.5m) can be explained by the turnout of the core PAP supporters, their children, and FTs.

Given LKY’s high regard for FTs and that the FT PMEs live the good life here, it’s a fair bet that many FTs paid their respects. I mean even the Indian manual workers (who we are told are bullied and exploited) hold him in high regard: their villages back home honoured him in their traditional ways.  Ways which annoyed at least one anti-PAP activist who is ethnic Indian.

As I wrote at https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/why-pap-didnt-do-well-in-2011-but-will-do-better/  and  https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/are-you-better-off-now-than-you-were-in-2011/ there are other factors that should help the PAP increase their share of the popular vote in the coming GE. If the PAP does better than in 2011, there is no need to talk of a sympathy vote.

The experts should not BS about the sympathy vote without any evidence. Now if they had access to the results of polling and analysis of focus groups which they or third paries like IAD or PA conduct, fair enough: but if they don’t they should juz sit down and shut up. And think.

Related posts:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/lky-how-right-how-wrong-june-or-sept-ge/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/battle-in-cyberspace-take-the-money-and-bs/

*Actually so did I. On the day of the funeral I tot the PAP could get 70% of the popular vote if the election is held in June or September: until I tot about the matter.

**She cursed him on Facebook sometime back, saying she was hoping he’d die soon. Well she got her wish, so maybe taz why she went to the lying-in-state? Her way of dancing on his grave?

***Of course, my assumptions can be challenged. Challenge them please.

Analysts bullish on Q2

In Economy, Financial competency, Financial planning on 13/04/2015 at 10:27 am

Given that the S&P500 is near its recent high again, European mkts are looking good and the Greater China mkts are having a ball, this extract on our market from CNA 31st March seems appropriate:

Going into the second quarter, analysts are optimistic that the upward trend will continue. Major events at home, such as the SEA Games, are expected to have positive spill-over effects – particularly in the transport, tourism and hospitality sectors.

However, a major downside risk could be the impending US interest rate hike. Analysts said that if the roll-out is properly managed, the effect on equities could be minimised.

Said Mr Nicholas Teo, market analyst at CMC Markets: “The other driver is that global liquidity will still be fairly good, despite the potential US rate hike; I think that process will be managed, and with that management.

“I think equities will still be the asset class that will dominate this year. Singapore sits nicely in Asia and we will see a benefit of that fund flow coming through. So with that, Singapore would probably ride that wave.”

Die Die don’t blame me if you believe these guys.

Q1 winners and losers for momentum players

Singtel was one of the top performers for the quarter, with its share price jumping 12.3 per cent. It was followed closely behind by property developer Hongkong Land, with returns of 11.7 per cent.

Sector-wise, telecommunications and real estate investment trusts (REITs) continued to do well -even as commodity-related sectors, such as commodity suppliers and offshore and marine, underperformed. 

Me?

I’ll take my dividends, Reits’ payouts and be content.

The best way to respect LKY

In Political governance on 12/04/2015 at 5:51 am

Well today tomorrow PAP MPs* and NMPs will be lining up to propose all manner of tributes to LKY. Wonder what the saka queen, that NMP with useless legs and a sycophantic brain will say? Let’s see if any of them have the balls to say: “Want to respect LKY? No need monuments. Vote PAP. All the elected seats is a fitting tribute to him.  Let’s face it. Whatever we think about him or his achievements, even his most ardent admirers  and the most anti-LKYers will acknowledge that to LKY, “The people, the PAP and the government are one”. So what better tribute or monument to him, if one is wanted, then to restore one-party rule to S’pore. I mean we had a fair bit of this in the 60s and 70s before than vain glorious, ang moh tuakee wind-bag spolided the party by entering parly? And S’pore did pretty well economically didn’t we? And for better measure, why not then change the constitution to make the PAP the ruling party for eternity? DSC_0011 Err I don’t think Harry would want this though. For all his faults, he, like Caesar Augustus, was keen to preserve the facade of proper behaviour and decorum. For those not conversant with him, Augustus was the first Roman emperor but made sure that he operated within the traditions and laws of the Roman republic. Augustus also said: “I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.” I think P(olitican) Ravi would have to agree (through gritted teeth admittedly) that LKY could say without contradiction, “I found S’pore a city of bricks and left it a city of steel and glass.” — *Three PAP MPs will be asking the Government to consider how the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew can be honoured further when Parliament sits. MP Foo Mee Har wants the Government to declare a new holiday called Founder’s Day so as to “provide Singaporeans the opportunity to remember the struggles of the country in the early years and remind us of the nation’s founding values and principles”. [He founded S’pore? Come on Raffles founded modern day S’pore.] She also wants the Singapore currencies, both notes and coins, to bear the face of Mr Lee. MP Lily Neo will also be asking the Government to consider printing Mr Lee’s photo on Singapore’s dollar notes in order to honour him. In addition, Ms Neo wants the Government to consider re-naming Singapore’s airport after Mr Lee. MP Ang Wei Neng agrees with Ms Neo. He will further ask the Government to consider renaming Changi Airport or any other significant buildings or institutions in honour of Mr Lee. [Hello, you disrespect him so fast? He didn’t like this kind of thing. It could a lot of persuasion for the LKY School of Public Policy to be so named.]

Will this ever be reported here?

In Commodities, Economy, Media on 11/04/2015 at 3:01 pm

Glencore says it will stop funnelling sales from its Australian coal operations through Singapore, a move that comes amid growing concern in Canberra about the impact that alleged tax avoidance by multinational mining companies is having on the country’s tax take …

[It said this to an] Australian parliamentary inquiry scrutinising the use of Singapore marketing hubs by BHP Billiton, Rio Tintoand Glencore to reduce the mining groups’ tax bills.

Glencore told the committee that almost half its Australian exports flow through S’pore …

(FT report on Friday)

Iskandar: Developers must be desperate?

In Malaysia, Property on 11/04/2015 at 4:16 am

Last Saturday, a freesheet published a puff piece on why it’s good to live in Iskandar and commute, and why it’s a good investment. No mention was made of the huge hikes in the tax on driving to and fro.

A day or two later M’sia again hiked it’s vehicle entry fees: by $7.25 I think. We know what the policy here is don’t we? S’pore with match the increase.

Rumour is that M’sian federal govt hiked fees last year, to warn the sultan of Johor not to to seize executive power in the running of Johor.

Will we be seeing Iskandar property ads in the freesheet?

Noble: Two good reasons to buy?

In Accounting, Commodities, Uncategorized on 10/04/2015 at 7:13 am

A trading house requires lots of working capital (i.e. borrowed money). The short sellers by raising issues about “aggressive accounting” are trying to get its facilities cut.

Well

— S&P believes the company deserves its investment grade credit rating; though it would like to know more about the assumptions.

— Noble’s banks have juz renewed a US$2.2bn credit line.

So it’s up to Muddy Waters to make sure that the mud sticks to its allegation of “aggressive accounting”. .

But it’s not so easy because if the price falls substantially, the banks get scared and change their minds while S&P might get scared that its missing something. It could then say that share price fall affects the rating.

Not easy to make money in stock markets. ask Ho Ho Ho about StanChart, Merrill Lynch and Chesapeake.

LKY: How right, how wrong?/ June or Sept GE?

In Political governance on 10/04/2015 at 4:43 am

Not long after Mao’s death the Chinese Communist Party announced that he had been 70% right, 30% wrong. This official view has not changed despite the changes in China: from underachiever to wannabe great power, challenging US hegemony.

What does the PAP think about how right and wrong LKY had been? Going by the spin by the constructive, nation-building media, one assumes 100% right. LKY did no wrong. He even was a nice, compassionate human being. Btw, readers might like to be reminded that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a prisooner in Stalin’s gulag camps, reported that prisoners cried when Stalin died: there was even genuine grief among those who suffered because of his actions^.

And the vigilantism against those with the “unright” views, shows the PAP IB stroking the genuine respect that many S’poreans feel for LKY. To be fair, some of the anti-PAP views on LKY are going too far. Even at the more reasonable end of the “unright” views, TOC and P(olitican) Ravi seem to want to make him one of the crowd that did great and good things for S’pore. Hello guys, he was the head of the PAP and PM of S’pore. Surely the leader deserves a bit more credit than his team, even if it was a team effort?

Given that a general election could be held soon and he will feature prominently (“Want to respect LKY? No need monuments. Vote PAP. All the elected seats is a fitting tribute.”), what do voters think how right and how wrong he had been is what matters.

Will the 10%* of voters that voted for Tan Cheng Bock in PE2011 but who voted for the Oppo in GE 2011 vote PAP?

Surely a June 2015 GE is on the cards? After all, a 49-day mourning period period is acceptable in the Confucian tradition. A traditional 100-day mourning period would mean that the Sept school holidays is the earliest possible time for GE.

*Tony Tan and Dr Tan each had 35% of the vote: 70% supported these two PAP-aligned candidates. In GE, PAP only got 60% of the vote. Hence the 10% figure.

^Sentence Aadded at 5.30am.

Ho Ching has a problem; so have our local banks

In Banks, China, Temasek on 09/04/2015 at 6:54 am

As readers will know Ho Ching has big markers on StanChart and Chinese banks.

Once regarded as a proxy for the growth of Asian markets in commodity-rich nations like Indonesia, StanChart has today become a victim of the reversal of fortune suffered by many emerging markets and their heavily indebted corporate borrowers …

Much of the lending to Asia outside of China assumed the region would grow on the back of insatiable demand from China. Much of the lending to China itself was based on that same expectation. That faulty thinking was then compounded by assuming that the value of the Chinese property used to back the loans would also continue to rise. But local banks in China, such as Agricultural Bank of China, are beginning to report that their bad loans have doubled — although officially they remain under 3 per cent. (Excerpt from recent FT article)

Ho Ho HO.

But it’s our problem too now that Tharman is now using projected long term returns from Temasek to spend our money on ourselves. Cybernuts might want to note that their heloo, Ong Teng Cheong, wanted to lock-up all the returns from the reserves (more LKY and Dr Goh). It was Ah Loong that fought him. Ah loong is the real people’s hero. if Ong had his way, we’d be pressing our noses on the iron bars guarding our reserves: Money, money everywhere/ Not a cent to spend/ Give thanks to Ong Teng Cheong

But the pix’s not that great for our local banks either: what with DBS’s exposure to Greater China and Indonesia, OCBC’s exposure to Greater China, and UOB’s and OCBC’s exposure to M’sia. Btw, OCBC has FTs as its Chairman and CEO, while DBS and UOB have true blue S’porans (Yes, I’m counting Gupta as a local. He’s a real talent.)

And if property prices tank here …

Battle in cyberspace/ Take the money and BS

In Media on 09/04/2015 at 4:55 am

In addition to saturating the newspapers and airwaves, the PAP administration and its minions  were saturating cyberspace with the news of LKY’s death. The constructive, nation-building ST made its online coverage of the death and other related   news available to netizens. And the news coverage on CNA’s website was all about him and the lying-in-state.

Then there was spontaneous outbursr of respect and tribute from social media and bloggers.

Even the cyber-warriors and cybernuts who tried to counter the right narrative added to the saturation coverage.

So Khaw would be happy. During the Parliamentary debate on 10 March, Khaw took the opportunity to KPKB about social media, “In 2011, many Singaporeans were swayed by the social media commentaries, and worried that the Singapore Dream would not be available to future generations .

How can the PAP do better in cybberspace?

For the coming GE, will the PAP pick up tips from the US and Ukrainian govts on how to handle the social media cowboys, Comanches and other renegades?

US State Department’s war on social media against Jihadists

Ambassador Alberto Fernandez is the US State Department’s Coordinator for Strategic Counterterrorism. The Department runs campaigns on Twitter and social media forums to challenge extremists directly, with titles such as “Think Again, Turn Away”.

These have been criticised in some quarters but he believes that engaging the jihadists’ audience rather than ignoring them means they are exposed to alternative views.

But, like the [London]Metropolitan Police team, his staff are few in number, with only around 20 engaging on a daily basis with jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

“We see ourselves as a rag-tag guerrilla organisation waging a hit and run campaign against the adversary,” Mr Fernandez told the BBC. “We’re definitely the David against the ISIS Goliath, which is perhaps somewhat ironic.”

Ukrainian Information Army

The Economist reports Ukraine launched the “Ukrainian Information Army”, a volunteer force of internet commenters tasked with spreading government-approved content and combatting Russian trolls. A recent mission asked the troops to post a propagandistic Ukrainian response to a Russian-made propaganda video.

(Emphasis mine)

Take the money and BS 

Btw, I’m sure MediaCorp and SPH journalists can advise the Ukrainian journalists what to do: Ukrainian journalists have been struggling with how to carry themselves in a war where the media plays an outsize role … Journalists constantly debate whether they can help Ukraine without contradicting their professional standards. “Ukrainian journalism is undergoing a crisis of values,” says Olga Chervakova, a television journalist turned politician, who now sits on the parliamentary Committee for Freedom of Speech and Information.

Juz take the thirty pieces of silver on offer and play whatever tune the paying piper wants you to pipe. Not unique to S’porean journalists: the WP MPs have their own version. They take the MPs’ allowances (about $15,000 per MP per month), and keep quiet even when the PAPpies beat them up publicly: “Sticks and stomes may hurt me but $15,000 a month can buy a lot of kok yok,” seem to be the mantra.

Finally, a piece of advice to the two social media celebrities, and ex-NSP activists who are allowing the Chiams to get blood transfusions from them. Set-up a Bishan-Tao Payoh-Potong Pasir* pages and sites and promote the sites to the people living there: be local.

*Prediction that PP will be merged to the Bishan GRC.

SIA: Sweet spot in costs, safety and efficiency?

In Airlines, Humour on 08/04/2015 at 1:55 pm

TRE and its anti-PAP cybernut posters are cheerfully running down SIA because it is ranked 29 in safety terms below even Chinese air;ines

Why always running down S’porean co and seeing Chinese cos no ak?

Given its safety record (when was last time anybody died in SIA crash?) It may have found the sweet spot between costs, safety and efficiency?

And btw, since when have TRE posters (Chris K excepted) been able to afford to fly. Going by their comments about public tpt fares, they can’t even afford to travel by bus.

Chris K:

Cynical Investor:
Why always running down S’poreanco and seeing Chinese cos no ak?

Given is safety record (when was last time anybody died in SIA crash?) It may have found the sweet spot between costs, safety and efficiency?

Really? If that is so, how come No.1 ranked Cathay Pacific is more profitable than SIA? Me thinks the disgraceful way SIA treats its frequent flyers is the reason it is falling behind. Have now gone with One World (Cathay and BA) – ended my 15 year Gold membership at SIA recently.

Rating: +11 (from 15 votes)
I’ve not compared the two in yrs because I don’t invest in airlines; so I can’t comment on Chris K’s retort. Save that he would be wrong if SIA’s margins are better.
And anway, I note he was on SIA’s frequent flyer programme until recently. A true blue s’porean. Waz he doing among the TRE ranters and losers?

 

Pinoys still not going home? Why not?

In Economy on 07/04/2015 at 1:25 pm

Manila’s PSE was the top performer – with a gain of 9.8% in Q1. Thailand wa the worst, the  SET pulling ahead by 0.55%. STI managed 2.4% year-to-date.

The Phi;ippines grew at an annualised pace of 6.9 per cent in the final three months of the year, far ahead of the 6 per cent expected by most analysts. The quarter-on-quarter figure of 2.5 per cent was the highest in almost two decades, according to calculations from analysts at Barclays.

Philippine growth

TRE reader’s take on PinoyLand and Pinoys could explain why they still not going home, but prefer to stay here or come here

Peenoy Annoys:

Peenoys overestimate themselves just because the Spore Govt gave them jobs but are in fact is using them as cheap labor. They fail to see that they are being undercut. They get cocky and boastful and are a complete discredit to themselves and their country. And they are just talk and no substance.

Why come to Spore? Because Pinoylands is built on quicksand. If your are worth your salt then go back and contribute to building your slums into a decent habitat.

After all they can discriminate against S’poreans in S’pore

Alleged discrimination based on nationality continued to top the list of complaints received last year by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP), with the banking and information technology sectors still the most problematic.

These cases made up half of about 300 complaints in total. However, TAFEP general manager Roslyn Ten said many stem from misunderstanding and not from genuine bias, and urged companies to improve communication with job seekers or existing employees by explaining why, for example, foreigners instead of Singaporeans were hired or promoted. (CNA)

Juz wondering if getting paid less than S’porean is a legit reason for discrimination? Juz asking.

Jogging alone can be illegal?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 07/04/2015 at 4:48 am

If wearing the wrong tee-shirt or singlet?

Try walkng or jogging alone* wearing a “Free our CPF” singlet: remember that any public assembly of more than one person** needs police permission.

And jogging in a group of two or more”Free our CPF” singlets will be like jogging in groups in Burundi: illegal.

Running is a national pastime in Burundi, with hundreds of people out jogging on weekend mornings. But in March [2014] the authorities banned jogging in groups – unless permission was sought from the authorities. It affects all group sports in the capital, which can now only be played in designated areas.

Jogging by Lake Tanganyika

The restrictions followed the arrest of some opposition members who were out jogging and chanting political slangs. Police officers tried to stop what they regarded as an illegal march and the situation deteriorated into clashes. More than 40 Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD) party members received sentences ranging from five years to life.

Burundi: Where jogging is a crime

Wonder what about wearing a tee shirt with a Oppo party logo, drinking teh tarik as social media celebrities Ravi and Jeannette Chong used to do when they were NSP tua kees.

And what about the crowds assembling to pay their respects to LKY? What about the crowds at the National Museum LKY exhibition?

Seems anything the PAP administration or the SPF doesn’t like can be an illegal assembly.

———‘

*Auntie Sylvia was absolutely right in 2007 and 2009 when she spoke out publicly:

The change in definition of “assembly” and “procession” is more disturbing. As the Explanatory Statement to the Bill says, these words are no longer restricted to gatherings of 5 persons or more. This means even ONE person alone can constitute illegal assembly, thus giving the State complete control over an individual citizen’s freedoms.

‘First, to say that 1 person constitutes an assembly is certainly an abuse of the word. Secondly, is the government making the change because there had been incidents involving less than 5 persons which had disrupted public life? Unless there is compelling evidence to prove to us that expanding the definition of assembly and procession is needed, this expansion does not deserve our support,”  Sylvia Lim in parly in 2009.

Earlier, in 2007, she had said:

“This refers to clauses 29 and 30 of the Bill. By clause 29 of the Bill, we are removing the heading “Offences Against Public Tranquility” and replacing it with “Offences relating to Unlawful Assembly”. By Clause 30, we will be deleting “mischief or trespass or other offence” and replacing it with “to commit any offence”.

S 141 has been amended to bring it in line with a recent Court of Appeal case: PP v Tan Meng Khin [1995] 2 SLR 505. Now, an assembly will be unlawful if people intend to commit an offence punishable with imprisonment of 6 mths or more, even if it is peaceful and does not disturb public tranquillity. Under our law, a person who organizes a procession or assembly after the police rejection of a permit can be punished with max 6 months jail under the Miscellaneous Offences Act. Hence 5 or more people who gather to do so will become members of an unlawful assembly.

As our society continues to evolve, the time is surely ripe for us to allow peaceful outdoor protests as a form of expression. By all means, we can have rules about how, where and when such processions may be held, but wider law reform is needed. S 141 should be restricted to offences which threaten the public peace, and other laws such as the Miscellaneous Offences Act which require permits for peaceful assemblies should be modified.”

**Two men between the ages of 24 and 25 were arrested by police outside the Istana on Saturday afternoon (Apr 4).

Police said the duo had turned up in front of the Istana with placards at about 4pm. Channel NewsAsia understands that the men were holding signs that read “You can’t silence the people” and “Injustice” for about half an hour. They were clad in identical red hoodies and dark blue jeans.

Police also said both of them had refused to stop the activity despite requests from officers. As such, they were arrested for organising a public assembly without a permit, under Section 16(1)(a) of the Public Order Act, Chapter 257A.

 

Serious instability at StanChart?

In Banks, Temasek, Uncategorized on 06/04/2015 at 1:42 pm

Following the coming change in CEOs, the resignation of a very senior manager and a planned change of chairman, Viswanathan Shankar (new citizen and a real talent like DBS’s Gupta), head of the bank’s Europe, Middle East, Africa and Americas business, is said to be planning to start a private equity fund. The bank it seems wanted to give him additional responsibilities. This not not good as the deputy CEO (passed over for the job) is also expected to leave.

Temasek and other major shareholders wanted change. May be they’ll end up with serious instability.

Why PAP didn’t do well in 2011, but will do better

In Economy, Political governance, Uncategorized on 06/04/2015 at 4:10 am

The anti-PAP cybernuts who expect the PAP’s share of the popular vote to fall below 60% will bang theirs balls in frustration. The PAP’s share of the popular vote will go up.

And taz not even taking account of the LKY effect induced partly (but not wholly) by the saturation coverage in our constructive, nation-building media, aided by various Facebook pages run by allies. The anti-PAP websites help the PAP by adding to the sheer weight of coverage even as they they denigrate LKY, often in really stupid ways. More on GE and the LKY effect one of these days.

Nor is this even taking account of our money being spent on us. Think public transport, Pioneer Generation benefits for starters.

It’s economics that drove the PAP’s share of the vote to 60% and will lift it in the coming GE.

The PAP didn’t do well in 2011* because there was no real wage growth from 2010 to 2012, mirroring a drop in FDI flow. But look at the rebound in both. And remember the increase in employers’ contribution by 0.5% from 1 September 2011. And  that there is a further 1% increase this year.

—–

*Yes, yes of course the rising prices of public housing and the crowded trains and buses and the arrogance of the PAP especially one LKY (remember his “repentance” comments?) didn’t help. Funny even the cybernuts don’t raise his “repentance” comments. Scared his ghost will haunt them?

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/sg50-bkr50-buffett-lky-ah-loong/

Holding highly paid to account

In Corporate governance, Political governance, Public Administration on 05/04/2015 at 4:53 am

Hmm, maybe PM should think of adapting these ideas for himself, his ministers, senior bureaucrats and CEOs of TLC and other commercial GLCs.

HOLDING EXECUTIVES ACCOUNTABLE Should top executives be required to contribute a chunk of their pay to a pool that would pay penalties if misdeeds were later uncovered at the company? That is a nonbinding proposal that Citigroup shareholders will vote on next month, notes Gretchen Morgenson in the Fair Game column.

A somewhat similar idea can be found in a law journal article by Greg Zipes, a trial lawyer for the Office of the United States Trustee. Mr. Zipes proposes that top executives sign a contract pledging to pay back 25 percent of their gross compensation in the event of major corporate misdeeds. Such proposals, Ms. Morgenson says, are intended to combat the “perverse incentive” that encourages executives to take on huge risks in order to earn rich pay and bonuses, safe in the knowledge that the consequences won’t be costly.

Maybe there should be pools for the ministers, senior bureaucrats and CEOs where they contribute part of their gross remuneration.

If their peers cock up, the money in the pool gets forfeited to the Consolidated Account.

Maybe ministerial peer pressure can keep Lui on his toes. And the ex-SAF generals running SMRT and NOL. CEOs of DBS, SIA, Keppel, CapitaLand etc will make sure that incompetent peers are “moved” on.

China evacuates S’poreans from Aden

In China on 04/04/2015 at 5:10 pm

Not seen any report on this from CNA etc.

China’s navy has evacuated 225 foreign nationals and almost 600 Chinese citizens from Yemen’s southern port of Aden, amid fierce fighting there.

,,,

Chinese naval frigates were carrying out anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia when they were diverted to Yemen to evacuate people trapped by the fighting.

The evacuees were taken by naval frigates across the Red Sea to Djibouti, to take flights home.

The non-Chinese evacuees included 176 people from Pakistan, said Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying. There were smaller numbers from other countries, including Ethiopia, Singapore, the UK, Italy and Germany.

Ms Hua said it was the first time China had helped evacuate foreign citizens – and only the second time that China has used warships to evacuate its own citizens from a conflict zone, says the BBC’s Martin Patience in Beijing.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32173811

Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli has sought Oman’s assistance, should it be necessary, to assist Singaporeans leaving Yemen. (CNA on Friday)

Better not fly on any Thai airline?

In Airlines on 04/04/2015 at 4:09 am

Thailand’s aviation sector is under scrutiny after an international safety audit led to a ban on new flights to China, Japan and South Korea.

Last week the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) issued an alert flagging “concerns relating to air operator certification procedures”.

Last week the ICAO issued an alert which triggered increased physical inspections of aircraft operated by Thai airlines serving existing routes to countries such as Australia and Singapore, a regional air hub, as well as a ban on airlines expanding their services.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32126817

Fly SIA and associates. Don’t be cheap skate! Can die die if fly Thai. ))))

Update at 5.30am

From CNA on Thurday

The surveillance and ramp inspections of Thai carriers’ aircraft operations in the Republic have been stepped up, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) in a news release on Thursday (Apr 2).

Its statement came after the International Civil Aviation Organisation(ICAO) reported “significant safety concerns” in Thai carriers earlier in the year. The Thai government has since said it would urgently improve airline safety in the country.

CAAS added it has not imposed any restrictions on Thai airlines. This is unlike other countries like Japan, who blocked new flights from Thailand last week – a move which affected charter services by budget carriers such as Thai AirAsia X and NokScoot.

In the release, CAAS said it has in place a Foreign Operators Surveillance Programme (FOSP), under which foreign carriers are required to have an Operations Permit from CAAS to operate in Singapore.

The release said that CAAS evaluates an application for an Operations Permit “using a risk-based methodology”, which takes into consideration factors such as the safety oversight capability of the State of Operator, the operational capability of the carrier and the safety records of the aircraft.

“In assessing a foreign carrier’s operations, CAAS takes into consideration safety information from other aviation authorities including the outcomes of the inspections or audits they conduct,” it added.

“CAAS also conducts periodic ramp inspections on the foreign carrier’s aircraft when they are in Singapore; the frequency of which is dependent on CAAS’ assessment of the carrier.”

The regulator assured that any major deficiencies found in the ramp inspections have to be addressed by the carrier for it to continue operations in Singapore.

World class banks, “peanuts” salaries

In China, Corporate governance, Temasek on 03/04/2015 at 5:00 am

China banks’ CEOs are monkeys? Temasek has significant stakes in three of them.

 

 

Exhibits from FT

 

Lex chinese banks

Beating really long odds: 283 billion to one

In Uncategorized on 02/04/2015 at 3:05 pm

They are dubbed “Britain’s luckiest couple” by the papers – David and Kathleen Long, who have won £1m on the Lottery for a second time. The press put the chances of this happening at 283 billion to one.

The Sun, Daily Mirror and Daily Star all have them on their front pages and focus on the fact that the couple remained living in their static caravan after their last win in 2013.

The Sun says they now plan to move to a house and take a Mediterranean cruise, while the Mirror notes there are better odds on Simon Cowell becoming prime minister and the royal baby being named Wayne.

The Daily Mail says last week’s win followed a spur-of the-moment purchase when Mr Long saw a poster advertising the draw in a supermarket.

“After beating odds of 283 billion to one they have surely earned a holiday this time around,” is the view of the Daily Express.

The Times looks at some other odds – the chances of a monkey typing the word EuroMillions on a typewriter (191.5 quintillion to one), rolling 15 dice and every one of them coming up as a six (470 billion to one) and winning the National Lottery jackpot on a Wednesday or Saturday (14 million to one).

The Guardian says Mr Long admits there was one thing he wanted that he could not get first time round – a season ticket for Liverpool FC.

“There is lucky, beyond lucky and mind-bogglingly, jaw-droppingly jammy,” says the Independent. “But a whole new vocabulary may be required to describe the good fortune of David and Kathleen Long.”

A cartoon on the front of the Times jokes that they had better odds than Nick Clegg holding onto his seat.

 

Seek truth from facts, TRE commentators/ Don’t misrepresent me

In Uncategorized on 02/04/2015 at 4:35 am

In response to https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/are-you-better-off-now-than-you-were-in-2011/ which TRE republished,

— Chris K*, a regular TRE contributor, whose analyses of CPF and our SWFs’ are worth reading wrote:

eeerrr leftist mean Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China, meh? Or is that Labour, Social Democrats, Democratic Socialists which is a good thing right? More likely CI falls for the PAP demonology that everything left is communist which is as far from the truth as saying the PAP is fascist and one L*Y is Adolf Hitler. tsk, tsk very disappointing, mate.

— Ng Kok Lim, another regular TRE commentator, screamed out:

CI is making the same unqualified smearing of the Lefitsts by the PAP by labeling them as communists like those in Cuba and so on. Where is CI’s proof that the leftists were actually communists? CI must take note that the PAP could never charge the Leftists as communists in court. They could only lock them up unethically and immorally until the detainees buay tah han and admitted guilt even if they were innocent much like the forcing of the ‘truth’ through torture during medieval times. 

(I had written that LKY and gang and others not leftish enough would have likely to lived to have lunch gatherings or pioneer generation benefits: opponents and intellectuals not sympathetic to the leftists’ cause were, imprisoned, exiled or killed in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China.)

I would ask Chris K, Ng Kok Lim and others who believe the self-serving rubbish of the Coldstore detainees that they were a bunch of social democrat peaceniks with flowers in their hair) to go have a word with students (now in their 60s and 70s) of Chinese High, Chung Ching etc about their time in school. In their clandestine cell groups, did they study the works of leading European and British social democrats or socialists? Nope they would tell you that they studied the works of Mao.

Ask them about the cell leaders who led the discussions. Were they steeped in the tots of the ang moh social democtats or socialists? Nope they were acolytes of Mao, steeped in the doctrines Chinese communism.

Finally Chris K and fellow believers in the peaceful nature of the leftists’ movement here who fought the British and LKY should read the memoirs of the Plen and Chin Peng.

But at the very least they should read http://brokensilencesg.blogspot.ca/2015/03/where-forgotten-heroes-are-born-chinese.html. This blogger is anti-LKY (like Chris K and Ng), yet his view of the students chimes with LKY’s views of the students.

Then come talk to me.

The very serious point I’m trying to make that LKY’s and PAP’s self-serving narrative of our history, is not all rubbish. Like all good propaganda, it has elements of the truth. In the 1950s and earky 1960s

— the Malayan Communist Party and China used the leftist movement here for their own ends;

— the students and other Chinese-educated leftists here were highly influenced by the writings of one Mao. They were not influenced by ang moh social democrats or socialists like the Fabians.

Mao said, “Gather truth from facts”, something I’m sure Chris K was doing when he was working as a risk manager. But I’m sure Ng Kok Lim doesn’t “Gather truth from facts”.

He didn’t read what I wrote: I never called the Coldstore detainees “communists”. Or he decided to misrepresent me? Taz the quality of Ng Kok Lim: either not bothering to read what I wrote or trying to make me say what he  wanted me to say, despite me not writing it,  by accusing me of writing something I never wrote. This is what Ng wrote: CI is making the same unqualified smearing of the Lefitsts by the PAP by labeling them as communists like those in Cuba and so on. Where is CI’s proof that the leftists were actually communists?) 

Where did I call our leftists.

Ng may have wished I called our leftists “communists”, but where’s the proof?

—-

*He describes himself: Chris is a retired executive director in the financial industry who had mostly worked in London and Tokyo. He writes opinions and commentaries mostly on economic and financial matters.

Public service indeed

In Banks, Insurance on 01/04/2015 at 2:20 pm

No not LKY but Tidjane Thiam who FT reports got a 36% pay rise to £11.8m in his previous job at Prudential.

Thiam was born in Ivory Coast in 1962. His mother was the niece of Ivory Coast’s first president, while his uncle on his father side is Habib Thiam, who was president of Senegal for 10 years.

Thiam himself worked in the Ivorian government from 1994 to 1999, working as the head of the National Bureau of the Technical Studies and Development and a personal economic adviser to Ivorian president Henri Bédié.

When he became minister he was not paid for six months (as was everyone else in the ministry: there was a financial crisis) and a military coup meant he wasn’t paid. He ended up in prison for a few months He left his country with nothing except his brains and a good name: for example the World Economic Forum named him one of the 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow.

More on him from sometime back

RISK EXPERT TO LEAD CREDIT SUISSE Shareholders responded positively on Tuesday after Credit Suisse announced that Tidjane Thiam, the chief executive of the British insurer Prudential, would succeed Brady W. Dougan as chief executive, Jenny Anderson reports in DealBook. Shares of Prudential slumped 2.6 percent, while shares of Credit Suisse closed up 6.7 percent. The positive reaction reflects the rise of Mr. Thiam’s reputation in London financial circles and expectations that he will change the course of the Swiss bank, which in recent years has had large legal expenses, largely as a result of its role in helping Americans evade taxes.

Mr. Thiam, an African francophone, has never worked for an investment bank, though he has completed stints at McKinsey, the World Bank and two insurance companies since 2009. And while it remains to be seen whether someone with virtually no banking experience can turn around one of the world’s biggest banks, the need for a leader with Mr. Thiam’s skills and knowledge “speaks volumes about the state of global banking today,” Ms. Anderson writes. “More and more, regulation is pushing banking to be more like insurance: cautious and focused on costs and the allocation of capital.”

In interviews on Tuesday, Mr. Thiam played down his lack of experiencein investment banking. “If you talk about investment banking, Prudential has an $800 billion balance sheet, and we deal with exactly the same issues, whether it’s interest rates or markets,” he was quoted as saying on Bloomberg Television. “There is a lot of overlap.” Still, his lack of ties to the investment bank could mean he will be able to make cuts that Mr. Dougan may have been reluctant to make, Ms. Anderson writes. The change at Credit Suisse will be effective in June.

NYT Dealbook

Ello, Ello! FTs bully, beat S’poreans with impunity?

In Public Administration on 01/04/2015 at 4:38 am

(Updated on 7 April 17.00 to reflect that SPF has finally charged Ello Ello^. Hopefully the Pinoys, especially the ambassador, will know their place here.)

Last Wed, the local media reported that Australian and Singapore permanent resident, Aaron Peter Jeremicjczyk, has been fined $3,000 for assaulting jazz singer Dawn Ho last year in Sentosa.

My first tot was, “Now more ang moh men will beat up local gals: only $3,000 fine for doing so: juz claim provocation”. I hope the prosecution appeals against the sentence: verbal abuse should not ever mitigate an offence where physical violence resulting in injuries. Btw, this FT was a marketing executive: we no got this skill here meh?

This reminded that in early January, Pinoy Ello made offensive anti-Singaporean comments on Facebook: remarks that went viral. He filed a police report claiming that his Facebook account had been hacked.

A few days later he was fired. His employer said

Our decision for dismissal is independent of the ongoing police investigation of the more recent alleged posts made in January 2015. We are still in full cooperation with the police on the alleged comments.”

He had made earlier anti-S’porean remarks and did not deny them.

Since then there has been silence from the police (Still investigating or case closed? Compare Ello’s case with how quickly Amos Yee, a S’porean boy, was arrested for among other things insulting Christianity) and the Pinoy ambassador. The latter had criticised S’poreans for anti-Pinoy remarks:

The Philippines ambassador to Singapore, Antonio A Morales … expressed concern about “the few Singaporeans” who have lashed out, and condemned the blog that suggested abusing Filipinos.

“I think it was unfair and racist and discriminatory,” he said, adding that the blogger had still not been identified.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-28953147

(My take on the interview https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/pinoy-tua-kee-gives-the-finger-to-govt-meng-seng-2/)

But he has never criticised Ello for the comments that Ello said he made https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/ello-ello-pinoy-ambassador-has-nothing-to-say/. Pinoys above our laws isit?

The Filipino embassy told Ello to be “extra careful with his social media usage”, days after the nurse, Edz Ello, made some insulting and threatening comments about S’porean on social media.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/pinoy-and-prc-diplomatic-behaviour-contrasted/

Seems the Pinoys see S’pore and S’poreans no ak despite coming here by the container load.

I end by posting remarks made by a TRE reader

Pinoy Leader Didn’t Give Face:

The Philippines with 100 million population couldn’t give a damn about the tiny red dot. If its the mother Mrs Aquino in charge, she would definitely attend L*Y funeral.

All the top leaders of Asean were in Singapore [not correct but the leaders of the major countries were here except for the Philippines] except President Aquino. He cannot even spare a few hours to fly in for the funeral. What’s is more important that he has to personally attend to ? What’s the point of sending the Foreign Minister ?

This show that L*L has been played out wholesale and not given any face like the Chinese saying goes. Its time to send all these ungrateful Pinoys home.

—–

*http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32115052

Reminds me of what Robert Kuok said: He wondered how to encourage that entrepreneurial spirit among Singaporeans, and would put the question to powerful businessmen he met there. South-east Asia’s richest man, Mr Robert Kuok, remembers how he responded to Mr Lee: “I told him, you have governed Singapore too strictly, you have put a straitjacket on Singapore. Now, you need to take a pair of scissors and cut it.” – See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/remembering-lee-kuan-yew-the-greatest-chinese-outside-ma#sthash.ix2sIx93.dpuf

Does the SPF have to throw the book at every insult to religion and LKY?

Here’s another case where SPF took their very sweet time prosecuting FTs (this time beating up S’poreans) https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/heads-must-roll-in-the-home-team/

^CNA reports that Ello has been arrested and charged. He can go to prison for a few years

… Ello Ed Mundsel Bello was arrested and charged in Court on Tuesday (Apr 7). He faces two counts under the Sedition Act, and another three for providing false information to the police during investigation.

Police alleged that the 28-year-old had posted two comments on Facebook which had the “tendency to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different classes of the population of Singapore”, namely the Singaporeans and Filipinos here, the charge sheet stated. 

The first comment allegedly stated: “Now the Singaporeans are loosers in their own country, we take their jobs, their future, their women, and soon, we will evict all SG loosers out of their own country hahaha. The best part, I will be praying that disators strike Singapore and more Singaporeans will die than I will celebrate. REMEMBER PINOY BETTER AND STRONGER THAN STINKAPOREANS.”

The second comment allegedly stated: “Yes I love our people, we will kick out all the Singaporeans and SG will be the new filipino state.”

The other charges under the Penal Code were for misleading the police who were investigating the case. Ello told the police he did not post the abovementioned comments, and that his Facebook account had been accessed without authority, according to the charge sheets.

Under the Sedition Act, if Pinoy Ello is found guilty of promoting feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of S’poreans, Ello is liable, on conviction for a first offence, to a fine of up to S$5,000 or a jail term of up to three years, or both.

Under the Penal Code, giving any information which person knows to be false to a policeman is punishable with a jail term which may extend to one year, or a fine up to S$5,000, or both.