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Archive for May, 2015|Monthly archive page

For JosTeo and other millionaire ministers too?

In Humour on 31/05/2015 at 1:14 pm

United Kingdom-based fitness chain Fitness First recently announced that it would be launching a “first-of-its-kind globally” gym in Singapore. It will be a “private and intimate” place, catering to chief executives who “do not want to be down there in the gym with a lowly clerk”.

Sounds like the place for  JosTeo, GraceF and other PAP ministers like VivianB who sneered at the elderly poor, would like to hang out too.

Called Gravity, the gym is targeted at C-suite and senior executives in the CBD. To join, one has to be invited and pay S$3,000, on top of monthly fees of about S$600 — almost five times more than average monthly membership fees at gyms here.

The new 17,000 sq ft gym will be located on the 38th floor of CapitaGreen tower on Market Street. It will boast services such as on-site wellness consultations, one-to-one personal coaching, and a smartphone application that members can use to track their fitness progress as well as network with one another.

The gym also has a lounge, work stations and meeting rooms. A 6,500 sq ft restaurant is scheduled to open in October, which can be patronised by the public during lunch and dinner hours. Breakfast will be specially catered for members and their invited guests.

In Asia, Fitness First operates gyms in Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

Mr Simon Flint, who heads the company’s Asia business, said Singa­pore was chosen as the location for its first “private members’ club” because the Republic was “a thriving international business hub with a large population of business executives who are concerned about their health and well-being”. Today

And millionaire ministers who don’t like to mix with lesser mortals?

 

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Cheapskate from TRE in action?

In Humour on 31/05/2015 at 4:51 am

Vanessa Ho, a coordinator with Project X shared that a Singaporean male cheated three sex workers by paying them with fake currency last Friday.

She wrote that $25 was cheated out of one worker, while the other two were cheated of $50 each. One worker even gave the man $20 change in real cash.

As the transaction was conducted in a dimly lit area, the sex workers were unable to tell that the note was a fake currency.

The workers were able to identify the man in a red shirt on Friday as the same person who paid them with a fake $50 note.

One of the workers identified him as one of her regular customers. According to her, the man is a Singaporean Chinese, who is around 20 years old odd, and works as a chef.

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/05/sex-workers-cheated-with-fake-50-notes-for-their-services/

Could he be a regular poster on TRE, one of the cheapskates who praises TRE but who never contributes to keeping TRE alive. Richard Wan, Andrew and the other members of TeamTRE not only provide their services for free, they even fund TRE. It has raised only half of its required funding of USD50,000 for this year.

Taz dedication. The cheapskates are relations of JosTeo, GraceF and other PAP ministers? and of this ACS mum? TRE posters came out in support of her cheapshateness when TRE republished my piece. Nothing wrong in being cheapshate or scrounging off the efforts of others.

Foreigners mistrust PinoyLand?

In Uncategorized on 30/05/2015 at 1:54 pm

In 2014, the country attracted just US$6.2bn in foreign investment, a lot less than in the rest of Asean. 

 

This despite the strongest growth in Asean something that I’ve documented.

Looks like they are taking a cue from the Pinoys who continue leaving, not returning home.

Ello’s relations will be flooding in

In Uncategorized on 30/05/2015 at 4:34 am

And steal our dinner (having stolen our lunch thanks to the PAP administration)

And things are already really bad. A Pinoy “foreign law expert” wrote very arrogantly  “According to our kababayans, Singaporeans really look at Filipinos as their competition given that we are diligent and speak better English. You really have to be careful about what you say. Also you have to consider that there are an average of 4 different cultures in that country: Indians, Malaysians, Chinese, and Filipinos. You have to be careful not to offend anyone with your remarks.”

Peenoys “diligent and speak better English”? And Peenoy culture ranks with our cultures?

Sorry, back to the reason why Ello’s relations will be coming here

Growth in the Philippine economy slowed in the first quarter of the year to its weakest annual pace since 2011, official figures showed.

The economy expanded 5.2% in the first three months from a year ago, which is the slowest rate since the last quarter of 2011, when growth was 3.8%.

The figure was also well below market forecasts for 6.6% growth.

The economy was hit by weak growth in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, the government said.

Growth on a quarterly basis was the lowest in six years. The economy grew by just 0.3% in the quarter on a seasonally-adjusted basis, compared with 2.5% growth in the October to December period.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32894920

Will Ello Ello be stirring his fellow Peenoys to kick us out.? Will the PAP administration pretend not to hear?

 

Ho, Ho, Ho: Chinese banks rights issues are a’coming

In Uncategorized on 29/05/2015 at 1:16 pm

(Update at 2.10pm

A state-owned investment firm also said it sold shares in the top four banks*.

Central Huijin Investment confirmed it sold some mainland-listed shares in China’s top four banks and other financial institutions, along with Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

Temasek has stakes in three of them.)

Why Chinese banks will be needing more capital sooner than later. As a big investor in Chinese banks, Temasek will be subscribing to rights issues, lots of them, on banks that have underperformed their US, ang moh and SE Asian peers.

Ho Ho Ho

A group of 14 Chinese banks that Fitch Ratings analyses has a combined 20 trillion yuan ($3.3 trillion) exposure to property, four times the 2008 amount. More than half of this sum is corporate credit with property as collateral. Just like in Japan in the 1990s, it’s not clear if all Chinese banks have enough loss-absorbing capital to withstand a big shock to property prices.

It stretches credulity that in a sharply slowing economy where total credit is estimated by Fitch to have ballooned to 242 percent of GDP by the end of 2014, and where interest costs this year would amount to 15 percent of GDP, only 1.4 percent of bank loans have gone bad. But then, the non-performing loan number is meaningless because 38 percent of the overall credit risk resides outside banks, in Fitch’s estimate. But just because the dodgiest loans are hiding in the shadow banking system doesn’t mean that losses on them won’t find their way back to the banks.

China’s lenders have a head start. Many have been raising capital in the market to pad out their loss-absorbing capacity. But more might be useful, so that when the heavy losses come, the more efficient borrowers aren’t forced out of the market. China might also need to revisit the law that stops banks from lending more than 75 percent of their deposit base. Allowing zombies to exist in suspended animation rather than die suddenly can help minimize mass unemployment and social unrest, but the cost mustn’t be borne by more productive sectors.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2015/05/26/japan-lesson-on-china-debt-extend-dont-pretend/

Cybernut obsessed by me?

In Humour, Uncategorized on 29/05/2015 at 4:51 am
This regular cybernut ranter wrote this about me showing he has not only read my stuff but felt compelled to record my tots:
Rotten PAPayas:

As a matter of fact, CI has been taking potshots at and calling opposition figures and TRE readers derogatory names since years back.

Here is a sampling which I gathered and compiled :

Dr Chee : Mad Dog Chee, Dr Chee and gang

Goh Meng Seng : wayang kung fu artiste extraordinaire

Dr Chee & Goh Meng Seng : Two chatter-boxes, two noisy S’poreans

Svlvia Lim & Pritam Singh : Auntie and her Singh

Kenneth Jeyaratnam : s/o JBJ and self-styled and self-appointed keeper of JBJ’s flame, KJ’s low EQ, up-bringing and manners [You mean KJ not s/o JBJ? He fake son isit? Like he fake Saints as many old boys of St andrews claim?]

Catherine Lim: Msian Cina New Citizen Pussy Lim, Damaged CD & Broken Record

Ng Kok Lim : a rat …

Roy Ngerng & Han Hui Hui : hooligans

Roy Ngerng : loose cannon

Han Hui Hui : trash

Amos Yee & his mother : a dysfunctional wife and son, Mummy’s Pet

M. Ravi : sick as a parrot, went “bananas” a few yrs back

TOC : a leading Ravi cheerleader

TRE readers and anti-PAP netizens : cybernuts, whining cyber warriors, born losers, paper ranters, rabble, talk cock, sing song free-loading cheap-skates, Roy’s ultra supporters

oxygen : loser

Tham Weng Kay & Bapak : looney ones

Pretty accurate but I don’t remember the last one and the citation Rotten posted in clarification really isn’t from me.

And Rotten left out: Andrew Loh, Maruah, Kirsten Han, Lynn Lee, that wind-bag JBJ and many others. And the PAPpies I slime. But then Rotten’s a cybernut.

Seriously think about the people I don’t slime regularly: Alex Au, WP Low, Chen Show Mao, P(olitician) Ravi, the Chiams (OK except for turning SPP into a zombie), TeamTRE, Terry Xu of TOC etc. I don’t slime serious, competent people wanting to do good. I slime clowns (think Goh Meng Seng, JBJ, Roy, and M Ravi) and talk cock, sing song whiners esp if they are ang moh tua kees (Lynn Lee, Kirsten Han, s’o JBJ.)

And who are the people I admire? LKY, Lee Siew Choh, Dr Goh, Toh Chin Chye etc: All serious men who wanted to do good for other S’poreans, though the “good” is loosely defined. Waz good by LKY’s definition may not be good by Lee’s definition and vice-versa.

Have a good long weekend.

CPF: FT MP’s constructive, good suggestion

In CPF, Financial competency, Property on 28/05/2015 at 2:05 pm

One of my favourite love-to-hate MPs said something sensible before LKY’s death dominated the news: that the joint consent of both spouses should be required when a member’s CPF withdrawal is linked to a CPF charge on the couple’s jointly owned property.

She should have gone on to say that this principle should also apply where a working couple jointly use their  CPF funds of buy a flat. The right to withdraw funds should be subject to the veto of the other partner. It’s their money that was pooled to buy that flat.

And yes, more financial competency courses so that more will learn about the BS Roy spins.  “The Republic scored 68 points out of 100, a drop of four points from the previous survey conducted in 2013” (Singapore Sees Decline In Financial Literacy: Survey, Matthias Tay).

Seriously, At the moment, concepts taught in schools rarely go beyond the basics of saving and borrowing, and even at the institutes of higher learning the economics subject shares little about day-to-day financial knowledge and skills. Young Singaporeans seem poorly equipped to handle such responsibilities, or – progressively – apply concepts learnt in the classroom.

There is also a common misconception that financial literacy only involves the complicated investments in or management of stocks, debts, or derivatives, though – as the MasterCard index has shown – individuals should be familiar with basic money management, financial and retirement planning, and investment.

https://guanyinmiao.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/decline-in-financial-literacy-worrying/

———————-

*… We are concerned that stay-at-home mothers, not having accumulated much Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings, cannot benefit from the latest CPF enhancements.

They will continue to rely on their spouses’ CPF for their retirement. Therefore, even as the CPF enhancements provide members with greater flexibility, it must be exercised with the goal of also providing retirement adequacy for their spouses.

The Government is encouraging spouses and children to top up the Retirement Accounts of their loved ones, by paying an additional 1 percentage point for the first $30,000 for members above 55.

I have asked that joint consent of both spouses be required when a member’s CPF withdrawal is linked to a CPF charge on the couple’s jointly owned property.

There is still much we can do to educate and encourage couples to optimise their CPF balances. Financial literacy and understanding of the latest CPF changes are essential to help women attain retirement adequacy. The PAP Women’s Wing will start a movement to help women and their families understand the impact of these changes and to make better decisions for the family.

Foo Mee Har (Ms)
MP for West Coast GRC
Treasurer, PAP Women’s Wing Executive Committee

 

 

Harry: Gandhi and “commercial use”/ How PAP uses LKY non-commercially

In Uncategorized on 28/05/2015 at 4:42 am

Before the KPKBing about Harry being protected reaches absurd proportions, here’s something from Derek da Cunha, a really smart observer of the political scene (and he’s no Gillian Koh);

Passing a law to prevent the commercialization, and to protect the misuse of the name and image, of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, after his passing, was something I had discussed with the late publisher Ms Shirley Hew back in 2011. I had said that Singapore could well follow the Indian model in that respect. The misuse of the name and image of Mahatma Gandhi is prevented under India’s Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act 1950.
http://admis.hp.nic.in/himpol/Citizen/LawLib/C093.HTM

(Facebook)

He has a good point in how LKY’s can be protected in a sensible manner but then India is a multi-party democracy, has an interventionist judiciary and a vibrant civil society with many NGOs and people willing to take on the govt or the state.

S’pore is a de-facto one party state with many sheep and where most of the activists turn out to “talk cock, sing song” artistes or bi-polar. Need I say more?

To end, I came across this on Facebook:

I find it really disgusting that characteristic of our leaders, they and their machinery can exploit LKY-images in the name of “common good” but… bread-hungry minions can’t flog LKY-images to earn a few bucks!!!! (Intellectual property discussions, aside. Besides, LKY is a political leader, not a pop star!)

He has a point: what do you think?

LKY, another Immortal?

DSC_0046

90 and still fighting

In Insurance on 27/05/2015 at 11:48 am

This 90-yr old makes one Harry look like a wimp. At 80, he started an insurance co. and in his 80s, he sued the US govt. From NYT Dealbook:

GREENBERG STILL IN THE RING In 2005, Maurice R. Greenberg was forced to resign from American International Group under the shadow of an accounting scandal, which he is still battling in court as he gets ready to turn 90 on Monday. And Mr. Greenberg is also the driving force behind a four-year-old lawsuit claiming the federal government unconstitutionally seized A.I.G.’s assets during the financial crisis. “Few people would choose to spend their golden years surrounded by lawyers, facing subpoenas and hostile cross-examination. Yet, if anything, Mr. Greenberg seems to have been energized,” James B. Stewart writes in his Common Sense column.

Mr. Stewart recounts Mr. Greenberg’s activities in the 10 years since he resigned from A.I.G. at age 80: He helped build the privately held C. V. Starr & Company into a global insurance company with over 3,000 employees, and he is the director of the Starr Foundation, which has bestowed over $2.2 billion in grants to New York charities alone. Mr. Stewart decided to pay the former A.I.G. chief executive a visit to learn the secret of his longevity. Mr. Greenberg credited his health to good genes, plus he exercises regularly and gets adequate sleep. But what carries him through the prolonged legal battles is his desire to set the record straight, Mr. Stewart writes. “I’ve always believed that if you do something wrong, you should admit it,” he told Mr. Stewart. “But if not, you fight for what you believe in.”

“Age doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “No one is invincible, and I might not wake up tomorrow. But I don’t think about that. I’m doing what I want to do, and that’s what’s important.”

Frus at LKY worship/ LKY and the gods

In Uncategorized on 27/05/2015 at 4:36 am

Can you hear the banging of balls, fruz at what he and I’m sure other anti-PAP activists and cyberwarriors (nutty or sane), and ordinary S’poreans (who while respecting LKY, don’t do adoration) as you read the u/m? It appeared as a comment in TRE shortly after Harry moved on down and which I’m highlighting now ’cause of the KPKBing about the  perceived deification of LKY by the PAP administration.

A creative MediaCorp artist suggested to print $100 notes with LKY’s portrait on it. Those ministers, MP, grassroot and anyone who go on air to pay tribute to LKY tried to outdo each other. So we learned that we have to be grateful to LKY for our food, toilet, trees…..basically everything single thing around us has his footprint on it.

If a minister has his way, we will be flying our national flag on his burial day …

In India, a village with folks who never even set foot in S’pore are mourning his death. Village leader appeared on TV crying. These folks have family members working in S’pore so they are eternally grateful to LKY for letting truck loads of their sons into S’pore to make a living. India has declared 29 Mar a mourning day.

In China, villagers are flocking to LKY’s ancestral home in Guangdong built by his grandpa to pray to his portrait. They intend to spend $8.8M to turn it into a tourist attraction spot though LKY never lived there at all.

I have my own humble suggestion. Why not name the next new housing estate after LKY? It will come with LKY Street, Avenue, Lane, Expressway. So many things will be named after him once we have a HDB estate in his name …LKY Town Council, Committee Center, Malls, Markets, Schools, Parks, …… His name will be all over – everyone so happy, no need to write petition after petition.

Should not be a problem getting support as the minister in charge of this has been crying at the mentioned of his name. Certainly he will be all for it. Then each BTO flat can be sold at out of this world price. After all, a flat in a HDB estate name after a our supreme leader and his cabinet of ministers who draw out of this world salary must be sold at such befitting price.

No need to worry about losing election, as this will be GRC ward full of MIW supporters. If neighboring wards favor opposition, just redraw the boundary before election. It will be like killing 2 birds with one stone – $$ making and vote winning. LKY HDB Estate can propel the maximum number of MIW candidates into parliament. The only problem is can they build it up before the next election which is likely round the corner before LKY worship feverish pitch dies down.

Btw, here are some photos I commissioned before LKY’s death, when he was in hospital. I got this idea of affectionately and respectfully remembering LKY (not paying tribute) from photos I’ve seen of altars of Chinese peasants that had photos of Mao among statues of Chinese gods.

Harry, and the Eight Immortals

DSC_0080

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kuan Yew, and the DSC_0106bodhisattvas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LKY and good luck symbols

DSC_0050 (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry watches over my savings box (The box is a replica of the original OCBC Bank in Chulia St circa 1960s)

DSC_0067

 

What Citi and UBS pleaded guilty to

In Banks, GIC on 26/05/2015 at 1:12 pm

Below is a summary of what Citi and UBS (Harry’s “forever” investments) pleaded guilty to from NYT’s Dealbook

HEAVY FINES FOR FOREIGN EXCHANGE COLLUSION At big banks, foreign exchange trading seemed like the ideal business – relatively low risk for solid revenues. But “what seemed like the perfect business turned out to be the perfect breeding ground for crime,” Michael Corkery and Ben Protess write in DealBook. Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland pleaded guilty to a series of federal crimes over a scheme to manipulate the value of the world’s currencies, the Justice Department said Wednesday. A fifth bank, UBS, was also accused of foreign currency manipulation but was not criminally charged because it had alerted the Justice Department to possible misconduct. However, the accusations cost the bank an earlier nonprosecution agreement related to the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor.

Prosecutors said traders at the five banks colluded from at least 2007 to 2013. “To carry out the scheme, one trader would typically build a huge position in a currency, then unload it at a crucial moment, hoping to move prices. Traders at the other banks would play along, coordinating their actions in online chat rooms,” Mr. Corkery and Mr. Protess write. The foreign exchange business may have been particularly susceptible to manipulation because it can be less profitable than other forms of trading, which increases the pressure for the traders to look for alternative ways to pad their returns, analysts said. Also, no one government agency is responsible for policing the currency market, creating a regulatory void.

The five banks, which also struck civil settlements with the Federal Reserve, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a British regulator and New York’s financial regulator, agreed to pay $5.6 billion in penalties. That is in addition to the $4.25 billion that some of these banks agreed to pay in November to many regulators. Together, the amount nearly equalsthe foreign exchange revenue generated at 10 of the world’s largest banks last year, which was $11.6 billion, according to Coalition, a financial analytics provider.

WILL PENALTIES CHANGE BANKS’ BEHAVIOR? What’s notable in the currency manipulation case is the ethos articulated by the traders involved. They called themselves “the mafia” and “the cartel,” and one Barclays trader wrote in an online chat room, “If you aint cheating, you aint trying.” In the White Collar Watch column, Peter J. Henning asks whether the guilty pleas and penalties will make a difference in how banks do business, noting that “even as penalty after penalty is paid by big banks in various cases, it seems as though the same cast of corporate characters keeps reappearing.”

He notes that guilty pleas from the big banks are “noticeably tougher” than the enforcement actions of the past, when violations drew only deferred or nonprosecution agreements. Yet the act of pleading guilty doesn’t carry the same stigma as it did in the past, Mr. Henning writes, because the government has tried to keep a guilty plea from hindering a bank’s operations. The Justice Department has also been demanding the identities of the employees behind the violations, but it’s unclear whether it will actually prosecute those people. “To change corporate culture and prevent violations from happening in the future, prosecutors may have to go beyond just demanding cooperation and threatening ever larger fines,” Mr. Henning contends.

CPF’s tax-like features/ No FTs, no land scarcity?

In CPF, Economy, Property on 26/05/2015 at 4:02 am

In a rubbishy response (OK mainly rubbish) published by TRE in response to another piece of rubbish (OK PAP BS) in Five Stars and a Moon (Sorry no links to both as I don’t promote rubbish) there are two gems among the BS responses in TRE that nail the untruths that the PAP administration, the constructive nation-building media and their allies in new media peddle as “right” thinking.

Why CPF is not “our money”: It’s tax-like

Funnily enough, Five Star and a Moon writer Tay Leong Tan (surnames of 3 persons) accused Roy Ngerng of being selective in the use of information which I agree to a certain extent. But Tay Leong Tan themselves are selective in the way they interprete Roy’s selective use of information.

On one issue Roy is right even though he did not argue in it in a coherent way. In the cost – benefit analysis of our CPF and the tax funded European social security system, CPF contributions need to be considered as if it is tax in order to compare like for like. The difference between the two systems is that we own an account in CPF with supposedly our own money whereas the Europeans own a set of social entitlements from their government. These entitlements are almost free healthcare, state pension, long term illness, disability, childcare, survivorship, out of work benefits. That is far more comprehensive than our own.

Now think of how the govt withholds CPF funds after age 55, how medisave and CPF Life are dispensed, it tells you that the govt treats what we get from CPF as if they are a set of social entitlements but heck of a lot less comprehensive than the European states.

Perceive the workings of CPF in reality, one has to consider CPF contributions as tax. Period.

[Where I would disagree is that it isn’t quite a tax because a nominee can inherit everything a person has saved if he dies before 55, though if a CPF holder lives a long time, the amounts inherited become nominal. So not quite a tax.]

Relate rising land prices to FT horde

In regards to “land scarcity” [the 5 Stars piece parroted the line that apts are expensive, ’cause land is scarce], I love to pose these questions:

Will land be scarce if our population is 4.4m today instead of 5.4m?

If land is scarce today at 5.4m, then is land not scarce at the 6.9m planning projection in the PWP?

In other words, land scarcity is relative especially seen in light of the govt’s near monopoly of land. Land scarcity is a figleaf to obscure the fact that govt’s capital and labour intensive growth model uses too much labour which ought to be mitigated by increased land supply but that did not happen. Why? Simple – the mismatch between land supply and macro-economic policy drives up land prices delivering massive revenues into the government’s surpluses.

Like the other 8 issues, this paints those behind Five Stars and a Moon as being unable to look beyond their own cognitive delusions caused by too easy an ingestion of PAP narratives and what the MSM reported.

The guy providing these insights is Chris K, who describes himself thus: 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.

He is the new hero of the cybernuts. If PAP that smart, a GLC or TLC should offer him a job. That’ll shut him up. But they never did give the editor of TRE IT contracts, so PAP not that smart. Taz why they have people like Jason Chua of Fabrications of the PAP: peanuts get monkeys.

One of these days, I’ll blog on when a conservative group of S’poreans kicked him out of their Facebook group, leaving him to scream, “Prp PAP treated like a criminal.” Most of the members of the group would subscribe to the PAP’s “right” tots cited above.

Two of LKY’s “forever” banks are criminals

In Banks, GIC on 25/05/2015 at 1:02 pm

Shortly before Temasek sold, MM had said that S’pore Inc’s investments in Citi, UBS, and Merill Lynch had a time-frame of 30 yrs. Temasek held its ML investment for over a yr. GIC still owns shares in Citi (profitable), and UBS (big loss). https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/mm-got-it-right-temasek-got-it-wrong/

UBS and Citi are still owned by GIC are now big time crooks. Recently, JP Morgan, Barclays, Citigroup and Royal Bank of Scotland – pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the US relating to the rigging of currency markets.

The four, and Switzerland’s UBS, which pleaded guilty to a different charge, agreed to pay $5.7bn (£3.6bn) in fines.

 

PAP’s best “friends”

In Uncategorized on 25/05/2015 at 4:13 am

An independent socio-political analyst (he has written some good books) wrote on Facebook

My only surprise about TRS is that it had existed for so long. The views reflected in the blog postings were increasingly extreme and only surpassed by the shrill tone of the commenters. Anyone who attempted to engage in a decent conversation was simply rebuffed, if not hounded out altogether. When a portal simply becomes a gathering point for only one slanted viewpoint, it does not convert middle ground voters. Instead, it puts off middle ground voters who merely see the same crude point repeated ad nauseam.

Well he could be talking of the cybernut posters on TRE.

They should do well to think carefully. With them around, the PAP doesn’t need friends. They do the job of persuading people to vote PAP:

The Critical Middle

The potential 5% or more vote swing is not enough to unseat the PAP. But remember two important issues.

In the Executive President Election, nearly 35% voted for Tan Cheng Bock, the establishment figure not endorsed by the PAP. This actually demonstrate the healthy beginnings of left and right voting blocs, 30-35% each with the middleground that will decide the final outcome.

The large bloc which voted for Mr. Tan represents those likely angry with the PAP but not particularly enamoured of the opposition. This is the crucial battleground of swing voters that will generate a bigger swing against the PAP if they can be persuaded by the opposition making a positive case for not being afraid of change. Reasonableness and coherent arguments are required to win over the undecided – and association with people perceived by normal voters to be narrow-minded, condemn the fence-sitters nut-cases will not do.

http://www.tremeritus.com/2015/05/20/can-2011-vote-swing-against-pap-continue-2/

Actually, the above has been said by others (self included) but never by a hero of the cybernuts who infest TRE. The writer of the above*, although a hero of the cybernuts, is no nut himself. So hopefully the cybernuts will listen to him and tone down their BS. Best if they sit down and shut up, so that TRE can reach out to the middle ground.

The good news is that the cybernuts have disowned Goh Meng Seng despite him being a founder member of the cybernut movement. He has become even too nutty for them: he wants to form a new party. (Much thanks I got from the cybernuts for pointing out years ago that GMS wants to split the Oppo: remember PE 2911 where he was adviser to deposit loser, Tan Kin Lian.)

Here’s hoping that they’ll disown Roy, New Citizen H3 and Amos, Mummy’s Pet,

——-

*Chris K describes himself thus: 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.

 

 

Iskandar prices off a cliff already? Stabilising?

In Malaysia, Property on 24/05/2015 at 10:05 am

Nah remember the supply

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/iskandar-dummies-guide-on-why-its-rubbish/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/iskandar-umno-dap-mps-agree/

When a PAP minister (think Lawrence Wong) voices concern over oversupply there, cybernuts who infest TRE (like rats and bugs infest Bukit Batok and suicides inhabit Bedok Reservoir) should be buying Iskandar properties since they always say “PAP always wrong. But then they got no money, and have no access to credit. Even ah loongs avoid them.

Lions XII — Yes

In Footie on 24/05/2015 at 5:21 am

Good job LionsXII and Fandi.

Let’s wish Fandi well in his coaching career.

LKY, Ho, Buffett and Keynes

In Financial competency on 23/05/2015 at 1:04 pm

“Investment based on genuine long-term expectation is so difficult today as to be scarcely practicable,” wrote Keynes in 1935. Only Buffett since then has shown that Keynes is wrong.

LKY (with his 30-yr investments in Merrill Lynch sold at a big loss after less than a few yrs, Citi and UBS) and Ho Ho Ho (with her investments in the Chinese banks and StanChart) show the wisdom of Keynes.

Eat yr hearts out Pinoys, Dr M

In Indonesia, Malaysia on 23/05/2015 at 5:13 am

Our economy in absolute terms is bigger than PeenoyLand. And we only slighly smaller than M’sia. Only Thailand and Indonland bigger than us in absolute terms.

Money isn’t everything: at least among US lawyers

In Uncategorized on 22/05/2015 at 1:17 pm

If only PAP ministers like JosTeo like that.

Lawyers With Lowest Pay Report More Happiness A study published this week found that prestigious jobs were not linked to more well-being and that public-service work correlated with less alcohol consumption.

Amos: Only mum is still a fan

In Uncategorized on 22/05/2015 at 4:41 am

Reading Amos’s Facebook page is not only a barrel of laughs, but it also shows that he lives in a different universe.

Example 1: He calls Vincent Law a coward for not responding to his allegations*. What he doesn’t realise is that Vincent has won in the court of public opinion: no need to respond.

Example 2: He produces “evidence” about the “emotional abuse” that he got from Vincent. Evidence? What evidence?

Example 3: He claims that people are convinced by his diatribes.

Never mind, more evidence to throw Amos into Arkham (where those of Batman’s enemies considered to be mentally ill are confined) and throw away the key. I’m sure the PAP, their supporters and the anti-PAP activists will be happy.

Seriously, can anyone be surprised that the Community Action Network’ (made up of Shelley Thio, Rachel Zeng, Jennifer Teo, Woon Tien Wei, Terry Xu, Roy Ngerng, Martyn See, Jolovan Wham, Lynn Lee, Kirsten Han and another**) has decided to keep quiet? As have the individuals?

“Given the rhetoric against Yee, and the numerous threats to his safety, he should have been “committed to a place of safety or a place of temporary care and protection” under the Children and Young Persons Act. Instead, he is now back in remand, over his failure to abide by his bail conditions.

CAN believes that the conditions imposed on Yee are unnecessarily onerous. Apart from having to report to his Investigating Officer every day, he is also barred from posting anything online. This curtailment of Yee’s right to express himself doesn’t just infringe on his constitutional rights as a citizen, it is also disproportionate to the charges he is currently facing.” 

Given his antics of defaming his ex-bailor they should be repenting of their words publicly.

As should s/0 JBJ, Andrew Loh, Maruah and a drug mule groupie who were all defending Amos’s right to insult Harry.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/05/03/amos-even-dumber-comments-parental-responsibility/

They should have the balls to apologise to S’poreans for supporting Amos, and for blaming society for Amos’s antics.

Interesting that Amos has denounced his activist “supporters”; denouncing them for talking the talk but not walking the talk: the activist friends would have happily let him rot in remand, while pontificating to society on the harm that being in remand would do him.

Something I had pointed out at the time: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/amos-talk-is-cheap-very-cheap-harry-really-needs-no-monument/

On this denouncement, he is right. At least he has learnt that the likes of Andrew Loh, Kirsten Han, Lynn Lee, Roy and s/o JBJ are talk cock sing song artistes, with their anti-PAP agenda. Never mind, he still has mummy who thinks he’s fantastic https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/05/13/amos-mummys-pet/. She even defends his lying as “as a need to”. Huh?

He was being used. Amos Yee, master manipulator was been had. Master manipulator? What master manipulator?

Coming back to fact that that he lives in a different universe.Maybe the cybernuts that infest TRE should invite him into their world, now that they’ve thrown out one Goh Meng Seng from cybernut land even though he was a founder member of the place. But Amos is likely to decline as Roy is a cybernut hero and he has fallen out with Roy. Seems Roy not happy with his “molest” comment about Vincent Law.
*If he didn’t defame Vincent Law and flip flop on apologies (After all he did write: I am extremely remorseful for the turmoil that I have caused to Vincent and his family, for the allegations towards him that he molested me,), he has really valid points about Vincent’s behaviour, if Amos’s allegations are true. I’d be pretty annoyed if I had been Amos, assuming he’s telling the truth. As it is I can understand why he preferred to remain in remand, assuming he isn’t lying.

All those cavaets above are to emphasie that Amos is as credible to me as the cybernuts that infest TRE.

**At least Vincent Law tried.

WHY HEDGE FUNDS ARE CLOSING

In Uncategorized on 21/05/2015 at 1:46 pm

Increased regulation, volatile markets and heightened investor scrutiny have prompted hedge funds to close their operations in recent months to focus on managing their own wealth, Alexandra Stevenson writes in DealBook. Shutdowns in the industry are not new – in past years, titans like George Soros and Stanley F. Druckenmiller have closed their hedge funds to manage their own money – but these days, hedge fund managers are complaining about external factors that make it more difficult to make money, like the regulatory changes brought about by the Dodd-Frank Act. For Gideon King, of Loeb King Capital Management, running a hedge fund had just become “too cumbersome,” as he said in January in a letter to investors. “As the endless quest for becoming institutional continues on, the soul of investing might get lost, as the unmitigated compliance processes become cumbersome and interfere with the purity of speculative contemplation,” he wrote.

Disgruntled investors are putting more pressure on hedge funds as well, angry about high fees for low returns, Ms. Stevenson writes. The average hedge fund returned 3 percent last year compared with a 13.7 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, and many investors are choosing to express their displeasure by withdrawing their money. “If you have enough money and on top of that it’s a tough market and you don’t want to deal with investors asking about performance, you can take the high road and say, ‘Here’s your money back,’ ” said Steven Nadel, a hedge fund lawyer at Seward & Kissel.

Even as some investors withdraw their money, a greater number are pouring money into hedge funds for the first time, bringing the industry’s assets under management to nearly $3 trillion. That has made it difficult for hedge funds to carve out a niche, especially among activist investors, who buy a small stake in a company to pressure it to make changes. “So many hedge fund managers are turning into activists that companies often discover that more than one activist has a plan for how they can change,” Ms. Stevenson writes.

NYT Dealbook

Degree mills are scams, not unaccredited institutions

In Public Administration on 21/05/2015 at 4:42 am

In response to https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/mom-thinks-we-that-stupid-or-they-really-that-stupid/, a regular reader and most intelligent commenter explained why degree mills are not “unaccredited institutions” as Zorro and the staff at MoM is insisting the are. He says (Emphasis is mine. My comments are within [ ] in normal print):

Aiyah, it is factually wrong to say all degree mills are unaccredited institutions. Why?? Because degree mills are mutually exclusive from all & any educational institutions. You can say that unaccredited institutions are a subset of educational institutions, but it is false to say that degree mills are a subset of educational institutions.

[Zorro and his officials are talking cock, real cock. Meritocracy? What meritocracy?]

Degree mills are scam jobs, pure & simple, just like pyramid schemes. The perpetrators know it and the consumers know it. Any person with average intelligence who participates in it will realise something is not right, even if he benefits. A consumer who pleads innocence and “sincerely believes it is genuine” is merely being disingenuous and acting in self-preservation.

[Heard that IDA about its beloved new citizen Nisha.]

And yeah it’s easier (& cheaper) to fake work experience than fake degrees. In my younger days, I was bumming around doing odd jobs & contract jobs for about 2 years in-between “real jobs”. When I went for job interviews later, I got so fedup with having to explain & justify my 2 years “hole” in my resume that I put in fake work experience with a fake company. And I got a good pal to act as my ex-supervisor in case any prospective company wanted to check. No company ever checked & my pal never got any calls.

Lim Swee Say also says that MOM conducts 100% checks on papers from known unaccredited institutions or degree mills. What about fake degrees obtained from degree mills?? I can get a bona-fide look & feel posh degree scroll + academic transcripts from the University of Sydney by paying some Peenoi degree mill US$350. US$500 if I also want someone to impersonate as my professor with Aussie accent & fake Uni letterheads & fake email account to act as my reference.

[If you think the last two para are rants,

Woman entered Singapore under false identities

She had fled over fake degree, but returned using various passports

She fled the country after being charged in 2002 with using a fake degree to apply for permanent residency. But that did not stop Lin Lifen, 39, from repeatedly coming back to Singapore over the next 12 years using different identities. She is now appealing against a 16-week jail sentence for her offences.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/woman-entered-singapore-under-false-identities-20150520#sthash.2Ye39gOg.7aaisx26.dpuf%5D

And all these doesn’t even touch the millions of sub-par & 3rd-rate ahneh, cheena, peenoy, burmese graduates from the mass of “accredited universities” that have so lax academic & ethical standards that you can get 1st class honours 4.0 GPA without studying if you’re willing to prostitute yourself, either with your body or with your money.

[Steady bro, don’t want FT lovers and ang moh tua kees like Kirsten Han and Lynn Lee making police complaints against this blog. LOL]

StanChart: Ho, Ho, Ho on a wing and a prayer

In Banks, Emerging markets, Temasek on 20/05/2015 at 1:21 pm

Last yr when Temasek gave a media presentation on its results, the question on StanChart elicited a BS reply but which when viewed today tells a lot about Temasek’s strategy in dealing with dogs with fleas: “Everything will be alright in the long term”. Err remember Keynes said in the long run, we are all dead.

QUESTION: Could you give us some comments on how do you see StanChart performing in your portfolio because over the last few years, especially in the last year and a half and looking at the outlook as well, they seem to be finding it quite challenging and there was a profit warning as well. What is your plan for StanChart? Do you think that… is that something that you would like to exit in the long term or you would treat StanChart as another Olam where you could actually try to take over?

RS: So look, it’s obviously not fair for us to comment on individual companies but all I would say is that yes, a lot of our stocks go through volatility. Standard Chartered is an emerging markets bank and like all emerging markets banks, the stock over the last year has been quite volatile. We, however, see ourselves as long term investors, short term volatility doesn’t concern us. We look at our investments over a longer term and use our value test to decide whether what we do with those stocks and we remain as an active investor always engaged with the companies.

Foreign brides cause social problems? FT families don’t? WTF!

In Political governance on 20/05/2015 at 4:18 am

Foreign brides cause social problems even though sons do NS like their fathers?

But FT families can come in by the cattle truck load and then sons can avoid NS like what new citizen  two timing Raj was planning to do? And FT fathers don’t do NS.

Wah lan PAP sure love FTs.

Those tots crossed my mind when I read some of ESM Goh’s comments at the launch of the Social Service Research Centre (SSR), National University of Singapore on Friday (24 Apr).

He said more older men are at his MPS asking for a long-term visit pass or permanent residency for their younger, foreign wife. He worried about potential problems resulting from such marriages and their effects on children and society. (ESM Goh Chok Tong told the audience that he could see “an avalanche of social issues coming” of which foreign wives was one. See below for details.*)

Well given the problems that the PAP’s very liberal immigration policies have resulted in new citizens like two timing Raj, fake degree holder and celebrated new citizen model IDA employee Nisha, and Roy Ngerng’s sidekick Han Hui Hui; and PRs who beat up taxi drivers and rob locals: WHY single out the problems that can happen when S’porean men marry younger, foreign women**?

The men are true blue S’porean men who have done NS. Surely, we as a society (and in particular the PAP) should try to accommodate them what with them spending two years to provide cheap labour to the PAP administration? And whose sons will do NS.

Here’s a Mother’s Day Tribute that appeared on FB to foreign born mums with S’porean kids which I agree with

There are many Singapore citizens whose mothers are living in Singapore on long-term-visit-passes. Some of these male citizens have even served their national service. These LTVP mothers appear not to have as much “merit” as some foreign students with no blood ties to Singapore. The reverence for mothers and motherhood that some in Singapore society and leadership proclaim, is to me the epitome of hypocrisy.

As a citizen of Singapore, I apologise to all LTVP mothers for this lapse in our national integrity. May your acknowledgement come swiftly.

————————-

*He said, “I can see an avalanche of social issues coming. We started out young and hungry, poor and illiterate. Now we are relatively affluent and educated, older and perhaps less energetic.”

“The social challenges of Singaporeans in the next 50 years will be drastically different from those in the last 50. We need to think ahead of the curve, and evolve a new social service infrastructure,” he added.

Mr Goh is advisor to the newly launched SSR.

He said that Singapore has undergone a sea change and it is now shaped by 3 major shifts in the areas of demography, technology and social expectations.

Mr Goh identified 3 key drivers of the current social climate change in Singapore:

1. Ageing Population

Mr Goh said Singapore has an ageing and declining population, and a big jump in cross-border marriages across cultures and socio-economic groups.

He mentioned that more older men are at his MPS asking for a long-term visit pass or permanent residency for their younger, foreign wife. He worried about potential problems resulting from such marriages and their effects on children and society.

2. Social Media

The second is the use of mobile smart devices and social media, which will influence how people interact with each other, he said.

Already, even the elderly are using smart phones in their daily lives.

3. Rise of Middle Class

Third, many more Singaporeans count themselves as middle class now, he noted.

But with this comes mid-life insecurity and fear about their economic future and their children’s, he said.

Also, expectations tend to increase as more Singaporeans become middle-class income earners.

NUS provost Tan Eng Chye said the centre was timely as it comes amid growing public scrutiny of social issues here. SSR will work with policy makers and social service agencies to pilot social programmes.

(CNA)

**Didn’t that stelwart of the PAP, Dr Gog Keng Swee, divorce his wife and married a M’sian born much younger lady? If he can, why can’t lesser mortals?

Now this naughty 16-yr was (is) creative.

In Internet on 19/05/2015 at 12:49 pm

There are not many people who have become multimillionaires as a direct result of misbehaving at school, but Jack Cator is one of them.

Back in 2005, the then 16-year-old was annoyed that his secondary school in Norfolk, eastern England, had put strict blocks on its computer network, to prevent the pupils from accessing music and games websites.

So, as a keen computer programmer he decided to use his knowledge to hack the system.

“I thought it would be fun to bypass the school’s filters,” says Mr Cator, now 26.

Fast forward 10 years, and Mr Cator has just sold the business – of which he was the boss and sole owner – for £40m.

HMA, which Mr Cator turned into one of the world’s largest VPN companies without the need for any outside investors, has been bought by global software group AVG.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32702501

Read article to find out what HMA stands for: shumething Amos might say.

MoM thinks we that stupid? Or they really that stupid

In Public Administration on 19/05/2015 at 4:15 am

Or they juz trying their luck, throwing smoke, hoping to confuse S’poreans? And hoping smoke also protects FTs with fake degrees?

I mean if people fake their qualifications, why should they be trusted not to fake their work experience (see Zorro’s comments in parly below*? I would say even likeier because it is easier to fake work experience than to fake qualifications.  They could pay ex-supervisors or ex-employers to issue fake reports on his experiences, etc. Or they could fake reports themselves. How to verify meh?

On to something very serious: Not all unaccredited institutions are degree mills

A TRE reader points out there is a difference between an “unaccredited” institution and a degree mill, and that it’s wrong for MoM to say that they are the same: The Ministry of Manpower is now trying to pass off degree mills as “unaccredited schools” through its infographic (link). (In the extract* below, Zorro says the same thing as his staff: As for qualifications obtained from an unaccredited institution (degree mill) …)

The TRE reader goes to explain that while all degree mills are unaccredited institutions, not all unaccredited institutions are degree mills citing our very own SIM and SMU who are “unaccredited” in NZ.

SIM, SMU, which both teach undergraduate courses in Singapore, are by all means bona fide educational establishments. Their courses require rigour and a level of standard befitting a tertiary qualification. Ask any SIM or SMU graduate and they will tell you there was nothing fake about their educational experience at these institutions. They were required to submit assignments, pass exams, and complete internships if the course calls for one.

That said, both SIM and SMU are considered “unaccredited” universities in New Zealand for the purpose of immigration and/or employment in licensed sectors for example, teaching, health and law. I am sure SMU or SIM graduates will strongly disagree that it is because their course is not rigorous or of a poor standard. More importantly, their course was not fake. The “unaccredited” status just means New Zealand authority has little understanding of the rigour of these courses and their entry requirements or deems the learning outcomes are not at a level New Zealand recognises as compatible to the skills the country seeks in its immigrants and workforce. This, in no way illegitimise the qualifications from these institutions.

A qualification obtained from a degree mill, on the other hand, reeks of non-existent education experience and absent rigour. Degree mills have long been considered fraudulent schemes which are really “dollar for paper” printing machine. One need not mug through exams or sweat through assignments. There probably aren’t much course readings to do, even. There is no internship or practicum to speak of. The tuition fee you pay does not give you face-to-face support from a tutor or lecturer, not even by distance through Skype. What it does give you is that piece of paper to “qualify” you as a graduate in a certain field of study whether you have actually studied it or not.

Degree mills are not new. They have been around for many decades. Singaporeans had previously not heard much of it because the laws of our land are so strict that few would contemplate jeopardising their future by buying into such a scheme**. We have been brought up to mug, to burn the midnight oil and to put in the hard mile. The government always prided itself for having built a nation of honest, hardworking citizens with integrity.

The Ministry of Manpower is now trying to pass off degree mills as “unaccredited schools” through its infographic (link). The government may have brought Singaporeans up by the rod but it certainly is handling its adopted children with cotton gloves.

No, I will not let the authority pull wool over my eyes. Degree mills are not merely “unaccredited schools”. They are fraudulent schemes and people who use them to gain entry into our country or workforce should be recognised as such and properly chastised.

Been There Seen It

Thank God for IDA’s and now MoM’s attempts to defend FTs with fake degrees. They are helping to offset the “feel good” factors of Harry’s funeral and the PAP administration’s spending of our money on ourselves that were working in the PAP’s favour in making the ground sweet for GE.

Here’s two constructive suggestions to make us feel good: free “S’pore” Lego kits for all voters, not just teachers, and throw Amos into a cell without internet access and throw away the key.

—-

*“As for qualifications obtained from an unaccredited institution (degree mill) that does not ensure that its students are properly qualified, MOM conducts 100% checks and disregards these qualifications completely,” Mr Lim assured.

“They will have to meet more stringent criteria in terms of experience and salary in order to qualify for the EP or S Pass.”

In other words, foreign applicants with qualifications from degree mills can still qualify for a work pass based only on their experience and salary.”

**I remember a few years back when a degree mill was exposed, ST reported S’poreans who were taken in, resigning from their jobs, before their private sector employers found out and asked them to leave. Some of them had proper degrees and took the “fake” course to better themselves.

Now S’poreans who kanna sien can point out to Nisha and IDA. WTF MoM.

S’poreans hanna do NS for China: Ho Ho Ho

In Banks, China, Temasek on 18/05/2015 at 2:05 pm

We (or rather Temask but then even Ho Ching has said Temasek’s money is our money, something Roy and his fellow cybernuts pretend she never said) have a big bet on Chinese banks.

And recently I reported some bad news: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/05/03/temaseks-china-banks-strong-headwinds-2/

More bad news:

Chinese policymakers have ordered banks to keep lending to local government projects under construction, in a sign of concern that a crackdown on shadow financing has reduced municipalities’ spending and is hurting the economy.

Financial institutions which signed legally binding contracts before the end of 2014 to loan to money to construction projects backed by local government financing vehicles (LGFVs) must not stop lending or reduce the loan size, a document posted on the State Council website Friday said.

“It is necessary to support the financing needs of LGFV projects under construction and ensure an orderly continuation,” the regulators said in the document.

“This will help meet reasonable funding demand of the real economy, as well as effectively prevent and resolve fiscal and financial risk.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/15/us-china-debt-lgfv-idUSKBN0O00JM20150515

We need protection from the Harassment Protection Act?

In Internet on 18/05/2015 at 4:14 am

I don’t know what were the PAP administration’s intentions when it passed the Protection From Harassment Act. But based on the reports of the constructive, nation-building media of the comments made by comments and commentaries by Judases journalists , I got the impression that the Act was meant to protect the ordinary S’porean who could not afford to sue for defamation. It was an “affordable” remedy for us mere mortals. not multi-millionaire ministers or govt agencies etc.

It was a shield.

The PAP administration’s public statements certainly did not suggest that it was meant to be added to the tool-kit of sledge hammers and power drills that the state, rich people and others could use to “suppress” criticism; something the usual human rights kay pohs said it would be used for.

Well the ang moh tua kee kays have been proven right. It is a sword, not a shield.

Mindef successfully applies under Protection From Harassment Act against Dr Ting, TOC

That it happened to TOC, the promoter and champion of irresponsible, bullying hooligans like Roy Ngerng, his side-kick New Citizen Han Hui Hui, and Amos Yee, Mummy’s Pet, is no consolation; though it might seem poetic justice of sorts.

And it could have been worse. A charge for making comments about the late Harry Lee that were likely to cause distress to people who saw the comments was dropped by the prosecution in Amos Yee’s case. The charge was earlier stood down. The charge was based on the above act. If anyone can defend himself, it’s certainly Harry.

FTs lower wages for UK locals/ Surely same here?

In Economy on 17/05/2015 at 12:26 pm

And it’s for the PAP administration to prove that FTs don’t lower our wages. All the data with the administration, not with us.

It’s not a xenophobic nut in the UK that says foreigners lower wages for locals. It’s the governor of the UK’s central bank.

The Daily Mail summarises Mark Carney’s remarks as “foreign workers drag down UK wages.

And the BBC reports: As long ago as last October, the Bank’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, acknowledged that immigration depresses pay.

He noted that one respected study, by Dustmann, Frattini and Preston, found that each 1% increase in the share of migrants in the working age population leads to a 0.6% decline in the wages of the 5% lowest paid workers.

And to be clear, the general point that an influx of workers from abroad represents a weight on the pay of the indigenous population is a statement of the overwhelmingly obvious: it is simply a version of the law of supply and demand, that the price of anything falls when supply rises relative to demand.

So there is nothing terribly revelatory in Mark Carney saying, at the Bank’s three-monthly news conference on its Inflation Report, that immigration had held down the rise in wages and living standards.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32739852

(Btw, he is a FT in UK. He was governor of the central bank in Canada. During the 2008 financial crisis, Canada did not have any problems in its financial sector.)

But cybernuts note: Mr Carney told the BBC’s Today programme that he would “really dampen down” the argument that foreign workers were to blame for lower productivity.

Btw2, the UK Sun has a pie chart showing that of 573,000 new jobs created in the last year, only 279,000 went to UK workers. Here we can only guess what proportion of new jobs created go to FTs and PRs.

 

HK people are more pragmatic than Singkies

In Hong Kong on 17/05/2015 at 4:12 am

Every year, thousands of one and two-year-olds in Hong Kong attend interviews to try to get into pre-school. Teachers, experts and tutors have been telling Helier Cheung what parents should expect.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32308422

In S’pore, the parents unable to get their kids into good pre-schools and who have then to go to the PAP Foundation-run pre-schools, will, anonymously, be venting online their anger at the PAP administration. The cybernuts infesting TRE’s comments section will cheer these parents on.

When TRE republished https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/cheapo-acs-mum-cant-sleep-over-50-donation/ the cybernuts agreed that this mum was right to be upset: ACS should not ask parents for money. Everything should be free.

My kind of PRC FT

In Uncategorized on 16/05/2015 at 1:20 pm

Robotic humanoid Yangyang

“Yangyang sounds like another of China’s panda diplomats, a cute animal transferred to a foreign zoo worldwide to project Beijing’s image abroad,” says the Times.

“But this particular foreign envoy is a very different creature. She greets you with a smile, shakes your hand and accepts a hug, all day and all night. She’ll respond to you in several languages, and show happiness, anger and everything in between.”

The paper explains that Yangyang is the very latest in robotic humanoids, stealing the limelight this week at a mobile internet exhibition in China’s capita

The Times says she wowed the audience with her presentation in Mandarin Chinese, and greeted fans with her mechanically firm handshake.

The Guardian devotes its centre-spread Eyewitness feature to Yangyang showing off a series of human-like facial expressions.

The Mail notes her “uncanny resemblance” to the former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. The paper says it is hoped that one day such robots could be used as hotel receptionists, or even to care for the elderly.

Doubtless Goh Meng Seng and Gilbert Goh and their cybernut followers will say that new citizen Han Hui Hui is preferable.Image result for han hui hui

Politics is pork in PinoyLand/ Always got excuse

In Uncategorized on 16/05/2015 at 4:15 am

No wonder the Pinoys don’t want to go home despite PinoyLand topping the economic and stk mkt charts in Asean https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/pinoys-still-not-going-home-why-not/.

Since the Philippines’ restoration of democracy in 1986, the tendency has been for its politicians to coalesce around whomever they regard as the most unbeatable presidential candidate. They trade their support for patronage. A president needs the backing of congress and local governments to wield power, while members of congress, governors and mayors need the spoils provided by a president to wield their own power through subsequent terms in office.

Any lack of administrative aptitude makes a president especially dependent on his political supporters. Policies are barely mentioned in election campaigns, appearing only later, governing coalitions form around the presidential candidate. The mainstream political parties are best understood as vehicles for sharing out campaign funds. A party’s membership balloons if presidential candidate wins and shrivels if he loses. From the typical Filipino politician’s point of view, Mr Pacquiao* is thus ideally suited to be president: he has never administered anything bigger than his own household, so he must depend on others; no policy other than general beneficence towards the people has been heard from him, so no promises need be kept; and he has plenty of money for attending politicians to share out in order to keep themselves in office.

Mr Pacquiao lacks only a political pedigree … By exploiting popular sentiment, this system can turn just about any beloved celebrity into a president, as it did for Mr Aquino. Joseph Estrada, an actor, earned enough good will by playing good guys in the movies to become the unbeatable presidential candidate in 1998. He was booted out of office, in 2001, only after he and one of the political cronies he had attracted fell out over the loot from their joint corruption.

http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21650377-national-hero-poised-jump-out-boxing-ring-and-presidential-palace-unbeatable

——–

*After he lost on points, “I don’t want to make alibis or complain or anything,” Mr Pacquiao said before doing just that, “[but] it’s hard to fight one-handed.” 

Always got excuse: after the event.

NOL versus Maersk: What can I say?

In Shipping, Temasek on 15/05/2015 at 7:12 am

Maersk Line the world’s largest container shipping business reported a jump in net profit to $714 million from $454 million, due largely to lower bunker fuel prices

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/13/maersk-results-idUSL5N0Y41JZ20150513

Singapore-based container shipping firm Neptune Orient Lines Ltd said on Thursday its first-quarter net loss narrowed to USD$11 million (S$14.5 million) from $89 million a year earlier, aided by cost savings and lower fuel cost.

NOL reported revenue for the three months ended March 31 at $2 billion, down 13 per cent on the year, though it posted $30 million in core earnings before interest, taxes and non-recurring items, compared with a $65 million loss a year earlier.

– See more at: http://business.asiaone.com/news/singapores-nol-q1-net-loss-narrows-cost-savings-lower-fuel-cost#sthash.HFQwt8Y4.dpuf

The performance of NOL’s CEO (scholar, SAF general, Temasek MD) tells the truth about “intelligence” PAP style: it doesn’t work in the real world, only in S’pore.

Amos: Intelligence is an over-rated trait?

In Uncategorized on 15/05/2015 at 6:05 am

Maybe character is a more splendour thing?

And that the PAP administration isn’t the one to prize intelligence, so do the heroes of the anti-PAP cybernuts. The difference is how they define “intelligence”. The PAP believes that “intelligence” is largely the ability to pass exams with flying colours and to praise the PAP; the other lot believe that “intelligence” is the insight that “The PAP is always wrong”.

The above crossed my mind during, and after reading a well written piece (as usual) by Alfian Sa’at on his Facebook page about Amos Yee.

For my money, Amos’s dad got it about right: “Yes, he’s intelligent. But he’s not wise.”

I don’t expect any 16-year kid; I’d have said “Yes, he’s intelligent. But he lacks character*.” Like his dad, I think, that there are more important attributes than “intelligence”. Attributes like scepticism, EQ, not playing to the rabble and pragmatism.

Anyway onto the piece with my commentary. My comments are interspersed in normal type within brackets.

I wasn’t planning on writing about Amos Yee, but I’m quite upset by the way the media is painting him—with insinuations that he might fall within the autism spectrum, that he is so psychologically disturbed that he needs psychiatric evaluation, that there is something about his behaviour that might be ‘abnormal’. [Err, your fellow traveller, Teo Soh Lung has written that some Amos sympathisers told her he is autistic.]

I had the pleasure of having supper with Amos and his family. The mother, Mary Yee, is a twinkly-eyed lady who would lean in to listen to you speak. She looked perpetually curious and attentive, her head craning around even as she hugged her floral tote bag close to her. One could speculate that she’s passed on some of that inquisitiveness to her only child.

“You know Amos wanted to change his name?” she told us.

“Why?”

“Because his full name is Amos Yee Pang Sang. And in school the kids used to tease him and called him ‘Anus Yee Pang Sai’. You know ‘pang sai’ in Hokkien means to ‘pass motion’.”

I wanted to ask if he had wanted to change the name ‘Amos’, or ‘Pang Sang’, or both. But I took a quick glance at Amos, who was scowling, and spotted the thought bubble over his head that said, ‘Mum, please, don’t embarrass me in front of these people’. So I left it at that.

The father, Alphonsus Yee, was a bit more reserved, a burly man who rides a motorcycle and who would stand around with his arms crossed, palms cupping his elbows. It seemed to me that the mother still thought of her son’s antics as an enduring source of mystery, whereas the father had reached his limit with such unsolvable enigmas. I tried to break the ice with the father by saying, “I think your son is very intelligent.”

And the father said wearily, “Yes, he’s intelligent. But he’s not wise.”

And what about Amos himself? He’s a waif of a teenager, very pale, with painfully narrow shoulders, and it seemed as if his shock of unruly hair was an attempt to add some mass to a wispy frame. He had a habit of stroking his chin before he spoke, which I found quite endearing, because chin-stroking is the aspirational gesture of kids who want to be taken seriously—as intellectuals. I asked Amos who his favourite film director was.

[Above shows what a fine descriptive writer Affin is. And a most lyrical one too.]

“I love Stanley Kubrick,” he said.

“Yeah? He’s good, but I wasn’t too sold on Barry Lyndon,” I said. “It’s too mannered for me.”

“Oh, but have you watched it twice?”

“So it rewards repeat viewing?”

“I guarantee.”

[I agree with Amos on Kubrick and Barry Lyndon.]

Amos has very strong opinions; and honestly he reminded me of a precocious teenager—self-possessed, intensely loyal to things he loved, but not to the point where he would shut himself from discovering other works.

“If you love 2001: A Space Odyssey,” I said, “You should check out Solaris by Tarkovsky.”

“You mean there’s a sci-fi film that’s as good as Space Odyssey?”

[OMG, Space Odyssey for all its spectacular shots, it is a really pretentious film. Best sci-ft films are ET and Forbidden Planet. Never saw Solaris but listened to a BBC Radio play based on it: good plot.  

“Maybe even better. I guarantee.”

He nodded, and stroked that chin again. And then we got to the subject of the video. I told him, “I agreed with what you said about LKY**, but did you really have to mention Christians? [Geat minds think alike? Or Birds of a feather flock together?] You could have made your point just by saying that those fawning and swooning over him acted like they were part of a cult.”

“But all religions are cults.”

“Okay, then why pick on Christians? You could have said something about religious fervour without being so specific about it.”

[Christians don’t riot. And most probably Amos tot, that they, unlike Muslims, don’t file police reports on any perceived insult. He was wrong dead wrong. Lionel de Sousa (Everyone’s guilty until proven innocent) is a Catholic].

“But Christianity is the religion I know best.”

[Good point that the cybernuts who infest TRE’s comments pages should think about: Don’t talk cock on things you don’t know nuts about. Yup, looking at you Ng Kok Lim: the Sandinistas of Nicaragua were never “Communists” as you said they were***.]

And there it was. ‘But’, the favourite word of any mouthy teenager who thinks that adults, with their unexamined conventions, are vaguely ridiculous. “And how about all that swearing,” I said, putting on my fuddy-duddy hat. [Not fuddy-daddy to warn against the use of vulgarity. But then he is the guy who wanted to dance on the grave of a NMP critical of gays.] “What if it turned people off from the substance of what you were saying?”

“But that’s just how I express myself. I’m being true to myself.”

[That’s intelligent? That’s typical BS of any anyone pretentious.]

“You have to ask yourself if it’s essential to your message. I think you make your videos to communicate something to your audience. I understand your need to be authentic, but sometimes your audience trips up on the expletives and they’ll stop listening.”

[Yup]

“But sometimes swearing is the message itself.”

“Yes Amos, I’ve watched enough Scorcese and Tarantino to know that.”

“And those are great examples!”

[Yes cock but are you as good as Scorcese and Tarantin?]

I smiled and didn’t tell him that he was as far away from a gangster or hitman as anyone could imagine. And then the subject turned to remand and jail.

Amos said, “Why should we worry about jail? Look at Mandela, he fought for a righteous cause and he went to jail too.”

[He must be nuts, comparing himself to a very dignified, courteous who risked his life rebelling against an apartheid state.]

At which point Ivan Heng, who was at the table, rolled his eyes and said, “Darling, you’re not Mandela. So in the meantime you just stay out of trouble.”

Amos looked a little chastened, and I could see that he was aware that the analogy he offered risked making him out as someone with delusions of grandeur. Glen Goei, who was at the table as well (supper was on him), said, “Maybe you’re not afraid for yourself. But think about your parents. Don’t you think they’ll worry if you go to jail?”

“But we can’t always live our lives based on what our parents might think of us.”

“We’re just asking you to put yourself in their shoes,” Glen said.

Amos stroked his chin again. I could see a retort simmering—“if I were a parent I’d want my child to act according to his conscience…to live as a free and principled human being…to have the moral courage to stand by his actions.” But Amos held his peace.

[Low EQ kid who thinks intelligence is that impt]

So here’s my take on this whole absurd affair: Amos Yee, as a teenager, is as normal as they come. They chafe at authority, will always look for wriggle room and bargaining leverage, have a sharp instinct for pointing out adult contradictions and hypocrisies, and speak in a language of ‘but’s’ and ‘why not’s’ that are designed to try your patience. Any attempt to ‘discipline’ him becomes a contest of wills; you can slap bail conditions on him but if he thinks they are unfairly punitive (even before any conviction) then you can expect brinksmanship and defiance. With teenagers like these, you can try reasoning with them but you must also be prepared to confront the idea that your reason is actually unreasonable. What is abnormal is that because of the charges against him, all this is being played out on a much larger stage. And this I think is the tragedy of the whole thing: when a brat acts up—and of course Amos can be taunting and bratty—the best thing that you can do is to ignore him and let him exhaust himself.

[No, a normal kid has a better sense of proportion. Btw, with an attitude like this, he’ll be a dead man in NS.]

But no, some people decided to get all sanctimonious, and we end up with the sorry spectacle of an adult smacking a child mercilessly in a shopping aisle. We don’t think of the child as being uncontrollable at that moment; no, it is the adult who has lost all self-control. And this is how it looks like to me—the people who filed those police reports, the 8 policemen who arrested Amos at his house, the AGC, the man who smacked Amos outside the State Courts, Bertha Henson, Lionel de Souza, the journalists who keep misreporting the case—all of you look so violent, hysterical, foolish and feeble. In trying to solve a ‘problem’ like Amos Yee you’ve only ended up displaying your own problems and neuroses–your pettiness, your cruelty, your beastliness, your insecurity–in all their garish detail.

[Err Amos, his fellow travellers and their cybernut followers made these guys look good, really good. I’m planning to send a carton of Tiger Beer to the office of the guy that slapped Amos. Ever heard of giving someone a second chance?]

But don’t get too upset with Amos even after his comments about a good Samaritan. One of these days, I’ll tell you why he’d wish he were dead. He will be going thru hell soon (OK in June).

—–

*If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son.

IF by Kipling

Thinking about it, Amos senior has loads of character what with a dysfunctional wife and son.

**Wonder if they would say that LKY could have uttered the words of O’Brien in 1984:

The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were- cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.

***And while denouncing me for not saying that Chin Peng said that the MCP never controlled the Barisan Socialists (something I never said), he left out that Chin Peng said “Operation Cold Store shattered our underground network throughout the island. Those who escaped the police net went into hiding. Many fled to Indonesia“.

 

Noble: Why I’m not tempted

In Accounting, China, Commodities, Corporate governance on 14/05/2015 at 1:31 pm

Many of Noble’s operations and investments are exposed to the slowdown in China.

And the Chinese economy is still slowing. And the engine of growth is no longer exports or infrastructure spending  or construction. It’s the service sector.

Maybe when I hear that Noble is starting to shipping Pinoy gals to China as wives for barren branches, will I buy the stock.

LKY’s missing ideals

In Uncategorized on 14/05/2015 at 5:07 am

Couldn’t help sniggering when I heard PM say the words I’ve bolded.

“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).

Partly I sniggered because “rule of law” is taken by many to mean “rule of law as interpreted by Harry” or as an academic and lawyer (ex-wife of the Pet Minister called it, “Rule by Law”. Btw, she’s now working in Washington DC with I think the trade union of the US lawyers.

But mostly because of several ideals of LKY’s that he left out:

— mistrust of the plebs public;

— materialism;

— welfare is always bad:

— “Work will set you free”;

— “To each his own” or “Everyone gets what he deserves”;

— FTs better than locals because they spur locals; and

— “Harry’s way or the highway”.

But I’ll credit him for one thing good. Although he called himself a socialist when he entered politics, he would even then have agreed with Margaret Thatcher that “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

To that I say Amen. I can forgive a lot if a man has the right idea.

Amos: Mummy’s pet?

In Uncategorized on 13/05/2015 at 10:25 am

Amos “lacks a sense of boundaries and empathy for other people,” said youth counsellor Vincent Law, who posted bail for him, to the BBC. [Update on 14 May 1.40 pm: Mr Vincent Law, 51, family … has told TOC that he is demanding Amos Yee to make an unreserved apology and a full retraction of the molest allegation made against him on Wednesday afternoon.

16-year old blogger, Amos Yee .. had made an allegation of molest against his former bailor, Mr Vincent Law, which he then clarified [7 hours later] to be an act of “trolling” on the reporters from the Mainstream Media (MSM). Mummy must really be proud.]

Because he has a doting mum who thinks he’s “fantastic” and is always makes excuses for him? “Amos is always right,” would seem to be her mantra.

Yee’s mother, Mary, told the BBC that her son was “a fantastic child, perhaps born in the wrong country”.  [Update on 14 May at 1.40pm: Actually the right country. Someone may punp bullets into him in the US for annoying. In S’pore, he gets slapped by a stranger, and human rights activists, blame society. Friends of Amos are screaming on TRE that the slapper got off too lightly: he should be hanged instead of getting three weks jail.]

She described him as a precocious boy who loved reading and making videos.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32604122

It’s a wonder that dad doesn’t go bananas with such a dysfunctional wife and son. Respect, this man who said to Alfian Sa’at: “Yes, he’s intelligent. But he’s not wise.”

I’ll be blogging my tots of Alfian Sa’at’s piece on Amos one of these days.

LKY: Hegemon’s pet?/ How China treats a really old friend?

In Banks, China on 13/05/2015 at 4:20 am

This is what his pal, Henry Kissinger (US Secretary of State, National Security Adviser) said in tribute to LKY: “His theme was the indispensable U.S. contribution to the defense and growth of a peaceful world.”

Doesn’t the Kissinger comment sound like a pat on the head for the US’s pet? Remember, even a “weak” president like Obama believes that the US is the world’s “indispensable power”.

And even LKY’s own words show that he can sound like a cheer leader for the US: that the US really won the Vietnam war. The Economist recently wrote:

After the [Vietnam] war, the region boomed. American intervention in Vietnam no longer looked such an unmitigated disaster. Lee Kuan Yew portrayed it almost as a triumph: without it, South-East Asia would probably have fallen to the communists. America bought the region time and, by 1975, its countries were “in better shape” to stand up to them. The prosperous emerging-market economies they have become “were nurtured during the Vietnam war years”.

No wonder the US delegation was led by an ex-US president while China sent an unranked politburo member, showing how important LKY was to China and the respect it accorded him

If you want to see how China treats ‘lau peng youu”, think about this.

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. 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.(More background: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/govt-sees-stanchart-as-risky-lkys-30-year-investments-revisited/)

To do such a thing Peking must have given its chop.

This reminded me that many years ago I read “Wayfoong” (The Chinese name for Hongkong Bank and the title of a book on HSBC’s 100 yrs of existence: this yr it’s 150). A fair chunk of the book (which interesting I borrowed from a public library in Sydney) was devoted on how it was a good friend of China in the late 19th century and early 20th century: it raised foreign loans for building the railway system and stabilising the currency. I tot, “What a lot of bull. Hongkong Bank was an exploiter of China and the Chinese. It was founded to finance the opium trade.

Well we know that the CCP has a long memory and an even longer grievance lis: witness Japan.

At least to me now the book is more believable than what the PAP and LKY said about his ties with the Chinese leaders.

 

 

Amos lacked this?/ Hope judge, activists do this

In Uncategorized on 12/05/2015 at 4:52 am

(Update at 6.00pm Amos Yee has been granted bail pending a suitability for probation report in 4 weeks. Bail is at $10,000 – TOC)

(Update at 4.30pm: Amos found guilty, wants to go to jail. The prosecution said the main sentencing consideration should be for rehabilitation and called for counselling and appropriate probation. Details at end of article.)

Today, the judge will deliver her verdict on Amos’s case.

If the judge finds him guilty, accepting the AGC’s arguments, I hope she will ask for a psychiatrist’s report before deciding on a suitable sentence*.

It’s usual to get the National Mental Institute to provide such a report. But maybe real civil society activists, people like P Ravi**, Lynn Lee, Richard Wan, and Terry Xu (Btw, Roy Ngerng, Andrew Loh and Teo Soh Lung, a SDP member, were attending the trial), will arrange funding for him to also see a private psychiatrist to assure themselves, and anti-PAP activists and their cybernut fellow travellers that Amos is not being “fixed” (or “fixed” if the diagnosis differs from the National Mental Institute) on medical grounds.

M Ravi’s psychiatrist would be a good choice because since he’s M Ravi’s personally chosen psychiatrist, even cybernuts accept that M Ravi has a mental health problem, and that the Law Society’s latest actions against M Ravi is not a “fix”. M Ravi had really gone “bananas”: he never did try to go to court to challenge the Law Soc’s suspension. The good news is that he’s recovering. I think he attended the real May Day at Hong Lim.

If he is autistic, this should come as no surprise not only to mainstream media readers but also to readers of Teo Soh Lung’s Facebook page. While the constructive, nation-building media speculated on his possible autism, Ms Teo wrote on her Facebook page that she was told he was autistic.

Let’s be serious, maybe the real root of Amos’s problem is that Amos never had a dog to pet or a rabbit to  cuddle? [T]he research shows that children facing emotional difficulties, such as “bereavement, divorce, instability and illness” place a particular importance on their pets.

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-32608771

Maybe the Pet minister can arrange for him to have a suitable pet dog? Err tunour has it that a certain FT MP’s “Blackie” is not happy. Maybe Amos would give it the TLC that this FT MP is allegedly not giving the dog, who ran way a few years ago when the FT MP adopted him.

Wants to be a martyr

Amos Yee Pang was found guilty and convicted of two charges for making offensive or wounding remarks against Christianity and another for circulating obscene imagery.

CNA reports

He had pleaded not guilty to both charges on May 7. No witness took the stand during the trial. Defence lawyer Alfred Dodwell said that Yee’s police statement is sufficient in explaining Yee’s stance. A third charge, for the 16-year-old’s statements on the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew in a YouTube video, was withdrawn.

In the plea for sentencing Yee’s lawyer Alfred Dodwell said the teen does not want to be considered for probation and wanted to be sentenced according to a jail term. The prosecution said the main sentencing consideration should be for rehabilitation and called for counselling and appropriate probation. 

The defence called for a fine or two weeks’ jail with the jail term taking into consideration the time that Yee had already spent in remand. Mr Dodwell said Yee has spent close to 18 days in remand.

*Whether a person is or is not guilty is for the courts and what the punishment should be, is also for the courts. But we have amended the law quite substantially to allow the courts a range of options in these matters,” Mr Shanmugam, the Pet minister, said.

**Yes, yes, I know he is a member of the Chiams’ party, but he’s a fair-minded guy even after he was named in parly by Yaacob for spreading a rumour.

Robin Hoods? Our private bankers/Why ministers may need a pay rise after GE?

In Banks, Energy on 11/05/2015 at 1:24 pm

They make rich S’porean clients poorer, taking from the rich to give to their even richer employers? They are really the “Princes of Thieves”, better than “Robin Hood “Prince of Thieves”.

Remember these bond deals pay good commissions to the private banks (and their private bankers): they get fees from their clients (for giving them access to these now toxic products), and the issuing companies (for stuffing their mullets with junk).

Go KPKB to CASE, CAD and the central bank. Hehehe. Wonder if millionaire ministers kannsa burnt? They’ll need a pay increase.

Remember DBS’ Indian FT blowing up its Treasured clients with credit notes? This could be alot worse for the private clients.

Singapore’s richest investors are hoping that “never” means about three years in the bond market.

Holders of perpetual notes with no set maturity face the island’s first redemption options in September, when three companies including oil services firms Ezra Holdings Ltd. and Swiber Holdings Ltd. can choose to repay securities sold in 2012. While Ezra says it plans to pay off the notes and refinance, their yield has surged more than 200 basis points over the last year to 14.2 percent, suggesting it may be costlier to replace them. Swiber faces the same test after saying it plans to redeem its bonds, which have added more than 230 basis points.

Private banks have snapped up the bulk of Singapore’s S$9.5 billion ($7.1 billion) of corporate perpetuals on behalf of wealthy clients, reckoning the companies would repay the notes at their soonest chance rather than incur higher interest rates when a so-called step-up coupon takes effect. While that would offer some compensation if the debt stays alive, any mishaps could shake faith in securities that have funded about 15 percent of the island’s corporate debt over the last four years.

If any issuers choose not to pay in September, “there would be some discomfort among investors when they realize that what they’ve been holding is not necessarily going to be paid off at the time they expected,” said Vishal Goenka, the Singapore-based head of local currency credit trading at Deutsche Bank AG. “There is nothing right or wrong, issuers have already told them from the beginning the option was there, but there would be some confusion.”
And
Demand for higher returns in Singapore bonds from the city’s swelling private banking industry has brought with it greater risks.

Three out of every 10 notes sold last year are yielding more than 6 percent. Halcyon Agri Corp. went to debtholders last month asking them to waive interest cover requirements before it’s even had to stump up a coupon payment. Bloomberg’s default model shows that VTB Capital SA has an almost 50 percent chance of reneging on its debt.

“The recent swings have been a good wake-up call,” said Vishal Goenka, the Singapore-based head of local currency trading in Asia for Deutsche Bank AG. “Investors need to analyze the credit quality of issuers more thoroughly.”

Junk-rated companies in Singapore must find funds to repay $2.1 billion of debt this year, up from $1.7 billion in 2014 and $1.1 billion in 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That accounts for 35 percent of all bonds maturing in Singapore in 2015. Wealthy clients of the island’s private banks snapped up 86 percent of the highest-yielding http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-05/singapore-alert-to-risks-as-cracks-emerge-for-junk-asean-credit
And then there is the probability of a rise in US rates in September.

Why stone throwers shouldn’t live in glass houses

In Uncategorized on 11/05/2015 at 3:17 am

(Or “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”)

Given that the LGBT militants have called for the community and fellow travellers to boycott IKEA, and Pink Dot, has in Orwellian double-talk voiced its support of such a boycott, surely pastor Khong, the polo-playing magician, can call for like-minded-Christians, and Muslims to boycott BP patrol stations and Cathay cinemas?

Ufse Bing, not Google? Use Reuters, not Bloomberg? Throw away Twitter.

And for rich Christians and Muslims and influential Christians and Muslims to ensure that no business they control or influence is done with BP, Barclays, JP Morgan, Goldman The Gunnery (a media production business).

Doubtless if this happens, the LGBT community with be screaming “discrimination”, “bullying” and “intimidation”?

They don’t agree that what is sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander meh?

Two can play the boycott game.

image

Here’s something constructive for the LGBTs to think about in promoting acceptance of their way of life here: money talks. The serious money, S’poreans can make if 377A is aboloished and gay civil marriages allowed.

In Australia, at least 18,000 same-sex couples are waiting for the law to change to allow them to get married, according to the University of Queensland.

If, and when, their big day comes, it could be an expensive business covering the cost of hotels, caterers, photographers and florists, not to mention clothes, rings and a honeymoon.

Campaigners estimate that the average Australian wedding has a price tag of around 35,000 Australian dollars ($27,000; £18,000).

“The world’s expert body on the economic impact of marriage equality, the Williams Institute at UCLA, says the most conservative estimate for the [potential] wedding spend of Australian same-sex couples is A$161m,” says Rodney Croome, the national director of Australian Marriage Equality.

“It could be as high as A$600m.

“On top of this, Australia’s failure to achieve marriage equality is a competitive disadvantage when it comes to attracting those skilled migrants and investors for whom non-discriminatory laws are important.”

Two years ago, New Zealand became the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to legalise same-sex marriages, and the architects of change believe it has had a transformative effect.

“I know that popular wedding destinations like Queenstown and Rotorua have had a real boom time with same-sex couples from Australia coming over the get married here.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32655943

Rather than raping S’poreans to accept their way of life, how about seducing S’poreans thru’ their wallets and purses?

Amos: Education system at fault?/ Today Harry and Jesus, tomorrow …?

In Uncategorized on 10/05/2015 at 5:07 am

“It is abundantly clear that Amos had made the video because he wanted to express his opinions on Lee Kuan Yew, inform the public, encourage public discourse and hence facilitate positive change in Singapore,” the defence submitted. (TOC)

16-year old blogger Amos Yee explained in court documents that his intention in critiquing Christianity and Lee Kuan Yew is to open discussions on what he saw as “problems” with the faith and Singapore. (TOC)

Good god. Goodness gracious.

A boy smart enough (according to mummy) to get into a JC but not smart enough to produce a video to,inform the public, encourage public discourse and hence facilitate positive change in Singapore: after all more than 20 police reports were made by S’poreans who were certainly not informed enough to inform the public, encourage public discourse and hence facilitate positive change in Singapore. They were upset enough to file police reports.

Every day on BBC Trending, I see examples of ordinary people starting conversations on social media in their communities without vulgarity and without getting others too upset. So why can’t this S’porean boy smart enough to get into a JC do the same?

The education system sucks? Or is he sick? He a bad, bad boy? Or what? We’ll get a preliminary indication on Tuesday.

Seriously, those who think that Amos is being disproportionately punished for a childish prank; or to cynically promote himself; or as an expression of his freedom to talk cock, sing song; or an attempt to open discussions on what he saw as “problems” with the faith and Singapore, should think through their assumptions

Imagine if an unrepentant, unpunished Amos decides to take on a religion many of whose adherents have serious problems adapting to a world dominated by Western secular values, and not Harry and Christians?

He could have produced this http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-32515516 which has upset Muslims in a neighbouring country. Btw, he was educated here too.

If the guy in the video (who it seems wants to encourage public discourse) had accepted Wong Kan Seng’s offer to make him a new citizen, he’d make Amos look like quai chye S’porean. We (and Home Team) missed a bullet. Even the cybernuts who infest TRE, like rats infest Bukit Batok don’t like him. They KPKBed that he was offered citizenship, and educated here at our expense.

 

 

 

PAP can learn from Thai generals?

In Political governance on 09/05/2015 at 5:09 am

Maybe the PAP should add these to its list of institutions to make sure voters make the right choices and if they don’t (think Aljunied) to protect them from the consequences of their actions, whether they reprent or not voting in the oppo (think Aljunied again). Obviously the PA system is not working in Aljunied: otherwise no need to take WP TC to court.

Ten or so other institutions will help to baby-sit the politicians, including a “National Moral Assembly” which will punish those who act unethically, a catch-all term that could be used against government critics. Three-quarters of the 120 seats in a new “National Reform Assembly” will be reserved for toadies now serving in one of the junta’s various conclaves. Their job will be to prevent any future government deviating from a legislative programme that the generals are now laying down.

http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21649542-thailand-takes-big-constitutional-step-backwards-baby-sitters-charter

Lucky us: Indonesia’s economy bigger than UK, France or Italy

In Economy, Indonesia on 09/05/2015 at 4:55 am

SGX FTs still want Cina cos to list here?/ Juz look at AIM

In Casinos, Corporate governance, Financial competency on 08/05/2015 at 1:09 pm

AIM in London is having problems with Chinese listings.

First Naibu https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/sgxs-fts-still-think-singkies-still-stupid/

Now Sordic (see below).

“The LSE should never have allowed these Chinese companies to list,” the FT reports

Sorbic International PLC Thursday said its former Chief Executive Wang Yan Ting is refusing to hand over the corporate seals and business licenses of its Chinese operating subsidiary, and he is also refusing to handover about GBP7.7 million in cash that Sorbic claims belongs to it, meaning its financial position remains uncertain.
Sorbic last month said it had removed Wang as group CEO and as CEO of its Chinese subsidary, Linyi Van Science and Technique, because it was still frustrated by its inability to move money out of China, a move that Wang was blocking. It wanted the money to repay outstanding loan stock of about GBP3.75 million and to cover its own costs. It also terminated Wang’s role as its legal representative in China, replacing him with a Chinese lawyer, and said it would focus on releasing the funds held within China.

On Thursday, Sorbic said Wang has declined to hand-over the company’s corporate seals, known as chops, and business licences, which he removed from the premises before he was dismissed. The local police were contacted, but deemed Wang’s non-cooperation as a commercial matter and were therefore unwilling to assist, the sorbate food preservative producer said.

That means that the subsidiary’s bank accounts and day-to-day operations still remain under Wang’s control.

“Furthermore, Mr. Wang has confirmed that he has transferred funds belonging to the company which remain under his control and, to date, he has refused to return them,” Sorbic added, saying that management accounts as of end-March showed total cash balances of about CNY72 million, or GBP7.7 million.

“The board has been informed that the company’s factory in Linyi continues to be fully operational and Mr. Wang remains in regular contact with the company,” Sorbic said.

Sorbic is wholly reliant on the transfer of funds from China to meet its operating costs and to repay the GBP3.75 million in outstanding loan notes, which are in default.

Sorbic’s shares were suspended last week at the request of the company pending clarification of its financial position. It said Thursday its shares will remain suspended and it will provide further updates in due course.

http://www.lse.co.uk/AllNews.asp?code=lmn33cn2&headline=Sorbic_International_Says_Former_CEO_Refusing_To_Cede_Control_In_China

 

 

PAP administration’s Alice-in-Wonderland policies

In Economy, Political governance, Uncategorized on 08/05/2015 at 3:27 am

Lee Hsien Loong … is trying to persuade the population that they don’t need to go to university to have a good career. After a clampdown on immigration and a slowdown in the economy, he needs fewer graduates and more workers to fill the shipyards, factory floors and hotel desks that keep the country going.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-03/singapore-wants-kids-to-skip-college-good-luck-with-that

Fair enough, except that the PAP administration* at the same time allows FTs in still by the A380 load (used to be by the container load by ship) on the excuse that we need graduate PMEs. The PAP administration wants to further restrict the number of true blue S’poreans getting degrees but then say we need FT graduates? WTF?

Worse, we then have a govt agency (think IDA) defending an FT employee who undeniably has a fake degree on the ground that she didn’t know it was a fake**, and that anyway she got her job because of her first degree from some Indian U, that no S’porean (even from the local Indian community) would ever think of applying to if the S’porean had to study overseas.

Sounds like the PAP administration could be the government in Alice’s Wonderland, not the Red Queen.

As the author of the Alice books was an eminent mathematician, one should not be surprised that our PM has such Alice-like policies.  He graduated from Cambridge University with a first-class degree in mathematics and a diploma in computer science. He can write software to solve Sudoku puzzles. Err what about writing a programme that can explain to voters the “less local grads” policy but more FTs (with fake degrees or sub-standard degrees) policy?

Seriously, if ministers have not been able to calibrate the relatively small number number of local lawyers and doctors to the demands of the economy, how can they realistically try to control the supply of graduates across-the-board to demand?

One can reasonably assume that the “less local grads” policy coupled with the continued welcoming of FTs, fake degrees and all, is meant to “fix” S’poreans in the cause of ensuring that S’pore remains attractive to MNCs because of low costs.

—–

*Harry loved FTs. Maybe, they are the living memorials of Harry? In 1959, only 270,00 out of the 600,000 voters were born here. The PAP is only trying to restore the demographics  to when the PAP came into power.

Interestingly, when one LKY revealed the above fact in 1959, LKY also said,”we must go about our task (of building up a nation) with urgency … of integrating our people now and quickly”. Maybe he repented building a nation of native-borns? https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/when-55-of-voters-were-fts/

**And it seems that the IDA didn’t know that the degree was a fake until netizens pointed that the uni awarding the MBA was a reputable factory mill. Many years ago, a govt agency, Public Service Commission  (I think) had a list of unis whose degrees the govt recognised when employing people. Stat boards and private businesses also used that list. Is there such a list today? If there was such a list, IDA should have known that the degree was a fake.

S&P index fund beats hedgies over 7 yrs/ Hedgies, PAP ministers & monkeys

In Political governance on 07/05/2015 at 1:44 pm

With three years to go, Warren Buffett is comfortably winning his charity bet that a low-cost index tracker would trounce a portfolio of hedge funds over ten years.

Returns from the S&P 500 index fund is beating a portfolio of funds assembled by hedge fund manager Protégé Partners by 63.5 per cent to 19.6 per cent, according to a slide Mr Buffett presented at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting this past weekend.

(Monday’s FT)

Chart: Buffett's bet (Protégé Partners hedge fund selection v S&P 500 index fund)

http://im.ft-static.com/content/images/1dcdf770-f288-11e4-b914-00144feab7de.img

As to what PAP ministers and hedgies have in common? They pay themselves a lot for mediocre performance.

The $11.6 billion which Institutional Investor’s Alpha calculates this ultra-elite [hedgies] was paid last year, an average of $467 million per hedge fund boss, would still seem troublingly high.

Such gains seem out of line with the value of their putative contributions. After all, the modern economy is built on collaborative effort, not to mention supportive governments and central banks. Even the greatest individual contributions would not merit an annual income, including gains from holdings, of about 10,000 times the average American salary.

To add insult to injury, Alpha calculates that at least 12 of the 25 top guys (sorry, ladies, no women in this club) underperformed in 2014. That is not surprising in a highly competitive industry. BarclayHedge, a consultant which monitors about 3,000 hedge funds, reports the average net return in 2014 was 3 percent. The U.S. stock market provided close to 14 percent.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2015/05/05/hedge-fund-pay-hauls-a-political-financial-shame/

We have one Ah Loong (since the 1980s), Lui, Yaacob and Lim Hng Kiang and had Wong Kang Seng, Mah Bow Tan, Raymond Lim and Goh Chok Tong.

Amos: Misled or misunderstood the law?

In Internet, Uncategorized on 07/05/2015 at 4:39 am

Today, Amos will stand trial and if he’s going to base his defence on his “right” of free speech, he should think again given that yesterday, a high court judge dismissed his application that the bail conditions, which forbid him from uploading or distributing any content online until his case has concluded, amounted to a gag order*.

It seems he believes in a constitutional right to suka suka say what he likes: 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. His lawyer Alfred Dodwell said the teen feels very strongly that he has not done anything wrong with his posts.

“The Constitution does provide for a person to have the freedom of speech and expression, hence he feels very strongly that he is just doing that,” said Mr Dodwell**. (CNA last Friday).

Well M Ravi, Maruah and all the other ang moh tua kee kay pohs will be cheering Amos on (There’s a soccer match going on, the poor boy [Amos] is the ball, and the crowd watches in morbid fascination as the own-goals pile up on both sides. The new normal way to win, wrote a perceptive reader of this article https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/amos-parents-finally-got-it-walk-the-talk-amoss-groupies/#comments).

Sadly for Amos, the constitution is pretty clear on the limits on free speech here.

(2)  Parliament may by law impose —

(a)
on the rights conferred by clause (1)(a), such restrictions as it considers necessary or expedient in the interest of the security of Singapore or any part thereof, friendly relations with other countries, public order or morality and restrictions designed to protect the privileges of Parliament or to provide against contempt of court, defamation or incitement to any offence;***
Pretty clear ain’t it. There are a lot of exceptions to freedom of speech here. The bolded words mean, and the courts have said so too, that it’s very easy to limit free speech here: just pass a law thru parly.
So where did this boy get the idea that in S’pore we have the kind of freedom of speech that people in the US and PinoyLand have? We don’t. There is the right of free speech but only in very limited circumstances. And S’poreans seem happy with the situation. Since the 1960s, S’pore has been a de-facto one-party state: the PAP wins general elections with majorities of over 60%, often a lot more.
Here’s something that Amos should read https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/will-m-ravis-barrage-of-constitutional-challenges-change-anything/
(Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/m-ravis-grandfathers-parliament-is-it/)
So where did this boy get the idea that in S’pore we have the kind of freedom of speech that people in the US and PinoyLand have? Whether he was misled on or misunderstood the law on freedom of speech here, Amos’s failure to understand the law relating to free speech here shows the power of cyberspace: he like many young people is a cybernaut.
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.

Cybernauts. do not think the “right” tots.

For society the problem is that in cyberspace, anything goes. There is plenty of misleading information and lies out there from the likes of Roy Ngerng and Ng Kok Lim. And there is the bigotry of lazy abstraction, when commenting: “PAP always wrong”. (Mind you this does balance the “PAP is always right” of the SPH and MediaCorp publications, channels and stations.)

Then there is the issue of only listening to others who share one’s views and values, rather than being exposed to different views. Again the SPH and MediaCorp publications, channels and stations do the same, to be fair to cyberspace.

————————————-
*“We have informed the court from the outset that the bail conditions are too wide and in violation of his constitutional rights to freedom of speech and expression,” Mr Alfred Dodwell, Amos Yee’s lawyer, said.“How can one place a gag order when he has not even been found guilty? So we had to challenge it.”(TOC)
ST reported: Mr Dodwell said that being on social media was “the equivalent of him drinking water” and the conditions were “taking away a lot from him.”

During the hearing, Justice Tay Yong Kwang asked Mr Dodwell what was so difficult about complying with these social media conditions. “They just have to learn to curb themselves,” he said.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/amos-yees-mother-took-his-son-see-psychiatrist-he-stopped-after-tw#sthash.kAzMyQfJ.dpuf

**“We always advise our clients to comply with all conditions, until otherwise revoked,” he continued. “But if a client chooses not to comply, we don’t father the client, we just tell the client what to do, and if the client refuses to do so, we do ask why but we don’t probe further than that. They face the consequences of that action.”
***Freedom of speech, assembly and association

14.

—(1)  Subject to clauses (2) and (3) —

(a)
every citizen of Singapore has the right to freedom of speech and expression;
(b)
all citizens of Singapore have the right to assemble peaceably and without arms; and
(c)
all citizens of Singapore have the right to form associations.
(2)  Parliament may by law impose —

(a)
on the rights conferred by clause (1)(a), such restrictions as it considers necessary or expedient in the interest of the security of Singapore or any part thereof, friendly relations with other countries, public order or morality and restrictions designed to protect the privileges of Parliament or to provide against contempt of court, defamation or incitement to any offence;
(b)
on the right conferred by clause (1)(b), such restrictions as it considers necessary or expedient in the interest of the security of Singapore or any part thereof or public order; and
(c)
on the right conferred by clause (1)(c), such restrictions as it considers necessary or expedient in the interest of the security of Singapore or any part thereof, public order or morality.
(3)  Restrictions on the right to form associations conferred by clause (1) (c) may also be imposed by any law relating to labour or education.

Noble: What matters

In Commodities on 06/05/2015 at 1:23 pm

Noble said it had secured US$2.25bn of commitments for a new credit facility.

It retains the confidence of its lenders, giving them enough info to keep them lending. The problem for investors is that we small investors will be the last to know when banks cut credit lines.

Pink Dot, LGBT militants score own goal

In Uncategorized on 06/05/2015 at 4:52 am

(There’s a soccer match going on, the poor boy [Amos] is the ball, and the crowd watches in morbid fascination as the own-goals pile up on both sides. The new normal way to win, wrote a perceptive reader of this article https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/amos-parents-finally-got-it-walk-the-talk-amoss-groupies/#comments)

If it’s one thing I admired about the Pink Dot movement, it is its successful attempt to show that S’poreans that LGBTs (esp gays) are just ordinary S’poreans: their sexual tastes are juz different loh.

Well I think the Taliban Christians (like the polo playing pastor Khong who had a daughter who had a child out of wedlock) will rejoice because Pink Dot has shown that it has a darker, sinister side when it came out swinging against IKEA while pretending it was doing no such thing. (At the end of this piece is what it said on the Khong, IKEA issue*.)

It came out in support of more militant LBGTs who are upset with IKEA. Worse it does so in Orwellian double talk. While saying it respects diversity of opinion, it says that IKEA should not have hire the pastor for a magic show (the militants are demanding that he no longer be hired, and are threatening IKEA with a boycott if it doesn’t repent) and goes on to imply that the LGBTs have a major problem with IKEA because of this difference of opinion.

I’ll quote what someone in a Facebook group I belong to wrote because he sums up what I feel:

 Very weird. If pink dot respects diversity of opinion, then why does it still think that ikea should not hire the pastor for a magic show?

I think that some people can’t get it in their head that ikea is only buying a magic show and that the seller’s religious, political and sexual views do not enter into the equation at all.

Just because I buy palm oil products does not mean I agree with companies burning forests in Indonesia to clear land. Nor am I obliged to stop purchase because you don’t like it.

And

Also note that ikea is Not sponsoring anything. I don’t sponsor Toyota when I buy a car from them. It’s purely a commercial transaction. I do not associate myself with Toyota’s beliefs, philosophies or principles just because I happen to buy a car from them.

Same for ikea and the pastor. Same for Muslim food. Just because I eat at a Muslim stall does not mean I agree with the religion. All it means is I think the food is good.

Gays will do well to remember this, especially if they want to sample Muslim food, because islam’s stand on homosexuality is quite clear.

Pink dot should remember that one not read too much into everything. It is not like what George Bush said– that you are either with us or you are against us– when he addressed the world after Sep 11. Just because your straight friends go to a magic show by the pastor does not mean they have turned against you.

I’d add three tots to the above: 377A is still the law of the land, yet Pink Dot and the LGBT community already think that they can dictate to us what we can think and do: they think they like PAP administration isit?

Imagine if 377A is abolished, would the gays then demand this:  legal action against a Christian-run bakery firm over its refusal to bake a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan. Sounds far fetched? Well wanting IKEA to drop a magic show because the performer has some really rabid, nasty views about gays, I think reasonable people can assume that this too will come here.

(Actually, I was sympathetic to the abolition of 377A   https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/male-gays-here-on-permanent-parole/ but I’m beginning to have my doubts, seeing the way the LGBT community is behaving.)

Whatever it is, those ang moh tua kees in the LGBT movement here that are demanding a special position for the gays have to realise that there are 12-15% of S’poreans whose religion says homosexuality is morally wrong. (Dozens of countries call themselves Islamic and derive their laws, in whole or part, from Islamic religious law, ban homosexuality.)

So abolish Islam isit here?

Like it or not, S’pore is not like the West, where its two major religions, Christianity and secularism, have made their peace with LGBT rights, and where the next fight is human rights for chimps.

Thirdly, Pink Dot has some regular corporate sponsors. Taliban Christians with serious money can decide not to use JP Morgan following the logic and thnking of Pink Dot and the militants.

I’ll end with a lawyer’s tots on Facebook that chime with my views too.

The campaign against Ikea’s support for Lawrence Khong’s magic show is problematic on a few levels, at least as I see it.

The protesters have asked IKEA to withdraw its support for the magic show so as to to maintain its secularity in choosing whom they should support in order to be sensitive to the LGBT communities, and the other Ikea patrons.

Going by this logic, the minorities for example, can ask there to be no Getai performances during the 7th month just because it could be insensitive to them.

I am not sure if the Pastor’s main source of income is from the magic shows, if so, is the protest aimed at adversely affecting his livelihood, just because he does not believe in diversity? [My comment: Nope magic shows are his hobby]

More importantly, where does this end? For example, will the protesters picket his favourite restaurant, asking it not to serve him just because he patronises it often? 

When the other side starts boycotting LGBTs and their allies, LGBT community and friends don’t Cry Mother Cry Father. You want to boycott, other side can too.

I think IKEA came to the correct and principled conclusion.

The point ,,, is that the magic show offered good entertainment AND had nothing to do with the promoting an anti-gay issue at all.

I don’t share LK’s views on sexuality, e.g. I don’t support Section 377A but nor do I agree with the calls by the LGBT lobby to recognize gay marriage or to have IKEA Singapore withdraw the discount offered for LK’s show.

In the end, IKEA Singapore chose to respect the diversity of views of people in Singapore – and I support this approach …

—————————-

*Important to respect variety in viewpoints and perceptions

PAERIN CHOA, SPOKESPERSON, PINK DOT SG

PUBLISHED: 4:17 AM, APRIL 28, 2015

IKEA’s ongoing support of controversial religious figure Lawrence Khong’s magic show has stirred deep-seated emotions among Singaporeans, in particular among the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community.

On the surface, this is understandable. Mr Khong is well known for his vehemently anti-LGBT stance; any organisation choosing to partner him, therefore, gets associated with this anti-LGBT viewpoint.

This is at odds with the fact that IKEA is well known worldwide for championing cultural diversity.

The brand enjoys strong support from LGBT communities the world over, so its decision to continue promoting the show is seen as a form of betrayal.

Drill deeper and the situation becomes significantly more complicated. Leading academics, commentators and activists — and not a small number of lay people — have weighed in with their own opinions.

Some called IKEA hypocritical, others laud the company for sticking to its guns.

Some call this issue an infringement of its diversity policies, others say the exact opposite.

Who is right?

As a movement that supports the freedom to love, regardless of race, language, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, Pink Dot is disappointed at IKEA’s decision to continue promoting Mr Khong’s show.

Mr Khong’s denunciations of same-sex relationships and LGBT people in general are well documented and not worth repeating. As customers — some very loyal ones at that — the displeasure is perhaps justified.

However, as a movement that also advocates inclusivity and celebrates diversity, Pink Dot also recognises the importance of respecting variety in viewpoints and perceptions, even those that run counter to our own.

It has never been in Pink Dot’s DNA to respond in tit-for-tat fashion because we recognise that a diversity of opinions is part and parcel of a truly pluralistic society.

Dr William Wan from the Singapore Kindness Movement raised an important point recently: “When emotions get the better of us, we lose the sensibility to know where to draw the line.”

It is all right to be angry. But let us channel our energies instead to better engage companies such as IKEA, instead of turning away from them. It is important to keep the conversation and dialogue going.

As customers, we have every right to voice our displeasure — respectfully — but let us not cut off the relationship altogether or risk becoming the mirror image of the very people denouncing other LGBT-affirmative firms with their brand of intolerance.

IKEA had made a business decision and, for better or worse, they will have to live with it, and justify it to its stakeholders.

Will that negate all the goodwill it has painstakingly built with the LGBT community? Only time will tell.

At the end of the day, what are we truly fighting for?

We do not think it is a Singapore in which every difference of opinion is met with heavy-handed belligerence and raised pitchforks.

Rather, we see it as one in which we face our challenges with stoic dignity and measured actions, always with an eye on the bigger picture — to build a Singapore that is emotionally strong, gracious, kind and loving.

 

 

May Day 1961

In Uncategorized on 05/05/2015 at 4:52 am

On May Day 1961, the PAP is strike friendly and a real friend of the S’porean workers, not FTs with fake degrees or who are willing to work for wades that S’poreans cannot live on because this is home (remember 25-yr “affordable” public housing mortgages) for those S’poreans: In 1960 125,000 man-hours were lost in strikes compared with only 26.000 in 1959. The person who reported this statistic, the outgoing head of the S’pore Chamber of Commerce called for an inquiry into where the trade union movement was leading S’pore.

Woodhull, a union man (Singapore Trades Union Congress) and a PAP cadre and activist (later arrested in Coldstore) said in the 6 months before the PAP took power in 1959, the workers were “repressed”. So the jump in strikes was to be expected when they were liberated. (Singapore Correspondent. Political Dispatches from Singapore (1958-1962))

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/ntuc-what-devan-nair-got-wrong/

Well Devan Nair, working on orders from one Harry, soon changed things. Want to know more, click the above link.

Temasek: If only chose Apple, not StanChart

In Banks, China, Temasek on 04/05/2015 at 1:48 pm

The big concentration on financials is to play the rising Asian middle class theme. A lot of the exposure goes into China banks (not looking good going forward) and StanChart.

Err should have juz bot Apple leh? Look at its price since 2005 when Jobs returned https://sg.finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=AAPL&t=my&l=on&z=l&q=l&c= Ho Ching became CEO of Temasek in 2004, and Temasek started buying StanChart in 2006. She should have bot Apple.

Here’s why based on her thinking of riding the expansion of the Asian middle class (Not Italic bits below are my tots, snide comments).

What do two big American and European multinational corporations have in common? Not much on the surface when comparing consumer giant Apple to the FTSE-listed Standard Chartered bank.

However, both have been significantly affected by emerging markets in their first-quarter earnings. And how they’ve been affected is revealing of the way emerging economies have matured, particularly in Asia.

The emerging markets-focused bank, Standard Chartered, reported a big fall in pre-tax profits of more than one-fifth in the first quarter (22% to $1.47bn) as revenues fell by 4% and costs rose by 1%.

By contrast, Apple had a strong quarter where revenues rose by 27% to $58bn, driven by a 40% increase in sales of iPhones. More than 61 million were sold globally, and notably, the biggest market was China for the first time and no longer the US. [Demand from China’s middle classes, iPhone sales leapt 40% to 61.2m units.]

But iPad sales fell sharply by 29%, reflecting a weak spot in their figures. [Apple fixing this introducing new model for Jap aging market. If works in Jap, another big global winner.]

So, it’s a really tale of two emerging markets. [Ho, Ho, Ho]

One side of emerging economies is a concern over their slowdown in growth, which raises risks over loan repayments, not just in Asia but also commodity exporters in Africa and the Middle East.

These are Standard Chartered’s key markets. Indeed, Standard Chartered took a $476m charge on bad loans, which is 80% higher than the first quarter of last year, although loan impairments were lower than in the previous six months.

[Ho, Ho, Ho]

However, there’s also the consumer side of emerging markets to consider.

For Apple, China’s rapidly growing middle class generated an impressive 72% increase in sales of iPhones. And Greater China has even overtaken Europe to become Apple’s second largest market for the first time with revenues rising by 71% in that region to $16.8bn, which accounts for much of Apple’s strong performance. Net profit was a third higher at $13.6bn for the quarter.

So, as emerging markets, particularly in Asia, become middle income countries, companies that sell to those emerging consumers are well-positioned to benefit.

But the period of rapid economic growth, particularly via debt-heavy investment, of key emerging markets is seemingly over. And companies, particularly banks, are liable to struggle as those economies restructure toward being increasingly driven by consumption.

[Ho Ho Ho: so waz Temasek doing to get into the consumption plays? Olam? Asians eating more peanuts?]

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32495200

My serious point that by focusing so much on financial services (30% of portfolio and not on consumer plays (outside of the Telecoms, Media & Technology sector: 24%), Temasek has for the last few years been betting on a three-legged horse. Other consumer plays are only a subset of Life Sciences, Consumer & Real Estate: 14%)

Amos: Even dumber comments / Parental Responsibility

In Uncategorized on 03/05/2015 at 5:25 pm

Tomorrow, Monday, Amos will again appear in court.

Here I said that Amos had changed for the better before his last court appearance. Well I looked like a real cock when he ended up in remand again. At least he was decently dressed and wasn’t eating a banana when he entered court. But while not playing up to the gallery, he was quietly stubborn, hence the remand. He refused to set his blog posts to private. He had earlier broken bail conditions by publishing two posts on his blog.

So I’m glad to report that there are even dumber comments than mine, coming from the usual heroes of the anti-PAP cybernuts:

KJ TeamRP

This is disgraceful. This is nothing less than state-sponsored violence against a child for saying considerably less than Lee Kuan Yew got away with. Edit:I say this is state-sponsored because the media is Government-owned and controlled and the Government and its leaders have failed to take steps to protect Amos Yee. By their silence they have encouraged their supporters to take the law into their own hands. If anything happens to Amos, his blood is on Lee Hsien Loong’s hands.

Can he provide evidence that the state “sponsored” the one tight slap? But then this is the guy who when M Ravi went “bananas” a few yrs back, drew parallels with the Soviet Union’s labeling of dissidents as “insane”. Sorry can’t find the link to that great own goal by s/o JBJ.

From a Do-Gooder who doean’t want drug mules hanged

I’ve always felt that Amos Yee is unsafe in Singapore. Cyber terrorism against this boy has escalated to physical street violence. Truly, I’m beginning to worry about his safety and wouldn’t be surprised if this boy dies from an assault one day. For his own safety, Amos should obtain a scholarship from a university in the U.S. and live there as an American citizen. He would flourish in a western country who celebrates and welcomes his intelligence, uniqueness and individuality.

If he goes West, he might get killed by someone who takes exception to his antics. And gd US unis don’t suka suka give scholarships to kids who misbahave. Dime a dozen in the ghettos. Real stupid ang moh tua kee this lady.

Shelley Thio, Rachel Zeng, Jennifer Teo, Woon Tien Wei, Terry Xu, Roy Ngerng, Martyn See, Jolovan Wham, Lynn Lee, Kirsten Han, Vincent Law

“Given the rhetoric against Yee, and the numerous threats to his safety, he should have been “committed to a place of safety or a place of temporary care and protection” under the Children and Young Persons Act. Instead, he is now back in remand, over his failure to abide by his bail conditions.

CAN believes that the conditions imposed on Yee are unnecessarily onerous. Apart from having to report to his Investigating Officer every day, he is also barred from posting anything online. This curtailment of Yee’s right to express himself doesn’t just infringe on his constitutional rights as a citizen, it is also disproportionate to the charges he is currently facing.”

The Community Action Network’s statement on Amos Yee’s charges and the assault on Amos Yee outside of state court On Thursday. None of whom bothered to stand bail on Friday. At least two of them were in court.

Scared to lose their money? Mr Law (the previous bailor) may forfeit S$20,000. This will depend on the outcome of a separate hearing.

Andrew Loh

Now, has anyone asked if Amos Yee has received medical attention for his injuries? 

Going by photo he placed in article asking the above: Injuries? What injuries? As a former prop who played for school and SAF, I’ve come out of rugger matches looking a lot worse than this.Amos Yee, with bruised eye

MARUAH

MARUAH strongly condemns this act of violence and intimidation. This is not the way a mature and civilised society deals with opinions and opinion-makers.

One guy slaps this boy and whole S’pore society gets blamed? WTF?

A very sensible retort to the above BS:  especially the last three

does he deserve to be beaten in public? no. does he deserve to be given one tight slap? yes.

(Facebook)

I’ll be serious. Bertha Henson (aka retired Imperial Stormtroop general, paper division, and wannabe Seth Lord) got a lot of unfair flack because of the” vicarious pleasure” she got in seeing Amos getting slapped.

She could and should have explained it better; what having been a senior spin doctor for Harry and the PAP.

Self and many others were appalled that the parents didn’t slap or cane him for his boorish behaviour. Seeing him getting slapped, albeit in breach of the law, made us feel that moral justice was done. I think Ms Henson felt the same.

Finally, I emailed the following to someone above in CAN who I respect because he believes in fighting injustice, and tries to do something, not juz talk about it. Never got a reply.

If you guys were not so anti-PAP administration, you should be asking why parents don’t ask for him to be examined by Mental Health Institute. I suspect they scared if he found to have mental health problem.
 
At his age the law assumes that parents have the primary responsibility and it defers to them. Doubtless this doesn’t suit the agenda of some people. LOL.
 
Roy was there on Friday, why no offer bail. Talk is cheap, very cheap.  

Temasek’s China banks: Strong headwinds

In Banks, China, Temasek on 03/05/2015 at 4:36 am

Temasek has stakes in three of the five major Chinese banks. See details here http://temasekreview.com.sg/en/major-investments/financial-services.html

An FT working for Reuters recently wrote

The biggest five banks reported a miserable sub-2 percent increase in earnings for the quarter, year on year. Two rate cuts have pressured their lending rates, and fees from other lines of business have slowed. A bigger drag is borrowers who can’t or won’t pay up. While bad debt levels are still low, charges for credit that hasn’t yet gone bad but might are leaping. These items increased by 73 percent year on year at China Minsheng Bank, and more than 50 percent at Agricultural Bank and Industrial Bank of China.

The valuations of big banks like ICBC, China Construction Bank and Bank of China are also burdened by the lenders’ role in big government schemes that are still not properly sketched out. Take the plan to reform local government finances by swapping some of the estimated 16 trillion yuan ($2.6 trillion) borrowed by regional authorities into new bonds. The new securities could leave banks holding the same credit risk in a different form, at deceptively low rates of interest.

China’s ambitions for global greatness also raises questions. Plans to roll out infrastructure under the clunkily named “one belt, one road” strategy are likely to involve hefty lending commitments. That may bring glory, but also pressure on banks to lend to projects that may take years to generate cash flows. In the meantime, if growth slows more at home, further rate cuts will add pressure to lenders’ margins.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2015/04/30/banks-are-designated-drivers-at-china-market-party/

Below is a Q&A from reported on Temasek’s website. It was asked, last yr,  at a media conference on Temasek’s 2014 Review

QUESTION: Can you confirm if the Chinese banks are the major drag on your relative underperformance last year and then what are your views and plans for them? Thanks.

WYB: The banking stock has been volatile. I would not say the Chinese banks are the major drag on our performance. They do fluctuate from time to time. Chinese economy – we remain very optimistic over the long term. The financial institutions we believe have ample capability to weather the current storm and be able to adjust to the risks they’re facing. So, we remain comfortable with our stakes and we will continue to invest in the financial institutions because they are good proxy for the long term growth for Chinese economy.

RS: If I could just add to that, as you would have seen in our presentation, we had mentioned that about half our portfolio consists of listed stocks in Singapore and stocks that are listed on the H-share in Hong Kong and you saw even the Straits Times Index over the last year had negative returns, so it was not any one set of stocks, it’s just that some of the areas that we had invested in had weak market performance. And again, you know, these are results as of a particular date, March 31st. You mentioned the Chinese banks. Since March 31st, they rebounded by 10 to 12% or even if you look at the Straits Times Index, that’s up about 4%. So, you know, we really look at long term returns and look at investments over the long term horizon and are fairly comfortable with short term market volatility.

Iskandar: UMNO, DAP MPs agree

In Malaysia, Property on 02/05/2015 at 4:24 am

It’s in deep trouble. They all have constituencies in the area.

Picking up on a warning by Malaysia’s largest bank of the risks of a housing glut in Iskandar, Johor lawmakers have cautioned against foreign investors’ optimism about the development corridor’s economic boom and population growth, saying that demand for premium homes in Iskandar has lagged far behind supply.

“There is a misconception about the demand market here … there is a clear mismatch between supply and demand,” Mr Shahrir Abdul Samad, Member of Parliament (MP) for Johor Baru, told the Malay Mail Online.

“There is an oversupply of premium properties, (but) the demand … is for medium- and low-cost ones, owing to people’s incomes,” added the former Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister.

Mr Shahrir said it was only natural for developers of premium residential properties in Iskandar to be hardest-hit by the dip in prices and secondary sales, as those projects were never the focus of the region.

“You have to be fair to Iskandar, as housing was never part of its main draft. The crux of its investment was more on services, hospitality and manufacturing, as well as allocations for small- and medium-sized enterprises. The investments we are interested in are not housing, and this is why we have called in Pinewood and Legoland to Iskandar,” said Mr Shahrir, referring to South-east Asia’s largest integrated studio facility and the popular theme park, respectively.

“That is the main investment strategy, but because of all these, foreign developers think there is a demand for their properties, and that is not happening. This is what’s happening, and they have to live with it. If they are willing to take the risk, then we can’t stop them,” the senior lawmaker from United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) said.

Dr Boo Cheng Hau, Johor opposition leader and Skudai assemblyman, noted that these residential projects were launched without sufficient supporting services or industries in place to make them viable in the near term.

The Democratic Action Party (DAP) MP said the region was not yet able to accommodate a surge in tourism or fulfil the needs of foreign investors seeking to take advantage of Malaysia’s second-home schemes.

“There will be a sustainable demand for properties here, but not in the near future. It will take another five to 10 years to see a boom in sectors such as manufacturing, services and so on, (and) a more steady increase in demand for properties,” Dr Boo said in an earlier email interview.

Mr Liew Chin Tong, DAP’s Kluang MP, stressed that the rapid pace of property development in Iskandar had no real legs on which to stand, a situation that is not helped by the nationwide slowdown in the property market.

“Johor is a case of killing the golden goose too fast, too greedily. The property market is not sustained by a genuine working population with income to support their investments, while borrowing rates are surging, waiting for the bubble to burst,” Mr Liew said when contacted.

But here’s one UMNO optimist:

However, UMNO’s Pulai MP, Mr Nur Jazlan Mohamed, believes the upcoming RM53 billion (S$19.7 billion) Pengerang Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (RAPID) project will provide the needed jobs and spending capacity to revive the region’s flagging property market.

“Property in Iskandar is experiencing a down cycle, but (sales) will pick up once corporate businesses like RAPID kick-start. Once corporations set up businesses in Iskandar, things will pick up. When businesses come in offering higher job opportunities, only then will the supply (of residential property) be taken up. (Iskandar) will not become a white elephant,” he said. MALAY MAIL

(20 April Today)

SG50/ BRK50: Buffett’s 50th anniversary party

In Uncategorized on 01/05/2015 at 2:17 pm

(Update on 2 May at 5.30pm: Another view http://www.economist.com/news/business-and-finance/21650309-future-worlds-sixth-largest-firm-unclear-berkshire-hathaways-meeting)

No big do like SG50, but then he doesn’t have a GE to fight.

Berkshire Hathaway Meeting On Saturday, more than 40,000 Berkshire Hathaway shareholders will descend on Omaha for the annual meeting of the company, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The gathering is known as Woodstock for Capitalists. Warren E. Buffett, Berkshire’s chairman and chief executive, and Charles T. Munger, its vice chairman, take questions for more than six hours, and their answers often make news.

Likely hot topics include the company’s recent investment in Kraft, its stakes in IBM and Coca-Cola, the debate around companies’ buying back their own shares and, a perennial favorite, succession planning.