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Archive for July, 2015|Monthly archive page

HSBC and karma

In Banks, China on 31/07/2015 at 12:51 pm
When I read in FT “Corporate giants sound profits alarm over China slowdown”, I tot of Gulliver’s plans to expand in the Canton region  https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/hsbc-desperately-seeking-home-grown-john-cryan/

HSBC needs a new CEO.

But maybe after that glorious era of three great executive chairmen Sandberg, Purvis and Bond, we got to go thru Greens and Gulliver. That gut in between  the two G’s wasn’t too bad.

Which reminded me of this from NYT’s Dealbook:

WHY BARCLAYS C.E.O. WAS OUSTED In his three years as chief executive of Barclays, Antony Jenkins worked to change the bank’s culture to make it more risk-averse and to improve the bank’s capital, but that wasn’t enough for the bank’s directors, Chad Bray writes in DealBook. John McFarlane, the Barclays chairman, noted on Wednesday that the stock price was still around the same level it was six years ago and that the company’s dividend remained flat. Management’s plans to reward shareholders were “too far out in the future,” he said. Mr. Jenkins also differed with Thomas King, the head of the investment banking business, over the unit’s strategic direction, people with knowledge of the discussions told Mr. Bray.

 

The state of the Oppo parties

In Political governance on 31/07/2015 at 5:18 am

It’s a good, short and sharp analysis by a TRE reader, who is definitely not a cybernut.

“Firstly, not all opposition parties have the same status”, says Harold who I quoted yesterday on the SPP and Mrs Chiam. As promised here are his tots on the other parties. Headings and non -Italic font are mine.

WP

The strongest opposition party at the moment is the WP which has 7 parliamentary seats and 2 non-constituency members of parliament. The WP is stable, has good leadership, party discipline, a strong brand name, strong grassroots network and has managed to attract a critical mass of skilled professionals. These factors explain why the WP has a better image and thus a better chance of winning than the other opposition parties. As was seen in the Punggol East by-election, in a multi-cornered fight, the WP candidate will attract a much larger share of votes than the minor opposition parties.

All this is spot-on. The problem is that the MPs never slapped the driver (in fact they kanna slap by he PAP)  and their accounting, corporate governance management skills suck. It still irritates me that three hotshot lawyers (one of whom was a partner in a leading US firm albeit in its Beijing office, not in NY or London) didn’t see the dangers in the way the town council dealt with the managing agent*. Even more irritating is that Auntie and her Singh (lawyers both) didn’t ensure that the managing agent kept proper records**.

All these hotshot lawyers are actually lawyers buruk.

Seriously, can anyone credibility offer to be a accountability watch dog when they can’t keep proper records. Remember no proper records cannot detect irregularities easily.

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/conflicts-of-interest-what-conflicts/

But voters decide and “liberated” zone is pretty much to PAP standards overall: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/pap-administration-scores-own-goal/

The PAP has always asked to be judged in the context of eveything it has done, so should the WP.

SDP

Next in the ranking of the opposition parties, is the SDP. Why? Because this is a party with a history, alternative policies and a clear ideology. SDP’s grassroots potential is underused but not lacking, as it seems to be able to attract social activists and other liberals. Say what you may about the SDP but at least it does not give the image that it is an unstable party that lacks people. The party website is well designed and is kept up to date. SDP’s decision to pull out of the Punggol by-election and avoid being a spoiler earned it goodwill from opposition supporters and thus the SDP’s image was not tarnished by a great defeat. The SDP may have committed some blunders such as implying that they were unwilling to run a town council, but they have corrected that mistake! They realized that they have to turn their attention to municipal matters too. And thus, earlier this year, they published a paper detailing their plans on running a town council. The SDP is not perfect, but if your constituency is not contested by WP, it’s your best bet if you want an opposition win.

Again, I agreem almost. If only Dr Chee would retire: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/wazs-needed-to-defeat-the-pap-why/

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/goodies-price-hikes-its-a-package-what-voters-really-want-smrt/

Others

All the other opposition parties are not main contenders. NSP received a lot of bad publicity after GE2011 because they went through a change of 5 secretary generals in such a short time and furthermore lost almost all their top candidates in the last GE to other political parties. Singfirst and PPP are new parties with no history and swing voters usually stick to established parties when they vote. RP and SDA have been discredited by their secretary generals losing their deposits in the Punggol by-election. These parties will be entering the upcoming GE with voters perceiving them to have a low chance of winning. They have a lot of hard work ahead of them. It will be an uphill task for them to win a seat in parliament.

Agree.

SingFirst needs another 10 years of work before it becomes credible. Do the present leaders (Dr Ang and TJS are contemporaries of mine at RI: I was in Arts they were in the scholarship class) have the stamina to slog for another five years and then pass on the baton to a younger generation of leaders?

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/spending-more-on-poor-middle-class-not-juz-cause-ge-coming/

A dream oppo party would we SDP and SingFirst with Dr Chee and his team of loonies moving on out gracefully and TJS suppressing his ego. Fat hope. Pigs will fly first.

—————-

*I’m assuming that they didn’t raise corporate governance and PR concerns because they were happy with the arrangements. If they did, but were overruled and they kept silent, that raises another can of worms.

**They are the two MPs running the operations of the town council and I’m assuming that they didn’t raise the accounting, record keeping issues of the managing agent because they were clueless: remember that they are lawyers, not accoutants***. If they did, but were overruled and they kept silent, that raises another can of worms.

***Not that many lawyers know the basics of accounting.

Playing the market, the Chinese way

In China on 30/07/2015 at 1:06 pm

Shanghai stock board

Where Green is Red.

Green is bad news: prices are falling. Red means prices are rising

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-33464903

And thaz not all. Analysis by NYT Dealbook

CHINESE INVESTORS QUESTION THEIR MATERIAL WORLD Cheered on by relatives, co-workers and rapturous headlines in the state-run news media, ordinary investors in China have helped stoke a remarkable rally over the last year, Javier C. Hernández reports in DealBook. With easy access to loans for trading, individual investors opened more than 38 million stock accounts in the second quarter, compared with nine million in all of 2014.

China’s saving rate may be among the highest in the world, but many Chinese also believe passionately in the power of luck. The intense interest in the stock market partly grew out of widespread social gambling. Many investors entered the market with lofty dreams of an exotic vacation or a new home.

The recent volatility in stock markets has unsettled these investors as they grapple not just with the financial toll, but also the loss of the emotional rush, especially as some saw the stock market as a way to define their worth. It seems in some cases, the people doing well out of the wild market movements are counselors and doctors helping sufferers of gupiao jiaolü zheng, or “stock market anxiety syndrome,” Mr. Hernández and Vanessa Piao report in the Sinosphere blog.

One psychologist notes that counseling sessions for couples had turned remarkably civil as husbands and wives found a common enemy in the market.

Time for the Chiams to step back?

In Political governance on 30/07/2015 at 4:49 am

A very common view in cyberspace and in the real S’pore of Lina Chiam even if I’m quoting a newbie SPP member (a friend and likely GRC candidate):

During the last GE, I was quite unsure about Mrs Lina Chiam, if she was the best SPP had, to be fielded in Potong Pasir. My doubts were soon proven wrong.

She has done exceptionally well in the constituency. She has regular meet the people sessions, tries to solve residents problems, and never turns away anyone who comes to her for help.

As a Parliamentarian, Mrs Chiam has been recognised for being one of the most active MPs in Parliament, having risen more than 80 times to either raise a Parliamentary Question, seek clarification, participate in Bill and motion debates, or to raise COS cuts during Budgets.

Those who have suggested that someone other than Mrs Chiam should be fielded in Potong Pasir have either taken issue with Mrs Chiam’s gender, age or supposed lack of qualifications. Such comparisons are unfair discrimination.

I personally cannot think of anyone stronger the Opposition can field in Potong Pasir.

I have always felt that it is in the best interest of Singapore to have a strong opposition in Parliament, which is why I helped Jeannette Chong-Aruldossin her campaign for Mountbatten SMC during the last GE.

This time, if I had to, I would support not only Jeannette’s campaign, but also Mrs Chiam’s. Why? Because she is a good leader, who is able to commiserate with the residents in Potong Pasir.

Contrast this minority view of Mrs Chiam by a TRE reader, Harold:

Why did I not list the SPP which has 1 NCMP as the second pick for opposition supporters? [He had praised and commended the WP and SDP: I’ll post his tots on them tomorrow, maybe]Last GE, we saw a nationwide 6.5% vote swing AWAY from the PAP. Thus, every constituency that was also contested by the opposition in 2006 saw a larger percentage of the votes gained by the opposition in 2011. All constituencies save for one – Potong Pasir. SPP instead saw their votes in Potong Pasir drop by 6%, leading to their narrow loss of a safe seat to the PAP’s Sitoh Yi Pin!

This is largely due to the choice of SPP to field Lina Chiam who was intended to be Chiam See Tong’s successor. This is widely perceived to be the reason why SPP lost. Mrs Chiam was not eloquent enough at her rallies. Nor did she attack the PAP candidate sufficiently. Most importantly, she did not manage to convince the swing voters that she had a good chance of winning against the PAP candidate. That was why there were 242 spoiled votes. If just half these votes had gone to SPP, she would have won!

I’m not against SPP but I’m just saying that SPP has to deal with these REAL perceptions if they intend to field Mrs Chiam in Potong Pasir again. A party only stands a decent chance if it can generate hype among its supporters. Supporters and swing voters have to be convinced that the party can win. Remember, Sitoh Yi Pin has been the incumbent MP for Potong Pasir for 4 years now and he has a huge advantage over Mrs Chiam. It is no longer 50-50 as was the case in 2011. Even other opposition parties like the DPP are doubting Mrs Chiam’s ability to win again. That is why these opportunists want to cause a multi-cornered fight in Potong Pasir.

SPP can still win back Potong Pasir if they field someone younger, whose appeal to the voters is stronger. If they wish to revive Mr Chiam’s legacy while renewing SPP, then why not field Mr Chiam’s daughter? As Nicole Seah proved in the last GE, it is possible for a young, eloquent and inspiring female politician to generate sufficient hype to shift the vote towards her party, even against a strong incumbent from the ruling party.

SPP has been gifted with the entry of strong opposition personalities like Ravi Philemon and Jeanette Chong-Aruldoss, who is poised to give the PAP a tough fight at Mountbatten SMC once again. So why not build on that to renew the party’s overall image? I hope SPP can see the bigger picture and try to attract back swing voters.

I agree with Harold that the SPP must move on from the Chiams (though not to their daughter who anyway seems uninterested in politics) even if Mrs Chiam has proved a better driver slapper than Low, Auntie, Show Mao, Baiyee and the other Worthless Party MPs. And even though she has grown in the job.

Isn’t it strange that cybernuts jeered at LKY because although he was frail he wanted to carry on bullying, while they cheer on a younger but even frailer Mr Chiam who insists on dominating his party?

Btw, given the face Mr Chiam was rightly given at LKY’s funeral, it would have been very petty for Poptong Pasir to have “disappeared”. Maybe there was a provision in LKY’s will (or letter of wishes) stipulating that Potong Pasir SMC should not be abolished?

Dividend stocks: new approach

In Financial competency on 29/07/2015 at 2:11 pm

Find a a small company with good revenue growth, very little debt, good margins and low valuations, Miton’s Gervais Williams says, and you can expect good income to follow, he tells the FT. He’s a UK fund manager who has juz started ian income investment trust to invest in small cap UK cos. His existing funds (including an income fund) have a bias towards this sector

Real Oppo politicians/ Creating the grounds for a revolution

In Uncategorized on 29/07/2015 at 5:34 am

A reader of my blof in responding to https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/tre-poster-blames-parents-for-childrens-deaths/ explained the difference between a cybernut like “Oxygen” and an oppo politician.

To convert a quarter of the pro-PAP voters. Exactly. Except that how are TRE cybernuts or anyone that is closely related to do them going to do it?

There is a distinct difference if you see how opposition parties engage the issue, and how cybernuts do. Real opposition polticians keep their arguments framed against the PAP and it’s policies. All others, civil servants, public/private sectors, they see them also as Singaporeans, people whom they will one day lead and serve.

Cybernuts on the other hand, feel free to mock and trample over their fellow Singaporeans so long as they can get back at the PAP. They are not interested in winning votes to be honest. When you have been busy mocking 60% for being daft, now you say you want to convert them over to your side?

I’m sure he means people like the Chiams, the WP leaders, the NSP leaders, and even Dr Chee. But this description doesn’t fit one Goh Meng Seng.

Seriously, paper  militant Marxists like grave-dancer Oxygen believe that by shouting and cursing at the PAP and ordinary S’poreans, they can change the ground.

It’s a tenet of militant  Marxist activists that if the conditions for revolution are not yet perfect, they can hasten the process of perfection. Using violence, strikes, agitprop etc to weaken the economy, they can force the state into being more repressive, upsetting ordinary citizens. There will come a time when the people are more upset by the tactics of the state than that of the revolutionaries,  then that’s the time to seize power.

Grace-dancer Oxygen and friends are hoping that by cursing S’pore and ordinary S’poreans bad things (like a property crash) will happen. Then S’poreans will rise against the PAP.  They should learn from history. To this day many of the detainees of Operations Coldstore and Spectrum say bad things about the way S’pore is run. But the economy and standards of living remain decent. Could be better though which is why this blog keeps on pricckling the PAP administration.

When is holding Reits and dividend stocks is wrong

In Currencies, Financial competency, Reits on 28/07/2015 at 3:03 pm

Those buying bonds, growth and quality stocks and the US dollar will be exposed if the world economy starts going well, for a change.

The thesis secular stagnation has been good for “conservative” investors like me.

But

“The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.

Why ST got to work harder/ PM defines “constructive, nation-building”

In Media on 28/07/2015 at 4:37 am

ST etc not productive

When PM recently visited an ST exhibition (170 yrsw of sucking up to the govt of the day), PM urged ST to “generate products all day and all night”, and not once a day, so as to “retain its relevance and its viability”.

“The Straits Times has to be of the new generation, by the new generation, and for the new generation of readers.”

What he’s doing is telling ST is that the PAP administration needs ST and SPH to work harder to combat the critics of the administration in cyberspace.

Team TOC is three-man strong (Terry Xu and two others) while TeamTRE is Andrew, and Richard Wan, and maybe a few others. But their productivity puts that of SPH and MediaCorp to shame. True 99% of the output of TRE and TOC is derivative, and mostly BS. But then 99.9% of the output of ST etc is  derivative, and mostly BS.

The difference is that ST etc cut and paste unthinkingly from the PAP administration’s media releases and editorial cheat-sheets, TOC and TRE don’t. And SPH and MediaCorp have legions of journalists and editors to do the cutting and pasting; but TOC and TRE have hardly anyone by comparison.

TOC and TRE staff are citizen journalists, while the editors and journalists at ST etc are paid to do propaganda and PR for the PAP administration. PR is worse than prostitution say journalists at respected Western media organisations.

So I couldn’t help laughing when PM said, “You have standing in our society. You are not a fly-by-night piece of paper circulated in dark alleys when nobody is looking,” he told ST.

Doesn’t he realise prostitutes operate from penthouses ans apartments in Marina Bay and district 10 and 11, and Sentosa residences too?

And, btw, TRE and TOC never had STOMP-like scandals: faking a newsy item about a SMRT train malfunction, and not telling readers that posters on STOMP were paid-employees

Constructive, nation-building media defined

PM said while ST is adapting and finding new ways to produce a commercially viable newspaper, it must continue to be conscious of its “important role in Singapore”, and maintain its “hallmark of credible, balanced, objective reporting”.

“I hope you will continue to maintain a balance, take a long-term perspective of Singapore’s interests, and report the news for Singaporeans through Singaporean eyes.”

“And in the process upholding the national interest, not campaigning for personal or corporate purposes, understanding our social and our regional context when you’re reporting and commenting on sensitive or emotional issues. As a Singapore newspaper whose past, present and future is intrinsically tied to our nation, your natural stance is to be pro-Singapore.”

Err pro-S’pore is pro the PAP administration?

 

 

 

 

 

HoHoHo, it was a good idea until June

In China, Temasek on 27/07/2015 at 1:52 pm

In mid June I wrote this https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/ho-got-this-one-right/

Temasek was part of a consortium that funded the delisting of Focus Media from the stock market in the US, and relist in China.

Focus Media Holding’s plan to float shares inside China suffered a setback in late June,

Zhu Dehong, the chairman of Jiangsu Hongda New Material, the shell company Focus Media plans to use for its backdoor listing in Shenzhen, resigned for “personal reasons,” the rubber maker said in a filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange Tuesday.

Mr. Zhu’s resignation comes a week after Hongda said regulators wereinvestigating the company and Mr. Zhu for allegedly violating Chinese securities laws. Hongda gave no details on whether these investigations were linked Focus Media’s plan to return to its home turf through what is known as a reverse merger. WSJ

Then the collapse of the Chinese stock markets led the authorities to, among other things, suspend new issues of shares.

HoHoHo. There’s many a sliptwixt the cup and the lip.

Victor Lye: junior minister material?

In Uncategorized on 27/07/2015 at 4:53 am

If he heads the PAP’s team in Aljunied, and wins (PAP friendly pollster privately says Aljunied very winnable*), Victor Lye could be made a junior minister. He has the right credentials.

I’m sure you are aware of his latest employer, a subsidiary of Parkway that gave him leave to win back Aljunied for the PAP. If not read this: http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2014/12/paps-victor-lye-given-1-5-years-leave-to-do-grassroots-work/

I’ll focus on his previous experience and paper (1st class degree leh) to show his ministerial calibre**.

He was the head of the wealth management team at G. K. Goh Holdings*** in 2001. He had joined the Group in 1999 and was “head” of institutional sales and dealing. He served as MD of Peregrine Securities and Santander Securities in S’pore earlier. Before that he was head of sales in S’pore at Crosby Securities, leaving it in 1996.

He joined the broking industry in 1990. Before that he with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore.

He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and an Associate Financial Planner. He has a Bachelor of Economics (First Class Honours) degree from the University of Adelaide, Australia.

He is an Independent Non Executive Director and Lead Independent Director of Superior Multi-Packaging Ltd. since January 8, 2013. 

Junior minister material, and with balls too.

——-

*I suspect the PAP will squeak a very narrow win. Even die hard WP cadres concede that a defeat is possible.

**I only realised earlier this year that he was the “Victor Lye” whom I had spoken to on the telephone in 1998 when he was in Santander and I in PR. I remembered the conversation because he saved me a lot of unnecessary work: someone had asked ask to pitch for Santander’s business, but he called to say “Don’t bother, facts have changed”. Shortly thereafter Santander closed shop here.

A mutual friend has a high opinion of him: she was once in Crosby. In fact, it was a “Like” by her on Facebook, that alerted me that this PAP “Lye” was that “Victor Lye”.

***It was then listed. The MD then and now Mr. Goh Yew Lin is also a Director at Temasek since August 2005.

 

Why should the PAP listen to feedback

In Humour, Political governance on 26/07/2015 at 1:11 pm

In TRE la-la land home of the cybernuts, like dancer and singer over children’s graves, Oxygen, there is always the gleeful complain that the PAP administration doesn’t listen to feedback. Actually, it’s a common refrain (albeit not gleefully) among S’poreans.

Could this refusal to listen be because Ah Loong and his dad before him, and the rest of the PAP tot of themselves as aristocrats? Natural ones by merit, of course, not hereditary ones

The Daily Mail’s then owner Vere Harmsworth was asked why did he not just survey readers, ask what they wanted and give it to them? This would not produce a good paper, Harmsworth replied: “Getting someone else’s newspaper is like stepping into their bath after they have just left.”

He was an aristocrat by birth.  He was the 3rd Viscount Rothermere. The 1st Viscount Rothermere, when he was a peasant, founded the UK’s Daily Mail. But Vere Harmsworth would also would have been a “natural” aristocrat. He was a good newspaper proprietor, knowing what the public wanted before they knew it, and then selling it to them. Bit like Steve Jobs and our dear Harry. He was also a shrewd investor. The Mail group still has an interest in a North Sea oilfield (almost deleted), whichhe bought when the North Sea oil projects were in their infancy.

How pet minister can win votes for PAP

In Uncategorized on 26/07/2015 at 4:19 am

Independent: Human rights for cats and dogs: Spanish town council votes overwhelmingly in favour of defining pets as ‘non-human residents’

As we have a pet minister (his other jobs are aslaw and foreign relations) that’s more effective in looking after pets than the ministers responsible for Malays, Indians and Eurasians, he might want to do something similar.

Given the number of owners of dogs and cats here, this could boost the PAP’s share of the popular vote. Might even help win back Aljunied.

 

Of course, we have to bear in mind that human rights, as defined here, are different from those of the West and that of the UN: think Amos Yee. I’m sure Maruah would bitch. The members always do.

Waz’s needed to defeat the PAP & why?

In Political governance on 25/07/2015 at 1:11 pm

“As Maidan* showed, a revolution comes not from 100,000 people standing around, but 1,000 radicals taking action,” a Russian activist told the FT.

I doubt there are 1000 radicals here. In that sense, our dear Harry was right to launch Operation Spectrum in 1987. While I know it got some middle class friends into Oppo politics, it showed the price of being a radical, even of the mildest and peaceful sort, was really very high.

As the cybernuts from TRE Land only sing and dance over the graves of dead children (think Oxygen and his mates) and talk cock, sing song about being radical, the PAP has nothing to be afraid of. I mean Roy, the hero and these cybernuts, quickly raised the white flag of surrender after being sued for saying the PAP administration stole our CPF money (my choice of words, not his). Remember that JBJ and Dr Chee never raised the white flag: they fought and lost.

As to the oppo parties only the SDP has a comprehensive list of alternative policies but it’s handicapped by a mad dog as a leader, albeit one that is now heavily sedated. But he still escapes his RI doctors, witness his support for Roy, New citisen Hui Hui and the other young hooligans.

All this is sad because the continued hegemony of the PAP has creates cosy (not necessarily illegal) internal and external relationships that profit (not necessarily illegally) those participating in the relationships more than ordinary S’poreans.

—————————-

*The protests in Kiev in late 2013 and early 2014 that overthrew the then Ukrainian govt.

What drives the Pinoy economy? Why see S’pore no Ak

In Uncategorized on 25/07/2015 at 4:39 am

US is the biggest source of remittances: 42.6% out of total of U$24.3bn. Remittances is 10% of gross domestic product in itself, and a vital driver of the consumer spending that accounts for two-thirds of the Philippines’ economic output.

Asia is only third as a source of remittances and the amount from S’pore is therefore “peanuts”: Money talks, BS walks.

 

HoHoHo, StanChart got wrong CEO?

In Banks, Emerging markets, Temasek on 24/07/2015 at 1:04 pm

But first, shumething from the respected Terry Xu of TOC http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/07/leaked-cables-on-the-failed-leadership-transition-of-temasek-holdings/

Standard Chartered Shakes Up Management Structure The British bank will be organized around three business lines, and top managers will report directly to the new chief executive, William T. Winters.

Did the recruiters at Standard Chartered and Credit Suisse get their dossiers mixed up?

Bill Winters is beginning his tenure as the new boss of the London-based emerging market lender at around the same time that Tidjane Thiam takes charge of the Swiss bank. Both are capable financial executives, but their experiences seem uncannily to better suit the other’s job. That they’ve wound up where they did, rather than where their resumes would suggest they should have, may say more about where the institutions they lead are headed.

Winters, who on July 19 reshaped StanChart’s management structure so that the heads of its major business units now report to him directly rather than to deputy Mike Rees, made his career leading JPMorgan’s investment bank in London … This would appear to eminently qualify him to run Credit Suisse. Its investment bank – stronger in the United States than elsewhere – competes directly with JPMorgan. And its private bank needs to more aggressively poach the very rich folks that Renshaw Bay, the firm he founded, calls customers.

Instead, $48 billion Credit Suisse got an insurance executive, French-educated Ivorian Thiam. True, he showed an affinity for deals as chief executive of Prudential, the UK insurer: an aborted attempt to snatch American International Group’s Asian operations was particularly bold. Private banking arguably should be run more like insurance than investment banking or trading.

Similar thinking prevailed when Barclays named a retail banker to the helm three years ago. But the British lender let Antony Jenkins go on July 8 partly because it needs someone capable of making an investment bank hum.

Though Credit Suisse may not be pre-eminent in Asia, Thiam’s experience there could help rectify that. Of course, that’s the region where $39 billion StanChart is strongest. And Africa, where Thiam was born, is one of StanChart’s prime growth areas. By contrast, Winters’ orientation has been to developed markets – places his bank shows zero interest in pursuing.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2015/07/20/shouldnt-credit-suisse-and-stanchart-swap-ceos/

Tharman also from Bizarro S’pore?

In Currencies, Economy, Financial competency, Political governance on 24/07/2015 at 5:26 am

(Or “Weakening economy? Uniquely PAP solution: reverse quantitative easing”)

Let me explain.

The US had a massive quantitative easing (QE, a respectable form of printing money to stimulate the economy) exercise to save the US (and the world from recession) and is now easing back on QE and planning interest rate hikes soon because the US economic is doing But Japan, the Eurozone and China have some form of QE because of worries about their economies.

Our economy is not looking good. S’pore’s economy contracted sharply in the second quarter as manufacturing slumped and is at risk of tipping into technical recession. Price pressures are subdued and expectations are building for the central bank to ease policy once again at a twice-yearly review in October. As S’pore focuses on the exchange rate, not monetary policy. an easing of S$ is called for.

But if anything the S$ could strengthen. S’pore’s plan to launch a savings bond* to encourage long-term retail savings is worrying domestic banks and those like Citi, HSBC, MayBank and StanChart who have big retail operations here, and economists who fear this bond will push interest rates up and suck cash out from an already anaemic economy.

This could cause a flight of cash from bank deposits into these bonds and force interest rates higher as banks compete to attract savers. Higher S$ rates will attract money, strengthening S$.

“Launching a retail savings bond now is almost like reverse QE,” said Chua Hak Bin, an economist with BofA Merrill Lynch here, Reuters reports.

He points to the already slowing deposit growth in the banking system, with just S$3.8 billion (US$2.8 billion) of deposits being added in the first five months of 2015, just 20 percent of the total growth last year.

He suspects the government would invest the savings bond flows overseas** (more money for HoHoHo to double down her bets at the casino***). That would further pressure loan growth, by tightening available cash and triggering a rise in deposit rates, he said.

“So the timing is not ideal. The economy has stagnated in the first half and this will worsen the situation.”

Citibank analysts expect that of a total S$559 billion of deposits in the banking system, 36 percent are savings deposits held by households. If on average the central bank issued about S$6 billion worth of bonds each year, S$30 billion would flow from the deposit base into bonds over five years, they estimate.

MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon played down fears the bond will cannibalise bank deposits.

“The savings bonds issuance numbers pale in significance compared to the total size of the banking deposits,” he said but note that the government says it will issue a maximum of S$4 billion worth of bonds this year, which is still more than a fifth of deposit growth in 2014.

Whatever, down right bizarre this decision to issue the bonds. now. But then a GE is coming.

And the bond is really good for savers. “The Singapore Savings Bond is bending the risk-reward paradigm in investors’ favor,” said Zal Devitre, head of investments at Citibank in Singapore.Government bonds yield about 0.95 percent for one-year and 2.6 percent for 10 years. Bank deposits fetch around 0.25 percent for a year and just double that for 24 months.

Other evidence that Tharman (and Hng Khiang for that matter) are aliens from Bizarro S’pore:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/will-hougang-make-the-pap-moan-the-inflation-blues-not-joke-abt-it/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/tharman-trying-to-tell-jokes-again/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/property-tharman-trying-to-crack-jokes-again/

Backgrounder from Wikipedia: The Bizarro World (also known as htraE, which is “Earth” spelled backwards) is a fictional planet appearing in American comic bookspublished by DC comics. Introduced in the early 1960s, htraE is a cube-shaped planet, home to Bizarro and companions, all of whom were initially Bizarro versions of Superman, Lois Lane and their children and, later, other Bizarros including Batzarro, the World’s Worst Detective.

In popular culture “Bizarro World” has come to mean a situation or setting which is weirdly inverted or opposite to expectations.

—–

*The new bond, which will begin selling in October, will have a term of 10 years. It will offer the same yields as government bonds or ten times the returns on bank deposits, and can be redeemed without penalty at any point. They are are aimed at meeting a long-felt need for long-term investment options in the low-yielding economy. “The Singapore Savings Bond is bending the risk-reward paradigm in investors’ favor,” said Zal Devitre, head of investments at Citibank in Singapore.Government bonds yield about 0.95 percent for one-year and 2.6 percent for 10 years. Bank deposits fetch around 0.25 percent for a year and just double that for 24 months. the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has set a cap of S$100,000 on individual investments in the bond.

**Bizarro bonds: “Guaranteed to lose money for you”

***The late Dr Goh Keng Swee called the stock market a casino.

Propping markets, the Chinese way

In China on 23/07/2015 at 1:19 pm

Chart: Beijing's battle to prop up the stock market

http://im.ft-static.com/content/images/ee89f7ba-2f8c-11e5-8873-775ba7c2ea3d.img

Would Sun Tzu approve?

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/investing-the-chinese-way/

Double confirm: PM’s really from Bizzaro S’pore

In Political governance, Public Administration on 23/07/2015 at 4:51 am

Yesterday, I speculated that our PM’s from Bizzaro S’pore*. Well u/m double confirms this suspicion:

Speaking at a FutureChina Global Forum, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the Government had “Singaporeans’ interests at heart” when it came to immigration and population policies.

He said “it makes sense to take in foreign labour and immigrants” purely from the perspective of numbers.

“We have explained the reasons many times. I think people may not necessarily want more explanations.”

“But from an emotional standpoint, it is not easy for people to accept, to agree and support.”

Now isn’t the above in line with the Bizarro Code?

In the Bizarro world … society is ruled by the Bizarro Code which states “Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!” In one episode, for example, a salesman is doing a brisk trade selling Bizarro bonds: “Guaranteed to lose money for you”**. Later, the mayor appoints Bizarro No. 1 to investigate a crime, “Because you are stupider than the entire Bizarro police force put together”***. This is intended and taken as a great compliment.

I belong to a Facebook group that is pretty conservative and members cut the PAP administration a lot of slack particularly on healthcare, law and order, and welfare (well-off leh and mean) issues. But members don’t cut the PAP administration any slack when it comes to immigration and population policies. While they believe talents are needed and there is a need for immigration, they feel that too much trash is coming in. The belief is that the primary reason for immigration is to keep costs down.

When PM says “I think people may not necessarily want more explanations”, he isn’t talking about this Facebook group. He is talking about Jason Chua and his Fabrications aboyt the PAP? Btw, Jason Chua was kicked out from this group for posting runbbish from FATPAP. He then complained that the group considered supporting the PAP as a crime. My avatar posted to loud acclaim that his stupidity was criminal.

My serious point is that PM is deluded if he thinks the PAP administration has explained away why we need FTs by the container load: even a Facebook group that cuts the PAP a lot of slack doesn’t accept the “right” explanations.

He thinks we S’poreans too from Bizarro S’pore, like him?

—————————————————————-

*The Bizarro World (also known as htraE, which is “Earth” spelled backwards) is a fictional planet appearing in American comic books published by DC comics. Introduced in the early 1960s, htraE is a cube-shaped planet, home to Bizarro and companions, all of whom were initially Bizarro versions of Superman, Lois Lane and their children and, later, other Bizarros including Batzarro, the World’s Worst Detective.

In popular culture “Bizarro World” has come to mean a situation or setting which is weirdly inverted or opposite to expectations.

**Think the scholar, general, Temasek MD running NOL. I wrote this in 2013 https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/scholar-cant-repair-nol-maersk-steams-ahead/ and this in 2015 https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/05/15/nol-versus-maersk-what-can-i-say/

***Think the scholar, general running SMRT who can’t make the trains run on time https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/aqua-lions-no-worries-about-coup-smrt-no-got-this/.

China crash: hedgies’ winners, losers

In China on 22/07/2015 at 2:11 pm

Asian hedge funds’ 13-month winning streak came to an end in June.

Some of the region’s savviest investors such as Pine River Capital Management’s Dan Li and former Highbridge Capital Management Asia head Carl Huttenlocher were hit as a correction in Chinese equities spread to Hong Kong. The Eurekahedge Asian Hedge Fund Index slipped 1.3 percent last month, the first loss since April 2014, with 62 percent of the funds having reported …

Among the minority that made money in June was Owl Creek Asset Management’s $600 million Asia fund, which gained 2.9 percent, helped by long-short China investments, said a person with knowledge of the matter. The fund focused on corporate events such as mergers and led by Jeff Altman, returned 16 percent in the first half.

Nine Masts Capital, a Hong Kong-based fund expected to have more than $750 million of assets at the beginning of August, returned 0.6 percent in June for an 11.2 percent gain in the first half, according to updates sent to investors and seen by Bloomberg News.

The fund, run by former Deustche Bank AG’s Saba proprietary traders Wang Bing and Ron Schachter with co-founder James Tu, seeks to profit from pricing gaps between different securities including equity and credit sold by the same companies. It added another estimated 2.6 percent this month through July 10.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-16/asia-hedge-funds-have-first-loss-in-14-months-on-china-crash?nl=business&emc=edit_dlbkam_20150717

PM visiting from Bizarro S’pore?

In Media, Political governance on 22/07/2015 at 4:32 am

Backgrounder from Wikipedia: The Bizarro World (also known as htraE, which is “Earth” spelled backwards) is a fictional planet appearing in American comic books published by DC comics. Introduced in the early 1960s, htraE is a cube-shaped planet, home to Bizarro and companions, all of whom were initially Bizarro versions of Superman, Lois Lane and their children and, later, other Bizarros including Batzarro, the World’s Worst Detective.

In popular culture “Bizarro World” has come to mean a situation or setting which is weirdly inverted or opposite to expectations.

I tot of Bizarro World when PM said ST must maintain its ‘hallmark of credible, balanced, objective reporting’.

Huh?

Even more bizarre, he told the audience that surveys (from Institute of Policy Studies? North Korean, Vietnamese think tanks affiliated to IPS?) show that Singapore newspapers, including ST, enjoy high credibility and respect.

Err if ST etc enjoys high credibility and respect, why then does Reporters Without Borders give Singapore a ranking of 153 – a drop of 3 places from last year’s ranking of 150 – in the World Press Freedom Index? 153 out of 180 is the lowest ranking Singapore has ever got.

Coming back to ST: The very newspaper which he praised as a ‘hallmark of credible, balanced, objective reporting ‘ was the subject of a US State Department cable which became a WikiLeaks document.

The ST Bureau Chief in Washinton D.C., told a member of the American Embassy in Singapore that reporters were frustrated with the obstacles they face in reporting on sensitive domestic issues. They had to be careful in their coverage of local news, as Singapore’s leaders would likely come down hard on anyone who wrote negatively about the government or its leadership.

He disclosed that there was a growing disconnect between ST’s reporters and its editors, with the reporters wanting to do more investigative and critical stories than the editors would allow. He said that the ST editors had all been groomed to be pro-government supporters and were careful to ensure that reporting of local events adheres closely to the official line: none of the editors had the courage to publish any stories critical of the government.

He also said that the government exerted significant pressure on ST editors to ensure that published articles toe the government’s line. For example, ministers routinely call ST editors to ensure that media coverage of an issue comes out the way they want it. He said that no editors had been fired or otherwise punished for printing articles critical of the government because all of them have already been vetted to ensure their pro-government leanings. The ST Bureau Chief even conceded that he would likely never advance higher up the ladder at ST due to the ‘expectations’ placed on editors.

The cable also revealed that another ST reporter had confirmed the disconnect between editors and reporters. For example, following the death of opposition icon JB Jeyaretnam in September 2008, she highlighted an internal debate inside ST over the amount of coverage ST should dedicate to JBJ’s death.

While the editors agreed with the reporters’ demand for extensive coverage of JBJ’s political career and funeral, they rejected the reporters’ suggestions to restrict the amount of coverage to eulogies by government leaders. The said reporter lamented that in the end, statements by government leaders took up a significant portion of the allotted space on the pages in the way the editors had wanted.

She also confirmed that most censorship was done by the editors. She was discouraged with life as a Singapore journalist and wondered if she would stay in the profession for long. She lost her job.

But maybe PM was praising ST for reporting news reliably and objectively over the years because he was being a gracious guest, unlike one GCT*. After all he said these words of praise at the launch of an exhibition on Wednesday (15 Jul) to mark the Straits Times’ 170th birthday. His mum tot him manners.

Or maybe he was trying to tell tasteless jokes like Tharman and Hng Khiang:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/will-hougang-make-the-pap-moan-the-inflation-blues-not-joke-abt-it/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/tharman-trying-to-tell-jokes-again/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/property-tharman-trying-to-crack-jokes-again/

Seriously Tharman will make a good PM https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/why-tharman-will-be-the-next-pm/?. Must be the Indian mafia at work https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/indians-lots-to-celebrate/

—-

*I was at the 5th anniversary dinner of MediaCorp’s freesheet. Goh Chok Tong was the guest of honour and he sneered at the freesheet’s short history. I kid you not.

 

*

 

Unicorns are not real: latest US tech “scam”/ Can unicorns be exited?

In Financial competency on 21/07/2015 at 2:43 pm

PROTECTIONS FOR INVESTORS INFLATE START-UP VALUATIONS Don’t believe all the hype over the “unicorns,” or start-up technology companies valued at more than $1 billion, Randall Smith writes in DealBook, pointing to the late-stage financing terms that inflate a company’s valuation before any initial public offerings of stock – often with little or no disclosure of those terms. Venture investors say that these terms include extra protections, like a discount to the price of any eventual initial offering, a minimum return on investment or extra shares if the company later raises money at a lower valuation. Early stage investors warn that these terms can jeopardize a company’s financial stability, diluting the value of their original stakes and worsening a company’s prospects in a downturn, but the protections appeal to company founders because they provide new cash at the highest nominal valuation, reducing dilution if all goes well.

The protections can push up a unicorn’s valuation 10 percent to 25 percent, said Rick Kline, a lawyer at Goodwin Procter whose firm does legal work on start-up and initial offering financings. He said the phenomenon has been part of a general “frothiness” in late-stage valuations. Neeraj Agrawal, a general partner at Battery Ventures, said such structures work for companies when, “like ‘The Lego Movie’ theme song, everything is awesome.” But, he added, “things won’t always be awesome, and when they aren’t, a company can blow up over this issue.”

THE CASE AGAINST A TECH BUBBLE Last month, three partners at Andreessen Horowitz – Morgan Bender, Benedict Evans and Scott Kupor – made the case to the firm’s limited partners for why today’s tech boom is different from that of the dot-com era. It’s not too surprising that a major venture capital firm is arguing that Silicon Valley is not in a bubble, Steven Davidoff Solomon writes in the Deal Professor column. But he says that the presentation, which was released to the public, is worth a look, “not just for the debate over whether a bubble exists but also because it leads indirectly to the fate of the unicorns and the eventual fallout.”

The partners cite plenty of data to back up their arguments. E-commerce has a lot of growth potential in the United States, making up only 6 percent of retail revenue, and technology funding as a percentage of gross domestic product is only 2.6 percent, compared with 10.8 percent in 1999. Another key difference is the unicorn factor, the start-ups with a valuation of at least $1 billion. Gains that used to go to the public through stock offerings are now going to private investors, the partners contended, citing the example of Facebook. When Facebook went public with a valuation of more than $100 billion, all of its gains went to private investors.

However, Professor Solomon writes, the Andreessen Horowitz presentation inadvertently highlights the problem of the unicorns: No exit.“Competition among venture capitalists to get in on technology start-ups is driving up prices exponentially. But that pricing is justified only if there is an exit. And as Dan Primack noted recently in Fortune, there isn’t one for unicorns.” The venture partners may be right that private markets have pushed out the public ones, but Professor Solomon contends that this shift does not justify the ever-increasing valuations or identify potential buyers of these unicorns. “Perhaps most important, it is silent on how to salvage a unicorn investment when it sours,” he writes.

NYT Dealbook

Why Khaw, Vikram must commit hari kiri

In Political governance, Public Administration on 21/07/2015 at 4:31 am

Findings highlighting several lapses at Admiralty Citizen’s Consultative Committee (CCC) in the Auditor-General’s Report are being taken seriously, said Members of Parliament for Sembawang GRC Khaw Boon Wan and Vikram Nair*.

The grassroots leader “resigned” from his post but going by the u/m post on Facebook, Khaw and Nair should take responsibility Japanese style (something Khaw, who asked the WP’s leaders to commit hari kiri over the issues at their town council**. and the PAP – think ESM– advocate when it doesn’t involve a PAPpy or a scholar:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/learn-from-japanese-set-example-leh-elites/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/pap-pls-do-not-use-tragedy-to-push-yr-agenda/)

I was in grassroots from 1992 til mid 2008.. I held positions ranging from Exco, Secretary, Treasurer n Auditor.. If the cc n the adviser were doing their respective jobs.. This cannot happen.. We needed to submit reports, accounts n statements for everything.. We had only certain banks which we could deposit our monies into n a minimum of two signatures was ALWAYS required.. We were always fearful of being audited and found to be dishonest n so we would work into the night to ensure our submissions were fit for clearance.. To be fair we had access to plenty of training as to how to discharge our various duties n so I’m shocked .. As for the monies involved.. We had a balance of several tens of thousands n a monthly accounts of several thousands.. We not only ran several classes n day care (and we were not even that busy or aggressive) and we could bank in some hundreds every month easily. And we also used to receive funds from the various affiliates n grassroots organizations n eve the near by temple would donate funds for community events. Also the monies involved are not surprising for Why do you think the PA’s annual budget is so huge.. I quit coz I got disillusioned with the grassroots.. I felt I was no longer serving my residents but the .. Ahhh but then that’s another story..
*please note that this sharing is based to the best of my recollection and it’s not meant to disparage anyone fingered and I don’t in any way mean to cast aspersions on those folks especially since they’ve resigned :)) WAhahahahahah :)) T

What the post implies is that if Vikram and Khaw had been “on the ball” in carrying out their duties, the incident should not have arisen. It was a failure of the managers, not a system failure.

They also have to take responsibility for not ensuring that staff were trained to follow the “right” procedures. CNA reported that only after the report was released, did staff and volunteers at Admiralty CCC familiarise themselves with the financial procedures.

Again if Khaw and Vikram had been more on the ball … But let’s be fair to both of them. Vikram may still be suffering from the after-effects of drinking water from the tank where an FT went swimming and drowned, polluting the water supply of residents. And Khaw had a lot of work recently:

— Fernvale

— Fixing the WP

— Mourner in chief

— GE planning.

———

*Mr Khaw, who is also National Development Minister, said Admiralty CCC fully cooperated with the People’s Association investigation Panel. The report highlighted that the CCC chairman had awarded two contracts worth S$32,000 to a company at which he was linked to. He had also approved S$114,767 of his own claims.

The grassroots leader involved has stepped down and Mr Khaw said he was “glad” the Investigation Panel found no evidence of dishonesty.

Mr Nair said he was “saddened” to learn of the findings and said the grassroots leader concerned has served with distinction for many years. “I am relieved to note that there was no dishonesty found on his part by the investigation,” he said.

The PA said the non-declaration of conflict of interest is a serious lapse and that the staff involved have been reprimanded.

(CNA)

**Ok, OK I exaggerate.

 

 

FT on avoiding the madness of crowds

In Financial competency on 20/07/2015 at 2:38 pm

The problem for the investor trying to avoid crowded trades is not just spotting them, but managing to resist joining in. The basis for crowding is usually compelling. The US economy seemed to be doing well; the Swiss central bank was stopping the currency strengthening; and the ECB seemed to be offering a guarantee of easy profit on German bonds. The fact everyone agreed seemed not to matter.
It is hard to buck the consensus. Investors need to recognise that while the story may be obvious, the risk that it is wrong is not properly discounted. When that risk becomes clear, “the mass volte face is what causes some of these crowded trades to reverse spectacularly,” says Altaf Kassam, head of equity applied research at MSCI.

James Mackintosh, Investment Editor

FT, sorry for the cutting and pasting such a long extract. I know, I know good quality journalism and profits is hurt by such an action. But given that the FT is almost as leftist as the Guardian on Greek austerity (i.e. making the Greeks face reality) …

PM’s clueless, forgetful: Why?

In Political governance, Uncategorized on 20/07/2015 at 4:51 am

Because he’s busy fixing the Oppo? Or because he’s a “natural aristocrat”, living in a parallel world?

I tot the above when I read, While young people he meets sometimes tell him that they are anxious about their future, they have so much more than their parents and grandparents did, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Speaking at the launch of the English edition of Chasing Rainbows today (July 16) at the National Library building, Mr Lee said he found the anxiety of the young worrying. The young today, he said, have more resources, are more educated, and have more opportunities to achieve something special for themselves and for Singapore. (CNA)

A member of a very conservative Facebook group that is usually sympathetic to the the PAP (Examples: Amos deserved what he got and many went to pay their respects to LKY) wrote:

Our parents didn’t have to contend with a large foreign workforce and mass middle class immigration,

N before they paid themselves big bucks.

Whether PM is clueless, forgetful because he’s busy fixing the Oppo; or because he’s a “natural aristocrat”, living in a different S’pore, the real S’pore has changed.

The working young get paid a lot less than what I and others got in the late 70s when we started work
Examples:
— A second hand car (3 year old) only cost $17,000 then. Now?
— Cost of buying HDB flats were “peanuts” compared to now. A scholar in a TLC and his wife-to-be can only afford a resale 4-room HDB flat and according to his dad, they’ll have to wait 5 years for a BTO flat, assuming they get a unit this year. In my time, their combined  salaries would mean that they were outside the HDB scheme. In my time, opportunistic, cheapo (OK value) couples would arrange for the gal to stop work for a while so that they could be eligible for a HDB flat.
— I know a lawyer working in a bank who is in his 30s: He can only afford a resale three-room HDB flat (he’s single) and a small car. In my time, he’d have been able to buy a condo, and a sports car.
Maybe, the PAP administration should say “Sorry” for the asser appreciation policy of Goh Chok Tong’s team; where one Ah Loong was DPM and economic and financial czar?
But to be fair,  maybe the stresses of the job* have made PM forget that the world has changed? After all he seems to have forgotten a promise he made early this year:
The next GE must be held by January 2017. Speaking to the Chinese media in an interview on Thursday, Mr Lee said the Government is preoccupied with the SG50 celebrations this year and hence, has had no time to think about when to set up the committee*. “When it’s set up, everyone will know,” he added. 
We only learnt last week that the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee was set-up two months ago. “When it’s set up, everyone will know”: two months later?
*To be fair, dad had died in late March and PM was really busy while grieving; and recovering from cancer treatment. So maybe he forgot his promise? Or maybe he’s like Humpty Dumpty in  Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether youcan make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

 

What Amos and Meng Seng have in common? Con’td

In Humour, Uncategorized on 19/07/2015 at 1:33 pm

When TRE republished https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/what-amos-and-meng-seng-have-in-common/, it added this photo

Trying to imitate this?

Image result for amos yee

They both trying to audition for the next Planet of the Apes movie? I hear there’s a role for a clowning chimp that takes on the gorillas and gets beaten up for his efforts. Amos would have a hard start on GMS for this role, given his recent spell in remand and our very own Arkham. https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/arkham-awaits-amos-autism-isnt-mental-illness-but/, https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/mother-mary-why-fantastic-is-in-block-7/

Goh Meng Seng for all his blustering braggadocio hasn’t suffered at the hands of the PAP administration, unlike Amos. In fact, GMS helped ensure the victory of the PAP’s preferred presidential candidate by advising, helping Tan Kin Lian run a clownish election campaign. Incidentally, he had been encouraging, flattering TKL to run since 2008.

Seriously GMS was taking part in a “protest” in support of Amos, the boy fantastic. He jetted in from HK for a flying visit. He got his own private set?

Btw, notice that GMS was using a pink polo shirt. Is he courting the LGBT vote, imitating Pinkie or signalling his intention to the president of the No Substance Party that  he’s still available. Yes, I know the NSP’s official polo  shirt is orange, but using an orange polo shirt is too obvious, a signal.

Image result for GOh Meng Seng

 

PAP: The problem with technocrats

In Political governance on 19/07/2015 at 4:39 am

No, the problem with technocrats is not that they are only good for sticking leech-like onto to their jobs despite being incompetent: Think Lim Hng Khiang, Desmond Kwek and the fatty at NOL*.

The problem with technocrats, especially when it comes to economics, is that there is no “right” answer on which all experts agree. There are also political consequences to technocratic decisions. QE, for example, by boosting asset prices has helped the very wealthiest, who own most of the assets. Bailout programmes are perceived to help banks, a deeply unpopular result, even though the Greek crisis has shown what happens to the economy when the banks are too weak to open.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2015/07/euro-crisis-0

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/when-democracy-sucks/

——————————-

*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.

However, if Temasek succeeds in selling NOL, the new owners are likely bring in their own management team, resulting in the loss of jobs for current NOL CEO LG (NS) Ng Yat Chung and his team at NOL. Temasek may then need to find new GLCs for LG (NS) Ng and his team to helm.

“When democracy sucks”

In Uncategorized on 18/07/2015 at 1:14 pm

When there is an existentialist crisis and unpopular measures have to be taken.

No not from Harry, PM or any other PAPpy.

Writing in the FT today, Glenn Hutchins argued that

“When our economy was most fragile, in the aftermath of the crisis, elected politicians wrangled year after year.

Fortunately, the central bank was independent of politics, which enabled it to act.”

http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2015/07/euro-crisis-0

Tomorrow, I’ll explain why “technocracy ” doesn’t work with special reference to s’pore. Visit this blog.

Whatever, the existentialist threats that Israel faced, didn’t prevent it becoming a fractious democracy. Neither did Westminster or Congress close in WWII.

IPO that is not coming to SGX

In Indonesia on 18/07/2015 at 4:37 am

Philip Morris International has hired investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan Chase, to sell over US$1 billion worth of shares in its Indonesian operation,

TRE grave dancer doesn’t deny grave dancing

In Uncategorized on 17/07/2015 at 4:49 am

When TRE republished this, one Oxygen was so offended that I called him a dancer on the graves of the children who died in Sabah that he called me a lot of names and asserted:

The truths are that I said the events in Mt Kinabalu is A GEOLOGICAL EVENT which is or ought to be known by MOE to be of repetitious of occurrence and that there is some risks to such event. MOE covered its ground getting parents to sign the consent form prior. What COMICAL INVESTOR hid from public demoning of his LIES, SCAMS AND DECEPTION is I said Singapore faced the same geological risks of earth tremors – UNSAFE OF UNDERGROUND DRILLING & EXCAVATIONS carrying risks of sudden cave-in. Singapore cannot have 6.9 million and underground living and shopping.

Interestingly he doesn’t deny that he made the following comments (bolded below) about the parents:

oxygen:

June 18, 2015 at 11:08 am (Quote)
DO ANYONE SIGN INDEMNITY FORM also known as liability exclusion form to any organizer when they go on travel vacations?

Climbing Stairs: Everybody involved in the deaths of the kids at Mt Kinabalu lied. And lied and lied.

If not, IT MEANS the parents too are TOO NAIVE, TOO GULLIBLE AND TRUSTING of those in authorities – the indemnity form sheltering MOE is WARNING CAUTION of ‘KEEP CLEAR – DANGERS AHEAD”.

THEY SHOULD HAVE ASK TO DETAILED CLARITY THE EXTENT DANGERS AND NATURE OF DANGERS ahead if that contingency arise.

REMEMBER – PINOCHIO TOLD MRT COMMUTERS in the Orchard Road MRT debacle to “follow the rules” when crisis erupted WITHOUT THINKING FOR A MOMENT THAT IT IS THE RULES THAT FAILED IS PRECISELY THE REASON/S WHY THE TRAIN BROKE DOWN IN THE DARK TUNNEL TRAPPING THOUSANDS OF COMMUTERS left in the lurch of no rescue.

In the end, they found shoes in the train worn out and posed considerable danger of crash.

HOW CAN SINKIE TRUST POLITICAL GOVERNANCE DIGGING UP UNDERGROUND FOR HUMAN HABITATION AND ECONOMIC ACTIVITY when they will tell us to “follow the rules” in the event of a island-wide cave-in?

WHAT DO YOU THINK, VOTERS???

Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)
oxygen:
June 18, 2015 at 11:16 am (Quote)
PARENTS SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THIS of how PAPpys work in Fernvale – they screwed up the land development award AND TELL PEASANTS THAT YOU DIDN’T READ THE FINE PRINT on the brochure.

Of course, they are CAREFULLY SILENT that nobody in the world sign the fine print IN A BROCHURE when you buy your housing accommodation or a box of CONDOM in a supermarket.

How CUNNING is this?

Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)

What it all means is that he’s saying is that it’s OK to sneer, insult the parents of the dead children, so long as the purpose is to smear the PAP.

As he’s a fan of the people Harry detained in Coldstore, perhaps his behaviour helps explain why Coldstore was necessary.

Automated Analyst Reports

In Uncategorized on 16/07/2015 at 2:56 pm

Several start-ups that use artificial intelligence to write news stories and other reports are now looking to write more analyst reports for banks and financial service companies, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“Goodies”, price hikes: it’s a package/ What voters really want?/ SMRT

In Political governance on 16/07/2015 at 4:57 am

I’m sure you’d receive by now a letter from MoF telling you that a cash GST voucher has been credited to yr bank account, and another to yr Medisave CPF account. Senior citizens also get another one credited to their bank account. The letter carries the words “Budget 2015”.

Now the annual Budget in S’pore, and elsewhere is a summary of how the economy is doing; it gives a list of new tax and spending decisions from the government; and it contains a lot of political spin. And a new set of economic forecasts is published.

In an election year (or a probable one) it also allows the govt of the day to play Santa Claus or the God of Fortune by handing out goodies.

That’s what the PAP administration did and making sure we are reminded of it.

But let’s not forget all the price hikes since 2011. See https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/p180x540/11040605_707823462655347_6438864457431843130_n.png?oh=4e300144aaa0a5add4d61d2dec39273f&oe=561957B9 for a very comprehensive, op-to-date list.

Especially the fare increases despite the failure to get the trains run on time and the falling price of oil in 2014*.

As PM’s dad once said, when telling SIA pilots that they they had a good deal despite being paid lower salaries than their other furst world counterparts, “It’s a package”.

So tout up the goodies, you’ve been given (remembering that it’s yr money in the first place) since 2011, think of the price increases since 2011 and then decide if the package is about right, or an insult or generous.

All these tots led me to think about what voters really care about.

In the early 1970s, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Norman Kirk laid out a political philosophy which still resonates today. People, he said, don’t want much. They want: “Someone to love, somewhere to live, somewhere to work and something to hope for.”

Relationships and a sense of community, a secure home; a secure job, and a belief that life will get better for us and our children – the building blocks of “the good life”, but what do they mean today as we grapple with globalisation, austerity, immigration, insecurities and uncertainty about the future? Is the job at hand to work out a new formula for fulfilment or to find a way back to these old certainties?

(BBC report before the UK election)

They care about “the good life”, voting for the party that they think can provide with a good life. All the oppo parties bar one mouth the need to help S’poreans get the good life. The WP knows this (hence it positions itself as PAP lite: more accountable and compossinate even if they can’t do accounting and monitoring their managing agent. So does the SDP: it has a whole range of policies**.

The only party that doesn’t care a hoot about the good life is Goh Meng Seng’s party, at least going by his latest attention-seeking tactics. https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/what-amos-and-meng-seng-have-in-common/

Maybe, it’s because he’s based in HK, jetting down (private jet?) to encourage his fellow cybernuts?

————–

*Worse the ex-SAF general who is incapable of getting the trains running on time is getting paid a lot more than his predecessor who to be fair to her allowed her Ferrari to run over her when she failed to get the trains to run on time, insulting us in the process.The present CEO is staying put. In the US, The director of the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has resigned after a massive data breach involving more than 20 million people.

Katherine Archuleta said she would step down on Friday to help the department “move beyond the current challenges”.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33481285

Neither SMRT’s CEO nor the tpt minister is moving on  to  help the SMRT and the MRT system “move beyond the current challenges”.

They think they are part of the solution.

**These papers have been widely reported online and are available on this website. We list them below:

Ethical Salaries For A Public Service Centred Government (2011)
Caring For All Singaporeans: The SDP National Healthcare Plan (2012)
Housing A Nation: Holistic Policies For Affordable Homes (2013)
Building A People: Sound Policies For A Secure Future (2013)
A Singapore For All Singaporeans: Addressing The Concerns Of The Malay Community(2014)
Educating For Creativity And Equality: An Agenda For Transformation (2014)
A New Economic Vision: Towrads Innovation, Equal Opportunity and Compassion (2015)
A Promise To The Residents: The SDP Town Council Management Plan (2015)

In addition, we published Shadow Budgets for 2012 and 2013.

Singapore Democrats

Dr Chee’s analysis of where we were heading in the 90s is a lot more accurate than that of the PAP administration of the time. I had a more middle of the road view but I have to say, I suspect, that for most S’poreans, reading Dr Chee’s 1990s analysis today, they will nod in agreement.

SG 50: In 1950s, Harry, PAP already loved FTs

In Political economy, Uncategorized on 15/07/2015 at 4:57 am

My friend (member of a small subset of an ethnic minority) posted this on Facebook:

Baghdadi Jew (David Marshall) was able to be Chief Minister because in the 1950s, majority electorate was non-Chinese. Please check the 1950s census.
Fact: many immigrant Chinese did not have voting rights then
LKY as an opposition MP fought hard in legislative assembly in 1955/56 to give citizenship and voting rights chinese and Indian immigrants staying here.
By 1959 GE, the Chinese had become majority and PAP rode on their support to a landslide victory.

He, a stickler for facts was responding to the often repeated comment that since our first Chief minister and first opposition legislative member was a Ceylonese Tamil, waz this about S;porean Chinese not being prepared to have a non Chinese PM? https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153129351119541&set=gm.382442271965075&type=1&theater

The answer is that the many local Chinese did not have the vote because they were what today Gilbert Goh, and Goh Meng Seng and his fellow cybernuts would call FTs. So much so that majority electorate was non-Chinese. 

It was Harry and the PAP that fought for one S’porean, one vote.

But he soon repented: hence Coldstore, GRCs, Spectrum etc etc.

CPF: B in global rating is wrong/ Ang mohs sotong on CPF Life

In CPF, Financial competency on 14/07/2015 at 4:49 am

Actually we should be in C or D not B.

When we were upgraded to B from C in 2013, the constructive, nation-building BT reported: The Republic has moved up sharply in the latest Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index rankings, placing its Central Provident Fund (CPF) among the top 10 retirement-income systems in the world.

Singapore jumped from 13th to seventh spot, with its overall index value at 66.5 this year, up from 54.8 last year.

Although the Republic moved up a grade – from C to B – Mercer said the CPF system has room for improvement in some aspects “that differentiate it from an A-grade system”, although it had a sound structure and many good features.

The 20 countries in the rankings were scored in three key areas: adequacy, sustainability and integrity.

Denmark, the Netherlands and Australia held onto their top three spots. Denmark, the first country to achieve an A grade last year, maintained it this year, despite its overall score falling to 80.2 from 82.9.

Mercer said: “Denmark’s well-funded pension system with its high level of assets and contributions, the provision of adequate benefits and a private pension system with developed regulations, are the primary reasons for its top spot.”

Singapore’s B grade puts it in the company of other highly developed countries such as Germany, the US and France.

Mercer said the Republic’s overall index rose mainly because the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revised its approach to recognise the CPF’s three separate accounts, instead of just its retirement account.

The OECD also updated its data on private pension coverage.

http://www.cpf.gov.sg/imsavvy/infohub_article.asp?readid=412758763-19361-922318696

Obviously Mercer and the OECD don’t realise how CPF Life is structured. It sucks as this piece explains why https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/will-pm-tonite-give-peace-of-mind-on-cpf-life-standard/ (Warning I quote some chim analysis which is no BS like Roy’s analysis).

We get screwed even though it’s our own money that’s funding our retirement.

Because as Chris K (writes for TRE but is no cybernut) one of the persons I quoted in above link concludes: The writer does not accuse the government of deliberately profiting from the financial risks of longevity.  However, the triple provision, triple redundancy or in the strictly local parlance “kiasu, kiasi, kiabo” of absolutely ensuring not a single cent is spent on retirement funding, can only mean that there will be excess money left from CPF LIFE which reverts back to the government.

Some may call this conservative financial management but there is a very thin line between such conservative financial management and indolent financial management which arises from coercion and monopoly over retirement savings. Undoubtedly, the usual price of not getting more from their retirement funds is paid by you and me.

(My emphasis)

Btw, an FT actuary tells me that Chris K argument is financially sound.

 

Another fan of Reits

In Financial competency, Reits on 13/07/2015 at 12:40 pm

“In 2013 we decided to go for Reits as a long-term hedge for inflation,” Heman Womg, executive director of the HK Hospital Authority Provident Fund Scheme (HK$57.9bn /US$7.5bn).

Source: Today’s FT

What Amos and Meng Seng have in common?

In Uncategorized on 13/07/2015 at 4:39 am

Yesterday I blogged that Amos is doing some good by drawing attention to a growing problem:  excessive attention-seeking behaviour in children https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/where-amos-is-doing-some-good-dog-for-amos/.

Going by Goh Meng Seng’s recent behaviour, maybe he’s suffering from something similar: excessive attention-seeking behaviour in adults? Seeking attention only becomes an issue when one goes through excessive lengths and means to get attention, and this can cause the person not to be functional in many areas in life.

Two recent examples of this behaviour by GMS:

He came close to joining New Citizen Hui Hui, TRE’s Oxygen and their fellow cybernuts in dancing on the graves of the children who died in Sabah. He, like them, blamed the MoE on the flawed logic of “Because there were deaths on a school trip, MoE, school are responsible.” Fortunately, he didn’t go further like Oxygen, and friends who gleefully blamed and sneered at the parents for the deaths. The parents had signed the consent forms, and were stupid to do so said Oxygen to loud applause from other cybernuts. How low can some people stoop?

Note no other politican or wannabe politican criticised MoE. Only Goh Meng Seng did.

And among the Oppo, only he and s/o JBJ came out in defence of Amos.  Do remember, he also came out in support of the right of Roy, Hui hui and the other young hooligans to disrupt an event where special needs kids were performing. So incidentally did Dr Chee of the SDP.

GMS trying to pander to his base of cybernuts? Or juz him showing excessive attention-seeking behaviour?

Now this weekend he wrote,

“[I]t would be natural to expect WP not to contest more seats than it has done before. In fact, it should be contesting less seats instead,” says Goh Meng Seng, once the adviser to the people’s clown, Tan Kin Lian in PE 2011, and now

His reasoning is that: I do not think WP can convince voters that it could manage ADDITIONAL constituencies well when it is currently struggling with the present 7 constituencies’ municipal management.

WP may risk a total collapse of credibility if it won more seats but in the end TC management become a horrible nightmare. This will in return destroy WP totally by the elections after next. Stay focus on the current 7 seats will be its best strategy. I believe LTK will want to fortify his positions in these current seats instead of having the ambition to win even more seats.

Err why doesn’t he advise the No Substance Party to contest less seats? In GE 2011, NSP contested 24 seats, WP 23. As NSP won a big fat zero shouldn’t it focus? Especially as the party has imploded in the last few months

— a few active cadres resigned including two former “portliburo” members (I know them personally and got a lot of time for them even though I think one of them is better of as a blogger and social activist*)

— the “new” sec-gen resigned and a retired sec-gen was wheeled out as an interim measure; and

— the president of the party made a fool of himself. It’s a complicated story:  http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/03/nsps-back-track-on-presidential-appeal-in-need-of-reason/**

Whatever, WP and NSP contesting less seats means people like Meng Seng get a look in unless they are prepared to split the Oppo vote***. The “tissue” chopping system practiced by the NSP in the last GE (remember who was the sec-gen? makes it difficult for new parties. The NSP has a lot of tissue papers (or rather toilet roles)out there.

In yesterday’s piece, I advised that owning a dog would be a good way of curing excessive attention-seeking behaviour in a child. Still not too late for Meng Seng to get a dog.

*When P Ravi was at TOC, he organised a protest against the then CEO of SMRT. A few days layer she resigned.

**And there’s an interesting side story. Goh Meng Seng and the president were discussing his return to the NSP, a party he had left in a huff. But when the president went “bananas”, Meng Seng attacked him (see the TOC story for the details) and Meng Seng couldn’t return.

But it’s interesting to note that in all the recent in-line photis, he’s wearing the NSP colours.

***Which is no big deal given that NSP never came close in GE 2011 and 2006 to win a seat.

Where Amos is doing some good/ Dog for Amos

In Uncategorized on 12/07/2015 at 5:23 am

His antics are drawing attention to a growing problem: excessive attention-seeking behaviour in children.

Child counsellors have said they are seeing more cases of youths who display excessive attention-seeking behaviour … such attention-seeking behaviour will remain a problem among today’s youths, who are just a click away from expressing their views online. While it is normal for most people to seek attention from family members or friends, it becomes a bigger concern when this behaviour gets excessive, and the cause for this usually stems from family neglect. 

(CNA as are the extracts below in italics)

What is excessive attention-seeking behaviour? It’s not mental, it’s developmental

President of the Academy of Certified Counsellors, Dr John Lim, said: “Attention-seeking behaviour is not a character flaw. It is a brain wiring response to a developmental trauma caused by neglect. (Emphasis mine)

“When a youth seeks attention, what he is asking for is not to be neglected and that his views be heard. It only becomes an issue when one goes through excessive lengths and means to get attention, and this can cause the person not to be functional in many areas in life.”

How to spot it 

Hence, it is critical for parents to make time for their children and pay attention to symptoms. Dr Raymond Cheong from the Youth Learning & Counselling Clinic gave an example: “If your child is a little boy or girl, they cry all the time to get what they want and the parent gives in, that is the beginning of a wilful behaviour.”

Another example he listed was when the child is over-enthusiastic in wanting to help in something or to gain the parent’s attention.

What to do about it: Amos needs a pet dog

Parents who identify such symptoms are encouraged to send their children for counselling and to teach them self-awareness, social awareness and relationship management, and help them make responsible decisions.

Sounds like self-serving advice from the practitioners.

Coming back to Amos, I always had tot that Amos needed a dog to keep him grounded in reality. I’m an only child too, and I’ve always had a dog. A dog gives the owner all the attention (and more) he needs, even when he doesn’t care for it, especially if the dog comes into the home when very, very young. One of my dogs is like that.

Whatever, three cheers for Amos because the “fantastic” is drawing public attention to excessive attention-seeking behaviour in children. Maybe when he’s better, he should be encourage to make a movie on this topic.

Fat chance of this with fans like CAN who include rabid anti-PAP activists like Martyn See, Lynn Lee (btw, both are film makers)and anti-PAP cyber warriots like Kirsten Han.

Update at 5.30pm: If he’s been traumatised as CAN is saying, and since he loves the internet, he could try playing Tetris for 12 minutes the day. Doing so after at traumatic event can reduce flashbacks.

Find out more (Smithsonian magazine)

What the first “P” in PAP really stands for?

In Humour, Uncategorized on 12/07/2015 at 4:13 am

It stands for “Prosperity”?

I tot of this when I read

The owners of a high-end jewellery shop nearby strike gold when a customer buys not one but two sparkling necklaces.

Nicole Kharma, 48, is visiting from Singapore and arrived in Greece prepared, carrying a wad of 50 euro notes. As she counts out her hundreds, jewellery dealer Stavros Metaxas explains: “The foreign customers are very important. The Greeks are waiting to see what happens with the crisis and do not want to spend money.”

And shops need cash rather than credit cards to pay their suppliers.

“If they do not get their money, the suppliers have starting taking back their stock,” says Mr Metaxas.

Ms Kharma has been able to withdraw 500 euros a day using her foreign bank card and spend the money in local businesses. But it is “heartbreaking” to watch what is going on around her, she says.

“Leaving the cash machine with a stack of 50s – for 500 euros – when everybody is queuing and getting only 50 euros, it’s very sad.”

(BBC report on Greece)

If she had asked for discount our Harry really would have been proud.

As it is, let’s remember that the prosperity (no not thinking of you cybernuts) that many of us enjoy is in part due to the actions of the administration of  Prosperity Action Party.

S’pore’s on the wrong side of history

In Economy, Malaysia on 11/07/2015 at 1:19 pm

So is M’sia (think DAP Penang) too. We belong to the MS ecosystem https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/missed-smartphone-boom-planners-thinking-about-2025/ not that of Android or Apple.

Related post

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/spore-not-part-of-apples-ecosystem/

 

 

China: Can cheong again? Bear mkt trap?

In China on 11/07/2015 at 4:43 am

Thursday’s and Fridays’ “rebound” in Chinese shares means nothing. Prohibiting selling, forcing buying, and halting more that half of counters from trading can work wonders: for a time.

Here’s some interesting stuff from Thurday’s NYT’s Dealbook

Chinese stock markets halted their slump on Thursday, with the main Shanghai index closing 5.8 percent higher and the Shenzhen market gaining 3.8 percent. “But even as shares rose, there were warnings that mainland markets have further to fall,” Paul Mozur writes in The New York Times, citing high valuations of small companies. Also, as David Barboza of The New York Times notes, at least a third of the companies listed on the major stock exchanges in China have had trading in their shares suspended as of Wednesday.

Though both major exchanges are down 30 percent to 40 percent in six weeks, they are still about 75 percent higher compared with a year earlier, Mr. Barboza writes. The Chinese government would do well to remember that “the stock market is not the economy, and the economy is not the stock market,” Neil Irwin writes in The Upshot. All of the government’s efforts to prop up the stock markets are misguided, Mr. Irwin contends, because officials are ignoring evidence that Chinese stocks wereovervalued at their mid-June levels, skyrocketing in the preceding year “without much fundamental improvement in earnings or growth in the Chinese economy to justify it.” He adds: “When a government intervenes to try to prevent markets from adjusting to sensible levels, it can meanpouring money down a sinkhole and merely delaying an inevitable correction.”

SGX’s big IPO disappears

In Reits on 10/07/2015 at 1:26 pm

Manulife Financial Corp., Canada’s largest life insurer, has delayed plans for an initial public offering of its U.S. office assets in Singapore because of increased stock-market volatility.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-06/manulife-delays-u-s-reit-ipo-in-singapore-amid-volatile-markets?nl=business&emc=edit_dlbkam_20150706

Amos: When Nemesis met Hubris/ Why PAP PR bad

In Uncategorized on 10/07/2015 at 5:35 am

The following passage from a BBC report applies to the PAP administration not just the Chinese one:

The Chinese government, like all governments, worries that public outrage at the scale of the disaster might become directed at the state.

But instead of using normal public relations it uses public information control.

The problem for the PAP is that the public information control has never applied outside S’pore, and there is now cyberspace aka new medis https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/pm-esm-on-new-media/.

Last Sunday, I posted the PAP administration’s response to an Economist piece on Amos and other freedom of expression issues in S’pore.

Here’s what the High Commissioner in London was made to say about Amos’s case:

Your piece “Zip it” (June 24th) is unbalanced. It champions unfettered freedom of speech without providing the context of cases mentioned. Amos Yee was convicted for insulting the faith of Christians. In a small, highly diverse society like Singapore we guard our social peace jealously and make no apologies for it. We cannot allow people to denigrate or offend the religious beliefs of others: the result is anger and violence, as we have seen elsewhere. Protection from hate speech is also a basic human right.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/economist-piece-on-amos-etc-dark-side-cousin-responds/

Put it this way, I should be out rooting for Amos. But I didn’t because of the way Amos and mother Mary treated a good Samaritan.

Funnily the PAP administration had a more convincing explanation for the 55 days (as of the day of release): It could and should have said

Here’s a breakdown of the time he spent in captivity and the reasons thereof

— Two days when police investigated his case.

— He was in remand for 18 days because his parents and fans didn’t want to bail him; then when he was bailed by a stranger he broke bail, and then after trial when he was being assessed for probation he broke bail conditions yet again. Even the Joker, Penguin or Lex Luthor are less criminal than Amos.

— Then 21 days remand because he had to be assessed whether he was suitable for reform training given that he refused probation.

— Then 14 days because judge wanted to find out whether he could be given a mandatory treatment order if he was autistic.

If he had accepted probation, he would be home where mother Mary could cater to his every whim and fancy. And if his parents or fans had offered bail, and if he’d not broken bail conditions, he needn’t have spent 18 days in remand.

Hubris met Nemesis and Nemesis won.

(My Facebook avatar posted a variant of this on Facebook, in response to TOC’s and Function 8’s support of Amos the Fantastic. Got quite a few “Likes” and no rebuttal from TOC or F8.)

Seriously here’s the discredible bit about the detention.

He spent two days (police interrogation) away from mummy’s care. Actually, these two days were very unreasonable given the nature of the offences under investigation.

But I suspect, the police wanted to give him a scare, in the expectation, that he’d apologise, repent and the case could be closed with a warning. They didn’t know Amos, his mum and the anti-PAP human-rights activists (aka the ang-moh tua-kees) pulling the strings of Amos and mum, cheered on by the cybernuts.

As to his treatment during the last 35 days, he was treated no better or worse than any convicted offender undergoing examination for a RTO ot MTO.  He wasn’t persecuted.

He spent 53 days in captivity because he was quai lan: he tot he was entitled to do what he liked and not suffer the consequences. The IMH report to the court said Amos is misguided in not appreciating that ‘freedom of expression is not freedom from consequence’https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/amo-what-imh-recommended/.

The system is telling him he is juz another criminal.

In one of John Wayne’s Westerns, he said “Life is tough but tougher if you are stupid”. Amos and Mother Mary should ponder these words of wisdom.

They should also ponder that Hubris always loses to Nemesis. The gods play with loaded dice.

China’s mkt in revulsion stage?

In China, Financial competency on 09/07/2015 at 1:02 pm

Platers are so -sick that they sell despite whatever the CCP is ordering, doing?

THE great Charles Kindleberger described the pattern of how bubbles form and then burst in his book “Manias, Panics and Crashes”. His model, which was linked to the work of the economist Hyman Minsky, saw the process as having five stages: displacement, boom, over-trading, revulsion and tranquillity. China looks like it is following the model pretty closely, having reached stage four already. The Shanghai Composite rose 130% between September 2014 and June 12 this year and has fallen 31% since then, with another 6% decline today [yesterday].

http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2015/07/chinas-stockmarket

Ewcovwewd a bit today

 

S’poreans are delusional?

In Financial competency, Uncategorized on 09/07/2015 at 4:39 am

S’pore has been ranked 97th out of 145 countries in a Global Well-Being Index survey by polling firm Gallup and “well-being solutions provider” (whatever  doesthis mean) Healthways announced on June 24. Panama came in first for the second consecutive year heading the list for physical and purpose well-being, and second place for social and community.

Worse, in Asean, we ranked behind Myanmar (20), Malaysia (41), Philippines (43), Thailand (50), Indonesia (73), Vietnam (93). Cambodia came in slightly below Singapore at 99. (More details at end of the article from CNA)

The cybernuts were out celebrating this ranking (showed S’pore was a terrible, horrible place), while the constructive, nation-building media was quiet on analysis and commentary.

I wasn’t too surprised because the rankings were based on personal feelings:  Responses were categorised by Gallup analysts as “thriving”, “struggling” or “suffering”. Countries are then ranked on the percentage of the population that is “thriving” in three or more elements of well-being. And S’poreans are always complaining, unhappy about almost everything.

What I found interesting is that S’pore scored well in“managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security”, Singapore was ranked ninth worldwide.

Seems delusional of the S’poreans surveyed given

— The cost of “affordable” public housing (25 year  to pay morgage), leaving very little room to build up retirement savings.

— The cost of owning a car.

— A public transport system that sucks if one is working and can’t afford a car.

— Most of the gains in real wages comes via the CPF increase that employers have to gove.

— The almost 40% of the salary that is tied down with restrictions.

And they still think they are doing “managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security”.

The PAP administration must have put something into the water supply.

btw, Gallup is a very respectable polling organisation, unlike our Institute of Policy Srudies.

————————

 *The index was based on interviews with more than 146,000 people aged 15 and older, in 145 countries, territories and areas in 2014. The annual survey measured five indicators: Financial well-being, community well-being, purpose well-being, social well-being and physical well-being.

Survey respondents were asked ten questions and asked to rate their responses on a five-point scale. Responses were categorised by Gallup analysts as “thriving”, “struggling” or “suffering”. Countries are then ranked on the percentage of the population that is “thriving” in three or more elements of well-being.

For financial well-being, which Gallup defined as “managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security”, Singapore was ranked ninth worldwide.

Singapore was ranked 72nd worldwide for community well-being, defined as “liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community”.

It scored 111th in purpose well-being – “Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals”; 127 in social well-being – “having supportive relationships and love in your life”; and 137th in physical well-being – “having good health and enough energy to get things done daily”.

The index aggregates the scores in the five categories to arrive at Singapore’s overall 97th ranking.

 

 

 

China: 4 weeks, 2 blunders

In China, Uncategorized on 08/07/2015 at 1:36 pm

 

 

 

 

Chart lifted from FT.

What Amos said in his police statement

In Uncategorized on 08/07/2015 at 4:20 am

Amos the “fantastic” who was sentenced to four weeks’ jail on Monday, almost immediately instructed his lawyers to file an appeal. “Amos, duly advised by his lawyers, is of the view that the conviction is wrong in law and sentence levied against him is manifestly excessive,” said a statement from his lawyers from Dodwell & Co on Monday.

I do hope that the lawyers and Amos remember what was reported at the time of the trial.

Deputy publi prosecutor Hay Hung Chun said Yee’s defense contradicted a statement he had given police on the night he was arrested in which he said he knew his video was bound to promote ill-will” among Christians. https://sg.news.yahoo.com/defense-singapore-teenager-didnt-intend-offend-video-142023078.html

He was responding to Lawyers for an outspoken Singaporean teenager charged with offending religious feelings in an online video that criticized the city-state’s founding father said that he did not intend to hurt Christians.

(Emphasis mine)

And I’ve not read any report nor heard from anyone who attended the trial that the defence challenged the DPP’s comments. So I have to assume that the DPP was right about what Amos said in the police statement.

All in all this appeal could be an example of what the IMH doctor says about Amos being misguided in not appreciating that ‘freedom of expression is not freedom from consequence’: or to put it another way, “Can suka suka do what he likes and not kanna takan.

More on what the doc “ordered”: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/amo-what-imh-recommended/

The situation comedy, “The antics of Boy Fantastic and his Mother Marry” is still running.

Amo: What IMH recommended

In Uncategorized on 07/07/2015 at 6:21 pm

The psychiatrist who conducted the court-ordered evaluation of the youth at the Institute of Mental Health, Dr Cai Yimin, is also Emeritus Consultant, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health.

He recommended in his report to the court that

— Amos Yee would benefit from having a counsellor or mentor to guide him in the “responsible use of the Internet”*,

—  he should continue with formal education where he would have opportunities to socialise with his peers, and

— family counselling should take place to improve the interaction and relationship among all members of the teenager’s family.

He said Amos is misguided in not appreciating that ‘freedom of expression is not freedom from consequence’.*

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/07/conviction-wrong-sentence-manifestly-excessive-amos-yee/

*Remember his grandma blamed his addiction to the internet for his problems. Cybernuts and HR activists mocked her.

**Blame mother Mary is at fault for this sense of entitlement?

Peanuts: China’s US$19bn stabilisation fund

In China, Financial competency on 07/07/2015 at 12:56 pm

Reports said that about 25% of Chinese listed firms had requested to have their shares halted from trading on Tuesday.

The U$19 billion stabilisation fund looks tiny next to the US$3 trillion worth of freely tradeable shares, and the combined average daily trading in Shanghai and Shenzhen of over US$200 billion. Only 9% of the latter.

From NYT Dealbook

CHINESE MARKET PLUNGE POSES A DOUBLE THREAT In China, a stock market rout has racked up losses that make the Greek debt crisis look puny by comparison: $2.7 trillion in value has been wiped out since the Chinese stock market peaked on June 12, which is six times Greece’s entire foreign debt, or 11 years of Greece’s economic output, Keith Bradsher and Chris Buckley write in The New York Times. The steep drop in the mainland markets not only challenges the Chinese government’s efforts to cast itself as an all-powerful entity, they write, but it also poses a risk to the global economy, which can ill afford an economic shock in China.

Harry Harding, a specialist in Chinese politics who is a visiting professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said the stock market plunge could produce three successive ripples, involving investment losses for households, slower economic growth and a political backlash against President Xi Jinping of China and his team, Mr. Bradsher and Mr. Buckley write.

Over the weekend, Mr. Xi’s administration made it clear it would do whatever it took to stem the stock market losses. On Saturday, 21 brokerage firms said they would set up a fund worth at least $19.4 billion to buy blue-chip stocks, and both of the country’s stock exchanges suspended all new initial public offerings. Then on Sunday, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said the central bank would inject capital into the state-controlled China Securities Finance Corporation, which lends to brokerage firms, and Central Huijin Investment, a company owned by the country’s sovereign wealth fund, said it had recently bought into investment funds traded on the stock exchanges. The measures appeared to have their desired effect on Monday. The Shanghai stock market jumped 7.8 percent at the start of trading, but it quickly erased much of its gains, closing 2.4 percent higher.

SG50: Who really built S’pore?/ A poet for S’pore?

In Economy on 07/07/2015 at 5:02 am

Certainly not Harry, nor the old guard. They played their part in building S’pore.

It was the common man* (and woman with apologies to JG and Passerby) who did it, and are still doing it despite not being paid million-dollar ministerial salaries, and despite being cursed by cybernuts for being slaves.

This has always been the case: the ordinary people did the great deeds that “great” men are credited with.

So said Bertolt Brecht  a leading 20th century German poet, playwright, and theatre director. He was a transforming playwright, and theatre director. He was also the kind of guy our Harry would have had locked up: he was a Marxist even if he had problems with the East German authorities. (Btw, he was Hollywood screen writer when he gled to the US to escape the Nazis. He returned to East Germany after WWII)

A Worker Reads History

Who built the seven gates of Thebes?
The books are filled with names of kings.
Was it the kings who hauled the craggy blocks of stone?
And Babylon, so many times destroyed.
Who built the city up each time? In which of Lima’s houses,
That city glittering with gold, lived those who built it?
In the evening when the Chinese wall was finished
Where did the masons go? Imperial Rome
Is full of arcs of triumph. Who reared them up? Over whom
Did the Caesars triumph? Byzantium lives in song.
Were all her dwellings palaces? And even in Atlantis of the legend
The night the seas rushed in,
The drowning men still bellowed for their slaves.

Young Alexander conquered India.
He alone?
Caesar beat the Gauls.
Was there not even a cook in his army?
Phillip of Spain wept as his fleet
was sunk and destroyed. Were there no other tears?
Frederick the Great triumphed in the Seven Years War.
Who triumphed with him?

Each page a victory
At whose expense the victory ball?
Every ten years a great man,
Who paid the piper?

So many particulars.
So many questions.

http://allpoetry.com/A-Worker-Reads-History

It’s the common man (and woman with apologies to JG and Passerby) that does great deeds.

Another poem that is very relevant here what with the still very liberal immigration policies:

“Die Lösung” (The Solution), a disillusioned Brecht writes:

After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in theStalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts.

Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/rewriting-lkys-views-on-fts-and-if-so-why/

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/ngiam-galileo-galilei-gen-giap/

——

*To be fair to the PAP administration, the Pioneer Generation is getting some decent goodies. My ninety something mum (property, share owner) is still marveling she only gets charged $7  when she goes to a polyclinic for her regular check-up and medicine. But then there is a GE coming. But to be fair, her shares and property have done well because we had Harry as the boss for a long time.

Amos: Yaya papaya no more/ Mandatory treatment order given

In Uncategorized on 06/07/2015 at 5:03 pm

The Prosecution had decided not to press for reformative training, which will see Yee instituted for at least 18 months, and go for a jail term because of what was described as a “seismic shift” in attitude on Yee’s part.

It was noted that Yee has voluntarily removed the material and signed an undertaking to not post on sensitive issues anymore. “Amos has admitted to his guilt and promised not to re-offend”, said the Prosecution, because he understands issues of law and racial harmony.

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/07/4-weeks-jail-for-amos-yee/

Yee also has to go for mandatory counselling, which the teenager has agreed to.

Yee’s medical report said that he does not suffer from any mental disorders, but instead needs mentoring. Amos has agreed to counselling and mentoring from a doctor at Raffles Hospital.

All in all sentence passed is fair and reasonable

[S]entenced to four weeks imprisonment, for charges relating to creating a video criticizing Lee Kuan Yew.

He will serve one week for posting obscene materials and three weeks for wounding the religious feelings of Christians in his video and the sentenced is to be served consecutively.

The sentence has also been backdated from 2 June.

He wants to appeal against conviction and sentence as is his right.

Israeli Autism test that doesn’t take 2 weeks

In Uncategorized on 06/07/2015 at 1:40 pm

Here’s a test for autism that doesn’t take two weeks in a place where there are mentally ill sick people and criminals: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-33362472

People spend longer inhaling the delightful aroma of a bouquet of roses than the foul stench of rotting fish.

The results of tests on 36 children, in the journal Current Biology, showed that there appeared to be no such difference in children with autism.

OK, OK it’s experimental.

Did you know autism affects one in every 160 children globally. Behaviour, social interactions and communication skills are all affected by autism. Genetic influences on autism are estimated to be between 74-98%, a Medical Research Council study of 258 twins suggests http://www.bbc.com/news/health-31713147

PM should ask New Citizen Raj to defend us

In Uncategorized on 06/07/2015 at 4:08 am

“Who will defend us?*” asked PM. I went WTF!

Why doesn’t PM ask New Citizen Raj why he planned to ensure his son avoids NS?

This is what I wrote about New Citizen Raj sometime back:

An Indian former FT who prefers international schools is new citizen, Raj, originally from India. During an interview with TOC [Link], Raj revealed that only he in the family has converted to Singapore citizenship. His wife and daughter remain PRs and his son is on a student pass.

Raj said that if his son was a PR, he would need to serve NS. He preferred to “let his son decide if he wanted to put his roots down in Singapore or go back to India when he turns 21″.

The benefit of having his son on a student pass is that his son can always work in Singapore later as a “foreign talent” and eventually become a PR himself. He will not be considered a second-generation PR since he was not sponsored by his parents in the first place. A second-generation PR who gives up his PR is barred from working in Singapore.

Why the loop-hole, and why hasn’t it been closed? It must be commonly used for this FT to talk publicly about it, is my guess

Now, I RODed in the 70s,  am a bachelor and I don’t have children, but I’m upset at this loop-hole. Imagine the anguish of a parent whose son died while doing NS if he finds out that its so easy for new citizens and PRs to avoid legally NS?

This loop-hole had better be closed, and fast.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/new-citizens-why-doesnt-pm-pap-condemn-this-behaviour-close-ns-loophole/

My understanding is that this loophole still exists and is still being exploited. Why?

My neighbour’s son has juz finished BMT. He is a second generation NS man. And P Ravi’s son is going into NS soon

Why should they do NS to defend New Citizen Raj and his family? Because he like them are ethnic Indians? When their dads and I did NS, we were defending S’poreans, not Foreign Trashes like New Citizen Raj who use our flag to clean their behinds.

And this is unacceptable (lifted from TOC)

 

“NO ENTRY TO ALL NDP UNIFORM PERSONNEL”

The words “ALL NDP UNIFORM PERSONNEL” were also underscored and emphasised.

The notice was signed off, also in capital letters:

‘BY ORDER OF THE MANAGEMENT, LEISURE PARK KALLANG”

Poster at Kallang Wave Mall
Poster at Kallang Wave Mall

Btw, those of us opposed to the PAP’s continued hegemony and anti-PAP activists andcybernuts have one invaluable friend in the pAP: Ah Loong himself?

His recent comments on various topics will have upset the swing voters. More soon.

———————–

*https://sg.news.yahoo.com/defend-us-singapore-pm-asks-society-rapidly-ages-155644893.html

PM, ESM on new media

In Uncategorized on 05/07/2015 at 4:53 pm

The following lament by the Thai PM to the feisty Thai  media sounds familar?

“No one writes about what I have done,” he said, “or when they do, they write so little.”

Sounds like our PM, Khaw, ESM or any PAPpy complaining about new media (including social media)

But they can console themselves with this:”Things will be the same.”*

Sadly for the cybernuts and their heroes Meng Seng, S/o JBJ, Roy etc etc , this is not true here: “You have disrupted and brought down the whole system.”. Here the cybernuts and their heroes provide comic relief from the spin of the PAP.

This was preceded by “It doesn’t matter how many reforms or coups there are. There’s no point.”

 

Why Pope won’t be visiting S’pore anytime soon

In Uncategorized on 05/07/2015 at 10:11 am

Here, I speculated on why if the pope had been a priest here in 1987, he’d be arrested as a Marxist conspirator and why the then pope wouldn’t have objected.

Now the pope is planning to get himself banned from visiting the US and S’pore: he’ll chew an illegal substance later this month.

Pope Francis has requested to chew coca leaves during his forthcoming visit to Bolivia, according to Bolivian Culture Minister Marko Machicao …Mr Machicao said the government offered the Pope coca tea and the pontiff had “specifically requested” to chew coca.

… Coca leaves were declared an illegal substance under the 1961 UN convention on narcotic drugs.

But the growing of coca leaves for religious and medicinal purposes is legal and licensed in Bolivia.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-33312962

Economist piece on Amos etc: Dark Side cousin responds

In Political governance on 04/07/2015 at 11:32 am

This appears only online in the letters section of the latest issue of the Economist (cousin of Hard Truths https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/where-the-pap-is-wrong-seriously-wrong/). Btw, either Economist or High Commissioner didn’t use “spell check” for “Authority”

Singapore and the media

Your piece “Zip it” (June 24th) is unbalanced. It champions unfettered freedom of speech without providing the context of cases mentioned. Amos Yee was convicted for insulting the faith of Christians. In a small, highly diverse society like Singapore we guard our social peace jealously and make no apologies for it. We cannot allow people to denigrate or offend the religious beliefs of others: the result is anger and violence, as we have seen elsewhere. Protection from hate speech is also a basic human right.

The Media Developement Authroity (MDA) suspended TRS because it had published articles deliberately stirring up anti-foreigner sentiments. It fabricated stories to boost traffic and advertising revenue.

Mr Lee Hsien Loong’s defamation suit against Roy Ngerng is a completely separate matter. The Court found that Roy Ngerng had defamed Mr Lee Hsien Loong. Freedom of speech does not extend to freedom to defame others. Yet despite Mr Ngerng’s questionable tactics, the government has not shied away from debating questions about the Central Provident Fund. Ngerng himself engaged Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on the topic at a public forum, an exchange carried by the national broadsheet.
In seeking “wise conclusions through open debate”, integrity and honest reporting are as important as the right to speak freely.

FOO CHI HSIA
High Commissioner for Singapore
London

As it’s Ramadan, think Hijaber

In Indonesia, Malaysia on 04/07/2015 at 4:47 am

The buying power of trendy fashion-conscious Muslim women M’sia and Indonesia according to the FT.  It should add in S’pore too.

Noble House, AirAsia, CEOs, spin meisters take note

In Accounting, Airlines, Commodities, Financial competency, Logistics on 03/07/2015 at 1:25 pm

My eyes rolled when I read the CEOs of above two cos recently said that their cos follow the accounting rules. (Remember, credible doubts have arisen over whether their accouting reflects their financial position.)

The best riposte to “We follow the accouting rules” came recently when an ex-convict recently addressed a FT conference.

“There may be a fundamental difference between a company following the rules and a company presenting a true picture of its financial position,” said Andrew Fastow, the infamous treasurer of the even more infamous Enron, to a FT conference.

Or as he puts in another way, that it’s possible for a company to comply with accounting standards while at the same time painting a misleading picture of its real financials.

I tot it tragically funny when he said he went to prison partly for doing things that got him a best CFO award: innovative off-book entities.

 

 

Autism isn’t mental illness

In Uncategorized on 03/07/2015 at 4:38 am

But first I must talk about the dog that almost didn’t bark: the belated public show of support by his “fans” for Amos here.

There were protests in support of Amos Yee in Taiwan HK, and Penang.

But only this Sunday will there be a protest n our very own Hong Lim Green?

Could it be that the ang-moh tua-kee anti-PAP fans who champion his right (or duty?) to slime Harry and Jesus were afraid that they couldn’t get a decent size crowd? Despite the vocal, irrational* support from the cybernut fans from the rats’ nest in TRE Land? But that their hands were forced by the overseas protests?

This tardiness is mirrored by the lack of support from the only serious Oppo party, the SDP that is interested in human rights (s/o JBJ doesn’t count: he lost his deposit in a by-election). Dr Chee is quiet given his earlier support of Amos, and his continuing support of Roy, New Citizen Hui Hui and the other young hooligans.

Int’l support for Amos from the UN, and NGOs believed by China and India to have CIA funding was loud and expected. But the SDP is silent? Surprising given that it often apes theseNGOs and the UN. SDP knows the swing voters it needs to win a seat are not impressed by the antics of Amos, mother Mary and fans?

Could it be that the anti-PAP ang-moh tua-kees and the cybernuts, who are using Amos as a symbol to rally support against the PAP, misread S’poreans? They tot they had a big stick to beat the PAP juz before a GE: boy gets disproportionately punished for sliming Harry,

While Harry may not be as popular among S’poreans as our constructive, nation-building media portray him, S’poreans seem to be very annoyed that Amos thinks he’s above the law (breaking bail twice: most S’poreans I speak to think the bail conditions were reasonable), and by the behaviour of mother Mary and son towards the good Samaritan that is Vincent Law. Both of them accused him of “mental” molestation of boy “fantastic” after Amos falsely accused Law of molesting him, and then flip-flopped on an apology.

Or could it be that the ang-moh tua-kees are miffed that Amos mocked their vigil for him. They can be sensitive souls for all their love of low life: drug mules and the like.

Whatever, the deafening silence of local inaction when contrasted with the overseas protests could have shamed his puppet masters into finally organising a protest. I’m waiting to see if they observe Amos’s instructions on how he wants the event to be organised.

Back to the title topic, lest I be accused of bait and switch.

Being autistic, doesn’t make one nutty

Reading TRE, one would think that he has already been diagnosed with autism, and that autism is a mental illness. Cybernuts are living in the wrong century, not only the wrong country. The real world has moved on from the 19th century, when autistic people were considered lunatics, and were locked up in lunatic asylums.

He hasn’t been diagnosed with autism yet, despite mother Mary saying he has Asperger*, a “high class” form of autism, and SDP member and former ISD detainee Teo Soh Lung saying she has heard from Amos’s sympathisers that he is autistic.

And autism is not a mental illness like M Ravi’s bi-polarism**. While the UK’s Nation Health Service website says says that “autism is not a learning disability or a mental health problem”, it goes on to say that “some people with autism have an accompanying learning disability, learning difficulty or mental health problem”. http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Autism/Pages/Autismoverview.aspx

What is autism?

The NHS website describes autism thus:

Autism is a serious and lifelong developmental disability

Autism is a spectrum condition. This means that while all people with autism share certain difficulties, the condition affects each person differently.

While some people with autism live independent lives, others may need a lifetime of specialist support. Autism can have a profound and sometimes devastating effect on individuals and families. However, getting the right support makes a substantial difference to the person who is diagnosed and their loved ones.

Different brain chemistry

Autistic people may have a mental illness but autism, by itself, is not a mental illness. Their brain chemistry is different from that of “normal” people: for example “normal” tranquilisers may not work on them: they may make them more hyper.

And there are times when the chemistry goes berserk resulting in them doing bizarre things like self-harm.

I know all this because I know a couple who has a child with severe autism, She’s in her 30s but the law considers her incapable of being behaving like an adult. But mentally ill, she isn’t.

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/arkham-awaits-amos-autism-isnt-mental-illness-but/

Update at 7.00am: The organisers of the Sunday do are the very people Amos sneered at for not bailing him https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/amos-only-mum-is-still-a-fan/

Community Action Network (CAN)

The Community Action Network is a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) based in Singapore concerned about freedom of expression, and civil and political rights.

They are: Shelley Thio, Lynn Lee, Joshua Chiang, Jolovan Wham, Jennifer Teo, Woon Tien Wei, Rachel Zeng, Roy Ngerng and Martyn See.

—-

*Something she, the cybernuts and the ang-moh tua-kees have conveniently forgotten. A leading wannabe-be politican is rumoured to have this form of autism. There is speculation that Abraham Lincoln and Einstein may have had it.

**Cybernuts who claim Amos is being fixed cannot explain why the same doctor that said Amos may be suffering from autism is also M Ravi’s personally chosen doctor treating him for his bi-polar condition https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/psychiatrist-behind-amos-report/.

Where the PAP is wrong, seriously wrong

In Political governance on 02/07/2015 at 4:51 am

One Harry believed that democracy held back growth, citing PinoyLand and India (He could cite Greece if he were alive). His son said that if S’poreans voted too many opp MPs in, he’d be too busy fixing them (Think Aljunied town council though to be fair Auntie and her Sikh failed to notice that the managing agent wasn’t keeping proper accounting records*, thereby allowing the PAP to make all kinds of allegations.) to grow the economy.

They and their PAP would say:

GDP growth in [China] at an average of 10% over the past decade, has easily outpaced that of its democratic emerging-market rivals. India saw annual growth of 6% over the same period; Brazil, just 2%.

In other words: democracies grow slowly; non-democracies grow quickly.

In 1994 Torsten Persson of Stockholm University and Guido Tabellini, then of the University of Brescia, published a paper that argued that in democracies, vote-hungry politicians divert resources away from people who could use them more efficiently by lavishing spending on their constituents in the form of unemployment benefits and pensions. This and political gridlock, another unfortunate aspect of democracy, both tend to slow growth. Another paper published in 1994, by Robert Barro of Harvard University, analysed data from some 100 countries before concluding that the “effect of democracy on growth is weakly negative”

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21656211-democracy-it-turns-out-good-growth-after-all-have-your-cake-and-eat-it

The Economist, Hard Truths’ more liberal (legalise the use of marijuana and other drugs, allow gay marriages), compassionate (no death sentences) and sophisticated cousin (feed the poor to grow the economy, shumething the PAP is finally adopting to increase its share of the votes), reports on new research that challenges this …. The paper uses a huge dataset (175 countries over fifty years) and makes a number of statistical improvements (that are explained in the column) and concludes that “democratisations” (ie, when a country becomes democratic) improves living standards substantially. As the piece notes:

They find that a “permanent” democratisation—where there is no slide back into autocracy—leads to an increase in GDP per person of about 20% in the subsequent 25 years.

Pro-democracy activists may not get that excited: few fling themselves into campaigning for self-determination in order to boost GDP. But freedom and growth make for a pretty unbeatable combination.

Interesting the piece is entitled “Have your cake and eat it”.

Err we S’poreans can have democracy and a better material life; juz like our millionaire ministers can combine public service with serious money.

As Thomas Piketty, the French economist and rock star asks,  “It’s OK to pay someone 10, 20 times the average worker’s salary but do you really need to pay them 100 or 200 times to get their arses in gear?” Related post ttps://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/only-in-america-personal-kpi-for-ministers/t:

But if we have democracy, they’ll not be able to have their cake and eat it.

So that’s the real reason why they hate democracy?

—-

*Why didn’t it keep proper accounts and why didn’t Auntie and PritamS notice the lack of accounting documentation? These are legitimate questions. No need to allege this or allege that. Just ask these questions and see the response. Taz how incompetent the PAP administration and MND can be.

HSBC’s 1979 gift keeps paying for itself

In Banks, China, Emerging markets, Hong Kong, Uncategorized on 01/07/2015 at 1:33 pm

Li ka-shing accounted for 70% of HSBC’s global M&A advisory work in 2015 according to the FT.

HSBC sold him its stake in Hutchison Whampoa at a very special “For you only” price in 1979. This gave him face and showed that HSBC was aligning itself with the Chinese tycoons not the ang moh houses like Jardines. The then Oz CEO of Hutch said he could have gotten a better price for the stake. He was told by HSBC to mind his own business because he was an employee. HSBC had hired him to turn round Hutch which he.

Long term greed.

Shareholders need to find a new Sandberg and Purvis combination, with John Bond assisting. We know the damage (think sub-prime and Safra) that Bond can do when not supervised by adults. But I’m to harsh. During his tenure, HSBC had a one-for-one bonus and the ex-bonus share price almost reached the cum price. And there was a deeply discounted share issue to pay for the losses in the US.

But at the very least we need a  home-grown John Cryan*. Off with Gulliver’s head.

Gulliver sucks, like Anshu Jain and has to go. Capital markets investment bankers are not usually rational, cold and deep thinkers

As Lex rightly pointed out a few weeks ago, Hongkong Bank is trying to cut fat and grow muscle. Us sporty fatties know that this is real hard work and often fails. Taz why we are still fatties. Gulliver failed to trim fat and is lousy at PR (When Blatter said he couldn’t be expected to know everything at FIFA, I tot of Gulliver’s remarks on managing HSBC.). And now he wants to cut fat and grow muscle?

Failed in cutting costs and now wants to do something even hardEer? Pigs are likely to fly first. Or i’ll lose some serious fat and put some muscle.

He’d likely cut muscle and grow fat. Maybe expansion into the industrial heartland that is the Pearl Delta estuary isn’t the greatest idea? “Poll shows 25% of foreign businesses plan China job cuts,” is the top FT headline on my PC screen.

—-

*And if there’s no-one homegrown do what the Germans did, go find someone and put the chap in charge of the board’s audit committee. Great hands-on experience and sreep learning curve.

I always believe that in most cases there is always someone inhouse in a company with a strong corporate culture who can do the CEO’s job: the problem is finding the guy and the board having the balls to appoint the “unknown”.

Harry, 2 popes, Spectrum and Amos

In Political economy, Political governance on 01/07/2015 at 4:30 am
Our very own Harrry and Pope John Paul II (pope in late 80s) had the same view on one topic
Liberation Theology, the controversial movement based on the conviction that the gospels enjoin the Church to put the poor first, which preoccupied and divided Latin America’s Catholics for much of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. John Paul believed it had tempted some priests and bishops into quasi-Marxist and even violent ideology, and as Pope he cracked down on some Liberation Theologians.
Sounds like he would have OKed (I’m not saying that he approved Spectrum, juz that he might have had blessed it if he had been consulted) what our Harry did to our Catholic “Marxists”: Vincent Cheng Kim Chuan, Teo Soh Lung, Kevin de Souza, Wong Souk Yee, Tang Lay Lee, Ng Bee Leng, Jenny Chin Lai Ching, Kenneth Tsang Chi Seng, Chung Lai Mei, Mah Lee Lin, Low Yit Leng, Tan Tee Seng, Teresa Lim Li Kok, Chia Boon Tai, Tay Hong Seng and William Yap Hon Ngian.
Would Harry have arrested the present Pope if he were here then working as a priest?
Jorge Bergoglio rejected Marxism – although he cheerfully accepts that he has many Marxist friends – but accepted many of Liberation Theology’s principles, espousing what Austen Ivereigh calls “a nationalist version” of the movement, or a so-called “Theology of the People”.
And he just issued “Laudato Si” encyclical where Francis says that sins against creation are very different from broken financial promises made between people, and everyone is responsible for everyone else because is a moral debt of the rich to the poor: The obligation is universal and implies a preference to those most in need. That is because the poor gain most from generosity and suffer most from hard-heartedness. http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2015/06/24/edward-hadas-unforgiving-pope-is-right-on-money/
Tell that to Ah Loong who grudgingly spends our money on welfare for ourselves becauses it’s good politics and good for the economy. https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/spending-more-on-poor-middle-class-not-juz-cause-ge-coming/
 
Seriously, I now understand why S’pore has a tradition of Catholics fighting for social justice: people like the above and lawyer Peter Low: social justice is in the DNA of the Catholic church:

the economic writings of both John Paul and Francis also reflect the same intellectual tradition – one known as Catholic Social Teaching. It was originally articulated in an 1891 papal document called Rerum Novarum, in which Pope Leo XIII addressed what he called the “spirit of revolutionary change” then sweeping Europe.

Some of it is very clearly designed to be a rebuttal of the communist ideas that were part of that change, but it is also a critique of aspects of capitalism. So it is an unfamiliar mix that does not fit neatly into the left-right divide that dominated the politics of the following century.

Prof Maurice Glasman, a British economist who used to be a close confidant of Ed Miliband, studied Catholic social teaching for his PhD. He was attracted by the way it rejects the conventional ideologies of both left and right.

It’s not communist or even socialist:

“It really opposes this idea that there is just the state or the market,” he says. “It believes in activating society – what it calls solidarity – so that it can resist the domination by the rich of the poor, but through trade unions and vocational associations and what’s called subsidiarity, which is the decentralisation of power.” Glasman says it is opposed to communism because it “upholds private property” and is “anti-collectivist”.

But some Americans (and I’m sure PAPpists) are not impressed:

Glasman has a vivid memory of being attacked by an American economist after giving a paper at a recent Vatican conference on Catholic social teaching. “You know there’s a word for what you’re saying, Baron Lord Professor or whatever you are,” the challenge began. “Yeah, it’s called Communism. You’re trying to interfere with the prerogatives of management, you’re trying to interfere with capital, and you’re trying to interfere with prices. And that’s been tried – and that’s the Soviet Union.”

But Pope and Cardinal Marx believe in social justice.

During the subsequent discussion Glasman was delighted to find himself supported by both the Pope and the Archbishop of Munich, the appropriately named Cardinal Marx.

So what has all the above to do with Amos, son of mother Mary? Given the involvement of the Church in fighting for social justice, it’s reasonable to conclude that it’s highly likely that Amos is really autistic, sliming the church that is no friend of Harry and Thatcher who he also mocks. Only an autistic would put all three in the same category.