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Archive for January, 2016|Monthly archive page

1970s soap resumes

In Uncategorized on 31/01/2016 at 7:16 pm

Did ex NTUC sec-gen, PAP MP fabricate evidence, perverting the course of justice?

So Tan Wah Piow is trying his luck, and rightly so. Judge Jennifer Marie’s remarks on Phey Yew Kok, former NTUC secretary-general and a PAP MP, during his sentencing:

The facts reveal that Phey, like a serial criminal, systematically and with deliberation over a period of six years, perpetrated these offences. He had no qualms in trying to evade detection and had the temerity to instigate his staff to fabricate false evidence.” (Emphasis mine)

chimes reasonably with what Tan claimed many yrs ago when he was on trial.

During the trial of Tan and two others, the state led evidence of how the three accused, together with five others trespassed the office of Singapore Pioneer Industries Employees’ Union (PIEU) and rioted and damaged union property. The defence argued that the riot was a “fix” by Phey, the then General Secretary of PIEU. He had political motives for the frame-up, the defence alleged.

Following Phey’s recent sentencing to 60 months in jail, Tan has sent a letter to the Attorney-General Chambers asking for the convictions in 1975 against him and another two individuals to be quashed in view of the conviction against former NTUC secretary-general and People’s Action Party Member of Parliament, Phey Yew Kok on 22 January. http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/01/singapore-exile-tan-wah-piow-writes-to-agc-asking-for-convictions-in-1975-quashed/

Tan’s defence reported by ST then can be found here https://www.facebook.com/notes/kojak-bt/phey-yew-kok-has-the-temerity-to-instigate-his-staff-to-fabricate-false-evidence/10154657118259762

But ST never reported which way the glass splinters fell.

A few yrs after the trial, I met an ex-reporter. He either covered the story or nad followed it closely: I can’t remember which.

He told me the defence led evidence (which was not challenged by the prosecution, he told me) that glass splinters from the windows shattered outwards not inwards as one would expect if force was applied from the outside. (Tan was outside everyone agreed.). The defence used this to claim that someone inside the office smashed the windows, then put the blame on Tan and gang. Btw, A few yrs after I was told this story, the teller  joined the civil service admin service, serving with distinction, before moving on to the private sector.

For the record, the presiding judge TS Sinnathuray died a few days before the sentencing of Phey. He was retired but had been a High Court judge, something Tan predicted after he was found guilty. But to be fair, it’s the usual practice for the most senior judge of the lower courts to become a High Court judge. An exception was JBJ. He was offered the post of High Court registrar. He resigned from the legal service.

Coming back to Tan’s claim, already the PAPpy vermin are rubbishing him* while the cybernuts and TOC are cheering him on.

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*When my FB avatar posted the link giving the background info, the report was rubbished. He never got a response when he asked if the rubbisher if he tot ST was not telling the truth.

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Mad Dog’s, Low’s fangals?

In Uncategorized on 31/01/2016 at 11:29 am

Or maybe these women admire or are inspired by by Ah Lian, Mrs Chiam and Auntie Sylvia? Or put off by HoHoHo, Grace Fu and Jos Teo? Or both?

Or maybe they not brainwashed, not having done NS?

Swing voters who chose the opposition in Singapore’s general election last September mainly consisted of women who had an average age of 38, according to survey findings revealed by the Institute of Policy Studies on Wednesday.

Speaking at the IPS symposium about her findings on the demographics of voters, researcher Zhang Weiyu noted that the actual percentage of swing voters in the past election was 5 per cent. [I think this should be 5 points. If so another cock academic from IPS who doesn’t know difference between 5% and 5 oercentage points. But then so does an education minister.

Most of the ones who swung to the opposition lived in either one to two room HDB flats or four room HDB flats, and most of them ranked “having different voices in Parliament” as a top concern, the survey found.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/who-swung-to-the-opposition-in-ge-2015-mostly-020201960.html?linkId=2076890

Double confirm, TRE posters are morons

In Uncategorized on 30/01/2016 at 4:41 pm

Based on findings by another researcher, Debbie Goh, who did a survey on personalised communication and the knowledge gap during GE 2015, she discovered that for voters aged 60 and above, the ones with below average online engagement had a higher mean knowledge score compared to those with above average engagement.

For those in the high-income level, below average users scored close to the maximum score, while above average users scored a little lower.

Goh concluded, “Excessive [online] use by some groups had negative influence on knowledge.”

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/who-swung-to-the-opposition-in-ge-2015-mostly-020201960.html?linkId=20768904

UK MPs subject to sharia law

In Uncategorized on 30/01/2016 at 11:54 am

There won’t be a dry aye in the House: MPs planning to move into temporary accommodation during the refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster won’t be allowed to drink because it cannot be used for purposes not sanctioned by sharia Times

BBC Online

 

Why ministers feel poor

In Uncategorized on 29/01/2016 at 12:52 pm

They compare themselves to the Clintons and feel poor beside them: remember a PAP MP implied he did not respect people with low pay? From NYT Dealbook

Mrs. Clinton and her husband have earned more than $125 million in income from speeches since 2001 – one-fifth of that in the last two years. Mrs. Clinton’s speechmaking has been a tour through high finance from GTCR, the Chicago private equity firm that the Republican governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, helped found, to Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Btw, even Americans think the Clintons made too much money

“Although they needed money, I think that Bill was raking in enough that Hillary didn’t have to do it,” said Ed Rendell, a former Pennsylvania governor, who has supported Mrs. Clinton. “To people who earn $200,000 in seven years, it looks ridiculous.”

And tememmber that M’sia’s PM got US$680m and “kept” only about  US$61m.

How he going to respect our PM if he like the PAPpy eye doctor?

Saudi king OKed Najib payment

In Malaysia on 29/01/2016 at 5:02 am

The well-placed Saudi source, who has asked not to be named, told the BBC the payment was authorised from the very top – from Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah – with funds coming from both his personal finances and state funds.

Prince Turki bin Abdullah, one of the king’s sons, is reported to have had extensive business dealings in Malaysia.

The purpose of the donation was simple, said the Saudi source – it was to help Mr Najib and his coalition win the election, employing a strategic communications team with international experience, focusing on the province of Sarawak, and funding social programmes through party campaigning.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35409424

Hard truth about the FT “terrorists”/ Indi overtaking TRE?

In Uncategorized on 28/01/2016 at 10:35 am

But first, let’s remember that the authorities tell us that they were not planning attacks, bombings here but back home. This means they were here to earn a living, not plant bombs etc. Really good guest workers, not like some PRC rats who came here to strike or chear S’poreans  or the Indian rat who took citizenship  but with the inyent of making sure his son avoids NS while working here.

Even more to the point, the ISA (detention without trial) was used, not the criminal law statutes.

But to be fair to the authorities, “they could have easily changed their minds and attacked Singapore”, Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam (aka the Minister for pets) said in a Facebook post.

But do the Bangladeshi authorities regard them as dangerous?

Bangladesh authorities say 14 of its nationals deported from Singapore are being held over links to a group blamed for attacking secular writers.

The men were part of a larger group of 26 construction workers who were expelled from Singapore last year for supporting armed jihadist ideology.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35379056

So the others deported (12 out of the 26) were released? Yes.

The other 12 men, who returned on different dates, have been allowed to go back to their families as detectives “did not find their links with militancy in primary investigation”, Mashrukure Rahman, deputy commissioner (South Division) of Detective Branch at Dhaka Metropolitan Police, told The Daily Star on Wednesday (Jan 20).

Nonetheless, they are still “under close observation”, he added in the report.

Whatever, it’s clear that the Bangladeshi authorities don’t agree with S’pore’s perception that these 12 guys are very dangerous.

But then it’s hard to disagree with the administration and 70% of the voters that “Better safe than sorry”. Of course the anti-PAP cybernuts of TRELand (a tiny minority* among the 30%ers would disagree cheering on this view:  http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/01/were-the-27-arrested-bangladeshis-terrorists/

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*And getting smaller if the Indian’s Independent’s claims are to be believed: the Indian Indi claims it gets more views than TRE. Sounds like Indian PM talking his usual cock. 

 

 

 

 

Oil: Goliath and his sisters

In Energy on 28/01/2016 at 4:39 am

Chart - Crude oil production

There is talk that Saudi Armaco may be listed.

Where S’pore trumps HK

In Hong Kong, Property on 27/01/2016 at 1:35 pm

Goh Meng Seng keeps on harping on how good life is in HK compared to S’pore. His daughter’s schooling and healhcare costs are cheaper* there. HK is Heaven, S’pore is Hell he implies.

Chart: World's least affordable cities

Funny he doesn’t tell us that this is the 6th yr in a row that HK tops this index. It’s not uncommon for entire families to live in spaces less than 50 sq m. Btw, there are no  “cage homes” — tiny bunks stacked atop each other and enclosed by metal grating — here.

Nothing heard on thr issue of housing affordability in HK by Memg Seng who prefers to talk cock about the golden dinar.

The PAP administration can do more to bring affordbility levels to those at the end of the 90s, early noughties: 15- 20 yrs of paying mortgages not the present 25 yrs. But hey let’s not pretend that S’pore isn’t too bad.

And remember GMS’s silence on HK people critical of China diappearing. They on his UFO? (He believes in the UFOs, having claimed to have seen one (or was it in one?)

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*Err Value for money or not he doesn’t say. He focuses on the cost. Btw, he can’t persuade his wife to stay here but wants us to vote him into parly?

Bear mkts are gd news?

In Financial competency on 27/01/2016 at 5:30 am

bear market

FT also reports that London and Tokyo bear mkts have also resulted in the main of favouring the brave.

NCMP: WP playing a gd game

In Political governance on 26/01/2016 at 4:13 pm

Whatever the outcome of its motion on the NCMP post (details below), WP will look good.

Heads it wins, tails it loses.

It’s not only me who says so but a pro-PAP lawyer (Hates TRE, TOC, believes in hanging, not helping the poor and elderly, and most probably drinks children’s blood to keep healthy) posted this on Facebook:

[Wayang Party: my words not his] played it perfectly – if they get it, they get their star debater in parliament. If they don’t, they will say PAP not sincere in offering the NCMP seat.

That is why I say – do not vacate the seat. The electorate voted LLL as the best loser – it is her seat and nobody else.

Nice to hear from a PAPpy that the WP is upping its game: MPs no longer a bunch of highly paid social worker whose heroine is PAP’s very own Kare Spade Tin (Parly is waste of time) but MPs who are walking the talk of being a check on the PAP administration.

Earlier he had posted this v.v. analysis of the law (bar the last para) on the NCMP post

A mistake the media keeps making is to state that Lee Li Lian was “offered” the NCMP post. There is nothing of the sort. Under the Parliamentary Elections Act, she is duly elected and has been declared elected as an NCMP. The only semblance of an “offer” is when a GRC is entitled to one or two seats, in which event, the GRC team is invited to elect the two NCMPs, failing which the election will be determined by lot. In Lee Li Lian’s case, she is the NCMP whether she likes it or not, until the NCMP post is vacated.

Under the same Act, Parliament is not obliged to declare it vacant – it is just empowered to do so. It is a real aberration for the same political party to refuse to take the oath for an NCMP seat and then offer another candidate to fill the seat – in effect the NCMP seat is filled not by the will of the people but the will of the Workers’ Party.

On that basis, the PAP and the Workers Party should respect the will of the people – that the duly elected NCMP is Lee Li Lian and not a second member of the East Coast GRC team. Parliament should therefore decline to declare it vacant, leaving the seat in the name of the person so elected. It is, of course, up to her to resign the seat but should not be allowed to just not take it up.

 

 

HOHONOHO: StanChart’s expected results

In Banks, China, Commodities, Emerging markets, Temasek on 26/01/2016 at 4:24 am

StanChart which suffered the biggest share price falls this year, will announce its results on February 23. Analysts expect it to report an 85%  fall in earnings per share, FT reports.

Last yr it was the second worse performer on FT100, down 47%, I think.

One analyst says there is debate that its business model is fundamentally broken. Another says that its strategic review released in Nov shows that it’s a collection of biz, none of whch cover their cost of capital.

Whatever China and other emerging mkts are in trouble and StanChart is an emerging markets bank. Until these mkts recover, StanChart can only cut costs (Sack more staff from Little India Marina Bay? Move jobs from London and S’pore?) and be more efficient.

HoHoNoHo

Updated at 5.00am

Chart: Troubled EM debt at record high

Be like ang moh: Why liddat?

In Uncategorized on 25/01/2016 at 1:07 pm

“I think its cute all the government agencies are jumping onto the band wagon,”someone commented on FB

 

 

I agree but couldn’t they have localised “Bill”? Other people around the world are doing this

BBC report http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-35344300

(Examples below: They are imaginative, amusing)

So why can’t our govt agencies?

I can give one good but sad reason. Someone would bitch if a local name was used.

If “Ah Beng” or “Ah Lian” was used, the Indian supremacists and the perpetual Malay “victims” would bleat “Chinese domination”. If “Ravi” or “Priya”was used, the Chinese and Malays would wonder if the Indians had taken over S’pore (Remember two of PM’s most trusted ministers are Indians and so is the AG and CJ. Not bad for a group that is only 7% of population. If “Ahmad” or “Siti” is used, the Chinese and Indians could reasonably ask, “We joined M’sia or Indonesia isit?”

So best to stick to “Bill”. And remember, Eurasians (Remember them?) live here: those who hadn’t cut and run. “Bill” could be a Eurasian. And as, sadly, they are such a tiny community, no other S’porean will complain.

Related post: What Danny the SDP Bear tells us about ourselves

Extract from BBC

foreign variations are springing up seemingly daily. And in each one Bill has been renamed.

In Arabic he’s “Bilal” or “Bashir”.

Bilal, a stick manImage copyrightكن مثل بلال
Image caption‘This is Bilal. Bilal called his girlfriend, but she didn’t pick up. Bilal waited for her to call him back, he didn’t bombard her with calls and messages. Bilal is smart. Be like Bilal.’

A stick figure called RashidImage copyrightBe Like Rashid / Facebook
Image caption‘This is Rashid. Rashid is Malay. Rashid is shopping in a Malay shop. Rashid doesn’t ask for a discount using the phrase ‘Malays help Malays’. Rashid isn’t stupid. Rashid is smart. Be like Rashid.’

In Malaysia he’s Rashid.

José, a stick manImage copyrightSé como José / Facebook
Image caption‘Jose is a university student. Jose studied hard and got a good grade. Jose knows he deserves it, and doesn’t post a photograph of it on Facebook. Be intelligent. Be like Jose.’

And for Spanish speakers he’s Jose.

 

Another ugly, entitled S’porean/ Cry for fund mgrs

In Uncategorized on 25/01/2016 at 5:49 am

“What a sense of entitlement: “We drove the business so hard, and this is what we get,” said one banker…” ST reported.

I mean the chairman of Barclays had said “not performing — and we don’t like things that actually don’t make money”.

Not make money expect high pay and job security? The person Barclays retrenched is  related to Dr Eng, property developers, Fernvale residents and ministers  saying.

Barclays retrenched people here from equities broking (now called “cash equities”. I was in this line and the deal then and now is “Hard work is BS. Revenue talks”. Then as now, job security and hard work, meant nothing. Bring in the revenue and get rewarded.

Staff of fund mgrs globally took a pay cut of almost a fifth in 2015 as the industry grappled with its worst year of profitability since the financial crisis. US and Asian-based staff suffered most/

 

Why U-turn on elected president

In Political governance on 24/01/2016 at 1:36 pm

Lasi Thursday, I pointed out that the post of president, whether elected or appointed has been problematic for the PAP because an elected president (Ong Teng Cheong) and an appointed president (Devan Nair) have proved embarrassments to the PAP.

In this post, I’ll explain why I think two PAP apologists are showing off their intellectual deficiencies in their rush to show that the elected president is problematic for S’pore’s political stability.

— Professor Kishore Mahbubani* believes that we should consider the possibility that a rogue president could be elected, and that we should consider having the president be chosen by Parliament once again (“Let’s talk about policy failures and the elected presidency“.

One Herod Cheng, on the issue that an elected presidency doesn’t work for S’pore)

There’ll be great black comedy when the PM has to explain publicly why an appointed president can be a better protector of reserves and minorities than an elected president can. Didn’t the PAP say only an elected president has the electoral mandate to resist Mad Dog Chee’s plans to squander the reserves if said Mad Dog became PM?

Ownself contradict Oneself. Or should it be “Ownself argue against Ownself”?

Before the last PE, I wrote a post (see below) arguing with part of my tongue firmly in my cheek that the voters could change the role of the presidency. The piece was inspired by the bid of Tan Jee Say who was widely perceived to be the preferred choice of the SDP. His rallies looked like SDP rallies. Could it be that Mad Dog Chee was Coyote (the trickster god), realising that the SDP could change the rules of how S’pore is governed by getting its preferred candidate chosen by the people as president.

In a sense the voters really changed the nature of the presidency: by showing the PAP that 65% of the voters didn’t want the PAP’s preferred candidate, even though he was an honourable, likeable, competent and experienced guy. “Anyone but the PAP’s preferred candidate” was the refrain that PM, his dad and the other PAP leaders heard from us the rabble.

This surely has the PAP worried because anything less than 60% of the popular vote is looked upon as a defeat. So the last PE, although its preferred candidate won by a really short nose, was a really a defeat for the PAP.

Hence the apologists are out prostituing their mental deficiencies.

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We the voters will decide what kind of president we want

From films about the Romans, many S’poreans will be familiar with terms like “emperor” , “consul” and “senator”. What most won’t be familiar with is the word “tribune”.

There was a time, when the tribune was the most powerful man in Rome. He derived his authority (which included being above the law) because he was the only leader who had to win a Rome-wide election where all the citizens voted. He was apponted by the will of the people, and derived his powers from the simple fact of winning an election where all Romans voted.

In the S’pore context, even though, those who argue that the president can be an activist president do not have the law (OK the lawyers) on their side, their views could still prevail. In a democracy (assuming S’pore is one), the will of the people matters.

In 1975, Australia had a constitutional crisis which started when the opposition-controlled senate refused to pass legislation allowing the unpopular Labor government to spend money (block supply). It ended when the Labor appointed governor-general sacked the Labor prime minister who still commanded a majority in the house of representatives. An election of both houses of parliament followed, and Labor lost.

Even though the senate retains its power to block supply, and the governor-general the power to dismiss the government, these powers have not been used since 1975.

The reason is that these actions are considered too controversial to try again. The Australian public has decided that whatever the constitution allows, the senate should not block supply, nor should the government be sacked by the governor-general. The government can only lose power in a general election or if loses the support of the majority in the house of representatives.

Putting this into the S’pore context, the role of the elected president can be changed (without changing the constitution) if

– an eligible candidate says he will be an “activist” president;

– he gets elected;

– he walks the walk, not juz talk the talk; and

– the government, instead of removing him or ignoring him or telling him to shut up, listens to him.

Then the role of the president will change by convention (customary practice). And if the government ignores him or removes him, then the voters at the next GE will have the final say. They can remove the government that doesn’t want an activist president.

Is this easier than winning two-thirds of the parliamentary seats and amending the constitution? At least this process doesn’t depend on the People in Blue, the near clones of the MIW.

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WTF: Families overseas, but trying to be MPs

In Uncategorized on 24/01/2016 at 5:06 am

Someone by the name of Ajay posted some analysis of the Oppo parties that’s worth a read http://www.tremeritus.com/2016/01/21/what-chee-soon-juan-got-right-in-ge2015-and-what-the-minor-parties-got-wrong/

This bit had me in stitches

TR Emeritus’s reader Oxygen mentioned that KJ is a good candidate and has intellectual thoughts which can add value in parliament. That may be true. But the reality is that swing voters do not care to know that. What they see is KJ’s low EQ and lack of personal touch. He was whining so much during the Punggol East by-election about getting a cold, having a short campaign period, having an undemocratic elections department, etc. These actions do not endear him to swing voters. Him scolding voters for voting for PAP after GE2015 was completely unnecessary and implies that they were right not to vote for him. KJ is not doing himself any favours by not being humble.

Where is he between elections anyway? Is he walking the ground and sitting at coffee shops, meeting residents and opening up to them? Where is his grit and determination? Yes, his accent makes it hard for people to relate to him, but he can overcome that if he works hard enough on the ground in between elections. He cannot just show up for the GE and hope that the protest vote is enough for him to win. Hope is not a strategy!

To the above, I’d add that people who meet s/o JBJ usually remark afterwards that they have problems making eye contact with him when talking to him.

Not only is this annoying, it makes for an uncomfortable conversation.

I’ve said to these people that this doesn’t necessarily mean that he thinks that talking to them is a waste of his time (but it could be). It seems he is very uncomfortable making eye contact ( a neurological issue)  But, Liars are more likely to make eye contact. So at least he’s an honest, sincere man even if he might have an EQ of a Yahoo.

The u/m joke is even more true of Meng Seng and of s/o JBJ, even though their wives  are not S’porean and don’t reside here and hence don’t vote.

And they are trying to tell us S’poreans how to vote, despite having their families overseas? That’s being more arrogant than the PAP. What stakes do Meng Seng and s/o JBJ have in S’pore’s continued well-being? A big fat zero.

What does it tell us about their supporters? That they are super daft: any ass except a PAP ass.

Someone posted this on TRE

SDA Candidate Joke:
January 7, 2016 at 1:57 pm (Quote)
A dejected SDA candidate trudges home after GE 2015.
“So, Ah Kow, how many votes did you get?” asks his wife.
“Two,” he responds.
She slaps him hard across the face.

“What was that for?” Ah Kow asks.
“You have a mistress, now do you!!?” shouted his wife.

Bear mkt? Don’t panic yet

In Financial competency on 23/01/2016 at 1:41 pm

Does a bear market inevitably mean recession? No. The 23% one-day decline in American equities in October 1987 (Black Monday) was not followed by an economic downturn. The dotcom boom, and the surge in house prices in America and elsewhere, showed that prices can lose track with fundamentals. The recent decline may merely indicate that share prices were overvalued, and are now coming back to earth, or even a sign that investors have become too pessimistic. More economic news, and more company results, will be needed to tell whether this market signal is the real thing, or just a fake.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2016/01/economist-explains-14

When Indians are silent, not triumphant

In China, Environment, India on 23/01/2016 at 5:05 am

India loves to blow its trumpet whenever it “beats” China. So it’s strange that it’s so silent when it trashes China.

 

 

China cold catches US?

In China on 22/01/2016 at 4:18 am

This appeared two weeks ago week, but still timely. From NYT’s Dealbbok

Some analysts and economists say they are less optimistic that the United States will remain unscathed by China’s struggles, Peter Eavis reports in DealBook. Although China’s official growth figures have long been questioned, investors are increasingly worried that the Chinese authorities’ handling of the country’s challenges could hurt other markets too.

Fears that the United States economy might sag could prompt investors to clamor for the Fed to hold off increasing interest rates, further stoking uncertainty.

And this from an Economist blog, explains how sentiment can affect reality

whether the market gyrations are rooted firmly in fundamentals or not, they could themselves be a source of economic instability. Falling asset prices could put a chill on investment or squeeze consumer spending, as households feel less wealthy. Falling currencies and rising bond yields in stressed economies increase the pressure on strained borrowers, raising the odds of some sort of destabilising credit event. Emerging economies might also face pressure to raise interest rates to slow currency depreciation. At the same time, rising currencies in safe-haven economies reduce the competitiveness of exporters and drain off demand. And anywhere and everywhere, a sense of economic foreboding could depress confidence. A recession, after all, is nothing more than a rut of self-ratifying pessimism.

Not every market swoon knocks an affected economy into that sort of rut. 

Wanted President: Must not embarass the PAP

In Political governance on 21/01/2016 at 1:16 pm

Professor Kishore Mahbubani* believes that we should consider the possibility that a rogue president could be elected, and that we should consider having the president be chosen by Parliament once again (“Let’s talk about policy failures and the elected presidency“.

The assumption is that the elected president can do serious damage to S’pore. The last time a PAP minister addressed the issue before PE 2011, the Pet Minister made it clear that the constitutional position of the president was jaga only. He has very limited powers that he could exercise by himself. And these are of a custodian nature i.e. jada work. So at best a rogue president can embarrass S’pore.

Well, we had one such appointed rogue president, Devan Nair, who behaved inappropriately when drunk in Sarawak. And he was appointed by parliament wasn’t he? Turned out badly didn’t he? A real disgrace to S’pore and S’poreans. Worse, he alleged he was fixed.

(Related post: The other PAP apologist, one Herod Cheng, on the issue of the presidency)

What Kishore and Cheng should tell us is that history shows us is an elected president can embarrass the PAP administration. Think Ong Teng Cheong and the wayang he staged over inmovable state assets to show us he was a good jaga.

That row made Ong Teng Cheong the hero of the anti-PAP nuts. Funny thing is that if he had his way, the reserves cannot ever be touched. Interest, dividends and capital gains would be locked up in the name of capital preservation. And he’s a hero to the anti-PAP mob? They bleat that the PAP steals our CPF. OTC wanted to locked away from use.

So if the two PAP apologists had argued that the elected presidency should be scrapped because a “rogue” president can embarrass the PAP administration, I’d sit down and shut up because they have a point. But they argue this way because it’d mean that they will no longer be able to grovel, “The PAP is always right.”

Seriously, there will be great black comedy when the PM has to explain publicly why an appointed president can be a better protector of reserves and minorities than an elected president can. Didn’t the PAP say only an elected president had the electoral mandate to resist Mad Dog Chee’s plans to squander the reserves if said Mad Dog became PM?

Ownself contradict ownself. Or should it be Ownself argue against Ownself.

The other black comedy will be to see the Worthless Party of very highly paid social workers (Kate Spade Tin is their poster gal: social work more impt than talking cock in parly) sit on their hands leaving Lion Man to savage the PAP. Yes I’m hoping the WP will not castrate Leon the Lion. Rumour has it that he had things he wanted to say about the internal review of the SDH tragedy that was made public but was told to sir down and shut up by the WP leaders. Let’s see if he speaks up when the tragedy is discussed in parly. If he doesn’t, then there’ll be some truth to the rumour of Low muzzling the Lion Man.

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*He accused a US regulator of being a rogue regulator, after the regulator went after StanChart. Shortly, thereafter StanChart admitted it was a rogue bank.  The PAP apologist looked like a real cock.

S&P 500 Double top?

In Financial competency, Uncategorized on 21/01/2016 at 5:05 am

Longview

Where IT and finance worl is live-threatening

In Uncategorized on 20/01/2016 at 2:01 pm

Last week US-led coalition air strike destroyed a bank used by the Islamic State group in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

There have been reports that IT and financial professionals working for IS have been targeted and killed.

On mkt turmoil: Pearls from FT’s Lex and others

In Financial competency on 20/01/2016 at 5:52 am

From FT’s latest Letter from Lex

On the list of books that everyone in finance should read, Benoit Mandelbrot’s The (Mis) Behaviour of Markets sits near the very top. For those who have made the questionable decision to earn an MBA or a CFA (your correspondent is guilty on the second count) it is an essential curative to the large quantities of pernicious nonsense consumed thereby. Against the classical finance theory, Mandelbrot points out that price changes (unlike coin flips) have “memory”: prior changes have effects on future ones. Stocks demonstrate momentum – until they don’t. The basic pattern of all markets (seen at any scale, from the intraday to the multiyear) is periods of identifiable trend, broken up by sharp periods of volatility, after which a new trend takes hold. Once this fractal picture of market dynamics takes hold, one sees it everywhere.

We have undoubtedly entered one of these liminal periods of volatility that separate longstanding trends. The long bull market is over. That does not mean, however, that it will not be followed by yet another bull market. Lex has no idea how one would know what the next trend will be, except to say that current high valuations of stocks and bonds make high future returns a bit less likely. There is, however, widespread belief that the next trend will be down. We hear talk of deflation, overcapacity, slowing trade and industrial activity, higher interest rates, emerging market debt crises, and various other flavours of economic distress.
In retrospect, it is clear that Lex made its own contributions to the atmosphere of gloom this week.

And

This is all pretty dour, and we may all need to take a step back. Because bearishness is en vogue, and everyone (Lex included) seems to be particularly aware that bearish data do not mean that the next market is especially likely to be a bear. On the contrary, in fact. Groundless optimism, rather than paranoid pessimism, is the most fertile ground for a bitter harvest. And the week ended with some reassuringly calm words from Jamie Dimon on JPMorgan’s earnings call. As far as he can see, the economy is holding up. Cheap oil prices are not the end of the world. The market’s mood is not a reliable indicator.

And

“You have a big change in the world out there – people are getting adjusted to China slowing down.”
Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, on the bakn’s fourth-quarter earnings.

“Technically we are in a bear market. … There is just a broad reassessment of risk right now.”
Laurence D. Fink, the chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest money management company.

(NYT Dealbook)

My favourites

As a colleague pointed out, it is tempting to believe the markets only when they are sending a message that coincides with your pre-existing views.

And

Given that the Fed took the first step in withdrawing the stimulus last month, are market movements an indicator of economic activity or a sign that investors are worried that Daddy is about to cut off their allowance?

(Economist’s Buttonwood)

Anti-PAP people, don’t get excited by DPP victory

In Political governance on 19/01/2016 at 10:25 am

In cyberspace the PAPpy nuts are busy slimimg the DPP and calling the Taiwanese stupid, showing how insecure the nutty PAP 35 points are (expect Herod Cheng to comment on the DPP victory, once he’s told what to think)  while the anti-pAP folks (nuts and rational) are drawing parallels between the DPP and the SDP. Remember that once upon a time, Mad Dog Chee was a puppy beside his DPP counterparts. The DPP and SDP have become responsible adult sheep dogs, intent on protecting their flocks.

Two reasons why the DPP won big time

Taiwanese voters have become wary about giving China too much influence over their island, which was one reason for the KMT’s defeat.

The other was the economy. The elections were mainly fought on bread-and-butter issues, such as stagnating salaries and skyrocketing housing prices. Mr Ma’s inability to use ties with China to revitalise the ailing economy, along with party infighting and a badly run campaign, explains the KMT’s worst-ever defeat. Its candidate, Eric Chu resigned as party chairman. The election showed Taiwan wants change; crowds of Ms Tsai’s supporters roared “New politics, new economy, a new Taiwan” during the vote count.

(Economist blog)

All the focus is on the first reason but think about the second; the economy. If the govt had managed to alleviate or mitigate the effects of stagnating salaries and skyrocketing housing prices could it have won?

I don’t know but S’pore has had the stagnating salaries and skyrocketing housing prices but the PAP administration increased its share of the popular vote by 10 points to 70% despite a slowing economy caused by global problems.

The stagnating salaries problem was mitigated by increasing employers’ CPF contributions by one point and by intriPioneer Gen benefits especially in healthcare. This meant that families spent less on their aged parents (examples here), giving them more cash for other needs.

As to the  skyrocketing housing prices, the govt has built more public housing and introduced measures aimed at reducing the attraction of investing or speculating in property.

It could spend more on us because budget surpluses are equivalent to  7% of our GDP. A budget surplus is seen as a virtue even by Western govts (except those the SDP admire) but in S’pore, it can (and should) be seen as a way of keeping goodies* from the voters in “normal times” so that when the rabble are really unhappy (not juz mutinious) with the elite, there’s the rabble’s money to be spent. Ownself spend other people’s money?

Until people like Dr Paul Thamby, Dr Ang Yong Guan, Terry Xu, P(olitican) Ravi, Alex Au and Richard Wan (remember him?) and other intelligent, agood-hearted kay – understand how the PAP games the budget and reserves ecosystem, and communicates this insight to the swing voter, the PAP will remain in power, forever and a day.

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*Don’t spend so much, cannot reduce GST meh? Why liddat?

 

HoHoHo, PM must be proud

In Banks, China, Temasek on 19/01/2016 at 7:03 am

DBS, StanChart kanna mark by China for gaming the Chinese FX regome:

FT reported last week:

The latest tightening comes after the central bank temporarily suspended some foreign banks in China, including Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank and Singapore’s DBS, from conducting certain foreign exchange transactions designed to arbitrage the gap between the onshore and offshore renminbi exchange rates.

HSBC is really an old friend of China. It may be the bank of choice for Chaqco and other Mexican drug lords, but it doesn’t game PRC regulations.

Herod Cheng signposts PAP’s “fixing” plans

In Political governance on 18/01/2016 at 11:36 am

(Explanation for those who never had the benefit of Sunday school: Herod was the ruler of Judea at the time of the birth of Jesus, who orders the Massacre of the Innocents i.e. babies)

Will the rules change so that Dr Tan Cheng Bock cannot, or will not be eligible to stand in the next PE due later this yr? Is PM fixing the Oppo, something he “promised” to do in 2006 but was silent on in 2011 and 2015 because he could see the swing voters didn’t like the Oppo being “fixed’: but he now thinks he has a mandate of 70% to do so?

These tots crossed my mind when I read on CNA that

The Government will look into whether Singapore’s political system can be improved, to ensure the nation has capable and honest leadership in the long term, President Tony Tan Keng Yam said in his opening address to Singapore’s 13th Parliament.

“Our political system has delivered stability and progress for Singapore. But this system must be refreshed from time to time, as our circumstances change,” Dr Tan said on Friday, Jan 15

Shortly after the speech Herod Cheng, the PAP’s sinister clown in residence, suggested changes that would ensure that S’pore remains a de facto one party state, forever and a day.. My comments on his rant are in [ ] and in normal font.

CHANGES TO THE POLITICAL SYSTEM – PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS

The one thing that stood out in yesterday’s Presidential Address was the remarks about possible changes to Singapore’s political system.

As I have argued before, whilst the PAP still has its 2/3 majority [Hello, no faith that in next GE PAP will retain this majority? Call yr self a PAP bootlicker? Only hard core TRE nuts believe that the PAP will lose this majority in next GE], it needs to implement constitutional changes to safeguard the future of Singapore, and ensure we avoid the degeneration that Western political systems (and those who have adopted them) have seen. [Last time I looked, the West is in pretty good shape and China, the great Asian exemplar is in a mess. I mean Europe hasn’t imploded despite the Eurozone crisis and the influx of unwanted and unwelcomed immigrants. And the US is the hegemon. So what cock you cock talking?]

Our own system is also largely based on the Westminster system, although we have important aspects that now differ. For example, LKY changed our system to prevent elected members from changing parties and still retaining their seats. More now needs to be done to ensure that we improve on our system even more to ensure the stability of our system. [Well Bukit Brown is a pretty tranquil place, if you like stagnation.]

Some changes I would like to see:

1) Elected Presidency – As I have argued, the elected presidency has become a proxy for partisan politics. Short of scrapping it, at the very least the bar needs to be raised to prevent unqualified populists from degrading the office of the Presidency. [You got explanation for PAP to explain why a nominated president can be a better protector of reserves and minorities than an elected president isit? Didn’t PAP say only elected president had mandate to resist Mad Dog Chee’s plans to squander the reserves? Seriously if the PAP tries to revert to a nominated presidency, it’ll be really great black comedy to see how they argue against themselves. Ownself contradict ownself.]

He also wants more NMPs [God forbid if they are baby killers and morons and PAP fan boys or gals.]

I think better to more deeply entrench the NMP system by increasing the numbers and making their term the same as elected MPs, instead of the half-terms currently. NMPs of the second session always see their terms cut short. The last cohort only served for a year as elections were called early.

Both an Upper House and the NMP scheme function on the same principle – non-elected voices are needed to check populism and politicking amongst professional politicians.

As lessons from the West has shown, countries with unelected legislators like the UK are less likely to go down the populist route as it acts as a brake on demagoguery. [Last time I looked, the UK’s House of Lords was a cesspool of scroungers who were making claims for work they didn’t do.]

Size of DPP win in Taiwan, pictorially depicted

In China on 18/01/2016 at 6:32 am

A*STAR, unlucky or accident-prone?

In Public Administration on 17/01/2016 at 1:21 pm

Is there anything wrong with the way A*Star selects scholars?

I mean we have had the very entitled scholar Eng.

And now we hear that ex-A^Star scholar Ouyang Xiangyu admitted putting toxic substances (i.e. mildly poisonous substances) in the water bottles of two lab mates. But she never had any personal issues with them and “didn’t mean to harm people”, she said.

Huh? She really must be looney to want to poison people who she didn’t dislike ? And double loooney to poison people that she “didn’t mean to harm”? Juz the kind of looney criminal that Batman sends to Arkham.

Seriously, she comes across as one of the guards in a Nazi concentration camp explaining to their trial judges why they did what they did to inmates. They often  said they “didn’t mean to harm”. or that they don’t hate the inmates: juz doing their duty and obeying orders.

Let’s wish her well*, unlike the PAPpies (Think readers and followers of Jason Chua and FATPAP) who are screaming that she should have been jailed or hung** for disgracing S’pore (They forgot court is US court), but surely there must be a flaw with the way A*STAR chooses its scholars.

One swallow does not make a summer. But two?

And remember Oscar’s Wilde: “To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”

To have one scholar that is a potential inmate of Gotham City’s Arkham may be an accident, but to have two nut cases looks like carelessness. And is worrying use of taxpayers’ money.

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*She got probation and has to do community service in California, and is getting treatment. I can’t help but think that in the S’pore of the early 80s (when I was a close observer of how the govt did things), the matter would be resolved quietly since the victims were only slightly hurt and because she was a scholar. She’d have to give up her scholarship (but not pay any penalty for bond breaking) and seek treatment, and the public would be no wiser.

Wonder if her parents, guarantors have to pay up on her bond? I hope not.

**OK I exaggerate about the hanging, but not by much. Their long-lost siblings, the TRE cybernuts shout the same tots.

 

Tot of Amos’s Mother Mary

In Uncategorized on 17/01/2016 at 5:33 am

When I read this headline in a UK Sunday paper

parents should be taught how to control children
Prime minister to offer families vouchers for parenting lessons as he says that we all need guidance*

I couldn’t help but think of Amos’s Mother Mary. I’ve seen on the internet some photos of her when she was younger. She looked a bubbly, intelligent gal. I suspect that she did the “right” thing by her parents and society and suppressed her innerself, regretted it as she grew older and is now living the life she really wanted to vacariously via Amos.

 

If only she had been less indulgent of her Boy Fantastic who could do no wrong. She even tried to justify his accusation of being molested by his bailoe even after he had admitted he had lied about being molested. That’s how indulgrnt she is.
She and him would have benefited from her attending classes on discplining kids, not indulging them.  And then blaming the state and herself for the trouble he gets into
Sorry Son.
Sorry for telling you that you are in the safest country. You are feeling so insecure and scared now.
Sorry for urging you to be a law-abiding citizen. The laws are doing you more harm than good now.
Sorry for assuring you that you will be well-protected. You are being threatened and ill-treated now.
Sorry for saying that our government provides us the best welfare. You are not even allowed to sleep at home now.
Sorry for telling you that home is best. It is where you were arrested from.
Sorry for encouraging you to be creative and expressive. You are regarded as crazy and rebellious instead.
Sorry for not teaching you well. You could have been taught otherwise.
Sorry Son. Mummy is wrong.
(Btw, widely believed that Alfian Sa’at wrote the poem)
Yes, I know he has a father. But it’s clear that if dad had had his way, Amos would be a well-behaved boy, or a kid in trauma or in Woodbridge.

 

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*The prime minister will call for a revolution in child rearing this weekend by suggesting that all parents should attend classes on how to discipline their children.

In a move likely to enrage those fearful of an encroaching “nanny state”, David Cameron will say that it should be the norm for parents to receive instruction on how to behave around their offspring.

As part of a speech on the family, Cameron will announce plans for a parenting classes voucher scheme, claiming that all parents need help and that there is too little state-sponsored guidance on offer.

“In the end, getting parenting and the early years right isn’t just about the hardest-to-reach families; it’s about everyone,” Cameron is expected to say on Monday. “We all have to work at it. And if you don’t have a strong support network – if you don’t know other mums or dads – having your first child can be enormously isolating.

“Of course they don’t come with a manual, but is it right that all of us get so little guidance? We’ve made progress. We’ve dramatically expanded the number of health visitors, and that is crucial. But that just deals with one part of parenting – the first few weeks and months. What about later on, when it comes to play, communication, behaviour and discipline? We all need more help with this – the most important job we’ll ever have. So I believe we now need to think about how to make it normal – even aspirational – to attend parenting classes.”

Cameron will say that the government’s Life Chances Strategy – an initiative to target tackle child poverty – will include a plan for “significantly expanding parenting provision”. It will also recommend ways to incentivise all parents to take up the offer of classes.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jan/10/david-cameron-parents-children-lessons

What yr smartphone says about you

In Uncategorized on 16/01/2016 at 2:29 pm

The more time you spend on your smartphone, the more likely you are to be depressed.

Find out more (Time)

Chinese have unique “tertiary” gene?

In Uncategorized on 16/01/2016 at 4:21 am

A number of genetic disorders occur more frequently in certain ethnic populations. In the Ashkenazi Jewish population (those of Eastern European descent), it has been estimated that one in four individuals is a carrier of one of several genetic conditions. These diseases include Tay-Sachs Disease, Canavan, Niemann-Pick, Gaucher, Familial Dysautonomia, Bloom Syndrome, Fanconi anemia, Cystic Fibrosis and Mucolipidosis IV. Some of these diseases may be severe and may result in the early death of a child. Carrier screening is available for all of these diseases with a simple blood test.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Health/genetics.html-

In the UK the poorest Chinese pupils are more likely to go to university than the richest white pupils.

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-34778517

Ethnic Chinese got “go to uni” gene? Bang yr balls the Indian suremacists in S’pore who want to abolish SAP schools so that ethnic Indians can dominate.

 

Buy Keppel, SembCorp Marine & Sapura?

In Energy, Financial competency, Malaysia, Temasek on 15/01/2016 at 11:48 am

Continuing the theme of buying dogs, commodities and energy …

Forget what the financial equivalent of Goh Meng Seng says (reported here), and buy the two fallen Fab 5 stocks? And M’sian Sapurakencana Petroleum? One of Asia’s leading oilfield services groups, if you don’t know. 

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He’s the journalist equivalent of Goh Meng Seng (three GEs, three different parties, and a declining share of the vote). This FT has in the about same period worked for Bloomberg, MediaCorp, Reuters and now Bloomberg again. Oh and the last time this FT was working for Bloomberg, he and Bloomberg had to pay damages to one of the Lees, can’t remember which.

As Goh Meng Seng is an exemplar of the traditional oppo politican, this FT shows that T can stand for “Trash”.

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There’s deep despair about the oil price as this report from NYT’s Dealbook recounts. But there’s two swallows in the sky:

–Premier Oil has finally agreed to buy all of German utility E.On’s UK North Sea assets in a deal worth $120m (£83m) despite oil trading below US$30,

— Statoil ASA, Norway’s biggest energy company, snapped up a 12% stake in Lundin Petroleum AB to increase its access to the giant Johan Sverdrup field.

The acquisition corresponds to a price per share of about 124 kronor, in line with Lundin’s average price over the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Lundin shares have dropped about 20 percent since crude started to tumble in mid-2014. Brent oil, the global benchmark, is now trading near $30 a barrel.

“The market situation made it possible for us to secure this position at an attractive price,” Baard Glad Pedersen, a spokesman at Statoil, said by phone. The Stavanger-based company won’t seek representation on Lundin’s board, he said. Bloomberg

At current prices, extracting oil from the North Sea is theoratically the equivalent of burning dollar notes.. Its oil is expensive to extract.

Back to the gloom and doom painted by Dealbook bearing in mind that Monkey is a trickster

NO BOTTOM IN SIGHT FOR OIL PRICES The collapse in commodity prices pushed oil futures even lower on Monday and analysts predicted that the slide was far from over, Jad Mouawad reports in The New York Times.

Oil prices were at a 12-year low on Tuesday, with West Texas Intermediate near $30 a barrel after a decline of more than 5 percent overnight. Brent crude was just under $31 a barrel by the Asian afternoon, as The Wall Street Journal reports.

The drop in commodities prices is being felt throughout the energy sector and beyond. Saudi Arabia said it was considering selling shares in its state-run oil company. Arch Coal, one of the biggest oil producers in the United States, filed for bankruptcy protection to cut its debt. Russia’s main stock indexes plummeted on Monday as oil prices cast a pall over its energy-dependent economy, Andrew E. Kramer reports in The New York Times.

Oil’s decline in the last year was caused in part by Saudi Arabia’s decision not to reduce production. The change, intended to force out high-cost energy producers, backfired on the kingdom and other producers, which now have to consider how to finance their oil-dependent economies.

The slump in oil prices had gained momentum last week on renewed concerns about China’s economy.

Jason Bordoff, director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, said that everything indicated a continued oil glut. “Iran is about to re-enter the market, demand numbers and economic indicators look relatively weak, U.S. supply is holding up in a low-price environment much better than people though and global inventories are growing.”

Many analysts expect more declines. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have both said that oil could drop to $20 a barrel.

Noble’s luck will turn in the Monkey yr?

In Accounting, China, Commodities, Corporate governance on 15/01/2016 at 5:11 am

The Noble House, already under pressure in a weak commodities market when blogger Iceberg Research alleged in Feb last yr that the company was inflating its assets by billions of dollars by not fairly representing the value of its commodity contracts. The company has rejected the claims. And gor PWC to bless its methodology forgetting that int’l accounting firms have reputations juz better (slightly) than tabloid journalists and second-hand car salesmen.

But until now, the bad news never stopped despite the effirts of the CEO and the share-buying chairman and founder. Fitch Ratings affirmed Noble Group’s BBB-minus rating with a stable outlook yesterday (Jan 14), remaining the only agency to assign this nvestment-grade rating on Asia’s biggest commodities trader.

Fitch said the decision followed Noble’s improved balance sheet and sufficient liquidity position following its stake sale in Noble Agri, its pledge to cut working capital needs for its metals unit, and continued cash flow generation from its operations,

Both S&P and Moody’s had cut Noble’s rating to junk, sending its bonds and stocks tumbling. Its stock is trading at the lowest since October 2008.

Its credit default swaps contracts trade on an upfront basis (Pay before you bet, credit not allowed) and its CDS curve is inverted, an indication investors consider it a stressed credit. All this makes its bankers keep their fingers on the recall button. For Noble, no credit, no play.

But new yr, new luck? And the yr of the Monkey is coming on 8 Feb. Should be a gd yr for traders.

Maybe by the end of the yr of the monkey the chairman who has been buying shares will have the last laugh. As will the CEO. But then in the Chinese paneheon of deities, the Monkey King is the trickster. So who knows? Ask Buddha, the only deity who can defeat him.

Nmm. I’ll go to the Chinese temple on Tembling Road on Feb 8 and toss the fortune stocks on whether to buy Noble.

Opdate at 6.45am: Maybe it should try to refinance its borrowings early. Glencore juz did this to show its banks are onboard.

A stock to watch.

PAP’s fault? Pinoy cons target 55%

In Uncategorized on 14/01/2016 at 12:38 pm

I Iot the above when I read on CNA’s website

Online scams: Singaporeans easy targets, says one scammer

Janice* told GET REAL why Singaporeans are easier, more “gullible” targets for scammers like her both in and out of the country.

“Australians are quite difficult and snobbish, so I need to adjust to them a lot. I have to sound extra sweet and very loving, unlike Singaporeans. With them (Singaporeans), I can just say anything and they will easily believe me,” said Janice.

Online dating sites are a common choice for scammers who tend to target men.

Even though a large number of Singaporeans are considered relatively Internet-savvy, some seeking companionship turn to online dating sites where many “love scammers” operate, said experts.

The lack of a language barrier has also made Singaporeans particularly easy targets for international cybercriminals to approach for scams, said experts and scammers like Janice.

According to Norton Cyber Security, victims of online crime in Singapore have each lost an average of US$545 in the past year, higher than the international average of US$358 a victim. Note the local average loss is 52% more than the int’l average.

As to the 55% figure, as I see it, 35 points of this 55%  are, based on PE 2011. hard core PAP voters, while based on GE 2015 about 20 points arethe hard core Oppo voters. The former will always believe the PAP, for example when a miniter says “CPF is yr money”, they’ll believe him and forget about the restrictions on its use.

Or they agree with ministers and the HDB that “HDB flata are affordable” because new HDB flats have remained affordable, HDB said. After all, 2014, first-time home buyers used less than a quarter of their monthly income on average to pay for their housing loans, below international affordability benchmarks of 30 to 35%, HDB said. Adding that about 80% of the first-time new flat buyers also service their monthly installment using only their CPF savings, with no cash outlay required.”

Or worse say “PAP knows better than us our needs”.

The hard core anti-PAP voters are happy to vote for clowns like s/o JBJ, Goh Meng Seng, Roy, and M Ravi because they believed Roy when he said PM stold out CPF money. They even still believe it after he said he had talked cock when making the allegation. He’s so ashamed that he has moved on to photography?

These 55%  are the gullible S’poreans that Janice and others target successfully for their bread and batter.

The kaya is provided by the really guilbe men who voted for New Citizen Han Hui Hui because they think she is good-looking or brainy or both. They are the ones that make Janice rich.

Seriously the remaining 45% of S’potean should be asking ourselves why 55% of us are gullible retards. Having ruled S’poe since 1959, the PAP must surely take some (if not most) of the blame for turning 55% of the people into sheep, or keeping them that way?

After all the education system priduces a headmaster like Mr Chia who can’t analyse a simple issue and who resorts to name-calling (like another famous product of the education system: Amos theBoy Fantastic

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* Who is she? Janice (not her real name), a 27-year-old wife and mother in the Philippine capital Manila, carries out online scams on a full-time basis. Like many online scammers, Janice was introduced to the business of online scamming by her friends. The attraction of financial rewards was something she could not ignore. Through online scams alone, Janice makes an average of US$2,100 monthly. In the Philippines, that is equivalent to a senior manager’s monthly salary. So lucrative is her trade that she has since introduced the skill of scamming to her neighbour.

Bowie: Pioneer on internet and in finance

In Financial competency, Internet on 14/01/2016 at 4:22 am

David Bowie was also groundbreaking in his use of technology, not least his internet service, BowieNet, which launched in September 1998.

In a time before Instagram, YouTube, Twitter or even MySpace, most artists provided little if any online material to their followers.

But Bowie’s platform not only offered a wide variety of exclusive content, but also several ways to interact with the singer himself.

“In my view, BowieNet had to be the most groundbreaking reachout to fans that I have ever seen any artist ever do,” Craig Carrington, one of its users, says.

“He just had the attitude that if he was going to do it, he was going to do it right.”

BowieNet also operated as a full internet service provider (ISP) in the US and UK, competing with AOL, Claranet and others.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-35279234

And NYT’s dealbook trports

HOW DAVID BOWIE INSPIRED CHANGES ON WALL STREETDavid Bowie was known for his ability to reinvent himself, but he also inspired a pocket of Wall Street that tries to create money from weird things like billboard rental income and film libraries, Liz Moyer writes in DealBook.

In 1997, Mr. Bowie bundled up nearly 300 of his existing recordings and copyrights into a $55 million security that paid the buyer, Prudential Insurance Company of America, an annual rate of 7.9 percent over 10 years. It was backed by income from royalties, record sales and the licensing of songs.

The Bowie bonds were among the first in a wave of esoteric asset-backed securities deals based on intellectual property. The buyers in these deals tend to be specialized hedge funds or big institutions. Individual investors never got their hands on a Bowie bond because Prudential never sold any of its stake.

It was a good deal for Mr. Bowie at the time. He received upfront cash without having to give up ownership of his songs.

Originally rated A3 by Moody’s Investors Service, the bonds were later downgraded to just above junk status as Internet file-sharing cut into income from album sales.

But others followed in his steps with similar deals. James Brown and Rod Stewart made deals and DreamWorks SKG entered a $1 billion deal involving its film catalog.

Deals backed by unusual assets now make up about a tenth of the asset-backed security market, appealing to investors who want higher yields and are willing to take on more risk.

How much is a “private” degree worth? / Skipping JCs & polys

In Financial competency, Financial planning, Uncategorized on 13/01/2016 at 12:00 pm

“Finally”, “Why nothing before?” and “Why so long-delayed?” was what I tot when I read in early January that students who graduated from nine private schools in 2014 are being surveyed to find out what jobs they went into and what their wages are*. I tot of the survey again when I learnt that the O-Level results were released on Monday. And today when I went yo VJC’s Open House (I finally crossed the road to see how a JC works.).

Last year, around this time, I learnt that there are kids who decide to skip JC or poly to enroll in private schools like Kaplan in the expectation of getting degrees earlier and faster than their contemporaries who follow the traditional routes. Given that this is a really more expensive option than going to JC or poly (before going to uni); and given the stories we know of adults disappointed with the qualifications they have gotten, I wondered if these kids and their parents are really making informed decisions.

We all know of working people trying to upgrade themselves by attending  part-time degree courses and then finding out that the degrees that they spent so much money, on and effort, on don’t impress existing or potential employers. Their degrees are often equated with “diplomas”.

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Shume degrees are more equal than others, meh?

This is what ST reported in early January when telling us about the survey:

Among those being surveyed is Mr Daniel Ng, 30, who got his first degree in logistics management from Kaplan here in 2014.

The former logistics specialist will soon take on a managerial role in another supply chain firm. The job, which requires candidates to possess at least a degree, comes with a salary increase of about 50 per cent.

The former Temasek Polytechnic student ,who started working seven years ago, said getting a degree has created “more opportunities”.

He paid about $20,000 in all for his part-time degree and completed it in 18 months. “Having a degree makes a difference, especially when you are working in a multinational company. Degree holders start at a higher pay grade.”

But Mr Ng knows he is luckier than his peers. “I have friends who also went for a degree, but it made no difference to their work. It’s quite common and is partly why I didn’t pursue a degree earlier.”

Human resource expert David Leong, who runs PeopleWorldwide Consulting, said the survey is part of a long-term move to “align the different education pathways”.

“There are many who quit their jobs to focus full-time on getting their first degree, but they realise after graduating that they are marked against fresh grads who are just 22 or 23 years old,” he said, adding that in most cases, a private degree would translate to just a 5 to 10 per cent increase in pay for mid-career types.

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Well the survey results will help inform kids, their parents and adults of the facts on the ground.

 

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*The Council for Private Education (CPE), which regulates the private education sector, is leading the initiative, supported by the Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Education (MOE).

The CPE told The Straits Times that the information collected will “help to guide future policy formulation for matters related to private education, manpower and graduate employment outcomes”.

A sample of the survey questionnaire  asked respondents for their employment status in the year before they started their private studies and six months after completing their last exams at the private school.

They were also asked for their basic and gross monthly salaries before and after getting their degrees.

One question asked the graduates if they wished they had not furthered their studies at a private institute. If they answered yes, they would be asked to select the reason from a list of options, such as their qualification being not as well recognised by employers when compared to those of public institutions, or that the career prospects and wages associated with the degree were below expectations.

The nine schools are: Curtin Education Centre; ITC School of Laws; James Cook Australia Institute of Higher Learning; Kaplan Higher Education Institute; Management Development Institute of Singapore; Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre; Singapore Institute of Management; SMF Institute of Higher Learning and Trent Global College of Technology and Management.

[Update at 3,30pm: U/m is an honest mistake. UmiSIM has done in 2014 survey]

What I find surprising is that graduates SIM University (UniSIM) are not being surveyed: The university is synonymous here with part-time degrees. It also recently started offering full-time programmes in accountancy, finance and marketing. It will introduce a fourth full-time degree in human resource management this year.

As I understand it, its fees of around $30,000 for a undergrauate degree are in line (if not more expensive) with those of the private schools taking part in the survey.

 

 

2 of Temasek’s Fab 5 looking sickly?/ Meng Seng’s financial counterpart

In Energy, Financial competency, Temasek on 13/01/2016 at 5:14 am

In 2013, I recommended investing in Temasek’s Fab 5 for KS types. Last June I pointed out problems at two of them Keppel  and SembCorp Marine because of lower oil prices.

The rot continues as Bloomberg reports

The last time Singapore’s marine services industry was staring at what would eventually turn out to be an 18-year drought in demand for oil rigs, Mr Ronald Reagan was starting his second term as US President.

Jack-up rigs, used to drill for oil in shallow waters, saw orders evaporate between 1985 and 2003. As Macquarie notes, rampant overcapacity means such a prolonged slump could well occur again. That definitely would not be good news for the rig-building industry’s two Singaporean leaders – Keppel Corp and Sembcorp Marine.

After a decade-long boom, there were zero new orders globally for jack-up rigs last year. With oil prices swooning, and rigs’ daily rental rates having crashed to US$92,000 (S$132,000) from US$130,000 in 2014, there’s a risk that 70 per cent of Keppel and SembMarine’s order book might get cancelled, especially if the Petrobras bribery scandal in Brazil deepens, Macquarie analysts Somesh Kumar Agarwal and Justin Chiam wrote this week.

… rig-builders’ shares may have to give back much of the China-induced exuberance of the past decade. That could be quite painful for investors, including Temasek.
… owns a little less than half of SembMarine’s parent, Sembcorp Industries, and 21 per cent of Keppel, Bloomberg data shows. It can’t be feeling very chuffed about the 47 per cent slump in SembMarine over the past year, or Keppel’s 26 per cent slide.  

And there might be more trouble ahead. Since early 2004, the two stocks have returned about 300 per cent, thanks primarily to hefty dividends. Those might now start thinning out. According to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg, Keppel’s dividends will shrink by as much as 11 per cent over the next three years, compared with annualised growth of 3 per cent over the past three.

No orders coming in doesn’t augur well for shareholders, who will be far behind debtholders in getting paid, and the latter will have substantial claims. Oil- and gas- linked companies with outstanding Singdollar-denominated bonds have to refinance or repay some $625 million of notes this year, a further $390 million in 2017 and $700 million in 2018, Bloomberg-compiled data shows.

The other big risk comes from the duo’s Brazilian yards. Japanese shipbuilders like Mitsubishi Heavy are cutting their losses and exiting as the Petrobras saga drags on. 

Stock in Ensco, the London-based owner of shallow and deepwater rigs, has been hit after Petrobras said it was scrapping a contract in the US Gulf of Mexico because, it claims, Ensco knew about improper payments between a shipbuilder and a consultant when the drillship was constructed, a charge Ensco denies.

Analysts are being predictably slow in sounding the alert. Their median price estimate predicts a 25 per cent jump over the next year in Keppel shares, and a 15 per cent climb in SembMarine.

So far factual or fair comment. But I think the Indian FT* writing for Bloomberg is talking rubbish when he talks of Temasek selling out. Our rig-builders are market leaders, not has-beens like NOL And the oil sector is a cyclical sector, not a declining sector.

Were that triumph of hope over experience to prove elusive, what might Temasek do? It recently decided to sell shipping company Neptune Orient Lines to CMA CGM at $1.30 a share, after having paid as much as $2.80 in 2004 to acquire a part of its 67 per cent stake.

If the Macquarie analysts are right about Keppel and SembMarine eventually trading below book value, like South Korean yards do, then there may not be much point in Temasek’s hanging on to the rig-builders either.

http://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-01-07/keppel-and-sembcorp-marine-may-bear-the-brunt-of-vanishing-demand

What strholders of SembCorp Marine should be concerned is that SembCorp privates Marine. About 15 yrs ago Keppel did that to FELS.

———

*He’s the analyst equivalent of Goh Meng Seng (three GEs, three different parties, and a declining share of the vote). This FT has in the same period worked for Bloomberg, MediaCorp, Reuters and now Bloomberg again. Oh and the last time this FT was working for Bloomberg, he and Bloomberg had to pay damages to one of the Lees, can’t remember which.

As Goh Meng Seng is an exemplar of the traditional oppo politican, this FT shows that T can stand for “Trash”.

 

Can S’poreans take a 37% pay cut?

In CPF, Economy on 12/01/2016 at 1:27 pm

And still willingly vote for the PAP? I doubt it.

But first, Trump, Le Pen and American and European “fascists” say some cultures  are hostile to Western culture and values.  While they are not exemplars of the best of Western culture and civilisation (I’ll readily admit that I’m an admirer of much of the values of the West). there is evidence that supports their views.

1.Two men from the Middle East who came to the US as refugees have been charged with supporting terrorism.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35264932

2.Then there are the attacks on women in Cologne where the assailants were of African and Middle Eastern origin.

Even the UK’s Guardian (“White establishment always wrong, terrorists often got right on their side”) is forced to say: A statement issued by Cologne police on Saturday night said the number of reported cases of violence had risen substantially to 379 – 40% of them involving sexual assault. Police earlier said 31 people had been identified as being involved in the violence, of whom 18 were asylum seekers suspected of crimes ranging from theft to assault. None of the asylum seekers was suspected of committing sexual assaults.

Times: Migrants ‘planned sex attacks’ in Cologne

And

It took the better part of a week to acknowledge that asylum seekers were among the suspects.

The police certainly knew the reality of who had been on the streets. On the night some young men had shown police their asylum documents.

An internal police report describes a man telling the police: “I am Syrian. You have to treat me kindly. Mrs Merkel invited me”. (BBC report)

3. BBC reports that In Germany Although the figures are not up to date, it does not appear so far that the crime rate among asylum seekers is higher than among similar groups in the native population.

In S’pore, while we don’t have the problems that the Eurpeans have with immigrants (luckily because look at the way the Little India riot was handled), we do have a problem in that 37% of a S’porean’s wages are locked away to be spent only in ways the PAP administrations think are the “right” ways to spend our money

This means an FT can price himself 37% below a local and still achieve the same take home pay*. He can see S’pore as a place to come and work for a few yrs, and then go home, a rich man, or move to a real first world country.

—————————–

*Yes, Yes I know CPF money is employee’s money but with all the restrictions, doesn’t feel like that does it?

And OK there are govt levies etc on emploters employing FTs but do they add up to 37%? I doubt it. If anyone knows anyone in HR pls ask for me. As I understand it, employing FTs is always cheaper.

———————–

Until this issue of income disparity is addressed by the govt (only after the majority of the S’porean public realise that the locking away of 37% of an employee’s income is problematic for S’poreans and S’pore), all the govt’s measures to “tighten” inflows of PMET FTs, or measures to help S’poreans compete is just so muck sticking plaster or worse wayang. http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/01/skillsfuture-credit-scheme-may-end-up-a-disappointment/

How likely do you think he will be able to get this job with a good pay after finishing his SkillsFuture Credit course on web design?

… the main purpose of Jobs Bank is to mandate employers who want to recruit foreigners on EP to advertise on it for Singaporeans first. But it does not necessary guarantee that Singaporeans will be employed. This is explained on MOM’s website:

Before you submit Employment Pass (EP) applications, you must advertise the job vacancies on theJobs Bank administered by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA).

Also, do take note that there is no quota imposed on hiring foreigners on EP currently.

So, after 6 months of non-success in trying to find his dream web designer job, Mr Zulkipli simply gives up. The next thing he may be asking himself is, what is the use of this SkillsFuture Credit Scheme?

I’ll end with this good point on not being Politically Correct, something people like Trump, Le Pen, and our home-grown wannabe s pride themselves on being.

 

It is often a code to want to be nasty to women and minorities. Right my kaleng, mat and ah quah friends? There’s a place, in moderation, of being PC.

S can fall 30% more?

In China, Currencies, Economy on 12/01/2016 at 4:41 am

chart: Asia currencies

From NYT’s Dealbook

China’s decision to push the value of its currency lower has opened a new front of worry for global investors: a potential wave of currency devaluations among the so-called Asian tigers — South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.

Such an outcome, a number of foreign exchange specialists say, would put a further damper on global growth expectations, which already are being revised downward as China’s once-booming economy retrenches.

The dollar’s strong run recently — together with the plunge in the price of oil and other commodities — has damaged fragile emerging-market economies like Brazil, Turkey and South Africa; the dollar has risen 130 percent against the Brazilian real and the South African rand since mid-2011.

The currencies of fast-growing Asian countries, including India, have largely been insulated, thanks to their better-performing economies and their ability to stockpile large foreign currency reserve positions.

… countries have some of the most overvalued exchange rates on the planet,” said Julian Brigden of Macro Intelligence 2 Partners, an independent research firm based in Vail, Colo., that advises large money management firms on global investment themes.

When economies have high exchange rates, their exports tend to lose market share compared with countries with cheaper currencies. And when that happens, countries that depend on foreign trade will frequently take steps to push their currencies lower.

But having a strong currency at a time when manufacturing competitors like Japan and China have weaker currencies leads to a sharp fall in exports, which have been the economic lifeblood of these countries for decades.

Already, global money managers have begun to pull money out of some of these Asian markets.

The Korean won and the Singapore dollar are down 5 percent, while the Taiwan dollar has lost 7 percent over the last six months. Even in India, perhaps the most popular emerging market among global investors, the currency has given ground, about 7 percent, against the United States dollar.

..

“I expect these currencies to fall by another 20 or 30 percent,” said Raoul Pal, an independent financial analyst and the founder of Real Vision TV, a media venture where sophisticated investors discuss their views on the market. “These export figures are a big deal — it’s a huge shrinkage in the dollar-based economy, as not enough people are buying goods.”

For quite some time, Mr. Pal has been promoting an investment thesis that the relentless rise of the dollar — since mid-2011, the dollar is up 35 percent against a broad basket of currencies — will have a deflationary effect on the global economy as export-driven economies enter into a series of competitive devaluations to protect crucial export sectors.

“This is not just a commodity story,” he said. “It’s a global trade story.”

Exchange-rate volatility in this part of the world will not take the heat off other weak currencies. In addition to usual examples like Turkey, Brazil and South Africa, investors expect commodity exporters like Indonesia, Chile and Colombia to take a big hit, as the prices for their products continue to fall.

The final frontier in this respect would be the pegged currencies in the Middle East, especially the Saudi Arabian riyal, which is tightly linked to the dollar.

The other problem with downward trending currencies in South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore is that these countries, like just about all emerging market economies, have taken advantage of a rock-bottom interest rate environment to issue billions of dollars in dollar-denominated corporate debt to finance capital investments.

Foreign investors were attracted to the high yields and especially the stable currencies and bought them in huge quantities. Now, with the currencies starting to wobble, dollar-based investors have less incentive to hold on to them, and they will do what they have been doing with their Brazilian, Turkish and South African bonds — get rid of them as quickly as possible.

“There is a lot of underlying investor exposure in these markets,” said Mr. Brigden, the independent research analyst. “I think if things continue to get worse, we are going to move to liquidation stage.”

Headmaster that blur meh?

In Media, Public Administration on 11/01/2016 at 12:00 pm

Maybe it’s a surprise that we don’t have more PTSD victims like Amos Yee given the logic of this ex-headmaster.

The ex-principal (going for further studies, not kanna fired) of Shuqun Secondary recently responded* to

In September of last year, this video of a bullying incident in Shuqun Secondary School surfaced and soon went viral.

http://theindependent.sg/deliberate-and-irresponsible-reporting-outgoing-shuqun-secondary-principal-takes-tmg-to-task/

In summarry, he blamed new media (and the constructive, nation-building media: the PAPpy friendly ST etc reported the Middle Ground’s story) for blowing up the bullying incident and not telling the truth. The reporting was “deliberate and irresponsible”: this included supposedly “balanced” online and mainstream media who felt right to reproduce the articles choosing to feature sensationalised headlines that gave a wrong impression of the facts.

The problem (i.e. flaw) with his analysis is simple. Until he gave his side of the story, three months after the event, there was only silence from him and the MoE. So how could there be “balance” or “truth” (whatever this is)? Now he and the MOE may have reasonable and legtimate reasons for silence if the decision to keep quiet wasn’t simply an honest mistake**.

Whatever, how can he now blame media (new and constructive, nation-building) of irresponsible behaviour when he was unwilling or unable to say anything at the time the video went viral?  If anyone was “deliberate and irresponsible” (I assume he really meant “deliberately irresponsible”) , it was the silence of theprincipal and perhaps MOE**.

Having been freed from the constraints of his job**, he could (and should) have simply told his side of the story without name-calling or labelling: just give the facts as he saw them. But no, he had to indulge in name-calling and labelling like Amos Yee. And he’s an educated man who held a position of trust and responsibility, not a spoiled kid, whose mother thinks he’s “fantastic”.

As he’s going for further studies, one can only hope that the course includes handling the media in an age of 24/7 news coverage. new media and social media. Pigs will fly first.

Seriously MoE must remind officers not to talk cock because talking cock reflects badly on the eduction service. It must also update its manual on the handling media queries. viral videos etc in an age of 24/7 news coverage. new media and social media. Silence is no longer the default option.

Finally, I can’t stop laughing at this comment by Bertna Henson the editor of TMG NOW he talks….three months later. After a deafening silence, a deadening rant. As always, shoot the messenger, after declining to talk to them. And messengers must always deliver “good news” to be considered “responsible””.

Really people who once lived in glass houses should refrain from throwing stones. She was once a general (paper stormtropper) on the Death Star that is ST. ST was during her time (and still is) very good at shooting nessengers of news that the PAP administration rather not hear.

——-

*Text of FB message

‪#‎howisthisnotbullying‬

Dear friends,

I was the principal of ‪#‎shuqunsecondary‬ from 2012 to 2015.

From 1 Jan 2016, I will be leaving the education service. I am hoping to pursue further studies. Yes, I am doing well. smile emoticon And no, before you ask, I made this decision some time before the “bullying incident” in my school. MOE and the public service is more reasonable and far kinder than most give them credit for.

To assure those of you who are still curious about the follow up to the incident, I thought I would share a picture of the 3 boys involved. The circle time in the picture was taken on the FIRST DAY after all of them returned to school. The “bully” apologised in person and in writing to both victims and to the class. Both victims forgave him and they were friends again within 2 hours. Consequences were meted out to the boy according to our school rules in private and ALL THE PARENTS INVOLVED were satisfied with the actions of the school. The boy will have to face more serious punishment under the law.

More hearteningly, in November, the 3 boys, together with their classmates, initiated and planned their own service learning project during the school’s open house. They baked brownies and made drinks for visitors to showcase the work of our student-run Hideout Cafe. They told me they wanted to make restoration for the bad reputation they had brought to the school. I am very proud of them.

Many ppl who know the truth of the events in my school have asked me why I did not respond more actively to the various reports on the Internet when the incident happened. My answer – I did not want to feed the ongoing media frenzy and help viral irresponsible articles that were being put out by my comments. Sadly, this included supposedly “balanced” online and mainstream media who felt right to reproduce the articles choosing to feature sensationalised headlines that gave a wrong impression of the facts.

Make no mistake – these were deliberate and irresponsible decisions made by the media. For example, an online news website that purports to be a place for “moderate speech and agreeable disagreement” posted an article headlined “the school was aware of the bullying 5 months before the incident”. A close reading of the report itself would have revealed that a single complaint was made to the school and the teacher involved had done the correct thing by warning the aggressor. She was not aware that the bullying resumed a few days later.

The same website chose not to emphasise comments by the mum herself that she appreciated the work that the school had done with her child and the improvements that she had seen in the child over the last 3 years. They ellided over the fact that A FULL WEEKEND separated the incident from the time it was posted on the Internet, during which neither victim mentioned anything to the school nor their parents. The media chose not to mention that both VICTIMS had written to me that they felt sorry for their friend and hoped to see everyone move on. They did not clarify that the online video was NOT posted by any of my school’s students (because we teach them that the correct thing to do if they care for their friends is to raise it to the teachers) but a school leaver from another school who posted it on a gaming site at 9am on a school day. There was no mention that one of the victim’s mum had gone down to the police station ON HER OWN 2 weeks later to withdraw the police report because she felt satisfied with the school’s handling of the incident and that it was a mistake to have gone to the police in the first place.

At the same time, some of the online reports seem to suggest that after one or two meetings with one of the victims in question, the journalist somehow understood and COULD SPEAK FOR the boy’s psychological state, better than the school. By reducing the children to spokespeople for “the broader problem of bullying in schools”, the reports cared nothing for them as people. They mention nothing about how one of the boys dreams of being a top chef, another speaks to his mum in sign language, the last has improved significantly in his reading despite suffering from dyslexia, and all three find EBS difficult. And all this which I know as a Principal is nothing compared to what my teachers know of them, working daily for 9+ hours each day with the boys over the last 3 years and sharing with them the heartache and struggles of their growth.

It is not difficult to see how these biased reports might have fed some of the extreme online vitriol. These included many threats by netizens such as “if i see the boy, I will bash his skull in”, “let me give him a taste of his own medicine.” Instead of trusting the school and the police to investigate and take the right actions, many suggested taking things into their own hands. There were false accusations of gang connections and that the boy was a compulsive bully. Unhappily, there were also derisory comments about the school by people who did not know the first thing about Shuqun Secondary. This was unfair to the 1200 other students, their parents, the committed staff, and the alumni and stakeholders of the school.

As a teachable moment following the incident, my teachers conducted a bully-free lesson with all the students. This is material which we repeat every year as part of our bully-free week where we teach our students about the different forms of bullying including physical, verbal and psycho-social. In her reflection, one of my students mentioned the way that adults were behaving online, that was causing my students being afraid to go out in public in their uniforms after school and to participate in social media. She ended her reflection by asking ” how is this not bullying?” I had no answer for her.

(The same media website compared this case with another case of bullying in a prestigious all-girls’ school that was recently resolved in court and suggested that there was a difference between physical and verbal/psychosocial bullying. We teach our students that these are all forms of bullying that cause suffering in others, and that it does not matter what was the intent behind the action but the act itself).

(An Auckland school principal gave a similar response to cyber-bullies after a similar incident happened in his schoolhttp://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm…)

In ending, my wishes for the new year are –

1) To the media friends especially (some of whom are my relatives, ex-classmates and former students), I would like to urge you to take greater care in your reporting. For each irresponsible journalist and dubious media website, I have met many more considered and enlightened ones, some of whom reported on the many achievements and good stories from my students and staff in the past. While I understand the pressure to attract more views and comments in this age of social media through increasingly sensational reporting, you too have a DUTY OF CARE to your subjects, especially children. You have the power to report the full truth and shape opinion, not just pander to the lowest denominator in the hopes of representing yourself as the mouthpiece of the public. Be mindful of the innocent parties that you might be unintentionally hurting, and the feelings of hatred you might be stoking online. In some cases, it can spill over to real cases of vigilantism, as several cases of adults taking the law into their own hands against children or teenagers have shown in 2015. Sometimes the best thing we can do for the people we care about is to stay quiet and do the deep work to support and help them learn and grow.

2) To the wider and largely well meaning public, be mindful of what u “like” or comment on the Internet. Be aware that what u see or read online often does not constitute the whole truth, and choosing even to click on links (without needing to share) can help to viral these falsehoods. Trust the institutions that we have put in place to do the right things; that is the mark of a civil society.

And if we speak about allowing our children to learn from their mistakes in education, to give the academically weaker students a chance to catch up and succeed, the same grace and patience should be extended to our students when teaching them good character. We can do better as adults to be kinder to one another in real life and on the Internet. Remember, OUR CHILDREN ARE WATCHING AND LEARNING.

3) To my fellow colleagues in Shuqun and elsewhere in the teaching fraternity, those in social services and the police who work daily with these kids – strive on! I have had the privilege of meeting many of you in my years of service. Some have given up higher paying jobs. Others, like me, have studied and taught in “top” schools but chose to work in schools like Shuqun because you want to go to the places of greatest need and believe in the potential of every child of Singapore, not just some. And we live the mission every day, and don’t just talk or write about it.

To encourage you, let me share something that another parent sent me, during those difficult days of September. He was the father of the boy that was hit by one of the victims, in another video that surfaced subsequently. This time the student who had taken the video did the right thing, and brought it to my attention before it went viral so that we could address the matter with those involved. When I met the father, he had complete trust in the school’s handling of the matter. More importantly, because of the close relationship he had with his son, he was confident that his boy would have raised the matter to him if it had affected him. 2 days later, when the video became viral, it was HE who sent me a message of encouragement through my school counsellor – “Tell Mr Chia to take care. I am very impressed by his dedication to the students.”

Thank you Mr Hong , and the many other parents and partners, for renewing our faith and for supporting our teachers as they do the hard work of believing in and helping your children.

Happy New Year.

Chia Hai Siang

P.S. Pls SHARE if you think this will encourage a teacher or a parent.

**MoE officers like all civil servants are not authorised to talk to the media unless expressly authorised.

Related post on why the PAP administration’s PR is so bad

Why a mobile is a cell phone

In Uncategorized on 11/01/2016 at 4:26 am

Teachers kanna pap and pay

In Financial competency, Public Administration, Uncategorized on 10/01/2016 at 8:34 am

Folloing reports that teachers* may soon have to pay for parking in school premises (Is the assumption that these lots will be made available to the public if not used by teachers? I mean schools are not supposed to be public areas, I tot?), a post by an-ex school teacher is going viral on Facebook. I’m sharing it as not everyone will be able to read it otherwise. As all good writing it entertains us, and makes us reflect on the absurdities it reports.

A message from an ex-teacher (which is not me):

Teachers,

you don’t have to feel so upset over the impending parking fees. It’s a good move to be transparent to the public. Since the ministry wants to ensure that it doesn’t give unsubsidized parking to ensure transparency, it’s good to let MOE know that you should also stop paying for stuff out of your own pocket to ensure ‘transparency’ too. Some example of fees that you have been paying out of your own pocket:
1. Classroom deco, charts, notice board materials(excluding manpower and labour fees):$100 at least
2. Coming CNY, Hari Raya and Deepavali deco:$100-$300
3. Resources for teaching:$300(conservative estimate)
4. Remedials/supplementary/enrichment classes:$50 per hr(market rate for MOE tutors).
5. Prizes/gifts/McDonald/pizzahut/KFC treats to motivate students(varies from teacher)
6. Children’s day gifts:$100-$200
7. OT pay for staying overnight at camps, Meet-the-parents sessions at night, meetings during school holidays, learning festivals on Saturdays and Sundays, organizing events for community/MP :$50 per hour
8. Premium fees for last minute instructions from MOE for example, calling parents from 10pm-12am on a Sunday night to inform them of school closure due to haze. $100per hour.
9. Other miscellaneous fees such as home internet or using your personal hp talk time/mobile data to conference with parents/HODs(not including OT pay for doing these after 6pm): $110 per month.
10. Transport fees to attend courses that you are ‘nominated’ to attend. You can’t claim them currently as MOE have already SUBSIDIZED you to attend them.(not that you have any choice)
11. Labour fees for moving cupboards,tables and shelves in classroom/staffroom, cleaning students up after they poo/vomit:$20 per hour.
12. All the money you paid to replace faulty PE/music/art/ICT equipment on your own. Too lecheh to do AOR, ITQ, and then go through Gebiz and evaluation plus endless meetings with KP/AM/P just to get a pair of soccer gloves for your student.smile emoticon
13. Last but not least, fees for marking after 5pm each day, as no marking can be done before that due to meetings/CCAs/meeting parents/meeting vendors/meeting P: $50 per hour.

At the end of the day, is that season parking so difficult to afford? I don’t think so. But the message that the sacrifices of teachers are not appreciated by MOE will have a greater cost than the revenue that it can collect from the season parking. Kudos to my ex-colleagues who are still believing in making a difference to the next generation.

‪#‎justsaying‬ ‪#‎moedoesnotcherishteachers‬

From a (currently much happier) ex-teacher.smile emoticon

Update at 11.20am:

A prominent social activist whose wife teaches posted on FB: Bean counters need to understand, that not all beans can be counted by them.

To which my Facebook avatar ponted out

—   Ownself count ownself? )))

— Seriously one of the legtimate complaints that govt depts, ministries have against the AGO is that it can be very selective in what it quantifies. Quantification is not a science, it’s a tool of manipulation. Can justify anything.

=====

*To be fair, it’s not MoE but the Auditor-General’s Office who is behind this piece of nonsense.

Soros is v. gloomy/ 2008 or 1998

In China, Financial competency on 09/01/2016 at 2:25 pm

George Soros is more gloomy, telling an economic forum in Sri Lanka:

“China has a major adjustment problem. I would say it amounts to a crisis. When I look at the financial markets there is a serious challenge which reminds me of the crisis we had in 2008.”

BBC Online

More like 1998 than 2008

If China devalues, then other Asian nations will come under pressure to follow suit, for fear of losing competitive position. That will trigger worries about those Asian companies that have borrowed in dollars. there could be banking issues in Asia.

This is a potentially worrying scenario. Whether 2008 is the right parallel is another matter. If the bearish case does come true, then it sounds more like 1998 when a round of Asian devaluations was triggered by the realisation that growth had been fuelled by speculation. Western economies did manage to overcome that crisis. The real worry is that emerging countries are a lot more important for the global economy than they were back then.

Economist’s Buttonwood

Take yr pick.

La Nina and commodities/ Can you still smell the haze?

In Commodities, Environment, Indonesia, Malaysia on 09/01/2016 at 6:12 am

Map: effects of La Nina on commodities

I can still smell the haze i.e, the fires are still burning but at a much lower level of intensity, enabling the Indon authorities tp pretend that they’ve stopped the fires.

The haze season will begin in Feb

UK: Muslims tua kee?

In Uncategorized on 08/01/2016 at 5:21 am

UK is modifying its exams season because Ramadan is falling within the traditional British exams season.

“How can you start changing the rules for everybody, just for those particular pupils who are Muslims, which are a minority.”

BBC Online reports newspaper coverage

Another story that captures the interest of the papers involves school exams this summer being scheduled to take account of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The Daily Mail says hundreds of thousands of teenagers will have to take key exams earlier than usual to help pupils fasting for Ramadan.

The paper notes that the holy month moves backwards through the calendar by about 11 days a year – meaning similar measures are likely to be in place for at least five years.

The Times reports: “The holy month will fall within the exam season, meaning that thousands of Muslim pupils would sit crucial tests without eating or drinking during daylight hours.

“It is thought to be the first time that exam chiefs have taken religious considerations into account.

“Ramadan last fully coincided with the exam season in 1984, when the Muslim population in Britain was far smaller. There was a slight overlap last year but no concessions were made.”

The Telegraph says tests could be taken earlier in the day, when Muslim students are least hungry, or even before the start of the traditional exam season, to lessen the effects.

As the Guardian explains: “Ramadan – when the Qur’an was said to be revealed to the prophet Muhammad – is commemorated by Muslims with fasting during the hours of daylight.

“Head teachers fear that Muslim pupils could suffer as a result during the stress of sitting exams.”

Although generally welcomed, the announcement has not gone down well with everyone.

Colin Hart, of the charity The Christian Institute, tells the Telegraph: “What about students who have medical conditions?

“How can you start changing the rules for everybody, just for those particular pupils who are Muslims, which are a minority.”

 

Calvin, Amos & other cyber-vermin: the global perspective

In Uncategorized on 07/01/2016 at 5:43 pm

Recently, I wrote about the PAP vermin and their siblings the TRE nutty rats and about Killer Cheng and Amos the Fanrastic. They all are angry, abusive and full of hatred for their fellow S’poreans. The funny thing is that it’s all online only: they don’t walk down the street shouting.

Here’s some global perspective on the paradox of their weird behaviour from a BBC article: http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-35111707

First the angry, abusive behaviour.

2015 saw a greater normalisation of hate speech in society than in previous years,” says Andre Oboler, chief executive of the Australia-based Online Hate Prevention Institute. “Where previously a person might make a vague negative allusion to race, religion, gender or sexuality, by the end of 2015 the comments on social media were blatant and overt.”
“Where previously people hid behind pages and fake accounts, by the end of 2015 many people felt their hate was acceptable and were comfortable posting it under their real name or their regular social media account,” Oboler noted.

And the fact Amos, and Oxygen, Dosh and other TRELand vermin, and Killer Cheng, Jason Chua and other PAPpies  don’t walk down the street shouting at random strangers – and in fact, if we do, and bystanders capture it on film, it becomes news, has an interesting explanation:

… because in many places, the social fabric more or less holds in real life. People might shout racial slurs in ALL CAPS online …

Could it be that what’s happening in our daily lives might be diverging from the world of digital mass conversation?

Todd says increased hate online is in part a reflection of the wider culture of public discourse.
“Despite extraordinary efforts by community and educational groups to sensitise people to the pain they cause online, the countervailing trend, especially in politics and entertainment, is the use of demeaning and damaging language and communication,” she says.

Todd’s research has uncovered a “constellation” of motivations for online abuse – “everything from feelings of powerlessness to alcohol and drug abuse and on to mental illness.”

But whatever, there is shumething uniquely S’porean in all this: only here could Calvin Cheng remain on the Media Literacy Counil, after advocating killing ISIS babies.

 

 

If Amos went to a US neighbourhood school

In Uncategorized on 07/01/2016 at 5:28 am

When Amos the Fantastic first came to public attention, an ang-moh-tua kee was quick to say that if ony he were educated in the West, not in S’pore.

I couldn’t help but mentally sneer at the clown and laugh that Amos was really lucky to be in the S’pore education system when I read about life in neigbourhood schools in the US

in South Carolina, where a 16-year-old girl was thrown onto the floor and dragged from the classroom by a police officer after she had refused to stop using her mobile phone. The internet has plenty more such horrors; including footage of a sobbing 5-year-girl in Florida, handcuffed after she threw a hissy fit.

When Bertie Simmons, Furr’s octogenarian principal, took charge in 2000, the school’s cops were running amok. “They were doing things with kids that you’d not believe,” she says. “Like grabbing them, shoving them against walls, cuffing them. I was appalled. You shouldn’t treat schoolkids like criminals.”

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21685204-minorities-bear-brunt-aggressive-police-tactics-school-corridors-too-many

Now Amos went to a neighbourhood school in S’pore and these things never happened to him. If they had happened to him, he’d have told us. In fact, it seems that while he was considered a “weirdo'”, “spastic”, “autistic” by other students, and a “troublesome” kid by his teachers, he didn’t get into any really serious trouble when in school.

If he had gone to a neigbourhood school in the US, if he were still alive, he might be too traumatised to behaviour as yaya as a papaya.

Come to think of it, maybe if his neighbourhood school here was as strict as those in the UA, we’d be spared his antics.

What do you think?

Oh, I found out from a mutual friend during the hols that I know Amos’s catechism teacher. He’s now a lawyer in a GLC but at thetime was a partner in a big law firm. It seems Amos once came to class ready to debate that the church was evil, bad etc. He was told that a catechism class was not the appropriate venue for such a discussion and that he shouldn’t turn up for further classes if he no longer wantede to be a Catholic.

Seems he didn’t know what to say.

Going by the way he behaved himself when Dodwell and the other lawyers were representing him, maybe he respects lawyers? Or they know how to handle him?

Update at 4.45pm: After reading http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-06/best-education-system-putting-stress-on-singaporean-children/6831964 , wondering maybe the education system overstressed Amos the Boy Wonder and he’s suffering the S’potr education equivalent of PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), once called shell shock or battlefatigue syndrome, is a serious condition that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic or terrifying event in which serious physical harm occurred or was threatened. PTSD is a lasting consequence of traumatic ordeals that cause intense fear, helplessness, or horror, such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, an accident, war, or natural disaster. Families of victims* can also develop PTSD, as can emergency personnel and rescue workers.

*Think Mother Mary

HoHoHo, StanChart’s a nightmare BUT don’t panic

In Banks, China, Temasek on 06/01/2016 at 1:09 pm

StanChart yesterday fell a further 1.7%, although it remained off the previous session’s intraday low.

In 2015, it was the second worst performer in the UK’s FT 100 index, falling 47%

From FT

Matthew Sutherland, investment director for Asian equities at Fidelity International said wild rides in regional stocks are likely to be the norm for 2016. “We’d better get used to it,” he said.

It’s important that investors don’t panic on weak days, but continue to take a disciplined and calm approach to investing. This is particularly true with regard to China. Yes, China’s growth is slowing, but the quality of that growth (in other words more consumption and less debt-fuelled investment) is far more important, and the difficulties are more than discounted in cheap valuations.

Accentuating the positive, he adds:

The really good thing is that the Chinese stock markets are very broad, which enables us to find lots of great bottom-up ideas irrespective of the macro environment.

Coming back to StanChart, on 15th Dec it led a London market rally on after JPMorgan Cazenove argued that the bank is at least 50 per cent undervalued versus peers.

Capital concerns have been addressed by StanChart’s $5.2bn rights issue, said JPMorgan, which was joint co-ordinator and underwriter to the cash call.

It forecast that, even if loan defaults return to the levels of the 1997 Asian crisis, StanChart’s capital buffer will remain within management’s target range.

Downside protection comes from StanChart’s new strategy to shrink risk-weighted assets by a third and move away from low-return business, with rising US interest rates providing a tailwind, JPMorgan said.

Yet the shares are trading at half their 2016 tangible net asset value and are on less than 10 times next year’s earnings, falling to just five times earnings in 2018, it forecast.

JPMorgan repeated an 870p target price on StanChart, which gained 6.4 per cent to 512.7p.

(FT)

 

Sorry not enough, Comfort

In Uncategorized on 06/01/2016 at 4:37 am

Sack the inconsiderate cabbie?

A Comfort taxi driver parked his taxi between two parking spaces for the disabled at a mall over the weekend in an incident that has left a wheelchair user fuming and highlighted the abuse of such parking spaces here 

The ComfortDelGro cab driver had squeezed his car between two occupied parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities, leaving no space for wheelchair bound Mr Cai , to get into the front seat of the car he was using.

ComfortDelGro’s group corporate communications officer, Ms Tammy Tan, said: “Our cabbies are fully aware that they are not allowed to park in handicap lots. [If cabbie aware, why he do it? Quai lan isit?]

“Our cabby has been severely warned for doing so. We have also apologised to Mr Cai for the inconvenience caused,” she said.

ComfortDelGro did not identify the cabby involved.

Yesterday, Mr Cai wrote back to ComfortDelGro saying he was “definitely not satisfied with this ‘official apology'”.

“I hope you do understand that there is a deeper issue of your cabby infringing the rights of persons with disabilities,” he added.

(ST report)

True and if any company should ensure that its taxi drivers are responsible S’poreans, it should be ComfortDelgro what wirh its controlling shareholder being the S’pore Labour Foundation, a govt agency.

I mean its taxi drivers are almost public servants by definition.

Also jeers for ComfortDelGro’in being so lenient to its driver for behaving so irresponsibly and boorishly. Ownself check ownself?

It’s not as though Cai wants the cabbie crucified. He juz wants a public apology from the cabby. Comfort should have apologised itself, and got the cabbie to apologise. But maybe the cabbie is one of those PRC FT cabbies (we so often hear about online), so getting him to apologise is problematic? It’ll show that they are real, not an urban myth.

Whatever, given the failure to get the cabbie to apologise in the first place, Comfort should now sack the driver to show that Comfort is serious about ensuring that its cabbies behave responsibly.

M’sian soverign risk: 30 yrs on

In Financial competency, Malaysia on 05/01/2016 at 4:59 pm

In 1986 when I was taught the basics of investing in M’sia, there were M’sian govt US$ floating rate bonds that were really cheap because of a problem in the floatung rates bond mkt that was in addition to Dr M’s antics (e.g. he was alleged to tryto corner the tin market) and a recession which affected M’sia’s soverign rating.

Today The $3 billion debenture is a glaring reminder of the distrust around the fund. The instrument carries a letter of support from the Malaysian government but trades at just 86 cents on the dollar, indicating financial distress. That stands in stark contrast to two Abu Dhabi-backed 1MDB bonds, which have always traded above par.
Early redemption would also draw a line under the fund’s controversial relationship with Goldman Sachs.

1MDB hasn’t decided yet whether to buy back the bonds. Either way, if Kanda succeeds in his ambitious cleanup by completing the deals he has now agreed, 1MDB’s problems will not weigh as heavily directly on the finances of the government as many investors, analysts and politicians had feared.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2015/12/31/malaysia-scrubs-out-half-its-sovereign-fund-stain/

One thing remains the same, no money to buy those bonds then, and now. Would have made killing then and now.

PRC’s detention without trial versus ours

In Public Administration on 05/01/2016 at 10:06 am

A reader of this asks chua chin leng (aka redbean) cheers for prc (china) and goh meng seng cheers for hk (sar). why don’t these two blokes change their citizenships instead ?

Because, this doesn’t happen in S’pore, to critics of the PAP administration, even “Marxist conspirators”, alleged Jihadists, bookies and drug lords?

Another associate of a Hong Kong bookshop specialising in titles critical of the Chinese government appears to have disappeared. [HK media later reported later said he called his wife from a mainland-registered phone number , saying he was“assisting in an investigation” ]

Last month four other employees of the same bookshop and publishing house, including its owner, went missing.

Their colleagues believe they have been detained because of their work.

Freedom of the press is guaranteed in Hong Kong, but many in the publishing industry say they are beginning to feel pressure from mainland China.

The latest associate to be reported missing is the man who raised the alarm when his colleagues disappeared in October.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-35208879

Despite the lies that Tan Wah Piow, sex pervert Comrade Bala, Dosh, Oxygen, Meng Seng etc tell about S’porean justice, in S’pore detention-without-trial arrests are never so secretive and out of the public eye.

And even an alleged cat killer gets a lawyer pro bono, juz like LKY-hater Amos Yee. .

And would Uncle Redbean or Meng Seng dare criticise China the way they criticise the PAP administration? I doubt it.

By not moving on from S’pore citizenship, we know that they don’t walk the talk, juz talk the talk.

 

“Prudent banker” is an oxymoron

In Banks, Financial competency on 04/01/2016 at 2:29 pm

Here’s a comment from an FT reader which promoted the above headline.

Where do we find bankers that understand prudent lending?

“What is wrong with lending more money into the Chinese stock market?” Chinese banker recently

“What is wrong with lending more money into real estate?” Chinese banker last year

“What is wrong with lending more money to Greece?” European banker pre-2010

“What is wrong with a NINA (no income no asset) mortgage?” US banker pre-2008

“What is wrong with lending more money into real estate?” US banker pre-2008

“What is wrong with lending more money into real estate?” Irish banker pre-2008

“What is wrong with lending more money into real estate?” Spanish banker pre-2008

“What is wrong with lending more money into real estate?” Japanese banker pre-1989

“What is wrong with lending more money into real estate?” UK banker pre-1989

“What is wrong with lending more money into the US stock market?” US banker pre-1929

It’s a global problem.

Win, win for PAP and Oppo areas

In Political governance on 04/01/2016 at 10:18 am

The PAP administration’s policy of denying residents (even die hard PAPies ans PAP voters) of Aljunied and Hougang goodies funded by tax-payers (including residents of these areas) has failed miserably. Hougang has remained WP since 1991

 

 

 

. Aljunied still remains WP despite the efforts of the PAP and civil servants.

And Potong Pasir may not have fallen in 2011, if Chiam had stood there yet again. The swing voters seemed to have a personal loyalty to him, and didn’t believe that a vote for Lina Chiam was still a vote for Chiam. And then there were the unhappy grass-root activists and voters who didn’t like how the Chiams treated Desmond Lim.

As for putting the fear of other areas turning against the PAP lest they become slums, didn’t work in Punnggol East and Aljunied did it?

Voters know private property and HDB prices are NOT better in PAP areas. Hougang and Potong Pasir house prices didn’t suffer despite the lack of PAP goodies funded by S’poreans.

Maybe if the PAP wants to win 100% of the seats in parly again* and have 78%  again of the popular vote, it should heed the words of the UK’s Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine on how to be the dominant party for over three centuries.

I was often asked when I was in Liverpool why do you bother, there are no votes for us there. [He was referring to his govt’s attempts in the 1980s to rejuvenate Liverpool, a stronghold of the militant left-wing of the Labour Party. Still controlled by Labour]

“First of all it was right to bother. And secondly, if you are seen to be bothering in areas which are not traditionally your heartlands, it influences the judgment of people on a much wider constituency basis, often way away from the actually affected areas.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-35189867

He should know. As he says of his party,

“It is the most successful political force in the history of democracy. It has held power longer than any other equivalent anywhere in the world.

“They have a nose for power and winning it. I doubt if it will desert them.”

(What he doesn’t say is that party is ruthless in getting rid of leaders once they pass their expiry dates. He played a leading role of getting rid of Thatcher, when she lost her touch of winning elections.)

It is a fact that since the 18th century, the party has seen off the Whigs (extinct), Liberals (almost extinct) and Labour (now in crisis again): a record the CCP, PAP, UMNO and LDP will find hard to match.

So maybe time for the PAP to be the “nice” party, not the “nasty” party, even if the PAP vermin are as nasty as the TRE’s nutty rats. 

And if it does, this guy could be a future minister in a PAP cabinet. 

—–

*But then Even the Ethiopian government looked a little sheepish when the ruling EPRDF party and its allies won every single seat in this year’s parliamentary election. 

The same BBC report ends

Two African countries which have undergone serious conflict in the recent past and are now doing well in terms of economic growth and lower corruption rates are Ethiopia and Rwanda.

Is it a coincidence that both, especially Rwanda, are highly disciplined and place severe restrictions on political and media freedom?

Why do PAPpy vermin hate S’poreans?/ Related to TRE’s cybernuts?

In Uncategorized on 03/01/2016 at 1:11 pm

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away an emperor of a little red dot said, “Those who go on the internet are unhappy people.”

Three incidents in December reminded me of this saying. And who are the really unhappy people on the internet? They are PAPpies who worship the greatest Sith Lord of all; one Harry Lee. DSC_0011

Remember this? Many S’poreans (self included) were wondering what was a beefy, hulk doing on welfare? But before we found out he was a sick man, the PAPpy dogs (Sorry, my dogs growled) rats and vermin went wild in cyberspace.

They called him and his wife “lazy”, “scroungers” etc and wondered how they deceived their way into getting welfare.

What I found tragically amusing is that these PAPpies had so little faith in the public servants handling the case. It was clear from the video that whatever their failings (and I think there were none), they acted in the belief that he and his wife needed help. If the PAPpies don’t trust public servants administering the welfare policies policies of their beloved 9th immortal, why should the anti-PAP voters trust public servants? DSC_0029

 

 

 

 

Fabrications about the PAP came up with a piece pointing out that although Mrs Chee didn’t work, the family could afford overseas hols. Again the rabid PAppies came out, strong and abusive. Even though I had posted that the Chees could not related to ordinary S’poreans given Mrs Chee’s attitude to “work”, my Facebook avater and other fair-minded S’poreans) pointed out to the vermin that

— the Chees were not on welfare;

— it was the Chees’ choice how they spent their money; and

— maybe Dr Chee was working smart, in line with the govt’s exhortations on producitity.

Surprising the PAPpies fell silent, not turning their abuse on us.

Finally there was the “flag as a table cloth” incident.  Fabrications about the PAP denounced the photos as a fake and made many a seditious statements. Jason Chua’s morons were cheered on by the PAP vermin.

Then Israel apologised after a junior diplomat working at its embassy in Singapore reportedly used the country’s flag as a tablecloth at a party.

You could hear a pin drop as Jason Chua and friends were publicly castrated, and their tecticles hung around their necks.

My question is why the anger and hatred against fellow S’poreans?

I can understand the hatred and anger of s/o JBJ, Mad Dog Chee, Goh Meng Seng, Roy Ngerng, New Citizen Hui Hui, M Ravi, Gilbert Goh, Amos Yee, Constance Singham, Balji (retired imperial stormtrooper general, paper division not happy with his “peanuts” pension?), Tan Wah Piow, Tan Kin Lian, New Old Citizen Pussy Lim, and the cybernuts from TRELand (like Ng Cock Lim, Philip Ang, Dosh and grave-dancer Oxygen).

They are frustrated that 70% of the voters rejected their anti-PAP BS and voted for the PAP.

But the PAP vermin like Jason Chua and friends? What do they have to be angry and unhappy about? They are part of the 70%, so waz there to be upset and angry about? And better still, are the true believers of the Hard Truths* about CPF, and public healthcare, transport and hiusing, keeping the faith when others started having doubts after 2006 GE.

Going by their comments about the Chees and the sick man, I get the sense that despite their chanting of the Hard Truths, they know that they are only one small step ahead of disaster because of the following (Extracts from http://www.aceprofitsacademy.com/5-things-stopping-you-from-retiring-early-s/?cam=outR3hurtS):

Spend too much too soon

Many Singaporeans keep spending away their money, sinking into debt and setting themselves for an insecure financial future. Even without realising it!

And what do many people commonly splurge on? Nice clothes, nice shoes, watches, cars, branded bags. Just so they feel they can keep up with their friends. Or to show off to others.

Or they will feel like they have earned the right to indulge after working so hard. Shopping, restaurants, clubs, bars, and expensive holidays.

And

Letting debt accumulate

Start clearing your debt ASAP, before they creep up on you. Don’t let unsecured debt punch a big hole in your early retirement plans. Most people think they can ‘wait’ till they have enough money to clear their debts. That will never happen, because you’ll end up spending more and more on different things down the road as your lifestyle changes.

And

Lifestyle inflation

Many Singaporeans will spend more money when they have more money to spend. This is called lifestyle inflation and it can do serious damage to your financial future.

They feel entitled, thinking that the more money they can make, the more they have earned the right to treat themselves and their family to better things in life.

I know people who buy better cars after a few years, moved into condos, or travelled further to more exotic destinations.

Even people who are prudent can’t escape lifestyle inflation. For example, after the birth of a child, you need to get a car so it’s way easier to transport your family around. Or after your child starts school, that would mean more money spent on books, allowances, etc. Your situation will change over time and a certain amount of lifestyle inflation is to be expected as your work and family obligations evolve.

And most importantly because of the CPF system, and the public housing and public healthcare systems they worship:

No emergency fund

You need to have plenty of extra money for an emergency fund. This is the money that you need to reserve, in case something bad happens to you. Like getting retrenched, quitting your job, or getting an injury or illness and being forced to stop work. Or the same thing could happen to your family members. And you’d need a large sum of money to tide them over.

(Related post on the fragility of everything)

And maybe also they are long lost siblings of the other bunch of born losers: s/o JBJ, Mad Dog Chee, Goh Meng Seng, Roy, New Citizen Hui Hui, M Ravi, Gilbert Goh, Amos Yee, Constance Singham, Balji (retired imperial stormtrooper general, paper division), Tan Wah Piow, Tan Kin Lian, New Old Citizen Pussy Lim anfd the cybernuts from TRELand (like Ng Cock Lim, Philip Ang, Dosh and grave-dancer Oxygen).

Both groups are the socially excluded of S’porean society, united (without their knowledge) by their envy of other S’poreans, and the belief that they, like Harry Lee, know what is best for S’poreans.

————

*Note “Hard Truths” not the “truth” or the facts on the ground.

 

“Happy Deepavali” in Joo Chiat ward

In Uncategorized on 03/01/2016 at 4:23 am

Edwin Tong, my MP, is pretty much on the ball. During the GE campaign, when in response to a comment on a senior lawyer’s Faceebook wall, my Facebook avatar commented that living in JC ward ande its predecessors for over 50yrs, he had never met his MP. A “Edwin Tong” responded with, “Give address, will come round”.

Well I hope his attention will be drawn to this post, and the “Deepavali” banner put up by the town council be taken down. I spotted it on NY’s day on a road leading out of Opera Estate.

Btw, after GE 2015, both the PAP and the WP failed to take out signage long after they were supposed to be taken down. There were WP signage near JJ’s condo, while the PAP didn’t take down their signage outside Neptune Court.

Not much difference between the two parties in that respect?

For MU fans desperate for home win

In Footie on 02/01/2016 at 1:05 pm

“Man U sales pitch” – the Sunday People describes a squad of former Manchester United footballers “desperate for a home win” as they put their multi-million pound mansions on the market

Data centre security: HK v S’pore

In Hong Kong, Infrastructure on 02/01/2016 at 5:30 am

Parachutist extraordinaire, (Three GEs, three different parties, three GRCs and a diminishing share of votes) Goh Meng Seng is at it again, dissing S’pore in favour of his adopted home. HK. Where everything is better.

Here’s one area where S’pore is tops according to a HK newspaper.

The city-state’s financial regulator has set up a test for centres looking to host sensitive data from banks, called a threat vulnerability and risk assessment (TVRA).

In order to pass, the centres must weather severe natural disasters and even attacks from rocket-propelled grenades.

Intruders to one of these heavily guarded units should beware of the “mantraps”. This type of security door will lock down upon detecting a breach, trapping within bewildered, defenceless data burglers.

The test also has an equally stringent cyber security assessment in place to ensure the centres can keep most hackers out.

It could just be a marketing element from the regulator. But if it is, it’s a good one,” Krupal Raval, senior vice president for finance at Digital Realty, told the South China Morning Post in an interview. “From a banking perspective, we see more activity in Singapore. That’s because [regulators] are more proactive in reaching out.”

By “reaching out”, Raval means that the Monetary Authority of Singapore is signalling to banks and other financial institutions they can safely outsource sensitive data operations. The TVRA is the monetary authority’s stamp of approval on the centres at a time when a data breach on banks can spell out massive fines and a loss of reputation.

Digital Realty is one of the world’s biggest data centre companies, with major hubs in both Hong Kong and Singapore.

The 177,000 square-foot facility in Singapore has passed the TVRA test, something that the company said has attracted the interest of financial institutions looking to outsource sensitive financial data from clients.

Not so for Hong Kong, however. Digital Realty operates an even larger centre in the Tseung Kwan O industrial estate. It has a tier-III rating from the Uptime Institute, which is mainly concerned with how much time the plant must be shut down in order to be maintained.

While Raval says that site is just as secure as the one in Singapore, banks are less likely to outsource in Hong Kong without a financial regulator’s thumbs-up on the centres. Financial institutions in Singapore can outsource data operations only to centres that have the TVRA. Hong Kong regulators do not have an equivalent assessment. Spokespeople at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau said they could not answer questions on the topic.

“It would be an opportunity for Hong Kong going forward,” Raval said of instituting a similar test. And a missed opportunity for the time being as companies holding sensitive client data search for safer but cheaper ways to do their businesses.

Banks have traditionally built expensive in-house data centres to reduce the risk of breaches. Offering regulator-approved choices for outsourcing the work presents an attractive option for financial firms moving to Asia.

The stringent regulations for data centres were just part of Singapore’s digital competitiveness. The 15 submarine fibre optics cables connected to the city have boosted connectivity and lowered costs, says Clement Goh, South Asia managing director at Equinix.

“As such, a multitude of companies are not just flocking to Singapore but choosing to headquarter their businesses here,” he says. Equinix is another one of the world’s biggest data centre companies with centres in both Hong Kong and Singapore. “This definitely gives us a competitive edge over our other counterparts in the region without such regulatory measures in place.”

http://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/1880844/singapore-mantrapping-away-hong-kong-financial-competitiveness?utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=outbrain&utm_campaign=Outbrain-SG-business&utm_term=48752606

Buffett and us got bad golden anniversaries

In Economy on 01/01/2016 at 3:51 pm

Singapore’s economy is projected to have expanded 2% in 2015, making it the slowest pace of growth in six years. Mkt was down 15%, worst in SE Asia. And Indonesia and M’sia have been  the pits. Yet we did wotse than them

Investment guru Warren Buffett is headed for his worst year relative to the rest of the US stock market since 2009, with shares in his conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway down 11 per cent with two more trading days to go.

The underperformance comes in Mr Buffett’s Golden Anniversary year at the helm, when he told investors for the first time that they should judge his record based on Berkshire’s share price, rather than just the book value of the company, which had been his preferred yardstick for decades.

Mr Buffett urged them to make that judgment based on the long term, rather than on a single year, reflecting investing mentor Benjamin Graham’s view that the stock market may be a “weighing machine” in the long run, but in the short term it is a “voting machine”.

But in 2015, the market has been voting negatively on Berkshire’s prospects for weathering the decline in commodity prices, according to Jim Shanahan, analyst at Edward Jones.

Although Berkshire has no oil and gas subsidiaries, its railroad business transports oil, coal and agricultural products, and its manufacturing arm sells products to the shrinking oil industry. Weak results from Berkshire’s insurance divisions in the middle of the year may also be due to lower oil prices, Mr Shanahan said, since lower petrol prices mean drivers and truckers are on the road for longer and having more accidents.

“They are impacted by the weak resources sector and commodity prices in general,” he said.

Berkshire has also been hit by big declines in two of its largest stock market investments: American Express, which is down by 24 per cent this year; and IBM, which is down 13 per cent.

Chart: Berkshire Hathaway v S&P 500

(FT a few days ago)

 

Indons can’t BS us in 2016

In Environment, Indonesia on 01/01/2016 at 1:07 pm

We got a spy in the sky.

Singapore’s TeLEOS-1 satellite, now in orbit some 500km above the Equator, takes pictures with a 1-metre resolution when it passes the neighbourhood once every 100 minutes or so.

http://kementah.blogspot.sg/2015/12/singapores-teleos-1-satellite-can-serve.html

Meanwhile in Indonesia, the haze and mirrors’ game continues: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35203609

“The strongest El Nino weather cycle on record” is happening right now http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35159826