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Archive for April, 2016|Monthly archive page

Education: Do you know?

In Uncategorized on 30/04/2016 at 10:56 am

What S’porean, Jap and British teachers have in common

They really work hard.

But exam results show that hours worked by teachers are meaningless: Japanese and South Korean pupils are neck-and-neck near the top of the PISA rankings of 15-year-olds’ literacy, numeracy and scientific knowledge. Their teachers are paid about the same, but put in vastly different hours: a whopping 54 hours per week in Japan, compared with 37 in South Korea. 

(Economist)

Remember we are also near the Japs and Kireans in PISA rankings

50% of a school’s students need financial aid

“In RI, my students had packed schedules from the start of school until 6pm to 7pm, and even had tuition classes at night. They are very well-occupied during the holidays with camps, projects and events.

“Most came from families with stable structures and do not require financial assistance,” she said.

In contrast, close to half of Spectra’s student population is on financial aid, with a significant percentage from single-parent backgrounds or in the care of guardians or even institutionalised homes, Ms Teo said.

“Many of them like to hang out in school after classes because they would rather be with friends than at home. They tell us they actually look forward to coming to school, especially during holidays, because they are so bored at home,” she said.

ST report: Emphasis mine

 

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Unicorns will turn into unicorpses

In Financial competency on 30/04/2016 at 6:43 am

And cockroaches are the new model

When projects like this raise serious money, u know unicorns are history Ftom NYT Dealbook:

A $700 Juice Box for the Kitchen That Caught Silicon Valley’s Eye Juicero, a contraption that requires Wi-Fi to make an eight-ounce glass of juice, has raised $120 million from Google and others.

Also from NYT Dealbook

Cockroach’ Model Gaining Favor Over Unicorns If 2015 was the year of the unicorn, or start-ups that reached a valuation of $1 billion or more, this year is likely to be defined by a very different beast – the cockroach, the creature that can survive a nuclear war, Business Insider reports.

Lawyers are tricky people

In Uncategorized on 29/04/2016 at 11:01 am

White Collar Watch: Panama Papers Show How Lawyers Can Turn a Blind Eye Lawyers can help their clients engage in questionable transactions while avoiding any direct involvement, which allows them to claim ignorance.

Tales from Marine Parade Polyclinic

In Uncategorized on 28/04/2016 at 1:56 pm

But first, an FT reader wrote in saying “If we had more junior doctors then perhaps they would not need to work long shifts. Could we have a new lower grade of doctor we could churn out of university on a 4 year course specifically trained from the start in what they are doing? Then leave the 12 year training courses and really high bar for entry for the prospective surgeons and specialists.” Background: In England, junior doctors are on strike over pay and working conditions.

Back to Marine Parade polyclinic which earlier this year reopened after extensive renovations. My 91-yr old mum says that now the doctor waits for patients rather than patients wait to see the doctor. Happened to a 60 something year old friend too. He went for a blood test, then almost immediately saw the doctor (who had the results of the blood test), The doctor then sent him to see one of the specialist nurses. He was in and out of the clinic within 75 minutes from the time he stepped in the clinic to the time he paid his bill. He calculated that if he had skipped the nurse, he could have been out in 60 minutes.

He and my mum will, “Vote PAP”.

A Pinoy doctor was spotted in the polyclinic. Nice, diligent lady but she has a thick accent. My friend had difficulty understanding her English. Bet youm the older aunties and uncles will really have a problem with her. They may not vote PAP despite the improvements in the polyclinic.

Which brings me to the quote I began with: why import FT doctors for GP work? “Could we have a new lower grade of doctor we could churn out of university on a 4 year course specifically trained from the start in what they are doing? Then leave the 12 year training courses and really high bar for entry for the prospective surgeons and specialists.”

S’pore banks under some pressure

In Banks on 28/04/2016 at 6:16 am

Too much capital: The average Tier 1 capital ratio at OCBC, DBS and United Overseas Bank was a unhealthy 14% at the end of last year.

Worse

each dollar of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp.’s assets earns only 1.2 cents in operating revenue before provisions, compared with 1.6 cents for Hang Seng Bank in Hong Kong. 

The narrow wiggle room for liquidity calls for caution. Hang Seng Bank’s loan-to-deposit ratio is less than 72 percent, by Bloomberg’s calculations, and 85 percent for OCBC. It’s hard to see Singapore lenders aggressively expanding their loan books if deposit growth doesn’t keep pace. But as Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Diksha Gera noted recently, HSBC and Malaysia’s Maybank are joining Citigroup and Standard Chartered in locally incorporating their Singapore retail banks. Growing competition for deposits at home could whittle away margins. 

http://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-04-06/singapore-s-broken-piggy-bank

Only in

In Humour on 27/04/2016 at 4:33 pm

China

In China, brides who are short of bridesmaids (blame the one-child policy) can hire someone to do the job (Financial Times) 

London

Romancing the Armpit will offer singletons in London a dating event with a difference. Love-seekers will sniff each other’s armpits (i)

BBC

UBS bearish that StanChart has turned a corner

In Banks, Emerging markets, Temasek on 27/04/2016 at 10:32 am

It’s Shares jump despite fall in profit

Standard Chartered shares surged 10% in London after the bank — which generates almost three quarters of its revenue from Asia — reported a surprise decline in loan impairments and capital increased more than some analysts estimated.

Pretax adjusted profit fell 64 per cent to US$539 million (S$729 million) for the first three months of 2016, from US$1.5 billion a year earlier, said the London-based bank in a statement yesterday. Losses on bad loans fell 1 per cent to US$471 million in the quarter, well short of the US$650 million of impairments estimated by Mr Chirantan Barua, an analyst at Sanford C Bernstein. 

But there are still huge problems.

Revenue dropped 24 per cent in the quarter to US$3.35 billion, as income from every business unit declined.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-26/standard-chartered-profit-drops-64-as-revenue-misses-estimates

UBS expects the share price to fall to 430p within 12 months.

With many funds short or underweight at the start of the year, commodity prices regaining some poise, EM equities rallying and EM funds seeing a return to inflows, a rally is directionally easy to rationalise.

But the StanChart rally has happened against a ~60% fall in consensus profit forecasts for this year and 30% decline for next. Our estimates are unchanged and so is our view: we see great businesses within StanChart – predominantly Transaction Banking, Financial Markets and bits of Retail – but we think the headwinds of de-risking, deleveraging, and flat and low yield curves will combine with elevated loan losses to make life particularly difficult near term (we forecast a loss for this year), leaving the 8% ROE target for 2018 out of reach.

 

 

SMRT: Still no hati-kiri meh?

In Infrastructure, Political governance on 26/04/2016 at 3:07 pm

(Update at 4.30 am on 27 April: Came across a great comments on Facebook: When train services were disrupted in 2012, the Board said it hold the CEO and management responsible. A COI was subsequently called. Now trains break down ever so often plus the fact that two staff died on the job, What has the Board of SMRT got to say?

And this: Minister Khaw made a Facebook post about the 100 day achievement but has been oddly silent after the repeated breakdowns right after

But let’s be fair: maybe he realised that his previous “100 day” comment provoked Nemesis to punish him for his hubris. He didn’t want us to suffer because he talks cock.)

Let alone a deep bow of apology?

Mitsubishi Motors President Tetsuro Aikawa bows during a press conference on April 20, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan

(Japanese CEO of Mitsubishi Motors recently apologising for corporate misbehaviour )

Yesterday, when the SMRT reported what went wrong when two trainees died and where thetr was a massive failure of train services, I was reminded that the PAP administration talks the talk of about following Japanese values; while not walking the talk,

GCT was keen to stress Jap values so long as they didn’t apply to the PAP administration and Khaw only when they applied to the WP.

Where was GCT’s and Khaw’s Jap style of responsibility from the head of SGH and the senior official in MoH?

And why no bowing at SMRT?

Actually this is this the kind of Jap behaviour the PAP administration prefers? CEO takes cover.

But I’ll end on a constructive, nation-building note

Here’s something from the BBC on how to admit mistakes without admitting that one has personally made a mistake. PAP ministers and others should take note.

Going back further still, in 1961 John F Kennedy faced a news conference days after the failed CIA-sponsored invasion at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba.

Despite saying he had no more to add on the debacle beyond an initial statement, a reporter asked about conflicting information surrounding a “certain foreign policy situation”.

“There’s an old saying that victory has 100 fathers and defeat is an orphan,” Kennedy said in his reply.

That neither he nor his administration had anything more to say at the time was not to conceal responsibility, he said, because “I’m the responsible officer of the government”.
All in the wording.

Admitting fault is a political minefield. As political scientist Daniel W Drezner wrote in the Washington Post last year, it brings few benefits: an admission is unlikely to change critics’ minds and could damage supporters’ confidence.

While some commentators on the BBC website praised Mr Obama’s candour, others said he should have chosen the healthcare reforms as the focus of his contrition: something he instead picked as a highlight of his presidency.

And long before the 24-hour news cycle, presidents were careful when acknowledging faults.

In a 1876 report on his presidency, marred by political and financial scandals, Ulysses S Grant said “mistakes have been made, as all can see and I admit it”, according to Safire’s Political Dictionary.

Or in other words: “Mistakes have been made. But not necessarily by me.”

HK gives finger to Soros

In China, Hong Kong on 26/04/2016 at 11:00 am

NYT Dealbook

Stocks have been surging since February, helped by promising corporate earnings in the United States, the recovery of oil prices and indications of restraint on interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve.

There may be question marks over many parts of Hong Kong’s economy, but stocks there seemed to have shrugged all that off. The Hang Seng index rose 1.8 percent on Thursday, while the MSCI Hong Kong Index closed at its highest point since Nov. 24. Optimists say concerns over monetary tightening from the Federal Reserve and the weakening renminbi have eased, and the shares are too cheap to pass up, Bloomberg News reports.

But George Soros is warning markets that China’s financial system is at risk and the rise in credit will be the downfall for world’s second biggest economy.

Speaking at an Asia Society event in New York on Wednesday, Soros said the similarities between the credit markets in China “eerily resemble” to those of the United States in 2007 before the financial crisis.

Recent stimulus packages in China have seen sharp rises in asset prices – namely in the housing and construction sector, but Soros believes these have been fueled by excessive lending to underperforming industries.

“Most of the money that banks are supplying [in China] is needed to keep bad debts and loss-making enterprises alive,” Soros said.

Read more: George Soros Worried about China’s Financial System | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/042116/george-soros-worried-about-chinas-financial-system.asp#ixzz46i1T5WmU
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Is Harry’s daughter the real hagiographer?

In Uncategorized on 25/04/2016 at 4:21 pm

Isn’t the grieving Dr Lee the real worshipper of one Harry Lee?

The first piece of evidence:. She compared her father to Churchill and Mao.

I had not intended to write about my father’s death on 23/3/2016. What led to my comments in Facebook on 1/4/2016 was the article on the front page report of The Straits Times on Mar 21st. It carried a photo of an outline of Papa’s face made with 4,877 erasers. I know Papa would be very upset by this sort of hero worship. I felt a sense of urgency to stop all acts of hagiography as I knew how unhappy they would cause Papa. To put things in context I wanted to recount how other countries honoured their leaders after death. China’s Chairman Mao and Britain’s Winston Churchill were the best examples to compare the founding prime minister of Singapore to. \

Churchill amd Mao were lead actors on the world stage. Churchill was the prime minister of the United Kingdom when it had an empire on which the sun literally never went down, He also led the British empire when the British empire, the USSR and the USA were fighting Germany and Japan. And for a while, the British (under his leadership) were the only people in Western Europe that were not subject to German hegemony.

As for Mao, he was the leader of the communists who established The People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. Who can forget, Mao’s famous phrase “The Chinese people have stood up” (Chinese: 中国人民从此站起来了)?

And when he later came up with scatter-brain ideas (Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution) he was powerful enough to ensure that his ideas were carried out. Millions died and millions more suffered, and the economy tanked.

LKY was at best a marginal figure (America’s boy from the third world) on the world stage. He played a very important part in S’pore’s development but S’pore is not China or the British empire.

Has PM or the PAP ever compared LKY to Mao or Churchill? No, only Dr Lee has. And yet she is the one accusing them of hagiography?

Her grief must be warping her famed objectivity?

Next piece of evidence: by “Pa” was not anti free speech “For the cynics who complain that Pa restricted freedom of speech, you are wrong. If your statement is accurate, fine. If it is slander, l will have to defend my reputation in court.”, isn’t she guilty of building a monument to him? A false one with feet of clay?

My Facebook avatar asked in a thread discussing what Dr Lee had written, “She should ask herself why ST “censorsed” her? Fear of the administration where her dad formed and was a leading figure for many a year? She says “For the cynics who complain that Pa restricted freedom of speech, you are wrong.” sounds like something from Evelyn Waugh’s black comedy writings.”

He got two “Likes” from two ex-SPH editors who are pretty decent fellows: not wannabe Sith Lords who now present themselves as Jedi knights.

One of them was taken to task by LKY personally over a piece of reporting that he allowed to be published. LKY did not dispute the facts, he juz said that the piece shouldn’t have been published.

Now that’s Dr Lee’s idea of someone who didn’t restrict free speech?

Let’s wiah her all the best, hope she can overcome her grief and regain her unsentimental objectivity that made S’poreans think of her ‘Pa” when she made public statements as private citizen Lee.

 

 

 

 

HoHoHo, Soros bearish on China

In Banks, China, Temasek on 25/04/2016 at 10:06 am

After StanChart, thetr are three other Chinese other monkees on Temasek’s back. Remember we have big stakes in three of China’s big 4 banks.

As China’s Growth Slows, Banks Feel the Strain of Bad Debt Chinese lenders feel rising pain from souring loans in troubled industries – even as they face pressure to keep local companies afloat.

NYT Dealbook

Soros bearish on China

George Soros is warning markets that China’s financial system is at risk and the rise in credit will be the downfall for world’s second biggest economy.

Speaking at an Asia Society event in New York on Wednesday, Soros said the similarities between the credit markets in China “eerily resemble” to those of the United States in 2007 before the financial crisis.

Recent stimulus packages in China have seen sharp rises in asset prices – namely in the housing and construction sector, but Soros believes these have been fueled by excessive lending to underperforming industries.

“Most of the money that banks are supplying [in China] is needed to keep bad debts and loss-making enterprises alive,” Soros said.

Read more: George Soros Worried about China’s Financial System | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/042116/george-soros-worried-about-chinas-financial-system.asp#ixzz46i1T5WmU
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“Housing is Affordable”: The real truth

In Property on 24/04/2016 at 4:25 pm

Both PAP ministers  (“Affordable”: err on S$1m salary, everything is affordable) and TRE cybernuts (“very unaffordable”: how they know? They all living in rented public housing but cursing the govt because they want free housing juz like they expect Team TRE to pay money to entertain them.) are wrong.

Housing here is only marginally unaffordable. Chart from FT

Chart: Housing costs

Update on 13 May: A regular reader pointed out: I assume net earnings means after tax earnings. If that is so, then the net earnings for Singapore is massively understated. I am certain if CPF contributions are computed into net earnings, Singapore will be a lot higher.

Very Petty, Prickly Chiams

In Uncategorized on 24/04/2016 at 6:35 am

I’ve decided to rewrite this.

Double confirm, Chiams are very petty people. And they are as prickly as one Harry was.

In response to Mrs Chiam’s Facebook post, Dr Wong Wee Nam, the author of the article noted that the image Mrs Chiam was referring to, was attached to an article recounting his effort to bring Mr Chiam back to SDP and the party was not seeking any endorsement from Mr or Mrs Chiam.

Will Mts Chiam pls sit down and shut up. She trying to destroy Mr Chiam’s reputation isit? Why liddat?

————————————————————

My fellow citizens, Mr. Chiam and I understand that the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has been circulating an image of Mr. Chiam See Tong and Dr. Chee Soon Juan in SDP’s newsletter, The New Democrat.

We would like to clarify that Dr. Chee did not seek nor receive permission to include Mr. Chiam’s image in this newsletter. Mr. Chiam has not given his endorsement to any candidate for the upcoming Bukit Batok by-election.

Mr. and Mrs. Chiam See Tong

————————————————————

When an Oppo figure fights PAP, the Chiams are neutral, not endorsing Dr Chee? Even if they had kissed and made up? Oh I forgot, Chiams had a place of honour at Harry’s funeral, so  Chiams returning PAP a favour?

Or both? Still not happy with Dr Chee and owe PAP a favour for giving the Chiams so much face before rubbing their noses in the mud by thrashing Lina Chiam in the GE.

I disagree with P Ravi (remember he’s a SPPP member and Mr Chiam called him “his best  SPP man”) when he wrote on Facebook “both Mr and Mrs Chiam are big-hearted enough to allow for differences of opinion and even welcome them”*. If they were really big-hearted they’d have juz kept quiet about the use of the photo. After all as SDP supporters have pointed out, the photo is not the private property of the Chiams.

And they should have sought an explanation from the SDP before insinuating that the SDP was using Chiam. for electoral gain.

Time for the Chiams to sit down and shut up. At this rate, the good that Mr Chiam did will be long forgotten even before he dies. And Mrs Chiam will be largely to blame.

—————————–

*P Ravi’s post in full:

I have publicly supported Dr Chee’s bid for Bukit Batok. Some people have asked me for my views on Mrs Chiam‘s note yesterday. I cannot comment on the matter because I have not seen SDP’s newsletter, and I do not know (and also do not wish to know) much of the background to the Chiams’ note.

But from my experience, both Mr and Mrs Chiam are big-hearted enough to allow for differences of opinion and even welcome them. I think that’s what democracy is all about. I only have the highest regard for the both of them.

I stand by my view that Dr Chee will be a great Parliamentarian.

Somehow, I don’t think P Ravi will be in Chiams’ good books any more.

Petty Chiams, Arrogant Chee

In Uncategorized on 23/04/2016 at 5:47 pm

[Update at 6am on 24 April

Double confirm, Chiams are very petty people. And apologies to Dt Chee.

In response to Mrs Chiam’s Facebook post, Dr Wong Wee Nam, the author of the article noted that the image Mrs Chiam was referring to, was attached to an article recounting his effort to bring Mr Chiam back to SDP and the party was not seeking any endorsement from Mr or Mrs Chiam.

Will Mts Chiam pls sit down and shut up. She trying to destroy Mr Chiam’s reputation isit? Why liddat?

Piece amended to reflect that Dr Chee did no wrong.]

 

Looks like the Chiams are really petty, while Dr Chee is really arrogant. Very true that “Character is permanent” is true of the Chiams and Chee. Very sad.

————————————————————

My fellow citizens, Mr. Chiam and I understand that the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has been circulating an image of Mr. Chiam See Tong and Dr. Chee Soon Juan in SDP’s newsletter, The New Democrat.

We would like to clarify that Dr. Chee did not seek nor receive permission to include Mr. Chiam’s image in this newsletter. Mr. Chiam has not given his endorsement to any candidate for the upcoming Bukit Batok by-election.

Mr. and Mrs. Chiam See Tong

————————————————————

When an Oppo figure fights PAP, the Chiams are neutral, refusing to endorse not endorsing Dr Chee? Even if they had kissed and made up? Oh I forgot, Chiams had a place of honour at Harry’s funeral, so  Chiams returning PAP a favour?

Or both? Still not happy with Dr Chee and owe PAP a favour for giving the Chiams so much face before rubbing their noses in the mud by thrashing Lina Chiam in the GE.

Time for the Chiams to sit down and shut up. At this rate, the good that Mr Chiam did will be long forgotten even before he dies.

Anyway Dr Chee is really very arrogant and dumb to use a photo of them together. without permission.

Whatever, “Character is permanent”, juz like Mad Dog symptoms and pettiness.

 

Update at 4.30am on 24 April.

I disagree with P Ravi (remember he’s a SPPP member and Mr Chiam called him “his best  SPP man”) when he wrote on Facebook “both Mr and Mrs Chiam are big-hearted enough to allow for differences of opinion and even welcome them”. If they were really big-hearted they’d have juz kept quiet about the use of the photo. After all as SDP supporters have pointed out, the photo is not the private property of the Chiams.

P Ravi’s post in full:

I have publicly supported Dr Chee’s bid for Bukit Batok. Some people have asked me for my views on Mrs Chiam‘s note yesterday. I cannot comment on the matter because I have not seen SDP’s newsletter, and I do not know (and also do not wish to know) much of the background to the Chiams’ note.

But from my experience, both Mr and Mrs Chiam are big-hearted enough to allow for differences of opinion and even welcome them. I think that’s what democracy is all about. I only have the highest regard for the both of them.

I stand by my view that Dr Chee will be a great Parliamentarian.

Somehow, I don’t think P Ravi will be in Chiams’ good books any more.

 

 

 

Chinese are yum sanging again

In China on 23/04/2016 at 1:15 pm

with cognac.

Avoid this Asean airport

In Airlines, Tourism on 23/04/2016 at 6:05 am

Part of the ceiling at a terminal at Ninoy Aquino collapsed on passengers earlier this year, while just this month thousands of travellers were stranded and left in the dark for hours due to a blackout. The government has said that Manila will have to wait two decades for a new airport, which may be part funded by Japan’s aid agency.

FT

AirAsia is tua kee

In Airlines on 22/04/2016 at 1:08 pm

It’s one one in three of these markets

Catch-22 for PMETs

In Economy, Property on 21/04/2016 at 2:22 pm

“No country becomes rich after it gets old,” warns Rodrigo Chaves, country director for the World Bank. “The rate at which you grow [with] a whole bunch of old people on your back is much lower than the rate of growth at which you can grow when people are active, are educated, are healthy.”

(FT article on Indonesia)

This is the reality be it Indonesia or S’pore or the US: population growth, not productivity growth drives economic growth. What it means is that S’pore will have problems “growing the pie” (or trickle down) if the demographic profile is not reversed.

If S’poreans who have mortgages (whether on public or private) hope to use their property to finance their retirement, they should be petitioning the PAP administration to allow FT PMETs to flood in by the cattle truck load again, not juz by the A-380 load so that there are a lot more younger people so that the economy can keep on growing.

Waz the value of that property if there’s no demand for housing when the PMETs reach 79?

But then, these S’poreans will find themselves unable to finance their mortgages because FTs steal their breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper.

What to do meh?

Well didn’t the PMETs vote for the PAP consistently. Like Harry’s daughter, they have made their bed and must lie in it.

Vote for Robin Hood anyone?

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men

Feared by the bad, loved by the good

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood

 

He called the greatest archers to a tavern on the green

They vowed to help the people of the king

They handled all the troubles on the English country scene

And still found plenty of time to sing

 

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men

Feared by the bad, loved by the good

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood

After all in S’pore, the PAP is viewed as the party “Feared by the poor, loved by the rich”: think VivianB and his sneering at the elderly poor. He’d make a good sheriff of Nottingham in any movie.

But sadly, the nearest we have to a Robin Hood (Dr Chee) will be thrashed by an Indian lawyer in the coming Bukit Batok by-election.

El Nino: End in sight?

In Environment, Indonesia on 21/04/2016 at 10:30 am

Cybernut Land got new hero/ Harry’s a complex man

In Uncategorized on 20/04/2016 at 2:49 pm

TRE’s cybernuts have a new hero: Harry’s daughter. She must be appalled and he must be fuming given that they are all rabid haters of all things Harry and the PAP.

There have been loud shouts of support for her defamatory comments about her brother, the PM.

When TRE republished this piece of mine, among the rants against me and in favour of Harry’s filial daughter, there was this good comment

There is no need to glorify, mummify or deify the image of LKY. It is already imprinted in the minds of thousands of grateful Singaporeans. This what his daughter Dr Lee Wei Ling wishes for. The piece(lightly edited)  is reproduced at * because it  also shows that the writer understands the complex nature of one Harry Lee.

And in response to this asking why Dr Lee did not object to “LKY: Follow thar Rainbow”, Hawking Eye showed what he and the nutters in TRELand have in common, “die-die” Dr Lee is always right.

The vivid memory of the joyful years with her father and the contentment of having been his anchor support during his final frail years must have caused her reflective pain of unbearable proportion. She must be slowly recovering from that and for her to see her father’s first death anniversary being made, by the powers-be, a national occasion of repeat mourning with state sponsored or orchestrated multiple and extended events, is nothing short of seeking political gain out of the death of a venerated political figure i.e her father. LKY himself was dead against personality cult. Why must the PAP Government attempt to glorify, mummify or deify LKY against his wish and that of his daughter?

The book had already been published. If only Dr Lee Wei Ling had a premonition of what her PM brother and his minions were up to, she would have probably objected to it.

Taz right, move aside New Citizen Han Hui Hui, the cyber-rats have a new heroine.

She’ll stand tall beside Roy, M Ravi and Amos Yee, the nutty three.

The funny thing is that they want her brother to sue her. I’ll explain why one of these days. But with fans like these, she doesn’t need enemies. I mean to be a hero to the ratty, nutty rabble one has to suffer. Ask Roy, M Ravi and Amos if being a hero of the mob brings any benefits other than being a celebrity?

—————————————

*Hawking Eye:

In defence of Dr Lee Wei Ling

LKY’s political life has diabolical dimensions.

His first avatar was that of a demon – a destroyer. He destroyed the lives of key comrades in arm and their families both before and after he became the most powerful man in Singapore – the PM.

His earlier victims were his arch rivals like the leftists – Lim Chin Siong, Fong Swee Suan, Sydney Woodhull, James Puthuchery, Said Zahari, Poh Soo Kai, Lim Hock Siew and many others.

He was successful in eliminating them because he had the support, at that time, of the Tunku (then Malaya’s PM) and the British, both of whom also wanted the leftists rounded up as they opposed the formation of Malaysia, a British idea planted into the head of the Tunku. Operational Coldstore (2 Feb 1963) was the security sweep that put all of them away for good, some of them for more than 10-20 years. The British wanted to withdraw their troops and bases from this region and they wanted a pro British regime to take care of their commercial and security interests here. They found Anglophile Tunku, the perfect man to ensure this and they floated the idea of Malaysia comprising (the then) Malaya, North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore with Tunku as the PM. The Leftists resisted this – initially the concept itself and later over the terms of merger. They parted company with the PAP and formed their own political party – the Barisan Socialis. Operation Coldstore followed thereafter. Singapore’s separation vindicated the Leftists but they were still kept under detention for many more years to come. Once entrenched in power, LKY was unstoppable. He went after whoever opposed him and many were knocked out flat by him with his knuckle dusters. They included Tan Lark Sye (then President of the Hokkien Huay Kuan and founder of the former Nanyang University (Nantah), Chinese Newspaper editors, JBJ, Francis Seow, Tang Liang Hong, Devan Nair and Dr Chee Soon Juan amongst many others

His second avatar was that of a creator, an exceptional one at that. g a save, secure and thriving livelihood for its people, which he did?

How should history judge LKY?

With the passing of a generation of individuals and their families who suffered at the hands of LKY, what will remain dominant in the psyche of Singaporeans in some 50 years time, is high respect and gratitude for him for making Singapore the special one it is. And at that time, all his ruthless handling of his political adversaries in the long gone past, will not matter or figure in the minds of Singaporeans except, perhaps for those who read history.

There is no need to glorify, mummify or deify the image of LKY. It is already imprinted in the minds of thousands of grateful Singaporeans. This what his daughter Dr Lee Wei Ling wishes for. Some in power may collectively want the home to be preserved, perhaps, for political gains. The Government should respect the wishes of both the late LKY and his wife to demolish their house at 38 Oxley Road and do so accordingly. Not doing so can turn ugly, given the legal options available for Dr Lee to resist such a move.

 

 

HSBC: End in sight

In Banks, China, Hong Kong on 20/04/2016 at 10:23 am

HSBC Chief Said to Leave in Two Years Stuart Gulliver, HSBC’s chief executive, will step down in two years, and the bank has already started compiling a list of possible internal successors, The Sunday Times reports, citing senior sources.

NYT Dealbook

Naving him as CEO since 3011 is like us kanna Mah Bow Tan and Raymond Lim and Taacob at the same time.

Here’s an interesting tot from FT reader on executive salaries

“Chief executives are agents for owners, the shareholders. They should be treated the same way as football club managers. Your team performs badlly and you are promptly sacked. Preferably they should have only one or two year’s contracts, to be ended on expiry without compensation.”
By Brian Reading on Four ways to bring galactic executive pay back down to earth

 

SPH’s secret sales team

In Media on 19/04/2016 at 2:45 pm

Last week when I read about SPH’s dismal results*, I remembered a recent incident of how a member of ST’s secret sales team pleaded “breaking rice bowl” to dissuade a cancellation of ST subscription and delivery.

When my 91-yr old  mum found out from the newspaper delivery man that she had to pay $6 more for ST, she asked me to cancel the service. I was more than happy because years ago I had suggested stopping subscribing to ST.

I called the vendor and said “Stop from next month”. He annoyed me by telling me that the Chinese newspaper was subsidised (*0 cents and not $1). I said we never took the Chinese paper.

The next day my mum told me that the vendor had called her and asked her not to cancel. He said she was breaking his rice bowl. But as she refused to pay $36, he agreed to deliver only from Mondays to Fridays, to keep the price down.

My mum also told me that he had denied her assertion that delivering newspapers was a lucrative business (She had heard that when the previous vendor retired, he got $750,000 in coffee money from the new vendor).

I told her, the new guy most probably had to borrow serious money to finance the franchise transfer. And that he needed every subscription.

Whatever, while TOC and TRE are asking for donations, and the Indian is prostituting itself in the search for eyeballs, SPH like Old Man River keeps on rolling. And laughing all the way to the bank.

———————————————–

*Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) reported a 22 per cent drop in its net profit for the second quarter on Tuesday (Apr 12).

SPH, which owns the Straits Times newspaper, earned S$54.1 million in the three months ending Feb 29, down from S$69.6 million in the same period a year ago.

Singapore’s largest publisher of newspapers and magazines also saw revenue for the quarter fall 4.1 per cent to S$264.2 million, hurt by a 6 per cent drop in media operating revenue to S$190.7 million.

Its property arm fared better, with operating revenue rising just under 1 per cent to S$61.1 million.

CNA

Wny no need for S$ appreciation

In Currencies, Economy on 19/04/2016 at 6:16 am

S$ up 6% against US$. LOL

Be afraid, very afraid/ PAP doomed, like USSR commies?

In Currencies, Economy on 18/04/2016 at 2:52 pm

S’pore is facing serious economic problems. And who knows, it could lead to political change?

—————————————————-

Going the way of the USSR?

Recently Chris K posted on Facebook It was when the mobilisation of labour and capital have completely ran its course [in the USSR] that the troubles of the 1980s began. In this Singapore is also following the same path. Th PAP says they know this has to change but the flesh is weak even if the spirit is willing.

(Related post: http://utwt.blogspot.sg/2012/02/myth-of-paps-miracle-paul-krugman.html)

The logical conclusion of this view is that the PAP like the the Soviet Communist Party is doomed.  Question of time.

Os the 2015 GE, the high water mark for the PAP? Could the Lee row be an omen?

Where Chris K and I agree is that if property prices fall 20%, it’s bye-bye PAP.

————————————————————

Did you know that the last time MAS  adopted a flat stance on the currency was in 2009 in  a recession. We not yet in recession so the move is pre-emptive. But this means the govt is afraid, very afraid.

Until now, the central bank had adopted a policy of what it had called a “modest and gradual appreciation” of the currency. Keeping the Singapore dollar flat is a move previously associated with recessions: significantly, the MAS last took this position in the middle of the global financial crisis in October 2008.

On the face of it, Singapore has no immediate reason for concern. Its fiscal surplus and low unemployment make it seem an economic paradise to policymakers elsewhere. Nevertheless, the man on the street has been experiencing deflation for several months now, a predicament not unfamiliar in other parts of the developed world. In February, the government forecast that prices would range from flat to down 1 percent this year. The central bank’s preferred measure of inflation, which excludes rent and transport costs, remains below 2 percent.

Singapore is also showing signs of stress. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the economy did not grow at all in the first quarter compared with the final three months of last year. Though manufacturing output rose after six consecutive quarters of contraction, this was due to a temporary increase in pharmaceutical production. In the dominant services sector, economic activity shrank by 3.8 percent from the fourth quarter of last year.

With the stock market in the doldrums and property prices falling, local bank DBS predicts growth of just 1.5 per cent this year, and says a downward revision could be on the cards. For all the outward calm, Singapore has plenty to worry about.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2016/04/14/singapore-joins-global-battle-against-deflation/

HARD TRUTH that PM & sis must obey

In Political governance on 17/04/2016 at 1:12 pm

PM’s sister last Sunday posted on Facebook that her brother had “no qualms abusing his power to [have] a commemoration just one year after LKY died.”, going on, “If the power that be wants to establish a dynasty, LKY’s daughter will not allow LKY’s name to be sullied by a dishonorable son.”

He answered on Facebook hours later (after his sister’s remarks had been taken down) that,“The accusations are completely untrue.”

There the matter rests, at least publicly. But things are happening behind the scene it’s alleged.

Whatever, inaction and silence is not an option for the PM beyond the short-term. As the WSJ put it: The Prime Minister now faces an awkward decision of whether to take legal recourse against his sister, a former head of the National Neuroscience Institute, since clemency could be construed as favoritism. He and his father always maintained that libel lawsuits are necessary to protect the reputations of the country’s leaders.

A true blue local blogger put it in terms that any member of the PAP’s IB and TRELand’s cybernuts can understand: Yes. Dr Lee had taken down the offending post. But she hadn’t publicly recanted what she had said and apologised for making a baseless allegation. If we were to accept the logic that Roy Ngerng had to do alove [sic] those things so that public and international confidence in the integrity and character of our PM would not be affected, then PM MUST take legal action against his sister to clear his name. Otherwise, the public and international confidence in our PM would be shaken to its core!

Of course, some would say, don’t be silly. PM’s character and integrity both locally and internationally won’t suffer because of what Dr Lee said. That is effectively also saying that there wasn’t a compelling reason to take legal action against Roy Ngerng. A simple refutation of what he said would have sufficed.

So if PM doesn’t take legal action against his sister, there are two possible implications. First, public confidence, both locally and internationally, in the integrity and character of PM would suffer. Secondly, there is double standard – if you belong to the FamiLEE, you get free pass in some ways. If you aren’t, then out comes the hatchet… I mean… If it was Dr Chee and not Dr Lee who made that statement about abuse of power etc, I’m sure he would be staring at a letter from PM’s lawyers by now…

So. What will PM do? Will he vigorously defend his integrity and character?

Should PM Lee sue his sister?

Rumour has it that something is being worked out behind the scenes so that PM can in future sue to protect his reputation without questions being asked about, “Err why no sue sister? Membership got its privileges isit? Why liddatt?”

Whatever, Harry’s Law must be obeyed. His daughter herself said“Pa” was not anti free speech “For the cynics who complain that Pa restricted freedom of speech, you are wrong. If your statement is accurate, fine. If it is slander, l will have to defend my reputation in court.

A Hard Truth that has no exceptions or mitigating circumstances: sue to protect one’s reputation and integrity. Inaction means confirming the allegation.

Expect, if all goes according to plan, an apology from Dr Lee to her brother and a big donation to charity in lieu of damages. And if this doesn’t happen soon, expect a formal letter of demand from PM’s lawyers to his sister for an apology and damages.

Harry would expect no less. And so should me if remaining true to his principles are to have any meaning.

Related post

 

 

 

 

1MDB: Saudi minister says Najib funds were donation

In Malaysia on 17/04/2016 at 4:51 am

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said in Istanbul that funds found in Malaysian PM Najib Razak’s personal account were a donation from the Saudi royal family, say Malaysian state media.

“We are aware of the donation and it is a genuine donation with nothing expected in return. We are also fully aware that the attorney general of Malaysia has thoroughly investigated the matter and found no wrongdoing,” he said.

“So, as far as we are concerned, the matter is closed,” Mr Jubeir said, after a meeting with Mr Najib on the sidelines of the summit.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36051474

Meanwhile

The progress of foreign investigations—under way not just in Switzerland but also in America, Singapore, Hong Kong and the UAE—will be closely watched by banks which helped 1MDB raise money, handled the firm’s cash or took Mr Najib’s deposits. Their ranks include Goldman Sachs, BSI, a Swiss private bank, and AmBank, which is part-owned by Australia’s ANZ.

http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21696969-one-biggest-controversies-malaysian-political-history-gets-even-bigger-switzerland-widens

What the Bishan otters can teach us

In Uncategorized on 16/04/2016 at 1:10 pm

I read in CNA a few weeks ago that Otters have become an increasingly common sight in Singapore in recent years, having been spotted in waterways in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Punggol Waterfront and Sungei Buloh. [Funny that there is no mention that otters have been spotted at MacRitchie Reservoir. Whatever, since the report, they’ve been spotted along the Kallang river]

The threatened native species is found in marine and freshwater habitats, thriving in mangroves, river mouths and natural shorelines.

Given the proximity of the areas where otters have been spotted, strange that the otters have not moved to Hougang and Aljunied, I mean Bedok Reservoir is the Aljunied GRC and it would be a good home for the otters.

Maybe the otters are really smart? Life is better in PAP-controlled areas. Otters know better than to move to Hougang ans Aljunied and then repenting. They know a substantial number of swing voters are really repenting they voted for the WP in Aljunied GRC in 2011.

The 9th Immortal must be smiling. DSC_0046

Najib hasn’t used Putin’s excuse

In Malaysia on 16/04/2016 at 4:16 am

Documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca link an old friend of Mr Putin’s, cellist Sergei Roldugin, to a number of offshore companies with cash flows of around US$2bn.

The Daily Telegraph was also monitoring Mr Putin’s question-and-answer session, and says he described the leaks as “provocations” and accused the US of using them to destabilise Russia.

“In an effort to explain the massive cash flows, Mr Putin said that Mr Roldugin had been spending millions of dollars on antique instruments that he was going to donate to the state,” says the Telegraph. These included a £12m Stradivarius, the paper notes.

BBCreport

Retail bonds, another SGX flop

In Uncategorized on 15/04/2016 at 5:12 am

Singapore’s mom-and-pop investors are losing their fervor for bonds as the economy cools, after the amount of notes sold to individual investors was twice initial public stock offerings in 2015.

Prices on the exchange-traded notes are beginning to converge with those sold to institutions on the interbank market. Four companies raised S$975 million ($722 million) selling bonds to individuals last year, outstripping the S$496 million of IPOs, filings show. The one bond sale this year to such investors met with lower demand.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-07/singapore-mom-and-pop-investors-lose-bond-zeal-as-economy-slows

Another SGX initiative goes wrong. Renember until last yr CEO, COO and Head techie were FTs. Now CEO is S’porean but the other two still there screwing things up.

Another forgotten political warrior

In Uncategorized on 14/04/2016 at 4:39 pm

S’pore citizen, Said Zahari, died recently age 88, in KL. He fought fot our independence and spent 17 years in detention. He was the second longest-serving political detainee in Singapore after Chia Thye Poh

I think he had a good point when he

publicly called Lee Kuan Yew “a political coward”. He had said only a coward would resort to jailing his opponents instead of taking them in a political contestation of ideas and letting the best man win.

Dr Wong Souk Yee
Chair
Singapore Democratic Party

http://yoursdp.org/news/tribute_to_said_zahari/2016-04-12-6116

He was locked up because it was alleged he was a “communist”, whatever that means.

Pak Said was editor-in-chief of the Malay-language Utusan Melayu. He led the 93-day strike for editorial independence in 1961. He was elected president of Partai Rakyat just one day before he was arrested in Operation Coldstore on 2 February 1963. He could speak English, Ma;laya and Mandarin.

Harry would not agree with Obama

In Uncategorized on 14/04/2016 at 3:10 pm

Law professor talking?

“A lot of it’s legal, but that’s exactly the problem.”
President Obama on tax inversion deals.

Remember that Obama was a graduate of Harvard Law School and was a law professor.

But if u analyse the words and actions of one one Harry Lee (Double First in  Law from Cambridge) u would be struck by his belief that so long as something was legal, there was no problem. And if there was prob;em (say littering or spitting), a law to could the matter should solve the problem.

Why the Feds investigating 1MDB

In Corporate governance, Malaysia on 14/04/2016 at 1:40 pm

[A] pictute of banks working side-by-side with 1MDB as it accumulated worrying levels of debt and became the subject of growing controversy which, in the words of the Swiss financial regulator, looks like a case of “blatant and massive corruption”. U.S. authorities have asked the banks to provide details of their dealings with the fund. At the very least, the 1MDB money trail will leave parts of Wall Street red-faced.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2016/04/12/wall-street-fingerprints-are-all-over-1mdb-scandal/

Why doesn’t Harry’s daughter object to this?

In Political governance on 13/04/2016 at 1:48 pm

Dr Lee thinks Pa’s wish not to be venerated is being ignored and that there’s an active campaign by the PAP administration  to venerate him.

As yesterday’s post showed, I take her concerns with a large pinch of salt, finding her rantings funny, in a black comedy way. I think she is genuine in her feelings, but the evidence she cited doesn’t support her.

I tot the u/m touching if kitschy

Two young children pose for a photograph against a mural made out of nearly 5,000 Singapore country erasers forming the likeness of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, during a tribute event in Singapore, 20 March 2016.

Ms Lee singled out the creation of a portrait of her father made up of nearly 5,000 erasers as a commemorative event which she felt uneasy about

Now if she had objected to the workbook titled “LKY: Follow That Rainbow, Go Ride It” (the book on LKY’s values etc that SPH published) that is being distributed to kids up to age 18 (publication run 200,000 copies), I’d agree with her on the issue of veneration. But somehow I don’t see her ever objecting to that book or others of its kind: “Pa” would surely have no problem about a book on him being used to perpetuate the PAP’s hegemonic rule  here.

Veneration, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

====================================

My favourite caroon on the subject

=====================================================

Or maybe she’s thinking like Humpty Dumpty?

“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”
“But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. “They’ve a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they’re the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!”

Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass

The book is not “veneration”, it’s to remind us of his values. Err, I’m sure the same was said of Sun Yat Sen’s mausoleum by those who wanted to revere him.

 

Monkey still on Temasek’s back

In Emerging markets, Temasek on 13/04/2016 at 10:22 am

The real monkey bothering Ms Ho. HoHoHo

Standard Chartered Said to Plan Sale of $4.4 Billion in Asian Assets Standard Chartered is seeking to sell at least $4.4 billion of assets in Asia, Bloomberg reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

NYT Dealbook

Are Dr Lee’s concerns about “Pa” being venerated justified?

In Political governance on 12/04/2016 at 2:04 pm

Or juz the imagination of a grieving child, used to getting her way?

Let’s look a someone who was venerated: Sun Yat Sen.

Taiwanese media has also reported on the spat between Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong and his sister Dr lLe Wei Ling. Taiwan is a very relevant example. When the father of republican China Sun Yat Sen died in the 1920s, many Chinese mourned him, just as many Singaporeans mourned Lee Kuan Yew when he died one year ago. Sun’s successor, venerated Sun in a way that Lee Wei Ling objected to, by building a huge mausoleum for Sun and asking all chinese soldiers, students and officials to bow to Sun’s photo. Chiang’s idolisation of Sun did not prevent him from forfeiting the mandate of heaven and losing mainland China because of his incompetent and corrupt rule.

(This is a Facebook post by one Toh Han Shi,  an ex-ST journalist now working for the People’s Daily HK edition South China Morning Post (now owned by Jack Ma). I edited it because he doesn’t believe in using capital letters.)

Err somehow I don’t see the PM and the PAP trying to venerate Harry Lee like that.

—————————————

At least 100 events were organised for the one-year anniversary, ranging from solemn ceremonies and a candlelight vigil to tree-planting and kayaking events.

Wax statues of Lee – widely known as LKY – and his wife were put on public display with flowers laid at their feet, a schoolbook teaching Lee’s values was launched, while some ardent fans online even claimed to have seen his face in the clouds.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36012257

Two young children pose for a photograph against a mural made out of nearly 5,000 Singapore country erasers forming the likeness of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, during a tribute event in Singapore, 20 March 2016.

Ms Lee singled out the creation of a portrait of her father made up of nearly 5,000 erasers as a commemorative event which she felt uneasy about

———————————————

Where’s the huge mausoleum? Where’s the mass forced bowing to LKY’s portrait. Yes I know the Indian alleged one such incident. But come on, the Indi is worse than Jason Chua’s FATPAP, ASS, TRS, STOMP! and TNP combined. And even if true, why no more reports meh?

And really, we wouldn’t stand for Sun style veneration. For starter’s we wouldn’t want to spend money on a huge mausoleum given the cost of land, labour and building materials here

Let me be very clear. I’m not saying that there’s no attempt to venerate LKY. There could be. Funnily Dr Lee doesn’t object to something that can reasonably be seen as deification veneration of LKY. More on this tom.

 

 

Feeling sea-sick?

In Emerging markets, Financial competency on 12/04/2016 at 10:12 am

Chart: emerging markets data

Harry’s daughter: From Hero to Zero

In Uncategorized on 11/04/2016 at 2:26 pm

She now has as much credibility as Roy Ngerng and Amos Yee as far as I am concerned.

First the row with SPH where SPH has a legitimate reason (but whether the real reason or not will the subject of another post) not to publish her piece as she wanted it published.

Then on Facebook accusing her brother of abusing his power, wanting to set up a dynasty and of being dishonourable that it seems she has now taken down.

——————————–

She had written

— “HL has no qualms about abusing his power to hv a commemoration just one year after LKY died”

— “if the power that be wants to establish a dynasty, LKY’s daughter will not allow LKY’s name to be sullied by a dishonourable son.”

————————–

Wonder what “Pa” would think of her? Ah well, she’s made her bed and must lie in it.

Given that she has taken down her accusations against her brother, that’s no longer something to comment on.  So I’ll focus on her row with ST. As I said above, I’ll blog separately on what I think about ST’s actions: it’ll be juz as cynical and nasty. A good description of ST and Dr Lee is Oscar Wilde’s definition of fox-hunting:“The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable!”.

Dr Lee responded to ST’s story http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/why-dr-lees-column-was-not-published that she wanted to include material that was plagiarised: the demand was non-negotiable, and last-minute. ST could not accede to her request without itself getting into trouble for breaches of copyright.

My then SPH editor, Ivan Fernandez’s first response to my draft which included commemoration for Mao and Churchill, “Not using this, Wei Ling. Sticking with the original edited version. Will use your suggestion for the visual (if space permits): shot of the video you mentioned. Bits about Mao and Churchill are going off on a tangent. Distracting and do not contribute enough to the point that you’ve already made. Best to objectively maintain the tightness of argument and not appear to be airing a pet peeve.” There were 5 subsequent emails with regards to this draft, never did Ivan bring up the issue of plagiarism. Given that my article was posted on Facebook on 1st April, and this is 9th April, I wonder whether the powers that be had instructed SPH to criticize me and accuse me of plagiarism. I am a doctor, and writing articles like these do not advance my curriculum vitae which depends on publication on medical issues. So I leave my readers to judge me fairly, whether I intentionally plagiarized or as a filial daughter I wanted to stop any attempts at hagiography at the first anniversary of my father’s death.

My observations about Dr Lee based on this row with SPH and that other White Horse, s/o Devan Nair

— Her Facebook ramblings show that she needs a good editor (polite word in my book in her case going by her Facebook ramblings for rewriter” or “ghost writer” to put her tots into intelligible English. I once upon a time rewrote Terry Xu’s pieces for TOC, all the time telling the editor that Terry should stick to taking photos). The above FB post clearly shows she found a good editor. Good for her and her anti-PAP fans, both rational and nutty.

— It’s reasonable to conclude her ST pieces are really the work of ST’s editors, and are not her work. A White Horses’s stream of consciousness is turned into reasoned arguments and readable English. And to think that many yrs ago, I agreed with a Today editor who said her writings followed her dad’s logical, systematical way of looking at things. Seems to be no such thing. Her editors’ were thinking like LKY, not her.

— The care and attention that ST lavished on her (40 emails between her and her editor on the LKY piece that is the subject of the row) shows that she is a special person*.

— As someone who has to “publish or perish” to advance her career, she should be aware that wholesale cutting and pasting is plagiarising**, when there is no attribution. But to be fair, she doesn’t deny that she plagarised; she claimed mitigating circumstances: love of and filial duty to”Pa”.

It would be best for her reputation and that of the other S’porean natural aristocrats that she sit down and shut up. And I’m sure “Pa” would wish it lest it makes the rest of  S’pore’s natural aristocracy look bad. Her sense of entitlement is astounding.

But we would be deprived of a great soap opera. So here’s hoping she’ll keep on KPKBing.

I’ll end with three great comments that a PAPpy (worships her “Pa” and Nathan) super troll made about her.

ST has put forth great clarity on the issue and Dr. Lee comes up smelling as fresh as day old prawns. Left in the sun. Sad that she had a good cause but went about it with ultimatums which were correctly defied.

— Dr. Lee’s alleged conduct did not do her or the memory her legendary father any favours although her article itself would have. A tragedy it went the way it did.

— Be that as it, the ensuing fracas is regrettable and Dr. Lee came off third best. She is entitled to her own wishes and views about how her father wished to be remembered. Just as much and no less than PM was. And ST is not obligated to present her personal wishes and thoughts. Just as those who admire the late Mr. Lee Kuan Yew are free to conduct their own remembrance of the man on his 1st anniversary. Or subsequent ones.

He’s absolutely right.

Reminder, I’ll post my nasty, cynical tots on ST’s behaviour next. But not tomottow.

————————

*Membership has its privileges

Many of us in the trade would’ve gasped to learn the number of email exchanges between Dr Lee and Mr Fernandez over the column in dispute: Over 40, all in one week in March.

That’s a full-time job in itself! No columnist I know of (including myself) would’ve had this kind of access to an editor’s time. The rule of thumb: If the copy from a freelance columnist is not delivered clean, with minimal edits, then it’s spiked (journalist’s jargon for killing a story). Rewriting it wholesale – and patiently taking the writer through the edits – is just not a done thing.

But we’re not talking about any columnist, are we?

**Do not copy and paste

Finally, according to ST, Dr Lee committed a cardinal sin in journalism and academia: plagiarism. Two passages, from The Guardian and an obscure website, were cited by ST as evidence.

Open-and-shut case: If one of my undergrads had done something similar, he would’ve received zero for the assignment and a warning from the school.

Instead, Dr Lee, in a Facebook update on April 9, defended her action, stating she doesn’t need the ST column to advance her curriculum vitae (err, beside the point).

She added: “So I leave my readers to judge me fairly, whether I intentionally plagiarised or as a filial daughter I wanted to stop any attempts at hagiography at the first anniversary of my father’s death.”

Why stopping hagiography requires an act of plagiarism (intentional or otherwise) is beyond me at this stage in my cerebral development.

Felix Cheong

http://themiddleground.sg/2016/04/10/lwl-saga-top-5-lessons/  Do read it. Great for laughs. Btw I tot Felix Cheong was once upon a time a ST journalist. apparently, i’m wrong after reading an Infopedia piece on him.

 

Too many Indians in the PAP/ Why no good Chinese?

In Uncategorized on 10/04/2016 at 4:13 pm
(Update at 4.25pm: If anyone is wondering why I’m not posting on the White Horse (mare actually) who is behaving like a bull in a china shop because she didn’t get her way, things are happening at warp-speed that a piece I was planning to post is already irrelevant. And her antics are so amusingly entertaining, that laughter prevents serious analysis. Wonder what “Pa” must think?)
When TRE republished this, it provoked this response from a TRE reader. Is he a racist? What do u think? And if so, one of those Indian supremacists ( In a real meritocracy all the leadership positions in the public and private sectors will be held by Indians)? Or a Chinese tua kee racist?  Upset that the Chinese don’t dominate the PAP and S’pore.
Jom:

I have nothing against our local Indians brothers
But I must add that Indians as a race is over represented in pap
And our elite class

We should be mindful that we should not evolve our country into another Bombay
Or Sri Lanka
Not should it evolve into another province of China
Singapore is apparently being dominated by the Indians
We had two Indian president
Chief Justice is an Indian
Chief of local corp DBS is a foreign born Indian
Dpm is an Indian
Law minister is an Indian
Ex foreign and deputy pm was an Indian
Another ex foreign was an Indian
Chief of mas was and is an Indian
Current foreign minister is any Indian
There are at least 4 mps who are Indians
attorney general is also Indian
Come on don’t tell me pap can’t find a good Local Chinese
Are there too many dumb Chinese
If there are it is the fault of one man
The man who killed all good men like chia thye prof
Lim hock sinew, poh see Kai, Francis seow
And many others
The Malays are under represented as well

I know that one man dislike of local Chinese esp Chinese educated and the Malays
Are we carrying on the legacy of this dead mans hatred
Are we perpetuating his cruel and unfounded reason for being biased towards a certain race and his own
I know the Indian community play a very important role in our society
There were and are brave Indians who made many sacrifices for the country who speak up
And fought for the oppressed, the defenceless
But nowadays it is a dying breed
Indeed it is true of all races
There are only a few good men left

Dr chee is the only one leftMost of them succumb to pressure, money, threats, and self preservation and selfishness
An Indian speaking Mandarin is nothing great to boast about
Character is more important than a snake charming
None of the opposition mps can hold a candle to Dr chee
None of them could even spoke up on issues of national concerns
Like unemployment , immigration
They are just there as a token to the delight of pap

Rating: +20 (from 20 votes)

Panama Papers: Silence of the anti-PAP crowd

In Uncategorized on 10/04/2016 at 5:11 am

Funny the TRELand cybernuts are pretty quiet. The names of those here who have been unmasked as having used the services of Mossack are now publicly available. So why are the Roy, Goh Meng Seng, s/o JBJ, Mad Dog, and Uncle Redbean and their ratty, nutty friends (like Ng Cock Lim, Philip Ang, Dosh, Oxygen, and BK) from TRELand silent on naming and shaming the PAPpies who used the services of Mossack.

Err could it be that there are PAPpies?

Hehehehe.

Or at least not known?

Hehehehe

Gregory (detective): “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”

Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

Update at 7.00am: The silence from the respectable, more rational TOC is also curious. Terry Xu on strike isit? Not being paid isit?

Fed Warned Goldman on Malaysian Deals

In Malaysia on 09/04/2016 at 11:28 am

Federal Reserve regulators had raised concerns with Goldman Sachs that deals that it helped put together for a Malaysian government investment fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad ( 1MDB), could have put the firm’s reputation at risk, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

Best place to incorporate shell co

In Uncategorized on 09/04/2016 at 5:42 am

NYT Dealbook

Need to Hide Some Income? You Don’t Have to Go to Panama Setting up a shell corporation in the United States is simple – especially in states like Delaware, Wyoming and Nevada.

Obviousl NYT is a constructive, bation-building newspaper like ST.

Panama Papers: Chinese really tua kee

In Uncategorized on 08/04/2016 at 11:10 am

The files suggest that China is Mossack’s most important market. The firm’s Hong Kong office has been its busiest, and it has outposts in eight other Chinese cities. These nine offices set up 29% of all the firms Mossack had on its books at the end of 2015, according to the ICIJ.

Although there is no evidence of illegality, obeying the law is not the only requirement for Chinese officials. Almost all of those involved are Communist Party members, who must abide by the party’s code of conduct. This bans them from registering or investing in companies abroad. So they may have broken rules, if not the law. High-ranking officials in China can also be held responsible for the business dealings of relatives.

http://www.economist.com/news/international/21696497-huge-trove-documents-has-revealed-secrets-offshore-business-presaging-tougher

 

The truth about inside info and stock markets

In Uncategorized on 08/04/2016 at 5:26 am

Here are extracts from FT  of the testimony of someone charged with insider trading.

Mr Parvizi, with four other defendants, ‎is accused by the UK Financial Conduct Authority of a single count of insider trading following its most complex probe, known as Tabernula, Latin for little pub after the investigation’s code name.

….

He would never, however, ask his network of sources made up of brokers, fellow traders and journalists, including two from the Financial Times, whether a tip was true but would rather use his “gut feeling”.

“In the stock market you never know if you are being told the truth or not,” Mr Parvizi, 50, told the jury. “In a very high percentage of cases I think it’s not true.”

His lawyer asked Mr Parvizi if he ever questioned Mr Hind on where he was getting his information.

“Never. It’s not a written rule, but you would never ask. You assume it’s a lie and you can do your own research,” Mr Parvizi said. “The whole stock market is built on lies.”

 

Whoever wins BB, S’pore is the real winner

In Political governance on 07/04/2016 at 11:02 am

I ended this by asking if Chee is “Coyote” not “Mad Dog”? In North Amerindian myths, Coyote does seemingly mad things fhat turn out well. He is “mad” for a reason.

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The coyote features prominently as a trickster figure in the folktales of America’s indigenous peoples, alternately assuming the form of an actual coyote or a man. As with other trickster figures, the coyote acts as a hero which rebels against social convention through deception and humor. The coyote was likely given its trickster role in light of the actual animal’s intelligence and adaptability; pre-Columbian American people observed its behavior, and their folkloric representations reflected its attributes. (Wikipedia)

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The Bukit Barok bye-election will show that we are really multi-racial society. An Indian who speaks Mandarin will whip the ass of a Chinese who speaks Mandarin and Hokkien. (It goes without saying that Both candidates are English educated,)

This victory will demolish once and for all, the arguments for GRCs and a presidential election where only Malays  can be candidates: even though there’s a Malay that can beat Dr Tan Cheng Bock, the person the PAP die-die doesn’t want to be president.

No matter who wins in Bukit Batok, the result is good for S’pore. Voters either put the final nail into the coffin of race based politics*;  or we get someone who aspires to be more than a highly paid social worker like Kate Spade Tin.

Maybe Dr Chee realised the potential to engineer a defeat for PAP even if the PAP wins and put himself up as the SDP candidate?  In North Amerindian myths, Coyote does seemingly mad things feat turn out well for the common man. He is “mad” for a reason.

———————–

*But then maybe the PAP will say Indians are hyper-achievers so where the candidates are Indian, there can be exceptions to race-based voting. After all two of PM’s trusted lieutenants are Indian and the last time I saw the commanding heights of the administration of justice here are owned by Indians.

 

Sex, robots and AI

In Uncategorized on 07/04/2016 at 4:30 am

Research done at Stanford. “This research has implications for both robot design and theory of artificial systems.”

Sex robot ‘turns humans on by getting them to fondle its private parts’ (Daily Mirror)

BBC

 

Dow Tpt sends bearish signal

In Uncategorized on 06/04/2016 at 2:53 pm

From FT

The Dow Transportation Average, which is seen as an economic barometer because of its components’ central role in moving goods round the world, has fallen below its 200-day moving average, according to data from Bloomberg.

The fall in the Dow Transports below that support level could be an ominous sign, given moves in the average sometimes precede the broader market. For instance, Transports hit bottom in January about a month before the broader markets notched their lows of the year.

Investors will be watching closely to see if the Dow Jones Industrial Average or S&P 500 move toward their own support levels — something that still remains far afield.

White Horse fights White Horse

In Political governance on 05/04/2016 at 10:21 am

Who is really ignoring LKY’s wishes?

But first, the spat between Lee Wei Ling and Devandas Nair (example https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154269480746844&set=a.10150263346906844.370932.581221843&type=3&theater) is starting to sound like

Tweedledum and TweedledeeAgreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.

And how did that end?

Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel;
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel.

Juz remember: White Horse fights White Horse. Two very privileged kids (who should know better) are rowing pub;ocly about who is upholding LKY’s wishes and who is dissing his wishes.

One White Horse (actually a mare) thinks she is the keeper of LKY’s flame (Funny that she never fulfilled his wish for her: that she marry and have a family.). The other White Horse (Gelding really?) is a paid-up member of the administration that Harry built and which turned on his dad.

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Gelding: a male horse that has had its testicles removed

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I’m still thinking about the rights and wrongs of both sides. But here are the two major themes that I’m meditating on:

— By claiming “Pa” was not anti free speech “For the cynics who complain that Pa restricted freedom of speech, you are wrong. If your statement is accurate, fine. If it is slander, l will have to defend my reputation in court.”, isn’t she guilty of building a monument to him? A false one with feet of clay?

— And isn’t the PM and the PAP really doing what “Pa” wanted: trying to ensure PAP hegemony forever and a day by propagating stuff like Follow the Rainbow? I mean he wrote self-serving books too didn’t he? DSC_0011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll end with her failure to understand the regime that Harry built:

My Facebook avatar asked, “She should ask herself why ST “censorsed” her? Fear of the administration where her dad formed and was a leading figure for many a year? She says “For the cynics who complain that Pa restricted freedom of speech, you are wrong.” sounds like something from Evelyn Waugh’s black comedy writings.”

He got two “Likes” from two ex-SPH editors who are pretty decent fellows.

Re: Harry’s daughter KPKPing about being censored

In Media, Political governance on 04/04/2016 at 3:56 pm

When I read the following in an FT article about the relationship between journalists and the , rulers, I  couldn’t help thinking about Lee Wei Ling’s KPKBing that she was censored by ST.

When President Xi Jinping paid a New Year’s visit to China Central Television in February, the welcoming banner on the wall ignited a controversy that has roiled Chinese politics for weeks.

“Our family name is the Party,” the banner read, in a display of fealty that many Chinese felt was excessive. Mr Xi took things a step further, saying that China’s media “must love the party, protect the party and closely align themselves with the party leadership in thought, politics and action”.

Guess this is how the PAP expects SPH and MediaCorp publications and channels to behave.

After all, this is what Ms Lee posted on Facebook: It was a love-hate relationship between me and my three consequetive editors. there may already been a space for my article, then the editor does not like what i wrote, and i refuse to have the relevant points deleted and the entire article is then dropped. when what each of the three editors objected to was so consistent, i decided they must have been commanded to edit certain issues out, and they are to timid to disobey, and too embarassed by their timidness to tell me the truth.

And this is the headline from the SCMP Cheong Yip Seng tells how Lee Kuan Yew, who saw the press as subordinate to the nation’s needs, made sure that only he and his government could set the agenda for Singapore

It then went on to quote an extreact from his book OB Markers http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1747889/under-lee-kuan-yew-press-was-only-free-it-needed-be-serve

(In case anyone has juz woken up from a 50-year sleep, Cheong Yip Seng is a former editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings’ English and Malay Newspapers Division. He is an editorial adviser for SCMP Publishers.

Then there is this from the FT.

Looks like the urge to report the Truth (whatever that means) than propoganda never took root among journalists in our constructive, nation-building media. And Yes of course blame it on Harry.

 

Fintech is fashionable

In Banks on 04/04/2016 at 12:24 pm

NYT Dealbook reports

‘FINTECH’ BOOM SAID TO THREATEN BANK JOBS Up to 30 percent of employees in the banking industry could lose their jobs to new technologies over the next decade, Nathaniel Popper reports in DealBook.

A report by Citigroup said that the number of employees at American banks would drop to 1.8 million in the year 2025, down from 2.6 million last year. An even sharper drop is predicted for European banks.

The jobs would be lost to start-ups cutting into different parts of the financial industry.

The projection comes after Antony Jenkins, the former chief executive of Barclays, said that banking was facing a series of “Uber moments,” in which the jobs in the industry could halve.

Banks are already being forced by volatile market conditions and new regulations to make cuts.

The Citigroup report noted that the banking sector had attracted record investment over the last five years and that new technologies had taken off the fastest in Asia, particularly China.

New financial technologies have been slower to gain traction in the United States. But “given the growth in fintech investment, this isn’t likely to continue for long,” wrote Kathleen Boyle, the managing editor of Citigroup GPS, in the report’s introduction.

Priductivity: What our masses not told

In Economy on 03/04/2016 at 12:09 pm

But first the Economist reports that a new paper shows that a higher minimum wage may not be as effective in tackling poverty as many hope. Low-wage workers don’t all belong to low-income families. I’m sure the PAP administration and its running dogs* in the constructive, nation-building media and academia will tell NTUC members, PMETs and other S’poreans this.

But NTUC members, PMETs and other S’poreans won’t hear from them that

— An impact of higher minimum wages is higher productivity.

Still there are other potential impacts of higher minimum wages;one is higher productivity. Some British companies that voluntarily shifted to a higher living wage found that staff absenteeism and turnover rates reduced, and productivity improved. It is hard to disentangle cause and effect here; are better-paid staff better motivated or are employers forced to become more efficient to absorb the cost of higher wages?

So if Tharman wants to improve productivity, as he says he wants** to, he should have minimum wages and set them high.

— One possible explanation why productivity has not been increased by new technology could be the sluggishness of wage growth; labour is so cheap that employers have less incentive to replace it with capital. Think the PAP’s administration very liberal FT policy both in numbers and quality: T often stood for “Trash”. Think SGX.

The main function of liberal FT immigration policies is wage repression. Why employ a local if FT is 20% cheaper (OK, I exaggerate because levies are paid, but still cheaper.)

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How FTs affect the wages of the young here and their productivity

This conversation appeared on Facebook

Jeraldine Phneah

I think it is simply unfair to ask Singaporean youths to accept lower pay for PMET positions like their counterparts from developing countries working here are doing i.e. Filipinos, Vietnamese and Malaysians. Some believe that we should do so to ‘remain competitive’ and if we don’t, we are ‘entitled and lazy’.

I think it is unfair to compare our youths with those from other countries. They are earning a lot more here than they would at home due to our exchange rate . When they return, they will be very rich. In contrast, Singaporeans need more money to buy a house here, afford necessities and save up for retirement here.

While I think Singaporeans should not accept lower pay, I am not in any way saying that Singaporeans should earn more than foreigners. I think both should earn equally good pay.

A first world economy where businesses survive largely because wages are kept low is simply unsustainable.

It elicited this response from a tua kee: Yeoh Lam Kong (Once GIC’s chief economist. he’s now in Harry’s School of Public Policy)

Agreed!

It also disincentivises firms from upgrading to higher skilled, more sophisticated operations needing experienced, high level staff as well as lowers the return in engineering or computer science vocations so that local grads have less incentive to take these key subjects at university or as a profession, lowering the supply of locally trained engineering graduates.

So not only is this unfair to Singaporean youth; it also likely retards our manpower and industrial development as well as comparative advantage in key sectors longer term.

Another lady added:

Thank you Jeraldine for expressing so well what I always wanted to say on the “foreign talent” working in Spore. It very true that we are not entitled n lazy.

It very true that till there are control over the lax rule on S n employment pass, co had no incentive to automate as the easy way is simply to hire cheaper FT.

The civil servants post should be open to these FT so that our spoiled n well sheltered civil servant had a taste of their lax altitude to easy approval of FT S n employment pass.

Btw, wondering why the cybernuts from TRELand like Dosh, Oxygen, Ng Cock Lim and Philip Ang are incapable of discoursing like this? No wonder Richard Wan (ex scholar) and Chris K have moved on out of TRELand and associate themselves with TOC.

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— And maybe Higher minimum wages could stimulate the economy and boost wages, for example. Or if employers focus on high-skilled workers in the short term, that could boost productivity and the economy in the long term, eventually providing jobs for the low skilled. 

(All quotes from: http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2016/04/minimum-wages)

Yet despite all this wage repression, the Oppo parties not could win more than 30% of the popular vote and in many wards had only the “THe PAP is always wrong” voters voting for them.

S’poreans daft? No: article on how the oil price collapse in 2014 helped the PAP

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*Apologies to the real dogs. Blame Mao for using the term to denote rats and other vermin who take human form.. apparently he didn’t like dogs.

**On Friday Tharman sais Data shows that outward-oriented sectors such as logistics and manufacturing saw productivity growth of 3.2 per cent each year over the last five years. However in domestically-oriented sectors, such as retail and F&B, productivity has fallen by about 0.6 per cent each year in the last three years. 

DPM Tharman said that there is a need to close this gap as it can help to ensure income growth for Singapore over the long term. 

He added that lessons from the most innovative firms should be shared with other companies and the focus will be on developing more breakthroughs, deeper innovations and more disruptors. This could see some firms having to exit to make space for the most innovative players. (CNA)

Owner’s race affects cat’s meow

In Uncategorized on 03/04/2016 at 10:21 am

Seems cats owned by Chinese meow differently from those owned by Indians, Malays and other races. The language of owner affects the way cats meow.

[T}he Times reports that a group of Swedish animal behaviourologists believe that cats may pick up regional accents from their owners.

They will spend the next five years recruiting cats from different parts of Sweden to try to decipher what their miaows mean.

The Times comments: “It is a reassuring world in which a researcher from the University of Lund is paid to spend five years looking into whether cats speak differently in different parts of Sweden.

“Susanne Schotz is planning to test a hypothesis that feline vocalisation may vary in tone and lilt according to how owners speak to their pets.

“Hence the possibility suggested in today’s paper that pussy cats may somehow develop regional miaowing or caterwauling that mimic the voices of their regional humans.”

China: That big meh?

In China on 02/04/2016 at 4:16 pm

Did you know?

The distance from Kashgar, an oasis city in Xinjiang near China’s central Asian frontier, to Berlin is only about 400 miles farther as the crow flies than the distance from Kashgar to Shanghai. (FT)

—  Chongqing covers an area the size of Scotland. Around 12m of its residents are villagers; another 18m live in the core city and other widely scattered towns. (Economist)

HK$, M$ do well against US$

In Currencies, Hong Kong, Malaysia on 02/04/2016 at 9:53 am

HoHoHo: Chinese banks look sick

In Uncategorized on 01/04/2016 at 2:27 pm

Profits for the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and China Construction Bank both grew at less than half a percent. Industry-wide, nonperforming loans rose to 1.67% of total loans last year, up from the previous year. BBC report

Temasek has significant stakes in both.

Worse, FT reports: State-owned asset managers have been buying up distressed industrial debt in what could be the start of a bailout of the banks. Chinese corporate debt is a hefty $15tn. The country’s 30 most leveraged large corporations have debt equivalent to 21 times their gross incomes.

Any bailout is likely to mean dilution in the stakes of non-state shareholders like Temasek.

Not the new Berkshire

In China, Corporate governance on 01/04/2016 at 11:19 am

Anbang’s owner CV in managing money: he maeeied into Deng Xiaoping’s family, marrting a granddaughter. But he’s no Buffett

From NYT Dealbook:

THE UNSETTLING ACQUISITIVENESS OF ANBANG Anbang’s spending spree is a sign that deal-making has gone awry, Steven Davidoff Solomon writes in the Deal Professor column.

Strategic bidders typically triumph over financial bidders in takeover battles because the strategic buyer is an operating company and can almost always pay more. The strategic buyer can expect to earn more through cost savings. The last time financial buyers regularly beat strategic buyers was before the financial crisis as the credit bubble drove a huge feeding frenzy in private equity.

Anbang appears to be trying to build itself into a conglomerate along the lines of Berkshire Hathaway and, like Berkshire, is using insurance reserves to buy assets in businesses such as banking and real estate. It spent over $2 billion on insurers in Belgium and South Korea in 2015.

The funding comes from selling high-yield investment products to Chinese citizens. If this type of company existed in the United States, there would be an outcry, Mr. Davidoff Solomon writes. An insurance company that appears out of nowhere to become a giant after 10 years before buying noncore assets abundantly? We’ve seen this story before and it typically doesn’t end well.

And who would manage Starwood? None of the investors in Anbang’s consortium have much hotel experience. Anbang could keep on the Starwood team, but Anbang has already had trouble managing its new subsidiaries. The management team at its Belgian acquisition left after a few months amid complaints about Anbang’s management style.

Anbang may already have pushed too far. China’s insurance regulator is set to reject its takeover plans because the deals would break rules banning insurers from investing more than 15 percent of their assets abroad, according to the financial magazine Caixin. The Financial Timesreported that people close to the deal played down the report, saying that Anbang believes the regulator would only become involved if the hotel chain purchases were funded with insurance premiums.

Nonetheless, if Anbang were to pursue the deals, there remains the question of whether Anbang could capably run Starwood. There is too much risk here and the deal raises issues about takeovers and the responsibility to look out for the company itself.