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Archive for June, 2016|Monthly archive page

Brexit: Why Cameron and BoJo remain arrogant

In Uncategorized on 30/06/2016 at 1:29 pm

The Times says Mr Cameron delivered a “migration ultimatum”, saying EU leaders must allow it to be curbed if they want a future deal with Britain over the single market.

What arrogance. True a strong Uk is in the EU’s interest, but conventional wisdom is that UK needs EU more than EU needs UK.

Here’s an American perspective that shows why conventional wisdom may be wrong again. NYT Dealbook reports:

There is still enormous uncertainty about how Britain’s exit will play out, but if you consider the absolute worst-case scenarios, it could just be the first domino, Andrew Ross Sorkin writes in DealBook. And the next ones to fall would matter more.

Italy’s government is already considering pumping money into its banking systems as bank stocks were pummelled after the vote. Italy’s banks would suffer if Britain’s vote to leave the European Union created a material economic slowdown. If Italy’s economy faltered later on and the European Union offered help only with tough conditions, we could witness the secession of Italy, Mr. Sorkin writes.

There is a decent chance that another country could try to follow Britain on its way out before then. Geert Wilders, the populist leader of the anti-immigrant Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, has already called for a Dutch referendum.

James Pethokoukis, a commentator at the American Enterprise Institute, recently found a memorandum written in 2011 during the euro crisis by Willem Buiter, the global chief economist at Citigroup, that imagined the destruction of the European Union. It compared it to the movie “War of the Roses” – disruptive, destructive and without any winners.

“Exit, partial or full, would likely be precipitated by disorderly sovereign defaults in the fiscally weak and uncompetitive member states, whose currencies would weaken dramatically and whose banks would fail,” Mr. Buiter wrote at the time. “If Spain and Italy were to exit, there would be a collapse of systemically important financial institutions throughout the European Union and North America and years of global depression.”

Hopefully, these are just worst-case scenarios. Unfortunately, as Neil Irwin explains in The Upshot, Britain’s exit actually accentuates global forces that have been building for years that governments have been unable to limit.

These self-reinforcing dimensions make it a particularly perilous time for the global economy. The dollar is likely to strengthen with the value of the pound collapsing. The result of the referendum could drag down growth even further.

And political environments around the world are getting more toxic,driving greater polarization and a greater range of possible outcomes. These and other changes do not stand in isolation, and no one yet knows where the cycle ends.

In essence, the Britexiters are planning a game of chicken: Give us what we want or see the end of the EU and a global recession. And never mind what happens to the UK. That’s arrogance. Sadly, they may have a point.

Meanwhile, UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s appearance at an emergency session of the European Parliament to discuss Brexit – at which he told fellow MEPs they were in denial over EU failings – attracted plenty of column inches.

Patrick Kidd, writing in the Times, says: “Nigel Farage went to Brussels and did what he has done so admirably for 17 years: got right up the noses of his fellow MEPs.

“He was as welcome as a fart in a lift.

A “triumphant” Nigel Farage was heckled and booed as he “heralded the nation’s Brexit decision” and taunted EU bosses, the Daily Star reports.

BBC report.

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People power in S’pore

In CPF on 30/06/2016 at 7:37 am

Going by the metric that 28.000 here is the equivalent of 1.7m in the US, see below, Gilbert Goh is the champion crowd-puller. At very short notice, he got 6,000 people to protest about the growing presence of FTs (and the White Paper’s plan to let more in by the cattle-truck load). This would amount to 364,000 people in the US. A very good crowd.

He then repeated it again sometime later.

He got the equivalent of 700,000 people to protest.

———————–

FT columnist does the sums:

Singapore’s annual Pink Dot gay pride gathering attracts big crowds. There were 28,000 people there last year.

That is a large turnout in a country with a population of 5.5m. An equivalent gathering in the UK would be 330,000. In the US, it would be 1.7m.

Note that he had to use last year’s numbers because the organiser’s refused to provide a number for this year, claiming that it wasn’t about numbers any more. Didn’t cut any ice with the govt this show of modesty.

And remember the Pink Dot do has been going on since 2010, there is plenty of planning and that it’s the best opportunity available in the region to find a sexual partner.


I wrote this about GG in 2013

Gilbert Goh only has A levels from a non-elite school (St Andrew’s or CJC I assume?) and a diploma in counseling. He doesn’t have a salary of millions, he depends on donations to fund his work of helping the unemployed and underemployed.

Yet three times in the last seven months, this fifty-something S’porean has been able to bring out the crowds onto Hong Lim Park, the latest on National Day. GG got 700 S’poreans out onto Hong Lim to celebrate National Day in a way that is not “right”. True, it was much smaller than the last two occasions (about 5,000 each time) when he called for a gathering, but 700 with only about a week’s notice is pretty decent by any S’porean standard.

700 peole would work out to 42,50o in the US, still a decent figure.

Roy’s first “Return My CPF” do attracted 2,000 people. This amounted to 121,000 people in the US. A good crowd. But subsequent crowd numbers were nothing to write home about.

—————————–

As a side note, his then side-kick, New Citizen Han Hui Hui said the crowd at his first gig was 6,000 when it was obviously not, denting the credibility of the “Free My CPF” movement and Roy. Subsequent comments over other issues showed what a liar she is. Poor Roy’s credibility was affected. No wonder he cut his losses and pleaded guilty on charges brought in relation another event the dynamic duo organised. She too was charged and has just been fined after a lengthy trial.


But I’ll end by reminding S’poreans that Tan Kin Lian was the first S’porean to get about 1,000 S’poreans to protest at Hong Lim Green. They were protesting about “mini-bonds” and related products that were sold as alternatives to S$ fixed deposits. I helped out at this movement until the likes of Goh Meng Seng influenced TKL’s behaviour.

 

 

 

h

 

 

Comfort among Asian Brexit exposed stocks

In Uncategorized on 29/06/2016 at 1:37 pm

The exposures of SembCCorp, CDP, Frasers etc are “peanuts”. Note Comfort Delgro is a GLC, sort of.

PAPexit is like Brexit/ BoJom, another Mao or Fidel or Che

In Uncategorized on 29/06/2016 at 7:37 am

The process of Brexit after 43 yrs in the EU looks like a nightmare. It’ll be long, painful and the destination unknown. It might not even happen. FT quoted a senior British diplomat as saying: “Ultimately Brexit won’t happen.”

Well the PAP have been ruling S’pore for 57 yrs, turning S’pore (with the consent of the voters) into a de-facto one-party state. So kicking the PAP  out of power (PAPexit) will be the beginning of a journey, not the end of the journey. It’s the end of the beginning not the end: Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning, Winston Churchill
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/winstonchu163144.html

And we won’t know what the destination will look like. Meanwhile property prices will collapse further. S’poreans will decide to contemplate PAPexit when the PAP can no longer can keep property prices from sliding (Not an original tot, many hold this view) but PAPexit will make the slide worse (for a time at least).

While I’d like the company, on the perilous journey to an unknown destination, of people like Dr Paul Thamby, Dr Ang Yong Guan, Donald Low, Richard Wan, Peter low, Alfred Doswell, Remy Choo, Chris K, Terry Xu, Ravi Philemon, Siow Kum Hong, Yeoh Lam Keong and other Jedi; do I really want the shame and pain of being associated with the likes of s/o JBJ, New Citizen Han Hui Hui, Roy Ngerng, M Ravi, Teo Soh Lung, Tan Jee Say, Goh Meng Seng, Balji and Tan Kin Lian? Or that of the elected MPs of the Wankers’ Party? Or their fellow wankers in the ang moh tua kee brigade, people who “Talk cock, sing song, then sit down and shut up”*, like Kirsten Han, Lynn Lee and other members of the Caring Action Network?

“Waiter, another. Make it a triple”. The company of the latter makes me think that saying No to PAPexit is the preferred option.

After all

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Seriously, let’s toast the heavens that  we don’t have a Boris Johnson (even though I’m a fan.) .

BiJo can walk on water, turn water into wine, or so it seems. and is likely to be the next British PM.

As the FT rightly points out: “Boris Johnson proclaims himself an economic liberal. The votes that put him in this position came mostly from people who prefer the opposite.”

Only an authentic genius can bridge the gap between the two views of the world. Or a demagogue.

Don’t believe those that sneer he doesn’t have a plan. In February, BoJo said: “There is only one way to get the change we need — and that is to vote to go; because all EU history shows that they only really listen to a population when it says No.”

What he was saying was that “Vote No and the rules of the game change.”

He should have been more honest and said:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

Well he’s right. There isn’t the automatic withdrawal that was promised, nor a united EU response, Something is being worked out, though no-one knows what it is: policymakers be making it up as they go along.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

And anyway, all he wanted to be was PM. That was the real plan and  leading the Brexit campaign, the best way of achieving this end

Of such trivial things are revolutions born.


*Not my view only but that of Amos Yee who CAN betrayed.

 

M$, rupiah: Here we go again

In Currencies, Emerging markets, Indonesia, Malaysia on 28/06/2016 at 1:39 pm

Our dolphins going to a bigger park

In Uncategorized on 28/06/2016 at 9:56 am

OK Haw Par’s dolphins.

On Sunday, Underwater World Singapore entertained visitors for the last time. When it opened in May 1991, it was the largest tropical fish oceanarium in Asia. Earlier this month, owner Haw Par announced that it was closing the Sentosa attraction because the lease on its premises expires in less than two years.

But the dolphins and other sea creatures will be going to Hengqin’s Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, Asia’s 5th biggest theme park.

Let’s them wish them well.

Chart: China theme parks data

NOL: The facts in two charts

In Logistics, Shipping, Temasek on 27/06/2016 at 2:16 pm

Or why it was sold

Charts from FT

Container-shipping-chart-3b

 

 

Container-shipping-chart-2c

 

So what else could Temasek do?

 

Pink Dot: Why was govt spooked?/ Pastor Khong try matching the numbers

In Political governance on 27/06/2016 at 6:23 am

28,000 people at a Pink Dot event is the equivalent of a crowd of 330,000 in the UK. or 1.7m in the US. Pretty impressive number then.


FT columnist does the sums:

Singapore’s annual Pink Dot gay pride gathering attracts big crowds. There were 28,000 people there last year.

That is a large turnout in a country with a population of 5.5m. An equivalent gathering in the UK would be 330,000. In the US, it would be 1.7m.

Note that he had to use last year’s numbers because the organiser’s refused to provide a number for this year, claiming that it wasn’t about numbers any more. Didn’t cut any ice with the govt this show of modesty, did it?


This shows what foreign sponsorship money and good local event management can do.

No wonder the PAP administration told foreign sponsors that funding Pink Dot is a no-no area. And they are sitting down and shutting up. Money talks, BS walks. The probability of making serious money, outweighs the BS talk of values.

In a de-facto one party state, like a de-jure party state, the ruling party cannot have any other organisation capable of getting people out on the streets for an alternative view that the party is uncomfortable with. Think the CCP and Falun Gong.

———————-

When China banned Falun Gong, the PA here cancelled Falun Gong classes it was conducting immediately before the movement was banned here. In HK, the movement is not banned. We more PRC than HK isit? why liddat?

————–

Finally, Pastor Khong and allies talk of a moral  majority opposed to LGBT rights. Prove it please. Get 30,000 people to a do at Hong Lim Green. After all if God is really on their side, the crowd will be there.

Scared isit? Why liddat? After all got Allah and the three-in-one version.

And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

 

 

ELD owes us tax-payers a clear explanation

In Political governance, Public Administration on 26/06/2016 at 2:03 pm

Not my words but that of a TRE reader who wrote the following

Where does ELD draw the line?

I have read the news of the arrest of Teo Soh Lung, Roy Ngerng and Jason Chua by the police for breaking the Cooling Off or Polling Day rules. How did the election department know who break the Cooling-Off day rules? I thought it only applied to candidates and their parties? If they are investigating individuals who had posted political things on Cooling off day, they should also be investigating so many others. Why draw the line at Teo Soh Lung, Roy Ngerng and Jason?

Augustin Lee said he complain to election department on 30 May about fabrication about the pap but the department did not take any action. Why didn’t the election department take any action against FAP after the complaint? The election department should explain to commoners like us why they did not do anything to Fabrication Against the pap. They can lodge report against Roy and Teo Soh Lung but show double standard when comes to a pro-government page.

Next election or by election we complain to election department about postings by people who are anti-government then we will see police report made against them. If complain about pro government then confirm sweep under carpet.

I think ELD owes us tax-payers a clear explanation.

Angry Singaporean

 

Wayang only, our banking secrecy laws

In Banks on 26/06/2016 at 5:30 am

In the case reported below, MAS was quoted as saying by ST that “Banking information could be disclosed through client’s consent or via Singapore mutual legal assistance.”

MAS seems to suggest that consent or mutual assistance are the main channels for disclosure.

So where got banking secrecy? All wayang.

From NYT Dealbook:

UBS Gives I.R.S. Records on U.S. Citizen’s Account in SingaporeUBS ended a legal fight with the Internal Revenue Service, agreeing to hand over records on an American client’s account in Singapore as the authorities seek to move beyond Switzerland in their fight against offshore tax evasion.

“UBS confirms that it complied with the summons based on client consent in accordance with Singapore law,” Marsha Askins, a UBS spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

IRS agents served a summons on UBS in 2013 for the records. Hsiaw had $990,351 in his UBS account in Switzerland in 2001, and closed that the next year, transferring $194,356 to his Singapore account in 2002, according to the IRS petition. The bank said it couldn’t produce the information because Singapore’s bank-secrecy laws prevent disclosure without permission from Hsiaw, which he hadn’t provided, according to a court filing.

Singapore’s laws and regulations don’t prohibit sharing of information for investigations into possible tax offenses, and banking information could be disclosed through client’s consent or Singapore mutual legal assistance, according to the city state’s central bank.

“Even if Singapore’s bank secrecy laws, as UBS contends, precludes disclosure of the summoned bank records relating or pertaining to Hsiaw’s Singapore account(s), international comity requires that the records be disclosed,” IRS revenue agent James Oertel said in the Feb. 23 petition.

 

Brexit: The Truth/ British society more meritocratic than ours

In Uncategorized on 25/06/2016 at 11:29 am

The Bullingdon Boys.
First they smashed up restaurants.
Now they break up countries.

Boris Johnson, George Osborne and Caneron were members of this rich boys’ club.

https://twitter.com/johnprescott/status/746292893850144768/photo/1?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=fb&utm_campaign=stix73&utm_content=746296574897176576

What I liked about this club is that the members paid for the possible damage they would cause before they got druken. A very civilised way of rioting.

More meritocratic than S’pore

John Prescott was a waiter who late became DPM in a  successful Labour govt. Got any DPM here that started off as waiter on a ship? Let alone a minister? There was another Labour minister, Alan Johnson, who was a postman. And the brains of Brexit, Michael Grove, Tory minister, a friend and ally of Cameron, was adopted by fish mrtchants. Any PAP minister liddat?

Pinoy president is either wacko or a great mind

In Uncategorized on 25/06/2016 at 5:57 am

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of feeble minds”

Henry David Thoreau

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/waltwhitma132584.html

Duterte … draws support from the Philippine left wing and has close ties with the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Jose Sison, under whose leadership the CPP waged a Maoist-influenced guerrilla insurgency and who has been in exile in the Netherlands since 1987. Duterte has welcomed Sison’s plans to return home. Although government negotiations with the CPP since 2011 are currently at an impasse, Duterte is more likely to reach an agreement with the CPP and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA)

….

Former President Fidel Ramos, who served from 1992 to 1998, was an early supporter of Duterte and has been influential in pushing pragmatic policy choices. Ramos’ influence is positive as his tenure was marked by an economic transformation in the Philippines as well as a significant outreach to the NPA and Muslim rebel movements. Ramos appointees now holding Cabinet posts include peace process adviser Jesus Dureza, who held this post under Ramos.

http://www.rsis.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/CO16145.pdf?utm_source=getresponse&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=rsis_publications&utm_content=RSIS+Commentary+145%2F2016+President+Duterte%3A+A+Different+Philippine+Leader+by+Barry+Desker+

Duterte’s priorities are domestic. Law and order, anti-corruption and crushing the drug problem are at the top of his agenda.

Brexit: Relax everyone

In Uncategorized on 24/06/2016 at 12:59 pm

“Withdrawal from the EU is likely to result in an initial economic cost but Britain can prosper if it takes a liberal approach to trade, immigration and regulation.”

The above was said by a really smart man, Rodney Leach, in April this year. He died about two weeks ago.

He was an old-fashioned merchant banker who made his reputation at Rothschilds.

He was also an executive director at Matheson’s Lombard Street office for the rest of his life — along the way devising the cross-ownership share structure that maintains control by the Keswick family. He was also central to transferring the domicile of group companies from Hong Kong to Bermuda before China took back control of its southern territory.

Quote from FT.

Profitable to pay elderly poor to leave S’pore

In Uncategorized on 24/06/2016 at 7:00 am

Further to this, where I, tongue-in-cheek, suggested that the PAP administration should follow what Auckland in NZ is doing (paying the poor to leave the city) and pay the elderly poor, among others, to leave S’pore. After all, the cost of living is lower in neighbouring countries.

A reader (see below) provides data which shows that if the PAP administrations pays $1,500 a month per person (subsidy of 60% of $2,500 monthly charge at a nursing home) if they leave S’pore, it can make a big profit of $1,000 a persomn a month. Even paying out $2,000 makes a profit because the breakeven point is $2,500.

And these numbers do not include the other benefits of not looking after the elderly here (See the bolded bits below: my emphasis).

And if the usual suspects KPKB, the PAP administration can pont out that Auckland in progressive NZ used this technique first: “We juz adapting ang moh best practice. Tot u guys believe ‘Ang mohs always right’? So why liddat? PAP not ang moh isit? Or ‘PAP always wrong’ isit?”

From a reader:

The cheapest MOH-approved nursing homes cost $2,500 per resident per month. Most of such patients in such nursing homes are being subsidised by govt, ranging from 60% subsidy to 100%.

Hence $2,500 is the max monthly stipend that makes sense. Not forgetting that this also frees up valuable land space that would otherwise be required for nursing homes. And also eliminate the thousands of low-skilled healthcare assistants which make up the bulk & backbone of nursing homes. Also eliminates or reduces the MOH-affiliated depts. & agencies performing audits, coordination work, processing claims & subsidies & co-sharing, manpower approvals & processing, etc etc pertaining to nursing homes.

Fintech I can appreciate

In Banks on 23/06/2016 at 7:01 pm

Goodbye, Password. Banks Opt to Scan Fingers and Faces Instead. Frustrated by thieves stealing personal data from millions of customers, banks are investing in biometric technology to offer better security.

NYT Dealbook

Only LKY beats Chee’s record/ Be optimistic Young Democrats

In Political governance on 23/06/2016 at 7:38 am

Chee keeps on walking

Dr Chee has been the secretary-general of SDP since 19993 1993, after the defenestration of Chiam. A few years earlier, LKY had “handed” power over to GCT. Since that “change” the PAP has nad one other change of secretary-general in 2004 (from GCT to Ah Loong) and the WP has had one change (Low replaced JBJ in 2001). And just recently, Low was challenged for that post. He won.

The PAP is talking of another change of leaders in the next few years.

Meanwhile Chee “Keeps on walking” like Johnnie Walker*. Barring LKY, no-one has been secretary-general of a leading political party longer than Dr Chee.

 ————————————————————————–
A TRE reader had this great take on why Dr Chee went wacko and called this infamous press conference.
Foam Party:

Chee gone mad and self destruct after being disowned by his own clan who preferred candidate from other race?

Masala , anyone?

Time for RI doctors, Wee Nam and Paul to try some new medication?

Better still what about calling in another RI doctor, Dr Ang Yong Guan, to talk Dr Chee into quitting politics? He should remind Dr Chee that only after Ms Le Pen defenestrated her dad that she and other National Front leaders were able to start convincing swing voters that the National Front was no neo-Nazi party.


But cheer up Young Democrats

With a playing field tilted against oppo parties (free but unfair elections) and worse having the odds stacked further against the SDP,  by being handicapped by the antics Mad Dog Che, his old guard and people like Teo Soh Lung, it’s impossible to win over that last chunk  of the swing voters to bring the SDP to the magic number of 50% +1 in any electoral contest*. The young (and older) professionals who have been flocking to the SDP since GE 2011 might be in deep despair at their inability to change things.

But be of brave heart. They should remember that:

“In the last days of December 1916, a small group of Swiss university students had an evening meeting and an exiled Russian politician living in Switzerland gave them a talk on the coming revolution. He said, ‘The revolution’s bound to come. You younger people will live to see it. We older people (he was in his forties at the time), we shan’t see it.’ Ten months later this same man, his name was Lenin, was dictator of one of the greatest empires in the world,” AJP Taylor, historian, said in a lecture on Btritish tv many yrs ago.

Joe Slovo said that being a revolutionary was being optimistic that change was coming but realising it might take longer than one’s life-time.

————————————————-

Joe Slovo (23 May 1926 – 6 January 1995, full name Yossel Mashel Slovo) was a South African politician, an opponent of the apartheid system. He was a long-time leader of theSouth African Communist Party(SACP), a leading member of theAfrican National Congress (ANC), and a commander of the ANC’s military wing Umkhonto we Sizwe.

Wikipedia

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All the PAP can hope is to rely on the likes of Mad Dog Chee, Teo Soh Lung, Goh Meng Seng and Roy Ngermg to discredit alternative views in the eyes of the swing voter.


*Remember that since Loh took over the WP in 2001, he and others rebranded the WP so that swing voters are prepared to vote for it. After Dr Chee became leader in 1993, he has led the SDP into the wilderness with his Mad Dog antics. Only after GE 20o6, did he try to make himself and the SDP respectable. He failed and is now blaming the Chiams.

Hey who led the revolt against Chiam? Who screamed and yelled at our PM? Who wanted to contest Punggol-East? Who went on a hunger strike? Who started a civil disobedience campaign? Who said “Character is permanent”? None other than Mad Dog Chee.

The Death of the Banker

In Investment banking on 22/06/2016 at 2:24 pm

The Decline and Fall of the Great Financial Dynasties and the Triumph of the Small Investor

The above is a title of a book That I read in the noughties. I  was reminded of the book and its thesis that the fund mgrs that manage the “little people;s” money dominate the financial landscape where once investment and commercial banks ruled the roost.

NYT Dealbook reports that Goldman Sachs is courting retail money: US$1 is enough to open an account:

GOLDMAN SACHS HEADS TO MAIN STREET You used to need $10 million to become a customer at Goldman Sachs, but now you can get in with just a dollar, Nathaniel Popper reports in DealBook.

GS Bank, started in April, promises “peace-of-mind savings” and “no transaction fees.” It is aimed squarely at ordinary Americans – the sort of clientele the company scrupulously avoided during its first 147 years in operation.

Goldman, which previously favored tycoons and plutocrats, is hunting for new businesses, just like other marquee banking companies. Regulations have squeezed deal-making activity and the bond trading desks that generated most of Goldman’s precrisis profits now only make a fraction of what they did before.

Goldman has also been preparing to introduce 401(k) accounts, loans for people saddled with credit card debt and new investment funds that can be purchased by anyone with an E-Trade account. All of these services will be offered online only, saving Goldman on the expense of traditional branches and tellers.

Goldman executives have been debating whether they want to end up to with something resembling a full-service online bank, they could still back off if the initial experiments fail.

So far, interest has been strong. Stephen Scherr, the chief of strategy for Goldman, said the bank had opened tens of thousands of new accounts in its first few weeks, in addition to the 150,000 it acquired from GE Capital.

Its 50-person call center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was unprepared for the surge of interest. And soon after the bank’s debut, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal wrote about the problems he encountered trying to open an account.

The bank’s moves have prompted some head-scratching in the industry as it has so little experience in retail banking. It also faces the challenge of persuading Americans to use a bank that has been maligned as a symbol of Wall Street greed. The bank would have to pull in huge numbers of people to make even a tiny difference to its annual revenue. Goldman’s big test comes later this year when it starts offering relatively small loans of around $15,000 to $25,000.

 

And govt wants to encourage fintech?/ PAP is never wrong

In Banks, Economy, Internet, Political governance, Public Administration on 22/06/2016 at 6:04 am

Is Tharman trying to tell jokes again? (Examples in the past, another recent one?). He’s the leading advocate of fintech here.

But demand for digital services leaves banks and other financial institutions more open to more risk. The majority of top bankers said they were open to more risks than they could manage as a result of digital developments, according to a global survey of bankers by the consultancy Accenture.

Yet the PAP administration has indicated by its plan to restrict direct access to the internet for civil servants that it is trying to cut cybersecurity risks by cutting internet connections.

——————————————————

Delinking cicil servants from the internet

‘The Govt’s move to delink computers used by civil servants from direct access to the Internet is “absolutely necessary” to keep govt data and public services secure,’ PM. He cited the possibility of personal data like NRIC numbers, addresses and income tax returns being hacked and put up for sale in the internet.

When this policy takes effect in May next year, civil servants can only access the Internet through dedicated computers or through their own computers. It seems that there have been very determined attacks on the Govt’s IT systems and the threats are getting more severe and sophisticated. Just relying on the system’s defensive measures is looking like a losing proposition? It is best to cut the connections to the minimum?

————————————————————-

So how does the call for more fintech dovetails with the plan to deny most civil servants direct access to the internet?

 

Fintech is all about increasing connections, the civil service delinking initiative is all about cutting connections.

Does the PAP administration think that the banks and other financial institutions can safeguard data better than it can? Or that the data financial institutions hold  is not so impotant?

Or maybe is the delinking policy, is as suggested by Chris K, aimed at avoiding a PR disaster:” PAP must always look good even when PAP goofs”? A variant of “Napoleon is always right”*?

Or is Tharman just joking about the importance of fintech to S’pore?


*Another one of Boxer’s mottoes is “I will work harder”. Sounds so S’porean and something that the PAP encourages. But then why is productivity is so worryingly low. Too many of the PAP’s favoured caste, FTs, isit?

2047 financial problem in HK

In Banks, China, Hong Kong, Property on 21/06/2016 at 1:24 pm

From NYT Deal book

Expiration Date on China’s Promises Stokes Unease in Hong Kong Housing Most banks have yet to formulate mortgage policies beyond 2047, when an agreement guaranteeing the city a high degree of autonomy runs out.

I’m sure Uncle Redbean and Goh Meng Seng will scold the banks foer being afraid. They look forward to the day when Chinese “rule of law” prevails in HK.

 

Where TRS got its money, eyeballs from?

In Uncategorized on 21/06/2016 at 6:11 am

Remember The Real S’porean and the husband-and-wife team behind it?


The couple behind socio-political website The Real Singapore (TRS) – a 26-year-old Singaporean man and a 22-year-old Australian woman – were on Tuesday (Apr 14) each charged with seven counts of sedition.

Yang Kaiheng and Ai Takagi allegedly published seditious articles on the websitebetween October 2013 and February 2015. One of these articles falsely claimed that an incident between police and some members of the public during a Thaipusam procession on Feb 3 had been sparked by a Filipino family’s complaint that the drums played during the procession upset their child. The contributor of the article posted on another website that the allegations made in the TRS piece were untrue.

CNA

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She’s in prison and he’s likely to join her despite spending a fortune on legal fees. Those owners of other sites that couldn’t make the money the couple did should feel that life is fair after all. But then they think of Sun Ho’s recent success in downloads of her latest song,, and they’ll get worked up again on the unfairness of life.

This extract in a recent piece in FT on advertising fraud:

fraudsters have found ways to fake the online behaviour of a human being to give the impression they have visited a website and seen or clicked on an ad. Advertisers pay for these ‘views’ even though they are not seen by the real people they are intended to reach.

reminded me of an allegation about TRS.

Note I’m not alleging that the husband and wife team behind TRS were fraudsters. I’m just rumour mongering; repeating an allegation that established sites whispered when TRS burst on the scene with readership numbers that were out of this world. An allegation that I think is credible.

Bots, not eyeballs, were reading the articles and clicking on the ads, was the allegation.

More clicks on the ads means more ads. And the money comes in: no questions asked by the software of the ad-sellers and brokers, and advertisers, The heavy site traffic was taken as evidence by the software of the advertisers, and ad-sellers and brokers that the clicks were genuine.

As supporting evidence they pointed out that TRS’s readers were posting very few comments. Based on TRS’s viewership numbers (very high) and readers’ postings (almost zero) and on the ratio of readers’ posts to views from sites like TRE and TOC, something was very wrong they argued.

And they had a point even if there was no hard evidence for the allegation.

Great collateral to hold

In China on 20/06/2016 at 1:34 pm

NYT Dealbook

To Secure Loans, Chinese Women Supply Perilous Collateral: Nude Photos Women are sending photos of themselves to peer-to-peer lenders, who then sometimes blackmail them when they cannot pay high interest rates, Chinese state news media reported.

Jason Chua investigated, so what?

In Uncategorized on 20/06/2016 at 5:45 am

This doesn’t absolve the ELD from accusations of partisanship – why did it report only PAP-critical sites to the police? We know PA as a stat board is already partisan. If the civil service is part of the PAP’s election machinery, might as well abolish elections since the opposition can never win anything. It’s become the opposition vs taxpayers’ resources, including the taxpayers who support opposition.

(Facebook post)

It got this reply  from a PAP apologist

ELD didn’t know there was such a site as FAP?
FAP is too insignificant to them, as Jason was not a politician???
Only when PPP fella alerted Police, then FAP was known to ELD?
Or maybe still unknown?
Questions, many.
Cannot speculation, because we not in ELD decision makers.

The reply was insightful:

Admittedly it’s a speculation but not an unjustified one. Hard to believe ELD doesn’t know about FAP since it has more likes than the other.

Yes, how come the ELD monitored and made complaints against two Oppo figures but not a pro-PAP Facebook page that is a lot more popular than the Oppo activists’ FB pages? An honest mistake? Fixing is not an unreasonable conclusion.

Mothership, the lavishly funded site (one of the funders is connected to Philip Yeo. Remember him?) spun that: The message appears to be clear enough: Regardless of political affiliation, you will be investigated by the authorities if you violate Cooling-Off Day rules … And it appears that the police will take action against such violations even if you are the People’s Action Party (PAP)’s biggest fan.

Well,  if the rules really apply to PAPpies, there wouldn’t have been a need for a member of the public (OK an Oppo activist) to have filed a police report, would there? The ELD should have been monitoring this site (given its reputation and reach) and filed a report with the police when it filed a report with the police against Roy, Teo and the Indian.

Mothership’s Martino Tan tried too hard to brown nose. He should have limited his comments to the police, and not try tPAP administration.

Btw, interesting that the writer from TISG the Indian didn’t have his phones or computers seized by the police? Why liddat given the treatment to the other three? They Chinese, he isn’t, isit? Indian Privilege at work isit?

———————————————-

In case you were visiting some other planet in the last one week

A police report has been lodged against the man behind the ‘Fabrications About The PAP’ Facebook page, for violating Cooling-Off Day rules, and investigations are “ongoing”, police can confirm.

The founder of the page, Jason Chua Chin Seng, took to his personal Facebook account on Friday (June 17) to detail how his personal electronic devices – a phone, an iPad, and two laptops – were seized from his home.

He also wrote on the ‘Fabrications About The PAP’ page that the two-hour “raid” on his home was preceded by a 3-hour interview at the Police Cantonment Complex on Friday.

The ‘Fabrications About The PAP’ page is followed by 85,000 people on Facebook, and is largely regarded as pro-PAP.

Mr Augustine Lee Zixu**, the organising secretary of the opposition People’s Power Party, said in a Youtube post on June 15 that he had made a police report on June 13.

According to Mr Lee, the page had breached the Cooling-Off Day rules with two posts – one asking people to vote for the People’s Action Party (PAP) by-election candidate Murali Pillai, and another criticising Mr Murali’s rival, the Singapore Democratic Party’s Chee Soon Juan.

These posts appear to have been deleted when Channel NewsAsia checked on June 18.

—————————————-

*One of these days I’ll blog that even the UK has problems with civil service impartiality when there is a change in the governing party after a party has been in power for about 10 years.

**Guy got kicked out twice from a FB group where I’m a member. He used foul language against someone who disagreed with him. He apologised, was reinstated, then swiftly kicked out again. A real nut case. But then Goh Meng Seng likes (attracts?) nuts: chairman of his party said on FB that Orlando killings a “hoax”. And remember GMS believes in UFOs.

But having slimed him, good that he took action while the ang moh tua kees shouted and then sat down and shut up: their usual stance as Amos Yee found to his cost. Power to those who don’t juz ralk cock, sing song, but do something. Even if they are nut cases.

Pay poor S’poreans to live overseas

In Uncategorized on 19/06/2016 at 11:18 am

Elderly or disabled S’poreans can be encouraged to go live in Malaysia or Indonesia or even China, India or the Philippines, or anywhere where the cost of living is a lot lower and which will accept them. They’ll be eligible for a monthly stipend so long as they don’t come back.

New Zealand is offering cash to people in its largest city who need social housing – if they’re willing to move to another part of the country.

The scheme launches in Auckland on Monday, and is part of efforts to tackle the city’s housing crisis, the New Zealand Herald reports. Anyone willing to up sticks will get a grant of up to NZ$5,000 ($3,500; £2,500), as long as they’re currently eligible for social housing.

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-36561602

 

Distract, not censor or argue

In Uncategorized on 19/06/2016 at 6:44 am

Something that is very evident in the row the authorities and activists and their new media allies are having about whether Teo, Roy and the Indian Independent are being properly investigated or persecuted.

“There were good psychological reasons for using distraction rather than censorship or counter-arguments” http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36340514

Would u buy a second-hand car from this guy?

In Malaysia, Property on 18/06/2016 at 10:03 am

Or a property from him or live in his state? Remember Iskandar is named after his dad.

In Malaysia, the Johor royal family is infamous for ruling with an iron fist and is the only one of the nine royal families that controls its own army.

Malaysian media outlets claim that before he was sultan Ibrahim shot a man dead in a nightclub in the 1980s but charges were not laid because of royal immunity laws.

The immunity laws were changed in 1993 after a series of controversies surrounding Ibrahim’s late father, Iskandar. Dubbed the “Killer King”, Iskandar allegedly beat a golf caddie to death and maimed his brother after the caddie laughed at him for missing a shot in 1987.

During Malaysian parliament in 1993, politician Shahidan Kassim alleged that Ibrahim had also committed a number of crimes including raping a woman in 1990 at a disco. Shahidan also said Ibrahim had punched a taxi driver and kicked a policeman in his genitalia in an incident in 1986. Ibrahim was also accused by Shahidan of striking a judge in a mosque in 1991 for mispronouncing his father’s name and kicking an assemblyman the same year.

 More recently, in March 2007, Ibrahim was accused of assaulting a young woman with whom he’d been romantically involved.

At least six individuals have been arrested since December for insulting the Sultan via social media. A 19-year-old was this week sentenced to a year in jail for insulting the Sultan.

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/sister-city-plans-for-perth-after-the-malaysian-sultan-of-sin-met-lord-mayor-lisa-scaffidi/news-story/9d9d51f9cc17562c45e9dcb5df824275

Whatever, someone living in Perth really hates him.

Japan Inc’s investments in Asean infrastructure include S’pore

In Japan on 18/06/2016 at 6:32 am

JBIC– Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Hedgies face unhappy clients

In Financial competency on 17/06/2016 at 1:34 pm

From NYT Dealbook

HEDGE FUND MANAGERS TRY TO STANCH LOSS OF INVESTORS Hedge fund titans may be used to running their firms like elite clubs, but years of poor performance have forced them to open up admission, Alexandra Stevenson reports in DealBook.

More big-name investors like MetLife and American International Group have begun to withdraw their money from hedge funds and the investors who stay get a chance to sit dictate lower fees and better terms.

Hedge funds can no longer just operate on a “2 and 20” model, where investors pay fees of 2 percent of assets under management and 20 percent of any gain in any year. Managers are offering lower fees for investors to keep their money in funds and setting performance targets where investors would pay a fee only if they were exceeded. And the favorable terms are not just offered to longtime loyal clients.

The industry argued that a hedge fund manager’s job was to protect in down years and not outperform in good years, but when hedge fund returns fell with the markets last summer, the point was moot. Some of the best-known managers, including William A. Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management and Larry Robbins of Glenview Capital Management, have lost money.

And for some investors, acknowledgement of poor performance is not enough. In September 2014, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System announced plans to liquidate its $4 billion hedge fund holdings because of concerns that the investment were too expensive and complicated. In April, the pension fund for New York City civil employees voted to exit its portfolio of $1.5 billion in hedge fund investments. Altogether, investors pulled $15.1 billion from the industry in the first quarter of the year – still a drop in the ocean compared with the $2.9 trillion the industry managers, but the pressure is mounting.

Mr. Robbins apologized to investors recently in an effort to stem the outflow of investor money from his firm. He pledged to “right the ship as quickly as possible” and offered the opportunity to put more money into a new fund that would waive fees. He has continued to lose money – investors in his flagship fund had lost 6.5 percent at the end of May – so he is now offering more favorable redemption terms, allowing existing investors that add more money into the fund to step into the shoes of investors who have left.

70% of S’poreans like these animals?

In Uncategorized on 17/06/2016 at 6:48 am

We’ve been ruled by the PAP since 1959 and are we like these lions?

I tot this when I read about lions that are mutilated in captivity: some are declawed and have broken teeth, and one has lost an eye.

————————————————-

More than 30 lions rescued from circuses in Colombia and Peru are being flown to a sanctuary in South Africa.

The group organising the return, Animal Defenders International (ADI), says it is the largest airlift of lions.

The US-based group says almost all of the animals have been mutilated in captivity: some are declawed and have broken teeth, and one has lost an eye.

In South Africa, the lions will be released at the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary, the organisers say.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-36157483

Later reports say they are recovering physically and mentally.


About 70% of S’poreans definitely are like these lions.

Visit Facebook, the ST’s and Today’s letters pages, the blogs of the anti-PAP paper warriors, TOC, TRELand and the site that PAPpies call heaven, FATPAP, and you will witness declawed, defanged and psychologically mutilated S’poreans in action. They are screaming their lungs out at anything that upset their sensitivities be they be gay, PAPpies, social activists or Oppo archivists. They have a special fondness of being envious of the “success” of others, especially in gaining material wealth.

Sadly there isn’t a reservation for these S’poreans.

Have a good weekend.

 

 

HSBC Defends Its Asian Ambitions

In Banks on 16/06/2016 at 2:01 pm

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Douglas Flint, the bank’s chairman, said in an interview. “The fact that the market is uncertain about the value of that today just reflects market sentiment and it will change.”

Seriously, where else can it go?

But Asia is looking sick.

Equity trading Floors Go Quiet Across Asia Revenue from trading stocks in China and Hong Kong could fall 30 percent to 50 percent in the first half compared with a year earlier, Bloomberg reports, citing senior executives at four firms who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

NYT Dealbook

No ang moh $, whither Pink Dot 2017?

In Uncategorized on 16/06/2016 at 7:21 am

Will it wilt and die, what with no foreign money to water and fertilise the ground?

S’pore is forcing ang moh sponsors about whether their claims of putting values before profit is noise or genuine. http://blogs.reuters.com/…/singapore-saudi-put-corporate-d…/

Let’s see if these ang mohs got balls and walk the talk, or kowtow because there’s good money to be made here. From their responses so far (They followed the S’porean practice of sitting down and shutting up), they’ll kowtow. In particular, the three investment bank sponsors (Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Barclays) are always after SWFs, TLC and GLCs biz


MNCs behaving like their local fans

An FT columnist wrote:

I contacted the 10 most prominent sponsors to ask whether they planned to support Pink Dot next year. Barclays, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, BP, Bloomberg and Twitter said they had nothing to say.

Facebook and Apple did not reply. Google said: “We’ve been proud supporters of Pink Dot since 2011.”

GE said: “We respectfully voice our support for equality in countries where we do business, consistent with governing laws and customs.”

Neither said whether it would support the event next year.

—————————————

When will ang moh tua kees will realise that ang mohs too juz talk cock sing song like their local fans?

(Related post: The garang ang moh tua kees)


How BBC reported the issue

[A] row in Singapore over foreign companies sponsoring an annual gay rights rally called Pink Dot which took place on 4 June.

On 8 June, Singapore authorities warned it would take steps to make clear that foreign firms “should not fund, support or influence such events”. The rally is sponsored by companies including JPMorgan, Google and Barclays.

Here’s a paragraph of the facts on the ground the ang moh tua kees leave out

Gay rights in Singapore is a fraught issue and recent years have seen courts upholding a law criminalising sex between adult men.

The piece ends

Singapore’s vocal Christian community has also expressed its opposition to events such as Pink Dot and support for what it calls traditional family values.

It would have been fairer to also point out that the Muslim community too shares similar views.

————————————-

Let’s see if Pink Dot has traction without ang moh money to organise the biggest pick-up (Ok dating) event in the region. and whether the LGBT movement has local roots. Or is a Western (i.e. CIA, MI6) import meant to subvert Asian values and societies?

Seriously, Pink Dot 2017 be a test for all local activists, not juz the LGBYs. Let’s see if the local activists (ex LGBTs) rise to the challenge or juz do what they usually do: sign a petition and then sit down and shut up, and wait for the next opportunity to diss the PAP. If they really, really want a more open society, they should offer to help the organisers.

And the organisers should accept the offers of help.

In the past, the organisers preferred to do things on their own (bit like the Wankers’ Party) to avoid the “political” label. But then they had ang moh $. In 2017, things will be different. What about charging randy LGBTs a fee to proposition other randy LGBTs?


*Here’s how an investment bank is alleged to have corrupted, then fleeced a SWF.

From NYT Dealbook

LIBYAN FUND CLAIMS GOLDMAN SACHS EXPLOITED ITS FINANCIAL NAÏVETÉ Libya created a sovereign wealth fund in 2006, with the hope of emulating its Middle Eastern neighbours by investing the proceeds from its oil, Chad Bray reports in DealBook. It turned to Goldman Sachs, but the relationship soured after the Libyan Investment Authority said it was misled about a series of derivatives transactions and lost $1.2 billion.

It took Goldman Sachs to court and, when the trial began on Monday, claimed that the bank earned more than $200 million in “eye-watering” profit on the transactions. It claimed that it was an unsophisticated investor with staff that had little experience with investment banking and Goldman had preyed on this, persuading the fund to invest in complex transactions that it did not understand or desire.

Roger Masefield, a lawyer for the fund, argued that Goldman lured the fund into investments with training programs, gifts, overseas trips and internships for the brother of a staff member.

Goldman disputed the claims and said the Libyan Investment Authority had the financial sophistication to understand the disputed transactions.

The fund focused on the actions of Youssef Kabbaj, a former Goldman Sachs banker. The fund said that Mr. Kabbaj wined and dined fund employees on “training” trips to London, which included stays in stylish hotels and expensive meals at famous restaurants. He also bought presents and took staff members on vacation to Morocco, according to the court filings.

Mr. Masefield argued that Mr. Kabbaj worked on both sides of the derivatives transactions, “ghost writing” documents for staff members of the fund to be used to persuade its board to invest and then separately making presentations to the fund on behalf of Goldman Sachs.

 

HoHoHo, StanChart Cracks Down on ‘Above the Law’ Bankers

In Banks, Corporate governance, Emerging markets, Temasek on 15/06/2016 at 1:50 pm

The bank is cracking down after “recent transgressions” concerning employees’ outside business interests, close financial dealings with co-workers and excessive expenses, Bloomberg reports, citing a series of memos issued over the past two months.

NYT Dealbook

Why Bryan Lim and his apologists are bigger cocks than u think

In Uncategorized on 15/06/2016 at 7:07 am

If u want to skip being reminded what Bryan the “killer” clown wanted to do, and his “defence” or juz want to know why he and his friends are really that cock, feel free to skip to the last two paragraphs. They had a pedantic, legalistic and Jesuitical but logical defence for him. But being juz nutters, I mean they belong to  We Are Against Pink Dot timeline, they juz screwed up. They can’t think logically.

Bryan Lim posted on the FB group We Are Against Pink Dot timeline, “I am a Singaporean citizen. I am a NSman. I am a father. And I swore to protect my nation. Give me the permission to open fire. I would like to see these £@€$^*s die for their causes.”

When there were, rightly, howls of outrage, he wrote:”I did not mean physical bullet or physical death. I mean open fire in debate and remove them from Singapore domestic matters.”

His original post was unambiguously about asking to be given an order to open fire and kill people who offended his values: no ifs no buts. Or allegorical or metaphorical. It was murdering people who offended his sensibilities.

A friend of Bryan’s came out with this defence:

 

Then after pretending to apologise, he (and his defenders) juz did what S’poreans always do when kanna hantam, sit down and shut up.

Bryan and his defenders could have argued that his wanting to kill people who offended his values was conditional on being allowed to: “Give me the permission to open fire …”. And that if he wasn’t given “permission” he’d not kill even if he would really have wanted to. Yes he’d love to murder innocent people who offend his sensibilities, but only if he was given “permission”. Now that’s self-discipline, they should have argued.

Now this is a pedantic, legalistic and Jesuitical defence but it’s logical, especially in S’pore where everything must get permission because everything illegal until permission given.

Fall of BSI and Goldie rainmaker: From heroes to zeroes

In Banks, Malaysia on 14/06/2016 at 1:17 pm

How a 143-Year-Old Swiss Bank Took a Quick Road to Ruin in Asia When a rainmaker left RBS Coutts with 70 colleagues for BSI, a small Swiss bank looking to get big in a hurry, it set off a chain of events that thrust the bank into the center of the financial scandal involving 1MDB.

NYT Dealbook

And here’s how a Goldman Sacks partner, whose wife called Rosmah Najib (FLOM or self-styled First Lady of M’sia) a friend, became a zero

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-30/the-rise-and-fall-of-tim-leissner-goldman-s-big-man-in-malaysia

Bad time to be gay or Muslim/ Three cheers for the Humanist Society (S’pore)

In Uncategorized on 14/06/2016 at 5:32 am

The murder in the early hours of June 12th of at least 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, apparently by a 29-year-old American-born Muslim wielding an assault rifle and handgun, was swiftly and loudly seized upon by political partisans as a vindication of everything that they already believe about Muslims, the fight against terrorism(Emphasis mine)

(Economist blog)

If one were gay, the following would be particularly chilling: His father, who is from Afghanistan, told NBC television that his son had recently seen two men kissing in Miami, and “got very angry”.

(Economist blog)

But spare a tot for Muslims in Western countries where Muslims are a minority: they face revenge attacks.

At the very least, there  wll be the need to once again show that they are the “good” Muslims: law-abiding members of society, not members of “radical Islam”. For a fan of El Cid like me, this means wearing white and coloured clothing and fighting alongside the other good guys against the black-robed bad guys.

Seriously, Normal Muslims should hold public rallies, write articles, appear on television, pressure their imams, and pressure regressive Islamic governments saying something to the effect of: “Not in my name! We don’t believe that this is what Islam is or should be. Islam should evolve to suit the pluralism and secularism of the modern world, and not the other way around.”

He goes on: Yet we never see this (though we see plenty of proactiveness in fighting “Islamophobia”*). All we see is denial that a problem even exists in Islam today. Even those who admit there is a problem always add numerous caveats about the Crusades and the IRA.

The reality must be met head-on by moderate Muslims.

This appeared sometime back in the FT in a heated debate on what Muslims are expected to do when jihadists kill non-Muslims.

The commenter ends: Yes, it is not “fair” that I am asking this of them. But the world is not fair, and moderate Muslims are the only people who can reform Islam. That is why we need to pressure them to do much more.

What do you think?

I’ll end on an unrelated matter Three cheers for the Humanist Society (S’pore) for this http://humanist.org.sg/what-to-make-of-amos-yee-and-his-arrest/

I wish them well. I look forward to read their future articles.


* To be fair, sometimes, some Muslims push their luck, noisily demanding their “right” to do things that most other people feel is “wrong” like beating up wives who disobey their husbands or killing heretics or grooming white girls for sex.

Truth about wealth managers

In Financial competency on 13/06/2016 at 2:44 pm

Parasite

From FT

HSBC, StanChart tua kee, DBS “peanuts”

In Banks on 13/06/2016 at 1:18 pm

According to a recent survey, HT says HSBC’s market penetration of corporate banking relationships in Asia (ex Japan) at 60%, StanChart’s at 50% and Citi’s at 44%. ANZ and DBS followed with 34 and 33%.

How come HK got minimum wages but more competitive?

In Economy, Hong Kong on 12/06/2016 at 1:23 pm

Don’t PAP ministers insist that minimum wages will destroy the S’pore economy?

These tots crossed my mind when I read the headline:

Singapore Loses to Hong Kong in Race for Most Competitive

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-09/singapore-loses-to-hong-kong-in-race-for-most-competitive

But after reading the report, more nuanced tots came to mind.

One tot: S’poreans want to restrict the flow of FTs but this it seems makes S’pore less competitive.

Singapore’s stricter rules on hiring foreign labor, which adds to business costs.

“The key difference between the two territories is Singapore’s restrictions on importing foreign labor, and their policy of boosting labor costs to discourage companies from being dependent on foreign labor,” said Brian Tan, an economist at Nomura in Singapore. “When you push labor costs, that’s going to have an effect on competitiveness.”

… Hong Kong’s labor market as more competitive than in Singapore, with the China-controlled territory improving from 2015 on scores such as working hours, skill levels, unemployment legislation and immigration levels.

Hong Kong also leads Singapore on business efficiency, including productivity and here PAP administration can’t blame the plebs management practices, according to IMD.

Next, there seems to be a disconnect between what the local PMETs (and even this retiree) feel and the “experts” say: FT policy to us is not restrictive what with FTs being allowed to become drivers and barbers.

Another tot:“It’s not just the economy, stupid,” says a poster by the Brexit campaign in the UK.  And one of its charismatic leaders surely is right when he says, “We need to value people’s quality of life and standards of living and not just national GDP figures.” (But Brexit would say these rhings. The conventional economic wisdom is that the UK is doomed economically if it leaves the EU.)

Coming back to HK’s liberal FT policies: HK is Goh Meng Seng’s paradise on earth. Funny he doesn’t laud HK’s liberal immigration policies. He’s got his family there but thinks he is entitled to lecture us on the failings of the PAP. Surely the PAP in doing the popular thing (restricting FTs) is doing the wrong thing, and HK , GMS’s paradise on earth, the right thing?

Juz remember for S’poreans now:“It’s not just the economy, stupid. and”“We need to value people’s quality of life and standards of living and not just national GDP figures.”

 

China v S’pore: Abusing judicial process

In China on 12/06/2016 at 10:27 am

Here judges and AG only scold the lawyers: witness what happened to Ms Chong and Mr Dodwell. In China when a lawyer annoys the court

A photo showing Wu Liangshu in a ripped shirt and trousers

Mr Wu was allegedly assaulted by three officers inside a courtroom, in front of two judges who rejected his request to file a case in the district court of Nanning.

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-china-blog-36466485

This is what S’porean critics of the PAP here but fans of China want Hongkies to accept? They won’t accept this behaviour here (we all wouldn’t), but expect Hongkies to accept this kind of behaviour. Remember that Uncle Redbran and Goh Meng Seng etc advise Hongkies to accept Chinese rule, saying it’s benevolent, while decrying the PAP’s actions here.

GIC rushing in after Temasek got taken to the cleaners

In GIC, S'pore Inc, Telecoms, Temasek on 11/06/2016 at 9:56 am

Second time lucky? S’pore Inc trying its luck (with our money) at the roulette wheel again?

I’ll let the FT tell the tale:

GIC, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, plans to buy a large minority stake in Irish telecoms group Eir, in a deal that is expected to value the former state monopoly provider at more than €3.3bn.

And

The Eir deal would mark the second time in less than a decade that a Singaporean investment fund has taken an interest in Eir, which has been traded between investors and debt holders in a convoluted series of deals and flotations over the 16 years since it was privatised.

In 2012, the senior lenders of Eircom took control of the Irish group following a restructuring of its €4bn of debt, which slashed about €1.7bn of borrowing from its balance sheet but also wiped out the previous shareholders including Singapore Technologies Telemedia (STT) — owned by Singaporean investment arm Temasek — and all the more junior levels of debt holders.

Reminds me of “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better,” Samuel Beckett.

Temasek and Eircom

Panama Papers: What Roy doesn’t tell S’poreans

In Uncategorized on 11/06/2016 at 4:39 am

And never will.

Roy was pretty vocal criticising our authorities over the matter.

He’ll not tell us the following:

1 Authorities doing something

Singapore’s tax authority is checking on local taxpayers identified in the leaked ‘Panama Papers’ for any non-compliance with local tax laws, the ministry of finance and MAS said in a statement late on Wednesday.

“Banks and company service providers (CSPs) have been asked to ascertain that their customers are using offshore vehicles strictly for legitimate purposes. If there are any grounds for suspicion, they are required to file suspicious transaction reports and step up monitoring of these transactions or arrangements.”

The statement said the MAS and Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority are also conducting checks to ensure that the intermediaries under their supervision have acted in compliance with their anti-money laundering obligations.

Reuters contacted several large banks operating under MAS and HKMA jurisdiction, but they declined to comment when asked if they had received letters.

According to the two sources, HKMA and MAS were trying to ascertain whether banks operating in their jurisdictions carried out due diligence and checked the source of funding when dealing with clients named in the Panama Papers, they said.

From the u/m Reuters report

Asian Regulators Said to Ask Banks to Reveal Panama Papers’ Links Regulators in Hong Kong and Singapore have asked banks doing business there to disclose if they have dealings with entities and individuals named in the leak documents known as the Panama Papers, Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the requests.

NYT Dealbook

2 S’pore shell cos not that [p[ular

 

Map

3 S’pore intermediaries not that active. In fact they are indolent.

Panama Papers Countries with the most active intermediaries.png

 

Will the Feds kill a chicken to frighten the monkeys?

In Uncategorized on 10/06/2016 at 1:27 pm

Panama law firm caught with pants downMight go the way of Arthur Andersen if the US decides to kill a chicken to frighten the monkeys.

From NYT Dealbook

PANAMA PAPERS SHOW HOW RICH U.S. CLIENTS HID MILLIONS ABROAD The New York Times’s examination of the Panama Papers has found that Mossack Fonseca had at least 2,400 United States-based clients over the past decade and set up at least 2,800 companies on their behalf in the British Virgin Islands, Panama, the Seychelles and other jurisdictions that specialize in helping to hide wealth. The trove of internal documents from the law firm were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, and has now been shared with The Times.

The documents show that Mossack Fonseca did much more than create offshore shell companies and accounts, Eric Lipton and Julie Creswell report. For many American clients, the firm offered a guide to skirting or evading United States tax and financial disclosure laws.

The methods included locating an individual from a “tax-convenient” jurisdiction to be the straw man owner of an offshore account or encouraging a client to use his foreign passports to open offshore accounts and avoid regulatory scrutiny. If the compliance department at one foreign bank contacted by Mossack Fonseca asked too many questions, the firm simply turned to other, less inquisitive banks. The firm’s clients included people with criminal records, in spite of its public stance of not working with individuals convicted of crimes.

Federal law allows United States citizens to transfer money overseas, but these foreign holdings must be declared to the Treasury Department, and any taxes on capital gains, interest or dividends must be paid. Federal officials estimate that the government loses $40 billion to $70 billion a year in unpaid taxes on offshore holdings.

Experts who examined the documents were reluctant to declare that the law firm or its clients had broken any laws given that no charges had been filed, but they did say that they were surprised at how explicitly Mossack Fonseca had offered advice that appeared carefully crafted to help clients avoid United States tax laws.

Mossack Fonseca has said repeatedly that it had honored international tax and banking laws, but presented with summaries of several cases by The Times, it did not try to explain its actions. “Our significantly expanded compliance office today not only evaluates new client candidates, but also existing accounts, and especially those that were established prior to the new international regulatory regime coming into effect,” a representative said in a written statement, referring to a 2010 law passed by Congress. “It wasn’t always this way.”

The American client list does not appear to include the sort of high-profile political figures that have emerged in other parts of the world, but Mossack Fonseca’s services were in high demand by the rich and famous in the United States. Read more about them here.

SMRT: 75% pay cut more appropriate?

In Corporate governance on 10/06/2016 at 10:44 am

Christopher Bailey, the CEO of Burberry, the fashion house listed in London, has received a 75% pay cut after failing to meet the company’s profit target last year.

Desmond Kuek’s decrease of 23% from the previous financial year of $2.31m is “peanuts” given the problems (ither than profit) that SMRT is facing.

And the newish CEO of Credit Suisse has asked his board for a 40% cut in his bonus, taking in US$4.5 million for the six months he worked last year.

 

IE, next squanderer of our money?

In China, S'pore Inc on 09/06/2016 at 1:27 pm

One Belt, One Road (OBOR) will cause massive losses for investors. According to the FT, Chinese officials privately admit they expect to lose 80 per cent of their investment in Pakistan, 50 per cent in Myanmar and 30 per cent in central Asia.

Well IE Singapore, the state-owned trade development board, has agreed to a partnership with China Construction Bank to finance OBOR projects, with about US$22bn in funding envisaged. The FT reports the US$22bn in funding, not CNA. Wonder why?

CNA reports:

To help Singapore companies tap infrastructure opportunities in China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).

One Belt, One Road (OBOR) is an ambitious plan proposed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping to build land, sea and air routes reaching across the continent and beyond, with the aim of boosting China’s trade and carving out new export markets between Asia and Europe.

Under the agreement, signed at the 2nd RMB Internationalisation Summit on Tuesday (Jun 7), ICBC will provide financing services and look at project structuring to support Singapore companies in OBOR infrastructure projects across Asia.

ICBC will also set up a team in Singapore to provide project financing and related professional services required in OBOR infrastructure investments.

Amos and the the art of protest/ Why Ali was “the greatest”

In Uncategorized on 08/06/2016 at 5:06 pm

So Amos was back in the news. I’m sure he came back because he missed Mother Mary’s pampering to his every whim, and the publicity. But he must be disappointed that he’s history even though he was charged in court and assaulted in public. The ang moh tua kees have got their knickers wet over the Roy and Teo show, not Amos. Interestingly, they don’t give two hoots about the Indian TISG, even though P Ravi is now running the show.

Seriously, coming back to Boy Fantastic, I suspect he’s really a stupid, dumb kid (What to expect of boy who didn’t go to RI.? (OK, OK, I admit that  GCT,Kee Chui, Tan Jee Say and Tan Kin Lian are also RI boys) unable express (let alone understand) himself. I think he really wants to be a protest artist like Petr Pavlensky, Ai Weiwei, Theaster Gates and Beyonce, but can’t express or understand this honourable calling. Instead, he positions himself as mummy’s boy gone wrong.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Ai Weiwei and Beyonce, but not the other two.  Below is something on Petr Pavlensky and Theaster Gates http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-36163543 aboit.

Doesn’t Petr Pavlensky’s antics  make one think of Amos’ antics? The sewing of his mouth and the nailing for his scrotum reminds me of Amos’ self-inflicted stint at our very own Arkham. Both actions were avoidable but done to shock and sensationalise with the aim of making themselves celebrities: celebrities with a cause.

Petr Pavlensky is a Russian artist at the radical, Dadaist, end of the spectrum. His reference points include Guy Debord’s Situationist International movement, the Sex Pistols and Kazimir Malevich – and less obviously, Lucien Freud and Caravaggio.

He, like Beyonce, thinks there’s room for improvement in the way in which his country is run.

He too thinks there is oppression, police brutality, and corporate/state corruption. But he doesn’t have access to the sort of levers available to the US singer, and even if he did, I doubt he’d pull them in quite the same way.

Briefly. He started out at art school, but found the teaching dogmatic and dull.

He left and found his artistic voice by sowing his mouth shut in response to the incarceration of members of Pussy Riot following the performance of their Punk Prayer in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.

It made for a strikingly nasty image. An image, that had it been made by a non-artist, would have received little attention, but by pulling the one lever had got – art – his work received international attention.

He followed that up with a piece called Fixation (2013). That’s the one where his genitals come in to play.

After weeks of preparation and planning, he went to Red Square, stripped naked, and nailed his scrotum to the paving stones. Extreme? Yes, very. But maybe extreme situations call for extreme actions? …

Ai Weiwei uses the notion of art in a similar way. He too turns himself into a one-man picket to bring attention to what he perceives as the shortcomings of the authorities in his native country, China.

He has also been incarcerated, although for far less obvious reasons.

The American Theaster Gates is another artist who “leverages” the status of art in society to turn the detritus he finds in the dilapidated buildings he buys on the Southside of Chicago into sculptures worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

He then uses the money to help regenerate the area, which has been called the murder capital of America. …

He is furious. Ai Weiwei is furious. Theaster Gates is furious. Beyonce is furious.

They are all using art to protest, and to some effect – but admittedly with different immediate outcomes.

Well one thing is certain, Amos is furious, and like Ai Wei and Petr Pavlensky, has been incarcerated. But will he ever be famous? (Being a celebrity in S’pore doesn’t count.)

Btw, even his cybernut fans in TRELand are turning against him, or at least keeping quiet, like the ang moh tua kee paper warriors and activists that were championing him.

Amos’ boasting, his cockiness, his stoicism are all part of a plan to defy society. Ali shows such a plan can work. Ali who the Economist said did not know his place. His boasting, his cockiness, his stoicism—all were part of a plan to defy the established order.

But unlike Amos, Ali’s provocation was all the more complete because his bragging was so often backed by success.

Amos’ bragging remains all talk, no action.

Thinking about it, Ali was a protest artist. My favourite Ali quote: A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

Not uniquely S’porean/ Don’t shout at S’poreans

In Economy on 07/06/2016 at 4:44 pm

Wages, that don’t compensate for rising property prices  and higher cost of living i are not unique to S’pore.

Taiwan, a place where many paper warriors approve of (rightly in my view), because it has successfully made the transition to democracy, also faces a situation where graduate starting salaries, and wages generally, having stagnated for years despite sharp rises in housing and other living costs.

Likewise South Korea.

As the Economist (from a developed world perspective) put it: While the long period of sluggish growth and low rates has been good for investors, it hasn’t been that great for voters; real wages have struggled to rise.

So those trying to stir the plebs against the PAP should realise that the plebs are not stupid. Yes the PAP administration is repressing wages through the FT policy and NTUC, while keep the price of public housing higher than it should be, but

Real wages in Singapore rose 5.4 per cent last year amid negative inflation, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in its annual report on wage practices on Thursday (Jun 2).

In the private sector, nominal wages grew 4 per cent in 2015, down from the 4.9 per cent increase the year before. When employer Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions are factored in, growth in total wages remained stable at 4.9 per cent, due to the increase in employer CPF contributions last year.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/real-wages-in-singapore/2838448.html

No point shouting at swing voters, try to convince them that the PAP’s trade-offs are the wrong ones.  As much as we might disagree with the PAP’s policies, the voters don’t. Ok only 70% agree with the PAP’s position. But that doesn’t mean the 30% must prevail, does it?

As the Guardian talking about Jeremy Corbyn (UK’s very own Mad Dog Chee) and Donald Trump said, both are popular phenomena poorly understood – and in both cases, just shouting at people that they’re wrong has proved spectacularly useless. Asking them why they think what they think may not change anything much. But the conversation is sure as hell overdue.

The govt had its NatCon, and look what happened.  Dr Chee wayanged his way around S’pore after GE 2015 but otherwise the oppo parties have as usual avoided talking to swing voters: in between GEs or by-elections. They leave it to the cybernuts to shout at S’poreans.


*I admit I was one of those who mocked NatCon. But it worked for the PAP didn’t it?

Iceberg crushes Noble House into dust

In Accounting, Commodities, Corporate governance on 07/06/2016 at 1:17 pm

I’ve been thinking of buying Noble House but am still concerned that the accounting issues surrounding the long-term supply contracts could resurface, They’ve not gone away. Maybe the rights issue prospectus can help.

As a reader commented on FT

The only winner in this mess is Iceberg. They nailed it 18 months ago. They were right. They still are right. Their analysis was excellent and everyone who lost money, and that was everyone should be kicking themselves for not heeding their advice.

Btw, the reader remains sceptical that the underwriters will do due diligence on the accouting issues. I suspect he’s right.

Under the just departed CEO, Noble made small investments in commodity producers to secure marketing and supply rights, in some cases for as long as 20 years.

Noble’s  team of quantitative analysts designed structured trades and business models involving long-term commodity contracts.

Critics have said the company booked profits upfront on some of the contracts, which were based on overly optimistic assumptions about commodity prices. Noble has defended its accounting policies, and board-appointed consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers found it had complied with international accounting rules. Err so did Enron, Global Crossing etc. Their accounts were approved by the big four accounting forms, one of which is Pricewaterhouse.

Inconvenient facts about the Indian, Teo and Roy

In Uncategorized on 06/06/2016 at 4:39 pm

(Or “Authorities helping Teo prove her point on freedom of speech and she’s upset?”)

New media has given a really one-sided version of what is happening to the dynamic trio of the Indian (Hey everyone at TISG, as it likes to be called, is Indian.), Teo and Roy. While I’m not defending what seems like the tearing the wings of a live insect to bits by the authorities, I’d like to point out some inconvenient facts that new media netizens don,t know or wilfully ignore or suppress.

Did you know that the Indian Independent TISG posted even after receiving a reminder? Sounds like it wanted to play rough. It’s not the “honest mistake” defence that it has been saying, isit? Surely this garang attitude warrants a more robust push-back from the authorities*? And note that the Indian has just appointed as editor a member of the SPP. Even if Lina Chiam now sounds like a PAPPy, appointing an oppo party member seems to indicate that TISG is looking for a fight. But maybe P (Philemon not Politician) Ravi will resign from the SPP? Or has resigned? Transparency pls TISG.

Or that Teo Soh Lung, a SDP member, put up four posts which are the subject of police investigations. Not one or two but four posts. Sounds like she wanted to say a lot of things on cooling-off day. Waz so important? To be fair to her, she said “that it was my constitutional right to free speech and expression.” Sounds like she was trying to prove a point by her postings? So investigating her is fair, while charging her for breaking the “cooling-off” law will really be doing her a favour. She can go to court to argue her point.

Govmin so kind meh? Ms Teo and Ms Chong even complain about govmin being helpful isit? Why the ladies liddat? Oh forgot they anti-PAP.

And here’s something I didn’t know until I read it.

In the same period, Ngerng posted a “photo campaign” for Chee on his blog, which he claims has more than 6.5 million hits, and 30 Facebook posts. The police can very well view these as deliberate and repeated transgressions, and investigate more thoroughly than before. 

https://itahanyouverylongalready.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/cooling-off-day-breaches-since-2011-and-what-happened-to-them/

The blogger went on They were not minor slips. They were major election campaigns!That’s his opinion but I think the comment is a fair one, if the allegations are true.

I don’t know if the above allegations about Roy’s postings are true but even if Roy posted half the alleged quantity, surely police got good grounds to investigate?

I’ve been trying to find out what Roy and Teo posted that got the authorities upset but am having no luck. All I get is the “noise” that “They are being persecuted.”.

Well if the dynamic trio think that their grandfathers drafted the “cooling-off” law or that they are above the law, they deserve everything they kanna so far, especially the Indian. It said it wants to make money, lots of it. Contrast that commercial motive with Roy simply wanting to remain a public celebrity (like his hero Amos Yee), And Ms Teo wanting to exercise his constitutional right of free speech.

Finally, I find some actions of Ms Teo and friends puzzling and problematic. Ms Teo wrote on FB, After the law enforcement officers left my flat, my friends and I did our best to protect the privacy of my friends. We changed passwords to email accounts, deleted contacts and finally removed my entire Gmail and Yahoo accounts. I lost several thousands of emails and archival materials. I also deleted other applications.

So one delete emails that can be the subject of police investigations? But then she and her buddy Jeannette Chong** (who was with her in the flat) are experienced lawyers, who also happen to be oppo party members.

Related post: The garang ang moh tua kees

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

*Finally the two TISG interns (both Indians I’ve been told) have met some adults. People linked with TISG, were called up on Monday (31 May), Tuesday (1 June) and Wednesday (2 June), to assist the police with their investigations into the alleged breaches of Cooling Off / Polling Day restrictions.

Readers will know that I’ve grumbled that the Indian’s interns needed adult supervision. Well TISG may soon face the consequences of its interns’ persistent juvenile delinquency. Actually they are adults from NTU School of Journalism. They will benefit from P Ravi’s supervision. if he decides to risk retaining them.

**Here’s a really bitchy, wicked but funny take on her.

[W]hat is the matter with this Jeanette Chong-Aruldoss woman?

Why is she entering the fray everywhere, from trying to abuse the court procedure last week to police investigations this week? Now they are saying the policemen are not carrying cards. As long as the lead officer in charge of the team is carrying the warrant card, it is enough.

Obviously, some of these people are trying to put the police in the bad light and trying to throw people off the real offence. Remember Jeanette is the same person who recently abused the court process to defend a brutal murderer.

https://itahanyouverylongalready.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/cooling-off-day-breaches-since-2011-and-what-happened-to-them/

Fintech began in 1860s

In Banks, Internet on 06/06/2016 at 1:48 pm

With the use of the telegraph

Timeline: The Evolution of Fintech Starting in 1865, the structures, networks and ideas that are the foundation for financial technology today began to take shape.
NYT »

Impotent fury and arrogance/ Roy and Teo: the chosen

In Political governance on 05/06/2016 at 1:18 pm

The ang moh tua kees are KPKBng* that the persecution of Roy and Teo Soh Lung (two of the “usual suspects”) should stop. And if the persecution doesn’t stop, what will they do? Bugger all. Juz sit down and shut up and wait for a new “event” to come along to KPKB about and denounce the govt that 70% of voters noted for. As much as they might disagree with the PAP’s position on human rights and media freedom, the voters don’t. Ok to be fair,  only 70% agree with the PAP’s position. But that doesn’t mean the 30% must prevail, does it? I mean the ang moh tua kees believe in democracy, don’t they?

Meanwhile, the swing voters think, “We  aren’t concerned with the right to talk cock once in a blue moon.” Let’s face it, is it really necessary to talk cock, sing song on cooling-off day? How often does that day come along? Exactly, once every 4-5 years and once in a blue moon in between grneral elections. Cannot close mouth for one day isit? Why liddat?

The voters who vote PAP just want to know if our streets are safe, will the trash be collected, can we drink the public water, will our children be educated, can we afford to live in our houses?

(Letter to FT on what voters in the UK want)

Returning to the “persecution” of Teo and Roy, juz think of it like this: killing two monkeys to frighten the sheep. Note that monkeys are chosen, not respectable and intelligent people who disagree with the policies of the PAP administration. PAP not that stupid lor. Neither are the respectable, intelligent people. They don’t get themselves “persecuted”. Only the likes of Roy and Teo do.

——-

*We, the undersigned are gravely concerned by the ongoing police investigations into alleged breaches by Roy Ngerng and Teo Soh Lung of the Cooling Off Day rules.

We are disquieted by the seizure of their property from their homes, in particular without warrant, and the wholesale and indiscriminate archiving of broad swathes of their personal data.  These excessive and intimidating measures are completely disproportionate to any harm alleged to have been caused by the actions of Ngerng and Teo.

To openly express a political view – including and especially views on party politics – is the fundamental right of every member of society.  If we are to achieve a democratic society where legislators and the government are truly representative of the values and wishes of citizens, every individual must be free to fearlessly express their views of politicians, parties and electoral processes.

For an individual seeking to understand the Cooling Off Day regulations, the application of the prohibitions on individual conduct is not clear.  Someone relying on the wording on the Elections Department website, which indicates an exemption for “the transmission of personal political views by individuals to other individuals, on a non-commercial basis, using the Internet, telephone or electronic means”, might reasonably conclude that their posts were exempt.

Given this ambiguity and the great importance of freedom of expression for individual citizens, it is wholly inappropriate for police investigations of such an intimidating and intrusive nature to take place.  The main effect of this police action is to intensify a climate of fear that deters the frank discussion of political issues by all individuals – a discussion that our society both needs and deserves.

We note that there have been previous allegations of breaches of the Cooling Off Day rules by electoral candidates.  Such conduct is far more likely to cause the harm to the electoral process which Cooling Off Day is designed to avert.  Yet we are not aware of such draconian investigations made in those circumstances.  A society which values the free exchange of political ideas must not apply more restrictive standards to ordinary citizens than to electoral candidates.

We call upon the state to ensure the immediate return of all confiscated property to Ngerng and Teo, the removal of any data obtained from them from state and police possession, and an immediate and total cessation of the investigative process.

Signed by:

  1. Abdul Salim Harun
  2. Adrian Heok
  3. Alex Sng
  4. Alexander Luciano Roberto
  5. Alfian Sa’at
  6. Alvina Khoo
  7. Ana Abdullah
  8. Ananth Tambyah
  9. Andre Goh
  10. Ang Chong Leong
  11. Annie Jael Kwan
  12. Ariffin Sha
  13. Ashukumar Veerapan
  14. Ashura Chia
  15. Azmi Monday
  16. Benjamin Matchap
  17. Benjamin Seet
  18. Bhavan Jaipragas
  19. Brendan Goh
  20. Brenton Wong
  21. Brian Yang
  22. Bryan Choong
  23. Cecilia Joven Ong
  24. Celine Lim
  25. Chang May Lian
  26. Chan Wai Han
  27. Chew Keng Chuan
  28. Chng Nai Rui
  29. Christine Sng Mechtler
  30. Chui Yong Jian
  31. Dan Koh
  32. Dana Lam
  33. Darius Zee
  34. Daryl Yang
  35. David Lee
  36. Dinah Sim
  37. Dolly Peh
  38. Edmund Wee
  39. Edward Eng
  40. Edwina Shaddick
  41. Elisa Kang
  42. Emily Lim
  43. Erica Chung
  44. Esther Kong
  45. Fadli Bin Fawzi
  46. Fadly Razali
  47. Farhan C. Idris
  48. Fenwick Melville
  49. Fong Hoe Fang
  50. Gina Lim
  51. Godwin Koay
  52. Goh Chok Chai Ricky
  53. Ho Choon Hiong
  54. Hong Weizhong
  55. Irene Oh
  56. Ivan Heng
  57. Jackie Heng Lim
  58. Jamal Ismail
  59. James Weng Hong Lam
  60. Jason Soo
  61. Jeremy Tiang
  62. Jocelyn Teo
  63. Johannes Hadi
  64. Jolene Tan
  65. Jolovan Wham
  66. Jony Ling
  67. Joo Hymn Tan
  68. Joshua Chiang
  69. Keith Tan
  70. Kenneth Lin
  71. Kokila Annamalai
  72. Kuan Wee
  73. Lee Yi Ting
  74. Li Xie
  75. Lim Jialiang
  76. Lim Kay Siu
  77. Lim Xiuhui
  78. Linda Ong
  79. Lionel Deng
  80. Lisa Li
  81. Lita Patricio
  82. Loo Zihan
  83. Low Yit Leng
  84. Lucas Ho
  85. Lynn Lee
  86. Mansura Sajahan
  87. Mark Wong De Yi
  88. Matilda Gabrielpillai
  89. Megan Boey Sean Ching
  90. Melvin Wong
  91. Merv Tan
  92. Miak Siew
  93. Morgan Awyong
  94. M Ravi
  95. Muhammad Faliqh Rahman
  96. Muhd Firdaus
  97. Nathanael Tan
  98. Neo Swee Lin
  99. Ng Guohui Nigel
  100. Ng Yi-Sheng
  101. Niki Ng
  102. Nina Chabra
  103. Ong Sooi Eng
  104. Pak Geok Choo
  105. Robyn Yzelman
  106. Roy Tan
  107. Sam Lim
  108. Sam Ong
  109. Sathiya Moorthy
  110. Sean Francis Han
  111. Semangeline Teo
  112. Sha Jumani Basari
  113. Shelley Thio
  114. Shimin Wong
  115. Shirleen Chong
  116. Siauw Chong
  117. Siew Kum Hong
  118. Smith Adrian Jude
  119. Sonny Liew
  120. Stephanie Chok
  121. Stephen Baldy Ho
  122. Tan Elice
  123. Tan Tee Seng
  124. Tan Zong Xuan
  125. Tay Kheng Soon
  126. Teng Yong Ping Daryl
  127. Terry Xu
  128. Thum Ping Tjin
  129. Timothy Todd
  130. Trevor Chan
  131. Valence Sim
  132. Vanessa Ho
  133. Vivian Wang
  134. Wendy Chan
  135. Wong Souk Yee
  136. Yap Ching Wi
  137. Yap Hon Ngian
  138. Yee Kai
  139. Zee Wong
  140. Zulkarnain Hassan

Chinese panda experts can teach S’poreans a lesson

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

Pandas have great difficulty breeding. S’poreans, Koreans, Taiwanese, Japanese and even Chinese have the same ptoblem.

Pandas breeding their way off the endangered list: International Union for Conservation of Nature finalising re-assessment of the bear as a “threatened species” Times

BBC Online.

Govt warning to Pink Dot participants

In Uncategorized on 04/06/2016 at 5:10 am

On the day before Pink Dot, we read news from the govt about how new HIV cases among homosexuals last year has climbed to the highest levels in at least 7 years – 232 new cases, a 27% over 2014. The gory details http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/455-new-hiv-cases/2838260.html?cid=FBcna

Pink Dot has on the face of it very credible and praiseworthy motives that S’poreans should buy into: tolerance and minority rights. But let’s face it, it’s the best place to find sexual partners without the danger of being beaten-up if the proposition offends. It’s S’pore’s and the region’s (Remember homosexuality is haram in M’sia, Indonesia and Brunei) biggest and best pick-up event that comes around every year. Gays have said so.

And the organisers do know it. A few yrs ago, the organisers were criticised  by some gays (Really randy ones?) for playing down gay sex when publicising “gayness”. Sounds like the way, Disney cartoons treat sex: chastely holding hands.

Seriously, the “health warning” together with the retention of s377A of the Penal code, while tolerating “gayness” shows the PAP administration remains ambivalent about homosexuality

More on Fintech and the banks

In Banks, Uncategorized on 03/06/2016 at 6:20 pm

From NYT’s Dealbook

FINTECH VS. BIG BANKS Regulatory concerns have long dogged the banking industry, but these days, senior executives of big banks are keeping a close eye on something potentially more disruptive to the sector, which is financial technology, or fintech, Andrew Ross Sorkin writes in DealBook’s special section “Fintech’s Power Grab.” It’s too early to tell just how much fintech will upend the financial industry, but those who back the start-ups say that the potential is enormous. If these newcomers succeed, “Wall Street as we know it may become an outpost of Palo Alto,” Mr. Sorkin writes.

Of course, there are the skeptics, like the banking investor J. Christopher Flowers, who have dismissed the fintech frenzy as mere hype that defies common sense and will leave a trail of failed companies in its wake. But Mr. Sorkin writes that a third view may have the highest likelihood of coming true: “The big banks, so powerful and yet so anxious about the possibility of being disrupted by the upstarts, will gobble them all up in a spate of mergers and acquisitions that puts the disrupters squarely inside the institutions they were supposed to overtake.”

The banking industry needs to realize that change is coming whether it likes it or not, contends Steve Case, a founder of AOL and an entrepreneur with investments in several fintech businesses, who just wrote a book about the future, “The Third Wave.” “Some banks will be smart and figure out how to partner with some of these entrepreneurs or acquire some of these companies or do joint ventures, but if they just think it’s going to stay the way it is, they will be surprised,” Mr. Case said.

HSBC: Finally fat cats get culled

In Uncategorized on 03/06/2016 at 1:22 pm

NYT Dealbook reports

HSBC Said to Be Cutting Dozens of Senior Jobs HSBC has begun cutting senior posts in its investment banking division in a cull that could lead to dozens of staff worldwide losing their jobs, Reuters reports, citing sources with direct knowledge of the cuts.

How to solve the longevity problem. the Hard Truths way

In CPF on 02/06/2016 at 2:46 pm

The PAP administration is always warning us that CPF funds will not be enough for retirement because we are living longer. Its solution is to mahe CPF “not our money” while pretending that “it’s our money”: taz CPF Life esp the standard plan and Our money but CPF Life solvency is our problem .

S’poreans, except the die-die must vote for any PAP monkey Think Eunice Chia-lom and Ashok Shamar), see thru the smoke.

Here are two (connected) constructive, nation-building suggestions on the longevity problem hat the PAP may want to implement that are logical and reasonable in that they flow from the logic of Harry’s Hard Truths.

cartoon

From FT

Connected with the above is the solution in  the movie Soylent Green. Us plebs are encouraged to move on and our bodies then made into food for the other plebs.

See http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070723/synopsis

Cyber-crime not covered

In Insurance, Internet, Uncategorized on 02/06/2016 at 1:25 pm

From an FT article

One of the worries in the market is that insurers might have exposure to cyber risk via existing, non-cyber policies. “There are people with old products such as liability insurance or property damage insurance where the wording has not changed for decades,” said Simon Kilgour of law firm CMS.
“There are no specific exclusions in those policies so there is a question of whether a cyber loss would be covered. If you can’t prove that you have excluded cyber, then you have to assume you could be exposed.”

How to improve productivity

In Humour on 01/06/2016 at 4:48 pm

MoM should ban all employees from chatting about the weather, babies, holidays, or anything not wotk-related.

A rule was introduced banned staff from talking about anything not work-related. Sounds so PAPish but no,not in a S’pore co but in a UK local govt (think town council) office. Wonder if NTUC would object if a company introduced this rule?

From BBC Online

A rule introduced at the beginning of 2011 banned staff at Carlisle City Council from talking about anything not work-related.

If employees wanted to discuss the weather, holidays or babies (the three categories specified in the instructions), they were told to clock-out – so they would not be paid for time spent chatting.

An e-mail sent to 31 workers by two team leaders in the city’s benefits department also warned staff “to be aware of the reason why they are here, which is to work and not to treat the office as a day-to-day holiday camp”.

The GMB Union representative at the council, Ged Craig, said the message was “ridiculous and a disgrace – it is suggesting that if, for example, you are standing in a queue for the photocopier having a chat you should clock out.”

The e-mail went on to say that the way staff previously worked could not be sustained in the “current economic climate”.

Following the outrage of the staff and the involvement of the union, the rule was dropped.

Productivity improvement must be a KPI for NTUC leader, Kee Chui, so maybe he won’t pobject if S’porean cos implement this.

Noble House sends cryptical message?

In Accounting, Commodities, Corporate governance on 01/06/2016 at 12:12 pm

Noble’s board said that it looks forward to working with Alireza in future “should the opportunity arise”.

Hmm this could be boiler-plate PT to signal that the parting was really amicable. but maybe he left because he wants to do a LBO? Ot because he wants to buy from Noble the investments in commodity producers that he made as CEO and which caused all sorts of accounting problems for Noble?

Stock seems to have strong support at the 0,29 level. Hope its “outside” buying. I’m putting the stock on my “Punt?” list.

May want to read this

Here’s Why Noble Group Shares Are Plunging