Archive for August, 2016|Monthly archive page

SMRT: Sure or not?

In Uncategorized on 31/08/2016 at 4:26 pm

(Update on 2 September at 11 am: For a fifth consecutive day, the Circle Line (CCL) is being affected what the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT described as “signal interference” — a problem that they are still trying to come to grips with, as they seek help from overseas experts. Today

And bear in mind that the problems relate to driverless ie automated trains)

In April, Singapore rail operator SMRT announced a joint venture with Dutch company 2 Getthere Holding to market, supply and operate automated vehicles across Asia. These 24-person pods would likely be used within quieter environments such as hospital grounds, business parks or campuses to ferry commuters to the nearest public transit station. (FT)

Given the recent spate of problems* (makes TISG look like real media professionals not the goofy bunch of incompetents that they are), I think SMRT should leave sophisticated technology to the grown-ups.


*Update on 1 September at 7.45am:  Commuters were told to expect delays as signalling problems continued to plague the Circle Line for the fourth day in a row, according to a news release issued by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT early on Thursday (Sep 1).

Update at 9.35am: Too bad LKY didn’t promise that if MRT service is really bad, he’ll return to kick ass.


Amos cracks great jokes

In Humour on 31/08/2016 at 4:38 am

Unlike Tharman,  PM and other PAP ministers.

I visited Amos’ FB page on Sunday and saw three great posts juz in the last two weeks. They made me laugh. They’ll make u laugh too. Don’t worry, no foul language.


Amos Yee’s planned list of illegal acts in Singapore:

2015 – Criticising the Government (Done)
2016 – Criticising religion (Done)
2017 – Skipping national service
2018 – Stepping on the national flag
2019 – Grafitti
2021 – Porn
2022 – Tax Evasion
2023 – Not Paying CPF
2024- Non-violent public protest
2026 – Taking marijuana
2030 – Hacking in and revealing private government files
2036 – trafficking marijuana/ attempting to sneak firearms into Singapore

(Death Penalty)


Joseph Schooling info:

Left Singapore and his secondary school Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) at 14 to go to America
Lives in: America
Speaking accent: American
Secondary School: Bolles School in Florida (America)
University: University of Texas (America)
Trains swimming: In America
Swimming Coach: Eddie Reese (American)
Swimming Inspiration: Micheal Phelps (American)

Singapore shouldn’t be proud of Joseph Schooling for winning the Olympic Gold, America should

[Hey Amos, in the US one gold medal is “peanuts”: nothing to get excited about.]


This should be printed and distributed by SDP

I hope he realises that he can be a good stand-up comic, and use his videoing skills to highlight in the West his talent. He can make money, serious money if he’s talent-spotted.

A good satire

15 funniest jokes from the Edinburgh Fringe


At the very least, he can be a good script writer for an ang moh comedy show.

Whatever, he may have got over his love of using foul language. Maybe he realises they’ve lost the power to shock people. They juz don’t ;listen.

A final tot. Maybe the ang moh tua kees who deserted him can commend him to their controllers in MI6 and the CIA, asking that MI6 and the CIA help get him a job in the comedy business?


Fed to market: “Go ahead, make my day”

In Currencies on 30/08/2016 at 3:05 pm

The Fed is itching to pull the trigger like Dirty Harry was ready to use .44 Magnum revolver

NYT Dealbook reports:


The Case for an Interest Rate Increase
The Federal Reserve looks like it will probably raise rates in the coming months. “In light of the continued solid performance of the labor market and our outlook for economic activity and inflation, I believe the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months,” said Janet L. Yellen, the Fed’s chairwoman, said after last week’s annual policy conference at Jackson Hole.
Although the Fed is likely to consider a move at the next meeting, in September, many expect action to come in December, after the presidential election.
Some officials remain nervous about fragile growth, and there are questions about how the Fed could combat downturns in the future. If interest rates are not raised as much as during other periods of growth, they cannot be cut as much during downturns. Officials also remain skeptical about using negative rates.
“Central banks still have arrows in their quiver [although] they may not be as effective as they were before the crisis,” Randall Kroszner, a former Fed governor,told The Financial Times. But, he pointed out, “central banks can’t simply create growth.”
Still, perhaps they will take the advice they received from Christopher A. Sims, a Nobel laureate in economic science. What is that? Stop. You’re making things worse.
Mr. Sims argues that central banks need to say publicly that more government spending is required to stimulate economies. “So long as the legislature thinks it has no role in this problem, nothing is going to get done,” he said.”

And SGX wants to list dual-class shares?

In Corporate governance on 30/08/2016 at 1:50 pm

When we don’t have protection of US style laws and culture? Singapore does not have, or want, a culture of class-action lawsuits as in the United States. That’s a key feature that helps to keep founder shareholders in check.

Even in the US with a culture of class-action lawsuits, there can be problems with dual-class shares.

A dual-class stock system does not necessarily allow the founder to build a company. It can be abused as the founder’s ownership level declines and he giveshimself private benefits. And a public corporation should not be run forever NYT Dealbook reports:

The Deal Professor’s Lessons from the Viacom Dispute

After Viacom’s ownership saga, Steven Davidoff Solomon offers some lessons that can still be put into use:

1. Remember what your end-game is and what is reasonable given your situation. Philippe P. Dauman, the outgoing chief executive, seems to have failed to have recognized that he faced an uphill fight — despite having practiced law himself. He also seemed to be unaware of the public-relations aspect of his fight over Viacom.

2. Be aware of your own loyalties — corporate officers are better off leaving their loyalty with the company, where it legally belongs.

3. Bad governance breeds bad conduct. In the case of Viacom, everyone shares the blame, but Sumner M. Redstone particularly so. He ran Viacom as his personal fief.

4. Litigation has its uses, but using it as a corporate weapon can lay waste to a company.

5. A dual-class stock system does not necessarily allow the founder to build a company. It can be abused as the founder’s ownership level declines and he gives himself private benefits. And a public corporation should not be run forever as a family business. [Emphasis mine]

Let us now hope that those involved in the dispute devote just as much energy to fixing the company’s governance problems and ensuring Mr. Redstone is appropriately cared for.

Sigh the FTs in SGX are screwing us again OL, OK I know the CEO and chairman are true blue S’poreans. But there are FTS all around them.

Amos and Chippy: The Empire strikes back

In Uncategorized on 30/08/2016 at 4:28 am

Amos and Chippy are soulmates. Both are in trouble with the law what with Amos

Image result for amos yee

pleading guilty to five charges and facing jail. Chippy us not allowed to emigrate but was sent for rehabilitation at a RTO, a fate Amos avoided, just

Image result for Chippy + monkey

Prison awaits Amos

A day after he reversed a decision to stand trial and pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to show up at a police station, teen blogger Amos Yee again threw in the towel and admitted to three counts of wounding religious feelings. ST

This leaves him fighting three charges. He is alleged to have posted one photo and two videos online, between April and May, with the intention of wounding the feelings of Muslims.

Bet you he will plead guilty.

Hopefully jail will cure his Narcissistic Personality Disorder


Open the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”, a widely used handbook in the US and elssewhere, and the checklist for Narcissistic Personality Disorder could be notes for a profile on Amos. Symptoms include abnormal attention-seeking, self-centredness, a sense of entitlement, exaggerated self-appraisal (ie, fibbing about achievements) and warped relations with others. The outside world is mostly of interest as a mirror, reflecting back on the narcissistic self.

Seriously,  he’s got a genuine, rare talent that he can exploit for fame and $. More soon.

RTO for Chippy

Details of whar happened to Chippy are below. Really sad tale.

Why can’t the authouriies juz let him emigrate at no cost to us tax-payers. Instead we kanna fund his “rehabilitation” at an ACRES RTO. Why liddat PAP administration?

The irony of it all

Amos left the country but returned voluntarily, Chippy cannot leave but is further confined.

It seems Amos fled to Oz, planning to seek asylum. It a;so seems, he was advised that with  socially conservative politicians ascendant in Australia, it was unlikely that he would get asylum via ministerial discretion. This meant that he would have to go through a long legal process to get asylum.

And as he didn’t have the money and Mother Mary looking after him, he decided to come back.

Seems some well-off members of Caring Action Network, helped fund his holiday but wouldn’t fund any legal case.


The sad tale of Chippy

The long-tailed macaque, which was befriended at the start of this year by Normanton Park resident Madam Prema, is now with wildlife rescue organisation Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) for “rehabilitation”. This is so that Chippy can “hopefully be wild and free again rather than be held captive,” said ACRES’ Executive Director Louis Ng. [No point asking yout PAP MP to help, as Louis is one of the MIW]

In a joint statement, NParks, AVA and ACRES said they were working together to rehabilitate the monkey. “The main objective is to wean the monkey off human food, so as to reverse the monkey’s dependence on humans caused by the feeding and interaction with the monkey by members of the public.”

(CNA Aug 17)

“Had we known Chippy was going to ACRES, we would not have helped catch him.”

The report continues

But even now that Chippy is out of the wild, Mdm Prema and her family are now concerned about his well-being at ACRES.

“He’s got no chance with them…I’ve seen the way they handle him…I don’t trust them,” she said, citing the behaviour of an ACRES staff member towards Chippy earlier this year. In video footage captured by Mdm Prema’s daughter, an ACRES staff member can be seen waving and banging a long stick on the ground in front of Chippy in order to keep the monkey out of the Normanton Park condominium compound.

(Video: Courtesy of Mdm Prema)

She claimed that her family’s calls and queries to ACRES have gone unanswered, and she has no idea how Chippy is doing. This has, she said, caused her some distress and sleepless nights, particularly because she said she was asked by the authorities to help catch Chippy.  

“Chippy was running away and would not come down from the tree. We were told that he was going to the AVA, and they promised me he would not be culled. There was no talk about ACRES, no talk about rehabilitation, nothing.”

“So I used his favourite toy to coax him down, and we captured him in 45 minutes.”

“It was only the day after when we called NParks that we found out he was at ACRES. That made me feel like I wanted to die,” she said.

“Had we known Chippy was going to ACRES, we would not have helped catch him.”



Why Goldie wants to be the people’s bank

In Banks, Internet, Investment banking on 29/08/2016 at 3:26 pm

The maths behind Goldman Sachs move into retail internet finance

As it has done many times in its past to survive and to thrive, Goldman is in the process of reinvention. This explains Marcus, its new online lending business named after the company’s founder, Marcus Goldman, along with GS Bank, its online savings account business with no minimum balance requirements. After all these years, Goldman Sachs has suddenly discovered retail banking. But it is not out of altruism or charity, nor is it nefarious. It is all about making money from money, which has always been Goldman’s specialty. In fact, GS Bank and Marcus fit together elegantly in helping Goldman find new sources of profitability.

And here’s why: In the zero-interest-rate environment that the Federal Reserve has carefully curated for eight years, Goldman and other banks can gather up money — the raw material they use to make more money — at virtually no cost. By opening an online bank, Goldman can gather up billions of dollars in consumer deposits without the cost of a physical branch and pay its customers close to nothing for their money. Goldman is offering to pay savers 1.05 percent annually. That may sound like close to zero, and it is, but the rate is also nearly 17 times more than the 0.06 percent annual interest rate that JPMorgan pays me on my savings account.

Goldman’s idea is to get people like me to move my money, of course. Sure, the 1.05 percent is a teaser rate, created to attract billions of dollars to Goldman’s new venture. And it will no doubt work. Since April, GS Bank has collected $1.8 billion in deposits, essentially by word of mouth.

Goldman will then take that raw material and use it to make more money, in large part by lending it out through its online lender Marcus, which aims at consumers looking to borrow around $20,000. Goldman will charge plenty more in interest for these loans than the 1 percent it is paying savers at GS Bank. Although its terms will not be known until Marcus rolls out officially in October, assume for the moment that the going rate for consumer loans of this nature – if both Lending Club and Prosper are useful guides – is around 12 percent. That difference – the 11 percentage points – is what Goldman will largely rake in as profit.

Martyn See’s guide for wannabe trouble makers

In Uncategorized on 29/08/2016 at 4:32 am

OK, OK, political, human rights and social activists, and good hearted, well intentioned kay pohs.

I just came across this great FB post by Martyn See. I tot I just must share it with those who visit this blog.

My 12 tips for Political and Human Rights Activists in Singapore.

1. Read the law thoroughly, particularly the ones that the PAP will use to trip you up, namely Sedition Act, the new Contempt of Court law, Public Order Act (holding a public indoor forum featuring a foreign speaker is illegal), defamation laws, Films Act, MDA Licensing Scheme, Cooling-off Day regulations, Penal Code.

2. Being an activist is a good way to filter your friends. If certain people start avoiding you, then you know they are not worthy friends anyway.

3. Family members and close friends will try to dissuade you. They are usually the biggest fearmongers in your life. Listen politely but always follow your own conscience.

4. Bear your own responsibility for your speech and action. Never implicate others.

5. Live your life as you normally would. If you labour under the (imaginary) fear of being under constant surveillance, you already short-changed yourself and the people around you.

6. Campaigning should be fun and energizing. If it becomes a begrudging chore or bore, take a break and recharge.

7. Yes, there are government moles within the opposition ranks and in civil society. They usually have friendly and pleasant personalities. They are likely to stay in the background and will not be too strident in their political views, but will offer to photograph, video or take notes. Most people unwittingly allow them into their organisation because they are short of manpower. But do challenge these dodgy types to display a public commitment to the cause. Otherwise, keep them out of the inner loop.

8. From time to time, organise leisure activities with fellow activists from other fields. Watch the tension, friction and squabbles dissipate, like magic.

9. If you haven’t had run-ins with censorship or the police, the government probably does not take you seriously.

10. Be thoroughly prepared for your home to be raided by the police one day, to face arrest, and most of all, to spend time in prison. To be at peace with such a prospect frees you up to speak your mind fearlessly and to make decisions without regret.

11. Draw inspiration from the ones who have suffered and sacrificed so much before us. For example, whenever I think of what Chia Thye Poh, Said Zahari, Lim Hock Siew and their families had to go through, my own worries become embarrassingly trivial.

12. Forget about the results and the rewards. These things are out of your control. Do the work because your conscience is pricking you and is keeping you awake at night.


Your guide to dealing with police interrogations.…/activists-speak-about-t…


Good night, and good luck.

Fatties and smokers should not be demonised

In Political economy, Uncategorized on 28/08/2016 at 1:18 pm

They are demonised by govts round the world because of the costs they impose on society.

It is the long-living healthy (non-smoking, non-obese) who ultimately generate the highest lifetime medical costs says a letter writer to the Economist.

Something to chew on

Counting calories” (August 13th) takes it for granted that obesity costs the National Health Service “billions of pounds each year”. According to a widely cited study from 2008 by Pieter van Baal, a Dutch economist, it is the long-living healthy (non-smoking, non-obese) who ultimately generate the highest lifetime medical costs. Because obese people die younger on average, they require fewer years of medical care and are less likely to fall victim to the expensive morbidities associated with old age. Obesity prevention is important to improving public health and should not be seen purely as a way of saving money.


Experiment that failed in Japan, being tried here

In Internet, Public Administration on 28/08/2016 at 4:24 am

It’s really hard to believe that Yaacob is an RI boy, I mean RI boys are supposed to be smart, not stupid. OK, OK I know he’s Minister for Communications and Information, Minister-incharge of Muslim Affairs and Minister in charge of Cyber Security. But Minister in charge of Cyber Security, ne’s trying out something here that failed in Japan.

William Saito, a special cyber security adviser to the Japanese government, said some Japanese companies had cut internet access in the past year, usually after a breach. “They cut themselves off because they thought it was a good idea,” he said, “but then they realised they were pretty dependent on this internet thing.”

Let’s see if the PAP administration can succeed where the Japanese cos failed.

Why some ex-presidents are more equal than others

In Political governance on 27/08/2016 at 1:15 pm

What’s going viral? People are wondering why some ex-Presidents get state funerals and some don’t.

(TMG’s attempt to get eyeballs

Possible answers?

Maybe it depends on whether someone was offended or disappointed?

When Ong Teng Cheong died in 2002, remember one LKY was silent on Ong as president, only praising Ong as NTUC leader: “Ong Teng Cheong’s greatest service to Singapore was as Secretary-General of the NTUC. At a critical time, he renewed the leadership and infused new energy into the organisation. He also broadened the objectives of the trade union movement beyond industrial issues by adding a social dimension to NTUC activities, providing union members with a wide range of leisure and recreational facilities, so that they do not lag behind the middle-class Singaporeans who were upgrading their leisure pursuits. He made a difference.”

And maybe or also whether the president in question was a true believer? Someone who knew his place in the scheme of things? Not a questioner of authourity?

Image result for Napoleon is always right




















ST: Shome mishtake, shurely? Ed

In Media on 27/08/2016 at 6:23 am

Or “FTs or Subversives at work?”

The front page of ST,  a few days ago, was dedicated to the late Mr S R Nathan.

The front page report however carried two serious errors (see below) and what’s worst, these errors seemed meant to take credit away from another former president, Mr Ong Teng Cheong (the “People’s president” of the cybernuts and other anti-PAPpies). ST later corrected the errors in its online version of the report. But did not apologise.

These errors could really be “honest mistakes” made by the reporter, sub editor and the supervising editor working under time constraints (Shome mishtake, shurely? Ed). Though it beggars belief that S’porean-born and educated journalists don’t know their recent history given that the official narrative is taught in schools.

So could all three be FTs? Ignorant of our recent history, hence the mistakes. There are persistent allegations that the SPH group, and ST, in particular have great difficulty in getting true blue S’poreans to be journalists. They have to recruit M’sian Chinese and Indians and hope for the best.

Anyway, given that it was clear that Nathan was dying, there would have been plenty of time to write the stuff and store it, so time pressure could not be the reason for the mistakes. Only ignorance of our recent history is a valid excuse, and only if the writer and checkers were FTs.

Alternatively, maybe there are anti-PAP subversives at work, trying to put the constructive, nation-building ST and its perceived, pay master, the PAP administration in the dog-house of the public opinion of the swung voters. If so they succeeded.. ISD should investigate, and arrests made,

Whatever, these mistakes must make TISG Team happy: they make TISG look a lot less incompetent and goofy.

The two mistakes

Right hand highlight is from Men in White. Extracted from TRE reader’s letter.


Property in Iskandar? Better worry about water suppy

In Malaysia, Property on 26/08/2016 at 5:00 pm
“Drought, Pollution and Johor’s Growing Water Needs” by Jackson Ewing and Karissa Domondon is out and downloadable at this link.

• Singapore has depended on water imports from neighbouring catchments in Johor, Malaysia since its founding. Despite long-standing cooperation, economic, environmental, and political forces are destabilizing cross-strait water flows.

• Johor has historically been water-abundant, but increased water consumption from economic development and population growth in combination with water stresses from drought and pollution have reduced its dry season water catchments.

• Johor has taken recent far-reaching measures including requesting additional water supply from Singapore, rationing supply to residential and commercial users, and requesting RM660 million in federal support for construction of a new dam at Sungai Ulu Sedili.

• There appears to be bilateral support for continuing the Singapore-Malaysia water trade. However, water stress in Johor risks undermining the bedrock of the relationship, and creates the need for redoubled regulatory diligence and clear-minded diplomacy by authorities in Johor, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur.

15 funniest jokes from the Edinburgh Fringe

In Humour on 26/08/2016 at 2:35 pm

In descending order
“My dad has suggested that I register for a donor card. He’s a man after my own heart” – Masai Graham
“Why is it old people say “there’s no place like home”, yet when you put them in one…” – Stuart Mitchell
“I’ve been happily married for four years – out of a total of 10” – Mark Watson
“Apparently 1 in 3 Britons are conceived in an IKEA bed which is mad because those places are really well lit” – Mark Smith
“I went to a pub quiz in Liverpool, had a few drinks so wasn’t much use. Just for a laugh I wrote The Beatles or Steven Gerrard for every answer… came second” – Will Duggan
“Brexit is a terrible name, sounds like cereal you eat when you are constipated” – Tiff Stevenson
“I often confuse Americans and Canadians. By using long words” – Gary Delaney
“Why is Henry’s wife covered in tooth marks? Because he’s Tudor” – Adele Cliff
“Don’t you hate it when people assume you’re rich because you sound posh and went to private school and have loads of money?” – Annie McGrath
“Is it possible to mistake schizophrenia for telepathy, I hear you ask” – Jordan Brookes
“Hillary Clinton has shown that any woman can be President, as long as your husband did it first” – Michelle Wolf
“I spotted a Marmite van on the motorway. It was heading yeastbound” – Roger Swift
“Back in the day, Instagram just meant a really efficient drug dealer” – Arthur Smith
“I’ll tell you what’s unnatural in the eyes of God. Contact lenses” – Zoe Lyons
“Elton John hates ordering Chinese food. Soya seems to be the hardest word” – Phil Nicol

TISG: Wee first ‘Elected President’/ “S’poreans only” policy backfires?

In Humour on 26/08/2016 at 5:28 am

Wee Kim Wee, not Ong Teng Cheong, was the first ‘Elected President’ of Singapore

Dr Wee Kim Wee and not Mr Ong Teng Cheong is the first Elected President of Singapore, a law don has clarified. Dr Jack Tsen-Ta Lee, Assistant Professor of Law at the Singapore Management University’s School of Law made this point in the website ‘Singapore Public Law’.


This is what Dr Jack Tsen-Ta Lee posted on Facebook

“The provision was carefully worded to avoid deeming Wee Kim Wee as having been elected, so although he exercised all the discretionary powers of an elected President, the first truly elected President was Ong Teng Cheong.” So how come the conclusion is that Wee was Singapore’s first elected President? I’m mystified!

Obviously, TISG Team, can’t understand his article written in simple English. That cock meh? Need FTs to understand?

Either that or adult supervision is desperately needed.

That’s not the only recent goof.

On Augist 22 at 5.50pm  To cater to a consistently high number of readers, we are migrating to a larger server. Our website may be inaccessible for a few hours due to this. We apologise to our readers. – TISG Team

The “few hours” turned out to be at least 24 — 40hrs No articles appeared on 23 August and only late on 24 August were articles posted.

As TISG prides itself on employing only true blue S’poreans (Has no choice given its tendency towards xenophobic* articles?), maybe it got some lazy TISG-reading S’porean cybernut  to do the IT migration?

As commercially minded employers know, FTs from India are the best for low-level IT jobs like migration. Cheap and good.

Two other goofs by TISG Team.

Yup, it’s two goofs a week, for two weeks in a row.

TISG positions itself as a commercial site, not a socio-political site (Er so how come so many articles from a TRE hero, and TRELand cybernuts and sane residents?). That’s good news for TISG Team. A socio-political site would have found replacements for such goofing, careless, wanking S’poreans, assuming they were either subversives working for the PAP, not for the Cause, or that they were incompetent, lazy S’poreans.

*Aiming  “to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore”?


One country: two markets

In China on 25/08/2016 at 1:21 pm

Shenzhen, Shanghai comparedShanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges

“Only minorities need apply” presidency is “2 steps back”

In Political governance on 25/08/2016 at 5:03 am

I’m sure you’ve seen Alfian Sa’at tots on whether there’s really a need for a Malay president.

In a FB conversation on the piece, someome said: A President is supposed to represent ALL the races. He is supposed to be a UNIFYING figure.

This got a totful response on the presidency in general and the issue that “only minorities need apply” in some years. (Note I’ve reparagraphed rhe piece to make it easier on the eye.)

Sadly IMHO the office of president is NOT a unifying figure in any way shape or form but someone who is respected nonetheless but as figurehead much like we respect royalty (but to a much lesser degree as its a fairly new institution.)

However some presidents are distinguished Singaporeans in their own right before they ascended to the throne so to speak. That figurehead rubberstamp role could have changed if a non PAP or PAP appointed candidate was elected who would not be so biased towards to the ruling party but alas that did not happen yet.

Why can’t a minority head of state improve the lives of minority as any help would be appreciated. It’s not a job role. No one needs to be specifically in Mendaki or CDAC or Sinda to try to do that. Look at how Barack Obama sometimes goes against certain institutions to highlight black issues through his speeches and influence on social media. It’s not his job per say. [This paeagraph doesn’t sound quite right. The second and last sentence should be removed?]

Inclusivity is not just what we are after but more fairness and less racism. Lots of racial profiling and racial biasness and what have you goes on all over the world – Singapore included.

Alfian got this spot on IMHO. And many others have called this bluff long time ago – nothing new in what he said but just awesome that he said out loud.

Singapore should aim higher for colourblindness though it’s hard and we can start but not electing figurehead tokens like a Malay or Indian president just because it would look nice on paper. This brings 2 steps back ..

Day traders v DIY quant traders

In Financial competency on 24/08/2016 at 4:28 pm


Illustrarions from FT

The Hedge Fund Robot that Outsmarted Its Human Master

Yoshinori Nomura, a 43-year-old money manager, is setting his software loose in Japan, one of the most turbulent markets in the world. If he succeeds, it would offer hope for AI traders around the world.

NYT Dealbook

Animal Farm: What if the pigs were public-spirited?

In Political governance on 24/08/2016 at 4:58 am

‘It needs more public-spirited pigs’: TS Eliot’s rejection of Orwell’s Animal Farm

This was the title of

Eliot, one of the 20th century’s greatest poets and literary figures (his critics said he had fascist tendencies), said: “And after all, your pigs are far more intelligent than the other animals, and therefore the best qualified to run the farm – in fact, there couldn’t have been an Animal Farm at all without them: so that what was needed (someone might argue), was not more communism but more public-spirited pigs.”

Thinking about it maybe LKY, Dr Goh, Lim Kim San, Toh Chin Chye etc would be role-models for such public-spirited pigs.

So if the pigs had been as public-spirited as Harry Lee, Dr Goh etc:

— there would be a Pigs’ Action Party (Don’t worry, the comments get better);

— a sheep would always be elected president but the colour of the fleece mattered (while yellow was the preferred colour, sometimes the president’s fleece must be brown, black or white):;

— the leader of the pigs would always be a yellow coloured one;

— the other animals would have a share (albeit not as much as the pigs) of the “brain food”, apples and milk;

— but much of their apples and milk would be locked up (and waste away)  like our CPF monies;

— Boxer would have been treated a lot better: he’d have Pioneer benefits to supplement his meagre share of stored apples and milk;

— but if Boxer had cancer he’s have to return to the UK (like Alex Josey, LKY’s devoted follower) to get treated on the NHS;

— Squealer, like Rajaratnam, would have Alzheimer’s disease, as a consequence of having to practice doublespeak;

—  Snowball, like Lim Chin Siong would be allowed to return from exile

— the farmhouse, like the Istana, would be open to the other animals on public holidays;

— the windmill would be built right the first time, providing Animal Farm with electricity and the animals would get a share of the benefits;

— Tan Wah Piow would be happy outside S’pore instead of being bitter in self-exile (Daisy the mare fled Animal Farm because she was unhappy and lived happily ever after);

— the animals that plotted against the pigs would not be killed but be arrested under the ISA and made to confess, like Teo Soh Lung and friends, their misdeeds on tv;and

— there would be free but unfair elections every few years that would serve as referendums on the pigs’ performance with 60% approval ratings being the passing mark;

— there would be a population of about 26% that would always vote against the public-spirited pigs, screaming ‘The pigs are always wrong”;

— “To each what he deserves” and “Work sets you free” would be prominent slogans at the Pigs’ Annual Rally.;

— some of the castrated pigs would form the Wankers’ Party to oppose the Pigs’ Action Party; and

— one of the dogs would go mad.


But some sheep are always unhappy

PAP gave you one drum stick, now collecting two chickens

After every GE, the first 3-4 years, you see massive hikes of various fees to recoup the drum stick they gave during GE. With the greedy Minister, you see car-park charges raised and proposed SnCC charges soon to be raised to better service lifts. To his  hypocritical stand to keep Singapore car-lite, more COEs are being released.

In the recent weeks, you see so many charges and fees being raised despite massive profits. From Medishield Life, taxi licenses, fares, basic necessities, levies et cetera, everything seems to be on auto-pilot going up.

The only year that Singaporean will have a breather will be the year before GE. Then suddenly, you will see all the ministers and politicians becoming your best friends over night, back by media and advertisements in addition social media. Remember all the nice ads at train stations telling you not to worry about CPF and Medishield Life?

Even Facebook and Chinese Wechat will promote these policies then. Question is why don’t you see them now? They seem to have disappeared right after the GE.

Look at the shopping centres, few are buying, pay has largely remain stagnant for years and there is no job security, high possibility of being replaced by fake talents imported. Despite massive profits, why is the government continue to squeeze poor Singaporeans dry? If Temasek and GIC are supposed to make good money, so why are they milking locals high and dry? Isn’t this puzzling at all? So why so many changes to entrap and restrict the use of CPF? Without any visibility, we can only assume that the funds are not doing well!!!

I hear Singaporeans complain and complain about the hikes and increased charges and fee. But isn’t this repeated every five years. After GE, they will fleece us right until the year before GE that they will suddenly be generous. WP did say, they will give you a drum stick and take one chicken, isn’t that correct?

My take is they have been very greedy, it is no longer one chicken, its two chicken, thanks to you giving them landslide. And for those who voted for the greedy party, stop complaining la, don’t be a gu niang!

DuGu QiuBai

He and his kind should realise that the PAP did things a left-wing US senator wants done in the US.

Elizabeth Warren named in some quarters as a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton.

First, she wants to make it easier for all workers to pay social security contributions and buy insurance against disability or illness, as well as to accrue credits for at least some paid leave. Second, she argues that health and pension benefits should belong to workers and should follow them no matter what their employment status. Third, she underlines the need to streamline and enforce existing labour laws to stop employers exploiting loopholes. Finally, she stresses the need for collective bargaining for all workers — unions, historically intent on protecting insiders, need to bear some responsibility.

FT extract

Finally a related post: Life on a real animal farm: animals are well-looked after to benefit the farmer. Something the successors (the natural aristocrats)  to the PAP Old Guard forgot but quickly relearnt after the double 2011 debacles. Now they are spending more of our more on ourselves. And trying to fix the presidential elections so that a compassionate, humble ex-PAPpy, Dr Tan Cheng Bock, can never be elected president,

Everything u need to know about investing in Reits

In Financial competency, Property, Reits on 23/08/2016 at 1:34 pm

REITs: The 3 Main Considerations when Picking REITs to Purchase for Buy and Hold or Speculation

Writer goes into great detail about his three points especially on how to judge The Competency and Integrity of the Managers of the REIT

1. The Competency and Integrity of the Managers of the REIT

2. Jobs, Business and the Economy

3. Valuation of the REIT


What a load of BS from PM

In Uncategorized on 23/08/2016 at 6:51 am

And PM’s  behind the curve again. And Harry was right. These were my tots on reading his NDR speech.

But first, PM should reflect on whether talking BS is good for his health,

On Sunday night, he delivered two real hard turds in the usual truckload of watery cow dung that included why “Adak must make sure ababg becomes president, otherwise abang will never make it” and “Own race vote for own race”(Hello forgot that his Murali, black in white, whipped a charismatic Chinese dialect speaker’s ass? So hard that the latter was punch-drunk for a while. Yup his brain was in his ass.).

I mean

“We are… a nation where a young Singapore boy can achieve his dream,” he said. “Spurred by his parents’ and coaches’ unwavering belief; dedicating himself to his goal persevering through ups and downs; cheered on by the whole nation – And that’s how we produced an Olympic champion in Rio.”

“Joseph will inspire many more, younger and older, to chase their dreams, to make the impossible come true.” CNA

Ever since the Swimming Association’s Centre of Excellence closed in 2008 and until he won a University of Texas scholarship, Joseph was on his parents’ scholarship. He was lucky to have supportive parents rich enough to fund his (and their and Sporeans’) dream.

And along the way, Mum had to take on Mindef, (Doubtless, Colin was too busy?  Or horses for courses? M’sians braver than S’poreans. They dare protest on the streets,)

Is this “a nation where a young Singapore boy can achieve his dream?”. Come on, only if the parents are rich and reckless enough. While I salute the parents, let’s face it: they were big time gamblers. The odds were against them and Joseph: The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.

PM delivered another hard turd by propagating the world-view according to Disney, saying, “[Young S’poreans] chase their dreams, to make the impossible come true”. Another way of putting this would be “If you trust in yourself…and believe in your dreams…and follow your star…”

S’poreans should remember one of Harry’s Hard Truths: Live in the real world. As Terry Pratchett puts it, “If you trust in yourself…and believe in your dreams…and follow your star…you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy”.

I’m sure our Harry would agree with him and not number one son.

It gets even funnier because the Economist (see above link) says Disney has been moving away from the theme of “If you trust in yourself…and believe in your dreams…and follow your star…” in its latest films (think Freeze) and edging towards the darker views of Terry (and Harry). PM (and PAP) behind the curve again? Like in GE 2006 and 2011?

Most of us (including the PAP’s natural aristocrats are not Olympians in sports, academia, commerce, finance or politics. At best, we are journeymen and women.


“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett


The truth is that most of us are juz mediocre; accept this reality and be content.

How to be mediocre and be happy with yourself

How to help Olympic host cities recoup expenses

In Uncategorized on 22/08/2016 at 1:58 pm


From NYT Dealbook

The Olympics, Where Winning Gold Can Mean Losing Billions Why does anyone want the Olympics in their home city? The last time the Games were profitable was in Los Angeles in 1984 — that is more than 30 years ago. But for whatever reason, government officials, businessmen and bankers are in a bidding war for the 2024 Summer Games that could rival anything seen on Wall Street. Some are competing on costs, but potential losses are a major concern — is it all a poisoned chalice?

There are plenty of unconventional solutions being floated. Whether it is permanently keeping the Olympics in its birthplace, Greece, or holding the Games at different places simultaneously, some people are thinking outside the box. But what about giving a city the chance to host it twice, 12 years apart? That would allow it to reap the economic benefits twice, and force cities to create a more long term infrastructure plan, Andrew Ross Sorkin argues.

Charlie and Edmund, a graphic novel about the Schoolings pls

In Uncategorized on 22/08/2016 at 5:27 am

Given that Schooling is a national hero and the struggles, efforts and successes of Colin, May and Joseph will be co-opted into the official narrative, a constructive, nation-building graphic novel is in order? Better still a subversive version? Best both versions?

Who better for either version or both than the writer (Sonny Liew, M’sian born VJC boy) and publisher (Edmund Wee, a RI boy, is the owner of Epigram Books, the book’s publisher)  of  the Art of Charlie Chan.which weaves together fictional and historical elements, with nods to events and personalities in the nation’s history, such as Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, opposition politician Lim Chin Siong and Operation Spectrum, the so-called Marxist Conspiracy, in 1987. 

ST called the book “a vivid and satirical retelling of Singapore’s journey to nationhood through the eyes of its eponymous comic artist.”


The National Arts Council (NAC) has withdrawn a publishing grant for the graphic novel The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye on the eve of its Singapore launch because of “sensitive content”.

The council declined to elaborate on the reasons behind the decision to revoke the S$8,000 grant.

The experimental graphic novel by artist-illustrator Sonny Liew follows the story of comic-book artist Charlie Chan during the formative years of Singapore’s modern history. It weaves together fictional and historical elements, with nods to events and personalities in the nation’s history, such as Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, opposition politician Lim Chin Siong and Operation Spectrum, the so-called Marxist Conspiracy, in 1987.

In a statement, NAC’s senior director of the literary arts sector Khor Kok Wah said: “We had to withdraw the grant when the book The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye came out because its sensitive content, depicted in visuals and text, did not meet our funding conditions. The Council will continue to support and work with Epigram, a leading publisher of Singapore literary works, on other projects.”

Application guidelines for the grant state that NAC reserves the right to withdraw funding for reasons such as “illegal or negligent acts that occur during any point of the funded project, which will adversely affect the reputation of the National Arts Council, any government bodies, public institutions, national leaders or (the applicant’s) organisation”.


Lim Chin Siong in the book is often portrayed as a hero and gets to become PM in a parallel S’pore in another universe and his S’pore is a kinder, more compassionate version of Harry’s, even if he implemented the policies LKY implemented in this wotld..

The withdrawal of a MDA grant helped sales a lot (it sold about 9,000 copies here: a best seller almost twice over by local standards) and the book also won  this year’s Singapore Literature Prize for English fiction. The win marks the first time that the prize has been awarded to a graphic novel.

The prize is organised by the National Book Development Council, with support from the National Arts Council.


In April 2015, Epigram Books announced the launch of the inaugural Epigram Books Fiction Prize. With a prize of $20,000, it is the richest award of its kind in Singapore.

So in 2016, Ownself win ownself’s prize.

The book has also gotten critical acclaim from international publications such as Slate and Economist and was is available overseas. Economist take on book:

A subvervise version of the Schoolings’ saga can win the fiction prize while the constructive, nation-building version can win the non-fiction prize.

But Sonny should beware that one-party states do not like those who criticise the official version of the facts. “China Through the Ages”, a magazine offering a mild critique of the official Communist version of history, has been taken over by the right people, the team running it having been locked out

Sonny should be particularly careful because as a new citizen (Got do NS or not? Or like junior minister Puthu?), his citizenship can be suks suka revoked.

As for Edmund, he’s an RI boy, a member of the elite.

Epigram was originally a design shop and does, among other stuff, presentation or gift boxes. Epigram designed a very beautiful “box” made of teak and bronze. Edmund said this was done for the PAP when it honoured some people with a special copy of the PAP’s 50th anniversary book. Even the PAP appreciates classy, beautiful stuff.

If Roy Ngerng had defamed a real “natural aristocrat”

In Uncategorized on 21/08/2016 at 1:02 pm

Remember PM quoting Jefferson on “natural aristocrats”?

Well Jefferson, a real “natural aristocrat” (Daddy wasn’t anybody really important in Virginia. He was a planter and surveyor, albeit a rich man,  who died when Jefferson was fourteen) wouldn’t have sued Roy Ngerng and other defamers .

Thomas Jefferson bore the brunt of brutal attacks when he ran for president in 1800. But Jefferson never responded to criticism by threatening to shut down dissent. “The people are the only censors of their governors”, he wrote, and “even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution”.

To punish these errors too severely would be to suppress the only safeguard of the public liberty. The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs thro’ the channel of the public papers, & to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.

What the US army and WP have in common

In Accounting, Humour on 21/08/2016 at 4:31 am

Warriors don’t do accounting.

Let me explain.

Here I said the “W” in WP now stood for “Warriors”, not “Wankers”.

So I tot it funny when I read about the real warriors. failure to account fpr monies spent — the battle-hardened US army led by generals who have fought in battles, not paper generals with no experience of combatm, failed financial audits

For years, the Inspector General – the Defense Department’s official auditor – has inserted a disclaimer on all military annual reports. The accounting is so unreliable that “the basic financial statements may have undetected misstatements that are both material and pervasive.”


The United States Army’s finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced.

The Defense Department’s Inspector General, in a June report, said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up.

As a result, the Army’s financial statements for 2015 were “materially misstated,” the report concluded. The “forced” adjustments rendered the statements useless because “DoD and Army managers could not rely on the data in their accounting systems when making management and resource decisions.”

Disclosure of the Army’s manipulation of numbers is the latest example of the severe accounting problems plaguing the Defense Department for decades.

Where’s Schooling’s dog?

In Uncategorized on 20/08/2016 at 1:06 pm

My RI-standard dog (the other is ITE material, though in cunningness she runs rings round the RI-standard boy) is wondering why there’s no mention of Schooling’s dog.

As my dog said, “We, dogs, are just as important as parents, money and a Pinoy maid in an creating Olympian. Us dogs are certainly more impt than M’sian Chinese PAP MPs. And a lot more classy: we don’t try to hog the limelight like a certain M’sian Chinese PAP MP. Her dog, Blackie, is hangimg her head in shame at having a pariah as owner.”

If Schooling didn’t have a dog, surely his pet cat or goldfish or bird deserves some credit?


Can’t TISG get anything right?

In Uncategorized on 20/08/2016 at 4:49 am

Wrong building, TISG.

Reporting a press release from the S’pore Heritage Society about the importance of preserving the Ellison Building*, TISG, a commercial site not a socio-political site, used a photo of the David Elias Building

This is Ellison Building TISG

Why so cock meh? The photo of the Ellison Building was included in SHS’s release.

This piece followed this

“STTA taxing junior team’s prize money to sustain its foreign players”. The truth (something TISG is increasingly having problems with) is that the money collected also funds our local athletes. And our PRC mercenary FT gladiators are also “taxed” on their prize money. These “taxes” go into a pool, which is used to fund STTA activities.

That’s locals funding FTs isit, TISG? It’s winners funding others. And like it or not, the gladiators have until recently been doing pretty well in winning awards .

But maybe TISG is alleging that the FT gladiators are not “taxed’?

The piece sounds like another one of its xenophobic (“to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore” isit? Why liddat TISG?) pieces aimed at attracting eyeballs.


Economy rice not enough to sustain brain power at TISG isit? In the above link I calculated that the ad revenue from eyeball ads ($1,700- 9,000) are Enough for “economy rice” meals for those working there.

*The Singapore Heritage Society (SHS) is deeply disappointed with the decision to demolish a substantial part of Ellison Building. A substantial part of the building will be demolished to make way for the North South Highway and will be reconstructed when the Highway is completed. It is located at the junction of Selegie Road and Rochor Canal Road and was built in 1924.

Who is riskier risk?

In Financial competency, Insurance on 19/08/2016 at 4:25 pm

“A 22-year-old driver who parties a lot and drives 10,000 miles a year, or a 40-year-old teetotaling mom who drives 40,000 miles? I might think the mom is riskier.”
Dan Preston, the chief executive of Metromile, on how insurers calculate risk.

TISG: “useful loudhailer” for PAP administration

In Uncategorized on 19/08/2016 at 6:45 am

So TISG published another article: “STTA taxing junior team’s prize money to sustain its foreign players”. The truth (something TISG is increasingly having problems with) is that the money collected also funds our local athletes. And our PRC mercenary FT gladiators are also “taxed” on their prize money. These “taxes” go into a pool, which is used to fund STTA activities.

That’s locals funding FTs isit, TISG? It’s winners funding others. And like it or not, the gladiators have until recently been doing pretty well in winning awards .

But maybe TISG is alleging that the FT gladiators are not “taxed’?

The piece sounds like another one of its xenophobic (“to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore” isit? Why liddat TISG?) pieces aimed at attracting eyeballs.

Given that the PAP administration loves FTs and frowns on anything resembling seditious actions, it’s surprising that TISG’s lead editor, P Ravi, while rowing with various people recently (mainly from TOC allied people) on journalistic and editorial standards of integrity said (boastingly?) on Facebook: “Government and related agencies see us as a useful loudhailer.”For the context in which he said this, scroll down to almost the bottom until you see his photo, the text is somewhere below:

Given that Ravi keeps stressing that TISG is not a socio-politcal site but a commercial site, one can only wonder what it’s being paid to act as a loudhailer for the “Government and related agencies”? Commercial sites exist to make money (they hope), not promote causes.

TISD raises money

Funny that Ravi claims that unlike a socio-politcal site, “Commercial sites must produce what readers want and will come back to consume or risk going bankrupt.” because TISG had to call for a new round of funding from existing and new shareholders late last year because it had run out of funds. Obviously TISG wasn’t producing what readers wanted and they were not coming back to consume more from TISG. 


Do also read the link above for the comments it made to Daniel Goh about its 1m unique visitors. A reader of this alerted me to the exchange to show the depths to which TISG will sink to. To me it shows the arrogance of TISG: telling Daniel Goh that he should comment on TISG’s wall because TISG has “1m unique visitors”. P Ravi and Kumaran Pillay (TISG’s publisher) like to say that TISG has the eyeballs that others are jealous about, hence the criticism about its journalistic and editorial standards.

On the issue of eyeballs and ad revenue from eyeballs,, I’ve calculated that the amount of revenue generated by TISG from eyeball advertising is “peanuts”.

Soul selling for peanuts

Based on a reported boast that it has 3.5m views a month, it would make about $9,000 in ad revenue a month. Based on some more reliable data that it has about 670,000 views a month, the figure comes to around $1700 (Detailed post coming one of these days and these numbers may be refined slightly).

Note I’m only guesstimating only revenue generated from eyeball ads. I make no comment on revenues from other sources because no data is available.


Maybe there is cash for being a loudhailer for the “Government and related agencies”?

And if there is, why is the PAP administration so cock to fund a commercial site that reasonable people can perceive as trying “to  promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore”?

I don’t think P Ravi and Kumaran Pillay know the ancient Greek superstition:  Nemesis punishes Hubris. But at least one of them, an ordained pastor, will be familiar with “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)

What’s disappointing about TISG’s defence of itself is that it’s not enough to prove critics wrong: they have to be shown to be malign, jealous, dishonest (“less than honest” is a favourite) or stupid, or any combination of two or more of these attributes. Yup TISG sounds, feels and looks like a PAPpy of the Jason Chua variety.

But to be fair, maybe the people in TISG cannot prove critics wrong except by pointing to their eyeball traffic and by distracting from the real issues by sliming their critics. And the eyeball traffic is only worth $1,700 – $9,000 a month. Enough for “economy rice” meals for those working there.



Why EMs are not a bubble, yet

In Emerging markets on 18/08/2016 at 1:22 pm

Historically, the most dangerous time for emerging markets is when investors’ enthusiasm for the sector is highest and when it trades at a premium, in valuation terms, to the developed world. Neither caveat applies at the moment.

“Warriors”, not “Wankers” / Worthless, Wayanging, Wanking NMPs

In Political governance on 18/08/2016 at 5:32 am

JBJ would have been proud of the WP MPs on Monday.

Three cheers for the WP. They are finally doing in this Parly what they failed to do in the last Parly, and in the process disappointing many of those who voted for them (self included).

They stood up and spoke out on a really bad piece of legislation. Low’s and Auntie’s speeches and the questions asked by the MPs made clear the BS about the changes to the laws on contempt of court that the PAP administration wanted.  The real issue was about controlling the flow of information in a defacto one-party state in the age of social and new media. This is something that even the CCP is grappling with in a de jure one-party state.

This was so unlike the Wankers’ Party of old who repeated avoided scoring open goals eg avoiding calling for the nationalisation of public tpt despite it being in the 2011 manifesto when the PAP administration was fighting three fires: trying to fix a broken public tpt system, while denying anything was wrong, and while spending public money to help the listed public tpt operators maintain profits.

Lots of open goals were avoided. No attempts on goal were even made. And it was a PAP MP that suggested nationalisation.

Looks like the WP has done some soul-searching and their elected MPs have moved on from being worthless, wayanging, wanking wannabe social workers, only interested in looking at their monthly bank statements, to become warriors. Let’s hope they keep this up, speaking out loud and clear when the PAP administration is doing wrong or trying to throw smoke.

Seems the results of GE 2015 and the challenge to Low in the WP’s internal elections have resulted in the WP “waking up its ideas”. More than one Lion Man now going by Monday’s debate.

The worthless, wayanging wankers in Parly are now the three NMPs who proposed changes to the bill (one of whom organised a petition and delivered it) and spoke out against the bill and then voted for the bill. This guy (quoted by TRE) got it right:

So much for signing a bloody petition. In the end, who were the 9 who opposed? Singapore, if you think you can count on NMPs to speak for you, see for yourself what happened today.

They will bring your petition to the House, withdraw it, and then vote in favour for the very Bill they were petitioning against, without any amendments to it whatsoever.

Very reliable folks indeed. Spineless. Pretentious. And so much less.

(From TRE)

Terry of TOC (The Online Citizen not Terry’s Online Channel) explained on FB the damage the three worthless, wayanging wankers caused by their two-faced actions:

The problem I see with such voting by the NMPS is that ppl in the general public will see that their well thought arguements have been answered by the law minister, which is why they would have voted yes to the bill without amendements. 

For the record, I’ve seen only one of the NMPs come out with a defence of why she voted for the bill. It’s a load of gibberish. She should have just sat down and shut up like the other two, And wait, like them, for her thirty pieces of silver.

Why EMs are a “cheong”

In Commodities, Currencies, Emerging markets on 17/08/2016 at 2:21 pm

The importance of the dollar for EMs: Fed dovishness (US inflation very weak) means currencies no longer weak against the US$. EMs can afford to lower interest rates, currencies to stimulate growth.

Rising oil and commodity prices support EMs

Investors are increasing their bets on EMs

The global hunt for yield targets EMs’ debt

Will Gleneagles sandwich cost me a fortune?

In Uncategorized on 17/08/2016 at 4:33 am

But first: before I signed the SingHealth papers to go for cataract surgery, the doctor said that the success rate was 98% but things could go wrong. Fair enough.

But then I saw on Google this ad from a Mount E practice: 99.9% Surgical Success Rate By Highly Experienced Specialists

Thorough Counseling · Impeccable Service · Safest Treatment · Affordable Fees

Wonder how much more I would have to pay for this 99.9% rate of success. As “affordable as HDB flats”? LOL.

I had to go to Gleneagles because the operating doctor was doing surgery there on the earliest available date. I was told the charges would be the same when I asked if got extra charge*. But when I was given a sandwich, biscuits, a bottle of water and a hot drink after the operation at Gleneagles, I couldn’t help but worry that I’ll be charged private hospital rates for the food. LOL.

As for the procedure, and follow-up, I’m impressed.


*But the PRC looking and sounding gal apparently didn’t hand me some documents that the staff at Gleneagles needed, so the true blue S’porean SNEC staff based in Gleneagles had to do additional work, one of which was to make me sign another CPF Medisave form. Will have to check that there’s no double withdrawal,

White gold turns to dust

In China, Commodities on 16/08/2016 at 3:00 pm

Milk was NZ’s white gold because of Chinese demand.

But now

Chart: milk data

Chart: milk data

Schooling: the real heroes and the wagonjumpers

In Uncategorized on 16/08/2016 at 4:34 am

Here I wrote, (saying I hope PM would thank them) about the real heroes of the story, Below are more details from a Facebook post about what his parents did and just as important details about the lack of Support from almost all Sporeans, (Note: I’ve not been able to identify the writer of the original post. Otherwise I’d have attributed the post. I’ll still attribute if I get a name.) [Update at 5.45pm: The writer it seems is one Nicholas Lee, a retiree.]

Update at 6.08am

FT (where “T” stands for “Talent”) and best-selling local author, Neil Humphreys, had these two great FB takes on politicans jumping on the bandwagon

You gotta laugh. Joseph Schooling’s homecoming news item on TV was seven minutes long. He spoke for the first time in the sixth minute, after four ministers of course.

[A MediaCorp veteran said: Don’t blame the ministers only…blame Mediacorp too…for giving them airtime !]

At this very difficult time, my thoughts and prayers are with any ministers or MPs who’ve not yet had a chance to appear on TV to discuss Joseph Schooling.


Some Facts about Joseph Schooling, you decide for yourself

Joseph Issac Schooling, born in SIngapore. Father is a 3rd generation Singaporean of mixed English and Eurasian Portuguese heritage. Mother is a Malaysian Chinese who is a singapore PR. She has been living in Singapore for decades but has not taken up Singapore citizenship.

Went to ACS Primary school. After PSLE, his swimming potential was identified by the parents, and they decided to send him to the Jacksonville, Florida to attend the Bolles School, which is a school specializing in training atheletes, in particular swimmers. Bolles has had a swimmer alumnus or student competing in every Olympic games since 1972. Their swimming program was set up by Gregg Troy who was the US Olympic Swim coach for the 2012 Olympic games. Imagine your secondary school swimming coach is a former Olympic swimmer and coached Michael Phelps in the 2012 Olympics!! What a powerhouse your school would be in the pool. because he is an international student, Bolles has a boarding program for its foreign students. The cost of one year of school fees and room and board is USD $47,000. Guess how much the PAP and SNOC contributed to this amount. Zero would be a fair guess.

After he graduated from Bolles, he was offered a swim scholarship at University of Texas, one of the top 5 swimming programs amongst US universities. The Head Coach for the U of T swimming program is Eddie Reese, former head coach of the US Olympics swim team in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. If you know anything about the swim program, you know that nothing is left to chance. Professional full-time dieticians, sports psychologist, strenght and conditioning coaches, multi million weight rooms, etc are all part and parcel of what atheletes get when they go there. But even on a scholarship, its not cheap, with frequent travel to Singapore to compete in the SEA and Asian games and other social visits. Also, out of pocket costs and other costs in USD is also not cheap.

It was at this point when the big hooha between Schooling’s mother MINDEF took place over his deferment. After a protracted and public fight, where she used the news media to put pressure on the PAP, you know who won the fight. Unfortunately, in earlier times, without the aid of modern day internet and social media, many other atheletes were lost to NS and a short sighted govt. policy. The race driver Andrew Tang is an example of a failed request for NS deferment. Ang Peng Siong in an earlier time was another case.

So to sum it up……………..
The Schoolings and not the govt paid huge money to send Joseph to Bolles for his swim coaching and studies
The Schoolings and not the govt got the U of T scholarship for Joseph, even though it seems the PAP is giving full scholarships to every tom dick and harry FT
The PAP wanted to sabotage the whole thing by making him do NS at such a critical junction in his swim career, and it would have happened if not for his mother’s intervention.

The other Republic swimmer Quah Zheng Wen was not so fortunate that his family can send him to Bolles and hence is stuck with no name national coach carlos lopez, a bronze medallist in the Olympics and with the pathetic facilities in singapore. If Quah had the same opportunities, maybe we have 2 medals or more.

U decide how much credit the PAP should get. Then see how many of these assholes jump on the bandwagon until it breaks.

Some more Facts about Joseph Schooling, you decide for yourself Part 2

“I think it has to be said that as a nation, a people, a country, a govt., and as individuals, we did almost nothing to help Schooling get to the gold medal. We did not finance him, did not support him, the PAP chose not to groom and encourage this guy. Very little of our money went to training him, and providing him the necessary support, compared to the millions we lavish on 3rd class ungrateful atheletes from China and elsewhere. Not only did we not support him, we almost killed his career by making him do NS. When I say we, I mean the 70% of the morons that supported and elected the PAP. If his mother May did not fight MINDEF to get his deferment, he might still be in the SAF now doing NS. There was no mass petition from singaporeans calling for his deferment. there was no mass calling of the MPs to support him. There was no media support for him, and certainly no support from the Singapore National Olympics Committeefor his deferment. Instead, 2 angmos (one was his swim coach in U of T, Gregg Troy) and the other a technical director, Bill Swetenham of SSC, wrote in their support to ask for his deferment. Not one PAP asshole or Notable sinkie stood up for this boy.

But now that he won the Gold, everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon and be proud of him. I say that you don’t have that right. Singaporeans have not earned the right to claim the limelight with him. Where were they when he needed them? Sinkies are really pathetic hypocrites. Although I am born and raised in singapore, I am ashamed of our treatment of this boy, and I certainly cannot rejoice without a hint of embarassment that we as a people almost kill this great moment.”

Search for yield is getting exotic

In Currencies, Emerging markets, Financial competency on 15/08/2016 at 11:35 am
From NYT Dealnook (Look at charts from FT below also)

Investors Turn to Risky Regions for Rewards Yield-starved investors are so desperate for returns that they have been willing to take on the risk of investing in a country that recently underwent a failed coup and an attack on its main airport. Turkish stocks and bonds have been rising, in spite of the country’s debt being downgraded. It seems a 10-year bond offering a 9 percent reward is too tempting to turn down, even if the inflation rate is 8.7 percent and the currency is heading south.

Stocks and bonds in developing markets have been on a tear as investors scoop up discounted stocks and hunt for returns in a world of super-low interest rates. They are rooting around in places like Brazil and South Africa, while markets more broadly appeared to be in a lull.
The turbulence that followed Britain’s vote to leave the European Union has dissipated and left behind only an uneasy calm. But there are still events that could rouse investors, as Bloomberg reports. As one fund manager put it: “At some point, the jaws must snap.”

EM markets

EM markets

Mothership: Don’t cheapen Schooling’s gold medal

In Uncategorized on 14/08/2016 at 6:33 pm

Joseph Schooling actually *isn’t* our first-ever Olympic Gold medallist — Yip Pin Xiu is

Her Paralympic Gold is no less worthy of laud than his 🙂

For sports fans in particular, and the popilace at large, there is a big difference between an Olympic medal and a Paralympic medal. That is why there are the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. Horses for courses.

No disrespect meant towards Ms Yap but there is a difference between an Olympian and Paralympian,

Enough said, except that I’m sure the mothership writer should be working for TISG.

Paper generals: Don’t forget social media

In Political governance on 14/08/2016 at 1:22 pm

Based on the performance Ministers Chan and Tan the ex-CEO of NOL and the CEO of SMRT one gets the impression that our paper generals can’t organise an orgy in a brothel, or a drinks party in a distillery or brewery.

So pointers for our paper generals when plotting a coup when there’s a freak election result:

— send in the tanks when everyone is asleep, not at 10pm on a Friday; and

— the most important thing to do is control social media,

BBC on the use of social media during the coup.

The coup failed for a number of reasons. Chiefly, the organisers lacked broader military backing and failed to gain public and political support.

But another explanation may lie in the very different ideas the two sides had about how to get their message across.

while they also raided major news organisations, the rebels failed to control the narrative and fundamentally misunderstood the significance of social media.

A statement from the group, read on state broadcaster TRT by a journalist reportedly being held at gunpoint, announced that a “Peace at Home Council” was running the country and a curfew and martial law would be declared.

Troops also stormed CNN Turk during the night, its Facebook live feed left showing an empty desk and chair.

“We are broadcasting until the last minute, as we think it is important for Turkish democracy and the future of the country,” said CNN Turk anchor Basak Sengul, before being ushered out of the studio.

It was Mr Erdogan’s message, however, that proved most important and which, combined with similar statements from other senior Turkish politicians, showed the country’s democratic leadership was safe and well.

By the time he flew back to Istanbul from the Marmaris holiday resort in southern Turkey, thousands had defied the curfew, some lying down in front of tanks to halt their movement.

Even if those behind the coup had been able to control traditional media, they could not stop people accessing news on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and other platforms.

Monitoring site Turkey Blocks said key sites including Facebook and Youtube had been blocked as the uprising began, later adding that they had seen a two-hour period of social media “throttling” but no evidence of a full internet blackout. Twitter has backed up this assessment.

While such sites have been blocked in previous crises, it is possible the government wanted to keep them up as this worked to their advantage.

What is more, Turkey has a vibrant social media community, and one that knows how to circumvent any restrictions.

Those behind the coup never appeared in full command of the situation, and that was amplified online.

Mr Erdogan even sent a nationwide text out asking people to stand up for democracy, a trick lost on the faction responsible.

If the plotters had owned a textbook on overthrowing a government, it was out of date and from a pre-internet era. What they needed was something for the 21st Century.

For some observers, the big irony of the night was that a tool that has come under attack from Mr Erdogan’s government helped save him.

Mr Erdogan once vowed to “wipe out” Twitter, after the platform helped mobilise mass protests in 2013. Yet as Friday’s events developed he used it to send a string of tweets rallying his supporters.



PM, pls make sure the real heroes are thanked

In Uncategorized on 14/08/2016 at 4:45 am

I read PM’s message that parly plans to congratulate Schooling and express support for Team S’pore (I suppose that includes the mandarin-speaking FT mercenary gladiators.)

Sorry for the snide remarks, but seriously, I hope the motion thanks Colin and May Schooling for their financial and other sacrifices in making the first Olympic S’porean gold possible. They could have been real S’poreans, and blamed the system for not allowing their son to achieve his potential when in 2008  the Singapore Swimming Association shut down its Centre of Excellence, and left it at that.


“In 2008, when the Singapore Swimming Association shut down its Centre of Excellence (COE), Colin was convinced by ex-COE coach Jack Simon that the US was where Joseph’s Olympic dream lay.

The Schoolings, who had to bear his school fees, expenses, transport and accommodation costs, took a leap of faith in 2009 and sent their only child abroad.

Colin, a 66-year-old businessman, estimates spending nearly US$1 million (S$1.26 million) on Joseph. That apart, there is also the heart-wrenching reality of being separated from their boy, only 14 at the time.

On average, the trio are together for only about three weeks a year.

Said May, a tennis player for Perak state: “At first, I didn’t want him to go. But he told me ‘Mum, if I am to get an Olympic gold medal, I have to go’.

“Grudgingly, I let him go but it was a painful decision.”

Added Colin, a hurdler and water polo player who represented Singapore in softball: “Our ties are strong, we did this as a team because we love our son so much.”

~ Chua Siang Yee, The Sunday Times, 28 Sep 2014.

PM, money talks BS walks in S’pore. Colin and May spent money, serious money showing their belief in their son. I understand the $1m, Schooling’s getting, is liable to tax. If so how about making the payment tax-free?

Update at 6.40am: A reader juz posted that the money can’t be accepted without Joseph getting kicked out of uni

Joseph Schooling cannot accept that $1m prize money under NCAA rules. He will be kicked out of the University of Texas. I am not even sure if that $1m can be said to be paid after he leaves the US college system. Someone in the govie should have done their homework before throwing the money around.

Update at 7.30am: Another reader posted why he can accept the money

Extracted from

“Under current NCAA rules, a student-athlete can permissibly accept any funds provided to them via the Operation Gold Grant Program (administered by the USOC) and other international equivalents run by other national governing bodies. Therefore, any incoming and current student-athletes are able to receive “bonuses” for winning Olympic medals”

Also from a swimming-centric website ( based in Austin, Texas, Schooling is eligible to keep the incentives based on the rule changes in Aug 2015 to make international student-athletes on par with the US athletes on the Gold Grant Program.

MSF S’pore: “Misbehaving is fun”

In Humour on 13/08/2016 at 3:01 pm

Cinderella, Pinocchio, Dumbo and The Lion King. How have these Disney characters influenced your life values since young? Let’s now take a look at some of the important life lessons that they have taught us.

These classic animated movies are way deeper than you thought.
My FB avatar posted: U guys sure or not? Got this “Misbehaving is fun”? SPF will not be happy. LOL

A really tough boss

In Japan on 13/08/2016 at 12:45 pm

If you work for me … you’ll never be fired for lacking talent, but don’t count on taking many holidays. If you buy shares in the $27 billion electronics giant I started in a shack beside my mother’s farmhouse, forget about asking for bigger dividends. Even if you’re Masayoshi Son, the second-richest man in Japan, you can expect an earful when I think you’re wrong.


Too many young people are content with only “small happiness,” like going home to their children in the evening rather than working late to become their company’s next president.

TISG and readers need protection from TISG misinformation

In Financial competency on 12/08/2016 at 5:47 am

“DBS helped sell junk Swiber bonds to public” was the headline to an article from TISG.

The article went on to describe three bond sales of Swibber bonds by DBS. It then went on to compare the sale of these bonds to another DBS product (akin to mini-bonds) where retail investors lost money.

There is a problem though with this analysis and comparison. The Swiber bonds were never sold to the public. As a ST article put it, “The Swiber bonds were available only to accredited investors – with net personal assets of more than $2 million – or those investing a minimum of $250,000.”

The TISG article never reported out that these bonds were only available to accredited investors – with net personal assets of more than $2 million – or those investing a minimum of $250,000. Its headline said the bonds were sold to the public, and this was repeated a few more times in the article.

Given that TISG is proud that it operates as a commercial site not a socio-political site, one can only wonder at the lack of editorial supervision given that the author “Eternal Vagabond” usually writes stuff that is against PAP administration, one would have tot that editorial supervision would not be so lax. Here the failure of editorial supervision led to misform. In fact the headline and article are defamatory. DBS could sue TISG for claiming that it sold these bonds to the public.

In the course of a row with critics of TISG, Ravi Philemon made it clear that there were writers that TISG never edited, juz published. See the bit towards the end juz before Ravi’s photo

I can only guess Eternal Vagabond is one of these untouchables.

Update at 6.50am: Given that the writer does not even know that the other DBS product (DBS High Notes 5) is not related to junk bonds ( “This is not the first time DBS is linked to junk bonds”), my constructive, nation-building advice to TISG is to make sure the Eternal Vagabond’s financial pieces are vetted throughly. And if this commercial website can’t pay for such editorial expertise, don’t publish this writer’s financial pieces.

But maybe defaming DBS is part of the “eyeballs” plan?


Buffett: Bank fines like speeding tickets

In Banks on 11/08/2016 at 6:07 pm

Warren Buffett on Driving Violations, Baseball and Jamie Dimon Warren E. Buffett offers an unusual defense of Jamie Dimon, comparing the billions of dollars that JPMorgan Chase has paid in fines to state troopers handing out a speeding ticket.

Redbean thinks he’s Confucius, critics’ “insects”

In China on 11/08/2016 at 4:39 am

But first, this appeared in the letters page of the Economist.

Sovereign claims

The dispute over territory in the South China Sea, you say, constitutes a contest between “an American idea of rules-based international order and a Chinese one based on what it regards as ‘historic rights’ that trump any global law” (“Courting trouble”, July 16th). You note that America has not ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, but do not explain why. In 1982 the Reagan administration reasoned that the convention cannot take priority over domestic legislation that declares American sovereignty over the extended continental shelf. This is not entirely different from China’s claims of historic rights.

The Reagan administration was also uncomfortable with the compulsory dispute-resolution mechanism proposed by the convention, which is a similar argument to the one China put forward when it rebuffed the recent court ruling that rejected its claims in the South China Sea.

Therefore, the dispute is less a clash of “two world-views”, as you suggest, but simply China taking cues from America in attempting to demonstrate its own exceptionalism.

Stanford, California

As I pointed out before, America was smart not to ratify the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, although in a classic case of double talk, it has said it will abide by it. Why was China so dumb to ratify it? And then give it the two-finger salute?

Now to Uncle Redbean: he says he didn’t reply to critics like me because he was behaving like Confucius who refused to rebut a critic, preferring to ignore him*.

Good replies from TRE readers:

Bad Boy:

So he’s implying his words are the true gospel ?

Those who can’t, smoke.:

If you said “there are many kinds of truth depending on the subjective biases of the individual”, then Mr Redbean, as an individual, how do you even know you are not also a 3 seasons man*? just a different set of 3 seasons from the others?

Unless you really believed that anyone whom you cannot convince must be a grasshopper in disguised?

A Worm infested bean:

Why Redbean did not reply is because he don’t have the knowledge to argue his case. I only see him good at telling ‘crouching tiger and hidden dragon’ stories. OR covertly ‘curse’ or ‘belittle’ his adversaries. No standard.

PAP Contempt of Citizens:

Why Readbean now explain why he reply? …

* The answer, why redbean did not want to reply is the same as why Confucius did not want to explain but agree with a 3 season man that there is no winter. Confucius knew that he could not convince the 3 season man that there was really a season called winter that the 3 season man had not known.

A 3 season man is like some insects with lifespan of only 9 months, from spring to autumn. By autumn the insect would have outlived its life and be dead, never would it have a chance to experience and know what winter is like. To such an insect it is true that there is no winter. And the insect would be so convinced that he was right and would not want to understand or listen to people who lived long enough to tell him that there was winter. The discussion would be a waste of effort and time and it was better to agree with the 3 season man or let the 3 season man to believe he was right. Let the 3 season man be happy in his own truth …


Big banks strike back

In Banks on 10/08/2016 at 1:57 pm

Just when u think they have been defeated

Big Banks Make a Pitch for Hearts and Minds

Citigroup’s ad campaign for the Olympics showcases the benefits of large global banks, and other big banks are trying to soften their image.

NYT Dealbook

S’pore: “hewers of wood and drawers of water”

In Banks, Economy on 10/08/2016 at 7:50 am

FT reports that Goldman has 62 per cent of its “strategic location” headcount in Bangalore, 22 per cent in Salt Lake City, 8 per cent in Dallas/Irving, 7 per cent in Singapore and 1 per cent in Warsaw.

We are “hewers of wood and drawers of water” for Goldie. PAP administration will say that we must thank the FTs for this. Given our world beating rankings in academic excellence, who is responsible for ensuring that we (because of the FTs) can only be “hewers of wood and drawers of water”?

The PAP administration is a reasonable answer given its claim that the rankings shows the PAP administration’s long-term planning. To be fair, in the early noughties, the  PAP administration sought to make S’pore a global hub for banks IT operations. FT Indians were let in by the cattle-truck load because Merrill Lynch, Citi and Deutsche agreed to use S’pore as  global hub. I know someone in Suntec City whose biz model depended on the FT Indians Citi employed. When Citi retrenched, he closed his biz. As did the spot in Carrefour that sold great Indian cooked food.

Can explain away this Dr Chee?/ Where PAP has failed us

In Uncategorized on 09/08/2016 at 1:08 pm

The Misery Index, computed by adding inflation to the unemployment rate, gives S’pore a score of 1.40, which is the 2nd best – or second least miserable – for all 74 economies surveyed by Bloomberg. Thailand is first with 1.11%. Japan, is third, with 2.70%.

If Dr Chee or any other sane anti-PAPpy cannot explain this away, doesn’t this show that the PAP deserves its “Ownself salute ownself” party once a year on 9 August?

So keep on feeling miserable, anti-PAPpies. Likewise the ang moh tua kees. None of these countries can be called a democracy. Thailand has a ruling military junta, S’pore is a defacto one-party state, and in Japan, the Liberal Democtatic Party has been the ruling party for all but two and a half years since the LDP was founded in 1955.

All three are sceptical about putting human rights on a pedestral to be worshipped.

But anti-PAPpies and the ang moh tua kees can console themselves. Chris K is absolutely right in the following analysis that the PAP has failed us:

Thoughts on PAP’s political domination on Singapore’s 51st Birthday

Singapore sees its 51st year of independence and 48th year of PAP’s total political domination. Do we get to 100th year of independence and beyond? For that we have to consider whether the PAP’s 48th year of total political domination is the right path to get there.

In the 2015 General Election, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned the voters that Singapore’s future was at stake in that if PAP failed, the nation was in trouble. This narrative has always been effective for many Singaporeans who are uncertain of life without the PAP. But in it, lies the danger on the path to 100 years and beyond for the narrative implies that without the PAP, there is no viable alternative to govern Singapore.

That is to say, we as a nation has no back-up, no double, triple redundancy, no recovery plans to ensure the continued prosperity and relevance of Singapore, should the PAP failed. How safe is such a company in coping with human failure let alone a nation state?

The PAP may not have failed but that is not the same as saying it has not failed in certain areas nor has not failed certain segments of the population. It always maintained that it must have a super majority, better still no opposition in order to focus on the long term. And yet this did not stop the PAP from indulging in short term fixes that have long term consequences. Neither did this ensure the PAP understand and therefore mitigate the trade-offs in its policy choices.

These are the consequences of the PAP’s single minded maintenance of total political domination. It stymies the opposition parties and repress the legal and political environment so that there can be no policy alternatives than its own. The much bigger potentially catastrophic consequences is that the nation will be in trouble should the PAP failed because there is no other alternatives to govern the nation. Think of it as making sure the nation fail together with the PAP if the party should fail. That should be how we read Mr Lee’s warning.

So while you may not like to contemplate life without the PAP, you are also putting the nation at long term risk if you do not aim for political plurality in our nation, the sort of plurality in which nations survive centuries without having to depend on one party. Besides, who is to say the PAP will not benefit from a period out of government.

Majullah Singapura and Happy NDP!

*Facebook post by Chris Kuan



PAP: Keeps on Walking

In Political governance on 09/08/2016 at 5:45 am

Today, is the PAP’s annual celebration of “S’pore the one-party state”. To show its power over S’poreans, it gets the kids, NS men and others it can coerce to participate in a spectacle that would do the North Koreans, Chinese patriots, Soviets, Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Franco and Mussolini proud. Even couch potatoes have to participate by watching it on their screens. OK, OK, they are persuaded to watch it because it is a spectacle made for tv.

Taz why the anti-PAPpies go overseas on the day, if they got the money.

And the PAP should be congratulated, even if it’s  through gritted teeth. The  PAP keeps on winning majorities of over 60% since the 1968 general elections.

Compare S’pore and the PAP with another defacto one party state, South Africa and its ruling party, the ANC. For the first time since the ANC first came into power in South Aftica’s first democratic election in 1994, support for the party that led the struggle against apartheid has, last, week fallen below 60% (to 52%) in recent nation-wide municipal elections. A mere 22 years.

Compare that to the PAP’s 48 years. The PAP “Keeps on walking” like Johnnie Walker

So why shouldn’t the PAP wrap S’pore’s national flag around itself? The national flag was unveiled by the PAP govt in 1959, the year the people of S’pore gave it a mandate of 54% (but 43 out of 51 seats). Btw this was the second lowest majority for the PAP. The lowest was in 1963: 47%.

Taz how important Coldstore and the detentions of one Lim Chin Seong, and his friends and allies were for the PAP.

Bet you National Day 2018 will be a really special occasion: 50 yrs of PAP’s domination of the voting share.



Otters and SG51

In Uncategorized on 08/08/2016 at 3:53 pm

Image result for otters singapore

Singaporeans have spoken and Bishan’s adorable otter family is their pick to represent the country on its 51st birthday. ST

I’m happy about the choice. I find them adorable.

But are they really representative of S’poreans? If S’poreans bred like them, the PAP would not have the excuse of allowing in FTs by the cattle-truck load to “fix” locals.

“Tight labour markets are the best social programme, as they force employers to hire the inexperienced,” says Larry Summers in an article in today’s FT. He is Charles W Eliot university professor at Harvard and a former US Treasury secretary.

Here employers can hire FTs to replace not only the inexperienced but also middle-age PMETs.


What won’t TISG do to attract eyeballs?

In Uncategorized on 08/08/2016 at 5:10 am

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Selling out for peanuts doesn’t seem a good choice.

Sad that P Ravi still hasn’t managed to clean up the Indian or TISG as it prefers to be known. But maybe he doesn’t want to or his hands are tied? Eyeballs needed to staunch the outflow of newly injected monies earlier this year? A defensive remark on Facebook (on the use of clickbait by TISG before his time) and another remark on the numbers visiting his site worryingly indicates that he too is focusing on eyeballs, flushing credibility down the toilet. If he really wants eyeballs he should cut to the chase: bring on the soft porno or bots. They’ll bring in the eyeballs and the ad revenue.

The clock is ticking. Soon he’ll be remembered for the rubbish that TISG is producing under his watch (and which began before he got involved with TISG), and not for the sterling work at TOC. But then he’s the guy who quit his job so that he could stand in GE 2015. So he’s capable of throwing caution to the winds.

But are the “peanuts”* that TISG getting in ad revenue worth the loss of credibility? As I said bots or boops will bring in the money, serious money. But Ravi seems to have forgotten: For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

It’s not even the world, it’s only eyeballs and hopefully some (not serious) ad revenue. Faustus sold his soul to the devil in return for knowledge, and even then on his death-bed, he regretted the transaction.

Someone on FB defended the Indian, For me I’ve been disappointed with many things put up by TISG but occasionally find a very good write-up and this case is one new low. Someone rebutted: If the public toilet always full of shit but occasionally will be cleaned, I rather choose to go find a toilet that is always clean most of the time to use.

I’ll end by posting the views of averageguysg on new media, in general, and TISG, in particular, in response to this post of mine.

The creation of new media started with very high ideals. Wanting to promote responsible, balanced coverage. Wanting to level the political and media playing field. This is why all new media start as socio-political sites.

But the problem is over the years, we’ve come to see that the core audience of many of these sites comprise mainly of cybernuts/freeloaders who KPKB everyday but do not want to contribute even a tiny amount to keep these sites going. The level of donations/crowdfunding given is just pathetic. Now if you are doing not bad like Richard Wan, you’re probably fine for a while. Same if you are Bertha, or Daniel Yap. Even for Terry, he was able to secure 5 figure sums from politicians like Tambyah and Jeanette Chong, which allowed TOC to cover last year’s GE.

But if not, how sustainable is it? A new media site needs money to run just like everything else. And for guys like P Ravi, I suspect its now a source of income for him. The guy piggybacked with the Chiam’s at the last GE, lost, and now has more or less deserted them.

Hence the result. To hell with socio-political, democratic ideals. Eyeballs and clicks are what generates revenue, if not now, then perhaps in future. All TISG has to do is avoid getting into the same trouble TRS has. May not earn as much as the TRS couple but hey, not bad also what.

This is my guess on why TISG has taken the path it has. Never mind if it accidentally “fixed” Dr Chee at the BBBE. It wantonly published that fake “Lee Wei Ling” comment, leading to her scathing put down of Dr Chee in public. It later even managed to make an article about a totally random facebook comment on Dr Chee. Never mind the responsible reporting, the fact based investigation, the “balanced” political field. As long as it generates traffic, sorry to you, Dr Chee. This is also why P Ravi can join in to slime Terry and TOC over the Benjamin Lim affair. Its about rice bowl now, screw the common cause, yeah?

Leon Pererra made a wise choice in getting out. I always suspected it was more to do with the ELD conflict of interest thing. WP doesn’t need TISG anyway, and associating with it would have made things even worse.

*Claims to have about the same level of eyeballs as mothership while running a leaner operation. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

It’s not even the world, it’s only eyeballs and hopefully some ad (not serious) revenue.

Faustus sold his soul to the devil in return for knowledge, and even then on his death-bed, he regretted the transaction.


Locals or FTs?

In Uncategorized on 07/08/2016 at 4:35 pm

Three employees of SMRT were found to have contracted tuberculosis (TB) in 2016, the transport operator said on Saturday (Aug 6). 


Wah lan, wear sports bra and shorts also cannot

In Uncategorized on 07/08/2016 at 10:10 am

MoE must step in to prevent gals from showing cleavage and guys from showing abs. What next TRE prudes?

Recently, I gave two examples (scroll towards the end of that piece) of TRE prudes. Here’s another at :

NTU’s Freshmen Orientation Camps are equally sexualised

(See below for text)

Just because these TRE prudes were once young arrogant, humourless, mature pricks, doesn’t mean that young people now have to follow them.

Everything complain isit, Why liddat?

As I wrote earlier,

— With people like these TRE adults, can one blame the PAP administration of the education system that we have? The PAP is just giving us the kind of education system that S’poreans (even TRE cybernits want): prudish, unthinking ans unimaginative. Nanny knows best.

–… by adults who should know better especially those adults who also KPKB that the education system is flawed. It’s their demands, expectations and attitudes that help the PAP administration keep the education system the way it is: producing sheep for FTs to slaughter.

— Adults (ministers  university administrators, new media people etc) should have a sense of proportion. So long as there’s no reasonably foreseen danger of grievous bodily harm, sexual assault  or serious mental damage, what’s the harm? As to the issue of consent of the undergrads if undergrads object to the activities, they should have the guts to say “No” not rely on nanny to protect them, or follow the instructions of the organisers like the sheep of  Animal Farm.

A “Charissa” bitches:

With regards to the recent furore over the exposure of sexualized orientation games at NUS, I would like to point out that it is not only happening at NUS. While other universities and polytechnics aren’t as extreme yet, their orientation camps can easily go that way.

I have attached some photos of an orientation camp at NTU that happened a couple of years ago. The photos show a muscular guy wearing nothing but skimpy swimming briefs sitting down to a girl wearing a sports bra that shows her cleavage.

Even if there is a swimming component, why are there girls wearing bikinis and sports bras on the school campus? Can’t they wear a modest swimsuit instead? Why is there so much focus on who is hot and who is not? Orientation is supposed to be about building bonds of friendship, not getting into a boy-girl relationship and ogling each other’s body.

You may call us prudes but let me ask this question. Are the orientation camp organizers even aware that they are driving away conservative students from coming to orientation camps? Why is the school orientation organizer discriminating against conservatives? Furthermore, girls who do not have a hot body are discouraged from attending because they are self-conscious and do not feel comfortable being half-naked around their male peers.

It is also very insensitive because Muslim and Christian parents may not want their daughters to be skimpily dressed and engaging in promiscuous behaviour at an orientation camp. It is outrageous to have put so much effort into educating your daughter to grow into a woman of good character, only to end up with her studying at a ‘good’ school whose culture promotes slutty behaviour.

The undertone of the orientation camps at the universities is very sexual. The orientation camps are almost dating events. There’s a lot of focus on sexual tension. People are told to write secret pal letters to someone of the opposite gender and there are activities that involve a guy and girl passing an object by mouth or taking bites out of the same food. There are half-naked guys carrying girls. Honestly, I won’t be surprised if there are even shops selling condoms on campus!

I hope the Ministry of Education will work with the universities to abolish such promiscuous games at school orientation camps. There should be code of conduct and rules against immodest attire at orientation camps. Let the focus be on building friendships and accepting each other, regardless of whether one is sexy or not. Besides a good university education, it is also important to cultivate the right moral values in our young men and women, who are the future of Singapore.

Seriously waz wrong with gals wearing sports bras and shorts at outdoor “sporty” functions? Must wear burkhas isit? And men wearing swimming trunks? Coat and tie isit?

Go to Saudi Arabia  pls Charissa.



Digital detoxers’ experiences

In Internet on 07/08/2016 at 4:33 am

More than a third of UK’s surveyed internet users  try digital detoxing, some for a month. Table fronm FT.

Digital detox survey charts

Black Country belongs to China

In China, Footie on 06/08/2016 at 6:43 am

Now the four main football clubs in the West Midlands — West Brom, Aston Villa, Birmingham City and Wolverhampton Wanderers — have Chinese owners. Only West Brom play in the EPL. The other three play in the Chapionship, ome tier down.

1MDB: Trigger-happy NYC marshall interested

In Malaysia on 06/08/2016 at 5:07 am

New York’s state banking regulator has turned up the heat on Goldman Sachs, asking the bank to respond to a string of questions about its work for the Malaysian government’s scandal-stricken investment fund, 1MDB.
On Thursday, the Department of Financial Services issued a letter to the Wall Street bank, asking to meet representatives before the end of the month to discuss a range of matters connected to the 1MDB affair, in which a group of conspirators is alleged to have siphoned off more than $3.5bn from the fund over a period of years.


Schooling knows he won’t be cheered live

In Uncategorized on 05/08/2016 at 5:32 am

Update at 2.oopm on 6 August: The u/m piece was written before MediaCorp realised that it has a ” social purpose” i.e. kanna do NS and we will be able to cheer Schooling etc.)

I lost interest in watching the Olympics years ago and so I didn’t really care that the Olympics won’t be telecast live. But after reading this:

Team Singapore’s national swimming coach Sergio Lopez is highly confident Singapore can snare its very first Olympic swimming medal in this year’s Games.

“It would be huge,” he told Channel NewsAsia on Wednesday (Aug 3). “I think it’s going to happen and I think it’s going to change Singapore, not just swimming.”

Schooling’s form has been strong. He had a morale boosting win over American rival Michael Phelps in June and Lopez said he has no fear about mixing it the best on the biggest stage.

“He knows he can be there. He’s not afraid of that. He’s excited about racing,” he said.


And this

Although broadcasts of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will be delayed, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu said Singaporeans will find a “different way of celebrating” it, and can still catch up with the Games, albeit at a later time. Today

I went WTF!

A true blue S’porean swimmer (not a bunch of ping-pong playing  FT mercenary gladiators) has a chance of winning a medal in a major Olympic sport (not a minor Olympic sport like ping-pong) and the S’porean won’t have the benefit of knowing his fellow S’poreans are cheering him on live. And we won’t be able to see him triumph live. Only at a later time.

Uniquely S’porean.

Btw, left eye fixed, So far so good. Right eye’s turn coming later this year.


True blue S’poreans cost more/ Construction costs suppressed by using FT labour

In Uncategorized on 04/08/2016 at 5:36 am

Update on 5th August at 5am: Article amended to reflect that Rider Levett Bucknall is a very atas quantity surveyor & property project mgmt company with history dating back to 1785 England & having Isambard Brunel as one of its pioneer mgmt. It’s not law firm.

There’s a lot of grumbling about the AGO’s finding that NAC had paid a consultancy fee of S$410,000 for the construction of a bin centre costing S$470,000. The consultancy fee was said to be “exceptionally high” and there was “inadequate assessment on the reasonableness” of it

I’ve been told (but I’ve not verified) that the consultancy fee was split four ways among four firms employing true blue S’poreans: W Architects, Arup Singapore, T.Y. Lin International, and Rider Levett Bucknall LLP, Singapore. The last is a law firm. Why the hell is a lawyer being consulted on the construction of a bin centre?

I also was told that the contractor, like other contractors, used FT workers, to build the structure

The question is whether using a contractor that does not use FTs would have resulted in a higher cost, making the consultancy fee look “peanuts”?

Seriously, I have two ponts to make.

If the construction cost was say $1m, would the AGO have flagged this tranaction?

My next point is payment for expertise. Whistler, a 19th century painter, was once asked how he dared charge 200 guineas for two days’ work. He replied “I ask it for the knowledge I have gained in the work of a lifetime.”

The AGO and others should be asking if the going price for the advice given was reasonable in itself.

And if it is, the critics should then spefically ask whether the NAC was acting reasonably in seeking such advice for the bin centre? They should go  beyond the AGO’s comments of “inadequate assessment on the reasonableness” of it.

So far the critics are only screaming is “Wah so expensive compared to construction costs.”. Hey FTs keep construction costs down.

For me, why the hell is a lawyer being consulted on the construction of a bin centre?

A reader comments

Rider Levett Bucknall is a very atas quantity surveyor & property project mgmt company with history dating back to 1785 England & having Isambard Brunel as one of its pioneer mgmt.

Question is why the hell need to hire super expensive RLB for a $70K rubbish place, when many other local SME firms can provide similar services?? These SME quantity surveyors have been & are being used in mass market condos and ECs that cost $500M to $800M per development.


And we should all be asking why the NAC is giving suck cock explanations. The people on it that dumb meh? I doubt they are dumb. Or are they hiding something?

Anyway, I’m off to Gleneagles for a cataract operation at SingHealth rates (I hope). Postings may be light.



Mobile tech: China is cutting edge

In China on 04/08/2016 at 4:12 am
A cellphone user in Shenzhen, China. The country’s tech industry — particularly its mobile businesses — has in some ways pulled ahead of the United States.

China, Not Silicon Valley, Is Cutting Edge in Mobile Tech

American tech companies study Chinese users and apps as a smartphone revolution changes how people interact, buy products and manage their money.

NYT Dealbook

Uber: Lost Chiina war, spinning its way to victory

In China on 03/08/2016 at 3:42 pm

The battle for ride-sharing in China is over. Didi Chuxing plans to buy Uber China. After spending tens of millions of dollars every month fighting for market share, the two companies will combine into a new one worth about $35 billion.

“I’ve learned that being successful is about listening to your head as well as following your heart,” Travis Kalanick, Uber’s chief executive blogged, adding “Uber and Didi Chuxing are investing billions of dollars in China and both have yet to turn a profit there.”

Bloomberg, said that Uber had lost more than $2 billion in China.

Investors in Uber China will receive a 20% stake in the new company and Didi will make a US$1 billion investment in Uber Global.

After the deal Uber passengers were going on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, to complain that the cost of regular routes previously taken had risen steeply. One said it had doubled as Uber discontinued its subsidies. FT had earlier this week reported that Didi had in the last month quietly raised fares.

The Uber victory spin is as follows:

[O]ne of Uber’s biggest investors and strategic advisers, Bradley Tusk, the chief executive of Tusk Ventures ,,,


Mr Tusk insists though that Uber got the best out of a bad situation. The American ride-hailing app was losing a billion dollars a year in China, and this new deal sees Uber owning a 20% stake in the merged company.

“Uber invested $2bn in China, and ended up with a $7bn stake in Didi,” says Mr Tusk. “That’s not a bad deal if you look at it like that.”


But is the valuation of Didi real? @0% of zero is zero.

But Americans are the master of BS.

Blame low productivity on NS training?

In Economy on 03/08/2016 at 6:29 am

MORE than half of Singapore companies have experienced staff who are physically present but mentally absent*. BT

That’s a lot.

We learnt this camouflage technique during NS because we had no choice but to do what we were told to do. We became experts at “switching-off”; something even SAF regulars do. Remember the radar operators and the commander of a naval vessel that got rammed by an oil tanker? The courts found they were “switched-off”.

We carry this ability to “switch-off” over to civilian life even if as an ang moh expert from recruitment firm Robert Half rightly says,.employees also need to take responsibility for their satisfaction at work. “If an employee finds they have accepted inner resignation, then they should identify the cause of their dissatisfaction and raise the matter with their employer during their performance review. If the issue cannot be resolved then they are better off seeking a new job than lingering in a role they are unhappy with.

So could one reason for S’pore’s really bad productivity record be the NS training we receive to be physically present but mentally absent? We switch-off too much?

And where we did learn other harmful productivity habits like skiving and coffee breaks? NS.

But let’s not put all the blame on the PAP administration for low productivity. Another probable good reason for lousy productivity is bad management.

Economists reckon that about half the productivity gap between Britain and America is down to bad management. A paper by Nick Bloom of Stanford University and others shows that the David Brents can learn from the Jack Welches: when they take over British firms, American multinationals bring better technology and practices, lifting productivity by up to 10%.


Bad management is partly responsible for the “switching-off” problem :“Inner resignation is often overlooked by employers, especially in workplaces where employees are left alone to get on with their jobs,” explained senior managing director David Jones. “Employers need to be more vigilant in looking for signs that an employee is mentally disengaged, such as a lack of motivation for bonuses or advancement or a drop in productivity.”

Whatever it is, S’poreans are never at fault.


*This …”inner resignation”, has been observed in 57 per cent of Singapore businesses, according to recruitment firm Robert Half.

It tends be more common in large- and medium-sized companies, with 68 per cent of companies seeing it, compared to 32 per cent of small organisations. The findings came from its survey of 100 chief financial officers and finance directors in Singapore, as part of an international workplace study.

“Inner resignation is often overlooked by employers, especially in workplaces where employees are left alone to get on with their jobs,” explained senior managing director David Jones. “Employers need to be more vigilant in looking for signs that an employee is mentally disengaged, such as a lack of motivation for bonuses or advancement or a drop in productivity.”

Fintech’s greatest impact

In Banks on 02/08/2016 at 1:08 pm
Will be in trading, settlements and general back office.

From NYT Dealbook

We’ve Hit Peak Human and an Algorithm Wants Your Job. Now What? On Wall Street, the still-essential business of banking will go on – but maybe without as many suits. “We have 20,000 manual interventions on trades every day,” said Michael Rogers, president of State Street. “There’s a huge opportunity to digitize that and move it forward electronically.”


Err so why the silence on Calvin, minister?

In Humour on 02/08/2016 at 5:13 am

Or to be more precise, why the official pussy-footing  on Calvin Cheng’s call to kill children? And the silence on real atrocities?

(Not sure who did this. Saw it on Facebook. I’ll gladly attribute this if I know who did this.)

And is it not strange that this minster who has de facto responsibility for pets and their owners doesn’t speak up against vivisection?

Don’t juz talk cock sing song: walk the talk.

Tips to avoid falling victim to fraudsters

In Financial competency on 01/08/2016 at 3:18 pm

There’s been a fair bit of news about S’poreans especially the elderly falling victim to fraudsrwes. The tips are from the UK’s Guardian (There’s a similar problem there) but useful all the same. Maybe the more responsible new media outlets like Terry’s Online Channel, TRE, SGDaily, TMG and mothership can find “experts” to localise the contents of the Guardian article?

If you take a call at home or receive any communication from your bank, assume it is fraudulent until you have established it is not. Fraudsters will claim to be from the bank and have spotted unusual or fraudulent transactions on your account. Their aim is to make you fear for your savings, and act illogically.

Never say where you bank, or give any personal information to callers, whoever they claim to be. If you think it could really be the bank, ask for the person’s name and say you will call them back. Note, the scammers may also claim to be the local police investigating staff at your local bank branch.

Tell the elderly about the tricks used.

More at

Stop this ragging

In Uncategorized on 01/08/2016 at 5:09 am

Many undergraduates are upset. They said they are old enough to decide what is appropriate for them, and do not need parents and the authorities breathing down their necks. (ST)

Hear, hear. There’s hope for S’pore yet.

Reading on Facebook and the internet the various comments on the games the undergrads were made to play, and after seeing a video on whar everyone was complaining about, I couldn’t help being bemused and annoyed.

While not condoning the infantile, sexualised antics, they certainly don’t merit this from a minister of education, albeit on his FB page.

Orientation games must respect human dignity and remember the point and purpose of a University education

Entering university is a heady experience. It is an adventure that as a father to two teenage girls, I hope that my own children will get to go on.

University prepares us to tackle the toughest challenges of our times – climate change, abject poverty, terrorism, ageing populations, diseases, widening income gap.

Orientation marks the start of University life. Every year, student leaders and staff organize activities and camps. Students sometimes have to go through difficult and challenging experiences – but these are what memories are made of, how bonds are forged, how tribes are formed.

Activities can be rigorous, creative, even wild; students may push boundaries.

But at all times, we must respect human dignity and remember the point and purpose of a University education.

Pretending to ejaculate into the face of a fellow student plays no part in this purpose – it is a reprehensible act that cannot be tolerated; goading others to act out a rape scene not only degrades the real suffering of rape victims, it inflicts fresh humiliation on female students.

Protesting such acts has nothing to do with being prudish or a bad sport, everything to do with respect for human dignity.

Orientation is still on-going or will be starting soon at some Universities. I have asked that orientation activities be carried out in a manner that respects the dignity of the freshmen.

As for what was reported to have happened at NUS, the University has made clear to me that it does not condone such incidents; it is conducting an investigation and will take strong disciplinary actions against those found responsible.

I thank the staff and student volunteers for their hard work and the many hours of planning that have gone into the orientation programme. I know that much of it was useful and edifying.

Let us forswear the parts that were not.

Ong Ye Kung

Articles in TRE, other new media publications and the comments* of cybernuts support the minister’s attitude. Now that is certainly worthy of note. Anti-PAPpies, rational and nutty, agreeing with a minister. What next? Vote PAP?

Seriously, these young adults should be allowed to indulge themselves so long as there’s no reasonably foreseen danger of grievous bodily harm, sexual assault  or serious mental damage, And if undergrads object to the activities, they should have guts to say “No”; not rely on nanny to protect them or, behave like the  sheep of Animal Farm, following instructions of the organisers of the games.

And NUS’ banning of all student organised orientation programmes and threatening disciplinary action is plain stupid. It may not be clean fun, but it certainly isn’t sexually abusive or dangerous. It’s kids having some silly fun.

Adults (ministers  university administrators, new media people etc) should have a sense of proportion. So long as there’s no reasonably foreseen danger of grievous bodily harm, sexual assault  or serious mental damage, what’s the harm? As to the issue of consent of the undergrads if undergrads object to the activities, they should have the guts to say “No” not rely on nanny to protect them, or follow the instructions of the organisers like the sheep of  Animal Farm.

Just because the unhappy adults were once young arrogant, humourless, mature pricks, doesn’t mean that young people now have to follow them.

What next? Cannot get drunk as undergrad? Cannot have sex with other undergrads isit?

Can only study and have the right ECA?

So I’m glad to see that there are undergrads speaking out against the ragging by adults who should know better especially those adults who also KPKB that the education system is flawed. It’s their demands, expectations and attitudes that help the PAP administration keep the education system the way it is: producing sheep for FTs to slaughter.

Finally let’s give ST credit for reporting the undergrads unhappiness at being bullied. Where were new media? Waiting for MSM to lead the way isit? Why liddat TRE, Terry’s Online Channel? Are not the undergrads S’poreans also?

*I have lesser respect for NUS students now

I used to think NUS students are intelligent and well disciplined leaders of tomorrow. NOT ANYMORE by the way they choose to conduct those degrading and ridiculous camp activities. All other tertiary institutions should take note and stop such similar camp activities.

Just because NUS conducted such camps does not mean it is a “model” to follow. Today, I cringed when NUS students boarded the bus to sit next to me. Felt very uncomfortable and got up seats. It is an issue of self respect.

Realised that I have lost respect for such people who have displayed that they allow other people to do whatever they want in the name of “freshman orientation camp”. The truth stings but it is what it is. There is still time to not repeat the same behaviours unless the camp leaders still want to defend the undefendable conducts.

Disappointed Parent

This nut wants disciplined young people. Real PAPpy. All TRE cybernuts really PAPpies deep inside isit?

Update ar 5.40am

Another unhappy cybernut

Building bonds or simply sexual?

Here is an orientation activity that took place at one of the local tertiary institutes a while ago. This activity involves raffia strings threaded around a dead fish.

The objective of the game is to pass the fish on the string from one point to another, and to do this the boys and girls will have to pass the string and fish through their clothes.

As you can see in the photo, the girl is putting the string under her top and bra and the others are helping her move the fish into her clothes and out.

Can you help me understand what such an activity is supposed to achieve? How is this a bond building activity?