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Archive for December, 2016|Monthly archive page

Ultimate British pub crawl

In Uncategorized on 31/12/2016 at 2:03 pm

Stretch this to 10 yrs and it’s a great way to get to know Britain.

The Sun and Daily Mail carry news of the ultimate pub crawl – visiting all the 24,727 establishments in the UK.

It is 28,000 miles, starting and ending in Dorset. The longest stretch without any pubs is the 270 miles from Durness in north-west Scotland to Shetland.

And how long will the crawl take? If you walk between each one, stay only 30 minutes and allow for eight hours sleep a night… it can be completed in three years and four months.

BBC Online

Trump Triumphant

In Uncategorized on 31/12/2016 at 8:48 am
Donald J. Trump at an American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington in March. The political right has in Israel has openly celebrated his election as president.

‘Trump Effect’ Is Already Shaping Events Around the World

Donald J. Trump’s election is influencing markets, currencies and government policies as the world bets on how he will rewrite international rules.

More, the real Nostradamus

In Uncategorized on 31/12/2016 at 5:46 am

Nostradamus was a French physician and seer who published collections of prophecies. He became known as the man who foretold the future.

Thomas More (Yup “A Man for All Seasons”) was one of Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellors who was later beheaded because he did not as a subject of the king openly accept the king’s divorce and remarriage. He was also a great scholar, humanist even if he did torture and burn “heretics”.

But he’s not known as a seer. But he was as quotes from http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2016/12/stranger-things show

He foresaw democracy

[A] prince that serves a life term, he is chosen by a body of 200 representatives, each of whom is democratically elected in a constituency. A council of 20 of these officials must ratify any decision the prince makes. Such checks on executive power were wishful thinking in More’s time. They are commonplace now.

He foretold personal freedom

Utopians transported into developed countries of today would also be pleasantly surprised to discover that their rights to follow “divers kinds of religion” and to divorce if “the man and woman cannot well agree between themselves” were now taken for granted.

He foresaw short working hours

Men and women in these countries can join labour forces with near full employment, and work for around nine hours a day

He foretold globalisation of trade

They could get from overseas “all such things as they lack at home” through trade.

He foresaw the welfare state

They would be entitled to welfare payments and pensions as “provision for them that were once labourers and be now weak and impotent”. With a few notable exceptions, they could walk into a hospital and receive treatment “whereby they may be restored again to their health”. In some countries they would even have the right to “finish their lives willingly” in the face of incurable disease.

 

Amos in the Land of the Free

In Uncategorized on 30/12/2016 at 9:07 am

Or “Even anti-PAP nuts believe that there’s no free lunch”

An unusually sane article (from a cybernut) prompted this comment on Facebook

“Asking for free lawyer, free accomodation, free everything. I think he misunderstood “The Land of the Free”

It got this response:

Real sense of entitlement. Like a PAP minister or like hard core anti-PAP grumbler.

Article in question:

http://singaporedissident.blogspot.sg/2016/12/the-detention-of-singaporean-amos-yee.html

A real S’porean, this nut. No free service, must pay and pay. Harry would be proud of him even if he hates Harry.

Amos Yee had asked me to represent him “pro bono” or free of charge. In my opinion, he did not appear to be lacking in funds since he himself had stated in social media that he was making a lot of money through his videos. Secondly he has his parents who live with him and are fully able to pay for his expenses. I quoted him my normal asylum fee of US$3500.00 but he refused. After that I did not have further communication with him.

Recently a US based Singaporean activist Melissa Chen contacted me. She said she was trying to help Amos Yee and had arranged some lawyers to help him free of charge. She was contacting me probably from Chicago. She asked me if I could arrange accommodation for him free of charge. I told her that I cannot and even if I could I will not. After all he is well able to pay for his accommodation under his circumstances and shouldn’t be asking things free.

And

Update 12/28/2016. I have been getting readers who write asking for advice on asylum and national service. If you want advice please write to my Email nair.gopalan@yahoo.com or call me at (510) 491 8525 California time. Also note, I do not provide free legal advice.

Money talks, BS walks

In Uncategorized on 30/12/2016 at 5:20 am

Rising anti-Semitism is said to have made some of the country’s leading universities “no-go zones” for Jewish students.

Former higher education adjudicator Lady Deech tells the Telegraph that growing hostility towards Israel is tipping into hatred against Jews in general – and institutions may be failing to tackle the problem for fear of offending wealthy Middle Eastern benefactors.

Universities UK insists the sector has been clear there is “no place” for anti-Semitism.

BBC report

The bright side of being 40ish and underemployed

In Uncategorized on 29/12/2016 at 4:41 pm

If you’re over 40, working more than 25 hours a week could be affecting your intelligence, new research suggests.

http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20160714-is-full-time-work-bad-for-our-brains

PAPpy Grinch strikes? Or is it Scrooge?

In Financial competency, Infrastructure on 29/12/2016 at 6:43 am

And “Heads or tails, we get screwed”, and “The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.” were the tots that crossed my mind when I read that the Public Transport Council (PTC) may recommend standardising fares for all MRT lines and bus routes here.

In a blog post on Monday (Oct 10) PTC chairman Richard Magnus said that “it is clear that commuters prefer a simple fare structure”.

True but we prefer lower prices too. And the plan to standandise the fare structure sounds like an excuse not to pass on the benefits of lower costs to us.

Mr Magnus added that while the large negative quantum of 5.7 per cent may have commuters hoping for a corresponding drop in fares,trade-offs may be necessary to balance the various interests of commuters, the need for operators to sustain a viable public transport system, and the “financial burden” of Government expenditure on public transport infrastructure and assets.

ST

Stop the BS about “financial burden” of Government expenditure on public transport infrastructure and assets**. Hey we got budget surpluses that need recycling. And recycling doesn’t juz mean giving Temasek and GIC money to gamble invest.

So long as there are humongous budget surpluses, we can have our cake and eat it. Now if the budget is neutral, then fair enough to raise fares.


*“The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.”

Jam tomorrow or jam to-morrow (older spelling) is an expression for a never-fulfilled promise. It originates from Lewis Carroll’s 1871 book Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There.[1] In the book the White Queen offers Alice “jam every other day” as an inducement to work for her:
“I’m sure I’ll take you with pleasure!” the Queen said. “Two pence a week, and jam every other day.”
Alice couldn’t help laughing, as she said, “I don’t want you to hire me – and I don’t care for jam.”
“It’s very good jam,” said the Queen.
“Well, I don’t want any to-day, at any rate.”
“You couldn’t have it if you did want it,” the Queen said. “The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.”
“It must come sometimes to ‘jam to-day’,” Alice objected.
“No, it can’t,” said the Queen. “It’s jam every other day: to-day isn’t any other day, you know.”
“I don’t understand you,” said Alice. “It’s dreadfully confusing!”

Wikipedia

**ST reported him as saying:

He noted that $4 billion would be spent to subsidise bus services over next five years under the bus contracting model.

Other considerations include the reliability of the expanding rail line and the manpower crunch in the sector.

“Realistically, it is not sustainable to keep imposing higher standards on our operators while fares remain unchanged, or to keep increasing the level of subsidies from the Government. The experts’ view is to avoid large fluctuations in fares which may create adverse impact to industry stakeholders; and to have small and gradual fare adjustments instead,” he said.

“A fine balance is therefore necessary to ensure that our public transport system remains viable and sustainable in the long run.”

So long as there are humongous budget surpluses, we can have our cake and eat it. Now if the budget is neutral, then fair enough to raise fares.

A sign Euro will rise?

In Currencies on 28/12/2016 at 2:24 pm

“Emerging market companies are increasingly choosing to borrow in euros rather than dollars as the spread between the yield on 10-year US Treasuries and German Bunds has widened to its highest level since the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the first eight months of 2016, EM non-financial corporates issued $38.1bn of euro-denominated bonds and syndicated loans, surpassing the highest ever full-year total of $33.4bn in 2013, according to FT analysis of data from the Institute of International Finance encompassing 20 major emerging market countries.”

FT

I’m reminded of all those who borrowed in US$ and who are being taken to the cleaners. Nothing new. I think of all the M’sian corporates who borrowed in yen in the 70s and 89s before the Plaza Accord.

But then US and Japan didn’t have a Le Pen around wanting to make France Great Again.

Am Chinese voted for Trump

In Uncategorized on 28/12/2016 at 10:42 am

Mr Trump’s supporters also included a large number of recent Chinese immigrants to the US, who applauded the president-elect’s incendiary comments linking Islam with terrorism and his vows to expel illegal Mexican immigrants.

FT

Conclusion: Us ethnic Chinese are non-PCs.

Obama: Classy, ineffective, irrelevant

In Uncategorized on 27/12/2016 at 2:22 pm

“The man has a lot of class,” says Deaton. “He may not have been a very effective president. But that’s beside the point now I guess.”

Angus Deaton, winner of Nobel Prize in Economics in a FT interview published during the hols. And he’s a fan of Obama. Don’t need to imagine what the Trumpeters are saying.

Employers right to sack pregnant women?

In Uncategorized on 27/12/2016 at 4:52 am

A recurring “equality” story is that women get sacked for getting pregnant.

Image result for scrooge

Well maybe these employers got science on their side?

Pregnancy reduces grey matter in specific parts of a woman’s brain, helping her bond with her baby and prepare for the demands of motherhood.

Scans of 25 first-time mums showed these structural brain changes lasted for at least two years after giving birth.

European researchers said the scale of brain changes during pregnancy were akin to those seen during adolescence.

Many women have said they feel forgetful and emotional during pregnancy and put it down to “pregnancy” or “baby” brain – and, it seems, with good reason.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-38341901

1MDB: What did Goldman know and when?/ Plausible deniability

In Corporate governance, Investment banking, Malaysia on 26/12/2016 at 4:57 pm

Goldie is Trump’s go to bank for senior personnel for his administration. Maybe because it knows how to do shady deals using other people’s money while being able to claim plausible deniability: “We know nothing. Nothing.”

FROM NYT Dealbook

A 1MDB Cloud
Goldman Sachs may find its profile improving under the Trump administration, but the firm is also coming under heavy scrutiny related to an investigation into a sprawling international money laundering and embezzlement scheme.
Prosecutors have said that billions of dollars that Goldman raised for the government investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, were channeled into personal bank accounts and ultimately used to buy paintings, luxury real estate and investment stakes in movies like “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
The question investigators are asking now is, how much did Goldman know?
Goldman said it believed the money was being used to buy legitimate assets for the investment fund.
Jack Blum, a lawyer who led corruption investigations for several Senate committees, said that Goldman should have done a thorough investigation of what 1MDB was doing with the money.
“It is a very serious problem when a company is making a hell of a lot of money out of something and everybody in the place says, ‘I don’t know about it,’” Mr. Blum said.

Calvera (the bandit chief “farming” Mexican peasants in The Magnificent 7 :

If God didn’t want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep.

Ang moh tua kees, Amnesty Int’l — What about North Carolina?

In Uncategorized on 26/12/2016 at 10:16 am

Our local ang moh tua kees and Amnesty Int’l are dissing S’pore while cheering on Amos Yee’s attempt to get political asylum in the US to avoid NS.

Hey how come don’t know this about a major US state? From that fan (Or is it fiend?) of Hilary

OpEd from North Carolina. The state no longer classifies as a democracy, according to a professor of political science at the University of North Carolina. A report from the Electorial Integrity Project places North Carolina alongside authoritarian states and pseudo-democracies like Cuba, Indonesia and Sierra Leone. – The News & Observer

NYT Dealbook

What the Economist says: If you can’t beat ’em, take away their power

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21712158-if-you-cant-beat-em-take-away-their-power-shenanigans-north-carolina-set-lousy

When Wall St banks didn’t want to lend to Trump

In Banks on 26/12/2016 at 4:34 am

There was a German bank.

There was a time when Trump was a pariah on Wall St: his casino cos defaulted on their loans owing Citi, JPMorgan etc billions.

Trump’s dealings with Wall Street stretch back decades to his attempt to build an Atlantic City casino empire. That badly timed push forced him to renegotiate with creditors when he couldn’t pay back billions of dollars in loans … In 1998, a small group of its real-estate bankers led by Mike Offit underwrote a $125-million loan for renovations on Trump’s building at 40 Wall Street. Trump showed up at Offit’s office, his reputation badly bruised.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-22/deutsche-bank-s-reworking-a-big-trump-loan-as-inauguration-nears

A friend in need is a bank indeed.

Grinch at work this Christmas

In Uncategorized on 25/12/2016 at 1:44 pm

The year-end stocks rally on the heels of the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president was built on expectations of reduced regulations, big tax cuts and a large fiscal stimulus.

Now signs are emerging from the Trump camp that harsher trade policies that could jeopardize the honeymoon are likely in the offing, and investors would be well advised to give those prospects more weight when gauging how much further an already pricey market has to run.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-stocks-weekahead-idUSKBN14C1L2?il=0

Christmas present for a hedge fund

In Financial competency on 25/12/2016 at 10:46 am
Calvera (the bandit chief “farming” Mexican peasants in The Magnificent 7 :

If God didn’t want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep.

Hedge Fund Math as described by NYT’s Dealbook

When do 1.5 and 16 add up to 72?
That’s the riddle confronting investors in Pershing Square Holdings Ltd., the closed-end fund run by Bill Ackman.
The fund has gained 20.5 percent during the four years since it began. After deductions — a 1.5 percent management fee and Pershing Square Holdings taking 16 percent of any gains — investors were up just 5.7 percent. Pershing Square kept about 72 percent of the fund’s gains for itself.
How does that work? Many hedge funds reap far higher percentages of their gains than that stated in their fee structure because when they experience substantial losses, as Pershing Square did, they don’t have to give anything back.
And investors are catching on to the fact that most hedge fund managers share generously in the good times, but are exposed to none of the losses in the bad.

Markets trumping Trump on climate change

In Uncategorized on 24/12/2016 at 11:10 am

Seems that there’s momentum for corporations to ignore Trump’s views on climate change: investor pressure. From NYT Dealbook

The Climate for Investment
In spite of an incoming presidential administration in the United States that is hostile to addressing climate change, the clamor for corporations to be more forthcoming about the risks posed by environmental changes is getting louder.
A task force commissioned by the Group of 20 richest nations has issued guidelines for how companies should measure and disclose the predicted effects of extreme weather and rising seas.
The guidelines are voluntary, but companies may find themselves under morepressure from investors, who have taken to including environmental, social and corporate governance issues, or E.S.G., in their stock picks. Younger investors, in particular, like the approach.
And performance does not have to suffer. Funds like the Vanguard social index fund and the Parnassus Core Equity Investor fund, which pick stocks using E.S.G. and fundamental analysis, have been beating the market.

Fed Chief says value of degree is rising

In Uncategorized on 24/12/2016 at 5:49 am
So why is one minister of education trying to talk S’poreans out of getting a degree while the PAP administrations allows FTs with dubious or fake degrees (Think Nisha of IDA) to flood in?

From NYT Dealbook on the Fed Chief’s comments

Yellen Tells College Graduates That Value of a Degree Is Rising

Janet Yellen’s speech at the University of Baltimore underscored the Federal Reserve’s satisfaction with an economic expansion that is in its eighth year.

Trump pak China, US regulations/ Unionises his htl workers

In Uncategorized on 23/12/2016 at 4:09 pm
From NYT Dealbook:

By Amie Tsang

President-elect Donald J. Trump wants to shake up both relations with China and regulatory issues, and he’s not doing it by halves.
Mr. Trump has named:
• Peter Navarro, a strident critic of China, to lead a new White House office overseeing American trade and industrial policy.
• Carl Icahn, the investor, to serve as a special adviser on regulatory issues.
Mr. Navarro, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, is the only credentialed economist in Mr. Trump’s inner circle. He has argued that China is effectively waging economic war by subsidizing exports to the United States and impeding imports from it. He has also made a documentary called “Death by China,” in which an animation of a Chinese knife stabs a map of the United States.
Some economists actually say that automation is a bigger threat to people’s jobs than globalization.
The appointment highlights a division among Mr. Trump’s economic advisers.
Like Mr. Navarro, Wilbur Ross, the president-elect’s choice for commerce secretary, favors increased trade restrictions. But Mr. Trump’s broader circle of advisers is dominated by proponents of free trade.
Mr. Icahn, who made his fortune as a “corporate raider,” will play a role in the selection of a new leader for the Securities and Exchange Commission. That is the regulator that serves as the referee for his battles with corporations.
His appointment has renewed concerns about conflicts of interest in the administration. It comes just as the Trump Organization has resolved labor disputesthat could have posed other conflicts for the president-elect.
One of those labor agreements provides a union contract to workers at the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas (the hotel had previously refused to bargain with the union). The second agreement eases a hurdle to unionization at a recently opened Trump hotel in Washington.
Eric Trump also said that he had decided to stop directly soliciting contributions for his charitable foundation because he recognized that his status as the president-elect’s son means that donors could try to use him to gain access to his father.

With friends like this, Hilary didn’t need any enemies

In Uncategorized on 23/12/2016 at 5:18 am
With a paid up member like this poster gal for the elite liberals, no wonder the liberal elite is so hated in the US.

She attacks as an enemy someone who supports Hilary and her, and who donated to her. Any people like her accuses Trump of being untruthful? From NYT Dealbook

Viewed through a political lens, Mr. Trump’s appointments of finance industry insiders have already agitated Senator Elizabeth Warren — so much so that she took to Facebook to attack a “hedge fund billionaire” who is “thrilled by Donald Trump’s economic team of Wall Street insiders.”

Unfortunately that hedge fund manager, Whitney Tilson, publicly fought Mr. Trump’s election, supported Hillary Clinton, donated to Ms. Warren and actively sought new regulations for the industry. Oh, and he is also not a billionaire.

Mr. Tilson continues to support Ms. Warren, albeit with less enthusiasm and the feeling that “she’s getting down into the gutter with Trump.”

“I still support her because I share her belief that banking should be boring,” he said.

Did Hilary and Obama need enemies with a friend like Warren?

Wrong reason for LKY turning in his grave

In Political governance on 22/12/2016 at 2:21 pm

After parliament allowed racial discrimination in favour of Malays, a WP supporter came out with this on Facebook. I’m surprised I didn’t see it on Terry’s Online Channel

Trump has a point on China stealing US jobs

In China on 22/12/2016 at 5:19 am

In fact three points that mercantilists (think Germany, China and the PAP administration) would agree with.

For President-elect Donald Trump, the biggest issue in the US relationship with China is trade. Chinese imports do cause job losses in the US: up to 2.4m jobs may have been lost, directly and indirectly, as a consequence of imports from China.

Between 1999 and 2011 America lost almost 6m manufacturing jobs in net terms. That may not be as dramatic as it sounds, since America is a large and dynamic place where around 5m jobs come and go every month. Still, when David Autor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), David Dorn of the University of Zurich and Gordon Hanson of the University of California, San Diego, looked into the job losses more closely, they found something worrying. At least one-fifth of the drop in factory jobs during that period was the direct result of competition from China.

Moreover, the American workers who had lost those jobs neither found new ones close by nor searched for work farther afield. They either swelled the ranks of the unemployed or, more often, left the workforce … In subsequent research, the authors found that lost factory jobs also had a depressing effect on aggregate demand (and thus non-manufacturing jobs) in the affected areas. In total, up to 2.4m jobs may have been lost, directly and indirectly, as a consequence of imports from China.

http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21707834-truth-and-myth-about-effects-openness-trade-coming-and-going

And

And

But mercantilists have to ask themselves one question. In a world where the US$ is the hegemon and which the global hegemon can print at will, they are lending the hegemon the money that the hegemon uses to buy stuff from them: is this wise?

Remember that the Anglo-Saxon kings defaulted on their loans to the Lombards, bankrupting them. OK, OK, it’s the Anglo-Norman kings of England.

Achtung if got money in Indon, M’sia and India

In Currencies, Emerging markets, India, Indonesia, Malaysia on 21/12/2016 at 5:38 pm

Nomura says Indonesia, Malaysia and India could be next to implement capital controls.

2017: Put on yr parachutes and crash helmets

In China, Currencies, Indonesia, Malaysia, Property on 21/12/2016 at 7:08 am

Jeremy Cook, chief economist at payments provider World First, said a combative US and a strong dollar would put pressure on Singapore, South Korea and other parts of the EM universe that have relied on US funding and a free and easy trading environment, as well as Indonesia and Malaysia.

The president-elect represents “an almost existential risk to trade”, said Mr Cook.

FT

The good news for S’poreans will be that things will also be bad for Indonesia and M’sia: they are unhappy when neighbours do better. In the past these countries had often provided some relief for the S’pore economy, when other drivers were not working. Not next year though.

Ah well, expect more bitter tots from that very bitter man, TJS.  And S’poreans should worry about servicing their mortgages and jobs.

Every penny counts, so stop drinking BS

Finland is doing an experiment that could discredit a Hard Truth or confirm it

In Uncategorized on 20/12/2016 at 5:40 pm

A Hard Truth is that welfare is bad because people will stop working if there is welfare.

Well according to the NYT Dealbook,

Free Cash
Finland is about to embark on a social welfare experiment that will test not just economic policy, but also human nature.
Jobless people in the country cannot earn additional income while collecting unemployment benefits. So for some laid-off workers, a guaranteed unemployment check is a better financial proposition than taking a leap with a new job or business.
The government wants to see if it can change that.
It is giving 2,000 unemployed people a universal basic income — automatic benefits, minus the bureaucratic hassle and penalties for amassing extra income.
Will these people set themselves up on new career paths once they are liberated from the time-sucking unemployment system? Or will they squander their money on vodka?
We will see as the trial progresses over the next two years.
Many will be keeping an eye on the results. The search for a way to lessen the vulnerabilities of working people who may have been affected by globalization and automation is gaining a sense of urgency as reactionary populism sweeps the globe.

S’poreans really that cock despite topping PISA exams?

In Uncategorized on 20/12/2016 at 10:52 am

I’ll let Chris K tell the story. But, if interested here’s the background and additional info from the real Independent (not the fake news site from S’pore also known as TISG: The Idiots — S’pore:  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/world-most-ignorant-countries-index-ipsos-mori-poll-survey-a7481196.html?cmpid=facebook-post

 

Tax and tax a S$134m addiction

In Uncategorized on 19/12/2016 at 3:34 pm

CNA reports that S’poreans spend S$134m on “bottled water addiction” when our tap water is perfectly safe to drink.

A 600ml bottle of drinking water usually retails for about S$0.50 to S$1. According to PUB, the same amount of tap water only costs 0.1 cent, making it 500 to 1,000 times cheaper than bottled water. This price differential, while significant, is not sufficient to motivate consumers to move more to tap water, said Prof Ng, who is the executive director of the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute at NTU.

The relatively low retail cost of bottled water also appears to be a small price to pay for the convenience of not having to carry a bottle around to be refilled, said Prof Ong, director of the NUS Environmental Research Institute. “It’s hard to convince people that they don’t need to be spending the money they spend on bottled water, because (at) S$1 a bottle, that’s cheap to many.”

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-s-s-134m-bottled-water-addiction/3364034.html

So why not tax bottled water? After all drinking it is a waste of money and resources when there’s the tap.

Warning when guessing next yts’s market

In Uncategorized on 19/12/2016 at 2:43 pm

From NYT Dealbook:

Market Tea Leaves
“As January goes, so goes the entire market year.”
Wrong. (This year at least.)
After a bleak January for stocks, major American markets have been at or near record highs as we near the end of the year.
More recently, the dollar has surged and Treasury prices have tumbled after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, as The Wall Street Journal reports. This could hamper earnings, but stock markets seem to have taken it in stride.
It can be tricky to predict what will happen on the stock market, especially if you’re not sure what lies ahead in a Trump administration.
Burton Malkiel, emeritus professor of economics at Princeton, has some sage advice: “Whether you think Trump will be wildly successful or he’ll be a disaster, don’t try to move in or out of assets because you think you know what’s going to happen.”

TJS should listen to the Toilet Man

In Uncategorized on 19/12/2016 at 4:36 am

TJS spams at regular intervals using his Facebook stuff a closed group on Facebook of mainly moderate S’poreans who in the main voted for Dr Tan Chin Bok and would vote for him if allowed to  to. They understand economic trade-offs and are more than happy to accept lower growth, in return for FT controls. They kicked out Jason Chua of FATPAP with him accusing them of criminalising support for the PAP.

His stuff annoys many of them. They don’t like his TRE, juvenile cybernut style of personal attacks on the PM without supporting evidence, only his rants, as they see it. Recently one Adrian Tan responded by posting my piece about him being a cybernut, adding that TJS’s like Roy Ngerng. Must invite that guy to guest write here. My kind of guy as the posting seems to have annoyed TJS (see below).

A longish thread ensured with TJS responding. He accused commenters of making personal attacks (Cannot imitate him isit? Waz sauce for an elite like him, not sauce for plebs who don’t live in bungalow houses like him isit?)

In the thread (and another related)  there were comments from the Toilet Man (Jack Sim) rebuking TJS.

——————————————–

Jack Sim, Founder of World Toilet Organization (WTO), has been a successful businessman since age 24. Having achieved financial success in his 40s, Jack felt the need to change his direction in life and give back to humanity – he wanted to live his life according to the motto “Live a useful life”. Jack soon left his business and embarked on a journey that saw him being the voice for those who cannot speak out and fighting for the dignity, rights and health for the vulnerable and poor worldwide.

http://worldtoilet.org/who-we-are/founder/

——————————————————

Three stand out, and I hope TJS* takes to heart Jack’s comments (though from his response to JS, I doubt it):

Why don’t you speak about the National Regeneration Plan more with the public instead of writing articles that are discouraging without any positive outcome?

And

Jee Say Tan I’ll avoid personal attack. The reason was your recent posts were personal attack on the PM without real substance. As many writers here have expressed they’ve seen nothing constructive in them as compared to your National Regeneration Plan. We’re all Singaporeans and want to see Singapore become strong and healthy. When we destroy our leaders we destroy ourselves. When we criticise or advise, we do it with good intention to make Singapore better. Our opposition parties must not merely oppose. It must offer better solutions.
Things like investing in the young start-ups is already done but without gumption as a national culture, these start-ups loses massive money for both government and investors. We need to go back to root causes. We need to embrace the people who wants to make Singapore strong. Not just people who merely want to benefit themselves

And on another thread:

I’ve now read Tan Jee Say”s National Regeneration Plan and felt he did have something useful to offer. I encourage him to stay on the constructive dialogue instead of merely saying sad things
 Adrian Tan added to the last:
Saw that. Well done. He does himself no credit with spam like this. One could argue that this spam reflects his true self.

TJS asked Adrian Tan to post a response of his as a response to the pirce on him. Tan wasn’t sure which one he meant even though TJS was pretty specific, but TJS never responded to his query. He most probably tot that Tan was trolling Tan.

It’s below. I decided to use it as part of a piece rather than let it languish as a comment

But note that he never answered my beef with him** (which was why Tan queried Tan, as he explained to me): that he, TJS, so cock as to think that we’ll get the chance to vote in the next PE.

TJS says

Participating in GE n PE is the only way of communicating alternative views n policies in public platforms n through main stream media. Many PAP old timers including ex-ministers have cheered me on n encouraged me to continue with my criticisms of PAP policies n practices as few who are familiar with government policies, dare to speak up esp those who do want to risk their million dollar salaries n high positions. If I n others had not spoken up , would PAP change their policies on immigration, housing, health, pioneer benefits etc. So be thankful to us who took part in GE n PE n spoke up for you n your benefits, your children n their benefits.

As I keep saying, the PAP is lucky in its enemies. With Mad Dog, TJS, Roy Ngerng, M Ravi, s/o JBJ, New Citizen Han Hui Hui and Goh Meng Seng as enemies, who needs friends?

So Chris K, Terry and other brave warriors, you sure you want to keep on fighting alongside these nuts?


*Because for all his oversized ego and failures to make it big time (What happened when he headed John Govett: it tanked), and doing the PAP’s work for free*** (think PE 2011) he has some interesting ideas for the betterment of S’pore.

**

It is vitally important that we elect a strong President, not a token one, next year to ensure that our reserves are used to benefit ordinary people, rather than provide life support to “natural aristocrats” and their cronies.

TJS must be deluded to think we’ll get the chance to vote for the next president. LOL. But then TJS tot he had the votes to become MP and then president and then MP. The whipping his ass got (three times in row) must have affected his brains which doesn’t seem to reside in his skull.

I mean, the conventional wisdom among the thinking anti-PAP activists and cyberwarriors is that we’ll not get the chance to vote at the next PE.

Not I never argued that his standing for election was a waste of time.

***It’s alleged he never got his 30 pieces of silver for standing in PE 2011. Could that add to his bitterness?

Waz wrong, waz right with East Asian education systems

In Uncategorized on 18/12/2016 at 6:24 am

According to the head of PISA

The latest round of Pisa results, published this week, show that many of the most disadvantaged students in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam perform as well as the highest-achieving quarter of students around the world.

In the western world, only Estonia and Finland match such a level of resilience against social disadvantage.

So why are ang mohs not rushing to follow these Asian countries’ education systems? Racism? Not invented in ang moh land?

Many moons ago a few locals asked Chris K (cybernut hero though he’s no nut who is our very FT in London and now in Tokyo) why ang moh FTs not sending their kids to S’pore schools (Btw, int’l schools not cheap here — see photo). He said ang mohs got different view of education

 

Here’s an expansion of his point using excepts taken from a BBC article. Remember that while Korean kids underperform ours, they also thrash ang mohs.

Three Welch kids who went to Seoul to experience shared their experiences with the BBC, two of them dissed the Korean system

Tommy: “They base their education on fact-based information and memory-based education, thus giving them an advantage in the Pisa testing and other global tests. However, British children are, I believe better prepared for further education and career choices as they understand their knowledge and can apply it.”

Sarah: “I understand that the education system in place in Korea is beneficial in the fact that good results are constantly being produced, but I couldn’t help but question what the effect of all this work and pressure was on the girls’ mental well-being.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-38080752

And even former minister of education Ju Ho Lee say its PISA topping system is bad

Former minister of education Ju Ho Lee said it was time to make changes to the South Korean school system.

“Those high test scores in Pisa mask very important problems in Korean education, for example, Korean students don’t have enough time to read, to do sports, to do music, and to spend that time freely because they are too much pressured to prepare for the exam.

“Even the Pisa test, when they ask Korean students whether they are happy in school, Korean students rate the lowest.

“It’s time for Korean parents to make changes to prepare our next generation for the 21st Century. Our children may need a different set of skills other than just high test scores – communication, collaboration and creativity, they should be nurtured.”

The BBC also reports:

The government is making changes to the system and Jun Sung Jang, the principal at the boys school, has introduced a school sports day to tackle the problem of stressed out children.

And remember when Korean kids behaved like sheep and died? And that was when Korean kids were topping PISA?

This is waz wrong with East Asian education systems: no thinking allowed without permission.

But the East Asian systems have things that the West can learn from

The Welsh students’ head teacher, David Haynes, would like to bring top maths teachers over from South Korea to fill the shortage in Wales.

“In the health service, we bring across doctors from other parts of the world and they contribute greatly to our society and the provision we receive,” he said.

“Specialists and highly-trained professionals coming from other parts of the world like South Korea could contribute greatly to our education system.”

Mr Haynes has already introduced some Korean-style changes at his school, reorganising the school day and bringing in parents to help raise standards.

The third Welch kid who went to Korea said: Ewan: “One thing I feel we could take from the system is that there is a lot respect for teaching staff in Korea and they have the same social status as we give to doctors, which allows them to get a lot more done and for kids to become brighter.”

 

 

 

Are the actions of Russia, China against the US aggressive?

In Uncategorized on 17/12/2016 at 10:56 am

Cannot fight back isit?

Let’s step back for a moment. NYT that purveyor of truth so long as the truth supports Hilary, her cronies and the progressive cause says

The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.

A Times investigation reveals missed signals, slow responses and a continuing underestimation of the seriousness of a campaign to disrupt the 2016 presidential election.

NYT Dealbook

And we know what’s happening in the South China Sea where China got too clever by half and kanna whacked by int’l court, while the US ignores the riles that it asks China to play by.

On Russian aggression, Mikhail Gorbachev (last leader of the USSR)

attacks the West, too, accusing it of “provoking Russia”.

“I’m sure that the Western press – and that includes you – has been given special instructions to discredit Putin and get rid of him. Not physically. Just to make sure he steps aside. But, as a result, his popularity rating here has reached 86%. Soon, it will be 120%!”

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38289333

And remember all the colour revolutions in Rusia’s backyard and the expansion of Nato?

As to the South China Sea

China’s ministry of defence said on its social media account that the construction on its South China Sea outcrops was mostly for civilian use, and that necessary military installations were for self-defence.

“If someone was flexing his muscles outside your door, wouldn’t you get a slingshot ready?” the defence ministry said in a statement.

FT

Now I’m pro US in the sense that I’m glad the hegemon is the US and not Russia or China. But that doesn’t colour my perceptions of reality or how others perceive the facts.

 

M’sia — Currency, MH370

In Currencies, Emerging markets, Malaysia on 16/12/2016 at 4:59 pm

M$

According to Anna Stupnytska, global economist at Fidelity Investment Management countries most sensitive to rising US interest rates are Turkey, South Africa, Malaysia and Mexico, because a large amount of their debt is held by foreign investors and their economies are relatively weak. Source: BBC report.

Searching in wrong area

Yellow dot seems to be where plane fell into the sea based on the debris found off Africa.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/dec/14/oceanographers-offer-clues-to-malaysian-airlines-crash

What S’poreans not told about PISA

In Public Administration on 16/12/2016 at 4:49 am

The constructive, nation-building media, and the PAP IB are going on to warp drive about the latest PISA rankings (S’pore is tops) and the cybernuts are dissing the achievement. Both are insulting the intelligence of the swing voter by not telling S’poreans the facts.

First our education system can’t take most of the credit for the good results. The Asian Chinese tiger moms play a huge part

Second-generation East Asian pupils in Australia are roughly 2.5 years ahead of those with native-born parents. They do even better than pupils in Singapore, the highest-performing country in PISA, even as results in Australia as a whole have fallen.

Economist

(To see a real tiger mom at work read the last few paras of this. She’s the real deal, not this wannabe tiger mum: juz blur KS S’porean.)

So PM is talking a lot of bull (see below).

==========

Global education surveys show Ministry of Education is moving in ‘right direction’: PM Lee

On Tuesday, it was announced that Singapore took first place in all three categories – reading, mathematics and science – in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015, its best performance yet in the global benchmarking test.

Conducted once every three years, PISA measures how well 15-year-olds around the world make use of their knowledge to solve problems. A total of 72 economies took part in its 2015 assessment.

Just a week earlier, Singapore’s Primary 4 and Secondary 2 students topped another international ranking in mathematics and science, theTrends in International Mathematics and Science study (TIMSS).

The study, which assessed pupils from 63 other education systems around the world, also found that Singapore students have more positive attitudes towards learning and are immersed in conducive learning environments. Singapore students also showed improvement over the years, especially in higher-order thinking skills.

CNA

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

Next here FTs do better here in PISA tests than locals (Indians and Malays let the side down? Err juz joking.)

Seriously, PISA rankings show how good a place in a certain kind of test but

Opponents of PISA argue that trying to make sense of all this is like trying to hear oneself over the noise of an obstreperous classroom. They note that education is about more than doing well in tests. And besides, some critics add, there is little useful to learn from the results, since it is culture and parents that lead to swots. Last week in an effort to be funny, Yong Zhao of the University of Kansas wrote that the right response from tests that show spectacular scores in East Asia might as well be for others to start using chopsticks.

PISA has flaws. It is just one of many tests, and tests are not all there is to learning.

http://www.economist.com/news/international/21711247-reforming-education-slow-and-hard-eminently-possible-what-world-can-learn

If we so smart, how come we not good in productivity and uni rankings huh?

The former Argentine education minister Mr Bullrich  says PISA is like an X-ray of a country’s education policy. It is not a full picture of your health but it can help you spot where things are sickly. But this analogy means that it also doesn’t always tell what can be improved upon.

 

The man behind racial quotas in HDB estates

In Property on 15/12/2016 at 4:08 pm

The man who inspired the idea of racial quotas in HDB estates has just died. He developed the theory of the “tipping point” to explain white flight from US inner cities and his suggestions to counter this flight inspired the PAPpies who were his students in the Kennedy School of Public Policy (think PM, George Yeo etc) to come up with the idea of racial balance in HDB estates, making the Chinese owners of HDB flats more equal than owners of other races

NYT Dealbook

Thomas C. Schelling, Master Theorist of Nuclear Strategy, Dies at 95

The Nobel laureate used game theory to shed light on U.S. and Soviet actions and developed the theory of the “tipping point” to explain white flight.

Building a Muslim registry, Facebook willing to

In Uncategorized on 15/12/2016 at 3:51 pm
 From NYT Dealbook

Building a Muslim registry. Nine of the most prominent such firms, from Facebook to Booz Allen Hamilton, were asked if they would sell their services to help create a national Muslim registry, an idea recently resurfaced by Mr. Trump’s transition team. Only Twitter said no. – The Intercept

Trump nominee puts PAPpies Hen and Fu to shame

In Political governance on 15/12/2016 at 6:52 am

The president of Goldman Sachs is joining Team Trump. Mr Cohn earned US$21m last year. His new job pays around US$180,000: peanuts.

Remember when the Hen boasted that he was doing S’poreans a favour, giving them a discount because he took a pay cut from $7m to $1m.

And this from Grace Fu on her ministerial pay cut?

Related post: Hen, JosT, GraceF: Money, money, money.

Seriously why do senior PAPpies look down on the next generation PAP leaders? One Harry said that high salaries were needed to attract future leaders because only his generation were unselfish and Queen Fu said that while she accepted her pay cut, future leaders might not be like her.

 

Fintech app that will kill off second hand car salesmen

In Financial competency on 14/12/2016 at 1:48 pm
Financial Assistants Inspired by Science Fiction
Plenty of software programs can help you with your finances, but the start-up Digit and its competitors are aiming for something more comprehensive: a full-service financial assistant.
When he founded Digit, Ethan Bloch had in mind the “Ender’s Game” character Jane, who uses her artificial intelligence to prepare taxes for the hero Ender and ends up taking over his financial life.
For companies like Digit, Credit Karma and Mint, the goal is to create an assistant that will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide proactive analysis and advice.

Who will squeeze Ah loong’s balls harder?/ Tharman’s time is nigh?

In China on 14/12/2016 at 5:29 am

After our APCs were seize by China after PM was brown-nosing the US over TPP (Trump hates it) and over the South China Sea, now Trump has made life even harder for him personally and for S’pore.

“I don’t know why we have to be bound by a One China policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade.”

— Donald J. Trump, the president-elect, on Fox News defending his recent phone call with Taiwan’s president. Mr. Trump’s suggestion that the One China policycould be used as a bargaining chip could risk a backlash by Beijing.

(NYT Dealbook)

China is royally annoyed with Trump (see http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-38286645) over his words and actions over Taiwan, so I’m sure Ah Loong is juz sitting down and keeping his mouth shut hoping that China might forget his comments on TPP and the rule of law in South China, both rods the Obama regime used to beat-up China.

And given that he was “All the Way for Hilary” and was a Obama pet (remember the state dinner?), he’s also hoping that Trump would forget S’pore’s support for the TPP and that Trump had singled out S’pore (albeit unfairly) for stealing US jobs.

Well he can forget it. I’m sure both sides will with glee squeeze his balls, telling him “If you are not with us, you are against us”. And if he sides with the US, remember that S’poreans who invest (think Temasek with its holdings in three out of the four major banks) or do biz in China are watching what China is doing to Lotte and K-pop performers after China got angry with Korea. Better sell CapitaLand.

Here’s my constructive, nation-building suggestions:

— Donate the nine APCs to China. It’s not as though, we’ll be getting them back, any time soon.

— Don’t allow those Poseidon aircraft to use S’pore as a base from which to watch, track Chinese subs leaving their base on Hainan.

— And give Trump Inc a casino licence (make it two).

Seriously, PM should be asking himself why S’pore still sends SAF soldiers and reservists to train in Taiwan. Now that we got the Outback to train in, we don’t send 20,000 men a year to Taiwan. So why bother sending 3,000 and upsetting China?

Doesn’t sound logical does it? Especially as the Taiwanese and Chinese are nowadays rowing over almost everything especially whether Taiwan is part of China. When LKY was pal to the leaders of both, these leaders accepted that Taiwan was part of China. They rowed over who was the legitimate govt of China.

Times have changed but PM, MFA, Mindef etc still live in that past.

Auto pilot isit? Too busy looking at daily bank statements and monthly CPF statements?

And is he really as smart as this ang moh puts it

For every prime minister like Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, who can provide off-the-cuff a detailed and sophisticated tour d’horizon of the Asia-Pacific region, there is a boorish novice like Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Or is he a juz pet monkey of the hegemon?

Whatever, S’pore (and S’poreans) will be in for a tough time with the hegemony and a wannabe hegemon upset with him.

Time to resign and let the Indians rule the roost here*? After all Tharman is another pet monkey of the West, while he hasn’t offended China.


*They already own the judiciary, the legal profession and the legal service, and the IT sector.

How Trump can have and eat his cake, without global tariff wars?

In Uncategorized on 13/12/2016 at 2:46 pm

A central idea is that goods would be taxed based on where they were consumed rather than where they were produced, meaning that imports would be taxed by Washington while exports would not. Tax experts call this a destination-based consumption tax.

From NYT Dealbook:

Shipping containers and cranes in the Port of Jakarta, Indonesia. A destination-based consumption tax means that that imports would be taxed by Washington while exports would not.

New Approach to Corporate Tax Law Has House G.O.P. Support

A business tax overhaul championed by a Berkeley professor could advance President-elect Donald J. Trump’s job-creation agenda without tariffs or presidential deal-making.

Jee Say is a cybernut?

In Political governance on 13/12/2016 at 5:37 am

Here’s part of a FB post by TSJ that shows he’s gone over to the nutty side.

It is vitally important that we elect a strong President, not a token one, next year to ensure that our reserves are used to benefit ordinary people, rather than provide life support to “natural aristocrats” and their cronies.

TJS must be deluded to think we’ll get the chance to vote for the next president. LOL. But then TJS tot he had the votes to become MP and then president and then MP. The whipping his ass got (three times in row) must have affected his brains which doesn’t seem to reside in his skull.

I mean, the conventional wisdom among the thinking anti-PAP activists and cyberwarriors is that we’ll not get the chance to vote at the next PE.

So what’s he going on about voting for a strong president?

But to be fair, maybe he posted after smoking medicinal weed. I mean the pains from three whippings of his ass must be terrible for someone with his oversized ego.

——– ——

This is what he posted

“Singapore, the new sick man of Asia”

1. “Some economists call Singapore the new sick man of Asia, supplanting the Philippines, whose economy is now growing almost four times faster.” (according to this Reuters piece.)

2. While the Singapore economy deteriorates in 2016, PM Lee was obsessed the whole year with politicizing the Elected Presidency. He has got his priority wrong. It’s the economy, stupid, as Bill Clinton would say.

3. PAP will “raid” our national reserves to save themselves in the next few years.

4. It is vitally important that we elect a strong President, not a token one, next year to ensure that our reserves are used to benefit ordinary people, rather than provide life support to “natural aristocrats” and their cronies.

TJS


If you think I’m being nasty to TJS, here are nastier FB posts

Hurray TJS, the sick man of Singapore strike again.
Yes, it must be sickening to fail in GE, PE and GE again.
Yes it must be sickening to fail in the financial arena and in the civil service.
More to the points raised now….
it should be expected that the Philippine economy should be registering reasonably better growth coming from such a low base compared to that of spore. We should be happy for our neighbours’ growth.
As for raiding the nation’s reserves, Spore must be fortunate that someone like you is nowhere near the till.
And yes, its the economy STUPID, and not the politiking.

And

Are you seriously trying to compare a US$55,182 GDP per capita country against a US$2765 per capita one? The Philippines is growing no doubt, but a cooling economy does not a sick man make.

John Glenn’s advice for oldies

In Uncategorized on 12/12/2016 at 4:38 pm

Only at the age of 90 did he give up flying: old people, he said, should not let the calendar dictate their lives.

http://www.economist.com/news/obituary/21711604-john-glenn-astronaut-and-politician-died-december-8th-aged-95-obituary-john-glenn

Lips to teeth: US’s and S’pore’s position on Taiwan

In China on 12/12/2016 at 5:09 am

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

If the lips are gone, the teeth will grow cold
唇亡齿寒

is a chinese saying.

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

The US attitude to Taiwan since it was set by Jimmy Carter’s administration in 1979 could be described as constructive hypocrisy. America professes to support Taiwanese democracy and sells it arms to defend itself from its powerful neighbour, while at the same time adhering to a “one-China” policy and refusing to recognise Taiwan as an independent country.

FT

We don’t support Taiwanese democracy (In fact, the PAP and the constructive, nation-building media sneers at it afraid that the sheep S’porean Chinese voters will realise that Chinese can do democracy. Indians always have done democracy (The elites love to talk cock, sing song, steal from the poor  and forget about economic development: think India.) And the Malays don’t matter going by the PAP’s decision to reserve presidency for them every now and then).

And to my knowledge we doesn’t sells arms to Taiwan.

But S’pore adheres to a “one-China” policy and refuses to recognise Taiwan as an independent country. And oh yrs , we train out troops there and send our most advanced weaponry there,

We really old friend of China?

As Global Times right says:

Singapore should learn the lesson that, if it tries to challenge China on important issues, it has to be prepared to bear consequences.

Singapore has long attempted to serve as a bridge or middleman between China and the US, and the mainland and Taiwan. But this will by no means work in the future.

The bilateral relationship used to be based on private ties between former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping* and late Singaporean prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. But nowadays, a simply state-to-state relationship is more feasible.

There are reports that S’pore executives and business people living in China are worried that they will become the next victims of China’s anger. They only need to see what Lotte and K-pop singers are experiencing in China to see what can happen when China is angry with another govt. SGDaily’s FB wall has a FT article on waz happening to Lotte and K-pop singers in China: their balls are being squeezed hard, really hard.

Related article: http://www.scmp.com/business/article/2053679/weaponising-hong-kongs-free-port-status

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

*And Jiang his successor too. Harry’s daughter once wrote in ST why Dr Goh Keng Swee’s state funeral had to wait because her dad tot he had to meet Jiang.

Remember at Harry’s funeral, no senior Chinese leader came.

Wonder if local Tiger Moms also do prayers?

In Uncategorized on 11/12/2016 at 1:22 pm

In South Korea,

[M]others can be found praying for good exam results for their children in the Buddhist temples of Gangnam, and they also burn old text books to destroy any possible bad luck in the upcoming exams.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-38080752

Sunday Times (UK) education editor Sian Griffiths,

“It’s this religious devotion to education that has helped transform South Korea’s fortunes.

PAP administration giving the finger to Int’l Human Rights Day?

In Media, Political governance, Public Administration on 11/12/2016 at 7:30 am

Speakers’ Corner: Photo of “boarded-up” notice board seems very symbolic of the state of freedom of expression in S’pore

Some 60 people commemorated International Human Rights Day at Hong Lim Park. It was organised by MARUAH.The crowd may be small but the speeches were interesting.

Almost all the basic rights enunciated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were touched upon.Interestingly there was a conspicuous absence of plain clothes police officers. There may have been just a couple of them in the crowd. And there was only one police vehicle at the carpark.

The Hong Lim Park Notice is plastered up. New and stiffer regulations will soon be displayed.

2016 has been a bad year for civil rights activists. Many of them were harassed by the police and had their computers, mobile phones, disk drives etc confiscated without court orders. Being hauled up for police interviews appears to be common and frequent. Two recent Hong Lim Park events have seen a number of activists and spectators being questioned by the police.

Finally, the passing of the Administration of Justice (Protection) Bill has stifled free speech to a ridiculous level. This law undermines the judiciary rather than protects it.

(Ms Teo Soh Lung  on her FB page)

 

DBS HK info leak affects clients here too

In Banks, Hong Kong on 10/12/2016 at 1:22 pm

A DBS customer here I know says that he had getting overseas calls asking him to take out loans from DBS. He was surprised to get the calls and when he asked how he got on the call list, the line went dead, only for another call to come later.

Telemarketers contacted DBS clients to try to get them to borrow from the bank, with the employees and the call center splitting commissions, Apple Daily reported, without citing a source for its information. Some employees were sales staff who were authorized to sell loan products in branches or on the street but not by cold calling, it said.

Some DBS staff allegedly bribed department managers to get client data, including names and contact details, Apple Daily reported.

More from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-09/hkma-expresses-concern-after-report-of-dbs-arrests-in-hong-kong

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority expressed concern after a newspaper said DBS Group Holdings Ltd. staff were arrested in a probe connected with an alleged leak of customer data.

The city’s Independent Commission Against Corruption began investigating after the data were supplied to a telemarketing center in mainland China, Apple Daily reported.

The Singapore-based DBS disputed the newspaper’s report that more than 20 current and former staff had been arrested, but wouldn’t specify a number.

 

 

 

When even Trump fans don’t believe Fox News

In Media on 10/12/2016 at 5:29 am

Even when Pizzagate is debunked  by the New York Times and Fox News, among many others … no factual news story has slowed the torrent of Tweets from the true believers.


Pizzagate

No victim has come forward. There’s no investigation. And physical evidence? That doesn’t exist either.

But thousands of people are convinced that a paedophilia ring involving people at the highest levels of the Democratic Party is operating out of a Washington pizza restaurant.

The story riveted fringes of Twitter – nearly a million messages were sent last month using the term “pizzagate”.

So how did this fake story take hold amongst alt-right Trump supporters and other Hillary Clinton opponents?

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-38156985

——————————————————————–

I mean if the extreme alt-right doesn’t believe Fox, what can a resonable person say?  Btw, I accept that the NYT is a fake news site operated by the elitist extreme ultraleft (it said Clinton would win and still refuses to accept the reality that Americans US elected Trump as president to give the bird to the likes of the NYT).

Maybe the PAP has a point about draconian laws (like the Sedition Act and ISA) and suing for defamation?

 

Can’t stop PRCs from making $

In China, Tourism on 09/12/2016 at 4:09 pm

Last year, Facebook fired an enterprising Chinese employee who played to the unmet demand* and charged one group of tourists $20 each to tour the campus and eat in the company’s cafeteria. Now, the only thing notable for tourists to see is its thumbs-up sign.

NYT

*Chinese tourists wanting to tour FB’s campus and other Silicon Valley tech campuses.

“How has the pie been shared during the PAP years”?

In Economy, Property on 09/12/2016 at 4:47 am

Answer: The pie has grown but PAPpies are gorging themselves while ordinary S’poreans get thinner slices of a bigger pie.

In a response to a very negative analysis (sometimes sounding like something a TRELand nut would write*) https://www.breakingviews.com/considered-view/singapore-stresses-under-a-wealth-of-worries/, a Brad Bowyer responded:

As we head in to strong economic headwinds it would be good to reflect on how the pie has been shared during the PAP years.

In the 1970s a 4 room flat in Marine Parade was approx $20k to buy at a time when the median monthly wage was $300 and the PM averaged $3500 a month

In the 1990s a Marine Parade 4 room flat had roughly doubled to $40k , the median monthly wage was growing fast and at around $1200 had quadrupled and the PM averaged $70,000 a month a 20 times increase.

Today that 4 room flat equivalent is over 800k, a more than 40 times increase in 45 years, the PM get $230,000 a month a 50 times increase over the same time but the median monthly wage hovering around $4000 is only a 13 times increase in 45 years.

The PM has done well relative to the HDB pricing as his income has outstripped all increases in costs and he is nett much better off. For the average Singaporean however even though their nominal monthly income has increased in real terms their purchasing power has decreased and they are now 3 times worse of than their 1970’s bretheren in terms of an HDB housing purchase.

Where before you could pay off an HDB in a few years, have a single working parent family with several children and a reasonable life now a 2 income family would struggle to pay off their flat in their lifetimes and having even 1 child is a major challenge.

Singapore may have had economic success in the past in terms of dollars of GDP and be a great place for the top few % who take care of themselves but it has all been done at the expense of everyone else.

This trend of all the benefit only going to the few will continue unless the government changes to one that wants the best for all its people and not one that is focused on wealth for itself and only doing the minimum possible to keep its captive labor force fed and working and not much more.

As times get tougher and even those nearer the top start feeling more pain I wonder will we finally reach a tipping point where true change can finally be considered and made a reality?


 

*Is she seriously trying to compare a US$55,182 GDP per capita country against a US$2765 per capita one? The Philippines is growing , but a weak economy (partly due to a weal global economy) does not mean S’pore has become the Sick Man of Asia? And how come Peenoys still trying to find work here?

US liberal MSM caught lying again?

In Media on 08/12/2016 at 12:50 pm

From NYT’s Dealbook

The audacity of fiscal hype? – President-elect Donald Trump’s plans might not blow up the budget. “The proposed tax cuts may not have as large of an impact on the government’s finances as some analysts project,” U.S. economists at Deutsche Bank, wrote in a report. – Bloomberg

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed.”

What do you think of Denzel Washington’s comments?

Update at 5.08pm:

Salena Zito, writing in the Atlantic magazine, summed up Trump’s election campaign by saying: “The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”

But can the press really stop taking literally what the president-elect says?

That’s quite a dilemma for the next four years

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38188074

Trump is bad news for S’porean mortgagors and property prices

In Economy, Financial competency, Property on 08/12/2016 at 4:36 am

As stated here, The Donald’s warning to US companies to manufacture in the US will only help accentuate two interconnected secular trends that are no good for S’pore’s growth prospects: slower global trade caused in part by onshoring (companies making more products locally).

Slow growth not good for property prices.

Next, Trump wants US cos to repatriate their money overseas (US$1trn is a conservative estimate) to make America Great Again. He’ll offer tax concessions in return.

According to a FT report, the repatriation of billions of dollars of overseas corporate deposits could rattle the global money market, where they constitute an important part of the offshore funding base: think Libor and Sibor.

This will affect S$ interest rates, causiing them to rise further then expected because of Fed actions.

Finally, with a fiscal stimulus in the US, Fed be more prepared to raise US rates. This will affect S$ interest rates, causiing them to rise.

So the vultures are circling and the Singkies with housing loans up to their eyeballs (if car loans and personal loans are included, up to their eyebrows) had better watch out. We’ll be joining Perth.

Will the 70% still vote PAP?

Got property in Perth?

In Uncategorized on 07/12/2016 at 2:33 pm

Bang yr balls. Cheaper getting cheaper.

http-com-ft-imagepublish-prod-s3-amazonaws

 

 

 

 

 

 

Economic restructuring: This time, it’s really different

In Economy on 07/12/2016 at 4:44 am

Speaking to a group of students at the Singapore Institute of Technology, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on 24 Oct that he is confident S’pore is taking the right growth strategies to move forward.

“We are feeling the pains of restructuring, but not yet seeing the dividends of our hard work. But we are pursuing all the right strategies, and I am confident that given time these strategies will work for us.”

————-

The Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) will soon issue a report addressing  five key themes: future growth industries and markets; corporate capabilities and innovation; jobs and skills; urban development and infrastructure; and connectivity.
Indeed, in updating the 2010 Economic Strategies Committee (ESC) report headed by Tharman), the 30-member CFE will have to take into account new global and domestic realities. Chaired by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, the panel has been tasked with developing economic strategies to keep Singapore competitive; it aims to complete its work by the end of 2016.

As part of this effort, a working group has been formed under CFE to study how to better help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) “restructure and tide through challenging times”.


I’m sorry but

“We are feeling the pains of restructuring, but not yet seeing the dividends of our hard work. But we are pursuing all the right strategies, and I am confident that given time these strategies will work for us.”

smacks of “Jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day”*

Pardon my cynicism.

We’ve been here before. How many times has economy been “restructured” since the 80s? And how many times have SMEs been helped to  “restructure and tide through challenging times”?

——————————–

Another decade, another restructuring report?

In the 80s, one Lee Hsien Loong as trade and industry minister headed a committee to recommend changes in the economy. In the early noughties when DPM he headed another committee on the same issue.

 In 201o, one Tharman and his committee produced the 2010 Economic Strategies Committee (ESC). And now there’s the CFE. It’s a bit early, but then there wasn’t a report in the 90s: so maybe making up for lost time?
——————————-
But this time, it’s different, really

In the past the spin before the release of a report was always that it was going to be game-changer, this time to my surprise the constructive, nation-building BT** said don’t expect much from the report (Something that could and should have been said about the other reports too).

First there’s the question that looms large is whether or not the CFE report will contain anything “large and decisive enough to make an impact”, as an economist put it.

What don’t trust PAP isit? See Heng no ak? Why liddat?

And then

private-sector economists caution against hopes for a big bang outcome that will significantly address Singapore’s immediate challenges.

That’s largely because technological disruption and the rapidly-changing global environment make earlier strategies – such as the tactic of picking winning sectors to boost economic growth – tougher to execute.

Other domestic factors weigh heavily as well.

It quotes Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) economist Chua Hak Bin on why restructuring will be difficult.

“It’s that much harder now to retool the economy. Singapore has already reached such an afluent stage, and there’s the sense that there are a lot more constraints now – such as ageing demographics and the inability to tap on talent as freely as before.”


Err what about secular global trends?

[T]wo interconnected secular trends that will affect S’pore’s growth prospects: slower global trade caused in part by onshoring (companies making more products locally).

————————————

He talks about

— most find it difficult to imagine how the panel can match past watershed moves – including the decision to create a private wealth management industry from scratch, or the introduction of casinos to boost tourism, or the slashing of income and corporate tax rates.

— the likelihood of a “tinkering at the margins” is high. “I don’t think the policy flexibility is as wide as it was previously, despite the 2015 election result (in favour of the ruling People’s Action Party). It’s no longer just about reviving growth – a lot of social and political constraints have now come into play.”

BT also surprised by quoting CIMB Private Banking economist Song Seng Wun who said the govt had to restructure itself: the government must also think about how it can restructure itself, so as to support the needs of the future economy.

“Rather than point the finger, the government should maybe take a look back at itself … For example, everything is so intertwined now, so rather than having the EDB (Economic Development Board), IE (International Enterprise Singapore), and Spring Singapore existing as separate entities with different functions, why not regroup them into one again? Singapore is a small economy; it can be done,”.

Ownself reform ownself?

But BT being BT has to have a constructive, nation-building bit to show it isn’t TOC:

Still, even as the country looks ahead to seek sustainable growth and opportunities for all, economists stressed the need for Singapore to hold fast to its existing strengths.

“Alongside these new and higher aspirations, we’ll need to be careful that our policies don’t threaten our existing strengths,” said Dr Chua, citing Singapore’s port and financial services sectors as strategic leads to retain.

And then as if on cue it quotes Mizuho economist Vishnu Varathan who thinks there is scope for Singapore to reinvent its hub status – especially with Asean’s ambition of creating a single market and production base (obstacles to that lofty goal notwithstanding) …”I think Singapore has actually underrated itself in areas of competency like regional law and intellectual property law. We already have a nice network of finance marrying up with legal and accounting standards that we can leverage on … That’s where Singapore will have to position itself – as a premier services producer that will enhance the rest of Asean as manufacturing base. In essence, we become the finance department, the legal department, and the front office of this entire (AEC) institution … Even if I can’t get my finger in that pie my neighbour is having, I want to be the one providing him with the silverware to eat off that pie.”

Evidently, the reporting and analysis of the constructive, nation-building media is not really supposed to be “based purely on facts”, as a CCP document said it should be. It’s all about praising the PAP administration after pointing out its flaws?

Maybe taz why the PAP has forgotten what is economic restructurings are supposed to do?

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

*“The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.”

Jam tomorrow or jam to-morrow (older spelling) is an expression for a never-fulfilled promise. It originates from Lewis Carroll’s 1871 book Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There.[1] In the book the White Queen offers Alice “jam every other day” as an inducement to work for her:
“I’m sure I’ll take you with pleasure!” the Queen said. “Two pence a week, and jam every other day.”
Alice couldn’t help laughing, as she said, “I don’t want you to hire me – and I don’t care for jam.”
“It’s very good jam,” said the Queen.
“Well, I don’t want any to-day, at any rate.”
“You couldn’t have it if you did want it,” the Queen said. “The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.”
“It must come sometimes to ‘jam to-day’,” Alice objected.
“No, it can’t,” said the Queen. “It’s jam every other day: to-day isn’t any other day, you know.”
“I don’t understand you,” said Alice. “It’s dreadfully confusing!”

Wikipedia

**http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/singapores-future-economy/harder-now-to-retool-singapore-economy

 

Modern day Samurai?

In Uncategorized on 06/12/2016 at 1:20 pm

[A] note on employee duties, handwritten by the then president of Dentsu in 1951: “Once you take on a task, never let it go, even if you are killed.”

FT

Dentsu is the leading ad media co in Japan.

Or a death wisher ?

Whatever I prefer

Lemmy from Motorhead: ‘You know I’m born to lose, and gambling’s for fools, but that’s the way I like it, baby, I don’t want to live forever’

Also FT.

 

 

 

Two global secular trends that will adversely affect us and PAP’s legitimacy

In Economy, Political governance, Property on 06/12/2016 at 4:36 am

The problem has been for the last eight years, there’s been no economic growth. What we saw travelling with the president-elect, at all these rallies, is that for the average American worker they’ve gone nowhere.

The Donald’s nominee tor Treasury Sec Steven Mnuchin

Well that nightmare for American workers, the Obama and Hilary mafia, their liberal supporters and the US MSM will be coming here soon for S’poreans and the PAP.

S’poreans know that the economy is slowing but most expect a rebound to normal times: hence property prices are holding up pretty well.

But there are two interconnected secular trends that will affect S’pore’s growth prospects: slower global trade caused in part by onshoring (companies making more products locally).

Until the 2008 global financial crisis, trade growth outpaced economic expansion in most years. But since 2012, the two growth rates have been roughly similar. The World Trade Organization forecast in September that global trade volumes in 2016 will increase by 1.7% on the year, compared with projected global economic growth of 2.2%.

Improved manufacturing technologies and rising income levels in emerging economies have reinforced this trend. Companies have become better able and more inclined to make products locally. Narrowing wage gaps between developing and industrialized countries have made the conventional system of producing goods in countries with cheap labor and exporting them to richer nations less attractive. Economies have also become more dependent on online services, for which shipping capacity is irrelevant.

 http://asia.nikkei.com/magazine/20161124-S.O.S/On-the-Cover/Shipping-lines-plunge-into-a-war-of-attrition

And The Donald’s warning to US companies to manufacture in the US will only help these trends.

The PAP has what is called “output legitimacy”. S’pore is a de-facto state in large part because of the PAP’s reputation (albeit waning what with cock-ups in public transport, public housing and PR) for competence, particularly in its handling of the economy and its ability to raise living standards.

Coming back to Steven Mnuchin

Wage increases and good jobs. Taz what the PAP needs to do to keep its share of the popular vote closer to 70% than to 60%. The two interconnected secular trends that will affect S’pore’s growth prospects (slower global trade caused in part by onshoring) will not help.

Temasek and GIC had better step up their game so that the PAP administration can make up (via welfare) for the fall in living standards if these trends persist (or worse strengthen): loss of jobs, low or non-existent wage increases (if not pay cuts) and the fall in property values.

Hopefully, the Oppo and others opposed to the PAP’s hegemony speak up to point that it’s S’poreans money that is being spent on welfare, so no need to be grateful to the PAP.

We paid for these PAP goodies in advance via forced savings: CPF contributions and Budget surpluses.

Why there wouldn’t be a Trump here

In Internet on 05/12/2016 at 5:56 pm

Twitter usage here sucks, really sucks

https://www.statista.com/statistics/284466/singapore-social-network-penetration/

The funny thing is that Indons (juz across the water) love to use Twitter https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/nov/21/twitter-city-facebook-jakarta-live-week-social-media-obsession-

This appeared three yrs ago on usage here and there’s been no update on the number of users.

https://vulcanpost.com/10812/many-twitter-users-singapore/

 

IBM’s big plans for Watson

In Uncategorized on 05/12/2016 at 3:59 pm

NYT Dealbook

It is betting on Watson, its artificial intelligence technology, to help it expand, employing about 10,000 workers on the project and investing billions of dollars. The company does not report seperate financial results for Watson, but UBS estimates that it may generate $500 million in revenue this year and grow rapidly, nearing $17 billion by 2022.

Halimah deserves better

In Political governance on 05/12/2016 at 4:32 am

Halimah Yacob was featured in a full-page spread in the inaugural edition of the revamped (now free) TNP last week. And that feature featured in last Friday’s ST. And known and rapid PAPpies are publicising the TNP feature on Facebook.

Starting the spin ahead of PE next year?

Actually I’d really be disappointed if she’s the chosen one.

She deserves better. IMHO she could have whipped Tan Cheng Bok’s ass in a straight fight. I’d have voted for her despite voting for TCB, and never ever voting PAP.

I wrote this in March this year

I pointed out that there was one Malay PAPpy who could thrash Dr Tan and that he and I would vote for that person: he had commended her in the past.

Yes the person in Halimah Yacob. Going by her credentials, she’d sew up the union, core PAP vote (“Any donkey so long as he or she is a PAP preferred donkey”) and wimmin vote. And because she’s such an intelligent nice, no-airs, capable and compassionate person, she’d get a big share of the swing vote. Ftr, we attended the same law postgraduate class in 1978.

My friend could only sputter, “Malay men won’t vote for her.” I said, “So what? The Malay wimmin, all wimmin, NTUC members, hard-core PAPPy voters and many swing voters will.” I added that I tot she could get more than 59% of the popular vote (i.e. more than Ong Teng Cheong in 1993)

Malay PAPpy that can thrash Chin Bock

She’s also onsistent in her values. Examples: I think she was wearing the tudung in the late 70s (not hip then) when we were in the same post grad law course. And she toiled away in NTUC for many, many yrs before being talent spotted.

I mean PAP and NTUC so cock that they didn’t identify her earlier. I mean I was near early retirement when she was “spotted”.

I know, I know she sucks as a Speaker, openly campaigning for PAP candidates and is reported to discriminate against WP MPs. But let’s face it, she may be a good person but she’s a PAPpy running dog all the same.

But some running dogs have better attributes than others. Think Tharman the pedigree running dog as against the pariahs.

So I’ll still vote for her against TCB. After all he too was a running dog in his prime.

All PAP running dogs are to be despised, but some are to be despised less than others. I’d put Tharman, Haliman and Dr Tan among the less desposed.

Fish disappointed by Peenoy president

In Emerging markets on 04/12/2016 at 1:06 pm

They came to Manila Bay because of his promise to fatten them

Duterte’s landslide victory came after a campaign during which he vowed to kill 100,000 criminals in his first six months in office and told drug pushers and others: “I’ll dump all of you into Manila Bay, and fatten all the fish there.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-38144237

Only less than 5,000 killed since his inauguration: peanuts.

Don’t tell Trump but US is sua kee, China tua kee

In China on 04/12/2016 at 5:32 am

One country [China] consumes 40 to 50%  of the world’s commodities. As we saw in coal this year, when China changes policy, it can turn a market upside down,

says Ivan Glasenberg, the CEO of mining and trading house, Glencore.

I remember the time when the world’s commodity markets danced to the tune of the US economy. So should The Donald.

And how can the US be the number one economy in the world?

In 1980, China had 10 percent of America’s GDP as measured by purchasing power parity; 7 percent of its GDP at current U.S.-dollar exchange rates; and 6 percent of its exports. The foreign currency held by China, meanwhile, was just one-sixth the size of America’s reserves. The answers for the second column: By 2014, those figures were 101 percent of GDP; 60 percent at U.S.-dollar exchange rates; and 106 percent of exports. China’s reserves today are 28 times larger than America’s.

After all

China is number 1

  • Manufacturer:
  • Exporter:
  • Trading nation:
  • Saver:
  • Holder of U.S. debt:
  • Foreign-direct-investment destination:
  • Energy consumer:
  • Oil importer:
  • Carbon emitter:
  • Steel producer:
  • Auto market:
  • Smartphone market:
  • E-commerce market:
  • Luxury-goods market:
  • Internet user:
  • Fastest supercomputer:
  • Holder of foreign reserves:
  • Source of initial public offerings:
  • Primary engine of global growth:
  • Economy:

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/09/united-states-china-war-thucydides-trap/406756/

And

A study by the Rhodium Group last month found that Chinese investment into the US exceeded US investment into China for the first time in 2015.

FT

The US is the number one  economy because it’s the biggest importer using China’s and other countries money to buy their exports.

“The US is the number one economy in the world, and its political power and military power are based on its economy.

German industrialist quoted by FT

But Trump is happy because he can nuke China to the stone age before China can launch a single nuclear missle against the US. Now taz tua kee.

Peenoy leader talks cock again

In Emerging markets on 03/12/2016 at 2:14 pm

Mr Trump is also reported to have invited President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines to the White House next year during a “very engaging, animated” phone conversation, according to one of Mr Duterte’s aides.

But a statement issued by Trump’s transition team made no mention of an invitation.

BBC report

 

Harry had a point on media freedom?

In Media on 03/12/2016 at 5:13 am

He tot it was distracting and confusing the masses.

He didn’t believe in it. He wanted a constructive, nation-building media that reported what he wanted reported and in the way he wanted it reported and analysed. No alternatives allowed.

And maybe he has a point that diversity of views can be confusing.

This extract from a BBC report is interesting. One poll and three different angles from three different influential UK papers.

A poll of British Muslims for the Policy Exchange think tank is covered three ways by three papers.

The Times runs the story on its front page, with the headline: “Most Muslims want full integration with British way of life.

“Research involving more than 3,000 Muslims shows that they broadly share the views and priorities of the wider population, rather than being shaped by supposedly “Islamic” concerns,” the paper says,

“Ninety-three per cent feel a fairly or very strong attachment to Britain and are likely to identify the NHS, unemployment and immigration as the biggest issues facing the country.”

The Mail pulls out a different question from the survey, with the headline: “Only 1 in 25 British Muslims believe Al Qaeda carried out 9/11 attack, says think tank.”

“Some 31 per cent thought the American government was behind the strikes on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon,” the paper reports.

“Another 7 per cent said it was a Jewish plot, while 58 per cent did not know.”

Meanwhile the Guardian’s headline reads: “British Muslims have separatist tendencies.”

David Goodhart, co-author of the report, says: “British Muslims as a whole continue to live somewhat more separately than other large ethno-cultural minorities – in neighbourhoods and schools, in terms of women not working, and in terms of attitudes and religiosity.”

Of course, if one one creativity, then different perspectives are mandatory.

S’pore and the PAP can’t have its cake and eat it.

S-Reits are still a hold

In Banks, Property, Reits on 02/12/2016 at 1:12 pm

for me.

After all UBS tells its private banking clients “[Reit] yield spreads to government bonds in Singapore (450 basis points) and Hong Kong (400bp) compare favourably with the global average of 306bp . . . And we expect the continued demand for yield to drive this spread lower, supporting Reit prices.”

But then didn’t DBS tell its private banking clients to buy Swiber bonds?

But then UBS is no DBS.

Terrexgate: How Mindef’s tits got caught in the wringer?

In Uncategorized on 02/12/2016 at 4:37 am

The HK version of events as reported by BBC seems to imply that the customes officers were surprised by what they found because the vehicles were not supposed to have entered HK because no approval had been sought or given to enter HK. According to the BBC “strategic goods” must be licensed for transshipment .

Customs officers at the Kwai Chung container terminal became suspicious when they saw the shapes of the vehicles under tarpaulin in an open-top container, a Hong Kong government source told the South China Morning Post newspaper.

Hong Kong’s regulations stipulate that licenses are required for the transhipment of strategic commodities. Customs officers said they seized a total of 12 containers. Bomb disposal officers were called to the scene, but found no explosives.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-38101345


“Sources said the shipment was impounded by local customs as the shipping company had failed to provide the required permits for bringing the military vehicles to Hong Kong.
Under Hong Kong’s Import and Export Ordinance, a licence is required for the import, export, re-export or transshipment of strategic commodities. The maximum penalty for failing to obtain a licence is an unlimited fine and seven years’ imprisonment.”

FB post by Toh Han Shih last night. He’s a ex-BT reporter working in HK for SCMP.

———————————

The response of APL (once part of NOL) is interesting: “APL is committed to ensuring cargo security as well as full compliance with all regulatory and trade requirements in its conduct of business.”

It’s commited to  “full compliance with all regulatory and trade requirements in its conduct of business”, not that it did everything required by law.

S’pore has been vocal that this kind of transshipment has been done before.

So maybe our ministers and scholars were on auto-pilot and didn’t realise that these vehicles are now considered “strategic”*? Too busy looking at their monthly CPF statements and bank statements?

And neither did APL where senior and middle mgt is still full of true-blue S’poreans who operate on auto-pilot. Afraid of losing their cushy jobs now that APL run by industry professionals not scholars and ex-SAF or ex-Temasek amateurs?


Someone on Facebook posted this interesting analysis

*It is unlikely that a major shipping line like APL slips up on paperwork. All container vessels would send off their manifest (electronically) declaring all cargo …. including any dangerous cargo … to its next port of call. As the sailing time from Kaohsiung (assuming the cargo was uploaded there) to Hong Kong is about 24 hours only or one day, this means the manifest may have been forwarded well ahead for Hong Kong Port Terminal authorities to KNOW what is coming as they would have to plan how to unload (and load) containers on to the ship. It is ALL about China telling Singapore “I am the Big Brother and don’t fool around with me or I can make your life uncomfortable!” The Chinese Government knew well ahead of time what was on the ship and they made it a point to make a case out of it.

 

Goldman Sachs administration not Trump administration

In Uncategorized on 01/12/2016 at 4:59 pm

Gary Cohn considered for Trump administration. President-elect Donald J. Trump is considering the president of Goldman Sachs for a senior administration job, possibly as director of the Office of Management and Budget, several sources close to the situation said. – Politico

NYT Dealbook

If this comes about, there’ll be three ex-Goldman Sachs partners in senior posts: his chief strategist and his nominated Treasury Sec were Goldie partners.

And for the record, his proposed Commerce Sec was the CEO of Rithschild Inc, the US arm of the Rothschilds.

Trump doesn’t bear grudges

In Uncategorized on 01/12/2016 at 1:51 pm

Donald Trump could soon be in a position of having sued his own treasury secretary. Mr Mnuchin’s Dune Capital was among a group of lenders, including Deutsche Bank, who provided loans for the construction of a Trump skyscraper in Chicago. Mr Trump sued the lenders during the credit crunch to extend the terms of the loan. The suit was later settled. Mr Trump and Mr Mnuchin have also previously worked together on a hotel in Hawaii.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38012410

If this true, why are we still training in Taiwan?

In China on 01/12/2016 at 4:31 am

Singapore … has gradually reduced the number of Starlight personnel sent to Taiwan for training in recent years to as few as 3,000, but there are still at least three military bases in Taiwan for use by the project.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2050097/singapores-refusal-halt-military-ties-taiwan-prompted

At one time, in any given year 20,000 S’poreans were training in Taiwan.

——————————————

Starlight Project dates back to early 1974, when LKY signed a secret deal with his Taiwanese counterpart Chiang Ching-kuo during a visit to Taiwan.

Based on that confidential agreement, Singapore has sent nearly 20,000 troops to Taiwan for training on a yearly basis. Joint military exercises went on even after Singapore shifted its formal diplomatic relations from Taiwan to mainland China in 1990.

SCMP

———————————————

The SCMP also says that according to Macau-based military expert Antony Wong Dong,
Beijing had years ago tried to convince Singapore to replace its military training bases in Taiwan with alternatives on Hainan.

“The mainland side promised to provide the Singaporean military with a closer and larger place in Hainan [than that used in Taiwan] for military exercises, but Singapore rejected the offer,” Wong said.

Macau-based military expert Antony Wong Dong says S’pore rejected the offer because of strong opposition from the US. The US was (and is) concerned because US military secrets could be leaked because S’pore uses American weapon systems.

If only 3,000 are sent to Taiwan a tear, why continue especially as we are now training in Oz in a big way. We are expansing the facilities there.

Auto-pilot at work isit, while millionaire minsters looking at their daily bank statements and monthly CPF statements?