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Archive for 2017|Yearly archive page

Facebook see govt no ak is it?

In Public Administration on 31/12/2017 at 9:53 am

The details of 263 Facebook users were requested by the Singapore Government between January and June this year, the social media company revealed in a report released on Monday (Dec 18).

The Government made a total of 204 requests for such information, according to the Facebook Transparency Report. Facebook complied with 59 per cent of the requests.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/263-facebook-user-details-requested-by-singapore-government-9513160

The BBC reports

Figures provided by Facebook suggest it handed over data in 85% of requests from US law enforcement and 90% in the UK.

So the S’pore authorities requests were rejected a lot more than requests by the Brits and Americans.

“Why liddat?”, we should be asking. Ang moh tua kee isit? China is sure to take note as Zuckerberg is trying to get the Chinese to allow FB in. I doubt if Chinais impressed that FB rejects so many of our govt’s requests since we and China are one-party states. Related posts Keeping power in a one-party state

But to be fair to the PAPpies, S’pore’s reject rate is the same as that of Germany.

Btw, three cheers for ST for reporting the UK and US numbers alonside that of S’pore’s. I’m sure someone sure kanna call up to lim kopi.

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Uniquely S’porean: Stress is good

In Uncategorized on 30/12/2017 at 1:03 pm

High levels of competitiveness and anxiety make S’poreans successful.

So stop KPKBing Chris Kuan and other anti-PAP types that S’pore’s has the highest rate of depression in Asia according to the World Health Organisation. Feeing depessed? Juz take Prozac or cheer when the govt persecutes locks up another subversive.

Seriously, while competitiveness at school may not yield the best exam results round the world, S’pore’s 

https://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/04/daily-chart-15

one of the exceptions:

Although a handful of places, notably Singapore, display strong test scores despite high levels of competitiveness and anxiety, most countries near the top of the anxiety scale, such as the Dominican Republic, had below-average results on the PISA science assessment.

 

 

Harry’s “real son”

In Uncategorized on 30/12/2017 at 9:13 am

When I read this  and remembered the allegations about Harry complaining, after his resignation from the cabinet, that our PM, his son, was a softie and that DPM Teo would have made a better PM, I couldn’t help but think that Hun Sen (he says he admires LKY) is the kind of son that he was pining for.

Hun Sen, who has been prime minister for 32 years and says he intends to remain in the job for another decade. Not content with securing a ban on the main opposition party, he is now persecuting unions, NGOs and anyone else who criticises the government.

https://www.economist.com/news/asia/21732850-unions-ngos-and-environmental-activists-are-all-feeling-squeeze-cambodia-systematically

Hun Sen is no softie. He carries a hatchet and is not afraid to use it. If he had siblings who behaved like Dr Lee and Lee Hsien Loong, they’d be in prison at the very least.

 

 

Walk the Talk TRE cybernuts, don’t be like Lim Tean

In Uncategorized on 29/12/2017 at 1:37 pm

When TRE used this TRE reader tells off s/o JBJ, analyses TCB’s comments there were, as usual, several complaints that TRE was using too much of my stuff. Some nut posted “stupid TRE moderator who keeps publishing his articles despite many readers’ complaint. Although the mod keeps denying it, they must have agreed on something between them.”

I was reproducing comments by a regular TRE reader who although not insane or bi-polar or autistic is no fan of the PAP. So why not direct their unhappiness about piece at him, not TeamTRE or me?

Seriously does Oxygen and his nutty pals ever wonder if TRE is secretly funded by the PAP? Hence despite the protestations of not having money (its given up asking for help from its readers), TRE still keeps on going?

Here’s my dare to the cybernuts. Raise $10k to fund TRE and I’ll forbid TRE from using my pieces forever and a day. Come on Oxygen, if u are such a great investor putting another 10k into TRE should not be a problem. Right?

Whatever, don’t be like Lim Tean. It’s almost the end of December but still no picture, no sound on his defamation video and jobs rally: Both were promised by end November by Lim Tean himself.- Remind Lim Tean, it’s December.

And will he and Phillip Ang deliver on class law suit: CPF class action: Phillip Ang’s “reply’ to fellow cybernut?

Once the required resources, not just financially, are in place and before the suit is launched, there will be more updates. Action speaks louder than words.

Phillip Ang

Err what if the law suit never materialises?

Got refund or not?

Rumour has it that Phillip Ang has cancelled the Ferrari he ordered when anticipating the inflow of funds into the POSB account.

Locals who get paid in cryptocurrency

In Uncategorized on 29/12/2017 at 4:41 am

And it’s not in bitcoin.

Ownself pay ownself ownself’s cryptocurrency. Wonder how company calculates CPF rates payable? And how is reporting of salaries is done to Inland Revenue?

From a BBC report (http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42435838)

At the Singapore based blockchain company TenX, staff usually have their base salary paid into their bank accounts, but their monthly bonus is paid in Pay tokens, the firm’s own digital currency.

The tokens, which can be traded on digital exchanges, were issued in an initial coin offering in June, allowing the company to raise $80m.

TenX co-founder and president, Julian Hosp, said it did not make sense to buy Bitcoin to pay bonuses when the company already had its own currency.

Paying bonuses in tokens can incentivises staff as Pay’s value should rise in line with the company’s success, Mr Hosp added.

TenX community manager, Mike Ferrer, has gone further and opted to receive part of his base salary in Pay, on top of his monthly bonus.

The 32-year-old has been investing in cryptocurrencies for some time, and accepts that there are huge risks, but says he only invests what he can afford.

“I visualise myself throwing in a pile of money and watching it burn in front of me, and if I can’t feel comfortable with that then I know I’ve over invested”, Mr Ferrer said.

Cybernuts really that stupid and cheapskate

In Uncategorized on 28/12/2017 at 12:16 pm

This describes cybernuts to the T:

Social media gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community […] but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It’s the invasion of the idiots.

Umberto Eco

Who he?

Through Eco’s academic writings and his bestselling books, he became a respected intellectual voice both in Italy and abroad.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/feb/20/italian-author-umberto-eco-dies-aged-84

Don’t believe me when I describe the cybernuts? Well read the comments made by TOC readers collated by TOC https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2017/12/27/cnas-piece-on-hawker-food-fails-to-see-the-bigger-picture-comments-netizens/.

And remember that TOC cybernuts are not the dumbest of the dumb. TRE cybernuts are the dumbest of the dumb.

 

Well-travelled author’s historical novel about S’pore

In Uncategorized on 28/12/2017 at 5:18 am

When I came across this

ALL ABOUT AUTHORS: Did you know that author Meira Chand lived in England, Japan and India, before permanently relocating to Singapore?
Her books, Sacred Waters, details a journey of a different sort, as protagonists Sita and Amita explore the road to self-discovery in the face of societal and communal hurdles.

LocalBooks.sg

I had to check her out. If u into pretentious BS read

http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/a-strangely-mixed-bag-of-possibilities

Whatever she wrote a historical novel about S’pore http://www.meirachand.com/books/a-different-sky/. It covers the immediate pre-World War II period, the Japanese Occupation and the immediate post war period. If it reads like the way she comes across in the ST interview, not worth opening it then even if ang mohs are said to love it. But then she comes across as one of those ang moh tua kee types.

Btw, she’s on the National Arts Council the body that withdraws grants (sometimes even demanding money back) on books deemed not to do talk about the “right” constructive, nation-building things: Quiet activist looking at his bank statement and smiling.

Ho Ching doesn’t rest

In Banks, Indonesia, Temasek on 27/12/2017 at 8:47 am

PM and wife may be on hols but MUFG and Temasek have just done a deal that hopefully (Indon regulators willing) would see the Japanese bank acquiring a 73.8% stake in Bank Danamon from its largest existing shareholder, Temasek (Temasek wants to be rid of it’s stake after the Indons blocked a merger with DBS Indonesia.)

the Japanese bank will buy 19.9 percent from Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings [TEM.UL] for 15.875 trillion rupiah ($1.17 billion), a deal it expected to close within a few days.

MUFG will then raise the stake to 40 percent, pending regulatory approval, between the second and third quarters of 2018.

MUFG said after that, it sought approval to hold at least 73.8 percent in Indonesia’s fifth-largest bank by offering to buy out other shareholders in addition to acquiring shares from Temasek.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mufg-m-a-bank-danamon/japans-mufg-seeks-majority-of-indonesias-bank-danamon-idUSKBN1EK11H

Trying to take profit from bitcoin

In Financial competency on 27/12/2017 at 4:19 am

BBC reporter’s experience of converting it into cash

I have been selling some of the Bitcoin I bought 18 months ago, paying about £60.

In theory that is simple enough and indeed I have sold £500 worth for a small fee. But actually getting that cash into my sterling bank account is far from seamless – so far I am a week in to what promises to be a two-week process.

Hardly the frictionless finance that was promised by Bitcoin’s advocates and if the rush to sell gathers pace there is a good chance that the system seizes up completely.

S’pore abandoned, Bank of S’pore bust

In Uncategorized on 26/12/2017 at 1:42 pm

Not the dreams of Oxygen and his fellow cybernuts come true, but reality. Not S’pore in a parallel universe but in S’pore, Michigan.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore,_Michigan

This S’pore did not have the PAP running it. Anti_PAP types ran it.

How PAP can make S’poreans happy without “raiding” the reserves

In Uncategorized on 26/12/2017 at 5:35 am

On a scale of one to 10, the doubling of someone’s pay saw their happiness rise by less than 0.2. The researchers said this was down to people caring more about how their incomes compared to other people’s than how it affected them.

However, having a partner saw happiness rise by 0.6 – losing a partner by separation or death saw the same impact downwards.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-38285223

The PAP can focus on mental health and making sure everyone has a partner. Err on second tots forget about the partner bit.

Good mental health and having a partner make people happier than doubling their income, a new study has found.

The research by the London School of Economics looked at responses from 200,000 people on how different factors impacted their wellbeing.

Suffering from depression or anxiety hit individuals hardest, whilst being in a relationship saw the biggest increase in their happiness.

The study’s co-author said the findings demanded “a new role from the state”.

The study was based on several international surveys from around the world.

 

Sounds like Singapore?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 25/12/2017 at 4:54 am

An anti-PAP talking?

[G]overnment has maintained a façade. It proclaimed democracy and concern for social rights. In reality, it eroded civil, political and economic freedom.

Nope some analyst describing Venezuela

 

Trump and Republicans take a leaf from PAP’s playbook

In Uncategorized on 24/12/2017 at 5:16 am

Remember the howls of protest from the ang moh tua kees and the other anti-PAP types when the PAP administration reduced state spending on wards that had Oppo MPs? Unfair they screamed.

Seems that ang mohs in the shape of Trump and the Republicans have done something similar. Their Christmas present tax cut clearly favoured loyal red (Republican-voting) states over Democratic blue ones.

Deductions of state and local income and property taxes, known as SALT, when calculating liability for Federal taxes is now limited to US$10,000. The provision hits hardest Democratic-leaning states with high incomes, high property values, and high taxes, like New York, New Jersey, and California.

FT reports that a New York based banker earning US$5m a year, will be paying an extra US$400-500,000 in taxes.

 

 

So unlike ministers

In Banks, Uncategorized on 23/12/2017 at 1:43 pm

The zero bonus, or doughnut, could be looming for bond traders as bank revenue from fixed-income sales and trading units has been falling FT reports.

NYT is grinchy over Christmas present

In Media on 23/12/2017 at 4:35 am

Doesn’t like Trump’s Christmas present

“Well, we have a tremendous spirit for the tax reform,” Trump said. “This is going to be one of the great Christmas gifts to middle-income people.”

Die die must always say bad things about Trump or his works. But then FT reports that a New York based banker earning US$5m a year, will be paying an extra US$400-500000 in taxes

From NYT’s Dealbook

A merry “Taxmas,” but who’ll get the bigger present?
In a surely coincidental series of announcements, several companies — including AT&T, Comcast, Wells Fargo, Fifth Third Bancorp and Boeing — announced that they were giving their employees bonuses or higher wages, and increasing investment in light of the passage of the Republican tax bill.
An aim of the tax bill is to help American companies, in the belief that they will in turn bolster the economy as a whole. (Justin Fox of Bloomberg View writes that AT&T’s bonuses aren’t a gimmick, but a natural consequence of a corporate tax cut.)
But skeptics have asserted that those companies really just want to get on President Trump’s good side. (AT&T, for example, is seeking approval for its Time Warner deal despite a lawsuit by the Justice Department. At a news conference, Mr. Trump praised AT&T’s bonus and capital investment plans.)
Some back-of-the-envelope calculations, courtesy of Binyamin Appelbaum of the NYT:
A bigger question: How long can any economic stimulus from the tax bill last?
From Patricia Cohen of the NYT:
“The really hard question a year from now is going to be is how much of the miniboom we see is just an acceleration of stuff that was going to happen anyway or additional investment that is really going to spur the economy,” said Mihir A. Desai, a professor of finance at Harvard Business School.

And finally

The tax overhaul doesn’t change the fact that automation will still cause job losses, and that giants like Apple and Alphabet will still pay lower taxes than nascent rivals, Farhad Manjoo writes in his latest State of the Art. (NYT)

Temasek invests in Magic

In Temasek on 22/12/2017 at 1:10 pm

Cybernuts beware. PAP could use Magic tool in next GE to project light directly into voters’ eyes to trick their brains into perceiving virtual objects as part of their surrounding environment.

Magic Leap has unveiled the first version of its augmented reality system to be made public.

The Magic Leap One Creator Edition is designed to project light directly into users’ eyes to trick their brains into perceiving virtual objects as part of their surrounding environment.

It consists of a large pair of goggles that wrap around the head, a body-worn computer and a wireless controller.

The firm has raised close to $1.9bn (£1.4bn) from investors.

The Florida-based company’s biggest backers include Google, the Chinese tech giant Alibaba and the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42430003

S’poreans cage birds mindlessly

In Environment on 22/12/2017 at 6:23 am

Just like PAP cage S’poreans mindlessly.

A FB friend posted this pix of caged merboks. These birds are caught and caged because they make a lovely cooing sound.

I live in a private housing estate very near (10 minutes slow walk) where this pix was taken. I can hear the wild merboks cooing for free from my veranda. And in my walks in the HDB estate where this pix was taken, I have heard these birds sing from the trees, not the cages.

Once upon a time, these birds were rarely seen or heard in the area and I still remember the excitement 30 years ago when they were first spotted in my estate.

Thanks to the nature-loving PAP govt, these birds are now commonplace in the area. Yet people still want to cage them. They like PAP isit? Human Rights Watch talks cock about S’pore?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRE reader tells off s/o JBJ, analyses TCB’s comments

In Political governance on 21/12/2017 at 8:27 am

When TRE used a piece by s/o JBJ ranting about Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s comments etc, he was rebuked by a TRE reader

opposition dude:
December 19, 2017 at 7:36 pm (Quote)
Kenneth, kindly do stop talking about your dad at every opportunity. You are sounding like a real sore loser. At the very least carve out your own standing amongst the electorate just like how your dad was seen as a fiery match for Lee Kayu.

He then went on to explain why he disagreed with Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s comments that the fixing of PE 2017 would affect the next general election. He makes some valid points:

With that being said, the electorate will forget about the PE when the next GE comes. This is because PAP has screwed us all over so many times the electorate votes based on the frustration level on the ground at that point in time.

Just compare and contrast the last 2 GEs. The overcrowdedness on the island led to PAP’s lowest vote share, even the PAP admitted it. It wasn’t the raising of GST or lack of freedom of speech or CPF or even high BTO prices, ministers’ pay, lack of accountability or any of the issues frequently raised here on TRE.

Then you look at 2015. The PAP CLAIMS to have solved all the unhappiness for 2011 but we all know the island is even more crowded than before. But see what gratitude gets you, in this case a 10% increase in votes. Even the PAP says they were stunned because we all know that they didn’t do a proper job on the immigration issue.

Now, if the PE alone can decide PAP’s fate then I would be very surprised. For one thing, I would ask myself why the PAP were not reduced in number when the price of so called public housing made us pay up to a 35 year home loan, why there were still so many of them in parliament when GST was raised from 3% to 7% and why voters did jack when the donkeys’ pay was raised 20% in the 90s.

My take on Dr Tan’s comments: Will Oppo parties step up to the mark and score?

 

Why I’m not writing to IMDA protesting proposed changes

In Political governance, Public Administration on 20/12/2017 at 1:39 pm

Based on comments by FB pals whose judgment I trust, I was to write in giving my objections. In fact I was going to cut and paste and use the text sent by one of them. But because Martyn See put this up on FB, and because I know he misrepresents the facts many-a-time, I’m not going to complain. Too much work researching the facts.

With an enemy like him, the PAP doesn’t need friends.

 

Good economy = Unhappy hols, cybernuts

In Uncategorized on 20/12/2017 at 5:09 am

In the run up and during the festive season in 2015 and 2016, the cybernuts were having a great time sneering and jeering at the 70%  as they smoked weed, drank cheap arak and ate the scraps thrown from millionaire ministers’ tables.

They were so happy because conomic growth was only 1.5% and 2% in these yrs,

They were so happy that fellow S’poreans were suffering, forgetting that the anti-PAP voters also suffered. They were forecasting the end of PAP rule.

Well this yr is different.

When TRE republished Why S’pore’s growth is so gd this year venom and bile and curses came my way (Don’t they know that their hatred, makes me strong?) even though I pointed out that the economy is strong because of an uptick in global trade, and not because of the PAP’s actions.

Chief cybernut, Oxygen (who is so nutty that he donated $10,000 to TRE in 2015) is now saying the world economy will tank next yr and that S’poreans will suffer, quoting analysts.

Well, he’ll be banging his balls because

‘Stars are aligned’ for Singapore stocks to go higher in 2018: Analysts

The likes of banking heavyweights, developers and property trusts will continue to lead the charge next year for Singapore’s stock market, which could see gains of as much as 11 per cent, according to market analysts.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/stars-are-aligned-for-singapore-stocks-to-go-higher-in-2018-9501814

Whatever global equity markets are on a roll.

So as I drink and eat all the way thru to Chinese New Year, my enjoyment will be tripled as I think of how unhappy Oxygen and the other cybernuts are that the revolution against the PAP has again had to be postponed. Reality bites again.

The global economy may not grow as fast as predicted because China may experience slower growth than expected. If that happens stock markets will be in trouble as they seem to be priced to perfection.

But whatever, S’pore’s GDP growth will not collapse to 2%, let alone go into a recession. We may not have a great yr, but it ain’t going to a really bad yr.

So Merry Christmas and Yum Seng.

May the Prosperity Gods be with u.

 

PAPpies do imitate the Japs

In Infrastructure, Japan on 19/12/2017 at 6:37 am

Don’t ever say our leaders don’t imitate the Japanese even if I said they didn’t

— Learn from Japanese — set example leh elites

— The Japanese story PM didn’t tell us

The following extracts could be Japanese PM Abe saying, “It’s not a failure. We’re working hard.”*

Improving rail reliability is a “multi-year war”, said Mr Khaw, who added that calling for a leadership change with each disappointment would be a “sure strategy for failure”

SMRT: The cock that Khaw talks

And

“Much progress has been made with the inculcation of a positive work culture, but there remain some deep-seated cultural issues within the company that has needed more time than anticipated to root out.”

Where’s Khaw? (cont’d) 

Meanwhile following the traditional Japanese bowing

Chairman of SMRT Corporation and SMRT Trains Seah Moon Ming bowed and apologised to the public for the underground flooding incident along the North-South Line (NSL) on Oct 7-8 that resulted in a 20-hour disruption.


*Responding to a complaint by mothers that their children did not places in child care centres, the Japanese PM insisted that 500,000 more nursery places would be available by the end of 2017. “It’s not a failure. We’re working hard,” Abe said, the BBC reported in 2016.

Noble House rebuilding

In Accounting, China, Commodities on 18/12/2017 at 2:58 pm

Commodities trader Noble Group Ltd is negotiating a debt restructuring program with its creditors to stay out of an insolvency process and expects to receive proposals soon, its chairman said on Friday.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-noble-grp-debt/noble-group-locked-in-talks-with-creditors-to-restructure-debt-idUSKBN1E9180

What is interesting is that FT reports that the creditors may swap their debts for equity. Should that happen present shareholders including sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp, one of its its biggest shareholders, will be heavilt diluted.

Could be an interesting play then for the brave as there’ll be leverage and the new shareholders will have an incentive to keep the credit lines open. I’m looking at what assets remain.

The Noble House is dead. Long live the Noble House.

 

Will Oppo parties step up to the mark and score?

In Political governance on 18/12/2017 at 9:31 am

Or dither and miss another open goal?

Singapore’s first reserved presidential election will weigh on the minds of voters when the next general election comes around, said former presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock yesterday.

ST

Well he would say that wouldn’t he?

But even the constructive, nation-building ST said

President Halimah Yacob’s walkover victory prompted a great outpouring of anger and frustration …

——————————

Yahoo reported

Tan predicted that lingering resentment by voters over their inability to choose a president at the ballot box would have an effect on the next General Election. Nevertheless, Singaporeans need more convincing of how the alternative parties can address the bread and butter issues of the day that affect them.

He spoke of the “intra-personal conflict” of the average Singaporean voter. On the one hand, the voter is concerned about the effect on his personal interests, such as health and housing, should he plump for an alternative party. “Because he’s worried, he has never experienced any other government, so he’s not sure if he can trust you or not…so he has exercised his vote in the past elections to preserve those needs.”

On the other hand, the voter “lost an important right in the PE: that is, the opportunity to exercise his vote in the presidential election…this loss is weighing on his mind and will affect his vote in the next election.”

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/prepared-mentor-aspiring-politicians-tan-cheng-bock-165728152.html

————————————–

My view is that Hali’s elevation will only affect the next election if Oppo parties use the issue effectively. Based on their track record, this is unlikely to happen because they are unlikely to use it, it all all. The 2015 election shows what I mean.


Oppo fought wrong battle in 2015

Oppo fought 2015 using 2011 tactics, something I predicted would happen in 2012 and 2014

I wrote this in 2012

The point I’m trying to make is that the governing PAP seems to have ditched the sacred cow (no longer a Hard Truth) of being mean to S’poreans despite extracting money from S’poreans via all kinds of levies and imposts: it is now willing to spend S’poreans’ money on making things better for S’poreans.

If it spends our money on S’poreans, the Opposition should rethink their assumptions and premises, and the messages they want to send to voters. If not, come the next GE (which could be held before 2016, if the PAP senses that S’poreans have been won over by the spending), the Opposition will be repenting, not the PAP. The ground may be shifting.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/time-for-opposition-to-rethink-assumptions-lest-it-repents-after-next-ge/

And in 2014 I wrote

One could argue that its recent changes in its public housing and tpt policies and its seeming change in FT PMET policy is geared at winning the “Calm Persistent” voters over and moving “Hard Pressed Anxiety” voters into the “Calm Persistent” group; and the “Calm Persistent” voters into the “Optimistic Contentment’ category. It’s also trying to show S’poreans that the gd life can still be found here.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/which-voter-are-you/

——————————————

As I’ve always said about the Oppo, “With enemies like these, PAP doesn’t need friends”. And with cybernuts thrown into the mix, PAP hegemony is assured for another 20 yrs.

But hope springs eternal in my ass that the Oppo can do get their act together. Take up Dr Tan’s offer

Asked by Yahoo News Singapore if he saw himself as a unifying figurehead for the opposition and if he was prepared to mentor say, Workers’ Party candidates, Tan responded at length, “I’m prepared to mentor any political group, even PAP chaps can come to me, I’ll still mentor them. Because the objective must be very clear: you want to train people who will be good MPs. MPs who will think of Singapore first.”

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/prepared-mentor-aspiring-politicians-tan-cheng-bock-165728152.html

HNA: From hero to zero

In China on 17/12/2017 at 5:50 pm

But China Inc helps out prodigal son.

From NYT Dealbook

A beleaguered Chinese conglomerate soldiers on
Goldman Sachs and Bank of America won’t work with it anymore. Investors are starting to feel spooked. But HNA is still doing deals — with help from its country’s lenders.
Several Chinese lenders have indicated that they could extend HNA’s credit lines despite concerns that the conglomerate has spent too much on foreign acquisitions, at least according to HNA.

Human Rights Watch talks cock about S’pore?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 17/12/2017 at 10:56 am

Human Rights Watch’s report  on S’pore is partly based on interviews with civil society activists, journalists, lawyers, academics and opposition politicians, many of whom declined to be identified “due to fear of possible repercussions,” according to Human Rights Watch.

S’pore is called “a repressive place”:

“Beneath the slick surface of gleaming high-rises, however, it is a repressive place, where the Government severely restricts what can be said, published, performed, read, or watched,” the 133-page report said.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/human-rights-watch-calls-on-singapore-to-relax-free-speech–assembly-laws-9494568

Yes,

the Government severely restricts what can be said, published, performed, read, or watched.

I personally don’t feel repressed because I have access to whatever I want to read, watch or listen. I can also say publicly what I want to say publicly.

(For the record, I’ve lived in London, Sydney, Melbourne and Manila for longish spells.)

And I don’t think many S’poreans feel repressed. The cybernuts from TRELand, TOC, Chris K’s FB wall etc are free to spew their venom and hatred of the PAP unmolested.

S’poreans are unhappy “yes” but repressed “no”.

What do u think?

Do these rental flat residents know it’s Christmas?

In Uncategorized on 16/12/2017 at 5:27 pm

It’s the time of the yr to be jolly as but ex-NMP JJ posted not everyone can afford to be jolly

The corridors are long and narrow. Quite often, our knocks were responded to quite slowly. Some of the residents are advanced in age and not so quick with theirmovements any more. Chai Chee is an old estate and some have stayed here for decades. Some old time residents reminded us of how they have moved across various constituencies before now settling in Marine Parade GRC, without of course moving out of their actual homes.

House visits to rental flats are sobering reminders of life. Often, we meet with a divorcee, an aged single, an amputee, someone chronically ill, a retrenched person unable to get a steady job and more. Each have a story to tell. Some have financial challenges but some are more blessed than others. One told us proudly how her son calls to remind her of her medicine daily and drops by every so often to make sure her medicine box is stocked and in good order. She married young and has 12 great grandchildren and is still in the best of health. Another couple tell us how their children will take turns to come and take them out.

Some are just glad we came for extra pairs of ears to listen to their stories. It is good too that we are not the only ones dropping by. In our previous recent visit to this block, a sizeable group of volunteers from a welfare group were scattered over various homes in the block chatting with the folks who were just happy to have visitors. Happy to do our part to see how we can be of help. Every little bit may mean a lot to these folks.

A cat seemed to have taken a liking for us. She followed us to every home we visited from the fourth floor right until we reached the ground floor, finally leaving when I got into my car. Perhaps she had a story to tell us too.

 

Don’t only blame PAP for low productivity

In Economy, Internet on 16/12/2017 at 6:10 am

Official productivity figures account for the cash value of output produced, divided by the number of workers. So the cybernuts and anti-PAP thinkers (Yes there are some) say that given the PAP’s love of FTs, shipping them in by the cattle truck load, the FT flood results in low productivity.

Maybe that’s part of the reason.

But maybe free lunches account for a large part of the problem of low productivity?

[N]owadays a lot of the valued output people like is offered free to users, delivered cheaply by a low-cost technology.

People use Google services, buy a great deal on Amazon and download entertainment. These free or low-cost services help depress reported productivity.

FT Columnist

 

Our Asean neighbours on this list of shame

In Environment on 15/12/2017 at 5:18 pm

 Waste comparisons by country

Wonder where we are on this list if calculations were done on a per capita basis?

StanChart event organiser economical with the truth

In Uncategorized on 15/12/2017 at 4:51 am

The name of the StanChart marathon organiser should be Idiotman Asia.

In response to a letter (see StanChart event endangered lives)Ironman Asia, organiser of the recent StanChart marathon Ironman Asia said, “We offer our sincere apologies to those affected by the closures for the marathon.”

This was nothing but a fake apology because it went on to say

there was an agreement to facilitate access to Raffles Hospital “for all emergency vehicles, from all directions, including through closed roads”.

But it never challenged the allegation in the letter that ambulances had faced “significant delays” while going in and out of the hospital that day, due to the roads being closed between 1am and 8am.

Worse it said, “Access to Raffles Hospital on the morning of the marathon was facilitated through Rochor Rd reverse flow towards North Bridge Road. Access to the hospital was available to all vehicles.”

But the letter alleged that non-emergency patients and doctors trying to reach the hospital had to walk to the hospital. Even the constructive, nation-building media reported

Raffles Hospital doctors told TODAY that non-emergency patients and doctors trying to reach the hospital were inconvenienced as a result of the roadblocks, with some doctors having to park their cars in other buildings in the vicinity.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=39622&action=edit

So it is reasonable to conclude it was lying or innocently misrepresenting the facts when it said “Access to Raffles Hospital on the morning of the marathon was facilitated through Rochor Rd reverse flow towards North Bridge Road. Access to the hospital was available to all vehicles.”

Next yr StanChart would be wise to employ an organiser with more brains that brawn.

He M’sian born Chinese leh

In Malaysia on 14/12/2017 at 4:25 pm

Why would anyone think Hock Tan is honest? Ask the Bumis and S’poreans about the trustworthiness of M’sian-born Chinese.

Is Broadcom making a jobs promise it can’t fulfill?
So argues Andrew in his latest column, citing the $1.5 billion in “synergies” — read, “cost-saving layoffs” — that the analysts think the chip maker could reap by buying Qualcomm. Based on Broadcom’s moves with previous takeovers, that could translate into about 5,400 jobs being cut.
That runs contrary to what Broadcom’s C.E.O., Hock Tan, told President Trump at a news conference last month announcing that the company would move its corporate headquarters to the U.S. from Singapore.
More from Andrew’s column:
Mr. Tan of Broadcom has boasted that he plans to spend $3 billion “in research and engineering.” Mr. Tan has been given high marks for managing the portfolio of Broadcom assets effectively, but he has never been known for industry-changing innovations.

NYI Dealbook

StanChart event endangered lives

In Public Administration on 14/12/2017 at 4:53 am

What were the people behind a StanChart event thinking? If SMRT can get away with doing bad things to S’poreans, so can StanChart isit? After all Temasek owns shares in both.

More likely though they tot they could get away with doing bad things to S’poreans because Sport S’pore a govt organisation was another sponsor of the event?

Cluelessness of ang moh tua kees

In Uncategorized on 13/12/2017 at 4:13 pm

Below is a long rant from a bunch of ang moh tua kees. They quote Cesar A. Cruz (a professional Harvard trouble maker), “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable”.

Well in S’pore as in many parts of the West, the attitude of the public, as distinct from the chattering classes that the ang moh tua kees mindlessly ape, seems to be “Art should comfort the comfortable and ignore the disturbed”. A view incidentally I agree with.

My take on Seelan Palsy’s arrest: Seelan Palay is really very happy to be arrested a second time. He’s been trying for years. But the anti-PAP mob must mindlessly KPKB even when police do one of them a big favour.

SHRINKING SPACE FOR ARTISTIC AND CIVIC EXPRESSION IN SINGAPORE
– STATEMENT ON THE ARREST OF ARTIST, SEELAN PALAY

On 1 Oct 2017, Sunday, Artist Seelan Palay was arrested outside Parliament House, halfway through his performance about how a free mind cannot be constrained by space. The piece had begun at Hong Lim Park in the rain, and then had continued at City Hall (now the National Gallery of Singapore) and thereafter Parliament House. At Parliament House, he was first approached and questioned by a number of police officers, and then was subsequently arrested. As such, he was unable to continue the rest of the performance. He has since been released on police bail, but is subjected to severe restrictions, including restrictions on travels.

In response to his arrest, Function 8 and Community Action Network (CAN) released a statement on 4 Oct 2017, Wednesday. In their statement, they highlighted concerns about Seelan’s arrest, as well as called for the release of Seelan from all restrictions as well as the ceasing of harassment and intimidation of activists, and Arts Engage would like to echo these sentiments.

Seelan’s arrest is troubling as an extreme example of police action, yet not entirely surprising given Singapore’s long and enduring history of warnings and censorship of artists and artworks by the government. For example, just earlier this year, two works under the M1 Fringe Festival were denied ratings by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) – effectively preventing them from being watched as they were originally conceived by the artists (for the Arts Engage statement on this, please refer to: https://sites.google.com/…/artse…/censorship—rating-denied).

However, when these actions against artists are viewed in context of society as a whole, there appears a dangerous trend of shrinking space for artistic and civil expression in Singapore:
– Earlier this year, on 3 June 2017, Saturday, there was a brief silent demonstration on the MRT along the North-South line. Specifically, a number of activists held up the book ‘1987 Singapore’s Marxist Conspiracy, 30 Years On’ while wearing blindfolds. Media reported the demonstration as a protest against the 1987 detentions under the Internal Security Act, and shortly after, it was also reported that a police investigation was launched. However, no clear details were released to the public.
– In yet another instance, licensed busker Roy Payamal was handcuffed and arrested in front of Takashimaya on 11 March 2017, Saturday, for apparently speaking to the police in a loud voice while they were checking his busking license. Roy later clarified there was a misunderstanding, but to date he is still on bail as opposed to being a free citizen.

Clearly, there seems to be a signal to society at large that there is no space for any challenge to authority, regardless of an openness to engage or being of a peaceable nature. Arts Engage is thus concerned that this will result in greater reluctance amongst Singaporeans to speak out in the face of injustice or even just to stand up for their own rights. In the long term, this will negatively impact the growth and maturity of civic discourse in Singapore.

As such, we would like to urge the police and the government to keep an open attitude towards artists and citizens. As Cesar A. Cruz famously said, “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable”. The actions of activists and artists may cause discomfort for some in the society, but equally, there will be others who are comforted by it. In order for society to grow and mature, we all need to learn to be able to engage with issues and people we disagree with, not merely have authorities step in to ‘solve’ the problem by way of criminal persecution or censorship. As a move towards building a society that is respectful of diversity and dissent, Arts Engage would like to call on the government to lead by example, to take time and effort at the very least to engage with artists, activists, and public alike.

In an increasingly divided world, it is important to commit to having authentic conversations at both ground level and at policy level, so as to practice the inclusion of pluralistic points of view and ways of living. In doing so, the terms and platforms of engagement should not always be determined by the government. We must welcome the diverse and creative actions initiated by citizens as well, and honour their fundamental right to the freedom of expression. Not everyone has access to the same platforms to air their concerns, opinions and aspirations, and a healthy society should encourage the various ways that people choose to make their voice heard. Ultimately, embracing different articulations – whether artistic or not, whether political or not – of citizen’s sentiments is crucial to a functional democracy.

Arts Engage

Amos makes no promises about molesting landlord’s kids

In Uncategorized on 13/12/2017 at 11:05 am

Given his views on sex with children and child pornography, it’s strange that he’s not willing to giving assurances that his potential landlord’s kids are safe from his predations. This is doubly so given that he lost his previous accommodation because he was thought to be a clear and present danger to the children living in the shelter he was in: Will Roy, Meng Seng and s/o JBJ help Amos now?

And it’s so funny that he’s so demanding in what he wants in return for US$400 a month in rent especially in his preferred states of Califonia and New York

Amos Yee put this on FB

Super important message, I really need help:

If you’ve been following my Youtube channel you would know I’ve been kicked out of the house I had in Illinois for expressing controversial opinion #85. I need a new place to stay as soon as possible so if anyone in America can has a place to offer please contact me at amosyee@gmail.com. I am willing to pay $0-400 a month for that place (apparently I do make enough-ish on Youtube lol)

Requirements:

Whoever who owns the house be absolutely fine with me voicing controversial opinion #85 (Based on American law, me voicing controversial opinion #85 will not get me arrested or cause any people living with me (even if they’re kids) to receive any harassment in any way shape or form)

You don’t kick me out of the place whenever I voice a political opinion you disagree with (I am a non-violent, pro-free speech, anti-religious, vegan, politically far-left Anarchist/libertarian socialist/anarcho-communist)
Complete privacy – I can’t hear you at all, I can speak at talking volume 24/7, and I can occasionally do shouting noises during the day for some scenes in my videos.

Walking distance (0-5 min walk) from food stores. If you have a bike I can use, then 0-5 min biking distance. Basically, I should be able to eat out without a car (Because I don’t have a driver’s license yet) in 5-10 min.

Blank, non-intrusive walls/backgrounds where I can film my videos in front of which has enough distance between me infront of the background and a spot where I can place a camera on a tripod filming me.

Chairs, tables, Wifi, Fridge, plates + utensils for use, washing machine, dryer + other basic house utilities

When you email me, please provide the place’s state, a general description of the place, how much rent you’re charging me to stay there, the address of the place (if comfortable at that point), the nearest airport to the house + your name and your contact no (if comfortable). I will reply to your email if interested and we’ll skype to confirm details.

I am currently in Minnesota sleeping on a couch owned by modern-day hippies (Yeah it’s a depressing story how I got here, I don’t want to talk about it now). This couch does not fulfill most of the requirements I listed above and is obviously not an ideal place for me to stay long-term. I’ll pick the new place I want based on how much the airplane fare is to get there, if I’m comfortable with the host, the price of the place, how cool the state is (My favorites are California and New York), if the place meets the requirements above etc.

I hope to find a new place as soon as possible so I can continue working on my Youtube videos in peace (And rest assured friends my Youtube channel will cover a wealth of different topics in the future (How horrible Singapore is, religion, SJWs, immigration etc.) and will not be completely devoted to controversial opinion #85). Once again if anyone can provide a place for me do contact me as soon as possible at amosyee@gmail.com so we can skype and confirm details. Thanks alot for your help

Why S’pore’s growth is so gd this year

In Economy, Property, S'pore Inc, Shipping, Temasek on 12/12/2017 at 10:17 am

And next yr’s should be better.

Nothing to do with the PAP administration.

All down to the recovery in global trade.

Since 2010 global trade has, by and large, shown only lacklustre growth. Once expected to grow regularly at 1.5-2 times global gross domestic product, trade has been growing at, or even below, the rate of broader economic output in recent years, prompting some to proclaim the end of an era of “hyperglobalisation”.

This year is expected to be the best in recent history for global trade. The WTO in September upgraded its forecast for world trade growth, predicting it would expand by 3.6 per cent in 2017. That is largely the result of a better global economy. For the first time since the crisis all of the world’s major economies are in relatively rude health.

FT

Don’t overleverage in property

But the recovery in global trade remains far from a boom and there are still plenty of signs of fragility.

FT again

And yes the scholar and SAF general now running SPH screwed up big time when in ran NOL. selling it when the cycle was turning.

Quiet activist looking at his bank statement and smiling

In Uncategorized on 11/12/2017 at 11:10 am

The whacking persecution prosecution of Jovolan Wham (Jolovan Wham: Money talks, BS Walks do-gooders),has the ang moh tua kees, cybernuts, progressives and social activists sullen and despondent despite Christmas being the time to be jolly.

So I tot I’d cheer them up with the story of a quiet activist and progressive who by annoying the PAPpies is laughing all the way to the bank. Better still he double annoys the PAPpies because they know that he’s making money by annoying them

Edmund Wee is a very quiet warrior. Via some of the books he publishes, he walks the walk, not talk the talk, of a progressive S’pore unlike Lim Tean (Remind Lim Tean, it’s December).

Readers of this blog will know that Edmund Wee’s firm had to refund a National Arts Council (NAC) grant Charlie and Edmund, a graphic novel about the Schoolings pls. Note the the ST headline (a month or so ago) “Very few arts projects for which official funding is withdrawn: Baey Yam Keng”.

What readers are unlikely to know is that he’s making serious money from Charlie Chan: the book has sold 24,000+ copies here and 9,000 copies in the US/UK. And is being translated into other languages including Real Chinese (not simplified Chinese).

He shows that there is money to be made from propagating progressive tots here.

What regular readers may not know is that Edmund also published Jeremy Tiang’s “State of Emergency” after the NAC withdrew a grant from the Singaporean author because the content of his book changed from his original proposal, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu.

In a written response to Parliament earlier this year, she said that in Tiang’s case, “the project did not meet the funding requirements mutually agreed upon as the content in the book deviated from the original proposal”. ST

Jeremy Tiang’s “State of Emergency,” which follows a family caught up in the Communist insurgency in Malaysia after World War II, and Singapore’s often brutal crackdown on suspected leftists during the Cold War.

—————————————————

Tiang, an established writer and translator, was initially given an Arts Council grant but had his funding withdrawn after submitting a draft, ostensibly because he had deviated from his original proposal.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Life-Arts/Life/Singapore-s-rebel-bookseller-seeks-new-narrative


Sadly this book’s sales are so-so: the best outcome for locally published books. The usual fate of books (example M Ravi’s Kampong Boy, not by Epigram) is to remain largely unsold.

But Edmund has another winner. Edmund is also behind “The Phantom of Oxley Castle” which sold 800 odd copies (Print run of 2,000) before its launch because of a TOC story that got the anti-PAP mob rushing to buy the book online. And then feeling cheated when TOC had to retract the claim that PM was going to sue the publisher. Read the twists in the plot at https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2017/11/13/tocs-account-on-the-potential-legal-actions-surrounding-the-phantom-of-oxley-castle/

One cybernut even threatened to make a police report against Edmund Wee, saying he cheated said nut and his friends. As though, the police would take the word of TOC, no friend of the police.

But lest Edmund Wee be tot to be anti-PAP, as distinct from having progressive views, he’s also published a kids’ book based on an adult book praising Philip Yeo. Philip Yeo attended the kids’ book launch which also doubled as a charity do.

He’s also published a kids’ book on

How did a boy who was kicked out of school (twice!) and ran away from home end up being the President of Singapore?
Find out in The Runaway Who Became President, taken from our Prominent Singaporeans series

There was once in the US, a black civil rights activist who went into publishing. He became very rich and was accused of selling out. He said something to the effect that his magazines (which targeted a black audience) entertained while educating and mobilising his audience.

While Edmund is not that rich (yet) he’s entertaining, educating and, hopefully, mobilising S’poreans especially the young.

Has Ravi apologised for abusing and hurting a grieving mum?

In Uncategorized on 10/12/2017 at 1:35 pm

(Or Why a Mandatory Treatment Order is the least bad option for M Ravi and society)

I reported here (M Ravi apologises for assaults after pleading guilty) that M Ravi is to be assessed  by an Institute of Mental Health (IMH) psychiatrist as to his suitability for a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO), after he pleaded guilty to several charges.

A TRE reader pointed out

nathan:

If the Mandatory Treatment Order comes to pass then Ravi can be detained in the IMH indefinetly at the mercy of psychiatry review after psychiatry reviews stretching for years until the panel of IMH doctors all agrees that Ravi is ready for release for outpatient treatment. I am sure Ravi is aware of the implication and will resist it best as he can in Court. The MOT is more feared than a normal jail sentence for those familiar with our criminal justice system.

Put it this way, this sounds unfair and really convenient for the PAPpies but consider what Ravi did when he was sick because he refused to take his medicine regularly.


But don’t be too harsh on him for trying to avoid taking his medicine

Common side effects of these medicines include:
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Trembling.
  • Increased thirst and increased need to urinate.
  • Weight gain in the first few months of use.
  • Drowsiness.

M Ravi out on bail, resting

———————————-

Recently, Jovolan Wham was charged among other things for organising a vigil the night and morning before the hanging of Praba. This reminded me of Ravi’s abusive aqnd hurtful behaviour towards Prabai’s mother during that unfortunate time for her and her family. Fortunately our men in blue intervened.

His many cybernut FB fans were delighted that their hero M Ravi behaved like one of them at the vigil:

At about 5:30am, Ravi, who was accompanied by George — his ardent supporter— appeared at the vigil to berate everyone there. Most of the people he confronted tried to bring him away from the grieving family by engaging him and walking away from the vigil.

After some time, he approached Mdm Eswari and told her in Tamil that “she was responsible for her son’s death as she heeded the advice of Mr Choo and the anti-death penalty activists in Singapore.” When those present confronted Ravi to take him away from the family, he held on to Mdm Eswari, insisting that she was his client. He started spewing Tamil vulgarities at the top of his voice to those who argued that he should leave the mother alone and settle whatever problems he had away from the family. He even shouted at George when he tried to restrain him. Ravi was also seen berating journalist and anti-death penalty activist, Kirsten Han.

After being separated from the family, he then proceeded to throw soya bean at a volunteer cameraman after asking him to film the scene. It was around this time that all the plainclothes policemen who were observing the vigil stepped in and restrained Ravi. They managed to keep Ravi far away from the vigil for the rest of the night. For their professionalism and sensitivity, due credit must be given.

Thankfully, at least as far as Praba’s family was concerned, that was the last they saw of Ravi. He continued his rants online.

https://coconuts.co/singapore/features/m-ravi-unforgivable-behaviour-case-executed-malaysian-drug-trafficker/

They must be really proud of him, causing unnecessary pain and suffering to a grieving mother and her family.

They will be even prouder of his abusive behaviour earlier in the day (read article).

Whatever, I’ve been told that he has not apologised to the lady and the family even though he has apologised publicly for assaulting two lawyers. But then he was charged and pleaded guilty to the assaults on the lawyers and may be hoping for a lighter sentence, and the avoidance a of MTO. Praba’s mum and family never made a complaint to the police.

When Ravi’s lawyer said in mitigation that he wasn’t the kind of guy who went round assaulting people, I laughed. He’s worse: he goes round abusing and hurting a grieving mum. And then doesn’t apologise when he comes to his senses.

He may be bi-polar. But he has admitted publicly that he had refused to take his medicine regularly. I know of a lady who is bi-polar. She keeps bi-polarism at bay because she takes her medicine regularly even though the medicine result in her feeling physically ill. She has written about her struggles.

If M Ravi cannot willingly take his medicine regularly, then sadly an MTO is in order both for his own good and the public good, even if the PAPpies benefit by having a human rights warrior narginalised.

Double confirm, S’poreans are cheapskates

In Uncategorized on 10/12/2017 at 6:02 am

for Singapore’s BeLive, the level of virtual spending remains pretty low. Chief executive Mr Tan tells me that over a 90-day period, most users spend $4.

Or as is more likely these are the born-loser cybernuts from TRELand and Chris K’s FB wall (This is becoming the new home of the nuts because Chris K doesn’t ask for money to keep his wall going). Always complaining of Paying and Paying, while other S’poreans get on with life, spending and spending.

Mobile analytics consultancy Appsflyer found that in 2016, the average global user spent $0.50 per app that provided purchasing options. By region, Asian users spent the most, at $0.70. Europeans spent a mere $0.26.

That tendency to spend underpins one part of the way streaming platforms monetise, allowing viewers to pay for virtual tokens that are used as currency on the platform. Viewers send these virtual gifts to a streamer who – once the platform takes a cut – can cash them in.

Still, for Singapore’s BeLive, the level of virtual spending remains pretty low. Chief executive Mr Tan tells me that over a 90-day period, most users spend $4.

But in China, which according to tech research consultancy IDC has a live streaming base of around 300 million, the industry is more professional and top streamers can draw a wage from the pastime.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42007408

 

Hope not failed Jihadist attack near where I live

In Uncategorized on 09/12/2017 at 4:56 pm

I’m concerned that this incident could be an attempt to imitate a London Jihadist attack. I know the location of the florist store and the market. They are nowhere near a road or car park. They are deep in a pedestrian only area. So a skidding car seems out of the question.

Three people were injured after a car crashed into a market in Marine Terrace on Saturday (Dec 9), the police said in statement.

The incident occurred at around 12.30pm involving a car and three pedestrians at Block 50A Marine Terrace.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/3-injured-after-car-crashes-into-market-in-marine-terrace-9484676

In “Pa”‘s long shadow

In Uncategorized on 09/12/2017 at 6:38 am

For most of his adult life James Murdoch has worked for companies controlled by his father. From Hong Kong to London and then New York, he has traversed his family’s global empire, managing vast media businesses such as Sky in the UK and, most recently, 21st Century Fox in the US. Yet he has never quite escaped Rupert Murdoch’s long shadow.

FT

I’m sure this description of James Murdoch reminds S’poreans of someone.

It certainly does for me.

What do you think? Does this description of James Murdoch reminds S’poreans of someone.

Update at 6.42:

The article expects him to go do his own thing soon, breaking away from the family. Something the S’porean that he reminds me of is likely to do in the next few yrs.

Why Jolovan Wham’s vigil singled out?

In Uncategorized on 08/12/2017 at 11:27 am
I understand quiet vigils outside Changi Prison have been “allowed” for a long time. So the police intervention to disrupt* part of the vigil for Prabagaran was surprising; as was the investigation of the vigil, the charge against Jolovan Wham and warning letters issued to the usual suspects present at the vigil: the usual trouble makers like Kirsten Han.
When TRE used Why Jolovan Wham kanna whack? there was a response from a TRE reader that may shed some light on why the police did what they did.
nathan:

The G was feeling the heat and getting nervous with the execution of Singaporean drug trafficker Muhammad Ridzuan Md Ali, 31 who, was executed on Friday (May 19) at Changi Prison. His accomplice was spare the noose while Ridzuan refused to rat on others involved to the CNB. So one get a second chance to live while the other got to die for the same capital offence.

For once, there was an outpouring of collect grief by the Malay community. It was an unprecedented sympathetic huge gathering at Ridzuan funeral as he was buried and lay to rest at the Muslim cemetery captured for all to see beamed live via videos in the Internet that must taken the Government aback.

Not long after this execution it was the turn of a Malaysian drug trafficker Prabagaran to be hanged. Jolovan Wham held an vigil for him. Unfortunately for JW, the G was not in the mood for any activists to play up any unwanted publicity for Prabagaran after what the G had seen of the aftermath of executed Ridzuan.


*Kirsten Han’s FB post

About 15 people, including Prabagaran’s family, are gathered outside Changi Prison for a vigil for Prabagaran, who is scheduled to be hanged at 6am.

We put up photos of Praba and lit tea lights for him at about 11:15pm. At about 11:30pm the police came to tell us that we can’t set up the candles and photos. They asked that we put out the candles and said they had to seize everything according to their police procedure. They filmed and photographed everything – including the people who were present – and took away the candles and photos.

It seems like we’re able to stay.

[UPDATE at 6:40am] People dispersed around 1:15am to get showers/rest/food. We met up again at about 5am. Praba’s family were able to stand by the fence and pray. Thank you to all those who attended the vigil or sent your thoughts and wishes to the family.

 

How Norway’s SWF sees S’pore property

In Property on 08/12/2017 at 7:32 am

Talking about commercial property here, Karsten Kallevig, head of the fund’s property business, might have unwittingly explained why S’poreans vote for the PAP:

the fund had found it harder in Singapore due to “different dynamics” but was persisting there. He added that rents were very volatile in the city state while capital values were more stable. “With pricing and opportunities . . . we have not been able to conclude on anything that for us provides the confidence to start investing there.”

FT report

He is saying, he can’t get in at what he considers to be a gd entry price, yield-wise. Global investors especially SWFs look for relatively attractive yields when investing in commercial property.

What this means is that those invested here in commercial property do so because they continue seeing capital values going up long term. Because they know that S’poreans will keep on voting for the PAP, who is the friend of capitalists? Eat yr heart out anti-PAP cybernuts.

Eat blemished fruit

In Financial competency on 07/12/2017 at 1:41 pm

Half of them acknowledged that they could have taken steps to avoid food waste generated from leftovers after a meal, food expiring or becoming spoilt, and throwing away blemished fruits and vegetables.
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/half-of-food-thrown-away-by-singapore-households-can-be-avoided-9464560

This reminded me that for several months now I’ve been regularly buying and eating pears whose skins don’t look that nice. I wouldn’t give them away as presents or use them as altar offerings but they are good to eat and are sold at knocked down prices. A pear that should be going for $2-2.50 is sold at $1 because the skin is less than perfect.

And slightly damaged or overripe pears are sold for 50 cents each. Just cut off the damaged bit.

From BBC article

‘Use by’ Vs ‘best before’

Best before

  • “Best before” dates are about quality, not safety.
  • When the date has passed, it doesn’t mean that the food will be harmful, but it might begin to lose its flavour and texture.
  • The “best before” date will only be accurate if the food is stored according to the instructions on the label.

Use By

  • “Use by” dates are the most important date to consider, as these relate to food safety.
  • “Use by” dates are found on food that goes off quickly, such as smoked fish, meat products and ready-prepared salads.
  • Don’t use any food or drink after the end of the “use by” date on the label, even if it looks and smells fine.
  • For the “use by” date to be a valid guide, you must follow storage instructions.
  • Once a food with a “use by” date on it has been opened, you also need to follow any instructions such as “eat within three days of opening”.
  • If the “use by” date is tomorrow, then you must use the food by the end of tomorrow, even if the label says “eat within a week of opening”.

source: NHS

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-42223507

Wah lan SMRT CEO so cock isit?

In Corporate governance, Infrastructure, Temasek on 07/12/2017 at 5:09 am

Scholar and ex-SAF commander is so useless that Khaw, Temasek and SMRT thinks he needs more supervision, a lot more.

It’s not me or angry commuters or the anti-PAP mob saying this. It’s the constructive, nation-building media reporting comments by Temasek, SMRT and Khaw.

If he’s so in need of supervision, why not fire him? Or cut his salary by half? Meritocracy? What meritocracy? Meritocratic hubris/ Who defines “meritocracy”

Here’s how MediaCorp reported the story. ST’s report is along similar lines so maybe there was a dictator dictating the narrative?

Temasek-backed Pavilion Energy’s CEO Seah Moon Ming will step down to focus on his role as chairman of train operator SMRT.

CNA

That shows that Temasek thinks he needs more supervision.

And so does SMRT because

In a separate media release, SMRT said it is “pleased” that when Mr Seah took on the chairmanship in July this year, he had planned to prioritise more time in the role.

“Under the guidance of Mr Seah and our board, SMRT remains focused on delivering key initiatives such as asset renewal efforts, while it continues its multi-year effort to strengthen management, operations and maintenance teams, and build robust engineering and operational capabilities for future needs,” SMRT said.

“The board, CEO and management of SMRT welcome the opportunity to work even more closely with Mr Seah from Feb 1 2018.”

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/pavilion-energy-ceo-seah-moon-ming-stepping-down-to-focus-on-9470572

As to Khaw, Desmond’s public defender

Earlier on Tuesday, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan called for more support for the SMRT chairman, after saying that the flooding of the Bishan-Braddell MRT tunnel on Oct 7 was not a failure of engineering, but a “failure of organisational management at SMRT”.

CNA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Different Parties’ Slogans

In Uncategorized on 06/12/2017 at 2:05 pm

Appeared on FB

P.A.P. – PAY & PAY.
S.P.P. – SO, PLEASE PAY.
W.P. – WHY PAY ?
S.D.P – SO, DON’T PAY.
N.S.P. – NOBODY SHOULD PAY.
S.F. – SO SELFISH!!!

Someone added

R.P. – Refuse (to) Pay

I’ll add

D.P.P – Don’t Pay Party

Why Malay name for “otter” is apt

In Environment on 06/12/2017 at 7:53 am

The name reminds us that otters have fangs and claws and are prepared to use them.

Yes, another tale from Udrahpore or Otterpore:Udrahpore not Singapore

This pix from OtterWatch, reminding S’poreans that otters are protective of their pups, reminded me that the Malays call an otter “anjing air”. This translates literally into “water dog”.

 

And yes, the Chinese term for “water dog” is  “sui kow”, the name of a type of Chinese dumpling.

So the original dumpling was made using otter meat?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remind Lim Tean, it’s December

In Uncategorized on 05/12/2017 at 8:56 am

Didn’t he promise a defamation video and a jobs rally by end-November?

The defamation video is in the process of being finalised . We are adding animation so it is taking a bit longer than expected . But we should be able to release it in the 1st half of November . Apologies for the delay .

As for the jobs rally , that was postponed because of the anticipated Presidential Elections and the ensuing outcry following the walkover . We are planning to put on the rally in November and have an exciting lineup of speakers . We intend to have a jobs rally like never before and will be informing Singaporeans of details soon !

Lim Tean to me in late October Update on Lim Tean’s video and rally

Has anyone seen the video or attended the job rally?

I may have missed the video and the rally, though I doubt it.

I think he hasn’t walked the talk, though I’m happy to stand corrected.

Now I’m not too fussed about the delay in the rally because it’s the rainy season, and anyway the economy is picking up nicely thanks to the PAP global economy picking up.

But the video is something that S’poreans need.

Will Lim Tean make the release of his video his Chrismas present? Maybe he was too busy celebrating his birthday in November?

Or failing that he should make the video his ang pow for Chinese New Year in mid February? This would also good time weather-wise for the rally, though by then there may no longer unhappy, unemployed true blue S’porean PMETs.

Whatever, I hope Lim Tean doesn’t turn out to be another talk cock, sing song artiste like another other No Substance Party former secretary-general. Think Goh Meng Seng, a real talk cock, sing song artiste. By encouraging Tan Kin Lian to stand as president, he was instrumental in helping the PAP deprive S’poreans of president Tan Cheng Bock. No wonder he’s smiling.

Image result for Goh Meng Seng + banana

Real reason why S’pore wants to be a Smart Nation

In Economy, Infrastructure, Internet, Political governance on 04/12/2017 at 3:35 pm

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says efforts to simplify and integrate electronic payment systems are underway, including making such a method available at hawker centres, in a bid to transform the country into a Smart Nation.
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/national-day-rally-singapore-to-go-bigger-on-e-payments-with-9140068

Makes survelliance of the sheep people a lot easier. Black-listing of trouble makers will also be easier.

Companies in China, including Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu, are required to help China’s government hunt criminal suspects and silence political dissent, and their technology is being used to create cities wired for surveillance. (WSJ)

NYT Dealbook

I wrote this Coming here, China’s new tool for social control? sometime ago

Beijing wants to give every citizen a credit rating for everything.  Citizens’ ratings are to be linked with their identity-card numbers. The rating will be based on behaviour such as spending habits, turnstile violations, filial piety and “assembling to disrupt social order”. These scores can be used to blacklist citizens from loans, jobs and air travel.

Will Roy, Meng Seng and s/o JBJ help Amos now?

In Uncategorized on 04/12/2017 at 4:24 am

What will the people pictured below do to help Amos? If he isn’t helped, he’ll spend Christmas on the mean streets of Chicago in winter.

Amos the Fabulous has been told to leave his present lodgings by 21 December because there are young children also living in the same place. His views on sex with children and child pornography have led to concerns that he could be a clear and present danger to the children.

He has asked for someone to give him another place to live in. Maybe Goh Meng Seng will offer his private jet?

“Jesus was falsely accused, too”: Does Amos support child pornography?

Image result for Goh Meng Seng + banana                                                                                             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home away from home in Devon, England

In Humour on 03/12/2017 at 2:45 pm

Homesick S’poreans living in or visting the UK should visit Dawlish in Devon

Signs

The Trip Advisor review, from a person called SW stated: “There are literally dozens and dozens of them – everywhere.”

The reviewer continued in a later post: “Dawlish looks old, sad and ridiculous with so many notices. It feels oppressive for visitors.

“If you want visitors then try welcoming them! Forget the ‘Do not do this’ and the ‘Do not do that’ and start looking at the contradictions, confusion and general negativity it brings.

“I truly have never in my lifetime visited anywhere so bad in this respect.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-devon-42193092

This response is so PAPpish

Vanessa Riley from Dawlish Chamber of Trade insisted that many of the signs were necessary: “People that have not seen the signs have let dogs off.”

She explained “quite a few” of the town’s popular black swans have been lost to dog attacks over the years.

 

Jolovan Wham: Money talks, BS Walks do-gooders

In Political governance on 03/12/2017 at 7:07 am

My FB avater is kinda tired of getting messages from do-gooders to sign a petition to get the authorities to drop the charges against Jolovan Wham. It’s as futile an exercise as Inderjit Singh banging his turban against a wall asking for help for SMEs. It’s a waste of time.

When TRE used Why Jolovan Wham kanna whack? a TRE reader made a suggestion that these do-gooders would be wise to follow: help raise money “for him to fight the case”.

ftvhunik:

If can, someone just do crowdfunding for him to fight the case. Tbh, if one want to make a different for sg, either change from within, study well and join the opposition, be an activist but knowing the law well or simply escape this country for good. You will never get a good ending when you against the gov.

Singaporeans are not worth for all these sacrifices that you have done for them, they will u turn taking advantage of you and ungrateful to you by calling you dumb instead. Just let them screw and suffer from the shitty policies, one day they will wake up themselves and understand things.

Kee Chui those willing to donate?

Amos in the land of the free

In Uncategorized on 02/12/2017 at 11:24 am

Update on 3 December at 2.45pm: Amos has posted that he has to vacate his present lodgings by 21 DEcember because the authorities don’t want him near young children because of his views on child sex. He’s asking for help to live in the nearest 5-star hotel. OK, I made up the 5-star bit.

Amos learns about the environment in which “freedom of expression” opeates in the land where the buffalo roam . While he has freedom of expression, people can express their disagreement or disgust by barring him from public forums: he’s been KPKBing that that’s what happening. They can even threaten to kill him.

Yee has received harsh criticism and even death threats after posting three videos on the topic, on 15, 17 and 20 November, entitled Why Pedophilia Is Alright, Don’t Discriminate Pedophiles, and Free Speech for the Pedophile respectively.

The Idiots S’pore

And the death threats are “no play play” because in the land of the free where the buffalo roam the freedom to carry and use arms are other freedoms.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Mother Mary wears black by this time next year. His ang moh tua kee allies may want to consider buying him a bullet-proof vest for Christmas.

Related post: Does Amos support child pornography?

 

Ever wondered about how banks detect money laundering?

In Banks on 02/12/2017 at 9:55 am

If u like me have faced questions when u wanted to deposit a S$1000 note into yr bank account, then read https://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2017/11/economist-explains-16.

Software and data bases are the front line, not the teller.

Btw, my standard answer to the teller, “If PAP issues S$1000 notes, cannot use them isit? Not happy, tell PAP to stop printing them.”

Three cheers for TOC

In Infrastructure on 01/12/2017 at 10:59 am

The latest SMRT problem and LTA’s announcement that

the two rail operators are required to inform passengers of any delay exceeding 10 minutes, via regular announcements within stations and on board trains. If the delay worsens, updated information should be announced via mainstream and social media.

reminded me that Terry’s Online Channel has been tracking and documenting delays in train service, announced and, more importantly, unannounced, by SMRT.

This is important because memories are short especially for sheep and BS artists.

Here in Wah train service so reliable meh between 2012 and 2016? I reported that I challenged a TRE reader to tell me about his experiences of SMRT delays between 2012 and April 2016. As expected, no picture, no sound.

I also asked via FB a few other very vocal complainers, but they admitted they couldn’t remember or they were not regular MRT commuters.

Which is why it is important that there is a record of the delays that is publicly accessible. But if TOC closes, then no records exist. And after a trouble-free 2019, come the next GE, the sheep will think that the trains have always run on time.

Why Jolovan Wham kanna whack?

In Political governance on 30/11/2017 at 1:28 pm

Wham was charged with seven charges by the Attorney-General’s Chambers which include three counts of organizing a public assembly without a police permit and one count of vandalism for sticking two A-4 paper on a MRT train. Details: https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2017/11/28/activist-to-be-charged-by-police-for-various-offences-in-court/

“Wham is recalcitrant and has repeatedly shown blatant disregard for the law, especially with regard to organizing or participating in illegal public assemblies,” the police said in a written statement.

But is lawfare and rule by law being used against him? PAP uses Lawfare against its opponents? 

Yesterday, in What do social activists like Jolovan Wham etc want? I drew attention to a FB post that mocked social activists

So, what do some civil society activists want? As far as one can determine, they want “restorative justice” for ex-ISA detainees; they want S377a to be repealed; they want both capital and corporal punishment to be abolished; they want freedom of assembly anywhere in public; they want freedom of speech and oppose politicians initiating actions for defamation.

The above list (by no means exhaustive) are some of the issues close to the hearts of civil society activists and liberals. Packaged that way, what percentage of the electorate would support those issues? Certainly not the close to 30% that did not vote PAP at GE2015. If one was to hazard a guess, it would be maybe 15% and, it would not come as a surprise, if it was actually under 10%.

I posted it because I agreed with its sentiment that most S’poreans (cybernuts included) do not support the views of these social activities. Which then begs the question, “Why is the PAP govt whacking Jolovan Wham?”

Later in the day, came across a quote from anthropologist Margaret Mead which could explain why the PAP administration charges him with seven offences.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Jolovan Wham is no talk cock, sing song cybernut from TRELand. Or an ang moh tua kee. Or even a cyber-warrior.

He’s a warrior: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/29/world/asia/singapore-arrest-protests-gatherings.html?_r=0 .

If he’s found guilty and jailed, this should frighten the other non-warrior social activists, cyber warriors, cybernuts, sheep and chickens.

Which is why this is a lot of BS

One Singapore-based observer said the “seemingly disproportionate” legal response to Wham’s actions brought under scrutiny issues such as executive restraint and proportionality in the Lion City.

http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/2122153/new-chee-soon-juan-singapore-activist-jolovan-wham-defiant-after

The actions are not disproponiate.

When the ISA gets used again, like in 1987, against middle-class people, it’ll really show the leopard hasn’t changed its spots and that the light shining from Tharman’s ass is the oncoming light from the PAP juggernaut.

 

What do social activists like Jolovan Wham etc want?

In Uncategorized on 29/11/2017 at 2:13 pm

Here’s an extract from a FB post by Derek da Cunha  an independent analyst. I think he blotted his copybook somewhere along the line because he was once a Senior Fellow at Institute of Southeast Asian Studies from 1990 to 2007. ISEAS is now ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. It has always been funded by the PAP administration.

If civil society activists have not got the sense by now that Singapore is generally a politically and socially conservative society then they are simply in denial. They can of course work for a Singapore which they would like to see – one which is relatively more liberal in its laws and social mores. But they should keep firmly in mind that the tactics they adopt should not result in a hardening of attitude by both the Government and society at large, otherwise their project becomes counter-productive.

So, what do some civil society activists want? As far as one can determine, they want “restorative justice” for ex-ISA detainees; they want S377a to be repealed; they want both capital and corporal punishment to be abolished; they want freedom of assembly anywhere in public; they want freedom of speech and oppose politicians initiating actions for defamation.

The above list (by no means exhaustive) are some of the issues close to the hearts of civil society activists and liberals. Packaged that way, what percentage of the electorate would support those issues? Certainly not the close to 30% that did not vote PAP at GE2015. If one was to hazard a guess, it would be maybe 15% and, it would not come as a surprise, if it was actually under 10%.

Actually even the anti-PAP cybernuts from TRELand will have a problem with LGBT rights. Going by their language plenty og homophobics there.

Why S’pore industrialised in the 60s

In Economy, Political economy on 29/11/2017 at 4:43 am

Local historian Loh Kah Seng posts articles on Facebook about the industrialisation of S’pore. Here’s one piece that I tot would interest because it shows the link then betweewn GDP growth and how it benefited the ordinary S’porean:

The main reason why Singapore pursued rapid industrialisation after the Second World War was not that the existing economy, based on the entrepot trade, was doing badly.

It was rather the high population growth rate, as increasingly people settled down in Singapore instead of returning to their home countries.

In the 1930s, more Chinese women entered Singapore and formed families. Just before war broke out, the Deputy Controller of Chinese Labour reported ‘swarms of Chinese children in their teens, mostly local born, and still more who have not yet reached their teens’.

This trend increased near the end of the Japanese Occupation, when multiple children were born, who became known as the postwar ‘baby boomers’.

In 1961, Singapore had a population of 1.6 million. The growth rate between 1947 and 1957 was 4.5% per annum – the highest in the world – while the size of a nuclear family in was 5.4 persons in 1957 and 5.6 in 1970.

Goh Keng Swee’s study of low-income households in 1956 found that a fifth of the households lived in poverty, with a monthly income under the minimum of $102.

High population growth created impending problems of employment and dependency. Under the entrepot economy, many of the growing children and teens would likely be unemployed or underemployed. Furthermore the entrepot trade was unlikely to grow. A youthful two thirds of the population would have to rely on the work of a third.

Labour-intensive industries, on the other hand, would absorb many more people. The aim of the State of Singapore Development Plan for 1961-1964 was to increase the number of jobs for young people entering the workforce each year.

M Ravi apologises for assaults after pleading guilty

In Uncategorized on 28/11/2017 at 10:01 am

What was Ravi thinking when he went on a one-man crime wave earlier this year? That he was a super villain like the Joker?

The offences he pleaded guilty to on Monday are serious.

M Ravi, pleaded guilty in court on Nov 27 to assaulting lawyer Jeanette Chong-Aruldoss in August. He also admitted to causing hurt to lawyer Nakoorsha Bin Abdul Kadir on the same day by throwing a handbag at him.

He later made a public apology to both of them. This will disprove the TRE cybernuts who claimed that the lady fixed him by pretending to having been pushed by him.


As a result of the incident, Mrs Chong-Aruldoss suffered pain on her right shoulder, right hip and right buttock, as well as a bruise on her hip, according to court documents.

CNA

—————————————–

At the time, Ravi claimed she had pushed him and he pushed back in retaliation.

Ravi also pleaded guilty to breaking into the office of Eugene Thuraisingam at People’s Park Centre in June, when he used a screwdriver to open the metal shutter door of the office.

There’s more

Four other charges, including two counts of public nuisance at the Sri Mariamman Temple on Jul 31 and Aug 11 this year, will be taken into consideration during sentencing.

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/m-ravi-pleads-guilty-to-assaulting-lawyer-jeanette-chong-9444166

Actually there’s even more. I know of at least one other lawyer that was persuaded by friends of M Ravi not to file a police report. M Ravi punched him.

The good news for those wishing him well (and even those who want crime-free streets here, not the mayhem common in Gotham) is that Ravi will be assessed by an Institute of Mental Health (IMH) psychiatrist as to his suitability for a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO) and will be back in court on 5 January for sentencing. A MTO is “a community-based sentencing option where offenders undergo mental health treatment in lieu of jail”.

If he is given a MTO, in lieu of jail, he’ll be made to take his medicine whether he likes it or not. When he was going round like a comic book super villain (crossing dressing, assaulting people etc), he readily admitted (on now taken-down videos) that he was not taking his medicine. He said the pills made him sick. Here’s why the pills made him sick: M Ravi out on bail, resting.

Btw, what Woodbridge is to S’pore, Arkham is to Gotham City. For those who are wondering, the Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane, called Arkham Asylum or juz Arkham is where many of Batman’s opponents are locked up for treatment.

SMRT culture got like this meh?

In Uncategorized on 27/11/2017 at 3:41 pm

Recently, Nissan in Japan admitted that staff falsified reports for decades. Things were so organised that employees used a special ledger to keep track of their misdeeds.

Wow!

Now that requires organisation and dedication.

 

Countering PAP’s BS that taxes must go up

In Economy, Financial competency, Internet on 26/11/2017 at 4:37 pm

The now retired chief economist of GIC published u/m on his Facebook wall but tOC has circulated it to a wider audience*.

Summary: There’s plenty of money.

And if anyone should know, it should be Yeoh Lam Keong.

The Bigger Fork in Our Long-Term Fiscal Policy Road

To be fair to PM Lee, both the MOF and he have clarified that consistent with DPM Tharmans 2015 remarks, we do not have to raise taxes before the end of the decade.

So there’s really no need to get our fiscal knickers into a twist about GST or income tax increases till after the next GE folks..

IMHO what’s really at stake are larger, more important policy issues and related fiscal choices over the longer term.

What PM was talking about and trying to tell the public was that in the longer term after 2020, tax increases might be needed given inevitable rises in social spending and infrastructure needs in the more distant future.

Actually I really hope that in the end he’s right but from an entirely different angle.

My reason : our current fiscal headroom is so large that were we to truly need higher tax revenues, this would mean that much needed increases in social spending would finally finally have been funded first. Given our current paltry current social policy spending levels, ( much lower than OECD averages as a share of GDP for healthcare, education and social protection) this would be an excellent policy development!

Consider first that we have a 5-7% GDP structural budget surplus ( calculated by global fiscal policemen the IMF no less) – that’s $20-30 bn extra a year. (I don’t want to get into technicalities of how that is a valid number here – please read my previous posts ).

Second, the formula for using net investment returns contribution or NIRC only uses only half of expected long term real returns leaving official reserves to grow by about 2% in real or about 4% in nominal terms for future generations. This could potentially contribute at least another $14bn to the budget or 3.5% of GDP currently.

This 50% spending rule for NIRC itself is a questionable division of investment income from official reserves and a shows a strangely skewed social time preference. Shouldn’t a more reasonable time preference be to use more of the investment income ( not even the real principal mind you ) for the pressing problems of the present generation in this current decade?

Surely the needs of current citizens who have built modern Singapore through very tough times and have serious remaining problems with absolute poverty, inadequate retirement finances, no universal long term or primary chronic health care, underspending in primary and secondary education relative to OECD norms, inadequately planned and funded industrial policy and a badly underperforming public transport system needs this spending now and over this coming decade. Much more so than the uncertain problems of significantly richer coming generations in the much longer term future.

I suspect though, that in the end, we might just be left Singapore daydreaming.

Rather than first spend this hard earned, exceptional fiscal largesse on pressing social and infrastructure needs of the day, then raise taxes only if necessary afterwards, I suspect that our policy makers would instead tend rather towards raising taxes first, partly to keep this implicit huge fiscal savings largely intact ( by the way the IMF thinks that this is an excessively unhealthy level of national savings ) for the rainy day in the even more distant future!

So here is what I think is the really important fork in our long term fiscal and social policy road:

Either we will finally spend enough on social and infrastructural spending – another 8-10% of GDP over the next decade – or we will continue in the kia su practice of spending considerably less, yet still raise taxes in the name of fiscal prudence to maintain one of the most extravagant public savings rates in the world.

All this while continuing to expand social policy at decidedly suboptimal levels that does not really meet our social policy needs sufficiently in all the above key areas.

To do the former means stepping out of current incrementalist, anti – welfare and state intervention mindsets and boldly reshaping, refitting and reinvesting in social policy in healthcare, education, social security, public housing and transport and industrial policy to make these key areas truly future ready for our citizens. This is what we did so successfully and innovatively in our first 30 years of independence.

Please keep in mind that at this much higher level of spending we will merely be at the lower bound of OECD public spending as a share of GDP and roughly on par with developed East Asian economies. We would also be close to true budget balance ie not structurally in fiscal deficit or running up debt. Yes, that’s how extremely conservative our current long term fiscal position is.

The latter, however ( largely status quo), means kicking the can down the road through incremental rather than transformative changes that are likely to end up being constantly behind the relentless curve of economic instability arising from globalization, technological change and worsening demographics. And perversely maintaining the highest and fastest growing fiscal resources in the world.

No prizes for which I think is the more likely scenario on current trends. Which fork we finally take and when, however, depends on both the boldness of political leadership and citizen political awareness to push for a new social and fiscal policy regime that will truly cater to our well being in a more reasonable and balanced but still sustainable way.

*I’m surprised Terry’s Online Channel didn’t republish it for a wider audience, so I’m doing it and hoping that TRE will pick it up for a wider audience: not everyone going to TRE is a cybernut. The rule of thumb on the internet and social media is

1 % of users initiate discussions or content, 9% transmit content or participate occasionally and 90% are consumers or “lurkers”.

I’m hoping to reach the lurkers who visit TRE.

(Btw, didn’t ask permission.)

Opportunity cost of owning car

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 26/11/2017 at 2:17 pm

Great graphic from http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/brandstudio/how-much-it-really-costs-to-own-a-car-in-singapore-9346730

But the table doesn’t show how not having a car affects sexual attraction and relations. Taz an important factor for young males.

Why can’t SDP be as intelligent as this TRE reader?

In Uncategorized on 26/11/2017 at 6:05 am

When TRE used this piece Why the PM doesn’t need friends there was this very perceptive response:

Lye Khuen Way:

Sure, going by the exact year that DPM Tharman, then the Finance Minister had promised, the Pink in Health Minister did not contradict his man.

But that’s not the point. Do this “wealthy” country need any more increase in taxes of any forms?

The Budget Surplus almost every year for decades is troubling. Just use up all the “Collection”. For Good use, of course.

Stop giving the PA billions yearly and reduce the salaries of you know who and whom.

We can even change the Constitution as proposed by Chris Kuan to use up to 100% of the earnings from our Reserves instead of current 50%.

So why didn’t the SDP say

Do this “wealthy” country need any more increase in taxes of any forms?

The Budget Surplus almost every year for decades is troubling. Just use up all the “Collection”. For Good use, of course.

Stop giving the PA billions yearly and reduce the salaries of you know who and whom.

We can even change the Constitution as proposed by Chris Kuan to use up to 100% of the earnings from our Reserves instead of current 50%.

instead of the BS it said? After all its chairman is from RI (OK only RJC), a doctor (MD), and a university professor in a S’pore university; and the SDP has many professionals.

I’ll tell u why.

SDP is led by Mad Dog Chee who prefers to use his fangs and claws rather than his brains. He is another example of someone who did very well in university but who can’t organise an orgy in a brothel. Just like Kee Chui Chan, VivianB, the parly Speaker, SMRT Desmond and PM.

Incidentally since Dr Chee defenestrated Chiam and took over the SDP, the PAP and WP have changed leaders in the noughties. And say they are planning another change in the next few yrs. Only the SDP is stuck in the Stone Age with a dinosaur. He’s like OlMan River https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh9WayN7R-s rolling along.

Just retire pls.

Wah train service so reliable meh between 2012 and 2016?

In Infrastructure on 25/11/2017 at 11:35 am
A usual sane TRE reader posted this in response to my comment that there was only one major cock-up between 2015 and April 2016 On the contrary cybernuts, Desmond did a great job
opposition dude:

Ah Cynical, it’s always interesting to read how you like to whitewash the truth isn’t it?

No major cockups until 2015 you say? Perhaps you aren’t a regular user of the trains and have never been caught in a disruption? What about the frequent disruptions faced by commuters every other month since he took over, all that magically doesn’t count ah? Only major shit like the tunnel “ponding” and the langga at Joo Koon?

Well I asked him

@opposition dude, look forward to u giving me details of disruptions between 2012 and April 2016 based on yr experience …

No picture no sound so far. So can I reasonably assume he was talking cock? What do u think?

Doing biz with PRCs

In China on 25/11/2017 at 4:56 am

No wonder, S’poreans get taken to the cleaners when dealing with PRCs.

A Chinese conglomerate paid millions of dollars in bribes to officials in Chad and Uganda in exchange for oil rights in their countries, according to a criminal complaint filed in Manhattan. (NYT)

Hedge funds are demanding better terms from multibillion-dollar buyouts involving Chinese firms. (Bloomberg)

From NYT Dealbook

Only the Taiwanese outsmart them. Even the Hongkies just manage to avoid getting outsmarted.

Chiat lat if SMRT involved in this

In S'pore Inc on 24/11/2017 at 6:39 am

Sure a lot of problems. Hope that SMRT will be left out of the driveless bus scheme to be introduced in Punggol, Tengah and the Jurong Innovation District from 2022*.

But I forgot, with GE scheduled at latest by early 2021, SMRT will be great again by 2019 at the latest. The PAP administration will throw our money into fixing SMRT so that by the next GE, the present unhappiness will be a distant memory. Remember this was done before: On the contrary cybernuts, Desmond did a great job.

Desmond did such a great job between his appointment in 2012 and July 2015, that a major MRT cock-up weeks before the last GE did not help the Oppo.

————————————

*BBC report

Singapore plans to introduce driverless buses on its public roads by 2022.

The government says they will be piloted in three new neighbourhoods which will have less-crowded roads designed to accommodate the buses.

The buses will be used to help residents travel in their communities, and to nearby train and bus stations.

Densely-populated Singapore hopes driverless technology will help the country manage its land constraints and manpower shortages.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42090987

 

Advice SDP, WP should heed

In Political governance on 23/11/2017 at 10:55 am

In a comment on this (Why the PM doesn’t need friends), Chris K said on FB:

The SDP has a tendency to get offside on fiscal and economics matters. Much less getting Dr Chee to take his meds as CI cheekily wrote, its well past time the SDP get competent on these. Ditto WP – sometimes ask right questions but did not press home the rubbishy replies from the govie.

A WP fan rushed to reply

It’s not easy for a few MPs from WP to hold the govie to full accountability in Parliament due to house rules that limit the scope n depth of parliamentary questions. The govie has taken full advantage of those rules to be evasive n play games much to the chagrin of the public. This is political gamesmanship on display.

Well Wankers’ Party groupie, there’s social media and new media that the WP is failing to use. But which others hqave used to rebut the PAPpies misrepresentationd and fake analysis.

What annoys and frustrates me is that while the likes of Chris K, LKY (the ex-GIC economist) and Donald Low have used social media and new media to expose how the PAPpies in parly and outside misrepresent facts and peddle fake analysis, the Wankers don’t. The honourable exception is Leon Perera: A Lion of a Man.

Yes

If Sinkies want authentic democracy where the govie is held accountable then more opposition members must in parliament as numbers does matter.

But in meantime, the Wankers need to do more than wank. Their other MPs should set an example by using social and new media, more, a lot more, rather than look at their monthly bank statements and laugh all the way to the bank.

Cyberspace is dominated by Mad Dog Chee and other cybernuts. The WP should join Chris K, LKY, Donald Low and others in putting forward rational arguments in support of progressive causes, while rebutting the PAPpies misrepresentations and fake analysis.

Maybe then the Wanklers deserve to win more parly seats.

Will ISD use this Amazon service?

In Internet on 23/11/2017 at 4:34 am

Secret Squirrel, Morocco Mole and Maxwell Smart certainly will

From NYT Dealbook

Amazon’s cloud storage unit has a new service called the Amazon Web Services Secret Region to handle classified information for United States spy agencies. (WaPo)

Why the PM doesn’t need friends

In Uncategorized on 22/11/2017 at 10:55 am

He has the SDP, and Mad Dog Chee and other anti-PAP cybernuts as enemies.

With PM and the PAPpies on the ropes over the SMRT, even nature seems to be against SMRT, the SDP, and Mad Dog Chee and other anti-PAP cybernuts, changed the conversation.

When I read this

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has issued a statement regardingPrime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s recent warnings that tax increases are onset and “inevitable” as government spending is growing.

The SDP points out that back in the General Elections of 2015, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam denied the SDP’s claims that there will be a GST increase, claiming that “there is no basis” to those claims.

TOC

I tot what a lot of BS. Mad Dog must (like M Ravi, until recently) be refusing to take his medicine.

As far as I was concerned there was no contradiction between what PM Lee (on Sunday) said and what Tharman said (in 2015 when he was finance minister) on taxes.

I was planning to blog about it today showing that the evidence that SDP and other anti-PAP types misrepresent, knowingly or stupidly or both, the facts when they accuse the PM of making a U-turn on raising taxes.

Luckily for me, MOF pointed out that there is no contradiction between PM’s comments on Sunday about an impending tax hike, and what DPM Tharman had said in 2015 on the adequacy of revenue.

MOF said that Tharman then the Finance Minister, said in 2015 that the revenue measures the govt had already undertaken would provide sufficiently for increased spending planned until the end of the decade.

MOF says out: “This is in line with Prime Minister Lee’s speech at the PAP convention on 19 November 2017, where the Prime Minister said, ‘For this current term of government, we have enough revenue.'”

The next election must be held sometime in 2021.

Can the chairman of SDP and the other RI doctors force medicine down Mad Dog’s throat, or if he has been taking his medicine, double the dosage please?

SDP’s statement in full:

During the general elections period in 2015, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam denied the SDP’s warnings that the government would raise the GST.

At that time, he said that “there is no basis” to claims that the GST would be increased to fund increased public spending.

But Mr Lee Hsien Loong finally admitted yesterday at the PAP conference that it was inevitable that taxes would have to be raised to fund government spending.

While the PAP has so far not raised the GST after the elections, it has increased taxes and fees for a slew of items.

In 2016, the government increased carpark fees by as much as 27 percent. It has also raised ERP charges for several gantries as well as added new gantries on the expressways.

The government also announced plans to restrict vehicle growth rate to zero percent, thus ensuring that COE prices would skyrocket. It also has indicated that bus and train fares would go up. In 2016, it raised taxi-licence fees.

This year, it raised water prices by an alarming 30 percent.

PAP-run town councils also upped Service & Conservancy Charges by as much as $17 depending on the flat-type.

In addition, immediately after the GE in 2015 the PAP raised fees for its kindergartens and childcare centres. It increased the fees again in 2017.

Such hikes continue to pile pressure on Singaporeans who are already feeling the financial pain from the high cost of living and a slowing economy in Singapore.

During the Buklit Batok by-election last year, Minister Shanmugaratnam also accused the SDP of spreading “fear and alarm” through our alternative policy proposals.

Referring to the SDP’s call for universal healthcare and unemployment insurance, the DPM said that he was “troubled” by these populist policy proposals and that the SDP should tell the people that these programmes are not free.

The PAP has the habit of criticising the SDP during the elections and then quietly adopting our ideas thereafter. For example, the government introduced the Returner Work Trial this year which is essentially a retrenchment benefits scheme similar to the SDP’s that we proposed in 2010.

Also in 2012, the SDP proposed that our “individual health care risks be pooled” in a nationalised healthcare insurance programme. Three years later, the government introduced its Medishield Life, saying that “everyone shares in the national risk pool”.

Not only has the PAP copied our ideas, it now wants to increase taxes to pay for the programmes as stated by PM Lee in his party speech yesterday.

So the next time Mr Tharman accuses the SDP of proposing populist policies, he should also tell the public that his party is bankrupt of ideas and has to adopt the SDP’s proposals.

He should also be up front with the people and stop denying that our warnings of the government raising taxes have no basis.

The PAP way?

In China, Media on 21/11/2017 at 5:52 am

The government doesn’t refute critics or defend policies; instead, it overwhelms the population with positive news (what the researchers call “cheerleading” content) in order to eclipse bad news and divert attention away from actual problems.

This has allowed the … government to manipulate citizens without appearing to do so. It permits just enough criticism to maintain the illusion of dissent and only acts overtly when fears of mass protest or collective action arise.

Sounds like the way the PAP does things with the help of the constructive, nation-building media.

No leh. It’s supposed to be the Chinese way: https://www.vox.com/world/2017/8/2/16019562/china-russia-internet-propaganda-media


“Why CCP’s fears are PAP’s fears”

Keeping power in a one-party state

————————————————–

But maybe the CCP learnt from the PAP? It was one of the things that Deng learnt from LKY? After all when LKY came into power, he made sure that the local newspapers, tv and radio all became part of the PAP’s constructive and nation-building team.


Address to the General Assembly of the International Press Institute at Helsinki on 9 June 1971

“What role would men and governments in new countries like the mass media to play?… The mass media can help to present Singapore’s problems simply and clearly and then explain how if they support certain programmes and policies these problems can be solved. More important, we want the mass media to reinforce, not to undermine, the cultural values and social attitudes being inculcated in our schools and universities.

[Several paragraphs later] Freedom of the press, freedom of the news media, must be subordinated to the overriding needs of the integrity of Singapore, and to the primacy of purpose of an elected government.”

——————————————————-

Their job was (and is) not to critick LKY’s govt but to be its cheerleaders.

Example from MediaCorp’s reporting (Might was well juz publish the speech):

The trust between the People’s Action Party (PAP) and Singaporeans will be tested in the coming years amid social and economic disruptions afflicting the world, party secretary-general Lee Hsien Loong warned activists on Sunday (November 19) at the PAP convention.

And it is during this period, that the trust built by the ruling party “painstakingly over more than 60 years” will be more important than ever, said Mr Lee, who is also the Prime Minister.

Stressing the need for good policies to help Singaporeans cope with the challenges, he also urged Members of Parliament (MPs), activists and “key people throughout our society” to preserve the “good politics”.

He noted that in western democracies, the trust between mainstream political parties and the people has essentially broken down, and the parties “no longer seem to represent the common man’s interests”.

“We must never let this happen in Singapore. The PAP must always pursue policies which benefit the broad majority of Singaporeans,” he said.

“The PAP must always hold the ground, stay close to Singaporeans and maintain their trust and confidence.”

Adding that it will not be an easy task to achieve goals such as upgrading the economy, creating good jobs, building world class infrastructure and preparing for an ageing society, Mr Lee said that in order to implement the policies, “we must get our politics right”.

The people must support the PAP, he said.

“Most of all, they must trust the PAP,” he added.

“They must know that the party cares about them, and is working to improve their lives.”

Mr Lee said this does not mean the government should do only popular things. From time to time, it also has to make hard choices and take difficult decisions.

“And when we do so, we must be upfront with Singaporeans” in explaining the rational and getting their support, he said.

“Even if people may not like the specific policy, we must convince them that we are doing it with good intentions, and for good reasons,” he said.

He reiterated the people “must know the PAP not as a remote, impersonal government, but as their team, as a human, personal preference – your caring MP, your friendly branch secretary, people whom you know, people who have shown that they can get things done, and will help you through difficulties and improve your lives,” he said.

 

On the contrary cybernuts, Desmond did a great job

In Infrastructure, S'pore Inc on 20/11/2017 at 5:59 am

Look at his track record from 2012 to 2015 and to now sack him would show that the PAP are a bunch of ingrates like the TRE cybernuts and rats (From conception to death, the PAP looks after S’poreans),

He was appointed CEO of SMRT after two major problems in December 2011 that affected 250,000 commuters and which resulted in a public inquiry.

From his appointment till April 2016, there were no major cock ups bar one major whopper just before GE 2015. This was on 7 July 2015 and affected the North -South and East-West lines. 500,000 commuters were affected.

But I suppose S’porean voters didn’t think about this massive-cock up when they voted on 11 September 2015, a month and a half later. I suppose that they were really happy that commuters had reliable service from 2012 till 6 July, and from 8 July till election day. They thought it was one-off event.

Whatever, they gave the PAP a really overwhelming mandate of 70% (10 more points from 2011 GE, held before the December train cock-up.)

What I’m saying is that Desmond ensured that SMRT service did not become an election issue that could cost the PAP votes.

Things only started going wrong after some trainees died in an avoidable accident in March 2016.

There was a real problem on 25 April 2016 affecting the North -South and East-West lines, parts of the Circle Line, and the Bukit Panjang LRT

Then this year there were the October flooded tunnels and then the 15 November train crash.

Maybe the deaths in March 2016 of some trainees have something to do with these problems? Their spirits need to be appeased?

Time to call in the bomohs? Maybe ex SMRT director Hali, now president (#notmypresident protest and me), can recommend one? More on Hali’s judgement between 2007 -2011/ Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

Now if he fails to call in the bomohs, he should be fired. What do You think?

 

 

Mugabe ak kah leow with S’porean authorities?

In Uncategorized on 19/11/2017 at 1:59 pm

Further to this Mugabe coming here?, seems he ak kah leow with S’porean authorities.

Extract from another BBC report

The Mugabe family own property in Malaysia, South Africa and possibly Dubai – but Africa-watchers say the patriarch may aim for Singapore.

“He’s got numerous options,” observes Dr Phil Clark, an African politics specialist at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

“He’s been going [to Singapore] a lot for medical treatment for more than a decade now, and he seems to have a pretty good relationship with the Singaporean authorities.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-42023285

Amos got point on Christianity and Islam

In Uncategorized on 19/11/2017 at 7:08 am

Amos didn’t say this, but he could have.

Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here, maybe just a little bit unusual.

Amos is well known for being relaxed about child sex, and for attacking Islam and our dearly beloved Harry. In the process, it has been widely forgotten that he also attacks Christianity and the above would have right up his street.

No it wasn’t Amos but this was said by Jim Zeigler, the Alabama State Auditor, to the Washington Examiner,  the BBC reports that Jim Zeigler is a Christian. He was defending another Christian who has been accused of trying to have sex with teenagers. The other Christian who denies the allegations, wants to be a US senator for Alabama, a US state full of Christians. He’s the favourite to win, really.

One really cannot blame Amos for dissing Christianity with Christians like these, just like one fault Amos for dissing Islam.

Sayfullo Saipov, the suspect in Tuesday’s deadly New York City truck attack “appears to have been inspired by violent Isis videos depicting beheadings and shootings, according to prosecutors,” reports the Guardian.

The incident is strongly reminiscent of recent terror attacks in Europe, where vehicles were used as effective weapons against unarmed crowds. In France, 86 people were killed and more than 400 injured by a single lorry near the seafront at Nice, in 2016. In Berlin, 12 were killed and more than 50 injured by a similar attack last December. Vehicles have also been used to plough into crowds in London and in Barcelona …

a publication produced by IS suggested to its supporters living in the West that they use their cars to run over civilians.

Economist blog

Whatever, let’s give thanks to the PAP for having the foresight to have a Muslim president: Why PAP thinks we need a Malay president?

 

 

 

Mugabe coming here?

In Uncategorized on 18/11/2017 at 4:50 am

A BBC article http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-42011059 discuss what can happen to him. One option is to go into exile. The favourite country is South Africa where he has properties and is still respected as a Jedi. But his wife, Gucci Grace, will not be welcomed there. Read the article for the details.

So if not South Africa, then where?

Other possible options are Singapore and Malaysia, where the Mugabes also have properties.

And don’t forget Gleneagles is his favourite hospital and Gucci Grace loves shopping.

The good news for S’poreans and the PAP is that he’s still refusing to resign. One doubts the PAP wants living here a reputed billionaire of an ex-president accused of corruption and his pushy, ambitious (she wanted to be the next president), and violent (She has beaten up ladies who upset her in South Africa and in HK). I’m sure the PAP doesn’t want cyberspace, not just cybernuts from TRELand to draw comparisions, however unfairly.

MRT collision is no play play

In Uncategorized on 17/11/2017 at 7:43 am

Can really be jialat safety and convenience issues.

What happened has implications for the on-going introduction piecemeal introduction of the new signaling system.

The faulty train was operating on both the old and new signalling systems. The old signalling system currently operates from Pasir Ris to Pioneer, while the new system – which allows trains to arrive more frequently during peak hours – operates from Joo Koon to Tuas Link.

Given the finding, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan instructed the separation of the two sections of the East West Line operating under different signalling systems.

If this problem happened here it could happen anywhere else where a train has to operate on both systems.

Note there have been no reports on where else on the MRT system trains are operating on both systems.

And before the cybernuts KPKB, remember that new signalling system is being brought in piecemeal to avoid closing down an entire line.

Related article: This BBC (UK-centric) article explains the issues behind “signal failure” in a railway system: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-41708585

Rock & roll and drugs

In Uncategorized on 17/11/2017 at 7:09 am

“Rock and roll was not inspired by drugs. Back in the 60s people were smoking hemp, a mild intoxicant. All it did was open the doors of perception…That’s where the music came from.” – Ray Manzarek

He was member of the Doors.

The band took their name from the title of Aldous Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception, itself derived from a line in William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: “If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is: infinite”.

Gd US accounting innovation

In Accounting, Corporate governance on 16/11/2017 at 2:42 pm

Starting in 2019, US audit reports will have to include a new section detailing “critical audit matters” (CAMs) — specific issues that made a material difference to the financial statements and required a complex or difficult judgment call. The report will also have to say how the issue was resolved.

Sorry can’t give source as I forgot where i saw this

Khaw blaming Dr Goh for SMRT failings?

In GIC, Infrastructure, S'pore Inc on 16/11/2017 at 6:22 am

How can Khaw say we were poor money 30 yrs ago?

Thirty years ago, Singapore’s per capita GDP was about $16,000. Last year, in 2016, it has grown more than four times to about $73,000….So when there are people who criticise the North-South and East-West Lines on why we did not do this and that, we were simply short of cash.

Khaw

In 1981, 36 yrs ago, we had so much reserves because of consistent budget surpluses that Dr Goh Keng Swee decided to set up GIC to better manage the returns on the reserves. (Btw, Goh was no fan of the MRT system. He wanted buses.)

Is he implying that Dr Goh, the then PM of the day, one Harry Lee, and the cabinet decided to prioritise overseas investment returns over the MRT system? Is he also saying that the money in the reserves stashed away then were better deployed building a Great MRT system?

Khaw must be punch drunk after taking too many head blows because in defending SMRT, he’s telling us that the then leaders prioritised surpluses i.e. reserves, over infrastructure. Until his latest comments, the official narrative was that we could have surpluses (reserves), and good infrastructure and that the founding leaders achieved both in their wisdom. Now Khaw is saying that the official narrative is BS, and that the money that went to GIC to manage should have been used to make a Great MRT system, not one that is braking down 30 yrs later.

Separately as Chris K pointed out

GDP per capita had grown more than 4 times in 30 years means the govie has 4 times as much tax revenues as 30 years ago. If “we were simply short of cash”, then the govie is not spending enough for the transportation system to keep up with the size of the economy.

Is Khaw, blaming the other Goh and PM (then DPM) for not spending $ in the 90s?

I’ll leave the last word  to a M’sian PR working here (he married local so as to get HDB flat)

30 years ago might have been short, but since then fiscal surpluses have been close to 10pc of GDP a year by IMF accounting. See this is the problem, train investments come out of the budget but land sales get squirreled away unseen. And we pretend we are poor… So easy to invest in a massive investment portfolio, so hard to invest in your own infrastructure. This fiscal dinosaur begs to be made extinct.

Related posts

SMRT: The cock that Khaw talks

Fat cats need help

P&G mgt reminds me of the PAP

SMRT: Why Desmond must go

PAP has lost “output legitimacy”

Fat cats need help

In Uncategorized on 15/11/2017 at 4:27 pm

“Fat cat” may be a term of abuse, but according to the Daily Mail, actual obese felines need help.

A vet tells the paper that one in 10 cats never leave their owners’ homes and the kind thing to do is design a daily exercise routine for those pets.

Suggestions include playing hunting games, and letting the animals bat toys around.

The newspaper’s headline even go so far as to suggest “let it try a hamster wheel!”

BBC Online

Does Amos support child pornography?

In Uncategorized on 15/11/2017 at 11:09 am

Someone asked on Facebook if it was true that Amos supports child pornography.

He received this very thoughtful reply from a Khush Chopra an NUS graduate who also studied at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and École nationale des ponts et chaussées

Khush Chopra From the video here, the age of consent not child pornography seems to be the issue. In the land of the *brave and free* Famous Amos wisened to the fact that not all free speech is acceptable. A much more contemplative, somewhat mature and remarkably non-vulgar Amos reels at the stinging disappointment of his talk being cancelled but continued to stoutly defend his view on the age of consent for sex. He tries to explain that he is not advocating violence against children or pedophilia. Amos will nevertheless have to think hard about his views and do a much better job at justifying them more carefully. This is a another real lesson that he will hopefully learn from.

https://youtu.be/qc9oVlZu_V8

I dedicate this piece to Passerby.

Btw, I still think he lost his invitation by a Harvard students’ club (not Harvard College as alleged by the cybernuts), not because of his views, but because he asked them for his airfare and for accommodation at a five-star hotel. He said travelling by Greyhound bus and staying in a student dormitory was beneath him.

Cybernut exposes himself as PAP mole

In Political economy, Property on 14/11/2017 at 1:45 pm

When TRE republished this piece of mine about what called Hernando de Soto called “dead capital” (inability to use an asset as collateral) applies to HDB flats, a leading TRE cybernut exposed himself as a PAPy dog who wants S’poreans to thank the PAP for the PAP’s public housing policies.

Rabble-rouser wrote:

How can HDB flats be dead capital? [He obviously never read how Hernando de Soto defined “dead capital”: my note]

For the older &/or fully paid up home owners, how many would want to unlock their property equity values to engage in risky entrepreneurial activities? Many would prefer to keep their house equity intact for retirement & health needs.

There are so many ways to monetize or reap money from your HDB flats:
* You can sell your HDB flat on the open market if you really need money. The HDB resale market is very liquid compared to private properties.
* Retirees can do a ‘HDB Lease Buyback’ if they want to stay in their HDB flat while monetizing their flat’s remaining lease for spending money.
* You can rent out 1 to 2 room(s) for rental income with HDB approval.
* If you can stay with your kids, then rent out entire HDB flats with HDB approval for even better rentals.

* If you really need money, downgrade from EA/EM, 5-rm, 4-rm to 3-rm, 2-rm Flexi. [Just watch out for Retirement Minimum Sum]

I’m surprised he didn’t add “Vote PAP. They look after S’poreans”.

P&G mgt reminds me of the PAP

In Uncategorized on 13/11/2017 at 6:55 am

Die, die must crush opposition to its hegemony. 

Procter & Gamble, the world’s second largest consumer group, won its battle to keep activist investor Peltz out of its boardroom. Nelson Peltz wanted to be a director (one out of 11) of what he considered a badly managed company.

P&G mgt refused and won very narrowly.

The FT reports that P&G spent at least US$100 million to deny him the seat he wanted. It had hired Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Centerview Partners and Lazard as advisers. Mr. Peltz’s Trian spent at least US$25 million.

NYT’s Dealbook reported that

 

Many of P&G’s biggest shareholders voted to give Mr. Peltz a seat on the board of the consumer product giant. BlackRock and State Street, which hold around 10% combined, voted with Trian, these people added.

Christopher Ailman, the chief investment officer of the Calstrs pension fund:
Calstrs will own Procter & Gamble long after the current management has moved on or retired. We will continue to vote our shares to ensure that individuals — like Nelson Peltz — who are a valuable asset to a board, get the opportunity to represent us and other like-minded long-term shareholders.

And

That Mr. Peltz could come so close reflects the growing power of activist investors bent on shaking up corporate boards.

As Mr. Peltz told CNBC after the P&G shareholder meeting: “There is no company today that can’t be called to task. Not one.”

Robot 1 Lawyers 0

In Uncategorized on 12/11/2017 at 4:36 pm

In a contest between 100 lawyers, many of London’s most expensive firms, against an artificial intelligence program called Case Cruncher Alpha, the program won easily.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-41829534

Both the humans and the AI were given the basic facts of hundreds of PPI (payment protection insurance) mis-selling cases and asked to predict whether the Financial Ombudsman would allow a claim.

In all, they submitted 775 predictions and the computer won hands down, with Case Cruncher getting an accuracy rate of 86.6%, compared with 66.3% for the lawyers.

Why Sun Ho’s God is not on her side

In Uncategorized on 12/11/2017 at 10:50 am

Because hubbie Kong Hee in jail and he’s still paying off loan on Sentosa penthouse that has negative equity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If God really loved her (and him):

One of Nigeria’s best known pastors, David Oyedepo, whose church has been attended by the country’s presidents, says that Christians must be rich. Such preachers suggest that “planting seeds” (giving money to the church) will bring a harvest of its own, and that wealth is proof of God’s love. God must love Mr Oyedepo a lot; the Nigerian press reports that he is worth more than $150m and owns four private jets.

CHC members should remember that since

in the “prosperity Gospel”, a recent export from the United States, wealth is very much the intention. Many of the new generation of pastors tell their flocks that God does not want them to be poor.

In Africa, many Pentecostal churches are concerned with “this-worldly” victory, says Mr Gifford. In Nigeria congregations with names like the “Victory Bible Church” hang banners saying things like “Success is my Birthright”.

so if pastor not rich, why bother listening to him.

Extracts from Economist.

Amos the stupid

In Uncategorized on 11/11/2017 at 1:15 pm

Amos Yee: “But to me, it’s very important that I lead the kind of life I want and do the things I love, a part-time job that takes hours off your day ruins that. The feeling of ‘shamelessness’ on relying on others for money is much more worth making half your life or more of your life miserable, at least for me.”

Well he should have sought asylum in a Nordic country where the state will make sure he won’t starve if he doesn’t work.

The US may be the “Land of the free, where the buffalo roam” but it ain’t very generous to those not willing to work.

But doubtless Mother Mary will send money. But the TRE cybernut rats and their ang moh tua kee allies will only send their love.

 

SMRT: Race(s) of maintenance team please

In Uncategorized on 10/11/2017 at 1:49 pm

And that of their managers too please.

I’m asking because I’m hearing rumours that the members of the maintenance team are all members of a particular minority, while their managers are all of another race.

Whatever, race is important here.

Amid calls from various quarters for Singapore to ditch its long-standing Chinese-Malay-Indian-Others (CMIO) framework, a survey has shown that the model is still relevant as Singaporeans – including younger ones – still value the importance of race, its researchers say.

The survey, which involved about 2,000 Singaporeans and permanent residents, was conducted by Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) and Channel NewsAsia.

Source: Constructive, nation-build “newspaper” of Mediacorp

Race is so important in the S’pore fabric that we have a Malay “reserved” president whose i/c says “Indian”. That’s how important the PAP thinks racial identity is to S’poreans: Why PAP thinks we need a Malay president?

HDB flat: Dead Capital

In Political economy, Property on 10/11/2017 at 4:39 am

Here I wrote why a good public housing system is good for society quoting the uK’s Conservative party in 1951

Housing is the first of the social services. It is also one of the keys to increased productivity. Work, family life, health and education are all undermined by crowded houses.

I also wrote that in S’pore

things started going wrong when HDB flats on 99-year leases became “assets” to be manipulated for political gain (Think “asset enhancement”). The result: “affordable” public housing now means HDB “owners” having to take out mortgages of 25 years. Not a big problem if one buys a BTO flat from the HDB. After paying off the mortgage, there’s 39 years to go before the value of the flat falls over a cliff.

Here’s another problem: The paid-up HDB flat is an example of Hernando de Soto’s “dead capital” at work.

Hernando de Soto is a big name in development economics. He’s a Peruvian economist known for his work on the informal economy and the importance of business and property rights in development.

While S’pore is a developed economy (notwithstanding what the cybernuts say when they post on TRE or Chris K’s FB page), his idea of dead capital and the problems it causes society applies here too.

If I want a loan – to improve my house, or build a business – lenders need collateral. And land or buildings make particularly good collateral because they tend to increase in value, and it’s hard to hide them from creditors.

But the lender needs to be confident it could take the house away from me if I don’t repay the loan. So, I need to prove that the house really is mine. That requires an invisible web of information that the legal system and the banking system can use.

For Hernando de Soto, this invisible web is the difference between my house being an asset – something useful that I own – and being capital – an asset recognised by the financial system.

‘Dead capital’

In poor countries, a lot of assets are informally held. Hernando de Soto calls them “dead capital”, useless for securing a loan. His estimate was that at the start of the 21st Century there was almost $10tn (£7.5tn) worth of dead capital across the developing world – more than $4,000 (£3,200) for every person.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-41650606

We are not a poor country, but we got a lot of dead capital because paid-up HDB flats cannot be used as collateral for a bank loan or any other loan.

Question: My HDB property is fully paid up. Can i remortgage/refinance my HDB flat back to the banks for a loan?

Nope. Government rulings prohibit the remortgaging/refinancing of your fully-paid HDB flat for any additional new cash out loans.

http://www.mortgagesupermart.com.sg/resources/frequently-asked-questions

And the PAP administration KPKBs about the need to create an entrepreneurial, risk taking society? Entrepreneurs need funding and banks and other financial institutions need collateral when making risky loans. And property is the best collateral. No collateral, no funding.

SMRT: The cock that Khaw talks

In Infrastructure, S'pore Inc on 09/11/2017 at 1:11 pm

Improving rail reliability is a “multi-year war”, said Mr Khaw, who added that calling for a leadership change with each disappointment would be a “sure strategy for failure”

Hey Desmond Kuek was brought in (or “volunteered”) five years ago. So how long more will he be allowed to disappoint?

Did he, when he “volunteered” ask for “5 + x” number of years to make “SMRT great again” or was promised  “5 + x” years to make “SMRT great again”? If he asked for, or was given a specific number of years to make “SMRT great again” we must be told the number and the reason for that number.

Otherwise five years on the job, and still no results sounds like jobs for the generals.

And this is BS

Due to budgetary considerations faced by the government decades ago and the island’s land scarcity, the design of the North-South and East-West lines — Singapore’s oldest MRT lines which were opened in 1987 — is not ideal.

And overcoming the constraints would require the halting of operations for an extended period and at large costs to taxpayers, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan told the House on Tuesday (Nov 7).

For instance, the two lines, which account for about 60 per cent of the MRT ridership, have relied only on one depot in Bishan over the last 30 years because of “budget constraints” at the time of design.

Budgets were not the only constraint. Citing the example of train systems such as those in London and New York, Mr Khaw said he was “quite puzzled” by how the trains there could run 24 hours while allowing engineering work to be done.

While these lines were designed as far back as a century ago when land was cheap, he has also realised that the networks catered for many side-tracks, such that trains could run on alternate tracks. “That’s why they were able to continue running 24 hours, not necessarily along the same tracks. It will go to the same stations but there are bypasses … And that’s how a well-designed network ought to be,” he said. Again, Singapore does not have this “luxury”, he said.

Not having these “luxuries” means that there should have been a lot more emphasis on preventive maintenance. It’s now clear that this was lacking, hence the present rush to fix the system before the next GE.

And btw, land was (and is) expensive in HK too. And the British administrators were not exactly spendthrift in their MRT construction budget.

Only in M’sia

In Malaysia on 09/11/2017 at 7:19 am

Our PM can learn from Najib on fixing the Oppo

Although prosecutors show no interest in the billions stolen from 1MDB, they have thrown the book at the opposition. Anwar Ibrahim, a leader of Pakatan Harapan (PH), an opposition coalition, has been put behind bars for sodomy (a crime in Malaysia), on flimsy evidence. Later this month the government will oppose a suit calling for his release. Meanwhile another senior figure in PH, Lim Guan Eng, the chief minister of the state of Penang, conveniently faces two sets of corruption charges (he is accused of buying a house at an artificially low price). Two leaders of an opposition party in the state of Sabah, set up by a former vice-president of UMNO sacked as a minister for complaining about 1MDB, have also been scooped up in a recent corruption probe.

Protectors of Malays speak up for non Muslims:

When a launderette in the state of Johor put up a sign in September that read “For Muslim customers only”, Mr Najib, the head of a multi-ethnic coalition, kept mum. Instead, the local sultan, who is the head of the Muslim faith in the state, rebuked the owners for discriminating against minorities. Last month he and the country’s eight other sultans, who take it in turns to serve as head of state, released an unusual statement deploring growing Muslim intolerance as “beyond all acceptable standards of decency”.

https://www.economist.com/news/asia/21731091-despite-being-implicated-embezzlement-he-may-well-win

Cybernuts are only a subset of 30%

In Uncategorized on 08/11/2017 at 5:39 pm

AfD, a right-wing nationalist party formed in 2013, claimed almost 13% of the popular vote. It is the first time since World War Two such a party will enter the German parliament.

But people online have been quick to point out the majority of the electorate – 87% of those who voted – opted for one of the other parties. The hashtag #87Prozent [87 percent] has been trending on social media in Germany.

“I must just remind you,” he wrote. “We are 87 percent. In other words: an absolute majority against the right”.

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-41384799

In S’pore, the PAP can legitimately say to those who voted against the PAP “We are 70%”. U are only 30%. Sit down and shut up.”

And yet the cybernuts among the 30% (Oxygen, Dosh, BK, Rabble-rouser etc) see the 70% as enemies of S’pore juz as the PAP, wrongly, see the 30% as the enemies of S’pore.

Tean Lim should contact Roy

In CPF on 08/11/2017 at 8:07 am

Remember that anytime now (we should be able to release it in the 1st half of November) Lim Tean’s defamation video will be out:

Many are excited about the Defamation 101 video which I am making and have supported generously . I would like to inform all that we are in the process of finalising the video . The process has taken a bit longer than expected because of novel features we are adding to the video in order that both young and old can understand the material easily !

This video will enable Singaporeans to know what can and cannot be said so as not to fall foul of the defamation laws . It will lead to a more Open Society which is urgently needed so that we can be a more Creative society . People cannot be Creative when their thoughts and speech are shackled by fear . The PAP wants fear to permeate society – this is their tool to hold on to power . For our children and our country’s future , we must cast off this yoke of fear !

Lim Tean on FB last month

This blog supports the idea behind the video agreeing that the video can “lead to a more Open Society which is urgently needed so that we can be a more Creative society . People cannot be Creative when their thoughts and speech are shackled by fear .”

Further to an earlier suggestion PR suggestion for launch of “defamation” video here’s another suggestion to make a greater impact for the video: Get Roy Ngerng to endorse the video.

He should say that if he had seen a video that guided him

to know what can and cannot be said so as not to fall foul of the defamation laws

he could have avoided being taken to the cleaners by PM and yet still speak the “truth” about the CPF system.

Yes, this blog has ridiculed the “truths” that Roy propogated pointing most of the facts he talked about had been written before by people like Uncle Leong, Chris K and, dare I say it, this blog. They were not discoveries made by Roy.

But this blog never made fun of the fact that he could attract crowds and $: Roy Ngerng and the “swing voters”

He raised serious money for his defence while my sources allege that Lim Tean’s and Phillip’s appeal for money (CPF class action: Phillip Ang’s “reply’ to fellow cybernut) has raised “peanuts”. It’s even alleged that Phillip Ang had to cancel his order of a Ferrari, forfeiting his deposit.

Got KFC outlet like this here meh?

In China, Uncategorized on 07/11/2017 at 5:45 pm

I’m not a fan of KFC food, so not been in or near outlet for years. From NYT Dealbook

Fast food gets a reboot in China: tuna-pesto paninis, paid for by facial recognition. When Michelle Xian wandered into one of the fast-food restaurants at a shopping mall here on a recent weekday, she didn’t realize it was a KFC. The modern décor featured an open kitchen and hanging plants, and the menu included tuna-and-pesto paninis and quinoa-and-corn salads. Customers were busy placing orders via smartphone, using QR codes printed on tables, or through a facial-recognition system that matches their images to their Alipay digital wallets.
“I don’t normally go to KFC because it’s not that healthy,” said Ms. Xian, 30 years old, who ordered a chicken sandwich before being told where she was. “This is more aligned with new trends.” – The Wall Street Journal

People who value our education system

In Uncategorized on 07/11/2017 at 12:20 pm

There are Malaysians living in Johor that think their kids must have a S’pore education.

The sacrifices that the kids make

Technician Francis Alan, 37, whose son Henry is in Primary Two at Greenwood Primary School, said the effort was worth it. “Education in Singapore is one of the best in the world. We want Henry to become very marketable when he becomes an adult,” said Mr Francis, who works at Amgen Singapore Manufacturing in Tuas.

Henry wakes up at 3.30am on weekdays to catch the 4.30am bus to make it to school by 7.30am.

http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/rising-school-fees-non-sporeans-force-rethink-among-johoreans

And the sacrifices the parents make

… the fee hikes for permanent residents and foreigners began in 2011, when Danson was in Primary Three. From S$15 a month, Danson’s fees increased to S$22, then S$40 and S$90. Now in Secondary Three at Northland Secondary School, his Malaysian parents are forking out S$200 each month and the amount will hit S$400 and S$460 when he enters pre-university.

(Cheaper now according to the article to study in private schools in JB that use an int’l accepted curriculum.)

Step back and remember that this is an education sytem that many (self included) deride and criticise. The PAP is doing something right, right?

WP MPs are still not organised in parly

In Uncategorized on 06/11/2017 at 4:32 pm

Extract of interview with Low’s anointed one Dennis Tan last year

Does WP MPs coordinate on topics they are focusing on, or does the party leadership leave it to the MPs to decide on the topics?

“At this moment, there is no such arrangement. We are expected to cover all important issues that affect all Singaporeans.

Like the last term, some MPs may have definitely have some preference. Yee Jenn Jong, for example liked to talk about education and business issues; Gerald liked to talk about healthcare and transport issues — as time goes on in the next couple of months I think I expect some of us may have developed certain preferences. Having said that, we are expected to cover all the issues because there’s so few of us and we don’t really have a choice.”

https://mothership.sg/2016/03/workers-partys-first-time-ncmp-dennis-tan-is-an-overachieving-underdog/

So since the 2011 GE, WP MPs have not organised themselves so that they can shadow individual ministers and ministries.

 

WP Low’s anointed one

In Uncategorized on 06/11/2017 at 5:21 am

But first, we got a real bunch of “expert” cocks

Workers’ Party (WP) chief Low Thia Khiang’s decision to step down as secretary-general by next year took many political analysts by surprise, given that he managed to stave off a leadership challenge by fellow Member of Parliament Chen Show Mao just last year.

And

Associate Professor Eugene Tan from the Singapore Management University (SMU) said there had been no indication that Mr Low, who would have led the party for 17 years before he steps down, was going to make such an announcement.

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/low-thia-khiang-s-decision-a-boost-to-party-renewal-that-will-9375578

Well since earlier this year, I had it from Morocco Mole‘s twin brother that Low and Auntie would not be contesting the next GE. And it wouldn’t have been a secret if Morocco Mole’s twin brother knew about it. It was something the WP cadres were openly talking about among themselves, even if they were not posting about in on FB

These experts have no contacts among WP cadres isit?

Well we now know that Low will not be contesting for the post of Secretary-General in the next Central Executive Committee (CEC) Elections. TOC reported that “He said that he is confident that the party has a new generation of capable leaders who are ready to take the helm.”

Assoc Prof Eugene Tan is talking via his ass when he “says the front-runners at the moment are Ms Lim and Mr Singh”. It’s not an open race but a wayang like the selection of Hali. There’s a Daulphin in place and neither Auntie or her bayee is the anointed one. Nor is Lion Man: Leon the Lion. Like in the PAP, WP leader must be Chinese. And in WP’s case, Teochew.

I had been told by Morocco Mole’s twin brother that NCMP Dennis Tan had been chosen by Low to take his place. He’s an “Executive Council Member and Vice Chair, Media Team” of the Wankers’ Party.

wpmp_profile2_dennis

But he’s no wanker. He’s from RI and is a shipping lawyer in DennisMathiew where he’s a partner. In the last GE he did pretty well in Fengshan SMC, winning 43% of the votes.

He walks the ground assidiously. In 2016

having covered every block and house in the single-member constituency of Fengshan on foot, is just getting started after walking it two times.

https://mothership.sg/2016/03/workers-partys-first-time-ncmp-dennis-tan-is-an-overachieving-underdog/

I’ll say this for him: unlike Gerald Giam (Remember him?), he didn’t go AWOL or MIA after the GE like what Gerald did after GE2011 in East Coast GRC. When Gerald Giam started working the ground in Bedok in preparation for GE2015, the HDB estate (the heart of East Coast GRC) had changed a lot since he stopped walking the ground after GE2011. He and his team needed a map of the area.

 

Are PM and Ho Ching sad and envious?

In Humour, Internet on 05/11/2017 at 1:52 pm

Remember in 2013 PM said at a Zaobao Forum: “Satisfied people don’t have time to go onto the Internet. Unhappy people often go there.”*? Judging by the postings by the ratty and cheapskate cybernuts on TRE (People like Oxygen, Rabble-Rouser, Bapak and Dosh who see the 70% as the enemy within S’pore and want to see them suffer for voting PAP) he has a point about unhappy people who keep insisting that S’pore is collapsing contrary to the evidence. Yes there are serious problems, but nothing existential.

Sorry for the digression: so what can we gather from PM’s and Ho Ching’s regular posts on Facebook?

According to this, they must be sad and envious

Writing in the London Review of Books, John Lanchester cites numerous studies that suggest Facebook use goes hand in hand with envy and sadness, and quite plausibly causes them.

FT article


John Henry Lanchester (born 25 February 1962) is a British journalist and novelist … His journalism has appeared in theLondon Review of Books (where he is a Contributing Editor), Granta, The Observer, The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph andThe New Yorker

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lanchester

This weekend John Lanchester wrote the cover piece for The Sunday Times Magazine, in which he argued that Facebook was the biggest surveillance enterprise in history, and could destroy civilisation.

—————————————————–

They also got a lot of free time and don’t focus because FB “is also a notorious time-sink and source of distraction” the article goes on.

Btw, Ever wondered this about PM’s Facebook posts?

——————————–

*https://mothership.sg/2013/11/10-signs-prime-minister-lee-hsien-loong-dissatisfied-person/

 

 

Our otters: A global first

In Environment on 05/11/2017 at 4:28 am

Really. Our otters are uniquely S’porean. No where else in the world has wild otters like ours.

Yes, another tale from Udrahpore or Otterpore:Udrahpore not Singapore. But this time not a tall tale.

Our otters are the product of sex between two otter species.

A paper 

published on 27 January 2017 in the ‘Scientific Reports’ journal (www.nature.com/srep) has shown that the apparent Smoothcoated
Otters in Singaporeare hybrids of two local species – the Smooth-coated
Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) and the Asian Small-clawed
Otter (Aonyx cinereus). This is the first worldwide record of hybridization in a
wild otter population. Hybrids of these two species have been recorded in captivity before (between a L perspicillata male with an A cinereus female).

For more see page 9 in

https://www.nss.org.sg/newsletter/902d1c3a-2Nature%20News%20Mar&%20Apri%202017C.pdf

“Idiots”, “Indians” no more

In Uncategorized on 04/11/2017 at 1:21 pm

Well it seems TISG has changed.

This is a pretty good analysis by the publisher of TISG. But note that he didn’t talk of TISG. My bet is that it’ll close soon because it’s been cleaning up its act and going to a sanitised place where the eyeballs of anti-PAP cybernuts no longer follow it. Tired of being invited to Lim Kopi?

But then maybe being PAP loudhailer for paid-off? TISG: “useful loudhailer” for PAP administration

Whatever, pretty good stuff

good journalism is only good as a vanity metric, it is both subjective and unquantifiable. I am not even sure if it can be defined as a product that can be differentiated in a highly competitive marketplace. As a business, it is not defensible.

In this business, there is no customer lock in. People read what they want to read and often read news that comes in their social media feeds. Even the 30% die-hard opposition supporters read the main-stream media – they share articles widely about how the MSM is so biased and in the process making MSM more entrenched. Let’s not forget, ST has more followers that all the alternate media combined.

Secondly, readers’ preferences about what they read changes over time and it is difficult for a small media outfit to monitor the changes in reader habits. Besides, a one trick pony that only attracts a certain kind of readers is poorly equipped to monitor the changing trends in the space.

Therein lies their business dilemma, growing out of their niche would be difficult as it would offend their initial customer segment and their need for good well-argued pieces.  They also brought on subscribers on the basis of good journalism, though very little, it is a market that they couldn’t forsake till now.

Paywall is a death trap

Nobody owes anybody a living and if you’re going out there to raise funds to bankroll your operations, you’ll soon find that you have few friends. Subscribers are finicky – they want good service, they want a certain number of articles to be published each day, expect constant uptime of servers and all these cost monies and you need truckloads of them.

Unless you have a well-oiled machine, you’ll soon realise that you cannot deliver on your promises as you will need to juggle between running a good sales team on top of a good editorial team. A major, if not impossible undertaking for a startup.

Long verbose articles do not sit well in a mobile device. People’s attention span is too short to go through long pieces. Singapore’s market of 2.3M readers and to target a niche segment of the total addressable market is really a death trap.

There are few contenders that’ll probably cover this segment and it could very well be TODAY and ST –  it is easy to dismiss them as old media houses languishing in the digital age or that their pro-government Pyongyang styled media is completely out of touch, I would argue otherwise.

Recently, both TODAY and ST have published articles that are critical of the government and these pieces are shared widely by anti-establishment activists. They probably were on TMG’s heals to chip away the little market share she had.

All three, TMG, 66N and IQ managed to raise seed capital to launch their sites, yet they failed to scale their startups and there is a valuable lesson here for any startup founder – never put the cart before the horse. Only raise funds when you have a sure-fire way of sustaining the business.

The fundamental question we need to ask, is there really a market for middle-of-the-road, well-balanced, neither here-nor-there, running on the road divider kind of publication? Perhaps not, so, let’s not beat ourselves over it, though it’s sorely missed!

RIP TMG.

http://www.theindependent.sg/tmgs-better-mouse-trap/

Related post: Atas website closing

 

Starting a new political party

In Uncategorized on 04/11/2017 at 7:53 am

In S’pore, it’s easy to register a political party even if the office bearers are a bunch of clowns. Juz ask Goh Meng Seng and friends.

But what then?

I’ll use extracts from a BBC article referencing the UK on how difficult it is for a new party to get traction and that the only way to get traction is something that Harry cleverly blocked

New political parties have a remarkably high failure rate in the UK. They almost never succeed – but are things different now?

The success of new French President Emmanuel Macron, who created a liberal pro-European party of government, En Marche, from scratch in less than two years, has made some people wonder if it could happen in the UK.

Conventional wisdom says a fresh face could never rise so rapidly to the top – the first-past-the-post electoral system is biased in favour of the existing “big two” parties, the argument goes.

But politics is more fast-moving and fluid than it has ever been and there appears, to some at least, to be a gap in the market.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-40498232

But

It is not all doom – small parties can and do break through on to the national stage in the UK. The public are willing to give them a hearing in a way that they never did in the past – witness the seven-way debates at election time and the extraordinary rise of the SNP.

But the ones that succeed tend to be born in the angry margins, speaking up for voters who feel their views are being ignored by the mainstream.

But a centralist new party? Forget it because

The “centre ground” tends to be the preserve of political insiders, who can come with a lot of unhelpful baggage.

OK Macron did it but he’s also a 39 yr old guy with a 60-something mother wife

There’s a way

if you have ambitions of running the country, but launching a new party with the same old, tarnished Westminster faces is likely to turn voters off, then what exactly would it take?

“You would need at least 100 or so MPs,” and it would need to be a “spectacular” and game-changing coup, says Prof Tim Bale.

“It would need to be exciting enough – and big enough and sexy enough – to convince people.”

A charismatic leader, without too much baggage (sorry, Tony) is a must.

And timing would be everything. If the launch is too far from the next general election, the shine could come off and the whole enterprise come crashing to the ground before anyone gets a chance to vote for it, says Prof Bale.

But it can’t be done here. A law of Harry’s is that MPs cannot switch parties. They got to resign their seats.

Truly the 9th Immortal 

SMRT: Why Desmond must go

In Infrastructure, S'pore Inc on 03/11/2017 at 11:15 am

That SMRT has asked staff to own-up to lapses without being penalised before a detailed audit is carried out is very worrying. The implication is that SMRT’s senior management is worried that the falsification of records on the maintenance of a tunnel is not the work of “a few rotten apples”. As someone posted on FB:

To be at this juncture, they must have lost control over the operations of the company. Employees must be very unhappy and demoralised too!

Management must be worried that the falsification of maintenance records is systemic. If it’s systemic, senior management cannot escape responsibility even if S’pore does accountability and responsibility in its unique understanding of “meritocracy”: Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy.

Talking about the falsification of maintenance records and the failure to detect that work was done, a few days before the amnesty:

Singapore Management University’s Toru Yoshikawa said they are indicative that it was not a priority for SMRT’s top management and board to review its system of checks and internal audits.

Well Desmond has been CEO long enough (5 years) to be responsible for systematic mgt failings. so he and other senior managers should commit hari-kiri. And btw, Hali, the president, and Ong, a contender to be PM, were directors of SMRT: More on Hali’s judgement between 2007 -2011/ Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

During his 1984 National Day Rally speech, LKY had this to say about getting things done and what should be done when things don’t work: “Everything works, whether its water, electricity, gas, telephone, telexes, it just has to work. If it doesn’t work, I want to know why, and if I am not satisfied, and I often was not, the chief goes, and I have to find another chief. Firing the chief is very simple.

Wonder why his son forgot this Hard Truth when rereading LKY’s speeches? How PM honours “Pa”

Because LKY would fired him after the 2011 GE if LKY had the power? Instead LKY had to move on and was rumoured to have said that Teo Cheen Hean would have made a better PM than “Hsien Loong”.

 

 

 

 

 

Incomplete story about PM’s arty days

In Uncategorized on 03/11/2017 at 4:55 am

Mr Tan also recounted that when Mr Lee was a junior officer, he had written a programme to compute the angle to fire a gun. Before that, the men had to tediously calculate these details manually. “PM said that was… so primitive. So he started to think that something could be done,” he said.

Today

What wasn’t told by Mr Tan was that was that the future PM wrote the programme for use in the HP scientific calculator or the finance one (I’m not sure which). And more importantly, we were not told that the progamme wasn’t of much use because the HP calculator wasn’t rugged enough for military use. At least he was smart enough not to use the TI version: that was (and is) more delicate: these calculators are still on sale.

PR suggestion for launch of “defamation” video

In Uncategorized on 02/11/2017 at 1:10 pm

The defamation video is in the process of being finalised . We are adding animation so it is taking a bit longer than expected . But we should be able to release it in the 1st half of November .

Lim Tean

Lim Tean says will help S’poreans avoid getting sued for defamation when they criticise you-know-who. My suggestion is that he or a member of Team Lim Tean should get in touch with Tan Tee Seng with a view of doing a premiere of the video which .

Tan Tee Seng, a “Marxist conspirator” (he confessed), is part of a team of social activists that organises screenings of interesting films  and the video should be something that will interest the team, and those who attend the screenings.

Who knows it might even get into this mid November festival:

Make a date with Freedom Film Festival 2017 Singapore!