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Archive for February, 2017|Monthly archive page

Imagining the future of S’pore

In Property on 28/02/2017 at 7:47 am

Making S’pore Unique again.

For someone who keeps tabs on waz happening here, I’m ashamed to say that I’ve only recently seen these very good videos made by Tay Kheng Soon and his students.

Some really interesting ideas including on how we can retain the greenery while taking in millions more FTs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQOfcNBo948

The politics and planning of new Singapore as an intelligent city.

The second video has interesting ideas on how HDB flats can be split into smaller units so that the old can sell off excess space. Ties in with what I’ve been thinking of how my terrace house can be split into three separate apartments each with kitchen, hall, toilet and two bed rooms.

Also good ideas of monetising without en-block sales and building retirement homes above HDB open car parks and on top of buildings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjlGE2VfA_I

We need to hear more alternative views from S’poreans like Tay and his students and hear less from the likes of Uncle Leong and TJS with their fake analyses, that I’m sure they themselves don’t believe in.

We also need to be more aware that these views.

What the Old Guaed got right/ What the Young Guard ignores

In Economy on 27/02/2017 at 11:20 am

Yesterday, I posted that there wasn’t much difference politically between the PAP Old Guard and the African leaders that governed after independence*.

But these leaders lost power because didn’t help their people achieve material prosperity. It was this prosperity** that gave the PAP legitimacy in the eyes of up to 80% of the voters from 1965 — 1990

Since then the PAP and the economy have been on auto-pilot.

The PAP avoided a crash in 2011, and regained altitude by throwing more of our money our way. What the PAP derided as “welfarism” will be redefined as the “need to attend to the well-being of citizens” (words of a PAPpy running dog in today’s SunT)

But the economy for all the talk of restructuring is still on auto pilot. When S’poreans realise what 2-3% economic growth really means (hope to blog on this soon), unhappiness will grow especially among those who boutht into the idea of die-die must buy pigeon hole in the sky..


*A reader pointed out

The difference is that the old guards viewed themselves as chairman & board of directors of a corporation, and were internally motivated to see the long-term growth of same, staking their own prosperity with that of the country/corporation. That said, a corporation isn’t a democracy.

Africa & Burma strongmen basically were more interested in short-term extraction of maximum wealth & benefits in the shortest time possible, while using guns & muscle to maintain the looting for as long as possible.

Places like India fall somewhere in-between.

**If Lim Chin Siong and friends had won, based on their own words, we’d have gone the way of the Africans and Burmese. Whether they’d made a u-turn is something that can be debated until the cows come home. All I’ll say is that they did not have a Dr Goh Keng Swee on their team.

 

Not uniquely PAP

In Political governance on 26/02/2017 at 4:33 pm

The following could be said of Harry Lee and others of the PAP Old Guard

When Britain dismantled its empire it left behind crude carbon copies of its own form of government …

Yet in the early days of independence most African leaders swiftly imposed their own stamp on the fragile states they had inherited, reshaping institutions they often condemned as colonial impositions. New ideas such as “African socialism” swept the region, along with the notion of a specifically African form of democracy. Leaders such as Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana led the way in arguing that new states needed to put national unity ahead of multi-party democracy, often imposing one-party systems of government that swiftly turned into bullying autocracies. In many cases—witness Ghana and Nigeria—unity was supposedly saved by military coups that were easily mounted.

And even where states embrace the outward forms of democracy, holding regular elections, few enjoy the checks and balances provided by strong institutions and independent courts and civil services.

http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21705355-threats-democratic-rule-africa-are-growing-time-and-demography-are

 

Mao’s returned as Trump

In Uncategorized on 26/02/2017 at 6:54 am

He’s more Mao than Xi is:

In China there are some who compare Mr Trump’s character and leadership style with China’s Chairman Mao. They point to the former’s relentless tweeting as a new version of the latter’s daily deluge of quotations.

They note other similarities: the unpredictability, distrust of media, and overwhelming self-confidence.

Some admire and some despise, but Donald Trump, they say, is a great disrupter in the Maoist mould.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-38766887

TOC, TMG can rebut this?/ But then PAP is always wrong

In Economy, Environment on 25/02/2017 at 9:34 am

 

TOC, TMG (with a once (and future?) wannable Sith Lord)  and other anti-PAPpists have been complaining about the impending water price hikes.

 

No automatic alt text available.

Singapore MattersLike Page

Your bowl of mee pok is going to cost 30% more because water price is going up by 30%? Your cup of coffee will cost 30% more?

That’s FEAR MONGERING! Quit it!

Put that 30% increase in perspective. If your cup of coffee costs 30% more because water price has gone up, that’s called exploiting the water price increase to raise prices.

Taz wht we had the assurance of a junior minister that

the cost of goods, such as coffee and tea, “should not and ought not go up” when participants addressed the trickle-down effect that the water price increase.

TOC

Then what happens when prices don’t rise?

TOC, TMG and the cybernuts will then complain that sellers of coffee and tea drinks and food sellers are suffering.

Don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.

The PAP is so very lucky in its enemies.

Railway between Port Klang and Kuantan port

In Malaysia on 25/02/2017 at 5:33 am

Cybernuts have been KPKBing about China trying to kill our port despite Cosco investing here big time.

Well it seems they missed this Chinese investment in M’sia as they’ve not been KPKBing. Eugene Tavano kooning isit?

In October 2016, the Malaysian government announced that China Communications Construction Co. will construct and China Export-Import Bank will finance the construction of the 620 km East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), a project estimated to cost RM55bn. The ECRL will connect Kuantan Port on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia with Port Klang on the west coast.

This will allow the transshipment of goods between the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea without having to go past Singapore.

 

 

Lawrence Wong talked cock

In Uncategorized on 24/02/2017 at 2:56 pm

Speaking during Channel NewsAsia’s Singapore Budget Forum 2017, which was broadcast yesterday (23 Feb) Mr Wong said he drew inspiration from Sweden where the small country with a population of 9.6 million has produced technology start-ups like Spotify and Skype and further with iconic brands such as IKEA and H&M.

Erm Skype was an Estonian start-up.

World should want Trump to play more golf

In Uncategorized on 24/02/2017 at 7:03 am

World safer when he leaves it to experienced men to run the hegemon.

But no, Hilary and her friends diss making world a safer place.

Donald Trump’s golf hobby under scrutiny with Clinton tweet

Kyle Griffin tweets:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39054971

AHTC accounts: WP outsources decision to recover monies

In Corporate governance, Uncategorized on 23/02/2017 at 7:45 am

AHTC chairman Pritam Singh said in a statement on Friday (Feb 17) that the Workers’ Party-run town council has been studying KPMG’s Past Payments Report since it was issued on Oct 31, 2016 and “while AHTC’s key officials have a different perspective from the audit team on key aspects of the report, AHTC believes that it is in the interests of AHTC and its residents to appoint an independent panel to review the findings and take such action as deemed appropriate to safeguard AHTC’s interests”.

CNA

So what will happen if the independent panel appointed to review the findings of a KPMG report agrees with the findings and recommendations of KPMG? KPMG said the town council had “serious flaws” in governnace and had made improper payments amounting to millions of dollars to third parties. It recommended that the amounts be recovered.


What else the report said

The KPMG report said the town council’s “failed control environment exposed public funds to the potential for misappropriation and civil or criminal breach of trust, and that the Town Council may potentially look to the Town Councillors for the recovery of losses arising from any breaches of their fiduciary duties”.

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The WP TC members would at the very least be shown to be a bunch of cocks who don’t do accounting.

So one assumes that the WP has a plan.

So are the WP TC members that confident they can get the independent committee to see things from the WP’s perspective?

Three professionals were appointed to the panel following consultation with HDB.They are panel chairman Philip Jeyaretnam SC, and members Mr N Sreenivasan SC and Mr Ong Pang Thye (managing partner of KPMG LLP).  The Court of Appeal also approved of the panel.

Interesting a man from KPMG is part of the team reviewing KPMG’s report.

Bit of ownself check ownself ain’t it?

So what weed are the WP TC members smoking? Do they really think the panel will say the findings and recommendations of the report are rubbish?

Maybe they have new information that they think will make the panel say that the report is no longer relevant in the light of the new info? Possible but not probable.

As I see it, the decision to get a “independent” panel to decide on the actions the AHTC has to take as regards the report  shows that the WP TC members have hoisted the white flag. They have no more room for manoeuvre, having run out of road. The TC members have to make the decision to start the recovery process, or explain why they are refusing to attempt recovery.

If the former, there will be unhappy suppliers and service providers who may have tales to tell. If the latter, the stench will get worse at the very least. It is likely that a “concerned” resident (Chen Show Moa?)living in the area would ask the courts to compel the WP TC to recover the monies.

At worse, a grass-root activist will sue the TC members in their personal capacity. The 15k a month each wanking MP gets will be insufficient recompense in such a event.

So better to get others to make the decision to recover monies. Can tell all those suppliers, “Not our decision leh.”

 

 

 

 

Fault of PAP that economy can’t transform

In Economy on 22/02/2017 at 5:10 pm

David Skilling a director at Landfall Strategy Group, a Singapore-based economic research and advisory firm wrote in an article in ST

My assessment is that the more important constraints on Singapore’s transition to a productivity-driven growth model are those associated with the structure of Singapore’s economy. Indeed, I would suggest that it is exactly because the existing growth model has been so successful that the transition process to a productivity-led growth model is so challenging.

One way of thinking about this is a Singapore version of “Dutch Disease”, in which one part of the economy becomes so successful that it weakens the competitive position of other sectors. This is because the successful sector places upward economy-wide pressure on wages, costs and the exchange rate. In Singapore, as with some other FDI (foreign direct investment)-intensive economies, the MNC (multinational corporation)-heavy sectors are highly productive, and have correspondingly higher wage and cost structures. This attracts resources from elsewhere in the economy, and raises the cost structure for other Singapore firms relative to their levels of productivity.

This is felt keenly by Singapore firms in internationally oriented sectors that have lower average levels of productivity than the large MNCs. The high cost structures faced by these firms make scaling up entrepreneurial and innovative activity into international markets more challenging. This has contributed to the observed difficulties with growing new global champions from Singapore.

http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/on-singapores-economic-pivot?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&xtor=CS1-10#link_time=1487662022&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social-media&utm_campaign=addtoany

KPMG says SIA is not a global brand

In S'pore Inc on 22/02/2017 at 6:45 am

This was published in the constructive, nation-building freesheet that is MediaCorp last week:

Can Singapore companies be globally competitive?

The United States has Apple. China has Alibaba. Japan has Toyota. Korea has Samsung.

Why doesn’t Singapore have a company or brand that is equally recognisable, globally?

This was written by

Larry Sim and See Wei Hwa are Tax Partner and Senior Tax Manager, respectively, at KPMG in Singapore. These are their own views.

What this piece shows is the ignorance or stupidity, or both, of the people working in KPMG.

In consumer brands, there’s  S’pore Int’l Auntie. Admittedly her bottom and breasts are sagging when compared to her A-Rab counterparts but still SIA is still a global brand* like Alibaba, Apple, Samsung or Toyota. In fact SIA has been around longer as a global brand than Alibaba, Apple or Samsung. Yet the men from KPMG doesn’t know this fact. Stupid.

And taz’s not all.

In the global offshore marine industry, we have Keppel and SembCorp. In commodities, there’s Wilmar and Olam (And there was Noble).

And we don’t have “a company or brand that is equally recognisable, globally?” Stupid KPMG.

Sad that these people working in KPMG doesn’t know S’pore. Or that KPMG employs such stupid people. They FTs where the “T” stands for “Trash” isit? Or are they S’porean products of our education system?

Or is KPMG another nest of anti-PAP cybernut pests, like TRE or TOC? There is nothing good in S’pore worth praising is the attitude of these nuts.

And is KPMG juz another pretentious, shirty company that thinks it is the peer of a company like PwC?


*I was talking to the a retired SIA gal yesterday who still looks glamorous; she’s the mother of a 17-yr gal.

The genius of Trump

In Uncategorized on 21/02/2017 at 4:23 pm

US unions, part of the Democrats’ machine, find themselves on the side of Trump, an anti-union man that white union members support.

Trump’s Inroads in Union Ranks Have Labor Leaders Scrambling

Many unions have interests aligned with the president’s and are adapting his themes to their objectives, even while denouncing much of his agenda.

NYT Dealbook

Bishan Otters: Why they’ll be on AVA’s cull list

In Environment on 21/02/2017 at 4:51 am

S’poreans are great at KPKBing after the event; Jus look at the noise after the culling of the Sing Ming Avenue fowl be they be junglefowl, feral domestic chickens or mixed breed (My take on that).

If S’poreans are their usual lazy, unthinking, reactive selves what happened at Sing Ming can happen to the Bishan otters because based on what happened to wild pigs and the fowl, the default mode at AVA to any animal problem is “Cull first, ask questions and BS later”.


This assurance on culling reported by CNA is only for free-ranging chickens: Culling of free-ranging chickens will only be done as “last resort” says MND junior minister Dr Koh.

Otters are not chickens.

Image result for otters singaporeImage result for jungle fowl singapore

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And there’s good reason to be concerned about the environmental impact of the otters. They are not stopping at two: a population of five in mid 2015, has expanded to 14 in about two years. And the first three youngsters will be maturing soon.

In April 2015, two adult otters — believed to have swam over from Malaya to S’pore — were caught on camera with triplet baby pups in tow, having settled down in the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

Five new pups, believed to be born in late December 2015, made the family the Bishan Eight.

Then there was a new litter of five pups some time in mid-November 2016. But one is missing it seems.

All in all, a population of five in mid 2015, has expanded to 14 in about two years. By the end of 2018, there’ll be 10 sexually mature otters. They won’t be stopping at two for sure.

—————————————————-

Dr Koh said AVA found that the free-roaming chicken population near Sin Ming Avenue had more than doubled in the last two years from about 20 to more than 50 birds. (CNA)

——————————————————

As bitch otters, I’ve read, reach sexual maturity at approximately two years of age and males at approximately three years, the triplets will soon be sexually mature: the gals by April this year, and the boys by April next year.

The gals in the next batch will mature in December this year and the boys by December next year.

So by the end of 2018, there’ll be 10 sexually mature otters. They’ll breed like their parents.

As pups live with their family for approximately one year, the otters range further.

Add to that the issue of in-breeding and we could have otter conservation issues as a legtimate and reasonable concern.

Let’s hope the AVA is planning ahead and that culling isn’t the usual default option, or even on the agenda. Maybe MP Lous Ng and his ACRES: Animal Concerns Research and Education Society can keep the AVA on its toes.

The Bishan otters deserve better than the exterminated Sing Ming Avenue fowl be they be junglefowl, feral domestic chickens or mixed breed.

 

Paying peanuts pays-off for college

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 20/02/2017 at 1:57 pm

Houghton College uses low-cost index funds and mutual funds and its returns beat Harvard with its millionaire in-house managers and external filthy rich hedgies. Btw, after ten years of lagging investment returns, Harvard’s US$35.7 billion endowment is planning to cut its current staff of 230 in half by the end of 2017.

From NYT Dealbook

COMMON SENSE
By JAMES B. STEWART

Houghton College outperformed colleges with the biggest endowments by getting out of hedge funds and moving to a mix of low-cost index funds and mutual funds.

Think of our PAP ministers’ pretentions on why they deserve their millions in salaries.

Fowl play: Cull in haste, repent at leisure

In Environment on 20/02/2017 at 5:43 am

TOC and TMG*, both occupying locales at the more responsible end of the cowboy town that is our cyberspace, created a fuss about the culling of the fowl around Sin Ming Avenue.

I really don’t know if they were Red Junglefowl, as both TOC and TMG, claimed; or as the AVA seemed to imply domesticated chickens gone feral or mixed breed. It would be a shame if Red Junglefowl were culled.

Two interesting observations: the willingness of the anti-PAP 30% to believe an ang moh even if he’s no expert, and how cock the AVA can be.

Ang moh always tua kee

Waz interesting is that these publications and the S’poreans they quoted, and those other S’poreans jumping on the band wagon and criticising the AVA and the PAP administration, seems to have accepted the word of an ang moh that the fowl were Junglefowl, even though he admitted that no tests were conducted. He directed a series** that among other animals featured these chickens:

Andrew Scott, director of Wild City in response to the news of the culling commented, “I directed the episode of the TV programme “Wild City”, and we featured those very birds. I have very fond memories of the week we spent filming on Sin Ming Ave. We filmed all over the island for that show, but that street always stuck in my mind as the most charming and characterful place we visited. I would dispute the assertion that they are “chickens, not jungle fowl” – They are exactly the same species (only genetic testing would be able to differentiate wild type fowl from domesticated birds, and even then the difference is debatable).

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2017/02/03/wild-city-features-sin-ming-ave-chickens-as-endangered-red-junglefowl/

He expert meh? Ang moh tua kee isit?

AVA: a bunch of headless chickens

But let’s face it, AVA’s response to the “noise” has been pathetic. Its latest attempt at damage control got this response in the Forum section of our constructive, nation-building ST:

No consistency in AVA statements

The letter by Dr Yap Him Hoo, director-general of the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) (“AVA concerned about bird flu risk, not noise of chickens“; Feb 15), contradicts an earlier statement by Ms Jessica Kwok, AVA group director of the animal management group (“Free-ranging chickens may be culled“; Feb 2), that the authority had received requests to manage the free-ranging chicken population due to noise pollution.

The impression that the AVA took action because of noise was, therefore, not due to various media reports. Rather, it was created by the AVA itself.

With such contradictory statements from two high-profile figures in the AVA, what is the public to believe?

It gives the impression that the AVA top management is not working as one.

Dr Yap’s statement that the chickens were at risk of being exposed to bird flu from migratory birds, as the chickens could catch the disease through direct contact with them or through their droppings, is flawed.

Free-ranging chickens are few in number, compared to the many pigeons, mynahs and crows congregating at public eating places, snatching food and leaving their droppings all over the place.

Doesn’t this group of birds pose a greater risk of being carriers of bird flu, should there be an outbreak in Singapore?

It would be more credible for the AVA to come up with long-term measures to solve the pigeon, mynah and crow problem here, instead of culling chickens as a stop-gap measure.

These other birds are not only a health risk, but a noise nuisance as well.

Ronnie Lim Ah Bee

Background for those not in S’pore during CNY

The AVA culled some noisy chickens claiming that they were a bird-flu risk. It said that they were not Red Junglefowl as alleged by the usual suspects.

However someone unearthed a series shown here in 2015 which was made with the support of the MDA**.

In a segment of one a two-part series on wild life in the city-state, Sir David Attenborough said that the chickens  around Sin Ming Avenue were Red Junglefowl, the ancestors of domesticated chickens. Footage showed the chickens had grey legs and that they can fly; domesticated chickens have yellow legs and can’t fly. But please note that chup cheng chicken, the result of crossing breeding, could have these characteristics.

The video got the feathers flying and the anti-PAP cybernuts upset.

At the very least, the AVA should cull fire those responsible for its response for the culling especially as it seems that they were not aware of the series.


*Waz interesting is that a TMG tua kee (no not the wannabe be Sith Lord turned Jedi) is trying hard to show that AVA misled the public about the reason for the cull, although the facts show otherwise.

**

The two-part series produced by local company Beach House Pictures and supported by MDA through the Public Service Broadcast funding, is part of a series of seven SG50 documentaries. The first episode titledUrban Wild, which focuses on the wildlife who have made their homes among Singapore’s urban landscape, features civets in roof cavities and wild otters at the Marina Reservoir. The second episode,Hidden Wild, takes audiences to Singapore’s hidden wildlife spots like the coastal wetlands and offshore islands, which have become thriving habitats to a variety of creatures.

https://www.imda.gov.sg/infocomm-and-media-news/sg-spotlight/2015/3/singapores-wild-city

 

 

 

M Ravi suffering a relapse?

In Uncategorized on 19/02/2017 at 1:26 pm

He sick again? Not taking his medicine for his bi-polar disorder? Relying on meditation only as he once did as he adnitted in his autobiography?

Below is a call by M Ravi for the “rights of animals to be protected by the law.”

I mean he and the usual suspects people like Tan Wah Piow, Goh Meng Seng, Teo Soh Lung and Kirsten Han are forever KPKBing that S’poreans don’t have the human rights that other countries accord their citizens and other residents.

Yet he now wants S’porean animals to have rights that he claimed in the past that humans living here don’t have? Something is not right?

His friends should be worried.

Time to Give Animals a Voice in Court

The culling of 24 free roaming chickens in the Sin Ming area hit the headlines this week. The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (the “AVA”) stated that it had received over 200 complaints across the island about such chickens last year. The main complaints related to noise nuisance, but the AVA also explained that an unchecked roaming chicken population could increase the risk of avian flu, which is prevalent in the region. The National Parks Board agreeing with the culling argued about the risk to endangered native junglefowl.

However, some local residents were shocked at the chicken deaths, claiming that the animals were not intrusive and that residents had not been asked their opinion before the cull. The Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (“ACRES”), an animal protection group, responded that a more humane solution could have been found to killing the chickens, such as relocation or adoption. This case, and the increase in reported animal cruelty incidents, highlights the plight of animals in Singapore.

To any skeptics, my concerns have nothing to do with the fact that I am a vegetarian. I became more interested in the standing and rights of animals to be protected by the law, when I personally witnessed crow-culling and stray animal cruelty incidents. My concerns in trying to find a voice for these defenseless animals heightened when I heard about Chippy the macaque monkey which was subject to frequent abuse by the public. After months of petitioning for his rescue and release to a sanctuary in Wales in the UK, Chippy remained missing until this article appeared in August that Chippy had been “removed” for “rehabilitation”.

Legislation in Singapore currently provides for a degree of animal welfare. Animals should not be treated cruelly or be caused pain or suffering. The law also goes further, placing a positive duty of care on animal owners and those working in animal related businesses to ensure the well-being of animals in their care. Under the Animal and Birds (Amendment) Act 2014 (the “Act”), animal owners must take positive steps to find an animal that goes missing, and they must comply with codes of practice relating to animal welfare. However, it is only the AVA that can bring cases to court. In 2016, of 840 reported incidents of animal cruelty, the AVA only had enough evidence to take 104 cases forward. Of those cases that do reach court, few result in the fines or imprisonment provided for in the Act.

Besides the Act, section 428 of Singapore’s Penal Code also makes it an offence to kill, maim, poison, or render useless any animal.

It is important to recognise that current legislation falls shy of actually recognising express rights for animals and giving them the right to be protected by law.

Animal campaign groups would like to see a change in the law so that they and other interested citizens have legal standing to sue on behalf of animals. At present, the rules of legal standing mean that such organisations have to prove that they have a ‘special interest’ in a case. However, it is difficult to prove this special interest when cases are being brought not for the benefit of the organisation but for the animals. The animals themselves do not have legal rights which makes them, effectively, voiceless. Other proposed solutions are a system of a so-called litigant guardian, as provided in some countries to children or the mentally-handicapped; or recognising animals as legal “persons” in the same way the law recognises companies.

The issue of legal standing and animals’ legal rights, so-called non-human rights, is not new. Globally, attitudes are shifting, but progress is slow. New Zealand granted basic rights to certain ape species in 1999 and their use in research, testing and teaching was banned. In 2002, Germany awarded animals rights in the constitution meaning that they must be respected by the state and that they have a right to have their dignity protected. The draft United Nations Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (“UDAW”) provides that animals should be recognised as ‘sentient’ beings and therefore afforded dignity and respect. However, the UDAW has not been ratified by the UN and remains a draft. Perhaps this is because countries are reluctant to recognise animals as having particular rights. Giving animals rights could raise difficult questions in relation to businesses handling animals, ownership, and so on.

Singapore is moving in the right direction on animal rights issues, with the 2014 Act. However, more change is required. The government should be encouraged to amend the rules on legal standing so that more animal cruelty cases can be brought, and not only by the AVA (which still remains cautious or unwilling to bring prosecutions) but also by interested groups and individuals.

When questionable actions are taken against animals by the AVA itself or by the government, there is no avenue to review or question their decisions. How does one appeal against state-sanctioned transgression against these voiceless entities? Will Singapore go down the Australian route so that organisations can argue for standing?

With so many netizens increasingly taking to social media to report and discuss various incidents of animal abuses in Singapore, we are finally progressing as an animal caring society. Surely animals deserve a degree of legal recognition and protection. Surely we human beings are best placed to stand up for the voiceless.

A free event entitled “Sentient Beings? Time to Give a Voice to Animals in Court” is being held on Sunday 5th of March 2017 to address the issues raised in this article and also to hear view from animal rescuers and animal lovers. The event hopes to generate dialogue on this topic to give members of the public an opportunity to share views. The event is organised by We Exist Consult and more information is available here.

M Ravi

Why SPF and their minister should not be so defensive about criticism

In Uncategorized on 19/02/2017 at 11:17 am

I was reading this about  “Funny”cock ups by the British police http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-38861475.

The article ended by reporting  Professor David Wall, of Leeds University’s Centre for Criminal Justice Studies as saying”I think we look to police as a source of authority and to help us when we are in trouble and I guess that we expect them to be a little more perfect than the rest of us are,” adding this is only because their actions have “more serious consequences for society and public safety.

This is precisely why the Minister for Pets and the police should not be defensive when ordinary S’poreans (not people like Ms Teo Soh Lung and her groupies who never have a good word about the police) query the actions of the police: we trust the police and have high expectations.

Happily for people like Ms Teo, the minister and police undermine the trust we have by being defensive. Sad (((

 

Kim Jong-nam FT here?

In Uncategorized on 18/02/2017 at 2:16 pm

He spent most of his time overseas in Macau, mainland China and Singapore.

BBC report

PR?

Yet another minority that feels oppressed by society

In Uncategorized on 18/02/2017 at 10:52 am

enthusiastic protesting against public displays of affection from a group calling themselves Kakuhido (the Revolutionary Alliance of Men that Women Find Unattractive)*.

All this smooching and showing off hurts the feelings of those who just aren’t that into it, Takayuki Akimoto, a spokesman for the group, told the press: “People like us who don’t find value in love are being oppressed by society.”

FT

And why not? Join the queue.

Passion Card’s service sucks, really sucks

In Uncategorized on 17/02/2017 at 3:00 pm

A friend who has a Passion Silver card cum concession travel fare card sent this email to the service centre earlier today:

Four days ago, I called the hotline to find out why my passion card (silver) was not activated. I was promised a response within a few days.

I called again a few minutes ago and was told it’ll be another three or four days before I can get an answer.

Hey this is S’pore not a third world country.

He also tells me that the hotline menu is really badly organised. Maybe time for Chris K and my friend to rewrite the software? Our mutual friend rewrites FT written software for local companies so that the software works.

He also tells me that the service centre is staffed by Peenoys, not true blue S’poreans.

S’poreans kids only taught one relevant skill, not three

In Economy on 17/02/2017 at 5:47 am

The skills young S’poreans must pick up to get high paying jobs are EQ, maths and coding skills. Taz what the data from the US tells us:

 

But although coding is now being emphasised in the curriculum, EQ is still not. So out of the three skills only maths is emphasised.

But then maybe MoE, like a tua kee from The Middle Ground, no not the Sith Lord wannabe that saw the light after she retired, thinks the US data are “US BS”.

Sad.

We only 14th on the list of “Best City in the World for Students”

In Uncategorized on 16/02/2017 at 1:38 pm

(Addition on 17th February 10.45 am: S’pore dropped eight places to 14th in the latest international index because of the high cost of living, QS, the survey provider, tells the constructive, nation-building media.)

In Asia and Australasia, Seoul, Melbourne, Tokyo, HK and Sydney ahead of us. This will pls the anti-PAP cybernuts especially the one living in HK in a wire-cage while complaining that housing in S’pore is unaffordable. He sold his HDB flat to fund his then-party’s election expenses. Stupid )))

QS Best Student Cities 2017

1. Montreal

2. Paris

3. London

4. Seoul

5. Melbourne

6. Berlin

7. Tokyo

8. Boston

9. Munich

10. Vancouver

11. Hong Kong and Toronto

13. Sydney

14. Singapore

15. Zurich

16. Vienna

17. Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe

18. Edinburgh

19. New York

20. Brisbane

21. Taipei

22. Canberra

23. Barcelona

24. Manchester

25. Shanghai

According to the BBC

The rankings are based on a basket of measures – including the quality of universities, facilities for students, affordability, the “desirability” of the city for students, access to employers, the international nature of a city, levels of tolerance, pollution and safety.

PM2.5 pollution level: Manila better than us

In Environment on 16/02/2017 at 4:34 am
S’pore does very well in global standards but Manila does even better. Having lived in Manila, and knowing that that traffic conditions there have not improved since I lived there, I’m surprised.
Neither Manila nor us meet the World Health Organisation PM2.5 recommended level of 10µg/m³. But very few cities except in Oz and NZ.
Table extracted from the Guardian
Selected global cities: Asia
PM2.5 annual mean, micrograms per cubic metre
Delhi India 122
Dhaka Bangladesh 90
Karachi Pakistan 88
Beijing China 85
Ulaanbaatar Mongolia 75
Islamabad Pakistan 66
Mumbai 63
Kolkata 61
Shanghai China 52
Kathmandu Nepal 49
Guangzhou China 48
Colombo Sri Lanka 36
Hong Kong China 29
Bangkok Thailand 24
Seoul South Korea 24
Singapore Singapore 18
Manila Philippines 17
Tokyo Japan 15

Two elephants in the room the CFE report misses

In Economy on 15/02/2017 at 4:32 am

Donald Low points out that people are history

has been a failure of governments to compensate the losers of globalisation and technological disruptions sufficiently. Not only has income inequality increased in most developed countries, but this has been accompanied by wage stagnation for average earners. Technology advances may have created new and better jobs, but they have also caused the disappearance of many jobs that required “middling” skills and earned middle wages—a phenomenon known as job polarisation.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/donald-low/cfe-report-could-have-included-long-term-macroeconomic-issues/1427286870638616

And that there’s nothing in the report about safety nets (rumour has it that recommendations on “stronger safety nets” were taken out because of the PAP’s dislike of “welfarism”):

the state would be called upon to engage in more aggressive fiscal redistribution and to provide stronger safety nets. In fact, such measures are not just a necessary response to higher inequality. They are also an important lubricant of economic restructuring and a complement for measures to promote competitiveness; they make pro-growth policies far more acceptable to workers.

The American experience shows that the middle class is being wiped out by the march of progress, something that will happen here whether or not S’poreans vote for the PAP.

ANOTHER VIEW
Self-driving truck technology for travel on interstate highways, based on artificial intelligence, is already technically feasible. Today, about five million drivers are employed in the industry. A 20 percent reduction in this work force over the next 15 years would equate to a million lost jobs.

How Efficiency Is Wiping Out the Middle Class

Trade and immigration became the boogeymen in the presidential election, but what’s really displacing workers is the advance of technology.

NYT Dealbook

 

CRE report: Ignoring current problems while planning for future?

In Uncategorized on 14/02/2017 at 7:24 am

Yet another Indian had yet another good criticism of the CRE report.

Manu Bhaskaran (I know him personally), Senior Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies feels the committee could have tackled the issue of big structural challenges.

The big “structural challenges” are

[H]igh costs, loss of competitiveness, threats to our regional hub position, our failure to boost productivity, weak innovation outcomes despite immense mobilisation of resources and innovation inputs, weak SMEs and the absence of large private local firms, rising inequality, inadequate social safety nets, especially the inadequacy of CPF to provide sufficient retirement income in cash.

My take is that if these current problems are not addressed, why bother about planning for the future?

I mean it’s like Nasa planning for a manned landing on Mars using a rocket that cannot carry enough fuel to make it to Mars and back. The only reasonable reason that it would do this, is if it doesn’t know that the correct has this serious structural problem.

Erm, maybe the five ministers on the 30-member CFE panel don’t know that the economy has serious structural problems? Even if the millionaire ministers and the other panel members had help: thousands more in sub-groups and consultation groups.

They didn’t point out the structural problems? Bit like not telling the emperor that he had no clothes?

Related posts:

Inderjit Singh’s critick of the CRE Report

CFE report: Another good critick by another Indian

If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.— Lao Tzu

CFE report: Another good critick by another Indian

In Economy on 13/02/2017 at 7:25 am

I’m sure you have read Inderjit Singh’s critick of  the Report of the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE), or at least heard of it. If you have not, read it: v.v. good.

But I’m sure you missed the u/m Facebook critick by Devadas Krishnadas. He’s an ex-bureaucrat who now runs his own consultancy: “Future-Moves Group (FMG) is a client-centric, outcome-driven management consultancy founded in 2012.”

He regularly KPKBs in the constructive, nation-building media and the new media, especially on Facebook.

It’s a good piece but has one very serious flaw, a flaw I hope to discuss later this week. See if you can spot what the flaw is.


The importance of having Indian blood

Btw, other than from Chris K (Look out for Terry’s Online Service to reproduce his FB tots), I’ve not seen a good critick by a non-Indian anywhere. Maybe taz why Indians are the master race in S’pore? And why the presumptive Malay president has Indian blood despite being Malay? Having Indian blood is a genetically good thing fir other races? But these questions are material for several posts.)

————————————————————

Facebook post by Devadas Krishnadas.

AN ECONOMY BY COMMITTEE

The much vaunted ‘Committee for the Future Economy’ released its report today. The most impressive thing about the report is the sheer number of contributors. It is cumulative result of the thinking of 30 main members, 218 sub-committee members, some 700 resource persons or who were involved in focus groups and over 225 civil servants. A total exceeding 1200 persons.

The report itself is composed of 109 pages which works out to about 11 contributors to a page of the report. It advocates 7 strategies comprising of 22 related recommendations. This breaks down to more than 170 contributors per strategy and more than 55 contributors per recommendation. There are also 80 supporting recommendations from the sub-committees which works out to about 15 contributors per supporting recommendation.

Doubtless, the committee chairmen would prefer the large pool of contributors to be characterised as an effort to be consultative, inclusive and comprehensive.

Acknowledging the year long effort and the distinguished and lengthy list of contributors, one could be forgiven for expecting more substance in the report.

A report of consequence should be one that does not merely talk in terms of motherhood statements, of which there are too many to list all, just a few examples – “Press on with trade and investment cooperation”, “Support enterprises to scale up”, “Partner each other to enable innovation and growth”.

It should also not be a report about how many more planning activities need to be undertaken. A major recommendation of the report to develop and issue “Industry Transformation Maps” or ITMs for 23 industries. So even more effort into meetings, focus groups, detailed planning and proposals will be forthcoming internally within government.

A report of consequence should be about thinking in terms of what we should stop doing, how we should be rethinking the roles of government, industry and the civil society in the context of constrained economic growth and acknowledging the limits of ‘crystal ball gazing’ which will be winning sectors.

While the intention to think ahead to the future is always laudable. This report reveals more a fixation with the past. This is in the sense that it continues to reflect a belief system that command planning the economy is still the critical success factor and that generating a plan and achieving a result are synonymous. That mode of thinking has not worked for some time but it does serve an essential self-interest – that of justifying an outsized and expensive Rolls-Royce of a public sector to develop, implement and administrate all these gilt plans.

It is high time that it be publicly acknowledged that the Government does not create jobs or value-added. Only the private economy does. We should be thinking in terms of what the government and only the government can and should do, which are areas of co-creation between the government and the private economy and where the private economy should be left to do its thing.

What is needed is fundamental rethinking of the nature of our economy, the embedded structural considerations – both institutional and mind set – which limit or hinder the full exploitation of our economic potential. This should include looking at how and how much the government should be intervening in the economy and revisiting politically charged issues such as population augmentation.

There is one further, basic but yet critical oversight. This is that the report neglected to identify a 24th industry for a much needed ITM – this is the public sector, currently the single largest employer in the country and whose size and wage structure has shaping effects on the labour market.

One obvious recommendation should be for few thousand of the best qualified civil servants to cross over to the very human capital starved private sector, particularly in the small and medium enterprises, to create products, ideas, companies and the jobs of the future.

This may be the most immediate and practical contribution of any report on the future economy. A pity that this does not feature among the long list of recommendations. But then, it is easier to write about a future than to be responsible for making it.

Inderjit Singh’s critick of the CRE Report

In Economy on 13/02/2017 at 4:06 am

Btw, he’s being modest in calling his Facebook post “My Comments on the CFE report”: it’s a very good analysis of the Report of the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE).

Piece reads:

My Comments on the CFE report.

A. Executive summary

On a general note, while the report covers a few important areas, I do see quite a number of initiatives that have been suggested before, from the time we started T21, to the ERC and the ESC. The key is going to be in implementing some of these as in the past we did not achieve the desired results. The key is going to be the details on how the government plans to implement.

I do feel that there are no major new radical ideas that can greatly contribute to the transformation of the economy which we greatly need. In the past, we saw new ideas like – making the finance sector as a core sector of the economy, developing the Life Science industry, implementing the knowledge economy. I was hoping for some fresh and significant ideas that can show us the light a little better. But we should perhaps wait for implementation before brushing off the recommendations made because if they are done well we could achieve the outcome we failed to achieve in the past.
It seems that the government remains in a state of denial about the worrying state of the economy. There seems to be a mismatch between what many companies, SMEs, business owners and PMETs are seeing on the ground versus what the government is telling us – that things are not bad, that many jobs will be easily created. I do believe that Singapore’s economy needs to be structurally corrected and government policies need to be changed significantly in certain areas for us to grow a long term sustainable economy.

For example, although there is some admission that we need to develop more locally grown companies, we need this to be backed by changes in the way the government supports the various sectors of the economy. I was hoping to see greater clarity in this shift of strategy in the CFE. If we don’t make a clear change on how we want the economy to grow in the future, we will never create the local global companies that are very much needed to fuel the economic growth of the future. We cannot keep relying on an old formula that we put in place in the 1960s.

I do feel that the CFE has blamed the current state of affairs solely on the global slowdown which is not a complete picture of our economic woes. We should have also gone deeper into what is wrong locally and addressed those issues as we do need a restructuring in some areas like cost competitiveness, government agencies’ support and the financing landscape that has become very tough for companies.
Below, I am making some more detailed comments for some of the strategies and just minor comment in some areas where I don’t have a good feel of things.

B. Introduction

1. The report has given a broad-brush view of the government’s thinking on the strategies they plan to adopt in the coming years. My initial reaction is that many of the ideas spelt out were expansion of many initiatives that the government had already been working on for many years. For example, since 1999, we first started looking catalysing the VC industry through the T21 programme which has limited success and we are seeing the same recommendation again. I hope in implementation, the government will study the issues with past programme so that we don’t make the same mistakes.

While the CFE pointed to the changing global landscape, I would have thought a little introspection was also needed to study what has changed in Singapore. A few things have changed drastically;

a. Cost structure in Singapore has changed, making us uncompetitive. Land cost, rentals, REITs are all issues;

b. Financing environment has shifted, making credit more difficult to come by;

c. MNCs are shifting out faster than before because we have become less competitive and also because other cities can offer better terms and a lower cost structure with easy access to manpower. Along with the flight of MNCs, our SMEs will have to either leave Singapore to follow the MNCs or shut down.

d. Manufacturing is very important and we should keep it at least 20% of the economy, but we don’t have enough homegrown companies with deep manufacturing capabilities. Economic strategies of the past focused on prioritizing new areas of technologies or capabilities instead of deepening the skills and strengths we already developed in the past. For example, we have lost the disk drive industry, while the semiconductor industry has a few big MNCs players but we have lost most of the local big players because we lost technological competitiveness and did not invest enough in R&D. So, every 15 to 20 years a new focus on a new industry cluster instead of retaining the core capabilities we already developed over the years.

I therefore feel the CFE missed the opportunity to study what weaknesses Singapore has developed and how to overcome these. The CFE could have recommended some near-term plans to resolve some key current issues hindering our ability to restructure the economy. Because without resolving the issues the longer-term goals may be more difficult to achieve.

My bigger worry is that we will see huge structural problems that will take a long time to resolve if we don’t change the economic growth model of the country – rebalancing the contribution of FDI and MNCs vs local companies.

C. Specific comment on some of the sections;

1. Deepen and diversify our international connections
This is important and is something Singapore has focused on since the beginning, 50 years ago. It remains important as we are a small market. I would like to see how local companies, especially SMEs can benefit from these. I feel many of the FTAs benefitted larger companies and not many small companies benefitted. So, I hope in implementation we will focus on helping more start-up and SMEs benefit from this connectivity.

The government needs to also be more aggressive to tap further away emerging markets. The last major frontier is Africa. Most developed economies are already playing a key role in Africa while Singapore has not even seriously started with serious support structures for companies that already ventured there. Most of the companies who are in Africa have done it on their own with negligible direct support from the government.
autonomy and flexibility to manage their GIAs. We should allow different models to develop and not imposed a central government driven model.

2. Acquire and utilise deep skills
This will be very important especially if we want to anchor the IT and manufacturing sectors in Singapore. The compensation system needs to favour people with deep skills as much as those with general management. For this to succeed, society and government need to change their mindset.

I think the issue with PMETs who lose their jobs and go for reskilling is that they go through a training programme without knowing if they will get a job at the end of the training. To encourage more people to upgrade themselves, the government should start the reverse way – match PMETs to jobs and then they go through a OJT or part-time training programme. Salary support can come from government to incentivize companies to hire such people and train them. The Professional Conversion Program where the government pays up to $4,000 monthly salary to the company when they hire and re-train the employee is in place. The agencies managing this need to identify why the take up is not as much as desired to be effective in absorbing the displaced PMETs

There is also a need for closer management of the work pass system to make it more difficult for companies to hire foreign professionals who are not among the best in their fields. Unless they are best, companies should be compelled to hire Singaporeans and be give a 1 to 2 year training programme to build up their skills, with salaries supported by the government.

3. Strengthen enterprise capabilities to in novate and scale up

I find the recommendations here repeating what the T21 recommended in 1999 and what the ERC recommended in 2002. Yes, there is a need of more innovation and creation of new enterprises. How we do it is very important. I do believe the ERC did achieve the key objective of encouraging more entrepreneurship among Singaporeans and we already have an ecosystem that supports start-ups well. What is missing is their ability to grow beyond their start-up phase for a few reasons;
a. Market Access
b. Growth Capital
c. Management skills

It would have been useful if the CFE addressed these issues.
The recommendation of smaller companies partnering bigger companies has been made many times over the last 20 years and we have no seen great success. Unless there are new ideas I see this as motherhood in nature.

The ESC and also ACE in the past recommended an Exim bank to be set up to support overseas projects. The government accepted the ESCs recommendation but this never materialized. The CFE has recommended a few schemes in the areas of financing support. I hope this time we will see better outcome.

I disagree with these recommendations :
a. “Significantly grow the community of IP and commercialisation experts”
b. “bringing in dedicated commercially-oriented entities that are focused on the commercialisation of IP

We need less control and more flexibility in our commercialization efforts. To many lawyers and experts will slow down the process. I have seen this happening in many cases where the researchers and the entrepreneurs get too tried dealing with too much of bureaucracy and failing to spin-off a company or the commercialize the IP.

It is a pity that after spending so much in research, I believe in the region of over $40b in the last 20 years, Singapore has not scored well in innovation and creation of enterprises despite the large amount of money spent.

The few things I liked in the report are;

a. “The standardized IP protocol” – I believe many start-us and spin-offs don’t get formed because of rigidity of some of the RIs in wanting to control more or wanting to earn more form the IP they developed. The end result has been that the IP remains on the shelf and does not get an opportunity to be commercialized. I would suggest IP be made relatively very cheap and RIs practice flexibility to encourage more researchers, SMEs and entrepreneurs to want to innovate and commercialize new products and hopefully create a few big winners. Even if the IP was given out for $0, the value added to the economy can be significant – so the RIs should not see themselves as entities that have to earn more income from the IP (because the R&D grants should be seen as government’s investment for the general economy and not for the RIs own benefit).

b. “Provide high-growth enterprises with more dedicated and customised support” – the best way for this to happen is to bring all government agencies dedicated to SME and start-up support under 1 umbrella. The CFE suggests “ lead Government agencies could be assigned to coordinate all Government assistance rendered to enterprises”. This has been recommended before but has not worked well. We should bite the bullet and create a one stop all encompassing SME and start up agency – like a “Local EDB” with the same resources, power and funding like EDB. It sis about time we have one Local EDB that follows the company from birth till the company become a global SMEs (and supported by agencies who may be experts in certain horizontal agencies – IT, Internationalization, Finance, etc.). These verticals should be invisible to the SMEs if the LEDB coordinates everything.

c. “For unlisted companies, the Government should facilitate the creation of a private market platform”- This is important for money to circulate faster for investors. Today, may investors wait a very long time before they can exit from a company – by an IPO or a trade sale. IN countries like Taiwan, private equity exchanges are really private, with minimal government regulation. If investors can cash out earlier through such private equity exchanges, it will encourage them to invest more money in start-up and growth companies.

Having said that, this is not a new recommendation, ACE made this recommendation about 15 years ago, and it took a long time for the government to respond and when they did, we created such a private equity platform, called the “OTC”. This platform last just a few years before being shut down because of very unfriendly government regulations, particularly from MAS. I suggest the government study why the OTC failed before implementing another similar platform. Otherwise this recommendation will not translate to an effective outcome. I acknowledge however that part of the problem then was also because we were too ahead of time and there were no good start-ups here to invest in yet. Hence, the VCs invested outside. The eco-system is more mature now and we do have a good crop of start-ups. The key question is how to continue to anchor their key value adding activities in Singapore as they scale given our small market.

4. Build strong digital capabilities

Excellent initiatives suggested by the CFE and the future economy need to get the digital capabilities right for us to compete well in the global economy. SMEs and start-ups must be able to easily access these so that they don’t have to invest too much in the same capabilities.

5. Develop a vibrant and connected city of opportunity

I would say these recommendations are not new and the strategies have been in place for the last 30 years or so. But these are areas that gave Singapore our strengths that attracts investments and we need to continue to build on these.

6. Develop and implement Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs)

I believe the ITM strategy needs to change drastically as the proposal is no different from what has been done in the past with multi agencies working with companies. We do need a one stop local Enterprise agency to deal with companies from start-up to the time they become global Singapore companies. I don’t see for example EDB being able to play a useful role in supporting local companies in the clusters they are responsible for.

From the government’s perspective, the ITMs are a very useful way to plan the future industry clusters but the current approach of appointing lead agencies to champion certain sectors is flawed and outdated. The future industries will not come from clearly defined sectors but from a mix of sectors. For example, future retail will have to encompass retail, IT, logistics and Finance (payment systems). In the current Map, Spring is in charge of retail, MCI in-charge of IT, EDB in charge of logistics and MAS in-charge of finance. So, by giving each government agency one sector to manage, we will see things falling into cracks.

It would have been better to reorganize the government agencies to verticals – size and stage of a company – i.e. start-up/SMEs, MNCs, GLCs, Local MNCs and Horizontals – by technology or core competencies. This will require a major reorganization of government agencies. I would have expected the CFE to be more radical in the recommendations for this area as the old models will not work well in the future as we will see companies emerging from nowhere and becoming big and big companies leaving Singapore or completely disappearing.

Furthermore, I have seen in the past that EDB had been ineffective in handling SMEs as their key focus is to attract foreign MNCs. So when a SME in a logistic sector needs support for EDB, they have not been getting the support they need. A former EDB chairman once commented to me when I challenged him and this was his response : “What did you expect me to do, I had a sledgehammer to handle the elephants (MNCs) and the ants (SMEs), so I decided to handle the elephants and ignored the ants”. Of course, it is easier to show results for your KPIs by spending a lot of money to attract MNCs than to work with many SMEs for the same or lesser results. So, if EDB continues to champion clusters for MNCs and SMEs, I am quite sure the SMEs will once again be left behind. Currently, it is a case of too many hands (WSG, SSG, SPRING, IE Singapore, IMDA, JTC), making it rather unproductive with each agency chasing their own KPIs. Sharing of info is also a challenge. There is no universal CRM for businesses with its profile and growth info. But the situation is also different. There are only about 8,000 MNCs but 180,000 SMEs. Maybe another solution is to have a Small Business Agency and a Growth Enterprise Agency. In implementation, I hope the restructuring of government agencies supporting the economic development of Singapore will be seriously relook at.

7. Partner each other to enable innovation and growth

This is also not a new area of focus. We had these strategies before and these are still relevant today. The biggest change that is need is the public sector to be willing to experiment with innovation by partnering start-ups and SMEs. We had some past success – eg Hyflux but we could do with many more, so I hope to see a change in the attitude of the civil service and government agencies to make this happen.

Singapore companies have a bad track record of working together to win business opportunities overseas. Somehow the large companies are not keen to partner smaller companies and SMEs don’t seem to trust the larger companies and we have not been able to create the spirit of cooperation unlike what we can see with Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese companies. I hope there are great ideas to change this mindset among Singapore companies.

D. Conclusion

The CFE has worked hard to study the Singapore economic landscape and suggested their strategy for the future economy. While the paper is not as inspiring as hoped, there are many details that need to be looked at and the key is successful implementation. We have seen some successes of the ERC and the ESC but we have also failed in a number of areas, productivity being a key failure. To a large extent, the issues we the past strategies were not the ideas but how they were implemented. The government needs to understand why there was failure in implementation because if they don’t understand what went wrong, we risk another round of implementation missteps which may not yield the desired outcomes. It is important that the government agencies responsible for implementation have a much better feel of the ground so that they can get things right this time. The CFE report is out, this is the best we have. We all need to work hard to recreate a vibrant economy of the future for the future of Singaporeans. Hopefully more good ideas will emerge at the implementation stage. We also need to know what we are working towards. So implementation is key, but unlike the ESC we don’t have KPIs here or major timelines. Greater clarity is needed on this.

Here’s a good use for social media

In Uncategorized on 12/02/2017 at 1:46 pm

Social media has been blamed by the neo-liberal Hilary loving elites for the dumbing down as they see of society.

But we gotta use our brains when using social media and not behave like headless neo-liberals eunning around in circles or Trumpeters cheering mindlessly.

the beauty of social media is that it can enable us to explore other points of view, with an ease that our geographically far-flung ancestors could never have dreamed of. Technology has fragmented us; but it still has the ability to create new connections — as Stone hoped. Or it does if we use our brains when we switch on our phones. And that applies to liberals as much as to anyone else.

FT’s Gillian Tett

Lifelong learning: Top of the world class

In Uncategorized on 12/02/2017 at 6:11 am

 

OK, near the top. Still, don’t anyhow diss the education system, S’poreans and the PAP administration.

We are up there with the Nordics:

And u wouldn’t know this from reading TRE, TOC, TMG, Inderjit Singh, and cybernuts like Tan Jee Say and Philip Ang,

There is much talk about lifelong learning, though few countries are doing much about it. The Nordics fall into this less populated camp. But it is Singapore that can lay claim to the most joined-up approach with its SkillsFuture initiative. Employers in the city-state are asked to spell out the changes, industry by industry, that they expect to happen over the next three to five years, and to identify the skills they will need. Their answers are used to create “industry transformation maps” designed to guide individuals on where to head.

Since January 2016 every Singaporean above the age of 25 has been given a S$500 ($345) credit that can be freely used to pay for any training courses provided by 500 approved providers, including universities and MOOCs. Generous subsidies, of up to 90% for Singaporeans aged 40 and over, are available on top of this credit. The programme currently has a budget of S$600m a year, which is due to rise to S$1 billion within three years. According to Ng Cher Pong, SkillsFuture’s chief executive, the returns on that spending matter less than changing the mindset around continuous reskilling.

Some programmes cater to the needs of those who lack basic skills. Tripartite agreements between unions, employers and government lay out career and skills ladders for those who are trapped in low-wage occupations. Professional-conversion programmes offer subsidised training to people switching to new careers in areas such as health care.

Given Singapore’s size and political system, this approach is not easily replicated in many other countries, but lessons can still be drawn. It makes sense for employers, particularly smaller ones, to club together to signal their skills needs to the workforce at large. Individual learning accounts have a somewhat chequered history—fraudulent training providers helped scupper a British experiment in the early 2000s—but if well designed, they can offer workers educational opportunities without being overly prescriptive.

http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21714175-systems-continuous-reskilling-threaten-buttress-inequality-retraining-low-skilled

 

S’porean wins Google prize

In Uncategorized on 11/02/2017 at 1:33 pm

Don’t diss our education system. Ong Jia Wei, Isaac, a S’porean, was chosen as one of Google’s 2015 34 grand prize winners.

The prestigious Google Code-in is open to pre-university students worldwide between the ages of 13 and 17. This year more than 1,300 young people from 62 countries took part.

BBC

Funny constructive, nation-building media don’t trumpet this fact. Maybe he not S’porean? Or they don’t know?

High-speed train: PRC cos not welcomed in S’pore

In China, Infrastructure, Malaysia on 11/02/2017 at 7:17 am

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) appointed AECOM Singapore to conduct an advanced engineering study for Singapore stretch of the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail (HSR) infrastructure, it announced onFeb 8.

The US engineering firm will provide architectural, civil, electrical, mechanical and other design services required for the Jurong East terminus, tunnels and the bridge across the Straits of Johor.

It has also appointed specialist consultants, none of which are from PRC:

But it’s different in M’sia:

The Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high speed rail is a project that is keenly eyed by Chinese rail companies. While the contract to construct the Singapore-KL high-speed rail line has yet to be issued, “local media reports suggest that Singapore prefers a Japanese or European bidder but Malaysia favors a Chinese firm” (Martin, 2016). Indeed, China Railway Group, a Chinese state-owned enterprise, has formed a consortium with a local developer to purchase 60 percent of the land parcel for the RM 160 billion Bandar Malaysia real estate project, located at the KL terminus of the Singapore-KL high speed rail line, from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) — the Malaysian state-owned investment fund whose financial troubles, as we shall shortly see, have triggered the current political crisis.

When completed, Bandar Malaysia will serve as the new transportation hub for KL, connecting the high speed rail line with KL’s existing bus and rail lines, and it will also house China Railway Group’s USD 2 billion regional headquarters. Due to the close working relationship between the Malaysian government and Chinese investors — including China Railway Rolling Stock Co. which has supplied Malaysian Railway with trains since 2010, and which also set up a manufacturing plant in Malaysia in 2015 — some experts believe China holds the advantage in securing the contract for the Singapore-KL high-speed rail line. Looking to the future, China Railway is already “in discussions with the Thai government to build a high speed rail connecting Bandar Malaysia to Bangkok”.

http://ippreview.com/index.php/Home/Blog/single/id/338.html

Map of S’pore 1898

In Uncategorized on 10/02/2017 at 8:44 am

No automatic alt text available.

HoHoHO got this right

In Shipping, Temasek on 10/02/2017 at 5:39 am

Selling NOL to the French Swiss shipping group Mediterranean Shipping

The gorilla in shipping had a bad time. Remember it had been making money while a scholar, and ex-Temasek MD and SAF general ran NOL aground.

Maersk Line slipped to a loss of US$376m from a profit of US$1.3bn a year earlier due to record low freight rates. It expected improve its result by US$1bn while global container trade should increase by 2-4%. This is well below the double-digit increases before the financial crisis.

Western MSM refuses to held accountable/ Ungrateful

In Media on 09/02/2017 at 4:26 pm

MSM is upset that he wants to hold media accountable:

the Spicer Doctrine – the belief held by the White House press secretary that it is the job of government to hold media to account and not just the other way round – poses a mortal threat to the trade we call reporting.

BBC

Sad!

Especially when he’s really helping journalists and editors

he is doing more than any other modern politician to help them pay their mortgages and feed their families.

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-38854711

Ungrateful!

Will CEO of TLC behave in the recommended PAP way?

In S'pore Inc on 09/02/2017 at 6:06 am

The PAP administration likes to say that S’poreans should follow the Japanese way accepting responsibility for cock-ups: apologise and, where necessary, resign.

So will the CEO of Surbana Jurong follow the Japanese practice, after the  Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say on Tuesday (Feb 7) scolded Surbana Jurong in Parliament describing the company’s behaviour as unacceptable? The GLC had publicly labeled the 54 employees it sacked as poor performers,

—————————–

Surbana Jurong is a Singaporean government-owned consultancy company focusing on infrastructure and urban development. It was formed in June 2015 with the merger of Surbana International Consultants and Jurong International Holdings. It is wholly owned by Temasek Holdings and has about 4,000 employees

Surbana’s labelling of sacked staff as poor performers ‘unacceptable’

Surbana Jurong group chief executive Wong Heang Fine said: “We cannot allow our 1 per cent of poor performers to continue to affect the rest of the 99 per cent of staff who are performing.” The company later said the process could have been better managed after even the running dog that is NTUC KPKBed.

———————————————————————

“To the best of my recollection, this is the first time that an employer conducted such a major termination exercise and … labelled the workers as ‘poor performers’. I think as Manpower Minister, it’s something I do not find acceptable.”

Adding that one’s work environment and a company’s human resource practices may be contributing factors to performance: “I hope we will not come across another case where a company does a major termination and labels employees as having poor performance publicly.”

He said Surbana Jurong’s management and the unions reached an agreement on ex gratia payment, “which in our view is a fair outcome for the affected employees”.


The law on unfair dismissal

If an employee files an appeal of unfair dismissal to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the ministry will first mediate. Should that fail, MOM will conduct an inquiry and require the employer to produce evidence to justify the termination.

If the employer is unable to substantiate claims that the affected employee’s performance is poor, the employer may be ordered to reinstate the employee or provide compensation. If it does not comply, it can be prosecuted.

By settling Surbana Jurong has effectively admitted that it cocked-up.

——————————————————–

Will the CEO accept Japanese style responsibility for cock-up? Or will it be usual “move on” that so discredits our so-called meritocracy system? Sadly the latter is more probable.

The PAP believes that “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/why-khaw-vikram-must-commit-hari-kiri/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/learn-from-japanese-set-example-leh-elites/

After all, a Surbana Jurong spokesperson said the matter had been resolved “amicably” with the unions, adding “It is currently reviewing our performance management processes to improve the system.”

This means that some S’porean human resources manager is going to get the sack (Replaced by a Peenoy or Arneigh FT? Cheaper leh.), while the CEO will continue smiling when he gets his monthly CPF statement like Lim Swee Say.

Sad!

 

Trump pak China cont’d

In China on 08/02/2017 at 4:05 pm
NEWS ANALYSIS
President Xi Jinping of China in Bern, Switzerland, last week. During his visit, Mr. Xi visited the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he hinted that with the United States in retreat, China was prepared to step up as a champion of free trade.

Trump Injects High Risk Into Relations With China

As he tosses aside decades of American trade policy, President Trump could also go his own way on other issues with China, including Taiwan and the South China Sea.

Hard Truths no longer relevant in PRC relations?

In China on 08/02/2017 at 8:16 am

Many S’poreans were annoyed with the Chinese for seizing our military vehicles.  But are more savvy (or lazy?) than to KPKB in the streets (illegal anyway) or online. This can be seen in the parodies chiding China for being-minded.

But there is a sense among S’poreans that the PAP administration has been making missteps recently in handling international relations with China.

These missteps were probably due to a mixture of

— bad luck (APL not doing the proper paperwork despite being staffed by S’poreans. It was part of NOL and the retrenchments have not yet materialised now that NOL is no longer a TLC);

and

— diplomacy based on Hard Truths.

The Hard Truths applicable here are that

— so long as S’pore mouths the “one China” policy, China would keep a blind eye to our military ties with Taiwan forged in the days when Taiwan was a one-party state ruled by the KMT who also believed in “one China” because they considered themselves the legitimate rulers of China; and

— S’pore could be US’s regional cheer-leader and military base without upsetting China.

LHL’s administration certainly didn’t expect Trump to win and was betting on Crooked, Lying Clinton winning.

I suspect our strong statements on the South China Sea may also have been made in the hope of Lying, Crooked Clinton changing her mind again on TTP happen. If this is so, then this was a miscalculation, albeit with 20/20 hindsight.

Unfortunately an assertive China, a Taiwan ruled by the DPP that refuses to accept that it is part of China (a view that mirrors the view of held by more and more ordinary Taiwanese that Taiwan is not part of China),  a pak PRC US administration, and the rise of gblobal protectionism mean that we are conducting diplomacy as laid down in Hard Truths in a world where the Hard Truths are irrelevant.

Even more unfortunate, MFA doesn’t seem not to know when not to follow the manual. This is not surprising as the present lot “inherited the diplomatic playbook from the old guard and were probably selected to be maintainers of what was built, as less of rock-the-boat innovators” as someone oh FB put it.

Sad!

Really? “Singapore Says Asian Growth Helps Offset U.S. Trade Threat”

In Economy on 07/02/2017 at 4:31 am

(Or “EDB does alternative facts”)

“A lot of our manufacturing here is to address the needs and opportunities in Asia.”

“Singapore Says Asian Growth Helps Offset U.S. Trade Threat” 

Erm. A lot of the opportunities and needs in Asia come about as a result from the ultimately exporting to the US of A.

Here’s a chart from the Bloomberg article

Juz google “Export data” and

— China’s main export partners are the United States (18% of total exports), Hong Kong (15%), the European Union (16%, of which Germany, the UK and the Netherlands account for 3% each), ASEAN countries (12%, of which Vietnam accounts for 3%), Japan (6%) and South Korea (4%)

— Malaysia’s main export partners are: Singapore (14%), China (13%), European Union (10%), Japan (9.5%), the United States (9.4%) and Thailand (6%).

Need I say more?

But there’s more: the chart below (courtesy of Chris K) shows that we are among those countries that will suffer the most from the imposition of a US border tax. But we’ll be happy that M’sia will be more badly affected. As will Thailand and Vietnam.

Image may contain: text

Again the effects on big exporters to the US like China and M’sia will also affect their trade with us.

So what cock is the chairman of the EDB talking? And what weed is he smoking?

Finally remember when reading the u/m from EDB remember what I said recently about FDI numbers: FDI does not always result in new physical investments, with new jobs to match it. Often FDI is the transfer intangible assets for the purpose of lowering corporate tax.

Investment commitment levels in Singapore are expected to be similar to those seen in 2016 amid uncertainties in the global economic environment, the Economic Development Board (EDB) said on Thursday (Feb 2).

At its 2016 Year-in-Review press conference, EDB said it will seek to consolidate Singapore’s position as a high value manufacturing base by capturing opportunities in advanced manufacturing. It will do this by anchoring lead adopters of advanced manufacturing in Singapore, while building up an ecosystem of suppliers and enablers to develop technologies and solutions, the agency added.

And

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/singapore/2017-investments-likely-to-remain-similar-to-last-year-s-edb/3486220.html

Btw, maybe FDI levels are projected to remain static because MNCs are expected to cut back their use of tax havens following public outrage in the West after revelations of the tricks (not all legal) they use to mininise tax?

Luxembourg is already expecting this and if it happens there, it’ll happen here. Remember Oz miners are on the rack after it was revealed that they use S’pore to minise taxes on their exports of minerals from Oz?

Amos keeps slipping on banana skins he threw on floor

In Uncategorized on 06/02/2017 at 4:32 am
Image result for amos yee eating banana
But first: Doesn’t Amos’ case show Trump is not anti-Muslim?
The neo-liberals are screaming that Trump hates Muslim and that the travel ban (now temporarily suspended) on people from seven mainly Muslim nations shows it.
But Amos’ case (remember he kanna jailed here because, among other things, he dissed Islam) shows the lie to such lies about Trump Triumphant. (But to be fair maybe the dissing of Islam only mitigated his dissing of Christianity? So no points in his favour.)
Back to Amos who keeps suffering from indignities and injuries he inflicts on himself.
According to a press release by Grossman Law, the firm (doing pro bono when a loony self-styled S’porean dissident wants money) representing him in his asylum bid, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) denied the release on Thursday (Febuary 2). It added that Yee will have been in US detention for 80 days by March 7 (the hearing date of his asylum application) – more than the six weeks’ jail he received in Singapore for wounding religious feelings.
Earlier, in mid January he had been KPKBing about his detention complaining that he had already spent more jail time in S’pore than in the US.
I’ve just received awful news friends, awful news.

After languishing in American jail for now a total of 24 days, according to my pro bono human rights lawyer, Sandra Grossman (who’s been doing a tireless and absolutely fantastic job on my case, by the way), she was in contact with the immigration officers and was hoping that after they heard that the nature of my case, would release me in a few days. However, that did not happen. I just got a letter that said that my court date (not release day) is scheduled for 30th January. Yes, you heard that right, fucking 30th January. What the fuck?!

That means I will literally have spent a total of 50 days in American jail, that is longer than anything that the Singaporean government has sentenced me for, for criticizing religion and the government! Someone escaped his country to prevent being sent to jail for exercising his free speech and has to spend time in jail in the country that he escaped to that is longer than if he was imprisoned for exercising his free speech from the country he was escaping! If he rescinds his political asylum claim, he is deported back to the country he is trying to escape from and gets permanently banned from coming to the US.

What the fuck? What the fuck?! This is bullshit! This is fucking bullshit!

What a born loser.
And there’s worse:
The law firm said ICE had indicated that it intended to release Yee after the hearing on January 30 this year because Boy Fantastic was not violent, a flight risk or a threat to national security. But “The refusal by ICE to honour its previous agreement, is not based on any new facts about Yee, but solely on President Trump’s new directives.”

Born loser, double confirm. Hehehe.

He was so so stupid and cheap skate that he flew to the US on a one way ticket (or so I’m told). Immigration was suspicious, checked his handphone and found messages about asylum plans and he was forced to admit he wanted asylum. So he got detained.

But then when in S’pore, he was already too clever by half.

Amos already mentioned before that every time he said he was suicidal or depressed in prison, he was actually trying to bait the media or to find ways to get released from jail earlier. And that time he looked traumatized out of court in Singapore was an act.

It’s true I think because once he got into the taxi with me and no media was looking, he started smiling and seemed totally fine.

Mother Mary on her lying boy

Well he may have fooled the ang moh tua kees, the anti-PAP cybernuts and ang moh human rights kay pohs so that they KPKBed for his release but by pretending to be suicidal or depressed he never got off a day earlier. In fact, he was put  on a tougher regime than if he hadn’t faked  being  suicidal or depressed. This was to prevent him committing suicide. He was also sent to Woodbridge while he was being evaluated on the suitability of being sent to a reform training centre. His lying got himself much worse treatment than if he juz went along with the flow, something he did the second time round.

He was too clever by half and payed the consequences in S’pore.

Image result for amos yeeAmos: a born loser, too clever by half.

And he must be banging his balls really hard in frustration: Netflix is to feature a documentary on HK activist Joshua Wong http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-38727842
Joshua Wong is getting the global publicity and recognition that Amos craves. Meanwhile Amos is in detention in the land of the free.
Image result for Goh Meng Seng + banana
 Picture from the future. Amos eating a banana when he’s lost his marbles as a 50-something.

TRE sucks, really sucks

In Uncategorized on 05/02/2017 at 11:39 am

Looks like the site has been taken over by some malicious software.

Click on any of the articles, and a lot of garbage appears. No way of escaping the rubbish. Only by pressing Control Alternate Delete and closing the browser can u escape. Of course u lose all yr other taps.

TRE sucks, really sucks. Not the home of the cybernuts anymore. It’s the home of malicious software.

Our Dissident voices are learning from the Russian dissidents?

In Political governance on 05/02/2017 at 4:51 am

Yesterday The Agora hosted  FOSG (Future Of Singapore).

SOSG had a second conversation on Singapore economy past, present and future led by Yeoh Lam Kwong, former chief economist of GIC held at the Agora. A 3-hour long discussion with a full house audience. More young people than the previous one!

Lam Keong summarised the early period under the rubric of a “socialism that works” this was followed by a “capitalism the didn’t quite work” the future from 2011 is towards a social democracy that hopefully works. This is the challenge given the resources of the “estate of the state”. That in comparison to OECD standards Singapore has a lot of scope to improve. A lively discussion ended with a video presentation on the highlights of “Singapore 2.0 – Aging in Place” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjlGE2VfA_I&t=81s). There was a sense of energy throughout the discussion. Please look out for announcements on future sessions on FOSG.

Three cheers for The Agora, SOSG and Lam Keong.

—————————————————-

“Educate, agitate, organise.”This was George Bernard Shaw’s famous call to action for the British left-wing. He’s best remembered today for the musical “My fair Lady” which is based on a play of his . He hated the musical. I like the ending of the musical better.

In his heyday he was both a leading intellectual (he was one of the founders of the Fabian Society, still influential in moderate left-wing circles in the UK), and a commercially succesful playwright.

———————————————————-

The Agora, SOSG and Lam Keong are educating S’poreans and perhaps this is better than the posturings of Mad Dogs like Amos, Dr Chee and M Ravi, and the BS of cybernuts like Philip Ang, Tan Jee Say, Roy Ngerng etc.

What follows is a long extract from the Economist on how the Russian intellectuals are using public lectures, intellectual discussions and cultural events to push back against an authoritarian, repressive state that brooks no dissent (Sounds familiar?).

Although the state today suppresses independent civil and political activity, it allows a lot more personal freedom than it did in 1979 … Since the mainstream media are mostly pumping out government propaganda, Russia’s modern intellectuals have got involved in cultural projects. Public lectures by notable scholars, both Russian and foreign, on subjects from urbanism to artificial intelligence gather mass audiences. Tickets to such talks sell out within hours. Every night dozens of events take place in Moscow and other cities. Book fairs attract queues to rival those for pop concerts. A new shopping centre in Yekaterinburg, in the Urals, has organised a book round-table as one of its opening events.

Public lectures, intellectual discussions and excursions have evolved into a business. “Ten years ago, to raise money from investors, you needed to say only one word: ‘media’. Today all you have to say is ‘education’,” says Yuri Saprykin, a former editor of Afisha, a listings magazine that helped shape the tastes of the urban middle class. The trend started a few years ago when a site called “Theory and practice” began to provide a wide variety of courses and lectures. The young are wild about classical music and art museums. “If you are not learning something outside your work, you are a loser,” says Ms Kosinskaya.

Mr Dziadko, the grandson of Soviet dissidents and human-rights activists, and a group of friends have launched a popular multimedia education and entertainment project called Arzamas, a name borrowed from a 19th-century literary society of which Pushkin was a member. The subjects range from Elizabethan theatre and medieval French history to the anthropology of communism and the mythology of South Africa. A few months ago Arzamas organised an evening lecture about Joan of Arc, including a recital of medieval music, at Moscow’s main library. “We thought it would be attended by a few intellectuals. But when we turned up 15 minutes before the lecture, we saw a long queue of young people and hipsters trying to get in,” says Mr Dziadko.

The boom in “enlightenment” projects is not so much a reversal of the rise of consumerism in the previous decade but a complement to it. Just as Russian people were suddenly presented with a vast choice of consumer goods, they now have a large array of intellectual pursuits to choose from. And whereas Russia’s government can impose a ban on imports of Western food, barring the spread of knowledge is much harder.

The main producers and consumers of these enlightenment projects are young Westernised Russians who are part of a global culture. Their pursuit of a wide range of knowledge is a way of fighting the isolationism and aggressive obscurantism imposed by both state and church. This takes many forms, from banning modern-art shows to organising anti-gay campaigns, promoting anti-Darwinism and attempting to stop abortions.

Popular books about biology and physics currently sell better than detective stories. Yulia Shakhnovskaya, the director of the Moscow Polytechnic Museum, where Evgeny Yevtushenko read his poetry in the 1960s, says that education and science have become a form of resistance to politics. “We can’t win but that does not mean we should stop resisting, so we try to grow a garden in the middle of hell.” She says her main target audience is teenage schoolchildren, who are desperate for knowledge: “Good marks are no longer the main prerequisite for getting a good job in Russia…but the demand for knowledge is still there, so we try to satisfy it by other means.”

Ms Shakhnovskaya’s patrons include Igor Shuvalov, the first deputy prime minister in charge of the economy, and Anatoly Chubais, the father of Russia’s privatisation programme. They are helping to promote an educated and emancipated elite that could gradually begin to change the system, which is what happened in the 1980s.

For now at least, the educated urban class does not pose a serious political threat to Mr Putin. But it represents a different and more fundamental challenge that has to do with values and ideas. Some of the most striking independent public-lecture projects recently launched had titles such as “The return of ethics” and “Public lies”, involving both Western and Russian philosophers, economists, sociologists and writers.

This new generation of educated young urbanites has criticised Russian politicians and opinion-formers of the 1990s and 2000s for viewing human-rights abuses and the lack of independent courts as unfortunate impediments to business and foreign investment, rather than bad things in themselves. Yet “despite the total amorality of politicians and bureaucrats, or maybe because of it, the demand for ethics in the public sphere is growing, not falling,” says Andrei Babitsky, a former editor of the Inliberty website that organised the lectures on ethics and lies. The power of ideas should never be underestimated, especially in Russia.

http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21708882-young-people-are-finding-new-ways-signalling-dissent-tell-me-about-joan-arc

Why I hate a free, pious, preachy press

In Media on 04/02/2017 at 7:11 am

i.e the US neo-liberal* media, and the neo-liberal elite they back. They empower PC and help fix “mavericks” who are non-PC. And worse, they are humourless and have no sense of irreverence or absurdity.

The following is an extract from the UK’s equivalent of the NYT, written by the editor of a conservative US publication:

Trump is most vested in different battles, mainly against an establishment and a north-eastern elite that he considers overly insulated and self-interested and due to be taken down a notch.

All during his campaign, he inveighed against political correctness, whose enforcers on college campuses and in the elite culture have had the upper hand in establishing the agreed-upon rules for public speech. They had the power to make transgressors against their rules grovel, cry and apologise. To deny them their jobs. To make them worry about telling the wrong joke or posting an impermissible thought on Twitter.

Trump’s election, despite violating almost every rule set down by political correctness, represented a step toward the disempowerment of this elite.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/29/donald-trump-left-faces-new-cultural-warrior-in-battle-it-thought-won


*Chris K suggested this term to highlight the group of liberals that believe in identity politics (Yup like the alt-right that they accuse of playing identity politics: both are two sides of the same coin) and Nazi or fascistic PC.

When Russia told Trump to f+++ off

In Uncategorized on 03/02/2017 at 3:33 pm

So maybe Putin’s praise of Trump is to mitigate the damage. After all Trump remembers snubs and insults.

Hilary’s favouriye newspaper NYT reported:

Trump’s Russian Forays
“I have no dealings with Russia,” Mr. Trump said at his news conference last week.
Well, it wasn’t for lack of trying.
In spite of Mr. Trump’s insistence that he has “stayed away” from Russia in his corporate dealings, he has repeatedly sought business in Russia, from as far back as 1987.
Mr. Trump applied for his trademark in the country as early as 1996 and his children and associates have visited Moscow in search of joint ventures.
In 2013, the president-elect sold Russian real estate developers the right to host his Miss Universe pageant and used the visit as a chance to discuss development deals. “TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next,” he wrote on Twitter at the time.
Mr. Trump and his partners pursued Russians newly flush with cash as the country’s market opened up in the post-Soviet era. And seeking deals in Russiabecame part of the Trump brand’s expansion efforts.
In the long run, however, it proved more challenging in Russia than it did in places like India and the Philippines.

NYT’s Dealbook

 

When a S’porean wins this scholarship …

In Uncategorized on 03/02/2017 at 5:55 am

We can really be proud of our education system.

His passport to tech Mecca arrived in 2011. Thiel, who made his fortune as an early Facebook investor, runs a scheme that pays youngsters to become entrepreneurs instead of going to college — Proud won a fellowship worth $100,000. Today Proud says he doesn’t really know why he was chosen but, as Thiel later told Forbes magazine, “James stood out from the start as extremely tenacious and determined”.

FT Magazine

James Proud is a 25 year-old Brit.

He’s so good that

Thiel to invest $2m of his own funds into Hello, six years after he flew Proud to San Francisco. He is the first Thiel Fellow that the venture capitalist has personally invested in.

Juz call an ambulance even if these symptoms last only 5 minutes

In Uncategorized on 02/02/2017 at 5:02 am

I’m sure that you know that if you get a combination of these symptoms you should call for an ambulance

— blurring of vision

— room seems to spin

— loss of muscular power

— slurring of speech

— cold sweat

because you could be getting a stroke.

But you may like me think that if one gets these symptoms and they go away almost immediately (say five minutes), everything is OK. Not so.

During CNY a relation related that he had the symptoms last year while fiddling with some gadgets. He “recovered” almost immediately but was still pale when his wife spoke to him. His son was visiting and was called to examine him. He told them to call for an ambulance because he said it was a stroke attack. He’s an authority because he’s a physiotherapist working with stroke patients.

Always call an ambulance. Another attack could come at any time, an attack that if unattended for some time could lead to bad results like partial paralysis. It’s the luck of the draw when another attack will happen and it’s important to get immediate medical treatment to unchoke the system: hence the ambulance.

As it was scans revealed that my relation had had two previous attacks. If he was a cat, he’d only have six lives left.

 

Hilary supporter buys US$12bn of stocks

In Uncategorized on 01/02/2017 at 4:43 pm

Not fake news.

Warren Buffet’s $12 billion investment. “We’ve, net, bought $12 billion of common stocks since the election,” he said in an interview with Charlie Rose. – Bloomberg

It must have pained the NYT’s Dealbook to report the above.

The bottom line: Trump is not going to destroy the US economy. Taz fake analysis from Hilary’s friends in the NYT, Washington Post etc.

Trump Triumphant.

Where are the minorities?

In Humour on 01/02/2017 at 8:50 am

Oppo to PAP are mainly Cina because the Gregoes, Mats and Kalengs are PAP supporters? Or only Chinese are cybernuts?  Or is there racism in TRE? Or TRE believes members of its team must be in proportion to the racial balance here; 75%, 12% and 7%.

Those were my tots when I read

Wishing all our Chinese readers a Prosperous & Happy Lunar New year

Wishing all our Chinese readers a Prosperous & Happy Lunar New year

The team@TR Emeritus would like to wish all our Chinese readers a very Prosperous and Happy Lunar New Year. Since most on the team and our writers are Chinese, please understand that during this period, moderation and articles would be slow to process. We thank you for your kind understand and continued support. Team@TR Emeritus . . …