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Archive for November, 2017|Monthly archive page

Why Jolovan Wham kanna whack?

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

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

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

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

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

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 As far as one can determine, they want “restorative justice” for ex-ISA detainees; they want S377a to be repealed; they want both capital and corporal punishment to be abolished; they want freedom of assembly anywhere in public; they want freedom of speech and oppose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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which is why this is a lot of BS

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

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

The actions are not disproponiate.

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

 

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What do social activists like Jolovan Wham etc want?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why S’pore industrialised in the 60s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

M Ravi apologises for assaults after pleading guilty

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

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

The offences he pleaded guilty to on Monday are serious.

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

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


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

CNA

—————————————–

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

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

There’s more

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

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

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

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

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

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

SMRT culture got like this meh?

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

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

Wow!

Now that requires organisation and dedication.

 

Countering PAP’s BS that taxes must go up

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

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

Summary: There’s plenty of money.

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

The Bigger Fork in Our Long-Term Fiscal Policy Road

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Btw, didn’t ask permission.)

Opportunity cost of owning car

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lye Khuen Way:

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

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

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

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

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

So why didn’t the SDP say

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

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

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

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

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

I’ll tell u why.

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

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

Just retire pls.

Wah train service so reliable meh between 2012 and 2016?

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

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

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

Well I asked him

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

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

Doing biz with PRCs

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

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

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

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

From NYT Dealbook

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

Chiat lat if SMRT involved in this

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

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

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

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

————————————

*BBC report

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

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

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

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

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

 

Advice SDP, WP should heed

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

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

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

A WP fan rushed to reply

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

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

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

Yes

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

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

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

Maybe then the Wanklers deserve to win more parly seats.

Will ISD use this Amazon service?

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

Secret Squirrel, Morocco Mole and Maxwell Smart certainly will

From NYT Dealbook

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

Why the PM doesn’t need friends

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

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

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

When I read this

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

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

TOC

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

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

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

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

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

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

The next election must be held sometime in 2021.

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

SDP’s statement in full:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The PAP way?

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

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

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

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

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


“Why CCP’s fears are PAP’s fears”

Keeping power in a one-party state

————————————————–

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


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

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

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

——————————————————-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The people must support the PAP, he said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

On the contrary cybernuts, Desmond did a great job

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Mugabe ak kah leow with S’porean authorities?

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

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

Extract from another BBC report

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

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

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

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

Amos got point on Christianity and Islam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Economist blog

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

 

 

 

Mugabe coming here?

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

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

So if not South Africa, then where?

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

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

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

MRT collision is no play play

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

Can really be jialat safety and convenience issues.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rock & roll and drugs

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

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

He was member of the Doors.

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

Gd US accounting innovation

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

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

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

Khaw blaming Dr Goh for SMRT failings?

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

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

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

Khaw

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

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

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

Separately as Chris K pointed out

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

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

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

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

Related posts

SMRT: The cock that Khaw talks

Fat cats need help

P&G mgt reminds me of the PAP

SMRT: Why Desmond must go

PAP has lost “output legitimacy”

Fat cats need help

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

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

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

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

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

BBC Online

Does Amos support child pornography?

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

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

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

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

https://youtu.be/qc9oVlZu_V8

I dedicate this piece to Passerby.

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

Cybernut exposes himself as PAP mole

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

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

Rabble-rouser wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

P&G mgt reminds me of the PAP

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

Die, die must crush opposition to its hegemony. 

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

P&G mgt refused and won very narrowly.

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

NYT’s Dealbook reported that

 

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

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

And

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

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

Robot 1 Lawyers 0

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

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

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

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

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

Why Sun Ho’s God is not on her side

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If God really loved her (and him):

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

CHC members should remember that since

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

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

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

Extracts from Economist.

Amos the stupid

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

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

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

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

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

 

SMRT: Race(s) of maintenance team please

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

And that of their managers too please.

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

Whatever, race is important here.

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

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

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

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

HDB flat: Dead Capital

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

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

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

I also wrote that in S’pore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Dead capital’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SMRT: The cock that Khaw talks

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

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

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

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

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

And this is BS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Only in M’sia

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

Our PM can learn from Najib on fixing the Oppo

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

Protectors of Malays speak up for non Muslims:

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

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

Cybernuts are only a subset of 30%

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tean Lim should contact Roy

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

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

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

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

Lim Tean on FB last month

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Got KFC outlet like this here meh?

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

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

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

People who value our education system

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

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

The sacrifices that the kids make

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

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

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

And the sacrifices the parents make

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

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

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

WP MPs are still not organised in parly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

WP Low’s anointed one

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

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

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

And

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

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

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

These experts have no contacts among WP cadres isit?

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

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

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

wpmp_profile2_dennis

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

He walks the ground assidiously. In 2016

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

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

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

 

Are PM and Ho Ching sad and envious?

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

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

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

According to this, they must be sad and envious

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

FT article


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

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

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

—————————————————–

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

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

——————————–

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

 

 

Our otters: A global first

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

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

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

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

A paper 

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

For more see page 9 in

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

“Idiots”, “Indians” no more

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

Well it seems TISG has changed.

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

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

Whatever, pretty good stuff

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

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

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

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

Paywall is a death trap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIP TMG.

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

Related post: Atas website closing

 

Starting a new political party

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

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

But what then?

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

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

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

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

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

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

But

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

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

But a centralist new party? Forget it because

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

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

There’s a way

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

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

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

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

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

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

Truly the 9th Immortal 

SMRT: Why Desmond must go

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because LKY would fired him after the 2011 GE if LKY had the power? Instead LKY had to move on and was rumoured to have said that Teo Cheen Hean would have made a better PM than “Hsien Loong”.

 

 

 

 

 

Incomplete story about PM’s arty days

In Uncategorized on 03/11/2017 at 4:55 am

Mr Tan also recounted that when Mr Lee was a junior officer, he had written a programme to compute the angle to fire a gun. Before that, the men had to tediously calculate these details manually. “PM said that was… so primitive. So he started to think that something could be done,” he said.

Today

What wasn’t told by Mr Tan was that was that the future PM wrote the programme for use in the HP scientific calculator or the finance one (I’m not sure which). And more importantly, we were not told that the progamme wasn’t of much use because the HP calculator wasn’t rugged enough for military use. At least he was smart enough not to use the TI version: that was (and is) more delicate: these calculators are still on sale.

PR suggestion for launch of “defamation” video

In Uncategorized on 02/11/2017 at 1:10 pm

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

Lim Tean

Lim Tean says will help S’poreans avoid getting sued for defamation when they criticise you-know-who. My suggestion is that he or a member of Team Lim Tean should get in touch with Tan Tee Seng with a view of doing a premiere of the video which .

Tan Tee Seng, a “Marxist conspirator” (he confessed), is part of a team of social activists that organises screenings of interesting films  and the video should be something that will interest the team, and those who attend the screenings.

Who knows it might even get into this mid November festival:

Make a date with Freedom Film Festival 2017 Singapore!

HoHoHO: Still no dividend from StanChart

In Banks, Temasek on 02/11/2017 at 7:00 am

StanChart fell 6.5% to a six-month low of 702p in London after investors showed their disappointment with the slow turnaround.

Although there was a more than doubling of quarterly net profits, the bank had falling revenue in corporate finance, credit cards and personal loans. Analysts unhappy that there was only 4 % in revenues, which missed expectations, as well as higher than expected costs (also up 4%)

Worse, still no revival of dividend, “Andy Halford, chief financial officer at Standard Chartered, said the firm would assess whether or not to reinstate its much-anticipated dividend at the end of the year.”

HOHoHo.

Update at 10.45am: DBS is a better investment http://www.reuters.com/article/us-stanchart-results-breakingviews/breakingviews-stanchart-has-yet-to-reward-shareholders-patience-idUSKBN1D14KJ

Reason why CPF Life so mean?

In CPF, Financial competency on 01/11/2017 at 1:13 pm

Many moons ago after one Chris K wrote this about the meanness of CPF life because of the triple redundancy, I emailed his piece to an actuary and asked him if the piece made sense (there were some things that I couldn’t quite follow). He said it did, but added “Nothing wrong in being prudent”.

This PAPpy answer got me and, when I told him, Chris K annoyed.

But reading this one can understand the logic even if one disagrees with it.

IN 1965 ANDRÉ-FRANÇOIS RAFFRAY, a 47-year-old lawyer in southern France, made the deal of a lifetime. Charmed by an apartment in Arles, he persuaded the widow living there that if he paid her 2,500 francs (then about $500) a month until she died, she would leave it to him in her will. Since she was already 90, it seemed like a safe bet. Thirty years later Mr Raffray was dead and the widow, Jeanne Louise Calment, was still going strong. When she eventually passed away at 122, having become the world’s oldest person, the Raffray family had paid her more than twice the value of the house.

Underestimating how long someone will live can be costly, as overgenerous governments and indebted private pension schemes have been discovering. They are struggling to meet promises made in easier times. Public pensions are still the main source of income for the over-65s across the OECD, but there are big differences between countries (see chart). In both America and Britain public provision replaces around 40% of previous earnings, but in some European countries it can be 80% or more. Where it makes up a big share of total pension income, as in Italy, Portugal and Greece, a shrinking workforce will increasingly struggle to finance a bulging group of pensioners.

http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21724751-lives-get-longer-financial-models-will-have-change-financing-longevity

When it comes to the future, it’s all about probabilities i.e. throwing dice. Even with all with the help of AI, data and acturial science, the future is still guess-work, not certainity.

The more “certainity” is asked for, the higher the cost. Here’s something I wrote in 2009: What price income protection? Or the cost of an annuity

So if one wants “certainty”, there’s a price to be paid. CPF Standard Plan offers that “certainity”. As I told someone sometime back, if you know you are going to live to 150, then opt for the Standard Plan , even if by conventional wisdom yardsticks it “sucks”. But remember even then if the plan dies, you also die: Diabetes: The real reason PM is worried?

Udrahpore not Singapore

In Environment on 01/11/2017 at 7:12 am

Or “Tale the otters tell their  pups”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all know the legend that S’pore was called Singapura because FT Sang Nila Utama was told that the animal he saw when he landed here was a lion (“Singa” in Sanskrit). The animal had a red body, black head and a white breast. Strange lions in the olden days.

The otters say that he saw a big white-breast otter that got bloodied in a fight with his siblings. They bit him, causing a deep cut on his back. The wound was bigger than this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Injured pup photographed by Abel Yeo. Attempts are being made to catch and treat this pup.)

Blood streaked down his sides.

He was then seen by Sang Nila Utama.