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Archive for January, 2018|Monthly archive page

4000% increase if estate duty replaces GST increase

In Economy on 31/01/2018 at 12:47 pm

There’s a lot to talk in cyberspace of reintroducing estate duty in place of a GST rise.

But none of the people proposing the reintroduction of estate duty seems to have gone thru the numbers.

We had estate duty and it brought in

an estimated S$75 million a year — the average annual amount collected before it was scrapped.

Compare that $75m to the rumoured GST rise expected to bring in $3 billion to $3.6 billion a year.

Experts have said they expect the GST to be raised by 2 percentage points to 9 per cent — translating to additional tax revenue of between S$3 billion to S$3.6 billion a year.

http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/where-spores-additional-tax-revenue-could-come-experts

So do the people who propose the return of estate duty really expect estate duty to be raised from its previous level so that it can replace the GST increase? From $75m to $3bn means a humongous increase: 4000%.

Did they do their sums? Did they analyse where $3bn a year in estate duty can come from? Is it targeted only at the super rich or is it across the board? And, if the latter, will S’poreans want such a high estate duty tax? And if targeted at the super rich, have the proposers taken into account the lumpiness of the tax. When there was such a tax, one year there was a big jump because Khoo Teck Puat died.

Or as usual, are the proposers: juz talking cock and singing song? They only want to show S’poreans that cybernuts don’t do their homework before opening their asses to fart?

There could be a case to revive estate duty as a means of redistributing income, but that is a different story from reviving it and increasing it by 4000% from the previous level to avoid an increase in the GST rate.

 

 

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Ho Ho Ho: Google agrees with Temasek

In Indonesia, Internet, Private Equity, Temasek on 31/01/2018 at 7:31 am

Years ago, Temasek (along with big private equity firms KKR and Sequioa) invested in Indonesian unicorn Go-Jek. The company provides ride-hailing, food delivery and e-payment services.

Well now, Google has invested in Go-Jek as it seeks to further tap Indonesia’s growing internet economy. Google said on Monday it had chosen to invest in Go-Jek as “there was still more we can do to support and participate in Indonesia’s growth”, noting the country is home to the world’s fifth-largest population of internet users. It did not disclose the size of the investment.

Cybernuts should remember that Temasek and Ho Ching don’t always get things wrong (HO HO HO: How Shi**y is StanChart?).

In fact, Temasek (and GIC) like other professionally run SWFs (Think the Arabs but not the Chinese. Think the Chinese investment in Noble House that will be almost wipewd out.) often get investments more right than wrong.

Another deal Temasek (and GIC) got right: Xiaomi’s IPO will make anti-PAPpyists frus.

Why PM needs to get a grip on incompetency and inequality

In Uncategorized on 30/01/2018 at 1:08 pm

As someone from Catholic High School, he should know his Chinese history: the “mandate of heaven” — the Chinese ruler’s divine right to rule — was always lost due to corruption, inequality and incompetency.

Here begins our tale: The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been.

Opening sentence of Romance of the Three Kingdoms

 

 

The SMRT woes have shown that there is unacceptable incompetence (Connecting SMRT failures, 4th gen ministers & change of PM) resulting in the PAP losing a fair amount of output legitimacy.


What is Output Legitimacy?

“Output legitimacy” is the idea that elected leaders make decisions that are unpopular in the short term but will be approved by voters once their success has been demonstrated.  A govt aiming for “output legitimacy” (most govts don’t, but the PAP is an exception) is a bold, self-confident govt because the govt and the politicians need to be proved right by events.  Sadly for S’poreans and the PAP, the record doesn’t look that great for one LHL. He had been DPM, and in charge of economic and financial issues, and the civil service, since the 1990s, until he became PM in 2004.

PAP has lost “output legitimacy”

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As to inequality, forget about S’pore’s really bad Gini score. Here’s something S’poreans can relate to: At 8.38 pm January 8, PM’s pay would pass Ah Beng’s yearly salary

Then there’s corruption. The US Marshall (not our mata mata) caught Keppel Corp, a TLC and GLC, with its pants down in Brazil. It had to pay fine of US$422 million as part of a global resolution with the US Marshall, Brazil and S’pore.

Here begins our tale: The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been.

Opening sentence of Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Need I say more?

Except that maybe that’s why

On Friday, Mr Lee, responding to queries from reporters on whether he was prepared to announce a potential successor by the end of this year, said: “If it’s settled, everybody will know, but my assessment is that it will probably take a bit longer”.

He also said that no new Deputy Prime Ministers will be appointed in the upcoming reshuffle which will take place after the annual Budget on Feb 19. Political analysts had earlier speculated that a new DPM could be appointed to signal that he is the frontrunner for the top job, and to give him exposure.

And

The country’s fourth generation leadership team need not be constrained by an “artificial deadline” to select a new leader among themselves, said Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung on Sunday (Jan 28).

“I think it is useful, as our younger generation ministers would have said, we would select somebody to be the leader amongst us in good time,” he said at the sidelines of a community event in Yishun when asked to comment on how Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said on Friday that the process will need a while longer.

Got no-one competent enough to be PM? Or rather competent enough to prevent the PAP from becoming juz another ruling dynasty.

Here begins our tale: The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been.

Opening sentence of Romance of the Three Kingdoms

 

 

 

HO HO HO: How Shi**y is StanChart?

In Banks, China, Emerging markets, Hong Kong, India, Temasek on 30/01/2018 at 6:11 am

In 2016, when China as a country grew at close to 7 per cent, StanChart’s revenue across greater China and north Asia declined by 15 per cent. While Southeast Asia GDP grew by nearly 5 per cent, StanChart’s revenue there shrank by 5 per cent. And in Africa and the Middle-East, another fast-growing region, the bank’s revenue was down 4 per cent. StanChart’s full-year numbers for 2017 have yet to be published, but at the last count its ROE was running at about 5 per cent …

Today’s FT

Chinese don’t trust M’sian Chinese?

In Uncategorized on 29/01/2018 at 2:42 pm

Broadcom, a  fabless semiconductor company that make products for the wireless and broadband communication industry is headed by one Hock Tan. He’s a US citizen but was born in M’sia.

Broadcom is now trying to acquire Qualcomm, a US semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company.

Senior executives of three Chinese handset makers, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, recently voiced their opposition to the proposed acquisition at a Qualcomm event held in China.,

Jialat for PAP

In Banks, Financial competency, Financial planning, Property on 29/01/2018 at 7:39 am

Unhappy HDB “owners”will complicate change of PM (Connecting SMRT failures, 4th gen ministers & change of PM) and other plans.

In yet another sign of a recovery in the private residential market (SIBOR up 25%, but property mkt is hot?), prices went up 1.1 % in 2017, reversing the 3.1%  decline in 2016, figures from the URA showed last  Friday.

But the HDB Resale Price Index (RPI) for 2017 declined by 1.5% , HDB said on Friday.

Worse for those wanting to sell older HDB flats

From the ground, homes with leases of less than 60 years took longer to sell, and at a much lower price … we anticipate the market to improve, especially in areas where former HUDC developments were sold en bloc. Some of these buyers downsized to a HDB flat and kept the proceeds for retirement, or to support their children in purchasing a private home.

Dr Lee Nai Jia, Head of Research at Edmund Tie & Company

http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/private-home-prices-11-2017-reversing-2016s-31-decline

(Trumpets pls: I posted this in April 2017 HDB flats: 35 is a dangerous age. And btw, this Old private flats’ value can also fall off a cliff).)

Anyway, the PAP has a problem if private property prices keep going up while HDB flats prices continue to decline, or stagnate at these levels.

Those with HDB mortgages will not be happy that their their “heavily subsidised” flats have not appreciated in value in line with FTs’ and elites’ private property values, while those with older flats will be doubly unhappy.

Since more than 80% of Singapore’s population live in HDB flats, a growing gap between HDB prices and private housing prices is not good for the PAP.

But at least Mad Dog and the cybernuts will be happy: more of the 70% will be unhappy with the PAP. They can “Keep on wanking and dreaming that the PAP will lose the next GE”.

Even PAP govt thinks ang moh tua kee

In Political governance, Public Administration on 28/01/2018 at 10:57 am

Juz different type of ang moh. They look up to the “Victorians” i.e. the arch colonisers. (Btw, one Raffles, was a pre “Victorian”. Farquhar with his Malay mistress and support of gambling as a source of revenue, was not.

But first, below is the govt’s response to an Economist article entitled “Rules are thicker than blood” which made fun of S’pore’s “Victorian” values.

It makes several good points that our ang moh tua kees forget or ignore or are ignorant of:

— “today’s Western norms … are historically recent and by no means uncontested, even in Western societies”; and

— “time will tell if a cautious approach to social change is wiser”.

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Singaporean values

Rules are thicker than blood” (January 13th) derided Singapore’s norms on what constitutes a family as “Victorian”. Our values and social norms on what makes for a stable family unit are conservative and shape the government’s policies and rules on adoption. They differ from today’s Western norms, which are historically recent and by no means uncontested, even in Western societies. Singaporeans will determine their own pace of any change in family values.

A push for rapid social change, especially on contentious moral issues, risks polarising society and producing unintended results. In Singapore nearly all children are born and raised in wedlock, starkly different from what now happens in the West. We make no claim to know which values are best for every society. The Economist may think Singapore is quaint and old-fashioned, but time will tell if a cautious approach to social change is wiser.

FOO CHI HSIA
High commissioner for Singapore
London


OK, OK yes I know “Victorian” values were once ang moh values. And that shows that today’s ang moh tua kees are also real S’poreans like the PAPpies.

Diageo: Johnnie Walker and Baijiu keep it walking

In Uncategorized on 28/01/2018 at 5:54 am

Diageo, the world’s biggest drinks group, last week reported stronger than expected first-half results, helped by a sales surge in China of its baijiu white spirits.

Sales of Shui Jing Fang, its white spirits brand with a 600-year heritage, was up 75%.

The results in the Asia-Pacific region grew at more than double the consensus organic growth rate.

Whisky drinkers like me think of its whisky:  “Johnnie Walker: Born 1820, still going strong.” and  “Keep Walking”

JWalker 2015 logo.png

Blockchain is the new Internet/ Sell banks?

In Banks on 27/01/2018 at 11:22 am

Banks talk of blockchain technology as something to be tamed and turned into a tool for the back-office, much as the big media companies once saw the internet as merely a useful way to cut their distribution costs.

FT’s Silicon Valley commentator

So banks going the way of media cos and it’s time to sell my HSBC and UOB (via Haw Par) shares?

One big difference is that banks play a biger role in the economy (real and financial) than media cos. So politicans and regulators have a vested interest in looking after them. Think how MAS is protecting our banks and extrapolate to the West.

Fintech: the reality behind the hype

 

Said at Davos

In Uncategorized on 27/01/2018 at 4:25 am
“America First, not America alone,” Trump in Davos. No lobbing of grenades instead tries to build bridges with the international community in his keynote speech.
Sad. No trolling.

And from NYT’s Dealbook

Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase told CNBC, “I promise you, we are going to be sitting here in a year and you all will be worrying about inflation and wages going up too high.”
Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs said of President Trump: “I don’t want to be hypocritical, either. I’ve really liked what he’s done for the economy.”
Sundar Pichai of Google said about taxes: “We are happy to pay a higher amount, whatever the world agrees on as the right framework. It’s not an issue about the amount of tax we pay, as much as how you divide it among various countries.”
Jack Ma of Alibaba said on a panel: “I think globalization cannot be stopped. Nobody can stop globalization. Nobody can stop trade. And I believe, if trade stops, war starts.”
Raymond Nolte of SkyBridge Capital said, “If you take away Trump’s Twitter ridiculousness, it’s actually been a pretty good year for the business community.”

MAS not walking the talk on Initial Coin Offerings

In Casinos on 26/01/2018 at 11:01 am

The head of the central bank has been KPKBing about the dangers of crytocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (or ICOs): Why S’pore’s fintech ambitions won’t go far


ICOs enable companies to raise money for blockchain projects, without selling equity, by issuing virtual tokens or coins which can be bought by investors.

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But did you know that S’pore is third after US and Switzerland in ICO funds raised between Jan to Oct 2017? FT has a diagram showing that ICOs in S’pore raised US$184m. ICOs raised US$580m in the US and US$550m in Switzerland. Russia was juz behind us with US$111m.

Sounds like the central bank is trying to have its cake and eat it.

Let’s hope retail investors don’t get burnt. But somehow I think pigs will fly first.

Sad,

 

Triumphant in Davos

In Uncategorized on 26/01/2018 at 6:36 am

As President Trump prepares to fly to the World Economic Forum, he is likely to feel vindicated coming to a club of elites that had long scorned him. (NYT)

NYT’s Dealbook yesterday

Trump will later today troll the global elite who scorned him by telling them that he won and their heroine Hilary and her sleaze bag of a husband (who is actually a lot sleazier than Trump) lost. And then he’ll lob a few verbal grenades into the crowd.

His officials are already in Davos playing the mood music about the grenades:

— “Wilbur Ross [Commerce Secretary] held firm on the Trump administration’s tough line on international trade.”;

— US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he would welcome a weaker US$; and

— “Steven Mnuchin, Treasury secretary … absolutely expected to see an acceleration of trade measures during 2018, and said the administration was tightly co-ordinated in pursuing tougher trade policies.”

See who’s telling govt to control healthcare costs/ What be should be KPKBing about

In Economy, Public Administration on 25/01/2018 at 11:08 am

This guy from DBS has the right idea: govt should control costs of households esp in healthcare

Controlling costs for households, especially healthcare costs, would also help moderate government spending on subsidies and rebates.

DBS senior economist Irvin Seah says: “No matter how much we increase healthcare subsidies, it will never be enough if costs are not kept in check.”

The cost of healthcare has been rising inexorably. Between 2011 and 2016, Singapore’s average annual healthcare inflation rate was 2.4 per cent, compared to an average of 1.6 per cent among developed countries.

“There is an urgent need to review the current cost structure of the healthcare system,” Mr Seah adds.

ST: Do taxes in Singapore really need to go up?

Thw point about keeping costs down was also made last week in a letter published in ST. Getting the PAP administration to keep down costs is what S’poreans should be KPKBing about.

But the letter writer is wrong about there being no free lunch available. Think of the reserves, especially the returns. It’s billions of lunches being hoarded.

Chris K posted on FB

 Heartening. Despite the govie jawboning about increase in taxes and trying its damnest not to talk about the other way to meet higher expenditures, tapping more earnings from the reserves, 40% preferred tapping the reserves versus 34% favouring tax increases.

He was referring to the IPS study highlighted in http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/most-singaporeans-believe-family-and-government-should-take-care-elderly-poll

To sum up: S’poreans should demand that the PAP administration strive to keep costs down while spending more of the income from the reserves on S’poreans. Jam today: Welfare: Jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam today.

And we should also KPKB that the PAP’s definition of budget deficit is not one used by IMF and Western countries. For starters, it excludes land sales only half of the returns from the reserves is included, so the last sentence in this piece is a lot of rubbish.

Credit Suisse economist Michael Wan predicted that annual government spending will rise by a further 1.7 per cent to 2.8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025, driven by infrastructure projects, higher social expenditure, and measures to transform the economy. If the Government does not raise its revenue, it could run into a deficit of between 0.3 per cent and 1.4 per cent of GDP by that year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

India and China not walking the talk

In China, India on 25/01/2018 at 6:48 am

India can “pak” China. US cannot. India should remember it’s sua kee, not tua kee like US and China.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke against tariffs at the World Economic Forum in Davos in an apparent reference to the US measures, although India’s own finance ministry is planning a 70% tariff on Chinese solar panels.

“Forces of protectionism are raising their heads against globalisation. Their intention is not only to avoid globalisation themselves but they also want to reverse its natural flow,” Mr Modi said.

BBC report

But he’s most probably apeing Xi. Last yr at Davos Xi espoused global trade but his policies since then showed he was not walking the talk. Latest example:

Of the contractors working on China-funded transport infrastructure projects in 34 Asian and European countries, 89 per cent were Chinese, leaving 11 per cent from elsewhere, according to the study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think-tank.

FT

 

Uganda’s president: I love Trump for being frank with Africans

In Uncategorized on 24/01/2018 at 4:05 pm

“America has got one of the best presidents ever,” Mr Museveni said to laughter during the opening of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) in the Ugandan capital of Kampala.

“I love Trump because he tells Africans frankly. The Africans need to solve their problems, the Africans are weak.”

Mr Museveni’s comments are in opposition to the reaction of many leaders who have condemned Mr Trump’s language.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-42795588

“Do taxes in Singapore really need to go up?”/ ST trying to change its spots?

In Economy, Public Administration on 24/01/2018 at 7:15 am

“Do taxes in Singapore really need to go up?”is the title of an article in the constructive, nation-building ST.

But it looks as though it’s trying hard to no longer be constructive and nation-building.

In the article, it quotes Maybank Kim Eng economist Chua Hak Bin as saying

“It is quite remarkable that Singapore, with one of the highest saving rates in the world (at 48 per cent of gross domestic product) and fiscal reserves, still needs to increase taxes.

“The risk is that higher taxes may weigh on growth, which could lead to lower tax revenue collection as a result. Singapore’s low-tax regime has been historically a reason for its success, its attractiveness as a business hub and a vibrant city that draws talent.”

Taz no exactly what the PAP expects to hear from it’s No 1 loudhailer.

But taz not all, it further quotes him as saying that the govt should target subsidies more effectively.

For instance, the Pioneer Generation healthcare package should have been more targeted towards those who needed help most (by housing type or income), rather than a blanket scheme for everyone aged above 65, suggests Maybank Kim Eng’s Dr Chua.

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/do-taxes-in-singapore-really-need-to-go-up

Now taz criticising the PAP adminstration’s signature policy, and it’s across the board schemes

Whatever, my mum for one is not impressed by this suggestion. She’s one of those who he thinks that she doesn’t deserve her “freebies”.

Btw Mr Chua is a M’sian. His dad is a fat cat who owns a finance co.

Hot topics at Davos

In Uncategorized on 23/01/2018 at 3:59 pm

From NYT’s Dealbook

• Populism — though, Mr. Trump aside, anxiety is on the wane (NYT)
• How long the world’s economies can continue to expand (NYT)
• How to respond to cyberwarfare by the likes of North Korea (NYT)
• How to improve women’s standing in the world, with several top women leaders in attendance (NYT)
• Big tech companies’ image woes (FT)
• France’s efforts to woo business leaders, including a pre-Davos summit at Versailles that will be attended by Jamie Dimon and Sheryl Sandberg (Reuters)

Public tenders = PAPpy greed?

In Financial competency, Public Administration on 23/01/2018 at 7:26 am

At regular intervals, cybernuts (Think TKL and TRE nuts) and usually rational S’poreans complain that public sector public tenders must not always go to the lowest bid or to the highest offer. Discretion must always be exercised for the good of the public. In their opinion, the PAP administration’s failure to exercise discretion for the good of the public is evidence of the greed of the PAP.

But are they willing in turn to give the govt and other public organisations the benefit of the doubt when bids are won by those bidding more or offering more (say for leases) but then things go wrong?

The reality of winning public tenders is that the lowest bids or highest offers are the way to win them. The UK has seen the collapse of Carillion, a construction and outsourcing contractor, who won public sector bids by consistently being the lowest bidder.

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The trap of awarding tenders to lowest bidder for society

Rob Whiteman oversaw the procurement process at the government’s UK Border Agency, where he used to be chief executive. He now heads up the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

He worries public contracts are too often awarded to low bidders.

“Low bidding can appear attractive to procurement officers because they know they will be judged on value for money. But I think there is a bear trap,” he explains.

“If we overscore cost in the evaluation then we risk squeezing contractors’ profits and if they’ve got their sums wrong they may take their best staff off the contract and the taxpayer gets a sub-standard delivery.”

Another concern raised by Mr Whiteman is a lack of focus on the companies’ financial robustness during the tendering process.

He thinks that while civil servants look at a firm’s track record for delivery, more questions need to be asked about how financially sound the company is before awarding a contract.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42720245

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To avoid accusations of wasting public money, there’s pressure to accept the lowest bid. Conversely when tendering revenue generating contracts (say leases), there’s pressure to accept the highest bid to avoid accusations of failing to maximise public revenue.

Remember that in the background is the elephant: there’s the taint or accusation of corruption, favouritism or cronyism when the lowest bid (or highest offer) is not accepted.

Coming back to the idea that discretion must be exercised for the good of the public, what is the “good of the public”? Ideas on a post card, as those wanting public tenders to be awarded using this criteria don’t seem to be able to define it. In the case of renting leases, for the “good of the public” usually amounts to renting out to a small mom-and-pop comfort food operation rather than Tony Tan Colonel Saunders or Big Mac who can afford to pay and pay unlike the small family eatery. So everyone KPKBs of “moneytheism” of the PAP administration.

 

This issue is more complicated than the cybernuts think.

 

 

Coconut oil could be a superfood

In Uncategorized on 22/01/2018 at 1:53 pm

Like olive oil.

Some ang moh celebrities swear by coconut oil (I wouldn’t be surprise to read that some celebrity babe bathes in it), but

If anything coconut oil is seen, in the scientific community, as an unhealthy fat. It is very high in saturated fat (86%), even more so than butter (51%) or lard (39%).

The reason that foods rich in saturated fats are frowned on is because eating them causes a rise in blood levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein).

LDL is known as “bad cholesterol” because high levels are linked with increased risk of heart disease.

On the other hand, saturated fats – which are particularly bad for you – also tend to raise HDL, “good” cholesterol, which has the opposite effect. It is possible that a particular food can raise overall cholesterol levels, yet still be heart-friendly.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-42608071

The latest BBC2 series of Trust Me I’m a Doctor, helped organise a trial to see if coconut oil could be the next olive oil.

Well coconut oil seems to work but the BBC programme says it’s premature to say it’s the next olive oil. Read more at http://www.bbc.com/news/health-42608071.

Connecting SMRT failures, 4th gen ministers & change of PM

In Economy, Political governance on 22/01/2018 at 8:16 am

This headline

All EWL stations to see early closures, late openings on weekends and select weekdays in March

(CNA)

reminded me of the failure of the PAP administration to ensure that the trains run on time*. I mean even that incompetent World War II dictator, Mussolini, ensured that Italian trains ran on time.

This failure is more significant than just the loss of output legitimacy (PAP has lost “output legitimacy”) because the PAP is talking about a change of leaders and the importance of trust.

People would also give their trust when they see the Government has been “responsible, anticipates and are responsive in meeting their needs” and there is an overall improvement in their lives, Mr Chan said.

The minister added: “Some policies take longer to bring forth results and the population may feel impatient.

“Each generation of leaders would therefore need to be consultative yet nimble in meeting these needs while managing finite resources responsibly. These are important so that we do not face a trust deficit, and run the risk of citizens disconnecting with or being disenfranchised by the government.”

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/chan-chun-sing-lays-out-key-leadership-qualities-needed-for-9852508

The problem for Kee Chui and other potential PMs is that the trust (partly based on output legitimacy”) S’poreans have for the PAP leaders is based on Harry, Dr Goh and gang did. The PAP has been living on (literally withdrawing yearlymillions of dollars) the trust in the bank trust account that these guys put in.

But the fourth generation ministers have not put much trust in the trust bank (OK, OK, same for GCT and Ah Loong and their gangs but that’s another story).

In fact, they could have cost losses to the bank account

— a possible future PM,  Ong Ye Kung, can be blamed for three problems: low productivity, labour unhappiness and SMRT breakdowns.

— Heng, the probable next PM, is linked to the minibond and DBS HN5 note losses (He was MD of the central bank at the time: Helping retail investors: the HK way and the S’pore way).

And worse, there’s not that much left in the bank account after the SMRT cock-ups and PE 2017 fiasco.

True, the 4th gen ministers have avoided getting involved in the SMRT mess. But that shows that they were not trusted to get involved in such an important matter affecting the lives of ordinary S’poreans.

Trust? What trust, Kee Chui?

What’s more, in a one-party state, the party in charge can’t be seen to incompetent, and the SMRT fiascos clearly show that there’s something wrong with the way the PAP does things. So that’s yet another problem for the 4th gen team.

But then could the failings of the 4th generation leaders be the excuse for the 3rd gen leaders in the cabinet to skip a generation and bring in a young, IT savvy guy as the PM in waiting? Names please on a post card?

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*SMRT said on Friday (Jan 19) that its board has confidence in the company’s management team and the ongoing efforts to enhance management, operational and maintenance capabilities.

CNA

The report went on

A Straits Times report on Thursday said that Mr Nathan has resigned and is serving out his notice. It also said that “observers are expecting chief executive Desmond Kuek to step down as well”. It did not specify which observers it was referring to or why they expect this to happen.

SMRT has been under pressure from the public and the government in recent months after a series of high-profile incidents, including the train collision at Joo Koon station in November which left more than 30 people injured, and the flooding of a section of a tunnel in October which caused prolonged delays.

 

Why PAPPies’ apologies make many angrier

In Uncategorized on 21/01/2018 at 11:38 am

When I read a BBC article on what kind of apologies work (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42716501), I couldn’t help but think of how the PAPPies and their kak kian apologise.

Think PM (before 2011 election and his family row), and Khaw, and the chairman and CEO on the MRT cock-ups; and one thing is clear. Their apologies don’t work i.e. they are not effective: they leave many angrier.

Reason is that the apologists don’t show enough concern

Experts say the formula for an affective apology can be summed up with the acronym CAR

show concern

demonstrate action

offer reassurance

(BBC article. Other extracts also from the same article.)

They demonstrate action and offer reassurance but they don’t show enough concern. But to be far, does Khaw, or the CEO and chairman of SMRT take the MRT to work? And PM was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. It was even encrusted with diamonds.

And they don’t convey empathy and compassion

From businesses, governments and organisations, a scripted response will fail to resonate as it will not convey empathy and compassion.

But if it’s one thing Harry taught the PAP, if in doubt, be “Be arrogant and complacent”.

Moreover

“It is vital that any business or individual making an apology understands the focus – is it sorry for the way it’s acted or is it sorry that the complainant feels the way they do?”

In the case of the PAPies and their minions their apologies come across as sorry that the complainants feels the way they do: think PM or Khaw.

I’ll end with

How to tell a genuine apology from a fake one

— Spontaneity – watch out for the speed of response, the quicker the apology comes, the better indication that the person making it has felt an immediate sense of guilt

— Body language – if genuine, the person making the apology will be looking for listening clues to see if they are being understood, such as eye contact and facial expressions

— Vulnerability – performed apologies always have a sense of being “acted out”, and are often accompanied by too many theatrical gestures. If the person is genuine they will provide “humbling signals”‘, such as a lowered head, to indicate remorse and vulnerability

— Denial gestures – the biggest clues of insincerity can come after the gesture itself, with non-verbal signals that silently reject the words used; this can include looking to the floor and smirking.

 

Want to be a social media administractor?

In Uncategorized on 21/01/2018 at 6:44 am

Unpaid of course.

A writer for the BBC became the administrator of a WhatsApp group http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-42653088 and his description of the type administrators on WhatsApp also applies (based on what I see) on FB too

1: Digital Dictators

These are power-hungry admins. No-one elected them, but everyone fears them.

They run the group like a fiefdom. Any attempt to introduce a subject or point of view that does not glorify their ego is tackled viciously.

They will not let anyone leave the group.

If you try, you’re added straight back! I call this house arrest.

A West African friend told me how a digital dictator of his group was accidentally relieved of her admin powers when she lost her phone.

She pleaded with the interim admin to readmit her on a new telephone line.

As soon as she assumed her executive WhatsApp powers, she instantly ejected the acting admin from the group.

It took the intervention of a senior military officer who is a silent member of the group to plead for the poor member to be readmitted

2: Echo Makers

These are admins who love the sound of their own voice.

They’re often found in small WhatsApp groups with only a handful of members.

I belong to one such group that was created for a training exercise after which most members left.

But the admin can be heard every few moments bellowing down the Whatsapp corridor: “Good morning happy people! Just to wish you a happy day!”

But there’s no response. There’s no-one here.

All you hear is the sound of the admin’s voice echoing back and forth with one triviality after another.

3: Mafia Managers

These are not really admins. But they are the power behind the power.

They broker relationships in the group; they determine who belongs and who doesn’t.

When their interests are threatened, they step in stealthily and take charge with sharp knives in the form of a subtle post here and a sharp hint there that leaves no doubt as to which direction things must go.

4: Rebel Rulers

These are admins who forget they are the leader.

Image copyrightAFP

They’ll be the first to post disturbing images, stir up rebellions amongst sleepy members and be the life of the party.

They crossed from street activism to “state house” but forgot to leave their placards behind.

5: People Pleasers

These are the opposite of “Digital Dictators”. They embrace the world.

They have a laissez-faire approach to the office of the WhatsApp administrator.

Which means the group is often noisy and chaotic; no-one is in charge and rules are not enforced.

As a result, their powers are usurped by scores of aspiring admins.

6: Grammar Grabbers

These are misplaced teachers. They relish posts that come with spelling or grammatical mistakes.

They will grab such offenders and take them back to pre-school by the ear.

Woe unto you if you cannot tame the spelling abilities of your smartphone.

They are also the moral detectives of the group and any content that threatens the minds of grown-ups is seized upon with speed.

A colleague, who is newly married, once sent a rather explicit message of the plans he had for his wife after his birthday dinner.

But he got his contacts mixed up and the message, intended for the wife, went to his mother-in-law.

Such misposting is Christmas dinner for grammar grabbers!

The writer ends with

My Way

Now there are things I will not stomach as the new admin of my WhatsApp group.

Because by opting for WhatsApp, my group members have surrendered their power to meet their fellow members in the physical space, or use their human voice to communicate, I too now wield the power to silence their voice.

And because the Kenyan authorities hold group administrators responsible for anything that is shared in the groups, I will leave no stone unturned to find out who posted that image of a rat chanting: “The powers of WhatsApp groups administrators are unconstitutional!”

PAPpies will love this UK cock up

In Public Administration on 20/01/2018 at 2:13 pm

This is funny. The tobacco industry is accused of using the UK’s Freedom of Information Act to get data to further their commercial aim.

The Telegraph’s lead says the medical records of patients in England diagnosed with lung cancer over a four-year period have been handed to an American firm working for one of the world’s biggest tobacco companies, Philip Morris International.

It says the information – from anonymised NHS records – was taken without the consent of the patients or their families.

According to the paper, the firm said it wanted to examine the relationship between tobacco use and cancer. But, the paper adds, many will suspect the data will ultimately be used to further the commercial ends of the tobacco industry.
Public Health England – which released the data – tells the paper it had a legal duty to do so as it was requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

BBC report

This shows the unintended consequences of a Freedom of Info Act and is thew kind of example the govt wqill use to diss those who want such an act here. Sad.

What PM should be telling local start-ups

In Uncategorized on 20/01/2018 at 6:56 am

He should tell S’pore start-ups that they should be more like Chinese companies

After all, big ang moh venture capital tua kee writing for the FT (Sorry behind pay wall) said Silicon Valley start-ups should imitate the hardworking and unfit Chinese tiger:

Mike Moritz of Sequoia Capital told Silicon Valley start-ups to be more like Chinese companies, where longer work hours and a disregard for physical fitness is the norm and where discussions about “life’s inequities” are seen as distractions.

NYT Dealbook

As can be expected the ang mohs beat him up in the “Comments” section of the article, some even accusing him of wanting a return to slavery or serfdom.

Trump reduces US trade deficit

In Uncategorized on 19/01/2018 at 4:22 pm

OK, OK, it has happened yet but watch and wait because NYT Dealkbook late last yr (but before the tax on overseas earnings was fixed at 15.5%) reportrd

Tech companies like Microsoft that stash huge amounts of foreign profits offshore are set to take a hit from the overhaul, which would impose a 10.5 percent tax on overseas earnings, according to the WSJ.

That could induce some to return to the United States, which, as the WSJ points out, could reduce the country’s trade deficit.

At a rate of 15.5% more could be induced to return, reducing further the deficit.

Tomorrow China, The Day After S’pore

In China, Internet, Political governance, Public Administration on 19/01/2018 at 6:46 am
Further to

Why does PM wants a cashless payments system?

Because no-one can hide from Big Brother when the banks are at the centre of the system.

Why PM wants a cashless payments system

from NYT Dealbook late last yr

The tech that will power China’s police state in the future.

The World Internet Conference in Wuzhen wasn’t just a gathering to show off the latest in Chinese gizmos, like a version of the Consumer Electronics Show. It also offered a glimpse of how new advances in artificial intelligence and facial recognition can be used to track citizens, and how they have become widely accepted.

From Paul Mozur of the NYT:

Investors and analysts say China’s unabashed fervor for collecting such data, combined with its huge population, could eventually give its artificial intelligence companies an edge over American ones. If Silicon Valley is marked by a libertarian streak, China’s vision offers something of an antithesis, one where tech is meant to reinforce and be guided by the steady hand of the state.

Big Brother is watching you. thanks to the the internet and other technology.

Related post: Coming here, China’s new tool for social control?

 

Trump “has incredible genes”

In Uncategorized on 18/01/2018 at 2:34 pm

Taz from tDr Jackson, whose official title is Physician to the President. (Btw he also examined Hussein).

When asked by a reporter how a man who consumes fried chicken and Diet Coke and does not exercise could be in good shape, Dr Jackson replied: “It’s called genetics… He has incredible genes.”

In a blow to those who hate him

“I have no concerns about his cognitive ability or neurological functions,”

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42708826

“Fake news: Just make mainstream media more credible”

In Media on 18/01/2018 at 11:12 am

Taz the headline of a very good article from a publication I usually trash as “The Idiots — S’pore”. Do read it because it’s very good: http://www.theindependent.sg/fake-news-just-make-mainstream-media-more-credible/

But as the writer

Tan Bah Bah is a former senior leader writer with The Straits Times …

I still find the piece a bit rich coming from a once senior insider even though he’s correct. I mean coming from an ex-ST tua kee this is hilarious:

because you are comfortable only with sycophantic group-thinkers.

Wasn’t the ST editorial team nothing but sycophantic group-thinkers who got their jobs (and retained them) because they bought into Harry’s vision of the media: constructive (as defined by him), nation-building (also as defined by him) and cheerleading?

But Bah Bah is not the only one biting the hand that once fed him well. Late last yr, I tot of the ST team in exile in SCMP (including Yaacob’s sis who was ST’s deputy editor) in HK, and retired SPH editors Bertha Henson (It’s alleged she tot she could be ST’s editor) and Balji (a discreditable report about his ethics linked inside Feeling free to bite hand that once fed him) when I read the u/m dissing of FB by a former senior employee.

Henson, Balji, Bah Bah and the ST team in exile in SCMP (including Yaacob’s sis who was ST’s deputy editor) in HK were once like this FB guy, enablers of a juggernaut. When they were regularly paid 30 pieces of silver serious sums of money, they never doubted that they were working for truth, justice, the S’pore way and Harry. But when the money stopped, they all had Damascene conversions, or so it seems. Humbug?

From NYT’s Dealbook

“I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”
That’s what Chamath Palihapitiya, the former Facebook executive turned venture capitalist said at a Stanford Graduate School of Business talk last month. Mr. Palihapitiya, who was a vice president of growth at the tech juggernaut, recommended that users take a “hard break” from social media.
More from his chat:

The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse. No cooperation. Misinformation. Mistruth. And it’s not an American problem. This is not about Russian ads. This is a global problem. So we are in a really bad state of affairs right now, in my opinion.

Xiaomi’s IPO will make anti-PAPpyists frus

In Financial competency, GIC, Temasek on 17/01/2018 at 2:53 pm

Xiaomi is laying the groundwork for its planned float in the second half of this yr as it appoints banks for a planned US$100bn IPO.

This make make our anti-PAPyists who are PRC lovers bang their balls really hard

It wasn’t that long ago when anti-PAPpyists (nutty and sane) were KPKBing that both our SWFs lost billions after investing in Xiaomei: http://www.theindependent.sg/gics-and-temaseks-investee-company-xiaomi-lost-40-billion-in-value/

Bear in mind that the above piece was not written by a cybernut but by someone who while sane didn’t have a clue about investing.

Xiaomi, which was valued at more than US$45bn in its last funding round three years ago, went through a difficult period last year that burnt through its cash. But it appears to have turned a corner in the middle of last year.

(FT a few days ago)

FT went on that the co made a:

significant recovery from January last year, when a humbled Mr Lei wrote in a memo posted on his WeChat account and on Facebook: “A few years ago, we rushed too fast, achieving a miracle in the history of modern business growth, but we also overspent a portion of our growth. We must slow down and earnestly learn from our mistakes. Prevention is better than having to fix things later.”

Need Paracetamol? Ask SingHealth

In Public Administration on 17/01/2018 at 4:47 am

Getting Paracetamol from SingHealth, like Using yr CPF OA as a savings account, is one of few ways S’poreans who are not millionaire ministers or senior bureucrats can get a “free” lunch.

Recently when I went to Marine Parade Polyclinic for  my usual blood pressure pills, I asked the doctor for a big pack of Paracetamol. I was given a packet of 90 which should last me for months.

This reminded me that a SPP member and wannabe MP posted on FB a few months back:

Now I find this fascinating. In Singapore, a box of Panadol 12 x 500mg tablets costs $6.85 ie 57 cents per tablet. Here in London I saw Tesco selling a box of paracetamol 16 x 500mg tablets at 57 cents (32 pence) ie 3.56 cents per tablet. Panadol is just paracetamol. So the same product is 16 times (!!) more expensive when sold under a brand name. Come to think of it, can we buy generic (unbranded) paracetamol from shops in Singapore? I haven’t seen …

Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss on FB

Many of her FB “friends” pointed out that Paracetamol is widely available here and some tot that it could be cheaper here than in the UK. Everyone said it was even cheaper in JB but they couldn’t give a price. I couldn’t comment as I’ve not bought Paracetamol from my Chinese medicine shop for yrs because I get mine from SingHealth, though I did think 3 cents was a good deal.

Well I can inform readers that my Paracetamol cost me less than 2 cents a pill. To be exact $o. o15555 a pill.

Yes, I do find it strange that Ms Chong doesn’t know Paracetamol is widely available here. But I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she and her family use analgesics that don’t contain Paracetamol. After all, I prefer Aspirin, but was told when I was in my 50s, given my age, I should not take it unless a doctor prescribed it or OKed its use. Seems that many doctors hold the view that if Aspirin were invented today, it would not never ever get regulatory approval to be sold over the counter.

Still it doesn’t look good for her and the Oppo that she’s clueless about a basic medical item. I’m sure our millionaire ministers know that Paracetamol is sold here.

 

Impt of electronics to S’pore and rest of Asean

In Economy on 16/01/2018 at 2:13 pm

The 2017 GDP growth of 3.5% was dismissed by anti-PAP types (nutty and sane) saying it’s mainly due to electronics which doesn’t employ many S’poreans because it’s a capital intensive industry. And it gave them the opportunity to diss the focus on GDP growth.

True but it’s mainstay of the our economic growth, despite us (and this region generally) missing out on the growth in Smartphone electronics: Missed smartphone boom, planners thinking about 2025. We are part of the PC ecosystem. The Android and Apple ecosystems are in North Asia (China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan).

MTI minister Iswaran said that the country’s electronics manufacturing sector is expected to create a total of 2,100 new jobs for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) by 2020. Moreover, the sector also accounted for 4.4% of GDP last year, generating a total of S$90 billion in manufacturing output.

Electronics is also a mainstay of the other countries in the region.

According to the ASEAN Secretariat, Thailand’s electronic assembly bases consisted of over 2,300 companies and employed 400,000 workers. Thus, the country is recognised as a global leader in production of integrated circuits, semiconductors, and hard drives. Thailand is also the world’s fourth largest producer of refrigerators and second largest for air-conditioning units.

The Philippines is also a top producer of hard drives and semiconductors. The country is presently supplying the world with 2.5m hard drives per month and also represents 10% of the world’s semiconductor manufacturing services.

Malaysia’s electronics and electrical sector has more than 1,695 companies with a total investment of US$35.5bn.

Vietnam’s electronics industry is the third largest in ASEAN and the country is the 12th largest exporter in the world. Intel has a major plant there.

Indonesia, is also an electronic manufacturing hub with more than 250 companies. Myanmar is also set to compete in labour-intensive industries, taking advantage of its low employee costs.

Why S’pore’s fintech ambitions won’t go far

In Economy on 16/01/2018 at 5:33 am

Too much wishful thinking combined with motherhood BS from the authorities.

The head of Singapore’s central bank said on Monday he hoped the technologies underpinning cryptocurrencies such as blockchain would not be undermined by an eventual crash in the digital money.
Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-central-bank-head-hopes-cryptocurrency-tech-will-survive–crash–9861880

And

Menon added that he would not rule out the possibility of the MAS issuing a cryptocurrency directly to the public but that he was not sure it was a good idea.

This reminded me that in mid November last yr, he told the Financial Times that S’pore only wants good initial coin offerings: MAS was “very keen’’ to facilitate fundraising through “good” initial coin offerings.

HE said it  wanted to use its “regulatory sandbox” approach — created to experiment with financial innovations in a controlled environment with regulatory reliefs for a limited period of time — as a testing ground for good ICOs.

Problem is that the way he defines a good ICO means that there’s no incentive for anyone to want to raise money because the there’s no money to be made by investors or the fund raiser.

Seriously, this is what he said on what is a “goods” ICO.

He identified two kinds of good ICOs that could prosper under an MAS regulatory environment created last year that was designed to support financial innovation. Mr Menon said one type was a transaction that did not promise a return linked to the financial performance of the issuing company, and was not designed as a speculative bet on the cryptocurrency being used.

“What makes a security a security is basically a promise; a promise to share in the economic interest of your enterprise,” he said. “If you can find a model of crowd funding that doesn’t involve that, then you are not regulated at all.”

Wow work for free isit? While ministers ands senior bureaucrats make millions in salaries?Manna ada logic?

AS I said before, in S’pore, fintech is about making the local banks more efficent and entrenched, not diarupting the banks. Bit like the 10% of S’porean voters who vote Oppo to make sure the PAP listens to them.

 

Only In Indonesia

In Indonesia on 15/01/2018 at 2:09 pm

Floor collapses at Jakarta stock exchange, Reuters quotes unconfirmed reports.

Dozens of people were seen running from the Indonesia Stock Exchange in central Jakarta on Monday, Metro TV showed, after unconfirmed reports of a collapsed structure, possibly a floor, inside the building.

The director of the stock exchange, Alpino Kianjaya, declined to comment on the incident …

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/15/floor-collapses-at-jakarta-stock-exchange-reports-say

Chinese M’sian on retiring to M’sia

In Malaysia on 15/01/2018 at 10:40 am

Refering to https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/malaysia-among-top-5-best-places-to-retire-in-the-world-9831836 where M’sia was 5th, a friend posted on Facebook

Malaysia is a great place to live if you have no stake in the political outcome, nor a career to develop. Rental is very reasonable, food is delicious and inexpensive, majority of people are generally warm and welcoming, a wide range of cuisine on offer in the cities, lovely beaches, multicultural experiences, and the list goes on.

She’s right.

But she forgot that S’pore’s a lot more safer.

So much safer, than a cybernut didn’t move to M’sia because he tot it wasn’t as safe as S’pore. Yet he KPKBs about the PAP. Another reason is that wi-fi and the internet is lousy. Btw, he uses SingHealth while KPKBing about its service (wants to see doctor immediately, should not wait) and cost. When asked why he didn’t go private, he said he wasn’t rich enough.

Incidentally, other Asian countries that made the list were Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia.

PM doesn’t tell us what a great country looks like

In Economy, Political economy, Political governance on 14/01/2018 at 1:28 pm

Neither does ST nor any other constructive, nation-building publication or channel tell us what makes a country stable, safe, fair, providing its citizens with a good quality of life.

But first. Did you know thatWorld Economic Forum ranks S’pore 55th out of 144 countries in the Global Gender Gap report? No wonder the wimmin with hairy armpits at AWARE are always anti-PAP.

Sorry, coming back to the title

If you’re looking for what makes a country great, it seems, don’t look at its GDP or unemployment rate. Look at its commitment to its citizens – and how long it’s stuck to that commitment for.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180111-how-can-you-measure-what-makes-a-country-great

The BBC article says

So what can make for these strong underpinnings – the kind that help make a country stable, safe, fair and provide its citizens with a good quality of life?

The main factors seem to be two. Whether it’s social progress or overall quality of governance that a country is after, the important things seem to be the level of commitment to those institutions… and the amount of time it’s had them.

“We measure outcomes, not inputs: you can’t change your social progress just by changing the law or spending a bit of money. So a long-term commitment to social progress seems to be one factor” of success, Green says.

Similarly, Botero points out, countries that have developed robust government institutions over a long period of time – like the US or UK – have been in less danger of losing those protections.

SDP should walk the walk — East to West

In Uncategorized on 14/01/2018 at 11:29 am

Reading the SDP’s rants blaming the PAP for the rainy weather and corruption in Brazil (OK, OK I exaggerate but only a little), I was reminded of this recent post by a fellow S’porean

I was to go on my own “walking tour”—a walk across Singapore.From Tuas to Pasir Ris

https://www.tripzilla.com/walking-across-singapore/72239

Read it, it’s good.

Mad Dog Chee walked around S’pore a few yrs back. Btw, it’s alleged that he cheated. PAPpyists say he was driven around in a mercedes, stepping out now and then for photo ops.

Whatever, SDP should do a follow-up: Dr Paul should walk from Coney Island to Tuas, meeting fellow S’poreans along the way.

He needs the exercise. At the recent wedding of the daughter of another Oppo politician, Dr Paul looked like a fat cat, while Minister Shan looked lean and hungry.

Why we speculate/ How to speculate responsibly

In Financial competency on 13/01/2018 at 1:48 pm

The u/m came from an FT piece on speculating in bitcoin. But it applies equally when speculating  in penny stocks, contracts of difference, binary options, currecies, and in fact in anything.

We speculate because we have little money (relatively speaking) to invest so we’re more likely to put our money in something that has the potential to see massive returns.

one young man who graduated from a US college last year and now writes a newsletter about cryptocurrencies offers a more mundane explanation. “Young people like myself have little money to invest so they’re more likely to invest in something that has the potential to see massive returns,” says Matteo Leibowitz. “Not having a family to feed or a mortgage to pay, we can take these riskier bets.”

“Not having a family to feed or a mortgage to pay, we can take these riskier bets.” Now taz being a responsible adult. If u got a family to feed or a mortgage to pay, don’t speculate.

 

Home-grown Razer’s sharp

In Uncategorized on 13/01/2018 at 11:01 am

Using magnetic force to power a batteryless wireless mouse is cutting edge stuff

At the recent CES tech trade fair in Las Vegas, Razer has a first

PC gaming hardware specialist Razer has come up with an interesting way of powering their new wireless mouse – take the battery out entirely.

BBC

It unveiled a wired mouse mat that generates a magnetic field, which in turn, powers the Mamba mouse directly.

“While other companies have attempted to do wireless charging for mice, they have been unable to achieve true wireless power as their mice still need a battery to be charged,” said Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan.

BBC continues

No wonder Razer is proud of itself – tech firms are desperate to free us from the chore of regularly re-charging batteries because they know it could result in a far greater appreciation of their products, according to Ben Wood.

“This is the Holy Grail,” he said.

 

TRE cybernuts are like Lim Tean

In Uncategorized on 12/01/2018 at 4:22 pm

When I challeneged TRE’s cybernuts (Walk the Talk TRE cybernuts, don’t be like Lim Tean)to fund TRE in return for me refusing TRE permission to use my pieces (the nuts forever complaining that my pieces offended their delicate nature), a nut replied

If Tre were to close down because of shortage of funds, we longer read to read your cybershit ! Like that better still.

I posted

TeamTRE, Yr readers are happy to see [TRE] shut down. LOL.

No-one denied that they were happy to see TRE close.

They all like Lim Tean. Mouth full of cock, no action. As I wrote then

It’s almost the end of December but still no picture, no sound on his defamation video and jobs rally: Both were promised by end November by Lim Tean himself.- Remind Lim Tean, it’s December.

Still nothing from him, though he’s KPKBing about the floods, blaming the PAP for thew bad weather.

Bitcoin buyers: Young and male

In Uncategorized on 12/01/2018 at 10:55 am

And East Asian: the int’l financial media reports that the Chinese and Koreans are the most active traders based on info on which exchanges are used.

As to young and male, a FT reporter reported that in December

a survey released by Blockchain Capital, a venture capital firm, found that while two per cent of Americans have owned bitcoin, four per cent of millennials — generally seen as those born between the early 1980s and the early 1990s — have dabbled or owned the digital currency. Among male millennials that share rises to 6 per cent. More than 50 per cent of millennials polled said bitcoin was a positive technological innovation and more than a quarter considered bitcoin safer than banks.

More on our home-grown “Animal Farm”

In Uncategorized on 11/01/2018 at 1:37 pm

After posting “The Gatekeeper”: Our home-grown “Animal Farm”, I came across an interview the author gave about a yr ago to ST.

Reading the interview, it’s clear that she wasn’t setting out to write satirise multiculturalism and multiracism as practiced by the PAP here. Whatever her intention, that’s my reading of the book. And books can have meanings that the authors never intended. Btw, an Oppo leader read the book on my recommendation. He found it hard going because of the fantasy element. Will have to email him to find out if it gave him ideas on how to pak the PAP.

Coming back to the author, maybe she’s very cunning and KS, trying to avoid getting made into an anti-PAP icon, thus avoiding the anti-PAP label, even if it helps sell books.

Look at the trouble M Ravi D-Day for M Ravi and Amos Triple confirm, Amos is really history/ Silence of the usual suspects got into as anti-PAP icons, only to be discarded by them after they served their purpose. Has any of the usual human rights suspects, local or foreign, spoken out against M Ravi’s MTO? Even the cybernuts are silent. Their silence is deafening.

I’m sure they’ll justify their silence by saying M Ravi said the MTO is a “fair resolution” which he hopes will help him get back on his feet.

Blockchain’s the casino and bitcoin the chips

In Uncategorized on 11/01/2018 at 10:58 am

Maybe taz why Jamie Dimon the boss of JPMorgan now regrets calling bitcoin a “fraud,” though he’s still not interested in it.). He wants his bank to be the dealer.

Seriously, an FT reporter reported hearing someone describe “blockchain was the casino and bitcoin the chips”. She said this was “an apt description since investing in cryptocurrencies is very much like gambling.”

From NYT Dealbook

“That’s made it the best penny stock and the worst currency in the world.”

— Matt O’Brien of the WaPo, writing about why Bitcoin is doing well as a speculative investment and terribly as a way to buy and sell things.

 

“Sign of a market top? Hedging is passé”

In Uncategorized on 10/01/2018 at 6:12 pm
Taz headline of NYT Dealbook piece. It goes on

Some investors have apparently decided that protecting themselves against a decline in the markets is a waste of money, Gunjan Banerji of the WSJ reports:

“I haven’t seen hedging activity this light since the end of the financial crisis,” said Peter Cecchini, a New York-based chief market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald. “It started in late 2016 and accelerated in the second half of the year.”

At the same time, analysts have raised their forecasts for corporate profits as fast as they have in a decade. History suggests that might presage a slump.

Bicentennial project: Bring back the Lions

In Uncategorized on 10/01/2018 at 11:11 am

When I PM saying that there’ll be celebtations for the bicentenial anniversary of the founding of modern S’pore, I remembered what I wrote in 2015.

When I read in 2015,

roarrrrrr…i hve been relocated from my home due to resettlement from mederka bridge aka nicoll highway with my twin brother over to standium walk in 1966 after them they move me to our final place at SAFTI

If you grew up in Singapore, you will remember…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wrote:

We should have moved them back into a prominent, public place: say at either end of the IR at Marina Bay or at either end of the tunnel near the Marina Barrage. Another good site, though less prominent would be on both sides of our side of the Tuas causeway, They could face one another, or face towards M’sia. A better site, and a really prominent place, would be at the Woodlands causeway but there isn’t the land to site them.

Too late now for SG50. But there is time for this injustice to be remedied.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/11/16/sg50-we-forgot-about-these-lions/

Other good places to site them will be at

— Changi Airport (One facing that part of the highway leaving the airport, the other facing that part of the highway entering the airport.);

— in the Gardens of the Bay; or

— where the Kallang Basin meets the sea.

What PAPpists and anti-PAP cybernuts have in common

In Uncategorized on 09/01/2018 at 5:50 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other side and the middle ground are stupid and have to be beaten into submission. Given that the 60- 70% of the voters vote for the PAP regularly, this attitude is self-defeating for the anti-PAP cybernuts like Oz tax-dodger (he uses his CPF account) and welfare cheat like Oxygen and his other TRE pals. But taz why cybernuts are nutty.

Want to grow SMEs? Identify well managed SMEs

In Accounting, Corporate governance, Economy on 09/01/2018 at 9:55 am

In 2018, another bad yr for SMEs, I took a cheap shot at Inderjit Singh and Jack Sim because they, Tay Kheng Soon and the other usual suspects last yr came up with yet another a wish list for SMEs (See below). Nothing really new in the list.

I think rather than banging their heads against the wall, asking “More money PAP” they should rethink their entire approach about wanting more tax payers money to be thrown at SMEs.

Since, Turban and Toilet Men keep saying the govt should start thinking out of the box, maybe they should set a good example and stop banging their turban and head, respectively, against the banks’ and govt doors, and think of creative ways that they, with the help of the govt can help SMEs.

Here’s three constructive, nation-building suggestions.

One is persuading the govt to allow HDB flats to be used as collateral for loans.

In HDB flat: Dead Capital, I wrote

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.

They should also try to granulate the SME universe i.e classify the SMEs into different categories by turnover, staff seize or other criteria they think relevant and then focus on what categories need what help. And where to prioritise

Let me explain. SMEs cover a wide spectrum.

Small Medium Enterprises (SME) in Singapore are defined as companies with at least 30% local shareholding, group annual sales turnover of less than $100 million or group employment size of not more than 200 workers (Skills Connect, 2013). Out of 180,000 SME’s in Singapore, 70% of them have a turnover of less than a million and commonly referred to as micro-SME’s (Scully, 2014).

http://sdh.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Embracing-Structured-Internship-1.pdf

For a start this means subcategorising the 30%, then the 70%, so that a nuanced, granular view of the SME universe is possible. This will help policy makers etc analyse the group better, and hopefully lead to better policies to help SMEs.

Related to this segmentation is the need to create some kind of quality assurance mark to help credit providers and equity investors differentiate the sheep from the goats. 

As I’ve said before, I’ve given up investing in listed SMEs because. in the main, the management of listed SMEs are determined to reward the controlling shareholders (management) rather than create shareholder value for investors. Family members (daughters-in-law for example) are paid do nothing, while sons are overpaid to do simple jobs.

And as these SMEs go thru a vetting process before they are listed. What more about the vast majority of SMEs?

And that’s before the suspicion especially for non listed SMEs that the accounts are “fake” and that external financing for the business will find their way into the owners’ pockets. Hence all those personal guarantees that the banks ask for.

Even SME champion Inderjit Singn has privately conceded that there are badly run SMEs, though one of his pals told Chris K, when asked by Chris K, how many SMEs are really professionally and competently run,”We are not here to moralise issues”. 

But as Chris K  points out when commenting on commenting on a story about $40 million of bogus SkillsFuture claims

giving grants or providing soft financing to firms that are not professionally and competently run is a moral hazard.

While there are various platforms for SMEs to raise funds from suckers investors, there’s a need for good ways that financiers and investors can use to identify “good” SMEs. True there’s a SME credit agency (https://www.dpgroup.com.sg/smecreditrating/), but it ain’t enough.

So Turban and Toilet Men should be thinking of creating and administrating a methodology that can identify well run SMEs. An SME can then approach the organisation administering the methodology and for a fee get certified as a well run SME. If it fails to get certified, it and the certifier keep quiet, ensuring that the matter remains private and confidential.

Investors and financiers can then feel more comfortable when “certified” SMEs approach them for funds.

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SME wish list

  • Creating a single government agency focused on helping SMEs and start-ups with growth, financing and internationalisation;
  • Improving access to debt and equity financing by setting up institutions like an SME bank and a private equity exchange;
  • Setting up a cost competitiveness committee to address rising business and living costs;
  • Helping SMEs manage the cost of industrial rent and land by increasing the share of industrial space owned by JTC;
  • Making it easier for companies and research institutes to commercialise intellectual property, for instance by introducing short-term licensing; and
  • Introducing a minimum wage scheme tied to compulsory regular upgrading of skills.

 

 

2018, another bad yr for SMEs

In Currencies, Economy on 08/01/2018 at 3:57 pm

Seems our SME owners are buying properties and new Beemers and Mercedes because

Singapore’s small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) are expecting stronger sales and profits for January to June next year, as they anticipate better business conditions amid an improved economy, said a survey.

When if I were them, I might want to think twice because according to OCBC’s economist, the expected change in MAS policy on the S$ from neutral to hawkish “is putting additional pressure on SMEs which are already struggling to deal with the economic restructuring and tight manpower situation. If you get a stronger Sing dollar and higher interest rates, it will be an additional challenge,” she said.
Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/after-an-outperforming-year-how-will-singapore-s-economy-fare-in-9813946

But never fear Turban Man and his side-kick, Toilet Man, are fighting to ensure that SME owners get even more tax-payers’ money. More on them some other day.

 

Historian talks cock about Raffles

In Uncategorized on 08/01/2018 at 8:05 am

“Nearly 200 years ago, British merchant Stamford Raffles arrived in Singapore searching for a place to establish an East India Company settlement to service the company’s trade to China,” began an article, in ST last Friday, that among other things, covered the history of S’pore between the end of the 14th century and 1819.

Raffles was never a “British merchant”. He and other senior East India Co officials would have considered being called “a British merchant”, an insult.


Raffles’s career

Raffles started work as a clerk in the East India Co aged 14 in 1795. He was posted to Penang (as it is now known) as the assistant secretary to the new Governor of Penang, in 1805. When the British seized Java from the Dutch in 1811, he was made Lieutenant-Governor of Java. he left the post in 1814 under a cloud, having to return to London to explain why the occupation of Java lost money: Dutch rule was very profitable for the Dutch East India Co.

After being at a loose end for a while, he was made Governor-General of Bencoolen (a backwater posting) in 1818. He founded S’pore in 1819.

When he ran Java, Bencoolen and S’pore, the East India Co lost money in these places: expenses exceeded revenue. The East India Co was most unhappy. His management skills remind me of our SAF generals turned GLC CEOs.

(Sources: Any reputable book on Raffles, example: Raffles And the Golden Opportunity reviewed here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/non_fictionreviews/9729413/Raffles-by-Victoria-Glendinning-review.html)

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How can anyone make such a silly mistake?

That anyone isn’t an FT ST newbie.

He is Kwa Chong Guan “the author of the recently published Pre-Colonial Singapore, in the series Singapore Chronicles co-published by the Institute of Policy Studies and the Straits Times Press.”

He is also

a Senior Fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University and an Adjunct Associate Professor (Hon) at the History Department at the National University of Singapore. He is also affiliated to the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

Whatever his credentials, if he can make such a simple cock-up, how can I take the rest of the article and his other writings seriously?

More on him.

KWA CHONG GUAN
Adjunct Associate Professor (Honorary)
Department of History
National University of Singapore
Kwa Chong Guan works on the intersections of history, security studies and
international relations of Southeast Asia. As an Honorary Adjunct Associate
Professor and Visiting Fellow at the Archaeological Unit of the Nalanda-Sriwijaya
Centre at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Kwa is interested in the long
cycles and emerging deep history of Southeast Asia’s past. As Senior Fellow at the
S Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological
University he works on a range of regional security issues with a focus on the implicit
narratives underlying our framing of regional security issues. He started his career
working on policy analysis in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then the Ministry of
Defence before being assigned to reorganize the Oral History Department in the
National Archives and concurrently, the old National Museum which he lead through
a strategic planning process to transform it into the current three museums under the
National Heritage Board. He continues to be associated with these heritage
institutions in various advisory capacities and as Chairman of the National Archives
Advisory Committee. As Chairman of the National Library Advisory Committee he is
involved in the integration of the National Archives with the National Library under
the National Library Board. He was previously Head of the old Department of
Strategic Studies at the SAFTI Military Institute where he taught military history and
strategic studies while concurrently teaching history at the School of Arts at the
National Institute of Education. Kwa was called up for National Service after
graduating from the old University of Singapore in Philosophy and History, and
continued to serve as a reservist officer in various command and staff appointment for the next 20 years.

http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/hist/doc/Prize/Kwa%20CG.pdf

 

S’poreans cannot multi-task?/ Low productivity is PAP myth?

In Uncategorized on 07/01/2018 at 11:19 am

Low productivity is a global problem and yesterday I read in the FT an article suggesting whether a small part of the productivity loss could be blamed on smartphones and computers. Not just time spent on social media, but by making all staff generalists who have to do their own typing, presentations and bookings, despite lacking the specialist skills.

Well the latter could be one reason why

Office workers in Singapore are the least productive among 11 countries polled by enterprise software firm Unit4.

The study found that Singapore workers spend only 60 per cent of their time on their main work duties, compared with a poll average of 72 per cent.

Roughly 380 hours a year are spent on completing administrative or repetitive tasks. This is equivalent to 47.5 work days or two months of the working year.

This loss of productivity is costing the Singapore service industry more than S$36.5 billion annually, said Unit4.

Its survey comes amid studies that show labour productivity in Singapore is decreasing due to significant challenges from structural transformation and ageing demographics.

Singapore office workers said the specific daily administrative tasks that prevent them from focusing on their primary duties include manually collating and entering data, tracking their project status, handling invoices as well as submitting their expenses and planning travel.

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/singapore-office-workers-least-productive-among-11-countries-polled

Whatever, hopefully in 2o18, we will find out that productivity in 2017 improved just like it did in 2016:

Singapore’s productivity could improve a little bit more this year, having achieved 1 per cent growth in 2016, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday (Aug 12).

Speaking at a National Day dinner at his ward in Teck Ghee, Mr Lee pointed out that 2016 was the first time in several years that a positive productivity figure had been achieved.

“Productivity is important because it means each worker is able to produce more and therefore we can earn more, therefore the company can do better, therefore Singapore can progress,” said Mr Lee.

“This year, our productivity may do a little bit better still and that’s an encouraging sign,” he added. “It shows that our policies are working, we are able to upgrade our economy and we are able steadily to improve everybody’s lives.”

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-s-productivity-could-improve-this-year-pm-lee-9118134

All up to the PM, Tharman and the other ministers? Juz really cut the flow of FTs to the A320 load from the A380 cargo load. To be fair to the ministers, FTs were coming in by the cattle truck load until recently.

After all, the official productivity figures account for the cash value of output produced, divided by the number of workers. And with “a preference among businesses to use extra labour when wages are low”, mathematically so long as cheap FTs are let in, our productivity numbers will be low, giving the PAPpies and other fat cats the excuse not to raise wages: “Productivity is bad, how to give pay rises?”

But what if productivity isn’t low?

One of the great economic puzzles of recent years has been the slowdown in productivity growth across Western nations. There are many potential explanations for this: the continued survival of zombie companies in a low-rate era; mismeasurement of the gains from technology; new tech being less significant than older innovations (the Robert Gordon thesis); a preference among businesses to use extra labour when wages are low. And so on.

FT (my emphasis)

And what if the PAP knows it, but isn’t telling us because it wants to keep on suppressing wages?

Seriously, mismeasurement of productivity (and GDP) is something that is troubling economists:

— https://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21699939-there-are-more-explanations-solutions-productivity-slowdown-working

https://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21697845-gross-domestic-product-gdp-increasingly-poor-measure-prosperity-it-not-even

 

 

 

What is producivity? Why low productivity?

In Economy on 07/01/2018 at 4:31 am

The PAP administration KPKBing that low productivity means wages cannot rise (Btw, skip to the end if u want to read something that disses the PAP administration). And low productivity is a global probem, not unique to S’pore.

But what is productivity?

Until 10 years ago, productivity was the motor that drove economic growth. Its definition is nothing more complicated than the amount we produce per worker (or per hour).

If you’re a coffee shop worker, it’s the amount of coffees, tea and food each worker sells. On a pie-making production line, it’s how many pies you turn out. If you’re a lorry driver, it’s how much you deliver.

Now think of that lorry driver stuck in a traffic jam. With too little investment in new roads and too many cars and lorries using them, his trips are slower. However hard he works, he can’t keep delivering more than before. His productivity stalls.

One reason is weak business investment. A company trying to meet an expanding order book can try one of two methods: hire a few more people, or make its existing workforce more productive by investing in new, more efficient technology. As long as its cheaper and less risky to hire cheap labour, the business may hold off investment.

But weaker private investment – and private investment has in any case been growing recently – can’t account for the whole effect.

Another attempted explanation is weak training and poor infrastructure, another is weak spending on research and development – all of which play a role but none of which can explain in full the breakdown of what is normally the engine of economic growth.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42012388

Reasons for low productivity

One of the great economic puzzles of recent years has been the slowdown in productivity growth across Western nations. There are many potential explanations for this: the continued survival of zombie companies in a low-rate era; mismeasurement of the gains from technology; new tech being less significant than older innovations (the Robert Gordon thesis); a preference among businesses to use extra labour when wages are low. And so on.

FT

Re “a preference among businesses to use extra labour when wages are low”, taz what is happening here. Despite the recent restrictions, FTs still coming in. Only by the A380 cargo load, not the cattle truck load, as before. Remember that official productivity figures account for the cash value of output produced, divided by the number of workers.

Cybernuts, stock and property mkts are a cheong

In Financial competency on 06/01/2018 at 9:53 am

Aussie Tax dodger and welfare cheat, and chief TRELand cybernut Oxygen and his pals are in for a frustrating time as S’pore’s markets dance to US’s tune for the next 6 to 24 months.

[O]ne intrepid fund manager thinks it is likely that American share prices could rise by 50% in the next six months to two years. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the identity of that pundit: Jeremy Grantham.

Mr Grantham, one of the founders of the fund management group GMO, is best known for a cautious approach to valuations. He was one of the investors who got out of the dotcom boom well before the top.

https://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2018/01/wild-ride-2018

Of course, the party will end in tears. But so long as

Jack be nimble,Jack be quick,

Jack can get away with some loot.

 

 

Mental health and productivity

In Economy on 06/01/2018 at 5:09 am

Further to this on happiness in S’pore and the UK What makes S’poreans happy?, S’pore like the UK has a productivity problem. But unlike S’pore the UK the UK seems to be taking a wider approach in trying to solve the problem.

Is there a link between mental health and the nation’s productivity? When Prince Harry was editing BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he asked us to look into this question.

Well the BBC reporters tasked to find out found that

“By looking after employee’s mental wellbeing, staff morale and loyalty, innovation, productivity and profits will rise,” says Emma Mamo, the Head of Workplace Wellbeing at the charity Mind.

It isn’t just a case of caring for staff. In September, the Health and Safety Executive launched a campaign to remind employers they have a legal duty to protect workers from stress at work by doing a risk assessment and acting on it.

And

A study by Deloitte has also concluded that companies which spend money on improving mental health benefit from that investment.

Research published in October 2017 found “The return on investment of workplace mental health interventions is overwhelmingly positive.”

“We found that a 1% increase in happiness gives us a 0.5% increase in productivity,” says Dr MacKerron.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42512723

D-Day for M Ravi

In Uncategorized on 05/01/2018 at 8:13 am

Update at 2.00pm: Ravi was sentenced to an 18-month mandatory treatment order on Friday (Jan 5) for causing hurt to two lawyers, and breaking into an office.

Ravi has to comply with five conditions under the mandatory treatment order. He has to undertake blood tests as and when required to determine that he has taken his medication and will need to undergo psychological sessions at the Institute of Mental Health.

Ravi will also have to agree to have his private psychiatrist, Mr Munidasa Winslow, share information with the IMH team.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/m-ravi-given-18-month-mandatory-treatment-order-after-assaulting-9835020

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Doom Day for Ravi. Later today, He’ll appear in court to find out if he’ll get a MTO order or go to prison. The former is the more likely outcome. It’ll not be a good day for Ravi, whatever happens. In a way, MTO is worse than going to prison because he’s an icon of local and foreign human right activists, and other anti-PAP types.

The court ordered last year that Ravi (after he pleaded guilty to a string of serious offences) be assessed by an Institute of Mental Health (IMH) psychiatrist as to his suitability for a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO)

A MTO is “a community-based sentencing option where offenders undergo mental health treatment in lieu of jail”.

M Ravi apologises for assaults after pleading guilty

Given the severity of the charges he pleaded guilty to (2 assaults and breaking into an office and “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.”), one would have tot a MTO is better than going to prison.

But as a TRE reader put it

nathan:

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

Has Ravi apologised for abusing and hurting a grieving mum?

He’s right. Local and foreign human right activists, and other anti-PAP types are worried that, through a MTO, Ravi will be locked away forever and a day.


Light reading for the weekend: M Ravi’s grandfather’s parliament, is it?

_______________________________________________________

But for those of us who wish him well, a MTO is the only way he’ll be treated properly. This assesment is based on what has happened to him when he was allowed to take his medicine voluntarily. In 2006 – 2007, before he became an icon for the local and foreign human rights activists, he had to serve out a MTO: he had pleaded guilty to causing a public disturbance outside a mosque. Incidentally, this was the first time his bi-polar condition became public knowledge.

The treatment worked and Ravi was soon released. He was thought suitable for the usual treatment for bi-polar sufferers.

Since then his regular manic episodes and his repeated boasts of refusing to take his medicine are on public record. As are his claims, whenever he got into trouble, that he was sorry for his misbehaviour and that he was now taking his medicine.

 

 

What makes S’poreans happy?

In Uncategorized on 04/01/2018 at 10:30 am
When TRE used this How PAP can make S’poreans happy without “raiding” the reserves there was a considered reply.
MENTAL HEALTH in Singapore is a CONSEQUENCE of not a CONDITION for happiness. Being happy in Singapore means first having enough to put food on the table, to have a decent job, and to be able to educate your children.
Well this explains why ang moh tua kees like Kirsten Han and Seehan Peelay don’t resonate with ordinary S’poreans.
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The piece in full. It’s not the usual BS from Aussie tax-dodger and welfare cheat Oxygen (he uses his CPF account to hide money from Aussie authorities while claiming welfare benefits) or pals.
It’s a totful, informative piece even if it takes a couple of cheap shots at me.
Anon:

As usual CI takes a truncated reading of Richard Layard’s research and misses the context of his findings.

Richard acknowledges that the state has tackled issues of poverty, unemployment, education and physical health and he now points to the need to attend to mental health and wellbeing AS WELL.

In case, CI can’t remember (since he claims he lived in London before) Britain has a reasonable social welfare system that supports those unemployed, retired, single parents and so on. It has a SAFETY NET that ensures that those who fall through the cracks are not forgotten. It is not a perfect system and it has been abused in the past but increasingly tightened to prevent exploitation.

By and large, therefore, (and there will always be exceptions) putting food on the table, having a roof over your head is not a critical issue because of the welfare system.

Talking about doubling salaries and increasing happiness marginally therefrom is merely saying that if one has ENOUGH the increase in wealth is not THE priority and indeed good relationships are central to happiness and contentment. So in this regard Richard Layard’s findings are nothing new for people in this part of the world.

A second cultural condition which differs from that in Singapore is that in Britain, by and large, the successful are not always envied; often they are criticised for being exploitative, corrupt etc (think about Philip Green). Many more people here think that if you are successful, you have probably been lucky, had good connections or was at the right place at the right time; nothing to do with intelligence and being clever. Most people believe that given the same luck or opportunity they would be just as successful. In others words, there is nothing special about being rich or successful.

Because this is their attitude aspiring to be rich and wealthy is not an obsession. People marry, for example, not because their partners have money; firemen, policemen, brickies are often preferred to bankers.

The long and short of this and many other more nuanced considerations which ‘anglophile’ CI misses is that wealth does not have the same priority in the order of things here in Britain as it does in Singapore and for good reason.

My final point is CI’s spurious suggestion that mental health can solve the problem of Singaporean’s unhappiness. MENTAL HEALTH in Singapore is a CONSEQUENCE of not a CONDITION for happiness. Being happy in Singapore means first having enough to put food on the table, to have a decent job, and to be able to educate your children. CI has put the cart before the horse. And the reason why he has missed this obvious point, is he (through luck, good connections etc, not intelligence) is living in a ‘private estate’; i.e. out of…

Re the last para taking a cheap shot at me: Napoleon wanted to know only one thing when he promoted generals to Marshalls,  “I know he’s a good general, but is he lucky?” because “I’d rather have lucky generals than good ones.”

And waz wrong with being well-connected rather than intelligent?

I met a girl on Christmas Day that juz finished Pre U in RI. I was shocked to hear that in her cohort there were about 1200. In my time, late 60s early 70s, RI had a population of around 1200. Now even taking into account the growth in population, in one component of intelligence (academic results), there’s simply too many intelligemt people.

So being lucky or well-connected, or both, is a lot better than being intelligent.

Whatever, writer should consider moving over to Chris K’s FB wall. Too many anti-PAP nuts there now. Help needed to return the wall to it’s former status as a safe place for thinking anti-PAPpists, those who want PAP to improve or those who just want to a more open society.

“The Gatekeeper”: Our home-grown “Animal Farm”

In Political governance, Public Administration on 03/01/2018 at 11:21 am

But sales are lousy, really lousy.

Our anti-PAP types especially the cybernuts like Tan Kin Lian and his pals from TRELand love to compare S’pore to Animal Farm, the PAP to the pigs and the 70% who vote PAP to the sheep.

But when an award-winning, home-grown book by a local author, satirises S’pore the way Animal Farm satirised the Soviet Union and communism, these people don’t buy the book and use its ideas against the PAP.

With enemies like these, the PAP doesn’t need friends to maintain its hegemony.

Sorry for the digression. Back to the book.

Edmund Wee ( Quiet activist looking at his bank statement and smiling) in late 2016 published Nuraliah Norasid’s The Gatekeeper which on one reading satirises multiculturalism and multiracism as practiced by the PAP.

In an article titled “Recognising Racism: Nuraliah Norasid’s “The Gatekeeper” Wong Wen Pu wrote:

Winner of Epigram Book Prize 2016, The Gatekeeper is set in the fictional country of Manticura, where humans and non/part-humans have come to live uneasily together. Ria is a medusa that lives with her sister in the outskirts of a human town in Manticura. One day, after she methodically petrifies the entire village, Ria and her sister flee to and take up residence in an underground ghetto, Nelroote. Time passes, and Ria becomes gatekeeper to the enclave, where her deadly ability is a valuable asset against encroachers. In this way, the sisters and Nelroote live in relative peace until one Eedric Shuen seduces Ria, with disastrous consequences, back into the sunlit world.

The fantastic premises of The Gatekeeper might seem wildly inventive, yet when we set the cosmetic differences aside, many of the social dynamics portrayed in the novel between human and non/part-human species bear similarities to Singapore’s racial dynamics.

First, there is the self-loathing of the social other that we find in both Singaporean and Manticurian society, generated by the societal affirmation of racial/species hierarchy. Despite Manticura being a multi-species country, dominant social discourse drives those who fall outside the boundaries of human normalcy to self-loathing. Reminders to the other that they are intrinsically worth less are everywhere: Eedric’s part human mother was casually put down “like a sick pet” because she was unable to control her Changer form, while Eedric’s girlfriend views the non-humans as “people not like [herself], but as mutant[s and] social outcast[s]”. … Analogously, what sort of racial narratives has Singapore nursed so that Singaporean Indians would jump to defend the casual racism of insensitive casting directors, or for Malays to laugh when jokes are told, upon the opening of a new cornerless building in Singapore, about the place having nowhere for them to lepak(loiter)?

And then there is the comparable language politics of Singapore and Manticura. In Singapore, English, ostensibly racially neutral, is deployed as our administrative language, as a way of reassuring Singaporeans of our racial equality. After all, if everyone has to learn a “foreign” language, no race is particularly advantaged. However, Singapore has always been unabashedly described by our political leaders as a society of Asian (read: Confucian) values. While Singaporeans might speak in the same language, the cultural direction we gravitate towards is often Chinese. Therefore, English usage in Singapore creates the illusion of social cohesion and glosses over our racial differences, while hegemonic discourse quietly imposes Chinese culture onto the Singaporean racial minority.

In Manticura, a similar project is attempted: “Sce’ ‘dal, the lingua franca of the Layeptic region,” has been largely replaced by Ro’ ‘dal, the colonial tongue used by the classy, educated, big city dwellers of Jankett Town. Remnant speakers of Sce’ ‘dal, as we find amongst the Nelroote dwellers, have been literally driven underground, and those that want to leave Nelroote for the outside world are forced give up Sce’ ‘dal for Ro’ ‘dal. Like in Singapore, the ability to speak in the common tongue confers the right to assimilate in the cultural mainstream. Yet this belonging would, as Ria’s Cikgu astutely points out, lead to minorities “dying out of their traditions.” Like Singapore’s deployment of English as a way of co-opting minorities in the eradication of their own culture, Manticura’s Ro’ ‘dal aims at homogenising the Manticurian populace by eradicating species differences, and bringing what it sees as racial aberrance to heel through the implementation of a common language policy.

http://www.asiancha.com/content/view/2873/630/

Despite this storyline and relevance to S’pore, I understand the book is not selling well. In fact until Christmas Eve, there was a 20% discount available online for this book.

With enemies like the anti-PAPpists, the PAP doesn’t need friends to maintain its hegemony.

But to be fair, Epigram has not marketed this book as S’pore’s “Animal Farm”. Edmund, like Homer, must have nodded off. Look at how a children’s book was marketed to the cybernut mob in TOCLand (They not as cheap skate as their TRE counterparts).

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

The Gatekeeper” was marketed as a “horror” tale, a genre which has an honourable local tradition here (http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/lifestyle/mythology-merlion-pontianak-singapore-writers-festival-9399102). 
——————————
A minister in the first PAP cabinet wrote horror stories in the 50s.
Singapore :  Heinemann Asia,  1991

Malayan horror :  macabre tales of Singapore and Malaysia in the 50’s /  Othman Wok ; stories compiled by Lily Othman.

It’s a new year, so time to rebrand the book as our very own-home grown Animal Farm?
Hopefully Nuraliah Norasid’s “The Gatekeeper” will be marketed properly this year as “Our very own Animal Farm”.

Whatever, if you want to show yr unhappiness with the PAP’s policies and personnel,  buy the book to cock a snook at PM and his PAP administration.

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

 

 

 

 

Wah lan ang moh tua kee not happy we celebrating our founding by ang moh

In Uncategorized on 03/01/2018 at 4:45 am

I was shocked to read this from a real ang moh tua kee

Some countries are struggling with their colonial pasts, with many questions about inequality, exploitation, reparations (or, mostly, the lack thereof) and how all these things still factor into global politics and justice today.

Not Singapore! Let us come together this 2018 and commemorate the 200th anniversary of Raffles’ landing to make money out of this island and its people. Yay!

This came from Kirsten Han, a tual kee ang moh tua kee person.

As far as I’m concerned when Raffles came here, he wasn’t taking much of value from the Malays living here. In fact their leaders were very happy: Hussein Shah was paid $5,000 (Spanish silver dollars I think as this was the common trading currency in the region) a year while the local Temenggong received $3,000 a year. These are equivalent to several hundred thousand dollars each today.

So the

many questions about inequality, exploitation, reparations (or, mostly, the lack thereof)

don’t apply here.

Besides most of the value that was created came from the FTs from the traders from other parts of the Malay archipelago (think the Bugis, Boyanese etc), and from people coming from China, India and the UK.

So let’s not begrudge that an ang moh founded S’pore, and let’s celebrate the two hundred anniversary of his arrival here.

And as I always say, “I’m glad that S’pore was part of the British empire, and not part of the American, Japanese (except for a few yrs), French, Dutch or Chinese empires.”

No, Lim Tean hasn’t absconded

In Uncategorized on 02/01/2018 at 11:19 am

Further to Will Lim Tean & Phillip Ang help out fellow cybernut?, I received information from supposedly angry and worried people who claim that they paid money into one or more of his designated bank accounts that he last posted on FB on 17 November, thanking “friends” for their birthday greeting. They also said his public FB page’s last posting was on 15 November: he was KPKBing about Khaw, SMRT etc.

They seek Lim here, they seek Lim there,
Depositors seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven?—Is he in hell?
That demmed, elusive Lim Tean*.

As there’s been no picture, no sound from him on a defamation video, a jobs rally or a CPF class action suit despite requesting monies to help pay for all three projects, the depositors claim to be worried that he ran away with their money.


Lim Tean: Serial money raiser

Jobs rally and defamation video promised for November: Remind Lim Tean, it’s December

Class action law suit: CPF class action: Phillip Ang’s “reply’ to fellow cybernut

——————————————————–

Rumour has it that a few police reports have been filed complaining that he took money under false pretences. But as, Phillip Ang, his class action CPF law suit partner is still blogging regularly, maybe those who paid into the class action law suit bank account should contact Phillip Ang rather than file police reports against Lim Tean?

I’ve done my checks and can assure these people that while he’s either AWOL (sking in the Alps) or MIA (in hospital) depending on who is telling the story, their monies are safe. Lim Tean is a very rich man, unlike other Oppo or wannabe Oppo Red Indian chiefs.

My serious point is that if Lim Tean wants to be taken as serious Oppo figure, he shouldn’t be a serial fund raiser, who fails to live up to his BS rhetoric. Promising a video and jobs rally in November and not delivering, and then keeping quiet is a great way to build a reputation as a talk cock, sing song artiste.

Success has many mouths but failure has no tongue.

—————————————

*Apologies to the original

We seek him here, we seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven?—Is he in hell?
That demmed, elusive Pimpernel.

Sir Percy Blakeney, Baronet

SIBOR up 25%, but property mkt is hot?

In Economy, Property on 01/01/2018 at 5:03 pm

SIBOR up 25%

The three-month Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (Sibor) – the benchmark rate for most residential property loans here – has risen from 0.969 per cent on Jan 3, to 1.212 per cent as of the middle of this month. It is expected to go up further, in line with the Fed interest rate hikes next year.

But property market is hot and getting hotter. See what the property experts salemen say below.

So is cybernut-in-chief and oither haters of the 70% right that the market will tank Good economy = Unhappy hols, cybernuts?

Well so long as the global economy continues to enjoy a broad-based and strong period of growth, Oxygen and pals both at TRE and Chris K’s FB wall* will be banging their balls in frustration. And all indications are that in 2018 the party will continue for a bit longer. After all growth last year was 3.5% and will be easily 3% this yr.

Just be cautious that

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

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

On China, apart from being S’pore’s largest export market, accounting for 14.8% of total non-oil domestic exports (NODX), China has also been the fastest growing market over the past months. Almost 70 per cent of the NODX growth since July 2016 was driven by China alone. “Any slowdown in this key market will have a ripple effect on the Singapore economy,”  says DBS’s economist.

Whatever, beware property experts salemen talking their own book. Nomura economist Brian Tan urged for caution: “My main concern is that the market may be getting ahead of itself in terms of expecting this pick-up in (the) property market to be sustained.”

After several years in the doldrums, the recovery of the Singapore property market will be in full swing in 2018, experts say.

The jury is still out on whether concerns over a potential supply glut are warranted, but experts point out that how the market shapes up next year will depend very much on demand from buyers. This, in turn, hinges on the one major lever which the Government could yet call upon: The cooling measures, several of which — including the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) — have remained in place since 2013.

The predicted market rebound will take place against a background of improved economic showing and jobs market for Singapore. The Republic’s economy had expanded 5.2 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter, the fastest pace in more than three years, prompting the government to raise its full-year economic growth forecast for this year to between 3 and 3.5 per cent, up from 2 to 3 per cent.

“(Property) prices are picking up because of… the higher economic growth, low unemployment and stronger buyer confidence,” said ERA Realty’s key executive officer Eugene Lim.

http://www.todayonline.com/business/looking-ahead-2018-property-market-poised-roar-back-life


*Even Chris K is reduced to saying that in the old days, growth would be 6% not 3.5%. Funny that he keeps saying at other times that things have changed: so the 3.5% is the old 6%. Anyway cybernuts from TRE might want to move to his FB wall: going by the comments there many have already. Unlike TeamTRE he doesn’t publicise my pieces so taz a reason move if any.

But be warned, he tries to keep things civil. So Oxygen please keep away.

Will Lim Tean & Phillip Ang help out fellow cybernut?

In Corporate governance, Temasek on 01/01/2018 at 12:43 pm

Chief TRE cybernut, Oxygen (He made a $10,000 donation to TRE in 2015 and still holds on to his S’pore citizenship thus being unable to take out his CPF monies, showing how much he privately trusts the PAP, despite criticising the PAP publicly), has called for Keppel shareholders to sue, ranting

The $55 million given to corrupt Brazilian officials are money/property belonging to the shareholders of Keppel Corp. The injured party and proper plaintiff is Keppel Corp whose current Board is legally obligated under corporate law to take action to recover the lost property.

If the current Board of Directors failed to take action to recover this loss property rightfully belonging to its shareholders , the shareholders of Keppel Corp – which Temasek Holdings is said to own 20% equity stake – has same unfettered right of action on behalf of itself and all other shareholders via the derivative action of exceptions to the Foss v Harbottle case law application.

The concept of the exception to the corporate case law application of the Foss vs Harbottle rule is illuminated in this wikipedia link.

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

It remains to seen if Temasek Holdings will sue the Board of Directors of Keppel Corp if the latter does nothing and pretend nothing happens.

Oxygen

Will Lim Tean and his sidekick, Phillip Ang, open another POSB account and ask retail Keppel shareholders to put $ in so that these fund raisers can buy Ferraris that funds can be raised to sue Keppel?

This is what they did for the CPF law suit:

Lim Tean and I have set up a crowdfunding account @https://www.facebook.com/tean.lim.75. (POSB Savings 198-91842-3) Please keep a record of your transaction as your particulars will be required before the launch of the class-action suit. Unused portion will also be returned, pari passu.

Later after the money poured in (OK or didn’t), Phillip Ang blogged

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

Phillip Ang

CPF class action: Phillip Ang’s “reply’ to fellow cybernut?

Since then, no picture, no sound like Lim Tean’s other crowdfunding projects Remind Lim Tean, it’s December

Err what if the law suit, Lim Tean’s defamation video and jobs rally never materialise?

Got refund or not?