Archive for March, 2018|Monthly archive page

Fake news traffickers will be hanged

In Media, Political governance, Public Administration on 19/03/2018 at 10:53 am

That was my tot when I read on FB

Singapore may fight fake news in the same way as drugs: Puthucheary

(Constructive, nation-building headline last week)

My FB avater commented: Hang convicted people isit? Terry Xu u have been warned.

TX: I am always prepared to die for what I am doing. So not much of a threat.

My avater: Respect.

Seriously, other than hanging convicted traffickers of “fake news”, there’s another probability about what the FT (He sneered at those who did NS) jnr minister wants: there’ll be no presumption of innoncence for those accused of trafficking in fake news. They got to prove their innocence.

If a suspect is caught with a prescribed amount of an illegal drug, it is deemed to be a trafficker and liable to be hung. It’s up to the suspect to prove that it isn’t a trafficker.

So maybe a suspect traffickier of ‘fake” news has to prove his innocence?  Stuff from certain sites like “The Indian Idiots — S’pore” are presumed to be “fake” unless proven otherwise by the suspect? Maybe anything that Dr Chee says will be deemed to ne “fake” news, until proven otherwise?

And maybe the presumption of guilt can be overturned by showing that the “fake” item was from a report that orginated from the constructive, nation-building local media like Mothership or ST? Or that a govt agency said it?

And maybe there’ll be a law that says that whatever a minister or govt agency says is the truth: those who allege otherwise will be deemed to be traffickers of fake news who will have to prove their innocence like drug “traffickers”.

The mind boggles.


The problem with Ownself pay Ownself a lot

In Uncategorized on 19/03/2018 at 4:38 am

How can I pay myself extravagant amounts and then expect those at lower levels to keep a close eye on costs?

Helmut Maucher, Nestlé chief executive, 1927-2018. He died recently.

Helmut Maucher was as good a leader as Harry, Dr Goh and the other PAP Old Guards.

Harry and gang led the transformation of S’pore from a port to a prosperous city-state. Mr Maucher made Nestlé great.

Nestlé was two-thirds the size of Unilever in 1981 when he was appointed Nestlé’s chief executive. When he retired in 2000,  it was double its rival’s size by market value. For the record, in 1990, he added the title of chairman, a position he held until 2000.




CNA report shows public tpt Hard Truths are BS

In Infrastructure on 18/03/2018 at 6:55 am

Constructive, nation-building CNA visited Taipei and reported

How Taipei Metro turned itself around – and the lessons for Singapore’s MRT system
It suffered a spate of delays, then became one of the world’s most reliable subway systems. Talking Point travelled to Taipei to find out how the system is run.


So far (and beyond), constructive, nation-building stuff.

But buried really deep in the report, there are things that contradict Hard Truths:

— “To appease the public, the Taipei Metro gave fare discounts …”

Where got this here? I don’t count the “early bird” scheme.

— “The Taipei Metro is nationalised and is majority-owned by the Taipei City government … the metro boss is Mayor Ko Wen-je – who is also one of Taipei’s most recognisable commuters, as he takes the train to work.”

Khaw or Ho got like this meh? Let alone Chairman and CEO of SMRT?

— The Mayor “told Talking Point that ticket fares have not changed in the past 20-something years.”

PAP MP Cheng Li Hui (Was she brown-nosing when she said it was wrong to cut fares, or juz stupid?) should note the above. As should other PAPpies including ministers.

— He also said: “If profit is the only criterion … then very quickly, the public transport will break down.”

PAP MP Cheng Li Hui (Was she brown-nosing when she said it was wrong to cut fares, or juz dumb?) should note the above. As should other PAPpies including ministers


When to call lawyer, banker

In Uncategorized on 18/03/2018 at 4:23 am

When you owe a little bit of money you call your banker to pay it. When you owe a lot of money you call your lawyer to get out of it.

(FT quoting a Mr Russo)

Mr Russo was Lehman Brothers top legal officer


PAP S’pore is truly unique

In Uncategorized on 17/03/2018 at 10:39 am

An Economist blogger talks about the difference between “open” and “closed”society and the difficulties entailed in such distinctions. A “problem is that different forms of openness do not automatically go together”:

An international example of the way that open and closed can go together in complicated ways is provided by Singapore. The island state is one of the most open economies in the world when it comes to commerce: the regional headquarters of global companies overlook one of the busiest harbours in the world. But it is much more qualified when it comes to other parts of the “cosmopolitan” formula. A highly meritocratic elite plans the economy by deliberately moving it up the value chain. Democracy is “managed”. The state clamps down on poor habits such as littering.


Chinese fraud in US executed from S’pore

In Banks, China on 17/03/2018 at 4:42 am

Bank of America Merrill Lynch recently agreedto pay US$1.4 million to settle S.E.C. allegations that it didn’t do enough to investigate red flags at a Chinese company Longtop Financial Technological, a Chinese software company accused of fraud in 2011 whose unregistered securities it sold.

The sales occurred in a brokerage account opened in a Singapore branch of BofAML and were executed by traders in New York at the direction of the Singapore office, according to the SEC. In 2013, BofAML sold Merrill Lynch’s international wealth management business, including the Singapore branch office.


How to ensure no GST rise

In Political governance on 16/03/2018 at 11:20 am
This suggested tight slap to PAP sure to work. Sad that it wouldn’t be administered.
A TRE reader who is no cybernut wrote that losing five GRCs will make a GST rise unlikely. But that it wouldn’t happen because S’poreans don’t want Oppo running their wards. He’s right on both counts. And based on WP’s leaders behaviour in Aljunied (Now the subject of a legal suit by the town council against Low, Auntie and her bayee for breach of fiduciary duties) who can blame the voters?
Btw, based on sentiment in Aljunied, the WP is likely to lose big time in next GE. If Indian PAPpy can beat Chinese speaking scholar Show Mao in his ward in last GE, anything is possible in next GE.
opposition dude:

Always remember, this is a numbers game. He who has the most seats in parliament will govern Singapore it’s as simple as that. Right now PAP has over 80 seats and 1 to 3 more will be created in the next GE for sure. You want to make PAP lose more than 40 seats in the next GE is unthinkable for both the 70%/30%. All we can do is to make PAP lose more than what they have planned for, only then will a crystal clear signal be sent to the party that we are all frustrated with them over the immigration policy and the high cost of living in SIngapore.

If they lose 5 GRCs in the next GE then we will have sent in 25 or so opposition MPs into parliament. But the same stupid problem of voters not wanting an opposition party to run their ward lingers on. Together with the annual 20k new citizens being granted citizenship this will be quite the challenge.


Rather die than not arrive on time

In Airlines, India on 16/03/2018 at 4:18 am

Vistara, which is a joint venture between Singapore Airlines and Tata, once had to manage a group of passengers staging a sit-down protest in front of an aeroplane when told their flight would not reach its intended destination because of fog.



Auntie’s behaviour: Why PAP can hang her

In Uncategorized on 15/03/2018 at 10:06 am

If they want to. But will they dare?

But first, Grace Fu is that cock meh that she had to take advice from AG?

The law is simple. Parliament decides what is parliamentary privilege.

The Court of Appeal in 1988 upheld the ruling by the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges by against one JBJ on the ground that Parliament was empowered by the Constitution to decide on what was covered by parliamentary privilege and to punish an MP if the Committee held that the MP had abused his or her privilege or were in contempt of the Committee or Parliament.

Therefore, it was up to the Committee and not the Courts to decide whether JBJ was covered by parliamentary privilege.

Parliament is judge, jury and executioner, the court effectively said, reflecting the common law position that is is still applicable in the UK.

Is this what AG advise?

Secret Squirrel and Morocco Mole claim to have seen AG’s advice on the matter.

They claim that AG referred to the Court of Appeal ruling in 1988 upholding the ruling by the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges by against one JBJ. The CA said that Parliament was empowered by the Constitution to decide on what was covered by parliamentary privilege and to punish MPs if the Committee held that such MPs had abused their privilege or were in contempt of the Committee or Parliament.

That the AG said is the law of the land. Well at least that’s what Secret Squirrel and Morocco Mole said the AG said.


And because Parliament is judge, jury and executioner, therein lies the political danger for the PAP if the PAP decides to “fix” Auntie because if even a PAP voter cheers on Auntie, says Fu talking cock, there’ll be many more S’poreans (many not anti-PAP) that will agree with this anti-PAP cybernut


Does anyone remember JBJ and CST plus Amos. It does not matter what you do, as longas you stand up to these bunch of bullies you are done for.

if Auntie kanna whack by the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges.

Tan Cheng Bock, as usual, gets it about right. He posted on FB


Having watched the video on the GST debate, I felt the PAP ministers especially Shanmugam were brow beating MP Sylvia Lim by demanding an apology for asking whether the government postponed the GST hike because of negative public feedback. Many people perceive this brow beating as arrogance. I remember our former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew once told all PAP MPs in 1988 “Any show of arrogance or indifference by any MP or Minister will erode confidence in him and, later, in the government.”

Instead of getting upset, the Ministers should be thankful Sylvia Lim gave them an opportunity to explain. If the government’s position is ‘no’ then just say no and let’s just stop at that. No need to get defensive. As PM Lee Hsien Loong rightly said at the close of the Oxley Road debate: “If MPs believe that something is wrong, it’s an MP’s job to pursue the facts and make these allegations in their own name, decide whether something seems to be wrong, and if you think something is wrong, even if you’re not fully sure, then come to this House, confront the Government, ask for explanations and answers.” I enclose a video clip of Sylvia Lim quoting PM Lee.

PM Lee was echoing the view of our former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew who said “All MPs new and old, should speak out. You have to speak up and bring out the grapevine criticism in the coffee shops and hawker centres. It is damaging for the government not to openly refute it with facts and argument. By bringing up apparently embarrassing issues, you help the government openly state the facts and explain the reasons for our policies and so continue to hold the ground.”

So be gracious, no need to over-react or ask for any apology for bringing out “grapevine criticism” or “apparently embarrassing issues” in Parliament.

Sad that I can’t call him “My president”. For that blame Goh Meng Seng and Tan Kin Lian

Goh Meng Seng, our very own Wu Sangui

Remember he was

the guy who helped (Was he paid? Or did he do it out of the goodness of his heart because he loved the PAP?) the PAP’s preferred candidate to win in PE 2011 by

— persuading TKL to run;

— then running a shambolic campaign for TLK;

— and then saying he had to go to HK for a job interview,

Meng Seng wants us to kowtow to Xi


What Najib told Trump

In Malaysia on 15/03/2018 at 6:01 am

Trump recently blocked Broadcom’s, a Singapore-based chipmaker’, US$117 billion hostile offer for Qualcommon citing national-security concerns.

Hock Tan the M’sian-born CEO of Broadcom, should blame Najib.

Najib had called golf kaki Trump:

Bro, these Chinese so-called M’sians will sell their mothers for the fun of it.

Before the last M’sian GE, they took money from me. But they still voted for the Oppo.

Najib made the call because he wanted Trump to know that M’sian-born Chinese can’t be trusted not to sell out the US of A to the Reds.

Looks like Hock Tan shouldn’t have wasted his time and money hanging round Trump: Trump devalues worth of CEO photo-op with POTUS.

He should have instead slipped an ang pow to FLOM, aka Mrs Najib. Bet u he tot photo-op with Trump was cheaper. Skinflint.


Silence of Goh Meng Seng

In Uncategorized on 14/03/2018 at 11:31 am

Can u hear the deafening silence?

We have yet to hear

Image result for Goh Meng Seng

come out to join Grace Fu and Indranee Rajah (The reincarnation of the  Wicked Witches of West and East  from the Land of Oz?) in calling Auntie “dishonourable” etc. Already s/o JBJ has come out to slime Auntie and the WP (and to be fair the PAP) over Auntie’s remarks on “test ballons”.

Seriously for a supposed Oppo party leader, he (Meng Seng not s/o JBJ) spends more time attacking other Oppo parties’ leaders than the PAP.


Goh Meng Seng, our very own Wu Sangui

Remember he was

the guy who helped (Was he paid? Or did he do it out of the goodness of his heart because he loved the PAP?) the PAP’s preferred candidate to win in PE 2011 by

— persuading TKL to run;

— then running a shambolic campaign for TLK;

— and then saying he had to go to HK for a job interview,

Meng Seng wants us to kowtow to Xi

Btw, in the above link, he slimes WP Low whom he called his sifu in the past. What an ungrateful apprentice*.


Whatever he has form in sliming Auntie. Years ago when Auntie and Quah Kim Song became an item, when other S’poreans were wishing them well, he was sliming Auntie. Citing “the bigger picture”, he called her names for disgracing the Oppo by her relationship. Come on: Quah was a widower and Auntie was single. So waz wrong? But no Meng Seng slimed her.

So it’s really surprising that he is so quiet on this issue. Maybe thirty pieces of silver have yet to be paid into his bank account?


*Btw, Goh Meng Seng was looking for apprentices after last GE

End of Journey Start from Fresh

I believe many opposition politicians from my generation feel the same way, we might have come to the end of our political journey in the sense that, in view of the current electoral results, we may not be walking into parliament during our lifetime.

However it doesn’t mean we should end here. It would be overly pessimistic that opposition politics will have no more hope. Politics is a long drawn battle.

We may have come to our end of journey but we have to lay the Foundation for the future generations of politicians and activists to take over the baton. We just have to pass it on.

So hang on there my fellow opposition politicians. We still have unfinished business to do a proper handover.

Wonder if Low Wai Choo became one? She stood with him in the GE.

In 2016, she was fined $450 each for public nuisance. I think she was involved in Roy Ngerng’s and Loh Han Hui Hui’s (Remember them?) savaging of autistic children at Hong Lim Green.



NYT compares Xi to our Harry

In Uncategorized on 14/03/2018 at 5:42 am

Mr. Trump’s unpredictability has helped cast China as a more stable superpower. And changes to the Chinese Constitution that allow President Xi Jinping to govern indefinitely could usher him into a global club of autocrats alongside leaders like Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and Vladimir Putin of Russia.

NYT Dealbook

Given Meng Seng wants us to kowtow to Xi and his dislike of LKY, he must feel conflicted.


Look who wants Tharman for PM

In Political governance on 13/03/2018 at 11:31 am

Really a wide spectrum.

For starters a Muslim Indian who is now KPJBing because he needed “approval” to talk to undergrads here Do read it. It’s a great rant. I’ll come back to it some other day.

Sorry: back to Indian support for Tharman. So what’s new? Countryman always supporet countryman, their non-countryan co-workers in any organisation will grumble, rightly or wrongly.

But then this is a Muslim Indian (by conversion because he wanted to have sex with marry a Malay*) keeps on saying Tharman (Hindu?) must become PM.

Singapore’s mystifying political succession

Why is the PAP so ambivalent about the idea of being led by Tharman Shanmugaratnam?

(Byw, I first read the article a day after being told by a friend that he once attended a wedding in India where there was a drinking session for the male guests in which the main topic of conversation was “those XXXX Muslims”.)

Seriously, Cherian George lists all the usual (and reasonably good) reasons why ang moh tua kees like him want Tharman to be PM.

If an ang moh tua kee wants Tharman to be PM, that is precisely the reason why the ruling party in a de facto one party state do not want Tharman as PM; as do many other S’poreans.

It’s not mystifying, simply that the judgements and preferences of ang moh tua kees are treated with suspicion and contempt, both within the PAP, and within the wider society. It’s not always about one’s skin tone.

Then there’s this guy who comes across as an ordinary S’porean. He most probably voted For Dr Tan Cheng Bock.

The curious case of a politician who is so wildly popular

Tharman Shanmugaratnam is a one-of-a-kind politician. He has more ardent fans than any other. Netizens have long clamoured for him to be Prime Minister. Even critics of the PAP have heaped praise on him.

Yet Tharman never sought adulation. On the contrary he seemed discomfited by it and has done his best to deflect attention, protesting “I’m not the man for PM. I say that categorically. It’s not me . . . I know myself, I know what I can do, and it’s not me.”

What is it about Tharman that makes him so well-liked and wildly popular? It could be the sum of different parts in the man. Ironically the more he tried to shore up his imperfections, the more he connected with people.

He revealed that he was “completely disinterested” in studies and was aimless as a youth. “Studying medicine would have required time and academic effort, and I did not have that at the age of 17 0r 18 . . . I never had a job in mind, no ambition in terms of career.”

Tharman went on to major in Economics at Cambridge and Public Administration at Harvard. And the chap who hated studying became of all things the Education Minister!

As an ACS boy, Tharman spent much of his time indulging in sports – playing hockey, cricket, football, volleyball, rugby, sepak takraw. In later years he even played in the premier hockey league for Singapore Cricket Club and Singapore Recreation Club. The once sports-crazy politician gave this bit of advice on Facebook after Joseph Schooling won an Olympic gold medal: Discover something we each can be good at. Persevere and never give up. Then pass the passion on to the next generation.

There is also the rebel in him. Tharman has said that he was once “a dissident, a government critic.” He even got into trouble with the law. As a director at MAS 25 years ago, he was charged along with four others under the Official Secrets Act for illegal disclosure of sensitive or classified information. He was eventually convicted of a lesser charge of negligence and fined $1,500.

When cultural icon David Bowie died, Tharman posted the lyrics of the classic hit Space Oddity on Facebook and called Bowie a “musical genius.” It seems that his love for music goes hand-in-hand with a passion for poetry. Tharman penned four poems for a 1978 anthology called but we have no legends. He co-edited the book with two friends, all then in National Service and part of the Young Writers’ Circle at the National Library.

How cool is that – a poet and a David Bowie fan who became a Deputy Prime Minister?

The supremely smart and brainy side of Tharman is most apparent to people. He has a sterling record as Finance Minister and is the first Asian to chair the G-30 – a prestigious global body of top financial experts.  He has also been named Finance Minister of the Year by Euromoney magazine.

For someone who is not attention-seeking or rhetoric-driven, who is in fact  diffident at times, he actually has a great common touch and rapport with citizens. In the 2015 general election, Tharman outperformed all others, securing 79.3% of the votes for Jurong GRC.

Given his unique set of characteristics, his past as a rebel, his artistic bent, his refusal to airbrush his imperfections and struggles, it is a wonder that Tharman ended up as a man in white. He is not cast in the mould of a PAP politician.

Furthermore, we have been told by the ruling party that race and ethnic considerations will always be in the minds of voters when they cast their ballots. As a non-Chinese, he is supposed to be disadvantaged, although polling results have not borne that out.

In fact there are a surprising number of people who still harbour hopes of Tharman being Prime Minister. It may be wishful thinking. But it just goes to show that Singaporeans are not looking for sound and fury in their leader, for someone who is ever generous with promises. Rather, Singaporeans are dying for someone who is smart yet straight talking and sincere, and whose imperfections make him all the more human and relatable.

Augustine Low


*I personally know one such couple. Mum’s Arab/ Chinese (looks Chinese), hubbie is Chinese. They have a daughter who looks Chinese and attends a Christian school (Dad’s from ACS) but is Muslim. When hols come around, she spends a lot of time in KL with her Muslim cousins.




Trump can’t count

In China on 13/03/2018 at 5:40 am

Doesn’t know difference between US$1bn and US$100bn.

Mr. Trump tweeted that he has asked Beijing to reduce its trade deficit with the U.S. by $1 billion, adding, “We must act soon!”

NYT’s Dealbook

US$1bn is “peanuts” in the context of a trade deficit with China of more than US$500bn.

Seems he meant US$100bn.

Maybe taz why although he’s worth slightly more than US$3bn, he thinks he’s worth a lot more. He can’t count.


Why do we keep getting mediocre ministers?

In Political governance on 12/03/2018 at 10:56 am

I mean what accounts for people like Kee Chui (Kidding me? Kee Chui potential PM? He from RI?), Ong Ye Kung (Ong Ye Kung: A study in failure) and Grace Fu (“Getting AG advice leh” after Auntie kicked her ass) getting into the cabinet?

disGrace Fu

When TRE used PAP voter cheers on Auntie, says Fu talking cock there were two good responses

opposition dude:
So disGrace didn’t get the sorry she wanted and is feeling pretty malu by now. How can a respectable minister not even get an apology out of a mere MP right? What will voters think of her as a minister now?

Face is very important to the PAP you know. I wouldn’t be surprised if she is already working on something else to one up Sylvia in the next parliamentary session. I don’t think she will just let it rest like that.


grace will be promoted soon?:

where will grace find herself. promoted or demoted?
put in a position where she can do lesser damage to the PAP’s brand?

or even damage to Singapore. we can now see that grace do not possess the qualities to represent SG to deal with foreign governments.

sinkies are now just waiting for LHL to make his announcement.
is he making last minute changes? LOL!


In an FT article on the role that managers played in the continuing productivity problems the UK faces (Sounds familiar?), the writer made three observations

— “Mediocre management is often the product of a flawed business model.”

—  Mediocre management “is at least in part, reflect policy failings.”

— “All too often we remain loath to trace persistent managerial weaknesses back to root causes.”‘

Well the PAP’s business model of “We will grow the economy and voters will have the good things in life. In return, voters will vote for S’pore remaining a de-facto one-party state.” is flawed.

Once upon a time (in the days of Harry and his thugs) growing the economy, most probably resulted in S’poreans’ material prosperity improving. This usually happens in the early stages of economic development. But as the economy matures, this link is usually weakened. Today? Not any more, as strong GDP growth no longer benefits ordinary S’poreans as the GDP growth in the late 90s, noughties and beyond shows (Still expect world topping salaries isit?).

S’poreans are also realising that giving the PAP such concentrated power since 1959 has resulted in the PAP’s leaders being detached from reality. PM admitted in 2011 that the anger on the ground shocked the PAP MPs. They had been assured by their PA grassroot leaders, that the unhappiness voiced in cyberspace was just “noise”. It didn’t reflect reality. Well it did.

As to “policy failings”, think failures like getting S’pore to breed like rabbits (Pandas’ birth rates in the wild are better than ours or so I’ve been told: remember they are still in danger of extinction), immigration (PM that stupid meh?) and all the “transformative” economic plans (Heng, can be PM meh?) starting from the one by one Lee Hsien Loong in the 80s. At least he couldn’t copy, cut and paste from earlier reports (seems Dr Goh made him think) but all other subsequent ministers copied, cuy and pasted from lee.

But remember the FT writer wrote

All too often we remain loath to trace persistent managerial weaknesses back to root causes.

What is the root cause of mediocre ministers?

Us the voters.

Why do 60-70% of the voters consistently vote for the PAP, thereby enabling the PAP to have over two-thirds of parly seats, thereby enabling the PAP to suka suka change the constitution? Example:Why PAP thinks we need a Malay president?

And its not only the 60-70% who enable mediocrity.

In 2011, the 30% who consistently vote for any clown (Think Goh Meng Seng or Tan Kin Lian or Lim Tean) so long as it’s not a PAP monkey, missed the opportunity to cock a snook at the PAP in the presidential election. Instead they voted for two RI opportunists, thereby allowing the PAP’s prefered candidate to win. Half of the voters who usually vote PAP voted for Tan Cheng Bock but the anti-PAP voters prefered the Mad Dog Chee’s preferred candidate or Goh Meng Seng’s buddy, Tan Kin Lian.

As has often been said

Voters deserve the government they get.

It’s the fault of S’porean voters that we get mediocre ministers.

Whatever, with enemies like Mad Dog, Tan Jee Say, Goh Meng Seng and Tan Kin Lian, the PAP can get away with ministers like Kee Chui, Ong and disGrace Fu.



Accountant lower life form than PR person

In Accounting, Corporate governance on 12/03/2018 at 5:29 am

When I started work in the late 70s, PR practioniers were the lowest of the low in the business social pecking order: they were the pariahs. Accountants were the Brahmins of the caste system.

But accountants are no longer the Brahmins after the repeated scandals involving int’l accounting firms,

Things are so bad that according to the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators accounting lapses were identified at 40% of the 918 audits of listed public interest entities they inspected last year. Worse they report that 41% of the problems identified by audit regulators last year related to independence and ethics.

So nowadays PR people are valued more highly than accountants.

Don’t believe me?

There’s a takeover battle going on in the UK. Melrose has made a hostile bid for GKN.

GKN’s advisory fees are to set include £60m to its bankers; up to £12.3m for lawyers;  £1.83m on accountants; and as much as £6.4m on public relations advice.

Melrose is paying its accountants £2m. It’s PR adviser £1 to £5m depending on whether it wins.

Money talks, BS walks.


GST: Even economists tot GST could go up

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 11/03/2018 at 10:44 am

I quoted a senior lawyer

If the G thinks the earlier remarks were clear and categorical, so that citizens could have no doubts, how does it explain why so many reputable economists were willing to entertain thoughts of an increase this decade?

PAP voter cheers on Auntie, says Fu talking cock 

A pal of mine posted on the FB post where this quote originally appeared

The economists even factored in an increase in their analysis of GDP growth. Btw, I’m one who tot that GST would not go up this yr because it would contradict what Tharman said in 2015 and because it would make no sense effectively “locking up” the increase for 2018- 2020 because there’ll be a new govt by 2021.

The retired GIC Chief Economist waded in

…my respected economist friends were similarly unsure if GST would be raised this time after attending pre budget MOF briefings, even with Minister Heng.

Here’s what the constructive, nation-building rag of MediaCorp had to say about the economists changing their forecasts after the Budget speech

The Budget’s one-off cash handouts and delay in the goods and services tax (GST) hike, which will kick in sometime between 2021 and 2025, prompted Credit Suisse to raise its 2018 economic growth forecast for Singapore from 3 per cent to 3.3 per cent.

Taken together, these would boost growth domestic product (GDP) as well as private consumption, the bank said in a research note, as it raised its private consumption growth forecast to 3.6 per cent, up from 2.9 per cent.

Credit Suisse economist Michael Wan said the bank had previously factored in a 2-percentage point GST hike for its macro forecasts. “We, together with most other economists, were forecasting GST rates to rise this year,” wrote

Mr Wan, who described Monday’s announcement on the delayed GST increase as among the “surprises” of Budget 2018.

Other economists who had expected a GST hike to be implemented either this year or next agreed that the delay would bring a “minor boost” to consumption spending. Nevertheless, they left their GDP forecasts unchanged.

Commenting on the Credit Suisse report, Mr Bernard Aw, principal economist at IHS Markit, said consumers are expected to bring forward “large purchases” ahead of the GST hike.

UOB economist Francis Tan said he is keeping to his earlier forecast of 2.8 per cent GDP growth this year, which was based on a 1 percentage point GST hike this year. Nevertheless, he acknowledged that the delay of the GST hike “provides some upside”. He added: “Whenever there is a higher tax, people reduce their purchases.”

Maybank Kim Eng economist Chua Hak Bin is also maintaining his 2018 GDP forecast at 2.8 per cent, as he had expected the GST hike to be implemented next year. Private consumption is expected to improve from last year but it is unlikely to exceed 3 per cent this year, he said. “The jobs market looks to be improving and that will support consumer spending,” he added.

Both Mr Tan and Mr Chua, however, did not think that the impact of the hongbao handouts would be significant enough to lift GDP growth. Some Singaporeans may choose to save the money instead of spending it, Mr Tan noted. “In that aspect, these are not material handouts,” he said.

The reason I quoted so extensively is to show that “after attending pre budget MOF briefings, even with Minister Heng” the economists felt it necessary to factor in a GST rise in their forecasts.



S’pore among top 10 countries owning English properties

In Property on 11/03/2018 at 5:41 am

Chart showing overseas ownership by country


PAP voter cheers on Auntie, says Fu talking cock

In Political governance, Uncategorized on 10/03/2018 at 11:28 am

Here’s two FB posts by a senior lawyer who admitted that he voted for the PAP in past elections

I think that Minister Grace Fu should drop the threat to refer to the Committee of Privileges.

Such a display of arrogance and high-handedness doesn’t impress me, and should not impress Singaporeans.

The facts are this, simply.

The G has said since 2013 that revenues must be raised. I was long aware of PM’s comments at the time. So we know that taxes are going up at some time in the future, but not when.

I was also aware of DPM’s 2015 remarks that the G had enough revenue for the decade. This implied that GST might not need to be raised this decade but it was not a clear, direct and explicit promise not too. Neither was PM’s remarks at the 2017 PAP Convention a categorical promise or confirmation.

The was much discussion in 2017 about an impeding announcement of a GST increase, promoted at least in part by PM’s and Minister Heng’s remarks.

Many economists speculated about the timing of the GST increase. Many of them thought it would be this decade, notwithstanding the G’s earlier comments.

For myself, I was not sure what the G would announce in Budget 2018. I expected an announcement of GST to be raised, but I had no confidence whether it would be after or before 2021.

Does this mean that I thought the G dishonest in its earlier comments?

No, not at all, because while earlier statements were made about having sufficient revenue for the decade, these statements did not amount to a clear promise not to raise the GST in this term of government.

If the G thinks the earlier remarks were clear and categorical, so that citizens could have no doubts, how does it explain why so many reputable economists were willing to entertain thoughts of an increase this decade?

And later

Having read all the transcripts, Minister Fu’s ability to understand the debate seemed dodgy at best. As Bertha has written elsewhere, she seemed out of her depth and one has to say that this impression is not without basis.

For example, she deplored the fact that Sylvia Lim “continued with this accusation” after the G’s explanations but what does the Honourable Minister mean by that? Sylvia said clearly that she can accept, in light of the G’s response as to its intentions, that her suspicions may be wrong, but she simply does not accept that there was no basis for suspicion when originally made.

I rather struggle to see how this position could reasonably found a complaint to the Committee of Privileges except for a hyper-sensitive government – and that should NOT be encouraged.

Minister Fu also failed to give any coherent explanation of how – if the G’s contention that their intentions not to raise taxes this decade has been made clear in numerous statements pre-budget 2018 – that numerous respected economists could have entered and speculated about exactly that possibility.

Her answer was this : “But having said so, after she has brought the matter here, we have laid down the facts to her. And yet she continued to insist on the allegation. This is the difference between what we say in this chamber and what economists, analysts say outside this chamber.”

This answer of course says nothing about whether Minister Fu would claim that the G had previously made its position so clear that entertaining the possibility of an increase this decade was an unreasonable idea. And probably Minister Fu would, with respect, struggle to make a convincing claim here.

Instead, Minister Fu focuses her complaint simply on Sylvia’s (alleged) continued maintenance of her claim despite the G’s response.

But what does this (alleged) continued maintenance consist of?

Sylvia made plain that in light of the G’s insistance on its position, her suspicion might be wrong as a matter of fact (although the true facts are only known to Cabinet).

But she maintains that, when made, the suspicion was not without basis and essentially Minister Fu had no coherent explanation for why that was the case. She simply is unhappy that Sylvia did not withdraw the original allegation or apologise.

But why should Sylvia, unless the G could demonstrate that there was no basis for suspicion when the claim was first made – and here Minister Fu has no explanation (see above). For example, she did not respond to the question of whether all the economists who speculated on a budget increase this decade after after DPM’s 2015 statement and PM’s PAP Convention speech were thinking in an unreasonable way.

So to threaten to refer to the Committee of Privileges in these circumstances simply reflects poorly on Minister Fu, with the greatest of respect.




My kind of lawyer, friend

In Uncategorized on 10/03/2018 at 10:13 am

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, said he had paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to the pornographic-film actress Stormy Daniel. (NYT)


Why Democrats are upset

In Uncategorized on 10/03/2018 at 5:18 am

The U.S. is on track for huge economic expansion, but in California — which accounts for a fifth of the country’s growth — the governor is preparing for doom. (NYT)

NYT Dealbook


Lawrence Wong: a PM-in-waiting

In Uncategorized on 09/03/2018 at 11:12 am

I’m surprised that the talk cock, sing song academics and other pundit don’t think of Lawrence Wong as a contender to be PM.

Because unlike their favourite, Kee Chui (Why “Kee Chiu” got renamed “Kee Chui”), he knows how to throw smoke when “answering” inconvenient questions

The entire additional S$7.7 billion above the official estimate is being given back to Singaporeans in various ways, instead of just the S$700 million SG bonus, Mr Wong stressed, as he addressed Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Azmoon Ahmad’s suggestion for the Government to share more of the unexpected budget surplus.

“We don’t save surpluses.”

I went WTF!

But I had to admire his explanation (OK BS).

“We give them all back to Singaporeans but we give back in different forms,” said Mr Wong in Parliament on Tuesday (Mar 6) during the debate on his ministry’s budget.

“Some will be for spending (on) future needs. Some will be spending for current needs… and some will be through a direct transfer, like the SG bonus,” he added, urging for the surplus to be viewed “in totality”.

Mr Wong cited the setting aside of S$5 billion for a Rail Infrastructure Fund “which will benefit all MRT commuters”, and S$2 billion for premium subsidies and other forms of support when the ElderShield review is complete.

Why Lawrence Wong is wrong on “We don’t save surpluses”
Or rather “We don’t save surpluses” is misleading.
FB post by Chris Kuan

CNA reported Larry the MND and the second MOF as saying all of the $7.7b of additional surplus from the revised 2017 budget overall surplus has been shared with Singaporeans in various ways such as a $5b transfer to the Rail Infrastructure Fund and $2b for Eldershield. Don’t look at the SG bonus in isolation he said. But that is not quite correct, is it? Tell me if I am wrong but this is how I look at it.

If that $7.7b additional surplus had been shared in the 2018 budget, then the 2018 Budget position would not have been a deficit of $0.6b but of $8.3b. After all each Financial Year Budget is based on that FY’s revenues and expenditures plus that FY’s transfers to funds and endowments and its NIR Contribution right? If the $7.7b has been shared with Singaporeans, then the sum of the Budget position for 2017 and 2018 should equal to the original FY 2017 estimate surplus of $1.9b. But that is not the case, the sum is a surplus of $9b (2017’s $9.6b surplus minus 2018’s $0.6b deficit). So how can this be if the $7.7b surplus from the first year is spent or shared in the second year?

The better explanation or rather the truth of the matter may well be that the $7,7b additional surplus has not yet been shared with Singaporeans, It will eventually – just wait for the year before the general election. Of course in fairness to Larry the MND and the 2nd MOF, all that spending on rail infrastructure and Eldershield in 2018 did take place but that is from using up all the revenues and the NIR contributions estimated for the year. Call me pedantic or whatever.

PS: Being transfers to funds and endowments, the $5b allocated to rail and $2b to Edlershield are ofcos not spent all at once but over several years. An important distinction to be aware of given the govie’s propensity to report this kind of expenditures in a single year.

But the fact that Chris Kuan has to go into such detail to show that “We don’t save surpluses” is misleading. shows that Lawrence Wong is a throw smoke specialist, good enough to be PM after Heng’s one term in that post. You heard these predictions here first.

And here’s another one: he’ll be the next Finance Minister. Remember you first heard this here.


Coming back to Kee Chui. If Lawrence has to answer the questions on the need, and the use of reserves, unlike Kee Chui, he would have said something along the lines of what the CEO of Norwaty’s SWF said when he reported a great set of results*
stressed that the good times would not continue forever, warning Norwegians to be prepared for a potential fall in value in the future.
Btw, remember his warning on HDB flats? Why 30-year old HDB flats difficult to sell
*The oil fund separately reported one of the best years in its 20-year history as it returned 13.7 per cent in 2017, helped by booming equity markets. Equities returned almost 20 per cent, while property and bonds also contributed positively. The NKr1tn ($128bn) return was the biggest ever measured in kroner.

Ang moh tua kee doesn’t shop at NTUC

In Uncategorized on 09/03/2018 at 4:56 am

An anti-PAP ang moh tua kee wrote

time for us in Singapore – look at that oacked food in strofoam boxes and plastic after plastic used to wrap, vegetables, fruits, fresh chicken etc. NTUC gives out many plastic bags as they put the groceries in the bags. I think NTUC should charge 5 cents for each bag they give to the customer and so must all other supermarket chains…

She got this response:

Guess u don’t bring yr own bag to NTUC to save the planet and money.🤣 I do and “The FairPrice Green Rewards scheme, which was introduced in 2007, offers customers a 10-cent rebate when customers BYOB with a minimum spend of $10.”😜

I think this ang moh tua kee only shops at Cold Storage or Jasons. Even Giant is beneath her.

For the avoidance of doubt, this isn’t the same person as this lady who doesn’t know Paracetamol is sold here: Need Paracetamol? Ask SingHealth.

Btw, if u only buy yr medicine at Watsons or Guardian, u wouldn’t know that Paracetamol is available here. Both only stock Panadol.

Really, with enemies like this, no wonder the PAP has ruled since 1959. So out of touch with how S’poreans live. And I freely admit that I am not the average S’porean.

(Last sentence added at 6.10am)


Welfarism the PAP way/ The last word on GST

In Economy, Financial competency on 08/03/2018 at 9:54 am

Here corporates get welfare, not the people: and its foreign corporates that get the best goodies. PAP is not against welfarism so long as the beneficiaries are corporates, especially if they are foreign-owned. Ang moh tua kee kind of fascist movement?

Don’t believe me?

Well a friend, a respected economist, wrote

In Singapore’s case, there are other reasons to avoid the GST: In the context of an economy where there is an extraordinarily high profit share of GDP, is it appropriate that households bear a higher proportion of taxation than corporates? Our very rough estimate is that the direct taxes plus indirect taxes plus various levies paid by the household sector amount to about 11% of GDP, whereas the equivalent for the corporate sector is around 6%.


Given that foreign shareholders earn roughly half of the profits accruing to the corporate sector, the burden on Singapore households seems already to be unevenly high. This being the case, it does not seem appropriate to increase the burden on the household sector even more by increasing the GST rate.

Writer is Manu Bhaskaran. He was Tharman’s cell mate when they were convicted of breaching the Official Secrets Act. OK, OK, they were only fined. Btw, that incident showed that S’pore is a place of laws. Manu talked to his old boss in Mindef (Manu’s a scholar), BG Yeo, but BG Yeo couldn’t help. But maybe BG Yeo was ball-less or powerless, or both?

Sorry back to the article. Do read Lots of other good stuff that show the fallacies of Hard Truths on Reserves, GST and govt spending.


And this brings us to the nub of the issue: What is the optimal savings rate for a country like Singapore? Savings is not an end in itself; it is the welfare of the citizens that is the end. Simply accumulating savings continuously is not the right thing to do — the right approach is to look holistically at all the determinants of welfare and then decide an optimal savings rate.


The thrust of the discussion above essentially leans to a view that Singapore is probably already saving enough and may even have exceeded the optimal savings rate. In that context, the better approach to funding rising social spending is to use more of the income from investments and to not raise taxes, be it the GST or some other tax.”



Trump devalues worth of CEO photo-op with POTUS

In Uncategorized on 08/03/2018 at 4:23 am

A warning for chief executives of foreign companies: A photo-op with Donald Trump ain’t enough to win his administration’s support when it comes to buying up US assets.

Jack Ma of Alibaba learned that the hard way when the US government blocked a company he controls from buying MoneyGram. Hock Tan, the chief executive of Broadcom is starting to learn that too after the US government launched an investigation into the Singapore-based company’s attempt to buy Qualcomm for $142bn (despite the fact that the two sides have yet to reach an agreement on a deal).


Good for Trump. Good for the system. Being seen with POTUS is no big deal.


Meng Seng wants us to kowtow to Xi

In China on 07/03/2018 at 10:17 am

Actually I’m just being polite: the guy who helped (Was he paid? Or did he do it out of the goodness of his heart because he loved the PAP?) the PAP’s preferred candidate to win in PE 2011 by

— persuading TKL to run;

— then running a shambolic campaign for TLK;

— and then saying he had to go to HK for a job interview,

wants us to lick Xi’s ass, suck his [expletive deleted] and get screwed by Xi, all at the same time. Image result for Goh Meng Seng

Don’t believe me? Here’s what he wrote:

Although we might not want to subject ourselves totally to China’s dominance but it would be naive to think that we could go head on against it, thinking that we should be more superior in any context.

Notice the dog whistles he’s sending that we must kowtow to Xi.

Lest I be accused of taking his statement out of context, here’s his piece telling us that China is the nice guy, not a bully. Everything that China did wrong should be blamed on the Mongols and Manchus who were not Chinese: not the Chinese. Btw, /

Imperialism of the Day

I was a bit curious when I read about PM Lee’s praise of LTK’s speech. I actually bother to do a search and listen to his speech.

I was a bit shock when I heard him saying that China might become an “Imperialist Power” and behave like Japan during the Second World War! It cannot be the case that the negative nuance of such provocative suggestion could escape a seasoned Chinese educated politician like LTK!

Curiously, LTK didn’t mention much about European’s Colonialism nor the “Imperialist Dominance” of the Americans in the last century over Vietnam up till today’s world.

Imperialism exists throughout history and even in modern times, it still exists in many different forms.

But to use Japan as a corresponding example to China is basically an attempt to add salt to past wounds and mockery aimed at the Chinese government.

If these words come from some American or Western educated person, I would have just smiled or laughed away but for a person who is well verse in Chinese history, both modern and ancient history, to utter such words, is really socking and provocative.

The Chinese hated the Japanese for the invasion and atrocities done in WW II. To make comparison of China between them as potential Imperialist, is considered as a rude attempt to mock China. Such sensitivity should not escape a Chinese educated mind.

Japanese Imperialism started long before WWII when it annexed Korea. Due to geo-political reasons, Japanese had always harbor the intention of attacking and conquering China. Throughout history, many of the Chinese dynasties have been fighting off Japanese invasions or piracy along the eastern coast.

Except for the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty, which was considered as a foreign dynasty set up by foreign invaders, most of the 5000 years of ancient Chinese dynasties were contended with their own immediate territories.

There were tributary systems set up in Chinese history but basically, these states were just left alone. Interesting enough, on the contrary, quite a number of Chinese dynasties were formed by “Foreign invaders” like the Mongolians, Manchurian and they were constantly invaded by the Western and Southern tribes.

To suggest China having Imperialistic tendency is basically a hypothesis without any basis or historical backing. Unlike Japan, historically speaking, Chinese has not shown any such ambition to rule the world. Chinese dynasties are mostly inward looking and sometimes, even Xenophobic which resisted interaction with foreign states. Chinese dynasties might have requested tributes from other states but that’s basically out of Imperial Egos more than anything else.

Westerners were the ones who created colonialism out of their Imperialism. Japanese learned from the Western powers. But China? Most of the time it was the victim of such Imperialist Colonialism.

I do not like one party rule in China as well as Singapore. I do not like Communist rule in China as well. [Err so how come he telling Honkies that they should kiss China’s ass? He’s making himself really unpopular among the progressives in HK.] But we have to look at the REAL ACTUAL context and refrain from direct agitation or provocation against the emerging powers like China.

When we recognize ourselves as just a small little tiny city state, then it would only be wise to stay focused on the balance.

We had subjected ourselves to British and American Imperialism before and we had swallowed it while maximizing every opportunities we could find in between. That’s the cruel reality we face throughout history.

The problem of Economic-Political dominance by any huge country or Super power is a common problem that small countries face throughout history. But very few will stick their heads out and get slammed in the end.

I would say that the problem lies with the stubborn mindset of “superiority” of the past which doesn’t want to change according to the dynamic change and shift of geo-economic and political balance.

Those in powers must realize that we are no longer “superior” in any terms over the “long backward China”. The feeling of uneasiness and threats is the result of the dissonance between past egoistic superiority mindset entrapped in current awe of a rapid emerging power in China.

Although we might not want to subject ourselves totally to China’s dominance but it would be naive to think that we could go head on against it, thinking that we should be more superior in any context.

For a start, such provocative speech by politicians should be avoided. We can show concern, worries or even urge for more effective strategies to deal with an emerging giant at our doorstep, but the last thing we need is to provoke it.

Goh Meng Seng

Btw, do remember that he’s a fan of Amos who says sex with children is OK. The above pix of Bozo’s brother was taken at a “Support Amos” do.

Want to slime WP Low, but kanna sai instead by TRE readers. I’m on their side.


Blockchain useless for settling payments

In Uncategorized on 07/03/2018 at 4:53 am

Here I wrote Practical uses of blockchain that one of the most promising uses of blockchain is in settling int’l transactions between banks.

But recently I read

In practice, central bank experiments show that DLT-based systems are very expensive to run and slower and much less efficient to operate than conventional payment and settlement systems.”

This is the GM of Bank of Int’l Settlements speaking on blockchain, or as he calls it, distributed ledger technology (DLT).

He should know. BIS settles transactions that central banks make to one another.


Why cabinet can’t do bold new ideas

In Political governance, Public Administration on 06/03/2018 at 10:04 am

And why ministers can only talk cock sing song, repeating mantras or clichés about Hard Truths: think about the comments about GST and the reserves.

Last Saturday, I read in the FT

“By appointing people with like minds but with a wide range of professional backgrounds . . . we can discuss things with an open mind and go beyond past ways of doing things to speedily implement bold new ideas.”

Toyota’s president on Toyota’s appointing the first female director, a senior Japanese banker

This led me to think about our cabinet.

With the exception of two doctors and a private sector lawyer, the rest of cabinet (85%) came from the public sector*. All but three were senior officers of three bureaucratic, command and control and hierarchical organisations: SAF, the civil service (which effectively means the admin service: there’s only one “civil service” minister that’s not from the admin service) and NTUC. Two of the remaining three were executives from GLCs (SingTel and PSA) and other was an academic from a local university.

So how to expect creative thinking, let alone commercial, financial or business expertise?

The Spartan who defeated Athens

By the end of the 5th century BC, the superiority of the Athenian Navy had long gone, and the Spartans were more than a match for the Athenians at sea … Firstly, the Spartan Navy had significantly improved. Naval warfare had traditionally been seen as ‘cowardly’ by the Spartans, but this attitude began to change as Lysander gained authority. The illegitimate son of an aristocrat, Lysander grew up in relative poverty. It was perhaps his unusual upbringing that allowed him to think differently from the Spartan norm. He painstakingly made his way up the ranks and was finally given a position of authority in his mid-forties, when he was made the Spartan Admiral in 407. Lysander borrowed heavily from the Achaemenid Empire and used the money to purchase ships and crews; the Spartans were finally a proper naval force.n his


The first PAP cabinet in 1959 (and for at least a decade  and a half thereafter) was diversity in action. There were private sector lawyers, civil servants and businessmen.

Later, there was a local executive from HP (then a respected tech MNC), the MD of Shell’s local operations and two bankers. OK, OK, one banker was from a bank where his uncle was the chairman, although uncle was not the controlling shareholder. Before that he was an academic. And when in the bank, he was considered by many outsider bankers an improvement to the usual OCBC senior managers. The other banker was originally from the civil service but he was transferred to DBS.

Things went downhill in terms of diversity since the day when several ex-SAF generals were made ministers. To be fair to one Goh Chok Tong, he tried to bring diversity back by bringing one VivianB into the cabinet. But in 2005 or 2006, he told Cheong Yip Seng (ST editor appointed by one Harry Lee)) that he was disappointed that VivianB had “become like the others”. In fact, VivianB went one step worse than the other PAP ministers, he openly sneered at the elderly poor.

Btw, the PAP administration is so desperate to show that it has private sector experience and expertiste that one minister who in his younger days was in the admin service was said in his cabinet CV to have joined the private sector*. He worked in S’pore Technologies and Temasek.

This would be hilarious if it wasn’t so pathetically tragic for S’pore.

*Many yrs ago, I “discovered” that official data classified all 100%  govt owned cos incorporated under the Companies Act as “private companies”. Hence the huge discrepency between official data and a report from the US embassy on state participation in the economy.



Noble co-CEO paid US$20m in 2017 despite record US$5bn loss

In Corporate governance on 06/03/2018 at 5:57 am

The departing CEO ran the oil and gas businesses at Noble. The amount included a US$5m loan that was forgiven. But to be fair to him and Noble, the banks insisted that he to remain until the biz was sold. This cost US$12m.

US$20m was more than what the rest of Noble’s executive directors received combined last year and is $5m more than what perpetual bondholders stand to receive under a proposed debt-for-equity swap

But that isn’t all, the founder’s daughter and son were employees and received “remuneration within the bands of S$150,000 to S$200,000, and S$50,000 to S$100,000 respectively” in 2017.



Digital ads: the truth

In Internet on 06/03/2018 at 4:37 am

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half,” is often attributed to John Wanamaker (1838-1922). He was a very successful American merchant, religious leader and politician. He has been called a “pioneer in marketing”.

Digital ads are marketed to advertisers (like Procter & Gamble) by the likes of Google and Facebook as solving the problem of which half is wasted.

But now P&G says that most online advertising is a waste.


WP: Will Ownself sabo Ownself?

In Accounting, Corporate governance on 05/03/2018 at 4:19 am

Well argued, Pritam Singh and Sylvia Lim !

Great to see WP coming up with both solid, constructive suggestions on how to prudently and intelligently use government land sales, a key element of our huge fiscal headroom to enlarge sustainable revenues, as well as rigorously rebutt the established, conservative “wisdom” for not doing so.

(Retired chief economist of GIC. He would say that wouldn’t he because he like Pritam, Auntie and others (self included) oppose the GST hike because we know that there’s a lot of our money being withheld?)

This reminded me that someone posted some time back

If Pritam becomes Sec-General, it’ll be “Ownself sabo ownself”.🤣

(FB post a few weeks ago on speculation that he’ll be next Sec-Gen of WP)

Spot on. There’s a lot of mud thrown at Aljunied TC. But it’s a fact that it didn’t keep proper accts.

Auntie, good accounting is a national issue/ TOC bans avatar again

Wankers’ Party still blur on audits and accounting

What the US army and WP have in common

And he was Sylvia’s right hand man there, and an incompetent one at that. Low had to send in Png when things were really getting out of control.

So there’s no clean break for WP from the Alunied TC mess if he becomes leader. So waz the point of Low (and Auntie: no announcement yet but I talked about this sometime back WP Low’s anointed one) stepping down?

It’s partly to give the WP in Aljunied a chance to disassociate itself from the accounting problems (largely self-inflicted). WP can say “New team. Please give us another chance” and knowing S’poreans they’ll be willingly to give that chance because they love an underdog. But with Pritam as Sec-General, how to say “New Team. Please give us another chance”? WP can only say “Please give Bayee another chance”.

Btw, my sources say that Dennis Tan will be Sec-Gen. More on this one of these days on the next Hougang MP.

A TRE commenter has come to the same view and proposes an interim solution until Pritam after the court cases where Auntie, Low, Pritam are decided.

Pritam Singh remains favourite to succeed Low Thia Khiang?

I refer to the article on TISG, titled and would like to respectfully disagree with and as well as NCMP Goh’s premature assessment of Pritam Singh’s “ascension” to become the next WP Sec-Gen!

As we already know, all 3 of them, including current SG and Chairman have been implicated by SC Phillip Jeyaretnam’s suit and as things are progressing, does not look too good for all 3 considering the formidability of SC Jeyaretnam in fighting cases and securing an outright victory.

The party should in the interim, be led by veteran MPs Chen Show Mao and Faisal Manap as SG and Chairman respectively, with the 3 remaining NCMPs supporting as Org Sec, Treasurer and Webmaster.

Should Pritam Singh become SG, it will throw the party into total chaos once the outcome of the case is known and would have implications for the party, going into the next G.E. whether it be 2019 or 2020!

Willy Sum

Point of order: Philip J (the real son of JBJ, other one is autistic) is not a lawyer in the case. He led the committee that decided that ATC should sue Auntie, Low, Pritam and friends: Ownself sue Ownself.



Magic: Saudis joining Temasek/ GIC deal

In GIC, Temasek on 05/03/2018 at 4:06 am

FT reported that the Saudi Public Investment Fund was is in talks to invest as much as U$400m in Magic Leap at a $6bn valuation even though the start-up has yet to even put one of its augmented reality glasses on the market. Temasek invests in Magic

DoorDash has raised $535 million from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, GIC of Singapore and Sequoia Capital for a $1.4 billion valuation. (Recode)



Practical uses of blockchain

In Uncategorized on 04/03/2018 at 11:02 am

Blockchains are electronic databases of transactions, whereby new deals are added to the chain and then stamped and protected with a mathematical equation.

Chain gang

Blockchain projects have the potential to reduce, and possibly eliminate, settlement times due to their digital nature, ensuring the timely and secure processing of these operations. Other uses for bank-backed blockchain projects would include secured global currency exchange rate speeds and increased transaction security,eventually allowing for an overhaul of the banking industry, replacing traditional back-office clearing houses and other outdated mediums that exist between asset sellers and buyers, reports Tec.


S&P Global Platts has deployed a blockchain network for reporting oil storage data in the UAE, a first in the energy sector

Commodity players have been hoping that technology could ease the cumbersome process of exchanging contracts, letters of credit, inspection and other paperwork by email or fax when one company sells raw materials to another.

Louis Dreyfus has teamed up with ING and ABN Amro of the Netherlands and Société Générale of France to create a blockchain platform for agricultural trading. (Bloomberg)

And finally

It’s being used to verify the authenticity of baby formula, medicines and even to help reduce the harmful trade in blood diamonds. It’s also being used to help keep our fish supply fresh.




Buffett’s a girlie man?

In Uncategorized on 04/03/2018 at 4:45 am

But that’s why he such a great investor?

Everything that made Warren Buffett the celebrated investor he is lines up with what we’ve learned about the tendencies of female investors. (Bloomberg)

NYT Dealbook

Piece written by feminist of the hairy armpits sort. At least she comes across like that.

Remember that Arnold Schwarzenegger (aka Terminator)and Republican govenor  of California referred to the state Democrats  as “girlie men” when they stalled and refused to pass his planned budget.


Corporate America is happy with Trump, on balance

In Uncategorized on 03/03/2018 at 11:28 am


 This was before the tariis on steel and aluminium. LOL

From NYT Dealbook

David Rubenstein, the Carlyle Group co-founder, told CNBC at the SuperReturn conference in Berlin that, over all, businesses support the White House’s economic policies:
“I think there are some things the administration has done that the business community will not like, but generally I think the administration has pleased the business community and other people as well.”
Why? Largely the tax cuts, for which both Republicans and Democrats are compiling data to support their political arguments.

Bearing gifts to the White Hse?

In China on 03/03/2018 at 5:48 am

Liu He, Beijing’s top economic adviser, met with American business leaders like Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase and David Solomon of Goldman Sachs amid heightening trade tensions between China and the U.S.

NYT Dealbook

He’s on his way to Washington. Well Trump and his officials by imposing tarrifs on imported steel and aluminium on nation security grounds are telling China that BS is no longer an option as it was when Obama was POTUS.

So will he be bearing gifts from one empewror to another?

The US wants China to buy US gas and oil, lots of it. And China does need energy though having the US as a major supplier, is like putting a noose round its neck. Before Pear Harbour, the Americans had just stopped selling steel (scrap I think) to the Japs. It would have caused economic problems for the Japs.


PAP is losing the war to keep S’poreans in ignorance

In Economy, Financial competency, Media on 02/03/2018 at 11:01 am

Be of good cheer, those of us who want the PAP lose its hegemony (Cybernuts excluded because like TRE’s Oxygen, they think a crushing defeat of the PAP is just another GE away: they’ve been thinking that since before Cyberspace came into existence), the PAP is losing the war on keeping S’poreans financially illiterate with comments like:

GST hike ‘the responsible way’ to fund areas of collective need: Heng Swee Keat


Preserving reserves signals to markets strength of Singapore dollar: Chan Chun Sing


Let me explain.

When two natural PAP supporters make the comments I report below, it’s clear that the retired chief economist of GIC (Known as LKY on FB), Donald Low, Chris K and others (including little old me) have not wasted our time raving and ranting that

— S’pore has too much reserves and that they can and must be used to make life better for S’poreans.

— And that tax rises show that the PAP administration are reckless prudent, or at least are mindlessly prudent.

FB post by a retired SAF officer, now active in mental welfare causes. He was one of the first Black Knights.

Maybe what the Government needs to do is to show to the citizens various scenarios (given some assumptions) about how to cater for the future financially. Period 2021-2025…, Scenario1…use of GST hike and 50% of Investment returns to manage the budget; Scenario 2…use of all reserves to do the same. Then show Sporeans what is left at end 2025, and how the projected financial state will affect Spore’s future financial health.

And this FB post by a lawyer who has said he voted for the PAP

The G says that Singapore’s reserves must be kept secret as a defence against speculative attack.

Whether true or false, there is an obvious price to pay in that if there is no public information about Singapore’s reserves, intelligent debate about Singapore’s fiscal policy becomes well nigh impossible.

The debate in Parliament currently appears to be rather sterile in the absence of meaningful facts and figures.

I am not in favour of the G’s current approach to the (non)transparency of Singapore’s reserves, which to me is not justified and makes no sense, on balance. We are better off having the knowledge to chart our national destiny.

People like Dr Tay Kheng Soon should take heart that the 70%ers can change their mind. He has often mused that educating S’poreans to realise that the PAP articulated alternative is not the only “right” way is a thankless, long and tedious task.

Whatever, remember that half of the 70% voted for Dr Tan Cheng Bock as president. He only lost because of Tan Kin Lian and Goh Meng Seng decision to fix S’poreans. As a TRE reader put it

Sabo King help Tony Tan by persuading Tan Kin Lian to steal 4.91% votes which is enough to prevent Tony Tan from winning.
Sabo King sabo TKL and made him lost his deposit.




Trump changing mind on TPP?

In Economy on 02/03/2018 at 4:26 am

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has floated the idea of rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, more than a year after President Trump walked away. (NYT)

NYT Dealbook

If Trump can change his position on assault rifles, he can move his position on TPP.

PM will be pleased with the newsreport.


Electric cars will be made here?

In Uncategorized on 01/03/2018 at 1:45 pm

Dyson best known in the UK  for its vacuum cleaners and hand dryers ( But”Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea together accounting for almost three quarters of 2017 sales.”), caused a stir when it announced plans for a battery powered vehicle.

Dyson already has a 400-strong team working on the project and has doubled the number of scientists working on its battery programmes over the past year. It plans to hire another 300 engineers.

The BBC reports that it “is yet to decide where its electric cars – once they have been designed – will be manufactured.

‘The UK is reported to be in contention for the work, along with Singapore, Malaysia and China.” It makes its products in M’sia.

Bet u EDB will throw our money at Dyson.


Noble is crap to be flushed away

In China, Commodities, Corporate governance, Emerging markets, Energy on 01/03/2018 at 7:32 am

I’ve been taking a keen interest in the once Noble House because I tot it might look interesting post restructuring even if it would have a very high debt burden after swapping debt for equity.

Well its warning of bigger losses (now confirmed*) put paid to my interest because the latest losses were coming from coal trading the business it was going to focus on post restructuring, and which was the basis of it being nubbed “Noble House”

I’ll let the FT do the talking:

One of Noble Group’s biggest shareholders has said senior management has yet to show it can turn round the commodity trader after it reported a $5bn annual loss, one of the largest ever in Singapore.

Goldilocks Investment, which took an 8.1 per cent stake in the crisis-hit company last year, said the fact the core business of coal trading continued to lose “millions every month” raised doubts about a rescue plan involving a massive debt-for-equity swap.



Goldman loves iPhone owners/ US$1 to open Goldman acount

In Investment banking on 01/03/2018 at 6:07 am

Goldman Sachs’s retail arm, i.e. it’s internet bank, is in talks to offer financing for Apple customers, unnamed sources say, NYT Dealbook reported, quoting WSJ.

Well Goldman would like financing Apple’s customers wouldn’t they? iPhone owners are suckers for anything including high cost loans. The top of the range Google and Samsung phones are value for money, while the Chinese models are really great value, if one is not unfortunate enough to get a dud one.

This financing of Apple users is part of its push into mortgages, insurance, and car loans in an attempt to be financier of choice to US consumers.

Dead partners of Goldie vmust be rolling in their graves.

Worse than becoming a consumer financing business: once upon a time, customers needed US$10m to open an account with Goldman. Today they can open an online savings account with the bank with only US$1.