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Archive for July, 2018|Monthly archive page

Akan Datang: Boodbath in the SDP

In Uncategorized on 31/07/2018 at 10:53 am

Or “Why Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s words of wisdom will cause Mad Dog to start a purge in the SDP”

“I know men like Paul Tambayah is a 1st rate human being and doctor who cares for the country. I find it hard to label him otherwise.”

Part of Tan Cheng Bock’s Facebook post that was in response to Derek de Cunha’s statement that Tan Cheng Bock would tarnish his reputation by mixing with “third, fourth, fifth rate politicians.” (Waz the point Mad Dog? Where are the Wankers?)

Well he didn’t say such nice things about Dr Chee, Lim Tean, Goh Meng Seng, Pwee and the other oppo clowns politicans present at the meeting: Tambayah (Reminder: SDP’s chairman) wasn’t at the meeting because as he later said on FB, he had a long-standing previous engagement to attend.

The praising of Dr Tambayah is particularly telling as the only words of praise of the clowns were

To be fair, many from the 7 parties stood in past elections because they believed they acted in Singapore’s best interests.

Dr Tan didn’t say he believed that they acted in Singapore’s best interests, only that “they believed they acted in Singapore’s best interests”.

Whatever, all the best to Dr Tambayah though I wouldn’t be surprise to see (OK, OK I’m predicting) Paul torn to bits soon by Mad Dog when he (Mad Dog) realises that Dr Tan is referring to him (Mad Dog) when Dr Tan talks of
some may also need to stand down and serve from the backroom if it is for the good of the country.
Mad Dog will get rid of Dr Tambayah, and the many young PMETs that joined him in the SDP will leave, if they are not also defenestrated alongside Dr Tambayah, leaving behind the clowns and losers.
Look at what happened to Mr Chiam and the SDP when Mad Dog realised that Chiam realised the threat to the SDP and S’pore that Mad Dog was posing with his antics.
The result? SDP lost all its MPs and went into the Wilderness. There it has remained since then, toxic and unelectable: Chee reinvented SDP after making it toxic.
Dr Tambayah and allies were changing this perception but they’ll be purged sooner than later.
Sad.
Btw, I really I hope that Mad Dog proves me wrong by stepping down or at least not tearing Dr Dr Tambayah to shreds. But I’m not holding my breath.

 

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Trump’s tax cuts saved the world

In Uncategorized on 31/07/2018 at 5:28 am

The transition away from easy money has always seemed the most perilous step of the plan to deal with the crisis of 2008

Well with US growing at 4.1% thanks in large part to the tax cut that Trump pushed for, the transition is proving less perilous.

Still plenty of things can go wrong as the volatility in markets show but a growing US ecomony helps keep investores sanguine.

Waz the point Mad Dog? Where are the Wankers?

In Uncategorized on 30/07/2018 at 10:43 am

 

 

At a working lunch hosted by the SDP this afternoon, several opposition parties came together to explore the possibility of working closer together to present a unified front at the next elections.

The SDP also took the opportunity to propose that presidential candidate Dr Tan Cheng Bock help lead the effort in building such a coalition. Those present welcomed the move.

“With his experience and leadership,” Dr Chee Soon Juan said, “the SDP is confident that Dr Tan will be able to lead the effort.”

The former People’s Action Party MP, who attended the meeting as an observer, said: “If you want me to lead, then we must think of country first. If we go in, we must go in as a team.”

The WP are right to avoid this Coalition of the Losers and I’m sad Dr Tan associates himself with this bunch of losers and scoundrels. Think No, Lim Tean hasn’t absconded and Silence of Goh Meng Seng

The Alliance of Hope is different. Its predecessor won more votes than BN in the previous GE, and in 2004 deprived BN of two-thirds majority. Here the PAP won big time in 2015, after a bad showing in 2011 (Only 60% of the popular vote and lost Aljunied GRC lah). Remember the PAP almost recaptured Aljunied.

I agree with the views here: https://www.facebook.com/DerekdaCunha/posts/10157224801363797

All six of these “parties” (here “parties” is used loosely) mentioned, plus the SDP, represent political deadweight.

I respect Dr Tan Cheng Bock. But mixing with this particular crowd – which in the pecking order of non-PAP parties rank as 3rd, 4th and 5th raters — will not do anything for his reputation. He will simply be tarnishing his reputation. He should display a bit more discernment. If he intends to stand at the next GE, he should do so as an independent or as part of a team of independents contesting a GRC.

I have analysed elections in Singapore long enough to know that you cannot underestimate the Singapore voter’s visceral distaste for a number of opposition personalities. Even a severely underperforming PAP will not move a segment of the electorate to vote against it if the alternative is truly 3rd, 4th and 5th raters.

I’ll be less polite. Think Mad Dog Chee and Goh Meng Seng when u read

you cannot underestimate the Singapore voter’s visceral distaste for a number of opposition personalities.

Lim Tean will be joining them if he doesn’t carry out his promises (Remind Lim Tean, it’s December) despite raising money from the public.

 

 

 

 

Cannot call Bayee “turban man”

In Humour on 30/07/2018 at 6:32 am

Two US radio DJs have been taken off air after calling the nation’s first Sikh state attorney general “turban man” during a segment.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44972100

So waz so special about the land of the free, where the buffalo roam, Amos?

So different here:

2018, another bad yr for SMEs

Want to grow SMEs? Identify well managed SMEs

Can any how call PAPpy loved by cybernuts Turban Man.

Time to investigate if housing developers screw public by colluding?

In Economy, Property, Public Administration on 29/07/2018 at 10:47 am

“Unsold number of private properties hit 3-year high as prices continue to rise” screamed headline from a department of the constructive nation-building media.

Bit strange that prices go up when there’s plenty of unsold stock. Shumething not right.

Then this caught my attention (emphasis mine)

Ms Christine Li, senior director of research at real-estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, attributed the three-year high of unsold numbers of private housing units to the likelihood that developers are spacing out their launches, to avoid direct competitions from nearby projects due to the increased supply.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/private-home-prices-climbed-34-second-quarter-2018

Time for the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore to investigate if there is illegal collusion or other illegal practices among developers that cause housing prices to be higher than if there were no collusion etc. They juz squeezed Grab’s balls,

S’poreans and mainlanders are the real Chinese

In China, Hong Kong, Property on 29/07/2018 at 5:12 am

Honkies and Taiwanese are not,

We and mainlanders don’t believe in renting short term (99 yr leases are not short term rental leases no matter what Goh Meng Seng and other cybernuts think)

Another reason why the PAP rules OK

In Political governance, Public Administration on 28/07/2018 at 11:17 am

Another area where S’pore is tops, because of the PAP govt, is in “state capacity”.

Research from political scientist Lant Pritchett and others has shown that of the world’s 102 “historically developing” states, only eight have managed to develop what he describes as “high capacity” governments. True, three of those — Brunei, Singapore and South Korea — are in Asia. But Pritchett’s bar is actually pretty low: a high capacity government, he suggests, is one with institutions roughly as good as those found in Uruguay.

Worse, it is all too common to see periods of rapid state capacity degradation. Almost no country has managed to follow Singapore and persistently improve its government, decade after decade. Between 1996 and 2012, for instance, Pritchett’s work shows that the quality of Malaysia’s state declined moderately, while the Philippines declined rapidly. Both countries’ performances over the last five years seems likely to have been even worse.

Part of the problem stems from a widespread misunderstanding about what state capacity actually means. At some level a well-functioning government does indeed need basic capabilities, such as the ability to fund and run an army, or to make the railways run on time. But as James Robinson argued at a conference I attended in India in mid-June, it also means a state that has popular legitimacy amongst its people.

States work better when their citizens, and in particular the powerful middle classes, voluntarily pay their taxes and obey laws without the need for expensive enforcement, because they view their government as acting broadly in the common interest. By contrast, government works less well when the elite is seen to be largely serving their self-interests, as was the case with the obvious venality of Malaysia’s ruling party over the last decade.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Asian-governments-must-escape-the-state-capacity-trap

What is state capacity?

State capacity has become something of a buzzword amongst policy makers trying to understand how countries develop. It underpins the work of MIT’s Daron Acemoglu and Chicago University’s James Robinson, whose celebrated 2012 book “Why Nations Fail” argued that good institutions support development, rather than other factors like geography or culture. The idea of state capacity has also found widespread favor in bodies like the World Bank, as well as amongst influential thinkers like Arvind Subramanian, India’s chief economic adviser.

No wonder 60-70% vote PAP despite PAP cock-ups like

— MRT system that is not first world

— S’pore like this?

— The real truths about public housing

— Akan Datang: Why CPF Life payments will begin at 85

— MAS gives finger to CSA’s CEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ho Ho Ho: StanChart still in jail

In Banks, Emerging markets, Temasek on 28/07/2018 at 7:14 am

Standard Chartered (STAN.L) has agreed to a further extension of its U.S. deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) until the end of December this year, it said on Friday.

StanChart entered the DPA with the U.S. Department of Justice and New York County District Attorney’s Office in December 2012, accepting that it had broken laws by processing payments for sanctions targets in countries including Iran, Burma, Sudan and Libya.

The bank avoided prosecution in exchange for a cash settlement of $327 million and an agreement with the U.S. authorities to improve its sanctions compliance.

The DPA was extended for three years in 2014 and a further nine months in November 2017 as StanChart sought to strengthen its controls under the scrutiny of an independent monitor.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-stanchart-deferred-prosecution-agreem/standard-chartered-agrees-extension-of-u-s-deferred-prosecution-agreements-idUSKBN1KH24B

 

Hongkies love PAP govt, diss their govt

In Hong Kong on 27/07/2018 at 11:22 am

TOC, The Indians and other cybernut pubkications don’t report: “Hongkongers admire Singapore more than own city”

In a University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Programme poll asking 502 Hongkongers how they feel about different governments, the Lion City came out on top in a list of 14 places.

In contrast, Hong Kong was ranked 11th and Canada slipped to 2nd, from 1st in August last year. The US was at the bottom of the list of places that included regions in Greater China and other countries

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/community/article/2156855/hong-kongs-love-affair-singapore-continues-residents-give

Note that the piece not written by any of the ex-ST constructive, nation-building journalists in the SCMP newsroom. They now rather bite the hand that once fed them well. Once a Judas, always a Judas.

Anyway grass ia always greener on the other side. Juz ask Goh Meng Seng who even thinks that the cost of housing is lower in HK. Can you believe that? But then he’s a cybernut who helped the PAP’s preferred candidate win in 2011 PE. With enemies like him, how can the PAP ever lose?

 

Made in China

In China on 27/07/2018 at 5:20 am

the ARJ-21, a disaster of an aircraft that the country’s own regulators forbid from flying in the rain for safety reasons.

Economist

Lucky we only bot PRC railway carriages, not trains. For once Hard Truth that ang moh tua kee is betterest turned out well, even if ang moh is French, not German.

Prosperity with S’porean, Chinese characteristics

In China, Media on 26/07/2018 at 10:56 am

Unique to both China and S’pore

Further to Bang yr balls ang moh tua kees

The case for a free press rests not only on classical liberal principles but also on hard data. Cross-country studies show strong and consistent associations between unfettered media, vibrant democracies and limited corruption. China, which has a tightly controlled media and perhaps the world’s most sophisticated censorship scheme, thinks it has proven that prosperity can be achieved without a free press. In less extreme fashion, Singapore shares similar authoritarian attitudes. Politicians everywhere do not much like to be criticised. To a worrying number of them, this Singapore model—or Beijing model, depending on preference—can prove more attractive than the Western approach of putting up with a pesky press.

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2018/07/23/the-global-slump-in-press-freedom

Related posts

PAP’s bible challenges “market-based solution”

The PAP way is the American corporate way

Keeping power in a one-party state

M’sia: Shumethings never change

In Malaysia on 26/07/2018 at 7:00 am

Malaysian businesses anticipate a chaotic switch to the sales and services tax (SST) in September, as there will be only three days to adjust their systems once the tax is made into law.

Despite the fact that the SST is a single-stage tax, trade groups said their members are concerned as they are unsure about the different taxes for goods and services.

https://www.todayonline.com/world/msian-businesses-expect-chaotic-transition-new-sales-tax

And our anti-PAP types and cybernuts are saying we can learn from M’sia, praising an ang moh columnist who said so?

Sad

MAS gives finger to CSA’s CEO

In Internet, Public Administration on 25/07/2018 at 11:00 am

Remember CSA’s CEO downplaying the loss of NRIC numbers etc (Is Computer Security Agency CEO talking thru his ass about stolen info?)?

Should you be worried?

In short, not really, said the authorities. CSA chief executive David Koh said the stolen information are “basic demographic data”.

Constructive, nation-building CNA

Well it’s now clear that the central bank for one thinks he’s talking cock

“With immediate effect, all financial institutions should not rely solely on the types of information stolen (name, NRIC number, address, gender, race, and date of birth) for customer verification,” MAS said in a statement.

“Additional information must be used for verification before undertaking transactions for the customer. This may include, for instance, One-Time Password, PIN, biometrics, last transaction date or amount, etc.”

 

 

Bang yr balls ang moh tua kees

In Media on 25/07/2018 at 4:33 am

While the continued success of Pink Dot despite the ban of funding from ang mohs shows that S’poreans have rightly in my view bot into the liberal narrative about LGBTs, history is not on the side of the ang moh tua kees when it comes to press freedom.

ACROSS the world, freedom of the press is atrophying. According to scores compiled by Freedom House, a think-tank, the muzzling of journalists and independent news media is at its worst point in 13 years. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the number of journalists jailed for their work is at the highest level since the 1990s.

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2018/07/23/the-global-slump-in-press-freedom

Feeling frus, ang moh tua kee? Go bugger someone from a lower socio-economic class.

Mom trying to out BS CSA’s CEO

In Economy, Public Administration on 24/07/2018 at 10:45 am

Here I reported that CSA’s CEO downplayed the importance of the loss of NRIC numbers, names and addresses: Is Computer Security Agency CEO talking thru his ass about stolen info?

Well Mom is almost as bad in its PR BS. After the constructive, nation-building digital newspaper belonging to Mediacorp asked Mom to comment on the following

Hundreds of IBM Singapore employees are being laid off, amid the technology giant’s global restructuring efforts.

The firm is cutting manpower from its Singapore Technology Park, a manufacturing plant at Tampines, as it is relocating manufacturing of its Power Systems product to a facility in Guadalajara, Mexico.

IBM staff and subcontractors told TODAY that at least 200 people were being laid off, and they comprised Singaporeans and foreigners working in a variety of positions. They included blue-collar workers, professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs).

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/ibm-singapore-lays-workers-its-tampines-plant

a Mom spokesperson said:

 “We do not comment on any impending or speculative restructuring exercises of any company.”

Excuse me, people have been retrenched. It’s not

any impending or speculative restructuring exercises of any company.

It has happened. It;s not

any impending or speculative restructuring exercises of any company.

Doubtless the Mom spokesperson and the CEO of CSA are from Bizarro S’pore like PM and Tharman:

PM visiting from Bizarro S’pore?

Tharman also from Bizarro S’pore?

Does the “T” in FT stand for “Talent” or “Trash”

In Humour on 24/07/2018 at 6:27 am

Benzema: ‘When I score I’m French, when I don’t I’m an Arab’

Lukaku: ‘When things were going well, I was Lukaku the Belgian striker…when they weren’t going well, I was the Belgian striker of Congolese descent’

Ozil: ‘When we win, I am German. When we lose, I am an immigrant’

But in S’pore if u are a ping pong player from PRC Land, win or lose, u are not S’porean.

Eugene Tan must be breaking record in ass licking

In Media on 23/07/2018 at 10:39 am

Wow noted PAP brown noser quoted licking PAP govt’s ass twice in one day. Must be a record.

Pointing out that the CIMO model has been unfairly “scapegoated”, law lecturer Eugene Tan said it is an important manifestation of how the country “recognises there are different races”, especially the minorities. Removing it might not necessarily be a silver bullet, he added.

Associate Professor Tan said that while Singapore is on a journey to become “race blind”, its policies may have to be “race conscious”, as he too cited the reserved presidency.

While ethnic-related policies have helped promote and strengthen ethnic identities, too much of it could “stifle the nation-building process”, he added.

Playing a “numbers game”, and counting what “each group gets” in terms of benefits could be dangerous and set Singapore down a slippery path, said Assoc Prof Tan. One also has to be careful not to set aside meritocracy for multiracialism, or a situation of “reverse discrimination”.

For the younger generation who might share a “collective amnesia” about independent Singapore’s origins, it is important to constantly drill home the knowledge about “who we are and how we came about”, added Assoc Prof Tan.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=42214&action=edit

And

Assoc Prof Tan cautioned that there is a need for Singapore to protect its own interests and sovereignty: “If we’re seen as pushovers such that people can renege on their original agreement, then in future, other countries will not take us seriously on the world stage.”

He added that Singapore is unlikely to accommodate any attempt to change the agreement fundamentally, which would put it in a bad light and raise questions over whether the agreement was fair in the first place.

“We would also want to promote the sanctity of these agreements, because our position is, of course, that the agreements were properly entered into and both countries had the benefit of advice, ranging from legal to non-legal,” Assoc Prof Tan said.

“Ultimately, a lot depends on the Malaysians providing further and better particulars as to what it is that they want.”

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/malaysia-must-make-clear-its-plan-kl-spore-high-speed-rail-further-delay-could-hurt-both

Wonder if he’ll be brought out to lick the ass (or worse) of the CEO of CSA: Is Computer Security Agency CEO talking thru his ass about stolen info?

Is Computer Security Agency CEO talking thru his ass about stolen info?

In Internet, Media, Public Administration on 22/07/2018 at 10:32 am

I went WTF when I read this from the constructive, nation-building CNA:

Should you be worried?

In short, not really, said the authorities. CSA chief executive David Koh said the stolen information are “basic demographic data”.

“We are watching to see if anything appears on the Internet both in the open and in some of the less well-known websites,” he added, noting that this has occasionally happened in past data breaches.

“But considering the type of data that’s been exfiltrated, it is – from our professional experience – unlikely that these will appear, because there is no strong commercial value to these types of data.”

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singhealth-cyberattack-what-you-need-to-know-10549096

I repeat WTF. NRIC numbers were stolen as were names and addresses. Before this loss of info, we had been told by the PAP govt and private sector cyber security experts that the NRIC number is very important personal data and that when a criminal has access to our i/c number, address and name, lialat: could be vulnerable to all kinds of online crime. So this not true isit?

I had also read in an earlier CNA report

[C]ybersecurity expert, Mr Leonard Kleinman, pointed out that medical data contains a trove of information – from personally identifiable data to financial details – “that can be used to create a highly sought-after composite of an individual”.

Such pilfered data can fetch a high price on the dark Web, with each entry potentially selling for US$50 to US$100 more than stolen credit card data, said Mr Kleinman, who is the chief Cyber Security Advisor at RSA Asia Pacific and Japan.

“As it could contain any amount and level of information, healthcare institutions are among the most sought-after industries by criminals who can be motivated by a multitude of possible reasons,” he said.

The executive also cautioned that the fallout of such a hack may not be immediately felt either, as it could “take months” for the data to be first sold, then used.

“Given the nature of this attack, it is hard to say exactly what the end game is, especially when the attackers haven’t identified themselves,” Mr Kleinman added.

Darktrace Asia Pacific managing director Sanjay Aurora told Channel NewsAsia in an email that it can only speculate on the hacker’s motives, but medical information, like other kinds of personal data, can be easily monetised.

That said, beyond making a quick buck, Mr Aurora said a more “sinister reason” could be to cause widespread disruption and systemic damage to the healthcare service or to undermine trust in a nation’s competency to keep personal data safe.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singhealth-cyberattack-likely-nation-state-medical-data-price-10549372

So is the PAP govt downplaying the importance of the loss of info?

And if it is, why isn’t the constructive, nation-building media not signing from the same sheet?

So why so cock?

In CPF, Financial competency, Financial planning on 22/07/2018 at 3:59 am

“I’m retired so this was going to be a key part of my income but now, not just the income, I have to be worried about my capital. My kids are going to university soon so I have to figure another way out.”Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/hyflux-shareholders-townhall-meet-management-first-time-10545662

So why did he buy Hyflux debt in the first place?

A fool and his money are soon parted.

Btw, remember to use yr CPF normal account as yr savings account

Using yr CPF OA as a savings account

Oldies use yr CPF acct as savings, fixed deposit account

Low birth rates do not cause serious economic problems

In Economy on 21/07/2018 at 11:12 am

This is a follow up to Average S’poreans smarter than scholar ministers where I pointed out that having children doesn’t help in getting the 5Cs:: the PAP is wrong to asset that low birth rates cresult in serious economic problems, even if it is conventional wisdom.

Demographic decline does not imply falling prosperity, however. If anything, it is easier to improve average lifestyles with shrinking populations. Without population growth, there is less need for expensive investments in housing, infrastructure and capital goods.

True, a higher portion of the smaller populations will be elderly people who need pensions and labour-intensive assistance. Even so, there are already well-developed systems to provide them with money, healthcare and specialised residences. The forthcoming shift in age groupings will mostly mean more of the same.

Some people worry the shift will be unbearably large. They expect a shortage of care workers and recommend more immigration. That sounds excessive. It should be possible to rebalance service sectors to match needs. The rapid pace of job destruction from automation should help.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-economics-breakingviews/breakingviews-hadas-global-case-of-baby-fever-is-easily-cured-idUSKBN1K813Z

So far so good but here’s the problem. Taxes got to go up to support us oldies

What is true is that governments will have to do some serious governing. One task is to persuade citizens to pay higher taxes to support people too old to work.

Then there’s the need for higher state debt

Some financial muscle also will be necessary. If nominal GDP growth stops or turns into a decline, money for debt payments is bound to be in short supply. Governments may have to maintain economic confidence when debts go bad.

That could be a lot of work, and politically problematic. Mature markets, where the demographic challenges are greatest, have been building up trouble. Between 1997 and 2017, the ratio of debt to GDP increased from an already worrying 266 percent to a stunning 382 percent, according to the Institute of International Finance.

In theory, though, the task should be manageable. After all, powerful governments can give financial regulators and central banks all the authority they need. And it should be easier to rearrange the money system than to push up birth rates.

Any multinational deleveraging will undoubtedly be socially challenging. That just means now is a good time to start figuring out how to deliver more practical solutions than babies.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-economics-breakingviews/breakingviews-hadas-global-case-of-baby-fever-is-easily-cured-idUSKBN1K813Z

Chinese tariffs on US soya backfiring

In China, Commodities on 21/07/2018 at 4:28 am

US soyabean prices plus the tariffs and freight to China were approaching parity with Brazilian soyabeans and shipping costs, limiting a further move upwards on the premium unless there was a dramatic shift in Chinese demand.

FT on Thourday

Chinese will be paying a lot more for soya and meat.

Average S’poreans smarter than scholar ministers

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 20/07/2018 at 11:10 am

They cottoned on a long time ago that having babies didn’t help them in the pursuit of the 5Cs.

It’s time for governments to accept a basic truth of the 21st century political economy: Children are an economic drag for parents …

Putin introduced major subsidies for parents. Russian fertility subsequently increased, but hardly enough to matter. The 1.7 rate of 2015 remained well below the replacement level. And an 11 percent decline in births in 2017 suggests the effects of governmental birth subsidies are fading.

That pattern is common. After the Hungarian government brought in some of the world’s most generous child subsidies, the average birth rate increased only from 1.2 to 1.5. The plain fact is that governments cannot pay people to have more babies. Lower taxes, more subsidised childcare, easier access to housing and so forth do little, and not for long.

The economic logic is impeccable. No government can afford to give parents enough money to keep children from being more cost than benefit. Kids are expensive to feed, and middle-class offspring these days absolutely need expensive holidays, extra schooling and a panoply of consumer goods.

For whatever immeasurable happiness parenting may provide, it does not bring much long-term economic gain. When kids grow up and start working for pay, they rarely put much into the extended family’s coffers. If anything, they take up residence in parental attics for longer and welcome a bit of assistance stepping onto the housing ladder. Older people also now expect support from personal savings and government benefits, not their children.

Child-rearing also hurts incomes. Moms and dads often find that the commitments of time and worry slow professional advancement. Fewer children inevitably equate to lesser impediments.

All in all, it is clear that in this modern world most people will only have children because they want to. Since monetary considerations are secondary, what economists would call the subsidy-elasticity of demand is very low.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-economics-breakingviews/breakingviews-hadas-global-case-of-baby-fever-is-easily-cured-idUSKBN1K813Z

 

 

M’sia right to fear Chinese gifts

In China, Malaysia on 20/07/2018 at 4:05 am

Because they are Indian givers, as this highway to nowhere proves https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-silkroad-europe-montenegro-insi/chinese-highway-to-nowhere-haunts-montenegro-idUSKBN1K60QX

Bringing in Chinese companies to build billions of dollars worth of freeways never seemed like a good idea in Montenegro, a southern European country of just over 600,000 people. But now the debt load of one such project has forced the country to freeze some public sector wages and even end a government benefit for mothers.

 

TOC unmasks itself

In Uncategorized on 19/07/2018 at 11:04 am

Years ago I told Terry of Terry’s Online Channel that he was anti-PAP. He denied it saying that he would support a PAP policy if tot it would help the poor or correct an injustice.

After I posted TOC misrepresents facts yet again

I read this post

Terry Xu
People asks me, or tell me, how good the Pap government is and that we should be appreciative of this fact. While it may be comparatively true with our neighbours who had despotic leaders, but until you see the things I see, and experienced, which cannot be reported because it is illegal to do so, you would have no idea how rotten is this country behind the elaborate facade.

Singapore and Singaporeans can achieve much more with what we have today but not with this ruling party and its cronies changing laws and maintaining archaic colonial rules for its own interest.

It is naive to think that a party that has all the powers at its disposal will be humble and push for changes especially when cronyism is so rampant in the country. Don’t lie to yourself when you say there is real meritocracy and xxxx in Singapore.

The fact that I can’t type out the words represented by xxxx, just shows how dire the situation is for Singapore.

Do you want to live in aspiration or in constant fear of the government?

People who support and is part of this whole oppression ought to think about how history will judge your involvement for the sake of self perseverance or in most cases, simply the high pay. Just look at the world and back at history to realise that a change of regime is not impossible and that the Internet never forgets.

Need I say more about his denial of not being anti-PAP?

M’sia undecided on HSR

In Infrastructure, Malaysia on 19/07/2018 at 4:35 am

So how can Tun say S’pore knows what M’sia wants? Senile. Sad.

Malaysia’s Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali. said that Malaysia has not excluded the possibility of the project continuing, but will not make any suggestions unless there is a consensus from both countries.

https://www.theedgesingapore.com/malaysia-lead-delegation-singapore-discuss-fate-hsr-project

More from Edge.

Malaysia will soon have a discussion with Singapore regarding the high-speed rail (HSR) project, according to Malaysia’s Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali.

Azmin will be leading a delegation to Singapore for the discussion with Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan and to safeguard the diplomatic relationship between both countries by the end of the month.

“We are looking at all the available options. The bilateral agreement on the HSR provides for either party to cancel the project. This however, is subjected to the terms and conditions of the agreement,” says Azmin.

He also stressed that any agreements signed must be fair and just to both parties.

Read Najib’s very valid comments on the costings. Minister’s reply shows that M’saian govt talking cock.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak asked in Parliament, “The international open tender only ends on Dec 28, 2018 and both governments would decide on the bids. The total cost of the project is not yet known, but it would competitive. Some countries would give loans at 0% or 0.1%.”

“So how can the government say it would cost RM110 billion, when the tender is not closed?” Najib asked.

Azmin replied saying that these calculations are “just costing” at the meantime and were made by the Finance Ministry, who also found that there were hidden costs in the project, which were not revealed earlier.

Nonetheless, the minister also said that Malaysia has not excluded the possibility of the project continuing, but will not make any suggestions unless there is a consensus from both countries.

Malaysia had previously announced that they intend to cancel the project, but has since brought it back up for review, if the cost is reduced by half.

PAP’s kung fu with tax payers’ money cont’d

In Political governance, Public Administration on 18/07/2018 at 10:59 am

In response to SDP’s chairman’s views quoted in PAP’s kung fu with tax payers’ money 

Even though Dr Tambyah says he reiterated that ‘it’s your money that went into this wheelchair’, his patient ‘refused to accept’ it.

“This was a guy I’d been looking after for 10 years. He knew me. We got on with each other very well. But at the same time, he felt indebted to the ruling party politician because she was able to, in his mind, provide him with mobility.”

the retired NUS professor I quoted extensively in  PAP’s cock-ups since the 1980s  and Why the PAP thinks it is infallible argues that the SDP chairman is peeing on the wrong tree

Tambyah expressed himself badly, and may also have the wrong conceptual framework: the guy obviously knows that government spends taxpayer money, but it is other people’s money which the government collected and spent on his behalf; why should the guy not feel appreciative?

it is the government’s job to take money from those who have some to spare, and spend it where it is needed; there is no sin in that, just question of how well it does so; if Tambyah thinks there is something wrong with this, then he has the wrong conceptual framework about government; but I think it is probably a case of laziness: “u r spending our money” is an easy stick to grab; it can sometimes work, e.g., Roy Ngern’s “give back our CPF” did work for a while – nearly launched several new political careers; similarly, PJ Thum’s “government tells lies”, Kirsten’s “SG is repressive, becoming more so” are for the moment still working

Wondering out loud: maybe in treating Mad Dog Chee, Dr Paul got infected? Juz wondering. Juz saying. LOL.

Seriously, I think Dr Paul has yet to be bitten by Mad Dog. He was trying to make the point that the PAP works very hard to personalise govt funding to its advantage, using the example of his patient

(Minister) Grace Fu gave us this wheelchair.’ Then I said, ‘She didn’t give you the wheelchair. This is paid for by your taxes’.

“He said, ‘No, no no, she came to my house with an entourage of people, with her photographers and she gave me the wheelchair’.”

 

 

Why I not KPKBing about MediShield Life

In Public Administration on 18/07/2018 at 5:34 am

… while he feels that MediShield Life is inadequate in terms of making healthcare affordable to the masses, he acknowledges that it is “a huge advance in that it took in people with pre-existing conditions”.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/paul-tambyah-chairman-singapore-democratic-party-on-the-record-10527550

It’s really a big step from Hard Truths that it took in people with pre-existing conditions. The PAP is slowly but surely adapting itself to the realities of a modern, developed society.

Declaration of interest: I paid “peanuts” for my second cataract operation (first one was $1000 ++) because it was heavily covered under Medishield because it was the second eye operation within a yr.

Related post: Will Gleneagles sandwich cost me a fortune?

PAP’s kung fu with tax payers’ money

In Political governance, Public Administration on 17/07/2018 at 11:00 am

PAP knows how to make yr money its money and make you grateful for it spending money on you.

Those were my tots when I read Dr Paul Tambyah:

[t]he PAP’s ability to mobilise state resources in other ways is “very, very difficult to try to go up against”, he says.

“During my first clinic session after the election, a patient of mine who I’ve been treating for many years wheeled himself into the room in his motorised wheelchair and he said, ‘Doc, you guys ran a good campaign. Too bad you all lost.’ I said, ‘Thank you. By the way, where do you live?’ Then he said, ‘We live in Yuhua, but you know, (Minister) Grace Fu gave us this wheelchair.’ Then I said, ‘She didn’t give you the wheelchair. This is paid for by your taxes’.

“He said, ‘No, no no, she came to my house with an entourage of people, with her photographers and she gave me the wheelchair’.”

Even though Dr Tambyah says he reiterated that ‘it’s your money that went into this wheelchair’, his patient ‘refused to accept’ it.

“This was a guy I’d been looking after for 10 years. He knew me. We got on with each other very well. But at the same time, he felt indebted to the ruling party politician because she was able to, in his mind, provide him with mobility.”

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/paul-tambyah-chairman-singapore-democratic-party-on-the-record-10527550

Related post written in Sept 2012: Time for Opposition to rethink assumptions, lest it repents after next GE

TOC misrepresents facts yet again

In Accounting, Temasek on 17/07/2018 at 5:22 am

When Temasek released its details, TOC, it seems, tried to cast aspersions on Temasek’s results by pointing that its auditor KPMG was in the UK’s authorities’ dog house for the quality of its audits in the UK.

The UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is an independent regulator responsible for promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investment in UK. Its board of directors is appointed by the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. FRC plays a crucial role in the oversight and development of corporate governance standards such as the UK Corporate Governance Code and standards for the accounting industry.

UK FRC said that KPMG audits had shown an “unacceptable deterioration” and will be subject to closer supervision.

Every year, the UK FRC reviews the audits of Britain’s biggest companies to ensure they meet certain standards. The FRC noted problems at other auditing firms too, but KPMG was specially singled out for the poor quality of its work.

“There has been an unacceptable deterioration in quality at one firm, KPMG,” the FRC said in a statement …

Terry’s Online Channel

As OCBC is also audited by KPMG, is TOC also casting aspersions on OCBC’s results?

Seriously, TOC doesn’t tell that all the big four accountancy firm are in the sights of the UK’s authorities:

The UK’s top banking and insurance supervisor has said he is worried about the quality of audits by the Big Four accountancy firms. Sam Woods, the chief executive of the Prudential Regulation Authority, told the Treasury select committee on Wednesday that it was “a bit of a worry” that the Financial Reporting Council rebuked the four firms* — Deloitte, EY, PwC and KPMG — last month for a fall in quality, particularly in banking audits. Stephen Haddrill, the FRC’s chief executive, said at the time that “the Big Four must improve the qualify of their audits and do so quickly”. The FRC attributed the deterioration in quality to a failure to challenge management and show appropriate scepticism across their audits.

FT

And that despite all this KPKBing, when Goldman Sachs Int’l tried to appoint a non-big four auditor Grant Thorton to audit it, replacing a big four auditor, the UK authorities raised an eyebrow on whether Grant Thorton can do the job. The matter is ongoing.

All this is a matter of public record, yet TOC in what seems to be an attempt to slime Temasek left out inconvenient facts.

Looks like TOC is going the way of the Idiots S’pore or is it Indian S’pore?

Sad for someone who helped out at TOC.


*TOC said only KPMG was singled out, remember: “KPMG was specially singled out for the poor quality of its work”?

Even PAP voters don’t trust the PAP to tell the truth

In Political governance, Public Administration on 16/07/2018 at 11:19 am

A recent comment on TRE set me thinking

NotMyProblem:
July 8, 2018 at 11:30 am (Quote)
Keep information in the dark reminds me of my schooling days.
When I had a “F” for my examination, I would not dare to show to my parents.
But when I had an “A”, the first thing I would do was flashing my result to the whole family.
Do you think this is similar with PAP’s result?
PAP being such an arrogant govt, do you think it would hide something that was good? Don’t you see the amount of skeletons in the closets which required so many million dollars Ministers to keep them hidden.

Many people vote for the PAP because they are happy, or least contented, with the results as they perceive them of the PAP govt’s policies: PAP has lost “output legitimacy”

But talk to them about whether they trust the PAP govt to tell the truth about anything and their attitude can be summed up by the above quote, in particular

When I had a “F” for my examination, I would not dare to show to my parents.
But when I had an “A”, the first thing I would do was flashing my result to the whole family.
Do you think this is similar with PAP’s result?

The PAP’s “need to know” attitude, trumpeting of successes and stifling of criticism no matter how reasonable, makes even PAP voters wonder about what we are not being told.

Why do you think the PAP until very recently had to resort to sue and sue? (Why PAP (and PMs) sue and sue). They know the trust factor is not high despite 70% voting for the continuance of a one-party state.

The bottom line for the PAP govt especially the 4th generation ministers is that they should

— realise that the PAP is in the stagnation phase (Is PAP in “decline and disintegration”?);

— stop talking cock about Hard Truths and how great is the system Harry created; and

— start fixing the flaws in the system starting with the MRT system: Public tpt: PAP ahead of the curve and flew off the rails? Related: PAP’s cock-ups since the 1980s.

They shouldn’t expect their clownish and nuttyenemies like Lim Tean (Lim Tean: A disgraceful chamber of horrors) and Meng Seng (Silence of Goh Meng Seng) to continue helping them keep the 70% onside.

 

 

 

Public tpt: PAP ahead of the curve and flew off the rails?

In Infrastructure, Temasek on 16/07/2018 at 7:26 am

Use of public transport is in decline in many wealthy cities. Blame remote working, Uber, cheap car loans and the internet. That’s what reported recently in the PAP’s bible*: https://www.economist.com/international/2018/06/23/public-transport-is-in-decline-in-many-wealthy-cities

So maybe when the PAP administration decided to cut  back SMRT maintenance all those yrs ago, they were way ahead of the curve and got biten by reality? Sometimes thinking long term is bad for everyone. It’s also mud in the eye for The PAP way is the American corporate way.


*PAP’s bible challenges “market-based solution”

The PAP way is the American corporate way

In Corporate governance, Political governance, Public Administration on 15/07/2018 at 11:21 am

They both exercise “extreme ownership”: Ownself check ownself.This way really delivers compared to the British way of checks and balances.

At more established US companies, managers often practise “extreme ownership” — which Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, the Seals-turned-management gurus, define as taking charge and holding yourself accountable. They have to. There is no one else to do the job.

When he was not writing books or building the world’s biggest chipmaker, Grove of Intel weighed in on this perpetual corporate governance debate: “The separation of the two jobs goes to the heart of the conception of a corporation. Is a company a sandbox for the CEO, or is the CEO an employee? If he’s an employee, he needs a boss, and that boss is the board. The chairman runs the board. How can the CEO be his own boss?”

That comment has since been quoted in numerous shareholder proposals to install an independent chairman, including at Amazon, Kroger, Target, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, ExxonMobil, Wendy’s and AbbVie. They have all been defeated. A report this week by Equilar, the pay and governance consultants, found that 38 of the top 500 US public companies last year had proposals to install an independent chair. All failed.

At seven of the top 10 US companies by market value, there is no independent chair. Most shareholders are content to give the CEO a sandbox if he builds a nice enough castle.

Contrast that with the UK, where independence is deemed essential by the corporate governance code; chairs even feel empowered to pontificate in public on the direction of their companies.

This may play well with corporate governance experts. It does not seem to help performance. The top four companies on the S&P 500 are now worth more than the entire FTSE 100.

FT

Man at centre of FB data scandal didn’t make money

In Uncategorized on 15/07/2018 at 7:04 am

A few days ago, Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office imposed a record £500,000 fine on Facebook for letting Cambridge Analytica use an app to access up to 87m user profiles without permission. The ICO intends to bring criminal proceedings against Cambridge Analytica’s parent over its failure to deal properly with the regulator’s enforcement notice.The information came via an app designed by Cambridge academic Aleksandr Kogan: FB’s massive data: the S’pore connection.


Users would never have imagined that by filling out a survey on an app — or simply being friends with someone who had — their data could be handed to Cambridge Analytica for political profiling and targeting. The app was created by Cambridge university academic Aleksandr Kogan, who sold the data to the company.

BBC

——————————————————————————-

This reminded me that according to  yuenchungkwong, (a retired professor of computer science, NUS) when Kogan was leaving S’pore to go to Berkley, he was trying to crowdfund money to pay for his dog’s trip to the US (US$7,000). Whether he raised the money or not is not known.

But if he had made serious money selling the data, he wouldn’t need to crowdfund. But maybe he’s a cheap skate like Oppo Lim Tean who is filthy rich but not only raised money from public for projects but after claiming success in raising money never delivered: Lim Tean: A disgraceful chamber of horrors.

 

.

 

World Cup viewing: What PAP govt got right

In Internet on 14/07/2018 at 11:04 am

(Part of another occasional series on the good things the PAP govt do that TOC, TRE and other cybernut sites don’t report: not that many but still enough to keep 70% happy.)

Plenty of KPKBing by some TRE commenters, and TOC, and other cybernut sites about no free viewing on tv at home. Shows that they behind curve. Many S’poreans (including TeamTRE who tell readers how to get free streaming service) watching watching for free via streaming.

S’pore’s a good place to watch streamed stuff.

Fastest broadband speeds can be found in:

  • Singapore – average 60Mbps
  • Sweden – 46Mbps
  • Denmark – 43.9Mbps
  • Norway – 40.1Mbps
  • Romania – 38.6Mbps
  • Belgium – 36.7Mbps
  • Netherlands – 35.9Mbps
  • Luxembourg – 35.1Mbps
  • Hungary – 34Mbps
  • Jersey – 30.9Mbps

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44778017

Even prestigous UK unis joining blockchain “gold rush”

In Uncategorized on 14/07/2018 at 6:29 am

Sad.

The Oxford Blockchain Strategy Programme, run by the University and its Said Business School, offers you a six-week online course for just £2,200, promising you will emerge with “a comprehensive understanding of what blockchain is and how it works”.

On top of that, you get a certificate of attendance from the Said Business School as well as “access to a global network of like-minded business leaders and innovators”.

The Financial Times has been reporting on an even more exciting opportunity, a London School of Economics course in “Cryptocurrency, Investment and Disruption” – and this comes with a bargain price tag of just £1,800 for the six-week online programme.

When the reporter has the temerity to suggest that the programme seems to be lacking in academic rigour and may be tempting people into the unregulated world of crypto-trading, she is told this by one of the course leaders: “Stop being a journalist and just think. You’re citing marketing material as if that were the ultimate truth.”

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44778022

Why the PAP thinks it is infallible

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 13/07/2018 at 11:20 am

In response to PAP’s cock-ups since the 1980s where I wrote:

one is left wondering why the Oppo parties couldn’t and can’t (WP is expected to lose Aljunied in next GE) make a more serious dent in the PAP’s popularity with 60- 70% of the voters? Only Tan Cheng Bock (ex-PAPpy) can.

Is it repression and fear?

Or is the PAP juz lucky what with the quality of Oppo leaders …?

the retired NUS professor who had listed the PAP’s cock-ups since the 80s, I quoted, answered

[T]he leninist government model assumes a network of best talents that are attracted by a good ruling ideology and by distribution of material rewards from national resources controlled by the group – so by definition, opposition parties are left with inferior talent and lack resources to effectively compete; elections are meant to be “exams” in which citizens give the government a “mark” – a low mark leads it to improve itself through genuine effort, not intimidation, bribery, propaganda; you can contrast the situation in neighbouring countries to see that failure to observe these rules eventually leads to breakdown

I think he’s right. Remember our Harry liked to compare the PAP’s system of choosing leaders to the Roman Catholic church’s method of choosing leaders: cardinals elect a pope who in turn appoints the cardinals. And the pope like the church is always right. Sounds like PAP?

He went on to make a more telling observation

I also point out that the various past “blunders” I discussed are already baked into the system, and there is no simple way to reverse them; whoever currently running the country can only take the situation as it exists and work from there onwards

Harry and the rest of the Old Guard, contrary to the belief of many S’poreans, therefore bear responsibility for the problems we now face. It’s not all the fault of their successors, even if they are not as good as the Old Guard

Rape trial reminds me of Hawaii Five-0 episode

In Uncategorized on 13/07/2018 at 4:07 am

Taking the stand for the first time at her husband’s rape trial on Wednesday (July 11), the wife of general practitioner Wee Teong Boo said he could not have raped his patient as he was unable to achieve and sustain an erection.

Today

This reminded me of an episode in the original 1960s and 70s series. A decorated marine was accused of rape and murder, which he denied. The case seemed an open and shut case because all the circomstantial evidence pointed to him. But in the final scene, Steve McGarrett told the suspect that the police had medical evidence that he was unable to achieve and sustain an erection, and so he could not have committed the crime.

Steve McGarrett asked him why didn’t he tell them of his medical condition because it was only through luck that the police found the evidence that cleared him. Didn’t he realise that he could be executed if found guilty?

He remained silent (I think) but the anguish and shame showed on his face.

Akan datang here: A six-figure salary is ‘low income’

In Political economy, Political governance on 12/07/2018 at 11:09 am

It’s already happening in parts of the US

A family getting by on $117,400 (£87,970) in one US city can now be considered ‘low income’, according to government figures. How can that be the case?

That workers with six-figure salaries could be considered “poor” is something that might surprise many people.

But taking into account income and housing costs that is the reality for some families – who may be eligible for housing assistance – according to a recent report from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In San Francisco and nearby San Mateo and Marin Counties it said $117,400 for a family of four was “low income”, while $73,300 (£54,900) was “very low income” – the highest figures anywhere in the country.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44725026

So don’t be surprise if those couples here on a combined low six-figure salary start thinking of themselves as hard done by the PAP administration, despite the low levels (“peanuts”) of income tax and GST.

Remember the Singapore Dream of the 5Cs of condominiums, cars, country clubs, cash and credit cards? How many S’poreans can realistic afford condominiums, cars, country clubs and still have cash? Credit cards are now nothing but bait to get consumers to over spend so that banks can charge them usurious eates

A NUS survey points out

Out of 25 aspects about living in the country, Singaporeans ranked the affordability of cars as being the least satisfied with, followed by the affordability of properties, cost of living, ratio of locals to foreigners, and affordability of healthcare.

“Increasingly (over the years), they are upset about the affordability of cars and properties, so you can surmise from there that they are concerned with the issue,” said Tan.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/singaporeans-less-satisfied-quality-life-democratic-rights-nus-survey-130122483.html

Related posts

S’poreans unhappy enough to make mad Dog PM?

Will people like Mr Ang and his family ever vote for Oppo?

 

PAP’s cock-ups since the 1980s

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 11/07/2018 at 9:53 am

In Is PAP in “decline and disintegration”? I wrote that PAP was in stagnation phase that began in 1990

A regular reader, a retired NUS professor lists the things the PAP got wrong since the 1984.

[S]everal major PAP blunders started in 1984 during the election campaign of that year

1. elected president: LKY had already reached 60 by that year, and this was then the public sector retirement age; so he had to face the question whether he was stepping down; the thinking at the time was to move to the presidency – under the then constitution, parliament would decide; he being who he is, the position would not be merely ceremonial, but it must be his legal background that made him uncomfortable, and a decision was made to enhance the position; the resulting controversy led to his undertaking not to be the first elected president, Goh Chok Tong’s decision to invent the post of Senior Minister to keep LKY in the cabinet, the elected president Ong Teng Chong’s conflict with cabinet, regular embarrassment about a 3-men committee rejecting candidates causing a no contest, etc

LKY could have just retired in 1990, started a newspaper column (modern idea would be blog), a charity/research foundation, a senate, and he would have remained the most influential person in the country, taking into consideration his son and his 2nd cousin were both in cabinet; it was quite unnecessary for him to feel insecure about his own place in singapore society even if he held no elected office; if he had been a blogger posting articles daily, every important person in singapore, the cabinet ministers especially, would have eagerly read them as soon as they were posted

2. HDB asset enhancement: during the campaign LKY got annoyed by opposition claiming “your HDB apartmen[t] is on 99-year lease; you dont really own it”, and announced “HDB will stop building in opposition districts”; at the time I actually did not understand why that should cause anyone to worry; but the Northeast MRT line provided part of the explanation – no population increase, no new infrastructure; the Mathias Yao–Chee Soon Juan Straits Times Forum series of letters provided some more – poor infrastructure, lower HDB value; with HDB apartments traded on the open market (previous owners are allowed to go back and buy a new apartment from HDB after 5 years).. Soon Permanent Residents, who are not entitled to buy from HDB, buying on the open market caused the HDB asset values to rise beyond affordability

3. CPF: with people living longer, the idea of delaying CPF money return was raised in 1984 and initial reaction was negative; again LKY was annoyed; soon the idea of minimum sum was adopted, later compulsory annuity, which would have been workable if most people can still get a substantial part out in cash at 55; with the weak salary increases in the past decade or so (partly because of foreign labour, e.g., IT used to have highest paid new graduates, before the industry bought in PRCs and Indians) and low interest rate, more and more people found themselves not meeting the minimum sum requirement, and every increase in minimum sum value makes more people angry

2011

[M]uch of PAP’s recent electoral adversity was self inflicted; the major examples I recall

1. James Gomez case 2006: LKY, Wong Kan Seng and George Yeo spent far too much time talking about a minor issue (LHL and GCT both kept quiet – they could afford to); the Aljunied voters punished George Yeo, and WP identified the electorate as vulnerable, put effort into the ground work and won it decisively in 2011

2. Tin Pei Lin case 2011: it was sound strategy to find some younger, especially female, faces, but the party should have made the effort to find someone with a track record as a political operator in her own right, not just a polished presenter with management consultancy experience recommended by a personal connection; I also believe if they introduced her at the end, after people have grown bored with all those familiar CVs of civil servants, generals, professionals, executives, etc, she might have enjoyed a better reception, so they botched the presentation in addition to selection

3. Joo Chiat case 2011: it was also sound strategy to replace old by young, but Charles Chong is older than Chen Soo Sen so the change could not be justified on that ground; Chen also enjoyed certain personal support which did not readily transfer via party loyalty; Workers Party ended with nearly 50%

4. Hougang case 2012: Teo Chee Hean dwelt far too long on Yaw Shin Leong’s personal and business failings, which Yaw’s former supporters preferred not to be reminded of, whereas upbeat talks about the wonderful things PAP would do for Hougang if elected, might have more fully exploited the unexpected opportunity; after the Hougang moralizing, the Palmer case was a particularly hard blow – PAP candidates are like anyone else

[W]hether the party would learn from these mistakes, and whether it would make new ones in 2016, is of course to be seen; given the resources available; it certainly has the potential of doing much better

Looking at the above, one is left wondering why the Oppo parties couldn’t and can’t (WP is expected to lose Aljunied in next GE) make a more serious dent in the PAP’s popularity with 60- 70% of the voters? Only Tan Cheng Bock (ex-PAPpy) can.

Is it repression and fear?

Or is the PAP juz lucky what with the quality of Oppo leaders: clowns like Lim Tean (Lim Tean: A disgraceful chamber of horrors), Goh Meng Seng (Silence of Goh Meng Seng) and Pritam Singh (WP distributing unsafe food (pass expiry date) and getting financial advice of cybernut resulting in having to take down misleading video after Lawrence Wong kicked Bayee’s ass)?

Email yr answers pls.

 

Bankers and literature

In Uncategorized on 11/07/2018 at 7:02 am

(Part of an occassional series on how literature potrays those who “do God’s work”: “Bankers do God’s work,” Lloyd Blankfein, the chairman and chief executive, of Goldman Sachs said in 2009. In all probability he said “Bankers do God’s work” in jest. But  Émile Zoladoesn’t seem to agree.

His 1891 classic L’Argent (Money), “the story of a hugely ambitious banker, creator of the Universal Bank, who ends up using bank funds to buy the bank’s shares on the Bourse, in the ultimately vain hope of fending off collapse”.

Well if you read the financial press, these things really happen. Just google.

Property: Why govt was right to act

In Economy, Property on 10/07/2018 at 10:19 am

This chart from Bloomberg article tells it all. The gradual decline between late mid 2013 and mid 2017 had reversed very, very sharply before the latest curbs were anounced. Lawrence Wong for PM: Lawrence Wong: a PM-in-waiting

 

 

The enbloc sales had a lot to do with this the surge in prices.

 

 

 

 

And it’s ownself buying ownself.

 

 

 

Gd place to borrow money from

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 10/07/2018 at 7:58 am

At reasonable rates

CO-OPERATIVES, A LESS KNOWN OPTION

An … alternative that many people don’t think about is borrowing from a co-operative society.

Co-operatives started here nearly a century ago to provide a safe place for savings and access to affordable credit.

Admittedly, they are not all open to everyone. Only teachers can get loans for 3 per cent at the Singapore Teachers’ Co-operative Society, and Polwel is for police officers.

Other co-operatives are more accessible. TCC, formerly the Telecoms Cooperative Society, says it is open to all Singaporeans and permanent residents. The interest rate for loans is just 6.99 per cent.

While you would likely need to establish a track record before borrowing, you could join a credit union if you need to take up loans periodically in the future.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/reducing-cost-borrowing-money

And given a reported case of criminal breach of trust by employees of one co-op, with a bit of luck there might be no record of yr borrowings.

Is PAP in “decline and disintegration”?

In Economy, Malaysia, Political governance, Public Administration on 09/07/2018 at 2:08 pm

Seems that Abdullah Badawi had told an adviser after the premier was compelled to step down following the 2008 general election in which the UMNO-led BN’s margins of victory were badly dented:

In the nature of evolution, the former prime minister said, there were four phases in the rise and fall of states and entities: kesedaran (awareness), kebangkitan (emergence), kegemilangan (greatness) and kehancuran (decline and disintegration). When asked what phase he saw UMNO to be in then, Abdullah told the adviser: the last one  ̶  of decline and disintegration. It would take another decade, or two more general elections coinciding with the premiership of his successor, Najib Razak, before this prognosis proved to be an indisputable fact.

http://www.rsis.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/CO18112.pdf?utm_source=getresponse&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=rsis_publications&utm_content=RSIS+Commentary+112%2F2018+UMNO+Post-Power%3A+What+Now+in+a+Changing+Landscape%3F+by+Yang+Razali+Kassim+

I’m sure the anti-PAP cybernuts will say that the PAP is in the “decline and disintegration” phase, but they have been saying this since cyberspace became polluted by their presence in the mid noughties. And they were saying it post 1959 when they lived in the gutters, drains and toilets of brothels.

Me? I think that Badawi is wrong about four phases: There’s a “stagnation” phase between “greatness” and “decline and disintegration”.

Harry was pretty shrewd to pass the baton to his son and GCT in 1990. By then, the PAP had entered the “stagnation” phase what with Harry getting progressively getting rid of his Old Guard in the name of leadership renewal.

Think of the flawed policies of the teams led by GCT and Harry’s son, and then Harry’s son alone: “asset enhancement”, “FTs by the cattle truck load”, the failures in the public transport system and the many restructuring plans (Economic restructuring: This time, it’s really different). I mean why the need for so many since the 1980s? LHL must have drawn up a really bad plan in the 1980s for there to be a need of so many followup plans?

And he’s now PM, what? Meritocracy? What Meritocracy?

Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy

We are still in that phase. As for M’sia, it entered that phase with the arrest of Anwar and continued until the day after the 2008 general election. But of course, Badawi wouldn’t admit that he presided over the stagnation that would lead to decline.

The PAP will enter the “decline and disintegration” phase when like the BN it cocks up so badly that it loses its two-thirds parly majority (BN lost this in 2008). Until then dream on cybernuts. Or should it be wank on, what?

After all, in the coming GE. WP is expected to lose Aljunied GRC: How to ensure no GST rise. It’ll then only have fortress Hougang. As for the SDP, so long as S’poreans don’t want to get rabies, it’ll be unelectable. The later Mad Dog Chee realises this, the happier the PAP will be.

Why Anwar is right to rebuke Lim on exaggerating M’sia’s debt problem

In Malaysia on 09/07/2018 at 6:32 am

And why Tun should sit down and shut up on M’sia’s debt problems.

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Related articles

Poor Najib, not believed when telling the truth

Mahathirnomics/ Luck of the devil

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Look at the charts and u can see why investors can easily be spooked especially given the run from emerging mkts due to tightening of US monetary policy, US$ strength and fear of trade wars.

(Declaration of interest: I’m a friend of someone who was one of his advisers when he was finance minister.)

 

https:/

 

 

Why no NIMBYism here

In Infrastructure, Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 08/07/2018 at 10:18 am

NIMBYism is a problem in developed countries bar S’pore.

A really bad example of “Not In My Backyard” is Heathrow’s expansion. They’ve been talking about it since the 70s (I first used that airport in 1976). UK’s parliament has finally decided to let Heathrow build a third runaway.The majority of 296 for third runway is welcomed by business and deplored by locals: court challenges are expected.

Here’s someone complaining to the FT about the decision

What utter tripe. Of course the most important question is whether the runway is “needed”, and for this Country, in this Century; the answer is no. There is little to be gained environmentally or financially for the Citizens of the UK. BAA – yes. Transit passengers- yes. BA- yes. Travel operators- yes. But for tax payers, Children who breathe the air, and UK PLC as a whole, who will suffer ever poorer traffic delays and travel costs. Nope. It’s a scam. Like The Privatised Utilities, and the whole Brexit fiasco. Heathrow expansion is a bl33dy scam.

NIMBYism is kept in check in S’pore not because 70% of S’poreans are constructive and nation building, putting the needs of S’pore (as defined by the PAP) before self, but because S’pore is a one-party authoritarian state.

 

Why I’m still not filthy rich

In Financial competency on 08/07/2018 at 6:08 am

Ken Fisher, head of Fisher Investments and a regular FT columnist, published a provocative book on the “The Only Three Questions That Count” for investors. In a nutshell, they were, what do I believe that’s wrong, what can I fathom that others cannot, and what is my brain doing to mislead me?

FT

i still can’t answer the third question well enough.

 

 

Right time for Trump to declare economic war?

In China on 07/07/2018 at 11:15 am

Think about it.

The EU is really having problems getting its economy to fire.

The Chinese are trying to deleverage the economy (all those debts) but afraid that moving too fast could cause a really bad economic slowdown or recession leading to riots.

Meanwhile the US economy is firing on all cylinders, rocket-boosted by tax cuts. It might overheat.

So a trade war now for the US could cause the US to cool down while causing serious damage to Europe and China.

What better time then now for the US to start a war that damages everyone but affects it least?

Trump’s not a dotard after all?

Trump’s really a “dotard”

In Uncategorized on 07/07/2018 at 6:31 am

U.S. companies operating in China earn hundred of billions of dollars a year whereas Chinese companies make only 26 billions a year in U.S. Who benefits more?

Comment that is among Editor’s Picks in FT

And don’t forget that the Chinese lend the money (at really low rates) to the Americans to buy Chinese goods.

Think about these points when next Trump or US biz leaders complain of Chinese stealing US technology or forcing US cos to share “secrets”.

 

More on 85 being the new CPF Life payout date

In CPF, Financial competency, Financial planning on 06/07/2018 at 10:53 am

In Akan Datang: Why CPF Life payments will begin at 85, I “explained” why the PAP was planning to move the CPF Life start date to 85: Many S’poreans would be dead by then because 85 is 2.4 years above the average S’porean life expectancy rate of 82.6 yrs.

Seriously, two points to note on why there’ll be a move to up the age when CPF Life starts paying out (Remember the default age is now 70:CPF Life: How withdrawal age “moved” to 70)

When ang moh countries introduced state old age pensions: example when UK introduced state pensions in 1908, the retirement age, 70 for both men and women, was well above average life expectancy.

And then there’s the issue of accelerated ageing where S’pore is among those top of the class.

Akan datang: Harry’s Msian M’sia

In Malaysia on 06/07/2018 at 5:03 am

Even Tun M recently said that M’sians should think of themselves as M’sians and not as Malay , Chinese etc. But don’t hold your breath lest you faint.

The biggest party in PH … is the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), which is proudly multiracial, although led by another former UMNO grandee, Anwar Ibrahim. The second-biggest is the Democratic Action Party (DAP), which is supported by Chinese and Indian voters—ie, the victims of racial preferences—and unsurprisingly argues against them. Voters united across racial and religious divides to support the coalition, which also includes explicitly Muslim and indigenous parties. But the government is not seizing its opportunity to undo racially discriminatory policies. The coalition hangs together partly because all parties have agreed on a binding principle: that the constitution and its privileges for Malays are supreme.

Nurul Izzah, daughter of Mr Anwar and a champion of reform in PKR, advises caution when it comes to changing affirmative action. “You shouldn’t push too hard,” she says, “your efforts must gain traction with the electorate.” She worries that the assault on racial privileges that urban types want will alienate voters in rural areas, where many Malays live. If provoked, they could turn back to UMNO or to PAS, a conservative Islamic party. Saddiq Abdul Rahman, the head of the youth wing of Dr Mahathir’s new party, Bersatu, which limits membership to Malays and other indigenous people, has no doubt that “a more multiracial, inclusive Malaysia” approaches. But he admits that race will prove “a tough discussion” within the governing coalition.

https://www.economist.com/asia/2018/06/09/malaysias-ruling-party-may-be-gone-but-its-racial-policies-survive

Who else is the PAP govt screwing?

In Economy, Media on 05/07/2018 at 9:19 am

The recent water and electricity hikes don’t juz hurt the “little” people as alt media is shouting and the MSM is whispering, they also hurt the businesses that employ the “little” people. This means smaller or no pay rises, and even retrenchments in spite of a growing economy.

I’m exaggerating? Juz read the constructive, nation-building media

Businesses here are also feeling the pinch from price hikes.

Mr Lee Soon Kiat, executive committee member of the Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association, noted that operating costs for electronics manufacturing firms, including semiconductor companies, have been increasing steadily.

Depending on the size of the firms, costs could rise further to up to S$10 million, as they use a lot of water for their processes.

While companies are already using energy efficient equipment, and clamping down on water usage, the increase in water hikes may be “enough to wipe out all our efforts from the previous years”, said Mr Lee.

He warned that the electricity and water tariffs, as well as carbon tax levied next year, would add to firms’ financial costs and affect profit margins. As a result, Singapore could risk a mass exodus of companies to more competitive business markets in China and South-east Asia.

While Mr Lee said most companies have accepted the price hikes, he added that “the Government has to adopt a consultative approach (going forward), and to avoid any unnecessary hikes” that could affect its competitiveness in the manufacturing sector.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/hit-rising-water-and-electricity-bills-singaporeans-and-businesses-tighten-belts

Looks like the PAP is not only out to screw the voters, but businesses too

The anti-PAP alt media is quick to manufacture and spread fake news about the PAP govt (Example: Achtung cybernuts: Facts about global LNG prices & our gas supplies) but when the PAP govt really cocks up, where are they? Makes one wonder whether the PAP discredits its opponents via black ops and whether people like Phillip Ang and Goh Meng Seng are useful idiots or worse.

Indians prefer to employ Indians

In Public Administration on 04/07/2018 at 10:26 am

It’s not an urban myth or racial stereotyping that countrymen always prefer countrymen.

An analysis of Upwork, for example, found that employers of Indian descent disproportionately sought Indian nationals for their tasks.

Economist

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Upwork is a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent professionals connect and collaborate remotely.


Those ang moh tua kees who think the sun shines of Tharman’s ass should be assured that it’s not true that Tharman negotiated the deal with India that allowed Indian FTs in by the truck load via the inter office transfer. It was one Trade and Industry Minister George Yeo.

My experience with S’pore’s digital programme

In Infrastructure, Public Administration on 04/07/2018 at 5:24 am

And Three cheers for PM’s son

The following reminded me that I juz had to related my experience with an initiative of the Digital Government Blueprint

By 2023, citizens and businesses will be able to access all Government services anytime, anywhere on an Internet-enabled device.

Citizens will also be able to complete 90 to 95 per cent of transactions entirely on government websites.

Fresh from announcing the Digital Readiness Blueprint to help every Singaporean navigate a digital future of cashless payments and other innovations last Saturday, the Government laid out its own targets in the Digital Government Blueprint on Tuesday (June 5).

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/nearly-all-govt-services-go-digital-2023-20000-public-servants-be-trained-data-analytics

Well a few years ago, renewing my dogs’ licences went online: no paper at all. Couldn’t  go to the Post Office to pay cash.

It was a pain in the neck following the online procedures (presumably for “security”) and so unnecessary because each “licence” is unique as is the owner’s i/c.

Finally someone realised this and this year renewing the licence was a breeze.

Rumour has it is that it was PM’s son (also rumoured to have become a dog lover two years ago) who sorted this out. Remember he’s in charge of the digital programme.

Whatever, at least dedication to public service runs in PM’s family, unlike in his younger brother’s family where LKY’s grandson pisses and shits on grandpa’s legacy of reforming the judiciary. Sad. Btw, rumour has it that this boy loves dog meat. Sad.

Coming back to dog licences, one has to assume that elderly S’poreans who are not digitally literate or have bad eye sight have to put down their pets and go without the companionship of dogs because the PAP govt wants to do away with paper and go digital. Sad.

Achtung cybernuts: Facts about global LNG prices & our gas supplies

In Energy, Infrastructure on 03/07/2018 at 10:56 am

Phillip Ang (Cybernuts go to financial expert who raised money for CPF lawsuit CPF class action: Phillip Ang’s “reply’ to fellow cybernut then no picture, no sound*: like his buddy Lim Tean: A disgraceful chamber of horrors?,)TRELand and TOCLand and allied cyberspace and social media allies are shouting that since S’pore uses natural gas to generate electricity and LNG prices are weak, there’s no need for electricity prices to rise when oil prices rises as per the automatic formula.

What they don’t know or not telling us, if they, do is that most of our natural gas supply is not in form of LNG but in the form of gas from nearby Indon and M’sian fields that come here via pipes (like water). This gas is priced off the oil price because the fields would not have been developed otherwise all those years ago. Why don’t the cybernuts blame PAP for not having foresight to wait for LNG?

In those days, only after long-term contracts priced off oil from users were signed, were fields developed. These contracts are still in place. Why don’t the cybernuts blame PAP for not negotiating shorter contracts or ensuring that the price of gas be priced in a different way?

Until very recently, major gas fields were not developed until long-term contracts priced off oil were in place. This is changing surely but slowly. Whatever, a lot of global LNG are still priced off the price of oil because the contracts were signed a long time ago. Surely but slowly, there’ll come a day when the spot price for LNG sets the price for deals, but don’t hold yr breath.

With enemies like the cybernuts who peddle rubbish analysis eg on water and electricity, the PAP doesn’t need friends.

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*Will Lim Tean & Phillip Ang help out fellow cybernut?

They didn’t

Minister Ong wants a camel?

In Public Administration on 03/07/2018 at 4:11 am

The education system which the Government is aiming to develop will be a “combination of the best parts of the Singapore and Swiss systems”, said Education Minister Ong Ye Kung on Thursday (June 7).

Mr Ong, who is visiting Switzerland as Education Minister for the third time in as many years, cited the Swiss “dual study system”, which combines classroom study with workplace apprenticeship training, as of particular interest to Singapore.

The participation of industries is another “admirable feature” of the Swiss education system, he added.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/government-aiming-best-singapore-and-swiss-education-system-ong-ye-kung

Well if we manage to combine the Swiss system with our neo Victorian system (very elitist and which is practised today in England only within the private ie public school sector) we have, it’ll be a world first and maybe gd for S’pore. Juz don’t hold yr breath.

Seriously we’ll just have camel, only good for survival in certain conditions.

 

How to make it jialat for HDB owners if got child in RI

In Public Administration on 02/07/2018 at 12:15 pm

Just as how Singapore prevented racial enclaves from forming in its housing estates, the country must avoid the formation of any social enclaves, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Tuesday (June 5).

To that end, the Government will “further refine” the design of precincts and public housing flats to “allow greater social mixing between people of different economic backgrounds”.

“This is especially important as society matures and social mobility and social mixing weaken,” said Mr Chan, who did not elaborate.

Constructive, nation-building media

We have a racial quota for each HDB estate to prevent racial enclaves from forming HDB estates. This upsets Indians, Malay and Eurasians no end because they can only sell to a minority, limiting the value of their flats. Chinese can sell flat to anyone because of their uber majority status: the quota doesn’t affect them.

So maybe to ensure that ensure that there’s a mix of educational abilities in HDB estate, HDB flat owners with one kid in RI or other so-called “elite” schools, can only sell their HDB flats to people with kids in RI or other so-called “elite” schools.

Cybernut on “Why Singapore really need[s] the HSR?”

In Infrastructure, Malaysia on 01/07/2018 at 9:59 am

Below is what a cybernut wrote in TRE on why “Why Singapore really need[s] the HSR?”. I can’t stop laughing because the cybernut forgets (or doesn’t know or doesn’t want to tell?) that it was M’sia that first proposed the HSR, almost as soon Najib became PM, wanting to build it ASAP (to be operational in 2016), and that S’pore was the one dragging its feet.

The two PMs agreed to go ahead with the project after a meeting on 19 February 2013. A committee was set up to look into ‘the details and modalities’ of the project. Then it was announced that the high-speed rail proposal will be finalised by end of 2014 with a targeted completion date of 2020.

S’pore and M’sia only signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 19 July 2016.

And here’s interesting facts that even I had forgotten. KL had earlier unilateraly started work

In 2006 YTL Corporation, operator of the Express Rail Link in Kuala Lumpur, revived the proposal, with a projected speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). This was expected to trim travel time between the two cities to 99 minutes, compared with 4–5 hours by road, 7 hours by conventional rail services,[5] or 3 hours by air (including travel to and from the airports, check-in, boarding and other airport procedures). In 2008 the Malaysian government halted the project citing high-costs of over RM8 billion.[6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuala_Lumpur%E2%80%93Singapore_high-speed_rail

The thinking was that if S’pore said “No” when formally asked, the terminus would be in JB.

Whatever why didn’t Tun M speak out earlier against the HSR?

Why Singapore really need the HSR?

They created the problems, at end of the day, it is we are paying the  price. When the PAP saw the property slumps, they kicked in by having  the two casinos, property prices shoot up. It is well known fact,  black money goes hand in hand with casinos, it is the best way to  launder money. Suddenly we saw 70% of the private properties owned by  foreigners. How many of them are black money?

Jurong areas saw buildings after buildings, vacant spaces all around .  Recently came out an article on depress markets around Jurong.  Something must be done if not it create a cycle of busts, a collapse  of property market. PAP knew about it, something must be done. Wallah  an ingenious came out, mega project, the high speed railway to  resurrect the Jurong properties market. And who have to foot the bills  to bail out the rich property developers?, it is we. Gst, cpf,  utilities, transportation went up.

Mahathir is shrewd, he knew, it benefits Singapore not Malaysia. PAP had made mistakes, in billions and we always have to foot the bills,  it is high time we be like our brave brothers and sisters of Malaysia,  say no to PAP.

Aziz Kassim

Senior VP financial planning was a problem gambler

In Banks, Financial competency, Financial planning on 01/07/2018 at 5:57 am

WTF!

For 12 years, Emeline Tang Wei Leng carried out an elaborate ruse, deceiving five people – including her own family members – into investing their savings in non-existent fixed deposit plans with HSBC bank.

Given her former position as a senior vice-president at the bank, they trusted her with a total of S$5.2 million. But Tang, 39, used their savings to fund her gambling habit.

On Friday (June 29), the District Court sentenced Tang to 10 years and six months’ imprisonment for 34 charges including cheating and forgery. Another 223 charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

Starting out as a relationship manager, Tang rose up the corporate ladder and was in the financial planning division when she left HSBC in 2012.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/former-hsbc-senior-vp-jailed-cheating-family-members-and-elderly-s52m

As an investor in HSBC, I’m left wondering about the HR practices of the bank.

But then all this modern day emphasis on employees’ dignity and privacy rights, and employers fear of getting into trouble on social media for intrusive survelliance of staff, means incidents like this is more likely than not to happen. Sad.