atans1

Archive for 2019|Yearly archive page

How China is squeezing Trump’s balls

In China, Tourism on 18/08/2019 at 4:27 am

Tens of thousands of Chinese tourists are shunning the country as a holiday destination, and companies from Tiffany to Hyatt Hotels are counting the cost.

FT

It goes to say US business love tourists from China because on average they spend U$7,000 per including the costs of flights and accommodation, according to data from the US Travel Association.

After several years of double-digit growth, however, Chinese visitor numbers rose only 4% in 2017 and last year they declined for the first time since 2003. There were 2.99m arrivals in 2018, a drop of 6% from 2017. This trend is continuing this summer. US executives say the slowdown is weighing on profits.

Trump will cry “Uncle” when retailers renting space in Trump properties go bust.

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Huawei: More bad hair days

In China on 17/08/2019 at 5:59 pm

Further to its problems in China (Huawei accused of saying Taiwan is independent), Huawei has now had to deny a Wall Street report that its technicians were involved in intelligence-gathering operations in Uganda Zambia and Algeria on behalf of the countries’ govts.

And US technology and telecoms companies still do not know whether they will be able to sell to Huawei after Monday, when a temporary export licence runs out.

Time for Huawei’s founder to call in the Feng Shui masters? But then he’s a CCP member. The CCP requires members to be atheists.

Huawei accused of saying Taiwan is independent

In China on 17/08/2019 at 1:48 pm

Versace, Coach, Givenchy, and Swarovski faced criticism this week for listing Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan as a separate countries or regions – not part of China – on their official websites or branded T-shirts.

Well now Huawei is accused of implying in its smartphone settings that Taiwan is independent.

[U]sers on Chinese social media Weibo have expressed anger that Taiwan was listed as its own country when the default language in Huawei’s smartphone setting was set to traditional Chinese – the script used in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Mainland China mostly uses simplified Chinese.

“This is outrageous. This is how Huawei repays China?” one user said on Weibo.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49366177

 

Hey Heng, HK annced help package for economy

In Economy, Hong Kong on 16/08/2019 at 1:51 pm

Where’s ours? U waiting for election is it?

Remember the govt recently cut its growth forecast

Taking into account the global and domestic economic environment, as well as the performance of the Singapore economy in the first half of the year, the GDP growth forecast for 2019 is downgraded to “0.0 to 1.0 per cent”, from “1.5 to 2.5 per cent”, with growth expected to come in at around the mid-point of the forecast range.

MTI

HK has cut its 2019 growth forecast to between 0-1%, from 2-3%.

The HK govt announced a US$2.4bn economic support package on Thursday in a bid to ease headwinds.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan said it would include subsidies for businesses and the underprivileged as well as higher salary tax rebates. He stressed that the package was not in response to escalating political protests in the territory.

Another headache for Xi

In China, Commodities on 16/08/2019 at 6:28 am

Eastern Europe sees sharp rise in swine fever outbreaks

Growing signs that devastating virus that has gripped Asia could hit Europe
FT headline

This reminded me that a few weeks Cranswick was the biggest riser in the FTSE 250 index after reporting that trading in the first quarter of the financial year had been encouraging.

It said Asian export revenues were strongly ahead of the corresponding period last year, reflecting increased demand from China following the widespread outbreak of Africa swine fever.

Well, the problems in Chinese pork production and the resulting inflation in pork prices is not good news for Xi.

China’s pork imports surged nearly 63% in May from the same month last year, customs data showed on Sunday, as the world’s top consumer of the meat stocked up on supplies ahead of an anticipated shortage.

….

China’s pork prices rose rapidly in the first-half of March, triggering large purchases of meat from overseas markets, including the United States.

Prices have since stabilised, with importers and traders saying demand in recent weeks for imported frozen pork has been very weak amid plentiful supplies of fresh pork from farmers slaughtering their herds as the disease reaches new areas.

Demand is likely to pick up again in coming months, however. Beijing said earlier this month that the country’s sow herd fell by 23.9% in May from a year earlier, a huge drop that will create a significant decline in output.

Analysts at Rabobank said in April that China’s pork output could fall to just 38 million tonnes in 2019, versus 54 million tonnes last year.

Imports would be capped at about 4 million tonnes, they said, based on available world supplies.

https://www.reuters.com/article/china-economy-trade-pork/corrected-chinas-pork-imports-surge-in-may-near-3-yr-high-idUSL4N23V0I2

Related posts:

China will eat & eat

Chinese zodiac’s animals: global distribution per capita

 

Brownfacegate: The inside story?

In Uncategorized on 15/08/2019 at 10:43 am

 

Morocco Mole (Secret Squirrel’s sidekick) tells me that his second cousin removed working at Havas’ has an interesting story about the origins of the ad. I must emphasise that it’s hearsay and there’s no evidence supporting the story. It could be juz fiction.

Havas’ knew that they had to portray, Chinese, Malay, Indian and Others* as this is SOP in public service ads. No public body wanted one race to complain of being left out. So they tot up the idea of a cross dresser who could also do all four races, as a way of meeting this requirement while hopefully making it entertaining, and a talking point**. The Nets people bot into the ad. And MediaCorp had no issues.

Someone involved (not an ethnic Chinese but from a minority that even other minorities sneer at) is alleged to have said: “If only we had used an anti-Chinese, vulgar person from a minority that thinks that said minority should be tua kee and kicking the ass of other races, not juz punching above their weight, fronting the ad, no-one would have complained except some dickhead Chinese chauvinist and the public would have shouted the person down.”

Meanwhile a long time ago, in a parallel S’pore in an alternate universe far, far away, Preetipls and her brother are looking at their bank accounts and smiling. They crossed dressed as a couple and parodied Malays, Chinese, Eurasians and Indians in an ad for Nets. A few Chinese men were jailed for complaining about “yellowface”. The ad won awards for promoting multiracism.

Details of this alternative S’pore: PM visiting from Bizarro S’pore?

——————————

*

In 1824, the British introduced the concept of the “Malay” race into S’pore’s psyche and political governance, when they classified the residents of S’pore into “Chinese”, “Indians”, “Malays” and “Others”.

“Malay race” created by ang mohs, not the Malays

**Well they got it talked about, a lot.

 

 

Back to the Future: US Navy ditching digital screens

In Uncategorized on 15/08/2019 at 5:10 am

And returning to analogue devices:

The US Navy is replacing touch screen controls on destroyers, after the displays were implicated in collisions.

Unfamiliarity with the touch screens contributed to two accidents that caused the deaths of 17 sailors, said incident reports.

Poor training meant sailors did not know how to use the complex systems in emergencies, they said.

Sailors “overwhelmingly” preferred to control ships with wheels and throttles, surveys of crew found.

“We got away from the physical throttles, and that was probably the number one feedback from the fleet – they said, just give us the throttles that we can use,” said Rear Adm Galinis.

The survey showed a desire for wheels and throttles that, prior to the introduction of touch screens, were common across many different types of vessel.

The US Navy was now developing physical throttle and wheel systems that can replace the touch screens, USNI said. The service plans to start the process of replacing touch screens in the summer of 2020.

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-49319450

Wonder what the Chinese and our navies use?

 

S’pore bidding for 2032 Olympics?

In India, Indonesia, Malaysia on 14/08/2019 at 7:22 am

Malaysia and Singapore are reportedly considering a joint bid,

In a story about Indonesia’s planned bid, the NAR reported the above. It also reported that India was planning a bid and the idea of a North-South Korea bid has also been floated.

It says that India would pose the greatest threat to Indonesia succeeding.

Hyflux revisited: Got profits but cash flows out

In Accounting, Corporate governance, Financial competency on 13/08/2019 at 11:51 am

Muddy Waters (Temasek helped Olam see off an attack from them yrs ago: see this*): has written a really nasty report about a UK company Burford Capital,a litigation funder. The shares collapsed. because muddy waters has a more than decent track record despite having its balls crushed by Temasek over Olam.

Carson Block, the boss of Muddy Waters, had been speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme about his concerns.

One of his concerns is that the profits did not result in positive cashflow, rather negative cashflow.

He makes a great analogy about an accounting trick (OK OK OK, a legitimate accounting practice that ‘s perfectly legal): realised gains not reflected in the income statement (and hence cashflow). Think Hyflux: the profits were there, but there was no positive cash flow, rather cashflow was negative.

“Hyflux Group has generated negative operating cashflow in every year since 2009. Was this highlighted to bondholders and shareholders? If so, in what form? Why did the Board continue to pay dividends, when the operating cashflow was negative and accumulate more debt during this time?”

The investor watchdog also highlighted that Hyflux, despite the negative operating cashflow, reported profits in each year before 2017 and asked how this was possible.
Legitimate accounting tricks practices allowed this. See box for detailed explanations.

Hyflux’s Worrying Cash Flow Situation

https://www.theedgesingapore.com/portfolio/total-compliance-financial-reporting-was-it-misleading

———————————————————————————————–

As Carson Block put it, “The analogy I like is if I say ‘I’m going to take you on vacation, meet me at the airport oh Hawaii is amazing, it’s got great beaches, my favourite hotel is this one’ and then you meet me at the airport and I say ‘we’re going to Ireland’. Hawaii has nothing do with Ireland and all that discussion about Hawaii has nothing to do with where we were going.

“And that’s basically what all this discussion about realised gains in the investment materials is. It has nothing to do with – or very little to do with – what flows into the income statement.”

Want to know more about what went wrong at Hyflux?

Hyflux on investor losses: “Not our fault, banksters at work”

Did Hyflux’s auditors mislead?

Hyflux fiasco shows why “book value” is BS


*https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/temasek-tales-tlc-overpaid-olam-cheong-wont-read-this-in-tre-toc/

Olam: Hang on, buy for the ride?

Long-term planning? What long-term planning? S’pore behind the curve in digital world

In Political governance, Public Administration on 13/08/2019 at 7:19 am

Recently Kee Chui Chan repeated the chant that the PAP govt pursues long-term economic strategies based on long term planning that would not be possible if S’pore were not a one-party state: Answering the PAP’s cock & bull about the “long term”.

Well here’s two examples where long-term planning didn’t help us keep up with London and Russia in the digital game. And we want to be a global smart city?

London is the test-bed for surveillance technology outside China. In operations across London, police have scanned everyone walking down the street using facial recognition systems. They don’t have to tell you what they are up to. They can stop you if you try to hide your face from the cameras. But then maybe S’pore has this stuff but the constructive nation-building media and alt media not telling us about it. Well since one TOC, the premier alt media publication, says

Our aim is to examine the issues that matter, or should matter, to Singaporeans and to reflect the diversity of life, of ideas and opinions, that is Singapore

has writers based in India writing about S’pore (Trying to stir discontent with the PAP govt?), what can one expect from alt media?

(Btw, why are Kirsten Han and friends not criticising the PAP govt for not being like the UK in the use of surveillance technology? They always telling us to ape ang mohs because ang moh tua kee.

Next, Russian tax authorities receive the receipt for every transaction across the nation’s 17m square kilometres within 90 seconds. This high-tech system could become a world standard, amid concerns that it will be a tool for “Big Brother and an oppressive state”.

But maybe the PAP govt is really squeamish about the misuse of digital tech. Note The Age of Surveillance Capitalism attacks Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others for extracting our personal data and turning it to profitable ends, preying on behavioural weaknesses.

Life is expensive for the poor

In Uncategorized on 12/08/2019 at 4:43 am

I was surprised to read in ST that a lady living in a two-room HDB flat said that an air con cost $1000 which she couldn’t afford.

Then I realised that she could only use the kind of air cons that don’t require a hole to be knocked in a wall, and that even if HDB allowed her to knock a hole in the wall, getting a contractor adds to the costs. So $1,000 is about right especially as it’s likely she’ll be buying on the never-never: hire purchase.

Sad.

Fyi, two years ago when my existing box air con failed, I got a second hand replacement (Remember this brand: National?) for $250. Bet you, they’d replace the motor of my old one and sell it as second hand, even though they told me they couldn’t repair it: more like “wouldn’t”. But at $250 (including installation), I’m not complaining.

I remembered asking, “What else I got to pay?”

Air con is still working.

Crazy Indian

In Uncategorized on 11/08/2019 at 5:47 pm

He wanted an Indian/ British car, not a German car.

An Indian man angered at getting a BMW for his birthday – instead of a Jaguar – pushed the new vehicle into a river, the BBC reported.

Beemers cost around 3.5m rupees locally, with Jaguars costing about 4-5m rupees. Still, Beemers are a lot more reliable than Jaguars which are after all made by a British company owned by an Indian company.

Taking back National Day from the PAP

In Holidays and Festivals on 11/08/2019 at 4:08 am

A few yrs ago, it was fashionable in the runup to National Day for S’poreans (ordinary Bengs, Ahmads, Muthus and Gregoes, and anti-PAP cybernuts) to moan that the PAP has wrapped itself round the flag and that National Day has been stolen from us. There would articles about why S’poreans were no longer willing to fly the flag around this time of the yr, and how grassroot leaders paid FTs to go round putting up flags. Btw, I’ve not seen any such article this yr.

Whatever, the spate of images and videos on social media by ordinary S’poreans  this yr show that S’poreans have reclaimed National Day from the PAP.

Here are  a few examples to show that S’poreans have made sure that National Day is ours also, not juz for the PAP.

Two good videos follow. There’s a good one from UOB that I can’t find: it shares the experiences of ordinary S’poreans about  National Day. Of course it’s a corporate video but it’s good: very people centric. Maybe that’s why it has disappeared. No plugs for the bank or the PAP govt.

Enjoy these two videos. Any other good ones?

 

Talking about race: something from the FT

In Uncategorized on 10/08/2019 at 6:54 am

As it’s the day after National Day, let’s return to the issue of race which is the hot topic

Alt media, cybernuts also promoting racial stereotyping and worse

Typical Chinese reaction to “brownface” ad/ Cina also can get upset

Indian lady takes issue with charge that Nets ad was “brownface”.

Brownfacegate: Did you know Shanmugam also said this?

(Btw, racism in the US of A: Why Muslims in USA are right to feel oppressed)


How the concept of a “Malay race” can cause a headache

“Malay race” created by ang mohs, not the Malays

Academic talking cock/ Got such thing as “Malay” race meh?

Watain fans: Muslims cannot be, but can Malays be ?

————————————————-

Charles King, a professor of international affairs and government, in his latest book, Gods of the Upper Air.

traces three main waves of western thought about race. Before the 19th century, academics viewed different races as permanently distinct, akin to separate species. After the work of Charles Darwin introduced the idea of evolution, a second idea gained traction: that humanity was interlinked, but that different societies were evolving at different rates; thus societies were ranked according to how “primitive” they were.

Boas, Mead, Benedict and others initially accepted this evolutionary consensus and went to places such as the Arctic Circle and Samoa, aiming to study “primitive people” and fit them into an evolutionary schema. But after observing different cultures first hand, they realised that it was totally wrong to label other cultures as “primitive”. Different human cultures needed to be valued and studied on their own terms, as part of the “great arc of potential human purposes and motivations”, Benedict wrote. She described this third approach as “the recognition of cultural relativity” — or the idea that different human cultures were valid in their own right, and should be respected.

These ideas were largely drowned out during the second world war, as fascism and nativism held sway. But in the postwar decades, they helped form the bedrock of human rights.

Whatever, ang moh tua kee.

Trebles all round.

 

Use foreigners to breed for S’pore

In Public Administration on 09/08/2019 at 10:58 am

Further to Want S’poreans to have more babies?, here’s a constructive, nation-building suggestion for the PAP govt to implement. If as Kee Chiu recently said, there’s long term planning by the PAP govt, there would be no need for my constructive, nation-building suggestions on how to get s’porean wimmin to breed like rabbits: Answering the PAP’s cock & bull about the “long term”.

Rent foreign wombs for S’porean couples where the female partner doesn’t want to go thru the inconvenience and pain of pregnancy. Just pay foreigners to be surrogate mothers. If we can pay for foreigners to study here (S$130m a yr), why not pay for them to breed for us? TOC can’t KPKB because it pays Indians in India to write on S’pore: TOC: A lot of bull. At least FTs work here and pay GST and other taxes. Terry’s team work overseas. And TOC and its cybernut readers criticise the PAP govt for allowing in FTs?

The tot of using foreigners to be surrogates struck me when I read:

Until a few years ago, India was known globally as a hub for commercial surrogacy. Childless couples and individuals from India and abroad were ready to pay good money to have a child, and poor women were available to rent their wombs. Thousands of infertility clinics sprung up all over India to facilitate the multi-million-dollar industry. But the government has been cracking down on this practice. In 2015, foreigners were banned from seeking commercial surrogacy in India, and now a bill is in the parliament aiming to ban the practice completely, including for Indian citizens.

Proponents of the ban say that the industry flourishes at the cost of financial and medical exploitation of the surrogates, and that commercial surrogacy poses serious questions around medical ethics. The government is pushing for altruistic surrogacy instead, which offers no financial compensation, comes under certain conditions, and excludes single parents and homosexual couples. On the other hand, supporters of the rent-a-womb industry, insist that surrogates are treated fairly, and it is a win-win situation for both surrogates and childless people seeking an alternative.

Extract from BBC

Watch the video: https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/cmj34zmwmy4t/surrogacy

 

 

Alt media, cybernuts also promoting racial stereotyping and worse

In Uncategorized on 08/08/2019 at 11:00 am

This has been shared widely in cyberspace especially by anti-PAP alt media publications and the social media feeds of cybernuts and the usual ang moh tua kees. They are KPKBing against a now well-known ad for a NETS E-Pay campaign tot by them to use “brownface”, and voicing support for subsequent self promotion “retaliation” video by two persons who claim to be offended by the ad. And it didn’t help matters when an ethnic Indian super heavyweight minister weighed in with comments that the video crossed various red lines because it attacked ethnic Chinese: Brownfacegate: Did you know Shanmugam also said this?

It all seemed so unfair to the cybernuts and many others that censoring the video and investigating Preetipls and Subhas (they made and appeared on the video), while those who came up with the “brownface” advertisement got off lightly.

Well this pix has four things wrong going by the criticism of the offending ad and the defence of the video.

Firstly, why is the offended person portrayed as an ethnic Chinese lady? Going by the reasoning against the ad, and in favour of the video, the picture is saying that ethnic Chinese, and wimmin, in particular, are prone to being easily upset and offended on racial matters. Not racism and sexism meh?

Also going by the reasoning against the ad, and in favour of the video, the picture says that Indians, and males in particular, are prone to allege racism. Not racism and sexism meh?

Next, going by the reasoning against the ad, and in favour of the video showing the Indian as light-skinned is taking sides in an ethnic Indian row. Many of our ethnic Indians have darker-skin tones than this guy: because many S’poean Indians are Tamil. Since the PAP introduced “Let the Indians flood in”, the proportion of Northern Indians here are increasing. Some of them even try to practice the caste system here in S’pore saying the fair-skinned Indians (Hindi speakers) of a higher caste than our local Tamil-speakers. It’s a fact that in Northern India, that lighter-skinned Indians are preferred to darker-skinned Indians. The marriage ads often specify the need for a partner to be “wheat coloured” or other such euphemisms denoting light-coloured skin. Not colourism meh?

Finally, why must the Indian be a male? Does it reflect the stereotype that Indians prefer male children? And that Indians abort female fetuses? Sexism at work.

Fyi, I have no problems with the ad or the video or this picture. I take issue with the subsequent action by MediaCorp against one of the persons in the video (taking him out of a video it’s making).

FYi II, I know the person who did the above photo. He is “woke” and anti-PAP, but no racist, and he’s Chinese.

My  point is that there’ll always be something in any picture or ad that will offend somebody.

 

Greenwashing to distract from bad financials

In Environment on 08/08/2019 at 4:24 am

InterContinental Hotels last week came in for praise for announcing that it’s scrapping plastic toiletries.

On Monday Tuesday, it saw its share price fall 2% after it published its latest half-year results. The shares ended the day down 108 at 5,181 in London..

Still a UK broker, Hargreaves Lansdown, had very nice words for it despite its bad numbers

It’s good to see InterContinental future-proofing the brand, and the planet, by phasing out its plastic miniature toiletries across all of its sites. A number of hotels, including some American Holiday Inn Express hotels are already using bulk dispensers. Travellers who like to pocket the novelty-sized shampoos and soaps might be disappointed, but this is a good move on IHG’s part. With regulation around single use plastic ramping up on both sides of the Atlantic, and rival chains like Marriot making similar changes, it makes perfect sense for InterContinental to get in on the environmentally friendly action.

Was the scrapping plastic toiletries meant to help take the spotlight off the bad financials. True the share price was off, but could have been a lot worse. The goodwill from its scrapping plastic toiletries may have prevented deeper analysis of its problems.

Typical Chinese reaction to “brownface” ad/ Cina also can get upset

In Uncategorized on 07/08/2019 at 11:41 am

If you are familiar with the comments made (Letter to ST’s Forum) skip it and read the rest of my piece. Promise you it’s worth reading.

When I first saw the “brownface” advertisement, my initial reaction was that it was a rather interesting (and perhaps even intelligent) advert, in that it was trying to show that whether we are Chinese, Indian, Malay or Eurasian, deep down we are the same, as the same person was used to portray the different races (Why depicting ‘brownface’ characters is no joke, Aug 3).

I also thought, by using the same character, the message was that in Singapore, even though we may be of different races, fundamentally, we are the same people and, therefore, should be united and be treated the same.

It does not matter if a person is Chinese, Malay, Indian or another race. It is always possible to construe a message in different ways.

A simple statement like “this dish is interesting” can be interpreted to mean it is unique, it is something which I will not want to try again, or it is tasty.

I just wonder if the (silent) majority of Singaporeans may have thought that the advert was quite innocuous.

I also wondered if perhaps the reason the same person was used was for cost saving?

Joseph Tan Peng Chin

Above appeared in ST’s Forum on Monday

I agree with the writer and so do many other Chinese (including TRE readers) going from their commentswhen TRE used Indian lady takes issue with charge that Nets ad was “brownface”.

But I have to disagree with the writer that the casting had to do with cost. I’ll explain in another post why.

When I sent https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-49205225 to a FB friend, he asked me what did two of these three links in article had to do with S’pore

I told him that the two showed that ethnic Chinese could be thin-skinned and as vicious as the Nairs.

Finally, from a bunch of Yale-NUS College students

In the past week, Singapore has been ablaze with controversy and debate over the brownface Mediacorp ad campaign and the police investigation into the rap video response by Preetipls and Subhas. As a community of students concerned with Singapore’s civil democracy and racial discourse, we at CAPE are disappointed by the knee-jerk reactions of censorship and blind condemnation, instead of discourse and a sincere attempt to understand and reflect upon the experiences of racial minorities in Singapore.

CAPE presents a primer of 6 infographics reflecting on racism as more than just some “western SJW thing”, discourse versus censorship, and questions to ponder with the state planning an enhancement of current judicial firepower in regulating race and religion.

(Of course they have to be PC: their grades depend on it. I’ll critick the piece some other time.)

Why Muslims in USA are right to feel oppressed

In Uncategorized on 07/08/2019 at 4:19 am

Just look at this chart: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49227590?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/world/us_and_canada&link_location=live-reporting-story. Racism is cited in BBC article as a reason why Muslims bear the brunt of suspicions.

Interesting, relevant, little known facts about HK’s general strike

In China, Hong Kong on 06/08/2019 at 10:35 am

Strike brings Hong Kong to a standstill as political crisis deepens

Transport network crippled and flights cancelled as police clash with protesters
FT Headline

It went on

Advertising and banking employees joined construction and retail workers to take part in Hong Kong’s first general strike in half a century, showing how anti-government sentiment is now building among professionals.

There were the usual clashes and the use of tear gas by the police.

Here’s some facts that are not well known but relevant in analysing the situation in HK

There hasn’t been a general strike [in Hong Kong] since the 1960s when the Beijing-controlled unions called the strikes,” Antony Dapiran. He has written a book on the history of dissent in HK. So if the West is really behind the protests as Beijing alleges, cannot isit? Juz retaliating ler.

A HK conglomerate (Secret Squirrel tells me HK Special Branch tells him it’s the Jardine Group) said via an unofficial but authoritative spokesperson that employees who choose not to come to work on Monday could count it as a “work from home”. Seems Swire Group also had a similar policy. Both are British Hongs.

The local HK conglomerates (Cheung Kong, Hutch etc) juz said nothing as they hope not to upset Beijing, the HK govt, or their HK employees.

An HSBC spokesman said: “We respect that our employees have their own personal views on political and social matters. Our priorities are the safety of our employees and supporting our customers.”

A 34-year-old HSBC bank employee said the bank had not officially sanctioned the strike on Monday but some managers had told staff verbally they would not be penalised for not coming to work.

FT

Remember that HSBC includes the Hang Seng Bank which has a lot of branches serving the people: the takeover of Hang Seng Bank was the start of HSBC becoming a global bank: HSBC, Superman and another Cina superhero.

StanChart, Citi etc kept quiet hoping not to upset Beijing, the HK govt or their employees.

Btw, HSBC’s retail business holds billions of dollars in deposits in HK, and has a leading position in mortgages: both may suffer if instability worsens.

Some Asean currencies are a cheong

In Currencies, India, Indonesia on 06/08/2019 at 5:15 am

We know how the S$ has been performing against US$. But did you know that some Asean Currencies have strengthened against US$? And the Indian rupee? Tell that to the Nairs and maybe they’ll be less uptight about not being Chinese in S’pore: Brownfacegate: Did you know Shanmugam also said this?

At one time local Chinese chauvinists called S’pore either the 3rd or 4th China (depending on whether they excluded HK from China: it was then a British colony). One Harry Lee locked them up but he made sure that Chinese kids had to study Mandarin.

Brownfacegate: Did you know Shanmugam also said this?

In Public Administration on 05/08/2019 at 11:19 am

In cyberspace, and in particular anti-PAP sites where cybernuts infest, urinate and defecate, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam’s comments on the video up-loaded by local YouTuber and comedian Preeti Nair (known as Preetipls) and her brother, rapper Subhas Nair, have been given a lot of publicity and scorn. The Nairs were superheroes, the cheering cybernuts said.

The video was said by the Nairs to be their response to an ad for a NETS E-Pay campaign tot by many to have committed the offence of “brownface”: a Chinese guy dressed up to be caricatures of the four major racial groupings. (Read this about how S’poreans got divided into four racial groupings: “Malay race” created by ang mohs, not the Malays)

He was quoted as saying, “When you use four-letter words, vulgar language, attack another race, put it out in public, we have to draw the line and say not acceptable.”

And “This rap video insults Chinese Singaporeans, uses four-letter words on Chinese Singaporeans, vulgar gestures, pointing of middle finger, to make minorities angry with Chinese Singaporeans.” (Btw, wow treating us Chinese the way he treated Christians, protecting our sensitivities: in Religious equality, the PAP way, I said Minister Shan treated equally offended Christians as the equals of easily offended Muslims by banning Watain from performing, here he treated us Chinese as being as sensitive as ethnic Indians. Fair chap, this minister.)

Seriously, he also said

Let’s say a Chinese now does a video attacking Indians, Malays using four-letter words, vulgar gestures, same kind of videos,” he told Channel News Asia. “And let’s say there are hundreds of thousands of such videos. How do you think the Indians and the Malays will feel? Would people feel safe? Would the minorities feel safe?

No alt media publication seems to report this. But to fair to alt media, the constructive, nation-building media (that alt media copies and paste from) don’t give much prominence to these remarks.

He has a very valid point about the possibility of Chinese attacking Malays and Indians verbally, hurting their feelings: or worse if they physically attacked them. Doubtless there will calls to protect them, and I’m sure anti-PAP sites like TOC (with writers based in India, not S’pore because of the cost here: TOC: A lot of bull) will say that the PAP govt is not protecting minorities.

Fyi, I have no problems with the ad or the video. Live and let live, I always say. And I’ve lived as part an insignificant minority in London, Sydney and Melbourne: those were the days when Red China didn’t allow its people out. Life was really good as a Chinese in ang moh places. Us Chinese were considered to be model members of polite society, those Hongkies and spit on pavements who cut queues excepted.

How the establishment view the ad, video and Shan’s comments: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/preetipls-ministers-religious-leaders-rap-video-brownface-ad-11766998?cid=h3_referral_inarticlelinks_24082018_cna

How s/o JBJ views the ad, video and Shan’s comments : https://kenjeyaretnam.com/2019/08/01/we-need-to-talk-about-race/

How the BBC views the ad, video and Shan’s comments   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-49205225. And in case you don’t read thru to end, I’ll post the concluding paragraphs:

The country is no stranger to satire, but the liberal use of swear words in K. Muthusamy, and its sharp, direct and caustic tone in discussing racial discrimination, is unusual and would be considered shocking to mainstream Singapore.

But a small and growing number of Singaporeans – many of them young, voracious consumers of online content that has a similar tone to the video – see nothing wrong with it.

This is a group that yearns for a franker and bolder conversation about race, and is frustrated with the careful tones of the discourse in the tightly-controlled local media. They are not content with how mainstream society and the government get to impose a certain definition of racism, and rules on how Singapore should discuss race.

The decision to censor the video and investigate Preetipls and Subhas, coupled with a perception that those who came up with the “brownface” advertisement got off lightly, may only stoke that frustration.

Related post: Indian lady takes issue with charge that Nets ad was “brownface”

Indian lady takes issue with charge that Nets ad was “brownface”

In Uncategorized on 05/08/2019 at 4:58 am

Phew, I really have a problem understanding the outrage of local YouTuber and comedian Preeti Nair (known as Preetipls) and her brother, rapper Subhas Nair that resulted in a vulgarity laden video full of aggressive attacks against Chinese, and their allies, many of whom are the anti-PAP cybernuts or the usual suspects who wish the PAP ill. (Btw, I don’t take offence at the video. Juz shows how badly Nairs were brought up.)

So I was really glad to read in TRE of all places that an Indian lady shared my surprise that it was offensive because it means that my cluelessness that it was offensive had nothing to do with my Chinese ethnicity, even if it isn’t the real deal: I’m Straits Chinese and my elders still (I’m 64) call Chinese “Gek” in conversations among themselves and with youngsters like myself. They even call their granchildren “Gek” (albeit affectionately) if the grandchildren have a “Gek” father.

Here’s Linda Chopra’s piece. Secret Squirrel tells me her pa’s Khush Chopra, a lawyer and someone who calls for change in S’pore. Her pieces have appeared in TRE: sense (like mine) among the trash.

Racial Harmony – Where do we draw the line?

The most recent incident started with Dennis Chew impersonating a Chinese man, a Chinese woman, a Malay woman and an Indian man in an advertisement for cashless payment.  Unfortunately, the advertisement was greeted with disdain by some netizens who thought it offensive.

The question is … why?

This is a point I find it hard to understand.  If we think about it, Americans dressed up in various costumes during the Halloween.  But they never have people complaining that it was disrespectful for the supernatural beings.  Likewise, many fans dressed up as their gaming, comic and cartoon characters during Cosplay events.  But the respective gaming, comic and cartoon companies never complained that these fans were disrespectful to their trademark characters.  If anything, these companies actively seek to organise and promote Cosplay events and want as many fans as possible to take part in such events.  Of course, one might point out that there are financial incentives for these companies, since they stand to profit from having more customers.

The point is this.  The motivation of the fans to dress up as their favourite characters is NEVER about disrespect.  Rather, they are so attracted towards their favourite characters that they wanted to act them out in real life.

Of course, the same cannot be said of Chinese impersonating Indians in that these Chinese are so attracted to the Indian culture that they want to act out like us in real life.  However, one thing that should be clear to everybody is that, at the very minimum, they do not dislike Indians.  If they really hate Indians, they will not have shown any interests in our cultures and certainly will not want to dress in traditional Indian gears.

When I looked at Dennis Chew in the advertisement, I am not able to pick up anything to suggest that he was disrespectful to the Indian culture in any way.  He was just advertising for the cashless payment services and there is nothing whatsoever to suggest that he was mocking the Indian culture.  So why are some of us so upset?

(Of course, from the advertisers’ perspective, it is cheaper to pay one actor to act out four roles than four actors/actresses to act out four different roles.  But that is only managing costs and is not exactly showing disrespect to the Indian culture.)

If we go further back in history, there was a similar event during the UOB Bollywood-themed staff party in 2012.  I was too young to remember what it was all about, but it appeared to be a fancy dress party that focused on the Indian culture and the Indian cinematic scene in particular.  Unless there were evidences of people mocking or denigrating the Indian culture during the staff party at that time, I am not able to understand what the fuss was about.  In fact, I would have thought it a compliment to the Indian culture in that UOB chose to showcase our culture during their staff party. As a comparison, would any of us have complained if they had organised a fancy dress party based on the traditional Chinese culture, the traditional Thai culture, or even an Amazon tribal culture?  My guess is probably not.  In particular, I would not think Chinese would have complained if UOB female staff dressed in cheongsams. (Apologies … I do not know what is the male equivalent of Cheongsam.)

At the end of the day, Singapore is a multi-racial country.  I am proud to be a daughter of the Indian culture and I am more than happy that other races show interests in and want to learn more about my culture.  For my part, I am proud to showcase my culture to other races.  Likewise, I also mix around with Chinese and Malay friends and I also get to understand their cultures.  The true spirit of racial harmony should include the cultural cross-exchanges between different racial groups, the pride to showcase one’s own culture and the acceptance of culture from other racial groups.

Cross-dressing in clothes of other cultures is a sign of acceptance and we really should not be so offended about it.  In fact, anyone can buy Sari in Little Indian, Cheongsam in Chinatown and Baju Kurung in Malay Village and there are tourists who shop for these clothes when they visit Singapore.  Are we going to ban the sales of these traditional clothes to other races?  Yes, I will be hurt and offended if other people make fun of my culture, but this does not seem to be the case in both the advertisement and the UOB staff party.

I hope that we Singaporeans will look at this episode with a new perspective of acceptance and not get overly heated up, particularly when there is no intention to offend in the first place.

PS:  I hope Chinese Singaporeans will be forgiving towards Preetipls and Subhas for the rap video and I hope that this episode can be laid to rest in a peaceful manner.

Linda Chopra

Related post: The cultural ignorance of SPH staff and other S’poreans

Want S’poreans to have more babies?

In Uncategorized on 04/08/2019 at 10:47 am

Get the female partners to “do God” and go to religious services.

Recently, six MPs from the People’s Action Party (PAP) Women’s Wing released a position paper reported that 58% of respondents in a survey said that the cost of raising children is a main concern when deciding to have another child. What do you expect any PAP report to say? It’s all about money is a PAP Hard Truth: Ex-PM’s money obsession causing PAP problems

Maybe, it’s nothing to do with money?

Here’s an interesting audio clip on why going to church can make a woman give birth: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07jgdcd

Here’s a summary of the clip.

Jonathan Last, author of What to Expect When No-one’s Expecting, explains how most interventions to increase the fertility rate have failed in countries around the world. While negative incentives seem to work, such as China’s one child policy, encouraging people to have more children seems less successful.

As Last explains, a far larger influence on a woman’s decision to have more children than race, education or geography, is how often she attends religious services.

Related post:

Enough space for Queen Jos to have sex?

MOS Josephine Teo was misquoted

Btw, Secret Squirrel tells me Jos Teo is not only Roman Catholic, but is religious. As she has a huge family by S’pore standards (three kids), she’s proof that religious people breed like rabbits?

 

Illegal and racist: Chinese in Vancouver

In Uncategorized on 04/08/2019 at 4:42 am

If you look Chinese and speak Mandarin you can summon a ride in Vancouver by using an app, as long as it’s Chinese. The drivers normally call to confirm the order … “Sometimes they’ll hang up on me when they realise I don’t speak Mandarin,” … But he keeps trying, because popular ride-hailing services, such as Uber and Lyft, are not available. Vancouver is the only big North American city where they do not operate. The Chinese service is not legal, but it is tolerated.

https://www.economist.com/the-americas/2019/08/01/british-columbia-gives-uber-a-cautious-go-ahead

Trump the moron

In China, Currencies on 03/08/2019 at 3:00 pm

Trump wants a weaker US$: Another reason for Trump to be upset with UK.

But as Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors said his plans to impose a fresh 10% tariff on another US$300bn of Chinese products will result in a further strengthening of the US dollar – already at a two-year high before the tariff announcement – “as investors inevitably rush for its perceived safety”.

“Furthermore, US tariffs will weaken China’s economy and others that are intricately tied to China’s supply chains, putting downward pressure on their currencies and upward pressure on the US dollar.

“The reality is that the US has a far greater ability to control its own currency than Europe, which is beset with problems including Italian instability, an unbalanced economy across the bloc and fiscal tightness. At some point, the Trump administration may realise that the most effective and beneficial route to weakening the US dollar will be correcting the underlying fundamentals, not intervention.

“The quickest route to a cheaper dollar is ending the trade war”.

 

Fake Chinese vase sells for £200,000

In Uncategorized on 03/08/2019 at 4:22 am

This vase is a fake because it has the reign marks of the Chenghua period, from the mid-15th Century, But it’s actually a 18th Century vase and rare.

Love the way the auctioneer described why the makers faked its date

[T]he Chinese paid homage to their ancestors and put earlier marks on later pieces.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-suffolk-49196630

Me? I think they did it to add value to their vase. Michelangelo when he was young, poor and not famous, damaged a bust he had just made and made it look dirty and old, hoping to pass it off as a Roman antique. A Roman antique that survived until the 15th century would make the object more valuable in the eyes of potential buyers.

 

Sci-fi story predicts S’pore after next GE?

In Uncategorized on 02/08/2019 at 2:46 pm

Recently, taking the view that an election is coming soon, I’ve talked about the worsening economy “Only cold spell coming, but not Winter” and reminded about other headwinds not good for the PAP

— Another reason why ground is not sweet for the PAP.

— Why one-party rule sucks for Xi, Lee and Heng

Well the cybernuts are happy, saying that the PAP will be defeated by a Coalition of the Spastics headed by Dr Chee.

In a dystopian short story “The Machine Stops”, published in 1909, EM Forster imagined a world in which enfeebled individuals live in honeycombed rooms underground, part of a totalitarian technology-dependent system. They rely on the “Machine” for communication, entertainment, and spiritual and physical sustenance. Most humans’ decision-making ability has atrophied. Those who rebel are exiled to the earth’s surface.

When the Machine suffers a cataclysmic failure, the underground society collapses with it. In a glimmer of hope, one doomed human suggests “humanity has learnt its lesson”.

Related post: Sci-fi can help defeat the PAP?

EDB gifting billionaire money to cheong properties

In Property on 01/08/2019 at 1:10 pm

In Buying homes the billionaire way: two luxury homes are better than one, I reported that James Dyson was buying not one residential property but two properties S$118.8 (11.2% of S$1bn).

I’m surprised that cybernuts are not KPKB that the EDB is gifting him the money to play our property market

Singapore’s incentives include tax breaks for five years, which can be extended, and R&D grants that can cover up to 30 per cent of the cost of projects that involve product, application or process development, according to the Singapore Economic Development Board. They also offer expensive land at discounted rates, says a person with experience of Singapore’s economic planning. “They definitely would have given [Dyson] a favourable tax break,” they add.

Extract from FT quoted in Ang moh manufacturer employs more people here than in China and planning to employ a lot more.

How EDB got Dyson to come here: “The appeal of Singapore is zero tax”.

But if one is a fan of the PAP govt, one can argue that by giving him financial incentives to build his car in S’pore, EDB gets him to manufacture here )creating jobs and expertise), move his HQ here, and buy two properties: killing four birds with one stone.


 

Speaking truth to LHY

In Uncategorized on 01/08/2019 at 9:31 am

When I read

I wholeheartedly support the principles and values of the Progress Singapore Party.

Today’s PAP is no longer the PAP of my father. It has lost its way.

(One Lee Hsien Yang on Facebook)

I tot it was really hypocritical, pretentious and silly of him to try to elevate petty family and inheritance disputes into a fight over LKY’s political legacy: of course cybenuts would cheer him on, but they even cheer for Lim Tean, Goh Meng Seng and TKL.

I was trying to put my tots into something coherent and biting when someone posted this on FB.

I wholeheartedly support you to reflect on your father’s sins and realise that the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree. If your brother is abusing his authority, he learnt it from your daddy dearest. The same daddy that provided you your privileged life while he destroyed anyone who disagree with his vision or he considered beneath his intellect. Have a long honest look at your father before attacking your brother. If you are an opposition member during the reign of daddy, and behaved as such, you’d be bankrupted, in prison, self exiled or combinations of all three. Your brother already give you face.

(The guy a fellow member of FB group Soul of S’pore: ya really pretensious name for bunch of right of centre S’poreans with some IB, Fifth Chinese Columnists, and some cybernuts thrown in. Like me he is a cynic. He claims to have posted this post on LHY’s FB wall.)

Talking about his pa, would one Harry Lee approve of a son of his mixing with people who do not wish his beloved PAP well at a fund-raising function of the anti-PAP TOC?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember even when he was physically very frail he appeared at a major PAP milestone 60th anniversary do. The two photos below are reproduced from LKY: Why liddat PAP?

Btw, I learnt from Secret Squirrel after I wrote that post, that he wanted to attend the funcion and wanted to stand beside his son and GCT. He refused to sit down in a chair.

 

 

Muslim super heroine doesn’t wear tudung/ Another Indo Pakistan war

In Uncategorized on 31/07/2019 at 1:53 pm

Disney realises Muslims got money (All those rich A-rabs) and so Marvel will have a new a superhero (Ms Marvel) in an up-coming film. Another Indo Pakistani war has started. Priyanka Chopra, Bollywood superstar already voices the character in the mobile video game Marvel: Avengers Academy. And Indian-Americans rooting for her  to star in the film, but Pakistani-American say the role should go to a Pakistani-American rather than Indian.

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-44111442?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment_and_arts&link_location=live-reporting-story

Creative thinking at URA

In Public Administration on 31/07/2019 at 8:40 am

From selling books online to publishing local literature, Epigram’s latest venture is the Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop located in the URA Building at 45 Maxwell Road.

Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop, with its 11-metre long bookshelf, is so laid-back and cool, you’ll feel super cool just being there.

https://www.littledayout.com/2019/06/23/huggs-epigram-coffee-bookshop-hold-singapore-in-your-hands/?fbclid=IwAR14l4NC4R7KErbWJNRZhxbtQeuDK9a-MIiiih3YfL219edAjRxlnLnrk3g

There’s an interesting backstory to Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop.

Edmund Wee (Quiet activist looking at his bank statement and smiling and Sci-fi can help defeat the PAP?), the publisher of Epigram Books almost persuaded senior URA managers to lease him space at the URA building for a bookshop selling books published here or on S’pore at a rent he could afford i.e. below commercial rates: book shops here are struggling because of the rent.

But fear of the cybernuts’ hero (AGO’s report: “Ownself can check ownself”), the Auditor-General made them hesitate. they didn’t want the anti-PAP cybernuts accusing them of corruption and favouritism and quoting the AGO’s comments against them.

But someone from URA (Must be RI boy or MGS gal) had a brilliant idea: rent the space to an upmarket coffee shop at market rates, on condition that the coffee shop subleases part of the place to Epigram. The end result of talks between Huggs and Epigram is Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop.

The picture shows how the books and coffee tables shared the small space. Even Queen Jos to would have problems having sex here.

Nonsense: 1 Oppo leaders are not honoured by PAP govt 2 More adversarial politics won’t be good for S’pore

In Uncategorized on 30/07/2019 at 11:26 am

Heng was reported as saying that more adversarial politics won’t be good for S’pore.

Around the same time, ST recently published a letter from a Dr. Huang Shoou Chyuan who said that opposition politicians deserve national honours too. One P Ravi (Remember him? He recently announced on FB that he let his membership of the Chiams’ Party lapse and has joined TCB’s Progress S’pore Party.) wrote on FB that he agreed and cited one Mr Chiam who deserves such an award. A TOC regular contributor (not one of Terry’s bunch of Indians based in India) also agreed with the good doctor.

Here are my tots on how Heng’s, and the letter writer’s, P Ravi’s and TOC contributor’s views are nonsense.

Effective (i.e. dangerous to the PAP) oppo leaders have been recognised and honoured by the PAP. Think JBJ and Dr Chee: they have been sued for defamation by PAP members and made bankrupt in recognition of their prowess as opponents of the PAP who needed to be “fixed” to ensure that S’pore remains a de-facto one party state: What makes America Great, and LKY unnecessary.

Even Dr Tan Cheng Bock (once a senior PAPpy) was honoured by the PAP. He was disinvited from an Istana function honouring grassroot leadsers after he nearly beat the PAP’s preferred candidate in the presidential elections. And he has never been invited back. And many S’poreans, self included, think the constitution was amended to ensure he couldn’t ever be eligible to stand as a presidential candidate.

As a poster of FB put it when commenting on Heng’s comment that more adversarial politics won’t be good for S’pore: “There is much irony in such a litigious and punitive govt saying there shouldn’t be adversarial politics.”

True Chiam wasn’t honoured in these ways but maybe they didn’t think he was that dangerous an opponent? Maybe they saw him as a “useful idiot”?

Seriously, Chiam, was given a great honour by one Harry Lee. He was one of Harry’s honorary pall-bearers. Given Harry’s status in S’pore’s official narrative (Coldstore: Why Harry’s narrative or the highway), Chiam’s honour ranks higher than the Order of Temasek.

But I suppose P Ravi would rather forget about this great honour conferred on Mr Chiam because it could be interpreted as double-confirming to cynics that the PAP thinks Chiam is their useful idiot.

Americans and Chinese lay down the law to HK

In China, Hong Kong on 30/07/2019 at 4:19 am

The Americans were very aggressive, while the Chinese were very wishy washy, mouthing platitudes.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham members represent sectors ranging from financial services to logistics and tech) has called on the government to take immediate action to restore business confidence in HK, including a complete withdrawal of the controversial bill that would have enabled extraditions to mainland China.

It suggested the government restore confidence by “formally and completely” withdrawing the extradition bill “to remove any room for continued public doubt” among other measures, it said in a statement.

What I found funny was that this statement was sent following a survey of its members. Only 12% responded to the survey according to the FT yet

“A clear majority of our membership surveyed over the past week said the government needs to address the underlying causes of the protests and not simply to paper over the cracks of social instability with a short-term law-and-order fix,” said AmCham President Tara Joseph.

(BBC report)

Meanwhile, the Chinese comments were pretty mild.

“We hope that… people will stand firm in defence of the rule of law,” a spokesman for the government’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said.

Adding “We call on the general public of Hong Kong to be aware of the grave nature of the current situation.”

He condemned “the evil and criminal acts committed by the radical elements” in Hong Kong.

“We noticed he Hong Kong government has earnestly reflected on its inadequacies over its work on the extradition bill, and Carrie Lam said on July 1 she would change her governing style to be more open and tolerant in listening to Hong Kong people’s feedback.”

HK has seen eight consecutive weekends of protests.

Try this: Coat streets white to cool S’pore

In Uncategorized on 29/07/2019 at 1:16 pm

I refer to Air conditioners make cities hotter, and to the fact that it’s really hot the last few weeks.

White streets in Los Angeles, California

The concrete jungle of LA gets up to 6F* hotter than the surrounding desert, with 2019 already setting records for hottest ever days, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

LA … aims to cool the city down by 3F** by 2035.

One of the city’s tactics is using a light-coloured material over one street in each of the 15 council districts, in order to test out the impact.

The material, known as “cool pavement”, reflects rather than absorbs the sun and so remains cooler than typical black roads.

However, it is more expensive and doesn’t yet meet safety standards for wider, busier streets in the city, hence the demo phase.

One “cool street” in Canoga Park measured 70F*** shortly after being laid, as opposed to 93F**** found on a nearby intersection road.

City officials also hope the cool pavements will help cool the insides of nearby buildings and lessen air pollution.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49039095?intlink_from_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Fscience_and_environment&link_location=live-reporting-story&fbclid=IwAR0TDgIp5rmdaVZ54kuIxxeedWOfu4rWmAN1vDan9MrykUsJnA7cvsl7qWM

We are already using the other ways suggested in article including garden roofs, so why not try this.


*-14.44C

**-16.11C

***21.11C

****33.89C

 

Latest “bad” economic data is really “gd” news for PAP

In Economy on 29/07/2019 at 6:53 am

On the face of it, the latest manufacturing data is not good news for Heng especially if as expected the PAP govt wants to call a 2019 election and wants 65% of the 65% of the popular vote: the pass mark for bragging rights that they have the people’s mandate.


Problems for the PAP govt

Economy: “Only cold spell coming, but not Winter”. But to be fair to the PAP: IMF affirms support for PAP policies.

The headwinds other than a lousy economy going into a GE:

— Another reason why ground is not sweet for the PAP.

Why one-party rule sucks for Xi, Lee and Heng


Manufacturing output experienced its sharpest fall in three-and-a-half years in June, as trade tensions and a global slowdown continue to weigh on our very open economy: the canary in the global economy.

Figures published by the EDB on Friday showed that manufacturing output fell by 6.9% during the month year on year, marking the sector’s worst monthly performance since December 2015.

But here’s the good news for Heng: analysts polled by Reuters had forecast an even worse drop of 7.9%. The economy did better than expected.

There’s even better news for Heng and his millionaire ministers: on a seasonally adjusted month on month basis, manufacturing output expanded by 1.2% in June. Remember Chris K, no friend of the PAP says that month-on-month figures or quarter-on-quarter numbers are a better guide to the probable direction of the economy.

Remember that Dr Tan Cheng Bock said that a worsening economy would make people worry about changing the status quo. Maybe his team read what I wrote in 2015, when the global economy wasn’t looking good: Time to worry? No worries, vote PAP like in 2001 LOL?

Likewise an improving economy make people worry about changing the status quo: I mean if Mad Dog gets in via a Coalition of the Spastics, the economy will get rabies. And rabies kills.

Btw, read Economy worse than PAP, MSM, alt media spin to understand why the PAP wins the propaganda war. With TOC’s bunch of economically illiterate Indian writers based in India, the PAP doesn’t need friends.

Buying homes the billionaire way: two luxury homes are better than one

In Property, Reits on 28/07/2019 at 1:50 pm

Sir James Dyson (Ang moh who bot S$73.8m flat) will purchase his second luxury property according to a report in ST

It says that the S$45m (US$33m) has an infinity pool and indoor waterfall.

The purchase comes after his company moved its HQ from the UK to S’pore: Ang moh manufacturer employs more people here than in China and planning to employ a lot more is to build the first of its electric cars in Singapore, choosing the country over the UK and China..

Earlier this month he bought what is S’pore’s biggest and most expensive penthouse. BT reported that he paid S$73.8m (US$54m) for the “super penthouse”, which has views of Marina Bay Sands and the financial district.

Wonder what TRE’s Oxygen thinks about these purchases. He’s been saying property here is a “sell” ever since he started posting in TRE (at least 8 yrs ago). And he also says the end of PAP rule is nigh.

Meanwhile, I look at my bank statement, see the income from reits and smile.

Economy worse than PAP, MSM, alt media spin

In Economy, Media on 28/07/2019 at 9:29 am

Singapore’s GDP growth drops to 0.1% in Q2, lowest since 2009’s Great Recession

TOC headline

Singapore’s GDP foretasted to grow by 0.1% in Q2 2019

TRE headline

Now these aped the MSM spin

Singapore economic growth slows to 0.1% in Q2, lowest in a decade

CNA

Singapore growth forecast risks sharper downgrade as Q2 GDP scrapes in at 0.1%

BT

Singapore’s economy grows just 0.1% in Q2, lowest in decade and worse than expected

ST

As Chris K KPKBed, the MSM headlines and opening paras put the best spin out a bad situation.

The reality is a lot worse

How bad things are

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted annualised basis,  GDP contracted by 3.4%, way below the median forecast of 0.1% in a Reuters poll. This was a reversal from the 3.8% growth in the previous quarter and marked the worst quarter-on-quarter performance since the third quarter of 2012. The economy also registered its lowest growth in a decade, expanding just 0.1% on year in the second quarter, missing a forecast rise of 1.1%.

“Only cold spell coming, but not Winter,” says Heng

Question is why is alt media also helping out the PAP govt?

In case of TRE it’s likely that this was “an honest mistake”: TeamTRE are volunteers and stretched. And their cybernut readership is only booing at the PAP. Ask them to help out and they disappear.

In TOC’s case, the bunch of Indians based in India writing for TOC don’t know jackshit nor do they care about the S’pore economy.  TOC: A lot of bull.

At least FTs work here and pay GST and other taxes. Terry’s team work overseas. And TOC and its cybernut readers criticise the PAP govt for allowing in FTs?

 

Wechat conquers China, Facebook the world

In China, Internet on 27/07/2019 at 1:32 pm

WeChat has 1.1bn users in China (Peanuts round the rest of the world including HK), but Facebook has long outgrown the US market to boast 2.3bn* users worldwide according to Matt Sheehan at MacroPolo.  He has been looking at the quality of data collection and analysis in China and the US and compares the capabilities of the US and China.


*2.4bn as of June.

New headache for Heng

In China, Economy on 27/07/2019 at 6:14 am

Trump realises that S’pore’s freeloading off the US, and has told the US trade representative to fix the freeloading. The good news is that China and a whole host of countries are in the same situation.

In a memo to Robert Lighthizer, the US trade representative, on Friday, Mr Trump has yet again attacked the World Trade Organization, saying it allowed too many countries to claim the status of a developing economy and special treatment that is damaging the global trading system (i.e. damaging America).

As well as usual suspect China, he mentioned other countries that he thought should not be classified as developing., This included S’pore and two other   Asian city-states such as Hong Kong and Macau, as well as Gulf countries such as Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. He also said Turkey, South Korea and Mexico claimed the status of a developing nation, even though they were part of the OECD group of advanced economies. On these three countries I agree with him that their status of “developing nation” is illogical.

What about India meh? Can developing nation afford to send robots to the moon, even if the rocket is rubbish? Failed to launch first time. Had to repeat. Secret Squirrel’s sidekick, Morocco Mole, says his Indian cousin twice removed says the fault lay with made-in-India software. And we still relying on Indian software expertise for projects like SingPass? Re: SingPass technical support versus that of OCBC and HSBC and SingPass sucks, really sucks. (To be fair to SingPass, it does work well after one gets into the system. But getting to that stage was a struggle as the posts show.)

He reminded the benefits that came from having developing economy status at the WTO, including procedural advantages in disputes, softer tariff cuts, the ability to maintain export subsidies and weaker commitments in negotiations.

Related posts:

If China withdraws behind the Great Walls

Why Sino-US Cold War is great for our economy

“Only cold spell coming, but not Winter”

IMF affirms support for PAP policies.

Irish way of carrying new UK’s PM

In Uncategorized on 26/07/2019 at 1:30 pm

“The best hope for Ireland and for Europe… is that Johnson will be guided by three of his worst traits… he doesn’t mean a word he says, he is obsessed with power, and he is willing to betray those closest to him in the pursuit of that power,” says an Irish Times editorial.

BoJo is threatening a no-deal Brexit. The UK will suffer the most vis-a-vis the EU as a whole. But Ireland will lose the most among the EU nations, and will suffer more than the UK.

Hence why the editor of the Irish Times is drowning his sorrow and bile in pints of Guinness.

 

Double confirm: Russia owns Trump

In Uncategorized on 26/07/2019 at 4:10 am

Donald Trump appeared at a right-wing rally in front of a fake presidential seal, doctored to make apparently satiric references to Russiaand golf.

The tweaked image flashed up on a screen behind the president as he spoke to a summit hosted by the conservative group Turning Point USAin Washington earlier this week.

The normally solitary bald eagle was seen with two heads, made to resemble the two-headed bird on the official Russian coat of arms in a mocking nod to Mr Trump’s woes with investigations into Moscow’s election meddling.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-speech-russia-golf-eagle-presidential-seal-turning-point-usa-event-a9019971.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR1EThEm9powBWqZkdMlWWTkcoAvzPtOJh7H38cCW6LFzKOtUdwSB7dsc3k#Echobox=1564055937

Organisers said they didn’t know how it happened: “An honest mistake”?

Sci-fi can help defeat the PAP?

In Political governance on 25/07/2019 at 11:37 am

But first did a cybernut write this?

“The Passengers and the Creator”, plays out on a Boeing passenger jet. For its occupants, the aeroplane constitutes the entire universe. A closed economy of human flesh and sex-slavery sustains a surreal hierarchy based on seat numbers; eventually the hero finds a way to guide the plane out of the band of night in which it has been perpetually flying, down to Earth and into the light.

Some readers have detected an allegory for the … state—a people imprisoned by their mindset, cocooned in a bubble that must eventually be pierced.

https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2019/06/22/chinas-grand-gloomy-sci-fi-is-going-global

An allegory for a PAP-ruled S’pore?

“Where a people imprisoned by their mindset, cocooned in a bubble that must eventually be pierced,” sounds like shumething a cybernut like TRE’s Oz-based Oxygen, or Bapak could concoct while masturbating that after the next GE, Mad Dog could could form a coalition of the Spastics to defeat the PAP.

Well the writer is Han Song, a Chinese sci-fi writer compared to  Philip K. Dick, an American dystopian who is a favourite of mine. The missing word is “Chinese”.

Well this S’porean (Quiet activist looking at his bank statement and smiling) is helping the cause of a more open society by publishing novels by S’poreans (including people working in the constructive, nation-building SPH group (SPH journalists so free meh?), many of which have sci-fi themes:

Related posts

New Hope: How the young can end PAP rule

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

Interesting the difference between Western sci-fi and Chinese sci-fi

While Western sci-fi is often alarming, the truth is usually worth discovering. Even in the grimmest Western fables, such as the film “Soylent Green” (1973)—which ends with the revelation that the titular foodstuff is made of people—audiences at least have the comfort that drawing back the curtain might lead to positive change. Mr Song suggests that, by contrast, Chinese sci-fi makes a dystopia out of the act of discovery itself, often presenting the truth as not worth knowing, or not worth the risk. Parallels with the highly controlled flow of information in today’s China, and the danger associated with even trying to circumvent it, are hard to ignore.

 

If China withdraws behind the Great Walls

In China on 25/07/2019 at 4:50 am

McKinsey Global Institute thinks the world stands to lose up to U$37tn if China withdraws from the world as a result of tensions with the west. Tech forms a big part of this amount. Btw, 90% of technologies used in China follow global standards.

Biz with 900 staff world wide and no office

In Uncategorized on 24/07/2019 at 4:39 pm

Automatic helps

workers to equip their home offices and helps them meet the cost of renting a work space, or for drinks if they work in a coffee house. But that is still cheaper than an office.

Automattic’s staff work across 70 different countries and, instead of paying for a central office, the company pays to fly staff to regular meet-ups throughout the year.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48879976

Why isn’t Changi Int’l not protected against drone intrusions?/ Paper weapons?

In Uncategorized on 24/07/2019 at 5:16 am

Recently, I wrote SAF got this meh? and asked if SAF had anti-drone weapons because Changi Int’l recently had problems with two drone intrusions, resulting in disruption of flights. Two men were subsequently arrested and will be charged in court.

A regular reader (also of the constructive, nation-building ST) sent me a link from ST, the opening paras read

 Fly a drone within 5km of an airbase, and you could find it taken down by one of the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) latest weapons.

The Jammer Gun, when fired, emits a signal to jam the control signals of the drone, which will then be unable to survey the premises of the base.

The RSAF also has the Drone Catcher system, which uses a net to snare errant drones. The two weapons will be in action this weekend (May 26 – 27) at the open field next to Jurong East MRT station.

ST

Why only airbases protected? Why not Changi Int’l?

If these weapons worked as advertised, they’d have been shot down the drones. But maybe, they don’t work as advertised? Hence their absence from Changi? If the weapons don’t work at an SAF base, the public will be none the wiser, even if an intruding drone damages the base: “Top Secret – Drone attack succeeds”.

But at an airport, good luck keeping a weapons failure a secret. Too many civilian eyes.

 

Enough space for Queen Jos to have sex?

In Uncategorized on 23/07/2019 at 1:50 pm

On the same day I read about S’pore’s declining birth rate

The number of babies born here last year fell to an eight-year low, posing more demographic challenges for an ageing population.

The Report on Registration of Births and Deaths 2018 said 39,039 births were registered last year, a 1.5 per cent drop from 2017.

I read a BBC article about a couple who built a house on the back of a flatbed trailer in County Down, NI. See photo below.

This reminded me about a story about a tiny apartment in Tokyo: width the length of outstreched hands but over two stories. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYVJbupG3Xg

“You don’t need much space to have sex,” Jos Teo. More at: MOS Josephine Teo was misquoted

HK: Inconvenient truths for China and West/ FT PAP missed

In China, Hong Kong on 23/07/2019 at 5:33 am

As the letter to the Editor of the Economist (see below) points out

— “The promise of universal suffrage as the ultimate aim appears in the Basic Law”, HK’s “constitution” that was approved by Beijing. One in the eye for China for being that stupid. Another in the eye for now changing it’s mind. Why pretend in the first place?

— The British only took “action to return power to the people until they learned that there would be no hope of extending British rule beyond 1997”: “Perfidious Albion” as the French would say. Saboing China isit? Planting a bomb and hoping it would explode after they left?

To be fair to the British Foreign Office, the mandarins there were appalled by the decision of Chris Patten (last governor of HK but the first British politician to hold that post) endorsed by the British cabinet to give the HK people democratic rights which the British had long withheld from them.

The mandarins like the Chinese leaders thought that HK would be returned to China on an “as is” basis. The clock on political and social changes had stopped at the time the Sino-British joint declaration on the future of Hong Kong was agreed upon, unless both sides agreed to changes. But Patten saw a loophole in the declaration, and sensed that China did not want to make HK people more fearful of China by publicly kicking up a huge fuss about giving the HK people democratic rights previously denied to them.

The letter is from a pro-China member of LegCo. She was the Secretary for Security and tried to pass some really draconian laws but the Hongkies demonstrated and the laws never passed.

I must take issue with “China’s chance” (June 22nd), which ascribed the recent turmoil in Hong Kong to China’s alleged suppression of Hong Kong’s freedoms and reluctance to grant the territory universal suffrage in electing its chief. China has gone much further than Britain in democratising Hong Kong. The promise of universal suffrage as the ultimate aim appears in the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, not in the Sino-British joint declaration on the future of Hong Kong. Nor did the British overlords take action to return power to the people until they learned that there would be no hope of extending British rule beyond 1997.

It is naive to suggest that universal suffrage will solve all Hong Kong’s problems. Its people, especially the young, are deeply angered by the acute housing and land shortage, the widening wealth gap, worsening living conditions and the narrowing opportunities for upward mobility because of competition from a rising China. Hong Kong, however, is not unique in experiencing deep divisions because of growing disparities.

Universal suffrage to elect the city’s leader, with groups fighting on opposing ideological or socioeconomic platforms, would serve only to amplify the existing schisms. Britain’s recent political polarisation among Remainers and Leavers is a cautionary tale for those who have romantic illusions about democracy. Our city’s priority must lie in tackling deep-rooted social and economic problems with a view to improving the livelihood of our people.

regina ip
Member of Hong Kong’s
Legislative Council
Hong Kong

Maybe PAP govt should have offered her a job in the civil service after she resigned as Secretary for Security. She’s their kind of FT: what with her dismissal of universal suffrage, and emphasis on security and keeping the masses contented. But she really has talent, and has a mind of her own, like many Hongkies.

Related posts:

How Xi can hurt HK the non violent way

HK demonstrations: What I’d like to know

SAF got this meh?

In Uncategorized on 22/07/2019 at 2:52 pm

I refer to the drone sightings that closed Changi Intl: Where’s SAF and police when Changi Airport needs them? . Photo from Reuters shows French anti-drone weapons. Do we have something similar?

 

Drones post threat to PAP govt: Traingate: Only TRE reader sees the big picture.

Related post:

Akan datang: Drones to supply ships in harbour

 

 

Why Sino-US Cold War is great for our economy

In China, Economy, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam on 22/07/2019 at 5:37 am

It’ll do for our economy what the Vietnam War did for HK and our economies: spur economic growth

Further to Will the last US MNC leaving China switch off the lights, the charts below show almost nothing is made in America. Almost everything is made in China, and almost the rest in Asean i.e. countries like Vietnam, Indonesia and M’sia.

As the regional trading, financial heart and hi-tech manufacturing centre (Think Ang moh manufacturer employs more people here than in China and planning to employ a lot more) of Asean, we’ll benefit (Think Ang moh who bot S$73.8m flat).

Bang yr balls Oz-based TRE cybernut and funder “Oxygen”. Left S’pore a long time ago but still hates S’pore and wishes us ill. But still has CPF account. Used to evade Oz tax, it’s alleged by Secret Squirrel.

But of course short term we suffer: “Only cold spell coming, but not Winter,” says Heng. 

Vote wisely. Remember: IMF affirms support for PAP policies.

 

 

Air conditioners make cities hotter

In Energy, Environment on 21/07/2019 at 1:49 pm

In cities, that means millions of units – including those on cars and buses and trains – constantly pushing out heat into the atmosphere. Studies have found the extra heat from air-conditioning can raise temperatures by as much as 2C. And when it gets hotter, our thermostats turn lower and the cycle continues.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49049238?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/world/us_and_canada&link_location=live-reporting-story

HoHoHo: StanChart CEO kanna lick ass/ Temasek acts

In Banks, Corporate governance, Emerging markets, Temasek on 21/07/2019 at 4:41 am

After further upsetting shareholders unhappy with his pay, by calling them”immature and unhelpful” (HoHoHo: StanChart CEO upset that investors angry about his salary), he issued a statement saying

I regret my inability to get my points across in the manner I intended and certainly meant no disrespect to our shareholders.

He explained that when talking to FT

about leadership I urged a conversation about the pressing questions of inequality, fairness of executive compensation and the role of corporations. The focus on a single component of pay, which in the case of Standard Chartered had no effect on total compensation, has crowded out this important debate.

Ha, Ha, Ha. Pull the other leg, it’s got bells on it.

The FT helps him out

He bristles at the suggestion that he is overpaid. Although he was Britain’s second-highest-paid bank CEO last year — his total package was almost £6m — he earns a fraction of what he did at JPMorgan. Critics counter that StanChart’s share price has fallen by about 20 per cent since he took over in 2015, versus double-digit gains for competitors HSBC and DBS.

(With friends like the FT who needs enemies?)

The very latest from the FT is that Temasek has told the directors of StanChart to sort the matter out in a way that wins support from the bank’s other large shareholders. FT reports the bank is considering asking its chief executive to take a pay cut.

What? He’ll resign given that he’s paid peanuts (albeit his performance amounts to monkeying around). But maybe that’s what Temasek wants?

Related post on the mess StanChart is in: HoHoHo: StanChart accused of more crimes

HoHoHo: StanChart accused of more crimes

In Banks, Corporate governance, Emerging markets, Temasek on 20/07/2019 at 6:43 am

The good news is that the accusation comes not from the US marshals that have been making life difficult for the go-to bank for Iran’s activities to by-pass US sanctions, but by whistleblowers in a civil law suit.

StanChart has been accused of handling U$56.8bn of dollars in allegedly illegal transactions with Iran-connected entities in a civil suit. They allege StanChart cleared far more transactions in violation of Iran sanctions between 2009 and 2014 than the US government used as the basis for fines paid by the bank in April (This prediction came true: HoHoHo: StanChart gets into more trouble).

The new claim filed on Thursday piles further legal woes on the emerging markets bank which has been hit with a series of penalties by US law enforcement and regulators in the past seven years for lax financial controls and for handling transactions for companies in Iran and other sanctioned countries.

FT

Quiet so. and CEO still KPKBing about his pay: HoHoHo: StanChart CEO upset that investors angry about his salary?

Weekend reading:

HohoHo: StanChart’s strategic plans are sounding like our restructuring plans

StanChart: Yet more problems for “rogue bank”

HoHoHo: Gd news for StanChart

Will the last US MNC leaving China switch off the lights

In China on 19/07/2019 at 3:50 pm

Further to Apple planning to leave China with help of Taiwanese Foxconn, big US MNCs such as HP, Dell, Microsoft and Amazon are looking to shift big amounts of their production out of China, says the Nikkei Asian Review. The potential exodus reveals how the US-China tech war is accelerating the already underway cost-push migration of capacity to SE Asia.

The plans vary for each company.

HP and Dell, which together command about 30% of the global personal computer market, are planning to shift up to 30% of their notebook production out of China. Microsoft, Google and Amazon are considering moving some of their game console and smart speaker manufacturing out of the country.

Others are evaluating options.

These plans have not changed since President Donald Trump signalled at the G20 meeting in Japan a possible softening of a ban on US businesses exporting technology to China. US policy is too uncertain, it says

But can US MNCs manage to move? Nikkei doesn’t bother to analyse. Watch this space for analysis.

Sorry Tharman fans, more qualified man of colour available

In Uncategorized on 19/07/2019 at 5:18 am

FT reported that underperforming Credit Suisse CEO (share price has collapsed since he became CEO), Tidjane Thiam, could be a candidate to head the IMF. Facts: the Franco-Ivorian CEO has long been linked with the post as a possible dark horse candidate (No pun intended: he like Tharman are long odds candidates). He has been Ivorian fiance minister and CEO of a British insurer. His academic credentials are also a lot better.

It quotes his friends as saying say he would be an ideal choice, enabling the IMF to make a switch to an emerging markets nominee that could still be acceptable to France. (French nationals have held the managing director role five out of 11 times since its post-war foundation).

As readers will know, the post of IMF head, is in the gift of the Europeans. They have always given the post to white-skinned Europeans. The Americans choose the World Bank CEO has at least gifted the post to an American with a yellow skin.

The BJP in Hindustan India and Tamil supremacists around the world are still smarting that an ethnic East Asian became World Bank president (They thanked the Gods he wasn’t an ethnic Chinese, only etnic Korean): hence their alleged support for Tharman.

Weekend reading. Tharman the wannabe stand-up comic:

Property: Tharman trying to crack jokes again

Tharman trying to tell jokes again?

Tharman joking again? Or trying to BS us?

Tharman talks cock yet again

Will Hougang make the PAP moan the inflation blues, not joke abt it?

 

 

How Hongkies organised leaderless protests

In China, Hong Kong on 18/07/2019 at 11:32 am

An excerpt from a BBC report. I recommend that real anti-PAP warriors read the report to pick up tips.

Many of the calls to protest are made anonymously, on message boards and in group chats on encrypted messaging apps.

Some groups have up to 70,000 active subscribers, representing about 1% of Hong Kong’s entire population. Many provide updates and first-hand reports relating to the protests, while others act as a crowdsourced lookout for police, warning protestors of nearby activity.

There are also smaller groups made up of lawyers, first aiders and medics. They provide legal advice and get supplies to protesters on the front lines.

Demonstrators say the online co-ordination of protests offers a convenient and instant way to disseminate information. The chat groups also let participants vote – in real time – to decide the next moves.

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-48802125

HoHoHo: StanChart CEO upset that investors angry about his salary

In Banks, Corporate governance, Emerging markets, Temasek on 18/07/2019 at 4:09 am

The FT had a piece on Tuesday in which Bill Winters, the CEO of StanChart, criticised shareholders after almost 40% of them voted against the bank’s pay policy at its annual meeting in May: Temasek stood by him. They were upset about the pension contributions made to Mr Winters.

“Picking on individual pension arrangements . . . and suggesting that there is some big issue there is immature and unhelpful,” the CEO of StanChart KPKBed.

On Wednesday the FT quoted shareholders hitting back.

Five top-20 shareholders (not Temasek with 16% though) in the bank told the FT that they were unimpressed by Mr Winters’ decision to attack shareholders. One big asset manager described the chief executive as “tin eared”.

Another large shareholder said: “As an immature investor, I’m going to not make any rash comments, but look forward to the fallout coming.”

Whatever, underperforming CEO (HoHoHo: Time for StanChart’s CEO to go? and HO Ho Ho: What Temasek forgot when it bot into StanChart) it seems is behaving like millionaire PAP ministers when it comes to money:  StanChart mgt think they like PAP ministers isit? and HoHoHo: StanChart CEO learning from our ministers.

Sounds like what Secret Squirrel told me is true: Temasek has warned him his end is nigh if he can’t improve the bank’s performance soon. So he’s frustrated and angry and hits out unthinkingly.

This outburst can’t help his relations with Temasek as there are now many comments online on FT website pointing out Temasek’s failure to get rid of him.

To be fair to him, his pay is “peanuts”. He got a lot more as a JPMorgan senior executive.

 

Another reason for Trump to be upset with UK

In Currencies on 17/07/2019 at 3:00 pm

After diplomatic cables in which the UK’s US ambassador said Tthe rump administration as “dysfunctional”, “faction riven” and “inept”were leaked, the Donald was mad. When Fox tells him that sterling has collapsed against the US$, he’ll be even angrier. Remember he was upset with the European Central Bank when it said it would take actions that analysts say would weaken the Euro. It’s only down 1%. 

IMF affirms support for PAP policies

In Economy on 17/07/2019 at 4:54 am

True, its lowered its guess-estimate for this yr’s growth to 2% from 2.3% (made in May), but eat yr heart out Mad Dog, Lim Tean and other nutty anti-PAP types.

It said “investment is expected to pick up on digitalisation” and as businesses adopt new technologies.  “Over the medium term, growth should stabilize around 2.5 per cent, increasingly driven by modern services alongside other trade-related sectors.”

Vote wisely.

Reminder: How bad things are

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted annualised basis,  GDP contracted by 3.4%, way below the median forecast of 0.1% in a Reuters poll. This was a reversal from the 3.8% growth in the previous quarter and marked the worst quarter-on-quarter performance since the third quarter of 2012. The economy also registered its lowest growth in a decade, expanding just 0.1% on year in the second quarter, missing a forecast rise of 1.1%.

“Only cold spell coming, but not Winter,” says Heng

Huawei bites back

In China on 16/07/2019 at 1:56 pm

Huawei is planning extensive job cuts in the US, the Wall Street Journal has reported, citing anonymous sources. Huawei has declined to comment.

Ang moh who bot S$73.8m flat

In Economy, EDB, Property on 16/07/2019 at 6:32 am

“In order to fix [something], you need a passionate anger about something that doesn’t work well,” James Dyson once said. He’s the man who bot a S$73.8m flat (Why S$73.8m flat is a steal). He is British and he manufactures and sells consumer products (hairdryers, vacuum cleaners and air filters) that are modern looking, well-engineered products. They are also very expensive, even if they are manufactured in the region and China, and not the UK.

Dyson, his private company, already has facilities here (and employs more people than in China — see Ang moh manufacturer employs more people here than in China and planning to employ a lot more) is to build the first of its electric cars in Singapore, choosing the country over the UK and China.

Dyson is planning to break into the automotive industry with a series of electric vehicles, using its existing knowledge in batteries and electric motors to give it the edge over established manufacturers.

What ST & CNA not saying abt Dyson’s move of HQ to S’pore

“The appeal of Singapore is zero tax”: How EDB got Dyson to come here

Electric cars will be made here?

Why S$73.8m flat is a steal

In Property on 15/07/2019 at 1:31 pm

A Mr. James Dyson recently bot a flat for US$55m (S$73.8m). This tops a flat that Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin  bot years ago for US$44m.

According to FT’s Lex, Dyson is paying around 40% less per foot than Mr Saverin but that “that could reflect a lower level of luxury”. It goes on

A 26 per cent discount on the list price for the 21,108 sq ft flat is a surer sign of a bargain.

“Only cold spell coming, but not Winter,” says Heng

In Economy, Media, Political economy on 15/07/2019 at 5:04 am

I know economists are forecasting a recession (How bad things are described at the footnote*) but was surprised the constructive, nation-building ST Super-lite reported this fact in the following manner:

The Government is “not expecting a full-year recession at this point”, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Friday (July 12), but economists are warning that there is a high likelihood of a technical recession ahead.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/slowing-economy-q2-what-it-means-jobs-general-election-and-long-term-growth

Showing that it no ak Heng (Heng trying to make distinction between “a full year recession” and “technical recession”, using economists to show its disrespect isit? Or is ST Super-lite juz clueless?

Waz more the economists were given a lot of pixel space to comment:

WHAT ANALYSTS SAY

Economists said that Singapore’s economic prospects have clearly deteriorated due to downside risks such as the trade war, as well as the slowdown in China and global growth, and the worsening tech cycle downturn.

Nearly all analysts interviewed by TODAY said chances are high that there could be a technical recession, which is defined by two consecutive quarter-on-quarter declines.

Referring to the latest result as “a near stall”, OCBC bank’s head of treasury research and strategy Selena Ling noted that the first half of this year’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) year-on-year growth was at a “paltry” 0.6 per cent, the weakest first half growth since 2009.

It “clearly heightens the risk of a technical recession if growth momentum remains tepid going into the third quarter,” she said.

Mr Joseph Incalcaterra, HSBC Global Research’s chief economist for the Association of South-east Asian Nations, said that the weakness in Singapore’s GDP is “a harbinger of further growth deterioration across the region”.

He added: “What surprised us is how broad-based the deterioration was in Singapore, suggesting that unlike other neighbouring economies, domestic-facing sectors are not strong enough to offset external headwinds.”

Dr Chua and Ms Lee from Maybank Kim Eng, who had previously forecasted a “shallow” technical recession, have downgraded their outlook to a deeper one.

Retrenchments in manufacturing and trade-related sectors are likely to worsen as firms cut back on hiring amid rising uncertainties, they said.

Mr Alvin Liew, an analyst from United Overseas Bank, said that the official forecast could be downgraded to a range of 0.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent in August, highlighting the possibility that the Government’s 0.1 per cent year-on-year flash estimate for the second quarter could be revised into negative territory as well.

MTI’s forecast had put GDP growth at between 1.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent for the whole of 2019.

Remember that S’pore is seen as one of the barometers for global demand given its export-orientated economy: S’pore: the canary in the coalmine

Related posts: PAP: tropical White Walkers?

Winter’s here, and it’s an Antarctic winter

Winter is here, how big will the anti-PAP vote be?

Expect MAS to “manipulate” S$ lower

Even MSM tells us “Ground is not sweet economically”

Ground is not sweet economically/ Authorities may have to do something but no gd options

—————————————————————————————————

*How bad things are

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted annualised basis,  GDP contracted by 3.4%, way below the median forecast of 0.1% in a Reuters poll. This was a reversal from the 3.8% growth in the previous quarter and marked the worst quarter-on-quarter performance since the third quarter of 2012. The economy also registered its lowest growth in a decade, expanding just 0.1% on year in the second quarter, missing a forecast rise of 1.1%.

 

Banking the African way

In Africa, Banks on 14/07/2019 at 2:06 pm

Real Wild West cowboy banking (Beats HSBC: Doing God’s Work by being the drug cartels’ favourite bank and HSBC: great customer & shareholder service.pales

Burundi’s state prosecutor has accused one of the country’s main commercial banks of letting money flow to militia groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, thereby threatening the security of the east African country.

Interbank Burundi denied the accusations in court in the capital, Bujumbura, on Wednesday.

Last week in Bujumbura, two officials of Trust Merchant Bank of the nearby city of Uvira in DR Congo were arrested with $1.5m (£1.2m) in cash from Interbank Burundi on their way to Uvira.

The prosecution said it was investigating reports that the cash was being channelled to finance militia groups in eastern DR Congo.

Interbank Burundi denied the allegations, saying it was playing a routine, intermediary role to facilitate money transfers between Trust Merchant Bank Kinshasa and its Uvira branch.

The court in Bujumbura is to give its verdict in 10 days.

BBC report

Ravi not taking his medicine again?

In Uncategorized on 14/07/2019 at 10:18 am

Update on 15 July at 4.30 pm:

“We have informed the court at the Pre Trial Conference this morning that the case is being withdrawn. We would like to wish the couple the very best and will pray for recovery,” the lawyer wrote.

M Ravi’s FB post

Law Society should investigate if he was professional negligent in filing the suit, in addition to find out if he’s taking his medicine.

——————————————————————————–

Recently, Ravi got back his practicing certificate. He can now practice law: a mixed blessing for an unfortunate couple he’s doing pro bono work, as I will explain.

But first when he got back his cert, I had high hopes for him because he gave an interview to the constructive, nation-building media in which for first time ever he admitted openly that he had gone bananas and apologised to those he had hurt (physically or mentally). (M Ravi apologises for assaults after pleading guilty and Shameful silence as M Ravi’s cows come home)

This was a first because after he recovered from his two previous maniac spells, he refused to talk about his illness, even though he had gone bonkers in public, causing rows. He even sued the Law Society, but now he thanked the Law Society.

I was happy for him because even if I tot he was a BS of a lawyer, I admired his courage (JBJ’s real son?)

Well reading this extract from TOC (about a husband trying to use his CPF to pay for his wife’s cancer treatment when she’s terminally ill: even the doctors treating her say it’s unlikely she’ll survive), it’s clear Ravi’s had a relapse and should not have got back his cert:

CPF Board savings withdrawal policy restricted to recipients aged 55 and above “mindboggling” and “irrational”: Suriia’s lawyer M Ravi

M Ravi had previously raised several concerns regarding his client’s case.

Firstly, he argued that Section 18(d) of the CPF Act allows a CPF member to transfer a portion of his fund from the Ordinary and Special accounts to his loved one’s account. However, according to the CPF Board’s policy, the money can only be transferred to someone who is 55 years of age and above.

“Now, to me, this policy is irrational. A policy which is irrational in the administrative law sense becomes unlawful.

“In other words, what the CPF Board is saying is that although they are sympathetic to the fact that Sarojini is suffering from 4th stage cancer, she has to wait until she turns 55 for Suriia to transfer the money, with the Board’s consent, from his account to Sarojini’s Medisave account.

“To me, this is mindboggling and to say the least, it rankles the soul,” said M Ravi.

The human rights lawyer also argued that the CPF Board’s policy deprives Sarojini of her right to life under Article 9 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore, which stipulates that “no one should be deprived of his life or liberty in accordance with the law”.

M Ravi had consequently filed a Mandatory Order to the court “to compel the CPF Board to allow” Suriia “to transfer to his wife, portion of his CPF funds to her” on Wed (10 Jul).

“Suriia also seeks a Declaration from the court that the CPF Board’s policy made pursuant to Section 18D of the CPF Act is unlawful and unconstitutional, insofar as it prohibits the transfer of funds from Suriia’s Ordinary and Special accounts to his wife Sarojini’s Medisave account,” he added.

I won’t bother rebutting this nonsense* except to say lawyers who know and like him think he’s bonkers in his reasoning.

This

The human rights lawyer also argued that the CPF Board’s policy deprives Sarojini of her right to life under Article 9 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore, which stipulates that “no one should be deprived of his life or liberty in accordance with the law”.

reminded me that I once upon a time wrote

M Ravi’s grandfather’s parliament, is it?

Will M Ravi’s barrage of constitutional challenges change anything?

M Ravi kanna “brainwashed” by ang mohs?

Btw, fyi:

Understanding M Ravi’s bi-polar disorder

An inconvenient fact for M Ravi’s groupies

————————————–

Added after publication

*A reader, a fat cat doctor turned bizman explained

 [Y]ou’re allowed to transfer your CPF to your loved ones’ accounts, after setting aside the BRS (or 1/2 of the old Minimum Sum with property pledge).

If you’re below 55, you can transfer your remaining Ordinary Account.

If you’re above 55, you can transfer your remaining Ordinary plus Special Accounts.

He then added:

Under most other state pension plans elsewhere in the world, they wouldn’t even be able to utilise any part of it for medical / insurance expenses. And no “refund” of pension savings due to terminal prognosis (which the wife got back all her CPF OA & SA in cash).

Ok ok, in angmoh countries, she would qualify for maybe disability welfare and perhaps also free medical. But the big caveat is that such free or heavily state-subsidised medical is restricted to their govt medical system & hospitals, which are either no better & often worse than Singapore’s govt medical system.

And they are not into govt hospitals …. they are using Mt E & PCC.

Another funny thing is how they claimed the private specialists mentioned that she can be treated, but when interviewed by MOH, the private healthcare providers stated that her condition is incurable.

Knowing how vested & fucked up the private healthcare industry is, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a “difference” in “opinions” being conveyed to the patient, but in this case it shouldn’t be because the private medical certified her case as “terminal” i.e. death expected within 12 months, in order for her to get CPF to give her back her OA & SA.

Price of coffee in a cuppa

In Uncategorized on 13/07/2019 at 11:01 am

Coffee powder used in a US$4 cup of coffee is costs US$0.50: 12.5% of the total cost. Secret Squirrel’s second cousin removed who owns a coffee place in an atas mall, says that in S’pore, the % is around there too.

Note that in the illustration “Mark up” is not the profit. It includes rent, wages etc.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48631129

Selling medicine like selling burgers or fried chicken

In Uncategorized on 12/07/2019 at 1:30 pm

AstraZeneca takes lessons from fast food to serve China

In face of competition from generics, group relies on sales volume rather than price
FT headline
Chinese fast food marketers are sure to be in demand with drug cos in China as they are forced to compete with generics: Chinese govt is making sure hospitals (friends of ang moh drug cos) have to publicly tender their requirements. No more, “You put money in my pocket, I scratch yr white skin”.
But because Chinese consumers don’t trust generics, ang moh drug cos have resorted to selling expired patent drugs like burgers and fried chicken. Buy a burger, get discount on yr medicine?

Hyflux is Big Flush

In Corporate governance, Financial competency on 12/07/2019 at 6:20 am

The latest news that Huflux is talking to the camel drivers (Hyflux: Can believe or not?) after telling them to go f**k their camels reminded me of a comment I once saw on TRE:

Hyflux will be known as Big Flush?

Once a paper general, always a paper general

In Political governance on 11/07/2019 at 10:35 am

His orders must be obeyed: no questions allowed.

Prayuth Chan-ocha, the general who has been Thailand’s prime minister since leading a coup in 2014, seems to be threatening another coup: against MPs who support him. Mr Prayuth is upset at his supporters in parliament: they have been squabbling over cabinet posts.

Reminds u of any S’porean? Kee Chiu anyone?

Related posts:

Why paper generals, not private sector CEOs make it to PAP cabinet

Lesson for paper generals: How an economy fares after a coup

Why Kee Chiu not PM material

How to win over PAP voters

PAP cabinet at work?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 11/07/2019 at 6:18 am

At GM, if you see a snake, the first thing you do is go hire a consultant on snakes. Then you get a committee on snakes, and then you discuss it for a couple of years. The most likely course of action is — nothing. You figure, the snake hasn’t bitten anybody yet, so you just let him crawl around on the factory floor. We need to build an environment where the first guy who sees the snake kills it.

Ross Perot who died recently. He was a billionaire (computer services), GM director, and US presidential candidate. He failed to be president but his agenda of balancing budget and cutting welfare, was taken up by Bill Clinton who won.

Eating whale: Gd point

In Uncategorized on 10/07/2019 at 11:53 am

We don’t complain about what other people eat. In Australia, they eat kangaroos. Kangaroos are cute too, aren’t they? I think you should respect a country’s culture and history Shintaro Maeda, mayor of Shimonoseki.

FT

Why one-party rule sucks for Xi, Lee and Heng

In Political governance, Public Administration on 10/07/2019 at 6:14 am

Heng’s recent comments on the need of GST to rise by 2 points soon despite a weakening economy (Btw, How PAP can win 65% plus of the vote), his earlier comments that we must have FT’s by the cattle-truck load (OK population of 10m) and so on show that die-die he must defend all the actions of the previous PAP govts.

He cannot blame predecessors for cock-ups because “PAP is always right, PAP never wrong”. This is said about Xi but applies to Heng and other 4G, 3G and even 2G PAP leaders and ministers (Emphasis mine):

Not only might the horizons of the leaders of the Chinese Communist party on matters of jobs and economic growth be just as short as those of democratic politicians, their choices may be more circumscribed. A democratic leader can blame a sequence of errors by previous administrations for the current parlous state of the stock market and the economy. Mr Trump can (and does) blame his predecessors for negotiating bad trade deals …

By contrast, even though Mr Xi inherited an over-leveraged economy, he cannot blame his predecessors for the difficult hand he was dealt or for the current slowdown. They too were from the party, and if the party is fallible, does it not follow that people should have the right to vote for a different regime?

He has to maintain the fiction that the party has always made the best decision under the circumstances. That means the Chinese administration has to rescue the stock market if it tanks, and flood the economy with stimulus if growth slows significantly. In fact, it has very short horizons when reacting to potentially adverse economic developments. Chinese investors, confident that the government will bail them out if too many fail, pile in to risky assets without adequate diligence or fear, preventing Chinese markets from allocating capital appropriately.

Raghuram Rajan, author of ‘The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind’

Mr Rajan was head of India’s central bank and was also a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund.

Will resale flat owners still vote for PAP in next GE? contd

Exposed: Flaws in PM’s HDB spin

The real truths about public housing

Why 30-year old HDB flats difficult to sell/ Why PAP rule will end in 2029

And why changes in policy take so long and the explanations for change so convoluted: example welfare for us oldies, Merdeka Generation: PAP cares for u, really they do, and minor changes in education, No more streaming? Really? What a load of BS.

Here’s another reason why Lee, Heng and other PAP millionaire ministers always blame world economic conditions, never their policies:

Mr Xi’s tight control over policy also makes it hard to diffuse blame. He must defend his own departure from his predecessor Deng Xiaoping’s dictum that to prosper, China should hide its capabilities and bide its time. From his early days in power, Mr Xi asserted that “the Chinese nation has gone from standing up, to becoming rich, to becoming strong”. Some argue his actions have been tantamount to waving a red rag at the Americans, and are directly responsible for today’s trade imbroglio. To quell criticism that he has dragged China’s growth down by challenging the US geopolitically too soon, Mr Xi needs a positive resolution to the conflict.

(Rajan)

 

HK: What MSM and alt media don’t tell us

In China, Hong Kong on 09/07/2019 at 4:36 am

Both by our constructive, nation-building media and alt media. Both focus on faking the news to further their pro-PAP and anti-PAP agendas respectively.

I got these four great insights on the situation HK from the Financial Times.

Inside, it was chaos. An alarm was ringing, papers were scattered over the floor, the walls were covered in anti-government graffiti. On closer inspection, though, it was a finely calibrated act of provocation; protesters had vandalised the emblems of power but had been careful to leave libraries and cultural artefacts untouched. They’d even left money in the fridge to pay for drinks they’d consumed.

Louise Lim on what she saw inside the the thrashed LegCo

PAP BS that the violence was mindless. No wonder there was wide-spread approval of what the thrashers did.

The police’s reasoning for allowing the storming

Police defended their withdrawal from the Legislative Council complex, saying a decision was made on safety grounds to avoid possible “physical encounters” with protesters in a confined space. The force said protesters had used “poisonous and inflammable chemicals” to attack police officers during the day and if they had attempted to ignite these chemicals inside the building, the consequences would have been “unimaginable”.

One could be sceptical of the reasoning, but I never saw this reported here. Why?

This from an FT reader on the uselessness of the Chinese propaganda machine in HK

“It’s simply amazing that foreign powers can exert such an influence on this generation of Hong Kong youngsters who are often criticised for their poor command of English. The whole CCP propaganda machine in Hong Kong that has received limitless funding for the last 22 years, should be summarily dismissed for gross incompetence!!”

Gives the lie that our constructive, nation-building media imply: that the HK people are ang moh tua kees.

And last but not least, this illustration sums up the situation:

S’pore’s a liberal place, ang moh data shows

In Uncategorized on 08/07/2019 at 1:14 pm

Repression? What repression? Obvious Kirsten Han doesn’t do quantitative data, only subjective feelings isit? Another example of her failure with numbers: Repression? What repression?/ Alt media cannot be trusted.

If u draw a straight line down from where S’pore’s is located on chart below, you’ll hit France, I’m told. Now France isn’t repressive, is it, Kirsten Han? Eat yr heart out ang moh tua kees, cybernuts and other anti-PAP types. Repression? What repression?

We are liberal by advanced country standards: not very liberal but we have France for company.

A really smart ang moh tua, cybernut or other anti-PAPpy (But there are none) will point out that the Heritage Foundation is an arm of the CIA and Wall St. But there’s no evidence for this assertion.

Related post: “There is freedom of speech, but I cannot guarantee freedom after speech”

Cry for Richard Li

In Insurance, Uncategorized on 08/07/2019 at 4:54 am

He sold too soon a huge stake in Tencent.

From an FT reader commenting on an article on Richard Li who is now in the biz of building a major Asian life insurer (FWD) to challenge the likes of AIA. (Btw, his insurtech, subset of fintech, biz is based here.)

Richard Li never made it as a tech investor. But he came tantalizingly close, once. Back in the late 1990s his company PCCW happened to invest in a small nobody company in what was then the Wild West Chinese border town of Shenzhen. This nobody company was called Tencent. At one point, Mr Li owned something like 40% of it, for which of course he paid peanuts. But then, in 2001, he sold his entire stake to a bunch of nobody South Africans that no one had ever heard of, doubling his amount of peanuts in the process. We know the South African buyer today as Naspers, whose investment in Tencent entered the record books as the most successful venture capital investment ever made.

Really unlucky chap despite being born with a silver spoon in hisa mouth.

PAP govt propaganda on IRs has worked

In Casinos, Tourism on 07/07/2019 at 1:49 pm

A British schoolboy coming here to compete in a literature quiz wants to see “Marina Sands and the Gardens by the Bay as well as a trip to Universal Studios”. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-48840398?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/education&link_location=live-reporting-story

Does he, his parents or teachers know that Marina Sands is actually a casino and Universal Studios is beside another casino?

 

See who attended TOC’s do

In Uncategorized on 07/07/2019 at 5:06 am

But first I was wrong. I told Terry that if the do was cancelled, no need to refund me. I said I was sure that a dead rat would be found on a surprise inspection of the place juz before the frunction.

 

I’m glad I didn’t attend: Lim Tean, Tan Kin Lian, Mad Dog and Tan Jee Say were there. Though it would have been nice to say hello to Uncle Leong, Chopra, Remy Choo,  Dr Paul and Tan Cheng Bock, Terry and that pretty gal in white and black on the left of group photo.

I’m no fan of the fake news reporting of TOC, but Terry has his heart in the right place: Why continued one-party rule is not good for us.

And Samsung wants to sell folding phones?

In Uncategorized on 06/07/2019 at 11:05 am

Samsung is being sued by Australia’s consumer watchdog for allegedly making misleading claims about the water-resistant properties of its phones.

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-48866148

The above came out on the day that Samsung said it still believes its folding phones will be a ‘driving force’: it’s preparing to relaunch Galaxy Fold after initial problems (The sets tech reviewers received cracked when folded.)

Seriously, people who used to like Samsung smartphones are not happy. Friends have complained that newer models are not well made: niggering, irritating faults. A family of Samsung users moved on after this incident: family member’s one week old Samsung had water contamination problems after she wore it on her arm band and went jogging with it. Her sweat penetrated into the phone and Samsung would not replace it even though it was only one week old. Not covered by warranty: fault of user staff claimed.

 

Gd news for the PAP

In Economy on 06/07/2019 at 4:58 am

A survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore shows nearly half of multinationals in Asia think south-east Asia has become more attractive as a result of the US-China friction.

Cybernuts should remember that S’pore is in SE Asia, and the regional centre for shipping, air transport, finance and commerce.

TRE reader reminds TRE cybernuts of Hard Truth

In Economy on 05/07/2019 at 11:36 am

If there’s a recession or worse, cybernuts suffer the the most barring those like long-term Oz resident Oxygen who still has a CPF account even though he demands “Return my CPF” saying CPF has no money. As a quitter, he can take his money out of CPF, but he doesn’t because it’s alleged he uses his CPF account as a means of cheating the Oz tax authorities, despite getting extensive welfare benefits. (Btw, he also dances on the graves of innocent children, TRE grave dancer doesn’t deny grave dancing, sneering at their parents for trusting the PAP.)

When TRE used this Ground is not sweet economically/ Authorities may have to do something but no gd options, there was this response that the cybernuts will suffer the greatest:

Jman:
June 30, 2019 at 10:48 am (Quote)
This is the price we have to pay for the many nice things we have. We have some of the nicest stuff in the world, strong currency, high asset prices. Which puts our cost structure at the very top. And because of all that, only those Singaporeans who can perform to the top level, push things to the limit constantly, and run nonstop are going to get any decent life in such an environment.

But when the chips are down, we’d be the first to go. And then the weeding will start from the weakest among us and gradually work its way upward. And if it lasts long enough, eventually the top bosses and civil servants and ministers will also get hit. And many Singaporeans who are sour about public service pay will have their day.

But when we get to that day, these sour Singaporeans have to remember that they are at the bottom of the hull of the ship. And when the ship sinks so badly, there will be many Singaporeans who will be far deeper underwater and far worse off than they are today.

 

Temasek and the QIA: Spot the difference?

In Corporate governance, Temasek on 05/07/2019 at 4:56 am

QIA stands for the Qatar Investment Authority, and is Qatar’s SWF. Qatar is ruled by a hereditary autocrat, the emir.

The chairman of QIA and his deputy are relatives of the emir.

Economist

Why continued one-party rule is not good for us

In Political governance on 04/07/2019 at 11:51 am

Success fails. In the long run entropy sets into any successful political system, as people take its successes for granted and forget what actually made it work.

Martin Wolf of FT in “Why democratic government is showing strains in the US and UK” where he bemoans that nostalgia, identity politics and declining influence of elites sped the rise of populist entertainers.

Getting rid of the PAP’s ability to suka suka change the Constitution should be the aim of an Opposition that cares for S’pore. But Mad Dog and Lim Tean both think that a Coalition of the Spastics can win next GE. Sad.

Where the PAP vote banks (Pioneer G not included) can be found (Winter is here, how big will the anti-PAP vote be?)

Why Milliennals will vote for the PAP

Even with a united Opposition and with clowns like Mad Dog, Meng Seng, Lim Tean and Tan Kin Lian (Secret Squirrel says he’s planning to stand in a GRC as part of Meng Seng’s losing team) not standing, and with credible people like TCB, Paul A and Nicola Seah (next chairman of Wankers’ Party when aunty steps down) standing getting more then one third of seats in parly is an uphill task because of the GRC system.

(Btw, if the WP wants to retain Aljunied GRC, Auntie, Low and Bayi should make way for new blood: PAP confident of winning back Aljunied)

It’s a long and winding road to a two-party system. No thanks to Mad Dog who mauled the SDP’s three MPs when he became the SDP’s leader. And he still think’s he’s the Messiah of democracy here?

 

HK: LegCo thrashing not PRC black ops

In China, Hong Kong on 04/07/2019 at 4:28 am

Further to HK: Frustration, Carrie’s gambit or PRC black ops?, where I voiced tots that the  thrashing of LegCo could have been a PRC black ops operation (“Peanuts” mob and police “cooperation”), it’s now clear that it was more the result of the frustration of some useful idiots and a head prefect’s gambit that the useful idiots accepted. We’ll have to watch and wait to see who wins.

Hong Kong protests: Parliament ‘never represented its people’

On the night of 1 July, hundreds of protesters forcibly broke into Hong Kong’s parliamentary Legislative Council building.

Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, who did not take part, explains why protesters felt that action was necessary.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-china-48824110/hong-kong-protests-parliament-never-represented-its-people

With useful idiots as Joshua Wong (He reminds me of our very own Mad Dog, now thankfully under sedation by RI doctors from the SDP), Xi doesn’t need to send in the PRC armed police.

 

HK: Frustration, Carrie’s gambit or PRC black ops?

In China, Hong Kong on 03/07/2019 at 10:36 am

Here is what a protester who was part of group that thrashed LegCo said

“Some people might say this is wrong but to us it is a necessary evil,” said one man wearing a gas mask, who identified himself only as Henry, as protesters threw eggs inside the Legislative Council, Hong Kong’s de facto parliament. “One million of us marched peacefully, two million of us marched peacefully and yet the government didn’t listen to us.”

FT report

Police inaction has led to suspicions that the break-in was encouraged* (Wilder speculation has the break-in attributed to PRC operatives and the usual “useful idiots”**)

At around midday, dozens of demonstrators broke off from the main protest and made their way to LegCo.

They effectively besieged the building, as a large crowd of several hundred watched from a distance, before eventually smashing their way through the glass facade.

Inside, they defaced the emblem of Hong Kong in the central chamber, raised the old British colonial flag, spray-painted messages across the walls and shattered furniture.

At about midnight outside the building, protesters clad in plastic helmets and brandishing umbrellas retreated from a baton charge by riot police, who quickly overcame their makeshift barriers.

Within an hour, the streets around the building were clear of everyone except the media and police.

BBC

Watch these

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-48834050/inside-hong-kong-s-parliament-after-protesters-were-evicted

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-china-48821664/hong-kong-protesters-removed-from-hk-parliament-building

Related posts:

HK protestors prove George Orwell’s point

Why Hongkies sang ‘Sing Hallelujah to the Lord’

HK demonstrations: What I’d like to know


*Why did Lam remove the guards, inviting in the provocateurs?

**Were these protesters provocative agents of Communist China?

 

 

GIC outperformed by tell-all Norwegian SWF

In Financial competency, GIC, Private Equity, S'pore Inc on 03/07/2019 at 6:38 am

By 15%.

GIC’s annualised 20-year real rate of return, its main performance metric, was 3.4 per cent up to the year-end in March. That compares with a real rate of return of 3.9 per cent since 1998 at Norges, the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund.

FT

Please remember that GIC (like Temasek) says it needs to be non-transparent to make money for us. Well tell that to the Norwegians who even tell the world the colour of the underwear of the fund managers.

Btw, GIC is investing less in stock markets, more in private equity. Who isn’t?

PAP: tropical White Walkers?

In Uncategorized on 02/07/2019 at 10:34 am

When TRE republished Ground is not sweet economically/ Authorities may have to do something but no gd options and Even MSM tells us “Ground is not sweet economically”, where I talked of the White Walkers  arriving at Changi Int Airport, TRE used this image:

 

I realised I was wrong, the White Walkers have been here since 1954. Thinking further about it, the PAP must be a mutant version of the real White Walkers since S’pore’s a hot place. But then maybe not because maybe the fact that the PAP likes air conditioning (Harry said it’s one of greatest inventions: ang moh said it first though) explains how White Walkers can thrive here  despite the tropical heat.

What do you think?

 

Weaker Yuen is not gd for us

In China, Currencies, Economy on 02/07/2019 at 4:13 am

Neil Mellor at BNY Mellon, makes the case that so long as a weaker renminbi does not ensue, “there could still be positive implications for markets if no agreement, or an agreement to continue talking, were to trigger another, and possibly more substantial, round of stimulus from Beijing”.

That could well boost regional currencies, including those for Taiwan, South Korea, S’pore and the Philippines. A broader rally would bolster commodities, the Australian dollar and eurozone equities.

PAP really makes case for banning tobacco and alcohol

In Public Administration on 01/07/2019 at 11:26 am

 

Our Pet Minister* (The PAP sees voters who own pets as an important constituency*) likes to draw attention to thescientific literature that show that cannabis and other drugs are harmful, as the reason not to decriminalise them.

Well there is plenty of evidence that alcohol and tobacco are more harmful.

So why PAP no ban them?

Ang moh tua kee at work (West’s ‘human rights superiority complex’)? Our colonial masters didn’t ban alcohol and tobacco but banned these drugs, so their PAP running dogs followed blindly isit?

Fyi

[A] report published today by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, an independent group of 26 former presidents and other bigwigs. They conclude that, as far as the scientific evidence is concerned, current drug laws have no rhyme or reason to them. The commission blames the UN’s drug classification system, which sorts some 300 psychoactive substances into “schedules” according to their harms and benefits. Some, such as morphine, have medical uses. Others, such as psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms), are used mostly recreationally. Drugs without any apparent medical utility are automatically placed in the most dangerous category—and subjected to the strictest criminal penalties—regardless of the risk they pose.

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/06/25/what-is-the-most-dangerous-drug


*He and his side kick Louis Ng (PAP MP still sore at childhood failure?) got more power then the ministers responsible for Malays, Indians and Eurasians combined. Says something about the power and influence that pets who really own their so-called masters have in S’pore. Minorities can only envy these dogs and cats.

SingTel, Hong Leong will get digital bank licences

In Banks, S'pore Inc, Telecoms on 01/07/2019 at 5:06 am

MAS to issue up to five new digital bank licences: SM Tharman

Constructive, nation building media

It’s a nap that two of the licences will go to SingTel (or a SingTel jv) and Hong Leong Group

SingTel or a jv led by it will get one of the two digital full bank licences, which will allow licensees to provide a wide range of financial services and take deposits from retail customers. The focus of a SingTel bank will be regional remittances via its regional network of telcos. Think of all the Peenoy and Indon maids who remit money via remittance firms.

Grab or Go-Jek could decide to try to cut a deal with SingTel, rather than apply for a virtual bank licence themselves because they can bring to the party a regional presence via their apps etc. But SingTel may be too greedy to do a jv. I suspect the authorities will make SingTel tie up with Go-Jek or Grab. But the other co will not be left out in the cold (see below) because I think the authorities want competition here between the two and because Temasek has stakes in both: Temasek, GIC got this right in our backyard. Related post: Offered money, Grab it

Hong Leong group will get one of the up to three digital wholesale bank licences, which will allow licensees “to serve SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and other non-retail segments”. Hong Leong Finance is a de facto SME bank though people like Inderjit Singh and Jack Sim are not happy with the way it does biz, and are forever KPKBing for really cheap financing for SME owners, even though it’s a fact that SME owners often divert biz loans to buy property.

Grab, Go-Jek and Razor will try for the other virtual bank licence, though I think they’ll have to find a S’porean partner because

Companies headquartered in Singapore and controlled by Singaporeans will be able to apply for digital full bank licences.

Foreign companies who wish to apply must form a joint venture with a Singapore company, the authority added. The joint venture must meet the headquarter and control requirements. Digital wholesale bank licences are open to all companies.

I’m sure they will try to get M1 owned by Keppel and SPH to partner one of them.

But as I said for Grab and Go-Jek working with SingTel could be a better bet if SingTel is not too greedy. The other could then tie up with M1.

As to Razer? Razer? Who the f@#! is Razer?

 

 

 

 

West’s ‘human rights superiority complex’

In Uncategorized on 30/06/2019 at 12:23 pm

African version of our Harry criticises West’s ‘human rights superiority complex’.

From a BBC report

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has termed criticism of his country’s human rights record as “rubbish” and “ridiculous” in an interview with French TV broadcaster France24.

He said that Rwanda was a different country compared to what it was 25 years ago.

He challenged the programme’s host to look at what he called Europe’s failing human rights record, especially its treatment of migrants.

“[Europe] is violating people’s rights, with this problem of people being bundled and sent back to sink in the Mediterranean and so many people being mistreated in your own country,” he said.

Mr Kagame added that the West’s criticisms was tinged with a superiority complex:

“You really need to stop this superiority complex nonsense about human rights.

“You think you are the only ones who respect human rights, all others are about violating human rights. No, we’ve fought for human rights and freedoms for our people much better [than] you people who keep talking about this nonsense.”

Well so long as there are ang mog tua kees like Kirsten Han, PJ Thum and cybernut Oxygen (big funder of TRE even though he is refugee from S’pore living in Oz for yrs and yrs) who can blame the West for superiority complex? West’s ass gets licked by these ang moh tua kees.

 

Chinese hold up the sky in luxury watch mkt

In China, Political economy on 30/06/2019 at 4:47 am

Mao and other revolutionaries will not be happy that despite all the suffering and deaths they inflicted on the Chinese to build a Communist state that, “40% of the overall global luxury watch consumption is Chinese.” This was said by the chief executive Davide Traxler of Parmigiani Fleurier, a once great brand.

He says half the lossmaking watch brand’s social media budget will go on China because “Those consumers also consume in London and Paris and wherever they go, but marketing has to be done in their home countries.” Other areas that buy luxury watches are the rest of Asia, the US and Middle East.

Europeans are too poor according to him.

That’s the downside of countries that provide generous help for the poor. The money got to come from somewhere.

Even MSM tells us “Ground is not sweet economically”

In Economy, Uncategorized on 29/06/2019 at 11:20 am

When I published this, Ground is not sweet economically/ Authorities may have to do something but no gd options, I had not gotten round to scanning the latest headlines of our constructive, nation building media.

These were the headlines I had missed

Singapore’s 2019 economic growth likely to be weaker but global economy ‘not headed for a crash’, says MAS chief

MTI and MAS reviewing growth forecast, which was just slashed in May

And

As Singapore relooks 2019 projections, economists warn of possible technical recession

Nice to know that even economists are thinking like me: White Walkers expected at Changi In’l soon.

 

Offered money, Grab it

In Uncategorized on 29/06/2019 at 4:39 am

This seems to be the philosophy of Southeast Asia’s biggest ride-app company.

Grab has received an additional US$300 million investment from asset manager Invesco as part of plans to raise $6.5 billion in total capital this year.

“The additional investment in Grab takes Invesco’s overall total to US$703 million and re-affirms its belief in Grab’s vision and plan for the region,” Grab said in a statement on Jun 27.

Softbank-backed Grab said in April that it was looking to raise another US$2 billion this year to ramp up expansion, weeks after announcing more than US$4.5 billion of funding in Southeast Asia’s largest round of private financing.

Seems most of the money with go to developing fintech and insurance, not subsidise rides. Well it did out-subsidise Uber until the latter cried “Uncle”, pulled out of the region and took a stake in Grab in recompense. Grabbed Uber’s balls, Grab did.

Ground is not sweet economically/ Authorities may have to do something but no gd options

In Economy, Political economy, Public Administration on 28/06/2019 at 9:12 am

Winter is here and the White Walkers are expected to land at Changi Int’l or the port any time soon.

S’pore’s recent gloomy economic data

— Electronics exports, a major driver of Singapore’s growth over the past two years, saw their biggest decline in more than a decade, hit by a global downturn in the semiconductor industry, data showed last week.

— Overall exports in May declined the most in more than three years as shipments to China slumped.

— The number of retrenchments rose 40% in the first quarter of 2019 from a year ago, driven by cuts in the manufacturing sector, according to official data released this month.

The authorities have to act if there’s going to be a GE this yr. Problem is that there are no good options.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore closely tracks data and there is a growing chance it may ease its currency-focused monetary policy for the first time in nearly three years.

Some say the central bank could even ease outside of its bi-annual meeting schedule as it did in January 2015 when it sought to counter deflationary pressures amid slowing growth.

But a more accommodative stance won’t be enough to reinvigorate the economy, said CIMB Private Banking economist, Mr Song Seng Wun, as a weaker Singapore dollar will not necessarily push up exports.

“Singapore businesses won’t suddenly become so competitive that we are going to be selling a lot more of our goods and services,” he said.

The finance ministry also has limited space to help given already-low tax rates, along with numerous incentives and cost offsets and an expansionary budget this year.

Further stimulus could come in the form of tax cuts and more rebates but factory operators aren’t waiting for the government to come to their rescue.

Reuters

Reuters also reported Mr Sam Chee Wah, general manager at Feinmetall Singapore, whose products are used for testing semiconductor wafers, as saying

[H]e’s been bracing for a tech slowdown since last year – holding back hiring and major capital investments. He’s now considering offering discounts or delayed payment terms to customers.

With US-China hostilities showing no signs of abating, Singapore will have to weather the storm for some time to come.

We are not out of the woods yet,” said Ms Sian Fenner, lead economist at Oxford Economics. “We haven’t seen the worst.”:

— Winter is here, how big will the anti-PAP vote be?

— S’pore: the canary in the coalmine/ Is the ground sweet for the PAP?

How 4G leaders going to get 65% of the popular vote( the pass mark for bragging rights that they have the people’s mandate)?

Remember

— Another reason why ground is not sweet for the PAP.

And there’s the promised 2 percentage points GST rise coming possibly, when the economy’s in a recession. This when the PAP govt has huge budget surpluses.

Next week, will forecast what the PAP govt will do.

 

 

Bitcoin is on a roll

In Uncategorized on 28/06/2019 at 4:46 am

Even if fell by US$2000 last nite.

But did u know that the local price of bitcoin had recently risen in places of political turmoil: think Hong Kong and Tehran. People in those places don’t trust their govt, and so diversify out of paper curriencies.

SingTel: Call India to get great service

In Telecoms on 27/06/2019 at 10:39 am

In SingTel Prepaid: SMS giving wrong info, I related what happened to a cheapskate S’porean’s experience with SingTel’s Hi card service.

Here’s his further adventures. A few days ago, he tried to use his phone after lunch, but was told that there was no more money in the account. Remember he had checked in early June (following false SMS message that there was only $2 in the account) and was told that there was $16 and since then had not used the phone much. He called SingTel and the local-based officer taught him how to check his balance: there was really no money this time.

As he wanted to know more about how the money was “stolen” (his word), the officer said the officer would have to call back.

As he didn’t receive a call back by 5.15pm the same day (Impatient guy: he was once an enforcer and fixer for a senior civil servant who was a LKY favourite), he called again the helpline and was this time put thru to SingTel’s call centre in India.

The India-based customer service officer investigated his account, told him what had gone wrong (“an honest technical error” is my description of what the Indian lady actually said), ensured that the problem could not happen again in the future, and credited $20 back into his account. (Actually, the amount wrongfully taken was at least $29, but she could only credit $20, and advised that my friend could write to SingTel to claim back more. I’ll go into details of how SingTel Hi card accidentally, inadvertently hijacked his money some other day.)

He then asked why she could sort out the matter within minutes, when the person based in S’pore couldn’t. She explained that the local staff did not have access to any customer account, and they were there only to provide general assistance. The local officer had referred my case to her office, and the office in India would have called my friend back within two days, If he hadn’t called and got thru.

My friend was very angry that the local officer (Must be TOC or TRE cybernut I told him) didn’t tell him that the response to his query would take two days. He told the Indian lady that she should feed-back to SingTel that customers should be told how long it would take to get a return call.

My advice to anyone with SingTel technical problems: call outside normal S’porean working hours so that the call centre in India can sort out the problem on the spot. The officers are good, really good. And they don’t talk in whispers, unlike their local counterparts.

And in case any cybernut hasn’t spotted the pink elephant in the room (After all they wouldn’t be cybernuts would they, if they are smart?), how come SingTel allows overseas based staff to access our accounts to help us sort out problems, but not true blue S’poreans? It can’t be because of SingTel is afraid of employing cybernuts: only a subset of the 30% are cybernuts who prefer reading TOC, TRE etc and KPKBing, and not working.

Most S’poreans are hard-working and conscious: they vote for the PAP.

But don’t blame SingTel (a GLC) for preferring foreigners.

Even TOC prefers to employ foreigners, even though it says

Our aim is to examine the issues that matter, or should matter, to Singaporeans and to reflect the diversity of life, of ideas and opinions, that is Singapore.

TOC

Don’t believe me? Read TOC: A lot of bull: where I report that TOC admits employing foreigners.

Employing foreigners working abroad to do things for S’poreans here, means less GST and other taxes are collected. At least, FTs pay GST etc.

 

Why I hold Hongkong Bank and UOB shares

In Banks, Financial competency on 27/06/2019 at 4:38 am

OK, OK, I only have an economic interest in UOB via shares in Haw Par. The underlying reasons for investing in Haw Par haven’t changed since 2011: Haw Par: Rediscovered yet again. More recent analysis: https://www.fool.sg/2019/02/28/haw-par-declares-bumper-special-dividend-for-their-full-year-2018-earnings/

As a result of the high cash balance and also to celebrate Haw Par’s 50th anniversary, the group has declared a bumper special dividend of S$0.85 per share in addition to its final dividend of S$0.15 per share. The sum of its final and special dividend amounts to S$1 per share, and if we include its interim dividend of S$0.15 per share, the full-year dividend would be S$1.15 per share. At Haw Par’s last done share price of S$12.39 on 27 February 2019, that represents a trailing dividend yield of 9.3%.

(Bear in mind that the huge dividend yield is due to “special” dividend. It’s normal dividend yield is between 3-4%. FYI, UOB has a 4%+ yield.)

Btw, OCBC and DBS recommending UOB. So do ang moh brokers.

Back to why I own HSBC and Haw Par shares: S’pore and HK are very kind to banks:

How Xi can hurt HK the non violent way

In China, Hong Kong on 26/06/2019 at 11:17 am

His government is trying to create a “Greater Bay Area” an area that includes Hong Kong, Macau and mainland cities in the fast-growing Pearl River Delta, a region with a population of 70m and which has a GDP around that of Australia.

Hong Kong would be the main financial centre for the area and China would “steadily expand the channels for mainland and Hong Kong residents to invest in financial products in each other’s market”.

Well it could sacrifice some economic and financial efficiency by not making HK the main financial centre. It could promote financial activities in other cities.

Let the Hongkies see if they can eat and drink ang moh ideals: Why Hongkies sang ‘Sing Hallelujah to the Lord’

Where’s SAF and police when Changi Airport needs them?

In Uncategorized on 26/06/2019 at 5:30 am

Unauthorised drone flying has prompted disruptions at Singapore’s Changi Airport for the second time in a week.

The country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAAS) said 18 flights had been delayed, and seven flights diverted due to drones and bad weather.

Last week, one runway was suspended at Changi and dozens of flights delayed after drone sightings.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48754432

After the first drone sighting, the airport should have been secured, and a second attack prevented.

 

FT builds tools for bricks-and-mortar retail/ TOC is hypocritical

In Internet on 25/06/2019 at 6:51 am

Trax, a US$1.1bn S’pore-based start-up, is bringing together data from in-store cameras and a new mobile app, which guides shoppers to purchases, to try to bolster high street stores. FT Joel Bar-El is CEO and co-founder.

It installs cameras on shop shelves to monitor how goods are placed, while its customer-facing apps let shoppers do market research and help retailers understand how they react to price and promotions.

Trax has just bot  Shopkick Californian shopping rewards app for an undisclosed fund.

The “T” in FT can stand for “Talent” not “Trash” who beat up S’poreans if TOC is to be believed. Don’t listen to the foreigners who write for TOC: TOC: A lot of bull.

At least FTs work here and pay GST and other taxes. Terry’s team work overseas. And TOC and its cybernut readers criticise the PAP govt for allowing in FTs?