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Archive for May, 2019|Monthly archive page

Three cheers for Koh Nguang this bicentennial yr

In Uncategorized on 31/05/2019 at 2:05 pm

He’s “Singapore’s one-man museum” according to https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-38754054?fbclid=IwAR352l6k4-p9XAGuhg8tEA-dT1dreio-icPscK_5FqvdHMWl17fWSn7257Y

Here’s the relevant bits of his story, extracted from the BBC article of two yrs ago

Before every Chinese New Year, Koh Nguang How spends several weeks clearing his mother’s flat.

The 54-year-old is a hoarder, and his collection of more than one million items fills up his flat, his parent’s flat, and a space rented at a nearby industrial unit.

Everywhere you look, Mr Koh is surrounded by epic piles of newspapers, flattened posters and boxes overflowing with tapes.

“Without looking at it carefully it could be mistaken for the junk collected by my neighbours every Friday morning,” he admits.

Koh has amassed an extraordinary collection of photographs, papers and recordings charting the development of the cultural scene in South East Asia.

Mr Koh’s story began when he joined the National Museum of Singapore as a museum assistant in 1985.

At the time the museum only had a small staff, and the business of preparing and marketing exhibitions led him to begin collecting posters, catalogues and all kinds of visual ephemera.

He took pictures and, lacking the money for a video camera, tape-recorded performances.

[Academic recognition of his archives] has also changed the family’s perception of Koh. “My own flat is usually filled with my archives,” explains Mr Koh. “And yes my family members did feel that I was crazy.”

Now aspects of his personal archive have been exhibited internationally, as well as at the Gillman Barracks arts hub in Singapore, the mood has shifted.

“It also helped to change their perceptions of my archives and projects that the National Gallery Singapore had wanted to procure part of my collection,” he says.

But his ambition remains modest. Koh simply hopes to turn his flat into a space where his collection can be consulted by anyone.

 

 

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LTA: What a lot of bull

In Public Administration on 31/05/2019 at 10:57 am

With Singapore’s ageing population, roads and paths in residential towns must be updated to reflect the needs of seniors who may have difficulty traversing the streets, LTA said in its report.

To this end, it has committed to complete road safety installations at 50 mature estates, or “Silver Zones”, by 2023.

These safety installations include narrower roads, speed humps and two-stage crossing that allow people to pause safely in the middle of the street crossing.

Today

If the PAP govt were really conerned about the safety of us senior citizens, it should ban electric scooters from pavements. They can kill or injure badly because they are heavy metal “monsters” designed for speed.

They are banned in the UK, France and in Madrid, all first world places.

Related post: UK got this right, S’pore wrong

FamiLee: Karma’s a bitch

In Uncategorized on 30/05/2019 at 6:46 am

In a comment when TRE reposted Why PAP should juz ban Facebook, there was this irrelevant, scurrilous comment

 

Singaporean Kong Come:

TRE also never highlight LHY son’s same sex marriage in S africa, at least evening chinese newspaper reported. Very afraid karma is addressing the familee. His grandfather screw all Singaporean, now his son kenna screw by commoner. Next maybe their whole familee member die in a horrible accident. Karma never miss their address.

Scurrilous but funny.

Btw, my take on the family row written in 2017: Biblical verses that explain Lees’ row?

Achtung! Cybernut mind at work

In Internet on 29/05/2019 at 11:22 am

When TRE republished in part* Why PAP should juz ban Facebook, there was this comment on a comment that had me smiling:  the emphasis is mine.

why should TRE report?:

TRE also never report:
TRE also never highlight LHY son’s same sex marriage in S africa, at least evening chinese newspaper reported.

all things, humans or animals, as long as not pap, are good things.

since Mr Lee Hsien Yang is not pap, WTF is there a need to report?

things worth reporting are lky clown prints lying cheating and lky clown prints wife lying cheating and lky clown prints sons daughters gays lesbians.

as long as not pap, no need to report since it is ok.

as long as it is pap, must report since it is NEVER ok.

ffff. wake up. this is 21st century 2019 pap corrupted Singapore.

This

as long as not pap, no need to report since it is ok.

reminded me of what I recently wrote

Today the PAP and the constructive, nation-building media believe that if it isn’t reported, a fact doesn’t exist.

Sad that ), and other anti-PAP paper warriors believe the same.

The PAP has won.

Terry Xu and cybernuts are really PAPpies

*It omitted my links to other related posts (which I included because they gave a lot of background info on the topic), but I’ll let this incident go without KPKBing. I had given permission to reproduce my pieces in full. If TeamTRE members wanted to omit or edit anything, they should check with me, not suka suka do what they like. But as they are really hard working people who provide a service to a bunch of ingrates, I’ll let this pass, this time.

US$ is haram

In Currencies on 29/05/2019 at 5:27 am

“Pakistani clerics declare fatwa against ‘sinful’ dollar buying” is an FT headline.

Waiting for the Muslim authorities in M’sia to follow.

Hyflux: Can believe or not?

In Corporate governance, Financial competency on 28/05/2019 at 7:31 am

Earlier this month, Utico, a UAE water utility offered to invest S$400 million in Hyflux, offering a binding agreement. But Oliver Lum and her board kaki are playing hard to get, telling the Arabs to go f*** a camel.

So Utico has gone on a massive PR exercise to put pressure on the Hyflux board via the retail holders of perpetual securities and preference shares.

In a media statement, after a meeting with SIAS, chief executive of Utico, Richard Menezes, made an offer to the retail investors in Hyflux perpetual securities and preference shares, if Hyflux accepted his offer, of a

“part cash redemption and also a hope for full redemption with a plan and exit option” …

“Full details can only be revealed later but as part of the overall deal, small investors of up to S$2,000 to S$3,000 could get 50 per cent cash redemption along with full redemption opportunity, while the rest of the investors could get a similar but staggered and cascade deal.”

“All investors will have an opportunity to get their money back … if they support the deal,” he added.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/utico-offers-hyflux-s-small-investors-part-cash-redemption-as-11567048

He’s also scoring a lot of PR points for explaining why the company is making this offer to Hyflux’s junior creditors with perpetual securities and preference shares, instead of senior creditors.

“(Senior creditors) took an active business risk with ringside view, whereas (perpetual securities and preference shares) investors took a passive blind faith risk,” he said in the statement.

He said neither coupon nor principal was guaranteed in the offer prospectus and while trading at SGX, and morally there remains some responsibility from Hyflux for the predicament of the perpetual securities and preference shareholders.

To score even more points, he says:

Meanwhile, Utico said it could consider a listing in Singapore and “put some skin into the game” if it gets investors’ support for the deal.

As to the reality of the offer to retail perpetual securities and preference shares , it sounds like an extend and pretend game: both sides agree that the debt will be repayable sometime in the distant future, if at all. Tan ko ko.

Related posts

Hyflux: Sue those with money

Hyflux: “going concern” BS/ KPMG again and again

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

Why PAP govt will not allow robot cars

In Uncategorized on 27/05/2019 at 12:59 pm

When pedestrians meet robot cars, there’ll be traffic gridlock because pedestrians will realise that jaywalking will not cause accidents. ERP? What ERP?

[P]edestrians would have no hesitation in stepping out in front of driverless cars, knowing they were programmed to stop, and the result would be gridlock.

“Once you set the rule that driverless cars have to effectively kowtow to any pedestrian in the street, and pedestrians begin to learn that, then the whole balance of power in our streets will change,” he said.

“The concept just doesn’t survive the idea of mixed use streets.”

The robots are coming to our roads but they are still nervous new drivers with a lot to learn.

For all the warnings that millions of driving jobs could be automated out of existence, it looks as though humans will stay behind the wheel for years to come.

[UK transport writer Christian Wolmar standing the hectic crossroads outside Holborn Tube station, in central London.

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-48334449%5D

Iran today, China tomorrow: What US will do

In Banks, China on 27/05/2019 at 9:42 am

The US Department of Justice (even under wimp Obama) has gone after foreign banks for trading with countries like Iran: the global financial system being dominated by the US dollar. A French bank was crucified, StanChart bashed on the head etc because they did biz with countries the US didn’t like.

Financial system can be used against China too.

And if sells its US treasury notes, it hurts itself. Also what can it buy with the US$ it holds in lieu of notes? Japan and Germany will make China pay to hold their debt: already at negative yields. And if it sells the US$ it holds for euros etc, how is it going to fund its Belt and Road projects using those currencies.

Why PAP should juz ban Facebook

In Internet on 26/05/2019 at 11:13 am

Facebook users are the problem, not fake news.

Research by the Oxford Internet Institute found that that individual junk news (as it defined) stories were more likely to be shared on Facebook than the work of mainstream news organisations. While mainstream news was more visible, stories from junk news sources proved far more engaging. In English, for example, the average junk news story got four times as many likes and other Facebook interactions as a story from a professional news organisation.

The study was done across seven languages ahead of the vote in recent EU elections.

Reference: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48345260

Related articles:

Fake news is magic

Fake news?

The one-party state and fake news

Why the PAP is really afraid of Facebook?

Silencing fake news and inconvenient voices: two sides of the same coin

Fighting fake news while raising revenue

What is “news”?/ “Fake news” is not “fake” says Harvard expert

Why Korea is happy with US ban on Huawei

In China on 26/05/2019 at 7:39 am

Because Samsung is happy. No chance of Huawei overtaking it in smartphone sales.

Huawei could see shipments decline by as much as a quarter this year, and faces the possibility that its smartphones will disappear from international markets, analysts have said.

Smartphone shipments at Huawei, the world’s second-largest smartphone maker by volume (after Samsung), could fall between 4% and 24% in 2019 if the ban stays in place, according to Fubon Research and Strategy Analytics.

Where US has to buy from China

In China, Internet on 25/05/2019 at 2:35 pm

Many Chinese surveillance cameras are fitted with artificial intelligence including facial recognition technology, and some can read simple faces, or can estimate age, ethnicity and gender.

There are more than 170 million surveillance cameras and the country has plans to install a further 400 million by 2020.

 

Pro-biz PAP govt will never do this

In Uncategorized on 25/05/2019 at 5:00 am

Brazil is suing British American Tobacco and Philip Morris International, the two biggest cigarette companies, to recover health treatment costs of tobacco-related diseases.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-tobacco-lawsuit/in-landmark-case-brazil-sues-top-tobacco-firms-to-recover-public-health-costs-idUSKCN1SS2DN

Praying for minister Shan

In Uncategorized on 24/05/2019 at 9:56 am

Recently, 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.

Since then, for reasons unrelated to the ban, Minister Shan is getting a lot of flak from anti-PAP activists and cybernuts for the very draconian fake news law .

But when he needs a show of public support, where are these Christian bigots? They refuse to stand up and be counted: what a bunch of ingrates. They are worse than the cybernuts who use social services provided by the PAP supporting tax payers and then diss the PAP and the voters who support the PAP.

But to be fair to the easily offended Christians, maybe they are on their knees quietly praying that Shan’s opponents like Terry Xu and Kirsten Han will be smitten with some terrible incurable disease, other than the brain damage they are suffering from.

Related posts:

Spending too much time in TRELand is bad for one’s mental health

 

 

 

How Tun saboed Jack Ma

In China on 23/05/2019 at 10:45 am

“When a foreign leader came to China and the first person he wanted to meet was Jack Ma rather than [President] Xi Jinping, you knew the company was going to be in trouble,” said a venture capitalist who has close ties with Alibaba. He was referring to Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad’s decision to visit Mr Ma in 2018 before heading to Beijing for a meeting with the Chinese president.

Venture capitalist quoted by FT

Since then Alibaba has had several run-ins with the Chinese authorities, including regulatory and IPO problems at Ant Finance.

With admirer like Tun, who needs enemies.

And he has admirers here?

— Kirsten Han trying to defecate herself and PJ out of self-made crater

— Jolovan Wham: Nothing wrong in asking Tun M to intervene in S’porean affairs

— Tan Kin Lian thinks Tun is more sinned against than sinning

Terry Xu and cybernuts are really PAPpies

In Internet, Media on 22/05/2019 at 3:02 pm

(Alternative title: “Why TOC and other anti-PAP sites never reported HK MRT trains’ collisions?”)

After I wrote TOC: A lot of bull

(where I reported that Terry had revealed that he employed foreigners to write for TOC because they were cheaper than true blue S’poreans, a lot cheaper)yesterday, I remembered another example where TOC and Terry behaved like PAPpies, not talking about news that diverts from the “right” view. TOC (and to be fair, otheranti-PAP alt media sites) didn’t tell S’poreans that a few months ago there was a very serious incident on HK’s MRT: shumething that never ever happened here.

Two subway trains have collided during a new signal system test in Hong Kong, halting services and threatening travel disruption for millions of commuters.

The incident occurred between the Central and Admiralty stations before the service was open to the public early on Monday morning.

Rail officials warned that repairs were likely to take “quite a long time”.

Network operator Mass Transit Railway (MTR) said sections of the Tsuen Wan Line had been suspended and urged commuters to avoid the route affected and to use other forms of transport if possible.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-47607676

Looks like Terry’s and other anti-PAP types brains are like that of the PAP: when the public doesn’t know a fact, that fact never exists. Their readers will have no doubts that the our MRT system sucks when compared to that of HK’s.

Actually even with this HK cock-up, the HK system is a lot better. So why didn’t the anti-PAP publications not report the accident?

In 2011, I analysed a senior PAPpy’s and his team’s unhappiness with a TOC report.

[T]hey must believe in an 18th century philosophical theory that is now treated as a forerunner of the concept of “subjective idealism”. One Bishop Berkeley argued that there are no material objects, only minds and ideas in those minds. He summarised his theory with the motto “esse est percipi” (“To be is to be perceived”). In modern PR-speak, this translates into,“Perception is reality”, one of the major tenets of the PR and public communication industry.

This theory of “Perception is reality” is best summarised in the following example he gave. If a tree in a forest falls, but no-one sees or hears it fall, has it fallen? Berkeley argues that it has not fallen. It is still standing.

An example in the S’pore context would be that S’poreans were not aware of how close the voting would be on polling day in 1988 in Eunos GRC and in Cheng San GRC in 1991. The mainstream media did not report the sentiment on the ground in these two GRCs, so S’poreans were not aware that many S’poreans were unhappy with the PAP. The unhappiness did not exist because it was not reported.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/%E2%80%9Clittle-disappointment%E2%80%9D-tony-tan-to-toc/

In Silence of SMRT, LTA & MoT explained,I wrote the following about Traingate

SMRT, the LTA and MoT kept quiet because they like Bishop Berkeley believe that “Perception is reality”. So long as the public did not know that there were cracks in the 26 China-made trains, and that the trains had been returned for repairs, there were no train cracks. There were no cracked trains because If a tree in a forest falls, but no-one sees or hears it fall, has it fallen? Berkeley argues that it has not fallen. It is still standing.

What they still don’t realise that in this age of social media and the internet where many people walk around with smartphone cameras, If a tree in a forest falls, someone will see it or hear it fall. And tell others about the falling tree, after taking a selfie beside the fallen tree.

This being the case, disclosure of problems or cock-ups, not cover-ups or silence should be the best (and default) policy for the authorities and corporations They should assume that news of the cock-up or problem will become public knowledge and that by disclosing, the news agenda can, hopefully, be controlled..

But in one-party states, silence or cover-up are the default options, not disclosure. And this is the weakness of one-party states where people carry smartphone cameras. The one-party state will, in time, be undermined.

Ban smartphone cameras PAP? After all internet access for public servants will soon be restricted in this wired, connected nation.

Today the PAP and the constructive, nation-building media believe that if it isn’t reported, a fact doesn’t exist.

Sad that ), and other anti-PAP paper warriors believe the same.

The PAP has won.

 

 

 

Time investors to put pressure on Hyflux’s auditor?

In Accounting, Corporate governance on 22/05/2019 at 7:03 am

Lim Tean has said he’s been talking to a group of Hyflux investors who lost money. Well they should and other Hyflux investors should take note that KPMG (their watchdog)

——————————-

KPMG’s role in Hyflux

“When KPMG issued an unqualified opinion on the full year results for the Hyflux Group in March 2018, there were no events or conditions that individually or collectively, cast significant doubt on the going concern assumption as at the balance sheet date of 31 December 2017, or at the audit report date of 22 March 2018.”

Then according to Hyflux, everything went wrong when in May, there was a run on Hyflux by its banksters. Because of its bad (and unexpected?) Q12018 results announced on 9 May: “certain financiers expressed concerns over their ability to continue with existing credit exposures to the group.”* They tot halal Hyflux had transmuted into haram Hyflux.

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

——————————————————————————-

is in more trouble in the UK. British regulators have called for KPMG to be fined at least a record £12.5m for misconduct in its work for Bank of New York Mellon.

(It’s other UK troubles: Hyflux: “going concern” BS/ KPMG again and again)

Time to shakedown KPMG for $.

 

TOC: A lot of bull

In Uncategorized on 21/05/2019 at 1:50 pm

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

And in order to do this, Terry’s Online Channel uses foreign writers, not locals.

In a long and rambling thread of FB (that unfortunately is too long winded to reprint without extensive edits) , Terrx Xu admitted that he employed foreigners to write for him. The main reason was that they were a lot cheaper than S’poreans.

So for the TOC, it’s all about money. And it’s always berating the PAP govt for putting money ahead of the welfare of S’poreans? What hypocrisy.

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

And TOC uses foreigners to write about issues that concern S’poreans. Sad.

Swiss Standard? What Swiss standard?

In Uncategorized on 21/05/2019 at 10:35 am

S’pore not even up to third world standards when it comes to severance pay.

Related post:

More CGT BS? Swiss Standard? What Swiss standard?

 

Religious equality, the PAP way

In Public Administration on 20/05/2019 at 11:04 am

Yesterday was Vesak Day and this reminded me of the way the PAP govt treats the sensibilities of the various religions: equal treatment of intolerant religious views.

Recently minister Shan gave the lie (in the religious context) to the view that “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” 

The Christian preachers, when they talk to me, say ‘you are very, very strict when it comes to anti-Muslim, anti-Islamic messages…They said: ‘You treat the Muslim community differently than the Christian community.’

Minister Shanmugam

True, very true in my opinion. I had always tot that easily offended Muslims found it very easy to obtain satisfaction from the PAP govt compared to easily offended Christians. (Declaration of interest: I was once upon a time a very liberal Methodist. Didn’t believe that God created the world in seven days; didn’t believe that bible is the only record of what God says; tot that it didn’t matter if Christ never rose from the dead; and relaxed about LGBTs and divorce etc.)

So what did this PAP minister do after hearing out the Christian preachers?

I looked at it and I thought that there is some truth to what they say, I won’t say that it is completely true but it is an approach.

Result Watain’s performance was banned, upsetting its Malay fans.

“You have a group of Malay young men, showing the one-finger sign, supporting the group,” CNA quoted the minister.

“If a group of Chinese went and showed the finger sign and said that we should allow it – how would you all have felt? It is the same.”

Watain ban: playing the easily offended game can backfire

He’s being very fair in trying to ensure that all easily offended zealots of all religions are not offended, and if as a result of his actions, others are offended, juz too bad. No longer true (if it ever was) that “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Remember what George Yeo once infamously said, “Christians are less likely to riot”?

But what this even handed illiberal attitude does to S’pore’s aspiration to be a global city on par with London and NY?

As intolerant as M’sian Talibanites? Uniquely S’porean solution

S377A: Ex-ST tua kee thinks Christians won’t harm him?

 

Tencent doing it’s bit for Chinese culture

In China on 20/05/2019 at 5:01 am

Tencent has linked up with overseas museums that have Chinese collections, showing the country’s artefacts to the world while helping the domestic audience to view collections online.

 

True Grit: the real deal

In Uncategorized on 19/05/2019 at 4:40 am

Arturo was a famous bagualero, or backwoodsman, a specialist in capturing feral cattle in the wilderness of Chilean Patagonia … a bull had knocked out all of Arturo’s teeth and then gored him through the testicles but that he’d managed to ride home afterwards.

Quote from FT magazine’s story about a ranch stay in Chilean Patagonia

Don’t think any John Wayne character was ever that tough.

No elections this year?

In Economy, Political governance on 18/05/2019 at 11:36 am

How to hold a general election this yr when the ground is not sweet for PAP to get 65% of the vote ( Why PAP aiming for 65% of the popular vote)? The economy is going to the dogs.

Non-oil exports continue slide in April with export performance missed expectations, posting a steep drop in April as regional trade tensions continued to weigh on the island nation’s economy.  Non-oil domestic exports fell 10% year on year, below a Reuters poll forecasting a 6%.

The fall was the second consecutive drop after March’s disappointing data, which showed an 11.8 per cent year-on-year drop, marking the worst export performance since October 2016.

No wonder Kee Chiu said

Singaporeans must gird themselves for the long haul.

Related posts:

Double confirm, ground not sweet for PAP

Another reason why ground is not sweet for the PAP

But doesn’t mean PAP will lose election as predicted by TOC and TRE cybernuts

Why 37,000+ sure to vote for PAP (But balanced off by above 34,000+ retail investors in Hyflux who could lose 90% of their investments)

Why S’poreans continue voting for the PAP to have 2/3 of parly seats

6,400 senior citizens each get $312.50 hongpao from a TLC

 

What a product we are missing

In Uncategorized on 18/05/2019 at 5:09 am

Because of our draconian laws on the use of drugs.

French start-up Daye raised US$5.5m to develop its cannabis tampons for pain relief, cashing in on the explosion of interest for CBD-infused products.

Why most S’poreans keep voting for PAP

In Financial competency, Political governance on 17/05/2019 at 1:32 pm

It’s like shopping leh:

self-reinforcing cycle, where they became more and more attached to a product.

We are attached to the PAP because we keep voting for it.

Analysing the decisions we make in the supermarket can help us understand the choices we make in other areas of our lives.

Analysing the buying decisions of 280,000 customers revealed that they fell into a self-reinforcing cycle, where they became more and more attached to a product.

These cycles tend to last for several consecutive store visits before the pattern is broken and the process starts again with a different brand.

Interestingly, when consumers break out of these self-reinforcing loops, they tend to do so across multiple products at a time.

For example, when switching their brand of coffee, they are more likely to change their brands of yoghurt and washing detergent as well.

Blind loyalty

Why does this loyalty build up?

Further analysis of the data ruled out simpler explanations, such as price or force of habit being responsible for these patterns.

One explanation is that people come to like what they purchase, out of a need to “make sense” and explain their choices to themselves and others.

For example, after buying the ingredients for a salad, a consumer might start to value healthy foods more to justify the purchase.

This pattern of behaviour could be exploited to try to create a relationship with a selected product.

In the loyalty card study, we sent the supermarket’s instant coffee drinking customers coupons to try a different brand.

Those in the switching phase were twice as likely to use the coupon as those still locked in to their existing coffee product.

Beyond shopping

This self-justified decision making is not limited to the weekly shop, but probably spills over to many areas of our lives.

For example, studies suggest people defend their selection of everything from the jam they buy to the politicians they decide to vote for in an election.

After we vote for a leader we may mimic their positions on many issues, including those we were undecided about or even to which we were opposed.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47357292

Jewish entrepreneurs take two bites from one apple

In Uncategorized on 17/05/2019 at 10:10 am

NSO, an Israeli tech co is able to inject spyware on to phones via the messaging app WhatsApp, simply by ringing up targets over the app — even if they didn’t answer the call.

NSO’s founders Shalev Hulio and Omri Lavie have another business with an interesting business model: producing a phone that can’t be hacked.

Did Hali ask Xi for this app when they met?

In China, Internet on 16/05/2019 at 11:15 am

Hali’s welcome by the Chinese reminded me that the Chinese have an app that will help Heng and other 4G leaders keep S’pore a one-party state, like China:

—  Keeping power in a one-party state

—  Would this happen in a one-party state?

Seriously, like China, S’pore is concerned about terrorists. An app is being used in Xinjiang to keep China safe from the coreligionists of Hali and TRE’s bapak (Note bapak not Bapak).

—————————————————

bapak not Bapak

Btw, Morocco Mole, Secret Squirrel’s sidekick, told me that his second cousin removed working in the ISD alleges that TRE took down its republication of Watain ban: playing the easily offended game can backfire when it was threatened with suicide denial of service attacks by Jihadist Jills and Joes from bapak’s harem. (note bapak not Bapak.) Seriously, they told TRE that the first paragraph was so offensive and could get TRE into trouble with the law. Well, the original article still stands despite Harder Truths saying he’d report me: lying as usual. Or maybe, I got good ISD connections?

———————————————————

According to Human Rights Watch, predictive policing in Xinjiang comes in the form of a smartphone app, with access to data about citizens’ religion, travel history, family connections and more. Those deemed suspicious by the algorithm may potentially be taken into custody. Sounds a good thing to have in the war against terrorism.

But according to human rights activists (They not scared of being bombed or knifed is it?) this app represents a deeply disturbing scenario in which government repression and mass surveillance intersect because itpulls down data from mobile phones to build up encyclopedic knowledge of those it tracks in China.

SAF cares for S’poreans, they do, really

In Uncategorized on 16/05/2019 at 5:41 am

Yes, yes, I know another soldier was found dead in Mandai and before that

Six NSFs, an NSman and a regular serviceman have died in the past 16 months

Pang’s death marks the eighth death in the past 16 months. These were the past incidents:

3 Nov 2018: 22 year-old CFC Liu Kai died at the Jalan Murai training grounds when an armored infantry fighting vehicle reversed onto his jeep.

28 Sep 2018: An unnamed off-duty NSF was found hanging from a rope in his office in Sembawang Air Base.

9 Sep 2018: An unnamed 23-year-old police NSF died a week after he was found with a gunshot wound to his head. Although tis service revolver was found beside him, no foul play was suspected.

28 Jul 2018: An unnamed off-duty SAF regular servicemen was found hanging from a rope in his bunk in Nee Soon Camp.

13 May 2018: 22 year-old CPL Kok Yuen Chin died after being pushed into a 12m-deep pump well at Tuas View Fire Station. Despite not being able to swim, his squadmates did so as part of a rutual to celebrate the end of his two-year service.

30 Apr 2018: 19-year old CFC Dave Lee succumbed to his injuries after being hospitalized for heatstroke. He had collapsed from heat injury after completing a fast march. There were allegations of abuse by superiors.

15 Sep 2017: 21 year-old 3SG Gavin Chan died in Australia when the armored infantry vehicle he was in landed on its side. He was found unconscious next to it, and eventually succumbed to his injuries.

But, I learnt that a boy I know was exempted from NS and is now studying in NUS, in one of the most sought after courses. He has had mental health problems during his school days, so much so that he had to see a shrink regularly.

I had expected him to be another Li (the Harvard guy). But it turned out that SAF tot that he could freak out even if he was in the pariah caste of NS men. So he got exempted from NS. But good luck to him getting a job after he graduates.

Related posts

No $ needed: Three fixes to show the PAP really cares (Btw, these were not implemented. Sad.)

Merdeka Generation: PAP cares for u, really they do

Groceries: PAP cares for u, really they do

CPFLife: PAP govt cares for u, really they do

Vaping: PAP govt cares for u, really they do

TOC’s “Correspondent” shows that PAP govt really cares for S’poreans

 

 

Why Seelan Palay and Jolovan Wham like being jailed

In Uncategorized on 15/05/2019 at 11:25 am

Seelan Palay and Jolovan Wham have gone to prison rather than pay fines.

Maybe they tot that going to prison is a ‘Moving and maturing experience’?

The prison guide [of the Extinction Rebellion: my note] advised people to take books with “plenty of good tips for yoga and meditation” and to “structure the space with time for sitting, yoga, breathing exercises, journalising, creative art”.

It continued: “If you get solitary [confinement], there’s plenty of time for meditation. Lastly you can take as many naps as you want!”

https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-48147915

And I’m sure Willy Sum agrees with them.

As does Terry Xu: he says he’s mentally prepared to go to prison for his views and actions. It’ll do him a lot of good, because he’ll lose a lot of weight.

Does this happen here, PJ Thum and friends?

In Malaysia on 15/05/2019 at 6:03 am

Firdaus Abdillah, the editor of online magazine Neon Berapi, was arrested on Thursday night after allegedly badmouthing Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim in a series of tweets, reported local media.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/malaysia-mahathir-regrets-arrest-of-activist-crown-prince-11522290

When I read the above, I tot of

According to Kirsten Han, PJ Thum “urged (Mahathir) to take leadership in Southeast Asia for the promotion of democracy, human rights, freedom of expression and freedom of information”.

Kirsten Han trying to defecate herself and PJ out of self-made crater

Related posts:

Still urging Tun to take leadership in SE Asia; PJ, Kirsten?

WTF! With PAP on the ropes why this self-inflicted distraction?

Jolovan Wham: Nothing wrong in asking Tun M to intervene in S’porean affairs

If Tun still allows this to happen in M’sia, why should we want regime change here?

Vote wisely.

 

M’sia one yr on: What Tun’s fans here don’t tell us

In Malaysia on 14/05/2019 at 11:09 am

When Tun and his new gang took power around this time last year, anti-PAP types were so happy. They asked him to bring democracy to S’pore:

— Kirsten Han trying to defecate herself and PJ out of self-made crater

— Jolovan Wham: Nothing wrong in asking Tun M to intervene in S’porean affairs

Well a year later, they kinda quiet and it’s not only because he threatened S’pore over water and territorial waters

— Let’s gloat at Tun as he threatens us

— Tan Kin Lian thinks Tun is more sinned against than sinning

The M’sian economy is in a bad place with foreign investors giving M’sia a miss.  Deep divisions within the ruling coalition have prevented measures to increase government revenue, attract investment or create jobs. Poor Chinese died in a rush for food coupons: M’sian voters repenting?

Here’s what Reuters reports

Investor Concerns

Business sentiment has cooled after initial optimism that followed Pakatan’s electoral win, due mainly to a lack of consensus on the way forward for the economy, according to an April survey of 250 businesses by Ipsos Business Consulting.

“The continued lack of clarity on economic policies may lead to an increased level of anxiety among the businesses and further intensify the fear of an economic slowdown,” the firm said its report.

Investors in the survey also expressed concerns over currency fluctuations and slowing economic growth. The ringgit currency has slumped this year and stocks are underperforming regional rivals.

Malaysia has had to fill a revenue shortfall stemming from a populist measure to scrap a goods and services tax last year, while efforts to turn around struggling state entities that burden the treasury, including long-suffering Malaysia Airlines, have faltered.

In March, Malaysia’s central bank cut its 2019 economic growth forecast to 4.3-4.8% from 4.9%, on expectations of a significant drop in export expansion due to slowing global growth and the U.S.-China trade war.

On Tuesday, Bank Negara Malaysia became the first central bank in the region to cut its benchmark interest rate, in a move to support the country’s economy.

Mahathir has mended ties with China, reaching a cut-price $11 billion rail link deal, which is a welcome investment boost.

But with Malaysia’s debt-to-GDP ratio around 50%, public support waning and an unstable ruling coalition, it will become increasingly difficult for Mahathir to boost economic growth and win back disillusioned voters.

“With exports likely to remain in the doldrums, GDP growth in Malaysia looks set to slow to a post-financial crisis low this year. The government’s recent policies will make the downturn even worse,” Capital Economics said in a research note on Wednesday.

(Reuters)

Already the Malays are repenting for deserting UMNO

Support for the government fell to just 39% in March, sharply down from the 66% rating in August 2018, according to a survey by independent pollster Merdeka Center.

Mahathir also saw his popularity plunge to 46% from 71% over the same period, although he says he doesn’t put much faith in these numbers.

Worryingly for Mahathir, Merdeka Center said Malay Muslims, who make up around 60% of Malaysia’s 32 million people, were largely more critical of his administration.

Most of the poorest people in the country are Malay and for decades they have been the beneficiaries of subsidies and other affirmative action policies pushed by UMNO.

Many in the majority community were also angered when Mahathir appointed an ethnic Chinese finance minister and an attorney-general from the Malaysian-Indian minority, and said cash handouts to Malays could be reduced.

Pledges to end the death penalty and rescind oppressive laws such as the colonial-era Sedition Act were also unpopular with traditionalists.

Vote wisely.

High tech seafood

In Uncategorized on 14/05/2019 at 5:34 am

Impossible Foods, a plant-based meat company, based in the US, has just raised raised US$300m from Temasek and other int’l investors.

This reminds me that recently, a Singapore-based company aiming to make seafood by growing them from cells has secured US$4.6m in funding: https://shiokmeats.com/

All the best.

PAP govt one up up on repressive central Asian republic?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 13/05/2019 at 10:55 am

In S’pore, a few years ago, a person was arrested for holding a mirror. So did someone from Kazakhstan study our laws and decide to imitate us?

The Kazakh police took a young activist into custody after he decided to test whether he could get away with standing in the street holding a placard with no writing on it.

Aslan Sagutdinov took the placard to the central Abay Square of his native city of Oral in the west of the country, and held it up opposite the central council offices.

The video blogger took the precaution of having a colleague capture the whole thing on film, which the local Uralskaya Nedelya news site embedded in its report.

“I’m not taking part in a protest, and I want to show that they’ll still take me down the police station, even though there’s nothing written on my placard and I’m not shouting any slogans,” the 24-year-old told reporters who’d turned up to see what happened.

https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-48187353

Here is what I wrote in 2017 about the guy carrying a mirror who was arrested.

Seelan Palay: Sylvia Lim was right

Here I made fun of Seelan Palay’s latest attempt to test the OB markers: he crossed a red line after the police tried very hard not to arrest him, but he persisted, “After several failed attempts by the Police to persuade Seelan to leave the area, he was arrested by the Police at 3.20pm.” (TOC report)

Two years ago I wrote about how one person can be arrested for an illegal assembly

Jogging alone can be illegal?

If wearing the wrong tee-shirt or singlet?

Try walkng or jogging alone* wearing a “Free our CPF” singlet: remember that any public assembly of more than one person** needs police permission.

And jogging in a group of two or more”Free our CPF” singlets will be like jogging in groups in Burundi: illegal.

Running is a national pastime in Burundi, with hundreds of people out jogging on weekend mornings. But in March [2014] the authorities banned jogging in groups – unless permission was sought from the authorities. It affects all group sports in the capital, which can now only be played in designated areas.

Jogging by Lake Tanganyika

The restrictions followed the arrest of some opposition members who were out jogging and chanting political slangs. Police officers tried to stop what they regarded as an illegal march and the situation deteriorated into clashes. More than 40 Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD) party members received sentences ranging from five years to life.

Burundi: Where jogging is a crime

Wonder what about wearing a tee shirt with a Oppo party logo, drinking teh tarik as social media celebrities Ravi and Jeannette Chong used to do when they were NSP tua kees.

And what about the crowds assembling to pay their respects to LKY? What about the crowds at the National Museum LKY exhibition?

Seems anything the PAP administration or the SPF doesn’t like can be an illegal assembly.

Related post: PAP uses Lawfare against its opponents?

———‘

*Auntie Sylvia was absolutely right in 2007 and 2009 when she spoke out publicly:

The change in definition of “assembly” and “procession” is more disturbing. As the Explanatory Statement to the Bill says, these words are no longer restricted to gatherings of 5 persons or more. This means even ONE person alone can constitute illegal assembly, thus giving the State complete control over an individual citizen’s freedoms.

‘First, to say that 1 person constitutes an assembly is certainly an abuse of the word. Secondly, is the government making the change because there had been incidents involving less than 5 persons which had disrupted public life? Unless there is compelling evidence to prove to us that expanding the definition of assembly and procession is needed, this expansion does not deserve our support,”  Sylvia Lim in parly in 2009.

Earlier, in 2007, she had said:

“This refers to clauses 29 and 30 of the Bill. By clause 29 of the Bill, we are removing the heading “Offences Against Public Tranquility” and replacing it with “Offences relating to Unlawful Assembly”. By Clause 30, we will be deleting “mischief or trespass or other offence” and replacing it with “to commit any offence”.

S 141 has been amended to bring it in line with a recent Court of Appeal case: PP v Tan Meng Khin [1995] 2 SLR 505. Now, an assembly will be unlawful if people intend to commit an offence punishable with imprisonment of 6 mths or more, even if it is peaceful and does not disturb public tranquillity. Under our law, a person who organizes a procession or assembly after the police rejection of a permit can be punished with max 6 months jail under the Miscellaneous Offences Act. Hence 5 or more people who gather to do so will become members of an unlawful assembly.

As our society continues to evolve, the time is surely ripe for us to allow peaceful outdoor protests as a form of expression. By all means, we can have rules about how, where and when such processions may be held, but wider law reform is needed. S 141 should be restricted to offences which threaten the public peace, and other laws such as the Miscellaneous Offences Act which require permits for peaceful assemblies should be modified.”

**Two men between the ages of 24 and 25 were arrested by police outside the Istana on Saturday afternoon (Apr 4).

Police said the duo had turned up in front of the Istana with placards at about 4pm. Channel NewsAsia understands that the men were holding signs that read “You can’t silence the people” and “Injustice” for about half an hour. They were clad in identical red hoodies and dark blue jeans.

Police also said both of them had refused to stop the activity despite requests from officers. As such, they were arrested for organising a public assembly without a permit, under Section 16(1)(a) of the Public Order Act, Chapter 257A.

Seelan Palay: Sylvia Lim was right

And there’s this more recent event: Jolovan’s latest problem shows Sylvia Lim’s and my prescience

When China and US row

In China, Economy on 13/05/2019 at 4:18 am

This is what happens to the world.

 

 

(Artist Walker Wright created the skeleton from driftwood while the vomit was made from washed-up plastic.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-48193779?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment_and_arts&link_location=live-reporting-story)

Meanwhile

 

 

 

 

Fake news is magic

In Internet on 12/05/2019 at 1:46 pm

Here’s an interesting extract on why fake news works even when we know it’s fake news

Magic is about manipulating our perceptions, “exploiting cognitive loopholes,” says Dr Kuhn – and understanding how magic works is being recognised as having wider implications.

“Misdirection” is a key part of magic – getting people to not look at what’s important, but to distract them, change the subject, use a dramatic prop and push their attention elsewhere, so they do not see what is happening in front of their eyes.

It’s being used to to examine areas such as road safety, says Dr Kuhn, looking at how to make sure drivers can really focus on what’s important.

“How do people fail to see something even though they are looking at it?” he says.

Fake news
It’s also applicable to bigger social and political questions, he says, such as how to respond to “fake news” and false information on social media.

The lesson of magic, says Dr Kuhn, is that even if something is recognised as false, it still makes an impression and steals our attention, and researchers are looking at how understanding magic can help to investigate the world of conspiracy theories and fake information.

.This is where someone thinks they are choosing a card at random, but the magician is really manipulating their decision and the “choices” are false.

“Free will is an illusion. People are much more suggestible than they think. All of our perceptions are very malleable,” says Dr Kuhn.

This suggestibility and use of false options can be misused in a political sense, he says.

https://www.bbc.com/news/education-47827346

Don’t believe me? Read more at Fake news?

proposed law against fake news narrows, not widens, the Government’s powers, the Ministry of Law said on Thursday (May 2).

Or

The one-party state and fake news

Silencing fake news and inconvenient voices: two sides of the same coin

Fighting fake news while raising revenue

What is “news”?/ “Fake news” is not “fake” says Harvard expert

 

S’pore: 0, HK: 1

In Hong Kong on 12/05/2019 at 4:49 am

Anheuser-Busch InBev filed on Friday to list a minority stake (probably 15%) in Budweiser Brewing Company APAC, in what will be one of the biggest floats in Hong Kong’s history, if an IPO happens

Budweiser Brewing Company APAC, part of the AB InBev group and the largest beer company in Asia Pacific by sales value.

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

In Internet, Political governance, Public Administration on 11/05/2019 at 10:59 am

Did Minister Shan say this?

No. But he could have and still may soon. Or some other minister may say it, if Shan is taking a break, because this is the philosophy behind the new law. Ministers can publish corrections alongside claims about public institutions that it deems false. Those who publish false statements with “malicious intent” face criminal sanctions, including fines of up to S$1m and jail sentences of up to 10 years.

Don’t believe me? The law differs from laws against the spread of misinformation in other jurisdictions, which typically focus on taking down problematic content from online platforms.

Still don’t believe me? Read The one-party state and fake news where I quoted from Fake news law: Ownself judge ownself

The problem about lies or “fake news” is who gets to decide what is or is not a lie or “fake news”.

In liberal democracies, even the president of the US cannot get his view of what is or is not a lie or “fake news” accepted by even a majority of the voters. There’s some sort of consensus (“conventional wisdom”) driven (manipulated?) by the elites and media about what is or is not a lie or “fake news” in which facts often play an important part.

In a one-party state (de facto or de jure) the ruling party decides what is or is not a lie or “fake news”

— Keeping power in a one-party state

— Would this happen in a one-party state?

— Coldstore: Why Harry’s narrative or the highway

The planned tackling of “fake news” is a smokescreen for muzzling further netizens, not juz cybernuts. The internet and social media has made it a lot easier for S’poreans to share facts, ideas, and criticisms of the way we are governed by the PAP.

— Minister wants his cake and eat it/ PAP doesn’t get the Internet

— Ingratitude, uniquely S’porean? Blame the internet? Not really

— Us Netizens: Comancherios of the Internet?

This freedom (relative) to share facts, ideas, and criticisms of the way we are governed by the PAP worries the PAP (juz like the CCP worries about the internet and social media in China), hence the plan to further muzzle the internet and social media.

was said by Idi Amin

a Ugandan president best known for his brutal regime and crimes against humanity while in power from 1971-1979.

Idi Amin – Facts, Life & Uganda – Biography – Famous Biographies

HoHoHo: Bad news for Go-Jek and Grab

In Indonesia, Malaysia, Temasek, Vietnam on 11/05/2019 at 5:32 am

Uber’s shares sank almost 8 per cent below their offer price on Friday, giving the ride-hailing company a disappointing market value of below $70bn — a far cry from the $100bn valuation it had until recently hoped to achieve.

FT today

Meanwhile Lyft which was valued at U$22.4bn at its IPO closing price (up 9% from its offer price). By May 7th, the day it reported results for the first quarter as a public company, it was worth only US$17bn. Lyft’s share price fell by another 11% the next day.

These performances have

left investors questioning the appetite for unprofitable car-booking companies that have relied on a flood of private capital to fund heated expansion and competition.

FT

As Economist says

Both firms have enough cash to continue to burn money for years, but public investors expect a rapid path to profitability. Making it into the black will require either raising prices or reducing the cut of bookings passed on to drivers. The former will be hard; in many markets ride-hailing competes with other cheap modes of transport, such as buses, bicycles and riders’ own cars.

Think Grab and Go-Jek, and Temasek that has invested in them. Grab and Go-Jek are also losing money.

Btw, in 2018 according to an article in the Tiền Phong newspaper, GIC realised a 60% loss over 4 years after it sold 5.4 million shares in Vietnamese taxi operator Vinasun.

 

Where we don’t Pay and Pay

In Internet, Telecoms on 10/05/2019 at 1:41 pm

 

S’pore is between Nigeria and Brazil at US$3.24 based on data from https://www.valuechampion.sg/are-singaporeans-overpaying-their-mobile-plans

Vote wisely.

 

 

 

Fake news: Use electric cars to reduce carbon usage

In Environment, Financial competency on 10/05/2019 at 10:55 am

The German Institute for Economic Research (Ifo) claims that an electric vehicle produces more carbon emissions than a diesel car. They are right because major carbon emitters like China, USA and Germany use lots of coal to produce electricity.

Social mobility depends on structure of economy not education

In Public Administration on 09/05/2019 at 1:33 pm

When I read the following excerpts from the FT’s chief economics columnist, Martin Wolf, I couldn’t help but think about the so called abolition of streaming and other attempts to make good education less exclusive  (Examples: Lower- and middle-income students at independent schools to receive more financial aid: Ong Ye Kung and “abolition” of streaming for the plebs.


My take on our education system

No more streaming? Really? What a load of BS: It’s only for the plebs not gd enough for RI, MGS, St Nick and other so-called elite schools.

Don’t blame kiasu parents, blame PAP govt

Hard truths about elite schools

Doublespeak on “Every school a good school”

Minister Ong wants a camel?

Akan datang says minister: Non-grad minister

——————-

Martin Wolf:

The chief determinant of social mobility [the writer had earlier used UK data to show the relationship of the UK economy to social mobility], then, is the class structure of the economy and its rate of change.

Education has only second-order effects on mobility. It influences, but does not determine, the structure of the economy: that is why graduate unemployment is quite common across the world. It is, in fact, more of a positional good: relative education matters. While some from working-class backgrounds will get more of this good, professional parents will always help their offspring to outcompete them.

In sum, if we really care about social mobility, it is on the economy that we should focus most of our attention.

 

Trumpets pls: Formula E circus coming to town

In Tourism on 09/05/2019 at 5:08 am

The constructive, nation-building media  that S’pore will stage a Formula E race here next yr.

Nice to know someone high up reads me. In 2013, I wrote the following:

S’pore did the first Kiddie Games and overspent for no apparent gain.

Why not try Formula E?

There will be 10 teams and 20 drivers racing on roads – not racetracks – in 10 cities, with a preliminary line-up that includes Los Angeles, Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, London, Buenos Aires and Beijing …

Jean Todt, president of the FIA, called Formula E “a vision of the future”. And this comes from a man who built his reputation in rally car racing and then as head of F1’s most famous competitor, Ferrari.

He told the BBC: “F1 is the pinnacle of motor racing, but there is plenty of space for other championships, from endurance racing to touring car, to karting – and definitely Formula E.”

He rejected claims that Formula E is simply a promotional exercise to improve motorsport’s image.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24053853

OK, we got to divert traffic etc, one more time a yr. But this is new and innovative.

Formula E the new F1?/ Why can’t MSM report F1 event like this?

Related post explaining why there are gains to be made from staging events like F1 and Formula E: LKY answered Ngiam Tong Dow’s F1 question

Fake news?

In Internet, Political governance, Public Administration on 08/05/2019 at 1:22 pm

proposed law against fake news narrows, not widens, the Government’s powers, the Ministry of Law said on Thursday (May 2).

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/online-falsehoods-bill-pofma-fake-news-narrows-government-powers-11496172

The article goes on

The Law Ministry’s Ms Teo reiterated the point …. that that the powers to be given to the Government under the Bill, and the public interest grounds on which the Government can exercise its powers, “are actually narrower than the Government’s existing powers”.

“In key areas, the Bill narrows, rather than extends, the Government’s powers,” she said in the letter that was also provided to CNA and published in the Straits Times.

But as has been pointed out by the public

[The] proposed law is also broad and vague in how it can and will be implemented. Clarifications and amendments are needed to make it more focused on its real purpose.

FB post

And

But more clarifications and more amendments might mean more restrictions which the G is not willing to impose on itself.

If and how the G reacts to criticism will be very telling on where its comfort zone is.

Another FB post

Related posts:

The one-party state and fake news

Why the PAP is really afraid of Facebook?

Silencing fake news and inconvenient voices: two sides of the same coin

Fighting fake news while raising revenue

What is “news”?/ “Fake news” is not “fake” says Harvard expert

 

 

We can use 100% green energy by 2035 but won’t

In Economy, Energy on 08/05/2019 at 10:27 am

In the US more than 100 cities have recently pledged to run on 100% renewable energy, signing onto the Sierra Club’s “Ready For 100” campaign.

One of the cities is Atlanta, a place that uses lots of air conditioning

So, how exactly will the folks in Atlanta increase the city’s green energy supply from 8% to 100% by 2035? They’re going to start by trying to use less energy.

“There’s an awful lot of low-hanging fruit left,” said Matt Cox, CEO of the Greenlink Group, who helped craft Atlanta’s new plan.

Mr Cox says you start with the basics: insulating old homes and installing energy-efficient lights and better cooling and heating systems.

“We identified an opportunity to reduce the consumption in the city 25% to 30%, just through the energy-efficiency side alone.”

And Mr Cox says studies found there’s another benefit to investing in efficiency: “They were showing an internal rate of return of over 60%. That’s six-zero percent. That kind of a return on an investment is a tremendous opportunity that you don’t see hardly anywhere.

“You look at the stock market, you’re going to be happy to get 7% or 10% out of that.”

But efficiency is just a start. Atlanta’s plan also relies on putting up a lot more solar panels – on homes, commercial buildings and at utility scale solar farms. It banks on things like improved battery storage for solar energy as well as renewable-energy credits from outside the state to offset coal and gas power still coming from the local grid.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48112075

If Atlanta is aspiring to be so green, so should we: https://sbr.com.sg/utilities/more-news/singapore-takes-lead-in-embracing-green-energy-across-asean-report

But I forget that we want to be a major LNG centre and so our power generators are paid to use LNG: http://singaporepowerdesk.com/vesting-contracts-made-singapore-consumers-pay-2-7-billion-sgd-last-4-years/

And screwing Hyflux and its investors:

When Hyflux was first awarded the Tuaspring project in 2011, based on the financial model which modeled the cashflow projections from the project, the power plant was expected to generate profits from day one. This financial model was audited by an external financial model auditor and furnished to the offtaker. In 2013 when Tuaspring was able to secure a non-recourse project financing loan, the lender commissioned an independent market study of the project which arrived at similar conclusions supporting the book value of approximately SGD1.4 billion.

Hyflux fiasco shows why “book value” is BS

But to be fair to the PAP govt:

 Hyflux decided to build its power plant after the LNG vesting contracts were awarded to the other gencos. When Hyflux made this decision, information on the plans by other gencos to increase their generation capacity was publicly available. Hyflux’s present financial situation is a result of its own commercial decisions, with full knowledge of the gas supply situation and electricity generation market. It is incorrect for Mr Leong to claim that Hyflux’s financial problems were caused by “an unexpected domestic policy change”.

https://www.ema.gov.sg/reply_to_forum_letter.aspx?news_sid=20190403hDf4R8s5Rwna

Related post written before EMA set the record straight: Will Oliver Lum and other Hyflux investors still vote for the PAP?

These might interest:

Hyflux: Don’t cry for the investors

Hyflux directors, mgt & auditors kooning from 2016 onwards?

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

 

 

 

Buffett “responds” to our PM presumptive

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration, S'pore Inc on 07/05/2019 at 8:42 am

Heng said last Saturday our time

It is “not a given” that having an opposition party, or having multiple parties, will “result in the best outcome for our society” …

“So the question is this: As our society becomes more diverse, as our people are better educated, better exposed all round the world, how do we harness the energies of everyone in a constructive way and to take Singapore forward? Rather than spend time scoring political points, debating for the sake of debating.”

Buffett said last Saturday at his co’s AGM:

In the end Berkshire should prove itself over time. There are no perpetuities and it needs to deserve to be continued in its present form.”

Since the time GCT and Ah Loong took over, the one-party state leaders have run into one problem after another: asset inflation, MRT breakdowns, immigration etc etc. The younger leaders have not proved themselves. They have been living off the legacies and ideas of the Old Guard.

PAP has lost “output legitimacy”

The PAP govt has lost “output legitimacy”: Discuss

Memo to Paper General heading Computer Security Agency

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

But because there’s some form of Opposition, the PAP govt is forced to spend more of our money on S’poreans (not on foreign investment bankers and other advisers on our reserves) to keep its share of the popular vote above 60%.

Hard Truth why PAP wins and wins

Merdeka Generation: PAP cares for u, really they do

Under PAP rule will S’pore become like UK or Venezuela?

Imagine if there was no Oppo candidates to vote for? We’d have to eat bitter while our reserves pile up.

Vote wisely. Vote tactically.

 

Chinese are sheep

In China on 07/05/2019 at 4:51 am

They are led by their noses by online KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders)

A new McKinsey report here contains the finding that 94 per cent of Chinese luxury shoppers get their information from online KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). This is far higher than for traditional ads, which influence only 39 per cent of shoppers. No wonder that Ruhnn Holdings, a platform for Chinese KOLs, just managed to list on the Nasdaq. The IPO didn’t go well, but that doesn’t alter the fact that Chinese consumers are still the biggest force in luxury, buying $115bn last year — one-third of the world’s total luxury sales.

Related post: Why ang moh luxury brands lick Chinese p***ies

Why grumbling about PAP govt, doesn’t mean S’poreans are disaffected and rooting for change

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 06/05/2019 at 9:34 am

The first anniversary of regime change in M’sia is coming. This reminded me how happy the ang moh tua kees and their cybernut allies were last yr, saying that regime change was coming here. PJ Thum even asked Tun to bring change here: PJ Thum cares about S’pore?

The ang moh tua kees and their cybernut allies should have read, “Unpopular Culture: The Ritual of Complaint in a British Bank”, published in 2004, was written by a John Weeks, a US academic.

He spent six years observing NatWest (a UK bank, and since 2000 part of RBS, with retail and commercial operations in England and Wales ), investigating why the staff (from the CEO to the tea-ladies) spent so much time grumbling about it.

Their gentle KPKBing, he found, was a sign of affection for NatWest and of loyalty to each other: they were not unhappy with their employer.

An outsider might have assumed the complaining meant the staff disliked the bank, they did not.

Likewise “outsiders” like Kirsten Han, Mad Dog, PJ Thum, s/o JBJ etc, and their cybernut allies like Ozzie-based “Oxygen” (He fled S’pore yrs ago butcan’t get S’pore off his mind: he still has a CPF account and it’s alleged he uses it to evade Oz taxes) think that S’poreans dislike the PAP govt: when in fact our KPKBing about the PAP govt is a sign of affection for the PAP govt and other S’poreans.  No wonder, our Harry called us affectionately “champion grumblers”.

Related posts showing why ang moh tua kees and cybernuts are not real S’poreans but clueless”outsiders”:

Cluelessness of ang moh tua kees

10- 20% of voters are anti-PAP cybernuts

What the anti-PAP cybernuts have in common with US progressives

Kee Chiu Cybernuts who want to migrate to Bangladesh

 

DBS: Money talks BS walks

In Banks on 06/05/2019 at 3:46 am

DBS Visa Debit card, which gives 5 per cent cash back when you tap for your purchases. You can get up to S$50 back a month as long as you spend at least S$400 a month, which can be easy here even with the bank’s limit of S$200 a tap.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/benefits-tagged-debit-cards-can-help-savings

Meanwhile OCBC believes its customers only shop at FairPrice, Popular and Cheers

get a 4 per cent discount at NTUC FairPrice supermarket and a 3 per cent discount at FairPrice online, as well as 3 per cent off at Popular bookstores or Cheers convenience stores.

UOB’s debit card is nothing to write home about.

Telsa’s made-in-China “brain”

In China on 05/05/2019 at 5:40 pm

Only in America: US trade officials have rejected Tesla’s request for relief from the 25% tariffs on the Chinese-made computer “brain” of its Model 3 electric vehicle, says Reuters. The tariff was imposed by The Donald to Make America Great Again.

Telsa is an all-American electric car manufacturer.

Jialat for M’sia and Indonesia/ Even a Chinese M’sian minister is stupid

In Indonesia, Malaysia on 05/05/2019 at 5:12 am

A pair of Scottish entrepreneurs are aiming to go global with their hope to replace palm oil using coffee waste.

Scott Kennedy and Fergus Moore said they came up with a unique way to extract oil from used coffee grounds which had a wide range of uses.

Palm oil is found in many household products, but environmentalists say demand for it is devastating rainforests in Asia.

Manufacturers are now under pressure to find an alternative.

“About 60% of a cafe’s waste is about coffee grounds.

“The most exciting part for us is that they have all the same components as palm.

“Palm oil’s in the news for all the wrong reasons. It’s really exciting for us that we could potentially provide a local and more sustainable alternative to all the industries that are currently using palm oil.”

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-48023412

In a sign of how nervous the M’sian govt is of criticism of palm oil, a M’sian minister criticises ‘sensationalised’ signs on palm oil at Singapore Zoo.

https://www.todayonline.com/world/malaysian-minister-criticises-sensationalised-signs-palm-oil-singapore-zoo

And she’s Chinese and from DAP. I tot only stupid, balls-carrying Malay ministers from Bersatu criticise S’pore. Didn’t realise got such people from DAP.

 

 

Crazy Rich Asian in wrong country, should migrate

In Uncategorized on 04/05/2019 at 9:51 am

Metro family scion Ong Jenn, who is in jail for attempted drug possession, had an additional sentence of two years and two months meted out to him on Thursday (Apr 25).

The 43-year-old received the extra jail time for one charge of consuming cannabis and two counts of possessing the drug

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/metro-founder-grandson-ong-jenn-cannabis-more-jail-time-11478888

When he finally gets released, time to emigrate to Canada or California where he can smoke cannabis to his heart’s content. But will he be allowed in given his criminal record? He can argue that he’s a fighter against repression, like Amos (Remember him?). Will Maruah support him? Human rights kay pohs don’t do “fixers” and “jihadists”, but they might do rich druggies.

Related posts:

Yet another Crazy Rich Asian druggie has gd lawyer

Crazy Rich Asians not falling for Ang Moh BS

Cheer, not jeer, “Crazy Rich Asians”

Crazy Rich Asians: Money talks, BS walks

Eat a durian and fail breathanalyser test

In China on 04/05/2019 at 3:56 am

A man in China has failed an on-the-spot breathalyser test after eating too much durian fruit.

According to Chinese video website Pear Video, an unnamed man in Rudong county, in the eastern province of Jiangsu, was pulled over by the police on 17 April for suspected drink-driving.

He failed his breathalyzer test, but was filmed by police protesting: “I’ve just eaten durian fruit!”

A follow-up blood test proved that there was no alcohol in his system, putting the man in the clear.

But it also prompted local police to subsequently carry out tests themselves, to check the legitimacy of the man’s claims.

https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-48123775

The man was right.

Devan Nair, the ghost at the NTUC May Day rally

In Political governance on 03/05/2019 at 11:35 am

Since Heng raised by accidently the spectre of one Devan Nair (Remember him?) by talking about Harry’s role in NTUC (To be fair to Heng, he didn’t mentioning Devan Nair, but any talk of Harry’s role in NTUC will lead to tots about his side-kick and fixer) ),  let’s revisit Devan Nair’s legacy. If you feel like skipping what Heng said, you can start reading from NTUC: What Devan Nair got wrong. But I suggest you plough thru his BS because it sets the context of what follows.

The “close symbiotic relationship” between the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) will continue into the fourth generation (4G) of leaders and beyond, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Wednesday (May 1) at this year’s May Day Rally.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/dpm-heng-swee-keat-close-ties-pap-ntuc-continue-4g-leadership-11493706

(FYI: May Day 1961 versus today)

This reminded me of one Devan Nair who was the ghost at the banquet when the PM presumptive talked about our Harry and the Modernisation Seminar in 1969

“Today is the first time I’m speaking to you as leader of the next generation of PAP leaders,” said Mr Heng, … “I renew today the pledge that Mr Lee (Kuan Yew) made at your Modernisation Seminar 50 years ago, and that every prime minister has since renewed.”

The landmark Modernisation Seminar in 1969 marked the labour movement’s decision to fundamentally shift from confrontation to collaboration.

Then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew had said then that there is a school of thought that argues it is better not to have trade unions for the rapid industrialisation of an underdeveloped country, but Singapore should not go down that route.

Singapore’s objective is not just industrialisation: While the development of the country is very important, the development of the nature of society is equally important, he had said.

“We do not want our workers submissive, docile, toadying up to the foreman, the foreman to the supervisor and the supervisor to the boss for increments and promotions,” said Mr Heng, quoting Mr Lee. “To survive as a nation and distinct community we have to be a proud and rugged people, or we will fail.

“You can neither be proud nor rugged if you have not got self-respect.”

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/dpm-heng-swee-keat-close-ties-pap-ntuc-continue-4g-leadership-11493706

The last two paragraphs above quoted reminded me of the piece I wrote five years ago when Zorro Lim was the NTUC supremo and a cabinet minister.

NTUC: What Devan Nair got wrong

The NTUC has a clown cabinet minister and its own MPs within the PAP. The last time it approved of a strike was decades ago (2 Jan 1986). The PAP govt frowns on strikes, and NTUC has to be constructive, and nation-building, like the local media. The PAP govt knows best leh.

Once upon a time the PAP was strike friendly. In 1960 125,000 man-hours were lost in strikes compared with only 26.000 in 1959. The person who reported this statistic, the outgoing head of the S’pore Chamber of Commerce called for an inquiry into where the trade union movement was leading S’pore.

Woodhull, a union man (Singapore Trades Union Congressand a PAP cadre and activist (later arrested in Coldstore) said in the 6 months before the PAP took power in 1959, the workers were “repressed”. So the jump in strikes was to be expected when they were liberated. (Singapore Correspondent. Political Dispatches from Singapore (1958-1962)*

Well the PAP soon grew less-strike friendly** as the economy was affected by strikes and an economic slowdown.

LKY and the other PAP leaders (remember he was only first among equals) decided to form a new trade union movement. National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) was created in 1961 when the Singapore Trades Union Congress (STUC), which had backed the People’s Action Party (PAP), split into the NTUC and the Singapore Association of Trade Unions (SATU). In 1963, the government detained SATU’s leaders during Operation Coldstore and deregistered it.

Only NTUC was left standing: competition eliminated. It never had to persuade the workers that its plans were better.

Devan Nair as a founder of the NTUC and as its first Sec-Gen had a different idea of the role of unions from the one of union leaders in the S’pore of the 1950s: one where the govt, unions and businessmen collaborated for the public good, and where general economic prosperity benefited the employers and their workers

He (and other PAP leaders) publicly said that they had in mind the German model of industrial relations: “The most notable of such experiments have been by the Staedtler, Carl Zeiss, Robert Bosch, Gert Spindler and Rexroth businesses in West Germany, and the John Lewis and Scott-Bader enterprises in England.” The last two were British worker co-operatives. John Lewis is still a model for the co-operative way of doing things.

They hated the traditional British model despite (perhaps because) many of the leaders having studied there, and despite the English-educated leaders having influenced by British socialist thinkers, the Fabian Society and the British Labour party. Devan Nair (not one of the UK educated leaders) quoting a British writerMr. Folkert Wilken, on the subject:

“It is an inveterate evil of the traditional structure of trade unions, that in order to exist they must struggle to recruit members, and to make membership appear in the most attractive light. They are therefore under constant compulsion to prove the necessity of their existence. They have to institute periodic and militant proceedings for increased wages and shorter hours. By doing this, they are appealing to the egotistic interests of the workers. Thus, they never appeal to the social ideals dormant in the workers. They cannot, for they do not consider it their duty to further such ideals, and have no clear picture of the practical realisation of these ideals. They therefore wish to persevere in their war for higher wages and less work. To these aims they owed their birth, a hundred years ago. But then, those aims were justified by the conditions of the time, as they are always justified when there is capitalistic exploitation of labour.”

The virus of the British industrial disease is also latent in Singapore** and could develop a malignant potency in future years, if our social thinkers and planners do not give thought to the development of corrective and remedial measures.

(http://sgrepository.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/wages-alone/)

Funnily for an ex-communist, he never ever mentioned (at least publicly: I’m happy to stand corrected on this point) that the NTUC was modeled on the Soviet Union’s and Communist China’s trade unions’ movements (Just like one LKY kept insisting that the PAP was modeled on the Roman Catholic Church when in fact it was modeled on the Soviet communist party and the Chinese communist party that imitated its structure. The ideas and principles of both organisations followed those of Lenin, even though Lenin got the idea of his structure from the Catholic Church.). The unions were subordinate to the leaders of the communist party who were also the leaders of the govt, the countries being one party states.  They were not equal partners to the govt or the employers (state-owned). This didn’t matter because the communist party represented the interests of the workers, the proletariat.

Devan Nair wanted to improve the working conditions and life of the workers, but he was willingly to use a model that had shown itself capable of exploiting the workers; a system that depended on the whims and fancies of the political leader, there being no institutional checks to their power. No need to have checks and balances because the party and hence its leaders represented the workers.

I’m sure that such a smart man (in EQ and IQ) would have realised the danger especially as he was a well read man (his speeches seem to indicate this, or did he have a good speech writer?). But as he tot the world of LKY***, he created (with others) the NTUC based on the Leninist model.

As I pointed out earlier, by 1973, he may have recognised the problems S’pore was going to face if it continued on the PAP govt’s chosen trajectory, but he was impotent to change the system. He had helped create a union movement that was subordinate to the ruling govt in a defacto one-party state. The NTUC would improve the life of the the workers only if the govt wanted to take care of the workers. If it didn’t, the NTUC would not be in a position to help the workers. It would only spin the govt’s propaganda, like Squealer in Animal Farm, explaining why the other farm animals had to endure hardship.

When in the mid 1990s, the govt realised that S’pore was losing its competitive edge (a fact, not a Hard Truth or Heart Truth) and it tot that economic growth required real wages to be held down and real estate prices to be inflated**** the workers had to accept the nasty consequences. The NTUC was part of the machinery of govt. As to protesting, well sheep S’poreans don’t protest: they juz bleat*****. Besides, S’poreans are law abiding and protests (Hong Leong excepted) and strikes need official permission.

NTUC, as a champion of the workers, was flawed from its conception, a bit like the creature that Dr Frankenstein created. For that, Devan Nair, whatever his good intentions, must accept part of the blame.

One wonders whether when Lim Chin Seong and Fong Swee Suan, Woodhull  and other radical left unionists met Devan Nair in the afterlife, they chorused,”Dr Frankenstein, we presume?”?

—–

*(http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/mai/new-book-singapore-correspondent/)

by Leon Comber MAI Adjunct Research Fellow

Publisher:  Marshall Cavendish International Asia

Singapore Correspondent Book CoverSingapore Correspondent” covers five years of Singapore’s colourful political past – a period of living turbulently and sometimes dangerously. It is a collection of eye-witness dispatches, sent from Singapore to London, spanning a time when Singapore was emerging from British colonial rule and moving forward to self-government and independence. Many of the early struggles of the People’s Action Party (PAP) are described as the focus is on the political struggle taking place in which the PAP played a major part. Many important events which have long been forgotten are brought to life. These dispatches prove that political history need not be dull, and indeed can sometimes be entertaining and lively.

Reviewed here: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/im-invested-in-spore-spore-in-50s-60s/

**Bit ironical this given that PAP activists were in the forefront of the strikes.

***It is important to appreciate, however, that Lee Kuan Yew and Co. belong to a freak generation. In fact, as individuals, they were quite unrepresentative of the great majority of their social class, the members of which were brought up and educated in the colonial era, and whose major preoccupation was to fend for themselves and feather their own nests … But because the present generation of leaders exceeded their class characteristics and loyalties, and developed a creative vision of a better society, they were able to establish themselves as the modern leaders of Singapore. In more senses than one, this freak generation are the creators of the vibrant and bustling Republic we know today.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/in-1973-devan-nair-foresaw-todays-income-inequality/

****OK, OK, I exaggerate. But go ask Mah Bow Tan.

*****They always have. It’s juz that the internet and social media have amplified the once soft bleats. Take away the anonymity of the internet and social media and there will be a return to the silence of the lambs.

Only ministers can afford this for their kids?

In Uncategorized on 03/05/2019 at 4:26 am

Wealthy people will spend heavily to buy their children an early advantage, as demonstrated by Cognita’s new “early-learning village” in Singapore, which will eventually cater for 2,100 children aged 18 months to six years. Facilities include 114 outside spaces, one for each classroom, and nine playdecks equipped with pirate ships, tricycle tracks and suchlike. The classrooms are arranged in groups of four, each with a central space to create a sense of community. “The building develops with the children,” says Adam Paterson, one of the centre’s two headteachers. “They move through it as they grow.” Fees range from S$14,832 ($8,393) to S$35,610 a year.

https://www.economist.com/special-report/2019/04/13/private-education-is-stepping-in-where-the-state-leaves-off

No PAP Community Foundation kindergarten for them?

HoHoHo: Time for Ho to take an aspirin?

In Temasek on 02/05/2019 at 4:36 am

In Apr last year that Bayer,  aspirin-to-crop chemicals group, sold 3.6 per cent stake to Temasek for 3 billion euros at 96.77 euros per share. Now worth only 60-something euros a share: not even 65.

Bayer faces problems over legal liabilities stemming from last year’s $63bn acquisition of Monsanto, which included weedkiller products that two US courts have since ruled caused cancer.

FT reports

Any settlement worth about €5bn — still the base case for many analysts who follow Bayer — could be absorbed by the German group without jeopardising its credit rating. Should the cost spiral to €20bn, however, Bayer’s leverage could rise to a level where a cut to the group’s “Baa1” credit rating was necessary, and even a “Baa2” rating could look stretched. Such a scenario could leave the company’s rating just two notches above junk status.

But as aspirin is not available here, maybe she’s have to settle for paracetamol, only 1.5 cents a pill, thanks to SingHealth. (Wannbabe MP doesn’t know paracetamol available here: Need Paracetamol? Ask SingHealth)

Btw, “abc” any idea why Bayer isn’t bringing in aspirin into S’pore? Informal govt ban? It’s easily available in M’sia and Indonesia (place where Bayer makes its aspirin).

May Day 1961 versus today

In Uncategorized on 01/05/2019 at 11:12 am

Here’s shumething I wrote several yrs ago

May Day 1961

On May Day 1961, the PAP is strike friendly and a real friend of the S’porean workers, not FTs with fake degrees or who are willing to work for wages that S’poreans cannot live on because this is home (remember 25-yr “affordable” public housing mortgages) for those S’poreans: In 1960 125,000 man-hours were lost in strikes compared with only 26.000 in 1959. The person who reported this statistic, the outgoing head of the S’pore Chamber of Commerce called for an inquiry into where the trade union movement was leading S’pore.

Woodhull, a union man (Singapore Trades Union Congress) and a PAP cadre and activist (later arrested in Coldstore) said in the 6 months before the PAP took power in 1959, the workers were “repressed”. So the jump in strikes was to be expected when they were liberated. (Singapore Correspondent. Political Dispatches from Singapore (1958-1962)

Well Devan Nair, working on orders from one Harry, soon changed things. Want to know more, click https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/ntuc-what-devan-nair-got-wrong/.

Fat kids are depressed kids

In Uncategorized on 01/05/2019 at 5:29 am

Obese seven-year-olds are at greater risk of suffering emotional problems, such as anxiety and low mood, when they reach 11, a large UK study suggests.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-48067478