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Archive for June, 2019|Monthly archive page

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?

Anti-Chinese Canadian action?

In Uncategorized on 25/06/2019 at 5:05 am

Canada is the first G20 country to ban shark fin trade.

Guess what’s the reaction?

“The shark fin ban is just a gimmick to gain political capital,” says Ben Leung, who is active in the Chinese immigrant community in Canada.

He criticises the ban, arguing it targets Asian culinary culture, while providing little actual help to protecting sharks.

Mr Leung expects the ban’s impact on Asian restaurants in Canada to be “limited”, as it had been long expected.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48714320?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/world/us_and_canada&link_location=live-reporting-story

Given that Leung expects the ban’s impact to be limited, he’s the grand-stander.

Btw, the BBC article says that since 2013, official Chinese government functions stopped having the dish in any form.

HK protestors prove George Orwell’s point

In China, Hong Kong on 24/06/2019 at 2:18 pm

The announcement by Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam that she was suspending the proposal surprised many China-watchers, who had assumed that President Xi Jinping in Beijing would be reluctant to back down and lose face. The fact that Mr Xi decided to hit the pause button suggests that the Chinese president and the Hong Kong government have collectively realised that the greatest risk facing them now is not perceived weakness, but chaos and violence on the streets of Hong Kong that could have significant domestic and international repercussions.

Emphasis mine

Well George Orwell did write

Since pacifists have more freedom of action in countries where traces of democracy survive, pacifism can act more effectively against democracy than for it. Objectively the pacifist is pro-Nazi.

“No, Not One”, Adelphi (October 1941)

A few yrs later, he elaborated further about the uselessness of pacifism or civil disobedience where democracy is absent (emphasis mine)

[Gandhi] believed in “arousing the world”, which is only possible if the world gets a chance to hear what you are doing. It is difficult to see how Gandhi’s methods could be applied in a country where opponents of the regime disappear in the middle of the night and are never heard of again. Without a free press and the right of assembly, it is impossible not merely to appeal to outside opinion, but to bring a mass movement into being, or even to make your intentions known to your adversary. Is there a Gandhi in Russia at this moment? And if there is, what is he accomplishing? The Russian masses could only practise civil disobedience if the same idea happened to occur to all of them simultaneously, and even then, to judge by the history of the Ukraine famine, it would make no difference. But let it be granted that non-violent resistance can be effective against one’s own government, or against an occupying power: even so, how does one put it into practise internationally? Gandhi’s various conflicting statements on the late war seem to show that he felt the difficulty of this. Applied to foreign politics, pacifism either stops being pacifist or becomes appeasement. Moreover the assumption, which served Gandhi so well in dealing with individuals, that all human beings are more or less approachable and will respond to a generous gesture, needs to be seriously questioned. It is not necessarily true, for example, when you are dealing with lunatics. Then the question becomes: Who is sane? Was Hitler sane? And is it not possible for one whole culture to be insane by the standards of another? And, so far as one can gauge the feelings of whole nations, is there any apparent connection between a generous deed and a friendly response? Is gratitude a factor in international politics?

http://www.orwell.ru/library/reviews/gandhi/english/e_gandhi

Related posts:

Keeping power in a one-party state

Would this happen in a one-party state?

Did Hali ask Xi for this app when they met?

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

 

TKL shows how cheapskate and blur he is

In Uncategorized on 24/06/2019 at 8:38 am

And 5% of voters voted for him in PE 2011 helping him and Goh Meng Seng help the preferred PAP candidate to win?

Difficult to register for Business Times Online

I received an email asking me to subscribe to Business Times online for $0.99 per month.
I clicked on the link and proceed to register.
I had the trouble with the following:
a) They require my password to be at least 8 characters with capital and lower case.
b) I have to give my address with level and unit number.
After creating the password that match their requirement, I have to write it down somewhere – as it is not my usual password format.
Why do they need to have such a format? This is not something that hackers are interested in.
I could not pass through the address check. My address does not have a level and unit number.
They provided a telephone number and email address for me to seek help.
Before I could call their telephone number and hope that it does not get me to a “terrible call center”, I saw* that the subscription is $0.99 for 3 months and it will automatically revert to $34 a month (or thereabout) after that. This was too costly to me.
I abandon the registration process.
I wish our business organizations are more transparent in their operations*.

Tan Kin Lian

Nice to know that this cheapskate lost his $48,000 presidential deposit deposit. Must have hurt.


*I too have received the email. The caveat while in smaller print, is clearly visible. TKL either very careless, misrepresented the facts or he too cheapskate or vain to use spectacles.

 

 

Why Hongkies sang ‘Sing Hallelujah to the Lord’

In China, Hong Kong on 23/06/2019 at 1:39 pm

I refer to HK: See the people walk, Hear the people sing.

Hallelujah to the Lord” became the unofficial anthem of crowds protesting against a controversial proposed law that would allow people accused of crimes in China to be extradited to the mainland not because the protesting Hongkies are Christians, or are ang moh tua kees or because CIA and MI6 operatives taught the organisers of the protesters the song in boot camp.

And definitely not because the protesters want to annoy Grandpa Xi and the other Chinese leaders who are all atheists.

Maybe it could to shame and irritate his head prefect in HK? After all Carrie Lam was once head prefect in a convent school and this song could be to remind her that as a devoted Roman Catholic she should not be the HK running dog of the atheistic Chinese Communist Party?

Here’s why according to BBC

For Christians in Hong Kong, the hymn is a sign of faith but also of their concerns that it’s not only political but also religious issues that are at stake, should the bill ever pass.

And

The hymn was picked up by other protesters – soon even non-Christians were singing it.

Because

“People picked up this song as it is short and easy to remember,” Edwin Chow, 19, acting president of the Hong Kong Federation of Catholic Students, told the BBC. “There’s only one line: ‘Sing Hallelujah to the Lord’.”

Also

The protesters said they sang it hoping it would have a calming effect on police, and would help diffuse tensions.

This was especially needed after police had earlier fired tear gas and shooting rubber bullets towards protesters.

Finally

The song also acted as a political shield, of sorts.

“According to the law, any religious assemblies in public areas are not considered as illegal, so if people sing hymns together, it could actually work as a protection and guarantee that [they] stay safe,” said Mr Chow.

“Therefore people started to sing this song to protect themselves.”

Btw, in case Terry Xu or Mad Dog is thinking of starting up a church, this loophole doesn’t exist in S’pore. Related post: Seelan Palay: Sylvia Lim was right

 

 

AI robots already in charge

In Internet on 23/06/2019 at 9:43 am

Artificial intelligence is already so deeply embedded in our lives that we don’t notice it according to Amy Webb, a professor of strategic foresight at New York University’s Stern School of Business and author of “The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity”.

We juz don’t notice it “because we mindlessly use it every single day as we like and share stories, send emails and texts, speak to machines and allow ourselves to be nudged,” she says.

Don’t believe her? FB’s automated “M suggestions” claims more than 100m people interact it with each month.

Btw, the 9 are Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, IBM and Apple from the US of A, and .Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent from China.

 

 

Amy Webb

 

Temasek, GIC got this right in our backyard

In GIC, Indonesia, Internet, Temasek on 22/06/2019 at 6:01 pm

Indonesia is really the place to be in e-commerce.

And Temasek is there: Indonesia: Temasek, Google & McKinsey singing from the same page

As is GIC via Bukalapak: an e-commerce unicorn: https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/18/bukalapak-raises-50m/

Btw, Go-Jek where Temasek has a stake has big plans in Thailand and Vietnam, as does Grab (where Temasek also has a stake).

 

 

Apple planning to leave China with help of Taiwanese Foxconn

In China on 22/06/2019 at 9:23 am

Yet more headaches for Grandpa Xi on top of having to deal with his spoiled bastard grandchildren from HK, and an uncouth ang moh kaw (or is it quai low?)

From FT’s Tech Scroll Asia

Apple has sounded out its major suppliers over the cost implications of shifting 15 to 30 per cent of its production capacity from China to south-east Asian countries as it prepares to restructure its supply chain, according to this scoop from the Nikkei Asian Review. Although the shift is yet to happen, the size of Apple’s supply chain in China — and the signal this potential move sends to others — makes this a vital issue.

Key Implications: The concerns of Apple over its exposure to China derive in part from the protracted trade tensions between Washington and Beijing. But even if such tensions are resolved, several sources said there would be “no turning back”. Apple has decided that China’s lower birth rate and higher labour costs add to the risks of overconcentration in one country.

Upshot: Apple’s move heralds what is likely to be a big shift of manufacturing supply chains from China to south-east Asia. Indeed, this is already under way. Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron, Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics and key Apple suppliers have all been asked to evaluate options outside of China.

Earlier in the week, FT reported that Foxconn said it could help Apple, for example, move iPhone production out of China if necessary. Foxconn told companies worried about the trade war between Beijing and Washington that it can move electronics production for the US market out of China at short notice and said 25% of its total capacity is now outside of China.

Do PJ, Kirsten and friends still want Tun to bring democracy to S’pore?

In Uncategorized on 21/06/2019 at 3:31 pm

I refer to

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

and am wondering if they still think he’s the Messiah to liberate S’pore from the PAP?

A day after the MH17 plane crash inquiry team announced murder charges against four men, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has condemned the decision as “ridiculous”.

However, Malaysia is itself part of the Dutch-led joint investigation team (JIT), which has been working on the criminal inquiry for years. A foreign ministry statement said it remained committed to the inquiry process.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48702115

Related posts:

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

Tun’s greatest achievement and real Kiling unhappy

 

HK: See the people walk, Hear the people sing

In China, Hong Kong on 21/06/2019 at 4:35 am

IT WAS PROBABLY the largest political protest ever staged in Hong Kong. It may have been the biggest in China’s history. Organisers reckon that about 1.9m people joined the demonstration on June 16th. Even during the unrest in Tiananmen Square three decades ago, no single protest approached that scale.

Economist

They sang in English, “Do you hear the people sing?” and “Sing Hallelujah To The Lord”.

Organisers say two million people have turned out for a demonstration in Hong Kong, the latest large protest against a controversial extradition bill.

But what did the protests look like on the ground?

We collated images taken within a short time of each other that show the extent of the crowds in Hong Kong on Sunday.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-48655634

(Do look at the photos to see the scale of the protests.)

Which version would our Protection against Online Falsehoods and Manipulation say is fake? Grandpa Xi heard the Hongkies sing or Not fear of the people singing but fear of US growling made Xi chicken-out?

But maybe both reflect different facets of a very complicated situation.

What do u think?

Expect MAS to “manipulate” S$ lower

In Currencies on 20/06/2019 at 4:58 am

TD Securities recently said S’pore could shift to an easier stance (code for allowing S$ to weaken against US$ and other currencies) in October.

TD Securities expects plenty of central bank action from Asia this summer as US and Chinese tariffs against each other bite and other Asian economies become collateral damage. It says many Asian countries have room to act, given the relative stability in their currencies.

M’sia is likely to ease policy in July. India, Indonesia and Philippines are likely to ease by August. South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand are likely to ease later in the year.

And they will all say “We don’t target the exchange rate.”

Yesterday, Trump complained that the euro zone’s monetary policy is unfair, complaining of a weak euro

Asked whether he was starting a currency war, Mr Draghi [the president of the European Central Bank] responded that his only objective was to achieve the bank’s inflation target. “We don’t target the exchange rate,” he said. His audience burst into applause.

Economist

Asian central banks will copy and paste “We don’t target the exchange rate.”

And Trump will KPKB.

Related posts:

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

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

 

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

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 19/06/2019 at 5:15 am

In Europe once upon a time, every team of coal miners going underground carried a caged canary. If the canary died, they got out ASAP because it meant that there there were poisonous gases that could kill them.

S’pore is the world’s canary when it comes to trade. We suffer earlier than other countries or cities when there’s a global trade slowdown.

As the FT reports,

A trade canary sings — Singapore’s non-oil exports recorded their third consecutive double-digit fall in May, with electronics shipments falling 31.4 per cent (the largest decrease since late 2008) after a 16.3 per cent drop in April.

Marc Ostwald at ADM says the slide in electronics exports sends a “dire signal” as it represents “a generally very reliable proxy for the semiconductor and telecoms sectors worldwide”.

Oxford Economics note that their “coincident and leading global trade indicators are continuing to trend downwards, and the latter has fallen to its lowest level since 2009”.

“While this does not mean that a global recession is around the corner, it suggests that global growth will remain sluggish in the near term and that export-orientated economies will continue to struggle.”

Heng has to do better than talking about cock about natural aristocrats (PAP ministers) partnering us plebs to make S’pore a better place. His 4G team needs 65% of the popular vote: the pass mark for bragging rights that they have the people’s mandate.

What are the headwinds other than a lousy economy going into a GE

— 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.

But the PAP has a good vote bank because Why S’poreans continue voting for the PAP to have 2/3 of parly seats;  PAP genius at work and Why grumbling about PAP govt, doesn’t mean S’poreans are disaffected and rooting for change.

Where the PAP votes are coming from

 

CPF interest rates: PAP govt cares for u, they really do

In CPF, Economy, Financial competency, Financial planning, Public Administration on 18/06/2019 at 11:02 am

The US 10-year real yield — a barometer of future growth expectations for the economy — has dropped below 0.4 per cent, eyeing its September 2017 nadir of 0.25 per cent.

FT a few days ago

CPFers get a better deal from the PAP govt.

Our inflation rate is about 1.37%.

But

Savings in the Special Account earn a guaranteed 4% while savings in the Ordinary Account only earn a guaranteed 2.5%. The lower interest rate offered by OA is due to its wider usage. For instance, funds in OA are allowed to be utilised to fund child’s tertiary education as well as CPF member’s property purchase. Such uses of the CPF funds are not applicable to the Special Account and a higher interest rate is therefore provided to compensate for its restricted use.

How to Optimise Singapore CPF: Ordinary Account into Special Account

2.5 – 1.37 = 1.13. 1.13 is the real return assuming that the CPF interest rate is only 2.5%. and we know it’s higher, don’t we?

And taz not all. Read, the bits I bolded

The interest rate on Ordinary Account (OA) monies is reviewed quarterly. OA monies earn either the legislated minimum interest of 2.5% per annum, or the 3-month average of major local banks’ interest rates, whichever is higher.

The OA interest rate will be maintained at 2.5% per annum from 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019, as the computed rate of 0.60% is lower than the legislated minimum interest rate.

And​

The interest rate on Special and MediSave Account (SMA) monies is reviewed quarterly. SMA monies earn either the current floor interest rate of 4% per annum or the 12-month average yield of 10-year Singapore Government Securities (10YSGS) plus 1%, whichever is higher. In view of the continuing low interest rate environment, the Government has decided to further extend the 4% floor rate for interest earned on all SMA monies for another year until 31 December 2019.

Consequently, the SMA interest rate will be maintained at 4% per annum from 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019, as the computed rate of 3.37% is lower than the current floor interest rate of 4% per annum.

And

The interest rate on Retirement Account (RA) monies is reviewed annually. RA monies credited each year will be invested in newly-issued Special Singapore Government Securities (SSGS) which will earn a fixed coupon rate equal to either the 12-month average yield of the 10YSGS plus 1% computed for the year, or the current floor rate of 4% per annum, whichever is higher. The interest rate earned by RA monies is the weighted average interest rate of the entire portfolio of these SSGS, which is adjusted in January each year to take into account the coupon rates payable by the new SSGS issuance. In view of the continuing low interest rate environment, the Government has decided to further extend the 4% floor rate for interest earned on the RA for another year until 31 December 2019.

The average yield of the 10YSGS plus 1% from November 2017 to October 2018 is 3.38% per annum. As this is below the current floor rate of 4% per annum, new SSGS issued in the year of 2019 will pay a fixed coupon of 4%.

Consequently, the RA interest rate from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019 will be maintained at 4% per annum.

Above from CPF website

Vote wisely.

Related posts (Even an anti-PAP TOC writer appreciates that the PAP govt cares):

CPFLife: PAP govt cares for u, really they do

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

Vaping: PAP govt cares for u, really they do

Merdeka Generation: PAP cares for u, really they do

Groceries: PAP cares for u, really they do

KPMG (Hyflux’s and Temasek’s auditor) latest US problem

In Accounting, Corporate governance on 18/06/2019 at 6:58 am

KPMG has agreed to pay U$50m to settle claims by the Securities and Exchange Commission that it went back to alter audits it had already completed, after using stolen data from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, an accouting watchdog that revealed they were about to be inspected.

The SEC also found that numerous KPMG audit professionals had cheated on internal training exams by sharing answers and manipulating test results.

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

 

 

 

PAP cares for S’poreans, really they do: Look at Save the Children’s Global Childhood Report

In Internet on 17/06/2019 at 2:02 pm

(Part of an occasional series)

About two months ago, TOC, other cybernut publications, social media cybernuts and even a ex-wannabe IB member* living in Finland on welfare were up in arms over the constructive, nation-building MSM’s reports on S’pores top ranking in the Save the Children’s Global Childhood Report.

I was wondering why they were upset until I read in the FT recently

Reasons to be cheerful Singapore is the top country for taking care of its children, according to Save the Children’s Global Childhood Report. More children all over the world are surviving past their fifth birthday than at any time in the last twenty years; more than ever before eat well enough to avoid stunting; more are in education; and more are safe from violence.

The PAP govt in the alternative but parallel universe these anti-PAP types live in cannot do anything gd for S’poreans. So when reality intrudes, they get upset and fake the news. Why? Read Terry Xu and cybernuts are really PAPpies


*He and ex-ST wannabe Seth Lord turned wannabe Jedi, its alleged wanted more than going rate to be part of IB but were allegedly told off to bugger off because mothership was better than them and wasn’t demanding as much money as them. He had to migrate to Finland, his wife’s country, because that’s the only way his kids can have a good but free education. In S’pore, they could only make it to “Every school a good school” neighbourhood school. And, the parents couldn’t afford to send them to the int’l schools here.

Interesting post: How to make a school good?

HK demonstrations: What I’d like to know

In China, Hong Kong on 17/06/2019 at 4:51 am

How many of the protesters are mainland tourists or long term residents of HK from China.

The crowds are massive, no doubt about it. And Hongkies are really upset, no doubt about it: Not fear of the people singing but fear of US growling made Xi chicken-out.

But I’m curious about whether there are substantial numbers of mainlanders in the crowds, who are there really to protest against Xi.

The tourist numbers from China are staggering, fyi,

From January to November last year, about 58.6 million tourists visited Hong Kong, up 10.7 per cent from the previous year. Among them, 45.9 million were mainland tourists, an increase of 14.2 per cent from the same period in 2017.

In November, the number of mainland day trippers jumped 40.3 per cent year on year to a record 2.9 million, and accounted for 86.5 per cent of the city’s total of same-day arrivals.

Alan Au, a member of a Hung Hom community group, said it was common to see 300 mainland tourists blocking the streets as they waited for coaches in some parts of the district.

SCMP in January 2019

Not fear of the people singing but fear of US growling made Xi chicken-out

In China, Hong Kong on 16/06/2019 at 1:28 pm

Further to this, Grandpa Xi heard the Hongkies sing, the truth seems to be a lot more complicated.

No, people power didn’t make Xi’s head prefect in HK suspend, as she claimed. rather than withdrawn the extradition bill, arguing the amendment was well intended but had been poorly communicated to the stupid ang moh tua kee Hongkies.

It all has to with America being the tua kee capable of destroying HK’s economy and damaging China. (Today, HK contributes a  mere 3% of China’s GNP, down from 20% in 1997 but when winter’s arrived in the form of an economic slow down and a trade skirmish with the US, every little bit helps.)

[T]he US, began eyeing the territory as another possible stick with which to beat Beijing in the trade war. Congress on Thursday introduced a bipartisan Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act that could remove the city’s unique trading privileges with the US if the government did not uphold its freedoms.

FT

As the BBC reported

US lawmakers have introduced a bill to amend the Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992. The amendment requires the US Secretary of State to “issue an annual certification of Hong Kong’s autonomy to justify special treatment” by the US.

“The bigger issue is probably that the global perception of Hong Kong as a separate part of China is under threat. And that includes official recognition of Hong Kong as a separate customs, immigration, tax and legal jurisdiction,” said David Webb, editor of Webb-site.com and long-time resident of Hong Kong.

“If Hong Kong loses its separate status then, for example, all of the duties that America has applied to Chinese exports would apply to Hong Kong exports. And any prohibitions on transfers of high grade technology to China would apply to Hong Kong as well.”

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48618585

The U-turn is a humiliation for Xi and Beijing. The people of HK will suffer.

Related post: Keeping power in a one-party state

 

Grandpa Xi heard the Hongkies sing

In China, Hong Kong on 16/06/2019 at 5:03 am

And backed off.

His head prefect in HK emphasised she had suspended rather than withdrawn the bill, arguing the amendment was well intended but had been poorly communicated to the stupid ang moh tua kee Hongkies. Ms Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, was the head prefect in her HK convent school, really.

This song is not allowed to be streamed in China, but the Hongkies sang it as they protested and won a victory that they did not expect to win.

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the songs of angry men?
It is the music of the people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!
Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Then join in the fight
That will give you the right to be free!
Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the songs of angry men?
It is the music of the people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!
Will you give all you can give
So that our banner may advance
Some will fall and some will live
Will you stand up and take your chance?
The blood of the martyrs
Will water the meadows of France!

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the songs of angry men?
It is the music of the people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes

The bad news is that the students and others who supposedly sang this song in 1848 were killed in the French predecessor of Tiananmen.

But it’s a famous victory still for the Hongkies. So let’s give them three cheers. And hope for the best.

Streaming — S’pore tua kee

In Internet on 15/06/2019 at 1:50 pm

In Asean

Where China can make America Cry Uncle

In China on 15/06/2019 at 5:02 am

Stop its students from studying in the USA

The United States is the number one destination for Chinese students seeking to study abroad.

They make up one-third of the total international body in the US and pay significant sums to study at top institutions.

BBC report

Serious money: billions

What TOC doesn’t tell about “victim” it’s championing

In Internet on 14/06/2019 at 1:55 pm

Further to Fake news the TOC way/ History is very complicated, TOC, cybernuts juz plain jealous isit? and Why TOC’s Danisha Hakeem is a menace to the credibility of alt media, here’s more on how TOC does fake news.

A Singaporean man, who is a retired teacher and a well-known musician, is suing Malaysia’s Immigration Department for RM2.67 million over his 37-day detention in an over-crowded and badly-maintained cell.

Puis Gilbert Louis, who will turn 68 next month, said that his nightmare started when the immigration officers raided his house in Johor Bahru on 9 October 2018 and arrested him.

Based on his statement of claim filed by his lawyer Arun Kasi, the man who owns a valid visa to be in Malaysia until 2 November 2018, was in the house with four other individuals, and one of them was his female friend from the Philippines who also holds a valid visa.

However, the additional three people in the house were friends of his Filipino friend and he is unaware of their origin or their immigration status.

TOC

What TOC doesn’t tell us is that Gilbert Louis has a history of violence against others that  he claims were caused by an ISD-inplant. In particular, he was jailed for six yrs for assaulting his then-wife’s lawyer. She wanted a divorce but he claimed that the lawyer instigated the divorce: so he beat up the lawyer (a lady, I think).

He also has a history of mental illness, although he denies that there’s anything wrong with him. He says the ISD fixes him via the implant: This fan should join Ravi in Woodbridge.

 

 

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

In Economy on 14/06/2019 at 6:43 am

Further to Winter is here, how big will the anti-PAP vote be?, we now know the winter is really bad.

Retrenchments rose in the first quarter of the year, driven by losses in the manufacturing sector, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Thursday (Jun 13).

According to MOM, retrenchments increased from 2,510 in the previous quarter to 3,230 in the first three months of 2019.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/labour-market-held-up-in-q1-2019-retrenchments-up-mom-11622978

Stay tuned for my analysis on what the PAP govt will do to make sure that the 4G team will get 65% of the popular vote: the pass mark for bragging rights that they have the people’s mandate.

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

In Economy, Political economy, Political governance on 13/06/2019 at 11:19 am

Economists again lowered their guesstimates  for S’pore’s expected growth in 2019 after the year’s first quarter saw its slowest growth in nearly a decade, the latest economic survey from the central bank said on Wednesday. The economists guess this year’s GDP to be 2.1%, down from the previous forecast of 2.5 per cent.

This follows the S’pore’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) – which measures manufacturing activity and sentiment – declined 0.4 point from the previous month to 49.9 in May, said the S’pore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) on Monday (Jun 3). This is the first contraction in 32 months or since 2016.(Fyi, a PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion, while one below the benchmark line points to contraction.)

Worse according to a report released by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and financial forecasting firm Oxford Economics released around the same time as the PMI data

Export-dependent Singapore is expected to be hurt the most among major South-east Asian economies, as fears of more trade tariffs between the United States and China set in.

Singapore’s economy is projected to slide from the 3.1 per cent growth last year to 1.9 per cent this year, before recovering slightly to 2.2 per cent in 2020.

Singapore’s projected performance this year falls below the 4.8 per cent growth forecast for the year across the region.

Why Milliennals will vote for the PAP

 

 

 

Indian bull? Sold a ton of BS

In India on 13/06/2019 at 5:11 am

Fake stats on growth rates:

Arvind Subramanian, a veteran economist who advised the Indian government from 2014 to 2018, said that the country’s average annual growth in gross domestic product between 2011 and 2017 was in fact around 4.5 per cent, against official estimates of 7 per cent.

His findings were presented in a research paper published by the Center for International Development at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, which found that the correlations between 17 independent indicators of economic activity and GDP broke down after 2011, leaving India an outlier compared to other countries’ economic data.

FT

Btw, I’m still a holder of Ascendas India: biz trust with office space in IT parks. Good yield and price moves in the right direction.

Hyflux auditor in s*** house yet again

In Accounting, Corporate governance on 12/06/2019 at 11:18 am

Must be KPMG again

India is pushing for a five-year ban on Deloitte and KPMG over allegations the firms helped conceal bad loans at Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services, a major infrastructure and finance group whose default last year triggered a credit crisis.

FT

Related posts:

Time investors to put pressure on Hyflux’s auditor?

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

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

Beer, glorious beer

In Uncategorized on 12/06/2019 at 5:43 am

Beer is being marketed as a wellness drink to enjoy after a tough workout.

FT

No wonder, the Hash Harriers here have a reputation for boozing after a run. They knew it was a wellness drink long before the beer cos: must be ’cause of the many medicos running.

Fake news the TOC way/ History is very complicated

In Internet on 11/06/2019 at 11:24 am

Last week, TOC and its fellow anti-PAP cybernuts discredited themselves thrice over with the voters the Oppo needs to win over in any general election (the PAP voters who voted for Tan Cheng Bock in PE 2011 who but for TKL, Goh Meng Seng and Tan Jee Say would have been president: really fixing the PAP).

TOC, using Vietnamese and Cambodian state media reports (Vietnam did not invade Cambodia as claimed by PM, these reports screamed) as their source material, pictured PM as getting his history wrong. The cybernuts went into overdrive dissing PM’s lack of knowledge of the “liberation” of Cambodia by Vietnam.

When the complicated truth emerged on cyberspace, showing that TOC and friends were propagating fake news, TOC and the cybernuts changed tack. They then said PM should not have upset the people of Vietnam and Cambodia with his comments. Example:

Sivakumaran Chellappathere was absolutely no need to mention what he should know clearly to be a diplomatic minefield. He could of course have had continued to maintain his stand on that matter without ever mentioning it.

When this didn’t wash with the target audience, they changed the conversation accusing those who disagreed with their view of history of calling them “traitors” (There were some PAP nutters, the PAP version of TOC and cybernuts, using the  “t” word, but not enough to tar people like me who disagree with TOC’s and the cybernuts’ view that Vietnam liberated Cambodia): when they were juz patriotic S’poreans who believed in the truth.

Truth, what truth? Their truth was to swallow uncritically what the Vietnamese and Cambodian state media said. Why are they so uncritical of the state media of really repressive regimes? Because these media attack the PM and his PAP govt? (Related post “Licking the ass of the enemy of my enemy”)

Calvin Cheng got it about right when he posted on FB

I wonder why so many anti-Government people are willing to take the side of foreigners, during this storm in a teacup regarding PM Lee’s remarks on Vietnam and Cambodia.

The issue is actually very simple.

Did Vietnam invade Cambodia?

Yes.

Whether you invade to liberate (Current Vietnam and Cambodian point of view) or invade to set up a puppet Government (the prevailing view then), it’s still an invasion right ?

Why is Vietnam angry?

Because they don’t want to be called invaders.

Why is Cambodia angry ?

Because PM Hun Sen was one of the 7 central committee members in the pro-Vietnam Government that Vietnam set up. If he admits it’s an invasion, then he is a collaborator with invaders. So he can never say it was an invasion, but rather he was a Cambodian patriot who came to power with Vietnamese help.

Did the Vietnamese invasion stop a murderous regime, that of Pol Pot?

Yes.

But if the international community back then allowed Vietnam to invade Cambodia to overthrow the Khmer Rouge on the basis of ‘liberation’, what was to stop communist Vietnam from invading Thailand to liberate them from the bourgeoisie capitalists ? And then Malaysia? And then Singapore?

That’s why ASEAN had to oppose it on principle. Even if the consequences in Cambodia were benign.

Who says choices in international relations are easy ?

Finally, why did PM Lee mention it when writing a condolence note for Thai Gen Prem?

Because that was one of Gen Prem’s biggest achievements – staring down the Vietnamese across the border and opposing them, knowing that his country could be next.

So that’s a simple summary of the issues.

No need to write long op-eds and posts to over-complicate.

Just silly opportunists looking to obfuscate, confuse, and to make people angry with PM Lee.


When I said Calvin Cheng was a dickhead

Riposte to Calvin Cheng’s defence of UA

Calvin, Amos & other cyber-vermin: the global perspective

Why MLC has to talk about Calvin

When I agreed with him

When being a minister turns from a calling into a job for life

Kee Chiu Cybernuts who want to migrate to Bangladesh

HIV data leak: Calvin Cheng is right again


All in all, TOC is proving to be a better friend of the PAP then even TKL, TJS and Meng Seng. TOC is a really useful idiot. or maybe Terry and his TOC team are as mad as M Ravi, when he’s not taking his medicine? More evidence that being anti-PAP is bad for yr mental health

SingPass technical support versus that of OCBC and HSBC

In Banks, Internet on 11/06/2019 at 7:00 am

But first, HSBC is boosting the headcount of its wealth management team in Asia. The focus is here, where the banks says it will launch new digital initiatives this year.

The bank should ensure that staff are trained in PR as well in the technical details. I have e-banking accounts with OCBC and HSBC. The OCBC staff are not that good in technical support as the HSBC staff, who really know their stuff. But when it comes to telling client about the features, the OCBC staff are really great.

As for SingPass support, what can I say? I had another bad experience yesterday. Gal hadn’t a clue. Worse gal never called back despite promising to call back later in the day: still waiting. Btw, a tech mole helped me solve the problem I had, a problem caused by the SingPass system. I’ll provide details later this week.

But for now, I can use SingPass: no thanks to the staff or the system.

Related post:  SingPass sucks, really sucks (Cont’d)

SingTel Prepaid: SMS giving wrong info

In S'pore Inc, Telecoms on 10/06/2019 at 11:02 am

To get users to top-up unnecessarily?

A friend who uses a pre-paid SIM card because he doesn’t use his mobile phone that often told me that on 4 May he topped up his Singtel Hi card ($15) successfully. On 7 June, he got an SMS message saying that there was less then $2 in the Hi card account. He was shocked as he hadn’t made or received any call since the top-up, and had received only two SMS messages (excluding the SMS confirming the top-up), prior to SingTel’s SMS message.

He tried to access his account via the Hi card website but he could not key-in his mobile number because only 7-digit tel numbers could be keyed in. I kid u not, I tried to access and only 7-digit numbers could be keyed in. Know any S’porean with a 7-digit HP number?

He then tried calling on his mobile a SingTel toll free number to check his balance. He had a bit of a problem accessing his account, but finally got thru. He was told by a bot that he had $16 in the account.

Was the SMS message an honest mistake?

He (and I) have our doubts. Prior to this incident, whenever he got such a message, he topped up because he assumed he’s really running out of $. This time, the message came juz after he had topped up. The honest mistake in his view was sending him a top-up message juz after he had topped up, instead of waiting a week or so. Adding to our suspicions is that in mid April he had topped up by $10 his account, and he doesn’t remember using the phone that much.

What do u think?

Btw, my mum’s maid had recently received such a message, shortly after topping up last month. She went on to ask me to top up her card thinking that she had used most of her the earlier, recent, top-up. In her case, knowing her, she might have really used up the money. After what happened to my friend, I told her to keep me posted the next time she receives a message that she has less than $2 in her account. I’ll investigate.

To be continued.

SingPass sucks, really sucks: Saga continues

In Internet, Public Administration on 10/06/2019 at 7:17 am

I have yet to receive my new one-time password, despite KPKBing last Monday and doing the necessaries: SingPass sucks, really sucks (Cont’d)

But to be really fair, Wednesday was a public holiday, and SingPass promises a response within five working days. If by this evening, I don’t get my password via the post, I go KPKBing tomorrow morning. Doubtless Singpost will be blamed.

Another reason to ban e-scooters

In Public Administration on 09/06/2019 at 7:59 am

Further to UK got this right, S’pore wrong and LTA: What a lot of bull, another reason to ban e-scooters

Motorised versions of children’s kick scooters are notoriously unsafe. Their silent motors catch pedestrians and other road users unawares. A study by the Portland Bureau of Transportation concluded that e-scooters get into accidents 22 times as often as cars do, and 44 times as often as motorbikes. Another, by the city of Austin, found that one in three users is hurt on their first go. They are also increasingly unwelcome.

https://www.economist.com/business/2019/06/06/electric-scooter-startups-are-becoming-more-cautious

Chinese cuisine with German characteristics

In China on 09/06/2019 at 4:59 am

Steamed dumplings filled with German sausage and sauerkraut. Sounds yummy.

Aldi, a German owned supermarket catering to cheapskates in Europe, the UK and the USA, has juz opened two stores in Shanghai. On sale are steamed dumplings filled with German sausage and sauerkraut alongside chicken feet and salted duck eggs. And cheap European wine and beer from the Aldi’s house brands are also available

Techs are humongous

In Banks, Energy, Financial competency on 08/06/2019 at 2:34 pm

 

Winners, losers this week

In Commodities, Currencies, Energy, Financial competency, Gold on 08/06/2019 at 4:37 am

Need CoE or not?

In Uncategorized on 07/06/2019 at 1:23 pm

Volocopter, a German startup, will be conducting trials of its flying car in S’pore later this year, with a view to starting an air-taxi service.

Grab and Gojek got competition.

Why is Tun full of gas?

In Energy, Malaysia on 07/06/2019 at 4:04 am

Because M’sia’s the world’s third biggest exporter of gas. Never realised this until yesterday.

SPH, MediaCorp can cull another 90% from their newsrooms

In Internet, Media on 06/06/2019 at 1:28 pm

Juz use Radar (Reporters and Data and Robots). Stories generated by the semi-automated news agency often make the front page of local newspapers in the UK, FT reports.

Given that most of our constructive, nation-building media’s reports are copy and paste of the PAP govt’s and its agencies, or corporate releases, do we really still need that many zombies?

Amnesty Int’l practiced torture

In Uncategorized on 06/06/2019 at 5:24 am

Amnesty Int’l has no moral authority to lecture S’pore govt, or any other govt.

Amnesty Int’l’s managers “tortured” its staff leading to one, possibly two suicides

Gaëtan Mootoo, a long-term employee, committed suicide, leaving a note blaming work pressures. Another staff member committed suicide shortly afterwards, although inquries found no evidence that the death was work-related.

https://www.economist.com/business/2019/06/02/charity-begins-at-work

Seriously this was how bad things were:

The working environment at the organisation was described as “toxic”, there was widespread bullying of staff, a bunker mentality among senior management and 39% of employees developed mental or physical health issues as a result of their work.

Ang moh tua kees must be proud of AI’s actions. Why are they not shouting, “Torturing yr employees in best human rights practice”?

GIC bitten once, still not shy?

In Banks, GIC on 05/06/2019 at 10:47 am

Taz GIC when it comes to buying Swiss Banks.

It bot a 3% stake in Swiss private bank Julius Baer, in what FT says @is in a vote of confidence for the bank after months of lacklustre performance”.

FT went on

GIC was previously a large shareholder in UBS. Having purchased hybrid debt instruments in the bank during the financial crisis, the fund became its largest shareholder after the holding converted to equity. The fund sold off the bulk of its stake two years ago, however, after the investment failed to perform.

Related posts

GIC: Loss of S$5.2bn on combined UBS and Citi investments

What Mad Dog Chee doesn’t say about GIC’s UBS investment

Winter is round the corner

In Financial competency on 05/06/2019 at 4:48 am

Morgan Stanley warns on growing risk of US market “downturn”. It says its market cycle gauge moved from “expansion” to “downturn” for the first time since 2007.

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

In Uncategorized on 04/06/2019 at 7:25 am

As Muslims end their period of healthy living (dieting, and no booze and smoking) this evening, I tot that the above issues are topical.

“Muslims cannot be Waitain fans” is a reasonable reading of what the Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Association (Pergas) said about the relationship between Islam and black metal music. Pergas

has issued religious guidelines on black metal, a subgenre of music that has been thrust into the spotlight after Swedish black metal band Watain was banned from performing here.

In a media release dated March 22, it stated that elements of black metal are “clearly in opposition to Islamic teachings” and that such music may lead to the glorification of Syaitan, or the devil, and “to the level of worshipping him as God”.

ST

“The band is infamous for their Theistic Satanist views and for their live shows which involve pyrotechnics, candles, Satanic rituals, animal carcasses, and blood,” according to their Wikipedia entry.

Need I say more about real Muslims being Watain fans? If professing Muslims claim to be Watain fans, they are BSing about being Muslims.

Pergas was reacting to remarks by Minister Shan after 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.”

As the photo has gone viral “across the Christian community”, Shanmugam said that it was crucial to show that the picture does not represent what the Muslim community thinks. “They won’t realize that this a small group of Malays, but they may think, is this what Muslims think of us? So now we have to send the message that this is not what the Muslim community thinks. These are black metal group supporters, they are not the mainstream community.”

Watain ban: playing the easily offended game can backfire

Pergas deserves a gold medal (or a beer and a cigar) for side-stepping the minister’s challenge, but in a way he cannot fault them for. Got good lawyers?

Now to shumething more serious.

Note that under the constitution here unlike that of M’sia’s, Malays need not be Muslims to be considered Malays. So Malays can be Watain fans? But since they must pass the community acceptance test (see below), if the Malay community only accepts Muslims as Malays (as seems to be the practice), there are no Malay Watain fans because they are not Muslims.

Below is an extract from Why PAP thinks we need a Malay president? on who is or can be a Malay:

According to law professor Kevin Tan in a talk at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) Forum on The Reserved Presidential Election on Sept. 8, the definition of “Malay” in the Constitution is anomalous because he says“who is a Malay?” is a highly problematic legal question.

Source: Singapore Statutes Online

“With Malay candidates, it gets even more interesting, because I think back in 1988, this formula when it was first brought up, they already recognised that it was almost next to impossible to define who is or is not a Malay…Because it is a social construct, we make it up, about race, about who is and is not a Malay, or Chinese or so on. It is actually socially constructed. In the case of the Malay, it actually says, a person belonging to the Malay Community means any person and here nobody else has this phrase ‘of the Malay race or otherwise’. So this means that I, meaning Kevin Tan can say I am Malay, even though I am not of Malay stock, theoretically. “

My take on the “Malay” race: no such race.

 

 

SingPass sucks, really sucks (Cont’d)

In Internet, Public Administration on 03/06/2019 at 5:25 pm

Further to SingPass sucks, really sucks (where I explained that I was given an invalid one-time password by SingPass to reset the password of my dormant, unused SingPass account) when I called the SingPass call centre this morning, what I was told had my blood pressure up to 180/100.

I was told that I could not have been given the password I was given because it was all numeric: it should be alpha numeric. I was then told that it would take another 10 days before I could use my SingPass account. Of course, it was explained, I could go down to the Marine Parade SingPass counter and sort the issue out on the spot: which defeats the purpose of a digital nation, doesn’t it?

The Chinese (local or M’sian, I’m not sure) gal could also not answer my question, “What assurance do I have that the single-use password I will given again, is not rubbish: like the one sent to me?”

I demanded to talk to someone more senior. It took 10 minutes before someone dared pick up the phone. The Malay lady who came to my assistance assured me (after receiving my reset request digitally), that there should not be a mistake this time in the password provided (Let’s wait and see) and that by next Monday, I should be able to use SingPass to do stuff (Let’s wait and see). I also found out that one-time password can be all numeric.

Says a lot about quality of staff training, that I was given wrong info.

Morocco Mole (Secret Squirrel’s sidekick) assures me that his second cousin removed working in SingPass tells him that a true-blue anti-PAP cybernut working in IT forgot to ensure that when the password was sent to me that the system would accept it. Has happened before because the cybernut spends almost all his working time reading TOC, TRE and The Idiots, and posting comments on these sites.

 

Older HDB flats: How much value is lost in under 2 yrs

In Property, Public Administration on 03/06/2019 at 7:27 am

Windbag Tan Kin Lian who lost his deposit in 2011 PE but who helped the PAP’s preferred candidate become president has provided some interesting data on how fast a flat can lose value.

A Miss X, he reports, has a HDB flat in Telok Blangah … with a market valuation price of $322,000 as at Dec 2017. The property agent told her that the market price had dropped as her flat had passed the 40 year mark. Later, the market became worse after Lawrence Wong (Fixing Sabo King minister) announced that HDB flat will have no value at the end of 99 year lease.

Miss X could not sell her Telok Blangah flat within 6 months. She had bot another flat nearer her place of work. But HDB did not press her to sell the flat.

She was finally (In late 2018 or early 2019, we are not told) able to get a buyer willing to pay $292,000. HDB gave a lower valuation of $275,000 for the flat. The buyer opted out.

Worse, an agent she had used) is marketing her neighbours’ flats at around $250,000.

From $322,000 to $250,000 within one and a half yrs: a 23% fall. Vote PAP?

The ground is not sweet for the PAP: Double confirm, ground not sweet for PAP and Will resale flat owners still vote for PAP in next GE? contd.

How to get 65% of the popular vote liddat?

Answer: How PAP can win 65% plus of the vote.

Vote wisely.

 

SingPass sucks, really sucks

In Internet, Public Administration on 02/06/2019 at 7:18 am

I ‘ve been making the move to the e-age. I’ve activated or setup e-banking systems (Tot of finally voting for the PAP govt because of the free (so far) same day funds transfer) etc.

As a final step, I decided to reactivate my SingPass. As I had forgotten my password, I applied for and got a new one-time password so that I can reset my password.

Guess what? Earlier this morning, I tried to log in with the SingPass given password. Cannot get in.

I wasted half an hour retrying (maybe my typo mistake or I went to wrong login page). Called call centre and it only works during office hrs.

Got to wait until Monday morning to sort out what went wrong at SingPass’s end. I think someone didn’t change the password.

Li Hongyi got a lot to do before he is PM material. And grandpa and GCT didn’t set the bar very high for Hongyi’s pa did they?

More jobs for FTs?

In Economy on 01/06/2019 at 1:53 pm

Masayoshi Son-led Vision Fund is reportedly in talks to open a China office and expand its Singapore team, according to Deal Street Asia.

A call centre on the outskirts of Florence opened earlier has 150 people answering calls from customers in 26 countries who want to buy, return or chat about Gucci. By 2020, Gucci plans to open similar call centres in New York, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai and Singapore.

Data protection the PAP way

In Internet, Public Administration on 01/06/2019 at 10:42 am

S’pore has begun a public consultation on proposed changes to its Personal Data Protection Act.

There are also proposed changes to allow a business to use personal data for business innovation purposes without needing consent.

FT quotes Anne Petterd, a principal at Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow, a law firm

Data protection? What data protection?

Related post: Welcome to S’pore: Mall BSing on data protection law