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Archive for August, 2019|Monthly archive page

Trump’s a genius

In Uncategorized on 31/08/2019 at 11:45 am

An unstable one even if he calls himself “a stable genius”.

Mr Trump has portrayed the Fed chief as an economic threat, and few people have come to the central banker’s support. Recently, The Donald called dubbed Mr Powell the “golfer who can’t put”. Populists side with Trump, while Democrats and progressives don’t want to be seen as defenders of Wall St.  They think the Fed is more interested in protecting Wall St, not Main St.

Karen Petrou, managing partner of Federal Financial Analytics, says Mr Trump has set up Mr Powell for blame if, or when, things go wrong. For all the president’s contradictions, he’s a master of political reality, she says.

Mr Trump doesn’t care what rates are. He cares about who voters think is to blame for slower growth and market turmoil, and he is determined to be sure it isn’t him,” she said. “What’s an astute politician to do? Find a fall guy distrusted by Republicans, Democrats, independents, populists, and progressives.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49415776

 

 

 

 

Japan helps Africans to fight “Chinese debt trap”

In Accounting, China, Japan, Public Administration on 31/08/2019 at 4:07 am

Japan is hosting the Tokyo International Conference for African Development (Ticad) summit. And Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is the co-host.

He warned African leaders about the dangers of accumulating too much debt, the AFP news agency reports. His comments are seen as a snarky warning about China’s role in Africa as Beijing is said to favour its own companies for big infrastructure projects.

He told the leaders attending the development conference in Yokohama that Japan was promoting “quality” investments to be supported by Japanese institutions, the agency reports.

Unlike China, Japan says sound financial advice and support is behind its Africa strategy.

Tokyo plans to train experts in 30 African countries in the next three years on how to manage risk and public debts, it says. It wants to send financial experts to debt-ridden countries on multi-year missions to help them improve their finances and thus avoud the “Chinese debt trap”: overborrowing from the Chinese, being dependent on the Chinese for financing and having to sell assets to repay the debts.

He said more entrepreneurs should be encouraged to improve economies on the continent.

“If partner countries are deeply in debt, it interferes with everyone’s efforts to enter the market,” the Japanese prime minister was quoted as saying.

 

 

 

 

Line between living beyond one’s means and being mean is very thin

In Financial competency, Financial planning, Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 30/08/2019 at 11:27 am

Argie president Mauricio Macri’s plan to delay payments on more than U$101bn of debt, is a de facto default.

Todd Martinez, director of sovereign ratings at Fitch debt agency, had earlier told the BBC’s Today programme that Argentina had three options to repay what it owes – most of which is in US dollars – and none of them “looks very viable”.

“It comes down to a simple equation,” he said. “Argentina can either (sic) dip into its savings, borrow new money or achieve a budget surplus.

True of a country, true of an individual. Over-borrowing and over-spending have consequences. Btw, a Hard Truth of the PAP is be prudent. Problem is this leads to the vice of being over-prudent and leads to meanness. Think PAP: Will PM, tonite, give peace of mind on CPF Life Standard?

But to be fair to the PAP: Reason why CPF Life so mean?

Vote wisely.

S’pore way is betterest

In Uncategorized on 30/08/2019 at 6:23 am

At the Michaela School near Wembley a strict “tiger teaching” approach has drawn both criticism and praise. Head teacher Katharine Birbalsingh says the school is happy and full of joy.

GCSE results show half of the pupils who sat exams got Grade 7 or above in at least five subjects. Almost a quarter got Grade 7 or better in all their subjects.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/education-49430077/it-s-good-to-have-rules-children-know-where-they-stand?intlink_from_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Feducation&link_location=live-reporting-map

“Tiger teaching” is actually a sissy version of our teaching methods.

Only pushy, aggressive parents whose kids fail to thrive in our “commando training” system KPKB about our system. This wannabe Ms Beethoven is an MoE scholar: When MoE makes a gal’s dream come true, , while her really brainy younger sister wants to be a doctor to help the poor and suffering. They are both products of our system. Btw, I told them they are really lucky because S’pore values their strengths: Meritocratic hubris/ Who defines “meritocracy”.

Better still for them, because they are valued for what the PAP wants, their creativity in valueless interests are allowed to bloom.

Only pushy, aggressive parents whose useless kids fail to thrive in our “commando training” system KPKB about our system.

 

Why is China flooding S’pore with its “GPS” devices?

In Public Administration on 29/08/2019 at 10:40 am

The Chinese version of the Global Positioning System, better known as GPS, has overtaken the US original round the world. But kook at the number it has here: why?

Is it because unlike GPS, which only sends signals and cannot identify the location of receivers, BeiDou’s communications with the ground are two-way?

The Chinese version of the Global Positioning System (GPS) has overtaken GPS and the Nikkei Asian Review says

The growth of BeiDou has profound implications and is raising alarm in the US national security establishment. Unlike GPS, which only sends signals and cannot identify the location of receivers, BeiDou’s communications with the ground are two-way. According to Dean Cheng of the Heritage Foundation, the Chinese satellites can jam signals in specific areas and raise capabilities in cyber attacks.

S’poreans should be asking why the PAP govt is allowing this probable threat to national security. Don’t believe me? Mamaland and Japan, both rivals of China, also got a lot of these devices?

But maybe it all has to do with the use of Chinese-made smartphone handsets?

What do you think?

Related posts on how cock is our cyber security:

Memo to Paper General heading Computer Security Agency

MAS gives finger to CSA’s CEO

Infocomm Dysfunctional Authority

Cybersecurity: “Ownself hack ownself”

Why ang moh, Asean telcos love Huawei

And govt wants to encourage fintech?/ PAP is never wrong

 

Amazon fires an “international crisis”? Crisis? What crisis?

In Environment on 29/08/2019 at 4:31 am

US$20m was pledged by the G7 meeting to fight the Amazon fires. Huh? So little? Remember Mr Macron’s belief that the fires amounted to an international crisis.

Money talks, BS walks. Sounds like the G7 leaders don’t believe that it’s a crisis. We know Trump doesn’t care about the environment, and doesn’t believe in climate change (“Fake”). The other leaders say they care about the environment and believe in climate change, and that it’s dangerous to the world. Obviously they really agree with Trump.

Why Oppo cock to think that HDB issues will affect the vote

In Financial competency, Financial planning, Property, Public Administration on 28/08/2019 at 10:01 am

In Christmas, CNY coming early thanks to PAP, I pointed out that the loss of value for resale flats and the older flats has yet to be addressed by the PAP govt. And that there are S’poreans that are unhappy.

But all the KPKBing by cybernuts like Goh Meng Seng (If he still thinks HK better place to bring up his family, how come he so quiet nowadays and btw, I hear his daughter is studying here despite him saying that HK’s education system is better), and Lim Tean (He rents a S$15,000 black and white bungalow from the PAP govt) to stir more unhappiness and discontent, S’poreans are not fooled by their BS.

Our public housing policies mean that public housing is cheap, compared to other major cities, not juz “affordable”.

This table puts into context the issues of

— Falling resale prices causing a problem for the PAP with those who bot resale flats: Double confirm, ground not sweet for PAP and Will this resale flat buyer vote for PAP in next GE?

— 99-year leases: Why 30-year old HDB flats difficult to sell/ Why PAP rule will end in 2029 and 

Christmas, CNY coming early thanks to PAP

Things could be better, a lot better. But 60-70% of voters think (thanks   that housing would be be like in HK, if not for the PAP govt. And while taz not the real pix, they are not that wrong.

Look at our private housing, it’s expensive:

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

Why S$73.8m flat is a steal

Why S’pore is so shiok for private property investors

And even in private property there are govt controls

Ang moh’s great insight on property mkt

PAP whacks greedy pigs

So when will the PAP start worrying about the problem of older flats? Read Why PAP rule will end in 2029.

Apps: Where Android trumps Apple

In Uncategorized on 28/08/2019 at 4:40 am

Concerns are expressed in the Financial Times that an iPhone app to help EU citizens in the UK secure residency rights after Brexit will not be ready by the end of October, when Britain is due to leave.

The uncertainty, it says, potentially affects hundreds of thousands of people, who will either have to use the Android app or make a postal application.

Indonesian riots prove minister’s point on zero tolerance of racist remarks?

In Indonesia, Political economy, Public Administration on 27/08/2019 at 10:53 am

If a racist rap video was allowed to remain online, it could normalise offensive speech and such attacks against other races could become mainstream, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam.

Speaking at the CNM Leaders Summit organised by the National University of Singapore’s Department of Communications and New Media on Thursday (Aug 22), Mr Shanmugam expanded on why the Government acted to remove the rap video by YouTuber Preetipls and her brother Subhas Nair, which came in response to a controversial “brownface” advertisement.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/preetipls-subhas-nair-rap-video-normalised-offensive-speech-11834928

Constructive, nation-building CNA

Well the following article from the BBC about violent protests in West Papua province is evidence that he isn’t talking cock about the probability of violence when there’s official tolerance of racist language. Racist taunts aimed at a group of students from West Papua in Java have sparked violent protests in Indonesia’s West Papua.

What happened in Java last weekend

The groundswell of anger that has fuelled the latest demonstrators was sparked by an incident in the Javanese city of Surabaya at the weekend.

After accusing Papuan university students of damaging an Indonesian flag during Independence Day celebrations, nationalist groups surrounded their boarding house and goaded them with racist taunts, calling them “monkeys”, “pigs” and “dogs”.

Police in riot gear then stormed the dormitory to force the students out. Authorities said the students were briefly questioned before being set free.

This resulted in violent protests in West Papua

The area’s largest protests in years saw numerous buildings torched – including a jail and a market – and resulted in the Indonesian government deploying thousands of additional security officers to an area which is already the country’s most heavily militarised.

The internet has also been shut down to “restore security”, according to the Indonesian government.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-49434277

But it’s more than racist taunts. Papuan students in Java, told BBC Indonesian they are often made to feel like second-class citizens.

“I have been turned away from student boarding houses and told that they will not receive boarders who are Papuan students,” said Benfa, a Papua student in Yogyakarta.

“We face discrimination and racism daily,” Aris Yeimo, from the Papuan student union, added.

Coming back to the spark that started the riots (the racial taunts),  a few Indonesian politicians are showing some sensitivity. The governor of East Java province apologised for the racism in Surabaya, and President Joko Widodo announced plans to visit Papua. But better not to have allowed the taunts in the first place?

Related post:

Brownfacegate: Did you know Shanmugam also said this?

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

Brownfacegate: The inside story?

S’pore, Indonesia doing well in unicorn breeding

In Indonesia on 26/08/2019 at 3:00 pm

A unicorn is a privately held startup company with a current valuation of US$1 billion or more.

S’pore’s got two: Grab (the mobility platform that wants to conquer SE Asia) and Trax (Computer vision technology for use in retail industry: FT builds tools for bricks-and-mortar retail)

Whatever, we are doing pretty well in unicorn breeding. We’ve got two, while Japan has only three.

But then Indonesia has four  Go-Jek, Tokopedia, Traveloka, and Bukalapak.

Go-Jek is a mobility platform that also wants to rule SE Asia. Tokopedia and  Bukalapak are e-commerce businesses Traveloka provides airline ticketing and hotel booking services online.

Akan Datang: really bad haze

In Environment, Indonesia on 26/08/2019 at 4:26 am

Could be like the one in 2015: Haze, 9/11 & TOC or the one in 2013: P Ravi’s reposting: What the govt should have done.

Indonesia is experiencing the worst annual fire season since 2015 and it’s comparable to the Amazon fires: “Whether or not the situation can be contained will become clear in the coming weeks,” BBC

As fires rage in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, the south-east Asian nation of Indonesia is witnessing a similarly devastating ecological tragedy unfold.

The dry season has arrived in Indonesia – home to some of the world’s oldest tropical forests – bringing with it its worst annual fire season since 2015.

Close to 700 hotspots have been identified in fire-prone regions in Sumatra, Kalimantan and the Riau islands.

Prevailing winds carrying smokes and dust particles have picked up, blowing towards Malaysia and Singapore.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-49444325?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/science_and_environment&link_location=live-reporting-story

And the usual Indon BS

Military planes, ready with water jets, comb the skies above Kalimantan and Sumatra in search of impending fire.

Btw, the area where the new capital will be is within the areas where there are annual fires

Indonesia is pressing ahead with plans to move its capital from the traffic-choked city of Jakarta to the island of Borneo. The precise location has not yet been revealed – nor has a timeline – but President Joko Widodo formally launched the scheme in parliament on 16 August.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-49406700

 

Fed chair: Not much Fed can do right now to help world economy

In Economy, Financial competency on 25/08/2019 at 10:55 am

In addition to the Fed’s focus on balancing inflation against employment, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell is dealing with two other sources of stress. Investors have been critical of how he communicates policy and The Donald has been demanding, more aggressive by the day, for more monetary accommodation via interest rate cuts and quantitative easing.

Powell has juz given Trump the finger.

Powell has now called the current era of Fed history the “emerging new normal”, and said it offered three challenges: low inflation, financial risks, and how the Fed can support economic growth when interest rates are already so low. The Fed, he added, “faces heightened risks of lengthy, difficult-to-escape periods in which our policy interest rate is pinned near zero.”

How to support economic growth when interest rates are already so low is an important question for central bankers all over the world. They had gathered in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to among other things, discuss whether policy rates have any effect on the real economy.

With his historical timeline, Mr Powell offered an answer to both. The current era of slower growth, downward pressure on inflation, and lower interest rates is the consequence of long-term trends. And there is not much the Fed can do right now to help.

It’s a very pessimistic (and hawkish: nothing much can be done) speech.

Here’s how the Economist put it

He spoke of the difficulty the Fed faced in assessing and responding to Mr Trump’s trade war. And he mentioned that if interest rates globally remain near zero, then central banks may need new policies. But on the subject of the moment—what the Fed will do next—he gave little away. “We will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion, with a strong labour market and inflation near its symmetric 2% objective,” he said.

Mr Powell may have felt he could say little more, given the disagreement within the Fed. But both the recent minutes and the speech today devoted more words to the possibility that low rates might contribute to financial instability than has recently been the norm in the Fed’s discussions. That may be a sign of more determined opposition to additional easing than recognised hitherto.

https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2019/08/23/now-donald-trump-calls-the-feds-chairman-an-enemy

And btw, Trump’s not that dumb

At least one observer felt the hawkish overtones of the speech to be crystal clear. “As usual, the Fed did NOTHING!” Mr Trump tweeted after Mr Powell’s remarks. “My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?” The president thus cast a longer shadow than the Tetons over the day’s events.

https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2019/08/23/now-donald-trump-calls-the-feds-chairman-an-enemy

How all this impacts us:

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

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

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

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

UK’s funniest 2019 joke: What a joke

In Humour on 25/08/2019 at 4:09 am

Swedish comedian Olaf Falafel won Dave’s “Funniest Joke of The Fringe” award with “I keep randomly shouting out ‘Broccoli’ and ‘Cauliflower’ – I think I might have florets”. What a moronic joke. So moronic that Tourettes Action, a charity, said the joke was about the neurological disorder, not vegetables and has asked for an apology.

Ten jokes made the 2019 shortlist. Here are the next nine, all of which are better than the above in my view. (My favourites are in blue)

Someone stole my antidepressants. Whoever they are, I hope they’re happy” – Richard Stott

“What’s driving Brexit? From here it looks like it’s probably the Duke of Edinburgh” – Milton Jones

“A cowboy asked me if I could help him round up 18 cows. I said, ‘Yes, of course. – That’s 20 cows'” – Jake Lambert

“A thesaurus is great. There’s no other word for it” – Ross Smith

“Sleep is my favourite thing in the world. It’s the reason I get up in the morning” – Ross Smith

“I accidentally booked myself onto an escapology course; I’m really struggling to get out of it” – Adele Cliff

“After learning six hours of basic semaphore, I was flagging” – Richard Pulsford

“To be or not to be a horse rider, that is Equestrian” – Mark Simmons

“I’ve got an Eton-themed advent calendar, where all the doors are opened for me by my dad’s contacts” – Ivo Graham

With Apple as a US co, USA doesn’t need enemies

In China on 24/08/2019 at 11:33 am

The US-China tech war is all about “decoupling”. But Apple is sourcing its iPhone screens from a Chinese state-owned enterprise, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.

Apple is about to decide on whether to add BOE Technology Group, a leading display maker, to its next iPhone procurement list. If BOE passes the test, their organic light emitting displays, or OLED, will be used in two iPhone models to be released next year. If BOE gets the contract, it will mark a breakthrough for China’s industry.

BOE, which supplies the screens for Huawei’s latest phones, is an emerging industry leader. So from this perspective, Apple’s consideration is rational. But political imperatives could intervene as the US ramps up commercial pressure on China to contain its advances in high-tech.

If Apple chooses BOE’s screens, it could begin to challenge Samsung’s supremacy in the display sector. However, the Chinese company remains vulnerable to a potential clampdown from Washington, possibly restricting supplies of crucial materials from US companies such as Corning, 3M and Applied Materials.

Btw, Trump gave Apple the finger when it  asked him for exemption for some products. He told them to make them in the USA.

With cos like these, China doesn’t need enemies like Trump

In China, Uncategorized on 24/08/2019 at 4:26 am

Chinese businesses were obeying Trump even before Trump tweeted to US cos, (not Chinese cos)

Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies home and making your products in the USA.

Chinese companies are following MNCs in leaving China, and using alternative production bases to mitigate the impact of the trade war with the US

Since last June, 33 listed companies have informed China’s two stock exchanges of their plans to set up or expand production abroad, according to data compiled by the Nikkei Asian Review.

To be fair to them, multiple rounds of tariffs on Chinese goods are only part of the equation. Rising wages and other costs, are prompting Chinese companies to move out of the country.

Why HSBC is really Hongkong Bank

In Banks, Emerging markets, Hong Kong on 23/08/2019 at 11:40 am

Yesterday, HSBC took out advertisements, in five Cantonese-language newspapers. The bank said it was deeply concerned about the recent events and “condemned violence of any kind”, saying the rule of law is vital to maintaining Hong Kong’s status as a financial centre. “That is why we fully support the ambition to resolve the present situation peacefully.”

Why is it so concerned?

These three charts show why HSBC is really Hongkong Bank (It once used this name), and the last two charts also show that it’s the people’s bank in HK. All of which explains the ads and what an HSBC spokesman said recently: “We respect that our employees have their own personal views on political and social matters. Our priorities are the safety of our employees and supporting our customers.”

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

FT

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

 

Remember that HSBC includes the Hang Seng Bank which has a lot of branches serving the people: the takeover of Hang Seng Bank was the start of HSBC becoming a global bank: HSBC, Superman and another Cina superhero. I’m very surprised that BoC is a distant second in terms of deposits. I tot the gap was much narrower. And this was in 2018. I’m sure BoC lost a lot of deposits.

 

 

 

Wh

 

Why global fish stocks not yet exhausted

In Environment on 23/08/2019 at 4:19 am

Americans don’t care for fish.

Christmas, CNY coming early thanks to PAP

In Political economy, Property, Public Administration on 22/08/2019 at 10:37 am

HDB sales exercise pushed to September so buyers can benefit from upcoming changes: Lawrence Wong

CNA headline

Mr Wong said that his ministry and HDB have been reviewing how to extend further support to first-timers buying new and resale flats. He will announce the details in September. adding, “We are constantly looking at ways to help young families set up their first homes,” wrote the minister.

The HDB sales exercise is expected to offer about 3,300 flats in Punggol and Tampines.

And to make sure that everyone who has recently bot or is applying for an HDB flat that they owe the PAP one, he reminded S’poreans of

measures which have been introduced in the past years, such as the increase of housing grants for resale flats*offering flats with shorter waiting times, as well as the flexibility given for students and national servicemen to defer income assessment for housing grants and loans.

“These changes have improved housing affordability and helped young families to secure their own homes earlier,” he added.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/hdb-bto-august-sales-exercise-pushed-september-lawrence-wong-11827238

Notice the two elephants in the room that are dancing on his shoulders, he isn’t mentioning?

— Falling resale prices causing a problem for the PAP with those who bot resale flats: Double confirm, ground not sweet for PAP and Will this resale flat buyer vote for PAP in next GE?

— 99-year leases: Why 30-year old HDB flats difficult to sell/ Why PAP rule will end in 2029 and

If u read this far, suggest u might want read

— The real truths about public housing  my summary of piece by “Tan Jin Meng, a postgraduate from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He has an interest in social policy and economics.”.

— Exposed: Flaws in PM’s HDB spin

Vote wisely. My prediction last yr: Akan datang: GE in late 2019


*Why 37,000+ sure to vote for PAP

 

-ve deposit rates

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 22/08/2019 at 9:07 am

Further to Bank pays u to borrow/ Govts borrow for free, Jyske Bank who pays money to borrowers to borrow has become the first Danish lender to impose negative interest rates on customer deposits and has warned that sub-zero rates were looking “rather permanent”.

Customers with balances over DKr7.5m (US$1.1m) would be charged a default rate of 0.6% a year.

Fyi, UBS and other major Swiss banks have been charging negative interest rates on customer deposits for some time. But there we are are talking of deposits of tens of millions, not US$1m

When MoE makes a gal’s dream come true

In Uncategorized on 21/08/2019 at 2:16 pm

PM’s talk of spending more on education reminded me that a govt scholarship can help a kid’s dream come true if there’s no Bank of Mum and Dad for the kids to draw on.

—————————-

“The rich are different from you and me,” Scott Fitzgerald is supposed to have said; and Hemingway is supposed to have responded: “Yes, they have more money.”

———————————————

A gal I know flew off last Thursday to the US to study in a supposedly leading university (I remember my Indonesian clients joking in the 1980s that it was a rich kids uni because so long as you had the money to pay the fees, you got in. The gal was not amused because I told her the story before she knew she was getting the scholarship: she worried that MoE might not think the uni atas enough because the u isn’t in the Ivy League or anywhere close.). She went on an MoE scholarship and will be studying music composition: her passion.

When anyone mumbled the six yr bond she had to serve, I told them that it’s worth the bond. She gets to do something that is not available here and her mum would not have been able to afford the fees to any good US university. (Plan B 2.1 was to to go study in UK or Europe next yr and, I suppose part fund, her way by work by part-time there.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(The original Plan B was to go to NUS Yale: “affordable” said her mum. But that would have meant not studying music composition.)

I would go on: better still, a degree in music composition is worthless. Don’t believe me? In 2017, cybercriminals hacked into Equifax’s data base and stole 145.5m U.S. consumers’ personal data, including their full names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver licences. . Turned out its head of cybersecurity had little qualifications in cybersecurity. She had a masters in music composition from the University of Georgia. The gal was not amused when I told her the story.

So if MoE is happy to fund her doing a worthless degree and then paying her to teach, a six yr bond is a good deal for her.

The only downsides for her is that she could turn into this kind of person: Headmaster that blur meh? and she’ll be a nut case when she retires. Many yrs ago, a retired school principal told me that principals who retire often go nuts ( He was seeing a govt nut doctor) because they find that they miss terribly the ability to order staff and kids around: yes I know I assume she’ll be a principal, but she’s a scholar ain’t she? And while a sweet gal, she is bossy and pushy.

Whatever, the benefits for her, doesn’t say much for prudent spending of tax-payers money though: funding a worthless degree course.

Btw, remember the MoE scholar was caught in the UK with child porno on his PC?

But let’s be fair: MoE did admit that a scholarship was given to a peeping-tom because the boy’s teachers got some things wrong. He was recently convicted in England for possession of child pornography. But what if the balls-up had been made by officers higher up the food chain? I mean teachers are the lowest of the low in the education food chain, or so I’ve been assured by teachers.

Why we don’t buy the “explanations” of S’pore Inc

To avoid another such fiasco, scholarship applicants had to undergo several rounds of interviews and a battery of psychological tests. And had to teach in a neighbourhood school for some time. They must have been an eye opener for the gal because while the family is not that well-off, she’s third generation in an elite girls school that was once considered a training ground for tai-tais. Gals went on from this school to ACS to find husbands. This gal went to RI because it was two bus stops from her home.

 

Bank pays u to borrow/ Govts borrow for free

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 21/08/2019 at 5:35 am

World turned upside down.

A Danish bank last week week launched the world’s first negative-rate mortgage, allowing housebuyers to take a home loan and pay back less than they borrowed.

Sounds good.

But do realise that should negative interest rates leads prove to be a precursor of deflation, property values fall in a deflation. But then that doesn’t matter to HDB flat owners.

Germany has a new test of investors’ voracious appetite for bonds with very low or even negative yields: a 30-year bond that offers no interest payments at all.

FT

It has already issued similar 10-yr bonds

Bonds worth U$15tn, about a quarter of the global market, are offering negative returns, the FT reported last week: U$100 of bonds, including interest payments, will return less than that amount throughout their lives. That’s useful context in understanding why central bankers keep being asked about negative rates.

The central banks of the Eurozone, Switzerland, Japan, Sweden and Denmark all have rates set below zero to try and tackle very low inflation. It isn’t working, but that’s another story.

The Bank of England’s governor was asked by website Central Banking whether the UK will try the policy.

“At this stage we do not see negative rates as an option here. I am not criticising others that have used them, but we don’t see it as an option,” he replied.

Whatever one says about the Brits, despite a no deal Brexit being the likely result, the economy doesn’t yet need to resort to -ve interest rates. Sounds like Brexiters are right to accuse the Remoaners (those who want to stay) of doom-mongering i.e. Project Fear.

Heathcare: PAP thinks its no longer a vote losing issue?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 20/08/2019 at 10:31 am

Taz the impression I get after PM didn’t seem to talk about healthcare (Am I right? Speeches like his make me brain dead after five minutes: now his pa could keep me interested) during his National Day Rally speech.

Maybe because he thinks, S’pore is not a bad spot to be in, despite concerns about old age healthcare (https://sg.news.yahoo.com/singaporeans-unprepared-on-rising-medical-costs-of-living-to-100-healthcare-survey-072434720.html) if one looks at medical inflation. But look at Korea, Taiwan and HK (But then the first two are democracies while HK is full of forceful and vocal people* albeit sometimes violent except when it comes to housing. They seem resigned to their expensive, rat holes.)

Seriously, he and PAP must think that the following measures have detoxified the issue

Pioneer Generation benefits: Are you better off now than you were in 2011?

Reasons why our healthcare should be better, a lot better:

Access:

Access to healthcare here: Below average

Controlling costs:

Healthcare: user fees drives up costs

See who’s telling govt to control healthcare costs/ What we be should be KPKBing about

Cost of medicine could be cheaper:

Healthcare: Who is subsidising whom?

But we ain’t as bad as anti-PAP cybernuts make it out to be:

Foreigner praises S’pore’s healthcare

Healthcare: France 1st, S’pore 2nd

Pioneer Generation benefits: Are you better off now than you were in 2011?

Finally, great idea to improve the system, while collecting more money: Healthcare: Gd lateral thinking in UK


* “Tell everyone that we Hong Kong people are patient!We will get what we want, ”, shouted a protester at a 1.7m strong peaceful rally on Sunday at Victoria Park.

 

Chaos can be good for S$, PM, PAP 

In Currencies, Emerging markets, Hong Kong, Indonesia on 20/08/2019 at 4:45 am

I kid u not.

HK$ rose against US$ despite the protests and riots that created economic uncertainty. Hmm maybe Mad Dog in power could be good for S$.

Trump the Dumbo

In China on 19/08/2019 at 2:07 pm

He didn’t know tariffs on Chinese imports hurt Apple but helped Samsung.

US President Donald Trump said he has spoken to Apple’s Chief Executive Tim Cook about the impact of US tariffs on Chinese imports – and how those duties could give an edge to rival Samsung.

Mr Trump said Mr Cook “made a good case” that the tariffs could hurt Apple, given Samsung’s products wouldn’t be subject to the duties.

“I thought he made a very compelling argument, so I’m thinking about it,” said Mr Trump.

The US is due to impose tariffs on an additional $300bn (£246.9bn) worth of Chinese products this year, even after the Trump administration recently said it would delay imposing tariffs on goods such as mobile phones, laptops, video game consoles and computer monitors until 15 December.

What PM will say in National Dally Rally speech

In Environment, Infrastructure on 18/08/2019 at 5:17 pm

Singapore must treat climate change seriously as the Republic is a low-lying island that is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels, PM has said.

In a Facebook post yesterday, he said he will be talking about how the country should respond to climate change in his 16th National Day Rally speech later today at the Institute of Technical Education in Ang Mo Kio.

Don’t bother to tune in. A few months ago, the FT had a series of articles on S’pore. This is what it wrote on how the PAP govt is handling the issue of climate change.

Rising sea levels are an area of concern. By 2100, Singapore’s mean sea levels could rise by up to 1 metre, according to the ministry for the environment and water resources. Storms 2,000km away in the South China Sea can trigger jumps in Singapore’s sea levels of up to 40cm for several hours, says Adam Switzer, associate chair of the Asian School of the Environment at Nanyang Technological University.

“The future of extreme sea level events in the region [remains] very uncertain,” says Mr Switzer. “In Singapore we have the potential to engineer solutions to extreme sea levels, but we need a much better idea of what we are going to be up against over the next 50 years or so.”

The city state has raised minimum levels for reclaimed land to four metres above mean sea level. It will also launch a national sea-level programme before the year-end to “develop robust projections and plans for the long term”, says Masagos Zulkifli, minister for the environment and water resources.

To decrease the impact of flooding, Singapore has implemented a system that reroutes rainfall into a river via a tank that can store 15 Olympic-sized swimming pools of stormwater.

With Singapore authorities forecasting a jump of up to 4.6C in daily mean temperatures in the next century and extreme weather increasing the likelihood of flash floods, a second challenge is looming: food security. “[We need to strengthen] food security in the face of possible supply disruptions,” says the ministry of the environment and water resources.

Related post: 2025: LKY’s memorial unveiled

Hongkie 2014 protest hero couldn’t open Hongkong Bank account

In Hong Kong on 18/08/2019 at 1:34 pm
 Ken Morgan, lives in Hong Kong (2019-present) responded
It’s entirely possible.

My evidence is based on Joshua Wong.

If you recall back in 2016 he tried to open a HSBC bank account. Despite the name Hongkong Shanghan Banking Corporation HSBC is a UK registered bank that came about during the opium wars. A clue to this is why it’s HSBC and not HKSBC.

He went to the press and said it was Beijing’s influence that made them reject his bank account.

Except he was refused a bank account because he would not reveal the source of his money. Why do you have to be transparent about your source of money? Well anti money laundering laws have been put in place everywhere. He tried to deposit a very large sum of money and refused to tell the bank where he got it from.

You have to ask yourself where did the money come from?

You also have to ask how did he get his hands on it?

As a teenager I didn’t have much let alone £200K.

I googled “Joshua Wong + HSBC” and there were two SCMP stories on this incident.

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/1933597/hong-kong-activist-joshua-wong-accuses-hsbc-political

https://www.scmp.com/business/article/1934760/joshua-wong-wasnt-mistreated-hsbc

How China is squeezing Trump’s balls

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

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

FT

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

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

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

Huawei: More bad hair days

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

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

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

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

Huawei accused of saying Taiwan is independent

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Hey Heng, HK annced help package for economy

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

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

Remember the govt recently cut its growth forecast

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

MTI

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

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

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

Another headache for Xi

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

Eastern Europe sees sharp rise in swine fever outbreaks

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

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

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

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

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

….

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related posts:

China will eat & eat

Chinese zodiac’s animals: global distribution per capita

 

Brownfacegate: The inside story?

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

——————————

*

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

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

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

 

 

Back to the Future: US Navy ditching digital screens

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

And returning to analogue devices:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wonder what the Chinese and our navies use?

 

S’pore bidding for 2032 Olympics?

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

Malaysia and Singapore are reportedly considering a joint bid,

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

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

Hyflux revisited: Got profits but cash flows out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hyflux’s Worrying Cash Flow Situation

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

———————————————————————————————–

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

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

Want to know more about what went wrong at Hyflux?

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

Did Hyflux’s auditors mislead?

Hyflux fiasco shows why “book value” is BS


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

Olam: Hang on, buy for the ride?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life is expensive for the poor

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

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

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

Sad.

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

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

Air con is still working.

Crazy Indian

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

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

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

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

Taking back National Day from the PAP

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy these two videos. Any other good ones?

 

Talking about race: something from the FT

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

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

Alt media, cybernuts also promoting racial stereotyping and worse

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

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

Brownfacegate: Did you know Shanmugam also said this?

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


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

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

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

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

————————————————-

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

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

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

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

Whatever, ang moh tua kee.

Trebles all round.

 

Use foreigners to breed for S’pore

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

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

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

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

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

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

Extract from BBC

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

 

 

Alt media, cybernuts also promoting racial stereotyping and worse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Greenwashing to distract from bad financials

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joseph Tan Peng Chin

Above appeared in ST’s Forum on Monday

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

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

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

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

Finally, from a bunch of Yale-NUS College students

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

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

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

Why Muslims in USA are right to feel oppressed

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

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

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

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

Strike brings Hong Kong to a standstill as political crisis deepens

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

It went on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FT

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

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

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

Some Asean currencies are a cheong

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

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

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

Brownfacegate: Did you know Shanmugam also said this?

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

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

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

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

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

Seriously, he also said

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Racial Harmony – Where do we draw the line?

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

The question is … why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Linda Chopra

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

Want S’poreans to have more babies?

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

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

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

Maybe, it’s nothing to do with money?

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

Here’s a summary of the clip.

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

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

Related post:

Enough space for Queen Jos to have sex?

MOS Josephine Teo was misquoted

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

 

Illegal and racist: Chinese in Vancouver

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

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

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

Trump the moron

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Fake Chinese vase sells for £200,000

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EDB gifting billionaire money to cheong properties

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

Speaking truth to LHY

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

When I read

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

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

(One Lee Hsien Yang on Facebook)

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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