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Archive for November, 2019|Monthly archive page

Our first single malt whisky uses Newater?

In Uncategorized on 30/11/2019 at 11:43 am

Dram come true: Singapore’s first single malt whisky is now in production

As the uniqueness of any good Scotch depends on the unique spring or stream the water comes from, so as  Newater is “Uniquely S’porean”, our very own single malt must use Newater.

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The NEWater process recycles our treated used water into ultra-clean, high-grade reclaimed water, cushioning our water supply against dry weather and moving Singapore towards water sustainability.

Today, there are five NEWater plants supplying up to 40% of Singapore’s current water needs. By 2060, NEWater is expected to meet up to 55% of Singapore’s future water demand.

PUB

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TRE cybernuts and central bank singing from the same song sheet

In Economy, Financial competency, Property on 30/11/2019 at 11:32 am

A recurring tune that TRE’s cybernut-in-chief “Oxygen” and his pals (like “Jihadist Joe” aka “Bapak”) shout is that the property market sure to crash and that when that day comes, they shout that they’ll be having orgasms of joy seeing their fellow S’poreans (even anti-PAP voters) suffer. Problem is that they’ve been predicting this since when TRE started (circa 2007, I think).

So my conclusion in reading the u/m headline from the usual constructive, nation-building CNA is that MAS must have been infiltrated by said cybernuts. Time for the ISD to investigate senior central bank officials for being anti-PAP?

Singapore property market faces risks from unsold units, uncertain economy: MAS

Singapore’s property market faces “potential downside risks” from a large supply of unsold units in the medium term and an uncertain economy, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Thursday (Nov 28).

In its annual Financial Stability Review, the central bank urged prospective buyers, especially households that are highly-leveraged, to be mindful of risks and remain prudent.

Property firms that have built up high levels of leverage and hold large unsold inventory should also exercise prudence …

These concerns come against the backdrop of a moderation in the private residential property market following the cooling measures introduced in July last year.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/mas-financial-stability-review-property-risks-unsold-homes-12133586

Don’t they know there’s a GE (My prediction in 2018 Akan datang: GE in late 2019) and GST rise (How PAP can win 65% plus of the vote) round the corner?

Seriously, just remove Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) and prices will cheong.

Related posts:

Forgot (ignored?) asset inflation?

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

 

 

 

 

Bringing robot technology to Japan

In Japan, Logistics on 30/11/2019 at 5:27 am

This sounds like “Carrying coal to Newcastle” as the saying goes.  This saying was already well known in the mid-1500s, when Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England had been a major coal-mining center for 400 years.

But it’s real happening. Ocado, is the UK food delivery service that has transformed itself into a provider of automated warehouses for retail chains, is to build the online business of Aeon, Japan’s largest supermarket operator.

Orcado is already this for major supermarket chains in the UK, US and France.

Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G?

In Uncategorized on 29/11/2019 at 4:34 am

I tot this as I watched a Mad Dog video where in Malay he dissed the PAP’s 4G team.


My tots on how meritocracy, S’pore-style works:

Yup, I’m no fan of the $G team

Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy

Meritocracy? What meritocracy? How our PMs are chosen

Connecting SMRT failures, 4th gen ministers & change of PM (Or “Another Heng cock-up”)

Why do we keep getting mediocre ministers?

Why cabinet can’t do bold new ideas

More on Hali’s judgement between 2007 -2011/ Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

Meritocracy? No leh Cosiness

Meritocracy’s feet of clay: Ong Ye Kung

Note this section was added minutes after first publication.

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Problem is “Is a coalition that includes Mad Dog, Lim Tean and Meng Seng a better alternative to the 4G?”

Look at Lim Tean’s record. Still no jobs rally after collecting money in 2017 for rally, and no picture, no sound after collecting money to sue CPF yrs ago: Finally Lim Tean called to account on a “broken promise”. To be fair, he did deliver on defamation video two years late. But it was BS.).

Can he be trusted to do anything but grab the money?

Here’s the Election manifesto of Spastics League.

WTF: Personal water bottles banned/ Pay And Pay at work?

In Uncategorized on 28/11/2019 at 5:55 am

 

 

 

 

This image (via Sonny Liew) was taken from

U2 The Joshua Tree Tour 2019 Live in Singapore

30 November 2019
National Stadium

https://mediabank.sportshub.com.sg/documents/EDM-library/U2-2019/eventguides/30nov/U2-2019-EventGuide-30Nov-Standing.html?fbclid=IwAR0-w0M4FnfXN48ThHp01isiG6T5P4Wbw0Im3YNRufXkAgolY8y6zWqAJh4

Sounds like forcing people to buy drinks from 4.30 onwards

Queue Start Time: 4:30PM
Gates Open Time: 5:30PM
Event Start Time: 8:00PM

What happens if people get dehydrated, unable to buy drinks because the queues for drinks are very long?

If people die or are physically injured as a result of dehydration, will action be taken against the organisers? Of course, they organisers can be sued in tort for damages

But best if the PAP govt steps in now to prevent deaths and injuries. There’s an election coming.

But “PAP” stands for “Pap And Pay” as Mrs Lina Chiam and others (self included) have said.

And wondering out loud: why did the the health and safety authorities allow this personal water bottle ban in the first place?

Btw, we are wasting money on bottled water: Water: Why Tun should thank S’poreans

(Last two sentences added minutes after first publication).

Water: Why Tun should thank S’poreans

In Economy, Environment on 27/11/2019 at 11:34 am

He should thank us for being so generous with our money. But he’s a born ingrate. Look at what he’s doing to ensure that Anwar doesn’t become his successor, as he promised. He made that promise when he needed Anwar’s help to become PM.

Seriously, further to What Tun and our alt media don’t tell us about the water supply from Johor, do you know S’poreans with more $ then sense are spending at least S$81.6m annually buying water from M’sia? We roughly import 204 million bottles of water and at an price of say $0.40 cents a bottle, we are giving Tun money for old rope, as the saying goes. According to United Nations trade data, most of Singapore’s bottled water is imported from M’sia.

Singapore imports about 17 million bottles of water per month from Malaysia alone, Mr Masagos Zulkifli said on Monday (Nov 4), citing latest figures compiled by the Singapore Food Agency.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-import-bottled-water-malaysia-12062780

The Minister for Environment and Water Resources was speaking in a written reply to Nominated Member of Parliament Mohamed Irshad.

What this means is that we are importing 204 million bottles a year and this costs us S$81.6m assuming a 600ml bottle retails at S$0.40 (It often costs more). F&N and Coca-Cola the companies manufacturing the most popular varieties here source water from West M’sia and a 600ml bottle from the former is S$0.36 cents and a bottle from the later costs S$0.40.

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The price of 1 litre of tap water in Singapore? $0.00274.

https://blog.seedly.sg/bottled-water-brand-price-evian-volvic-badoit-why-so-expensive/

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In 2016, CNA reported (reconfirmed earlier this yr) that F&N and Coca-Cola – the companies manufacturing the most popular varieties here – sourced tap water from West M’sia.

[A] significant number – including market leaders like F&N’s Ice Mountain and Coca-Cola’s Dasani – are sourced from public water supplies. These two brands made up more than half of the bottled water sales volume in Singapore last year, according to Euromonitor data.

When contacted, F&N confirmed that Ice Mountain sold in Singapore “is sourced and packed in Malaysia from tap water”, while Coca-Cola said that Dasani produced for the Singapore market comes from “the local water supply at (its) facility in Malaysia”. Both companies also said they have multiple purification processes in place, which distinguishes their “pure drinking water” from tap water.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-s-s-134m-bottled-water-addiction-7633342

The 2016 article, focused on how demand for still bottled water was growing, went on sounding upset that S’poreans

are willing to pay as much as a thousand times more for bottled water when clean, drinkable tap water is readily available at a nominal charge has left some environmental advocates and experts scratching their heads.

A 600ml bottle of drinking water usually retails for about S$0.50 to S$1. According to PUB, the same amount of tap water only costs 0.1 cent, making it 500 to 1,000 times cheaper than bottled water. This price differential, while significant, is not sufficient to motivate consumers to move more to tap water, said Prof Ng, who is the executive director of the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute at NTU.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-s-s-134m-bottled-water-addiction-7633342

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Reminder

The price of 1 litre of tap water in Singapore? $0.00274.

https://blog.seedly.sg/bottled-water-brand-price-evian-volvic-badoit-why-so-expensive/

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Coming back to the minister and NMP, the NMP asked about the government’s plans to install more water dispensers and water coolers at places such as office buildings, shopping centres and public transport stations.

Minister said

Given that water from the tap in Singapore is perfectly safe to drink, we can and should definitely do more to reduce consumption of bottled water.

Minister

Hear, hear.

Minister should have added: “The price of 1 litre of tap water is $0.00274.”

 

 

 

 

Chill wind from emerging mkts

In Currencies, Emerging markets on 27/11/2019 at 7:18 am

Is winter coming?

If the US$ strengthens, developing countries will be in trouble because foreign currency debts (i.e. US$ bebts mainly) are falling due big time next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And many may not have the $. M’aia and Indon are OK. Lots of reserves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FYI

Soon can buy M’sian apt for less than 2-room HDB flat

In Malaysia, Property on 26/11/2019 at 11:04 am

From next yr, foreigners can buy property in federally-governed territories (mostly areas in and around KL), for only 600,000 ringgit (S$198,000: S$200,000 seems to be the value of a 2-room HDB flat in Bedok) following a move by Tun’s government to slash the threshold for foreign buyers by 40% to address an oversupply of high-rise units.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced the measure in October when he outlined Malaysia’s 2020 federal budget, saying that addressing the oversupply would boost the economy.
Tun (Remember he didn’t want foreigners to buy property in Johor when he came to power?) later warned that “crisis” loomed if the glut in supply was not resolved: “We have to get rid of this overhang so that the market for property becomes healthy again. We need to sell them or the developers will get into trouble.” Mahathir said. The  housing minister, Zuraida Kamaruddin said she hoped the measure would help “restore the financial position of Malaysian developers”.
But Johor or Penang, the places that S’poreans prefer, are not playing ball:

While the central government intends to lower the threshold for units in federally-governed territories next year, individual state governments are not compelled to follow suit.

Although leaders from Penang, Selangor and Johor – states suffering from an oversupply of high-end condominium units – have said they are reviewing their foreign-ownership property thresholds, two of the states have said that the 600,000-ringgit figure is too low.

In some states, foreign buyers are currently limited to property priced at 2 million ringgit(US$480,000)or above.

https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/3036959/us145000-malaysian-homes-get-cheaper-foreign-buyers-will-locals?fbclid=IwAR2zWYqIOT3HUExC4xH47o9rUF4KNLrsjDFk1McqPVCg2SmkViGZLsMrFIE

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Related posts:

What a 4-room HDB flat buys in Iskandar & KL

S’poreans own Iskandar

Iskandar: Dummies Guide on why it’s rubbish


I’ll end with

Li [a taxi driver in HK] was amazed at how “cheap” apartments in Singapore are. He lives with his parents in a one-bedroom apartment that is worth HK$6.5 million (US$830,000). He cannot afford to move out and, with his fourteen-hour days, has neither the time nor money to date.

https://sudhirtv.com/2019/11/15/a-longform-on-hong-kong-vs-singapore/

 

Enough space for Queen Jos to have sex? (cont’d)

In Uncategorized on 26/11/2019 at 4:17 am

This video about an Ethiopian building a two storey home on a truck reminded me of Queen Jos’ remarks:  https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-africa-50508590/how-an-ethiopian-built-a-three-bedroom-home-in-a-truck?intlink_from_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Fworld%2Fafrica&link_location=live-reporting-map

Related post: Enough space for Queen Jos to have sex?

Welcome to Peenoy Land

In Uncategorized on 25/11/2019 at 11:16 am

Southeast Asian Games host the Philippines apologised on Sunday (Nov 24) after some arriving athletes were left stranded for hours at the airport or were driven to the wrong hotel, a logistical snafu that drew criticism just days before the competition starts.

Athletes have begun flying into Manila ahead of Saturday’s opening, but for Cambodia and East Timor’s football squads the arrival was not what they were expecting.

“We had to wait maybe like eight, nine hours to get our hotel,” Coach Felix Dalmas of Cambodia told a press conference Sunday, adding that they had also waited hours for the shuttle service.

[…]

East Timor’s team was driven to the wrong hotel, complicating their arrival and training schedules.

“All nations deserve respect and what happened yesterday was not so beautiful,” East Timor’s coach Fabiano Flora told reporters.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/sea-games-philippines-apology-12121398

 

Ever wondered why PM wants to build polders?

In Economy, Property on 25/11/2019 at 4:29 am

And not reclaim land the traditional pa’s way, using sand?

In his National Day Rally speech in August, PM talked of building polders along the eastern shoreline from Marina East to Changi. This would protect us from a sea-level rise while also allowing us to gain more land: “new land which we can use for housing and other purposes,” PM Lee said. What he didn’t say was that the land would be sold on 99-year leases, with the revenue going direct to the reserves.


What are polders?

Polders are land below sea level reclaimed from the sea. They are constructed by first building walls around the area to be reclaimed from the sea and then draining water from it. Water levels in the polders are then controlled by drains and pumps. The Dutch are masters of polder building and maintaining them.


This is not the PAP govt’s way of copying* what worked in the past: think traditional land reclamation.  Once upon a time, there were hills in Bedok. Earth from these hills was used to reclaim what is now Marine Parade. Flats were then built (and sold on 99 year leases) on the Marine Parade reclaimed land and the now hill-less Bedok.

We soon ran out of local earth to use for reclamation and began importing sand from M’sia and Indonesia. As usual the govts there complained publicly that what we were doing broke their laws, but they quietly allowed the trade to go on so long as their exporters paid bribes. But we had to move on to import sand from Vietnam and Cambodia. There the govts kept quiet about the trade, so long as their exporters paid bribes. At least the govts were not hypocrites like Tun.

But the entire region is running out of sand to sell to

Singapore, a world leader in land reclamation.

The BBC continues

To create more space for its nearly six million residents, the jam-packed city-state has built out its territory with an additional 50 sq miles (130 sq km) of land over the past 40 years, almost all of it with sand imported from other countries. The collateral environmental damage has been so extreme that neighbouring Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Cambodia have all restricted exports of sand to Singapore.

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20191108-why-the-world-is-running-out-of-sand  Written earlier this month.

So we are going to build polders.

Related posts:

I predicted what he’d say: What PM will say in National Dally Rally speech

2025: LKY’s memorial unveiled

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


*Why S’pore’s economic progress went downhill after Dr Goh retired

 

 

SGX: Global sua kee

In Uncategorized on 24/11/2019 at 1:29 pm

Angry, little people fight back

In Corporate governance, Financial competency on 24/11/2019 at 6:38 am

otter saluting flagGreat to see minority shareholders do something other than go to and whine to that toothless, flea ridden watchdog that is the Securities Investors Association of S’pore asking for help, or to failed presidential candidate who lost his deposit (and PAP enabler) Tan Kin Lian for help.

A group of minority shareholders of Magnus Energy shot down all the resolutions put forward at the recent annual general meeting on Oct 30. They ousted three of the directors and blocked the reappointment of the external auditor as well as the mandate to issue shares to raise funds or pay director’s fees.

Then

On Nov 7, these shareholders, who hold a total stake of about 10%, sent Magnus Energy’s board an extraordinary general meeting requisition notice.

https://www.theedgesingapore.com/news/shareholder-activism/penny-stock-linked-magnus-energys-past-transactions-under-spotlight

And that’s not all, they are suing past and present directors for breaches of general and fiduciary duty.

Wow. These are really very angry shareholders. Can’t blame them. before the shares were suspended from trading in Aug this year, the share price was 0.1 cent. They were at a high of $3.75 in February 2013.

Bit harsh on SIAS? Go read

Why SIAS should sit down and shut up

FBI in US, SIAS, SGX here

SIAS: Close it down

Hyflux: Can believe or not?

HK riots not that violent meh

In Hong Kong, Media on 23/11/2019 at 11:13 am

I’ve KPHBed (HK: Int’l media coverage shows PAP got point on media?) that the ang moh media (including my favourites, FT, Economist and BBC: yup I’m an anglophile) exaggerate the severity of the violence (especially police “brutality” in HK).

Only two people have died despite

Rules of engagement that in July were consistent with best international practice—rubber bullets fired only below waist height, tear-gas used to disperse not to kettle—have been thrown out of the window. Beatings at the time of arrest have become commonplace, sometimes escalating to frenzy. On November 11th an unarmed protester was shot in the stomach at point-blank range. And all this with impunity. Officially, only one officer out of over 30,000 has as yet been suspended for any action against a protester.

and

[P]rotesters have vandalised (or, in protest slang, “renovated”) state banks, Hong Kong’s biggest bookseller (which is owned by the Liaison Office) and restaurants with sympathies assumed to lie with the Communist Party. Rioters now set fires not only on the streets but inside buildings. On November 6th a pro-establishment politician with known links to the triads in Yuen Long was stabbed in broad daylight. People fear being attacked simply on the basis of being Mandarin-speaking mainland Chinese. Nihilism is trumping romanticism: “If we burn, you burn with us”, a rebel slogan from the climax of the Hunger Games saga, has gained currency. Earlier this month it was given awful form when a bystander confronting protesters was doused with something flammable and set on fire (he survived).

So I’m glad that the Economist owned up in an article (above quotes also from said article to show up its reporting):

The violence of the Hong Kong protests, and of the response to them, is hardly remarkable by international standards. Much worse has happened in Baghdad, Beirut, Santiago and Tehran over the past months.

https://www.economist.com/briefing/2019/11/21/hong-kong-stares-into-the-abyss-amid-growing-violence

I’m not saying that the violence from both sides in HK is reasonable. It is unreasonable but let’s keep things in perspective especially police violence.

Many years ago when I was a student in the UK, I watched a Panorama documentary showing the French riot police at work and in training. They were a bunch of thugs with the sheriff’s badge.

Another Panorama documentary I watched years later about the UK miners’ strike in the 80s, showed that even ordinary policemen can get carried away when confronted with violent, angry crowds. I remembered the scenes where the police beat their plastic shields with their truncheons like Roman legionaries, before charging. Tribalism at work.

Related post: HK protests: Surreal moments

 

M’sian SOE debt at dangerous level

In Energy, Malaysia on 23/11/2019 at 3:53 am

Much of the deterioration in finances and credit ratings in developing countries state-owned enterprises are

due to the predominance of oil and gas companies among SOEs, Cnooc and Sinopec of China, Gazprom of Russia, Petrobras of Brazil and Malaysia’s Petronas as well as Pemex, which have been hurt by the fall in oil prices since 2007.

FT

Emphasis mine.

 

Want Tun to run S’pore?

Ang mohs: Don’t teach us Chinese to suck eggs

In Uncategorized on 22/11/2019 at 6:35 am

Or to be more accurate, “Don’t teach us ethnic Chinese to eat meatless meat”.

Us ethnic Chinese have been eating meatless meat for centuries. Why are arrogant US cos talking about meatless meat to us ethnic Chinese?

Under a headline “In an Year of the meatless Pig”, the very ang moh FT reported that two US meat substitute companies “have set their sights on China, which consumes almost a third of the world’s meat”. Beyond Meat is looking to start production in China next year, with Impossible Foods exploring potential partnerships with government bodies and corporations: the latter needs approval for its product because food made from genetic manipulation is banned in China.

Swine fever has wiped out most of the pig population (Grandpa Xi’s biggest headache), and the ang moh cos say they are offering alternatives.

But as FT points out in its Lex column, FT’s brain,

[U]nlike the US, appetite for the new meat substitutes is weak in China. China already has an array of soy-based meat alternatives and tofu dishes for its vegan Buddhists. Outsiders may also vastly underestimate how crucial traditional pork is for Chinese cuisine. It would be difficult to replicate the texture of delicacies like pig fat, feet and brains.

Bit racist that bit about “pig fat, feet and brains” and it left out mock duck, my favourite meatless meat dish.

Btw, I got a beef about Impossible foods. Traditionally around Christmas I treat myself to Cold Storage’s beef lasagna ordered via their Christmas catalogue. This year, there’s an Impossible Foods lasagna, not the usual beef one. And it’s priced at 33% more than the now beef absent one. I decided to try the beef stew (new dish in catalogue).

 

Great PR BS as Alibaba eats rival’s lunch

In China, Internet on 21/11/2019 at 10:52 am

Pinduoduo (China’s fastest-growing ecommerce site) posted 123% sales growth in its latest quarter, narrowly missing market expectations. Its losses unexpectedly more than doubled, and shares were down 22% in early trading.

“When numbers are really beautiful, it will usually mean . . . we were being too conservative,” said Pinduoduo founder and chief executive Colin Zheng Huang, FT reports. Btw, he owns 44.6% of the co and 89% of the voting power.

He claims Alibaba is asking retailers to choose between the his co or Alibaba.

India die die must compare itself to China

In China, India on 21/11/2019 at 4:50 am

Onion prices in India have soared to eye-watering heights, leading to worries about food inflation and consumer unrest as climate change hits production of one of the country’s most important vegetables.

FT

Sounds like India likes comparing itself to China. If China has a problem with a shortage of pigs to eat, (Grandpa Xi’s biggest headache) die die India must find similar problem.

Millionaire ministers watching wrong place

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 20/11/2019 at 7:28 am

Above was what I tot when I read a constructive, nation-building headline that screamed

Singapore watches Hong Kong ‘with concern’; current situation at ‘breaking point’: Chan Chun Sing

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-hong-kong-concern-breaking-point-chan-chun-sing-12104088

As usual he’s clueless. Can he really be an RI boy? But then Tan Kin Lian is also an RI boy. As is Tan Jee Say and Lim Hng Kiang. Thank God, Peter Lim, Edmund Wee (Creative thinking at URA), Rashid Hussain (Remember him?), Dr Paul Thamby (makes sure Mad Dog takes his pills), Ang Yong Guan and Erika Poh are also from RI.

Seriously, Kee Chiu and his fellow millionaire ministers are watching the wrong place. They should be watching the riots in Chile with fear and trepidation because while S’poreans are starting to think like the Chileans who riot, the PAP govt is behaving like the clueless Chilean govt (headed by a billionaire president), prior to the riots. Btw, it Chilean govt is still clueless. But I want to emphasis what it and PAP govt miss about what the voters in both countries really want.

Let me explain.

Further to What riots can achieve, about how the Chilean rioters forced the govt to scrap MRT price rises, increase minimum wages etc, here’s a quote that TOC’s M’sian Indian goons and cybernuts will say applies here too

Most Chileans worry about “low pensions, lack of access to decent housing, health care and medicine, and of again falling into the poverty from which they escaped”, the rector of the Catholic University, whose economists dreamed up the Chilean “model”, wrote this week.

Economist

Here’s where the situation sounds like S’pore, giving the lie to what PAPpies like Kee Chiu and Kate Spade Tin (Remember her?) about poverty being absolute, not relative,

“Chile’s problems are more to do with the expectations that come from success. Standards have become higher and . . . the last administration and this administration do not offer anything fresh, any vision for the long-term economic future of the country.”

(Nicholas Watson, Latin America managing director at the consultancy Teneo talking to the FT.)

And

[P]roblems are more to do with the expectations that come from success. Standards have become higher

FT

Other than rising expectations, the really big problem in Chile that is very relevant in S’pore is

 the last administration and this administration do not offer anything fresh, any vision for the long-term economic future of the country

FT

Yes, yes, I know the PAP always has a master plan for the future. And PM and Heng have been talking about the latest. But as I’ve explained before, it’s all copy and paste.

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Another decade, yet another copy and paste restructuring report

“I’m sorry but

“We are feeling the pains of restructuring, but not yet seeing the dividends of our hard work. But we are pursuing all the right strategies, and I am confident that given time these strategies will work for us.”

smacks of “Jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day”

Pardon my cynicism.

We’ve been here before. How many times has economy been “restructured” since the 80s? And how many times have SMEs been helped to “restructure and tide through challenging times”?”

Economic restructuring: This time, it’s really different

And

Another decade, another restructuring report?

In the 80s, one Lee Hsien Loong as trade and industry minister headed a committee to recommend changes in the economy. In the early noughties when DPM he headed another committee on the same issue.

In 2010, one Tharman and his committee produced the 2010 Economic Strategies Committee (ESC). And now there’s the CFE. It’s a bit early, but then there wasn’t a report in the 90s: so maybe making up for lost time?

 

If Lee Hsien loong’s 1980s plan was so successful, why keep needing plans every decade? Plan succeeded, but circumstances change said people from constructive, nation-building media like Balji and Bertha then. Really?

Here’s a riposte to recent platitudes by Heng that Mad Dog Chee vetoed the SDP from using: “Pull the other leg Heng, it’s got bells on it”

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What I’m really saying (in the box above) is that the time is coming soon that the copy and pasting will not work even incrementally.

Returning to what’s happening in Chile

This arson was part of a collective nervous breakdown in Chile, ranging from peaceful protests demanding a fairer and less unequal society, to nightly looting of supermarkets and feral criminality, with marauding delinquents robbing homes.

Economist

Turning to my comment that S’poreans are starting to think like the Chileans who riot.

Singapore citizens feel stuck in their social classes, according to a survey of 4,015 people aged 18 and above that was conducted between August 2018 and January this year by a state-backed research organisation.

Asked by the Institute of Policy Studies at the National University of Singapore if they felt their financial status would improve in a decade’s time, more than five in 10 said they would experience negligible financial mobility while fewer than one in 10 felt their fortunes would decline.

This pessimism persisted across education levels. Only 44 per cent of those with a degree were hopeful of upward mobility in 10 years’ time, with the figure falling to 40.6 per cent for Singaporeans with vocational training or a polytechnic diploma. For those with a secondary school education or below, such as food deliveryman Alroy Ho, 32, only 23.8 per cent expected to do better in future, with 10.6 per cent thinking they would be worse off.

No not Terry’s Indian M’sian goons trying to stir the pot for CIA or MI6 $ but the

The findings, released on October 29 in a paper titled Faultlines in Singapore: Public Opinion on their Realities, Management and Consequences, asked respondents for their views on five topics researchers thought could affect social cohesion. These were race, religion, immigration, class, and lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual issues.

South China Morning Post

And the SCMP goes on

 

Why PAP govt will use Huawel?

In China, Political governance, Public Administration on 19/11/2019 at 11:08 am

Despite the PAP govt trying to lick the ass of both Xi and Trump at the same time.

CSIS has a report on the “safe city” technology that Huawei is selling around the world. The facial recognition, licence plate recognition, social media monitoring and other surveillance capabilities it sells are generally being bought by authoritarian countries, raising the charge that Huawei is helping to “export authoritarianism”.

BBC story on surveillance systems that China is exporting often with the help of soft loans: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-50348861?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/technology&link_location=live-reporting-story

Related posts

Where US has to buy from China

Did Hali ask Xi for this app when they met?: Hali’s welcome by the Chinese reminded me that the Chinese have an app that will help Heng and other 4G leaders keep S’pore a one-party state, like China.

S’porean Chinese parents will want this

Cybersecurity: “Ownself hack ownself”

 

Yoma: Still not too late to join the ride

In Uncategorized on 19/11/2019 at 4:33 am

On Monday, the shares inched up to 40 cents. Ayala is buying a 20% stake at 46 cents. Still time to buy. Re: Yoma: Last chance to buy?

Serioualy looks like the penny stock fiasco of a few yrs ago have curbed the animal spirits of syndicates and punters. Re: Retail punters suffer ’cause SGX, MAS dysfunctional?

Criminal case against Soh Chee Wen etc continues.

Buying STI ETF is buying into HK

In Financial competency, Hong Kong, Indonesia on 18/11/2019 at 4:17 am

I’ve always told young people who want to invest in local shares to buy into one of the two STI ETFs if they believe that the PAP govt is doing a decent job and will continue doing a decent job, and if they believe that it will continue ruling S’pore. A coalition of the Spastics (Mad Dog, Lim Tean and Goh Meng Seng) will ruin S’pore.

But with the troubles in HK, I’ve had to modify that advice by telling them that because the STI Index has a heavy HK component, they have to think about HK’s problems and its long term future.

I tell them that around 13% of the STI Index (by mkt cap) is made up cos in the Jardines Group. Jardine and Matheson (and Sassoon) were the original narco drug barons. Jardines Group is still very HK-based: Dairy Farm, Jardine Matheson, and HK Land. All these cos are in STI, as is Jardine C&C*. See table for the HK exposures of the Jardines Group: SGX-listed stocks that have serious HK exposure. Note that Mandarin Htls is part of Jardines Group.

I’ll end with a link to the constructive, nation-building BT, defending the heavy presence of Jardines in STI Index: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/are-there-risks-to-having-too-many-jardine-units-in-the-sti. Note a far cry from its snide remarks in 2010. See STI ETFs — Are there values there?.


*Jardine C&C is big in Indonesia: Impt of Indonesia to Jardine’s and other local listcos

 

Yoma: Last chance to buy?

In Uncategorized on 17/11/2019 at 2:44 pm

Still trading 15% below Ayala’s entry price.

Serge Pun, executive chairman of Yoma Strategic Holdings, bats aside suggestions that he is accepting investment from Ayala only because Western enthusiasm for Myanmar’s growth story has waned. “Asian investors are a lot smarter than Western investors,” says Pun at a media briefing on Nov 16.

On Nov 14, Ayala Corporation, Philippines’ oldest business conglomerate, announced it is investing up to US$237.5 million ($324 million) in exchange for a 20% stake in Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic, and Yangon-listed First Myanmar Investment Company.

Yoma Strategic shares surged as a result. It closed on Friday, Nov 15 at 39 cents, up more than 18% from the 33 cents before the deal was announced. At this level, the company is valued at $731 million. Yoma Strategic started this year at 35 cents. In 2013, at the peak of the Myanmar boom, the company was traded as high as 87 cents.

https://www.theedgesingapore.com/capital/company-news/asian-investors-are-smarter-says-yomas-pun

 

Small pool of footie players is no excuse for mediocrity

In Footie on 17/11/2019 at 5:12 am

FT has a story on Athletic Bilbao. It shows up FAS and S’pore: a small catchment area is not excuse for mediocrity.

Athletic Bilbao is a La Liga club. It only recruits players who born or raised in the Basque Country in Northern Spain. This region has a population of less then 3m. Athletic Bilbao is the only side in top-level European football (reached Europa League final in 2012). True it has not won a major trophy such as La Liga or Copa del Rey, the Spanish cup competition, since 1984, but they have remained a competitive force.

Hope ST can republish the FT story so that S’poreans realise that we can have a good football team if we really want to. I suspect we can’t be bothered.

Nice to have a good national team or good club team in region. Even nicer to KPKB and blame the PAP govt if we don’t.

Related post: FASgate: Governance issues.

Btw, although this happened (Bill Ng, wife, ex-FAS president and FAS gen sec arrested) in 2017, the cases remain in limbo. Not charged in court, but cases not dropped. Very long time to be in limbo. Was Billy Ng fixed because he dared oppose MP led team in FAS elections? What do you think? Btw2, I’m no fan of Bill Ng.

 

HK protests: Surreal moments

In Hong Kong on 16/11/2019 at 2:05 pm

Once-peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations are transforming into violent confrontations. Neither side is willing to back down.

In the darkness, there’s black comedy.

Professionals protest during their lunch-break, then return to work.

Every day this week bankers and professionals have taken to the streets during lunch-breaks, blocking traffic

Economist

But nearby

masked protesters nearby smash traffic lights and set fire to bins.

Economist

And so

“I’ve been tear gassed a few times, but never when I was outside my office – popping out to get my lunch,” says one trader at HSBC.

BBC

When things were a lot less violent, FT reported (a few months ago)

Many of the radicals are wealthy and highly educated. When they scatter to avoid police they often escape in luxury cars. Polling among protesters consistently shows that economic factors are less important to them than ideas.

And

The movement is also cool and deeply romantic for young people who believe they are fighting for the future of their city. Many young couples in full battle gear can be seen hand in hand on the barricades.

Power of compounding

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 16/11/2019 at 5:13 am

Actually in this case the power of reverse compounding.

Pocahontas (aka Ms Warren, a descendant of Marx, who has a bit of Cherokee blood and who got into trouble claiming to be an Injun) has proposed what her campaign calls an “ultra-millionaire” tax of 2% on assets above $50m, plus a 1% “billionaire surtax” on assets above $1bn.

Doesn’t sound much does it? FT has done some calculations. If US billionaires paid her weath tax since 1982, they’d be a lot poorer.

“Singapore water issue a legacy of Mahathir: Malaysian minister”

In Infrastructure, Malaysia, Media on 15/11/2019 at 5:24 am

Screamed an AsiaOne (part of the constructive, nation-building SPH and stable-mate of ST) headline

The unresolved issue of the price of water sold to Singapore was a legacy of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) (pic).

He said this as he reminded a Johor lawmaker, who raised the issue when debating Budget 2020 in Parliament yesterday.

[…]

Dr Wee [reminded] it was Dr Mahathir who decided not to raise the water tariff on the sale of water from Johor to Singapore.

“As far as I know, this was done in 1987 when YB Langkawi was the Prime Minister then*.

https://www.asiaone.com/malaysia/singapore-water-issue-legacy-mahathir-malaysian-minister?fbclid=IwAR3RWjrsGs3xHhScLJAiQMQhU3aqrorDDMprK0M-aBlDeUc40-wOECKbizU

Wow! Except that the said Dr Wee is not a Malaysian minister. He’s an ex-minister who was in Najib’s cabinet. Surely not the same.

Morphing an ex-minister from a Najib cabinet into a present-day minister in a Tun cabinet sounds like fake news from our constructive, nation-building media. But I doubt, it’ll get POFMAed by the PAP govt.

Btw, in What Tun and our alt media don’t tell us about the water supply from Johor, I wrote

So funny that in 1987 when he could taken action to have the agreement reviewed, he didn’t bother. Actually to be fair to him, it seems he wasn’t told that in 1987 there was a window for review . Secret Squirrel says that there’s a view in M’sia that someone was bribed. It was not some Bumi incompetence or carelessness.


*The exchange went on

“He decided not to raise the rates. So what are your views as the fourth Prime Minister is now the seventh Prime Minister?” Dr Wee asked.

In response, Santhara said things were different now as Dr Mahathir made the decision back then when he led the Barisan Nasional government.

“But now, he sits in a Pakatan Harapan Cabinet and is the Prime Minister and Pakatan chairman.

“The thinking now is to resolve the problem, ” he said.

Dr Wee then pointed out that the time to resolve the water agreement with Singapore has since passed.

 

HK: Int’l media coverage shows PAP got point on media?

In Hong Kong, Media on 14/11/2019 at 2:05 pm

Once-peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations have morphed into violent confrontations with neither side seems willing to back down. Int’l media puts the blamel largely on the HK authorities, especially the police.

Did you know that the Hongkie police are really very well behaved, restraint?

The Economist, no friend of the Honkie authorities and policesaid:

Hong Kong is a relatively modest user [of tear gas]. In the first five months of protests, its police fired nearly 6,000 rounds of tear-gas. Data are sketchy, but that seems a fairly modest figure—far fewer, for example, than were used on just one day in Paris last December against gilets jaunes (yellow-jacket) protesters.

https://www.economist.com/international/2019/11/12/banned-in-warfare-is-tear-gas-too-readily-used-to-control-crowds

Funny the ways of ang moh media. Very hard on gilets jaunes protesters. But very supportive of the Hongkie hooligans: HK: What MSM and alt media don’t tell us.

So maybe PAP got point on int’l media having their own agendas with objectivity being set aside if it doesn’t fit the agenda or narrative being peddled? Ang moh coverage of HK riots shows that the PAP govt has a point on its need to as its running dog, a constructive, nation-building media to help it fix the Oppo: Fixing the Oppo: Constructive, nation-building media and academics at work

Related articles

Why S’poreans don’t trust the constructive, nation-building media

TOC now part of constructive, nation-building media?

Every govt needs its own media outlets to tell its narrative? Cannot rely on ang moh media tell both sides of the story?

 

 

SGX-listed stocks that have serious HK exposure

In Financial competency, Hong Kong on 14/11/2019 at 4:04 am

DBS got almost 20% exposure (no surprise), while OCBC has only 9% exposure (surprise, tot more). UOB doesn’t even make the list (surprise, surprise). Surprise that that Wing Tai and iFast got that much HK exposure.

Fixing the Oppo: Constructive, nation-building media and academics at work

In Media on 13/11/2019 at 4:23 am

With the constructive, nation-building media and academics as enablers, no wonder the PAP can do what it likes.

Parliament recently passed a motion calling for WP’s Aljunied GRC MPs Auntie Sylvia Lim and Low Thia Khiang to recuse themselves from all financial responsibilities related to AHTC in the wake of a High Court judgement (Said Wankers have since appealed against the judgement), which ruled that the MPs had breached their fiduciary duties towards the town council.

But the resolution is not binding on the AHTC. So what’s the point?

[A] number of political watchers told TODAY that the motion effectively made it known to the public what Singapore expects of its parliamentarians, whichever political party they serve.
Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/whats-next-after-ahtc-motion-analysts-and-aljunied-grc-residents-give-their-take

Come on, this is a lot of BS.

the motion effectively made it known to the public what Singapore expects of its parliamentarians

It’s not S’pore, rather it’s what the PAP and their running dog dishonourable NMPs expect from the Wankers’ Party. But two NMPs were honourable and were pilloried in the constructive, nation-building media via the use of really unflattering photos. For a while I tot that one of them had a facial problem.

Can’t really blame our constructive, nation-building media as they have no shame (Think of people like Bertha Henson and Balji who becoming critics of the PAP govt once they are no longer in receipt of their thirty pieces of silver). But really S’porean academics should be more professional than journalists. Sadly, they have form in boot licking or worse.

BSing academics protected from fake news law?

Local academics propogate fake news?

EP’s powers: The silence of two legal academics

A gal I know is doing a “Philosophy Politics and Economics” like degree course in local uni. I laughed when I heard this and ask her “What’s the point?” Rubbed salt into her wounds, as her parents had planned to send her abroad because her average  school grades were just below border line into local unis. But in her final exams, she surpassed her average self. She was looking forward to study in Oz or UK. Doesn’t pay to be work too hard.

Why delivery riders prefer e-scooters

In Public Administration on 12/11/2019 at 4:34 am

Long before writing Cannot use e-bicycles meh? Now got PAP govt help, I’ve always wondered about the non-use of e-bikes for food delivery. I always tot it was about cost (Looking at  digital ads, e-bikes cost at least twice the price of the cheapest e-scooters) and because the use of e-scooters had (until recently) the advantage of being able to using footpaths. And the plebs must feel shiok, that they too can game the system, like millionaire ministers and other elite school kids.

Well I now know

Some food-delivery riders here who use electric scooters have voiced their safety concerns about plying the roads on bicycles or e-bikes, following the Government’s offer of grants for swopping their devices.

Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/delivery-riders-cite-safety-concerns-if-they-were-use-bicycles-work

So they are happy to bully other footpath users, while avoid being bullied by other road users. Sounds so S’porean.

I also learnt that some people always must complain:

Benjamin Goh has already changed to a bike for his food delivery job — but said his income would be affected as cycling is more exhausting, meaning he can complete fewer orders.

“It’s very tiring for me to use a bicycle,” said the 26-year-old single father, adding that he would also end up fatigued and potentially less capable of caring for his young son after work.

TOC

Die, die must KPKB. What about using an e-bike since ordinary bicycles are not very efficient food delivery vehicles

Ms Tan added that while she had tried to complete her deliveries with a bicycle over the last few days, it had been too tiring for her to reach the usual number of deliveries she used to make a day.

She used to fulfil 20 orders daily. Since the ban took effect on Tuesday, she has made a total of 30 deliveries over the past four days.

Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/delivery-riders-cite-safety-concerns-if-they-were-use-bicycles-work

There’s no excuse about the cost of e-bikes given the goodies on offer: Cannot use e-bicycles meh? Now got PAP govt help. 

But then Benjamin Goh must be a TOC reading cybernut.

I’ll end with this quai lan, garang guy. He must be a reader of TOC and other anti-PAP alt media

When asked what his next step would be, Mr Satria said: “For me, I’m going to continue fighting for the ‘unbanning’ of PMDs to be used on footpaths. As long as it takes, we (delivery riders) will continue to do so.”

Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/delivery-riders-cite-safety-concerns-if-they-were-use-bicycles-work

Wonder if he’ll get detained under ISA, lest he becomes another Jihadist. I hope he realises that the ang moh tua jee human right rights kah pohs are 110% behind the PAP govt on the use of ISA to detain suspected Jihadist Joes and Jills: Human rights kay pohs don’t do “fixers” and “jihadists”

New blood in SPP: 20 years too late

In Uncategorized on 11/11/2019 at 4:52 am

The Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the Singapore People’s Party (SPP) held its first meeting on Tue evening (5 Nov) … former Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) Steve Chia was appointed as the party’s secretary-general … Jose Raymond [was appointed] the party’s chairman.

TOC

Phew. Tot that Mrs Chiam could be sec gen. Glad that regeneration has finally taken place. Sadly its 20 years too late. It should have taken place around 2000.

In 2015 before the GE I wrote of a tua kee FB poster who was a member of the Chiams’ Party

I hope the Chiams make him the communications director of their SPP. Not only will it be good for the Chiams**, it will show that they are walking the walk in their talk of renewing the party. Mr Chiam has been talking of new blood since the 1990s, but all that happens is that blood is sucked out from younger talents who join him: ask Wilfred and Desmond. Pwee was too smart to allow his blood to be sucked for free: he forced the renewal pretty soon after he joined up and left when it was clear that the Chiams were not changing: smart guy. But then he is a scholar.

Walk the talk, Chiams

The person in question was P Ravi and I went on

As the person in question has good new media credentials and was denounced by a minister in parly, the Chiams have no excuse in not giving him a chance to show what he do for the SPP and themselves. They can’t say that he is not proven talent, or is not “Political” or not brave. They can’t even say that he has yet to prove his loyalty: he has been a friend of the Chiams for several yrs, even defending them against my sniping about them refusing to walk the talk. He’s also my friend.

Walk the talk, Chiams

The Chiams ignored my advice, or to be more accurate never read it. Ravi juz before GE resigned from his job and stood in GE because Chiam wanted his best person to get thrashed in an SMC.

A few years later Ravi got a job with Chiam’s foundation.

Earlier this yr, Ravi joined TCB’s PSP. Don’t know if he is still working at Chiam’s foundation. I hear relations are cordial between him and Mr Chiam.

What I’ve written about the Chiams and their refusal to do renewal.

Time for the Chiams to step back?

Chiams: Please “go gentle into that good night”

This is what we should remember Chiam for

“The opposition used to be undesirable and unelectable, and Chiam has made it more acceptable to Singaporeans. He really revamped the whole opposition’s image and brought in credible candidates,” says Loke.

“His contribution surpasses JBJ’s, in terms of changing the opposition’s image.”

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/chiam-see-tong-changed-the-face-of-the-opposition-analyst-065549351.html

Btw, Secret Squirrel tells me that Loke is not liked by Mrs Chiam. With the a protector like her, Mr Chiam doesn’t need enemies.

Cannot use e-bicycles meh? Now got PAP govt help?

In Public Administration on 10/11/2019 at 9:29 am

Finally after  UK got this right, S’pore wrong, LTA: What a lot of bull and Another reason to ban e-scooters, e-scooters got banned from pavements (almost because got to wait until next year for offenders to be punished).

But the PAP govt extended a hand out to food delivery riders who used these e-scooters after they KPKBed about the PAP govt breaking their rice bowl or rather rice plate (from the pixs many are not Chinese):

Food delivery riders affected by a footpath ban on e-scooters can get up to S$1,000 in the form of a trade-in grant funded by the Government and food delivery companies, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) announced on Friday (Nov 8).

For riders who intend to stay on the job, the Government and three major food delivery companies – Grab, Deliveroo and Foodpanda – have set up a S$7 million e-scooter Trade-in Grant (eTG) for food delivery riders to switch to bicycles, power-assisted bicycles (PABs) or personal mobility aids (PMAs), the ministry said in a press release.

Under the scheme, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will match dollar-for-dollar the funding support of food delivery companies for delivery riders who trade in their e-scooters for LTA-approved devices.

Each rider can receive up to S$1,000 to trade in their e-scooter for a PAB or S$600 for a bicycle, MOT said. Riders who are eligible to use PMAs will also receive a grant of up to S$1,000, the ministry added.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/e-scooters-1000-trade-in-7-million-etg-food-delivery-riders-12076228

Following the ban of e-scooters from footpaths starting on 5 Nov, food delivery provider GrabFood had announced that customers could experience longer waiting time and cancelled orders due to this ban.

As you may be aware, the Singapore government will prohibit the riding of electric scooters (e-scooters) on all footpaths from 5 November 2019. This means that our delivery-partners who are currently using e-scooters to deliver your orders will need a longer time to do so as they are required to dismount and walk for a longer part of their journey.

Grab

Grab said that one in three of its delivery riders rely on e-scooters to send food around Singapore.

There are about 7,000 food delivery riders who uses e-scooters, and the majority of them are believed to be working for Grab, ST reported.

I had tot to myself: “Grab provide these delivery people with e-cycles”.

And there was Mr Wilson Seng, president of the PMD Retailers Association of Singapore, which represents about 20 firms, who sounds like a cybernut. he said

that the industry is shocked and “disappointed” by Monday’s announcement.

“How are you going to ask people to continue to use the devices for food delivery and stuff?”

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/e-scooter-footpath-ban-pedestrians-cheer-move-users-say-black-sheep-have-won

Hey cock, we juz don’t want them to use e-scooters. (Re “How are you going to ask people to continue to use the devices for food delivery and stuff?”). There are e-cycles.

No that the PAP govt has stepped in, Grab and Wilson Seng have sat down and shut up. Why didn’t they think of e-bicycles first.

Vote wisely. Vote PAP?

 

 

S’pore: Bottom of class in Asean

In Economy, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam on 09/11/2019 at 4:47 am

Don’t believe me? Look at this table where MNCs relocating from China are going to.

To be fair, S’pore’s a developed city-state while the rest of Asean are third-world countries: including M’sia.

Btw, table also shows that PeenoyLand and Indonesia are “shithole” countries as far as manufacturing investments are concerned. Infrastructure problems, poor governance and bad labour and other laws ensure that MNCs don’t relocate there despite cheap labour and in Peenoy’s case, the use of some kind of English.

Economics of buying cheap and cheerful stuff

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 08/11/2019 at 4:33 am

The late (and much missed) Sir Terry Pratchett , in his Discworld series, had a character by the name of Captain Samuel Vimes of the Ankh Morpork City Watch. He was penny wise, pound foolish.

He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

Of course one has to take care of the good quality boots.

How and why meritocracy morphs into a rigid caste system

In S'pore Inc, Uncategorized on 07/11/2019 at 4:41 am

A rigid caste system of winners and losers.

Further to Why S’poreans don’t trust the constructive, nation-building media, are we already like this?

In “The Meritocracy Trap”, Daniel Markovits, a legal scholar at Yale, blames the loss of social solidarity, and much else besides, on the slow corruption of American meritocracy, which has ossified into a formidable caste system. As the economic premium on education rose, he explains, competition for places at elite institutions of higher education grew. That struggle has become an obstacle to success for all but the cognitive elite. The gap in academic achievement between the children of rich and poor families is now larger than that between black and white pupils in the era of segregation, Mr Markovits notes.

https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2019/10/24/in-the-past-america-was-not-as-unequal-as-it-has-become

And like this also?

If Mr Markovits is right … Subtly but corrosively, he thinks, the idea of meritocracy has validated inequality, because rich and poor alike “earn” their position. Success depends on educational achievement beyond the reach of many, but winners feel they deserve their spoils, while losers are asked to accept their fate.

In Meritocratic hubris/ Who defines “meritocracy”, I wrote that Michael J Sandel who  teaches political philosophy at Harvard University said

merit is defined by those who “made it”.

I went on

The meritocratic elites define the attributes and qualifications that allows one into the magical citcle: in S’pore, the British or French civil service, Harvard or other leading universities, or investment banks. And it always means: People like us.

going onto describe

what Charles Trevelyan, the permanent secretary to the UK Treasury 1840-59, had in mind when he proposed that meritocracy should be introduced into the civil service.

“He wanted young people to be chosen who had merit – the very best,” says Greenaway. “But he believed that the best were to be found in the gentry, in the professional classes. As the 19th Century went on, the education system mirrored the social system. The universities in Oxford and Cambridge and public schools became the preserve of the gentry and the professional classes – clergy and lawyers and so on.”

Education locked in what used to be patronage, replacing it in a way that was acceptable to the conservatives who had been fearing that these exams would undermine the social fabric of the country.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23376561

S’pore: Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

My tots on how meritocracy, S’pore-style works:

Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy

Meritocracy? What meritocracy? How our PMs are chosen

Connecting SMRT failures, 4th gen ministers & change of PM (Or “Another Heng cock-up”)

Why do we keep getting mediocre ministers?

Why cabinet can’t do bold new ideas

More on Hali’s judgement between 2007 -2011/ Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

Meritocracy? No leh Cosiness

Meritocracy’s feet of clay: Ong Ye Kung

Here’s something on Gilbert Goh who shows up meritocracy S’pore style

And here’s Real meritocracy at work. 

Can we have this Swiss “standard” please?

In Uncategorized on 06/11/2019 at 4:29 am

I tot of Goh Chok Tong’s aspiration for Swiss standard of living (We reached it but don’t realise it: Be careful of what you wish form you may just get it) when reading of the situation in Switzerland where home buyers are paid to borrow money

In a few cases in the Swiss cantons of Zug and Graubünden, local banks have offered negative-rate mortgages — borrowers are paid by the lenders to take money to fund their properties because doing so is cheaper than depositing the money with the [central bank]

FT

This Alice-in-Wonderland situation arises because the central bank has a negative interest rate policy. It considers this policy “essential” for the Swiss economy by. The policy is  aimed at curbing the appreciation of the franc and protecting exports. The benchmark rate, set at minus 0.75%, is the lowest of any central bank in the G10 economies. Demark also liddat: Bank pays u to borrow/ Govts borrow for free

Here’s a Swiss standard S’pore should introduce: controlling inconsiderate neighbours.

If you are anti-PAP, you should read

More CGT BS? Swiss Standard? What Swiss standard?

More CGT BS? Swiss Standard? What Swiss standard?

Swiss Standard? What Swiss standard?

Unlucky to lose one maid; to lose five or more is cattiness or bitchiness

In Uncategorized on 05/11/2019 at 4:20 am

After reading the u/m passage about three S’poreans’ experiences (spending thousands of dollars changing lots of maids in extra quick time ), I remembered an Oscar Wilde quote (“To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”) which in this case would read

To lose one maid may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose five, six or seven looks like carelessness.

Or as is more likely, losing so many shows bitchiness or cattiness at work.

Not only must these S’poreans be really bad employers but they are either in denial, or too thick to realise that they are slave drivers (Or maybe they think they are entitled to behave like PAP millionaire ministers?). What do you think?

[A] 31-year-old sales manager, who wanted to be known only as Ms Tan, said that she had encountered “all princesses” after her trusty Filipino maid of two years returned home when her contract ended in 2016.

The mother of three — who ended up changing seven maids within 1.5 years  — caught one helper on surveillance camera lying stretched out on her sofa and using her face mask while her family was away on holiday, even when she had been given tasks to complete.

Two other replacements were “tai-tais”, she said, including one who took taxis whenever she headed out.

A 43-year-old manager in a private equity firm, who declined to be named, similarly had to change six helpers between 2015 and 2018, after losing a long-time Indonesian helper who wanted to return home to take care of her mother.

“They are just here for play and fun, demanding a lot of things from the get-go,” said the mother of three. She said that she used about S$15,000 of her savings to transfer the maids out, before her former Indonesian helper agreed to return in August this year.

Ms Tay Mui Lan, 29, owner of a cafe in the East Coast area, said she had spent about S$10,000 over the past six months changing five maids — all of whom did not want to work for her household of five.

They came up with all kinds of “drama” after getting assigned to her family’s home, a four-storey terraced house in Serangoon.

One “purposely” did things that frustrated her, such as scratching her floor and car and cooking for two instead of four, as if to spite the family,  said Ms Tay.

Based on her observations, Ms Tay felt that the maids were “picky”, adding that her demands were not unreasonable — changing the bedsheets once every month, and ensuring that dirty laundry was not piling up. She added that she did not ask for all four floors to be cleaned daily.

“I don’t understand why I cannot get a helper (who sticks around). Maybe I am too nice,” she said.
Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/big-read/big-read-hiring-maids-no-longer-luxury-longstanding-issues-could-snowball-if-unchecked

Seriously reading the article makes me realise that the agents are breaking the law on the fees, maids are charged. My mum’s maid was charged six months fees (article says max is two months).

And agents don’t tell employers all the legal requirements. I didn’t realise that health insurance is a must. Any idea who to get insurance from for my mother’s maid? NTUC Income?

Btw, BBC says here cleaners can afford maids. How not to vote for the PAP?

 

 

Honkies behaving like spoiled brats adopted by ang mohs (Cont’d)

In China, Hong Kong on 04/11/2019 at 5:03 am

In Honkies behaving like spoiled brats adopted by ang mohs, then abandoned,I quoted an FT reader who wrote:

As someone aptly described to me, to BJ, Hong Kong is like a kid who was adopted by western parents when she was young and now rejoining the birth family. But then she doesn’t want to rejoin, she thinks she’s too good for them. She wants to go back to the adopted family, who has left. BJ sees all these in her eyes, and will promote the other kids. HK has fallen out of favour.

My friend Chris Kuan has a better description

Geezer got it wrong, Its more like one of those sob Chinese dramas from the old days. Child brought up by angmoh after being given up by parents. After grown up, parent demand child to be returned and child is kicking and screaming, wanting to remain with the person who brought him up.

What Chris left out is that ang moh told kid they had to return to their real parents albeit with promises from the real parents that the kid could be like ang moh for another 50 years.

Whatever Hongkie kid prefers ang mohs. And in 2018 Hongkies love PAP govt, diss their govt.

HK attracts better quality FTs.

Hongkie FTs more classy

Hongkie FTs more classy cont’d

S’pore, day after freak election?

In Humour, Internet, Political governance on 03/11/2019 at 4:32 am

The day after Dr Chee’s Coalition of the Spastics win the 2019 GE, will one Shanmugam will go tv and radio to explain why he ordered the closing of the internet?

Internet is very important, it has brought about technological convergence.

It eases communication and facilitates trade when we use it properly.

Internet is not water, internet is not air

However, if we use it as a revolution tool to incite others to kill and burn, it will be shut down not only for a week, but longer than that.

How Ethiopia’s  Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed justified the  government’s right to shut down the internet, saying it is done to save lives.

Related posts (Added minutes just after first publication:

Paper generals: Don’t forget social media

More on when there is a freak election result

Freak election result? No worries MM

“Freak election” training manual for SAF’s paper generals? And us 40% S’poreans too?

 

 

Problem that PAP doesn’t have even if curry puff prices etc have gone up by 7%

In China, Economy on 02/11/2019 at 6:33 am

Regular readers will know that l like to compare the PAP with the CCP: one is the ruling party in a de-facto one-party state, the other the ruler in a de-jure one party state. Examples: Keeping power in a one-party state and Why one-party rule sucks for Xi, Lee and Heng.

Well food inflation is not an issue here in the coming GE even if Old Chang Kee two weeks ago raised products by 10 cents across the board: roughly a 7% increase. My mum likes their curry puffs (now $1.60 each) while I like their various “balls”. Fortunately, I found another type of curry puff that my mum enjoys. Only $1 each but there may be an issue with consistent taste.

But food inflation is a problem in China. Data from China’s Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Affairs shows  the price of pork has risen 170% compared with the same time last year Chicken prices have increased 40% and beef 20%.

Why food inflation has gone thru the roof in China: Grandpa Xi’s biggest headache.

HKCon for HK? Imitating our NatCon?

In Hong Kong, Political governance, Public Administration on 01/11/2019 at 7:49 am

Remember our National Conversation? And remember how skeptical I was of NatCon?

Many (self included) think that NatCon is Wayang. But could it be even more cynical? Is NatCon’s aim  to distract us from the govt’s mismanagement of the economy. This unworthy tot struck me when I read DBS’ analysis of the S’pore economy last week.

NatCon: More cynical than Wayang?

“Dialogue in the Dark (DiD) is a social enterprise that aims to educate the public on the experience of blindness, ” writes MSF S’pore (Kee Chui Chan’s ministry)

Tot it should be appropriated as a description of NatCon.

NatCon: Dialogue in the Dark

The door-to-door survey of 4,000 Singaporeans was conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) between November last year and February. It was carried out to validate the issues brought up in the 660 OSC sessions held over the past year …

[OSC committee Chairman and Education Minister Heng Swee Keat] noted that overall, the participants at the OSC sessions wanted the assurance that housing, healthcare and public transport will remain affordable.

Govt needed NatCon + survey to find these things out?

Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg spent an afternoon working incognito as a taxi driver in Oslo, he has revealed.

Mr Stoltenberg said he had wanted to hear from real Norwegian voters and that taxis were one of the few places where people shared their true views.

NatCon: PM should have tried driving a cab

Well a M’sian-born ethnic Indian living in HK (Seems he worked here too) wants to start a conversation that suspiciously sounds like NatCon the Hongkie way.

As for providing a platform for people to speak up, local businessman Chandran Nair, who runs independent think tank The Global Institute for Tomorrow, is touting his “Let’s Talk Hong Kong” project, which he hopes will provide a network of independent and neutral platforms “to bring the community together and find solutions”.

“Many are concerned about being involved in any way but I keep stressing that we are not taking sides and will be neutral,” he said, on the hunt for partners to raise funds and get started.

“Despite what people say, there is a positive path for Hong Kong after the protests. The first step on that path is dialogue: not just as a mechanism to narrow the political divide or share frustrations, but as a way to build real public understanding and trust across different social groups in the city.”

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3033770/there-silent-majority-hong-kong-yearning-speak-out

Let’s wish him luck.

Coming back to NatCon, the PAP govt will say its a great success. It won 70% of the popular vote in 2015. In 2011 it “won” only 60% of the popular vote.