Archive for 2020|Yearly archive page

Fashion in the time of Covid-19

In Uncategorized on 26/10/2020 at 6:35 am

OK, OK, the Japanese way. LOL

Nice to know S$ is a “Biden currency”

In Currencies, Economy on 25/10/2020 at 4:39 am

The Koran, Mexican and Chinese currencies are expected to be big winners from a Biden win. Contrast that with the Turkish and Russian currencies.

The chart shows that we will benefit from a Biden win.

Why didn’t China offer us this?

In Malaysia on 24/10/2020 at 11:05 am

During China’s foreign minister’s recent Southeast Asian tour, when he visited Malaysia, Malaysia was promised priority access to China’s COVID vaccine. China also announced plans to purchase large volumes of palm oil, Malaysia‘s core export, 

Do the following show how of touch and uncaring are union leaders, PAP MPs and millionaire ministers?

In Economy, Political governance on 23/10/2020 at 6:50 am

This letter to ST’s Forum seems to show that they don’t really care for 32,000 poor S’poreans, unlike the Wankers.

Forum: How can anyone survive on less than $1,300?

The priority should not be to defend the statistics and policies on why there should not be a minimum wage level (WP MPs and NTUC deputy chief spar over minimum wage, Oct 16).

Instead, one should first consider how any one individual or family can survive on less than $1,300 a month when the cost of living in Singapore is notoriously high.

These 32,000 or so full-time workers urgently need help, and should not be tossed around as statistics whenever the topic of minimum wage is raised; $1,300 a month would not solve all their daily needs but it is a good start to give them some hope.

If we do not lift these 32,000 workers out of the pit of low wages, it is futile to talk about upgrading their skills.

If we cannot help them put food on the dinner table or provide for their basic needs, it is futile to talk about increasing productivity.

Be practical and realistic. These are our fellow Singaporeans who are poor and desperate. These are people we should not ignore regardless of the number.

The question is whether we give them the dignity and respect they deserve.

Ho Ting Fei (Dr)

As the good doctor says, the issue is the suffering of 32,000 S’poreans, not whether the PAP govt’s Progressive Wage Model (PWM) or minimum wages is better.

And whatever the merits of the Progressive Wage Model it’s slow. No wonder we have a national productivity problem when the NTUC, PAP govt and employers set the example of productivity at work: taking their time to implement what they all say are very impt national policies.

A retired union leader upset by Wanker Jamus ‘ comments about “folksy” union leaders inadvertently let the cat out of the bag in a letter to ST’s Forum.

TOC’s “correspondent” used the letter to pen an article headed

Unionist Nasordin and his tripartite partners implement min wages at snail’s rate of 3 sectors in 8 yrs.

It ends

In any case, it can be seen that despite union leaders like Nasordin, who “care deeply for our workers” and push for PWM expansion to other sectors earnestly, they managed only to establish PWM with its associated minimum wage in 3 industry sectors in the last 8 years, since 2012 when PWM was first mooted.

It has been observed from the Singapore Standard Industrial Classification manual that there are at least dozens of of sectors in Singapore. At the rate Nasordin and his tripartite partners go about implementing their PWM model of 3 sectors per 8 years, by the time minimum wages are implemented in all industry sectors in Singapore, the workers would have been retired or dead by then. Unionist Nasordin and his tripartite partners implement min wages at snail’s rate of 3 sectors in 8 yr.

Go read the article.

Related posts: Another reason to introduce minimum wages and More evidence PAP talking cock on minimum wages

Why Indians in US of A support Trump

In Uncategorized on 22/10/2020 at 2:49 pm

He keeps out Muslims.

Btw, did u know that in France, there is a right to blaspheme any religion? So Muslims who kill, attack or verbally abuse or merely criticise those who they say blaspheme Islam shouldn’t have come to France, or if they are born there should bugger off to somewhere like Pakistan where to blaspheme Islam is a crime punishable by death. But then these Muslims want the first world benefits of living in France, without obeying its laws.

Why S’pore is rich, while S’poreans are poor: view of TRE writer

In Political economy on 22/10/2020 at 6:21 am

Further to Why S’pore is rich, while S’poreans are poor: Chris Kuan opines (Btw, Chris has explained that he was just channeling the FT writer), here’s an interesting piece from a TRE writer. It’s worth a read.

A new measure needed

I know it’s not cool to admit to it, but I’m doing well. I am the official owner of a flat that, once you minus the outstanding liability (ie the outstanding mortgage), leaves me with a sum of at least S$200,000 plus. I have a main job in professional services (accounting) and statistically speaking, I produce around US$103,181 worth of value every year.

Yet, despite my statistical wealth, I am economically unsecure. My best hope is that my main job will keep me on for at least another 20-years and a significant number of you who are reading this will support the advertisers on this blog so that I can afford to buy an extra cup of coffee every month. If, God forbid, I have any serious ailments in the immediate future, my best bet is to die instantly so that I don’t become a burden to my family.

What I’ve expressed would seem strange to anyone living outside of Singapore. However, anyone from Singapore will understand because what I’ve mentioned reflects the disparity between “Statistic” Singapore and “Real” Singapore.

As part of “Statistic” Singapore, I’m doing well. There’s a property to my name (I avoid using the word own as there is a mortgage to my name), and property prices in Singapore are generally higher than in most places (logic of small land area and many people living in the area) and therefore my paper worth is comfortable. Singapore also has a relatively high Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”) for a small island with a limited number of people and if you look at the GDP per capita, the only nations with a higher GDP per capita are Luxemburg (Tax Haven for wealthy Germans), Macao (Gambling Haven) and Qatar (gas station). So, as part of “Statistic” Singapore, my share of the national wealth is US$103,181 a year. This makes me better off than my friends in Western Europe or the USA. Measures of our GDP success cab be found in the following links:

Link 1 and Link 2

It goes without saying that my reality in Singapore is less rosy than what it appears to be in “Statistic Singapore.” Yet, despite this fact, the government has spent countless times talking about our economic statistics and leaving aside the economic devastation brought about by Covid-19, our government inevitably goes back to our GDP statistics.

In fairness to our government, it’s not the only government to fall back onto various economic indicators as how well they are doing. Donald Trump for example cannot stop talking about stock market highs whenever someone talks about his government’s record.

You could say that it’s only natural for everyone to want to show themselves in a good light and economic statistics are probably the best way to do it. So much of our lives are based on economics and I guess you could say that when governments talk about the economy, it’s a way of showing that there’s money to give us goodies.

However, as the differences between Statistic Singapore and Actual Singapore have shown, GDP is a flawed measure of how well a country is doing as it only looks at one aspect of life in a nation. So, could there be another way of measuring how well a country is doing?

I think one of the best ideas comes from the small Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, which came up with the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH). To a certain extent, there are aspects of this measure of happiness which one could say are unique to the Bhutanese situation. We also need to remember that Bhutan is not the idealistic Shangri La that is portrayed to be and looks to India as a centre of economic assistance. There is also the problematic issue of having to conduct surveys on a yearly basis.

Having said that, the basic idea of GNH is right. The Bhutanese has qualified happiness into several aspects, which include things like the environment, health, cultural diversity and community vitality in addition to the usual economic measurements. A graph of what GNH comprises of can be found below:

Now, admittedly its harder to measure GNH with its various aspects than GDP. However, as argue, GDP is a flawed measurement as it only acknowledges the fact that life more than just economics. If you look at the situation in Singapore, you’ll find that our government is obsessed with GDP. All you need to do is to ensure that enough people are employed and nobody actually starves to think that you’ve done a good job. There is, for example, no need to look at the type of jobs that people are getting and whether things like whether I’m worrying on whether I might be able to afford to send my kid to school or whether I get sick or not.

Let’s go back to my personal example. As GDP indicates, I’m doing well. I have a job and a property in my name. The government can claim that it’s technically done well. People like me are producing USD100,000 plus a year and so on and so on.

However, GNH forces those in power to see that people are not just economic digits. Under the GDP measure, you’d be successful if you see that your people have a job even if that job pays $500 a month. However, under the GNH measurement, you have to ensure that people not only have jobs, but they can afford to send their kids to school, live in normal conditions and don’t have to breath toxic air as part of daily life.

Our traditional method of measuring things is too narrow and doesn’t portray things accurately. Isn’t it time we look at trying to measure things more accurately so that we can build a more livable society for the greater number of us?

Tang Li

*Although I’ve been based mainly in Singapore for nearly two decades, I’ve had the privilege of being able meet people who have crossed borders and cultures. I’ve befriended ministers and ambassadors and worked on projects involving a former head of state. Yet, at the same time, I’ve had the privilege of befriending migrant labourers and former convicts. All of them have a story to tell. All of them add to the fabric of life. I hope to express the stories that inspire us to create life as it should be

Covid-19: Int’l media is racist

In China, Indonesia, Japan on 21/10/2020 at 7:00 am

As are our ang moh tua kees. Think Tan Jee Say: praising NZ’s PM for what she did in containing the pandemic, while ignoring Asian countries which did better. Of course he was dissing our PAP govt, which to be fair hasn’t done a great job, only a good job. It lets too many mamas in: Covid-19: FTs from India reinfecting S’pore

That are my conclusions after seeing this (from ang moh FT which with Economist gives fair coverage)

The int’l media in general, and the ang moh tua kees praise here praise NZ and its PM. It’s done good things but it’s two islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Praise Vietnam, China, Korea Indonesia and Japan. FT and Economist do this btw in their coverage.

Covid-19: Indians going to be banned from going to HK?

In China, Hong Kong, India on 20/10/2020 at 6:22 am

Is it just preventing India from using Covid-19 to make China weak again? Or is it escalating tensions?

Hong Kong announced a third suspension against Air India after Indian travellers accounted for most of Hong Kong’s 17 new infections on Saturday (‘Coronavirus: Hong Kong urged to curb inbound travel from India as nation linked to most of city’s 17 new Covid-19 cases‘, 17 Oct). All of Saturday’s confirmed infections in Hong Kong were imported, 11 of them arriving from India.

This is the third time Hong Kong has banned Air India. Hong Kong had barred Air India from running the Delhi-Hong Kong services from August 18 to 31, and September 20 to October 3.

Hong Kong imposes a 14-day ban on any airline that carries five or more COVID-19 positive passengers, or operates two consecutive flights with three or more infected passengers.

It currently requires travellers from India to present a negative PCR test result for COVID-19 before boarding a flight to Hong Kong. But cattle truck load of infected travellers from India, the Hong Kong officials are facing calls to further tighten rules on travellers coming from there.

Hong Kong health experts are raising questions over the reliability of testing in India. Professor David Hui Shu-cheong, a Hong Kong government adviser said that there could be inaccuracies with the tests conducted in India. “It remains unclear with the reliability and sources of the tests there,” he said.

All those fake degrees?

Btw, Covid-19: India trying to reinfect China in escalation of border dispute?

The truth about SIA food

In Airlines on 19/10/2020 at 7:24 am

S’poreans are prepared to pay and pay (up to $4948 for a home delivery) to try SIA’s food.

I hope they enjoy the reheated food that is factory manufactured because that’s what all airline meals are.

They may be designed by a top chef, but they are produced in a factory (OK, OK massive kitchen), then put in cold storage and reheated before meal time.

Here’s more

Ready-to-eat meals that can be kept for 6-24 months part of S$25m investment by SATS to produce more, cut waste

BT headline. More at

Why S’pore is rich, while S’poreans are poor: Chris Kuan opines

In Political economy on 18/10/2020 at 4:23 am

Why the world’s richest countries are not all rich
The latest international price comparison shows widening gap between material wellbeing and GDP

FT Headline

It goes on

[T]he income from foreign-owned capital is part of GDP, because it originates within the country, but not part of gross national income, because it is not owned by nationals.


Here’s what Chris Kuan wrote on FB commenting on the FT article

“Said this many times before that our high GDP per capita does not really mean Singaporeans are as rich as the numbers say we are. But let’s hear it from Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton – note that Singapore is one of those eleven richest countries mentioned and his concluding paragraph that exclusive focus on GDP per capita or its growth rate makes little sense:

“Eleven of the 12 countries in the list are either investment hubs or resource-based countries. In both cases, consumption is a relatively low share of total GDP, often because profits account for a larger part of national income than wages and salaries.

Over time, profits will contribute to the income of at least some households and, in turn, their consumption. But at any given moment, GDP per capita includes amounts that are not part of people’s current wellbeing, or their own income.

Furthermore, the income from foreign-owned capital is part of GDP, because it originates within the country, but not part of gross national income, because it is not owned by nationals.

This is a reminder that, absent strong redistributive channels, rich resource-based economies are often internally unequal, because the ownership of resources — especially mineral resources — is confined to a few. That GDP tells us nothing about who gets what is another of GDP’s most familiar criticisms. Nor does GDP speak to the sustainability of natural resources or the use of the environment. The problem is not the accounting, but the definition of GDP.

These arguments call not for the abolition of the GDP numbers, which are essential, but for a more intelligent use of the accounts and for measuring what it does not include.

Continuing efforts to integrate environment-economy accounts or to make GDP less oblivious to distributional questions need support. For policymakers, an exclusive focus on GDP per capita or its growth rate makes little sense. To put it bluntly, the top 12 list is not always where a country would want to be.”

53% of households as stupid as Tan Kin Lian?/ How to help them

In Energy, Financial competency, Financial planning on 17/10/2020 at 11:16 am

2nd Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr. Tan See Leng rightly encouraged households to consider switching to fixed-price plans offered by electricity retailers under the Open Electricity Market (OEM), as fuel price fluctuations are expected to continue into the months ahead.

From the comments online and the fact that the majority (53%) of households have not switched out of Singapore Power (SP), it is apparent that many people are still skeptical, ignorant, or confused about the benefits of switching to a retailer under the OEM.

One of the chief complaints is why SP can’t just match the pricing of OEM retailers. There are good reasons why SP is not in a position to match the pricing of OEM retailers but I’ll not go into the matter because it’s a very technical and dry subject, involving boring stuff like competition, price discovery and SP’s role.

Whatever, these comments 53% remind me that presidential candidate TKL (Remember he lost his deposit and KPKBed about the loss) a few yrs, KPKBed that he was confused about choosing an OEM retailers and he wondered SP couldn’t just match the pricing of OEM retailers.

As an educated man (OK, OK he only finished sec4 in RI and has an actuarial qualification) TKL was soapboxing. As I said above, there are good reasons why SP can’t do this.

To save the 53% households and in particular TLK from their stupidity, these households should be assigned a retailer other than SP to get the better rates. Who they get is the luck of the draw and they’ll be given six months to move to another retailer without penalty. Actually all the rates are pretty close,

Btw, what some really smart S’poreans did: Some householders laughing all the way to the bank. Even with the recent price rise, they are ahead.

Related post on the rates juz before Covid-19 when MSM was spreading fake new: Why MSM no kanna POFMA for spreading fake news?

Finally, thinking about it TKL and his campaign manager, one Goh Meng Seng, are really dumb. If 53% of households are as stupid as he is, he should have been elected president. Happily he and Meng Seng can’t organise as orgy in a brothel.

Covid-19 harm: India slumps, China surges

In China, India on 16/10/2020 at 5:12 pm

The IMF’s latest forecasts, released on October 13th, spell out just how long the economic harm from covid-19 will last. It think that in many places output will stay well below its pre-pandemic trend, as labour and capital are only slowly reallocated from shrinking industries towards thriving ones. Last October the fund expected India’s economy to grow by more than 40% by 2024; now it expects half that. By comparison, look at the chart to see that China is expected to suffer very little.

How many here prepared to trade-off more unemployment benefits with higher taxes?

In Economy, Financial competency, Political economy on 16/10/2020 at 5:15 am

Not many, see below. Even got some (luckily only 12%) “disagree with unemployment benefits, as they believe there are enough training and job opportunities”. Queen Jos and other millionaire ministers must be smiling. These people must also be part of this group: Sia suay! 24% of S’poreans are more PAP than the PAP on our reseves)

When posed with a scenario of paying higher taxes to fund unemployment benefits:

Only 31% of Singaporeans feel those unemployed should receive financial support while looking for work, even if it means paying higher taxes. But support is higher among Gen Zs (37%) compared to the older Baby Boomers (23%)

12% of Singaporeans disagree with unemployment benefits, as they believe there are enough training and job opportunities

57% of Singaporeans believe in giving financial support to those unemployed, but not at the expense of themselves having to pay higher levels of tax (Yes, Yes I know this was done in August)

S’poreans are a selfish lot. They deserve a Pay And Pay government.

What do you think?

Double confirm: Why the PAP die die wanted to hold GE earlier this yr

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 15/10/2020 at 2:08 pm

Economy is really in a bad way. (Btw in May I wrote this: Why Pay And Pay govt wants elections earlier than later)

Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said as much as 20% of the city-state’s economy faces “deep scarring” from the coronavirus pandemic.

Aviation and tourism industries are a worry, especially with an expected slow recovery in travel.

S’pore’s trade-reliant economy, already in recession, is facing its worst contraction on record — about 5% to 7% this year. The government has allocated about S$100 billion in stimulus to cushion the blow for businesses and help save jobs:

MAS has kept monetary policy unchanged tomorrow. Fiscal measures will do the heavy lifting in getting the economy back on track, unlike in the US. Sometimes good to have a one party state.

But the bad news is that Heng thinks PAP govt has done enough: Did u know Heng said no more additional round of support measures?

Bang yr balls China and EU

In Uncategorized on 15/10/2020 at 8:39 am

US of A is the hegemon even in something it doesn’t believe in even if Biden wins: sustainable investments.

IMF is now into Robin Hood economics

In Financial competency on 14/10/2020 at 7:01 am

The IMF’s chief economist says said that in the coming years governments may need to tax richer people more and ensure companies could not avoid corporate taxation.

The ethnic Indian (yet another socialist mama) says the pandemic will wreak “lasting damage” on people’s living standards across the world hence the need to steal from the rich to give to the poor.

There was time when the IMF was like the PAP govt “Feared by the poor, Loved by the rich”. Now it wants to be “Feared by the rich, Loved by the poor”. SAD.

Ballad of Robin Hood

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Riding through the glen
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, With his band of men
Feared by the bad, Loved by the good
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood

He called the greatest archers to a tavern on the green
They vowed to help the people of the king
They handled all the trouble on the English country scene
And still found plenty of time to sing

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Riding through the glen
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, With his band of men
Feared by the bad, Loved by the good
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood

Covid-19: Sounds like “fake” research from Oz

In Uncategorized on 13/10/2020 at 7:17 am

Don’t use mobile and don’t handle cash?

This seems to be the implication of research findings by an Australian govt research body.

The virus responsible for Covid-19 can remain infectious on surfaces such as banknotes, phone screens and stainless steel for 28 days, researchers say.

The findings from Australia’s national science agency suggest SARS-Cov-2 can survive for far longer than thought.

But don’t panic yet.

The BBC report goes on to say

[T]he experiment was conducted in the dark. UV light has already been shown to kill the virus.

Some experts have also thrown doubt on the actual threat posed by surface transmission in real life.

I think the Australia’s national science agency should have also conducted the experiments in the presence of light, not in the dark.

Whatever,  clean hands and touchscreens, and avoid touching one’s face, the BBC article reminds.

Whatever 2, there’s a Hokkien saying that sums up the study, roughly translated as “After eating, too much free time.”

Covid-19: Monitoring Indian workers from the UK

In India on 12/10/2020 at 11:31 am

For the last year and a half, Shibu Philip, founder of Transcend, a small London-based firm that buys beauty products wholesale and re-sells them online, has used Hubstaff software to track his workers’ hours, keystrokes, mouse movements and websites visited.

With seven employees based in India, he says the software ensures “there is some level of accountability” and helps plug the time difference.

“I know myself. [You can] take an extra 10-minute break here or there. It’s good to have an automatic way of monitoring what [my employees] are up to,” says Shibu.

“By looking at screenshots and how much time everyone is taking on certain tasks, I know if they’re following procedures.

Btw, he’s an ethnic Indian.

Can believe or not? Or juz PAP BS?

In Public Administration on 12/10/2020 at 5:24 am

A third of Singapore’s 18,000 street hawkers let consumers pay by scanning a qr code in July, a boost of over 50% in just two months.

Fee-fi-fo-fum, I can’t stop laughing. The hawker centres I visit to tapow food don’t have this facility. They don’t even take the CDC vouchers that have been given out and which expire in December.

Anyone know which hawker centres have stalls that let customers pay by scanning, or that accept SDC vouchers?

Then there’s this

[N]early 201 new F&B entities have been formed in the three months (June to August) after the reopening of the economy based on Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority data.

There was also a net increase of 96 F&B entities in the first half of 2020 alone, which include restaurants, cafes, food caterers, food kiosks and bars, according to data analysis firm Handshakes.

Pull the other leg, its got bells on it.

Existing F&B outlets are the new zombies, yet new outlets are opening? Want to BS, pls BS sensibly? Don’t tell tall tales.

PAP a socialist party again?/ Banks doing NS

In Banks, Economy, Political economy on 11/10/2020 at 6:07 am

Covid-19 is making govts all over the world ditch their ideologies and becoming pragmatists .

The PAP govt is no exception: its forcing the banks (protected and cosseted by the PAP govt) to be nice to debtors:

With many borrowers expected to continue to face financial issues amid a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is extending its support measures for various groups of borrowers, including allowing those with property loans to apply to temporarily reduce their monthly instalment payments.

Those with renovation and student loans may also opt for a longer repayment period, while small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will get to partially defer principal payments for some loans and receive customised restructuring options.

The MAS, in its media release on Monday, urged borrowers who are able to resume loan repayments in full to start doing so from January so as to avoid increasing their overall debt.

In the late 70s when I was in London, I heard a story that at a recent PAP cadre conference, the word “socialism” was removed from the PAP’s constitution. So it’s nice to see the PAP returning to its socialist roots. One Harry Lee must be spinning in his urn.

Of course all these moratoriums affect banks’ profits. There’ll be those who can pay and pay, but will ask for a delay. They can use the cash that would have gone to the banks to play the markets.

And there’ll be a day when the banks have to write off the loans that the govt is now forcing them to pretend are not in default, and extend.

But don’t worry, the PAP govt is on top of the situation. In a sign that things could deteriorate for the banks and their investors:

Financial institutions will be allowed to use their security interests in Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats as collateral for liquidity from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), as part of the Government’s plan to improve their access to funding from the central bank amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The new rule is part of the amendments to the Housing and Development Bill passed on Tuesday (Oct 6).

Of course, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee had to say

that although banks in Singapore have healthy liquidity buffers, greater access to credit will strengthen their resilience given current economic headwinds and is a “pre-emptive measure”.

He would have to say this wouldn’t he?

What do you think? Is the minister BSing?

Btw, when banks cut dividends further: Can local bank stocks fall by 37%? (cont’d)

Covid-19: Trump’s medications

In Uncategorized on 10/10/2020 at 2:42 pm

But no bleach or hydroxychloroquine which he had recommended to Americans. President Donald Trump finished a regimen of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine “without side effects,” a White House doctor said in June.

So why didn’t he keep taking it?

And why was he given it recently?


Covid-19: India robbing the poor to give to the rich

In India on 10/10/2020 at 4:29 am

India is struggling what with the Covid-19 pandemic making many destitute because the economy has collapsed.

Instead of aid to the starving people, India will provide subsidies to 16 manufacturers including Apple supplier Foxconn and Samsung Electronics to expand its domestic production of mobile phones and electronics.

Modi’s from a Bizarro World* where Robin Hoodis feared by the poor, loved by the rich.

No chipatis or rice? Let the people (50% of whom are living in extreme poverty) buy made in India mobile phones and electronics, Modi is saying?


“Bizarro World” has come to mean a situation or setting which is weirdly inverted or opposite to expectations.

GIC goes elephant and ant hunting/ S’pore’s way of showing friendship to both India and China

In China, GIC, India on 09/10/2020 at 6:20 am

This week Reliance Jio raised Rs248.9bn (US$3.4bn) from prominent global investors including GIC, TPG, Silver Lake and KKR for its e-commerce business.

GIC, already an investor in Ant Group, is looking to put more than US$1bn into the Chinese financial technology company’s IPO.

Meanwhile India and China are rowing and killing the other’s soldiers.

And India is banning Chinese investments and apps ( Can India afford to boycott Chinese investors? and Indian start-ops depend on Chinese money), and boycotting Chinese goods (Can India afford to boycott Chinese products?)

Great way to show S’pore is a friend of both.

The worrying thing is that it could end up upsetting both. And to pls both both, it’ll end up allowing more FTs in. SAD.

Did u know Heng said no more additional round of support measures?

In Economy, Public Administration on 08/10/2020 at 6:18 am

On Oct 3, DPM Heng announced via Facebook that there will not be an additional round of support measures. I did not read about it in the constructive, nation-building: but maybe it was tucked away in somewhere. I read in an article in the Edge. (Details of the how the $100 billion is being spent: Cheat sheet for Fortitude Budget.)

At this stage of the crisis, my team and I are fully committed to support our workers and businesses by refining our policies, expanding outreach and improving implementation, to make the most of the $100 billion committed to the fight against COVID-19. We hope that businesses and workers can make the best use of the measures that have been committed.


But note out of 33 billion in Fortitude Bugget, S$13 billion is for “Contingencies Funds” Cheat sheet for Fortitude Budget.

And the btw use of reserves is peanuts:

From the above mentioned link:

Whatever, all the budgets means the government’s total fiscal injection will be S$92.9 billion, almost one-fifth of the country’s S$500 billion economy. Only Germany and Japan spend more than us when it comes to pandemic stimulus packages as a percentage of GDP. Germany 31.6% and Japan 19.6%.

The government has so far drawn down S$52 billion from our reserves to fund the packages.


“Peanuts”: our reserves estimated to be worth over US$710 billion or S$1 trillion by ang mohs. Only 5% of our reserves drawn down and do remember that S$13 million is for “contingencies”. Exclude that S$13 million and only 4% of reserves will be spent.

Bah humbug, a reasonable man may say.

Got six properties but driving Grab to earn $?

In Financial competency, Financial planning, Malaysia on 07/10/2020 at 6:41 am

Give me a break pls from this kind of BS, constructive, nation-building MediaCorp.

OK. OK the properties are M’sian, not S’porean but this sounds like a lot of bull.

It reports

Retiree SK Quek leases five of his six properties in Malaysia and used to put up two of the houses for short-term rental on Airbnb.

And while he has no issues with collecting rent from his long-term tenants, the 64-year-old who is now driving for Grab in Singapore said he loses about RM8,000 a month — his usual earnings from Airbnb — for not being able to list his properties.


Can’t stop laughing is disbelief that a six property man (I assume he also has something here even if it’s a three room HDB flat) is driving Grab to earn a living. Must be BSing about his properties. What do you think?

As for the other S’poreans mentioned in article KPKBing that they got two properties etc to maintain, they should sit down and shut up. Btw, I’m sure pre Covid-19, they were sneering at S’poreans who didn’t stay in M’sia and commute here regularly.

They made their choices, and gotta live with the consequences. But so typical of Singkies: vote for PAP but then KPKB about kanna Pay And Pay. Reminds me of what the Mexican bandit leader said in the Magnificent 7 about the peasants he regularly shook down: “If God did not want them sheared, He would not have made them sheep.”

Likewise it’s something the PAP could say, but hasn’t yet.

Must be from India

In Uncategorized on 06/10/2020 at 7:17 am

Transport for London (TfL), the capital’s transport authority, has banned Indian taxi app Ola over public safety concerns. Ola has been operating in London since February: great timing

TfL said the firm reported a number of failings including more than 1,000 trips made by unlicensed drivers. Ola also did not report the failings as soon as it knew about them.

Ola said it will appeal the decision. It can operate in the meantime.

Liewgate: TRE writer makes constructive suggestions on improving the administration of justice

In Public Administration on 05/10/2020 at 3:01 pm

But first what the CJ said about prosecutors being “ministers of justice” is nothing new. Many yrs ago, the head of Crime in the AGC said the same thing to me in describing his role. It’s based on an English legal tradition

Prosecutors are more than advocates and solicitors. They are “ministers
of justice” assisting in the administration of justice (see R v Banks [1916] 2 KB621 at 623). As a “minister of justice”, the duty of the prosecutor is to assist the court to arrive at the correct decision. It is neither the prosecutor’s duty to secure a conviction at all costs nor to “timorously discontinue proceedings the instant
some weakness is found in their case” (see Kadar at [109]).

137 A prosecutor must always act in the public interest and it is generally
unnecessary for the Prosecution to adopt a strictly adversarial position
criminal proceedings (see Nabill v PP at [37]). Steven Chong JA speaking extrajudicially to Legal Service Officers and Assistant Public Prosecutors on 10 November 2011 put it in these terms:
The accused, the Court and the community are entitled to
expect that in performing his function in presenting the case
against an accused person, the Prosecutor will act with fairness
and detachment with the sole and unadulterated objective
to establish the whole truth in accordance with the law.

… The role of the Prosecutor therefore excludes any notion of
winning or losing a case. … His role is to seek and achieve
justice, and not merely to convict
. The role is to be
discharged with an ingrained sense of dignity and integrity.

CJ menon in Public Prosecutor v Wee Teong Boo and other appeal and another matter [Emphasis added in bold italics]

Well a long standing tradition can always be improved given the allegation that the prosecutors in Liewgate misled the judge that a dvd player was functional when it was note (Note that one of the prosecutors’ is the daughter of a retired senior civil servant who was rebuked by Teo Chee Hean, then DPM and civil service minister yrs ago, for flaunting his wealth publicly amidst a recession).

So the suggestions made by a TRE writer are worth considering.

Justice And Prosecutorial Misconduct

Our legislators at all levels of government as well as the administrators of a plethora of governmental agencies have created an oppressive blanket of laws, rules and regulations designed to forcibly control the behavior of its citizens. But it takes a non-citizen to file an originating summons under Section 82A of the Legal Profession Act, which governs disciplinary proceedings against the legal service officers or non-practising solicitors.

I always thought that the Prosecutor’s main job was to gather and weigh all the evidence (both the damning and the exculpatory) before deciding whether or not to press charges. Prosecutors should be required to sign a statement that all exculpatory evidence had been provided to the defendant’s advisors. A false statement should have the same consequences as perjury.

In cases of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct in which evidence is omitted, manufactured, or misrepresented, the prosecutors and judges should face a trial of the facts and, if convicted, in addition to disbarment, serve individual mandatory sentence for perjury–period. No escape from justice–you know, the in-house exemptions and protections among the legal professionals–for the betrayers of justice.

Next step would be to extend the same requirement to investigating police. Failure to provide possible exculpatory info to the prosecutors would be malfeasance and a firing offense.

So is it hopeless? Well, if our politicians had the intelligence and honesty to recognize and take the action which undoubtedly would reign in official cover-ups, lies and brutality — i.e., a zero-tolerance policy. In other words, those who do not hold justice and decency (towards EVERYONE) above “winning,” would be gone. Faith in the system is the bedrock. Without it, our system is drained of its inviolable authority.


Pakistan humiliates India

In India on 05/10/2020 at 9:03 am

And its not in cricket, or Covid-19 (Covid-19: Muslim Pakistan is blessed while Hindoo India is cursed?)

I couldn’t help but feel the humiliation of Indians when I read that a Marvel superhero is Pakistani, not Indian

Canadian newcomer Iman Vellani will play the superhero Ms Marvel in an upcoming Disney+ series, reports say.

Deadline reported the news, adding the character will feature in future Marvel Cinematic Universe films too.

Ms Marvel is the alter-ego of Pakistani-American teenager Kamala Khan, who idolises other superheroes such as Captain Marvel.

India to boycott Disney, Marvel? Modi to complain to his pal Trump?

India, the regional superpower? Give me a break. LOL.

China’s take on Trump catching Covid-19

In China on 04/10/2020 at 2:23 pm

The editor of the state-owned Global Times newspaper, Hu Xijin, tweeted in English: “President Trump and the First Lady have paid the price for his gamble to play down the Covid-19.”

For those not in the know, the Global Times is the Chinese govt’s equivalent of the progressives’ New York Times and the Guardian, and the S’pore govt’s Straits Times: whatever the masters want, they’ll parrot unthinkingly.

And to my mind, the Chinese are right. He’s paying the price of saying, “The risk is very, very low”, “Covid? I’m not concerned” and “Infections will be close to zero”. His words are is awkward for The Donald.

Karma is a bitch. “Kung flu” aka “China virus” has floored the “stable genius”.

OCBC ATM machines missing, call centre hasn’t a clue

In Banks on 04/10/2020 at 4:39 am

Sorry about yesterday’s cock up when I published “OCBC’s cock-up” but didn’t provide any text. It was an honest mistake.

Back to to story behind the headline.

Yesterday morning around 6.15am, my friend jogged to his nearest OCBC ATM machine to draw cash for his monthly expenses. The ATM machine at the Esso station was covered up. He then jogged to a 7-11 store a few hundred metres away. The ATM machine was also covered up.

There was a further OCBC ATM machine, 500m along at a 24 hr Fairprice store. But he decided it wasn’t worth the risk of jogging there and finding out that it too was shuttered.

Back home, he went online to see if OCBC had made any announcements about ATM closures in the East Coast area. He couldn’t find any.

He called the call centre and the girl was surprised when he told her about his experience as her records showed that there were supposed to be ATM machines in the locations he described.

She said the nearest available one was at Fairprice. He asked her what assurance he had that she was right given that she had no knowledge of the missing machines. She said he had a point.

He asked her to tell the bank to call him when the offices opened. He never got a call. But to be fair, she did say that it would take 48 hrs for the bank to respond because it was the weekend.

Later my friend called the Esso station and was told the ATM machine was shuttered on 1 October. So there was sufficient time for the call centre’s info to be updated.

But then since the call centre was in M’sia maybe it’s the usual case of M’sia Boleh aka M’sian inefficiency?

The World Turned Upside Down

In Energy on 03/10/2020 at 2:03 pm

No not Trump getting the Kung Flu.

But clean energy group NextEra surpassing ExxonMobil in market capitalisation on Friday.

The World Turned Upside Down” is an English ballad. It was first published on a broadside in the middle of the 1640s as a protest against the policies of Parliament relating to the celebration of Christmas.

According to American legend, the British army band under Lord Cornwallis played this tune when they surrendered after the Siege of Yorktown (1781)

The mighty HK$ thanks to Ant and other Red IPOs

In China, Currencies, Financial competency, Hong Kong on 02/10/2020 at 6:45 am

OR “Investors give ang moh tua kee activists and ang moh human rights activists the finger”.

Hong Kong has recorded inflows of almost HK$55bn (US$7.1bn), forcing the HK Monetary Authority to intervene almost every day since September 14 to keep the currency within the pegged trading band of 7.75 to 7.85 to the US$.

Bye bye Thai

In Indonesia, Malaysia on 01/10/2020 at 4:25 am

Foreigners have been selling Thai stocks, and Ms’ian and Indon stocks too. Thailand is in the same category of foreigners fleeing as Brazil and Korea.

In Thailand, investors are concerned about the protests against the govt and the monarchy.

S’poreans want to work from home

In Economy, Property, Public Administration on 30/09/2020 at 7:23 am

An article in the constructive, nation-building ST about S’poreans slowly returning to work in offices reminded of an FT chart in late August or early Sept.

Black mark or slap in the face for the PAP govt’s handling of Covid-19?

Compared with Europe, S’poreans don’t want to return to offices. They all want to skive is it?

Seriously maybe S’poreans think the PAP govt mishandled the Covid-19 pandemic?

The FT reports that whereas the continental European countries think their govts handled the pandemic pretty well, the British and the Americans think their govt’s mishandled the pandemic, hence their reluctance to return to offices.

But then there is this survey: Criticism of PAP govt’s handling of Covid-19 is really “noise”. It shows that S’poreans think the PAP govt is doing a good job in containing the pandemic.

Say one thing, but do another thing isit?

What do you think?

Covid-19: reducing the infection numbers the Indian way

In India on 29/09/2020 at 2:24 pm

There are credible international reports that India had significantly reduced its coronavirus testing, lowering its daily tally of reported cases as India was poised to breach the threshold of 100,000 infections a day. But it didn’t work did it, the threshold was exceeded.

But it wasn’t an original Modi idea. His pal Trump has been advocating that the US reduce testing to keep a lid on the cases. But most states gave Trump the finger.

But not Florida (the governor is a fan of Trump). Recently as the number of cases increased, the state decreased testing, imitating India.


TRE writer on why must have FT CEOS

In Uncategorized on 29/09/2020 at 4:43 am

Local talent pretty BS.

Buddy Capitalism Continues

A few nights ago, the Young Pork Guzzling Muslim Politician sent me a photo of several Linkedin profiles of people working at Standard Chartered Bank. The only thing that that connected them, other than the fact that they were working for Standard Chartered Bank was the fact that everyone was from India. I told him that I didn’t know why he was sending me the photo; a copy of which can be seen below:

He called and explained that people in one of his WhatsApp chats were getting agitated by the fact that Singaporeans were getting upset that plum jobs were going to Indian Nationals and not to Singaporeans. It was, as they say, the same story about the Indian Nationals stealing jobs from locals and only helping themselves and so on and so on. As far as most Singaporeans (or at least the ones on the net are concerned) the Indian Expats are a group of unqualified louts stealing from the hard working honest, Singaporeans graduate.

Unfortunately, this isn’t quite true. While it’s easy to take a snap shot of someone’s Linkedin profile, it’s another thing to actually read that person’s profile and assess whether he or she has gotten to where they have been through fair or foul means. If you look at the 15 profiles, you’ll note that one of them was from the National University of Singapore and another one was from INSEAD. If you look at those who were from Indian Universities, one was from Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA – the place that gave you Ajjay Bangha, CEO of Mastercard) and another was from Indian Institutes of Management Calcutta (IIMC, – the place that gave you Indra Nooyi, former CEO of Pepsico). If you were to delve deeper into these profiles, you’d notice that the majority of them had at least a decade of experience working with the bank and more often than not, they had experience in the big market of India and within the Southeast Asian region.

So, while I don’t doubt that there are Indian Expatriates who are not qualified to be where they are (which is the same that can be said for any other group), Singapore as a collective, needs to get rid of the idea that the only talented people in the world are Westerners and Singaporeans as the loyal servants of the West.

The reality is that “developing” Asia is producing people that are qualified to do great things and are doing great things. If you look at the world’s game changing companies, there is Sundar Pichai of Alphabet, who from Indian Institutes of Management Kharagpur (IIMK) and there’s Microsoft CEO Staya Nadella from Manipur Institute of Technology. It may be hard for the average Singaporean to swallow, but the fact is Mr. Nadella is credited for making Microsoft sexy again after years of being dull when it was being run by Steve Balmer.

By contrast, I can’t think of a Singaporean, trained in Singapore who has gone onto run a company outside the Singapore and the Singapore government. OK, Ogilvy hired Tham Khai Meng to be its world-wide creative head, but Khai was trained in the UK. There was apparently a vice-president on the board of 3M who was from Singapore.

However, nobody talks about this because it’s politically inconvenient. For the “opposition” camps in Singapore it’s easier to talk about how our government has sold us out to India and China. It’s easy to talk about how unfair life is for the ordinary Singaporean who will be overwhelmed by unqualified Indians stealing their jobs.

If the “opposition” camp is guilty of playing on native resentments against dark skinned people, the government is playing an equally insidious but far more subtle game. The government is currently playing a rather confused game. On one hand, it is claiming that welcoming foreigners is good for Singaporeans and on another it is calling Singaporeans racist and xenophobic when they complain that they are being discriminated against in their own land. What is going on here?

I believe there’s an element of distraction here. If Singaporeans were to look at the “real” cause of their job losses, they’d realise that they’ve been screwed by what I’ve called “Buddy Capitalism,” rather than by evil geniuses from India and China. This came out very clearly in a blog piece by Emanuel Daniel, on Piyush Gupta, the CEO of DBS. Mr. Daniel’s blog entry can be found here.

Mr. Daniel, who runs the Asian Banker, is a well-connected figure in the Asian Financial Industry and he’s spent decades studying trends in the industry. He takes Mr. Gupta to task for not doing enough to prepare his bank for the future (He’s accused Mr. Gupta of believing his own hype and enforcing a system rather than preparing for a changing world), but at the same time he argues that Mr. Gupta has done more for DBS and Singapore than his four immediate predecessors (all foreigners) and when compared to the CEOs of the other Government Linked Companies. Mr. Daniel points out that under Mr. Gupta, DBS has continued to see a growth in revenue and profits (LINK) unlike a good portion of the GLCs who have lost money despite having a near monopoly on their respective markets.

A few people were offended by Mr. Daniel’s article, arguing that he was ignoring the fact that the other GLC’s like Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and the Singapore Mass Rapid Transport (SMRT) were run by military men who had been parachuted in with no commercial experience and thus screwed it up. It wasn’t Singaporeans per se.

However, I think their missing the point. Mr. Daniel has very clearly articulated that the key issue in Singapore is the fact that “talent” is inevitably about creating compliance rather than competence. Brilliant people are taken over by the government and made so comfortable that they have no need to excel at anything in particular. One only has to think of the number of military scholars who have been promoted effortlessly to very cushy positions. In the SAF, competence can be a handicap. You will inevitably be replaced by a scholar with no experience. I think of 21 SA in my day. There was a CO called Tan Chong Boon, who was what we call a farmer (A-levels, worked his way up). The then, Major Tan turned a sleepy unit into a fit fighting force by sheer guts. Then, 21SA was awarded the best artillery unit, they posted him out so that a scholar could replace him and get the glory.

The second point that Mr. Daniel makes is that the big GLC’s have a habit of knee caping small enterprises with the blessing of the regulators. In another blog piece, Mr. Daniel argues in another blog piece that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has made it such that all Fintech Systems must have an actual bank account with an established bank, unlike say China or the USA. This ensures that the Fintechs will never be able to take away from the banks and in turn serve as convenient contractors rather than competitors. (LINK)

Why would the government do that? I believe that as much as the government talks about wanting to be “future ready,” it is in fact unwilling to prepare for the future and thus moves to protect its established companies from anything resembling competition. As such, you get companies that think of monopoly profits as a right rather than something that has to be earned.

Let’s look back at the attempt to introduce competition into the media in the early 2000s. That experiment ended within four years when both MediaCorp and SPH found they were losing money. They then spent the next few years arguing over whether readership or viewership figures were more meaningful without realizing that people found more relevant news sources online than they did in print or TV. Unfortunately for both media houses, the advertisers noticed too and before you knew it, SPH was trying to reinvent itself as a real estate company and has shed Singaporean jobs.

Why does the government mollycoddle companies like that? Well, it’s a case of buddy capitalism. Where can you put your buddies if you don’t have profitable sectors?

Our system has worked to make the Singaporean incapable of shinning in their own land and the need to hire foreigners to run the show is the inevitable result. If you listen to government communications, you’ll notice that its always the same theme – Singapore has a limited talent pool and therefore you need to rotate buddies from the government and private sector and supplement them with people from elsewhere.

In 2016, this was proven untrue at the Rio Olympics. We had Joseph Schooling, who beat the world’s greatest swimmer to win our first ever gold medal. What should be very telling is the fact that had Mr. Schooling stayed behind, he probably would never have won anything. His good fortune was to have parents who were willing to leave Singapore so that their son could develop his talent and in the end, bring glory to Singapore.

You’re not going to make life better for Singaporeans by mollycoddling them on this island and telling them everything is OK when it isn’t. You’re not going to help by banning foreigners. You will only get a solution when you break up the buddy system and ensure that Singaporeans have to develop their talents.

Tang Li

*Although I’ve been based mainly in Singapore for nearly two decades, I’ve had the privilege of being able meet people who have crossed borders and cultures. I’ve befriended ministers and ambassadors and worked on projects involving a former head of state. Yet, at the same time, I’ve had the privilege of befriending migrant labourers and former convicts. All of them have a story to tell. All of them add to the fabric of life. I hope to express the stories that inspire us to create life as it should be.

KPKBing in UK about how SE Asians represented

In Uncategorized on 28/09/2020 at 5:48 am

“Beats” an advocacy group for British East and South East Asians are KPKBing about a British drama set in S’pore during World War Two. They call it “harmful” and “upsetting”.

Beats called The Singapore Grip “a kick in the teeth” to those it represents.

Based on JG Farrell’s 1978 novel, the six-part drama follows a family of wealthy Britons living here. More at:

Fyi, the series was filmed in M’sia.

For the record, the term East Asians in the UK is usually an euphemism there for ethnic Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. Chinese, Malays, Koreans, Thais etc are usually excluded.

Many yrs ago I listened to a BBC World Service radio play that was trialled as an ancient Greek comedy with “an all East Asian cast”. All mamma accents. No Chink or S’porean accent. I complained but never got a reply.

Btw, I had no complaints about the actors or the play. It was good production: I was only unhappy about the racial misrepresentation,

Must be Pakistani

In India on 27/09/2020 at 1:48 pm

SAD for Indians to have such neighbours. Related post: Like India’s Modi, Allah’s no believer of liberal democracy

A man suspected of injuring two people with a meat cleaver in Paris has admitted to deliberately targeting the former offices of the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine, French media report.

The man, an 18-year-old born in Pakistan, reportedly linked his actions to the magazine’s recent republication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Charlie Hebdo did this as a trial over the 2015 Islamist attack on the magazine which killed 12 people began.

The magazine’s location is now secret.

With someone like Jaromel Gee, PAP doesn’t need enemies

In Political governance on 27/09/2020 at 11:32 am

“Jaromel Gee, PAP party member and IB, sentenced to three years’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane for committing robbery”

The surprise is that even with people like him, the PAP makes winning looks so easy. So what does the PAP get right?

Views pls.

Why I’m into industrial reits?

In Financial competency, Property on 26/09/2020 at 6:40 am

Rock-bottom interest rates, rising inflation expectations and negative real yields are boosting the present value of future cash flows from real estate. Ultra-low interest rates are also supporting property valuations.

But not all real estate is equal, some are more equal than others.

The less equal than others: Covid-19 has accelerated the growth of online retailing with retail, and especially shopping centres taking the largest hit; hurt the hospitality sector and thrown the future of the office into question. On the last: Derwent, a London UK property co says the true impact of Covid-19 has yet to be felt and warns us to expect sweeping changes to the way we work. 

As for housing, got no money how to buy that condo?

But industrial properties are expected to perform reasonably well. Remember that they are not only used for manufacturing, but for warehousing all the goods ordered online, and as cheap “office” space.

Yields are good if one avoids the TLC industrial reits. They attract a premium whether justified or not.


In Indonesia, Telecoms on 25/09/2020 at 11:21 am

A unit of Telekom Indonesia is in advanced talks on injecting capital into GoJek, the Indonesian super app decacorn. Btw Decacorn is a company valued at over US$10 billion.  

Why our loser anti-PAP PMETs are so grumpy?

In Uncategorized on 24/09/2020 at 5:41 am

They are unemployed (Anti-PAP “noise” is from PMET losers and deadbeats) and don’t have enough sleep, or they oversleep.

The National Sleep Foundation, a non-profit group in America, says unemployed people were more likely to report sleeping less or more than people in employment. Not surprised by them sleeping more because unemployed workers have less to lose, financially, from sleeping.

The authors think that anxiety and depression cause sleeping problems. Poor-quality sleep can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and depression.

Tmm sounds a good way of getting rid of our loser PMETs.

Covid-19: India trying to reinfect China in escalation of border dispute?

In China, India on 23/09/2020 at 5:41 am

Hong Kong has suspended Air India’s incoming flights after Covid-19 positive cases were found on a flight.

Hong Kong banned Air India from flying to its airport for two weeks till 3 Oct after 6 passengers were found on a 18 Sep Air India flight. The passengers were flying from Delhi into Hong Kong. The 6 were tested positive upon arrival.

Prior to this, Air India carried 11 Covid-19 positive passengers also on a flight from Delhi to Hong Kong on 14 Aug.

India trying to bring China’s economy to its knees, so that it resembles India’s economy? Meanwhile S’pore is happy to let Indians in.

Uniquely S’pore

In Uncategorized on 22/09/2020 at 5:24 am

Multi-culturalism in S’pore is not juz a Harry Lee’s aspiration.


Daily Quote Singapore Community

Research contributed by Ignatius Foo Link below. Thanks…SourceFun ToastPicture Credit Janus Chan

Anti-PAP “noise” is from PMET losers and deadbeats

In Economy on 21/09/2020 at 7:11 am

Data from the Ministry of Manpower last week was very grim.

OCBC Securities reported “total employment change in Q2 declining 103.5k, the sharpest on record. This brought the total employment decline in H1to 129.1k.
▪ Retrenchments more than doubled, from 3220 in Q1 to 8130 in Q2. This is higher than the peak during the SARS period, but lower than the all-time high of 12760 during the GFC.
▪ The overall unemployment rate rose from 2.4% in Q1 to 2.8% in Q2. Resident unemployment rate rose from 3.3% to 3.8%.”

Interestingly the MoM data showed the most impacted sectors (in terms of unemployment and retrenchments) are those that rely more on non-PMET workers, such as manufacturing, construction and accommodation & food services.

The more resilient sectors were in electronics manufacturing, information & communications and financial & insurance services, where remote work is more likely.

Bottom line: the poor are suffering terribly, PMETs are not. Bit like in London where the poor suffer more than the well off according to the Economist.

Must be PMET losers and deadbeats KPKBing on TRE, TOC and other anti-PAP alt media publications, and social media about their plight, and blaming the PAP govt.

How leaders in a one-party state can lose power

In Uncategorized on 20/09/2020 at 11:26 am

The answer is via non-violent protests that involve only a “peanuts” percentage of the population.

How big does a protest have to be, to drive a political leader out of office? Harvard political scientist Erica Chenoweth who has studied these question carefully, thinks the crucial threshold is 3.5% of the population. She also says non-violent protests are more effective than violent protests. More at

More relevant to S’pore is Gene Sharp’s observation that the power of dictatorships (Yes, yes , I know the PAP govt is only authoritarian, not a dictatorship though Kirsten Han and friends may disagree) comes from the willing obedience of the people they govern – and that if the people can develop techniques of withholding their consent, a regime will crumble.

According to the BBC, Gene Sharp may have had more influence than any other political theorist of his generation. Gene Sharp is the author of the non-violent revolution rulebook (2011)

Like India’s Modi, Allah’s no believer of liberal democracy

In India on 19/09/2020 at 1:29 pm

By one measure, just 3% of Muslims live in countries that are freer than the world average

Personal freedom is still limited in most of the Islamic world, so Modi’s India is a lot freer. So India is a lot better off than most Islamic countries.

S’pore equities: Why buying a dog is a gd thing

In Economy, Financial competency on 18/09/2020 at 4:27 am

According to OCBC’s head of research Carmen Lee (We once worked in same firm, she as analyst, I as dealer/ saleman), S’pore stocks “could prove a safe harbour to tide over stronger headwinds in the face of more attractive stock valuations.” 

“While the Singapore market underperformed during the recent uptrend, it is also less volatile during the Sep 2020 market downtrend, making it ideal as additional holdings to a diversified stock portfolio,” she writes in a 14 September report. She points out that while the S&P 500 fell 6.7% from its September peak, the STI only lost 2% — a relatively small correction vis-a-vis most markets. 

She also writes, “We continue to favour companies with strong management or sponsors, good market shares, well-established businesses or brand names and companies with a more defensive stream of earnings.” 

Favourites include the usual DBS Group Holdings Ltd, Capitaland Mall Trust, Raffles Medical Group, ST Engineering, Sheng Siong Group, Singtel and Starhill Global REIT. 

Nice try Carmen. LOL.

“Jaromel Gee, PAP party member and IB, sentenced to three years’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane for committing robbery”

In Uncategorized on 17/09/2020 at 6:22 am

Above is the title of TOC piece: Jaromel Gee, PAP party member and IB, sentenced to three years’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane for committing robbery


Once upon a time, LKY pointed out that a candidate MP of the WP was bicycle thief. We all laughed at the WP, the party of bicycle thieves 🤣 led by Saint JBJ. And until WP Low and his allies changed the public’s perception, it remained the party of bicycle thieves.

Now we find out that Jaromel Gee, founder of Silent No More which supports the PAP and had some PAP MPs as its members, is a robber and serial cheat. 🤮. When he founded the site in 2015, he was a PAP member (ST report), not juz a balls-carrying fanboy

To be fair to the PAP and the site, sometime in 2018 (Site was founded in 2015), it’s alleged by PAPPies on FB after his convictions became public knowledge, that he parted company with the other people administering the site. But they did not say he was no longer a PAP member.

Is he still a member of the PAP? And if not, when did he cease to be a member?

By the way the bicycle thief it seems stole a bicycle when he was a juvenile, not an adult. And when an adult, he didn’t rob or cheat.

Wonder what one Harry Lee will say about the PAP now? Will he hang his head in shame that Jaromel Gee was allowed to join the PAP?

What do you think?

Covid-19: 1m more cases and India’s the leading Covid-19 nation

In India on 16/09/2020 at 1:57 pm

The US has 6.61m Covid-19 cases and the rate of increase is slowing. It’s the world’s leading Covid-19 nation. India is second and running fast to catch up.

India’s coronavirus infections have now passed 5m cases.

The virus appears to be spreading much faster in India than any other country, with daily cases crossing 90,000 for the five days up until Tuesday.


The good news is that the death rate is lower than in many countries with a high caseload: only more than 80,000 people have died in India. The US has around 196,000 deaths.

But don’t worry, Modi has plans for India to beat the US to be the leading Covid-19 nations, with more deaths than the US.

Anything Trump can do, Modi can do better. LOL.

Liewgate: TOC, witch hunters also wanted justice LOL

In Uncategorized on 16/09/2020 at 5:01 am

And even had due process. They were not running around like headless chickens or TOC readers in an anti-PAP frenzy.

Couldn’t stop laughing at

“The Minister for Law has also seemingly tried to downplay matters by urging the public not to go on a witch hunt. In this, the Minister may have misunderstood public sentiment.

The people want answers and accountability. They are not on a witch hunt. They want justice. To talk of a witch hunt may misguidedly fan the flames of public outrage. What the public want is reassurance that the Government will leave no stone unturned in punishing those guilty of this heinous initial miscarriage of justice – they do not need to be told what not to do.

The witch hunters also wanted justice, TOC. They tot that witches were hurting them and their families, hence the hunt for witches to burn.

The witch hunters also had due process, unlike cyber lynchings on social media conducted by Team TOC and its zombie fans, or other alt media and their fans.

One way of establishing whether a person was a witch was to throw the alleged witch into the river or deep bond. If the bounded person floated, they’d know the person was a witch, and would burn her.

Another test was to to put his hand into a fire. If the hand was undamaged, they’d burn him as a witch.

Liewgate: TRE, junk can be stolen

In Public Administration on 15/09/2020 at 7:22 am

I think the u/m Why would anybody want to steal junk? by TRE’s Augustine Low needs a serious correction.

Even if the stuff taken is junk, the maid cannot suka suka take it: taking it can still amount to theft.

Consent must still be sought. Such consent can be implied if the owner throws the stuff into the bin or tells the maid to throw it away. I’ve a spoiled printer and a laptop: junk. I’ve yet to dispose of them because I want to dispose of them responsibly. But if the maid takes them without asking my permission, it’s still technically theft.

Btw, I’ve also got a few watches that could be considered junk. One’s a IWC perpetual watch that needs to be repaired, another a Seiko watch that has it plastic face cover damaged , a Cartier Santos and Rolex that have faulty clasps. If the helper takes them …

Finally, an observation about the High Court judge’s decision. The High Court judge could have acquitted her on the basis of the police’s failure to secure the evidence. And left it at that. That he went further to make comments about Karl etc seems to show his unhappiness over the decision to prosecute. that he had serious concerns about what actually happened. (Note this change was made on 16 September 2020 at 11.30 am.)

The one question that could have saved Parti Liyani much earlier: Why would anybody want to steal junk?

It was a basic question that took four years to be asked.

Had it been asked earlier, it could have saved Parti Liyani from all her troubles and trauma, from languishing in a shelter for four years while awaiting the conclusion of her case of stealing from the home of Liew Mun Leong.

Defence lawyer Anil Balchandani who acted pro-bono for Parti and successfully secured her acquittal, appears in a video put up by HOME (Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics), the non-governmental organisation which provided shelter, food and financial assistance to Parti for four years. The video was shot a week before the High Court ruling on 4 September.

Balchandani spoke of the breakthrough: “I think the maybe memorable or most lucky point that we had was we asked the (high) court to have all the items presented before it . . . . and the court agreed. And that allowed us to present to the court what you can’t see in pictures.”

Once the “stolen” items were presented in court, the effect was telling, said Balchandani: “So the condition of the items, the clothes, the rags, the very old DVD players, the earrings, the jewellery that was outdated – you could see it in a photograph but you will not appreciate it until you see it. And slowly we were, you know, we were able to inch forward. And we have to basically convince the judge, why would someone steal junk?”

Indeed, why would anyone go through the trouble of stealing things which even the rag-and-bone man might reject?

And why wasn’t it a question the police, prosecution and district judge all thought of asking?

Only at the High Court was this question finally addressed. In his lengthy 100-page judgement, Justice Chan Seng Onn pointed to some aspects of this, including the case of a Pioneer DVD player which was allegedly stolen by Parti. She denied the theft, saying it was disposed of by the Liew family because it was “spoilt” and she kept it to bring home to Indonesia for repair.

Justice Chan believed Parti: “As its name suggests, a DVD player’s main function is to play a DVD . . . a DVD player that is unable to play DVD can reasonably be described as ‘spoilt.’”

The judge applied common sense. As was the case when Parti was accused of stealing clothes belonging to Karl Liew, the son of Liew Mun Leong. This strangely included women’s clothing apparel. When asked at the trial if he “had a habit of wearing women’s clothes” Karl actually said that he sometimes wore women’s T-shirts. Justice Chan found this assertion to be “unbelievable”.

So the Parti Liyani case is now to be reviewed by multiple parties because something has “gone wrong in the chain of events”, according to Law Minister K Shanmugam.

They could start by reviewing why nobody thought of asking the most basic questions – such as why would anybody want to steal junk, and how could a man have clothes “stolen” from him that included women’s apparel.

Liewgate: Was Liew Mun Leong that untouchable?

In Public Administration on 14/09/2020 at 5:25 am

Below is another well written piece by TRE’s Augustine Low: if one is an anti-establishment (especially anti-PAP) pleb.

However, the piece misses a very important point. If Liew was that untouchable (“too big to challenge, too big to be disproved and too big to do any wrong”) why wasn’t his wife and son protected for illegally deploying the wife’s maid, and why was (as alleged) his family afraid of not being able to employ another maid.

Let me explain.

If Liew was that untouchable (“too big to challenge, too big to be disproved and too big to do any wrong”), how come MoM gave his wife a warning and his son an advisory for illegally deploying the maid?. Secret Squirrel tells me that plebs who illegally deploy their helpers also get warnings and advisories for the first offence.

The online narrative is that the family was afraid of being unable to hire a maid (by way of a MoM ban on employing a maid) to clean their two bungalows: something a second complaint would surely bring, they say. Hence the alleged “false” police report to fix the maid.

If Liew was that untouchable (“too big to challenge, too big to be disproved and too big to do any wrong”), he could have easily called up the MoM minister and tell the minister that his family needed a maid, so could the minister help him by not charging his tai tai for the second offence?

For the record, like the mob, I too think that the Liews, father and son, should be crucified. I also believe that Mrs Liew should be made to clean the two bungalows herself, then crucified.

Their offence? Bringing the establishment into disrepute.

Whatever, here’s what Augustine Low wrote.

The system that brought success to Liew Mun Leong also brought him down – does the PAP have the will to fix the system?

The spectacular downfall of Liew Mun Leong is a shock to the system – the People’s Action Party system.

It was the PAP system which set up Liew for stardom – he became an upstanding member of society and a darling of the establishment. As elite and entitled as they come in this country.

Liew’s every word and action became the gold standard. His Chancery Lane address alone bestowed him prestige and respectability.

As an entrenched member of the establishment, Liew became too big to challenge, too big to be disproved and too big to do any wrong. There are many like him. This is the hallmark of the PAP system.

The High Court judgement lays bare the stunning details. Had investigators and prosecutors done a thorough, professional job, had they not given Liew the benefit of the doubt every step of the way, things would have turned out differently.

The case might not even have gone to trial. Liew and his family would then have been spared the eventual outcome – the bombshell High Court findings, too damning to sweep under the rug.

Instead of reining in the excesses, Liew was treated with kid gloves and given a free pass.

A runaway train, when not reined in, will self-destruct or cause twisted wreckage. Ironically, the system that Liew profited from ended up causing his downfall because it was not robust enough to keep him in check.

Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said something has “gone wrong in the chain of events.” More important than that, how did the system crack in such breathtaking fashion? What happened to the checks and balances?

The downfall of Liew ought to prompt the PAP government to do soul searching. Unless the PAP has the will and wherewithal to fix the system, trust and confidence in the system will not be restored.

Augustine Low

China humiliates India, Modi; Huaiwei suffers/ India still pulling its punches

In China, India, Telecoms on 13/09/2020 at 4:48 am

On the Tibetan plateau, the two nuclear-armed nations have thousands of soldiers massed along the disputed border high , after a June clash. The clash left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead. Very recently, India and China agreed to ‘quickly disengage’. And China has just returned five Indian nationals who strayed into Chinese territory when hunting.

China has humiliated India and “strong-man” Modi. I’ve already reported on an economic cost to both countries: Can India afford to boycott Chinese products?.

The cost to China of the border dispute is economic. Huawei and other Chinese telecoms equipment companies are being phased out of India’s booming market, including that for 5G networks.

Although India has not issued any formal, official written ban on equipment suppliers such as Huawei and ZTE, Indian telecoms service providers have been told not to use Chinese equipment in future. A government official said India was wary about Chinese investment in sensitive infrastructure.

“The thinking is: ‘Let’s do tough rather than talk tough,’” an official told the FT. “We don’t want to make life miserable for consumers. But when it comes to big public contracts and critical infrastructure, we would prefer non-Chinese companies. That message has gotten through to Indian business.”

The impact on Chinese tech companies could be considerable. Huawei has been one of the three biggest telecoms equipment suppliers in India which is the world’s second biggest mobile market with more than 850m users. It has had significant contracts with Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and state-owned BSNL.

Why the PAP lost Sengkang: “It was an honest mistake”

In Political governance, Public Administration on 12/09/2020 at 4:50 am

In response to Anti-PAP activists: Apologise to the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee, Gary, a reader gave explanation for the WP’s famous victory.

As it chimed with what Secret Squirrel told me about what PAP leaders tot led to the defeat and what Morocco Mole (Secret Squirrel’s side-kick) told me his second cousin removed working in the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee told him, below are Gary’s comments:

Sengkang GRC was a gerrymandering blunder. They tried to stop WP from winning back Punggol East by merging it with other parts of Sengkang. The problem in that plan was that the Sengkang area as a whole has mostly younger voters – a demographic that PAP cannot count on as reliable support. The PAP’s initial loss in Punggol East had already showed its weakness in this region with the same demographic. In Sengkang GRC, the WP only had to persuade young families to support them. Contrast that with East Coast and Marine Parade GRCs where the WP candidates would have to win over a larger share of older voters if they intended to close the gap. The average Merdeka or Pioneer generation Singaporean is not very easy to persuade. On the other hand, a highly educated and younger population in Sengkang could be won over with just charismatic opposition candidates and ground engagement.

It also helped that Lam Pin Min became very unpopular after banning the PMDs – the dude was a MP in Sengkang – an area where PMDs are commonly used by the younger electorate. This is a lesson for any politician. Don’t oppose your constituents’ even if you think they are wrong on an issue. The PAP also scored an own goal by moving Amrin Amin and Ng Chee Meng from Sembawang GRC and Pasir Ris-Punggol GRCs to Sengkang. The PAP trusted that these fresh faces of the 4G – both office holders – would have the pull factor to get votes and beat back the WP challenge in the first tough battle of their careers. The problem was that these two were from other GRCs and didn’t have a high profile as leaders. Charles Chong and Teo Ser Luck would have done better, had they stayed on.

Trying to to stop WP from winning back Punggol East by merging it with other parts of Sengkang the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee helped the PAP to win a GRC?

Buy the members of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee an abalone and sea cucumber meal. They deserve it as I don’t think they’ll be getting any pay rises soon.

Btw, I doubt ASP Lim and the DPPs in the debacle involving Liew Mun Leong will be getting any pay rises soon. Rumour has it they are already sending out their cvs.

Why there’ll be no GST rise until after next GE

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 11/09/2020 at 7:29 am

The govt will take steps to strengthen its revenue position like raising the Goods and Services Tax (GST), said PM in waiting Heng Swee Keat on Friday (Aug 28).

I’m sure he knows -that

[T]wo ill-timed increases in the consumption tax, in the name of fiscal probity, both of which pushed the economy into recession.

Economist on Abe’s legacy

So that’s why maybe Heng also said the govt will “carefully monitor” the timing of such moves by considering the state of the economy and spending needs. “Carefully monitor” is his get-out-jail card of being the public face of Pay And Pay.

I mean with the next GE scheduled by end 2026, a recession in 2024 induced by a GST rise in 2023, is a vote loser. The way the economy is tanking (6% contraction expected), GST can only be raised in 2022 (Economy forcasted to grow by 5.5%) at the earliest. But based on the Japanese experience doing it then is risky. That leaves 2023 and, in turn, carries the risk of a recession in 2024.

Any later than 2023, the PAP is dicing with only 51% of the popular vote in the next GE.

And anyway, fiscal tightening should be resisted until recovery’s well underway: not to be nipped in the bud by a Hard Truth that was BS in the first place.

Casting my Chine fortune sticks, I prophesie that there’ll be no GST rise beforethe next GE. PAP knows the trade-offs and being Mr PAY And Pay could mean that its share of the popular vote falls below the pass mark: 60%.

In the context of a 60- 61% share of the popular vote being mud in the eye for the PAP, anything less than 65% will be seen as less than a smooth transition by the PAP and the voters.

Why PAP aiming for 65% of the popular vote

Related post: How the PAP plans to fix its legitimacy problem.

And remember I predicted this before the analysts: Double confirm: No GST rise this yr.

“Temasek executive”defending Liew is talking cock

In S'pore Inc, Temasek on 10/09/2020 at 7:20 am

Worse, he’s coming across as saying to the plebs, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” He might even come across as justifying Liew’s actions because Liew “contributed to both public service and private sector in Singapore for the benefit of Singapore.”

Let me explain my tots.

CAG chairman Liew Mun Leong has contributed to S’pore, public should hear his side of the story: Temasek executive

Headline in constructive, nation-building media.

The Temasek executive said he deserved to be heard because “he contributed to both public service and private sector in Singapore for the benefit of Singapore”.

The Temasek executive should note that Mr Liew has been silent and declined to comment when ST “who licked his balls and ass fawned over him last yr over his book on leadership) asked him to comment on what had happened.

So how caqn the plebs can follow his advice since Liew decided to sit down and shut up, even with a balls and ass licking fawner?

More importantly, Liew was paid a lot of money as a consequence of his “contribution” to S’pore: not enough isit? No must also allow him to “fix” an innocent person, is the message I seem to get from the Temasek executive even if it’s not what he actually said.

Jokes aside, seriously, at the very least the Temasek executive is implying that natural aristocrats got to close ranks and give the finger the plebs.

At the very worse, the Temasek executive is implying that if someone never contribute to S’pore in a big way, it means there is no need to hear the person’s version of events? Follows from that it’s right to allow Liew to fix his maid because she has no right to be heard?

Btw, the “Temasek executive” is Temasek’s International CEO Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara. He should pull the other leg, its got bells on it.

Here’s a more nuanced judgement from a FB pleb:

More inclined to agree with Min Shan about not jumping to conclusions. Ie. people shouldn’t be making statements like maybe the district judge has no integrity, or the rich find a way to escape, blah blah.
But with regards to his side of the story. legally it is done isn’t it? At least his family has spent the past few years putting forth their version of events, which has now been proven untrue.
Maybe what this article means it, don’t write the man off completely. Maybe he’s not as bad as people think. And that is probably true. IMHO more likely he succumbed to covering up for his family. The wife and son look like the real bad eggs here. Maybe he’s a decent man (who really contributed to the country), but he was weak in terms of protecting his family. Who knows?
But that is besides the point in the way the article is written. Does it mean that if someone never obviously contributed to Singapore means there is no need to hear their version of events? No right? Because if in that case, the maid never contribute much to Singapore. But thankfully our high court heard her version of events.

Here’s another FB pleb who has more judgement than the natural aristocrat from M’sia Temasek:

Temasek’s Pillay has got his views all mixed up. That Liew has make contributions to Temasek is separate from what he did to the maid. You can praise him for his contributions and that’s fine and should be recognized. But that does’nt exonerate himu from blame and responsibility from his actions in reporting his maid to the police for [w]rong allegations of theft just so to prevent her from reporting him and his son to the MOM for illegally using her for work in his son’s house. Don’t he have any conscience for the suffering and harm he inflicted on his maid just so to save his skins.

Btw, I think Pillay, like a certain minister didn’t do NS.

Minister Iswaran doesn’t know that 10 yrs ago DBS’s chairman aspired to have “homegrown” CEO

In Banks, S'pore Inc on 09/09/2020 at 5:37 am

Or has that aspiration been discarded?

Let me explain my queries.

Minister Iswaran recently said: “I am not sure what you mean by “homegrown”.

He said this in the debate over the issue of foreign talent here on Friday (Sept 4). Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran chiding (sneering?) NCMP Leong Mun Wai for his comments on DBS Bank not having a “homegrown” CEO.

Mr Leong (Progress Singapore Party) had said in his maiden speech in Parliament on Tuesday that he is “deeply disappointed” that DBS still has not appointed a homegrown CEO, 22 years after former JP Morgan executive John Olds became first FT CEO in 1998. He was a disaster and he was followed by a series of FT ang moh (including one honorary ang moh: American born Chinese) clowns until Gupta came along: He made DBS respectable again. And he’s making it great.

(Mr Piyush Gupta, who is the bank’s CEO, was born in India and became a Singapore citizen in 2009, the same year he was appointed CEO.)

I’d like to remind the minister that shortly after one Peter Seah became chairman of DBS in 2010 (He still is), he said that DBS had good locals that could one day be CEOs. He unfortunately, in my opinion, cited a lady who later became an NMP: in that postion she showed why she can’t even be a CEO of even an SME.

Seriously, it seemed then that having a local as CEO was seen as an aspiration of the chairman and the bank.

Going by the minister’s chiding (Or is it a sneer?), it’s no longer an aspiration of the chairman and bank since DBS already has a new citizen as CEO?

What do you think?

Btw, Iswaran is a true blue S’porean and according to his Wikipedia entry “a Tamil Brahmin“. Tharman’s and Shahmugam’s Wikipedia entries juz say they are ethnic Tamils.

Many yrs in the ST newsroom, a newbie FT ethnic Indian from Nepal is alleged to have asked a veteran ethnic local Indian colleague, “I’m a high caste Hindu, what caste are you?”. She’s now one of S’pore’s prominent Wokes and ang moh tua kees.

Wonder if Iswaran did the same to Tharman and Shahmugam when they met?

What the PAP has in common with UMNO

In Political governance on 08/09/2020 at 5:17 am

[W]hen PM spoke about the special responsibility that the PAP has for S’pore (Err PM what about Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation S’poreans who were not PAP members?) since they built this place, and about free riding Oppo voters reminded me of story a retired tuan besar and Tun “crony” once told me.

After Badawi, UMNO and BN had a bad general election in 2008 (He resigned as PM in 2009), UMNO conducted town hall sessions in urban areas with Malay voters. My friend attended a few sessions, and laughing told me it was a dialogue of the deaf, and an exercise in mutual incomprehension.

Elderly UMNO leaders berated the young Malays as ingrates for forgetting what UMNO did for the Malays.

They, in turn, told him, “All history leh: before our time. What are u doing for us now? Malays are now not all rural farmers. We urban Malays are the future.”

The elders shouted back “Ingrates.”

Going by the election results since then UMNO leaders never listened to the then young Malay voters.

Likewise our PM and the PAP are not listening to the message swing voters sent them: Legitimacy problem for the PAP as 9% of voters get smarter. Their response, lowering winning margin expectations, shows this: How the PAP plans to fix its legitimacy problem.

Double confirm SAD. Because PAP policies have made my retirement a very comfortable one even with Covid-19: “I’m a free rider and really proud of it”. They should be in office with economic policies that are “Feared by the poor, loved by the rich”.

Related post (From 2013): What PM should learn from M’sian voters.

Covid-19: Postive thinking didn’t work in India did it?

In India on 07/09/2020 at 4:30 am

Update: Modi juz behind his pal Trump in Covid-19 cases. “Catching up with you. Anything u can do, I can do better”. SAD.

(India has recorded more than 90,000 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, taking its total above that of Brazil.

The country now has the second-largest number of confirmed cases in the world, 4,204,613. It has reported 71,642 deaths, the third-highest in the world.)

BBC: Updated at 2.15 pm on 7th September.

U/m added at at 2.53 pm on 7th September. SAD.

India keeps recording new coronavirus infections, with yet more people dying: last week, India has recorded the highest single-day coronavirus case count of any country with 82,860 new infections. More than 67,000 Indians, including former president Pranab Mukherjee, have died from the disease, with the death toll climbing above 1,000 people a day.

But Modi’s govt and his party are reassuring Indians that the country’s recovery rate was rising and that its fatality rate was one of the lowest in the world. And Modi no longer discusses the pandemic publicly.

That’s positive thinking (Or is it postive denial?) at work. But it ain’t working clearly.

So it’s poetic justice that Amit Shah, Modi’s enabler, had to be hospitalised for Covid-19 after telling Indians that the country’s recovery rate was rising and that its fatality rate was one of the lowest in the world.

Modi, Amit Shah and BJP, ever tot Ram and pals are still unhappy? First the soldiers’ death than this.

Achtung if you are on CPF Life

In CPF on 06/09/2020 at 6:47 am

DO NOT opt for deferral of yr annual payout to 70 when you become eligible for payout when 65.

Take the money and give the PAP govt the finger.

A fat cat doctor turned free loader pointed out in response to my “I’m a free rider and really proud of it”:

[for] those on CPF Life, it’s better to start at 65 since the underlying interest/capital gains won’t accrue to your beneficiaries if you up lorry.

Based on current life expectancy, the increased monthly payouts won’t compensate for the delayed 5 years, especially for men.


I was lucky enough to be able to opt for the Retirement Sum scheme (used to be called Minimum Sum Scheme).

As the free loader fat cat pointed out:

Delaying payout till 70 makes sense … if you don’t need the money & want to maximise the interest gains, since all interests will be accrued to you or your beneficiaries.

The Retirement Sum is so good that the PAP govt is giving me up to age 80 to opt to convert to CPH Life: CPF Life: What sucks/ Which is closest to Minimum Sum scheme.

Here’s some constructive, nation-building advice that those on CPF Life can use: CPF Life: Don’t choose at 55, wait and analyse.

l’ll end with a good word for the PAP govt (“Feared by the poor, loved by the rich”). Here’s a case where like Robin Hood it takes from the rich to give to the poor CPF Life payouts: Why liddat?/ Save and save

“I’m a free rider and really proud of it”

In Political economy, Political governance on 05/09/2020 at 11:13 am

I’m 65 and have been in comfortable retirement, since around 45 when I couldn’t find a job that would keep me paying income tax at the highest marginal rate: thanks to the PAP’s economic policies that are “Feared by the poor, loved by the rich”.

I was so comfortable that at 55, I never withdrew $ from my CPF account. Now, I’m even happy to delay getting my “Ownself pay ownself” pension until I’m 70.

But despite the PAP’s “Feared by the poor, loved by the rich” policies being juz the thing for me, I’ve never voted for the PAP.

I have had to vote regularly because the Siglap area is considered by the Wankers as friendly ground. Whenever I voted, I voted for the Wankers except in 2015 (Out of respect for one Harry Lee and disappointed in WP Low, more interested in $ than getting his team to voice voters’ concerns). I never ever wanted to give PAP a blank cheque.

I even voted for an ex-Woodbridge patient. LKY was really upset that this Wanker got 25% without even trying. I did feel bad after this incident because the Wankers littered the area after the GE refusing to take down their signage. They were really then under Saint JBJ a party of bicycle thieves, nut cases and mamas: WP Low made the WP a serious multi-racial party led by Teochews.

Mrs PM said “free rider” doesn’t mean “free loader”. But she should have told PM that when she vetted his speech. PM came across as using “free rider” to mean “free loader”.

Actually, I’m happy to admit that I’m a free loader who supports the PAP’s economic policies (“Feared by the poor, loved by the rich”) but who votes Oppo because I don’t want to give PAP a blank cheque.

When S’poreans gave the PAP 69% of the popular votelook what happened:

Pay And Pay returned with a vengeance.

 Remember VivianB had said in parly in 2015 (juz before GE) that there was no need to change the price of water because of PUB’s improvements in membrane tech and productivity and that the water tariff and WCT reflected the scarcity of water, but prices went up after GE 2017.

Why Pay And Pay govt wants elections earlier than later


Pay And Pay

Articles and analysis of various “price increase” written by Uncle Leong (Remember him?)

Water – “PUB: $1.1b profits last 7 years – how much last 53 years? (Feb 24, 2017)

Service & Conservancy Charges – “S & CC: A truly caring Govt?” (Feb 17, 2017)

Gas – “City Gas prices to rise by 4.5 per cent from Feb 1” (Jan 31, 2017)

Electricity – “Electricity: One of the highest in the world? (Jan 1, 2017)

Childcare fees – “Fee hikes at 200 childcare centres this year” (Jan 1, 2017)

Parking – “HDB car park rates increase 60%? (Dec 16, 2016)

Rubbish fees – “Rubbish fees up: NEA surplus up 32.9%? (Nov 8, 2016)

University hostel fees – “University hostel fees up 6.8% p.a. despite $1b surplus?” (Jun 28, 2016)

Taxis licensing – “Taxi drivers hit by triple whammy?” (Jun 24, 2016)

Hawkers’ misc fees – “Hawkers’ misc fees increased by ? %? (Jun 22, 2016)

Why Pay And Pay govt wants elections earlier than later

Then there was the controversy about the presidency: #hardlymahpresident and Elected President: Oh, what a tangled web we weave cont’d.

The PAP tot they were the masters, and we the servants.

Related post: Legitimacy problem for the PAP as 9% of voters get smarter.

S’porean core? What’s this BS?

In Economy, Political economy on 04/09/2020 at 4:05 am

Not me but a regular TRE commentator. Worth a read. (Btw, glad that the writer has recovered: More evidence that being anti-PAP is bad for yr mental health.)

The fact that we are even talking about a Singaporean core shows that our leaders have failed Singaporeans

Have you heard of the Malaysian core? What about the Indonesian core? Or the Vietnamese core? There simply isn’t any talk of such a thing because it is a given, a birthright that needs no debate and discussion.

Only in this country do we keep talking about protecting a Singaporean core, even worse about restoring a lost Singaporean core.

Singapore was built on the backs of our forefathers. We grew up reciting the pledge with clenched fist. Our sons dutifully made it through National Service.

Yet we have become natural-born citizens who have to be assured that Singaporeans come first, that the long-neglected Singaporean core will be made good and whole once again.

In his parliamentary speech yesterday, West Coast GRC Member of Parliament Ang Wei Neng called for the setting-up of a National Human Resource Committee to nurture a Singaporean core of talent.

He recounted his experience at Changi Business Park before the COVID-19 outbreak, when for the first time he felt “like a foreigner in my own country”. He went on to question why there are so many Employment Pass, E-Pass and S-Pass holders in Singapore.

Also in Parliament yesterday, Minister of State for Manpower and Education Gan Siow Huang stressed that employers should view Singaporeans favourably when hiring and retain citizens over foreigners if retrenchment cannot be avoided.

For years, Singaporeans have been crying out loud but they were given 1,001 reasons why the foreign influx must continue unabated. Those who continued to complain were called racists and xenophobic.

It is only today that politicians from the People’s Action Party are saying the things the people have been saying for more than a decade.

It is only today that the ones who persisted with the vile policies start to say don’t worry, we will look after Singaporean workers first, we will have your backs no matter what.

Instead of jumping for joy at hearing that the Singaporean core will now be protected (or are they only paying lip service?), we should be asking how this travesty has been allowed to happen in the first place.

How on earth did natural-born Singaporeans get sidelined and squeezed out in our own backyard?

Augustine Low

Btw, it’s also a good riposte to PM’s

The Government will always be on the side of Singaporeans. What is the point of creating jobs for foreigners, if it does not benefit Singaporeans? Why would we want to do that? 

PM in parly recently.

Covid-19: Must be India again

In India, Malaysia on 03/09/2020 at 4:27 am

New Zealand reported 14 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, seven of whom arrived in the country from India. Trying to do to NZ, what they did to S’pore? Covid-19: FTs from India reinfecting S’pore.

M’sia has the right attitude: M’sia has jux barred entry for long-term pass holders from India, Indonesia and Philippines. Decision made after considering the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the three countries.

CECA: Good TRE article

In India, Public Administration on 02/09/2020 at 5:04 am

A friend asked someone who has written on CECA on FB in the past whether the u/m allegations of Foong Swee Fong are correct. The person replied that “MTI is using a very strict definition, almost strawman definition of what a lot of citizens are concerned about.”

MTI’s interpretation of CECA:

Foong Swee Fong’s understanding of CECA:

Misleading on CECA

Again, the authorities are painting one side of the picture to mislead. This time, it got the MTI to do the dirty work.

It starts off stating authoritatively that there is “no provision under CECA for Indian nationals to become PRs and citizens”. That’s true and actually obvious because this agreement pertains to investment, not citizenship. But we all know that PMEs form the pool for future PRs and citizens, unlike Work Permit holders.

It then says that it is “not true that CECA requires the Singapore authorities to automatically grant employment passes to Indian PMEs who want to work here”.

It gives the impression that Indian nationals are treated no differently from other nationals, but it is not true. All applications for Employment Passes must satisfy the minimum qualifying salaries as well as other standard requirements like educational qualification, employment offer from a company etc. So in that sense, approval is “not automatic”, but it is again stating the obvious.

What they didn’t say is that the Singapore authority is obligated under CECA to grant an Indian applicant an Employment Pass once he or she satisfies the various criteria, whereas, it has no such obligation for other nationals.

If the qualified Indian applicant is rejected, he can seek recourse via his government as provided under CECA.

Let me quote Article 9.3.1: “Each Party shall grant temporary entry to natural persons of other Party,…in accordance with this Chapter.”

Unless I have a different understanding, “shall grant” means “must grant”. And this include 127 different categories of professionals.

MTI goes on to say that “all companies must comply with rules on fair hiring”.

Again, this is misleading because although all companies are subject to the Fair Consideration Framework, that requirement is not applicable if the applicant is an Indian national.

Let me quote Article 9.3.3: “Neither Party shall require labour market testing, economic needs testing or other procedures of similar effects as a condition for temporary entry in respect of natural persons upon whom the benefits of this Chapter are conferred.”

Economic needs testing basically means the employer must ensure that there are no suitable locals before employing a foreigner, hence, MOM’s Fair Consideration Framework. But Indians are exempted.

I stand corrected because the text in Free Trade Agreements is meant to obfuscate rather than clarify because if the public understands and realise that the odds are stacked against them in favour of businesses, they would be thumping their pitchforks in front of Parliament House, after all, FTAs are actually Investor Rights Agreements. Hope the authorities can clarify.

Foong Swee Fong

And to end, the guy my friend asked also said “And not everything is addressed. Eg. Look at 9.3 i think in ceca, the bring your family clause. No equivalent in japan fta and a few others.”

I think Foong Swee Fong is correct. What do you think?

Sia Suay King and Queen talk cock yet again

In Economy, Public Administration on 01/09/2020 at 1:11 pm

Singapore is putting focus on “quality, rather than quantity” with the latest increases to the qualifying salaries of foreigners on Employment Passes and S Passes, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Saturday (Aug 29).

Constructive, nation-building MediaCorp freesheet


The Ministry of Manpower announced that the minimum salaries for new Employment Pass candidates will be raised by S$600 to S$4,500 from September. Holders of the S Passes will have to meet a S$2,500 threshold, instead of S$2,400, from October.

For the first time, there will also be a separate salary criterion for Employment Pass holders working in financial services: The minimum qualifying monthly salary for these workers will be further raised to S$5,000 later in the year.


Well, he surely can’t have got feedback from the ground because

Companies said they can live with higher operational costs …

Those interviewed said the impact on them is quite minimal since they already pay their Employment Pass holders higher than the minimum requirement

While higher manpower costs would be inevitable with the latest changes to salary requirements for work pass holders, companies contacted by TODAY said that the impact on costs is not something they are too concerned about.

Constructive, nation-building MediaCorp freesheet

Quality over quantity? What quality over quantity when employers say they already pay more than minimum? And are happy to absorb additional costs because FTs are betterest.

But to be fair to Kee Chiu, Jos, MoM minister, also talking cock

As for jobs for S’poreans, the constructive, nation-building media also reported that businesses and “expers” questioned whether the policy directions will achieve the desired effect.

Covid-19 helps India be a world leader

In India on 01/09/2020 at 6:53 am

India announced two records. A new world record for daily infections: “the world’s third-most infected, on Sunday reported 78,761 new cases in 24 hours, passing the number posted in the US on 17 July.”

And on Monday, the biggest contraction of any major Asian country:
a 23.9% plunge in gross domestic product for the second quarter.

Good work India. Use Covid-19 to show the world that India can be world leader in multiple fields.

Anti-PAP activists: Apologise to the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee

In Public Administration on 31/08/2020 at 5:08 am

Tidying up loose ends of GE2020 analysis.

Since the advent of social media and alt media the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee has been a favourite scapegoat for the Oppo’s failure to win more parliamentary seats:

Prof Tambyah, who is also chairman of the Singapore Democratic Party, had asked Mr Heng if there was a “good reason” that the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) was not completely independent of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

“The election boundaries currently are decided by independent civil servants, but ultimately the reporting officer is somebody in the PMO,” he said.

ST ST 1 oct 2019

In reply

The committee that reviews electoral boundaries is independent and not politically motivated, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said …

To do the electoral boundaries properly, population, demographic and other changes have to be looked at, and this requires the views of independent experts, said Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister.

ST 1 oct 2019

The PM in waiting would say that wouldn’t he, defending the PAP’s running dogs, the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee? Btw, apologies to dogs.

But then Cheng San was put (back?) into the East Coast GRC by the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee. When I learnt about this this, I went “Wow, PAP govt must think Cheng San Fengshan is now like Tanjong Pagar”. For the sia suays, in the last parliament, a Wanker NCMP came from Cheng San Fengshan .

And we now know that our PM in waiting did not win a clear mandate in the East Coast. And in the next GE, East Coast is in play if Cheng San Fengshan remains within the East Coast GRC.

Then there was the new Sengkang GRC. Although I didn’t realise before the GE that the PAP’s running dogs Electoral Boundaries Review Committee had made the new GRC a Wankers’ dream GRC

All in all the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee deserves an apology. Wrong to say they are running dogs of the PAP.

But maybe the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee made two honest mistakes.

Covid-19: High tech Korean face mask

In Uncategorized on 30/08/2020 at 5:35 am

Bells and whistles and more from LG, the Korean consumer goods maker among other things.

LG will officially unveil its PuriCare™ Wearable Air Purifier at Berlin’s virtual IFA show next week.

The mask uses two replaceable filters, similar to the filters used in the company’s home air purifier products.

Battery-powered dual fans and a patented sensor “allows users to take in clean, filtered air while the Respiratory Sensor detects the cycle and volume of the wearer’s breath and adjusts the dual three-speed fans accordingly.”

Better still, “The fans automatically speed up to assist air intake and slow down to reduce resistance when exhaling to make breathing effortless”.


Related posts: Kiasu? Get hold of the king mask/ Listen to expert on infectious disease and this is King of Kings mask: Xia suay! Must be Lim Tean again

Civid-19 aftermath: China ascendant, India descendant

In China, India on 29/08/2020 at 6:45 am

The gods are not appeased by Modi. They are happy with Xi. Or maybe the CCP rules China better than the BJP rules India.

Which mask is betterest?

In Uncategorized on 28/08/2020 at 6:43 am

The Nikkei Asian Review reports the verdict from the world’s fastest supercomputer in Japan on the most effective types of facemasks.

Masks made of non-woven fabric are best protection against the virus.

More on masks: Kiasu? Get hold of the king mask/ Listen to expert on infectious disease

Covid-19: Expat Indian kids helping poor S’porean kids

In Political economy on 27/08/2020 at 5:20 am

Where are the S’porean kids from elite schools? Shouldn’t they be helping less fortunate fellow S’porean students?

But don’t blame these privileged, elite kids. They too are victims of S’pore’s world class education system.

He said that during his school days in the 1950s (and mine too in the early 1970s), “only the academically weak students of rich parents take remedial tuition … Today, any parent who can afford the fees will send their children not for remedial but enhancement classes to give their children a head-start”.

Mandarin Ngiam on “elitism”, “social divide”, education etc

I know a middle middle class gal (family lives in an HDB flat) from elite schools who is now an overseas scholar grounded in S’pore because of Covid-19. Not surprised she needed tuition in Chinese, but was surprised that she needed tuition in advanced maths. My cousin’s son needed tuition in chemistry. His mum wondered why in a class size of 25 (ACSI), tuition was needed.

Sorry back to these kids that shame S’pore

As part of a volunteer programme to help underprivileged children, 15-year-old Mihika Mishra used to go to a two-room HDB flat every week to do fun activities with a three-year-old girl and teach her how to read.

“Because of the pandemic, obviously that programme had to shut down. I couldn’t help but wonder what she must be going through,” Mihika said, stating that the girl lived with six others in the flat.

“I wanted to create a platform that allowed children like her to have an escape, just to have some fun or explore activities.

Mihika talked about it with Arsh Sheikh, her good friend and classmate from the Overseas Family School.

The solution they came up with was Explorexa, a platform that uses Zoom to host fun and free 45-minute lessons for children aged three to 18. The thrice-weekly sessions, ranging from art and baking to singing and dancing, are taught by fellow students who have some talent or experience in these fields.

I’ll end with this warning from Ngiam:

 “Though there will still be the exceptional individual who triumphs against all odds, more and more of our state scholars will come from upper, middle income families with professional parents.”

“There is no easy answer to the problem of an uneven playing field in our schools.”

Covid-19: Property experts, analysts missing this point

In Property on 26/08/2020 at 10:57 am

Property experts agents and brokers’ analysts tell us that S’pore’s office commercial market sure to recover. Better hurry up and buy.

But they are not telling us what is going to cost serious $

Office owners face millions in extra costs to ‘Covid-proof’ buildings
Landlords including British Land and Canary Wharf Group are adapting workspaces as staff tentatively return


Then there’s the list of safety measures endorsed by the European Property Federation would set landlords back €400,000 (S$646,980) on a €20m (S$32.4m) building, installing temperature scanners in lobbies or more expensive measures such as repainting surfaces with antimicrobial paint.

But then maybe they know that the jobs Heng promises S’poreans will be cleaning jobs pitched at FT levels. Locals will not take the “non living” wage jobs and FTs will come flooding in. LOL.

Why we need to know PAP govt’s projected investment returns and why it’s a secret

In Financial competency, Financial planning, GIC, Political governance, Public Administration, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 25/08/2020 at 11:34 am

Look at this table

It shows that its assumed return targets are BS. Fyi, Calpers is the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, a major global investor. As of 2018, the agency had U$360 billion in assets.

Before I go further, some defining of terms. From shumething I wrote in 2018

[O]ver the last 10 years, Singapore’s net investment returns (NIR) contribution (NIRC) to the Budget has more than doubled from S$7 billion in FY2009 to an estimated S$15.9 billion in FY2018.

Waz this NIRC and NIR BS?

NIRC consists of 50 per cent of the Net Investment Returns (NIR) on the net assets invested by GIC, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Temasek Holdings and 50 per cent of the Net Investment Income (NII) derived from past reserves from the remaining assets.

In other words, we spend 50 per cent of the estimated gains from investment, and put the remaining 50 per cent back into the reserves to preserve its growth for future use.

Associate Professor Randolph Tan is Director of the Centre for Applied Research at the Singapore University of Social Services, and a Nominated Member of Parliament.

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

Now to why I think we need to know PAP govt’s projected investment returns. In 2016, a reader asked

A Qn: The NIR used for the budget is projected returns. If the projected returns did not materialize, then how? It seemed like insurance agent selling us a policy on projected returns which never materialize.

Am I comprehending the NIR correctly? Because this seemed to me that there might be hefty tax increase down the road if the projected returns did not materialize. This will also affect all the social spending currently on Singaporeans

NIR, Budget untruths, & the President

That is why we need to know the projected Net Investment Returns (NIR) on the net assets invested by GIC, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Temasek Holdings. Remember NIRC — Singapore’s net investment returns (NIR) contribution (NIRC) -consists of 50 per cent of the Net Investment Returns (NIR) and 50 per cent of the Net Investment Income (NII) derived from past reserves from the remaining assets.

For your info this is what ex-TOC star commentator, Chris Kuan (Today, he seems to be too objective for the team running Terry’s Online Channel: they look to be the ST of S’pore’s cyberspace), wrote:

Your reading of the Constitutional NIR rule is correct – the NIR Contribution is calculated on the expected long term real rate of return (LTROR) on the government’s net assets (assets in excess of its liabilities). Pls note it is REAL returns we are talking about – that is the actual dividends and market valuation of the net assets minus the inflation rate. Therefore not all returns are spent. Then the rule limits the spent to 50% – therefore more than half of the actual or nominal returns are re-invested. Again pls note this is nothing unusual, Norway’s GPF and university endowments permit up to 100% of the returns to be spent.

NIR, Budget untruths, & the President

As to why the PAP govt wants to keep the projected Net Investment Returns (NIR) a secret, I’m sure you are thinking what I’m thinking LOL.

Recovery is K shaped

In Economy on 24/08/2020 at 11:34 am

Optimists believed a “v-shaped” economic recovery was just around the corner, while others foresaw a slower “Nike swoosh” of a rebound. Those who believed the pain was here to stay, believed a “U” was most likely.

Seems the rebound is “K-shaped”, a swift fall followed by a big divide in fortunes. Some segments of the economy have recovered sharply, while others have continued to downtrend. Low-wage workers* suffering the most while asset values soa, is a problem that our multi-millionaire natural aristocrats (and other govts) have to solve. At least, they can look at their monthly CPF statements and smile.

From a recent DBS report, Uncle Leong (Remember him?) estimated that around 445,536 lower-income individuals (earning less than $3,000 per month) have had their salaries reduced by more than 50% because of Covid-19.

Covid-19: Muslim Pakistan is blessed while Hindoo India is cursed?

In India on 23/08/2020 at 5:44 am

While the land of the Hindoos is suffering from the displeasure of the unappeased Ram and friends (India’s cases soared past 3m, the third-highest in total behind America and Brazil: Why India has to contend simultaneously with Chinese aggression, Covid-19 and floods?), Muslim Pakistan is blessed by Allah.

With a weak healthcare system, large population and many poorer families living in crowded living conditions, Pakistan seemed in danger from the outset of a catastrophic toll from coronavirus.

The danger appeared to increase in June, when doctors in major cities reported that their hospitals were overwhelmed with patients. Intensive care units in the largest hospitals filled up, and families were forced to shuttle relatives around in the search for a bed.

But just a few weeks later, hospital admissions appeared to fall drastically.

Really? Relax, Hindoos, Pakistan may be faking the data. The BBC reports

Data obtained by the BBC from officials in the country’s two largest cities, Karachi and Lahore, show that there was a significant rise in graveyard burials in June that can’t be explained by coronavirus deaths alone.

For example, in Miani Sahib graveyard, the largest in Lahore, in June 2020 there were 1,176 burials this June, compared to 696 in June last year.

Only 48 of the burials this June were of officially recorded coronavirus patients. The rise is likely to be a combination of undetected coronavirus deaths, and patients suffering from other illnesses not getting treatment as hospitals were under such pressure.

Similarly, in Karachi, June 2020 saw significantly more burials than at any other time during the past two years.

It could be that Pakistan is better at faking the datathan India: Covid-19: Indian death count is fake news?

Trump supports ESG investments

In Corporate governance, Environment, Financial competency, Financial planning on 22/08/2020 at 11:01 am

UBS researchers looked at how ESG investments fared under the Trump presidency: he comes across as a Woke.

Halimah trying to tell jokes? $1m++ not enough isit?

In Public Administration on 21/08/2020 at 4:41 am

I had to laugh when I read

Discrimination has ‘no place at all’ in Singapore society and the workplace: President Halimah

“People should be assessed solely on their merits and their ability to do a job and nothing else,” she said in a Facebook post, adding that workplace discrimination is “particularly disturbing” as it deprives the affected person from earning a living.

So someone who became president because only Malays could become president the last time round, has the gall to tell us that

“People should be assessed solely on their merits and their ability to do a job and nothing else.”

Pull the other leg Hali, its got bells on it.

#hardlymahpresident forgot how she became president? (Elected President: Oh, what a tangled web we weave cont’d). Or now disowning discrimination?

No, she’s joined the list of wannabe comedians:

Property: Tharman trying to crack jokes again

ST, Today editors trying to be like Tharman

Telling coc jokes: Ministerial CoC needed

Another minister tries telling jokes

Ang moh spends S$9,800 monthly on daughter’s therapy

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 20/08/2020 at 5:29 am

In Ang moh family of three spends S$1,170.44 on food in one week, I reported on an ang moh couple with one kid who spent S$1,170.44 on food and booze in one week. They ate out or had food delivered. This is a lot more than my mum, her maid and I spend on food (including hawkers’ food and fast food) in an average month.

They sure got a lot of money because they also spend S$9,800 monthly on their daughter’s therapy

Alex has been confirmed by the doctor to need some occupational therapy for a couple of conditions so that’s starting to sound expensive! We can put that off till next week to start looking around for a good one.

Occupational therapy will now add to the ABA therapy and speech therapy we already pay for Alex. Raising a child in Singapore is very expensive, especially when they have special needs and you’re a foreigner. We haven’t had to pay the ABA therapy bill during the week of this blog but that sets us back around Singapore $9,800 (£5,490) each month. We saved some during the circuit breaker because all sessions were remote.

It’s the dilemma of any parent whose child has suspected autism; do you hope it’s a phase and they’ll develop late or do you make a choice and invest in early intervention? Fortunately, we chose the latter and it turned out to be the right call. We are lucky that we are both employed in good jobs and salaries. We can afford it for now, but it’s massively impacting our ability to save for retirement. Luckily when she starts school that will actually be cheaper; we are looking forward to that.

Whatever life is really sweet, financially at least, for this expat family. Sorry that their daughter is autistic but then what the gods (or fate) give(s) away, they also take away.

The strange case of the missing $18b in “Contingencies Funds”

In Accounting, Political governance, Public Administration, S'pore Inc on 19/08/2020 at 11:11 am

In in May, I pointed out that $18bn was in “Contingencies Funds” in the then latest “Fortitude Budget”.

So when I first heard about the latest $8bn in corporate welfare (OK, OK there’s trickle down to the plebs), I tot “Only $5bn left leh”.

But then I learnt

Fresh S$8b Covid-19 measures funded in part by no mid-year bonus for civil servants, lower military spending: MOF

Constructive, bation-building media

So it seems that the entire $13bn has already been spent, and this new $8bn in corporate welfarism is being funded by squeezing civil servants (not that they don’t deserve having less Bismati rice and chicken thighs in their iron rice bowls) and spending less on the military (Can cut meh? Tot our paper generals need every cent in their budget to keep S’pore safe?) and on the development of infrastructure?

An Adrian Tan commented on FB

Smoke and mirrors. They drew down $13bn more than they needed for contingencies: Now they say the extra $8bn coming from savings. What am I missing? 🤓🙄

No photo description available.

Covid-19: Indian death count is fake news?

In India on 18/08/2020 at 2:37 pm

India has more than 50,000 Covid-19 deaths, overtaking the UK to become the fourth-worst-affected country for fatalities. But the number of deaths per million people stands at 34. Far lower than what has been reported in Europe or the USof A.

The case fatality rate which measures deaths among Covid-19 patients, is just around 2%. Many epidemiologists attribute this relatively low fatality rate to a young population – the elderly are typically more vulnerable to the infection.

But there are experts querying this analysis, saying that the count should be higher, a lot higher

From a BBC report:

[S]ome believe that there is substantial undercounting in several states.

For one, many states, in contravention of WHO guidelines, are not adding suspected cases in the final count.

Second, a handful of states are heavily attributing Covid-19 deaths to patients’ underlying conditions or co-morbidities. Two states, Gujarat and Telangana, appear to have undercounted heavily, as an investigation by health journalist Priyanka Pulla shows. In Gujarat’s Vadodara, for example, the number of deaths grew by just 49% in the last two months, even as the caseload leapt by a whopping 329%.

Third, there have been reported discrepancies between the official toll from the virus and counts from crematoria and burial grounds in some cities. So is India missing a lot of deaths, considering only a small fraction of the population has been tested – around 2% – and many deaths are not being medically reported? Also, only one in four deaths in India is certified for a cause. “Of course there is undercounting as we have weak health surveillance systems,” says Oommen C Kurian of Observer Research Foundation, a Delhi-based think tank. “But the question is about the scale of undercounting.”

Bhramar Mukherjee, a professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Michigan, says it is “hard to gauge how much underreporting is going on without historical data and calculation of excess deaths during this period”.

“Excess deaths” are the bulk of deaths above normal levels, some of which may have been caused by Covid-19.

More than 230 Indians, including doctors, researchers and students, have petitioned authorities to release information on deaths for at least the last three years to calculate “excess deaths”.

FTs: HK like us; learnt from us?

In India on 18/08/2020 at 7:13 am

FTs rule the financial sector. But at least the FTs in HK are ethnic Chinese not mamas. Chinese privilege in S’pore? What Chinese privilege? More like Indian privilege in financial services and Peenoy privilege in other sectors? SAD.

On Ho Ching’s comments on social media about Temasek being “Little India”, the real “Little India” is StanChart: written a few yrs ago: Last Deepavali in Marina Bay’s Little India?.

Sadly for S’porean PMEs, the prediction was wrong. SAD.

Also wrong: Indians: Why migrating to S’pore is not a good idea

Indonesia, S’pore dominate VC funding in 1Q

In Indonesia, Internet on 17/08/2020 at 4:51 am

Sounds like S’pore Inc?

In Hong Kong on 16/08/2020 at 10:49 am

Or in particular Temasek? Or a combination of a couple of TLCs: SIA, CapitaLand, Keppel and SembCorp? OK no htls among this quartet.

Its first half-yearly loss in more than a decade is unsurprising given the business includes airlines, commercial real estate, hotels and marine services.

portfolio of some of the sectors worst affected by coronavirus


So who is it?

太古集團 or Taikoo.

A red chip controlled by China?

Nope: a British-controlled Hong Kong conglomerate, Swire Pacific

Slow growth sucked, didn’t it?

In Economy, S'pore Inc on 15/08/2020 at 4:50 am

The last time Singapore was in a recession was in 2001 when the dot com bubble burst and the economy declined by 1 per cent. 

Constructive, nation-building media

But life still sucked when growth was low by historical standards.

We’ve had slow growth since 2011. And it sucked for most S’poreans but not for millionaire ministers and reit investors (including self). To be fair, it hurt the PAP ministers electorally in the 2011 GE and PE. They then gave us back some of our money: Are you better off now than you were in 2011?

Another chart showing same thing. Really. That’s why I’m showing it: how numbers are presented can be deceptive.

Did these now billionaire foreign scholars do NS?

In Public Administration, S'pore Inc on 14/08/2020 at 5:14 am

Both Chen and Ye arrived in Singapore as teenagers under a government effort to recruit foreign talent through scholarship programs that began in the 1990s. Chen studied computer engineering at the National University of Singapore, while Ye, also originally from China, went to Hwa Chong Institution and Raffles Junior College, and later got bachelor degrees in computer science and economics from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

The lives of Sea’s three founders are now deeply rooted in Singapore. They’ve all become citizens, and Chief Executive Officer Li is a board member of the Economic Development Board, the government agency charged with promoting growth and positioning the city-state as a global center for business.

The background stories of two of founders of NASDAQ-listed Sea (bigger market cap than our biggest listco DBS) is juz the kind of thing that the MoE needs as anti-PAP cybernuts question the need to give $238m annually to foreign students to study here.

So far until this story from Yahoo, not the usual propaganda mouth piece of the PAP govt, this is the best the PAP govt can say about spending $238m annually on FTs

“While MOE (Ministry of Education) spends about on foreign students a year, as stated in a parliamentary reply on 5 August 2019, the significant majority of these students are still required to pay fees higher than those of local students and/or fulfil a bond obligation after graduation,”

The Government said on its fact-checking website Factually.

But I repeat, do these really smart FTs turned locals do NS? I give Li (the third Chink) a pass because

Li, who was born and raised in China’s port city of Tianjin, followed his wife to Singapore after finishing an MBA at Stanford University.

Think PAP minister, Puthu, who was proud he didn’t do NS. He parachuted in after being born to a subversive exiled from S’pore after Coldstore, and after going to Angmoh land: “I’m invested in S’pore”.

Btw, when I was with a start-up in the early noughties, we had one of these scholars. A really pretty Chinese gal. She was a good programmer. The start-up went bust. Also met over the yrs, a few other scholars who worked with start-ups. Hard working, smart gals.

Let’s cut a deal, PAP govt?

In Political economy, Political governance, S'pore Inc on 13/08/2020 at 7:22 am

No returning to pre-Covid world, with trade and business changed ‘irrevocably’, says Chan Chun Sing


So let’s cut to the chase, let’s have a new social contract, PAP govt?

You’ve been floundering trying to find a new one acceptable to ordinary S’poreans since the 2011 GE and PE. Returning part of our money worked in 2015 (Are you better off now than you were in 2011?) but didn’t in 2020 (S’poreans see Fortitude Budget no ak and Legitimacy problem for the PAP as 9% of voters get smarter.)

Here’s the deal.

We keep giving you 60-70% of the popular vote, let u bully the Wankers and Cheng Bock’s gang, and social media, and be mean to the ang moh tua kees and their allies, the drug baron, mules and addicts. And btw sllow you to feel free to takan PM’s siblings and their families.

In return let’s have Albert Winsemius’ Dream for S’pore

“[F]ull employment”

(Its not “full” employment when unemployed S’porean PMETS are deemed employed because they drive taxis or do Grab trips.)

Followed by

“Only when every Singaporean can go to the level of education he needs;

“Only when every Singaporean can establish a family and have children;

“Only when every Singaporean can find a job that he can do to his best capacity;

“Only when he can grow old without financial worries;

“Only when he can get sick without loss of pay;

“Only when he can afford to die without financial worries for his wife and children … then you have a Singapore.”

Dhanablan’s recollection of what Albert Winsemius said: file:///C:/Users/GBT/Downloads/Booklet_-SG50-Winsemius%20(2).pdf

For the record, he was our chief economic adviser from 1961-84, and with Dr Goh Keng Swee and Hon Swee Sen, was responsible for the economic framework that made S’pore a shining city on a tropical island swamp.

Btw, I wrote

For all their academic brilliance Ah Loong and team have not advanced beyond tinkering with the framework that Dr Goh Keng Swee, Hon Swee Sen and Albert Winsemius devised. Evolution is fine to a point. But surely the world has undergone revolutionary change. When they were constructing their model of serving MNCs as a path to grow the economy, serving MNCs was “neo-colonialism”. Today even Red China serves as the MNCs’ factory.

Problem S’pore, PAP face

Attitudes to $

In Financial competency on 12/08/2020 at 10:53 am

For many S’poreans, and generally for people round the world, money represents freedom, security or choice.

But it’s worth going deeper. Do we adopt a “money worship”, “money status” or “money vigilance” script in living our lives? Or in rare cases where money does not represent freedom, security or choice, is the “money avoidance script” being followed?

Checjk out to find out what’s yr real attitude towards money.

S’pore = Chinese, PA is saying?

In Public Administration on 11/08/2020 at 6:15 am

Remember local YouTuber and comedian Preeti Nair (known as Preetipls) and her brother, rapper Subhas Nair? To refresh yr memories: Brownfacegate: Did you know Shanmugam also said this? and Brownfacegate: Fake indignation?

Well they and that other Woke, P(olitician) Ravi, will surely be KPKBing about

Chinese privilege?

“S’pore got no Indians, Malays, Eurasians isit? Part of China isit?” they sure to rave and rant. And they have a point.

Seriously, govt agencies used to very racially and culturally sensitive in their pictorial or photo depictions of S’poreans? Whatever happened?

An honest mistake?

Chinese tua kee?

Or is the PAP sending a very subtle message to China? “S’pore is Chinese, not a running dog of Trump”.


On 30 December 2009, our nation building, constructive ST reported MM Lee as saying of the Chinese officials who come here to study the governance of S’pore,“They discover that the People’s Action Party has only a small office in Bedok. But everywhere they go, they see the PAP – in the RCs, CCCs, and the CCs.”

Where India trumps China

In China, India on 10/08/2020 at 3:39 am

India beats China hollow in absolute $ terms and in %age terms (as %age of GDP) in remittances. PeinoyLand is 4th but in $age terms beats both of them.

S’pore is big employer of Indian and Filipino PMETs.

US ETF has more gold than Japan, S’pore or India

In ETFs, Financial competency, Gold on 09/08/2020 at 6:20 am

US of A gold ETF is tua kee.

Goh Meng Seng will be relieved to learn that China has more gold than this State Street ETF. Still Meng Seng and Grandpa Xi are reminded that America is the hegemon.

Plebs: ETF is Exchange Traded Fund.

Why India has to contend simultaneously with Chinese aggression, Covid-19 and floods?

In India on 08/08/2020 at 11:00 am

If I were a religious Hindu (I’m neither Hindu nor Indian, though I practice meditation), I’d be pretty worried about whether the gods are unhappy with India.

What with India having to contend simultaneously with Chinese aggression, Covid-19 and floods, And suffering the economic woes associated with Covid-19 and the floods.

Life is rough for Indians. In ancient times, the Israelites would be offering sacrifices to appease Jehovah, and if he didn’t act, making sacrifices to Baal and his pals.

So I couldn’t help but laugh at:

“The entire nation is under Ram’s spell today. By God’s grace, a golden chapter is being written by India.”

Modi recently after laying a symbolic silver brick in the sanctum at the site of the Ram temple in Ayodhya

What planet is Modi on?

But then I tot hopefully, Ram and his pals will be appeased with the temple and shower blessing on the Hindu Indians because Modi played the role reserved for Hindu kings.

Modi appeases the Gods?

Chandrakant Sompura, the chief architect of the proposed temple, told news website The Print that the structure would be designed in the “Nagara” style of temple architecture – a popular north Indian temple building style.

The inner sanctum of the temple – where the idol of the primary deity is housed – will be octagonal. The temple will include a large structure of three floors with 366 pillars and five domes.

Mr Sompura said that a memorial wall in honour of those who were involved with the temple movement would be erected.

Is Cheng Bock, like the PAP Old Guard, a believer in Mao’s continuous revolution

In Public Administration on 07/08/2020 at 7:00 am

When I recently read that Francis Yuen Kin Pheng was taking over from Leong Mun Wai as Assistant Secretary General. Last month it was announced that Mr Leong Mun Wai and Ms Hazel Poa from the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), who are set to become Non-Constituency Members of Parliament (NCMP), relinquished their leadership posts in the party.

From the very beginning of the party (the party was officially registered on 28 March 2019) last year, Dr Tan Cheng Bock has been chopping and changing his team.

At first, I was happy with the changes. When he announced his first team, I was distinctly unimpressed. A bunch of retreads or nobodies. I asked myself, “Why bother setting up a new party with these guys in leadership posts?” Another one man-show party like Chiam See Tong, and Mad Dog (until Dr Paul came along).

Then when he brought in Leong Mun Wai and Ong Seow Yong as part of a reshuffle in January this year, I was impressed. In the early 80s, I had dealings with them and was impressed. Their subsequent careers double confirmed my initial impressions of them. They could get things done.

I was also happy that he reshaped his team in the light of feed-back from new members.

When Michelle Lee quit as chairman, I was even happier as I tot she’s a waste of time. Her new party double confirmed that view.

But with the latest changes, I’m left wondering why the latest changes? It’s not as though being NCMPs is a full time job. Btw, I’m impressed with Francis Yuen, and happy that Ong Seow Yong has is in charge of communications.

Fyi, Mao’s theory of continuous revolution:

Actually the Old Guard of the PAP believed in it. In the 70s and 80s, Dr Goh Keng Swee went around restructuring Mindef, MoE and the central bank (I was there then and worked directly under the chief operating executor)). The Old Guard tot that these institutions had become lazy and complacent. They all went thru bloodless Cultural Revolutions that were traumatic on those leaving and the survivors.

The 2G team led by GCT and Lee Jnr were kinder to bureaucrats, a practice that the £G and 4G followed. Good for the bureaucrats, but detrimental to S’pore?

What do u think?

Why PAP ministers are not fat

In Public Administration on 06/08/2020 at 5:19 am

And why they are “dangerous”.

First the “fat” bit:

The more overweight the government, the more corrupt the country, according to a new study of 15 post-Soviet states … found that the median BMI of a country’s cabinet is highly correlated with its level of corruption, as measured by indices compiled by the World Bank and Transparency International (see chart).


It’s a fact that S’pore ranks highly (least corrupt) on the corruption indices mentioned. Even Lim Tean and Goh Meng don’t go round saying that PAP ministers are corrupt.

As to the “dangerous” part:

 Let me have men about me that are fat,Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights. Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.

Julius Caesar
William Shakespeare

Though to be fair, one wishes Jos Teo thinks a bit more even though she’s so thin. Could do better. Time to lose more weight so that she can have sex in the HDB’s flat’s “bomb shelter”?

Can local bank stocks fall by 37%? (cont’d)

In Banks, Economy, Reits on 05/08/2020 at 4:10 am

Further to Can local bank stocks fall by 37%? And other investment tales, here’s another good reason to think that bank stocks can really tank.

In the UK, where banks are usually generous dividend payers, after the authorities told banks to stop paying dividends until next yr, the banks decided to compete on seeing who could %wise have the largest loan loss provisions. HSBC (where I’ve owned shares since the early 1980s) won this show of macho, increasing provisions by a third more than expected. Shares fell by another 4% on Monday and 3% yesterday. The share price is near its 1996 lows and have already fallen below the late noughties low.

What I’m predicting is that our banks will be increasing their loan provisions beyond analysts’ expectations. They will be reporting their latest results soon.

So it’s possible that our banks’ share prices can fall by 37%.

Last chance to sell as shares recovered their Monday losses yesterday.

Good luck, yield chasers who tot banks were safe. Why not try industrial reits? They’ve held up pretty well. Buy the second liners (not the GLCs) so that I can smile when I look at their prices.

Ang moh family of three spends S$1,170.44 on food in one week

In Uncategorized on 04/08/2020 at 6:33 am

OK, OK includes some beers. He, wife and daughter eat out or get food delivered. Eating home cooked food is the exception: at least in the week he recorded for the BBC.

Matt is 39 and has lived in Singapore for 11 years. He works for one of the big tech companies as a cyber security consultant. His wife Imelda works in IT for a large pharmaceutical company.

Matt and Imelda have a daughter named Alex who is four and has special needs. They rent a three bedroom flat in River Valley, central Singapore.

To be fair to him

The week was a bit of a wreck in terms of diet. That’s the most shocking thing probably. I am very much in a comfort-eating zone at the moment because my mental health is taking a bit of a hit through Covid-19 and all the changes and additional demands.

As to what’s affecting his and his wife’s mental health so much that they throw money at eating out and home deliveries of junk (usually) food, I’ll tell you about it soon. But feel free to read the article to find out.

Can local bank stocks fall by 37%? And other investment tales

In Banks, Financial competency on 03/08/2020 at 6:29 am

Last Thurday, DBS fell by 3.09%, UOB by 3.15% and OCBC 3.82% because following the Monetary Authority of S’pore’s July 29 announcement on capping Singapore banks’ FY20 dividends at 60% of their FY19 levels.

Analysts from DBS Group Research, OCBC Investment Research, and CGS-CIMB Research have maintained their “hold” or “neutral” recommendations for the shares of DBS Bank, UOB and OCBC.

But in the past, these analysts (and many others, to be fair) said that the banks’ share prices are underpinned (among other things, to be fair) by their dividend yields of around 6%.

So shouldn’t the dividend yields now adjust to reflect this?

Well if they do, share prices can fall a lot: up to 36-37% from their last traded prices.

Remember you heard this first here. LOL.

Btw, I have an economic interest in UOB via Haw Par:

Btw2, I missed a bullet. I was thinking of buying OCBC shares. Glad I didn’t but btw3 I’m into two dogs that I had tot had bottomed out: SingTel and SPH.

Btw4, I think I’ll stick to my industrial reits, sub-$1 stocks, and penny stocks. Less risky.

Btw5, hopefully if the bank stocks collapse, they bring the market down and I can get some penny stocks at decent prices. Juz grin and bear on SPH and SingTel: no averaging down. Juz collect dividend lor.

Veteran reminiscences about life in ST

In Media on 02/08/2020 at 11:21 am

Many, many years ago, I wrote about Clement Mesenas, who had just written The Last Great Strike: Wanted: Expertise on organising a legal strike and When Devan Nair was Jedi. JHe was one of the striker organisers.

I wrote then, he had

plans for a website to be set-up for the strikers and their friends to contribute their “war stories” and reminiscences; about the direction ST took after the strike; and their tots on new media especially its impact on ST. 

When Devan Nair was Jedi

Well he’s found time to revive his plans. Go to and read his reminiscences.

He also wrote there:

Please follow MediaStalwartsofSingapore and enjoy my stories and those written by fellow journalists and media practitioners. Your comments are most welcome. We want to create a new, vibrant and meaningful media landscape through our stories and YOUR contributions. Please PM me if you want to send in your story. #MediaStalwartsofSingapore #MediaStalwarts

Hard Truth about equity markets

In Financial competency on 02/08/2020 at 10:34 am

Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook now represent more than a fifth of the S&P 500. More impt S&P 500 would be down 5% without them

What military infrastructure projects India & China are building on their border

In China, India on 01/08/2020 at 1:19 pm