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Archive for 2020|Yearly archive page

Lim Tean & Quitter living on welfare overseas can’t stop talking cock

In Uncategorized on 27/05/2020 at 9:57 am

Actually its worse, they spread fake news in their attempts to discredit the actions of the PAP govt.

Lim Tean took a swipe at the govt for wasting $ on the NDP packs.

At a time when We are facing the greatest crisis in modern times, why are many millions of dollars being spent on a meaningless fun pack for NDP?

There are many thousands of small and micro-businesses which are hurting and facing financial wipe-out because of this pandemic. There are many self-employed who are struggling to put food on the table. There are many desperately poor who cannot even afford the basic necessities in life.

It is inappropriate and tactless that at a perilous time such as now, this government is still allowing resources to be wasted on such frivolity!

These resources can be much better spent on helping small and micro-businesses, the self-employed and the poor!

Peoples Voice lends its whole-hearted support to the online campaign which has been started, and which has already gathered many supporters who have said they do not wish to receive the fun-pack. We salute these brave Singaporeans who are taking a principled stand.

This is another bad judgment call by an incompetent government made up of weak men and women!

Lim Tean
Peoples Voice Party

He doesn’t tell us that the govt does not spend any money on it, the stuff is sponsored by businesses.

The quitter living on welfare in Finland made the same point as Lim Tean a week ago. When it was pointed out the items were sponsored, he threw smoke by saying that govt spent $ packing it.

Bah, why didn’t he allege this in the first place instead instead of spreading fake news on social media about the govt wasting tax payers money, his original allegation?

With enemies like this, the PAP is fortunate that it doesn’t need ass licking clowns like Yap Kwong Weng (Principal Advisor & Joint Lab Director at KPMG) on its side.

Typography of our (and global) economic recovery

In Economy, Financial competency on 26/05/2020 at 5:22 pm

So the economy is expected to shrink between 4 and 7% this year as MTI again downgraded official growth projections for 2020. If the projections are correct (remember that astrologers and other fortune tellers have better track records) we are headed for the worst-ever recession since 1965.

The estimates for non-oil domestic exports (NODX) and total merchandise trade for the year have been cut drastically.

But factory output surged by 13 per cent in April, the second straight month of a year-on-year rise, largely down to gains made by the pharma manufacturing cluster. But excluding biomedical manufacturing, overall output in April fell 3.5% due to COVID-19 related measures both locally and overseas.

So how will the recovery pan out?

Related posts:

Investing in the time of Covid-19: Watch this index

What goes down quickly, must go up quickly

Covid-19 investing: Beware of a double bottom

Markets: Easy collapse, easy rebound

Antidote to Covid-19 and market stress

Covid-19 in India: Modi the Magician?

In India on 26/05/2020 at 4:36 am

India’s sudden shutdown threw an estimated 140m out of work. It has also blocked “coping mechanisms” for dealing with adversity (eg, help from relatives or remittances from overseas) which depend on calamity not striking everyone at once.

Recognising the pain, Narendra Modi, the prime minister, on May 12th pledged an almost mythical-sounding 20 lakh crore rupees of fresh government spending, equivalent to $265bn or 10% of gdp, to reignite growth. Over the next five days a bank of finance-ministry officials faced cameras, unveiling slice after slice of measures, carefully designed to add up to Mr Modi’s magic number.

Yet although analysts expect the extra spending to push the budget deficits of the central government and the states to about 12% of gdp, and raise the country’s overall debt-to-gdp ratio to a wobbly 80%, many doubt that the measures will work. “What we needed was large tranches of money to go into circulation without ado,” said an editorial in Mint, a financial daily. But instead of a demand-side boost, and in particular urgent cash support for the poorest, what Mr Modi delivered was a hotchpotch of supply-side inducements and prods such as credit guarantees, along with reforms whose impact will only be felt in the medium term, at the earliest. Most of the stimulus was made up either of previously announced measures, or central bank moves to spur lending. Estimates of the actual new fiscal commitment by Mr Modi’s government range from a puny 0.7% of gdp to 1.3%, a far cry from the touted 10%.

https://www.economist.com/asia/2020/05/23/indias-economy-has-suffered-even-more-than-most

Covid-19: Why India must end lockdown soon

In India on 25/05/2020 at 5:23 pm

If Modi doesn’t end the lockdown (one of the most severe in the world) people will die of starvation.

 “We put more effort into containing the people than containing the virus,” as one epidemiologist puts it.

In March alone no fewer than 140m workers are thought to have lost their jobs, catapulting the unemployment rate from 8% to an unprecedented 26% nationwide … Some 10m-80m migrants—the vagueness of the estimates speaks of the invisibility of the working underclass of street hawkers, labourers and factory hands—have despaired and tried to return to impoverished villages. Millions more Indians who work abroad have either sharply reduced their remittances or plan to return home.

Economist

Goldman Sachs, an American investment bank, expects the economy to contract by 45% this quarter at an annualised rate, and by 5% over the full year. It assumes a big bounce in the second half. If lockdown is not ended soon, the bounce will never happen.

The National Council of Applied Economic Research, a think-tank in Delhi, predicts a contraction of 12.5% this fiscal year unless there is a huge stimulus. And this is after taking into account the present measures being announced. Estimates of the actual new fiscal commitment by Mr Modi’s government range from a 0.7% of GDP to 1.3%, a far cry from the 10% of GDP boasted by Modi and other ministers.

Covid-19: India’s virus is the deadliest?

In India on 25/05/2020 at 5:53 am

[The] Indian virus looks more lethal than Chinese and Italian now.

Nepal’s PM

He’s no friend of India, what with a border row. But going by the data, he has a point. Despite 61 days (and still counting of a very severe lockdown), India registered about  6,745 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours (as of yesterday evening), its third consecutive day of a rise in new infections

The country of 1.3 billion people reported a total of over 131,900 confirmed. Included in the total are 3,870 deaths.

Even the US figures are starting to trend down.

Local Marxist terrorists strike again

In Environment on 24/05/2020 at 1:39 pm

Xia suay. Our millionaire 4G ministers have done it again. They have not cracked down on the violent Marxist terrorists terrorising rich S’poreans: PAP govt ignoring home-grown violent Marxist terrorist threat.

I’m sure they’ll use the excuse of fighting the pandemic. Going by the millionaire ministers track record of missing by a country mile, the filthy, unhygienic and cramped FT dorms, these violent, Marxist terrorists will continue to terrorise rich S’poreans.

And maybe the rich deserve deserve it. I’m sure you read from that quitter living in Finland on welfare and TOC the PAP govt will be giving $ to the dorm operators to make the dorms fit for purpose?

But then sadly, TOC and the quitter who can’t afford quality education for his kids here (only neighbourhood “good” schools for them) are known to walk on the Dark Side by imitating the IB that fight for the men in white.

Indonesia has a problem

In Emerging markets, Indonesia on 23/05/2020 at 11:34 am

Fed’s schemes to lend other central banks US$ were of little help to countries such as Turkey, South Africa, Lebanon or Indonesia. They are all shut out of the system.

A problem for Indonesia, which has to repay US$16.7bn this yr.

Pinoys dying protecting ang mohs

In Uncategorized on 22/05/2020 at 3:53 am

In many other countries, people of Filipino origin disproportionately staff hospitals and care homes, places badly hit in the past two months by the covid-19 pandemic. The UK is one such country. By early May, around 25 Filipino health workers had reportedly died, out of an estimated 150 fatalities among NHS employees, a whooping 17%,

The Philippines’ ambassador to the UK has called for key workers to be “properly protected”.

Covid-19: What Indians coming to work in S’pore should never do

In Uncategorized on 21/05/2020 at 4:36 pm

Avijit Das Patnaik angered Singaporeans in 2018. The former Vice-President of DBS Bank was flamed in 2018 for posting an image of the Singapore flag ripped to reveal an Indian one underneath.

Many said his post was disrespectful because to them, he was to be a Foreign Talent that should be grateful and thankful to S’porea for giving him a cushy job; not a Foreign Trash biting the hand that gave him a cushy job, and they and demanded that he be be punished.

The bank obliged the mob by sacking him. He then left S’pore.

Why do I mention him?

Facebooker Avijit Das Patnaik criticised Singapore for splitting COVID-19 statistics into locals and foreign workers. He alleged that it is racist and xenophobic to present it in this manner.

That’s another thing to avoid: calling local S’poreans and the govt racist or xenophobic.

Finally don’t insult elderly security guards doing their job by telling them that you live in better housing than they do. A JPMorgan manager did this and he was flamed. Rumour has it that he has since left the bank and S’pore.

Want to own a Chinese dog? Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Citi are the go-to experts

In Investment banking on 21/05/2020 at 4:42 am

In Chinese listings on American exchanges since end of 2016, Morgan Stanley served as bookrunner on 28 deals, Credit Suisse on 26 and Citi on 22.

This schematic tells it all. Most of the IPOs the trio led are underwater.

Why Trump loves this Indian

In India, Internet, Telecoms on 20/05/2020 at 4:12 am

“We’re the only network in the world that doesn’t have a single Chinese component,” India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani told Trump recently knowing that while Trump is doing his best to cripple Huawei, US allies like the UK are determined to use Huawei components in non-sensitive areas because they are cheap, reliable and cutting-edge.

Mukesh Ambani was talking about his Jio mobile network. He’s been rewarded what with Facebook and three other major US investors buying stakes in Hio.

Nehru must be spinning in his coffin. He was determined to build a socialist paradise, not an India that US investors want to invest in. He was a dreamy socialist from a rich family, not the son of a tea seller.

Meanwhile, Huawei said yesterday that the latest US export rules to limit its access to key technology are “arbitrary and pernicious”, warning investors the restrictions would “inevitably” hurt its business, and could damage the global technology industry.

Alcohol is to Southern Indians as water is to fish

In India on 19/05/2020 at 4:45 am

A necessity. They need alcohol to live.

Thanks to the BBC’s reporting of the rush among Indians to buy alcohol when the alcohol shops reopened, I learnt

Five southern states – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala – account for more than 45% of all liquor sold in India.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52640266

But that’s not all.

By volume, India is the world’s second-largest consumer of alcohol, behind China, according IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, a London-based research firm. India consumes more than 663 million litres of alcohol, up 11% from 2017. Per-capita consumption is still rising. So surprise here.

And they love whisky.

India consumes more whiskey than any other country in the world – about three times more than the US, which is the next biggest consumer. Nearly one in every two bottles of whiskey brought around the world is now sold in India. When worldwide alcohol consumption dipped in 2018, India partly drove a 7% uptick in the global whiskey market.



BBC report

Hin Leong: Must be DBS and OCBC again

In Banks, Energy on 18/05/2020 at 4:56 am

Dabbling in oil-related lending yet again and losing money. (Previous fiasco: see end of article.)

Honourable exception is UOB where I got economic interest via Haw Par: Haw Par: Rediscovered yet again. Btw, during the recent market falls, the Wee family co was buying Haw Par shares.

Local banks’ exposure (ex UOB) not as tiny as what our constructive, nation-buildng media try to picture it by emphasising HSBC’s exposure.

Here’s the truth, thanks to Seedly

S$411 million (US$290 million) owed to DBS — 0.11% of DBS’ loan book

S$354 million (US$250 million) owed to OCBC — 0.12% of OCBC’s loan book

S$209.7 million (US$148 million) owed to UOB — 0.05% of UOB’s loan book

S$850.7 million (US$600 million) owed to HSBC — 0.0005% of of HSBC’s loan book

https://blog.seedly.sg/hin-leong-scandal/?fbclid=IwAR39LRL8OX_kZLbm1qj201_2GuDl9R2A4zgLF-etv4L-y2BhOyNii1FNnZE

Good work Seedly. Go to the above cited link for a great blow-to-blow account of what happened to Hin Leong.

Here’s another schematic showing OCBC’s and DBS’s in exposure in perspective to other banks. Interestingly, only one US bank has a tiny exposure, and its not Citi.

The last time oil prices tanked a few yrs ago, DBS and OCBC were caught swimming naked with big exposures to the offshore marine sector (Think Swiber).

Yet another Indian trying really hard to prove anti-Indian S’poreans are right to abuse Indians

In Uncategorized on 17/05/2020 at 4:10 am

In Indians: Why migrating to S’pore is not a good idea, I touched on two local Indian trolls who got non-Indian S’poreans upset because they were asserting their right to infect S’poreans.

Now, a 47-year-old Indian (born in India but now a citizen of the Dominican Republic) has been charged in court on Wednesday (May 13) about lying about his travel history at the Supreme Court.

Kiri Manish Pravinchandra was attending a court trial there on March 31 and April 1, and falsely declared each time that he had not been abroad in the two weeks prior, said the Singapore Police Force and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority in a statement on Tuesday. He was later allowed to enter the court twice.

He had flown in from the US of A.

With ethnic Indians like these three, one can only wonder why non-Indian S’poreans are not more biased against ethnic Indians.

It’s sad when potential victims help racists “prove” their point.



Xia suay: Must be SIA’s website not working again

In S'pore Inc, Airlines on 16/05/2020 at 4:18 am

(Update on 17 May at 6.00am: SIA’s rights issue application website still not working. WTF. Want shareholders to die of Covid-19 isit?)

What’s the point of setting up a website for shareholders to apply for the SIA rights issue (there’s a Covid-19 pandemic raging thru FT dorms many of whom flew here via its cattle class: It’s a Great Way to Fly), encouraging people to use it, and then making it non function-able?

I cannot even scroll the “consent” form or press “submit” to access the site: https://www.singaporeair.com/rights/intro

What a lot of BS. Juz like DBS: DBS: Some things never change, bad service is a given

DBS: Some things never change, bad service is a given

In Banks, S'pore Inc on 15/05/2020 at 8:07 am

Earlier this week, I posted Weath mgt is not the treasure chest local banks think it is.

Well its over a week since the DBS call centre told me that someone would call me in response to a query that the person couldn’t answer. I have an existing POSB account and I was thinking of moving all of my mum’s interbank giro’s instructions (She’s in her 90s and I didn’t want to find that everything was cut off once she moves on and her banks find out) to this account. I had some queries that the DBC call centre couldn’t answer.

Later, I happened to call Starhub and the call centre gal told me what to do to change payment instructions. I had also by then realised that I would have to go down in person to a POSB branch to apply for a debit card. (Not DBS’s/ POSB’s fault, as I never had a POSB debit card. Given the pandemic, I didn’t feel like risking getting the virus juz to get a debit card so that I can then do e-banking.)

Anyway, I’m half way thru the process of converting all my mum’s standing instructions to my HSBC account.

Will DBS ever call me?

In the 1980s, I closed my DBS current account after really bad service. In recent yrs the ang moh media and our constructive, nation-building media have been lauding DBS’s growth into a “super regional” bank by using technology to propel its growth.

It’s share price must surely reflect its success in e-banking.

But for me, service still sucks.

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

In Uncategorized on 14/05/2020 at 1:34 pm

Thinking of migrating to S’pore, Indians?

Words of warning from a local Indian, super sensitive and Western educated:

Dear friends in Singapore, I am writing because there appears to be an uptick in anti-South Asian prejudice recently, and I hope the moderate and sane among you can do what you can to extinguish little fires if and when you see them.

Seemingly harmless statements like “Eh, why Indians again ah?”, if left unchecked, can lead to resentment, if even in the smallest, most subconscious of ways.

Of course I don’t support the actions of her highness the sovereign, or her imitator, but there is no need to make it racial. Have you heard about the Chinese and Malays and Others who have threatened safe distancing ambassadors, including one who tried to stab them? (Check out this YouTube video called “Compilation of Crazy Singaporeans during Circuit Breaker period”, bottom of this post)

https://sudhirtv.com/2020/05/12/rising-anti-indian-sentiment-in-singapore/

Actually, I also tot “Why must be Indians that demand to be Sovereigns while abusing innocent Chinese people?”< But then I wrote

HSBC: Dividends/ StanChart is “Little India”

Last Deepavali in Marina Bay’s Little India?

He goes on

Why do I say there is an uptick? Three things have alerted me:

a) Last week three or four separate Chinese friends were doxxing the wrong Indian lady. I had to respond to each individually, most didn’t even know it was a crime.

(Some said: “Nothing to do with race. Just curious.” My response: “When is the last time you doxxed a Chinese?”)

b) Individual Indians have written to me to share their experiences both in real life and online. Some of the commentary online is really vile.

Covid-19: Ang moh tua kees, cybernuts go bang yr balls

In Public Administration on 14/05/2020 at 4:53 am

Ang mohs think we handling Covid-19 crisis pretty well.

Ang moh tua kees (and anti-PAP types) like Kirsten Han and that quitter in Finland (there because he can only afford a neighbourhood school education here for his kids) who KPKB about the PAP govt’s response to the pandemic should ask themselves why the ang mohs in Oz admire our response to Covid-19?

I won’t bother asking anti-PAP types to reflect as they are sotong.

Covid-19: How long can we be patient? In India people are already starving

In India on 13/05/2020 at 5:34 am

“How long can we be patient? No not Kirsten Han, Lim Tean or Mad Dog asking when S’poreans will storm parliament, but will patience be enough when economic and financial realities hit the fan?

Patience is the call at the moment. It’s the call of governments and economists in countries as diverse as S’pore, the UK and India under lockdown.

They (Trump and Abe excepted) warn that this is one of those situations where one can’t force a return of economic activity.

 But the health emergency is evolving at wap speed into an economic crisis.

David Woo at Bank of America warned in a weekly note a few weeks ago that “unless the economy reopens soon, what is currently a liquidity crisis for many firms could become a solvency crisis”.

He is expressing what small businesses and many workers that have been laid-off fear. The rate of missed rents and mortgage payments are picking up in the developed work. This only reinforces the potential for more financial shockwaves and the prospect of a sluggish recovery.

And that’s for the US, a developed countries. This also applies to the EU countries, S’pore, HK and the UK. Already we see the problems that can arise when lockdown is relaxed: the LGBTs go party and the virus returns.

But in countries like India and Bangladesh, people are already starving because they can’t work to to feed themselves and their families. Modi’s juz announced US$266bn stimulus package to revive Indian economy is an acknowledgement of this reality. Let’s hope he is serious and not juz hyping.

Friends of India can only hope he is serious.

Weath mgt is not the treasure chest local banks think it is

In Banks on 12/05/2020 at 6:41 am

Our local banks are trying to be big in weath mgt here and in their other regional markets. Of course given their dominant positions in S’pore, it’s a no brainer to do it here. Or so they think.

They should think of what happened in Oz to the dominant Oz banks who went into wealth mgt thinking they could screw or rip the faces off the sheep.

These Oz banks are now simplifying their product range and organisational structure with the main four groups — CBA, ANZ Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank — all retreating from wealth management, a sector where some of the most egregious misconduct cases occurred.

As to the regional aspirations. Nothing to add from what I wrote yrs ago.

OCBC paid such a high price for the Asian private banking business of ING and why DBS and UOB are trying harder to build up decent private banking businesses, despite repeatedly failing to do so in the past.

S’pore banks: Is private banking the future?

Related post:Banks can lose money on private banking business

And what applies to private banking, also applies to wealth mgt for us plebs. And remember the retreat of the Oz banks.

Schematic on how Covid-19 affects the body explains why infected Indian dorm workers are still alive

In Uncategorized on 11/05/2020 at 6:02 am

No wonder it kills us fatties with chronic diseases while fit and trim Indian and Bangladeshi workers living in cramped and often unhygienic conditions who catch Covid-19 don’t die of it: Covid-19: Reason why no Indian or Bangladeshi worker has died?

The body’s systems go into overdrive when fighting Covid-19. This causes real problems for us effete elderly fatties. The bodies of the Indian and Bangladeshi workers just shrug off the side-effects that do us effete elderly fatties serious damage.

Note:

In late April, It was reported that a dorm worker that had caught Covid-19 was found dead. Police are investigating.

A Bangladeshi, Case 17410, was confirmed to have COVID-19 after his death on May 1 but the Ministry of Health said the cause of his death was ischaemic heart disease.

Activists say that there are four or five other deaths and say that there’s a cover-up. But these activists (especially white skin lover Kirsten Han) are juz as credible as Queen Jos the manpower minister when she refuses to admit that she and her ministry made “an honest mistake”.

Double confirm: TRE cybernut is really xia suay

In Uncategorized on 10/05/2020 at 5:17 am

Not only cannot spell properly

What happened?:
called thefollowing hotlines:

1) CPF
2) GST voucher
3) Keppel Electric

All siad they are closed for the day – today thursday at 11am to 1 pm?

Anybody know what’s gooing on?

“What happened?” called on Vesak Day, a public holiday, expecting them to be operating. But maybe he’s a nut case? He didn’t realise that it was a public holiday because he’s unemployed.

Covid-19: Ethnic Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis got higher death rates in UK

In Uncategorized on 09/05/2020 at 4:57 am

Ethnic Chinese don’t die as much. Blacks die like flies, relatively speaking.

For British Bangladeshi and Pakistanis, the mortality rate is more than three times higher. For British Indians the mortality rate is more than two times higher.

Scientists are trying to figure out why ethnic minorities have higher death rates than the whites.

But then in S’pore, Indian and Bangladeshi workers catch the virus but don’t seem to die: Covid-19: Reason why no Indian or Bangladeshi worker has died?

Note:

In late April, It was reported that a dorm worker that had caught Covid-19 was found dead. Police are investigating.

A Bangladeshi, Case 17410, was confirmed to have COVID-19 after his death on May 1 but the Ministry of Health said the cause of his death was ischaemic heart disease.

Covid-19: No more beer

In Uncategorized on 08/05/2020 at 7:09 am

According to a BBC report on Wednesday, Mexico was days away from running out of beer, the country’s brewers’ association warned.

“There’s no production, there’s no distribution, we’re not producing a single beer,” said the president of Brewers of Mexico. She had already received reports of prices shooting up as speculators took advantage of shortages.

She reassured beer lovers that brewers were poised to restart production as soon as they were allowed to by the government – but cautioned that she had not been given any hint as to when that could be.

Brewing is not among the industries which the government declared essential and therefore had to halt production at the end of March.




French and Austrians love Big Macs/ Will Indians rush too to buy Big Macs?

In Uncategorized on 07/05/2020 at 11:06 am

McDonald’s is slowly reopening in Europe. Big Mac fans had to endure a three-hour wait in France and a two-mile queue in Austria.

And once upon a time, the French rioted when McDonalds opened its first French outlet in Paris.

When India emerges from lock-down will Indians rush to buy it, like they do alcohol?

Pinoys: Asean tua kees

In Emerging markets, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam on 06/05/2020 at 9:38 am

That was my first tot when I looked at the u/m chart on a ranking of financially stronger/ weaker emerging economies .”M’sia tak boleh” was my second tot.

The Asean ranking: PinoyLand (6th), Thailand (7th), Vietnam (12th), Indonesia (16th) and M’sia (25th).

Btw, S’pore’s not ranked because it’s not an emerging economy (except in accountability: S’pore: Bottom of developed world), but South Korea and Taiwan are still emerging economies, even if Korea is a member of of the OECD.

Financial strength: China’s 10th, India’s 18th

In China, India on 05/05/2020 at 2:02 pm

But Bangladesh is 9th. Btw Pakistan is 43rd, Sri Lanka 61st.

What surprises is that Saudi Arabia is only 9th, UAE is 17th, Kuwait is 22nd and Qater is 35th. Meanwhile Nigeria is 14th.

Post Covid-19: Not good news for S’pore

In Economy, Property on 05/05/2020 at 5:40 am

In the brave new world post the Covid-19 pandemic, major MNC banks and corporations may no longer need or feel the need to base lots of people in a city like S’pore.

Reading the fortune sticks from CEOs’ comments.

Having thousands of bank workers in big, expensive city offices “may be a thing of the past”, Barclays boss Jes Staley has said.
About 70,000 of Barclays’ staff worldwide are working from home due to coronavirus lockdown measures.This had led to a rethink of the bank’s long term “location strategy”, Mr Staley said.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-52467965?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/business&amp;link_location=live-reporting-story

 Sergio Ermotti (CEO) said UBS was already thinking about moving out of expensive city-centre offices.

CEO of snacks maker, Mondelez, Dirk van de Put says something similar.

Tata’s chairman talks of three quarters of its work force working from home.

Covid-19: Relaxation of lockdown not “exit” but “phase 2”

In Uncategorized on 04/05/2020 at 10:22 am

PM has said that our soft lockdown (He and his PAP govt call it “circuit breaker”) will be relaxed. About time too, I needed a haircut, when the announced the lockdown.

FT’s editor puts any relaxation of lockdown, in perspective:

All across Europe, governments are taking baby steps to ease lockdowns that have paralysed their economies for weeks, if not months. “Exit strategy” is probably the wrong phrase to capture what happens next. We are entering the second phase of the pandemic, which will be an uneasy halfway house between lockdown and any semblance of normality — overshadowed by the ever-present risk of a second wave of infections.

FT

She goes on

In the first wave, our lives and economies were put on pause while governments deployed massive fiscal and monetary stimulus.The next phase will not be easier. Governments will have to weigh the economic cost against the risk of further virus outbreaks. We could end up living in bubbles, with a limited number of people we can interact with. Many will continue to work from home, perhaps until a vaccine is found.

Markets may be shrugging off the new reality — that a V-shaped recovery is no longer on the cards. This week’s mass layoffs have made clear that in many sectors the pain is longer lasting. Whether it’s airlines, travel, hospitality or even retail, it will be months before a semblance of normality is restored. Don’t book your summer holidays yet.

Sadly she’s right.

CPF: Imitate Oz?

In CPF, Financial competency, Financial planning on 03/05/2020 at 9:12 am

The Australian govt recently decided to allow people in financial distress to withdraw up to A$20,000 from their superannuation (pension) accounts. Australia has the world’s 4th largest pension fund system: A$3tn in assets.

The govt expects a withdrawal of A$30bn. Some industry experts think the final figure could be almost double that,

Difficult see the PAP govt imitating the Oz govt. Not so much on ideological grounds (Hard Truths), but because CPF funds are also used to make public housing “affordable”, and private housing more than just a dream. CPF is not juz saving for pensions.

Covid-19: Indians and Chinese are pragmatic

In China, India on 03/05/2020 at 6:15 am

Choosing between livelihoods and lives, they choose livelihoods.

“Give me money before life”. Chinese and Indians seem to say. So do the Germans, Italians and Russians.

Many other Europeans, the British, Americans, Australians, Japanese, and South Americans prefer life .

Why the difference in trade-off choices?

Because Chinese, Indians, Germans, Italians and Russians know the importance of the economy and business in ensuring that they can live?

The Americans, Australians, Japanese and many Europeans because of their welfare nets don’t make the connection between the economy and business and their lives.

But why do the Germans and Italians think the way they do? Their countries have good welfare systems.

Don’t know how South Americans think. There are no good social nets for the poor. Maybe the survey was conducted among the well-off?

Is US equity market deluded?

In Financial competency on 01/05/2020 at 4:01 pm

Around half the S&P 500 Index constituents have reported first-quarter earnings, including the start of the sharp downturn triggered by the coronavirus. Profit for the group in the period is set to drop nearly 15%, according to Refinitiv data. A month ago, analysts thought the decline would be under 5%, and at the start of the year they were targeting a 6% increase.

For the second quarter of 2020, the picture is starting to look more realistic. Earnings are forecast to slump nearly 40% from last year. But with revenue projected to be down only 10% in the three months to June, Wall Street may still, unfortunately, be behind the Covid-19 curve. For every company with top-line growth, like Facebook, there are others like American Airlines, which sees industry revenue down perhaps 95% in April compared to last year. It will get worse before it gets better. (By Richard Beales)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-finance-breakingvi/breakingviews-corona-capital-tepid-earnings-red-hot-bonds-idUSKBN22C3OQ

Xia suay! Ho Ching should go kick ass at Temasek Foundation

In S'pore Inc, Temasek on 01/05/2020 at 3:58 am

Recently, I came across this Temasek Foundation video telling us to wash our hands: https://www.facebook.com/TemasekFoundationCares/videos/169555744295112/

This reminded me that my neighbour and I never got our free hand santisers from Temasek Foundation.

In my case, I never got the pamphlet that would authorise collection. My neighbour got theirs a few days before the cut-off date, but when they went to collect, they were told “No more stock”.

Btw, we have no complaints about the two mask collection exercises.

Maybe Ho Ching should spend less time posting on FB, and more time kicking ass at Temasek Foundation.

Pirates? No only Italians and Indians watching movies

In India, Uncategorized on 30/04/2020 at 4:38 pm

Italians and Indians lead the world in visiting piracy sites says piracy-monitoring company Muso.

Increase in film piracy: site visits in last seven days of March compared to same period in February

BBC/ Muso

PAP govt prudent? This prudence?

In Economy, Financial competency, Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 30/04/2020 at 9:07 am

Our debt already so high. Still want to spend so much money?

How come PAP running dogs (Apologies to the real dogs) in parliament not KPKBing that PAP must be prudent and not pass on the sins of overspending onto future generations.

The PAP govt is throwing US$41.6, more than 10% of GDP to fight the economic and financial consequences of the pandemic in an election year.

Whatever happened to MPs like Liang Eng Hwa, Kate Spade (who else?), Hri Kumat and Arthur Fong: PM aiming left, to hit the centre/ Axed? PAP MPs who don’t get it.

When they so quiet?

Govt change policy, so they sit down and shut up?

Related posts:

Can the hard-hit spend their way out of a recession?

“Prudent banker” is an oxymoron

Covid-19: Redundancy is good

In Uncategorized on 29/04/2020 at 6:55 am

Germany is increasingly seen as a model for how it has handled Covid-19 domestically.

NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES are opening; schools soon will be, too. The country’s fortunes are down to a mix of science-minded leadership, functional federalism and a bit of luck.

Economist

But according to the FT, an oversupply of hospital beds helps Germany a lot. Pre Covid-19, critics had called for drastic cut in number of hospital facilities.

Politics got in the way of the cull and the German healthcare system was seen as inefficient.

But willing is smiling now? Ango-American capitalism or the German model. Our ang moh tua kee PAP govt should stop aping the wrong ang mohs.

S’pore: Bottom of developed world

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 28/04/2020 at 4:28 am

We bottom of the class in the developed world when it comes to accountability. We Third world.

A one time PAP apologist and PAP poster boy, Prof Tommy Koh’s comment, “The way Singapore treats its foreign workers is not First World but Third World,” can be rephrased “The way the Singapore government treats its citizens is not First World but Third World.”

Think the tai chi over the Covid-19 cases among our FT workers living in PAP govt approved dorms. The PAP govt screwed up, denies it screwed up (Not even willing to say “It’s an honest mistake”), and we are in lockdown.

But

Why even with 4G donkeys, PAP will retain power

Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G?

Would the dorm workers prefer to be repatriated to India and Bangladesh?

In Economy, Public Administration on 27/04/2020 at 10:16 am

Khaw’s got a point.

Something that a very disgruntled Quitter living in Finland (kids get free education there, can only get into neighbourhood “good” schools here and he can’t afford int’l school fees here); ang moh tua kees like Kirsten Han; anti-PAP activists and cybernuts; and frustrated wannabe Sith Lords (now trying to reinvent themselves as Jedi) like ex-ST tua kee Bertha Henson forget when criticising the PAP’s govt’s less than diligent efforts (F9, downright careless in my view) in looking after the welfare of our FT workers living in dorms.

Foreign workers in Singapore know they are currently safer in the city-state than elsewhere including their own countries, a minister said, even as a massive coronavirus outbreak among that community shines a spotlight on cramped and oft-unsanitary lodging provided for the low-wage employees.

The workers from overseas are “appreciative” of efforts that range from relieving overcrowding in current facilities, and measures to provide them with medical attention, food and remittance services, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in a Facebook post on Sunday. Singapore is speeding up construction of additional dormitories, he said.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-19/foreign-workers-safer-in-singapore-than-elsewhere-minister-says

Most (over 80%) of the almost 14,000 cases are work permit holders residing in dormitories. None has died of Covid-19, although one of dorm resident with Covid-19 was found dead: police are investigating.

Related post: Covid-19: Reason why no Indian or Bangladeshi worker has died?

India or Bangladesh got anything like this meh? https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/covid-19-behind-the-scenes-at-the-changi-exhibition-centre-12677966

Yes our millionaire ministers screwed up badly by ignoring these FT workers, and we S’poreans are paying the price for their incompetence. But things are being rectified ASAP.

Related posts:

Why even with 4G donkeys, PAP will retain power

Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G?

PAP govt supports S-Reits

In Reits, S'pore Inc on 27/04/2020 at 4:03 am

IRAS, MAS and MOF jointly issued a press release on 16 Apr highlighting new measures to support S-Reitss following the market collapse caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

One initiative comes in the form of an extension in timeline from three months to 12 months for S-Reits to distribute at least 90% of their FY20 taxable income to unitholders to qualify for tax transparency.

(Btw,I had advised those who asked my views on S-Reits that I tot this 90% payout rule would be scrapped for this year.)

The second measure is the increase in leverage limit from 45% to 50% with immediate effect to allow more flexibility in the management of capital structures. About time too: our Reits I’ve been KPKBed were too conservative (as per the regulations) in their leverage. Should be 55% to 60%. But seeing the carnage, I’m glad that the regulatory ratio was only 40%.

There’s more: the implementation of a new minimum interest coverage ratio requirement would be deferred to 1 Jan 2022.

In general, brokers are recommending government-linked REITs with strong sponsors

Example OCBC:

Ascendas REIT (AREIT SP) [BUY; FV: S$3.59], Mapletree Industrial Trust (MINT SP) [BUY; FV: S$2.87] and Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT SP) [BUY; FV: S$1.96]. We also like NetLink NBN Trust (NETLINK SP) [BUY; FV: S$1.10] for its resilient business model.

Research Team

Run in France on tobacco products because of “evidence” smokers less likely to catch Covid-19

In Uncategorized on 26/04/2020 at 4:25 am

This is not fake news propogated by Big Tobacco.

[S]mokers were less numerous among hospitalised Covid-19 patients than in the general population,preliminary findings from a Paris hospital nicotine competes with the virus for access to receptors in the lungs and so protects smokers

BBC

Last week, data from a Paris hospital indicated that smokers were statistically less likely to be admitted for treatment for Covid-19: researchers noticed the low number of smokers among those hospitalised with Covid-19. The theory that nicotine could play a role in blocking the virus is due to be tested at a hospital in Paris, using nicotine patches.

The government’s chief health official said the study was interesting but warned that smokers who did become infected with coronavirus tended to have more serious symptoms. He also warned that smoking killed 75,000 people a year in France.

There was a run on nicotine products. France has now banned the online sale of nicotine products and limited their sale in pharmacies, after researchers suggested that nicotine may play a role in protecting against coronavirus.

The new rules cover products like nicotine gum and patches, designed to help people stop smoking.

People will only be allowed to buy one month’s supply of these products.

The aim is to stop people putting too much nicotine into their bodies, in the hope of protecting themselves against coronavirus, and also to protect the supply for people who need it, says the .

BBC’s Lucy Williamson in Paris

Btw, unrelated to the above, South Africa has unbanned cigarette sales. Alcohol sales remain banned under its lockdown

Point of lockdown: any lockdown

In Public Administration on 25/04/2020 at 1:55 pm

To buy time to prepare to contain future outbreaks.

Governments all over the world from India to states in the US to China and the UK have all imposed lockdowns.

The point of the lockdown was to accept short-term economic pain as the price of getting the virus under control.

Economist

But once the country brings its infection rate down, can they box in future outbreaks?

Only if the government had used the lockdown to prepare

itself—through widespread testing, an army of contact-tracers and infrastructure to support extended isolation and quarantine—to box in future outbreaks.

Economist

Is the PAP govt here and other givts (for example in India and Malaysia) extending the lockdowns to do this?

What do you think?

US$40bn rich but facing “significant financial challenges” because of the pandemic

In Uncategorized on 25/04/2020 at 6:18 am

Harvard University said it faced “significant financial challenges” when it accepted nearly US$9m in coronavirus relief aid despite having a US$40bn endowment fund, making it the world’s wealthiest university

Trump said he was unhappy that the university had received the stimulus money. Harvard gave him the finger, saying it was not refunding the money.

It now says it has decided not to take the money.

It shouldn’t have taken the money in the first place.

Where were Harvard’s professors of ethics, morals and religion? Sticking their snouts in the troughs?



Xia suay! Tan Kin Lian has valid point

In Public Administration on 24/04/2020 at 5:23 am

He not always Talk Cock, Sing Song King. I also wonder why the 4G leaders were not looking at the non-dom data only, as we can effectively lock up the dom workers: OK, OK it’s not a PC correct view.

My further tots after TKL’s piece

Bad judgment by ministerial task force

The ministerial task force made a bad judgment. In early April, they panicked and decided to introduce the circuit breaker. They closed down most workplaces (except for the essential ones), food outlets and schools and ordered the people to stay at home for four weeks.

Why was this a bad judgment?

The ministers panicked when they saw the large increase in new cases. The did not realize that this increase was due to the increased testing of the workers living in the dormitories which occurred as part of the contact tracing protocol. As more people are tested, more cases would certainly be detected.

There was no evidence of a large increase in the wider community. If there was an increase, it was small and manageable.

In such a situation, the ministers should just ask for the foreign workers to stop work and stay in the dormitories until they are tested. There is no need to lockdown the entire country.

They could have focused their attention on the real risk, rather than dissipate their resources over locking down the entire country.

The lockdown (or “circuit breaker” that is officially termed) has cost the country over $40 billion in the relief packages. This does not include the real losses suffered by businesses and households. Many families saw their income wiped out by the lockdown measures, and do not receive adequate compensation.

Several hundred thousand families and families were badly affected. The damage to their livelihood is horrendous. It will take several months for the damage to be repaired, even after the lockdown is lifted.

The $40 billion spent on the relief packages could have been used to waive GST for four years. That would have reduce the cost of living for the people. That would have been a better use of the money.

All of these economic harm could have been avoided, if the ministers had made the right judgement.

They should have ordered the workers living in the dormitories to stop work and isolate them from the community until they are tested to be “suitable to work”.

They can monitor the actual spread in the wider community, excluding the cases from the dormitories, to see if a lockdown is necessary.

They could have followed the approach that is successfully adopted in several countries, such as Taiwan, South Korea and Vietnam. These countries strengthen their social distancing measures. They asked their people to wear masks and to keep a safe distance from other people. Some closed schools but some did not.

These countries did not implement a lockdown. They managed to contain the spread of the virus and keep a low death rate.

We should have tried this approach first, before ordering a costly lockdown that had a bad impact on the economy and that may really be unnecessary.

The statistics from the World Health Organization showed that the death rate from the covid-19 is 2 per million in Singapore. It is 128 per million in America and higher in several countries in Europe.

The risk from the covid-19 is clearly much lower in Singapore than in other countries. If our death rate is 50 per million, it would be justified for the ministers to panic and lockdown the country. But it is poor judgement and and hasty for the ministers to introduce a lockdown when the death rate was only 2 per million.

To prepare for the possibility that the situation could get worse and a possible increase in the death rate, the ministers could have taken the following contingency measures:

a) Increase our capacity to treat more severely ill patients. This means more hospital beds, ventilators and hospital doctors and nurses. We can follow other countries in how they expand the capacity quickly.

b) Increase the isolation facilities to quarantine people for 14 or 21 days. These facilities can be set up quickly and do not need a high standard of medical equipment.

c) Arrange to take care of the elderly sick people who live alone and in nursing homes. We can get specially screened care givers to take care of their needs and severely reduce their exposure to the wider community

d) Conduct the covid test on all healthcare workers. This is to protect the health of the hospital workers and the patients. The results of the test can be used to estimate the community spread of the virus, as these workers can be treated as a representative sample of the population. This information is critical for planning the containment measures to be used in the future.

I believe that the first two measures have already been taken by the government. I suggest that they act on the third and fourth measures immediately.

I now come to the next test. Will the ministers extend the circuit breaker for another few weeks, beyond May 4?

It would be unwise and unnecessary to extend the circuit breaker. It would cause greater damage to the livelihoods of the hundreds of thousand of people that have been badly affected now. The damage will extend further and affect to the population at large.

I hope that the ministerial task force will review the situation and take the right decision going forward.


Unlike TKL, I don’t think the 4G leaders panicked. I suspect something about the data scared the hell out of them after their advisers interpreted the data for them.

Maybe asymptomatic cases could be a lot more prevalent?

Or hospital facilities maybe will be overstretched if there’s no lockdown? Remember even if non-dom cases are peanuts, cases grow exponentially. Combine that with the cases among the locked down FTs and “PM, we have a problem.”

Only time will tell if Tan Kin Lian is talking cock on the topic.

Related posts:

Why even with 4G donkeys, PAP will retain power

Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G?

Investing in the time of Covid-19: Watch this index

In Commodities, Energy, Financial competency, Gold on 23/04/2020 at 1:58 pm

BCA Research says cheong when gains in the CRB index outpace those of gold as Chinese “stimulus seeps through to the real economy”.

Covid-19: Reason why no Indian or Bangladeshi worker has died?

In Uncategorized on 23/04/2020 at 4:27 am

(Update on 24 April at 4,30am: After publication, it was reported that a dorm worker that had caught Covid-19 was found dead. Police are investigating.)

The number of COVID-19 cases in Singapore has crossed 10,000, with 1,016 cases announced on Wednesday. Most of the cases (about 80% according to the BBC) are work permit holders residing in dormitories.

Low-wage foreign workers comprise a fifth of the overall population in Singapore, but largely live separate from the local community. The dormitories — where clogged toilets and overflowing rubbish chutes have been reported — are a far cry from the country’s glitzy skyline showcased in Hollywood blockbusters like “Crazy Rich Asians.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-21/how-singapore-flipped-from-virus-hero-to-cautionary-tale

And another person has died, bringing the total to 12. But there have been no deaths (touch wood) among the dormitory workers.

One reason is that they are young: I think (I stand corrected) that all the 12 people who died here are not young.

Here’s another possible reason why the workers are not dying despite catching the Covid-19 while living in cramped, crowded conditions: they are not overweight. Have you seen an overweight FT manual worker?

The UK’s Sunday Telegraph reports on research about who is at greater risk of being admitted to hospital with a severe form of the virus. The paper says a study into British patients suggests being overweight is one of the most important risk factors.

The yet to be peer-reviewed is based on an analysis of more than 15,000 cases and is said to be the biggest study of its kind.

Btw,

Covid-19 only emerged at the end of 2019, but already there are signs it may take a long time for some patients to get back to full health.

Recovery time will depend on how sick you become in the first place. Some people will shrug off the illness fast, but for others it could leave lasting problems.

Age, gender and other health issues all increase the risk of becoming more seriously ill from Covid-19.

The more invasive the treatment you receive, and the longer it is performed, the longer recovery is likely to take.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-52301633

HoHoHo: S’pore Auntie gets VD from Virgin

In Airlines, Temasek on 22/04/2020 at 4:18 am

S’pore Auntie should know better than hook-up in a sleazy date with a Oz hot bod that goes by the name of Virgin.

Airline Virgin Australia yesterday confirmed it had entered voluntary administration. It’s Australia’s first big corporate casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic.

SIA has a 20% stake. Other shareholders are Richard Branson’s Virgin Group (10%), Etihad, and China’s HNA and Nanshan Group, each with around 20%.

The airline tried to get an A$1.4bn loan from the Oz govt but was told to bugger off because the shareholders had refused to put more cash into the airline, which is loss-making and has net debt of almost A$5bn (U$3.2bn). Another reason apparently was it wasn’t owned by Australians. The eaters of bats and sheep’s head could go stuff themselves.

The airline is now looking for new buyers and investors.

S’pore Auntie never learns. It had bad sex with Air NZ and Virgin Atlantic: What our MSM doesn’t tell us about Virgin Atlantic.

Which brings me to SIA’s rights issue: SIA: Ang moh and Jap brokers are going to look stupid.

One can only hope the war chest is not wasted away on ang moh hot bods Auntie wants to have sex with.

Minister Chan, who is the xia suay?

In Hong Kong, Public Administration on 21/04/2020 at 4:22 am

PAP govt or HK’s govt?

Remember Chan Kee Chiu made fun of HK’s clueless CEO for wearing a mask in public?

Well, Hong Kong reported the first day of zero infections in almost two months on Monday.

But,

Singapore reported a daily high of 1,426 new COVID-19 cases on Monday (Apr 20), bringing the national total to 8,014. 

The “vast majority” of the new cases are work permit holders living in foreign worker dormitories, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its media release of preliminary figures. 

Sixteen new cases are Singaporeans or permanent residents. 

Singapore is now the worst-hit country in Southeast Asia, surpassing figures in Indonesia and the Philippines.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/covid-19-new-cases-1426-foreign-workers-dormitory-citizen-pr-moh-12658250

Btw, Vietnam reported no new Covid-19 cases on Monday for the fourth day running, raising hopes that the worst of the outbreak there may have passed.

But the PAP govt is really lucky. The people most vocal in KPKBing about its efforts are cybernuts Mad Dog, Lim Tean, Meng Seng. One P (olitician) Ravi is joining them.

He’s trying hard to be a MP candidate for Tan Cheng Bock’s party. Someone should advise him to sit down and shut up. He shouldn’t talk cock like Lim Tean and Mad Dog. Dr Tan is not pleased Moley (Secret Squirrel’s sidekick) tells me.

Related post: Why even with 4G donkeys, PAP will retain power

S’poreans don’t trust Ah Loong’s govt isit?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 20/04/2020 at 10:51 am

Economist writes:

Contact tracing helps to direct testing more precisely at those likely to be infected. Using apps helps speed this up.

But only, though, if phone users are willing to adopt the app.

It goes on to cite S’pore’s example as a place where people are not downloading an app.

Here, Singapore’s experience is salutary. Its government rolled out a contact-tracing app, TraceTogether, on March 20th. So far, however, this has been downloaded by only a sixth of Singapore’s population—barely a quarter of the 60% epidemiologists reckon is needed if it is to be effective at breaking the local epidemic.

https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2020/04/16/app-based-contact-tracing-may-help-countries-get-out-of-lockdown

And this despite our app being praised by ang moh human rights activists.

Singapore’s TraceTogether, which has been praised by privacy experts for collecting a bare minimum of data, could provide a template for ang moh apps concerned about privacy. Rather than constantly tracking people, it uses Bluetooth to record the proximity to other app users so that they can be alerted if any app user later test positive for the virus.

BBC technology correspondent

Jeni Tennison of the Open Data Institute:

“[C]urrently, there’s very little transparency about what kind of design is being considered and implemented by the [UK]government.”

She goes on

[T]here are examples out there of good practice. She cites Singapore, which she says generally has a reputation for excessive surveillance of its citizens, but has developed an app which captures the bare minimum of data.

“So every time that you meet somebody with your phone, and they have the same app on their phone, it records the fact that you have met, but it doesn’t record anything about where you are or who those other people are. It’s only there so that if you catch the disease, those people that you have come into contact with or been close to you can get notified about that fact.”

Kirsten Han has unfriended all these ang mohs who show the lies she tells about the PAP govt.

Covid-19: Banning citizens from returning

In Uncategorized on 19/04/2020 at 11:12 am

India is one of the few countries in the world that has barred its own citizens from returning. Juz saying as there are cybnernuts condemning the govt for allowing citizens and some long-term residents from returning.

Whatever may the American (must be a Trumpter) that returned here and infected many others by irresponsible partying must be deported. Juz saying.

Social distancing the Chinese way

In Uncategorized on 18/04/2020 at 4:48 am

The ang moh way

Can the hard-hit spend their way out of a recession?

In Uncategorized on 17/04/2020 at 6:18 am

This Chinese bizman from Wuhan has a great question that shows the enormity of the problem govts all over the world face,

“How can you spend your way out of recession when you have a mortgage and other bills to pay and your job is under threat?

FT quoting a Wuhan resident

Many European countries (frollowing Germany’s tried and tested approach) are using short-term paid leave schemes to shield workers. S’pore (ang moh tua kee) is also doing something like this except that the employees are still on the cos’ payrolls.

Meanwhile US is flooding the system with cheap loans, some of which is forgivable if used to pay employees until September, rather than sack them.

Many countries including S’pore and the US are also giving “peanuts” directly to the peasants.

But will the peasants spend? They might decide to be prudent?

Toilet paper maker cleans out

In Financial competency, Uncategorized on 16/04/2020 at 4:47 am

Vinda International Holdings is one of the world’s biggest toilet roll makers and is listed in HK.

Shareholders must be shitting themselves in joy.

It just said operating profit for the three months ended March 31, 2020 is expected to increase by about 55% compared with the year before.

Profit for the first quarter is expected to increase by about  65% from the year before. Operating profit and net profit forthe first quarter are expected to be about HK$527 million and HK$377 million, respectively.

Revenue is expected to be about HK$3.41 billion, down by 16% and organic growth of  -12%.

Funnily, the stock tanked during the recent sell off, only to reverse.

Those who panicked must be shitting bricks.

UK street party obeying social distancing guidelines

In Uncategorized on 15/04/2020 at 4:39 am

Police in Hull, in England, allowed a street party to continue because everyone was following social distancing guidelines. Pictures from the scene show residents enjoying a drink in their front gardens while the man who organised the party played dance music from turntables outside his home.

The people are at least two meters apart: Covid-19: Social distance illustrated.

Can only happen in the UK.

Anywhere else, the police will close down the party as an illegal assembly even if social distancing is practiced: guns a’blazing in the US or lathis swinging in India or throwing tear gas canisters in France.

HSBC is Hongkong Bank (Cont’d)/ Hongkies got balls

In Corporate governance, Banks, Hong Kong on 14/04/2020 at 5:01 am

I didn’t realise until I read the FT that Hong Kong retail investors, “own roughly a third of the shares”. Like them, I’m upset, that the British authorities forced it and other major UK banks to cancel dividends.

What annoys is that the shares have traded ex dividend and those of us who take our dividends in scrip form had already been informed of the numbers of shares we were getting.

But Honkies are doing more than KPKBing

The decision of HSBC to suspend its dividend payments has sparked a backlash among investors in Hong Kong, its biggest market. Along with other big British banks, hsbc suspended shareholder payouts after the Bank of England leant on them to do so, but a group of investors in Hong Kong has banded together to try to force an extraordinary general meeting on the matter.

Economist

They took on China and now HSBC. Hongkies got balls.

Related post: Why HSBC is really Hongkong Bank

SIA: Ang moh and Jap brokers are going to look stupid

In Airlines on 13/04/2020 at 4:00 am

Look at the price targets for SIA. Basically JPMorgan and Nomura are extrapolating from the theoretical ex-price of $4.40. A dangerous extrapolation given that Temasek holds 55% and is not a seller.

Price targets(From the Edge) :
$6.27 HOLD (CGS-CIMB Research)
$5.54 DOWNGRADE HOLD (Daiwa Securities Research)
$4.00 DOWNGRADE UNDERWEIGHT (JPMorgan Research)
$5.80 HOLD (UOB Kay Hian Research)
$4.34 REDUCE (Nomura Research)
$6.60 DOWNGRADE HOLD (DBS Group Research)

I have an odd lot of 600 shares: don’t know where or how my mum got it. I’ll hold on them and subscribe at the price of $3 for each new share (3 new shares for 2 existing shares) even if the shares rebound to $6.60 (I doubt it’ll rebound to that price before the ex rights date. But it did close at 6.13 on Friday). Note there are also convertible bonds to subscribe for.

Looks like money for jam at this stage.

What goes down quickly, must go up quickly

In ETFs, Financial competency, Financial planning on 12/04/2020 at 1:39 pm

Bulls are hoping.

US stocks have just recorded their biggest weekly gain since 1974 despite the bleak economic outlook.

Wall Street’s S&P 500 shares index rose 12% this week, as the US central bank announced more stimulus measures to support the economy.

Related posts

Covid-19 investing: Beware of a double bottom

Markets: Easy collapse, easy rebound

Antidote to Covid-19 and market stress

Covid-19 shows Modi’s feet of clay

In India on 11/04/2020 at 11:01 am

Modi likes to potray himself dealing with the leaders of the US of A and China as equals.

Well, he can certainly boast that like them he’s buggered up India’s response to the Chinese virus. It took Xi some time before he realised the problem China was facing and shut down Wuhan, the home of the Wuhan virus.

Trump is still floundering, and Modi is following him.

Seriously, how can Modi hold his head high with these two leaders.

India has asked China for 10,000 ventilators, this despite the border disputes and India’s concerns of being encircled by China’s bases in the Indian Ocean and in neighbouring countries.

Then there’s his surrender to Trump. India banned the export of hydroxychloroquine (commonly known as HCQ). Then Trump called Modi and India agreed to export the drug that US President Donald Trump has touted as a possible cure for Covid-19

This has worried many Indians who take the medicine for other ailments: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52222367.

Covid-19 investing: Beware of a double bottom

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 10/04/2020 at 10:30 am

As Mobius points out, historical bear markets on a global scale have averaged a larger 30% to 50% drawdown spread out over the span of roughly two years. Some have been quick to optimistically predict, however, that if the market cratered at record speed, perhaps it could recover just as fast because this time it is different. To refute the notion that lightning could strike just as quick to fuel an equal move to the upside, Mobius quoted the late John Templeton.

“The most expensive words in the world are ‘This time is different.’ I don’t think this time it’s different,” he said. “I think we’re probably maybe going to do a double bottom, jumping down again and pushing up again.”

https://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/investor-who-predicted-the-start-of-the-2009-bull-market-were-not-in-the-clear-yet-104234346.html

I bot on the way down. Out of three stocks, one is ahead, two under water. Still got ammo.

Antidote to Covid-19 and market stress

In Financial competency, Financial planning, Media on 09/04/2020 at 4:44 am

The BBC (among others) recommend that to lessen the stress of Covid-19

— Limit the amount of time you spend reading or watching things which aren’t making you feel better.
— Be careful what you read

Hmm.

Until very recently, markets were tanking as if there were tomorrow. Maybe in such a situation, stop following the market.

Btw, markets are on a roll. Most say it’s a bear market rally. But hope springs eternal.

South Korea’s and S’pore healthcare systems compared

In Public Administration, Uncategorized on 08/04/2020 at 5:07 am

S Korea is often held up to be the gold standard in the fight against Covid-19. If so, contrary to what Lim Tean, Goh Meng Seng, Mad Dog and anti-PAP alt media say, the PAP govt’s management of our heathcare system is world class in general , and in the fight against Covid-19 ((bar the advice on use of masks, now amended: Masterclass ). Remember Korea is a developed country.

S’pore has also on a per capita basis tested more people for Covid-19 than S Korea. I can’t remember where I read this. I’ll cite the source when I find it.

And we do spend $, even if its from our own pocket. But let’s remember that anti-PAP cybernuts say CPF is a tax. If it’s a tax, then this spending on healthcare is public spending, not “Ownself fund ownself”.

Vote wisely.

Masterclass

In Uncategorized on 07/04/2020 at 5:20 am

Yesterday in Constructive advice to Mad Dog and other anti-PAP types, I said I’d post a masterclass in

on how to remind the public that the PAP govt is really xia suay, but which cannot be seen as sniping. In fact, it’s really constructive advice to S’poreans.

Below is a screenshot of what TCB wrote recently, followed by the full text. He tells us to use masks when we go out.

It is a simple but considerate act that protects those next to us. Let’s not look for reasons not to wear a mask in public.

And nowhere in it does he mention that until recently, the PAP govt said that it was xia suay to use masks. But S’poreans know what was until last Friday official govt policy. We even had Kee Chui Chan calling HK’s CEO xia suay for wearing a mask in public.

All Dr Tan says is

The Government also said they will not discourage the wearing of masks.

Full text:

Let’s wear masks

Since PM’s announcement on Friday, many Singaporeans are scrambling to do last minute work preparations visiting workplaces and shopping centers before the closure of schools and non-essential businesses on Wednesday.

The Government also said they will not discourage the wearing of masks.

As a doctor, I would go one step further to encourage, and even insist that everyone should wear a mask when you leave home.

You will be protecting neighbours, colleagues and people around you if you cough and sneeze or if you are an asymptomatic carrier. There is nothing to lose in wearing masks. The number of unlinked local infection cases and new clusters is rising. You will also minimise the risk of catching the virus if a carrier is close to you. The risks are real. CNA reported that on 4 April 2020, there were 75 new cases and 4 new clusters.

So wear a mask when you go out. It is a simple but considerate act that protects those next to us. Let’s not look for reasons not to wear a mask in public.

However, don’t let wearing masks make us complacent. We still need to practice good hygiene habits of hand washing and not touching your face. And most of all, we should Stay At Home. This is the best way to protect yourself.

Remember, you can play your part to stop virus transmission.

I include some of the latest research on the protection that masks provide.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0843-2

Constructive advice to Mad Dog and other anti-PAP types

In Uncategorized on 06/04/2020 at 8:26 am

But first

#SGunited does not mean citizens should just listen and let the political leaders go unquestioned. Whenever someone says the 4G leaders know best, remind them who said face masks were not necessary for the general public two months ago and also those media platforms that regurgitated such narrative without question.

TOC

Well given that TOC’s stance is “PAP is always wrong” above comment is really rich. Sad.

Seriously, I sent the following to the only adult in the SDP’s CEC with a suggestion, he forward it to Mad Dog:

Sir Keir’s best chance of success lies in playing to his strengths as a post-ideological pragmatist. In public he should ask practical questions about the government’s performance in producing ventilators and covid tests or getting economic help to the vulnerable, while avoiding the impression that he’s sniping. 

Economist’s Bagehot

I’m sending the same message via this post to Terry and other anti-PAP activists:

Ask practical questions about the government’s performance in containing the virus or getting economic help to the vulnerable, while avoiding the impression that you are sniping. 

Sadly I doubt, Mad Dog, Terry etc would do this. “PAP is always wrong.”

With enemies like Mad Dog, Lim Tean, Meng Seng, s/o JBJ, Tan Kin Lian, Tan Jee Say and other anti-PAP clowns, the PAP can afford friends like Grace Yeo: Xia suay! “PA group activities dangerous for seniors’ health”.

Tom, I’ll post a masterclass on how to remind the public that the PAP govt is really xia suay, but which cannot be seen as sniping. In fact, it’s really constructive advice to S’poreans.

Xia suay! PM missed talking about a really important matter

In Uncategorized on 05/04/2020 at 6:57 am

PM covered all the important matters (bar one) in his recent speech. But he missed talking about the fact that many couples under lockdown the circuit breaker find themselves closer than ever in the coming month.

The ex-comedian who became president of Ukraine even though he had only peasant genes and didn’t get a double first in Cambridge (like our PM and his Pa) spotted an opportunity that eluded our PM.

In a television appearance last month, Mr Zelensky, like most other world leaders, asked citizens to stay at home. He then called on his compatriots to take advantage of the enforced intimacy to boost the country’s shrinking population: by making babies.

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/04/03/will-the-coronavirus-lockdown-lead-to-a-baby-boom

But then maybe the very wide-spread perception that PM and his millionaire ministers prefer FT to true blue S’poreans is true? (Population White Paper: 2030 will resemble 1959?, White Paper fiasco: Who goofed? and Population White Paper: PAP’s suicide note?)

And going by the likes of Mad Dog, Lim Tean, Meng Seng, s/o JBJ, Tan Kin Lian, Tan Jee Say and other anti-PAP clowns, who can blame the FT preference? How to get S’poreans to welcome mass immigration.

Related posts: True blue oldies will save economy, not FTs and Real reason govt de-emphasising degrees?

Covid-19: Tablighi Jamaat does it again

In Uncategorized on 04/04/2020 at 5:03 pm

Pakistan has the most Covid-19 cases in South Asia with 2709 reported cases and 40 deaths. And it’s the fault of Tablighi Jamaat again. (Related post: Covid-19: Must be Tablighi Jamaat again)


Many of these cases were found among members of an Islamic missionary movement called Tablighi Jamaat who had returned after attending the Jamaat’s annual convention in Lahore in mid-March.

The convention was attended by missionaries from all over the Islamic world. It proved to be a catalyst for the spread of virus to many areas in Punjab, in some sectors of the federal capital Islamabad, as well as to other areas like the Palestinian territories.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-52149688?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/world/asia&link_location=live-reporting-story

With an Islamic organisation like Tablighi Jamaat, Muslims doesn’t need to worry about Hindu nationalists, or others who hate Islam and Muslims. With a Muslim organisation like Tablighi Jamaat, Muslims don’t need enemies.

Covid-19: What happens after isolation

In Uncategorized on 04/04/2020 at 10:52 am

So what do you do after lockdown is lifted or you can leave self isolation.

Deep clean the room or flat

“Viruses are actually fairly delicate bits of material, so they don’t survive very long”, Alex Akin, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-52019048

Akin says using soapy water or any kind of detergent to wipe down surfaces in the room you’ve been isolating in is enough to kill droplets of any virus.

He emphasised that the areas you should focus most on cleaning are “smooth, flat, smooth plastic or metal surfaces”.

You can throw yr laundry in the wash with other people’s. The normal detergents in a washing machine should easily deal with any amount of virus.”

And if you are ang moh, bathe before going out.

The countries without Covid-19

In Uncategorized on 03/04/2020 at 2:57 pm

All are island states.

All but the Comoros are in the Pacific. Only the Comoros is Muslim. The following are Christian and in the Pacific: Marshall Islands; Micronesia; Nauru; Palau; Samoa; Solomon Islands; Tonga; Tuvalu; and Vanuatu.

But they are not allowing anyone in. And if the virus gets in, these island states can’t cope.

Covid-19: Ang moh tua kees: Swedish and PAP govts behaving in similar manner

In Public Administration, Uncategorized on 03/04/2020 at 7:29 am

Our ang moh tua kees like to compare S’pore unfavourably with the Nordic countries.

Well the Swedish govt is behaving in a similar manner to the PAP govt. Both are trying and succeeding (so far) in their attempts in allowing life to go on much closer to normal, like in keeping schools open.

While swathes of Europe’s population endure lockdown conditions in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, one country stands almost alone in allowing life to go on much closer to normal.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-52076293


Lim Tean and P Ravi should stop playing politics in calling for a shut down of schools.

There are good reasons to try to avoid closing schools: Xia suay! Lim Tean wants to badly damage our healthcare system.

And P Ravi should remember that his party leader, Dt Tan Cheng Bock, has not called for schools to close. Rumour has it that Ravi wants the PSP to nominate him as its candidate in SMC Hong Kah North. In the last GE, he stood there for the Chiams’ party. This call is certainly a black mark against him in any decision to field him. The PSP is not Lim Tean. It’s a responsible party and tries to talk sense, even if at times it gets things wrong.

With enemies like Lim Tean and Ravi, how can the Oppo hope to deny the PAP a two-thirds majority in parliament: Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G?.

Sad.

Covid-19: Must be Tablighi Jamaat again

In India, Indonesia, Malaysia on 02/04/2020 at 4:22 pm

Tablighi Jamaat, an influential Islamic missionary movement, with its HQ in a New Delhi slum, is now responsible for super-spreading Covid-19 in India after doing it in M’sia and Indonesia: Covid-19 in Islamic countries. In Indonesia and M’sia, it was their mass gatherings that caused serious problems. It also affected S’pore because some of people in the M’sian gathering returned to S’pore.

The Tablighi Jamaat have come into the spotlight after an event they held in the Indian capital Delhi has spawned a number of Covid-19 clusters across the country. But exactly who is this group and why did they hold a big gathering in Delhi? BBC Hindi’s Zubair Ahmed reports.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52131338

With an irresponsible organisation like Tablighi Jamaat, Muslims have to be afraid, very afraid of being cast as disease carriers in India, M’sia and Inonesia. The people who don’t like Muslims and want to hurt them can only be pleased that Tablighi Jamaat was so socially irresponsible in three countries.

With an organisation like Tablighi Jamaat, Muslims don’t need enemies. Time for Muslims to do some serious soul-searching.

Covid-19 R elections: Valid point/ PAP wayanging, Oppo fell for it

In Political governance on 02/04/2020 at 7:47 am

Going by our social habits, Singapotato, a pro-PAP FB page, has a good point. LOL.



Seriously, the Oppo have fallen into a PAP trap.

My view is that the PAP’s hints (nothing more) of an election during the Covid-19 outbreak, was a cunning trap to get the Oppo and the 30% aligned to it to say that OK for PAP to change constitution to remain in power until outbreak is controlled or eradicated.

The Oppo and the 30% fell for it: Xia suay! SDP wants PAP to remain in power until after virus threat ends. So now the PAP can change the constitution to remain in power beyond March next year. PAP can say with a straight face, “There’s a consensus for the change.”

The Oppo and 30% should have said, “Let’s wait until December this year, shall we? Then make a decision on any constitutional amendment.”

The PAP or rather the PM has learnt lessons from the “Malay presidency” is “Calling a deer a horse”? fiasco. Related posts: Hali is also into “Post-truth”, More on Hali’s judgement between 2007 -2011/ Meritocracy? What meritocracy?, and #hardlymahpresident.

With Oppo like ours, PAP will rule forever and a day: Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G?

Covid-19: Wishing India well

In India on 01/04/2020 at 1:34 pm

In the western Indian city of Pune, young engineers are trying to develop a low-cost (US$662)”no-frills” breathing machine tailored to Indian conditions. This could save thousands of lives if the Covid-19 pandemic hits India badly.

Story at: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52106565?fbclid=IwAR30DLlgKH72n_f0VGfDQ9tobP-DY1BPU5XSyWEXOnTC43XwZ9qoTN6DLO8

Let’s wish the young engineers well.

Xia suay! If don’t wear mask likely don’t wash hands

In China, Hong Kong on 01/04/2020 at 6:35 am

Further to Covid-19: Double confirm, S’pore not in East Asia, an interesting way of looking at things by the Economist’s HK correspondent.

The failure to wear masks in countries where masks are de rigueur socially, indicates to those wearing masks that there are probably other hygiene failures by those who don’t wear masks. Doubtless Chan Kee Chui would call those who wear masks in these countries “Xia suay” and insist on his right not to wear a mask when he visits China.

Ordinary Hong Kongers are fed up with being told that the science behind mask-wearing is disputed. They look at neighbouring east Asian countries, where people wear masks routinely, and notice that they are coping with the disease relatively well. Many factors are at play. But the ubiquity of the mask is one reason. This not just because of its ability to block germs, or prevent people from touching their faces. It is also a means of building trust and fostering civic responsibility—a visible signal to fellow citizens that you are doing your bit to protect them and they should do theirs. If you won’t bother to wear a mask, who knows whether you bothered to wash your hands?

https:///china/2020/03/28/the-etiquette-of-face-masks-in-hong-kong

Will we see S’pore Girl working in hospitals?

In Airlines, Public Administration, S'pore Inc on 31/03/2020 at 4:15 am

Or in polyclinics?

In the UK

Thousands of easyJet and Virgin airline staff are being offered work in the new NHS Nightingale Hospital.

Those who sign up will support nurses and senior clinicians at the coronavirus field hospital in east London, the NHS said.

Virgin Atlantic said furloughed staff who help will be paid through the government retention scheme.

NHS England said many airline staff are first aid trained and already have security clearance.

The workers will be changing beds and performing other non-clinical tasks and helping doctors and nurses working on the wards, the NHS said.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-52085701

Social distance: Go to polyclinic and get infected isit?

In Public Administration on 30/03/2020 at 5:28 am

My friend has an appointment tomorrow for various annual tests and the quarterly visit to see the doctor. And as he’s within the vulnerable group (65, got diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol) he’s worried, of getting Covid-19.

(Btw, I told him that’s the price of being cheapskate, and not going private.)

Last week he went for a lab test and the the social distance markings in queue to get in didn’t look 1m. And the seating arrangements while waiting for the test was definitely not in line with those in pixs of what should be social distancea.

Go to polyclinic and get infected isit?

Safer to eat in food courts or hawker centres, judging by the pixs of social distance, than waiting in polyclinic for appointment isit?

Covid-19: Double confirm, S’pore not in East Asia

In Public Administration on 29/03/2020 at 6:17 am

The BBC reports

Step outside your door without a face mask in Hong Kong, Seoul or Tokyo these days, and you may well get a disapproving look.

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/03/27/coronavirus-and-leviathan

In HK

“HEY GWEILO, too poor to buy a mask?” Such handwritten signs around Hong Kong are evidence of growing impatience with foreigners who insist on going out in public without face masks during the coronavirus crisis

Economist

The BBC report goes on

Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak some places have fully embraced wearing face masks, and anyone caught without one risks becoming a social pariah.

But in many other parts of the world, from the UK and the US to Sydney and Singapore, it’s still perfectly acceptable to walk around bare-faced.

The BBC report is very clear that in East Asia, the use of masks is standard operating procedure, bar one country; that ang moh countries don’t follow the practice in East Asian countries; and that S’pore is the exception in East Asia, preferring the Western practice.

Looks like Kirsten Han and other woke S’poreans like Mad Dog, M Ravi ad Lim Tean are not the only ang moh tua kees. The PAP govt is also ang moh tua kee: Xia suay! PRC monkey see, S’porean monkey must do isit?.

Related posts: Fake news that S’poreans panicking about shortage of masks and Kiasu? Get hold of the king mask/ Listen to expert on infectious disease.

I’ve got complaints from pedants that S’pore is in SE Asia, not East Asia. Well 70% of S’poreans are ethnic Chinese, not ethnic SE Asian. Many in the past have called S’pore, the third or fourth China (depending on how HK and Taiwan are defined.

(The last paragraph was added at 3.10pm on day of publication.)

Covid-19: Will Modi be able to outboast Trump?/ Why India will beat the virus: “very good in mission mode”

In India on 28/03/2020 at 6:16 am

No, not when it comes to spending money will Modi be able to outboast: Trump has signed the largest-ever US financial stimulus package, worth $2tn (£1.7tn), as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

But in being able to boast to Xi and Trump about beating the Chinese virus. When the US had more confirmed cases of thecoronavirus than any other country, with more than 97,000 positive tests, Trump called Xi, “Beat that you commies. America is Great Again.”

Seriously, as the Economist wrote last week:

Fears are rising that the world’s second-most populous country might be on the brink of a big covid-19 outbreak. Until now India has been lucky with this coronavirus. It has relatively few visitors from the early centres of the pandemic—China, Italy and Iran. And Indian governments, at both federal and state levels, have been strikingly forceful in their response to the virus, with public-information campaigns saturating the television airwaves, and recorded messages pushed to mobile phones. So the number of Indian cases so far can be counted in the scores. But India has so far tested only a few thousand people, and some experts think it already has thousands or tens of thousands of cases. If so, decades of under-investment in public health have left India ill-prepared, with not enough doctors, beds or equipment for its 1.3bn people even in ordinary times.

Economist

—————————————————————————————————–

Is the world’s second-most populous country testing enough?: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-51922204


But India, while “not very good at routine stuff”, is “very good in mission mode.” As the BBC reports

A state that largely fails to deliver quality public health and education to its people excels in “mission mode” with deadline-driven, specific targets.

It went door-to-door, and vaccinated more than 170 million children and eradicated polio. It regularly holds trouble-free votes involving hundreds of millions of people – 67% of the 910 million eligible voters cast their ballots in the 2019 general election. An under-developed and crime-ridden state like Uttar Pradesh, with a population of the size of Brazil, regularly hosts the Kumbh Mela, the world’s biggest open air religious gathering of people. It prepared for more then 100 million pilgrims last year, without a single stampede or health scare. It is all very counter-intuitive.

“The Indian state,” says Prof Mehta, “is not very good at routine stuff, but very good in mission mode.” It also helps that Indians, especially faced with a crisis, show unusually high levels of social cohesion and adaptability.

Over the years an increasing number of states have beefed up capacity for delivering welfare schemes and services more efficiently. Kerala has been a shining example for years. But now, even states like Orissa in the east are catching up: it has given 500,000 rupees ($6,626; £5,582) to every village council to build a quarantine centre, in what is seen as exemplary strategic disaster planning.

India’s mission-mode capacities will be now put to the test in more ways than one.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52043465

Let’s hope Modi will not need to call Xi or Trump to boast about having more victims of the Chinese virus than China or the US of A.

Instead Indian patriots should pray and hope that he’ll be able to call Trump and Xi and say “Pandemic? What pandemic? We handled the Chinese virus better than you guys. India is rising and don’t you forget it.”

Covid-19: Coughing is terrorism and other policing actions

In Uncategorized on 27/03/2020 at 5:03 am

I kid u not.

Int’l media reports that a New Jersey man has been charged with making a “terroristic” threat. He coughed on an employee of a supermarket during an argument, and then claimed to have Covid-19. State governor Phil Murphy rightly described the suspect as a “knucklehead” but so are the police. Juz charge him for intimidation or assault.

Now this is really a knucklehead behaviour on the part of an idiot and the police. A 26-year-old in Missouri was arrested on Monday and charged with making a terrorist threat after he posted a video earlier this month of himself licking deodorants at a Walmart store while asking: “Who’s scared of the coronavirus?”

In S’pore, someone did something similar (Drinking milk or water) and returning the slightly empty bottles to the supermarket shelves. He was charged for stealing but not for acts of terror.

I’ll end with this story. A 52-year-old hair salon owner in the South African town of Ladysmith has been charged with attempted murder for defying a doctor’s order to self-quarantine.

In Covid-19 lockdown? Tips to get the mostest from your internet

In Internet on 26/03/2020 at 4:24 am

To keep speeds up, the UK’s media watchdog Ofcom has compiled a list of tips to get the most from your internet. From a BBC article (link below):

‘Don’t use the microwave’

The advice ranges from the seemingly obvious, like downloading films in advance rather than streaming them when someone else may be trying to make a video call, to the less expected.

“Did you know that microwave ovens can also reduce wi-fi signals?”…

“So don’t use the microwave when you’re making video calls, watching HD videos or doing something important online.”

It suggests positioning your internet router as far as possible from other devices that may interfere with the signal.

Those devices include: cordless phones, baby monitors, halogen lamps, dimmer switches, stereos and computer speakers, TVs and monitors.

Ofcom also advises making calls on a landline where possible, citing an increase in the demand on mobile networks.

“If you do need to use your mobile, try using your settings to turn on wi-fi calling,” …

“Similarly, you can make voice calls over the internet using apps like Facetime, Skype or WhatsApp.”

… disconnecting devices that are not in use.

“The more devices attached to your wi-fi, the lower the speed you get,” …

“Devices like tablets and smartphones often work in the background, so try switching wi-fi reception off on these when you’re not using them.”

Other tips include:

— Place your router on a table or shelf rather than on the floor, and keep it switched on

— If you’re carrying out video calls or meetings, turning the video off and using audio will require much less of your internet connection

— Try starting those calls at less common times, rather than on the hour or half hour

— For the best broadband speeds, use an ethernet cable to connect your computer directly to your router rather than using wifi

— Where possible, try not to use a telephone extension lead, as these can cause interference which could lower your speed

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-52027348?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/technology&link_location=live-reporting-story

Covid-19: The truth about the death projections

In Financial competency, India, Media on 25/03/2020 at 11:50 am

No they are not fake news, but the projections are very nuanced and come with caveats, something that social media, new media and the mainstream media don’t communicate properly.

But before going into that something that most reports don’t highlight, did you know that the Spanish flu that killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide should have been named the Indian flu given that some 12-17 million people died in India, about 5% of the population? Only 5-7 million people died in China. And a lot less in Spain.

Sorry for the aside, Coming back to the death projections, I’m sure that you know by know that a key piece of modelling which has informed the British government’s decision to try to suppress the virus was done by Imperial College London.

It suggested 500,000 could die if we do nothing, while the government’s previous strategy to slow the spread was likely to lead to 250,000 deaths.

Instead, it is hoped the steps which have been taken, which are essentially about suppressing the virus, will limit deaths to 20,000.

BBC report

It also came up with projections for countries like the US.

But these projections do not exclude the number of people that who would have died in the normal course of events if there had been no pandemic. The modellers did not exclude the normal death numbers because they can’t. They have no data to work from.

As the BBC explains in the context of the UK:

Every year more than 500,000 people die in England and Wales – factor in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the figure is around 600,000.

The coronavirus deaths will not be in addition to these, as statistician David Spiegelhalter, an expert in public understanding of risk at the University of Cambridge, explains.

“There will be substantial overlap in these two groups — many people who die of Covid [the disease caused by coronavirus] would have died anyway within a short period.”

It was a point acknowledged by Sir Patrick at a press conference on Thursday when he said there would be “some overlap” between coronavirus deaths and expected deaths – he just did not know how much of an overlap.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51979654

What I trying to say is that the very nature and limitations of modelling means that we have to be very careful in trying to understand the numbers thrown at us. They are actually very nuanced, and come with caveats.

Some householders laughing all the way to the bank

In Energy, Financial competency on 25/03/2020 at 4:32 am

Those (like me) who signed up for floating rates pegged to the regulator’s price are smiling.

Looking forward to really low bills so long as oil is below US$30. So long as oil price is below US$55, those who signed up for floating rates can sneer at those with fixed tariffs. Most tariffs were fixed when oil was in US$55 – US$65.

Actually, I signed up for the floating rate scheme because it’s possible to break contract without penalties, unlike the fixed tariff contracts.

Related post: Wuhan virus: Why electricity prices sure to collapse

Whatever, the smaller bills will help make up for the mark-to-market losses in the stock market: Markets: Easy collapse, easy rebound.

Vote wisely.

Covid-19 in Islamic countries

In Uncategorized on 24/03/2020 at 4:14 am

When the reports of the Wuhan virus ravaging China came out, mad mullahs said it was Allah punishing the Chinese for persecuting Muslims in Xinjiang for practicing Islam.

And remember, the Indonesian minister who said that prayers ensured that the Covid-19 virus avoided Indonesia, despite the many Chinese tourists who visited Bali?

So how has Covid-19 treated Muslim-run countries?

In https://atans1.wordpress.com/2020/03/21/double-confirm-indonesia-lied-about-its-covid-19-cases/ I’ve reported on the lies told by the Indonesian govt. Indonesia has the virus and people have died.

Worse, thousands of Muslim pilgrims from across Asia gathered at a religious event in Gowa in Indonesia’s province of South Sulawesi on Wednesday (Mar 18), despite fears that their meeting could fuel the spread of a coronavirus, just two weeks after a similar event in M’sia caused more than 500 infections.

Organisers and regional officials said the event in the world’s fourth most populous nation had begun.

“We are more afraid of God,” one of the organisers, Mustari Bahranuddin, told Reuters, when asked about the risk of participants spreading the virus

Malaysia, which is under a partial lockdown, has tallied more than 710 people with the virus, the worst in South East Asia. Many of the cases are linked to a Muslim event in Kuala Lumpur, in February.

“We have a slim chance to break the chain of COVID-19 infections,” Noor Hisham Abdullah, director general of Health Malaysia, said on Facebook.

“Failure is not an option here. If not, we may face a third wave of this virus, which would be greater than a tsunami, if we maintain a ‘so what’ attitude.”

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-51955931

Next

Tens of thousands of people gathered in Bangladesh for a mass prayer session on Wednesday, despite fears it posed a risk of spreading the new coronavirus.

BBC on 19 March.

I left the worst Muslim affected country to the end.

Iran is the third worst-hit country behind China and Italy. Iran’s Supreme Leader has rejected America’s offer of aid to help the country with its battle against coronavirus.

According to the government, there were two “patient zeros”, both of whom died in the pilgrimage city of Qom on 19 February. One, it said, was a businessman who contracted the disease in China. Qom quickly became the epicentre of the outbreak.

The city is an important pilgrimage destination for Shia Muslims. It is home to the country’s top Islamic clerics, and draws some 20 million domestic and around 2.5 million international tourists a year. Each week, thousands of pilgrims navigate the city, paying their respects by kissing and touching the numerous shrines and landmarks.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-51930856?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/world/middle_east&link_location=live-reporting-story

Here’s something that should worry the mad mullahs. Maybe Allah is not a Muslim?

As to whether God is Catholic or Protestant, look out for a coming post.

Tourism: Look on the bright side

In Economy, Financial competency, Tourism on 23/03/2020 at 7:35 am

In Tourism: Where Covid-19 really hurts us, I pointed out that the drop in tourism will hurt the economy. But, looking on the bright side, things no longer that expensive for us locals.:

Cities that get a large part of their income from tourism could become cheaper as their economies shrink and prices are driven down.

The impact of the coronavirus has shaken the world economy, with the travel and tourism industries among the hardest hit. Hong Kong and Singapore are two of the cities that could see a big drop in revenue as demand for leisure activities, restaurants and accommodation plummets. This weaker demand could drive down prices, making these cities cheaper for their inhabitants.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51922267

True, things no longer that expensive for us locals. But got money to spend or not?

Covid-19: Social distance illustrated

In Uncategorized on 22/03/2020 at 2:21 pm

Standing or sitting how far apart? See below:

Social distance

Markets: Easy collapse, easy rebound

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 22/03/2020 at 11:39 am

If wondering why markets tanked so fast juz look at

Could rebound pretty fast: I hope. Core portfolio stocks down 30%. New positions 20% underwater. And I was buying 25% from highs at end February.

Sad.

Xia suay! Lim Tean wants to badly damage our healthcare system

In Uncategorized on 22/03/2020 at 4:23 am

And our economy. He so hate us for keeping the PAP govt in power, that he wants to destroy S’pore?

Lim Tean is KPKBing that schools should be closed to fight the Wuhan virus.

Well according to the link below, the data on whether such closures will curb covid-19 are limited, and the direct economic costs are huge, even disregarding the long-term damage to children’s education.

But then Lim Tean is not married and is reported not to have any kids. Impotent, it’s alleged.

To summarise just one aspect of the detailed analysis in the link below

A study in 2009 estimated that if schools close for a month, between 6% and 9% of vital health-care workers would have to stay at home to look after their offspring. 

Economist

The Economist’s detailed analysis is at https://www.economist.com/international/2020/03/19/how-covid-19-is-interrupting-childrens-education

In summary, closing schools is a sign that all other less bad options don’t or can’t work.

Please forward the piece to BS artist Lim Tean.

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

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

Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G?

Double confirm, Indonesia lied about its Covid-19 cases

In Indonesia on 21/03/2020 at 4:06 am

After I published Covid-19: Indonesia caught lying, the BBC and other Western media (but not our constructive, nation-building media and our anti-PAP alt media) reported that Indonesia’s president has admitted to not telling the truth about the Wuhan virus.

In nearby Indonesia, which according to John Hopkins has 172 recorded cases of the virus, President Joko Widodo admitted recently that he deliberately held back information about the spread of the virus to prevent panic.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-51939911

Btw, for a time on Thurday, a sharp jump in deaths (19) in Indonesia meant that it outranked Italy (2978 deaths then, a few hundred more since then and overtaking China in the death rankings) in mortality rates, Italy is the centre of the Wuhan virus in Europe. There are at least 36,000 cases of the virus in Italy. So this probably means that there a lot unreported cases in Indonesia.

Related post: Haze: What Raffles would have done

Trump and Covid-19

In China on 20/03/2020 at 4:39 am

China reacted angrily after US President Donald Trump referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus”.

The foreign ministry spokesman warned the US should “take care of its own business” before putting the blame on China.

But let’s not forget that last week the same Chinese foreign ministry spokesman shared a conspiracy theory, which alleged the US Army had brought the virus into Wuhan.

The allegation seems to imply that the US has a time machine, enabling it bring a dead body containing the virus from the US this year into Wuhan in December 2019.

Whatever, the US secretary of state was not amused and took umbrage that a Chinese official was giving credence to the allegation by talking about it. Btw, secretary of state Mike Pompeo regularly, like me, refers to the virus as “the Wuhan virus”.

So maybe China is right to be upset?

Related post:

The first case could have on 1 December, not 31 December 2019.

Wuhan virus: Jialat, if this true

Codvid-19: Why God is a S'porean

In Economy, Malaysia on 19/03/2020 at 4:09 am

I tot the above when I read

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has assured Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong that the flow of goods and cargo between Singapore and Malaysia, including food supplies, would continue, Mr Lee said on Tuesday (Mar 17).

Mr Lee’s remarks came after Malaysia announced it would bar citizens from going overseas and foreigners from entering the country for about two weeks starting Wednesday

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-malaysia-cargo-goods-border-restrictions-12547142

If Tun had been in charge, there’d be no no free flow of food and goods to S’pore. He’d have use the emergency measures meant to suppress the Wuhan virus to cut off food supplies and goods.

He’d also have ensured that the M’sian workers who regularly commute her to work, would not be able to come and stay here for the next two weeks.

Both these would cripple our economy and hurt us but he’d have the excuse of the need to suppress the spread of the virus.


Where he has tried to bully us recently:

Water: Why Tun should thank S’poreans

What Tun and our alt media don’t tell us about the water supply from Johor

Tun manufacturing another row to stir his anti-PAP S’porean fans?

Tun chickened out/ Two cheers for cowardly PAP govt

Yet PJ Thum, Kirsten Han and Jolovan Wham (Nothing wrong in asking Tun M to intervene in S’porean affairs) want to lick his ass

——————————————————————————

He likes to try to bring S’pore to its knees or at least make us try “Tolong”, as the links in the above box shows. And attempts to suppress the Wuhan virus in M’sia would have given his reasonable excuses to hurt S’pore and S’poreans.

Muhyiddin, like Najib, are people we can do business with. As would Anwar.

God loves S’pore.

Covid-19: Making sense of the collateral damage

In Uncategorized on 18/03/2020 at 1:52 pm

The chaos and absurdity made me think of Scaramouche: “a stock clown character of the 16th-century commedia dell’arte (comic theatrical arts of Italian literature).” (Wikipedia)

“He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.”

Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche

Tourism: Where Covid-19 really hurts us

In China, Economy, Tourism on 18/03/2020 at 6:28 am

The govt last month proposed a S$6.4bn ($4.6bn) programme to counter the outbreak’s economic impact. The package was announced a few days after S’pore slashed its growth forecast by a percentage point to -0.5% to 1.5% from 0.5 to 2%. Another package is on the way according to the millionaire ministers.

I’ve pointed out areas where the impact of China’s virus problem here is minimal:

We not reliant on China for manufactured gds

Where S’pore is not too exposed to China

But tourism is different: China is the top source of visitors to Singapore, and accounts for a fifth of arrivals. In Asean, only Thailand gets more, about a quarter of arrivals.

And tourism is important to us:

International tourism accounted for 4.1% of Singapore’s national GDP in 2017, with a direct contribution of $17.7 billion. The percentage of tourism’s contribution to Singapore’s GDP is projected to rise to 4.4% in 2028.

https://www.budgetdirect.com.sg/travel-insurance/research/singapore-tourism-statistics

Despite what the brokers are saying about hospitality stocks, avoid the sector.

Even after recovering from Covid-19

In Uncategorized on 17/03/2020 at 5:42 pm

Still has problems.

[S]he feels somewhat breathless and weak now even though she has fully recovered from the infection

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-51714162/how-i-recovered-from-coronavirus-and-isolation?fbclid=IwAR0LjkGQ9f_57Dcz6NIVUnSFfgk58WQSUjhensNvvlsvHW54NFEXN884M8U

Covid-19: Indonesia caught lying

In Indonesia on 17/03/2020 at 4:33 am

On February 15, I posted on why experts were sceptical on the Indonesian claim that there were no Covid-19 cases in the country. I thought it was was in denial, lying or deluded that it had missed the bullet on the Wuhan virus: Wuhan virus: Indonesia is known unknown. (Piece is below)

A minister said that the ang mohs were wrong to be sceptical about the reported absence of the virus despite the many Chinese tourists that had visited Bali. He said prayers to Allah prevented the virus from coming in.

Well on 13 March, our constructive, nation-building media reported that there were five Indonesians here who brought in the virus from Indonesia.

Then an Indonesian spokesman was caught lying that S’pore had refused to provide Indonesia with the details of Indonesians with the virus. The Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry said that they had the information and that it had been forwarded to the spokesman’s ministry.

And Mad Dog wants us to kiss Indonesia’s ass? And throw away our arms? With a friend like Indonesia, who needs enemies? With Mad Dog as a Singaporean, who needs enemies?

The 15 February piece.

Wuhan virus: Indonesia is known unknown

Extracts from a very long Guardian report (link below) showing why there is good reason to be worried about the reported absence of the Wuhan virus in Indonesia.

A Harvard academic has defended research suggesting a possible underreporting of coronavirus cases in Indonesia, following fierce criticism from the health minister in the world’s fourth most populous country, which insists it has no cases.

Professor Marc Lipsitch analysed air traffic out of the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak in China and suggested in a report last week that Indonesia might have missed cases. On Tuesday the Indonesian health minister Terawan Agus Putranto called the report “insulting” and said the country had proper testing equipment.

On Thursday, health officials in Indonesia, which has a population of 272 million and is a popular destination for Chinese tourists, said they were retracing the movements of a Chinese tourist who was diagnosed with coronavirus upon his return from Bali. No-one in Bali has yet been found with symptoms.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/14/indonesia-coronavirus-academic-harvard-marc-lipsitch

Note there were no test kits until early Feb

A leading hypothesis for the lack of reported cases in Indonesia is that imported cases were missed, said Lipsitch, who pointed to a Sydney Morning Herald report that the country had no test kits until 5 February in support of the theory.

“If cases have been introduced into Indonesia, then there is a good chance that more cases are circulating via transmission from those cases. If so, they may go undetected for some weeks as the individuals may not seek care or may not be suspected and tested for coronavirus, especially if there is no direct link to China.”

Samples only tested in Jakarta

Currently, the policy in Yogyakarta is to ship all samples from potentially affected patients to testing facilities in Jakarta

Insufficient training to detect virus

Dr Riris Andono Ahmad, director of the Center for Tropical Medicine at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, said facilities had been set up to handle potential cases but health practitioners have not received sufficient training. “We need to be much more alert,” Ahmad said.

Insufficient public knowledge

“Public awareness of effective prevention measures is not high,” he said. “For instance, there was a lot of panic-buying of masks, but masks only work with people who are already sick. Whereas something that actually works, like washing hands more frequently – I don’t know how many people are really doing it yet.”

And finally, Indonesian officials are BS artists

One senior former diplomat in the country, who did not want to to be named, said he did not believe official assertions that no cases had been found. “There’s a tendency to hide or gloss over serious problems in the top levels of the government,” he said. “I’m a bit concerned.”.

GE 2015, repeat of GE 2001? (Edited in 2020)

In Political governance on 16/03/2020 at 4:44 am

Read what JG had to say about the then coming 2015 GE. It applies to the coming GE because the Wuhan virus shows that the system set up still works very well. While her comments about electoral boundaries are dated, her underlying analysis is not.

This piece is a shortened version of the original and there’s a link to the original at the end of the piece.

Hope that JG is well and will start writing again.

——————————————————————————-

Below is a piece that appeared in TRE’s letters section. I commend it for yr reading. V.V. good good analysis. Most of which I agree. Actually a better comparison would be with the GE in 1997, when the SDP dropped from 2 seats to zero. Oppo had two seats from 4. And the PAP had a 5 points increase in its share of the popular vote.

[…]

Dear TRE and TRE readers,

I have read your comments to my earlier article and not surprisingly, many of you are in denial of this possibility. Many of you think I am PAP IB or just out of touch. I am not. I have contributed comments before to TRE (TRE admin can easily check against the email address that I use) and can see that indeed all my previous comments are not pro-PAP.

In Greek mytology, Cassandra warned the people about what was happening but was ignored to the people’s detriment. I can see what is happening and it is my duty to put this red flag right in front of you so you too do not get shell shocked if it happens.

Simply put : GE 2015 will be to PM LHL what GE 2001 is to GCT. And of all people, WP’s LTK knows it and this is why he is strategising accordingly.

Election rides on waves. GE 2011 was a wave election and even the PAP candidates sensed it. The people were angry – Josephine Teo said “sometimes we don’t know why people are so angry”, WP’s LTK risked everything on the table by leaving Hougang SMC and joining the Aljunied GRC. But don’t assume that just because the last election was a wave that favored the opposition, it will be the same this year.

Sometimes the wave can turn and favor the PAP too, although TRE readers find that hard to believe. GE 2001 was a wave election that favored the PAP because the people were scared when the economy fell off the cliff after the 9/11 attacks. Result : Unexpected +10% swing to the PAP and even WP’s LTK Hougang share of votes went down by 1.7%.

GE 2001 was a crushing blow to opposition supporters. They did not see it coming. They could not believe it. They saw the crowds in the opposition rallies and thought they were going to win, this time. It was totally unexpected and a big blow. I’m writing this article so that you do not feel that same way in this GE 2015.

GE 2015 will similarly be a wave election favoring the PAP. The LKY sentiment is still strong, especially among the seniors. Couple that with the Pioneer Package and recently concluded SG50 celebrations which put many people in a good mood. I’ve elaborated on all these in my last post, so will not do this here.

But I will share this lesson from history : Indira Gandhi was assasinated on Oct 1984 and a snap election was held on Dec 1984. Riding on the wave of sympathy votes, Congress party gained 30 seats and a landslide victory. You ignore lessons from history to your peril. Many of you think LKY is no big deal but to _70% of the voting population, he’s a big big big deal.

In any case, the strongest indication that I may be right comes from no other than WP’s LTK himself. Other than CST, he is the only surviving opposition MP who has lived through wave elections that turn against him. So of all people, he’s easily the shrewdest and most battle hardened politician around.

What is PAP’s strategy when they released the electoral boundaries? Simple –

1) Just contain WP’s influence solely to Aljunied GRC and Hougaing SMC. In other words, give up on these.

2) Fortify East Coast GRC by cutting off Feng Shan SMC. I estimate that pro-forma basis, GE 2011 would have seen East Coast GRC at 60% PAP votes, not just 55%, with this change. Dissolve Joo Chiat SMC.

3) Flood all the GRCs that WP is likely to contest in with veteran, strong MPs. Look at Jalan Besar GRC — it now includes the Chinatown ward of ever popular Lily Neo carved out of Tanjong Pagar. Plus heavyweight unionist Heng Chee How. Look at Yishun GRC — it has now included the strongest ward of former AMK GRC, ie. Kebun Baru.

4) Adopt a new strategy of putting in retiring, veteran MPs into winnable areas. Thus move Charles Chong out of Joo Chiat and get him to win back Punggol East SMC. Punggol East SMC was lost in the 2013 BE not because Li Lian was a particularly strong candidate but because “Son of Punggol” made so many rookie mistakes that he was a bad candidate.

Look at how LTK responded.

LTK sensed that this election will be different from GE 2011 and much tougher because this time, the wave will turn towards the PAP.

Look at WP’s message in this GE 2015 –

“I know you are happy with the changes that the PAP has started to make. But you got all these changes, because you voted us opposition into Parliament. If you are so happy now that you don’t vote for us, you will regret it because PAP will take you for granted again”.

I repeat : ” I know you are happy “. In other words, he knows the electorate mood in GE 2015 is not the same as GE 2011.

He knows that the electoral boundary changes PAP has made will make it more difficult to gain ground. His own people are giving him this feedback too — here is what Gerald Giam posted on 6th Aug in his Facebook :

“Visited Simei again yesterday evening. Many residents told us they were glad we were coming back to contest. Had a good chat with one resident who said she was voting for the incumbent because she liked the local MP. I acknowledged that the local MP has done a good job (Jessica’s work at the local and town level is certainly something we look to emulate) but that a general election is about more than just voting for a local MP.”

He also knows that PAP had attacked AHPETC hard enough that while many people still do not fully buy PAP’s story about “integrity problems”, it is enough to cast doubts in middle-ground voters mind, especially those outside of Aljunied GRC. At the same time, he knows that by 31-Aug, the audit results for FY 2014 must be released and more likely than not, it is again a poor audit results.

This is why he has decided to keep the Aljunied GRC MPs intact. In other words, he is playing defensive, not offensive, in this GE 2015. Uncharacteristic of him, he announces this very early so that the PAP will “lose hope” and not field any changes in their weak team in Aljunied. He hopes that he will get _55% of votes this time, so that he can claim a mandate from the Aljunied residents that notwithstanding all the AHPETC audit issues, they back him strongly. This is similar to how, after the Saw affair, there was a BE in Hougang and all talks about “integrity problem” dissolved when they did better in that BE than in GE 2011 itself.

His best hope for a seat pickup is in Feng Shan SMC and he’ll probably field Gerald Giam there. When PAP cut Feng Shan off from East Coast, PAP is already prepared to potentially lose this SMC in order to save East Coast GRC. (Like I said, on a pro-forma basis, this new “East Coast” GRC would have been 60% PAP votes in GE 2011. A 10% swing against the PAP is extremely unlikely.) But to still give this their best fight, they’ll likely use their “use retiring veteran MP” strategy and probably deploy Yeo Guat Kwang there.

What’s the conclusion from all these tea leaves ?

People’s sentiments for or against a ruling party can change. Sometimes the wave goes against the PAP (like GE 2011) but sometimes it goes for the PAP (like GE 1997 and GE 2001).

If you read the wind condition wrongly, you will get crushed. Look at what happened to SDP in pro-PAP wave election GE 1997 : it lost all 4 seats.

LTK is a very shrewd politician who has lived through these waves – both for and against him. He knows that GE 2015 is not going to be a continuation of GE 2011. He knows that in politics, sometimes you live to fight another day. So he is playing defensive this election. He is smart — he can see all the writing on the wall (as I’ve detailed in my earlier “PAP will do very well in this election” post).

The only possible gains for WP is Feng Shan SMC, offseted by the very real possibility of losing Punggol East SMC.

Meanwhile, because all the other GRCs that WP is contesting in such as Yishun GRC, Jalan Besar GRC and East Coast GRC had been significantly fortified by the PAP, PAP’s share of votes will increase, not decrease.

The only other wild card is Marine Parade GRC. PAP did not expect that NSP will give up this so easily and thus did not expect a WP fight here. But they did win by 55% in GE 2011. Couple this with the expected pro-PAP wave and notwithstanding GCT being a liability, they still expect to win this GRC. Even if they win by 55%, it will be good enough. They are thinking long term too — if WP did no better than NSP in contesting Marine Parade, in future GEs, NSP will not give in so easily to WP and 3-corner fights will be more likely to happen.

If what I’ve said is true :

1) Then PAP will likely win _60% of votes this election. As I said, even if GE 2011 share of votes everywhere remain, but only Tanjong Pagar is now included with 70% PAP support due to LKY sentiment, the total pro-forma PAP votes would have been ~62%.

2) WP’s strategy is absolutely the right one. Play defensive, get a stronger mandate from Aljunied GRC to overcome the AHPETC issue, live to fight another day. By GE 2020, the middle class squeeze will get worse especially with Medishield Life coming in place forcing everyone to buy insurance that increases in price every year. And more and more foreigners crowd this place. And then WP will ride that wave to increase its seats.

3) The other parties all need to wise up. Forget about putting their big guns into GRCs. Put their best candidate into one or two SMCs. And instead of working the ground in different GRCs each weekend, just keep walking the same ground in the SMC again and again, just like Ah Lian did to win the Punggol East BE. Concentrate your time and resources there. At least, get a foothold into Parliament and make a name for yourself, then you will get a chance to get more seats and potentially a GRC in the future. Otherwise, you will forever be relegated as a non-entity, someone who makes noise on the Internet only.

JG

Submitted by TRE reader.

—————————————————————————————————–

Original piece: GE 2015, repeat of GE 2001?https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/ge-2015-repeat-of-ge-2001/

Xia suay! SDP wants PAP to remain in power until after virus threat ends

In Uncategorized on 15/03/2020 at 11:23 am

“The SDP, therefore, calls on the Government to categorically rule out the GE until clear signs indicate that we are seeing tail-end of the virus spread.”

Mad Dog Chee

But the next general election must be held by April 2021, at the latest, as the SDP points out, see below. So if the virus is still around in April 2020, the SDP will be happy for the PAP to continue ruling despite this being illegal? Huh?

Or is Mad Dog calling for a constitutional amendment to allow polls to be deferred past April 2021?

Looks like the SDP needs a mature adult in its play pen to supervise Mad Dog and the other irresponsible youngsters. And sadly, its chairman Paul Tambayah, an infectious diseases specialist, has more important things to do than personally inject Dr Chee with anti-mad dog vaccine.

Sad.

In Xia suay! “PA group activities dangerous for seniors’ health”, I showed how a member of the IB sabos the PAP. It’s very forunate for the PAP that Mad Dog loves to score own goals.

Sad. Related post: Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G?

SDP statement

RULE OUT GE IN THE MIDST OF COVID CRISIS

Singapore Democrats

There are signs that the PAP may call for the general elections (GE) in the near future.

Mr Heng Swee Keat said in an interview that the PAP will not rule out holding the GE during the current outbreak of Covid-19. Ms Josephine Teo announced this week that PAP will be introducing its women candidates in due course. Also, the Government has just published changes to several electoral divisions yesterday, 12 March 2020.

The SDP calls on the PAP to refrain from such an irresponsible act.

All state resources should be focused on dealing with the spread of the virus which the World Health Organization has called a pandemic. The situation in Singapore has flared up again and could worsen considerably in the coming weeks and months.

The SDP has been repeatedly calling on Singaporeans to unite and cooperate with the authorities in this difficult time. Our priority is to rid ourselves of this health threat. Elections can come later.

We hope that the PAP will not capitalise on the crisis by holding the GE at this time as it will take away valuable resources needed to combat the virus outbreak and jeopardise the public’s health and well-being.

Experts have different opinions as to when this pandemic will end. As such there is no urgency to hold an election in the midst of this crisis. After all, the term of this parliament does not end until April 2021.

The SDP, therefore, calls on the Government to categorically rule out the GE until clear signs indicate that we are seeing tail-end of the virus spread. No to do so would signal that the PAP is putting its own interests over the people’s safety.

Prematurely calling an election will undo all the good work the people have put in these last two and a half months, working together as one, putting aside party politics to help our country and our people deal with this viral threat.

German wild boars do not jay walk

In Uncategorized on 15/03/2020 at 5:06 am

[T]he Times reports on a growing nuisance in Berlin – a population of thousands of wild boars digging up gardens and cemeteries, and roaming into shops.

They have become so accustomed to urban life that they’re now crossing roads at traffic lights, it says. Biologists reckon the boars are unlikely to have worked out the significance of red and green lights, but have probably observed cars stopping there and pedestrians crossing safely. The Times concludes that they have learnt how to “save their bacon”.

BBC

Brits outsmart Thai Chinese billionaire twice over

In Uncategorized on 14/03/2020 at 4:32 am



Tesco bought what became its crown jewel from Thai conglomerate CP Group in 1998, during the 1998 Asian crisis, for about US$180m. CP Group was short of cash.

It is selling the business back to CP for U$10bn, about 15% more than expected. The sale was done as global markets went into meltdown.

For CP’s controlling shareholder, Thai Chinese billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont the purchase had more to do with ego than economics.

He may be saved by the Thai competition authorities. CP’s existing extensive retail businesses may mean that authorities block the sale.

Washing hands: Areas often missed, and how to wash thoroughly to beat Covid-19

In Uncategorized on 13/03/2020 at 4:08 am

Xia suay! “PA group activities dangerous for seniors’ health”

In Public Administration on 12/03/2020 at 4:20 am

And the PA was only taking precautions after people got sick. It should not have been conducting group activities for seniors, let alone the public (still continuing), to be prudent

The above is how I interpret the following story from the constructive, nation-building media (Unreported facts around SAFRA Jurong outbreak is reported is after the longish quote):

COVID-19: People’s Association to suspend courses and activities for seniors

SINGAPORE: The People’s Association (PA) will suspend courses, organised activities and interest group activities in community clubs and residents’ committee centres that seniors regularly participate in, it announced on Tuesday (Mar 10). 

This will involve about 2,600 classes and 11,000 interest group activities, with about 290,000 non-unique participants, said the PA in a press release.

This comes after activities at seven CCs and RCs were suspended on Saturday, over links to COVID-19 patients in the cluster involving a private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong on Feb 15. 

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/covid-19-coronavirus-peoples-association-suspend-activities-12522382

After the Jurong SAFRA outbreak was reported by the media, a member of the IB, Grace Yeo, was KPKBing on FB that Jurong Safra should not have been identified because it gave the impression that a PAP govt related body was involved.

It was pointed out to her that people had the right to know that an incident happened at SAFRA Jurong and that it seems she’d rather people catch the virus to protect the reputation of the PAP govt.

She tried to censor these comments by deleting the post but the group administrators restored the post, to much cheering.

Another person then said RCs in the Jurong area were sending mass messages to tell everyone that it was a private event organised by a private person.

Someone then commented that the people attending were members of group activities organised by PA.

With supporters like Grace Yeo, the PAP govt does not need enemies.

 

Covid-19: Stock up on paracetamol and antibiotics?

In China, India on 11/03/2020 at 4:20 am

Supplies of everyday medicine, think pain-reliever paracetamol, face a threat.

India one of the world’s largest exporter of drugs, relies on China for 70% of its raw pharmaceutical ingredients. The Indians are not getting the ingredients because of China’s very responsible attitude of lock-down in response to the Wuhan virus, unlike the US of A which is in denial. 

But before I go into the details of the threat to medicine, a reminder that the most vulnerable people are the old, chronic sickly, or men. If you meet all three criteria, go order yr coffin Women seem to be less likely to die from coronavirus than men, and children appear to be less likely to die than other age groups. Re: Kanna Covid-19, can die or not?

Coming back to the looming shortage of supplies of paracetamol and other everyday drugs, the BBC explains:

India, which is one of the world’s largest exporter of drugs, relies on China for 70 per cent of its raw pharmaceutical ingredients. For many critical antibiotics and antipyretics — medicines that reduce fever — the dependency is almost 100 per cent, experts say.

Prices have surged in recent weeks as Chinese manufacturers have run out of supplies due to traffic restrictions and staff shortages.

There are fears of global shortages of some common drugs after India limited the export of certain medicines due to the coronavirus.

The world’s biggest supplier of generic drugs has restricted exports of 26 ingredients and the medicines made from them.

The restricted drugs include Paracetamol, one of the world’s most widely-used pain relievers.

It comes as many drug ingredient makers in China remain shut or cut output.

India’s drug makers rely on China for almost 70% of the active ingredients in their medicines, and industry experts have warned that they are likely to face shortages if the epidemic continues.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51731719

China, especially Hubei province, is critical to the global pharmaceutical supply chain. Disruptions at Chinese and Indian drugmakers will lead to drug shortages worldwide.

Since the outbreak, costs of mainstream antibiotics have risen 50% for Indian drugmakers, the world’s biggest exporter of generic drugs, the FT reports.

Related post Need Paracetamol? Ask SingHealth

NUS academic defends M’sian king and Muhyiddin

In Malaysia on 10/03/2020 at 4:43 am

Further to King’s snub to Tun is payback time, where I reported that the word in KL was that unhappiness with Tun’s attitude towards the sultans (and Pahang’s royalty in particular) played a big part in the king declaring that Mr Muhyiddin had the numbers to be sworn in as the country’s eighth prime minister. It wasn’t that the king couldn’t count

Mustafa Izzuddin, from NUS, thinks the king did no wrong:

“The King cannot make political decisions,” says Mustafa Izzuddin at the National University of Singapore.

“But he can play the role of honest broker, bringing the warring sides together. Even then it is unprecedented for a king to do so in Malaysia.

“But Malaysian politics are in uncharted waters, so revolutionary methods may have been necessary. And the King may have seen Muhyiddin as the most trustworthy and steady of the candidates.”

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-51716474

He can look forward to a royal honour if Tun and gang cannot unseat Muhyiddin.

Covid 19: Opps! Fake news about beards

In Uncategorized on 09/03/2020 at 2:52 pm

In Wuhan virus: No beards please, I got it wrong about beards having to go to fight the Wuhan virus.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the shaving of beards as a precaution against Covid 19 infection. The Iranian, Taliban and other mad mullahs will say Wuhan virus is CIA or Chinese plot against Islam.

Btw, the Iranian authorities are not telling Iranian men to shave off their beards to prevent the virus from spreading.

Sorry. 

From the BBC:

1. No, you don’t need to shave your beard to protect against the virus

An old graphic created by the US health authorities about facial hair and respirators has been used incorrectly to suggest men should shave off their beards to avoid catching the coronavirus.

The Nigerian Punch newspaper’s headline said: “To be safe from coronavirus, shave your beard, CDC warns”

False headline claiming that the US health authorities recommend shaving off beards to protect against coronavirus
Presentational white space

We have added labels to the screenshots to indicate whether the story has been found to be “false” or used an “old photo”.

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) image shows dozens of examples of facial hair and which ones to avoid when wearing a respirator mask. Beard styles such as Side Whiskers and the Zappa are approved but the Garibaldi and French Fork can interfere with the valve and prevent the respirator working properly.

The graphic is genuine – but it was created in 2017 (well before the coronavirus outbreak) for workers who wear tight-fitting respirators. Contrary to what’s been reported, the CDC has not published it recently and it does not recommend that people shave off their beards.

Similar headlines have appeared in other countries, generating thousands of shares. Australian news outlet 7News posted on Twitter: “How your beard may unknowingly increase your risk of coronavirus.”

Current UK health advice is that while masks are useful for medical staff in hospitals, “there is very little evidence of widespread benefit for members of the public”.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-51710617?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/world/africa&link_location=live-reporting-story