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Archive for 2020|Yearly archive page

Covid-19: Indians think British Indians are stupid?

In Uncategorized on 31/12/2020 at 5:35 am

Fake “Covid-19 immunity boosters” are being sold over the counter in London shops, a BBC investigation has found.

Coronil, a herbal remedy from India, was found on sale in shops in predominantly Asian areas across the capital.

Manufacturers Patanjali Ayurved claim the pills protect against “respiratory tract infections”. Tests carried out for the BBC show the pills offer no protection from coronavirus.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-55318095

PAP needs this law in S’pore

In Public Administration on 30/12/2020 at 4:19 am

When I read that Zhang Zhan, a Chinese Kay Poh Queen (OK, OK a citizen journalist who covered Wuhan’s coronavirus outbreak: she’d never get a job with our constructive, nation-building ST etc), had been jailed for four years for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”, I couldn’t help but think that this was the law the PM needs, but doesn’t have.

Best for Shan to bring in this law of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” so that PM doesn’t need to sue for defamation people like Terry Xu, Uncle Leong, and Roy Ngerng. Whenever PM rightly sues for defamation to clear his name, S’poreans someone get reminded that his siblings can make defamatory remarks about him, but not get sued. He just stands up and makes a parliamentary statement in response to their remarks.

Cue, anti-PAP paper warriors shout “white horses” and “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others”.

And I dream of “white horses” shouting “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others”.

Seriously, there’s a real advantage to the PAP govt of having this law against “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” which, btw, is a frequent charge used against activists in China. No need to charge people for one-person illegal assemblies, which does sound like something from Alice-in-Wonderland or from Kafka: absurd and surreal.

Singapore: Jolovan Wham charged for holding up a smiley face sign

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55068007

There is no need for more magic realism from the PAP govt, especially as writers, anti-PAP or just those who oppose the PAP, talented or mediocre, love to write in the genre: example

A man learns that all the animals at the Zoo are robots. A secret terminal in Changi Airport caters to the gods. A prince falls in love with a crocodile. A concubine is lost in time. The island of Singapore disappears.

 These are the exquisitely strange tales of Lion City, the first collection of short fiction by award-winning poet and playwright Ng Yi-Sheng. Infused with myth, magical realism and contemporary sci-fi, each of these tales invites the reader to see this city-state in a new and darkly fabulous light.

https://epigrambookshop.sg/products/lion-city

(Btw, the above collection of short stories is good fun, read it.)


My reflections on one-person illegal assembly posts

PAP govt one up up on repressive central Asian republic?

Seelan Palay: Sylvia Lim was right

Jolovan’s latest problem shows Sylvia Lim’s and my prescience

Jogging alone can be illegal?

PAP uses Lawfare against its opponents?


Coming back to Minister Shan, here’s a post by a anti-PAP, but usually clear-headed writer https://sudhirtv.com/2020/12/28/singapores-leadership-crisis-shan-the-phenom/. Worth a read.

Post Covid-19: India’s ascent but there’s a catch

In China, India on 29/12/2020 at 6:04 am

The UK-based Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said India will become the third largest global economy by 2030.

India had overtaken the UK as the fifth-biggest economy in 2019 but has slipped behind it again due to the pandemic’s impact. It won’t take over again until 2024, the CEBR says India’s economy will go on to overtake Germany in 2027 and Japan in 2030.

But the bad news for India is that China will overtake the US to become the world’s largest economy by 2028, five years earlier than previously forecast, according to the CEBR.

China’s management of Covid-19 would boost its relative growth compared to the US and Europe in coming years.

FYI in Cynical Historian: 1960: PAP turns S’pore into a Workers’ Paradise

The market relapse didn’t happen, did it?

In Financial competency on 28/12/2020 at 7:03 am

There were a lot of people on FB predicting the collapse of equity markets in February and March. Then when the market reversed around end March, they said they would wait for the W pattern to form before buying: the market would collapse a second time, and then it would time to buy. They even drew charts on FB explaining when they would start buying.

Well they are banging their balls in frustration waiting for the relapse that didn’t happen. And when they start BSing, the best way to get them to sit down and shut them up is to remind them about their predictions about the W.

FYI in Cynical Historian: Aristocrats (natural?) cut and ran when the Indonesians invaded

Why bears think a bust is on the way

In Financial competency on 27/12/2020 at 5:07 am

Hence they think there’ll be a reckoning like the dot-com era meltdown.

Covid-19: Why white racists must be happy

In Uncategorized on 27/12/2020 at 4:34 am

People from ethnic minorities in the UK are significantly less likely to take the coronavirus vaccine – with warnings of targeted online scaremongering the BBC reports.

A study from the Royal Society for Public Health found 57% of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people said they would take the vaccine.

This compared with 79% of white people who would take a Covid vaccine. More at https://www.bbc.com/news/education-55332321

In the US an FT reports is titled

Black Americans wary of Covid vaccine effort

History of institutional racism has made minority groups sceptical of vaccinations

It goes on to report that 42% of black Americans said they would take a Covid-19 vaccine, compared with 61% of white Americans, according to a recent Pew Research Center opinion poll.

Cynical Investor sidling into Cynical Historian

In Uncategorized on 26/12/2020 at 5:47 am

Started a new blog (My Christmas present to S’poreans) yesterday that aims to be snarky about how events in our past have relevance today.

A tale from the olden days showing why “Advising the ruling elite is not advisable”.

Btw, if TRE wants to republish Cynical Investor’s takes on S’pore’s History, pls feel free to do so.

Post-Covid-19, why West should give Indians a break on the use of coal

In Environment, India on 26/12/2020 at 3:39 am

Burning coal is a big contributor to climate warming. India is given a hard time by the West because of its expanding use of coal: even China is promising to use less of it. But Modi is proud to burn ever more coal even if the resulting pollution kills Indians.

India should point out that Hindus (most of the population, too bad about the beef eating Muslims and their cousins, whisky drinking Pakistani generals) are vegetarians.

Modi should tell the West “Do you want us to eat more meat? And help worsen climate change resulting from a warmer earth?” And to the human right activists complaining about the treatment of beef-eating Muslims, “Our policies keep the number of beef eaters from growing. We even hope to cut the numbers down. You want them to grow?”

In short, the deal with the West is “We remain vegetarians, so let us burn coal even if the pollution kills us. Oh and let us beat up the Muslims”.

Good ripostes to Minister Shan

In Public Administration on 25/12/2020 at 5:34 am

Christmas in the West is not only about food and alcohol. It’s also time to light a cigar or in these more PC days, a reefer.

This reminded me that the decision by the United Nations’ drug agency to reclassify cannabis is one driven by money and profits rather than science and rationality, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam: more at https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/un-decision-on-cannabis-legalisation-down-to-power-of-money-not-rationality-and-science

And as though alcohol and tobacco don’t have $ behind them.

Btw, the science behind cannabis, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs: PAP really makes case for banning tobacco and alcohol. Seriously, I’m sure the absence of a ban in S’pore on alcohol and tobacco have nothing to do with money and profits, its driven by science and rationality.

What do you think?

Btw, I belive in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy and the 9th Immortal.

MSCI Asia-Pac keeps pace with S&P 500

In Uncategorized on 24/12/2020 at 5:02 am

Digital banking: Why SingTel and Grab are onto a winner

In Banks, Internet, Telecoms on 23/12/2020 at 6:34 am

The digital finance opportunity is huge. A joint survey from Alphabet-owned Google, Temasek and Bain & Company found that over a third of e-commerce consumers in the region’s top six economies only started to use online services because of the pandemic and over 90% plan to stick with their new habit. The same report forecast online payment transactions will rise 15% to $1.2 trillion by 2025, up from $620 billion in 2020.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-singapore-banks-breakingviews/breakingviews-grab-ceo-will-step-into-2021s-tech-limelight-idUSKBN28V09K

In particular, think the opportunity to handle the remittances of FTs particularly the Indon and Pinoy maids. then the Indian FT and Bangladeshi FTs. Singtel has as associates telcos in Indon, PinoyLand and India. SingTel is oversold: go buy some. I own some shares.

(Btw, read the above link because it gives a glowing picture of the prospects for Grab. S’pore’s the cash cow for Grab after Uber surrendered.)

FYI, how FT reported the award of the digital banking licenses:

Singapore has finalised the award of digital banking licenses to four operators this month. In picking SeaAnt Group and a consortium between Grab and Singapore Telecommunications as three of the license winners, Singapore is harnessing some of the region’s biggest tech names.

“We expect the speed of innovation of the new digital banks to strengthen Singapore’s position as a leading financial hub in the region,” said Paul Ng, financial services lead for south-east Asia at Accenture.

The move could help boost digital financial services in south-east Asia (see chart). Online lending is expected to grow fourfold between 2020 and 2025, to $92bn, while online investment assets are set to increase to $84bn from $21bn over the same period.

FT

FYI, SingTel, Hong Leong will get digital bank licences

S’pore drops 92 places

In Economy, Environment on 22/12/2020 at 6:37 am

In the UN Development Programme’s Human Development Index (HDI), S’pore is ranked 11. Something the local MSM and millionaire ministers crow about, while TOC, TRE and their ilk on social media pretend the HDI doesn’t exist or call it “fake news”.

But a new report presents an adjustment to the HDI for planetary pressures.

The adjustment corresponds to multiplying the HDI by an adjustment factor, creating the PHDI where P stands for “Planet”.

“If a country puts no pressure on the planet, its PHDI and HDI would be equal, but the PHDI falls below the HDI as pressure rises. The adjustment factor is calculated as the arithmetic mean of indices measuring carbon dioxide emissions per capita, which speaks to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and material footprint per capita, which relates to closing material cycles.”

Go to http://report.hdr.undp.org/part-3.html for charts and an animation to explain this verbal garbage

Whatever, we drop 92 places. Many developed countries also like liddat but we fall the mostest. Go to page 255 of http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/hdr2020.pdf for table.

Global banks boost S’pore hiring

In Banks, Economy on 21/12/2020 at 9:03 am

They hedging Hong Kong risk.

But what will be % of jobs going to S’poreans, especially those who moan and groan on TOC, TRE and other anti-PAP sites, and social media that FTs gets all the jobs here?

Covid-19: Hegemon strikes back?

In Uncategorized on 21/12/2020 at 4:56 am

There is plenty in the Western media about Russia’s disinformation war against the West. But are the CIA and MI6 conducting disinformation campaigns against the Russian state?

The manufacturers of the Russian Covid-19 vaccine say they have fielded demand to produce doses for 1.2bn people internationally next year. But will anyone want them? Even the Pakistanis don’t seem to want the Russian vaccine: Covid-19: India has plenty of vaccines while Pakistan has to beg for vaccines.

But Russians don’t trust the vaccine even though Vladimir Putin said Sputnik V was “quite effective” when he approved it for use in August.  The vaccine has yet to complete phase 3 trials.

61% of Russians do not trust official data on coronavirus, while 59% do not plan to get the vaccine says an independent (non-govt) Russian researcher.

Meanwhile the rest of the world is trying hard to buy the US-approved vaccines.

The Hegemon is back.

Covid-19: India has plenty of vaccines while Pakistan has to beg for vaccines

In Uncategorized on 20/12/2020 at 10:13 am

India expects to begin vaccinating people against Covid-19 in January, Indian health officials told the BBC. Something for Indians to cheer as we enter the holiday season.

And gloat too: the BBC reports that Pakistan is too poor to afford vaccine doses. It hasn’t secured any dosages yet. It also doesn’t have as many friends as India. Even all-weather friend, China, is giving Pakistan the finger because it’s poor. Even the Saudis and Gulf states, fellow Muslims, got disputes with the Pakistanis. Saudis recalling a billion dollar loan.

Waz the point of nuclear weapons’? Who is a better protector of Muslims? Doubtless there will be Indian friends of Pakistan who will claim that Hindoos will be given priority in vaccination.

Sorry, back to why Pakistan can’t vaccinate its people:

Pakistan has been in talks with every vaccine manufacturer. “We definitely are competing with richer countries. And that was a given,” says Faisal Sultan, the special assistant to Pakistan’s prime minister on health, who has been central to those negotiations.

“Everybody is going for a finite pie. The pie is fixed for now and everybody wants a slice of it. And there’s obviously going to be some jostling and pushing.”

So far, he says negotiations are going well but they have yet to secure any doses. Pakistan can’t afford to pay for a vaccine before they know that it will work. “That’s a luxury,” says Dr Sultan. “I think there’s only a handful of countries who may do this. If we can get the right stuff, the right combination, we should be okay. But we cannot do blind bets.”

Leading universities in Pakistan have helped to run clinical trials on behalf of Chinese firm, CanSinoBIO and that may help secure a supply but it’s not a quid quo pro. And negotiations are not purely about money either. Ms Delgado admits that Mexico’s good diplomatic relations were an important part in her successful deals.

“Companies do exist within countries,” Dr Sultan agrees. “And when you’re talking countries, obviously politics and alliances and all these things do come into play. But at present, what we are trying to do is work above any geopolitical fray, it may or may not be truly possible.”

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-55325450

OK, OK, I exaggerate about the begging that the Pakistanis have to do. But it’s a fact that they can’t get any.



Where US beats China hands down

In Banks, China on 20/12/2020 at 5:44 am

Providing personal service in banking. In China, they prefer apps. More high tech. Besides personal service in Chinese banks sucks.

Why Queen Jos should make redeploying Robinsons’ sales staff an urgent priority

In Uncategorized on 19/12/2020 at 6:30 am

As Robinsons closes let’s remember that good retail staff have individual talents and skills that can be used in other settings: selling ice to the Eskimos is a unique skill. So helping redeploying quickly Robinsons’ sales staff is good MoM policy, not charity.

These tots were triggered when someone on FB shared these images from a booklet, circa 1970s:

Sadly, the above is something that most true blue S’poreans don’t do. It’s something that Pinoys know instinctively (I’ve lived in PinoyLand).

Many a time here, I bot something relatively expensive that I didn’t really need or want because the Pinoy salesperson treated me well, explaining the product, that I was interested in. So even though it wasn’t what I wanted or needed after the explanation, (nice leather insoles), I bot stuff because of the way I was treated.

Robinsons’ staff (S’porean or FT) are like that.

Post Covid-19, economic prospects for India and the Philippines are the most bleak

In China, Emerging markets, India on 18/12/2020 at 11:13 am

Emerging markets will feel most the economic impact of the pandemic, particularly India and the Philippines. Btw, looks like Spain, France, UK and Italy are not developed countries but China is.

Modi and Indians will not be happy with China’s success.

Inflation, what inflation? Why Bitcoin is flying?

In Financial competency, Financial planning, Gold on 18/12/2020 at 3:51 am

So it’s not surprising that serious investors are joining the chase for Bitcoin . Remember the supply of Bitcoin is limited, unlike that of gold, the usual inflation hedge.

Even DBS is trying to get onto the Bitcoin wagon: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/singapore-bank-dbs-launch-digital-exchange-virtual-currency-13743466

Local brokers missing a trick/ Time for Temasek to let SGX be foreign owned?

In Corporate governance, Financial competency, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 17/12/2020 at 7:23 am

Local brokers are still dying even if retail punters are returning because Covid-19 lockdowns (Sorry “circuit breakers”) mean bored S’poreans e-trade. They should learn from Robinhood. No not free brokerage (It’s Pay And Pay Land here) but providing lists of trades that were the most popular among its customers in an effort to encourage trading on its app and site. And when trades are completed on the platform, customers are sent emoji-laden messages prompting them to purchase additional shares.

As to foreign ownership, after all FT’s run the place even if the CEO is the token local.

Seriously look at this chart

See how concentrated the ownership is. And “Others” include a couple of Chinese King Kongs: HKSE and the mainland exchanges.

Time for SGX to join the world: sell itself before it becomes irrelevant. Pigs will fly first though.

For the record: Over 20% of SGX shares are held by SEL Holdings, a special-purpose company wholly owned by Temasek Holdings under Singapore’s regulations that restrict the exercise of votes attached to shares of financial exchange companies. 

Smart Nation and Digital Government Group contradicts itself on app & token

In Public Administration on 16/12/2020 at 4:54 am

PM’s announcement of Phase 3 reminded me of “Ownself contradict ownself” statements from the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group: the elite team meant to remake S’pore.

(Is Li Hongyi on it? Secret Squirrel alleges that he’s on it and is one of its shining lights. But Secret Squirrel often gets things wrong.)

But first, some introductory comments:

The adoption of the TraceTogether app and tokens stand at more than 60 per cent, getting closer to the 70 per cent target required to move to Phase 3

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/tracetogether-app-token-adoption-phase-3-13748714

CNA went on to say that SNDGG said a possible reason (one of several SNDGG gave) for not adopting TraceTogether

may be the belief that SafeEntry is sufficient, stemming from a lack of understanding that TraceTogether and SafeEntry are complementary tools that serve different functions.

Constructive, nation-building CNA

Excuse me Smart Nation and Digital Government Group, if liddat, why u/m statement?

No need to collect the token if you have the TraceTogether App

https://token.gowhere.gov.sg/

The statement implies that the token is an alternative to the app.

There’s more from the :

Contact Tracing

The TraceTogether Token complements the TraceTogether App by extending the protection provided by digital contact tracing tools to those who may not own or prefer not to use a mobile phone.

https://token.gowhere.gov.sg/

OK, OK, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group didn’t issue these statements, the S’pore govt did.

But surely the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group must have approved these statements. So why so cock, unless it didn’t vet the site.

Btw, I’ve been told that I cannot collect the token yet. Originally the date for collection in my area would have begun on 14 December. No new date has been given.

How to get to target of 70% liddat? So don’t suka suka blame public like the the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group implied in the CNA article.

How to have confidence in the $4G leaders? But let’s be far, PM and other 3Gs are still calling the shots. So 3Gs also are a bunch of mediocrities, not withstanding the million $ salaries: Ex-PM’s money obsession causing PAP problems.

For the record, the 4G leaders failed their legitimacy test: Why PAP aiming for 65% of the popular vote. (Btw, written in 2018: Why even with 4G donkeys, PAP will retain power.)

And based on what PM, Lawrence Wong and Shanmugan said the PAP is very aware that their legitimacy is waning: Legitimacy problem for the PAP as 9% of voters get smarter

But the bad, sad news is how they are trying to fix the legitimacy problem. Instead of listening to Tharman’s views (see below), the PAP are trying to shift the goal posts, lowering the high water mark of success: now only aiming for 65% of the popular vote as their high water mark of popularity and success, not -70%+ mark of the past: How the PAP plans to fix its legitimacy problem.

And we must be a more tolerant democracy, with greater space for divergent views, and a more active civil society, without the public discourse becoming divisive or unsettling the majority.It will be good for Singapore if we evolve in these three ways. They will each help ensure stability in our democracy in the years to come. And they will tap on the energies and ideas of a younger generation of Singaporeans and their desire to be involved in public affairs.

Part of Tharman’s FB post

I’m not using this Big Brother Service

In Banks, Financial competency, Financial planning on 15/12/2020 at 11:42 am

S’pore residents can now view financial information from various banks in one place, with launch of new tech structure

Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/spore-residents-can-now-pool-financial-information-various-banks-one-place-launch-new-tech

The authorities on Monday launched a tech infrastructure called the Singapore Financial Data Exchange (SGFinDex). It uses SingPass — the national passcode system for e-government services — and a centrally managed online consent system that will help individuals access their financial information across different government agencies and participating financial institutions. 

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat (The guy with THE plan for his East Coast GRC which many residents didn’t care for: the PM in waiting nearly lost the GRC winning only 53.4% of the votes) said that the process to consolidate finances is often onerous. But this new underlying technology allows data from each source, which is encrypted, to be transmitted through SGFinDex without being stored, Singaporeans and foreign residents with a SingPass will be able to view their consolidated financial information.

Whatever, as I understand it, whoever is providing the user with the consolidation can see the data. This means the banks and MoneySense (A Singapore Government Agency Website) can see the consolidated numbers, if I’m correct.

I don’t see any advantage for someone like me. It’s so easy via e-banking to see how much $ I have in my various accounts with different banks. And transfer.

I also don’t want any one bank or Moneysense to see how rich I am to suka suka market to me. I assume that if it wants to, the ISD or the police can access details of all my accounts but that’s a different matter. That’s the price of living in S’pore. But I don’t have to make things any easier for millionaire ministers.

Revenge of the old economy

In Energy on 15/12/2020 at 10:02 am

Remember this chart?

 Clean energy group NextEra surpassing ExxonMobil in market capitalisation: The World Turned Upside Down

Well Exxon’s shares have risen by a third since then, and the market now judges it to be worth $40bn more than NextEra.

“Biden orders exorcism of Trump from White House”

In Uncategorized on 14/12/2020 at 4:20 am

As Biden is a Catholic, is he asking the Pope to do an exorcism to ensure that no traces of the Trump genie remains? They are both no friends of capitalism, the Trump version. The Pope may even be a closet Marxist.

No, nothing so spectacular. It’s more prosaic.

The UK’s Mail on Sunday reports that the US President-elect has asked that the White House be deep-cleaned, after Donald Trump leaves in January. A spokesman for Joe Biden’s transition team says this is because “Mr Trump’s administration has been riddled with coronavirus”. The spokesman says a team in protective clothing will go as far as replacing door knobs and removing soft furnishings.

HK ordered 22.5m doses of Covid-19, waz PAP govt’s ordered?

In Public Administration on 13/12/2020 at 4:27 am

When I read

Singapore will invest S$25 billion – or 1 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) – in research, innovation and enterprise for the next five years. 

The Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 Plan (RIE2025), announced by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat at a press conference on Friday (Dec 11), includes a new national programme to prepare for future epidemics.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-invest-25-billion-research-develop-talent-13751100

I remembered reading that Hong Kong has ordered 7.5m doses from Pfizer and BioNTech, and 7.5m doses from the Chinese pharmaceutical group Sinovac. It’s planning to order a similar amount from AstraZeneca.

Meanwhile, as for S’pore’s orders, S’pore won’t be last in the queue for any vaccine, according to PM.

American soft power versus Russian and Chinese

In Uncategorized on 12/12/2020 at 4:12 am

America wins hands down in its traditional enemy Iran.

Int’l media reports that Iranians have started a campaign on social media against the govt buying Russian and Chinese Covid-19 vaccines. Seems they want US approved Covid-19 vaccines, despite the US being the enemy and Russia and China friends.

America is great again. With enemies like Iran, it doesn’t need parasite friends like Germany.

Despite Covid-19, India in fast food eating frenzy

In India on 11/12/2020 at 10:55 am

An Indian bread supplier to McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC will launch its IPO next week. Mrs Bectors hopes to raise Rs5.4bn (US$73m). Should not be a problem. Indian investors love Western fast food made the Indian way.

Last week, Burger King India’s initial public offering drew bids of US$9.5 bn, or more than 150 times the shares on offer. Investors are bullish about the country’s food service sector despite a slowdown inflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The IPO had aimed to raise US$110m, US$60.5m from the publi

Btw, India’s stock market has been on a record-breaking run since November. The Tantallon India Fund closed 11.29% higher in November

Only in India

In India on 10/12/2020 at 4:35 am

Living in the 4th China, which is uniquely for a Chinese society, multiracial and multi-religious, and as someone who knows that most of our laws have Indian origins (I trained as a lawyer), I find this quaint, amusing and chilling.

Indians of different faiths cannot easily get married:

India’s Special Marriage Act, which allows interfaith marriages only after a month’s notice to the authorities containing the couple’s personal details. So couples fear that their families will intervene to prevent the wedding.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-55158684

Where be unicorns? Not India or Western Europe

In China, India, Indonesia on 09/12/2020 at 11:19 am

But America and China. And in SE Asia, Indonesia.

Related posts:

Time for India to ban Paytm, Zomato, Byju and Dream11?

Can India afford to boycott Chinese investors?

A thousand tweets too far

In Uncategorized on 08/12/2020 at 6:28 am

Ms Neera Tanden was nominated by Sleepy Joe to head the Office of Management and Budget in his incoming administration. Ms Tanden has reportedly deleted 1,000 tweets that disparaged Republican senators she now has to count on to confirm her in the job.

Besides Covid-19, what else is hurting elderly Indians? Chinese? And Japanese?

In Uncategorized on 07/12/2020 at 5:15 am

A warming world.

Heatwaves are killing a record number of people globally. Exposure to extreme heat is getting worse as a result of climate change.

Look at the u/m and you’ll notice that elderly Indians are the most exposed to heatwaves. As are Chinese, Japanese and Indonesians.

India and China were among the worst affected, thanks to large populations and already hot regions. Heat-related deaths among the elderly, meanwhile, have risen by almost 54% between 2000 and 2018, according to the researchers’ estimates. In 2018, the most recent year for which figures are available, heatwaves killed around 296,000 people over 65. Again, China and India suffered the most, with 62,000 and 31,000 deaths, respectively. Germany and America were the worst-affected Western countries, suffering around 20,000 deaths each.

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/12/03/heatwaves-are-killing-a-record-number-of-people

My emphasis.

Riding the melt up tornado

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 06/12/2020 at 4:00 am

Goldman Sachs said it believed the US S&P 500 equity index would go as high as 4,300 by the end of next year: 20% more than present level.  But some of its clients balked at the 4,300 target, arguing it should be even higher. others say 3800, 5% more

But some felt it was too bullish, unnerved by the potential for rising inflation expectations push up government bond yields and in turn chip away at equities.

Jeremy Grantham a well respected fund manager thinks a melt up is happening: markets have smashed past the “full bull” stage and are in a late-bubble “melt-up” phase that rivals the two biggest bubbles of the past century.

Btw in late 2019, he was predicting a melt up this yr. When the market fell in March 2020, he looked silly.

Grab and Gojek can’t be both right/ Consumers get screwed

In Emerging markets on 05/12/2020 at 4:05 am

Grab and Gojek both claim to be negotiating from strength in their merger talks.

Grab and Gojek, who dominate ride-hailing and food delivery in south-east Asia, each told their staff that they are in a position of strength ahead of a potential merger. Grab is valued at US$10bn twice that of Gojek.

The two start-ups have been urged to combine forces by their investors, in particular SoftBank, after fierce and expensive rivalry for market share.

Grab operates in 8 countries, while Gojek operates in 5 but it’s the biggest player by far in Indonesia, the region’s largest and fastest growing market. They are the top two players in most markets. 

My money is on no deal. This is good for consumers: A merger creates a monopoly with more expensive services for customers.

Diabolical: When healthtech and fintech combine

In Financial competency on 04/12/2020 at 4:23 am

When my mum was hospitalised in Raffles (Bill: Private hospital treatment, public hospital fees ), the bill would have been about $15,000 for nine days’ stay and treatment. Thanks to the PAP govt, she paid “peanuts”: a few months earlier our dog’s hospital bill was more, more a lot more. I joked that the Gods saw how well we treated our mongrel that they gave my mum a treat when she was hospitalised. How she struck Toto: Private hospital treatment, public hospital fees.

But in future, need $ to pay private hospital bill?

Patients of India’s Apollo Hospitals can use an app to get drug refills, tele-consultations and remote diagnoses—and even secure a medical loan through Apollo’s partnership with HDFC Bank.

https://www.economist.com/business/2020/12/02/the-dawn-of-digital-medicine

Deflation? What deflation?

In Economy on 03/12/2020 at 7:09 am

We keep reading of deflation

Singapore’s core and headline inflation both weakened last month, continuing a deflationary trend seen in previous months.

Inflationary pressures are likely to remain muted for the rest of the year, experts said.

Core inflation, which excludes accommodation and private road transport costs, came in at -0.2 per cent year on year last month, slightly below the -0.1 per cent seen in September, according to data released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) yesterday.

Constructive, nation-building ST in late November

, yet for most of us the prices of daily necessities (no more discounts from Fairprice on French butter or cream cheese)), or small luxuries keep creeping up: think Old Chang Kee’s curry puffs or fish balls. SAD.

No, it’s not the PAP govt “fixing” the data, it’s something Europeans have a problem with too

The prices of things that matter to us go up, the prices of things we don’t think about (even if they are important to us), go down.

Uniquely S’porean: Chicken nuggets without the chicken

In Uncategorized on 02/12/2020 at 2:25 pm

Singapore has given regulatory approval for the world’s first “clean meat” that does not come from slaughtered animals.

The decision paves the way for San Francisco-based startup Eat Just to sell lab-grown chicken meat.

The meat will initially be used in nuggets, but the company hasn’t said when they will become available.



Eat Just’s product is different because it is not plant based, but instead grown from animal muscle cells in a lab.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-55155741

30% are really stupid as are 52%

In Financial competency on 02/12/2020 at 5:01 am

No I’m not talking of the 30% who die die must vote for the likes of Lim Tean.

Around 30% of people in the West get this question wrong in multiple studies:

“Suppose you had $100 in a savings account and the interest rate was 2 per cent per year. After five years, how much do you think you would have in the account if you left the money to grow?”

• More than $102
• Exactly $102
• Less than $102
• Do not know

This question is part of three financial literacy questions

1) Suppose you had $100 in a savings account and the interest rate was 2% per year. After 5 years, how much do you think you would have in the account if you left the money to grow?
 More than $102
 Exactly $102
 Less than $102
 Do not know
 Refuse to answer
2) Imagine that the interest rate on your savings account was 1% per year and inflation was 2% per year. After 1 year, how much would you be able to buy with the money in this account?
 More than today
 Exactly the same
 Less than today
 Do not know
 Refuse to answer
3) Please tell me whether this statement is true or false. “Buying a single company’s stock usually provides a safer return than a stock mutual fund.”
 True
 False
 Do not know
 Refuse to answer
  1. Source: Lusardi and Mitchell (2011b)

Answers

1 More than $102

2 Less than today

3 False

Are S’poreans any better? I doubt it because we could be a lot worse

Only 48 per cent of households have signed up with a new electricity provider two years after the market was liberalised

Those who did not switch said they found it troublesome to compare prices and are worried a new provider might close down

Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/less-half-all-households-have-switched-electricity-providers

Covid-19: Why the AstraZeneca vaccine is a blessing for India from Ram and pals

In India on 01/12/2020 at 6:27 am

Interim data suggests the AstraZeneca vaccine provides 70% protection, but the researchers say the figure may be as high as 90% by tweaking the dose. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines showed 95% protection.

But the vaccine is cheap compared to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine: it’ll be sold at cost. India doesn’t have much $ unlike the Americans. The other vaccines are priced for the West, not for India

Better still, it can be kept for at least six months in a normal fridge. The Pfizer vaccine needs ultra-cold storage of -70°C, and can be kept in a fridge for only a few days. The Moderna vaccine can be kept in a fridge for a month.

This means that the AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored in any surgery or pharmacy in a third world country like India.

Richard Hatchett, the head of CEPI, a foundation that funds research into vaccines for pandemics, said he thought this vaccine had the potential to significantly alter the course of the global pandemic and could be delivered anywhere, including poor countries.

Economist

And that’s not all. The best news is that the Serum Institute, an Indian maker of drugs and vaccines, committed itself to mass-manufacturing the AstraZeneca vaccine as long ago as April. And it seems half of what it makes can be kept by India, to be used in India.

India’s ordered it:

India has to pay the Serum Institute for the vaccine but Modi’s thugs are already thinking about how not to pay. A minister has talked loudly of seizing the vaccine when the Serum Institute said India had yet to allocate funds to buy it.

Sounds like India is imitating China’s grandpa Xi.

Whatever, Hindoos should be breaking more coconuts. After an Indian US VP, this vaccine shows that Ram and pals love India, not withstand the many Muslims. LOL.

Silver bonds: HK govt loves its old people

In Economy, Financial competency, Hong Kong on 30/11/2020 at 10:44 am

As someone who has problems diversifying cash generated from dividends and capital gains (Can’t put into my CPF account but topped up my 98 yr old mum’s MediSave to the full amount. It pays 6% interest per annum.) into non equity assets, I wish our govt would have something similar to what HK has for oldies with cash.

HK at regular intervals issues “silver bonds” for oldies

The HKMA announced the issue of the fifth batch of silver bond targeting Hong Kong residents aged 65 or above. It will be available for subscription from 1st December.
• The tenor will be 3 years and the minimum guaranteed interest rate will be 3.5%, the highest since record. The total issue amount will be HK$10 billion and could be increased to as much as HK$15 billion, depending on the response. This is much more than the previous issue amount of HK$3 billion.

OCBC Securities


HK like us has an old age problem. It’s even worse there.

OCBC says that HK’s population aged 65 is about 1.38m and accounted for 18.3% of total population as of mid 2020, up from 15.3% as of mid-2015 and higher than the 17% for OECD members in 2019. Population aged 65 and above (% of total population) here was reported at 12.39 % in 2019, according to the World Bank.

OCBC says that Given the worsening aging problem in HK, “it is good to provide some asset management tool for the elderly to grow their assets to ease future financial burden.”

Dare say this HK but dare not say this about S’pore. LOL.

Btw, the issuance of silver bonds are not for the purpose of financing any budget deficit but mainly for promoting the development of retail bond market. Like govt here, HK govt has lots of cash.

Give me decent interest income from govt bonds, not freedom to riot. Here Pay And Pay means neither alternative is available. SAD.

Why humans will become extinct/ Being cruel to be kind

In Uncategorized on 29/11/2020 at 6:28 am

We are doomed because we are getting to be real wimps, allowing the weak to survive, unlike our ancestors.

To save humanity from extinction bring bring back Genghis Khan, Mao, Stalin and Hitler.

A S’porean died shortly after LKY. He was met in the afterlife by a spirit and was offered a tour of the place after he was shown his HDB flat situated in a slum.

He was shown round the grand mansions and palaces of the leading residents and he asked to be taken to LKY’s mansion. He was brought to a shabby run down bungalow near his HDB flat. It was a bit like LKY’s Oxley house.

He expressed surprise as he said he tot that LKY deserved better.

The spirit told him “There’s not enough blood on his hands. By the standards of Genghis Khan, Mao, Stalin, George Bush, Churchill and Hitler, he’s a mediocrity.”

Btw, the S’porean found that in his block of flats, there were flats reserved for LHL and Goh Chok Tong.

Myth PAP cares more for GDP than for Sporeans?

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 28/11/2020 at 11:02 am

Millionaire ministers prefer to lock down economy to save lives seems to be the implication of u/m.

What do you think?


Dr Goh and his merry men

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

Problem S’pore, PAP face

Related posts

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

— Dr Goh’s HK counterpart had similar views on MRT and other major issues

— Why S’pore industrialised in the 60s

— SG50: Three cheers for Goh Keng Swee


Remember, the 4G leaders failed their legitimacy test: Why PAP aiming for 65% of the popular vote. (Btw, written in 2018: Why even with 4G donkeys, PAP will retain power.)

And based on what PM, Lawrence Wong and Shanmugan said the PAP is very aware that their legitimacy is waning: Legitimacy problem for the PAP as 9% of voters get smarter

But the bad, sad news is how they are trying to fix the legitimacy problem. Instead of listening to Tharman’s views (see below), the PAP are trying to shift the goal posts, lowering the high water mark of success: now only aiming for 65% of the popular vote as their high water mark of popularity and success, not -70%+ mark of the past: How the PAP plans to fix its legitimacy problem.

And we must be a more tolerant democracy, with greater space for divergent views, and a more active civil society, without the public discourse becoming divisive or unsettling the majority.It will be good for Singapore if we evolve in these three ways. They will each help ensure stability in our democracy in the years to come. And they will tap on the energies and ideas of a younger generation of Singaporeans and their desire to be involved in public affairs.

Part of Tharman’s FB post

Time for India to ban Paytm, Zomato, Byju and Dream11?

In China, India, Internet on 27/11/2020 at 3:31 am

India has banned 43 more Chinese apps, including Alibaba’s online shopping site AliExpress. The Electronics and Information Technology ministry said the apps were blocked for “engaging in activities which are prejudicial to [the] sovereignty and integrity of India”. More than 200 apps have been banned since relations with China deteriorated in June.

FT

I hope Modi and his Electronics and Information Technology minister know that Alibaba invested in Indian payments company Paytm and food delivery start-up Zomato, while Tencent invested in education app Byju’s and fantasy sports platform Dream11.

The cunning Chinese could have installed spyware and malware in these Indian apps to fix India? Remember how the British conquered India? There were Indians happy to be paid “peanuts” help the British East India Co.

Related post: Covid-19: India trying to reinfect China?

Why I’m light on office space list cos

In Economy, Property, Reits on 26/11/2020 at 4:32 am

In future, 85% of employees would prefer to work remotely at least two to three days a week, according to a survey by CBRE a commercial real estate services company.

And there’s this:

If a white collar job here can be done from home, it can be offshored somewhere cheaper. Could someone else do it more cheaply from KL, JB, Bangkok, Mumbai or Manila? 

Another big problem looming for S’pore

Another big problem looming for S’pore

In Economy on 25/11/2020 at 4:27 am

Can $4G can solve this problem or not?

The shift to remote work carries an inherent risk. If a white collar job here can be done from home, it can be offshored somewhere cheaper. Could someone else do it more cheaply from KL, JB, Bangkok, Mumbai or Manila? 

No need for MNCs to employ overpaid, unhappy, lazy and ungrateful TOC or TRE reading PMETs in their regional HQs. Can sack all these ingrates and employ hardworking, cheap labour working in KL, JB, Bangkok, Mumbai or Manila. And they can save on FT salaries here: no need to pay condo rents for mamas who then give their employers a paid reputation by sneering at S’porean uncles and aunties for being poor.

Juz saying.

For the record, the 4G leaders failed their legitimacy test: Why PAP aiming for 65% of the popular vote. (Btw, written in 2018: Why even with 4G donkeys, PAP will retain power.)

And based on what PM, Lawrence Wong and Shanmugan said the PAP is very aware that their legitimacy is waning: Legitimacy problem for the PAP as 9% of voters get smarter

But the bad, sad news is how they are trying to fix the legitimacy problem. Instead of listening to Tharman’s views (see below), the PAP are trying to shift the goal posts, lowering the high water mark of success: now only aiming for 65% of the popular vote as their high water mark of popularity and success, not -70%+ mark of the past: How the PAP plans to fix its legitimacy problem.

And we must be a more tolerant democracy, with greater space for divergent views, and a more active civil society, without the public discourse becoming divisive or unsettling the majority.It will be good for Singapore if we evolve in these three ways. They will each help ensure stability in our democracy in the years to come. And they will tap on the energies and ideas of a younger generation of Singaporeans and their desire to be involved in public affairs.

Part of Tharman’s FB post



“Police have a right to kill you”

In Uncategorized on 24/11/2020 at 6:47 am

Who said this?

No not this guy, Zheng Yanxiong: Hong Kong’s security chief appointed by China in July

(The above paragraph and pix added on 25 November at 10.52am)

Nor you are wrong if you, like our ang moh tua kees, think it must be our very own

It’s Uganda’s Security Minister Elly Tumwine who said this after 37 people were killed on Wednesday and Thursday last week following clashes with supporters of opposition presidential candidate Bobi Wine.

In a media briefing, the BBC reported Mr Tumwine as saying:

Quote Message: Police have a right to shoot you and kill you if you reach a certain level of violence. Can I repeat? Police have a right to shoot you and you die for nothing.”
Police have a right to shoot you and kill you if you reach a certain level of violence. Can I repeat? Police have a right to shoot you and you die for nothing.”

SAD.

What a lot of hot air

In Environment on 23/11/2020 at 5:12 am

No wonder the planet is warming rapidly, endangering in particular Changi Int’l ( Another headache for Changi Int’l) and S’pore in general (Ever wondered why PM wants to build polders? and 2025: LKY’s memorial unveiled)

No, not the usual hot air from millionaire ministers like Kee Chui (RCEP: Kee Chiu minister talks cock) trying to justify their salaries (Did LKY ever have to justify his salary when he was in charge?). Or loonies like Lim Tean or M Ravi (who really is a looney).

No, the headline was provoked by UK officials working on climate change abatement. They point out that unnecessary emails have a carbon cost: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/shortcuts/2019/nov/26/pointless-emails-theyre-not-just-irritating-they-have-a-massive-carbon-footprint

But as the FT points out “Everything is relative. Just one small hamburger has the same carbon footprint as sending 10 emails every day for a year.”

RCEP: Kee Chiu minister talks cock

In Economy on 22/11/2020 at 9:00 am

At the the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

After what has been a challenging year, the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement “will be the bright spot that points the direction ahead”, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Sunday (Nov 15). 

“The signing of the RCEP agreement is a timely boost to the longer-term prospects of the region. It will be the bright spot that points the direction ahead,” Mr Chan told the media after the signing.

Constructive, nation-building CNA

Bright spot? What bright spot?

The RCEP does bugger all for S’pore. No expected impact on real income. SAD.

Money talks, bull shit, like Lim Tean, walks is juz noise.

Any wonder that S’poreans have little confidence in the $4G leaders?

The 4G leaders failed their legitimacy test: Why PAP aiming for 65% of the popular vote. (Btw, written in 2018: Why even with 4G donkeys, PAP will retain power.)

Better still for S’poreans, based on what PM, Lawrence Wong and Shanmugan said the PAP is very aware that their legitimacy is waning: Legitimacy problem for the PAP as 9% of voters get smarter

But the bad, sad news is how they are trying to fix the legitimacy problem. Instead of listening to Tharman’s views (see below), the PAP are trying to shift the goal posts, lowering the high water mark of success: now only aiming for 65% of the popular vote as their high water mark of popularity and success, not -70%+ mark of the past: How the PAP plans to fix its legitimacy problem.

And we must be a more tolerant democracy, with greater space for divergent views, and a more active civil society, without the public discourse becoming divisive or unsettling the majority.It will be good for Singapore if we evolve in these three ways. They will each help ensure stability in our democracy in the years to come. And they will tap on the energies and ideas of a younger generation of Singaporeans and their desire to be involved in public affairs.

Part of Tharman’s FB post

Tai tai’s luck runs out, heading for Woodbridge?

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 21/11/2020 at 7:19 am

DBS shares are really doing well while UOB’s shares juz doing OK reminded of the misfortunes of a tai-tai.

Earlier this yr, a 50-something tai-tai I know sold her DBS shares and bot UOB shares because she said UOB paid more in dividends. The brainless twit (not that brainless because when she was in her 20s, she married an ATM twice her age) didn’t realise that DBS pays its dividends quarterly, while UOB pays its dividends half yearly.

To be fair to her, she was most probably also shell-shocked when she did the switch because during the market collapse in March, she finally sold SPH shares that her ATM machine gave her many yrs ago and bot DBS shares in their place. She remained more faithful to her SPH shares than to her ATM machine: she’s estranged from her hubbie for years.

Her latest problem: the ATM machine stopped paying out.

She’s trying to stay sane by insisting that men still desire her and that she’s a savvy investor not to have sold her SPH shares until recently. Talks of her guardian angels, despite not believing in God or Gods.

Time to be warded in Woodbridge. She may not have the $ to pay for private treatment.

Covid-19: India trying to reinfect China?

In China, India on 20/11/2020 at 4:00 am

I’ve reported that in revenge for China humiliating India in the Himalayas (All those dead Indian soldiers) India has been exporting sending Indians with Covid-19 to HK (Covid-19: Indians going to be banned from going to HK?) and S’pore (Covid-19: FTs from India reinfecting S’pore)

In a change of tactics, India is now sending direct to China packaging of frozen cuttlefish frozen infected with Covid-19. The packaging is infected with Covid-19, not the cuttlefish.

Seriously, the Chinese authorities have detected Covid-19 in the packaging of frozen cuttlefish from India,

Talking cock, growing rich

In Uncategorized on 19/11/2020 at 6:29 am

Between 2001 and 2015, the Clintons earned US$154m for speaking engagements: U$132,022,000 for him, US$21,648,000 for her. This tit bit came from a recent article in the Economist’s 1843 magazine.

Why Europe is sucking up to China

In China on 18/11/2020 at 1:47 pm

China has surpassed the US as the EU’s main trading partner this year for the first time on the back of strong Chinese demand after its relatively swift recovery from pandemic. European luxury and manufacturing have led the rebound according to new data.

TOC’s Ghui no ak East Coast GRC voters isit?/ Everything also must complain

In Political governance on 17/11/2020 at 7:02 am

As usual TOC’s star writer Grace Hui is talking cock. In a piece “Who made the decision that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong should not retire yet?“, she ranted

“People talk about needing checks and balances within Government so that the People’s Action Party cannot “ownself check ownself”. But within the PAP itself, are there checks and balances? Clearly, not all are equal within the party – so whose decision ranks supreme?

‘Has PM Lee Hsien Loong unilaterally decided that he should stay? Did he seek counsel from anyone else within the party? If so, who?

In addition, does this mean that the 4G leadership are far from ready to take power? While former Senior Minister S Jayakumar has tried to say that this is not the case, it remains a fact that PM Lee feels (for whatever reason) that the timing is not right to relinquish power.”

It is also noteworthy that 4G leaders like Lawrence Wong and Josephine Teo had both (on separate occasions) appeared teary-eyed in public, giving the impression that the pressure has gotten to them.

The decision for PM Lee to stay might well be right. Be that as it may, the public still needs to be told of why and how the decision is reached. Last I checked, Singapore is not supposed to be a dictatorship.”

https://www.onlinecitizenasia.com/2020/11/16/who-made-the-decision-that-prime-minister-lee-hsien-loong-should-not-retire-yet/?fbclid=IwAR0i6hCf2cjOEYlBE4trfMoPPOTwSFPkGWKyGwErpkfs7V5l1j13qH1d8Zo

She obviously has forgotten that the voters in East Coast GRC were very lukewarm toward Heng, giving him only a 53.4% electoral margin in East Coast. 

This promoted Reny Choo, one of the founders of TOC, to write after the GE:

It is difficult to see how Heng Swee Keat can take over as PM. Not with a 53.4% electoral margin in East Coast. There is no way to spin this. Singaporeans cannot confidently see our lives and the future of our country in Heng’s hands. 

https://www.onlinecitizenasia.com/2020/07/11/ge-2020-what-the-electorate-said/

So to reply to the talk cock queen who asked “Who made the decision that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong should not retire yet?”, the answer is the voters of East Coast GRC: go ask one of the founders of TOC wrote.

And the PAP it seems listened. That also cannot isit? Die, die talk cock queen must insist that “the public still needs to be told of why and how the decision is reached”.

Maybe she also sees Remy Choo no ak?

Btw, tots on GE

that 4G leaders failed their legitimacy test: Why PAP aiming for 65% of the popular vote. (Btw, written in 2018: Why even with 4G donkeys, PAP will retain power.)

Better still for S’poreans, based on what PM, Lawrence Wong and Shanmugan said the PAP is very aware that their legitimacy is waning.

Legitimacy problem for the PAP as 9% of voters get smarter

And How the PAP plans to fix its legitimacy problem:

But the bad, sad news is how they are trying to fix the legitimacy problem. Instead of listening to Tharman

And we must be a more tolerant democracy, with greater space for divergent views, and a more active civil society, without the public discourse becoming divisive or unsettling the majority.It will be good for Singapore if we evolve in these three ways. They will each help ensure stability in our democracy in the years to come. And they will tap on the energies and ideas of a younger generation of Singaporeans and their desire to be involved in public affairs.

Part of FB post

, the PAP are trying to shift the goal posts, lowering the high water mark of success: now only aiming for 65% of the popular vote as their high water mark of popularity and success, not -70%+ mark of the past.

Why China has Trump by his balls

In China on 16/11/2020 at 11:21 am

The fifth and most recent translation in China of Donald Trump’s “The Art of the Deal”.was published in 2016 by the Communist Youth League.

No wonder Trump Corp has a Chinese bank account. LOL.

Why China is afraid of its tech cos

In China on 15/11/2020 at 8:08 am

Chinese regulators have drafted new antitrust rules aimed at technology firms like Alibaba and Tencent. They will target a range of practices, including treating customers differently based on their spending behaviour and data. The move follows the suspension of the initial public offering of Ant Group, a fintech firm, days before its flotation in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

What all this shows is that Chinese tech groups such as ecommerce group Alibaba have become a little too western for the liking of Xi and other Chinese leaders.

Covid-19 vaccines: India backed the wrong horses

In India on 14/11/2020 at 9:32 am

India backed the loser by a country mile.

Modi’s gang backed Novavax’s vaccine, ordering lots of it. But it didn’t bother with the two likely winners: the vaccines from AstraZeneca/ Oxford University and Pfizer/ BioNTech.

Tai tais’ guide to banks’ earnings

In Banks, Financial competency on 13/11/2020 at 10:02 am

Every tai tai and her toy boy have invested in our banks because of the yield.

But when the results come out, they don’t understand what they mean.

Here’s a cheat sheet. Look out to see if there’s

A rise or fall in net interest income

A rise or fall in fee income

A rise or fall in provisions (allowances) for loans turning bad

A higher or lower cost to income ratio. The cost to income ratio measures the level of expenses the bank incurs to its revenue.

Finally is the CEO optimistic, guarded or worried about the prospects for the bank until the next reporting

Btw, I’m wrong so far in being bearish on our local banks: Can local bank stocks fall by 37%? (cont’d) and PAP a socialist party again?/ Banks doing NS.

Related post: Weath mgt is not the treasure chest local banks think it is

The science behind Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine

In Uncategorized on 12/11/2020 at 10:22 am

The vaccine trains the immune system to fight coronavirus.

It is a new type of vaccine called an RNA vaccine and uses a tiny fragment of the virus’ genetic code. This starts making part of the virus inside the body, which the immune system recognises as foreign and starts to attack.

It is given in two doses – three weeks apart – and early data suggests it protects more than 90% of people from developing Covid symptoms.

https://www.bbc.com/news/explainers-54880084

https://www.bbc.com/news/explainers-54880084

Pay And Pay at work in air bubble with HK

In Hong Kong on 11/11/2020 at 5:16 pm

Pre-departure tests will cost HK$240 ($30) in Hong Kong and up to S$200 in Singapore.

FT report

Well HK$240 is only S$41.73. Yet S’pore is charging up to S$200.

An honest mistake? Or our preflight Covid-19 tests manufactured in the US of A and HK’s made in China? That explains why HK test is less than 25% of ours?

(Last sentence added on 12 November at 5.00am)

How bad losers behave

In Uncategorized on 11/11/2020 at 1:21 pm

Lessons Trump learnt from other bad losers

[S]pit and stamp like Rumpelstiltskin? … [P]rotest about the unfairness of the universe, like the water-soluble Wicked Witch of the West? “Oh what a world, what a world,” she wails, on discovering that she occupies a reality in which little girls can liquidate regimes that run on black magic and flying monkeys.

https://www.economist.com/1843/2020/11/09/lessons-in-losing-from-cleopatra-to-thatcher

Logistics of Covid-19 vaccine

In Uncategorized on 11/11/2020 at 10:33 am

How the vaccine will reach a village in Africa or the Amazon region from the place where its manufactured.

M Ravi’s behaviour shows why in early 20th century, bi-polar sufferers were locked up

In Uncategorized on 10/11/2020 at 6:57 am

To us today, it seems cruel that for many centuries, bi-polar sufferers, like M ravi, were locked up in lunatic asylums like Gotham City Arkham. .

Well the periodic but regular outbreaks of M Ravi’s ramages helps explain the cruel behaviour meted out to people like him in the past.

Recently, M Ravi made news in cyberspace twice in as many days.

He alleged  that lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam had told him that Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam had said he “wields influence over the Chief Justice” and “calls the shot and controlls (sic) Sundaresh Menon”.

Eugene has denied the allegations, pointing out that M Ravi had made these allegations before in 2017. Then, as we later found out (Finally, M Ravi in Woodbridge and Trials and tribulations of an anti-PAP super hero), M Ravi, had stopped taking his medicine and this was the reason he was behaving like the Mad Hatter in Alice In Wonderland.

For the record M Ravi worked for Eugene until M Ravi walked out in anger over a financial dispute, he alleged. The matter was thought to have resolved amicably after M Ravi was forced to take his medicine.

(Btw Ravi later pleaded guilty to attacking a lady partner of the firm. He also apologised to her: M Ravi apologises for assaults after pleading guilty)

The police have confirmed that they are investigating M Ravi for an offence of criminal defamation.

M Ravi also pubicised on FB a lunch he had with Terry Xu and LHY and his wife. He made nasty remarks about the couple.

And that’s not all.

In September, a disciplinary tribunal had determined that he should be ordered to pay a penalty of at least $10,000 for verbal attacks against several govt prosecutors and a distict judge, which were contained in a media statement published by Mr Ravi and posted online in July last year.

Mr Ravi was also ordered to pay $3,000 in costs to the Law Society which prosecuted the case.

Looks the recent landmark victory that M Ravi made in saving someone from hanging over a drug offense has made him think he’s superman. And decided that he didn’t need to take his medicine.

SAD.

Btw, when I was a junior lawyer (I’m now 65), I doubt the legal authorities and the PAP govt would keep on indulging someone like M Ravi. He’d not be allowed to practice law on the grounds that he was a clear and present danger to his clients, and a bad ad for the legal profession.

SAD.

But we live in more enlightened times partly because of the advances in medicine and treatment methods.

Btw, I know a kid in NUS Law School who was exempted from NS because of his autism: they couldn’t find a safe vocation (for him and fellow soldiers) in the SAF. Yet in a few years time, he’s going to be let loose on clients, or law students (I suspect being an academic is the safest choice for him: practicing law is more brutal than NS).

WORRYSOME.

When Jack Ma was a born loser

In Uncategorized on 09/11/2020 at 11:01 am

The last minute cancellation of Ant’s IPO isn’t Jack Ma’s greatest humiliation.

Once upon a time, out of 24 candidates applying for a job with KFC, Jack Ma was the only candidate not to get a job.

That’s not all. He

struggled in school and failed his university entrance exams twice. When he tried to get work, he was knocked back by dozens of employers. He applied to Harvard 10 times, but never got in.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-54838713

But his luck changed

He passed his university entrance exam at the third attempt and went to teachers college. He stayed on for several years afterwards as an English teacher. And it was on a trip to the US as a translator that he first discovered the internet.

After one failed internet venture, he founded Alibaba in 1999 with loans of $60,000 he cobbled together from friends.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-54838713

Covid-19: India no longer generic pharm king

In India on 08/11/2020 at 1:53 pm

India role as “the pharmacy of the world” because of its role in supplying generic medicines to poorer countries, is under threat. China previously a supplier of cheap ingredients. it now formulating own drugs, Western countries now their increasingly protecting their own pharma industries to ensure drug security

Indians can counter better than Americans

In India on 07/11/2020 at 11:04 am

In its general election last year, India counted 600m votes in a few hours, compared with the days it will have taken to tally about 140m votes in America.

Economist

No wonder Indians dominate the H-1B visas the Americans give out to techies.

Why we needed FTs by the cattle truck loads

In Economy on 06/11/2020 at 4:57 am

From Nikkei Asia. It also part of constructive, nation-building media? Move aside SPH, MediaCorp running dogs. PAP govt now got FTs doing their propaganda for them. (Related post: Our education system that screwed up?)

Our education system that screwed up?

In Economy on 05/11/2020 at 5:44 pm

Reasons employers say they need FTs. Locals no got skills. From Nikkei Asia.

Covid-19: Vigilance is eternal

In Uncategorized on 05/11/2020 at 1:26 pm

Virus can pop up anywhere

In NZ, authorities traced very recently a coronavirus cluster that emerged in an isolation facility in Sept to a rubbish bin lid shared between two neighbours.

How PAP can win 70% of the vote again

In Public Administration on 04/11/2020 at 6:41 am

Rediscover what LKY, Dr Goh and the Other Guard instinctively knew. GDP growth is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

The PAP govt can no longer deny the fact that the fortunes of the rich, MNCs and even retirees like me (asset rich, cash rich and users of SingHealth and bus concession passes: LOL), and those of workers and the poor do not rise in tandem. 

So for starters the PAP should stop behaving like the old Wankers’ Party (now under new mgt and showing that the “W” stands for “Workers” not “Wankers”). The PAP should stop wanking and do shumething about helping the poor: Do the following show how of touch and uncaring are union leaders, PAP MPs and millionaire ministers?

Sadly it won’t as junior minister Zaqy Mohamad argues that take home pay is “not meaningful”. It’s meaningful if after employer and employee deductions, there’s not enough to pay the food and tpt bills.

But a millionaire like Zaqy Mohamad wouldn’t know this, would he?

“NUS’s Employment of Jeremy Fernando Looks Highy (sic) Questionable”: Ken J

In Uncategorized on 03/11/2020 at 4:55 am

I’m sure like me, many S’poreans wondered about this Jeremy guy and s/o JBJ, in another rant about the PAP govt (this time questioning the high rankings our unis get from one index: actually I also got questions about how come they are so highly ranked), makes some interesting allegations.

(Actually, I had already heard whispers from NUS academics, after the scandal broke, about the quality of his qualifications, so three cheers for Ken J for talking publicly about the the quality of Jeremy’s qualifications.)

I am concerned more here with how Jeremy Fernando was hired in the first place and how he was allowed to continue working for ten years. Certainly one would not expect him to be one of the faculty at a university with such a high ranking, albeit from one highly questionable index. His biography shows he got his PhD from the European Graduate School (EGS) which is based in Switzerland and Malta. Anyone can apparently be accepted to do a PhD or Masters provided they pay the fees and most of it is distance learning. EGS is not recognised by the Swiss University Conference and is regarded as a degree mill in the US. It is not ranked by QS, THE or ARWU. Perhaps its attractions to NUS stem from its association with academics like Slavoj Zizek, who has refined the old Communist criticisms of democracy as providing too much freedom in order to praise totalitarian state capitalist regimes like Singapore and China. I wrote about Zizek in “How Lee Kuan Yew and Hitler Both Love Authoritarian Capitalism”

EGS certainly seems to be a home for intellectual pseuds and frauds and Jeremy Fernando seems to have mastered the craft of using too many long and convoluted words and phrases to say nothing, or rather to deny that anything has meaning or indeed that there is any reality. He is merely following in the footsteps of his mentor, Jean Baudrillard (he is the Baudrillard Fellow at EGS), who denied reality, the most famous example being his 1991 book “The Gulf War Did Not Take Place.” Baudrillard was a member of the Deconstructionist School which originated with the French philosopher Jacques Derrida whose obituary in the Economist said:

“There were no arguments, nor really any views either. He would have been the first to admit this. He not only contradicted himself, over and over again, but vehemently resisted any attempt to clarify his ideas. “A critique of what I do”, he said, “is indeed impossible.”

NUS’s Employment of Jeremy Fernando Looks Highy Questionable

I hope you caught this titbit

Slavoj Zizek, who has refined the old Communist criticisms of democracy as providing too much freedom in order to praise totalitarian state capitalist regimes like Singapore and China. I wrote about Zizek in “How Lee Kuan Yew and Hitler Both Love Authoritarian Capitalism”

NUS’s Employment of Jeremy Fernando Looks Highy Questionable

If you want to read about what else KJ says, click on the link. Note the TRE article will not be forever available: time limited.

Are Indians more immune to Covid-19? Or why the Chinese are laughing, sneering at the Indians

In India on 02/11/2020 at 2:27 pm

Seems Indians are more immune to Covid-19 .

But they wouldn’t like the reason why they are more immune. And that’s the reason why the Chinese are laughing and sneering at Indians.

It’s not not because Indians are more virile, with better genes. It’s because

[N]ew research by Indian scientists suggests that low hygiene, lack of clean drinking water, and unsanitary conditions may have actually saved many lives from severe Covid-19.

In other words, they propose that people living in low and low middle-income countries may have been able to stave off severe forms of the infection because of exposure to various pathogens from childhood, which give them sturdier immunity to Covid-19. Both papers, yet to be peer reviewed, looked at deaths per million of population to compare fatality rates.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-54730290

So Indians have better immunity because India’s a “shit-hole” country, a term used by Trump about African countries.

Chinese can’t stop laughing.

Double confirm, no GST rise until after next GE

In Economy, Political economy, Public Administration on 02/11/2020 at 3:57 am

Shumething I predicted recently: Why there’ll be no GST rise until after next GE).

Since then there’s these two headlines from last week

COVID-19 downturn to be more prolonged than past recessions, slow recovery for jobs market: MAS

S’pore’s recovery from downturn set to take 18 months, twice as long as earlier recessions: Economists

Recent headlines in the constructive, nation-building bmedia

Before these, there was what Heng said in mid October

A hike in Goods and Services Tax (GST) cannot be deferred indefinitely because it is necessary to support future needs such as preschool education and healthcare.

However, the Government will continue to study the timing of the increase in GST rate carefully. In doing so, it will take into account the pace of Singapore’s economic recovery, its revenue outlook and how much spending can be deferred without jeopardising the country’s long-term needs.

Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/gst-hike-cant-be-deferred-indefinitely-govt-will-carefully-study-timing-increase-dpm-heng

Going by the next PM’s choice of words,

Government will continue to study the timing of the increase in GST rate carefully. In doing so, it will take into account the pace of Singapore’s economic recovery, its revenue outlook and how much spending can be deferred without jeopardising the country’s long-term needs.

if there’s no V-shaped recovery, but a K-shaped recovery (What’s a K-shaped recovery? Recovery is K shaped), as is likely. there be no GST hike until after next GE. PAP doesn’t believe in suicide.

But next time GST rises, it might be up 4 points? Because

it is necessary to support future needs such as preschool education and healthcare.

PM Lawrence Wong circa 2028

S’porean: Having children detracts from the gd life

In Uncategorized on 01/11/2020 at 5:19 am

In Singapore the fertility rate the number of children that a woman can expect to have during her lifetime) is 1.14: way below the replacement rate of 2.1), and with people like Keith, it’ll remain that way.

From the Economist

[I]n wealthy Singapore, where contraception is easy to come by, young people who were already reluctant to start a family before the pandemic are even more so during a global recession. The government is trying to coax people into reproducing with a one-off grant of S$3,000 ($2,200) for having a child in the next two years on top of pre-existing payments and savings schemes. For Keith, even that doesn’t make up for the cost of becoming a father. “I know that me and my wife will have a very good time in the next 30, 40 years without kids,” the 36-year-old says. “Do we want to risk that?”


https://www.economist.com/international/2020/10/28/the-pandemic-may-be-leading-to-fewer-babies-in-rich-countries

Instead of having kids, couples spend $ on pets. Smart of them. I’ve had dogs, don’t miss a partner and kids.

Another headache for Changi Int’l

In Environment, Infrastructure on 31/10/2020 at 11:27 am

Coastal airports, particularly those in low-lying areas, including the big hubs in New York, San Francisco, Florida and Hawaii, faced the greatest risk of sea-level rise, Moody’s said. It could have added our very own Changi Int’l.

Moody’s recommends that airports borrow $ (interest rates so low) to build these walls. It would say wouldn’t it? It makes money rating borrowers.

Related posts:

2025: LKY’s memorial unveiled

What PM will say in National Dally Rally speech

Ever wondered why PM wants to build polders?

Violent Muslims raising stakes in France

In Uncategorized on 30/10/2020 at 5:41 am

They want a religious war in France?

Three people have just died in a knife attack at a church in Nice. French President Emmanuel Macron said it was an “Islamist terrorist attack”.

Before this was Samuel Paty’s beheading. Some Muslims were offended that in teaching France’s secular values to his class he showed a cartoon that said Muslims considered blasphemy. His murder was their response.

In France there is a right to blaspheme any religion (though that was not Samuel Paty was teaching his students to do: he was teaching them about free speech).

So when violent Muslims kill, attack or verbally abuse or merely criticise those who they say blaspheme Islam, it’s reasonable for non-Muslim French people to be fearful of all Muslims.

And support political parties that want to lock up or expel Muslims. And can they be blamed?

In S’pore, because of the British-era laws, we are not allowed to diss other religions: Watain ban: playing the easily offended game can backfire.

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

Our stock exchange now like Peenoy stock exchange

In Uncategorized on 29/10/2020 at 4:55 am

How the mighty have fallen. When I was in equities trading and brokerage from the mid 80s till mid 90s, S’pore was the tua kee market in SE Asia, even excluding CLOB.

Now we are almost Peenoys.

Worse. Very little difference between them and us in new IPOs, needed to refresh the market.

But our SGX managers (los of mama FTs) are paid a lot more than their Filipino counterparts. Given how close we are to Peenoy standards, how about paying our SGX monkeys, peanuts, pesos or rupees, not S$?

How much of Ant will S’pore Inc own?

In GIC, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 28/10/2020 at 7:08 am

Ant, the fintech controlled by Alibaba’s billionaire founder Jack Ma, will sell shares in a dual listing in Shanghai and HK. The sale, roughly 3.34bn shares, which account for 11% of Ant’s total outstanding stock, will fetch US$34.4bn

The Shanghai portion is worth Rmb114.9bn (US$17.2bn) or about half the total.  GIC is subscribing for Rmb2bn worth of shares (1.7%) and Temasek wants for Rmb1.5bn (1.3%) in Shanghai portion. Institutional buyers in the onshore deal agreed to hold half of their shares for 12 months, and the other half for 24 months.

Assuming that GIC and Temasek don’t buy any shares in the HK offering, GIC and Temasek will collectively own 1.5% of the public offering. Remember that the HK and Shanghai tranches are rough the same.

In the overall context of Jack’s and Alibaba’s holdings, the amount bis “peanuts”.

Fashion in the time of Covid-19

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

OK, OK, the Japanese way. LOL

Nice to know S$ is a “Biden currency”

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

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

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

Why didn’t China offer us this?

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

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

Three cheers for the PAP govt: it must be doing shumething right

In Political governance, Public Administration on 23/10/2020 at 11:35 am

The whole nature of protest is shifting across South East Asia, says Bridget Welsh, an honorary research associate at the University of Nottingham in Malaysia.

She goes on according to the BBC, “Democracy activists in Thailand and Hong Kong, as well as countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia, are “adapting to growing authoritarianism in a globalised world” with fast-changing tactics that harness the power of technology and visual representation.”

Meanwhile S’pore is really peaceful, and S’poreans really contented (Remember 60% voted for the PAP in last GE.), despite the efforts of Terry’s Online Channel, M Ravi and their cybernut allies to get S’poreans to behave like Thais and Hongkies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ho Ting Fei (Dr)

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

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

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

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

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

It ends

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

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

Go read the article.

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

Why Indians in US of A support Trump

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

He keeps out Muslims.

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

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

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

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

A new measure needed

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

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

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

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

Link 1 and Link 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tang Li

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

Covid-19: Int’l media is racist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All those fake degrees?

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

The truth about SIA food

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

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

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

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

Here’s more

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

BT headline. More at https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/ready-to-eat-meals-that-can-be-kept-for-6-24-months-part-of-s25m-investment-by

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

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

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

FT Headline

It goes on

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



FT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Covid-19 harm: India slumps, China surges

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

57% of Singaporeans believe in giving financial support to those unemployed, but not at the expense of themselves having to pay higher levels of tax

https://blackbox.com.sg/everyone/2020/09/16/sg-employment-is-there-any-chance-of-going-back-to-the-way-things-were (Yes, Yes I know this was done in August)

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

What do you think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bang yr balls China and EU

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

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

IMF is now into Robin Hood economics

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

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

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

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

Ballad of Robin Hood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-54500673

But don’t panic yet.

The BBC report goes on to say

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

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

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

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

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

Covid-19: Monitoring Indian workers from the UK

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-54289152

Btw, he’s an ethnic Indian.

Can believe or not? Or juz PAP BS?

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

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

https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2020/10/08/how-the-digital-surge-will-reshape-finance

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

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

Then there’s this

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

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

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/singapore-homes-become-workspaces-huge-changes-work-home-13220992

Pull the other leg, its got bells on it.

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

PAP a socialist party again?/ Banks doing NS

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/covid-19-mas-extends-financial-relief-measures-borrowers-13202850

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/banks-pledge-hdb-property-loans-to-mas-credit-liquidity-13212374

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

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

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/banks-pledge-hdb-property-loans-to-mas-credit-liquidity-13212374

He would have to say this wouldn’t he?

What do you think? Is the minister BSing?

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

Covid-19: Trump’s medications

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

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

So why didn’t he keep taking it?

And why was he given it recently?

SAD.

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

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

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

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

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

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


*

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bizarro_World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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