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Archive for January, 2020|Monthly archive page

“Bai Du Bu Qin” not “Gong Xi Fa Cai”

In China, Holidays and Festivals on 31/01/2020 at 4:08 am

“Bai Du Bu Qin”, is replacing “Gong Xi Fa Cai” or wishes for abundance, . This new new year greeting has been viewed over 50 million times on Weibo and is uptrending upwards on Chinese social media.

More about it from the BBC:

A poetic phrase with origins in Chinese literature, it means “may you be immune from 100 toxins”.

The greeting is also being used as a hashtag to help spread public health information. Xue Zhiqian, a pop star, told his Weibo fans: “Hope you don’t stay away from the office. Don’t go outdoors. Don’t spread the virus. Don’t believe in rumours. Bai du bu qin, stay true and pure.”

It has been taken up as a slogan of unity and encouragement to carry on in the midst of a fearful time. The hashtag “people unite together, bai du bu qin” has trended in China.

“Immunity from 100 toxins” appears to have originated in a verse by the Cambridge-educated poet Xu Zhimo, and also makes an appearance in the fiction of Louis Cha, a martial arts novelist, but was not known to be said at holidays.

It implies having great self-control and determination as well as not easily succumbing to disease.

https://www.bbc.com/news/51286633

Iran’s “Ownself shoot ownself” reminds me of SGH tragedy

In Public Administration on 30/01/2020 at 10:42 am

When I read sometime back that Iran’s president Rouhani saying that the shooting down of an airliner should not be blamed on one individual, saying “It’s not only the person who pulled the trigger, but also others who are responsible”, it reminded of

What really went wrong at SGH?

And why the reluctance to do more than issue letters of warning?

a piece I wrote in 2016 about an incident at SGH where 25 people were infected and seven deaths were possibly caused by the cock-up

The piece went on:

A regular reader and commenter of this blog who seems to have been  a medical doctor and administrator has an explanation.

Note he had already raised the issue of the use of shared vials here before the internal report came out. He goes further below presumably having read the internal report.

This WAS a systems failure whereby the major gap was allowing same vial of insulin for multiple patients i.e. shared vials, although supposedly using fresh, sterile needles & syringes. By using shared vials, this created a single point of failure if any of the 1,001 aspects of infection control was not strictly adhered to. E.g. lack of hand disinfection — between patients, before drug preparation, before administering insulin, after administering insulin; not disinfecting the rubber bung of the shared vial adequately before use; not using new sterile needles/syringes; using new sterile needles/syringes but leaving them exposed for too long or mishandling them thus rendering them no longer sterile; etc etc. The possibilities are endless.

And then the pathogen being introduced into the shared vial and subsequently being re-transmitted, even though subsequent usage all followed 100% infection control — the bug is already in the insulin/vial, no matter how solid & how sterile you prepare the subsequent insulin administrations for other patients, you’re simply injecting them with already contaminated insulin.

Who’s responsible?!?! The senior doctors, medical directors who came up with this protocol in the 1st place??? The CEO or chief medical officer who approved & signed off on this protocol?!?!? The infection control team & educators who didn’t educate the ground staff enough, and weren’t vigilant enough in their audits & random spot checks?!?!?! The external audit teams who couldn’t detect any shortcomings & signed off that the staff are following protocol?!?!? The actual ground staff/staff nurses who got careless or bochap or simply burnt out to overlook 100% of the by-the-book steps?!??! How many of these staff nurses??? 1, 2 or the whole lot of them?!?!?

Going by what he says maybe the Health Minister must commit hari-kiti? No wonder only warning letters were issued? And ST is wayanging?

(Related post: GCT believes in Jap values. But not for the elites.)

Seems I was right to ask if ST’s call for a public cyber-lynching of “responsible” staff is a lot of wayang aimed at distracting attention away from those that must take responsibility: the CEO of SGH and the MoH senior officer that delayed reporting the matter to the minister.

“Where does a wise man hide a leaf? In the forest. But what does he do if there is no forest? He grows a forest to hide it in.”― G.K. ChestertonThe Innocence of Father Brown

In this story, Father Brown, an amateur detective, deducted that a commanding officer hid his murder of a fellow-officer by sending his soldiers into battle in the area where the body lay. The dead bodies of the soldiers “covered up” the murder.

We working for free for Google

In Uncategorized on 30/01/2020 at 4:04 am

Recaptcha is shumething we all are familiar with: proving that we are not bots. An estimated 200 million people have to do this every day,

Here’s how we are working free for Google

What is little known is that the words you have to write out are not chosen at random. Instead they are words from old physical books that Google is digitising, and its software is struggling to decipher. So every time you do one of those security tests you are an unpaid Google worker. If, say, 10,000 people all agree on a certain spelling, then Google accepts that as correct.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51208154

Luis von Ahn invented it. Recaptcha, which was solely owned by Luis, was bought by Google in 2009 for an undisclosed eight-figure sum.

More on him: What PM, PAP can learn from very rich tech entrepreneur

S’pore: Lessons for the West’s housing crisis

In Property, Public Administration on 29/01/2020 at 3:09 pm

The Economist has a report on the West’s housing crisis

one of the rich world’s most serious and longest-running economic failures.

S’pore is praised four times (No other city or country is praised that much):

More than nine in ten Singaporeans are homeowners, a higher rate than in any other rich country. And what a nice place it is to live. The city-state is rich, stable and has virtually no crime. The streets are clean.

Singapore seems to confirm what conservatives have long believed: that home ownership makes for richer, happier folk. Lee Kuan Yew, its first prime minister, was a big fan, arguing that it gave ordinary people “a stake in the country and its future”. Margaret Thatcher’s “right-to-buy” programme in the 1980s, allowing Britons in social housing to buy their property at knock-down prices, is said to have been influenced by the Singapore model.

https://www.economist.com/special-report/2020/01/16/home-ownership-is-in-decline

And

Boosting the construction of public housing is also welcome. Singapore, where 80% of residents live in government-built flats, is in some respects the model to copy. The state regularly renovates the buildings and, more controversially, promotes mixing of different sorts of people, to help prevent the emergence of ghettos.

https://www.economist.com/special-report/2020/01/16/what-is-the-future-of-the-rich-worlds-housing-markets

And

Many of those activists argue that overtight land regulation is the root cause of high house prices. To get a sense of the argument, compare Singapore with Hong Kong. Singapore has a fairly elastic planning system. The government owns most of the land. When house-price growth is too strong or the population is rising quickly, the state can release extra land faster than a barman at the Raffles hotel can mix a Singapore sling. In Hong Kong, by contrast, the supply of developable land is controlled by a small clique of oligarchs. What will buy you a cramped bedsit in Hong Kong will buy you a decent-sized pad in Singapore.

https://www.economist.com/special-report/2020/01/16/politicians-are-finally-doing-something-about-housing-shortages

And

Autocratic planning systems do a better job of boosting housing supply. Russia has raised its annual rate of housebuilding from 400,000 a year in the early 2000s to over 1m. Singaporeans who protest against development are routinely ignored, says one with a house located near Tengah forest, some of which will soon be razed to make way for apartment blocks.

https://www.economist.com/special-report/2020/01/16/politicians-are-finally-doing-something-about-housing-shortages

Vote wisely.

60% of S’poreans always do: Why Oppo cock to think that HDB issues will affect the vote

(Last para added on 30 January 2020, at 4.10am)

 

 

Wuhan mayor says Beijing also to blame

In Uncategorized on 29/01/2020 at 4:18 am

Zhou Xianwang, Wuhan’s mayor, admitted his local government’s failings in handling the crisis. “We need to improve the ability to address public health events . . . and manage emergencies,” he told CCTV, China’s state broadcaster.

He acknowledged that the Wuhan authorities had not made “a timely disclosure” about the virus.

But he said Beijing was in part responsible. “This is an infectious disease and must be disclosed according to law. Local governments cannot disclose the disease until it gets authorisation to do so,” he said.

China spent the crucial first days of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak arresting people who posted about it online and threatening journalists

https://www.businessinsider.sg/china-information-crackdown-on-wuhan-coronavirus-2020-1/?fbclid=IwAR2JpKKtiTdqTz9Dc_xMFzZu6PCbhh8XLJanyTzuqKv4zgpZy_LDjHR4gSI

Academic talking cock about the economy

In Economy, Political economy on 28/01/2020 at 9:28 am

Commentary: Is low growth the new normal for Singapore?

Hoon Hian Teck is Professor of Economics at the Singapore Management University. 

A shrinking citizen workforce, the law of diminishing returns to capital, and the time needed to bring about a culture shift towards indigenous innovation all portend low growth for Singapore. Is there any reason to remain optimistic?

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/low-economic-growth-new-normal-singapore-budget-12261518

He then goes into great detail about the

shrinking citizen workforce, the law of diminishing returns to capital, and the time needed to bring about a culture shift towards indigenous

which inevitably lead to low growth.

I couldn’t disagree with his analysis, even if I tot he overdid the gloom: remember I’m invested in shares here and got landed property here.

He ends his gloomy analysis

IS THERE A CASE FOR OPTIMISM?

A shrinking citizen workforce, the law of diminishing returns to capital, and the time needed to bring about a culture shift towards indigenous innovation all portend low growth for Singapore. Is there any reason to remain optimistic?

The answer is yes. Singapore has been able to achieve domestic social and political consensus to reinvent itself to ride on opportunities thrown up by the global economy, and find new ways of overcoming our constraints.

When it faced a severe recession in 1985, caused in part by wages running ahead of productivity, workers accepted a 15-percentage point cut in employers’ CPF contribution rate, which was gradually restored.

Having recovered, workers’ skills were developed to take advantage of the growing financial sector fuelled by funds flowing into a booming region from 1989 to 1998.

Through government initiatives announced over recent Singapore Budgets, firms have also been encouraged to embrace automation, digitalisation and reskilling, and rely less on foreign labour in a manpower-lean economy.

More recently, bold plans for the Greater Southern Waterfront after the ports are relocated away from Tanjong Pagar to free up valuable land to be redeveloped in the downtown region were announced just last year.

So Singapore can surely find the necessary gumption to reinvent itself again and overcome its constraints.

In a u-turn from the numbers-driven analysis he was using in explaining why the economy was growing slowly, he introduced non-quantitative factors to explain why we’ll soon have strong growth. As an intelligent being would say “Does not compute”. It doesn’t does it?

His concluding optimistic remarks remind me of the use of Deus ex machina. This

is a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem in a story is suddenly and abruptly resolved by an unexpected and unlikely occurrence. Wikipedia

I get the impression that he suddenly realised that he doesn’t wanted to be accused by a PAP MP as someone “who does not wish S’pore well”, anti-PAP activists PJ Thum and Kirsten Han were so accused (and rightly so): Kirsten Han trying to defecate herself and PJ out of self-made crater. If he were branded as wishing S’pore ill like them, he could lose his job. They had nothing to lose, unlike him.

So he u-turned and ended up as yet another constructive, nation-building academic PAP running dog (Apologies to the real dogs).

Mean of me to call our academics running dogs (Apologies to the real dogs again)?

BSing academics protected from fake news law?

Local academics propogate fake news?

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

What do you think?

Apologies also to a regular reader who was a head of a department in an atas faculty in NUS. People there don’t need to be PAP running dogs (Apologies to the dogs again) to get ahead. Sheer brain power only.

 

Sama, sama: China & US?

In China on 28/01/2020 at 4:08 am

The FT recently reported that the CEOS of 18 small British telecoms companies met at a London bank two months ago to discuss investment, strategy and mergers in the telco sector.

At the beginning of the meeting, to get everyone into a participatory mood, they were asked two questions.

They were asked if they thought the Chinese could eavesdrop through “backdoors” in Huawei equipment. Every single hand went up.

They were then asked, if they thought the US could eavesdrop through key Cisco equipment.

All the hands went straight back up without hesitation

S’pore telcos use a lot of Cisco stuff (internet related) and are starting to use Huawel because its cheap and excellent. Nokia’s and Ericsson’s stuff are expensive and juz OK.

Can wearing masks stop the spread of viruses?

In Uncategorized on 27/01/2020 at 9:31 am

They could help stop the spread of viruses, but not for the reason ordinary people say they use masks: that they protect against viruses or bacteria carried in the air

Dr David Carrington, of St George’s, University of London, told BBC News “routine surgical masks for the public are not an effective protection against viruses or bacteria carried in the air”, which was how “most viruses” were transmitted, because they were too loose, had no air filter and left the eyes exposed.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51205344

Where they work is they help you avoid touching your eyes and nose unnecessarily: preventing “Ownself infect ownself”.

Remember that viruses can land on yr hands but they only cause problems when they enter yr body. Likely entry points are the mouth and eyes. The ears and nose have hair filters.

After reading the BBC article in above link especially this bit

The NHS says the best way to avoid catching viruses such as flu is to:

  • regularly wash your hands with warm water and soap
  • avoid touching your eyes and nose wherever possible
  • maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle

I came to the conclusion that they help prevent “Ownself infect ownself”.

What say u ang moh tua kees?

In Public Administration on 27/01/2020 at 4:21 am

London’s Metropolitan Police Service has announced it will deploy live facial recognition to identify citizens across London.

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51237665

China not only place using this system.

Big PAP win by PAP

In Uncategorized on 26/01/2020 at 6:49 am

Yesterday, I heard a story that had me laughing. It will drive Mad Dog, Lim Tean, Meng Seng to despair and hopefully commit suicide. We need a credible opposition (Think Wankers, Paul Thamby and TCB), not these cybernut heroes. As Meng Seng said with a straight face, “Keep jesters out of opposition, please.”. He should walk the talk, not juz talk the cock.

I was enquiring yesterday about a married couple who late last year were experiencing marital problems. They had been married for over thirty years.

I was told that they are happily married. They decided to press the restart button.

In particular, the cybernut, cyberwarrior of a husband who is unemployed and destitute had to promise that he wouldn’t rave and rant about the PAP govt in the morning when he drove his wive to work. While the voting record of his wife is unknown (He had kept saying that she always voted for the PAP), she told him that she couldn’t stand his anti-PAP rants every morning. It was not a pleasant start to a working day, she said.

As the alternative was getting kicked out of the their home and depending on the PAP’s govt generosity (He already big user of SingHeath despite claiming like Phillip Ang, another big user and the cybernuts’ go to financial expert despite not knowing of the time calue of money, that it was a scam and expensive), he agreed to stop talking cock. Where are his cybernut pals when he needs financial help?

Why does he uses SingHeath despite saying it’s a scam and expensive? Talking thru gritted teeth “I can’t afford to go private.”. Btw, he says that he should not wait when he uses SingHealth.

Vote wisely.

*

Lawyers for Liberty is a mama organisation?

In Uncategorized on 25/01/2020 at 5:23 am

Pix of Malaysia-based human rights organisation, Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) from LFL that slimes our S’pore govt saying without publishing credible evidence that our judicial executions are unprofessional and barbaric

Almost an all Indian affair organisation.

Two more Chinese cities disallow travel for reunion dinners

In China on 24/01/2020 at 5:24 am

And Beijing cancels public events, closes Forbidden City.

Further to the restrictions on travel in Wuhan (China abolishes Chinese New Year reunion dinners), the international media report that similar restrictions now apply to nearby Huanggang city and Ezhou city.

In the forner, residents were told not to leave without a special reason, according to an announcement on a city government website. In Ezhou, trains were stopped from leaving or entering the city.

And

Beijing was cancelling large public events, including lunar new year celebrations, because of the coronavirus. Beijing’s Forbidden City, one of China’s biggest tourist attractions, said it would close until further notice.

FT report

The coming Rat year is not sounding good for Grandpa Xi. Swine fever, HK and Taiwan mooning him, and now a SARs like problem.  Why one-party rule sucks for Xi, Lee and Heng

Kee Chiu admits PAP are failing

In Political governance, Public Administration on 23/01/2020 at 1:23 pm

Singapore’s political system must evolve, deliver concrete solutions: Chan Chun Sing

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-political-system-chan-chun-sing-12289372?fbclid=IwAR25Ow1pWejGNvJL3ZBDZz6vDLMnie-fSrxuPJtzBLMuJTLOt3epfIHmHqQ

Well by saying “Singapore’s political system must evolve, deliver concrete solutions” doesn’t this imply that Singapore’s political system is not evolving, delivering concrete solutions? And as S’pore is a de-facto one-party state since 1957 when the PAP came into power with an overwhelming electoral mandate, the PAP cannot blame anyone for a political system that is not evolving, delivering concrete solutions: Why one-party rule sucks for Xi, Lee and Heng

The word “implied” appeared in the POFMA orders against Brad Bowels and Lim Tean. Brad Bowyers

said the authorities had read the four points of his post “wrongly and then said my post ‘implied’ this and ‘implied’ that and so demanded it to be labelled as false”.

https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/3043034/singapores-fake-news-law-protecting-truth-or-restricting-free

For further reading on the Alice-in-Wonderland world PORMA has created, read: Fake news law: Ownself judge where I wrote:

 “In the proposed fake news law, ministers are judge and jury.”

and

My main concern is that it makes ministers the initial (and in most cases the final and only) arbiters of truth about claims regarding the PAP government’s performance: “Ownself judge ownself”.

And

POFMA these ministers?

And

No, not fake news that deserves to kanna PORMA, but from the PAP’s very own minister for Malay affairs, a few weeks ago

Malay-Muslim community to be consulted on more issues that concern them: Masagos

Malay community not consulted enough about their concerns

And

Electricity tariff to rise 3.5% in January-March to hit 5-year high

Why MSM no kanna POFMA for spreading fake news?

You might also want to read:

“Black is white, white is black”: Our UK ambassador defends POFMA

Fact v opinion & “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”

Why PAP never admits to mistakes?

Fake news is in the eyes of the beholder

The one-party state and fake news

Why I no ak the Select Committee hearings on Deliberate Online Falsehoods 

 

China abolishes Chinese New Year reunion dinners

In China, Holidays and Festivals on 23/01/2020 at 5:46 am

OK, OK I exaggerate. It’s only cancelled if you live in Wuhan and yr family lives elsewhere.

Public transport in Wuhan is suspended from Thursday morning in an effort to contain the outbreak of a deadly Sars-like virus. Residents are urged not to leave the city except under special circumstances. To enforce this encouragement, the airport and train stations temporarily are closed, news agencies cited Chinese state media as saying on Wednesday night.

More at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-51215348

Btw, trumpets please: SARS all over again.

Based on joint salaries, what properties available

In Financial competency, Financial planning, Property on 22/01/2020 at 12:00 pm

Here’s a great table from “Here’s the salary you need to earn to afford these homes in Singapore”

https://www.asiaone.com/money/heres-salary-you-need-earn-afford-these-homes-singapore?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR12OUteKQMsmv0WkK7l_waW3MOmm7KPj8gMguNipQlWv3880_5O4Dhoo04#Echobox=1579565572

Btw, nothing great about our property mkt in 2020

The prime sales market in Singapore had an active 2019 despite the cooling measures in place. The city benefited from rising affluence among residents and interest from international buyers. Small price rises are expected in 2020 triggered by pent-up demand.

Sophie Chick, head of Savills world research

Not like M’sia or Manila.

Related posts:

Why S’pore is so shiok for private property investors

Ang moh’s great insight on property mkt

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

Why S$73.8m flat is a steal

But don’t get overgeared: TRE cybernuts and central bank singing from the same song sheet

Another reason to introduce minimum wages

In Economy on 22/01/2020 at 5:04 am

Advocates claim that minimum wages help boost earnings in industries with too little competition, and prevent workers from being exploited. But critics (think our very own PAP govt) maintain that, by setting an arbitrary floor on pay, minimum wages reduce overall employment, particularly among low-skilled workers, and that it will make S’pore less competitive. But then How come HK got minimum wages but more competitive?

The evidence is mixed.

Now a group of epidemiologists at Emory University in Atlanta say higher minimum wages are linked to lower suicide rates i.e. the minimum wage helps reduce suicide rates in the US: https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/01/20/higher-minimum-wages-are-linked-to-lower-suicide-rates

Related reading:

Subsidising wage rises good, Minimum Wage bad

Improve Workfare not press for Minimum Wage

What HK tycoons did to assuage China’s anger

In China, Hong Kong on 21/01/2020 at 6:30 am

Last September, following a prediction that came true, I doubled down on the prediction stakes:

My next prediction is that before 1 October, the tycoons will make a huge gesture and, for them expensive, on cheap housing to placate Beijing

HK: Trumpets pls/ Next prediction

(The Chinese state media outlets were criticising Hong Kong’s tycoons for the lack of affordable housing in the territory.)

On 25 September, this story appeared

New World donates almost a fifth of its farmland reserves towards building public homes to ease Hong Kong’s housing woes

  • New World Development will donate 3 million square feet of farmland to Hong Kong’s government and toward charity for building public homes
  • The first part of the donation, comprising 28,000 square feet of land next to the Tin Shui Wai subway station, will be turned into 100 three-storey homes measuring 300 square feet each by 2022

https://www.scmp.com/business/article/3030317/new-world-development-donates-3-million-square-feet-farm-land-ease-hong

Adrian Cheng had announced that the New World Development would donate 3m square feet of land (a lot of land: fifth of the co’s reserves) to the government and charitable groups for subsidised housing developments. “We are very concerned about [Hong Kong’s] housing problem,” Mr Cheng said. His late grandfather founded New World Development, a ports, property and retail conglomerate.

Rival groups including Mr Li’s CK Asset Holdings and Lee Shau-kee’s Henderson Land then signalled their willingness to make similar land grants or ramp up their charitable activities. Mr Li’s charitable foundation also announced HK$1bn ($129m) in grants for small business owners affected by the protests.

These gestures appear to have appeased China. The rioters also helped the tycoons, by rioting for freedom. Pressure from Beijing on the tycoons lessened after a new wave of violent protests began in early October which continued through mid-November.  The rioters came out over the Christmas, New Year holidays.

 

 

Oz fires: How many S’pores are burning?

In Uncategorized on 20/01/2020 at 4:30 am

Some 11m hectares of the Lucky Country have gone up in smoke since September, almost the same area as Bulgaria.

Economist

As S’pore is 72,150 hectares, this means that 155 S’pores are on fire Down Under.

How many S’pore’s burning in NSW: 55 (How many S’pores are burning in Australia?)

SARS all over again

In China on 19/01/2020 at 7:19 am

No not the epidemic but the misinformation from Chinese officials.

For Wuhan to have exported three cases to other countries would imply there would have to be many more cases than have been reported.

Prof Neil Ferguson, UK disease outbreak scientist

The number of people already infected by the mystery virus emerging in China is far greater than official figures suggest, UK scientists have told the BBC. There have been more than 60 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, but the scientists estimate a figure nearer 1,700.


From 2003

SARS crisis: China admits its big, deadly lie

There have been more than seven times as many SARS cases in Beijing than previously reported, China’s Government admitted last night.

Health authorities conceded there had been 339 cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome in Beijing alone, with 18 people having died in the capital. There are an additional 402 suspected cases.

Hours after the cover-up was revealed, China announced the sacking from key Communist Party posts of the Health Minister, Zhang Wenkang, and the Beijing Mayor, Meng Xuenong.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/sars-crisis-china-admits-its-big-deadly-lie-20030421-gdgmut.html

———————–

S’pore and HK have been screening air passengers from Wuhan, and US authorities announced similar measures starting on Friday at three major airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

Read more at https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51148303

Oil is at US$100

In Energy, Environment, Shipping on 18/01/2020 at 10:55 am

No, not fake news

New shipping fuel rules push specialised oil towards $100 a barrel

Regulations are dripping with good intentions but come at a cost
Recent FT headline

 

Changes to shipping fuel rules mean that a few select grades of crude have risen back towards US$100.

Pyrenees, an Australian crude produced by the BHP Group was selling for almost US$95 a barrel, with refiners happy to pay up because its a heavy thick oil that is also low in sulphur. Tackling climate change and pollution are the reasons given for changing fuel roles.

Consumers will ultimately pay because shipping cos will pass on the cost.

 

4% growth for China/ Still want to raise GST?

In China, Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 18/01/2020 at 5:03 am

Official figures show that the world’s second largest economy expanded by 6.1% in 2019 from the year before – the worst figure in 29 years. China has faced weak domestic demand and the impact of a trade war with the US.

But things could get worse for China and the world.

China’s GDP could only grow at 4%.

State Grid, China’s largest utility company, is bracing itself for the rate of economic growth to fall to as low as 4% the next five years in the world’s second-largest economy. If anybody has the finger on the economy’s pulse, it is the largest utility company that supplies the power needed to power industry and homes.

If this comes about, bad for world trade and really bad for us: S’pore: the canary in the coalmine

Still want to raise GST, PAP govt with so much uncertainty? But die die must want to be one-arm swordsman: PAP is like one armed swordsman.

The PAP govt should do itself and us a favour, don’t raise GST until there’s more clarity on global economic growth: How PAP can win 65% plus of the vote.

Property: Get excited about M’sia, Manila

In Malaysia, Property on 17/01/2020 at 5:16 am

Victoria Garrett, head of residential, Asia Pacific, at Knight Frank writes

The Knight Frank Prime Global Cities Index, which tracks the movement in luxury residential prices across 45 cities, saw 1.1 per cent average annual price growth in Q3 2019, down from 3.4 per cent for the same period in 2018, with secondary cities in Asia — including Taipei, Manila, Guangzhou and Delhi — creeping into the top 10. We expect those markets with strong local economies (Manila, Shanghai and Taipei) to perform strongly in 2020 as well as those cities where wealth forecasts are above the regional average (Bengaluru, Manila, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Min City). [Note she doesn’t mention us. LOL.]

Manila’s prime residential market continues to sprint ahead, with prices rising 5.6 per cent in the first nine months of 2019, adding to the 11.1 per cent rise seen in 2018, according to Santos Knight Frank Research. This is driven by investors buying prime residential property to lease out to employees working in business process outsourcing (BPO) and for Philippine offshore gaming operators. While there are some supply concerns this year, demand should keep pace, and we expect prices to continue rising given the ever-expanding BPO sector.

Malaysia’s residential property market appears to be bottoming out, although it will take time before the market sees a significant improvement. We expect the market to improve gradually with support from government initiatives. The lowering of the price threshold for foreign buyers from RM1m to RM600,000 ($243,000-$146,000) in 2020 for unsold high-rise units in urban areas is expected to help address the overhang, particularly for units in the RM600,000 to RM700,000 range in selected areas.

Remember you read this here first.

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

US energy, manufactured exports to China to cheong

In China, Energy on 16/01/2020 at 4:29 am

Trump has signed a deal with Xi (OK, OK thier sidekicks signed it) on US China trade.

In it, among other things, China has to meet a US$200bn import target in the next two years. If it fails, Trump will restart tweeting bad things about China, raise tariffs etc.

The US Chamber of Commerce estimates that increased Chinese purchases of US agriculture products will account for only about U$32bn of the U$200bn target. This means implying that  will have to import huge amounts of energy, manufactured goods and services to make up the difference.

4G leaders should copy and paste this Chinese policy

In Public Administration on 15/01/2020 at 10:49 am

No not on surveillance (Did Hali ask Xi for this app when they met?) but on the problems around an aging population.

Actually China is worse than ours on the issue of aging because there are fears in China that China may never get “rich” due to the weight of caring for an ageing population while still being a developing country. For that blame it’s one-child policy: borrowed from LKY’s “Stop at two”? Meanwhile, lest TOC forgets, we are a developed city-state.

Sorry back to China’s policy that the $4G leaders should copy and paste.

In November last yr, China’s State Council launched a national medium and long-term plan for proactively responding to population ageing.

The new plan specifically addresses five aspects of population ageing: 1) improving national income distribution by increasing the level of payouts and sustainability of the social security system; 2) improving the effective labour supply in an ageing society via better-quality jobs and life-long learning; 3) implementing high quality health and health-related education services; 4) enhancing the application of technology including assistive technologies; 5) fostering a social environment in which senior citizens are cared for and their rights are protected.

Introducing this policy should help it get 65% of the popular vote*: the pass-mark for the 4G team  which Kee Chiu and his sidekick Chee seem to want to sabo (Kee Chiu, Chee trying to fix Heng? Incompetent? Honest mistake?)


*Why 65% of the popular vote is so impt to the PAP: the pass mark for bragging rights that they have the people’s mandate.

Xinjiang: What ang moh media doesn’t tell us?

In China on 15/01/2020 at 4:34 am

Do the ang moh tua kees who only read the NYT, Guardian and other woke publications know that in Xinjiang the homeland of  the Uighurs, there are 9m Han Chinese, versus 10m Uighurs.

And that

Many Han people in Xinjiang say they are not bothered by the intrusive security. “We’re all used to it, and in fact we like it because we know it keeps us safe,” says a woman surnamed Chen

https://www.economist.com/china/2020/01/09/many-han-chinese-dont-mind-the-gulag-for-their-uighur-neighbours

I’m sure that the woke will say that the Han Chinese should not be in Xinjiang. But it’s part of China, so why shouldn’t Han Chinese live there. The woke want Xinjiang to be like a red injun reservation in the West?

Watching movie exercises the heart

In Uncategorized on 14/01/2020 at 4:37 am

The Times says if you are looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle without exercising too much, you can go watch a movie. It highlights “research” which suggests that watching a film at the cinema could be as good for your health as a light form of cardio exercise.

The findings – which have yet to be published in a peer-to-peer journal – also say a trip to the cinema could provide a boost for your heart and benefit memory and concentration.

I can only assume that the movie industry is funding the research.

What about watching Netflix or tv?

Kee Chiu, Chee trying to fix Heng? Incompetent? Honest mistake?

In Economy, Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 13/01/2020 at 10:50 am

Usually what gets anti-PAP ang moh tua kees and cybernuts into orgasms of frenzy are ignored by hard working S’poreans. But Bayee’s Pritam’s question in parly and Kee Chiu and his sidekick’s response* has had hard working S’poreans upset.

The following piece that appeared in TRE reflects very accurately what PMETs are saying around their office water coolers and pantries, blue-collar workers are saying in their factoty canteens, and S’poreans in general are saying around their dining tables, and in food courts and kopi tiams.

We can get you the numbers, but you don’t need to know

I refer to this article on Today.

Basically, in Parliament on 6th January, the PAP declared that Singaporeans are getting more jobs, 60,000 local employment. Mr Pritam Singh requested for the specific number in terms of PRs and Singaporeans.

However, Mr Chan Chun Sing vehemently refused to answer that question.
1) Mr Chan deflected the question, and instead questioned Mr Singh’s need for accurate, factual data.
2) Mr Chan made a one-sided universal declaration that ALL Singaporeans are getting good jobs, and ALL Singaporeans are getting increased wages. And he did so by not providing numbers to back his claim.
3) Mr Chan insinuated that there should be no divide between Singaporeans and PRs. He might as well just say out loud there is no difference between a Singaporean and a PR.

My thoughts:
I think it is fairly disturbing that ministers and MPs can evade answering actual questions, and taichi their way out of it. We’re asking for factual numbers and figures! Not a grandfather story! Just answer the goddamned question!

Secondly, we are just supposed to just believe what Mr Chan says at face value, without any evidence? If you are so confident of what you say, you wouldn’t mind showing us the numbers, right?

As Singaporeans, we have the right to accurate and factual information. We cannot allow ourselves to be denied of the truth, just because some politician thinks it is not beneficial for us to know!

We have a right to demand full disclosure of such reports.

Angry Citizen

Given that the PAP is struggling to get 65% of the vote (Ground is not sweet for an early 2020 GE) one can reasonably wonder if Kee Chiu and Chee are trying to sabo Heng, the PM in waiting?

But maybe the MTI ministers are juz incompetent? Or are are making an honest mistake?

What do you think?

Whatever, they should realise that S’poreans (not juz the really hard core 30%ers) are suspicious of the PAP govt’s FT policies: see point 17 in table in Not Fake News: S’poreans still very satisfied with PAP govt.

Why 65% of the popular vote is so impt to the PAP: the pass mark for bragging rights that they have the people’s mandate.


*Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat (Kee Chiu’s side kick in MTI) saka his boss on 8 Jan in a Facebook post to caution against “driving a wedge in society” by differentiating between PRs and citizens, warning that all attempts to drive a wedge between different groups in society should be rejected, calling for people to “stand resolute” against efforts to “stir fear and hatred for political gain”.

Find S’pore on this map of the sky

In Uncategorized on 12/01/2020 at 5:15 am

Our MRT map and that of many others around the world are based on Harry Beck’s London Underground map.

Below is Harry Beck’s Tube map in the sky.

It’s a Tube map of the sky published just a few years after his London Underground map. In aviation’s early days, planes stopped much more frequently, making stops  “Such long-limbed networks naturally echo metro lines,” FT’s columnist  in https://www.ft.com/content/ea87c244-1da0-11ea-81f0-0c253907d3e0 (Pay wall)

Indians, Pinoys, Africans love Trump

In Uncategorized on 11/01/2020 at 1:26 pm

Ang mohs hate him

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51012853

Lim Tean talks cocks on electricity price rise

In Energy, Infrastructure on 10/01/2020 at 11:17 am

The chief cock of the People’s Voice Party, Mr Lim Tean via his FB post, criticised the recent increase in electricity tariffs by 3.5% despite natural gas prices collapsing. Mr Lim concluded his post by saying that “Singaporeans have every right to demand explanations from the SP group, Temasek, EMA and Mr ‘New Taxes’ Heng!”

He obviously doesn’t have a clue about anything, given that as far back as 2012, I explained the situation. Below is a piece that I’ve had to update because when it was first written, the LNG gas terminal had yet to open.

Unlike the oil market*, the natural gas market, is not a global, nor an efficient one (outside of the US). (I’ll explain this in detail later using S’pore and Qatar as examples).There is only a limited global trade in gas (the S’pore government is trying to encourage such trade building a gas terminal that is now operational), which can be transported in tankers, but mostly gas must move in pipelines over land in Europe and North America, the biggest users of energy. Example: natural gas prices have been rising in Britain this year even as they have been falling in the US.

Supply has soared in the US because of increased production from hydraulic fracturing, but demand in the US cannot change rapidly. Power plants that can burn gas or oil were shifted to gas long ago.

S’pore, as readers, should know gets its supply of gas from gas fields in Indonesia and Malaysia. The energy MNCs who developed these kind of fields did not develop these fields until they were assured that there were assured long-term buyers of the gas (This is still true today). There are a lot of upfront costs and the lead period from the time the fields are being developed to the first shipment of gas to the customer are measured in decades. Example: gas was discovered in Qatar in large quantities in the 1980s. It became a major exporter only in the early to mid-noughties. It took that long to build the facilities to ship the gas to places like Japan and South Korea, taking into account the time to negotiate the contracts.

Then there is the issue of pricing. Until very recently, natural gas contracts were priced off the price of oil because they were often found together, and both were scarce.

When the gas contracts for S’pore were negotiated all those many years, the price of the gas that S’pore pays was priced off the price of oil. Hence one reason of the paradox of us paying higher prices for gas when the price of gas is at a 10-year low. Another reason is that S’pore is locked into long-term contracts.

Now S’poreans are not the only people who got “screwed” by the breakdown between the price of gas and oil. KKR and TPG, giant and successful US private equity investors invested billions of their investors’ funds in TXU. One of the things they were betting on was that gas prices would be priced-off oil prices for the foreeable future. Err even Buffett has lost money buying TXU bonds.

But what about the gas terminal which now accounts for 38% of imported gas, shouldn’t this mean that its gas is cheaper?

Sadly

In Asia, purchased gas imports are typically pegged to oil price changes by pre-determined formulas due to the lack of an established pricing benchmark for gas trade. This nexus between oil and gas prices could weaken though, as more gas is being traded with greater flexibility in the future.

Constructive, nation-building media

And Lim Tean wants to be PM? But then as I wrote

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

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

Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G?

But then

[M]aybe he’s not a money face but has dementia making him forget that he took money from the public.

Lim Tean: talk cock king / Does he have dementia?

 

Benefit of saving regularly illustrated

In Financial competency on 10/01/2020 at 5:37 am

FT has a graphic that shows that saving £43.60 a week has

 

Vote wisely

POFMA these ministers?

In Media, Political governance on 09/01/2020 at 10:49 am

In a liberal, Sino-Asian democracy (I’m thinking of Taiwan or South Korea) that has passed a POFMA-type law administered by a neutral, quasi-judicial entity would the following ministers be sanctioned for falsifying facts?

Ong Ye Kung

A one-party system may give Singapore its best shot at success, because it is a small country that needs to stay nimble, said Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung yesterday at the Institute of Policy Studies’ annual Singapore Perspectives conference.

Constructive, nation-building ST in 2017

Really? We have become so nimble that it’ll take until November for MoE to decide whether some students will get their PSLE slips even if their parents are too cheap or destitute to pay the children’s school fees.

Kee Chiu for saying

Have economic growth and job creation benefited Singaporeans? And more importantly … have economic growth and job creation benefited Singaporeans more than foreigners. Mr Deputy Speaker Sir, the short answer to both questions is a resounding yes.

Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/commentary/singapores-economic-growth-and-job-creation-have-benefited-citizens-more-foreigners

Really? I’ve heard hard core PAP supporters grumble about FTs stealing their kopi se.

He then scores an own goal asking Pritam Singh what’s the point behind his employment query. Pritam Singh says he wants to counter falsehoods. Ouch: that must hurt.

Pritam wants more clarity on government employment statistics under the various Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs), to show how many jobs are filled by Singaporeans, Permanent Residents (PRs) and foreigners, saying this would help S’poreans track government policies to determine whether they are working to boost employment and improve career prospects, as well as counter falsehoods about such statistics.

He said that the WP would continue to file questions in Parliament to obtain such data.

The Propaganda Information Minister for saying

It is just a convergence or coincidence, possibly an unfortunate one, that the first four correction directions issued under Singapore’s ‘fake news’ law were directed at opposition parties or people affiliated with political parties, Communications and Information Minister S Iswaran said.

Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/unfortunate-coincidence-first-four-pofma-actions-directed-opposition-politicians

I’ve heard PAP IB members laughing at this comment. As TOC said, it’s the PAP govt who decides when to issue such orders.

What do you think? Should these ministers kanna POFMA?

Before you answer, read: Fake news law: Ownself judge where I wrote:

 “In the proposed fake news law, ministers are judge and jury.”

and

My main concern is that it makes ministers the initial (and in most cases the final and only) arbiters of truth about claims regarding the PAP government’s performance: “Ownself judge ownself”.

And

No, not fake news that deserves to kanna PORMA, but from the PAP’s very own minister for Malay affairs, a few weeks ago

Malay-Muslim community to be consulted on more issues that concern them: Masagos

Malay community not consulted enough about their concerns

And

Electricity tariff to rise 3.5% in January-March to hit 5-year high

Why MSM no kanna POFMA for spreading fake news?

You might also want to read:

“Black is white, white is black”: Our UK ambassador defends POFMA

Fact v opinion & “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”

Why PAP never admits to mistakes?

Fake news is in the eyes of the beholder

The one-party state and fake news

Why I no ak the Select Committee hearings on Deliberate Online Falsehoods 

In a liberal, Sino-Asian democracy (I’m thinking of Taiwan or South Korea) that has passed a POFMA-type law administered by a neutral, quasi-judicial entity, Ong sure kanna POFMA, while the odds are even stevens that the other two will be POFMA.

But in a de facto one-party state, “Ownself check ownself” prevails: will suckling pigs, chickens and ducks vote for Chinese New Year or lambs, sheep and goats vote for Eid? What do you really think?

All Blacks are not the only the Kiwis’ world class champions

In Commodities, Currencies, Financial competency, Uncategorized on 09/01/2020 at 4:45 am

 

And

 

Desperately seeking Cheng Bock

In Uncategorized on 08/01/2020 at 10:35 am

The really, really Spastic Zombies

leaders of four of the smaller opposition parties here have decided to form an alliance.

The alliance will comprise the Singaporeans First party (SingFirst), Reform Party (RP), People’s Power Party (PPP) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) …

I call them Zombies because they only wake up when there’s going to be a GE. Otherwise snoring in their graves.

Die, die still trying to get Dr Tan Cheng Bock to try to lead them

Mr Tan Jee Say had gone on Facebook on Saturday to state that he had merely played the role of approaching other parties to join the alliance, and that Dr Tan Cheng Bock would still be invited to lead it.

Speaking to TODAY, Mr Tan Jee Say reiterated that the four parties “look forward to Tan Cheng Bock agreeing to lead the alliance”.

Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/proposed-alliance-smaller-opposition-parties-contest-ge-under-single-banner-other-parties

They need his credibility with voters because they are money face. They think he can get them the extra votes to become MPs earning a lot of money:

He’s keeping very quiet, rightly so.

Many moons ago, I wrote My predictions about Spastics’ League, in which I said

[I]ts not as though he has a lot of respect for Mad Dog, Lim Tean, Goh Meng Seng etc. The only praise they got was

To be fair, many from the 7 parties stood in past elections because they believed they acted in Singapore’s best interests.

He never said they were acting in “Singapore’s best interests”, only that

To be fair They have guts. They have put themselves out there.

He then added:

But I think some may also need to stand down and serve from the backroom if it is for the good of the country.

And there’s more

I believe that the men and women I met yesterday, were more than willing to make way for better men and women who would stand in their place. They have guts. They have put themselves out there.

He damns them with his faint, almost non-existent praise.

This damnation is deafening because he praised someone who didn’t attend the meeting

I know men like Paul Tambayah is a 1st rate human being and doctor who cares for the country. I find it hard to label him otherwise.

In the piece, I predicted that Mad Dog’s attempts to manipulate Dr Tan Cheng Bock to unite the SDP and a bunch of injun chiefs without injuns into a credible Oppo coalition was bound to fail. Wasn’t I right? Trumpets please.

Why should Dr Tan lend his credibility to money face opportunists like Tan Jee Say (SingFirst) and Goh Meng Seng (PPP) after they saboed his presidential campaign by dividing the vote against the PAP’s preferred candidate? Remember that Dr Tan lost by about 3,000 votes. As to helping s/o JBJ why bother helping someone who cannot make eye contact with voters because he thinks they are plebs? OK, OK that’s fake news. He can’t make eye contact with the plebs because he’s autistic.

They can keep waiting for Dr Tan Cheng Bock, like the tramps Waiting for Godot. For the benefit of TRE cybernuts , the term is used to describe a situation where people are waiting for something to happen, but it probably never will. Bit like them thinking that PAP will be defeated in the next GE, something they’ve been saying since 1957.

 

 

Why investors can afford to be complacent about climate change

In Financial competency on 08/01/2020 at 4:30 am

Even if it’s not fake news.

 

 

Ground is not sweet for an early 2020 GE

In Economy, Political governance on 07/01/2020 at 4:28 am

The advance estimate for GDP growth in 2019 is 0.7%. In general, economists are guessing that 2020 GDP growth will be around 1.4% based on the world economy doing slightly better than last year. True 1.4% is double  last yr’s figure, but its a guess and its from a low base and the effects will only be felt in late 2020 or 2021 (early next yr is the latest for GE), if the guess is accurate. And it presupposes that there’s no serious conflict in the Gulf that will disrupt oil supplies and that Trump and Xi cool their trade war.

 Analysts expect a “tepid recovery” for the Singapore economy in 2020, after advance GDP estimates released Thursday pointed to the worst growth performance for the city state since the global financial crisis in 2009.

… analysts say growth momentum is expected to pick up gradually in the coming quarters.“Despite the lacklustre growth performance, the economy is slowly getting out of the woods,” says Irvin Seah, a senior economist at DBS Group Research in a flash note [last week]

… forecasts that Singapore will register GDP growth of 1.4% in 2020, but notes that this is still below its “potential growth rate” of around 2.5%.“Signs of a turnaround are emerging, but recovery could be weak,” Seah says. “

Meanwhile at Oxford Economics,

economist Sung Eun Jung agrees that while the external outlook has improved, the risk of relations between US and China deteriorating again “remains substantial”.

“On the domestic front, labour market conditions are softening as firms are more cautious about hiring and unemployment rate has been rising steadily since last year,” Sung adds.

Like DBS, Oxford Economics is also maintaining a forecast of 1.4% GDP growth for Singapore in 2020 following the release of the advance estimates.“We still forecast a fiscal expansion in 2020, including some targeted measures to help offset the planned GST (goods and services tax) hike and support ailing industries,” Sung says.

https://www.theedgesingapore.com/capital/singapore-economy/analysts-look-forward-better-year-ahead-singapores-2019-gdp-sinks-slowest

The size of the victory in the coming GE (expected shortly after the Feb Budget ) will therefore depend on the Budget goodies (Why no GE in Dec 2019) and how cock the Oppo are (Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G).

Reminder 1: Heng’s 4G team needs 65% of the popular vote: the pass mark for bragging rights that they have the people’s mandate.

Reminder 2: Not Fake News: S’poreans still very satisfied with PAP govt

Cybernuts’ predicting GE results/ Sad (Hard) truths for 30%ers

In Political governance on 06/01/2020 at 5:31 am

Can’t stop laughing at these predictions. The only marginal seat in S’pore is Aljunied GRC. Other than Forthress Hougang, the rest of S’pore has huge PAP majorities.

Conu eat shit:

My prediction is that PAP will suffer heavy losses.
LHL,Grace Foo,Chichen Hen ,Josephine Ho and minister for health mr gan will all loose their seats.All by narrow margins. SDP,PV and SPP will all enter parliament.THIS WILL SURELY HAPPEN as the sun rises every morning.
I sure wish to see the look on LHL face after he is kicked out of parliament.

This was in response to

My prediction for GE2020

1) Aljunied GRC: WP to hold Aljunied GRC with 52%-53% of votes

– PAP will not invest their manpower resource on Aljunied as PAP’s priority is to put heavyweight’s resources safeguarding East Coast GRC. Likely, it would be Victor Lye, Chua Eng Leong and three other candidates.
– SG50 and LKY’s sentiments had faded. PAP’s propaganda had been stirring AHTC till people feel sick about it and noted that PAP’s agenda of stirring AHTC is to bully WP.
– WP had improved on their Town Council’s management.
– WP will heavily emphasis that “If you don’t vote for us, there is only zero to one elected Opposition MP in Parliament”.

2) East Coast GRC

– LTK is the key to win East Coast GRC, together with Nicole Seah, Leon Perera and one new blood.
– PAP has not much heavyweight Minister left. Stroke Heng would still be Tampines GRC’s anchor Minister, Fish Tank Ong would be Sembawang GRC’s anchor and Kee Chiu would be Tanjong Pagar GRC’s anchor. Hence, PAP may send Grace Fu, Josephine Teo, Edwin Tong or Indranee Rajah to replace Lim Swee Say. PAP may keep Tharman to attack Tan Cheng Bock.

3) Fengshan SMC

– WP have 50/50 chances of winning it from incumbent MP Cheryl Chan.

4) West Coast GRC

– The chances of PSP win West Coast GRC are 40-42% (without Lee Hsien Yang) or 50% to 53% (with Lee Hsien Yang).

*Comment first appeared on HWZ.

What’s interesting is that none of these hard core cybernuts are predicting a victory for the

They not that dumb?

The sad truth for the 30%ers

Not Fake News: S’poreans still very satisfied with PAP govt

Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G?

How many S’pores are burning in Australia?

In Uncategorized on 05/01/2020 at 4:58 am

Answer: At least 55.

Land covering 55 S’pores are on fire in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state. 40,000 sq km is burning there. There are also extensive fires in Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.

S$ tua kee

In Uncategorized on 04/01/2020 at 11:42 am

But three other currencies bigger tua kees

I’m surprised TOC’s M’sian Indian goons not using this data to diss the PAP govt. They would say that if PAP any gd, should be first.

Vote wisely.

MSM can’t afford proofreader?

In Media on 04/01/2020 at 6:20 am

Economists said a package to offset the anticipated hike in Goods and Services Tax to 9 per cent, which is expected to take place some time between 2021 and 2015, may also be disbursed to provide help for households.

Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/look-ahead-2020-economy-after-rough-2019-smoother-road-ahead

 

Malay community not consulted enough about their concerns

In Political governance, Public Administration on 03/01/2020 at 3:42 am

No, not fake news that deserves to kanna PORMA, but from the PAP’s very own minister for Malay affairs, a few weeks ago

Malay-Muslim community to be consulted on more issues that concern them: Masagos

Malay-Muslims will get more say in Singapore’s policy-making, in line with the Government’s overall strategy for the future, said Mr Masagos Zulkifli in a media interview pertaining to issues to do with the community on Tuesday (Dec 17).

Ciptasama@M3, or Co-creation@M3, is the name of a new programme to encourage the community to participate in policy-making. It will be launched next year, led by Minister of State for Manpower and National Development Zaqy Mohamad.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=49472&action=edit

OK, OK, he didn’t actually say that “Malay community not consulted enough about their concerns”: its shumething his comments and the constructive, nation-building headline imply. But then in the recent POFMA orders, the word “implied” appeared in the orders against Brad Bowels and Lim Tean. Brad Bowyers

said the authorities had read the four points of his post “wrongly and then said my post ‘implied’ this and ‘implied’ that and so demanded it to be labelled as false”.

https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/3043034/singapores-fake-news-law-protecting-truth-or-restricting-free

So if PAP govt, can say facts can be implied, so can I: can’t I?

All things “Malay”

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

Anti-PAP Malay that ungrateful meh?

Fake news law: Malays not stupid

The silence of the Malay Minister

NLB is very sensitive about Malays and Muslims

Legendary Malay hero was really Indian/ Blame Mendaki, not PAP

Why PAP thinks we need a Malay president?

Finally, “Malay” race: no such race

If you are wondering how this piece is relevant, think the row between MoM and SDP  Actually I was reminded of what minister said by MoM’s snarky response to the SDP. Look it up.

(Last paragraph added minutes after publication.)

Tun talks cock, Mamas upset, M’sian palm oil growers suffer

In India, Malaysia on 02/01/2020 at 4:36 am

Palm oil is M’sia’s biggest agricultural export, used extensively around the world, in everything from cooking oil, to bio-fuels, and een in  lipsticks. Hundreds of thousands of M’sian farmers depend on palm oil exports for their livelihood,

India, the world’s biggest importer of edible oils, buys more than 9m tonnes of palm oil annually, mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia. Between January-October 2019, India was the biggest buyer of Malaysian palm oil, taking in more than 4m tonnes, according to official M’sian data.

But its palm oil exports to India dropped from 310,648 tonnes in September to 219,956 tonnes in October – and then to 142,696 tonnes in November.

Because in late September, Big Mouth Talk Cock King Mahathir said India had “invaded and occupied” Kashmir, the Himalayan territory that is legally part of India. Delhi had only revoked Indian-administered Kashmir’s autonomy in early August, and communication and other curbs remain in place.

Indians were unhappy, and India’s top vegetable oil trade body called on its members to avoid buying M’sian palm oil to “show solidarity” over Kashmir.

As hundreds of thousands of M’sian farmers depend on palm oil exports for their livelihood, the M’sian government has admitted the advisory was a “major setback”. -Tun went further, saying it “amounts to a trade war”.

Experts agree that it’s “major setback”.

“If there is a formal boycott, it will hit M’sia hard in the short term,” James Chin, director of the Asia Institute at the University of Tasmania, told the BBC. “It will be very difficult for Malaysia to find a new buyer for the volume.”

S’poreans should behave like the Mamas when Tun next threatens us.

Why MSM no kanna POFMA for spreading fake news?

In Energy, Media on 01/01/2020 at 2:02 pm

From our constructive, nation-building media recently

Electricity tariff to rise 3.5% in January-March to hit 5-year high

Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/world/electricity-tariff-rise-35-january-march-hit-5-year-high

Electricity tariffs to rise 3.5% in first quarter of 2020; gas prices to fall

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/electricity-tariffs-to-rise-35-in-first-quarter-of-2020-to-hit-highest-rate-in-more-than

Electricity tariff to rise 3.5% in January-March to hit 5-year high

Fake news because (emphasis mine)

From January 1 to March 31, Singapore households using SP Group’s services can expect to pay a higher electricity tariff of around 3.5 per cent on average (before 7 per cent GST), the company said on Monday (Dec 30). This 0.81 cent per kilowatt hour (kwh) increase from the last quarter is due to higher energy cost.

https://www.businessinsider.sg/10-changes-that-will-affect-singaporeans-in-2020-including-3-door-buses-and-gst-on-your-netflix-subscriptions/

At least 40% of residential consumers will not be affected because they are using other electric retailers. These offer fixed or floating* rates, way below SP’s rate. The Energy Market Authority (EMA) had said on Oct 15 2019 that about 40% of residential consumers have switched from SP Group to new electricity retailer as of end-August. Only 60% of residential consumers including Tan Kin Lian are still on SP rates. They are affected but its their fault for not switching to cheaper providers.

I presume TKL is still with SP because he KPKBed late last yr, that he found the packages on offer from other electric retailers confusing. He one blur sotong.

Amended on 3 January at 5.20 am to clarify that the other retailers also provide floating rates.

 

What’s so special about 2020?

In Uncategorized on 01/01/2020 at 4:25 am

But first a prosperous new year. Make money and stay healthy.

Sorry back to “What’s so special about 2020?”.

Every 60 years, a new decade according to the Western calendar* coincides with a year of the rat, the start of the 12-year cycle in the Chinese calendar. This last happened in 1960.

1990 was a relative quiet year. But in 1961, we had the Berlin Wall crisis and in 1962, we had the  Cuban missile crisis. The USA and the USSR were daring one another to go to war

Will the USA and China have their own version of the Berlin Wall crisis and Cuban Missile crisis? Perhaps centred around HK? Let’s hope not. And if they do, let’s hope they both back down without violence. But then maybe it’ll be a very serious row between N Korea and the USA with China dragged in very reluctantly


*Conventional wisdom* says that 2020 is the start of a new decade in the Western calendar. Strictly speaking the new decade doesn’t start until January 1, 2021; the old one concluding on December 31, 2020. https://www.farmersalmanac.com/new-decade-2020-or-2021-100900

But this means this millennium began on January 1, 2001 not January 1, 2000. The previous millennium ended only on December 31, 2000, not December 31, 1999. So a lot of parting was done on the wrong date.