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Archive for March, 2020|Monthly archive page

Will we see S’pore Girl working in hospitals?

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

Or in polyclinics?

In the UK

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social distance: Go to polyclinic and get infected isit?

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

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

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

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

Go to polyclinic and get infected isit?

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

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

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

The BBC reports

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

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

In HK

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

Economist

The BBC report goes on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seriously, as the Economist wrote last week:

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

Economist

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Covid-19: Coughing is terrorism and other policing actions

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

I kid u not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Don’t use the microwave’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

… disconnecting devices that are not in use.

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

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

Other tips include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Covid-19: The truth about the death projections

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

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

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

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

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

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

BBC report

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

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

As the BBC explains in the context of the UK:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some householders laughing all the way to the bank

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vote wisely.

Covid-19 in Islamic countries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next

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

BBC on 19 March.

I left the worst Muslim affected country to the end.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tourism: Look on the bright side

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

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

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

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

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

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

Covid-19: Social distance illustrated

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

Standing or sitting how far apart? See below:

Social distance

Markets: Easy collapse, easy rebound

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

If wondering why markets tanked so fast juz look at

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

Sad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Economist

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

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

Please forward the piece to BS artist Lim Tean.

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

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

Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G?

Double confirm, Indonesia lied about its Covid-19 cases

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

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

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

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

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

Related post: Haze: What Raffles would have done

Trump and Covid-19

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

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

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

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

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

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

So maybe China is right to be upset?

Related post:

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

Wuhan virus: Jialat, if this true

Codvid-19: Why God is a S'porean

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

I tot the above when I read

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

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

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

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

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

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


Where he has tried to bully us recently:

Water: Why Tun should thank S’poreans

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

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

Tun chickened out/ Two cheers for cowardly PAP govt

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

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

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

God loves S’pore.

Covid-19: Making sense of the collateral damage

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

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

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

Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche

Tourism: Where Covid-19 really hurts us

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

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

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

We not reliant on China for manufactured gds

Where S’pore is not too exposed to China

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

And tourism is important to us:

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

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

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

Even after recovering from Covid-19

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

Still has problems.

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

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

Covid-19: Indonesia caught lying

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 15 February piece.

Wuhan virus: Indonesia is known unknown

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

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

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

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

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

Note there were no test kits until early Feb

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

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

Samples only tested in Jakarta

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

Insufficient training to detect virus

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

Insufficient public knowledge

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

And finally, Indonesian officials are BS artists

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

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

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

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

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

Hope that JG is well and will start writing again.

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

[…]

Dear TRE and TRE readers,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Look at how LTK responded.

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

Look at WP’s message in this GE 2015 –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s the conclusion from all these tea leaves ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

If what I’ve said is true :

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

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

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

JG

Submitted by TRE reader.

—————————————————————————————————–

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

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

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

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

Mad Dog Chee

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

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

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

Sad.

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

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

SDP statement

RULE OUT GE IN THE MIDST OF COVID CRISIS

Singapore Democrats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

German wild boars do not jay walk

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

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

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

BBC

Brits outsmart Thai Chinese billionaire twice over

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Covid-19: Stock up on paracetamol and antibiotics?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related post Need Paracetamol? Ask SingHealth

NUS academic defends M’sian king and Muhyiddin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Covid 19: Opps! Fake news about beards

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

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

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

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

Sorry. 

From the BBC:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

King’s snub to Tun is payback time

In Malaysia on 09/03/2020 at 6:13 am

After being reinstated as interim prime minister by the king, Mahathir seemed poised to form a new government that may have sidelined his designated successor Anwar Ibrahim. But then almost quickly, Mahathir and Anwar were once again united in an attempt to form a new government when UMNO ans PAS called for a GE.

But M’sia’s constitutional monarch, King Abdullah (whose role it is to invite a candidate to form a new government), declared that Mr Mujaheddin had the numbers, and would be sworn in as the country’s eighth prime minister.  This was done and the new appointment has been called a royal coup by the favourite ang moh newspaper of ang moh tua kees, PJ Thum and Kirsten Han (Remember them? Kirsten Han trying to defecate herself and PJ out of self-made crater)

Tun Mahathir has challenged Mujaheddin’s appointment and plans to try to bring the new government down once parliament meets again. But the problem is that the parliament won’t be meeting until mid May, giving Mujaheddin time to use his powers of patronage as PM to get the votes needed to secure his position.

Tun and gang have published a list of 114 MPs (the minimum necessary needed to secure a majority is 112) who gave him their statutory declarations promising him their votes. Mujaheddin hasn’t publicly announced such a list and the word in KL is that he doesn’t have the numbers

So king can’t count isit? Another Xia suay, like Tun who really had no good reason to resign.

Not really because as the BBC reports,

It is worth recalling too that Mr Mahathir has a history of conflict with Malaysia’s sultans, something that may have been a factor in the King’s choice.

Back in 1983 and 1993 he pressed for constitutional changes that imposed limits on royal power.

“In the earlier crisis the role of leading royal resistance to Mahathir was played by the then-Sultan of Pahang, the current king’s father,” says Clive Kessler at the University of New South Wales.

“Memories and resentments linger on and are not easily forgotten or set aside.”

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

(Pahang’s then sultan was king for five years during Tun’s reign and was king when Tun was king of the jungle.)

Obviously Tun never tried to mend fences with Pahang. He never really does with anybody.

The nearest Tun will get to giving an apology is illustrated by the following tale.

A benefactor and friend who got seriously rich during Tun’s tenure as PM but who fell into his bad books (Unfairly in friend’s view, but he would say that wouldn’t he?) during the 1998 financial crisis, once told me that after Tun retired, he was invited to a personal lunch by Tun who told him, “Let bygones be bygones.”. This to a man who had to endure investigations and other indignities, excluding the probability of losing most of his wealth.

Whatever, we recently spoke, and he told me that all the Malay leaders (Tun included) still call him a “friend”: meaning he’s still rich enough to be shaken down for donations.

Related post: Simple guide to M’sian politics.

Xia suay! Must be Lim Tean again

In Uncategorized on 08/03/2020 at 4:17 am

If you goggle “Lim Tean + Independent” (the fake news purveyor) you will get a long list of recent stories by the Idiots reporting Lim Tean’s KPKBing about the PAP’s response to the Wuhan virus. He says the PAP govt is incompetent, allowing S’poreans to catch the virus.

Well S’pore is praised by the World Health Organisation for as Reuters puts it

the fastidious approach taken to combat the outbreak in the city-state – which has included using police investigators and security cameras to help track and quarantine more than 2,500 people, and won international praise.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health-singapore-analysis/why-singapores-admired-virus-playbook-cant-be-replicated-idUSKBN20E0I4

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s chief says “Singapore is leaving no stone unturned.”

————-

The king of masks

In Kiasu? Get hold of the king mask, I reported

that the betterest mask is the N95 respirator. It filters at least 95% of airborne particles, and is more effective than an ordinary surgical or medical mask, which also needs to be changed more frequently.

The pictured mask is the best.

Maybe Lim Tean should do a video castigating the PAP govt for not getting the pictured mask for us?


Seriously,

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

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

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

Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G?

Xia suay! If we triple AAA why pay so much more than ang moh sick man?

In CPF, Economy, Financial competency on 07/03/2020 at 4:20 am

With the carnage in markets, we’ll soon hear in the constructive, nation-building media that have AAA status.

The PAP govt and its running dogs in parly, in the constructive, nation-building media, and on the internet will be trumpeting our triple A status, reminding of our budget surpluses and prudent budgets

So what? The S’pore 10 year government bond has a 1.335% yield. 

But UK’s 10 year government bond has a yield of now around 0.24% despite the UK not being triple A, and the UK being a sick man:

Since the financial crisis of 2007-2009 Britain has lost its AAA credit rating, seen its debt-to-GDP ratio rise from 40% to more than 80% and voted for Brexit. And yet over the same period the yield on gilts, the benchmark ten-year government bond, has fallen from around 4.5% to under 0.5%. 

Economist

We AAA paying 556.25% more than the UK? CCB. KNN.

Maybe because, our debt-to-GDP ratio is 108%. For that 108%, think and thank CPF.

[O]ur CPF monies are invested in special government bonds. The $ from the bonds flow into the government’s Consolidated Fund together with revenues from taxes etc. All government expenses are paid out from this fund. If there is a surplus (as there usually  because the government is thrifty or mean depending on who is doing the talking) part of that surplus can go to GIC and Temasek. The government argues that because all the monies in the fund  is fungible (cannot be separated), one is wrong to argue that CPF monies are invested abroad.

How we fund our SWFs: ”If Singaporeans are not “hard-driving and hard-striving”, where did GIC and Temasek get so much money to lose?”

PAP govt’s explanation

Special Singapore Government Securities (SSGS) are non-tradable bonds issued specifically to meet the investment needs of the Central Provident Fund (CPF). Singaporeans’ CPF monies are invested in these special securities which are fully guaranteed by the Government. The securities earn for the CPF Board a coupon rate that is pegged to CPF interest rates that members receive.

https://www.gov.sg/article/is-it-fiscally-sustainable-for-singapore-to-have-such-a-high-level-of-debt

 

Nigerian alternative to POFMA that works

In Africa, Media on 06/03/2020 at 5:40 am

Nigeria is planning a POFMA type law, cut and paste from our POFMA, our constructive, nation-building media trumpeted sometime back. But protest riots have prevented its passing, something our constructive, nation-building media keep silent about.

Its media is well known for publishing fake news (See link below).  Lim Tean, TOC and The Idiots are no match for it.

But one group in Nigeria has its very own homegrown method of dealing with fake news:

In April 2012, the message carried in one of Boko Haram’s video releases was distorted in some Nigerian media reports.

In response, the jihadist group took direct action and bombed two newspaper offices …

While claiming responsibility for the carnage, a Boko Haram spokesperson said: “Each time we say something, it is either changed or downplayed.”

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-51706840

Since then the Nigerian media has been careful about how it reports Boko Haram’s media releases.

My take on POFMA (added several hours after first publication):

POFMA these ministers?

Why MSM no kanna POFMA for spreading fake news?

“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 

Kanna Covid-19, can die or not?

In Uncategorized on 05/03/2020 at 5:28 am

(Amended on 9th March to include link to BBC report saying

Women seem to be less likely to die from coronavirus than men, and children appear to be less likely to die than other age groups.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51774777)

Original story

If old, chronic sickly, or men, jialat leh.

But first, the usual platitudes:

Researchers currently think that between five and 40 coronavirus cases in 1,000 will result in death, with a best guess of nine in 1,000 or about 1%.

… the World Health Organization’s Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that “globally, about 3.4% of reported Covid-19 cases have died”.

BBC report

But just as some animals are more equal than others, some people are more likely to die if they contract Covid-19: the elderly, the chronically ill, and men (maybe?).

More from the BBC story:

In the first big analysis of more than 44,000 cases from China, the death rate was ten times higher in the very elderly compared to the middle-aged. 

The death rates were lowest for the under 30s – there were eight deaths in 4,500 cases.

And deaths were at least five times more common among people with diabetes, high blood pressure or heart or breathing problems.

There was even a slightly higher number of deaths among men compared to

women.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51674743

 

We not reliant on China for manufactured gds

In China, Economy on 04/03/2020 at 5:10 am

Further to Where S’pore is not too exposed to China where I reported that we are not that dependent on China for electrical and electronic components, we are also not very reliant on China for other manufactured goods.

 

Xia suay! Even ang mohs here panicked

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

My cousin told me the weekend after DORSCON Orange was announced, the atas supermarket near her place was cleaned out of pasta and much canned foods and instant noodles. The ang mohs didn’t buy the expensive Korean and Japanese instant noodles, only the cheaper ones from M’sia and Indonesia. What a bunch of cheapskates. That they panicked and are are cheapskates shows that they are related to the anti-PAP cybernuts.

The staff told her the ang mohs were worried that that there was going to a Wuhan style stay-in. More evidence they related to our cybernuts, even in Wuhan deliveries are made. [The last sentence was added minutes after publication.]

Btw, she usually shops at NTUC Fairprice. She went into the atas supermarket because her detergent supplies were running role. Needless to say, she never got her clorox etc. The supermarket had also run out of these supplies.

When she tried ordering these online, she was told delivery was in eight days time.

Related post: Thanks to cybernuts, Fairprice is laughing all the way to bank

Xia suay: life insurance makes a person want to die isit?

In Economy, Political governance on 02/03/2020 at 6:48 am

I tot the above when I read

[I]dea of unemployment insurance to help retrenched older workers has ‘serious downsides’: Josephine Teo

Constructive, nation-building media

The report goes on:

Mrs Teo said that the Government will “keep an open mind” on unemployment insurance, but pointed out that there are serious downsides to having such a provision. These include reducing workers’ motivation to find work as well as decreasing the willingness of employers to pay retrenchment benefits.

Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/workers-partys-idea-unemployment-insurance-help-retrenched-older-workers-has-serious?fbclid=IwAR3ODcCR7Oac220dDid0OpipeOJ5KMaLbGVhDPVjEhQc-nFoI_KCagZipvA

I’ll let Chris Kuan and Yeoh Lam Keong explain why Jos’ mouth is full of cock as usual.

Chris Kuan

Contrary to what the Minister said, there are plenty of countries with unemployment insurance and yet low unemployment rates. In my view, there is no universal evidence that it reduces a worker’s incentive to find re-employment, So the whole establishment narrative that unemployment insurance (and jobless benefits) leads to high unemployment is not a universal fact. It is just another moral panic button. However she might be right that unemployment insurance may prove unworkable in Singapore. Why? Because as long as there is easy access to foreign labour, such a scheme may not make it any easier to find re-employment or more importantly provide for better job matches to skills, experience and qualifications which is what it is meant to do. That’s what the establishment failed to mention – that employment protection / stabilization schemes run against the principal policy of growing the economy through access to cheaper labour. It is far easier to say to the plebs that unemployment insurance leads to high unemployment and not say why a labour market with such a hugh foreign worker content, makes it so.

https://www.facebook.com/chris.kuan.94/posts/1282587465264672

Yeoh Lam Keong

Unfortunately, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo does not seem to have a sufficient understanding of labour market economics required to see the important need for unemployment insurance ( UI ) in Singapore for at least three reasons.

First, Minister Teo’s portrayal that countries with UI “usually have persistently high unemployment “ is inaccurate at best and misleading at worst.

Of the 27 member OECD developed countries, 25 operated an unemployment insurance systems including many countries with low unemployment eg Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Korea and Taiwan including some much more competitive export economies with lower unemployment than Singapore ( Germany and Japan ).

Second, there is little evidence of an inefficient reduction in incentive to work in properly designed UI systems as Minister Teo claims . In fact, the labour market evidence shows that UI for about 3 months enables optimum job search that prevents workers from jumping at the first job that may not be such a good match for their skills or experience.

Third, Minister Teo seems oblivious to the trend that artificial intelligence is already increasingly replacing both unskilled and skilled workers and consigning them to a gig economy of much more frequent job shifts, often with lesser paying work.

There are currently an estimated 25-30,000 households who fall into absolute poverty at any one time because of such involuntary unemployment. Without an automatic unemployment protection system , many fall through the cracks of our Commcare and skills retraining systems.

Not putting in place an intelligent unemployment protection system is thus short sighted, inhumane and just poor manpower policy, imho.

More at https://www.facebook.com/lamkeong.yeoh/posts/3512139472194428

But not having unemployment insurance is a Hard Truth and PAP ministers die die must hold onto. It’s not a matter of economic pragmatism.

The Hardest Truth: I’ve blogged before that the PAP doesn’t need that many smart people as it follows most of the Economist’s prescriptions (except on hanging, drug legalisation, free media and a liberal democracy): PAP’s bible challenges “market-based solution”)

Hard Truths

How PAP can make S’poreans happier but won’t

Welfarism the PAP way/ The last word on GST

The PAP way is the American corporate way

We have to move on: Moving on from Hard Truths To Hard Choices.

The problems are

Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G?

Hard Truth why PAP wins and wins

Wuhan virus surveillance, the Chinese way/ Muslims R virus

In China on 01/03/2020 at 5:52 am

Smartphones, which are carried by most working-age Chinese is a powerful tool in trying to identify people who may be carrying the virus.

Hangzhou city has a self-assessment health-check app. If it classifies someone as a possible carrier of the virus, The red colour of the qr code on Ms Sun’s “Hangzhou Health Code” app indicated that she was supposed to be undergoing 14 days of self-quarantine. Had the code been yellow, it would have meant she was a lower risk and had to isolate herself for seven days. For free passage around the city, people must produce their phones at checkpoints and show they have a green qr code.

Economist

Another use of smartphones, is for people (in Shenzhen for example) to scan a code to register for entry into the city.


Big data still not tailored to fight the virus

Police across China are using big data, provided by Beiyang, a private company, and other private companies to identify individuals (who may or may not have coronavirus) in crowds. Beiyang claims its technology has led to a 22% in calls to China’s emergency hotline, a 36% drop in muggings and 40 per cent fewer burglaries.

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A Shanghai company says it can assess a person’s emotional state through a 60-second video analysis via smartphonesof “skin, eyeballs, corners of your mouth, eyelids and bodily vibrations”. If it discovers abnormal levels of aggression or stress, people are advised to seek appropriate psychological help

But the use of manpower is still the most common method of getting things done: people man checkpoints armed with clipboards and thermometer guns, or to go door-to-door making note of sniffles.

If the Chinese had introduced the surveillance system it set up in Xinjiang to monitor the Jihadist Joes and Jills in an attempt keep the world safe from Muslim terrorism, to the rest of China, it would have been better equipped to contain the spread of the virus: Did Hali ask Xi for this app when they met?

Moral of the story:

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither castye your pearls before swine, lest they trample themunder their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Matthew 7:6

Btw,

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

Wuhan virus: No beards please