Archive for August, 2020|Monthly archive page

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

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

Tidying up loose ends of GE2020 analysis.

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

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

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

ST ST 1 oct 2019

In reply

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

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

ST 1 oct 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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


Covid-19: High tech Korean face mask

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Civid-19 aftermath: China ascendant, India descendant

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

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

Which mask is betterest?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorry back to these kids that shame S’pore

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

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

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

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

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

I’ll end with this warning from Ngiam:

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

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

Covid-19: Property experts, analysts missing this point

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Look at this table

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

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

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

Waz this NIRC and NIR BS?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NIR, Budget untruths, & the President

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

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

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

NIR, Budget untruths, & the President

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

Recovery is K shaped

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump supports ESG investments

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

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

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

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

I had to laugh when I read

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Property: Tharman trying to crack jokes again

ST, Today editors trying to be like Tharman

Telling coc jokes: Ministerial CoC needed

Another minister tries telling jokes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But then I learnt

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

Constructive, bation-building media

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

An Adrian Tan commented on FB

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

No photo description available.

Covid-19: Indian death count is fake news?

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

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

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

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

From a BBC report:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FTs: HK like us; learnt from us?

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

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

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

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

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

Indonesia, S’pore dominate VC funding in 1Q

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

Sounds like S’pore Inc?

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

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

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

portfolio of some of the sectors worst affected by coronavirus


So who is it?

太古集團 or Taikoo.

A red chip controlled by China?

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

Slow growth sucked, didn’t it?

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

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

Constructive, nation-building media

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

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

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

Did these now billionaire foreign scholars do NS?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Government said on its fact-checking website Factually.

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

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

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

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

Let’s cut a deal, PAP govt?

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

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


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

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

Here’s the deal.

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

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

“[F]ull employment”

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

Followed by

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

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

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

“Only when he can grow old without financial worries;

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

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

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

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

Btw, I wrote

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

Problem S’pore, PAP face

Attitudes to $

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

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

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

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

S’pore = Chinese, PA is saying?

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

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

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

Chinese privilege?

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

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

An honest mistake?

Chinese tua kee?

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


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

Where India trumps China

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

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

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

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

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

US of A gold ETF is tua kee.

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

Plebs: ETF is Exchange Traded Fund.

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

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

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

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

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

So I couldn’t help but laugh at:

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

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

What planet is Modi on?

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

Modi appeases the Gods?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fyi, Mao’s theory of continuous revolution:

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

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

What do u think?

Why PAP ministers are not fat

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

And why they are “dangerous”.

First the “fat” bit:

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


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

As to the “dangerous” part:

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

Julius Caesar
William Shakespeare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To be fair to him

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember you heard this first here. LOL.

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

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

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

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

Veteran reminiscences about life in ST

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

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

I wrote then, he had

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

When Devan Nair was Jedi

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

He also wrote there:

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

Hard Truth about equity markets

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

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

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

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

Looking for dividend yields?

In Financial competency on 01/08/2020 at 5:21 am

Now that local bank yields have collapsed following the central bank’s restrictions that dividends are now limited to 60% of 2019 dividends.

Why not try Russia? MSCI’s Russia index offers the highest dividend yield of any major country in the world at 7.4% (prospective) , according to Morgan Stanley.