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Archive for October, 2020|Monthly archive page

Another headache for Changi Int’l

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

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

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

Related posts:

2025: LKY’s memorial unveiled

What PM will say in National Dally Rally speech

Ever wondered why PM wants to build polders?

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Violent Muslims raising stakes in France

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

They want a religious war in France?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our stock exchange now like Peenoy stock exchange

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

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

Now we are almost Peenoys.

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

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

How much of Ant will S’pore Inc own?

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

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

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

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

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

Fashion in the time of Covid-19

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

OK, OK, the Japanese way. LOL

Nice to know S$ is a “Biden currency”

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

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

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

Why didn’t China offer us this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ho Ting Fei (Dr)

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

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

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

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

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

It ends

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

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

Go read the article.

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

Why Indians in US of A support Trump

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

He keeps out Muslims.

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

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

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

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

A new measure needed

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

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

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

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

Link 1 and Link 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tang Li

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

Covid-19: Int’l media is racist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All those fake degrees?

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

The truth about SIA food

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

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

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

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

Here’s more

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

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

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

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

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

FT Headline

It goes on

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



FT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Covid-19 harm: India slumps, China surges

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What do you think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bang yr balls China and EU

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

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

IMF is now into Robin Hood economics

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

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

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

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

Ballad of Robin Hood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But don’t panic yet.

The BBC report goes on to say

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

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

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

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

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

Covid-19: Monitoring Indian workers from the UK

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

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

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

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

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

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

Btw, he’s an ethnic Indian.

Can believe or not? Or juz PAP BS?

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

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

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

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

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

Then there’s this

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

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

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

Pull the other leg, its got bells on it.

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

PAP a socialist party again?/ Banks doing NS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He would have to say this wouldn’t he?

What do you think? Is the minister BSing?

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

Covid-19: Trump’s medications

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

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

So why didn’t he keep taking it?

And why was he given it recently?

SAD.

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

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

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

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

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

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


*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did u know Heng said no more additional round of support measures?

In Economy, Public Administration on 08/10/2020 at 6:18 am

On Oct 3, DPM Heng announced via Facebook that there will not be an additional round of support measures. I did not read about it in the constructive, nation-building: but maybe it was tucked away in somewhere. I read in an article in the Edge. (Details of the how the $100 billion is being spent: Cheat sheet for Fortitude Budget.)

At this stage of the crisis, my team and I are fully committed to support our workers and businesses by refining our policies, expanding outreach and improving implementation, to make the most of the $100 billion committed to the fight against COVID-19. We hope that businesses and workers can make the best use of the measures that have been committed.

FB

But note out of 33 billion in Fortitude Bugget, S$13 billion is for “Contingencies Funds” Cheat sheet for Fortitude Budget.

And the btw use of reserves is peanuts:

From the above mentioned link:

Whatever, all the budgets means the government’s total fiscal injection will be S$92.9 billion, almost one-fifth of the country’s S$500 billion economy. Only Germany and Japan spend more than us when it comes to pandemic stimulus packages as a percentage of GDP. Germany 31.6% and Japan 19.6%.

The government has so far drawn down S$52 billion from our reserves to fund the packages.

Impressive?

“Peanuts”: our reserves estimated to be worth over US$710 billion or S$1 trillion by ang mohs. Only 5% of our reserves drawn down and do remember that S$13 million is for “contingencies”. Exclude that S$13 million and only 4% of reserves will be spent.

Bah humbug, a reasonable man may say.

Got six properties but driving Grab to earn $?

In Financial competency, Financial planning, Malaysia on 07/10/2020 at 6:41 am

Give me a break pls from this kind of BS, constructive, nation-building MediaCorp.

OK. OK the properties are M’sian, not S’porean but this sounds like a lot of bull.

It reports

Retiree SK Quek leases five of his six properties in Malaysia and used to put up two of the houses for short-term rental on Airbnb.

And while he has no issues with collecting rent from his long-term tenants, the 64-year-old who is now driving for Grab in Singapore said he loses about RM8,000 a month — his usual earnings from Airbnb — for not being able to list his properties.

Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/sporeans-homes-malaysia-limbo-due-border-restrictions-some-paying-double-living-costs

Can’t stop laughing is disbelief that a six property man (I assume he also has something here even if it’s a three room HDB flat) is driving Grab to earn a living. Must be BSing about his properties. What do you think?

As for the other S’poreans mentioned in article KPKBing that they got two properties etc to maintain, they should sit down and shut up. Btw, I’m sure pre Covid-19, they were sneering at S’poreans who didn’t stay in M’sia and commute here regularly.

They made their choices, and gotta live with the consequences. But so typical of Singkies: vote for PAP but then KPKB about kanna Pay And Pay. Reminds me of what the Mexican bandit leader said in the Magnificent 7 about the peasants he regularly shook down: “If God did not want them sheared, He would not have made them sheep.”

Likewise it’s something the PAP could say, but hasn’t yet.

Must be from India

In Uncategorized on 06/10/2020 at 7:17 am

Transport for London (TfL), the capital’s transport authority, has banned Indian taxi app Ola over public safety concerns. Ola has been operating in London since February: great timing

TfL said the firm reported a number of failings including more than 1,000 trips made by unlicensed drivers. Ola also did not report the failings as soon as it knew about them.

Ola said it will appeal the decision. It can operate in the meantime.

Liewgate: TRE writer makes constructive suggestions on improving the administration of justice

In Public Administration on 05/10/2020 at 3:01 pm

But first what the CJ said about prosecutors being “ministers of justice” is nothing new. Many yrs ago, the head of Crime in the AGC said the same thing to me in describing his role. It’s based on an English legal tradition

Prosecutors are more than advocates and solicitors. They are “ministers
of justice” assisting in the administration of justice (see R v Banks [1916] 2 KB621 at 623). As a “minister of justice”, the duty of the prosecutor is to assist the court to arrive at the correct decision. It is neither the prosecutor’s duty to secure a conviction at all costs nor to “timorously discontinue proceedings the instant
some weakness is found in their case” (see Kadar at [109]).

137 A prosecutor must always act in the public interest and it is generally
unnecessary for the Prosecution to adopt a strictly adversarial position
criminal proceedings (see Nabill v PP at [37]). Steven Chong JA speaking extrajudicially to Legal Service Officers and Assistant Public Prosecutors on 10 November 2011 put it in these terms:
The accused, the Court and the community are entitled to
expect that in performing his function in presenting the case
against an accused person, the Prosecutor will act with fairness
and detachment with the sole and unadulterated objective
to establish the whole truth in accordance with the law.

… The role of the Prosecutor therefore excludes any notion of
winning or losing a case. … His role is to seek and achieve
justice, and not merely to convict
. The role is to be
discharged with an ingrained sense of dignity and integrity.

CJ menon in Public Prosecutor v Wee Teong Boo and other appeal and another matter [Emphasis added in bold italics]

Well a long standing tradition can always be improved given the allegation that the prosecutors in Liewgate misled the judge that a dvd player was functional when it was note (Note that one of the prosecutors’ is the daughter of a retired senior civil servant who was rebuked by Teo Chee Hean, then DPM and civil service minister yrs ago, for flaunting his wealth publicly amidst a recession).

So the suggestions made by a TRE writer are worth considering.

Justice And Prosecutorial Misconduct

Our legislators at all levels of government as well as the administrators of a plethora of governmental agencies have created an oppressive blanket of laws, rules and regulations designed to forcibly control the behavior of its citizens. But it takes a non-citizen to file an originating summons under Section 82A of the Legal Profession Act, which governs disciplinary proceedings against the legal service officers or non-practising solicitors.

I always thought that the Prosecutor’s main job was to gather and weigh all the evidence (both the damning and the exculpatory) before deciding whether or not to press charges. Prosecutors should be required to sign a statement that all exculpatory evidence had been provided to the defendant’s advisors. A false statement should have the same consequences as perjury.

In cases of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct in which evidence is omitted, manufactured, or misrepresented, the prosecutors and judges should face a trial of the facts and, if convicted, in addition to disbarment, serve individual mandatory sentence for perjury–period. No escape from justice–you know, the in-house exemptions and protections among the legal professionals–for the betrayers of justice.

Next step would be to extend the same requirement to investigating police. Failure to provide possible exculpatory info to the prosecutors would be malfeasance and a firing offense.

So is it hopeless? Well, if our politicians had the intelligence and honesty to recognize and take the action which undoubtedly would reign in official cover-ups, lies and brutality — i.e., a zero-tolerance policy. In other words, those who do not hold justice and decency (towards EVERYONE) above “winning,” would be gone. Faith in the system is the bedrock. Without it, our system is drained of its inviolable authority.

SojoüRner

Pakistan humiliates India

In India on 05/10/2020 at 9:03 am

And its not in cricket, or Covid-19 (Covid-19: Muslim Pakistan is blessed while Hindoo India is cursed?)

I couldn’t help but feel the humiliation of Indians when I read that a Marvel superhero is Pakistani, not Indian

Canadian newcomer Iman Vellani will play the superhero Ms Marvel in an upcoming Disney+ series, reports say.

Deadline reported the news, adding the character will feature in future Marvel Cinematic Universe films too.

Ms Marvel is the alter-ego of Pakistani-American teenager Kamala Khan, who idolises other superheroes such as Captain Marvel.

https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-54369448

India to boycott Disney, Marvel? Modi to complain to his pal Trump?

India, the regional superpower? Give me a break. LOL.

China’s take on Trump catching Covid-19

In China on 04/10/2020 at 2:23 pm

The editor of the state-owned Global Times newspaper, Hu Xijin, tweeted in English: “President Trump and the First Lady have paid the price for his gamble to play down the Covid-19.”

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-54376618

For those not in the know, the Global Times is the Chinese govt’s equivalent of the progressives’ New York Times and the Guardian, and the S’pore govt’s Straits Times: whatever the masters want, they’ll parrot unthinkingly.

And to my mind, the Chinese are right. He’s paying the price of saying, “The risk is very, very low”, “Covid? I’m not concerned” and “Infections will be close to zero”. His words are is awkward for The Donald.

Karma is a bitch. “Kung flu” aka “China virus” has floored the “stable genius”.

OCBC ATM machines missing, call centre hasn’t a clue

In Banks on 04/10/2020 at 4:39 am

Sorry about yesterday’s cock up when I published “OCBC’s cock-up” but didn’t provide any text. It was an honest mistake.

Back to to story behind the headline.

Yesterday morning around 6.15am, my friend jogged to his nearest OCBC ATM machine to draw cash for his monthly expenses. The ATM machine at the Esso station was covered up. He then jogged to a 7-11 store a few hundred metres away. The ATM machine was also covered up.

There was a further OCBC ATM machine, 500m along at a 24 hr Fairprice store. But he decided it wasn’t worth the risk of jogging there and finding out that it too was shuttered.

Back home, he went online to see if OCBC had made any announcements about ATM closures in the East Coast area. He couldn’t find any.

He called the call centre and the girl was surprised when he told her about his experience as her records showed that there were supposed to be ATM machines in the locations he described.

She said the nearest available one was at Fairprice. He asked her what assurance he had that she was right given that she had no knowledge of the missing machines. She said he had a point.

He asked her to tell the bank to call him when the offices opened. He never got a call. But to be fair, she did say that it would take 48 hrs for the bank to respond because it was the weekend.

Later my friend called the Esso station and was told the ATM machine was shuttered on 1 October. So there was sufficient time for the call centre’s info to be updated.

But then since the call centre was in M’sia maybe it’s the usual case of M’sia Boleh aka M’sian inefficiency?

The World Turned Upside Down

In Energy on 03/10/2020 at 2:03 pm

No not Trump getting the Kung Flu.

But clean energy group NextEra surpassing ExxonMobil in market capitalisation on Friday.

The World Turned Upside Down” is an English ballad. It was first published on a broadside in the middle of the 1640s as a protest against the policies of Parliament relating to the celebration of Christmas.

According to American legend, the British army band under Lord Cornwallis played this tune when they surrendered after the Siege of Yorktown (1781)

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

The mighty HK$ thanks to Ant and other Red IPOs

In China, Currencies, Financial competency, Hong Kong on 02/10/2020 at 6:45 am

OR “Investors give ang moh tua kee activists and ang moh human rights activists the finger”.

Hong Kong has recorded inflows of almost HK$55bn (US$7.1bn), forcing the HK Monetary Authority to intervene almost every day since September 14 to keep the currency within the pegged trading band of 7.75 to 7.85 to the US$.

Bye bye Thai

In Indonesia, Malaysia on 01/10/2020 at 4:25 am

Foreigners have been selling Thai stocks, and Ms’ian and Indon stocks too. Thailand is in the same category of foreigners fleeing as Brazil and Korea.

In Thailand, investors are concerned about the protests against the govt and the monarchy.