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PM talks cock about “private” sector

In China, Temasek on 14/09/2014 at 6:57 am

The private sector-led, Government backed Guangzhou Knowledge City (GKC)* is a good model for future Singapore-China projects, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday (Sep 12).

… Mr Lee said he was happy with the progress, six years after he first discussed the project with provincial leaders … the private sector-led GKC is a different model that Singapore is “trying out” after the Suzhou Industrial Park and Tianjin Eco-city, both government-to-government projects. (CNA on Friday)

Funnily the private sector leadership is provided by Temasek-owned company Singbridge who is in a j/v and the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.  Singbridge is 100% owned by Temasek, 100% owned by the Minister for Finance. Not even the fig-leaf of a SGX-listed TLC like Keppel or SIA.

And PM went to Catholic High and NJC? But then Yaacon was from RI (see tom)

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*”The hurdle for government-to-government projects like Suzhou and Tianjin will be higher in future, so I think this (GKC) is a good model that we should explore going forward,”

“But there has to be a balance between private sector leadership and government support, and there has to be market demand for what’s being offered by the project” …

Located 35 kilometres from Guangzhou city centre, work is underway to turn the Guangzhou Knowledge City, currently a 123 square-kilometre site into a future magnet for industries like pharmaceuticals and info-comm technology, part of local authorities push for so-called high end industry.

 

PM talking cock? Impossible to know if trade-offs are reasonable, fair or appropriate

In Political governance, Temasek on 29/06/2014 at 4:49 am

(Or “Shades of Orwell’s Big Brother?”)

Came across this thoughtful piece by Andy Mukherjee over the weekend. It explains clearly the issues and trade-offs Singapore faces in building our ideal society, while ensuring that Singaporeans have jobs and economic opportunities to build better lives and a brighter future.
As the article points out, we do enjoy important advantages compared to other countries, but it will still not be easy. There are serious trade-offs, which we must be willing to acknowledge and address. If we just pretend that everything can be better, and no hard choices are necessary, we will get into trouble. Mukherjee calls this “please-all economics”, and expresses confidence that Singaporeans are too pragmatic to fall for it. We must make sure that he is right. – LHL on FB two weeks ago

Piece PM raving about: http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/06/12/breakingviews-singapore-unrest-idINL4N0OQ07F20140612

But if we don’t know how much money we have, and how much are the returns the reserves are making for us, how can we judge if the trade-offs PM and his govt make are the right ones? After all he has as gd as admitted his govt got immigration, welfare, public tpt and public housing policies wrong by changing (sorry tweaking or is it evolving?) these policies.

And these were policies significant numbers (self included, and I note not M’sian new citizen Pussy Cat Lim who confines herself to general banalities) had been warning against for yrs. We were called “noise”, until the govt decided to change these policies.

This is what one LHL said many yrs ago when he was DPM and economic and financial czar:

The Singapore government, May 16, defended the secrecy surrounding its financial reserves of more than US$100 billion, saying it was not in the national interest to disclose details.
The veil of secrecy was necessary to protect the Singapore dollar from speculative attacks, Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in parliament.

“It is not in the people’s interest and the nation’s interest to detail our assets and their yearly returns,” he said.http://www.singapore-window.org/sw01/010516a3.htm

This remains the govt’s stand.

And if I remember correctly, his dad once said that info reserves had to be kept a secret so that S’poreans couldn’t ask for more welfare, which they would if they knew how much money S’pore had. Readers correcting me or referencing the quote appreciated.I can’t find it via my googling.

In this mobile internet age, it is sad and self-defeating that the the PM and the PAP govt (ministers and civil servants) cling to the Leninist system that all information is political and can be designated a “state secret” at any time if the govt decides it does not help to bolster the govt’s or party’s own legitimacy and power.

BTW flaw in AndyM’s analysis which disqualifies from being an unbiased analyst

There is a fifth way which Mr Mukherjee has not considered. It is to reduce and reallocate government expenditures. In particular, the government can consider reduce defence spending so as to increase spending on welfare. This is a classic “Gun vs Butter” resource allocation problem studied in elementary economics. At present, Singapore is spending nearly a quarter of the $57 billion estimated government expenditures for FY2014 on defence alone (23% at $13 billion) … [TRE]

Maybe he aiming to be a PAP minister? He is a FT based here.

He did serious weight-lifting in 2011 at a Temasek briefing:First of all, congratulations on beating the sage of Omaha because [ … ] you seem to have out performed Warren Buffett on every horizon. He was BSing as Temasek and Berskshire cannot be compared ’cause Berkshire is listed, Temasek is not.

And if you think PM’s remarks on trade-offs when juxtaposed with his remarks  on the need for secrecy on reserves are Orwellian, his press secretary’s remarks in relation to Roy Ngerng are even more chilling:

… What is at stake is not any short-term positive or negative impact on the government, but the sort of public debate Singapore should have. When someone makes false and malicious personal allegations that impugn a person’s character or integrity, the victim has the right to vindicate his reputation, whether he is an ordinary citizen or the prime minister. The internet should not be exempt from the laws of defamation. It is perfectly possible to have a free and vigorous debate without defaming anyone, as occurs often in Singapore. Emphasis mine

Foster public debate by suing for defamation? Come on, pull the other leg, it’s got bells on it. I’m reminded of the slogans in 1984:

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

 

 

 

SIR – I refer to the article “A butterfly on a wheel” (June 13th). You referred to an “alleged ‘serious libel’” by Roy Ngerng. This is not an allegation. Mr Ngerng has publicly admitted accusing Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister, of criminal misappropriation of pension funds, falsely and completely without foundation. After promising to apologise and to remove the post, Mr Ngerng did the opposite; he actively disseminated the libel further. This was a grave and deliberate defamation, whether it occurred online or in the traditional media being immaterial.

What is at stake is not any short-term positive or negative impact on the government, but the sort of public debate Singapore should have. When someone makes false and malicious personal allegations that impugn a person’s character or integrity, the victim has the right to vindicate his reputation, whether he is an ordinary citizen or the prime minister. The internet should not be exempt from the laws of defamation. It is perfectly possible to have a free and vigorous debate without defaming anyone, as occurs often in Singapore.

Chang Li Lin
Press secretary to the prime minister
Singapore

– See more at: http://www.economist.com/news/letters/21604530-ukraine-singapore-employment-housing-food-trucks-john-birch-society-football-0#sthash.lPfPUP1T.dpuf

 

CPF: The cock that Swee Say talks

In CPF, Financial competency, Financial planning on 25/06/2014 at 4:43 am

The best way for Singaporeans to prepare for retirement is to use less of their Central Provident Fund (CPF) money when they are young. Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, said this will ensure the current level of CPF payout can be maintained over time and not be eroded by inflation.

Mr Lim, who is also the labour chief, made that point when speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the closing of the Singapore Model Parliament yesterday. (23 Jan 2014). He later issued a clarification saying “that housing, healthcare and education for the children” were excluded from his spending comments, saying the constructive, nation-building media had misreported him.

Even with the clarification, he was talking rubbish, showing how clueless the nTUC minister was with the life of his ordinary members.

For starters, as TRE pointed out

Using less CPF money means leaving the money with CPF board, which in the case of OA, will earn only 2.5%. Inflation rate for the last few years already exceeded 2.5% (except last year, which barely covered the 2.4% inflation rate) [Link]:

  • 2010 – 2.8%
  • 2011 – 5.2%
  • 2012 – 4.6%
  • 2013 – 2.4%

Next after his clarification that he was talking of CPF spending other than for “housing, healthcare and education for the children”, one is left wondering if he doesn’t realise that other than for these things, CPF cannot be used for other than retirement. Is he so out of touch? Or another example of his special status, like once a month CPF statement?

The more impt issue, if no use CPF, how to afford “affordable” public housing? Public housing is only “affordable” because of 20-yr mortgages that use CPF monies to finance the loans.

At the moment 36% of a S’porean’s wages are locked up in the CPF because of this Hard Truth

[Without the CPF], Singaporeans would buy enormous quantities of clothes, shoes, furniture, television sets, radio, tape recorders, hi-fis, washing machines, motor cars. They would have no substantial or permanent asset to show for it.

  • Asian Wall Street Journal, Oct 21 1985 quoting one LKY.

Our money, but can only be spent on the “right” things: uniquely S’porean.

But it was an ang moh’s idea in the first place: In February 1940, one Keynes published How to Pay for the War. He advocated that interest rates should be kept low and that compulsory saving (thereby deferring pay) should be used as a mechanism to prevent the inflation that occurred during World War One. A portion of everyone’s income would be automatically invested in government bonds. Then, when the war was over, and the economy was in dire need of savings, the money would be released. The plan was too revolutionary for the British government.

In the S’pore version, the payout got deferred and deferred.

“The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.”
“It must come sometimes to ‘jam to-day’,” Alice objected.
“No, it can’t,” said the Queen. “It’s jam every other day: to-day isn’t any other day, you know.”
“I don’t understand you,” said Alice. “It’s dreadfully confusing!”

(Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There)

What Home Team’s recent cock-ups tell us

In Political governance, Public Administration on 30/01/2014 at 4:51 am

S’pore Notes was analysing the response DPM Teo gave to the apparent* tardiness in responding to the Little India ripple, and the little old lady in a red car entering S’pore illegally,  evading capture, and then entering undetected a secured area**

One of his readers gave the most insightful analysis I have seen of what these incidents portend: This incident has sparked off comments like yours and your commentators. The seriousness of the situation in its proper context is more than such observations, in my opinion. It exposes the mindset of those in charge of the security of the nation. They talk themselves into believing that everything is under control and that they are prepared for any eventual situation. The recent billion dollar decision to upgrade of the warplanes and expected purchase of the latest military toys give them this illusion. The quality of our uniformed personnel is not what they tell you. The result will be disastrous given the leaders’ penchant for annoying our neighbours.

Should we be afraid, very afraid that S’pore’s home security services appear to be paper tigers. leading to our neighbours thinking that our SAF is also a paper tiger? The performance of two ex-SAF chiefs in SMRT and NOL. PM, DPM Teo, BG Yeo and the three newbie ministers (two SAF generals ansd one admiral), would do nothing to dispel the perception.

My Facebook Avatar isn’t so sure that there is a serious, systematic problem: In the case of her entering S’pore illegally, failure to being detained in the police compound and her entry into a secured area, who else is at fault other than line officers involved? If there were systematical flaws, well we’d have heard of a lot more incidents, including possibly a few bombings. Sometimes, the front lines officersto blame.

Maybe the sytemic flaw is the training the officers receive?

I’ve got mixed views.

To quote DPM Teo, “What do you think?”

Related posts:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/scholar-ex-saf-chief-temasek-md-fails-to-turnaround-nol/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/sporeans-are-over-reacting-to-the-riot/

*All the problems at Home Team over recent yrs (corruption, Ang Moh tua kee attitude, PR status for possible criminals etc etc) show that it was badly run when Wong Kan Seng was the Home minister. There should be a claw-back of the millions he earned as a minister.

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*I’m undecided on whether the riot squad was activated tardily. I agree with DPM Teo that the riot squad should not suka suka be activated. The time taken to decide (about 15 minutes) sounds reasonable to me. On getting there, well it takes time. You can’t have a convoy of heavy vehicles full of people speeding at 90km to the scene. Use helicopters?

My beef is the behaviour of the police officers on the spot. I hope the inquiry tells us why they didn’t fire warning shots when their vehicles were in danger of being damaged. And if they were wrong not to fire warning shots in such a situation. An old timer NS riot squad guy tells me that in his time the police would defend their cars on the ground that it is a symbol of their authority like their badges and guns.

**Secured area? What security?

Jos keeps on talking cock

In Infrastructure, Political governance, Public Administration on 14/01/2014 at 4:52 am

“We cannot have the attitude that everything will be perfect from Day One. If we go in with that attitude, it can only mean that we have to build in a lot of redundancy.” – Josephine Teo, Senior Minister of State for Transport.

As someone who once upon a time reported directly to people who reported directly to LKY and Dr Goh, I can safely say that they all expected things to be perfect from Day 1. So now Ms Teo implying  that because of their exacting standards, they were encouraging inefficiencies and wastefulness?

Even before he is dead, LKY gets slimed? Son should give Jos a tight slap to show his filial piety this CNY. Co-driver too busy looking at bank statements and feeling happy.

Seriously, the govt should stop giving excuses for a simple cock-up: it should simply admit that it was an honest mistake by civil servants who didn’t drive because they couldn’t afford the COEs. Insufficient signs were put up as I explained here and this was a major source of the problem.

(Pic from TRE)

Waz interesting is that even now she refuses to concede that there were insufficient signs:

Q: After the jam, more signs and advertisements on the routes came up. Why not earlier?

I once got a speeding ticket (in Singapore) and was adamant there was no signage (for speed limit). I had driven on this road umpteen times. I thought: “Never mind. Tomorrow I’ll pay attention.” True enough, I saw the sign. Sometimes we don’t notice (the signs) because we don’t need them.

You can always have more (signs and advertisements). But you have to be interested.(http://www.singapolitics.sg/supperclub/josephine-teo-%E2%80%98free-mrt-rides-has-allowed-lifestyle-change%E2%80%99)

Here’s a great comment from TOC’s facebook in response to her remarks about redundancy:

Tremendous time/effort would be incurred when trying to rectify a flawed design/system. Doing it right the first time is critical. A good design is the result of thorough research/ consultation/ brainstorming and that will ensure the success of the project. eg. years ago, woody goh said handicap people should stay away from travelling for safety reason, now we have to retrofit busses/MRT stations for wheel chair access. same for HDB flat, now installing lifts on every floor and the whole project takes decades to complete, what if the HDB architechs had done that in the first place? zero effort for wheel chair access! Our MRT trains adopted designed with 6 carriages while HK MTR already up and running and uses 8 carriages. We could have learnt from HK, instead, we choose ONLY 6 carriages. Now we are flooded with immigrants over crowding the transport system but we are handicapped in increasing the MRT stations capacity by using 8 carriages and must go for the stupid solution of changing the signaling system to cut down only 20 sec peak frequency. using tens of millions and takes 5 years or more to do it. Now who is the stupid one? which way is more cost effective?

BTW, notice that NTUC MPs were, are a bunch of cocks (the exception is Halimah). Think Jos, Lims ( Cheap Zorro, Cry Baby), Hard of hearing Han, Irene the Whiner, Choo the criminal and racist, BG Yeo’s MP from Hell (Cynthia) and NMP Terry Lee.

Related posts:

Jos: Talk Cock Queen

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/jos-too-is-talking-cock/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/reputations-be-mean-laugh/

Jos: Empress Dowager of Bishan East

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/thanks-jos-for-giving-nishan-east-residents-another-reason-not-to-support-the-pap/

Ageing population Hard Truth is cock and bull?

In Economy, Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 20/11/2013 at 4:25 am

The govt and the constructive, nation-building media keep shouting at us that a rapidly aging population (and the stas do show this aging as a fact, no bull here) will lead to disaster if FTs like two-timing new citizen Raj or Tammy’s killer or the FTs that beat up S’poreans and then fled S’pore*, or a looney, violent bank director are not allowed in by the container load. They point to Japan as what can happen if FTs are not allowed in: economic stagnation. The truth is more complex. As I reported here HSBC, a bank, in 2012 published research that Japan is doing pretty well when compared to other developed countries, including immigrant friendly countries like the US and the UK (though the UK is now repenting its liberal immigration policy)

Whatever the impact of an ageing population on S’pore’s prosperity, here’s a piece of evidence casting doubt on the assumptions (stated or unstated) behind the need to have a population of 6.9m by 2030. It comes from academics from the University of Edinburgh.

The idea that dependent older people represent a great demographic challenge of our age has been turned on its head …The research questions an assumption behind arguments for health, social care and immigration policies … The paper demands society rethink some of its assumptions about elderly dependency – drawing a distinction between the ‘young old’ and the ‘old old’

Here’s more from the BBC’s Home (i.e. domestic affairs) editor (Note that the paper in question is based on British statistics but the argument seems applicable elsewhere as he points out)

“The extent, speed and effect of population ageing have all been exaggerated and we should not assume that it will strain health and social care systems,” Professor John MacInnes and senior research fellow Jeroen Spijker write in the article ‘Population Ageing: The timebomb that isn’t?’

Healthier and fitter

The mistake people have been making, the paper suggests, is to assume that all pensioners are dependent and all working-age adults are workers.

They point out that, while it is true there are now more people over 65 in the UK than children under 15, rising life expectancy means older people are effectively “younger”, healthier and fitter than previous generations.

Instead of simply looking at how old someone is, the research focuses on how long they might be expected to live.

“Many behaviours and attitudes (including those related to health) are more strongly linked to remaining life expectancy than to age,” it says.

In 1841, life expectancy at birth was 40 years for males and 42 years for females.

By 1900 it was 52 and 57 and today it is 79 and 83. So the point at which we enter ‘old age’ has also been changing.

Equally, using age to define the adult working populations makes little sense, the authors suggest, because “there are more dependents of working age (9.5 million) than there are older people who do not work”.

So they calculated an alternative measure, what they call “the real elderly dependency ratio”, based on the sum of men and women with a remaining life expectancy of up to 15 years divided by the number of people in employment, irrespective of age.

Important implications

Using this measure, the paper calculates that old-age dependency in the UK fell by one third over the past four decades – and is likely to stabilise close to its current level.

The measure suggests similar falls in many other countries.

“Our calculations show that – over the past four decades – the population far from ageing, has in fact been getting younger, with increasing numbers of people in work for every older person or child,” the authors say.

“The different story of population ageing told by our real elderly dependency ratio has several important implications for health policy and clinical practice.”

In policy terms, this analysis to one of the central challenges of an ageing population might be something of a game changer. Rather than seeing longevity itself as an expensive problem, focus could shift towards managing morbidity and remaining life expectancy.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24921171

The continued refusal of the govt to accept that the issue of ageing population is a complex one and the unwillingness to question its Hard Truth on the issue continued in the face of evidence that the Hard Truth is doing real harm looks all too similar to the intellectual fetters that led central bankers to persist in tighten monetary policy in the early 1930s when faced with a global Depression.

It also shows that they are unlike LKY and Dr Goh Keng Swee who were willing to challenge the conventional wisdom that allowing MNCs in amounted to neo-colonialism. And demographics is not the only issue where the PAP govt is wedded to Hard Truths. Take welfare, where there is evidence that gd welfare systems do not reduce the will to work: they do not make people lazy e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-24974745: another University of Edinburgh study.

Maybe, time to send scholars there to learn to walk on the wild side, and think unHard Truths? After all  University of Edinburgh is a great university. It juz doesn’t produce the ruling elite of the UK or the US. Our scholars to to unis where the UK and US ruling elite are educated.

BTW, here’s an article on using robots to as carers for the elderly: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24949081

*PR was given to one after he beat up the S’poreans.

Answering the PAP’s cock & bull about the “long term”

In Political governance on 05/06/2013 at 5:08 am

The head of the civil service’s defence of the infamous population white paper and the long game the PAP govt is playing over how to control the new media (http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/06/04/the-real-reason-behind-the-internet-crackdown/) reminded me that the PM, other PAPpies and their allies love to talk of the PAP (and allies)  being the only ones that think long term, and that only they can protect future generations, because only they dare take the unpopular decisions (Like allowing FTs to flood into S’pore while limiting the places in local unis for locals?).

No, the retort is not to say, like Lord Keynes,”In the long run we are all dead”.

No the retort is that long-term planning and decision-making must proceed with a clear understanding of the trade-offs between current and future generations. Thinking of the children does not spare one from considering the present needs of the hungry, sick and elderly.*

Let me explain what is meant.

Doesn’t: The Republican [looney right wing tea drinkers] line on fiscal policy is that it is unconscionable to saddle Americans’ children and grandchildren with a mountain of debt.

Only a gutsy, enlightened steward has the wisdom to thwart a future threat to the nation’s well-being by biting the bullet and calling for short-term pain to promote long-term gain. Only a statesman is equipped to make the tough decisions to set the country on a better course.

sound something that our PM or any PAPpy minister from our rational “left of centre” cabinet would say?

Here’s the crushing rejoinder:

But there are philosophical and empirical complexities at play in the “protect future generations!” line of reasoning. If we could avoid bigger trouble in the long run by assuming short-term hardships now, should we? Well, the answer depends on how dire things look in the long run, how much hardship is necessary to avert disaster, and how certain we are that the strategy will in fact work out in the nation’s favour. It would be irrational to opt for certain, indefinite-term pain now to purchase an unspecified amount of theoretical gain later. In any case, the moral calculation is quite a bit more involved than [what the PAP would say**] Government owes a duty to future generations, but it has a duty toward individuals living today as well: it would be perverse to aim to quell the indebtedness of Americans coming of age in 2050 by cutting food stamps for hungry children today.

The pursuit of solvency must proceed with a clear understanding of the trade-offs between current and future generations. Thinking of the children does not spare one from considering the present needs of the hungry, sick and elderly.[From Economist blog]

This idea of trade-offs is nothing new. When I studied the law on trusts, there were tomes of cases on the duties of trustees when deciding whether to cut trees belonging to a trust. The income beneficiaries wanted the trees cut so that they could get the income; against them were those who were not yet income beneficiaries. They didn’t want the trees cut, and the capital “squandered”: cutting the trees now would affect their income from the estate in the future. The trustees often found themselves in the Court of Chancery when one side or other was unhappy.

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*As Uncle Leong could have pointed out here,  thinking. planning and implementing policies didn’t do much for the average S’porean: low growth, wages and productivity, with high household debt and inflation.

**My addition to make it easier to follow the reasoning.

Town Council Debate: Cocks posturing & preening

In Political governance on 22/05/2013 at 5:30 am

Yes,yes Aunties’s not a cock but she sure behaved like Khaw and  Dr Teo. All these three, and the other supporting speakers didn’t try to bother to explain what the facts were. They juz tried to slime the other side, hoping that some mud would stick. No one drew blood.

I won’t bother to go into detail critcising what the PAPpies said as Sg Daily has done a gd job over the last few days providing links to a critique of the PAP’s position and its attacks on the WP. All I will say is that it confirms my view, many yrs ago, that the idea of town councils would come to haunt the PAP. It wasn’t even a gd idea at the time. Ah well, another black mark to Goh Chok Tong and one Lee Hsien Loong and their team.

I’ll juz make some points about what I found astounding about the WP’s position and netizens’ views.

I find it really strange that the WP thinks its OK for it to give a contract to its supporters but that it is wrong for the PAP to give a contract to a PAP linked company. The distinction escapes me. To me, “It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice”. (Deng Xiaopin).

The other point is Auntie telling Dr Teo to report the WP to the CPIB if he had evidence of wrong-doing. Err Auntie, why so more PAP than the PAP? Imagine if when Auntie first made her allegations, those many noons ago, the PAP had said the same to her. I mean she, WP and netizens would be bitching at the PAP for trying to hide something. And rightly so. So why like that Auntie?

Which brings me to the point that netizens are so anti-PAP that they unthinkingly cheer the WP’s position on

— it’s OK to give contracts to supporters, but not party-affiliated organisations; and

— trying to win the argument by telling other side to report the matter to the CPIB.

While the PAP has the 120% support of the constructive, nation-building media, netizens are 99.9% anti-PAP. Here’s a tot for the PAP: if the local media were less servile to the PAP, would the internet be a less hostile place to the PAP. Could the hostile environment on the internet be a reaction to the power of the PAP over the local media.

To end, it would be nice if both sides respected the other side so that we the public can learn the truth of the allegations. Here’s an interesting excerpt on the benefits of respecting one’s opponent, though the author readily admits it’s damned difficult,:

Just how charitable are you supposed to be when criticising the views of an opponent? If there are obvious contradictions in the opponent’s case, then you should point them out, forcefully. If there are somewhat hidden contradictions, you should carefully expose them to view – and then dump on them. But the search for hidden contradictions often crosses the line into nitpicking, sea-lawyering and outright parody. The thrill of the chase and the conviction that your opponent has to be harbouring a confusion somewhere encourages uncharitable interpretation, which gives you an easy target to attack.

But such easy targets are typically irrelevant to the real issues at stake and simply waste everybody’s time and patience, even if they give amusement to your supporters. The best antidote I know for this tendency to caricature one’s opponent is a list of rules promulgated many years ago by social psychologist and game theorist Anatol Rapoport.

How to compose a successful critical commentary:

1. Attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly and fairly that your target says: “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.”

2. List any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).

3. Mention anything you have learned from your target.

4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

One immediate effect of following these rules is that your targets will be a receptive audience for your criticism: you have already shown that you understand their positions as well as they do, and have demonstrated good judgment (you agree with them on some important matters and have even been persuaded by something they said). Following Rapoport’s rules is always, for me, something of a struggle…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/may/19/daniel-dennett-intuition-pumps-thinking-extract

Wimmin, keep away from our cocks: PAP, Govt

In Humour, Political governance on 24/12/2012 at 10:43 am

Here’s what of JG (smart gal except she believes in WP) view of why Laura Ong was exposed: to tell gals to lay off PAP MPs. The punishment is being exposed publicly. Or put put it another way, cut off the supply of gals so as not to put temptation in the way of the PAP MPs.

Hey, you got it wrong!! How dare Laura sleep with Palmer??? She’s the one who is in the wrong!! Let the media dogs go after her!!

How dare Laura’s BF expose the affair to TRE and TNP? He’s also in the wrong!! Let the media dogs go after him too!!

Hence most of the expose is about Laura and his BF. Including camping outside their house, or their parents’ house, or asking neighbors about their actions. None of these stuffs when it comes to Palmer.

Seen in this perspective, everything makes sense. The PAP is whiter than white. If they are blemished, its the blemish-er that’s in the wrong. Let everyone learn his lesson – don’t ever touch a PAP MP, OK??

And maybe this is why Sue’s pix appears so often in SPH’s publication. The govt wants to send the message to customer service ladies that customer service does not include providing sexual gratification to civil servants.

Postings may be light until after 2 or 3 January. Happy partying or whatever you may be planning to do or are already doing.

Jos too is talking cock

In Economy, Political governance on 26/10/2012 at 5:42 am

Shouldn’t Jos Teo bitch about the Integrated Programmes that make PSLE such an impt exam today, rather than against employers that offer PSLE leave for their employees, and parents that take time off to coach their kids. In my time, PSLE was important to get into RI, Victoria and Serangoon English: once in if no major balls-up could do PreU in these schools (Integrated Programme is juz modern variant), but if one went to mission primary schools, going to mision secondary schools (and PreU) wasn’t that dependent on PSLE results, unless one was stupid. Things got even better when the govt started NJC.  More places for PreU studies.

But then the cycle turned and now PLSE is the exam to pass.

“We are quite mistaken to behave as if PSLE is THE defining moment in a child’s development.”: Err not all parents can afford to send their kids overseas to make sure they get a good education, if the kids get culled here.

And following the logic of her outburst, wouldn’t the logic of her argument mean that the government is wrong to continue curbing the number of COEs? As even ministers and MAS concede that the rising costs of COEs adds to inflationary pressures, even if ministers are wrong to say that rising COEs don’t affect the cost of living of us plebs (those unable to afford owning cars, and have to use public tpt).

Which brings me to the inflation situation.

Remember me bitching in early August that MTI jnr minister Lee Yi Shyan, and the local media covering him, were misrepresenting the pix on food inflation? I had pointed out that there were reports of rising food prices.

Well now MAS validates what I was saying. MAS warned on Tuesday about upward pressures in imported food prices over the next few months and into early 2013 due to weather-related supply disruptions.

Jos has gd company. And this ST guy should be in line to be a jnr minister.

Note: Last sentence and link to Jos piece added at 9.09am on day of publication.

 

Talking cock Kadir, Hariss?

In Uncategorized on 25/09/2012 at 6:23 am

Waz this rubbish abt wanting to attack when playing away?

“Strikers win games, defenders win trophies,” said a great Arsenal manager who won the double when it meant something.

Hope that these LionsXII guys are playing mind games, not being talk cock artists.

Vietnam: “A toxic cocktail”

In Vietnam on 22/09/2012 at 3:17 pm

From the September issue of the ISEAS ASEAN monitor

“A toxic cocktail” – the words of economist Le Dang Doanh – aptly describe Vietnam’s situation for the fourth quarter of 2012. The ingredients are economic stagnation, banking scandals, political insecurity caused by Party rectification and anti-corruption drives, and challenges to Vietnamese sovereignty in the South China Sea. Party rectification aims to curb abuses of power and corruptive behaviour by government officials in cahoots with businesses to enrich both sides. Politician banker, Nguyen Duc Kien, and the head of the Asia Commercial Bank, Ly Xuan Hai, have been arrested. Notably, while the rumour mill has for years linked Kien to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, the Chief of Police has declared that it was the Prime Minister himself who directed the arrests. Earlier reports gave credit to the Minister for Public Security but the order probably came from the Political Bureau.

The arrested pair of Kien and Ly could reveal the extent of illegal activities in the banking sector. Rumours are pointing to imprudent bank loans arranged by Kien, as well as his role in the merger/acquisition of another bank, an act perceived as political bullying. In the next two months there will be an intense struggle over how the official reports regarding Party rectification should be written. Individual leaders would want to avoid blame, and most important, retain their positions. Party rectification would also go down to provincial level and lower. Greater conservatism and caution in officials’ behaviour, if only to avoid making mistakes, leading to riskaversion,is to be expected.

The economy has not lived up to earlier optimism. Imports have decreased and analysts note that this would impact negatively on exports in the next quarter. Credit growth is at an unhealthy low while the burst of the real estate bubble has turned speculation into locked investments. Speculators are not realising losses and banks are unable to recover loans. Close to 100,000 companies, mostly from the private sector, have ceased operations.

On this downward spin, there are yet no signs of external help, be it from a buoyant world economy or the IMF. The stagnation is expected to be relieved slightly as the end of the year usually sees a rise in consumption, but the overall trend is a downward one.

Key points: While Vietnam and China appear to have reached a quiet and uncomfortable détente over the South China Sea, expect more bilateral problems as the fishing season resumes this September.

Economist on Vietnam

Vietnam’s banks are in dire shape; and that corruption and waste pervade the economy.

This was never a secret, but during the boom years in the middle of the past decade, when the economy was growing by 8% a year and foreign investment was pouring in, nobody much cared. Now, with slower growth, huge business debts and more competition from places such as Cambodia, Indonesia and Myanmar, the problems loom large. It did not help when, two months ago, the central bank admitted that bad debts amounted to up to 10% of all bank loans, double the level previously admitted to. The real figure could be two or three times that.

The hitch in Hanoi

And so confidence in the Vietnamese economy, especially among Western investors, is tumbling. Foreign direct investment (FDI) into Vietnam, at $8 billion for the first seven months of the year, is a third lower than a year earlier. Japan accounts for fully half of all the inflows.

STOMPED! Yacoob’s CoC

In Media, Political governance on 11/07/2012 at 8:09 am

(Or “The difference between blogging and the traditional newspaper story”) 

Remember when Yaacob was  promoting his CoC (Code of Conduct) for the internet, he praised our mainstream constructive media and said they should be exemplars netizens should follow https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/two-examples-of-how-st-covers-fts/ .

We now know what he wants us netizens to do: fake news reports using paid content producers like STOMP. His sis is a very, very senior editor at ST, a sister publication of STOMP.

Well I doubt that in 2012, we will hear anymore about his CoC. But next year is another year, and the CoC is not a once in 50-years event.

I was reminded of the above CoC and STOMP’s paid content producers posing as “citizen journalists” when I read this: [T]he traditional newspaper story derives its force and directionality from the man-bites-dog newsiness of the flat content. It’s very difficult to include expert commentary that depletes or diffuses the newsiness, because it sucks the signifying force out of the piece. In contrast, blogging and tweeting are far more flexible and use many other discursive techniques to supply directionality and signifying force, most importantly personalistic tone. You can write a blog post about something utterly un-newsworthy, say the fact that Barack Obama is president of the United States, and make it signify through sheer emotive presence or stylistic technique. But you can’t write a newspaper story about that.

One great reason why netizens shouldn’t be forced to be like a newspaper, even one like the FT or NYT or the Economist, let alone a publication like ST when even the footie news is distorted for the government’s constructive, nation-building agenda of “FTs are betterest” policy. 

Read the whole blog posting because it gives great insights on how a newspaper, any newspaper from the NYT to ST and its peers in China and North Korea, operate http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/06/media-rules

Related http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18458567

Indonesia: Talking cock is not helpful, helpful

In Indonesia, Infrastructure on 13/06/2012 at 7:32 am

Work on a new deepwater port for container ships on an island between Batam and Bintan is set to begin next year, creating a potential rival to Singapore’s port. The port, on Tanjung Sauh, aims to be a major transshipment center for Indonesia, and is part of the country’s overhaul of its transport infrastructure to cope with growing domestic demand.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/05/21/deepwater-port-near-batam-set-rival-singapore.html

Well in 2005, Indonesia annced a major expansion of the port on Batam. It even awarded a contract to a French company. Err nothing ever happened. Wonder if this time, it will be anything different. And remember that Batam has one unused int’l airport. It was built to rival S’pore’s airport in the late 1970s.

Readers will know I’m bullish on Indonesia. But that is despite, not because, of its officials or the government planning agencies.

But here’s one talking cock project that works: using social media to help farmers get info they need http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18193993

China’s Community Convention = Yaacob’s CoC

In Political governance on 04/06/2012 at 6:34 am

The “community convention” of China’s biggest microblogging service, Weibo, made public last week, says its members may not use the service to:

  • Spread rumours
  • Publish untrue information (Interjection: Might be a problem if this is adopted here as SPH publications have an online presence. Exemption for newspapers that need an annual government permit on the ground that they are already regulated? Juz being constructive, not mean.)
  • Attack others with personal insults (PAP and this site might have a problem here if this is adopted here) or libellous comments
  • Oppose the basic principles of China’s constitution
  • Reveal national secrets
  • Threaten China’s honour
  • Promote cults or superstitions
  • Call for illegal protests or mass gatherings

It adds that members must not use “oblique expressions or other methods” to circumvent the rules.

Substitute the word “S’pore’s” for “China’s”, and Yaacob, Kee Chui Chan, and the staff of MDA and Institute of Policy Studies don’t need to consult no more the “inhabitants of cowboy towns”.  Can go back to earning millions of dollars without working with the troublesome, noisy “little people”.

Community Convention  covers everything that DPM Teo, Yaacob, Kee Chui, and IPS (and now even Dr M) find objectionable abt the behaviour they find ojectionable.

More on Weibo’s CoC http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-18208446

—–

Telling coc jokes: Ministerial CoC needed

In Humour, Internet, Political governance on 03/05/2012 at 7:10 pm

Based on the remarks of the PM and the two DPMs the last few days, I think Yaacob would find S’poreans receptive to a Ministerial CoC (Code of Conduct) on the telling of jokes in bad taste.

I ranted earlier on DPM Teo’s joke on more openness and passing the burden of integrating FTs to us S’poreans who never asked for them in the first place.

Well that was the start of the bad-joke telling session.

We then had Tharman telling us that although inflation rose by about 5.2% (“a high figure” said he) in March 2012, this did not mean that the average Singaporean will feel this “high inflation” because more than half of the headline inflation rate of 5.2% came from higher COEs for cars and the effect of higher market rent on houses. The vast majority of Singaporeans who already own their homes and are not buying new cars would not feel the effects of these sharp increases. And the increase in prices of daily necessities and essential services such as food and clothing have actually been much more moderate at 3% or lower.

Well he got well and truly beaten up for this tasteless joke because among other things, high COE prices affect those who need to buy vans and lorries to transport goods. Their costs go up and guess who pays?

And this isn’t the first time he tried to tell bad jokes. Remember the one about someone earning less than a $1000 a month being able to afford to a 30-yr HDB mortgage, or the one that low-income Singaporeans may be able to receive between $3.97 to $5.10 in government benefits for every dollar paid in taxes over a life time. We found out that it all depends on the assumptions made, and anyway in the case of benefits, much of it was paid into the CPF account, while a recipient had to pay his taxes upfront in cash. What abt the time value of the money, minister?

Then the PM joined in. He told the joke about the need for wages to be driven by higher productivity. I mean how could productivity go up with 80,000 immigrants a year being imported to keep wages down? Or even the planned only 25,000?

And what abt this spotted by Donaldson Tan and reported on his FB page, “MBS raised demand for unskilled labour in the hospitality sector, resulting in wage growth for everyone in the hospitality sector while Labour Chief asserted that wage growth must be backed by productivity gain. There is no productivity gain in the PM’s example.”?

The PM also said, “Singaporeans will always be our priority”: “Whether it was adjusting the supply of foreign workers or the pursuit of economic growth, he said the Government seeks to maximise the advantages for its citizens, and to provide them with jobs and a share of the nation’s success.” (ST report)

Huh? Hey who waz it who allowed in 80,000 FTs a year to keep wages down, without expanding the public housing and transport infrastructure?

And before I forget his office said that only “good quality” people are allowed to immigrate? What abt the hooker-looking, violent, cheating, unrepentent shop assistant, and the hawkers that became PRs? Not exactly “good quality” migrants are they? Honest mistakes?

Now this was one bad joke too far.

Yaacob’s Code of Conduct for the internet is not needed because S’pore has the penal code and laws on sedition, contempt of court, criminal and civil defamation and incitement to religious hatred that can be used to repress curb the excesses of netizens like the unemployed chap behind “Fabrications abt the PAP”.

But let’s trade. What about a CoC for ministers to get ministers to stop telling cock jokes, in exchange for a CoC in which bloggers become less anti the governing PAP?

Kee Chui.

 .

DBS FTs: balls-up on top of cock-up?

In Banks, Corporate governance, Temasek on 15/06/2010 at 5:53 am

Islamic finance is set to play a bigger and more central role in global finance. This is because of greater awareness and adoption in more financial centres.

Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang said this at the launch of the inaugural World Islamic Banking Conference Asia Summit in Singapore on Monday.

So why is DBS cutting back on the activities of its Islamic banking activities?

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2010/05/26/dbs-fts-goofed-again/

Temasek should sort out the “FT is best policy” that dominates the thinking at DBS. It is on its 6th FT CEO in a row. It’s costing Temasek (and ultimately us) shareholder value.

Remember it was an FT that overpaid for Dao Heng Bank, and messed up the takeover of OUB.  And the loss in market share in retail banking, so much so that the ex-CEO of PosBank has been brought back as adviser.

Other cock ups

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/dbs-fts-balls-up-contd/

Mother Mary: Why “fantastic is in Block 7

In Uncategorized on 29/06/2015 at 5:18 am

A regular commenter responded to Mary’s Toh self-centred, victimhood lament (analysed here) on waz happening to her “fantastic” boy wonder (Emphasis mine. Btw, this guy knows his way round the healthcare system here and he hates the PAP. But he’s no frus cybernut like Ng Kok Lim).

He’s in block 7 because … Those who are arrested and remanded by judges for psychiatric review are all done at IMH block 7. This block is the only psychiatric block purposely built for prison-like control, with secured doors & checkpoints / guardposts at all levels & at the entrance manned by cisco personnel / prisons officers.

Btw, all other blocks also contain “truly mentally ill” patients. There are also plenty of patients with violent symptoms in these other blocks.

Becoz he has been found guilty & under remand, he no longer has civilian privileges. No going to KK Hospital as outpatient in posh air-con office to be assessed by their specialist. Now anything to do with brain, go to prison block at IMH for assessment.

Even if authorities allow Amos to be assessed as outpatient at IMH i.e. everyday bring him to IMH block 7, Amos will still be incarcerated at Changi prison. It’s not like he can go home and take his own sweet time to report to IMH, if ever.

Btw, commenting on the rants against the warding of Amos in Woodbrudge for two weeks: Cybernut Investor pointed out that his fellow cybernuts cybernuts missed an impt IMH connection:

@Ng COCK Lim* and other fellow cybernuts, why no balls meh.

The logical and reasonable conclusion of Cock Lim’s cooments is that the head of Woodbridge is responsible for everything. Esp as she is daughter of person who Amos insulted? Or Cock Lim and you all that STUPID?

———

*Cock Lim, cybernut in resident in TRE’s rat nest who describes himself thus Ng Kok Lim is a regular TRE contributor who specialises in rebuttal. Err more like lying.

He accused me of lying about my prediction that Amos would be sent to Woodbridge citing that TRE reported it befire my piece appeared in TRE.

I posted this on TRE and got no response from him:

Ng Kok Lim, You are either very stupid or a bigger liar than Roy or Amos or Amos’s mum.

My prediction piece preceded TRE’s piece (It came out on my blog on Tuesday morning before the sun rose)  I can’t help it if TRE republished my piece a few days later.

TRE trying to fix me idit?

Whatever it is, it shows the quality of yr research: more Roy Ngerng and Balding than Chris K. ))))

 

If MoM is really serious about jobs for S’poreans

In Internet, Uncategorized on 17/06/2015 at 4:38 am

Employers and jobless  S’porean PMEs KPKB about the difficulty to fill available vacancies because the unemployed have difficulties knowing waz available, while employers don’t know what experience is outb there.. Even NTUC says, echoing the public, that merely requiring employers to post an advert on the MOM Jobs Bank for 2 weeks does not necessarily do anything to ensure S’poreans are employed before foreigners partly because of the way the system works in matching jobs to those looking for jobs.

Matching those looking for jobs with the vacancies is a world-wide problem, not unique to S’pore.

Here’s a solution that suggests using online dating software (modified of course).

Economists believe that much of this difficulty lies in matching the supply of graduates to the available jobs. In 2010 Peter Diamond, Dale Mortensen and Christopher Pissarides won the economics Nobel prize by demonstrating that unemployment can stay high in times of vacancies. It is not possible to assume that buyers and sellers of labour immediately find each other; in many markets this only happens after a costly and lengthy search process. To understand this problem, economists have started to look in a surprising direction for inspiration: online dating.

With its complex matching processes, costs of looking around, and emotional highs-and-lows, a job search shares many characteristics with the world of virtual love (or virtual world of love). In both, there are search costs. It takes time and effort to create an online dating profile, just as it takes time and effort to create a curriculum vitae. And then there is the problem of so-called “mutual choosing options”. Those looking for love and careers cannot simply make their choice and be done with it; they need the person or employer they like to also pick them as well.

But if digital dating suffers from many of the same afflictions as the graduate job market, it may also offer solutions. In 2012 Sean Rad, a college dropout, created Tinder, which shows users photos of potential suitors nearby and matches those who mutually “like” each other’s pictures. Now it has accumulated over 50m users.

As a result, graduate recruiters are falling over themselves to copy the idea. Among the new crop is Switch, which allows candidates to thumb through job listings: flick left if uninterested and right to register for a potential work match. A competitor, Jobr, which also employs the swipe-if-you-like model, uses information from LinkedIn to recommend jobs that candidates might find interesting. Since its launch last year, Jobr has submitted more than 100,000 job applications for its members each month. Large firms are joining in, too. Last year, Zappos, an online retailer based in Nevada, scrapped formal job postings and replaced them with a new site encouraging candidates to engage with each other and the firm in a way not dissimilar to existing online-dating forums.

For the anxious 21-year-old leaving campus for the last time, the worlds of economics and online dating have a few lessons. First, pick a thick market. Just as the most successful lonely hearts go to the apps with the highest-number of potential suitors, so should graduates also head to where the most job opportunities are. Second, just as online daters “signal” their qualities by posting photos, job applicants should also try to communicate their strengths to employers effectively. And finally, settle. Expend the costs of searching for a partner or job only if those costs are outweighed by the expected benefits of a new opportunity or lover. Who said economics wasn’t romantic?

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2015/06/graduates-and-employment

MoM if it really prefers locals to FTs can fund some software development. Or maybe NTUC?

Maybe Richard Wan (MD of of software developer) of TRE could also do something along these lines, sourcing funds from the cybernuts who infest TRE . Juz joking, pigs will fly first before the cybernuts fund anything*.

Meanwhile TeamTRE has to fund itself while also working for free to give Goh Meng Seng (founder member of the Cynernut Movement) and his fellow nutters the opportunity to help the PAP win votes from the swing voters.

Related post

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/smartphone-way-of-short-listing-300-from-33000-job-applicants/

*Reminds me of Amos’s ang moh tua kee friends? Where Amos Yee was absolutely right was when he F***ed the ang moh tua kees that were posturing on social media about how concerned they were about him, while he rotted in remand: none offered bail.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/amos-talk-is-cheap-very-cheap-harry-really-needs-no-monument/

The ang moh tua kees and the cybernuts are related? Talk cock, sing song.

 

Fool them once, shame on Amos; fool them twice, shame on them

In Uncategorized on 15/06/2015 at 4:32 am

On Saturday TOC reported that his lawyer had written to the judge hearing his case saying that Amos claimed

the treatment that Yee was subject to that left him in “a state of depression and having severe suicidal thoughts” which was aggravated by his time spent in remand. He then told the prison officer that he was feeling suicidal.

“Regrettably, as a result of what Amos shared, Amos was taken to the prison medical facility and strapped to a bed in a medical facility for approximately one and a half days. This episode aggravated Amos’s suicidal thoughts. He was restrained with one of his hands and one of his legs strapped to the bed. Amos informed us that he could only sit up or lie down. He found it extremely difficult to urinate and defecate. He was expected to urinate into a jar at the side of the bed, which would be left there after he does so notwithstanding the pungent odors which would emanate. He had to bend down painfully against his straps in order to do so. In the said medical ward, Amos was surrounded by patients who were mentally unsound. One patient was constantly jerking against his chains and another one would talk to himself and be unresponsive to other people. Furthermore, the lights were never switched off throughout the day and was glaring into our client’s eyes such that he could hardly have any restful sleep.”*

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/06/inappropriate-to-even-consider-rtc-for-amos-yee-teens-lawyer/

Almost immediately a group of the people who whined about his earlier treatment (but as Amos pointed did bugger all to help him) came out with

We note with alarm, a letter from Amos Yee’s lawyer stating that his client was recently placed on suicide watch while in remand. According to the letter, Amos was strapped down for one-and-a-half days, and kept in a room along with two other persons of unsound mind. He was also denied access to toilet facilities and had to relieve himself in a bottle next to his bed. It is unclear if Amos was given any counseling for harbouring suicidal thoughts.

CAN: Shelley Thio, Lynn Lee, Joshua Chiang, Jolovan Wham, Jennifer Teo, Woon Tien Wei, Rachel Zeng, Roy Ngerng and Martyn See. (Note that TOC’s Andrew Loh and Terry Xu, And Vincent Law didn’t sign this time round. Amos slimed TOC.)

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/06/can-excessive-to-send-amos-to-a-reformative-training-centre/

And this on Facebook from one Nicole Ling

Some weeks ago, I told myself I’d refrain from making political posts and comments and I think I had pretty much adhered to that self-made agreement…well….until I received news about Amos Yee’s torture in prison. If the state wanna jail him, jail him. Be a man and accord a prisoner his own rights. If a prisoner reports he is unwell, feels depressed or suicidal, it is the prison’s responsibility and duty to provide the prisoner psychological support and counselling. You do not use brute force and physical torture on a someone without explanation. How does strapping Amos down, shining bright lights into his eyes all day, preventing him from movement, urination and defecation and humiliating him in every possible way remain helpful in rehabilitating a 16-year old boy?

You wanna charge the boy, go ahead but treat the prisoner fairly. Debate with him with logic and analysis. Challenge him intellectually with wit and reasons, but what you don’t do is resorting to physical torture because only cowards and bullies do that. So what’s all these torture and humiliation? What is the purpose of the torture? To break him down? To tear his spirits? To drive him to deeper suicidal thoughts? What do they really want? If a parent did the same thing to a child like what the prison did to Amos, would the parent be excused for merely “rehabilitating” the kid?

Err what if what he allges are still more lies?

Given that he lied about the allegation that his bailor, Vincent Law,molested him and flip floped on an apology to Vincent Law, I’m surprised that these good hearted, ang mog tua kee kay pohs dare trust him to tell the truth? Feeling guilty they talked cock, sing song while refusing to bail him. leaving him to rot in remand?

I mean even his doting mum says he’s a liar.

They had independent confirmation that he was “tortued”? I doubt it.

They’ll all look like a bigger bunch of fools than they already are if it turns out the allegations are untrue. Actually, no-one outside the remand system will know the truth. But given his track record of lying, the burden of proof is on him, not the system. All the authorities need to do is to deny the allegations and the majority of S’poreans will believe that he’s lying.

But their agenda, like that of the cybernuts who infest TRE, is to always slime the PAP in the hope that some mud will stick. They know, unlike the cybernuts, that 60-70% of S’poreans think they are irresponsible nuts.

Note that his lawyer did the right thing by his client and the legal profession in reporting Amos’s allegations to the judge. And I’m sure he didn’t leak the letter to TOC. Was it Mummy? She is so dotingly dumb that she can say her son a liar while in the next sentence says he tells the truth. I kid you not. She told that to Terry Xu. He posted the text conversation on his Facebook wall.

——-

*Mummy and Amos thinking that remand should be a restful place? Hey it’s Harry’s Law that rules, not Mary Toh’s indulgences.

Cybernut obsessed by me?

In Humour, Uncategorized on 29/05/2015 at 4:51 am
This regular cybernut ranter wrote this about me showing he has not only read my stuff but felt compelled to record my tots:
Rotten PAPayas:

As a matter of fact, CI has been taking potshots at and calling opposition figures and TRE readers derogatory names since years back.

Here is a sampling which I gathered and compiled :

Dr Chee : Mad Dog Chee, Dr Chee and gang

Goh Meng Seng : wayang kung fu artiste extraordinaire

Dr Chee & Goh Meng Seng : Two chatter-boxes, two noisy S’poreans

Svlvia Lim & Pritam Singh : Auntie and her Singh

Kenneth Jeyaratnam : s/o JBJ and self-styled and self-appointed keeper of JBJ’s flame, KJ’s low EQ, up-bringing and manners [You mean KJ not s/o JBJ? He fake son isit? Like he fake Saints as many old boys of St andrews claim?]

Catherine Lim: Msian Cina New Citizen Pussy Lim, Damaged CD & Broken Record

Ng Kok Lim : a rat …

Roy Ngerng & Han Hui Hui : hooligans

Roy Ngerng : loose cannon

Han Hui Hui : trash

Amos Yee & his mother : a dysfunctional wife and son, Mummy’s Pet

M. Ravi : sick as a parrot, went “bananas” a few yrs back

TOC : a leading Ravi cheerleader

TRE readers and anti-PAP netizens : cybernuts, whining cyber warriors, born losers, paper ranters, rabble, talk cock, sing song free-loading cheap-skates, Roy’s ultra supporters

oxygen : loser

Tham Weng Kay & Bapak : looney ones

Pretty accurate but I don’t remember the last one and the citation Rotten posted in clarification really isn’t from me.

And Rotten left out: Andrew Loh, Maruah, Kirsten Han, Lynn Lee, that wind-bag JBJ and many others. And the PAPpies I slime. But then Rotten’s a cybernut.

Seriously think about the people I don’t slime regularly: Alex Au, WP Low, Chen Show Mao, P(olitician) Ravi, the Chiams (OK except for turning SPP into a zombie), TeamTRE, Terry Xu of TOC etc. I don’t slime serious, competent people wanting to do good. I slime clowns (think Goh Meng Seng, JBJ, Roy, and M Ravi) and talk cock, sing song whiners esp if they are ang moh tua kees (Lynn Lee, Kirsten Han, s’o JBJ.)

And who are the people I admire? LKY, Lee Siew Choh, Dr Goh, Toh Chin Chye etc: All serious men who wanted to do good for other S’poreans, though the “good” is loosely defined. Waz good by LKY’s definition may not be good by Lee’s definition and vice-versa.

Have a good long weekend.

Harry: Gandhi and “commercial use”/ How PAP uses LKY non-commercially

In Uncategorized on 28/05/2015 at 4:42 am

Before the KPKBing about Harry being protected reaches absurd proportions, here’s something from Derek da Cunha, a really smart observer of the political scene (and he’s no Gillian Koh);

Passing a law to prevent the commercialization, and to protect the misuse of the name and image, of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, after his passing, was something I had discussed with the late publisher Ms Shirley Hew back in 2011. I had said that Singapore could well follow the Indian model in that respect. The misuse of the name and image of Mahatma Gandhi is prevented under India’s Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act 1950.
http://admis.hp.nic.in/himpol/Citizen/LawLib/C093.HTM

(Facebook)

He has a good point in how LKY’s can be protected in a sensible manner but then India is a multi-party democracy, has an interventionist judiciary and a vibrant civil society with many NGOs and people willing to take on the govt or the state.

S’pore is a de-facto one party state with many sheep and where most of the activists turn out to “talk cock, sing song” artistes or bi-polar. Need I say more?

To end, I came across this on Facebook:

I find it really disgusting that characteristic of our leaders, they and their machinery can exploit LKY-images in the name of “common good” but… bread-hungry minions can’t flog LKY-images to earn a few bucks!!!! (Intellectual property discussions, aside. Besides, LKY is a political leader, not a pop star!)

He has a point: what do you think?

LKY, another Immortal?

DSC_0046

Amos: Only mum is still a fan

In Uncategorized on 22/05/2015 at 4:41 am

Reading Amos’s Facebook page is not only a barrel of laughs, but it also shows that he lives in a different universe.

Example 1: He calls Vincent Law a coward for not responding to his allegations*. What he doesn’t realise is that Vincent has won in the court of public opinion: no need to respond.

Example 2: He produces “evidence” about the “emotional abuse” that he got from Vincent. Evidence? What evidence?

Example 3: He claims that people are convinced by his diatribes.

Never mind, more evidence to throw Amos into Arkham (where those of Batman’s enemies considered to be mentally ill are confined) and throw away the key. I’m sure the PAP, their supporters and the anti-PAP activists will be happy.

Seriously, can anyone be surprised that the Community Action Network’ (made up of Shelley Thio, Rachel Zeng, Jennifer Teo, Woon Tien Wei, Terry Xu, Roy Ngerng, Martyn See, Jolovan Wham, Lynn Lee, Kirsten Han and another**) has decided to keep quiet? As have the individuals?

“Given the rhetoric against Yee, and the numerous threats to his safety, he should have been “committed to a place of safety or a place of temporary care and protection” under the Children and Young Persons Act. Instead, he is now back in remand, over his failure to abide by his bail conditions.

CAN believes that the conditions imposed on Yee are unnecessarily onerous. Apart from having to report to his Investigating Officer every day, he is also barred from posting anything online. This curtailment of Yee’s right to express himself doesn’t just infringe on his constitutional rights as a citizen, it is also disproportionate to the charges he is currently facing.” 

Given his antics of defaming his ex-bailor they should be repenting of their words publicly.

As should s/0 JBJ, Andrew Loh, Maruah and a drug mule groupie who were all defending Amos’s right to insult Harry.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/05/03/amos-even-dumber-comments-parental-responsibility/

They should have the balls to apologise to S’poreans for supporting Amos, and for blaming society for Amos’s antics.

Interesting that Amos has denounced his activist “supporters”; denouncing them for talking the talk but not walking the talk: the activist friends would have happily let him rot in remand, while pontificating to society on the harm that being in remand would do him. .

Something I had pointed out at the time: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/amos-talk-is-cheap-very-cheap-harry-really-needs-no-monument/
On this denouncement, he is right. At least he has learnt that the likes of Andrew Loh, Kirsten Han, Lynn Lee, Roy and s/o JBJ are talk cock sing song artistes, with their anti-PAP agenda. Never mind, he still has mummy who thinks he’s fantastic https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/05/13/amos-mummys-pet/. She even defends his lying as “as a need to”. Huh?
He was being used. Amos Yee, master manipulator was been had. Master manipulator? What master manipulator?
Coming back to fact that that he lives in a different universe.Maybe the cybernuts that infest TRE should invite him into their world, now that they’ve thrown out one Goh Meng Seng from cybernut land even though he was a founder member of the place. But Amos is likely to decline as Roy is a cybernut hero and he has fallen out with Roy. Seems Roy not happy with his “molest” comment about Vincent Law.
*If he didn’t defame Vincent Law and flip flop on apologies (After all he did write: I am extremely remorseful for the turmoil that I have caused to Vincent and his family, for the allegations towards him that he molested me,), he has really valid points about Vincent’s behaviour, if Amos’s allegations are true. I’d be pretty annoyed if I had been Amos, assuming he’s telling the truth. As it is I can understand why he preferred to remain in remand, assuming he isn’t lying.

All those cavaets above are to emphasie that Amos is as credible to me as the cybernuts that infest TRE.

**At least Vincent Law tried.

Degree mills are scams, not unaccredited institutions

In Public Administration on 21/05/2015 at 4:42 am

In response to https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/mom-thinks-we-that-stupid-or-they-really-that-stupid/, a regular reader and most intelligent commenter explained why degree mills are not “unaccredited institutions” as Zorro and the staff at MoM is insisting the are. He says (Emphasis is mine. My comments are within [ ] in normal print):

Aiyah, it is factually wrong to say all degree mills are unaccredited institutions. Why?? Because degree mills are mutually exclusive from all & any educational institutions. You can say that unaccredited institutions are a subset of educational institutions, but it is false to say that degree mills are a subset of educational institutions.

[Zorro and his officials are talking cock, real cock. Meritocracy? What meritocracy?]

Degree mills are scam jobs, pure & simple, just like pyramid schemes. The perpetrators know it and the consumers know it. Any person with average intelligence who participates in it will realise something is not right, even if he benefits. A consumer who pleads innocence and “sincerely believes it is genuine” is merely being disingenuous and acting in self-preservation.

[Heard that IDA about its beloved new citizen Nisha.]

And yeah it’s easier (& cheaper) to fake work experience than fake degrees. In my younger days, I was bumming around doing odd jobs & contract jobs for about 2 years in-between “real jobs”. When I went for job interviews later, I got so fedup with having to explain & justify my 2 years “hole” in my resume that I put in fake work experience with a fake company. And I got a good pal to act as my ex-supervisor in case any prospective company wanted to check. No company ever checked & my pal never got any calls.

Lim Swee Say also says that MOM conducts 100% checks on papers from known unaccredited institutions or degree mills. What about fake degrees obtained from degree mills?? I can get a bona-fide look & feel posh degree scroll + academic transcripts from the University of Sydney by paying some Peenoi degree mill US$350. US$500 if I also want someone to impersonate as my professor with Aussie accent & fake Uni letterheads & fake email account to act as my reference.

[If you think the last two para are rants,

Woman entered Singapore under false identities

She had fled over fake degree, but returned using various passports

She fled the country after being charged in 2002 with using a fake degree to apply for permanent residency. But that did not stop Lin Lifen, 39, from repeatedly coming back to Singapore over the next 12 years using different identities. She is now appealing against a 16-week jail sentence for her offences.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/woman-entered-singapore-under-false-identities-20150520#sthash.2Ye39gOg.7aaisx26.dpuf%5D

And all these doesn’t even touch the millions of sub-par & 3rd-rate ahneh, cheena, peenoy, burmese graduates from the mass of “accredited universities” that have so lax academic & ethical standards that you can get 1st class honours 4.0 GPA without studying if you’re willing to prostitute yourself, either with your body or with your money.

[Steady bro, don’t want FT lovers and ang moh tua kees like Kirsten Han and Lynn Lee making police complaints against this blog. LOL]

Amos: Intelligence is an over-rated trait?

In Uncategorized on 15/05/2015 at 6:05 am

Maybe character is a more splendour thing?

And that the PAP administration isn’t the one to prize intelligence, so do the heroes of the anti-PAP cybernuts. The difference is how they define “intelligence”. The PAP believes that “intelligence” is largely the ability to pass exams with flying colours and to praise the PAP; the other lot believe that “intelligence” is the insight that “The PAP is always wrong”.

The above crossed my mind during, and after reading a well written piece (as usual) by Alfian Sa’at on his Facebook page about Amos Yee.

For my money, Amos’s dad got it about right: “Yes, he’s intelligent. But he’s not wise.”

I don’t expect any 16-year kid; I’d have said “Yes, he’s intelligent. But he lacks character*.” Like his dad, I think, that there are more important attributes than “intelligence”. Attributes like scepticism, EQ, not playing to the rabble and pragmatism.

Anyway onto the piece with my commentary. My comments are interspersed in normal type within brackets.

I wasn’t planning on writing about Amos Yee, but I’m quite upset by the way the media is painting him—with insinuations that he might fall within the autism spectrum, that he is so psychologically disturbed that he needs psychiatric evaluation, that there is something about his behaviour that might be ‘abnormal’. [Err, your fellow traveller, Teo Soh Lung has written that some Amos sympathisers told her he is autistic.]

I had the pleasure of having supper with Amos and his family. The mother, Mary Yee, is a twinkly-eyed lady who would lean in to listen to you speak. She looked perpetually curious and attentive, her head craning around even as she hugged her floral tote bag close to her. One could speculate that she’s passed on some of that inquisitiveness to her only child.

“You know Amos wanted to change his name?” she told us.

“Why?”

“Because his full name is Amos Yee Pang Sang. And in school the kids used to tease him and called him ‘Anus Yee Pang Sai’. You know ‘pang sai’ in Hokkien means to ‘pass motion’.”

I wanted to ask if he had wanted to change the name ‘Amos’, or ‘Pang Sang’, or both. But I took a quick glance at Amos, who was scowling, and spotted the thought bubble over his head that said, ‘Mum, please, don’t embarrass me in front of these people’. So I left it at that.

The father, Alphonsus Yee, was a bit more reserved, a burly man who rides a motorcycle and who would stand around with his arms crossed, palms cupping his elbows. It seemed to me that the mother still thought of her son’s antics as an enduring source of mystery, whereas the father had reached his limit with such unsolvable enigmas. I tried to break the ice with the father by saying, “I think your son is very intelligent.”

And the father said wearily, “Yes, he’s intelligent. But he’s not wise.”

And what about Amos himself? He’s a waif of a teenager, very pale, with painfully narrow shoulders, and it seemed as if his shock of unruly hair was an attempt to add some mass to a wispy frame. He had a habit of stroking his chin before he spoke, which I found quite endearing, because chin-stroking is the aspirational gesture of kids who want to be taken seriously—as intellectuals. I asked Amos who his favourite film director was.

[Above shows what a fine descriptive writer Affin is. And a most lyrical one too.]

“I love Stanley Kubrick,” he said.

“Yeah? He’s good, but I wasn’t too sold on Barry Lyndon,” I said. “It’s too mannered for me.”

“Oh, but have you watched it twice?”

“So it rewards repeat viewing?”

“I guarantee.”

[I agree with Amos on Kubrick and Barry Lyndon.]

Amos has very strong opinions; and honestly he reminded me of a precocious teenager—self-possessed, intensely loyal to things he loved, but not to the point where he would shut himself from discovering other works.

“If you love 2001: A Space Odyssey,” I said, “You should check out Solaris by Tarkovsky.”

“You mean there’s a sci-fi film that’s as good as Space Odyssey?”

[OMG, Space Odyssey for all its spectacular shots, it is a really pretentious film. Best sci-ft films are ET and Forbidden Planet. Never saw Solaris but listened to a BBC Radio play based on it: good plot.  

“Maybe even better. I guarantee.”

He nodded, and stroked that chin again. And then we got to the subject of the video. I told him, “I agreed with what you said about LKY**, but did you really have to mention Christians? [Geat minds think alike? Or Birds of a feather flock together?] You could have made your point just by saying that those fawning and swooning over him acted like they were part of a cult.”

“But all religions are cults.”

“Okay, then why pick on Christians? You could have said something about religious fervour without being so specific about it.”

[Christians don’t riot. And most probably Amos tot, that they, unlike Muslims, don’t file police reports on any perceived insult. He was wrong dead wrong. Lionel de Sousa (Everyone’s guilty until proven innocent) is a Catholic].

“But Christianity is the religion I know best.”

[Good point that the cybernuts who infest TRE’s comments pages should think about: Don’t talk cock on things you don’t know nuts about. Yup, looking at you Ng Kok Lim: the Sandinistas of Nicaragua were never “Communists” as you said they were***.]

And there it was. ‘But’, the favourite word of any mouthy teenager who thinks that adults, with their unexamined conventions, are vaguely ridiculous. “And how about all that swearing,” I said, putting on my fuddy-duddy hat. [Not fuddy-daddy to warn against the use of vulgarity. But then he is the guy who wanted to dance on the grave of a NMP critical of gays.] “What if it turned people off from the substance of what you were saying?”

“But that’s just how I express myself. I’m being true to myself.”

[That’s intelligent? That’s typical BS of any anyone pretentious.]

“You have to ask yourself if it’s essential to your message. I think you make your videos to communicate something to your audience. I understand your need to be authentic, but sometimes your audience trips up on the expletives and they’ll stop listening.”

[Yup]

“But sometimes swearing is the message itself.”

“Yes Amos, I’ve watched enough Scorcese and Tarantino to know that.”

“And those are great examples!”

[Yes cock but are you as good as Scorcese and Tarantin?]

I smiled and didn’t tell him that he was as far away from a gangster or hitman as anyone could imagine. And then the subject turned to remand and jail.

Amos said, “Why should we worry about jail? Look at Mandela, he fought for a righteous cause and he went to jail too.”

[He must be nuts, comparing himself to a very dignified, courteous who risked his life rebelling against an apartheid state.]

At which point Ivan Heng, who was at the table, rolled his eyes and said, “Darling, you’re not Mandela. So in the meantime you just stay out of trouble.”

Amos looked a little chastened, and I could see that he was aware that the analogy he offered risked making him out as someone with delusions of grandeur. Glen Goei, who was at the table as well (supper was on him), said, “Maybe you’re not afraid for yourself. But think about your parents. Don’t you think they’ll worry if you go to jail?”

“But we can’t always live our lives based on what our parents might think of us.”

“We’re just asking you to put yourself in their shoes,” Glen said.

Amos stroked his chin again. I could see a retort simmering—“if I were a parent I’d want my child to act according to his conscience…to live as a free and principled human being…to have the moral courage to stand by his actions.” But Amos held his peace.

[Low EQ kid who thinks intelligence is that impt]

So here’s my take on this whole absurd affair: Amos Yee, as a teenager, is as normal as they come. They chafe at authority, will always look for wriggle room and bargaining leverage, have a sharp instinct for pointing out adult contradictions and hypocrisies, and speak in a language of ‘but’s’ and ‘why not’s’ that are designed to try your patience. Any attempt to ‘discipline’ him becomes a contest of wills; you can slap bail conditions on him but if he thinks they are unfairly punitive (even before any conviction) then you can expect brinksmanship and defiance. With teenagers like these, you can try reasoning with them but you must also be prepared to confront the idea that your reason is actually unreasonable. What is abnormal is that because of the charges against him, all this is being played out on a much larger stage. And this I think is the tragedy of the whole thing: when a brat acts up—and of course Amos can be taunting and bratty—the best thing that you can do is to ignore him and let him exhaust himself.

[No, a normal kid has a better sense of proportion. Btw, with an attitude like this, he’ll be a dead man in NS.]

But no, some people decided to get all sanctimonious, and we end up with the sorry spectacle of an adult smacking a child mercilessly in a shopping aisle. We don’t think of the child as being uncontrollable at that moment; no, it is the adult who has lost all self-control. And this is how it looks like to me—the people who filed those police reports, the 8 policemen who arrested Amos at his house, the AGC, the man who smacked Amos outside the State Courts, Bertha Henson, Lionel de Souza, the journalists who keep misreporting the case—all of you look so violent, hysterical, foolish and feeble. In trying to solve a ‘problem’ like Amos Yee you’ve only ended up displaying your own problems and neuroses–your pettiness, your cruelty, your beastliness, your insecurity–in all their garish detail.

[Err Amos, his fellow travellers and their cybernut followers made these guys look good, really good. I’m planning to send a carton of Tiger Beer to the office of the guy that slapped Amos. Ever heard of giving someone a second chance?]

But don’t get too upset with Amos even after his comments about a good Samaritan. One of these days, I’ll tell you why he’d wish he were dead. He will be going thru hell soon (OK in June).

—–

*If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son.

IF by Kipling

Thinking about it, Amos senior has loads of character what with a dysfunctional wife and son.

**Wonder if they would say that LKY could have uttered the words of O’Brien in 1984:

The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were- cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.

***And while denouncing me for not saying that Chin Peng said that the MCP never controlled the Barisan Socialists (something I never said), he left out that Chin Peng said “Operation Cold Store shattered our underground network throughout the island. Those who escaped the police net went into hiding. Many fled to Indonesia“.

 

Amos: Mummy’s pet?

In Uncategorized on 13/05/2015 at 10:25 am

Amos “lacks a sense of boundaries and empathy for other people,” said youth counsellor Vincent Law, who posted bail for him, to the BBC. [Update on 14 May 1.40 pm: Mr Vincent Law, 51, family … has told TOC that he is demanding Amos Yee to make an unreserved apology and a full retraction of the molest allegation made against him on Wednesday afternoon.

16-year old blogger, Amos Yee .. had made an allegation of molest against his former bailor, Mr Vincent Law, which he then clarified [7 hours later] to be an act of “trolling” on the reporters from the Mainstream Media (MSM). Mummy must really be proud.]

Because he has a doting mum who thinks he’s “fantastic” and is always makes excuses for him? “Amos is always right,” would seem to be her mantra.

Yee’s mother, Mary, told the BBC that her son was “a fantastic child, perhaps born in the wrong country”.  [Update on 14 May at 1.40pm: Actually the right country. Someone may punp bullets into him in the US for annoying. In S’pore, he gets slapped by a stranger, and human rights activists, blame society. Friends of Amos are screaming on TRE that the slapper got off too lightly: he should be hanged instead of getting three weks jail.]

She described him as a precocious boy who loved reading and making videos.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32604122

It’s a wonder that dad doesn’t go bananas with such a dysfunctional wife and son. Respect, this man who said to Alfian Sa’at: “Yes, he’s intelligent. But he’s not wise.”

I’ll be blogging my tots of Alfian Sa’at’s piece on Amos one of these days.

Amos: Education system at fault?/ Today Harry and Jesus, tomorrow …?

In Uncategorized on 10/05/2015 at 5:07 am

“It is abundantly clear that Amos had made the video because he wanted to express his opinions on Lee Kuan Yew, inform the public, encourage public discourse and hence facilitate positive change in Singapore,” the defence submitted. (TOC)

16-year old blogger Amos Yee explained in court documents that his intention in critiquing Christianity and Lee Kuan Yew is to open discussions on what he saw as “problems” with the faith and Singapore. (TOC)

Good god. Goodness gracious.

A boy smart enough (according to mummy) to get into a JC but not smart enough to produce a video to,inform the public, encourage public discourse and hence facilitate positive change in Singapore: after all more than 20 police reports were made by S’poreans who were certainly not informed enough to inform the public, encourage public discourse and hence facilitate positive change in Singapore. They were upset enough to file police reports.

Every day on BBC Trending, I see examples of ordinary people starting conversations on social media in their communities without vulgarity and without getting others too upset. So why can’t this S’porean boy smart enough to get into a JC do the same?

The education system sucks? Or is he sick? He a bad, bad boy? Or what? We’ll get a preliminary indication on Tuesday.

Seriously, those who think that Amos is being disproportionately punished for a childish prank; or to cynically promote himself; or as an expression of his freedom to talk cock, sing song; or an attempt to open discussions on what he saw as “problems” with the faith and Singapore, should think through their assumptions

Imagine if an unrepentant, unpunished Amos decides to take on a religion many of whose adherents have serious problems adapting to a world dominated by Western secular values, and not Harry and Christians?

He could have produced this http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-32515516 which has upset Muslims in a neighbouring country. Btw, he was educated here too.

If the guy in the video (who it seems wants to encourage public discourse) had accepted Wong Kan Seng’s offer to make him a new citizen, he’d make Amos look like quai chye S’porean. We (and Home Team) missed a bullet. Even the cybernuts who infest TRE, like rats infest Bukit Batok don’t like him. They KPKBed that he was offered citizenship, and educated here at our expense.

 

 

 

Amos: Even dumber comments / Parental Responsibility

In Uncategorized on 03/05/2015 at 5:25 pm

Tomorrow, Monday, Amos will again appear in court.

Here I said that Amos had changed for the better before his last court appearance. Well I looked like a real cock when he ended up in remand again. At least he was decently dressed and wasn’t eating a banana when he entered court. But while not playing up to the gallery, he was quietly stubborn, hence the remand. He refused to set his blog posts to private. He had earlier broken bail conditions by publishing two posts on his blog.

So I’m glad to report that there are even dumber comments than mine, coming from the usual heroes of the anti-PAP cybernuts:

KJ TeamRP

This is disgraceful. This is nothing less than state-sponsored violence against a child for saying considerably less than Lee Kuan Yew got away with. Edit:I say this is state-sponsored because the media is Government-owned and controlled and the Government and its leaders have failed to take steps to protect Amos Yee. By their silence they have encouraged their supporters to take the law into their own hands. If anything happens to Amos, his blood is on Lee Hsien Loong’s hands.

Can he provide evidence that the state “sponsored” the one tight slap? But then this is the guy who when M Ravi went “bananas” a few yrs back, drew parallels with the Soviet Union’s labeling of dissidents as “insane”. Sorry can’t find the link to that great own goal by s/o JBJ.

From a Do-Gooder who doean’t want drug mules hanged

I’ve always felt that Amos Yee is unsafe in Singapore. Cyber terrorism against this boy has escalated to physical street violence. Truly, I’m beginning to worry about his safety and wouldn’t be surprised if this boy dies from an assault one day. For his own safety, Amos should obtain a scholarship from a university in the U.S. and live there as an American citizen. He would flourish in a western country who celebrates and welcomes his intelligence, uniqueness and individuality.

If he goes West, he might get killed by someone who takes exception to his antics. And gd US unis don’t suka suka give scholarships to kids who misbahave. Dime a dozen in the ghettos. Real stupid ang moh tua kee this lady.

Shelley Thio, Rachel Zeng, Jennifer Teo, Woon Tien Wei, Terry Xu, Roy Ngerng, Martyn See, Jolovan Wham, Lynn Lee, Kirsten Han, Vincent Law

“Given the rhetoric against Yee, and the numerous threats to his safety, he should have been “committed to a place of safety or a place of temporary care and protection” under the Children and Young Persons Act. Instead, he is now back in remand, over his failure to abide by his bail conditions.

CAN believes that the conditions imposed on Yee are unnecessarily onerous. Apart from having to report to his Investigating Officer every day, he is also barred from posting anything online. This curtailment of Yee’s right to express himself doesn’t just infringe on his constitutional rights as a citizen, it is also disproportionate to the charges he is currently facing.”

The Community Action Network’s statement on Amos Yee’s charges and the assault on Amos Yee outside of state court On Thursday. None of whom bothered to stand bail on Friday. At least two of them were in court.

Scared to lose their money? Mr Law (the previous bailor) may forfeit S$20,000. This will depend on the outcome of a separate hearing.

Andrew Loh

Now, has anyone asked if Amos Yee has received medical attention for his injuries? 

Going by photo he placed in article asking the above: Injuries? What injuries? As a former prop who played for school and SAF, I’ve come out of rugger matches looking a lot worse than this.Amos Yee, with bruised eye

MARUAH

MARUAH strongly condemns this act of violence and intimidation. This is not the way a mature and civilised society deals with opinions and opinion-makers.

One guy slaps this boy and whole S’pore society gets blamed? WTF?

A very sensible retort to the above BS:  especially the last three

does he deserve to be beaten in public? no. does he deserve to be given one tight slap? yes.

(Facebook)

I’ll be serious. Bertha Henson (aka retired Imperial Stormtroop general, paper division, and wannabe Seth Lord) got a lot of unfair flack because of the” vicarious pleasure” she got in seeing Amos getting slapped.

She could and should have explained it better; what having been a senior spin doctor for Harry and the PAP.

Self and many others were appalled that the parents didn’t slap or cane him for his boorish behaviour. Seeing him getting slapped, albeit in breach of the law, made us feel that moral justice was done. I think Ms Henson felt the same.

Finally, I emailed the following to someone above in CAN who I respect because he believes in fighting injustice, and tries to do something, not juz talk about it. Never got a reply.

If you guys were not so anti-PAP administration, you should be asking why parents don’t ask for him to be examined by Mental Health Institute. I suspect they scared if he found to have mental health problem.
 
At his age the law assumes that parents have the primary responsibility and it defers to them. Doubtless this doesn’t suit the agenda of some people. LOL.
 
Roy was there on Friday, why no offer bail. Talk is cheap, very cheap.  

SG50/ BRK50: Buffett’s 50th anniversary party

In Uncategorized on 01/05/2015 at 2:17 pm

(Update on 2 May at 5.30pm: Another view http://www.economist.com/news/business-and-finance/21650309-future-worlds-sixth-largest-firm-unclear-berkshire-hathaways-meeting)

No big do like SG50, but then he doesn’t have a GE to fight.

Berkshire Hathaway Meeting On Saturday, more than 40,000 Berkshire Hathaway shareholders will descend on Omaha for the annual meeting of the company, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The gathering is known as Woodstock for Capitalists. Warren E. Buffett, Berkshire’s chairman and chief executive, and Charles T. Munger, its vice chairman, take questions for more than six hours, and their answers often make news.

Likely hot topics include the company’s recent investment in Kraft, its stakes in IBM and Coca-Cola, the debate around companies’ buying back their own shares and, a perennial favorite, succession planning.

Amos: A changed boy/ Why M Ravi went “bananas”/ Misreped again and again

In Uncategorized on 30/04/2015 at 5:24 am

Update at 5.30 am 1 May: Not bailed: in remand until Monday https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/amos-in-remand-again/

(Update at 2.40pm: What can I say? I forgot to check his Facebook page, website before I posted LOL this morning. Let’s hope he doesn’t go to court earting a banana. I’d be a right Charlie ((((((.)

(Update at 4.55pm: Phew he wasn’t eating a banana and was dressed in smart casual. 

And no, I’m not the guy in red who slapped him. Bet you the ang moh tua kees and their cybernut allies will be screaming that he should have had police protection. And that it was all a plot to intimidate him.)

(Update at 5.20pm: Yup, political figures are suggesting that it’s a disgrace it happened outside court. Thinking about it, maybe he needs to be in remand until his trial because his life is in danger?)

Amos Yee will appear in court today for a pre-trial conference.

I’ve been told, he’ll no longer be a ya ya papaya eating a banana to show that he doesn’t give a hoot about the law. And no, my source is not my Morocco Mole who once told me that WP would support the PAP’s immigration white paper. https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/wp-will-vote-for-the-white-paper-moley/ 

Seems his parents gamble in refusing to bail him paid-off. His spell in remand has sobered him up considerably.

I also understand that his lawyers will be asking for a postponement of the trial because they want to make representations to the AGC along the lines that he has repented (an apology is being drafted) and that the time spent in remand (four nights and three days) is more than sufficient punishment as a consequence.

Hopefully a fair and reasonable deal can be struck so that the only fruscos will be those ang moh tua kees and their anti-PAP cybernut allies who want him to be martyred for the anti-PAP cause; and those who want him hanged or caned for insulting Harry. All three groups are equally deserving of the scorn of reasonable people.

Though given his past behaviour (before remand to be fair), he could prove today that I’m talking cock about a changed boy. He may decide to revert to a ya ya papaya to secure the approval of the mob, and stick a finger into his parents’, bailor’s and lawyers’ eyes.

But if he remains quai chye, those who saw him as a human rights poster boy because he insulted the memory of one Harry Lee will spin a different tale.

Humans right activist, ISD detainee and 2011 SDP MP candidate wrote on her FB on 23 April : And at the pre trial conference last Friday, he was also handcuffed and led out of Court No. 17 into the holding area for alleged adult offenders. I am told he looked terrified.

So poor Amos spent several days among alleged adult offenders. I am told he is banging the wall and going crazy. He is apparently autistic.

Well going by the way he behaved when he was finally bailed last Tueday, by a Christian, not by a human rights wimp activist or an anti-PAP activist, it doesn’t look as though he was “nuts”or terrified. Here’s him waving.Image result for amos yee + pre-trial conference

Btw, it seems one Ng Kok Lim cannot help but misrepresent me. In his second latest BS* on TRE he claimed I sympathised with Amos Yee, quoting me out of context, and saying I too didn’t help Amos. He conveniently left out the link I put in the article he selective choses quotes from: that he should be caned. Err that sympathy? But then that point disturbs the narrative of the misrepresentation,

*In his latest piece, he shows that he read a lot of my pieces, yet quotes and misrepresents me, Chin Peng and the Plen extensively. (He makes Roy look like a paragon of truth on CPF when it’s a fact that Roy admitted that he lied about PM stealing our CPF**. M Ravi had a problem explaining to the court hearing the case why this admission shouldn’t be taken into account by the judge.)

Yet Ng cannot point to anything I wrote  over the years that called certain leftists “communists” as he alleged when he screamed: CI is making the same unqualified smearing of the Lefitsts by the PAP by labeling them as communists like those in Cuba and so on. Where is CI’s proof that the leftists were actually communists? https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/seek-truth-from-facts-tre-commentators-dont-misrepresent-me/

I ask him again: Where did I ever call the Coldstore detainees “communists”?

Ng may have wished I called some leftists “communists”, but where’s the proof?

**https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/roys-defence-has-me-confused/ Since then I’ve been told that one of the reasons why M Ravi went “bananas” and had to stop practising law, was Roy’s refusal to listen to his advice.

Pinoys still not going home? Why not?

In Economy on 07/04/2015 at 1:25 pm

Manila’s PSE was the top performer – with a gain of 9.8% in Q1. Thailand wa the worst, the  SET pulling ahead by 0.55%. STI managed 2.4% year-to-date.

The Phi;ippines grew at an annualised pace of 6.9 per cent in the final three months of the year, far ahead of the 6 per cent expected by most analysts. The quarter-on-quarter figure of 2.5 per cent was the highest in almost two decades, according to calculations from analysts at Barclays.

Philippine growth

TRE reader’s take on PinoyLand and Pinoys could explain why they still not going home, but prefer to stay here or come here

Peenoy Annoys:

Peenoys overestimate themselves just because the Spore Govt gave them jobs but are in fact is using them as cheap labor. They fail to see that they are being undercut. They get cocky and boastful and are a complete discredit to themselves and their country. And they are just talk and no substance.

Why come to Spore? Because Pinoylands is built on quicksand. If your are worth your salt then go back and contribute to building your slums into a decent habitat.

After all they can discriminate against S’poreans in S’pore

Alleged discrimination based on nationality continued to top the list of complaints received last year by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP), with the banking and information technology sectors still the most problematic.

These cases made up half of about 300 complaints in total. However, TAFEP general manager Roslyn Ten said many stem from misunderstanding and not from genuine bias, and urged companies to improve communication with job seekers or existing employees by explaining why, for example, foreigners instead of Singaporeans were hired or promoted. (CNA)

Juz wondering if getting paid less than S’porean is a legit reason for discrimination? Juz asking.

Holding highly paid to account

In Corporate governance, Political governance, Public Administration on 05/04/2015 at 4:53 am

Hmm, maybe PM should think of adapting these ideas for himself, his ministers, senior bureaucrats and CEOs of TLC and other commercial GLCs.

HOLDING EXECUTIVES ACCOUNTABLE Should top executives be required to contribute a chunk of their pay to a pool that would pay penalties if misdeeds were later uncovered at the company? That is a nonbinding proposal that Citigroup shareholders will vote on next month, notes Gretchen Morgenson in the Fair Game column.

A somewhat similar idea can be found in a law journal article by Greg Zipes, a trial lawyer for the Office of the United States Trustee. Mr. Zipes proposes that top executives sign a contract pledging to pay back 25 percent of their gross compensation in the event of major corporate misdeeds. Such proposals, Ms. Morgenson says, are intended to combat the “perverse incentive” that encourages executives to take on huge risks in order to earn rich pay and bonuses, safe in the knowledge that the consequences won’t be costly.

Maybe there should be pools for the ministers, senior bureaucrats and CEOs where they contribute part of their gross remuneration.

If their peers cock up, the money in the pool gets forfeited to the Consolidated Account.

Maybe ministerial peer pressure can keep Lui on his toes. And the ex-SAF generals running SMRT and NOL. CEOs of DBS, SIA, Keppel, CapitaLand etc will make sure that incompetent peers are “moved” on.

SG50/ BKR50: Buffett, LKY & Ah Loong

In Financial competency, Political governance on 31/03/2015 at 5:03 am

(Or “Ah Loong imitated Buffett, not dad”)

When business leaders make mistakes, they have nothing to lose from a proper apology

Thus runs the subtitle of a an aricle in an article sometime back FT which goes on: One business leader who has no problem detailing his mistakes is Warren Buffett. He regularly does it in his annual letter to shareholders. This year’s marked the golden anniversary of his and Charlie Munger’s control of Berkshire Hathaway so he dredged up 50 years of mistakes.

They included investing in dying textile companies and seeing acquisition “synergies” evaporate.

More recent mistakes included holding on to Tesco shares even though he knew it was likely that the UK retailer’s initial problems were just the first in a series. “You see a cockroach in your kitchen; as the days go by, you meet his relatives,” he wrote.

The reasons Mr Buffett gave for his mistakes were not poor advice, or lapses by his managers, but his own “thumb-sucking”, “childish behaviour” and “I simply was wrong”.

The advantage of pointing out your own errors is not only that it deprives others of the opportunity but that it makes it plain that business is hard, that we make mistakes and that only by examining them can we reduce, but not eliminate, our chances of making them again.(FT extract)

Well it didn’t work in politics for our PM did it?

Ah Loong in 2011 departed from dad’s Hard Truths of “Never explain, never apologise”, “PAP is never wrong”, “The message is always right. Blame the messenger, not the message”, “THE LKY way or the highway”, and “It’s the song, not the singer”..

In an attempt to avoid losing a GRC and setting a new record low for the popular vote, he said, “If we didn’t get it right, I’m sorry. But we will try better the next time.” 

It was an apology that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong saw fit to repeat twice on Tuesday during the People’s Action Party (PAP) first lunchtime rally at Boat Quay next to UOB Plaza.

PM Lee acknowledged some of the government’s initiatives have resulted in “side effects”, such as problem gambling among Singaporeans due to the opening of the Integrated Resorts.

He also cited the congestion in public transport because of the increased intake in foreigners.*

Fat good it did him or the PAP say the hardliners in the PAP and other “Lee Kuan Yew is always right” groupies: the PAP only got 60% of the votes (PAP’s worst result ever) and lost a GRC that had two ministers and one junior minister.

Worse in the presidential vote that followed, the PAP’s preferred candidate (Dr Tony Tan) won by a handful of votes from Dr Tan Cheng Bock. They shared 70% of the vote, showing that with the right formula, the PAP could do well.

The problem is that the PAP don’t have the right formula.

So apologising doesn’t always work, FT writer. The problem for Ah Loong is finding the right formula. More on the right formula soon.

——

*“These are real problems, we will tackle them.  But I hope you will understand when these problems vex you or disturb you or upset your lives, please bear with us, we are trying our best on your behalf,” said PM Lee to a crowd of about a thousand.

The secretary-general of the PAP continued, “And if we didn’t quite get it right, I’m sorry but we will try better the next time.”

Pushing on with a message he had for voters on Monday, PM Lee also admitted the government had made two other high-profile errors.

“We made a mistake when we let Mas Selamat run away. We made a mistake when Orchard Road got flooded,” he said.

“No government is perfect… we will make mistakes. But when it happens we should acknowledge it, we should apologise, take responsibility, put things right. If we are to discipline somebody, we will do that, [Err, the train services are getting worse under the “new” CEO and tpt minister, but no-one is being fired] and we must learn from the lessons and never make the same mistake again,” said PM Lee.

Yet, he explained the difficulties in making decisions with incomplete information.

For instance, if the government knew there would be a sudden surge in demand for HDB flats in mid-2009 and that foreigners would have created such congestion on the roads, it would have ramped up plans for more flats and MRT lines.

“We’re sorry we didn’t get it exactly right, but I hope you will understand and bear with us because we are trying our best to fix the problems,” he said.

The government will build 22,000 flats this year and open one new MRT line every year for the next seven years however, the government “has been right more often than wrong,”

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/pm-lee-didn-t-m-sorry-152850327.html

 

Aqua Lions?/ No worries about coup/ SMRT no got this

In Infrastructure, Political governance on 20/03/2015 at 4:47 am

So the SAF was upset that the swimmers called their team “Red Lions”, the description that SAF’s parachuting team uses? And the swimmers decided to drop the name.

What the heck? Given that it’s a swimming team, “Red Merlions” is more appropriate? Or “Blue Lions” or “Water Lions or “Aqua Lions”?

What do you think? A lot better than “Sea Lions” that GCT suggested? [Last sentence added at 7.15am].

Actually, this storm in tea cup could have been engineered by the SAF’s special ops team to divert attention from the fact that three ex-SAF commanders are showing themselves to very incompetent: the tpt minister and the CEOs of SMRT and NOL.

Shouldn’t Khaw be calling fot Lui* to commit hari-kiri? Or resign? But then our leaders always talked cock about Japanese style responsibility: only for the “little people” not them. https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/learn-from-japanese-set-example-leh-elites/

But let’s look on the bright side of the incompetncy of the transport minister and the CEO’s of NOL and SMRT

Given that they  are scholars and two are ex-generals and one an ex-admiral, and given the problems that the tpt ministry and NOL and SMRT are facing, SAF generals and admirals are sure to cock-up any coup attempt**.

Seriously, the u/m report amazwd me

Transport operator SMRT said on Friday that it will accelerate the setting up of a new maintenance operations centre, which will provide swifter responses to rail incidents.

Experts stationed at the centre will be able to communicate directly with maintenance teams on the ground, and provide in-depth diagnostic advice to speed up service recovery.

The centre is expected to be ready in the coming year, SMRT said in a press briefing which was called in light of the recent spate of train disruptions.

Only one other metro has such a maintenance operations centre, SMRT added, while declining to say which one.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/transport/story/smrt-beef-its-team-engineers-and-technicians-20150306#sthash.soP3EC4t.dpuf

Given that Kuek was an ex-SAF general, I’m surprised he didn’t make establishing such a centre a priority given the situation he was left by the previous Ferrari driving CEO. This FT told commuters to bugger-off if they weren’t prepared to be crammed like sardines, pointing out that they had a choice not to take the train, and anyway trains were more packed elsewhere.

If as an army general, he doesn’t know the importance of a state-of-the-art command-and-control operations centre, what does he know?

Kuek would never have made it into the German general staff: From the mid 19th century to the end of WW II, the train section, an elite section,  of the elite general staff had to ensure that the trains would run on time when war came. When the Kaiser on the eve of World War I asked his chief of general staff if he could stop the mobilisation, he was told that the train schedules wouldn’t permit it. Now if Kuek had been in charge of the train section, the trains would have delayed and WWI prevented.

*I suspect post GE, he’d join Raymond Lim.

**Fortunately, Indon and M’sian generals and admirals are just as incompetent as our SAF ones: think the MH 370 incident (military radar not switched on, or if it was no-one was watching); or the inability of the Indon navy to curb piracy and sand smuggling.

M Ravi: No news is good news

In Uncategorized on 12/03/2015 at 4:53 am

Not heard  anything in new media or media about M Ravi, so the stories I hear coming from his friends must be true.

He is taking his medicine, visiting his doctor regularly, resting and not getting stressed over his clients and the courts (he can’t as he’s barred from practicising well until his doctor says he is OK). Sadly this kind of news doesn’t make it to new media or the traditional media.

One thing I’ve learnt about bi-polarism (Ravi’s mental condition) from a Facebook thread on M Ravi’s condition is that there are good, reasonable reasons for patients to avoid taking the medicine prescribed. They are terribly unpleasant primarily because they are a cocktail of drugs to treat the contradictory nature of bi-polarism: depression and hyper-actism. So the medicine used treats opposites. The effects of the medicine on the body cause severe discomfort.

Maybe he needs to stop practicising constitutional litigation. It’s very stressful what with clients like Roy and the structure of the Constitution.

The other thing I learnt about this mental condition is the importance of routine: a luxury litigators don’t have.

Chia Yong Yong: a stupid NMP

In Uncategorized on 05/03/2015 at 5:32 am

She talks cock, real cock because she is clueless about the way the CPF and welfare system works. The article reporting her comments is at the end of this rant.

Reading the comments, it’s clear that she thinks that the employers’ contributions are not part of our salaries. Hello? What planet is she on?

Even employers think that their payments are part of the employee’ salaries. I’ve been at job interviews where “my salary” includes “XYZ’s contribution”. And when I had to decide how much to offer someone to do a job, I took account of the CPF contribution that I, as employer, had to pay: which is why FTs are so popular.

As to .”because I’m not the only person contributing to the fund, I cannot be the only person to call the shots”, doesn’t she realise that what we have in our CPF (less the peanuts of govt handout) is dependent on what we put in, not a cent less or more.

And since when have we a comprehensive welfare system for the elderly poor? She implies that we have:  At the very least, I have a moral obligation to spend it wisely. Why do I say that? Because if I’m not judicious in my spending at the end of the day, who’s going to maintain me in my twilight years – the state? Who? Ultimately it means someone else is bearing it right, another taxpayer.

This is S’pore. If die, not govt’s problem.

What planet is she on? Or was she smoking ganja before her speech?

Update at 6.45 am: Shumething I wrote some time back

Money in your CPF account is your money

This is what MoM Tan, a paper general, blogged, inter alia, recently.

Best riposte I’ve come across.

http://singaporedaily.net/2014/05/26/daily-sg-26-may-2014/

Come on Baey, surely you can help him come up with better lines?https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/05/28/pap-needs-a-public-communications-swat-team/. Or maybe you can’t? You no longer the CEO of an int’l PR firm’s S’pore office.

The use of  “xenophobia”and “your money” reminds me of, “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/xenophobia-your-money-and-humpty-dumpty/

—————————

Nominated MP Chia Yong Yong spoke out against greater flexibility in withdrawing CPF savings in Parliament on Tuesday … Ms Chia noted that it should be viewed in the context of personal responsibilities. For instance, on CPF savings – she felt that people shouldn’t be spending like they would be spending their own salary. This is because CPF savings are enhanced by co-payment by employers and through top-ups from public funds.

Ms Chia said: “In relation to the use of CPF money, we have heard proponents who say that the CPF monies is theirs. “It’s our money, it’s in our account, it’s our retirement money. I want it out, I will spend it anyway we want.” Fine. Is it our money? Our CPF savings are enhanced and forced CPF savings which are accumulated through our own deferred consumption, through co-payment by our employers and through top-ups from public funds. Is it really my private money? Do I have the right to spend it the way I would spend my own salary? I’m not entirely sure.

“I know at the end of the day, that because I’m not the only person contributing to the fund, I cannot be the only person to call the shots as to how I am going to spend it. At the very least, I have a moral obligation to spend it wisely. Why do I say that? Because if I’m not judicious in my spending at the end of the day, who’s going to maintain me in my twilight years – the state? Who? Ultimately it means someone else is bearing it right, another taxpayer. So if I’m not judicious and I’m arguing this is my money, I’m not going to be responsible in my use and if I argue this is your money, you use it anyway you want – I’m not responsible as a citizen.”

Ms Chia cautioned against a Budget that leans too heavily to the left.

“We have a Budget that has been praised and approved as leaning to the left. But I would also argue that if we lean too much to the left, we will not have much left. So what I will also want to end up with and conclude is that when we talk about collective responsibility, we need to understand that collective responsibility must also be exercised responsibly on a collective basis, as well as on a personal basis.”

Ms Chia also touched on the SkillsFuture initiative and said that unlike infrastructural investments, it would be difficult to measure the scheme’s positive outcomes. Hence, she stressed that the onus is on those who will conduct the training sessions – to exercise integrity and professionalism.

Ms Chia, who is also the President of the Society for Aid to the Paralysed, called on the government to place a greater and more integrated emphasis on training those with disabilities. This will help to empower and equip them to be financially independent.

Budget: Ask in a very loud voice:

In Economy, Financial competency, Political governance on 25/02/2015 at 4:34 am

“After GE, will the PAP administration raise GST rates and by how much?”

After all, an ally and cheer leader of the PAP administration wrote about the Budget:

Mr Tharman flagged this gap … about the 1 percentage point projected gap between long-term revenues and long-term spending. The latter is tipped to go up to 19 to 19.5 per cent of GDP from now, as Singapore opens its coffers to spend on health care, retirees, and on infrastructure and investment in education. The former hovers around 18 to 18.5 per cent of GDP.

How to make up the shortfall of about 1 per cent of GDP?

This is a structural issue that will have resonance beyond this Budget.*

As it’s unlikely that the Wayang Party will raise the issue about the rise in GST rates after the GE in Parly* because it may still be hoping to curry favour with the MIW by not asking difficult questions, responsible bloggers and cyber-warriors should ask the question.

So should all voters (pro PAP or anti-PAP alike, GST affects everyone) who meet their PAP MPs and their PA grassroot hangers-on when they come to lobby for votes. Especially when the MPs and hangers-on boast of all the goodies voters are getting, parroting a gushing a PAP apologist, if ever there was one,who wrote in ST:.

I tried frantically to keep up with noting down the giveaways as Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam reeled them off as he announced the Budget 2015. …

All in, it can be said to be a sensible yet generous Budget, albeit at the expense of the very high-income. It may disappoint those who wanted a big SG50 Bonus to celebrate the nation’s Jubilee. But it does give out a mass hongbao to all Singaporeans, via top-ups to education funds for children and students, and via the new $500 SkillsFuture Credit for workers. – See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/opinion/columns/story/singapore-budget-2015-7-reasons-why-years-robin-hood-budget-matters-20150#sthash.CK7uOl8a.0xjbXaNf.dpuf

The answer we want to hear is what Tharman said in 2011

Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has reiterated that the goods and services tax (GST) will not be raised for at least another five years …“As Finance Minister, I have made that very clear in Parliament that at least for the next five years – it does not mean we will raise it in five years’ time – but at least for five years, there is absolutely no reason to raise the GST, because this was the whole idea – we strengthen our revenue base in time. (CNA)

And finally let’s remember that all this money the PAP administration is throwing at us is our money, not that of the PAP’s administration.

*Yes, Yes I know: Mr Tharman has a way to close that 1 per cent gap: Use projected long-term returns from Temasek Holdings.

The Net Investment Return formula framework was implemented in 2009. He said: “Under the framework, the Government is allowed to spend up to 50 per cent of the expected long term real returns on its net assets managed by MAS and GIC.”

Temasek was left out as it was undergoing a major change in investment strategy. Mr Tharman said it was a good time to add Temsek to the mix.

So this Budget is important for signalling the long-term gap in revenue and spending.

It is also significant for using a new framework that allows Singapore to tap a wider pool of money from expected investment returns on its reserves into the future. 

“The move will bolster our fiscal resources at a time when we have to fund long-term critical infrastructure and develop the human talent and capabilities to secure our future.”– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/opinion/columns/story/singapore-budget-2015-7-reasons-why-years-robin-hood-budget-matters-20150#sthash.CK7uOl8a.0xjbXaNf.dpuf

Doubtless, the cybernuts will say that their heloo, Roy the Hooligan is responsible for this change in govt policy, though I’m sure s/o JBJ would dispute this, saying Tharman stole his idea.

But do remember that the other cybernuts’ hero Ong Teng Cheong wanted all the returns from the resreves locked away for good. It’s in the DNA of the PAP to make life tough for us. So unless we get the PAP to rule out a GST increase after the election, we could get screwed.

This  is what a FT based here says: Ten years ago, the Singapore’s preferred choice would have been to raise its goods and services tax. Levies on consumption are easier to collect and less flighty than the incomes of high-earning expatriates. But that option is now politically infeasible. The People’s Action Party, which has ruled Singapore throughout its 50-year history as an independent nation and must call an election by January 2017, is wary of upsetting voters.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2015/02/24/piketty-meets-pragmatism-in-singapore-tax-hike/

But this cock (Trash?) forgets that the administration can raise GST after the GE, if no-one holds its feet to the fire on the issue in the run up to the GE.

**Mrs Chiam may have other issues that she thinks are more important and this batch of NMPs are not the kind to rock the boat. And I don’t blame them, if the co-driver (each MP getting $15,000 a month) sets a bad example, what can one expect?

How a SME bank could successfully operate

In Banks, Economy on 12/02/2015 at 2:08 pm

The u/m aricle in early Feb reminded me of something I read last yr about an SME bank in the UK

DBS Bank has launched a programme to provide financing to technology start-ups and expand capital-raising options for technopreneurs.

Tech start-ups can tap the new DBS venture debt programme for working capital, buying fixed assets and even project financing*.

Our SMEs (small and medium enterprises) are always KPKBing money not enough. Govt says got plenty of schemes. Why no use? SMEs reply that terms too stringent, and the people administering the schemes are clueless about their businesses. .

Well the UK, where SMEs too are cocal in complaining about funding, has the British Business Bank. It does things differently

BBB devolves responsibility for choosing its investments to private-sector expertise by allowing the Angel CoFund board, composed of independent bankers and investors, to make the investment decisions. “This is a financial strategy to complement the government’s industrial strategy”, says Mr Morgan. It also uses the expertise of peer-to-peer lenders like Funding Circle, to which it has given £40m. Mr Morgan says the bank can thereby avoid crowding out the private sector. Its investments are always in the equity of a business, but it never takes a majority share.

http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21627667-government-scales-up-help-small-businesses-angels-and-bankers

*To qualify, tech start-ups must be backed by DBS’s partner venture capitalists, who include Vertex Venture, Monk’s Hill Ventures and Golden Gate Ventures. They should have raised at least $1 million of Series A funding, been in operation for at least a year, been incorporated for at least two years and have demonstrated that their business model is commercially viable.

“Start-ups in Singapore primarily rely on venture capital to fund their operations,” DBS said in a statement on Thursday.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/business/banking/story/dbs-launches-venture-debt-programme-tech-start-ups-raise-funds-20150205#sthash.efDblYoB.dpuf

PM’s memory is not working

In Political governance on 20/01/2015 at 5:27 am

In what many would consider PM’s opening salvo in the GE campaign (though not me for the reasons stated here, I’ve changed my mind and think an election will be held next yr), our constructive, nation-building media, over the week end, carried reports of an iaudience  PM gave them.

Don’t know about you but lots of his comments upset me because they are self-serving rubbish that flies against the facts. As even thinking a lot  about them now gets my blood pressure into stroke territory, I’ll confine myself to commenting on a few of his commentss every day.

How not to depend on govt? 

PM said that S’poreans should only rely on the govt as a last resort: they should do things for themselves and not rely on govt.

Well when 37% of an ordinary working S’poreans’s monthly salary goes into his or hers CPF account, and the uses that the money, can be used is dictated by the govt, how not to depend on the govt?

And the high prices of private residential property (remember the state controls the supply of land) means that “affordable” public housing is the only option for S’poreans resulting in about 82% of S’poreans living in HDB flats. Again how not to depend on govt?

The govt designs the CPF system so that most S’poreans are dependent on the govt. So PM is at best being disengenous..

Electing gd MPs?

He should the best check and balance to his govt is to elect gd MPs.

Seems he has forgotten that the GRC system forces us to select a team of MPs some of whom are problematic: think the eye doctor who looks down on people that are not paid well and Kate Spade Tin.

His advice is only applicable in SMCs., not GRCs. where voters have to take a team, and where one or two ministers always head the team.

Immigration woes our fault?

PM said he regrets the fact that “Singapore did not build up its infrastructure quickly enough in anticipation of a population growth driven mainly by an influx of foreign workers”

This is what someone posted on Facebook

Come on PM, It is NOT Spore..it is the Govt U led that COCK up..after all WHO approves the policies and are decision makers that allows foreign workers to “tsunami” in here..Sporeans arh? …so let call a spade a spade….Your Cabinet Team LOST the PLOT, so imo, the BUCK stops with U, PM. U cock up BIG TIME. Period.

If this is the opening barrage of the GE, PM is firing blanks, not facts.

 

 

Pinoy and PRC diplomatic behaviour contrasted

In Uncategorized on 09/01/2015 at 4:58 am

(Or “Pinoy Pride at work: OK for Pinoys to threaten, insult S’poreans but not vice versa)

The Filipino embassy told a Filipino nurse to be “extra careful with his social media usage”*, days after the nurse, Edz Ello, made some insulting and threatening comments about S’porean on social media. He has alleged that he did not post the comments, alleging that he was hacked.

An intelligent TRE poster (glad to see more of them posting: too many fools talking cock posting rubbish) pointed out the difference between the official Pinoy response and the official Chinese response when a PRC juz flamed S’poreans:

Sunny Day: During dog incident, one of PRC embassy staff Madam Zhou gave stern rebuke to Sun Xu, had asked him to apologize to Singaporeans, NUS, his teachers and friends and everybody. So contrary to Pinoy govt response. You can be sure that Filipino govt soft action means they don’t disagree with ezo ello totally.

I’d add that China is a regional power and is seen by the US as threatening its regional and global hegemony; yet its officials knows how to behave towards a host country. So unlike the Pinoy officals here, whose country has to run crying and grovelling to the US whenever the Pinoy govt threaten China and get kicked in the face by China for their threats against China. And they still wanted in 2012 Chinese tourists to come gamble in Manila?  Btw, Chinese said the country is not safe.

What accounts for the arrogance of the diplomats and Ello here? They think they own the place juz because they think the first “P” in the “PAP” stands for “Pinoy”?

Whatever it is, we know where people like Ello get their inspiration: their diplomata, who refuse to condemn threatening and insulting behaviour when made by Pinoys but are quick to KPKB about“the few Singaporeans” who have lashed out, and condemned the blog that suggested abusing Filipinos.

“I think it was unfair and racist and discriminatory,” he said, adding that the blogger had still not been identified.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-28953147

(My take on the interview https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/pinoy-tua-kee-gives-the-finger-to-govt-meng-seng-2/)

Well shouldn’t he condemn the language used in Ello’s Facebook (even if Ello alleged it wasn’t him), by saying that guests must respect their hosts? Instead the embassy merely tells Ello to be “extra careful with his social media usage”: this could simply mean “keep yr threats and insults about S’poreans among the Pinoy community”?

Maybe the diplomats are like this

We Filipinos are famous for being onion-skinned or easily slighted at perceived insults. While it’s perfectly normal for us to taunt and criticize others, we can’t handle the same when it’s being hurled back at us. Incidents showcasing our extra-sensitivity to insults usually involve a foreigner making either a bonafide racist remark or a humorous jab at us Filipinos. True to form, our reactions would range from righteous indignation to excessive grandstanding. While it is alright to feel incensed, throwing a fit in front of the world would inevitably do us no good at all.

http://www.filipiknow.net/negative-traits-of-filipinos/

—-

*The Philippine embassy in Singapore has told a Filipino nurse to be “extra careful with his social media usage”, days after disparaging remarks about Singaporeans appeared on his Facebook account, which he said was hacked.

The Facebook post called Singaporeans “loosers” (losers) and expressed hope that “disators (disasters) will strike Singapore”. The Tan Tock Seng Hospital nurse has reported to the police that his account was hacked.

The Philippine embassy added that it has reiterated its previous advisories on the use of social media.

“Since the matter is under police investigation, the embassy advised the person concerned to cooperate fully with the SPF (Singapore Police Force).”

Tan Tock Seng Hospital has said it is working with the police on the investigation.

ziliang@sph.com.sg

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/philippine-embassy-reminds-tan-tock-seng-nurse-watch-his#xtor=CS1-10

 

Much ado about urns/ Where to buy in NE

In Property on 07/01/2015 at 4:27 am

Three pieces follow.

The first is from those KPKBing about the urns. My comments are interspersed. The other is a response from an intelligent TRE poster (Yup they do exist, though they are jeered by the rabble). The third tells of a better buy in the NE (Thanks for telling me about the area).

It’s all about “living environment”?/ Talking self-serving cock

The Singapore Mass Media has put up very negative report on us trying to portray us as some petty people who only care about our flat value and that is why we reject the columbarium. That is far from the truth.[Will say that wouldn’t they?]

I hereby represent the hundreds of affected stakeholders to put up the following statement:

1) We are unhappy and felt aggrieved by HDB’s misrepresentation by way of omission of material fact in their sale brochures. We reiterate that there was absolutely NO MENTION of columbarium in the sale brochures while the stated “Ancillary Service” phrase is so general that anyone who read that would have misconstrued as something else. Such definition can only be found in URA website and not HDB website at all. Any ordinary man would not have known how to get access to the details at all.

2) We are against such sales tactic as we should be treated fairly to be given FULL DISCLOSURE of information by the seller, HDB before we chose to buy the flat. We should have the right to make INFORMED choices and not short-changed with such omission of critical material information by HDB.

3) We are also very concerned about how HDB allowing a private commercial entity owned by a foreign public listed company to bid for the land gazetted for religious purposes. It is totally inappropriate for a commercial entity to make money out of any religion.

[Come on , tell us something new.]

4) According to High Court ruling, any entity that advance religion cause, should be subjected to Charity Act and put under the supervision of Commissioner of Charities. Apparently HDB has not made appropriate screening prior to the award of this land, which is meant for religious use, to a commercial entity.[What has this to do with the price of eggs?]

5) Commercial business should be restricted to land meant for commercial purposes, like industrial park. Land meant for religious purposes should be reserved to religious organizations registered in Singapore. This is to protect the interests of religious organizations as commercial entities would have more financial muscles to outbid them. It is totally unfair to these religious organizations which are Non-Profit Organizations to compete with Profit-oriented commercial entities in bidding for such limited land slated for religious purposes. [Gd point except that in traditional Chinese religion, there is no governing religious authority.]

6) Most of us are buying a flat as a HOME, not for property speculation. Thus, property resale value is least of our concern. Our main concern is the conduciveness of our living environment for our families. Thus the Main Stream Media has put up a totally misrepresentation of our plight and this is really a double whammy to us.[Come on, tell the truth. You are concerned about resale because a high-rise block containing urns does not affect the “living environment”. And you guys objected to a kindergarten. And are likely to object to an old folks recreation centre according to yr MP. You people think you are scholae Eng is it?] What we want is just a fair deal for our choice of home and we plead to the Main Stream Media not to put a double stabbing into our hearts and dignity by such grossly misreporting. [Nope MSM is right to slime you guys]

7) We are all law abiding citizens and we expect the Rule of Law to be adhered by the very institutions which are supposedly tasked to uphold the law and justice for citizens.

8) We sincerely hope that the relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Development, HDB and URA to look into the matter as soon as possible.

Thank you.

On Behalf of
Stakeholders, BTO Buyers.

An intelligent TRE poster responds

fernfoliage:

Addressing the points raised by the original poster.

1) You should have read the fine prints and clarify whatever you are not sure. Ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law.

2) What “such sales tactic”? You were INFORMED but when did not understand the information, you did not seek clarifications.

3) to 5)
Remember those days when the govt was in charge of everything and took care of everyone from cradle to grave? Well, you guys complained, criticised, condemned, cursed and swore at the govt at the slightest mistake it made. Now that the govt passes everything to the private sector, you guys complain about profit-making, commercialization. If the govt does not do it, the private sector also not allowed to do it, who will? Will you?

6) and 7) If you sincerely believe in what you have written, then just let the columbarium be. It is for the good of everyone, living and dead. Not only the healthy living but the sicked, the aged and the dead too have their rightful places in this country.

Rating: -70 (from 80 votes)
Best place in NE
Soccerbetting2:

Give up the Sengkang west way BTO flat loh . Buy the resale HDB nearest at Punggol loh .

Punggol going to have some more amenities coming up like all the coney island supposed to opened up this year . Wonder what is taking so long for them to open up Coney island situated at end of Punggol Road . A big shopping centre will opened by year 2017 at Punggol Central near the waterway . Another Safra will be opening think between year 2016/17 . Punggol has other facilities like golf driving range , supermarkets, a small Punggol Plaza, restaurants dining ,yacht club area …..etc. With a seaside view to provide for , certainly can consider .

 Rating: +22 (from 22 votes)

Pinoy tua kee gives the finger to govt & Meng Seng

In Economy on 01/01/2015 at 5:49 am

Remember earlier this yr, when GMS, Gilbert Goh and various anti-PAP paper warriors were proclaiming victory when the Pinoys called off their “trespass” (taz how GMS spun a Pinoy plan to hold a party at a public space in Orchard Rd)?

They were cock-a-hoop, trumpeting their “victory”. Pinoy pride was badly hurt.

Very recently, the Philippines’ ambassador to Singapore Antonio A Morales says that Filipinos are moving into more sectors of employment

The estimated number of Filipinos working in Singapore tripled in the past decade to about 167,000 as of 2013, according to Philippines census data.

,,,

Filipinos are willing to take on jobs for lower salaries, with working conditions unacceptable to Singaporeans.

The trend has made Filipinos “easier to exploit”, disadvantaging both them and Singaporeans, said migrant rights activist Jolovan Wham.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-28953147

And this at a time when the PAP adminitrastion is saying that it,s tightening FT employment rules. If so how come Pinoys are are moving into more sectors of employment

So it seems the Pinoy colomisation of S’pore continues despite what the PAP administration and Meng Seng says.

What do you think?

Btw here’s more about the PAP administration love of FTs, and Pinoys sliming us. I wrote this in July 2014 but decided not to publish it as I didn’t want to come across as anti-Pinoy (I like being served by Pinoy service staff), nor did I want to be associated a man who helped ensure the PAP’s preferred candidate won the presidential election (I had no issues with the Pinoys partying at Orchard Rd if they could meet the requirements).

But since the ambassador is raising the temperature with his comments (the embassy has form in this respect), I’ll add my my two-pence worth on the issue of Pinoys sliming us and the PAP’s administration love of FTs.

Pinoys vilify us

The education minister said last week [week before 26 July] it is important to go beyond understanding the “main races”.in embracing diversity.

“Singapore has thrived because of our openness to international trade flow, knowledge and cultures, all of which have brought us opportunities and progress. As Singapore moves towards a more diverse landscape, it is important that we continue to embrace diversity,” said Mr Heng.

“We also need to go beyond understanding the main races to respecting all people regardless of race, language or religion, who live and work in Singapore – for the happiness, prosperity and progress of our nation.”

Given that there are about 200,000 Pinoys working here, the largest group outside the “main races”, one can only assume, he is trying to tell us to be nice to the Pinoys.

No wonder there are Pinoys who think that the PAP stands for “Pinoy Action Party”.

It’s the Pinoys in PinoyLand who should learn to understand S’poreans.

Two recent examples of Pinoys defaming us.

Singaporean officials* has assured the Philippines their government is taking steps to address the hate campaign on Filipinos working there.

The assurance was made by the Singapore delegation who participated in Informal Consultations on the Philippines-Singapore Action Plan (PSAP).

[Source via TRE]: http://www.journal.com.ph/index.php/news/world/item/1432-singapore-vows-to-address-hate-campaign-on-filipinos]

Hate campaign against Pinoys meh?

So how come they were laughing and chatting away last week-end at Lucky Plaza. And Goh Meng Seng is still in HK, and quiet? Juz like Gilbert Goh. Surely if there is a hate campaign, these two men would be shouting themselves hoarse?

What more Pinoys in PinoyLand want? An excuse to burn our flag in PinoyLand and then give us two fingers? They not happy no get visas to come here to earn money and live in a place without fearing goons with guns. Are they being stirred by Pinoys here unhappy that what they tot were the Pinoy Action Party, Pinoy Minister, Pinoy Minister’s Office and Pinoy Police Force they make sure that Pinoys could party in a busy shopping area on a Saturday afternoon. https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/pinoys-still-ng-kum-guan-about-8-june-fiasco/

And this vilification of us is only the latest. A few weeks ago, former ambassador Roy Seneres said the OFW Family party-list will file a protest with the International Labor Organization for violations of relevant ILO conventions relative to the right of workers to decent work and to be treated as human beings not as slaves and/or chattels.

Seneres, founder of the party-list, was reacting to reports that Filipino service workers in Singapore are being put on display in malls in the city-state to attract prospective employers.

Singapore must come out with a clear-cut statement that they have stopped the despicable practice or else the OFW Family party-List will file a protest with the [ILO]” on the matter.

http://www.manilatimes.net/singapores-treatment-of-filipina-workers-hit/109168/

He obviously doesn’t read the newspapers or if he does, doesn’t trust what a S’pore-based diplomat said, or the S’pore govt.

This report appeared a day earlier in the same newpaper.

The Singaporean Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said a Filipino diplomat in Singapore cast doubt on an online news report that Filipina household workers were being displayed for sale at some of the city-state’s malls.

In a statement, MOM responded “to recent Filipino media reports, based on an online Al Jazeera story, about the treatment of Filipino foreign domestic workers (FDWs) while they are placed with employment agencies (EAs) in Singapore.”

The statement said “we note that when contacted by The Straits Times, the Filipino labor attaché in Singapore, Mr. Vicente Cabe, was quoted as saying that based on his observations, the online article ‘doesn’t seem to have basis’ and that while he saw some FDWs sitting on one side of a room at some agencies, waiting to be interviewed by clients, “ . . . it seems a bit exaggerated to say that there is anything wrong with that.”

The MOM said it visited the EAs in the two shopping centers concerned and did not find any inappropriate “displays of FDWs.”

Its statement added that “the Al Jazeera story also mentioned that some FDWs could be seen demonstrating household or care giving chores within the premises of EAs. As some EAs have training facilities in the same premises as their front offices, it is not unreasonable for FWDs to be performing such chores at the EA’s premises.”

Furthermore, “the same story also suggested that some FDWs were not treated well while in their EA’s care. MOM’s rules are clear that EAs have to ensure the well-being of FDWs in their case.”

The ministry said “inappropriate display of FDWs” at EAs’ premises or advertising them as being “available for hire at cheap or discounted prices” are unacceptable practices. MOM requires EAs to be responsible and accord basic respect in their practices to both their clients—the employer and the FDW—and expects them to exercise sensitivity when marketing their fees or services.”

http://www.manilatimes.net/singapore-ph-attache-denies-maids-sold-in-malls/108832/

Btw,  S’poreans don’t go round decribing mixed-parentage S’poreans as mongrels. Pinoys call mixed race Pinoys “mongrels”.

http://www.interaksyon.com/article/27168/this-azkal-barks-i-am-100-percent-pinoy

Juz go home pls: Bank president Jim Yong Kim has described the Philippines as the next “Asian miracle” and a global model in fighting corruption, as it emerges from decades as a regional economic laggard.

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/event-planning-pinoy-style/

*I pass no comment on whether our officials agreed there was a hate campaign. I sincerely hope that our officials will always defend S’pore and S’poreans against such comments.

 

Want to win big PM? Juz do the right things

In Economy, Political governance on 08/12/2014 at 4:22 am

Singapore’s next General Election will be a “deadly serious” fight between the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) and the opposition … every seat, GRC and SMC will be a national contest, and not just a local one … every seat will be a General Election, not a by-election. (CNA)

Ah yah, why PM like to talk big and cock? Juz do the right, fair things by S’poreans and trust S’poreans to be fair-minded. After all, daddy, for all his bullying and intellectual thuggery, made sure public housing was really, really affordable. and the heartlanders willingly gave the PAP their votes. Earlier, he made sure that the streets were kept clean, portholes mended, and clean water, electricity and sanitation provided at affordable prices.provided. And the votes followed. (and taz why I don’t begrudge him the office that many say he has in the Istana.)

An example comes to mind where PM can ensure that his administration does what’s fair and reasonable and that will benefit most S’poreans.

The price of oil has fallen from almost US$115 a barrel in June to around US$70.

This fall in oil prices makes it a no-brainer for a fair, reasonable govt, with a GE coming, and S’poreans unhappy with stagnant real wages for the PAP administration to make sure that public transport fares don’t rise in 2015*, and if oil remains near US$70, in 2016.

After all, SMRT’s Vice-President for Corporate Information and Communications Patrick Nathan said in November: “We seek a better alignment of fares and operating costs, and will be submitting our application for a fare review in the coming weeks.”

Well with oil at US$70, one of the two major component for operating costs, is dropping rapidly. The other,btw, is wages.

So is there a need for fares to rise in 2015? Bet you when fares are raised, as they are likely to, the excuse will be that fares were held down when the price of oil was above US$100. So only fair to raise them now.

Let’s see if the PAP administration is smart enough to deviate from the Hard Truth of “Always make S’poreans pay and pay”, what with a GE coming and S’poreans facing stagnant real wages. Anti-PAP born-losers should be hoping that the PAP sticks to its hardest of Hard Truths.

———–

*The Public Transport Council (PTC) on Wednesday (Nov 19) announced it has started the annual fare review exercise.

Public transport operators may submit their applications for fare review to the PTC for consideration by Dec 19. The decision will be announced in the first quarter of 2015, according to the press release.

To evaluate applications robustly, the PTC will take guidance from the fare review mechanism and fare adjustment formula recommended by the Fare Review Mechanism Committee and accepted by the Government in Nov 2013. (CNA)

The new fare adjustment formula is now based on core inflation (excluding property and car prices), average wage increase and an energy component.

“News” and “no-news” that annoyed me

In Humour, Malaysia on 07/12/2014 at 4:45 am

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong has received a “clean bill of health” from his doctor after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer, and is now back at work. (CNA)

You mean he working? Doing what? Talking cock is work?

2 Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng told CNA that even though he gives people the impression that he is a very active and sociable person, he is actually an introvert.

“I think I give people the impression that I’m a very active, sociable person… doing a lot of things. But I’m actually quite an introvert. Really! It’s just that I’m active online so there are certain posts people remember and they form certain impressions about me,” said Mr Baey chuckling.

As TRE pointed out,  netizens have nicknamed him “Selfie King” because of his penchant for taking photos of himself at various events and at every opportunity, posting them online. He frequently makes postings of himself on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, sometimes multiple times a day.

3 Bit rich, what coming from a M’sian publication that is in same group as NST which promote special rights for the “right” race:.

“What does this policy say to us? That Filipinos can be maids but not servers? Indians are good for being construction coolies but we don’t want to see them as hotel staff? This is why you see Mandarin-speaking servers struggling to pronounce Palak Paneer across the curry houses of Singapore.”

I was juz talking to a retired Bumi financier and he was musing that Bank Negara has never had a Chinese governor, despite many capable deputy Chinese governors.

4 In an interview, PM Lee said that his children “have not yet” expressed an interest to enter politics.

When asked if he would influence or encourage his children to join politics, Mr Lee said, “They will have to make choices.”

“Every child is different. Of course parents would wish for their children to be successful but they all have different natures. Some may be more interested in arts while others could be keen on computing or science. This is something that will have to be developed based on their preferences.” (PM Lee was interviewed by Yang Lan on Beijing Satellite TV while he was in Beijing for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit last month but aired here last Sunday)

So he telling us that he trying to persuade one of his sons to go go into politics? Like the way LKY persuaded him to get into politics? To be fair to him, the rumours are that that his wife has political ambitions for one of her sons. It’s also rumoured that his bro’s wife has political ambitions for one of her sons. Rumours also say that the bros are really relaxed about their sons not wanting to S’pore.

The absence of reports on the following is

Last Saturday was another Return Our CPF gig at Hong Lim Green. The MSM didn’t report it. But neither did TOC, ot TRE or Roy and New Citizen H3. So did anyone turn up?

And still no word from the WP on the arrears issue. Mgt systems must really be lousy.

And I’m surprised Goh Meng Seng is not attacking WP on this issue. But then maybe he focuses only on of inconsequential matters, not serious issues.

Now this had me smiling: Roy says  he is stopping blogging. His verbal diarrhea finally sucumbed to SingHeath’s tablets. (subsidised)?

But then Roy talks cock? Remember his research that PM stole our CPF money? Then he said he was talking rubbish and that the allegation wasn’t true?

Have a gd week.

Btw, if this post sounds familiar it’s ’cause I first posted something similar on Friday. Something went wrong and it disappeared. It ended up between two posts, days ago. So I reposted it with some amendments.

Why SGX keeps on messing-up? Too many FT cooks in the kitchen?

In Infrastructure, Uncategorized on 04/12/2014 at 1:25 pm

It has three FTs in the most impt areas:

— CEO is ang moh FT, brought in for his tech expertise;

— president (COO) is Indian FT (Anyone knows his background?); and

— Chief Operations and Technology Officer is Indon FT (Brought in for his financial expertise*?)

Btw, when the first computer cock-up happened and TRE KPKBed about the Chief Operations and Technology Officer’s lack of hands-on IT experience, I pointed out to Richard Wan that by that line of reasoning, Richard, an IT scholar, shouldn’t be handling editorial matters at TRE.

At the National Youth Integration Forum on 22 November, Social and Family Development Minister Chan Chun Sing spoke to some 300 local and foreign tertiary students at the ITE College East, urging them (and other S’poreans) to embrace the opportunity to learn from foreigners, “They can share different perspectives and provide new ideas. The interplay of those ideas with our ideas will help Singapore stand out as a global city.”

So S’poreans can learn from these three-highly paid Foreign Trashes that its OK to balls-up** continuously and still not get the sack?

Bet you some true-blue S’porean manager will be held responsible for the IT cock-ups. Taz why SGX still has Singkies,  need scapegoats for FTs. FTs can do no wrong.

Pmk should say to these three FTs:

We command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.

Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! … lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go!

———-

*Going by his CV (courtesy of TRE)

In September 2012, SGX announced the appointment of Timothy Utama as its Chief Operations and Technology Officer, effective 1 December 2012 [Link]. Mr Utama joined SGX’s senior management team and reported to the Chief Executive, Magnus Bocker.

“We are pleased to welcome Mr Utama to our management team. His diverse and global experience and knowledge will help further improve our operations and technology capabilities,” Mr Bocker then said.

Mr Utama actually started his career in banking with Bank of Trade (LippoBank) as Senior Credit Analyst/Account Executive in Los Angeles from 1989 to 1991 [Link].

In 1991, he joined Standard Chartered. For the next 13 years, he held various positions there:

  • SCB Indonesia from 1991 to 1992
  • Profit Improvement Unit Officer SCB Regional Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia from 1992 to 1993
  • Head of Trade Services from 1993 to 1995
  • Senior Manager Middle Market from 1995 to 1997
  • Senior Manager, Trade Products Group Trade Banking from 1997 to 1998
  • Head of Service Delivery from 1998 to 2000
  • Head of Global Clients from 2000 to 2002
  • Head of Banking Operations from 2002 to 2003
  • Senior Manager, Service Excellence from 2003 to 2004

He then moved to ANZ Bank in 2004 for the next 4 years:

  • Head of Trade Service Delivery from 2004 to 2007
  • Head of Trade Sales from 2007 to 2008

He rejoined Standard Chartered in 2008 as the Head of Wholesale Banking Operation of Standard Chartered India based in Chennai.

After his stint with Standard Chartered, he joined Indonesian bank PT Bank Permata Tbk in 2010. There, he was on its Executive Board of Directors as their Technology and Operations Director from 2010 to 2012. In December 2012, he jumped ship to SGX where he now serves as its Chief Operations and Technology Officer.

Mr Utama holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accountancy and Finance from Texas A&M University, College Station, USA.

**Partial list of balls-up

— attempted takeover of ASX

— Thai exchange now biggest exchange in SE Asia

— penny stock fiasco

— not many major IPOs

— two computer failures in two months

 

Why WP Low is silent about almost everything/ Silence is no longer golden

In Political governance on 20/11/2014 at 4:18 am

Amended on 21 November 6.40pm to reflect MND’s explanation of the law. My “honest mistake”).

“[I]t is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood: there will always be some who misunderstand you”, Karl Popper*, an influential philosopher of the 2oth century said.

PAP’s ministers (think Desmond Lee**) and elders (think Temasek’s chairman**, and ex-minister and ex-NTUC leader), Roy Ngerng and Goh Meng Seng should memorise Karl Popper’s words because they talk too much cock. .

It’s obvious that WP Low, the man of Tao, takes these words to heart and opts to remain silent most of the time: he cannot be misunderstood because there is nothing to misunderstand seems to be his reasoning.

Trouble is that the silence of Low (and by extension that of the WP because it too practices silence, even PritamS) nowadays is itself is now being interpreted, given its number of MPs and NCMPS it has; often in ways that don’t flatter. Example from TRE sometime back

ake the AIMgate for example. They knew of AIM but kept quiet until they were given bad report. Then started to talk of AIM in disjointed way. Took netizens in particular Alex Au and Voiddecker and Lucky Tan to marhall the arguments. If this my watch-dog, I’d put it down for not doing its job. If this my jaga, I’d sack him, suspecting he bakat-bakat with robbers. Choice of term co-driver is apt. He is part of team: Team PAP that is.

“I am pleased that all the Prime Minister has to say about the WP is to lament that we have not done enough in Parliament.” ~WP chief Low Thia Khiang telling us he pleased with KPI that PM and him agreed behind “clsed doors”****

So I hope the WP will soon explain why arrears collection in its area is so bad***. It’s taking too long time to get the facts, something Auntie is saying WP will do before commenting. PritamS deleted the relevant files? An honest mistake, or  the usual incompetency from Mr Singh?

——-

*Another saying, one that encapsulates his contribution to intellectual thought, particularly the philosophy of science, “No number of sightings of white swans can prove the theory that all swans are white. The sighting of just one black one may disprove it.”

Scientists now look for black swans and if they cannot find any, they can feel reasonably confident that their theory is right, although not yet proved. It is, in the present state of knowledge, the best approximation to the truth.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2002/apr/27/artsandhumanities.highereducation1

**”Before merger, Aljunied had an operating surplus of $3.3m. Within two years, the merged AHPETC’s financial position has deteriorated rapidly. The operating surplus of $3.3m Aljunied had in FY10 had turned into an operating deficit of $734,000 in FY12, ” Desmond Lee.

Temasek’s chairman said the same thing. Mr Lim Boon Heng said that the WP-run town council’s (AHPETC) swing from an operating surplus to a deficit in the short span of 3 years is worrying. “It begs many questions,” he told reporters.

Well they ignored the fact that the WP did not inherit any surplus. Rightly, the surplus after an election has been locked up to ensure prudence. .

According to the Town Council  Act if after an election, the new MPs are from the same political party as those of the previous town council, then 80% of its surpluses shall be transferred to the sinking fund.

If, however, as in the case of Aljunied, the new MPs elected are from a different political party, then “all its surpluses” – ie, 100% of the surpluses – “shall be transferred to the prescribed sinking funds of the Town Council.”, Section 34 (4) of the act, should the area of a town be changed due to electoral boundary changes, the 80% and not 100% figure applies.

Under the Act, it states: “Where the boundaries of any constituency within a Town are altered under the Parliamentary Elections Act and there is an election in any or every new constituency so formed …  the Town Council shall transfer 80% of its surpluses to the prescribed sinking funds of the Town Council.”

***The charge by MND is that the “sharp decline” in the S&CC arrears situation in AHPETC as being “of grave public concern”. Aljunied’s S&CC arrears rate rose from 2.6% in FY10 to 8.4% in FY11 and FY12, after Aljunied merged with Hougang. This was significantly above the national norm of about 3%, the MND noted.

The arrears rate rose further to 29.4% at the end of April 2013. “From May 2013, the TC stopped submitting its monthly S&CC arrears report altogether, despite repeated reminders.”

To me as an honrary club treasurer, once upon a time, this doesn’t look gd. But the devil is in the details. So I’ll not pass judgement on the WP until I hear its side of the story. But its silence is deafening.

****He goes on, A good guard dog need not be the loudest barker. Most loud barkers are mad dogs and will either give you rabies or get put down if the neighbours don’t call the police or poison the dog first. If I want to have a good guard dog guarding my home and family, I’d get one that is smart and sensitive and knows how to protect my family best. That said, I certainly won’t vote in anyone I deem as volatile to represent me in parliament and to run my country. I will vote in someone with heart and think for the country while having a rational, guided and dignified approach. In any debates and arguments, the one who loses the temper first loses his audience. WP is matured and rational. They bid their time
proper. If they eventually have to run the country, that’s how the people can trust them to do so.

Things go better with Coke in Indonesia

In Indonesia on 08/11/2014 at 4:44 am

Coca-Cola to Buy Stake in Indonesian Unit for $500 Million. Coca-Cola will come to the aid of its Australian affiliate Coca-Cola Amatil by taking a 29 percent stake in a struggling Indonesian business for $500 million, Reuters reports. The deal effectively values the Indonesian unit at $1.7 billion.

Chart: Quenching Indonesia's thirst

Why TRE can’t raise $/ Only rich S’poreans are optimistic

In Economy on 26/09/2014 at 4:37 am

TRE ranters really have no money to fund TRE

In its report on the  ANZ-Roy Morgan Singapore Consumer Confidence Index*, ANZ said

–[T]he confidence from the poorest in Singapore appears to have stagnated …one possible reason is that most of the wealth of the lower income earners is tied to their houses, and property prices have softened.

[S]ome 44 per cent of respondents – down two percentage points from a month ago – expect Singapore to have “good times” economically over the next 12 months.

“The fact that less than half of respondents expect Singapore to have ‘good times’ economically over the next 12 months, is perhaps the strongest economic indicator of how average Singaporeans are reacting to the myriad challenges of current policies aimed at restructuring and reinvigorating the Singaporean economy.” 

— The supply-side restructuring of the economy may be hurting some of the lowest income households as productivity isreplacing manpower.”  (BT report 25 September)

So I was most probably wrong when I accused TRE  ranters of being talk cock, sing song free-loading cheap-skates, refusing to fund their favourite site and their heloo Roy; they really have no money to help anyone because most of the wealth of the lower income earners is tied to their houses, and property prices have softened. But are too proud to admit it, because if they do, they’ll be asked, “If so smart to criticise people who make money i.e. PAP ministers), how come you so poor?”

No wonder they hate the PAP, and the S’poreans (Kong Hee, Sun Ho) and FTs who lead the gd life. Maybe they should spend less time ranting on TRE, working harder to improve their skills and wages. Or juz have this hobby http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-28810578. Oh forgot, they have no money. Their birds will die of malnutrition.

Seriously, this survey does confirm two things thing that the TRE ranters and other anti-PAP activists (and others, though nor PAPpies and their allies in the constructive, nation-building media) have been saying, many S’poreans don’t expect Singapore to have ‘good times’ economically and most of the wealth of the lower income earners is tied to their houses, and property prices have softened.

—-

More on the Index and ANZ Bank’s commentary:

[The Index] released on Wednesday, rose slightly in September from a month ago to 120.7 points.

The slight bump in confidence over the month – up just 1.7 points – showed more hopeful assessment of the financial situations of those polled.

This contrasts with a sharp 16.9-point dive in the index in August compared to a month ago.

The index reading now sits just below the 2014 year-to-date average of 121.1 points, with the report made public early this month.

Notably, 27 per cent of respondents said that their families are better off financially than a year ago – this is up seven percentage points from a month ago.

More respondents also think financial prospects will improve for their families in a year’s time, with 33 per cent of those polled seeing the glass as half full, up five percentage points from a month ago.

But a closer look at the numbers showed that the gains in the perception of current household income from a year ago are concentrated in the highest income quintiles, ANZ said.

Daniel Wilson, an ANZ economist who co-authored the report, pointed out separately that while income growth here was stronger on a percentage basis for the lower income, compared to the top earners – at about 35 per cent versus about 25 per cent over the past five years – the dollar gains translate to S$556 and S$5,033 respectively.

The disparity is less stark with their views of the economy over the next 12 months, though there remains a small skew towards high-income households.

 

 

 

 

 

More evidence PM is clueless about ordinary life in S’pore

In Political governance on 29/08/2014 at 4:39 am

It’s not juz eating cockles with mee siam which incidentally is at least an attempt in fusion food: Malay with Chinese.

Recently, PM was criticised by the usual anti-PAP cyber warriors, for comments he made at a dialogue session moderated by DBS CEO Piyush Gupta;  comments on the “divisive nature of the internet”. Actually I think, their comments show how self-centred are the critics.

This is because they missed something very important that he also said, while focusing on something that even my dogs* know is a PAP Hard Truth: “Internet is bad for the PAP. So rubbish and smear it.”

BT reported on 23 August that at the above gig, PM said “Our population is aging, we have to take care of our old folks, and give them assurance and security. But the purpose of life is not assurance and security. The purpose of life is to use that security in order to achieve something new and different, and do better than the people who came before.” Emphasis mine..

Well the words I highlighted show that he’s clueless (or insensitive?) about the importance of “assurance and security” to S’poreans, whether they vote for the PAP or not.

“Assurance and security” is something PMETs and their families (and the poor) need because their “purpose in life” is to pay-off their “affordable” 25-year HDB mortgages, or private property mortgages, and have enough to live on in retirement without “downgrading”, “lease-backs” (Uncle Leong shows how unfair are the terms) .or moving overseas (which is a great idea except that most S’poreans juz don’t want to move).

Because of “market-based” pricing mechanisms, is the “correct” pricing (Think CoEs and public housing),  pricing out of reach housing and cars for those without access to cheap credit? I suspect it is. 

When you think about it, govt must be thinking of “controlled” market, not “free” markets. .In both the property and CoE markets, the govt decides the availability of the product. Only the price is “free”. This is especially true of land: the government controls the supply of land for development, auctioning parcels at its own discretion to developers. The price that developers pay helps decide the value it then puts on land that is used to build HDB flats on. In the case of CoEs, there is, we are assured, a formula.

If the usual suspects had not been so self-centred, they could have accused the PM that his”$2m” annual salary, and his privileged background makes him clueless or indifferent, or boh chap about what matters most. And they would have a reasonable point.

——

*Dogs have the intelligence of a five-year old child. Better still, they can sniff out s**t. They’ll bark loudly at one of Roy’s and Hui Hui’s gigs. But will fall silent and wag their tails when Uncle Leong talks.

 

 

If MOM correct about CPF, why need FTs, growing population? Cont’d

In CPF, Financial competency on 15/08/2014 at 4:23 am

Someone claiming to be a civil servant (and ex-reporter) replied to an article of mine on the above, As he has some good points, I tot I’d share it. My comments follow.

I’ll answer briefly the two questions you posed.

Firstly, why we need a larger population if each individual saves for his own retirement. Strictly speaking, we don’t. What we need is a larger *working* population because only those who have active incomes pay taxes. The taxes collected is used to run the country. It is simply not tenable nor sustainable to run a country with *both* a shrinking pool of tax revenue and a growing proportion of retirees.

For instance, even with steady population numbers, we expect the size of our law enforcement to maintain its strength (if already adequate). Our law enforcement staff is mainly supported by tax payers. Retirees generally enjoy their services but do not pay for the police. With waning tax revenues, it would be reasonable to cut funding and strength of our law enforcement agencies. And it stands to reason that crime rates would go up.

The same reasoning can be applied to health care, defense, or education expenses. Retirees don’t pay for these (other than a token co-payment).

Secondly, why the need for minimum sum and CPF Life. In my opinion, the Government is trying to be tactful in stating their reasons. I’d be more blunt here. Simply stated, the minimum sum is a proxy for your financial acuity throughout your working life. Financially savvy individuals would, by the time they retire, have a nest egg many times the minimum sum. Folks like you would be in that category. The Government does not have to worry for these folks.

Conversely, if you hadn’t even been able to save the minimum sum, what basis does the Government have to believe that you will be able to manage your own money to sustain you till death and not burden the rest of the population? If someone hadn’t been financially successful during their most productive years, would you believe that he is more likely to multiply his retirement account, or if given a chance, misspend or “mis-invest” his money. What then? What if they have no children or their children couldn’t support them or are themselves retired. Are you willing to support these folks for the rest of their life?

You yourself mentioned that life expectancy is much greater than before. That means whatever savings a retiree has would have to last for a longer time. If someone hadn’t sufficiently planned for his own retirement, what makes you think he could plan for his sustenance till death?

The views expressed here are mine and mine alone.

Whatever it is, it ain’t brief. So there goes his/her “briefly”.

Absolutely correct on first point though. My question was aimed at hopefully drawing out this answer.

This answer shows the BS (OK “incompleteness”, “economy with the truth”) that is the govt’s explanation here:

..a pension system. They collect taxes or get citizens to contribute to a social security fund. This pooled monies is then paid out to citizens who reach a certain age. However, many of these systems are facing challenges, because those who are young are now paying for the old. As most countries age, there are fewer and fewer young people paying for more and more aged people …
In Singapore, we have the CPF. Rather than pool all our monies together, every individual saves for his own retirement via his personal individual CPF account.
(Emphasis is mine)
Whether the Western system or ours, there is a need for “shared services’, MOM conveniently ignores.
It’s this kind of “answer” that gets me annoyed. S’poreans deserve better explanations.
On the second point, chap’s very cocksure: I’d be more blunt here. Simply stated, the minimum sum is a proxy for your financial acuity throughout your working life. Ever heard of the fickle finger of fate? “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”
Seriously, he has a point. Recently FT reported
Behavioural economist Dan Ariely, meanwhile, says it is “illusory” to expect education to lead to better financial outcomes. He points to a 2014 meta-analysis of 201 prior studies on the subject that found financial education had virtually no effect on subsequent financial behaviour. This is largely because most people forget what they have learnt within 20 months.

Mr Ariely therefore recommends a degree of compulsion. People should have to buy some insurance against longevity risks just as they are required to buy a basic level of car insurance, he says.

The problem is the govt’s solution, CPF Life. We juz don’t know if it’s any gd: black box calculations and no protection against default (yr CPF Life, it dies, you die). Sometime soon I’ll give blog further on these points.

As to Kee Chui’s *Population figures – nobody knows” comments last week: This is what the moderator at the event where he spoke (and a respected economist) posted on Facebook Chan Chun Sing, this is what

As an economist all I can say is that it’s not a very helpful answer.

A final population of below 4 million implies a drastic collapse of the economy not seen even in the Great Depression

10 million implies an impossibly crowded, highly unequal, socially divided society.

That we want to look after our citizens, or provide good jobs for our young is an independent truism.

No comment on an issue that is a key determinant of long term well being for future generations?

Gau Siam!

 

 

 

Roy Ngereg and the silence of the FT lovers

In Uncategorized on 22/06/2014 at 4:48 am

Remember Kirsten Han, wimmin of AWARE (diss MSmen also: all their male partners FTs is it?), William Wan and lots of FT lovers were quick to support the PAP govt in accusing S’poreans of the “X” word? Where’s the evidence of increased xenophobia? Yes a bit of hot, filthy, vulgar, smelly air, but I don’t see S’poreans beating up Pinoy Pride provocateurs for example, let alone gunning them down. If S’poreans in Manila or Cebu had behaved like these Pinoys here, thed’d be gunned down and our flag burnt. Reflect on that the Pinoy embassy and stop playing the victim game to justify yr cushy jobs.

Take the recent “hate” posting that has generated lots of noise. It was puerile, offensive in parts but hateful? Nope it wasn’t  In fact I tot that the suggestion that asking Pinoy cashier (not many nowadays: not gd use of their great skills in selling and customer service) if insecticide killed Pinoys, then saying one meant cockroaches not Pinoys, was wicked.

As to the one about not wanting to be served by Pinoys, it showed how dumb the writer was:

— I love being served by Pinoys, they know how to do “service with a smile” unlike people like Roy’s M’sian Cina gf; and

— the eatery can ask the requester to leave, publicise the fact, scoring points with MoM and the FT lovers.

But there is mostly silence from these FT lovers.when it comes to supporting Roy, as this TRE poster pointed out,

Why no civic staement ?:

Only MARUAH issued press statement ? What about the rest from the civil society group who are so quick to scold S’poreans for being xenophobic & racist ?? Where are:
1. Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE),
2. Beyond the Border,
3. Behind the Men,
4. Function 8,
5. Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME),
6. LeftWrite Center,
7. Project X,
8. Sayoni,
9. Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign,
10. Think Centre,
11. Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2)
12. Workfair.

and the individaul:
Fikri Alkhatib, Damien Chng, Ian Chong, Jean Chong, Chong Si Min, Kirstan Han, Farhan M Idris, Godwin Koay, Lynn Lee, Siew Kum Hong*, Constance Singam, Alvin Tan Cheong Kheng, Jolene Tan, Teng Qian Xi, Shelley Thio, Teo Soh Lung, Vincent Wijeysingha**, Mark Wong De Yi, Wong Pei Chi, June Yang Yajun, Yap Ching Wi and Rachel Zeng.

Where are your statements, why so quiet ?

And then there was the wannabe NMP for FTs, defender of Anton Casey and FT drinks-supplier (not unemployed S’poreans as has been suggested to him):

Chris K:

Oi, William Wan where is your “kindness”?

Why they silent about true blue S’poreans that many S’poreans think kanna bullied? He not FT is it?

It would be nice if these people and organisations think of how easy and unfair it is to accuse fellow S’poreans of xenophobia’ when they try to curry favour with an otherwise hostile govt. But why should they? FTs are no threat to their own jobs. pay, or standard of living. They are to many S’poreans.

For me as a retiree, the more FTs the better (wage repression keeps a lid on price increases) but I see the ill effects on working S’poreans (Yup not so cynical like “abc”). I hope the FT lovers too look beyond their narrow economic and financial interests, and “ang mohs know best” attitude.

———

*Note that Siow is an active member of Maruah. So not fair to include him among FT lovers only. He has also spoken out on FB against the defamation action.

**He too has supported Roy. Likewise unfair to include him.

 

PM is clueless about the WP & PAP

In Political governance on 02/06/2014 at 4:45 am

Sun Tzu said, If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.

Going by what he said last week, when and Low Thia Khiang engaged in a jaw-jaw in Parliament  on constructive politics, WP’s stand on major policy issues and the role of the opposition in parliament, PM doesn’t know the enemy and the PAP. So how can he fix anyone?

He said:

It’s an eloquent explanation for why the WP has been inarticulate, about many things. In a serious parliament, the Government presents its policies. The Opposition presents its alternatives. The WP may not have alternatives on every issue; it may not have a full range of all the complexities of designing an HDB scheme or MediShield scheme. You do have a responsibility to say which direction are we going. And that direction has to be set clearly – not to explain to the PAP, but to explain to Singaporeans what you stand for.

Err except that in a parliamentary democracy (I’m assuming S’pore is one, not a defacto one-party state), the opposition spends most of its time after losing a general election criticising the govt, and its policies. It only starts proposing alternatives maybe one yr before the next general election; and that only because it wants to present itself as a credible alternative to the govt.

Now the WP has made it clear that it isn’t ready for power and will at best be part of Team PAP if the PAP doesn’t win a parly majority. Nothing about teaming up with the other opposition parties.

So there really isn’t the need of presenting alternatives. And our PM should know it, and he should know that S’poreans know this too. The WP is uniquely S’porean: it doesn’t want to be the driver. It’s happy being a self-appointed co-driver.

And the following show that a Catholic High, NJC boy has problems understanding the principles of Tao that Low is using https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/low-shows-the-usefulness-of-non-action/ (’cause dad’s a legalist? https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/lao-tse-and-hard-truths/):

I hope he takes an equally reasonable approach when it comes to election rallies because the WP approach has been to be extremely reasonable – indeed low profile – in Parliament but come election time to turn into tigers and heroes.

It’s an eloquent explanation for why the WP has been inarticulate, about many things. In a serious parliament, the Government presents its policies. The Opposition presents its alternatives. The WP may not have alternatives on every issue; it may not have a full range of all the complexities of designing an HDB scheme or MediShield scheme. You do have a responsibility to say which direction are we going. And that direction has to be set clearly – not to explain to the PAP, but to explain to Singaporeans what you stand for.

And

[A]fter all this complicated explanation, I don’t know whether Mr Low Thia Khiang still stands by what was said in Parliament in the White Paper debate last year… But after telling me you can massage this and some people can do (with) less and others will need more – that’s easy to say, who’s going to do the massaging? Of course, the Government. And that, is the mark of a sub-standard Opposition.”

If PM doesn’t understand that WP Low is a follower of Lao Tze, then the PAP is in trouble.

And it’s not that PM understands himself or the PA.

It’s a bit rich for PM to say:

I think the record will speak for itself, when we make a shift we acknowledge a shift. When the WP changes position they pretend they haven’t – that is the difference.

And

We have to call a spade a spade. If we have changed position and your previous position was wrong, say so. If you hold by your position, have your guts to reaffirm it and take the consequences. But to weasel away, play with words, avoid the issue and then claim to be responsible, that is what we fear can drive Singapore’s politics into the same place where many other countries have gone.

As Lao Tze WP Low said

Talking about the WP flip-flopping on foreign workers issue… In any case, I also noted that when the PAP has to make a policy U-turn, they call it policy shift. I don’t know whether that is a shift or it’s a flip-flop.

He could have highlighted other PAP semantics like “evolving” (public tpt sys policies are “evolving”) or “moving on” (“Let’s forget the cock-up. This is an order”)?”

But Low was talking rubbish when he said, This is the mark of a responsible Opposition not to jam up the Government; allowing the Government – after giving our view, debating it – allowing the Government to move forward, not to jam up the Government. It is a mark of a responsible Government and a mark of first world Parliament”.

WP can’t jam p anything. The PAP’s majority (more than two-thirds) means it can do what it likes. And there’s nothing the WP can do about it. So long as the PAP has a two-thirds majority in parliament, it can do what it likes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

—-

*Lee Hsien Loong and Workers’ Party chief Low Thia Khiang engaged in a verbal sparing in Parliament on 28 May on constructive politics, WP’s stand on the big issues as well as the role of opposition in parliament.

Wah lan, FTs getting their very own NMP?

In Political governance on 21/05/2014 at 4:53 am

This tot crossed my mind when I read that the general secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM), Dr William Wan, is applying for the post of Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP). He told the media that his nomination papers were submitted yesterday (14 May).

SKM’s mission is to inspire graciousness through spontaneous acts of kindness, thus making life more pleasant for everyone [Link]. The patron of SKM is PM Lee Hsien Loong and its adviser is Minister Lawrence Wong.

As to why he could be a Trojan Horse (albeit an unwitting and unintended one) for FTs, here is the evidence that made me conclude (reasonably I hope) that he believes,  “In S’pore, FTs are more equal than S’poreans”.

— Dr Wan came out to defend Anton Casey (‘SKM condemns ‘online lynching’ of Anton Casey‘).

The Straits Times then carried an article by Dr Wan in which he condemned the online behaviour of Singaporeans. He felt that Singaporeans had shown a lack of empathy towards Anton Casey.

Casey had described Singapore MRT commuters as “poor people”. He said, “Normal service (after getting his Porsche back from the workshop) can resume, once I have washed the stench of public transport off me FFS!” (FFS is an acronym for “for f**k’s sake”.)

In his article, Dr Wan lamented that “something has gone wrong with us Singaporeans”. He said incidents like Anton Casey “reiterate the need for us to reassess our social media habits”. Defending Casey, Dr Wan surmised that he was perhaps “simply being thoughtless and careless” when he posted the offensive remarks … (TRE)

— He ignored suggestions to show that he cared for S’poreans down on their luck by doing for them a totful, gracious act that he did for FTs.

[T]o show empathy for foreign workers, SKM and Coca-Cola Singapore delivered free cans of Coke to foreign construction workers at a high-rise work site via drones [Link].

Dr Wan said, “What we hope to do is to encourage Singaporeans to make showing appreciation to foreign workers part of our daily lives.” (TRE).

I applaud him (and Coke) for providing the foreign manual workers with cold drinks. It was a totful, gracious gesture.

But I find it strange that he then ignored suggestions that he should arrange for some drinks for S’poreans too. I’ll let TRE tell the story:

TRE has suggested that perhaps he should show empathy for his displaced fellow Singaporeans too (‘How about showing empathy for displaced SG workers?‘).

One suggestion would be to get his volunteers to hand out cans of Coke to Singaporeans seeking employment help at the Workforce Development Agency. There is no need to use any high-tech flying drones in this case – his volunteers just need to stand at the door and give out canned drinks to our fellow Singaporeans who need help and comfort.

He does totful, gracious gestures only for FTs? Doesn’t charity begin at home?

When it was reported that PM got flak for saying on the occasion of an Indian festival: “Singapore belongs to all of us, Singaporeans, new arrivals, people who are on permanent residence here, people who are on employment pass here.”*, I tot that the complainants were going too far. I tot they read too much in the word “belonging” and were being extremely petty and mean.

But, if as it is likely, William Wan, gets to be an NMP, I now can understand and even sympathise with those S’poreans unhappy with the PM’s comments, even if I disagree with their views and pettiness.

BTW, wonder why PM left out those on S Passes and work permits, many of whom are Pinoys, and Indians when he said, “Singapore belongs to all of us, Singaporeans, new arrivals, people who are on permanent residence here, people who are on employment pass here.”? Very strange given that he was talking on the occasion of an Indian festival and given the data

[T]here has been a significant increase for S Pass holders between Dec 2011 to Dec 2013.

47,000 to be exact.

This is 15,900 or 51% more, as compared to the period of Dec 2009 to Dec 2011.

Work permit holders increase substantially too, by 77,000 during the period of Dec 2011 and Dec 2013. It’s a 47% or 24,700 increase from previous 2 years.

Our total foreign workforce increased by 123,700 between Dec 2011 to Dec 2013 – that’s more than 60,000 each year.

(http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2014/05/foreign-workforce-numbers-moderating-or-increasing/)

An honest mistake by PM? Or should we read something in his omission of S Pass and Work Permit holders? What do you think?

——-

*At a grassroots event in Ang Mo Kio to celebrate the Indian New Year, Mr Lee was reported to have said that “the event was an embodiment of the theme as well as on a larger scale where everyone participates as one big Singapore family” and that Singapore was a place “where we all celebrate one another’s festivals and happy events together.”

He added that “Singapore belongs to all of us”, which he said included “Singaporeans, new arrivals, people who are on permanent residence here, people who are on employment pass here.”

No security breach, but “secured” premises vandalised?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 16/05/2014 at 4:45 am

(Or “PR spinning goes mad” or “‘Ponding’ revisited”)

There was “no breach of security measures” by the Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council in relation to the vandalism case in Toa Payoh … said Dr Teo Ho Pin* (CNA).  Graffiti was found along the rooftop of Block 85A at Toa Payoh Lorong 4. on 8 May and five 17-year-olds have been charged with vandalism.

Earlier, on 5 May, a train at the Bishan depot was spray-painted with graffiti. This is the third time vandals have struck a key transport facility in four years, and the second time a train in Bishan depot has been vandalised . In the latest case, reports said the depot’s perimeter fence was intact, and SMRT has yet to confirm any security breach, CNA reported.

So how did the vandals get in undetected to deface the property and then get out again undetected? Goh Meng Sen** allowed the vandals to use his UFO’s  teleporting machine to get in and in and out of the secured premises, is it?

Come on SMRT and Dr Teo, if vandals can get in and out of secured premises, then there were breaches of security. Let’s not indulge in word games to try look gd. These semantics only make you look stupid, and remind S’poreans that only the PM has cockles with a certain dish.

Dr VivianB put an end to claims by his officials that Orchard Rd wasn’t flooded, it was juz “ponded”. He sneered at their claims of “ponding”. Much credit we netizens gave him, showing how much he is disliked in cyberspace.

Mr Teo Chee Hean should show SMRT and Dr Teo why he was brought in as Home Minister. It had become a sex holiday camp during Wong Kan Seng’s long tenure there and Mr Teo made it fit for purpose again, looney M’sians braching borders excepted.

He should publicly  take SMRT and Dr Teo to task for trying to PR their way out of security failures that could have jeopardise lives, and further damage the PAP govt. If terrorists had breached these premises, and people had died, S’poreans would know that the PAP govt is a paper tiger when it comes to protecting S’poreans against terrorists.

Worse, imagine if the terrorists were the people Gilbert Goh or Goh Meng Seng love to trash, and MoM Tan, PM and his ministers, Kirsten Han and Maruah love to embrace: FTs?

All hell would break lose, and rightly so given that the PAP govt prides itself on keeping S’pore safe and on its love of FTs. S’poreans would be rational in thinking that when security and FT policies contradict one another, the security of S’pore and S’poreans suffer.

So pls Me Teo, pls wake up and go wake up Dr Teo’s and General Kuek’s. ideas. It’s OK to sleep in Parly (white elephant only) but not on the day-job of keeping S’pore safe.

—–

*CNA tells us how the vandals got in:.

Channel NewsAsia has been trying to figure out how the vandals could have reached the rooftop without using the trap door.

Looking at the place, one can see a small opening which leads to the roof. There are also stains on the walls, which could mean that the vandals could have placed a ladder against the walls to get to the opening.

If allowing a small opening to remain is not a security breach, what is, Dr Teo?

Dr Teo stressed that the PAP town councils take a serious view of the security and safety of roofs and water tanks at HDB blocks.

He said that over the last three years, the town councils have set up a security protocol on rooftop access.

Dr Teo said: “The town councils have set up three lines of defence to make sure that (only) authorised personnel can go up to the rooftop of our HDB flats.

“So we have, first of all, secured locks to make sure that all the trap doors and all the doors are properly locked using a very robust lock system.

“We also make sure that our water tanks are all with brackets — they are all bolted down to make sure that nobody can vandalise (them).

“At the same time, we have an authorised access system where only authorised persons can go up the roof.”

The town councils believe the present security system is adequate to prevent any unauthorised access to the roofs. However, they will need to evaluate if the breach is caused by other factors.

How can measures be adequate, yet there is a breach, causing a need to evaluate if the breach is caused by other factors.

**Maybe taz why GMS is AWOL or MIA yet again. He was leading the charge against the Pinoys’ party but has gone quiet. Maybe modifying his teleporter (with the help of Tan kin Lian) to zap Pinoys who party at his sacred spot and transfere to Filipino Lucky Plaza, where the Pinoys have de-facto sovereignty?

Have a gd weekend. Tune in next week. Plenty on garang Pinoys planning on taking on GG and GMS.

 

 

Think up another “clarification”, general

In Indonesia on 19/04/2014 at 5:15 am

(Or “The lies Indon officials tell”)

“Wasn’t me, was an impostor,” the head of the Indonesian Armed Forces should have said. Or, “I no speak English”. LOL

Some 48 hours after his interview with Channel NewsAsia aired on Tuesday, the head of the TNI deaplogised an apology he made during the interview.

General Moeldoko said on Thursday that he had not apologised to the Singapore government for the naming of a warship after two Indonesian marines who bombed MacDonald House in Singapore in 1965.

Instead, he clarified that he was expressing his regret that the naming decision was final and would not be changed.

On Tuesday night, Channel NewsAsia aired an exclusive interview with General Moeldoko, during which he touched on the relations between Singapore and Indonesia, among other issues.

He was asked by Channel NewsAsia senior Southeast Asia correspondent Sujadi Siswo about the decision to name a warship Usman Harun after the two Indonesian marines, and the ties between the two countries.

“Once again I apologise. We have no ill intent whatsoever to stir emotions. Not at all. Second, relations between the two countries are on the mend. There’ve been communications among leaders. Singapore’s Chief of Defence and I have spoken,” General Moeldoko had said. (CNA)

What could be clearer? He did apologise.

So he’s a talk cock general? I prefer our paper generals.

Seriously, I was surprised at his unambiguous apology and wondered why the TNI had eaten crow. Now we know, “He didn’t mean what he we heard.” So TNI still believes in killing civilians is a legitimate military tactic.https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/govt-sporeans-that-blur-on-indons-ship-naming/? Tell the Americans.

Still want us to trust Indonesia Mad Dog Chee?

Related posts: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/haze-what-raffles-would-have-done/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/investing-in-indonesia-is-like-eating-puffer-fish-tre-readership/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/indonesia-even-friends-get-screwed/

Temasek’s Lim talks rubbish/ Olam helps African farmers

In Africa, Commodities, GIC, Political governance, Temasek on 03/04/2014 at 4:55 am

Temasek’s chairman Lim Boon Heng (the chap who cried when voting for casinos) was quoted by BT on 31 March as saying, “Coming from a little island nation with no natural resources except for some granite rocks, we are not a sovereign wealth fund in the normal sense of the term,” he said at a reception to mark the opening of Temasek’s new European office in London last Friday.

“Instead, we invest capital accumulated from generations of hard work and commitment by everyone in Temasek and the Temasek portfolio companies,” said Mr Lim in a speech at the Millennium Mayfair Hotel.

Well, I could reasonably say that he is talking rot*. It could be reasonably argued that part or most of money saved (via budget surpluses) could have been be more productively spent on making life better for S’poreans. It could have been spent on

— more hospital beds (http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/03/13/gan-says-hospital-beds-increased-by-30-really/),

— better public transport (Using back-of-the envelope calculations and figures in annual reports, since it was listed SMRT (over a decade ago) has paid S$562.79m in dividends to Temasek, and ComfortDelgro has paid the S’pore Labour Foundation (a statutory board affiliated to the NTUC) dividends of  S$150.46m since 2003 (Comfort and Delgro merged in 2003, and SLF had a stake in Comfort). The amount that ended up with the government was S$713.25m, with SMRT contributing 79%. But ComfortDelgro is likely be the main beneficiary of the S$1.1bn bus plan) (Italics added at 6.55am),

— low cost public housing (remember Mah saying that lowering the cost of land cheaper was raiding the reserves https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/what-are-in-our-reserves-a-revisit/. Link also describes how budget surpluses and the reserves are linked),

— welfare for the elderly and needy. and

— education.

The list for the productive use of govt revenue rather than to play roulette or baccarat (OK, OK invest) can go on and on.

 

Leading local economists (not juz a wannabe opposition politican) have made this point about better uses of govt money than squirreling it away for a rainy day that never comes**. They juz don’t get reported by our constructive, nation-building media.

But maybe the govt is changing its attitude and Temasek is leading the way?

Olam is into sustainable, ecofriendly agriculture.

Sor and farmers from 36 communities in the Juabeso/Bia district are part of a project to produce climate-smart cocoa, claimed to the the world’s first. The $1m, three-year pilot collaboration between Rainforest Alliance (RA), an environmental organization, and Olam International, agricultural company, offers financial incentive to the farmers.

In the wild, cocoa trees grow under taller trees, which protect them from the scorching sun. But in Ghana as in neighbouring Ivory Coast, which together account for more than half the global supply, cocoa is grown as a monoculture.

“I had a lot of trees on my farm, but I cut and burned them. I thought they brought diseases, were a nuisance and took the place of cocoa,” says the mother of four, who owns a 4-acre farm in Eteso.  “I didn’t know about the importance of shade trees until I joined the group.”

(http://www.economist.com/blogs/baobab/2013/12/ghana)

Three cheers for Olam and Temasek for helping African farmers. Next stop S’pore SMEs?

Maybe Temasek is experimenting in Africa. Next an investment in a S’pore based co that helps S’poreans? Charity begins at home.

BTW, nice to see that GIC opened an office in Brazil. About time as Latin America is becoming unfashionable among the ang mohs.

GIC opened an office yesterday in Brazil, as it looks for more investment opportunities in Latin America.

The new office – its 10th globally – will focus on areas such as real estate, healthcare, financial and business services, and natural resources and infrastructure.

“Our presence in Brazil will enable our partners to engage early and interact closely with the GIC team, which is very beneficial for complex and sizeable investments,” said group chief investment officer Lim Chow Kiat.

“We believe our partners will gain from having access to GIC’s global network of business contacts and market insights. Although emerging markets remain volatile, we are confident of the long-term Latin America growth story.” (Yesterday’s BT).

These countries need capital, now that the ang mohs no longer like the area. China is investing there, BTW.

————————————————————————————————————

*One of these days I’ll blog why ever since Devan Nai, Lim Chee Onn and Ong Teng Cheonf, we’ve had clowns as NTUC leaders. Lim may have been a failure as NTUC leader (Devan Nair fixed him), he he turned out to be a gd for Keppel, for which I’m grateful.)

**I hope thyose who think the world of Ong Teng Cheong realise that he wanted to look away even the returns from reserves away from the masses. Lee Hsien Loong and co got their way on using some of the returns on govt spending.

Focus on dividend growth, not yield

In Financial competency, Reits on 11/03/2014 at 4:25 am

Here’s some gd advice from the FT when buying dividend stocks:

However, experts warn investors should not be lured by high dividend payouts from individual companies, as this can entail risk. Instead, they note that dividend growth can result in much higher returns.

“Chasing a high dividend is a risky strategy; the yield might look attractive, but the risk is the dividend gets cut and the share price falls further,” said Adrian Lowcock, senior investment manager at Hargreaves Lansdown.

“The share price may have already fallen to reflect expectations the dividend will be cut – meaning the yield would then have risen,” he added. “We saw this in 2008/09 when the banks all had high yields but were not going to be paying dividends for many years.”

Investors should instead look for growing income, as these companies are likely to be financially more robust, growing their capital base.

So maybe time to think about SMRT https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/smrt-only-now-meh/?

And here’s a gd BT article on evaluating Reits: http://www.cpf.gov.sg/imsavvy/infohub_article.asp?readid={651562920-19895-7719950079} High yields do not mean a Reit is an attractive buy, however. Yields are related to risk and growth potential, as investor Bobby Jayaraman pointed out in his 2012 book on Reit investing, Building Wealth Through Reits. The safer the Reit and the higher its growth potential, the lower its yields will be. This is because high demand from investors for these assets pushes up their price, thus lowering yields.

If you want to know more about the Reit structure http://www.cpf.gov.sg/imsavvy/infohub_article.asp?readid={651939829-19894-8559931515}

Govt, S’poreans that blur on Indons’ ship-naming?

In Indonesia on 17/02/2014 at 4:38 am

The govt missed the opportunity to kick the Indonesian govt in the balls. It could have made the Indon govt look stupid and crass internationally. S’poreans (govt* and all the commentators bar one Voice, see below) are behaving like frogs in a well in their reaction to the Indonesian brazenness over the naming a naval vessel after two “heroes” who killed S’porean civilians in the 1960s.

Seriously, the issue is bigger than our sensitivities about the Indonesian govt’s view that we are a Little Red Speck that it can trod on or push around like East Timor or West Papua.

It’s about whether Indonesia views attacks against civilians as a legitimate military tactic, contrary to the rules of war, Even the hegemon accepts that killing civilians is wrong even if its drones keep killing civilians (“Accident leh. Not on purpose”). So the US and the int’l community should want to know if Indonesia views killing civilians as a legitimate military tactic. The behaviour of Indonesia’s armed forces in Acheh, Sulawesi, West Papua and East Timor provides evidence that the military (at least) condones the killing of innocent civilians.

Taking a step further does Indonesia implicitly or covertly condone terrorism as a legitimate response to grievances (legtimate or otherwise)? S’pore should be asking the US and the int’l community to ask Indonesia. After all, Indonesia considers the two men who killed innocent civilians “heroes”. Isn’t this glorifying and condoning terrorism which is the killing of innocent civilians to publicise or further a cause? Even North Korea who has engaged in terrorist attacks against airliners and in third countries (such as Burma in 1983) doesn’t go round naming warships after the “killers”.

I’m bullish about Indonesia’s economic prospects but I’m not blind to the flaws in Indonesian governance. I’ve written: The Indonesian army has form in bullying its people and invading neighbours: Aceh, Sulawesi, East Timor, West Papua, Malaysia. Remember the Indonesian army planted bombs here in the 1960s?

Other instances of bad Indonesian behaviour

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/indonesia-bullying-instincts-arising/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/haze-pm-silence-is-not-a-solution/

The above musings was “triggered” by this letter to Voices:

From

Haj Mohamed

Published: 13 February, 4:04 AM

I refer to the report “Jakarta ‘meant no ill will’ in naming of frigate” (Feb 12). The issue is not merely about bilateral relations per se.

Indonesia’s decision to name a ship after the MacDonald House bombers sends a confusing signal about its stand on terrorism.

The bombing was done in a civilian area, killing civilians, and the world is clear that such bombings, including suicide bombings, are acts of terrorism. So, what is Indonesia’s stand on the Bali bombers?

There is a saying that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, which I believe holds only when one considers the other as an enemy.

Now that Indonesia has clarified that there is no enmity between our two countries, it must clarify its stand on terrorism and its criteria for defining heroes, so as not to reinforce a few of its citizens’ wrong perception that Jemaah Islamiyah members are heroes.

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/haze-what-raffles-would-have-done/

Update at 5.00am

Riau Islands Governor Muhammad Sani has told the Batam chapter of the Indonesian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) to reconsider its plan to build a statue in honour of former Marines Usman and Harun to prevent further friction with Singapore.

Singapore had reacted strongly to Indonesia’s recent move to name a warship after the two Marines who carried out the bombing of MacDonald House in Singapore in 1965.

“With the current situation, please reconsider (the plan) and do not add more problems,” Mr Sani was quoted as saying by the Antara news agency on Sunday.

Mr Sani said that Batam Kadin should bear in mind that Batam is a stone’s throw away from Singapore.

“What is the benefit for us?” Sani asked.

The building of the statue is subject to approval from the Batam Free Trade Zone Management Agency.

A spokesman for the agency has cited several factors it needs to consider before granting a permit — aesthetics, maintaining good relations and Batam’s location — noting that many Singaporean businessmen invest in Batam.

A Batam resident who goes by only one name, Parulian, warned: “What if Singaporeans pull their investment?” (CNA report)

Money talks.

*Actually the govt’s behaviour was measured but two ministers who were paper generals spoiled the gravitas that Shan and MFA pitched the issue at with their comments. Kee Chui and MoM Tan should have sat down and shut up. but one assumes they wanted to how lien their patriotism, if not their stupidity and crudeness. They came across as the Indonesian generals do: paper tigers. Maybe they practising to be like Indonesian ministers: talk cock, sing song clowns? LKY would be appalled.

S$, Baht & Rupiah looking gd

In Currencies, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia on 13/02/2014 at 4:43 am

Given that a senior cabinet minister and NTUC chief, and a jnr minister from NTUC is giving the PAP govt a bad name, maybe it’s time to remind S’poreans that the PAP govt is not all full of NTUC clowns. On Tueday I reported that Khaw and MoM Tan had the developers concerned, and today I’ll remind S’poreans that PM’s economic team (headed by Tharman) are keeping int’l investors onside (too bad about TOC, TRe readers, but then they can take comfort that locals like me too like a strong S$.)

(4 Feb) – Recent alarmist commentary may have stirred up concerns about Singapore’s economy, but in the midst of the emerging market rout, safe-haven seekers’ faith appeared unshaken as they scooped up its currency.

“We have noted its safe-haven status within the Asian region is getting stronger in past years. So when you have a broad risk off, in general the Singapore dollar will outperform,” said Ju Wang, senior foreign-exchange strategist at HSBC.

Earlier this week, global markets largely sold off, but the Singapore dollar strengthened, with the U.S. dollar fetching as little as 1.2666 on Tuesday, compared with around 1.2790 Friday. Against the currency of its neighbor Malaysia, the Singapore dollar has touched its highest level since 1998.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101390521

But To be sure, it isn’t clear the Sing’s climb is sustainable or would withstand a more extended market rout.

“When people want to take money off the table, the safe-haven tag may not be helpful,” Song said. “We can’t avoid spillover from contagion in Southeast Asia.”

Now that would have TOC, TRE readers happy, ’cause they can blame it on the govt.

BTW, here’s an interesting article on the flows in and out of Indonesia and the other Fragile Five. http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2014/02/emerging-markets. Actually the rupiah has done relatively better than most other emerging markets currencies against the US$. So has the the Thai baht despite the political problems.

But the currencies of  Thailand Indonesia, M’sia  and the Philippines have fared worse against Japan’s yen than they have against the US dollar. This means that Japanese financial ,institutions may slow down their investments in the region: investing here could be like catching a falling knife. So, they’ll likely wait.

 

Zorro & PA make PM look stupid, cheap-skate, ill-mannered & ungracious

In Political governance on 12/02/2014 at 4:50 am

(Or “PA trying to show that it is no PAP stooge?”)

Tot Cheap, Cheapo Quick Zorro is a minister in PMO, the deputy chairman of the PA,  and that PA and the PAP are one and the same? Think again, with people like Zorro and other senior PA managerss, who needs enemies, the PM (and chairman of PA) must be wondering. PM may also be wondering if Zorro and other clowns manager at PA are trying to fix him or that they showing S’poreans that they are not part of the PAP machine.

Still laughing at Zorro Lim’s explanation of why ex-presidential TCB was “un-invited” from an Istana function organised by the PA. And at his petulance in being upset that Dr Tan made the un-invitation public*:  Mr Tan Cheng Bock is just informing his followers and friends on facebook.
Cannot meh? (TRE reader)

Wouldn’t it have been easier (i.e. less damaging to PM, Zorro personally, the govt, the PAP and the PA) once the balls-up was discovered for Lim to say to his staff, “As our sister Jos said We cannot have the attitude that everything will be perfect from Day One: but more careful. Make sure the correct list is used next yr. As for this year, let the invitations stand. Order more food. No budget? Juz cut activities in WP areas. Make the residents there repent. We don’t want PAP voters and neutral S’poreans to think we are ill-mannered: badly brought up by our parents.”

Instead, he called all those wrongly invited to dis-invite them (Wonder how many? Any Oppo GE 2011 canidates? Think Ben Pwee and SDP’s Dr Ang). Surely on a cost-benefit analysis, this was a waste of his valuable time**? Particularly given the PR damage if this dis-invitation was made public? In the age of social media, disclosure must be presumed.

As it is, one TRE reader voiced what is on many minds (self-included)

I think the whole episode of “uninviting Lim Cheng Bock came out badly” in the eyes of many Singaporeans. It showed clearly as long as someone is against the PAP, they do not deserve to be a Singaporean, notwithstanding his or her past contributions to nation building. At least I view it this way as a Singaporean from this episode. Because Tan Cheng Bock, an ex PAP member dared to stand up against the current PAP policies, it seems he is more an outlaw today, and whatever credit he chalked up in sacrificing his youthful years in nation building became a zero and does not deserve any recognition at all***.

He or she goes on to make some very valid points:

Secondly, with Lim Swee Say’s explanation, it also reflected badly on the PA as an organization. It looks like in coming up with the first list of invitees, they did not even know exactly what criteria to use to come up with the selected people for the Istana Party. All these days with the PM loudspeaking his sincere wish to recognize the first generation people who contributed to our nation building, it looks like at the end the selection was morely likely based on a preferred list, which is not surprising at all. Woe betide once again!

Thirdly, Lim Swee Say came across as unconvincing at all, especially when he is also the Labour Chief who needs to have a heart full of empathy in the first place. But by executing the order to uninvite a fellow Singaporean who was already invited, it just reflects clearly that our leadership is uncompassionate and also unkind. Even if the case was not about Tan Cheng Bock per se, but if any ordinary Singaporean who got invited to the Istana to be informed later that he was univited because of an error, have the government given any thought on how the affected person would feel. He or she could have already announced to all the friends that he was invited by the PM for the Istana Party.***

Given the above logic, Tan Cheng Bock has every right to make a comment on how he really felt about the matter. Does Lim Swee Say expect Tan Cheng Bock to challenge the decree when it was announced to him over the phone? Cheng Bock has to accept it as a gentleman but does it mean he has bought into the explanation which is a lousy one in the first place. So my advice to Swee Say, just shut up!

And it’s not only netizens. This appeared in MediaCorp’s freesheet:

Aileen Tan Ai Ker

Published: 10 February, 4:06 AM

I refer to the report “Cheng Bock invited to Istana party ‘by mistake’” (Feb 8). Invitations are traditionally, even now, sent because the host wishes to have the company of the guest.

No one sends an invitation and retracts it, especially after it has been accepted. This is unacceptable in any culture, by any social standard. It is a question of “face” and emotional quotient. Similarly, a guest should have basic, reasonable emotional intelligence to decline an invitation if he or she feels awkward or is on unfriendly terms with the host.

In this instance, former Member of Parliament and presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock received and accepted the invitation.

The People’s Association (PA) should have been sensitive and exercised discretion to host him and those guests whom they considered were invited by mistake.

An old invitation list was used, despite today’s database management technology. It would have been smarter to bear the brunt of this and be graceful. The cost of hosting them would probably have been negligible.

Instead, the episode reflects badly on the PA, which deals with the grassroots and Singaporeans in general.

We expect more sensitivity than a simple apology after making a mistake. EQ training might help prevent a repeat.

Update: Related article: http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/02/08/pap-in-stage-3-to-4-of-decline/

—-

*He implies that since Dr Tan accepted the dis-invitation, he should juz sit down and shut up. A TRE reader pointed out: Mr Lim SS, Dr Tan may accept your explanation. He may not necessarily agree with or support your explanation. He has not explicitly say that he agrees with your explanation. Example : I may accept the price of NTUC goods/products however I may not support it. So Dr Tan has the rights to provide his side of the story. Remember he has his grassroots supporters to explain to. So if you have nothing to hide, Mr Lim why be do defensive.

**Remember he needs time to read his specially prepared monthly CPF statement, and to borrow toothpicks from a certain place.

***It is not about the invite – it is about some small- minded people who felt threatened by his presence. By 0.35 % margin! Dr. Tan will be the one sending out the list. Now he is pariah!

Shame on the PAP. (Another TRE reader)

****But the important things is this – if an invitation has been extended, you honour it and follow through with it. And if you have to have a longer guest list and cater more food as a result of this, then so be it. Making things right in situations like this is to honour what the Government has done. Updating the list and uninviting people is not making things right, and in fact is not right and making things worse.

It is disappointing that you would stand by and approve of this kind of conduct. Is this the ethos PA goes by?

Don’t highly qualified people in the civil service understand what it means to do the right thing in human relationships? (Yet another TRE reader)

Bernice Wong: Anton’s masculine, not sheltered, babyed & childish

In Humour on 23/01/2014 at 1:44 pm

Not like locals. (But let’s be fair, she implied this in 2010).

But before going into the details, a few things to clear up.

First an apology from me. Scumbag Anton Casey is not working for HSBC but for Crossinvest. Sorry for my mistake: it was an honest mistake.

I’m very certain, he will be moving on from Crossinvest given that: The Company was created out of a Swiss single family office with almost three decades of leading experience and presence in Switzerland. We operate based on the finest Swiss Private banking traditions. 

Well among the finest Swiss Private banking traditions are

– discretion; and.

– operating in the shadows, leaving no fingerprints behind.

Don’t see Casey meeting these standards. Besides, In a statement, Managing director Christophe Audergon said: “Crossinvest does not condone the comments. We believe they were made in poor taste.” (Update on 25 January 2014 juzt before midnight: he got fired. TRE’s take)

Now that I’ve apologised, on to what he should do to prove to S’poreans that he is genuinely sorry for what he did, before talking about wifey’s comments on why she wanted an ang moh man.

Talk is cheap Anton Casey; Show us you’re sorry. Dob’t talk cock, sing song like the S’poreans you say you respect. ST editor turned Jedi (apparently: ever tot she Trojan horse?) has a list of things he could do to prove he is sorry.,

I got only one suggestion on the premise that money talks, BS walks.

In Christianity, Islam and Judaism, there is a tradition of donating 10% of one’s worldly goods* to charity (OK, to be precise “gd works”) to show that one is a gd Christian, Jew or Muslim*. So in that spirit, he should donate 10% of his worldly assets to charity or to TRE or any combination thereof. So if he is worth $10m dollars (after all being a millionaire is nothing here: think of all those S’poreans with landed property or even HDB flats that have paid off all or most of their mortgages), he should offer $1m to TRE.

Somehow, I think this FT where the T stands for Trash, isn’t really that sorry enough to spend any money doing gd to show he is sorry (though he sp4ends money on PR and lawyers).. I doubt Ms Bernice Wong would be impressed if he was sorry enough to lose 10% of his assets. As it is she has to live with the following comments (now deeply mortifying for her) on why for her ang moh is tua kee

‘I have never been able to click with local guys. Somehow, our personalities don’t match up.

‘I will say that the local guys I’ve met are pretty sheltered. I’d like them to be more masculine, not so ‘baby-ed’ and less childish.’ http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/01/20/briton-belittles-people-taking-public-transport/

I mean who’s sheltered, babyed and childish? And is it masculine to have no balls to stand up for what one says? A real man would say, “I stand by what I said, and I will accept the consequences. Wanna fight?” He wouldn’t make police reports or wimp out by metaphorically getting on his knees and asking for forgiveness.

Finally, wonder what his in-laws think about the video which seems to insult us slit-eyes. This is what someone posted on Facebook: For all those who are not aware, his son is making the ‘chinky Asian’ face where in the West, if they want to mock Asians, they make this face- it’s called the chinky face, where you narrow your eyes to a slit and make buck teeth. That’s what the kid was doing, throughout the entire time in the video.

Here’s a screenshot of the end of the video. Look at the face he (Anton) made- especially, if you run the video, you’d see he deliberately made the ‘buck teeth’ face. It’s obvious he instructed the kid to do that all the 14 secs of the video. So he has also encouraged his son to do it, because if you look at the other pics that are online of his son, his face isn’t like that. Look at both the kid’s eyes and mouth in the whole video, and you’d know what type of face he was making …

IE S’pore & Jos’ point about perfection

In Economy, Humour on 21/01/2014 at 5:24 am

Readers will know that I recently commented (here and here) on Jos Teo’s tots as articulated to ST: comments that have annoyed netizens no end. Juz read the comments posted by TRE readers grumbling that she gets so many things so wrong. “We cannot have the attitude that everything will be perfect from Day One. If we go in with that attitude, it can only mean that we have to build in a lot of redundancy, in particular came in for a lot of flak.

Well getting things wrong also seems to apply to her hubbie’s organisation (According to ST,”Her husband, Mr Teo Eng Cheong, is chief executive officer of IE Singapore …”)

IE S’pore has goofed big time. according to a BT report dated 18 January 2014:

ERRORS in trade data collection meant that International Enterprise (IE) Singapore wrongly reported two months of exports data, with possible implications for fourth-quarter GDP estimates.

October 2013’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) was said to have grown 2.8 per cent, when in fact it had shrunk 2.7 per cent. Data for September was also overstated – NODX was initially said to have shrunk 1.2 per cent when the actual contraction was a larger 2 per cent – due to the “multiple counting of some trade permits”.

As trade data for both months have been corrected downwards, total trade and NODX for the full year 2013 will now come in lower than expected, IE said in an annex to its trade report for December, released yesterday.

IE will only announce Singapore’s full-year trade data next month, but UOB economist Francis Tan estimates that full-year NODX would have dropped 5.4 per cent, taking September and October’s erroneous figures, but could now fall a sharper 6 per cent. Both are worse than IE’s forecast of a NODX contraction of 4 to 5 per cent for 2013, last revised down in November.

It was an honest mistake. Maybe it was also example of what Jos Teo said, “We cannot have the attitude that everything will be perfect from Day One. If we go in with that attitude, it can only mean that we have to build in a lot of redundancy.

BT wrote: IE said yesterday that the errors were traced back to changes to a trade declaration system known as Access, which is used by four air express companies to declare their consolidated imports and exports. In August last year, changes were made to this system to allow the companies to make amendments to their trade permit records, such as flight details.

However, all amended permits were counted as new ones when transmitted from the Access system to the Singapore Customs’ Trade Statistics System, and then to IE Singapore. In nominal terms, the counting errors meant a difference between an originally tabulated NODX value of $15.599 billion for October, and a corrected value of $14.757 billion.

In response to BT’s queries, IE explained that the over-reporting was not immediately apparent as the values of the individual records still fell within the expected range. “When unusually large numbers were picked up, IE Singapore worked with Singapore Customs immediately to investigate and rectify the issue,” IE said.

For trade data, Singapore Customs conducts selective checks of trade permits against the commercial documents to verify the accuracy of data submitted by traders. “IE Singapore also conducts checks on a monthly basis to track trends based on the value of goods and large ticket items. Export and import categories with significant data swings will be picked up for further verification and analysis in consultation with Singapore Customs,”  …

One economist is annoyed:

DBS economist Irvin Seah thinks internal processes need to be tightened when it comes to collecting official data. “We have seen quite significant revisions, not just in NODX, but also in the advanced GDP estimates. Whether these are estimates or actual figures, there ought to be as little revision as possible. These numbers are important to everyone who wants a good gauge of where the economy is going, not just economists,” he said.

But another was relaxed,“no great damage was done”, said Barclays economist Joey Chew. “After all, the October red herring of a recovery was quickly refuted the very next month when November exports fell sharply, indicating that Singapore exports are clearly not yet out of the woods. The continued slump in electronics in December further confirmed that,” she said.

Whatever it is, S’pore’s reputation remains intact according to BT (But it would say that wouldn’t it?)

As for whether these errors undermine the reliability of Singapore’s statistics, Credit Suisse economist Michael Wan said that he sees them as inherent to the “messy affair” of collecting data. “I don’t think it raises questions about the integrity of Singapore’s statistical collection fundamentally. It’s always an ongoing affair to reduce the number of errors,” he said.

UOB’s Mr Tan said: “The good thing is that they are at least signalling that they are doing the right thing, by coming out and correcting the errors.”

A couple of errors ought not to affect credibility, said Barclays’ Ms Chew. “Especially if the errors are due to technological problems rather than data collection issues, or people gaming the system – for example Chinese exporters reporting fake trade.”

But IE S’pore should not be complacent: Barclay’s Ms Chew does have other issues to raise about Singapore’s data though. “First, the timeliness. We are one of the last to report CPI (consumer price index) in the region, and I don’t understand why. Also, IE Singapore does not release a lot of the export data they collect.”

Jos and hubby should be hoping that the recent bad publicity is part of the karma of the year of the Goat, not the karma for 2014. If the latter, expect more to hear more nad publicity from Jos and IE S’pore?

Jos double confirms that govt doesn’t plan for S’poreans

In Infrastructure, Political governance, Public Administration on 17/01/2014 at 4:44 am

A TOC reader highlighted this bit of ST’s interview with Talk Cock Queen Jos http://www.singapolitics.sg/supperclub/josephine-teo-%E2%80%98free-mrt-rides-has-allowed-lifestyle-change%E2%80%99

Q: You lead the committee for Changi Airport’s expansion. Is it expanding fast enough? Our aviation correspondent said given the projections, Changi Airport could be operating at more than 90 per cent capacity (in the few years before Terminal 5 opens).

A:We’re still building ahead of demand. When you plan airport handling capacity, you also plan with a service standard in mind.>

The person then commented: “Apparently, there’s no need to build ahead of demand for housing, local tpt & medical needs (remember the hospital crunch) OR is it NEW PAP don’t plan with a service standard in mind> when it comes to population needs?”

For the record, I had blogged in 2012  about the lack of planning when it came to immigration

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/integrating-fts-its-our-problem-now-contd/

and in 2011 on the difference between the difference approaches taken as regards the airport and public tpt https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/why-are-trains-overcrowded-but-not-the-port-or-airport/

PM should give her another tight slap for spilling for double confirming that PAP thinks we are “second class”, not “first class” like foreigners even though 60-70% of S’porean voters support the PAP.

Taz in addition to insulting his dad.

BTW, I hope readers noticed that LTA gave her (its boss, remember she senior jnr transport minister) a hard kick in her behind. In the above link, I said she refused to concede that inadequate signage contributed to the congestion on the MCE (and bad PR for the govt). Yesterday it was reported: “Two weeks after the opening of the Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) yesterday acknowledged it could have done more in terms of pre-publicity and putting up more signs to get motorists familiar with the new expressway and the surrounding road network.” (Today)

Hey PM, even her subordinates getting annoyed with this NUT NTUC person?

Maybe she could serve S’pore (and the PAP)  better by having a fourth child? She had said if she hadn’t entered politics, she’d have a fourth child. One more baby, one less FT.

Alcohol, Little India and the migrant worker

In Economy on 06/01/2014 at 5:24 am

It’ll soon be a month since the disturbance in Little India which has rattled S’poreans (that they over-reacted). Even the PM was rattled, so much so  that he still talked a lot of cock about it at Christmas http://singaporedesk.blogspot.sg/2013/12/taking-easy-way-out.html.

Here are some relevant facts that I’ve discovered that are not reported in our constructive nation-building media or in the usually anti govt alternative media that I hope will help S’poreans towards a right understanding of the riot and surrounding issues:

— Alcohol is available in the dormitories’ supermarkets. I had tot they were banned from selling alcohol. The most popular brands are two imported brands from India (one is Kingfisher, the other I can’t recall), followed by our very own ABC. Needless to say, the beers are not yr  normal strength beers: they have alcohol content sof 10-12% versus the usual 4%.

— To avoid problems, the beer is only sold in cans, not bottles. For those who’ve not been involved in drunken brawls: broken beer bottles are useful in a fight. Just grab the handle of an empty bottle (no point wasting gd beer), and smash it against a wall and you are ready to maim or kill. But if the police catch you with it even if no-one is injured by it, it’s the cane after “due process”.

— Despite these sales, there are no reports in the alternative media about brawls, scenes of drunkenness near the supermarkets. Maybe, the workers are responsible drinkers? Or TOC, TRE reporters don’t do dorm visits (unlike Lianain Films)? As for ST and other MSM publications reporting such fights, they wouldn’t report such frights even if they happened outside their doorsteps would they? They will call Yaacob and ask,”Is there a fight? What are the right facts for us to report?”?

— The Little India shopkeepers (and their landlords) made great money off these workers. I’ve heard that a small shop selling veggies could gross S$90,000 in sales on a gd weekend day. When you hear media reports of the bizmen in the area moaning, bear this in mind. BTW, I understand that the dorm supermarkets’ prices of Indian, Bangladeshi favourites and staples are competitive. It’s juz that the workers love shopping in Little India: it’s their home away from home.

— Prior to the riot, Little India on weekends wasn’t a nice place to hold seminars on “the struggle for workers’ rights” (Maruah tried to hold its do on a Monday) or for romantic dates. A beer marketing executive,who regularly tours outlets, says that fights and drunkenness were a common occurrences in the area. Guess minister Lui didn’t speak up about too many alcohol outlets because of the previous observation about the profits being made. Let me very clear, if Boat Quay or Clarke Quay were as crowded as little India on weekends, they too would be unpleasant places. No ang moh tua kee pls. Besides our manual worker guests don’t beat up taxi-drivers for sport: only drunken ang mohs do it, then flee or plead they are depressed.

— Since the riot, I’ve seen more workers going to and returning from the the Marine Parade sea front on weekends and public hols. I expect the area to remain peaceful and crime free.

They come hear to earn a living, a hard one: not to get drunk, brawl , steal or molest. They are like us

                                                                                               Hath
 59   not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs,
 60   dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with
 61   the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject
 62   to the same diseases, healed by the same means,
 63   warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as
 64   a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
 65   if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
 66   us, do we not die?

(Shylock in The Merchant of Venice)

FTs: Humour free zone? Jokes prohibited?

In Humour, Internet on 23/12/2013 at 4:48 am

This blogger is ambivalent about Bertha Henson. The conventional wisdom is that this once Sith Lord in the making changed her spots after retiring from SPH* where she was a cyber warrior (general rank) at ST, no less, into a Jedi warrior. One of these days, I’ll go into the conspiracy theory as to why she could be a Trojan horse (and explain the inconvenient fact to said theory that MDA fixed her). But as this is Christmas, I’ll not be that Gringie.

Whether on not she is part of a black ops against us cowboys of S’pore’s cyberspace, she writes well, very well. She’s pretty witty too, and has mastered the dark art of black humour, if not satire. Example: http://berthahenson.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/personally-speaking-no-fund-intended/. And she loves journalism; she did a lovely piece on her accreditation  to an activist event: sorry lazy to find the article to link to it.

But despite being treated as Jedi both by the cowboys and the MDA and ST, she recently was attacked by two tua kee cyber activists (both ladies) on Facebook for writing  http://berthahenson.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/a-sunday-problem/. Read it for yrself  before going on to read their comments, and my take on the piece and them.

I’ll not name them, ’cause its Christmas and I’m no Grinch or Krampus. A man dressed as Krampus in Austria … pretty scary, huh?

One said: What a lovely way to dehumanise a group of people: make assumptions and fall back on stereotypes, while coming across as reasoned and reasonable. Dear Bertha, the problems facing migrant workers go beyond what happens to them on a Sunday. Of course, we only notice them on Sundays because they’re busy working themselves to the bone, building our city, cleaning our loos, clearing our trash and staying out of YOUR way the rest of the week. Where they go on their rest day really isn’t anyone’s problem but their own. Would YOU like your boss to tell you what to do when you’re not working?

Another wrote:

It is a very condescending article. From the very first paragraph you can see the belittling and patronising: “We have a problem. We have hundreds of thousands of foreign workers – and we don’t know what to do with them on Sundays. And they probably don’t know what to do with themselves on Sundays either.”

Why do we need to do anything with them on their off day – it is THEIR off day. And who are we to say that they don’t know what to do with themselves, simply because from our standpoint that don’t seem to be doing what we would prefer them to do (which is what, attend Alcoholics Anonymous and play friendly games of basketball in their dorms?)

The second paragraph is just as facepalm-worthy: “The foreign maid can stay “home” and be paid for not taking the day off. And even if they are out, they’re not likely to get into a drunken stupor and throw pieces of concrete around. They’ll just crowd somewhere until someone shoos them somewhere else.”

The fact that foreign domestic workers stay “home” on their day off potentially means that they will also be made to work on their day off. This is not a situation we should be okay with, much less use as a sort of “ah this is okay for FDWs, but what about the other migrant workers” example.

Also, migrant workers in Little India are also “not likely to get into a drunken stupor and throw pieces of concrete around”; just because a group of men did it once on one Sunday night – out of all the many Sunday nights over the many years that they DIDN’T do it – doesn’t make that entire group of people suddenly prone to doing it.

And the last sentence of that paragraph: “They’ll just crowd somewhere until someone shoos them somewhere else.” Like that’s an okay state of affairs too! Oh, these FDWs don’t bother us, they just hang about with their friends and if we Singaporeans don’t like it just shoo them away lah! <- How condescending and dehumanising is that?!

So just in the first two paragraphs already almost every single sentence is offensive. Wah lau.

Foreign workers should be able to do whatever they want on their days off. It is the Singaporean mindset – the one that tells us that we enlightened beings must take care of “those from the Indian subcontinent” because they don’t know what to do with themselves – that should change.

I think Ms Henson is having a dig at the govt’s uncaring attitude to solving a problem, any problem: everything has to be neat and tidy, and damn the human cost.

My take on her critics is that these two gals don’t do humour, at least when it comes to FTs. Or they may think that the issue should not be the subject of any humour: too serious to joke about. Bit like the attitude of the authorities in the aftermath of the riot: no alcohol, and apparently no Maruah meeting in restaurant private room which employs FTs. On the latter, scared that FTs will riot? Come on Maruah are wimps in action: talk cock, sing song. Sorry KH, can’t resist that.

But to be fair to the gals , one of Henson’s BN team “Liked” the second entry.  So maybe I’m wrong about said lady activists. Either that or her disciple is a Judas, or a sotong boy. I suspect the last is most likely.

Merry Christmas. Keep on feasting.

*A more classy, intelligent version of what Tan Kin Lian did after he retired from NTUC Income: resigning from the PAP and standing as the People’s Voice in the presidential election, where he lost his deposit and deprived us of cocking a snook at the PAP. The PAP’s preferred candidate won by around three hundred votes. But to be fair, TKL fought the gd fight for those who invested in securities that invested in credit-default notes. (Declaration of interest: I helped out there) Investors got a raw deal, but it could have been worse if not for TKL.( https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/helping-retail-investors-the-hk-way-and-the-spore-way/#more-7316 and https://atans1.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/what-abt-high-notes-sm-goh/)

Tan Kuku for tsunami of Jap $ in 2014

In Japan on 10/12/2013 at 5:42 am

When the BOJ under governor Haruhiko Kuroda launched its monetary base-doubling quantitative and and qualitative easing (QQE) policy in April, there were strong expectations that a “tsunami” of Japanese funds would rush into Southeast Asia in search of higher yields.

So far, that has not happened even though Japanese institutional and individual investors are said to be eager to increase their exposure to Southeast Asian markets. A principal reason for their hesitancy, officials say, is Japanese investors’ fear of being exposed to exchange rate risk.

As a result, there is “intense discussion going on now between Japanese and Asean officials on ways to improve and enlarge the (currency) hedging markets” in Asean, according to Iwan Aziz, head of the Office of Regional Economic Integration at the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB).– BT report last week

Well can tan kuku for an agreement. Asean officials more noted for talking cock than doing something, anything.

And anyway, this region will not be flavour of the month early next yr. The West is. Don’t count on a wall of Jap money.

Relax leh Brudder S’pore Notes, things going yr way

In Political governance, Public Administration on 06/12/2013 at 6:25 am

Things not as bad as you paint it in “Is Cyber City Burning?”

You raised the MSM smear of Nicile Seah, and Alex Au’s and Breakfast Network’s legal problems as the PAP govt’s desperate, vicious attempt to stifle dissent..

Honestly, the SPH slimes that went wrong on Nicole Seah is an added bonus for her attempt to refresh her celebrity status by going public about her personal life to her thousands of Facebook friends. Well she did her publicity, and the slimes gave her even more publicity. So these slimes made her day. An added bonus for us netizens is that it showed that Alex Tan has changed for the better: his response to Nicole’s post was matured and totful, showing a different Alex Tan: and ’cause of an FT gal? http://therealsingapore.com/content/alex-tan-words-encouragement-nicole-seah

As to Alex Au’s situation, I think he welcomes the AG’s suit. It makes his day too. AG has been consistent in his views and actions.

On waz happening to the retired Imperial Storm  Trooper general (paper, cyber branch), it shows how moronic the govt is. Their reaction to the govt’s action show that netizens and the govt deserve one another: both assume a static, non dynamic world. As I’ve argued before, the internet, social media is like water. Really those ethnic Chinese S’porean cyber warriors have no excuse. They should know their Lao Tzu even if (like me) only in translation.

And lest we forget, or didn’t notice TOC had another narrow escape* for which we and TOC should be grateful for: http://www.sammyboy.com/showthread.php?169215-TOC-apologise-to-Wanbao and http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2013/11/unwilling-to-burden-family-95-year-old-samsui-woman-commits-suicide/

Team Yaacob could have played the DRUMS to the tune of RAVII (Recriminations, Accusations, Vilifications, Insinuations & Insults)  but didn’t. The issue is as Holmes would have asked,”Why didn’t the dog bark?”. Well maybe the SPH cock-ups made it difficult to beat-up TOC without having to beat up SPH too. Though there is a distinction: one might have injured a gal’s reputation, the other was an attack against the state. Big difference leh.

So most likely Team Yaacob was asleep. Remember that Yaacob failed to prevent floods unlike that hard-hearted sneere of the elderly poor who has done I must admit a pretty decent job as flood minister, though he has failed as dengue preventer.. But I cut him some slack as the contractors have been busy cutting the grass and shubbery, and filling potential ponding areas in my area. .

Next, Brudder Notes, you and other bloggers are untouched. Still fighting the gd fight, unhindered. 

And you (and others) have won: More and more fret that S’pore is threatened by inequality, and rampant, uncaring capitalism and the govt? They are insecure and fearful. They feel poor.

So as the super long hols are coming (Chritmas, New year and CNY at end Jan) let’s make merry before the price rises hit us in our pocket. As I’ve argued before, first half 2014 is the last window of opportunity to whack us before the next GE that must be held sometime in 2016. Whack us hard in early 2014, and then in 2015 and 2016 Budget give us the goodies. And if the ground is sweet in 2015, hold a GE and promise goodies for 2016.

Relax, Brudder Notes. Getting angry like the Hulk or P Ravi doesn’t do one any good. Look at P Ravi now. He seems less angry nowadays and he looks like a Bollywood star. So long as you (and others) can protest, things are never that bad. As a foot soldier of the UK’s Labour Party who died recently at 104 once said, “We may not win by protesting. But if we don’t protest we will lose.”

With 88% of people here owning smartphones, you protests (and that of others) will be heard, more and more.

*Earlier lucky break: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/toc-more-than-meets-the-eye/. Background: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/smrt-racist-pr-team/

:

Temasek tales: TLC overpaid?/ Olam: Cheong?/ Won’t read this in TRE, TOC?

In Africa, Airlines, Commodities, Temasek on 26/11/2013 at 5:54 am

Changi Airport Group: Winner’s curse?

The Aeroportos do Futuro group led by Odebrecht SA, and including Singapore airport operator Changi Airport Group, offered 19 billion reais (US$8.3 billion) and won the right to run Galeao airport in Rio de Janeiro, which will host tourists for the soccer World Cup next year and the 2016 Olympic Games, for 25 years. The consortium offered nearly four times the minimum bid for the right to operate Rio’s Galeão airport for the next 25 years.

We will only know the consortium overpaid if we know the next highest bid. Will let you know if this info is made public in Brazil )))

Last chance to buy Olam?

More bull points to add to this:

— When Olam released its quarterly results in early November, it showed it  had generated positive free cash flow – the first time in four years for a seasonally weak quarter.

Its executive director of finance and business development A Shekhar told analysts and reporters: “We’re very pleased that we’re striking the right notes on both objectives of profit growth as well as free cash-flow generation.”

— Ang mohs are still sceptical about the parts of the stock’s biz model.

— But they bulls on Africa and Olam got an edge there. Africa is now seen a destination mkt, not juz an exporter of commodities i.e. origination mkt:

The commodities houses are attracted to the African destination business for three reasons. First, demand is rising fast, in many cases at double-digit annual rates. Second, many African governments subsidise basic commodities such as petrol and wheat, in effect guaranteeing a return to the traders. Third, most African countries lack the infrastructure needed to import raw materials, from silos for storing wheat and rice to terminals for unloading petrol. The commodities houses say that, as they build this infrastructure, they will be able to secure a market and benefit from years of rising demand. (FT report on Africa dated 10 November 2013)

Even Chris Balding flies SIA

Would the Temasek model help improve the efficiency of China’s state-owned enterprises? Only one (Singapore Airlines) or possibly two (DBS bank) of Temasek’s GLCs have established themselves as international brands, according to critics such as Chris Balding of Peking University*. SingTel has made successful foreign acquisitions, but other GLCs have fared less well. STATS ChipPAC, a semiconductor firm, lost money in the second quarter of this year, as a result of the costs of closing a factory in Malaysia.

The few academic studies of Singapore’s GLCs are more encouraging, however. A 2004 article by Carlos Ramirez of George Mason University and Ling Hui Tan of the IMF showed that the country’s GLCs enjoyed a higher market value, relative to the book value of their assets, than comparable private firms. They also generated a higher return on assets, on average.

In judging the performance of Temasek’s GLCs, the counterfactual is important. They may not be as obviously successful as private titans from the region such as Samsung or LG. But they are not nearly as bad as most SOEs, including China’s. The enthusiasm for reform of SOEs in China reflects their deteriorating returns and accumulating debt. According to M.K. Tang of Goldman Sachs, their return on assets was 6.5 percentage points below that of other Chinese firms in 2012 and their shares trade at a growing discount. Even Mr Balding, meanwhile, is happy to fly Singapore Airlines.

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21590562-chinas-rulers-look-singapore-tips-portfolio-management-soe-glc

*Cock Balding forgets Keppel and SembCorp in rigbuilding. More on these two cos later this week.

Infocomm Dysfunctional Authority

In Infrastructure, Internet, Public Administration on 22/11/2013 at 5:01 am

Yaacob the Info minister wrote on Facebook a few days ago that many agencies have worked hard in the past weeks to strengthen the security of Singapore’s computer systems and websites*, and those responsible for the recent hacking incidents have been arrested or are being investigated**.

Taz gd, but what about making sure that IDA works hard and competently to give the public info on cyber security accurately, and in a timely manner? Rather than inaccurately, and only after cyber leaks and DRUMS.

Going by its recent ingloriously track record, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) should be renamed   Inforomm Dysfunctional Authority  because it’s so dysfunctional  in communicating info on cyber security and ICT matters.

It can’t even explain to our constructive, nation-building local journalists that the PMO’s website was not hacked. Granted that our well-paid hacks are not the most intelligent people in S’pore, but surely Yaacob’s finest could have told them in simple English, “PMO’s website was not hacked into”?

Singapore ICT regulator Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) was cited by local media reports to blame a vulnerability in Google’s search bar, embedded in the two websites, as the cause of the breach. In a media briefing to which only local media were invited …

… a Google spokesperson told ZDNet in an e-mail Wednesday: “It has come to our attention that the PMO’s website recently experienced an attack in the search functionality of the site run by Google’s Custom Search Engine site-search widget.

“After investigation, it appears that the code in the Google custom search engine is safe and the vulnerability lies with the coding on the webpage.”

While IDA declined to comment further on this issue as it is currently under police investigation, ZDNet understands the regulator was misquoted in local news reports. Rather than Google’s search bar, it had instead pointed to a vulnerability in the search function which the hackers were able to exploit and redirect visitors to the external webpages.

(http://www.zdnet.com/sg/google-denies-its-search-bar-caused-singapore-websites-breach-7000023129/)

At the very least, IDA gave the impression that our cybersecurity machinery was the equivalent of the flood prevention team  when Yaacob was “flooder-in-chief”.

Now onto an earlier, and more major, failure to communicate. Remember the Saturday a few weeks ago when govt websites suddenly closed for “routine maintenance’? Although they were soon up, netizens suspicions were aroused and they started playing DRUMS in the absence of authoritative info.

And they were correct to think that there problems, only not hacking but cock-ups.

Only on Monday evening (after a memo surfaced on the internet), IDA admitted the problems in accessing several Singapore government websites over the weekend were due to technical problems that arose during maintenance on Saturday afternoon. While the glitches have been rectified, people accessing these websites may continue to face intermittent access as maintenance was still ongoing.

In this day and age, IDA should communicate openly with the public. After all, this is not North Korea, even if our media ratings are close to that of the North Koreans than that to the US or UK.

I leave it to this blogger who wrote before IDA admitted that there were cock-ups, not juz “routine maintenance” to explain what I mean:

“It’s strange that the IDA did not deem it fit to update people more regularly when so many sites were out of service. Not only were they unable to transact, say, on SingPass, they were also wondering if indeed a cyber attack had been carried out against government agencies, as part of a bigger wave of attacks.

Ironically, the IDA can look at the way SingTel updated its customers in the hours after a fire at a telephone exchange just weeks ago. Though the damage was way bigger, angering a lot more customers, at least they knew what was going on.

And fall short, it definitely did this time. While there is speculation on why and how the sites could have been down, one thing is clear – this maintenance caused the sites to go down longer than expected.

That itself reflects badly on the nation’s cyber security efforts. “Self pwn” is the phrase that comes to mind when you bring down your own networks inadvertently.”

(http://www.techgoondu.com/2013/11/03/commentary-should-maintenance-bring-down-government-websites-for-hours/#.Ungbl1Nfp-d)

Recently, CNA reported, Singapore’s Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Lawrence Wong, has said that countries in Asia need to adapt to emerging trends in social media, in order to get the new generation more engaged in literature and the arts.

Maybe he sould have a talk with  Yaacob and s/o Devan Nair who seem clueless about the effect of social media and the internet on public communications and PR in general. Strange this cluelessness, given their roles in govt as public communicators and PR. or they juz there for wayang.

One final tot. I’m surprised that neither GG nor TRE nor TOC tot it fit to ask if the people responsible for website security in general or the maintenance cock-ups, in particular,  were FTs or true-blue S’poreans.

This blogger has argued we need a S’porean core in cyber security.

One “career path” often joked about, but taken somewhat seriously, is to get into an IT management role in a bank then outsource the dirty work to vendors, sit back and enjoy a Dilbert moment every day.

Now, when that dirty work is cyber security, there is a problem. It’s an area where you can’t be an expert without getting your hands dirty. Yes, there are security solutions out there to tap on, but it is important to know your own servers well. How can you secure your home if you don’t know where the holes are in your fences?

Similarly, when it comes to defending national infrastructure, it pays to have a ready pool of experts, with actual hands-on experience.

This work cannot be easily outsourced, since it may involve getting access to sensitive information, say, military secrets. A Singaporean core, to borrow the government’s term, may be needed in such as an operation.

http://www.techgoondu.com/2013/11/12/commentary-singapore-hacking-cases-show-importance-of-deep-infocomm-expertise/comment-page-1/#.Uofv9idfp-c

But will our FT-loving govt listen? Worse it seems the govt’s model of “Talent is two-timing new citizen Raj or Tammy’s killer or the FTs that beat up S’poreans and then fled S’pore (one was even given PR after the beating), or a violent, cheating PRC shop assistant, or PRC hawkers or a looney, violent bank director.

*“A quote from a decade and a half ago: ‘Secure web servers are the equivalent of heavy armoured cars. The problem is, the roads are subject to random detours, anyone with a screwdriver can control the traffic lights and there are no police.’”
—Richard Guy Briggs on “Besieged”, Nov 9th 2013

**Taz before the latest reported hack of schools’ sites and a local museum’s mailing list was made public in NZ. Don’t know if you notice, but the local media is downplaying the security implications of the hacks by making them sound trivial.The schools’ hack is “defacement” and the mailing list was described as being on the website. The Hard Truth is that in these cases, servers were broken into.

This is in contrast to the “hack”of PMO’s site which was over-sensationalised. (There was no hack there as reported above. In the PMO’s case, at no time was there any server intrusion. The server was secure.) One wonders if IDA has finally educated the hacks on the basics of cyber security or did it order them to downplay the hacks as the hacks would imply that contrary to Yaacob’s comments about working hard to fix security issues, the cyber security teams are not working hard, or worse, working hard incompetently.


Financial centres’ curses

In Economy, Internet, Political economy, Political governance on 13/10/2013 at 5:10 am

For all the highfaluting talk of govt and talk-cock artists especially in the local media, we don’t do things like this even though Burma is in Asean (our backyard):

[I]n Burma – or Myanmar – social media sites and the whole internet have been inaccessible for years.

For one Canadian-Vietnamese woman that has provided a unique business opportunity to found the Burma’s first-ever social networking site.

However, Rita Nguyen had never been to the country before this year as BBC South East Asia correspondent Jonathan Head heard.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24393043

Why?

(Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/a-very-high-tech-inventive-low-population-country/)

Are we are more comfortable as serfs slaves PMETs in a financial centre?

A recent article, interestingly, makes a compelling argument that places that depend on the financial industry (like S’pore) are like resource-rich countries, and like them suffer from the triple problems of a high exchange rate that causes problems for manufacturers, revenue volatility and poor governance.

Is finance like crude oil? Countries rich in minerals are often poverty-stricken, corrupt and violent. A relatively small rent-seeking elite captures vast wealth while the dominant sector crowds out the rest of the economy. The parallels with countries ‘blessed’ with powerful financial sectors are becoming too obvious to ignore.

http://taxjustice.blogspot.sg/2013/09/is-finance-like-crude-oil-resource.html

Another US innovation to breed entrepreneurs

… has designed I-Corps as a way of converting the most promising science and engineering projects in American universities into start-ups. The I-Corps teams … comprise just a principal investigator (usually a tenured professor), a younger entrepreneurial lead (undergraduate, graduate or post-doctoral student) and an experienced entrepreneur or venture capitalist as a mentor. Each of the 100 or so teams has received a [US}$50,000 to cover a crash course on how to avoid the pitfalls common to all new ventures … New ventures, they are taught, are all about finding customers, what distribution channels to adopt, how to price the product, who to partner with, and more. From day one, the mantra is “get out of the lab” … The I-Corps programme is based on the premise that all new ventures are little more than a series of untested hypotheses—in other words, optimistic guesses about market size, customer needs, product pricing and sales channels. With so many unknowns, the programme teaches participants to treat their start-up as if it were a typical research project, amenable to the same iterative process of hypothesis testing and experimentation.

http://www.economist.com/node/21559734

Trust has to regained, PM

In Political governance on 04/10/2013 at 4:49 am

PM’s “right that major policy success hinges on citizens trusting government. And that incorruptibility, impartiality, and integrity are crucial to that trust.” (GIC’s ex-chief economist on Facebook)

But “trust” is an aquifer, glacier or reservoir that needs constant replenishment because of the constant outflows.When more water is used, than comes in, there is a point when the inflow has to be increased, or the outflow limited, or stopped, so that reserves can be built up again.

As I see it, because the govt had not changed policies that need changing, there was and (still is) a net outflow of trust.  To put it another way, the bank account containing “trust” that his dad and friends had built up has “insufficient funds”. PM and predecessor (PM was the DPM then) have been living off the old guard’s legacy, taking out more “trust” than they have been putting “in”.

The PM has made a start in trying to increase the inflow in order to replenish the “trust” aquifer, glacier, reservoir or bank account  by changing the govt’s policies* but he shouldn’t be calling us to trust the govt until we start seeing the results of the changes in our daily lives. S’poreans know fellow S’poreans talk cock a lot, and can be gd BS artists: as TRE found out recently, “Since the official launch of TR Emeritus’ VIP Membership System (VMS) last month, the number of sign-ups has not been good. Only dozens have signed up. … We have estimated that TRE needs 400 to 500 active members per year to sustain TRE in the long run. Our membership costs a mere S$10.00 per month.”

Tony Blair before he became UK’s PM in 19997, said in 1994, he said: “Parties that do not change, die, and this party is a living movement not an historical monument. If the world changes and we don’t then we become of no use to the world. Our principles cease being principles and ossify into dogma.” In the S’pore context, substitute “dogma” for “Hard Truths”.

The PAP is changing but it’s a work-in-progress. I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt in public tpt, healthcare, housing and education; but not when it comes to its FT policy. As Uncle Leong explained recently, the signs have yet to appear that the govt is walking its talk of closing the floodgates. And there is its white paper on 6.9m by 2030.

*As the former chief economist of GIC put it on Facebook: But what is equally crucial to this trust is the Governments ability to reform current policy and out-moded mindsets and deliver truly affordable and efficient healthcare, public housing, public transport, equitable and high quality education adequate and humane social security and safety nets, and a sensible population policy that does not result in overcrowding and social tensions.

The PM and cabinet has made a bold and substantial move in this direction in housing and healthcare reforms in the months up to National Day. Kudos to this commendable act of leadership.

However, markedly more can and must be done in these and the other key social policy areas above to complete reforms for the common good and fully prevent a loss in policy trust – something we cannot afford in Singapore.

I would put as the govt finally spending our money to make life more comfortable for us.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/analysing-pms-coming-rally-speech/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/the-pap-govt-has-lost-output-legitimacy-discuss/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/shld-the-govt-get-the-credit-for-fixing-the-problems-that-hard-truths-caused-discuss/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/pms-speech-not-juz-a-change-of-format/

 

No worries abt one-yr wait to see renal specialist

In Financial competency, Humour on 27/09/2013 at 5:00 am

I refer to http://mysingaporenews.blogspot.sg/2013/09/medical-appointments-in-world-class.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+MySingaporeNews+%28My+Singapore+News%29 and to http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/09/23/one-year-wait-to-see-specialist-at-sgh/

They are all very angry people because Ms Tay’s hubby has to wait for a year before he can see a kidney specialist.

I know someone who recently was told that he had to go to see a kidney specialist. He was then told by the girl responsible for making an appt that the waiting period was one yr if not longer. He juz shrugged his shoulders.

He was pretty relaxed abt waiting because

— He knew that there is a priority procedure for “siong’ cases. He had benefited from the priority list several yrs ago when a routine check had the doctor concerned about his eyes. He got an appt to see a specialist within weeks. I have had a similar experience.

— He also knew that the polyclinic doctors were monitoring the situation, via tests every time he renewed his medication. The doctor had told him that the dosage of one pill could be increased if necessary.

— The doctor had given him a copy of the results of his test. He was thinking of consulting a private-sector GP that he trusted to ask him what the results meant: is he in clear and imminent danger of dying, as Ms Tay seems to fear for her hubby? He could have also asked one of our mutual doctor friends, but felt piah seh.

— According to my friend, a doctor once told told him that polyclinic doctors knowing the length of the queue do put marginal cases on the waiting list juz to be kia-su: anticipative medicine that should be commended.

— If nec, he would consult a private sector specialist and then return to polyclinic with the results. The worse case would be if he got warded immediately as a private patient because things were that bad.

Be very clear, neither of us are defending the staus quo: one yr’s wait is not right, if one cannot afford to go “private’*. Especially, as there is the Toto element in the system. It is sometimes (very rarely to be fair) possible that if the polyclinic calls to make an appointment, it will be told that someone has juz cancelled and that there is a slot available say in two months. The polyclinic may grab the spot for the patient, and tell the patient that “die, die” got to go.  Conscientious staff do this even though there are consequences for the staff if the patient is daft not to take the lucky opportunity. I have heard that it does happen: daft patients who refuse to take the slot because got “other appointment” like going to beautician, or got golf game.

The system should be changed so that all such cancellations are offered to the next person in the queue. Only fair. Of course, this assumes that the IT system can cope with such changes. It may not be possible with legacy systems.

But, we are saying that she (and presumably hubby) are being too KS, and emotional. They also do not seem to trust the doctors, or the system. We don’t assume that the doctors or the system are out to fix us.

As to the comments of Redbean that a first world system shouldn’t have anyone waiting for one yr, juz google up the topic of waiting lists in the UK’s NHS system, one of the world’s finest. The issue is simple. In healthcare ,the demand is endless, resources are finite. There are two ways to handle the problem, rationing by

— wealth, the American way.

— queuing, the NHS way.

I wish Redbean, and all those TRE readers commenting on Ms Tay’s letter read what Jeremy Lim has to say http://theindependent.sg/what-singapore-did-right-and-wrong-in-health-care/, before they comment adversely on the healthcare system here. He also wrote shumething similar in ST https://www.evernote.com/shard/s1/sh/bfb5535d-4859-47f1-beb9-99270276e45f/4133391be0a8092e6d1ac8cdc39ef20b.

Read both articles. Jeremy Lim has his heart in the right place (unlike a certain sneering minister who was a doctor), but knows the practical problems of providing “affordable” healthcare.

Let’s be informed on the topic before opening our mouths. Don’t talk cock on this v. v. impt issue. Don’t use it to express cliched anti-govt or PAP cliches. Even the WP doesn’t.

*We are assuming Ms Tay’s hubbie has financial concerns but can afford to visit a private GP to ask what the test results mean. We are also assuming that they can know a gd GP, by reputation, at least. I hope they are not like a very rich neighbour who uses the public healthcare system but who is always complaining that she never sees the same specialist or GP again: always new one she complains.

It is acceptable if one is cheap-skate, or searching for “value’ person. My friend was an arbitrageur when he worked in the stockbroking industry. He believes that there are always free lunches but one mustn’t be choosy or picky. But he warns to be careful to avoid getting food poisoning. One bad case of food poisoning can wipe out the savings made, unless one goes to a polyclinic for treatment.

Where S’pore and other Asean countries most vulnerable to Fed tapering

In China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Vietnam on 14/09/2013 at 5:36 am

This chart from Reuters shows the vulnerability of major Asian economies to Fed policy of tapering

http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/RNGS/2013/AUG/ASIARANKINGS/ASIARANKINGS.html

S’pore is vulnerable

Slowing GDP: Most vulnerable

Growing Public Debt : Second most vulnerable

Uncompetitive Currency: Second most vulnerable

Growing Credit Intensity: Fourth most vulnerable. Another view: Banks with large property loan portfolios will face higher risks when interest rates start to rise — this as highly-leveraged households begin to have difficulty paying their mortgages.

Economists said this could lead to credit tightening by banks, and a hard landing for the property sector.

If that happens, DBS Bank said Singapore and Hong Kong will be hardest hit within Asia.

In other Asean round-up news

surpluses of Thailand, Hong Kong and Malaysia have narrowed even more since the second half of 2007. However, this is partly because Thailand and Malaysia have boosted domestic investment, which lifts imports.

Malaysian and Indonesian companies are grappling with a margin squeeze: The two commodity-producing economies have witnessed the biggest rise in their real cost of capital. The Philippines has the opposite problem: Falling inflation-adjusted returns for savers.

Rightly or wrongly, though, the sovereign debt issued by developed countries is perceived as safe. Malaysia is not in the same league, and it is pruning petrol and diesel subsidies to control its growing public debt problem.

Unlike in 1997, most Asian countries have relatively straightforward choices. Malaysia can introduce a goods and services tax to control the 14 percentage point increase in its sovereign-debt-to-GDP ratio since 2007. Indonesia can raise interest rates to tame 9 percent inflation. The main problem is India, with its cocktail of slumping growth, high inflation, a creaking banking system, reckless fiscal policies and political uncertainty. Other Asian nations can’t take rising U.S. interest rates lightly, but they are far from a crisis.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2013/09/05/not-all-asian-countries-need-to-fear-the-fed/

Indonesia’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate 25 basis points Thursday afternoon in a move that defied market expectations and continued a swift phase of tightening efforts as the nation’s economic growth showed signs of stumbling.

The interest rate increased to 7.25 percent, the fourth hike in as many months, as Bank Indonesia moved to stabilize the increasingly volatile rupiah while controlling inflation and the widening trade deficit.

The danger of capital controls in Asean (Note this is new link and chart, not the one originally posted)

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21586569-error-apology-and-revision-spreadsheet-different

Asean trade with China (FT charts)

Tharman has a point, but Lawrence Wong missed the plot

In Economy, Financial competency on 27/08/2013 at 4:50 am

Speaking at the Network ASEAN forum on Friday morning, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said there was never a realistic prospect of a smooth and easy exit from quantitative easing (QE).

But the QE tapering will not be bad for the ASEAN economies as it is not in anyone’s interest for very low global interest rates to continue indefinitely.

It also signals an economic recovery in the US — a major market for ASEAN. [Channel News Asia last week].

Investors who have suffered from the flight from regional markets and currencies should look on the bright side. What he said is one gd point to remain calm.

Another reason why tapering is gd: The Federal Reserve is forcing Asia to kick its addiction to hot money. The prospect of higher U.S. interest rates had made the region’s dwindling trade surpluses look an increasingly dangerous habit. Though markets may be turbulent, pricier local money or cheaper currencies will improve the trade balance for most Asian countries. http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2013/08/22/fed-liquidity-curbs-will-act-as-asias-detox-plan/

But QE tapering is gd news only if investors are not leveraged to their eyeballs and counting, bringing me to the issue of Lawrence Wong (a board director at the central bank, where Tharman is the chairman) talked cock on “over-leveraged” borrowers.

Most heavy borrowers in Singapore have above average income levels, which means they are less likely to default on their loans.

Acting Culture, Community and Youth Minister Lawrence Wong said this [on 11 August] in response to questions in Parliament on household debts from Nominated MP Laurence Lien and Non-Constituency MP Yee Jenn Jong.

He went on to say: On borrowers who are “over-leveraged”, or those with debt service burdens exceeding 60 per cent of their income, Mr Wong said most of them have incomes higher than the median household income of S$6,000.

He added that nearly 90 per cent of these borrowers are servicing private property loans, and more than 80 per cent are servicing only one loan.

The reasons to be concerned about these people is not that they earn a lot and can service a loan while leading the gd life, or that they only got one loan. The issues are:

— What happens if they lose their high playing jobs. Will they find another high paying job before the bank manager starts calling? And if they can’t?

— Do they have the cash to cope with a rise in interest rates, whether they have a job that pays them a high a lot or not?

That they have incomes higher than the median household income of S$6,000 is irrelevant, or only one loan is irrelevant to the issue of whether the level of over-leverage poses a danger to the system. Going by the numbers available, over-leverae borrowers do not seem to pose a danger to the system. But the minister’s explanation does worry me: it could indicate the complacency of the central bank and the govt. Hopefully, I’m wrong about their complacency.

A very high tech, inventive, low population country

In Internet, Political economy on 25/08/2013 at 4:46 am

No, not us. We are none of these, though we got many of the u/m conveniences, sort of.

Estonia (population 1.3m) is a world leader in technology. Estonian geeks developed the code behind Skype, Hotmail and Kazaa (a precursor of the Napster file-sharing software). In 2007 it became the first country to allow online voting in a general election. It has among the world’s zippiest broadband speeds and holds the record for start-ups per person. Its 1.3m citizens pay for parking spaces with their mobile phones and have their health records stored in the digital cloud. Filing an annual tax return online, as 95% of Estonians do, takes about five minutes. How did the smallest Baltic state develop such a strong tech culture?

Mr Ilves, a co-founder of Skype the president says Estonia’s success is not so much about ditching legacy technology as it is about shedding “legacy thinking”. Replicating a paper-based tax-filing procedure on a computer, for instance, is no good; having such forms pre-filled so that the taxpayer has only to check the calculations has made the system a success. Education is important, too: last year, in a public-private partnership, a programme called ProgeTiiger (“Programming Tiger”) was announced, to teach five-year-olds the basics of coding. “In the 80s every boy in high-school wanted to be a rock-star,” says Mr Hinrikus. “Now everybody in high-school wants to be an entrepreneur.”  Mr Hinrikus is a co-founder of Skype.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/07/economist-explains-21

Interestingly, some time back ST had a piece entitled “Generating bright ideas in S’pore”. It mentioned Google and Facebbok but not Skype. Wonder why?

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/estonia-doing-it-spore-still-talking-about-it/

Related link on why S’pore can only talk cock: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/02/07SINGAPORE394.html

Govt needed NatCon + survey to find these things out?

In Political governance on 23/08/2013 at 4:45 am

The door-to-door survey of 4,000 Singaporeans was conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) between November last year and February. It was carried out to validate the issues brought up in the 660 OSC sessions held over the past year …

[OSC committee Chairman and Education Minister Heng Swee Keat] noted that overall, the participants at the OSC sessions wanted the assurance that housing, healthcare and public transport will remain affordable.

Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) project comes up with these findings?

What a waste of time, effort and our money so that the govt learns that the people are concerned that housing, healthcare and public transport will remain affordable. And that there are concerns about education. If I wanted to be nasty, I would say that SingCon or NatCon shows out of touch the govt is with the rabble masses. But I won’t, but am surprised the usual suspects that love playing the DRUMS didn’t raise this point. They don’t do original insights, is it?

Juz reading the opinions, analysis and comments on the internet and social media would have told the govt the people’s Hard Truths. OK, as the internet and social media are Injun or Taliban or juz plain hostile territory for the PAP, the govt may be forgiven for doubting that new media is reflecting the facts on the ground.

But then, if the grassroot leaders, PAP MPs and the local media had given no-DRUMS feedback to the govt, the govt would have realised that the Injuns did not speak with forked tongues. Instead the govt only found out the truth after talking with selected S’poreans, and conducting a survey to verify what it was told.

It could have saved time, effort and money if it had listened to netizens, and done a survey to verify whether netizens were reflecting reality, or talking cock like the PAP grassroot leqadersand MPs, and the constructive, nation-building media.

And would was a survey necessary to verify what netizens are bitching and bleating about reflected the reality of feelings on the ground, other than to to give the people at a govt related think-tank shumething to do? What about using the ISD?

In M’sia, the Special Branch (The ISD and the Special Branch trace their origins to the Malayan Special Branch) is so gd that a senior DAP official said in a seminar after the 2008 M’sian elections that the officers info on where the DAP would win was very accurate. They were comparing notes before the 2008 election.

My serious point is that the PAP govt has to find out out new methods of reading the tracks on the ground. The old methods no longer work. They should be ditched or modified. This needs to be done both for the good of the PAP and for ordinary S’poreans. The PAP can no longer rely on the so-called grassroot leaders, the local media and MPs. They too are playing the DRUMS that the govt accuses netizens of doing.

One way is to find a way to verify whether the new media is reflecting (for free) the facts on the ground.Maybe because the info is free, is one reason why the govt ignores it? Remember the PAP MP whose words implied that he looked down on others who earned less than serious money?

But the govt should also have to find ways of finding out and double confirming what the middle-class netizens are ignoring, out of ignorance, complacency, arrogance or maliciousness. They too can play the DRUMS as well as the mainstream media, govt and the PAP. Yes, almost everyone in S’pore plays the DRUMS: one man’s Hard Truths are the DRUMS of lesser mortals, and vice-versa.

But let’s not be too hard on the govt for not making the best use of the resources available, or of wasting time, effort and money to find out what S’poreans think. Wayang is now very impt in politics because nowadays  S’poreans, like other people, think better of politicans who “listen” to their opinions, or “feel” their pain. Or least pretend to.

Taz a new Hard Truth. Paternalism is out. As is “Sit down and shut up. We know what is best for you.”

If Animal Farm was written today, Napoleon and the pigs would have to have a “conversation” with the  other animals, and a survey to validate the said conversation, before going ahead and oppressing them.

—-

*PM and the PAP had serious problems in the 2011GE and the recent by-election with the quality of info they were receiving from the grassroot leaders on voter sentiment. After the 2011 GE, he had to defend the said leaders after PAP MPs criticised them.

Analysing PM’s coming rally speech

In Political economy, Political governance on 16/08/2013 at 5:08 am

So PM is working hard on his National Day Rally speech, at least he said so about a week ago. (He shouldn’t be working hard, he should be working smart: hard work is no substitute for using one’s intellect, which PM has in spades, effectively. If working hard were all that mattered, the FTs toiling on our work sites would have it made.)

We have been told that he will focus on public concerns that housing, healthcare and public transport will remain affordable, and on education (I assume, affordability and the stress it causes pushy parents with average kids). He will most probably talk about jobs (including low or stagnating salaries, and how the govt is tackling these issues), as the concerns for good jobs has also been raised at these talk cock sing song Our S’pore Conversation sessions.

Interestingly in February 1958, this was written by an ang moh reporter: “But, governors may come and may go: but the problems of government are the same. The problems that remain in Singapore are housing, health services, education and expansion of industry.”*.

Well the PAP won the 1959 general elections and have governed S’pore since then, and the problems are the same.

By addressing the issue of affordability, will he implicitly be sending the message that he is be ditching dad’s Hard Truth that populism is bad**?

Not if Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, the minister in-charge of Our Singapore Conversation (OSC), is to believed. He told the media this week that OSC is not a knee-jerk, “populist” policy-making exercise. It is not a “major meet-the-people session”, with the govt collating a wish list and then giving the people what they want. He emphasised that OSC does not sacrifice any strategic thinking on the part of the govt for the sake of showing empathy with the people.

But, he would say this wouldn’t he? Let’s juz ignore the DRUMS and the noise, and focus on the effects. “It doesn’t matter whether a cat is white or black, as long as it catches mice,”, said one Deng Xiaoping.

Anyway, Simon Johnson, once the Chief Economist at the IMF, home of austerity’s the answer to almost any economic problem, and now the Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, Populism and irresponsibility are not, in fact, synonyms. Populism can be sound, he argues. He argues that populism is often used in a pejorative way – as a putdown, implying “the people” want irresponsible things that would undermine the fabric of society or the smooth functioning of the economy.

So what if the people are to be “pampered”? If it is right thing to do by them, do it. According to Simon Johnston, the issue is whether  a ”populist” measure in question is a responsible one. If it is, then the label doesn’t matter, juz do it. (https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/a-populist-measure-can-be-a-sound-measure-ex-imf-chief-economist/)

“It doesn’t matter whether a cat is white or black, as long as it catches mice.”

Filial piety aside, he should openly embrace, or at least quietly hug in the dark, responsible populism, given the measures he has been taking like civil service pay rises, help for poor in renting flats etc etc. (https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/minister-you-thinking-of-yr-govt/)

Next, hopefully (from the perspective of PAPpies, and those of us S’poreans who treasure stability, efficiency and rent-seeking over human rights and democracy), PM works smart on his “likeability”, not on his power point presentation. One of these days, I’ll blog on why he has a great personal story to tell. A preview: overbearing, overachieving father with high expectations who refuses to retire gracefully into old age. And there is more.

PM’s dad was respected and feared. But PM’s not his dad, and times have changed. Kind-heated intellectual thuggery, bullying and hectoring are no longer in fashion with voters. So being “likeable” is very impt.

An analogy with the Catholic Church (Dad used to claim that PAP cadre system was based on the way the cardinals elected the pope, while the pope chose the cardinals, though analysts have pointed out that the PAP’s cadre system more closely resembles the Leninst way organising a “dictatorship of the proletariat”. The best example of this is the way Chinese leaders are elected to run the ruling party and the country.) shows why PM needs to be likeable if the PAP is dominate S’pore politics and life for another 50 years.

So far people have generally taken at face value the image of Francis as a “barefoot pope” who is personally modest, feels compassion for the disadvantaged and is endowed with a basic human warmth that his predecessor seemed at times to lack. He is simply likeable, and that ensures that he commands some respectful attention (even from those who disagree with him) when he seems to be speaking from the heart.

In the leader of a religious organisation whose core beliefs are not open to negotiations, style matters a lot. People can sense hypocrisy and pomposity, and they can also sense the opposite. (http://www.economist.com/blogs/erasmus/2013/07/pope-gays)

As he works smart (not hard) on his speech, he should remember the recent Cambodian elections where the opposition united against a strongman leader who brought prosperity to his country and who sued his opponents for damages and who keeps the media on a very tight leash. It has at least deprived the govt of its two-thirds majority (if not winning the election). (https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/cambodian-elections-harbinger-of-sporean-ge/)

All to play for PM.

And keep up the good work of reforming the system. I may not always agree that he is doing the “right” things but I will concede that are trying hard, whatever his motives. But, like the Red Queen in “Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There”, he is running to keep up with S’poreans rising expectations of change and a better life. To quote Tocqueville as I did here:

experience teaches us that, generally speaking, the most perilous moment for a bad government is one when it seeks to mend its ways….Patiently endured for so long as it seemed beyond redress, a grievance comes to appear intolerable once the possibility of removing it crosses men’s minds.*

And there is the problem of changing a party where there are people like Kate Spade, Charles Chong and VivianB (Don’t do compassion, and sneer at the poor), Lee Bee Wah (Doesn’t do meitocracy at STTA, and her dog used to run away. She now keeps her gates shut tight. My dogs lead such a gd life that one even refuses to leave the house for daily walks), Seng the MP with hearing problems, Ong Ye Kung and Lionel de Souza.

PM would have heard Dr Goh say, as I have, “Oppositions don’t win elections, govts lose elections.”

To sum up: What S’poreans need and want to hear from the PM is what the PAP govt stands for, what it believes, how the govt now would be different from the one before. And that needs to be set out with absolute clarity in a language that S’poreans can understand and empathise with.”

The problem is that PM has been part of the govt since the 1980s, and DPM, and economic, financial and civil service czar in the 1990s and early noughties, and PM since 2004,  making it difficult, if not impossible, for him to say move on from the past. He was a major creator of the problems that caused the disconnect between a substantial number of voters and the PAP govt, that he as PM now has to repair.

Even dad would find this impossible to do.

Churchill and FDR juz might have managed to do it, but our PM is no Churchill or FDR, let alone his dad.

*Singapore Correspondent. Political Dispatches from Singapore (1958-1962)

(http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/mai/new-book-singapore-correspondent/)
by Leon Comber*

Publisher:  Marshall Cavendish International Asia

Singapore Correspondent Book CoverSingapore Correspondent” covers five years of Singapore’s colourful political past – a period of living turbulently and sometimes dangerously. It is a collection of eye-witness dispatches, sent from Singapore to London, spanning a time when Singapore was emerging from British colonial rule and moving forward to self-government and independence. Many of the early struggles of the People’s Action Party (PAP) are described as the focus is on the political struggle taking place in which the PAP played a major part. Many important events which have long been forgotten are brought to life. These dispatches prove that political history need not be dull, and indeed can sometimes be entertaining and lively.

* MAI Adjunct Research Fellow

Reviewed here: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/im-invested-in-spore-spore-in-50s-60s/

Related: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/when-55-of-voters-were-fts/

**Coming a few days after dad launched his latest book on Hard Truths, it may look like he’s giving dad a very tight slap+. Tot that was job of co-driver? Trying to make WP redundant? Or Low and gang not doing enough, preferring to share out contracts and enjoying their salaries? And this reminds me of: Former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s views expressed in his new book, One Man’s View of the World, are “obsolete,” said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The views represented the Mahathir generation, he added.

“We should not always look at the dichotomy between rights and race, black and white.

“For example, he (Lee) talks about race-based policies, but there is very little understanding of the discourse in the last decade,” he said.

Anwar said Lee was still “trapped in the old mindset,” when he used to be in the opposition during Malaya before Singapore was established.

“His thoughts are not so relevant now in the context of the present day. That is what prompted him to make sweeping statements to generalise the situation in Malaysia,” Anwar told reporters … [Star]

+Filial piety? What filial piety? At least PM learned the lesson from dad that eggs must be broken to make omelets: that the ends justifies the means.  LKY should be proud that his son has at least learned this.

Is the PAP leopard baring his fangs and unsheathing his claws?

In Political governance on 07/08/2013 at 4:51 am

(Or “Netizens, look on the bright side”)

Reading the recent articles of the Magnificent Seven bloggers, and E-Jay, one would think so: that the leopard has not changed its spots. He’s returning to his usual predatory habits of stalking, bullying and intimidating the herbivores with the aim of creating a climate of fear and terror. There are Yaacob’s Laws, the persecution and demonising of P Ravi and cartoonist Chew (Breaking News: He juz apologised and the charges should be withdrawn. BTW, AG had once asked him to withdraw some of these cartoons, but he ignored AG.),  AG’s warning letters to bloggers about “contempt of court” postings, the play-pen name calling of Auntie and her Singh etc etc.

Maybe they should look on the bright side like Brian Cohen in the Life of Brian*. Suffering a lingering, painful death by cruxification, Brian’s spirits were lifted by others crucified along with him, who sang “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”.

As the bloggers swing, in their imaginations on the gallows, on their connecting cables or mice tails, in the world beyond cyberspace:

“Dr Paul Ananth Tambyah has been promoted to Full Professor with tenure at the National University of Singapore where he is an expert in infectious diseases at the Department of Medicine.”

“Professor Tambyah is a member of the SDP’s Healthcare Advisory Panel and co-authored, together with nine other members, the SDP National Healthcare Plan: Caring For All Singaporeans and in the olden days would have signed up to the PAP in order to serve the public (while earning serious money) is what I told a retired senior imperial storm trooper (keyboard division) when we were talking about the quality of people becoming PAP MPs (think Kate Spade and Fool Me) and those joining the Opposition. Instead he is an active member of the SDP (I know him).

— Mdm Vellama challenged the Prime Minister by filing an application in High Court in March 2012 calling “for the grant of declaration that the Prime Minister does not possess the “unfettered discretion to decide when to announce by-elections in Hougang SMC and must do so within three months or within such reasonable time as this Honorable Court deems fit”.

Seems, she is still receiving financial assistance from the Community Development Council.

— The defence minister has yet to sue P Ravi for defamation despite a govt spokesperson writing to ST’s Forum Page: “With his post, Mr Philemon appeared to be insinuating the following: That the Government was not telling the truth, that it hoards the masks for the privileged, and that it does not care for the public.” (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, why are you reading my blog?) Instead NG (Negative Govt) played the DRUMS (Distortions, Rumours, Untruths, Misinformation and Smears) while netizens heard RAVI (Recriminations, Accusations, Vilifications & Insinuations (or is it Insults?).

— SDP activist allowed to do his doctorate in NUS Biz School.

When PM’s dad was PM, it was widely perceived that the PAP had a “You are with us or against us”**, and anyone who actively opposed the PAP was asking for trouble. Well, whatever the truth of the perception, and as a junior lawyer in a leading corporate law firm, I can assure you that that was the feeling in the firm then. Incidentally, two partners during my stint, went on to be High Court judges, and more

Whatever else I think about the PM (like he cannot even get the haze issue right: he talked of the haze coming back “for weeks” about a month ago, but since then the reading was “moderate”, now “good”), I’m glad to say that this feeling that active opposition to the PAP is not tolerated (and is punished disproportionately) is a lot less prevalent nowadays, no matter what netizens say.

Can anyone imagine a SDP activist getting full tenure in olden times? (OK, a “noise’ maker was denied tenure at NTU but then his connections may have made him hard to get approval: his wife is Editor of ST and his brudder-in-law is one Yaacob, Muslim minister and internet sheriff***. Surely some netizens would have shouted, “Nepotism or favourism”, if he had got tenure? Actually, many shouted “Kelong” when he didn’t get tenure. PAP it seems can’t win netizens over.)

Or would quai lan lady still get financial help from a govt agency in the 70s, 80s, 90s or early noughties? (Nice the welfare people under Kee Chui Chan are doing the right thing by a fellow citizen despite her causing trouble for the PM, wasting AG’s time, and our money.)

Could a SDP activist getting tenure, while another is allowed to do a doctorate, the defence minister not suing P Ravi and a govt agency still helping a quai lan lady be part of a cunning plot by the PAP to lull the public into thinking it is morping into a decent, “clean”, ‘constructive” party with the “right” politics? Or is the PAP really morping into the “right” party?

After all, it is also throwing our money at us. A no-no when LKY was in power.

One ang moh seems to think so: The first step for Singapore’s reinvention lies with recognizing the seriousness of its challenges. The policies of the past may have worked impressively, but may not be as appropriate in the future. As my old Japanese sensei Jiro Tokuyama once noted: the hardest thing to do is how to unlearn the secrets of your past success. The ingredients in the cocktail that is Singapore need to be tweaked for a new era. http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2013/07/18/singapore-needs-a-new-sling/

The writer is right about the need to “unlearn”, but many (self included) think more than “tweaks” are needed. (The piece is wrong here also: “Steps to increase the size of apartments, repurpose aging shopping and office structure for housing as well as encouraging more home-based work could also prove helpful.” — I don’t know where the writer gets these ideas; the opposite is happening says Alex Au rightly)

So come the next GE, will the PAP do better?

The continuing good news for “P” (for “political”) netizens, and the opposition is that so long as VivianB is in the cabinet, the PAP will have very serious problems being perceived as the “compassionate” , “right” party, no matter how much of our money the govt throws at us (latest efforts http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/need-to-look-out-for-pmes/765942.html and http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/more-govt-help-for/765132.html), or does the “right’ thing like giving a SDP activist tenure, and helping quai lan lady.

If PM is smart, he’ll get rid of VivianB and promote Lily Neo. Kee Chui needs all the help he can get, and he lost Halimah. It’s not as though PM doesn’t have another Indian Christian available: Indranee Thurai Rajah is reported to be a pretty decent and capable junior minister. So long as VivianB is in the cabinet, I for one know the PAP leopard cannot change its spots to save itself.

Finally, celebrate National Day. Don’t be boxed in by the opposing narratives of the govt (watch NDP parade) or those opposed to the PAP by turning up at Hong Leong Park. Do yr own thing. Don’t be sheep.

—-

*It tells the story of Brian Cohen, a young Jewish man who is born on the same day as, and next door to, Jesus Christ and is subsequently mistaken for the Messiah.

**Bit like anti-PAP TRE posters on my republished pieces. When I blog against the PAP, I get praised. When I’m neutral, I get called names. Some use my neutral pieces against me, posting onto my anti-PAP pieces, that I am a PAP stooge.  These posters are only happy if a piece is 150% anti-PAP. And when I support a PAP policy, I’m beyond the pale.

***A paid-up member of the M’sian establishment said that in M’sia with those connections even a donkey would get tenure. He then grumbled about the state of the Malay community here (he has relations here) and went to school here.

LionsXII: Park three buses

In Footie on 02/07/2013 at 7:01 am

Remember that a great Arsenal mgr once said, “Strikers win games, defenders win trophies”. No not that wanker Wenger.

BTW, Sundram although you are a gd coach, pls don’t talk cock. Based on last yr’s results, LionsXII were contenders for trophies this season. And no-one ever tot team was cock, though S’poreans were concerned FAS would let FTs sabo the team. Didn’t happen. Glad that “S” in FAS stands for “S’pore” not “Serbia”.

LionsXII! The real Lions!

Why the silence on PM’s latest goof?

In Humour on 01/07/2013 at 5:26 am

(Or “Cyber activists are suicidal? Frus over what?”)

About this time last week, our PM warned that the haze would return “for weeks”. Well since then, conditions are pretty normal for this time of the year. And on Saturday, ST reported NEA as saying the reduction from very high levels of pollution could be due to less fires.

So if one wanted to be mean but factually correct, one could rightly say PM was wrong. And if one wanted to be “P” (political), one could say, “So waz new? He always talking cock”.

(BTW, I owe an apology to the WP town council and the NEA: I had suggested that it didn’t make sense to clean the ceilings at the two hawker cenres because PM said the haze respite was temporary. Guess they knew that PM would be wrong, as usual.)

Seriously, jokes’ aside, why isn’t the “PAP govt is always in the wrong” brigade complaining, especially the “P” ones.

Three reasons: one is that like other S’poreans, they too are relieved, and happy that conditions are back to the usual “moderate” haze for this time of the year.

And maybe, they too are proud that the leaders of this little red dot got the Indons to apologise, and do shumething without returning the so-called ill-gotten gains from Indonesia. Actually this money isn’t ours, Indons still own the money. Convict them in Indon courts, and then can talk about the morality of returning the money.

The third reason is that the more chim and vocal members of “PAP govt is always in the wrong” may be be in shock over two foot shooting (or is it “feet in mouth) accidents, involving three prominent bloggers, in less than five days.

The first was Andrew Loh’s unprovoked rant, full of “dirty” words,against the president of S’pore*. He quickly apologised but one was left wondering why did he get so upset over such a bland, meaningless statement? Because it was bland, meaningless, and late?

The other incident involved minister Shan (the dog and cat lover, weird combi this), Ms Kisten Han and Remy Choo. See here for a good summary (and funny take)  of what happened. To summarise

— Ms Han said in her blog that the minister wanted Mr Choo to convey that Mr Shanmugam would not hesitate to sue those republishing the article; but

— Mr Shanmugam later clarified that this description was inaccurate; then

– in a statement carried on Ms Han’s blog later, Mr Choo said that he was responsible for giving that impression to Miss Han, and that it was incorrect and unfair of him to have done so.

Having read both Remy Choo’s FB comments**, if anyone had to apologise it should not be him. It shld be Ms Kisten Han for rushing into print with her “chim” tots on the dangers of sharing, when the law is pretty clear on the matter: share libelous stuff at yr peril http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-22652083.

Surely she must have known that said minister would react aggressively, not that I blame him***. She, at least explained, her motivations on her public FB Wall; motivations which I find very emotional. If I were in close regular contact with her, I’d be afraid, very afraid, lest confidences be spilled.Anyway, if Remy is not upset with her, then taz the end of the matter. He is the “damaged” party.If he has political ambitions to become a MP, he can forget it. His apology would be used against him if he stood, and we all know that our political parties are all Kiasus.

(FTR, I had dealings with Kirsten and Remy a few yrs back. They are “Smarter than the average bear”. BTW, wonder what Yogi would think of Barrie the Bear.  A bear that is S’porean, Canadian, Muslim, and Indon-loving?)

As evidence of this reason, that some bloggers are in shock, juz before the Andrew incident, one or two “P” bloggers were hinting that the masks were issued after the need for them had passed.

Whatever, why the sudden bout of foot shooting or mouths in foots is what I want to know? Both incidents were so unnecessary. There needn’t have to be apologies if these three prominent and leading bloggers had tot before they acted. Are the three bloggers are frus about way things are developing here that they make irrational decisions?

Anyway, let’s not get worked up. “Move on”, as the PAPpies like to say.Not much damage except to the gentlemanly Remy Choo.

But let’s try to learn lessons so as not to repeat these “mistakes”. One lesson is that be aware of one’s emotions: remember Yoda tot the Jedi to be unattached to their emotions, while being aware of them. Wonder if Yoda learnt this from the Buddha?

*When I was first shown the post, I tot Andrew Loh was the victim of a hack, or “an honest” tech mistake where a poster’s comment got merged into his post, or “an honest” editorial cock-up (pressed “publish”, instead of “save”. Believe you mean this can happen. I’ve published when I wanted to save, and save when I wanted to publish.)

**On his public FB wall.

*** I’d be even more aggressive. There are “conventions” on such private conversations and the reporting thereof. The most impt of which is “Everything is not attributable” without the permission of the speaker.

Haze: Is this allegation true?

In Public Administration on 27/06/2013 at 5:34 am

This caught my attention,”From Facebook posts, there were people who collapsed or died of heart attack or asthma attack.”; a sentence from a long piece by a reader to TOC and posted by TOC.

I’ve read similar allegations by TRE readers then who went on to castigate our govt for allowing these things to happen, and our”constructive”, “nation-building” media for not reporting these deaths etc.

My doctor friends tell me they have not seen an increase in such cases, and say that there are are no rumours floating around from doctors working in public hospitals on such increases.

What I would like to know:

— Are there postings of “people who collapsed or died of heart attack or asthma attack”. Asking as I’ve not seen any such, but then I’m not a big user of FB. This posting appeared on Tuesday evening, but I saw it only yesterday.

— Whether there has been any increase in “people who collapsed or died of heart attack or asthma attack”? Hope the govt can provide data and Uncle Leong can critique the info provided. Maybe some PAP MP or Lina Chiam will ask for the numbers if the govt doesn’t come forward?

BTW, three cheers for TOC. It has been trying to do something to help people during the haze: not juz talk cock, sing song and bitch. TOC is so unlike many other kay poh bloggers or FB “activists”.

And it gets “marked” by the govt? SIGH.

BTW2, Support the NEA’s website rebuking “wrong” facts. I’m surprised that a few of the “usual suspects” think that it is a waste of effort, with nEA having better things to do. ’cause their kakis kanna slime?

Why Plan “Suffocate S’poreans” failed?

In Humour, Indonesia, Malaysia on 26/06/2013 at 4:55 am

(Or “Why Indonesia apologised?”)

So the Indonesian presisent has apologised to M’sia and S’pore for the haze, despite an official earlier saying that Indonesia would not apologise to S’pore. And the president also admitted that his ministers were talking cock, while doing bugger-all.

So this has worked: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/haze-what-raffles-would-have-done/?

Seriously, why has Indonesia apologised to this  “little red dot” inhabited by “children”?

My friend in M’sia’s Special Branch told me the following story based on bugs placed in the cabinet room: nothing to do with us “children” it seems.

On Monday, the Indonesia cabinet was briefed on “Operation Smoke Out the Money”. The president and his ministers were told that S’pore was choking in the smoke from Riau and would be soon be very receptive to this call by a fair-minded S’porean-Canadian* to surrender all of its ill-gotten gains from Indonesia, especially as the article was republished in the widely read, influential patriotic and nationalistic TRE, and the very respected, influential SGDaily carried a link to the original article**. My source said that many ministers were heard groaning presumably because they had illicit money in S’pore.

Then an aide came in and said, “Mr President, the dad of S’pore’s PM wants to speak to you.” The ministers clapped.

Then another aide called, “Sir, Najib, Anwar and Tun M are calling, together”. The president said, “How do they know so fast Suharto’s buddy is repenting? And why a joint call?”.One minister said,”Sir, they came together to honour you, the MAN who brought S’pore to its knees!”

The aide said, “Sir, I doubt it. M’sia has declared an emergency in South Johor and schools in KL are closing; all because of the haze. Apparently, Superman*** is blowing the smoke away from S’pore, diverting the smoke into Malaya. S’pore is smoke free! The Malay media is asking, “Why are our Muslim brudders behaving like this? Screwing, smoking us and not the infidels in S’pore? S’pore took their money, not us!”

A third aide came in saying, “Sir, the plantation companies and APRIL are calling. They want to know how much more money yr ministers want them to deposit in the ministers’ S’pore bank accounts?”

The president went, “Oh Riau!”. My SB source says presumably because Riau is now hotter than hell.

And one Christian minister was heard sniggering, “Where are the Islamic superheroes when Muslims need them?”. Ash trays and wine glasses were thrown at him.

*Contrary to TRE posters, Special Branch does not believe he is an Indonesian Quisling, doing it for the money. He is an honest S’porean- Canadian. He sincerely believes that S’pore is screwing Indonesia.

**Only TOC didn’t carry the article.

***I reminded my SB contact of Superman’s Jewish origins: Kal-El (his Krypton name) sounds like the Jewish term for “Voice of God”. My contact laughingly said that LKY chose his friends better than M’sia’s rulers did. He chose Israel and the US to suck up to, M’sia chose Muslim countries and the US as friends.

S’pore dissident and rebel suggests an easy, effective & lazy way of undermining PAP rule

In Political governance, Uncategorized on 12/06/2013 at 5:54 am

I had written that new media was like Lao Tzu’s description of water, “Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox:what is soft is strong.”

.Tan Wah Piow illustrates how the water analogy works (albeit without using the term).

This is how the real “S’pore Dissident* and “S’pore Rebel” defines what he calls “Virtual Movement for Democracy in Cyberspace (VMD)” : This force is far more radical, dynamic, reflective of the people’s mood, and certainly more threatening to the PAP than all the opposition parties combined … the “Virtual Movement for Democracy in Cyberspace (VMD)”

It is a movement without leaders, organisation, or membership. Yet it has a capacity to grow, and is already setting the political demands for change. The power of this virtual movement lies in its ability to synergise the individual desires for democratic changes in Singapore into real collective political actions. The energy within this virtual movement comes from the decades of pent up frustrations, as well as the feeling of betrayal of the Singapore cause … All of us are now part of this VMD.

It is this VMD which is now setting the political agenda in Singapore. The avalanche of criticisms against AIM, the Population White Paper, and now the control of the Internet are not led by any of the opposition party, but by the uncoordinated collective efforts of individuals in cyberspace. They include those who write articles, bloggers, those who make comments, those who distribute articles through facebook and social media. The VMD would not be a potent political force without a buoyant cyberspace. At the same time, the cyberspace in Singapore would be sterile without the VMD.

(http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/06/04/the-real-reason-behind-the-internet-crackdown/ I very strongly commend readers read it. It is the only piece from one of the “usual suspects” on Yaacob’s internet rules that is rational, unemotional, doesn’t tie itself up in contradictions; in short, no BS. The others are “noise”, cocks preening themselves for a Wayang.)

As usual, he calls for the PAP to be kicked out**. But, During the interim, we need more guerrilla-type bloggers and cyber-warriors to counter the current set of regulations. Each time we forward an article we like in cyberspace to our friends and acquaintances, we are actively undermining the legitimacy and dominance of the PAP.

Juz forward articles we like. So simple leh. But then the best strategies are often the simplest. Not the complicated ones.

So, while I don’t share his obsession with overthrowing the PAP (if the PAP does the right things by S’poreans, I’ll vote for it), I share his view on the Virtual Movement for Democracy in Cyberspace and how we can grow it the lazy way: juz forward articles we like.

No need to do blackouts or attend protests in the hot sun. Juz use the tools of the wired city-state that the PAP govt has created.

*No disrespect meant to Gopalan and Rajan Nair, the two self-styled S’pore Dissidents. I’m sure even they must concede that Tan has done more for the cause they and he believe in than their combined efforts, which objectively speaking amounts to little more than hot air.

**LKY’s disciple, Lim Kit Siang, had started calling for UMNO to be voted out at about the same time as Tan had started to call for the overthrow of the PAP: since the early 70s. UMNO and the PAP, like Johnnie Walker, are still going strong.

Quadruple confirm: Public servants don’t do cost-benefit analysis

In Financial competency, Humour, Public Administration on 04/06/2013 at 5:12 am

Former NUS law professor, Tey Tsun Hang, was sentenced to a 5 months’ jail term and ordered to pay a penalty of $514.80 by the court yesterday. He was convicted of corruptly obtaining gifts and sex from former student Darinne Ko.

Last week, the former chief of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Peter Lim Sin Pang, was convicted by a District Court for corruption. He was on trial for abusing his position to obtain sexual favours from Ms Pang Chor Mui in return for favorable consideration of her company’s tender bid for business.

Also last week, the Ministry of Home Affairs said disciplinary proceedings against the former chief of the Central Narcotics Bureau Ng Boon Gay would remain suspended until a final outcome in the criminal proceedings. Mr Ng was acquitted of corruption charges in February. Mr Ng was accused of obtaining sexual favours from IT sales manager Ms Cecilia Sue in return for furthering the business interests of her two employers. The MHA spokesperson also said that the prosecution was studying  the written grounds of decision and assessing whether to file a Petition of Appeal.

Even though Gay was acquired, all three public servants paid a high price for being a bit (very cheap actually) cheap when it came to sex. In return for a few freebie trysts, they ended up spending very serious money on lawyers , and damaging their reputations and earning capabilities. I mean who will want to employ two soiled police scholars and an academic who proclaimed his academic integrity* when he was charged?

Then there was ex-Speaker of Parliament, “Mangoes for Laura” Palmer. True he wasn’t charged and never paid lawyers’ fees, but the guy was castrated in public: within a few hours he fell from “tua kee” to zero you-know-what.

Obviously, they didn’t do cost-benefit analysis. If they had been, they could have realised that the costs of being cheap on sex was higher than if they had paid for it. They would have realised that paying for sex was less risky for their careers and reputations. Based on legal fees of $500,000 a case (and I’m being conservative given the size of the legal teams), even if each man charged had sex 100 times (and the reports indicate that the frequency wasn’t that high), the cost would be $5,000 a session. And these were with aunties! Not slim, tall Vogue model-types.

If these senior public servants, didn’t use cost-benefit analysis on such an impt, personal matter, what are the chances that public servants use cost-benefit analysis when analysising or making decisions for us the masses? Yup, highly unlikely.

Anyway, these four cases illustrate the ancient Chinese saying of, “Kill a cock to frighten the monkeys”. Here four cocks were “killed’ to remind public servants that free sex is not a benefit of service. Never mind, public servants can afford to pay for sex, juz like they can afford to buy $5m to S10m apartments from a TLC, even when the TLC expresses concerns that it can sell some of these apartments. And if the MDA chairman and CEO may have problems with their personal cost-benefit analysis (what with QE possibly being reversed, with knock-on effects for S’pore property, and KepLand’s remarks on selling its apts), can ministers and the public trust that the MDA has done its cost-benefit analysis on its new media regulations? It could be telling that the Manpower minister replaced MDA’s CEO at a Talking Points programme on the issue of new media regulation? BTW, where was the water engineer**, Yaacob?

Note (Last three lines added two hrs after first publication, after reading FT etc)

——

*I tot he was going to deny that he ever had sex with his student. It has been part of Western academic tradition since the times of the Greeks that sex with students was taboo. There was a lewd Roman joke that Socrates never had sex with Plato despite both being gay because Plato was Socrates’ pupil. The Romans didn’t do gay sex.

**See the * at end in link on what I mean by “water engineer”.

Peru’s Clown Day

In Uncategorized on 01/06/2013 at 10:49 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22670682

These pics will bring a smile even to the most depressed netizen brought low by Yaacob’s alternative to Coc!

Why are there hawker centres in Singapore?

In Public Administration on 30/05/2013 at 6:11 pm

Singapore’s hawker centres started partly for hygiene reasons, and to keep our water pollution in control. Singapore’s street hawkers were polluting the water courses quite badly. We had a major problem with water pollution … The drains were all polluted, hawkers used basins to wash their soiled crockery, and you could see rats, cockroaches, and other animals running around.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22506476

This is part of an on-going and occasional series showcasing the gd the PAP govt has done since 1959, partly inspired by these non-political pages: On a little street in S’pore https://www.facebook.com/groups/183252211695508/?hc_location=stream and If you grew up in S’pore https://www.facebook.com/groups/246013595430103/?hc_location=stream

This occasional series is to remind S’poreans that the PAP govt has done gd. Its actions are not always bad. Neither are they always benevolent: something our constructive, nation-building media is always spinning.

The issue is: Does the gd outweigh the bad or the bad outweigh the gd. Bit like the debate in China on Mao.

Others in series

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/when-55-of-voters-were-fts/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/im-invested-in-spore-spore-in-50s-60s/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/minimum-wages-yikes-pap-may-be-right/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/property-prices-mm-lee-is-too-modest/

Todds, even yr beloved, trusted FBI contradicts you

In Public Administration on 16/05/2013 at 5:53 am

I juz read that the Todds threw a tantrum making more accusations against the police. Even this believer of the tendency of our police to do incompetent things (Example) thinks the Todds’ are going to far, now that a FBI report contradicted them

The external hard drive accessed by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) three days after American engineer Shane Todd was found dead in his Singapore apartment in June last year was identical to the one the Todd family handed over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to examine in March this year, according to a report by the FBI.

 At the ongoing coroner’s inquiry into Mr Todd’s death, the court heard yesterday that the FBI had come to this conclusion after the SPF had officially asked the FBI on March 19 this year to confirm whether the two external hard drives were, in fact, one and the same.

 The FBI’s report appears to conflict with allegations made by the Todd family in a Financial Times report earlier this year, where his parents Richard and Mary said that they found the hard-disk drive at Mr Todd’s apartment themselves and kept it.

 According to the SPF, Sergeant Khaldun Sarif took the Seagate hard drive back to the Central Police Division after he was called to the scene of Mr Todd’s death on June 24, 2012. After viewing the hard drive on the night of June 27, 2012, he gave it to Mr Todd’s parents on June 28, 2012. (BT 15 May 2013).

Interestingly, they still do not deny the implication of the FBI report that they lied:

Their claim that they had found the hard disk drive has been central to their claims that their son did not take his own life. As I wrote here, I was about to stop reading the FT story and bitch to the FT that a reputable paper like the FT had better things to do than print the rantings of grieving parents. I didn’t because I next read that they claimed that had found the drive which implied that the police had missed it. The claim put things in a different light: our police could have cocked up, like over the Suntec beatings (Incidentally, we still don’t know the result of the police disciplinary action against the investigator. Can a PAP MP or Mrs Chiam ask? WP MPs presumably too busy handing out contracts to supporters)

As they had then wanted the FBI to supervise the investigations of our police (which annoyed me), the FBI finding that the drive given to them by the parents, is the same as the one the police gave the Todds, tells us they misrepresented the facts.

Sergeant Khaldun Sarif was generous to the Todds, yet they behaved like vicious snakes towards him. He could have played it by the book and retained the drive. He handed it to the parents and look at what they did. They claimed to have found it to give credence to their claims that their son was murdered, putting him in a bad light: that as investigator he had missed the drive.

The Todds are bad or mad: that’s the conclusion any reasonable person would draw from the FBI report. Grief over the death of their son is one thing, trying to fix  Sergeant Khaldun Sarif or blame others is another. But would bad people lie about the origins of the drive, and handed it over to the FBI? So grief may have driven them mad, and they tot that they found the drive?

 

“Thanks Jos for giving Bishan East residents another reason not to support the PAP”

In Humour on 15/04/2013 at 5:05 am

So we have been told by the vice chairman of the Bishan East Citizens Consultative Committee (CCC), Roland Ang, who wrote to Stomp to explain that it was the coffeeshop owner who reserved the tables for Jos Teo and retnue, and “not any grassroots leaders”.

So the guys wearing red polo shirts shooing away patrons were PRC FT coffee shop employees? Or were they grassroots leaders moonlighting as coffee shop assistants? Or did the owner authorise them to chase patrons away, now that he is short of FT PRC labour because of govt policy? TRE alleges that he is a PAP member, so the grassroots leaders were helping a kaki lang.

Seriously, if the tables were reserved, how come customers were sitting there? And how come grassroots leaders were clearing the tables of patrons? Where were the coffeeshop assistants? Remember Roland Ang has not denied that grassroots leaders cleared customers from the tables.

Roland Ang should have gotten get the coffee shop owner to explain what happened. The silence of the coffee shop owner is deafening, especially as if alleged he is a PAP member.

Remember Watergate? The attempt to cover-up the truth was what did Nixon in, not the break-in.

Never mind, all the more reason for residents to vote against the PAP come the next GE say the anti-PAP activists. “Thanks Jos, Roland and other PAP activists for making it easier for residents not to support the PAP. Keep on being tua kee. Great way to connect with residents.”

Background info: http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/04/13/grassroots-leader-seats-reserved-by-coffeeshop-owner-not-us/

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/jos-too-is-talking-cock/

Subsidising wage rises good, Minimum Wage bad

In Economy, Political economy on 13/03/2013 at 6:40 am

As usual the grumblers are out on TRE, TOC and Facebook. The question they are bitching out loud is, “Why is the govt spending our money on subsidising wage increases?”. And asking, “What about introducing a Minimum Wage?”

I’ve this fantasy that when the govt introduces a Minimum Wage scheme, these same people who say that this scheme is bad for S’pore: which it is*.

Coming back to subsidised pay rises, other than to win votes from the many S’poreans who don’t belong to Team “Govt, PAP are bastards” or “PAP govt is always wrong” or “We always bitch against the PAP, govt”, there is a good economic reason for the govt subsidising wage rises.

Rising wages give employers an incentive to increase the return to recruiting and training, if they can no longer bring in FTs by the cattle-truck load to off-set rising wages for locals. At the same time, rising wages make it more attractive for older S’poreans to look for work, rather than go online and complain about everything, while making it more attractive for employers to drop their prejudices and discrimination against the elderly.

(Having said all that, there is an educated oldie at the Marine Parade polyclinic that I wish wasn’t working there.)

And given that the SMEs are screaming that the govt is killing them by cutting off the supply of FTS, how else to give S’poreans a wage rise, on top of CPF employer rate rises.

And better to spend our money on fellow S’poreans rather than giving it to our SWFs who will spend some of it on ang moh investment bankers who bring them lousy deals.

Post on Workfare: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/minimum-wages-missing-the-point/

*I wish all those MPs who talked cock about a Minimum Wage would read http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/02/minimum-wage and I’m shocked that the PAP didn’t ensure that its MPs understood elementary economics. (BTW, the piece is entitled “The minimum wage- The law of demand is a bummer”)

Most relevant excerpt: There are conditions under which raising the minimum wage will increase demand, as well as economic efficiency. According to one story, monopsony conditions for low-wage labour, ie, imperfectly competitive labour-market conditions in which there is but a single buyer of low-wage labour (or a colluding band of buyers) that is able to set wages at a level workers have little choice but to accept. Good old Econ 101 shows that under such conditions, a bump in the minimum wage, within a certain range, can boost employment and enhance efficiency. So there’s that. And such conditions no doubt exist in some sectors at some places at some times. One famous, and egregiously misused, study suggests that monopsony-like conditions applied to fast-food restaurants in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in the mid-1990s. But there is basically no reason whatsoever to think that such conditions apply generally, across all sector and regions of the American labour market.

In the absence of special conditions, we have every reason to expect the law of demand to hold, such that raising the minimum wage will make it harder for inexperienced workers—workers whose output is worth less to employers than the mandated wage, and especially teenagers from low-income families looking to get a first footing in the labour market—to find work. And this is, in fact, what empirical studies tend to conclude. A comprehensive 2008 survey of the empirical literature from David Neumark, a professor of economics at the University of California, Irvine, and William Wascher, an economist for the Federal Reserve, found that, as one would expect, “[M]inimum wages reduce employment opportunities for less-skilled workers, especially those who are most directly affected by the minimum wage.”

Again, it doesn’t have to work this way. Employers can cut hours rather than hiring fewer workers. They can turn down the air-conditioner, strictly police the length of breaks, and otherwise reduce the cost of amenities previously enjoyed by employees. They can shift to off-the-books employees willing to work for less than the legally-mandated minimum. They can raise prices, passing on increased labour costs to consumers. It’s conceivable that the only consequence would be that a larger share of profits gets distributed to low-wage workers. Conceivable and exceedingly unlikely. In reality, we probably get small adjustments along each of these dimensions.

Of course, there is some newish empirical research contesting the disemployment effect of increases in the minimum wage, and then there is even newer research debunking it.

Budget debate: No more Wayang pls WP

In Political governance, Uncategorized on 27/02/2013 at 6:06 am

(Esp since govt stops Wayang on COEs and properties)

I was surprised to learn from DPM Teo last yr, that the WP MPs voted in favour of the 2012 Budget. Given the passion that they spoke against things they didn’t like about the 2012 Budget, I had tot that they would abstain. Voting against the Budget would be expecting too much of a party that sees itself as a “co-driver” with the possibility of sharing the driving one day (Dream on Baiyee).

Still I tot that abstaining would be a principled stand (Not opposing for the sake of opposing), that reflects the realities: there are gd bits, and any way PAP will win the vote. But support the Budget was two-faced by any standard, especially given that there were strong speeches against bits of the Budget. (And talking of two-faced, Baiyee and Auntie voted for the govt’s bill changing the law on mandatory capital punishment, after waxing impassionately against it).

So come the time, I expect the WP to be principled: either abstain or vote against the govt’s Budget. I’m of course assuming that there are things in the Budget that the WP strongly disagrees with. If the WP has only minor quibbles, and supports the Budget, in general, I expect it to say so openly, loudly, and to vote for the Budget. Don’t attack it, and then support it. In short, no more Wayang please.

The WP MPs should show us that they got balls they can walk the talk, not talk cock sing song. For the latter, we got PAP MPs like Inderjit Singh. The voters of Punggol East and Aljunied did not vote for WP MPs, only to discover that they voted for PAP clones who dress in light blue.

Penultimately, PritamS had a great suggestion for the govt that he should suggest to WP Low. Practice what you preach: set an example.

“Member of Parliament (MP) Pritam Singh has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to better highlight Singapore’s stand on controversial issues.
He said this was not only to solicit public feedback, but also to remove the chance for misunderstandings among the public to occur on such matters.” CNA on 4 February 2013.

The WP should better highlight WP’s stand (and voting record in Parliament where applicable) on controversial or complicated issues to remove the chance for misunderstandings among the public to occur on such matters.

Finally, nice to see that the govt has stopped its wayanging on inflation caused by COEs and property rentals (Remember Tharman’s and Hng Kiang’s,”Inflation? What inflation? Don’t rent, no new car, no inflation leh.”) Why did it  take the govt so long to introduce these measures http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1256373/1/.html. I also like the new car financing measures. Shumething should be done similarly on residential property financing, other than first homes. SLimit the loans to 10 years, given that interest rates are low.

Update: WP groupie JG (see comments) has a gd point on voting records. This is something that the WP should explain to S’poreans as per Baiyee’s suggestion.

 

Population White Paper: 2030 will resemble 1959?

In Political governance on 15/02/2013 at 5:41 am

Why I see the White Paper no ak

A Citigroup report noted that the White Paper projects the dilution of Singapore-born citizens from 62% of the population to just 55% in 2030 based on number of new FT citizens that the govt plans to bring in projects to come in naturally: 15,000 – 25,000 annually.

In 1959, according to Singapore Correspondent. Political Dispatches from Singapore (1958-1962) only 270,00 out of the 600,000 voters were born here i.e. there only 45% of the voters were born here. The rest were the FT “new” citizens of the day.

Interestingly the author reported that when one LKY revealed the above fact in 1959, LKY also said,”we must go about our task (of building up a nation) with urgency … of integrating our people now and quickly”.

Maybe he repented of nation-building? And his son and the PAP is carrying out a policy of “return to the future”?

This isn’t the only example of back-to-the-future thinking. The ST managing editor “orders” us to trust the govt, saying that because we trusted it in the past, we “must” (his word) trust the govt on the issue of population. Great rebuttal by TRE. My critique of the piece by Lex Luthor’s double.

Problem is the White Paper as first published contains a simple, careless and stupid mistake that allows reasonable people to doubt its professionalism*.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————–

We apologise for the misrepresentation in the Population White Paper that nursing is a “low-skilled” job. We firmly believe and agree that nursing is a noble and caring profession that requires a high level of clinical skill, dedication and passion. The White Paper has been amended accordingly through a corrigendum issued by the Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean in Parliament today.

Pauline Tan (Dr) RN, FAAN, Chief Nursing Officer, 8 Feb 2013


I was taught when I started work that a single careless mistake or typo in any document undermines the credibility of the document: if there was one mistake, what other mistakes were there, is a reasonable assumption the critical reader could make?

Then there was the issue of whether the author cared about the quality of the work done, if he didn’t bother to be careful. This was another reason not to trust it. (Yes I trained as a lawyer, and for my transgressions, worked in a PR firm for a year.)

Seems poetic justice and appropriate for the Population White Paper to contain such a howler that DPM Teo had publicly to correct the howler and PM to apologise for it. If they didn’t, they and their loved ones would be safer in using M’sian hospitals? Juz joking.

Because one can reasonably wonder if the assumptions in said paper were thought thru, or juz “cut and paste” from conventional wisdom macroeconomics. We know that macroeconomics conventional wisdom was found wanting in the recent financial crisis, so it is reasonable if standard macroeconomics assumptions on the importance of demographics on growth will be found wanting.

(And if four leading true-blue (they all did NS) S’porean economists are correct, the economic assumptions behind the White Paper are myths: http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/02/09/economics-myths-in-the-great-population-debate/. BTW, all four are scholars, so all those TRE-reading scholar haters, “Sit down and shut up!”. Scholars are S’poreans too.)

What puzzles me is that  neither Mrs Chiam (she’s a British-trained nurse) the WP, nor NMPs, nor the “talk cock sing song” PAP MPs like Inderjit (see this earlier post)  who criticised the paper butwho  were whipped into voting for it, or who went AWOL on voting day) didn’t ask for this insult to nurses to be amended.

Now that would have hurt the White Paper’s and govt’s credibility more than their “sounding brass, or … tinkling cymbal”.

And before I forget, TOC has these two excellent pieces on more cock-ups in the WPW

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2013/02/dubious-footnotes-population-white-paper/ (“Yet, the misrepresentation is not limited to just footnote 12. Here is a selection of other misleading footnotes in the contentious White Paper.”)

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2013/02/statistics-population-white-paper-debate/(More FTS coming than they did in the past? Are it’s a reduction?)

Unlike S’pore Auntie, TOC is using the online equivalents of botox and other rejuvenating aids to refresh itself. But then S’pore Auntie needs more than botox or surgery to become S’pore Gal once more. She needs a time machine. But that and the rejuvenation of TOC are two more tales for another day.

*Donald Low, a senior fellow at the LKY School of Public Policy and a former senior civil servant, has criticised the white paper, “wasn’t even a References section to show what research the writers of the paper had done, what social science theories they relied on, what competing theories/frameworks they looked at … There was also a surprising lack of rigorous comparison with other countries that have gone through, or are going through, a similar demographic transition.”

ST editor calls leading economists and us daft

In Economy, Humour, Political economy, Political governance on 12/02/2013 at 6:06 am

According to ST editor Han Fook Kwang in his weekly SunT column (pg 37) “it isn’t possible for ordinary Singaporeans to absorb and fully understand all the arguments and implications. arguments and implications highlighted in the Population White Paper”. Hence our opposition. Hello Mr Han, so how come four leading S’porean economists, scholars all wrote this http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/02/09/economics-myths-in-the-great-population-debate/ (I’m linking to this republishing ’cause of the comments section)

So these four are daft too?

He was riffing on what the PM said, “Govt could have presented Population White Paper better”. And going further anddaring to call us openly what PM didn’t dare?

So how come,

— the Chief Communications Officer of the govt, s/o the former disgraced president,

— an unemployed MP who was the head of the regional business of an int’l PR firm,

— the editorial teams at SPH and MediaCorp,

— CoC Yaacob and his team at the Ministry of Truth & Spin, and

— the numerous PR senior managers in the govt and its agencies,

didn’t advise the PM and DPM Teo to take account of our daftness when presenting the PWP?

They too out of touch with us daftees? Or they dafter than us? Or did PM and DPM Teo ignore their advice? Hence they more dafter than everyone else in S’pore.

The ST Managing Editor, as a member of the Dark Side, should be using his skills to prevent us from thinking? Not provoking us to think “unhealthy”, non-constructive tots: like there are daft Men In White on the Dark Side.

Not in constructive, nation-building ST, Today or Singapolitics

In Humour, Malaysia, Media on 30/01/2013 at 5:09 am

This appeared in BT yesterday. Surprised it did not appear in ST or Today or in Singapolitics. Yaacob, Lawrence, PM: rather than CoCs for netizens, juz make sure SPH and MediaCorp editors earn their thirty pieces of silver ++, by printing independent “validation” of PAP Hard Truths.

M’sia’s minimum wage law may result in food inflation

Another consequence is higher outflow of money

… Food inflation and the outflow of money are the likely consequences of the implementation of the minimum wage law, which came into force four weeks ago.

From Jan 1, employers must pay a minimum wage of RM900 (S$366) a month in Peninsular Malaysia and RM800 a month in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

In an interview with Malaysia’s Business Times recently, Malaysia Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Shamsuddin Bardan estimated that foreign workers, on average, send back some RM700 each month, which is half of their take-home pay, including overtime claims.

“With a conservative estimate of two million foreign workers here, that works out to be RM1.4 billion flowing out of Malaysia to their home countries every month …

WP supporter’s analysis of the Punggol East by-election

In Humour, Political governance on 22/01/2013 at 6:05 pm

JG responded to https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/punggol-east-voters-are-not-daft/ with some good, rational points. For the sake of JG and other decent, sincere and rational WP supporters like her (there are people on Facebook who doubt that such supporters exist: WP supporters are like PAP supporters), I hope Low stops trying to join the PAP Comedy Club. Either that or he should replace his speech writer who must be a PAPpy mole. After JG’s comments, I repeat Low’s “jokes’ and add my comments on said “jokes”.

WP Forever

I’m not sure that the “practical difference of having a DPM” is being felt in Punggol BE or is even on the radar of residents. Sometimes, I also feel that we (the so-called “vocal minority”, of which I’m admittedly one) tend to over-analyze things.

My own take is that residents are probably still disgruntled with PAP, whether more disgruntled or less compared to the mood of GE2011, I’m not sure. That’s on the national factor front.

Also, GE2011 had the factor of “Aunty-killer” and incumbency advantage for Palmer. And on WP side, all the oxygen was being sucked out to Aljunied contest, all other candidates fielded were perceived to be “B” or “C” team. Now its a solo contest. And SDA was perceived “neutrally” then (now, its no longer neutrally perceived, I’ll be surprised to see it get half of what it even did last time). And it seems to have a drumbeat of “bad local factors” – like Riverdale, etc.

Put it all together, I think there will be a reduction in PAP support. GE2011 was 10 point PAP advantage vs opposition. I expect this to drop. I hope the swing is >5%. If its 10% swing, then its a jackpot. But no need to have jackpot to celebrate.

For me, as long as WP increases it support (regardless Ah Lian win or not) and PAP meaningfully decreases — its a big win. Its a win for WP becos it will show that WP’s “style”, while being lampooned by some online, still resonates with the heartland. Most importantly, it sends the signal to PAP – the change you’re making is still not good enough.

An outright win by WP will be a major disaster for PAP. The grassroots will be totally demoralized. This is the “jackpot” scenario.

On the other hand, if the results mirror GE2011 (ie. ~10% advantage PAP), then PAP will have a major win. Not that WP has a lost, unless their support drop <41%. But PAP will be able to say that all these nonsense about AIM-gate etc are just a “vocal minority”. They will feel vindicated. And continue to do what they like, starting with revealing (surprise, surprise) the plans for population growth over the next decade. [These are the reasons to hope and pray for a PAP Lite win. Keeps the Real PAP “kan cheong”. Sadly, s/o JBJ and Desperate Loser don’t see things this way: selfish.]

Low’s weird comments

His “Why vote PAP”,“The Government should be given time to rectify the shortcomings and neglects pointed out to it. Doing so [not whacking the PAP] would ‘serve the public interest better than continuing to agitate and raise political tension to gain maximum political mileage for WP’, as it takes time for policy changes to take effect on the ground.”

Right so vote PAP to give them more time.

And this comes across as telling PM that he (Low) has met his KPI (presumably decided behind “closed doors”), “I am pleased that all the Prime Minister has to say about the WP is to lament that we have not done enough in Parliament.”.

Waz the reward? Thirty pieces of silver or a doggie biscuit? LOL

Maybe, Low should return to being,”The deaf mute from Hougang”? He is coming across as , “The WP’s parody of s/o JBJ, the talk cock, sing song wayang king and drama queen from Saint Andrews”.

“I’m invested in S’pore” & S’pore in 50s/ 60s

In Political governance on 18/01/2013 at 5:20 am

Shumeone (Bad grammar indicates that it is a member of YPAP Internet Brigade? Juz joking LOL) wrote,”why (sic) is this blog becoming like the local sites to air political grievances ?”

Because like PAPy Puthu, “I’m invested in S’pore”. So long as I remain a quitter in residence, and have investments here (property, shares, S$ cash), I must protect these investments. Increasingly the issues affecting my investment centre around the goofs of the PAP govt. These goofs have resulted in over 5% inflation, overcrowding, failing (by S’pore’s very high standards) infrastructure (telco and train cock-ups, congested roads, and the very high cost of public housing), productivity, stratification of society, among others.

For the record, I’m starting to like FT MP Puthu. I didn’t like him because of his sneer at NS (equating saving lives with doing NS. Dr PaulA, put him down by pointing out that there are docs who do NS (including reservist and save lives), and because he said his view on ISA was secret (PAP locked up dad, then deported him).

But I hear he is a gd constituency MP, and he did raise the issue of public transport nationalisation in parly. Something that the Wayang (or is it Worthless or Wankers?) Party hasn’t done despite it being an election promise. Promises made to be broken is it, WP? First-world political parties don’t do things like this.

And talking of the past, Dr PaulA and other younger S’poreans should read the u/m book. While they rightly discount much of the LKY, SPH stuff, as propaganda, they can’t and shouldn’t discount this written by a ex-Special Branch ang moh, after he was sacked by the British. He was married to one Han Suyin and was sacked from Special Branch because of her: In 1956, she published the novel And the Rain My Drink, wherein she described the interrogation techniques used by the Special Branch against Communist suspects.  Comber has written that he was sacked (asked to resign) as Assistant Commissioner of Police (Special Branch) because of said book.

The book describes how bad things once were. A PAPpy would say they make my above bitchings petty. He could also point out that after reading the book, I sent an email to friend in his 60s who moved on from S’pore after Sec 4,”Reading this book reminds me why you did the right thing: go to London. It was a tough time, and the rhetoric from LKY wasn’t reassuring.”. My friend went on to become v.v. rich as a financier.

Singapore Correspondent. Political Dispatches from Singapore (1958-1962)
(http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/mai/new-book-singapore-correspondent/)
by Leon Comber*

Publisher:  Marshall Cavendish International Asia

Singapore Correspondent Book CoverSingapore Correspondent” covers five years of Singapore’s colourful political past – a period of living turbulently and sometimes dangerously. It is a collection of eye-witness dispatches, sent from Singapore to London, spanning a time when Singapore was emerging from British colonial rule and moving forward to self-government and independence. Many of the early struggles of the People’s Action Party (PAP) are described as the focus is on the political struggle taking place in which the PAP played a major part. Many important events which have long been forgotten are brought to life. These dispatches prove that political history need not be dull, and indeed can sometimes be entertaining and lively.

* MAI Adjunct Research Fellow
 
 

 
 

Reputations: Be mean & laugh

In Humour, Political governance, Property on 16/01/2013 at 5:30 am

Here’s an intermission from the antics of Mad Dog (or is it Coyote?) Chee and the S’pore Indian Party as the SDP should be renamed: I mean with both potential candidates being Indians of great credentials (I know Dr PaulA and have a lot of respect for him) and from privileged backgrounds*,  in a predominantly Cina area, what was the SDP SIP thinking? The PAP fields a poor Teochew boy made good, and rumour has it that Low was looking around for another Teochew lang. Unfortunately after Staggy Yaw, none in WP are suitable. Chee and gang must be idealistic mad dogs if they believe that race doesn’t matter in S’pore. It does unless the hegemon decides otherwise.

As to the withdrawal, I’ll blog on it after thinking about what Morocco Mole and Secret Squirrel told me. Anyway I had analysed that the SDP wanted some goodies and that WP should agree: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/when-mad-dog-meets-tua-kees/

Here’s my “Tak boleh Tahan” riposte to various things I’ve read, in the last few days, on the internet. You you find them as entertaining as the Mad Dog’s antics. Or is he a coyote?

Law prof’s “academic integrity”

When prof Tey Tsun Hang  was charged for corruption in that he persuaded his student to pleasure him in return forgiving her better grades, he proclaimed loudly his “academic integrity”. I tot he was going to defend himself by saying that “I didn’t screw her”: all first-world academic codes of conduct frown on professors screwing their students. Well, we now know that his definition of “academic integrity” excludes sex with students. Bit like Bill Clinton’s definition of sex: it excluded a certain action between gal’s mouth and his organ.

And as to his alleged persecution because he criticised the judiciary (http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/01/11/sex-charge-an-academic-persecution-of-law-professor/), so it’s OK for a professor to have sex with his student, so long as he criticises S’pore judges. ERr what about minors?

BTW, if Alex Au had posted this link, I’m sure his friend, the AG, would have written to him that the piece was in contempt of the judiciary. But as it appeared in TRE, the voice of the masses, one can only speculate that the AG doesn’t want to soil his hands https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/why-i-miss-tr/. Or AG doesn’t believe that TRE carries any cred with reasonable, thinking S’poreans, it “is a bearer of rumours, rubbish and nonsense”. Or that it will soon close down because “TRE readers are losers, houseflies and maggot’s young”, who are not willing to keep the site going by donating money. http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/01/15/tr-emeritus-a-bearer-of-rumours-rubbish-and-nonsense/

Jos talks cock again

From CNA:

Singapore can possibly take a leaf out from other jurisdictions to look at how they curb rising property prices. Member of Parliament for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, Christopher De Souza, said this includes learning from Hong Kong and Australia … he prefers the Australian model. He said: “What the Australian model does is prevent foreigners from buying anything except new developments in Australia, and then hold on to that and eventually if they want to sell, to sell only to an Australian citizen.

“This allows the local population to set a correct pricing mechanism, which I feel is a good alternative for Singapore.”

Minister of State for Finance Josephine Teo said Singapore already has such restrictions on the entire HDB market and executive condominiums.

Currently, foreigners are not allowed to buy HDB flats and they are also barred from buying units in executive condominium developments that are less than 10 years old.

Hello Jos: What about the restriction that can only be sold to citizens? Not here is it. If she doesn’t ak PAP MP, thinbk she will listen to what Opposition MPs are saying?

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/jos-too-is-talking-cock/

Will Mrs change mind?

‘After saying for days that he was seriously considering contesting the single seat ward of Punggol East, Reform Party chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam has now said he is “90 per cent likely to go ahead”.’ (ST a few days ago): yesterday he said he was running.

There are allegations that his wife wears the pants in that household, and that she was finally persuaded that he should run.

Will she change her mind, now that SDP has withdrawn? Her heloo will be whipped by Ah Lian.

Ong Yee Kung is soiled

This ST reporter speculated that Ong was not PAP’s candidate in PE because he was part of the losing team in Aljunied http://www.singapolitics.sg/views/why-was-it-not-ong-ye-kung. Err ever tot that his roles in SMRT and NTUC, coupled with local drivers’ unhappiness and the strike by FT drivers made him toxic. Meritocracy? What meritocracy? https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/meritocracys-feet-of-clay-ong-ye-kung/

SDP doing shumething right?

And finally coming back to Chee. SIP SDP must be doing shumething righr to warrant this bitch from ST journalist. Maybe the Dark Side was worried that the Jedi SDP will expose the weakness of the PAP clones? That the WP needs the SDP to provide the base for the clones to reach out to the moderate sheep.

http://www.singapolitics.sg/views/sdps-win-win-win-strategy-lose-lose

Sadly, we won’t know if this thesis is correct.

BTW reading these two pieces by two ST ladies, it is reasonable to speculate if ST’s newsroom is now the in-place for S’pore’s airheads, now that SIA has raised the education qualifications for its waitresses in the sky. Not that the ST ladies would have qualified on the looks front. Even Auntie Sylvia looks better. But then she’s now got $15,000 a month pin money to spend on clothes and accessories, like Kate Spade Tin. Happy shopping gals.

—-

*Heard a story that SDP was finding it difficult to choose because both of them want to defer to the other. Smart boys, if story is true. Losing to Ah Lian is bad for the reputation of any smart man.

Even PM disagrees with Doc

In Political governance on 09/01/2013 at 6:43 am

No basis to suggest AIM transaction was improper, says Teo Ho

I was planning to blog on the significance of Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s comments on the PAP “volvo” over AIM.

But given that “PM Lee directs MND to fully review AIM transaction”, need I say anything more for the time being? Except that Mayor Doctor Teo Ho Pin has been shown to be a talk cock, sing song artiste, like KennethJ. Isn’t a PAP MP supposed to be better than an Opposition man?

And by directing “MND to take a broad-based approach, including re-examining the fundamental nature of town councils, with a view to ensuring high overall standards of their corporate governance”, PM is also recognising that there is serious public disquiet about Baey Yam Keng’s comments that,“They[town councils]’re not public institutions; they’re not a public service company … “I feel that we may be reading too much into the political association. Because in the first place it’s a political organisation.”

I was planning to blog on this issue given the significance of these words

— They came from an MP who was until recently the head of the regional branch of an int’l leading PR firm: a man who knows the importance of words.

— There are constitutional and governance issues if these words reflect the govt’s thinking on town councils.

But let’s watch and wait for the report.

Note: “And …” was added after first posting.

Investment advice for 2013

In Financial competency on 03/01/2013 at 5:05 am

The old adages about investment – run profits, cut losses, keep costs down, reinvest dividends, stay invested – survive for a reason. They have been proven right, year in, year out.

Stay invested, or increase exposure, in equities esp in stocks that consistently payout good dividends.

Think about investing in Jappo equities, and soft commodities’ plays (Olam?). Olam’s debt looks tempting.

Update: Interesting point. Richard Bookstaber once attributed the evolutionary success of the cockroach to coarse decision rules: it ignores most of the information around it and responds only to simple signals. Investors do something similar when confronted with hopeless complexity. They boil it down to a binary question: disaster/no disaster. Then they ignore all the idiosyncratic inputs and ask: what does experience suggest the probability of disaster is?

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/01/markets-and-cliff

Palmer’s no gentleman, PAP’s double standards, & PA & MSM are scum

In Political governance on 21/12/2012 at 5:49 am

No goodwill from me for Palmer, the PAP, PA and our local media, this season of goodwill to all men because of the way they treated Laura.

When Laura Ong was unmasked by PA, Palmer should have asked the media to respect her privacy. He didn’t. Shows that he doesn’t care. She was juz another sex object. Shows his wife, and us, the public, what kind of man he is. But to be fair, maybe the public castration, left him in shock*. One day, a tua kee strutting cock, the next day the balls were brutally hacked-off in public, albeit humanely.

As for PA, it had good reasons for naming her, which strangely it didn’t use. PA has an interest in ensuring that staff not  sleep around with PAP MPs, in order to advance careers. So naming here would be a good deterrence. It also needed to show the tax-payer that the close relationship between PAP and PA doesn’t include providing sex for PAP MPS and cadres.

Where PA went wrong, morally and ethically, was not asking for her privacy to be respected, when it made the announcement  If Zorro Lim had at that time asked for space for her, I’m sure our constructive, nation-building media would not have disturbed her and the others.

(“PA deputy chairman Lim Swee Say said on Friday that the organisation deliberated at length on whether to identify Ms Ong as the woman involved in the Michael Palmer affair but ultimately felt they could not keep it under wraps.

He said that although they did not want to “add to her pain” by identifying her, they recognised that the case had attracted much public attention.” — MediaCorp report)

(Of course, PA might have motives for not behaving properly ethically and morally.)

The call of the CEO of PA to give her space came too late. Her space and that of others were brutally violated by our constructive, nation-building media.

As to the constructive, nation-building media’s behaviour, what can I say that David Boey (once someone who walked on the Dark Side: he was a ST hack) hasn’t already said. If they didn”t dare hound the Palmers, they should havethe  decency to leave her and her connections alone.

But there is justice after all. The media did the PAP and PA no favours because the public saw the contrast in the behaviour of the media, ministers, PAP and PA:

— minister and PAP leader told media to respect Palmers’ privacy: they did;

— but because another PAP minster and a PA leader, didn’t tell  media to give other lady space, they violently violated her space and that of others.

Net result: public disgust and disquiet. The public castration of Palmer did not have the effect that the PAP wanted: that it is puritanical when it comes to the sexual behaviour of its MPs, and that, unlike the WP, it is willing to publicly humiliate MPs who break its rules. There isn’t any of the “rumours, what rumours?” that the PAP’s near-clones used to justify keeping on Stag Yaw until public disquiet made the WP’s defence of Yaw untenable.

LKY is right to despise the local media. It can’t even do the right thing by its masters, the MIW.

—-

*Sima Qian could not bring himself to describe the horror of castration. He talks instead of going down to the “silkworm chamber”. A castrated man could easily die from blood loss or infection so after mutilation the victims were kept like silkworms in a warm, draught-free room.

I look at myself now, mutilated in body and living in vile disgrace. Every time I think of this shame I find myself drenched in sweat.”

Meritocracy’s feet of clay: Ong Ye Kung

In Corporate governance, Political economy, Political governance on 10/12/2012 at 5:29 am

(Update on 3 January 2013: He has joined Keppel Gp, a TLC, and not as expected his father-in-law’s property company. I’ll be blogging on this next week. Want to try to find out if his in-laws scared that their workers’ will go on strike or be unhappy if he joined them. I mean his record at SMRT/ NTUC not too good.)

Our nation-building constructive media are ignoring the white elephant in the space where of the circles of TLCs/GLCs, PAP, NTUC and the civil service meet: sometimes also known as S’pore Inc.

Once upon a time, Ong Ye Kung, was S’pore Inc’s poster boy of meritocracy.

Just in April 2011, before the May GE, our nation-building constructive media praised him as an example of meritocracy at work. Son of a Barisan Socialist MP (and no friend of one LKY), he was a scholar* who rose to a senior civil service post**, then became a senior NTUC leader, and then a PAP MP candidate. It was whispered that he was Zorro Lim’s anointed successor as NTUC chief; and was tipped by ST as a future candidate for ministerial office. He did became the NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General in June 2011.

But by then his slave worker drawn chariot had gotten stuck in the mud . He was a member of George Yeo’s losing Aljunied GRC team. Worse was to follow in 2012: the wheels came off his chariot of gold and ivory and he was thrown-off, and cast into the darkness and mud and became a person that the constructive, nation-building media knew not.

Earlier this year, SMRT’s S’porean drivers made known publicly their unhappiness over pay proposals that had his endorsement as Executive Secretary of NTWU (Nation Transport Workers’ Union). As he was also a non-executive director of SMRT, if he were an investment banker, a US judge would have rebuked and censured him for his multiple, conflicting roles.

Then he resigned, effective last month, from NTUC to “join the private sector”.

In perhaps a farewell, good-riddance gesture, FT PRC workers went on strike (illegally) and we learnt:

— they lived in sub-standard accommodation (SMRT admitted this);

— unlike most SBS FT PRC drivers, most of SMRT’s PRC drivers were not union members; and

— Ministry of Manpower reprimanded SMRT for its HR practices.

All this reflects badly on Ong: NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General,  Executive-Secretary of NTWU and SMRT non-executive director. And on the system that allowed him to rise to the top. After all his ex-boss said the following reported on Friday, which given Ong’s multiple roles in SMRT, can reasonably be interpreted as criticism of Ong:

In his first comments on the illegal strike, which saw 171 workers protesting over salary increases and living conditions, the Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said the labour dispute “shouldn’t have happened” and “could have been avoided”. [So where was Ong: looking at his monthly CPF statements and being happy?]

NTUC is thus reaching out to SMRT’s management to persuade them “to adopt a more enlightened approach to embrace the union as a partner”, he added. [Hello, NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General was on SMRT’s board, so what waz he doing?]

Mr Lim, who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Labour Movement Workplan Seminar, cited the example of SMRT’s rival SBS Transit where nine in 10 of its China bus drivers are union members. Only one in 10 of SMRT’s China bus drivers are union members, according to union sources. [So, why didn’t Ong advise SMRT to help unionise these FTs, and if he did, why didn’t NTUC push harder ehen SMRT refused?]

SBS Transit’s management “recognised the constructive role of the union”, while union leaders “played the role of looking after the interests of the drivers”, said Mr Lim.

“And as a result … they work very closely as one team, it’s a win-win outcome. In terms of how workers are being treated and respected, how management are responsive, how they work together, I think it’s a kind of model that we ought to see more and more in Singapore.” (Today)

Apparently, Ong is supposed to join his father-in-law’s property development business: but with this revelations, it should come as no surprise if his in-law’s family has reservations about him: he might mismanage and upset the workers. Property development companies are fragile because of their leverage: they can’t afford executives who can’t execute.

And if anyone is wondering about the origins and meaning of the term “feet of clay”:

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. (Daniel 2:31-33)

And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. (Daniel 2:41-43)

…………………….

*From 1993 to 1999, he was in the then Ministry of Communications, where he helped develop the Land Transport White Paper and was part of the team which established Singapore’s Land Transport Authority. Taz right, he was there at the beginning of the great SMRT cock-up.

**He was the Principal Private Secretary to one Lee Hsien Loong, then became the CEO of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency.

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