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AHPETC story: Two chatter-boxes are silent

In Uncategorized on 03/03/2015 at 4:35 am

In all the noise surrounding AHPTEC, two noisy S’poreans are silent..

Dr Chee was quick to defend Roy when he led a bunch of hooligans in disrupting YMCA’s function at Hong Lim Green,  but is strangely silent on coming out in support of the WP over the AHPETC incident: remember that when he didn’t take his anti-Mad Dog pills a few yrs ago, he proposed that if the SDP won the Punggol East by-election, he would allow the then AHTC to run Punngol East.

Maybe that’s why he’s so silent: pai seh that he trusted the WP.

Goh Meng Seng was also pretty quick to defend the actions of Roy, New Citizen H3 and the other hooligans who disturbed the YMCA’s activities. He is also very anti-WP: always looking to say nasty things about the WP and its leaders. Example: when news broke that Auntie and Quah Kim Song had become a couple, he KPKBed about it while others were, rightly, congratulating the couple, wishing them well. Then there was the time when he criticised the People’s Princess Nicole Seah, in the guise of giving her advice.

So his silence especially when when there is an opportunity to slime the WP, is really strange. Has he had his vocal cords cut?

As to the possible reason for  his silence, watch this space. It’s connected to why four NSP young Turks walked out of the NSP and were seen campaigning for the Chiams.

 

SGX: One going, two more to go

In Uncategorized on 26/02/2015 at 1:42 pm

Well the Foreign Trash that is CEO is leaving soon. Here’s how another FT describes his tenure

It’s been a tough five years for Bocker. The Australian government blocked his attempt to expand by buying rival ASX for $8.3 billion in 2010. A penny-stock scandal in 2013 hit trading volumes, while technical glitches brought trading to a halt twice in a single month last year, drawing fire from city-state’s central bank. During the 53-year old’s tenure, SGX shares have lagged Singapore’s benchmark stock index, rising just 3.3 percent.

The main drag has been the securities business which now accounts for less than one third of SGX’s revenue. The average daily value of shares traded is close to its lowest level in five years. Though SGX has cut clearing fees, volumes have not risen sufficiently to compensate. The division’s revenue was 16.9 percent lower in the six months to the end of December compared to the same period a year earlier.

A new drive to establish direct connections with other exchanges in southeast Asia and beyond is unlikely to provide any material boost. Meanwhile, up-and-coming neighbours are eating away at SGX’s share of initial public offerings. Despite Thailand’s military coup, new listings in Bangkok raised more money than in Singapore last year.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2015/02/25/singapore-exchanges-next-ceo-faces-ho-hum-job/

The other two Foreign Trashes, the president and head tech should be sent packing too ASAP.

Look on the bright side, Cybernuts

In Uncategorized on 26/02/2015 at 4:55 am

The Budget goodies (good summary from Yahoo) had TOC reduced to saying: The cynical among us would see Budget 2015 as an extension of a vote-buying scheme from Budget 2014. The focus of 2014 was on the elderly through the Pioneer Generation Package, and 2015 saw a distinctive shift towards the middle-income wage earners.

Some attention was paid on the Silver Support Scheme and levelling CPF contributions, but a lot more attention went towards tweaking policies for innovation and productivity, education for both the working group and children, transport cost and taxes – issues that concern the working folks.

By the pecking order of election goodies, the People’s Action Party government seems to be working its way through every sector of society, dishing out benefits to make, eventually, everyone happy. Or is it?

That TOC is reduced to this kind of rhetorical rubbish shows that the cybernuts in the anti-PAP movement can only shout into the storm like the mad (Or was he bi-polar?) King Lear in criticising the Budget. Of course, the Budget (any budget) could give more goodies, but as an attempt to bribe us with a our money, it’s pretty decent.

And the Budget isn’t the only source of heartache and grief to the cybernuts

The revelation that TRS has an FT editor (a cross between and Oz and a Nip) has caused a lot of angst and soul-searching among these anti-PAP cybernuts: born losers who were cheering on TRS as the only publication that gave vent to their sense of outrage against FTs, the PAP and all things S’porean: they don’t have the good life that they think they are entitled to and it’s the fault of other S’poreans. Ever tot of hard work and brains?

But they should again look on the bright side: even an FT can be anti-PAP cybernut despite all the TLC and money that the PAPpies lavish on FTs.

Better still, these born losers can look forward to the return of Goh Meng Seng to politics. Doubtless they will be cheering even louder when he rejoins the NSP, a party whose leaders he slimed a yr after he let his party mewmbership lapse. For the record, the party president remains the same then as now. In fact he has been the president since the party was founded in the 1990s.

But better GMS in the NSP than standing as an independent. He could have formed a team to fight Aljunied*. Back in the NSP, he’d have to observe the “chop” policy among the Oppo parties. I don’t think NSP is that bi-polar as to break the pact because GMS wants to fight the WP in Aljunied.

Too hard on GMS? Remember, he has urged S’poreans to vote for the right opposition party, not juz any oppo party  This call implies that the people will be given a choice between the “right” and “not right” oppo party.

—-

*We [Barisan Socialists] won thirteen seats at the elections, averaging 15.000 votes to each seat. The PAP won thirty- seven seats, averaging 7,000 votes to each seat. The United People’s Party, whose function was to split the left-wing votes, campaigned on a programme that was somewhat similar to ours but more extremely put. Only their leader, Mr. Ong Eng Guan, was elected. We received 201,000 votes (35 per cent) and the PAP 272,000 votes (47 per cent). The difference is only 70,000 votes out of a total electorate of nearly 500,000. The UPP took away 49,000 votes (8 per cent), causing us the loss of seven con- stituencies (apart from Mr. Ong’s), and saved four PAP Ministers from defeat.

http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/29th-november-1963/23/the-situation-in-singapore

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/want-a-pekatan-here-its-disunited/

Where China leads, we follow?

In Uncategorized on 20/02/2015 at 5:47 am

[A] senior family planning official in northern Shanxi province believes the one-child policy should be fully relaxed, with all married couples being strongly encouraged have two children.

The comments by Mei Zhiqiang, deputy head of the province’s family planning commission, sparked a heated debate in the papers and social media.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-31450689

We could start by insisting that all married teachers have at least one kid. Two if they want promotion?

Knowing what you want

In Uncategorized on 16/02/2015 at 1:46 pm

Talking about the accuracy of date-matching software Hannah Fry, author of The Mathematics of Love, expresses the problem neatly. The algorithm, she says, “is doing exactly what it was designed to do: deliver singles who meet your specifications. The problem here is that you don’t really know what you want.” (FT)

If you don’t know what you want, there is nothing that can help you.

Healthcare: France 1st, S’pore 2nd

In Uncategorized on 14/02/2015 at 1:52 pm

‘High-quality’ healthcare

So is it possible to say which country has the best healthcare system?

Prof William Haseltine, president of ACCESS Health International and a former professor at Harvard Medical School, thinks the answer is France – which provides universal health coverage through social health insurance contributions from employers and employees.

Patients pay their medical bills and are reimbursed by sickness insurance funds.

“A uniform, high-quality medical service is available throughout the country and medical care is available to all, so no distinctions are made between rich and poor,” says Prof Haseltine.

What about a close second? He thinks Singapore.

“It has a unique approach to finance healthcare through government subsidies, insurance, as well as a mandatory saving system,” he says.

The compulsory saving programme is called Medisave, into which employers and employees contribute a certain percentages of their salaries every month.

“As a result, the government has managed to control national healthcare costs remarkably well by keeping it below 5% of GDP (gross domestic product),” says Prof Haseltine, who is also the author of Affordable Excellence: The Singapore Healthcare Story.

It also means that Singapore is better situated to handle an ageing population, which has resulted in ballooning healthcare costs in other developed economies.

There are still out-of-pocket payments to be made, however, which critics says are too high and make it difficult for low-income families.

Whatever the merits of Singapore’s system, though, what works for a city-state of 5.5 million people may be difficult to replicate elsewhere.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-31052665

What say you SDP and yr cybernut groupies?

Smelling the haze

In Indonesia, Uncategorized on 14/02/2015 at 6:07 am

Don’t know about you, but I could smell the haze in the early morning. today. First time in February, though there vwere quite a number of days in January that I smelt it.

Smell disappears after the sun starts shines.

Indonesia it seems is still burning. Or is it the smoke from Parly? Plenty of smoke from both sides these last few days.

Double confirm, Ravi is as sick as a parrot

In Uncategorized on 13/02/2015 at 4:46 am

And he provides the evidence: his doctor’s letter.

Those who have watched this film* (starring, produced and directed by M Ravi) will see him kicking up a fuss as he hands over his letter to the Law Soc disputing its banning him from practice until his doctor certifies he is fit to practice. He says his doctor has certified his fitness. .

Sadly (unless the ST is lying, which I doubt very much), the text of the letter indicates that the doctor is concerned about his mental state.. That he uses said letter to “prove” that he is well, shows how mentally unstable he is: he cannot understand its contents.

A medical report which he attached showed that he was reviewed by senior consultant psychiatrist M. Winslow on Feb 2 – the day he held a press conference to announce he would challenge PM Lee in Ang Mo Kio GRC in the next election.

Dr Winslow’s review showed he was in a “hypomanic” phase of his bipolar disorder. During this phase, the sufferer is understood to feel or act abnormally happy, energetic or irritable.

In his medical report, Dr Winslow said: “I would like to have had him in hospital under observation, however he is not agreeable at this time and has promised to take adequate rest and follow up with all medications.”

Dr Winslow gave him medical leave until Feb 6, when he appeared in the High Court to represent a client in an appeal. In the case, Mr Ravi alleged that the judge had breached his duty and he would refer the matter to the Chief Justice.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/lawyer-m-ravi-makes-scene-law-society-office-20150211#sthash.yRtozG7t.dpuf

The anti-PAP cyberbuts cheering him on should be asking how did ST come by the letter? If it came from any other source than m Ravi, then they are justified in carrying on raging and flaming.

If it came via him, it double confims his mental state. My sources say he handed a copy of the letter to a ST reporter. Now if he were “fit to practice law” as he claims to be, why would he give ST the “smoking gun” proving he is mentally sick?  It’s because he is ill that’s why.

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/02/09/analysing-ravis-1m-amk-election-fund/

*Btw, Do watch the film. It’s beyond parody. The gal is so spastic: she tries to open a door but ends up switching off the lights etc. With a groupie like this, M Ravi doesn’t need enemies.

There are two more videos on Youtube: One where he says when he becomes PM everything will be free (OK I  exaggerate: at least healthcare) and we all have to learn Tamil

The other is a rant about Roy, TOC and TRS.

Fernvale Lea: Owners “hiding” an inconvenient truth

In Uncategorized on 06/02/2015 at 5:11 am

The NIMBYs of Fernvale Lea (all relations of that very entitled scholar Eng or of property developers?), and their allies among the anti-PAP paper warriors don’t mention a very inconvenient fact. And surprisingly neither does the constructive, nation-building media which is the PAP’s only weapon against new media which is dominated by those opposed or not friendly (self included here) to the PAP administration.

When the “noise” started, the u/m sketch was widely circulated on the internet. I wondered what was the building (coloured grey) in between the flats and the “temple” area. 

Turns out there is a multi-storey carpark between the “temple” land and the flats. Here’s how it looks.

And the photo below shows, the proposed  “commercial” temple/ columbarium would not be visible from the ground level of the Lea. And the residents living higher up will only seen the roof. Effectively, the temple/ columbarium is not visible, or anywhere near the flats.

So waz this bull of the temple/ columbarium spoiling the enviroment? It’s all about the fear of not getting gd prices for the flats because the flats are near the “dead”.

Now that we know the tender should never have gone to a commercial entity, we should be assured that it was an “honest mistake” made by stupid bureaucrats. The PAP administration should get the CPIB and ISD to investigate the officials who approved the award and defended the decision. The reason for the CPIB is self-evident: got bribery or not?

The reason for the latter is to see if the officials are “anti-PAP” subversives trying to fix the PAP. Maybe it wasn’t “an honest mistake” but a plot against the PAP administration. Remember that the core of the WP is the activists from the Barisan Socialists, the cunning enemy of the PAP.

And the media too should be investigated by the ISD: strange that the constructive, nation-building journalists didn’t point out this fact when sliming the MIMBYs.

Next week, I’ll blog on the question that Khaw never addressed, but which he should have. Did the bureaucrats fib or is a PAP MP lying?

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/ferndale-lea-will-owners-fold-or-raise/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Describes certain S’poreans to a T

In Uncategorized on 03/02/2015 at 5:27 am

Especially those in cyberspace: think of the vitriolic by the anti-PAP paper warriors posting on TRE.

You hate the Filipinos, but you don’t know what they’ve been through.
You hate the Bangladeshis, but you don’t know what they’ve been through.
You hate the Indonesians, but you don’t know what they’ve been through.
You hate the Myanmarese, but you don’t know what they’ve been through.
You hate the mainland Chinese, but you don’t know what they’ve been through.
You hate the mainland Indians, but you don’t know what they’ve been through.
You hate the Malaysians, but you don’t know what they’ve been through.
You hate the Singaporeans, but you don’t know what they’ve been through, either.

I saw this on Facebook. It was posted by a friend and social activist. This it seems was penned by another social activist who is no friend of the PAP. So it’s ironical that I tot of the vitriol of the anti-PAP mob, when I read it.

Actor sacrificed career, $ to be MP

In Uncategorized on 01/02/2015 at 4:33 am

Of an Oppo party in South Africa.

South African actor Fana Mokoenam … had to put his Hollywood dreams on hold – and has just missed out on what might have been the biggest role of his career.

“I was supposed to be in Interstellar, with Christopher Nolan. I was going to play the scientist. I forget his name. We were in talks about me taking the role, and then this came up,” said Mr Mokoena with a faraway look in his eyes.

The “this” he is referring to is a new job as an MP for South Africa’s newest, brashest political party – the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-31026575

For him being a MP was more important than money. Compensation has come in the form of a generous MP’s salary, which Mr Mokoena said was less than he made as an actor.

Well we have one such high-minded person here, who every weekend is busy handing out walking sticks and even wheel chairsto the Pioneer Generation and others.

Explaining “I’m Charlie” issues to fellow Muslims

In Uncategorized on 29/01/2015 at 4:56 am

Here are three examples of Muslims who go beyond the platitudes of those like our Malay minister (Worth his salary? Or negative demonstation?) in trying ease tensions and prevent radicalisation.

A M’sian who was a highly respected law minister tells Muslims that the West puts freedom of speech above blasphemy:

“Muslims have a choice: to respond to these insults the way Christians, Jews and people of other faiths do—which is to ignore them or to litigate—or they can follow Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram and go all out to kill and destroy.”
He blamed Muslim leaders and preachers for conditioning the minds of other Muslims with “outdated teachings” that emphasised on “killling and defending their faith” rather than of living with others of different religions and values, in peace and harmony.
“Muslims must remember they live in a world that allows freedom of expression for individuals.
“In the West, they take personal freedom seriously, just as PAS leaders in Kelantan take hudud seriously,” Zaid said, adding, “…the West has this crazy belief about freedom of expression and individual rights” that Muslims must learn how to handle with a degree of calm and not by committing atrocities such as they did in Paris, Africa and Pakistan.http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/…/zaid-instead-of…/

He’s got it about right. I mean even the PAP administration thinks that “freedom of expression and individual rights” is a crazy belief of the West despite it being a core belief of the Economist, their bible”. Bit like the Jihadist ignoring the bits of the Koran that tell them not to murder.

Another is Ahmed Aboutaleb, the mayor of Rotterdam who tells Muslims that their freedom of worship in the Netherlands is linked to the freedom of expression:

The sharp-tongued Dutch-Moroccan mayor was an alderman in Amsterdam in 2004, when an Islamist extremist murdered the Dutch television satirist Theo van Gogh, and he has long called on Muslims to actively repudiate fundamentalism. But his words on the night of the attack were blunt even for him. “If you don’t like the freedom [we enjoy in the Netherlands], for heaven’s sake, pack your suitcase and leave,” he said in an interview with the Dutch television news broadcaster NOS. “If you can’t handle it here, because you can’t handle humorists who put out a newspaper—well, let me put it this way: piss off.”

And finally, in a:15-minute film, called Think for Yourself, being shown to the pupils at George Green’s School this morning, is a collaboration between the 29-year-old comedian and the police.

In one of the scenes, in a park, Arshad tries to stop his disillusioned cousin from being brainwashed by extremists using the teachings of Islam. “Brother, you’re changing,” he says. “Islam is about peace, if you want to stand up for something, then do so, but not with anger and violence.”

The aim of the film is to educate students about the dangers of being groomed into extremist ideology. Arshad says he agreed to work with the police to do something constructive, using his popularity among young British Muslims.

‘I’m a comedian, I’m not a politician. I’m just trying to do something positive. Muslims are portrayed in a negative light because of the actions of some extremists. It’s really important for me, as a British Muslim, to step up and tell young people their actions are wrong.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31004012

They worth a lot more peanuts that our Malay minister?

 

Religious harmony: PAP’s, Putin’s way

In Political governance, Uncategorized on 28/01/2015 at 5:11 am

Mr Putin said Russia had been far ahead of its European rivals in establishing a model for co-existence between faiths. In a way, that is true. But co-existence under a common, imperial regime – one that punishes “blasphemers” of all kinds, including those who challenge the regime itself, and colludes with religious authorities to maintain social control – is different from the liberal model of co-existence, where no religion is protected and each must argue its case in an open market-place of ideas.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/erasmus/2015/01/empire-islam-and-russia

Now doesn’t the Russian way sound very much like the S’porean way? Interestingly both are the products of 19th century European imperialism. In the case of Russia, the imperialism of the tsars. In the case of S’pore, British colonalism.

The British and the Russian tsars ruled multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural empires and needed to keep the natives from killing one another or their masters.

So when Harry the ax man became PM, the laws he (and we) inherited from the British suited him to the T: in response to this on the murder of cartoonists in Paris, a reader pointed out rightly in my view,

During LKY’s time he will come out on TV to gloat that this is why we have sedition act and ISD and why he will string you up by the balls anyone who breaks his hard truths and make you wish you had been just simply killed by terrorists.

Well we should be grateful that AhLoong and gang don’t do such things. He juz sent a letter of condolences which had the young hooligans (Roy and New Citizen H3), s/o JBJ and Martyn See screaming their heads off. It seems they were so emotional that somehow M Ravi’s name got attached to the letter they sent to ang moh media that are no friends of the PAP administration or Harry, that the ang mohs tot Ravi signed it. He had to disassociate himself to avoid serious trouble.

Anyway, while I’m not surprised to see the young hooligans and s/o JBJ working together (the former love to tell lies and scream at the function of others, while the latter was happy to compete against another oppo party in Punggol East), I was surprised to see a responsible person like Martyn See associating himself with them.

I do hope he realises that it isn’t good for his reputation among those of us who keep an open mind.

 

 

PAP that incompetent meh? WP trying to match it?

In Uncategorized on 27/01/2015 at 6:49 am

Barely 3 weeks after being co-opted into the PAP’s main decision-making body, MP for Chua Chu Kang steps down, citing “a conflict of interest” with his personal employment position at Ernst and Young which is the PAP’s auditor. (TOC on Saturday)

The PAP’s main decision-making body (the CEC) is the equivalent of a listco’s board of directors.

If a listco appointed someone a director and then found out that he couldn’t be a director, questions would be rightl asked about the competence of the board, the person.in question and the management, and the compliance procedures of the listco.

Is the PAP administration totally confused? I tot PM said elect good people? How can good people make this kind of balls-up? An honest mistake?

Happily for the PAP, the WP decided to match the PAP’s incompetence. It told us that AHPETC lacks is a fully operational computer system to assist AHPETC to do aggregated S&CC arrears reporting in the format required by the Ministry of National Development (MND). In the absence of such a system, all reports submitted to MND before this were prepared by staff based on data generated by AHPETC’s IT system and extracted through manual sorting and counting*.

So this was right https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/does-ahpetc-have-a-21st-century-it-system/. Trumpets and rose pretals pls, from those TRE born-losers who curse me as a PAPpy. And PAP Internet SWAT team (headed by above MP), pls send cheque and retainer contract. I’m a lot better than yr Fabrications about PAP team. I appear regularly in TRE.

——

*But the great news is that WP doesn’t have a 30% arrears problem: AHPETC wishes to announce that its S&CC arrears rate (for 3 months and above) for residential units as of 30 September 2014 is 5.66% of households. The corresponding arrears rate for commercial units for the same period is 7.24%.

We wish to explain that we are sharing the information now rather than earlier, as time was needed to have the data and process reviewed both internally and also by our consultants before release. AHPETC had also undertaken to explain further its arrears situation and management, which we now do.

Our review has found that the above S&CC arrears rates are generated from valid S&CC records that are maintained in the AHPETC’s financial system.

So don’t vote WP if you think they are going to be as heartless as the Pay And pay gang. They juz don’t have a first world IT system.

Change a’coming at StanChart

In Corporate governance, Hong Kong, Temasek, Uncategorized on 26/01/2015 at 3:07 pm

The Sunday Telegraph reported that Temasek and Aberdeen (between them they hold 30% of StanChart) had told chairman Sir John Peace that he must find a replacement for Mr Sands within months or stand down himself.

FT reports the bank is looking to replace Peter Sands this year and has hired a headhunter to look for a successor ASAP. It says that Temasek and Aberdeen hold him responsible for not responding fast enough to a reversal of StanChart’s fortunes.

Brave, honourable local Muslims

In Uncategorized on 23/01/2015 at 4:45 am

Singapore Muslims for Secular democracy reflects on the Charlie Hebdo shooting.
“We affirm the right of every citizen to live a fulfilling life, regardless of race, language, religion or non-religion, origin, gender, and sexual orientation. Singapore Muslims for Secular Democracy calls for a broad-base alliance – Muslims and non-Muslims – to take a stand against attempts to undermine the secular basis of Singapore society.
We call for values of freedom and choice, equality and justice to be the basis of interactions. We call for reason to triumph over unreason, and for diversity to prevail.”

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/01/call-for-secularism-to-prevail-in-singapore/

This appeared shortly after news of the Paris murders broke.

There were some on Facebook who were not happy, nit-pricking the above

– I was happy when I read the headlines. But then I read this bit “..but being a minority religious community, the realisation of an Islamic state or the full implementation of Shari’a will be impossible…” It implied that the call for secularism is a mere expediency. There is no giving up of the idea that Shar’ia law is the better than secular laws. It undo the rest of the article, and left me a little disappointed because there is no effort to confront the seed of extremism.

– It does seem predicated on the reality of islam being a minority here which makes one think whether the entire statement would be otherwise if social conditions were different. I have no problems with a majority regime diametrically opposed to one’s belief system except where any social movement or religion practises low tolerance for others through death, imprisonment or forced conversion. It has little to do with respect, responsibility or conformity than it is to do with tyranny, subjugation and bullying because you can and can’t stand having around people who walk, talk and think differently than you.

Usually I would agree with this kind of nit-pricking but here I won’t. Instead I appreciate their willingness to say such things especially after reading reaction on Facebook by a Muslim to someone (non -Muslim) who said,”I’m Charlie”.

The Muslim, who once held a very senior post of a liberal oppo party, denounced in very strong language his Facebook friend. This Muslim had once-upon-a-time been denounced by the PAP administration as an “extremist”. Based on his public statements, I never believed the PAP administration’s accusation: it seemed the typical PAP mud-slinging. But having read his views on Facebook, I now admit that the accusation was at the very least seems reasonable.

Coming back to the statement of the Singapore Muslims for Secular Democracy, I agree with the sentiments expressed by the person who said: The paragraph can also be read objectively – it is factually (almost) impossible for the minority to set up the law around a single religion, whether or not the intention to do so is present if said group becomes the majority in another scenario.

Christian saint on how to react to blasphemy

In Uncategorized on 20/01/2015 at 2:27 pm

Saint Porphyrios, who worked for much of his life as chaplain to a medical clinic in a rough area of Athens. People asked Father Porphyrios how they should react when somebody behaved blasphemously, for example by insulting an image of Jesus Christ. Should they take the law into their hands and wreak physical revenge? … the teacher’s reply was that people should bite their lips and do nothing at all; their Lord, who willingly endured mockery during his earthly life, was more than capable of looking after himself. 

http://www.economist.com/blogs/erasmus/2015/01/blasphemy-law-and-greece

BG Yeo once said,”Christians don’t riot”: with people like this saint advising, you know the reason why. .

Only in America: HACKERS FOR HIRE

In Uncategorized on 19/01/2015 at 5:40 pm

The business of hacking, once thought to be the domain of intelligence agencies and international criminal gangs, is an increasingly personal enterprise, Matthew Goldstein reports in DealBook. While big attacks on companies like Sony and JPMorgan Chase grab headlines, less noticed is a growing cottage industry of ordinary people hiring hackers for smaller acts of espionage.

One new website, Hacker’s List, shows just how commonplace low-profile hacking has become and the challenge facing law enforcement. The site seeks to match hackers with people looking to gain access to email accounts, take down unflattering photos from a website or gain access to a company’s database. More than 500 hacking jobs have been put out to bid on the site in just three months of operation.

NYT Dealbook

Marine Parade Polyclinic sees consequences of Pioneer ‘benefits’

In Uncategorized on 15/01/2015 at 4:51 am

My friend (a retiree but not a pioneer) who has diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol (Yup, he lived off the hog) told me of a recent visit (I’ve had to do a lot of editing, even if I report it as if he were talking):

Every four months, I go to the Marine Parade Polyclinic for my blood test, checkup and medicine.

I usually go around 11 am on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thurday or Friday because there is no crowd at the blood testing laboratory at this time. There is no waiting time at the lab at that time unlike at between 8-10 am.Also the waiting period to see a doctor is usually only about an hour.

On Tuesday I was there at about 10.45 am and the crowd at the lab was big, as was the crowd waiting to see the doctors. It was like 8 am on Tuedays to Fridays.

There were 20 people ahead of me at the lab. So I went to register to see a doctor (within the usual ten minutes) and then waited to take the test. I waited for about 40 minutes before I could be tested.

I then waited to see the doctor and after waiting an hour (the average waiting time), I was examined by the doctor. I told her that the size of the crowd at 11 am surprised me. She said it was the pioneers coming forward to use SingHealth. I asked if it was less crowded in the aftrenoon. She said no.

I said, “Looks as though before the ‘benefits’, many of the Pioneer Generation found it too expensive* to use the SingHealth system: only using it when they die-die needed medical care.” The doctor didn’t saying anything. She just smiled.

If the Marine Parade Polyclinic can be so crowded, places at Sengkang must be just about coping. A doctor who is usually based at Sengkang once told me that comingto work at Marine Parade is a bit of a holiday for her: less people. A doctor in private practice told me that the Marine Parade Polyclinic is a gd one to use because many in the catchment area prefer to visit the private doctors. in the area.

*Actually it could be juz stinginess. My mum has always talked of making a new set of dentures. But never got round to do so because it was ‘so expensive” even though she has plenty of $ in the bank. But now, she is planning to make a set.

The Xiaxue of the anti-PAP cyber masses/ Uncle Leong is well

In Political governance, Uncategorized on 14/01/2015 at 6:06 am

Roy, celebrity and irrationality

So Roy and his lawyer M Ravi are back in the headlines KPKBing their rotine lines: Roy (“Juz want a debate on CPF but persecution contines”), M Ravi (“I’m always right because it’s my grandfather’s law”)

Why is Roy such a celebrity while Uncle Leong (Leong Sze Hian) his si fu* is a relative unknown. After all all the best bits of Roy’s CPF “research” are things Uncle Leong (and, to be fair, others) has been talking about and highlighting over the years.

The only thing that was new was the accusation that the PAP administration criminally misappropriated the CPF moneys. Even then he quickly said this allegation is false and completely without foundation. when PM threatened legal action*.

Despite this recantation, Roy remains a hero to the anti-PAP cyber masses.

This, from an Economist blog, explains his appeal: As Drew Westen argued a few years ago in his book “The Political Mind”, political persuasion is all about moving people emotionally, not appealing to their rational faculties.

Roy dared, at no small cost to himself, in public to say what anti-PAP coffee shop and cyber warriors are whispering. .For that act of courage, they are to willing to suspend their critical faculties, if they had any. He is right because he is saying publicly what they don’t dare say. They support him unthinkingly because he validates their view of the way CPF works.

And for that very reason, the PM felt it necessary to sue him even if it annoys many people who think Roy is talking rubbish, and even though suing goes against the kinder, gentler, more liberal view of the PAP administration that he is trying to project. Btw, one of these days, I’ll go into the steel trap that the PAP have set for themselves in the litigation game: they are damned whether they sue or don’t sue.

Uncle Leong is alive and well, and is still rocking

The last piece Uncle Leong wrote was at the end of November. Since then he has been silent causing me and others to wonder or worry what has happened to him. Not like him to remain quiet for even three days.

But read these two pieces that appeared in TRE on Jan 10 and 11

Recently, one of our public hospitals became famous for the action which they took (compared to the immediate sacking of Roy Ngerng citing his defamation of the prime minister as one of the reasons, despite the court hearing had not even commenced yet) in regard to their foreign employee’s Facebook posting against Singaporeans.

There have also been reports claiming that the hospital employs about 70 to 80 per cent of its staff from one foreign country. Actually, some people say that about 80 per cent of their staff are non-Singaporeans (work permits, S-pass, employment pass, PRs, foreign spouses on letter of consent, foreign interns, trainees, etc).

According to the MOH’s web site – this public hospital had the highest total hospitalisation billing for citizens (among all public hospitals excluding the National Heart Centre) for all ward classes (Class C, B2, B1 and A) at the 90th and 95th percentile in 2013.

For example, it was $8,071 at the 95th percentile, against just $4,758 at the lowest public hospital in Class C.

At the 90th percentile – it was $5,220 against $2,901.

Why?

Why is it that this particular public hospital has the highest billing sizes across all ward classes?

Could it be that they employ more non-Singaporeans than other public hospitals?

Win battles lose war

* Submitted by TRE reader.

“Uphold values of respect, professionalism, integrity and social responsibility”

According to the Straits Times report “Health-care workers must ‘uphold values of respect’: Health Ministry” (Jan 10) – “Public health-care professionals, both local and foreign, are expected to uphold values of respect, professionalism, integrity and social responsibility, said the Health Ministry (MOH).”

Got “respect” for Roy Ngerng?

Where was “respect” in the sacking of Roy Ngerng when one of the reasons cited for his sacking was his defamation suit when the hearing had not even commenced yet?

Got “professionalism” in the way Roy Ngerng was sacked?

Where was the “professionalism” in giving Roy Ngerng just hours to leave his job, without any prior notice?

Got “integrity” – no fairness and natural justice?

Where was the “integrity” in not giving Roy Ngerng any opportunity to defend himself against the allegations made against him? Where was the principle of fairness and natural justice in the case of Roy Ngerng?

“Social responsibility” in employing 80% foreigners?

Where is “social responsibility” if it is true that about 80 per cent of the employees are non-Singaporeans (work permits, S-pass, employment pass, PRs, foreign spouses on letter of consent, foreign interns, trainees, etc)?

Hypocrisy and double standards?

Don’t you feel that MOH’s statement reeks of hypocrisy and double standards?

Win battles lose war

* Submitted by TRE reader.

Sounds familiar?

For the record, I’m no Sherlock Holmes. A prominent civic activists drew my retention to one of these pieces.

—————–

*Roy helped co-write Uncle Leong’s pieces for several yrs.

** I recognise that the Article means and is understood to mean that Mr Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Singapore and Chairman of GIC, is guilty of criminal misappropriation of the monies paid by Singaporeans to the Central Provident Fund.

3.I admit and acknowledge that this allegation is false and completely without foundation.

4.I unreservedly apologise to Mr Lee Hsien Loong for the distress and embarrassment caused to him by this allegation.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/roys-defence-has-me-confused/

 

Election in 2016 not 2015

In Economy, Political governance, Uncategorized on 13/01/2015 at 4:36 am

(Or “New Citizen tells us the truth about the economy” or “Funny time for PAP to call a yr-long party” )

I didn’t realise the double burden S’pore (and the PAP administration) is facing economically in 2015 until I read this (emphasis mine):

Speaking at a DBS Private Bank event, DBS’ chief executive officer, Mr Piyush Gupta, said the credit cycle in Asia is turning and Singapore will be affected by higher rates and falling oil prices. Domestically, restructuring would pose further challenges.

… “I really think that 2015 is a very important year for our country. It is important because this whole scope of transitioning the economy and restructuring the economy is very sensitively-poised.”

… “Fundamentally, we are trying to do two things at the same time – restructure the manufacturing sector to be productivity-driven and more technology efficient, and at the same time, slow down the asset prize inflation, particularly in the property market.

“Both of these have deflationary drives and to be able to balance this and nuance these two deflationary engines at the same time is not an easy job.”

CNA 7 January 2015

Not gd news for mortgagees what with rising rates. Maybe taz why Frenvale Lea buyers are trying to rat out of their flats: they are not NIMBYS, juz opportunists. Remember they’d have bot their flats in 2012.

Related article: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/why-oil-price-falls-bad-for-mortgagees/

But oil prices at around these levels or even at US$60 — 80 will help us and the PAP administration. It’s like a tax cut or bonus payment.

All of which means that even though I was one of the few who had suggested (before it became conventional wisdom and at a time when oil was around US$85 having slipped from above 100) that an election could be held in 2015 before National Day, I now predict that PM will delay calling an election until June or August 2016. Lower inflation, more $ to spend and more goodies in 2016 Budget could shore up his support: people are less too lan with him and his party because they got more to spend i.e they’ll be more forgiving because life is more comfortable even if it wasn’t the PAP can’t take credit for the comfort.

Btw, Gupta is the kind of FT (he is now a citizen), we should welcome (Juz like O’Connor, ex CEO of OCBC and this guy). We should boot out Trashes like the CEO, president and head of IT at SGX, and the president of NTU over his use use of the term “academic decision” when talking of NTU’s refusal  to give Cherian George tenure caused a smoldering volcano to erupt.

Police, warriors or social workers?

In Uncategorized on 12/01/2015 at 4:05 am

Officers are also trained to understand they are guardians, not warriors. “They are far more like a social worker than they are a crime fighter,” Scott Thomson, Camden’s police chief, the Economist reported.

I have a social activist friend whose son is in U training to be one of Kee Chui’s elite social workers. Wonder how father and son will feel if he ends up in SPF, instead of being in the social welfare department?

Only in S’pore: Parents kanna streamed

In Uncategorized on 11/01/2015 at 5:23 am

Parents take tuition in maths to teach kids to score

Parents in Singapore are taking primary school maths classes in order to understand what their children go through, it’s been reported.

Adults are signing up for tuition so they can be helpful when their children have questions, the My Paper website reports. Parents at a “mastery workshop” run by one tuition centre pay $700 (£463) to spend eight hours learning how to solve maths problems, the website says. It’s part of a growing trend in Singapore, where extra tuition for children is a booming business worth more then $1bn (£660m).

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-30744853

And they too kanna streamed: Parents are divided into ability groups depending on their existing knowledge and ability, just like in schools. “Some parents come to the workshop with zero maths knowledge, so we have to go very slowly.” 

But can cheat (OK can team work but isn’t cheating often team work?): Maruwi attended a class with his wife, and found the first question “so difficult”, he says. “Luckily, my wife could understand what was going on.”

Only in M’sia?

In Malaysia, Uncategorized on 10/01/2015 at 3:37 pm

Homeless people who attended a government-run event in Malaysia were given household appliances as gifts, it’s reported.

Munirah Abdul Hamid, founder of the Pertiwi Soup Kitchen in Kuala Lumpur, …”Some of them came up to me and asked if I would like to buy the appliances as money would have been more valuable to them,” she says, adding that food or clothing would have made better gifts. The federal territories minister, Tengku Adnan, concedes the event wasn’t perfect, describing it as a “trial-and-error experience”, and doesn’t mind if people sell the gifts for money. “They can do as they please,” he says. “Next year, we will improve and give something else to the homeless.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-30727794

M’sia, Thailand among 7 best places to retire

In Malaysia, Uncategorized on 10/01/2015 at 4:24 am

http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20141231-the-worlds-best-places-to-retire

(Panama sounds interesting)

And given the strong S$ and the value of property here*, we S’poreans got options to move on and yet remain nearby. Yet people like Goh Meng Seng and Andrew Loh die die want S’poreans to live and die here. They should let S’poreans decide, not insist that real s’poreans sgould stay home.

—–

*Surely the PAP administration has shumething to do with these?

Banality of analysts’ talk about 2015

In Uncategorized on 09/01/2015 at 11:59 am

How about telling us something we don’t already know?

From CNA report dated 29 Dec 2014

Despite a year of volatility, the Singapore market has emerged relatively unscathed. The Straits Times Index (STI) is now standing at about 6 per cent higher than where it started the year. However, market watchers are warning of further volatility in 2015, as global interest rates start to normalise.

Several challenges lie ahead for the Singapore stock market, as companies contend with rising domestic costs and uncertain external growth. Some market watchers said it may be some time before the market fully recovers.

Said Ms Madeleine Lee, managing director of AZ Athenaeum: “2015 is a continuation of consolidation for the local economy and companies. We had GDP being revised downward. We had rising business costs, by way of higher labour costs and persistently high rentals.

“The top line will be affected by unsure OECD growth, Europe shock and Japan shock. So I think it will be a year of consolidation and we need returns on equities components to come back to normal. I think it will be 2016 before we see economies and markets recovering.”

Low trading volumes and liquidity has been an on-going concern for Singapore’s equity markets. Market watchers attribute this to a lack of positive investor sentiment.

Said Voyage Research’s CEO, Mr Roger Tan: “The unfortunate thing about the Singapore stock market now is that we seem to be lacking that kind of excitement, from the exchange viewpoint, from the regulation viewpoint. I think there is a lot of emphasis and a lot of focus on mitigating and reducing risk, reducing volatility, and unfortunately at the same time, the excitement of momentum is taken out of the whole picture.”

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) continue to be the backbone of Singapore equities, taking up about 25 per cent of listings this year and raising almost S$2 billion. However, the expected rise in interest rates could impact the REIT market and other property-related counters.

On the other hand, banks could benefit from rising interest rates. Analysts also cited the telecom sector as another area for growth, given its stability and good yields.

Said DBS’ head of equity research, Ms Janice Chua: “We like the banks mainly because it is one of the key earnings growth driver for next year. For the overall market, we are looking at 8 per cent. Banks, we are looking for a growth of 12 per cent.

“We also expect a stable net interest margin, with the potential for upside when interest rates go up. At the same time, loan growth is still quite steady and about 8 to 9 per cent.”

She added: “The other sectors that we like are those that are stable, in terms of generating steady earnings stream, with growth as well as good dividend yield, and net cash companies. These are typically the telecoms companies, where growth is spurred by the rising usage of the tiered-data plans. This sector itself generates about 5 per cent dividend yield.”

Analysts said sectors which could be facing some pressure next year include oil and gas, and shipping. Typically highly-geared, these industries could face a double whammy next year of softening oil prices and a rise in interest costs.

With interest rates set to normalise in 2015, market watchers have said it may be time for investors to rebalance their portfolios.

Amid a low interest rate environment, investors have been drawn to high dividend counters. Among the 30 stocks which constitute the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI), Hutchison Port Holdings Trust paid the highest dividends this year, at 7.9 per cent.

With ongoing economic restructuring in Singapore and slowing GDP growth, analysts said small-to-medium cap stocks could provide more value for investors in 2015.

Said Voyage Research CEO Mr Roger Tan: “Look at the Singapore stock market – we are going through some structural issues with lower volume and lower momentum. So I think if you are looking at blue-chip stocks, maybe you want to look at the small-to-mid caps where you will be able to find more value, and more upside potential in the mid to long term.”

Sector-wise, investment bank UBS said the telecoms sector may provide safe returns in the near term, but banks’ earnings may come under pressure in the second half of 2015.

“In terms of earnings resilience, the telcos will probably still benefit from the fact that there is 4G migration and greater data usage. The banks may benefit in the very near term because of the rise in short-term interest rates,” said UBS managing director Ms Tan Min Lan. “But bear in mind that the U-curve is also flattening, and the loans growths are rolling over, so that is a drag on the banks beyond the next six months.”

Still, corporate earnings in Singapore are not just dependent on the domestic economy. With a growing international exposure, external factors play a key role.

Singapore Exchange’s director of market strategy, Mr Geoff Howie, said: “Much of the internationality that we have here in Singapore does transcend very much into the stock market. So our big blue-chip players are not necessarily 100 per cent Singapore players.

“Hence, the returns and the factors that are driving the performance of these stocks cannot just be dependent on Singapore, but very much what is happening in the region. In fact, if you look at the 30 STI stocks, half of the revenues that come from the STI stocks are regenerated from overseas.”

With heightened uncertainty in the global outlook, some experts said investors should strike a balance between dividend payouts and growth potential of companies.

“2015 is a murky year,” said Mr Tan. “If you are going after momentum and the quick buck, be prepared for the volatility. But volatility is in your favour if you are looking for value and have some companies in mind. The potential of buying them cheap is very high.”

The five STI constituent stocks with the highest dividend yields this year are Hutchison Port Holdings Trust, Ascendas REIT, SIA Engineering, CapitaMall Trust and Sembcorp Industries.

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

 

Great riposte to Yaacob’s comment that “IS actions are unIslamic”

In Uncategorized on 08/01/2015 at 5:09 am

In November 2014, Yaacob said “”Mufti, Pergas and RRG (The Religious and Rehabilitation Group) have joined international Muslim scholars and leaders in condemning ISIS unequivocally,” he added. “They have all declared that ISIS’ radical teachings and actions have nothing to do with Islam. Islam upholds peace, the preservation of human life and its sanctity, and it is thus forbidden in Islam to wage war wantonly on others.” (CNA)

Recently, I came across a great riposte to the above and all similar comments. I reproduce it because of the murder* of French cartoonists and others in Paris.

It is understandable why the vast majority of Muslims who have rejected this brand of extremism want to say it is un-Islamic.

It is equally obvious why politicians in the West want to agree with them, to draw a very clear distinction between murderous fanatics and the religion of law-abiding millions.

But it is a bit like saying the Inquisition or those Protestants who burnt Catholics at the stake (or vice versa) were not Christian**.

For theologians, this may make sense. “Would Jesus want this?” might be their question.

But for the rest of us it is claptrap – these killers were not motivated by Buddhism, or Marxism or vegetarianism, but by their own interpretation of Christianity.

So with IS – it is the current apex of a century or more trend towards ever more violent jihadist movements with deep religious and historical roots.

Over the years, not only has the brutality of such movements grown, but their definition of legitimate targets has also ballooned.

From warily deciding that conspicuously secular rulers of Muslim populations could be overthrown by violence, it has grown to include terrorist attacks on security forces, to any servants of the state, to any citizen who doesn’t oppose their own rulers, and now to any Muslim anywhere who doesn’t join the struggle.

The definition of “takfir” – declaring someone a heretic – has grown exponentially …

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-30409764

Update at 5.45am

Islam does not forbid mention of God or the prophet—indeed, the declaration of the faith, the shahadah, requires both. Instead, the taboo is displaced to the visual world: God and Muhammad may not be depicted in art. This was probably originally intended to prevent idol-worship. (As, indeed, was another of the ten commandments of Judaism and Christianity: “You shall make no idols or graven images.”)  But taboos grow and shift by their nature: today, even harmless images no one would worship as an idol are taboo. The Danish cartoon crisis came after a left-wing writer struggled to find anyone who would illustrate his children’s book about the life of Muhammad. Jyllands Posten’s cartoons came as a direct response.

So the difference between the Abrahamic religions is not the existence of taboos around the deity, incarnations and prophets. It is the violence with which the taboo is enforced. The American State Department has found only one conviction for blasphemy in Christian countries, in Greece (which establishes the Greek Orthodox church). The perpetrator is likely to get off lightly for insulting a popular monk. By contrast the same report found 14 alleged blasphemers sentenced to death in Pakistan, and 19 given life sentences.

The belief that casual, satirical or profane mention of the divine is a grievous sin belongs to prehistory. It has roots in all three Abrahamic religions. But to live in 2015 requires bringing ancient beliefs into consonance with modern values. Sensible Muslims know that freedom of expression protects them, too, in places like Europe. (After all, an Islamophobic Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, wants to ban the Koran.) That means letting journalists and cartoonists be rude about their beliefs.

Writers and artists are often quite proud of their power to unsettle the powerful, but they are also usually the last people to believe literally in “word magic”, the ability to attract divine attention by mere irreverent mention. They were shocked back to reality today by the flood of blood and tears in Paris. The question is not whether the divine cares about blasphemy. All it takes is a few maniacal followers on Earth.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2015/01/johnson-blasphemy

——————————–

Update at 5.30 am

*Hassen Chalghoumi, the imam of Drancy and a Muslim moderate, said of the killers that “their barbary has nothing to do with Islam.”

**”Christians don’t riot,” George Yeo once said.

Ello Ello: Pinoy ambassador has nothing to say?

In Uncategorized on 06/01/2015 at 5:31 am

Double standards of the Pinoy leader in S’pore?

The Philippines ambassador to Singapore, Antonio A Morales … expressed concern 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, how about the ambasador expressing concern and condemning the fact that Pinoy Ello Ello wants to drive out S’poreans from S’pore and replace them with Pinoys? Or at least since Ello Ello is alleging he was hacked, to remind Pinoys here that they are guests here, not the governing master race, and behave appropriately.  The fuuny thing is that in their home country, the American military are the governing master race: their dollars talk.

But let’s not be too unkind to the Pinoy leader here, when we have someone like William Wan:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/no-nmp-for-600000-sporeans/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/wah-lan-fts-getting-their-very-own-nmp/

Given the PAP administration love of FTs, one wonders why he never was made NMP. Maybe PAP found his love of FTs over S’poreans a tad too much with an election pending?

A Pioneer Generation Foreign Talent

In Uncategorized on 05/01/2015 at 3:00 pm

We need FTs like Krystyn Olszewski, not like the Trashes like the CEO, COO and head of IT at SGX or Pinoy Ello who has problems spelling but can get a job as FT at a local hospital.  .

Krystyn Olszewski was a town planner that played an important part in the development of S’pore’s urban landscape.

This appeared in ST 27/12/2014.

In recognition of their role in the success of Singapore, special tribute is paid to the pioneer generation who contributed to Singapore’s achievements since the early days.
One individual who played a less-known role in Singapore’s early development is my compatriot, Krystyn Olszewski.
He was a Polish architect and town planner who contributed with his craft and expertise to building modern Singapore in its initial years as an independent state.
He was a Pole by birth but Singaporean at heart. He spent here in Singapore a total of 15 active years of his professional career and contributed to the current design of the Lion City in many ways: from the comprehensive long-term city plan for the island’s development to the local project of the Singapore Science Park and the design details of the first MRT stations.
A Pole among Singapore’s pioneers, one may say.
A graduate from the department of architecture of the Warsaw University of Technology, with extensive international experience in regional, urban and transport planning, Mr Olszewski first came to Singapore in 1968 at the invitation of Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
He was a member of a United Nations team of consultants to the State and City Planning Office and was appointed chief designer of Singapore’s Comprehensive Long-Term Concept Plan. The plan was officially announced in 1971 and most of its fundamental proposals have since been successfully implemented, leading to Singapore as we know it now.
It envisaged the development of new townships in a ring formation around the central water catchment area, a network of expressways and a mass rapid transit system to provide islandwide interconnectivity, and a new international airport to be located in Changi. The main features of the plan can already be found on the map drawn and signed by Mr Olszewski in 1969.
On April 9, 1971, The Straits Times quoted Mr Olszewski as a stern advocate of moving the international airport to Changi, in expectation of rapid development of air traffic and the airport’s growth.
In the article, Mr Olszewski also suggested a new traffic arrangement in the city centre, with different levels of pedestrian and motor traffic, special pedestrian lanes and areas as well as a rail-based MRT system. At the same time, appreciating the beauty of Singapore’s central area, he urged for preservation and rehabilitation of parts of Chinatown, retaining the liveliness of the Singapore River and controlling the height of buildings around.
Subsequently, Mr Olszewski acted as UN planning consultant to the Urban Renewal and Development Sub-project when he originated the concept of Marina City. He was also a planning consultant with Jurong Town Corporation and designed the masterplan of the Singapore Science Park in Kent Ridge. He also did pioneering studies on the environmental impact of industrial development.
In 1984, he assumed the position of senior architect with the Mass Rapid Transit Corporation and was responsible for the architectural design and implementation of seven of the elevated MRT stations. It was with great satisfaction that he could witness in 1987 the commencement of MRT system operations – the idea he had helped to put on paper 17 years earlier.
Singapore’s 50th anniversary is an excellent opportunity to celebrate Singapore’s planners and builders. I would like to express a deep hope that Mr Olszewski, whose ideas and designs helped to shape some of the most successful urban features of Singapore, will not be forgotten on that occasion.
I believe that, for example, a street in the city centre that he helped to reshape – or one of the MRT stations that he designed – could be named after him, even if his Polish surname seems difficult to pronounce.
To make it easier, I can suggest a simple method that Mr Olszewski came up with to help his Singaporean friends remember and pronounce his name: He would tell them, all you need to remember is just three English words and say it as if it was one word: “All-chefs-ski”.
stopinion@sph.com.sg
The writer is Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Singapore.
– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/archive/saturday/premium/opinion/story/the-story-polish-architect-singapore-20141227#sthash.bK3zUhFB.dpuf

Ello, Ello thinks we are stupid?

In Uncategorized on 05/01/2015 at 4:57 am

When S’poreans complained to Tan Tock Seng Hospital that a Pinoy radiologist there had ranted about S’poreans on his Facebook page, the hospital reported on Facebook, “Dear all, the staff concerned is one of our nurses. He has reported to the police that his Facebook account has been hacked. We are cooperating with the police on the investigation. Thank you for the alerts and concern.”

Three points about the alleged hacking:

— So easy to hack Facebook meh? My understanding is that Facebook’s defences against hacking are pretty robust and only sophisticated hackers could do such a hacking.

— So why would a sophisticated hacker waste his or her time on an unknown Pinoy FT? Making it seem as though he was insulting S’poreans?

— Seems that anti-S’porean comments have been posted on the now “hacked” FB page in the past. You mean Ello the Pinoy never reads his own FB page? So page has been “hacked” and Ello only juz realised it. He is as clueless as a certain drum-major* from Cathoic High, whose band is alleged to have ignored him because they knew he was wrong, not them?

Seems to me that Ello the Pinoy would be more believable if he had claimed, “Not my page. I’m being fixed.”

Seems to me the Pinoy ambassador who talks provocatively of Filipinos … moving into more sectors of employment at a time when there is mounting concerned that FTs are favoured over locals in the job market has a lot to answer for: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/pinoy-tua-kee-gives-the-finger-to-govt-meng-seng-2/

Pinoys will undoubtedly play the victim, citing fear. Let me remind these professional victims and theit allies like Kirsten Han: there are no goons with guns here. That is the Pinoy way, not the S’porean way.

New Yr fishy tale

In Uncategorized on 04/01/2015 at 4:12 am

A goldfish lover in the UK paid hundreds of pounds in vets’ fees when his pet became constipated.

And no it wasn’t caused by overindulgence over the hols. Fish “was constipated because he had a lump blocking his bottom, rather than because of his diet or any other reason,” said the operating vet.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-norfolk-30655444

 

Be contrarian: In 2015 trade against these popular trades

In Financial competency, Uncategorized on 31/12/2014 at 1:26 pm

Most crowded trades

You’ll learn that there are reasons to trust the wisdom of crowds in most cases. Remember only at turning points is the crowd wrong.

The reality of S’pore that makes Meng Seng and other anti-PAP warriors frus

In Uncategorized on 30/12/2014 at 11:36 am

I doubt they would support Evacomics (if they ever did) after this. 

2014 in charts

In Uncategorized on 30/12/2014 at 11:31 am

Growth accelerated in America, after a slow start to the year, and in India, after decisive elections. But China plateaued, Europe languished and Japan swooned (chart 1).

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21636763-world-economy-began-bifurcate-year-diverging-markets

Offer these freebies to Pioneer Generation?

In Uncategorized on 28/12/2014 at 10:15 am

Free tickets to movies and a a free vet’s appointment once a month for pets with four legs

Pensioners in Italy will get free trips to the cinema if Silvio Berlusconi’s party is returned to power, the former prime minister has reportedly said.

Berlusconi, who famously owns two fluffy white poodles called Dudu and Dudina, has one final sweetener to persuade those older people who share his love of pets: “A free vet’s appointment once a month for your four-legged friends”.

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-30127635

Well given the PAP’s attempts to make sure pet owners  and lovers vote for it:

— got de-facto Pet minister who is a damned more effective minister when it comes to looking after pet owners’ interests than the ministers designated as ministers for the Indians, Malays and Eurasians; and

— a PAP MP introduces bill on tightening law on animal abuse: and this from a NTUC MP who many perceive as ignoring the plight of workers); and free dental treatment for pioneers, why not free vet visits for pioneers’ pets?

Seriously, a good perk for Chinese among the pioneers would be the return of dialect on tv and radio.

When African FTs ruled Indians

In Uncategorized on 28/12/2014 at 4:37 am

Abyssinians, also known as Habshis in India, mostly came from the Horn of Africa to the subcontinent. Dr Sylviane A Diouf of the Schomburg Center says Africans were successful in India because of their military prowess and administrative skills.

“African men were employed in very specialised jobs, as soldiers, palace guards, or bodyguards; they were able to rise through the ranks becoming generals, admirals, and administrators,” she says.

“Africans sometimes did seize power for their group like they did in Bengal – where they were known as the Abyssinian Party – in the 1480s; or in Janjira and Sachin (on the western coast of India) where they established African dynasties. They also took power on an individual basis, as Sidi Masud did in Adoni (in southern India) or Malik Ambar in Ahmadnagar (in western India),” she adds.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-30391686

We’ll have a Pinoy cabinet and S’pore will be like Manila, full of goons with guns, corruption and filth.

And I’m sure we’ll soon see a local version of this

Beijing store ‘bans Chinese customers’

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-30210781

 

Men and wolves living in peace

In Uncategorized on 26/12/2014 at 3:34 pm

Ellesmere Island is one of the most remote and beautiful places on Earth. This is the only place in the world where wolves are naive to man and have no fear. It allowed wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan and scientists an unparalleled opportunity to form bonds with a wild wolf family, revealing the remarkable story of their relationships and behaviour.

http://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-30575589

Ex-Barisan gang and friends missing the point

In Uncategorized on 26/12/2014 at 6:17 am

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” William Faulkner remarked,

Why make things complicated by KPKBing that the Barisan Sosialis detainees were not communists* and that the detainees were unjustly arrested. Is the hatred of the detainees, and their fellow travelers hatred of the PAP clouding their judgement? Making them stupid?

Why don’t they juz tell or remind S’poreans that the Barisan Sosialis were right to say that S’pore could be independent and prosperous without merging with Malaysia and the Borneo territories. Heck even LKY’s merger talks makes the point that the BSoc tot that S’pore could go it alone.

That S’pore will be celebrating SG50 and 50 yrs ++ of the PAP’s hegemony shows that LKY and gang were wrong to insist in 1963 that S’pore needed merger to thrive.

Juz as the PAP administration comes out with a lot of propaganda, so does the other side. It’s interesting that the historian championing their cause calls them “progressives”. He has said that he tot long and hard about what to call them and decided to use what they called themselves. I pointed out to him that, in that case, I hope he would use the term “socialists” to describe LKY and gang. After all that was what they called themselves. He called them “conservatives”.

Here are two posts that reflect my views (more or less):

https://www.facebook.com/notes/kall-silva/the-problem-of-presentism-in-singapores-historical-debate/10152566868371344

http://thelastlibertybroadcast.blogspot.sg/2014/12/pj-thum-repeats-old-claims-as.html

Maybe the detention Barisan Sosialis should be justified on the ground that they were (and are) really stupid people? Then to associate themselves with the wrong people, and today missing an open goal to discredit the PAP administration on the eve of their Party.

Related post

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/strong-legacy-of-forgotten-dissident-party/

*Many members were not communists. But unless one doubts the memois of the “Plen” and Chin Peng  , the party’s formation was part of the plan to by the communists to seize power.  http://thelastlibertybroadcast.blogspot.sg/2014/12/pj-thum-repeats-old-claims-as.html

Aberdeen Asia Smaller Cos Inv Trust

In Uncategorized on 20/12/2014 at 5:57 am

Aberdeen Asia Smaller Companies Investment Trust

In November this yr, mgr was quoted as saying the fund was looking expensive.

SDP right about PSLE streaming/ What works in education

In Uncategorized on 19/12/2014 at 4:26 am

SDP’s right

After the PLSE results came out, I tot Mad Dog Chee had a relapse, when the SDP came out against streaming. I mean what could be a no-brainer than streaming? Don’t students learn faster when students of similar ability are taught in a group.

Seems that SDP is right: Dividing pupils into classes of different abilities is a popular approach to improving standards, but research suggests that it leaves students a month behind those in mixed groups. BBC report

Surprised?

This is a the one finding (see below for other findings) of intensive analysis of data from across the world, part-funded by the Department for Education as part of the What Works Network, and recently published by the British government.

And Dr Chee has form in calling things right. In the 1990s, Dr Chee articulateda  dystopian vision of S’pore. sadly the prophesy is more accurate then the than PAP’s administration or my views of how S’pore would look like today.

Too bad, SDP went AWOL under Dr Chee’s leadership. If only he had WP Low’s patience and wisdom to build up a grass-roots based organisation**. The PAP is always lucky in its enemies. JBJ and Dr Chee then. And Low today.

What works in education

 Doesn’t work

Uniform policy? 

Schools that don’t force pupils into blazers and ties are almost unheard of these days. But the best evidence is that a uniform policy makes no difference to attainment. If anything, it holds students back.

Setting and streaming? 

Dividing pupils into classes of different abilities is a popular approach to improving standards, but research suggests that it leaves students a month behind those in mixed groups.

Teaching assistants? 

Research suggests students in a class with a TA do not, on average, perform better than those in a class with only a teacher.

Longer lessons (block scheduling, in the jargon )? 

The evidence is double-chemistry and triple-maths don’t make for more accomplished chemists and mathematicians.

Repeating a year? 

Giving pupils a chance to repeat a year if they are struggling is not only very expensive – on average, it leaves children four months behind.

So what does work?

Meta-cognition and self-regulation? YES.

… that phrase reflects the most effective way to improve educational outcomes, according to the evidence.

Meta-cognition is often described as “learning to learn” and what it means is giving children a range of strategies they can use to monitor and improve their own academic development. Self-regulation is developing the ability to motivate oneself to learn.

On average, introducing meta-cognition and self-regulation into the classroom has a high impact, with pupils making an average of eight months’ additional progress. That is a phenomenal improvement.

Feedback? 

Feedback is information given to pupils about how they are doing against their learning goals. In the workplace it might be part of an appraisal, and the evidence is that a similar approach works wonders in the classroom, increasing educational attainment by around eight months.

Peer-tutoring? 

If pupils work together in pairs or small groups to give each other explicit teaching support, the results can be dramatic – particularly with youngsters who struggle the most. This isn’t about doing away with teachers, but it seems when working with their peers, children tend to take real responsibility for their teaching and their own learning.

Sometimes the tutoring can be reciprocal, with pupils alternating as tutor and tutee. Cross-age tutoring also has advantages for older and younger participants, it turns out. This intervention, on average, improves student performance by a GCSE grade.

One-to-one adult tutoring is, counter-intuitively, less effective and much more expensive than peer tutoring.

Homework in primary school doesn’t make a lot of difference, nor does mentoring, performance pay for teachers, or the physical environment of the school.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-30210514

**To be fair, Low had the experience and help of the Barisan Socialists’ activists. BSoc diissolved itself in 1988 and its activists joined WP .https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/strong-legacy-of-forgotten-dissident-party/. They put up with the antics of one JBJ until there was an opportunity to defenestrate him in 2001.

What PM, DPM didn’t say about Sydney terrorist

In Uncategorized on 18/12/2014 at 4:42 am

This is what they said:

“Despite all our precautions, we can never completely rule out such an incident here. If it ever happens, we need the cohesion and resilience to deal with it calmly and as one united people, and not let it divide or destroy our society,” PM wrote in a Facebook post.

“This incident teaches us to keep up our guard.”

In a Facebook post on early Tuesday morning (Dec 16), Mr Teo said the incident shows that  terrorist attacks by individuals can take place even when there is heightened security.

Err, how come they no say he was FT that became Oz citizen because of very liberal immigration policies? Or that he professed to be a Muslim.Man Haron Monis after a court appearance in Sydney, 18 April 2011

Let me be very clear, I’m not saying or implying that

— the less FTs, the less the chances of terrorist attacks; or

— every killed or apprehended “terrorist” recently in the West professes to be a Muslim.

I’m ranting about the PAP’s administration very lazy attempt to communicate (or is it miscommunicate) Hard Truths by using inappropriate or “unright” examples. The classic case was GCT telling us to learn lessons from the Japanese earthquake of a few yrs ago, when he should have addressed his comments to the elites, not us peasants. 

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/pap-pls-do-not-use-tragedy-to-push-yr-agenda/

This is a tragedy, leave it at that. Don’t try to draw inappropriate, insensitive lessons from the tragedy.

This UK listco gives great exposure to agriculture in US, Brazil, China

In Uncategorized on 17/12/2014 at 1:40 pm

FT columnist John Lee wrote: had dinner with Anpario chief executive David Bullen and finance director Karen Prior. This £55m capitalised Aim-quoted company, a favourite of mine and quite highly rated, produces natural feed additives mainly for pig and poultry producers. They export 80 per cent of production to 60 countries from their Worksop base, particularly focusing on the big three meat-producing countries — the US, Brazil and China.

Debt-free and with £5m in the bank it is difficult to see anything but a longer term success story here: it is a conservative business being driven by world population growth, rising living standards and legislation increasingly favouring natural rather than chemical products.

Must find out how to buy this share.

Does AHPETC have a 21st century IT system?

In Uncategorized on 16/12/2014 at 4:53 am

Let alone a world-class town council town council management software package?

Going by

–Auntie’s repeated comments that ‘we are looking into the arrears data, and will respond to the query on the financial and arrears situation in due course’;

— TOC trying to confuse the issue with PAP’s TCs arrears position (TOC talks of arrears but not the time period: going by TOC’s report I suspect it’s one month, which is like comparing TOC to Petir); and

— TRE blaming AIM for depriving AHPETC of a world-class town council management software package,

triple confirms my suspicions that AHPETC does not a proper third-world IT system: there are allegations that some residents have never been billed since WP took over the running of Aljunied.. I’ve heard whispers for over a year now that the AHPETC’s managing agent screwed up big time in attempting to scale up the existing Hougang IT system. Notice that the present agent is not offering to provide services under the latest tender. No-one is.

Auntie and Pritam Singh going to do the garbage collection and road sweeping themselves? Btw, heard her boyfriend Quah Kim Song is seeing very little of Auntie these days. He is not a happy man.

—-

*Here I set out my views on arrears collection data as ex-Hon Treasurer of the Saddle Club.

Her replies have not only annoyed me but another blogger who is usually Oppo friendly:

And, pray tell me, Chairwoman Sylvia, how are all your fine legalistic semantics and arguments proof of your party’s idea of First World Parliamentarians in action? Honestly, unless you can come up with a good reason or two, I am actually appalled your party could only blurt out, ‘we are looking into the arrears data, and will respond to the query on the financial and arrears situation in due course’. Not once, not twice but several times. Does it not beg the question what with WP’s credibility at stake, you can’t, don’t want to get additional resources to come up with a credible answer pronto, if not settle the issue and clear any doubts? Pathetic.

Hello, even when yours truly was managing my annual expense budget of less than S$1 million p.a., I have already in place on a quarterly, if not monthly, basis small signposts to flag potential concerns or complications that my boss will want an explanation, if not a resolution to – yeah, BEFORE the issue is raised to me. And here WP is, only ‘looking into the arrears data’ when called to account and after giving your greatest political foes all the right reasons to kick you in the teeth?

http://2econdsight.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/ahpetc-arrears-whilr-politicians-play-the-people-get-played-out/

Do read the post as the author also castigates PM for using million-dollar ministers to beat-up WP, when they should be serving S’poreans, who pay their salaries,not the PAP.

**TRE forgot to mention that Auntie said it was the plan all along to develop its own system. And AIM had specifically said that if WP had wanted to continue with the AIM system, it was willing to allow it. Err wondering if WP promised TRE a big donation to keep the site going. TOC no longer complains of insufficient money ever since it became more WP than the WP. I make no allegations, juz pointing out two facts that may or may not be related.

 

 

 

What connects NEA to Baey, dengue fever and the WP

In Political governance, Uncategorized on 14/12/2014 at 5:58 am

This appeared in TRE somretime ago. I was reminded of it when VivianB failed to get elected (yet again) to the PAP’s politburo.

NEA:

Please don’t blame us. We were busy on the most trivial squabble with WP.

This was in response to TRE’s report that Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng has been warded in hospital since yesterday (30 Nov) for dengue fever. He made the same announcement on Instagram.

Mr Baey said his platelet count had fallen below the recommended threshold for dengue patients, and he was warded as a result.

Btw, this coming GE will see VivianB moving on. With him gone, Khaw is the only guy from TeamGCT left. Good riddance to bad rubbish. With the exception of Khaw (I disagree that he is useless), they were all awfully bad. Think Mah, Yeo Cheow Tong, Raymond Lim, Balaji and White Horse Cedric. At least TeamLoong got two super Indians.

Gd week ahead. Happy feasting.

 

Torture doesn’t work! What works? The British way!

In Uncategorized on 11/12/2014 at 12:03 pm

So we now know according to a US senate report that torture doesn’t work. Too bad the US became independent before the Brits learnt the right way to get info (something our ISD learnt)

What a Brazilian interrogator sent to the UK learnt:

“The best thing … was psychological torture*. When a person was in a secret place, it was faster to obtain information. He also studied in other places but he said England was the best place to learn.”

Prof Glaucio Soares interviewed more than a dozen of Brazil’s top generals back in the 1990s. Several of them told him they sent officers to Germany, France, Panama and the US to learn about interrogation but they praised the UK as having the best method.

“The Americans teach, but the English are the masters in teaching how to wrench confessions under pressure, by torture, in all ways. England is the model of democracy. They give courses for their friends,” he was told by Gen Ivan de Souza Mendes – an interview recounted in the book Years of Lead which he co-authored with two other Brazilian academics.

Gen Aoyr Fiuza de Castro said the British recommend interrogating a prisoner when he was naked as it left him anguished and depressed, “a state favourable to the interrogator”.

The UK was apparently seen as having effective practices as it had faced a serious insurgency in Malaya up until 1960 and had latterly honed its techniques in Northern Ireland.

The method, using sensory deprivation coupled with high stress, has come to be known as the “Five Techniques”. These were:
standing against a wall for hours
hooding
subjection to noise
sleep deprivation
very little food and drink.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27625540

Scholar Eng not smart enough to craft the right narrative

In Uncategorized on 09/12/2014 at 5:07 am

Being, a budding dramatist (albeit in physical theatre)  she could have constructed via her blog a compelling narrative that makes us root for her, or at least feel or share her sorrow. Instead by allowing her petulance (low EQ?) to show she behaved like a spoiled* grandchild**.despite not being funded by her grandfather.

The greatest novelists (like Tolstoy, Dickens, and Jane Austen and dramatists (Shakespeare ) of Western literature could have provided her with compelling narratives.

Take Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”. “Anna Karenina” is the tragic story of an upper crust married Russian lady and her affair with Count Vronsky. After much agonising, she leaves her husband and children and lives openly with the count. She is ostracised by society. Anna becomes increasingly jealous and irrational towards Vronsky. They have a bitter row and Anna commits suicide by throwing herself under a passing train.

The narrative of “Hamlet” could also have provided a compelling narrative. Should the prince do his duty to his dead father by murdering his uncle. His dad’s ghost had alleged that his uncle murdered dad and demanded Hamlet avenge the murder.

Well, Dr Eng could have constructed a narrative of someone torn between a “passion” she discovered she only had after getting her doctorate (or that she had suppressed), and her duty to the society that funded her studies, in the hope that she could be a scientist that does good scientific work that benefits said society.

The narrative could have included a constructive, nation-building decision to make the best of a bad situation, by burning the candle at both ends for the next few yrs (until she finishes serving her bond) by trying her best in both her day job (scientist) and her passion (dance theatre).

Whatever it is, Tolstoy or Shakesheapre could have taught her how to construct a narrative that shows S’poreans the tragic circumstances she finds herself in.

Instead she and her artycrafty friends makes it clear that she is so very unhappy: she “is not interested in science at all, but has to serve her bond or pay, as of 30 September 2014, around $741,657.37. .

She has amplified her bad decision [getting science scholarships] by using a public platform to vent her frustration. Everybody makes bad decisions from time to time. We accept the consequences of our actions and do not whine and moan in public. That is what she has done and she is blaming society and everyone else but herself for her bad decisions. Absolutely no personal accountability here

http://www.lukeyishandsome.com/2014/12/dissecting-dr-eng-kai-er-issue.html

Btw, I’m sure she’d have advised Anna to bitch publicly about her lover, the husband she abandoned, and her children; and not kill herself.

Btw2, photos of her and her artycrafy friends who must have advised her on how to project herself.  http://substation.org/directorslab/eng-kai-er.php

—- ——

*I speak from personal experience. No lomger spolit but smug.

**But from the way she describes herself, you cannot help but to feel that she is terribly unhappy with the situation that she is in now. She certainly sounded like someone who is oppressed by a bigger force, which in this case happened to A*Star, the institute that granted Dr Eng her scholarship. According to other sites, Eng Kai Er wrote that she “is not interested in science at all, but has to serve her bond or pay, as of 30 September 2014, around $741,657.37 in order to quit her job. Since she understands the pain of having a paid job that is not aligned with her interests, she wishes to change the world by having more instances of paid jobs aligned with people’s interest.”

I’m not sure of how she really sees her situation, but from the paragraph above, I would warrant a guess that she views her life as painful, stuck in a job she does not like (correct me if I am wrong to make the deduction). I think the issue that we all have her is the sense of self-entitlement that oozes out from the statement that she made. Granted, a lot of us may be stuck in jobs we dislike and all of us have the rights the complain. The only reason why Dr Eng is taking so much heat is because she is complaining from a much privileged position, while most of us can only dream of having what she has. Akin to a first world problem. 
Okay, maybe she can complain. Because all of us deserves the right to. But when you take it online, especially in a net savvy society like Singapore, you are bound to be scrutinized and criticized. Like the English saying goes, “Never air your dirty laundry in the public net” 

– See more at: http://www.lukeyishandsome.com/2014/12/dissecting-dr-eng-kai-er-issue.html#sthash.IlH4qyqp.dpuf

Do read the above post as it also puts into a proper perspective some really dumb comments that are unfair and unkind to Dr Eng.

 

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

 

We funded A*STAR scholar, not her grandfather

In Uncategorized on 01/12/2014 at 5:06 pm

[Updated at 6.20 am to include a v.v. gd Forum letter on the issue]

Eng Kai Er and her friends in the artistic community elitist sense of entitlement is amazing: The scientist and dancer who is protesting against her six-year scholarship bond, because she is in a job “not aligned with her interests”, received funding for two university stints – and could have turned down the second if she was not keen on research.

I can understand if she had qualms about being a scientist after her first degree. I moved from law into dealing, sales and arbitraging equities by way of corporate finance and fund mgt. So I do know a little about moving into unplanned areas.

But then I wasn’t funded by the tax-payer. My parents funded me. So while can I understand her change of mind, I do not sympathise with her.

The really annoying bit is that after her first degree she came back to work here and then applied for post-grad studies. When she applied for post grad work, she already had four years of experience in her field of study. She was’t an 18-yr old gal.

And now after spending tax-payers’ money, and depriving someone else of the opportunity to do what she did, she wants to do something she could have gone into after A-levels, at zero expense to us.

As someone on Facebook pointed out: It doesn’t make sense for Singapore to invest money on her to groom her in field A of work and she claims No passion and asks to transfer bond to Field B. If not interested, why apply scholarship in field A in the first place? She deprived another person of the scholarship to fulfill her own gains and then claims no passion and wants out? Everything is about her own selfish agenda.

Want to follow that star, then get family or self to fund. Don’t take tax-payers’ money and then insist on the right to follow the star. And bitch publicly when thwarted.

Even now, she’s got a way out: juz pay the S$750,000 and be free to do what she wants to do. Her parents can sell their property and downgrade.

Or is this juz too much of a sacrifice? Everything must be done for her to follow her star but not when this entails personal sacrifice on the part of her and her family.

As my female dog says, “Eng Kai Er, gives us [ ]itches a bad name.”

I’ll leave the final word to this

 

True purpose of scholarships

A scholarship programme is not about the recipients, their careers, their earnings or their ever-changing interests; it is about the maximisation of our national intellectual capital for the benefit of society.

LET me disabuse all scholarship holders, past and present, of the notion that they are special people who in some way deserve to be provided with an expensive free education in prestigious foreign universities (“Drop ungrateful scholarship holders” by Ms Estella Young and “How successful have programmes been?” by Mr Justin Wang Qi Wei; last Friday).

Scholarship holders are very fortunate people who were given financial support by their fellow citizens to further their studies, in view of their desire, commitment and potential capability to serve as leaders in specific fields, either in public service or in the private sector.

Scholarships are awarded because there has been a meeting of minds and a common purpose between the recipients and society.

Those who harbour grandiose illusions about their own talents and a matching false sense of entitlement should never apply for a scholarship. Those who treat scholarships solely as opportunities to secure fame, prestige and an easy road to self-serving ends should abstain, lest they waste everybody’s time.

Those who, at the end of their studies, did a cost-benefit analysis of bond-breaking should ask for moral guidance.

Not keeping their end of the bargain after successfully completing their studies is not merely a breakdown of a transaction between the scholarship holder and the Government, but also a grave affront to the trust, honour and respect that we normally reserve for recipients who served our society humbly and dutifully.

Lee Hock Seng (Dr)

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/premium/forum-letters/story/true-purpose-scholarships-20141202#sthash.ktYmytqw.dpuf

*The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) has revealed that Dr Eng Kai Er spent three years studying as an undergraduate at Britain’s prestigious Cambridge University before returning here to do a one-year research stint at A*Star in 2006.

At the end of that, she took up a second scholarship to study for a PhD in infection biology at Swedish medical university Karolinska Institute. She completed this at the end of 2012 and now works in an A*Star research institute studying infectious diseases.

However, last week, Dr Eng, 30, criticised the bond in a blog and set up a “No Star Arts Grant” in protest – pledging to give $1,000 a month from her salary to support arts projects for a year.

“Eng Kai Er is not interested in science at all, but has to serve her bond or pay, as of 30 September 2014, around $741,657.37 in order to quit her job,” she wrote.

“Since she understands the pain of having a paid job that is not aligned with her interests, she wishes to change the world by having more instances of paid jobs aligned with people’s interest.”

It is believed she tried to transfer her bond to the National Arts Council but was unsuccessful.

- See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/education/story/astar-scientist-took-two-scholarships-20141201#xtor=CS1-10

SMRT: How long will new CFO last?/ What should really worry

In Uncategorized on 01/12/2014 at 5:04 am

Going by recent form, not very long because the previous one lasted all of 8 months and the one before that 30 months*.. The new CFO assumed the post last Saturday. He was previously SMRT’s head of its strategic finance and business structuring advisory office. He only joined SMRT in October 2013.

If SMRT had been an ordinary listco, the share price would have plunged when the previous CFO resigned because when a new CFO resigns (especiallt when the CFO is from outside the organisation) so quickly after starting work, investors worry about financial irregularities. More so given that the previous CFO lasted 30 months.

But the market took the resignation in its stride because SMRT is a TLC and TLCs  (and other GLCs) don’t do financial irregularities despite what the anti-PAP cybernuts say. Even TRE (no cybernut) didn’t bother, implying that the CEO and other ex-SAF senior mgrs wanted to bring in another ewx-SAFer.

What is worrying is that despite all the ex-SAFers, SMRT’s security is still so lousy in a region where there are Muslims willing to die for Jihad. :

 The two Germans charged for their alleged involvement in a case of vandalism of an SMRT train at Bishan Depot have been slapped with two additional charges each on Friday (Nov 28).

Andreas Von Knorre and Elton Hinz, both aged 21, are accused of entering the depot without authorisation on two other occasions – once on Nov 6 at about 2.43am and another on Nov 7 at about 2.20am.

The two men were first charged on Nov 22 at the State Courts. They each faced two charges of entering the depot without authorisation on Nov 8 between 2.48am and 3.29am, and using spray paint to paint graffiti on the left exterior cabin of an SMRT train at the depot. (CNA)

Taz right, they broke in three times in three days, implying that the first two times their entries went undetected.

In any organisation such a lapse of security is unforgivable; more so here where commuters lives can be  dangered and the economy wrecked by such break-ins (if bombs had been planted …), and where the senior managers are all military men.

LTA and DPM Teo should be puttingb some serious pressure on SMRT to improve its security before a bomb explodes on the MRT, killing S’poreans and the PAP’s much loved FTs., and wrecking the economy.

——

*SMRT has lost 3 CFOs since 2011 when SMRT trains started breaking down regularly (The CEO CEO Saw Phaik Hwa “resigned” in January 2012 after one P Ravi .) .

In September 2011, CFO Lim Cheng Cheng left and was replaced by Catherine Lee Khia Yee.
In January this year, SMRT announced that Ms Lee had resigned from the company to “pursue other career opportunities”. The same announcement said that Sam Ong, Hyflux’s Group Senior EVP and Group Deputy CEO, would take over from her on 1 March as SMRT’s new CFO. Ms Lee left SMRT after 2.5 years there. She is currently CFO at Clifford Capital.

Just  8 months later, Mr Ong has also left.

SMRT says in its statement to the stock exchange, saying that Mr Ong left to “pursue philanthropic interests and business prospects”.

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