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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He blamed Muslim leaders and preachers for conditioning the minds of other Muslims with “outdated teachings” that emphasised on “killling and defending their faith” rather than of living with others of different religions and values, in peace and harmony.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”.

Lesson for paper generals: How an economy fares after a coup

In Economy, Uncategorized on 29/11/2014 at 4:14 am

OK it’s Thailand but given the performance of ex-genewrals like BG Yeo, NOL’s CEO and SMRT’s CEO (still can’t fix security issues, let alone get the trains to run on time), if SAF stages a coup after a freak election, we’ll be like Thailand in no time..

Six months after the military coup in Thailand

The latest GDP figures have eked out small increases, leading the government’s economic forecasting agency to predict growth of just 1% this year.

Worryingly, since the coup, tourist numbers have fallen by 20% as travel warnings issued by governments have deterred some visitors.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-30225826

SAF’s Aerostat System can gather data from mobile phones?

In Uncategorized on 28/11/2014 at 4:23 am

There was a lot of noise from the usual rabid anti-PAP cyber-warriors that the SAF’s aerostat system* was a waste of $ and that it would used to spy on us (Well how can it be a waste of money, if it’s used for internal surveillance? I wish these cybernuts would think before they type.), without telling us how this will happen. But because the PAP IB were rubbishing their opposing cybernuts, this made me suspect the anti-PAP paper warriors had a valid point, even if they had no idea what it was. .

Well this is how the blimp could be used to spy on us: it could carry devices that gather data from mobile phones.

Devices that gather data from millions of mobile phones are being flown over the US by the government, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The “dirtbox” devices mimic mobile phone tower transmissions, and handsets transmit back their location and unique identity data, the report claims.

While they are used to track specific suspects, all mobile devices in the area will respond to the signal.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30054137

This being S’pore there is nothing to prevent the PAP administration from using these devices to gather info indiscriminately. I know, I know: M Ravi will say that such gathering of data is against the constitution. but since when has he won any constitutional challenge? Zero is the answer. But maybe in a galaxy in another universe, his grandfather drafted S’pore’s constitution, assisted by one JBJ, Ravi the Jedi is slaying the PAP dragon, constitution and all.

What such info can be used for:

“destroy, deny, degrade, disrupt enemies by discrediting them”

Nadia Kayyali, writing for the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s blog, Deeplinks, says the King letter could be a page out of the handbook of the British online intelligence unit dubbed the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group – a group whose mission is to “destroy, deny, degrade [and] disrupt enemies by discrediting them”.

Today, she writes, that translates into rummaging through Facebook chats, embarrassing internet browsing history and emails in order to discredit any leader who threatens the status quo or to blackmail someone into becoming an informant.

Salon’s Marcy Wheeler writes that there are a lot of unknowns when it comes to the intelligence community – including who today’s targets are, if they are at the same level of importance as King or how exactly the National Security Agency or the FBI is getting information about them.

“These are not far-fetched ideas,” she says. “They are the reality of what happens when the surveillance state is allowed to grow out of control, and the full King letter, as well as current intelligence community practices, illustrate that reality richly.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-30108043

— ———

*What CNA reported on the Aerostat System in Octber 2014

The Republic will soon have an extra pair of eyes in the sky to look out for aerial and maritime threats. The Aerostat System – a tethered balloon that uses low-level radar to detect threats as far as 200km away – will be deployed early next year.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen announced this on Tuesday (Oct 28)…

… with the Aerostat System, the Singapore Armed Forces will save nearly S$30 million in operating costs a year.

The system will complement the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s current suite of airborne and ground-based radars. “Our ground-based radar systems can only operate above high-rise buildings,” Dr Ng said, adding that the urban landscape in Singapore is changing, and more tall buildings are coming up.

“For a small island-state like Singapore, surveillance and early warning to give us sufficient reaction time to respond will always be a challenge but the Aerostat will improve our surveillance capabilities significantly,” he said.

Roy’s latest research finding?

In Uncategorized on 26/11/2014 at 5:26 am

On Saturday, I walked past the offices of the Elections Department near Middle Road, and seeing the nameplate reminded me of Roy Ngerng and something he wrote in early November.

In a really extremely case of verbal diarrhea where he poured out all his feelings yet again, he wrote: “You really think 60% of Singaporeans voted for the PAP? I reckon it is much lesser. Or would have been.”

At the time, I emailed a few social activists some of whom are close to Roy and highlighted the defamatory nature of these words. I then forgot all about the passage until Saturday.

Yesterday, I saw that Roy had another disvharge of verbal  diarrhea and this morning got round to checking whether the early November post still contained, “You really think 60% of Singaporeans voted for the PAP? I reckon it is much lesser. Or would have been.”

Is this allegation, that in reality less than 60% of voters voted for the PAP and that this fact was kept from S’poreans the result of through research and analysis? As thorough as his research and analysis about our CPF? Remember:

1.On or around 15 May 2014, I, Roy Ngerng Yi Ling, published on my blog (at http://thehearttruths.com/), an article entitled “Where your CPF Money Is Going: Learning From The City Harvest Trial” (the “Article”). I also published links to the Article on my Facebook page (at https://www.facebook.com/sexiespider) and on The Heart Truths’ Facebook page (at https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-want-the-government-and-people-to-work-together-for-Singapores-future/185331834935656).

2.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.

5.I have removed the Article and the links to the Article and undertake not to make any further allegations to the same or similar effect.

Or is Roy emulating JBJ and Dr Chee? They were serial defamers of the leaders of the PAP administration. and suffered the consequences, and benefits (not all benefits are monetary). Is Roy trying to follow in their foot-steps?

Well even JBJ and Dr Chee, never ever questioned the integrity of the vote-counting in elections. But here is Roy Ngerng making a statement that any reasonable person can conclude as calling into question the process of vote counting, implying that the the results of elections were fixed* and that this fixing was kept from S’poreans.. Surely this is defaming the PM to whom the Elections Department reports?

What do you think?

Was the defamation “an honest mistake” resulting from said diarrhea discharge? Or the result of solid research, as solid as his CPF findings? Or an attempt to goad the PM into suing him again?

What do you think?

Whatever the case may be, unlike Dr Chee and JBJ, he can use new media to raise funds and gauge his support. Maybe taz why he’s so garang and quai lan. He’s using Other People’s Money.

One Tan Kin Lian tried to do the same by asking S’poreans 100% fund his presidential campaign (including his deposit). But most S’poreans refused to help out someone who was animism for S$1m a yr (he promised to keep only half of the then presidential salary, donating $1m to charity), but didn’t want to put up his own money. Unfortunately for him, S’poreans refused to give him a free ride. He lost his deposit, incidentally.

Details of PE2011 expenses: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/11/05/the-financially-savviest-pe-candidate-of-them-all/

Well let’s see how much longer S’poreans are willing to let Roy get a free lunch. Btw, tomorrow, I’ll post on how SingTel is helping itself to a free lunch.

*I think George Yeo and his ladies from Hell wished it were so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worthless Party living up to its name?

In Uncategorized on 24/11/2014 at 12:38 pm

TOC, the  ‘defacto” Petir and ST of the WP, carried the following announcement this morning

Taking a break, looking for money

Starting this week, expect less content to be posted on The Online Citizen, as the directors of The Opinion Collaborative Ltd focus our attention on securing funding for the website.

Our funds are extremely low, as subscriptions have not been forthcoming and donations have dwindled. Whatever funds we have left now would be directed towards maintaining our web server, to keep the website online.

The budget crunch has affected the editorial operations in TOC. The full-time editorial team is living on fumes and passion to keep the website operational. While we attempt to secure the budget required for the smooth continuation and maintenance of an efficient news outfit, you may see a reduction of postings in the coming weeks.

Please bear with us with the slow down in content production.

Well despite all the help TOC has been providing WP in disseminating the truth (three cheers) and, sadly, para truths about the  AHPeTC saga, WP senior cadres are not stepping in in their personal capacity to help a friend in need?

Can those of us who voted for WP expect any better from WP in future, given how they treat an active ally and friend.

What do you think?

——

*Meanwhile, you can help us by:

1) Subscribing to TOC – by downloading the form, here, completing it and sending it to us; or

2) Donating to TOC by cheque – made payable to “The Opinion Collaborative Ltd” and sent to The Online Citizen, 20 Maxwell Road #09-17, Maxwell House, Singapore 069113; or

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The Dark Side of vigilantism

In Uncategorized on 17/11/2014 at 4:27 am

My Facebook avater posted something on FB to the effect that “It waz vigilantism that won the Wild West. Without concerned, fed-up citizens taking action, the US wouldn’t have had the rule of law.” Of course, he was talking rubbish.

It’s well documented that innocent people were killed by posses of outraged citizens because they just happened to be “outsiders” like blacks, Jews or atheists.

And here are two examples of the Dark Side of vigilantism here

Whatever happened to due process and sub judice for FTs?

Let’s castrate Yang Yin, now that rabid anti-PAP paper warriors and other cyber-nuts, have found Yang Yin guilty of being a scheming, cheating PRC FT.

I tot of the above when I saw this

Banksy mural showing pigeons in Clacton

(A stencil showing a group of pigeons holding anti-immigration banners towards an exotic-looking bird appeared in Clacton-on-Sea in England in October. But it was quickly removed by Tendring District Council, which said someone had complained it was “racist”. Turned out it was by Banksy, a famous UK street artist who is no racist).

Funnily these same people are demanding justice for Roy Ngerng and New Citizen H3, and insisting that the MSM is not observing sub judice rules regarding them.

Even a rational, thinking anti-PAP warrior, Ms Teo Soh Lung (human rights campaigner, among other things,  who had been KPKBed that the govt had broken sub judice rules in Roy’s case (Many other legally trained people disagree, including me).is silent when it comes to Yang. He hasn’t been found guilty of anything yet Unless being a PRC FT is a crime?

Btw, Goh Meng Seng seems to have gone AWOL in Yang Yin’s case? He usually leads from the front where FTs are concerned. Going by his choice of words on Facebook, I get the impression that he takes pride in being called a xenophobe. But then he is now busy on Facebook battling for justice Roy, New Citizen H3 and the other hooligans.

Btw, Gilbert Goh is busy with humanitarian work. Gd for him.

Uniquely S’porean

But returning to this

Banksy mural showing pigeons in Clacton

In the u/m from TRE, the vigilantes would seem to be Pinoy FTs, and a Singapore the outsider: and in our own country too: Uniquely S’porean. Sigh.

S’porean fights for his rights when bullied by FTs

A brave Singaporean, Mohd Bin Japar, decided to tell his story to Gilbert Goh, the founder of transitioning.org, after 7 of his Filipino colleagues at the Great World City branch of Cold Storage allegedly ganged up to bully him.

Gilbert posted the following video interview with Mohd on his Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153374054958975

Mr Mohd Bin Japar – a department manger with Cold Storage spoke to us about the tussle with his Filipino staff at Great World City supermarket outlet.

He called the police on 5 Nov when 7 Filipino staff surrounded him during a work dispute.

The police came and the matter has been referred to the MOM for investigation.

He just started his stint as department manager on 25 Oct and is still undergoing training.

The whole video interview lasted ten minutes.

Mr Japar is aware that he will face the sack after the release of this video online.

Despite the possibility of being sacked by Cold Storage after going public with his story, Mohd felt that it was necessary to let Singaporeans know they need to stand up for their rights in the face of the huge influx of foreign workers into Singapore.

In the video interview, Mohd said that he works as a department manager at the Great World City branch of Cold Storage.

While undergoing his managerial training at Great World City on 5 November 2014, he had a dispute with one of the Filipino cashiers. For some reason, the Filipino cashier then shouted at him.

Afterwards, Mohd reported her to his training manager, who is also a Filipino. However, instead of reprimanding the cashier for insubordination, the training manager sided with her. Mohd’s complaint had sadly fallen on deaf ears.

Mohd said that the other Filipino staff then joined in the dispute and surrounded him. Altogether, 7 Filipinos – 4 women and 3 men – surrounded him. They were all speaking in Tagalog, supposedly talking about Mohd.

Feeling threatened, he immediately called the police.

When the police came, it was determined that Mohd was not harmed physically. The police advised Mohd to lodge a report with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), which he did.

MOM is reportedly investigating the matter.

Mohd shared with Gilbert that many of his colleagues in Cold Storage are foreigners and at least one came to Singapore on a tourist visa before securing employment at Cold Storage.

Apparently, this Filipino woman came to Singapore as a tourist and went to an agency in Lucky Plaza to help get her a job. Not long after, she got a job and is currently said to be working as a manager at the Jelita branch of Cold Storage in Holland Road. Mohd said that she had to pay some money to the agency to get the job.

“This is happening in Singapore right now under our nose – how Singaporean jobs get robbed by foreigners… don’t tell me the govt doesn’t know this is happening,” Mohd said in the interview.

Mohd also revealed that he was spoken to by the GM of Cold Storage and was told that he should not have called the police.

Mohd expects to be terminated by Cold Storage for his decision to bring the matter to public attention through Gilbert.

He said he is not afraid to be sacked because he feels he is doing the right thing by bringing the matter to the attention of Singaporeans – that foreign workers in a workplace can actually gang up to bully Singaporeans, who are increasingly becoming a minority in their own country.

More

Editor’s note: There is this thing called “Filipino pride”. Filipinos, in general, are proud of being Filipinos. As such, they are quite united. There are even articles on how not to offend their pride, which may get a visitor to their country in trouble: tenminutes.ph/ndy-10-ways-offend-filipino-pride

Education, NS: Korea versus S’pore

In Uncategorized on 15/11/2014 at 6:50 am

Where got liddat here? Even rabid ant-PAP cyber warriors don’t describe such things happening here.

The dark side of South Korea’s education model – Although South Korea is renowned for its education system, the consequences of its success should not be overlooked, writes Se-Woong Koo for the New York Times.

“Dominated by Tiger Moms, cram schools and highly authoritarian teachers, South Korean education produces ranks of overachieving students who pay a stiff price in health and happiness,” he writes. “The entire program amounts to child abuse. It should be reformed and restructured without delay.”

Because of the emphasis on success, many South Korean students experience physical symptoms from the academic stress, Se-Woong says.

“Before South Korea can be seen as a model for the 21st century, it must end this age-old feudal system that passes for education and reflect on what the country’s most vulnerable citizens might themselves want,” he writes.

(BBC)

Or our NS men killing themselves like S Korean conscripts.

Two more conscripts have been found dead in apparent suicides in South Korea, amid an ongoing debate over the culture in the nation’s military.

The two were found hanged at one of their homes in Seoul, Yonhap news agency reported.

Both had been on the military’s list of conscripts in need of extra care.

In recent months concern has risen over life in the military for vulnerable young men, following several high-profile incidents.

In June a soldier shot himself, but survived, after killing five members of his unit.

A month later, two young conscripts died in apparent suicides. All three were on the watch list of individuals who were having trouble adapting to military life.

In recent days the case of a young soldier who died in April after abuse by fellow soldiers has also sparked soul-searching in South Korea.

(BBC)

 

PAP voter stops paying S&C charges to force out WP/ Oppo supporters shld imitate?

In Uncategorized on 14/11/2014 at 4:16 am

In response to this, the following was posted by someone who it seems voted for the PAP in Aljunied and who refuses to accept the election result and refuses to pay his S&C fees:

I am an Aljunied resident living with my parents. Lately, due to some disagreements I had with the TC, I have been asking my parents not to pay the S&C fees. My reasoning is simple. Why should we pay to an administration body that we did NOT vote for??? Let those people who voted for them pay for them.

I can only imagine the sheer number of people who feels the same way. I hope these people continue to withhold payment and hopefully we can shame the Workers Party out of parliament.

Why can’t Aljunied have a “normal” and competent town council like other constituencies??

Someone responded

‘why should I pay for a TC that I did not pay for?”

Wow..by that very same logic, then 40% of us can also stop paying for all our taxes to a govt that we didn’t vote for lah! Apparently PAP voters are even more nincompoop.

By the way, SMRT during Saw Phiak Hwa’s time also boasted a good corporate governance. What shit does that do for the consumers in terms of service and safety delivery?

But I’ll leave the last word to the PAP voter.

Don’t be stupid. When did I say you can don’t pay your taxes? I’m talking about S&C charges, paid to a party-run town council. NOT taxes, which is paid to IRAS, a non-partisan statutory board. The two are DIFFERENT things. IRAS will always be around, regardless of who governs. PAP does not own IRAS. But AHPETC (what a stupid acronym) will be gone once Worker’s Party is voted out. Please don’t compare apples and oranges. Clear??

Wonder if he has cleared this with the chairman of the PAP, who is also the MND minister. Or is he like Jason Chua of Fabrications about the PAP, both disowned by the PAP yet where a PAP MP has “pull”.

I reproduce the MND grading so that readers can decide if the WP estate is as well run or worse than a PAP one.

 

 

LKY: Why liddat PAP?

In Uncategorized on 13/11/2014 at 4:38 am

I was sadden* when I saw the above. Was it necessary to take photos of LKY standing? When he had to be propped up in such an obvious matter. No-one should be treated like a prop, especially not LKY.

There were ways to make sure he could have stood in dignity, if it was tot necessary, for him to stand beside his son, and between his son and GCT. Why couldn’t the photos be taken sitting down?

LKY was very protective of Rajaratnam (Remember him? LKY’s Goebbels) in his later yrs (He had dementia ). When he was Senior Minister, he reprimanded privately a local newspaper to a local rag when it published a photo of Rajaratnam. He said it was undignified to show an ill man. One may disagree with LKY on the photo (the editor did not think it was an undignified photo) but one can understand the sentiment behind the reprimand.

I think the photos were an honest mistake. I don’t think the PAP wanted to treat him like a stuffed trophy.

But conspiracy theorists may hink otherwise: the photos were intended to send S’poreans a message? Waz the message then? What do you think is the message?

*From his expression,. I don’t think he was insisting on standing. What do you think?

 

 

If 377A were abolished, this could happen here

In Uncategorized on 06/11/2014 at 5:07 pm

A watchdog has confirmed it is taking legal action against a Christian-run bakery firm over its refusal to bake a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan.

The Equality Commission wrote to Ashers Baking Company earlier this year, after it declined a customer’s order.

The commission supported the customer’s claim for compensation, but lawyers for the County Antrim firm do not accept the bakery owners acted unlawfully.

In a statement, the Equality Commission said it is to begin civil proceedings.

The row hit the headlines in July, when the baking company revealed it was facing possible legal action over its decision to decline the customer’s request.

Ashers Baking Company said it had declined the request because it was “at odds” with its Christian beliefs.

At the time, the firm’s 24-year-old general manager, Daniel McArthur, said marriage in Northern Ireland “still is defined as being a union between one man and one woman” and said his company was taking “a stand”.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-29926372

It’s something like this that plays into the hands of those who want 377A to remain.

M Ravi’s grandfather’s parliament, is it?

In Uncategorized on 03/11/2014 at 1:39 pm

Update at 4.30am on 4 November 2014: I’ve been told I’m wrong because Parly listened to Ravi. My point is that the Speaker and Minister involved know more about sub judice than M Ravi credits them for. And publicly telling the Speaker how to suck eggs, is unseemly and distasteful from someone who has admitted (see below) that his behaviour has caused problems, in another case, in the administration for justice. As I wrote below, Bit like the lunatics of Arkham Asylum trying to tell Batman how to rid Gotham City of criminals, it seems to me.

Update at 5.20 pm: Minister and Speaker behave properly, a lesson M Ravi will hopefully will follow in his practice of the law, though I doubt it very much.

In Parliament today, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan commented that he will not be commenting on the Hong Lim Park incident, as police investigations and legal proceedings are ongoing.

“It is not appropriate to comment on the incident or to give a view on what could or could not have prevented such an incident,” Mr Khaw said, responding to MPs Denise Phua and Zainal Sapari’s questions on the incident. NParks is a statutory board under the purview of the Ministry of National Development.

Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob also warned the MPs that as the case was before the courts, comments which fell foul of sub judice laws would not be allowed in the House.)

MP Zainal Sapari (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC) and MP Denise Phua (Moulmein-Kallang GRC) will later today raise questions in Parliament about the incident at Hong Lim Park on 27 September 2014 when some of #ReturnOurCPF protestors KPKBed at a YMCA event, disrupting it.  Charges have been made against six alleged hooligans participants of the #ReturnOurCPF event. The details of the MPs questions are given at the end of this post.

In response to the move by the two PAP MPs to ask questions about the incident, M Ravi, who is representing the six persons charged, has written to the Speaker of Parliament, Halimah Yacob, to highlight his concerns about the questions and issues raised by the MPs.

In particular, Mr Ravi is concerned that since the case against his 6 clients is sub judice, any discussions by the MPs on the matter may impede or prejudice the course of justice in the relevant proceedings of the case.

Mr Ravi wrote that he has been instructed to make a constitutional challenge on the Parks and Trees Act, and a formal letter to the Minister for National Development has also expressly reserved the right to make the constitutional challenge. His grandfather wrote the constitution, with one JBJ assisting is it?

“It will no doubt be your view, very properly, that Members will not need to be reminded that they should not utter anything on the floor of the House which would affect the evaluation of the merits of proceedings which are imminent or before the courts, or influence the result of proceedings, in particular the likelihood of an acquittal,” Mr Ravi wrote to the Speaker of Parliament asking for Mdm Halimah to be discrete.

He thinks he knows better than the Speaker? His grandfather owns parly, is it? What I find extremely funny and distasteful is that here is someone who effectively pleaded guilty to a complaint by the AG in respect of his conduct in another case, trying to  tell the Speaker of her duties, when he couldn’t conduct himself properly in the other case? Bit rich ain’t it?

Bit like the lunatics of Arkham Asylum trying to tell Batman how to rid Gotham City of criminals, it seems to me. For those who don’t know Gotham City, Arkham Asylum is home to some of the criminals he brought to justice. They were found to be looney.

M Ravi goes on, “It would be a dereliction of our duty as Advocates not to do everything lawfully and appropriately to uphold the rule of law and thereby protect our clients’ legal rights  by deferentially drawing attention to details of the pending charges for your proper consideration.”

The letter has been copied to the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Minister for National Development and the Commissioner of Police: so that they too can have a laugh?

—–

MP Zainal Sapari has filed the following question for National Development Minister to answer:

To ask the Minister for National Development:

  • (a) if he can give a full account of the incident that happened at Hong Lim Park on 27 September 2014;
  • (b) whether there has been any non-compliance by the organisers of both events in ensuring public peace; and
  • (c) whether there is any follow-up action to ensure that such incidents will not happen again.

MP Denise Phua is asking about the use of Speakers’ Corner and the Telok Ayer Hong Lim Green Community Centre:

To ask the Minister for National Development:

  • (a) whether Hong Lim Park is for the sole use of Speakers’ Corner participants;
  • (b) what designated spots in Hong Lim Park are meant for Speakers’ Corner activities;
  • (c) what is the list of activities permitted for Hong Lim Park;
  • (d) when and for what activities can the adjacent Telok Ayer Hong Lim Green Community Centre facilities such as the stage be allowed for use by Hong Lim Park users;
  • (e) what standard operating procedures pertain to the use of Hong Lim Park and the adjacent Telok Ayer Hong Lim Green Community Centre’s facilities; and
  • (f) how the recent incident pertaining to the use of the same ground by YMCA and advocates of the Return-My-CPF group can be avoided.

 

 

Taiwanese offer prizes not fines in dengue fight

In Uncategorized on 02/11/2014 at 4:25 am

People in a southern Taiwanese city have been offered prizes for catching mosquitoes.

The contest, announced by the Kaohsiung city health department, is aimed at tackling an outbreak of the mosquito-borne dengue fever in the region. Residents are being asked to catch as many mosquitoes as they can, dead or alive. Whoever captures – or squashes – the greatest number will be rewarded with NT$3,000 (US$100; £62), the health department says. Runners-up will be given free insect repellent and mosquito nets.

People will have to either trap the insects securely or hold on to their remains, because they’ll need to be presented to officials for counting. “Instead of fining people who fail to remove standing water and other breeding sites around their homes, we think this program could raise greater community participation,” Ho Hui-ping of the city’s health department tells the Focus Taiwan website.

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-29850539

Did our scholar minister and civil servants think of this?

Maybe they tot about it but that concluded S’poreans think US$100 is “peanuts”? Juz like our ministers seem to think their salaries are “peanuts”?

Sentosa: Better value in Asean/ Bali sounds value for $

In Uncategorized on 01/11/2014 at 5:20 am

Last Saturday, Today triumphantly proclaimed

For the second year running, Sentosa has been named Southeast Asia’s most expensive island destination by TripAdvisor in a cost comparison report.

The TripIndex Island Sun Report 2014 by the world’s largest travel site looked at the cost of an overnight stay in a four-star hotel, dinner for two, beers, a one-hour massage for two, and bicycle and kayak rentals at 16 popular island destinations across South-east Asia in its study.

 In comparison with Bintan, the second-most expensive island on the index, a day out for two on Sentosa island would set visitors back by S$1,005.53, almost twice the amount it would cost in Bintan, which totalled S$694.70.

 A massage for two costs S$315.33 on Sentosa, three times more than Boracay in the Philippines (S$93.11) and six times more than Phu Quoc, Vietnam, where it costs S$50.67. Bicycle rental on Sentosa for two costs S$90, but only costs S$10.94 in Lombok and S$5.29 in Bali.

Hotels were the most expensive item on the list, making up about half of the total cost for most islands.

scan0001

It then realised that this wasn’t putting Sentosa in a gd light and swerved, as bwfits a constructive, nation-building newspaper, The Singapore island had a very different value proposition from the other South-east Asian islands and that TripAdvisor’s findings did not give a full and accurate representation of its value-for-money offerings.

“A two-course meal for two with drinks can be had for less than S$50 at some of the dining venues on the island. Guests to Sentosa can also enjoy good value through our PlayPass, which gives them the flexibility to choose from various attractions on the island at affordable rates,” he said.

“Locals who sign up for our Islander membership programme also get to enjoy unlimited entry to Sentosa all year round, in addition to many other discounts and privileges.”

And spun on, TripAdvisor also noted in its report that Sentosa offered world-class attractions, despite the higher cost in comparison with the other more affordable islands, and that it was home to a diverse selection of themed attractions and leisure experiences that appeal to guests with different interests and of any age group.

Those attractions included Singapore’s first integrated resort, Resorts World Sentosa, which operates South-east Asia’s first Universal Studios theme park, the S.E.A. Aquarium, Maritime Experiential Museum and the Adventure Cove Waterpark, said the travel site.

Universal Studios Singapore and the S.E.A. Aquarium were also given 2014 Travellers’ Choice awards.

The value propositions are, At the other end of the spectrum were Gili Trawangan (Indonesia), Bali (Indonesia) and Koh Samui (Thailand) — the three most affordable islands in the region. Gili Trawangan offered the best value for money, costing travellers no more than S$300 for a day on the island.

.

“Poor dominating politics”: Real-time, real-life example

In Uncategorized on 31/10/2014 at 5:02 am

So Mr Leung Chun-ying has apologised for remarks he made in an interview with foreign media in which he shared his concerns (and those of HK’s elite) about ‘poor dominating politics

As usual the ang moh tua kees in HK and in S’pore, and anti-PAP paper warriors decried his comments. TRE posters were particularly vocal in drawing comparisons with S’pore..

Here’s a half decent comment (compared to other TRE posts) from a S’porean working in Tokyo (Can’t get job here? Or expat package in Tokyo really that gd?)

Chris K:

CY Leung has made that statement I believe unintentionally but we should be grateful for his slip of tongue becos it is rather uncomfortably close to the true thinking of the elites. Hong Kong has always been run by the plutocrats like Li Ka Shing who, with the connivance of their connections to China, had been squeezing the heck out of the ordinary Hongkies. This is very much like how the PAP and the cronies cornered the SG economy with us, the ordinary citizens paying thru our nose and yet have to cope with high property prices and inadequate pension and healthcare.

The kind of politics which CY Leung referred would have meant a more equitable share of the pie, not with the wealthy and the corporate elites taking the lion share. Mind you, HK’s wage as a portion of GDP is 51%. higher than SG’s abysmal 42%. CY Leung’s backers both in HK and in China do not want this in the same way the PAP is controlling the political arrangements in SG to prevent equitable policies from being demanded by those earning median wages and below. Again I am saying the elites, in HK and SG whether the wealthy, in the government or in the boardrooms are all against real democracy becos real democracy meant they eat less from the sumptous gravy train.

Rating: +27 (from 41 votes)

Three looney ones

:     Tham Weng Kay

        October 26, 2014 at 8:21 pm  (Quote)

  • Essentially in Singapore alone, a ruling party in power for over 3 decades has resulted in Abuse Of Power and eventually turned out as that can be seen today when Absolute Power Corrupts…!!!

    Commonsense speak for itself when Singapore is left to seen as a tiny red dot on the world map compared to any Nation in this world…!!! In governing just a small little red dot, do we really need so many ministers whereby each and every one of them are drawing multi-million dollars salary…??? Thanks..

    Rating: +30 (from 30 votes)

     Bapak:
  • In Singapore, there is only One P, PAP. Wealth also taken by them, People? They killed babies and replaying the people with foreigners. This country is under dictatorship. No difference from North Korea.

    Maybe North Korea is slightly better, they never let foreigners replace them. Their money has bought many big countries to close their eyes.

    Rating: +19 (from 25 votes)

     lost faith in whites:
  • PAP= Politics + Abuse + Power

    PAP has using politics to abuse their power far too long.

    For almost 5 years they been using media (newspaper, tv, radio) to barin wash the hearts and brains of people, using the stat board (HDB, NEA, N parks, HDB, etc) to their advantage to milk the people, spf, court, agc to sue its people.

    It is time to bring down the most corrupted party, they are far bringing too much harm than good to the people, they are self serving, political, greedy and too cushy to really serve the very people who elect them, time to bring a stop to these self serving and greedy people, lets wipe them and their crony out once and for all in the next election!!!

    Rating: +25 (from 25 votes)

     

Actually Mr Leong had a reasonable point that has been made before by the likes of Dicey (19th and early 20th century century British expert on the British constitution) and our very own LKY.

In 1994, LKY said I’m not intellectually convinced that one-man, one-vote is the best. We practice it because that’s what the British bequeathed us and we haven’t really found a need to challenge that. But I’m convinced, personally, that we would have a better system if we gave every man over the age of 40 who has a family two votes because he’s likely to be more careful, voting also for his children. He is more likely to vote in a serious way than a capricious young man under 30. But we haven’t found it necessary yet. If it became necessary we should do it. At the same time, once a person gets beyond 65, then it is a problem. Between the ages of 40 and 60 is ideal, and at 60 they should go back to one vote, but that will be difficult to arrange. http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/49691/fareed-zakaria/a-conversation-with-lee-kuan-yew

“One-man-one-vote is a most difficult form of government.. Results can be erratic.”
– Lee Kuan Yew, Dec 19 1984

(True, only thanks to RI boys Tan Kin Lian (assisted by Goh Meng Seng) and Tan Jee Say, did RI boy Dr Tan Cheng Bock, by three hundred odd votes, lose to the “right” man from the “wrong” school in PE 2011)

The US constitution was in part framed to avoid the poor dominating politics (see below). The framers were all men of property.

Brazil has juz given us an example of Mr Leung’s words in action. The Economist, and the FT (the newspapers of choice of the thinking rich), most Brazilian economists, and many Brazilian middle class voters, and the Brazilian fat cats supported the losing candidate because he had the “right” economic policy prescriptions. Much gd it did him.

Dilma Rousseff was re-elected Brazil’s president on October 26th with 51.6% of the vote (see map). Her three-percentage point advantage over Aécio Neves, leader of the centre-right opposition, was the slimmest in Brazilian electoral history. As a result, Ms Rousseff will lead a riven country.

The Economist has recalculated the result, weighting it by the 27 states’ GDP rather than their population of eligible voters. If reais of output went to the polls instead of citizens (which they thankfully do not in a democracy), Mr Neves would beat Ms Rousseff by 53% to 47% (see pie charts). But in the actual result, she scampered to victory across swathes of the poor north and north-east—supported by less fortunate Brazilians’ gratitude for the popular social programmes implemented under her Workers’ Party, which has been in power since 2003.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2014/10/daily-chart-18

All this shows the wisdom of the US way of electing presidents: not by popular vote but by way of an electoral college. And of having a senate where each state has two US senators, irrespective of the number of voters in each state to counter balance the House of Representatives, where more populous states have more representatives.

It’s one man one vote, but the majority cannot tyrannise the losers. It’s the American way.

I’ll end by quoting LKY, “I think in Singapore, we stand a chance of making the one-man-one-vote system work. With amendments as we have done, you know, like GRCs.. We need to make it work. And I believe with pragmatic adjustments, given these favourable conditions, we can have more open debate.”
– Lee Kuan Yew, 1990 National Day Rally

With a lawyer like this, does M Ravi need enemies?

In Uncategorized on 30/10/2014 at 4:42 am

A disciplinary tribunal recommended that human rights lawyer M Ravi be penalised for releasing court documents to the media before serving them on the Attorney-General because the release interfered with the cases.

The tribunal also recommended that Mr Ravi be fined $7,000 for the professional misconduct, in a report released on 23 Oct.

He pleaded guilty to the charges, not contesting them. Originally, when the AG complained, he came out fighting, KPKBing that he would contest the charges. But like in his defamation suit against the Law Society, and complaint against a doctor for professional misconduct, he quietly changed his mind.

His lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam urged the tribunal to consider Mr Ravi’s bipolar condition, which is now under control but which sometimes leads him to act “uncharacteristically”.

I don’t think his lawyer should have raised his bi-polar condition as a mitigating factor for his conduct because isn’t his bi-polar disorder the best excuse to disallow him from practicing law*? Practising law can be taxing mentally and emotionally, and thaz before the long hours (the main reason I moved on to financial services).

And bi-polar sufferers need a routine: any change, even going on holiday can cause problems.

Holidays are supposed to be a time for relaxation, but not for Charlotte Walker, a mother and blogger with bipolar disorder. She values the opportunity to spend time with her children, but fears that a change from her routine may mess up the mental stability she works hard to achieve.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-ouch-22395852

Ravi’s kick-ass, high stakes, take-no-prisoners style of litigation certainly does not help him keep regular routines.

To add insult to injury, his lawyer added that Mr Ravi is a pro bono lawyer who contributes actively to society and that the cases he deals with involve general public interest which occasionally leads to emotions running high. Doesn’t this drive home the point that his legal practices makes his disorder more likely to get out of control?

I’ll not be surprised if the great and the good start thinking of banning him from practising law on the ground that his bi-polar disorder means legal practice not the right profession for him. It makes him more prone to his disorder getting out of control .

Remember, you heard it first here.

Related post

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/understanding-m-ravis-bi-polar-disorder/

*He has to get a doctor to certify that he is taking his medicine, and that his bipolar disorder is under control.

After one s/o JBJ penned an article, several yrs back, hinting that the authorities were fixing Ravi the way the Russians fixed dissidents (by getting them certified mad), it became clear that Ravi had not been taking his medicine. This was around the time he was prancing half-naked in Hong Lim sliming WP MP lawyers, a journalist filed a police report against him alleging intimidation, TOC (a leading Ravi cheerleader) reported him as saying he had a string of int’l law offices, and the police were called to a temple where he was “worshiping” and spoke to him. His defamation suit against the Law Society, and complaint against a doctor for professional misconduct arouse out of the aforesaid events

A PAP MP and the Internet Brigade

In Uncategorized on 27/10/2014 at 4:33 am

Fabrications about the PAP is considered by netizens as the fat, ugly face of the PAP’s IB.

Both it and the PAP deny that they are linked.

Here’s some evidence that indicates they are linked with the PAP hierarchy being the alpha male.

Sometime back, a tua kee blogger, posted on Facebook an interesting tale. He had felt that he had been defamed by FATPAP and  he approached a PAP MP and asked if this MP had any influence over this group.

The MP replied me that the group is not part of his Party and that the creator of that page is not a PAP member as well, but said that he will try and reach him on the matter. The MP replied me little later saying that he had sent an email to FAPAP setting out the “right facts. Shortly thereafter FPAP took down the posting.

Well sounds like the MP had pull at FATPAP.

What do you think?

It also shows how dumb (though well meaning and decent) the PAP MP is. A really smart MP would have simply said, “Can.t help. because FPAP is not part of the PAP and that the creator of that page is not a PAP member. And anyway, PAP not that dumb and clueless as FPAP.” But by doing a gd deed he showed that FPAP was part of the PAP.

What do you think?

Being serious again, if FATPAP is the PAP’s cyber-insurgency commando strike force to fight the comboys and Comacheros of the internet, all anti-PAP paper warriors should celebrate. It will take less than 15 yrs to break the dominance of the PAP because FATPAP are akin the the paper ranters on TRE. And juz as useless. Reminder: despite all the protestations of gratitude to TRE, the ranters have not talked the talked on funding. TRE still hasn’t raised the funds it needs for 12 months. Most of the $ raised so far came from one person who donated US$10,000.

 

Great article on life insurance

In Financial competency, Uncategorized on 26/10/2014 at 4:56 am

This appeared sometime back. I highly commend reading it both for oldies and newbies.

She went over what main types of policies were available – term, whole life, endowment and investment-linked policies – and how they worked.

She also laid out the various areas of possible coverage and explained, step by step, how my current policies fit within that overall structure.

It was the first time anyone had taken the trouble to make sure I knew how things worked.

I found out from the walk-through that while I was probably adequately covered for hospitalisation and the later stages of critical illnesses, I didn’t have any coverage for their earlier stages.

I also didn’t have any accident coverage or income protection, for instance.

If I had taken the time to find a good agent earlier, I would likely have been able to avoid the current mad rush to figure out what insurance policies I should lock in before I turn 26 in a few days.

Why the hurry? Well, insurance premiums often depend on your age at your next birthday, as I have learnt.

Besides still being eligible for youth discounts in Europe, 25-year-olds turning 26 get to pay less for insurance premiums than those a year older.

The difference between being 25 and 26 worked out to about $150 extra a year for the plan I was buying – which is not a lot, but is still money.

Younger people generally pay lower premiums due to their relative good health and lack of pre-existing medical conditions.

http://www.cpf.gov.sg/imsavvy/infohub_article.asp?readid={582229581-20557-9571802615}

Take public tpt, & win gold bars

In Uncategorized on 25/10/2014 at 5:33 pm

Dubai’s transport authority is giving away 4kg (8.8lb) of gold as part of celebrations for Public Transport Day on 1 November, to try and lure people out of their cars and into mass transit, the Gulf News website reports. The prizes will be handed out through “raffle draws and other surprises” over the course of a week, it says. The event is aimed at encouraging people to “shun reliance on private vehicles and switch to using public transport,” …

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-29746778

 

Ho Kwon Ping’s real insight: Welcome Back to the Future

In Uncategorized on 24/10/2014 at 5:15 am

Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Ho Kwon Ping (es-ISD detainee) spoke at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS)-Nathan lecture series on Monday (20 Oct). His speech was more than about the PAP’s continuing hegemony and its probable decline. Not that you’d notice if you only read the reports and commentary in constructive, nation-building media and the new media.

The focus was on what he said were

— the challenges of PAP remaining in power, maintaining its one-party dominance and denying the opposition its self-described role as a “co-driver” of the nation, but to do so in a manner which ensures that the party “truly renews itself and retains its original vitality, vibrancy and vigour”.

“If history is anything to go by, this last task will be daunting.”

— And that it’s a matter of time PAP would lose an election. (”Is Ho Kwon Ping saying all that much? 15 years from now means 2029/30. That’s at least three general elections away!” was posted on facebook by a friend.)

Ah yah, even my dogs can tell you these things.

Seriously, and sadly, the most impt insight of the speech was played down. Why I do not know.

Back to the future: 1950s and early 1960s revisited 

In his conversations with young Singaporeans, he said, almost everyone was critical of one issue or another, and to varying degrees, he says.

“But what impressed me was the overwhelming sense of what sociologists call self-agency – the simple notion that I can change things; that I am in control of my life and my future.”

“This kind of political DIY, or Do-It-Yourself, attitude has in the past decade encouraged a participatory democracy which resembles Singapore’s early years, but which then surrendered to decades of developmental authoritarianism.”

He gave the example of the public response to Gay Penguins incident, “The fact that some bureaucrat banned some children’s books as pro-gay and anti-family is not unexpected, and not dissimilar in logic to the banning of chewing gum decades earlier. But 20 years ago, such bureaucratic actions – not necessarily about LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) issues but over anything, such as fines for this or that offence, or banning shoulder-length hair for men – would have been met only with grudging acquiescence.”

“But as a sign of the times, including the power of social media, the response this time was some 400 young parents decamping to the National Library* to read the banned and to-be-pulped books to their children. It was not a strident political demonstration and more like a children’s outing. But the point was clear.”

This is his original insight: we are returning to the social activism of the 1950s. Diverse views were slugging it amid great inequality: out: with strikes, rallies, riots, boycotts being par for the course.

So don’t be too surprised if Roy and New Citizen FT H3 when doing their encore after disrupting the YMCA’s event, throw acid at innocent people’s faces; this happened in the 50s. Doubtless, they will say that their victims provoked them. And M Ravi will claim that Roy and H3 have the constitutional right to throw acid at innocent people. (Btw, the good life that activists lead: drinking champagne.)

Seriously, why does Ho Kwon Ping see a return to the 1950s and early 1960s? He cites the following reasons:

New media erodes Govt’s ability to shape or frame public thinking

He pointed out that the ability of governments to control information will continue to erode, despite sometimes frantic and illogical attempts to stem it: “Because knowledge is power, and the ability to control access to information is the key to power, governments instinctively want to be the gatekeepers. But, increasingly, social media and its incredible variety of means for people to connect even across a heavily censored Internet system is undermining the Government’s ability to shape how people think.

‘Anything censored is still widely available in alternative media, and therein lies the rub: At what point will control and censorship of the mainstream news, cultural and entertainment media become counter-productive by not really achieving the purpose of blocking access to information, but, instead, end up alienating the social activists who, despite their small size, are influencers beyond their numbers?”

The centre cannot hold

Mr Ho said it will be increasingly difficult to hold the political centre together in the midst of polarising extremes – liberals versus conservatives; local versus foreign; pro-life versus pro-abortion; gay versus straight, and so forth.“While fault lines along race and religion have been contained and have still not cracked, the so-called culture wars are intensifying.”

“Non-constructive politics”

Another trend is the diminution in the stature of political leadership which will encourage the rise of so-called “non-constructive” politics.

“Future leaders simply cannot command the sufficient respect and moral authority to decree what is acceptable and unacceptable criticisms. To have the authority to simply deride wide swathes of criticisms as simply non-constructive is wishful thinking.”

Bling is the fashion

“In recent years, the ostentatious pursuit of wealth rivalling Hong Kong standards has become fashionable. Extolling our casinos, Formula 1 Grand Prix and highest per capita number of billionaires and Lamborghinis in the world, as evidence that Singapore has now become a world-class city, could perhaps be dismissed as the crassness of the rich, except that this ethos of the elite is occurring just when income inequality has become the worst since independence,” Mr Ho said.

“The gulf between rich and poor Singaporeans, not only in terms of wealth but also in terms of values, is probably more than ever before, and is continuing to widen. Even the gap between old money and its sense of responsible philanthropy, and the nouveau riche’s penchant for affectation and bling, is widening.”

Becoming normal human beings, not comrades on a mission

Lastly, the absence of a galvanizing national mission and a sense of dogged exceptionalism as the little red dot that refuses to be smudged out, will lead increasingly to a sense of anomie – which has been defined as “personal unrest, alienation and anxiety that comes from a lack of purpose or ideals”, he said.

“It is the disease of affluence which affects individual people as well as societies. We have arrived, only to find ourselves lost again.”

The moral of all this: new media can be as bad as our constructive, nation-building media. New media people too have their agendas, prejudices. They too can be stupid.

Take nothing on trust.

Related posts on life in the early 60s

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/im-invested-in-spore-spore-in-50s-60s/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/when-55-of-voters-were-fts/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/ntuc-what-devan-nair-got-wrong/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/were-the-coldstore-detainees-communists-progressives-or-leftists/ The book reviewed here has gd stuff on the 50s and 60s even if it was published by a stat board. Juz goes to show …

——

*There seems to be a conspiracy of silence among the govt, constructive nation-building media, social activists, and tua kee bloggers and other cyber warriors on this gathering. As far as I’ve been able to make out, no permission was sought or given to conduct the read-in, making it an illegal assembly. So why no arrests? Why no gloating by activists that the police didn’t dare arrest anyone, let alone investigate?

 

 

PAP’s “servant leadership” like SingTel’s service?

In Political governance, Telecoms, Uncategorized on 22/10/2014 at 6:13 am

Oxymorons, both. Yet why do S’poreans buy into both?

The day before I read Ho Kwon Ping’s speech*, the following conversation occurred on Facebook between friends

One friend asked another friend on her views on buying a Samsung Galaxy note 4 here. The first friend has daughter working here.

My other friend replied

If she doesn’t already have a plan that she is locked into .. she shld jus sign up for one or recontract if it’s due for renewal. The subsidy for the fone is pretty gud. I only paid S$48 for my note4. I use Singtel even tho I have endless issues with them but I feel it is still better than the other 2 telos we have here. 

When it comes to voting for the PAP, 25- 35% of S’poreans, I suspect think like her. Plenty of problems with PAP (like Singtel’s service, the PAP’s servant-leadership sucks). But then there are compensations (like bullying bullying hooligans like Roy and H3: no human rights BS for them; low taxes**; can leave doors unlocked even when no-one in the house; uncongested roads, safe streets etc etc).

And what are the alternatives to the PAP? The Worthless Party that doesn’t to become the governing party, even in coalition with other oppo parties (only loyal courtier leh); SDP whose leader can still go wacko (remember Dr Chee’s remarks about Punggol East); and even NSP (a sensible party after Goh Meng Seng*** moved on and started sliming it) can do strange things. NSP is KPKBing about nothing impt (a lawyer, I’m told, refuses to declare how rich rich she is). Makes one want to weep.

Coming back to SingTel: I couldn’t help but think “Singtel screws footie fans but gives peanuts to disabled?” when I in July I read , Singtel announced yesterday a donation of S$1.1 million to SG Enable, an agency which provides services for disabled people, with the money going towards the setting up and running of the Enabling Innovation Centre (EIC).BT 23 July.

Remember the cost of EPL and World Cup footie.

——-

*”Is Ho Kwon Ping saying all that much? 15 years from now means 2029/30. That’s at least three general elections away!” was posted on facebook by a friend.

**Don’t buy into the BS that CPF is a tax. It has elements of a tax (think retention, limited use and pay now, get back in future when value is deminished), but until the day one the govt stops monies in CPF account being inherited in cash, tax it ain’t. Sorry to disagree with Uncle Leong. I respect or agree with many of his views, but not on CPF being a tax.

***Goh Meng Seng can contradict himself in same paragraph.

It is truly enlightening to see that BOTH people from the “Third World” and “First World” places like Malaysia and Hong Kong are shunning Singapore for “retirement”. But as Singaporeans, do we have a choice at all? We are born in Singapore and we have little choice but live, retire and die in Singapore. However, under PAP rule, we are going to suffer, after decades of contributing to Singapore’s development, we will die poor, having to be forced to sell off our HDB flat for our retirement.

But then he says:

I guess the ultimate aim of PAP has been leaked before, they wanted us to retire in JB (Johor Bahru)!

So waz this about … as Singaporeans, do we have a choice at all? We are born in Singapore and we have little choice but live, retire and die in Singapore.

Come on Goh Meng Seng, think before write. Or at least read back what you just wrote, a second ago.

And we do have a choice to retain our citizenship and live abroad in our old age. M’sia and the Philippines have “silver-hair” programmes fot foreigners. I also know of S’poreans who have sold off their HDB flats and moved onto NZ, Oz and Canada.

As you are personally aware (having sold yr HDB flat to fund the NSP’s campaign in 2011), the high prices of HDB flats gives options to many S’poreans. Whether they take advantage of it, is up to them. If they die, die want to remain here, they have to accept whatever govt, the majority of their fellow S’poreans prefer. At the moment, 60 — 70% prefer the PAP. And with anti-PAP activists like you and the person you advised, Tan Kin Lian, who can blame them?

 

 

 

 

 

Higher minimum wage, lower unemployment

In Economy, Uncategorized on 19/10/2014 at 4:39 am

Our constructive, nation-building media would never republish or tell this tale of where minimum wages didn’t do what the PAP govt claim it would do: raise unemployment. .

A higher minimum wage in practice – Christopher Flavelle of Bloomberg View argues a $10.10 [£6.27] minimum hourly wage would neither change America for the better nor destroy a million jobs, based on the case study that is Canada.

In 2014 every province in Canada had set its minimum wage at $10 Canadian an hour or higher. British Columbia, which had the biggest increase of any province, saw its unemployment rate fall by almost a full point over the same period, to 6.7 %.

On the other hand, the share of people with low incomes fell just 0.4% in four years, even as the minimum wage increased 16% in real terms during the same period.

“The link with poverty and the minimum wage is almost zero,” Stephen Gordon, an economics professor at the University of Laval in Quebec City, tells Flavelle. “Lots of people who earn the minimum wage are not in poverty, and a lot in poverty don’t earn the minimum wage – the problem is they’re not working, or the number of hours they get.

BBC Online extract

What Hui Hui & WP have in common

In Uncategorized on 13/10/2014 at 4:29 am

PritamS (plays footie with PAP MPs and wants a coalition with the PAP), Yaw (remember him? I hope Mrs Yaw hasn’t repented of her decision to stand by her man.) and Hui Hui are from Jurong Junior college.

I’m sure ISD is monitoring the teachers there. Two WP MPs and one young crow from the same JC is worrying for the future prosperity of S’pore.

Teachers in JJC should be afraid, very afraid. Actually whoever is responsible for civic responsibility should be proud of having two WP MPs as old boys, though concerned about Hui Hui’s inability to tell the truth, and Yaw’s philandering. And so should the person who tot General Paper to Hui Hui. Go read her blog. She can’t think logically and rationally.

Update at 4.49am: Came across this disliked TRE post which sums up my views on KPKB Princess

Sangrawi:

what is wrong with HHH?

She has a persecution complex. When she wears the T-shirt that says “WANT TO SUE ME” , she is really challenging the authorities to take strong actions against her and she will go out to create trouble, even if means disrupting an event for the less fortunate to achieve her aims.

This girl has shown time and again that she will exaggerate and lie to get public sympathy and support. as much as I support a credible moderate opposition, I think HHH is nothing but a mindless trouble-maker and doing much to destroy the credibility of opposition.

I urge the government to rise up to her challenge and SUE her.

Hear, hear.

Btw, another reason why I dislike her is because as quai lan person she is always trying to avoid the consequences of her actions.

Want to be quai lan, have to accept the consequences of one’s actions. “Live by the sword, be prepared to die by the sword,” has been one of my mottoes.

 

Police offered canteen meal break to H3, she declined

In Public Administration, Uncategorized on 12/10/2014 at 10:04 am

Then KPKB that she was denied food. The drama princess wanted restaurant food at People’s Park is it?

Let me explain.

I awaited with interest the police’s response to the following allegations made by New Citizen H3

— she wasn’t allowed to eat despite being interviewd for over seven hours (“her request for food was denied. She was also not allowed to leave PCC for dinner,” her cheer leader TRE wrote.); and

— the police took away her notes of the interview.

These seemed contrary to the “right” procedure.

In this morning’s SunT, the police said that she had declined a break for dinner. So it seems she was allowed to eat in the police canteen but she declined. She wanted something better*? People’s Park gourmet food?. What can I say? Hui Hui has a terrible record when it comes to telling the truth.

[Update at 2.20pm: TOC reports

The police also said it was Ms Han who had “declined an offer to take a break for dinner.”

However, Ms Han said she was told – at about 5pm – that the interview would only last a further 30 minutes. This was why she decided not to have the dinner break.

As it turned out, the interview took another 4 hours or so and only ended at 9.30pm.

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2014/10/police-deny-visiting-han-hui-hui-at-midnight/

Juz wondering: when interview went beyond 6.00pm, did she ask for a meal break? And if “No”, why not? And if she asked for a break, but wasn’t given one, why doesn’t she now KPKB about it?]

 

On the taking away of her notes, I’ll wait for further details to emerge before commenting. But this I will say: Many yrs ago when I was interviewed by the CAD on whether my actions could amount to a crime, I recollect being offered pen and paper so that I could take notes. When I declined, the officer said,”Sure or not?”. I said I would be signing a police statement and if I disagrred I wouldn’t sign.

Btw, can confirm that there is no truth in the allegation that SGH’s A&E was flooded with policemen and women with fang and claw wounds. Still trying to confirm that H3’s police interviewer is being treated for Post Traumatic Stress Symptoms.

[Update at 2.25pm: Can also confirm not true that any police person was given anti-rabies vaccination.]

Reminds me of Pussy Lim and other M’sian Chinese https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/not-damaged-cd-like-cat-lim-still-holding-reits-and-dividend-stocks/

Exposed “troll” found dead

In Internet, Uncategorized on 11/10/2014 at 4:57 am

Trolls are sensitive to exposure. In European mythologoy, trolls lived in the dark and froze to stone when exposed to light. “The Hobbit” (the book at least) has one such example.

So hunt out and expose the PAP IB. Less PAPpies come next GE. Oppo needs all the votes it can muster.

More on the dead “troll” http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-29501646.

And The Sun quotes research that suggests as many as one million Britons could be considered internet trolls.

Jamie Bartlett, who has researched the phenomenon, writes a feature in which he says trolls rarely fit the “crackpot outsider” stereotype.

“Often they are angry with the world and feel they’ve been hard done by in some way. And social media gives them a place to air it, a bit like shouting at the television.

“Often they are lonely or have low self-esteem. But others think trolling is an art form, a way of defending free speech.

“When a victim hits back, it makes the troll feel like a somebody – instead of a nobody.”

Food prices & inflation will go up Minister

In Malaysia, Uncategorized on 10/10/2014 at 6:34 am

Not “could” because of the toll increases.

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck told Parliament on Tuesday that consumers could be affected by affected by “pass-through impact” on inflation. “In particular, as some of our food imports and lifestyle and furniture products are transported via the Causeway, the higher land transport cost may be passed on to consumers.” 

However, he suggested that any such impact on consumers is expected to be small, as the majority of Singapore’s food imports and lifestyle and furniture products are still transported by sea or air. (BT on Wednesday).

Er eggs and vegetables come via Causeway.

He said that the government would continue to monitor the impact of the toll hikes.

What for? Not as though S’pore will unilaterally lower tolls* if price rises occur.

The Causeway toll hikes could affect the profit margins of some Singapore-based small and medium enterprises or SMEs, even though they are generally expected to have a limited impact on businesses here,

Again “could” should be “will”.

The impact on economic activity is likely to be small because land transport costs constitute a small proportion of total business costs – only around 3 per cent for companies in the manufacturing sector and one per cent for those in services. Even so, Mr Teo noted that some firms could be more affected than others. “In particular, SMEs in the sectors such as the food and wholesale sectors that frequently transport materials and goods across the Causeway would likely see a larger increase in land transport costs. Logistics firms offering trucking services via the Causeway may also pass on the increase in toll charges to SMEs.”

Not “may” but “will”.

Still want to invest in Iskandar, SMEs? Or buy property there?

Update on 12 October at 1.50pm: Look at the increase and tell if that prices will not go up

image

*On the issue of matching M’sia’s tolls, the govt is right to match the M’ian tolls and publicly forewarn the M’sians about it. If S’pore doesn’t match, then the M’sians have every incentive to raise prices so as to maximise revenue at the expense of S’pore’s economy.. By matching, S’pore forces the M’sians to take into account the effect of S’pore matching the rises in its calculations. As to the public forewarning, this shows that having scholars in govt has its uses. It is game theory in action, just like the doctrine of mutually assured destruction which kept the Cold War turning into a nuclear war.

The truth about university rankings

In Uncategorized on 08/10/2014 at 4:51 am

Some time back there was a spate of articles in our constructive, nation-building media telling us how well our unis (SMU excluded) are doing in global rankings. This is a yearly occurence as the league tables are published around this time, the traditional start of the university yr.

I’ve always wondered how the various league tables are compiled. Recently I found out.

How does a university get to the top of the rankings? And why does such a small group of institutions seem to have an iron grip on the top places?

The biggest single factor in the QS rankings is academic reputation. This is calculated by surveying more than 60,000 academics around the world about their opinion on the merits of institutions other than their own.

Ben Sowter, managing director of the QS, says this means that universities with an established name and a strong brand are likely to do better.

The next biggest factor – “citations per faculty” – looks at the strength of research in universities, calculated in terms of the number of times research work is cited by other researchers.

The ratio of academic staff to students represents another big chunk of how the rankings are decided.

Big brands

These three elements, reputation, research citations and staff ratios, account for four-fifths of the rankings. And there are also marks for being more international, in terms of academic staff and students.

As a template for success, it means that the winners are likely to be large, prestigious, research-intensive universities, with strong science departments and lots of international collaborations.

Is that a fair way to rank universities? It makes no reference to the quality of teaching or the abilities of students?

“We don’t take an exhaustive view of what universities are doing,” says Mr Sowter.

“It’s always going to be a blunt instrument,” which he says is both the strength and weakness of such lists.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-29086590

Hong Lim Park the private property of the granndfathers of Roy & Hui Hui

In Uncategorized on 07/10/2014 at 4:31 am

And Hui Hui’s grandfathers are not even S’poreans, what with she being a New Citizen*

Taz what I tot when I read

When Hui Hui … had wanted to set up the tentage on Thursday, she found that YMCA had set up their tentages all over the main field at Hong Lim Park. Where we would usually set up a tentage, we could not. And so, we had to forgo the tentage.

It was only when we got to the park on the day of the protest itself that someone who identified himself as a director of NParks … insisted that we use only a portion of the park in a more secluded area. It was not a choice given to us, there was no discussion or compromise. …

Also, why did YMCA not come and negotiate the use of the space? Why was it NParks which had to dictate to us to move.

(Roy’s account)

And New Citizen H3’s rant,

“Why must YMCA hold their event at Hong Lim Park when they have other alternatives?”

Their sense of entitlement is astounding, even more than ministers’ view that they are entitled to megabucks.

In the first place, YMCA had booked the place earlier contrary to 3H’s assertions that she was first to chop (But then she always lidatt: lying or making misrepresentations of facts**).

In the second place, YMCA’s people were at Hong Lim a lot earlier to set up their tents. If 3H had set up her tent and stage first, I wouldn’t be attacking Roy’s and her sense of entitlement: First in, best dressed.

Next, given her reputation for aggressive behaviour (Watching TOC’s video, I felt sorry for the Parks office and policemen, even though she was within her rights to ask for their credentials. Ever heard of being polite? Or H3 blaming her behaviour on her parents and teachers? She never at fault for anything.), I don’t blame YMCA for not wanting to talk to her.

My next point is that Roy and 3H did march to the stage area to KPKB. As one of the many organisers at several mini-bond events, I know it’s a gd five minutes walk to the PA stage from the mound. If Roy and 3H had remained at the mound, I wouldn’t be writing this post.

As to their denials of not heckling, based on the TOC video which they say shows they didn’t heckle, they were shouting slogans in the interval between performances and didn’t stop when the Special needs kids came out. Took them some some time to realise the implications of their disrupting the kids’ gig.

Until they moved on, they were heckling the kids. If they had stopped shouting when the kids emerged, I would agree that there was no heckling. But they didn’t stop did they? Taz heckling the kids. Was there ill-intent towards the kids. I doubt it. But going by what Roy said, they would have cont’d disrupting any other performance. .

Finally, if Pinoys can use Hong Lim, why can’t YMCA? Looks like these two activists are FT lovers who hate a local NGO?

————————-

*Someone at Home Team made an honest mistake allowing her to be a citizen. Same guy as allowed two-timing Raj in and approved PR staus for ang moh awaiting trial?

**She claimed that the kids were “pushed” out to fix her gang. Well I saw the clip which she claims proves her right. IMHO doesn’t. The kids came out taz all. No “push”. Hui Hui also accused the police of wanting to arrest her. The TOC video shows no such thing. Let’s face it. She likes to say things that are not true. Other examples:

— crowd of size at her rallies 3,000 can become 6,000 and 500 become 1000;

— change of timing of YMCA event meant to sabo her event. There is evidence that the YMCA event was not changed at the last minute as she alleges.

Would you buy a used car or life insurance policy from her. I wouldn’t. Yet this New Citizen and her BF claims to speak for me. What arrogance. If they hadn’t I’d cut them a lot of slack. But they claim to speak for me.

Jidhadist beheading: Spreading to the US

In Uncategorized on 27/09/2014 at 1:44 pm

A man in Oklahoma has beheaded one woman and wounded another after being fired from his job, police have said.

Alton Nolen, 30, attacked the two women at Vaughan Foods distribution plant in Moore, Oklahoma, on Thursday afternoon.

A manager who is also a reserve police officer stopped the attack by shooting and injuring Mr Nolen.

A police spokesman said the FBI was investigating Mr Nolen’s background, after colleagues said he had recently tried to convert them to Islam.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-29381980

‘Cause of FTs, Thailand pips us

In Uncategorized on 27/09/2014 at 6:10 am

When I started work in broking in the late 80s, ex-Japan, HK and S’pore were the leading stock mkts. Today, we are not even the leading exchange in SE Asia. Thailand has a bigger exchange despite its political, economic woes.

I note SGX is led by two FTs, an ang moh and and Indian Indian. any surprise if “S’poreans hate Foreign Trashes to pieces”.

“From JB with Love”

In Uncategorized on 25/09/2014 at 5:48 am

Taz what I tot when I was surprised that the hundreds of S’poreans who braved JB to watch the film were not robbed at the screening of “To S’pore With Love”. I had tot that given the crime there (It’s bad, I saw a daylight heist in JB, something I’ve not seen despite having lived in London and Manila. Very disconcerting as it’s out of the blue and over in minutes with the robbers fleeing with the loot).

I had expected the JB robbers to form a syndicate (like banksters forming a loan syndicate or underwriting syndicate), bribe the police, and come in with knives etc and offering “Your money, jewelry or watches or yr life”.

But maybe the robbers did their home work and concluded that only anti-PAP people and students would be attending. Not rich enough pickings?

And that they were not robbed shows how useless Jason Chua and his FPAP team are: they are the equivalent of the TRE ranters who can’t even be bothered to help fund TRE. A gd black ops would have been to arrange for JB gangsters to stage a raid on the audience. But then maybe the JB gangsters are anti-PAP. If so they should remember that the party they support, the DAP, was founded as the PAP’s M’sian Trojan horse and that after Penang fell to the DAP, the chief minister and his dad came down here to brief one LKY in his office in the Istana. The Chief minister said so at a seminar I attended.

Now to a serious matter.

Yale-NUS College has shelved its plan to screen To Singapore, With Love after a request to screen the documentary in a class was rejected by film-maker Tan Pin Pin.

The liberal arts college had managed to get the green light from the Media Development Authority (MDA) because the screening was for educational purposes. Last week, the MDA had given the film a Not Allowed for All Ratings (NAR) classification, which means the film is barred from being exhibited or distributed here.

Responding to TODAY’s queries, a Yale-NUS College spokesperson said it had planned to show the 70-minute film in its documentary film course. “(Ms Tan) has indicated that she will not be holding any screenings in Singapore at this time. 

So is Ms Tan outdoing James* and the MDA at their game? Not allowing S’poreans in S’pore to watch her film?

Hopefully not because

Ms Tan revealed that since the MDA’s classification, she had received several requests to screen her documentary in Singapore, but that she had not agreed to any.

“No more screenings (in Singapore) while I figure out my next step. Overseas screenings that started last year will continue,” she said.

I hope she allows private screenings if the authorities don’t impose absurd conditions. Or allow it on YouTube.

If she doesn’t allow private screenings, then it shows the PAP has won. Even a brave, dissident, independent thinker like her accepts the PAP’s premise that S’poreans are always second class, FTs tua kee.

Btw, if she allows it on YouTube, I hope activists can help older, lessy interne4t savvy S’poreans access the film.

——-

*Jacobus is the Latinised form of James, while Yaacob is Muslim variant of Jacob.

And we foodie, innovative nation?

In Uncategorized on 21/09/2014 at 4:16 am

We love food, eat exotic stuff (think fried grass-hoppers, ants, intestines, poultry feet), have a VC industry (or so I’m told), and a govt that says it is committed to innovation and out-of-box thinking. Yet ang mohs in Iceland came up with “insect energy bars”. S’pore’s entrepreneurial, innovative ecosystem failed to produce this here.

Insects are a staple food in parts of the developing world, but two businessmen from the unlikely location of Iceland are proposing to use them to make energy bars.

Bui Adalsteinsson and Stefan Thoroddsen say on their website they got the idea from a UN report suggesting the western world could benefit from using this abundant source of protein, and formed a company to make bars with ground-up bugs. They got funding from the Startup Reykjavik programme earlier this year, and have just announced the second prototype of their Crowbar on Twitter.

They tell the Nutiminn news site the insect “superfood” breaks down into amino acids that the body needs, and is also rich in calcium and vitamins. Crowbars “provide a realistic, sustainable choice of excellent nutrition in your pocket, whether you’re taking a two-minute break from a challenging hike or need a boost between work meetings,” the pair insist.

BBC

Fear of Harry lingers?

In Political governance, Uncategorized on 19/09/2014 at 4:29 am

Like the smell of stale perfume? Or stale beer? Or tobacco? Or sweat?

I tot the above, when I read this on Facebook earlier this week

For those who are itching to see the move: To Singapore, with Love, but cannot make it to JB, you might want to pick up my book: Dissident Voices, on sale at Kino. Several of the personalities in To Singapore, with Love are featured in my book… Lim Chin Siong, Dr Lim Hock Siew (Operation Coldstore), Tan Wah Piow, Vincent Cheng (Marxist Conspiracy).
In my interview with The Independent Singapore, I said I did have some initial worry about writing about people who had incurred

See More

An interview with the author of Dissident Voices, Clement Mesenas How and why did you write the book? I was commissioned by the publishers, who told me that they had a grant for such a book. The idea was that that such a book would…
theindependent.sg

I reviewed the book here. Aimed at students, given that there is nothing not factual in the book, and that the author was a strike leader (he had balls despite being a ST journalist), I find it strange that he said he had some fear when he wrote the book. Either he was exaggerating, trying to puff his book or himself (ST journalists are very insecure), or the fear of one LKY was at the back of his mind. He became an adult at a time when the ISD was pretty busy*, and when LKY was intimidating and bullying, opponents and the voters. Only the Malayan ruling elite (Chinese and Malay) were not impressed by his behaviour: uncouth and unseemly. And S’pore got kicked out of M’sia, putting an end to his ambition of being PM of M’sia..

Seriously, given the way the govt is trying to ensure that only the “right” narrative is available for public consumption, we should only be interested in the “wrong” narratives, i.e. those banned by the “govt”.

Once upon a time, “banned” products were not easily accessible. But today there’s the internet (and YouTube).

Mind you, accessing the not “right” books are a bit more problematic than films. But alternative narrative authors should embrace e-publishing, Cheaper to produce and easier to access, if “banned’. And being “banned” is free, good publicity.

—–

*Another strike leader (another friend) had been “questioned” by the ISD because his dad was an oppo politician.

Why ISD detainees won’t be sending LKY birthday greetings any time soon

In Uncategorized on 18/09/2014 at 4:52 am

From the accounts of Dr Lim Hock Siew, Ms Teo Soh Lung, Francis Seow and others, the ISD used the following techniques

standing against a wall for hours
hooding
subjection to noise
sleep deprivation
very little food and drink.

These are rough, very rough, though to be fair not as rough as “waterboarding” (a US favourite) or electric pods on genitals a Latin American, Russian favourite).

The ISD methods are very British techniques. I’ll let 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

Maybe the most effective is isolation http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140514-how-extreme-isolation-warps-minds. Problem from perspective of interrogators is that this technique requires time, something they are often short off.

So can one really blame the ISD detainees, and the many S’poreans who refuse to wish LKY “Happy birthday”? Not that he would care. Like Darth Vader and his emperor, and other Sith Lords, LKY thrives on the hatred of those who hate him.

——

*O’Brien  in Orwell’s 1984 said

“By itself,” he said, “pain is not always enough. There are occasions when a human being will stand out against pain, even to the point of death. But for everyone there is something unendurable —  something that cannot be contemplated. Courage and cowardice are not involved. If you are falling from a height it is not cowardly to clutch at a rope. If you have come up from deep water it is not cowardly to fill your lungs with air. It is merely an instinct which cannot be destroyed. It is the same with the rats. For you, they are unendurable. They are a form of pressure that you cannot withstand, even if you wished to. You will do what is required of you.”

This could have been a British intelligence grandee or Special Brnch officer talking. Remember that Orwell was in the Burmese police force when Burma was British. And the British ruled an unruly empire, think Palestine, Egypt, India and Ireland.

Related highly commended video http://singaporerebel.blogspot.sg/2014/08/the-nature-of-paps-governance-is.html

Not traumatic to see mum semi-naked on screen mei?

In Uncategorized on 16/09/2014 at 4:18 am

Can’t stop laughing at Kong Hee’s attempt to explain why why Sun Ho hadn’t returned to the US to minimise losses to the church:

City Harvest Church (CHC) founder Kong Hee choked up a few times on the stand on Thursday as he told the court how investigations into financial irregularities at the church had affected his young son.

The pastor and five others are on trial for allegedly misusing church funds to boost the music career of his wife Ho Yeow Sun and falsifying church accounts to cover the misuse. “The whole investigation was shocking and traumatic for my little boy,” he said of his son Dayan, who was 5 1/2 years old when the Commercial Affairs Department started probing the church’s financial affairs in 2010.

Kong said his son started to have panic attacks and was “hyperventilating on most days”. He and his wife had to bring the boy to see a psychiatrist, he said.

Kong spoke [on why] why Ms Ho did not return to the United States to complete her album after the investigations started …”Dayan needed his mum to be around,” Kong said.

The boy attended a Christian school and Kong said that the “young and innocent” children asked his son: “Is your Dad in jail already?”

He said his son had also asked him: “Dad, why were all the teachers and adults in school talking about you?”
– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/kong-hee-chokes-court-he-talks-about-traumatic-time-young-son-2014#sthash.mnvDUhXU.dpuf

Wouldn’t son have been traumised by seeing mummy playing the slut in the videos? Wouldn’t everyone in the school be talking of her cavorting half naked in musical videos?

Oh I forgot, the videos were shown only to pagans and heathens.

But then, what about the photos of mum in a revealing red dress in ST? Wouldn’t that have got everyone in the school talking.

Come on pastor boy, You’re an RI boy. Think up a better idea to draw sympathy to yrself.

How about, “The publicity about the criminal charges brought about by the PAP govt would have made it impossible to market Sun Ho.” At the least the TRE posters will be cheering you on: they blame the govt for everything that does wrong in their lives, when they don’t hate those who have done well.

 

Roy Ngerng and the “swing voters”

In Uncategorized on 12/09/2014 at 5:02 am

Without agreeing that I’m a despicable worm (I readily admit I’m smug), this TRE’s poster goes on to explain why Roy is a dangerous distraction: swing voters will be turned off by his antics.

Market operator:
August 2, 2014 at 8:05 pm (Quote)
@trust et al @ rotten papayas
I agree with you guys – CI is a smug, despicable worm. But don’t let your emotions abt Roy get the better of you. We need to differentiate Roy the catalyst or beacon for rousing public sentiments over the CPF issue from Roy the loose cannon. He has done very well in the former, all kudos and deservedly so. But it is the latter that is undoing the former. Pat him on the shoulder for the “revelations” from the govt past few weeks but think carefully what has the govt really revealed. They r just throwing crumbs to assuage public emotions but has said nothing really important. They have been throwing smoke – we can see that but isn’t this what you would do if someone ask you a question lacking in substance. You just brush it off with a brief, nonsensical answer right?

Call me a PAP IB if you wish – that’s your right but I am not. However ask a lousy question, get a lousy answer. Bring foolish assertions like Roy’s 55k median CPF balance as evidence most members are so far from meeting the ms, you get no answer or worst show yourself to be lacking substance. Now think about those swing voters, I won’t be so arrogant to think them ignorant but they r not swayed by this kind of rhetoric. The last thing u want is to close your minds to alternative opinions even if they don’t fit into your existing beliefs.

Much gd it did him calling me a worm. Guy got cursed and reviled too.

Btw, TRE ranters who accuse me of character assassination of Roy point out that a lot more people read him that me. I happily concede that he has a lot more readers but they never stood up to be counted when he asked or $, unlike the members of CHC who happily funds the defence of those the state accuses of  stealing from them. On the issue of character assassination, all I did was to point things that Roy said that they didn’t want to hear or others said about him

Happily for the PAP and sadly for those of us who want an end to a de facto one-party state, ,Jeremiah 5:21 says it all, ‘Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not’

With people like Roy’s ultra supporters as opponents, the PAP’s hegemony is safe.  They only rant anonymously, not even bothering to turn up at his gigs, or even supporting TRE with funds (It has raised $17,000 out of the $50,000 it claims to need for 12 months; and $10,000 came from one donor). Let’s see how many turn up at his wake, memorial service candlelight vigil. on 17th September

“It is not through through fantasy, dreaming, imagining or studying that you learn but through observing, working and struggling” Luis de Camoens. Something that WP Low and his team are doing. And the SDP does fitfully.

 

Sun Ho: Why Hollywood, not Taiwan pop?/ Wrong Indon adviser or wrong god?

In Uncategorized on 11/09/2014 at 4:17 am

Why Hollywood, not Taiwan pop?

Kong Hee said the idea for using Sun Ho’s “talent” for singing to save souls arouse because she converted people in Taiwan through her singing. So why didn’t she launch a career based on the potential audience in Taiwan? Something that Stephanie Sun has done successfully. After all, as Stefanie has shown, the Taiwanese like skinny women.

Why did she have to go Hollywood to convert Asians? Waz the logic?

Nothing in the media reports of the trial indicate why the route to Chinese-speaking souls was via Hollywood. Or did I miss something?

Wrong Indon adviser or wrong god?

Taz what I tot when I read in BT that Indon tycoon and philanthropist Tahir is understood to be the buyer in the recent bulk transaction of 12 units at the completed, freehold Grange Infinite project. The transaction is said to have amounted to S$70-plus million.

The deal comprises 11 four-bedroom apartments ranging from around 2,560 sq ft to 2,700 sq ft each and a “junior penthouse” of 6,039 sq ft on the 20th level of the 36-storey freehold project.

The acquisition by Mr Tahir is said to price the apartments in the region of S$2,050 per square foot on average and the penthouse at around S$1,950 psf.

The 12 units were sold vacant. (BT recently)

This reminded me that while Orchard Rd area’s apartments had maintained their value, Sentosa Cove has gone the way of Auntie Ho’s Hollywood ambitions and lifestyle.

Or maybe his God did want him to get rich? Or his god was annoyed with Sun Ho’s Hollywood antics. Every god has standards on decency and taste.

Three well-off oldies demanding more

In Uncategorized on 08/09/2014 at 4:20 am

What more do they want? Free gourmet meals? Free maids?

There were three letters to the local, constructive media last week, that showed how greedy, self-centred well-off pioneers can be. One car owning pioneer wants the govt to give people like him almost free extension certs so he can continue driving. Why doesn’t he ask for free petrol and a driver too?

The other two want private property owners to be able to own both a HDB flat and private property. Next they will asking for no property tax on their private properties.

Their sense of entitlement is astounding. Taking their cue from PM and his ministers?

Extend pioneers’ car certificates of entitlement

 Published on Sep 1,

ON BEHALF of the pioneer generation, I extend our gratitude to the Government for taking care of our medical needs. [What a presumptios prick, claiming to speak on behalf of the pioneer generation. [Who elected him? Animal Farm Pigs’ appointee?]

At the risk of sounding greedy [Not sound “greedy”, you are juz putting yr snout in the trough for more], I would like to address another of my generation’s needs – transport. [Hello, how many of yr generation can still afford cars?]

The public transport system here is reasonably good, but not all seniors can easily access and travel by bus or MRT. Taking taxis is too expensive.

Many pioneers like me own cars with certificates of entitlement due to expire in the next few years, and we worry about what we will do when the 10 years are up. COE prices are now very high, so a new car is out of the question, but paying to extend the COE is also very costly.

Most seniors like me use our cars when we buy groceries. It is not practical for us to carry groceries and walk to the bus stop or MRT station.

I suggest that the Government allow a one-time extension of 10 years for pioneers’ old cars.

I have never understood the logic of paying again to retain our cars. After all, we are not adding to the car population. However, if we must pay a fee, it should be an administrative or re-registration fee of between $1,000 and $2,000, subject to these conditions: It should apply to Singaporeans aged 65 and older; there should be just one vehicle registered in the pioneer’s name; there should be only one car registered under the pioneer’s home address or company address.

Such conditions will prevent people from taking advantage of the concession.

Shankar Rajan

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/archive/monday/premium/forum-letters/story/extend-pioneers-car-certificates-entitlement-20140901#sthash.UWO9WjP2.dpuf

Bet you Shankar Rajan will ask for first class healthcare for free next. And free petrol for his Ferrari.

Then there are these two private property owners.

Let seniors buy HDB flat but keep private property

From Chan Kok Hong
Published: 7:04 AM, September 4, 2014
 I refer to the letter “Allow seniors to sell their private property after buying HDB flat” (Sept 2).

Many pioneers may have been fortunate to have bought a private property and resided in it for decades.

 Upon retirement, they may choose to rent out the property, which is too big to maintain for their use if their children are not residing there.

The Housing and Development Board could tweak the rules to allow seniors to buy a flat for themselves to retire in without having to sell their private property, which they could keep for passive income.

Let only elderly with little savings keep private home

 FROM FONG HANG YIN
PUBLISHED: 4:04 AM, SEPTEMBER 5, 2014
I agree with the writer of the letter “Let seniors buy HDB flat but keep private property” (Sept 4).

This could be allowed with conditions, so competition for public housing, which Singaporeans who do not own a home need, is minimised.

 The HDB could sell studio apartments to seniors with little or no Central Provident Fund savings and allow them to keep their private property for passive income.

Owners of private property with a high annual value or those who own more than one private property may not qualify.

A studio apartment is ideal for seniors to live in, as it is easy to maintain and is usually located in mature towns, with amenities and public transport nearby.

With a 30-year lease, it is also affordable for needy seniors.

Private property owners have always been in the minority. In the days before the HDB, there was very little public housing and most S’poreans rented from private landlords. And these private property owners want more.

The pigs of Animal Farm, and the PAP must be proud of Shankar Rajan, Chan Kok Hong and Fong Hang Yin: always asking for more food to put their snouts into.

Thinking about it, maybe new citizen Han Hui Hui has a point in not wanting to work but becoming a welfare queen after Roy becomes PM. People like Shankar Rajan, Chan Kok Hong and Fong Hang Yin deserve people like Roy, Hui Hui and

Thai coup leader alleges black magic

In Uncategorized on 07/09/2014 at 4:17 am

Hmm maybe our anti-PAP cyber warriors should take a leaf from Thai oppo.

Thailand’s military leader and premier, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, has accused critics of using black magic against him, it’s reported … Prayuth addressed his critics: “If you still want to fight on and go underground, bring it on. If you resort to performing rituals, just bring it on.” … Magical symbolism has long played a role in Thai politics. During the last big wave of protests in 2010, anti-government demonstrators splattered buckets of their own blood outside the PM’s residence as priests cast a curse on the authorities. http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-29075681

Maybe anti-PAP cyber-warriors need to splatter their own blood, given that their curses posted on TRE etc don’t have any effect. But then they don’t even bother to turn up at their heloos’ rallies.

Putting Roy’s fund raising efforts into a global perspective

In Uncategorized on 27/08/2014 at 4:57 am

Anti-PAP cybernauts were quick to draw the conclusion that the PAP was doomed and publicise this ‘fact’. when Roy raised his $70,000 (and then a further $30,000) pretty quickly. So were S’poreans whose views I respect. Even I was impressed with the response. Until I read this:

Ohio man Zach Brown turned to crowdfunding to help fund a modest goal. He set up a Kickstarter page to help him make potato salad….just wanted to make a tasty side, but lacked the cash for basic ingredients.

He set a goal of $10 (£5.84). That’s low considering that the majority of successful Kickstarter projects raise between $1,000 and $9,999, but steep for homemade potato salad. But the humble and slightly ridiculous request – Brown promised to say the name of each backer aloud as he made the salad – took off. Five days into his challenge, Brown has raised almost $60,000 (£35,000), with most donors giving $4 or less.

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-28216299

US$60,000 is more than S$70,000. Both were raised within about the same time frame.

What the reaction to the fund raising shows is the low expectations that we S’poreans have of our fellow S’poreans’ civic consciousness: $70,000 in a few days is a big deal. Roy has a huge following on the internet and social media. Yet what gd has that done him? He faces a law suit that will bankrupt him and all he has as a result of his popularity is S$100,000++ fighting fund and the acclaim of netizens. “Noise” doesn’t pay the legal bills does it?.

And while on the topic of “Loud Thunder, Little Rain” from anti-PAP voices and netizens, both TRE and TOC have appealed for donations to keep their shoe-string operations going. No wonder the PAP considers the views from cyberspace ‘noise’. The talk of support doesn’t get translated into action i.e financial support for the idols of the anti-PAP cyber warriors, or in attendance at gigs. (Btw, here’s Han Hui Hui reporting that 1000 people attended her gig. Read the comments as it shows the length hoe divorced from reality some cybernuts are: example: PAP will lose next GE.)

Contrast that with the financial support that members of Kong Hee’s church are giving to the defence funds of most of those charged for criminally misappropriating their money to fund auntie Ho’s Hollywood life-style.  Those funded have engaged expensive lawyers.

 

 

 

Cyber warriors: Spyware is cheaply available

In Uncategorized on 11/08/2014 at 4:18 am

In yr cursing the PAP govt this National Day, pls remember that anonymity in’t an option any more:

surveillance spyware has been found in the Gulf.  In October 2012 similar software known as FinFisher, manufactured by Anglo-German company Gamma, was linked to the monitoring of high profile dissidents in Bahrain. Like Hacking Team, Gamma only sells to governments.

Until recently such technology was only used by governments with a long history of expertise in spying, such as Russia, says Bill Marczak of Bahrain Watch, an NGO that monitors human-rights violations in Bahrain. “Now any government that is willing to spend several hundred thousand dollars can acquire these hacking tools and get the training they need,” says Cynthia Wong, who researches internet violations for Human Rights Watch.

That leaves activists more exposed than ever. “Social media activity is increasingly being used as evidence against us,” says a Saudi activist, who wishes to remain anonymous. Most online activists in the Gulf use pseudonyms on their Twitter or Facebook accounts, but Human Rights Watch says a common counter-tactic used by the authorities in the United Arab Emirates, for example, is to unmask users’ identities by recording their internet address and therefore their location.

Currently it is legal for governments to buy the spyware—the sale and export of surveillance tools is virtually unregulated by international law. Spyware providers say they sell their products to governments for “lawful purposes”.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/pomegranate/2014/07/internet-monitoring-gulf

Lest We Forget: Pioneers the PAP doesn’t want us to remember

In Uncategorized on 07/08/2014 at 4:40 am
With the 9th of August a few days away, the govt wants us to do the ‘right” things the “right” way to celebrate the day.
I’m sure the PAP will not like S’poreans to remember that there are ISD detainees among the “pioneer” generation. The PAP govt airbrushes them out of history: all the pioneer generation were hard-working supporters of the PAP.
I’m republishing Dr G Raman’s Facebook tribute to his fellow ISD detainee Tan Jing Quee as a way of paying tribute to the “unknown” ISD detainees like Ng Ho (chairman of Ong Eng Guan’s United People’s Party: see below for more on Ong Eng Guan who nearly became PM) who are not well-known dissidents. Only they and their families remember the pain and suffering they endured. They too belong to the pioneer generation,
(Apologies to G Raman for not asking his permission to reproduce this tribute to a dissident I had not known about. I met G. Raman many yrs ago when I was doing my pupillage. we shared a taxi to the Sub Courts because in a quiet, unemotional way, he described spartan conditions he was subject to when in detention.)
Btw, Drs Wong Wee Nam, Paul Tamby (Wonder if S’pore will volunteer his services in the fight against Ebola? He is a professor specialising in infectious diseases and Ebola is deadly) are not aberrants.  RI has produced dissident activists since the 50s.  Tan Jing Quee and Raman were RI boys. But then RI also produced TJS and TKL who deprived RI boy Dr Tan Cheng Bock of the presidency which went to SJI, St Pat boy. The duo also prevented S’poreans from giving the PAP a poke in the eye: Dr Tan could be presiding over third National Day parade. Imagine how LKY would feel.
TAN JING QUEE – 3 YEARS ON by Dr G Raman
From FB — That We May Dream Again
The Mid-fiftiesI first met Jing Quee in 1954, 60 years ago, when we both entered Raffles Institution. Its campus was where Raffles City now stands. Entry into RI was based on the results of the state-wide entrance examination, the predecessor of the present PSLE. The best were admitted to RI. Jing Quee had already displayed brilliance at an early age.We are products of our age. The social and political forces at play determine our values and attitudes. 1955 was the year of the protest by Chinese middle school students against conscription for national service. The French had been defeated by the brave Vietnamese people at the Battle of Diem Phien Phu under General Vo Nguyen Giap.Barely five years earlier, Mao Tse-tung had stood on the parapet at Tiananmen Square calling upon the Chinese people to “stand up”. One-fourth of humanity heeded his call and stood up.Though the Korean War had ended dividing the nation into two, the Cold War was raging. Russia and China were ring-fenced by military treaties stretching from the North Atlantic (NATO) through the Middle East (METO) to East Asia (SEATO). Russia and China were experimenting with a new social order to establish a more equal and egalitarian system. Russia had succeeded to a certain extent and China was adopting the socialist model of economic and social development.Anti-colonial and liberation movements were raging from the Caribbean to Asia through Africa. The UN had launched a de-colonisation programme and the metropolitan powers were against the wall trying frantically to retain a foothold in their former colonies through proxies.The clamour for independence and democracy had created political groups in Singapore. One of the organisations among the English speaking activists was the Malayan Democratic Union a gathering of liberals – lawyers, doctors, journalists and teachers. The Chinese educated had their own organisations Like the Old Boys’ Association which joined other like minded groups struggling for independence with Singapore as an integral part. Singapore was a crown colony ruled autonomously by the British after the Straits Settlements comprising Malacca, Penang and Singapore was dismantled in 1948. “Merdeka” was in the air.1954 was also the year PAP was formed. It had among its members, lawyers, doctors, teachers, journalists, workers and businessmen. It published two slim brochures containing its manifesto and policies. The policies were enunciated by authors covering different areas like education, the trade unions, multi-racial unity and multilingualism. It stood for an independent, democratic, socialist Malaya including Singapore. Singapore was treated as an integral part of Malaya by everyone.1954 was also the year that the British government proposed a Constitution for Singapore to grant self-government and for holding of island-wide election. The Randell Constitution as it was called, paved the way for the election of 25 members to the Legislative Assembly.This was the political milieu during Jing Quee’s RI days. I remember him attending the Legislative Assembly meetings and PAP rallies. Most students were politically conscious at that time and they formed Literary and Debating Societies in their schools. They discussed the political issues of the day. Jing Quee became the President of the RI Literary and Debating Society.Not only did Jing Quee have brain power, he also had brawn power. He played football and was the striker for the RI 1st XI. He was known for his speed in the field which matched his oratorical speed.
Days in the VarsityJing Quee joined the University of Malaya in 1960 and read for an Arts degree. Political talks, forums and debates were the order of the day. There was no restriction as we have now on political matters. There was no requirement that a political club should be registered before students can embark on political activities. There was no rush to complete the courses in time to make up for lost time on national service. Jing Quee became the President of the University Socialist Club and the editor of its thought-provoking publication, Fajar (Dawn).The University in 1960 was truly an intellectual hub. The PAP had captured 43 of the 51 seats in parliament at the 1959 election. Many of the undergraduates joined the campaign in support of the PAP as it was then the vanguard of the progressive forces in Singapore. Its Secretary General was the champion of freedom at that time but he was soon to jettison all the ideals that he and his party stood for.Jing Quee’s articles and editorials in Fajar were known for their depth and literary flair. After graduation he did not look for a highly paid job in the private sector or in the civil service. With his mastery of the English language he could have got a teaching job in the Ministry of Education with security of tenure and the perks that go with a government appointment. He shunned these and joined the trade union for a small pay of $500 per month. To him, living up to his ideals were more paramount than amassing material wealth.Entering Politics

The PAP has been a monolith for a long time but not in the early years after its formation. One of the senior members of the PAP, Ong Eng Guan even challenged Lee Kuan Yew for the post of prime minister. The cadres had to vote on who they wanted as the PM. The voting took a surprising turn. The result was a tie. The chairman of the party, Toh Chin Chye cam to Lee’s rescue by giving him th casting vote. Jing Quee watched all these with disdain. He knew the meaning of the words “treachery” and “aggrandizement.”

The inevitable split within the PAP between the progressive forces and the reactionary (anti-people) forces took place in 1961. The breakaway group of intellectuals and political activists formed the Barisan Sosialis with Lim Chin Siong as its secretary general. Though not organisationally linked with the Barisan at that time, Jing Quee stood as its candidate for Kampong Glam. Jing Quee lost by only around 100 votes. The votes for candidates opposing Rajaratnam weresplit with the unprincipled Harban Singh of the United PeoplesParty polling around 1000 votes which should have gone to Jing Quee if Harns had not entered the fray.

Detention in 1963

Jing Quee’s detention was part of Lee Kuan Yew’s p[lot to eliminate all those who dissented against his policies. The label that was fixed on them was that they were subversive and being members of the communist united front out to destroy Singapore! Was there any evidence to support this allegation? This was the same label that was pasted against more than 200 activists during Operation Coldstore of February 1963 when Lim Chin Siong and a host of others were detained. In February 1963 Singapore was still a crown colony whose members were Singapore, Malaya and Britain. Lee tried to distance himself from the Internal Security Council’s decision on the detentions but records show that he was actively involved in it.

The British have opened their archives after the passage of 30 years. None of the minutes, exchange of correspondence and documents show any proof of the existence of a communist united front or that Lim was a communist (see the very informative books, “Comet in our Sky” and “The 1963 Operation Coldstore in Singapore – Commemorating 50 Years. The detentions were to satisfy Lee’s lust for power.

Trip to London

Jing Quee came out of prison in 1966. He headed for London to read law and to escape the stifling atmosphere in Singapore. London in the mid-60s was a hothouse of political activities. One could read any book, attend any forum and meet any social activist from whichever part of the world he came.

Jing Quee was a voracious reader. His regular haunts were the bookshops and libraries. There were no computers or internet. He attended talks, seminars and workshops shoring up his intellectual arsenal.

Return to Singapore and Law Practice

Jing Quee returned to Singapore overland. He travelled through Europe and Asia with his wife to be, Rose. The trip was to satisfy this curiosity and discover new horizons. Jing Quee’s quest for knowledge knew no bounds. One can talk to him on any topic and he will haveto say something on it. He was a polymath.

Jing Quee joined J B Jeyaretnam’s practice for a while before setting up a partnership with Lim Chin Joo. Jing Quee and Chin Joo as the firm was styled, flourished. The firm expanded and made a mark for itself. Jing Quee handled the litigation work and enjoyed practice. He once told me how he succeeded in a case involving complex questions on company law against a lawyer who was a top notch in corporate law. But Jing Quee remained humble despite such successes and the accompanying monetary rewards. He was looking forward to retirement soon after he touched 60 so that he could spend more time with his first love – books and writing.
Jing Quee wrote extensively – essays, short stories, poems and books. These contain a wealth of information and edifying prose and poetry.

The 1977 Detention

In February 1977 Jing Quee was detained together with about 16 others accused once again of being subversive and promoting the cause of the communist unite front. I was the first in this group to be detained and anther label was fixed, that of being “Euro-communists”, a creature hitherto unknown. There was international outcry against these repressive actions but the PAP government paid no heed to them. After a few months, most of us were released after making the usual template “confessions” or “admissions”. Alas, truth was a major casualty in all the detentions including the arrests of 22 social workers, lawyers and professionals in the 1987 Operation Spectrum.

Jing Quee the Man of Letters

He was a man of letters in both senses of the word. He not only read widely. He also wrote extensively and edited books on history and politics. He gave expression to his ideals in poetry some of which were light-hearted but stimulating. His poem on his detention stirs the soul.

Jing Quee the Man

Jing Quee was an icon. He is an exemplar of what an intellectual should be – erudite, humble and a champion of the rights of every person. He evokes all those ideals that we yearn for and want to see realized. I shall forever cherish his contributions towards the cause of freedom.

Whining cyber warriors are born losers?

In CPF, Uncategorized on 02/08/2014 at 7:19 am

If you go to link below, and click around, you will find that S’pore’s ranking on happiness (70) is very close to that Laos (69) and Burma (67) despite being way ahead in development rankings. M’sia is also at 70. The Thais and Indons are happiest in Asean (80).

So in Asean, S’poreans are about the norm happiness wise. And on par with HK which is at around our lrvel of development.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2014/07/daily-chart-18

So juz as there is something wrong with netizens’ perceptions about material prosperity, they got happiness wrong too? TRE posters and other netizens must the exception to reasonably happy S’poreans? Born losers in happiness as in prosperity?

Any wonder then why govt commissioning a new study to find out what the people want, for retirement, and for health needs? Can’t rely on the noise from cyberspace for accurate feedback? Born losers here (self-included). S’pore Notes bitching on new govt study.

 

But then I’ve been called a PAP mole and worse by TRE ranters.

 

 

 

 

 

8.1 sq miles country doesn’t need FTs to win gold medals

In Uncategorized on 27/07/2014 at 4:25 am

Population: 10,000. Has won 28 medals (10 gold) in Commonwealth Games since first competing in 1990. No FTs. All locals.

It’s a remote island in the South Pacific which measures only 8.1 square miles in area (less than an eighth the size of Glasgow, which is about to host the 20th edition of the Games) and has been covered in bird droppings for thousands of years.

A largely barren dot in the ocean, its 10,000 or so inhabitants are among the fattest on the planet. Diabetes is a major public health problem there.

Yet Nauru, the world’s smallest republic, has been by far and away the most successful sporting nation in the Commonwealth since they started competing at the Auckland Games in 1990.

They have won 28 medals since then, including 10 golds. All have come in weightlifting.

In a population-adjusted league table produced by BBC Sport, Nauru – which lies more than 2,000 miles (3,200km) north-east of Brisbane and financially relies heavily upon the mining of the phosphates formed by those seabirds – has been 45 times more successful than second-placed Samoa – 1,700 miles (2,700km) away to the south-east.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/commonwealth-games/28015180

 

ICT: To export, we import

In Economy, Uncategorized on 26/07/2014 at 5:02 am

What the charts show us that we import ICT stuff (5th in the world), add value then export them (4th).

Trade of ICT goods

Pinoys go home; grass greener there/ No goons with guns abroad, unlike at home

In Uncategorized on 28/06/2014 at 4:34 am

The Philippines, it seems, is the emerging SE Asian economic power house.

The Philippines presents one of the most spectacular comeback stories in recent times. The country, which had been lagging far behind its regional peers, is now making its presence know among the world’s most vibrant economies, and is now spoken of as a ‘tiger cub’ and ‘Next Eleven economy.’

… a revival in domestic and international business confidence for a nation that once was second only to Japan in prosperity. Need proof? The Philippines recently hosted the World Economic Forum on East Asia, where corporate leaders, policymakers and the press from across the globe met to talk business.

The Philippine economy has witnessed a tremendous transition to growth over the last decade. It has managed stellar returns and amassed huge foreign exchange reserves while keeping inflation and interest rates under check. Despite Typhoon Haiyan (known as ‘Yolanda’ in the Philippines), which hammered the country in 2013, the Philippine economy grew by 7.2% last year, making it the fifth-largest in Southeast Asia. That compares to to a 4.7% average from 2008-2012. According to research by IHS Inc., the Philippines economy is projected to have a long-term economic growth of 4.5-5% (per year) from 2016 to 2030, reaching $1.2 trillion by 2030. 

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/061714/asian-nation-poised-steady-growth.asp?utm_source=basics&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Basics-6/20/2014

So whty do the Pinoys keep on going abroad? Maybe they don’t believe the above? And prefer working overseas?

Or maybe working overseas is safer than at home?

Whatever BS they propagate out feeling unsafe in S’pore, S’pore’s a lot safer than home. No goons with guns here.

No goons with guns abroad, a gd reason not to go home or remain at home  now that economy is going to be the Asean powerhouse?

Back to investing

In fact, the Philippine market has been in an extended uptrend over the last four years, and has withstood global headwinds and weakening confidence in emerging markets. The market’s PSEi Index posted YTD returns of over 16% as of early June 2014, led by sectors such as business process outsourcing (BPO), cement and consumer products.

The availability of a skilled and educated work force that is proficient in English – along with low labor costs – make the Philippines a preferred BPO destination. The BPO sector is expected to grow rapidly and offer employment to approximately 110,000 additional workers over the next two-to-three years. Interestingly, there is no publicly listed company that derives the bulk of its revenue from the BPO business. Instead, investors can allocate to companies that merely benefit from BPO, such as real estate. Leading names in this category are Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC), SM Investments Corp. (SM), SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPH), Megaworld Corp. (MEG) and Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI).

Rising infrastructure investment, along with need to rebuild after last year’s typhoon and earthquakes (the nation sees frequent seismic and volcanic activity), means that cement companies could be a good play. Companies like Holcim Philippines, Inc. (HLCM) and Lafarge Republic, Inc. (LRI) stand to benefit.

And in a nation of roughly 100 million people, the consumer products sector should not be ignored. Companies to study include Universal Robina Corp. (URC), Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. (PIP) and RFM Corp. (RFM). Similarly, energy producer First Gen Corp. (FGEN) should be considered.

Defining “S’poreaness”, Msian Cina can help

In Uncategorized on 27/06/2014 at 5:01 am

Last Sunday. a friend posted on Facebook,  At an Indian wedding, complete with lots of Tamil references [presumably in English as my friend doesn’t speak Tamil] and dancing, where the couple and families are Christian, and they just did a yam seng. Wonderful stuff.

Uniquely S’porean, my FB avatar commented.

Coincidentally, on 20th June, I had gone to Gillman Barracks to view “No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia is the first touring exhibition of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, a multi-year collaboration that charts contemporary art practices in three major geographic regions: South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. Presenting recent works by artists from the region, No Country introduces audiences to some of the most challenging and inventive voices in South and Southeast Asia today.”

Two photographs by M’sian artist Vincent Leong had a lot of relevance to Siow Kum Hong’s comments on Facebook and S’poreans on-going rows on what is it to be S’porean, a country where a govt-linked organisation intervened to help FTs prevent locals from cooking curry: worse it was proud of the fact, until S’poreans objected.https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/the-curry-thickens/

When the guide  (very gd BTW in bringing to live the exhibition . Sorry, I was amiss in not asking her name, though I did thank her for a job well done) asked me what I tot of the photos, I said I found the photos weird. They were familiar yet strange. One was of an Indian family and the other of a large group of people of different races. Both were done in the style of imperial British photos but were of ordinary people*.

She explained that the large group were all members of an extended ethnic Chinese family, even if some didn’t look particulat Chinese ones. In both photos, she pointed out (silly me not to have noticed) that the ethnic Indian and Chinese families were wearing Malay dress: more formal in the Indian portrait, very casual in the other.

The artist it seems was trying to explore what it was to be a M’sian, a country where hardline elements, and the ruling elite of the majority ethnic community claim to be arbiters of who is a real M’sian.

This exploration has relevance here where the immigrant polices of the govt could lead to a revisiting of a situation that one LKY once called for action to remedy.

In 1959, LKY reported that only 270,00 out of the 600,000 voters were born here, adding ,”we must go about our task (of building up a nation) with urgency … of integrating our people now and quickly”.https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/when-55-of-voters-were-fts/

And now after having built a core citizenry, the same PAP govt is returning us to the past? Nation-building was an “honest mistake? Or Mao’s doctrine of “perpetual revolution” in action? Or muddled thinking of third-rate minds?

—-

*The guide later explained that the photos were modeled on a colonial era photo of Malay royalty. And that the recent photos were made to look and feel old. She showed us a copy of the original photo of the Malay royals. A constructive suggestion: while her paper visual aids were effective, maybe if there is the budget, the guides should be provided with tablets (large screes pls) as this is contemporary art. Unless of course, the use of paper in plastic folders is meant to jar. LOL

 

 

 

Roy Ngereg and the silence of the FT lovers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why no civic staement ?:

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

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

Where are your statements, why so quiet ?

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

Chris K:

Oi, William Wan where is your “kindness”?

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

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

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

———

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

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

 

Educating children: Not juz teachers, schools & edn ministry

In Uncategorized on 19/06/2014 at 4:43 am

A UK newspaper interviewed The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted)chief Sir Michael Wilshaw who suggested “bad parents” should be fined if they didn’t attend parents evenings, did not read to their children and allowed homework to go undone.

These ideas fit into the PAP way of doing things. I’m surprised they havn’t been introduced or tried out here.

But maybe the PAP (remember that the acceptable face of the PAP, Tharman, was once education minister) realised the downside is that measures like these will penalise and marginalise further the kids of poorer S’poreans.

The paper says Sir Michael’s comments will “provoke anger from poverty campaigners who say that poor families are least able to pay the fines and that their children will suffer”.

However, Sir Michael says “deprivation was used as an excuse for low achievement” and teachers should tell parents “if they weren’t doing a good job”. (BBC Online)

Where a 55 hr working week is the norm

In Uncategorized on 17/06/2014 at 4:55 am

It’s the school hols and on TRE recently, I came across a SDP piece complaining about our education system. As usual with such pieces, it puts all the blame on the PAP govt, as though parents’ expectations are divorced from govt education policy.

There are two things that are not widely talked about about the education system both by the govt and its critics

One is class size. I was shocked, last yr, to find out that in govt schools, secondary and primary, the average class size is 40, the same when I went to school in the 60s and 70s. In independent schools, the class size is about 25. So how can education help help level up the poor, PM? Oh I juz read on FB that there are now primary schools with 30 students in Pr 1.

Neighbourhood schools should have more teachers. But then that goes against the Hard Truth of meritocracy: yr merit in exams entitles the student to smaller class sizes (and better teachers). Meritocracy has its privileges..

And the hours teachers “work” are longer than the hrs S’poreans normally work even taking into account the school hols. . Recently I read this on the BBC: For secondary head teachers, it stretches to an average of 63.3 hours per week – the longest of any of the teaching jobs. Primary classroom teachers worked longer hours – 59.3 hours – than their secondary school counterparts, who worked for 55.7 hours per week. The hours in a secondary academy were slightly less, at 55.2 hours.

I sent the link to a friend whose wife teaches in a neighbourhood primary school. He wrote:”59.3 hrs/week actually seems low, since she’s in school 7am-6pm and then also does work on weekends [during] term-time — it’s much more relaxed during holidays (only 2 weeks guaranteed off in June and ~3 weeks in December).

So she works 55 hrs a week (Mon to Fri) albeit with 30 days holidays. But this still works out to over 50 hrs a week after taking into account the 30 days off and the time when they don’t teach but have to go to work during the school hols.

Taz almost like the hours research analysts worked when I was in broking. They were well paid but one analyst complained that it was “blood” money, given the hours. And teachers don’t get paid as much.

And teaching isn’t exactly an enjoyable job: the author of The Lord of the Rings (a personal fav) wrote: “All teaching is exhausting, and depressing and one is seldom comforted by knowing when one has had some effect. I wish I could now tell some of mine (of long ago) how I remember them and things they said, though I was (only, as it appeared) looking out of the window or giggling at my neighbour”.http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jun/12/jrr-tolkien-teaching-exhausting-depressing-unseen-letter-lord-rings)

I’m sure if our teachers were FTs, Constance Singham, Kirsten Han, William Wan and other FT lovers would be protesting at the long, hard, inhuman hours FT teachers work. but as our teachers are in the main true-blue S’poreans, these FT lovers remain silent.

Coming back to the SDP article, there were the usual anti-PAP rants, but a TRE reader responded as follows

Proven Perfection:
June 2, 2014 at 1:00 am (Quote)
Which model do we wish to copy when the whole world is descending here to learn of our education system?
We tops the world education ranking yr after yr
From maths to science.
From pr to university.
The high number of foreign students here speak volume.
Even our mediocre students who fail to gain entry into our local unis studying abroad come up tops there.
Our Maths textbooks are sought after in many developed countries!
Nothing venture nothing gain.
In any competitive system there is bound to be some attrition.
Check out the Far East.
From S Korea to China to Japan.
Its worse!
The suicide rate is simply atrocious.
No choice in a truly meritocratic system meant for selecting the best & allowing people’s highest potential to surface.
Remember Spore is where it us today because of our human resource NOT mineral resource.
Tempering with it like our neighbour will spell doom.
The flaw in any subjective exam or project work is its reliability & accuracy or credibility.
We arent dealing with 1 candidate and a Sherlock Holmes assigned. It could be plagiarized work.
The tutors’. The teachers’ (because of ranking) The parents’ or siblings’. Copied.
Strict or lenient assessment or appraisal however beautiful the rubrics.
The solution. Stick to the pen & paper as its dominant plus a variety of other subjective assessments.
Our 1st world status is a product of pen & paper leaders like LKY, LHL, etc. Double First at Cambridge.
Dont take risk and reinvent radically when the system pays.
Look at how rotten the whole world is today and youll be thankful for our educational system.

No amount of criticism (reasonable and unreasonable) can disguise the fact that we got a great system: for a significant minority of students. The issue is catering for the others, and or their pushy parents.

Even FTs are trying out our system. Here’s a link to a story about FTs sending their kids to local schools: http://features.insing.com/feature/foreign-students-take-on-too-tough-singapore-education-system/id-a43d3101/?utm_source=OB&utm_medium=content_stories&utm_campaign=features-rss

To end, if anti-PAP cyber warriors want to help the Oppo persuade the 35% of S’poreans that can be persuaded not to blindly support the PAP, they should never demonise anyone who is not blindly and unquestionably anti-PAP. They must remember that the core anti-PAP is around 30%, of which 5% are lunatics (they voted for Tan Kin Lian in PE 2011).

 

 

 

 

“Freak election” training manual for SAF’s paper generals? And us 40% S’poreans too?

In Humour, Political governance, Uncategorized on 15/06/2014 at 5:58 am

Remember the Hard Truth that the SAF could intervene if there is a “freak” election result?

Could what is happening in Thailand tell us what will happen here when in the near future when the PAP (even with the help of its near clones, the People in Blue) is unable to command a parly majority? And the SAF intervenes?

The paper generals could do worse than to follow the Thai generals and give us, for starters, free World cup footie? http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27790396 And if its not a WC yr, then free EPL*?

Thailand’s ruling junta has ordered TV regulators to ensure that football fans will not have to pay to watch any matches at the World Cup.

This will be part of  what The military said it was part of its “happiness campaign”, which has seen a number of policy gimmicks, such as free haircuts and concerts. In S’pore, S’poreans would appreciate free hawker food and no PUB bills.

As the Economist reports:

One of their priorities is a push for Gross National Happiness. The day after the coup General Prayuth told diplomats that economic revival was a big priority. Returning happiness to the people is to be counted a separate issue, apparently. A week later, and state agencies have been reported to be working on a Happiness Index. The Nation, a pro-establishment newspaper that has come to read like a Thai variation on one of Vietnam’s Party-controlled papers, reported that under the generals all of the existing economic plans have been amended—in order to boost gross national happiness. Perhaps this is all an allusion to the happiness-minded people of Bhutan, also Buddhists who adore their king? Then try picturing Bhutanese marching through Bangkok in jackboots.

On June 5th the junta organised its first “Return Happiness to the Public” event. Staged at Victory Monument, which had recently been the site of small-scale protests against the coup, it featured dancers in camouflage outfits; a spicy routine by the orchestra of the Royal Thai Army; plus free food, and haircuts. A few hundred or so fans of the army showed up, and its Thai Psychological Operation team says it was pleased with the attendance.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2014/06/thailands-military-coup

Related article: http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2014/06/watching-thailand-s-coup-myanmar

The generals could learn about interrupting tv programmes: Since the coup on 22 May, TV programmes have frequently been interrupted by the army listing names of people they’re summoning for questioning. Though not of course footie games.

And making, All those detained … sign an agreement which states they will not criticise the military government.

And for us S’poreans who did not PAP in GE 2011, we can do what the Thais who are unhappy about are doing

— eat sandwiches (State-run newspapers have warned people against eating sandwiches, and a senior police chief said they’re keeping a close eye on the sandwich-eaters. Eating sandwiches is not illegal per se, he said, but if sandwich-eating is being used as a front – when the real intention is to criticise the coup – then that would be.);

— give the three-finger salute

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-27833824

On a serious note, what the Thai coup is all about: Royalists not happy at who is the heir to the thrown http://m.afr.com/p/world/thailand_secret_story_the_battle_QcvSA6u4clBHmLTFPLFQNJ

What is not reported in the story, is that Thaksin and the crown prince are buddies.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2014/05/future-thailands-elite

*After all PAP PA is showing WC and EPL matches https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/paps-new-secret-weapons/

But this TRE poster is unhappy, he can’t bring his own food and drink:

there is a rule which says:

No outside food and drinks are allowed. Tidbits and drinks (hot/cold) are sold in the football loft.

The reader said, “I am very angry at how the PA is exploiting Singaporeans, even politicizing sports and profiteering from the World Cup!”

He said that he can understand if the place is a food court or restaurant whose primary interest is to make money and it demands that no outside food and drinks are allowed. But he cannot understand why PA disallows residents to bring their own tidbits and drinks.

“I am not allowed to bring outside food and drinks but can only buy the more expensive food and drinks directly from PA???” the reader said. “Why can’t I bring my own water from home?”

“Why this kind of small money PA also wants to make? What about the millions of dollars of budget allocated to PA every year? Not enough?” the reader wondered.

The reader was also angry that priority is not given to Singaporeans to watch the free screenings.

“It does not state if priority will be given to Singaporeans. In previous PA events in which I have attended, such as the monthly walk-a-jog sessions, a certain group of nationality will jump at every chance to hog free drinking water or other goodies after the walk-jog,” he added.

The reader then took issue with the limited seating capacity as the venue could only cater to 150 viewers.

“Is this a joke? In GE 2011, there were 27,701 voters in Hong Kah North SMC and today only 150 out of 27,701 voters can watch the matches for free???” the reader asked.

“That’s not even 1% of the residents!” he exclaimed.

He remarked sarcastically, “The PA must not underestimate that only 150 out of 27,000+ voters will go to the CC – this is not a PAP GE rally!”

“Will the PA please stop treating citizens as sheep?” he asked.

The reader concluded by saying he will not bother to write to the PA, REACH or his MP, Dr Amy Khor.

“Because I am afraid Dr Amy Khor would repeat what she has already said in parliament that ‘Singaporeans first’ policy is not good for the economy!” he said.

Gosh, he think S’pore’s his grandfather’s place is it? And he xenophobe to boot?

 

S’pore is Asean equities mkt of choice

In Indonesia, Uncategorized on 14/06/2014 at 4:37 am

Singapore equities are Morgan Stanley’s Asean choice compared with those of Thailand and Indonesia, because of their attractive valuations and defensive nature.

“In a rising rate environment, we believe Singapore could be a relatively safe haven (despite its higher earnings volatility), excluding its relatively vulnerable property sector,” a report by Morgan Stanley Research said yesterday.

In a huge plug for the PAP govt (eat yr hearts out TKL, KenJ, TRE readers), S’pore’s relatively low political and policy risk and its healthy banking system, and well managed cash-generating firms are what makes S’pore its top pick in Asean..

This contrasts to the continued political uncertainty in Thailand and the fact that positive developments on the Indonesian macroeconomic front appear to have already been priced in by equity investors. Morgan Stanley report was neutral on Indonesia, and Thailand was the analysts’ least-preferred market.

PAP’s new secret weapons?

In Footie, Political governance, Uncategorized on 12/06/2014 at 4:47 am

With the World cup starting today (tomorrow morning our time), one thing I know, is that, our elite anti-PAP cyber-warriors are not footie fans. That can be the only explanation why they have not be sounding the alarm on how the PAP PA is trying to attract younger, non-elite S’poreans by screening footie games.  The PAP, unlike these cyber-warriors realise that football is the new opiate of the masses

A few weeks ago it was reported that the People’s Association (PA) publicised which Community Centres will be hosting screenings of first-round World Cup games. CNA reported, According to a table released by the PA on its website on Monday (May 26), all 30 Centres participating in the live screenings will televise the first match involving host Brazil and Croatia on June 13.

More recently there was an announcement that the total number of CCs screening the matches ‘live’ would be increased to 40 and that more matches will be shown.

40 Community Clubs (CC) islandwide will be showing World Cup matches live and for free as well. Buona Vista CC for instance, will screen the matches in its multi-purpose hall, which has a seating capacity of 300. There will also be fringe activities such as football-related contests. In a statement earlier this month, the People’s Association said it hopes the sessions will inspire community bonding. It also hopes to ignite passion for football. (CNA on Tuesaday) Err what about helping PAP connect with younger S’poreans?

This move to screen World Cup matches followed a screening of second tier EPL matches https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/epl-vote-buying/. And we know who has the rights to EPL and WS here, don’t we?

All in the cause of next GE?

And there’s more. There will be a PAP PA 2.0: The Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC), previously announced last year at the National Day Rally, held a short brief for potential volunteers* …

The PA is increasingly showing its age. Example: In 2012 the defeated PAP MPs for Aljunied GRC Mrs Lim Hwee Hua and Mdm Cynthia Phua stepped down as grassroots advisers to Aljunied ”grassroots organisations” to be replaced by  71- year old Professor Brian Lee  and 62 year old Mrs Daisie Yip both much older than the two defeated PAP MPs. I said, Oh dear, are things so bad at the grassroots in Aljunied that the People’s Association can only find two extremely old chickens (too old for the slaughter-house) to replace the defeated PAP MPs who were no spring chickens themselves? https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/pap-in-aljunied-grc-no-room-for-young-blood/

This is a far cry from the days when PA “organisers and activists”, as LKY called them, were trained in PAP ideology and in how govt ministries worked, and sent to community centres to organise recreational, cultural and social events. The idea was for them to become via the organising of these activities, the “natural” community leaders.

The YVC seems to be a return to the PA of the 1950s and 60s: Young Singaporean and PR volunteers (aged between 15-35) in the Youth Volunteer Corps attend a short residential camp and volunteer for semesters of service (from 3 – 6 months) for either local or overseas community projects. The programme, built from existing NYC programmes such as the Youth Expedition Project (YEP) will entail volunteers working in ‘diverse’ teams to create community service solutions to serve critical, broad community needs:  education, health, special needs, arts, sports and heritage, and environment. Volunteers will be matched to interests they wish to pursue, and they will be provided with resources from partnering NGOs and government, particularly the $100 million National Youth Fund which the YVC will tap into.

(http://wisemental-king.sg/post/80881286433/youth-volunteer-corps-a-powerhouse: wisemental king comes across as a wannabe YVC leader, juz read his posts)

Hitler had his V1 (today’s cruise missiles) and V2 (today’s ICBMs) secret weapons . Are televised footie and the Hitler LKY Youth Volunteer Corps the PAP’s secret weapons for winning back Aljunied and Punggol East in the next GE*.  In addition, of course, to one PritamS. BTW, I’m glad that the WP has cottoned on to the danger of PritamS. As recommended here: If WP is smart, they should lock PritamS in a padded cell, and when the next GE is called, announce that he will not be standing again. He is a liability in a party with men of substance and quiet achievement like Low, Show Mao and JJ.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/low-shows-the-usefulness-of-non-action/

One gd thing about PritamS is that he plays footie, but sadly with a PAP MP team.

——–

*Or at least in shoring up the popular vote so that it doesn’t fall further or result in a loss of another GRC?

 

 

 

 

 

How “warm” are Ozzies to us?/ Pinoy Talent and Trash

In Uncategorized on 07/06/2014 at 4:30 am

They are “warmer” to China and Japan, both much bigger trading partners and investors.

China narrowly eclipses Japan … with 31% of the votes, versus 28% for Japan (Singapore is third, with 12%). China also enjoyed a jump of six percentage points, to 60%, with Australians expressing “warm feelings” towards the country, despite its recent “assertiveness” in the region. (Economist)

———-

A US tech entrepreneur based in the Philippines says of Pinoy IT talent, “The good ones have left for Singapore or Hong Kong. It makes it hard for tech entrepreneurs to operate here,” he says.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27379715

So that Pinoy IT Trash working here is actually a Talent back home.

 

One ranking PAP govt and media will never publicise

In Uncategorized on 25/05/2014 at 4:42 am

One ranking PAP govt will not be proud of: see where we stand in diabetes ranjing 11in world. But S’poreans have to take responsibility for diabetes, can’t rely on govt. Govt has never explained why basic diabetes medication can be bot in JB at close to polyclinic charges. Subsidy? What subsidy? It’s a subsidy only to what the private sector charges.

Graphic truncated for those above us. For full pix http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2014/04/daily-chart-15

Send a strong, polite, non-threatening message to the Pinoy party organisers

In Uncategorized on 23/05/2014 at 4:51 am

while helping Team@TRE (the reincarnation of the PAP old guard?) help S’poreans

I recently blogged that the Pinoy organisers had applied for a permit to party at Orchard Party, following the advice of one Goh Meng Seng.  He had called the party a “trespass” on our sovereignty.

Gilbert Goh had said our sovereignty is being threatened and had called for a silent protest if the Pinoy party went ahead.

Here’s my constructive, nation-building suggestion on how those who don’t want the Pinoys to party at Orchard Rd can send a strong, non-violent, non-threatening, polite message to the Pinoy community*, our govt, and other FT lovers, before said party to show their anger.

They should donate money to TRE to fund its plan to increase its servers.

TRE recently asked for more donations* after the latest attack on its website. I’ll let it explain:

Our provider has also suggested that we revert to our original 4 servers setup which is more robust with different servers handling different aspects of the website.
After carefully weighing the options, we have decided to adopt the recommendations and proceed with the implementation of advanced filtering capabilities and deployment of an additional server. Considering that the next general election may be called in the next 12 months or so, it is vital for TRE to be prepared for the worst and to remain online when it is much needed.
The new server setup and add-on advanced filtering capabilities will add an approximately US$1000 per month or US$12,000 a year to our existing operating expenses, which is beyond our budget.
Although the Team@TRE is prepared to fork out and share the additional expenses to the best of our abilities, we would greatly appreciate it if willing and able readers are able to help us defray part of the cost by making a donation.
We are hoping that our kind readers will help us cover at least 50% of the cost if possible, as US$12,000 a year is a huge amount for the team considering most of us are retired.

(Emphasis mine)

Donate $, so that Team@TRE doesn’t have to come out with their own money to serve S’poreans, OK a section of S’poreans. They are serving their readers, and paying for the service.To Team@TRE, being the people’s servant is no motherhood statement.

So Gilbert Goh, or  Goh Meng Seng (or both), start a petition asking people to donate to TRE to show their anger at the Pinoy organisers for organising a party in downtown Orchard Rd.

Coming back to being the people’s servant, can you imagine PM and his ministers working for free, and donating their savings to help S’poreans? They tell us (think Ng, Grace Fu) that taking big discount to what they say is their market worth is already a big sacrifice.

Team@TRE resembles the PAP old guard more than the present cabinet does? When LKY became PM, he cut his pay by half to $4,000**, and also cut his ministers’ and civil servants’ pay too. Devan Nair had said of the old guard:

It is important to appreciate, however, that Lee Kuan Yew and Co. belong to a freak generation. In fact, as individuals, they were quite unrepresentative of the great majority of their social class, the members of which were brought up and educated in the colonial era, and whose major preoccupation was to fend for themselves and feather their own nests … But because the present generation of leaders exceeded their class characteristics and loyalties, and developed a creative vision of a better society, they were able to establish themselves as the modern leaders of Singapore. In more senses than one, this freak generation are the creators of the vibrant and bustling Republic we know today.

(https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/in-1973-devan-nair-foresaw-todays-income-inequality/)

*Doubtless there will be Pinoys who will claim that they feel threatened by these donations. Other examples of Pinoys feeling “threatened”. Funny how easily Pinoys feel threatened when S’poreans, unlike Pinoys at home, don’t carry or use guns. (https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/tightening-ft-immigration-helps-sporeans-pmes/)

**Remember that David Marshall as chief minister was paid $8,000 a month (he said so himself). (https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/what-grace-fu-cant-afford/)

 

PRC workers: Hard working but willing to strike and riot

In Uncategorized on 18/05/2014 at 4:59 am

This is Ibaraki, the garden of Japan. The deep alluvial soils can produce up to five vegetable crops a year if properly looked after … a line of young men are bent double, a knife in one hand a basket in the other. They are rapidly cutting the tall, green spinach and placing each bunch carefully in a basket. The only Japanese man working here is Yoshinori Kitajima, the farm’s owner. All of the others are Chinese.

For the last 10 years Mr Kitajima has been hiring Chinese “trainees” to work on his farm. He admits his business would not survive without them. Young Japanese simply would not do this sort of work anymore.

Working side by side with the young men from poor villages in central China has given Mr Kitajima a new regard for his Chinese neighbours.

“When I work with these trainees, I can feel they are pure and genuine,” he said.

“They remind me of Japanese people from a previous generation. They still have the spirit of working together. This is something we in Japan have lost.”

He calls them trainees because officially they are here to study and can only stay three years. But across the country, there are now at least 100,000 Chinese “students” working on Japan’s farms and in Japanese factories.

(Apologies no attribution for this. Forgot to record at time of cutting and pasting, many moons ago: sorry leh, lazy to google. Suspect was Economist)

Well one LKY would agree with him.

They should remember that PRC workers while no slouchers are quite happy to riot (overturn police cars, damage private property) and strike. They are not docile sheep, unlike Japa and S’poreans.

BTW, these trainees remind me of the use of Pinoys, PRCs etc in our super markets once upon a time: on training in S’pore meh. Now no need such excuse. when these practice returns, I’m willing to believe govt that it ‘s tightening FT inflow

 

Why global education league rankings are meaningless

In Hong Kong, Uncategorized on 11/05/2014 at 4:27 am

South Korea is rated number one according to this ranking* by Pearson and the EIU. And other education league tables also rank it highly.

But we know that over 200 Southern Korean students obeyed orders, and drowned as a result.They behaved like sheep rather than intelligent human beings.They were not sceptical enough. Is this what education all about? Behaving like sheep?

BTW, we are third and I’m sure our students would have obeyed orders too, like the Japs (second), and drowned. (Can’t be sure about the Hongkies 4th.  (http://www.bbc.com/news/business-27314075). I suspect the Hongkie kids would have disobeyed orders, HK’s that kind of place, Hongkies not afraid to protest. Power to them)

If behaving like sheep is the result of the best education system in the world, I’d rather be an American kid ( USranked 14th)

— it’s an American teenager from Hicksville USA (actually Mississippi) who started a campaign that made Coke and Pepsi drop an ingredient in their sports drinks. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27300185

— And remember this 5-yr-0ld American boy who is a Microsoft recognised security researcher for spotting an Xbox flaw? https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/v-v-good-at-solving-paper-problems-so-what-more-peanuts/

When the PAP govt and its trumpeters and drummers in our constructive, nation-building media laud our education system citing these int’l league tables, remember the Korean kids who drowned. My test would be, “Which countries’ kids are least likely to have drowned?”

—-

*These rankings are based upon an amalgamation of international tests and education data – including the OECD’s Pisa tests, and two major US-based studies, Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (Timss) and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (Pirls).

They also include higher-education graduation rates, which helped the UK to a much higher position than in Pisa tests,

More equal than other S’poreans?

In Political governance, Public Administration, Uncategorized on 30/04/2014 at 6:03 am

I’m thinking of Ronald McDonald (a FT turned true blue S’porean who if he had a son with dual citizenship would surely insist that his son dows NS, unlike Yaacob who tells us only that he hopes his son will do NS) and again my beef (rendang flavoured) is with the way the S’poreans who don’t dream the “right” dreams” or think the “right” tots are being ghettoised and discriminated against by the PAP govt.

Let me explain.

I avoided going anyway near a McDonald’s store on Monday because it was the start of the latest “Hello Kitty” promotion. I had memories of what happened in 2000:

Fist fights broke out while frustrated patrons threatened store managers, damaged restaurant property and compelled the fast-food outlets to hire private security firms to police crowds. At one outlet, at least seven people were injured after a glass door they were leaning on shattered.

Singapore, which keeps tight curbs on public speech and famously bans most sales of chewing gum to keep its streets clean, was caught by surprise. While public demand was heated for similar promotions in Hong Kong and Taiwan, few expected law-abiding Singaporeans to turn so catty—or for the issue to claw its way to the top ranks of power.

“We should not get too carried away,” said then-Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who later became prime minister. “Even if you want the Kitty, there is no need to fight fiercely to try and get one,” he told local media at a public event.

In Parliament, a lawmaker asked the environment minister if he planned to stop McDonald’s from selling Hello Kitty dolls. “It’s not under my purview,” the minister replied.

And only last yr

… things got heated again when McDonald’s rolled out a so-called “Fairy Tales” Hello Kitty set, featuring six versions designed after popular folklore. The last one—a black kitten sporting a skeletal motif—sparked mayhem as security personnel were called in to deal with heated squabbles caused by widespread line-jumping. McDonald’s wrote a letter to a local newspaper apologizing for the chaos and promised to do better next time.

(http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303834304579523793654859518?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303834304579523793654859518.html)

Finally, an online sale, I tot, was a warning of the public order problems that would ensure on Monday.

To improve buyers’ experience and curb black-market sales, the company also is offering online sales for a collector’s set featuring all six toys, Ms. Low said.

But the online sales drive was overwhelmed by the weight of orders, forcing the fast-food chain to temporarily suspend sales after less than two hours.

Hundreds of disgruntled Kitty-lovers hurled abuse on McDonald’s Facebook page, accusing the fast-food chain of sloppy customer service.

So you’d have tot that the police would conclude, “Three strikes and you’re out, Ronald.”; the police having the power to prevent such a commercial event from being held if they had concerns about “public disorder and mischief”, that “may disrupt community life”.

But, Pledging to prevent a repeat of ugly scenes that plagued past promotions, McDonald’s says it has engaged private-security firms to provide crowd control and prepared line-management plans for its staff. It is also boosting its toy supplies by roughly 50% .compared with last year.

In the event, the police were right in their judgment in allowing the promotion to go ahead, nothing untoward happened on Monday and Tuesday.

But my point is that given the track record of problems in 2000 and 2013, and the very recent online bad-tempered, why did our police not insist that McDonald cancel the event?

Yet some S’poreans are routinely not allowed to hold events in public spaces (other than in Hong Lim) because of concerns of public order. Even the light-blue clones of the MIW were not allowed to hold an event in a park in 2007 because of concerns of public order.

When WP chairman and NCMP Sylvia Lim raised a question over the issue in Parliament, she (and we) was told that such activities “have the potential for public disorder and mischief, and may disrupt community life.”*

Yet the police, it seems, had no such concerns with the MacDonald’s promotion, despite MacDonald’s track record of being the cause of public “disorder and mischief”, that disrupted “community life” in 20000 and 2013.

My point is that shouldn’t these S’poreans (who are not PA or NTUC activists) be given the opportunity as the Filipinos and McDonald of proving the police wrong. After all many of these S’poreans who dream different dreams or think different tots have served NS, defending the country.

Shouldn’t they be given the opportunity to show that they can behave in the right way in public like the Filipinos? https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/fts-more-equal-than-the-wrong-sporeans-why-liddat-pm/

And why is Ronald McDonald given the benefit of the doubt despite his track record of causing problems (albeit unintentionally and indirectly) in 2000 and 2013?

And yet the “wrong” S’poreans are presumed to be dangerous to public order? Doesn’t their honourable discharge from full-time NS mean that they deserve to be treated like Filipinos and Ronald, and be given the presumption of good behaviour?

One could reasonably argue (I’m not) that such an attitude to NS men sucks, and is most insulting from a govt that says it values those who do NS. Just recently, the media reported that Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said a package of “meaningful” benefits is being considered for operationally ready NSmen. “We want to centre the recognition benefits by giving them a greater stake in Singapore, whether it is housing, health or education,”…

The various contradictions and inconsistencies  that have mutated from the Hard Truths on which the PAP has governed S’pore since 1959 are coming to haunt the PAP; contractions and inconsistencies which have especially multiplied since the “FTs are betterest” policies were introduced to repress the wages of local PMETs. Appropriately, the ghosts are appearing juz as the PAP govt is planning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our enforced independence, as a prelude to its next GE campaign.

——–

*”Police requirement is that such party activities be held indoors or within stadiums, so that any law and order problems will be contained. This policy applies to all political parties,” Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs Ho Peng Kee.

 

How many of them were males & did NS?

In Uncategorized on 27/04/2014 at 4:29 am

From 1987 to 2012, some 3,400 minors a year on average were granted Singapore citizenship while also holding foreign citizenship, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean said. He was responding to a question in Parliament by Non-Constituency MP Lina Chiam. (CNA a few months ago, January 2014 to be precise)

Could Mrs Chiam or any NMP ask how many of them were males and did NS, like Chen Show Mao?

Grandfathers’ place, is it? PIDCS, Finest Filipino Talents at work?

In Uncategorized on 25/04/2014 at 4:30 am

These tots (and more) crossed my mind when I read that the SPF (Sarong Party  Singapore Police Force) had issued a statement on its Facebook page [Link] today (22 Apr) saying that as at 10am, no permit application has been received for the 116th Philippine Independence Celebration on 8 Jun 2014 at Ngee Ann City.

“Neither have the event organisers shared any plans related to the event with the authorities,”

I called a Filipino community adviser (a true blue S’porean who married a Filipino, so he kanna do NS by his wife) and asked him how come the Filipino organisers dare publicise the venue of the 8th June event even before they had applied for a police permit? Think they own S’pore and the police is it? .Juz because Lucky Plaza is Filipino Plaza? (FYI, Lucky Plaza is across the street from the proposed venue, and so is a natural, rational  choice for any Filipino do.)

He said the organisers are Filipinos, not S’poreans. S’poreans know how to organise, and do things the right way; Filipinos only know how to party. Taz why S’pore so rich and the Philippines so poor. I said if this is Foreign Talent organisers  at work, waz the Trash like at work? He tot my comment unfair and harsh because every yr there is a new organising committee.

Not like S’pore where there is old blood mentoring the new blood: like LKY mentoring GCT and LHL and GCT mentoring LHL, even though LHL had apprenticed under both for a long time,as did GCT under LKY.

And the organisers are volunteers, who have full time jobs, not civil servants whose job is to organise events.

(BTW, this is how bad the Philippines govt can be in handling a hostage crisis http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27114551)

I then asked him, if the Filipinos had raised the money to pay for the stage and venue? Last time, we met he said that these would cost $55,000.

He said, think any GLC or TLC dare sponsor? Our telcos (esp SingTel) are usually big sponsors of Pinoy events because of the traffic the Filipinos generate: they love to talk, not work.

Again, if this is Foreign Talent organisers  at work, waz the Trash like at work? S’poreans would have raised the money before publicising the event. And after getting a permit.

Now my real beef with the organisers: Are the organisers right to be fearful they are of the threats against them? And to KBKW about these threats?

I say “No” because the

—  draconian laws on murder and the use of firearms (Maruah take note) and the way the SPF and judiciary work means there are almost no murders or serious violent crimes here (unlike in the Philippines); and

— nutters (my view of them) threatening the organisers don’t go round shooting, killing, beating or even publicly abusing Filipinos in public (they are typical S’porean sheep, in that sense, albeit mad sheep, bleating BS anonymously. So let’s not get carried away with the threat they pose to public safety, and FTs in particular. I’m thinking of BG MoM and Kisten Han. We should, like PM, condemn them, but not profile them as a genuine threat to people and law and order.

At a lunch last Thursday with the above Filipino community adviser, he had to concede my point that S’poreans don’t go round with guns shooting people unlike what the Filipinos (“goons with guns”) do in the Philippines. I told him to tell the organisers not to BS the threats to get public sympathy because fair-minded S’poreans (not FT lovers and FT tua kees like BG Tan and Kisten Han), will not believe them. Am I right on this?

And if the organisers are genuinely are afraid? Are they rational, given how safe S’pore is. I was once at a McDonald’s with an activist who is always criticising the govt. He left his bag (with top end lap top inside) at a table out of sight from the counter where we were lining up. I said bag might be stolen. He said, “S’pore, not US”.

Again, if the organisers are Foreign Talents  at work, waz the Trash like?

As to why the adviser didn’t advise the Filipinos on the right way of doing things here? He typical S’porean. If he is asked for advice, he will respond. Otherwise, like a typical S’porean he minds his own biz.. He not like Filipinos who are always free with their advice.

 

Less privileged S’poreans feel like these Easter Islanders

In Uncategorized on 24/04/2014 at 4:55 am

As Easter Island’s tourist industry has taken off, Chileans have moved from the mainland to live here, opening hotels, bars and restaurants.

They now outnumber the Rapa Nui – the original Easter Islanders of Polynesian descent.

That has created tensions. Mr Pakarati describes the islanders as “victims of indiscriminate immigration” from Chile which, culturally, has little in common with the island.

“There isn’t enough space for everyone, enough drinking water, enough fuel,” he says. “This is about sustainability and quality of life.”

Like other Rapa Nui, Mr Pakarati says the number of immigrant residents should be restricted and the locals should have more say in how the island is run.

“Our conflict is not with the Chileans, it’s with the inefficient Chilean state,” he says. “The Rapa Nui are one big tribe, and our territory should belong to us.”

(http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-26951566)

The above, I think, encapsulates the feelings of many PMETs who work with FT PMETS, co-operating and at the same time competing against them. In S’pore, it’s not about enough drinking water, enough fuel; but it’s about wage repression*, cost and asset inflation, crowded public tpt : “This is about sustainability and quality of life.” And that FTs are treated better by the govt and the privileged

This, General MoM and Kirsten Han, you may like to know is why there are S’poreans who are not happy that FTs are allowed in by the container-load. Nothing to do with bigotry or xenophobia. It’s all to do that they, unlike you two, find life hard for themselves and their families in an environment where the presence of FTs keeps real wages from rising, while adding to cost and asset inflation, and crowded public tpt.

Pls don’t call these S’poreans names. Be like PM, he rightly condemned a certain group of S’poreans that deserved being labelled and tarred and thrown into jail. But unlike you, he, an even more privileged S’porean than you, (and ST) didn’t tar everyone who doesn’t the FT policies of his govt https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/unacceptable-apalling-daft-behaviour/, bigots and xenophobes.

Don’t prize FTs until like that. They like S’poreans are human beings, not tua kees to be worshiped.

I’m sure you will deny such labeling of locals, but go reflect on yr choice of words. And be more precise in future.

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

Remember that

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
Four-score Men and Four-score more,

Could not make Humpty Dumpty where he was before.

Privilege has its limitations.

*

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/pm-this-cant-be-right-5-9-gdp-but-0-4-wage-increase/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/beer-real-wages-next-ge/

 

 

TRE carries gd, original socio-economic analysis

In Uncategorized on 22/04/2014 at 5:27 am

TRE juz doesn’t do republishing anti-PAP bloggers like Tan Kin Lian and carrying int’l media coverage of S’pore.

I recently congratulated Richard Wan (he paid for canteen lunch) that TRE is attracting some writers who don’t blog, and who produce some pretty decent socio-economic stuff. Here are two recent examples

http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/04/20/cat-out-of-the-foreigner-created-job-bag/

http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/04/21/did-pinoy-universities-suddenly-excel-in-last-15-years/

http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/04/19/where-hdb-has-gone-wrong/

Meanwhile TOC seems stuck in a rut. I’ll blog on it one of these days and yes I got a beef against TOC. It bitches about PM censoring on his Facebook. Readers might like to know that TOC prevents me my Facebook avatar from commenting on its Facebook page. To be fair, I can still comment (I think) on its articles.

Actually the PM isn’t censoring. He is juz “hiding” the article from public view*. Unlike TOC who prevents me from commenting. Let me be clear, I’m not saying that TOC cannot should not prevent me from commenting. It’s its right. But kinda rich to criticise PM for juz “hiding” a comment* when it more pro-active in handling comments not to its liking. Sounds like the PAP govt in allowing all FTs to hold events in public spaces while preventing some S’poreans  (Think the PAP’s light blue clones and various civil groups) from doing the same on the grounds of “law and order” issues, even if the FTs in question are from a country where people believe in the power of the people to overthrow elected govts while the S’poreans are juz sheep who dream different from the “right” dreams.

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/in-praise-of-tr-emeritus/

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” is a philosophical thought experiment that raises questions regarding observation and knowledge of reality.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_a_tree_falls_in_a_forest

 

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