Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Pay poor S’poreans to live overseas

In Uncategorized on 19/06/2016 at 11:18 am

Elderly or disabled S’poreans can be encouraged to go live in Malaysia or Indonesia or even China, India or the Philippines, or anywhere where the cost of living is a lot lower and which will accept them. They’ll be eligible for a monthly stipend so long as they don’t come back.

New Zealand is offering cash to people in its largest city who need social housing – if they’re willing to move to another part of the country.

The scheme launches in Auckland on Monday, and is part of efforts to tackle the city’s housing crisis, the New Zealand Herald reports. Anyone willing to up sticks will get a grant of up to NZ$5,000 ($3,500; £2,500), as long as they’re currently eligible for social housing.


Distract, not censor or argue

In Uncategorized on 19/06/2016 at 6:44 am

Something that is very evident in the row the authorities and activists and their new media allies are having about whether Teo, Roy and the Indian Independent are being properly investigated or persecuted.

“There were good psychological reasons for using distraction rather than censorship or counter-arguments”

70% of S’poreans like these animals?

In Uncategorized on 17/06/2016 at 6:48 am

We’ve been ruled by the PAP since 1959 and are we like these lions?

I tot this when I read about lions that are mutilated in captivity: some are declawed and have broken teeth, and one has lost an eye.


More than 30 lions rescued from circuses in Colombia and Peru are being flown to a sanctuary in South Africa.

The group organising the return, Animal Defenders International (ADI), says it is the largest airlift of lions.

The US-based group says almost all of the animals have been mutilated in captivity: some are declawed and have broken teeth, and one has lost an eye.

In South Africa, the lions will be released at the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary, the organisers say.

Later reports say they are recovering physically and mentally.

About 70% of S’poreans definitely are like these lions.

Visit Facebook, the ST’s and Today’s letters pages, the blogs of the anti-PAP paper warriors, TOC, TRELand and the site that PAPpies call heaven, FATPAP, and you will witness declawed, defanged and psychologically mutilated S’poreans in action. They are screaming their lungs out at anything that upset their sensitivities be they be gay, PAPpies, social activists or Oppo archivists. They have a special fondness of being envious of the “success” of others, especially in gaining material wealth.

Sadly there isn’t a reservation for these S’poreans.

Have a good weekend.



No ang moh $, whither Pink Dot 2017?

In Uncategorized on 16/06/2016 at 7:21 am

Will it wilt and die, what with no foreign money to water and fertilise the ground?

S’pore is forcing ang moh sponsors about whether their claims of putting values before profit is noise or genuine.…/singapore-saudi-put-corporate-d…/

Let’s see if these ang mohs got balls and walk the talk, or kowtow because there’s good money to be made here. From their responses so far (They followed the S’porean practice of sitting down and shutting up), they’ll kowtow. In particular, the three investment bank sponsors (Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Barclays) are always after SWFs, TLC and GLCs biz

MNCs behaving like their local fans

An FT columnist wrote:

I contacted the 10 most prominent sponsors to ask whether they planned to support Pink Dot next year. Barclays, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, BP, Bloomberg and Twitter said they had nothing to say.

Facebook and Apple did not reply. Google said: “We’ve been proud supporters of Pink Dot since 2011.”

GE said: “We respectfully voice our support for equality in countries where we do business, consistent with governing laws and customs.”

Neither said whether it would support the event next year.


When will ang moh tua kees will realise that ang mohs too juz talk cock sing song like their local fans?

(Related post: The garang ang moh tua kees)

How BBC reported the issue

[A] row in Singapore over foreign companies sponsoring an annual gay rights rally called Pink Dot which took place on 4 June.

On 8 June, Singapore authorities warned it would take steps to make clear that foreign firms “should not fund, support or influence such events”. The rally is sponsored by companies including JPMorgan, Google and Barclays.

Here’s a paragraph of the facts on the ground the ang moh tua kees leave out

Gay rights in Singapore is a fraught issue and recent years have seen courts upholding a law criminalising sex between adult men.

The piece ends

Singapore’s vocal Christian community has also expressed its opposition to events such as Pink Dot and support for what it calls traditional family values.

It would have been fairer to also point out that the Muslim community too shares similar views.


Let’s see if Pink Dot has traction without ang moh money to organise the biggest pick-up (Ok dating) event in the region. and whether the LGBT movement has local roots. Or is a Western (i.e. CIA, MI6) import meant to subvert Asian values and societies?

Seriously, Pink Dot 2017 be a test for all local activists, not juz the LGBYs. Let’s see if the local activists (ex LGBTs) rise to the challenge or juz do what they usually do: sign a petition and then sit down and shut up, and wait for the next opportunity to diss the PAP. If they really, really want a more open society, they should offer to help the organisers.

And the organisers should accept the offers of help.

In the past, the organisers preferred to do things on their own (bit like the Wankers’ Party) to avoid the “political” label. But then they had ang moh $. In 2017, things will be different. What about charging randy LGBTs a fee to proposition other randy LGBTs?

*Here’s how an investment bank is alleged to have corrupted, then fleeced a SWF.

From NYT Dealbook

LIBYAN FUND CLAIMS GOLDMAN SACHS EXPLOITED ITS FINANCIAL NAÏVETÉ Libya created a sovereign wealth fund in 2006, with the hope of emulating its Middle Eastern neighbours by investing the proceeds from its oil, Chad Bray reports in DealBook. It turned to Goldman Sachs, but the relationship soured after the Libyan Investment Authority said it was misled about a series of derivatives transactions and lost $1.2 billion.

It took Goldman Sachs to court and, when the trial began on Monday, claimed that the bank earned more than $200 million in “eye-watering” profit on the transactions. It claimed that it was an unsophisticated investor with staff that had little experience with investment banking and Goldman had preyed on this, persuading the fund to invest in complex transactions that it did not understand or desire.

Roger Masefield, a lawyer for the fund, argued that Goldman lured the fund into investments with training programs, gifts, overseas trips and internships for the brother of a staff member.

Goldman disputed the claims and said the Libyan Investment Authority had the financial sophistication to understand the disputed transactions.

The fund focused on the actions of Youssef Kabbaj, a former Goldman Sachs banker. The fund said that Mr. Kabbaj wined and dined fund employees on “training” trips to London, which included stays in stylish hotels and expensive meals at famous restaurants. He also bought presents and took staff members on vacation to Morocco, according to the court filings.

Mr. Masefield argued that Mr. Kabbaj worked on both sides of the derivatives transactions, “ghost writing” documents for staff members of the fund to be used to persuade its board to invest and then separately making presentations to the fund on behalf of Goldman Sachs.


Why Bryan Lim and his apologists are bigger cocks than u think

In Uncategorized on 15/06/2016 at 7:07 am

If u want to skip being reminded what Bryan the “killer” clown wanted to do, and his “defence” or juz want to know why he and his friends are really that cock, feel free to skip to the last two paragraphs. They had a pedantic, legalistic and Jesuitical but logical defence for him. But being juz nutters, I mean they belong to  We Are Against Pink Dot timeline, they juz screwed up. They can’t think logically.

Bryan Lim posted on the FB group We Are Against Pink Dot timeline, “I am a Singaporean citizen. I am a NSman. I am a father. And I swore to protect my nation. Give me the permission to open fire. I would like to see these £@€$^*s die for their causes.”

When there were, rightly, howls of outrage, he wrote:”I did not mean physical bullet or physical death. I mean open fire in debate and remove them from Singapore domestic matters.”

His original post was unambiguously about asking to be given an order to open fire and kill people who offended his values: no ifs no buts. Or allegorical or metaphorical. It was murdering people who offended his sensibilities.

A friend of Bryan’s came out with this defence:


Then after pretending to apologise, he (and his defenders) juz did what S’poreans always do when kanna hantam, sit down and shut up.

Bryan and his defenders could have argued that his wanting to kill people who offended his values was conditional on being allowed to: “Give me the permission to open fire …”. And that if he wasn’t given “permission” he’d not kill even if he would really have wanted to. Yes he’d love to murder innocent people who offend his sensibilities, but only if he was given “permission”. Now that’s self-discipline, they should have argued.

Now this is a pedantic, legalistic and Jesuitical defence but it’s logical, especially in S’pore where everything must get permission because everything illegal until permission given.

Bad time to be gay or Muslim/ Three cheers for the Humanist Society (S’pore)

In Uncategorized on 14/06/2016 at 5:32 am

The murder in the early hours of June 12th of at least 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, apparently by a 29-year-old American-born Muslim wielding an assault rifle and handgun, was swiftly and loudly seized upon by political partisans as a vindication of everything that they already believe about Muslims, the fight against terrorism(Emphasis mine)

(Economist blog)

If one were gay, the following would be particularly chilling: His father, who is from Afghanistan, told NBC television that his son had recently seen two men kissing in Miami, and “got very angry”.

(Economist blog)

But spare a tot for Muslims in Western countries where Muslims are a minority: they face revenge attacks.

At the very least, there  wll be the need to once again show that they are the “good” Muslims: law-abiding members of society, not members of “radical Islam”. For a fan of El Cid like me, this means wearing white and coloured clothing and fighting alongside the other good guys against the black-robed bad guys.

Seriously, Normal Muslims should hold public rallies, write articles, appear on television, pressure their imams, and pressure regressive Islamic governments saying something to the effect of: “Not in my name! We don’t believe that this is what Islam is or should be. Islam should evolve to suit the pluralism and secularism of the modern world, and not the other way around.”

He goes on: Yet we never see this (though we see plenty of proactiveness in fighting “Islamophobia”*). All we see is denial that a problem even exists in Islam today. Even those who admit there is a problem always add numerous caveats about the Crusades and the IRA.

The reality must be met head-on by moderate Muslims.

This appeared sometime back in the FT in a heated debate on what Muslims are expected to do when jihadists kill non-Muslims.

The commenter ends: Yes, it is not “fair” that I am asking this of them. But the world is not fair, and moderate Muslims are the only people who can reform Islam. That is why we need to pressure them to do much more.

What do you think?

I’ll end on an unrelated matter Three cheers for the Humanist Society (S’pore) for this

I wish them well. I look forward to read their future articles.

* To be fair, sometimes, some Muslims push their luck, noisily demanding their “right” to do things that most other people feel is “wrong” like beating up wives who disobey their husbands or killing heretics or grooming white girls for sex.

Panama Papers: What Roy doesn’t tell S’poreans

In Uncategorized on 11/06/2016 at 4:39 am

And never will.

Roy was pretty vocal criticising our authorities over the matter.

He’ll not tell us the following:

1 Authorities doing something

Singapore’s tax authority is checking on local taxpayers identified in the leaked ‘Panama Papers’ for any non-compliance with local tax laws, the ministry of finance and MAS said in a statement late on Wednesday.

“Banks and company service providers (CSPs) have been asked to ascertain that their customers are using offshore vehicles strictly for legitimate purposes. If there are any grounds for suspicion, they are required to file suspicious transaction reports and step up monitoring of these transactions or arrangements.”

The statement said the MAS and Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority are also conducting checks to ensure that the intermediaries under their supervision have acted in compliance with their anti-money laundering obligations.

Reuters contacted several large banks operating under MAS and HKMA jurisdiction, but they declined to comment when asked if they had received letters.

According to the two sources, HKMA and MAS were trying to ascertain whether banks operating in their jurisdictions carried out due diligence and checked the source of funding when dealing with clients named in the Panama Papers, they said.

From the u/m Reuters report

Asian Regulators Said to Ask Banks to Reveal Panama Papers’ Links Regulators in Hong Kong and Singapore have asked banks doing business there to disclose if they have dealings with entities and individuals named in the leak documents known as the Panama Papers, Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the requests.

NYT Dealbook

2 S’pore shell cos not that [p[ular



3 S’pore intermediaries not that active. In fact they are indolent.

Panama Papers Countries with the most active intermediaries.png


Will the Feds kill a chicken to frighten the monkeys?

In Uncategorized on 10/06/2016 at 1:27 pm

Panama law firm caught with pants downMight go the way of Arthur Andersen if the US decides to kill a chicken to frighten the monkeys.

From NYT Dealbook

PANAMA PAPERS SHOW HOW RICH U.S. CLIENTS HID MILLIONS ABROAD The New York Times’s examination of the Panama Papers has found that Mossack Fonseca had at least 2,400 United States-based clients over the past decade and set up at least 2,800 companies on their behalf in the British Virgin Islands, Panama, the Seychelles and other jurisdictions that specialize in helping to hide wealth. The trove of internal documents from the law firm were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, and has now been shared with The Times.

The documents show that Mossack Fonseca did much more than create offshore shell companies and accounts, Eric Lipton and Julie Creswell report. For many American clients, the firm offered a guide to skirting or evading United States tax and financial disclosure laws.

The methods included locating an individual from a “tax-convenient” jurisdiction to be the straw man owner of an offshore account or encouraging a client to use his foreign passports to open offshore accounts and avoid regulatory scrutiny. If the compliance department at one foreign bank contacted by Mossack Fonseca asked too many questions, the firm simply turned to other, less inquisitive banks. The firm’s clients included people with criminal records, in spite of its public stance of not working with individuals convicted of crimes.

Federal law allows United States citizens to transfer money overseas, but these foreign holdings must be declared to the Treasury Department, and any taxes on capital gains, interest or dividends must be paid. Federal officials estimate that the government loses $40 billion to $70 billion a year in unpaid taxes on offshore holdings.

Experts who examined the documents were reluctant to declare that the law firm or its clients had broken any laws given that no charges had been filed, but they did say that they were surprised at how explicitly Mossack Fonseca had offered advice that appeared carefully crafted to help clients avoid United States tax laws.

Mossack Fonseca has said repeatedly that it had honored international tax and banking laws, but presented with summaries of several cases by The Times, it did not try to explain its actions. “Our significantly expanded compliance office today not only evaluates new client candidates, but also existing accounts, and especially those that were established prior to the new international regulatory regime coming into effect,” a representative said in a written statement, referring to a 2010 law passed by Congress. “It wasn’t always this way.”

The American client list does not appear to include the sort of high-profile political figures that have emerged in other parts of the world, but Mossack Fonseca’s services were in high demand by the rich and famous in the United States. Read more about them here.

Amos and the the art of protest/ Why Ali was “the greatest”

In Uncategorized on 08/06/2016 at 5:06 pm

So Amos was back in the news. I’m sure he came back because he missed Mother Mary’s pampering to his every whim, and the publicity. But he must be disappointed that he’s history even though he was charged in court and assaulted in public. The ang moh tua kees have got their knickers wet over the Roy and Teo show, not Amos. Interestingly, they don’t give two hoots about the Indian TISG, even though P Ravi is now running the show.

Seriously, coming back to Boy Fantastic, I suspect he’s really a stupid, dumb kid (What to expect of boy who didn’t go to RI.? (OK, OK, I admit that  GCT,Kee Chui, Tan Jee Say and Tan Kin Lian are also RI boys) unable express (let alone understand) himself. I think he really wants to be a protest artist like Petr Pavlensky, Ai Weiwei, Theaster Gates and Beyonce, but can’t express or understand this honourable calling. Instead, he positions himself as mummy’s boy gone wrong.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Ai Weiwei and Beyonce, but not the other two.  Below is something on Petr Pavlensky and Theaster Gates aboit.

Doesn’t Petr Pavlensky’s antics  make one think of Amos’ antics? The sewing of his mouth and the nailing for his scrotum reminds me of Amos’ self-inflicted stint at our very own Arkham. Both actions were avoidable but done to shock and sensationalise with the aim of making themselves celebrities: celebrities with a cause.

Petr Pavlensky is a Russian artist at the radical, Dadaist, end of the spectrum. His reference points include Guy Debord’s Situationist International movement, the Sex Pistols and Kazimir Malevich – and less obviously, Lucien Freud and Caravaggio.

He, like Beyonce, thinks there’s room for improvement in the way in which his country is run.

He too thinks there is oppression, police brutality, and corporate/state corruption. But he doesn’t have access to the sort of levers available to the US singer, and even if he did, I doubt he’d pull them in quite the same way.

Briefly. He started out at art school, but found the teaching dogmatic and dull.

He left and found his artistic voice by sowing his mouth shut in response to the incarceration of members of Pussy Riot following the performance of their Punk Prayer in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.

It made for a strikingly nasty image. An image, that had it been made by a non-artist, would have received little attention, but by pulling the one lever had got – art – his work received international attention.

He followed that up with a piece called Fixation (2013). That’s the one where his genitals come in to play.

After weeks of preparation and planning, he went to Red Square, stripped naked, and nailed his scrotum to the paving stones. Extreme? Yes, very. But maybe extreme situations call for extreme actions? …

Ai Weiwei uses the notion of art in a similar way. He too turns himself into a one-man picket to bring attention to what he perceives as the shortcomings of the authorities in his native country, China.

He has also been incarcerated, although for far less obvious reasons.

The American Theaster Gates is another artist who “leverages” the status of art in society to turn the detritus he finds in the dilapidated buildings he buys on the Southside of Chicago into sculptures worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

He then uses the money to help regenerate the area, which has been called the murder capital of America. …

He is furious. Ai Weiwei is furious. Theaster Gates is furious. Beyonce is furious.

They are all using art to protest, and to some effect – but admittedly with different immediate outcomes.

Well one thing is certain, Amos is furious, and like Ai Wei and Petr Pavlensky, has been incarcerated. But will he ever be famous? (Being a celebrity in S’pore doesn’t count.)

Btw, even his cybernut fans in TRELand are turning against him, or at least keeping quiet, like the ang moh tua kee paper warriors and activists that were championing him.

Amos’ boasting, his cockiness, his stoicism are all part of a plan to defy society. Ali shows such a plan can work. Ali who the Economist said did not know his place. His boasting, his cockiness, his stoicism—all were part of a plan to defy the established order.

But unlike Amos, Ali’s provocation was all the more complete because his bragging was so often backed by success.

Amos’ bragging remains all talk, no action.

Thinking about it, Ali was a protest artist. My favourite Ali quote: A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

Inconvenient facts about the Indian, Teo and Roy

In Uncategorized on 06/06/2016 at 4:39 pm

(Or “Authorities helping Teo prove her point on freedom of speech and she’s upset?”)

New media has given a really one-sided version of what is happening to the dynamic trio of the Indian (Hey everyone at TISG, as it likes to be called, is Indian.), Teo and Roy. While I’m not defending what seems like the tearing the wings of a live insect to bits by the authorities, I’d like to point out some inconvenient facts that new media netizens don,t know or wilfully ignore or suppress.

Did you know that the Indian Independent TISG posted even after receiving a reminder? Sounds like it wanted to play rough. It’s not the “honest mistake” defence that it has been saying, isit? Surely this garang attitude warrants a more robust push-back from the authorities*? And note that the Indian has just appointed as editor a member of the SPP. Even if Lina Chiam now sounds like a PAPPy, appointing an oppo party member seems to indicate that TISG is looking for a fight. But maybe P (Philemon not Politician) Ravi will resign from the SPP? Or has resigned? Transparency pls TISG.

Or that Teo Soh Lung, a SDP member, put up four posts which are the subject of police investigations. Not one or two but four posts. Sounds like she wanted to say a lot of things on cooling-off day. Waz so important? To be fair to her, she said “that it was my constitutional right to free speech and expression.” Sounds like she was trying to prove a point by her postings? So investigating her is fair, while charging her for breaking the “cooling-off” law will really be doing her a favour. She can go to court to argue her point.

Govmin so kind meh? Ms Teo and Ms Chong even complain about govmin being helpful isit? Why the ladies liddat? Oh forgot they anti-PAP.

And here’s something I didn’t know until I read it.

In the same period, Ngerng posted a “photo campaign” for Chee on his blog, which he claims has more than 6.5 million hits, and 30 Facebook posts. The police can very well view these as deliberate and repeated transgressions, and investigate more thoroughly than before.

The blogger went on They were not minor slips. They were major election campaigns!That’s his opinion but I think the comment is a fair one, if the allegations are true.

I don’t know if the above allegations about Roy’s postings are true but even if Roy posted half the alleged quantity, surely police got good grounds to investigate?

I’ve been trying to find out what Roy and Teo posted that got the authorities upset but am having no luck. All I get is the “noise” that “They are being persecuted.”.

Well if the dynamic trio think that their grandfathers drafted the “cooling-off” law or that they are above the law, they deserve everything they kanna so far, especially the Indian. It said it wants to make money, lots of it. Contrast that commercial motive with Roy simply wanting to remain a public celebrity (like his hero Amos Yee), And Ms Teo wanting to exercise his constitutional right of free speech.

Finally, I find some actions of Ms Teo and friends puzzling and problematic. Ms Teo wrote on FB, After the law enforcement officers left my flat, my friends and I did our best to protect the privacy of my friends. We changed passwords to email accounts, deleted contacts and finally removed my entire Gmail and Yahoo accounts. I lost several thousands of emails and archival materials. I also deleted other applications.

So one delete emails that can be the subject of police investigations? But then she and her buddy Jeannette Chong** (who was with her in the flat) are experienced lawyers, who also happen to be oppo party members.

Related post: The garang ang moh tua kees


*Finally the two TISG interns (both Indians I’ve been told) have met some adults. People linked with TISG, were called up on Monday (31 May), Tuesday (1 June) and Wednesday (2 June), to assist the police with their investigations into the alleged breaches of Cooling Off / Polling Day restrictions.

Readers will know that I’ve grumbled that the Indian’s interns needed adult supervision. Well TISG may soon face the consequences of its interns’ persistent juvenile delinquency. Actually they are adults from NTU School of Journalism. They will benefit from P Ravi’s supervision. if he decides to risk retaining them.

**Here’s a really bitchy, wicked but funny take on her.

[W]hat is the matter with this Jeanette Chong-Aruldoss woman?

Why is she entering the fray everywhere, from trying to abuse the court procedure last week to police investigations this week? Now they are saying the policemen are not carrying cards. As long as the lead officer in charge of the team is carrying the warrant card, it is enough.

Obviously, some of these people are trying to put the police in the bad light and trying to throw people off the real offence. Remember Jeanette is the same person who recently abused the court process to defend a brutal murderer.

Chinese panda experts can teach S’poreans a lesson

In Uncategorized on 04/06/2016 at 2:04 pm

Pandas have great difficulty breeding. S’poreans, Koreans, Taiwanese, Japanese and even Chinese have the same ptoblem.

Pandas breeding their way off the endangered list: International Union for Conservation of Nature finalising re-assessment of the bear as a “threatened species” Times

BBC Online.

Govt warning to Pink Dot participants

In Uncategorized on 04/06/2016 at 5:10 am

On the day before Pink Dot, we read news from the govt about how new HIV cases among homosexuals last year has climbed to the highest levels in at least 7 years – 232 new cases, a 27% over 2014. The gory details

Pink Dot has on the face of it very credible and praiseworthy motives that S’poreans should buy into: tolerance and minority rights. But let’s face it, it’s the best place to find sexual partners without the danger of being beaten-up if the proposition offends. It’s S’pore’s and the region’s (Remember homosexuality is haram in M’sia, Indonesia and Brunei) biggest and best pick-up event that comes around every year. Gays have said so.

And the organisers do know it. A few yrs ago, the organisers were criticised  by some gays (Really randy ones?) for playing down gay sex when publicising “gayness”. Sounds like the way, Disney cartoons treat sex: chastely holding hands.

Seriously, the “health warning” together with the retention of s377A of the Penal code, while tolerating “gayness” shows the PAP administration remains ambivalent about homosexuality

More on Fintech and the banks

In Banks, Uncategorized on 03/06/2016 at 6:20 pm

From NYT’s Dealbook

FINTECH VS. BIG BANKS Regulatory concerns have long dogged the banking industry, but these days, senior executives of big banks are keeping a close eye on something potentially more disruptive to the sector, which is financial technology, or fintech, Andrew Ross Sorkin writes in DealBook’s special section “Fintech’s Power Grab.” It’s too early to tell just how much fintech will upend the financial industry, but those who back the start-ups say that the potential is enormous. If these newcomers succeed, “Wall Street as we know it may become an outpost of Palo Alto,” Mr. Sorkin writes.

Of course, there are the skeptics, like the banking investor J. Christopher Flowers, who have dismissed the fintech frenzy as mere hype that defies common sense and will leave a trail of failed companies in its wake. But Mr. Sorkin writes that a third view may have the highest likelihood of coming true: “The big banks, so powerful and yet so anxious about the possibility of being disrupted by the upstarts, will gobble them all up in a spate of mergers and acquisitions that puts the disrupters squarely inside the institutions they were supposed to overtake.”

The banking industry needs to realize that change is coming whether it likes it or not, contends Steve Case, a founder of AOL and an entrepreneur with investments in several fintech businesses, who just wrote a book about the future, “The Third Wave.” “Some banks will be smart and figure out how to partner with some of these entrepreneurs or acquire some of these companies or do joint ventures, but if they just think it’s going to stay the way it is, they will be surprised,” Mr. Case said.

HSBC: Finally fat cats get culled

In Uncategorized on 03/06/2016 at 1:22 pm

NYT Dealbook reports

HSBC Said to Be Cutting Dozens of Senior Jobs HSBC has begun cutting senior posts in its investment banking division in a cull that could lead to dozens of staff worldwide losing their jobs, Reuters reports, citing sources with direct knowledge of the cuts.

Cyber-crime not covered

In Insurance, Internet, Uncategorized on 02/06/2016 at 1:25 pm

From an FT article

One of the worries in the market is that insurers might have exposure to cyber risk via existing, non-cyber policies. “There are people with old products such as liability insurance or property damage insurance where the wording has not changed for decades,” said Simon Kilgour of law firm CMS.
“There are no specific exclusions in those policies so there is a question of whether a cyber loss would be covered. If you can’t prove that you have excluded cyber, then you have to assume you could be exposed.”

Good corporate e-mail policy

In Uncategorized on 31/05/2016 at 12:56 pm

Daimler, a German carmaker, gives workers the option of automatically deleting the e-mails they receive while they are on holiday, instead sending an auto response informing the correspondent what has happened and suggesting he resends it when they return. As the firm itself admitted, it was not only being kind-hearted. It was also, it said, to “safeguard their performance in the long run”. As workers become ever more connected, sadly, one suspects, that is a losing battle.


Pearl of Wisdom Dr Chee and other activists should heed, but don;t

In Uncategorized on 31/05/2016 at 6:14 am

I came across this morning in FT: GK Chesterton, “a few men talked of freedom, while England talked of ale”

When translated into Singlish this means, “A few ang moh tua kees talk of human rights and social justice, while 70%+ talk of EPL footie over kopi or beer.”

A reader of this on why PM will not follow the Japanese PM’s suggestion about focusing on the quality of life, not economic growth, put it thus

Sometimes you get the feeling the real problem is that guys like Chris K are not prominent enough. They don’t run for election, and leave it to the likes of s/o JBJ, GMS and Roy to do so. They are also not prominent enough in online commentary, and instead it is the likes of P Ravi, The Indies, Andrew Loh and the other Ang Moh Tua Kees who hog all the limelight over issues like Amos and Kho Jabing.

A pity really. Even on TRE, Chris’s comments will not doubt be drowned by the incessant useless noise of the cybernuts.

The trick for Dr Chee and friends is to connect with the swing voters, not the TRE nuts and otherb anti-PAP paper warriors. Happily for the PAP, they keep on playing to the rabble that will always vote against the PAP, ignoring the swing voters. They reach out to the swing voters only at election time. They should learn from the WP: ignore the loonies because they’ll always vote against the PAP.

Long term, anything can happen

In Uncategorized on 29/05/2016 at 5:12 am

The PAP administration likes to boast that the PAP’s hegemony in local politics  enables them to plan for the long-term.

Some three-and-a-half centuries ago the Dutch shook hands on what is possibly the most misguided trade deal in history. Pursuing a monopoly in the spice trade, Amsterdam agreed to take one small island in eastern Maluku province from the British in return for another small island in the US — Manhattan.

(FT I think)

But in the short-term the Dutch were right.

Emerging Tech Takes Jobs

In Uncategorized on 28/05/2016 at 5:13 am

Wall Street Told to Fear the Machine as Emerging Tech Takes Jobs Software engineers, whole technology departments and anyone who’s moving numbers from one spreadsheet to another is “going to get decimated,” Daniel Nadler, chief executive officer of Kensho Technologies, said on a panel at the Milken Institute Global Conference.

NYT Dealbook

Can employ FT drivers meh?

In Uncategorized on 24/05/2016 at 10:45 am

I know a FT (M’sian PR) married to local. He has a SME business. A few yrs ago he employed a local as a company car driver: the first time he employed a company driver. He was grumbling about how lazy the driver was: didn’t want to wash car etc. He claimed to have paid the going rate.

Recently, I learnt that he has since had two FT drivers. I was surprised as I didn’t realise that FTs could get the papers to be drivers. But apparently they can. And it’s not applying  the papers for another job and then switching jobs on the quiet.

Now here’s another interesting bit. The present driver is an Indian FT graduate. I mean if can get FT graduate to be driver, who wants a local boy with only vocational school skills? .

And the business is in the construction field. Tot FT supply restricted in this area?

No need tea parties to recruit top PAPpies

In Uncategorized on 21/05/2016 at 2:21 pm



Can data crunching tell you the best candidate for a job vacancy?

Any established organisation will have a group of very successful people in it – employees who fit and perform outstandingly well.

They are already there, and every day they generate hundreds of bits of data about the way they go about performing so well – productive salespeople, for example.

So one way of recruiting is to use number-crunching computer power to assess the traits of the outstanding people a company already employs… and then shortlist potential new recruits by comparing them with established corporate high performers.

But doesn’t that lead to companies hiring only people who most resemble what the company is like here and now? Doesn’t the use of Big Data tend to drive out vital diversity?

Not necessarily, says Bill Nowacki, because of the subtlety of the analysis process. At KPMG they’ve built a model which incorporates 10,000 different data points generated by a single individual. That’s millions of bits of data about a group of individuals in a big firm.

Number crunch those intelligently, and important signals may emerge. Bill Nowaki calls that “training” the algorithm by reviewing the data generated by previous recruits and comparing that with the current results – who stayed, who was promoted, who performed well.

You see what’s emerging here? A new complex model of an organisation viewed through the Big Data prism that the people who work for it generate every day. The very practical aspects of their working life, obviously, but also the relationships and interests they mention in their social networking.

Lesson for Kong Hee and friends

In Financial competency, Uncategorized on 19/05/2016 at 1:28 pm

Eat yr hearts out Kong Hee, Sun Ho and CHC members for nor seeling the Kingdom of Heaven but lucre.

God loves the Church of England, not you people who believe in the gospel of prosperity. He helps them make serious money while Kong Hee still has to finance his Sentisa Cove penthouse that is less worth than its purchase price.

The church commissioners, who manage the C of E’s £7bn investment fund, said they enjoyed market-beating returns of 8.2% last year but warned they would struggle to keep up that pace in future. Over the past 30 years the fund’s average annual return has been 9.7%.

The commissioners’ private equity managers returned 20.2% during 2015 and the value of the church’s £2bn property portfolio was up by more than 14%. The commissioners continued to invest in forestry with two new holdings in Australia, bringing the total to nearly 120,000 acres, they said. The timberland and forestry portfolio delivered a return of 13% last year.

There’s another report that CoE is a big buyer of Google’s parent.

Dr Chee fixed Chiam in the 1990s

In Uncategorized on 18/05/2016 at 2:19 pm

I wrote sometime back that the Chiams were really verypetty people when they got real shirty about a photo of Chiam and Dr Chee. But Dr Chee deserves the “Mad Dog” tag by escalating the row into an attempted nuclear strike that turned out to misfire by calling a news conference where he distributed this document which in my opinion called Mr hiam as a PAP stooge

I’ll comment on an important fact that the Chee document left out, and talk about a more mainstream narrative about the Chiam and Chee row that many moderate S’poreans in their 40s and above believe in, but which young S’poreans may not because they were too young or not around in the mid 1990s.

What the SDP document left out?

Why did Chiam want to discline Dr Chee? The answer is that Chiam realised the damage to SDP’s reputation that Dr Chee’s hunger strike (It last five days and it seems he cheated) and his public comments condemning the PAP for his sacking. to protest his sacking by NUS.

After initially backing Chee, Chiam became critical of Chee’s hunger strike and his public comments condemning the PAP for his sacking. He said Dr Chee had made his point and should produce evidence that the PAP got him sacked. Temember that Dr Chee never sued NUS or the PAP.

He knew that the public damage that Chee was doing to the SDP’s image as a moderate Oppo party

Chiam wanted to censure Chee for his comments, but failed and the rest u can read in SDP’s document and below.

A reader gives a reason for Chiam’s resignation, I never heard before

The SDP account says chiam’s resignation as leader occurred because of his failure to support Chee’s hunger strike; this is incorrect; the resignation occurred much later, over Chaim’s objection to Chee being employed by Bukit Gombak town council, under MP Lim How Dong who was SDP chairman at the time, and found nearly the whole CEC on Chee’s side.

References please.

The mainstream alternative to the SDP narrative. 

Someone blogged this ( which almost reflects what I was planning to say (I don’t agree with the last three sentences of the extract, though). So rather than reinvent the wheel, I’ll quote.

The point he’s making is that Chiam had to resign as secretary-general to retain credibility and that Dr Chee was willing to lose a parly seat by seeking to sack Chiam.

Dr Chee did not address the crux of the matter – what were the circumstances then that forced Mr Chiam to quit a party that he founded, and did Dr Chee do right by Mr Chiam?

Here’s three points of rebuttal to Dr Chee:

  1. The way I see it, Dr Chee is playing with words. Dr Chee technically didn’t formally oust Mr Chiam as Secretary-General. There wasn’t an official motion to remove Mr Chiam as Secretary-General. But Dr Chee made things extremely difficult for Mr Chiam, and turned parts of the party hostile towards Mr Chiam. Mr Chiam was forced to resign as Secretary-General.

 What Dr Chee did was akin to a company suggesting that an employee should leave and making conditions very harsh for him, and maintaining that the employee was not retrenched as he resigned voluntarily. Jialat, don’t even get retrenchment benefits.

 It is clear from the news reports in the 1990s that there was fierce party infighting after Dr Chee joined SDP in 1992. There was a clear contestation of wills over the direction of the party. It is difficult to determine who was right or wrong, but the key personalities in both camps can hardly be absolved of any blame or responsibility. So why is Dr Chee trying to make himself seem innocent and wriggle out of it?

  1. It is ironic that Dr Chee said that PAP was trying to use Mr Chiam to destroy him, when Dr Chee was the one who tried to destroy Mr Chiam’s political career in the first place?

 As if forcing Mr Chiam to resign as Secretary-General wasn’t enough,SDP (under Dr Chee’s leadership) tried to expel Mr Chiam from the very party he founded – a move that would make Mr Chiam lose his Potong Pasir parliamentary seat.  Luckily for Mr Chiam, the courts ruled that his dismissal from SDP was illegal.

There is a Chinese idiom called “赶尽杀绝”, which roughly translates to ‘eradicating/destroying completely in a ruthless manner’.  Quite an apt description I’d say.

  1. So Dr Chee said that PAP has been using Mr Chiam. But hasn’t Dr Chee been making use of Mr Chiam as well?

 He hijacked Mr Chiam’s party agenda and took over as Secretary-General. If Dr Chee had been honourable, he wouldn’t have joined Mr Chiam’s SDP in the first place given vast ideological differences. He would have set up his own party instead. But Dr Chee chose to take a short cut – by joining the biggest opposition party at that time (SDP held three parliamentary seats when Dr Chee joined), and forcing its leader out. Yes, like a fifth column.


More on Buffett’s Apple buy

In Uncategorized on 18/05/2016 at 1:27 pm

It’s peanuts for starters, both fot Buffett and Apple.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr Buffett did not make the actual investment himself, meaning the order would have been placed by his stock-picking team Todd Combs and Ted Weschler. The paper says they are willing to invest in areas that Mr Buffett himself wouldn’t.

They are each thought to manage a $9bn portfolio and usually make the smaller investments, while Mr Buffett makes the big bets.

The Apple holding makes Berkshire Hathaway the 56th largest shareholder.


SDP: No adult supervision isit? Why liddat?

In Uncategorized on 17/05/2016 at 2:22 pm

(Note the SDP has before the publication of this piece changed the u/m headline to reflect the outrage on social media and the internet at its “cock-up”, “honest mistake”, or “dishonesty” (Goh Meng Seng, who else?*). But the problem of lack of adult supervision still stands, so I’ll not change the piece, but just add this foreword.)

Given that there are people in SDP (like Dr Chee and Dr Paul) who are familiar familiar with statistical analysis, it’s surprising that SDP can make the claim: SURVEY: BB VOTERS SAY CHEE BETTER CANDIDATE BUT FEEL SAFER WITH PAP*

But the survey showed that 33% of SDP voters (only 39% of the total) gave as one of their reasons for voting for Dr Chee because they felt he was the stronger candidate, versus 29% of PAP voters (61%) who gave the reason that they felt Mr Murali was stronger. So did more BB voters say that Dr Chee was the better candidate? No but taz what the SDP headline says.

Using the SDP’s logic, the result of the survey shows that Chee should leave the SDP. They’re just dragging him down. 53% like him (The survey also showed Dr Chee with a 53% overall positive perception by Bukit Batok voters.), but PAP prefered at 67% to 28% SDP. Surely he would have won as an independent

What the survey really shows

A pre-election survey conducted between 30 April to 3 May 2016 by Blackbox Research showed that Bukit Batok voters found SDP candidate Dr Chee Soon Juan to be the better candidate than his PAP rival Mr Murali Pillai.

However, residents rated the PAP as the preferred party (67%) to SDP (28%).

The survey had predicted that the PAP would win the by-election by 64.4% of the vote to the SDP’s 35.6%. The actual result turned out to be better for the SDP which secured 38.8% of the popular vote.

*To be fair, there are many other people who call the SDP “dishonest” in its misuse of stats here. They unlike GMS have no axe to grind.




SDP: No adult supervision isit?

In Uncategorized on 16/05/2016 at 2:30 pm

Screenshot from

Where were Danny the Bear and Drs Wong Souk Yee, Wong Wee Nam and  Paul Thamby at the SDP media conference on Saturday? A media conference that was called to slime Mr Chiam as a PAP stooge (My interpretation of what the event was about based on this official SDP document

My sources tell me that only the above two Old Guard members of the SDP were present. And that it was called on the spur-of-the-moment.

Looks like Dr Chee is feeling the effects of the loss of the Bukit Batok by-election where his ass was whipped by an Indian in an area where 75% of the voters are Chinese, many of whom elderly and less well-off. They are the kind of people who the SDP says it cares for, unlike the PAP. They obviously don’t believe him.

When he said that he didn’t feel it was a defeat at the time, I joked that the RI doctors Drs Wong wee Nam and Paul Thamby must have pumped him with sedatives before the result was announced. Looks like he was really sedated, or on a natural high.

Whatever, he has returned to reality and blamed the Chiams for fixing him.

Seriously SDP has an image problem when Dr Wong Soul Yee is considered by the likes of me as a moderate, restraining voice in the SDP. She was detained under the ISA foe 15 months in the 80s as a “Marxist conspirator”.

I’ll blog on why it was most unwise of Dr Chee to remind voters of what happened between him and Mt Chiam all those yrs ago. His narrative left out one important bit that those around at the time remember. And it’s not to Dr chee’s credit.

SGX: Where “T” in “FT” stands for “Trash”

In Uncategorized on 16/05/2016 at 10:12 am

S’pore aircraft lessor to launch IPO in HK.

Another blow to SGX where with the exception of CEO, senior managers are FTs.

Singapore-based leasing company BOC Aviation is planning an initial public offering (IPO) worth $1.5 billion-$2 billion …, according to an application filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE).

BOC Aviation, the Bank of China’s aircraft leasing division, will place the offering on the HKSE through the Goldman Sachs banking group. It said it will create up to 50% of the offering as new shares, with the remainder offered from within the tranche of existing shares held by BOC Aviation.

The company prospectus said IPO proceeds would concentrate on its “core business model of focusing on purchasing new, fuel-efficient, in-demand aircraft at competitive prices directly from aircraft manufacturers” for operators across the region and further afield.

Established in 1993 as Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise (SALE), BOC Aviation has seen solid growth and is now one of the top 10 global leasing companies with 270 aircraft on its books valued at up to $12 billion.

The original SAL company was sold to BOC in 2006 for $965 million. In 2015 the company posted a net profit of $343 million, up 11% year-on-year.

BOC Aviation has agreements with 62 operators in 30 countries; in January 2016 it placed a $3 billion order for 30 Airbus A320 aircraft. It has also committed to acquiring more than 240 more aircraft in the coming years to be serviced by its Singapore, Dublin, London, Seattle and Tianjin offices.

Red Card applicants?

In Uncategorized on 15/05/2016 at 7:00 am

“No matter where the Chinese people are, China will always be their “maternal home””. – President Xi Jinping

China to implement “Chinese Card” for overseas born Chinese including those from South East Asia.

Meng Seng, Uncle Redbean and TRE Cybernuts are rushing for this Red Card, I’m sure.

If it’s one thing the three have in common is the love of PRC China. They tell Honkies to accept the restrictions China is imposing on human rights and freedom of speech in HK, while attacking the PAP’s restrictive policies in these areas here.


Reasonable to mistrust Pinoys?

In Uncategorized on 14/05/2016 at 5:22 am

After S’pore said that a Facebook post showing Lee Hsien Loong appearing to endorse Mr Duterte was false, he talked about burning a S’porean flag.

Still 77% of the Pinoys working here voted for him.

So many hate us meh? Despite many stealing S’poreans’ breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper and in-between snacks.

Seriously, can we trust the Pinoys whenever they say anything nice about us?

The Pinoys say they adore Pope Francis and the late Corazon Aquino.

Yet Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte said, “Pope, son of a whore, go home. Do not visit us again.”. And in a row with the outgoing president, son of Corazon, he called the president, “son of a prostitute”.

Yet 39% of Pinpys voted for him (an overwhelming number, given there were five presidential candidates).

Reasonable to mistrust Pinoys? Be wary of them? Cut immigration of Pinoys here?

What do you think?

Cheer up TRE cybernuts, “Be happy”

In Uncategorized on 13/05/2016 at 11:20 am

It’s been a really bad week for the TRE cybernuts (Note only a minority of visitors to TRE fall into this category but they infest the place like vermin.). Dr Chee got his ass whipped by an Indian, Amos Yee got arrested and Heng didn’t die in agony.

So going into the weekend, I tot they need a bit of cheering up.

Daily Star, which reports a study by a sex therapist who says he has found that less intelligent people have a better love life as they are less likely to worry about “performance” or “how satisfied their lover is”.
“The findings that dumb people have better sex will be welcome news to hordes of everyday Brits, as well as numerous celebrities,” the paper adds.


Should have shouted “I’m not a Muslim”?

In Uncategorized on 12/05/2016 at 2:43 pm

Or “Jesus died”? Or “I’m Siva the destroyer”? Or Buddhists can kill”? Or “I God am a healous God”?

The above tots crossed my mind when I read a BBC piece:

Many papers report on an apology issued by Greater Manchester Police after it staged an anti-terror drill in which a man playing the role of a suicide bomber shouted “Allahu Akbar” – Arabic for “God is greater” – before “detonating” a dummy explosive belt.

But the decision to have a Muslim extremist as the fake terrorist sparked a social media storm, says the Daily Mail, “with critics complaining it was a stupid decision and accusing the police of fuelling Islamophobia”.

The Sun – which headlines the story “Ploddy Ridiculous” – says the force was accused of “bowing to political correctness” after Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan stated the chant “was unacceptable and said sorry to Muslims who complained”.

The anti-Islamophobia group, the Community Safety Forum, is quoted in the Times as saying “this sort of thing panders to stereotypes and further divides us”, adding that it would “increase anti-Muslim hate crime”.

The Daily Telegraph gives space in its leader column to what it believes are the issues raised by the story: “fear of saying anything at all on the topics of race, ethnicity and cultural difference is leaving us unable to address some of the major challenges of our time – extremism, terrorism and segregation.”

I mean who were the bombers in NY, London, Paris and Brussels? Any of these suicide bombers other than self-professed Muslim?

Who killed French cartoonists? People who profess any religion other than Islam?

Come on.

Whatever, the voters in London are pretty smart. By electing a Muslim mayor who was when he was a human rights lawyer. the go to lawyer for Muslims of extremist views. they may have calculated that they bought goodwill from Muslim extremists.

After all, pre 9/11 and the London bombing, the British had a dubious reputation for ignoring overseas terrorism. The intelligent and security services from Europe, the Gulf states and even the US believed that the British had a deal with Muslim extremists: so long as no violence was advocated (against the British), plotted (against British rargets) or happened on British soil, extremists were free to do what they liked in the UK. London was Londonisation.

This live-and-let live attitude can be traced bavk to the 19th century, when the Breitish allowed in political dessidents who fled Eutpean countries like France or Russia after rebellions were crushed. So long as these people didn’t cause trouble in the UK, they were safe from the authorities in their home countries.


Where Buffett & PAP agree

In Uncategorized on 09/05/2016 at 8:36 am

From NYT’s Dealbook last Monday

WARREN BUFFETT TALKS OF SHARING THE WEALTH Nebraska has just hosted Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting, also known as Woodstock for Capitalists, at a time when Bernie Sanders has beaten Hillary Clinton in the Democratic caucuses and younger generations are questioning the very premise of capitalism.

This has not passed Warren Buffett by, Andrew Ross Sorkin writes in DealBook.

“You should be questioning it at that age,” Mr. Buffett said in an interview.

He acknowledged that the system “left too many people behind,” but said Mr. Sanders’s solutions were “are very off base.”

As for those skeptical young people, he said “The conclusion shouldn’t be to kill the golden goose.” Instead we need to make more eggs and better distribute them.

Now doesn’t “[W]e need to make more eggs and better distribute them” sound like what the PAP is telling us about “Growing the pie”? What do you think?

NYT Dealbiil goes on: Indeed, there was talk at the annual meeting of the businesses that power the economy and spur employment that perhaps required a slightly broader audience.

Mr. Buffett has mostly managed to avoid becoming a political target, in part because he is described as a compassionate capitalist. But critics say his folksy image is just for show, pointing to his partnership with 3G Capital, a company known for running a lean organization, and the wealth he has tied up in Berkshire, which itself is run to limit his tax bill.

But for a new generation entering the workplace with reasonable questions about the opportunities available in the current system, Mr. Buffett could provide another perspective, Mr. Sorkin writes.

“Twenty years from now, there’ll be far more output per capita in the United States in real terms than there is now,” Mr. Buffett said. “In 50 years, it’ll be far more. No presidential candidate or president is going to end that. They can shape it in ways that are good or bad, but they can’t end it.”

GRCs mean no pandering, clowning to Cina

In Uncategorized on 08/05/2016 at 4:28 pm

An Oppo usual suspect used the Murali victory to spoof the GRC system saying

“But Muralidharan Pillai never won the by-election. It was ‘Ah Mu’ who won. He had to not only speak Chinese, but also sing Chinese songs. He had to prove that he was ‘Chinese’ despite his skin being darker – that’s why he won! So you see, that’s why we need the GRC. Without it real minority can’t get into Parliament.”

But when you think about the matter seriously, the piece does reflect something that is problematic in a country where 70% of the voters are Chinese. Dr Chee was dog-whistling his Hokkien credentials to the Pioneer Generation voters

— By singing a Hokkien song in a video.

Inspired by Dr Chee Soon Juan in his ardent endeavour in running in the Bukit Batok by-election, producer and director Tay Bee Pin (of Wormwood Films) reached out to the Singapore Democratic Party chief. 

The motive? Have him sing classic Hokkien song ‘Ji Pa Ban’ in a music video dedicated to all those who’ll be heading to the polling stations this May 7.

And giving a message in Hokkien

Mandarin-speaker Murali had to counter in what seems an outlandish way: His most popular video, by far, is a self-introductory piece to Bukit Batok voters called “Introducing Ah Mu”, a nickname Mr Murali has picked for himself. I had tot that “Ah Mu” was a joke when I read it on social media. It wasn’t and is was weird, demeaning and worrying.

In a GRC contest, as we’ve seen in GEs, no need for this kind of BS.

I’ll leave the last word to Sangeetha Thanapal who hates the fact that 70% of S’poreans are Chinese (She sneers, mocks, lies and decries about the “Chinese Privilege”*). Writing on Facebook Ms Thanapal said that Murali had to resort to sinicising himself because S’pore is a country that actively encourages assimilation into “Chineseness”.

She asked if any Chinese candidate ever had to change his name to make it sound more minority-like, and ascertained that it was simply not necessary for them to do so**.

She said regardless of Dr Chee not being a racist, he would benefit from ‘Chinese Privilege’, in this instant by mere virtue of being Chinese, and that Murali is merely trying to make up for that in these misguided ways.

She said that Murali was “desperate to be seen as more Chinese” because of how racism manifests itself in Singapore, “to make up for the disadvantage of (him) being born Indian in a country where Indian people are called racial slurs everyday.”

Gee and the commanding heights of the legal profession are owned by Indians and two of the PM’s most trusted ministers are Indians. Gemme me a break Ms Racist.

*Want Indians to rule isit?

**Being majority is unfair isit?

Wah PAP that good meh, s/o JBJ?

In Uncategorized on 08/05/2016 at 4:34 am

S/o JBJ argued on Sarurday that the PAP wanted to lose in Bukit Batok

So if we agree that the PAP aren’t trying that hard to win are they actually trying to throw this election? Or at least are they not particularly concerned about the prospect of a CSJ victory on Saturday? I can think of a few cynical reasons why, although no-one in their right mind throws an election, it might suit them to lose this seat.

Are the PAP Deliberately Throwing This Election?

Well his so called weak PAP candidate (ang moh accented Indian don’t like to say good things about Indian with local accent isit?) whipped Dr Chee’s ass real hard.

So either the PAP couldn’t lose even if wanted to or s/o JBJ can’t analyse.

What do you think? Kee Chit those who think s/o JBJ is a spastic retard.

Lego not so cool, creative

In Uncategorized on 07/05/2016 at 10:19 am

And on;y last yr S’poreans kids were given a special Lego kit to commemotate SG50.

Lego kits are ruining children’s creativity, says Ben Fogle – despite adventurer Fogle having been named as a brand ambassador for the Danish brick toy giant four years ago, he now believes Lego is “harming children’s development and stifling creativity”, according to the Daily Mail. Lego has “transformed into a rigid box-ticking discipline”, he reportedly said.


Pinoys are Asians not transplanted Latins

In Uncategorized on 07/05/2016 at 6:02 am

Chart: Asia and Latin America gross savings as part of GDP

Pinoys hoping not to have to work overses.

Bukit Batok: The tyranny of numbers

In Uncategorized on 04/05/2016 at 4:12 pm

Here I wrote that if the Foxes could win the EPL title, Dr Chee can win Bukit Batok  After all the bookmakers who put the odds of their victory at 5,000 to 1 (the odds anyone would get if anyone wanted to bet Elvis was still alive). the odds of Chee winning Bukit Batok must be a lot less. So a “miracle” can happen.

But The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.

Guys and Dolls

Chee would need to overcome a deficit of 24 points to win. Ah Lian had only to overcome a deficit 9 points to win in Punggol East. In the end she won by 14 points. Even if he got 14 points, that would take him to 40% of the votes.

And Chee is no Ah Lian (he’s no typical S’porean) and the SDP is no WP. After all the WP was fighting in an area that had strongly supported the Barisan Sosialis.

And the PAP is not making the mistake it made in Punggol East of parachuting a fake son of Punngol (he left the area almost as soon as he was born). Instead the PAP parachuted in a real son of Bukit Batok. He had been serving the people there for many yrs before being sent on a suicide mission in Paya Lebar. By all accounts, he did well there against a lawyer turned highly paid social worker, who is reputed to be WP Low’s Dauphin.

So I’m sure Dr Chee and his allies (think the social activists and the cybernuts and rats of TRELand) are publicly rehearsing to bitch publicly why he lost when he gets thrashed an humiliated: “Gutter politics by the PAP”. But they conveniently forget that he was dog-whistling like mad. In the West, dog-whistling is the pariah of gutter politics, but not it seems in S’pore. At least not in cyberspace (no friend of the PAP), and the salons and gardens of the chattering classes.

The PAP always fight dirty: it’s in their DNA. But so does Dr Chee. Ask Mr Chiam.

Besides where got fun if cannot call names, especially if the cap fits? Ask the Chiams about Dr Chee’s character.

Chee reinvented SDP after making it toxic

In Uncategorized on 03/05/2016 at 6:24 pm

Below is a post from one of my readers about Dr Chee’s claim that even if he was unemployed, he built up the SDP. The regular commenter ended:

So even if we do not pass personality judgement on Dr Chee’s not finding a job, how much has his time in unemployment been useful to the SDP and opposition politics as a whole? I think not as much. It has been useful for his personal redemption and image revamp, as he can all along play the jobless martyr victim card, drive his celebrity status, sell some books, and that’s about it.

Taz a bit too kind because Dr Chee led a political party that was the leading Oppo party into the Wilderness and irrelevancy and then having realised that he and the SDP were lost in the desert of public scorn and derision, reinvented the SDP and himself.

When he defenestrated Chiam and even before defenestrating the rest of the Old Guard (no friends of Chiam) he moved the SDP into the politics of civil disobedience, and in the process allowed the PAP and its constructive, nation-building media allies to demonise him and the party. Other than Chiam, the party had two other MPs. But since he took over, the SDP had none.

Remember his antics that got him the well-deserved moniker of “Mad Dog”?  And the antics of his supporters who made the very name of SDP toxic?

If you don’t, just google. Reminder: he wanted to contest Punggol East and handover the running of the place to the WP (that’s the Mad Dog in hime for you), he wanted public protests, and he wanted to be like Gandhi.

I give Dr Chee credit that in the 90s his vision of S’pore in 2016 was a lot more closer to the reality (Mad prophet?) than mine or the PAP. And for the alternative policies that the SDP has proposed. And I’ll give him credit for his actions in reinventing the SDP and himself. But there’s too much historical baggage,

But let’s not forget that he screwed up big time leading the SDP into the Wilderness, not the Promised Land.

(Yes, yes I know he and the SDP claim the credit for liberalisation measures that we’ve seen over the years. But I’m sure others too like the Americans, civil society activists and even one Lee Jnr can also claim some credit.)

Here’s the rest of the comment from the regular reader. Make sure you read the bot on those who left the SDP.

I posted the following on another blog:

“But ok, let’s just say I am wrong and lets not begrudge Dr Chee Soon Juan on his not finding a job. In fact, he gave a couple of reasons to justify it and why his time unemployed has been well spent.

Now he told us, don’t judge him as an unemployed person. Judge what he has done to grow the SDP while not working full time. Alright. In the 2011 GE, the SDP contested 11 out of 87 seats and won none. In 2015, it contested 11 out of 89 seats and won none. Wow, not much growth there. And in the 4 years in between, high profile candidates like Vincent Wijeysingha, Tan Jee Say, Ang Yong Guan, as well as promising youngsters like Jarrod Luo* have left the party, some parting ways on really bad terms. Dr Chee himself made a big screw up of the Punggol East BE with his “joint ticket” proposal to the WP. (Incidentally, I wonder why the PAP is not attacking this, rather than his other past indiscretions”.)

Dr Chee Soon Juan also told us that the SDP has been hard at work putting forth policy papers on various national issues. Even if I do not agree with their policies, this is something I give them credit for, which is at least a lot better than the likes of RP, NSP, etc. Well then, I guess the whole of SDP must be unemployed, in order for them to work on these policies full time? Not at all! Dr Paul Tambyah, the one saving grace for Dr Chee’s recent tenure, is a full Professor at NUS since 2013, and was probably instrumental in crafting the SDP’s healthcare policy. Unless Dr Chee is saying that all his SDP colleagues are working full time, and he is the only one who is working at home crafting all these policy papers?

So even if we do not pass personality judgement on Dr Chee’s not finding a job, how much has his time in unemployment been useful to the SDP and opposition politics as a whole? I think not as much. It has been useful for his personal redemption and image revamp, as he can all along play the jobless martyr victim card, drive his celebrity status, sell some books, and that’s about it.”

*Left out Jeremy Chen and Danny the SDP Bear.

Jeremy Chen was a scholar and was working in MINDEF in the division where Ho Ching was once working. He left and went to do a PhD in NUS biz School. But he can be a bit dumb. He got into a row with self and others when he accused SIA of “fixing” the results of its investment in Virgin Airlines where it lost money but wrote-back a profit. We explained to him that SIA had already progressive written off the investment and had overprovided, hence the write-back. He yelled that he “didn’t do accounting”. I asked how come can do PhD without knowledge of accounting and how come SDP can accept him as member

He claims to have single-handedly written most of SDP’s policy papers. He left SDP after a row with Had Dog.

Education: Do you know?

In Uncategorized on 30/04/2016 at 10:56 am

What S’porean, Jap and British teachers have in common

They really work hard.

But exam results show that hours worked by teachers are meaningless: Japanese and South Korean pupils are neck-and-neck near the top of the PISA rankings of 15-year-olds’ literacy, numeracy and scientific knowledge. Their teachers are paid about the same, but put in vastly different hours: a whopping 54 hours per week in Japan, compared with 37 in South Korea. 


Remember we are also near the Japs and Kireans in PISA rankings

50% of a school’s students need financial aid

“In RI, my students had packed schedules from the start of school until 6pm to 7pm, and even had tuition classes at night. They are very well-occupied during the holidays with camps, projects and events.

“Most came from families with stable structures and do not require financial assistance,” she said.

In contrast, close to half of Spectra’s student population is on financial aid, with a significant percentage from single-parent backgrounds or in the care of guardians or even institutionalised homes, Ms Teo said.

“Many of them like to hang out in school after classes because they would rather be with friends than at home. They tell us they actually look forward to coming to school, especially during holidays, because they are so bored at home,” she said.

ST report: Emphasis mine


Lawyers are tricky people

In Uncategorized on 29/04/2016 at 11:01 am

White Collar Watch: Panama Papers Show How Lawyers Can Turn a Blind Eye Lawyers can help their clients engage in questionable transactions while avoiding any direct involvement, which allows them to claim ignorance.

Tales from Marine Parade Polyclinic

In Uncategorized on 28/04/2016 at 1:56 pm

But first, an FT reader wrote in saying “If we had more junior doctors then perhaps they would not need to work long shifts. Could we have a new lower grade of doctor we could churn out of university on a 4 year course specifically trained from the start in what they are doing? Then leave the 12 year training courses and really high bar for entry for the prospective surgeons and specialists.” Background: In England, junior doctors are on strike over pay and working conditions.

Back to Marine Parade polyclinic which earlier this year reopened after extensive renovations. My 91-yr old mum says that now the doctor waits for patients rather than patients wait to see the doctor. Happened to a 60 something year old friend too. He went for a blood test, then almost immediately saw the doctor (who had the results of the blood test), The doctor then sent him to see one of the specialist nurses. He was in and out of the clinic within 75 minutes from the time he stepped in the clinic to the time he paid his bill. He calculated that if he had skipped the nurse, he could have been out in 60 minutes.

He and my mum will, “Vote PAP”.

A Pinoy doctor was spotted in the polyclinic. Nice, diligent lady but she has a thick accent. My friend had difficulty understanding her English. Bet youm the older aunties and uncles will really have a problem with her. They may not vote PAP despite the improvements in the polyclinic.

Which brings me to the quote I began with: why import FT doctors for GP work? “Could we have a new lower grade of doctor we could churn out of university on a 4 year course specifically trained from the start in what they are doing? Then leave the 12 year training courses and really high bar for entry for the prospective surgeons and specialists.”

Is Harry’s daughter the real hagiographer?

In Uncategorized on 25/04/2016 at 4:21 pm

Isn’t the grieving Dr Lee the real worshipper of one Harry Lee?

The first piece of evidence:. She compared her father to Churchill and Mao.

I had not intended to write about my father’s death on 23/3/2016. What led to my comments in Facebook on 1/4/2016 was the article on the front page report of The Straits Times on Mar 21st. It carried a photo of an outline of Papa’s face made with 4,877 erasers. I know Papa would be very upset by this sort of hero worship. I felt a sense of urgency to stop all acts of hagiography as I knew how unhappy they would cause Papa. To put things in context I wanted to recount how other countries honoured their leaders after death. China’s Chairman Mao and Britain’s Winston Churchill were the best examples to compare the founding prime minister of Singapore to. \

Churchill amd Mao were lead actors on the world stage. Churchill was the prime minister of the United Kingdom when it had an empire on which the sun literally never went down, He also led the British empire when the British empire, the USSR and the USA were fighting Germany and Japan. And for a while, the British (under his leadership) were the only people in Western Europe that were not subject to German hegemony.

As for Mao, he was the leader of the communists who established The People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. Who can forget, Mao’s famous phrase “The Chinese people have stood up” (Chinese: 中国人民从此站起来了)?

And when he later came up with scatter-brain ideas (Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution) he was powerful enough to ensure that his ideas were carried out. Millions died and millions more suffered, and the economy tanked.

LKY was at best a marginal figure (America’s boy from the third world) on the world stage. He played a very important part in S’pore’s development but S’pore is not China or the British empire.

Has PM or the PAP ever compared LKY to Mao or Churchill? No, only Dr Lee has. And yet she is the one accusing them of hagiography?

Her grief must be warping her famed objectivity?

Next piece of evidence: by “Pa” was not anti free speech “For the cynics who complain that Pa restricted freedom of speech, you are wrong. If your statement is accurate, fine. If it is slander, l will have to defend my reputation in court.”, isn’t she guilty of building a monument to him? A false one with feet of clay?

My Facebook avatar asked in a thread discussing what Dr Lee had written, “She should ask herself why ST “censorsed” her? Fear of the administration where her dad formed and was a leading figure for many a year? She says “For the cynics who complain that Pa restricted freedom of speech, you are wrong.” sounds like something from Evelyn Waugh’s black comedy writings.”

He got two “Likes” from two ex-SPH editors who are pretty decent fellows: not wannabe Sith Lords who now present themselves as Jedi knights.

One of them was taken to task by LKY personally over a piece of reporting that he allowed to be published. LKY did not dispute the facts, he juz said that the piece shouldn’t have been published.

Now that’s Dr Lee’s idea of someone who didn’t restrict free speech?

Let’s wiah her all the best, hope she can overcome her grief and regain her unsentimental objectivity that made S’poreans think of her ‘Pa” when she made public statements as private citizen Lee.





Very Petty, Prickly Chiams

In Uncategorized on 24/04/2016 at 6:35 am

I’ve decided to rewrite this.

Double confirm, Chiams are very petty people. And they are as prickly as one Harry was.

In response to Mrs Chiam’s Facebook post, Dr Wong Wee Nam, the author of the article noted that the image Mrs Chiam was referring to, was attached to an article recounting his effort to bring Mr Chiam back to SDP and the party was not seeking any endorsement from Mr or Mrs Chiam.

Will Mts Chiam pls sit down and shut up. She trying to destroy Mr Chiam’s reputation isit? Why liddat?


My fellow citizens, Mr. Chiam and I understand that the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has been circulating an image of Mr. Chiam See Tong and Dr. Chee Soon Juan in SDP’s newsletter, The New Democrat.

We would like to clarify that Dr. Chee did not seek nor receive permission to include Mr. Chiam’s image in this newsletter. Mr. Chiam has not given his endorsement to any candidate for the upcoming Bukit Batok by-election.

Mr. and Mrs. Chiam See Tong


When an Oppo figure fights PAP, the Chiams are neutral, not endorsing Dr Chee? Even if they had kissed and made up? Oh I forgot, Chiams had a place of honour at Harry’s funeral, so  Chiams returning PAP a favour?

Or both? Still not happy with Dr Chee and owe PAP a favour for giving the Chiams so much face before rubbing their noses in the mud by thrashing Lina Chiam in the GE.

I disagree with P Ravi (remember he’s a SPPP member and Mr Chiam called him “his best  SPP man”) when he wrote on Facebook “both Mr and Mrs Chiam are big-hearted enough to allow for differences of opinion and even welcome them”*. If they were really big-hearted they’d have juz kept quiet about the use of the photo. After all as SDP supporters have pointed out, the photo is not the private property of the Chiams.

And they should have sought an explanation from the SDP before insinuating that the SDP was using Chiam. for electoral gain.

Time for the Chiams to sit down and shut up. At this rate, the good that Mr Chiam did will be long forgotten even before he dies. And Mrs Chiam will be largely to blame.


*P Ravi’s post in full:

I have publicly supported Dr Chee’s bid for Bukit Batok. Some people have asked me for my views on Mrs Chiam‘s note yesterday. I cannot comment on the matter because I have not seen SDP’s newsletter, and I do not know (and also do not wish to know) much of the background to the Chiams’ note.

But from my experience, both Mr and Mrs Chiam are big-hearted enough to allow for differences of opinion and even welcome them. I think that’s what democracy is all about. I only have the highest regard for the both of them.

I stand by my view that Dr Chee will be a great Parliamentarian.

Somehow, I don’t think P Ravi will be in Chiams’ good books any more.

Petty Chiams, Arrogant Chee

In Uncategorized on 23/04/2016 at 5:47 pm

[Update at 6am on 24 April

Double confirm, Chiams are very petty people. And apologies to Dt Chee.

In response to Mrs Chiam’s Facebook post, Dr Wong Wee Nam, the author of the article noted that the image Mrs Chiam was referring to, was attached to an article recounting his effort to bring Mr Chiam back to SDP and the party was not seeking any endorsement from Mr or Mrs Chiam.

Will Mts Chiam pls sit down and shut up. She trying to destroy Mr Chiam’s reputation isit? Why liddat?

Piece amended to reflect that Dr Chee did no wrong.]


Looks like the Chiams are really petty, while Dr Chee is really arrogant. Very true that “Character is permanent” is true of the Chiams and Chee. Very sad.


My fellow citizens, Mr. Chiam and I understand that the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has been circulating an image of Mr. Chiam See Tong and Dr. Chee Soon Juan in SDP’s newsletter, The New Democrat.

We would like to clarify that Dr. Chee did not seek nor receive permission to include Mr. Chiam’s image in this newsletter. Mr. Chiam has not given his endorsement to any candidate for the upcoming Bukit Batok by-election.

Mr. and Mrs. Chiam See Tong


When an Oppo figure fights PAP, the Chiams are neutral, refusing to endorse not endorsing Dr Chee? Even if they had kissed and made up? Oh I forgot, Chiams had a place of honour at Harry’s funeral, so  Chiams returning PAP a favour?

Or both? Still not happy with Dr Chee and owe PAP a favour for giving the Chiams so much face before rubbing their noses in the mud by thrashing Lina Chiam in the GE.

Time for the Chiams to sit down and shut up. At this rate, the good that Mr Chiam did will be long forgotten even before he dies.

Anyway Dr Chee is really very arrogant and dumb to use a photo of them together. without permission.

Whatever, “Character is permanent”, juz like Mad Dog symptoms and pettiness.


Update at 4.30am on 24 April.

I disagree with P Ravi (remember he’s a SPPP member and Mr Chiam called him “his best  SPP man”) when he wrote on Facebook “both Mr and Mrs Chiam are big-hearted enough to allow for differences of opinion and even welcome them”. If they were really big-hearted they’d have juz kept quiet about the use of the photo. After all as SDP supporters have pointed out, the photo is not the private property of the Chiams.

P Ravi’s post in full:

I have publicly supported Dr Chee’s bid for Bukit Batok. Some people have asked me for my views on Mrs Chiam‘s note yesterday. I cannot comment on the matter because I have not seen SDP’s newsletter, and I do not know (and also do not wish to know) much of the background to the Chiams’ note.

But from my experience, both Mr and Mrs Chiam are big-hearted enough to allow for differences of opinion and even welcome them. I think that’s what democracy is all about. I only have the highest regard for the both of them.

I stand by my view that Dr Chee will be a great Parliamentarian.

Somehow, I don’t think P Ravi will be in Chiams’ good books any more.




Cybernut Land got new hero/ Harry’s a complex man

In Uncategorized on 20/04/2016 at 2:49 pm

TRE’s cybernuts have a new hero: Harry’s daughter. She must be appalled and he must be fuming given that they are all rabid haters of all things Harry and the PAP.

There have been loud shouts of support for her defamatory comments about her brother, the PM.

When TRE republished this piece of mine, among the rants against me and in favour of Harry’s filial daughter, there was this good comment

There is no need to glorify, mummify or deify the image of LKY. It is already imprinted in the minds of thousands of grateful Singaporeans. This what his daughter Dr Lee Wei Ling wishes for. The piece(lightly edited)  is reproduced at * because it  also shows that the writer understands the complex nature of one Harry Lee.

And in response to this asking why Dr Lee did not object to “LKY: Follow thar Rainbow”, Hawking Eye showed what he and the nutters in TRELand have in common, “die-die” Dr Lee is always right.

The vivid memory of the joyful years with her father and the contentment of having been his anchor support during his final frail years must have caused her reflective pain of unbearable proportion. She must be slowly recovering from that and for her to see her father’s first death anniversary being made, by the powers-be, a national occasion of repeat mourning with state sponsored or orchestrated multiple and extended events, is nothing short of seeking political gain out of the death of a venerated political figure i.e her father. LKY himself was dead against personality cult. Why must the PAP Government attempt to glorify, mummify or deify LKY against his wish and that of his daughter?

The book had already been published. If only Dr Lee Wei Ling had a premonition of what her PM brother and his minions were up to, she would have probably objected to it.

Taz right, move aside New Citizen Han Hui Hui, the cyber-rats have a new heroine.

She’ll stand tall beside Roy, M Ravi and Amos Yee, the nutty three.

The funny thing is that they want her brother to sue her. I’ll explain why one of these days. But with fans like these, she doesn’t need enemies. I mean to be a hero to the ratty, nutty rabble one has to suffer. Ask Roy, M Ravi and Amos if being a hero of the mob brings any benefits other than being a celebrity?


*Hawking Eye:

In defence of Dr Lee Wei Ling

LKY’s political life has diabolical dimensions.

His first avatar was that of a demon – a destroyer. He destroyed the lives of key comrades in arm and their families both before and after he became the most powerful man in Singapore – the PM.

His earlier victims were his arch rivals like the leftists – Lim Chin Siong, Fong Swee Suan, Sydney Woodhull, James Puthuchery, Said Zahari, Poh Soo Kai, Lim Hock Siew and many others.

He was successful in eliminating them because he had the support, at that time, of the Tunku (then Malaya’s PM) and the British, both of whom also wanted the leftists rounded up as they opposed the formation of Malaysia, a British idea planted into the head of the Tunku. Operational Coldstore (2 Feb 1963) was the security sweep that put all of them away for good, some of them for more than 10-20 years. The British wanted to withdraw their troops and bases from this region and they wanted a pro British regime to take care of their commercial and security interests here. They found Anglophile Tunku, the perfect man to ensure this and they floated the idea of Malaysia comprising (the then) Malaya, North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore with Tunku as the PM. The Leftists resisted this – initially the concept itself and later over the terms of merger. They parted company with the PAP and formed their own political party – the Barisan Socialis. Operation Coldstore followed thereafter. Singapore’s separation vindicated the Leftists but they were still kept under detention for many more years to come. Once entrenched in power, LKY was unstoppable. He went after whoever opposed him and many were knocked out flat by him with his knuckle dusters. They included Tan Lark Sye (then President of the Hokkien Huay Kuan and founder of the former Nanyang University (Nantah), Chinese Newspaper editors, JBJ, Francis Seow, Tang Liang Hong, Devan Nair and Dr Chee Soon Juan amongst many others

His second avatar was that of a creator, an exceptional one at that. g a save, secure and thriving livelihood for its people, which he did?

How should history judge LKY?

With the passing of a generation of individuals and their families who suffered at the hands of LKY, what will remain dominant in the psyche of Singaporeans in some 50 years time, is high respect and gratitude for him for making Singapore the special one it is. And at that time, all his ruthless handling of his political adversaries in the long gone past, will not matter or figure in the minds of Singaporeans except, perhaps for those who read history.

There is no need to glorify, mummify or deify the image of LKY. It is already imprinted in the minds of thousands of grateful Singaporeans. This what his daughter Dr Lee Wei Ling wishes for. Some in power may collectively want the home to be preserved, perhaps, for political gains. The Government should respect the wishes of both the late LKY and his wife to demolish their house at 38 Oxley Road and do so accordingly. Not doing so can turn ugly, given the legal options available for Dr Lee to resist such a move.



What the Bishan otters can teach us

In Uncategorized on 16/04/2016 at 1:10 pm

I read in CNA a few weeks ago that Otters have become an increasingly common sight in Singapore in recent years, having been spotted in waterways in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Punggol Waterfront and Sungei Buloh. [Funny that there is no mention that otters have been spotted at MacRitchie Reservoir. Whatever, since the report, they’ve been spotted along the Kallang river]

The threatened native species is found in marine and freshwater habitats, thriving in mangroves, river mouths and natural shorelines.

Given the proximity of the areas where otters have been spotted, strange that the otters have not moved to Hougang and Aljunied, I mean Bedok Reservoir is the Aljunied GRC and it would be a good home for the otters.

Maybe the otters are really smart? Life is better in PAP-controlled areas. Otters know better than to move to Hougang ans Aljunied and then repenting. They know a substantial number of swing voters are really repenting they voted for the WP in Aljunied GRC in 2011.

The 9th Immortal must be smiling. DSC_0046

Retail bonds, another SGX flop

In Uncategorized on 15/04/2016 at 5:12 am

Singapore’s mom-and-pop investors are losing their fervor for bonds as the economy cools, after the amount of notes sold to individual investors was twice initial public stock offerings in 2015.

Prices on the exchange-traded notes are beginning to converge with those sold to institutions on the interbank market. Four companies raised S$975 million ($722 million) selling bonds to individuals last year, outstripping the S$496 million of IPOs, filings show. The one bond sale this year to such investors met with lower demand.

Another SGX initiative goes wrong. Renember until last yr CEO, COO and Head techie were FTs. Now CEO is S’porean but the other two still there screwing things up.

Another forgotten political warrior

In Uncategorized on 14/04/2016 at 4:39 pm

S’pore citizen, Said Zahari, died recently age 88, in KL. He fought fot our independence and spent 17 years in detention. He was the second longest-serving political detainee in Singapore after Chia Thye Poh

I think he had a good point when he

publicly called Lee Kuan Yew “a political coward”. He had said only a coward would resort to jailing his opponents instead of taking them in a political contestation of ideas and letting the best man win.

Dr Wong Souk Yee
Singapore Democratic Party

He was locked up because it was alleged he was a “communist”, whatever that means.

Pak Said was editor-in-chief of the Malay-language Utusan Melayu. He led the 93-day strike for editorial independence in 1961. He was elected president of Partai Rakyat just one day before he was arrested in Operation Coldstore on 2 February 1963. He could speak English, Ma;laya and Mandarin.

Harry would not agree with Obama

In Uncategorized on 14/04/2016 at 3:10 pm

Law professor talking?

“A lot of it’s legal, but that’s exactly the problem.”
President Obama on tax inversion deals.

Remember that Obama was a graduate of Harvard Law School and was a law professor.

But if u analyse the words and actions of one one Harry Lee (Double First in  Law from Cambridge) u would be struck by his belief that so long as something was legal, there was no problem. And if there was prob;em (say littering or spitting), a law to could the matter should solve the problem.

Harry’s daughter: From Hero to Zero

In Uncategorized on 11/04/2016 at 2:26 pm

She now has as much credibility as Roy Ngerng and Amos Yee as far as I am concerned.

First the row with SPH where SPH has a legitimate reason (but whether the real reason or not will the subject of another post) not to publish her piece as she wanted it published.

Then on Facebook accusing her brother of abusing his power, wanting to set up a dynasty and of being dishonourable that it seems she has now taken down.


She had written

— “HL has no qualms about abusing his power to hv a commemoration just one year after LKY died”

— “if the power that be wants to establish a dynasty, LKY’s daughter will not allow LKY’s name to be sullied by a dishonourable son.”


Wonder what “Pa” would think of her? Ah well, she’s made her bed and must lie in it.

Given that she has taken down her accusations against her brother, that’s no longer something to comment on.  So I’ll focus on her row with ST. As I said above, I’ll blog separately on what I think about ST’s actions: it’ll be juz as cynical and nasty. A good description of ST and Dr Lee is Oscar Wilde’s definition of fox-hunting:“The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable!”.

Dr Lee responded to ST’s story that she wanted to include material that was plagiarised: the demand was non-negotiable, and last-minute. ST could not accede to her request without itself getting into trouble for breaches of copyright.

My then SPH editor, Ivan Fernandez’s first response to my draft which included commemoration for Mao and Churchill, “Not using this, Wei Ling. Sticking with the original edited version. Will use your suggestion for the visual (if space permits): shot of the video you mentioned. Bits about Mao and Churchill are going off on a tangent. Distracting and do not contribute enough to the point that you’ve already made. Best to objectively maintain the tightness of argument and not appear to be airing a pet peeve.” There were 5 subsequent emails with regards to this draft, never did Ivan bring up the issue of plagiarism. Given that my article was posted on Facebook on 1st April, and this is 9th April, I wonder whether the powers that be had instructed SPH to criticize me and accuse me of plagiarism. I am a doctor, and writing articles like these do not advance my curriculum vitae which depends on publication on medical issues. So I leave my readers to judge me fairly, whether I intentionally plagiarized or as a filial daughter I wanted to stop any attempts at hagiography at the first anniversary of my father’s death.

My observations about Dr Lee based on this row with SPH and that other White Horse, s/o Devan Nair

— Her Facebook ramblings show that she needs a good editor (polite word in my book in her case going by her Facebook ramblings for rewriter” or “ghost writer” to put her tots into intelligible English. I once upon a time rewrote Terry Xu’s pieces for TOC, all the time telling the editor that Terry should stick to taking photos). The above FB post clearly shows she found a good editor. Good for her and her anti-PAP fans, both rational and nutty.

— It’s reasonable to conclude her ST pieces are really the work of ST’s editors, and are not her work. A White Horses’s stream of consciousness is turned into reasoned arguments and readable English. And to think that many yrs ago, I agreed with a Today editor who said her writings followed her dad’s logical, systematical way of looking at things. Seems to be no such thing. Her editors’ were thinking like LKY, not her.

— The care and attention that ST lavished on her (40 emails between her and her editor on the LKY piece that is the subject of the row) shows that she is a special person*.

— As someone who has to “publish or perish” to advance her career, she should be aware that wholesale cutting and pasting is plagiarising**, when there is no attribution. But to be fair, she doesn’t deny that she plagarised; she claimed mitigating circumstances: love of and filial duty to”Pa”.

It would be best for her reputation and that of the other S’porean natural aristocrats that she sit down and shut up. And I’m sure “Pa” would wish it lest it makes the rest of  S’pore’s natural aristocracy look bad. Her sense of entitlement is astounding.

But we would be deprived of a great soap opera. So here’s hoping she’ll keep on KPKBing.

I’ll end with three great comments that a PAPpy (worships her “Pa” and Nathan) super troll made about her.

ST has put forth great clarity on the issue and Dr. Lee comes up smelling as fresh as day old prawns. Left in the sun. Sad that she had a good cause but went about it with ultimatums which were correctly defied.

— Dr. Lee’s alleged conduct did not do her or the memory her legendary father any favours although her article itself would have. A tragedy it went the way it did.

— Be that as it, the ensuing fracas is regrettable and Dr. Lee came off third best. She is entitled to her own wishes and views about how her father wished to be remembered. Just as much and no less than PM was. And ST is not obligated to present her personal wishes and thoughts. Just as those who admire the late Mr. Lee Kuan Yew are free to conduct their own remembrance of the man on his 1st anniversary. Or subsequent ones.

He’s absolutely right.

Reminder, I’ll post my nasty, cynical tots on ST’s behaviour next. But not tomottow.


*Membership has its privileges

Many of us in the trade would’ve gasped to learn the number of email exchanges between Dr Lee and Mr Fernandez over the column in dispute: Over 40, all in one week in March.

That’s a full-time job in itself! No columnist I know of (including myself) would’ve had this kind of access to an editor’s time. The rule of thumb: If the copy from a freelance columnist is not delivered clean, with minimal edits, then it’s spiked (journalist’s jargon for killing a story). Rewriting it wholesale – and patiently taking the writer through the edits – is just not a done thing.

But we’re not talking about any columnist, are we?

**Do not copy and paste

Finally, according to ST, Dr Lee committed a cardinal sin in journalism and academia: plagiarism. Two passages, from The Guardian and an obscure website, were cited by ST as evidence.

Open-and-shut case: If one of my undergrads had done something similar, he would’ve received zero for the assignment and a warning from the school.

Instead, Dr Lee, in a Facebook update on April 9, defended her action, stating she doesn’t need the ST column to advance her curriculum vitae (err, beside the point).

She added: “So I leave my readers to judge me fairly, whether I intentionally plagiarised or as a filial daughter I wanted to stop any attempts at hagiography at the first anniversary of my father’s death.”

Why stopping hagiography requires an act of plagiarism (intentional or otherwise) is beyond me at this stage in my cerebral development.

Felix Cheong  Do read it. Great for laughs. Btw I tot Felix Cheong was once upon a time a ST journalist. apparently, i’m wrong after reading an Infopedia piece on him.


Too many Indians in the PAP/ Why no good Chinese?

In Uncategorized on 10/04/2016 at 4:13 pm
(Update at 4.25pm: If anyone is wondering why I’m not posting on the White Horse (mare actually) who is behaving like a bull in a china shop because she didn’t get her way, things are happening at warp-speed that a piece I was planning to post is already irrelevant. And her antics are so amusingly entertaining, that laughter prevents serious analysis. Wonder what “Pa” must think?)
When TRE republished this, it provoked this response from a TRE reader. Is he a racist? What do u think? And if so, one of those Indian supremacists ( In a real meritocracy all the leadership positions in the public and private sectors will be held by Indians)? Or a Chinese tua kee racist?  Upset that the Chinese don’t dominate the PAP and S’pore.

I have nothing against our local Indians brothers
But I must add that Indians as a race is over represented in pap
And our elite class

We should be mindful that we should not evolve our country into another Bombay
Or Sri Lanka
Not should it evolve into another province of China
Singapore is apparently being dominated by the Indians
We had two Indian president
Chief Justice is an Indian
Chief of local corp DBS is a foreign born Indian
Dpm is an Indian
Law minister is an Indian
Ex foreign and deputy pm was an Indian
Another ex foreign was an Indian
Chief of mas was and is an Indian
Current foreign minister is any Indian
There are at least 4 mps who are Indians
attorney general is also Indian
Come on don’t tell me pap can’t find a good Local Chinese
Are there too many dumb Chinese
If there are it is the fault of one man
The man who killed all good men like chia thye prof
Lim hock sinew, poh see Kai, Francis seow
And many others
The Malays are under represented as well

I know that one man dislike of local Chinese esp Chinese educated and the Malays
Are we carrying on the legacy of this dead mans hatred
Are we perpetuating his cruel and unfounded reason for being biased towards a certain race and his own
I know the Indian community play a very important role in our society
There were and are brave Indians who made many sacrifices for the country who speak up
And fought for the oppressed, the defenceless
But nowadays it is a dying breed
Indeed it is true of all races
There are only a few good men left

Dr chee is the only one leftMost of them succumb to pressure, money, threats, and self preservation and selfishness
An Indian speaking Mandarin is nothing great to boast about
Character is more important than a snake charming
None of the opposition mps can hold a candle to Dr chee
None of them could even spoke up on issues of national concerns
Like unemployment , immigration
They are just there as a token to the delight of pap

Rating: +20 (from 20 votes)

Panama Papers: Silence of the anti-PAP crowd

In Uncategorized on 10/04/2016 at 5:11 am

Funny the TRELand cybernuts are pretty quiet. The names of those here who have been unmasked as having used the services of Mossack are now publicly available. So why are the Roy, Goh Meng Seng, s/o JBJ, Mad Dog, and Uncle Redbean and their ratty, nutty friends (like Ng Cock Lim, Philip Ang, Dosh, Oxygen, and BK) from TRELand silent on naming and shaming the PAPpies who used the services of Mossack.

Err could it be that there are PAPpies?


Or at least not known?


Gregory (detective): “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”

Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

Update at 7.00am: The silence from the respectable, more rational TOC is also curious. Terry Xu on strike isit? Not being paid isit?

Best place to incorporate shell co

In Uncategorized on 09/04/2016 at 5:42 am

NYT Dealbook

Need to Hide Some Income? You Don’t Have to Go to Panama Setting up a shell corporation in the United States is simple – especially in states like Delaware, Wyoming and Nevada.

Obviousl NYT is a constructive, bation-building newspaper like ST.

Panama Papers: Chinese really tua kee

In Uncategorized on 08/04/2016 at 11:10 am

The files suggest that China is Mossack’s most important market. The firm’s Hong Kong office has been its busiest, and it has outposts in eight other Chinese cities. These nine offices set up 29% of all the firms Mossack had on its books at the end of 2015, according to the ICIJ.

Although there is no evidence of illegality, obeying the law is not the only requirement for Chinese officials. Almost all of those involved are Communist Party members, who must abide by the party’s code of conduct. This bans them from registering or investing in companies abroad. So they may have broken rules, if not the law. High-ranking officials in China can also be held responsible for the business dealings of relatives.


The truth about inside info and stock markets

In Uncategorized on 08/04/2016 at 5:26 am

Here are extracts from FT  of the testimony of someone charged with insider trading.

Mr Parvizi, with four other defendants, ‎is accused by the UK Financial Conduct Authority of a single count of insider trading following its most complex probe, known as Tabernula, Latin for little pub after the investigation’s code name.


He would never, however, ask his network of sources made up of brokers, fellow traders and journalists, including two from the Financial Times, whether a tip was true but would rather use his “gut feeling”.

“In the stock market you never know if you are being told the truth or not,” Mr Parvizi, 50, told the jury. “In a very high percentage of cases I think it’s not true.”

His lawyer asked Mr Parvizi if he ever questioned Mr Hind on where he was getting his information.

“Never. It’s not a written rule, but you would never ask. You assume it’s a lie and you can do your own research,” Mr Parvizi said. “The whole stock market is built on lies.”


Sex, robots and AI

In Uncategorized on 07/04/2016 at 4:30 am

Research done at Stanford. “This research has implications for both robot design and theory of artificial systems.”

Sex robot ‘turns humans on by getting them to fondle its private parts’ (Daily Mirror)



Dow Tpt sends bearish signal

In Uncategorized on 06/04/2016 at 2:53 pm

From FT

The Dow Transportation Average, which is seen as an economic barometer because of its components’ central role in moving goods round the world, has fallen below its 200-day moving average, according to data from Bloomberg.

The fall in the Dow Transports below that support level could be an ominous sign, given moves in the average sometimes precede the broader market. For instance, Transports hit bottom in January about a month before the broader markets notched their lows of the year.

Investors will be watching closely to see if the Dow Jones Industrial Average or S&P 500 move toward their own support levels — something that still remains far afield.

Owner’s race affects cat’s meow

In Uncategorized on 03/04/2016 at 10:21 am

Seems cats owned by Chinese meow differently from those owned by Indians, Malays and other races. The language of owner affects the way cats meow.

[T}he Times reports that a group of Swedish animal behaviourologists believe that cats may pick up regional accents from their owners.

They will spend the next five years recruiting cats from different parts of Sweden to try to decipher what their miaows mean.

The Times comments: “It is a reassuring world in which a researcher from the University of Lund is paid to spend five years looking into whether cats speak differently in different parts of Sweden.

“Susanne Schotz is planning to test a hypothesis that feline vocalisation may vary in tone and lilt according to how owners speak to their pets.

“Hence the possibility suggested in today’s paper that pussy cats may somehow develop regional miaowing or caterwauling that mimic the voices of their regional humans.”

HoHoHo: Chinese banks look sick

In Uncategorized on 01/04/2016 at 2:27 pm

Profits for the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and China Construction Bank both grew at less than half a percent. Industry-wide, nonperforming loans rose to 1.67% of total loans last year, up from the previous year. BBC report

Temasek has significant stakes in both.

Worse, FT reports: State-owned asset managers have been buying up distressed industrial debt in what could be the start of a bailout of the banks. Chinese corporate debt is a hefty $15tn. The country’s 30 most leveraged large corporations have debt equivalent to 21 times their gross incomes.

Any bailout is likely to mean dilution in the stakes of non-state shareholders like Temasek.

A better candidate than Dr Chee?

In Uncategorized on 28/03/2016 at 2:21 pm

Jeremy Chen*, no friend of Dr Chee, came out on Facebook criticising Dr Chee’s decision to stand: Paul Ananth Tambyah would be a better candidate . He would say that wouldn’t he given that he has a real problem with Dr Chee**. When TRE republished his rant***, it received this totful response


I am not privy to the inside story as to why CSJ has put himself forward instead of PAT.

But let me use some speculative reason to see if we might arrive at a less SINISTER reason for why CSJ might still be the better candidate.

To start with PAT being a very respected professional could have gone and joined any opposition party and I dare say they would have welcomed him with open arms as a quality candidate. I dare say that, if he had tried, he might even have become a PAP candidate, could he not? Yet who did he decide to join? CSJ with all his ‘tarnished’ reputation. Was it poor judgement on his part, or is there something more to it.

During the election hustings, I listened to his recorded speeches. It is clear he has a deep compassion for the plight of the ordinary person in the street and the downtrodden; a good man with a conscience who wants to make society fairer and more caring. I speculate that he decided to join CSJ precisely because he saw these same concerns, convictions and qualities in the latter. He saw CSJ’s conviction and leadership as someone he could align himself with.

Now, for all his qualities, he is not as vocal and as much a conviction politician as CSJ. He probably knows this himself. For all the accolades and credits given to *KY he was certainly not the smartest in the team he was fortunate to assemble. So the lesson in this is that the figurehead for a cause does not have to be the brainiest (Ronald Regan comes to mind). SHould he be elected CSJ will have a higher profile than PAT and create greater controversy. At this point in time that is what Singapore and Singaporeans need; a loud voice championing the cause of those marginalised and overlooked.

(Don’t you like those initials? Doesn’t PAT just convey a friendly gentle touch?)

Br Chee thinks he can convince the swing voter to vote for him? Because his prophecy of S.pore today is more accurate than that of the PAP (and self) 30 yrs ago? Somehow I doubt it. His mistakes (civil disobedience, looney erratic behaviour) linger in the memory. As do his demonisation by the PAP and its allies in the constructive, nation-building media.

Whatever PAT better watch his legs. Mad Dog has bitten quite a few people who he saw as a threat to him: Jeremy Chen can testify to this . And so it seems can Danny the SDP Bear: when was the last time u saw a pix of him? Nowadays it’s always the Chees being featured. Never mind, I’m sure Tharman will welcome PAT to his team.


*Jeremy Chen was a scholar and was working in MINDEF in the division where Ho Ching was once working. He left and went to do a PhD in NUS biz School. But he can be a bit dumb. He got into a row with self and others when he accused SIA of “fixing” the results of its investment in Virgin Airlines where it lost money but wrote-back a profit. We explained to him that SIA had already progressive written off the investment and had overprovided, hence the write-back. He yelled that he “didn’t do accounting”. I asked how come can do PhD without knowledge of accounting and how come SDP can accept him as member

**He claims to have single-handedly written most of SDP’s policy papers. He left SDP after a row with Had Dog.

***On the whole Bukit Batok by-election thing… It is well known that Paul Ananth Tambyah is more electable in each and every constituency imaginable in almost every demographic (except old racist Chinese people). How then is the SDP not fielding him? The answer is, CSJ doesn’t want to take the risk that PAT will be elected as it would effectively mean relinquishing the Secretary General position to PAT.

Why is he holding on so firmly to it and, in doing so, acting against the interests of the SDP? Being able to position oneself to international organizations as the leader of the “only democratic hope” in Singapore brings with it “resources”. I have not seen such resources in the context of the SDP, but on a global scale it is well known that such “grants” exist.

So until nomination day, I propose that anyone with an interest in seeing a sensible opposition voice in Parliament voice their support for Paul Ananth Tambyah.

Paul Ananth Tambyah for Bukit Batok!!


LKY, Amos & mother Mary

In Uncategorized on 27/03/2016 at 10:37 am

Lest we forget, let’s remember that LKY’s death changed two lives forever and a day.

I have been too sad to speak up ever since Amos left for the past 3 months but I’m feeling more and more helpless now. I need help, but I think Amos definitely needs more help than me.

So many people have been asking me where Amos is, expecting me to know. Same as all of you, I would like to know where he is. I wonder who would be the lucky one. Is he on the run? Is he safe?

Does he have enough money for food and lodging? How can he survive on his own without any help? Why has he been quiet online for so long? These are the questions that follow after 12th Dec 2015 which was the last day I saw him. He disappeared after receiving the police letter handed to him personally at our doorstep. Afterwards, he just kept quiet, and paced furiously around the house. I went to sleep at night and the next morning, he was gone.

A few days after Amos ran away, the police came over to my house and I thought that they were going to say that they had found Amos. However, they didn’t. Instead, they just asked me if I knew where he was, which I did not, and said that Amos needed to go for a rescheduled investigation on 22nd Dec 2015. Adding on to my anxiety, an inspector called me when Amos didn’t turn up for the health check-up he had to attend for National Service.

Obviously he did not attend, otherwise he would have been arrested on the spot for his previous offence.

We all know that Amos was arrested not because he offended religious groups, but for political reasons, making fun of Lee Kuan Yew when he had just died. After Amos was released from jail, he continued to make videos which became very popular, condemning the PAP government, and saying that Amos had offended Islam was just another excuse to arrest and silence him. Although he wasn’t charged and was only asked to show up for an investigation, he knew that if the investigation continued, he would definitely be charged and sentenced, and this time since it was a repeated offence, probably sent to 3 years of RTC, which is why he chose to run away from home.

I remember he wrote in his blog that he only has enough money to survive for another 3 months from the crowdfunding of his court case. That was in January, it has almost been 3 months since. * account information removed *

Knowing Amos has never been good at handling money because seeing how fast he spends money from his bank account, I think he has no money anymore and I’m very fearful he hasn’t been able to eat. Maybe he ran out of money and needed to sell his laptop which is why he hasn’t posted anything for the past 2 months. I really don’t know and I am very confused and sad.

I think that Amos’ words are disrespectful and rude, but I don’t ever think that Amos should have been sentenced or put to jail because of it. Amos is a boy with very strong views and will pursue them, so I understand why he went on the run, but because of that I worry about him every day. People keep on telling me stories like why Amos has kept quiet for so long was because the government has secretly captured him, or that he has been drugged or killed. Thinking about the things that could be happening to Amos, I am unable to sleep well at night and I’m very worried about him.

If anyone knows where Amos is, please tell me, and if he insists on keeping it confidential, please help him to the best that you can. As a mother who has taken care of him for the past 17 years, I am really very worried. He doesn’t have any life skills, doesn’t know how to clean or sweep or cook. Either the grandparents’ maid or I have been doing things for him most of the time, and now that he suddenly has to live without my help, I’m really feeling very frightened. [Time for him to learn. LOL]

Please, if anyone knows where Amos is or can offer him help or help me get in touch with him, please private message me here on Facebook. I don’t know what is happening to Amos, I hope Amos is alright, I hope my dear son is safe … …

Facebook post by Mary Toh, Amos’s mother Mary.

Ever tot of asking police to help find her son? Don’t give me the BS about she being afraid. If really concerned about waz happening to her Boy Fantastic, she should report to the police that her son ran away from home. The penalties for not attending a police interview,and NS medical checkop are peanuts compared to the relief she should feel at finding him. WAYANG by publicity seeker.

And another thing. Where are those who egged him on? But failed to stand bail for him and denied him when he righly denounced them for their hypocrisy.

This TRE reader* has it about right

[T]he point I’m trying to make here is, you should know what the outcome will be if you do something wrong (in the eyes of Singaporeans, like insulting gahmen/insulting lky), so don’t expect any sympathy since you know very well you’ll get into trouble for making that video.

I won’t condemn Amos Yee, but I won’t pity him, he’s the one who destroyed his life when he had a potentially bright future, he could avoid the politics and just focus on what he’s doing (making entertaining videos not related to politics.. film making).

Update at 2.15pm:

She and Amos made the bed that they now must lie in. In simple English, “Accept the consequences of yr actions: pointless to cry and complain.”


*No, I do not support LKY, in fact I’m not even offended by his LKY video since I didn’t even feel sad when he died.

Muslims: Fun Fact cont’d/ What Americans can teach Saudis

In Uncategorized on 26/03/2016 at 6:55 am

In an article on the dangers of being an atheist in the Gulf region, The Economist writes: Despite the great risks associated with religious doubt in the Islamic world, curiosity about atheism seems to thrive. According to Google Trends, all of the seven countries most interested in the term “atheism” are in the Middle East. Still, a survey by WIN/Gallup International in 2012 suggested that Brazilians were more religious than Afghans and Armenians more zealous than Iraqis. Perhaps not wholly surprisingly, the proportion of Saudis reporting themselves to be “convinced atheists” was about the same as for Americans.

Saudis should learn from the US on how to persecute atheists without killing them or harming them physically: intimidate psychologically. And all under the banner of “Freedom of speech and religion”.

Muslims: Fun fact

In Uncategorized on 25/03/2016 at 1:44 pm


Did you know that Muslims form a bigger percentage of the population of Brussels (25% according to the FT), than that of S’pore with around 12%?

Paris (including its metropolitan areas has between 10-15% it seems while London has around 10%, though some areas are 30%



LKY & Aslan the Lion

In Uncategorized on 24/03/2016 at 1:55 pm

Is he telling Aslan the Lion that S’pore’s the real Narnia? Or that Aslan should F!@k-off because he’ll protect S’pore: For those not familiar with the Chronicles of Narnia, Aslan is the protector of Narnia against the forces of evil. He’s a Christ-like figure.


When China went to the Fed for help

In Uncategorized on 23/03/2016 at 10:24 am

Goh Meng Seng and Uncle Redbean will never tell u this: even China needs the Fed’s help.

NYT Dealbook reports

How China Asked the Fed for Its Stock Crash Playbook Confronted with a plunge in its stock markets last year, China’s central bank reached out to the Federal Reserve, asking it to share its playbook for dealing with Wall Street’s “Black Monday” crash of 1987.

What Peenoys are best at

In Uncategorized on 22/03/2016 at 12:05 pm

Laundering money.

NYT Dealbook reports

FOCUS FALLS ON THE PHILIPPINES AFTER BRAZEN HEISTThe search for more than $80 million of Bangladesh’s money that vanished from its account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has placed a spotlight on the murky banking system of the Philippines, Floyd Whaley and Neil Gough write in DealBook.

The investigation of how the money came to be transferred to the Philippines and what happened to it afterward has touched on how vulnerable the Pacific nation is to corruption and money-laundering.

The casino industry in the Philippines is exempt from many anti-money-laundering requirements. The country also has some of the world’s toughest bank secrecy laws – a legacy of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who hoped they would turn the Philippines into a financial hub.

“They picked us to launder this money because our system is full of loopholes,” said Sergio R. Osmeña III, a Philippine senator who leads a committee on banks and financial institutions. Lawmakers this week questioned employees of the local banks that had processed the transfers, and were frustrated that some declined to answer questions and cited their rights against self-incrimination.

The people behind the theft had tripped up while trying to request the transfer of more than $100 million that Bangladesh keeps in the New York Fed. A misspelling halted the transfer of about $20 million to Sri Lanka, but the culprits had already shifted $81 million to the Philippines. The money in the Philippines was transferred to Solaire, one of the newer casinos. Silverio Benny Tan, the corporate secretary of Bloomberry Resorts, Solaire’s parent company, said about $29 million was transferred to accounts at the casino held by a junket operator named Weikang Xu.

The casinos here in the Philippines are a black hole,” Mr. Osmeña said. “Once the money goes in there, it is gone.”


In Uncategorized on 21/03/2016 at 9:55 am

According to NYT Dearbook only 0.5% on the cars, not 1%. Mortgagors and property developers can relax. Interest rates will remain lowish.

The Federal Reserve voted not to raise its benchmark interest rate because weakness in the global economy could affect domestic growth, Binyamin Appelbaum reports in DealBook.

It had been expected to increase this month, but instead pulled away from its December prediction that the rate would go up by one percentage point this year. Fed officials now expect to raise rates by just half a percentage point this year.

Janet L. Yellen, the Fed’s chairwoman, maintained that the central bank remained relatively optimistic about the economy, in which there were no signs of damage from the wobbles of financial markets in the rest of that world.

Ms. Yellen did note that continued weakness in global growth and aggressivestimulus campaigns from other central banks could weigh on domestic growth, for example by strengthening the dollar. She added that financial markets are doing some of the Fed’s work, with tighter financial conditions like increased borrowing costs for corporations.

1% get poorer

In Uncategorized on 17/03/2016 at 3:08 pm

James B. Stewart: The Assets of the Ultrarich Come Closer to Earth That real estate, art and luxury cars do not command the prices of 2015 may say something about the fortunes of those at the top of the wealth scale.

NYT Dealbook


In Uncategorized on 17/03/2016 at 11:08 am

From NYT Dealbook

Last year was tough for hedge fund managers, but this year is starting to look just as bad and investors are finding it hard to stomach, Matthew Goldstein and Alexandra Stevenson report in DealBook.

The University of California’s endowment fund said it would cut the number of hedge funds in which it invests to about 10 from 32. Some brand-name managers who have recorded big losses for months are facing pressure from investors to redeem their money. The industry’s underperformance has also raised questions about what investors are getting in return for the hefty fees they pay.

Investors are expected to withdraw $25 billion from hedge funds in the first three months of this year, according to a Goldman Sachs Prime Brokerage Services survey of hedge fund investors representing about $425 billion in investments. More than three-quarters of those who planned to redeem money said they would reinvest in other hedge funds.

Well-known firms that bucked the negative trend last year are getting punished this year. Some of this is because of the underwhelming performance in stocks. The basket of 50 stocks, including Apple and Valeant, that Goldman Sachs says hedge funds like most is down 5.6 percent as of March 4.

Some people running funds, like Larry Robbins and William A. Ackman, have fared worse. Positions in companies like Teva Pharmaceuticals and Monsanto have created headaches for Mr. Robbins, while Mr. Ackman is bedeviled by his bet against Herbalife.

Still, it’s not all red ink. Greenlight Capital is up 3.3 percent after losing 20.4 percent. Horseman Capital Management, based in London, is up 9.7 percent this year. And Saba Capital Management is up a little more than 14 percent so far this year.

Paying to be a servant

In Uncategorized on 16/03/2016 at 3:45 pm
  • £2,500 for day as a Downton servant Wealthy Americans influenced by the ITV period drama are paying handsomely to act as skivvies at a historic Scottish home – Times

Downtown Abbey was a popular UK-made tv series that was popular in the US. It was about how the aristocracts in UK lived at the beginning of 20th century. Rumoured to be compulsory viewing for the natutal aristocrats in the PAP. LOL

Indian talk up Indian isit?/ Social activist talks sense

In Uncategorized on 14/03/2016 at 1:56 pm

Former NMP and founding member of AWARE Dr Kanwaljit Soin talks to 938LIVE’s Bharati Jagdish about biases and meritocracy in Singapore 

On the idea of a non- Chinese PM she said

“For example, we talk of being a meritocratic society, but why has nobody said that Minister Tharman (Shanmugaratnam) can be the next Prime Minister. Why does the Government say the population is not ready for an Indian Prime Minister?

What do you mean by “we’re not ready for it?” We’re a meritocratic society, interracial, inter-religious, inter-cultural. So if you look at ability alone, why is Minister Tharman not considered? He’s Prime Ministerial material. Why is there a fear that the population will not accept an Indian as a Prime Minister? What gives people the right to assume?”

Bit like ownself check ownself isn’t it? Why liddat?

Seriously read if you want an insight into how a rational (OK most of the time) social activist thinks.

She makes good points on the folowing issues

On population policy

…”Not enough collaboration was done before those steps were taken. When were we ever told that we are going to increase our population of foreigners by this amount? Who becomes a citizen? How do we know? We need to know why some people become citizens earlier than others. We need to have an input. We can say, “Nobody can be citizen unless they’ve lived in Singapore for 10 years.”

This is our country. Surely we have a right to give our input. We need to know the rules of the game better, so we can play the game better. Without the rules, we don’t know. When the referee blows the whistle, we are completely astounded.”

On being critical of the status quo

…”but why can’t you be ambitious for your own country. We keep on comparing ourselves to countries that are not so successful and say we are better than that. Then why don’t we compare ourselves to countries that, in some ways, have an edge over us, and try to aspire to that?”

On an Upper House

…”If we have two houses of Parliament, because their terms will be staggered, their terms of office, even if there is an election outcome that is completely unexpected, you have an upper house which is there, so there will be some continuity. It’s a much more evolving system, and also, it represents the interest of diverse groups much better.”

She explains “social activism’ or as she calls it “advocacy”:

“And advocacy, because you feel that something is not fair in society, then you have to advocate for change. You first have to get information. You must have a little bit of outrage…so, to my mind, you must have the information and knowledge, a bit of outrage, and then you go ahead and take some action. And part of that action is advocacy, talking to the powers that be. They’re all part of the advocacy plan.”

AlphaGo’s S’pore connection/ How to create creative S’poreans

In Uncategorized on 14/03/2016 at 7:08 am

A computer program has beaten a master Go player 3-0 in a best-of-five competition, in what is seen as a landmark moment for artificial intelligence.

Google’s AlphaGo program was playing against Lee Se-dol in Seoul, in South Korea. (BBC report)

Did you know the mum of the guy behind AlphaGo is S’porean?

The London-born son of a Chinese-Singaporean mother and a father of Greek-Cypriot descent, Mr Hassabis is a modern polymath whose career path has seen him become a chess prodigy, master computer programmer, video games designer and neuroscientist.

These experiences led him to create DeepMind in 2010, alongside Mustafa Suleyman, a technologist and childhood friend of Mr Hassabis, and Shane Legg, whom he met when they were postgraduates studying neuroscience at University College London. The artificial intelligence group was acquired by Google for £400m in 2014. (Report in FT)

Maybe the best way to create creative S’poreans is to get S’porean women to migrate to creative hotspots (think London, NY, Silicon Valley, anywhere but S’pore) and partner talents?

Miss targets, get bonus

In Corporate governance, Uncategorized on 12/03/2016 at 12:49 pm

No not PAP ministers, senior civil servants or managers at GLCs; it’s an American listco and once tech giant founded by Hewlett and Packard. No wonder angry Americans want a billionaire outsider to be president. He hates corporate bureaucracy. He runs his biz with the help of family members.

During HP’s last year as a single company, it missed every financial target set by the compensation committee. But the board gave CEO Meg Whitman and her most senior lieutenants got most of their bonus. Discretion loh.

Don’t make typo mistakes

In Uncategorized on 12/03/2016 at 5:54 am

U could lose serious money.

Cyberthieves who targeted Bangladesh’s central bank tried to get away with $1bn (£700m), reports Reuters.

However, said Reuters, the sheer number of transactions and a spelling mistake helped alert bank staff to the theft.

The spelling mistake in the name of one recipient of funds led Deutsche Bank, which was helping route the cash, to ask for clarification from the central bank, which then stopped the transaction.


In Uncategorized on 10/03/2016 at 2:38 pm

From NYT Dealbook: Wednesday is was the seventh anniversary of the start of the current bull market for stocks in the United States, Reuters reports. This bull market has been notable more for its duration than its intensity.

Although it is the third-longest on record, its gains are less impressive. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index is up 193 percent – the average bull market climb is 167 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average has grown 159 percent since bottoming out on March 9, 2009, while the Nasdaq composite is up 266 percent.

Birthday celebrations might be moot, however, as the S.&P. peaked on May 21 and has yet to go above that. Should it fall more than 20 percent below that high of 2,130.82, this would technically become a bear market.

It also looks far from certain that stocks will confirm the bull market – stocks have struggled this year and the S.&P. is off 3.2 percent for the year.

Trump’s really a wimp

In Uncategorized on 08/03/2016 at 7:16 am

Sorry, moderate.

Don’t believe me. See his views on domestic and foreign policy issues

He juz likes to talk cock to get the adulation of the mob.

Will they be surprised when he turns out be like Obama: talk cock sing song.

Think about it, Obama talks cock but the kind of cock that liberals and blacl Americans like. Trump’s audience is different, taz all.

Not impressed by Sham

In Uncategorized on 07/03/2016 at 1:25 pm

“My ministry has the responsibility to ensure that protocols are in place… If there are questions about the protocol, I will answer, as I am doing now… The responsibility is mine. Let’s not attack the police officers, who cannot defend themselves. They are doing their job, every day, in difficult circumstances.” says minister Shamugam.

Well cyberspace (OK “cowboy town”) was not impressed by what he said but neither it seems is one PAPpy.

I came across a PAPpy who said that the boy was guilty of molesting a girl. When my Facebook avater asked for evidence, he referenced the newspaper articles that reported Sham’s parly comments, and then Sham’s presentation material. I’m sure Sham would have something to say to this PAPpy about what he said.

Back to cyberspace.

A life has been taken unjustly but all I hear is accusations by the government on others. Please be open and fair to the citizens.

Another person posted

[S]o we come to the crux of the problem. Trust in the police and the integrity of the institution versus the death of yes an innocent 14 year old. If ever there was a david versus goliath scenario this i would suppose be it.

Public pressure and outrage serves a purpose in my view , it keeps the issue in the lime light and serves to keep pressure on the issue of minors in detention and the non existent rights they have.

But please understand this and this is the implausible scenario which does not fit. The police were cuddly and nice and told Benjamin and his parents they would recommend a warning and it would be probably be OK, on hearing that he went home decided it was the end of the world when he could not go to a school camp and decided to Jump.

Any tragedy disaster is a chain of interlocking events so you are right in a need to seriously look at the protocols.

Perhaps the police were “nice” , perhaps his words as quoted , I said what the police told me to say, well were reflective of the police just well not doing anything or not being threatening in any way but again we will never know because no adults nor recordings are allowed, and that is what the Minister defends the notion of total absolute trust in the SPF with its vast powers even against minors and that the exercise of said power was not abusive in any way . Trust us he says , trust us even when an innocent 14 year old HAS KILLED himself.

He had earlier posted:

The criticism some well informed , some just pure anger is a given in this age of instant communication and instant opinions. By nature of it being timely and being driven by individuals some of it will be more accurate and some of it less so but I would ask without the public questioning however wild, would we be able to get the disclosure that we have had thus far ?

The honourable minister is clearly defending the police whilst allowing for “change in the protocols. ” and while the criticisms are harsh some of it seems warranted.

For example the outrage at the utter waste of life because in Essence Benjamin killed himself over an act which on AGCs review would have merited a “warning” a f******* warning. In essence he DIED innocent and thats not without going into that whole legal debate because of another activists the “legality of a warning”.

To not put to fine a point of it and what I have said to detractors ,there is room and allowance for a 14 year old minor which will not exists for an adult because simply as a minot he should be given the benefit of the doubt.

The very fact that CCTV catches him following the girl and touching the girl , the very fact that the Home Minister states that he admitted to “intentionally” molested/touching the girl cast not one iota of light onto his actual intent.

He might have liked the girl and though it a way to get her attention, He might have been trying to steal a kiss, or being playful etc etc . There are many variations which can and will be played out but we need a better nuanced understanding of “intentionally” above the simple one provided.

His last paragraph is a gem because it points out that CCTV is not evidence of a crime. It was only evidence that the boy needed to be interviewed by the police.

The CCTV was a record but a record of what ? There was no report or allegations of force, use of threats, criminal intimidation, robbery etc etc etc NONE. so how did such naughty at best behavior end in such a tragedy……


Why suspects need quick access to lawyers

In Uncategorized on 05/03/2016 at 12:56 pm

Writing in the society’s Singapore Law Gazette for February,the president of the Law Society questioned the manner of the Benjamin Lim’s arrest. He said, “early access to counsel is a necessity in ensuring sustainable confidence in our criminal justice system”.     b

This is something that M Ravi and Ms Teo Soh Lung (Remember them? One’s a bi-polar sufferer who is not allowed to practice law until he gets bette; the other  was detained under the ISA in the 80s and who is a retired lawyer.) have been going on for years: why an accused person should be entitled to legal counsel in a fairly short period of time from the time of arrest.

Ms Teo wrote this several yrs ago:

On 7 May 2014, the Court of Appeal in James Raj s/o Arokiasamy v PP delivered a very disappointing judgement. It ruled that an accused person is not entitled to counsel within 48 hours. It effectively ruled that it is perfectly in order for the police to deprive an accused person of a lawyer of his choice for 29 days. That is a very long time. Unless a person is deranged, confessions would have been obtained by the dozens and no lawyer will be able to assist his client in proving that those confessions were involuntarily given.

The Court of Appeal affirmed the decision in Jasbir Singh made in 1994. In Jasbir’s case it was decided that an accused person is entitled to counsel within a reasonable time. Two weeks was considered reasonable.

The right to legal counsel

Read (Watning very long) and one can understand the importance of access to legal counsel.

In a case in Iceland, where a group of suspects had no access to legal advice, innocent people pleaded guilty to murder.

The methods of the Icelandic police weren’t unique. They convinced themselves that a group of petty criminals on the fringes of society were a gang of hardened killers. But they didn’t find the evidence to back up their hunch, they were left with just the confessions that were extracted after months of solitude and mental torture.

But this isn’t just a tale of forced confessions or police brutality. It’s still not known why the people who found themselves in the cells could not decide if they did or didn’t commit the crimes. The effects still linger.

And remember this happened in a liberal, democtatic Nordic state, not a de-facto one party state, where so long as the police are following “protocol” nothing they do is wrong and web should not question their actions.  “My ministry has the responsibility to ensure that protocols are in place… If there are questions about the protocol, I will answer, as I am doing now… The responsibility is mine. Let’s not attack the police officers, who cannot defend themselves. They are doing their job, every day, in difficult circumstances.” says minister Shamugam.

Here’s another case

Ugandan schoolboy Tumusiime Henry was 15 when he was accused of murder the first time. While he waited almost two years for the trial to begin he was accused of a second murder. But then he met an American lawyer who slowly realised it was up to him to come to the rescue of an innocent teenager.




The silence of Sham

In Uncategorized on 03/03/2016 at 2:57 pm

Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.

“Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.

“Holmes: “That was the curious incident.

I tot of the above extract from a Sherlock Holmes story, when I spotted a curious gap in Shammugan’s narrative about how Benjamin was treated,

The minister went into great deal of what the police did at the school and after they left the school. We are even told one of the officers in the car that Ben was in alighted before reaching the police station (Day off isit: Shopping?). But he left out telling us how they escorted Benjamin Lim from the principal’s office to the police car. We are just told: Benjamin was then brought back to the Station in an unmarked car, with three officers. One of the officers alighted along the way. That left two officers in the car – one to drive and the other to look out for Benjamin.

This is what I wrote earlier

And while, we don’t know how Benjamin Lim was escorted out, we can guess based on pictures from ST etc on how suspects are escorted by the police. There’ll be one person in front, one on each side of the suspect and one behind.

Students would say, “Double confirm! Ben’s in big, big trouble!”

My point is that students are very observant, can put “two and two together”, gossip a lot and love teasing (I can imagine the teasing he’d face). This is something that the police and the school officials couldn’t be bothered to think about when they did what they did.

So it would have been good to know how Benjamin Lim was escorted out of the office and into a car. Was it done in a discreet manner, or done in a manner that draws attention to the fact that someone is being detained for questioning ie in big trouble.

Whatever, we know that he got into a car with three policemen in mufti. That in itself would have got students talking, “OMG, Ben’s in trouble”.

A school is a kampung so why did the police commander send in five policemen in plainclothes (with some allegedly wearing tee-shirts with the word “POLICE”, which if true defeats the purpose of wearing mufti) in two unmarked cars? Two cars with five persons coming into the school compound during recess is sure to attract attention. And more when all or most of them head for principal’s office. Furthermore remember that students are observant and will notice the guns being carried under mufti.

Dr Paul Thamby and the other SDP Young Turks should note the silence of Sham on the SDP’s KBKPing on the issue. He castigated the LawSoc and TOC but not the SDP. The SDP had to crow about itself: If not for TOC’s and the Law Society’s statements – the SDP had also issued a statement (here) – the pressure for the government to address the matter would not have been as intense.

Maybe he left out the SDP because it is like Voldemort: “You-Know-Who”, “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” and “He Who Cannot Be Named”.

But most probably, he left out naming the SDP because he knows that the SDP under the leadership of Dr Chee has very little cred with the 35% of the voters that constitute the swing vote. Maybe Dr Paul and the other Young Turks, idealists all, should hedge their bets and spend time and money helping TOC? Of course if they are convinced that the SDP Old Guard will handover power soon then they are right to work inside the SDP. If not time to hedge their bets: work with TOC to try to effect change.

Update on 4 March at 7.00 am: This comment appeared in response to above. Spot on.

Shan said a lot but answered none of the most obvious and vexatious questions. The procedures/protocol he took pains to spell out told us nothing about what took place. He made it sound like a routine walk in the park by the policemen. The fact that they thought fit to send FIVE grown up policemen to ‘fetch’ a 14-year old from school revealed a lot about the mentality of the police. DON’T FORGET THAT BY THEN THEY HAVE ALREADY VIEWED THE HDB CCTV CLIPS AND KNEW EXACTLY WHAT TO EXPECT AND HOW BENJAMIN LIM LOOKED LIKE. SO ANY SUGGESTION THAT THE POLICE HAS TO ‘INVADE’ THE SCHOOL IN FORCE IN CASE OF AN AGGRESSIVE BENJAMIN WILL BE PURE BS. Even from the pictures on social media we can see how average and geeky the student looked like. It is not as if Benjamin Lim had a punk hairstyle (i.e. bald headed) and had tattoo on his arm and legs!!!

Minister Shan tried to play down the ‘number’ game when he said only one policeman had accompanied Benjamin to the AMK police station. I am unconvinced and would rebut this by pointing out that at least three of them could had easily left earlier in one of the two unmarked police cars that they drove to the school in without waiting for the officer questioning Benjamin in the principal office. Why were they idling in the school’s premises, unless they were there to pre-empt the student from making a possible run for it! This says quite a lot about the kiasuness of the police or perhaps it exposed their lack of confidence or competence. God knows what sort of internal police guidelines they have to comply with which perhaps could have been issued after a couple of past cases where adult prisoners had escaped from custody! This raises questions about the competency of at least some of our policemen or their (kiasu) superiors.

In defence of TOC

In Uncategorized on 02/03/2016 at 1:04 pm

No I’m not defending TOC against the accusations of the Minister for Pets because a Facebook comment says it all:

By hitting out at TOC, Shanmugan completely avoids discussing issues such as the management of police investigations involving minors.
TOC asked many pertinent questions. Asking questions is not same as spreading falsehood.
BTW it is a FACT, not falsehood, that the ministers and police did not respond till now.*

No, I refer to this which laments that TOC has fallen from the standards set by people like  Siow Kum Hong and P Ravi and is now in the gutter alongside ASS and TRE.

Speaking as someone who was involved with TOC in those glory days (juz ask Ravi or KH), I think the lady is talking rubbish. TOC is evolving. Under Terry Xu it’s trying to move beyond BS commentary.

Once upon a time, commentary criticising the PAP administration was cutting edge stuff..

Now when there are publications like The Middle Ground*, mothership*** and the Indian doing criticising the pAP administration it’s time to move on from this stuff. It’s no longer edgy to criticise the PAP administration.

TOC may succeed or it may fail but it’s trying to be on the cutting edge in its 10th yr of operation. It got lost when it became Hammer–on -Line. The WP took the publicity and its MPs kept their wallets and purses closed. One of the co-founders never became a WP candidate in GE 2015,

TOC may get lost again, but it’s trying ti remain relevant and edgy.

As for her praise of the Indian Independent, what can I say? If any website needs adult supervision it’s this website. It’s run, I’m told,  by two interns, both with links to the NTU School of Journalism, and their inexperience shows.

— Earlier this yr it carried a glowing story about WP’s Leon the Lion Man. Trouble was theIndian didn’t tell readers that he was a shareholder. A good, reputable publication should have highlighted the fact, to avoid accusations of biasness. 

— And it took a long time for it to correct a mistake (weeks in fact) after it was pointed out to the Indi that it linked to the wrong article.

Coming back to TOC, the fact that the Indian, and mothership are gleefully repeating the remarks of the Minister For Pets show how much they hate and want to dethrone TOC. Power to it. As for TMG, I respect its coverage of its remarks of the Minister For Pets.

TOC must be doing shumething right, attracting the wrath of Shanmugan and his new media pets allies.

Update at 4.30am on 3 March: A great comment by a co-founder (not the wannabe Sith Lord) of TMG on the realese of TMG of a very long document released by the Minister for Pets to Parly on TOC’s falsehoods: “Look, a boy has just died but we really want everyone to know that TOC misreported us.”

At this rate, I’ll have to stop making snide remarks about She who wanted to be a Sith Lord. Keep up the good work TMG.


*My Facebook avatar replied: Last para: Sub judice lah. The British have moved on from the sub judice conventions that they passed down to us.

I’ll be doing a piece explaining what he meant.

**Establishment figures set it up: two Paper Imperial Stormtroopers , one of which tot she could be ST editor. This is a Sith Lord post.

***Rumoured to have been funded to the tune of $1m by Philip Yeo (Remember him?) after lobbying by one George Yeo (Heard of him?). The way it has been buying eyeballs indicates that it has serious money to burn.

S’poeans will love this

In Economy, Uncategorized on 02/03/2016 at 9:06 am

If rates go so low as to become negative, borrowers are actually paid to go into debt.  If, for example, SIBOR becomes sufficiently negative, it is certainly possible that mortgages could eventually carry negative yields as well. This is bound to hurt profitability for lenders; however, they could still earn a credit spread if the bank borrows from the central bank. For example, the bank could take out a central bank loan at -4% on a mortgage issued at -1%. Here, the “borrower” is still credited 1%, but the bank is able to lock in a 3-point spread.

Read more: Negative Interest Rates: 4 Unintended Consequences | Investopedia
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Related post: Mortgaged to our eyebrows


In China, Uncategorized on 01/03/2016 at 1:40 pm

Recently, I posted this on how S’poreans’ debt and leverage compared to their counterparts in region. All the countries look bad but Some look worse than others: S’pore falls into the latter sadly with the serious possibility of loans turning toxic i.e. bad.

Globally NYT’s Dealbook explains why toxic loans are bad news

Beneath the surface of the global financial system lurks a multitrillion-dollar problem that could sap the strength of economies for years to come, Peter Eavis reports in DealBook.

Bad debts have been a drag on economic activity since 2008, but the threat they pose has worsened in recent months. China is the biggest concern, with analysts estimating that its troubled credit could exceed $5 trillion – equivalent to half the country’s annual economic output.

If Chinese banks continue to pull back on lending, the economy may slow even more, further harming countries that have relied on China for growth.

Toxic debt also hangs over countries where governments and central banks have unleashed aggressive stimulus policies in recent years. In the United States, energy companies are struggling to pay off the cheap money that they borrowed to pile into the shale boom.

In Europe, analysts say bad loans total more than $1 trillion and banks are still burdened with defaulted loans. Bad loans are also on the rise at Brazil’s biggest banks.

The looming question for the global economy is how China might deal with its pool of bad debts. After a previous credit boom in the 1990s, the Chinese government provided financial support to help clean up the country’s banks, but the cost of a similar operation today would be dauntingly high.

“My sense is that the Chinese policy makers seem like deer in the headlights,” said Christopher Balding, an associate professor at the HSBC School of Business at Peking University. “They really don’t know what to do.”

Rev Ponniah is being deceitful?

In Uncategorized on 01/03/2016 at 7:31 am

Or juz as disingenuous as any PAPpy eg Kee Chiu who tries to pull up the drawbridge after him by chiding S’poreans for  trying to strive for academic excellence: something he did when he pulled himself into the upper echelons of the establishment.

Readers will know that I’ve not commented on the row between the anticlerical* and the Catholic Archbishop of S’pore and his gang. Bit like Oscar’s Wilde definition of fox-hunting , “The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable!”: “A plague on both your houses” and may both burn down.

But I don’t think a religious leader should resort to misleading statements that while technically correct misrepresent the truth of what he and others like him were up to.

The Anglican Bishop of Singapore has weighed in on American singer Madonna’s concert scheduled for Sunday, saying that the Church is not forcing its views on non-believers in asking Christians not to attend the concert.

He said the Church is only calling on Christians to make choices that “decisively show” their love for God.

“In taking a position on the Madonna concert, the Church can be cast as being moralistic or arrogantly prescriptive for everybody else. That is not our intention or motivation,” said Rev Rennis Ponniah in a pastoral letter put on the Diocese of Singapore’s website on Friday.

“The Church is not simply anti-this or anti-that. Rather, we have a God-given role to bear witness to the values that make for life – values that undergird peoples’ choices.”

(SunT report)

A bishop setting an example of how to be economical with the truth?

Remember he and other religious leaders went to the authorities to try, it’s alleged, to get the show banned because it was offensive to the religious beliefs of some Christians. They argued that such offence should not be allowed in a public space.” If that is not not forcing its views on non-believers, pray tell what is it?

This is another case of reservation:

“The practice of “reservation” — giving answers that are technically accurate but tactically misleading — was honed by medieval Jesuits ….

‘There is a problem with Jesuitical equivocation, as select committee hearings may show. It makes exponents look shifty if they are rumbled.” In the age of the internet the PAP govt should be learning new tricks, not try to use old tricks that no longer answers that are technically accurate but tactically misleading.

More on the PAP and reservation.

As for me, next time I hear Pooniah or his buddies talking about loving LGBTs (Love the sinners, condemn the sin), I’ll know that they mean them harm. They are likw Harman: He plotted to kill all of the Jews of ancient Persia. Haman attempts to convince Ahasuerus to order the killing of Mordecai and all the Jews of the lands he ruled. The plot is foiled by Queen Esther, the king’s recent wife, who is herself a Jew. Haman is hanged from the gallows that had originally been built to hang Mordecai. (Wikipedia)

They must be related to Herod Cheng: the wannable baby-killer. Wouldsn’t be surptised if they too, like him, are PAPpy rats.


*I’s rather not call them “secular” because while they hold secular beliefs, they also are rapid, anti-religion. One can be secular, without being anti-religion. I’m thinking of self: Live and let live.


Putting Kee Chiu in his place

In Uncategorized on 29/02/2016 at 12:43 pm

When addressing university students, minister-without-portfolio and NTUC chief Chan Chun Sing chided S’poreans for being obsessed with academic grades.

He cited the example of the management team at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), saying they do not have straights As results, and Singaporeans should emulate them by constantly thinking about “who is going to take their lunch”.

He grumbled,

I spoke to group of parents who said the system was too difficult, too rigid, too much tuition… So I asked, ‘Will you stop sending your son to tuition?’ And they said yes, they will stop if their neighbours stop first.

…Don’t become a yardstick society in which we aimlessly, blindly chase goals regardless of what we’re good at.

…This is something I fear for our society – where everyone goes after the same thing, the same yardstick, and we end up in what sociologists call a ‘prisoner’s dilemma’.

But the former SAF scholar and Chief of Army also talked about Singapore’s brand of “meritocracy” by citing himself as an example of “a single-parent family child” attaining success.

But what if he hadn’t scored good grades? As a TRE reader gvbhunjimk put it: Kee Chiu, in the first place you yourself try going to ITE/stop schooling right after secondary school/study in private see if you today still can get to become a minister and paper general with same speed/possible at all. If it can, then you come talk to us.

Another reader skin so thick put it this way: Why does this toy soldier general thinks he can lecture against the obsession with grades when it is his grades that got him the OMS & PS? Did he not himself all out pursue his quest for academic excellence = top grades in his salad days, knowing a scholarship will get him and his family out of the working class enclave of Macpherson HDB estate?

If he doesn’t feel awkward about giving such advice, there is something wrong about him. Maybe, as i see it, he came from the bottom 10%, single parent family, poor, no social status, no power, no authority, a nobody. Once he became a scholar, overnight, and on a fast track, everything changed for him. Now he has money, power, authority, career, political star. In between, there is a chasm, from nothing to everything. Perhaps it explains why sometimes, he seems … nouveau riche.

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Someone who benefited (and still benefis) from the PAP administration’s fixation with academic results, should not tell “strivers” not to strive for similar excellence. Is he trying to close the door after he has become part of the natutal aristocracy?  Whatever, his remarks smack of hyprocisy and invites ridicule. Not the way to bcome a future PM or even a DPM.

Leave the clowning to s/o JBJ, Dr Chee or M Ravi.

Some other good comments by TRE readers

Xmen: The whole education system (e.g. streaming, admissions) is based on grades. What is he talking about?

eltmg: Monetary Authority of Singapore study of the top echelons, does this includes our GLCs, GICs, stat boards, cabinet ministers?

Which parents does not want to groom their children for the opportunity to have the career path you are on?

Mr Chan, pls share with us what you need to do to get a SAF scholarship. This would be a great guide to all parents in Singapore.

nihon: how stupid can he be?

first, he said, ‘the poor need concern not money.’

now, ‘no need 4 As’. so can psc award scholahsleep without considering the grades? hypocrite.

no one has 4 As at mas cos they are the older generation, where 2 As and 2 Bs could score a scholahsleep.

now, 4 As also can’t get any awards, unless with distinctions in s papers and eca/cca scores.

unless you belong …

people has broken the A level code. its just a rote learning exercise. the whole system does not develop thinkers, innovators and entrepreneurs. only exam smart clowns and useless bookworms.



S’porean has elegant solution to eco problem

In Uncategorized on 29/02/2016 at 5:39 am

Like to drink coffeee pod coffeee while wanting to save our rain-forest in a city?  You are a hypocrite.

The pods is eco-unfriendly because the plastic and aluminium coffee pod are difficult to recycle. Also 6g of coffeeand 3g of packaging isn’t exactly eco-friendly or a good use of resources.

There are novel alternatives to the  on the market. Eason Chow, a Singapore-based designer, proposed replacing the plastic cup with dissolvable sugar, much like a gumball. “The amount of packaging wastage is shocking,” he said.

Constructive retirement? Plug for the PAP?

In Uncategorized on 28/02/2016 at 2:08 pm

Go to TRE, TOC etc and KPKB about the PAP administration. ))))

The above appeared as a comment to the following Facebook message

Experiencing retirement blues? Here are some ways to keep yourself happy and healthy in your golden years. ‪#‎WhatsYourPlan‬

Life doesn’t come to a standstill at retirement. Being fit and socially active will keep you happy and healthy.
Seriously, what a dumb picture to illostrate “Howto  spend your time constructively after retirement”. Watching tv in a group? Being fit and socially active will keep you happy and healthy: and be fit and socially active by watching tv with other retirrees? Come on.
The sad thing is that based on the activities suggested, a better picture or better still an interesting montage can be shown.
After all, the suggestions include:
— [Y]ou can finally pursue interests that have been on the backburner. If you have been yearning to play an instrument, hone your photography skills or improve your cooking or gardening skills, now is the time to do it. On top of making new friends, picking up new skills invigorates you mentally and emotionally.

Travelling can also be a treat, now that you have all the time in the world to explore new places. It’s a great opportunity to bond with family members or reconnect with old buddies.

— If you were too busy to squeeze in regular workouts in the past, there is no excuse now. Staying active and mobile means you can lessen the risk of injury and illnesses like heart disease. Plus, you can continue to keep up with simple pleasures, such as playing with the grandkids, walking to nearby shops and taking the stairs. Low impact sports like swimming, brisk walking, dancing, tai chi and yoga are great for easing you into an active lifestyle.

— [I]f giving back to the community sparks your interest, be sure to check out our guide to volunteering opportunities in Singapore.

But the govt site also advertised this for the PAP PA: To meet like-minded retirees, you can check out the People’s Association Senior Citizens’ Executive Committee (SCECs), Singapore’s largest seniors’ network. They organise a wide array of activities, such as sports, dance and even a Wellness Programme to encourage you to go for regular health screenings.

Didn’t one Harry Lee say that the PAP and PA were intertwinned?



Ideas for Amos and SDP

In Uncategorized on 28/02/2016 at 7:13 am

Here I suggested that the SDP stops wayanging and start producing videos to educaye students. And that it could use Amos the boy fantastic to produce the videp

Here’s something that the SDP and Amos could imitate

According to the BBC, the  coming Irish elections have the candidates using weird and wonderful online campaign videos. My favourite is

The County Kildare candidate’s three-minute promo is a full-blown Back to the Future parody, with Mr Heydon getting accosted by ‘Doc Brown’ who arrives in a DeLorean.

“Quick Marty, you’ve got to come with me,” he cries. “The future of Kildare South and the country depends on it.”

In this alternative timeline, it isn’t Biff Tannen and his sports almanac threatening the future but the possibility Mr Heydon won’t be re-elected.

Meanwhile, Doc Brown is less concerned with getting plutonium to fuel the DeLorean’s flux capacitor than getting a ring road built so he can get up to 88mph.


Time to walk the talk, SDP

In Uncategorized on 21/02/2016 at 4:09 pm

SDP is KPKBing about MOE rejecting SDP’s proposal to give talks in schools. It has now written to the education ministers to complain about the rejection.

It has also produced this video after this schoolboy showed that there may be a demand for what SDP wanted to do.

Dear Dr Chee,

I’m a 15 year old student from St Joseph’s institution. Since a younger age I somehow had a vast interest in politics and started following, and as you have said many times before, realised that Singapore isn’t actually a very democratic country.

Even though I am not yet legible to vote, I do feel the rising concern on the future on my homeland, as do many of my friends in school. Thus, this would be a great opportunity to educate us further and highlighting issues that are or could possibly be faced.

With this however, there are issues. With the Ministry of Education being run by the PAP government, it’s highly likely that they would be displeased with this and immediately reject your proposal to give talks in schools. Even with this though, I’d really like you to know that many of us really do realise the problems in this society and are definitely supportive of SDP.

(name withheld)
SJI Secondary 3 student

Why not video a pilot talk on the subject and put on YouTube and see if there is demand for talks on the topic?

If there’s demand make a series. SDP can always crowdsource for funds. (And commission Boy Fantastic, Amos Yee, to do the video. After all, he has sat at the feet of Dr Chee where presumably he learnt that the beloved Harry “was a horrible man.)

Given that MoE will “ban” students from watching any SDP produced video, and the constructive-nation-building media will diss it, watching will be the “in” thing among students. Even the PAPPy kids will be forced to watch if they to be in the “right” crowd.

The SDP doesn’t have some really good material for the pilot video.

SDP has highlighted 10 examples of what it says are “the partisan nature of the textbooks:are written by the Curriculum Planning & Development Division of the MOE:

  1. Singapore: The Making Of A Nation-State, 1300-1975
  2. Singapore: From Settlement To Nation Pre-1819 to 1971
  3. Upper Secondary Social Studies 3 (2nd edition)”

Let me be very clear, I’m not saying that the SDP’s examples “prove” the partisan nature of the books because I have problems with some of SDP’s “right” facts and complaints, even though it seems the SDP is right about the use of photographs that reflect well on the PAP. I’m saying that students should be given the opportunity (in their own time) to be made aware that there are alternative narratives. AS MoE doesn’t want to “confuse” young minds by letting the SDP give ralks in schools, the SDP should use new media to show that there are alternative narratives.

Somehow based on what I hear about the SDP walking the ground in Holland Village GRC versus what I know what Leon Man and friends are doing in East Coast GRC are doing,  I doubt the SDP is into the hard work involved in doing a pilot, and then if there is a demand, the harder work of producing a series of videos. But here’s hoping I’m wrong that SDP KPKBing is nothing but wayang to help pass the time until the 2019 GE. Our students deserve to be exposed to alternative narratives what with 2019 coming round the corner with more opportunities for the PAP administration to spin that the PAP is S’pore and S’pore is the PAP.

The 10 examples cited by the SDP:

Example 1: Lim Chin Siong

One of the history books paints Lim Chin Siong and Fong Swee Suan as violent troublemakers:

“The Communists had control of two powerful trade unions, namely Singapore Factory and Shop Workers’ Union (SFSWU) and Singapore Bus Workers’ Union (SBWU). These unions were led by Lim Chin Siong and Fong Swee Suan.

On the same day (24 October 1956), the pro-communist leader, Lim Chin Siong had organised a workers’ meeting a short distance away from the Chinese High School. When the meeting ended, some of the workers joined the students in creating disorder.

The riots came to an end when the police arrested almost all the union leaders, including Lim Chin Siong and Fong Swee Suan. During the riots, 13 people died and more than 100 were injured.”

It has emerged from declassified documents by the British government that it was Chief Minister Lim Yew Hock who “had provoked the riots and this had enabled the detention of Lim Chin Siong.” Documents also “show these were the tactics of provocation that were employed in the 1956 riots that led to Lim Chin Siong’s arrest.”

Shouldn’t our students be given this information and encouraged to do more reading and research before forming their conclusions? We need to stop the practice of glorifying the PAP and demonising its opponents in our schools.

Example 2: Photos and illustrations

The texts carry these illustrations:

In the section ‘What Is The Role Of The People?’, students are told that the people “have the power and responsibility to choose the right leaders for Singapore”. Accompanying the text is a photograph of PAP MP Mr Christopher de Souza.

In depicting how the PAP had split in 1962, the book labelled the faction led by Lim Chin Siong as “radicals” versus that of Lee Kuan Yew’s “moderates”. The “radicals” then went on to form the Barisan Sosialis.

Example 3: Principles of governance

In the chapter on governance, the book asked “What Are The Guiding Principles Of Governance?” It proceeds to cite the four areas that Lee Hsien Loong enumerated in his 2004 National Day Rally speech:

  • Leadership is key
  • Anticipate change and stay relevant
  • Reward for work and work for reward
  • A stake for everyone and opportunities for all

Under ‘Leader is key’ the book states:

“Honest and capable leaders are needed to maintain stability in the government and to make the right decisions for the country. These leaders must have moral courage and integrity to do what is right and not what is popular with the people. What would happen to Singapore if the leaders only make decisions that are popular with the people?

The government has realised that good leadership and good government do not occur by chance. Potential leaders are specially selected and groomed. Besides talent and ability, leaders are also selected based on their good character.”

The paragraphs seem more suited for the Petir, the PAP’s party organ, than a school textbook. Worse, there was no attempt to help students evaluate the statement. Given that the PAP has produced Ministers and MPs like Phey Yew Kok, Tan Kia Gan, Wee Toon Boon, Teh Cheang Wan, Choo Wee Kiang, and Michael Palmer, is the text accurate and valid? Why are students presented only one side of the story?

Example 4: Representative democracy

On the subject of governance, the text says: “Singapore practices representative democracy.” But this is only half the story. For a democracy to function meaningfully and effectively, there must also be a free media and a free and fair electoral process. The people must also enjoy fundamental freedoms of speech, association and assembly. All these are not practised in Singapore. Given such a circumstance, can Singapore still be considered a democracy, much less a representative one?

This subject is not addressed anywhere in the textbooks. The basic rights of citizens that are enshrined in our Constitution are not presented and the students are not invited to have a deeper discussion on what it means to be a citizen of this country other than on the PAP’s terms.

Example 5: The Pledge

And when the National Pledge is mentioned, the book asks students to:

“Examine the phrase ‘one united people, regardless of race, language or religion’. What do you understand by this phrase? Why do you think there is a need to stress this idea in the national pledge? Share your opinion with a partner.”

There seems to be an effort to steer students away from focusing on the part that calls on citizens “to build a democratic society, based on justice and equality”.

Example 6: Healthcare

in the chapter on healthcare, a section compares the pros and cons of Medisave and Medishield. At the end, however, a sidebar called Pause and Ponder asks the question: “Why is it important for the government to have support for new policies such as Medisave and Medishield?”

Why is the question written in such a leading manner? Why are students constantly shepherded into supporting the PAP’s policies? Is there no room for a more open and meaningful discussion on the realities of healthcare affordability in Singapore?

Example 7: Foreign talent/low birthrate

As for the PAP’s Foreign Talent Policy, the Social Studies book says: “While Singapore waits for its pro-family measures to show some positive results, there is a need to enhance its competitiveness by bringing in talent from other countries.”

What the book does not tell students is that the “pro-family measures” have thus far not been effective. Our population size has been shrinking all these years. Can’t the students discuss the effectiveness, or the lack thereof, of the PAP’s family policies?

The book then instructs the student to “Look at Figure 2.37 for reasons why attracting foreign talent to Singapore is important.” The Figure reads,

“Singapore faces stiff competition from other industrialising countries and being small, it is not possible to produce all required professionals locally. Thus, we must encourage foreign talent to come here so as to boost the quality of our manpower. Foreign talent can create more jobs and increase productivity.”

Again, the text misses out crucial information. For example, Lee Kuan Yew says that without foreigners, we cannot attract investments and produce jobs. Should students not be asked how and why we have come to this stage? The book also omits to discuss related topics such as (a) New jobs created going to foreigners, (b) Our city’s infrastructure being unable to cope with the massive influx of foreigners, (c) The difficulty of foreigners integrating with locals, (d) The resultant rise in the cost of living and (e) The PAP’s definition of ‘talent’.

Instead of stimulating and encouraging our students to analyse what they read, the MOE seems more interested to get students to accept the material as received wisdom and to memorise it for exams.

Example 8: Media

On the topic of managing race relations, one of the books relates the case of Maria Hertogh and the riots, writing that, “The events throughout the [Hertogh] court trial had much media coverage in the English, Malay and Tamil newspapers.”

It shows pictures of overturned cars and houses on fire with the headline “Five dead, 100 hurt in riots”. The Pause and Ponder sidebar then asks: “Why is it important to have a newspaper that is not biased in the reporting of events?” – a clear allusion to the PAP’s justification of controlling the media in Singapore.

The text does not teach students of the importance for dialogue and debate without resorting to violence no matter how much we may disagree with the other party’s views. In other words, it does not educate students. Rather, it conditions their minds and the inculcates in them the PAP’s partisan values.

Example 9: Self-help groups

The book extols the virtues of self-help groups like CDAC, SINDA, Mendaki and the Eurasian Association by quoting an excerpt from “a newspaper”:

“The self-help groups’ biggest achievement has been in saving students from the under-achievement trap. Dropout rates have fallen, grades have improved and more students have gone on to continue post-secondary education.”

The textbook does not provide information on how it arrives at the conclusion that self-help groups have achieved what the newspaper quote purports that they have achieved. It simply makes an assertion. Again, students are told what to think and not taught how to think.

Example 10: People’s Association

In discussing the role of grassroots organisations, the textbook cites the work of the People’s Association saying that it “creates common space through a wide range of programmes and activities”.

It makes no mention of the controversy regarding the control of its activities by the PAP – even in wards that the party does not control. Such a topic may not reflect very well on the PAP but isn’t one of the purposes of education – especially in a social studies class – supposed to draw on themes such as equity and fair play for discussion?

Singapore Democrats


Amos the vegan/ Why he wants to avoid NS

In Uncategorized on 21/02/2016 at 5:10 am

TRE republishing this on Amos Yee (he’s been has been silent on Facebook since 12 January and last twatted on 23 January) reminded me that I recently read something about vegans. A vegan is a really nutty version of a vegetarian. Hitler was not a vegan, he was a vegetarian. And yes, Amos says he’s a vegan

I also remembered this pix of his emaciated body posted on 16 January.

This in turn reminded me that Amos  in December boasted that despite being a fugitive, he was able to get vegan food. This is what he would be eating: For vegans, everything derived from animals is off-limits. Similar to – but stricter than – vegetarians, vegans do not eat eggs and cheese, or drink milk, and in some cases even avoid honey.

He would not be wearing or using leather, wool and.

To end, here’s how looney and sensitive to criticism the nuts are:

An action movie-style advertisement campaign to promote Australian lamb has angered vegans who call it “discriminatory”.

The commercial, by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), was released on Saturday and has since gone viral.

It shows a SWAT team “saving stranded Aussies” abroad from missing a barbeque on the country’s national day.

In one scene in the advert, a SWAT team smashes into the home of a man in New York saying “C’mon mate, in a few hours you’ll be eating lamb on the beach”, to which the the bearded man responds: “But I’m a vegan now…”.

The ad later cuts to a shot of a flamethrower-wielding SWAT officer burning a bowl of kale on the vegan’s table.

Btw, they don’t serve vegan food in NS. So that’s why die-die he doesn;t want to do NS.


How the next recession will happen

In Uncategorized on 19/02/2016 at 7:14 am

How the US and therefire the world will fall into a recession from NYT Dealbook

If There Is a Recession in 2016, This Is How It Will Happen Tumult in emerging markets and the commodities sectors could create both real and psychological hits to an economy that is already growing sluggishly.

True markets are feeling good. But

The OECD has today lowered its growth forecast for the current year from 3.3% to 3%, saying that the downgrade is

broadly based, spread across both advanced and major emerging economies, with the largest impacts expected in the United States, the euro area and economies reliant on commodity exports, like Brazil and Canada.

Financial instability risks are substantial, as demonstrated by recent falls in equity and bond prices worldwide, and increasing vulnerability of some emerging economies to volatile capital flows and the effects of high domestic debt.

Manufacturing is weak in many countries, and big job cuts are being announced on a regular basis (Bombardier is the latest). Fourth-quarter earnings per share for S&P 500 companies are likely to be down 4%, the worst quarter since 2009. More corporate bonds are being downgraded and Moody’s forecasts that the global default rate for junk bonds will hit 4.2% by the end of the year from 2% in 2015; CreditSights is looking for a default rate in America of 5.5% by December.  And geopolitics still look a mess with the war in Syria raising tensions between Russia and Turkey, and China installing weapons on a disputed island in the South China Sea. The mood can always turn again.

Whateveer PM’s either very lucky or smart. He called the election at the right time.

Here’s something I was planning to post in mid October but which I mislaid.

PM held GE juz in time. Economy will take turn for worse

A “deeply concerning” slowdown in trade, particularly with China, will lead to lower global economic growth this year, says the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Global GDP is now expected to grow by 2.9%, down from 3% forecast in September, but will hit 3.3% in 2016.

The OECD said trade had dropped to levels perilously close to those “associated with global recession”.

Worldwide trade growth is forecast at 2% this year, down from 3.4% in 2014.

Catherine Mann, the OECD chief economist, said: “This is deeply concerning. Robust trade and global growth go hand in hand.”

Asia Devaluation

Asia Devaluation

The three engines which have pulled developing economies along in the past decade—exports, public and private investment—are sputtering. World trade is growing slower even than global output. Tax receipts have been hit by falling commodity prices and depressed activity, squeezing government spending.

Colombia’s finance minister, Mauricio Cardenas, spoke of “intelligent austerity”—tax rises, spending cuts and slightly bigger deficits—but not all countries have fiscal room to embrace it. Businesses are putting off investment until uncertainties lift. At the same time, foreign investors are pulling capital out of emerging markets for the first time in years. Not all countries are equal. But “the bar for an emerging market to distinguish itself has moved higher,” David Fernandes of Barclays, a bank, told financiers at a parallel powwow of the International Institute of Finance, a bankers’ association.

FT I think

Nathan’s maihum moment cont’d

In Uncategorized on 17/02/2016 at 2:07 pm

Don’t sing Majullah Singapura is the suggestion of a reader of this piece of mine when the president takes the salute. juz play Majullah Singapura.

But before reading his reasoning, here’s another great comment by another reader

Remember Pinkie and his meal of MeeSiam MaiHum?

Well, this is Prata’s maihum moment!

Back to why Majullah Singapura should not be sung when the president takes the salute on National Day:

I think all this STUPIDITY coIuld have been avoided if no one has to sing the national anthem when the president make his appearance at all ceremonies and occasions he attends. In fact, it is only appropriate that the anthem be sung at the end of an occasion, such as the NDP, when everyone including the VIPs and VVIPs would rise and sing it. No exception. The band plays the anthem when the president arrives simply because he symbolizes/represents the nation, not because of he (Nathan, Tony Tan or anyone else) the man.

I have NEVER heard the US national anthem, The Stars And Stripes, being sung when the President of the US arrives. Have you? For want of a better way to describe it, a country’s anthem should only be sang either at as part of a group performance, eg. at a concert or on very special occasions, such as at the end of the NDP or when national sportsmen and sportswomen received their medals on the winners’ rostrum in an international meet like the Olympics.

I agree that “God, Save The Queen’ is different. For one, the lyrics clearly referred to the British monarch in person. For those who are unaware, it was ‘God Save The KING’ when QE2 father was on the British throne. It was changed to the now, ‘God Save The Queen’ when QE2 took over from her father, King Geroge the… (you known, the King’s Speech, fella). Whereas, in ‘Majullah Singapura’, there is NO mention of the president, in fact, the lyrics is meant to spur and galvanize, at least in theory, the people and country forward (see English translation below) and compare it with the British anthem below it.

I hope it would shut the mouth up of the PAP acolytes who tried to defend the indefensible egoistic and ignorant blooper made by SN Nathan*. We can see how truly ignorant and arrogant the PAP ba***carrier can become.

Majullah Singapura (English translation):

Come, fellow Singaporeans
Let us progress towards happiness together
May our noble aspiration bring
Singapore success

Come, let us unite
In a new spirit
Together we proclaim
Onward Singapore
Onward Singapore

Come, let us unite
In a new spirit
Together we proclaim
Onward Singapore
Onward Singapore

British National Anthem – God Save the Queen

God save our gracious Queen!
Long live our noble Queen!
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the Queen.

Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign.
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause,
To sing with heart and voice,
God save the Queen.
(From the official website of the British Monarchy –


*Steady brudder. I may mock him but I’m inclined to think he was telling a joke. Bit like Income and Rebecca Lim.



Will WP MPs walk the talk of Lion Man Leon?

In Uncategorized on 11/02/2016 at 12:07 pm

(Or “Will Loh’s “duckweeds” rescue WP?”)

In 2015, I didn’t bother to even glance at the WP’s manifesto because of the way WP MPs had treated its 2011 manifesto: like toilet paper or should this be duckweed? I mean despite the problems that the PAP had justifying its public transport policies (even making some U-turns) , WP didn’t raise the issue of nationalising the system despite it being in the 2011 manifesto and despite it being an intellectually valid proposition. I mean even the retired chief economist of GIC (now at IPS) says “Private or government owned companies are more suitable because they can look after key stakeholders and public interests more better.”*

So I couldn’t help but snigger when Leon (the Lion) Perera

recently told MediaCorp’s Bharati Jagdish

We had a manifesto with many positive and proactive ideas for Singapore, to make Singapore better, and some people reacted to that by saying, “This is quite technical, this quite complex, there are so many different ideas in here, we need more time to digest and process that.”  

… more than 130 specific policy recommendations. So, I think that’s something that, in hindsight, I would say that maybe we should have done better in terms of communicating the richness and the value of these ideas.

To convince people that these are good and positive ideas, these are not just ideas that are opposing for the sake of opposing, but we have a proactive, positive agenda for the country. And that’s something that I want to spend more time on in terms of convincing people of the value of those ideas.

Well going by the evidence of the parly debate about NCMPs and the subsequent vote, it’s clear that the elected WP MPs are useless in parly What do you expect of a bunch of highly paid social workers whose poster gal is the PAP’s very own Kate Spade Tin, who talks rubbish in parly but does good social work?

So it’s up to Leon the Lion, Dennis Lim and Daniel Goh, all NCMPS (who the WP secretary-general sneeringly calls “duckweeds”. Because unlike him and the other WP MPs, they don’t do full-time social work?) to show S’poreans that the WP can hold the PAP to account and communicate the WP’s manifesto ideas to the voters.

On these “duckweeds”

Image result for duckweed

(Loh’s sneering word, not mine nor the PAP’s, rest the hopes of all those of us who want a less hegemonic PAP. The elected WP MPs are juz content to take the money, keep quiet in parly, and do social welfare work. They are the real duckweeds?

Related posts:

Leon the Lion

NCMP: Why WP wins either way. I repent of this piece because by Low calling NCMPs “duckweeds” and by the WP messing up the vote on making Daniel Goh a NCMP, WP snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. PAP got away with a score draw. Next week, I’ll blog how the WP could have had its cake and eat it; taking principled stands on NCMPs and pushing for Daniel Goh to get the vacant NCMP post. And why WP didn’t.


*”I would like to say my poor** use of evidence does not contradict the argument that publicly listed companies are poor vehicles for public transport corporations. This is because their main priority is making profits for shareholders.

Private or government owned companies are more suitable because they can look after key stakeholders and public interests more better.”: Recent Facebook post.

**He quoted StatesTimes assertion that SMRT made a profit of S$1 bn. The Indian Indi behaved like TRE, ASS, FATPAP when pointing this out, making snide, uncalled remarks. With a friend like the Indian, does anyone who disagrees with the PAP need enemies?

Benjamin’s death and PM’s CNY message

In Uncategorized on 09/02/2016 at 12:16 pm

I tot of Benjamin Lim and his family when I read the following on CNA

‘Family an important building block of society’: PM Lee in CNY message

In his Chinese New Year message on Sunday (Feb 7), Mr Lee said that the Government will continue to support Singaporeans “in the many responsibilities and joys of parenthood”, adding that he hoped to see more babies born in the new year.

Come on PM: pull the other leg, it’s got bells on it. Sadly, it’s not funny.

Whatever comes out of the investigations into Benjamin Lim’s suicide one thing is already very clear.

The SOPs of the police and MoE and the actions of their officers show that MoE and the police, they do not believe that parents’ have rights and that teenagers can be very fragile people*.

On the latter first.

A school is a kampung so why did the police commander send in five policemen in plainclothes (with some allegedly wearing tee-shirts with the word “POLICE”, which if true defeats the purpose of wearing mufti) in two unmarked cars? Two cars with five persons coming into the school compound during recess is sure to attract attention. And more when all or most of them head for principal’s office. Furthermore remember that students are observant and will notice the guns being carried under mufti.

If I were a student, I’d find a legitimate excuse to get into the general office which I assume is adjacent and connected to the principal’s office.

And then students will notice a schoolmate being escorted in by the student counsellor. They will notice that he’s being rushed as he is carrying his lunch into the office (a no-no in normal circumstances). Why liddatt?

I’d have lied to get into the general office. I know someone was in big trouble.

And while, we don’t know how Benjamin Lim was escorted out, we can guess based on pictures from ST etc on how suspects are escorted by the police. There’ll be one person in front, one on each side of the suspect and one behind.

Students would say, “Double confirm! Ben’s in big, big trouble!”

My point is that students are very observant, can put “two and two together”, gossip a lot and love teasing (I can imagine the teasing he’d face). This is something that the police and the school officials couldn’t be bothered to think about when they did what they did.

So the police should have been a lot more discrete. Three officers in one car and only one to into the general, principal office. And turn up when lessons are in progress, so that there’s no crowd to see what’s happening.

And so could have the school: the counsellor should let him eat his food before escorting him to the office.

As to the rights of parents, why couldn’t the police wait for the parents to come to the school to accompany the student to the police station.  It really wasn’t a “time is of the essence kind of investigation”. It was not as though he was suspected of planting a bomb that was going to go off at any moment, killing or hurting people.

I found the initial police response via a retired cop chilling. He said the law allowed to the policemen do what he did and thaz the end of the story. And he’s supposed to be a police “ambassador” to the public?

As for MoE’s disregard for the rights of parents (Schools must comply with the law, duty of care to parents is secondary: my interpretation of MoE’s remarks to the media), I can do no better than quote what Dr Wong Souk Yee Chairperson of the SDP wrote:”School officials must be aware that their duty is, first and foremost, to protect students’ welfare as well as their families’ interests. Doing this would not impede law enforcement officers from carrying out their duty. It would, on the other hand, help to prevent tragedies like Benjamin’s suicide from taking place.”

If PM’s

“Family an important building block of society” 

And that the Government will continue to support Singaporeans “in the many responsibilities and joys of parenthood”

are to mean anything, heads must role, and procedures relooked.

For example I’m told that it’s SOP that five policemen should be sent to arrest any one person. Commanders have discretion but they know that if anything goes wrong, they’ll be asked, “Why no five officers? Don’t know SOP isit?” Want to be her isit?” So they always send five.

“Even if the police were concerned that Benjamin would not be co-operative and could overpower the officers and escape, how far could he have run? And even if he did make a getaway, did the police not have his family, school and classmates that they could contact?” Dr Wong wrote.

Come on PM, pull the other leg: it’s got bells on it.

Sadly, it’s not funny.


*Not all of them are brats like Amos Yee and not all parents are as irresponsible like his Mother Mary.

Retiring to UK is cheaper than retiring here

In Uncategorized on 09/02/2016 at 5:13 am

S’pore (8th) is juz ahead of Kuwait and UK. Surprising Oz is 6th and NZ 7th.

Reunion dinner tot

In Uncategorized on 07/02/2016 at 2:00 pm

Let’s pause and remember the pain and grief of Benjamin Lim’s family.

For me personally, the most troubling fact is that five police officers were sent to arrest the boy.

A school is a kampung so why did the police commander send in five policemen in plainscloth with some possibly wearing tee-shirts with the word “POLICE”, which if true defeats the purpose of weaing mufti)  in two unmarked cars. Two cars with five persons coming into the school compound is sure to attract attention. And more when all or ,ost of them head for principal’s office.

If I were a student, I’d find a legtimate excuse to get into the general office which I assume is adjacent and connected to the principal’s office.

And then one sees one’s schoolmate being escorted into the principal’s office by the student counsellor.

I’d have lied to get into the general office.

My point is that the police and the school were doing everything but shout “Someone’s in serious trouble.”


The Hard Truth of risk/ Thinking out of the box

In Uncategorized on 07/02/2016 at 9:20 am

“I knew I wanted to take risks but that’s hard if you’re paying a lot of rent …” said a founder of a theatre in London.

That’s the reality when the PAP administration decries the lack of an entrepreneurs and the unwillingness of young S’poreans to take risks.

So how does the guy in the UK fund his theatre the basic tactic is not to rely too much on any one source of finance.

“The most vital income is the restaurant and bar and the music programme we offer there. Actually it’s the drinks which make the money far more than the food. People come and have a meal and then see a show and then they stay to drink afterwards. Box-office is less than 10% of what keeps us going.

VIIPs are Asean

In India, Indonesia, Uncategorized, Vietnam on 06/02/2016 at 6:58 am

This lumps together Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines for their similar economic and demographic prospects. It serves as a catchall for a number of relative bright spots in Southeast Asia as investors into the region look beyond China’s long shadow.

Wah Piow’s other option to clear his name

In Uncategorized on 02/02/2016 at 11:28 am

If AG refuses to review the case with a view of asking the courts to set it aside, Tan Wah Piow has an alternative. He can engage a good lawyer (Peter Low, who happens to be a former DPP. would be a good choice. He also happens to be respected by the judiciary and AGC. He’s no talk cock, sing song lawyer like Ravi, but a lawyer’s lawyer.) to petition the courts to set the verdict aside.

I know someone who pleaded guilty to a highly technical charge, only to find that his fellow co-defendants were found not guilty (Albeit they had to spend really serious money along the way. One spent, it seems over $1m). He asked the AG to ask the court to set aside his conviction. AG refused and so he engaged lawyers. He won.

So Tan has an alternative way to proceed. And if he has no money, he can try  crowdsourcing.. Dr Chee, Roy raised money this way. It’ll force the ant-PAP folks to put their money where there mouth is. Though, he shouldn’t expect much from the born-loser vermin of TRELand. They only know how to Talk the Talk, not Walk the Talk. The site needs $, but they are sitting on their hands. Right Oxygen, Dosh and BK? The leaders of that rat pack are related to Jason Chua of FATPAP.

More evidence that Tan Wah Piow was fixed? Further to this where I told a story not reported by ST on the way the glass splinters fell in the case, a regular reader who is knowledgable about the period commented on the “lock” that made the SG look like a cock.

The ST reporter who covered the case was the late Ben Davidson. He did an outstanding job giving great details. One glaring piece of evidence clearly in the defendants’ favour was ignored by the judge. The Solicitor-General (later High Court judge) Wahab Ghows produced the lock of the room in question as evidence to show that it would only lock from the inside. When the judge ordered it be demonstrated, the reverse was true, much to the consternation of the audience and the Court. If this is not sufficient evidence of the veracity of the defence case, I do not know what will be.



1970s soap resumes

In Uncategorized on 31/01/2016 at 7:16 pm

Did ex NTUC sec-gen, PAP MP fabricate evidence, perverting the course of justice?

So Tan Wah Piow is trying his luck, and rightly so. Judge Jennifer Marie’s remarks on Phey Yew Kok, former NTUC secretary-general and a PAP MP, during his sentencing:

The facts reveal that Phey, like a serial criminal, systematically and with deliberation over a period of six years, perpetrated these offences. He had no qualms in trying to evade detection and had the temerity to instigate his staff to fabricate false evidence.” (Emphasis mine)

chimes reasonably with what Tan claimed many yrs ago when he was on trial.

During the trial of Tan and two others, the state led evidence of how the three accused, together with five others trespassed the office of Singapore Pioneer Industries Employees’ Union (PIEU) and rioted and damaged union property. The defence argued that the riot was a “fix” by Phey, the then General Secretary of PIEU. He had political motives for the frame-up, the defence alleged.

Following Phey’s recent sentencing to 60 months in jail, Tan has sent a letter to the Attorney-General Chambers asking for the convictions in 1975 against him and another two individuals to be quashed in view of the conviction against former NTUC secretary-general and People’s Action Party Member of Parliament, Phey Yew Kok on 22 January.

Tan’s defence reported by ST then can be found here

But ST never reported which way the glass splinters fell.

A few yrs after the trial, I met an ex-reporter. He either covered the story or nad followed it closely: I can’t remember which.

He told me the defence led evidence (which was not challenged by the prosecution, he told me) that glass splinters from the windows shattered outwards not inwards as one would expect if force was applied from the outside. (Tan was outside everyone agreed.). The defence used this to claim that someone inside the office smashed the windows, then put the blame on Tan and gang. Btw, A few yrs after I was told this story, the teller  joined the civil service admin service, serving with distinction, before moving on to the private sector.

For the record, the presiding judge TS Sinnathuray died a few days before the sentencing of Phey. He was retired but had been a High Court judge, something Tan predicted after he was found guilty. But to be fair, it’s the usual practice for the most senior judge of the lower courts to become a High Court judge. An exception was JBJ. He was offered the post of High Court registrar. He resigned from the legal service.

Coming back to Tan’s claim, already the PAPpy vermin are rubbishing him* while the cybernuts and TOC are cheering him on.


*When my FB avatar posted the link giving the background info, the report was rubbished. He never got a response when he asked if the rubbisher if he tot ST was not telling the truth.

Mad Dog’s, Low’s fangals?

In Uncategorized on 31/01/2016 at 11:29 am

Or maybe these women admire or are inspired by by Ah Lian, Mrs Chiam and Auntie Sylvia? Or put off by HoHoHo, Grace Fu and Jos Teo? Or both?

Or maybe they not brainwashed, not having done NS?

Swing voters who chose the opposition in Singapore’s general election last September mainly consisted of women who had an average age of 38, according to survey findings revealed by the Institute of Policy Studies on Wednesday.

Speaking at the IPS symposium about her findings on the demographics of voters, researcher Zhang Weiyu noted that the actual percentage of swing voters in the past election was 5 per cent. [I think this should be 5 points. If so another cock academic from IPS who doesn’t know difference between 5% and 5 oercentage points. But then so does an education minister.

Most of the ones who swung to the opposition lived in either one to two room HDB flats or four room HDB flats, and most of them ranked “having different voices in Parliament” as a top concern, the survey found.