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Posts Tagged ‘ASEAN’

The next row with Indons

In Environment, Indonesia on 21/09/2016 at 4:45 am

Haze is Indonesia’s retaliation for helping Google avoid Indon taxes

Taz the line that the Indon VP or Indon minister will take soon.

Because Google uses S’pore as tax haven to avoid paying Indon taxes, Indons will keep on burning and killing 2,200 S’poreans a year*, a senior Indon official is sure to say. Never mind a lot more Indons are killed by haze.


Btw, expect the cybernuts from The Idiots – S’pore (or TISG) and TRE to start screaming that the PAP govt is allowing S’poreans to die so that Google can make money. And they’ll cheer on Indonesia as they cheered on Pinoy chief gangster for dissing S’pore.

——————————————————————————————————

This is what CNA, part of the constructive, nation-building media reported

Indonesia plans to pursue Alphabet Inc’s Google for five years of back taxes, and the search giant could face a bill of more than US$400 million for 2015 alone if it is found to have avoided payments, a senior tax official said.

Most of the revenue generated in the country is booked at Google’s Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. Google Asia Pacific declined to be audited in June, prompting the tax office to escalate the case into a criminal one, Hanif said.

“Google’s argument is that they just did tax planning,” Hanif said. “Tax planning is legal, but aggressive tax planning – to the extent that the country where the revenue is made does not get anything – is not legal.”

The tax office will summon directors from Google Indonesia who also hold positions at Google Asia Pacific, Hanif said, adding that it is working with the Indonesian police.

Already Google  has come under scrutiny from Australian authorities for paying tax in Singapore on advertising revenue generated in Australia, where the corporate tax rate is 30%.

Btw, Indons are saying Nasi Goreng is not a S’porean dish. http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-37408343


*A study that estimates there were 2,200 premature deaths in Singapore due to the 2015 haze crisis is “not reflective of the actual situation”, the country’s Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Monday (Sep 19). The study by researchers from Harvard and Columbia universities in the US also said there were more than 100,000 premature deaths caused by transboundary haze from Indonesian forest fires. 

CNA

 

 

 

 

 

Failed: Obama’s Asian policy

In China on 15/09/2016 at 5:31 am

On the eve of Obama’s recent trip to Asia, the FT analysed his “Pivot to Asia” policy. It was not a flattering piece.

In the comments these (among money) appeared pouring more scorn on him and his Asian policy.

NCFOM

I hardly believe that anyone of substance will pay much attention to Mr. Obama and his seemingly thoughtful comments knowing fully well that he cannot deliver. Rhetorics like those of Mr. Obama usually falls flat in Asia amidst basic bread and butter issues. When you load polluted air and water into the equation, the place started to resemble cesspool of human existence. It is hardly a place to nod your head in agreement with in appropriate Pbama speech laced with lofty ideas. He never learned that and that’s why most of these leaders would be either resentful being in his company or laughing behind him. This is a tragedy of Greek proportion.

I feel bad for the guy but I cannot offer any sympathy for his gross leadership failure across the board. His ill-preparation and execution of the US presidency will go down as one of the worst. His cowardice is astounding. If I were him I would not speak about any pivot business. I would just attend some social and philanthropic functions.

He has become the ultimate symbol of unfulfilled promise.

Hear, hear.

 Hollow Man 

 
@NCFOM Nicely said! As someone who voted for him in 2008 (but stayed home in 2012) I’ve thought back to what made me do it. I’ve concluded it was just the brazen mendacity of the GWB Administration, nothing more. McCain, then still foaming in the mouth with war lust, was a variant of that.

But of Obama himself, I knew little. I have watched in disbelief as he moved gradually, incrementally, professorially, unimaginatively, unexceptionally, these last eight history-bending years. Even his “lofty”, “soaring” oratory is really cut-rate stuff, just curlicues in the air that dribble away no sooner than they have been uttered. (There isn’t a line from any of his speeches that can compare with the best from FDR, JFK,even  RR.) He has spent all of 2016 polishing his unmemorable legacy. And he leaves the country in a sourer, more mean-spirited mood than at any time I can remember.

Or this may be all I can expect from my adoptive country. I only have to remember the seventeen candidates who stood on the stage in the Republican primary debates…

But Obama poked China in the eye wuth this comment when China failed to give him VVIP treatment.

“We’ve got a lot of planes, a lot of helicopters, a lot of cars and a lot of guys,” he said. “If you are a host country, sometimes it may feel a bit much.”

http://www.economist.com/news/china/21706433-lows-and-highs-worlds-most-important-bilateral-relationship-g20-leaders-meet-china

This is interesting: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-37269719

Duterte receives horse’s head

In Uncategorized on 04/09/2016 at 5:01 am

We cropped out the horse head for all the squeamish folks out there. You're welcome.

OK not on his bed but in his home city of  Davao where his daughter is the mayor.

And OK it’s not a horse’s head but 14 dead bodies.

— At least 14 people have been killed in a bomb attack in the home city of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. 

Dozens more were wounded in the explosion at a packed market in the southern city of Davao.

A presidential spokesman said investigators had found shrapnel from a mortar-based improvised explosive device (IED) at the scene.

— The Abu Sayyaf militant group was responsible for a bomb attack in the home city of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte which killed at least 14 people, the government has said.

BBC reports

Well it could easily be narco lords fed-up with him.

Let’s see if he really has balls or is like the film producer in the Godfather.

Indons speaking with fork tongues again

In Environment, Internet on 25/07/2016 at 1:14 pm

Indon VP asking for neighbours’ help in fighting the fires. But he seems to have forgotten that Indon officials have said they don’t need help.

Worse, while complaining that S’pore was trying to punish Indon cos for the fires, it has stopped investigating them

Indonesia’s efforts in tackling forest fires came into question when 15 out of 18 companies suspected of being responsible for the forest fires last year got off the hook with the law.

On Thursday, detik.com reported that the district police in Riau will be stopping investigations on the 15 companies due to the lack of evidence.

“It does not fulfil the elements of intent nor negligence, so we decide to stop investigating the cases,” said Senior Commissioner Rivai Sinambela, Director for Special Criminal Investigation, Riau police district.

Commissioner Rival said that the fires happened on land which have conflicting ownership with the community, and not on areas belonging to the companies.

In 2015, police began investigations on 18 companies suspected of causing forest fires, but only three went to the courts. The three companies PT Langgam Inti Hibrindo, PT Palm Lestari Makmur and PT Wahana Subur Sawit were eventually acquitted.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/indonesia-calls-on/2980490.html

Chinese with Pinoy Muslim blood

In China on 18/07/2016 at 5:13 am

Sulu King Paduka Batara visited China to pay tribute to the emperor in 1417. This was not uncommon for SE Asian rulers of the time. The first sultan of Malacca, a refugee FT from S’pore (He was originally from Sumatra, came here and killed the ruler before fleeing to Malacca), did the same.


Paying tribute in the Chinese tradition was different from that practiced by the Romans and other Westerners. In the West, the weaker side paid up big time.

In the Chinese tradition, tribute was more of an exchange of gifts. While the emperor’s “power” was acknowledged through tribute, in return the emperor gave lavish gifts to show his power. For the Romans and other Westerners, the acceptance of tribute meant that the givers were not going to subject to pillage and plunder. That was the return gift.

Still think Chinese smarter than ang mohs? More civilised certainly.

—————————–

He treated the trip as a holiday, bringing along both his wives.

Paduka died on his way home — in Dezhou City in Shandong province. The emperor gave the king a burial “as formal as for a Chinese king”: no other foreign king were given such an honour. The path to the king’s tomb is marked with the same features as those for Chinese royalty with stone tablets, royal monuments and sculptures. The tomb is preserved as a national historical monument.

Paduka’s two sons – Wenhali and Antulu –remained behind to tend to their father’s tomb. They married Chinese women.

Today, there are descendants of these two Filipino princes in China, with the family names Wen and An. 200 of them live in Dezhou City and close to 4,000 are scattered all over China.

Source: http://www.filipiknow.net/paduka-pahala-ancient-sulu-king-buried-in-china/

Dumb China, Smart US: Real significance of the ruling

In China on 14/07/2016 at 7:46 am

The UN tribunal in The Hague said there was “no legal basis” for China’s claim to most of the South China Sea laid out on maps by the “nine-dash line”.

Uncle Redbean and the other S’porean friends of China (think the nuts from TRELand) are screaming out their lungs at the unfairness of it. One major point of unhappiness is that the US has not ratified the Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), so why should China be bound by it, as the US insists China should be? They got a point if “Might is not right” in international affairs.

The technical answer is that China and the Philippines (and the other countries that have disputes in the area with China) signed the convention and are bound by it because they signed it. The US has no dispute with China and is just being its usual kaypoh hegemonic self.

The snarky answer is that China is really dumb, something that its S’porean admirers refuse to even think about (“The sun shines from China’a ass”, as it does from the asses of Roy, s/o JBJ, Mad Dog Chee etc)). Why did it sign UNCLOS in the first place if it thinks it’s a tua kee like the US?

The US refuses to sign UNCLOS because it refuses to play by the rules of sua kes like the UN and PinoyLand. It reserves the right to do what it thinks is right (Usually this means “Might is right”).

But China did sign up and now refuses to abide by a decision of its highest tribunal. Why so stupid?

After the ruling the Chinese said  China respects “freedom of navigation and over flight enjoyed by all states under international law in the South China Sea” and that it stands ready to ensure “unimpeded access to international shipping lanes”.

This is meaningless because “The Chinese effectively say that freedom of navigation is guaranteed [in the South China Sea] because we grant it. Our position is that freedom of navigation is not for you to grant,” said Kurt Campbell, former assistant secretary of state for East Asia. (Extract from FT)

The tribunal ruled that China has no legal basis to grant anything because there was “no legal basis” for China’s claim to most of the South China Sea laid out on maps by the now-famous “nine-dash line”

Btw, the same is true of the air space in the area.

Map showing the South China Sea

It’s a crinimal under international law. And if it plays rough, the US navy is itching to beat up the Chinks. It has two carrier groups in the area.

The US may also seize the US treasury bonds that the Chinese hold if the navies start shooting at each other? Bonds that the chinese bot so that the US could afford to buy the products of Chinese factories.

Ang mohs supposed to be stupid, Chinese subtle. Looks line the exception is when the Chinese are the leaders from PRC.

But the good news for China is that Obama is a certified wimp as Assad proved. He does all he can to make America weak.

Update at 8.00am: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2016/07/economist-explains-12

 

Asean loves Starbucks

In Uncategorized on 12/07/2016 at 2:49 pm

But first fin a fun fact. From NYT Dealbool:

Starbucks Has More Customer Money on Cards Than Many Banks Have in Deposits The coffee giant had $1.2 billion loaded onto Starbucks cards and its mobile app as of the first quarter of 2016.

Duterte will be impeached

In Emerging markets on 09/07/2016 at 4:44 am

Leni Robredo, the Pinoy vice-president, is a member of the Manila elite that Duterte despises and which despises him as it did Estrada.

As the Economist put it a few weeks ago:

His anti-establishment campaign may also hamper him: having run against the political elite, he now must govern with them. In Mr Duterte many see echoes of Mr Estrada, another populist outsider elected on an anti-corruption platform. His presidency lasted just under 18 months: he was impeached for graft, and resigned after the army withdrew its support.

A similar future may lie in store for Mr Duterte.

The article goes on to say

During the campaign some speculated that Mr Aquino’s Liberal Party (LP) machine would throw its support behind Ms Poe once it became clear that Mr Roxas could never win. Instead party grandees are rumoured to prefer impeachment, particularly if the LP candidate, Leni Robredo, wins the vice-presidency, and would become president on Mr Duterte’s departure. As The Economistwent to press she had a narrow lead.

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21698684-new-strongman-president-may-prevent-philippines-becoming-economic-star-fist

So what will Duterte do when he’s impeached? Just call the impeachers names? Or call out the murder squads?

Whatever, PinoyLand is not a good place to invest in.

S’pore, Asean on risky list

In Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia on 06/07/2016 at 1:54 pm

Indonesia and PinoyLand head the list, HK is a pretty safe place.

CrossBorder Capital said its Emerging Markets Risk Index fell sharply in May and is now at its lowest level since 2012, having peaked in early 2015.

This measure is based on three components: financing risk, which measures the ability of EM entities to roll over their debt; forex risk, driven by the quality of liquidity in a country and how dependent it is on central bank money; and exposure risk, which flashes a warning sign if a high proportion of investment in a country is in risk assets such as equities and corporate debt, rather than lower-risk government bonds and cash.

FT

Pinoy president is either wacko or a great mind

In Uncategorized on 25/06/2016 at 5:57 am

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of feeble minds”

Henry David Thoreau

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/waltwhitma132584.html

Duterte … draws support from the Philippine left wing and has close ties with the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Jose Sison, under whose leadership the CPP waged a Maoist-influenced guerrilla insurgency and who has been in exile in the Netherlands since 1987. Duterte has welcomed Sison’s plans to return home. Although government negotiations with the CPP since 2011 are currently at an impasse, Duterte is more likely to reach an agreement with the CPP and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA)

….

Former President Fidel Ramos, who served from 1992 to 1998, was an early supporter of Duterte and has been influential in pushing pragmatic policy choices. Ramos’ influence is positive as his tenure was marked by an economic transformation in the Philippines as well as a significant outreach to the NPA and Muslim rebel movements. Ramos appointees now holding Cabinet posts include peace process adviser Jesus Dureza, who held this post under Ramos.

http://www.rsis.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/CO16145.pdf?utm_source=getresponse&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=rsis_publications&utm_content=RSIS+Commentary+145%2F2016+President+Duterte%3A+A+Different+Philippine+Leader+by+Barry+Desker+

Duterte’s priorities are domestic. Law and order, anti-corruption and crushing the drug problem are at the top of his agenda.

Fall of BSI and Goldie rainmaker: From heroes to zeroes

In Banks, Malaysia on 14/06/2016 at 1:17 pm

How a 143-Year-Old Swiss Bank Took a Quick Road to Ruin in Asia When a rainmaker left RBS Coutts with 70 colleagues for BSI, a small Swiss bank looking to get big in a hurry, it set off a chain of events that thrust the bank into the center of the financial scandal involving 1MDB.

NYT Dealbook

And here’s how a Goldman Sacks partner, whose wife called Rosmah Najib (FLOM or self-styled First Lady of M’sia) a friend, became a zero

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-30/the-rise-and-fall-of-tim-leissner-goldman-s-big-man-in-malaysia

Markets: Frontier, Emerging

In Emerging markets on 27/05/2016 at 3:49 pm

Chart: Pakistan price earnings

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?

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.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36206608

OCBC pays price for biz model

In Banks on 03/05/2016 at 10:16 am

While

United Overseas Bank (UOB) posted a 4.4 per cent fall in first-quarter net profit, as lower wealth management fees and trading income more than offset higher net interest income. (CNA)

OCBC had a 14 per cent decline in quarterly net profit. Unlike UOB and DBS it has adopted a bankassurance model which depends on income from its life insurance division.

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC), Singapore’s second-biggest lender, announced on Friday (Apr 29) a 14 per cent decline in quarterly net profit, as its insurance income dipped and allowances rose.

For the three months ended March, net profit was S$856 million, down from S$993 million a year ago.

Profit from its life assurance unit plummeted 58 per cent, a fall of S$116 million, largely due to unrealised mark-to-market losses from subsidiary Great Eastern Holdings’ bond and equity investment portfolio, the bank said.

Wealth management income, comprising income from insurance, private banking, asset management, stockbroking and other wealth management products, was down 17 per cent to S$482 million, from S$583 million a year ago. (CNA)

DBS’s results should be a lot closer to UOB’s than OCBC’s, unless there’s something really nasty at DBS’s Indonesian business.

 

Avoid this Asean airport

In Airlines, Tourism on 23/04/2016 at 6:05 am

Part of the ceiling at a terminal at Ninoy Aquino collapsed on passengers earlier this year, while just this month thousands of travellers were stranded and left in the dark for hours due to a blackout. The government has said that Manila will have to wait two decades for a new airport, which may be part funded by Japan’s aid agency.

FT

AirAsia is tua kee

In Airlines on 22/04/2016 at 1:08 pm

It’s one one in three of these markets

El Nino: End in sight?

In Environment, Indonesia on 21/04/2016 at 10:30 am

Pinoys big time money launderers

In Banks, Casinos on 19/03/2016 at 5:39 am

Brazen Heist of Millions Puts Focus on the PhilippinesThe country’s lightly regulated casinos and tough bank secrecy laws had prompted warnings from the United States and money-laundering experts before the theft.

The Philippine authorities cannot say what happened to the $81m sent to their country. Much of the money disappeared in its opaque casinos, which they say are not covered by rules to prevent money laundering (a worry in itself). The CCTV system at a bank branch where some of the money was withdrawn was not working.

(Economist)

What regions have outperformed

In Emerging markets, Financial competency on 11/03/2016 at 6:41 am

Chart: stock market returns data

FT reports

Capital Economics notes the recent outperformance of EM equities in Latin America and in emerging Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and expects emerging Asia to join the party soon. Valuations there are not high, it notes, and many economies in the region have relatively bright growth prospects.

Grass is greener here for Asean FTs?

In Economy, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam on 05/03/2016 at 9:53 am

Look at the ptoblems they have getting jobs ar home.

In Asean, S’pore, M’sia are creditor friendly

In Indonesia, Malaysia on 04/03/2016 at 2:30 pm

Bye-bye haze, welcome rain

In Commodities, Environment, Indonesia on 22/02/2016 at 7:25 am

This month has been unseasonably wet even by pre El Nino norms. Well it seems this report that El Nino is coming round earlier this yr is wrong.

The latest thinking is that El Niño passes its peak while La Niña is possible this year.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35612558

What is La Nina?

Whatever, VivianB will be not screaming at the Indons this yr. There’ll be lrss hot air coming from the Indons. And Mad Dog Chee can brown-nose the Indons without upsetting S’poreans like me.

Wefie: Ah Loong and friends

In Humour on 19/02/2016 at 2:42 pm

Couldn’t Ah Loong show a photo with some other leaders on his Facebook page . The other three are the Cambodian PM, Vietnamese PM and Laotian deputy: all countries where “democracy” is a really dirty word. If the Thai PM were in the pix, it would really look bad for us and Ah Loong because I’m sure the SDP and the other anti-PAP nuts would label it the “Five Asean dictators”, which is unfair to Ah Loong and us.

Equities: Where we are tops in Asia

In Financial competency on 18/02/2016 at 7:34 am

Chart: Comparable valuations for major indices

Best payouts, Middking ROEs. But who cares, payouts matter in this environment, nothing else does )))

Perspective on S’poreans’ Debt, Leverage

In Economy, Financial competency on 13/02/2016 at 2:45 pm

PAPpies will say no worries, as assets cover debts. But that sounds like what the highly leveraged tycoons said before 1997, 2008 and the credit crunches in the 60s, and 70s and 80s.

And in a deflationary world, the notion of “safe as houses” doesn’t work as an investment thesis. You will pay and pay while the property value depreciates.

Update on 16 Feb at 7’ooam: Debt is eternal.

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.

La Nina and commodities/ Can you still smell the haze?

In Commodities, Environment, Indonesia, Malaysia on 09/01/2016 at 6:12 am

Map: effects of La Nina on commodities

I can still smell the haze i.e, the fires are still burning but at a much lower level of intensity, enabling the Indon authorities tp pretend that they’ve stopped the fires.

The haze season will begin in Feb

Indons can’t BS us in 2016

In Environment, Indonesia on 01/01/2016 at 1:07 pm

We got a spy in the sky.

Singapore’s TeLEOS-1 satellite, now in orbit some 500km above the Equator, takes pictures with a 1-metre resolution when it passes the neighbourhood once every 100 minutes or so.

http://kementah.blogspot.sg/2015/12/singapores-teleos-1-satellite-can-serve.html

Meanwhile in Indonesia, the haze and mirrors’ game continues: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35203609

“The strongest El Nino weather cycle on record” is happening right now http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35159826

Only in M’sia

In Airlines, Malaysia on 31/12/2015 at 2:08 pm

Hindus own Sharia compliant airline

Indian media reports say the airline’s founders, Ravi Alagendrran and his wife Karthiyani Govindan, are Hindus, though this could not be independently confirmed.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35173710

KL airport that cock meh?

In Airlines, Malaysia, Uncategorized on 12/12/2015 at 1:19 pm

Two cock-ups by KL airport

The South China Morning Post reports that Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Malaysia has just come across three ancient 747s that have been sitting on its tarmac for over a year. It says it has no idea who left them there.

What is most surprising about this story, other than the chutzpah of the 747s’ owner, is that KLIA can’t trace the operators. All aircraft are supposed to be logged with a national authority, so one wouldn’t think it could be that hard. The Post says that the airport has contacted a “so-called owner” without response. Malaysians now know where to head next time they have an old banger to dispose of.

Economist blog

The latest is that

An air cargo company in Malaysia says it owns three Boeing 747 jets which officials said were left unclaimed at Kuala Lumpur airport.

Swift Air Cargo says it has been trying to retrieve them, but Malaysia Airports disputes its paperwork.

Only in M’sia. After all this is country where the PM refuses to disclose who deposited US$700m, and where he can still remain PM.

Najib owes China big time

In Malaysia on 28/11/2015 at 5:07 pm

So the Chinese in M’sia will under the protection of the Chinese ambassador who has spoken out against anti-Chineseracism

It’s rare to see the Malaysian ringgit rise against the US dollar – especially given its performance this year – down some 18%.

Even more curious that it happened while regional currencies like the Indonesian rupiah and Thai baht continued to fall.

Research houses are also upgrading their forecasts for Malaysia’s stock markets and the economy.

So what’s driving all this positivity?

Well, in part it is thanks to the sale of the energy assets at one of Malaysia’s most notorious institutions: IMDB.

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) is a state investment fund set up in 2009 and was supposed to turn Kuala Lumpur into a financial hub. But it is currently on a fragile financial footing.

Now, 1MDB has sold one of it, and Malaysia’s, most coveted power assets, Edra Global Energy, to China General Nuclear for $2.3bn (£1.5bn).

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34918740

Want Thai wives?

In Uncategorized on 28/11/2015 at 3:12 am

Don’t play play.

These ang mohs had Thai wives and Phuket properties. Their wives cheated them.

British expat Ian Rance and Irishman Colin Vard are now living almost penniless with their children on the outskirts of Bangkok as they struggle against overwhelming odds to recover properties they bought on Phuket. Both men lost all their investments through frauds that neither of them imagined were possible.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34346620

The wives (exs?) are now in jail but that’s little consolation to their husbands and children.

PAP voters are like M’sian Malays?

In Malaysia on 24/11/2015 at 5:15 am

When TRE republished this, there was an interesting response from a reader comparing the M’sian and S’pore body politick. I like the comparison (“similarity” a better word?) between the majorities in both countries. And do read the last para, it’s a gem.

Daemonic:

The Malaysian political/judicial/economic system as it is today is in a mess. Forward looking Malaysian Muslims are aware and deeply concerned so much so that some are joining the DAP, a supposedly Chinese dominated party.

But the majority of the Muslims are either apathetic, unconcerned or too brain-washed by their leaders (political and/or religious) to understand the issues. Unfortunately, here lies the similarity between them and many Singaporeans.

If the DAP succeeds in showing Malaysians that a country can be ruled with competence, accountability and transparency (their proposed CAT system of governance) then it will be a blessings for all Malaysians, present and future.

But there is a lot of caveats. Can the DAP itself avoid the scourge of corruption from appearing among its own leaders and ranks? Can it avoid the stigma of being a “Chinese controlled” party amongst the Malays? Can it convinced the majority Malays that it does not have any hidden agenda but is a truly credible and competent party?

Again here-in lies similarities between the DAP and our opposition parties. Can our opposition parties maintain a high level of integrity and competency once voted in? For those not yet in parliament, do they have hidden vendetta and are truly out to serve the people (or themselves)?

The difference between Singapore and Malaysia is that we are not in as big a mess as they are. But it is scary to see the same level of complacency amongst the majority from both countries. One majority made up by race while the other made up by political affiliation.

Here’s how confusing the situation is there http://www.asiasentinel.com/politics/could-malaysia-najib-pull-off-snap-election/ that an ang moh thinks that Najib will call a GE soon.

My Facebook avater responded: He’s got 2 and a half yrs in office unless UMNO kicks him out.. If he goes for GE and loses, likely to be prosecuted. Waz that in the context context of adding two and a yrs more?

I’ll add that even if he (or rather his wife otherwise knowwn as FLOM: First Lady of M’sia) wants to double down and wins a GE, he might not last another five yrs. UMNO could still kick him out. And if he (or rather FLOM ) wants to call GE and the IMNO regional leaders disagree, he’ll be out of a job. This ang moh talks cock.

Somewhat related Post: We forgot these lions

Haze: Season begins in Feb 2016

In Environment, Indonesia, Uncategorized on 22/11/2015 at 1:08 pm

Not in Aug/ Sept as is traditionally the case.. Or even like a few yrs back in May.

Enjoy the haze-free environment. Not that long more before next season begins.

This is what i posted a few weeks ago

The Indons tell us the fires will cease by the end of Neovember: rains are late this yr leh. What they don’t tell us: Louis Verchot of the Centre for International Forestry Research warns that El Niño may yet induce a second burning season, next February and March. Lax laws are part of the problem. Even more serious are official incompetence and corruption, which have allowed plantations to keep spreading on land that is supposed to be off-limits. A regional treaty designed to combat the haze was drawn up in 2002 that was full of grand promises but lacked teeth.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/11/daily-chart-3

China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ good for S’pore

In China, Economy on 21/11/2015 at 1:12 pm

Others see a spurt of investment into regions that are already close trading partners with China. Singapore, the trading hub for Southeast Asia, could capture some of the flow.

“The country’s role as a major business, financial and trade hub for the Asia Pacific region will only be enhanced,” says Stuart Fuller of law firm King & Wood Mallesons.

(FT)

Related posts: Chinese pearls in Indonesia

S’pore’s balancing act

S’pore mercenary prick of region?

In Malaysia on 14/11/2015 at 5:16 am

Remember this outburst

The verbal sparring between Malaysia’s opposition lawmaker Tony Pua and Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large Bilahari Kausikan over whether Malaysian Chinese are delusional in trying to change the political system escalated today (Oct 9), after Mr Pua lashed out at Singapore, calling the Republic a “mercenary prick”.

“He did Singapore no favour by cementing the perception of his country as the mercenary prick of Southeast Asia … And they wonder why they have no friends,” the Democratic Action Party (DAP) lawmaker wrote on Facebook today. “I don’t care much if this was the view of some academic or armchair critic. But as the Ambassador-at-large, Mr Bilahari is a spokesman for Singapore.”

Funny for a senior member of a party whose leaders came to S’pore to report to one LKY when the DAP won power in Penang. Did the chief minister and his dad kowtow to Harry Lee?

Well so how come the DAP opposes S’pore type measure that the M’sian govt initiated

Pointing out that Singapore also has cash assistance policies, Prime Minister Najib Razak defended today (Nov 1) the Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) cash handout.

Mr Najib said Putrajaya was only looking after the interests of lower income groups and those in rural areas burdened by rising living costs.

“If Singapore can give cash aid, why can’t Malaysia also give out BR1M?” Mr Najib said in a speech at the Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) conference here.

Yes in deed, why not DAP?

S’pore faces tricky Sino-US balancing act

In China, Malaysia on 13/11/2015 at 4:53 am

“Malaysia faces tricky Sino-US balancing act”* was the headline of an ST story on an inside last Friday.

Actually the headline should be changed to “S’pore” and put on the front page to commemorate president Xi’s visit.

After all, we are a forward base for the US navy in all but name what with “Two US Navy (USN) Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs) will be forward deployed to Singapore in 2016, a senior USN official has confirmed.” http://www.janes.com/article/50936/usn-confirms-2016-as-starting-point-for-deploying-two-littoral-combat-ships-to-singapore

And we know don’t we that the US navy intends to challenge China’s claims that the South China Sea is China’s?

And we know that both the US and China are big trading and investment partners od S’pore.

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*Text: As the United States and Japan tussled with China over the wording of a concluding statement at an Asian security meeting in Kuala Lumpur this week, caught in the middle was host Malaysia.

Plans for a joint statement were eventually dropped by the Malaysian government due to disagreements over the disputed South China Sea. US and Japanese officials wanted to address Beijing’s island- building. Chinese officials resisted.

The episode illustrates the thin line Malaysia and other smaller South-east Asian states must walk in balancing ties with China and the US, especially since a US warship last week challenged the territorial limits around one of China’s man-made islands in the Spratly archipelago.

Malaysia’s biggest trading partner is China, according to Malaysian government statistics and, in contrast to other countries with competing claims to the South China Sea, such as the Philippines and Vietnam, it has typically played down concerns over China’s expanding military reach.

Nevertheless, US defence officials say Malaysia, along with other states in the region, has sought a greater US military presence to counter Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea.

“We see the increased demand… really across the board in the region,” said a senior US defence official. “Malaysia’s a good example.”

Yesterday, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter visited the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in the South China Sea, accompanied by Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, as he wrapped up a three-day stay in Kuala Lumpur. Mr Carter called the ship’s presence “a sign of the critical role that US military power plays in what is a very consequential region for the American future”.

US Marines and their Malaysian counterparts will also hold a joint amphibious training exercise next week in eastern Malaysia.

Malaysia has a long-standing arrangement to service and supply US military ships and aircraft as they pass through the region, making them frequent visitors to its ports. The number of US ship visits has steadily risen, from a handful per year in the early 2000s to more than 30 visits in 2011, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin this week highlighted the quandary for smaller states, saying he hoped nations outside the region would not raise tensions. “We will continue to engage China. We will continue to engage the US,” he said. “The fact that we are able to engage them and actually look at the reality… That is a clear message to the major powers out there.”

US and Western diplomats say they have been keen for several years for Malaysia to pay closer attention to mounting security challenges in the region, particularly from China. Chinese warships have staged regular patrols off James Shoal off the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo.

Diplomats and analysts who have viewed satellite images say Chinese coast guard ships now also maintain a semi-permanent presence at South Luconia Shoals, to the north of James Shoal.

“Malaysia’s role and importance in broader security issues, particularly the South China Sea, is only going to grow more strategic,” one Western diplomat said. “It is a matter of pushing and nudging them into doing the right thing, rather than expecting them to take a lead and confront China.”

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Haze: Help? What help?

In Environment, Indonesia on 10/11/2015 at 4:55 am

A new law introduced in Singapore this year that aims to drag Indonesia’s fire-starters through its own courts may make more difference. Retailers in the city-state have already stopped selling products made by some firms under investigation.

(Economist)

But otherwise our fire fighting team has returned and no new team is going out.

The Singapore team helping to fight haze-causing fires in Indonesia returned Saturday afternoon (Oct 24) after more than 10 days in Palembang.

The return marks the completion of the Singapore Armed Forces’ two-week deployment, as requested by Indonesian authorities.

A total of 40 SAF and Singapore Civil Defence Force troops were deployed on Oct 10.  A Chinook helicopter with a 5,000-litre heli-bucket was also deployed. Over the two weeks, it had discharged more than 400,000 litres of water and extinguished more than 50 hotspots in Sumatra.

(CNA)

This blog has been pretty critical about the Indon officials false pride and BS but if S’pore has not offered to send another team and another to help, then our help is really “peanuts” and not worth accepting in the first place.

More than 20,000 firefighters are battling blazes across its jungles and peatland. So our one-time help of 40 fire-fighters and some eqpt is “peanuts” by any standard,

But maybe we did offer to send another team (and then another), but the Indons refused our help?

But then I’m sure that our ministers would have made that fact public.

Next haze season begins in Feb 2016

In Environment, Indonesia on 08/11/2015 at 10:50 am

The Indons tell us the fires will cease by the end of Neovember: rains are late this yr leh. What they don’t tell us: Louis Verchot of the Centre for International Forestry Research warns that El Niño may yet induce a second burning season, next February and March. Lax laws are part of the problem. Even more serious are official incompetence and corruption, which have allowed plantations to keep spreading on land that is supposed to be off-limits. A regional treaty designed to combat the haze was drawn up in 2002 that was full of grand promises but lacked teeth. 

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/11/daily-chart-3

Haze: Why Indons getting serious

In Environment, Indonesia on 31/10/2015 at 11:06 am

A few days ago I wrote Haze: Huge Indon U-turn within a week

The Indon govt was changing its mind on calling a state of National Emergency despite saying it wasn’t on the cards a few days earlier.

The reason?

“Lately, clouds of haze have been drifting into the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, which normally escapes the smelly fumes. Cynics will wonder whether that helped persuade Mr Widodo to come home early,” Economist.

Widodo had cut short a US trip to deal with haze.

Haze is hitting the elite where it hurts, their home town and the place where upset people can make a difference.

 

Chinese pearls in Indonesia

In China, Indonesia, Infrastructure on 31/10/2015 at 5:06 am

China Communications Constructionis currently in the process of finalising a $2.5bn deal with the Indonesia Port Corporation to upgrade 30 ports in East Indonesia 70% financed by the China Dev Bank

 

Haze: Huge Indon U-turn within a week

In Environment, Indonesia on 29/10/2015 at 5:23 am

The British have a saying, “A week is a long time in politics.”

Yesterday CNA reported, Indonesia is considering declaring a national emergency over fires that have been smouldering across the archipelago for weeks, sending haze drifting across much of Southeast Asia, the vice president said on Tuesday.

The government would intensify efforts to contain the fires that have caused pollution levels across the region to spike to unhealthy levels, and forced school closures and flight cancellations, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said.

“The problem is too big,” Kalla said in an interview at his office in Jakarta.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/indonesia-considers/2221238.html

But on 21 October, Companies will benefit if haze problem declared national disaster: Indonesian minister

The annual haze problem in Indonesia is about injustice, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for politics, law and security Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said.

“When a company controls 2.8 million hectares of land, where is the justice? Then there are those that own 600,000 hectares of land but own not a single fire extinguisher,” he said in an interview in the Oct 25 issue of Tempo, an Indonesian weekly news magazine.

He explained authorities’ reluctance to declare the haze problem a national disaster, even though air pollution levels in some Indonesian cities have reached hazardous levels at more than 2,600 API.

“Should the government be dousing fires all the time? If we call it a national disaster, they will benefit from it,” he said, referring to land concession owners. “They have 500 million pounds sterling in London banks, but they demand that we douse the flames.”

(CNA)

The plantation owners could use  any declaration of a national emergency to declare force majeure on palm oil deals, even financing deals entered into with banks.

Haze: Only Indon officials do this

In Environment, Indonesia on 25/10/2015 at 4:23 am

Int’l conference of ministers in haze-ridden Padang.

Only Indon officials can be so cock. I assume that when this conference was scheduled, they tot the haze season would be over.

Correspondents … likely to be discussed at the talks is smoke from illegal forest burning in Indonesia that has blighted the air across much of South East Asia for several weeks.

Julie Bishop takes morning run before attending Indian Ocean Rim Association meetings in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia, 23 October 2015

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will hand on the chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to Indonesia at a meeting in West Sumatra.

IORA consists of 20 coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean and has been chaired by Australia since 2013.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-34612083

 

Haze: Indon govt protecting plantation cos

In Environment, Indonesia on 23/10/2015 at 4:48 am

Our govt has officially requested Jakarta to provide S’pore with the names of those companies that are causing the fires. This would allow S’pore to take legal action against those responsible for the haze that has covered us, M;sia and now southern Thailand.

But Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Luhut Pandjaitan has given us us the finger on the issue (and in so doing tells us that the plantation cos are being protected), despite Indonesian officials regularly blaming S’pore-based (and M’sian based) cos for the fires.

Speaking to the media here after delivering a public lecture on Monday (Oct 19), he said Jakarta might consider releasing the names of the companies after they have gone though the legal process in Indonesia*.

Jakarta has said it is not yet ready to officially disclose names of plantation companies responsible for the forest fires in the country that caused the haze in the region.

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Luhut Pandjaitan said releasing the names would create uncertainty within the country.

He added that the Indonesian government also do not want to create an uncertain situation within the country because of this. “Moving forward, they know that they are going to get punished by the government. I think this is very important.

“But next year, we have already given them a clear message: We are going to revoke their licence, no question about that. That I can assure you. They understand that fully.” 

(CNA)

So it seems that the companies are to be given yet another chance to avoid being named and shamed, and prosecuted here. Did money cdhange hands ?

Related post: Another Indon goof https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/haze-indons-forgot-about-el-nino/

——————————–

*Legal process, what legal process? He said: “Well, we are not protecting (plantation companies). Like I mentioned earlier, we have not officially submitted the names to the court. So how can we disclose them to the public? It’s unfair. We’ll wait for the court’s final decision.” 

How can courts decide if the names are not officially submitted? So Kafkaesque    of, relating to, or suggestive of Franz Kafka or his writings; especially :  having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre, or illogical quality <Kafkaesque bureaucratic delays>

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kafkaesque

Did money change hands?

 

Why Johor royals talking of secession?

In Malaysia, Property on 20/10/2015 at 6:47 am

Young Johor royals are getting noisier as the Federal govt ignores them and the noise could keep affecting us further.

The Crown Prince of Johor warned in an interview published on Oct 16 on a footie website (I kid you not) that the state has every right to secede from Malaysia if it finds a breach to the terms agreed upon its membership to the Federation of Malaysia

Four months ago, his younger brother Idris Sultan Ibrahim had also posted a warning on Instagram that the southern state may secede from Malaysia if the conditions upon which Johor had joined the Malaysian Federation are violated.

In the post, which was later deleted, he issued a reminder that the Johor government had joined the Malay Federation in 1946 on several conditions. These included: making Islam the religion of the state, the state’s absolute right over water and land issues, and the state royal house to have its own armed forces.

Remember the hike in the toll rate by M’sia last yr that took the S’pore govt by surprise (Ah Loong and Najib had a love-fest juz before the announcement)? S’pore matched this hike after waiting a few months. From Oct 1 last year a round trip rose from a few dollars to S$13 (the collapse of the M$ has reduced this recently by a little). Result? Less S’poreans do their shopping in Johor. The hikes cut the cost advantage significantly if one travelled by car. There are allegations that the prices of vegetables rose too because lorries have to pay the levy. Bus prices went up by as much as 50%, it seems.

The story I heard then from very reliable M’sian sources was that the Federal govt hiked the rate (knowing S’pore would follow) to cause problems for the sultan of Johor. It seems it wanted to send him a message not to try to grab power. There was a big row when a bill was introduced in the Johor legislature giving the sultan, in his own right, the power to appoint the head of a Johor state land agency. By convention such appointments are by the sultan acting on the advice of the chief minister.

The bill was then amended so that the head was appointed by the sultan acting on the advice of the chief minister.

The rise in the toll made life a lot harder for businesses that depended on S’poreans crossing over to spend their money on cheaper goods and services. This is not good for Johor and the royal family. And there is the added bonus of making Chinese voters repent: the MP of a large part of Iskandar is the DAP’s Lim Kit Siang, the hero of the M’sian Chinese.

But as the latest actions of the younger royals seem to indicate, royalty in Johor are  still upset with the Federal govt and who can blame them*? They are trying to take advantage of the 1MDB issue and the PM’s fight for political survival

Meanwhile Johor businesses continue to suffer.

The continuing row adds further pressure to property prices in Iskandar which is facing a glut of supply https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/iskandar-prices-off-a-cliff-already-stabilising/.

It seems the Chinese developers are already having second tots about the projects they announced so confidently earlier this year and late last year https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/how-many-waterfront-cities-will-eventually-be-built/ .  Johor royalty is involved in many of these Chinese projects.

Expect more noise from the young royals which will in turn affect property values in Iskandar. Who wants to buy property in a state threatening secession?

LKY got it about right when he asked why invest in Johor where the rules can suka suka be changed overnight?

——————-

*Despite another hike** in April this year https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/iskandar-developers-must-be-desperate/. S’pore hasn’t followed.

**Yet to be implemented I forgot to add. (Update at 1.30pm)

 

 

 

Haze: Indons forgot about El Nino?

In Indonesia on 19/10/2015 at 5:31 am

Update on 22 October: There is little possibility of rain before the end of November, said Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs.

When TRE republished https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/haze-indon-officials-that-cock-meh-double-confirm/ TKSS reminded of how the yearly wayang ends: the rains come and everybody is happy.

CI, it is quite obvious the games played.

We are in mid October which is the transition between mother nature’s season of south west and north east monsoon. In another month or so the North east monsoon takes over and rain will douse fires

Indonesians are probably thinking why not for PR, they don’t do it the rains will.
They already have a few months when fires were most productive in cleaning lands*.

Sadly TKSS and the Indon officials forget that we are likely not to see the usual weather pattern. The weather should be a lot cooler and rainier  by now but it isn’t. I’ve got two fans on and am bare-bodied as I write this at 5.00am.

The dry spell is likely to continue for a lot longer than usual. Remember that last November — January were pretty dry. This November — January could be worse.

The only good thing we can look forward to is that El Nino is followed by La Nina. and a couple of once-in-a-century floods in the space of a few months. Here’s hoping :a Ninacomes earlier than expected.

Related article https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/10/04/haze-la-nina-riding-to-the-rescue/

————————————

*He goes on: Map co-ordinates will lead to identification of culprits which will destroy those bureaucracies – income in Province and Capital. Just wondering how much monies are used to grease the system by plantation owners to have their annual bonfires?

It is up to Political Leaders of those affected countries to get Indonesia to the table and start the process of enforcement. Laws can be enacted with regimes of fines and even confiscation of land by Indonesia.

BUT IS THERE A RESOLVE TO DO IT?

1MDB: FBI examining Goldman Sachs

In Corporate governance, Malaysia on 16/10/2015 at 4:28 pm

NYT Dealbook:

Role of Goldman Sachs in 1MDB Transactions Under Scrutiny Investigators at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department have begun examining Goldman Sachs’s role in a series of transactions at 1Malaysia Development Berhad, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

 

M$ can fall further/ M’sia boleh

In Currencies, Malaysia on 10/10/2015 at 6:30 am

Using REER [real effective exchange rate] calculations which takes into account inflation means M$ could fall by another 32% to 5.59 to the US$.

Actually, this is a lot better than other Asean countries (ex S’pore).

So M’sians shouldn’t blame Rosmah or as she prefers to be know First Lady of M’sia (FLOM) for weak M$.

Haze: Indon officials that cock meh? Double confirm

In Environment, Indonesia on 09/10/2015 at 5:32 am

Further to this https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/haze-indon-officials-that-cock-meh/, I’ll let my fellow Facebookers speak for me on the u-turn in Indon policy

“Jakarta accepts foreign help to fight raging forest fires” ST today. Finally. Why didn’t they accept such offers weeks back when it was offered and when the situation was already hazardous? Was it pride or what? And here, neighbours numbering millions have been suffering due to the Indonesian government’s previous stance! Hopefully there will be some relief in the near future.”

“At last! They also accepted Russian help. If Russia did not offer assistance I doubt that their foolish pride would have allowed them to accept Singapore’s offer. But now that a huge country and P5 member is helping them it has become acceptable to accept an insignificant offer from a tiny neighbour. Another factor may be the impending ASEAN Summit which also entails meetings with Dialogue Partners. Their lack of capacity has been all too evident and they would have wanted to avoid criticism from world leaders.
‘In today’s ST page A6 there is a story about how the Indonesian government pressured major palm oil firms to roll back no deforestation pledges they made at the UN. I think this is actually a more important story than Jakarta’s belated acceptance of foreign assistance because it reveals something of the thinking and priorities of this Indonesian government.”

To the second comment, I’d add that there is a newspaper that a senior Indon official claimed that it turned down S’pore’s help initially because it didn’t want S’pore to claim credit for solving the problems.

Using that line of reasoning, one can assume that Indon officials will refuse to divulge the name of S’pore-based cos that it thinks is causing the haze. Doesn’t want S’pore to claim the credit for prosecuting them.

Which brings me to Terry Xu’s constructive suggestion to the S’pore govt.

“Zenata Putera, co-founder of local NGO, P.M Haze, said that while Indonesian authorities have said that there is a lack of information regarding the plots of land which companies own, NGOs have noted that such information is in fact available. He also said that it would be easier to work with the NGOs to resolve the haze-related issues than to go through the bureaucratic process.
What the Singapore government could probably do is to engage with the NGOs in Indonesia and to work out a plan to monitor errant companies. It could also help provide jobs for villagers who would be willing to work as firefighters and watchmen of the plantations to prevent fires or to testify against companies who run foul of the law.
The Singapore government has a duty to address the annual issue and to stop pushing the blame to “uneducated” villagers and companies that are almost never prosecuted in any way. The residents of Singapore deserves a better answer than being urged to bear with it and told that things are beyond our control.”

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/09/is-spore-helpless-about-the-haze-not-really/

What Terry Xu is saying is this, “By-pass the Indonesian govt, work with the Indon NGOs to identify the criminals”

Good suggestion but following it will get the Indon govt further upset with us. Indonesia is so protective of its sovereignty that it refuses to provide the map co-ordinates of the areas where it alleges S’pore cos are breaking its law, when our govt wants the info to prosecute the alleged burners.

In dealing with the haze problem, there no win-win possiblities, only a choice of lesser evils.

Haze: La Nina riding to the rescue?

In Environment, Indonesia on 04/10/2015 at 4:25 am

So the Indon officials say they don’t need our help despite the VP sayinfg S’pore should help and despite firefighters saying they lack eqpt. Allah is sending in La Nina earlier than expected.

Coming in 2016, El Nino’s other half: heavy rains among other things.

Map: effects of La Nina on commodities

Haze: Indon officials that cock meh?

In Indonesia on 03/10/2015 at 4:32 am

Indonesia has enough resources to fight the forest fires that are causing the haze in the region, and does not need the assistance offered by Singapore at this time, Indonesian officials told a Singapore delegation on Thursday (Oct 1). CNA

Strange as

— Tot Indon VP told S’pore to help, not juz bitch: OK he said Indon was open to help, but that implies that it needs help. So officials now saying he talk cock king?

— These fire fighters say they don’t have the resources to put out the fires in their area http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34341012

Haze, 9/11 & TOC

In Indonesia, Political governance on 28/09/2015 at 5:18 am

PM got really lucky on 9/11? Or did the 9th Immortal* use his newly acquired powers to fix the weather?

DSC_0080

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_0029

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine if 9/11 was as hazy as last Friday (Schools had to be closed and in the morning, the Pollutants Standards Index,PSI, hit 341- the highest level this year.). PM would most probably not have got the 10 point swing that had the anti-PAP cyberwarriors like Constance Singham choking on their venom from their fangs https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/social-activist-feminist-in-denial/. A five point swing would have been more likely, something which I tot probable based on my analysis that East Coast and Marine Parade would not fall, but Aljunied would repent

In the run up to 9/11, if the weather had been like that in the last week TOC (WP’s Hammer Online) would be pushing the line that the haze is almost all the fault of the PAP administration: like it did on Friday

The Singapore government has a duty to address the annual issue and to stop pushing the blame to “uneducated” villagers and companies that are almost never prosecuted in any way. The residents of Singapore deserves a better answer than being urged to bear with it and told that things are beyond our control.”

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/09/is-spore-helpless-about-the-haze-not-really/

I’ll go into what the Hammer Online TOC wants the govt to do one of these days. But until then bear in mind that anti-PAP cyberwarriors accused the govt of using salt to induce rain juz before F1. When the govt denied this, TOC said the govt was being less than open because the M’sians and Indons might have used salt to induce rain (Wow everything blame PAP isit?). Btw, TOC and the anti-PAP cyberwarriors didn’t use the the word “salt”. They used the term “sodium chloride”. To make the seeding sound more “sinister”?

It’s stories like this that “double confirm” the PAP administration’s assertion that TOC is indeed “political” and worthy of being hantamed, left, right and in the balls. When it was “gazetted” yrs ago, I tot the action unfair: now I’m not so sure.(Disclosure: I helped out at TOC when Ravi was chief editor,)

TOC doesn’t respect the decision of 70% of voters to support the PAP? It like, Dr Chee, wants the 30% to rule over the 70% isit?

“At home, anger at the current political situation is palpable [Huh? OK on TRE] and some have resorted to action [TRE cybernuts are shoutong obscenities and cursing their fellow S’poreans? Nothing unusual there.] . If the PAP is content to label this group of citizens as the ‘noisy minority’, … For these people, the prospect of being unable to bring about political change through the ballot box* only makes the PAP’s claim of legitimate power sound dangerously vacuous.”

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/will-the-real-sdp-dr-chee-pls-stand-up/

(He forgot that over the years this 30% of voters have been able to get the support of swing voters in Hougang, Aljunied and Punggol East. Juz because the SDP can’t win, doesn’t mean that others can’t. Go ask the WP. Yes, it’s an uneven field, but winning is not impossible. Takes time, patience and maturity: virtues that Dr Chee may not have.

Yes the minority has rights, but so does the 70%. Democracy is not about majoritism, but neither is it about dictatorship by the minority.

Here’s an extract (emphasis mine) from a BBC article that Doc Chee and TOC should bear in mind when demanding that the views of the 30% must prevail (because the 30% agrees with their “right” views?)

Clem Attlee’s Labour government had a massive Commons majority and an undoubted mandate, but had only 16 peers in the Lords. Theoretically, their Lordships could have frustrated Attlee at every turn, throwing out or wrecking every bill in their programme, but that would have risked retaliation in the form of outright abolition – so, instead, a deal was struck.

Peers would not oppose measures promised – “foreshadowed” – in the government’s manifesto, and therefore assumed to have the endorsement of the electorate, at second or third Reading. In other words, the government would get the legislation it had promised to voters, and therefore would not have to get bogged down in an Asquith-style struggle with the Lords – Addison was a veteran of the Asquithian Liberal Party, and would doubtless have preferred not to repeat its epic battles with peers.

Cranborne spelled the new doctrine out in the debate on the King’s Speech in July 1945:

“Whatever our personal views, we should frankly recognise that these proposals were put before the country at the recent general election and the people of this country, with full knowledge of these proposals, returned the Labour Party to power. The government may, therefore, I think, fairly claim that they have a mandate to introduce these proposals. I believe it would be constitutionally wrong, when the country has so recently expressed its view, for this House to oppose proposals which have been definitely put before the electorate.”

He reserved “full liberty of action” on legislation not included in an election manifesto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-34340715

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*Funny that no-one has accused LKY of using his unearthly powers to transform Oppo votes into PAP votes. But Uncle Redbean comes close.

The final result was just too incredible and unbelievable. This must be the biggest mystery of this GE. It was like a strange event in the Bermuda Triangle that defied all logic and reasons. How could a SDP team that was technically superior or at worst equal to the PAP team lost so badly?

Call it a miraculous win for the PAP team. The other mystery must be the near loss of the WP team in Aljunied GRC. The voters could not switch camp just like that, and without a big crisis. The AHPETC was no crisis but a red herring. The voters of Aljunied were not so daft not to see it to affect their voting decision.

Yes, the truth is stranger than fiction.

http://mysingaporenews.blogspot.sg/2015/09/the-sdp-team-that-could-not-have-lost.html

I’m sure that he, like Goh Meng Seng, believes that UFOs are aliens visiting.

 

 

 

 

M’sia: Why Cina & Kelang bitching

In Indonesia, Malaysia on 26/09/2015 at 1:02 pm

And why the Malay ultras think that they are ingrates.

BN wastes reserves defending ringgit

Big Asean stk mkt falls

In Indonesia, Malaysia on 25/09/2015 at 1:15 pm

Global-stock-markets-chart

Remember MayBank Kim Eng says Thailand and S’pore mkts most resilient in region.

VivianB’s other folly: F1

In Economy, Tourism on 20/09/2015 at 11:20 am

Dr Chee rightly put down the guy who sneered at the elderly poor (Pioneer Package was PM’s way of saying sorry?) by reminding everyone who was responsible for overspending on the Kiddie Games by S$300m. (Btw, we never got to find out about the truth about the food poisoning of volunteers as promised did we?)

But lest we forgot, F1 was VivuanB’s idea too.

And it’s been another folly. Worse, S’pore is still paying the costs of having F1.

Singapore pays US$65m (S$83.3m) a year to bring F1 here. Only Malaysia and Abu Dhabi pay more.(BBC report).

Monaco is the only place that doesn’t pay.

So our “iconic” race is not cheap. Remember this when you read how much money F1 brings here.

The cost for organizing each race is approximately S$150 million dollars, with the government paying about 60% of the costs. And the fee is 55.6% of the cost). The government claims that each race generates about S$150 million in tourism receipts. So sounds like breakeven to me only, without taking into account the inconvenience to commuters and the lost sales at Suntec*.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/f1-only-two-other-countries-pay-higher-fees/

And

It’s not as though there is a huge savings gap. In fact it’s more expensive to stage a street race, even without taking account of the economic losses.

However, the annual running costs of a street race are greater than those of one on a permanent circuit: temporary grandstands need to be built and the roads need to be upgraded to F1’s high safety standards. The biggest single expense for the operators is staffing (c£10m), followed by rental of grandstands (c£8m) and construction of safety barriers and fencing (c£5m). 

In total, the annual operating cost of an F1 street race is in the region of £36m. Then comes the hosting fee, which is paid to the F1 rights holder. The average hosting fee came to £17m in 2011 but the sting in the tail of the contracts is that the price accelerates by as much as 10 per cent every year. Most new F1 race contracts are for ten years, so by the end of the agreement the annual fee comes to around £40m thanks to the escalator clause in the contract. That means that over the ten-year duration the bill for hosting fees totals an estimated £272m (see below) with the cost of running the races coming to £360m. That makes a total over ten years of more than £600m.

With annual running costs that are far lower than those for a street race, the total cost of building a Grand Prix circuit and hosting an F1 race over a ten-year period comes in at around £560m. But promoters need to dig deep to fund that initial track construction… http://www.babusinesslife.com/Ideas/Features/The-cost-of-hosting-a-Formula-1-Grand-Prix.html … how much the key elements of a brand new Grand Prix circuit are likely to cost… [£164m]

So the difference is spending S$80m more over 10 yrs to “save” on the cost of building a permanent track. Of course, I ‘m assuming the cost of the circuit land is zero or nominal. But this being S’pore where giving away the land for public housing would be “raiding the reserves” (Mah Bow Tan), this is a non-starter. Anyway the usual suspects would shout “corruption” even if the govt was willing to lease land at a nominal price.

So, the end result is that the “little people” who have to commute by way of public transport, get screwed, So waz new?

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/cheaper-to-build-f1-track/

And in a meritocracy, he’s still a minister? Can sneer at the elderly poor, overspend, miscalculate badly benefits and still be a minister? Why liddat PM?

Btw, the people who come for F1 https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/msians-pinoys-indons-love-f1-spore/

*So how abt sharing the benefits with the losers?  Especially since F1 will bring S$1b “additional value-add” for economy, says Iswaran. (S’pore expects expenses to drop about 15% to 20%, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The cost of the race is about $150 million, with the government co-funding 6o% of the amount, reminded S. Iswaran, “Singapore’s second trade minister, who’s responsible for developing the tourism industry”. What he didn’t say is that hotels have to pay a special levy of 30% on room rates during F1 period, if they are “track-side” hotels and 20% for the others. )

Compensate the retailers at Suntec City  and those who work in the city? Tax rebates for them? If no such sharing of the benefits, then it’s some private profits, and big state windfall (via taxes and other levies), and public inconvenience and some private losses. Readers might also like to know that it costs at least US$120m to build a dedicated F1 circuit (excluding, it seems, land costs), so by inconveniencing commuters and some retailers, the government is passing on the one-off cost of building a F1 track to some S’poreans annually. Whoever said there isn’t a free lunch? More reason to offer compensation.  

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/f1-sharing-the-1bn-in-value-add-with-the-losers/

M’sia’s not that bad, Worry about Indonesia

In Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam on 19/09/2015 at 4:37 am

Here’s another analysis coming to the same conclusion

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/09/capital-freeze-index

Idonesia is 4th after some real dogs Venezuela, Turkey and Ukraine. Yikes, it might be a another real dog.

M’sia is way down even below PinoyLand. Thailand is juz better than M’sia while Vietnam is really safe by the standards of the others. Safer than Saudi Arabia.

When Fed raises rates, regional currencies will tank

In Currencies, Indonesia, Malaysia on 17/09/2015 at 2:00 pm

 

Why M$ fall should worry

In Currencies, Emerging markets, Malaysia on 15/09/2015 at 1:35 pm

FX reserves

The ringgit lost 20% (ine of the worse performing currencies) of its value against the dollar this year despite Bank Negara spending 29% of its FX reserves to slow the fall. If it had spent less, rinngit would have fallen a lot more.

 

Don’t laugh at M’sians

In Currencies, Malaysia on 03/09/2015 at 4:18 pm

Markets EM currenciesRinggit has fallen 18% more or less but 11.6% ain;t that great

No bonus this yr/ How deals get done

In Investment banking on 29/08/2015 at 4:16 am

A Hard Year for Investment Banks in Southeast Asia. Slowing economies have led to the scrapping of several initial public offerings, a drought in mergers and acquisitions, and a plunge in local currencies that has discouraged investors from buying stock and bonds issued locally.

How deals get done

NYT Dealbook also

Deals are underpinned by a trust that the prices discussed are fair and that the move is the best way to finance further growth. But sharp gyrations in the broad stock markets could unnerve the people responsible for making these decisions.

“Whenever you see this kind of turmoil in the market, it can shake people’s confidence,” said Kenneth M. Jacobs, the chief executive of Lazard. “You could see a pause until the dust settles and conditions become clearer.”

Advisers say many of the factors that have underpinned the huge boom in mergers have stayed in place. The cost of borrowing money remains cheap, letting buyers take on debt to take over their targets.

Lower share prices would not necessarily create an issue. If stocks fall to a new level, management teams would work with this new normal. It would also benefit private equity firms, who have routinely been outbid by corporate buyers able to pay more for targets. The problem is the volatility in markets. If markets are plunging one day and rebounding the next, it would make it difficult to price a takeover.

Ringgit, Rupiah got a lot more room to fall?

In Indonesia, Malaysia on 22/08/2015 at 6:20 am

Assuming if M’sia and Indonesia decide like Russia to keep government revenues the same in local currency terms, this would suggest that the Indonesian rupiah and Malaysian ringgit are both somewhat overvalued, even after falling to 17-year lows.

They would need to let their currencies weaken (in percentage terms) against the dollar by as much as the oil price has fallen. The Saudis (and other Arabs) do things differently. Because  they have foreign reserves that will last for years they peg their currency to the dollar.

Only in Indonesia

In Indonesia on 22/08/2015 at 4:12 am

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has apologised after the old fascist-era Spanish national anthem was played for gold medallist Carolina Marin at the world championships in Indonesia.

Marin successfully defended her world title in Jakarta on Sunday against India’s Saina Nehwal.

But the version of Spain’s Royal March played at the medal ceremony was the one dating back to Gen Francisco Franco’s far-right dictatorship.

Report from BBC earlier in the week

Everyone’s weaker against US$ after yesterday’s RMB devaluation

In China on 12/08/2015 at 1:28 pm

SG50: Dr M calls M’sia from Hell

In Malaysia on 09/08/2015 at 4:36 am

A good joke to share on our National Day: The moon wass in the Seventh House And Jupiter aligned with Mars when we got kicked out of M’sia by the Tungku.

Mahathir, Regional indicator for United KingdomQueen Elizabeth, and Regional indicator for RussiaVladimir Putin all died and went to hell.

While there, they spied on a red phone and asked what was the phone for. The Devil tells them it is for calling planet Earth.

Regional indicator for RussiaRegional indicator for RussiaRegional indicator for RussiaRegional indicator for RussiaRegional indicator for RussiaRegional indicator for RussiaRegional indicator for RussiaRegional indicator for RussiaRegional indicator for Russia
Putin asks to call Russia and talks for 5 minutes. When he is finished the Devil informs him that the cost is a Million dollars, so Putin writes him a cheque.

Regional indicator for United KingdomRegional indicator for United KingdomRegional indicator for United KingdomRegional indicator for United KingdomRegional indicator for United KingdomRegional indicator for United KingdomRegional indicator for United KingdomRegional indicator for United KingdomRegional indicator for United Kingdom
Next Queen Elizabeth calls England and talks for 30 minutes. When she is finished the Devil informs her that the cost is 6 Million dollars, so she writes him a cheque.

🇲🇾🇲🇾🇲🇾🇲🇾🇲🇾🇲🇾🇲🇾🇲🇾🇲🇾
Finally Mahathir gets his turn and talks for 4 hours. When he is finished the Devil informs him that the cost is $5.00.

When Putin hears this he goes ballistic and asks the Devil why Mahathir got to call Malaysia so cheaply.

FireFireFireFireFireFireFireFireFire
The Devil smiles and replies: “Since Najib took over, the country has gone to hell, so it’s a local call.”

The facts don’t contradict  the Devil’s “Since Najib took over, the country has gone to hell”.

This week, ringgit fell to a fresh 17-year low against the dollar, the country’s foreign currency reserves plummeted below the $100bn level to their lowest level in five years. The slide comes in lockstep with the double-dip in crude prices, with oil revenue accounting for 30 per cent of the government’s revenue. (FT yesterday)

M’sia: Tak boleh? Indonesia not far behind?

In Currencies, Indonesia, Malaysia on 04/08/2015 at 12:59 pm

Asia currencies main

Exports slump in Asean: Will affect S’pore

In Economy, Indonesia, Malaysia, Property on 01/08/2015 at 4:47 am

http://im.ft-static.com/content/images/c38feea2-3207-11e5-8873-775ba7c2ea3d.img

For starters, a lot less tourists from Indonesia. And upper end properties will continue to be in dolddrums.

What drives the Pinoy economy? Why see S’pore no Ak

In Uncategorized on 25/07/2015 at 4:39 am

US is the biggest source of remittances: 42.6% out of total of U$24.3bn. Remittances is 10% of gross domestic product in itself, and a vital driver of the consumer spending that accounts for two-thirds of the Philippines’ economic output.

Asia is only third as a source of remittances and the amount from S’pore is therefore “peanuts”: Money talks, BS walks.

 

IPO that is not coming to SGX

In Indonesia on 18/07/2015 at 4:37 am

Philip Morris International has hired investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan Chase, to sell over US$1 billion worth of shares in its Indonesian operation,

S’poreans are delusional?

In Financial competency, Uncategorized on 09/07/2015 at 4:39 am

S’pore has been ranked 97th out of 145 countries in a Global Well-Being Index survey by polling firm Gallup and “well-being solutions provider” (whatever  doesthis mean) Healthways announced on June 24. Panama came in first for the second consecutive year heading the list for physical and purpose well-being, and second place for social and community.

Worse, in Asean, we ranked behind Myanmar (20), Malaysia (41), Philippines (43), Thailand (50), Indonesia (73), Vietnam (93). Cambodia came in slightly below Singapore at 99. (More details at end of the article from CNA)

The cybernuts were out celebrating this ranking (showed S’pore was a terrible, horrible place), while the constructive, nation-building media was quiet on analysis and commentary.

I wasn’t too surprised because the rankings were based on personal feelings:  Responses were categorised by Gallup analysts as “thriving”, “struggling” or “suffering”. Countries are then ranked on the percentage of the population that is “thriving” in three or more elements of well-being. And S’poreans are always complaining, unhappy about almost everything.

What I found interesting is that S’pore scored well in“managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security”, Singapore was ranked ninth worldwide.

Seems delusional of the S’poreans surveyed given

— The cost of “affordable” public housing (25 year  to pay morgage), leaving very little room to build up retirement savings.

— The cost of owning a car.

— A public transport system that sucks if one is working and can’t afford a car.

— Most of the gains in real wages comes via the CPF increase that employers have to gove.

— The almost 40% of the salary that is tied down with restrictions.

And they still think they are doing “managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security”.

The PAP administration must have put something into the water supply.

btw, Gallup is a very respectable polling organisation, unlike our Institute of Policy Srudies.

————————

 *The index was based on interviews with more than 146,000 people aged 15 and older, in 145 countries, territories and areas in 2014. The annual survey measured five indicators: Financial well-being, community well-being, purpose well-being, social well-being and physical well-being.

Survey respondents were asked ten questions and asked to rate their responses on a five-point scale. Responses were categorised by Gallup analysts as “thriving”, “struggling” or “suffering”. Countries are then ranked on the percentage of the population that is “thriving” in three or more elements of well-being.

For financial well-being, which Gallup defined as “managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security”, Singapore was ranked ninth worldwide.

Singapore was ranked 72nd worldwide for community well-being, defined as “liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community”.

It scored 111th in purpose well-being – “Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals”; 127 in social well-being – “having supportive relationships and love in your life”; and 137th in physical well-being – “having good health and enough energy to get things done daily”.

The index aggregates the scores in the five categories to arrive at Singapore’s overall 97th ranking.

 

 

 

As it’s Ramadan, think Hijaber

In Indonesia, Malaysia on 04/07/2015 at 4:47 am

The buying power of trendy fashion-conscious Muslim women M’sia and Indonesia according to the FT.  It should add in S’pore too.

S’pore not part of Apple’s ecosystem

In China, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam on 29/06/2015 at 12:04 pm

Neither is M’sia or SE Asia. It’s Northern Asia. I blogged yonks ago that we are part of the Microsoft ecosystem.

Apple iPhone component suppliers

Another week, another Noble Bahru?

In Accounting, Airlines on 20/06/2015 at 4:27 am

Debt of 11.5 billion ringgit ($3.1 billion) is already uncomfortably high for an outfit expected to make 1.9 billion ringgit in EBITDA this year. AirAsia’s part-owned sister airlines, especially in Indonesia and the Philippines, owe it increasing sums: amounts due from associates were nearly 2.5 billion ringgit at the end of 2014.

The gloomy case, as made by Hong Kong’s GMT Research, is that this cannot last. AirAsia is booking profits from affiliates that it cannot collect. While restrictions on foreign ownership mean it is only a minority shareholder, it effectively controls these airlines and should consolidate their accounts. Facing up to reality would force a big equity issue.

AirAsia counters that its accounts are transparent, debt is coming down, and cheap fuel and reduced competition should make for a “very good year”. Selling and leasing back planes will help cut debt. It’s also planning to publish pro-forma consolidated accounts.

Fernandes says local partners in Indonesia and the Philippines will each inject over $80 million of fresh equity, and both units will sell $100 million-plus of convertible bonds, before floating in 2017. Some of this will be used to pay back sums owed to the parent.

Well, perhaps. But new investors in the affiliates will need to be comfortable with much of their cash going to repay debts, while also believing in a bright future for these units. As HSBC analysts note, both are sub-scale and face powerful local rivals in Lion Air and Cebu Air.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2015/06/18/airasia-takes-multi-stop-route-to-capital-raising/

The real moral of the stories of Noble and AirAsia is that when one makes money or is in fashion, no-one cares about accounting details, But when the fashion changes, or one loses money, the daggers come out and the hyenas and vultures circle.

And don’t like a lost co, set up a website and slime away

Think Indonesia is still the next big thing?

In Commodities, Corporate governance, Emerging markets, Indonesia on 14/06/2015 at 6:08 am

Rothschild Exits Investment in Indonesian Coal The British financier Nathaniel Rothschild’s five-year foray into Indonesia’s coal sector has come to an end after his investment vehicle, NRH Holdings, agreed to sell its 17.2 percent stake in Asia Resource Minerals, the London-listed company formerly known as Bumi, for 23.2 million pounds, or $35.3 million.

NYT Dealbook

It would be “the first and last time” he would get involved in Indonesia. He described the Asian country as “ungovernable”.

As the FT reported, he ended his quest to regain control of the miner, which he founded along with Indonesia’s Bakrie family in 2010, when the company was known as Bumi. He is estimated to have lost about £80m through the investment.

Instead he has agreed to sell his shares to an investor group backed by another Indonesian family, the Widjajas. Their £135m bid is now being backed by Asia Resource’s board. The company was once worth £3bn.

Widjajas 1 Jewish boy 0

Bakries 0 Jewish boy 0

Even M’sian successful tycoons have serious problems navigating Indonesian corporate jungles: think AirAsia.

 

HK ahead of us, Switzerland, M’sia behind us

In Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia on 07/06/2015 at 4:06 am

Chart: Top 20 investors, 2014

Plenty of gas around us

In Energy, Indonesia, Malaysia on 06/06/2015 at 5:06 am

Govt’s plan to be a lNG trading hub is a no-brainer.

World's top LNG producers

 

Foreigners mistrust PinoyLand?

In Uncategorized on 30/05/2015 at 1:54 pm

In 2014, the country attracted just US$6.2bn in foreign investment, a lot less than in the rest of Asean. 

 

This despite the strongest growth in Asean something that I’ve documented.

Looks like they are taking a cue from the Pinoys who continue leaving, not returning home.

Ello’s relations will be flooding in

In Uncategorized on 30/05/2015 at 4:34 am

And steal our dinner (having stolen our lunch thanks to the PAP administration)

And things are already really bad. A Pinoy “foreign law expert” wrote very arrogantly  “According to our kababayans, Singaporeans really look at Filipinos as their competition given that we are diligent and speak better English. You really have to be careful about what you say. Also you have to consider that there are an average of 4 different cultures in that country: Indians, Malaysians, Chinese, and Filipinos. You have to be careful not to offend anyone with your remarks.”

Peenoys “diligent and speak better English”? And Peenoy culture ranks with our cultures?

Sorry, back to the reason why Ello’s relations will be coming here

Growth in the Philippine economy slowed in the first quarter of the year to its weakest annual pace since 2011, official figures showed.

The economy expanded 5.2% in the first three months from a year ago, which is the slowest rate since the last quarter of 2011, when growth was 3.8%.

The figure was also well below market forecasts for 6.6% growth.

The economy was hit by weak growth in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, the government said.

Growth on a quarterly basis was the lowest in six years. The economy grew by just 0.3% in the quarter on a seasonally-adjusted basis, compared with 2.5% growth in the October to December period.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32894920

Will Ello Ello be stirring his fellow Peenoys to kick us out.? Will the PAP administration pretend not to hear?

 

Eat yr hearts out Pinoys, Dr M

In Indonesia, Malaysia on 23/05/2015 at 5:13 am

Our economy in absolute terms is bigger than PeenoyLand. And we only slighly smaller than M’sia. Only Thailand and Indonland bigger than us in absolute terms.

Politics is pork in PinoyLand/ Always got excuse

In Uncategorized on 16/05/2015 at 4:15 am

No wonder the Pinoys don’t want to go home despite PinoyLand topping the economic and stk mkt charts in Asean https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/pinoys-still-not-going-home-why-not/.

Since the Philippines’ restoration of democracy in 1986, the tendency has been for its politicians to coalesce around whomever they regard as the most unbeatable presidential candidate. They trade their support for patronage. A president needs the backing of congress and local governments to wield power, while members of congress, governors and mayors need the spoils provided by a president to wield their own power through subsequent terms in office.

Any lack of administrative aptitude makes a president especially dependent on his political supporters. Policies are barely mentioned in election campaigns, appearing only later, governing coalitions form around the presidential candidate. The mainstream political parties are best understood as vehicles for sharing out campaign funds. A party’s membership balloons if presidential candidate wins and shrivels if he loses. From the typical Filipino politician’s point of view, Mr Pacquiao* is thus ideally suited to be president: he has never administered anything bigger than his own household, so he must depend on others; no policy other than general beneficence towards the people has been heard from him, so no promises need be kept; and he has plenty of money for attending politicians to share out in order to keep themselves in office.

Mr Pacquiao lacks only a political pedigree … By exploiting popular sentiment, this system can turn just about any beloved celebrity into a president, as it did for Mr Aquino. Joseph Estrada, an actor, earned enough good will by playing good guys in the movies to become the unbeatable presidential candidate in 1998. He was booted out of office, in 2001, only after he and one of the political cronies he had attracted fell out over the loot from their joint corruption.

http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21650377-national-hero-poised-jump-out-boxing-ring-and-presidential-palace-unbeatable

——–

*After he lost on points, “I don’t want to make alibis or complain or anything,” Mr Pacquiao said before doing just that, “[but] it’s hard to fight one-handed.” 

Always got excuse: after the event.

PAP can learn from Thai generals?

In Political governance on 09/05/2015 at 5:09 am

Maybe the PAP should add these to its list of institutions to make sure voters make the right choices and if they don’t (think Aljunied) to protect them from the consequences of their actions, whether they reprent or not voting in the oppo (think Aljunied again). Obviously the PA system is not working in Aljunied: otherwise no need to take WP TC to court.

Ten or so other institutions will help to baby-sit the politicians, including a “National Moral Assembly” which will punish those who act unethically, a catch-all term that could be used against government critics. Three-quarters of the 120 seats in a new “National Reform Assembly” will be reserved for toadies now serving in one of the junta’s various conclaves. Their job will be to prevent any future government deviating from a legislative programme that the generals are now laying down.

http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21649542-thailand-takes-big-constitutional-step-backwards-baby-sitters-charter

Lucky us: Indonesia’s economy bigger than UK, France or Italy

In Economy, Indonesia on 09/05/2015 at 4:55 am

Iskandar: UMNO, DAP MPs agree

In Malaysia, Property on 02/05/2015 at 4:24 am

It’s in deep trouble. They all have constituencies in the area.

Picking up on a warning by Malaysia’s largest bank of the risks of a housing glut in Iskandar, Johor lawmakers have cautioned against foreign investors’ optimism about the development corridor’s economic boom and population growth, saying that demand for premium homes in Iskandar has lagged far behind supply.

“There is a misconception about the demand market here … there is a clear mismatch between supply and demand,” Mr Shahrir Abdul Samad, Member of Parliament (MP) for Johor Baru, told the Malay Mail Online.

“There is an oversupply of premium properties, (but) the demand … is for medium- and low-cost ones, owing to people’s incomes,” added the former Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister.

Mr Shahrir said it was only natural for developers of premium residential properties in Iskandar to be hardest-hit by the dip in prices and secondary sales, as those projects were never the focus of the region.

“You have to be fair to Iskandar, as housing was never part of its main draft. The crux of its investment was more on services, hospitality and manufacturing, as well as allocations for small- and medium-sized enterprises. The investments we are interested in are not housing, and this is why we have called in Pinewood and Legoland to Iskandar,” said Mr Shahrir, referring to South-east Asia’s largest integrated studio facility and the popular theme park, respectively.

“That is the main investment strategy, but because of all these, foreign developers think there is a demand for their properties, and that is not happening. This is what’s happening, and they have to live with it. If they are willing to take the risk, then we can’t stop them,” the senior lawmaker from United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) said.

Dr Boo Cheng Hau, Johor opposition leader and Skudai assemblyman, noted that these residential projects were launched without sufficient supporting services or industries in place to make them viable in the near term.

The Democratic Action Party (DAP) MP said the region was not yet able to accommodate a surge in tourism or fulfil the needs of foreign investors seeking to take advantage of Malaysia’s second-home schemes.

“There will be a sustainable demand for properties here, but not in the near future. It will take another five to 10 years to see a boom in sectors such as manufacturing, services and so on, (and) a more steady increase in demand for properties,” Dr Boo said in an earlier email interview.

Mr Liew Chin Tong, DAP’s Kluang MP, stressed that the rapid pace of property development in Iskandar had no real legs on which to stand, a situation that is not helped by the nationwide slowdown in the property market.

“Johor is a case of killing the golden goose too fast, too greedily. The property market is not sustained by a genuine working population with income to support their investments, while borrowing rates are surging, waiting for the bubble to burst,” Mr Liew said when contacted.

But here’s one UMNO optimist:

However, UMNO’s Pulai MP, Mr Nur Jazlan Mohamed, believes the upcoming RM53 billion (S$19.7 billion) Pengerang Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (RAPID) project will provide the needed jobs and spending capacity to revive the region’s flagging property market.

“Property in Iskandar is experiencing a down cycle, but (sales) will pick up once corporate businesses like RAPID kick-start. Once corporations set up businesses in Iskandar, things will pick up. When businesses come in offering higher job opportunities, only then will the supply (of residential property) be taken up. (Iskandar) will not become a white elephant,” he said. MALAY MAIL

(20 April Today)

Thailand, M’sia, S’pore got a problem/ S’poreans stupid?

In Economy, Financial competency, Malaysia, Property on 26/04/2015 at 3:21 am

Singapore – where the ratio of household debt is 75% About 75% of this household debts are mortgage loans – See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/opinion/eye-the-economy/story/spore-not-headed-debt-disaster-20141125#sthash.oh3vAXO3.dpuf

The “affordable” 25 year HDB loan is responsible for S’pore’s high household debt. And remember it’s not freehold not a 99-yr lease from the govt.

S’poreans like Brits are stupid? [T]he economists calculate that homeowners discount future benefits over the very long run at a rate of 2.6% per year. This is lower than the rates used by governments to assess infrastructure projects or by pension funds to evaluate their liabilities, and suggests that the general public is more patient than the authorities give it credit for.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2015/04/very-long-run-discount-rates

More CGT BS? Swiss Standard? What Swiss standard?

In China, India, Malaysia on 25/04/2015 at 5:19 am

Switzerland has been ranked the happiest country in world.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32443396

Singapore is ranked 24th But is tops in Asean and region. Thailand is placed at 34, Taiwan (38), Japan (46), South Korea (47), Malaysia (61), Hong Kong (72), Indonesia (74) and PinoyLand (90).  China and India are found lower down the scale at 84 and 117 respectively

EMERGING MARKETS LOSE THEIR LUSTER

In Currencies, Emerging markets on 23/04/2015 at 1:26 pm

Ang mohs lose interest in emerging markets i.e. Asean. We’ll suffer the consequences given that our listcos often seen as safe proxies for investments in these places.

Once seen as a necessity in portfolios, investments in emerging markets have lately become less appealing because of messy politics and staggering economies, DealBook’s Landon Thomas Jr. writes. The dollar’s upward climb and the growing acceptance that the Federal Reserve will soon increase interest rates are also causing concern. Now, emerging-market currencies are suffering the consequences. The Turkish lira and the Brazilian real have touched multiyear lows against the dollar and the Russian ruble remains volatile. The Mexican peso and the Indian rupee are also under pressure.

In Brazil, allegations of kickbacks and bribes at Petrobras, the country’s energy giant, threaten to derail the economy, Mr. Thomas writes. In Russia, a war with Ukraine and President Vladimir V. Putin’s erratic ways ‒ along with a collapse in the price of oil ‒ have rattled investors. In Turkey, the country’s president has added to existing currency jitters by suggesting that the head of the Turkish central bank is beholden to foreign speculators because he has not lowered interest rates fast enough. And analysts say there are deeper vulnerabilities in these and other emerging markets that will become more acute as the dollar continues to race ahead.

But while currencies have been volatile, capital flows out of emerging markets have not yet approached the levels of a year ago. According to the Institute of International Finance, the trade group for global banks, global flows into emerging markets nearly halved last month, to $12 billion from $23 billion, with money flowing out of Brazil, Ukraine and Thailand and into Indonesia and India. Since the beginning of the year, investors in the world’s largest emerging-markets investment vehicle, the $38 billion Oppenheimer developing markets fund, have withdrawn just $400 million ‒ an amount by no means indicative of investor panic.

Unlucky Plaza: Uniquely S’porean

In Uncategorized on 20/04/2015 at 3:37 am

Go watch Unlucky Plaza (M18) at all theatres
A Ken Kwek movie not to be missed

The story: Driven to the brink of bankruptcy, hard-working Filipino restaurant operator Hernandez Onassis (Epy Quizon) takes on a motley bunch of wayward Singaporeans — a sexy, scheming scam woman, an Ah Long with a gun, a weak-kneed pastor and a motivational speaker (Adrian Pang) up to his neck in debts. Onassis’ weapons of choice: Anger and a meat chopper, which he wields with alarming accuracy.

Well put together with slick cinematography and editing, Singaporean director Ken Kwek’s latest work is the most ambitious to date marrying topicality with mass-appeal cinema. And it is done with admirable even-handedness to all sides of the debate (on the subject of foreigners in Singapore). Moral finger-wagging is kept to a minimum. Once all characters get locked up into one room for the film’s hostage crisis climax, things get cooking – John Lui in The Straits Times

This is what Ken Kwek said of his leading man Epy Quizon:
“Everyone knows that Epy is the son of the legendary Dolphy. But I had the great pleasure of knowing Epy on his own terms, and as a friend. And then I had the privilege of seeing him perform in a work that required talent for both comedy and very hard-hitting drama. I believe Epy has a greater range than his father as an actor. I say this with no less open-mouth admiration for the great Dolphy.”

Watch out … here comes Epy and his chopper.

Clement Mesenas's photo.

Not telling public who posted the above on Facebook, lest Goh Meng Seng or friends are upset with the post.

Uniquely S’porean. A S’porean film, directed by a local talent, starring a Pinoy who takes on a motley bunch of wayward Singaporeans — a sexy, scheming scam woman, an Ah Long with a gun, a weak-kneed pastor and a motivational speaker (Adrian Pang) up to his neck in debts

Couldn’t we have a S’porean hero thrashing crooked FTs trying to steal his lunch or his gal? Oh I forgot Pinoys already stealing our lunch, PRCs stealing our property and money, and Ang Mohs and Indians stealing our gals, and beating taxi uncles and the gals. And all have fake degrees.

But let’s face it, the S’poreans behind the film need to make money, and I’m sure they are hoping for audiences in PinoyLand given the Pinoy’s pedigree and the script of  Pinoy boy roughing up S’poreans. And who can blame them? Going by the way TRE and TOC are living hand-to-mouth, there’s no money here from the masses for things S’porean.

More FTs like him pls

In Malaysia on 19/04/2015 at 4:45 am

Born in Penang, Malaysia, before being raised in Singapore …

The founder and design director of Singapore-based SCDA Architects, Mr Chan has over the past 20 years built up a business that today employs more than 100 architects and designers.

Its past projects around the world range from luxury hotel resorts in Bali and the Caribbean, the National Design Centre in Singapore, a shopping centre in Beijing, a government building in New Delhi, to private houses from France to Malaysia.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32147965

Not only that, he got six sons.

And less of Foreign Trash like Han Hui Hui and local trash like Roy Ngerng anf Amos Yee and Lionel de Souza.

Iskandar: Dummies Guide on why it’s rubbish

In Malaysia, Property on 18/04/2015 at 4:08 am

Buy Klang Valley :

Klang Valley, in particular, is preferred because of the upcoming KVMRT and LRT lines, and potential KL-Singapore high-speed rail project, which will end at Bandar …

More importantly, the strong population growth potential in Greater KL and Klang Valley – a possible 40 per cent increase to 10 million by 2020 – offers more sustainable demand for properties, it added.

And Penang instead

Err both Oppo areas.

(Above courtesy of MayBank via CNA)

Sultan of Johor will not be happy. MayBank executives (esp analysts) should avoid JB. Neither will UMNO be happy even though most of Iskandar is in a DAP consituency (MP Lim Kit Siang: he and his son came down to see LKY when the DAP won Penang. Got kow tow meh?)

Caution advised on IskandarLand

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/caution-advised-on/1790094.html?cx_tag=recommend4u#cxrecs_s

The property oversupply situation in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, is “likely to get worse before it gets better”, said Maybank Investment Bank’s research … report, with property values in an increasingly crowded development space possibly declining over the medium term.

In a research note … (Apr 14) urged investors to be cautious about the region, noting that property transactions and prices in Iskandar have been dropping.

The value of property transactions in Johor had fallen by 33 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the Q4 2014, underperforming the country (-7 per cent) and other major cities such as Kuala Lumpur (-12 per cent) and Penang (8 per cent).

Property prices in Johor were also weaker than that of other cities, with the House Price Index (HPI) contracting 1 per cent quarter-on-quarter. In contrast, property prices in the whole of Malaysia dropped 0.2 per cent …

Residential and commercial property transaction values plunged 42 per cent and 43 per cent on-quarter in the fourth quarter 2014, respectively, compared to the 4 per cent dip by industrial properties.

“The latest statistics reaffirm our view that industrial properties are a better investment choice in Iskandar due to the relocation of small medium enterprises (SMEs) from Singapore and its relatively limited supply as compared to residential and commercial properties,” …

OVERSUPPLY AN ISSUE

… Malaysian developers have scaled back their launches and shifted their product mix to avoid direct competition with Chinese developers, and have lowered sales expectations for their projects at Iskandar.

“Judging from the number of approved high-rise projects, the Iskandar property market could be hit by too much supply of high-rise mixed development projects if there is still no coordinated planning and control – this will induce price volatility,” Maybank analyst Wong Wei Sum …

“The oversupply situation will be exacerbated by the huge incoming supply in 2015/2016, where units under construction have risen 18 per cent year-on-year in 2012 and 2013, respectively.”

“AGGRESSIVE” LAND GRAB BY CHINESE DEVELOPERS

… raised concerns about “aggressive landbanking activities” by Chinese developers in the already-crowded Iskandar region.

“Without coordinated planning and control, this could aggravate the oversupply situation and induce price wars, especially in the high-rise mixed development segment.”

 

For instance, Shanghai-based Greenland Holdings Group recently expanded its foothold in the space with the acquisition of a 128-acre freehold land in the south of Bandar Baru Permas Jaya. This was after its first purchase of 14 acres of land in Danga Bay in 2014. The company is also looking to acquire about 1,200 to 1,400 acres of industrial land near the Tanjung Langsat Industrial Complex, according to Maybank.

“If this materialises, Greenland will emerge as one of the largest land owners in Iskandar with a total landbank of 1,342 acres and it would pose strong competition to the local developers,” the report said.

RECLAMATION PROJECT PRESENT “HIGH ELEMENT OF RISK”

… it is “cautious” over “massive land reclamation” in Iskandar.

Reclamation works spanning 3,425 acres for the Forest City project has been given the green light from the Development of Environment. The development will spread over a 30-year period, and will consist of four man-made islands reclaimed in four phases.

“The execution and planning of such reclamation projects is complex, especially Forest City, and carry elements of risk and uncertainty. Hence, developers’ financial positions are paramount; else we may see projects being abandoned or price wars initiated to clear inventories or reduce sales risks by the developers,” …

“More importantly, the failure of any of these projects could erode buyers’ confidence and perception on Iskandar.”

… it remains cautious on property exposure in Iskandar, instead preferring developers with exposure in the Klang Valley and Penang.

 

Iskandar: Developers must be desperate?

In Malaysia, Property on 11/04/2015 at 4:16 am

Last Saturday, a freesheet published a puff piece on why it’s good to live in Iskandar and commute, and why it’s a good investment. No mention was made of the huge hikes in the tax on driving to and fro.

A day or two later M’sia again hiked it’s vehicle entry fees: by $7.25 I think. We know what the policy here is don’t we? S’pore with match the increase.

Rumour is that M’sian federal govt hiked fees last year, to warn the sultan of Johor not to to seize executive power in the running of Johor.

Will we be seeing Iskandar property ads in the freesheet?

Pinoys still not going home? Why not?

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

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

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

Philippine growth

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

Peenoy Annoys:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Better not fly on any Thai airline?

In Airlines on 04/04/2015 at 4:09 am

Thailand’s aviation sector is under scrutiny after an international safety audit led to a ban on new flights to China, Japan and South Korea.

Last week the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) issued an alert flagging “concerns relating to air operator certification procedures”.

Last week the ICAO issued an alert which triggered increased physical inspections of aircraft operated by Thai airlines serving existing routes to countries such as Australia and Singapore, a regional air hub, as well as a ban on airlines expanding their services.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32126817

Fly SIA and associates. Don’t be cheap skate! Can die die if fly Thai. ))))

Update at 5.30am

From CNA on Thurday

The surveillance and ramp inspections of Thai carriers’ aircraft operations in the Republic have been stepped up, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) in a news release on Thursday (Apr 2).

Its statement came after the International Civil Aviation Organisation(ICAO) reported “significant safety concerns” in Thai carriers earlier in the year. The Thai government has since said it would urgently improve airline safety in the country.

CAAS added it has not imposed any restrictions on Thai airlines. This is unlike other countries like Japan, who blocked new flights from Thailand last week – a move which affected charter services by budget carriers such as Thai AirAsia X and NokScoot.

In the release, CAAS said it has in place a Foreign Operators Surveillance Programme (FOSP), under which foreign carriers are required to have an Operations Permit from CAAS to operate in Singapore.

The release said that CAAS evaluates an application for an Operations Permit “using a risk-based methodology”, which takes into consideration factors such as the safety oversight capability of the State of Operator, the operational capability of the carrier and the safety records of the aircraft.

“In assessing a foreign carrier’s operations, CAAS takes into consideration safety information from other aviation authorities including the outcomes of the inspections or audits they conduct,” it added.

“CAAS also conducts periodic ramp inspections on the foreign carrier’s aircraft when they are in Singapore; the frequency of which is dependent on CAAS’ assessment of the carrier.”

The regulator assured that any major deficiencies found in the ramp inspections have to be addressed by the carrier for it to continue operations in Singapore.

M’sian politicans want to learn from PAP administration?

In Malaysia on 28/03/2015 at 4:56 am

“Selangor is a key state in Malaysia,” said Mr Azmin, Chief Minister of Selangor. “We will try to emulate some of the policies implemented in Singapore. I will visit Singapore soon to learn how the Housing Development Board develops low-cost houses for the lower-income group. This is one agenda I will give priority to.” CNA

So they going to stop being corrupt?

The passing of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew has prompted some young Malaysian politicians to take a hard look at the kind of leaders they want to be. CNA

Update at 7.20am:

Err maybe they can learn how to make the taxpayers pay them multi-million salaries while they bitch about low pay. Doubtless Grace Fu and Jos Teo can teach them?

Btw, interesting that Robert Kuok disagrees with the idea that ministers should be paid millions, and that pigs (he and LKY are pigs) are greedy by nature

http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/remembering-lee-kuan-yew-the-greatest-chinese-outside-ma

Best teacher US$1m prize: No S’porean in finals

In Uncategorized on 22/03/2015 at 4:54 am

M’sian and Cambodian among the 10 finalists that cied vied for the US$1m  prize.

Guess that’s the reason why our media didn’t report it. But why didn’t the anti-PAP cybernuts report this huge failing of our world class education system? Err maybe they rely on our MSM for their news of world affairs?

The award has been created by the Varkey Foundation, the charitable arm of the GEMS education group, as a high-profile way of demonstrating the importance of teaching.

The attention-grabbing top prize is meant to show that teaching should be recognised as much as other high-paying careers, such as finance or sport …

Among those supporting the project have been Bill Gates, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice-president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-31861022

The 10 finalists were:

Nancie Atwell, US

Guy Etienne, Haiti

Jacqueline Jumbe-Kahura, Kenya

Neang Phalla, Cambodia

Stephen Ritz, US

Azizullah Royesh, Afghanistan

Kiran Bir Sethi, India

Madenjit Singh, Malaysia

Richard Spencer, UK

Naomi Volain, US

Johor Chief Minister gets it, our PM still doesn’t

In Malaysia on 14/03/2015 at 4:30 am

Following complaints from Singaporeans about the inconsistent housing policies in Iskandar, Johor’s Chief Minister said that he makes policies “that look after the interest of Johor people”. He has the interests of his people above the interests of foreign investors he claims. But given that large sections of the Chinese population in Johor vote for the DAP, they don’t believe him.

Likewise, many S’poreans (self-included) doubts that PM and his PAP administration put the interests of S’poreans above that of FTs even though PM said in 20111 the intake of foreign workers contributed to the Republic’s 14.5% economic growth last year, and subsequently led to the budget surplus and Grow & Share package.

 

SGX’s FTs still think Singkies still stupid?

In China, Corporate governance on 09/03/2015 at 1:09 pm

Around the time of the Spring Festival celebrations began, the Foreign Trashes managing SGX (president and head rechie are FTs, CEO is leaving) boasted that SGX was planning to attract Chinese cos here. Remember that in Asean, the Thai exchange raises more money than this global financial centre.

Well looks like the FTs still running SGX are hoping that S ‘poreans have forgotten that they lost money in S-chips.

Here’s a reminder that the Cina have not cleaned up their act. During the Spring Feitval hols, London-based directors of Naibu Global revealed they had suspended shares in the Aim-quoted Chinese sportswear maker because executives in China had refused to update them on the co’s finances. Err maybe now that the Spring Festival is over, they’ll contact the London directors. Somehow I doubt it.

FT PRC does us proud

In Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam on 07/03/2015 at 5:07 am

This S’pore-based co was founded by Forrest Li, an American educated PTC. A foreign talent indeed.

Since starting in 2009, Garena has rapidly expanded into multiple product lines. It started off creating software that linked people up for multiplayer games, then ventured into game distribution.

In 2010, it launched a mobile social network called Garena+, and more recently unveiled a couple of chat apps (BeeTalk is one) and a payment network called AirPlay. It has even launched its own venture capital firm to invest in startups. Garena has invested in Redmart, an online supermarket in Singapore.

The company claims to have 17 million monthly active users on the PC and 11 million on mobile. Most of its users come from Southeast Asia, but it has expanded into Taiwan and Hong Kong as well. It made S$31 million (US$22 million) in revenue in 2012, growing three times from the year before, according to Garena’s financial documents. In 2014, its annual revenue reached US$200 million.

The company is said to have become the top games publisher in Southeast Asia after itreceived an investment from Chinese internet giant Tencent, which also gave Garena an exclusive license to distribute League of Legends in the region.

According to the Financial Times, the OTPP investment values the company at over US$2.5 billion. Garena wouldn’t confirm the valuation figure.

https://www.techinasia.com/garena-raises-money-ontario-teachers-pension-plan/

It has reecently raised a new round of funding, led by The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) with participation from existing investors.

FT reported:

In China, e-commerce sales make up more than 10 per cent of total retail sales, according to RHB, a Malaysia bank. That compares with only 1 per cent in the 10 countries of Asean, of which Indonesia is the largest, followed by Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.

RHB says there are “no clear dominant regional [Asean] players at the moment” but that the market is “about to take off” given rapid growth in internet penetration and the adoption of mobile technology by young people among the 620m Asean population.

UBS, the Swiss bank, says that most internet traffic in Asean comes from mobile devices as the traditional PC has been circumvented by the arrival of 3G services.

Garena is among a new group of regional online gaming and e-commerce companies that have moved rapidly into Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar with mobile-based applications for gaming and messaging. They include OffGamers, Asiasoft and Nasdaq-listed MOL, a Malaysian group.

Internet-based retailers have also made inroads, including Lazada.com, which has said it aims to be the Amazon of Southeast Asia.

 

 

StanChart: New CEO (“inspired choice”*) lacks Asian experience

In Banks, Emerging markets, Telecoms on 03/03/2015 at 1:14 pm

But this lack of Asian experience shows that the directors think that the main priorities for the bank are to shore up capital (rights issue coming) and mending ties with US regulators. He has great credentials for these tasks. Temasek seems to agree. it welcomed Mr. Winters, who “brings with him considerable experience, as well as an excellent reputation for building good teams.”

(*Btw, “inspired choice” is FT’s description)

Still the lack of Asian experience could become a major issue because there is expected to be an exodus of experienced managers. He may find replacements but changes will be disruptive if not problematic.

STANDARD CHARTERED OVERHAULS LEADERSHIP The British bank Standard Chartered responded on Thursday to shareholders’ calls for change, announcing a sweeping management overhaul including the departure of its chief executive, its chairman, the head of Asian markets and several directors, Jenny Anderson and Chad Bray write in DealBook. In a move that surprised many, it named William T. Winters, the 53-year-old former head of JPMorgan Chase’s investment bank ‒ who was once seen as a candidate to succeed Jamie Dimon ‒ to take the helm.

Mr. Winters, who will join the bank on May 1 and become chief executive in June, will succeed Peter Sands, one of the longest-serving chief executives in British finance. He will receive a base salary of 1.15 million pounds, or about $1.8 million, as well as a pension and other benefits. As the bank’s leader, Mr. Winters will not have it easy. The bank has been hurt in recent years by regulatory fines and investigations and by its focus on emerging markets. It has slashed thousands of jobs, closed its stock trading and underwriting unit and is looking to cut $400 million in costs. Impairments for bad loans, including in the mining sector, have soared.

But Mr. Winters, an American, appears up to the task. In a call with reporters, John W. Peace, the chairman, said that Mr. Winters had “great respect among regulators, clients and the market” and a solid understanding of the global regulatory environment. Temasek Holdings, which owns almost 18 percent of Standard Chartered, declined to comment on whether it had pressed for management changes. But it said that it welcomed Mr. Winters, who “brings with him considerable experience, as well as an excellent reputation for building good teams.”

NYT’s Dealbook

Related article: http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2015/02/26/stanchart-board-clearout-is-only-the-first-step/

 

Iskandar: Hoping for Chinese buyers? Dream on

In Malaysia on 28/02/2015 at 4:48 am

Funny people M’suan developers. They miss fears of a property glut in Iskandar http://business.asiaone.com/property/news/housing-glut-worries-over-johors-mega-projects saying that the Chinese from China (not S’pore) will buy the properties.

Well there is a very influential group of Malays in UMNO (the top dog in the ruling National Front) that has a problem with local Chinese. They’d freak out over an influx of real Chinese buyers living in Johor. They are likely to view such buyers as a fifth column for the Chinese enclave off Johor>

And for the developers to assume that the potential buyers are clueless about the racial tensions is an assumption too far.

HEADACHES AT HSBC

In Banks on 25/02/2015 at 6:03 pm

The British bank HSBC is facing battles on multiple fronts. Already forced to apologize for helping clients hide their income from tax authorities, the bank also had to explain on Monday why its chief executive, Stuart Gulliver, went to lengths for years to hide his bonus, at least from his co-workers, Jenny Anderson writes in DealBook. On top of all that, HSBC, which generates much of its income from Asia, reported abysmal results for 2014, saying that its profit fell 15 percent, to $13.7 billion, compared with $16.2 billion in 2013.

The Guardian newspaper reported late Sunday that Mr. Gulliver held at least 5 million pounds, or $7.7 million, in a Swiss account through a Panamanian company until 2003. Mr. Gulliver said on Monday that the account was legal and that he had paid all the required taxes, but his maneuvers nevertheless compound a problem for the bank’s reputation, which is still dealing with the fallout from efforts by its Swiss private banking arm to help wealthy clients evade taxes, Ms. Anderson writes.

Mark Gilbert of Bloomberg View writes: “The cascade of recent revelations suggests HSBC still hasn’t learned its lesson and is more of a social menace than a social good. Mr. Gulliver’s personal tax arrangements may not be illegal, but they are surely ill-advised and inappropriate.” Unless Douglas Flint, HSBC’s chairman, “pulls off an Oscar-worthy performance at Wednesday’s parliamentary hearing, HSBC will only have itself to blame if the authorities decide the bank is too big to regulate and respond by seeking its dismemberment.”

NYT Dealbook

Update on 26 Feb 2015 at 6.30 am

More than a tax problem : http://www.bbc.com/news/business-31590613

Major shareholders getting cranky: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-31618032