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Posts Tagged ‘Fun with numbers’

“Free restaurant food for SMRT & ComfortDelgro”

In Infrastructure on 23/03/2018 at 11:37 am

“Abalone, geoduck, sea cucumber and sharksfin isit?”

“Only in S’pore will a PAP minister sneer at serving restaurant food for the elderly poor while the PAP administration condones welfare for public tpt cos.”

The above were my tots when I read

“However, he noted that in the PTC’s discussions with commuters, the council had found that there was an “expectation on the ground” that transport fares will be increased. He added that commuters spoken to were “quite happy to bear higher fares” as they recognise the cost of improving the transport network.”

Public Transport Council chair Richard Magnus

Err so not true that the public tpt network (i.e. infrastructure) is not getting $20bn from the surplus as said by the presumptive PM and a possible one (Lawrence Wong: a PM-in-waiting) in parliament to improve the network?

Ministers wouldn’t lie in parly because lying is “dishonourable”.

So what is this “improving the transport network” by the tpt cos? Network (i.e.infrastructure is not paid for by fares because network is under the LTA.

Welfare for the tpt cos methinks. S’poreans (Surpluses belong to S’poreans even the PAP says though many S’poreans, not juz the cybernuts, may disagree) for improving the tpt network, yet we have to pay tpt cos for these improvements via fare rises.

Welfarism the PAP way. Sad. Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham (“Rob the poor, to give to the rich”) must have been reincarnated as PAP ministers.

Where is Robin Hood when we need him? Goh Meng Seng (Silence of Goh Meng Seng) and Lim Tean (Where’s yr defamation video and jobs rally Lim Tean?) are certainly no reincarnations of Robin Hood.

As is Mad Dog.

Dr Paul? But his followers sadly still prefer to listen to their top Mad Dog. Sad.

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How to ensure no GST rise

In Political governance on 16/03/2018 at 11:20 am
This suggested tight slap to PAP sure to work. Sad that it wouldn’t be administered.
A TRE reader who is no cybernut wrote that losing five GRCs will make a GST rise unlikely. But that it wouldn’t happen because S’poreans don’t want Oppo running their wards. He’s right on both counts. And based on WP’s leaders behaviour in Aljunied (Now the subject of a legal suit by the town council against Low, Auntie and her bayee for breach of fiduciary duties) who can blame the voters?
Btw, based on sentiment in Aljunied, the WP is likely to lose big time in next GE. If Indian PAPpy can beat Chinese speaking scholar Show Mao in his ward in last GE, anything is possible in next GE.
opposition dude:

Always remember, this is a numbers game. He who has the most seats in parliament will govern Singapore it’s as simple as that. Right now PAP has over 80 seats and 1 to 3 more will be created in the next GE for sure. You want to make PAP lose more than 40 seats in the next GE is unthinkable for both the 70%/30%. All we can do is to make PAP lose more than what they have planned for, only then will a crystal clear signal be sent to the party that we are all frustrated with them over the immigration policy and the high cost of living in SIngapore.

If they lose 5 GRCs in the next GE then we will have sent in 25 or so opposition MPs into parliament. But the same stupid problem of voters not wanting an opposition party to run their ward lingers on. Together with the annual 20k new citizens being granted citizenship this will be quite the challenge.

Trump can’t count

In China on 13/03/2018 at 5:40 am

Doesn’t know difference between US$1bn and US$100bn.

Mr. Trump tweeted that he has asked Beijing to reduce its trade deficit with the U.S. by $1 billion, adding, “We must act soon!”

NYT’s Dealbook

US$1bn is “peanuts” in the context of a trade deficit with China of more than US$500bn.

Seems he meant US$100bn.

Maybe taz why although he’s worth slightly more than US$3bn, he thinks he’s worth a lot more. He can’t count.

Digital ads: the truth

In Internet on 06/03/2018 at 4:37 am

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half,” is often attributed to John Wanamaker (1838-1922). He was a very successful American merchant, religious leader and politician. He has been called a “pioneer in marketing”.

Digital ads are marketed to advertisers (like Procter & Gamble) by the likes of Google and Facebook as solving the problem of which half is wasted.

But now P&G says that most online advertising is a waste.

Property: Americans and S’poreans alike

In Economy, Property on 23/02/2018 at 4:56 am

In SIBOR up 25%, but property mkt is hot?, I pointed at riasing interest rates do not deter S’poreans from being bullish about property.

Seems the same is true in the US too. And maybe S’porean buyers are thinking like the American buyers.

Mickey Levy of Berenberg, who also offers this detail from the Michigan [Consumer Confidence] survey, widely followed by economists etc. More than half of Americans feel that their own household is better off than it was a year ago – the first time that has been true in too long:t appears that many people are taking rising interest rates as a reason to go out and buy a house now, before rates go up further. Mickey’s conclusion:

In the last year, we have emphasized that when confidence measures are among the highest of all of their historic readings—both on the consumer and business surveys—we find that they are reliable predictors of future consumer spending and business investment.  Accordingly, we take note of this strong University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index that was conducted during the abrupt stock market sell off.  If other surveys that mirror confidence also hold up, that would confirm our expectations that the economy is continuing to build momentum.

FT

Emphasis mine.

Heng needs AI to help him in making Budget forecasts

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 20/02/2018 at 9:41 am

Because if my favourite fortune-teller had made the Budget surplus prediction of S$1.91bn that Heng made in 2017, she would lose all credibility. The 2017 surplus is S$9.6bn: 5 times or 503% bigger than projected last year. This is a miss of S$7.7bn, or, as Chris K points out, nearly 1.8% of GDP.

As usual the “blame” for the whooping error is put on stamp duty. And the next PM said this is a one-off. If I recall, this has happened more than a few times already. Still a one-off?

But Heng and the rest of MoF, and the entire PAP administration are not held accountable for getting the 2017 projected surplus horribly wrong.

Yesterday morning, in Budget: Consistently flawed/ Use more from Reserves meh?, I pointed out that the previous year’s Budget surplus is always bigger than predicted because

Consistently expenditures will be found to have been overestimated, and revenues underestimated

And that this tot was triggered by FT’s description of a Japanese mgt practice

[T]he pattern is too consistent for comfort, often strays into the deliberately deceptive, and is carried out as part of a habit of systemic conservatism

Let me be clear. I am not accusing anyone in MoF or the govt of being  “deliberately deceptive”. Here in S’pore, the pattern of underestimating revenue and overestimating expenditure “is too consistent for comfort and is carried out as part of a habit of systemic conservatism”).

Chris K spotted two more whopping misses in 2017 that are likely to be repeated based on the forecasts for 2018

Land sales revenue is estimated to be 12,2b for 2018 but for 2017, land sales revenues are revised from 8.2b to 12.9b. A revenue miss of 4.7b.

Investment income pertaining to interest and dividends only is estimated at 11.5b for 2018. But for 2017, it was revised from 10.5b to 17.5b, a whopping miss of 7b. Why I say whopping? Interest and dividends from an investment portfolio are fairly predictable, what is not predictable is the change in market value of investments. But the latter is not included so why such a large miss?

In total, both land sales revenues and investment income are 23.7b estimated for 2018 and revised upwards to 30.4b for 2017.

Facebook

Coming back to Heng and AI, maybe MoF should use IBM’s Watson cognitive computing innovation to help it improve its forecasting techniques.

After all in 2014,

DBS Bank and IBM today announced an agreement in which DBS will deploy IBM’s Watson cognitive computing innovation to deliver a next generation customer experience. This collaboration is part of an ongoing journey by DBS to shape the future of banking.

 

Budget: Consistently flawed/ Use more from Reserves meh?

In Economy, Political economy, Political governance on 19/02/2018 at 10:02 am

[Update at 5.25pm: Trumpets please

My prediction that GST increase would be announced but delayed is correct: Heng announced GST increase of 2% from 7% to 9% to “fund recurring government expenses”. Increase will take place between 2021 and 2025 in a progressive manner. Handouts of GST vouchers will be made permanent once the increase is put in place.]

“Thus has it always been, thus shall it ever be”.

The FT talking about how Japanese mgt do earnings guidance

[T]he pattern is too consistent for comfort, often strays into the deliberately deceptive, and is carried out as part of a habit of systemic conservatism*

reminds me of our Budget’s forecast of expenditures and revenues in the coming year. Consistently expenditures will be found to have been overestimated, and revenues underestimated when the next Budget comes around the following year.

The result?

Economists expect bumper surplus for 2017

Part of headline from today’s ST. ST went on to gush

United Overseas Bank economist Francis Tan expects an overall surplus of $3.1 billion for FY2017, compared with the official initial estimate of $1.91 billion. UOB’s econometric model projects that the Government may see $2 billion more in revenue than expected, due mainly to higher corporate income tax receipts and stamp duties.

Mr Tan expects corporate income tax revenue to hit $14.8 billion, higher than the official estimate of $13.6 billion. If so, corporate income tax would regain its place as the largest contributor to revenue, ahead of the projected $14.11 billion net investment returns (NIR) contribution.

“Thus has it always been, thus shall it ever be” as the saying goes.

So remember that expenditures will be overestimated, and revenues understimated when we are told in the Budget statement that GST has to be raised because expenditure is rising for welfare and other goodies.

================

So why is there is surplus still?

Between FY2007 and FY2016, Singapore’s revenue has grown from S$43 billion to S$83 billion, based on revised FY2016 estimates. Over the same period, however, government expenditure has more than doubled from S$33 billion to S$71 billion.

Constructive, nation-building Today

http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/pressures-main-revenue-sources-prompt-govt-look-ways-grow-pie

And Err what about using more from income from reserves** and designating land sales as revenue, not chips for Ho Ching and GIC?)

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Whatever, my bet is that there’ll be an announcement of a GST increase of 2 % but that the increase will be deferred so that Tharman’s promise will be kept

To be fair to PM Lee, both the MOF and he have clarified that consistent with DPM Tharmans 2015 remarks, we do not have to raise taxes before the end of the decade.

So there’s really no need to get our fiscal knickers into a twist about GST or income tax increases till after the next GE folks..

Countering PAP’s BS that taxes must go up

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*”Earnings guidance in markets everywhere is often a victim of the management instinct to lowball first so as to triumph later with an overshoot. In Japan, though, the pattern is too consistent for comfort, often strays into the deliberately deceptive, and is carried out as part of a habit of systemic conservatism. CEOs are not financially incentivised to reach for the stars, so opt for comfortable survival meeting targets they know are achievable.”

FT

**Long quote from https://www.theedgesingapore.com/how-will-singapore-fund-its-rising-budget-0

The reserve option

One other way of funding soaring spending on healthcare and social spending is to tap reserves built up over past decades. “If the government feels that, based on current revenue projections, it is not able to fund increased social spending and is looking for new sources of revenue, then its first consideration should be whether reserves should be tapped,” says Donald Low, associate dean at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

In a chapter in a book he co-authored, Hard Choices, published in 2014, Low argues that it is the baby boom generation — the group of people now entering or in retirement and at whom increased healthcare and social spending is targeted — that contributed the most to the accumulation of national reserves. “A significant part of our reserves is the result of fiscal surpluses generated in the 1980s and 1990s — the period when the baby boom generation was most economically productive,” he wrote. “Now that the generation that contributed the most to our reserves is entering retirement, it is only fair from an intergenerational perspective that the state reverses part of that transfer.

“To impose the fiscal burden of looking after the needs of the baby boomers onto subsequent generations in the form of higher taxes while continuing to accumulate reserves is not only unequitable but also inefficient… because continuing with a strategy of growing our reserves regardless of context implies a negative discount rate — that is, we favour the interests of a future generation more than those of the current generation… which has immediate needs.”

Singapore has, in fact, been tapping more of the investment returns of its reserves in recent years. In FY2016, Temasek Holdings was included under the so-called Net Investment Returns framework, which allows the government to spend up to 50% of its expected long-term returns. That year, NIR Contribution amounted to $14.37 billion and helped turn a $5.59 billion basic deficit to an overall surplus of $5.18 billion. The NIRC was the single largest contributor to the government coffers in both FY2016 and FY2017.

The NIR framework was implemented in 2009 to include expected long-term real returns on the government’s net assets managed by GIC and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. It was a major change from the previous Net Investment Income framework, under which the government could only spend investment income comprising dividends and interest.

Yet, should Singapore not be careful about using its reserves to fund the Budget? Should we not hold on to it for that proverbial rainy day? “But isn’t it the case that future generations are likely to be richer, for one, and, with [total fertility rate] at 1.2, the future generation is going to be a smaller generation [too]?” Low retorts. “So, we’re saving for a future generation that’s likely to be richer and almost certainly a smaller cohort than the baby boom generation. That seems like a regressive transfer of resources.”

He adds, “I think we have a social obligation to reduce inequality. In Singapore’s context, given that the baby boom generation helped to accumulate a large part of our reserves, one way of reducing inequality would be to tap the reserves to fund their needs. Another would be to introduce or increase existing wealth taxes.”

Still, other analysts do not expect the government to make more changes to the NIR framework, at least for now. “I think it’s good policy to use the good times to save up for the future,” says Wan.

Why our housing valuations look decent?

In Hong Kong, Property on 13/02/2018 at 4:36 am

I was fooling around with this https://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2018/02/daily-chart-5 and among other things compared S’pore property valuations with that of HK. Something didn’t seem right about the S’pore valuations when I remembered some Bloomberg stuff I saw in 2016.

This is something cybernuts don’t tell us, especially the one who jets in from HK on his private jet to lecture us on why life in HK is a lot better in HK and why we must all sing “The East is Red” and even the Malays and Indians must be Chinese patriots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because of public housing, housing here is a lot more affordable.

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-06/singapore-crushing-hong-kong-in-race-to-bring-down-home-prices

Now if the PAP administration were a lot less obssesed about “stealing from the reserves” and “market pricing” (Market pricing? Market market pricing when the state is the largest player in the market what with its control of supply?), housing here could be a lot more affordable.

Coming back to local property prices, if u had keyed in S’pore in the Economist’s interactive model, like I did, you would have seen that valuations (historical and present) here are pretty decent. I suspect public housing data is included. Even if this is not, the public sector housing affects the private sector valuations.

 

 

Why GDP is magic

In Economy on 08/02/2018 at 11:30 am

 

Recently, I wrote

The 2017 GDP growth of 3.5% was dismissed by anti-PAP types (nutty and sane) saying it’s mainly due to electronics which doesn’t employ many S’poreans because it’s a capital intensive industry. And it gave them the opportunity to diss the focus on GDP growth.

Impt of electronics to S’pore and rest of Asean

Here;s why they have a point on GDP

Magic numbers A lot falls through the cracks when tallying up gross domestic product. The big dumb number ignores the quality of growth. It confuses new technological efficiencies (which sometimes result in job losses) as a slowdown in growth. The more society grows, the less real growth is captured in the digits. (World Economic Forum)

FT’s Due Diligewnce

The link to the WEF piece is titled “5 ways GDP gets it totally wrong as a measure of our success” and is a reprint of an FT article.

Once upon a time thigs were different

Here’s something that came across my FB wall. MTI data shows that growth averaged 10 % p.a. in the 70s, with manufacturing sector’s share of GDP grew from 14 % in 1965 to 24 % by 1978.

Production work was boring but she stayed on because of her close friends in the line. Maryati worked at Rollei in the 1970s and then at Seagate in the 1990s (in the interim she took care of her children).

She became a ‘lead girl’ at Rollei in charge of about 15 operators, and was in fact selected for training in Germany but because she was pregnant she was unable to go.

Maryati’s husband Hassan was a security guard at Rollei from the beginning in 1971 till the company shut down in 1982. They met at Rollei. To my surprise, Hassan had many interesting stories to tell of his time at Rollei.

As Maryati explained, the operators knew production, but security guards knew people.

Hassan became a delivery driver and then a taxi driver when Rollei closed. Maryati was retrenched when Seagate downsized and moved from Ang Mo Kio to Senoko.
It was really good to speak to Malay workers who played a part in Singapore’s industrialisation.

Maryati at her work: for the photos I am thankful Rollei made cameras and she had to test whether they worked!

Theatres of History & Memory: Industrial Heritage of 20th Century Singapore

When strong GDP growth benefited the ordinary worker

What is producivity? Why low productivity?

In Economy on 07/01/2018 at 4:31 am

The PAP administration KPKBing that low productivity means wages cannot rise (Btw, skip to the end if u want to read something that disses the PAP administration). And low productivity is a global probem, not unique to S’pore.

But what is productivity?

Until 10 years ago, productivity was the motor that drove economic growth. Its definition is nothing more complicated than the amount we produce per worker (or per hour).

If you’re a coffee shop worker, it’s the amount of coffees, tea and food each worker sells. On a pie-making production line, it’s how many pies you turn out. If you’re a lorry driver, it’s how much you deliver.

Now think of that lorry driver stuck in a traffic jam. With too little investment in new roads and too many cars and lorries using them, his trips are slower. However hard he works, he can’t keep delivering more than before. His productivity stalls.

One reason is weak business investment. A company trying to meet an expanding order book can try one of two methods: hire a few more people, or make its existing workforce more productive by investing in new, more efficient technology. As long as its cheaper and less risky to hire cheap labour, the business may hold off investment.

But weaker private investment – and private investment has in any case been growing recently – can’t account for the whole effect.

Another attempted explanation is weak training and poor infrastructure, another is weak spending on research and development – all of which play a role but none of which can explain in full the breakdown of what is normally the engine of economic growth.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42012388

Reasons for low productivity

One of the great economic puzzles of recent years has been the slowdown in productivity growth across Western nations. There are many potential explanations for this: the continued survival of zombie companies in a low-rate era; mismeasurement of the gains from technology; new tech being less significant than older innovations (the Robert Gordon thesis); a preference among businesses to use extra labour when wages are low. And so on.

FT

Re “a preference among businesses to use extra labour when wages are low”, taz what is happening here. Despite the recent restrictions, FTs still coming in. Only by the A380 cargo load, not the cattle truck load, as before. Remember that official productivity figures account for the cash value of output produced, divided by the number of workers.

SIBOR up 25%, but property mkt is hot?

In Economy, Property on 01/01/2018 at 5:03 pm

SIBOR up 25%

The three-month Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (Sibor) – the benchmark rate for most residential property loans here – has risen from 0.969 per cent on Jan 3, to 1.212 per cent as of the middle of this month. It is expected to go up further, in line with the Fed interest rate hikes next year.

But property market is hot and getting hotter. See what the property experts salemen say below.

So is cybernut-in-chief and oither haters of the 70% right that the market will tank Good economy = Unhappy hols, cybernuts?

Well so long as the global economy continues to enjoy a broad-based and strong period of growth, Oxygen and pals both at TRE and Chris K’s FB wall* will be banging their balls in frustration. And all indications are that in 2018 the party will continue for a bit longer. After all growth last year was 3.5% and will be easily 3% this yr.

Just be cautious that

The global economy may not grow as fast as predicted because China may experience slower growth than expected. If that happens stock markets will be in trouble as they seem to be priced to perfection.

But whatever, S’pore’s GDP growth will not collapse to 2%, let alone go into a recession. We may not have a great yr, but it ain’t going to a really bad yr.

On China, apart from being S’pore’s largest export market, accounting for 14.8% of total non-oil domestic exports (NODX), China has also been the fastest growing market over the past months. Almost 70 per cent of the NODX growth since July 2016 was driven by China alone. “Any slowdown in this key market will have a ripple effect on the Singapore economy,”  says DBS’s economist.

Whatever, beware property experts salemen talking their own book. Nomura economist Brian Tan urged for caution: “My main concern is that the market may be getting ahead of itself in terms of expecting this pick-up in (the) property market to be sustained.”

After several years in the doldrums, the recovery of the Singapore property market will be in full swing in 2018, experts say.

The jury is still out on whether concerns over a potential supply glut are warranted, but experts point out that how the market shapes up next year will depend very much on demand from buyers. This, in turn, hinges on the one major lever which the Government could yet call upon: The cooling measures, several of which — including the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) — have remained in place since 2013.

The predicted market rebound will take place against a background of improved economic showing and jobs market for Singapore. The Republic’s economy had expanded 5.2 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter, the fastest pace in more than three years, prompting the government to raise its full-year economic growth forecast for this year to between 3 and 3.5 per cent, up from 2 to 3 per cent.

“(Property) prices are picking up because of… the higher economic growth, low unemployment and stronger buyer confidence,” said ERA Realty’s key executive officer Eugene Lim.

http://www.todayonline.com/business/looking-ahead-2018-property-market-poised-roar-back-life


*Even Chris K is reduced to saying that in the old days, growth would be 6% not 3.5%. Funny that he keeps saying at other times that things have changed: so the 3.5% is the old 6%. Anyway cybernuts from TRE might want to move to his FB wall: going by the comments there many have already. Unlike TeamTRE he doesn’t publicise my pieces so taz a reason move if any.

But be warned, he tries to keep things civil. So Oxygen please keep away.

Facebook see govt no ak is it?

In Public Administration on 31/12/2017 at 9:53 am

The details of 263 Facebook users were requested by the Singapore Government between January and June this year, the social media company revealed in a report released on Monday (Dec 18).

The Government made a total of 204 requests for such information, according to the Facebook Transparency Report. Facebook complied with 59 per cent of the requests.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/263-facebook-user-details-requested-by-singapore-government-9513160

The BBC reports

Figures provided by Facebook suggest it handed over data in 85% of requests from US law enforcement and 90% in the UK.

So the S’pore authorities requests were rejected a lot more than requests by the Brits and Americans.

“Why liddat?”, we should be asking. Ang moh tua kee isit? China is sure to take note as Zuckerberg is trying to get the Chinese to allow FB in. I doubt if Chinais impressed that FB rejects so many of our govt’s requests since we and China are one-party states. Related posts Keeping power in a one-party state

But to be fair to the PAPpies, S’pore’s reject rate is the same as that of Germany.

Btw, three cheers for ST for reporting the UK and US numbers alonside that of S’pore’s. I’m sure someone sure kanna call up to lim kopi.

Our Asean neighbours on this list of shame

In Environment on 15/12/2017 at 5:18 pm

 Waste comparisons by country

Wonder where we are on this list if calculations were done on a per capita basis?

Wah train service so reliable meh between 2012 and 2016?

In Infrastructure on 25/11/2017 at 11:35 am
A usual sane TRE reader posted this in response to my comment that there was only one major cock-up between 2015 and April 2016 On the contrary cybernuts, Desmond did a great job
opposition dude:

Ah Cynical, it’s always interesting to read how you like to whitewash the truth isn’t it?

No major cockups until 2015 you say? Perhaps you aren’t a regular user of the trains and have never been caught in a disruption? What about the frequent disruptions faced by commuters every other month since he took over, all that magically doesn’t count ah? Only major shit like the tunnel “ponding” and the langga at Joo Koon?

Well I asked him

@opposition dude, look forward to u giving me details of disruptions between 2012 and April 2016 based on yr experience …

No picture no sound so far. So can I reasonably assume he was talking cock? What do u think?

Cybernuts are only a subset of 30%

In Uncategorized on 08/11/2017 at 5:39 pm

AfD, a right-wing nationalist party formed in 2013, claimed almost 13% of the popular vote. It is the first time since World War Two such a party will enter the German parliament.

But people online have been quick to point out the majority of the electorate – 87% of those who voted – opted for one of the other parties. The hashtag #87Prozent [87 percent] has been trending on social media in Germany.

“I must just remind you,” he wrote. “We are 87 percent. In other words: an absolute majority against the right”.

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-41384799

In S’pore, the PAP can legitimately say to those who voted against the PAP “We are 70%”. U are only 30%. Sit down and shut up.”

And yet the cybernuts among the 30% (Oxygen, Dosh, BK, Rabble-rouser etc) see the 70% as enemies of S’pore juz as the PAP, wrongly, see the 30% as the enemies of S’pore.

Amos: Will he pay the ultimate cost of free speech?

In Uncategorized on 29/09/2017 at 7:30 am

S’poreans who are the PAP cousins of the TRELand cybernuts are foaming at the mouth in cyberspace because Amos has got asylum in the US, and worse that he’ll soon be a guest at the White House way ahead of our tudung wearing Hali, the PAP’s president: after all Trump and Amos share similar views on Muslims.

Meanwhile the TRE cybernuts at happy at these things happening.

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Taking a chance on trash is what makes America Great

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO and and an immigrant makes an interesting observation about immigration to the US.

“I don’t want us to be only talking about high-skilled immigration. There’s one other quality the United States has, which is a real currency in the world, and that’s being a bastion of hope for all the people who need it most. Both of those need to be reserved in any immigration policy that we come up with.”

 a bastion of hope for all the people who need it most: The willingness of the US to take in a foul-mouth, draft dodger like Amos is what makes America Great. It’ll take the chance that he may turn out to be just a foul-mouth, draft dodging bum. It’ll take this risk because he really believed that America is the land of the free.

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As all indications are that he’s in the Chicago area, I tot the following would cheer the PAP cousins of the TRE cynernuts, and worry the TRE cybernuts.

The estimated number of violent crimes in the nation increased for the second consecutive year, rising by 4.1% in 2016 compared with 2015, driven by increases in Baltimore, Chicago and Las Vegas, said the FBI. The number of murders rose by 8.6% to an estimated 17,250 murders nationwide last year. Chicago, the nation’s third-biggest city, accounted for 22% of the nationwide increase with 765 murders last year, more than the number of murders in the largest city, New York (334), and the second-largest, Los Angeles (294), combined. The vast majority of these killings happened in five mostly black and Latino neighbourhoods on the south and west side where only 9% of the 2.7m city lives.

https://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2017/09/neighbourhood-watch

And given that he’s penniless, he’s likely to live in the “five mostly black and Latino neighbourhoods on the south and west side where only 9% of the 2.7m city lives”.

So he’d better get his ass to a safer city.

But as the stats quoted above show, the US is a lot more dangerous place than S’pore for a foul-mouth draft dodger. At most he gets locked up here; in the land of the free he might be gunned down at any time for exercising his constitutional right to offend others, or for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Back to the PAP cousins of the other TRELand cybernuts. I wouldn’t be surprised if they now are praying to the 9th Immortal that Amos gets killed by a gun toting red-neck or Islamic terrorist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As to the TRE nuts, who will they ask to protect Amos?

 

 

 

 

Good crowd at #notmypresident protest

In Uncategorized on 23/09/2017 at 10:49 am

The figures of last week’s protest range from “hundreds” (ST) to “2,500 — 3,000” according to activist Lim Tean one of the co-organisers.

Not seen an “aerial” photo that can help fix the size of the crowd.

Close to 2000 individuals turned up at Hong Lim Park on 16 September to show their concern and unhappiness over the recently concluded reserved elected presidency

TOC: FB post accompanying video footage

A “2,000” crowd works out to a 24,000 crowd in UK or a 62,000 crowd in a US city. Basis of calculation

Given that this is not an economic issue, unlike immigration, People power in S’pore, a crowd of between 1,000 – 2000 is a pretty decent showing.

 

 

 

Diabetes: Chinese ignored by PAP

In Public Administration on 08/09/2017 at 1:54 pm

And not the minorities. And it’s a member of an “oppressed” minority saying this.

Let me explain.

There has been a lot of KPKBing from the usual suspects that the PAP administration is stigmatising the diets of the Indians and Malays because the diabetes stats show that

– 9.7% Chinese had diabetes
– 16.6% Malays had diabetes and
– 17.2% Indians had diabetes

Here’s how a member of a minority race does the maths, the logical conclusion of which seems to indicate that the PAP administration is discriminating against the Chinese. From FB

Abdillah Zamzuri

SINGAPORE DIABETES IN REAL NUMBERS

Singapore’s Media has been focused on Malays and Indian diet to combat diabetes but here’s how the data looks like based on 2010 National Demographics and Diabetes Statistics.

In 2010, there were
– 2, 794, 000 Chinese
– 503, 900 Malays
– 348, 100 Indians

Of these,
– 9.7% Chinese had diabetes
– 16.6% Malays had diabetes and
– 17.2% Indians had diabetes

Percentage makes Malays and Indians look super unhealthy but here’s the reality in numbers…

– 271, 018 Chinese suffered diabetes
– 83, 647 Malays suffered diabetes
– 59, 873 Indians suffered diabetes

Which means, living in Singapore, Chinese are 3 times more likely to suffer diabetes than Malays and 4 times more likely to suffer diabetes than Indians.

Can we then ascertain that Chinese meals and lifestyle are unhealthier compared to Malay and Indian meals and lifestyle because well, the numbers said so.

In percentages based on overall population, this is how it looks like:

– 10.99% Singaporeans suffer from diabetes of which the denominations are…

– 7.18% Singaporeans (Chinese) suffer from diabetes
– 2.22% Singaporeans (Malay) suffer from diabetes
– 1.59% Singaporeans (Indian) suffer from diabetes

Reference:
http://www.singstat.gov.sg/…/census_2010_rel…/cop2010sr1.pdf
https://www.nrdo.gov.sg/…/defau…/diabetes-info-paper-v6.pdf…

#Diabetes #singapore

Seriously, this means

— minorities cannot complain if the government decides to allocate more resources in the war on diabetes in order to help the Chinese since by his logic they are the biggest sufferers; and if

— you tally up the education stats, more Chinese students “fail” than any other group. So SDP is wrong to KPKB that SAP schools “steal” money for the Chinese at the expense of the minorities.

PR BS from DBS

In Banks, Humour on 23/08/2017 at 6:40 am

Training? What training? Support? What support?

DBS Bank will be investing more than S$20 million over the next five years in a programme that will train its 10,000 employees in Singapore in digital banking skills and technologies.

The move is in support of Singapore’s vision to be a Smart Nation which Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong highlighted during his National Day Rally speech, it said in a press release on Monday (Aug 21)*.

Break down the $20m to a yearly figure ($4m) and divide the $4m by the number of employees (10,000), and u get $400 per employee a year. Peanuts.

What training for digital banking skills and technologies can one get for $400 per employee per year?

Training? What training? Support? What support? It seems to be more about  carrying the PM’s balls, than anything else.

No wonder we not that Smart a nation.

——————-

*The article goes on: The broad-based programme will include artificial intelligence (AI)-powered e-learning. AI can make personalised course recommendations for employees and help them to collaborate and engage in mobile education at any time or place across the bank, it said.

Employees can also try experiential learning, where they will be able to go on paid sabbaticals to work on prototypes and start their own businesses. Accelerator programmes will provide mentorship and funds for intrapreneurs.

Staff can likewise apply for grants and scholarships to upskill themselves in emerging technologies like data and analytics, desiging thinking and automation, the bank said. Innovative learning spaces, like the DBS Academy and DBS Asia X, are also part of the programme, where employees have access to digital master classes, or work in collaboration with start-ups and the broader fintech community.

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/dbs-to-invest-s-20-million-over-5-years-to-transform-employees-9143874

Truth about cars from car maker

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 12/07/2017 at 5:15 am

FT reports GM as saying when city dwellers buy a car, it depreciates “fairly rapidly, you use it 3 per cent of the time, and you pay a vast amount of money to park it for the other 97 per cent of the time”.

Related post

Amos: 7 months in US jail, 4 more to go at least

In Uncategorized on 04/07/2017 at 1:05 pm

I tot readers might want to take a break from Oxleygate and sneer, ridicule or laugh at Amos Yee.

OK, there’s a big difference between sneering, ridiculing or laughing at very privileged spoiled brats and PAP ministers, and one of their pleb “victims”. But one can grow tired of abalone and suckling pig, and go for cold porridge and kiam chye for a change.

Amos Yee’s poatings are not by him but by people sympathetic to him. Ah well there are loonies born every day. Juz look at M Ravi.

Although Amos has won his case for political asylum in the US, the prosecutor [Chief Consul: Karen E. Lundgren, Assistant Chief Consul: Elizabeth Crites] appealed the case. Meaning, even though Amos has already been in American jail for 5 months, he has to stay in jail for another 6 more months until the judge makes a decision on the appeal. Amos was on suicide watch in the jail hole for the past 2 weeks.

So by the end of the process, he’ll have spent 11 months in an US jail and about a month in detention here. Still a good idea to dodge NS the Amos Way, Mother Mary? Especially as his asylum application could still be rejected.

Did he get the book he wanted?

Amos is still needlessly in prison because the government continues to challenge the court ruling that granted his political asylum. The government’s decision to continue to incarcerate him weighs heavily on his spirits as he continues to fight against the enduring stress of his imprisonment in the US and the trauma from his imprisonment in Singapore. Amos has found comfort reading books that his supporters have sent him over the weeks. Amos has requested Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam‘s book “Make it right for Singapore: Speeches in Parliament, 1997-1999” in solidarity with those who have been unjustly persecuted by their governments. Amos extends his solidarity to those around the world who fight against authoritarian regimes. From Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia, to WikileaksJulian Assange in the UK, to Liu Xiaobo in China, to Edward Snowden in Russia, I stand with you.

The prison only allows paperback books purchased from large retailers such as Amazon. The Amazon link has been provided below.

https://www.amazon.com/Make-right-Singapore-Parliament-1…/…/

Books can be shipped to:

Amos Yee – Inmate #300802
Dodge Detention Facility
216 W Center St.
Juneau, WI 53039
USA

All Singapore Stuff , The Independent Singapore , Mothership.sg , The Online Citizen SG , The Straits TimesYahoo Singapore , 黃之鋒 Joshua Wong , Singapore Embassy in Washington DC

Make it right for Singapore: Speeches in Parliament, 1997-1999
AMAZON.COM
Wayang king at work. But is anyone watching?
May 20 ·

The US government still hasn’t released Amos Yee despite Amos’s asylum being approved by Judge Samuel B Cole. We suspect that the Singaporean government might have a role in interfering in a US court’s ruling that the Singaporean government acted against Amos in bad faith and that Amos should be granted political asylum. As a result of Amos’s numerous prolonged stays in detention his psychological health is suffering. In the US, Amos has been placed twice in solitary confinement.

On the first occasion he was in solitary confinement for 2 weeks. According to Amos, he decided to attend a religious lecture with a visiting Imam. During that lecture Amos challenged the Imam claiming that Muhammad had left many violent statements in the Quran. The Imam challenged him to prove it, Amos asked the Imam for the Quran so that he could show him the verses, the Imam called security on Amos where he was immediately placed into solitary confinement for 2 weeks.

On the second occasion that Amos was placed into solitary confinement it was after he was visited by a reporter. The reporter believed Amos to be suicidal, the proper authorities were notified of Amos’s situation, and he was then immediately placed on suicide watch for two weeks. During suicide watch Amos was placed in a small cell, he wasn’t allowed any cell mates, he wasn’t allowed access to the common areas, he wasn’t allowed to shower, and had numerous other privileges limited during that time.

Amos is currently out of suicide watch but his prolonged stay in jail is only making his situation even worse. Amos is suffering under great psychological stress. We are disappointed that immigration authorities under the Trump administration would not uphold our Western values of taking in persecuted political dissidents; our country was founded on these principles. We can only suspect interference by the Singaporean government as there would be no other legitimate reason for Amos to be detained for so long after being granted asylum by the court. All updates on Amos’s page are being made on his behalf by people working on Amos’s case.

Remember Mother Mary telling us that he was faking it when he looked “lost” when he got out of detention here and that his claims of feeling suicidal when inside were lies? Funny her post on this was removed.

8 ministers from Oxbridge but still can cock-up?/ One-term Malay MP?

In Investment banking, Political governance, Public Administration on 04/07/2017 at 5:06 am

I tot the above when I read

At the peak of Japan’s 1980s bubble [Nomura] … recruited more Oxford and Cambridge graduates than any institution outside the British government.

FT

Nomura has since been struggling to be great again. It’s now ranked 17th among investment banks. In the 80s, it was ranked alongside Goldie, Morgan Stanley, First Boston (disappeared into Credit Suisse) and Merrills (part of BoA today)

Given that there are seven Cambridge graduates and one Oxford graduate (Desmond Lee) in our cabinet of 22 ministers, no wonder we are no longer great. Sad.

(The seven from Cambridge are PM, DPM Teo, Hng Kiang, Zorro, Gan, Heng and Kee Chui.)

Yesterday’s wayang and the preceding Lee family row could have been avoided if PM (from Cambridge) had not have gone to the cabinet about his doubts about the circumstances around the execution of the will and the cabinet committee headed by another Cambridge man had not decided to act on PM’s doubts.

As a PAP Malay MP (Likely the central committee is already looking for her replacement for the next GE) pointed out

PM Lee’s comments in statutory declaration may appear to be a “backdoor approach” in challenging validity of his father’s will.

MP Rahayu Mahzam

Err maybe she reads me or the FB postings of a really, really smart lawyer? No not M Ravi or Jeannette Chong. The guy votes PAP but his legal brain is as sharp as a razor.

Whatever, she has balls of steel or is a real sotong to believe “vigorous debate” means “vigorous debate”. Her Chinese and Indian colleagues know better.

Why own an asset that is not utilised 96% of the time?

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 30/05/2017 at 6:10 am

Especially in S’pore unless u are paid like a PAP minister.

According to the financial-ratings agency Fitch, the average car spends 96% of its usable life parked in a garage or on the street. When maintenance, depreciation, insurance and running costs are totted up, cars are the most underutilised asset most consumers own.

Economist blog

The only marginal seats in S’pore

In Political governance on 02/05/2017 at 5:53 am

There’s no official definition of a marginal seat but people often look at constituencies where the majority – the gap between the first and second placed parties – is under 10%.
BBC

In S’pore only Ajunied GRC fits that description. LOL.

In S’pore “marginal” is a gap of about 15 points it seems. What do u think?

Update at 10.39am: An honest mistake. A 14 -year kid pointed out that Punngol East is also a marginal seat. Must be from RI. But then what’s an RI boy doing reading and posting at this time?

Update at 10.55am: Somehow I don’t think Punggol East is going to be WP’s in next GE. The PAP had to kick up a fuss to get back PE money from WP town council.

Muslim drivers endanger the public

In Uncategorized on 15/04/2017 at 1:24 pm

Recently, I made a half-serious comment that Muslims should be banneded from driving because Jihadist terrorists have been killing in the West by “marauding”.  It involves using a vehicle to mow people down in a crowded area.

Here’s more evidence that allowing Muslims drive is as dangeous as allowing the “wrong” Muslim to lead a machine-gun unit* or fly SAF planes.

A lorry was driven into a Stockholm department store last Friday, killing four and injuring more. The Swedish police are holding a 39-year-old from Uzbekistan who had lived in the country for some time.

And even more evidence courtesy of the BBC when it carried a story on the Swedish attack:

Timeline: Vehicle ramming attacks in Europe and the US

  • 14 July 2016, Nice, France: A man drove a lorry for 2km (1.2 miles) through a large crowd gathered to watch Bastille Day fireworks in Nice. Eighty-six people were killed, and more than 300 injured.
  • 28 November 2016, Ohio, United States: An 18-year-old student rammed his car into a group of pedestrians at Ohio State University and stabbed others. Eleven people were injured before he was shot and killed.
  • 19 December 2016, Berlin, Germany: The attack in Berlin killed 12 people and injured 49, when a man drove a lorry through the crowded Breitscheidplatz Christmas market. So-called Islamic State said one of its “soldiers” carried out the attack.
  • 22 March 2017, London, United Kingdom: Five people died and at least 50 were injured when a car mounted the pavement on London’s Westminster bridge and drove at high speed through pedestrians. The attacker then entered the parliament complex on foot and fatally stabbed a police officer, before being shot.
  • 23 March 2017, Antwerp, Belgium: A man was caught by soldiers after he drove at a crowd. Knives, a non-lethal gun and a dangerous substance were found in his car – but no-one was injured. Terror charges were later dropped.

Still think Muslims should be allowed to drive in countries where non-Muslims are the majority?


*1999 Sep 18, Tanjong Pagar: “If, for instance, you put in a Malay officer who’s very religious and who has family ties in Malaysia in charge of a machine-gun unit, that’s a very tricky business. We’ve got to know his background. I’m saying these things because they are real, and if I don’t think that, and I think even if today the Prime Minister doesn’t think carefully about this, we could have a tragedy. So, these are problems which, as poly students, you’re colour-blind to, but when you face life in reality, it’s a different proposition.” Guess who said this? No prizes though.

Muslim terrorists are useless

In Uncategorized on 11/04/2017 at 8:33 am

Graph

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39540371

They don’t kill as many ang mohs in Europe as ang moh terrorists did the 70s, 80s, 90s and noughties.

 

CPF Life: Increasing the pot the PAP way

In CPF on 10/04/2017 at 2:08 pm

Maybe the PAP administration might want to do what the Brits did in increasing the m0rtality rate so lightening the burden on the state to provide pensions.

As CPF Life “beneficiaries” are pooled into either the standard or basic schemes, the more people die earlier than expected in each pool, better for the others in the pool and no need for the state to step in: fund no money, yr problem not PAP administration’s problem.

Seriously, I’m surprised the cybernuts from TRELand or Mad Dog Chee have not accused the PAP administration of using SingHealth to kill off S’poreans

A flu jab blunder that contributed to the largest increase in deaths in a generation may have brought unexpected benefits for Britain’s pensions black hole, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries says the increase in the mortality rate in 2016 – when the flu jab was mismatched for the main strain of influenza – has slightly reduced overall life expectancy for the over-65s.

Experts say the shift has removed about £28bn of pension liabilities from the balance sheets of leading companies.AP

 

 

The real size of the water protest rally/ Where are the cybernuts?

In Uncategorized on 13/03/2017 at 2:24 pm

More than 100 people gathered in Singapore’s Speakers’ Corner on Saturday for a rare protest against a government plan to hike water prices that has stirred discontent over sluggish economic growth and rising unemployment in the city-state.

Reuters

I hope Dr Paul, one of the speakers at the rally, and a numbers man is not disappointed at the size of the crowd.

Relative to our population, the crowd size is more than 12,000.

(The reasoning for this)

Still too bad that none of the KPKBing cybernuts screaming and ranting at the price hike didn’t bother to turn up. They could have made a difference. Gibert Goh’s first two immigration protests each drew a crowd of 5000. This worked out to be about 58,000 S’poreans at each protest. That got the PAP administration to wake up its ideas a little.

Assistance what assistance?

In Uncategorized on 11/03/2017 at 2:56 pm

Lawyers will soon get support from the Government to adopt technology in their law practices, under a new $2.8m scheme launched on Monday (Feb27).

The Tech Start for Law programme will fund up to 70 per cent of the first-year’s cost for technology products in practice management, online research and online marketing for Singapore law firms.

It was jointly announced by the Ministry of Law, the Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc) and Spring Singapore.

ST

LawSoc president Gregory Vijayendran said a recent study commissioned by LawSoc found that only 9% of the small- and medium-sized firms here used technology-enabled productivity tools. He said that cost was key reason for the low adoption rate. (lawyers prefer spending their money on Ferarris isit?

The programme targets the 850 smaller law firms here.

The five technology products identified under the scheme include practice management systems CoreMatter, Lexis Affinity and Clio; online legal research tool Intelllex; and online marketing tool Asia Law Network. These products typically cost firms between $3,000 and $30,000 to adopt.

$2.8 mil to help targeted 850 smaller law firms: so average of $3,294 per law firm. Even if only 774 firms (9% of small firms have spent on IT, see above), each firm gets $3,618. Each can only only one low end product.

Call that help? What a load of BS.

Might as well don’t bother.

But to be fair, lawyers are bad at maths. Juz ask the three lawyer MPs on AHTC who could be on the hook for damages, together with other TC members.

Comfort doesn’t know how to cut costs

In Uncategorized on 07/03/2017 at 10:28 am

Dr Ho calculates that if the firm changed the colour of its entire fleet to yellow, it would, over the course of a year, have to deal with 917 fewer accidents and would save around S$2m ($1.4m).

http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21718319-avoid-accidents-flag-down-bananamobile-yellow-cabs-are-less-likely-crash

Yellow cabs are less likely to crash than blue ones, says an NUS study.

Rich kids ALWAYs get into better schools

In Uncategorized on 06/03/2017 at 5:25 am

In England, state secondary schools cannot select their pupils on the basis of academic prowess (and no such thing as PSLE even though our PSLE is based on an ancient English exam, “eleven plus” to separate the clever kids from the not so clever) and must follow strict rules to ensure fair access to school places.

Yet

On the day that families in England and Wales are allocated secondary school places, research shows that the richest children dominate top state schools.

Analysis of data shows 43% of pupils at England’s outstanding secondaries are from the wealthiest 20% of families.

The study from education charity Teach First also shows poorer pupils are half as likely as the richest to be heading to an outstanding secondary school.

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-39076204

So want to give your kids an edge? Make money, serious money or inherit it.

LOL.

 

Watergate: MIW caught with pants down

In Economy, Environment on 02/03/2017 at 4:46 am

PAPpies and their running dogs in the constructive, nation-building media and academia and on social media say that the price of water hasn’t been changed for years, so we shouldn’t be getting worked up about the 30% hike (peanuts, really).

But 18 months ago, VivianB said (see below) there was no need to change the price because PUB has improvements in membrane tech and productivity and that the water tariff and WCT reflect the scarcity of water.

So what has changed in 18 months?

Either in 2015 (before GE) the PAP administration didn’t do their homework leading a minster to mislead S’poreans and parly, or in 2017 the cabinet didn’t read what the then minister said in 2015 when making the decision to raise prices.

But then maybe before GE 2015, PAP wanted to get rid of its “Pay and Pay” tag?

Kudos to whoever originally dug this up. I think it is Chen Jiaxi Bernard, a WP man. Well done.

Image may contain: text

TOC, TMG can rebut this?/ But then PAP is always wrong

In Economy, Environment on 25/02/2017 at 9:34 am

 

TOC, TMG (with a once (and future?) wannable Sith Lord)  and other anti-PAPpists have been complaining about the impending water price hikes.

 

No automatic alt text available.

Singapore MattersLike Page

Your bowl of mee pok is going to cost 30% more because water price is going up by 30%? Your cup of coffee will cost 30% more?

That’s FEAR MONGERING! Quit it!

Put that 30% increase in perspective. If your cup of coffee costs 30% more because water price has gone up, that’s called exploiting the water price increase to raise prices.

Taz wht we had the assurance of a junior minister that

the cost of goods, such as coffee and tea, “should not and ought not go up” when participants addressed the trickle-down effect that the water price increase.

TOC

Then what happens when prices don’t rise?

TOC, TMG and the cybernuts will then complain that sellers of coffee and tea drinks and food sellers are suffering.

Don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.

The PAP is so very lucky in its enemies.

Blur Tiger Mom digs deeper hole for herself/ Wrong KPI

In Uncategorized on 29/11/2016 at 5:25 am

A kiasu tiger mom gave her side of a story that has gripped local cyberspace. A newspaper article reported that despite her son getting straight As in her PSLE, she was unhappy that he got 231 points not the 250, she expected and had “punished” her son.

Her explanation showed her in a worse light. She was unhappy with her son because he got 230 points, not the 231 she expected? Wah lan.

As far as I’m concerned, I only want to know if the points he got, would get him into the school of her choice i.e. the “right” school. Nothing else matters. And no-one other than me seems to have asked this question.

PLSE points don’t really matter (bar bragging rights), getting into the “right” school matters.

All this fixation by her and S’poreans about the boy’s points prove my point that S’poreans work stupid from young.

I repeat, from young, S’poreans work hard but stupid, not smart. Who to blame? Blame the PAP administration who is responsible for the education system.

Lim Swee Say (http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/11/02/lim-swee-say-improve-productivity-or-singapores-competitive-primacy-will-be-risked/) should have a word with the relevant minister of education.

I’ll end on a morbid note. Some wag posted on FB

The urgent thing now is to send an open letter to mdm soon’s kid, telling him if he can’t take it anymore, there are places he can run to for help. And put a list of counselling centers and homes for kids like him.

The real reason why productivity is so bad

In Economy on 06/11/2016 at 4:49 am

From young, S’poreans work hard but stupid, not smart.

Longest homework hours

1. Shanghai
2. Russia
3. Singapore
4. Kazakhstan
5. Italy
6. Ireland
7. Romania
8. Estonia
9. Lithuania
10. Poland
11. Spain

In Finland and South Korea, two of the countries with the best student performances according to PISA – the average time spent on homework every week was less than three hours.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37873805

(More on the Finnish way: http://www.bbc.com/news/education-37716005)

All the above countries in above table have more than six hours of homework a week. So no correlation or causation between hrs spent on homework and PISA result.

I repeat, from young, S’poreans work hard but stupid, not smart. Who to blame? Blame the PAP administration who is responsible for the education system.

Lim Swee Say (http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/11/02/lim-swee-say-improve-productivity-or-singapores-competitive-primacy-will-be-risked/) should have a word with the relevant minister of education.

Update at 7.45 pm: More evidence we work stupid from young

The OECD’s top 10 highest performing graduates

  1. Japan
  2. Finland
  3. Netherlands
  4. Sweden
  5. Australia
  6. Norway
  7. Belgium
  8. New Zealand
  9. England
  10. United States

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37649892

We not on it

As BBC says

It casts a light too on how an efficient school system might not translate into success in higher education.

South Korea and Singapore, both high achievers at school level, are below average in the graduate rankings.

Thanks to Chris K for the info in update.

Do yr MBA at Queensland U

In Uncategorized on 18/10/2016 at 12:19 pm

Really bang for your buck: Median salary for newly minyed MBA is US$120,000 versus total course fee of US%50,000.  But there’s a tiny catch: longer work experience needed (mean of 12 yrs) which could explain the start pay. 

http://www.economist.com/news/business/21708719-worth-it

Does this work here?

In Uncategorized on 23/09/2016 at 1:42 pm

To be served quickest at the supermarket checkout, you should follow the shopper with the full trolley, not the line of people with a few things in their baskets.

Find out more (New York Times)

NYT Dealbook

I don’t think so based on my experience of using the “express” checkout and observing the checkout counters where there are trolleys.

 

 

FTs and Zika/ The dog that didn’t bark

In Public Administration on 03/09/2016 at 7:25 am

Did you know that FTs account for 35% of the Zika cases here? OK 34.78% leh

Taz the conclusion based on the u/m facts reported in the FT

the total number of confirmed cases rose to 115 in the largest single outbreak of the virus in Asia; and

21 Chinese nationals, 13 Indian citizens and six Bangladeshi nationals among the Zika cases in Singapore, according to authorities.

Emphasis mine.

Waz strange* is that TISG is not using these facts to “attack” FTs to attract eyeballs; something that it was perceived to be doing in the recent past. Whatever, good that it is not trying inadvertently “to  promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore”.

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

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

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

Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

Silver Blaze by  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Uodate at 2.00pm: Reader pointed out that the mozzies don’t like FT blood: Considering that 40% of the total population is foreigner, and 55% of the working adult population is foreigner …. this means that a smaller proportion of foreigners compared to Sinkies are being infected. Either foreigners have stronger genes or they exercise better mozzie control than Sinkies or the local mozzies can’t stand the smell/taste of foreigner blood.

“Dollars and Sense” of a Hawker Stall

In Financial competency on 02/09/2016 at 2:34 pm

Here’s a really good post on the economics of starting a hawker stall and then running it http://dollarsandsense.sg/how-much-does-it-cost-to-run-a-hawker-stall-in-singapore/

But does the “Estimated Monthly Cost” include the “wages” that the two entrepreneurs pay themselves? If they had employees, the employees’ wages would be included under this heading. But as they are both bosses and workers, it isn’t clear if “Cost” includes their “wages”.

Makes a big difference on the real bottom line.

Initial Cost Of Starting Hawker Stall (Inclusive Of Opportunity Cost)

(Excluding Apprenticeship Fee)

$40,000

Monthly Operating Cost$11,000 – $15,000

Estimated Daily Revenue $1,000 Based on assumption of 200 Customers, average spending of $5
Estimated Monthly Revenue $22,000 22 working days per month
Estimated Monthly Cost $13,000  
Estimated Monthly Gross Profit $9,000

 

 

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.

Pink Dot: Why was govt spooked?/ Pastor Khong try matching the numbers

In Political governance on 27/06/2016 at 6:23 am

28,000 people at a Pink Dot event is the equivalent of a crowd of 330,000 in the UK. or 1.7m in the US. Pretty impressive number then.


FT columnist does the sums:

Singapore’s annual Pink Dot gay pride gathering attracts big crowds. There were 28,000 people there last year.

That is a large turnout in a country with a population of 5.5m. An equivalent gathering in the UK would be 330,000. In the US, it would be 1.7m.

Note that he had to use last year’s numbers because the organiser’s refused to provide a number for this year, claiming that it wasn’t about numbers any more. Didn’t cut any ice with the govt this show of modesty, did it?


This shows what foreign sponsorship money and good local event management can do.

No wonder the PAP administration told foreign sponsors that funding Pink Dot is a no-no area. And they are sitting down and shutting up. Money talks, BS walks. The probability of making serious money, outweighs the BS talk of values.

In a de-facto one party state, like a de-jure party state, the ruling party cannot have any other organisation capable of getting people out on the streets for an alternative view that the party is uncomfortable with. Think the CCP and Falun Gong.

———————-

When China banned Falun Gong, the PA here cancelled Falun Gong classes it was conducting immediately before the movement was banned here. In HK, the movement is not banned. We more PRC than HK isit? why liddat?

————–

Finally, Pastor Khong and allies talk of a moral  majority opposed to LGBT rights. Prove it please. Get 30,000 people to a do at Hong Lim Green. After all if God is really on their side, the crowd will be there.

Scared isit? Why liddat? After all got Allah and the three-in-one version.

And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

 

 

Profitable to pay elderly poor to leave S’pore

In Uncategorized on 24/06/2016 at 7:00 am

Further to this, where I, tongue-in-cheek, suggested that the PAP administration should follow what Auckland in NZ is doing (paying the poor to leave the city) and pay the elderly poor, among others, to leave S’pore. After all, the cost of living is lower in neighbouring countries.

A reader (see below) provides data which shows that if the PAP administrations pays $1,500 a month per person (subsidy of 60% of $2,500 monthly charge at a nursing home) if they leave S’pore, it can make a big profit of $1,000 a persomn a month. Even paying out $2,000 makes a profit because the breakeven point is $2,500.

And these numbers do not include the other benefits of not looking after the elderly here (See the bolded bits below: my emphasis).

And if the usual suspects KPKB, the PAP administration can pont out that Auckland in progressive NZ used this technique first: “We juz adapting ang moh best practice. Tot u guys believe ‘Ang mohs always right’? So why liddat? PAP not ang moh isit? Or ‘PAP always wrong’ isit?”

From a reader:

The cheapest MOH-approved nursing homes cost $2,500 per resident per month. Most of such patients in such nursing homes are being subsidised by govt, ranging from 60% subsidy to 100%.

Hence $2,500 is the max monthly stipend that makes sense. Not forgetting that this also frees up valuable land space that would otherwise be required for nursing homes. And also eliminate the thousands of low-skilled healthcare assistants which make up the bulk & backbone of nursing homes. Also eliminates or reduces the MOH-affiliated depts. & agencies performing audits, coordination work, processing claims & subsidies & co-sharing, manpower approvals & processing, etc etc pertaining to nursing homes.

SDP: No adult supervision isit? Why liddat?

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

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

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

http://yoursdp.org/news/survey_bb_voters_say_chee_better_candidate_but_feel_safer_with_pap/2016-05-15-6124

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

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

What the survey really shows

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

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

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

http://yoursdp.org/news/survey_bb_voters_say_chee_better_candidate_but_feel_safer_with_pap/2016-05-15-6124


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

**Changed after inter and sicial media outrage to: SURVEY: HIGHER % OF SDP VOTERS IN BB SAY CHEE BETTER CANDIDATE THAN THOSE ROOTING FOR MURALI

 

 

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?

60-70% of the voters happy with trade-off?

In Humour, Political governance on 11/05/2016 at 1:40 pm

But first did you know the ratio of milk produced to manure produced?

2,500 prolific pedigree bovines were producing 30,000 litres of milk a day, as well as a staggering 100,000 kilograms of manure.

(Economist blog)

Translated into Singlish: Want PAP, got to put up with the BS: a lot of it.

But obviously most voters think the deal worth it.

Taz also my summary of  a chim, long-winded piece by a strategist for the M’sian DAP on why S’poreans vote for the PAP.

http://www.academia.edu/22666466/James_Chin_The_2015_Singapore_Swing_Depoliticised_polity_and_the_Kiasi_Kiasu_voter

S/o JBJ is absolutely right

Kenneth J: Stop Complaining, Singaporeans, You Get the Government You Deserve

But he forgot that most S’poreans are matured. They know that there is trade-off, just like between milk and turd.

 

China: That big meh?

In China on 02/04/2016 at 4:16 pm

Did you know?

The distance from Kashgar, an oasis city in Xinjiang near China’s central Asian frontier, to Berlin is only about 400 miles farther as the crow flies than the distance from Kashgar to Shanghai. (FT)

—  Chongqing covers an area the size of Scotland. Around 12m of its residents are villagers; another 18m live in the core city and other widely scattered towns. (Economist)

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

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

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

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

Muslims: Fun fact

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

:

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

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

 

 

Retiring to UK is cheaper than retiring here

In Uncategorized on 09/02/2016 at 5:13 am

S’pore (8th) is juz ahead of Kuwait and UK. Surprising Oz is 6th and NZ 7th.

http://historum.com/ancient-history/62424-hellenistic-nations-against-rome-would-alexandrian-tactics-really-have-save-them.html

S’pore’s a distant third but pips Bangkok

In Economy, Tourism on 08/02/2016 at 2:34 pm

KL’s a distant 10th

http://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/02/which-are-the-world-s-most-visited-cities?utm_content=buffer779b3&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

Japs prefer S’pore to France, Sweden. Korea

In Japan on 06/02/2016 at 3:26 pm

Japan chart

Mad Dog’s, Low’s fangals?

In Uncategorized on 31/01/2016 at 11:29 am

Or maybe these women admire or are inspired by by Ah Lian, Mrs Chiam and Auntie Sylvia? Or put off by HoHoHo, Grace Fu and Jos Teo? Or both?

Or maybe they not brainwashed, not having done NS?

Swing voters who chose the opposition in Singapore’s general election last September mainly consisted of women who had an average age of 38, according to survey findings revealed by the Institute of Policy Studies on Wednesday.

Speaking at the IPS symposium about her findings on the demographics of voters, researcher Zhang Weiyu noted that the actual percentage of swing voters in the past election was 5 per cent. [I think this should be 5 points. If so another cock academic from IPS who doesn’t know difference between 5% and 5 oercentage points. But then so does an education minister.

Most of the ones who swung to the opposition lived in either one to two room HDB flats or four room HDB flats, and most of them ranked “having different voices in Parliament” as a top concern, the survey found.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/who-swung-to-the-opposition-in-ge-2015-mostly-020201960.html?linkId=2076890

Double confirm, TRE posters are morons

In Uncategorized on 30/01/2016 at 4:41 pm

Based on findings by another researcher, Debbie Goh, who did a survey on personalised communication and the knowledge gap during GE 2015, she discovered that for voters aged 60 and above, the ones with below average online engagement had a higher mean knowledge score compared to those with above average engagement.

For those in the high-income level, below average users scored close to the maximum score, while above average users scored a little lower.

Goh concluded, “Excessive [online] use by some groups had negative influence on knowledge.”

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/who-swung-to-the-opposition-in-ge-2015-mostly-020201960.html?linkId=20768904

When Indians are silent, not triumphant

In China, Environment, India on 23/01/2016 at 5:05 am

India loves to blow its trumpet whenever it “beats” China. So it’s strange that it’s so silent when it trashes China.

 

 

Chinese have unique “tertiary” gene?

In Uncategorized on 16/01/2016 at 4:21 am

A number of genetic disorders occur more frequently in certain ethnic populations. In the Ashkenazi Jewish population (those of Eastern European descent), it has been estimated that one in four individuals is a carrier of one of several genetic conditions. These diseases include Tay-Sachs Disease, Canavan, Niemann-Pick, Gaucher, Familial Dysautonomia, Bloom Syndrome, Fanconi anemia, Cystic Fibrosis and Mucolipidosis IV. Some of these diseases may be severe and may result in the early death of a child. Carrier screening is available for all of these diseases with a simple blood test.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Health/genetics.html-

In the UK the poorest Chinese pupils are more likely to go to university than the richest white pupils.

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-34778517

Ethnic Chinese got “go to uni” gene? Bang yr balls the Indian suremacists in S’pore who want to abolish SAP schools so that ethnic Indians can dominate.

 

PAP’s fault? Pinoy cons target 55%

In Uncategorized on 14/01/2016 at 12:38 pm

I Iot the above when I read on CNA’s website

Online scams: Singaporeans easy targets, says one scammer

Janice* told GET REAL why Singaporeans are easier, more “gullible” targets for scammers like her both in and out of the country.

“Australians are quite difficult and snobbish, so I need to adjust to them a lot. I have to sound extra sweet and very loving, unlike Singaporeans. With them (Singaporeans), I can just say anything and they will easily believe me,” said Janice.

Online dating sites are a common choice for scammers who tend to target men.

Even though a large number of Singaporeans are considered relatively Internet-savvy, some seeking companionship turn to online dating sites where many “love scammers” operate, said experts.

The lack of a language barrier has also made Singaporeans particularly easy targets for international cybercriminals to approach for scams, said experts and scammers like Janice.

According to Norton Cyber Security, victims of online crime in Singapore have each lost an average of US$545 in the past year, higher than the international average of US$358 a victim. Note the local average loss is 52% more than the int’l average.

As to the 55% figure, as I see it, 35 points of this 55%  are, based on PE 2011. hard core PAP voters, while based on GE 2015 about 20 points arethe hard core Oppo voters. The former will always believe the PAP, for example when a miniter says “CPF is yr money”, they’ll believe him and forget about the restrictions on its use.

Or they agree with ministers and the HDB that “HDB flata are affordable” because new HDB flats have remained affordable, HDB said. After all, 2014, first-time home buyers used less than a quarter of their monthly income on average to pay for their housing loans, below international affordability benchmarks of 30 to 35%, HDB said. Adding that about 80% of the first-time new flat buyers also service their monthly installment using only their CPF savings, with no cash outlay required.”

Or worse say “PAP knows better than us our needs”.

The hard core anti-PAP voters are happy to vote for clowns like s/o JBJ, Goh Meng Seng, Roy, and M Ravi because they believed Roy when he said PM stold out CPF money. They even still believe it after he said he had talked cock when making the allegation. He’s so ashamed that he has moved on to photography?

These 55%  are the gullible S’poreans that Janice and others target successfully for their bread and batter.

The kaya is provided by the really guilbe men who voted for New Citizen Han Hui Hui because they think she is good-looking or brainy or both. They are the ones that make Janice rich.

Seriously the remaining 45% of S’potean should be asking ourselves why 55% of us are gullible retards. Having ruled S’poe since 1959, the PAP must surely take some (if not most) of the blame for turning 55% of the people into sheep, or keeping them that way?

After all the education system priduces a headmaster like Mr Chia who can’t analyse a simple issue and who resorts to name-calling (like another famous product of the education system: Amos theBoy Fantastic

==================================================

* Who is she? Janice (not her real name), a 27-year-old wife and mother in the Philippine capital Manila, carries out online scams on a full-time basis. Like many online scammers, Janice was introduced to the business of online scamming by her friends. The attraction of financial rewards was something she could not ignore. Through online scams alone, Janice makes an average of US$2,100 monthly. In the Philippines, that is equivalent to a senior manager’s monthly salary. So lucrative is her trade that she has since introduced the skill of scamming to her neighbour.

Buffett and us got bad golden anniversaries

In Economy on 01/01/2016 at 3:51 pm

Singapore’s economy is projected to have expanded 2% in 2015, making it the slowest pace of growth in six years. Mkt was down 15%, worst in SE Asia. And Indonesia and M’sia have been  the pits. Yet we did wotse than them

Investment guru Warren Buffett is headed for his worst year relative to the rest of the US stock market since 2009, with shares in his conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway down 11 per cent with two more trading days to go.

The underperformance comes in Mr Buffett’s Golden Anniversary year at the helm, when he told investors for the first time that they should judge his record based on Berkshire’s share price, rather than just the book value of the company, which had been his preferred yardstick for decades.

Mr Buffett urged them to make that judgment based on the long term, rather than on a single year, reflecting investing mentor Benjamin Graham’s view that the stock market may be a “weighing machine” in the long run, but in the short term it is a “voting machine”.

But in 2015, the market has been voting negatively on Berkshire’s prospects for weathering the decline in commodity prices, according to Jim Shanahan, analyst at Edward Jones.

Although Berkshire has no oil and gas subsidiaries, its railroad business transports oil, coal and agricultural products, and its manufacturing arm sells products to the shrinking oil industry. Weak results from Berkshire’s insurance divisions in the middle of the year may also be due to lower oil prices, Mr Shanahan said, since lower petrol prices mean drivers and truckers are on the road for longer and having more accidents.

“They are impacted by the weak resources sector and commodity prices in general,” he said.

Berkshire has also been hit by big declines in two of its largest stock market investments: American Express, which is down by 24 per cent this year; and IBM, which is down 13 per cent.

Chart: Berkshire Hathaway v S&P 500

(FT a few days ago)

 

PAP must have done shumething right since 1990

In Economy on 15/12/2015 at 4:44 pm

The PAP administration gets whacked regularly for a focus on GDP growth. Well by this alternative measure, it hasn’t done too badly by us has it?

We jail relatively more people than China

In Uncategorized on 11/12/2015 at 2:13 pm

30% keep on KPKBing– Don’t despair

In Political governance on 09/11/2015 at 5:33 am

Be brave and of good cheer. History is on yr side. PAP is doomed: by demographics and S’pore rising levelsw of education.

I’m not joking.

That’s a reasonable conclusion to draw from the survey* by the PAP administrations’s very own Institute of Policy Studies that shows that respondents who viewed the SDP and WP as credible were mainly those aged 39 years and below, and mainly had a university and diploma education.

As for the PAP, it was the pre-independence generation, or those aged above 55 years that mainly saw the party as credible.

Reasonable conclusion: only the dying, about to die and the uneducated really support the PAP. Goh Meng Seng, Roy Ngerng, Han Hui Hui, Kirsten Han, Lynn Lee and TRE cybernuts are not representative of the 30% even if they behave as though they represent the 30%. SDP’s Dr Paul Thamby, and Leon the Lion are?

No wonder Ah Loong says the PAP must change, and the PAP’s already preparing for the next GE (I’ll blog soon on what its a doing in my area, a safe PAP area according to the WP), and the acting minister of education plays down the PAP’s success (my take).

So Oppo activists and anti-PAP cybernuts should look on the right side, and look beyond the trashing they got and in the case of the latter fully deserved.

And Dr Chee (and the ang mohs backing him) must really be be happy that the percentage of people who found the party credible** more than doubled from 20% in GE2011 to 42% in GE2015. The PAP saw an increase of credibility of only 20 percentage points, while the Worthless WankersP’s credibility in the eyes of voters increased by 15 percentage points. Too bad for Khaw and his ministry’s civil servants, no performance bonus for sliming the Wayang Party over the AHPETC accounts. It didn’t work. WP’s cred did not fall.

Related post on what stats really mean: they are not facts.

———————————

*2,015 S’poeans were interviewed for the survey, by phone from 12 to 26 September. IPS senior research fellow Gillian Koh was in charge of the survey.

**But he can’t afford too many of things like this

The news that Jeffrey George was arrested by the Central Narcotics Bureau comes as a shock. I have known Jeff for many years and all this time he has discharged his duties as an SDP member and leader with professionalism. He is respected and well-liked by his party colleagues. This is why the matter is all the more a complete surprise.

At this time, the family members need support as they go through a difficult period. They should be left alone to sort things out.

Chee Soon Juan

Secretary-General
Singapore Democratic Party

Guy was SDP chairman until juz before his arrest it seems. Very convenient for SDP.

 

 

 

Education minister doesn’t know difference between “percent” and “percentage-points”

In Uncategorized on 05/11/2015 at 4:46 am

“If you look in terms of percentage in hotly contested areas, there is no 10 per cent swing. It’s about 5″, said Acting Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung on Wednesday. .

No not another person who doesn’t know the difference between “percent” and “percentage-points” or “points”. And he’s a minister and a next generation leader?

Sometime back I ranted

A Fellow from the Institute of Policy Studies, one Johannis Aziz wrote on IPS Commons (“Where Minds Meet”), Singaporeans voted in a general election that saw the incumbent PAP government enjoy a 9.8% vote swing in its favour.

Hello what “9.8% vote swing”? While this kind of garbage is common on TRE, TOC or social media, a Fellow of the Institute of Policy Studies should know better. He should not be as financially illiterate a TRE cybernut like Oxygen. And if he’s no moron, he should not use words sloppily, again like cybernuts.

I’ve rebuked cybernuts on TRE, TOC and Facebook for the wrong use of “%”. The swing is 9.8 points or 9.8 percentage-points, not “9.8%”.

I pointed out to them that if they can’t get this simple terminology right, why should anyone trust their analysis? I say the same to Johannes Aziz, a Fellow of IPS. Another FT where the T stands for “Trash”?

A minister should know better, particularly a scholar.

Baring this mistake, Ong is absolutely right that the swing a 5 percentage point swing not a 10.

As I wrote sometime back:

There is of angst by the anti-PAP crowd about the 10 point swing to the PAP by those who voted the Oppo in 2011. Actually. only voters amounting to 5 percentage-points voted for the PAP instead of the Oppo parties. But this becomes a 10 percentage-point swing because the Oppo lost 5 points and the PAP gained 5 points.

Not that bad leh as a 10% loss.

Update on 7 November at 6.00pm: A friend who has an MSE degree says that minister and me are wrong to talk about 5 point swing. It should be 10 point swing.

He says

2011
PAP – 60% of votes
Opp – 40%
Difference 20 points
2015
POP – 70%
Opp – 30%
Difference 40
Swing: 40-20 = 20
However, 20 points is incorrect as actual loss/gain of vote share of each side is only 10 points.

Statistics are not facts/ “Statistical objectivity is a cloak spun from political yarn”

In Uncategorized on 04/11/2015 at 2:36 pm

“Statistics is about measurement not facts. The measurements only become facts when they are imbued with meaning, Hence I can measure net migration and this measurement can inform many ‘facts’ as the debate on migration amply demonstrates.”

By Xenon on “Statistical objectivity is a cloak spun from political yarn”, an article behind FT’s paywall by this yr’s winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics.

Angus Deaton argues that the role of politics needs to be understood, and built in to any careful interpretation of the data. We must always work from multiple sources, and look deep into the cogs and wheels. James Scott, the political scientist, noted that statistics are how the state sees. The state decides what it needs to see and how to see it. That politics infuses every part of this is a testament to the importance of the numbers; lives depend on what they show.

Markets don’t listen to economists

In Financial competency on 24/10/2015 at 4:49 am

 

Economists still forecast rise in Fed rate before year’s end. Despite a tempering in the US labour market, 65% of the 46 economists from leading banks polled by the FT said the central bank would increase the federal funds rate at its December meeting.

Contrast this to market expectations, where observers have played down the chance of tighter monetary policy before next year. Putting their money where their mouths are, futures markets predict a 32.3% chance of a rise by December, with March currently given an even chance of a Fed move.

 

Chinese data is fuzzy

In China on 18/10/2015 at 2:38 pm

(Update on 19 Oct at 10,30am: China’s economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter at 6.9%, the slowest since 2009)

Tomorrow China will release its latest GDP data. China is predicting growth of “around” 7% for this year

FT reported that said last month a aspokesman for the Chinese Bureau of Statistics said that he believed growth as low as 6.5% could be considered as “around” 7%

Another Foreign Trash?/ GE2015: How 5 becomes 10

In Uncategorized on 13/10/2015 at 4:52 pm

A Fellow from the Institute of Policy Studies, one Johannis Aziz wrote on IPS Commons (“Where Minds Meet”), Singaporeans voted in a general election that saw the incumbent PAP government enjoy a 9.8% vote swing in its favour.

Hello what “9.8% vote swing”? While this kind of garbage is common on TRE, TOC or social media, a Fellow of the Institute of Policy Studies should know better. He should not be as financially illiterate a TRE cybernut like Oxygen. And if he’s no moron, he should not use words sloppily, again like cybernuts.

I’ve rebuked cybernuts on TRE, TOC and Facebook for the wrong use of “%”. The swing is 9.8 points or 9.8 percentage-points, not “9.8%”.

I pointed out to them that if they can’t get this simple terminology right, why should anyone trust their analysis? I say the same to Johannes Aziz, a Fellow of IPS. Another FT where the T stands for “Trash”? Like the ex-CEO of SGX and the present president and head of IT at SGX? SGX: the rats’ nest of Foreign Trashes.Maybe, he’ll get a job at SGX soon.

On to something more serious. There is of angst by the anti-PAP crowd about the 10 point swing to the PAP by those who voted the Oppo in 2011. Actually. only voters amounting to 5 percentage-points voted for the PAP instead of the Oppo parties. But this becomes a 10 percentage-point swing because the Oppo lost 5 points and the PAP gained 5 points.

Not that bad leh as a 10% loss.

Will the real SDP, Dr Chee pls stand up?

In Political governance on 23/09/2015 at 4:54 am

After the GE, it was heartening to read this

Paul Tambyah: “This election has confirmed how hard it is for opposition politicians in Singapore to get their message across. I would like to continue with this process unless the PAP adopts all our policies and moves towards social justice (!) because that is what is most important to me rather than who is in power. Singaporeans are not really a selfish people; we do believe in democracy, justice and equality as pre-requisites for peace and prosperity despite the cynicism and materialism around us.”

It was a sign that the SDP had matured.

But then, in a statement that was published on TRE (among other sites), Dr Chee wrote:

“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.”*

And then: ‘Speaking before a crowd that filled the SDP’s headquarters and spilled out the front door, SDP secretary-general Chee Soon Juan argued that the power imbalances in the system meant “elections in Singapore can have one, and only one, outcome… PAP victory.”

Control over the mainstream media, the use of the People’s Association for party purposes and the placing of the Elections Department under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Office have stacked the deck against opposition parties, assuring the continuance of PAP dominance in Singaporean politics, Chee said**.

(TOC)

Is Dr Chee reverting to  his Mad Dog persona? Is he Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde? If so, Dr Chee needs to be forced to his medicine? Or should the dosage should increase?

These are questions that some of us that rooted for the SDP are asking ourselves.

All I can hope is that the new look SDP is not wayang, or will be discarded anytime soon. And that Dr Chee is juz venting his frustrations. Even that is putting a gloss on the situation as it shows that he’s an immature person despite his age, and undoubted intellectual powers, and charisma.

Time to write-off the SDP***? Until it gets a new leader that will take it along the paththat the SDP seemed to have gone down the last few yr until Dr Chee’s outbursts?

One can only watch and wait.

During the elections Paul joked about Tharman joining the SDP, if the PAP splits. Well it looks more likely that if the Mad Dog returns to form (Cannot teach old dog new tricks?) that Dr Paul will join the PAP. After all there are those in the SDP (think John Tan. Chee’s sister and the Old Guard) who never really bot into SDP Bahru. It was a means to get into Parly by appearing moderate.

Watch and wait.

But the election loss is not the only loss that Dr Chee has to grapple with. He has made headway intellectually here partly because of Piketty’s book on why inequality is growing in the UAS, Europe and globally (something Dr Chee has been talking about in the local context since the 1990s, stressing that the engines of social mobility here have stalled).

But now the backlash against Piketty is gathering momentum: Piketty wrong about the inevitability of inequality? http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34283764.

=======================

*I posted on TRE: Come on whatever the PAP does, s/o JBI brown noser Dosh (sun shines from s/o JBJ’s behind), grave dancing Oxygen etc will want the PAP out but do nothing about it. Should anyone really care about their views?

Seriously, does 30% constitute a majority, and 70% a minority? Dr Chee seems to imply so.

**In contrast to Doc Chee’s comments, here is what Dr Paul said on the same topic: the dominance of the PAP. Dr Paul was asked What are the lessons learnt from GE2015’s results?

The main lesson for me was in the structural obstacles which restrict democracy in Singapore. In particular, the billion dollar People’s Association (PA) which makes a mockery of the election process in that the losers of the election in Hougang and Aljunied get all the resources of the taxpayer funded agencies. In addition, the overwhelming power of the mainstream media and their online outlets is a huge obstacle to overcome — for example, the only debates that occurred in this campaign were on CNA and IQ and the IQ debates had a very small audience, less than 0.1% of the electorate.

http://six-six.com/article/post-ge-q-and-a-dr-paul-tambyah

A really fair, nuanced comment, that PAP apologists like Calvin Cheng cannot contradict without sounding stupid. I’m not saying that they are not stupid.

One could argue that in substance, it’s the same point Dr Chee was making. But in politics, prestation and perception are v.v. impt.

***Something to ponder though the maths could be shoddy.

Singapore Democratic Party

Average PAP vote: 68.71 per cent
Average PAP swing: 5.47 per cent

Exactly as predicted by the model, the PAP achieved the smallest national swing against the SDP, far smaller than the national average swing. The model explains that the SDP should be more resistant to national swings than other opposition parties because it has adopted the “clear water strategy”, putting a clear and coherent ideological distance from the dominant party. The model also predicts correctly that as a niche party, the SDP will never have the best performance at the polls.

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/09/modelling-the-2015-general-election-numbers-outcomes-and-theory/

Do read above even if I told TOC It’s hard to take seriously anyone who claims to be conversant with maths and models that can write

Average 2015 PAP vote: 69.99 per cent
Average 2011 PAP vote: 60.12 per cent
Average PAP swing: 9.87 per cent
In the last line “per cent” should be percentage points or points.
And the Alex Au methology of counting the average vote is more nuanced and makes the WP’s loss smaller than the SDP’s loss, making the above analysis suspect. https://yawningbread.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/general-election-2015-looking-back-looking-forward-part-1/

But intuitively, the “clear water strategy” sounds correct.

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.

Not a PAPpy poll: Govt satisfaction

In Political governance on 09/09/2015 at 4:32 am

Banging their balls, the cybernuts must be. Though they may take satisfaction that the trend is reversing steeply.

Lifted from yesterday’s FT

And read this

http://www.blackbox.com.sg/wp_new/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/YKA-July-2015.pdf

This is what a survey conducted by the constructive, nation-building media came up with (from CNA in recent past)

Are Singaporeans happy with life as a whole now – and do they feel confident about the next 10 years?

According to a survey commissioned by MediaCorp’s Current Affairs Unit, 66 per cent of residents said they are happy while 14 per cent said they are not. Asked whether life is close to ideal, five in 10 said yes.

Many expressed concerns over issues ranging from transport to housing and security. But even more people said they expected to be more worried about these issues 10 years down the road, reflecting a sense of uncertainty about the future.

Overall, six in 10 residents think economic conditions here will allow them to reach their personal goals.

CONCERNS OVER NEXT 10 YEARS

With the buzz of a General Election in the air, what weighs heaviest on the minds of Singaporeans?

The affordability of healthcare, availability of affordable housing, and the loss of potential jobs to foreigners were the top three concerns of respondents. All three were hot-button issues in the last General Election in 2011.

Concerns about elderly needs and the availability of integrated healthcare came in fourth and fifth, respectively.

The survey involved 2,000 citizens and permanent residents from the ages of 18 to 65, across all races and income groups. Half were surveyed via email while the rest were interviewed face to face.

HEALTHCARE

Despite more state funds being pumped into healthcare and subsidies such as the Pioneer Generation Scheme, as well as Medishield Life starting on Nov 1, healthcare affordability topped the list of respondents’ concerns, with 83 per cent saying they were worried about increasing healthcare costs.

Low-to-middle income workers (earning S$3,000 to S$5,000) were more worried about rising healthcare costs than low-income earners, who are on the receiving end of heavier subsidies and aid.

One respondent said: “Healthcare costs have increased exponentially over the years, notwithstanding the increase in subsidies.”

Associate Professor Paulin Straughan of the National University of Singapore’s sociology department said these are real concerns as life expectancy increases. “This quote sums it all. When you ask an individual to project their anxieties to the next 10 years, the only thing they can think of is the trend,” she said.

“This is one area we’ve been worried about because of the rise in costs. We are living much longer now, and we anticipate that we will be spending a significant portion of our life living with disabilities.

“And there’s nothing more worrisome than being ill when you don’t have an income any more.”

HOUSING

Despite HDB resale and private housing prices falling since early 2014, 78 per cent of respondents said they were concerned about the affordability of housing, with 47 per cent “extremely concerned”. The concern was greater among those aged 18 to 24.

Mr James Chia, a financial educator from Innervative Learning, said: “Ultimately you expect the trend to go up, especially with population increasing. It’s demand and supply, so the concern will always be there.”

Respondents, especially the younger generation, expressed worries about the difficulties of buying their own home.

Miss Rebekah Lin, co-founder of 50 For 50, a social enterprise, said: “The prices of property have risen much faster than an increase in salary. It is increasingly harder for young couples and singles to afford.”

Mr Chia said: “Housing is the biggest ticket item you’re going to buy in your life, so there will always be a concern.”

LOSS OF POTENTIAL JOBS TO FOREIGNERS 

Since the 2011 General Election, the Government has scaled back foreign worker numbers and employment passes. It has also introduced initiatives such as the Jobs Bank, closer scrutiny of companies’ hiring practices, and even a wage subsidy if companies hire unemployed Singaporean professionals, managers and executives aged 40 and above for mid-level jobs.

But respondents said they are still worried that they will lose out on potential jobs to foreigners over the next five to 10 years.

Said Assoc Prof Straughan: “I’m not denying the fact that there are tension spots, but certainly we shouldn’t accept these as broad strokes to describe the implications of having immigration.

“Because truth of the matter is we don’t have enough of ourselves with a sustained low-fertility rate, (and) we’re not able to maintain the kind of buzz in our labour market.”

Mr Chia noted: “I think the concern runs deeper than the issue of foreigners.”

He said foreigners may be an easy target in terms of loss of jobs, but innovation, too, has the potential to displace jobs as Singapore gears towards being a smart nation.

Agreeing, Assoc Prof Straughan said that this boils down to being “future ready”.

She said: “You need to be able to future-proof your skill set so that you will always remain relevant no matter who is with you in the competitive arena.”

“The real issue (concerning foreigners) is really about a disparity that people perceive,” said Dr Nazry Bahrawi, humanities lecturer at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

“I guess the PMETs are probably the ones that feel these most. And some find a bogeyman that is easy to seek,” Dr Nazry added.

“What we should do then is to look at how we can develop the groups that are caught up in this disparity rather than shape the discourse towards blaming a certain group that may not be the real concern here.”

PRCs spend more here than in HK

In Casinos, China, Economy, Hong Kong, Tourism on 27/06/2015 at 4:30 am

Casinos

UK election results makes PAP look democratic

In Political governance on 10/06/2015 at 4:44 am

At least here, the choice of the majority of voters gets to govern.

Anti-PAP cybernuts (like OXYGEN, Dosh), their heroes (Mad Dog Chee, s/o JBJ), rational activists opposed to the PAP (Yes, there are many like SDP’s Dr Paul Thamby and Dr Wong Wee Nam, Dr Ang Yong Guan, P Ravi, TeamTRE etc), and most neutral political analysts bemoan the system here: with only 60% of the votes the PAP won 81 seats (93%) of the seats at the last GE. The WP with 12% of the vote won 6 seats. And although the Oppo had 40% of the vote, these 6 seats were all they won. This pattern is consistent in all the elections since 1959.

Well the UK, is supposed to be a bastion of democracy but in the last election

— In Scotland, the SNP had only 50% of the votes but won 56 out of 59 seats (Labour lost 40 seats). 50% of the voters ended up with only 3 seats.

— In the country as a whole, the Tories had only 37% of the vote, yet have a 12 seat majority over the combined opposition share of the seats. 63% voted against them, yet the Tories formed the govt.

Makes PAP’s 60% of popular vote and 93% of the seats look more “democratic”, a lot more. At least 60% of adult S’poreans voted for the PAP. And don’t you forget that OXYGEN and the other cybernuts infesting TRE, sctounging off and undermining TeamTRE’s efforts to make S’pore a less PAP friendly place.

In the UK, even if they all formed a coalition, the Oppo had less seats than the Tories. But that’s not all. If Labour had gotten 37% of the votes instead of 30%, and had not lost 40 seats in Scotland, it would have likely won the election. In that case the 63% who did not vote Labour would have to accept a Labour govt.

CPF’s tax-like features/ No FTs, no land scarcity?

In CPF, Economy, Property on 26/05/2015 at 4:02 am

In a rubbishy response (OK mainly rubbish) published by TRE in response to another piece of rubbish (OK PAP BS) in Five Stars and a Moon (Sorry no links to both as I don’t promote rubbish) there are two gems among the BS responses in TRE that nail the untruths that the PAP administration, the constructive nation-building media and their allies in new media peddle as “right” thinking.

Why CPF is not “our money”: It’s tax-like

Funnily enough, Five Star and a Moon writer Tay Leong Tan (surnames of 3 persons) accused Roy Ngerng of being selective in the use of information which I agree to a certain extent. But Tay Leong Tan themselves are selective in the way they interprete Roy’s selective use of information.

On one issue Roy is right even though he did not argue in it in a coherent way. In the cost – benefit analysis of our CPF and the tax funded European social security system, CPF contributions need to be considered as if it is tax in order to compare like for like. The difference between the two systems is that we own an account in CPF with supposedly our own money whereas the Europeans own a set of social entitlements from their government. These entitlements are almost free healthcare, state pension, long term illness, disability, childcare, survivorship, out of work benefits. That is far more comprehensive than our own.

Now think of how the govt withholds CPF funds after age 55, how medisave and CPF Life are dispensed, it tells you that the govt treats what we get from CPF as if they are a set of social entitlements but heck of a lot less comprehensive than the European states.

Perceive the workings of CPF in reality, one has to consider CPF contributions as tax. Period.

[Where I would disagree is that it isn’t quite a tax because a nominee can inherit everything a person has saved if he dies before 55, though if a CPF holder lives a long time, the amounts inherited become nominal. So not quite a tax.]

Relate rising land prices to FT horde

In regards to “land scarcity” [the 5 Stars piece parroted the line that apts are expensive, ’cause land is scarce], I love to pose these questions:

Will land be scarce if our population is 4.4m today instead of 5.4m?

If land is scarce today at 5.4m, then is land not scarce at the 6.9m planning projection in the PWP?

In other words, land scarcity is relative especially seen in light of the govt’s near monopoly of land. Land scarcity is a figleaf to obscure the fact that govt’s capital and labour intensive growth model uses too much labour which ought to be mitigated by increased land supply but that did not happen. Why? Simple – the mismatch between land supply and macro-economic policy drives up land prices delivering massive revenues into the government’s surpluses.

Like the other 8 issues, this paints those behind Five Stars and a Moon as being unable to look beyond their own cognitive delusions caused by too easy an ingestion of PAP narratives and what the MSM reported.

The guy providing these insights is Chris K, who describes himself thus: Chris is a retired executive director in the financial industry who had mostly worked in London and Tokyo. He writes opinions and commentaries mostly on economic and financial matters.

He is the new hero of the cybernuts. If PAP that smart, a GLC or TLC should offer him a job. That’ll shut him up. But they never did give the editor of TRE IT contracts, so PAP not that smart. Taz why they have people like Jason Chua of Fabrications of the PAP: peanuts get monkeys.

One of these days, I’ll blog on when a conservative group of S’poreans kicked him out of their Facebook group, leaving him to scream, “Prp PAP treated like a criminal.” Most of the members of the group would subscribe to the PAP’s “right” tots cited above.

Sympathy vote? What sympathy vote?

In Financial competency, Political governance on 14/04/2015 at 4:01 am

The constructive, nation-building media are quoting the “experts” as saying that there will be a sympathy vote* for the PAP. The anti-PAP cybernuts are cursing their luck that their wish came true (LKY died) but are worried that the PAP will not now lose the GE as they had expected: taz how deluded or nutty they are.

Let’s cut to the chase and analyse nthe available data shall we?

First, the data on LKY’s lying-in-state and funeral

About 1.5 million people paid tribute to Mr Lee at sites around the country this week the government said.

  • 454,687 people filed past the coffin as it lay in state in parliament, averaging 6,500 every hour according to government
  • 1.1 million people paid tribute at 18 community sites around the country – a fifth of the population

[T]ens of thousands lined the streets to view the funeral procession carrying Mr Lee’s coffin through the city-state.

(BBC article)

Now the analysis.

If all the 1.5m that paid their respects were citizens and voters, that may conceivably result in the PAP getting 70% of the popular vote in next GE.

Not good news for the WP (their MPs would lose their cushy, well-paid jobs where the only KPI is how silent they are), Dr Chee’s SDP, people like me who want an end to the PAP’s hegemony, and the cybernuts.

But we can reasonably assume that there were people below the voting age who paid their respects. And we can also reasonably assume that of the 1.5m in attendance, only 0.96m are of voting age (In 2011, 2.1 m out of 3.3m citizens were of the voting age i.e. 64%)

Even if we assume that there were no FTs paying tribute (Impossible because, after all, he did say that FTs are more hardworking than S’poreans: respect begets respect) and no anti-PAP people paid their respects (but we know at least the Chiams, P(olitian) Ravi, Jeannette Chong anfd New Citizen Han Hui Hui** did go to some tribute), 0.96m is a lot less than the 1.2m who voted for the PAP in 2011. In fact, it represents only 45.7% of the popular vote.

Where’s the missing 14.3 of the popular vote that voted for the PAP?

Now 0.96m is higher than the 35% of the popular vote that die-die must vote for the PAP (the voters who voted for Tony Tan the PAP’s (and it’s rumoured LKY’s) preferred presidential candidate. But it’s a lot less than the 70% or 1.5m that voted for Tony Tan and Dr Tan Cheng Bock. Dr Tan has never renounced his PAP past, unlike Tan Kin Lian who lost his deposit, so we can assume that the 35% of the voters who voted for Dr Tan are willing to back the PAP.

So sympathy vote? What sympathy vote? Where’s it coming from?

There may be one, but how to prove it?

Seriously, what I’ve tried to show** is that the 1.5m figure (a very good turnout in the context of a population of 5.5m) can be explained by the turnout of the core PAP supporters, their children, and FTs.

Given LKY’s high regard for FTs and that the FT PMEs live the good life here, it’s a fair bet that many FTs paid their respects. I mean even the Indian manual workers (who we are told are bullied and exploited) hold him in high regard: their villages back home honoured him in their traditional ways.  Ways which annoyed at least one anti-PAP activist who is ethnic Indian.

As I wrote at https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/why-pap-didnt-do-well-in-2011-but-will-do-better/  and  https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/are-you-better-off-now-than-you-were-in-2011/ there are other factors that should help the PAP increase their share of the popular vote in the coming GE. If the PAP does better than in 2011, there is no need to talk of a sympathy vote.

The experts should not BS about the sympathy vote without any evidence. Now if they had access to the results of polling and analysis of focus groups which they or third paries like IAD or PA conduct, fair enough: but if they don’t they should juz sit down and shut up. And think.

Related posts:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/lky-how-right-how-wrong-june-or-sept-ge/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/battle-in-cyberspace-take-the-money-and-bs/

*Actually so did I. On the day of the funeral I tot the PAP could get 70% of the popular vote if the election is held in June or September: until I tot about the matter.

**She cursed him on Facebook sometime back, saying she was hoping he’d die soon. Well she got her wish, so maybe taz why she went to the lying-in-state? Her way of dancing on his grave?

***Of course, my assumptions can be challenged. Challenge them please.

Perspective pls, PAP ministers

In Uncategorized on 14/03/2015 at 12:51 pm

Re: DPM’s Teo hint about ministers’ salaries not having gone up in three years.

“There are dozens of second-tier Chinese cities with populations similar to that of London,”Richard Hodgson CEO of UK’s PizzaExpress recently acquired by Honby Capital from China talking about the co’s plans in China.

London had a population of 8.3m (2013).

Neither the mayor of London and these Chinese cities, nor their senior officials are paid as much as our ministers.

When is enough, enough?

 

S’pore’s “liveability” has improved since 2009

In Uncategorized on 08/03/2015 at 4:05 am

Don’t let the anti-PAP cyber warriors BS you into thinking that living conditions are getting worse.

Click here and look at the chart:  The index crunches 30 factors related to things like safety, healthcare, educational resources, infrastructure and environment in 140 cities. Over the past five years urban life has deteriorated somewhat: liveability has declined in 51 places and improved in 31 places.

We are among the 31 places that have improved. But we are still not in top 10. We are the fourth most liveable city in Asia after Osaka, Tokyo and Hong Kong in the latest such ranking by The Economist magazine.

We came in 52nd out of 140 cities in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) latest Liveability Ranking. Hong Kong was ranked 31st.

 

Err pay peanuts, get best CEO

In Corporate governance, Financial competency on 22/02/2015 at 5:06 am

As you can see from below (via a FT article), the best performing public pension fund paid its CEO US$O,45m (18.66% return). The worst paid its CEO 16.3X more at US$7.4m. Yet the fund returned only 10.9%.

The fund that paid peanuts got a good CEO. The fund that paid serious money got a monkey.

So was our very own Mr Peanuts right to say, ” If you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys for your ministers”?

But the problem with high pay relative to performance is cynicism about the people getting it. Our millionaire ministers should ponder the closing words of an FT article about an annual oil “bash” in London last week:
Even as the champagne flowed during the week … “Our clients invited us to this party and they’ve clearly spent a lot of money on it,” said a marine services company executive at one bash. “But why are they not paying us our $80,000?”

I would add: After a while, one stops believing.

Here’s an interesting quote from a rich Oz “After you have about $5m to $10m, your lifestyle doesn’t really change that much,”says Clive Palmer. He’s juz dropped off the top 50 richest Ozzies.

Roulette offers better odds

In Casinos, Financial competency on 17/02/2015 at 11:48 am

Or “Why PAP administration shld allow S’poreans to gamble their CPf funds in casinos” Funny Roy’s research doesn’t uncover this fact?

Typical of PAP administration to favour foreigners who don’t have to pay toll. LOL.

BETTING on red gives the punter an 18-in-37 chance (in America) or 18-in-38 chance (in Europe) of success in roulette. Parcel out your money carefully and you might have a diverting 20 minutes or so until it’s all gone, with a few wins along the way. If the odds were just one-in-four, then the whole game would be much more discouraging.

But those have been the chances, over the last 20 years, of largecap US mutual funds beating the market. It has happened in just five calendar years.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2015/02/mutual-fund-investing

Use gambling instinct to boost CPF savings

In Casinos, Financial competency, Humour on 08/02/2015 at 5:16 am

No need for govt’s double talk of discouraging gambling, helping problem gamblers while having casinos and Toto. Juz embrace gambling LOL and use it to encourage less well-off S’poreans to save more in their CPF. And this allows the PAP administration, if it wants to, to screw the poor by lowering the interest rate.

Seriously, on top of the usual interest rates, offer “prizes” to less well-off S’poreans if they put additional $ into the CPF. The theoretical basis for the suggestion is as follows:

found that the presence of a prize-linked savings account increased the rate of total savings: the current consumption of respondents decreased by 7% when the option became available. In addition, they found that people reduced their use of the stand-alone lottery when they had the option of prize-linked savings. Strikingly, this effect remained even if the scheme offered a much lower average rate of return than the lottery or the fixed-interest rate options. That suggests premium bonds may well have saved the British government a lot of extra interest payments over the lifetime of the scheme.

These authors also found—confirming Macmillan’s suspicions—that these prizes were particularly attractive to those participants on low incomes or with a poor record of saving. Prize-linked savings induced individuals who reported little or no savings to increase their saving rate by an additional four percentage points compared with the average respondent.

….

The authors suggest that adding a random element to the interest rate entices people because it removes the stigma attached to gambling by packaging it with the more positive act of saving. That may explain why the concept has been so wildly successful. In Britain, they are now the most popular financial product after bank accounts; 21% of households are currently invested in them. Premium bonds have even spurred several private imitators, such as one product offered by Bank of Scotland which hands out monthly prizes to those who invest in it. Prize-linked savings accounts, it seems, have turned out to be not quite as squalid as Wilson once thought.

http://www.economist.com/news/business-and-finance/21625047

How drinking survey was “fixed”

In Humour, Political governance on 30/01/2015 at 5:31 am

Not very long ST reported that a survey showed that the majority of respondents tot that proposed ban on drinking alcohol aftar 10.30 pm in public places (say at barbecue pits) was not on: so another survey was commissioned and it came out with the “right” result. S’poreans wanted it by a huge margin.

What an idiotic survey:

“Respondents were also asked if they felt public drunkenness was a serious issue that required addressing. Eight in 10 agreed the issue needed to be tackled, and a similar proportion believed the regulations would be able to clamp down on cases of public drunkenness.”

It’s like asking if people thought shoplifting was a serious issue that needed addressing; and if chopping off the hands of those caught would reduce shoplifting; then concluding that people supported such upper limb amputation.

Above appeared on Facebook from someone that the unwashed mob (think TRE ranters and other anti-PAP irrational loonies) think of as a member of the elitist class that they are entitled to be members of, but are not.

Seriously, what the survey shows is that the

— PAP administration has not changed its attitude in thinking that S’poreans can and must be manipulated; and

— the complicity of the constructive, nation-building media, and other fellow travellers…

Most importantly, the restrictions show that administration’s panic over a little riot two years ago is not over yet. Come on, get over it. No-one died and it did show that the police hadn’t a clue what to do.

I’m sure a bit of work experience in India, China would help solve the lack of practical experience. Got to prepare for the time when the young hooligans (Roy and New Citizen H3) and Mad Dog Chee decide to call street protests.

And here’s a clueless MP asking a really dumb question:

Mr Zaqy Mohamad: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs whether the Ministry will consider allowing alcohol sold in residential areas to be contained in only plastic or tin containers as a safety measure in the event of unruly behaviour or fights in the neighbourhood.

But let’s be fair to him, he’s the very same MP that had to step down from the PAP’s politburo because his CEC position conflicted with the day job’s internal rules. If he doesn’t know the job’s rules, what does he know? But let’s be fair again, he may have tot as a PAP MP, he was above mere, petty rules?

 

How AhLoong’s salary compares to that of ord S’porean

In China, Political governance on 21/01/2015 at 4:24 pm

Yesterday I blogged that despite President Xi getting a 62% pay rise his pay was peanuts when compared to our very own AhLoong  despite AhLoong taking a pay cut in 2012 (US$22,256 a year versus US$1.8m a yr).

Mr Xi’s monthly base income is roughly twice the average annual income of a registered Beijing city-dweller according to the FT relying on official Chinese data.

Using Mom data, for the monthly median salary of an  ordinary S’porean (employer CPF included), it seems PM’s monthly salary is 4 times that of an ordinary S’porean’s median annual income in 2013. In the late 60s , LKY’s monthly salary was about four times that of my dad’s monthly salary.

No need to wonder why there is a growing income gap between the rich and poor here, is there?*

Which reminds me: “If the annual salary of the Minister of Information, Communication and Arts is only $500,000, it may pose some problems when he discuss policies with media CEOs who earn millions of dollars because they need not listen to the minister’s ideas and proposals, hence a reasonable payout will help to maintain a bit of dignity.”

– Dr Lim Wee Kiat, PAP MP for Nee Soon GRC, 24 May 2011 in Lianhe Wanbao.

So when Ahloong meets Xi or the Obama, he will not respect them, their views or their countries despite the US being the hegemon and China a wannabe?

*Readers might like to know that the PAP’s bible has been going on recently about inequality: inequality and the travails of the middle-classes are America’s (and the West’s) biggest problem, has been gaining currency for some time now. So has the idea that one of the better fixes is to begin to overhaul America’s dysfunctional tax code. Indeed, one publication in particular has been saying precisely that for quite a while.

 

Xi gets 62% pay rise, but still paid “peanuts” by AhLoong’s standard

In China, Political governance on 21/01/2015 at 10:06 am

The Chinese president’s new base salary is equivalent to US$22,256 a year, despite a pay rise of 62%.

FT points out that he and Obama are outearned by Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, the world’s highest-paid prime minister, who took a pay cut to S$2.2m ($1.8m), beginning in 2012.

As the PAP likes to say that “Pay peanuts, get monkeys”, so the PAP thinks Obama, Xi and other leaders are monkeys? What do you think?

Relevant posts:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/hen-jost-gracef-money-money-money/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/with-mps-like-these-pap-does-not-need-enemies/

And from FT too

What countries pay their leaders (annually/$ excluding benefits)
Singapore 1.8m
Russia 1.76m
US 400,000
European Commission 372,000
Germany 290,000
South Africa 224,000
UK 215,000
France 208,000
Indonesia 64,000
Poland 64,00

2.5%, 4% not enough for retirees?

In Financial competency on 18/01/2015 at 9:53 am

Roy Ngerng (the anti-PAP mob’s Xiaxue) had alleged that the govt criminally misappropriated our CPF monies, and denounced the rates paid. Well, UK over-65s rush for 2.8%; 4% retirement bonds.

More than £1 billion of government pensioner bonds have been sold in the first two days after they went on sale.

The one-year bond pays an annual interest rate of 2.8% before tax, and the three-year bonds pays 4% before tax. Interest will be added on each anniversary after investment.

… the best one-year bond on the open market was currently paying 1.85% interest and the best three-year bond was paying 2.5%.

Investment is limited to £10,000 in each bond, making a maximum of £20,000 per individual.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-30862028

Look on the bright side: No wonder PM thinks govt doing a great job

In Economy, Financial competency, Political governance, Property on 11/12/2014 at 6:39 am

Blog E-Jay* posted this on Facebook to prove point that “PAP, will be voting against you again in 2015/2016. Thank you for making my life difficult.”

Well, there are other, reasonable legtimate ways of looking at the chart:

— Wah flat owners got windfall if they willing to retire to Batam or M’sia

— I should have used bonus for one yr to buy 3-room HDB flat for cash in early 90s . Only thing allowed for us oppressed singletons then: maybe taz why I’m so hard on those who KPKB about being discriminated for trivial things like being gay. Only a real sleaze bas got prosecuted by AGC under 377A. Had to client of M Ravi.

— HDB owners so ungrateful: property worth so much all ’cause of SuperLoong and sidekick Mah. Instead of being grateful, HDB owners fret for their children’s inability to afford “affordable” housing. PAP makes them rich, must also make their kids reach. WTF!

Seriously, what the chart tells us is that Ah Loong allowed Mah Bow Tan to screw S’poreans. And he wants us to vote for him? And not to have better checkers than the Worthless Party is now providing. One of these days, I’ll blog on why PM is behaving like scholar Eng, and how two really rich and privileged kids, to the manor born, so to speak, can teach him some humility and common sense. Then maybe, he doesn’t need checkers. In the meantime, we need better checkers than the Worthless Party’s MPs.

But we got to play our party, deprive the PAP of its two-thirds majority.

*Actually, a revised Magnificent 7 list should include him and Uncle Leong [Added at 11.00am]

COEs are really worth it?

In Economy, Humour on 05/11/2014 at 6:01 am

We’ve been told that COEs is the price we pay to keep our streets free of traffic jams.

So it was great interest that I read that a recent study calculated that the cost of traffic jams in the UK, USA, France and Germany was 0.8% of the GDP. http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/11/economist-explains-1

Translating it into the S’pore context via back of envelope calculations and Google searches:i n 2011, S’pore.s GDP’s was S$326.1bn. 0.8% amounted to S$2.6bn. CoEs cost S’poreans around S$2bn. So the cost of CoEs seems worth it that yr to avoid jams.

Interesting. Maybe Roy Ngerng or Uncle Leong might want to do more research? I chose 2011 because Google searches had the data for these yrs most easily available. Maybe other yrs, more precise numbers, more precise calculations might throw up  different results. Hint using GDP at 2005 prices gives a figure of $2.4bn as 0.8% of the 2011 GDP.

On the face of it, CoEs are gd for the economy and those who can afford to own motor vehicles (including motor bikes and trucks).

Private vehicle owners should be voting for the PAP to thank the govt for making travel jam free.

Update at 6.00pm

So LKY was right on CoEs and Ngiam Tong Dow was wrong. Were GCT and LHL as smart as LKY.

 

S’poreans: 11th in lying on hols experience

In China, Hong Kong, Humour on 16/08/2014 at 4:34 am

Chinese are number 1. lie to friends and family about the marvellous time they had,The survey didn’t give a reason for why the Chinese exaggerate the most about their holidays, but the status of being able to afford to go abroad, ensuring you keep one step ahead of the Wangses, may be a factor. Another explanation could be that the Chinese tourist is a relatively recent phenomenon who could learn a thing or two about complaining from travel-hardened European and American holiday-makers  Economist

Both reasons are likely to apply to the sheep Singaporeans too.

In Asean, Thais are ahead of us. Interestingly, Hongkies, who many locals think are BS artists don’t exaggerate that much. But then they have a reputation for being gd at complaining.

 

ICT: To export, we import

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

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

Trade of ICT goods

Did you know Cat Lim qualified her “people no longer trust their government” comment?

In Humour, Political governance on 24/07/2014 at 5:26 pm

I’m sure you remember that Cat Lim in June repeated her broken record that the PAP is doomed (first said in the 1990s and repeated every few yrs), adding a variation that the PAP is no longer trusted by S’poreans. After a civil servant, in the course of his duties, pointedly pointed out out “Gee how come the govt keeps winning elections by huge majorities?”, she said on 16 June  “I would like to point out that the mistrust is very real, even if it only involves a minority.”

(From her blog … the South China Morning Post published my Open Letter to the PM, and subsequently, a response from the Consul-General of Singapore in Hong Kong, Mr Jacky Foo. The Straits Timesreported on Mr Foo’s letter on 14 June, and published my reply ​to this report on the Forum page on 16 June. My reply is reproduced below.)

Gee from the PAP are doomed because the people mistrust it, she now says “only … a minority” mistrust it. Artistic licence? Or BS?

And our objective, anti-PAP bloggers glossed over her qualification. heck they are getting as bad as SPH and MediaCorp journalists and editors. At least they have the excuse of needing to toe the line to pay-off their affordable public housing mortgages. And so cannot afford to have integrity.

Actually, Ms Lim should have waited before changing her mind. Tan Jee Say had this to say a few weeks ago on FB (after Cat’s reply): [ST] chose to cite only one major indicator of  the  2014 Edelman Trust Barometer , namely the survey result  that showed 75% of Singaporeans trust government  institutions; this, it claimed, proved that the vast majority trust the government.

 But a second key indicator gave a different  dimension, namely that only 26% of Singaporeans trust their government leaders to tell the truth  regardless  of how complex or unpopular it is. Does this 26% trust in leaders to tell the truth mean that 74% of Singaporeans cannot trust PAP government leaders to tell the truth or expect them to tell untruths or even lies? Now this is telling. If the statistics are true, it speaks volumes about the low level of trust  Singaporeans have in PAP leaders. It is definitely a crisis for the PAP however hard the PAP might want to deny, ignore or gloss over it …

One, and I’m one, can disagree with TJS’s contention, that only 26% trust the PAP (pls read the survey again TJS) but his is a valid reasonable, point of view. He also RI boy.

Finally on the issue of where the majority lies, here’s something for those of us who think that the fact that the PAP got 60% of the votes in GE 2011 and two ex-PAP men (and proud of the fact they were PAP men0  got between them 70% of the votes in PE 20111, showed that the PAP had the support of the majority of voters, to think about. We could be wrong in our reasoning:

something John Oliver recently satirised on his HBO comedy show, “Last Week Tonight”. A Brit, Mr Oliver was keen to highlight a uniquely American irony: while 65% of the country notices the income gap has widened, and 60% believe the system “unfairly favours the wealthy”, 60% nevertheless insist that “most people who work hard enough can make it”—a faith that echoes the buoyant message of the junior senator from Florida. 

Mr Oliver plays a little fast and loose with the math here: there’s no telling how much the two 60% blocs in the polls overlap. (It’s possible, for example, that up to two-thirds of the optimists about hard-working Americans do not believe the system favours the wealthy—remember your Venn diagrams.) And there is nothing necessarily illogical about thinking that while the economy favours those with lots of money, it also gives the lower orders a chance to improve their lot. 

(From an Economist blog)

 

Want slower GDP growth? Ok if property prices fall more than 20%?

In Economy, Property on 17/07/2014 at 4:56 am

When TRE republished this, Chris K* commented:
In short there is as much risks in an economy growing too fast as in growing too slow. The authorities had to be counter-cyclical i.e. push in the opposite direction to lessen the risks. In Singapore, the govt is cheering on the economy on, adding fuel to the fire. Stratospheric property prices, elevated cost of living, growing disparity in incomes are the result. They are irresponsible and unfit to run the economy*.

Because of its housing policies (keep on raising the prices of affordable public housing ’cause not to do so would be raiding reserves), a property crash (not juz the expected 20% fall)will result in a gloomy 50th yr anniversary next yr and the possibility*** of a freak election result. All the govt’s attempts to spend more of our money on ourselves in the hope of shoring up the vote for the PAP will go to nought.

As it is, the 20% fall is among other things based on GDP growth this yr of around 3.5%. If this turns out to be too optimistic (remember analyss have been busily revising downwards their above 4% growth), maybe property prices could fall 40%? A crash.

Those who want a slowing economy, esp those TRE posters who want a property crash should think of the hard working S’porean home owners (many of who whom are their friends and relatives), mortgaged to their eyeballs for basic shelter, not speculators (whose ranks are alleged to include millionaire ministers who have plenty of spare cash) that will be affected by a crash. Why should anyone be happy or gloat that others will suffer if property prices crash, unless the gloaters are lifer’s born losers.

(Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/why-banks-tested-for-50-plunge-in-property-prices-and-other-wonderful-tales/)

And engineering slowdowns can be tricky. Ask the Swedes. They tried and now face deflation http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21606895-interest-rates-are-back-crisis-lows-sub-zero-conditions.

Let me be clear, I speak as a retiree who stands to benefit if the economy crashes: prices come down and I can eat gourmet meals every day. So I’m not talking my book in understanding the dilemma that the govt faces, even if it is responsible for the mess we are in.

But don’t worry. All the PAP govt needs to do is to allow borrowers to borrow more: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/property-prices-valuations-are-irrelevant-its-all-about-credit/

All those TRE born losers will be left leaving frus and banging balls again.

*He knows his financial stuff esp risk mgt. He had better. He works as a risk mgr  in a nearby financial centre that is bigger than ours.

**His preceding comments: The comparison to the UK right at this moment bears watching. 1 year ago John Carney took over at the head of the Bank of England. He said at the time that interest rates will stay very low for a long time to come. Then the economy began to pick up steam and is now at around 2.9%, strong by European standards and close to the top of its long term growth potential. Last month John Carney has signalled to the markets that the central bank will be moving up its time frame to raise interest rates and head off risks. What are those risks? Strong growth raising the inflation rate. House prices shooting up causing instability. At the same time, the new financial stability committee is called to look into measures to mitigate these risks.

***Only possibility ’cause of GRC system. Anyway WP will support PAP if PAP doesn’t get majority. Low has said as much. PritamS wants it.

Why millionaire-ministers are rooting for any team except Argies

In Footie, Humour, Political governance on 07/07/2014 at 4:42 am

While all S’poreans, disgusted with million dollar salaries for ministers should be cheering for the Argies.

It’s all about the money the managers earn relative to their performance. Argie’s mgr is only 22nd in the World Cup managers” salaries ranking while the other three teams are 4th Brazil), 6th (Germany) and 8th (my favourite).

The Argie mgr is paid only 20.45% of the salary of the Brazilian manager. A certain PAP MP eye doctor would surely sneer at him if he consulted said eye doctor.

Here, I explained why the World Cup is proving the PAP wrong: there is no relation between high pay and gd performance.

In round 1, the teams managed by the three highest paid managers were eliminated. The teams were Russia, England and Italy.

The managers are paid £6.7m, £3.5m and £2.6m, respectively. (Data from UK paper, hence the £)

Other mgrs on the top 10 most well paid list that were eliminated were Spain (mgr is the 7th most highly paid at £2m) and and Japan (9th at £1.6m). For the record, Portugal’s mgr is 12th at £1.3m.

I went on to analyse the other  games where less well-paid managers won. Thiink Costa Rica.

But the PAP can still say the World Cup validates the salary thesis esp if Brazil wins. So come on Argies.

Of the remaining four managers, Brazil ‘s mgr is the fourth most highly paid manager at £2.4m, Germany’s mgr is paid £2.1m (6th), Holland’s mgr (8th in the world) at £2m, and a long way away is the Argies’ mgr (22) at £0.49m.

But the stats say Germany will win. Beating Brazil in semi and Argies in final.

Not juz because Brazil is missing Neymar with a fractured bone in his spine sustained against Colombia.

Breakingviews’ updated Soccernomics calculator … which crunches economic and demographic numbers to predict the outcome of World Cup matches, has performed reasonably well during the first half of the tournament. It predicted the correct winner in 27 of the 48 matches in the group stage. Excluding drawn matches, the calculator was right 69 percent of the time. [Got Italy and Spain wrong though]

On-field form plays no direct part in Breakingviews’ predictions. The model combines the transfer value of players, the country’s population, the proportion of people who play soccer, and public engagement with the sport to come up with an overall rating. Teams with the higher rank should win.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2014/06/27/numbers-show-germany-will-beat-brazil-to-world-cup/

Another reason why Argies will not win: geriatric squads don’t win the World Cup. a four-place drop in performance (see chart). In other words, if a reigning champion simply brought back its roster from four years before, its mean age would increase by four years, and it would be expected to finish a dismal 17th. http://www.economist.com/blogs/gametheory/2014/07/player-age-football

World Cup: Best paid mgrs keep losing to poorer ones

In Footie, Humour, Political governance on 06/07/2014 at 7:04 am

Former are under performers like certain very well-paid PAP ministers?

This World cup is proving a nightmare to the PAP’s Hard Truth that ministers will only perform well if very well paid by int’l standards.

I’ll let the facts speak:

In round 1, the teams managed by the three highest paid managers were eliminated. The teams were Russia, England and Italy.

The managers are paid £6.7m, £3.5m and £2.6m, respectively. (Data from UK paper, hence the £)

Other mgrs on the top 10 most well paid list that were eliminated were Spain (mgr is the 7th most highly paid at £2m) and and Japan (9th at £1.6m). For the record, Portugal’s mgr is 12th at £1.3m.

Then, Switzerland lost to Argies. It’s manager is paid £2.2m (5th in the world). Argies’ mgr is a lowly 22 at £0.49m,

Brazil’s manager is the 4th most highly paid at £2.4m and as we all know he juz missed two bullets. Chile’s mgr (at £1.1m) is ranked 14th, and Columbia’s is ranked 15th at £1m.

scan0001 (from ST last week)

Germany’s mgr is the kind of guy PAP would like as a poster boy. He is paid £2.1m (6th) and doing well.

Another PAP-poster boy would be Holland’s mgr (8th in the world at £2m),

They would demonise Argis’ mgr (a lowly 22 at £0.49m: how would PAP MP eye doctor respect him?) , Costa Rica’s mgr ( ranked 26th with £0.26m),and Belgium (20th at £0,52m).

More evidence (as if more was needed) to show that the PAP is talking rubbish about the link between ministerial salaries and the quality of ministers. It doesn’t work in World Cup footie. The PAP would be praying hard that Argies don’t win.

BTW, I’m hoping for an all ang moh final with Holland winning. And it’s not ’cause the German coach is paid more.

 

Take on TRE’s readers vitriol on a sneer on Roy & his supporters

In CPF on 08/06/2014 at 4:31 am

But first Han claimed at the close of the protest at about 6:30pm that the crowd size had grown to 6,000 — a figure that pits attendance at this protest as higher than the 4,000 turnout at last year’s Population White Paper protest. Observers who spoke to Yahoo Singapore, however, peg the attendance at closer to 3,000 people.

(https://sg.news.yahoo.com/over-1-000-people-at–returnourcpf-protest-at-hong-lim-park-093133980.html)

Han is Han Hui Hu, new citizen, blogger and activist.

[Update at 9.30am: WSJ reported attendence at 2,000. It, too like Yahoo, has no reason to misrepresnt the numbers attending, unlike TOC, TRE (3-4,000), our constructive nation-building MSM, and Ms Han. Oh and a TRE article said yesterday: The next possible scenario is a turnout of 500 to 5,000 people. Given the extent that this CPF issue affects the people universally, it is highly unusual if it happens that people would not even bother to turn up and show face. http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/06/07/cpf-protest-4-pm-today-4-possible-turnout-scenarios/)

Well not very many people are worked up with Roy’s allegations of the theft of our CPF monies by the govt, are they?

This nicely leads to the title of this post. The u/m attracted a lot of vitriolic comments

Dear TRE,

I really laugh when I read how your readers are so excited when Roy raised the $72K.

Hello, it’s only about 1000 Singaporeans donating, not 1,000,000 ok?

There is nothing so fantastic to shout about.

Most Singaporeans are wise enough not to donate any money to Roy.

Roy is wrong. So, why the need to encourage him?

If I anyhow accuse you of stealing money, would you be happy?

PM has every right to sue him for such a malicious accusation.

I read that some of your readers is calling the incident – “Singapore Spring”?

With a pathetic 1,000 people giving money and you call this a “Singapore Spring”?

Don’t joke lah.

I urge the rational Singaporeans to ignore these bunch of losers.

Yes, I call the 1,000 people who gave money to Roy, losers. They think that by supporting Roy, they can get their CPF money back.

Keep on dreaming, losers!

I see the guy who is laughing to the bank is Roy’s lawyer Ravi, stupid Singaporeans.

Can’t stand stupid Singaporeans

* Submitted by TRE reader.

http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/06/04/nothing-fantastic-about-1000-sgs-donating-to-roy/

Whatever or wherever the truth lies, bear in mind that even if 2,000 people have by now contributed, 2,000 amounts to only 0.3% of the 600,000 voters who voted for TJS and TKL in PE 2011: the “any anti-PAP buffoon baboon, so long as he’s not not a PAP ape”. (BTW, on the PAP apes, one is a King Kong, the other is like one of  apes that adopted Tarzan.)

The latest on TRE is that $86,000 has been raised. This amount, while looking impressive, amounts to 14 cents for each 600,000 anti-PAP voters.

At this rate, don’t be surprised if PAP retains its hegemony indefinitely and our CPF keeps getting doled out at the PAP govt’s pleasure and whim. The anti-PAP voters don’t care when it comes to walking the walk (and contributing money), they juz love to talk the talk and BS all the way. They only act once every few yrs. And that ’cause they are forced to.

And how many of the vitriolic TRE writers contributed and how much? Based on the amount raised, “peanuts”.is the answer to both questions.

And remember 2m S’poreans voted for one or other of the PAP’s Great Apes at PE 2011.

Anti-PAP paper warrors, ponder on this as you take public tpt to and fro work. Or when you sit unemployed at home.

Strong words and emotions don’t butter parsnips. Only deeds matter.

Oh and think about the attendance at Roy’s and Han’s do: Maybe most S’poreans trust the govt when it comes to their CPF monies? But I’m sure these cyber warriors will agree with u/m (courtesy of Yahoo S’pore). Actually the comment could have been one said by one LKY: so nannyish.

 

 

Swiss cost of living in S$ terms

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 04/06/2014 at 5:39 am

A few weeks ago the BBC published

Swiss monthly living costs

  • One-bed city centre flat: 1,800 francs                                     S$2520
  • Utilities: 100-200 francs                                                              S$140- 280
  • Health insurance: 300-400 francs                                           S$420- 560
  • Public transport: 50-70 francs                                                    S$70- 98
  • Restaurant meal for two: 100-150 francs                               S$140- 210

(http://www.bbc.com/news/business-27459178)

As you can see I’ve put the S$ equivalent beside the Swiss amounts.

Now you have an idea of the Swiss cost of living. As to their wages, the median wage there is the equivalent of S$8574 a momth.  Ours is S$4358 or S$2789 after deducting CPF.

 

Investment myths or facts?

In Financial competency on 02/05/2014 at 9:12 am

(On auto-pilot until Monday. Financial competency stuff in the meantime)

Exposed: Wall St’s secret 18.79% investment plan

http://www.moneynews.com/MKTNews/wall-street-secret-calendar-investments/2014/01/08/id/546008/?PROMO_CODE=16366-1

Wimmin are not better investors than men

Indeed the notion that risky behaviour is a particularly male trait is quite new, as Josephine Maltby and Janette Rutterford argue in “The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Finance”. In the eighteenth century speculation was considered an inherently feminine indulgence. Financial markets, from the time of the South Sea Bubble, were compared to female flightiness, unpredictability and dependence on “self-generated hysteria”. This changed in the nineteenth century, as investment came to be seen as a masculine, rational activity, of which whimsical women were incapable. Since then the view has prevailed that women are naturally wary.

The Merrill Lynch report found that both men and women are subject to strong emotional influences that can affect their investing habits for good or ill. Such influences do not in themselves predict failure or success …

Unsurprisingly, the bank suggests that a good way to do that is to seek help from a financial adviser.

Expenses matter

men and women make similar investment decisions, but that women’s returns are better because they don’t buy and sell shares as often, so incur fewer fees.

Related posts:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/costs-savings-in-airlines-every-little-bit-counts/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/still-relevant-today/

Is MU right to sack Moysie?/ Long ball is betterest

In Financial competency, Financial planning, Footie on 23/04/2014 at 4:43 am

Yes say I: The choice facing the owners (Jewish and Zionists and mortgaged to their eyeballs) BTW) was stark

Would they really back Moyes for the long term by handing him a transfer kitty worth as much as £100m to invest in rebuilding the squad?

Or would they decide giving all that money to him was too big a risk?

Would anyone sensible trust Moysie with that kind of $ based on this season’s performance which was the mother of nightmares? BTW, I waz happy he was the Chosen One. What was or went wrong: everything http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27109742

No, say the stats and SAF’s cardinal rule of footie mgt.

Ter Weel analysed managerial turnover across 18 seasons (1986-2004) of the Dutch premier division, the Eredivisie. As well as looking at what happened to teams who sacked their manager when the going got tough, he looked at those who had faced a similar slump in form but who stood by their boss to ride out the crisis.

He found that both groups faced a similar pattern of declines and improvements in form.

While Ter Weel’s research focused on Dutch football, he argues that this finding is not specific to the Netherlands. Major football leagues in Europe, including England, Germany, Italy and Spain also bore out the same conclusion – teams suffering an uncharacteristic slump in form will bounce back and return to their normal long-term position in the league, regardless of whether they replace their manager or not.

And his theory seems to work if you look at what happened to other clubs in the English Premier League last season. The same week in March which spurred Sunderland to change the personnel in charge, Aston Villa were sitting at 17th in the table, struggling against relegation.

In the same way that water seeks its own level, numbers and series of numbers will move towards the average, move towards the ordinary.”

David Sally, co-author of The Numbers Game

(http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23724517)

In finance, this is called reversion to the mean.

This what AlexF said on the opening night of Ferguson’s book tour, on an October evening at the Lowry theatre, and what he told his audience about the management profession. “It’s a terrible industry. When clubs sack a manager there is no evidence it works. But there is evidence, and it’s hard evidence, that sticking with your manager does work. This is an important issue and it is something I believe in, very strongly. Sacking a manager does not help.”

Well obviously MU isn’t listening. Some serious money (borrowed I may add) is at stake.

Related article: Long ball is betterest:

His data suggested that most goals were scored from fewer than three direct passes, and he therefore recommended the widely-despised “long-ball” game.

In other words, the ugliest type of football imaginable. Hoof the ball forward, hope you get a lucky break, and poke it into the net.

“Unfortunately it kind of brought statistics and football into disrepute,” says Chris Anderson, author of The Numbers Game, an analytical and historical look at the use of data in football.

Now, behind the biggest football teams in the world, lies a sophisticated system of data gathering, metrics and number-crunching. Success on the pitch – and on the balance sheet – is increasingly becoming about algorithms.

The richest 20 clubs in the world bring in combined revenues of 5.4bn euros ($7.4bn, £4.5bn), according to consultancy firm Deloitte. And increasingly, data is being seen as crucial to maximising that potential income by getting the most from football’s prized investments – the players.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-26771259

Footie: When team losing, don’t sack mgr

In Footie on 30/03/2014 at 10:13 am

MU owners and fans are still behind Moysie despite a season that is worse than the worst nightmares. Nice of fans to cheer him at Old Trafford last night. And they may be right to remain sanguine.

Graph comparing performance

Ter Weel analysed managerial turnover across 18 seasons (1986-2004) of the Dutch premier division, the Eredivisie. As well as looking at what happened to teams who sacked their manager when the going got tough, he looked at those who had faced a similar slump in form but who stood by their boss to ride out the crisis.

He found that both groups faced a similar pattern of declines and improvements in form … he argues that this finding is not specific to the Netherlands. Major football leagues in Europe, including England, Germany, Italy and Spain also bore out the same conclusion – teams suffering an uncharacteristic slump in form will bounce back and return to their normal long-term position in the league, regardless of whether they replace their manager or not.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23724517

As PM now watches the LionsXII (at least when they are winning), he may use this “fact” as a Hard Truth on why we shouldn’t give the PAP the sack.

Finnish education system aimed at creating unemployment?

In Casinos, Economy, Financial competency, Uncategorized on 26/03/2014 at 4:38 am

S’poreans who laud the Finnish education system may want to think again. Look at the unemployment figures in this chart. Look st the Finnish the S’porean figures. Finnish education better than ours leh? Our system not that bad leh? worse for rapid PAP haters, govt is promising change. LOL

Here’s another inconvenient fact for those who want us to be more Finnish. A S’porean studying there tells me that slot machines are everywhere: in convenience stores, shopping centres etc.

On gambling on per capita basis and because of our casinos, we juz behind the Ozzies. Restrictions for locals? What restrictions? Only restricted if cannot pay and pay. OK, OK, terms and conditions even then apply. Finland is a distant third.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2014/02/daily-chart-

Coming back to education, the fact that PISA ranks China (OK Shanghai as tops) in education, doesn’t deter wealthy Chinese parents from wanting a posh, private British education (think s/o JBJ). No they want potatoe speaking, half Chinese, half ang moh sons: they want a better education for their kids.

My serious point, is that education is a very complicated topics. And we shouldn’t trivalise a debate on education with throwing data willy nilly to support an ideological position, even if one LKY (the PAPpy haters tremble and cross their hearts at the mere mention of his name) does it. Remember his remarks about the kids in neighbourhood schools that gave the govt grief?

In fact, data has to be analysed, not used as sticking plaster to support or denounce any given position on any issue. There are no “right” facts, juz facts.

 

We really poor? Why we don’t have Swiss standard of living?

In Economy, Hong Kong on 19/02/2014 at 4:51 am

The u/m perhaps explains why the PAP despite the triumphalism  of itself  and its wallies of our Swiss standard of living, our massive (but  “secret” reserves), and massive budget surpluses (last yr’s estimated $2.4bn is likely to be $6.5bn according to economists. Gd TRE post on this http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/02/18/sg-surplus-for-this-fy-may-hit-6-5-billion/) refuses to spend our money on ourselves. I’ve always blogged that a Hard Truth born of meanness is, “Don’t spend money on making life more comfortable for S’poreans, better to cheong on markets”. But maybe we juz don’t have the $. It belongs to MNCs.

Incidentally, the article shows why local investment is preferable to foreign investment: the profits stick around. The PAP govt rightly takes credit for attracting MNCs here in the 60s and 70s to create jobs. So it should accept responsibility for not diversifying away from this reliance on MNCs, especially as attracting MNCs is not conventional wisdom. In the 60s and 70s, attracting MNC was seen as neo-colonialism.

In Singapore, personal consumption expenditure has steadily fallen over the years as a percentage of GDP and, at 35 per cent, is now barely half of what it is in Hong Kong. This is an oddity characteristic of a startup economy, not of a wealthy town like Singapore.

But it means that, on the basis of our money-in-your-hands measure, Hong Kong at US$24,000 per capita still outranks Singapore at US$21,000.

The second chart gives you a clue as to why the two economies are so different on this measure. Industrial investment in Singapore, always predominantly foreign, has become even more so in recent years, accounting for an average of about 80 per cent of total investment over the past 10 years. I do not have the equivalent figures for Hong Kong but, at a rough guess, the foreign-local ratio would be the reverse.

This foreign investment in Singapore has in turn produced a huge trade surplus in both goods and services. Over recent years, it has run at about 30 per cent of GDP. And most of this money goes right back out again to pay foreigners for all the confidence they have shown in Singapore by investing in it so heavily.

In short, Singapore’s high GDP numbers are mostly an anomaly created by very generous industrial concessions to foreigners. They do not really reflect domestic wealth.

In another way, however, these GDP measures of Hong Kong and Singapore do not mean much as a yardstick of the comparative efficiency of either system. The fact is both are parasite economies feeding off much larger neighbours, the mainland in Hong Kong’s case and Indonesia and Malaysia in Singapore’s. They are both wealthy because they perform services that their neighbours cannot or, for reasons of policy, will not perform.

http://www.scmp.com/business/economy/article/1420215/singaporeans-not-wealthy-gdp-figures-suggest

“Why Government Should Not Be Run Like A Business”

In Infrastructure, Political governance, Public Administration on 05/02/2014 at 4:29 am

The above article from Forbes has been making the rounds on Facebook following the public tpt fare increase. Meanwhile, the WP is now saying, “The WP believes that public transport should be provided as a public good and not for profit”*

The Forbes piece explicitly says, while the WP’s motherhood statement implies, that if only public services are run sans the profit motive, everything will be fine. Profit is the evil. In its place, would be a serious of targets that would in PR jargon “enhance the users’ experience”.

It follows that the guiding principle of target setting should be an analysis of function—ie, what something does, not what it is.

Sounds good but as usual the devil is in the details: here the devils (legions of them) are in the the targets set.

The flaws in setting targets in public services have long been apparent. The single-minded pursuit of them in the NHS has contributed to some of the scandals in treating patients. Hospitals became so fixated on meeting national targets that they lost sight of their overriding responsibility to look after the people they were treating and to make them better.

Now the London Underground offers another example of the perverse effects of targets, especially when they are pursued in a simple-minded way. Green Park is one of the busiest tube stations in London. It has three escalators to the station concourse from the Piccadilly line, which serves not just London commuters but international businessmen and tourists travelling to and from Heathrow. Yet routinely one is closed at peak times.

The reason? According to station staff Green Park has been set energy targets and this is the way that it is meeting them.

What folly. Whether or not this is intended by the top brass at Transport for London is unclear. But this is what happens when stupid objectives are set and managers are either pressured into meeting them come what may or follow them without paying heed to their primary responsibility, which in the case of a tube station is to convey passengers as swiftly and as safely as possible to and from the trains. (http://www.economist.com/blogs/blighty/2014/01/trouble-targets)**

Another problem with the attitude articulated in the article and the WP’s motherhood statement is that they are quiet about the danger of “capture” of public services by the people working in the public sector.

As a student in London in the late 70s, I saw this capture at first hand. The London public tpt system and the state-owned British Airways were run for the convenience among other nationalised industries)ce and benefit of the employees (managers, executives and workers) not the commuting public.

The real issue when discussing the improvement of public services is finding ways to quantity the “public good”, something which Bloomberg tried hard to do when he was mayor of NY City. Bloomberg who recently finished two terms as NY city’s major, leaving office with a reputation as one of the best mayors the city has ever had, has said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

He used data to do boring things well—an undervalued virtue. His analytics team pools data from different agencies to inform decisions. For instance, it tracked complaints from 311 calls, a municipal hotline, and linked them with information about such things as tax irregularities to pinpoint illegal building conversions, which are fire hazards, quickly and fairly accurately. Mr Bloomberg listened to ideas if his staff had supporting evidence. (Economist)

(https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/culture-ministry-morphs-into-quant-ministry/)

Even the mystic and poet Blake who portrayed in his poetry Issac Newton, the scientist who discovered the maths behind the universe, to an evil god wrote, “Generalisation and abstraction are The plea of the hypocrite, scoundrel, and knave.”

The profit motive, while not perfect, and often misused (to benefit mgt, and shareholders) at least forces measurable quantification. It’s all about quantification as Bloomberg said. Note that his successor during the election campaign talked of ditching quantification. He was supported by the public services unions.

Of course quantification can go wrong like in our Arts ministry and the Vietnam War, https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/culture-ministry-morphs-into-quant-ministry/

*This is not the nationalisation it once called for. In its election manifesto, WP called for public tpt nationalisation, something Low reaffirmed after the Punggol East victory. Now, it says “public transport should be provided as a public good and not for profit”. In its manifesto for GE 2011 it said,

  1. Instead of public transport being provided by profit-oriented companies, all public transport including the MRT & public buses servicing major routes should be brought under a National Transport Corporation, a public body, to ensure a smooth integration of the overall national transport network and to avoid unnecessary duplication of services and overheads incurred by multiple operators.
  2. The Public Transport Council should be dissolved. Government accountability for public transport matters should be via a unit under the Land Transport Authority. This unit should receive feedback, audit services, review productivity and examine the need for fare adjustments.

**BTW, maybe someone in SMRT reads me? Further to this where I promised to report if the escalator at Eunos stn is working, last Wednesday when I was there, it was functioning.

Chinese zodiac’s animals: global distribution per capita

In Humour, Indonesia, Malaysia on 01/02/2014 at 4:33 am

To herald China’s most important holiday, we [Economist] have taken a light-hearted look at the global distribution of the animals of the Chinese zodiac. The Middle Kingdom is home to some of the world’s largest herds, flocks, packs, and broods. It has the second-largest number of horses, 6.7m, after America’s 10m (although neither feature in our charts, which account for population). Instead, Mongolia, where horses are integral to its nomadic tradition, tops the ranking. Similarly, there are four times as many pigs in China as anywhere else, but Denmark’s huge pork industry means it has the highest pig-to-person ratio. Of the ten animals shown, China is among the top nations in total numbers for all but tigers, dragons (Komodo) and rats (guinea pigs in Peru and Bolivia, the only numbers available from the FAO). Snake (the departing year) and monkey are omitted for lack of data. Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Asean countries– Brunei (Rooster), M’sia and Thailand (Tiger), Indonesia (Dragon) and Laos (Tiger and Ox) — appear on several of these charts.

Click link to see all all the charts or in bigger format http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2014/01/daily-chart-19

IE S’pore & Jos’ point about perfection

In Economy, Humour on 21/01/2014 at 5:24 am

Readers will know that I recently commented (here and here) on Jos Teo’s tots as articulated to ST: comments that have annoyed netizens no end. Juz read the comments posted by TRE readers grumbling that she gets so many things so wrong. “We cannot have the attitude that everything will be perfect from Day One. If we go in with that attitude, it can only mean that we have to build in a lot of redundancy, in particular came in for a lot of flak.

Well getting things wrong also seems to apply to her hubbie’s organisation (According to ST,”Her husband, Mr Teo Eng Cheong, is chief executive officer of IE Singapore …”)

IE S’pore has goofed big time. according to a BT report dated 18 January 2014:

ERRORS in trade data collection meant that International Enterprise (IE) Singapore wrongly reported two months of exports data, with possible implications for fourth-quarter GDP estimates.

October 2013’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) was said to have grown 2.8 per cent, when in fact it had shrunk 2.7 per cent. Data for September was also overstated – NODX was initially said to have shrunk 1.2 per cent when the actual contraction was a larger 2 per cent – due to the “multiple counting of some trade permits”.

As trade data for both months have been corrected downwards, total trade and NODX for the full year 2013 will now come in lower than expected, IE said in an annex to its trade report for December, released yesterday.

IE will only announce Singapore’s full-year trade data next month, but UOB economist Francis Tan estimates that full-year NODX would have dropped 5.4 per cent, taking September and October’s erroneous figures, but could now fall a sharper 6 per cent. Both are worse than IE’s forecast of a NODX contraction of 4 to 5 per cent for 2013, last revised down in November.

It was an honest mistake. Maybe it was also example of what Jos Teo said, “We cannot have the attitude that everything will be perfect from Day One. If we go in with that attitude, it can only mean that we have to build in a lot of redundancy.

BT wrote: IE said yesterday that the errors were traced back to changes to a trade declaration system known as Access, which is used by four air express companies to declare their consolidated imports and exports. In August last year, changes were made to this system to allow the companies to make amendments to their trade permit records, such as flight details.

However, all amended permits were counted as new ones when transmitted from the Access system to the Singapore Customs’ Trade Statistics System, and then to IE Singapore. In nominal terms, the counting errors meant a difference between an originally tabulated NODX value of $15.599 billion for October, and a corrected value of $14.757 billion.

In response to BT’s queries, IE explained that the over-reporting was not immediately apparent as the values of the individual records still fell within the expected range. “When unusually large numbers were picked up, IE Singapore worked with Singapore Customs immediately to investigate and rectify the issue,” IE said.

For trade data, Singapore Customs conducts selective checks of trade permits against the commercial documents to verify the accuracy of data submitted by traders. “IE Singapore also conducts checks on a monthly basis to track trends based on the value of goods and large ticket items. Export and import categories with significant data swings will be picked up for further verification and analysis in consultation with Singapore Customs,”  …

One economist is annoyed:

DBS economist Irvin Seah thinks internal processes need to be tightened when it comes to collecting official data. “We have seen quite significant revisions, not just in NODX, but also in the advanced GDP estimates. Whether these are estimates or actual figures, there ought to be as little revision as possible. These numbers are important to everyone who wants a good gauge of where the economy is going, not just economists,” he said.

But another was relaxed,“no great damage was done”, said Barclays economist Joey Chew. “After all, the October red herring of a recovery was quickly refuted the very next month when November exports fell sharply, indicating that Singapore exports are clearly not yet out of the woods. The continued slump in electronics in December further confirmed that,” she said.

Whatever it is, S’pore’s reputation remains intact according to BT (But it would say that wouldn’t it?)

As for whether these errors undermine the reliability of Singapore’s statistics, Credit Suisse economist Michael Wan said that he sees them as inherent to the “messy affair” of collecting data. “I don’t think it raises questions about the integrity of Singapore’s statistical collection fundamentally. It’s always an ongoing affair to reduce the number of errors,” he said.

UOB’s Mr Tan said: “The good thing is that they are at least signalling that they are doing the right thing, by coming out and correcting the errors.”

A couple of errors ought not to affect credibility, said Barclays’ Ms Chew. “Especially if the errors are due to technological problems rather than data collection issues, or people gaming the system – for example Chinese exporters reporting fake trade.”

But IE S’pore should not be complacent: Barclay’s Ms Chew does have other issues to raise about Singapore’s data though. “First, the timeliness. We are one of the last to report CPI (consumer price index) in the region, and I don’t understand why. Also, IE Singapore does not release a lot of the export data they collect.”

Jos and hubby should be hoping that the recent bad publicity is part of the karma of the year of the Goat, not the karma for 2014. If the latter, expect more to hear more nad publicity from Jos and IE S’pore?

Culture ministry morphs into Quant Ministry

In Public Administration on 15/11/2013 at 6:01 am

Robert McNamara when he became Kennedy’s Defence Secretary expected everything to be quantified at the Pentagon. He was previously president of Ford Motor Company. A team of which he was a part had transformed Ford by using quantitative methods*.

Sadly, for the US,using inappropriate quantitative methods was one reason why the US was defeated by the North Vietnamese. An example was the focus on the number of Vietcong guerrillas killed. This encouraged the US army to prefer “kicking ass” rather to “winning hearts and minds”. The latter didn’t show up on the army’s KPIs.

I was rereading something about Robert McNamara (inevitably the Whiz Kids and the Vietnam war are mentioned) around the time when a person familiar with the local arts scene posted a Facebook comment that he had never seen so much data from the culture ministry before. Feel free to skip the italics bit below: it gives the data that made got the “expert” commenting

Singapore’s arts and culture sector continues to grow, with more reported arts activities and more people attending and participating in arts and culture events compared to a decade ago.

According to the Singapore Cultural Statistics 2013 Report, there was an average of 23 arts performances and 49 exhibitions happening each day in 2012, as compared to about 10 arts performances and 30 exhibitions 10 years ago.

Ticketed attendance at arts events increased from just under a million in 2003 to almost two million last year.

Meanwhile, total tickets sold for performing arts events increased from 0.7 million in 2004 to 1.2 million in 2012.

Total gross takings have also increased from S$32.8 million in 2004 to S$80.6 million in 2012.

Year-on-year comparison showed that ticketed attendance and gross takings for performing arts events fell in 2012, after an all-time high the previous year.

The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) said this was due to the market adjusting itself after the initial spike of popular musicals brought in by the Integrated Resorts when they first started operations.

Non-ticketed attendance for heritage events dropped in 2012.

MCCY said this was a result of the National Heritage Board’s shift from large-scale events to more targeted ones with better quality of engagement.

The report also noted the growing interest of youths in pursuing an arts education in Singapore.

The number of students enrolled in full-time tertiary arts courses has also increased from 1,860 in 2004 to 4,492 in 2012.

More arts companies and arts societies are also entering the scene.

In 2012, there were 1,260 companies and 386 societies, compared to 302 arts companies and 247 societies in 2003.

Government funding for arts and culture has also increased to S$478.9 million last year, up 10 per cent from 2011.

(http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-s-arts-and/867778.html)

Despite the failure of the US to win the Vietnam war by quantitative methods, there is a place for appropriate data collection and analysis, as the Ford experience showed. Bloomberg who recently finished two terms as NY city’s major, leaving office with a reputation as one of the best mayors the city has ever had, has said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”**

He used data to do boring things well—an undervalued virtue. His analytics team pools data from different agencies to inform decisions. For instance, it tracked complaints from 311 calls, a municipal hotline, and linked them with information about such things as tax irregularities to pinpoint illegal building conversions, which are fire hazards, quickly and fairly accurately. Mr Bloomberg listened to ideas if his staff had supporting evidence. (Economist)

But somehow, I don’t think the data cited above by our culture ministry cited above serves any purpose. It doesn’t even make the ministry look gd: except in the eyes of bureaucrats  and accountants ruled by engineering scholars led by a maths scholar. As Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong is in Hong Kong from November 13 to 15 attending a regional forum on collaborations in culture and arts,maybe he can pick up tips from cities like KL, Manila and HK on how to make S’pore less of a culture desert.

—-

*In 1946, Charles “Tex” Thornton, a colonel under whom McNamara had served, put together a group of officers from his AAF Statistical Control operation to go into business together. Thornton had seen an article in Life magazine portraying Ford as being in dire need of reform. Henry Ford II, himself a World War II veteran from the Navy, hired the entire group of 10, including McNamara.

The “Whiz Kids“, as they came to be known, helped the money-losing company reform its chaotic administration through modern planning, organization and management control systems. Whiz Kids origins: Because of their youth, combined with asking lots of questions, Ford employees initially and disparagingly, referred to them as the “Quiz Kids”. In a remarkable “turning of the tables”, these Quiz Kids rebranded themselves as the “Whiz Kids” and backed-up their new moniker with performance driven results. Starting as manager of planning and financial analysis, he advanced rapidly through a series of top-level management positions. (Wikipedia)

**The danger is that this often becomes, “If you can’t measure it, you can ignore it.”