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Posts Tagged ‘Human Resources’

Work-life balance is important

In Uncategorized on 29/05/2023 at 9:01 am

Junior doctors (any doctor not a consultant) and nurses are striking in the UK’s National Health System because of poor pay.

But those leaving cite work-life balance in addition to pay as a reason to leave.

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S’pore: Gig workers are paid “peanuts”

In Economy on 08/12/2022 at 4:15 pm

Productivity? What productivity?

In Uncategorized on 20/09/2022 at 5:17 pm

Last year, there were lots of reports that productivity had increased because people were working from home because of Covid. Reasons given were the absence of commuting and distraction, and so on.

Now we are told, there’s a problem with not working in the office: Fortune reports under the headline

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink thinks he has a solution to inflation: Bring people back to the office

that

BlackRock’s drive to get people to return to the office “is going to be a key element in bringing down inflation: rising productivity.”

So what’s the truth?

Maybe, there’s too much BS and that results in lower productivity.

US inflation shows PAP govt right on cheap FT policies?

In Economy, Public Administration on 14/09/2022 at 10:33 am

One critical factor in explaining the persistence of high core inflation is tightness in the labour market. With roughly two jobs available per unemployed person in America, workers have strong bargaining power, which is reflected in hefty wage gains. A tracker published by the Fed’s Atlanta branch shows that in August wages rose at an annualised pace of nearly 7%. The grim conclusion for many economists is that America may require a marked increase in unemployment in order to temper wage pressures and, ultimately, inflation.

https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2022/09/13/despite-rosier-figures-america-still-has-an-inflation-problem

In S’pore, we don’t have this problem because we can always bring in FTs by the cattle truck loads via A380s when our true blue S’porean PMETs and manual workers (like waiters) want more $. Remember this when you read this: Beyond global post-pandemic inflationary pressures, Singapore’s economic structure will continue to drive up domestic costs – Academia | SG

How to get S’poreans to breed like rabbits

In Uncategorized on 25/08/2022 at 4:31 pm

Or at least like Americans, Swedes or Icelanders.

Make it compulsory for the men to do at least 30% of the housework or chores.

Look at S Korea where data released by the government showed the fertility figure had dropped to 0.81 – down three points from the previous year, and a sixth consecutive decline. Ours is1.14 births per woman (2019).

Why we need more babies or more FTs

A declining population can put a country under immense strain. Apart from increased pressure on public spending as demand for healthcare systems and pensions rise, a declining youth population also leads to labour shortages that impact the economy.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-62670717

This is not BS or the PAP’s Hard Truth. It’s Demographics 101.

Double confirm: Study shows “Pay millions, still get monkeys”

In Financial competency, Political governance, Public Administration on 27/07/2022 at 8:43 am

We were also interested to read this new study on corporate pay, from Ossiam and Proxinvest. It found that the more executives and directors are paid, the worse a company’s share price performs.

Moral Money, an FT newsletter

Relevant extracts

Board Remuneration (-2.6%): our results suggest that high board remuneration consistently
penalises equity performance. In fact, if the fee paid by the company to the member as
compensation for being on the board is significant in relation to the member’s net worth, it can
become a subconscious factor affecting their judgment.

https://api.ossiam.net/front.file/Governance%20Data%20Where%20is%20the%20Alpha%20-%20EN%20-%20Final/EN

And

CEO Total Compensation (-3.1%): companies with low CEO total compensation significantly
outperformed companies that award their CEO with large total compensation packages. This
finding could suggest that excessive compensation signals an agency problem in a weak
governance structure that could negatively affect the company’s performance.
• Senior Management Bonus Cap (-4.7%): the result suggests that a lower bonus cap
arrangement can be a highly effective tool and hence contributes significantly to equity
performance. Setting and maintaining an appropriate bonus cap for senior managers can play an
important role in controlling management’s attempts to misappropriate company resources by
paying excessive bonuses.
• Compensation Package (Base Salary (-1.6%), Annual Bonus (-2.0%), Long-Term (-2.1%) and Other
Compensation (-2.3%)): our results show that whether we consider the base salary, the bonus,
long-term or other types of compensation, companies that have a more parsimonious
compensation policy and award relatively less to their senior managers tend to perform better.
Interestingly, the biggest gap is observed for the Other Compensation pillar, which tends to be
company-specific and may eventually hide sub-standard practices in CEO compensation policies.
• Compensation relative to Total (Base Salary (+2.8%), Annual Bonus (-1.0%), Long-Term (-0.9%)
and Other Compensation (+0.6%)): a clear pattern emerges from our results: companies that pay a
more significant part of CEO total package in the form of base salary show better performance.
Meanwhile, when an annual bonus or other form of compensation represents a significant
proportion of total compensation, equity performance tends to lag. This confirms the intuition that a
high base salary proportion of the total package can serve as well-deserved compensation to
effectively motivate the CEO, while avoiding managerial short-termism linked to inherently shortterm incentives (such as a bonus), which possibly has harmful effects on the company’s long-term
growth.

https://api.ossiam.net/front.file/Governance%20Data%20Where%20is%20the%20Alpha%20-%20EN%20-%20Final/EN

Actually no need for study. Juz look at the performance of PM, Tharman, Lawrence Wong, Kee Chiu, Queen Jos and the other millionaire ministers: die die must raise GST.

Tech: It’s a boys’ club

In Uncategorized on 28/06/2022 at 3:29 am

Are we inclusive enough?

In Economy, Japan, S'pore Inc on 15/06/2022 at 5:26 am

Wonder what S’pore spends on human corporate resources?

The FT reports that Japan spends only 0.1% of its corporate human resources, compared with 2.1% in the US and 1.1% in the UK.

It also reports that the Japanese PM places some of the blame on society’s inability to be more inclusive on companies’s failure to invest in their employees.

If our spend on corporate human resources is a lot closer to than of Japan than the ang mohs’, another good reason to KPKB and beat up the millionaire PAP ministers for Talking the Talk of a more equal society but not Walking the Talk.

SDP and Cheng Bock’s gang please do some research. We can only expect the Leader of the Opposition and his wankers to only wank. They can’t even be expected to even talk about the cost of living.

Why Mamas are IT talents

In India on 13/05/2022 at 4:14 am

Bengaluru has nearly 70 engineering colleges. More than 55% of Indians on LinkedIn, a professional social network, boast technical skills, such as those needed for programming. Only Germans are technically savvier, and merely by a whisker; for Americans and Britons the share is around 42%. “Where else can you quickly hire a few thousand engineers?” marvels Shailesh Lakhani, a colleague of Mr Anand’s at Sequoia India.

https://www.economist.com/business/can-silicon-valley-still-dominate-global-innovation/21808708

Remember

 “Quantity has a quality all its own.”

Joseph Stalin

And Indian IT talents are cheaper to hire than S’poreans.

And we have the reason why Indian IT graduates are FTs in the eies of our Millionaire ministers, and employers here.

What do Jews, Chinese and Indians have in common?

In Economy, EDB on 13/04/2022 at 10:07 am

The fantastical beast that is the unicorn find them almost as friendly to unicorns as the residents of Silicon Valley, London, Paris or Berlin.

Beijing, Bengaluru, S’pore and Tel Aviv are places where unicorns are bporn and thrive.

And there’s all to play for S’pore

Some 60m South-East Asians, nearly a tenth of the region’s population, became new netizens in the past two years alone, according to Bain, a consultancy. The number of companies in India and South-East Asia generating $100m of annual revenue has jumped by an order of magnitude in recent years,

https://www.economist.com/business/can-silicon-valley-still-dominate-global-innovation/21808708

In S’pore and SE Asia, the unicorns that thrive are those in fintech and consumer.

These adapt existing Western business models (think Uber, Amazon and Airbnb) to local market conditions. as consumers in SE Asia become willing to pay for “technification of services”: a form of ang moh tua kee, methinks.

Sad, dirty secret of why US inflation is at 7.9%

In Economy, Public Administration on 07/04/2022 at 3:45 am

There are many reasons why inflation is roaring ahead. They include policy mistakes and complacency, energy price rises and then there are three of the four horsemen of the apocalypse: pestilence, famine (The UN’s food price index has already risen by 24% from a year ago and is set to rise further.) and war.

But the main reason is the shortage of lowest paid workers.

And lowest paid workers are now getting big pay increases in the US.

The Hardest Truth of economics is that productivity must grow in line with this wage increase in order to keep inflation in check. But the signs are that this is not happening, and won’t happen. And neither is the supply of workers increasing.

It is likely, therefore, that in America and elsewhere labour markets will have to be cooled the old-fashioned way: by central banks raising interest rates, making it a little more attractive to save than spend and thereby choking off demand for labour. The Fed has already raised rates by 0.25 percentage points, and is expected to raise them by a total of 2.5 points this year. America may well prove an example of what happens when policymakers respond to a labour market that has become dangerously hot.

https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/are-labour-markets-in-the-rich-world-too-tight/21808579

The poor have to be satisfied with this promise by Jesus:

Blessed be ye poor: for your’s is the kingdom of God.

Extract from Luke 6:20-21 

But in S’pore, the PAP govt makes sure that there are FTs by the cattle-truck load to ensure that wages remain low. At least that’s what retirees like me should hope happens, what with our millionaire ministers saying die, die must increase GST.

Ingrates like me who don’t for the PAP must remember that we, the well off, get almost first world service and quality while paying (indirectly) third world wages. The plebs who die die vote for the PAP, save us from having to vote for the PAP.

Why we get ministers who can’t organise an orgy in a brothel?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 25/12/2021 at 1:20 pm

but first, a Blessed Christmas if you are Christian. And a merry, happy holiday if you are not Christian. And a a happy 2022.

Coming back to the question, it’s because of the way they are chosen

“When you’re at the top of the hierarchy, you have a lot of influence over people’s careers. There is a natural tendency for people to start to say things that they think you want to hear, that align with your world view, or make you happy.”

The bubble forms slowly, Mr Lesser explains, because at first your peers still see you as something of an equal, they know you and your background. But over time, he says, a “gap starts to emerge”, between the CEO and everyone else.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-59043478

Demand for tech staff

In Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam on 16/12/2021 at 1:57 pm

Workers may see salary increases for 2022

In Economy on 30/11/2021 at 9:55 am

This news came out last week and is of course subject to the South African variant not being as problematic as the Indian one. (Btw did you know that the mama variant was first detected in China in Inner Mongolia? Clever chaps these mamas.)

Sorry back to the serfs here.

Employees based in Singapore are expected to see a nominal salary increase of 3.5% next year, up from 2.8% this year according to ECA international.

This means after taking account of a forecasted 1.5% inflation, Singapore workers would have a real salary increase of 2.0% on average – up from 1.2% this year. Real salary increase rates across the APAC region are forecast to be 1.9% in 2022, higher than the global average of 0.9%.

No wonder, the NTUC chief (and ex-minister: he lost the PAP a GRC and didn’t get sacked from his NTUC job) recently boasted: “The PAP is at the heart of NTUC, and the NTUC is at the heart of what the PAP does.”

PAP is trying to take credit for the wage rise, me thinks.

Not much difference in FT intake is there?

In Economy on 19/05/2021 at 9:51 am

The PAP govt and the constructive, nation-building but independent media tell us that govt policies are reducing FT numbers especially in the PMET segment. But doesn’t seem to show does it? 2020 is different because of the travel restrictions and the collapsing economy.

No wonder the local PMETs are not happy and the 2020 GE showed this.

Worse

Singapore’s heavy dependency on large number of migrant workers has led to us being unable to close our borders despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

For example, Manpower Minister Tan See Leng told Parliament that there was a net outflow of 5,600 work permit and S Pass holders from the construction, process and service sectors each month from March 2020 to April 2021.

Entry approvals were granted to an average of 5,100 workers per month from last November to address the shortfall – but even this could not be sustained due to the dramatically worsening Covid-19 situation in the workers’ home countries.

Comment :These facts validly illustrate the risks which our immigration policies have created for Singapore!

Lam Keong Yeoh on FB. He was GIC’s chief economist before he retired.

Retraining, meritocracy’s dark side from a S’porean resident

In Economy, S'pore Inc on 16/05/2021 at 4:53 am

The u/m appeared in the Economist’s letters-to-the-editor:

Not every worker gets a lift

Tearing down barriers to occupations through meritocratic access to education and retraining will not create more opportunities for low-skilled workers hoping to “climb the ladder” to high-skilled jobs (“Riding high”, April 10th). This assumes talent and ability are evenly distributed and that some people will work harder to jump on a waiting empty elevator, pushing the button to reach a higher socioeconomic position.

Mobility is upward and downward. The higher floors have a finite space. The elevators are also full of people on the way down. Anne Case and Angus Deaton call this the dark side of democracy in “Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism”. Those left behind are devalued and disrespected as “losers”. The meritocratic elite contribute to the culture of overwork, their success making everybody else feel that they have failed.

Christopher Voisey
Singapore

How FT restrictions hurt economy

In Economy, Public Administration on 20/01/2021 at 4:57 am

And no the person saying it is not a millionaire minister or a PAP social media or msm media running dog. It’s an economist from an int’l bank.

All this talk of a recoverying economy (Example:”Singapore economy looks to rebound in 2021″and STI recovering to last yr’s highs, reminds me of what a Jap economist was saying late last yr: the FT restrictions was no good for the economy. (Skip the next 10 or so paras to “Hiromasa Matsuura …” if you know the facts and the PAP govt’s spin on the data.

First a recap of the restrictions.

Singapore tightened its labor rules last September. But there’s a problem. FTs make up nearly 40% of the labor force — far higher than in most of its neighbors.

Its citizens are also rapidly aging, meaning that by 2030, nearly a quarter will be 65 or older. If a graying Singapore accepts fewer foreign workers amid reduced interaction with the outside world, can it maintain economic growth?

According to the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore had 1,351,800 foreign workers as of June last yr, of which 14% were Employment Pass holders — professionals, managers and executives like — while another 14% were S Pass holders, or mid-level staff with skills. Almost all of the rest possessed a Work Permit, which includes laborers from lower-income countries engaging in construction and shipyard work as well as domestic helpers such as maids and nannies.

If it accepts fewer foreign workers amid reduced interaction with the outside world, can it maintain economic growth?

PM says no, saying the Government must convince the sheep S’poreans that the best way to protect livelihoods and families is to keep Singapore open for talent and business. He said, “If we just close ourselves up and send away the work pass holders, it will result in fewer jobs and opportunities for Singaporeans, and more hardship for our workers and their families.” He was speaking at the People’s Action Party (PAP) biennial conference on 8 November last yr.


PM says he understands S’porean fears

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong acknowledged the worry S’poreans have about job competition coming from “foreign talents”.

He said he fully understood the pressures faced by S’poreans with regard to foreign work pass holders competing against Singaporeans for jobs in Singapore.

———————————————————————

But’s that not juz PAP propaganda.

Hiromasa Matsuura, a Singapore-based economist at Mizuho Bank, said there are two ways the restrictions could weigh on the economy.

“If a foreign worker’s role is not successfully replaced by a local, the growth of the total labor force would weaken, resulting in a negative impact on the economy,” Matsuura told Nikkei. The other, he said, is that a decline in foreign workers would mean a slowdown of total population growth, which would lead to shrinkage in consumption.

“If employers’ needs and local job seekers’ needs do not match, a tightening of foreign labor rules may not be very effective,” Matsuura stressed. “The replacement of foreigners with locals should take place in tandem with the growth of relevant human capital.”

More at https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Asia-Insight/Local-jobs-or-global-talent-Singapore-faces-COVID-era-conundrum

My take: The business reaction so far suggests there is no guarantee of more jobs for locals. Our education system that screwed up?

—————————————————

*From September 2020, the minimum salary requirement for an Employment Pass applicant was raised to 4,500 Singapore dollars (us$3,300) a month from the previous SG$3,900. That followed an increase from SG$3,600 to SG$3,900 in May. In the financial sector specifically, the threshold was set even higher, at SG$5,000, from December. Visa applicants in senior positions must earn even more. Similarly, the minimum salary for the S Pass was also raised to SG$2,500 from October, compared with SG$2,400 previously. “You may of course adjust your EP or S Pass employees’ salaries upon renewal,” Manpower Minister Josephine Teo told employers in a Facebook post explaining the new requirements. Still, the message was clear: “But consider the missed opportunities of building up your local employment, and the strong government support to do so,” she said.

Global banks boost S’pore hiring

In Banks, Economy on 21/12/2020 at 9:03 am

They hedging Hong Kong risk.

But what will be % of jobs going to S’poreans, especially those who moan and groan on TOC, TRE and other anti-PAP sites, and social media that FTs gets all the jobs here?

Another big problem looming for S’pore

In Economy on 25/11/2020 at 4:27 am

Can $4G can solve this problem or not?

The shift to remote work carries an inherent risk. If a white collar job here can be done from home, it can be offshored somewhere cheaper. Could someone else do it more cheaply from KL, JB, Bangkok, Mumbai or Manila? 

No need for MNCs to employ overpaid, unhappy, lazy and ungrateful TOC or TRE reading PMETs in their regional HQs. Can sack all these ingrates and employ hardworking, cheap labour working in KL, JB, Bangkok, Mumbai or Manila. And they can save on FT salaries here: no need to pay condo rents for mamas who then give their employers a paid reputation by sneering at S’porean uncles and aunties for being poor.

Juz saying.

For the record, the 4G leaders failed their legitimacy test: Why PAP aiming for 65% of the popular vote. (Btw, written in 2018: Why even with 4G donkeys, PAP will retain power.)

And based on what PM, Lawrence Wong and Shanmugan said the PAP is very aware that their legitimacy is waning: Legitimacy problem for the PAP as 9% of voters get smarter

But the bad, sad news is how they are trying to fix the legitimacy problem. Instead of listening to Tharman’s views (see below), the PAP are trying to shift the goal posts, lowering the high water mark of success: now only aiming for 65% of the popular vote as their high water mark of popularity and success, not -70%+ mark of the past: How the PAP plans to fix its legitimacy problem.

And we must be a more tolerant democracy, with greater space for divergent views, and a more active civil society, without the public discourse becoming divisive or unsettling the majority.It will be good for Singapore if we evolve in these three ways. They will each help ensure stability in our democracy in the years to come. And they will tap on the energies and ideas of a younger generation of Singaporeans and their desire to be involved in public affairs.

Part of Tharman’s FB post



Why we needed FTs by the cattle truck loads

In Economy on 06/11/2020 at 4:57 am

From Nikkei Asia. It also part of constructive, nation-building media? Move aside SPH, MediaCorp running dogs. PAP govt now got FTs doing their propaganda for them. (Related post: Our education system that screwed up?)

Our education system that screwed up?

In Economy on 05/11/2020 at 5:44 pm

Reasons employers say they need FTs. Locals no got skills. From Nikkei Asia.

Do the following show how of touch and uncaring are union leaders, PAP MPs and millionaire ministers?

In Economy, Political governance on 23/10/2020 at 6:50 am

This letter to ST’s Forum seems to show that they don’t really care for 32,000 poor S’poreans, unlike the Wankers.

Forum: How can anyone survive on less than $1,300?

The priority should not be to defend the statistics and policies on why there should not be a minimum wage level (WP MPs and NTUC deputy chief spar over minimum wage, Oct 16).

Instead, one should first consider how any one individual or family can survive on less than $1,300 a month when the cost of living in Singapore is notoriously high.

These 32,000 or so full-time workers urgently need help, and should not be tossed around as statistics whenever the topic of minimum wage is raised; $1,300 a month would not solve all their daily needs but it is a good start to give them some hope.

If we do not lift these 32,000 workers out of the pit of low wages, it is futile to talk about upgrading their skills.

If we cannot help them put food on the dinner table or provide for their basic needs, it is futile to talk about increasing productivity.

Be practical and realistic. These are our fellow Singaporeans who are poor and desperate. These are people we should not ignore regardless of the number.

The question is whether we give them the dignity and respect they deserve.

Ho Ting Fei (Dr)

As the good doctor says, the issue is the suffering of 32,000 S’poreans, not whether the PAP govt’s Progressive Wage Model (PWM) or minimum wages is better.

And whatever the merits of the Progressive Wage Model it’s slow. No wonder we have a national productivity problem when the NTUC, PAP govt and employers set the example of productivity at work: taking their time to implement what they all say are very impt national policies.

A retired union leader upset by Wanker Jamus ‘ comments about “folksy” union leaders inadvertently let the cat out of the bag in a letter to ST’s Forum.

TOC’s “correspondent” used the letter to pen an article headed

Unionist Nasordin and his tripartite partners implement min wages at snail’s rate of 3 sectors in 8 yrs.

It ends

In any case, it can be seen that despite union leaders like Nasordin, who “care deeply for our workers” and push for PWM expansion to other sectors earnestly, they managed only to establish PWM with its associated minimum wage in 3 industry sectors in the last 8 years, since 2012 when PWM was first mooted.

It has been observed from the Singapore Standard Industrial Classification manual that there are at least dozens of of sectors in Singapore. At the rate Nasordin and his tripartite partners go about implementing their PWM model of 3 sectors per 8 years, by the time minimum wages are implemented in all industry sectors in Singapore, the workers would have been retired or dead by then. Unionist Nasordin and his tripartite partners implement min wages at snail’s rate of 3 sectors in 8 yr.

Go read the article.

Related posts: Another reason to introduce minimum wages and More evidence PAP talking cock on minimum wages

Covid-19: Monitoring Indian workers from the UK

In India on 12/10/2020 at 11:31 am

For the last year and a half, Shibu Philip, founder of Transcend, a small London-based firm that buys beauty products wholesale and re-sells them online, has used Hubstaff software to track his workers’ hours, keystrokes, mouse movements and websites visited.

With seven employees based in India, he says the software ensures “there is some level of accountability” and helps plug the time difference.

“I know myself. [You can] take an extra 10-minute break here or there. It’s good to have an automatic way of monitoring what [my employees] are up to,” says Shibu.

“By looking at screenshots and how much time everyone is taking on certain tasks, I know if they’re following procedures.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-54289152

Btw, he’s an ethnic Indian.

S’poreans want to work from home

In Economy, Property, Public Administration on 30/09/2020 at 7:23 am

An article in the constructive, nation-building ST about S’poreans slowly returning to work in offices reminded of an FT chart in late August or early Sept.

Black mark or slap in the face for the PAP govt’s handling of Covid-19?

Compared with Europe, S’poreans don’t want to return to offices. They all want to skive is it?

Seriously maybe S’poreans think the PAP govt mishandled the Covid-19 pandemic?

The FT reports that whereas the continental European countries think their govts handled the pandemic pretty well, the British and the Americans think their govt’s mishandled the pandemic, hence their reluctance to return to offices.

But then there is this survey: Criticism of PAP govt’s handling of Covid-19 is really “noise”. It shows that S’poreans think the PAP govt is doing a good job in containing the pandemic.

Say one thing, but do another thing isit?

What do you think?

TRE writer on why must have FT CEOS

In Uncategorized on 29/09/2020 at 4:43 am

Local talent pretty BS.

Buddy Capitalism Continues

A few nights ago, the Young Pork Guzzling Muslim Politician sent me a photo of several Linkedin profiles of people working at Standard Chartered Bank. The only thing that that connected them, other than the fact that they were working for Standard Chartered Bank was the fact that everyone was from India. I told him that I didn’t know why he was sending me the photo; a copy of which can be seen below:

He called and explained that people in one of his WhatsApp chats were getting agitated by the fact that Singaporeans were getting upset that plum jobs were going to Indian Nationals and not to Singaporeans. It was, as they say, the same story about the Indian Nationals stealing jobs from locals and only helping themselves and so on and so on. As far as most Singaporeans (or at least the ones on the net are concerned) the Indian Expats are a group of unqualified louts stealing from the hard working honest, Singaporeans graduate.

Unfortunately, this isn’t quite true. While it’s easy to take a snap shot of someone’s Linkedin profile, it’s another thing to actually read that person’s profile and assess whether he or she has gotten to where they have been through fair or foul means. If you look at the 15 profiles, you’ll note that one of them was from the National University of Singapore and another one was from INSEAD. If you look at those who were from Indian Universities, one was from Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA – the place that gave you Ajjay Bangha, CEO of Mastercard) and another was from Indian Institutes of Management Calcutta (IIMC, – the place that gave you Indra Nooyi, former CEO of Pepsico). If you were to delve deeper into these profiles, you’d notice that the majority of them had at least a decade of experience working with the bank and more often than not, they had experience in the big market of India and within the Southeast Asian region.

So, while I don’t doubt that there are Indian Expatriates who are not qualified to be where they are (which is the same that can be said for any other group), Singapore as a collective, needs to get rid of the idea that the only talented people in the world are Westerners and Singaporeans as the loyal servants of the West.

The reality is that “developing” Asia is producing people that are qualified to do great things and are doing great things. If you look at the world’s game changing companies, there is Sundar Pichai of Alphabet, who from Indian Institutes of Management Kharagpur (IIMK) and there’s Microsoft CEO Staya Nadella from Manipur Institute of Technology. It may be hard for the average Singaporean to swallow, but the fact is Mr. Nadella is credited for making Microsoft sexy again after years of being dull when it was being run by Steve Balmer.

By contrast, I can’t think of a Singaporean, trained in Singapore who has gone onto run a company outside the Singapore and the Singapore government. OK, Ogilvy hired Tham Khai Meng to be its world-wide creative head, but Khai was trained in the UK. There was apparently a vice-president on the board of 3M who was from Singapore.

However, nobody talks about this because it’s politically inconvenient. For the “opposition” camps in Singapore it’s easier to talk about how our government has sold us out to India and China. It’s easy to talk about how unfair life is for the ordinary Singaporean who will be overwhelmed by unqualified Indians stealing their jobs.

If the “opposition” camp is guilty of playing on native resentments against dark skinned people, the government is playing an equally insidious but far more subtle game. The government is currently playing a rather confused game. On one hand, it is claiming that welcoming foreigners is good for Singaporeans and on another it is calling Singaporeans racist and xenophobic when they complain that they are being discriminated against in their own land. What is going on here?

I believe there’s an element of distraction here. If Singaporeans were to look at the “real” cause of their job losses, they’d realise that they’ve been screwed by what I’ve called “Buddy Capitalism,” rather than by evil geniuses from India and China. This came out very clearly in a blog piece by Emanuel Daniel, on Piyush Gupta, the CEO of DBS. Mr. Daniel’s blog entry can be found here.

Mr. Daniel, who runs the Asian Banker, is a well-connected figure in the Asian Financial Industry and he’s spent decades studying trends in the industry. He takes Mr. Gupta to task for not doing enough to prepare his bank for the future (He’s accused Mr. Gupta of believing his own hype and enforcing a system rather than preparing for a changing world), but at the same time he argues that Mr. Gupta has done more for DBS and Singapore than his four immediate predecessors (all foreigners) and when compared to the CEOs of the other Government Linked Companies. Mr. Daniel points out that under Mr. Gupta, DBS has continued to see a growth in revenue and profits (LINK) unlike a good portion of the GLCs who have lost money despite having a near monopoly on their respective markets.

A few people were offended by Mr. Daniel’s article, arguing that he was ignoring the fact that the other GLC’s like Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and the Singapore Mass Rapid Transport (SMRT) were run by military men who had been parachuted in with no commercial experience and thus screwed it up. It wasn’t Singaporeans per se.

However, I think their missing the point. Mr. Daniel has very clearly articulated that the key issue in Singapore is the fact that “talent” is inevitably about creating compliance rather than competence. Brilliant people are taken over by the government and made so comfortable that they have no need to excel at anything in particular. One only has to think of the number of military scholars who have been promoted effortlessly to very cushy positions. In the SAF, competence can be a handicap. You will inevitably be replaced by a scholar with no experience. I think of 21 SA in my day. There was a CO called Tan Chong Boon, who was what we call a farmer (A-levels, worked his way up). The then, Major Tan turned a sleepy unit into a fit fighting force by sheer guts. Then, 21SA was awarded the best artillery unit, they posted him out so that a scholar could replace him and get the glory.

The second point that Mr. Daniel makes is that the big GLC’s have a habit of knee caping small enterprises with the blessing of the regulators. In another blog piece, Mr. Daniel argues in another blog piece that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has made it such that all Fintech Systems must have an actual bank account with an established bank, unlike say China or the USA. This ensures that the Fintechs will never be able to take away from the banks and in turn serve as convenient contractors rather than competitors. (LINK)

Why would the government do that? I believe that as much as the government talks about wanting to be “future ready,” it is in fact unwilling to prepare for the future and thus moves to protect its established companies from anything resembling competition. As such, you get companies that think of monopoly profits as a right rather than something that has to be earned.

Let’s look back at the attempt to introduce competition into the media in the early 2000s. That experiment ended within four years when both MediaCorp and SPH found they were losing money. They then spent the next few years arguing over whether readership or viewership figures were more meaningful without realizing that people found more relevant news sources online than they did in print or TV. Unfortunately for both media houses, the advertisers noticed too and before you knew it, SPH was trying to reinvent itself as a real estate company and has shed Singaporean jobs.

Why does the government mollycoddle companies like that? Well, it’s a case of buddy capitalism. Where can you put your buddies if you don’t have profitable sectors?

Our system has worked to make the Singaporean incapable of shinning in their own land and the need to hire foreigners to run the show is the inevitable result. If you listen to government communications, you’ll notice that its always the same theme – Singapore has a limited talent pool and therefore you need to rotate buddies from the government and private sector and supplement them with people from elsewhere.

In 2016, this was proven untrue at the Rio Olympics. We had Joseph Schooling, who beat the world’s greatest swimmer to win our first ever gold medal. What should be very telling is the fact that had Mr. Schooling stayed behind, he probably would never have won anything. His good fortune was to have parents who were willing to leave Singapore so that their son could develop his talent and in the end, bring glory to Singapore.

You’re not going to make life better for Singaporeans by mollycoddling them on this island and telling them everything is OK when it isn’t. You’re not going to help by banning foreigners. You will only get a solution when you break up the buddy system and ensure that Singaporeans have to develop their talents.

Tang Li

*Although I’ve been based mainly in Singapore for nearly two decades, I’ve had the privilege of being able meet people who have crossed borders and cultures. I’ve befriended ministers and ambassadors and worked on projects involving a former head of state. Yet, at the same time, I’ve had the privilege of befriending migrant labourers and former convicts. All of them have a story to tell. All of them add to the fabric of life. I hope to express the stories that inspire us to create life as it should be.

Why our loser anti-PAP PMETs are so grumpy?

In Uncategorized on 24/09/2020 at 5:41 am

They are unemployed (Anti-PAP “noise” is from PMET losers and deadbeats) and don’t have enough sleep, or they oversleep.

The National Sleep Foundation, a non-profit group in America, says unemployed people were more likely to report sleeping less or more than people in employment. Not surprised by them sleeping more because unemployed workers have less to lose, financially, from sleeping.

The authors think that anxiety and depression cause sleeping problems. Poor-quality sleep can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and depression.

Tmm sounds a good way of getting rid of our loser PMETs.

Minister Iswaran doesn’t know that 10 yrs ago DBS’s chairman aspired to have “homegrown” CEO

In Banks, S'pore Inc on 09/09/2020 at 5:37 am

Or has that aspiration been discarded?

Let me explain my queries.

Minister Iswaran recently said: “I am not sure what you mean by “homegrown”.

He said this in the debate over the issue of foreign talent here on Friday (Sept 4). Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran chiding (sneering?) NCMP Leong Mun Wai for his comments on DBS Bank not having a “homegrown” CEO.

Mr Leong (Progress Singapore Party) had said in his maiden speech in Parliament on Tuesday that he is “deeply disappointed” that DBS still has not appointed a homegrown CEO, 22 years after former JP Morgan executive John Olds became first FT CEO in 1998. He was a disaster and he was followed by a series of FT ang moh (including one honorary ang moh: American born Chinese) clowns until Gupta came along: He made DBS respectable again. And he’s making it great.

(Mr Piyush Gupta, who is the bank’s CEO, was born in India and became a Singapore citizen in 2009, the same year he was appointed CEO.)

I’d like to remind the minister that shortly after one Peter Seah became chairman of DBS in 2010 (He still is), he said that DBS had good locals that could one day be CEOs. He unfortunately, in my opinion, cited a lady who later became an NMP: in that postion she showed why she can’t even be a CEO of even an SME.

Seriously, it seemed then that having a local as CEO was seen as an aspiration of the chairman and the bank.

Going by the minister’s chiding (Or is it a sneer?), it’s no longer an aspiration of the chairman and bank since DBS already has a new citizen as CEO?

What do you think?

Btw, Iswaran is a true blue S’porean and according to his Wikipedia entry “a Tamil Brahmin“. Tharman’s and Shahmugam’s Wikipedia entries juz say they are ethnic Tamils.

Many yrs in the ST newsroom, a newbie FT ethnic Indian from Nepal is alleged to have asked a veteran ethnic local Indian colleague, “I’m a high caste Hindu, what caste are you?”. She’s now one of S’pore’s prominent Wokes and ang moh tua kees.

Wonder if Iswaran did the same to Tharman and Shahmugam when they met?

S’porean core? What’s this BS?

In Economy, Political economy on 04/09/2020 at 4:05 am

Not me but a regular TRE commentator. Worth a read. (Btw, glad that the writer has recovered: More evidence that being anti-PAP is bad for yr mental health.)

The fact that we are even talking about a Singaporean core shows that our leaders have failed Singaporeans

Have you heard of the Malaysian core? What about the Indonesian core? Or the Vietnamese core? There simply isn’t any talk of such a thing because it is a given, a birthright that needs no debate and discussion.

Only in this country do we keep talking about protecting a Singaporean core, even worse about restoring a lost Singaporean core.

Singapore was built on the backs of our forefathers. We grew up reciting the pledge with clenched fist. Our sons dutifully made it through National Service.

Yet we have become natural-born citizens who have to be assured that Singaporeans come first, that the long-neglected Singaporean core will be made good and whole once again.

In his parliamentary speech yesterday, West Coast GRC Member of Parliament Ang Wei Neng called for the setting-up of a National Human Resource Committee to nurture a Singaporean core of talent.

He recounted his experience at Changi Business Park before the COVID-19 outbreak, when for the first time he felt “like a foreigner in my own country”. He went on to question why there are so many Employment Pass, E-Pass and S-Pass holders in Singapore.

Also in Parliament yesterday, Minister of State for Manpower and Education Gan Siow Huang stressed that employers should view Singaporeans favourably when hiring and retain citizens over foreigners if retrenchment cannot be avoided.

For years, Singaporeans have been crying out loud but they were given 1,001 reasons why the foreign influx must continue unabated. Those who continued to complain were called racists and xenophobic.

It is only today that politicians from the People’s Action Party are saying the things the people have been saying for more than a decade.

It is only today that the ones who persisted with the vile policies start to say don’t worry, we will look after Singaporean workers first, we will have your backs no matter what.

Instead of jumping for joy at hearing that the Singaporean core will now be protected (or are they only paying lip service?), we should be asking how this travesty has been allowed to happen in the first place.

How on earth did natural-born Singaporeans get sidelined and squeezed out in our own backyard?

Augustine Low

Btw, it’s also a good riposte to PM’s

The Government will always be on the side of Singaporeans. What is the point of creating jobs for foreigners, if it does not benefit Singaporeans? Why would we want to do that? 

PM in parly recently.



CECA: Good TRE article

In India, Public Administration on 02/09/2020 at 5:04 am

A friend asked someone who has written on CECA on FB in the past whether the u/m allegations of Foong Swee Fong are correct. The person replied that “MTI is using a very strict definition, almost strawman definition of what a lot of citizens are concerned about.”


MTI’s interpretation of CECA: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/mti-ceca-indian-nationals-citizenship-pr-employment-pass-13059698


Foong Swee Fong’s understanding of CECA:

Misleading on CECA

Again, the authorities are painting one side of the picture to mislead. This time, it got the MTI to do the dirty work.

It starts off stating authoritatively that there is “no provision under CECA for Indian nationals to become PRs and citizens”. That’s true and actually obvious because this agreement pertains to investment, not citizenship. But we all know that PMEs form the pool for future PRs and citizens, unlike Work Permit holders.

It then says that it is “not true that CECA requires the Singapore authorities to automatically grant employment passes to Indian PMEs who want to work here”.

It gives the impression that Indian nationals are treated no differently from other nationals, but it is not true. All applications for Employment Passes must satisfy the minimum qualifying salaries as well as other standard requirements like educational qualification, employment offer from a company etc. So in that sense, approval is “not automatic”, but it is again stating the obvious.

What they didn’t say is that the Singapore authority is obligated under CECA to grant an Indian applicant an Employment Pass once he or she satisfies the various criteria, whereas, it has no such obligation for other nationals.

If the qualified Indian applicant is rejected, he can seek recourse via his government as provided under CECA.

Let me quote Article 9.3.1: “Each Party shall grant temporary entry to natural persons of other Party,…in accordance with this Chapter.”

Unless I have a different understanding, “shall grant” means “must grant”. And this include 127 different categories of professionals.

MTI goes on to say that “all companies must comply with rules on fair hiring”.

Again, this is misleading because although all companies are subject to the Fair Consideration Framework, that requirement is not applicable if the applicant is an Indian national.

Let me quote Article 9.3.3: “Neither Party shall require labour market testing, economic needs testing or other procedures of similar effects as a condition for temporary entry in respect of natural persons upon whom the benefits of this Chapter are conferred.”

Economic needs testing basically means the employer must ensure that there are no suitable locals before employing a foreigner, hence, MOM’s Fair Consideration Framework. But Indians are exempted.

I stand corrected because the text in Free Trade Agreements is meant to obfuscate rather than clarify because if the public understands and realise that the odds are stacked against them in favour of businesses, they would be thumping their pitchforks in front of Parliament House, after all, FTAs are actually Investor Rights Agreements. Hope the authorities can clarify.

Foong Swee Fong

And to end, the guy my friend asked also said “And not everything is addressed. Eg. Look at 9.3 i think in ceca, the bring your family clause. No equivalent in japan fta and a few others.”

I think Foong Swee Fong is correct. What do you think?

Sia Suay King and Queen talk cock yet again

In Economy, Public Administration on 01/09/2020 at 1:11 pm

Singapore is putting focus on “quality, rather than quantity” with the latest increases to the qualifying salaries of foreigners on Employment Passes and S Passes, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Saturday (Aug 29).

Constructive, nation-building MediaCorp freesheet

Background

The Ministry of Manpower announced that the minimum salaries for new Employment Pass candidates will be raised by S$600 to S$4,500 from September. Holders of the S Passes will have to meet a S$2,500 threshold, instead of S$2,400, from October.

For the first time, there will also be a separate salary criterion for Employment Pass holders working in financial services: The minimum qualifying monthly salary for these workers will be further raised to S$5,000 later in the year.

—-

Well, he surely can’t have got feedback from the ground because

Companies said they can live with higher operational costs …

Those interviewed said the impact on them is quite minimal since they already pay their Employment Pass holders higher than the minimum requirement

While higher manpower costs would be inevitable with the latest changes to salary requirements for work pass holders, companies contacted by TODAY said that the impact on costs is not something they are too concerned about.

Constructive, nation-building MediaCorp freesheet

Quality over quantity? What quality over quantity when employers say they already pay more than minimum? And are happy to absorb additional costs because FTs are betterest.

But to be fair to Kee Chiu, Jos, MoM minister, also talking cock

As for jobs for S’poreans, the constructive, nation-building media also reported that businesses and “expers” questioned whether the policy directions will achieve the desired effect.

Covid-19: Property experts, analysts missing this point

In Property on 26/08/2020 at 10:57 am

Property experts agents and brokers’ analysts tell us that S’pore’s office commercial market sure to recover. Better hurry up and buy.

But they are not telling us what is going to cost serious $

Office owners face millions in extra costs to ‘Covid-proof’ buildings
Landlords including British Land and Canary Wharf Group are adapting workspaces as staff tentatively return

FT

Then there’s the list of safety measures endorsed by the European Property Federation would set landlords back €400,000 (S$646,980) on a €20m (S$32.4m) building, installing temperature scanners in lobbies or more expensive measures such as repainting surfaces with antimicrobial paint.

But then maybe they know that the jobs Heng promises S’poreans will be cleaning jobs pitched at FT levels. Locals will not take the “non living” wage jobs and FTs will come flooding in. LOL.




Recovery is K shaped

In Economy on 24/08/2020 at 11:34 am

Optimists believed a “v-shaped” economic recovery was just around the corner, while others foresaw a slower “Nike swoosh” of a rebound. Those who believed the pain was here to stay, believed a “U” was most likely.

Seems the rebound is “K-shaped”, a swift fall followed by a big divide in fortunes. Some segments of the economy have recovered sharply, while others have continued to downtrend. Low-wage workers* suffering the most while asset values soa, is a problem that our multi-millionaire natural aristocrats (and other govts) have to solve. At least, they can look at their monthly CPF statements and smile.


From a recent DBS report, Uncle Leong (Remember him?) estimated that around 445,536 lower-income individuals (earning less than $3,000 per month) have had their salaries reduced by more than 50% because of Covid-19.

FTs: HK like us; learnt from us?

In India on 18/08/2020 at 7:13 am

FTs rule the financial sector. But at least the FTs in HK are ethnic Chinese not mamas. Chinese privilege in S’pore? What Chinese privilege? More like Indian privilege in financial services and Peenoy privilege in other sectors? SAD.

On Ho Ching’s comments on social media about Temasek being “Little India”, the real “Little India” is StanChart: written a few yrs ago: Last Deepavali in Marina Bay’s Little India?.

Sadly for S’porean PMEs, the prediction was wrong. SAD.

Also wrong: Indians: Why migrating to S’pore is not a good idea

Did these now billionaire foreign scholars do NS?

In Public Administration, S'pore Inc on 14/08/2020 at 5:14 am

Both Chen and Ye arrived in Singapore as teenagers under a government effort to recruit foreign talent through scholarship programs that began in the 1990s. Chen studied computer engineering at the National University of Singapore, while Ye, also originally from China, went to Hwa Chong Institution and Raffles Junior College, and later got bachelor degrees in computer science and economics from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.



The lives of Sea’s three founders are now deeply rooted in Singapore. They’ve all become citizens, and Chief Executive Officer Li is a board member of the Economic Development Board, the government agency charged with promoting growth and positioning the city-state as a global center for business.

https://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/how-singapore-nurtured-foreign-trio-who-became-billionaires-023434141.html

The background stories of two of founders of NASDAQ-listed Sea (bigger market cap than our biggest listco DBS) is juz the kind of thing that the MoE needs as anti-PAP cybernuts question the need to give $238m annually to foreign students to study here.

So far until this story from Yahoo, not the usual propaganda mouth piece of the PAP govt, this is the best the PAP govt can say about spending $238m annually on FTs

“While MOE (Ministry of Education) spends about on foreign students a year, as stated in a parliamentary reply on 5 August 2019, the significant majority of these students are still required to pay fees higher than those of local students and/or fulfil a bond obligation after graduation,”

The Government said on its fact-checking website Factually.

But I repeat, do these really smart FTs turned locals do NS? I give Li (the third Chink) a pass because

Li, who was born and raised in China’s port city of Tianjin, followed his wife to Singapore after finishing an MBA at Stanford University.

Think PAP minister, Puthu, who was proud he didn’t do NS. He parachuted in after being born to a subversive exiled from S’pore after Coldstore, and after going to Angmoh land: “I’m invested in S’pore”.

Btw, when I was with a start-up in the early noughties, we had one of these scholars. A really pretty Chinese gal. She was a good programmer. The start-up went bust. Also met over the yrs, a few other scholars who worked with start-ups. Hard working, smart gals.

Where India trumps China

In China, India on 10/08/2020 at 3:39 am

India beats China hollow in absolute $ terms and in %age terms (as %age of GDP) in remittances. PeinoyLand is 4th but in $age terms beats both of them.

S’pore is big employer of Indian and Filipino PMETs.

FT dorms scandal: Blame NIMBY S’poreans not the PAP govt

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 25/06/2020 at 7:20 am

Not me but the Economist on Not In My Back Yard S,poreans:

Migrant workers are vital to Singapore’s economy, as they make up two-fifths of the labour force. But they are not a popular cause.

So it is brave of the government to pick a fight with voters on the subject, with an election expected within months.

On June 1st Lawrence Wong, co-chair of Singapore’s covid-19 task-force, announced plans to build lower-density dormitories for some 100,000 migrant workers. The new housing, he warned, would inevitably encroach on other residential areas. When the government built workers’ dormitories in one central district in 2009, the pap was subsequently thumped at the ballot box there.

https://www.economist.com/asia/2020/06/20/singapore-promises-roomier-digs-for-migrant-workers

And alt media and anti-PAP social activists keep blaming the PAP for the FT dorm problem.

Notice the deafening licence from the Wankers, Lim Tean and Goh Meng Seng and other oppos on the FT dorms’ problems?

The worst electoral showing for the ruling People’s Action Party (pap) was in 2011, when the opposition put a call for fewer migrants at the heart of their campaign.

Economist

Only the SDP has spoken out on the FT dorms’ problems.

Why doesn’t MSM crow this fact about a S’porean Indian?

In Media on 02/06/2020 at 7:16 am

Rajeev Suri, who runs Nokia of Finland, is a Singaporean citizen.

Why doesn’t our constructive, nation-building media or its new media running dogs publicise this fact?

Could it be because the constructive, nation-building media doesn’t dare or cannot draw attention to the fact that he seems to be a citizen of S’pore for the sake of convenience?

Try to establish his link to S’pore by reading his Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajeev_Suri

Would the dorm workers prefer to be repatriated to India and Bangladesh?

In Economy, Public Administration on 27/04/2020 at 10:16 am

Khaw’s got a point.

Something that a very disgruntled Quitter living in Finland (kids get free education there, can only get into neighbourhood “good” schools here and he can’t afford int’l school fees here); ang moh tua kees like Kirsten Han; anti-PAP activists and cybernuts; and frustrated wannabe Sith Lords (now trying to reinvent themselves as Jedi) like ex-ST tua kee Bertha Henson forget when criticising the PAP’s govt’s less than diligent efforts (F9, downright careless in my view) in looking after the welfare of our FT workers living in dorms.

Foreign workers in Singapore know they are currently safer in the city-state than elsewhere including their own countries, a minister said, even as a massive coronavirus outbreak among that community shines a spotlight on cramped and oft-unsanitary lodging provided for the low-wage employees.

The workers from overseas are “appreciative” of efforts that range from relieving overcrowding in current facilities, and measures to provide them with medical attention, food and remittance services, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in a Facebook post on Sunday. Singapore is speeding up construction of additional dormitories, he said.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-19/foreign-workers-safer-in-singapore-than-elsewhere-minister-says

Most (over 80%) of the almost 14,000 cases are work permit holders residing in dormitories. None has died of Covid-19, although one of dorm resident with Covid-19 was found dead: police are investigating.

Related post: Covid-19: Reason why no Indian or Bangladeshi worker has died?

India or Bangladesh got anything like this meh? https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/covid-19-behind-the-scenes-at-the-changi-exhibition-centre-12677966

Yes our millionaire ministers screwed up badly by ignoring these FT workers, and we S’poreans are paying the price for their incompetence. But things are being rectified ASAP.

Related posts:

Why even with 4G donkeys, PAP will retain power

Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G?

Xia suay! PM missed talking about a really important matter

In Uncategorized on 05/04/2020 at 6:57 am

PM covered all the important matters (bar one) in his recent speech. But he missed talking about the fact that many couples under lockdown the circuit breaker find themselves closer than ever in the coming month.

The ex-comedian who became president of Ukraine even though he had only peasant genes and didn’t get a double first in Cambridge (like our PM and his Pa) spotted an opportunity that eluded our PM.

In a television appearance last month, Mr Zelensky, like most other world leaders, asked citizens to stay at home. He then called on his compatriots to take advantage of the enforced intimacy to boost the country’s shrinking population: by making babies.

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/04/03/will-the-coronavirus-lockdown-lead-to-a-baby-boom

But then maybe the very wide-spread perception that PM and his millionaire ministers prefer FT to true blue S’poreans is true? (Population White Paper: 2030 will resemble 1959?, White Paper fiasco: Who goofed? and Population White Paper: PAP’s suicide note?)

And going by the likes of Mad Dog, Lim Tean, Meng Seng, s/o JBJ, Tan Kin Lian, Tan Jee Say and other anti-PAP clowns, who can blame the FT preference? How to get S’poreans to welcome mass immigration.

Related posts: True blue oldies will save economy, not FTs and Real reason govt de-emphasising degrees?

Codvid-19: Why God is a S'porean

In Economy, Malaysia on 19/03/2020 at 4:09 am

I tot the above when I read

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has assured Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong that the flow of goods and cargo between Singapore and Malaysia, including food supplies, would continue, Mr Lee said on Tuesday (Mar 17).

Mr Lee’s remarks came after Malaysia announced it would bar citizens from going overseas and foreigners from entering the country for about two weeks starting Wednesday

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-malaysia-cargo-goods-border-restrictions-12547142

If Tun had been in charge, there’d be no no free flow of food and goods to S’pore. He’d have use the emergency measures meant to suppress the Wuhan virus to cut off food supplies and goods.

He’d also have ensured that the M’sian workers who regularly commute her to work, would not be able to come and stay here for the next two weeks.

Both these would cripple our economy and hurt us but he’d have the excuse of the need to suppress the spread of the virus.


Where he has tried to bully us recently:

Water: Why Tun should thank S’poreans

What Tun and our alt media don’t tell us about the water supply from Johor

Tun manufacturing another row to stir his anti-PAP S’porean fans?

Tun chickened out/ Two cheers for cowardly PAP govt

Yet PJ Thum, Kirsten Han and Jolovan Wham (Nothing wrong in asking Tun M to intervene in S’porean affairs) want to lick his ass

——————————————————————————

He likes to try to bring S’pore to its knees or at least make us try “Tolong”, as the links in the above box shows. And attempts to suppress the Wuhan virus in M’sia would have given his reasonable excuses to hurt S’pore and S’poreans.

Muhyiddin, like Najib, are people we can do business with. As would Anwar.

God loves S’pore.

Xia suay: life insurance makes a person want to die isit?

In Economy, Political governance on 02/03/2020 at 6:48 am

I tot the above when I read

[I]dea of unemployment insurance to help retrenched older workers has ‘serious downsides’: Josephine Teo

Constructive, nation-building media

The report goes on:

Mrs Teo said that the Government will “keep an open mind” on unemployment insurance, but pointed out that there are serious downsides to having such a provision. These include reducing workers’ motivation to find work as well as decreasing the willingness of employers to pay retrenchment benefits.

Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/workers-partys-idea-unemployment-insurance-help-retrenched-older-workers-has-serious?fbclid=IwAR3ODcCR7Oac220dDid0OpipeOJ5KMaLbGVhDPVjEhQc-nFoI_KCagZipvA

I’ll let Chris Kuan and Yeoh Lam Keong explain why Jos’ mouth is full of cock as usual.

Chris Kuan

Contrary to what the Minister said, there are plenty of countries with unemployment insurance and yet low unemployment rates. In my view, there is no universal evidence that it reduces a worker’s incentive to find re-employment, So the whole establishment narrative that unemployment insurance (and jobless benefits) leads to high unemployment is not a universal fact. It is just another moral panic button. However she might be right that unemployment insurance may prove unworkable in Singapore. Why? Because as long as there is easy access to foreign labour, such a scheme may not make it any easier to find re-employment or more importantly provide for better job matches to skills, experience and qualifications which is what it is meant to do. That’s what the establishment failed to mention – that employment protection / stabilization schemes run against the principal policy of growing the economy through access to cheaper labour. It is far easier to say to the plebs that unemployment insurance leads to high unemployment and not say why a labour market with such a hugh foreign worker content, makes it so.

https://www.facebook.com/chris.kuan.94/posts/1282587465264672

Yeoh Lam Keong

Unfortunately, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo does not seem to have a sufficient understanding of labour market economics required to see the important need for unemployment insurance ( UI ) in Singapore for at least three reasons.

First, Minister Teo’s portrayal that countries with UI “usually have persistently high unemployment “ is inaccurate at best and misleading at worst.

Of the 27 member OECD developed countries, 25 operated an unemployment insurance systems including many countries with low unemployment eg Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Korea and Taiwan including some much more competitive export economies with lower unemployment than Singapore ( Germany and Japan ).

Second, there is little evidence of an inefficient reduction in incentive to work in properly designed UI systems as Minister Teo claims . In fact, the labour market evidence shows that UI for about 3 months enables optimum job search that prevents workers from jumping at the first job that may not be such a good match for their skills or experience.

Third, Minister Teo seems oblivious to the trend that artificial intelligence is already increasingly replacing both unskilled and skilled workers and consigning them to a gig economy of much more frequent job shifts, often with lesser paying work.

There are currently an estimated 25-30,000 households who fall into absolute poverty at any one time because of such involuntary unemployment. Without an automatic unemployment protection system , many fall through the cracks of our Commcare and skills retraining systems.

Not putting in place an intelligent unemployment protection system is thus short sighted, inhumane and just poor manpower policy, imho.

More at https://www.facebook.com/lamkeong.yeoh/posts/3512139472194428

But not having unemployment insurance is a Hard Truth and PAP ministers die die must hold onto. It’s not a matter of economic pragmatism.

The Hardest Truth: I’ve blogged before that the PAP doesn’t need that many smart people as it follows most of the Economist’s prescriptions (except on hanging, drug legalisation, free media and a liberal democracy): PAP’s bible challenges “market-based solution”)

Hard Truths

How PAP can make S’poreans happier but won’t

Welfarism the PAP way/ The last word on GST

The PAP way is the American corporate way

We have to move on: Moving on from Hard Truths To Hard Choices.

The problems are

Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G?

Hard Truth why PAP wins and wins

Use foreigners to breed for S’pore

In Public Administration on 09/08/2019 at 10:58 am

Further to Want S’poreans to have more babies?, here’s a constructive, nation-building suggestion for the PAP govt to implement. If as Kee Chiu recently said, there’s long term planning by the PAP govt, there would be no need for my constructive, nation-building suggestions on how to get s’porean wimmin to breed like rabbits: Answering the PAP’s cock & bull about the “long term”.

Rent foreign wombs for S’porean couples where the female partner doesn’t want to go thru the inconvenience and pain of pregnancy. Just pay foreigners to be surrogate mothers. If we can pay for foreigners to study here (S$130m a yr), why not pay for them to breed for us? TOC can’t KPKB because it pays Indians in India to write on S’pore: TOC: A lot of bull. At least FTs work here and pay GST and other taxes. Terry’s team work overseas. And TOC and its cybernut readers criticise the PAP govt for allowing in FTs?

The tot of using foreigners to be surrogates struck me when I read:

Until a few years ago, India was known globally as a hub for commercial surrogacy. Childless couples and individuals from India and abroad were ready to pay good money to have a child, and poor women were available to rent their wombs. Thousands of infertility clinics sprung up all over India to facilitate the multi-million-dollar industry. But the government has been cracking down on this practice. In 2015, foreigners were banned from seeking commercial surrogacy in India, and now a bill is in the parliament aiming to ban the practice completely, including for Indian citizens.

Proponents of the ban say that the industry flourishes at the cost of financial and medical exploitation of the surrogates, and that commercial surrogacy poses serious questions around medical ethics. The government is pushing for altruistic surrogacy instead, which offers no financial compensation, comes under certain conditions, and excludes single parents and homosexual couples. On the other hand, supporters of the rent-a-womb industry, insist that surrogates are treated fairly, and it is a win-win situation for both surrogates and childless people seeking an alternative.

Extract from BBC

Watch the video: https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/cmj34zmwmy4t/surrogacy

 

 

Want S’poreans to have more babies?

In Uncategorized on 04/08/2019 at 10:47 am

Get the female partners to “do God” and go to religious services.

Recently, six MPs from the People’s Action Party (PAP) Women’s Wing released a position paper reported that 58% of respondents in a survey said that the cost of raising children is a main concern when deciding to have another child. What do you expect any PAP report to say? It’s all about money is a PAP Hard Truth: Ex-PM’s money obsession causing PAP problems

Maybe, it’s nothing to do with money?

Here’s an interesting audio clip on why going to church can make a woman give birth: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07jgdcd

Here’s a summary of the clip.

Jonathan Last, author of What to Expect When No-one’s Expecting, explains how most interventions to increase the fertility rate have failed in countries around the world. While negative incentives seem to work, such as China’s one child policy, encouraging people to have more children seems less successful.

As Last explains, a far larger influence on a woman’s decision to have more children than race, education or geography, is how often she attends religious services.

Related post:

Enough space for Queen Jos to have sex?

MOS Josephine Teo was misquoted

Btw, Secret Squirrel tells me Jos Teo is not only Roman Catholic, but is religious. As she has a huge family by S’pore standards (three kids), she’s proof that religious people breed like rabbits?

 

SingTel: Call India to get great service

In Telecoms on 27/06/2019 at 10:39 am

In SingTel Prepaid: SMS giving wrong info, I related what happened to a cheapskate S’porean’s experience with SingTel’s Hi card service.

Here’s his further adventures. A few days ago, he tried to use his phone after lunch, but was told that there was no more money in the account. Remember he had checked in early June (following false SMS message that there was only $2 in the account) and was told that there was $16 and since then had not used the phone much. He called SingTel and the local-based officer taught him how to check his balance: there was really no money this time.

As he wanted to know more about how the money was “stolen” (his word), the officer said the officer would have to call back.

As he didn’t receive a call back by 5.15pm the same day (Impatient guy: he was once an enforcer and fixer for a senior civil servant who was a LKY favourite), he called again the helpline and was this time put thru to SingTel’s call centre in India.

The India-based customer service officer investigated his account, told him what had gone wrong (“an honest technical error” is my description of what the Indian lady actually said), ensured that the problem could not happen again in the future, and credited $20 back into his account. (Actually, the amount wrongfully taken was at least $29, but she could only credit $20, and advised that my friend could write to SingTel to claim back more. I’ll go into details of how SingTel Hi card accidentally, inadvertently hijacked his money some other day.)

He then asked why she could sort out the matter within minutes, when the person based in S’pore couldn’t. She explained that the local staff did not have access to any customer account, and they were there only to provide general assistance. The local officer had referred my case to her office, and the office in India would have called my friend back within two days, If he hadn’t called and got thru.

My friend was very angry that the local officer (Must be TOC or TRE cybernut I told him) didn’t tell him that the response to his query would take two days. He told the Indian lady that she should feed-back to SingTel that customers should be told how long it would take to get a return call.

My advice to anyone with SingTel technical problems: call outside normal S’porean working hours so that the call centre in India can sort out the problem on the spot. The officers are good, really good. And they don’t talk in whispers, unlike their local counterparts.

And in case any cybernut hasn’t spotted the pink elephant in the room (After all they wouldn’t be cybernuts would they, if they are smart?), how come SingTel allows overseas based staff to access our accounts to help us sort out problems, but not true blue S’poreans? It can’t be because of SingTel is afraid of employing cybernuts: only a subset of the 30% are cybernuts who prefer reading TOC, TRE etc and KPKBing, and not working.

Most S’poreans are hard-working and conscious: they vote for the PAP.

But don’t blame SingTel (a GLC) for preferring foreigners.

Even TOC prefers to employ foreigners, even though it says

Our aim is to examine the issues that matter, or should matter, to Singaporeans and to reflect the diversity of life, of ideas and opinions, that is Singapore.

TOC

Don’t believe me? Read TOC: A lot of bull: where I report that TOC admits employing foreigners.

Employing foreigners working abroad to do things for S’poreans here, means less GST and other taxes are collected. At least, FTs pay GST etc.

 

Winter’s here, and it’s an Antarctic winter

In Economy on 14/06/2019 at 6:43 am

Further to Winter is here, how big will the anti-PAP vote be?, we now know the winter is really bad.

Retrenchments rose in the first quarter of the year, driven by losses in the manufacturing sector, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Thursday (Jun 13).

According to MOM, retrenchments increased from 2,510 in the previous quarter to 3,230 in the first three months of 2019.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/labour-market-held-up-in-q1-2019-retrenchments-up-mom-11622978

Stay tuned for my analysis on what the PAP govt will do to make sure that the 4G team will get 65% of the popular vote: the pass mark for bragging rights that they have the people’s mandate.

Amnesty Int’l practiced torture

In Uncategorized on 06/06/2019 at 5:24 am

Amnesty Int’l has no moral authority to lecture S’pore govt, or any other govt.

Amnesty Int’l’s managers “tortured” its staff leading to one, possibly two suicides

Gaëtan Mootoo, a long-term employee, committed suicide, leaving a note blaming work pressures. Another staff member committed suicide shortly afterwards, although inquries found no evidence that the death was work-related.

https://www.economist.com/business/2019/06/02/charity-begins-at-work

Seriously this was how bad things were:

The working environment at the organisation was described as “toxic”, there was widespread bullying of staff, a bunker mentality among senior management and 39% of employees developed mental or physical health issues as a result of their work.

Ang moh tua kees must be proud of AI’s actions. Why are they not shouting, “Torturing yr employees in best human rights practice”?

More jobs for FTs?

In Economy on 01/06/2019 at 1:53 pm

Masayoshi Son-led Vision Fund is reportedly in talks to open a China office and expand its Singapore team, according to Deal Street Asia.

A call centre on the outskirts of Florence opened earlier has 150 people answering calls from customers in 26 countries who want to buy, return or chat about Gucci. By 2020, Gucci plans to open similar call centres in New York, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai and Singapore.

Swiss Standard? What Swiss standard?

In Uncategorized on 21/05/2019 at 10:35 am

S’pore not even up to third world standards when it comes to severance pay.

Related post:

More CGT BS? Swiss Standard? What Swiss standard?

 

Microsoft & Chinese workers make Jack Ma eat bitter

In China on 16/04/2019 at 4:27 am

Enabled  by US technology (See How Microsoft is subverting China), young Chinese tech workers make Jack Ma eat his words about working overtime ( In China, the 996 schedule means working 9am to 9pm, six days a week) being a “huge blessing” for young workers.

Alibaba Group founder and billionaire Jack Ma again weighed in on the Chinese tech industry’s gruelling overtime work culture on Sunday, this time calling enforced long hours “unsustainable”.

Ma’s comment followed his remarks on Thursday that working overtime could be a “huge blessing” for young workers who found careers they were dedicated to.

He was responding to a debate that has emerged in recent weeks among Chinese tech workers over the 996 schedule, which means working 9am to 9pm, six days a week. Industry workers set up a discussion group called “996.ICU” on the code-sharing platform GitHub, suggesting that anyone working those hours all the time could end up in a hospital intensive care unit with burnout.

“If you find a job you like, the 996 problem does not exist; if you’re not passionate about it, every minute of going to work is a torment,” Ma said in a post on his Weibo account on Sunday.

“No one likes working at a company that forces you to do ‘996’. Not only is it inhumane, it’s unhealthy and even more unsustainable for long periods – plus workers, relatives and the law do not approve of it,” he said. “In the long term, even if you pay a higher salary, employees will all leave.”
Ma added that companies that thought they could profit by forcing staff to work overtime were “foolish” and doomed to fail.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3006127/alibaba-founder-jack-ma-says-companies-forcing-staff-work

Grandpa Xi will not be happy.

Young Chinese workers are “Making America Great Again” by preventing “China from Rising”. Green cards for them, and not for Indians.

How Microsoft is subverting China

In China, Internet on 14/04/2019 at 10:48 am

We read a lot in reputable Western media about how China is attempting to subvert Western liberal democracies. But we don’t hear there about how the US (the Europeans, Antipodeans, Canadians and Japanese juz roll over and play dead ) is striking back, or that China may actually be only defending itself against US subversion.

TrumpLand is using a tactic that Sun Tzu would approve: providing tools to enable lazy, unpatriotic, entitled young Chinese tech workers to demand shorter working hours.

FT headline:

China tech worker protest against long working hours goes viral

Online campaign against working 9am-9pm six days a week hits nerve with youth

It reported that the Chinese organisers are rallying support via a project on GitHub, the Microsoft-owned collaboration platform for coders and developers. The project is called 996.icu, because by working 9am-9pm, six days a week , as the English version puts it, “you might need to stay in an Intensive Care Unit someday”. They insist this is not a political protest.

The movement is being organised by volunteers on collaborative platforms — primarily Microsoft’s GitHub, used for code-sharing, as well as Slack, used for messaging. Both are US tech cos.

JD.com said in response to media reports of employees complaining that their 996 schedule was a way of forcing resignations, “We will not force employees to work overtime, but we encourage everyone to fully invest themselves.” Define “fully invest themselves” please.

Workers of China unite against Chinese tech giants and Make America Great Again.

Hard Truths about working life

In Uncategorized on 13/04/2019 at 4:25 am

Came across this review in the FT of NINE LIES ABOUT WORK: A FREETHINKING LEADER’S GUIDE TO THE REAL WORLD, BY MARCUS BUCKINGHAM AND ASHLEY GOODALL

People care which company they work for. The best people are well-rounded. Work-life balance matters most. These are three of the nine lies that [ the authors] believe create a disconnect between the way people know they work best and the ways they are told to work.

They believe that how we think about, talk about and structure our work is ineffective and so through anecdotes, data and their own personal research, they offer insights on how to break these ingrained practices that hamper us.

Taking the example of “work-life balance matters most”, the authors explain that while humans have had a thing for balance since the year dot, work-life balance itself is almost impossible to achieve because of the way work and life are approached. A new method is needed, and in this case it is learning to find “love in what you do rather than simply ‘doing what you love’”.

The book at times can take a little too long to get to the point, but it certainly leads to some free thinking about the way we do our jobs and how we can approach what we do in a different way.

M’sians working here so poor meh?

In Malaysia on 31/03/2019 at 10:59 am

Or juz cheapskate, law-breaking, entitled, lunch-stealing, freeloading criminals who think we scared of Tun?

Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim Hassan was quoted by The Star as telling reporters that S’pore should  to discuss with M’sia,  S’pore’s move to deny entry to those with outstanding fines for vehicle-related offences from April 1

He said this would cause “a lot of inconvenience” to the thousands of Malaysians travelling daily to Singapore for work.

He said the action reflects poor bilateral relations between the two govts. So why not tell Tun to stop trying to bully and intimidate S’pore on water supply and territorial waters?

Amount involved is S$32m according to the S’pore govt.

Related posts:

M’sian minister thinks M’sian drivers tua kee

M’sia, S’pore are like …

M’sian minister talking thru his ass

When M’sia threatened war/ Gd day to sink a RMN vessel

Another reason why ground is not sweet for the PAP

In Economy on 25/03/2019 at 10:43 am

PMETs are the S’poreans most affected by retrenchments, and hence by FT influx.

According to the labour market report released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) recently, PMETs accounted for 79.3% of retrenched residents in 4Q18. Overall, 2510 people were retrenched in the 4th Quarter. So 1990 of those retrenched were PMETs. (Aside no wonder young professionals are joining the SDP: SDP can learn from Thai Oppo parties)

This is a year-on-year increase of about 30% from the 2017 number and is also the highest level since such data was first published by MOM in 2006.

Educated get retrenched, WTF! 58% had degrees while 20% held diplomas. A substantial portion of individuals who were retrenched were those aged between 40 and 49 (34%) and over 50 (33.6%).

According to people interviewed by the constructive, nation-building ST, PMETs are becoming vulnerable and more steps need to be taken to reduce the risk of them being displaced. I’m surprised ST was allowed to say this.

The link between retrenchments and FTs by the A380 cattle class: a DBS analyst suggested that firms should raise the minimum qualifying salary for Employment Pass holders and increasing the length of time firms must advertise jobs on the national jobs portal before they can apply to hire a foreign professional.

Vote wisely.

Why the PAP should worry

Double confirm, ground not sweet for PAP

Will Oliver Lum and other Hyflux investors still vote for the PAP?

Hyflux directors, mgt & auditors kooning from 2016 onwards?

I said there

PAP voters get shafted:

Retail perpetual and preference share holders will have their S$900 million in claims swapped for S$27 million in cash and S$69.2 million shares, assuming that the shares are valued at 3.4 cents apiece. That works out to a 10.7 per cent recovery rate on their principal.

And there’s the retail shareholders.

But the cybernuts like bapak should not be raising their hopes of their hero Mad Dog forming a coalition govt of spastics. At the very least, the PAP will get only 60% of the popular vote (a 10 point fall) and retain a two-thirds majority and not win back Aljunied. No GRC will fall even to Team TCB.

The reasons:

Why 37,000+ sure to vote for PAP (But balanced off by above 34,000+ retail investors in Hyflux who could lose 90% of their investments)

Why S’poreans continue voting for the PAP to have 2/3 of parly seats

6,400 senior citizens each get $312.50 hongpao from a TLC

Why Milliennals will vote for the PAP

 

 

 

 

Why are over-40 S’poreans like Hollywood stars?

In Economy, Political economy on 17/03/2019 at 7:28 am

They are no longer wanted or employable.

This TRE reader got it right

Over 40s being retrenched are common. The army also tell regulars to GTFO after they turned 40. Just observe those Hollywood stars – over 40 no more leading man or lady.

Sad.

Can S’poreans game this kind of test?

In Uncategorized on 23/12/2018 at 9:52 am

One thing that the anti-PAP types don’t give credit for the PAP govt and elite school students (and I don’t include Hwa Chong, SCGS, RGS and ACS (I) as elite schools) is their ability to game tests.

Think they can game this?

Over the past four months, 2,000 people trying to get hired by McKinsey have been plonked in front of a computer screen showing a picture of an island and these words: “You are the caretaker of an island where plants and animals live in a variety of diverse ecosystems.” This is the start of a computer game the consultancy is testing as it tries to lure clever, tech-savvy people from beyond its traditional Ivy League business school hunting grounds.

McKinsey’s island game was built for the firm by a US start-up called Imbellus whose 20-something founder, Rebecca Kantar, wants to drastically reshape the way we measure people’s abilities. Ms Kantar is a Harvard dropout who thinks that in an age of rising automation, people should be tested on how they think, not just what they know and employers need to understand the skills that define human intelligence. A lot of influential people are backing her. Forbes has just ranked her company one of the highest funded start-ups for 2019 by a founder under the age of 30.

Send this to yr PAP minister, MP

In Footie on 19/12/2018 at 3:05 pm

High salary means f*all. Last season Sity won Premier League and recently both teams thrashed MU.

United’s average first-team player wage last season was £6.5m, ahead of City’s £6m, and well clear of Liverpool’s £4.9m, according to the website Sporting Intelligence.

FT

How Tampines Town Council can use AI to improve productivity

In Uncategorized on 06/12/2018 at 2:08 pm

I recently read that Uber is using AI to monitor its drivers’ performances, with its systems picking up whether a particular trip has taken a much longer or shorter time than usual.

Well when the the Tapoines Town Council adds AI to the existing monitoring system that it recently implemented to keep the place clean, Tampines will be cleanest GRC in S’pore.

After gripes from residents over the cleanliness of their estate — such as their corridors not being swept — the Tampines Town Council has rolled out a monitoring system that offers more detailed insights into a cleaner’s routes, down to the floors that they have covered in a day’s work.

The system, which uses vertical positioning technology, tracks the completion of the work carried out by the estate’s cleaners more effectively. While a cleaner whom TODAY interviewed expressed reservations about the surveillance and his company wanting to “control” him, the town council said the system will protect them when disputes with residents arise over whether certain areas had been cleaned.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/tampines-town-councils-new-monitoring-system-tracks-cleaners-they-work

 

Teachers here not as respected as those in China, M’sia, Taiwan and even NZ

In Uncategorized on 12/11/2018 at 4:12 pm

S’poreans think teachers are “very mediocre people” isit?

If teachers want to have high status they should work in classrooms in China, Malaysia or Taiwan, because an international survey suggests these are the countries where teaching is held in the highest public esteem.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46063947

S’pore is only at number 10 because money talks, BS walks? A person is respected here because of the size of their salaries: https://www.todayonline.com/big-read/big-read-invisible-people-class-conscious-society

Top 10 for teacher status

  1. China
  2. Malaysia
  3. Taiwan
  4. Russia
  5. Indonesia
  6. South Korea
  7. Turkey
  8. India
  9. New Zealand
  10. Singapore

Remember

that those in the private sector earning less than $1m are “very mediocre people”. And that the PAP only chose ministers from the private sector if they were earning $1m or more.

Ex-PM’s money obsession causing PAP problems

Anyone using money to distinguish between “mediocre” and “not mediocre” people is thinking in terms “of people in terms of social class or income”.

Don’t tell us, tell ex-PM, Indranee Rajah

As https://www.todayonline.com/big-read/big-read-invisible-people-class-conscious-society shows, status and money is very intertwined here, and it’s easy to blame the PAP for this. But maybe the PAP itself is a victim, not the creator of this culture?

What do you think?

S’poreans who stage walk-out show why they are still sheep

In Uncategorized on 05/11/2018 at 3:02 pm

The staff of Google S’pore are no sheep on the face of it because they walked out last Thursday to protest against the company’s handling of cases of alleged sexual misconduct. When have S’poreans got the balls to strike? Last strike here was when FTs working at SMRT went on strike. Moreover as Reuters staff showed, even gathering to hold placards on their employer’s premises is an invitation for the police to come pay a visit.


Last Strike/ FTs lead the Way

SMRT: Better not take the bus

SMRT did not brief FT drivers on labour law?

TRE says it all about Ong Ye Kung, NTUC & SMRT

Ong Really PM Material?

Ong Ye Kung: A study in failure

Why he really could still be next PM

“Experts” wrong to write-off Ong as next PM

———————————————————–

But they are still S’porean sheep, because Google employees round the world walked out last Thursday  to protest against the company’s handling of cases of alleged sexual misconduct. If the S’pore office didn’t join in …

Actually, because of the time zone, the S’pore office was the first in the Empire to stage a walkout. Imagine if the Singkies had decided to continue working …

What PM, PAP can learn from very rich tech entrepreneur

In Political governance, Public Administration on 17/09/2018 at 10:13 am

And by so doing make sure that S’pore will remain a de facto one-party state forever and day: though there won’t be mega-rich ministers*.

Mr Von Ahn is CEO of Duolingo, the world’s most popular language learning app, with 200m users. He also has academic credentials that PAPpies can only dream about.

And best of all he’s not a “very mediocre” person (Remember GCT’s comment that those in the private sector earning less than $1m are “very mediocre people”. And that the PAP only chose ministers from the private sector if they were earning $1m or more.): he’s very rich.

So the PAP should listen to what Von Ahn recently told the FT, “If it requires you paying them off to come work for you, I don’t think they’re going to be in it. We prefer missionaries to mercenaries.” Related post: When being a minister turns from a calling into a job for life

Another of his strategy is to differentiate Duolingo from other employers by is focusing on diversity. He now has a 50/50 male female ratio in software engineers. Related post: New Hope: Time to make robots PAP ministers?

On diversity, FT’s Letter from Lex a few weeks ago said

Working with outsiders helps solve problems. When a stranger joins a team its performance tends to improve, according to research by US psychologists who tested out the theory on groups engaged in murder mystery puzzles. But do not expect gratitude. Tight-knit groups often do not realise they are underperforming.

Still, the pain is worth the gain. In business, assertive shareholders can help companies improve their strategies. But the experience tends to be uncomfortable for company bosses.

[…]

Of course, boards do not have to listen to naysayers — only to those with the clout to count. That is frustrating for Arsenal’s small shareholders. Its fans criticised a deal struck between the north London football club’s two largest shareholders, which will hand full control to the US sports magnate Stan Kroenke. Lex said Mr Kroenke’s leveraged bet might pay off if the value of Premiership media rights go up. But the shareholder fans, known as “gooners”, face disappointment. They are likely to be left without any more annual meetings to have their say.

Related post: PM, PAP should remember what world’s richest man said

______________________________

*Er but maybe if ministers can’t be rich they don’t care if the PAP doesn’t rule.

 

PAP Govt thinks there’ll be serious job losses soon?

In Economy on 29/08/2018 at 10:57 am

Before Tuesday (Aug 28), HDB flatbuyers had to first use up the entire balance in their CPF Ordinary Accounts. Now flat buyers can retain S$20,000 in their CPF OA when taking up HDB loans

The previous rule was to ensure that flat buyers exercise financial prudence and minimise the housing loan taken, said the HDB on Tuesday.

So why the change? Emphasis mine

“While this objective remains relevant, some flexibility can be given to flat buyers to provide a buffer in their CPF Ordinary Accounts to pay mortgage instalments in times of need, or to improve retirement adequacy if the buffer is eventually not tapped,” said a HDB spokesperson in response to TODAY’s queries.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/cpf-rule-change-hdb-loans-less-worry-more-flexibility-flat-owners

The PAP govt is preparing for another great recession methinks where there’ll be lots of retrenchments and many S’poreans being unable to pay off their HDB mortgages without the extra $ in CPF account. How to vote for PAP liddat?

Ownself pay ownself to pay ministers’ salaries. LOL or Sad?

 

AI is a problem for India and PeenoyLand

In India, Internet on 28/08/2018 at 7:04 am

And call centre workers everywhere.

The biggest threat to jobs might not be physical robots, but intelligent software agents that can understand our questions and speak to us, integrating seamlessly with all the other programs we use at home and at work. And call centres are particularly at risk.

BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45272835

It reports Brian Manusama, an analyst at market research firm Gartner saying:

“The number one use case for applying AI is in this call centre and customer service space”

and

“At the end of 2017 about 70% of all use cases in AI were related to customer service and call centres.”

Scale of problem

Several million people are employed in call centre roles in the US and UK and hundreds of thousands more rely on such work in countries like India and the Philippines. Unless these people quickly learn new skills, they could soon be out of work.

Modified to attribute the story to BBC, not FT. Sorry.

Mom trying to out BS CSA’s CEO

In Economy, Public Administration on 24/07/2018 at 10:45 am

Here I reported that CSA’s CEO downplayed the importance of the loss of NRIC numbers, names and addresses: Is Computer Security Agency CEO talking thru his ass about stolen info?

Well Mom is almost as bad in its PR BS. After the constructive, nation-building digital newspaper belonging to Mediacorp asked Mom to comment on the following

Hundreds of IBM Singapore employees are being laid off, amid the technology giant’s global restructuring efforts.

The firm is cutting manpower from its Singapore Technology Park, a manufacturing plant at Tampines, as it is relocating manufacturing of its Power Systems product to a facility in Guadalajara, Mexico.

IBM staff and subcontractors told TODAY that at least 200 people were being laid off, and they comprised Singaporeans and foreigners working in a variety of positions. They included blue-collar workers, professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs).

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/ibm-singapore-lays-workers-its-tampines-plant

a Mom spokesperson said:

 “We do not comment on any impending or speculative restructuring exercises of any company.”

Excuse me, people have been retrenched. It’s not

any impending or speculative restructuring exercises of any company.

It has happened. It;s not

any impending or speculative restructuring exercises of any company.

Doubtless the Mom spokesperson and the CEO of CSA are from Bizarro S’pore like PM and Tharman:

PM visiting from Bizarro S’pore?

Tharman also from Bizarro S’pore?

Does the “T” in FT stand for “Talent” or “Trash”

In Humour on 24/07/2018 at 6:27 am

Benzema: ‘When I score I’m French, when I don’t I’m an Arab’

Lukaku: ‘When things were going well, I was Lukaku the Belgian striker…when they weren’t going well, I was the Belgian striker of Congolese descent’

Ozil: ‘When we win, I am German. When we lose, I am an immigrant’

But in S’pore if u are a ping pong player from PRC Land, win or lose, u are not S’porean.

Low birth rates do not cause serious economic problems

In Economy on 21/07/2018 at 11:12 am

This is a follow up to Average S’poreans smarter than scholar ministers where I pointed out that having children doesn’t help in getting the 5Cs:: the PAP is wrong to asset that low birth rates cresult in serious economic problems, even if it is conventional wisdom.

Demographic decline does not imply falling prosperity, however. If anything, it is easier to improve average lifestyles with shrinking populations. Without population growth, there is less need for expensive investments in housing, infrastructure and capital goods.

True, a higher portion of the smaller populations will be elderly people who need pensions and labour-intensive assistance. Even so, there are already well-developed systems to provide them with money, healthcare and specialised residences. The forthcoming shift in age groupings will mostly mean more of the same.

Some people worry the shift will be unbearably large. They expect a shortage of care workers and recommend more immigration. That sounds excessive. It should be possible to rebalance service sectors to match needs. The rapid pace of job destruction from automation should help.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-economics-breakingviews/breakingviews-hadas-global-case-of-baby-fever-is-easily-cured-idUSKBN1K813Z

So far so good but here’s the problem. Taxes got to go up to support us oldies

What is true is that governments will have to do some serious governing. One task is to persuade citizens to pay higher taxes to support people too old to work.

Then there’s the need for higher state debt

Some financial muscle also will be necessary. If nominal GDP growth stops or turns into a decline, money for debt payments is bound to be in short supply. Governments may have to maintain economic confidence when debts go bad.

That could be a lot of work, and politically problematic. Mature markets, where the demographic challenges are greatest, have been building up trouble. Between 1997 and 2017, the ratio of debt to GDP increased from an already worrying 266 percent to a stunning 382 percent, according to the Institute of International Finance.

In theory, though, the task should be manageable. After all, powerful governments can give financial regulators and central banks all the authority they need. And it should be easier to rearrange the money system than to push up birth rates.

Any multinational deleveraging will undoubtedly be socially challenging. That just means now is a good time to start figuring out how to deliver more practical solutions than babies.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-economics-breakingviews/breakingviews-hadas-global-case-of-baby-fever-is-easily-cured-idUSKBN1K813Z

Indians prefer to employ Indians

In Public Administration on 04/07/2018 at 10:26 am

It’s not an urban myth or racial stereotyping that countrymen always prefer countrymen.

An analysis of Upwork, for example, found that employers of Indian descent disproportionately sought Indian nationals for their tasks.

Economist

———————————————

Upwork is a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent professionals connect and collaborate remotely.


Those ang moh tua kees who think the sun shines of Tharman’s ass should be assured that it’s not true that Tharman negotiated the deal with India that allowed Indian FTs in by the truck load via the inter office transfer. It was one Trade and Industry Minister George Yeo.

Senior VP financial planning was a problem gambler

In Banks, Financial competency, Financial planning on 01/07/2018 at 5:57 am

WTF!

For 12 years, Emeline Tang Wei Leng carried out an elaborate ruse, deceiving five people – including her own family members – into investing their savings in non-existent fixed deposit plans with HSBC bank.

Given her former position as a senior vice-president at the bank, they trusted her with a total of S$5.2 million. But Tang, 39, used their savings to fund her gambling habit.

On Friday (June 29), the District Court sentenced Tang to 10 years and six months’ imprisonment for 34 charges including cheating and forgery. Another 223 charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

Starting out as a relationship manager, Tang rose up the corporate ladder and was in the financial planning division when she left HSBC in 2012.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/former-hsbc-senior-vp-jailed-cheating-family-members-and-elderly-s52m

As an investor in HSBC, I’m left wondering about the HR practices of the bank.

But then all this modern day emphasis on employees’ dignity and privacy rights, and employers fear of getting into trouble on social media for intrusive survelliance of staff, means incidents like this is more likely than not to happen. Sad.

More evidence PAP talking cock on minimum wages

In Economy on 15/06/2018 at 6:57 am

The mounting evidence that minimum wages do not seem to reduce employment

One of these is a study by economists Doruk Cengiz, Arindrajit Dube, Attila Lindner and Ben Zipperer, which looked at state-level evidence and found no negative effect of mandated pay increases on employment. They found that minimum wage hikes tend to decrease the number of jobs just below the new cutoff, but increase the number above the line — implying that the wage hike isn’t killing jobs, but simply giving people raises.

Now, Kevin Rinz and John Voorheis, a pair of researchers from the U.S. Census Bureau, have an even more comprehensive study with even more detailed evidence. Looking at data on individual earners from 1991 through 2013 — a very long time period — the authors take careful account of factors like mobility and transitions into and out of the labor force. They find that minimum-wage increases tend to raise incomes for people at the bottom of the distribution, and that the effect doesn’t fade with time. Meanwhile, they find that the probability of people losing their income entirely — i.e., unemployment or dropping out of the labor force — isn’t significantly affected by minimum-wage increases.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-04-05/supply-and-demand-does-a-poor-job-of-explaining-depressed-wages

Interesting the writer Noah Smith says we should change our standard model of the labour market. Employer market power seems to be the rule, not the exception.

Well in S’pore where employers have have their fill of FTs (They KPKB that govt doesn’t give them the right to bring in more) and you can see why productivity is so bad.

FTs at work, not juz beating up locals & stealing their lunches

In Uncategorized on 13/06/2018 at 4:10 am

What TOC, TRE and other anti-PAP sites, and even mothership don’t tell S’poreans about the great things FTs are doing here:

In a recent ranking of the most cited artificial intelligence research papers, which was studded with the likes of MIT and Google, a perhaps surprising name stood out: Nanyang Technological University. In fact, the Singapore university ranked second in the top ten only to Microsoft.

https://www.ft.com/content/4fb6269c-696b-11e8-8cf3-0c230fa67aec

Morocco Mole, Secret Squirrel’s sidekick, tells me that I highlighted what makes NTU great in AI in NTU’s global first in AI. And that these researchers are all FTs, though Secret Squirrel says there’s a true blue S’porean among the lot, but he’s not sure.

More of these FTs please.

 

Why CPF annuity will begin at 75

In CPF on 02/06/2018 at 11:05 am

Trumpets pls. Sometime back I wrote Why CPF annuity will begin at 75? (Piece is reproduced below)

Well now

A tripartite workgroup will be set up to relook the Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rates for older workers and study the “relevance of retirement and re-employment age”, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo announced on Monday (May 28).

Speaking at the Ministry of Manpower’s annual workplan seminar, Mrs Teo — who took over the manpower portfolio this month — said the new Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers will also look into ensuring fair treatment of mature employees at the workplace.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/cpf-contribution-rates-older-workers-relevance-retirement-age-be-reviewed-josephine-teo

Emphasis mine

Why CPF annuity will begin at 75?

By the early 2000s the state of health of American men aged 69, as reported by themselves, was as good as that of 60-year-olds in the 1970s; 70 really does seem to be the new 60.

Economist

So if liddat can work until 75 meh?

So if the PAP wants to raise the age when we can get our CPF annuities, it can quote the BBC and the Economist, its bible of Hard Truths for intellectual support.

In 1948 the average 65-year-old could expect to live 13.5 years.

People retiring now can expect to live much longer – 22.8 years.

If the trend continues as expected, today’s young people can expect to live into their early nineties.

Imagine the amount of money you spend on a pension is a pot of jam. Either you spread it far more thinly in future over more years – meaning a lower annual pension – or you are going to need a much bigger pot.

BBC

And

The Oxford English dictionary defines “old” as “having lived for a long time”. It illustrates the sense with an accompanying phrase, “the old man lay propped up on cushions”: the old person as one who has made all the useful contributions he can possibly make to society and is now at rest. When pensions were first introduced in Prussia, in the 1880s, this was probably a fair characterisation for anyone over 65. Not many people lived beyond this age; those who did were rarely in good health. But today many 65-year-olds are healthy and active. Donald Trump (71) may be many things, but old he is not, nor for that matter is Vladimir Putin (64), who qualifies for his bus pass in October. Yet governments and employers still treat 65 as a cliff’s edge beyond which people can be regarded as “old”: inactive, and an economic burden.

This is wrong, for three reasons. First, what “old” means is relative. Life expectancy has gone through the roof since Otto von Bismarck pioneered the Prussian welfare state. Today the average 65-year-old German can expect to live another 20 years. So can most people in other rich countries, meaning old age now arguably kicks in later than before. Second, the term carries an underlying implication about health, or at least fitness. But healthy-life expectancy has grown roughly in tandem with life expectancy; for many, 70 really is the new 60. Third, surveys show that the majority of younger over-65-year-olds increasingly want to stay actively involved in their communities and economies. Few want to retire in the literal sense of the word, which implies withdrawing from society as a whole. Many want to continue working but on different terms than before, asking for more flexibility and fewer hours.

https://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2017/07/economist-explains-7

PAP’s simple growth equation no longer works

In Economy on 20/03/2018 at 10:14 am

There is no maximum size for a city’s population, even the booming megacities of Asia. It is all a matter of clever planning – and looking ahead 100 years. So claims Dr Liu Thai Ker, Chairman of Morrow Architects.
Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/video-on-demand/conversation-with/dr-liu-thai-ker-9855058

Dr Liu’s interview earlier this yr has been remaking the rounds on FB. He seems to be the PAP administration spin meister on why we need FTs by the cattle-truck load and a population of 10m.

He and the PAP administration parrot unthinkingly the conventional economic wisdom that growth is just demographics plus productivity. If  birth rates are lower than in the past, and no FTs come in,  and productivity is flat, growth must be slower. And property prices will collapse.

It’s a simple equation.


Growing the economy via productivity is very, very hard: US experience on growing GDP via productivity

————————————————————————————–

The retired chief economist of GIC disagrees and he just reposted his critique of this view.

Just to repost my comments on Dr Liu Thai Ker’s views on planning for a 10mn population for Singapore as they probably bear repeating :

“The problem here is that with all due respect, while Dr Liu is an extremely competent and highly regarded town planner, he is effectively recommending very poor, outdated economic policy indeed.

He is still stuck in the defunct “go for growth” strategy which the government has long realized was a mistake since 2010.

Between 1990 -2010, twenty years of this “go for growth” strategy has left us with a bloated, inefficient, labour intensive and low productivity economy that has depressed wages for the working class, created massive working poverty, and boosted the population to an uncomfortable 5.6 mn that could easily swell to double that if labor force growth is not scrupulously controlled well below 1% pa long term.

Germany for example, grew its labour force and population at less than 0.5% pa over the last few decades and remains the most competitive and dynamic high value-added export economy in the world!

Doing the same for the next few decades will leave Singapore with a population well below 7 million, not anywhere near 10 million and with higher productivity and real wages, less wealth and income inequality and a much much smaller and more assimilable new foreign population.

What we need is high quality, not poor quality, high quantity growth. The latter is the way towards an unbearably crowded, extremely stratified and socially divided Dubai-type, not a Swiss-style standard of living that a productivity-led, relatively population-light strategy like Germany or Switzerland’s can alternatively provide.

Citizen well being, not growth numbers, greater profits, more billionaires or tall fancy buildings should be the true test and ultimate goal of long term population policy and urban planning.Let’s not forget that we are not just a city state but, much more importantly, a nation state as well.”

New Chinese way of screwing employees

In China on 17/02/2018 at 4:08 pm

From NYT Dealbook

HNA’s new money source: its workers
The Chinese conglomerate has about $90 billion in debt from splashing out on things like Deutsche Bank and Hilton Hotels. Its borrowing costs are going up, and asset sales are becoming necessary — it’s under the gun to find more money.

Which is why it appears to be asking employees for cash, according to Alexandra Stevenson and Cao Li of the NYT:

In an email dated Jan. 4, one HNA unit told employees that it needed nearly $8 million to fund a duty free business. It advertised a 9.8 percent annualized interest rate. One week later, HNA’s media and entertainment arm said it was looking to raise nearly $80 million from employees, pledging strong returns and a plan to build up the business.

How a UK town is coping with less FTs

In Economy on 15/02/2018 at 11:05 am

Harrogate is nice spa town in the North of England.

Its good schools, pretty Victorian terraced houses and proximity to the Yorkshire Dales mean that it frequently tops lists of the best places to live.

In the noughties, FTs flocked there because businesses needed employees to cater to an increase in tourism and other service-related industries. But

Every year since 2012 more foreigners have left Harrogate than have arrived, according to official figures.

As a result wages at the lower end have gone up 9%

Unemployment has fallen to 3.6%, below the national and regional levels, allowing some workers to drive harder bargains. Though real median wages in Harrogate have not changed much since 2014, at the lower end they have risen by 9%.

https://www.economist.com/news/britain/21736178-harrogates-downward-migration-trend-few-years-ahead-britains-how-it-faring

Employers and property owners  are also working smart

Attaching furniture such as bedside tables and toilets to the wall, rather than resting it on the floor, makes cleaning underneath quicker, and might make it possible to employ one cleaner fewer.

Employers are also changing processes and using more machines.

Has lessons for us as the constructive, nation-building media spins the need for FTS by the cattle truck load: How to get S’poreans to welcome mass immigration

 

How to get S’poreans to welcome mass immigration

In Economy, Political governance, Property on 05/02/2018 at 10:25 am

The calls are getting louder, with more and more voices making the case for Singapore to relook its position on the foreign manpower issue, in the face of a severe demographics slowdown*.

http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/big-read-foreigner-issue-are-we-ready-rethink

The above and a similar ST article a few days earlier is evidence that the constructive, nation-building media is again preparing the way for the flood gates to be opened and for FTs to be allowed in by the cattle truck load (not like now by only the A380 or 747 cattle class load).

The stories reminded me also that

“Opposition to immigration is largely cultural and psychological. Policy options will therefore have to address this.”

Eric Kaufmann, professor of politics at Birkbeck University of London, http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/why-culture-is-more-important-than-skills-understanding-british-public-opinion-on-immigration/)

Eric Kaufmann was talking about the UK, but what he says also applies here.

So somehow, I think talking in general terms that the economy needs FTs wouldn’t work. Think the Population White Paper (Population White Paper: PAP’s suicide note?) which didn’t convince S’poreans that we need FTs by the cattle-truck load.


A personal view

As I’ve blogged before, FTs by the cattle-truck load is good for me personally because of the wage repression effect, stronger GDP growth, rising property prices etc. But still I’m not even in favour of FTs by the A380 load. I want FTs by the A350 or 787 business class and first class load.

__________________________________________________________

So if the PAP wants to use culture and psychology to get S’poreans to welcome cattle truck-loads of FTs, the constructive, nation-building media should tell S’poreans what will happen to the value of their “affordable” HDB flats that they are paying for via 25-year mortgages, if said FTs are not allowed to come in by cattle truck-loads to beat up taxi uncles and professional women. After all, falling HDB, and private property, prices are a consequence of weak economic growth, which will result from restrictions on immigration: at least according according to the “experts” quoted in the said articles*.

As Moneytheism (particularly the Propery cult) is our religion, the message will sink in very fast that S’pore needs FTs by the cattle-truck load to prevent HDB prices, and private property prices, from collapsing.


*The article goes on

Last December, economists said it may be time to re-look the Government’s stringent immigration policies following a UOB report on Singapore’s “demographic time bomb” which will start ticking next year, when the share of the population who are 65 and over will match that of those under 15 for the first time.

In January, Monetary Authority of Singapore chief Ravi Menon devoted much of his speech at a high-profile conference on the topic, making an impassioned plea for Singapore to “reframe our question on foreign workers”, given the limited scope in raising birth rates and labour force participation rate (LFPR). This was followed by a commentary penned by National University of Singapore (NUS) academics urging the Republic’s universities to admit more international students, in light of falling numbers.

Dr Chua, the Maybank economist, questioned how the targets could be met based on the current workforce size without additional foreign manpower, even after taking into account those who are displaced from positions becoming redundant.

“Manpower policies will need to be fine-tuned…Singapore’s transformation roadmap cannot be fulfilled without some flexibility in its manpower policies,” he said.

Dr Chua reiterated that relaxing foreign manpower restrictions during economic upcycles will allow Singapore to capitalise on growing investments and demand. “If restrictions are too tight, business will choose not to invest in the first place,” he said. “That in turn hurts job creation and opportunities for Singaporeans.”

He added that foreigners also “pay their fair share of taxes and contribute to the overall fiscal position, reducing the tax burden on citizens”.

 

 

Weak productivity: PAP’s Frankensteinian monster

In Economy on 01/02/2018 at 7:16 am

When I read the u/m from Rana Foroohar, a FT columnist that I love to hate (usually so pretentious and full of BS and who refuses to accept that Trump the bum is doing some good), I couldn’t help but think of the S’pore economy which the PAP administration claims it created:

— looking at the “supply side”: all those FTs;

— “capital intensity of the most innovative sectors – like pharma and high tech – is quite low”: pharma and high tech are high on the PAP administration’s wish list of investments that we must have;

— “the most digitally advanced industries – again, software, biotech, etc – aren’t the biggest employers.”: throw in the oil refining and petrochemical industries and that describes to a “T” the industries that are paid and paid to come here; and finally

— “The industries that are labour rich – retail, healthcare, education, public sector – are both tech and productivity poor.”: think of our huge finance sector (13.1% of GDP in 2016). The “retail, healthcare, education, public sector” are all part of any modern economy, so the PAP administration’s can’t be faulted for encouraging their growth.

Here’s what the FT columnist wrote:

According to James Manyika, the head of the McKinsey Global Institute, weak productivity – a real mystery in a time of such dramatic technological change – is down to a cocktail of issues that we aren’t looking at in the right way. First, demand is weak in most parts of the developed world, yet economists studying productivity typically look more at the supply side. Second, the capital intensity of the most innovative sectors – like pharma and high tech – is quite low relative to the past (they just don’t need big factories or expensive equipment). Third, in the past, big productivity gains were seen when the biggest employers made large tech jumps. Yet today, the most digitally advanced industries – again, software, biotech, etc – aren’t the biggest employers. The industries that are labour rich – retail, healthcare, education, public sector – are both tech and productivity poor.

FT

The kind of economy we have

— lots of FTS;

— with capital-intensive hi tech, oil refining and petrochemical industries that don’t need much labour; and

— finance which is labour rich, productivity poor,

was created by the governing party, the PAP, which has ruled since 1959 this de facto one-party state.

And which said party is louding KPKBing has a productivity problem

Which begs the question, “Do PM and his team deserve their millions?”: At 8.38 pm January 8, PM’s pay would pass Ah Beng’s yearly salary.

After all, they created an economy that is inclined towards low productivity.

What do you think?

 

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.

Update: “Fair Jobs for Singaporeans” rally

In Uncategorized on 02/10/2017 at 1:09 pm

Lim Tean says on his blog that he and others still plan to hold a rally calling for Fair Jobs for Singaporeans.

As reported in Do Singkies want Fair Jobs for S’poreans? , it had been planned for the second week of September. But in September, he and Gilbert Goh organised a silent protest to KPKB about the presidential selection Good crowd at #notmypresident protest.

In answer to a query on whether the above rally will ever happen, Lim Tean said “Yes”. So it looks like there are S’poreans out there willing to walk the talk by donating and in the process show the displeasure of the neglect of the government in providing Fair Jobs for Singaporeans. 

Obvious Ng Cock Lim, nuttiest of the TRE cybernuts is banging his balls

Rabble-rouser:

QUOTE:
“Money talks, BS walks.
If the crowdfunding response is lousy, time for him to move on: out of politics..”
PAP’s implementation of GST was supposed to gather a pool of money to help the poor. What happened to it & became of it? Was it their intention in the 1st place? or rather a revenue raising move?
Collecting all that GST for what purpose? Was it paying their million dollar salaries?
Collect for the poor or for the rich. NKF already a lesson on the golden tap issue – collecting $1.00 but spending less than 10 to 20 cents on the dialysis patients. The money raised was used for something else!
It’s all to benefit the elites & a pool of money for PAP system just like CPF! These money could be thrown to the SWFs to invest & lose in overseas markets.
Short of saying that S’pore is a lost cause! Even if the Public helps out the poor but the poor still votes for PAP – What then? It’s time for people to step out & be counted!
And CI’s affiliation is thoroughly suspect – he’s trying to get our financial details out into the open by making you guys donate – TO EXPOSE YOU.
Ask yourself how did the AG get details of Lee ShengWu ‘private’ facebook posts. Do you think there’s data privacy in S’pore? Or how did CPIB knew of SDF chief, their own CPIB head & even ex-Principal of River Valley School indulging in outside ‘makan’? There is ongoing surveillance in S’pore once a person had becomes a ‘person of interest’.

PATRIOT of TEMESAK: Actual Date & Time please…will be there personally to donate poor as I am towards a Justifiable Cause

@ Patriot:
Don’t go down personally! It’s a scheme to draw all the dissidents out into the open & note their particulars by the ISD officers. Keep your money & watch on the sidelines.
Even Lim Thean himself is suspect – why would an elite [practising lawyer] be on the opposition side & with political impunity? Remember Harbans Singh [another practising lawyer] – the wayang opposition leader who ran against JB Jeyaretnam in Tanjong Pagar elections to spoil/split votes.
Even the last PE; one or two of the Tans [Tan Jee Say, Tan Kin Lian] were planted to block Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s elected Presidency bid.
The PAP is slowly imploding within itself – the infighting already started among the fractions. But before that, they’ll (the top) make want to make examples of people who would go against the status quo.

Whatever, with enemies like him, no wonder PM can afford to upset voters.

 

Tan CJ loves FTs

In Economy on 14/09/2017 at 5:22 pm

Tan Chuan Jin was the acting minister at the Ministry of Manpower between 2012 and 2014. Between 2014 and 2015 he was the MoM minister. In 2011, he was the junior minister at MoM. Tharman was the minister but had other portfolios.

The MoM report for the second quarter 2017 showed

The number of Employment Pass holders – professionals and executives who earn at least S$3,600 – declined for the first time in four years, while the number of S Pass holders – mid-skilled technical staff who earn at least S$2,200 a month – remained flat.
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/resident-unemployment-rate-down-fewer-retrenchments-in-q2-9215154

The employment pass numbers were going up for four years prior to 2Q 17. This despite the slowing economy in 2015 (1.9% from 3.6% in 2014) and 2% last year. Growth in 2013 was 5%.

So despite the slowing economy since 2014, Tan let FTs in to steal the jobs of professionals and executives.

 

Job mkt for NTU maths grads

In Economy, Hong Kong, Political economy, S'pore Inc on 07/09/2017 at 6:28 am

But first contrasting HK and S’pore in one sentence:

Tycoons are as synonymous with the story of modern Hong Kong as founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew is with Singapore.

FT

But thinking about it, both share a common preoblem resulting from this contrast.

The article then goes on to analyse why young Hongkies are unhappy with the legacy of these tycoons. They dominate the HK economy, stifying the aspirations and creativity of the young. Even a tycoon’s heir can feel so frustrated that he has to enter the family business, in order to get on.

Sounds like the legacy that Harry left us. Because of Hard Truths, TLCs and other GLCs dominate our economy, stifling the aspirations and creativity of the young.

And the job market ain’t that good even for elite local grads.

Recently I spoke to a friend whose daughter, an NTU maths scholar, is just about to join a big local bank’s data mining development team on a one year internship (very decent pay). So far so good.

But the catch is that out of the previous cohort of NTU maths grads who finished their internships, only 3 out of 10 manage to get permanent jobs, some continuing on a yr to yr contract. They are told it’s the economy.

Meanwhile LKY’s son rows with his siblings and fixed the presidency so that a presidency reserved only for Malays, has none of the three declared candidates having an i/c saying “Malay”. As I wrote here:

The PAP’s candidate and a candidate who speaks Malay badly both have i/cs saying “Indian” while the third person has one saying “Pakistani”. Even for me who knows about the thin culture line between Malays and some Indian Muslims* am shocked that there isn’t someone with an i/c saying “Malay” willing to stand. Don’t want to be regarded as selling out to the PAP isit? Or unlike “Indians” and “Pakistanis” feeling piseh to stand in a presidency reserved only for “Malays”.

When strong GDP growth benefited the ordinary worker

In Economy on 31/08/2017 at 4:53 am

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

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, standing and indoor
Image may contain: 2 people, indoor
Not a tudung in sight. But our presumptive president was wearing one in NUS in the mid 70s.

Why not focus on smart homes for the elderly, PM?

In Uncategorized on 26/08/2017 at 1:14 pm

1. Between now and 2030, Singapore will witness an unprecedented
profound age shift. The number of residents aged 65 years or older will
multiply threefold from current 300,000 to 900,000 in 2030. By then, one
out of every five residents will be a senior.

2. The coming surge of seniors, which starts when the first batch of baby
boomers reach 65 years of age in 2012, will have tremendous effect on all
parts of our society – individuals, families, communities, businesses and
Government.

Executive Summary
Committee on Ageing Issues: Report on the Ageing Population

https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/Publications/Reports/2006/report-of-the-committee-on-ageing-issues–2006.html

So it was surprising that in his NatDay Rally speech PM didn’t focus on the needs of the elderly (I have no problems with his focus on diabetes and kids’ education or the micro aspects of life here.) instead of talking about a cashless payments system. 

Given the above statistics and talk of Smart nation, I tot care for the elderly would have been more relevant than payments system.

Technology holds great promise to make life better for the elderly, enabling them to retain their independence and live full lives for longer. Equally important, it can lend a helping hand to those who care for them and provide peace of mind. And it should be good for health and care funders because it helps prevent expensive spells in hospitals and care homes. The difficulty lies in deciding who pays.

https://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21724747-latest-technology-even-more-beneficial-old-young-new

Example:

a set of eight sensors from Sensara, a tech company, have transformed the 87-year-old’s home into a cyber-castle. His children, all in their 50s, keep an eye on when he gets out of bed, goes to the toilet, has a meal or leaves the house, using an app that pings them if anything is wrong. “They’re always watching me,” jokes Mr Honée, but he feels safer, he says “without feeling spied on as with cameras.”

Juz wondering maybe PM forgot about the Committee on Ageing Issues: Report on the Ageing Population. After all it was written in 2006, a geological age ago politically. “A week is a long time in politics” especially when the MRT system keeps breaking down almost every other day. A system, incidentally, where the presumptive Malay president (even if her i/c says she’s Indian) oversaw, along with others, when a non-ex SMRT director between 2007 -2011.

Why CPF annuity will begin at 75?

In CPF on 25/08/2017 at 4:24 am

By the early 2000s the state of health of American men aged 69, as reported by themselves, was as good as that of 60-year-olds in the 1970s; 70 really does seem to be the new 60.

Economist

So if liddat can work until 75 meh?

So if the PAP wants to raise the age when we can get our CPF annuities, it can quote the BBC and the Economist, its bible of Hard Truths for intellectual support.

In 1948 the average 65-year-old could expect to live 13.5 years.

People retiring now can expect to live much longer – 22.8 years.

If the trend continues as expected, today’s young people can expect to live into their early nineties.

Imagine the amount of money you spend on a pension is a pot of jam. Either you spread it far more thinly in future over more years – meaning a lower annual pension – or you are going to need a much bigger pot.

BBC

And

The Oxford English dictionary defines “old” as “having lived for a long time”. It illustrates the sense with an accompanying phrase, “the old man lay propped up on cushions”: the old person as one who has made all the useful contributions he can possibly make to society and is now at rest. When pensions were first introduced in Prussia, in the 1880s, this was probably a fair characterisation for anyone over 65. Not many people lived beyond this age; those who did were rarely in good health. But today many 65-year-olds are healthy and active. Donald Trump (71) may be many things, but old he is not, nor for that matter is Vladimir Putin (64), who qualifies for his bus pass in October. Yet governments and employers still treat 65 as a cliff’s edge beyond which people can be regarded as “old”: inactive, and an economic burden.

This is wrong, for three reasons. First, what “old” means is relative. Life expectancy has gone through the roof since Otto von Bismarck pioneered the Prussian welfare state. Today the average 65-year-old German can expect to live another 20 years. So can most people in other rich countries, meaning old age now arguably kicks in later than before. Second, the term carries an underlying implication about health, or at least fitness. But healthy-life expectancy has grown roughly in tandem with life expectancy; for many, 70 really is the new 60. Third, surveys show that the majority of younger over-65-year-olds increasingly want to stay actively involved in their communities and economies. Few want to retire in the literal sense of the word, which implies withdrawing from society as a whole. Many want to continue working but on different terms than before, asking for more flexibility and fewer hours.

https://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2017/07/economist-explains-7

More on Hali’s judgement between 2007 -2011/ Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

In Uncategorized on 18/08/2017 at 10:07 am

Further to this about Hali’s judgment as SMRT non-executive director in not being aware of MRT problems that ordinary S’poreans were aware of, there’s more about her judgement (or rather lack of it) during her spell as SMRT director and a senior NTUC leader.

She really showed bad judgement because it concerned SMRT’s labour relations.

I wrote this in 2012 about Ong Ye Kung, but it applies to Halimah too given that labour problems don’t just happen overnight. They fester over time. And she should have known about the labour tensions in SMRT given that  she was Deputy Secretary General, Director of the Legal Services Department and Director of the Women’s Development Secretariat.

Earlier this year, SMRT’s S’porean drivers made known publicly their unhappiness over pay proposals that had his endorsement as Executive Secretary of NTWU (Nation Transport Workers’ Union). As he was also a non-executive director of SMRT, if he were an investment banker, a US judge would have rebuked and censured him for his multiple, conflicting roles.

Then he resigned, effective last month, from NTUC to “join the private sector”.

In perhaps a farewell, good-riddance gesture, FT PRC workers went on strike (illegally) and we learnt:

— they lived in sub-standard accommodation (SMRT admitted this);

— unlike most SBS FT PRC drivers, most of SMRT’s PRC drivers were not union members; and

— Ministry of Manpower reprimanded SMRT for its HR practices.

All this reflects badly on Ong: NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General,  Executive-Secretary of NTWU and SMRT non-executive director. And on the system that allowed him to rise to the top. After all his ex-boss said the following reported on Friday, which given Ong’s multiple roles in SMRT, can reasonably be interpreted as criticism of Ong:

In his first comments on the illegal strike, which saw 171 workers protesting over salary increases and living conditions, the Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said the labour dispute “shouldn’t have happened” and “could have been avoided”. [So where was Ong: looking at his monthly CPF statements and being happy?]

NTUC is thus reaching out to SMRT’s management to persuade them “to adopt a more enlightened approach to embrace the union as a partner”, he added. [Hello, NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General was on SMRT’s board, so what waz he doing?]

Mr Lim, who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Labour Movement Workplan Seminar, cited the example of SMRT’s rival SBS Transit where nine in 10 of its China bus drivers are union members. Only one in 10 of SMRT’s China bus drivers are union members, according to union sources. [So, why didn’t Ong advise SMRT to help unionise these FTs, and if he did, why didn’t NTUC push harder ehen SMRT refused?]

SBS Transit’s management “recognised the constructive role of the union”, while union leaders “played the role of looking after the interests of the drivers”, said Mr Lim.

“And as a result … they work very closely as one team, it’s a win-win outcome. In terms of how workers are being treated and respected, how management are responsive, how they work together, I think it’s a kind of model that we ought to see more and more in Singapore.” (Today)

Judgment? What judgment?

Coming back to Ong. Given he’s failed at NTUC as Zorro Lim implied above, he’s now said to be a possible PM?

And NTUC is not the only place he failed. He failed here too:

Ong was the Chief Executive of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency from 2005 to 2008. There, he spearheaded many initiatives to build up the Continuing Education and Training infrastructure for Singapore, and made training accessible to the individual worker, including contract workers and the unemployed.

Wikipedia entry

Surely he must share a lot of the blame for the low productivity of S’pore’s work force?

Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

Related: Meritocratic hubris/ Who defines “meritocracy”

So waz new? PAP instinctively prefers FTs

In Political governance on 04/08/2017 at 7:13 am

The MacPherson Zone B Residents’ Committee (RC) will offer a refund to everyone who took part in its open house, after charging new citizens less for tickets to the event.

The RC apologised on Thursday (Aug 3) after some pointed out that tickets for the Jul 30 event cost S$1 for new citizens, but S$3 for everyone else.

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/macpherson-rc-offers-refund-on-open-house-tickets-after-charging-9089574

OK, OK, the PAP’s running dogs repented. Thet nade the event free.

But really it shows that the running dogs’ Pavlovian response is to screw S’poreans, while making life great for FTs.

And where did they learn that response from? The PAP.

Remember CurryGate? A govt agency told locals to stop cooking curry because it offended FTs. And worse was proud of its action.

But to be fair to the PAP, here’s an example (the only one I can find of the PAP administration discriminating against FTs)

Also seen just outside the event area was Russian student Elijah Zamyatin, who was playing Monopoly with three Singaporean friends when the group was approached by Yahoo Singapore. The 18-year-old, who has lived in Singapore for seven years, said he had been unaware of the new regulations until he read the signs placed around the area.

“I don’t understand why (it is like this). It seems like love is for everyone except foreigners. This event is to spread love, but you ban foreigners,” he said.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/pink-dot-2017-draws-thousands-despite-new-restrictions-152411039.html

Like him, I can’t understand this discrimination. If he has the right the right to live here for seven, he has the right to attend an event like this,

SIA enpowers oldies

In Airlines on 02/08/2017 at 4:14 am
The u/m NYT Dealbook story reminded me that SIA is also like that. One neighbourhood SIA pilot is 62 (my age). And I know a pri school class mate is still flying for SIA.
Nice to know that it’s not only S’pore Aunties that are employed by SIA.

 

The Pilot in the Cockpit? In Japan, He Might Be a Retiree

By JONATHAN SOBLE

Many retired people in the country have returned to the work force as the population dwindles and jobs go unfilled, including Shigekazu Miyazaki, who is still flying at 65.

The Hard Question about putting S’poreans First

In Economy on 15/07/2017 at 1:59 pm

This is something TOC, TRE and other anti-PAP new media outlets will never dare say.

Are we happy to pay more for goods and services if we try to only employ S’poreans? Because taz the Hard Truth consequence of paying S’poreans to do work that FTs do. Luckily for bleeding heart “progressives” who benefit from the lower prices that come from FT labour, this Hard Choice is made by the PAP administration who love FTs. The ang moh tua kees can feel good about calling for “S’poreans First” happily knowing that they won’t be given the choice of having it.

Here’s something from America from NYT. The employer’s tots are the tots of S’pore employers.

If you can’t get workers at $17 an hour, why don’t you offer higher pay?

In response to …, I got an email that said if we were to offer $35 an hour with health care benefits, we would definitely get people to apply; it said people who were highly qualified applicants with years of experience would probably line up at our door.

My response is: We would love to be able to offer $35 an hour as starting pay, but are you in turn willing to pay premium prices for your next roof replacement? A lot of customers we get through online lead services likeThumbtack are people looking for the best deal. They want to collect proposals from four to five businesses and most of the time choose the cheapest one.

We want to compensate our employees fairly for the work they do and the risk they take, but we wouldn’t be able to stay in business if we doubled the hourly rate. It’s not just their hourly wage that becomes a factor. Insurance in the roofing industry is extremely expensive. Not only are we required to carry expensive general liability insurance, we also have to have workers’ compensation insurance for employees on the roof. That comes to 40 percent of their wage. And on top of that, there’s payroll tax.

Still expect world topping salaries isit?

In Economy on 14/06/2017 at 2:01 pm

Today, I was thinking about Chris K’s recent comment that our unemployment rate was creeping up despite better economic growth. This (And his siblings eant about him) reminded me about PM’s May Day speech on the economy.

The constructive, mainstream media (often quoting employers) is forever bashing our young for a sense of entitlement.

Reading the u/m, it’s not difficult to see where this sense of entitlement comes from (Think Queen Fu or the Hen or Queen Jos). Can our ministers continue to say that they deserve their million dollar salaries when our employment can only creep up? Note that Japan’s unemployment rate is 2.8%, only slightly more than ours.

As Singapore wrestles with slower economic growth and disruptive technological changes, challenges have emerged in the local labour market.

In his annual May Day speech, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong noted that unemployment increased last year and even with better growth in 2017, the Government expects a “steady trickle of redundancies” as the economy continues to restructure.

He added that other developed countries are seeing much higher unemployment of between 5 to 10 per cent, and as Singapore grapples with similar pressures as these mature economies, the local unemployment rate – which stood at 2.3 per cent as of March 2017 – “will gradually go up”.

Pressures that such economies face include an ageing workforce, technological changes and a global economy that has yet to completely shake off the ills of the 2008 global financial crisis, economists told Channel NewsAsia.

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-s-unemployment-rate-how-much-higher-could-it-rise-8818602

 

Question poorer 70% should ask

In Economy on 12/06/2017 at 10:17 am

But are not asking.

“What does it mean to have low unemployment* when inequality stays the same?” asked a German florist, quoted by the FT. (See Chris K’s improvement below)

Well her question should be asked by the less well-off PAP voters who face stagnating wages in spite of higher (unjustified) water prices and higher (also unjustified BTO prices), and coming higher public transport prices, again unjustified.

Maybe Oxygen and other TRELand cybernuts should not tar all PAP voters as daft? Maybe they should confine their remarks to those like them: poor, lazy and born losers. People like PAPpy dog RayWing Ng who celebrates Employers’ CPF because he admits he cannot get a 16% pay increase if it wasn’t compulsory for all S’poreans. Taz how much of a loser he is.

Update at 10.45 am: Chris K improved on  the quote for S’poreans:

Rephrase in Singapore terms – what’s so good about low unemployment when inequality is so high?

I should have tot of that rephrasing. But to be fair to the MIW, inequality has dropped a little.


*German unemployment is a lot higher than S’pore’s. People like Chris K are pointing out that our employment rate is rising despite improving economic growth. Technically we are at full employment.

PM that stupid meh?

In Economy, Political governance on 28/05/2017 at 1:27 pm

In cyberspace, from the early noughties onwards, S’poreans were telling him and his millionaire ministers that we needed better quality FTs, not Trash by the cattle truck load. Err we were “unhappy” people according to him.

Only yesterday did he agree with us saying

“We have to manage the inflow carefully, and make sure that the people who come can integrate into our society, make sure they have the abilities and skills to contribute to our economy, and make sure their hearts are in the right place and they will become good Singaporeans. We are a country, not simply a city or an economy.”
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-has-to-manage-population-growth-carefully-pm-lee-8888750

What took him so long?

Worse, despite his double first in Maths, he got problem in counting, a bit like Uncle Leong:

About 30,000 babies are born as citizens every year and, to top up, about 20,000 foreigners become new citizens annually.

With about 50,000 new citizens every year, Singapore can “almost sustain a stable population”, he added.

Err what about the PRs and those on employment passes? Why they not included in the 50,000 bodies needed to “sustain a stable population”. After all, PRs are part of the resident population.

 

 

 

LKY rates S’pore E

In Economy on 12/05/2017 at 5:22 am

No not our beloved Harry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

but Yeoh Lam Keong retired chief economist of GIC whose initials FB mangles into LKY

Actually i think the govt got an A+ till end of 1980s

After that the immigration inflow was clearly excessive

It dampened wages for the working class and created working poverty for the bottom 10%

A more calibrated immigration intake would have resulted in higher productivity and real wages and a truly first world economy

Also the population increased to 5.5mln and threatens to be well above 8 not well below 6.9 by 2050

My verdict on the 1990s and 2000s?

Grade E

(Err didn’t ask permission)

What had happened is that in the 90s S’pore became an expensive place to do biz. My then M’sian boss complained that here, landlords and employees got the better of capitalists like him. One of Yeoh’s pals, Manu Bhaskaran, wrote in BT after the regional 1998 financial crisis, that the advantages of being based here for MNCs was no longer that attractive given the costs of being based here. S’pore no longer offered value for money.

The PAP administration’s solution: repress wages by allowing FTs in by the cattle-truck load rather than restructure the economy. There wasn’t a restructuring the economy report in the 90s.

Not that these reports are worth the time and effort of cutting and pasting the previous reports

Another decade, another restructuring report?

In the 80s, one Lee Hsien Loong as trade and industry minister headed a committee to recommend changes in the economy. In the early noughties when DPM he headed another committee on the same issue.

 In 201o, one Tharman and his committee produced the 2010 Economic Strategies Committee (ESC). And now there’s the CFE. It’s a bit early, but then there wasn’t a report in the 90s: so maybe making up for lost time?

No need to steal others’ lunch, PM

In Economy, India on 03/05/2017 at 2:53 pm

After all eating other people’s lunch is unhygienic.

Juz follow Trump.

He cut back the flood of the number of Indians that Indian IT cos, abusing the US visa system, were using to prefer cheap countrymen to real American, depriving real Americans of decent jobs.

Result: Infosys, the Indian IT services company that is one of the biggest losers from changes in how the US issues work visas , plans to hire 10,000 Americans in the next two years, according to the CEO.

Here’s a really long post I lifted from FB explaining how the MIW allowed Indian Indians to screw S’poreans (It was posted in 2014) over visas for Indian FTs. It seems it was a negligent, honest mistake, not on purpose. What do u think?

For all the allegations of bias that have been made against sites like TheOnlineCitizen, there are benefits in reading these alternative sources in addition to mainstream ones. For example, you get to read things that would have otherwise “flown under the radar”. Let’s have an example.

Take this FB post here by TheOnlineCitizen:https://www.facebook.com/theonlinecitizen/posts/10152771544366383

It bring’s one’s attention to the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) signed in August 2005 between Singapore and India, and in particular, the bit on allowing free movement of professionals.

Now, have a look at the relevant bit (Chapter 9) of the CECA here. Don’t panic, it’s just 4 pages. “Above the Peanut Gallery” posts require a little more reading than your average bad photoshop, but I’m not expecting you to read whole legal judgements (yet).
http://www.fta.gov.sg/…/india-singapore%20comprehensive%20e…
in particular

(Article 9.2, Para 2f): The definition of intra-corporate transferee, with a nifty list of 127 professionals in Annex 9A
http://www.fta.gov.sg/…/annex%209a%20-%20list%20of%20profes…

(Article 9.3, Para 3): “Neither Party shall require labour market testing, economic needs testing or other procedures of similar effects as a condition for temporary entry”. Speaks for itself.

(Article 9.5, Para 1): “…each Party *shall* grant temporary entry to an intra-corporate transferee of the other Party…” Note the word *shall*. Not *may*.

(Article 9.6, Para 1): Yep, they can bring in spouses and dependants. Again, note the *shall*. Not *may*.

Now, look at the Fair Consideration Framework right here.
http://www.mom.gov.sg/…/P…/fair-consideration-framework.aspx
Notice the bit on jobs not needing to be advertised under the Jobs Bank for Singaporeans – Note intracorporate-transferees are exempt.

What this seems to mean is… An intra-corporate transferee from India is perfectly placed under CECA to “fly under the radar” to take a job here that is:
a) Not your stereotypical “we need foreign labour” construction worker (see that list of 127 professions)
b) does *not* need to be advertised in the Jobs Bank (see Fair Consideration Framework exception for intra-corporate transferees)
c) does not require “labour market testing, economic needs testing or other procedures of similar effects as a condition for temporary entry” (see CECA Article 9.3, Para 3)
d) AND can bring over his spouse and dependents to work as managers, executives or specialists (see CECA Chapter 9, Article 9.6).

I’ll pause here to let that sink in for you. For extra fun and games, do feel free to look at the 127 jobs, and see which one is most similar to yours.

===

Now, to their credit, the Singaporean (yes, the currently PAP) govt is doing their best by stalling full implementation of the CECA. I sense that they also know an “Oh crap, why did we sign that” moment when they see one. What I’m wary of, is that the stalling may not last past the elections in 2016, when political consequences of un-stalling the CECA are no longer an immediate concern.

The piper must be paid someday. India has been repeatedly raising this issue. The mistake was made already, back in Aug 2005, by policy writers and approvers who are now most probably beyond the reach of accountability. And to our chagrin, even voting in an Opposition government can’t stop this – not without going back on our word.

We can’t stop the train, but at least we know when and how it would hit us, and we know who set the train on that track.

Now, do you see the value in reading alternative media?

We got so many robots meh?

In Economy on 20/04/2017 at 7:17 am

Second after Souh Korea per 10,000 manufacturing workers.  Btw, the International Federation of Robotics defines industrial robots as machines that are automatically controlled and re-programmable; single-purpose equipment does not count.

What this seems to indicate is that the manufacturing of pharma and electronic products, the leading exports, here is highly automated.

So where do the FTs fit in other than in the manual labour sector (which S’poreans shun)?

Why u think why so many PMETs are unhappy?

Why wages don’t grow in line with property prices:

Real wage growth in many rich economies has been disappointing for much of the past two decades. Low wages are enabling some reallocation of workers. An overwhelming share of the growth in employment in rich economies over the past few decades has been in services, nearly half in low-paying fields like retailing and hospitality. Employment in such areas has been able to grow, in part, because of an abundance of cheap labour.

http://www.economist.com/news/business-and-finance/21719761-probably-not-humans-have-lot-learn-equine-experience-will-robots

So what if we are tops in start-up talent?

In Economy on 31/03/2017 at 5:45 am

What has this to do with the price of eggs?


In case any TRE cybernut reading this wonders about the term, it means

When we get told “What’s that got to do with [anything, the price of eggs in China, the sun and the moon and the stars, etc]?” the speaker is saying (or telling us) thatwhatever we said beforehand was irrelevant or has no bearing to the discussion.

———————–

Great response to the constructive, nation-building media’s attempt to play up finding that S’pore is tops in world for start-up talent.

 

No automatic alt text available.

Will CEO of TLC behave in the recommended PAP way?

In S'pore Inc on 09/02/2017 at 6:06 am

The PAP administration likes to say that S’poreans should follow the Japanese way accepting responsibility for cock-ups: apologise and, where necessary, resign.

So will the CEO of Surbana Jurong follow the Japanese practice, after the  Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say on Tuesday (Feb 7) scolded Surbana Jurong in Parliament describing the company’s behaviour as unacceptable? The GLC had publicly labeled the 54 employees it sacked as poor performers,

—————————–

Surbana Jurong is a Singaporean government-owned consultancy company focusing on infrastructure and urban development. It was formed in June 2015 with the merger of Surbana International Consultants and Jurong International Holdings. It is wholly owned by Temasek Holdings and has about 4,000 employees

Surbana’s labelling of sacked staff as poor performers ‘unacceptable’

Surbana Jurong group chief executive Wong Heang Fine said: “We cannot allow our 1 per cent of poor performers to continue to affect the rest of the 99 per cent of staff who are performing.” The company later said the process could have been better managed after even the running dog that is NTUC KPKBed.

———————————————————————

“To the best of my recollection, this is the first time that an employer conducted such a major termination exercise and … labelled the workers as ‘poor performers’. I think as Manpower Minister, it’s something I do not find acceptable.”

Adding that one’s work environment and a company’s human resource practices may be contributing factors to performance: “I hope we will not come across another case where a company does a major termination and labels employees as having poor performance publicly.”

He said Surbana Jurong’s management and the unions reached an agreement on ex gratia payment, “which in our view is a fair outcome for the affected employees”.


The law on unfair dismissal

If an employee files an appeal of unfair dismissal to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the ministry will first mediate. Should that fail, MOM will conduct an inquiry and require the employer to produce evidence to justify the termination.

If the employer is unable to substantiate claims that the affected employee’s performance is poor, the employer may be ordered to reinstate the employee or provide compensation. If it does not comply, it can be prosecuted.

By settling Surbana Jurong has effectively admitted that it cocked-up.

——————————————————–

Will the CEO accept Japanese style responsibility for cock-up? Or will it be usual “move on” that so discredits our so-called meritocracy system? Sadly the latter is more probable.

The PAP believes that “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/why-khaw-vikram-must-commit-hari-kiri/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/learn-from-japanese-set-example-leh-elites/

After all, a Surbana Jurong spokesperson said the matter had been resolved “amicably” with the unions, adding “It is currently reviewing our performance management processes to improve the system.”

This means that some S’porean human resources manager is going to get the sack (Replaced by a Peenoy or Arneigh FT? Cheaper leh.), while the CEO will continue smiling when he gets his monthly CPF statement like Lim Swee Say.

Sad!

 

True in US: True here too?

In Economy on 30/01/2017 at 4:36 am

“If businesses saw more value in investing in US workers, they could have done so” was part of the headline of an article on the US on why manufacturing jobs were history in the US.

Given our low worker productivity record especially in the SME sector, it’s clear that SME owners see no value in investing in S’porean workers. Why should they, given that they have access to FTs willing to work for less than S’poreans?

So the 70% of voters that voted for the PAP are either state bureaucrats, or work in sectors not affected by FTs? Can’t be. Must be some truth that some PAP voters are as daft as anti_PAP cybernuts.

Meritocratic hubris/ Who defines “meritocracy”

In Uncategorized on 09/01/2017 at 7:13 am

Michael J Sandel teaches political philosophy at Harvard University. He recently wrote something perceptive:

The relentless emphasis on seeking a fair meritocracy, in which social positions reflect effort and talent, has a morally corrosive effect on the way we interpret our success (or lack thereof). The belief that the system rewards talent and hard work encourages the winners to regard their success as their own doing, a measure of their virtue – and to look down upon the less fortunate.

Those who lose out may complain that the system is rigged or be demoralised by the belief that they alone are responsible for their failure. When combined, these sentiments yield a volatile brew of anger and resentment, which Trump, though a billionaire, understands and exploits. Where Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton speak constantly of opportunity, Trump offers blunt talk of winners and losers. Democrats such as Obama and Clinton have difficulty understanding the hubris a meritocracy can generate and the harsh judgment it renders on those without a college degree. This is why one of the deepest divides in American politics today is between those with and without post-secondary education.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/01/themes-of-2016-progressive-parties-address-peoples-anger-in-2017

He’s right but even he doesn’t get it (Heh, he’s from Harvard): merit is defined by those who “made it”. Is that “fair”?

The meritocratic elites define the attributes and qualifications that allows one into the magical citcle: in S’pore, the British or French civil service, Harvard or other leading universities, or investment banks. And it always means: People like us.

Lucy Kellaway, the FT’s court jester on management, once described what Charles Trevelyan, the permanent secretary to the UK Treasury 1840-59, had in mind when he proposed that meritocracy should be introduced into the civil service.

“He wanted young people to be chosen who had merit – the very best,” says Greenaway. “But he believed that the best were to be found in the gentry, in the professional classes. As the 19th Century went on, the education system mirrored the social system. The universities in Oxford and Cambridge and public schools became the preserve of the gentry and the professional classes – clergy and lawyers and so on.”

Education locked in what used to be patronage, replacing it in a way that was acceptable to the conservatives who had been fearing that these exams would undermine the social fabric of the country.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23376561

My posts on meritocracy the PAP way

Meritocracy? No leh Cosiness

Meritocracy’s feet of clay: Ong Ye Kung

At 8.38 pm January 8, PM’s pay would pass Ah Beng’s yearly salary

In Political governance on 05/01/2017 at 7:56 am

(Amended at 1 00 pm to reflect Chris K revised assumptions. Original title was: Tom morning, PM’s pay would pass Ah Beng’s yearly salary)
Earlier this morning I reported that

 I read that really tua kee bosses in the UK will have earned more by midday on Wednesday than typical workers earn in the entire year, the High Pay Centre think tank said.

I asked Chris K or Uncle Leong to compute something similar for PM and Ah Beng. (OK I wasn’t being PC, I should have said “Ah Beng, Mat, Ar Neh or Grego” even though us ethic Chinese are 70% of the population.)

Chris K replied:

Assuming Ah Loong earned $3.2m a year and Ah Beng’s monthly salary is $3,800 a month, then by 5 am first Friday of the month, Ah Loong would have passed Ah Beng’s annual salary.

Ah Loong was reported last year to make $2.2m and Singstats reported monthly median income is $3,949. So Ah Loong pass Ah Beng on Sunday 8th January at 2038 hours.

Thanks Chris. Lunch on me when we meet.

PM’s v Ah Beng’s pay: Calling Uncle Leong or Chris K

In Political governance on 05/01/2017 at 5:45 am

It would be good if Chris K or Uncle Leong (his form has returned after a long period of really sub-standard stuff that almost had me classify him as a cybernut alongside Tan Jee Say) could calculate something similar (see below) based on PM’s pay and the median pay of S’poreans.

And also calculate something similar for Nathan for flipping pratas for being chief jaga.

(And yes I’m being really lazy asking others to do what I should be doing. In my defence, trying to peddle, promote some software. Really doing work is hard.)

I read that really tua kee bosses in the UK will have earned more by midday on Wednesday than typical workers earn in the entire year, the High Pay Centre think tank said. BBC goes on to say

Branding it “Fat Cat Wednesday”, it says that is the time executives will pass the average UK salary of £28,200.

High Pay Centre director Stefan Stern said it was an important reminder of the unfair pay gap in the UK.

‘…

The think-tank has made the calculation for the the past three years, but this year it is comparing the top bosses’ median salary of about £4m a year with the median UK employees’ salary of £28,200.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38498003

 

Here’s more from the

Daily Mirror front page headline is “The fattest of cats”.

The paper says that, by lunchtime on Wednesday, the bosses of Britain’s biggest corporations will have already earned as much as the average person will be paid all year.

In its opinion column, the paper says “inflated rewards for the overpaid elite aren’t even linked to ability or performance while most of the country grafts hard for a relative pittance”.

BBC also

Why did ST use ang moh to be poster parent?

In Uncategorized on 05/10/2016 at 5:41 am

Why liddat ST? No local isit?

But first and as a background to the ST story, can believe UOB survey on education or not?

Err maybe sour grapes? Kids not smart enough?

About four in five parents here believe career success is no longer driven just by academic achievements, a recent survey has found.

Instead, they recognise the importance of discovering their children’s passions and talents early on. But only half are familiar with their children’s talents. In addition, nearly one in five parents is unsure how to tap his child’s potential.

The survey, conducted by the United Overseas Bank (UOB) in May, gathered responses from 447 parents with children aged 12 and below, on their attitudes towards their children’s future success.

(ST report last week)

My question is whether how many of the kids of the local parents who took part the survey got into an elite school (RI, St Nick, MGS, SCGS), near elite achools (Hwa Chong,TKGS, ACIS (I)) or neighbourhood schools. Bet u those whose kids got into the near-elite and neighbourhood schools say grades not that impt. To say otherwise would imply that they consider their kids “Bodoh” or “Char tow”; or that they as parents failed as commando drill instructors; or that they denigrate their kids.


The reality

A recent government survey shows that families in Singapore collectively spend about $1.1bn Singapore dollars ($827m; £526m) a year on private tuition, nearly double the amount from a decade ago.

“kids who grow up in Singapore start running the rat race from an early age” … there was always a subliminal pressure from society to get good grades.”

[But] parents and students often fuel the stress about grades because of a narrow definition of what success can be.”

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2016/10/01/moe-released-april-fools-day-video-by-mistake/

————————————————-

Seriously, waz funny is that the story quoted (and featured) an ang moh, who may or not be S’porean. Bet u she’s not.

Ms Emily Mathews, a mother of two boys aged 10 and 12, said: “When parents realise that grades are not everything, kids are hopefully more exposed and encouraged to follow their interests, and not necessarily take the conventional routes.”

The 38-year-old risk manager said her sons have a flair for sports. She has been investing time and money to get them involved in sports such as rugby and mixed martial arts, and will continue to encourage them to pursue these interests.

Ang mohs come from a different planet. S’porean parents usually aim for the their kids to do well in commando-style academic courses, only mad-mouthing this training if kids don’t make the grade into elite schools.

And if they kids do make the grade, these parents take it as a matter of course, thanking God, not their “pressure” and expectations.

Earlier this year, I was talking to a single mum (divorced or separated) who has two well rounded (they have interesting non-academic interests: music and drama. The RI gal does Mui Thai during the hols) but really smart kids, she said when I praised her kids “Thank God, they are so matured.” One daughter is now in RI Pre U (medicine, I think) and the other is doing the 6-yr IB at MGS.

Right on Tiger Mom.

3 good signs economy is getting sicker

In Economy, Property on 04/10/2016 at 6:21 pm

Companies (facing cashflow problems?) are delaying payments. This in turn causes cashflow problems for others.

Payment performance of local firms “deteriorated strongly” year-on-year in the third quarter of 2016, said the Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau (SCCB) in data released on Monday (Oct 3).

Prompt payments declined to about 42.18 per cent of total payment transactions in the third quarter, compared to a year ago when 51.05 per cent paid their bills on time. Slow payments also rose, accounting for more than two-fifths of payment transactions in the same period.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/sharp-fall-in-prompt-payment-by-local-companies-in-q3-2016/3176496.html

Residential property prices remain weakish

Singapore home prices dropped by the most in more than seven years as developers offered discounts amid signals from the government that it won’t roll back property curbs initiated in 2009.

  • Home prices fall for 12th quarter as curbs stay, dropping 1.5%
  • Residential values are down 11% from peak in September 2013

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-03/singapore-home-prices-have-biggest-drop-in-more-than-seven-years

Ho ho Ho if u bought a condo in the last few years,

But real wages keep rising

Salaries in Singapore are set to rise 4 per cent next year, compared to an average of 5.9 per cent across the Asia-Pacific region, according to a survey released on Tuesday (Oct 4).

After taking into account Singapore’s inflation forecast of 0.8 per cent, salaries in the city-state are expected to rise 3.2 per cent, the survey by professional services company Willis Towers Watson found.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/salaries-in-singapore-likely-to-rise-4-next-year-survey/3178352.html