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Posts Tagged ‘Human Resources’

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.

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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.

 

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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,

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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.

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“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.

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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 silmilar 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/

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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

 

 

 

Why the PAP way produces Low Perforners not Top Performers

In Uncategorized on 02/10/2016 at 4:48 am

Can someone forward this to the PM and the Public Service Commission? We are using the wrong method to choose “Top performers”.

What the graphic shows is that “Behavioural profiling plus targeted training”and “Behavioural profiling” are better ways of choosing “Top performers”. Our scholar system (primarily reliant on selection by academic results) is better at identifying “Low performers” and “Middle Performers”.

Btw the PAP administration which loves parachuting paper generals to run ministries, TLCs and GLCs ahould reflect on: “[N]ot screwing up is an important characteristic for bosses of mature” business. So says FT’s Lombard, a very droll person.

This means they are not the right people when changes are afoot, Think the labour market, MOL and SMRT for starters.

Based on the present form of the paper generals performance as ministers and CEOs, we should be worried about our security. Thank God, we have Indonesia, as a “hostile” neighbour.

 

Incentive schemes: Three insights

In Uncategorized on 30/09/2016 at 5:10 am

The basic principle for any incentive scheme is this: can you measure everything that matters? If you can’t, then high-powered financial incentives will simply produce short-sightedness, narrow-mindedness or outright fraud. If a job is complex, multifaceted and involves subtle trade-offs, the best approach is to hire good people, pay them the going rate and tell them to do the job to the best of their ability.

Tim Harford UNDERCOVER ECONOMIST writing in FT

Months ago I saw this gem of a comment in FT

“For a bonus system to work, the measurable outcomes should not be known by the employee so that, theoretically anyway, they would be expected to apply maximum effort and standards throughout their work. The basis being, it is difficult to game a system if you don’t know what to game. Of course the need for transparency renders that a non-starter!”
By Trecar on “Burger flippers deserve bonuses, bankers do not”

Finally, Compliance v Front-line, rows that incentives are the cause of, from NYT Dealbook sometime back

NUNS WITH GUNS: THE STRUGGLES BETWEEN REGULATORS AND BANKERS Lenders have bolstered their forces with people to interpret and enforce a wave of new regulations, bringing striking change to banks’ internal cultures, The Wall Street Journal reports. The 2010 Dodd-Frank law, intended to prevent another financial crisis, is one of the most complex pieces of legislation ever. It is the length of about 15 copies of “War and Peace” and covers matters like how much capital banks must set aside or how they can advertise.

Banks have hired tens of thousands of new employees and federal agencies have dispatched thousands of their own minders to watch over them.

The new regulatory environment has changed the way banks work and forced them to push back their offerings. It has also been costly. Spending on regulatory compliance by the six largest banks in the United States rose to $70.2 billion in 2013, from $34.7 billion in 2007.

The change can be maddening, with regulators, internal compliance executives and employees all operating like rival tribes, people who worked on the issues told The Journal.

When bank compliance executives at Barclays shared images of how each group thinks of the others at a town hall, bankers were represented by cowboys on horses with guns. Compliance officials were depicted as nuns carrying guns. Barclays declined to comment.

Compliance employees told The Journal that they felt like hallway monitors, with people dropping what they were doing when they entered the room.One former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau deputy said he gave examiners pep talks, reminding them to “never let it be personal” and not to go in “with a chip on your shoulders.”

 

 

How managers encourage abusive behaviour

In Banks on 19/09/2016 at 2:24 pm
Khalid Taha, a former Wells Fargo personal banker, said he fielded complaints from customers about questionable accounts until shortly before he left the bank this summer.

but ensure that their staff suffer the consequences

Wells Fargo Warned Workers Against Sham Accounts, but ‘They Needed a Paycheck’

Former employees say that their managers warned them not to bend the rules, but they felt pressured by the bank’s aggressive sales culture to create fake accounts anyway.

NYT Dealbook

FTs: Blame who?

In Uncategorized on 12/09/2016 at 1:15 pm

Other than the PAP administration, who else should be blamed for the flood of FTs here


What if workers are unprofitable?

Here’s something else to think about. Mike Ashley the boss and controlling shareholder of UK sports retailer Sports Direct is getting a lot of bad publicity in the UK because the co paid workers less than the minimum wage at the warehouse the co operates. Working conditions were also bad. Adding to these problems,  the co awarded lucrative contracts to his relatives.

But many of the people employed in the warehouse are not doing profitable work, reports the FT.

The  popularity of internet shopping is forcing retail chains to supplement their shops with large-scale industrial operations, where the economic calculations are uncertain and the best employment practices have yet to be worked out.

Some retailers, such as Sports Direct, have opted to build rudimentary facilities and employ an army of low-paid workers to take on the laborious task of picking low-value products from miles of warehouse shelves.

Some are automating but that involves huge amounts of capital up-front.

—————————————


And are locals really that good?

Here I listed the problems that The Idiots — S’pore, or TISG as it prefers to be known, had in only employing locals and only paying them wages that mean they can only afford economy rice meals.

Well in addition to these problems: the locals can’t proof their work

The following is a Facebook post by Madam Ho Ching, head of Temasek Holdings and wife or Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

And are hopeless in grammar

Mr. Soon Chwee Guan – who is unemployed – had married Ms. Diao Yanmei in a marriage of convenience sometime in October 2012 for an initial sum of $4,000. Guy is dead.

His resignation was confirm by the party’s Secretary-General Low Thia Khiang, who asked that all queries pertaining to the resignation be directed to Mr Chen personally.

————————————

Who to blame? Greedy employers? FTs are cheap. Or lazy bums reading TISG or TRE and posting comments instead of working or looking for work.

Or both?

No need for PRC FTs or senior citizens

In Uncategorized on 12/09/2016 at 6:23 am

Several Tuesdays ago, I read in ST that SBS had no issues about the retirement age being raised to 67. It has lots of oldie drivers.

I also read on the same dat that SMRT will raise its basic starting salary for all its Singaporean and Permanent Resident (PR) bus captains by 20 per cent to S$1,950 from Sep 1, it announced in a press release on Monday (Aug 28). 

SMRT said the revised salary package will see new bus captains earning a monthly gross salary of up to S$3,540. Existing bus captains will also have their basic pay increased by at least S$300 “in recognition of their service to the company”, SMRT said.

This comes on the heels of similar pay hikes by Singapore’s two other public bus operators as competition for local bus captains intensifies.SBS Transit increased its starting salary from S$1,775 to S$1,950 in June while UK-based bus operator Go-Ahead increased its starting salary from the S$1,865 it announced in February to S$1,950 in July. 

(CNA)

This reminded me that LTA is exploring the use of self-driving buses*. No for SBS or SMRT to employ oldies or PRC FTs, and no need to compete on wages. They both had to taise wages because of an ang Moh bus operator “spoiling” the market. More FT operators pls.

But technicians to service these self-driving buses sure to be FTs. Cannot blame companies or govt given situations like this? Employing locals can be problematic.


*But pls keep SMRT away from this project. Look at its problems with self-driving trains on the Circle Line. I mean self-driving trains work in other cities.

The truth about the loss of IT jobs

In Banks, Economy on 09/09/2016 at 6:13 am
Here’s one TRE poster that I hope doesn’t join the migration to The Idiots  — Singapore or TISG as it prefers to be known. He wrote:
Good News:

This is good news, the Indians will return to India. IT department here all belongs to Indians already, no longer a Singaporean job. We got sold out long ago.

Rating: +18 (from 20 votes)
He’s right up to a point. The IT industry here belongs to FTs from India and locals are discriminated against in the sector according to people like Gilbert Goh and TRE posters.

He was responding to a Bloomberg report carried by TRE that said Barclays intends to cut approximately 100 IT jobs here

The report said that the employees are part of the Information Technology Operations team.The IT function will be moved to India to save on costs.

Barclays has since confirmed in a statement that it is in the process of cutting jobs here saying “identified a number of additional roles that carry out global activity in Singapore which can be relocated”

As I’ve reported before, in the early noughties, the PAP administration allowed the likes of Merrill Lynch, Citi and Beutsche to import cattle truck-loads of Indian IT FTs, in return for the banks promising to set up big chunks their global back office IT ops here.

As I reported beforem one shop in Suntec City had to fold after Citi retrenched its Indian ITs during the financial crisis. The owner’s biz model was premised on Indian FT techies.

Carrefour also closed its section selling freshly made Indian food that it opened a year earlier.

These two businesses show the kind of spin-offs of having FTs here. And what happens when they leave.

In general, the benefit of FTs coming in is the money they spend on entertainment, rent etc. When they leave, this spending is lost.

FTs and Zika/ The dog that didn’t bark

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

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

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

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

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

Emphasis mine.

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

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

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

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

Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

Silver Blaze by  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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

S’pore: “hewers of wood and drawers of water”

In Banks, Economy on 10/08/2016 at 7:50 am

FT reports that Goldman has 62 per cent of its “strategic location” headcount in Bangalore, 22 per cent in Salt Lake City, 8 per cent in Dallas/Irving, 7 per cent in Singapore and 1 per cent in Warsaw.

We are “hewers of wood and drawers of water” for Goldie. PAP administration will say that we must thank the FTs for this. Given our world beating rankings in academic excellence, who is responsible for ensuring that we (because of the FTs) can only be “hewers of wood and drawers of water”?

The PAP administration is a reasonable answer given its claim that the rankings shows the PAP administration’s long-term planning. To be fair, in the early noughties, the  PAP administration sought to make S’pore a global hub for banks IT operations. FT Indians were let in by the cattle-truck load because Merrill Lynch, Citi and Deutsche agreed to use S’pore as  global hub. I know someone in Suntec City whose biz model depended on the FT Indians Citi employed. When Citi retrenched, he closed his biz. As did the spot in Carrefour that sold great Indian cooked food.

Otters and SG51

In Uncategorized on 08/08/2016 at 3:53 pm

Image result for otters singapore

Singaporeans have spoken and Bishan’s adorable otter family is their pick to represent the country on its 51st birthday. ST

I’m happy about the choice. I find them adorable.

But are they really representative of S’poreans? If S’poreans bred like them, the PAP would not have the excuse of allowing in FTs by the cattle-truck load to “fix” locals.

“Tight labour markets are the best social programme, as they force employers to hire the inexperienced,” says Larry Summers in an article in today’s FT. He is Charles W Eliot university professor at Harvard and a former US Treasury secretary.

Here employers can hire FTs to replace not only the inexperienced but also middle-age PMETs.

 

Blame low productivity on NS training?

In Economy on 03/08/2016 at 6:29 am

MORE than half of Singapore companies have experienced staff who are physically present but mentally absent*. BT

That’s a lot.

We learnt this camouflage technique during NS because we had no choice but to do what we were told to do. We became experts at “switching-off”; something even SAF regulars do. Remember the radar operators and the commander of a naval vessel that got rammed by an oil tanker? The courts found they were “switched-off”.

We carry this ability to “switch-off” over to civilian life even if as an ang moh expert from recruitment firm Robert Half rightly says,.employees also need to take responsibility for their satisfaction at work. “If an employee finds they have accepted inner resignation, then they should identify the cause of their dissatisfaction and raise the matter with their employer during their performance review. If the issue cannot be resolved then they are better off seeking a new job than lingering in a role they are unhappy with.

So could one reason for S’pore’s really bad productivity record be the NS training we receive to be physically present but mentally absent? We switch-off too much?

And where we did learn other harmful productivity habits like skiving and coffee breaks? NS.

But let’s not put all the blame on the PAP administration for low productivity. Another probable good reason for lousy productivity is bad management.

Economists reckon that about half the productivity gap between Britain and America is down to bad management. A paper by Nick Bloom of Stanford University and others shows that the David Brents can learn from the Jack Welches: when they take over British firms, American multinationals bring better technology and practices, lifting productivity by up to 10%.

(Economist)

Bad management is partly responsible for the “switching-off” problem :“Inner resignation is often overlooked by employers, especially in workplaces where employees are left alone to get on with their jobs,” explained senior managing director David Jones. “Employers need to be more vigilant in looking for signs that an employee is mentally disengaged, such as a lack of motivation for bonuses or advancement or a drop in productivity.”

Whatever it is, S’poreans are never at fault.

 ———————————-

*This …”inner resignation”, has been observed in 57 per cent of Singapore businesses, according to recruitment firm Robert Half.

It tends be more common in large- and medium-sized companies, with 68 per cent of companies seeing it, compared to 32 per cent of small organisations. The findings came from its survey of 100 chief financial officers and finance directors in Singapore, as part of an international workplace study.

“Inner resignation is often overlooked by employers, especially in workplaces where employees are left alone to get on with their jobs,” explained senior managing director David Jones. “Employers need to be more vigilant in looking for signs that an employee is mentally disengaged, such as a lack of motivation for bonuses or advancement or a drop in productivity.”

SGX’s IT: An all India FT affair?

In India, Uncategorized on 16/07/2016 at 1:45 pm

I got the above impression after reading the Indian’s (Sorry TISG”S) description of IT at SGX. Go to “New people taking over SGX’s IT systems” http://theindependent.sg/2-senior-tech-fts-left-sgx-end-of-last-year/

We can only hope this won’t tuen out to be like this A*STAR, NTU fiasco where FT “Kena stripped of PhD. Boss at NTU and A*STAR who is also a foreign talent, contract kena terminated” http://retractionwatch.com/2016/07/13/harvard-researchers-phd-revoked-former-group-earns-three-more-retractions/

The trio at the centre of the scandal are Professor Ravi Kambadur, 54, who was with the Nanyang Technological University (NTU); Dr Mridula Sharma, who was associate professor at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine; and former NTU researcher Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy. (ST)

Truly the T stands for Trash. All relared to IDA’s Nisha?

Maybe our homegrown Indian talents (People like Dr Paul, the CEO of DBS, the CJ, the AG, Tharman, P Ravi and Shanmugam; though not s/o JBJ, Pritam Singh and M Ravi) can help MoM and Home Team to profile the characteristics of ethnic Indian talent rather than ethnic Indian trash? Then we can get the right kind of Indian talent.

Tharman the Joker/ Disconnect/ Not Uniquely S’porean

In Economy on 08/07/2016 at 5:36 am

Must be joking

Singapore must respond quickly and take advantage of technologies so as to create better jobs for Singaporeans, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Monday (May 30)*.

Looks like he’s trying to tell jokes again.

So long as there is a flood of cheap FT labour for PMET tasks, why should employers bother? It’s only when labour is expensive that capital-intensive technology and processes are used: A -levels econs.

Worse, FTs can get jobs as drivers and barbers. So what’s this talk of slowing the flood of FTs?

———————–

Tharman is the Joker

Isn’t his comments on govt acting quickly on property prices, bit like his jokes on inflation, wages?

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/will-hougang-make-the-pap-moan-the-inflation-blues-not-joke-abt-it/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/tharman-trying-to-tell-jokes-again/


Disconnect on FT numbers

Like other S’poreans, I feel that the govt’s claims of ever decreasing FT inflows doesn’t chime with reality: there is a disconnect.

I came across this report from CNA that may help to partially bridge the gap:

Another factor that may affect older workers is that their compensation packages may be higher than for younger workers with less experience, which may play a role when companies are trying to cut costs,” he added.

In particular, older Professionals, Managers, Executives, and Technicians (PMETs) have borne the brunt in terms of job losses and re-entry into employment as businesses restructure amid a slowing economy.

“It is a reflection of the economic structuring,” Credit Suisse economist Michael Wan told Channel NewsAsia. “As companies continue to cut headcount amid the economic headwinds, older PMETs continue to be retrenched.”

About 46 per cent of residents made redundant in the fourth quarter of 2015 found jobs by March, down from 50 per cent in the previous quarter – marking the lowest since June 2009.

“Amid softer economic conditions and as the economy restructures, redundancies are expected to rise in sectors affected by weak external demand,” MOM said, adding that it will continue to work closely with tripartite partners to help those laid off find jobs.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/more-older-workers/2867232.html

FT PMET numbers may be down, but when FT PMETs come in, they replace older S’porean PMETs.

Not Uniquely S’porean

But falling productivity is an uniquely S’porean issue . It’s a global problem. Even if there are no FTs, there’d still be a productivity problem.

 

*At the annual Pre-University Seminar, DPM Tharman said in most advanced countries, there is a “real fear” that in 10 to 20 years from now, jobs losses will exceed the number of jobs created, resulting in higher unemployment.

“We can avoid that. First, because we have an advantage of being a small society but with a global market. And secondly, we can avoid that by responding in advance to what is coming – respond quickly to technologies, take advantage of technologies and make sure that we create better jobs for everyone,” he said. 

He added that there is a need to “use technology rather than be used by technology” – and this means using technology “to enhance human abilities in every job and to create satisfying jobs.

And limiting civil servants access to the internet is using technology

 

Training bankers the Chinese way

In Banks, China on 07/07/2016 at 1:26 pm

Chinese Bank Staff Beaten for Poor Performance on Course A motivational trainer in China beat eight rural bank employees with a stick, shaved the heads of the men and cut the hair of the women after they performed poorly on a training weekend.

NYT Dealbook

How come HK got minimum wages but more competitive?

In Economy, Hong Kong on 12/06/2016 at 1:23 pm

Don’t PAP ministers insist that minimum wages will destroy the S’pore economy?

These tots crossed my mind when I read the headline:

Singapore Loses to Hong Kong in Race for Most Competitive

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-09/singapore-loses-to-hong-kong-in-race-for-most-competitive

But after reading the report, more nuanced tots came to mind.

One tot: S’poreans want to restrict the flow of FTs but this it seems makes S’pore less competitive.

Singapore’s stricter rules on hiring foreign labor, which adds to business costs.

“The key difference between the two territories is Singapore’s restrictions on importing foreign labor, and their policy of boosting labor costs to discourage companies from being dependent on foreign labor,” said Brian Tan, an economist at Nomura in Singapore. “When you push labor costs, that’s going to have an effect on competitiveness.”

… Hong Kong’s labor market as more competitive than in Singapore, with the China-controlled territory improving from 2015 on scores such as working hours, skill levels, unemployment legislation and immigration levels.

Hong Kong also leads Singapore on business efficiency, including productivity and here PAP administration can’t blame the plebs management practices, according to IMD.

Next, there seems to be a disconnect between what the local PMETs (and even this retiree) feel and the “experts” say: FT policy to us is not restrictive what with FTs being allowed to become drivers and barbers.

Another tot:“It’s not just the economy, stupid,” says a poster by the Brexit campaign in the UK.  And one of its charismatic leaders surely is right when he says, “We need to value people’s quality of life and standards of living and not just national GDP figures.” (But Brexit would say these rhings. The conventional economic wisdom is that the UK is doomed economically if it leaves the EU.)

Coming back to HK’s liberal FT policies: HK is Goh Meng Seng’s paradise on earth. Funny he doesn’t laud HK’s liberal immigration policies. He’s got his family there but thinks he is entitled to lecture us on the failings of the PAP. Surely the PAP in doing the popular thing (restricting FTs) is doing the wrong thing, and HK , GMS’s paradise on earth, the right thing?

Juz remember for S’poreans now:“It’s not just the economy, stupid. and”“We need to value people’s quality of life and standards of living and not just national GDP figures.”

 

How to solve the longevity problem. the Hard Truths way

In CPF on 02/06/2016 at 2:46 pm

The PAP administration is always warning us that CPF funds will not be enough for retirement because we are living longer. Its solution is to mahe CPF “not our money” while pretending that “it’s our money”: taz CPF Life esp the standard plan and Our money but CPF Life solvency is our problem .

S’poreans, except the die-die must vote for any PAP monkey Think Eunice Chia-lom and Ashok Shamar), see thru the smoke.

Here are two (connected) constructive, nation-building suggestions on the longevity problem hat the PAP may want to implement that are logical and reasonable in that they flow from the logic of Harry’s Hard Truths.

cartoon

From FT

Connected with the above is the solution in  the movie Soylent Green. Us plebs are encouraged to move on and our bodies then made into food for the other plebs.

See http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070723/synopsis

How to improve productivity

In Humour on 01/06/2016 at 4:48 pm

MoM should ban all employees from chatting about the weather, babies, holidays, or anything not wotk-related.

A rule was introduced banned staff from talking about anything not work-related. Sounds so PAPish but no,not in a S’pore co but in a UK local govt (think town council) office. Wonder if NTUC would object if a company introduced this rule?

From BBC Online

A rule introduced at the beginning of 2011 banned staff at Carlisle City Council from talking about anything not work-related.

If employees wanted to discuss the weather, holidays or babies (the three categories specified in the instructions), they were told to clock-out – so they would not be paid for time spent chatting.

An e-mail sent to 31 workers by two team leaders in the city’s benefits department also warned staff “to be aware of the reason why they are here, which is to work and not to treat the office as a day-to-day holiday camp”.

The GMB Union representative at the council, Ged Craig, said the message was “ridiculous and a disgrace – it is suggesting that if, for example, you are standing in a queue for the photocopier having a chat you should clock out.”

The e-mail went on to say that the way staff previously worked could not be sustained in the “current economic climate”.

Following the outrage of the staff and the involvement of the union, the rule was dropped.

Productivity improvement must be a KPI for NTUC leader, Kee Chui, so maybe he won’t pobject if S’porean cos implement this.

Why PM won’t heed Jap PM’s tots

In Economy, Japan, Property on 29/05/2016 at 1:05 pm

Foreword: Chris K (A S’porean FT living in Japan) commented on Facebook on this piece. I’ve worked his comments into the original piece and added some background info. Hence this retitled piece which is an expanded and reworked version of the earlier piece.

…  ….

Prime Minister Abe … in his latest op-ed in the WSJ says that if developed countries are facing a future of low or no growth, and shrinking populations, then perhaps governments should focus on improving living standards and not simply chase high economic growth rates.

Well as S’pore is now facing a future of low growth and a shrinking population, unless FTs are let in by the cattle-truck load, the PAP administration should focus on improving living standards and not simply chase high economic growth rates?

After all Goh Chok Tong said we should be like the Japanese. And PM and ministers cite Japanese practices: here, here and here.

But then the PAP can’t let in its beloved FTs to eat S’porans’ breakfast, lunch and dinner and all snacks in between. FTs are needed to spur S’poreans to be as cheap to hire as FTs are, despite the higher cost of housing etc here. Hard Truths are more important than the well-being of S’poreans?

Here’s what Chris K says about life in a stagnant, past its prime Japan

Lived in Japan 1990-1995 and then again from 2006, the difference between the 2 periods in my view is that it is more livable today than before despite all the “bad news” of stagnation and deflation. Working hours have steadily declined despite shortage of labour. Total Fertility Rate has gone up.

(Btw, a few yrs ago I reported that HSBC showed that Japan was doing pretty well)

Life can be good in a country with a shrinking population and deflation. The PAP juz doesn’t like stagnation, deflation and a shrinking population.

Chris K then goes on to criticise the PAP’s administration policies here. Pay attention to (and think hard about) the section beginning the entire pension and healthcare proposition have under LHL been tied to ever-increasing real estate prices …

But I completely agree with Cynical Investor, the PM won’t be heeding Abe’s advice. Why? Just 2 simple things.

First the government salaries are marked to GDP growth despite the factthat in today’s digital economy GDP is a terrible measure of progress since many improvements and convenience in life comes free (think on-line shopping vs going to shops) or below cost, thus understating the impact on GDP growth. So nuts and bolts, brick and mortar still rule their head even if they have to accept the digital challenge.


Harry and Dr Goh has things easy when  running S’pore. They grew the economy and jobs and wage rises followed.

Nowadays GDP is decoupled from jobs and wages. I wish someone would do a similar chart for S’pore.

——————————

Second, far more importantly, the entire pension and healthcare proposition have under LHL been tied to ever-increasing real estate prices (think downgrades and LBS to finance you and your parent’s healthcare and pensions). That means forget about quality of GDP growth, quantity is the game where large increases in population are required not just for those nuts and bolts, brick and mortar but with the benefit of keeping real estate prices elevated.

If you think we have a real estate bubble that may or may not be deflating, then equally we then must have a bubble in the government’s projections for our retirement and healthcare. Both are inexorably linked, one cannot exist without the other because of the use of CPF for housing. So 6.9m is a done deal, 10m a very likely eventual outcome. More foreign labour supply to hold down wages, a more crowded country, more stresses and greater wealth disparity. At some point this will stop and then this country will have an almighty day of reckoning.

Can employ FT drivers meh?

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

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

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

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

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

No need tea parties to recruit top PAPpies

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36129046

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

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

S’pore aircraft lessor to launch IPO in HK.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://atwonline.com/leasing/singapore-lessor-boc-aviation-launch-ipo

Reasonable to mistrust Pinoys?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What do you think?

LKY was wrong on service jobs/ Lessons from the Foxes

In Economy on 05/05/2016 at 2:30 pm

I was recently at my barber and it reminded me that LKY was talking cock about service jobs. Many yrs ago he said that service jobs like cutting hair and waiting at tables could not be exported i.e. locals could not lose their jobs doing these things. (He was talking when the disk drive manufacturers were relocating out of S’pore, retrenching workers, and the govt was moving towards creating more service jobs. The move resulted in two casinos. A good thing in my view.)

Well the lady cutting my hair (for $6) is M’sian*. And so was the previous barber I used ($10). And it’s a fact that hair cutters  and dressers in S’pore are from M’sia.

We want services to be cheap and good, and so have to import people willing to work for peanuts (by our standards). The PAP administration is very happy to oblige us by allowing FTs to eat our breakfast, lunch dinner and supper; and all snacks in between..

And now robots will be replacing humans. So FTs will be replaced not by locals, but by robots.

Robots Day 1 chart

True it’s in the US but it’ll come here.

Now to the Foxes. They have a British core: 9 of 23 are British. Better than the core S’poreans in S’pore businesses, NTUC and MoM should note.

The club’s Thai owners, King Power, have spent little on players, but lavishly on coaching, scouting and training facilities.

Must have lessons for S’pore.


*Yes I know there are  locals who will cut hair for $6. But they tend to be druggies who not only look high but are probably high. So I prefer FTs.

Catch-22 for PMETs

In Economy, Property on 21/04/2016 at 2:22 pm

“No country becomes rich after it gets old,” warns Rodrigo Chaves, country director for the World Bank. “The rate at which you grow [with] a whole bunch of old people on your back is much lower than the rate of growth at which you can grow when people are active, are educated, are healthy.”

(FT article on Indonesia)

This is the reality be it Indonesia or S’pore or the US: population growth, not productivity growth drives economic growth. What it means is that S’pore will have problems “growing the pie” (or trickle down) if the demographic profile is not reversed.

If S’poreans who have mortgages (whether on public or private) hope to use their property to finance their retirement, they should be petitioning the PAP administration to allow FT PMETs to flood in by the cattle truck load again, not juz by the A-380 load so that there are a lot more younger people so that the economy can keep on growing.

Waz the value of that property if there’s no demand for housing when the PMETs reach 79?

But then, these S’poreans will find themselves unable to finance their mortgages because FTs steal their breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper.

What to do meh?

Well didn’t the PMETs vote for the PAP consistently. Like Harry’s daughter, they have made their bed and must lie in it.

Vote for Robin Hood anyone?

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men

Feared by the bad, loved by the good

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood

 

He called the greatest archers to a tavern on the green

They vowed to help the people of the king

They handled all the troubles on the English country scene

And still found plenty of time to sing

 

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men

Feared by the bad, loved by the good

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood

After all in S’pore, the PAP is viewed as the party “Feared by the poor, loved by the rich”: think VivianB and his sneering at the elderly poor. He’d make a good sheriff of Nottingham in any movie.

But sadly, the nearest we have to a Robin Hood (Dr Chee) will be thrashed by an Indian lawyer in the coming Bukit Batok by-election.

Priductivity: What our masses not told

In Economy on 03/04/2016 at 12:09 pm

But first the Economist reports that a new paper shows that a higher minimum wage may not be as effective in tackling poverty as many hope. Low-wage workers don’t all belong to low-income families. I’m sure the PAP administration and its running dogs* in the constructive, nation-building media and academia will tell NTUC members, PMETs and other S’poreans this.

But NTUC members, PMETs and other S’poreans won’t hear from them that

— An impact of higher minimum wages is higher productivity.

Still there are other potential impacts of higher minimum wages;one is higher productivity. Some British companies that voluntarily shifted to a higher living wage found that staff absenteeism and turnover rates reduced, and productivity improved. It is hard to disentangle cause and effect here; are better-paid staff better motivated or are employers forced to become more efficient to absorb the cost of higher wages?

So if Tharman wants to improve productivity, as he says he wants** to, he should have minimum wages and set them high.

— One possible explanation why productivity has not been increased by new technology could be the sluggishness of wage growth; labour is so cheap that employers have less incentive to replace it with capital. Think the PAP’s administration very liberal FT policy both in numbers and quality: T often stood for “Trash”. Think SGX.

The main function of liberal FT immigration policies is wage repression. Why employ a local if FT is 20% cheaper (OK, I exaggerate because levies are paid, but still cheaper.)

————————————

How FTs affect the wages of the young here and their productivity

This conversation appeared on Facebook

Jeraldine Phneah

I think it is simply unfair to ask Singaporean youths to accept lower pay for PMET positions like their counterparts from developing countries working here are doing i.e. Filipinos, Vietnamese and Malaysians. Some believe that we should do so to ‘remain competitive’ and if we don’t, we are ‘entitled and lazy’.

I think it is unfair to compare our youths with those from other countries. They are earning a lot more here than they would at home due to our exchange rate . When they return, they will be very rich. In contrast, Singaporeans need more money to buy a house here, afford necessities and save up for retirement here.

While I think Singaporeans should not accept lower pay, I am not in any way saying that Singaporeans should earn more than foreigners. I think both should earn equally good pay.

A first world economy where businesses survive largely because wages are kept low is simply unsustainable.

It elicited this response from a tua kee: Yeoh Lam Kong (Once GIC’s chief economist. he’s now in Harry’s School of Public Policy)

Agreed!

It also disincentivises firms from upgrading to higher skilled, more sophisticated operations needing experienced, high level staff as well as lowers the return in engineering or computer science vocations so that local grads have less incentive to take these key subjects at university or as a profession, lowering the supply of locally trained engineering graduates.

So not only is this unfair to Singaporean youth; it also likely retards our manpower and industrial development as well as comparative advantage in key sectors longer term.

Another lady added:

Thank you Jeraldine for expressing so well what I always wanted to say on the “foreign talent” working in Spore. It very true that we are not entitled n lazy.

It very true that till there are control over the lax rule on S n employment pass, co had no incentive to automate as the easy way is simply to hire cheaper FT.

The civil servants post should be open to these FT so that our spoiled n well sheltered civil servant had a taste of their lax altitude to easy approval of FT S n employment pass.

Btw, wondering why the cybernuts from TRELand like Dosh, Oxygen, Ng Cock Lim and Philip Ang are incapable of discoursing like this? No wonder Richard Wan (ex scholar) and Chris K have moved on out of TRELand and associate themselves with TOC.

———————————

— And maybe Higher minimum wages could stimulate the economy and boost wages, for example. Or if employers focus on high-skilled workers in the short term, that could boost productivity and the economy in the long term, eventually providing jobs for the low skilled. 

(All quotes from: http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2016/04/minimum-wages)

Yet despite all this wage repression, the Oppo parties not could win more than 30% of the popular vote and in many wards had only the “THe PAP is always wrong” voters voting for them.

S’poreans daft? No: article on how the oil price collapse in 2014 helped the PAP

———–

*Apologies to the real dogs. Blame Mao for using the term to denote rats and other vermin who take human form.. apparently he didn’t like dogs.

**On Friday Tharman sais Data shows that outward-oriented sectors such as logistics and manufacturing saw productivity growth of 3.2 per cent each year over the last five years. However in domestically-oriented sectors, such as retail and F&B, productivity has fallen by about 0.6 per cent each year in the last three years. 

DPM Tharman said that there is a need to close this gap as it can help to ensure income growth for Singapore over the long term. 

He added that lessons from the most innovative firms should be shared with other companies and the focus will be on developing more breakthroughs, deeper innovations and more disruptors. This could see some firms having to exit to make space for the most innovative players. (CNA)

Israeli policy shows up PAP govt

In Economy on 29/03/2016 at 10:05 am

Because Israel puts strict limits on hiring skilled non-Jewish foreign workers, tech companies find it easier to recruit in the under-tapped minority Arab and ultra-Orthodox communities. (FT)

Well here, the immigration policy here is still lax enough for employers to prefer FTs because they come wothout the 17% CPF contribution (the imposts on using FT is less than this) ….

IT: FTs verseus locals

In Economy on 08/03/2016 at 2:44 pm

Talking about the infocomm industry Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim on Friday (Mar 4) said the industrt needs to fill as many as 30,000 new positions by 2020. He said “some companies today still want to recruit only university graduates. We know from assessments that our polytechnic graduates can hold their own against university graduates when they are judged by competencies, not qualifications. Companies who ignore this will miss out on a well-qualified pool of talent.”

The part about employing poly grads and not grads sounds sick in the light of what a reader responding to this (on the terrible prospects of getting a job in our neighbourhood) said

Singapore is really a city paved with gold for foreigners with degrees but coming from smaller cities and towns. My job sometimes involves overseas mass recruitment and interview exercises (largely paid for by S’pore tax payers, haha). These foreigner profiles typically get imported into Singapore on S-Pass getting about $2,300-$2,500 per month. Essentially these foreigners are direct competition against local fresh diploma grads or even the lousier degree holders e.g. private uni, or lousy grades etc.

Comparing the pay of most of these foreign graduates in their home towns, the $2,300 they’re getting here is equivalent to at least 1 year’s pay in their home towns/smaller cities.

Imagine your monthly salary is $100K or whatever your annual remuneration is, and you get some idea of what motivates these foreigners.

Well so long as employers can recruit FT grads why will they bother about local diploma holders and inexperienced local grads?

But Yaacob also said the infocomm talent pool can be grown through skills conversion and upgrading*, and that companies must look beyond the traditional sources of manpower.

Could the bit I bolded be a code to employers: No more FT Indians? A few years ago, a social activist who works in the IT sector told me that until the 1998 regional crisis, local PMETs in this industry had a great time because there was little competition from FTs: govt was strict on employment passes. Then, the govt allowed in FTs (primarily from India) to help companies cut costs and also to encourage banks to set-uop their regional, global back-office hubds here.

That he said screwed our locals.

So could the govt really be reversing this “FTs first and foremost” policy? What do you think?

——

*He said:

— the Government will also introduce new programmes in April to help the industry; and

—  there is a need for companies to review their HR (human resources) to meet the needs for the future.

 

Grass is greener here for Asean FTs?

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

Look at the ptoblems they have getting jobs ar home.

Double confirm, Ah Loong is lucky

In Economy on 24/02/2016 at 3:56 pm

Oil prices collapsed at the right time.

Here I pointed out how lucky Ah Loong was in calling a GE in 2015 before the global economy took a turn for the worse. Here’s another example of his luck.

Recently, while searching my online archives for some historical data, I came across a note to self that I wrote in very late 2014 referencing a piece in the constructive, nation-building media that reported the slow growth in wages since 2011. I commented to self on how this slow growth in real wages would affect the elections in 2015 (Remember by then I had predicted a  GE in 2015.). Nominal wage growth barely compensated for the growth in inflation. Inflation was a problem.

I tot that the slow real wage growth since 2011 reported in the article would mean that it would not be possible for the PAP to win big in coming GE.

But were the economists (they are still employed in the banks today) quoted in the report wrong, very wrong because in 2015:

The median Singaporean worker has seen “significant real income growth” in the last five years – a “really quite unusual” performance when most other countries have seen little or even negative income growth, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Since 2010, after the global financial crisis, the median household income in Singapore has grown by 18 per cent in real terms – that is, after adjusting for the increase in the cost of living, he noted at a walkabout at Taman Jurong on Sunday (Sep 3) evening.

“We’ve seen very unusual sustained income growth in real terms, not just for the people at the top, but for the middle class – and in fact, the households in the low-income group have seen slightly faster real income growth than those in the middle,” he said. (CNA)

(I assume he was using the data summarised here.) Note this was said days before the GE.

— The bi-annual survey compiled by Towers Watson’s Data Services Practice also revealed that in real terms, salaries in Singapore will rise 4.4 per cent. The salary increase budget for 2016 is expected to increase 4.5 per cent, according to the survey. (CNA in May 2015).

The collapse in inflation in 2014 and 2015 due to the collapse in oil prices starting in October 2014 changed everything when it came to real wages because even if wage increases were “peanuts”, the collapse in inflation would ensure that wages went up in real terms. And the nominal increase in wages were not “peanuts”: The total wage increase in 2014 stemmed from a basic wage gain of 4.9% in 2014 (a slight decrease from 5.1% in 2013), while bonuses remained unchanged at 2.21 months of basic wages in 2014. (NWC Guidelines 2015/ 2016 published in May 2015)

If anyone is interested, here’s my note to self (Explanation: The Italic bits are the original article which paints a really gloom picture of real wages (remember oil prices had started falling only three months earlier in October 2014). The words in normal font were my comments at the time:

Why not possible for PAP to win early elections big

The PAP is deluded if thinks can win big in an early election. Real wage growth has been slow, really slow.

It’s not the usual suspects raising the issue but the constructive, nation-building media allied to the PAP administration.

For those who have placed the blame for slow wage growth squarely on cheap imported labour, this year’s headline figures in manpower would have been sobering  Despite sharp pullbacks in manpower inflows in the past few years – to the extent that the percentage of vacancies being filled by Singaporeans rather than foreigners this year hit its highest level since 2011 [Can believe Mom’s data meh?].- average pay cheques, after adjusting for inflation, grew by only 0.4 per cent amid tight labour market conditions.

And if Singapore’s struggles with boosting productivity persist, the picture on the wage growth front next year is unlikely to be any rosier, said economists, especially given the poor global economic outlook. The impending cessation of the Wage Credit Scheme (WCS), which subsidises firms for pay raises, will add another chokehold …

The reality

“Companies don’t want their margin to be squeezed. They want to save more, hold on to a profit margin, to prepare for the next year when there’s no more WCS,” said UOB economist Francis Tan. “Once you increase the wages, it will be hard to move them down again. And if the workers are still not as productive as you want them to be, it can be quite dangerous for the existence of the company.”

Labour productivity contracted 0.8 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter, worse than the 0.3 per cent fall in the first half, figures from the Ministry of Manpower showed. The first half of last year registered a 1.3 per cent decline, but this improved to 0.8 per cent growth in the second half.

Why productivity matters [Update in 2016: Still matters, low inflation not withstanding]

The repercussions of flagging productivity, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned, could extend to the whole of the Republic’s economy. With the tightening of the tap on foreign workers pushing up wages more quickly than productivity, not only will firms pass on the higher costs to consumers, but Singapore’s potential growth and competitiveness could also suffer a blow, the IMF said.

FTs needed

DBS economist Irvin Seah noted: “Businesses are unable to pursue more orders because of this labour crunch. This will also prevent them from increasing their top-line, unless the productivity of the existing manpower is able to improve.”

Besides sluggish productivity growth, OCBC’s Ms Selena Ling said companies face pressure from higher rental costs. Singapore is expected to top the rental forecast for Asia-Pacific cities, with a 25 per cent increase in office rents from this year to 2019, based on a report from property consultancy Knight Frank in September.

In adjusting to these costs, business will take into account the differing flexibility of the various types of business costs. Between rental and wage costs, wages provide a “little bit more room for negotiation”, said Ms Ling.

Agreeing, Mr Tan said many companies have been moving towards higher variable components in wages to help buffer against economic cycles.

Workers who benefit from WCS – those earning below S$4,000 – are not considered as vulnerable as low-wage workers. But given the modest growth prospects next year, some economists speculate that the Government could extend the scheme.

“At this moment, it looks like the United States is showing signs of much more broad-based sustained recovery, while the rest of the world is in different stages of recovery and slowdown,” noted CIMB Research economist Song Seng Wun.

Mr Seah, however, noted that the WCS, which represents a form of government transfer, was never meant to last and that the more sustainable approach to boost workers’ pay is to equip them with the right skills.

PAP returns to its roots

“Although I think our fiscal policies are gradually becoming more socialistic in nature, I think the Government has continued to emphasise the need for self-sufficiency and the notion of meritocracy,” he said. “I think such principles should continue to remain the hallmark of our economic policies.”

Employers kanna pay and pay

Indeed, firms have had no choice but to paymore in the stretched labour market, which workers have been quick to capitalise on.

“And it’s not just the blue-collar workers, but the senior and middle management too,” said RecruitPlus Consulting’s managing director, Mr Adrian Tan.

But inflation is rising too, so no real wage growth/ Growth/ What growrh?

Mr Erman Tan, president of the Singapore Human Resources Institute, added that firms will face pressure to keep wage growth at least on a par with inflation. Core inflation, which indicates the rise in everyday out-of-pocket costs, has been estimated at 2 to 3 per cent next year, higher than the 2 to 2.5 per cent expected this year.

“Inflation is still putting pressure on staff. Firms have to make sure staff have the peace of mind to work, so you can change work procedures, change mindsets and invest in automation, leading to improvement in productivity,” he said.

in the push for wages to grow because of productivity improvement. In September, the cleaning industry became the first to adopt a skill-wage ladder as a criterion to secure licensing, representing a breakthrough in lifting the pay of a group of workers who have seen their income stagnate. The Progressive Wage Model was also announced for security guards and will be implemented in 2016.

Another ugly, entitled S’porean/ Cry for fund mgrs

In Uncategorized on 25/01/2016 at 5:49 am

“What a sense of entitlement: “We drove the business so hard, and this is what we get,” said one banker…” ST reported.

I mean the chairman of Barclays had said “not performing — and we don’t like things that actually don’t make money”.

Not make money expect high pay and job security? The person Barclays retrenched is  related to Dr Eng, property developers, Fernvale residents and ministers  saying.

Barclays retrenched people here from equities broking (now called “cash equities”. I was in this line and the deal then and now is “Hard work is BS. Revenue talks”. Then as now, job security and hard work, meant nothing. Bring in the revenue and get rewarded.

Staff of fund mgrs globally took a pay cut of almost a fifth in 2015 as the industry grappled with its worst year of profitability since the financial crisis. US and Asian-based staff suffered most/

 

Can S’poreans take a 37% pay cut?

In CPF, Economy on 12/01/2016 at 1:27 pm

And still willingly vote for the PAP? I doubt it.

But first, Trump, Le Pen and American and European “fascists” say some cultures  are hostile to Western culture and values.  While they are not exemplars of the best of Western culture and civilisation (I’ll readily admit that I’m an admirer of much of the values of the West). there is evidence that supports their views.

1.Two men from the Middle East who came to the US as refugees have been charged with supporting terrorism.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35264932

2.Then there are the attacks on women in Cologne where the assailants were of African and Middle Eastern origin.

Even the UK’s Guardian (“White establishment always wrong, terrorists often got right on their side”) is forced to say: A statement issued by Cologne police on Saturday night said the number of reported cases of violence had risen substantially to 379 – 40% of them involving sexual assault. Police earlier said 31 people had been identified as being involved in the violence, of whom 18 were asylum seekers suspected of crimes ranging from theft to assault. None of the asylum seekers was suspected of committing sexual assaults.

Times: Migrants ‘planned sex attacks’ in Cologne

And

It took the better part of a week to acknowledge that asylum seekers were among the suspects.

The police certainly knew the reality of who had been on the streets. On the night some young men had shown police their asylum documents.

An internal police report describes a man telling the police: “I am Syrian. You have to treat me kindly. Mrs Merkel invited me”. (BBC report)

3. BBC reports that In Germany Although the figures are not up to date, it does not appear so far that the crime rate among asylum seekers is higher than among similar groups in the native population.

In S’pore, while we don’t have the problems that the Eurpeans have with immigrants (luckily because look at the way the Little India riot was handled), we do have a problem in that 37% of a S’porean’s wages are locked away to be spent only in ways the PAP administrations think are the “right” ways to spend our money

This means an FT can price himself 37% below a local and still achieve the same take home pay*. He can see S’pore as a place to come and work for a few yrs, and then go home, a rich man, or move to a real first world country.

—————————–

*Yes, Yes I know CPF money is employee’s money but with all the restrictions, doesn’t feel like that does it?

And OK there are govt levies etc on emploters employing FTs but do they add up to 37%? I doubt it. If anyone knows anyone in HR pls ask for me. As I understand it, employing FTs is always cheaper.

———————–

Until this issue of income disparity is addressed by the govt (only after the majority of the S’porean public realise that the locking away of 37% of an employee’s income is problematic for S’poreans and S’pore), all the govt’s measures to “tighten” inflows of PMET FTs, or measures to help S’poreans compete is just so muck sticking plaster or worse wayang. http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/01/skillsfuture-credit-scheme-may-end-up-a-disappointment/

How likely do you think he will be able to get this job with a good pay after finishing his SkillsFuture Credit course on web design?

… the main purpose of Jobs Bank is to mandate employers who want to recruit foreigners on EP to advertise on it for Singaporeans first. But it does not necessary guarantee that Singaporeans will be employed. This is explained on MOM’s website:

Before you submit Employment Pass (EP) applications, you must advertise the job vacancies on theJobs Bank administered by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA).

Also, do take note that there is no quota imposed on hiring foreigners on EP currently.

So, after 6 months of non-success in trying to find his dream web designer job, Mr Zulkipli simply gives up. The next thing he may be asking himself is, what is the use of this SkillsFuture Credit Scheme?

I’ll end with this good point on not being Politically Correct, something people like Trump, Le Pen, and our home-grown wannabe s pride themselves on being.

 

It is often a code to want to be nasty to women and minorities. Right my kaleng, mat and ah quah friends? There’s a place, in moderation, of being PC.

Ministers’ salary benchmark is flawed

In Corporate governance, Political governance, Public Administration on 07/12/2015 at 1:53 pm

So what value the link?

Below is the Letter from Lex of two Saturday’s ago. It’s another nail in coffin of the argument that our ministers and senior civil servants deserve their multi-million salaries which are benchmarked against the private sector. The pay structure at the top of the private sector is flawed, badly flawed.

Letter from Lex: Let’s spin the wheel!
Readers,
It may indeed be better to be lucky than good; don’t assume you can tell the two apart. There is a good-sized pile of academic research devoted to determining what part of corporate success (measured by return on capital, margins, or what you will) is down to the skill of the boss. Social scientists and statisticians stagger towards consensus along a twisting path. Most of the studies do, however, seem to converge on a couple of points: (a) management skill is a wickedly slippery thing to measure and explain, yet (b) skill seems to make a small but significant difference to performance on the margin, although (c) luck plays much bigger role most of the time. Raising these points often elicits one of two responses. The first: “You damn pinko academics/journalists hate capitalism and will say anything to undermine it.” Alternately: “Anyone who has actually worked in a big company knows that a CEO is a dart-throwing chimp whose characteristic skills are climbing the greasy pole and looking good in a suit.”

Both responses may contain elements of truth. In any case, this week gave the Lex column various reasons to reflect on luck, skill and the grey abyss in between:

Emphasis mine.

Minimum Wages = Rising Prices

In Economy on 03/11/2015 at 12:58 pm

Most of the debate on this topic centres around whether as a result there are less jobs being created. The evidence is mixed.

For S’poreans there should be another more pressing issue in a pay and pay city.

Business reaction has been mixed. Some sectors like care homes, pub chains and more broadly the hospitality industry said that the increases could mean laying off staff or increasing prices.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34416666

(Explanation: In the UK, the “minimum wage” is being rebranded as “Llving wage”: another concept really, though related.)

As a retiree, I don’t like rising prices.

PM has New Citizen Raj in mind?

In Uncategorized on 25/10/2015 at 1:28 pm

“Add your own distinct experiences, skills, abilities – contribute to the Singapore story and together, make a better future here for all of us,” said PM Lee Hsien Loong to the new citizens on Saturday (Oct 24).

(CNA)

He is celebrating New Citizen Raj’s attempt to ensure his son avoids NS?

PM should ask New Citizen Raj to defend us

In Uncategorized on 06/07/2015 at 4:08 am

“Who will defend us?*” asked PM. I went WTF!

Why doesn’t PM ask New Citizen Raj why he planned to ensure his son avoids NS?

This is what I wrote about New Citizen Raj sometime back:

An Indian former FT who prefers international schools is new citizen, Raj, originally from India. During an interview with TOC [Link], Raj revealed that only he in the family has converted to Singapore citizenship. His wife and daughter remain PRs and his son is on a student pass.

Raj said that if his son was a PR, he would need to serve NS. He preferred to “let his son decide if he wanted to put his roots down in Singapore or go back to India when he turns 21″.

The benefit of having his son on a student pass is that his son can always work in Singapore later as a “foreign talent” and eventually become a PR himself. He will not be considered a second-generation PR since he was not sponsored by his parents in the first place. A second-generation PR who gives up his PR is barred from working in Singapore.

Why the loop-hole, and why hasn’t it been closed? It must be commonly used for this FT to talk publicly about it, is my guess

Now, I RODed in the 70s,  am a bachelor and I don’t have children, but I’m upset at this loop-hole. Imagine the anguish of a parent whose son died while doing NS if he finds out that its so easy for new citizens and PRs to avoid legally NS?

This loop-hole had better be closed, and fast.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/new-citizens-why-doesnt-pm-pap-condemn-this-behaviour-close-ns-loophole/

My understanding is that this loophole still exists and is still being exploited. Why?

My neighbour’s son has juz finished BMT. He is a second generation NS man. And P Ravi’s son is going into NS soon

Why should they do NS to defend New Citizen Raj and his family? Because he like them are ethnic Indians? When their dads and I did NS, we were defending S’poreans, not Foreign Trashes like New Citizen Raj who use our flag to clean their behinds.

And this is unacceptable (lifted from TOC)

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/pm-should-ask-new-citizen-raj-to-defend-us/

 

FT flood will resume?

In Economy on 07/09/2015 at 12:12 pm

[A]ccording to the MOM’s findings (see excerpt in Figure C), their conclusion is that overall labour force growth will slow down significantly by the end of the decade. Therefore, it is not unrealistic to interpret this to mean that the current tightening of foreign labour influx might be just a short term solution for the next few years, before the ‘unsustainable slow growth’ is used as a reason to open up the landscape to more foreign labour. Clearer indication as to the government’s plan for the labour force direction for the next five to 10 years is therefore necessary at this point in order for the citizens of Singapore to better weigh their future.

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/09/the-labour-force-game/

The above gives the numbers to the feeling I’ve always had: that there’s a lot of wayang and smoke and mirrors about the FT policies. And that the PAP administration is itching to open the floodgates again. And that the current FT restrictions are aimed to show that we need more New Citizens like Raj who are out to screw us.

To be absolutely fair to the PAP, at the end of this article there are three extracts quoting PM and Zorro on immigration.

But this is the reality: SDP’s Dr Paul Tambyah said something recently that deserves to be very widely known. At a recent forum organised by the National University of Singapore Society where representatives from nine opposition parties and the ruling PAP were present, Dr Paul Tambyah said that young local doctors complaining about the hours and working conditions in hospitals, were told that the hospitals could always employ FTs at lower salaries. If our brightest citizens (even straight As can’t get into the local medical schools)  are threatened with FT replacements, what about the Vocational Institutes’ grads?

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/zorro-sotong-or-trying-to-sotong-us-over-ft-local-numbers/

What the PM, Zorro say (from CNA)

— Speaking at the National Day Rally on Sunday (Aug 23), PM Lee acknowledged that the Singapore’s immigration policy will remain an issue for a long time.

“It is a very sensitive matter and not an easy thing to talk about, even at NDR,” he said. ” Singaporeans understandably have strong views on it. The Government has heard them, but on this matter, there are no easy choices. Every option has a downside.”

He cited policy changes that had been made. The Government has upgraded infrastructure, slowed down the inflow of foreign workers, tightened up on the approval of permanent residency and citizenship applications, and made sure that Singaporeans are fairly treated at work.

He noted that if the Government is too liberal with its immigration policy, then society can come undone. Singaporeans would be crowded out, workplaces would feel foreign and our identity would be diluted.

“If we close our doors to foreign workers, our economy will tank,” he said.

Companies would not have enough workers and some would close, meaning jobs lost. Foreign workers are also needed to build homes, he said.

So, we have to find something in between, he said. Companies would still find costs going up and would have to pass some of this on to consumers; they would also have to pass up opportunities because they can’t find the workers.

Yet, because some foreign workers would still be coming in, “some Singaporeans would still feel that Singapore is changing too fast, and would still resent having to compete with non-Singaporeans. Whichever option we choose will involve some pain,” said Mr Lee.

“Yet, I believe that I am doing what Singapore needs and what best safeguards your interest. If I did not believe that, I would not be doing it. It is my responsibility to make this judgment and act on your behalf. And having acted, I owe it to you to account to you for my decisions, for doing what I did.”

— It is the Government’s duty to grapple with the “very difficult issue” of getting the inflow of foreign labour right – and at the same time maintaining the unique identity of the nation, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

“It is an issue where honestly speaking, there are no easy choices. There are trade-offs,” said Mr Lee, speaking on Friday (Jul 31) in a television interview with Ambassador-at-Large Chan Heng Chee, chairman of the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities.

“I would like to keep this a Singapore-Singapore … it has to maintain that Singapore character.”

— The Manpower Ministry is looking at ways to help companies transfer expertise and know-how from foreign professionals to the local workforce, said Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, as he spelt out what the ministry is doing to help strengthen the Singaporean core in the workplace.

Mr Lim said in Parliament on Monday (Jul 13) that his ministry is doing a closer analysis of the national Jobs Bank, including the number of jobs that are eventually taken up by Singaporean Professionals, Managers and Executives (PMEs).

The process, he said, will help authorities identify early signs of skills deficit among the local workforce. The information would be shared with sectoral tripartite partners to look into manpower development plans.

Zorro: Sotong or trying to sotong us over FT, local numbers

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 24/08/2015 at 4:25 am

Shielding Workers

But first, dare PM, Zorro, Kee Chui or anyone in the PAP or the NTUC dare say they are safeguarding S’poreans’ jobs or wages? (Sorry, the image can’t appear in the post: OK in draft. Go to http://www.theguardian.com/books/gallery/2015/aug/08/the-bodleian-treasures-online-in-pictures and scroll down) (I’ll leave PM’s outrageous attempt at misrepresenting our views on FTs for another day)

Let’s look at the facts of job protection for locals here. I”ll let Manpower Minister (and previously NTUC head) Lim Swee Say speak first.

In an interview last week,  said that the government will hold fast to its goal of having a two-thirds Singaporean core in the economy, and this will be the structure of the country’s workforce in the “medium to long term”. BS

NCMP Yee says Lim talking cock over optimistic view of maintaining 1/3 FTs in “medium to long term” For starters, FT workforce already more than 1/3

On his blog [Link] on 21 Aug, JJ pointed out that former Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin had admitted that the one-third FT target is possible only for this decade, during a Parliamentary debate 2 years ago.

“That I agree with.”

“Whilst doing our own computations for alternative models, we had then studied all the publicly available numbers about population in Singapore. There will be net addition to the local workforce from 2013 till 2020, the end of this decade. This is because there will be more Singaporeans turning of age to be included into the workforce than there are Singaporeans retiring.”

He noted that beyond 2020, in order to get the kind of economic growth the PAP government had wanted in the White Paper, there has to be more addition of foreign labour without any addition of local manpower.

“How much to add will depend on productivity growth, which the government had set a target of 2-3%. Sadly, this productivity growth has been near zero or negative in recent years.”

He therefore questioned Lim’s talk of maintaining the 2:1 ratio of Singaporean to foreign workers in Singapore’s workforce in the “medium to long term”.

“So, Mr Lim’s comments that the two-thirds Singaporean core will be something for the  ‘medium to long term’ is rather puzzling. What is ‘medium to long term’?”

“His predecessor (Tan Chuan-Jin) had already agreed with me that ‘by 2020 our own domestic labour force growth will basically end up at about zero. So whatever growth we have thereafter will largely be foreign labour growth’ and that ‘it (foreign workforce) is really about one-third for this decade until about 2020.”

Worse, the proportion of local work force seems to be decreasing while that of foreign work force is increasing.

“At the point that I had asked the question in March 2013, based on available manpower data of 2012, locals made up 63.0% of the workforce. By 2014, this figure has dropped to 61.9%. It was 62.1% in 2013 (Source: http://stats.mom.gov.sg/Pages/Labour-Force-Summary-Table.aspx).”

Mid 2012 Mid 2013 Mid 2014
Total Workforce (‘000) 3,361.8 3,443.7 3,530.8
Local Workforce (‘000) 2,119.6 2,138.8 2,185.2
% Local 63.0% 62.1% 61.9%

In other words, as of last year, the proportion of foreign workers in our work force was already 38.1%, more than 1/3.

“Is Mr Lim’s definition of long-term up to 2020 only? If it is beyond 2020, how is he going to achieve that because even with a growing local workforce in this current decade, the ratio has been declining well past the two-thirds ratio already while productivity has failed to improve?”

Hear, hear for JJ, This is the kind of questioning I expect when I voted for WP at the last GE.

Back to the interview. Zorro said that the tightening of Singapore’s foreign manpower was not a reaction to past mistakes, but was rather a reflection that realities had changed. The inflow of foreign manpower was a hot topic during the 2011 General Election, and Mr Lim identified the “determination to manage” the growth of the foreign workforce here as the key shift in manpower policy since.

“It’s not so much because the policy of the past was a mistake but rather, we are now having a new stage of growth and therefore we have to pursue a new direction,” he said.

Oh how very convenient that “a new stage of growth” comes at a politically convenient time?

If anyone believes this, they’ll believe anything.

He went on to say, “Every country has to find the right balance … But on the whole, I would say that we have managed the process a lot more effectively compared to some other cities and countries. Through the manpower quota system, we have ensured foreign manpower spread across all sectors and companies.”

Manpower quota system? As TRE pointed out: for foreign PMETs, that is, foreign EP holders, there is no quota imposed in Singapore.

In the US, for example, the congress controlled their H-1B visa (equivalent to Singapore’s EP) for foreigners tightly. The current US law limits to 65,000 the number of foreign nationals who may be issued a H-1B visa each fiscal year. US laws also exempt up to 20,000 foreign nationals holding a master’s or higher degree from US universities from the cap on H-1B visas. In addition, excluded from the ceiling are all H-1B foreign workers who work at universities, non-profit research facilities associated with universities, and government research facilities. Universities can employ an unlimited number of foreign workers as cap-exempt. This also means that contractors working at but not directly employed by the institutions may be exempt from the cap as well. In FY2010, 117,828 H-1B visas were issued by US government. In FY2012, it was 135,991 [Link].

In Singapore, for example, the figures given by the government for the number of EP holders at the end of 2010 and 2011 were 142,000 and 176,000. That means, there is an increase of 34,000 foreign EP holders in Singapore in 2011 [Link]. If we were to add in S-Pass holders, the increase in number of foreign PMETs in 2011 came to 49,000. That’s already almost half of what the whole of US issued in FY2010.

Also, spouses of H-1B visa holder in US are not allowed to work at all. But in Singapore, spouses of EP holders can work through obtaining a Dependant’s Pass [Link].

Coming back to the protection of jobs and wages, it would seem that the PAP and NTUC can safely say that they are protecting FTs jobs and wages here, given the absence of quotas for employment pass holders. What do you think?

SDP’s Dr Paul Tambyah said something recently that deserves to be very widely known. At a recent forum organised by the National University of Singapore Society where representatives from nine opposition parties and the ruling PAP were present, Dr Paul Tambyah said that young local doctors complaining about the hours and working conditions in hospitals, were told that the hospitals could always employ FTs at lower salaries. If our brightest citizens (even straight As can’t get into the local medical schools)  are threatened with FT replacements, what about the Vocational Institutes’ grads?

Yet at the forum Sim Ann representing the PAP said, “We always put SGs front and centre.”

I ask again, “If our brightest and most expensively educated get threatened with being replaced by cheaper FTs, are the Normal streamers safe?”

Problem S’pore, PAP face

In Economy, EDB, Political economy, Political governance on 16/08/2015 at 4:56 am

Creativity and innovation drive global business today. Capital is just one resource, important, but no longer the major differentiator.”

– Peter Georgescu, the chairman emeritus of Young & Rubicam.

For all their academic brilliance Ah Loong and team have not advanced beyond tinkering with the framework that Dr Goh Keng Swee, Hon Swee Sen and Albert Winsemius devised. Evolution is fine to a point. But surely the world has undergone revolutionary change. When they were constructing their model of serving MNCs as a path to grow the economy, serving MNCs was “neo-colonialism”. Today even Red China serves as as the MNCs’ factory.

And many of our PMEs have not gone beyond thinking like clerks, hence they are easily replicable by cheaper FTs?

 

 

 

SG50: Who really built S’pore?/ A poet for S’pore?

In Economy on 07/07/2015 at 5:02 am

Certainly not Harry, nor the old guard. They played their part in building S’pore.

It was the common man* (and woman with apologies to JG and Passerby) who did it, and are still doing it despite not being paid million-dollar ministerial salaries, and despite being cursed by cybernuts for being slaves.

This has always been the case: the ordinary people did the great deeds that “great” men are credited with.

So said Bertolt Brecht  a leading 20th century German poet, playwright, and theatre director. He was a transforming playwright, and theatre director. He was also the kind of guy our Harry would have had locked up: he was a Marxist even if he had problems with the East German authorities. (Btw, he was Hollywood screen writer when he gled to the US to escape the Nazis. He returned to East Germany after WWII)

A Worker Reads History

Who built the seven gates of Thebes?
The books are filled with names of kings.
Was it the kings who hauled the craggy blocks of stone?
And Babylon, so many times destroyed.
Who built the city up each time? In which of Lima’s houses,
That city glittering with gold, lived those who built it?
In the evening when the Chinese wall was finished
Where did the masons go? Imperial Rome
Is full of arcs of triumph. Who reared them up? Over whom
Did the Caesars triumph? Byzantium lives in song.
Were all her dwellings palaces? And even in Atlantis of the legend
The night the seas rushed in,
The drowning men still bellowed for their slaves.

Young Alexander conquered India.
He alone?
Caesar beat the Gauls.
Was there not even a cook in his army?
Phillip of Spain wept as his fleet
was sunk and destroyed. Were there no other tears?
Frederick the Great triumphed in the Seven Years War.
Who triumphed with him?

Each page a victory
At whose expense the victory ball?
Every ten years a great man,
Who paid the piper?

So many particulars.
So many questions.

http://allpoetry.com/A-Worker-Reads-History

It’s the common man (and woman with apologies to JG and Passerby) that does great deeds.

Another poem that is very relevant here what with the still very liberal immigration policies:

“Die Lösung” (The Solution), a disillusioned Brecht writes:

After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in theStalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts.

Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/rewriting-lkys-views-on-fts-and-if-so-why/

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/ngiam-galileo-galilei-gen-giap/

——

*To be fair to the PAP administration, the Pioneer Generation is getting some decent goodies. My ninety something mum (property, share owner) is still marveling she only gets charged $7  when she goes to a polyclinic for her regular check-up and medicine. But then there is a GE coming. But to be fair, her shares and property have done well because we had Harry as the boss for a long time.

If MoM is really serious about jobs for S’poreans

In Internet, Uncategorized on 17/06/2015 at 4:38 am

Employers and jobless  S’porean PMEs KPKB about the difficulty to fill available vacancies because the unemployed have difficulties knowing waz available, while employers don’t know what experience is outb there.. Even NTUC says, echoing the public, that merely requiring employers to post an advert on the MOM Jobs Bank for 2 weeks does not necessarily do anything to ensure S’poreans are employed before foreigners partly because of the way the system works in matching jobs to those looking for jobs.

Matching those looking for jobs with the vacancies is a world-wide problem, not unique to S’pore.

Here’s a solution that suggests using online dating software (modified of course).

Economists believe that much of this difficulty lies in matching the supply of graduates to the available jobs. In 2010 Peter Diamond, Dale Mortensen and Christopher Pissarides won the economics Nobel prize by demonstrating that unemployment can stay high in times of vacancies. It is not possible to assume that buyers and sellers of labour immediately find each other; in many markets this only happens after a costly and lengthy search process. To understand this problem, economists have started to look in a surprising direction for inspiration: online dating.

With its complex matching processes, costs of looking around, and emotional highs-and-lows, a job search shares many characteristics with the world of virtual love (or virtual world of love). In both, there are search costs. It takes time and effort to create an online dating profile, just as it takes time and effort to create a curriculum vitae. And then there is the problem of so-called “mutual choosing options”. Those looking for love and careers cannot simply make their choice and be done with it; they need the person or employer they like to also pick them as well.

But if digital dating suffers from many of the same afflictions as the graduate job market, it may also offer solutions. In 2012 Sean Rad, a college dropout, created Tinder, which shows users photos of potential suitors nearby and matches those who mutually “like” each other’s pictures. Now it has accumulated over 50m users.

As a result, graduate recruiters are falling over themselves to copy the idea. Among the new crop is Switch, which allows candidates to thumb through job listings: flick left if uninterested and right to register for a potential work match. A competitor, Jobr, which also employs the swipe-if-you-like model, uses information from LinkedIn to recommend jobs that candidates might find interesting. Since its launch last year, Jobr has submitted more than 100,000 job applications for its members each month. Large firms are joining in, too. Last year, Zappos, an online retailer based in Nevada, scrapped formal job postings and replaced them with a new site encouraging candidates to engage with each other and the firm in a way not dissimilar to existing online-dating forums.

For the anxious 21-year-old leaving campus for the last time, the worlds of economics and online dating have a few lessons. First, pick a thick market. Just as the most successful lonely hearts go to the apps with the highest-number of potential suitors, so should graduates also head to where the most job opportunities are. Second, just as online daters “signal” their qualities by posting photos, job applicants should also try to communicate their strengths to employers effectively. And finally, settle. Expend the costs of searching for a partner or job only if those costs are outweighed by the expected benefits of a new opportunity or lover. Who said economics wasn’t romantic?

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2015/06/graduates-and-employment

MoM if it really prefers locals to FTs can fund some software development. Or maybe NTUC?

Maybe Richard Wan (MD of of software developer) of TRE could also do something along these lines, sourcing funds from the cybernuts who infest TRE . Juz joking, pigs will fly first before the cybernuts fund anything*.

Meanwhile TeamTRE has to fund itself while also working for free to give Goh Meng Seng (founder member of the Cynernut Movement) and his fellow nutters the opportunity to help the PAP win votes from the swing voters.

Related post

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/smartphone-way-of-short-listing-300-from-33000-job-applicants/

*Reminds me of Amos’s ang moh tua kee friends? Where Amos Yee was absolutely right was when he F***ed the ang moh tua kees that were posturing on social media about how concerned they were about him, while he rotted in remand: none offered bail.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/amos-talk-is-cheap-very-cheap-harry-really-needs-no-monument/

The ang moh tua kees and the cybernuts are related? Talk cock, sing song.

 

Smartphone way of short-listing 300 from 33,000 job applicants

In China on 13/06/2015 at 5:14 am

An ang moh company wanted to recruit people from the less elite unis in China. This is what it did

This year, the 33,000 applicants for the 70 places on the company’s Chinese graduate recruitment scheme have been asked to save themselves the paper, the printer ink and the pain.

Instead, they were asked to answer three simple questions via their smartphones.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-31617597

Shouldn’t this mum get serious money?/ Don’t let kids suffer for mum’s sins

In Political governance, Public Administration on 03/06/2015 at 4:49 am

In S’pore, money talks, BS walks as Amos Yee pointed out when castigating the good-hearted kay pohs, anti-PAP ang moh tua kees like Roy Ngerng, Shelly Thio, Lynn Lee and Kirsten Han who did everything to help him except stand bail. Since then, they have become very quiet about him. When asked about “Amos Yee, freedom fighter, Harry slimer”, they mumble that he went beyond the pale ’cause of the false accusation he made that his bailor molested him, and his flip flops about an apology.

Why do you think, they treat him like a leper? Because that the slimer of Harry turns out to be foul-mouth brat who speaks the truth about the hypocrisy of the ang moh tua kees, and not a knight in shining armour out to defeat the evil dragon Harry?

Seriously given the exhort ions to S’poreans to breed more, and the incentives given to couples breed, it’s surprising that this lady with six kids is in such dire straits. She should be paid prize money for having six kids, not made to suffer, for having six of them.

She is a 29-year-old unemployed single mother with six children from five to 13 years old. She lives in a tiny flat, just 30 square metres, with little furnishing.

There is no dining table, so the children eat their otah-otah with rice and chillies crouched on the floor.

The children share the single bedroom – their only bedding is mattresses and thick blankets. Nurhaida sleeps on the sofa in the living room.

She receives weekly groceries from charities, as well as about S$600 ($474, £262) a month in government aid and money from a boyfriend. But she admits that it is difficult to make ends meet. She has not been able to afford asthma medicine for her second daughter for months.

“No one can afford to get sick in this house because our finances are too tight. It’s quite tough and a struggle for me to be raising them up,” she said.

“I have to look after this house 24/7… so for me if I were to find a job, it would have to be a night job, so that once they are in bed, I can go out and the older kids can watch the young ones.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26349689

Sad for the kids too.

We don’t know whether she had some or all of the kids out of wedlock. But if the govt can on pragmatic grounds decide not to prosecute under 377A (despite saying that the majority of S’poreans have public morality problems with gays), why can’t it ignore any issues of public morality in her case and provide her with more funding. And if she had the kids in wedlock, then the govt’s behaviour is disgusting.

Whatever the circumstances of the case, the govt  should give her a free four room flat. After all she is doing something that the govt wants S’poreans to do: breed more. If more were like her, we’d not need FTs. But then maybe taz the real reason for not funding her: the PAP administration wants FTs.

And she can’t be a bad mom because if she was one I’m sure my RI PreU class-mate, Ang Bee Lian, would have made orders to remove the children from her care.

 

Minimum wages, Productivity: Ministers talk rubbish

In Economy, Financial competency on 01/06/2015 at 10:15 am

Minimum wages

Ministers like to point out to the German industrial system (world class SMEs, R&D, apprentice system, productivity, employer union co-operation) as a model that S’pore is folllowing or trying to. After all we are the Prussians of Asia: dour, prickly, and efficent (es SMRT).

Err so why not minimum wages here? The Germans introduced a minimum wage this year, and the economy’s still powering ahead.

Germany’s labour market is defying orthodox economic wisdom. For years, most mainstream economists warned that a proposed minimum wage of 8.50 euros per hour would price up to a million workers out of their jobs. But so far the wage floor, which came into force in January, has not stopped Europe’s largest economy from churning out additional jobs.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2015/05/29/german-job-miracle-keeps-defying-gloom-mongers/

Related post

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/higher-minimum-wage-lower-unemployment/

Productivity

Following up on https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/improving-productivity-try-this-pm-tharman-possible-reasons-for-peanuts-real-wages-growth/, the latest findings by experts like Stephen Cecchetti, an economist at the Brandeis International Business School, have found that a very large financial sector tends to precede weaker growth in productivity. “When pay on Wall Street is so high relative to the rest of the economy, you’re creating incentives for people to go into that industry that may not be the best for society over all,” Mr. Cecchetti said.

Or as  recent paper by him says high-growth financial industries hurt the broader economy by dragging down overall growth and curbing productivity.

But you can have too much of a good thing. The 2012 paper suggests that when private sector debt passes 100% of GDP, that point is reached. Another way of looking at the same topic is the proportion of workers employed by the finance sector. Once that proportion passes 3.9%, the effect on productivity growth turns negative. Ireland and Spain are cases in point. During the five years beginning 2005, Irish and Spanish financial sector employment grew at an average annual rate of 4.1% and 1.4% respectively; output per worker fell by 2.7% and 1.4% a year over the same period.

Note

— Domestic credit to private sector (% of GDP) in Singapore was last measured at 112.57 in 2011, according to the World Bank. Domestic credit to private sector refers to financial resources provided to the private sector, such as through loans, purchases of nonequity securities, and trade credits and other accounts receivable, that establish a claim for repayment.

The financial sector employs about 5% of the total workforce.

No wonder the PAP administration has always wanted to link pay rises to productivity? They know that in an economy where finance is so important, productivity increases are not possible?

More details below*

The u/m is typical of what the PAP admin says about productivity:

Even as the Singapore economy grew moderately well at a “new normal” for 2014, Singapore is falling behind in productivity, said Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang … Singapore is “not achieving the two to three percent (labour productivity) growth rate that we’re aiming for”.

The 10-year annual target set by the Economic Strategies Committee for 2010 to 2020, however, has remained unchanged.

Data released on Tuesday (17th Feb) showed that Singapore’s labour productivity fell by 0.8 percent in 2014 – marking the third consecutive year of decline for productivity. Mr Lim said it reflects a mixed picture, with the externally-oriented sectors doing well, and the domestic sectors faring poorly.

“In some some sectors, the performance is very decent; for example in the financial services and insurance sector, productivity growth is above 2 per cent per year. Because they are facing international competition, they have to restructure quickly”

However, he pointed out that the domestic sector is still not showing “very good results”. This was particularly in the manpower-dependent areas of construction, retail, as well as food and beverage.

… voiced concern about the transport engineering sector ,,,”this is a very cyclical business and now with oil prices coming down, their order book is still good for the next three years. But there will be a down cycle soon, and that will affect their productivity if they don’t restructure fast enough.”

And to help businesses, the Minister said the government has rolled out programmes on a broad scale, such as the Productivity and Innovation Credit scheme, as well as more targeted approachs like SPRING Singapore’s Capability Development Programme where individual companies get advice on their business growth.**

———–

people who might have become scientists, who in another age dreamt of curing cancer or flying to Mars, today dream of becoming hedge fund managers

In short, the finance sector lures away high-skilled workers from other industries. The finance sector then lends the money to businesses, but tends to favour those firms that have collateral they can pledge against the loan. This usually means builders and property developers. Businessmen are lured into this sector rather than into riskier projects that require high R&D spending and have less collateral to pledge. On a related note, see our recent Free Exchange on how bank lending has become more focused on residential property.

A property boom then develops. But property is not a sector marked by high productivity growth; it can lead to the misallocation of capital in the form of empty Miami condos or Spanish apartments. In a sense, this echoes the research of Charles Kindleberger who showed that bubbles are formed in the wake of rapid credit expansion or Hyman Minskywho argued that economic stability can lead to financial instability as financiers take more risk. And it reinforces the recent McKinsey report which shows that too much total debt (not just government debt) can be bad.

In specific terms, the authors suggest that

R&D-intensive industries – aircraft, computing and the like – will be disproportionately harmed when the financial sector grows quickly. By contrast, industries such as textiles or iron and steel, which have low R&D intensity, should not be adversely affected

The paper looks at two indicators for finance sector growth – the ratio of bank assets to GDP and that of total private credit to GDP. For industries, they examined financial dependence (the need for outside capital to finance growth rather than retained cashflows) and the R&D intensity. They find quite a large effect.

The productivity of a financially dependent industry located in a country experiencing a financial boom tends to grow 2.5% a year slower than a financially independent industry not experiencing such a boom.

This is highly significant, given that most developed economies would love to gain 2.5 points of productivity especially in a world where demography may be constraining growth.

As the authors conclude

there is a pressing need to reassess the relationship of finance and real growth in modern economic systems

This seems right given the whole focus since 2008 has been about reviving and stabilising the banking sector so it can lend to small businesses. Instead (or at least as well) it should have been about channelling finance to those industries that can expand and employ more workers. On this point, it is encouraging that the European Commission has issued a green paper on capital markets union today, hoping to diversify the financing of small businesses away from banks. But perhaps the last word should be left to Winston Churchill, who spotted this problem nearly 90 years ago when he said that

I would rather see finance less proud and industry more content

**Heck I might as well include what he said about the economy

The usual BS (Since then: On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualised basis, the economy expanded at a slower pace of 1.1 per cent compared to the 4.9 per cent in the preceding quarter, according to advanced estimates from the Ministry of Trade and Industry.)

Based on advanced estimates, the Republic’s economy grew by 2.1 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2015, announced the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) in a press release on Tuesday (Apr 14). This is the same rate of growth as achieved in the previous quarter, it added.)

But in February, the MTI minister said:

Forecast realistic? 

When asked if the official forecast of 2 to 4 per cent economic growth in 2015 is realistic, Mr Lim said: “This is our typical range going forward, around 2 to 4 per cent … so this is the kind of new normal that we are aiming at and this year we expect growth at about the same rate as last year, because the global environment is still challenging.”

He noted that the US was the main driver of growth for last year, and is likely to remain so this year. “Essentially it’s only the US economy that’s doing well. Europe and Japan are having a big challenge and China is managing to have a soft landing at best. So the external environment is at best slightly better than last year, but not that much better.”

“HIGHER QUALITY GROWTH”

Looking ahead to the Economic Strategies Committee’s target of 3 to 5 per cent annual growth for Singapore between 2010 and 2020, Minister Lim said that “if you look at our performance in the 10 years between 2000 and 2010, the economy grow around 6 per cent per year. But if you look at the last 4 years we are averaging around 3 per cent.”

He added that the government had worked towards slower, but higher quality growth. This included reducing the flow of foreign workers, and growing at half the rate that the country did 10 years ago.

One bright spot for the economy this year could be in oil prices. Mr Lim said the recent monetary easing by the Monetary Authority of Singapore was in response to the drop in commodity prices, and a low inflation environment. As a result, exports should benefit from a lower Singapore dollar.

“Lower oil prices, we think its net plus for the economy, because we are an oil importing country, it’s a net plus for the businesses because electricity prices will come down, transport prices will come down. So businesses will do much better their input costs will come down”

But Mr Lim also cautioned that the low interest rate environment would end soon, “it’s likely that in the US the interest rate will be raised sometime this year…at some point in time, we must adjust to a more normal situation where interest rates have to reflect the cost of people lending you money.” He added that this is the reason why MAS has taken steps in the last few years to ensure personal debt remains healthy.

Amid the uncertainties in the global economy, Mr Lim said the focus for Singapore’s economy as she celebrates her golden jubilee is to perhaps emulate the US economy.

“We are having a more developed economy structure, our demographics are very similar to Japan and Europe – we are ageing very rapidly. So how do we try to have an economy that is more innovative, more dynamic, more like the US economy and less like the European and Japanese economy. That’s our big challenge.”

Ello’s relations will be flooding in

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Degree mills are scams, not unaccredited institutions

In Public Administration on 21/05/2015 at 4:42 am

In response to https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/mom-thinks-we-that-stupid-or-they-really-that-stupid/, a regular reader and most intelligent commenter explained why degree mills are not “unaccredited institutions” as Zorro and the staff at MoM is insisting the are. He says (Emphasis is mine. My comments are within [ ] in normal print):

Aiyah, it is factually wrong to say all degree mills are unaccredited institutions. Why?? Because degree mills are mutually exclusive from all & any educational institutions. You can say that unaccredited institutions are a subset of educational institutions, but it is false to say that degree mills are a subset of educational institutions.

[Zorro and his officials are talking cock, real cock. Meritocracy? What meritocracy?]

Degree mills are scam jobs, pure & simple, just like pyramid schemes. The perpetrators know it and the consumers know it. Any person with average intelligence who participates in it will realise something is not right, even if he benefits. A consumer who pleads innocence and “sincerely believes it is genuine” is merely being disingenuous and acting in self-preservation.

[Heard that IDA about its beloved new citizen Nisha.]

And yeah it’s easier (& cheaper) to fake work experience than fake degrees. In my younger days, I was bumming around doing odd jobs & contract jobs for about 2 years in-between “real jobs”. When I went for job interviews later, I got so fedup with having to explain & justify my 2 years “hole” in my resume that I put in fake work experience with a fake company. And I got a good pal to act as my ex-supervisor in case any prospective company wanted to check. No company ever checked & my pal never got any calls.

Lim Swee Say also says that MOM conducts 100% checks on papers from known unaccredited institutions or degree mills. What about fake degrees obtained from degree mills?? I can get a bona-fide look & feel posh degree scroll + academic transcripts from the University of Sydney by paying some Peenoi degree mill US$350. US$500 if I also want someone to impersonate as my professor with Aussie accent & fake Uni letterheads & fake email account to act as my reference.

[If you think the last two para are rants,

Woman entered Singapore under false identities

She had fled over fake degree, but returned using various passports

She fled the country after being charged in 2002 with using a fake degree to apply for permanent residency. But that did not stop Lin Lifen, 39, from repeatedly coming back to Singapore over the next 12 years using different identities. She is now appealing against a 16-week jail sentence for her offences.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/woman-entered-singapore-under-false-identities-20150520#sthash.2Ye39gOg.7aaisx26.dpuf%5D

And all these doesn’t even touch the millions of sub-par & 3rd-rate ahneh, cheena, peenoy, burmese graduates from the mass of “accredited universities” that have so lax academic & ethical standards that you can get 1st class honours 4.0 GPA without studying if you’re willing to prostitute yourself, either with your body or with your money.

[Steady bro, don’t want FT lovers and ang moh tua kees like Kirsten Han and Lynn Lee making police complaints against this blog. LOL]

Foreign brides cause social problems? FT families don’t? WTF!

In Political governance on 20/05/2015 at 4:18 am

Foreign brides cause social problems even though sons do NS like their fathers?

But FT families can come in by the cattle truck load and then sons can avoid NS like what new citizen  two timing Raj was planning to do? And FT fathers don’t do NS.

Wah lan PAP sure love FTs.

Those tots crossed my mind when I read some of ESM Goh’s comments at the launch of the Social Service Research Centre (SSR), National University of Singapore on Friday (24 Apr).

He said more older men are at his MPS asking for a long-term visit pass or permanent residency for their younger, foreign wife. He worried about potential problems resulting from such marriages and their effects on children and society. (ESM Goh Chok Tong told the audience that he could see “an avalanche of social issues coming” of which foreign wives was one. See below for details.*)

Well given the problems that the PAP’s very liberal immigration policies have resulted in new citizens like two timing Raj, fake degree holder and celebrated new citizen model IDA employee Nisha, and Roy Ngerng’s sidekick Han Hui Hui; and PRs who beat up taxi drivers and rob locals: WHY single out the problems that can happen when S’porean men marry younger, foreign women**?

The men are true blue S’porean men who have done NS. Surely, we as a society (and in particular the PAP) should try to accommodate them what with them spending two years to provide cheap labour to the PAP administration? And whose sons will do NS.

Here’s a Mother’s Day Tribute that appeared on FB to foreign born mums with S’porean kids which I agree with

There are many Singapore citizens whose mothers are living in Singapore on long-term-visit-passes. Some of these male citizens have even served their national service. These LTVP mothers appear not to have as much “merit” as some foreign students with no blood ties to Singapore. The reverence for mothers and motherhood that some in Singapore society and leadership proclaim, is to me the epitome of hypocrisy.

As a citizen of Singapore, I apologise to all LTVP mothers for this lapse in our national integrity. May your acknowledgement come swiftly.

————————-

*He said, “I can see an avalanche of social issues coming. We started out young and hungry, poor and illiterate. Now we are relatively affluent and educated, older and perhaps less energetic.”

“The social challenges of Singaporeans in the next 50 years will be drastically different from those in the last 50. We need to think ahead of the curve, and evolve a new social service infrastructure,” he added.

Mr Goh is advisor to the newly launched SSR.

He said that Singapore has undergone a sea change and it is now shaped by 3 major shifts in the areas of demography, technology and social expectations.

Mr Goh identified 3 key drivers of the current social climate change in Singapore:

1. Ageing Population

Mr Goh said Singapore has an ageing and declining population, and a big jump in cross-border marriages across cultures and socio-economic groups.

He mentioned that more older men are at his MPS asking for a long-term visit pass or permanent residency for their younger, foreign wife. He worried about potential problems resulting from such marriages and their effects on children and society.

2. Social Media

The second is the use of mobile smart devices and social media, which will influence how people interact with each other, he said.

Already, even the elderly are using smart phones in their daily lives.

3. Rise of Middle Class

Third, many more Singaporeans count themselves as middle class now, he noted.

But with this comes mid-life insecurity and fear about their economic future and their children’s, he said.

Also, expectations tend to increase as more Singaporeans become middle-class income earners.

NUS provost Tan Eng Chye said the centre was timely as it comes amid growing public scrutiny of social issues here. SSR will work with policy makers and social service agencies to pilot social programmes.

(CNA)

**Didn’t that stelwart of the PAP, Dr Gog Keng Swee, divorce his wife and married a M’sian born much younger lady? If he can, why can’t lesser mortals?

MoM thinks we that stupid? Or they really that stupid

In Public Administration on 19/05/2015 at 4:15 am

Or they juz trying their luck, throwing smoke, hoping to confuse S’poreans? And hoping smoke also protects FTs with fake degrees?

I mean if people fake their qualifications, why should they be trusted not to fake their work experience (see Zorro’s comments in parly below*? I would say even likeier because it is easier to fake work experience than to fake qualifications.  They could pay ex-supervisors or ex-employers to issue fake reports on his experiences, etc. Or they could fake reports themselves. How to verify meh?

On to something very serious: Not all unaccredited institutions are degree mills

A TRE reader points out there is a difference between an “unaccredited” institution and a degree mill, and that it’s wrong for MoM to say that they are the same: The Ministry of Manpower is now trying to pass off degree mills as “unaccredited schools” through its infographic (link). (In the extract* below, Zorro says the same thing as his staff: As for qualifications obtained from an unaccredited institution (degree mill) …)

The TRE reader goes to explain that while all degree mills are unaccredited institutions, not all unaccredited institutions are degree mills citing our very own SIM and SMU who are “unaccredited” in NZ.

SIM, SMU, which both teach undergraduate courses in Singapore, are by all means bona fide educational establishments. Their courses require rigour and a level of standard befitting a tertiary qualification. Ask any SIM or SMU graduate and they will tell you there was nothing fake about their educational experience at these institutions. They were required to submit assignments, pass exams, and complete internships if the course calls for one.

That said, both SIM and SMU are considered “unaccredited” universities in New Zealand for the purpose of immigration and/or employment in licensed sectors for example, teaching, health and law. I am sure SMU or SIM graduates will strongly disagree that it is because their course is not rigorous or of a poor standard. More importantly, their course was not fake. The “unaccredited” status just means New Zealand authority has little understanding of the rigour of these courses and their entry requirements or deems the learning outcomes are not at a level New Zealand recognises as compatible to the skills the country seeks in its immigrants and workforce. This, in no way illegitimise the qualifications from these institutions.

A qualification obtained from a degree mill, on the other hand, reeks of non-existent education experience and absent rigour. Degree mills have long been considered fraudulent schemes which are really “dollar for paper” printing machine. One need not mug through exams or sweat through assignments. There probably aren’t much course readings to do, even. There is no internship or practicum to speak of. The tuition fee you pay does not give you face-to-face support from a tutor or lecturer, not even by distance through Skype. What it does give you is that piece of paper to “qualify” you as a graduate in a certain field of study whether you have actually studied it or not.

Degree mills are not new. They have been around for many decades. Singaporeans had previously not heard much of it because the laws of our land are so strict that few would contemplate jeopardising their future by buying into such a scheme**. We have been brought up to mug, to burn the midnight oil and to put in the hard mile. The government always prided itself for having built a nation of honest, hardworking citizens with integrity.

The Ministry of Manpower is now trying to pass off degree mills as “unaccredited schools” through its infographic (link). The government may have brought Singaporeans up by the rod but it certainly is handling its adopted children with cotton gloves.

No, I will not let the authority pull wool over my eyes. Degree mills are not merely “unaccredited schools”. They are fraudulent schemes and people who use them to gain entry into our country or workforce should be recognised as such and properly chastised.

Been There Seen It

Thank God for IDA’s and now MoM’s attempts to defend FTs with fake degrees. They are helping to offset the “feel good” factors of Harry’s funeral and the PAP administration’s spending of our money on ourselves that were working in the PAP’s favour in making the ground sweet for GE.

Here’s two constructive suggestions to make us feel good: free “S’pore” Lego kits for all voters, not just teachers, and throw Amos into a cell without internet access and throw away the key.

—-

*“As for qualifications obtained from an unaccredited institution (degree mill) that does not ensure that its students are properly qualified, MOM conducts 100% checks and disregards these qualifications completely,” Mr Lim assured.

“They will have to meet more stringent criteria in terms of experience and salary in order to qualify for the EP or S Pass.”

In other words, foreign applicants with qualifications from degree mills can still qualify for a work pass based only on their experience and salary.”

**I remember a few years back when a degree mill was exposed, ST reported S’poreans who were taken in, resigning from their jobs, before their private sector employers found out and asked them to leave. Some of them had proper degrees and took the “fake” course to better themselves.

Now S’poreans who kanna sien can point out to Nisha and IDA. WTF MoM.

FTs lower wages for UK locals/ Surely same here?

In Economy on 17/05/2015 at 12:26 pm

And it’s for the PAP administration to prove that FTs don’t lower our wages. All the data with the administration, not with us.

It’s not a xenophobic nut in the UK that says foreigners lower wages for locals. It’s the governor of the UK’s central bank.

The Daily Mail summarises Mark Carney’s remarks as “foreign workers drag down UK wages.

And the BBC reports: As long ago as last October, the Bank’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, acknowledged that immigration depresses pay.

He noted that one respected study, by Dustmann, Frattini and Preston, found that each 1% increase in the share of migrants in the working age population leads to a 0.6% decline in the wages of the 5% lowest paid workers.

And to be clear, the general point that an influx of workers from abroad represents a weight on the pay of the indigenous population is a statement of the overwhelmingly obvious: it is simply a version of the law of supply and demand, that the price of anything falls when supply rises relative to demand.

So there is nothing terribly revelatory in Mark Carney saying, at the Bank’s three-monthly news conference on its Inflation Report, that immigration had held down the rise in wages and living standards.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32739852

(Btw, he is a FT in UK. He was governor of the central bank in Canada. During the 2008 financial crisis, Canada did not have any problems in its financial sector.)

But cybernuts note: Mr Carney told the BBC’s Today programme that he would “really dampen down” the argument that foreign workers were to blame for lower productivity.

Btw2, the UK Sun has a pie chart showing that of 573,000 new jobs created in the last year, only 279,000 went to UK workers. Here we can only guess what proportion of new jobs created go to FTs and PRs.

 

PAP administration’s Alice-in-Wonderland policies

In Economy, Political governance, Uncategorized on 08/05/2015 at 3:27 am

Lee Hsien Loong … is trying to persuade the population that they don’t need to go to university to have a good career. After a clampdown on immigration and a slowdown in the economy, he needs fewer graduates and more workers to fill the shipyards, factory floors and hotel desks that keep the country going.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-03/singapore-wants-kids-to-skip-college-good-luck-with-that

Fair enough, except that the PAP administration* at the same time allows FTs in still by the A380 load (used to be by the container load by ship) on the excuse that we need graduate PMEs. The PAP administration wants to further restrict the number of true blue S’poreans getting degrees but then say we need FT graduates? WTF?

Worse, we then have a govt agency (think IDA) defending an FT employee who undeniably has a fake degree on the ground that she didn’t know it was a fake**, and that anyway she got her job because of her first degree from some Indian U, that no S’porean (even from the local Indian community) would ever think of applying to if the S’porean had to study overseas.

Sounds like the PAP administration could be the government in Alice’s Wonderland, not the Red Queen.

As the author of the Alice books was an eminent mathematician, one should not be surprised that our PM has such Alice-like policies.  He graduated from Cambridge University with a first-class degree in mathematics and a diploma in computer science. He can write software to solve Sudoku puzzles. Err what about writing a programme that can explain to voters the “less local grads” policy but more FTs (with fake degrees or sub-standard degrees) policy?

Seriously, if ministers have not been able to calibrate the relatively small number number of local lawyers and doctors to the demands of the economy, how can they realistically try to control the supply of graduates across-the-board to demand?

One can reasonably assume that the “less local grads” policy coupled with the continued welcoming of FTs, fake degrees and all, is meant to “fix” S’poreans in the cause of ensuring that S’pore remains attractive to MNCs because of low costs.

—–

*Harry loved FTs. Maybe, they are the living memorials of Harry? In 1959, only 270,00 out of the 600,000 voters were born here. The PAP is only trying to restore the demographics  to when the PAP came into power.

Interestingly, when one LKY revealed the above fact in 1959, LKY also said,”we must go about our task (of building up a nation) with urgency … of integrating our people now and quickly”. Maybe he repented building a nation of native-borns? https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/when-55-of-voters-were-fts/

**And it seems that the IDA didn’t know that the degree was a fake until netizens pointed that the uni awarding the MBA was a reputable factory mill. Many years ago, a govt agency, Public Service Commission  (I think) had a list of unis whose degrees the govt recognised when employing people. Stat boards and private businesses also used that list. Is there such a list today? If there was such a list, IDA should have known that the degree was a fake.

Err pay peanuts, get best CEO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where China leads, we follow?

In Uncategorized on 20/02/2015 at 5:47 am

[A] senior family planning official in northern Shanxi province believes the one-child policy should be fully relaxed, with all married couples being strongly encouraged have two children.

The comments by Mei Zhiqiang, deputy head of the province’s family planning commission, sparked a heated debate in the papers and social media.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-31450689

We could start by insisting that all married teachers have at least one kid. Two if they want promotion?

Why S’poreans avoid manufacturing jobs

In Economy on 11/02/2015 at 2:08 pm

Esp in SMEs: They are not daft.

The latest figures show the manufacturing sector contracted by 2% in the same period, a reversal of the 1.7% expansion seen in the previous quarter.  On a quarterly basis, manufacturing contracted by 5.8%, the MTI said.

And this very late Dec CNA report paints a gloomy picture of the sector. Better not to work, rely on parents and KPKBed against PAP administration in cyberspace?

The Republic’s manufacturing sector has been undergoing a transition as manufacturers seek to revamp their businesses and move up the value chain. With an uneven global economic outlook, analysts have said growth in the sector could continue to remain depressed.

This year, Singapore manufacturers continued to grapple with rising labour costs and structural shifts in the economy.

Some firms are starting to look ahead, in the hope that regional initiatives such as the ASEAN Economic Community could unlock more opportunities.

Mr Douglas Foo, president of the Singapore Manufacturing Federation, said: “It continues a work in progress in terms of transformation. With the ASEAN Economic Community 2015, there will be on-stream a lot more harmonisation within the whole ASEAN community, and that actually creates a huge opportunity because right now, there are a lot of different barriers, trade barriers and different types of areas which people have to manage and work with in terms of challenges.”

“But with that push at the top end to move and try to harmonise the whole ASEAN Economic Community, I think the manufacturing (sector) will have a very key potential in playing a much bigger role in how you place yourself within that bigger ecosystem,” Mr Foo added.

Electronics – a mainstay of manufacturing – accounts for almost a quarter of output annually. However, the cluster has remained sluggish in 2014, partly due to a global shift in technological preferences from computers to mobile devices.

Economists said restructuring efforts and a concerted shift toward manufacturing services are especially critical for the cluster if it wants to remain relevant.

Mr Francis Tan, an economist from United Overseas Bank, said: “Increasingly, we are seeing semiconductor firms transforming themselves, no longer making the product in Singapore but doing a lot more higher value-added services in Singapore.”

“By that I mean looking at things like research and development, or design or even looking at the logistics distribution or product testing capabilities, and these are actually the kind of services that will attract even higher value-add. And if you attracting even higher value-add, it means you are seeing an increase in the labour productivity, and I think in the long term, this is a good strategy and a good way to go,” he added.

ECONOMISTS WARN OF POSSIBLE PERIOD OF MUTED GROWTH

Looking ahead, economists said an uneven global recovery going into next year would continue to weigh on the manufacturing sector.

With the majority of manufacturing going to Singapore’s external economy, they warned that if global conditions do not pick up, the sector could be in for a period of muted growth.

Ms Selena Ling, head of treasury research and strategy at OCBC Bank, said: “If you still continue to see that uneven growth and demand trajectory you saw in 2014, then you are going to see some of these pockets of volatility in the manufacturing sector.”

“So I am cautiously optimistic but I will not say I am really optimistic about manufacturing per se, because I think the growth story for Singapore going forward is going to be one that is fairly steady, but not quite spectacular. So you will not get any outperformers on a sectoral basis like what manufacturing used to do in the past recoveries,” she added.

Manufacturing remains a key pillar for Singapore, contributing almost 20 per cent of the country’s GDP. In the third quarter of this year, the sector grew 1.9 per cent year-on-year, mainly driven by the biomedical and chemicals sectors.

CNA 26 December 2014

 

Peanuts Goh wrong about monkeys

In Humour, Political governance on 25/01/2015 at 4:35 am

Mr Goh Chok Tong in 1993 said: ‘If we do not pay ministers adequately, we will get inadequate ministers. If you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys for your ministers …”. Apart from the the implication that other than our very own AhLoong, all the world leaders including Obama and Xi are monkeys, the assumption is that monkeys are stupid.

Well, A recent study from Yale University shows that capuchin monkeys, unlike humans, aren’t fooled into thinking that higher price automatically implies better quality (these were experimental monkeys who did have to pay for some of their food).

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30655616

If he can get the intelligence of monkeys so very wrong, what else can he get wrong?

Btw, the following reflects badly on people like Grace Fu, Jos Teo and Hen, The study of our primate relatives may help us understand happiness. We know, for example, that sharing of food and favours takes place amongst primates and assumptions have been made that this was always about a clear exchange of one favour for another. But a recent study from the Yerkes National Primate Research Center has noted that monkeys exchange reciprocal favours without necessarily keeping track of who did what for whom. 

Don’t they talk of the need for serious money to get gd ministers? Well monkeys do things for others without calculating the cost, so why can’t Jos, Grace and Fu?.They not as unselfish as monkeys?

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/assumption-behind-reasonable-pay-for-ministers-badly-flawed-whats-reasonable-pay-for-this-civic-service/

Pinoy and PRC diplomatic behaviour contrasted

In Uncategorized on 09/01/2015 at 4:58 am

(Or “Pinoy Pride at work: OK for Pinoys to threaten, insult S’poreans but not vice versa)

The Filipino embassy told a Filipino nurse to be “extra careful with his social media usage”*, days after the nurse, Edz Ello, made some insulting and threatening comments about S’porean on social media. He has alleged that he did not post the comments, alleging that he was hacked.

An intelligent TRE poster (glad to see more of them posting: too many fools talking cock posting rubbish) pointed out the difference between the official Pinoy response and the official Chinese response when a PRC juz flamed S’poreans:

Sunny Day: During dog incident, one of PRC embassy staff Madam Zhou gave stern rebuke to Sun Xu, had asked him to apologize to Singaporeans, NUS, his teachers and friends and everybody. So contrary to Pinoy govt response. You can be sure that Filipino govt soft action means they don’t disagree with ezo ello totally.

I’d add that China is a regional power and is seen by the US as threatening its regional and global hegemony; yet its officials knows how to behave towards a host country. So unlike the Pinoy officals here, whose country has to run crying and grovelling to the US whenever the Pinoy govt threaten China and get kicked in the face by China for their threats against China. And they still wanted in 2012 Chinese tourists to come gamble in Manila?  Btw, Chinese said the country is not safe.

What accounts for the arrogance of the diplomats and Ello here? They think they own the place juz because they think the first “P” in the “PAP” stands for “Pinoy”?

Whatever it is, we know where people like Ello get their inspiration: their diplomata, who refuse to condemn threatening and insulting behaviour when made by Pinoys but are quick to KPKB about“the few Singaporeans” who have lashed out, and condemned the blog that suggested abusing Filipinos.

“I think it was unfair and racist and discriminatory,” he said, adding that the blogger had still not been identified.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-28953147

(My take on the interview https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/pinoy-tua-kee-gives-the-finger-to-govt-meng-seng-2/)

Well shouldn’t he condemn the language used in Ello’s Facebook (even if Ello alleged it wasn’t him), by saying that guests must respect their hosts? Instead the embassy merely tells Ello to be “extra careful with his social media usage”: this could simply mean “keep yr threats and insults about S’poreans among the Pinoy community”?

Maybe the diplomats are like this

We Filipinos are famous for being onion-skinned or easily slighted at perceived insults. While it’s perfectly normal for us to taunt and criticize others, we can’t handle the same when it’s being hurled back at us. Incidents showcasing our extra-sensitivity to insults usually involve a foreigner making either a bonafide racist remark or a humorous jab at us Filipinos. True to form, our reactions would range from righteous indignation to excessive grandstanding. While it is alright to feel incensed, throwing a fit in front of the world would inevitably do us no good at all.

http://www.filipiknow.net/negative-traits-of-filipinos/

—-

*The Philippine embassy in Singapore has told a Filipino nurse to be “extra careful with his social media usage”, days after disparaging remarks about Singaporeans appeared on his Facebook account, which he said was hacked.

The Facebook post called Singaporeans “loosers” (losers) and expressed hope that “disators (disasters) will strike Singapore”. The Tan Tock Seng Hospital nurse has reported to the police that his account was hacked.

The Philippine embassy added that it has reiterated its previous advisories on the use of social media.

“Since the matter is under police investigation, the embassy advised the person concerned to cooperate fully with the SPF (Singapore Police Force).”

Tan Tock Seng Hospital has said it is working with the police on the investigation.

ziliang@sph.com.sg

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/philippine-embassy-reminds-tan-tock-seng-nurse-watch-his#xtor=CS1-10

 

Ello Ello: Pinoy ambassador has nothing to say?

In Uncategorized on 06/01/2015 at 5:31 am

Double standards of the Pinoy leader in S’pore?

The Philippines ambassador to Singapore, Antonio A Morales … expressed concern about “the few Singaporeans” who have lashed out, and condemned the blog that suggested abusing Filipinos.

“I think it was unfair and racist and discriminatory,” he said, adding that the blogger had still not been identified.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-28953147

(My take on the interview https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/pinoy-tua-kee-gives-the-finger-to-govt-meng-seng-2/)

Well, how about the ambasador expressing concern and condemning the fact that Pinoy Ello Ello wants to drive out S’poreans from S’pore and replace them with Pinoys? Or at least since Ello Ello is alleging he was hacked, to remind Pinoys here that they are guests here, not the governing master race, and behave appropriately.  The fuuny thing is that in their home country, the American military are the governing master race: their dollars talk.

But let’s not be too unkind to the Pinoy leader here, when we have someone like William Wan:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/no-nmp-for-600000-sporeans/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/wah-lan-fts-getting-their-very-own-nmp/

Given the PAP administration love of FTs, one wonders why he never was made NMP. Maybe PAP found his love of FTs over S’poreans a tad too much with an election pending?

A Pioneer Generation Foreign Talent

In Uncategorized on 05/01/2015 at 3:00 pm

We need FTs like Krystyn Olszewski, not like the Trashes like the CEO, COO and head of IT at SGX or Pinoy Ello who has problems spelling but can get a job as FT at a local hospital.  .

Krystyn Olszewski was a town planner that played an important part in the development of S’pore’s urban landscape.

This appeared in ST 27/12/2014.

In recognition of their role in the success of Singapore, special tribute is paid to the pioneer generation who contributed to Singapore’s achievements since the early days.
One individual who played a less-known role in Singapore’s early development is my compatriot, Krystyn Olszewski.
He was a Polish architect and town planner who contributed with his craft and expertise to building modern Singapore in its initial years as an independent state.
He was a Pole by birth but Singaporean at heart. He spent here in Singapore a total of 15 active years of his professional career and contributed to the current design of the Lion City in many ways: from the comprehensive long-term city plan for the island’s development to the local project of the Singapore Science Park and the design details of the first MRT stations.
A Pole among Singapore’s pioneers, one may say.
A graduate from the department of architecture of the Warsaw University of Technology, with extensive international experience in regional, urban and transport planning, Mr Olszewski first came to Singapore in 1968 at the invitation of Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
He was a member of a United Nations team of consultants to the State and City Planning Office and was appointed chief designer of Singapore’s Comprehensive Long-Term Concept Plan. The plan was officially announced in 1971 and most of its fundamental proposals have since been successfully implemented, leading to Singapore as we know it now.
It envisaged the development of new townships in a ring formation around the central water catchment area, a network of expressways and a mass rapid transit system to provide islandwide interconnectivity, and a new international airport to be located in Changi. The main features of the plan can already be found on the map drawn and signed by Mr Olszewski in 1969.
On April 9, 1971, The Straits Times quoted Mr Olszewski as a stern advocate of moving the international airport to Changi, in expectation of rapid development of air traffic and the airport’s growth.
In the article, Mr Olszewski also suggested a new traffic arrangement in the city centre, with different levels of pedestrian and motor traffic, special pedestrian lanes and areas as well as a rail-based MRT system. At the same time, appreciating the beauty of Singapore’s central area, he urged for preservation and rehabilitation of parts of Chinatown, retaining the liveliness of the Singapore River and controlling the height of buildings around.
Subsequently, Mr Olszewski acted as UN planning consultant to the Urban Renewal and Development Sub-project when he originated the concept of Marina City. He was also a planning consultant with Jurong Town Corporation and designed the masterplan of the Singapore Science Park in Kent Ridge. He also did pioneering studies on the environmental impact of industrial development.
In 1984, he assumed the position of senior architect with the Mass Rapid Transit Corporation and was responsible for the architectural design and implementation of seven of the elevated MRT stations. It was with great satisfaction that he could witness in 1987 the commencement of MRT system operations – the idea he had helped to put on paper 17 years earlier.
Singapore’s 50th anniversary is an excellent opportunity to celebrate Singapore’s planners and builders. I would like to express a deep hope that Mr Olszewski, whose ideas and designs helped to shape some of the most successful urban features of Singapore, will not be forgotten on that occasion.
I believe that, for example, a street in the city centre that he helped to reshape – or one of the MRT stations that he designed – could be named after him, even if his Polish surname seems difficult to pronounce.
To make it easier, I can suggest a simple method that Mr Olszewski came up with to help his Singaporean friends remember and pronounce his name: He would tell them, all you need to remember is just three English words and say it as if it was one word: “All-chefs-ski”.
stopinion@sph.com.sg
The writer is Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Singapore.
– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/archive/saturday/premium/opinion/story/the-story-polish-architect-singapore-20141227#sthash.bK3zUhFB.dpuf

Ello, Ello thinks we are stupid?

In Uncategorized on 05/01/2015 at 4:57 am

When S’poreans complained to Tan Tock Seng Hospital that a Pinoy radiologist there had ranted about S’poreans on his Facebook page, the hospital reported on Facebook, “Dear all, the staff concerned is one of our nurses. He has reported to the police that his Facebook account has been hacked. We are cooperating with the police on the investigation. Thank you for the alerts and concern.”

Three points about the alleged hacking:

— So easy to hack Facebook meh? My understanding is that Facebook’s defences against hacking are pretty robust and only sophisticated hackers could do such a hacking.

— So why would a sophisticated hacker waste his or her time on an unknown Pinoy FT? Making it seem as though he was insulting S’poreans?

— Seems that anti-S’porean comments have been posted on the now “hacked” FB page in the past. You mean Ello the Pinoy never reads his own FB page? So page has been “hacked” and Ello only juz realised it. He is as clueless as a certain drum-major* from Cathoic High, whose band is alleged to have ignored him because they knew he was wrong, not them?

Seems to me that Ello the Pinoy would be more believable if he had claimed, “Not my page. I’m being fixed.”

Seems to me the Pinoy ambassador who talks provocatively of Filipinos … moving into more sectors of employment at a time when there is mounting concerned that FTs are favoured over locals in the job market has a lot to answer for: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/pinoy-tua-kee-gives-the-finger-to-govt-meng-seng-2/

Pinoys will undoubtedly play the victim, citing fear. Let me remind these professional victims and theit allies like Kirsten Han: there are no goons with guns here. That is the Pinoy way, not the S’porean way.

Productivity: What PM doesn’t tell S’poreans

In Economy on 02/01/2015 at 2:30 pm

PM Lee warned Singaporeans of the economy’s weak productivity after registering a negative 0.5 per cent performance for the third straight year.

Mr Lee reiterated that economic growth remains important for Singapore. While it is “not the be-all and end-all”, growth helps provide resources to improve on social well-being and social safety nets for citizens. (CNA a few days ago).

Well productivity has been a problem here since the days when he became DPM in 1990.

He has tried all the Hard Truths to improve it and failed.

Productivity: The New Age way

Less fear (including fear of losing job to cheaper FTs) and shorter working hours are the key to increased productivity

Life@Work: Why Fear Kills Productivity It’s in any company’s self-interest to create a culture that minimizes fear, Tony Schwartz writes in the Life@Work column.

As the productivity expert Edward Deming once put it: “Drive out fear, so that everyone may work more effectively and productively.” It’s in any company’s self-interest to create a culture that minimizes fear. Obvious as that seems, it isn’t always the intuitive move.

In the endless quest to minimize costs and maximize efficiency, companies demand more of us than ever. But the fatigue and feelings of being overwhelmed that result often push us into survival mode, bring out our worst instincts, and actually diminish our capacity and effectiveness.

Trauma theory has applicability here. “A continuum exists between mental health and mental illness related to the degree of stress a person is forced to endure,” writes Sandra L. Bloom,a psychiatrist and leading thinker in the field of trauma. “To develop normally, children require environmental stress sufficient to promote skills development and mastery experiences (positive stress) combined with sufficient buffering to prevent them from being overwhelmed.”

Adults are no different. The enemy of sustainable productivity is not stress. Rather, it’s the absence of intermittent rest and renewal — and not just physically.

At the emotional level, the most powerful source of renewal is the experience of feeling valued and appreciated, which explains why studies consistently show that the most engaged employees are those who answer “yes” to the survey question “My boss genuinely cares about my well-being.” When leaders deeply care, it serves their own interests as well as their employees.

Conversely, leaders who express anger, frustration and impatience – even in relatively small doses – may prompt action, but those emotions also drive their employees into states of fear and survival. People perform best when they feel best. Leaders’ negative emotions not only leave a long tail, but also progressively deplete the reservoir of capacity and motivation their employees bring to the table.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/12/05/reduce-fear-to-create-a-calmer-productive-workplace/

Reducing hours

Reducing hours, say, from 55 to 50 hours a week, would have had only small effects on output. The results are even starker when we are talking about very long working hours. Output at 70 hours of work differed little from output at 56 hours. That extra 14 hours was a waste of time.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2014/12/working-hours

“Of course longer hours reduce productivity. As an employer I am certainly under no illusions about that. Above a certain threshold, longer hours ultimately reduce output and increase employee churn. But my experience is that the threshold is well above 40 hours per week.”—on “Proof that you should get a life”, December 9th 2014

 

Pinoy tua kee gives the finger to govt & Meng Seng

In Economy on 01/01/2015 at 5:49 am

Remember earlier this yr, when GMS, Gilbert Goh and various anti-PAP paper warriors were proclaiming victory when the Pinoys called off their “trespass” (taz how GMS spun a Pinoy plan to hold a party at a public space in Orchard Rd)?

They were cock-a-hoop, trumpeting their “victory”. Pinoy pride was badly hurt.

Very recently, the Philippines’ ambassador to Singapore Antonio A Morales says that Filipinos are moving into more sectors of employment

The estimated number of Filipinos working in Singapore tripled in the past decade to about 167,000 as of 2013, according to Philippines census data.

,,,

Filipinos are willing to take on jobs for lower salaries, with working conditions unacceptable to Singaporeans.

The trend has made Filipinos “easier to exploit”, disadvantaging both them and Singaporeans, said migrant rights activist Jolovan Wham.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-28953147

And this at a time when the PAP adminitrastion is saying that it,s tightening FT employment rules. If so how come Pinoys are are moving into more sectors of employment

So it seems the Pinoy colomisation of S’pore continues despite what the PAP administration and Meng Seng says.

What do you think?

Btw here’s more about the PAP administration love of FTs, and Pinoys sliming us. I wrote this in July 2014 but decided not to publish it as I didn’t want to come across as anti-Pinoy (I like being served by Pinoy service staff), nor did I want to be associated a man who helped ensure the PAP’s preferred candidate won the presidential election (I had no issues with the Pinoys partying at Orchard Rd if they could meet the requirements).

But since the ambassador is raising the temperature with his comments (the embassy has form in this respect), I’ll add my my two-pence worth on the issue of Pinoys sliming us and the PAP’s administration love of FTs.

Pinoys vilify us

The education minister said last week [week before 26 July] it is important to go beyond understanding the “main races”.in embracing diversity.

“Singapore has thrived because of our openness to international trade flow, knowledge and cultures, all of which have brought us opportunities and progress. As Singapore moves towards a more diverse landscape, it is important that we continue to embrace diversity,” said Mr Heng.

“We also need to go beyond understanding the main races to respecting all people regardless of race, language or religion, who live and work in Singapore – for the happiness, prosperity and progress of our nation.”

Given that there are about 200,000 Pinoys working here, the largest group outside the “main races”, one can only assume, he is trying to tell us to be nice to the Pinoys.

No wonder there are Pinoys who think that the PAP stands for “Pinoy Action Party”.

It’s the Pinoys in PinoyLand who should learn to understand S’poreans.

Two recent examples of Pinoys defaming us.

Singaporean officials* has assured the Philippines their government is taking steps to address the hate campaign on Filipinos working there.

The assurance was made by the Singapore delegation who participated in Informal Consultations on the Philippines-Singapore Action Plan (PSAP).

[Source via TRE]: http://www.journal.com.ph/index.php/news/world/item/1432-singapore-vows-to-address-hate-campaign-on-filipinos]

Hate campaign against Pinoys meh?

So how come they were laughing and chatting away last week-end at Lucky Plaza. And Goh Meng Seng is still in HK, and quiet? Juz like Gilbert Goh. Surely if there is a hate campaign, these two men would be shouting themselves hoarse?

What more Pinoys in PinoyLand want? An excuse to burn our flag in PinoyLand and then give us two fingers? They not happy no get visas to come here to earn money and live in a place without fearing goons with guns. Are they being stirred by Pinoys here unhappy that what they tot were the Pinoy Action Party, Pinoy Minister, Pinoy Minister’s Office and Pinoy Police Force they make sure that Pinoys could party in a busy shopping area on a Saturday afternoon. https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/pinoys-still-ng-kum-guan-about-8-june-fiasco/

And this vilification of us is only the latest. A few weeks ago, former ambassador Roy Seneres said the OFW Family party-list will file a protest with the International Labor Organization for violations of relevant ILO conventions relative to the right of workers to decent work and to be treated as human beings not as slaves and/or chattels.

Seneres, founder of the party-list, was reacting to reports that Filipino service workers in Singapore are being put on display in malls in the city-state to attract prospective employers.

Singapore must come out with a clear-cut statement that they have stopped the despicable practice or else the OFW Family party-List will file a protest with the [ILO]” on the matter.

http://www.manilatimes.net/singapores-treatment-of-filipina-workers-hit/109168/

He obviously doesn’t read the newspapers or if he does, doesn’t trust what a S’pore-based diplomat said, or the S’pore govt.

This report appeared a day earlier in the same newpaper.

The Singaporean Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said a Filipino diplomat in Singapore cast doubt on an online news report that Filipina household workers were being displayed for sale at some of the city-state’s malls.

In a statement, MOM responded “to recent Filipino media reports, based on an online Al Jazeera story, about the treatment of Filipino foreign domestic workers (FDWs) while they are placed with employment agencies (EAs) in Singapore.”

The statement said “we note that when contacted by The Straits Times, the Filipino labor attaché in Singapore, Mr. Vicente Cabe, was quoted as saying that based on his observations, the online article ‘doesn’t seem to have basis’ and that while he saw some FDWs sitting on one side of a room at some agencies, waiting to be interviewed by clients, “ . . . it seems a bit exaggerated to say that there is anything wrong with that.”

The MOM said it visited the EAs in the two shopping centers concerned and did not find any inappropriate “displays of FDWs.”

Its statement added that “the Al Jazeera story also mentioned that some FDWs could be seen demonstrating household or care giving chores within the premises of EAs. As some EAs have training facilities in the same premises as their front offices, it is not unreasonable for FWDs to be performing such chores at the EA’s premises.”

Furthermore, “the same story also suggested that some FDWs were not treated well while in their EA’s care. MOM’s rules are clear that EAs have to ensure the well-being of FDWs in their case.”

The ministry said “inappropriate display of FDWs” at EAs’ premises or advertising them as being “available for hire at cheap or discounted prices” are unacceptable practices. MOM requires EAs to be responsible and accord basic respect in their practices to both their clients—the employer and the FDW—and expects them to exercise sensitivity when marketing their fees or services.”

http://www.manilatimes.net/singapore-ph-attache-denies-maids-sold-in-malls/108832/

Btw,  S’poreans don’t go round decribing mixed-parentage S’poreans as mongrels. Pinoys call mixed race Pinoys “mongrels”.

http://www.interaksyon.com/article/27168/this-azkal-barks-i-am-100-percent-pinoy

Juz go home pls: Bank president Jim Yong Kim has described the Philippines as the next “Asian miracle” and a global model in fighting corruption, as it emerges from decades as a regional economic laggard.

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/event-planning-pinoy-style/

*I pass no comment on whether our officials agreed there was a hate campaign. I sincerely hope that our officials will always defend S’pore and S’poreans against such comments.

 

When African FTs ruled Indians

In Uncategorized on 28/12/2014 at 4:37 am

Abyssinians, also known as Habshis in India, mostly came from the Horn of Africa to the subcontinent. Dr Sylviane A Diouf of the Schomburg Center says Africans were successful in India because of their military prowess and administrative skills.

“African men were employed in very specialised jobs, as soldiers, palace guards, or bodyguards; they were able to rise through the ranks becoming generals, admirals, and administrators,” she says.

“Africans sometimes did seize power for their group like they did in Bengal – where they were known as the Abyssinian Party – in the 1480s; or in Janjira and Sachin (on the western coast of India) where they established African dynasties. They also took power on an individual basis, as Sidi Masud did in Adoni (in southern India) or Malik Ambar in Ahmadnagar (in western India),” she adds.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-30391686

We’ll have a Pinoy cabinet and S’pore will be like Manila, full of goons with guns, corruption and filth.

And I’m sure we’ll soon see a local version of this

Beijing store ‘bans Chinese customers’

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-30210781

 

Right incentives for couples to want to have kids cont’d

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 24/12/2014 at 4:51 am

Further to this, another measure that the govt could consider is rental rebates for conceiving couples renting  HDB flats. More temporary flats will be set aside for couples waiting for their new Housing Board flats under a rental programme which, as National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan put it, has been “delivering results, and babies”.

Under the rental programme, called the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS), more than 100 babies were born to those living in 1,000 or so flats – a hit rate of 10 per cent.

– See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/more-flats-parenthood-couples-await-housing#sthash.e3meENpS.dpuf

Better still do things the Hard Truth way: no conceive, rents doubled?.

This appeared in Forum on 17 December

Act on rising cost of raising children in Singapore

I am a parent of three children, two of whom are attending pre-school. It disturbs me that their fees are rising yet again next year – by a significant 20 per cent.

I tried to look for another pre-school that was near my home, and found out that those that had not raised their fees were planning to do so.

It was reported in September that three of five major pre-school chains – which are required to keep fees affordable in return for regular government grants – will increase their prices next year (“3 major pre-school chains raising fees next year”; Sept 27).

This comes after the median monthly fee for full-day childcare rose in a year by $80 – the biggest increment in at least eight years – to reach $830 last year.

The other two pre-school chains are not raising their fees because their current fees have hit the maximum allowed for anchor operators.

What is the Ministry of Social and Family Development doing to stem the fee increases?

More families have parents who are both working and have no choice but to enrol their children in pre-schools. Moreover, a cheaper school may not be an option as there may be no vacancies, or the family may live too far away.

The article (“It costs twice as much to feed your baby today”; Monday) reported that the average price of baby milk has more than doubled in the past decade.

Clearly, the cost of raising children has risen exponentially over the years.

While the Government may be powerless to stop milk powder prices from rising, it should step in where it can exert control, such as childcare costs, especially since it aims to get Singaporeans to have more children.

Ng Keng Nam

And the really Hard Truth way to make sure couples conceive during sex:

Update at 6.40am: Just read in ST that some lovely old flats (in a shady area) in Tiong Bahru have been assigned as “love nests”. The govt should do the same for the flats in the Old Airporty Road area that it’s taking back. Another romantic spot.

Why SGX keeps on messing-up? Too many FT cooks in the kitchen?

In Infrastructure, Uncategorized on 04/12/2014 at 1:25 pm

It has three FTs in the most impt areas:

— CEO is ang moh FT, brought in for his tech expertise;

— president (COO) is Indian FT (Anyone knows his background?); and

— Chief Operations and Technology Officer is Indon FT (Brought in for his financial expertise*?)

Btw, when the first computer cock-up happened and TRE KPKBed about the Chief Operations and Technology Officer’s lack of hands-on IT experience, I pointed out to Richard Wan that by that line of reasoning, Richard, an IT scholar, shouldn’t be handling editorial matters at TRE.

At the National Youth Integration Forum on 22 November, Social and Family Development Minister Chan Chun Sing spoke to some 300 local and foreign tertiary students at the ITE College East, urging them (and other S’poreans) to embrace the opportunity to learn from foreigners, “They can share different perspectives and provide new ideas. The interplay of those ideas with our ideas will help Singapore stand out as a global city.”

So S’poreans can learn from these three-highly paid Foreign Trashes that its OK to balls-up** continuously and still not get the sack?

Bet you some true-blue S’porean manager will be held responsible for the IT cock-ups. Taz why SGX still has Singkies,  need scapegoats for FTs. FTs can do no wrong.

Pmk should say to these three FTs:

We command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.

Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! … lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go!

———-

*Going by his CV (courtesy of TRE)

In September 2012, SGX announced the appointment of Timothy Utama as its Chief Operations and Technology Officer, effective 1 December 2012 [Link]. Mr Utama joined SGX’s senior management team and reported to the Chief Executive, Magnus Bocker.

“We are pleased to welcome Mr Utama to our management team. His diverse and global experience and knowledge will help further improve our operations and technology capabilities,” Mr Bocker then said.

Mr Utama actually started his career in banking with Bank of Trade (LippoBank) as Senior Credit Analyst/Account Executive in Los Angeles from 1989 to 1991 [Link].

In 1991, he joined Standard Chartered. For the next 13 years, he held various positions there:

  • SCB Indonesia from 1991 to 1992
  • Profit Improvement Unit Officer SCB Regional Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia from 1992 to 1993
  • Head of Trade Services from 1993 to 1995
  • Senior Manager Middle Market from 1995 to 1997
  • Senior Manager, Trade Products Group Trade Banking from 1997 to 1998
  • Head of Service Delivery from 1998 to 2000
  • Head of Global Clients from 2000 to 2002
  • Head of Banking Operations from 2002 to 2003
  • Senior Manager, Service Excellence from 2003 to 2004

He then moved to ANZ Bank in 2004 for the next 4 years:

  • Head of Trade Service Delivery from 2004 to 2007
  • Head of Trade Sales from 2007 to 2008

He rejoined Standard Chartered in 2008 as the Head of Wholesale Banking Operation of Standard Chartered India based in Chennai.

After his stint with Standard Chartered, he joined Indonesian bank PT Bank Permata Tbk in 2010. There, he was on its Executive Board of Directors as their Technology and Operations Director from 2010 to 2012. In December 2012, he jumped ship to SGX where he now serves as its Chief Operations and Technology Officer.

Mr Utama holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accountancy and Finance from Texas A&M University, College Station, USA.

**Partial list of balls-up

— attempted takeover of ASX

— Thai exchange now biggest exchange in SE Asia

— penny stock fiasco

— not many major IPOs

— two computer failures in two months

 

The Dark Side of vigilantism

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

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

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

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

Whatever happened to due process and sub judice for FTs?

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

I tot of the above when I saw this

Banksy mural showing pigeons in Clacton

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

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

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

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

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

Uniquely S’porean

But returning to this

Banksy mural showing pigeons in Clacton

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

S’porean fights for his rights when bullied by FTs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The whole video interview lasted ten minutes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feeling threatened, he immediately called the police.

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

MOM is reportedly investigating the matter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

More

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

Meng Seng would be KPKBing if this happened here

In Hong Kong on 16/11/2014 at 5:03 am

Seriously, I doubt S’poreans would be so tolerant of the u/m. GG would go red in the face and GMS would call this a trespass on our sovereignty. Well at least we know that GMS’s sojourn in HK hasn’t made him as friendly to the Pinoys as the Hongkies he so admires.

A COMMUNAL sit-in of sorts blocks the streets of Central, the main financial district of Hong Kong. The assembled crowd is peaceful. Some play cards or paw at their smartphones. Others lie under umbrellas, catching up on sleep. While the world in recent weeks has come to know the alliance of electoral-reform advocates who call themselves Occupy Central, this is something different. And it has been going on for years.

These participants are foreign domestic helpers, called “amahs” locally. There are about 320,000 of them in Hong Kong, almost exclusively female and mainly from the Philippines and Indonesia. Many spend their single day off each week sitting on flattened-out cardboard boxes, acquired from trolley carts pulled around by local entrepreneurs. Some build elaborate temporary houses with room partitions and outer walls. Anywhere else in the world this cardboard city would raise eyebrows, but not in Hong Kong.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/analects/2014/11/hong-kongs-domestic-helpers

The right way to boost birth rates? And attracting votes?

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 29/10/2014 at 5:39 am

The South Korean annual budget to boost birth rates has reached an equivalent of US$13.85bn this year, says Chosun Ilbo, South Korea’s largest and oldest daily.

Though is almost sevenfold increase since 2006, the number of births has actually dropped by almost 12,000 to 436,500 last year. The birth rate, or the number of births per 1,000 people per year, also fell to 8.6. This is the lowest level since records began in 1970, and also among the world’s lowest indicators, according to World Bank data. http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-29598172

According to Chosun Ilbo, the main reason why the government appears to be failing in its efforts to boost the birth rate is because most of the money is allocated to childcare subsidies, rather than making Koreans want to have more children.

Well by going waz happening here, the problem here is the same: the incentives are allocated to childcare subsidies, rather than making S’porean couples want to have a child, lrt alone, more children. They prefer to have pets.

So what are the ways that the govt can persuade S’poreans to want to have children? What about a bigger “subsidy” and fast-tracking for that “second” bite at a “subsidised”HDB flat. The more kids a couple have, the bigger the “subsidy” and the faster they can get a second flat? (And the govt can give incentives to private property developes to offer bigger discounts to couples with more kids.)

And what about a discount on that CoE for a prime mover? The more kids a couple have the bigger the discount? Ten kids are a CoE is effectively free?

Finally, what about abolishing the maid levy if parents have a third kid? And a “free” maid if they have 10 kids?

Finally, cut working hours so that couples have more time for sex. https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/improving-productivity-try-this-pm-tharman-possible-reasons-for-peanuts-real-wages-growth/

Sadly, a Hard Truth for the PAP is that populism is out. Only bullying, haranguing the voters allowed. Which is why the Pioneer Generation package, spending on public tpt and other “goodies” is a puzzle. PM is a populist in disguise? https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/minister-you-thinking-of-yr-govt/

Or are we going to get screwed with a huge GST increase after the next GE. Remember 2006? A great piece by scholar on how the extra 2 percentage points increase in GST never went into social welfare as promised. http://thereformparty.net/blog/2010/12/24/further-tax-burden-to-enhance-our-social-safety-nets/. The piece was written in 2010 and my admittedly back-of-the-envelope calculations shows that the position is the same today. Perhaps someone should ask Uncle Leong or Roy to update the data.

Whatever it is, remember to ask the PAP when campaigning begins for next GE, “Will you raise GST after the elections, if you win?”

Related post

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/a-populist-measure-can-be-a-sound-measure-ex-imf-chief-economist/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Improving Productivity: Try this PM, Tharman?/ Possible Reasons for “peanuts” real wages growth

In Economy on 28/10/2014 at 4:49 am

Productivity

Shorter working hrs, greater productivity. Evidence cited below.

S’pore should try this if PM and Tharman and the govt is really seious when they say that “no stone will be left unturned” in the search to improve productivity. . But then it’s against the Hard Truth that hard work makes people happy. Actually I suspect the Hard Truth was propogated to ensure that S’poreans didn’t have the energy to engage in political activities. Sadly it also ensured that they didn’t have the energy to have unprotected heterosexual sex.

There is a growing body of evidence that shorter work weeks actually lead to more productive employees.

Right now, the US seems to value long work weeks for the sake of long work weeks. We put in more time at the office than other Western nations, but with less to show for it than one would hope.

According to Melissa Dahl, writing in New York Magazine, “The US is one of the most productive nations on the planet, second only to Luxembourg, but Americans work almost 20% more hours than individuals in Luxembourg. We’re working longer days, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re achieving more.”

An earlier report found that there was little correlation between hours worked, productivity, and wages. Writing in MarketWatch, Quentin Fortrell calculates that Germany works almost 45% fewer annual hours than Greece, but is 70% more productive, while annual German salaries are higher.

Reducing work hours has also reduced unemployment, he says, noting that “countries with the largest reduction in work hours had the largest increase in employment rates since the Great Recession”.

The shorter work week is an idea that both corporate fat cats and tree-hugging environmentalists can love. Billionaires Carlos Slim and Larry Page have spoken publicly in support of shorter weeks, while CNBC cites a recent survey showing “that more than 69% of millionaires surveyed (those with investible assets of $1 million or more) said they believed the four-day work week is a ‘valid idea’.”

BBC

Btw1, here’s something to ponder about on productivity.

Productivity in financial services and other services  miscalulated?

On a very technical issue could financial services and other services be miscalculated? Remember measuring productivity in services is not easy. That could be happening in the UK. See below.

Btw2, the UK’ could also give some clues as to why the growth here in real wages sucks.

Real wages not improving

UK has come out of a recession when  real wages fell … as productivity tanked. but unemployment wasn’t as bad as feared.

The economy’s recovering, But those in work are now badly in need of some respite.

Possible explanations abound for the curious trend. Britain has more liberal labour markets than most European countries, which may have meant companies found wages easier to cut, keeping employment high. Some sectors, such as financial services, may have mismeasured productivity before the crisis. And low investment probably contributed too.

One mooted explanation for low wages is particularly controversial. UKIP, Britain’s insurgent anti-EU party, claims that immigration from Europe is holding down pay. Evidence on this is mixed: conflicting studies have separately found both a small increase and a small reduction in average wages as a result of migration. But there is better evidence that its effects are unequal; the lowest-paid workers, who face the fiercest competition from migrants, find their wages held down by the arrival of foreign workers. Higher earners are more likely to benefit. Division, it seems, is rife.

http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21627665-workers-continue-feel-pinch-what-recovery

[Update on 30 May at 3.00 pm:

Experts experts like Stephen Cecchetti, an economist at the Brandeis International Business School, have found that a very large financial sector tends to precede weaker growth in productivity. “When pay on Wall Street is so high relative to the rest of the economy, you’re creating incentives for people to go into that industry that may not be the best for society over all,” Mr. Cecchetti said.

Or as  recent paper says high-growth financial industries hurt the broader economy by dragging down overall growth and curbing productivity

.

FTs then (1970s) & now

In Economy on 17/10/2014 at 6:18 am

In a response to the PM’s latest remarks on FTs (“no more tightening” and “don’t blame FTs for everything”) at a public lecture organized by the National University of Singapore Society on 3 October, a TRE poster wrote

In the 70s and 80s, Singapore already had FTs (Japanese, Germans etc) into our country. They were few and they were the real talents; working alongside our Singapore workers and also taught us their skills and knowledge.

He has a point. I had a friend who was a PR in the 80s. Despite winning a gold medal from NUS, she didn’t find it that easy to get a job because she needed an employment pass. It wasn’t easy for anyone without working experience, even a gold medalist,  to secure one in the late 70s. It was “S’poreans first and last when it came to fresh graduates”. And it wasn’t that easy to become a citizen either. Heck, it wasn’t even easy to get PR status unless one was a M’sian Chinese professional or an extremely rich Indonesian Chinese. Nowadays, PR is juz toilet paper: even a slutty looking, violent, cheating shop assistant can secure one.

Today, we have all the fake talents from PRC, India and Philippines and even from Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam and also Europe and US – all with dubious degrees, knowledge and skills. Worst still, these are the people who are taking away the PMET jobs and also our fresh grads jobs. Lee Hsien Loong – let me repeat this into your ear again ! We didn’t say no FT – please can you define what FT is and bring in only the real FT ok ? Not your open leg policy in allowing any Ah Nieh or Ying and Yang to come into SG please.

I agree with the sentiments expressed, esp the bit about faked qualifications.

(Related post : https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/hong-lim-park-the-private-property-of-the-granndfathers-of-roy-hui-hui/)

He ends

SG does not belong to everyone and certainly SG does not belong to you or … ! We will kick your butt out in the next GE !

Lots of S’poreans still want to kick PM’s butt. Issue is how many more (or as is more likely) less from GE and PE 2011 (Sadly, S’porans are easily satisfied, or shld it be conned?). A few weeks ago Alex Au blogged, heard from a friend who heard from another friend (whom I also know – this one’s in academia) that the People’s Action Party (PAP) was confident it had regained lost ground since the 2011 general election. Its confidence stemmed, it was said, from a huge survey that it had been conducting over the past few months and which, by the next general election, will have reached every household in Singapore …

Actually I had heard about the result of this “survey” but had not heard of anyone who had been approached, So I kept quiet. Alex gives more details.  http://yawningbread.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/survey-asked-about-my-confidence-in-the-lee-hsien-loong-government/

The govt has been throwing more of our money at S’poreans what with Pioneer Generation “goodies”, public tpt etc spending. Juz try to remember that our money the PAP govt is spending on S’poreans is “peanuts”. We’ll have another budget surplus this yr, not the estimated tiny “deficit”. I can say more about the peanuts we are getting, but I’ll leave it for another time.

True blue oldies will save economy, not FTs

In Economy on 30/09/2014 at 5:07 am

Especially not FTs like Hui Hui.

Government figures released by the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD — the same people who came up with the population White Paper that was rubbished by scholars) last Thursday show that the total population grew at its slowest pace in 10 years, expanding just 1.3% to 5.47m  as of June this year and generally painted a picture of doom and gloom.with have negative repercussions on the economy.

But according to the unhelpful, not constructive BT (26 September), * some economists say the situation may not be as dire as generally predicted, since more older citizens are opting to work past retirement age.

Said UOB economist Francis Tan: “The support ratio worsening is just one side of things. Other factors are also at play here: the government is incentivising older workers to stay employed; people are questioning whether their retirement savings are enough so they’re continuing to work; the government’s foreign worker quotas are forcing companies to provide higher wages and that has enticed more elderly people at the margins to join the job market.

“Taken together, these conditions should make us less worried about this scary 5.2 old-age support ratio. I’m not saying the downward trend is not a concern, but I think we can’t look at population numbers purely on their own – we need to look at labour market trends too.”

Indeed, according to figures from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the total labour force participation rate of residents aged 65-69 have increased dramatically from a decade ago. While this stood at 19.5 per cent in 2003, it climbed to 27.5 per cent five years later in 2008, before spiking up to 40.2 per cent in 2013.

After all despite or because of the tight labour market, MOM said in January this year that the labour force participation rate rose to a new high in 2013, driven by women and older residents, BT pointed out.

Noted OCBC economist Selena Ling: “If the retirement age changes to 67, that will skew the ratio for sure as more elderly (persons) rejoin the workforce. Then the reality may not be as bad as what the (population) numbers suggest.”

Whatever it is Mr Tan, Ms Ling, and other economists are concerned about the nation’s lacklustre fertility rate and swiftly ageing population.

Said DBS economist Irvin Seah: “This demographic shift is perhaps the biggest challenge facing Singapore… The situation isn’t easy to reverse, and it will take more than conventional economic policy to resolve. Mindsets will have to change.”

On this they are right

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2010/12/28/a-ghost-city-state-or-why-fts-are-needed/

————————

*http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/archive/friday/premium/top-stories/population-grows-547m-slowest-pace-10-years-20140926

‘Cause of FTs, Thailand pips us

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

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

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

“Wages will not rise until employers have to compete for talent”

In Economy on 23/09/2014 at 10:54 am

The above was the headline by a Guardian (a UK newspaper whose views would chime with the SDP, NSP, AWARE, Maruah, Alex Au, TOC and the other usual suspects) journalist on a blog piece on the UK economy: economy growing, property prices flying, FTs flooding in, but real wages stagnant. Sounds familiar?

The statement is very true here here as the following excerpts from BT (16 Sept) quoting the govt (who incidentally still denies that FTs don’t affect the real wages of S’poreans: cognitive dissonance or is it double-speak?)

The tight labour market in Singapore has resulted in more jobs and higher salaries for locals, while the growth in foreign worker employment fell to its slowest quarterly pace since 2009.

So less FTs result in higher wages for local talents, and more jobs: “noise” correct.

Here comes the spin:

But productivity gains saw a reversal in the second quarter of 2014 with negative growth of 1.3 per cent, bringing to an end a run of three straight quarters of positive growth.

Local employment growth remained strong at 41,000 (4.2 per cent year-on-year growth in June), with the services sector accounting for nearly 90 per cent of the jobs created, said the Manpower Ministry (MOM) on Monday.

More spin:

Last year, the real median gross monthly income for full-time citizen workers went up by 4.6 per cent, the ministry said as it released details of Singapore’s labour market situation for the first half of 2014.

The seasonally adjusted citizen unemployment rate was stable at 2.9 per cent in June, while the resident long-term unemployment rate remained among the lowest in the world at 0.6 per cent.

Total employment grew by 27,700 in the second quarter of 2014, moderating from the growth of 33,700 in the same quarter last year, but comparable to the 28,300 in the first quarter of the year. This brought total employment to 3.55 million in June 2014, 3.8 per cent higher than a year ago.

The spin continues:

The latest numbers are indicative of the government’s ongoing push to progressively raise the quality of the foreign workforce [Govt admitting we have Trash like the SGX CEO and the president?] and reduce the reliance on foreign labour.

This, said MOM, is in line with national efforts to achieve quality economic growth driven by sustained productivity improvements … the ministry said that it expects the strong hiring of Singaporean workers to continue for the rest of this year.

This is due to a confluence of foreign workforce constraints [And govt still saying FT influx doesn’t affect locals’ wages?] , higher wages, and employers adopting flexible work arrangements to attract more women and older workers into the labour force.

MOM … wages are expected to continue moving up, but these increases could only be sustained over the long term by improving productivity.

As for foreign …, MOM said that their total employment growth slowed to 11,200 for the first six months of 2014, which was less than half compared to the same period in 2013 … foreign employment growth in the second quarter of 2014 came in at just 3,800 … lowest quarterly expansion since the third quarter of 2009 during the global financial crisis, when only 700 foreign worker jobs were created.

[700 seems about right, though to Goh Meng Seng and Gilbert Goh, even one is one too many.]

OCBC economist Selena Ling said that foreign employment growth was at a low as firms continue to adjust to manpower policy constraints, although the transition process for selected labour-intensive services and construction sectors was “probably more accentuated”.

“The consolidation process for firms will likely continue in the interim as the productivity performance of these few sectors are still falling short of targets,” she said.

The productivity push, meanwhile, hit a roadblock in Q22014 with negative growth of 1.3 per cent. This ended a period of three straight quarters of positive gains.

[Post next GE, this will be excuse to lewt the FTs in]

“Overall productivity growth is expected to remain uneven,” said MOM in its outlook for the rest of the year.

Michael Smith … employment services provider Randstad, said that, in order to maintain productivity, employers should continue to offer workforce-relevant upskilling and career growth opportunities to help fill the gaps for skills that are in demand.

Ho hum, this makes it clear that the FT influx made this upgrading of skills unnecessary.

On the whole, MOM said that the current manpower-lean environment in Singapore will continue to be a feature of the economy in the coming years.

Come on, after next GE, the floodgates will open. Remember the population White Paper of 6m people?

“As the economy restructures, some consolidation and exit of less-productive businesses are expected. MOM and the Workforce Development Agency stand ready to help displaced local workers re-skill and upgrade so that they are positioned to take on the new jobs created.”

So long as FTs are allowed in by the A380 or 747 cattle-class load, this won’t help.

Precisely why many are concerned about immigration, Khaw

In Economy on 05/09/2014 at 4:33 am

“Against the many racial and religious conflicts elsewhere that we read about almost every day, the state of affairs here in Singapore is truly extraordinary. We must treasure it,” said Minister Khaw at a ceremony to hand out 194 citizenships to new arrivals. A total of about 3,150 new citizens were given their citizenship dog-tags slave collars papers in ceremonies across the island last weekend.

It’s precisely because we want to avoid racial and religious conflicts that we are concerned with the creation of new citizenas, the way we plant “instant” trees. The latter is good, while the former harks back to the bad old* days.

In 1959 (the 50s and early 60s* were according to the PAP and the constructive, nation-building media bad. (Actually they were paid bad according to my parents, only PJ Thum, TOC’s favourite authority on the period, seems to think that juz because S’pore was second biggest port in Asia, things were great then.). In 1959, only 270,00 out of the 600,000 voters were born here. When one LKY revealed the above fact in 1959, LKY also said,”we must go about our task (of building up a nation) with urgency … of integrating our people now and quickly”.

So waz his son doing? I tot it took the third generation to destroy the prosperity, fortune built up by the patriarch. Is Pinky trying to destroy dad’s legacy in the second generation, even if as it seems dad may have repented of his decision to integrate S’poreans?

(Relevant, related post )

So the PAP and other FT lovers like Kirsten Han and William Wan should stop calling those who are concerned about immigration, xenophobes. They should be talking about the unfairness of PRC thugs bullying old-age aunties trying to earn a living: the PRCs it seems came here to do what the old aunties were doing, scavenge for cardboard waste. Tot PM says S’pore imports FTs to do jobs S’poreans can’t, or wont do. So how come PAP govt allows these PR FTs to steal from aunties, the way Indian, Pinoy FTs steal jobs from local PMEs?

But being FT lovers, they won’t. Btw, be thank for small mercies: the FTs still don’t have their very own NMP since William Wan didn’t get to becpme NMP. Taz far, if the hard core anti-PAP voters didn’t get Roy Ngerng, FTs too shouldn’t get their very own MP.

—–

*Racial tensions, racial riots, political riots, massive unemployment.

 

When will the last S’porean move on?

In Humour, Public Administration on 28/08/2014 at 4:31 am

A simulation by the South Korean parliamentary research service, shows the population there will decline from 50m today to 5m in 2172, 100,000 in 2379 – and total extinction before 2750. (Backgrounder: South Korea’s fertility rate of 1.3 children per woman, according to a 2012 World Bank estimate, which puts the country joint last in the birth stakes alongside nations including Singapore, Spain and Greece.)

I’m surprised that neither the population and talent unit in PMO  nor the Institute of Policy Studies have done such a study in order to alarm the sheep 60% who vote for the PAP.

The population unit and IPS have been known to do some really outlandish stuff. Remember the former’s Population White Paper was criticised by several scholars (Think Donald Low, ex civil servant and now in LKY School; and Yeoh Keong Lam, the retired chief economist of GIC.) for not being sound. Likewise, IPS’ defence of the White Paper was rubbishy.

Maybe, ST should be more constructive and nation-building? Or that wannabe Onion, New Nation?

 

 

A fertility gift for next yr’s baby packs

In Humour, Japan on 31/07/2014 at 4:30 am

Something for the parents: packets of secretly punctured condoms.

a local official in Aichi prefecture set out a daring proposal. Tomonaga Osada suggested that the authorities could distribute secretly punctured condoms to young married couples, who would then get to work boosting the birth rate. His unorthodox ploy won few supporters, yet it reflects a gathering concern about Japan’s demographic plight. Last year just over 1m babies were born, far fewer than the number needed to maintain the population, which is expected to drop from 127m to around 87m by 2060. – See more at: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/07/economist-explains-16#sthash.N9pg7bk9.dpuf
Now the serious stuff. The article also points out that in Japan: “the rising cost of child-rearing often imposes a de facto one-child policy.”
This is the problem here too, something that the govt here refuses to acknowledge. I have yet to meet a parent who  doesn’t say  the govt’s allowances for them doing NS in the bedroom is peanuts.
Banyan also points out also points out that job insecurity in Japan is making it hard for young married couples to decide to start families. Again this would apply here especially since young PMEs are more expensive than their FT counterparts.
Banyan suggests, “If companies gave greater protections to new, young hires in return for lessening the privileges of other employees, young couples would have a more stable basis on which to marry and raise families.” Well this would help here too.

BTW, Jap economists say immigration is the only way to tackle Japan’s old age problem.

Update at 6.20am: How parenting has changed in half a century in the US. Do watch this info-grahpic

FTs in HR & recruiment jobs, no gd for locals & other job issues

In Economy on 01/07/2014 at 4:36 am

Restrict HR, recruitement jobs to true-blue S’poreans

Because people tend to look favourably on candidates similar to themselves, a significant reduction in discrimination in the labour market may require the hiring of new recruiters in order to increase diversity among those who screen applicants. However, this study suggests that there is trouble ahead if prospective recruiters are to be evaluated by the current ones.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2014/06/labour-market-discrimination

So if the govt is serious about restricting the growth of FTs here, it should not allow businesses to employ FTs in HR and recruitment posts. Plenty of stories about Pinoys flooding mgrs with only Pinoy applicants. M’sian Chinese and Indian Indians too are allegedly big offenders. As are ang mohs. PRCs got good record here as only $ talk, blood doesn’t.

No wonder S’pore NSman is a rare and endangered species in the corporate suite. AWARE wimmin will be very happy, esp for their FT partners.

MoM’s data proves that liberal FT policies hurt S’poreans

On 14 June, BT reported that

In April, MOM had put the preliminary figure of March’s jobless rate at 2.1 per cent.

But in its Labour Market First Quarter 2014 report released yesterday, MOM noted that its final figure for March was still higher than that of December.

It attributed this to more Singaporeans – particularly the less educated – joining the labour market seeking employment because more jobs with higher wages had opened up, thanks to the tightening of the tap on foreign workers.

And earlier in June, BT reported that MoM data showed that wages went up as a result of less FTs being allowed in

Salaries in the private sector grew 5.3 per cent on the back of a tight labour market and improved economic conditions last year, up from 4.2 per cent in 2012.

Taking into account lower inflation, real total wages rose by 2.9 per cent in 2013, after declining by 0.4 per cent in 2012, according to the latest report on wage practices released by the Ministry of Manpower’s Research and Statistics Department.

As of December 2013, 77 per cent of private establishments with employees earning a monthly basic salary of up to $1,000 gave or intended to give wage increases to these employees in 2013, up from 60 per cent in 2012.

This included the 57 per cent that gave at least $60 built-in wage increase as recommended by the National Wages Council in 2013, up from the 28 per cent that gave at least $50 recommended in the preceding year.

Rank-and-file employees received a basic wage increase of 5.4 per cent, the highest in 16 years and up from 4.3 per cent in 2012. This was the first time since 2002 that the basic wage increase for the rank-and-file exceeded that of the non rank-and-file at 4.7 per cent.

DBS economist Irvin Seah said that the salary growth was in line with his expectations. “In terms of real wage growth, it is quite a significant improvement as inflation was actually higher in 2012. This reflects an improvement in productivity and a tighter labour market,” he said.

Toby Fowlston, managing director of Robert Walters Singapore, said: “There has been an increased focus on hiring local talent, resulting in greater competition for this limited talent pool, especially in certain sectors with high demand. This drives wages up, but not for every industry.”

(Emphasis mine)

And flexi-wages remain a WIP

The MOM report also revealed that there has been a general uptrend in the implementation of flexible wage measures. In December 2013, 86 per cent of private sector employees worked in establishments which had at least one of the flexible wage components recommended by the tripartite partners – employers, workers and government.

Having a narrow maximum-minimum salary ratio was the most common wage recommendation adopted at 63 per cent. This was followed by linking variable bonus to Key Performance Indicators (51 per cent) and having the Monthly Variable Component (34 per cent) in the wage structure.

Bonuses did not go up as much as basic wages in 2013 as the annual variable component in the private sector averaged 2.21 months of basic wage in 2013, up by 0.9 per cent from the 2.19 months in 2012. Consequently, the annual variable component formed a slightly higher share of total wages at 15.6 per cent in 2013, than the 15.4 per cent in 2012.

Cham Hui Fong, assistant secretary-general, National Trades Union Congress, said that the labour movement will continue to push for the Progressive Wage Model to be pervasive in all sectors.

“This will not only raise productivity and upgrade skills, our workers can also look forward to better wages and better career progression. We also call on employers to tap on the various funding schemes and programmes, so as to achieve higher productivity growth,” she added.

Economists like Selena Ling, head, treasury research and strategy at OCBC Bank, added that the wage growth is expected to continue.

“The economic and business cycle is picking up globally, albeit at a choppy pace, and it is not unexpected that more firms are turning the corner. Real wage growth should be sustained this year, especially since inflation is subsiding. It will be very encouraging if the wage share increases over time as well,” she said.

No Country for above 40s

49% of unemployed S’poreans are above 40

http://sbr.com.sg/hr-education/news/mid-life-crisis-bulk-singapore%E2%80%99s-unemployed-are-older-40

 

MoM’s Labor Market survey showed that there were 29,000 unemployed residents older than 40. This is equivalent to 49% of the 59,300 unemployed residents for March 2014.

There are also more older residents who suffer from long-term unemployment. MoM’s data showed that out of 12,900 residents who had been looking for work for more than 25 weeks, almost 8,700 were older than 40.

– See more at: http://sbr.com.sg/hr-education/news/mid-life-crisis-bulk-singapore%E2%80%99s-unemployed-are-older-40#sthash.XQSoHV2X.dpu

 

Where a 55 hr working week is the norm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

———-

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

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

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

 

Analysts too agree we need FTs

In Economy on 29/05/2014 at 4:53 am

So TRE readers and other anti-PAP paper activists, are the analysts mentioned in u/m Bloomberg articles (and the many others who hold these views)  PAPpy moles?

My point is that on the issue of FTs (esp in the manufacturing sector), the govt ‘s pro FT stance has the support of conventional wisdom.

One striking fact is that even among the best performing metropolitan areas, overall increases in output per capita have been hard to come by. They have been limited to a handful of very brainy cities, especially West Coast tech centres. In general, growth has been a product of population increase large enough to offset falling output per person.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/05/migration

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/us-experience-on-growing-gdp-via-productivity/

That the conventional wisdom may be flawed is another issue though.

But those of us who don’t want FTs by the container or cattle truck load or even by the 747 or A380 cattle class, must recognise that the govt’s view is that of conventional wisdom.

—-

“This manufacturing recovery that we’re all hoping for seems to be sputtering again,” said Chua Hak Bin, a Singapore- based Bank of America Corp. economist who worked at the country’s central bank for six years. “Foreign-worker restrictions will be tightened further in July. We think Singapore may not be able to fully capitalize on a global demand upswing because of these constraints.”

Singapore in February said it will tighten rules for companies hiring foreign workers for a fourth straight year, with the next round of measures scheduled to take effect July 1. Manufacturers including Western Digital Corp. have moved operations to other Southeast Asian nations, as employers on the island grappled with the restrictions that raised costs and helped push unemployment to a five-year low in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Singapore’s exports declined in nine out of 11 months last year, faring worse than neighbors from South Korea to Malaysia. Manufacturing output shrank in the fourth quarter from the previous three months, and has grown at about 60 percent the pace of the services industry in the past two years as companies struggled to expand, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“The restructuring has diluted our overall competitiveness,” said Irvin Seah, an economist at DBS Group Holdings Ltd. in Singapore. “It’s not just higher labor costs but it’s also the labor crunch, because when you don’t have enough workers, how are you going to meet that order?”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-12/singapore-exports-recovery-seen-limited-as-worker-shortage-bites.html

Wah lan, FTs getting their very own NMP?

In Political governance on 21/05/2014 at 4:53 am

This tot crossed my mind when I read that the general secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM), Dr William Wan, is applying for the post of Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP). He told the media that his nomination papers were submitted yesterday (14 May).

SKM’s mission is to inspire graciousness through spontaneous acts of kindness, thus making life more pleasant for everyone [Link]. The patron of SKM is PM Lee Hsien Loong and its adviser is Minister Lawrence Wong.

As to why he could be a Trojan Horse (albeit an unwitting and unintended one) for FTs, here is the evidence that made me conclude (reasonably I hope) that he believes,  “In S’pore, FTs are more equal than S’poreans”.

— Dr Wan came out to defend Anton Casey (‘SKM condemns ‘online lynching’ of Anton Casey‘).

The Straits Times then carried an article by Dr Wan in which he condemned the online behaviour of Singaporeans. He felt that Singaporeans had shown a lack of empathy towards Anton Casey.

Casey had described Singapore MRT commuters as “poor people”. He said, “Normal service (after getting his Porsche back from the workshop) can resume, once I have washed the stench of public transport off me FFS!” (FFS is an acronym for “for f**k’s sake”.)

In his article, Dr Wan lamented that “something has gone wrong with us Singaporeans”. He said incidents like Anton Casey “reiterate the need for us to reassess our social media habits”. Defending Casey, Dr Wan surmised that he was perhaps “simply being thoughtless and careless” when he posted the offensive remarks … (TRE)

— He ignored suggestions to show that he cared for S’poreans down on their luck by doing for them a totful, gracious act that he did for FTs.

[T]o show empathy for foreign workers, SKM and Coca-Cola Singapore delivered free cans of Coke to foreign construction workers at a high-rise work site via drones [Link].

Dr Wan said, “What we hope to do is to encourage Singaporeans to make showing appreciation to foreign workers part of our daily lives.” (TRE).

I applaud him (and Coke) for providing the foreign manual workers with cold drinks. It was a totful, gracious gesture.

But I find it strange that he then ignored suggestions that he should arrange for some drinks for S’poreans too. I’ll let TRE tell the story:

TRE has suggested that perhaps he should show empathy for his displaced fellow Singaporeans too (‘How about showing empathy for displaced SG workers?‘).

One suggestion would be to get his volunteers to hand out cans of Coke to Singaporeans seeking employment help at the Workforce Development Agency. There is no need to use any high-tech flying drones in this case – his volunteers just need to stand at the door and give out canned drinks to our fellow Singaporeans who need help and comfort.

He does totful, gracious gestures only for FTs? Doesn’t charity begin at home?

When it was reported that PM got flak for saying on the occasion of an Indian festival: “Singapore belongs to all of us, Singaporeans, new arrivals, people who are on permanent residence here, people who are on employment pass here.”*, I tot that the complainants were going too far. I tot they read too much in the word “belonging” and were being extremely petty and mean.

But, if as it is likely, William Wan, gets to be an NMP, I now can understand and even sympathise with those S’poreans unhappy with the PM’s comments, even if I disagree with their views and pettiness.

BTW, wonder why PM left out those on S Passes and work permits, many of whom are Pinoys, and Indians when he said, “Singapore belongs to all of us, Singaporeans, new arrivals, people who are on permanent residence here, people who are on employment pass here.”? Very strange given that he was talking on the occasion of an Indian festival and given the data

[T]here has been a significant increase for S Pass holders between Dec 2011 to Dec 2013.

47,000 to be exact.

This is 15,900 or 51% more, as compared to the period of Dec 2009 to Dec 2011.

Work permit holders increase substantially too, by 77,000 during the period of Dec 2011 and Dec 2013. It’s a 47% or 24,700 increase from previous 2 years.

Our total foreign workforce increased by 123,700 between Dec 2011 to Dec 2013 – that’s more than 60,000 each year.

(http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2014/05/foreign-workforce-numbers-moderating-or-increasing/)

An honest mistake by PM? Or should we read something in his omission of S Pass and Work Permit holders? What do you think?

——-

*At a grassroots event in Ang Mo Kio to celebrate the Indian New Year, Mr Lee was reported to have said that “the event was an embodiment of the theme as well as on a larger scale where everyone participates as one big Singapore family” and that Singapore was a place “where we all celebrate one another’s festivals and happy events together.”

He added that “Singapore belongs to all of us”, which he said included “Singaporeans, new arrivals, people who are on permanent residence here, people who are on employment pass here.”

Tightening FT immigration helps S’poreans PMEs

In Political governance, Public Administration on 20/05/2014 at 4:41 am

Al least for finance and accounting professionals.

Salaries for finance and accounting professionals in Singapore are expected to rise, with the tight labour market likely to force companies to increase wages to attract and retain employees, said recruitment firm Robert Half on Thursday in a press release.

55 per cent of companies in Singapore plan to increase wages for professionals in their finance and accounting department. Only 1 per cent of firms plan to cut wages, while the remaining 43 per cent plan to maintain salaries.

This is in contrast to the other five markets surveyed. (CNA last week). These markets are China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia and Brazil.

So waz this rubbish that welcoming FTs with open arms helps S’poreans get better wages? The extract implicitly shows that a liberal Ft policy helps repress wages of locals PMEs; and even ST reported that the liberal FT immigration policy deprive young of jobs:https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/proof-that-fts-displace-sporeans/.

An example of tightening polices: a Pinoy couple and their son are PRs, but their young two-month old child only has a long-term pass. The couple are KPKB about discrimination and fear. I think they are barking up the wrong tree. But then they are Pinoys , playing the “victim” game, like PIDCS . ST reported:

PIDCS is currently being targeted, presumably by Singaporeans who oppose the staging of the event (‘Organisers of Philippine event targeted’, 17 Apr).

PIDCS is said to have received anonymous phone calls demanding the cancellation of the event. The organisers have reportedly felt harassed.

“The callers say we have no right to hold the event in Orchard Road,” a PIDCS spokesman said. “We do not dare to pick up phone calls now if we don’t recognise the number.”

As I told a Pinoy community adviser, “S’poreans, unlike Filipinos, don’t go round shooting people in malls. Nor do they go round burning the Filipino flag. So pls tell the organisers not to BS their fear. This is S’pore not Manila or Mindanao.”

(Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/grandfathers-place-is-it-pidcs-finest-filipino-talents-at-work/)

But let me end constructively. Three cheers for OCBC and may others follow it. I’ll let BT tell the story

For the first time, a local bank will be giving its employees payouts from the Wage Credit Scheme (WCS), instead of using the funds for training and development initiatives.

OCBC Bank will be disbursing $3 million of its first WCS payout to 1,500 eligible Singaporean employees of the bank and its securities subsidiary …

Introduced in Budget 2013 as part of the three-year Transition Support Package, the $3.6 billion WCS helps firms cope with rising wages in a tight labour market. It also encourages businesses to channel resources towards enhancing productivity and subsequently share productivity gains with employees. The WCS payouts co-fund 40 per cent of pay rises given to Singaporeans who earn a gross monthly income of $4,000 and below.

The 1,500 recipients of OCBC’s WCS payout make up about 25 per cent of OCBC … total staff strength in Singapore. Most of these recipients are junior executives and unionised employees, serving as assistant managers, bank officers and clerical staff in the bank’s consumer financial services as well as operations and technology divisions. They will receive the payouts in June and July.

Recipients can opt to have their payout credited to their Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts or to invest in shares through the OCBC Blue Chip Investment Plan, which is open to all employees of the bank. Employees can choose only one of the two payout options.

 

Pinoy organisers give the finger to GMS, GG and friends

In Public Administration on 19/05/2014 at 5:01 am

I have it on good authority that the the Pinoy organisers of the 8 June party (a party that Goh Meng Seng says “trespasses” on S’pore’s sovereignty, while Gilbert Goh says our sovereignty is being threatened) have applied for a police permit. This is despite not having raised the $50,000 or thereabouts to pay for the premises and ancillaries. And despite the telcos (TLCs, GLCs)  being nervous about seen sponsoring an event that upsets Goh Meng Seng, Gilbert Goh and their friends.

Maybe they took the advice of one GMS who advised them on Facebook to apply for a permit?

Seriously, because GG, GMS and friends have made the location an issue of sovereignty (as defined by them*, not int’l law) the Pinoy organisers are apparently not backing down. If their govt can stand up to China over some rocks, despite having a useless navy, so can they stand up to GG, GMs and friends, seems to be the reasoning.

Could the Pinoy organisers’ garangness could also be because they think that the PAP govt is on their side on the issue of the party’s location? If so blame it on some junior civil servants.

I have it on more good authority that junior officers from PMO are assuring the Pinoy community that the Pinoys have nothing to fear. And it’s not my argument that “S’poreans in S’pore, unlike Pinoys in their country, don’t carry or use guns”. Seems these junior officers are saying that “we treasure Pinoys”. Wonder who the “we” encompasses?

Certainly not me. While I have no problem about the Pinoys wanting to party at Orchard Rd, to me those working here are “hewers of wood and drawers of water” (Joshua. 9:21) i.e. menial drudges; labourers. I don’t treasure them, even if there are at least 50,000 new citizens** who are Pinoys. I appreciate them for their gd service and low cost, but treasure them I do not.

Whatever, GMS, can be proud that the Pinoys are taking his advice and applying for a police permit. He can’t complain if they take his advice. Wonder if the Pinoys will dedicate a song to GMS on 8 June thanking him for his efforts? Or invite him to receive a token of their appreciation?

Jokes aside, wonder what will GMS, GG and friends do? Behave like the Filipino govt over the said rocks? Jus KPKB? Might is right as the Chinese govt said to the Filipino govt.

Update at 6.20am: BTW, I juz came across this

Question: Do you believe Professor Santiago Caaway earns only S$1,700 (60,000 pesos) a month?

The Filipino who complained about the expensive Alaskan king crab he and his family have feasted on claims his salary is only 60,000 pesos (approximately S$1,700) a month.
Why you think Pinoys come here to work? It’s a very poor country. And BTW also, he may not be a real “professor”, juz as the college he is working at may not be a real “college”.

——

*“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said.
    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”
    “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.
    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”    Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. “They’ve a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they’re the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!”(Thru the Looking-Glass)
https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/our-flag-kanna-burn-blame-pro-prc-ft-policies/
**Correct as of few yrs back. Don’t have the latest figure.

 

PRC workers: Hard working but willing to strike and riot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well one LKY would agree with him.

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

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

 

More equal than other S’poreans?

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

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

Let me explain.

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

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

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

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

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

And only last yr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

——–

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

 

FTs more equal than the “wrong” S’poreans? Why liddat PM?

In Political governance on 28/04/2014 at 4:47 am

Quite a number of S’preans (think TOC, TRE posters, and Goh Meng Seng) were incensed at the Filipinos’ attempt to “capture” or “trespass” (GMS’ choice of word) a public space for one day.

They also mentioned, in passing, at the the double standards in, as they tot, [A]llowing all FTs to hold events in public spaces while preventing some S’poreans  (Think the PAP’s light blue clones and various civil groups) from doing the same on the grounds of “law and order” issues, even if the FTs in question are from a country where people believe in the power of the people to overthrow elected govts while the S’poreans are juz sheep who dream different from the “right” dreams.

Turns out no permit has been sought, so far, this yr. My take.

Took the wind out of their sails.

But the validity and reasonableness of this argument remains (I wish these unhappy S’poreans had it made it the core argument not talk about sovereignty etc and then mention it in passing, and had kept on talking about the point. They didn’t, so I’m elaborating on it).

If Filipinos think they can be allowed to hold an event in such a public space (even if it is across the road from Filipino Lucky Plaza) why can’t the “wrong” S’poreans hold events in public spaces (other than Hong Lim Green) too?

FTs more equal than the “wrong” S’poreans is it, PM, PAP? While Filipinos can party in public year after year, those S’poreans not thinking the “right” tots (despite many of them having done NS) are being ghettoised in Hong Lim? Juz because they don’t think the “right” tots, like PA or NTUC running dogs activists? Apologies to the dogs. My dogs complain that I’m defaming them by comparing them to PA and NTUC activists.

True, no incidents arose.in the past when the Filipinos were granted permission to hold events in public spaces.

But given the track record of “people power” in the Philippines in overthrowing elected presidents, why were the Filipinos given permission in the first place, while the “wrong” S’poreans are denied the opportunity to show that they too can be as peacefully and law abiding as Filipinos? Many of these S’poreans did NS, people like GMS, Gilbert Goh, KennethJ, M Ravi, Garbra Gomez. They were trusted with live rounds and M16s. So shouldn’t they be given the benefit of the presumption that they, like the Filipinos, can be trusted not to cause public order problems? OK, OK, I concede that based on some commentates that was put up on his FB wall (now taken down), there is every right to be concerned that GG is advocating violence. [Update at 5.46am GG makes police report allegung posting was fake http://singaporenewsalternative.blogspot.sg/2014/04/singapore-activist-gilbert-goh-made.html%5D

A TRE poster makes another point on this “FTs more equal” attitude

Just1more:

Problem with Singapore is that we are harsh on our own people and soft to the point of bending over for foreigners. If an organisation has planned for such event and advertised in social media, the Police would have called up the organisers and “advise” them to apply for permit first. Police may threaten to charge the organisers. See what happened in this case. All quiet. So, what is the super efficient government’s position? Don’t just take the million salary and keep quiet when we want answers.

This allegation is one that I’ve heard over the yrs: that the police are pro-active in monitoring some S’poreans’ tots to hold public events. Doesn’t take an application to get asked to discuss their plans with the police. I’ve heard allegations that even talking among “friends” about organising an event in a public space could lead to call to have a cup of coffee.

Now I applaud such pro-active behaviour: if applied to everyone. But I’m left wondering why the police doesn’t seem (at least going by their statement) to have been more pro-active with the Filipinos despite the Filipinos making it clear of their intention to party on 8 June in a public space despite not yet applying for a permit (I’m sure they have every intention of applying for the licence and will cancel the event if they don’t get approval)? Shouldn’t the polic3e be calling the Filipino ornaisers? FTs more equal than the “wrong” S’poreans?

Wonder if FTs realise that there are S’poreans (numbers unknown, and who include rational, conservative people like me, thru the woolly, good-hearted, soft middle like TOC and P Ravi, thru to GMS,  to Gilbert Goh, nutter,  and friends) who think that the govt treats them better than it does S’poreans because FTs help repress the wages of locals esp PMETs, thereby making S’pore a more attractive place for MNCs and landlords?

But maybe they do realise this but think that with people like Kirsten Han, and BG MoM on their side, labeling S’poreans, “xenophobes” and “bigots” for daring to question the govt’s FT policies,  they can safely give S’poreans the bird. Sadly, they are unlikely to be wrong.

Somewhat related post

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/how-many-of-them-were-males-did-ns/

 

How many of them were males & did NS?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I say “No” because the

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Less privileged S’poreans feel like these Easter Islanders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember that

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

Could not make Humpty Dumpty where he was before.

Privilege has its limitations.

*

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

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

 

 

Unacceptable, appalling, daft behaviour

In Uncategorized on 21/04/2014 at 5:13 am

Sigh, sad is the day when this critic of the PAP’s policy of bringing in FTs (where the “T” stands for “Trash”, think of SGX’s CEO, and president) by the container load* has to agree with the PM on an FT related-issue (see his comments at **). And this after agreeing with ST https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/sts-right/. Drove me to drink.

My Facebook avatar posted these (among other comments he made to Goh Meng Seng’s comments that the Filipinos’ event is an attack on S’pore’s sovereignty and speculating of the troubles that could occur if the Indians and PRCs wanted to celebrate their national days in public spaces

I for one have no issues with any overseas group wanting to celebrate their national day here so long as they do so in compliance with the law. Fact that they are obeying the law of S’pore shows that sovereignty is not an issue. Sovereignty is only an issue when our laws are not respected, and flouted. Of course if they are found breaking the law, they should be deported ASAP and Maruah should sit down and shut up.

— Juz because there are more Indians and PRCs doesn’t make that a problem in itself. There seems to be an assumption that their numbers make them organising a do a problem. Well shouldn’t we assume that they want to organise something peaceful and festive? Or are we assuming that whatever they do they will only riot? And that our police are daft?

He also responded to P Ravi’s http://www.raviphilemon.net/2014/04/hypernationalism-does-no-one-no-good.html as follows:

I don’t think “hypernationalism” or even “nationalism” is the issue. There is a group of very vocal S’poreans who will use any excuse to “whack” the PAP. Sadly ’cause of the way the PAP govt does things, the size of this group is not known. But we do now that based on PE 2011, there are 35% of S’poreans who can be swayed from the “right” way. I’m sure PM and the PAP are having a gd laugh. The people who are denouncing the Filipinos because they hate the PAP are helping the PAP. SIGH.

I like PM am appalled. He at the trolls. Me at the trolls for being so daft as to hand a PR victory to the PAP. Anger at the FT policy is understandable, but verbally abusing FTs and helping the PAP is unacceptable.

But let’s not be too hard on the trolls.They could be confused by what they are hearing from the govt and social media. I’ll be blogging soon on some of Goh Meng Seng’s comments on the matter that have me confused. He seems to be opposed to the event while at the same time encouraging the organisers to go ahead. But I need to clear my head first. Drank too much malt.

——-

Examples:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/population-white-paper-paps-suicide-note/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/population-white-paper-2030-will-resemble-1959/

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

**PM’s Facebook message

PM Lee posted a Facebook message on 19 April saying that he was appalled to read about netizens “harassing” the organisers of the Philippines’ Independence Day celebrations.

“They are a disgrace to Singapore,” he said; adding that fortunately, it appeared to be the work of a “few trolls”.

He said, “We must treat people in Singapore the way we ourselves expect to be treated overseas. Many Singaporeans live overseas, and are warmly welcomed in their adopted homes.”

He then talked about the recent Singapore Day celebration in London, “How would we have felt if British netizens had spammed our website, and abused Singaporeans living in Britain?”’We must show that we are generous of spirit and welcome visitors into our midst, even as we manage the foreign population here. Otherwise we will lower our standing in the eyes of the world, and have every reason to be ashamed of ourselves,” he said.

PM Lee’s Facebook post [Link]: