Posts Tagged ‘PR’

SGH tragedy: Gan emerges from behind Ms Lee’s skirt

In Public Administration on 02/11/2015 at 4:17 am

I was wondering if Health Minister Gan Kim Yong had gone AWOL leaving his press secretary Ms Lee Bee Khim to say really bitchy things about ST and the WP when defending MoH’s actions in the Hepatitis C outbreak at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH)

Well it seems he has finally found the courage to emerge from behind Ms Lee Bee Khim’s skirt. (Or to be fair, maybe, he had a sour throat and couldn’t speak, writing down the bitchy words for Ms Lee to parrot in public) and said some sensible things that Ms Lee should have said in the first place, instead of the very bitchy things she said on his behalf*.


*Even when MoH responded in an ultra defensive, aggressive way to an ST article, I wasn’t too fussed. ST was a juz being a pariah trying to bite the hand that fed it. I was thinking, “Yup beating up ST is good. Dogs should not bite the hand that feeds them.”

But MoH’s response to WP’s call for a Committee of Inquiry (COI) was so petulant, aggressive, defensive and so misrepresentative of what the WP said that I’m wondering if there is an email or two somewhere in the system that could be perceived as a “smoking gun” that MoH wants to hide?


Mr Gan said that since the review committee’s task is to look into the processes of SGH and MOH, and identify gaps, as well as the cause of the cluster, “I think we should wait for the committee to finish its task, to finish its review, study its reports and recommend its findings very carefully, because the findings will be made public.

‘So all of us can look at the findings, and then we can decide what are the next steps. I think it is best for us to wait for the outcome of the review and the police investigations, and then we can look at the findings, and then we can decide what will be the next steps.”

Fair enough**. But this should have been said a long time ago.


**Reasonable people can agree or disagree on whether a COI should be held, skipping an internal investigation. I for one tot that waiting for the internal report was a reasonable, responsible position to take but could understand if others tot that a COT was necessary. But Ms Lee’s very aggressive, defensive, “take no prisoners” stance on behalf on her minister and MOH me wondering if there is really something that needs to be hidden from, us, the rabble.

The use of language has consequences, affecting perceptions. Ms Lee as a PR practitioner should be aware of this.

MoH: PM needs a minister who can communicate

In Public Administration on 28/10/2015 at 4:36 am

PM says the PAP must change. Obviously MoH thinks otherwise. Is the MoH (minister included) saboing the efforts of the PAP administration to project a PAP administration that does the right thing in the right way, always explaining its actions.

Seriously like in transport where the PM said the minister in charge must be able to communicate to the public, MOH needs a minister who can communicate to ,we, the rabble.

When the “noise” whacked the MoH on the Heptais C tragedy, my sympathies were with the MoH. It was trying to fix a problem while dealing with the noise from the usual suspects like parachutist extraordinaire Goh Meng Seng (three GEs, three GRC and three different parties: and getting less votes eeach time). “Stuff happens. So why the chattering? 30% ng kum guan isit? So KPKB?”

Even when MoH responded in an ultra defensive, aggressive way to an ST article, I wasn’t too fussed. ST was a juz being a pariah trying to bite the hand that fed it. I was thinking, “Yup beating up ST is good. Dogs should not bite the hand that feeds them.”

But MoH’s response to WP’s call* for a Committee of Inquiry (COI) was so petulant, aggressive, defensive and so misrepresentative of what the WP said** that I’m wondering if there is an email or two somewhere in the system that could be perceived as a “smoking gun” that MoH wants to hide?

Seriously MOH needs to stop playing word games and being so ultra-defensive yet so aggressive.

As a member of the conservative FB group I belong to put it

I think that the final question that needs to be asked is:

“Why not?”

1) Does a COI incur much greater cost than an independent committee? Is there a disadvantage? Why not just do the COI, if there is nothing to hide?

2) If a cluster of deaths do not meet the threshold for implementing a COI, then this raises the question: What would be a serious enough incident? Accidental black hole? Heat death of universe?

3) Why is MOH protesting so defensively? Not once, but twice (once against Rachel Chang, and once against WP)?

It would have been so simple, reasonable and appropriate to say that a COI is not necessary at the moment. because a COI can still be convened after the initial investigations by the police and review committee. The call is premature and the juz WP wayang, trying to show that its not the Worthless Party.

Instead, the MoH’s reply to the WP to produce evidence came across as dismissive, defensive, aggressive and arrogant. This should not be the way if the MoH is not trying to hide anything.

The WP says rightly that it’s “inappropriate” to call for the WP to present evidence before the COI) into a Hepatitis C cluster at the Singapore General Hospital can be convened.

Finally, I note the health minister wasn’t good in MoM too. Maybe he’s scare to get moved on out like Lui, Paymond Lim? Juz wondering.


*The Workers’ Party welcomes the broadening of the remit of the independent review committee to include review of MOH’s procedures and actions.Drawing the right lessons from the outbreak of the Hepatitis C virus infections at the renal ward of the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) is critical for Singapore. It is tragic that four individuals may have lost their lives as a result of these infections in one of our leading healthcare institutions, and one more person may have died for reasons possibly related to the infections.

The outbreak and the government’s response to it have exposed potential gaps in our public health protection protocols. Aside from the risk to human life, the matter has considerable implications for Singapore’s status as an international business and tourism hub.

The work of the review committee is critical not just to rectify any lapses to prevent future recurrences, but to maintain and bolster public confidence in our healthcare system and review processes. To this end, not only must the review be rigorous, transparent, independent and fair in terms of its outcomes. It must also be seen to be so.

With these ends in mind, we call on the government to pursue the following actions in respect of the committee’s work.

  1. The government should explicitly task the committee to investigate the reasons for the extended delays between:
  1. The discovery of the cluster in April/May and the notification of MOH in late August.
  2. 3 September when MOH’s Director of Medical Services knew of the existence of the cluster of 22 infections, and 18 September when the Minister for Health was informed of the cluster.
  1. The terms of reference of the committee do not explicitly state that the committee is required to arrive at conclusions and recommendations about the timeliness of public alerts and preventive or containment measures. Given that the public was only informed about the cluster in October when the probable existence of this cluster was discovered in April/May, we repeat our call for the committee to review:
  1. If existing protocols about timeliness of public alerts and containment measures were adhered to in this instance; if so, how can these protocols be improved upon as they have been shown to be lacking; if protocols were not adhered to, why not; and what measures are recommended to strengthen adherence towards zero fault tolerance on such matters of life and death.
  2. If protocols do not exist, to recommend protocols that should be adhered to in future in respect of the maximum time frame for ascertainment of an infection cluster, for MOH notification, public notification and commencement of containment measures.

The Workers’ Party regrets the degree of delay between the discovery of a probable cluster of infections in April/May and the initiation of public notification and screening in October. We note that the Press Secretary to the Minister for Health stated, in a letter to The Straits Times Forum published on 20 October 2015:

“Medical professionals and public officers in MOH and SGH sought to perform their duties professionally and objectively. They acted in the interest of patient safety and to minimise risks to patients. Political calculations played no role in their consideration of the proper course of action. To suggest otherwise impugns the professional integrity of these public servants, who are unable to reply to defend themselves.”

We hold that a responsible and transparent government should explain in detail how the delays in public notification and screening from April/May to October represent actions that were taken in the best interests of patient safety and risk minimisation to patients.

Calls on the government to explain the delays in detail should not be met by calls to provide evidence of any inappropriate motivation.

Now that the review committee’s remit has been broadened to cover MOH’s workflow, we also call on the government to take action in regards to the committee’s composition and procedures in the following two regards:

  1. In the case of the Committee of Inquiry into the 15 and 17 Dec 2011 MRT breakdowns and the 8 Dec 2013 Little India Riots, the deliberations of the committee were made public so as to strengthen public confidence in the security and public transport systems respectively. In this case, we recommend that the deliberations of the committee likewise be made public. The Hepatitis C outbreak is at least as grave an incident as the MRT breakdowns and Little India riot, with serious implications for the public confidence of Singaporeans and foreign stake-holders in our vital national institutions. So as to facilitate this and in line with the norms established by the COIs relating to the MRT breakdowns and the Little India riots, we recommend that the current review committee be reconstituted as a Committee of Inquiry (COI) under the Inquiries Act.
  1. We note that the review committee is composed of currently serving clinicians in public healthcare institutions. Now that the committee’s remit has been broadened to include a review of MOH’s workflow, these individuals are effectively being asked to critique the actions of senior civil servants who oversee and administer government policy that affects their work as clinicians on a day-to-day basis. This would place members of the review committee in an awkward position. We suggest the inclusion of retired clinicians and healthcare administrators in the committee and the appointment of a retired healthcare administrator or clinician as co-chair. We further suggest that one of the committee’s members be a person qualified to be a Judge of the High Court, as required by the Inquiries Act should the committee be reconstituted as a COI. This would strengthen the ability of the committee to conduct a truly rigorous and, where necessary, critical review.

In this grave matter, the review committee bears a huge responsibility. We offer these suggestions so as to strengthen the review committee’s ability to do its job well and to be seen to be doing so.


25 October 2015

++In response to media queries on the Workers’ Party’s statement today, the following can be attributed to the Press Secretary to the Minister for Health:

The Workers’ Party (WP) has called for a Committee of Inquiry (COI) into the cluster of Hepatitis C cases at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

An Independent Review Committee has been appointed to review the cause of the incident and surrounding circumstances. To facilitate its work, the Review Committee has engaged additional resource persons, including international advisers, to ensure that it has access to all the necessary expertise to do its review thoroughly.

The Committee’s findings and recommendations will be made public. A Police report has also been filed and the Police are conducting investigations.

The WP statement is careful not to make any suggestion that SGH or MOH officers acted with improper motives. Yet it has asked for a COI ahead of the Committee’s report and the conclusion of Police investigations. If the WP believes that there are questions that the Committee cannot answer, or that any officer acted with improper motives, it should state so directly. The Government will convene a COI provided the WP is prepared to lead evidence before the COI, to substantiate whatever allegations it might have.

25 OCTOBER 2015

WP’s Punngol East problem/ PAP’s excuse king

In Accounting, Corporate governance on 21/09/2015 at 5:08 am

Forensic audit of AHPETC accounts

As someone who wants S’pore to move from a de facto one-party state to something more pluralistic, I was glad that Aljunied remained WP territory. But I was sad that the WP had escaped a forensic audit of the AHPETC accounts. This would have happened if PAP had won.

But I forgot the Punggol East victory.

Independent auditors may be called in to verify the accounts of Punggol East Single Member Constituency (SMC) only if facts and figures are in dispute, said its newly-elected Member of Parliament (MP) Charles Chong.

How not to dispute? For one, Auntie and Low want a fight over Charlie Chong’s alleged statement of a $1m surplus. A lot of he said, she said, TOC said: so I’ll let it be.

More importantly, while the latest set of accounts are pretty decent, as Auntie has said

AHPETC has continued to improve its financial processes and management.

AHPETC has cleared most of the disclaimers from the previous annual audits. The remaining observations relate mainly to opening balance issues for which there are still information gaps and legacy issues. There are still areas to work on. AHPETC will continue to improve its financial management.,

there will be a need for the SMC to ensure that it is getting its fair share of the APPETC’s assets (and liabilities). Given that all the accounts of the AHPETC are qualified, it is reasonable and legitimate to ask for a forensic audit of the AHPETC accounts in order to calculate the SMC’s fair share of the assets and liabilities.

Three cheers for the swing voters in PE.

Illustration of Singapore 2015 general elections by A Good Citizen

Of course, Auntie and Low could agree to be so generous to the residents of PE (thereby short-changing Aljunied and Hougang) that Charlie would keep quiet.

Zorro Lim: excuse king?

When I read this some time back, I couldn’t help laughing at Zorro’s excuse and wondering why Auntie etc hadn’t used such a similar excuse: “We screwed up, but had good intentions.”

Arrogant meh?

Grassroots leaders involved in financial irregularities were only trying to help, said the deputy chairman of the People’s Association (PA), Lim Swee Say, in Parliament on Monday.

“We can fault (grassroots volunteers) for their non-compliance of financial procedures, but please do not doubt them in their passion and commitment in always doing their best for the community,” Mr Lim said*.


The problem is that while Zorro can get away with “I can say with confidence there is no irregularity at the system level”, the WP can’t, given the Auditor-General’s report and its own auditor’s qualifications.


*More: He said the root cause of these lapses were the “good intentions” of the grassroots leaders.

He went on to tell grandfather stories, by raising various examples of how grassroots leaders were “actually doing their best to serve the interests of the residents and meet the urgent needs of the community.”

… related how grassroots leaders had gone “all around Singapore” to look for face masks when the haze hit the island in 2013.

This was after a community hospital had appealed to the GROs for air purifiers for patients who were being housed in the hospital’s non-airconditioned wards.

When they found a “small store which had limited stock”, the grassroots leaders decided to purchase the masks without first calling for three tenders, which is what is required by the rules.

“… is this a case of non-compliance of financial procedures and rules? The answer is yes,” Mr Lim said. “Is this a case of grassroots leaders and volunteers compromising the interests of the community? The answer is certainly no.”

Backgrounder: PA, where the AGO had conducted test-checks on about 115 grassroots organisations (GROs) under the PA umbrella.Out of the GROs test-checked by the AGO, 30 per cent were found to have financial or accounting irregularities.

Formula E the new F1?/ Why can’t MSM report F1 event like this?

In Uncategorized on 22/09/2013 at 5:05 am

S’pore did the first Kiddie Games and overspent for no apparent gain.

Why not try Formula E?

There will be 10 teams and 20 drivers racing on roads – not racetracks – in 10 cities, with a preliminary line-up that includes Los Angeles, Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, London, Buenos Aires and Beijing …

Jean Todt, president of the FIA, called Formula E “a vision of the future”. And this comes from a man who built his reputation in rally car racing and then as head of F1’s most famous competitor, Ferrari.

He told the BBC: “F1 is the pinnacle of motor racing, but there is plenty of space for other championships, from endurance racing to touring car, to karting – and definitely Formula E.”

He rejected claims that Formula E is simply a promotional exercise to improve motorsport’s image.

OK, we got to divert traffic etc, one more time a yr. But this is new and innovative.

BTW, I enjoyed reading about how Marina Bay is turned into a race track. Makes me proud to be a S’porean: We are the Prussians of the East.

Why can’t our constructive, nation building media report like this?

Or tell us why the race is so technically challenging for the drivers:

The Marina Bay Street Circuit is the second slowest 23-turn circuit on the calendar after Monaco, with an average speed of 172kph. Approximately 46% of the lap is taken at full throttle, compared with over 75% at Monza.

The twisting layout is hard on the brakes, while the gearboxes also take a beating, with around 80 gear changes per lap.

Drivers will complete 61 laps in the race – in 30C heat and 70% humidity – which takes a little under two hours to complete.

A change to the circuit this year is at turn 10 – dubbed the Singapore Sling. The original layout, a three-turn chicane, was seen as dangerous by drivers with Kimi Raikkonen crashing there in 2008 and Lewis Hamilton describing it as ‘the worst corner in Formula 1’.

This year, it has been turned into a single-apex left-hand bend and, without the chicane, lap times are expected to be lower.

This article told me more interesting facts about the skills needed to finish the course than all the drums coming from our MSM.

Two cheers for Azmoon Ahmad for publicising 1 May rally

In Humour on 30/04/2013 at 6:47 am

The chairman of AMP deserves the thanks of Gilbert Goh and friends, and all those who call for “Think S’porean First” for the publicity for the rally. By asking Nizam Ismail to “disassociate himself from the AMP” if he was planning to speak at the rally, according to this TRE report, he (Azmoon) ended up helping publicising the 1 May rally more widely.

When the local media reported him as “emotional and close to tears”, maybe he was feeling low because he knew he wasn’t long for the cushy job of AMP chairman. Surely the Sith Lord is upset that an Imperial Storm Trooper (Non Combat) saboed the Dark Side’s attempts to keep news out of the rally out of the pages of our constructive, nation-building media? And of having to explain why PAP MPs are more equal than others when it comes on serving on non- political organisations. And that the govt still practices the Hard Truth of withholding funding of those who fall out of line. [This last sentence added after first publication at 7pm]

As to Azmoon’s comments about “attacks”, err waz wrong with Nizam telling S’poreans why he resigned? In fact, if the local media carried the official spin of why he resigned before he went public (I’m not too sure which came first because the dates of the various articles have confused me), then he is more than justified to explain his position. Juz countering the spin.

Nizam is walking his talk of being transparent and open.

“Thanks Jos for giving Bishan East residents another reason not to support the PAP”

In Humour on 15/04/2013 at 5:05 am

So we have been told by the vice chairman of the Bishan East Citizens Consultative Committee (CCC), Roland Ang, who wrote to Stomp to explain that it was the coffeeshop owner who reserved the tables for Jos Teo and retnue, and “not any grassroots leaders”.

So the guys wearing red polo shirts shooing away patrons were PRC FT coffee shop employees? Or were they grassroots leaders moonlighting as coffee shop assistants? Or did the owner authorise them to chase patrons away, now that he is short of FT PRC labour because of govt policy? TRE alleges that he is a PAP member, so the grassroots leaders were helping a kaki lang.

Seriously, if the tables were reserved, how come customers were sitting there? And how come grassroots leaders were clearing the tables of patrons? Where were the coffeeshop assistants? Remember Roland Ang has not denied that grassroots leaders cleared customers from the tables.

Roland Ang should have gotten get the coffee shop owner to explain what happened. The silence of the coffee shop owner is deafening, especially as if alleged he is a PAP member.

Remember Watergate? The attempt to cover-up the truth was what did Nixon in, not the break-in.

Never mind, all the more reason for residents to vote against the PAP come the next GE say the anti-PAP activists. “Thanks Jos, Roland and other PAP activists for making it easier for residents not to support the PAP. Keep on being tua kee. Great way to connect with residents.”

Background info:

Related post:

White Paper fiasco: Who goofed?

In Economy, Media, Political economy, Political governance on 03/02/2013 at 6:39 am

So we now know that the 6.9m figure in the White Paper is a “worse-case scenario”

— “Reiterating that the 6.9 million figure should be viewed as “the worst-case scenario”****, Mr Khaw wrote: “We hope we do not reach that figure; we may never reach that figure.”

–” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said … he fully agrees with Mr Khaw’s explanation that a 6.9 million population is not a target, but just a worst-case, aggressive scenario the Government must prepare for.”

(Excerpts from MediaCorp)

So why didn’t the media tell us this when the media reported the White Paper? The media reported the figure of 6.9m as though it was set in reinforced concrete that had platinum bars rather than steel bars. Surely when the staff of the s/o the disgraced president, and Yaacob*gave the local media their instructions local journalists and editors the customary briefing, they made it clear that the 6.9m figure is a “worse-case scenario”? And that the figure was used to ensure that there would be adequate infrastructure should this happen, which the government didn’t want to happen. And that if it didn’t happen, S’poreans would have even better facilities for which they should thank the PAP on bended knees.

But these messages were never reported. They came to the attention of “the inhabitants of cowboy towns” who were happily shooting holes into the White Paper, and other S’poreans only when the PM Facebooked and Khaw blogged these messages.

Then the local media parroted reported what the PM and Khaw had said.

Either the local media are staffed by stupid people, or are full of subversives, who take their 30 pieces of silver ** while saboing the PAP government. Or maybe the going rate is a lot more than 30 pieces of silver? And they are not getting it? Hence the government’s messages didn’t get broadcasted.

Or were the minions of s/o Devan Nair, and Yaacob, incompetent, stupid spinners? Journalists and editors are claiming that they were never ordered briefed that the 6.9m figure was a “worse-case scenario”. They claim to be as surprised as us netizens that the PM and Khaw are now making this claim.

Whatever it is, if WP Low is to get his wish of continued PAP hegemony, PM should get a grip on the PAP spin machine. He and his ministers can’t do all the spinning themselves. Maybe Auntie Sylvia or Show Mao, in emulation of a Tang dynasty official, can whisper this to the PAP, “behind closed doors”. Remember WP, yr mission is to preserve PAP hegemony.

**He used the phrase “worse-case scenario” when one LKY gave his Hard Truth on Malay Muslims not integrating.

LKY gets kicked in the balls

In Financial competency, Footie, Humour on 08/11/2012 at 10:28 am

“I’ve seen their property values going up, five times, 10 times, 15 times, 20 times,” our MSM reported him as saying recently.

This is what the SDP said in response, “Yes, and what for? To feel rich? Under the SDP Plan, Singaporeans don’t just have to feel rich. They can have their NOM flats and not be indebted for the rest of their lives. They can have financial security and lead fulfilling lives.”

No comment about about SDP’s plans (this is what ST reported “experts” say): thinking about it. But it sure got great PR people team. Maybe PAP or govt should offer them jobs? MP Baey should recruit them for his firm? Can’t be good for H&R’s local and Asean practice that SDP is running rings round PAP and govt? The Dark Side can offer serious money, unlike the SDP. Unless of course, the rumours of CIA funding are not true. An SDP groupie assures me that CIA funding rumours are juz rumours. SDP as poor as Anglican church mice. Catholic church mice got serious money, what with Tony Tan (the president, not Hazel Poa’s hubbie) and George Yeo as members. Goes without saying that Methodist mice got $. Think Ng Eng Hen and wife (SingHeath CEO), and TJS’s in-laws.

Reuben Wang: stupid or cynical?

In Humour on 09/06/2012 at 11:30 am

So Reuben Wong has apologised and closed his blog. But he has not stated clearly what he apologised about. Was it for

— his use of vulgarities which showed disrespect the the office of DPM and Mr Teo personally; or

— his views on what DPM said; or

— both?

(According to this taken from CNA, it seems for both:

17-year-old Reuben Wang, lashed out at Mr Teo in a blog post on the new Pre-U seminar format.

In his post, the St Andrews Junior College student accused Mr Teo of avoiding difficult questions during the Q&A.

He removed his post subsequently, and also wrote to Mr Teo on Wednesday to apologise for being “too rash and too harsh in using the expletives”.)

Reuben said he now understands Mr Teo’s perspective “much more deeply now after consulting friends, teachers and netizens”.

This information is important because there is a lot of speculation on why be apologised, especially whether he was coerced into apologising. He should therefore state publicly why he apologised,  unless he is either stupid, or cynical.

It could be that he is juz plain stupid in not giving the ground(s) for his apology. His earlier behaviour could be indicative of stupidity. Instead of ranting at DPM Teo, he could have reported what happened, and its variance from the spin reported by the SPH group. Instead, his rant not only showed that he was ill-mannered and ill-bred, and a stupid boy. Here is an analysis of what he wrote which I cannot better.

Anyway his JC is juz as bad, so his stupidity possibly, is not all a matter of genes. What did the school counsel him to apologise for? For disrespect, or disagreeing, or both? Because there is a lot of speculation on why be apologised, especially whether he was coerced into apologising, the school should explain what it had advised him to apologise for. 

Heck what can you expect? He and the school are Saints. Not an elite school, like RI, SJI or ACS, it’s the equivalent of a neighbourhood school. It and its students juz got pretensions. Look at KennethJ, who publicly boasts that the government, on the quiet, steals his ideas.

Or maybe I’m wrong. Reuben Wong called himself a cynic. Maybe the rant and the apology is nothing but a wayang to give himself some publicity so that he can escape the limitations that are imposed on someone from a mediocre school. He got a lot of publicity and met the DPM who gave him an inscribed book. Can a boy from Raffles, ACS, NJC, Hwa Chong or VJC do as well?

If so, he deserves three cheers. He will make a good politican for the PAP or WP: for the latter especially if his ambiguity for his apology was dileberate. Not SDP though.

SMRT: What has “public’s duty” to do with the price of eggs?

In Uncategorized on 10/06/2010 at 7:33 am

Never bot SMRT shares, even though this would be a gd hedge against rising public fare hikes, whether reasonable or not. As a value investor, I use public tpt, supplemented by taxi. But then I am not a slave, tied to office hours. I can use the system at-non peak hrs.

I always tot I was irrational for not buying the shares.But I realise I’m not. It seems  I “knew” that mgt was incompetent.

No, not over the security breach and vandalism. The alleged offenders are white, educated FTs. Juz the kind of creative, innovative people that the government wants, And I don’t mind having. And the vandalism was artistic.

These people spot systems failure that they can exploit. So let’s not be too hard on them or the people or systems that get shown up.

If they were Pakistanis from Taliban-land, I would be worried: after the carnage.

No: mgt was incompetently firstly  refusing to apologise. It never did It only “regretted”. Only some fool of an ST sub-editor could say that it was an “apology”.

To make things worse for itself (exposing further its stupdity), mgt tried to lay part of the blame on the public.

It shows how bad SMRT mgt is in coping with the unexpected.

What has public apathy to do with the breach of the security at the depot? And not reporting the “vandalism”. I mean if the train passes the muster of the staff before it goes out, and the public is not inconvenienced, why should the public complain abt some “artistic” designs.

But you did lose money, didn’t you, Osim?

In Uncategorized on 07/04/2010 at 5:49 am

But you did lose money didn’t you? And share prices collapsed? A case of positive thinking carried too far. Or are the PR BEers trying too hard. A balls-up is a balls-up. Clean up the mess (which Osim did) and move on (which it doesn’t seem to want to do).

Although its acquisition of American retailer Brookstone in 2005 did not generate the results it expected, the company came out of the whole episode ‘enriched’, says OSIM founder and CEO Ron Sim.

‘I’m actually enriched and empowered with this experience,’ Mr Sim tells BT. ‘I actually won a lot of things. I would say today, nobody else has such an experience like us – a first-hand experience of a leveraged buyout, a first-hand experience of turning a financial engineering buyout into an effective company. So if you look deep, actually we are all enriched.’ (Excerpt from BT article.)

Gee what next, Mr Sim? Santa Claus or the tooth fairy will turn that loss into a financial profit? Maybe in Bizzaro Universe. Not in this.

Dubai – Harbinger of China’s problems?

In China, Economy on 08/12/2009 at 9:57 am

I think the concerns in the media about Dubai World’s “default” is the PR hype of careless creditors, trying to create hysteria to pressure the ARabs.

So I very nearly missed this very thoughtful insight in FT.

“There is a country on the other side of Asia, whose currency is also pegged to the dollar. Although its economy is expanding rapidly, short-term interest rates are below 2 per cent and the money supply has grown by 30 per cent over the past year.

‘This country is experiencing a real estate boom. Reports tell of a newly constructed ghost city with dwellings for a million people. Speculators are reportedly snapping up luxury developments, which remain unoccupied long after completion. Despite a 20 per cent vacancy rate in the capital city, new skyscrapers are being planned.

‘This country’s economy is also state-directed. Its rulers are looking for 8 per cent annual GDP growth as they seek to diversify their economy away from exports. State-owned enterprises are borrowing and investing to meet this target. Construction and infrastructure are taking an ever greater share of GDP, even though many projects are likely to prove unremunerative. A mentality of “build and they will come” prevails.

‘In short, economic conditions in China have much in common with those that prevailed until recently in Dubai. The population of China is roughly a thousand times greater than the tiny emirate’s. For this reason alone, the lessons from Dubai should be heeded.

The writer, Edward Chancellor, is a member of GMO’s asset allocation team.

Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo is a Boston-based asset management firm well known among institutional investors.

Jeremy Grantham, the founder, built much of his investing reputation by correctly identifying speculative market “bubbles”. He avoided investing in Japanese equities and real estate in the late eighties, as well as technology stocks din the late nineties.

He began warning about the overvaluation of equity and credit markets in 2006, well before the start of the present crisis, “In five years, I expect that at least one major bank (broadly defined) will have failed and that up to half the hedge funds and a substantial percentage of the private equity firms in existence today will have simply ceased to exist.”

Well Bear Sterns,  Lehman collapsed. And Merrill Lynch, Citi,  RBS, HBOS needed help to avoid failing.

“Mr. Chancellor is the author of several books including Crunch Time for Credit (2005) and Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation (1999), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Prior to joining GMO, he worked as deputy U.S. editor for in New York and for Lazard Brothers.”


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