3/27/2017

When we have water sufficiency

The outrageous and unthinkable happened with the announcement of the 30% price hike of water. And the most nonsensical and condescending reason for the hike, is to teach the people the value of water and to make the people feel the price of water. What hogwash! This is not new. Yeo Cheow Tong did it in his time to raise the price of water for the same reason when we were paying 3c for water from across the Causeway. And a large part of our water supply is still coming from Malaysia and at an unbelieveable price today but they are going to make you pay, for their illusion or delusion, to appreciate the value of water.

The govt has its own computation for this ridiculous and callous demand for a 30% hike quoting sensitive issues that could not be disclosed. Would the govt at least come out with some of the major factors and assumptions, without the details, that led to this price hike? At least the people would know what are the devils and whether the devils are unnecessary, facetious and could be removed from the computation.

We were not really self sufficient in water in the past. We depended too much on water from Malaysia until Mahathir knocked us out from our comfort zone. We went on a rapid water production programme and declared that we were self sufficient in water. It was a great effort and duly recognised. We moved from 3 tiny reservoirs to 17 huge reservoirs today while our population went from 2m to 5.5m and crazily ramping up to 6.9m while some IMH cases asking for 15m.

The big question, were we self sufficient in water at 5m population and if so, why must we move on to a treacherous path of water insufficiency in the future? What are the factors that contributed to this dangerous situation? Can this be avoided? Many have been guessing that the key factor towards painting ourselves into a corner is the mad craving for 6.9m population or more for economic growth as if economic growth is everything and the only way to achieve it is through population growth. If that is the reason many developed countries would have taken that path but they are not.

And this belief, this thinking, is not far from the truth. If this insane craving for a bigger population is removed from the equation, would there be a need to build all the expensive desalination plants and put the country in a state of crisis in the future? And water would not be the only strategic resource that would be stretched to the maximum with a bigger population. Everything, every essential service and resource would be strained. The most critical, and some that we don't even have, is energy source. We are 100% dependent on external energy sources and this is a very precarious position to be in, not counting on the supply of food to feed 6.9m people or more.

Now you can understand why there are still mad men talking about nuclear power plants in this piece of rock. They think they are very clever, to mount nuclear power station on floating platform, to be towed away for safety, to where? Would the littoral states allow Singapore to do that in the South China Sea or Indian Ocean? Would our neighbours be comfortable and forgiving for a 'nuclear bomb' that we insist on having that would jeopardise their well being?

Our thinking has been self centric, only thinking of self, our national interest and not of the concerns of our neighbours. Would we accept it if Malaysia and Indonesia would to locate their nuclear power stations in Johore and Batam respectively? By the way, this talk of national interest is also questionable. Is it really for the interest and good of the people or for who? Who would be benefitting from this population craze that would lead to a slippery and treacherous road of no return? Many people do not think it would benefit them and there are other safer and more manageable ways for economic growth without tying a knot on our throat. The knot would only be tighter by the days and would hang us high and dry in the future.

Is this multi milllion dollar thinking or crap thinking? We are familiar with the simple analogy of force feeding ducks or geese and the consequences. We are also familiar with drug taking and how it would self destruct and must self destruct up to a point. There is no miraculous escape for the Peking ducks or the geese that produced the foie gras or the drug addicts. The end result is certain death.

Are we so stupid and desperate to take the unrestrained high population path that would put an unacceptable strain on everything? The first victim to this foolishness is water pricing and the farcical logic being uttered that made the 'utterers' looking stupid even to a child. Please spare these fools from making themselves looking more ridiculous by what they have to say to justify an untenable premise.

3/26/2017

Is Singaporean taboo?


The word Singaporean appears to be disappearing from being mentioned in the media or on the lips of our politicians, at least when reporting employment statistics is concerned. It is all but being replaced by words like locals and residents. It is as if the word Singaporean is now
taboo, cannot be spoken, cannot be mentioned.

Even Singaporeans are becoming lesser, becoming a minority in Singapore. Is there anything wrong with being Singaporeans, with calling Singapore Singapore or would be be more appropriate to affectionately call it Syonan To? Syonan To was good time to some Singaporeans while many were massacred by the barbaric Japanese invading soldiers.

All of a sudden no one wants to be Singaporeans or no one wants to mention this word Singaporean as if it is a disease. Are there still Singaporeans in Singapore or the remaining Singaporeans have resigned to the fate that they would be replaced by the foreigners? Are Singaporeans a soon to be extinct specie in Singapore?

Why is it that the media kept using terms like locals and residents and not
Singaporeans? Ashamed to use this word anymore? Or is there an agenda, to rid the term Singaporeans from Singapore like they got rid of local dialects in the past?

If there is no Singaporean to talk about, would they still be calling this
country a nation, would Singapore become a none state? Would Singapore just be a city for anyone that comes here, to be called a local or resident?

To the disappearing Singaporeans, what do you think? You still have a
country to call your own? Would there be a day when we will be telling our
grand children in the future that there was once an island we called home
but no more. It is now called Syonan To or something else depending on the new owners of the island? We gave it away without a fight. No, we invited foreigners to take it from us on a silver platter.

What a tragedy when that day comes.

3/25/2017

Surge Pricing is the way to go

For the millionaires and those who can afford to pay and pay, surge pricing in a good formula and good policy to provide services and goods according to supply and demand. It is another core principle of free capitalist economy and laissez faire. Provide service and goods to those who can pay, forget about those who cannot pay. The rich will be very happy but the poor, what poor, they don’t deserve to have the services and the goods.

There is no free lunch, come and get it if you can afford it. That was why
many of the landlords and rich were executed when Capitalism reached its perfection and Communism came in to level the playing field when the
majority of the poor rebelled. Revolutions are made of such stuff, the
struggle between perfect Capitalism and the need to distribute wealth more equally, not equally, to the less deserving.

The parents are complaining that the price of milk powder has surged more than 120% over the last decade or so. A 900g tin of milk powder now costs $56 from $25.40. This must be surge pricing demand at work thought the manufacturers claimed costs are going up due to R & D. The parents are not amused. Maybe they should stop producing babies, then the demand for milk powder will fall and no surge in price.

When the prices of basic goods and services are determined by demand without intervention by the govt, it is very good for the rich and the producers of these goods and services. The other end of the stick is a different story. Should this be the principle for pricing of goods and services for all things?

Public transport prices, food prices, education, ERPs, medical, use of water and electricity, etc etc? Should the govt go this way, to encourage surge pricing and apply surge pricing for more goods and essential services?

The Sultan of Johore has just done the opposite by selling low cost housing to the losers that cannot afford to pay. This is against the principle of Capitalism and surge pricing. Why supply housing at low prices when he could make a pile by restricting supply and sell to the highest buyers? But he is going to stand out as a leader of the people, a champion of the masses, He is now putting many political leaders to shame. Once in a long while a benevolent leader will appear on the scene. This sultan is looking like the one the Malaysians are looking for.

How many monkeys are out there clapping and saying surge pricing is the
right thing and right policy to be adopted by the govt?

3/24/2017

52% support budget, 32% support water hike


According to Reach, 52% of the people support the budget but only 32% support the 30% water hike. Put it in another way, 43% was against the water hike, 24% neutral, 32% for and 1% dunno.  How to put these numbers in a simpler form when there is a 24% in the neutral category? This is like a 35% Elected President, which did not look or sound good. Saying 43% against can also mean less than 50% against or can give the impression 57% was for it if the details were not given. On the other hand, saying 32% support could give the impression 68% was against. Luckily the numbers for neutral and dunno were also given to prevent the confusion.
Talking about confusion, when it was reported that 52% supported the budget, does it mean that 48% were against the budget? Was the survey conducted using only for or against, with no neutral or dunno? If that was the case, then it is understandable. If neutral and dunno were included, then the 52% for could mean a few things. One, no respondent ticks the neutral or dunno option. So it is a clear case of 52% support. Or it could be like 24% neutral and 1% dunno, leaving only 22% against the budget.
If this was the case, then there is no need to fear that support has fallen from 70% or 80% to 52% since only 22% was against. Wondering how they could get a 70% or 80% number in the past. Apparently from the reports in the media, it is likely a case of for or against type of survey, no buts and ifs, and 52% was for and 48% was against the budget.
It is not easy to use statistics to tell a clear story, like half full or half empty sometimes. Statistics are meant to make things easy and clearer to understand but turning out to be a tool for magicians to amaze or to wow the audience.

3/23/2017

Surge pricing, hear only the good stuff

‘Cheaper rides and shorter waiting time. This is the promise of ride hailing platform Grab, which announced its dynamic pricing model for taxi fares yesterday.’  Today paper.

Too good to believe but it is true, up to a point. This is what they called dynamic pricing and will adjust according to demand. LTA is also sold on the concept and has approved the formula. And other taxi companies are also jumping into this bandwagon. Who does not want to drive and charge according to demand? How does this square up to cheaper rides and shorter waiting time? Can demand and supply of taxis be fixed by the drivers? This is a big question.

But enjoy the cheap ride with shorter waiting time if this can be real. It means drivers are more efficient and willing to collect lesser far and to provide faster service. That is the promise. What is not promise is surge pricing, not sure about shorter waiting time, but very sure the price would surge. This reminded me of the time when telco companies could charge cheap packages but load on unlimited charges should the usage surge pass the limit of the package with some victims, especially the children and the ah mahs being charged hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Luckily this scourge was clamped down and a more decent formula to charge for usage exceeding a package was introduced.  How could such practices be allowed, only god knows, but not before many fell victims and were a few hundred or thousand dollars poorer.

Another lucky thing about such unacceptable practice creeping into this surge thing is that there is now a cap of $60 for a trip. Not sure how this works, but I believe at most the damage would be $60 before the passenger is booted out. Would this happen, could this happen when the driver saw the meter hitting above $60 and knowing that he could not bill the passenger the additional charges?
The devil is when it is out in practice and how drivers circumvent this to their advantage. This is another good thing happening in the taxi business, not sure who is going to benefit from this scheme, the drivers or the passengers. Would the same scenario be repeated, off peak hours, all the taxis went hiding and reappear during surge period?

Oh, the $60 taxi fare is going to be a new normal. Still very cheap relative to the European and first world cities. So much be something very affordable to the rich Singaporeans.

3/22/2017

Water pricing no need rocket scientist


A person needs just so much water to clean himself and so much water to drink daily. Many are already using the minimum to keep themselves clean and not smelly, and drink just enough to be alive. Should these people be forced to cut down using the little amount of water they are using now with this 30% tax hike to remind them that water is a strategic asset, a national security asset? Which clowns are making such unreasonable demands on the poor people trying to be alive? It is nonsense, it is cruel, wicked and insane to make such demands on the people already living with the bare minimum to be slammed with a 30% price increase.

You don’t need a rocket scientist to explain to the clowns that people need a minimum amount of water to live and to clean themselves for basic hygiene needs. But the clowns are so thick that they could not understand this. And now a foreign talent could not tahan their stupidity, and the media in agreement, had to publish his thoughts to remind the clowns that this foreign talent could not take it anymore. And the reasons given are simple common sense that any daft sinkie would also know.

Dr Jochen Krauss said this as reported in the Today paper, ‘A fair system needs to differentiate users.’ Can understand this or not? He added, ‘But it is the Government’s responsibility to ensure the lower income can afford and have access to water….At some point, households will not be able to reduce their water consumption any further.’ Why thoughtlessly hike the price of water across the board to hit the lower income households who are struggling to pay the water bill with another 30% increase? Is this a responsible thing to do for a govt that claimed to be caring, compassionate and ‘thinking’ because it is all so talented? Where is the thinking, where is the compassion, where is the caring? I can’t find them, can you?

This Dr Jochen must be so exasperated to find the nonsensical logic being shafted down the people’s throat thinking that the people cannot see the silliness of the reasoning and had to say it out. Be sensible and responsible, and stop hitting the poor and lower income households with a sledgehammer. Super talent? Caring? All inclusive, no one being left out? Oops, yes all inclusive, no one being left out from this 30% hike, all must kena taxed and made to know the price of water even when they are using the bare minimum.

Should not there be a reward for people who are already using the bare minimum, who already knew the value of water, and are saving this precious water, not wasting them? The thinking of this policy is that these people also must be made to feel the price of expensive water regardless of whether they know or did not know. This is the same kind of silly totalitarian thinking like when one person went to Batam to spend his money then all the CPF members must be punished.


The truth is that they are just finding excuses to keep the people from their CPF money. And in this water hike case they just want to tax more, to collect more money. They cannot be so stupid not to know how nonsensical and unreasonable is the logic and the policy. They are punishing the very responsible people who have been cutting down on wastage of water over the years.


Stupidity has no cure.

3/21/2017

The mad, irresponsible and dangerous Americans planning war with North Korea

This unthinkable scenario is going to happen if the world does not stop this madness in Washington, to ever think of war in Asia, to attack a country that did not do anything against anyone except to develop its own defence capability to prevent an attack by the Americans that were conducting war games almost daily at its door. It is the right of every nation state to develop and arm itself against an attack by another country. It is criminal to conduct war against another country under the pretext of protecting and defending itself. No one is going to attack the USA. No one is mad enough to think that he could get away from such a hostile act. The North Koreans are not mad. It is the Americans in the White that are mad. They want war, wars and more wars just because they have superiority in weapons to attack anyone at will.

What kind of stupidity is existing in the White House when the North Koreans are not easy meat like the Arab countries. Once a hostile act is committed by the Americans, the North Koreans would have nothing to restrain them from launching everything they got into South Korea and Japan. Millions would be annihilated overnight in North East Asia. The region would be contaminated with nuclear radioactive particles that would spread to China, Russia and eventually to the USA as well.

The world must stop the mad men in Washington from their irresponsible intent to start another war. The Americans have been agitating wars, provoking wars, starting wars everywhere, the worst in the Middle East, and the whole world allowed it to happen with impunity. This time this war against North Korea is not child’s play. It is not a one way war whereby the Americans are doing the attack and the North Koreans being sitting duck. They would retaliate with their nuclear weapons and North East Asia would be finished. The Americans did not care a hoot about whether they would still be a South Korea or a Japan left should it attack North Korea.

Russia and China must made it known categorically that they would not allow it to happen and it would be the start of WW3. Russia and China cannot allow the Americans to attack one of their allies and not doing anything. An attack on North Korea would be an attack on Russia and China. If they did not act, they would be next to be wiped out by the mad and war mongering Americans. They would have no more allies as no country would think they would be safe from an attack by the Americans for being friends or allies of Russia and China.

On the other hand would the Japanese and South Koreans allow this American madness to risk being attacked by nuclear weapons from North Korea when the Americans strike first?

Where is the UN, the countries of the world, to stand up to this primitive country that only believes in wars, killings and the destruction of other countries? A war against North Korea would be the end of this world. Americas would not be safe in a nuclear fallout from East Asia. Russia and China must put their foot down and tell the Americans in clear and unmistakable language, in no uncertain terms, that any attack on North Korea would be an attack on Russia and China and it would be war with the Americans. Failing to do so would be the beginning of their own demise in international politics.

Only the mad, dangerous and irresponsible Americans are toying with the idea of war everyday thinking they could get away with murders. The Americans are the only mad people that still think war is an option to keep the Evil Empire going. The North Koreans are not weak and defenceless Arab nations. And they have Russia and China to fight on their side. Don’t kid yourself that the Russians and Chinese are so stupid to sacrifice their ally for the sake of American hegemony and world dominance.

The people of the world and the Americans must act now to stop this madness in Washington and the White House unless they don’t mind being war collaterals with nuclear radio active particles falling over their heads. There is no where to run, no where to hide if WW3 explodes.