Singaporeans that made us proud

(30 Sep) – For a Secondary One student just crowned champion at the Asian Games, Jodie Lai was remarkably calm.

“I’m very happy because I won gold,” said the Singaporean sailor, cool as you like, as cameras flashed and reporters thrust phones in her face.

Lai, 13, finished clear of an eight-woman field in the optimist race Tuesday afternoon, after nearly a week of racing at the Wangsan Marina in Incheon, South Korea....

Raynn Kwok was awarded a late silver in his optimist race after protesting his initial fourth-place finish. The 12-year-old is now Singapore’s youngest-ever medalist at the Asian Games, displacing fellow sailor Ryan Lo who was 13 when he won bronze in the optimist event in 2010.

The above were copied from TRE.

Kopi Level - Green

Hong Kong unplugged

The Hongkies have their first victory with their Occupy Central movement. The huge turnout looks menacing. The world, especially the China doomsayers, are clapping their hands. China is in real trouble. An editorial from New York Times reposted in the Today paper said Xi Jinping is running out of options. In other words China could do nothing about it.

This last vestige of Western Imperialism, a stark reminder of China’s humiliating past, is slapping China in the face all over again. From the western lens, checkmate! Actually the best thing for China is to do nothing. Declare a golden week for Hong Kong, in fact a golden month, or a golden year.

While Singapore, a twin city of Hong Kong’s likeness, has the Southeast Asia and the whole world as its hinterland, Hong Kong practically has China and is solely dependent on China for all its needs and economic growth. When China unplugged itself from the Hong Kong economy, Hong Kong would be like a piece of driftwood without an anchor. It would be worst than a sampan.

The mass civil disobedience in Hong Kong is a golden opportunity for China to do what it wanted to do for a long time. The plan to let Hong Kong receded into the peripheral of the Chinese economy and main stream activities could be pulled out from the bottom drawer and receive a good dusting.

Shanghai has always been China’s top priority as the financial centre, not Hong Kong. China needed Hong Kong and world opinion to look good, and the stability to grow its economy. That stage has passed. Shanghai has been waiting as the bridesmaid and ready to take centre stage. All the economic and commercial activities in Hong Kong can be transferred to Shanghai and other cities. Shenzhen as the southern economic hub could run on its own without Hong Kong.

It is time that Hong Kong fades into the wilderness and other Chinese cities emerged to rival and prosper over Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s usefulness as the commercial hub of China can no longer hold China to ransom. Hong Kong is dispensable today.

Good bye Hong Kong. It will be confined to its rightful place as a colonial cantonment in history. China today does not need Hong Kong but will keep Hong Kong as one of its cities, maybe relegated to a second tier city. Life will go on without Hong Kong. Hong Kong can enjoy its autonomy and democracy without interference from the central govt, but remain a second tier city in China.

Kopi Level - Green

The Hong Lim Affair – More than Uniquely Singapore

Let me put a positive spin to this sordid affair and turn it into a splendid affair. Too many negative views had been expressed in the media and it is timely that we look at in from a different angle. The two events staged at Hong Lim were incompatible in many ways and no responsible person in his right mind would put the two together. It was light oil and fire, a potent combination for an explosive incident to happen. The beautiful thing about this affair is that all ends well.

Mind you, the little annoyance and the very sensitive nature of the special needs children, and only one needed comforting can be considered a very successful story. Just ignore the noises generated by those with vested interests to say the things that needed to be said, the YMCA event went off almost without a hitch other than the 5 min interruption when the minister arrived at the scene. Even then, there was not pushing and shuffling or any threats of physical violence to anyone. No one feel unsafe or that they were exposed to any danger. The guests of YMCA were children and senior citizens, hundreds of them. And at and around the stage, there were hundreds of eager and excited parents and their little ones participating in putting up dance items and performances.

At the other corner, the protestors were screaming at the top of their voices to get themselves heard as they competed against the sounds from the YMCA event. Many did not notice that at times both parties waited and took turns to speak, alternating, without anyone coordinating and guiding them. There were some sorts of courtesy and sharing of time between them. You could not have a better arrangement anywhere among competitors.

And the uncles and aunties were taking shelters from the blazing sun under the big tents of YMCA. They treaded carefully and avoided disturbing the guests of YMCA in their tents. And YMCA staff accommodated them without chasing them away, out into the hot sun.

The participants of the two events blended together as one, in the same limited space, and no one could tell which event they were attending. With a few thousands of them there, fighting for space under the afternoon heat, no tempers were flared. Come, come, think about it, think about how two unrelated groups could co exist together in such a situation without any trouble?

And when the protestors were marching around the big tent housing the YMCA guests, they did not brush or knock onto them as they went past each other. And some of the children joined the fun marching with them.
Credit must go to the participants of the two events. There was a lot of self discipline and mindfulness with both sides accommodating each other and not to offend the other party. The protestors were noisy and loud as what a protest should be, but absolutely no violence or brashness. The YMCA event was louder but like what a children party should be.

Singaporeans must stand up and salute them for having a party with different agenda together, and both did what they wanted to do and successfully completed their missions. This is the most exemplary act of living in a squeezed city, living in peace and harmony with your neighbours.

Now, why is everyone kpkb about? They better thank their lucky stars that nothing really bad happened in such a circumstance. So many things could have gone wrong and there were so many vulnerable children and senior citizens present. And why? Because no one was there to cause disharmony, annoyance or trouble to anyone. There was no bad intention, no malice.

And because Singaporeans are not violent by nature, Singaporeans are peace loving people, If I am not wrong, the majority of the people there were true blue Singaporeans. That is the Spirit of being Singaporeans.

Kopi Level - Green


Teo Ser Luck apologised on Facebook

This is reported in the main media. ‘Mr Teo also apologized on Facebook to the YMCA: “The protestors were going after me but it affected the children and the event . For this I feel sorry and would apologise to YMCA and the children for this inconvenience caused because of my presence.”’ And in response to Roy Ngerng’s offer to apologise to the children, Ser Luck said it was a step forward. Then he added that Roy had spoilt the day for the children and , ‘For sure you have to apologise and more!’

Ser Luck did not explain what is the meaning of ‘more’. Is he saying apology must also explain? But Roy has already explained and not accepted. He had dismissed Roy’s explanation that he ‘didn’t know what was going on the stage’. So the best thing for Roy to do is to go and ask Ser Luck what is ‘more’ and what is enough or can be accepted. If Roy were to do the same and apologise on his Facebook, I think this way sure cannot.

It was gracious for Ser Luck to apologise to YMCA. It was also good for him to clarify that the protestors were there protesting to him and not to heckle the children. But in doing so they did frighten some of them and spoilt their day.

For those boys and girls screaming that the protestors were there to heckle the children, I think Ser Luck being the main target of their protest, is telling exactly what it was all about. Would this put an end to the ‘heckle’ accusation?

The Americans would say the affected children were collateral damages as they were not the target or the issue. Still it is good for Roy and Hui Hui to make an apology for interrupting their performance. But this part is very difficult. How? Put up a one page apology in the newspaper, as putting up on their Facebook would not likely to be accepted. I can’t advise them on this. And the best person is Ser Luck. Go ask Ser Luck what does he want in the apology before he can accept it, or what is the best way to apologise.

As for the parents of the children, it has been reported that they declined to meet Roy. What’s next?

Kopi Level - Green

The uniqueness of the Singapore stock market

Below is a description of the unique characteristics of the stock market that came to me in an email.

What's the difference between your response to an Alarm Bell and SGX Opening Bell?

a. When the Alarm Bell rings, you snap - and you are wide awake.
b. When the Opening Bell rings, you nap - and everything else can wait.

What's the difference between going into a Supermarket and into our Stock Market?

a. You go into the Supermarket to pick-n-choose - and pay for goodies from the shelves.
b. You go into the Stock Market to pick-n-choose - and then pay for losses when you sell.

What's the difference between Client who buy-n-keep for years, and a Client who buy-n-contra for years?

a. The Client who buy-n-keep for years may eventually become... Dormant.
b. The Client who buy-n-contra for years may eventually become...

What's the difference in the way to raise credit limit for a Dormant client and for a Delinquent client?

a. For the Dormant client, just simply call your Credit Officer.
b. For the Delinquent client, may have to call the Debt Collector.

What's the difference between ASX, KRX and SGX where they operate whole day without official lunch break?

a. Australia and South Korea Exchanges are so busy throughout the day - everyday - that even for lunch, they simply do not have the time.
b. Singapore Stock Exchange is so very quiet throughout the day - everyday
- that they simply can have lunch all the time and anytime.

Kopi Level - Green

Abe the compulsive liar

Below is a report by to show how sneaky Abe is when he made a speech in UN to project Japan as a peace loving country and himself as a PM for peace. He has reinterpreted the Japanese pacifist Constitution to remilitarize Japan, to commit Japan to wars outside Japan, to revise Japan’s military past of conquest and aggression until the leaders of China and South Korea refused to meet him.

He had provoked the Chinese by putting on military uniform and sitting in the cockpit of a war plane with the cursed and infamous 731 painted on it. He threatened China by scrambling fighter jets against Chinese civilian aircrafts hundreds of times, threatened to use force in the Diaoyu/Senkaku dispute.

He even committed to fight on the side of the Philippines against China. Abe is every thing a war hawk. Now look at what he said in the UN General Assembly on 26 Sep 14.

Below is an abridge version of the Rick Gladstone report.
Can Abe be trusted?

(New York Times) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan
sought on Thursday to counter the deep-seated anger among some
other Asia-Pacific countries over his government’s militaristic
shift, using a visit to the United Nations to denounce “war
culture” and express a desire to improve relations with Japan’s
neighbors, in particular China and South Korea, where memories of
Japanese wartime atrocities are never far from the surface….

Mr. Abe acknowledged at the news conference that he “would
like to improve relations with China and South Korea, precisely
because they are neighbors.”....

He struck a conciliatory tone in his General Assembly
speech, emphasizing Japan’s peaceful nature since the collapse of
its expansionist empire and defeat in World War II.
“Japan has been, is now, and will continue to be a force
providing momentum for proactive contributions to peace,” he
said, according to the official English translation. “Moreover, I
wish to state and pledge first of all that Japan is a nation that
has worked to eliminate the ‘war culture’ from people’s hearts
and will spare no efforts to continue doing so.”....

China, South Korea and other Asian nations once subjugated
by Japan have also expressed concern about Mr. Abe’s
reinterpretation of Japan’s postwar Constitution to allow the
Japanese military, known as the Self-Defense Forces, to expand
its functions....

Kopi Level - Green

Why is Asia so quiet on the ISIS front?

This is the heading of an article by ST’s Bureau Chief in Washington, Jeremy Au Yong, and Rachel Chang in Beijing over the weekend. The gist of the article is that Asian countries, particularly China, are not doing their part to kill the IS terrorists. And it is unfair for to the Americans to carry the can. How so? Everyone knows that IS was the baby of the US, they created them, trained them and armed them. Some Americans even named Hillary Clinton as the grandmother of IS. In fact the Taliban, Al Qaeda, the Khorasan were all babies of the Americans when they fit into the American scheme of things.

When the Americans created this monster, did they bother to seek the consent of other countries, did they bother to seek the consent of Asian countries? Now that they have created this monster and stirring the hornet’s nest, the Americans expect the Asian countries to come to its aid? Is this what these two correspondents are suggesting?

That is the impression I had after reading the article. Experts said Asian countries are steering clear of this issue as they are in the midst of a sea of Muslim militant activists. They have many domestic issues especially the Muslim states and fear retaliation from domestic radical groups. So can you blame them?

China is also facing a huge Muslim militant uprising in Xinjiang, the Americans may want to deny it, but can they blame the Chinese for seeing an American hand in their Muslim terrorist violence. So can the Americans expect the Chinese to lend a helping hand when the Americans are inciting terrorist activities inside China?

Experts also said, ‘China will not join the coalition as it suits its purpose better to stay out of the fray’. Prof Joseph Cheng of the City University of Hong Kong also said, ‘China does not want to alienate the radical anti Western groups in the region, and it also is not unhappy to see the US failing to get a clean retreat from the region.’

How so? Just before this flare up, what do you think the Americans were intend on doing, what was their intent with the Asia pivot? Why were the Japanese, Pinoys and Vietnamese, thumping their chests at China? Why was tension rising in the China Seas? The plain truth, the Americans thought they could get away from the Middle East and consolidate their forces to mess around with China. And how could anyone blame China for clapping and egging the Americans to go on and sink deeper in the Middle East? China may even provide cursory support to encourage the Americans to kill more Arabs to stay away from mischief in Asia.

This new war against the Syrians and Arabs, and also the tension in Ukraine are blessings for the Chinese and they could have at least another 10 years of peace to grow their economy and influence.

Shall the Chinese say good riddance to the Americans? What say you, Jeremy and Rachel? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Kopi Level - Green