7/30/2015

Ecuador, a China show piece

The New York Times has an article posted in the Today paper titled ‘China extends global reach with loans and strings attached’ giving a pretty good picture of what China is doing in Ecuador. While the South East Asian countries are still shying away from Chinese infrastructure development, due to centuries of western demonization of China, the picture is very different in Latin America and Africa. The southern American countries have had enough of western colonization, domination and American Imperialism and are striking out on their own to be free. They are embracing China’s offer of trade and development with open arms, better to pay a little more interest than to be robbed by the colonialists and imperialists. Both did not charge higher interest rates, they just came and carted away whatever resources from these countries for free. Which is a better deal?

The Latin Americans are not stupid. They negotiated freely with China for loans and infrastructure development. And they are paying in kind, mainly oil, and other raw material, that the Chinese would have to pump up themselves. In turn, the Chinese have pumped in billions of dollars into Latin American countries. Ecuador alone is receiving tens of billion in dam building that would provide enough electricity to light up one third of the country, according to the NYT article. China is also helping Ecuador to build an oil refinery that would make Ecuador ‘a global player in gasoline, diesel and other petroleum products’. Bad deal, cheated by China?

The Chinese are also building ‘roads, highways, bridges, hospitals, even a network of surveillance cameras stretching to the Galapagos islands’. These infrastructure developments are badly needed by Ecuador to transform itself into a modern industrialized country, something that the west and their formal colonial masters refused to do while extracting all the natural resources for free.

When Ecuador takes off, it would be a show piece to show to the world what Chinese money, technology and engineering could do to rebuild a country. Singapore taught the Chinese how to build an industrial park. China learnt from it and is helping the world to rebuild their countries’ infrastructure and industrial parks. China is helping the developing nations to move up the economic ladder on fair and equitable terms. China is doing everything, providing financing, technology and manpower. The West would not do that. Obama just visited Kenya and talked about helping Africa to develop after the West had colonized and looted African for centuries. And they are the good guys.

The NYT did not miss the opportunity to sabo the Chinese effort in these countries by playing up on higher interest rate, which was anytime better than letting the western powers robbed them for free and meddling with their domestic politics. It also complained about Chinese methodology that would harm the environment and what not. The NYT is assuming that the Latin Americans are daft and could not understand what they are going into and their agreements signed with Chinese companies. If these were bad deals, why would they agree to them when China did not bring their warships and guns like the colonialist and the Americans?

The hard truth, and testimonies to the value Chinese companies are offering to the rest of the world was when they held an economic development conference in Beijing.  Global financial and corporate elite and heads of major banks and pharma, auto and oil companies came to mingle with the Chinese officials. And according to Christine Lagarde, MD of IMF, China’s effort to engage globally through investment and trade and economic reforms, ‘is good for China and good for the world – their fates are intertwined’.

China is all over the world investing in infrastructural developments. Just to quote a para from the NYT article, ‘Chinese companies are at the centre of a worldwide construction boom, mostly financed by Chinese banks.  They are building power plants in Serbia, glass and cement factories in Ethiopia, low income housing in Venezuela, and natural gas pipelines in Uzbekistan.

Not really all over the world as many South East Asian countries are still pondering on what China could offer under the dark cloud of doubts spun by their former colonial masters and the West, that China is bad, China is bad like Red Indians were bad, Red Indians bad. They could not remember that the centuries of colonialism and western domination did not do them much good except being robbed by the very robbers that are telling them China is bad and filled them with imaginary fears and hate against China.  On the other hand, the rest of the world, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America did not have the same fear and apprehension and are welcoming Chinese developments in full force on a complimentary basis. The West are telling the South East Asian countries to demand China to go it for free, and China to pay for it as well.

It would take a long time before the South East Asian countries could break free from their colonial mindset, fixed and implanted by their colonial masters and the West over centuries to look at China objectively. China is not there to colonise them but to trade, to help them rebuild their countries with a proven blue print, successfully implemented in China and now sharing with the rest of the world. What did their colonial masters left them after centuries of colonial rule and looting? What have their colonial masters and the West to offer them today other than military pacts and more weapons of war?

The joke, they trust their ex colonial masters more than a China that has never stepped foot on their shores. They trust their conquerors more than China that never had a soldier in their land nor kill any of their people.

GE 2015/16 issues for the voters to consider – Issue 8 – Voting for more subsidies?

Do you want to vote for more subsidies? Subsidies in HDB flats, subsidies in medical bills, subsidies in paying utilities bills, subsidies in school fees, university fees….

What are these subsidies? Are they real or fiction? Heard of market subsidies? Heard of discounts, annual sales, Great Singapore Sales, Great Singapore Lelong?

Are subsidies and discounts just another sales gimmick, deceptions with inflated prices and then telling the customers of the great subsidies and discounts, that it is a very good deal, a great savings or else they will be paying more?

Do you want to vote for more subsidies when you don’t even know the real cost of things or if the prices have already inflated that after subsidies you are still paying much more than you should be paying? Do you know that the more subsidies you get the more you are paying for the goods or services? Everytime there is a subsidy you end up paying more. Not true?

Be careful with what you are voting for? Stop this subsidy thing. Stop being conned and happily thinking that it is a good deal.

Hsien loong –Spore has only 25 years to get demographic balance right


There is this article in the Today paper on 24 Jul 15 about what Hsien Loong said and his concerns for the well being of Singapore and Singaporeans. Why needs another 25 years to get it right when we got it right 20 years ago? Did not we prosper with the mix of population we had? It was not that we got a blessed combination but the govt then made it right, made them work as a people and a nation. Now we are in shit and need another 25 years to get things right again. Obviously things are going bad. Some one must have add a lot of shit into the pot, stirring it and causing it to smell.

In the article Hsien Loong shared his concerns of losing our national identity as Singaporeans, a lack of a Singaporean core and a population growing too big and going beyond this number is going to be undesirable. I quote his words from the paper, ‘With a million foreign workers here, Mr Lee said, this is “not a small number” and he did not think policymakers could “go a lot beyond”.’ Why has it got to this number? Or how did it come about, anyone knows?

For raising these concerns, Hsien Loong is in a way admitting openly that he did not see these coming. Knowing him and his pro active nip in the bud approach for solving problems, these problems would have been nipped in the bud before they reached this proportion. I am sure he did not know who decided to let in so many foreigners into the country. I am sure he did not know that we are losing our Singaporean identity and our Singaporean core.

I too must confess that I did not know how all these things developed to such a state that they are going to break this country apart, and the danger of Singapore losing its Singaporean identity. We are so lucky that Hsien Loong has acknowledged these problems and are standing up to address them. And we are so lucky to know that we have a window period of 25 years to put it right. Tharman needed 30 years to create a Singaporean core in the banking and finance industry. I am not sure how many years would be needed to have a Singaporean core in the IT industry and some other industries that have been taken over by foreigners.

Lee Kuan Yew must be turning in his grave to know that things are happening this way. Let’s hope he will quickly jump up from his grave to get things right again, maybe no need 25 years knowing his style. He wants things done right immediately. No mumbo jumbo, no dilly dally, and allow people to fumble along for another 25 or 30 years and not even sure if things would turn out right.

What would Lee Kuan Yew say or do to get his Singapore right again? Would he be able to put his Singapore together again?

7/29/2015

PMEs – Kena kelong then lelong

Whenever I think of this huge group of local talents that have been forced out of their comfort zone and unable to find a job to make a living, I can only think of kelong and lelong.

How could professionals in top management with 20 or 30 years of experience become useless overnight and no longer employable? If their salaries are too high, many would not mind taking a 50% cut to do something they have been doing all their life and very good at, their contacts and connections. How can they be unemployable? What is the real reason that they become unemployable? Kelong?

At 55 or 60, some even in their 40s, cannot find a decent job in the same trade needing their expertise but the companies could find the same expertise from inexperienced 3rd World ‘cuntries’, no mistake in the spelling. And no one thinks something is wrong? Oh, someone knew but could not do anything about it. The foreigners are in charge and it is their right to hire their own kind and to boot out Singaporeans in Singapore. Can you believe it, is this a country or a ‘cuntry’?

And they have accepted that this is it, nothing can be done to get the PMEs back into their profession.  The best option is to lelong them to the 3rd World countries or Timbucktoo. Hopefully in such places, our ‘rejects’ could find employment at a fraction of their income. And they should be grateful, got job is better than no job. And the NTUC is spending money and resources, setting up a special institution to train them just to be exported to God knows where. How lucky these PMEs are.  Some countries are famous for exporting maids and construction workers. What would Singapore be famous for, exporting taxi drivers or security guards?

Lelong, lelong, one PMEs for two, or take one and have one free. And we guarantee their certificates and degrees are genuine, from reputable and world class universities like NUS and NTU, some from good universities in USA, UK or Australia. We will certify that they are no fakes. You can double confirm with us. We will provide all the references plus a e2i certificate. We have our own seal of quality and authenticity, the Singapore Brand.

Getting use to a new face as the PM

The GE is coming and as in any general election, a new man or woman could be thrown up as the new Prime Minister. This is normal and common in any democracy except in Singapore. Here the PM is like a life time tenure and would go to the PAP’s candidate. In this GE the PM in the aftermath would be Hsien Loong. There is hardly any doubt about this. Many things would change but the PM of Singapore after the GE would not change.

Let’s put aside this reality and go on a trip to wonderland and let’s say a miracle happens and a new party or coalition is swept to power. And Singaporeans would have to live with a new face as the new Prime Minister. Who would that face be, Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim, Chen Show Mao, Chee Soon Juan or Tan Jee Say? Try to imagine that one of them would be the new Prime Minister. The feeling is quite strange.

Strange it might be, but would anyone picture Jokowi, a businessman, not an elite or a general, an unassuming man being the President of Indonesia? Jokowi has been the President of Indonesia for more than a year and is looking more and more like a President. And who says you need to have experience in politics and an apprenticeship to become a President or a head of govt?

In a democracy every citizen is good enough to be the President or Prime Minister. Singaporeans must get use to a new face as the Prime Minister sooner or later. Maybe not in this election, but it will come. Look at Low Thia Khiang and get use to his face as the PM. Or look at Jee Say or Chee Soon Juan, get accustom to their faces and get use to it that their faces could be the face of a PM. Imagine them in formal business suits and ties and looking dignified as the Prime Minister. I am not talking about the money type of dignity, but the dignity of the Office of the Prime Minister, the Head of the govt of a country.

It is just a matter of getting use to it. Get the idea? In a democracy you don’t need to be from the nobility or aristocracy to be the Prime Minister. There is no need to look noble and rich, just look like a Prime Minister will do. And the strange thing is that it will grow on the person in the Office.

7/28/2015

Muhyiddin – Checkmate!

Channel News Asia reports,

Malaysian media reported on Tuesday that Prime Minister Najib Razak has dumped his deputy and four others in a cabinet reshuffle, with the attorney general also replaced amid the fallout from a graft scandal at state investment fund 1MDB.

Najib's government announced in a statement that Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail, the man who had led investigations into the 1MDB scandal, had been replaced by Mohamed Apandi Ali. It gave no reason for the change.’

I cannot believe it. I thought Najib was in a fix. This amiable guy has pulled off a near impossible coup while under pressure from the most powerful political forces in Malaysia. I must say I never expect him to get out of this rut unscarred. And now he got one up on his opponents by removing his deputy PM Muhyiddin, the most outspoken UMNO critics on the 1MDB saga. And the attorney general investigating the case is also removed. There was also an edict that no newspaper is to report on the 1MDB case until the investigation is over.

I think even Mahathir could not see this coming. What is happening? What Najib has done is even more ingenious than Mahathir in his heyday. Mahathir was only able to drag a piece of mattress all over the courts. Najib simply disposed off his opponents in a a simple stroke of the pen, no drama, and no time wasting. Respect!

What’s next Najib? Or what’s next Mahathir? The power play has just begun and Najib is on top. And Rosmah has not even appeared or said a word. Can’t imagine what would happen when Rosmah pulls the rug off Mahathir’s feet. Don’t pray pray with a woman’s wrath.

The hunter is now the hunted. How would this game end is still too early to tell but you can bet there will be more surprises from both sides of the camp.

Bang!

GE 2015/16 issues for the voters to consider – Issue 7 – Would you want to be replaced by a foreigner?

The plight of PMEs is real. There is no record of how many have lost their jobs, how many are under employed and how many have opted to retire completely, unable to find employments anymore.

And how many of the good jobs have been taken over by foreigners while Singaporeans were told to go overseas. There is no need for Singaporeans to go overseas to eke a living when there are 2m foreigners here, happily employed and their dependence enjoying the safe and hospital environment we have built.

Do you want to be replaced by foreigners in your own country?

Think very carefully when you vote.