Davos – Changing roles of the good guys and the villians

The world is under threat. Free trade and globalization under threat. And out came Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in Davos  to speak up in defence of free trade and against protectionism. Trump’s America are going to raise trade barriers and protectionism, threatening the very institutions the Americans were championing in the last 7 decades. China benefited from the existing world order but Trump is out to dismantle it, claiming that the Americans are losers and he needs to make America great again by breaking down the global system that was built by the Americans.

China is protesting and leading the world leaders to tell the Americans and Europeans that free trade and globalization are good for them and they cannot run away from them.  Xi Jinping promised that China would keep its economy open to the world.  Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, WEF, hailed Xi’s key note speech, as a ‘very important speech at a historic time’.  The free world of the West returning to isolation is raising fears of trade wars.

Joe Biden in his dying days as the Vice President of the USA, joined Xi Jinping to call for the preservation of free trade and globalization. His last few words before his expiry as Vice President spoke volumes on the dire consequences when Trump moves into the White House.

What is happening? Where would Singapore stand now, siding with its old allies that are now against globalization and free trade or standing on the side of China to promote free trade and globalization?

What if the USA raises trade barriers against Singapore imports? What if both China and USA closes its doors to Singapore? Would Singapore take its principled stand on free trade and globalization and joined the Philippines and Malaysia to be on the side of China against the anti free trade and pro protectionism Trump America?


How poor or how rich are Singaporeans?

Leong Sze Hian quoted some numbers from the MOM. Let me quote below:

Median gross income of all employed residents (excluding employer CPF) is much lower?

However, if you look at the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Yearbook of Manpower Statistics 2016 – the median gross income of all employed residents (excluding employer CPF) is much lower, at $3,125.

407,400 earn less than $1,500?

There were 407,400 residents (about 19.4 per cent of the total workforce of $2.1 million) whose median gross income was less than $1,500 monthly.

After CPF = less than $1,200?

If we deduct the maximum employee CPF contribution of 20 per cent – the net take-home pay may be less than $1,200.

Arguably, most of the 407,400 people with take-home pay of less than $1,200 may be struggling to make ends meet.

47,000 earn less than $500?

I am stunned by a few numbers from the above stats. 407,400 or 19.4 per cent of the residents earned less than $1,500.  This is not much different from the pay of our top cleaning supervisors. My God, so many earned the same salary as cleaners! And after less CPF, the take come salary is only $1,200, the salary of ordinary cleaners.

This is jiat lat man. How to survive in this most expensive city in the world, or among the top few most expensive cities in the world? But there is one comfort, the govt has made home ownership so cheap. With $1,000 they can buy a 2 rm flat to stay. At least this is a consoling point, got a roof over the heads. Not sure how much left for food and other necessities.

But aren’t Singaporeans the richest people in Asia? Very high income, asset rich, highest quality of life. Putting the two together, this must be another Singapore miracle. Earning less than $1,500 and can afford to live well in one of the most expensive cities in the world when some complained that their family life would be affected if they did not earn more than millions in annual income. I really respect and admire those earning less than $1,500 pm and living well. I am still wondering how they could do it? They must be switching to eating fish when meat becomes too expensive.


Duterte telling Abe go fly kite

Abe went to the Philippines and wanted to sell submarines and missiles to Duterte.  Yasay said the submarines too expensive and politely turned down the offer. Duterte simply told Abe no one is going to attack the Philippines. No need for the missiles. Philippines do not want a Third World War on its islands.

This is a piece of wisdom that Duterte could teach the rest of the stupid Asean countries. Why keep on buying weapons and pay hard currencies for war machine just because the Americans hyped that China and North Korea are going to attack them? The sillies and unthinking in little Red Dot believe in these threats whole heartedly and everyday worrying that China and North Korea are going to attack the Red Dot. Go look at all the countries neighbouring China, anyone worrying about China attacking them? The only country that is claiming that and building ICBMs is India, just like the West, hyping that China is planning to invade India when China was there and pulled back without staying a day longer after they defeated the Indian Army in the 1962 border war. What, China want to attack or invade India? What for?

This is the 21st Century. Conquering or invading another country is no longer acceptable, permissible or the thing to do. Colonialism is no longer feasible as the Americans have proven many times, that they could not conquer and rule a country by force anymore.  But the Americans have not learnt their lessons well and still stationing Americans troops all over the world thinking of war.

Who would be the most likely aggressor country to conduct and engage in wars? China, Russia or America? Who have military bases and troops all over the world? The Americans have been accusing Russia, China and North Korea as the threat to peace when the real threat to world peace are the Americans. They are the trigger happy gangsters that have been engaging and still engaging in wars everywhere.

China going to attack Singapore, North Korea going to attack Singapore or the Philippines? Stupidity has no cure. Let Duterte teach them how to think clearly. Duterte is going to send all the American troops back to the USA. The American troops are in the Philippines to defend against who, or to hold on to the Philippines as a semi colony, like Japan and South Korea? Die die also would not leave.

The Americans are hyping all the threats to frighten the silly Asian countries to allow them to station their troops in their countries as semi colonies of the American Empire, to control them and to buy more American weapons.  Can understand that?

Stupidity has no cure.

PS. The Philippines filed a mild protest to China for putting anti aircraft and anti missile weapons in the SCS islands. The Americans were hoping to drive a wedge in the warming relations between the Philippines and China. The Pinoys are not stupid. These are defensive weapons, not offensive weapons like aircraft carriers, tanks and nuclear bombers. They would only be used against anyone who intrudes into Chinese territorial waters to challenge the Chinese. And the likely intruders would be the Americans or maybe the Japs and the little sheriff in Australia.

The defensive weapons are not to attack the Philippines, but to defend Chinese islands. What is there to protest?

$12 million for Korean comfort women, debt settled

Abe is insisting that the South Koreans removed the statue of a comfort woman placed in front of the Japanese embassy in South Korea. The Koreans cannot remind themselves of this insulting crime against their women but the Japanese can continue to remind themselves of their war criminal heroes in Yasukuni Shrine when Japanese leaders regularly went there to pay homage, respect and to honour these war criminals.

And this is what Abe said, ‘Japan has already paid 1 billion yen($12 million) as we sincerely fulfilled our obligation. This statement by Abe is belittling the Koreans even more and a new insult to them as a people.  I think it is now South Korea’s turn to show sincerity in an unwavering manner.’  Why were the South Koreans furious and wanted the statue to be there again when it was removed earlier. They were provoked by Japanese ministers visiting the Yasukuni Shrine to honour the criminals that abused the comfort women. But the Japanese would not want to understand this. Now Abe is accusing the South Koreans of insincerity.

Mind you, the $12 million was what the Japanese believed is the worth of the hundreds of thousands of South Korean women forced to be prostitutes to satisfy the sex starved Japanese soldiers that invaded their countries. And the payment was not to repay a debt but just an obligation! What, an obligation?

The Japanese and the Abes all thinks alike, that the abuses and crimes against the South Koreans can be repaid by a few million dollars. The insults, the humiliation, the rape and looting of both Koreas are nothing. The payment of a few million dollars, oops, not payment, but some handouts are just obligations that they owed to the Koreans.

Can this man be trusted? Is this man, Abe, and the Japanese be trusted and are they honourable people? After what they had done to the Koreans and the rest of Asia, no remorse, no repentence. They believed that they have paid for their crimes. Maybe some quarters in Singapore would think it is over, water under the bridge, and even think the Japanese are honourable and trustworthy people.

How many here believe so? How many believe that the rape and insult and humiliation of the South Korean comfort women is worth only $12 million dollar, debt settled?

Unlike SE Asian countries, the Koreans are not going to forget the invasion, colonization and humiliation of their country and people so easily. The rootless people of SE Asia would not mind the massacres of their forefathers as they could not see any link to their past. They have no past, no cultural roots to look back to.


Jennifer Granholm – Ignorance is no blessing

The ex governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, has told Trump to look at Singapore as a role model for creating jobs. As they said, ignorance is bliss but not when national policies affecting the livelihood of Americans are concerned. The recommendation by Jennifer to use Singapore as a role model is at best out of ignorance, a lot of superficialities, and at worst, shallowness.

The situation and conditions in Singapore are so far from what she thinks they are. She came to the conclusion by talking to a few ‘business roundtable of CEOs’ that recommended Singapore to her. I would agree if I were an American or foreign CEO looking for a job in Singapore. The point is that Singapore is so lack of top talents that anything that walks on two legs, and is foreign, is good to become CEOs in Singapore. And many foreigners are enjoying this fascination and attention in Singapore.  The Pinkerton Syndrome is thriving today with renewed enthusiasm in the heads of boys and girls in charge. It is thus only natural that Singapore is a goldmine to these CEOs.

The realities in Singapore are very different. Other than the silly obsession with anything western or foreign, Singapore is creating good jobs for foreigners to the tune of more than half a million managerial, executive and professional positions but with its own people increasingly losing their jobs, especially the Singaporean PMETs to foreigners. The myth that foreigners are here to create jobs for Singaporeans is receiving all the cynical comments by the thousands of Singaporeans losing their jobs and ended up as taxi drivers.

Is this what the Americans want? Is this what Trump wants, bringing in more foreigners to replace Americans and making more Americans losing their jobs?  Didn’t Jennifer know that Trump rose to the Presidency promising not to bring in more foreigners and to create jobs for Americans? Is she recommending to Trump to follow Singapore, to bring in more foreigners to take jobs from citizens?

A little knowledge is dangerous. This is a case of superficiality out of ignorance and talking to the wrong messengers. Trump would blow his top if this recommendation is put up to him, together with TPP is good for the Americans.

PS. This Jennifer should note that Singapore created more than half a million good jobs for foreigners. How many good jobs did foreigners create for Singapore, or causing more Singaporeans to lose their jobs?

Mahathir playing the race card again

The racist politics of Malaysia today has it origin in Mahathir. When racism or whatever serves his interest, Mahathir will take it to the extreme. Today he is stirring racist hate again, this time attacking Najib and the Sultan of Johore. Investment by China is bad, Chinese investment is bad. He has set up another party and wondering how many non Malays would join his party or form a coalition with him to take on Najib by playing with the race card all over again.

The Sultan of Johore is not going to allow Mahathir to stir anti Chinese sentiment in Johore. The Chinese are pouring money into Malaysia to the tune of hundreds of billions. It is not just benefitting Johore alone, Selangor, Malacca, Pahang, Trengganu and Kelantan are all beneficiaries to foreign Chinese investments, all negotiated fairly between Malaysia and China, unlike the days of colonialism when the British put a gun at the sultans and said, sign here.

Malaysia is enjoying an economic boom it has not seen before. No western countries or Arab countries are willing to invest that kind of money in Malaysia like the Chinese did. There is no gun boat diplomacy, no coercion, strictly business. But Mahathir is angry because the investment is from China.

What Mahathir is doing is like what Sultan Ibrahim said, ‘this is a clear case of economic sabotage and racial instigating…If investors wish to pump money into Johor Baru, do we say “no, no, if you are from China, you cannot come”…Dr Mahathir thinks it is easy to play up race because these investors happen to be from China. This is utterly disgusting”’.

The realities of today is that every country is now independent and is best placed to seek investments and negotiate the best deals they could get, unlike the days of colonialism when all deals favoured the colonial masters. Every economic and commercial deal is sealed when both parties agreed to the terms that they deemed are favourable to them. No more one sided colonial terms. Najib and the Sultan would not allow that to happen.

Oh, some unthinking western cronies would blindly agree with Mahathir, anything Chinese is bad, must bring in the western companies to balance the Chinese investments. What about the days when all investments were British, why no calls for Asian investments to balance western investments? And what if no western company is interested, no Arab company is interested, wait for the coconut to fall? Investors with the money will go wherever they are welcomed. Every country is putting up their best terms to attract foreign investors.

The world today is different. Every country, every leader would want the best for his country and would get the best deals for his country. No leaders would sell out their countries to foreign interests or to sell out the interests of their people to foreigners. Najib and Sultan Ibrahim are smart enough to get the best deals for Malaysia and Johore. Mahathir is only stirring shit and will stir all kinds of shit for his personal agenda.


The USA must start to behave as a responsible stakeholder

No more regime change, no more proxy wars, no more invasion of countries, no more support for terrorist organizations, cut down on nuclear weapons, stop inciting and provoking wars to sell more weapons. Stop building military bases every where, stop building military alliances, these are the things the Americans are doing irresponsibly and contributing to a more dangerous world.

It is time the United Nations start to behave as a responsible world organization of peace and to rein in this evil Empire from threatening the world with its military might, with its nuclear arsenals of more than 7,000 nuclear warheads and its more than 10 carrier groups armed with nuclear weapons.

What is the purpose of having more than 7,000 nuclear warheads and building more nuclear warheads? What are the Americans up to, what are their intentions to have so many nuclear warheads, and building more? For peace, for aggression, or for the destruction of Mother Earth? When is the United Nations going to table a resolution to curb the wildness of this evil Empire from possessing more nuclear weapons and aircraft carriers to threaten the world? When is the United Nations going to condemn this evil Empire for conducting regime change, for invading small nations, for threatening small countries recklessly with false and fake excuses? Or the UN is only good at bullying small countries or at the behest of the US to attack small countries?

The United Nations must give notice to this evil Empire that it should stop building military bases around the world, close down existing military bases to make this world more peaceful and stable. The world will be a more peaceful place without the evil Empire labeling countries as enemies, as hostile, as belligerent when the one that is hostile and belligerent and the enemy of the world is the evil Empire. It is so used to tell the world which country is bad, evil, and to sanction or threaten those countries so branded by the evil Empire, to even attack them.

The countries of the world, the United Nations, must stand up to the evil ways of the evil Empire, charge its evil leaders for war crimes, for crimes against humanity. The evil Empire must not be allowed to get away from its evil acts, from its crimes against humanity with impunity.

The United Nations should push for sanctions against the evil Empire for supporting and funding terrorist organizations, for threatening to use force against small countries, to disarm and destroy its nuclear arsenals. Obama talked about a world free from nuclear weapons but approved and committed more trillions of American dollars to build more nuclear weapons.

What nonsense, what hypocrisy!!!

The world would be a safer place with no nuclear weapons. Why is the United Nations condoning the Americans and on the side of the evil Empire in imposing sanctions on Iran and North Korea that possessed only a handful of nuclear weapons but did not have the ability to deliver them but keep quiet and allowed the Americans to hoard the biggest nuclear arsenal in the world, that could destroy the world many times over?

This is hypocrisy at the highest level. The United Nations must take the evil Empire to task, to rein in its warmongering activities around the world, to denounce and condemn the evil Empire for conducting wars, for being trigger happy, for killing millions of innocent people every where.

My ranting would not do any good, but at least it tells the world the whole truth, honest and truthful, not dishonest politicking. The world must face the truth, the reality, that the evil Empire with its hoards of nuclear weapons and aircraft carrier groups are threatening world peace and the destruction of civilization. The American Empire today is not for peace but for world hegemony, world domination, existing for the sake of the Empire and would do anything to any country that shows sign of taking a chip off the Empire. The American Empire is behaving exactly as the evil Empire in the Star Wars series.