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10/20/2009

The monopolistic competition myth continues in Parliament

The competition between Singtel and Starhub has exploded the myth of competition in a monopolistic environment with people shaking their heads and fearing that they will be the ultimate sacrificial lambs. Can there really be competition that will benefit the consumers? This issue was raised in Parliament yesterday. This was what Lui Tuck Yew, the Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts had to say. The Govt could fix the price service provider could charge the consumers. 'But a move like this, even if intended to keep prices low for viewers, may backfire and deprive them of programming altogether. It is like fixing the prices of public flats and HDB will not build affordable and quality flats anymore. In HDB's case, it is a national duty to build flats, so it will still build. But a programme provider like the EPL may not want to sell their products to Singapore, and all the football fans will suffer. See, the problem is not so easy to solve. Can there be other ways out? Can we open up the sky to look for better and cheaper solutions? Satellite disks? Free competition what? Free market is good for consumers and we believe in the principle of free market forces, free trade and free flow of information. Can this avenue be considered?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

In Singapore? Never !!!!
Government controls everything, from how you live, how you think, what your children learn at school, to how you will die. Your life has been charted for you and there is not much you can do about it. Sorry.

redbean said...

haha, be careful, mr awaking aka directless rubber aka liberally nonsense, may become angry with you for saying this : )

Matilah_Singapura said...

One has to make a distinction between privatization and marketization. When a govt "privatises" a service there is no true competition because the govt still imposes barriers to entry and can — as its own cartel still engage in price fixing etc.

In marketization, the forces of the free market and the free choice of individuals — both consumers and would-be entrepreneurs comes to bear and what results is better products and services and competitive prices.

Without understanding the concepts and defining our terms it is pointless engaging in discourse.

If there are GLC's and other govt "private" corporations involved, there is no free market competition. Period. What you have instead is fascism.

redbean said...

matilah, i believe we should be using the generally accepted textbook definitions. but indeed, people may use their own definitions.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Exactly. People will do what they like and define the world suka-suka.

However, forget about meaningful discourse then. It's like chicken talking to duck.

Anonymous said...

Hi Redbean,

U made a gd pt on satellite TV as a source of competiton.

This EPL addiction is a global phenomenon. Maybe u can take this issue further and throw some light on how other 'enlightened' countries (Korea, Japan, Thailand?? I dunno, maybe even Malaysia?)tackle this issue succesfully. A media insider like yourself can also shed light better than a layman like myself.

If we can reveal concrete illustration(s), then maybe the Lui fella may have to eat his words!

redbean said...

hi anonymous, i hope the MPs will ask Tuck Yew to do a feasibility study on satellite TV as the next competitor or explain why it cannot be done. singaporeans no need to be protected by priests and monks any more.

Jetreroy said...

What kind of idiot will use HDB as an example for competitive pricing? Most probably the kind which has no idea of the people's sentiments...

redbean said...

Jetreroy, nice to have you back after a long absence.

oh, the HDB part was my illustration. Tuck Yew did not say that. but both were kind of bad examples of free market. monopolistic markets peddled as free market, free competition. yes wtf.