The advert on the abusive and unreasonable grandmother is getting praises daily in the media. The part on filial piety and looking after the parents is reasonable. But shall we encourage the oldies to be abusive, unreasonable, difficult and be a bully? In the early days of ignorance and feudal values, many suffered very badly under very harsh and authoritative oldies. Being abused, ill treated, beaten, starved, ostracised etc were very common. The oldies saw it as their right. Can modern society continue to accept such abuses and cruelties inflicted by the oldies and to accept them meekly as filial piety? Only a feudal mind, unemancipated mind, a sick mind, could sing praises on such bad practices. To respect and care for the oldies are good things. But they cannot be taken for granted as a given. Oldies that are suffering from dementia or mental illnesses are exceptions. But oldies that are still vivid in their mind processes have to behave reasonably. It is not a right to abuse the children or grandchildren. And it is not their damn right to abuse daughter in laws. Such oldies need to be bungled and sent to some desolate homes to throw their tantrums and be difficult with whoever they want. It is oppression and mental torture to the victims of such abuses.
The most happy piece of news today is that job applicants are turning down job offers and waiting for jobs that are paying more and with better benefits. It is now an employee's market and organisations looking for employees would have to pay more if they want to get a worker. This shall be good news for the oldies as well. Those oldies who are still unemployed can go job hunting again. Just tell the employers that they don't mind being paid a little lesser than the yuppies. I am going to find my resumes and try sending them out. Maybe I can land a job paying half a million if the incumbent is getting $1m. I can survive with half of that. Gilbert Goh's blog on unemployment in Singapore is going to be history. Happy times are here again.
It has been quite a long while since we last heard of CPIB. Today there is a report involving a police officer taking bribes of $300 a month for facilitating the operation of a massage parlour. Actually it is not like that. The police officer was paying rather than receiving. He paid someone to stand in for him in getting a massage parlour licence. The lack of CPIB in the news is good news. It is the best statement that corruption has been totally wiped out, or nearly wiped out from this place. We are very clean. No more corruption, especially in high places. Another feather in our cap.
This is what the new PM Gillard said. "I think we want an Australia that is sustainable. This place is our sanctuary, our home." And this is what Labor politician Kelvin Thomson said. "Australians have expressed their concern about the impact of rising population on food and water supplies, on rising housing affordability, on traffic congestion, on the quality of life in our cities, on carbon emissions and on our endangered wildlife." I don't believe that the Australians could not cope with doubling their population with a continent that they have. It is not an island like the place called Singapore. They are worried about rising cost of living, food, water supplies, housing affordability, traffic congestion, quality of life, endangering wildlife? Come on, please come to Singapore and we will show you how to do it. We have solved all these problems and are going to keep on increasing our population. You see, rising population means economic growth. Stop the population growth is stopping economic growth, which is a nightmare. After 6 million, we will be talking about 10 million. And housing is a piece of cake. Our public flats are so affordable. Now they are talking about capping it at $1,000 psf or it will go higher. But no worry. The people are rich and will be able to pay for them. The Australians must send their govt officials here to study how we did it. Maybe we can loan them some of our super talents. But they must be able to afford to pay for them. Nothing is for free.
What is the difference in selling our land to foreigners in bits and pieces or all at one go? At the rate we are selling them, it is just a matter of time before we hit 20%, 30% or 50% of what we have, if the process is not stopped. I don't think any Singaporean will think that it is acceptable if someone is to announce that we sell 30% or 50% of our land away. Unthinkable. But if the selling is in bits and pieces, 500 sq m here and 1000 sq m there every other day, no one will notice or feel a thing. How much of our freehold residential land is now foreign own? This shall include the high rise freehold properties that can be sold to foreigners as well.
They said big banks that are too big to fail are bad. They are not going to have anything that is too big to fail. Now they have passed another bill of historical proportion since the Great Depression to rein in the free wheeling of Wall Street. They are not going to let their supertalents do as they pleased, to make millions and billions for their organizations and for themselves. This is going to be disastrous as their supertalents will be head hunted to use their talents elsewhere. How stupid can the Americans be? Two wrongs don’t make a right. All their funds will flock to enlightened city like Singapore to do their businesses. Their supertalents will set up bases here. In fact many have already came to this free wheeling financial centre of the East that will soon rival New York and London. And some of the bright financial engineers will do a big merger and acquisition just like Prudential trying to take over AIA. Now, if they do something like this, to create the biggest global bank in the world, they are likely to succeed. Our govt is likely to give them the full blessing. And we will join in the fornication for having the biggest global bank in the world, with no more DBS, UOB or OCBC, maybe no Standard Chartered and HSBC as well. All is one. And it will be a roaring success, a role model bank for the world to salivate. Of course the bankers will be the best paid employees in the world, and be allowed to continue with their free wheeling and dealing operations. It will be so impressive that all the big banks in the world will be dwarfed. Imagine, I am already wet at the thought of it, the biggest global bank operating from here, and the major shareholders are Singaporean entities. We will indeed become the freest and biggest financial centre in the world, the centre of the world. A fleeting dream in Alice's Wonderland.
'Even if we cap our excess, people in Hong Kong, Indonesia, will say, compared to what I have to pay, Singapore is cheap, let's buy it,' he added. 'And apart from landed properties, they can buy into any condos.' Mr Lee, who was speaking at a dinner hosted by the Association of Banks in Singapore, said that the Government is convinced that there is real underlying demand for residential property. 'So it's probably not a bubble yet,' he added. The above comments by MM was reported in the ST. So foreigners want to buy even at much higher prices and we sell. They can buy into landed properties and condos. Would their buying raise the prices of other properties and in turn raise the cost of living here? Just because they want to buy, must we sell? Who sets the rules to allow them to buy condos and landed properties? Are these rules good for Singaporeans? For sure, it is good for developers and taxes. My gut feel is that one day we will regret this thoughtless selling of our precious land to foreigners. By then it will be too late to unwind the clock. And we can't do it like Mahathir, introduce laws to be effective retrospectively. Once the land is sold, freehold land, it is gone forever.
They cannot afford to keep growing their populations. Both are little islands and have limited space and they fear that land will run out on them. The Australians are particularly worried that the people in the Gold Coast got no where to go if more new citizens are minted. And the Big Australia policy of Kevin Rudd was his down fall, for wanting to bring in more migrants. Maybe we shall offer our supertalents as their consultants on how to squeeze more people into every inch of their precious little islands. Australia, if under our management, could easily take in another 1 billion new citizens quite easily. Another revelation is that the majority of the migrants are Europeans. Asians are still restricted. And Britain is taking one step further to only allow Europeans into their little island. Africans and Asians got to wait long long now. We can capitalise on the restrictions in Britain and Australia and open our door wider. Immigrants that can't go to them can apply to come here. Our island has more space for them and we welcome them with open arms.
Floods are unavoidable. We had three real big ones recently starting from the Bukit Timah flood to Orchard Road and last Friday's across the island. Why should we be looking for more floods? First it is unavoidable. Two, as we keep building up infrastructure, to provide for 6 million population, more land will be needed. But land for big canals is expensive and not productive. So if we will plan for a city of 6m million or more but skimp on drainage, flood will happen and more will happen. Can we really cope with 6 million people if we can't provide land for drainage? Or that is something that we have to live with, big floods to become our daily routine?
Sinha Shekhar, an outspoken PAP activist and one of the good catch from the new citizen pool, has been cleared by HDB for subletting his HDB flat. He has asked for HDB's permission and has qualified under the number of years of occupation to sublet his flat. He is now living in his private property and let out his HDB flat. I also read somewhere that HDB's ruling requires the owner of both a private property and a HDB flat to physically live in the HDB flat. If this is the condition, Sinha must live in his HDB flat and rent out his private property and not the other way round. Can someone confirm on this as it means he is either contravening HDB rulings or he is not.
I was not working, took a little break and just came back. Heard that there was a heavy downpour this morning, and a pleasant surprise, no flooding. Is the system working or the amount of rainfall fell short of the 100mm in less than 3 hours? It seems that we have had two of such 100mm rain within 2 hours and flooding occurred. I still remember someone saying that the Marina Barrage is not only a reservoir but a flood control system and that there would be no more floods. It is a very expensive piece of equipment and it better works. And I think it is supposed to work in auto mode, or is it? Maybe the parameters were wrongly set and thus it did not trigger to release water from the Marina Bay Reservoir fast enough, or enough in volume to avoid the flood. or maybe there have reset it right now and this morning's rain would be easily taken care of by the system. Or maybe we have an expensive piece of equipment but failed by the minor blockages of culverts and drains here and there. Let's hope that another 100mm rainfall within a few hours will not do the same damage again. I was shocked by the picture of Bishan Park.
This one is about filial piety. The mother was curt, aloof, insensitive, rude, abusive, arrogant etc etc. The son was so filial and pampered her with tender loving care despite her ill treating and bullying his wife, the daughter in law, in front of his son. The daughter in law suffered in silence like all good and suffering daughters in law were supposed to be. The grandson could not take the bullying and abusing thrown at her mother but were convinced by his father that the grandmother took very good care of him when she was his mother. There were gratitude and filial piety all thrown together. The moral of the story is that grandmother can be abusive and disgusting as long as she had taken good care of her son. Daughter in law must take the abuses and ill treatments and suffer in silence to be exemplary. And grandson should not be thoughtless and must appreciate that the grandmother was once good. Oldies can be arrogant, rude, abusive and must be tolerated. My moral of the story, don't ever marry a filial son unless you want to suffer in silence.
Take one step further, as suggested by Matilah, do away with citizenship and race. We should seriously consider taking a dramatic leap to the future, of Citizens of the World, where nationality no longer exists, and racial differences be erased. We shall be the innovator of the new world and show the world what it should be. How people of different races can live and co exist peacefully and happily. Since we have come this far to open up our country to everyone, why not make our city the City of the World and our citizens the Citizens of the World, in short, COW? In such a city, everyone is a citizen, equal, no nationality, but a world citizen. All the ablest can come and reside here. They can even stand for election to be part of the govt as long as they are good enough to be elected. No protection for any group, no quotas or restrictions. And no need for citizen soldiers or NS. We just employ mercenaries to guard this place, and pay them well as deserving mercenaries. The economy will be completely open and free, the ideal laissez faire for the entrepreneurs and biz people to be at their best. No govt intervention. The govt shall leave the people alone to do what they are good at and those not able to shall find their own means to support themselves. They are free to go anywhere else, and the able and clever ones can come and replace them. This will be the best experiment for this island, to show the countries of the world what the new world can be. No petty differences to quarrel about, no race and no nationality. And no social welfare. The only guarantee is one's ability to look after oneself. The COWs will be the richest and happiest people in the world. A role model of free enterprise, a role model for living happily together regardless of race and nationality. I don't think religion can be erased, so the COWs can practise their religions freely. I admit this last one is hard to please and may be disturbing with more religious conflicts. But let our mercenary soldiers and police deal with them. Welcome to the city of Cows.
Lately there is a very exciting advertisement on TV. I think it is in Channel 8. It goes something like this. A celebrity asking a young girl if it was her boy friend's birthday and whether she needed a birthday gift. Then she recommended her to go to a pawn shop to get some loan for the gift. Given that we are in the midst of the Big Singapore Sale, it sure fits into the spending mood of the shoppers nicely. Now not only they can shop with credit cards, there is also the pawn shops available. Good for the economy. And an attestment to our shopping culture.
Arrrggghh....! Ptui!. I can't stand it. There were a couple of pages in today's Today paper covered with filthy and disgusting looking cigarette butts. I just cannot stand the sight of them. They really pissed me off. What was Today's message? To piss off non smokers or smokers? I think it will have no effect on smokers as they love them. Some silly women even collect them and fill them in big transparent bottles to admire at them. And occasionally they will uncork the bottle of cigarette butts to enjoy a whiff of the stale stench. Yak. Today, please, don't piss of the wrong audience. I threw the paper away immediately. It is so offensive. Stupid idea.
Hsien Loong met up with Najib again to follow up on the Tanjong Pagar land swap deal. They had a joint press conference and both were beaming broadly giving the impression that they are steaming ahead. Did I detect a little misgiving? Hsien Loong led a high level team including George Yeo, Mah Bow Tan and Shanmugam. On the other side the faces were not recognisable to me except Abdul Ghani of Johore. Where were the other ministers, notably Muhyiddin and Hishammudin? Is their absence an indicator that strong disagreements within UMNO is surfacing? I hope my concern is unfounded.
He chose his date for his last battle, May 13. They rejected him. Still, a month later, he spoke with the same venom. He tried to incite the Malays against the other races. Thank God, they ignored him. That was his last show and he failed. During his reign, a speech like that would have UMNO leaders kissing the keris, UMNO Youth supporters on the streets of KL and Kampong Bahru, threatening to run amok. And further south, Johore UMNO branch will be shouting across the causeway at you know who. These could only happened in a coordinated move by an edict. This time no edict and the event slipped away. So hopefully will Mahathir. But his legacy and the mindset he helped to nurture over the 20 over years of his leadership will continue to drive the thinking of conservative and ultra Malays. Vincent Tan may not get his toto booth licence with the conservative Malays threatening to organise a 100,000 men protest. A Chinese group attempted to take over a bank but the Malays protested that banks should be Malay owned. I am not sure if there is still a Chinese owned bank in Malaysia.
Vivian Balakrishnan lashed out at people who attacked the foreign sports talents as selfish, unsportsmanlike, small minded and many more. He also stressed that our survival and prosperity are dependent on the foreign talents. So without foreign talents we are doomed. I am 100% sure that without foreign sporting talents, our survival and prosperity will not be affected a wee bit except for the lack of sporting glory. I am also very sure that many critics did not attacked the foreign talents for their contributions but more for the foreign talent policy. The foreign talent policy is like taking a short cut, coveting other people's talents instead of using the same money and resources to nurture our very own talents. Would it make any difference if the resources were given to our children instead of buying talents? Vivian also talked about the X factor present in the North and South Korean teams. Obviously you can't buy X factor with money. And I also believe that it is treacherous to place our future, survival and prosperity, on foreign talents that can be bought by money. A nation's survival depends hell of a lot on X factor which no amount of money can buy. Many will die not for money or glory but for a conviction to country and nation. But some may called them silly idealists. Then again it is the silly idealists that countries depend on in desperate time of needs. The talents that can be bought by money would have bought themselves an air ticket out at the first opportunity.
Are private organizations up to it in protecting themselves from terrorist attacks? The terrorists are not your daily thieves and robbers. They are well trained and well armed. Like Mas Selamat, some of them are experts in destructive warfare, and highly intelligent. What kind of staff do the private organizations have to defend themselves in the event of an attack? Are they trained and armed, as well armed as the terrorists, and as intelligent as them? The private organizations may be able to secure their place of work with technology and the handful of security guards which, unfortunate to say, many are from the Dad’s Army, some ex detainees for petty crimes, and some fat ladies. Pit them against the well trained experts of terrorist armies, well, the odds are like Argentina against Singapore in football. Shall the responsibility of defending against terrorist acts be the responsibility of private organizations? Terrorism has changed the face of security of private organizations and businesses. It does not draw lines and boundaries, no war or civilian targets or battle fronts. It is trained terrorists against untrained or superficially trained security guards. This is a new ball game.
Many of the oldies are fully retired and living on whatever they have left in their savings, plus whatever they could withdraw from their CPF. Some oldies refused to quit and wanted to continue working. Getting a job is out of question unless you are a super human bean and indispensable. They may even pay you millions to keep you employed, happily. So the less talented and not so super human beans will try to be self employed. Some may sell things in pasar malam, some as agents of this and that, except secret agents, some may try driving taxis. Some may want to start a small biz. What they all wanted to do is to earn a living, post retirement. What they did not bargain for is that by being self employed, they must pay protection money to the CPF in the form of medisave contribution. They don’t care whether you have any other insurance to cover your backside, they don’t care whether you can afford to pay this protection money. They just say you pay if you want to be in business. And they will tell you that it is for your own good. What a ransom against the oldies who are trying to be independent and not drawing down on their little savings. What kind of business cost is this? Bloody shit! It is like being punished for trying to help yourself. And they are trying to help you by taking more money from you. Or are they making things more difficult for the oldies to want to be self reliant? If they sincerely want to help the oldies, self employed oldies should be exempted from contributing to Medisave to reduce their business cost.
There is this line of thought with regards to employing foreign talents here. It goes like this. Our forebears were foreign talents too. We must not forget our beginnings and must appreciate foreigners as they were like our forebears before. We should therefore welcome foreigners and treat them like one of us. Is this the right thinking, the acceptable thinking to determine govt policies on recruiting foreign talents, especially to top positions, instead of true blue Singaporeans. Yes, I must agree that our forefathers were migrants. I must also say that they came to a no man’s land. There was no country but a British colony. The British only cared about the wealth they could bring back to England. What the migrants did, whether they survived, what happened to this colony and its future well being, were not too much of their concern. And in 1969 they decided that it was time to pack up and go home. The migrants were left to fend for themselves, find their own ways, and build this rock into a country. That was the beginning of a generation of migrants sticking together to make this island their home, a home for themselves and their children. They slogged in pretty harsh conditions, and very low pay, without knowing if they could succeed. No proper housing or infrastructure. Not much of a govt until they formed one. And through their hard work and sacrifices, we have this beautiful and wealthy island we called home. We are the descendants of these migrants. They were not welcomed here as foreign talents but labourers, coolies, transient workers. We are the inheritance of the island country that they willed to us. Let not anyone be ungrateful to the children of the poor labourers who laid the foundation of this country, with their blood, sweat and tears. They did not have a good time. They did not complained, for they were striving for a better tomorrow for their children. Today we have a country. We called ourselves citizens. We pledged to defend it by doing 2 to 2 ½ years of National Service. The descendants of these children deserve to inherit this country and all it can provide. We can welcome new migrants to share our wealth. But we must always think of ourselves first. The best must be given to our own children. It is ungrateful to shower Ginny comes lately with all the goodies and tell the descendants of the nation builders to step aside if they are not good enough. Don’t be ungrateful, don’t forget your roots and the works of your forebears. I am very sure they did not slog so that new migrants will come first and their descendants come second. If we proceed along this thinking that new and old citizens, and worst, PRs, deserve equal rights and equal chances, and better chances, soon the new citizens will tell the old citizens to get lost if they can’t make it here. If we forget the distinction between ourselves and others, we will soon lose our place in the sun, in the island our forefathers built for us. And no citizens will take their citizenships and responsibilities seriously anymore. What for?
We have just celebrated racial and religious harmony day after two incidents of religious leaders making insulting remarks at other religions and their practices. They have since repented and apologised for their wrongful acts, and hopefully they are sincere and would not do it again. I would like to suggest that anyone caught making disparaging remarks at other religions should be made to make an appearance at the Speakers Corner to explain his/her position and to make amends. This will inject more life to the sleepy corner of Hong Lim.
We have a medical team in Afghanistan helping to treat the wounded under a Nato led International Security Assistance Force, a peace keeping mission. Wonder when have we become part of Nato? Our soldiers were brave. Risking their lives to save lives when artillery shelves were exploding around them. But the risk is very low, according to one of the brave soldiers. They used to say that brave soldiers are dead soldiers. But ours are alive and smart. The camp is so big, at least 11km wide. So the chances of a bomb hitting on them is very low. Maybe one in a million. I pray that none of them will get an equivalent of a purple heart. Why is this not a UN led mission but a Nato led mission? What's the difference? A UN mission is sanctioned by the UN, though the UN is not that respectable in neutrality, at least it is not part of an empire. Nato is part of an empire. And are we part of the empire? Or maybe this is a UN mission but commanded by Nato.
With so many foreign workers here, all hungry and in a hurry to make the extra dollar, it is so easy for someone or some issue to agitate them into a riot. Their numbers can be frightening when organised or behave like a mob. The decent and law abiding locals will be easy meat to be hacked just like the recent case of 7 Sarawakians running amok. I just hope that no one will stand out to say that this is not expected and they were caught off guard.
There was a very well written article in the ST yesterday written by Jeremy Auyong of SPH. It has this title, ‘A most glorious, victorious defeat’ and dressed up with a big statue of Kim Il Sung and a FIFA banner of the South African game. Half a page of the ST Life was devoted to this article. It claimed to be an intercepted report from the North Korean World Cup team to its Dear Leader. Readers are advised not to take this seriously as it was printed under the subgroup called ‘jay talking’. Let me give a little cut and paste brief of the article. It is too long for posting here. ‘All hail the Dear Leader of limitlessly rich and strong Democratic People’s Republic of Korea….On Wed, our noble team of drones stopped only a little short of a complete and total humiliation of Brazil. The final score, according to the counting system of Western liberal apologists, was Brazil cowards, 2; the great team of the People,1. …we outperform our evil scum neighbours to the south. The South Korean scoundrels managed only a miserable 2-0 scoreline against Greece, even though it is clear they were playing against a team of anti socialist conspirators that had been instructed beforehand not to try too hard…. The great victory was attained…We bowed before the life sized full colour framed portrait of Dear Leader that we have taken along at the expense of rations and a backup right back…. The noble team thank you limitlessly for authorising the temporary removal of the heavy tracking beacons that were strapped to their ankles…The players are so full of love for the Dear Leader that they now attempt to defect only once or twice a day…. As a reward for such an uplifting success, may I hereby suggest that daily team floggings be reduced from 15 strokes to 14 strokes. It would also be most magnanimous of Dear Leader if you would authorise the temporary decommissioning of the electroshock machine…. Yours humbly, Kim Jong Hun, coach of the great team of the People.’ I think it is funny and absolutely brilliant as a joke. And the editor must also agree that humour is good for the soul, never mind, the North Koreans are fun loving people and will not take offense at it. On a more serious note, if North Korea finds us singing like westerners and want to point a nuclear warhead at us, and put us in their hate list, I think we can’t blame them. They may think that we are intentionally provoking them. Maybe this is a reason why we need to fear North Korea and speak out against them at every opportune moment. After all they don’t belong to the ‘right’ camp. They are evil actually, one of the three infamous Axis of Evil that we have been told daily, and to believe it is true. We are really a blessed people with a good sense of humour. And we know how to choose the ‘right’ side. I better double check my storeroom cum bomb shelter to make sure it is same in case of a nuclear attack.
Has BP invented a new and cheaper way to drill for oil? The method is simple enough. Just plunge a hole in the sea bed and the oil will flow to the surface. Then apply a ring of vacuum cleaners and scoop up the oil into waiting tankers. Oil drilling has never been made easier.
Ngiam added his 2 cents worth to the foreign talent debate and shared his views that we need our own people to run our big corporations and country. This is nothing to do with being xenophobic. It is being natural, charity begins at home, and not being stupid. Philanderers can come in different forms. One of which is throwing good money to foreigners and leaving your own kind in the cold. It is also very insulting to say that your own kind is useless and incapable. It is so embarassing and shameful to take the position that all the supertalents that we crowed about daily and could not find one to run our big local banks. Maybe we have heard too much from Mahathir and agreed with him that our children cannot measure up to more superior foreigners. Bloody shit! Our talents graduated from Ivy League universities in the US/UK and many top their class or with first class degrees. What did the foreigners have to show? I remember one attended a Harvard or MIT one month programme, or something like that, and claimed to be from the universities. Wee Cho Yaw must stand firm and prove to the jokers that Singaporeans can do the job equally well. Make UOB the number bank in Singapore, bigger and more successful than DBS and OCBC, with footprints around the world. But make sure not to buy rotten apples and paid for them like real gold. There is an urgency to dismiss the myth that Singapore has no talents of its own and we need to depend on foreign talents to bring us forward. If we don't provide the chances to our own kind, who is going to give them the chances? Look at our artistes at MediaCorp. If MediaCorp did not use them, they would not get any offer from Hongkong, Taiwan or China. As extras for Hollywoods maybe. But with MediaCorp, they are now stars and celebrities in their own rights.
Caught off guarded, a once in 50 years incident, an honest mistake, we did not see it coming, are these words enough or acceptable? We paid big bucks for super talent performance. We don't pay pennies for third world administrators. How many more caught off guard replies are we going to get before enough is enough? The people demand a higher standard of performance and accountability for the money that is being paid. We do not want to hear anymore off guards. We want to get life going without all the big mishaps falling onto our laps. Can we have an assurance that things will be better and no more once in 50 years flops? Two big floods, SMRT graffiti, football fiasco, trees and killer litters falling on people's heads, and what else?
I was looking at the pictures forwarded to me and these were the things they were wearing. Bold 'Germany' written on their buttocks for Germany. The Italians painted their faces with the flag of Italy. So were the Koreans, with Korean flags on their faces as well. The Danes and Swiss wore the colours and crosses on their Ts. The British wore their Union Jacks. The Brazilians And Argentinians wore their national colours. What did the Singapore football fans wear?
With the GE approaching, somehow they seem to have all disappeared. Where have they gone? Even those involved in all the controversies have not been seen. Let me guess. Preparing for the GE? Working very hard to eliminate the controversies? School holidays?
The western economies are all in deep shit. Even those that have not announced anything, pretending that all is well, including France, Germany and UK, who knows how big are their national debt. They cannot be too far from what is happening to the other European countries and the US. They employed the same breed of people from the same school of thoughts and practicing the same flawed formula of spending now and pay later. And Japan is no exception. They had done well in the past from simple economies to huge complex economies. And they were applying the same old methodology of growth and management. Of course they thought they were damn brilliant by printing papers and trading papers to churn huge profits in double quick time, on paper, without real production growth. The best analogy will be our local banks. Starting from small little banks and grow to what they are today on hard work and low pay. The harder they work, the longer they work, the lower they pay, the bigger the profit margin. And they are now at a cross road. Old methods and old tricks don’t work anymore. What is the solution? It’s elementary. They need qualitative change, new thinking and new ways of doing things. In short, the old banks, the old economies, all need new talents. They need fresh minds and fresh ideas. These new talents will teach them how to make big profits by working less hard, working shorter hours, working smart and by paying more. Our local banks need to be managed by foreign talents if they want to transform themselves into big global players. The American and European economies need the same foreign talents to give them a new breath of life. The best talents should be those of different molds, from India and China. On the other hand, India and China would need the foreign talents from America and Europe as their economies are still in the adolescent stage. The developed economies and the developing economies should swap their talents and called them foreign talents. Then all will be well. Foreign talents will be the most innovative and successful formula for the future. The new economies are rich and can afford to pay more to their foreign talents. The old economies are poor and bankrupt and cannot pay much but what they pay to foreign talents from the new economies would still be considered a lot. Everyone will be happy with the exchange.
Peter Seah is talking about the next CEO of DBS that shall preferably be a Singaporean. For 20 years, DBS had 4 CEOs after Kee Choe, and all were foreigners. Why? DBS could not find a Singaporean to fit the shoe and only foreigners could? Does DBS have a succession plan to groom its local executives to fill the position? Or is it that all the local talents are simply not good enough? Both reasons are difficult to accept. There must be a succession plan. There must be good locals that can fill the CEO position. We will be a laughing stock if after so many years we still fail to find a local that can become the CEO of its biggest govt bank. The alternative to recruiting Singaporeans as DBS CEO is to find a foreigner and then give him a red passport. I think that could do. We could do likewise for our PM post if we can't find a good enough Singaporeans to fill the shoe.
SDP is asking the govt to take full responsibility for the graffiti breach. I think this is getting a bit too far. Can blame it on god or not? Eh, don't anyhow point finger can? SMRT may have the S before the MRT, but it is a private company run by private individuals. It has nothing to do with the govt. Temasek and GIC are also run by professional managers. Even privatised hospitals are privatised. Cannot anyhow blame the govt lah. And please don't put too much pressure on organisations to beef up security. Some jokers may just up the ante and go for the full works with private armies and a 20ft wall. And the cost will simply be passed off to the consumers and every commuter will be LL. Let's cool down and look at the problem objectively and don't politicise it. It is just a security breach, or just some cheeky artists trying to be funny.
He was born and brought up in Japan. He is a North Korean striker at the World Cup representing North Korea. He was in tears when the North Korean National anthem was played. This is the kind of national pride to be a citizen of a country. He needed not return to his 'poverty stricken country according to western reports.' He could stay in Japan and live a good materialistic life. But his heart is in his home country. He ached for not scoring a goal against Brazil. The great fighting spirit of the North Koreans has won the hearts of many around the world. Their Southern brothers are all in admiration of what they have done. They are one people and one nation but divided at the moment. And they never forget that they are one. I hope this World Cup will bring the two divided states and people closer and to reunite eventually. Let not the evil countries try to fix them up and make them go to war to kill each other. The world will be a better place if the two Koreas are reunited as one country. North Koreans and South Koreans should rise to the occasion to show the world that they are one people. They are Koreans, nothing more, nothing less.
Low Thia Khiang should not politicise the Town Council Report. It is not political. Period. Let's move on. I make this comment after reading a headling in Today, 'WP's Low pursuing political objectives: Grace Fu.' The Report is an objective an unbiased account of the performance of the Town Councils. Low's position that Town Councils getting more funding is beside the point. More funds or less fund, they should perform equally well. Ok, Ok, you can all disagree with me on this point. I think with the Town Council Report becoming such an objective and impartial tool for measuring performance, we could see more relevant factors being included in the near future. And to be fair to all parties, to avoid being look at sceptically by doubters, to avoid being sneered at, there will be more transparency coming out, I believe. After all transparency is a great virtue that we believe in and is the corner stone of good governance. The govt has been preaching it all the time. Low And Chiam should be patient and wait for Grace Fu to lay out all the regulations and criteria on the fundings and qualifications for upgrading of estates. We shall all look forward to that. Amen.
After leading Malaysia down the racist road for more than 20 years, he finally revealed what he really is. Mahathir spoke at a Melayu Bangkit rally in Kuala Trengganu. As reported in Malaysiakini, he warned the Malays that they would suffer the fate of their cousins in Singapore, becoming a minority and unprotected by the Govt. He was partially right but mostly wrong. The minority status of the Singapore Malay came about by chance, or a legacy of the British Empire. The majority Chinese did not consciously planned it that way. Two, the status of the Malays here is like they are being deprived and in a sorry state, according to Mahathir. Is that so? Many of the Malays here are better educated and trained professionally than the elite that he created with half baked degrees and education. He should be envious of the state of professional development of the Malays in Singapore vis a vis those in Malaysia. Three, with all the Malay Rights enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution, with Malays in the majority, with Malays in absolute control of political power, with the non Malays conceding the status of Malay Rights in the Constitution, there is not an ounce of a chance that the Malays will lose their prime status in Malaysia. And there are no colonial masters to put a gun at their foreheads, no colonial District Officers to manage the Sultans. The Malaysian Malays are highly politicized and know their rights and no one can take that away from them. So what is Mahathir fanning? He is still deriding the Malays as an incapable race, a genetically flawed race that cannot compete with other races on merits. Unfortunately many Malays believe in his proclamation, that they are an inferior race. Is that the truth? Does Mahathir think that because he is not a pure Malay he can look down on the Malays? Are the Malays going to continue to accept the insults from Mahathir as the truth? The Malays in Singapore have proven many times that they can do it, compete with everyone on equal terms. Many Malays students are among the top students in schools here. Is that enough proof that given the right environment and motivation, they don’t need the crutch. They are fully able to stand on their two feet. But if they are taught and repeatedly told that they are no good, how are they to gain the confidence to have faith in their own abilities? They have to thank Mahathir for the crutch mentality.
The self proclaimed god of the world published a report putting Singapore on a watchlst for human trafficking. Singapore has hit back claiming the the US should look at itself as human trafficking is a very serious problem there. The joke is that the US ranked itself as the best in the ranking, right at the top. I think there is no need to scream our lungs out. In the first place we should control our media and avoid reporting rubbish and biased articles from the Americans and helping them to push their agenda. Such stupid reports should never be published in our media. We should exercise more discretion to report on worthy stuff. In fact some of our journalists and reporters are also parroting many of the rubbish coming out from the US and the western world. So why blame them if we are so gullible? The second thing we can do is to put up a proposal to the UN to set up a neutral agency to monitor all countries on such issues, including human rights violation in the US. And of course war crimes against humanity that are committed by the Americans all over the world. The UN should take over the role in this kind of reporting, on condition that the analysts are neutrally picked. It would be pointless to have the same clowns and crooks making the reports. Asian media should cease reporting silly and biased articles immediately.
Look at the picture carefully. Look at how the steel plates folded, outwards and upwards. It looks like the explosion was from inside or from below. An internal accidental, hitting a mine below? If it was hit by a torpedo, the steel plates would be folding outwards from one side. You make your conclusion.
Repeated Chinese navy helicopter flights close to Japan's Self-Defense Force ships in the East China Sea and the Western Pacific in April were neither professional nor responsible, says the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Patrick Walsh. Walsh expressed concern about China's increasingly aggressive behavior in the South China Sea. In reaction to China's disturbing behavior in the South China Sea, several littoral states such as Vietnam and Singapore are now purchasing submarines "as a way of protecting sovereign rights," Walsh said.... The above article is by Yoichi Kato from Asahi Shimbun. Is he or the Admiral joking or clowning? Singapore and other littoral states are buying submarines to take on the Chinese? And the Chinese are being irresponsible flying near other ships? What was the American plane that flew over Hainan and brought down by a Chinese fighter doing there? Friendly tourists? What were all U2s doing flying over other nation's territories? What were the American bases doing in South Korea and Japan? And the Japanese PM Hatoyama had to resign because he could not evict the Americans from their territory? How come? Japan an American colony? Why couldn't Hatoyama do it? Was there some unequal treaty that was signed giving away Okinawa to America for 150 years like Hongkong being ceded to Britain during the colonial days?
This Great Debate is going to raise temperature a bit higher. The two opposition MPs are understandably unhappy to know that the rankings of their wards are the lowest. But they should not worry too much. Look at the rankings of universities. Some are ranked damn high. But the students and parents just don't believe they are that good and are still sending their children to lower ranked universities. So this kind of ranking is only good to those who want to believe they are good. I believe if Cambridge/Oxford or Harvard are ranked in the hundreds, the students will still flock there because they know what is really good and what is fictitiously good. Now, how shall I add my two cents worth to this Great Debate? Shall I say this one is telling the truth or that one is telling the truth? On the other hand, if I say this one is not telling the truth or that one is not telling the whole truth, then I can be sued for calling this one or that one a liar. I think I better not make my two cents worth in this Debate without any data to back up my arguments. I would like to make a suggestion though. Chiam See Tong and Low Thia Khiang should commission a survey, using volunteers so that they don't waste public money, and use their own set of criterias to meassure what is good and what is bad. They should carefully select criterias that suit their interests or appropriate to their Town Councils. The results can be equally flattering.
We have not forgotten what Rony Tan said. Now we have a Mark Ng who more or less did the same thing, ridiculing other religious practices. And when what he said was circulated in the net, they quickly took it down because they knew it was against our law. What if the video was not being circulated? Would it go on and on as if nothing happens? The important question to ask is whether your religion is intolerant of other religions, whether the teaching is against other religions. If they are, just simply say so and no need to pretend that you love other religions or can co exist with them. Stare at your religious doctrines hard and be honest, ask yourself what is the truth. No need to lie. No need to by hypocritical. Be confident in what you want to believe in if you think that is the truth. If your religion is intolerant of other religions and cannot co exist with other religion, no need to pretend otherwise, Just go quietly to your little corner and practise faithfully and honestly who you believe in. But just be careful not to trample on other people's religions. Don't badmouth other religions. For here, the law will come after you regardless of whether your god is real or unreal. Spare us the hypocrisy.
While everyone is breathing the World Cup, the most regrettable thing is not being able to cheer for our team in the competition. Some even dreamt or made belief that our team is indeed in the competition and will be playing against this team or that team. We have so much money, why can't we go and buy a good team to represent us and then we can shout ourselves silly. And for those who can afford it, they can all fly to Johannesburg to cheer for our team and plant our flag there. It will be so glorious. Let's not miss out in the next World Cup. We have so many talented talent scouts and we should put them to work to pick our future winners and bring them here to prepare them for the next cup. And we can emulate the South Koreans, erect stages at the padang with big screens and big Singapore flag to be unfurled at the victorious moment. And I am sure Singaporeans would not mind paying $200 to the telcos for airing the game if we are in the running. It will be something worthy to watch on the box. We want the World Cup trophy. Then we can announce to the world we have arrived as a nation.
We would like to encourage low-income SEPs and informal workers to fulfill their 2009 Medisave liabilities by 31 July 2010 so as to enjoy the maximum chances of winning up to $3,000 in cash at the next MCD in September 2010. Who would want to lock up their money into a scheme that they have no say as to how to use it? And in many cases they may not use it till the last day when they pass away? On the other hand it sounds so good. Save the money to pay big hospital bills when they are hospitalised. And they better save more or else with the bills going to be bigger and bigger, they will not be able to pay. I wonder how much could these people save and whether they can catch up with the rate the hospital bills are rising? Another good thing about this, it comes with a lucky draw. The scheme is already so good and now got chance to win money some more.
Everything seems to be progressing smoothly. Now we shall be waiting for the new boundaries and a list of new faces to appear before the big day is announced. Oh, and plenty of good news coming too. I am sure the opposition parties have a long list of agenda to thrash during the election rally. One of my wish list is to revert the CPF schemes to its original terms with the new terms as optional, voluntary. This will allow the people to withdraw their Medisave, minimum sum and also to decide if they want or do not want to sink their money in any insurance schemes. Of course the high HDB prices will be a great issue to boot. And hospitalisation bill that seems to go one way will be good for discussion too. Hope the opposition parties are will prepared this time and goreng the real issues as best they could, and not be disqualified for some silly mistakes. The first salvo has been fired at the Town Councils.
The world’s financial crisis is due to China’s fault for not allowing the Yuan to float, and for the big funds to speculate on it. The Americans are heavily in debt because of China’s cheap Yuan, and cheap labour too. It has nothing to do with the expensive labour and high living of the Americans. And the Europe financial crisis too must be the Chinese doing. They have nothing to do with it. The Europeans are not to be blamed unlike the Asian crisis when all the Asian govts were blamed for mismanaging their countries. The remedy to save the world financial system is to float the Yuan. As simple as that. When that happens, all the big western investment funds, and Asians too, will collude, scheme and conspire to destroy the Yuan to bankrupt the Chinese Treasury. They are all waiting on the side line for the biggest treasury to open up for them to loot. China must be alert and be extremely careful in this evil call to float the Yuan, to allow it to be attacked. And they have all the reasons to. Low wages, high income gap, too export oriented economy, authoritative central govt, corruption, minority problems, etc etc, all pointing to a system that is waiting to crumble like a house of cards. And when China relent under US pressure, that would be the day of its collapse. South Korea is getting wary of the pack of wolves and is the latest country that is curbing big time currency speculation. It has joined Russia, Brazil, Taiwan and Columbia to restrict currency speculation. More countries will soon join the league if they know how precarious it is with the big funds waiting to pounce on them like a wolf pack.
This is touted as the most expensive purchase of a private property here. It is still not in the region of $500m like the Michael Jackson or Elvis Presley estates. But theirs are not 15,000 or 20,000 sq ft but measured in acres. This Sentosa Cove property is still very expensive as it is on a 99 year lease and not freehold. A Chinese national bought this. And it was reported that 4 members of a Chinese family bought a unit each at prices of $15.9m to $26m. The expression of 'What is $10m?' becomes very real. There are several thousand billionaires in China and many tens of thousands of millionaires with net worth in the hundreds of millions. And if a sizeable number of them think of parking some of their wealth here, they could have bought up everything in Sentosa Cove. And we are not counting the rich Indians, Indonesians, Malaysians and all over the world who just have too much money and need to park them somewhere. How many more luxury properties can we built to sell to the super rich before we run out of space? The question is why are we selling our precious land and space so happily? Who is benefitting from the transactions and where are the money going to? We have great and meticulous planning in public housing. We will house our people in better and better public housing at affordable prices. One thing for sure, public housing will remain public housing and the quality will be as good as the public can afford them. In the private sector, the quality will also be as good as the buyers who can afford them. And with an abundance of super rich where money is not an issue, whatever the developers built there will be takers. Eventually we could be developing foreign enclaves of super rich in some select corners akin to the foreign concessions in China during the colonial days. The difference is that we did it voluntarily while the Chinese were coerced into parting with their prime estates. Is this what we want? Is this the future demography of Singapore? Or would we want to plan for the Singaporeans to occupy the prime estates at an affordable price by tweaking some planning policies? We have restrictions in landed properties, but this ruling is bypass very often with exceptions. And the landed properties in Sentosa is also an exception. When the British were here, the prime lands were mostly in their hands. They were the colonial masters and looking after their own interests. Today we are charting the course of our own future and the places for our future generations. Where are we going in terms of housing and estate planning? Johore or Batam or Bintang for our own citizens?
The game of stock investment is no longer the same game Buffett knew in the past. Then it was just picking stocks on fundamentals, buy and sit on them and in the long run, well managed companies with growth stories will run up the ladder, paying dividends and higher stock prices. The formula was simple and logical. Buy only good companies. Today stock investment is a new ball game. Calling it investment is a misnomer. It is no investment but pure speculation or gambling. The nature of the game has changed completely. Stocks are being substituted with derivatives, options, covered warrants, ETFs etc that interests in the actual stocks have diminished. Money is placed on all the other instruments rather than the stocks. Companies hardly offered the conventional warrants which have died a natural death. And if the trend goes, stocks too will die a natural death when trading is on derivative instruments. Then there are the big money that are used to ramp stocks up and down at the slightest news or excuses. Either way, the big money will make more money. The conventional investors sitting on their golden stocks will see them battered down one day or up the next, sometimes with little correlations to the worthiness of the stocks and their businesses. With high powered and high speed machines and marginal commission to pay, the big money would take full advantage of their unfair advantages to push the market and stocks anyway they want and cleaning the investors of their long term investments. Investing for the long term, being paid dividends, bonus shares, waiting for prices to grow steadily are bad premises that no longer hold water in stock investment. It is hit and run, going with the tide, or the market makers, provided the investors guess it right and hitch a ride. Investing stocks for the long haul is likely to be a big roller coaster ride with many shocking moments, and may not see the stocks appreciating in price over time. It is all about selling and buying papers ie derivatives with some having zero intrinsic values.
A training base for our Olympians will be set up in England, two years before the Olympic Games in 2012. We will be able to train and acclimatise our sportsmen and women to make sure that they stand a good chance to win a medal for our country. I must say that with the effort, resources and seriousness we put into acquiring sporting golds, we are getting nearer to our pot of gold. To be more serious, we need to really scout around the world for gold potentials, bring them home quickly and turn them into citizens to qualify for the Olympics.
US Admiral Mike Mullen rapped China for not falling in line with the US to take tough actions against North Korea for the sinking of Cheonan. The US is fuming mad that the Chinese refused to tow the line after a 'multinational' probe into the sinking which conveniently left out the Chinese, the Russians and the North Koreans. And many already believed in the truth from this 'multinational' investigation team of birds of the same feathers. The impartiality of the team, without the Chinese and the Russians and also the North Koreans, was never in doubt among the international gangsters. And they are demanding that China must accept their cooked verdict. Why should China be made to believe in something which is shrouded with slime and fakery? If the Americans sincerely wanted the Chinese and Russians to play ball with them, they should, from the start, involved the Chinese and Russians in the investigation. A simple question, 'Why were the Chinese and Russians left out of the investigation team?' Bloody gangsters!
A report by Gabriel Chen today in the ST says that GIC may stand to lose $760m in the gushing oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. GIC was noted to have 200.4m shares of BP worth around US$1.68 billion. With the fast crashing price of BP shares, and if the shares have yet been sold down, GIC could lose up to $760 m, and all, if BP go bust under a series of expensive lawsuits coming from the US. We cannot blame GIC for the loss of this investment. Neither can we blame them for many of the losses as the causes were not due to lack of due diligence. They were proper investment decisions made after thorough research before plonking down the money. The exceptions were those decisions made over a few days when white gods descended from heaven to ask for tithes. Act of god or fate, or just plain unlucky can happen to many investors. Sometimes the bad luck comes in a string. Everything touched turns into waste paper. The contrary can also happen when everything touched turns to gold, giving the monkey a chance to claim credits. We can only hope that this is not the beginning of a string of bad luck and bad investments. If it is, nothing can help and no experts and super talents can do anything about it. At times one must believe in fatalism. The worst case can mean a wipe out of the bulk of our foreign investments, if god willing. Better go and pray for more blessing and abundance.
Selling bricks and mortars, and land, is a very lucrative business. Buy the land, build it into something fanciful, and walla, big profits. But our land is limited and the cost of material is increasingly rapidly. There is also a political cost. Why not sell pieces of papers? The most valuable piece of paper to sell from this little red dot is the Red Passport. I am not sure what is the going rate in the black market for a fake or stolen one. But it must be in the thousands. It is like getting a passport to heaven. The Red Passport carries a lot of weight and makes travelling very convenient and quite respectable too. Why not make it official and sell it to the highest bidder like COE? But no, to avoid queer results like $1 a piece, make it $100k a piece. No worry about double citizenship or national service. It is a special passport. And to make it high class, or only for the high net worth people so as not to tarnish its reputation, the buyer must also buy a property here to have an official residential address. In this way, the cheap skates would not be able to get one easily. This does not rule out the mafias and drug lords. Never mind, close one eye. As long as they are rich, they are welcomed. And we can call this the Premier Passport, with no voting rights of course. Just a convenient card to carry around. Good for revenue and good for the property market.
The Indonesian intelligence told us that Orchard MRT station could be a terrorist target. There were heighten security patrols from the men in blue and the anti terrorist experts must be fully alerted to such a possibility and probably taking more precautionary measures to make it double sure it shall not happen. Then we have two vandals sneaking into a MRT depot, left behind elaborate graffiti that could take hours to complete, sneaked out and went about their lives as if nothing happened. And the graffiti went on its round across the island without anyone knowing anything amiss till a couple of days later when the train was in for maintenance Having nicely painted pictures on MRT trains are unlikely to prompt anyone into thinking that they are not supposed to be there. How would the public to know that they are not advertisements if the MRT staff too did not have any clue? But then what ? It is too late if it was a terrorist attack. The damage would have been done. Finito! While Oliver may be waiting for his backside to be scarred, in a way we should thank him for testing the security system of the MRT and highlighting its glaring inadequacy. If not of this incident, everyone will still think that the system is in good shape. Now we know it was not. And the MRT may not be the only organization that could be caught with the pants down. There should be a thorough review of the security systems of potential soft targets and to make amends when there is still time, when they are not hit yet. The security agencies may want to conduct random tests on possible targets to assess their security worthiness and readiness. Maybe they can hire Oliver and his British partner to be the testers.
Before any impartial investigation team was allowed to verify the findings on the sinking of the Cheonan, many quarters already found the North Koreans guilty and wanted to punish them. From the little girl in the White House to the Govts in Seoul and Tokyo, and the professional journalists here also accepted the evidence provided by the American/South Koreans as the gospel truth, with no need to question. Now it seems that there is another side to the story that sounds even more credible. Even then, I always used the word IF. Never have I jumped into conclusion that my theory is the final truth. I just find in nauseating and silly for people to jump into conclusion without questioning how the evidence was obtained or created. And when I posted the Madsen article, I also advised the readers to be objective and find their own conclusion. Which joker claimed that I have jumped into any conclusion? Until the real truth is out at this point in time it is all politics and polemics. It will be very interesting if eventually the truth points to the Americans being the one that pulled the trigger. If that be the case, would the little girl in the White House cry running to mummy complaining that someone had bluffed her? Would South Korea break off relations with the US? How would the South Koreans react to the sinister plot of killing their own people and pointing at an innocent party? And how would the Empire look like in the eyes of the world. IF...the Americans lie....
We welcome the foreigners to work and live here. We have laws that protect them. We invite them to our homes, organise parties to make them feel welcome. We even waste water which citizens are forbidden to do, to help them celebrate their festivals. And when they are in the lurch, we open our purse to help them. Our govt even went to the extend to convince the people on how important the foreigners are, and how they help and contribute to our economy. In short, we have been very kind to the foreigners. The least we can expect from the foreigners is for them to be decent and law abiding residents. But there will be some black sheep that will not only break our laws but also hurt our citizens in the most cruel ways. These are not the average foreigners working or living here. These are the beasts that would not care a dime if they harm or hack our citizens to death. Shall we be kind to these beasts as well? I always believe that this is our home and the citizens must have that special place in his home. And if foreigners come here to hurt our citizens, we must be very harsh and hard on them. Harsh measures are only targetted at the hard core and vicious criminals and should not be in anyway seen as being anti foreigners. It is anti beasts, anti animals and anti criminals that cause serious injuries to the people. The seven criminals that went out to hack at their victims brutally, do not show mercy on their victims. So they deserve no mercy. By dealing hard on them, we are not only protecting our citizens, but also law abiding foreigners here. We need to keep this place peaceful, orderly and safe.
Below is an article which was forwarded to me. The readers shall read it objectively and find his own conclusion. I will try to attach the photographs that came with it. If the facts are proven to be true, my God, the South Korean naval personnel were simply sacrificial lambs and Lee Myung Bak being led to run in circles. The article is by Wayne Madsen. Online Journal Contributing Writer. Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report. Copyright © 2010 WayneMadenReport.com Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report Beijing suspects false flag attack on South Korean corvette Carried : Friday, 28-May-2010 http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_5930.shtml Navy soldiers stand guard near the wreckage of the naval vessel Cheonan, which was sunk on March 26 near the maritime border with North Korea, at the Second Fleet Command's naval base in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, May 19, 2010. South Korea said on May 20 that evidence was overwhelming that a North Korean submarine fired the torpedo that sank the navy ship in March, killing 46 sailors WMR's intelligence sources in Asia suspect that the March attack on the South Korean Navy anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, the Cheonan, was a false flag attack designed to appear as coming from North Korea. One of the main purposes for increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula was to apply pressure on Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to reverse course on moving the U.S. Marine Corps base off Okinawa. Hatoyama has admitted that the tensions over the sinking of the Cheonan played a large part in his decision to allow the U.S. Marines to remain on Okinawa. Hatoyama's decision has resulted in a split in the ruling center-left coalition government, a development welcome in Washington, with Mizuho Fukushima, the Social Democratic Party leader threatening to bolt the coalition over the Okinawa reversal. The Cheonan was sunk near Baengnyeong Island, a westernmost spot that is far from the South Korean coast, but opposite the North Korean coast. The island is heavily militarized and within artillery fire range of North Korean coastal defenses, which lie across a narrow channel. The Cheonan, an ASW corvette, was decked out with state-of-the-art sonar, plus it was operating in waters with extensive hydrophone sonar arrays and acoustic underwater sensors. There is no South Korean sonar or audio evidence of a torpedo, submarine or mini-sub in the area. Since there is next to no shipping in the channel, the sea was silent at the time of the sinking. However, Baengnyeong Island hosts a joint US-South Korea military intelligence base and the US Navy SEALS operate out of the base. In addition, four U.S. Navy ships were in the area, part of the joint U.S-South Korean Exercise Foal Eagle, during the sinking of the Cheonan. An investigation of the suspect torpedo's metallic and chemical fingerprints show it to be of German manufacture. There are suspicions that the US Navy SEALS maintains a sampling of European torpedoes for sake of plausible deniability for false flag attacks. Also, Berlin does not sell torpedoes to North Korea, however, Germany does maintain a close joint submarine and submarine weapons development program with Israel. The presence of the USNS Salvor, one of the participants in Foal Eagle, so close to Baengnyeong Island during the sinking of the South Korean corvette also raises questions. The Salvor, a civilian Navy salvage ship, which participated in mine laying activities for the Thai Marines in the Gulf of Thailand in 2006, was present near the time of the blast with a complement of 12 deep sea divers. Beijing, satisfied with North Korea's Kim Jong Il's claim of innocence after a hurried train trip from Pyongyang to Beijing, suspects the U.S. Navy's role in the Cheonan's sinking, with particular suspicion on the role of the Salvor. The suspicions are as follows: 1. The Salvor engaged in a seabed mine-installation operation, in other words, attaching horizontally fired anti-submarine mines on the sea floor in the channel. 2. The Salvor was doing routine inspection and maintenance on seabed mines, and put them into an electronic active mode (hair trigger release) as part of the inspection program. 3. A SEALS diver attached a magnetic mine to the Cheonan, as part of a covert program aimed at influencing public opinion in South Korea, Japan and China. The Korean peninsula tensions have conveniently overshadowed all other agenda items on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visits to Beijing and Seoul.
And more residents will call Shenton Way their home. The developers are all smiling with rental in CBD commanding a high premium as well as the properties commanding high prices. But what is it for the citizens? The residents calling Shenton Way home may all be foreigners, or the majority may be foreigners. And who are the locals buying up these properties, not many HDB upgraders but the rich who have already many properties in their pockets. It is great news for profit generating. How does it fit in to nation building, to the welfare and living standards of the citizens? How many citizens will benefit from such grandeur and high living lifestyle and expensive homes? With no checks and balances, with no links to nation building and the uplifting of the people, who would enjoy all these beautiful condos? Sure, some citizens are laughing all the way to the banks. The CBD will be more vibrant, but for who and for what?
The Third World countries shall rejoice with the rise of China to challenge the US and European dominance of world affairs and unequal relationships. Gone will be the days of Unequal Treaties. The Chinese will stand up to the US and the West for their arrogance and domineering relationship vis a vis the rest of the world. An ugly example of such a relationship was pronounced by Robert Gates himself at the recent Shangri La Dialogue when he claimed that the US has been selling weapons to Taiwan openly all these years. So it must be right. He could not see anything wrong with it. He might as well say that the US had perpetuated a slave trade enslavings millions of Africans for several hundred years. So it must be ok to continue to do so. Or he might as well say that colonisation is acceptable since the Western powers colonised and ruled the rest of the world for several centuries. The Chinese did the right thing by cancelling Robert Gates visit to Beijing to remind him that selling weapons to Taiwan is not right. The Western world would accuse China of being arrogant for standing up to the US and them, for demanding to be treated equally, and all international relationships be on par, not the empire/subject kind. The Third World countries would stand to benefit if China could shift the present unfair relationship to one that is more equal to the smaller and weaker nations. The Americans and the West cannot keep talking down to the rest of the world and dictate what a relationship should be in their favour and according to their terms. If they can build military bases at the doorsteps of other countries, sail navy ships in their seas and fly spy aircraft or satellites over their territories, these are not friendly acts, so can other countries do the same to them. For a better and more equal world, all countries shall be treated equally and have the same rights to determine their own affairs.
SGX wanted to boost the strength of remisiers by another 1000. Several broking houses are in the market looking for another couple of hundred remisiers each. Aren't these going against the conventional wisdom that the stockmarket shall go online and there is no need for remisiers? There was a time when the mantra was that machines could replace the role of remisiers but now we are hearing calls for more remisiers. Wonderful! Does it work to have more remisiers? Looking at the volumes traded in the market, at times as high as 2 billion shares daily, many of the remisiers were waiting for their phones to ring. Long were the days when the phones were ringing non stop once the trading volume hit 1 billion shares. What's happening? And the past few days the volume dwindled to less than a billion, and yesterday was the lowest to date, at 788 million shares. What were the remisiers doing? Swapping mosquitoes? Now, if the volume is going to be so anaemic, what would the addition of another 1000 remisiers do to the market? More volume or the same volume divided by another 1000? I have written in the past that once the retail investors have been sent to the cleaners, the next will be the remisiers. And when the remisiers too are emptied of their pockets, the funds and trading houses will only be trading among themselves. And looks like this day is getting nearer than I anticipated. How did the market get to this pathetic state? What is wrong with the market or the system? Is the system healthy or sick?
The WTTF victory has generated many discussions in the media and cyberspace, including mysingaporenews. The main argument centres on foreign talents versus local talents. Let me take the issue a little further by asking why are we doing this? What are we trying to achieve and for what? Is the glory of being world champion something so important to us that we should devote so much energy and resources to recruit foreign talents to make us feel good? Is it about national pride or is there an economic angle to it? Or would someone say it is about nation building, or a way to motivate our future champions? In Europe, particularly in football, buying foreign talents is a big thing and big money. It is big business, a big industry that generates economic activities and income, jobs etc etc. It is a business that extends beyond national boundaries. We too are spending hundreds of millions to watch football. The bottom line is big profits. I think we are very far from that in table tennis. It is still a national cost, a big hole where money is being poured into it when it could be used better in other areas. Maybe we have too much money and this small sum is insignificant and we can do without. Even in football, when players are bought and sold like assets, when it comes to the World Cup, the players, or most of them, will return home to play for their national teams. Not many national teams would want to field non nationals or newly bought nationals to don their colours to win football glory. It is unthinkable for Brazil, Ivory Coast, India, Japan, Korea or even Malaysia, to flirt with buying foreign footballers to win the championship. Table tennis is exceptional because many countries are doing it, from the US, Europe, across Asia to Oceania, the Chinese are exporting their table tennis players to these countries who are willing to pay for them. To the Chinese, it is an economic activity, and also they have an abundance of talents. Any difference between football and table tennis? In football, it is the commercially run football leagues that are trading talents. In table tennis, what league, representing who? What are we in for? Why are we importing foreign talents in sports for?
Ang Jun Heng is a straight As student from Raffles Institution. He intends to apply for a SAF Scholarship to read Engineering. His future is, or was, very bright. Now he is lying in the hospital with severe cuts and injuries to his whole body and hoping that his reattached 4 fingers could heal and return to normal. Jun Heng was one of the unfortunate victims of the brutal robbery and savage attacks on several people by some foreign workers from Sarawak. Though most of attackers have been arrested except one, and some facing death penalties, none of these will be able to return Jun Heng his normal life and his bright future. I hope the authority will come down hard, extremely hard, on these foreign criminals who were given a chance to make a good start here but instead brutally attacked our citizens and hacking their victims with knives like savages. There must be no mercy shown to them. I would advocate that there should be another harsher laws for foreigners commiting violent crimes against our citizens. We were so nice to them, welcome them to our homes, spent monies to organise parties to make them happy here. And this is our just rewards. This is not an anti foreigner article. The good and law abiding ones are still welcome. For those who resort to vicious crimes against our citizens, let it be known that the law will come down very hard, doubly hard, on them. They must not return our generosity and kindness by harming our people.
At the Shangri La Dialogue, the US Defence Secretary Robert Gates pooh poohed the cutting off of contacts by the Chinese military with the Americans on the ground that the US was selling arms to Taiwan. He proudly told the delegates that the Americans have been doing so openly all these while so why the big fuss? He should also tell the delegates that the Americans also have a treaty to defence Taiwan should it be attacked by China. And Taiwan is a breakaway island from China. He should tell the delegates that for centuries the colonialists have ruled over the Asians, Africans and Americans, so it is alright if they continue to do it, openly. What this representative of the Empire did not know is that the Empire can do anything it wants as long as the subject nations under the Empire are too weak to talk back. The point is that the Empire forgets that once a subject nation is no longer a push over, it is not going to be dictated by the one sided rules and terms of the Empire. The balance of power as changed. And he went on to tell the subject nations in the Dialogue that the Empire will look at more options to punish North Korea for the alleged sinking of the Cheonan. He took it for granted that the one sided investigation by the Empire and the evidence produced are final, and the rest of the world must accept them as the ultimate truth. This truth and evidence cannot be questioned. The Empire is the arbiter and the judge and the executioner. Was he cocky, ingnorant or still believes the Empire calls the shot? In the eastern Mediterranean Sea there is a little Empire telling the countries in the region who is the boss. They control the sea, the land and the air. They will police the region and will take over any ships, vessels or vehicles moving without their approval. The countries in the region will just have to live under the rule and authority of the little Empire. And this state of affair will go on forever until such a time when there are capable countries that could challenge the balance of power there. In the meantime, the little Empire shall call the shot, like it or not. The big Empire will look the other way, and the UN will simply disappear knowing where it stands. So will other little European Empires. They share the spoils and divide the areas of influence among themselves.
Football fans staged a protest at the Speakers corner to show their displeasure against Singtel and Starhub for the high prices for the World Cup matches. By next week the two telcos are likely to come up with their facts and figures to prove how affordable and reasonable these prices are, and the protestors just have no case. This is the correct Singaporean way of communicating with the people. And after that, case close, no more issue. With only two or three telcos here, and running as private companies answerable only to their shareholders for profits, the football fans shall count themselves lucky that the prices are so affordable. In fact any price is also affordable as long as there are fans who can afford to pay for it. What is the message that the protestors were trying to make? Is it a reminder to the super talented CEOs that they should not take the consumers for granted and that they can pay any prices only to pass the buck to the helpless consumers? And they can still make handsome profits knowing that the consumers just have no choice but to pay. I think we need more of such protests to register the point. If not, such reckless behaviour is bound to repeat over and over again.
I must say that the graffiti was very well done. SMRT would have to pay a lot for it if it were to commission an artist to do it. And I think SMRT quietly told itself that they didn't mind and let the train go around the island with the graffiti on it. But a crime is a crime. Vandalism is vandalism. The culprits must be charged in court and sentenced to 2 weeks jail. They shall serve their jail terms in SMRT depots and made to paint more graffiti officially with SMRT's consent this time. And SMRT can pay that a token of appreciation for a job well done. Put the blame on the Olympic spirit of good sportsmanship since the YOG is in town.
A meaningless and superficial MBA Oath is now circulating in some of the top universities around the world, including SMU. MBA graduates are supposed to take the Oath modelled on the Hippocratic Oath of the medical profession which too has become superficial in many ways. The MBA graduates theoretically pledged to be good boys and good girls, do no evil, do only goodness, do no harm to others, and to help the society rather than their own pockets. If this is the best that these highly regarded institutions of higher learnings can come up with to save the world from another financial crisis, I think a primary school kid will be able to come up with something more idealistic. The real problems which no one wants to see or admit is that the administrators and regulators are in cahoot with the crooks and allowing the crooks to do as they pleased, helping them to take advantage of systems and regulations to enrich themselves with not a care about the consequences to anyone. What is needed is to put a hangman noose on the heads of the administrators and regulators and make them say a pledge as below, modelled after the superficial MBA Oath. 1. You shall be hanged if you do not manage the enterprise with loyalty and care, and advance your personal interests at the expense of the enterprise or society. 2. You shall be hanged if you do not understand and uphold, in letter and spirit, the laws and contracts governing your conduct and that of your enterprise. 3. You shall be hanged if you do not refrain from corruption, unfair competition, or business practices harmful to society. 4. You shall be hanged if you do not protect the human rights and dignity of all people affected by your enterprise, and you do not oppose discrimination and exploitation. 5. You shall be hanged if you do not protect the right of future generations to advance their standard of living and enjoy a healthy planet. 6. You shall be hanged if you do not report the performance and risks of your enterprise accurately and honestly. 7. You shall be hanged if you do not help the management to continue to advance and create sustainable and inclusive prosperity. But for the above pledge to be effective, an independent govt body shall be set up to monitor the administrators and regulators to check on their actions and compliance with the pledge. Self regulations or little regulation is the biggest bull that will make a farce of the pledge. The administrators and regulators must come under intense scrutiny if they are to do their duties diligently and objectively, and fairly. And they must know that the axe will fall on them if they don't do their jobs as expected in accordance with the above pledge. So far the administrators and regulators are acting as gods, passing judgements when in fact they are as culpable as the crooks that nearly destroyed the financial system. The sad part is that we were just given a rude warning and no one is taking heed, and the crooks are still at it daily, doing their damages with impunity, knowing that they have the administrators and regulators in their pockets.
The contest for the President of SAAA is hotting up with Low Teo Ping throwing in his hat. I think we can't find a better candidate than Low Teo Ping given his sparkling track record in sailing. His team of local boys and girls are world beaters. These are 100% local bred. No need to buy from other countries. Low could repeat what he did for sailing in athletes if he takes over the helm. He should be given the post of Ministers for Sports to give him the authority to revamp the whole system that is increasingly relying on money to buy glory, buying foreing talents to carry our flag and fight our fight. Low Teo Ping is the man.
S$18,316,267,123,556 This is size of debt that could bankrupt US. The above front page headline is in mypaper today. I am still panting after typing the numbers on the keyboard. To me, the US is already bankrupt, not that the amount could bankrupt the US. How and when are they able to pay back when the debt is still mounting daily. The wars they are conducting, the huge military forces they possessed, the bases overseas, luckily they need not have to pay their politicians too well. But that could be their mistake and the cause of this huge debt. I thought if they sell their 6th Fleet and 7th Fleet to China they may be able to get out of their debt. Looks like they will have to sell much more to clear what they owed. The greenbacks are going bananas soon.
Another aspect of the talents possessed by our foreign talents, oops, I mean foreign workers to be more specific, is gang robbery. A gang of 7 went on a rampage, killing one and wounding 3 or 4 within a few hours in the Geylang/Kallang area. It was the most outrageous attack ever launched by the foreign workers in one night, and with so many victims. Thanks to our men in blue, they were caught except for one still at large within a couple of days. So you guys better be grateful at our men in blue. They are good. Then another case of 5 foreign workers robbing 500k ringgits from two money changer couriers was also reported today. And they too were arrested within a week. This is kind of a record, to be able to crack such cases in a matter of days. But the important thing is that with the prosperity we have, and with the foreign workers trying to make ends meet, it is a matter of time before they become too daring and wanted to get rich quick. Armed robbery does not need too much talent really. When desperation pushes them to the wall, anything goes. This is the social price we will have to pay. Hopefully it is not too high and not too frequent.
Hilary Clinton said that the US had agreed to a prompt, credible and impartial investigation on the Israeli attack on Aid Ship heading to Gaza. This is her response to the UN's call for an investigation. I am wondering why the UN did not call for a prompt, credible and impartial investigation. And I am wondering why the US, UK and the South Koreans went ahead on a partial investigation without any independent party involved. What is the difference between the type of investigation conducted by the US, UK and South Koreans and a prompt, credible and impartial investigation? Was it prompt, was it credible, was it impartial?
The City Harvest Church is in the limelight for the wrong reasons, and many quarters are pointing an intimidating finger at it. Some remarks were not very pleasant. I have heard a little about what CHC is doing and the very positive comments by the believers on what they are doing, and the wonderful pastor in Kong Hee. I look at CHC as a revolutionary church, one that is taking the Christian movement to a new age. When wealth is everywhere, there is no need for poverty. Yes, we should be praying for abundance, give more and receive more in return. Generosity will be rewarded. There is no necessity today to want to be poor, to live in a state of poverty as a precondition to go to heaven. Why should people who work hard for what they have be wrong because they are too rich, and theoretically should not be in heaven. This concept or belief will rule out many of the successful people from being in the company of God. Let's celebrate wealth and richness. Let's be rich and live a good life of abundance. Let there be no guilt for living well and wanting to live well. And with wealth, many good things can be done, to be generous and kind to the less fortunate. Without wealth, it is difficult to even offer help and assistance. Wealth and abundance are good. Many non Christians are practising this all their lives. My parents too have been visiting temples to pray for abundance. Many of other religions or no religion too have been visiting houses of worship to pray for wealth and abundance. I am no exception. Anyone think that it is wrong to pray for abundance and live in abundance? Anyone does not want to live a life of abundance and want to live like Mother Teresa?
Building a nation, they used to call it nation building, is not about setting up a business, hire and fire, pick the best and discard the worst. A nation is about a people with a share history, some common identity, and a share destiny. It is not about fair weather friends, come when the weather is fair and vamoose when things get bad or there are green pastures elsewhere. It is about sticking together, looking after the able and disable, yes, no one is left behind. And many more. The last thing about nation building is to clamour for foreigners at the expense of your own people. To disadvantage your own people and tell them they deserve it if they don't buck up and there are many foreigners queueing up at the door to replace them. There is this relationship, an unwritten bond, to stick together for good or for the worst. When leaders forget and think that the less able can get lost if they are unable to keep up and will be most happy to bring in fair weather foreigners, give them a pink ic and call them citizens, then we are not talking about nation building. We are just running a corporation, hire and fire, no misgivings, no gratitude, no attachments. The people don't owe anything to the govt or the country and vice versa. Just a business contract.
Kim Jong Il is a madman that runs a very poor country for more than 50 years from the time of his father. And the North Koreans are still not starved to death and could build nuclear weapons and maintain an army that could over run the south with the word go. And the status quo is only maintained with the presence of American troops and backed up by Japanese pledge to join in to defend the South. Could a mad man and a very poor country really to that? Oh he is also a genius. And there was ‘a thorough investigation showing that the North Koreans are responsible,’ for the sinking of a South Korean corvette Cheonan. This is the most concrete evidence so far. Beyond any reasonable doubt. And Kim Jong Il did this just to attract world attention to feed his ‘dangerous personality disorder – “malignant narcissism” …which involves “extreme grandiosity and self absorption”. Isn’t this what George Bush was suffering from? Ok, Ok, I did not make this up. The above information can be found in William Choong’s article in the ST yesterday. He is a senior writer. I am wondering why he is so sure that the information was true and factual. How did he know, or those people who have no contacts with Kim, know that he is mad, and also a genius? Did they diagnose him or treat him? And I also wonder why William Choong is so sure that the evidence on the sinking of Cheonan is not fabricated but the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The Americans and South Koreans said so? There is another page on mypaper today showing satellite photos purportedly of the palace of Kim Jong Il and proclaiming that this is a man who lives a lavished lifestyle. Looking at the images, the size of it was nothing compare to the football stars or Michael Jackson's estate or much bigger than any residence of heads of states. The question is that why are we so obsessed with North Korea and so happy to read unsavoury news about that country? Do we have an axe to grind, do we have an agenda, are we anti North Koreans? Or are we just being fed by the western media to attack the North Koreans without knowing it? The West have an interest to paint the North Koreans as black and bad as they can to justify their political interests. Do we have such an interest?
Israel conducted a raid on the Aid Flotilla heading to Gaza in international water. 10 of the Arabs or Turks were killed and several wounded. The US as usual expressed regrets! That's all. And they were asking for blood in Korea. The saddest part is that all the Arab world could do is to demonstrate and cry for revenge. And revenge is something they are incapable of. And an even saddest part is that they will be hit and hit again by the Israelis at will, any time, any place, and all the Arabs could do will still be demonstration and crying for revenge, beating their own chests and hurting themselves. China was in the same shit hole when it was weak and helpless. Today, see who dares to attack or hit out at China. The Belgrade Incident will never be repeated again. That was the last incident that the Chinese will accept without hitting back. The next time China will hit back. Iran and North Korea are getting stronger, and to think of hitting these two countries is a dicey thing. For the attackers will not know what would hit them in return. There is merit in being strong and powerful and being able to defend yourself. For the rest of the Arab world, enjoy your crying and demonstration. They can continue to do these eternally if they remain weak, divided, and helpless. The Arabs are the Sick men of the Middle East.
When a Chinese vessel hit the Great Barrier Reef, there was immediate condemnation and even talks of criminal charges against the captain of the ship for destroying the ecological system. We had our own oil spill last week and there was an article in the Today paper asking the question, 'What if the oil spill here was really big? Does it really matter? The proper question to ask is who is spilling and destroying the environment. Look at what BP has done and still doing at the Gulf of Mexico? 19,000 barrels per day gushing out of its well and it is more than a month, and the oil is still flowing out, creating the worst environmental disaster in American history. Where is the condemnation? Where is GreenPeace? Where are the environmentalists? Thank god it is BP versus America. If it was China, war could have broke out. How could any country or company be allowed to let a disaster of this proportion go on like this and still taking its time to deal with it? And all the western journalists, environmentalists and govts are keeping mum. It's ok. Don't worry about what if the oil was really big. Ask who is the culprit.
Unlikely. We are very cash rich and have invested several hundred billions in a diversified portfolio and managed by some of the best fund managers money can buy. No way are we going to become the first sovereign fund to turn turtle. The billions that we lost during the subprime crisis is an aberration. It will not happen again. Not our fault by the way. The subprime crisis was not expected. So was the PIGS crisis. Unless the PIGS grow bigger and drag down a few bigger economies like UK, Germany and the EU. If that happens, no one can run, no where to run. Our hundreds of billions would become waste paper. But they are real money that comes from somewhere. Somewhere there must be owners who want their money back, to be repaid. That would be the day. But a collapse of Europe is just impossible. Don’t even think of it. It will not happen. So, for Singapore to become a casualty of sovereign default is simply unthinkable. Don’t worry. Go ahead and take the loan to buy that million dollar property. Everything is fine. If the impossible happens, pure speculation and imagination, what would happen to those with a million or half a million dollar mortgage to pay?
The recently concluded World Table Tennis Championship in Moscow saw Chinese players representing China and Singapore competing. The Chinese players won, and Singapore claims glory. We are the World Champion in Table Tennis. There will be victory celebrations and we can tell the world how great our table tennis players are, and we have world champions living among us. I still can't find the slightest feeling of exuberance in this great achievement. But that is only me. I believe many will be celebrating our World Champion status, a midget country that has no resources except human talents has finally produced world beaters. Something to be proud of. For the rest of the Singaporeans, be happy that you have a chance to celebrate and cheer and clap your hands furiously for this great glory. Thanks to our foreign talent policy. This is proof that it is a successful policy and we need to do more to bring in more foreign talents and we can be happy everyday. They have lifted our standard of table tennis. And there are many fields that we need them to lift us to higher planes. Bring them in! In jobs and employments as well. Our productivity will also stand to benefit. And the rest of the Singaporeans can be happy clapping for them, never mind if some Singaporeans are jobless or have difficulties finding a decent job. From the big picture it is good.