Using facts and figures to discredit yourself and your case

Our govt and elite pride themselves as no nonsense organisations and people, and they often used facts and figures and statistics to prove their case. This is obviously good and it was obvious in the past that facts and statistics were convincing. I said that was in the past when people were simpler and easy to persuade due to ignorance, low level of education, and unsophistication. Can people still use facts and statistics to prove their case? Sure, when the faith and trust of the people are there, the audience would believe in genuine data, not distorted data, selective data or fabricated data. They trust the person providing and using the data.

Today, everyone with a little education knows that statistics lied, facts also lied as they can be fabricated or twisted to give a false or distorted truth. Maybe some in govt and authority are wondering why people no longer believed in what they said, even with facts and statistics. They could be wondering why they were so clever to come out with their sets of statistics, but still could not convince the audience. The only thing I could think of is that they thought, yes, people nowadays can think, or started to think, that they are the only smart asses around but still think the people are daft.

Take the case of SGX presenting its slew of statistics after 1,200 remisiers signed a petition to Tharman. The SGX must have thought their data were flawless and convincing, and telling the truth. I am not going to question that, and I swear I did not read or hear the data being presented. I don’t even know who presented what. All I heard was a session of disbelief and head shaking of course.

The best answer to what the SGX statistics presented meant to the public is in Narayana Narayana’s letter to the Straits Times. And I produced the gist of the letter here.

The Forum Editor,
The Straits Times,

6th February 2015.

SGX's kneejerk response 'SGX cites rise in retail activity to rebut petition' (ST Money February 6 2015) is on a par with its
earlier equally defensive support of its change in the tradeable market-lot from 1000 previously to 100 units wef January
19 2015 ('Retail demand for 100-share lot encouraging' - ST Money - January 20 2015).

The assumption that 'the opening of '71,043. new CDP accounts in the past year, a 12 per cent rise' would somehow translate
into corresponding increase in trading activity defies logic. A friend who was offered preferential allotment in an IPO opened a
CDP account simply because he needed one to park/hold the shares. He has no intention, nor inclination, to trade at all.

It is telling that 'more than half of 1.7million CDP accounts have share investments' with the inevitable corollary that the rest 'less than half' do not. It would be educative to learn how many among the former have an investment other than SingTel shares allotted two decades back.

SGX asserts with a slew of statistics that 'the number of daily retail investors/transactions has skyrocketed (sic)...since 100-unit board lots were introduced...'). Sad to say, this optimism appears to be at odds with the 'Market Summary' published daily in the Straits Times. Admittedly, '2 billion shares worth $1.1 billion were traded' on January 21 (ST Jenuary 22 pg B11) but much of that gilt disappears when taking into consideration that 'Top Activitist' hogged the limelight with 616.4 million turnover - trading at '0.1 cent - On other days, trading has at best been desultory, and just yesterday (February 5) volume dipped below one billion, a benchmark of sorts….

What do you think? Should SGX be thinking that it has presented its case well and the matter shall be closed? Should Tharman or the MAS be satisfied that there is really no issue and there is nothing else to pursue? The Stock Market is in the pink of health!

What do you think the public, the investors, and the remisiers were thinking? Does the SGX believe that these people believe in the statistics presented? Should SGX, MAS and Tharman all agree that we should move on, the SGX has explained and that’s it?

The issue, if there is a problem, is the problem real? If the problem is real, you cannot just walk away after saying your piece. The problem will come back hounding you. And if one is presenting something that no one believes in, instead of convincing the audience, one is as good as discrediting oneself. There will be a lost of faith and trust.

Now I am wondering what would Tharman and the MAS be thinking? Would they be saying what Boon Wan said, that he thought the tender of the columbarium were in order and that he had to put the matter right? The number of people affected, and the votes going to be lost, would be more than the number of aggrieved potential buyers of Sengkang West in this case. 1,200 signed up and there are a few thousands more in support of the letter but chose not to sign for whatever reasons.

Where to go from here? Everything is fine?


Anonymous said...

"Everything is fine?"

Why not, when 60% are very scared to accidentally vote PAP out in a GE because the strongest opposition party, the WP, is still not ready to be govt.

And hence PAP, just like in 2011, has a 93% chance of being re-elected as govt this coming GE.

Now, if you were PM Lee, if this is fine, everything will be fine, tio bo?

Anonymous said...

Replace the ceo. Prevent HFT is next. What else.

Anonymous said...

They are treating VD like a case of measles. No wanting to know the real problem.

Anonymous said...

"The number of people affected, and the votes going to be lost,...."
Narayana Narayana’s letter to the Straits Times.

I think in the above, this Narayana x2 is guilty of the same things that he is accusing the SGX of.

How is he so sure of the number of people affected, and the votes going to be lost,....???

patriot said...

Ridding mosquito, rat, cockroach, fly and other pest could incur much expenditure.
It can oso deprives the Medical Fraternity of much income. This could mean a lose lose situation. Imagine researcher and inventor making names for themselves with patent and title, the Glory of having FOUND OR INVENTED A 'NEW' THING, Lolx!
Crises create opportunity for exploiter, let there be no end to problems, so that the Opportunists shall enjoy their cleverness to exploit every situation.

Matilah Singapura will certainly agrees that such opportunity makes Sin a rocking place to succeed and enjoy loving.



Anonymous said...

'I think in the above, this Narayana x2 is guilty of the same things that he is accusing the SGX of.

How is he so sure of the number of people affected, and the votes going to be lost,....??? '

You talking like one with eyes but cannot see and with ears but cannot hear.

Anonymous said...

"The number of people affected, and the votes going to be lost,...."
Narayana Narayana’s letter to the Straits Times.

I think above is RB's comment on Narayana's letter. Anon 10:48 am has misdirected his comments because he does not know where Narayana's letter end and RB comments start. RB should have quote and unquote the letter to make it clearer.

Anonymous said...

We all know what happens after the FT collected his pay and bonuses, we have been through that before. It is funny how people outside the industry thinks brokers should be charity workers while other industries keep increasing their fees citing costs.

Anonymous said...

SGX does not have a problem. The problem is too many opposition in parliament that require fixing, leaving no time to find and fix other problem, so no problem found.


Anonymous said...

When you do not know the problem, when you do not want to know the problem, when you are happy with the problem, nothing needs to be done.

Let's move on.

Anonymous said...

There is no problem with SGX. I have no problem.

Anonymous said...

The problem is you redbean. Not SGX. You need fixing.