9/22/2018

China making amendments to BRI plan

The original Belt and Road New Silk Road Plan includes high speed train cutting down from southern China through Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia to Singapore. Its west bound line cuts through Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, the Middle East towards Turkey and Europe.
This Plan is now modified taking into consideration the choice of Vietnam and India not to participate in the BRI. The southern line would now commence from Kunming, China through Laos, Cambodia and further south to Singapore bypassing Vietnam completely. The west bound line would also by pass India as well as India has decided to build its own Silk Road with Japan, starting from east India and ending in west India.
 

When the BRI is completed, goods from Vietnam and India to and from Europe would have to go by air or by sea, not by train, unless they build their own high speed or snail speed train to connect with the Chinese high speed train lines.
 

A third amendment is in the making with Mahathir cancelling all Chinese high speed train projects in Malaysia. It is likely that the southern point of the Chinese high speed train would end in Bangkok, Thailand and missing Malaysia and Singapore altogether. Goods from both countries to and from Europe and China would likewise go by air or sea. The heavy stuff that would be too expensive to go by air would have to go by sea in snail speed to Europe and China by then.
 

A fourth possible development would be for Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and India to build their own high speed train network starting from Vietnam down to Singapore and back up west to India.
There will then be two Silk Roads by land, one built by China and one by India, to transport goods to the various countries along the New Silk Roads. India may want to call it the New Sari Road. Oh it can extend all the way to Japan as well.


There is no need for China to beg the unconvinced to join the bandwagon if they chose to be left out of the game plan.

9/21/2018

National plan to fight fake news

The Select Committee has come out with a national strategy ‘to combat fake news campaigns run by foreign operators to safeguard its sovereignty and security. The focus of the Committee is foreign operators and social media. The problem is that local operators and main stream media are not saints and angels either and did not conduct campaigns to undermine the country’s and national interest. This point is not addressed by this Committee or only superficially.
 

The Committee claimed that they have ‘evidence suggesting that “a range of state and non state actors” are engaging in disinformation operations here, and that these operators have used online news articles and social media to influence Singaporeans and legitimize another state’s international actions.’ It also mentioned that “a particular foreign state” without identifying it, had launched closed to 40,000 attacks. The identity of this state is quite obvious depending on what lenses one is wearing. Some choose to call it A state, some choose to call it B state, according to their vested interests and alignment with the respective state.
 

If one is to read the so called serious articles posted in the main media, one can easily identify the amount of falsehood and fake news used to undermine certain states with disinformation, and I quote thenewpaper report, ‘”Cyber armies” are also deployed to aid sectarian or political agendas in several neighbouring countries, and these can easily be repurposed and deployed against Singapore.’
 

How such blatant distorted fake news and political disinformation could be allowed into the main media needs no explanation. There is no need for more training for journalists or editors to make them less so stupid to miss the biased contents, agenda in fake news. Other than those that have not read history or political science, or are absolute idiots, anyone with a little common sense would be able to check the facts and distill the truth from fake news.
 

Often the fake news in the main media is done in collusion with foreign states to disparage and attack other states. Main media is as guilty or more guilty than social media in the spread of fake news and disinformation for political agendas.
 

So, where are we heading in this witch hunt? How real is the effort to fight fake news?

9/20/2018

Who is paying for Trump’s trade war?

Trump is happily raising tariffs after tariffs and the Chinese reciprocating as much as they could on American exports. So, who is paying for all the tariff hikes? It was reported that American trade deficit with China for the month of Jul/Aug actually gone even higher after the tariffs. What does this say about the effectiveness of the trade war?
 

American exports to China are not only going to be more expensive, China has even stopped buying from American farmers and looking for other alternative sellers. When alternative sources are found, there would be no need to go back to buy American produce. American companies in China are also feeling the squeeze as their exports back to the US would be more expensive too. Can they afford to close their factories in China and move back to produce in the USA? For one, Boeing is losing all the thousands of aircraft that China has ordered and would be ordering. Deals cancelled.
 

What about Chinese exports to the US especially the consumer goods and home appliances, including mobile phones and computer related products? The Chinese products are so cheap that the 10% or 25% tariff would not make them more expensive than the European or Japanese made. Ultimately the American consumers would be the one paying for the tariff hikes in more expensive Chinese products that could be had cheaper.
 

Trump’s tariff hikes are actually taxes on the American people. Trump is actually raising taxes on the American people, forcing them to pay more for Chinese imports. And of course the American govt would gain from these taxes at the expense of the American people. It is all done for the good of Americans, so they said.
 

Who ends up the winners and who ends up the losers?
 

There is another big loser, another little USA, ie Australia. After trying to attack China like the Americans, banning Huawei and ZTE from 5G mobile phone operations in Australia, China has shut its door to Australian products. As of today, 480 Aussie ships, loaded with cargoes from iron ore, oil, LNG, farm produce, etc etc are circling outside Chinese ports wanting to sell/unload their goods at cheap sale price, but China is saying NO to them. Just like the American soya bean ships, they are just sailing around the Chinese ports praying for a change in Chinese policy, and an end to the trade war to let them in.
 

The Aussies may have a lot of raw material to sell. But without buyers, or big buyers like China, the raw material and commodities are worthless. The African countries are benefitting from the trade war. China is buying from Africa instead.

9/19/2018

Ministerial pay – In the name of transparency and coming clean

The govt organ has come out to debunk the various versions of ministerial pay put up in the social media. In summary, what the social media was saying is that they wanted to know what the ministers were being paid. All the guessing and interpretations, some right, some wrong, some partially right, some partially wrong, is unnecessary if the govt would come out clean, be transparent as they used to shout about, to dispel the half truths due not of intent but lack of official statements.
 

Yes, there is a formula in the govt website site on the formula recommended by the last ministerial salary review. But the formula did not tell the whole story as the formula and practice did not seem to tally or is perceived so. Why? Simply because the govt is not telling the way it should be. Just come clean and settle this issue once for all and stop the people from guessing and speculating the worse case scenario. When everything is legal and official, there is nothing to hide. When the govt is trying to hide by not telling, it only leads to suspicion and mistrust.
 

Yes, this is the third time I am saying, parroting the govt, to be transparent, to come clean on the ministerial salary. This means telling the people what the ministers are being paid, not just basic salary and performance bonuses, give the full pay of the ministers, including other appointments like directorship, chairmanship and whatever, as long as it is income to the ministers due to his ministerial appointment. Is this too much to ask for?
 

Anyone being paid by taxpayers’ money must come clean, be transparent, the fourth time I am saying this, to account and justify for his or her income. This is basic in a democracy, in a country that prides itself that there is no corruption, no abuse of power, everything is legal and TRANSPARENT, nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of, nothing that is illegal, nothing that is funny and unexplainable.
 

The govt owes it to the people to settle this matter once and for all to kill all the fake news and half truths and mischievous speculations. It is for the good of the govt to make this right once and for all.
What do you think? Would there be more bits and pieces here and there and more half truths than the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
 

PS. The govt formula for minister’s pay is based on a fixed sum, eg PM’s salary is $2.2m a year based on basic salary, 13th month, a variable component up to 3 months, a performance bonus, up to 3 months and a national bonus from 3 to 6 months.
 

The PM does not get the performance bonus but can get 6 months of national bonus, ie basic salary +1 +3 +6. Other ministers would get basic salary +1 +3 +3 +3, ie basic salary +10 months. The PM is also supposed to get a basic salary +10 months to give $2.2m a year. A MR4 minister should get $1.1m a year. These are supposed to be max they could get. True, not true?
 

This looks like it, with a max of $2.2m for the PM and $1.1m for an entry level minister. But this is not the case when the performance bonus can be 4.1 average or more than 3 months. If any of the variable bonus can be more than 3 months, it means the max is not the max. So the max of $2.2m and $1.1m is not the max as provided by the ministerial review committee formula.
 

So, how many months did they get over the last 5 years. No need to talk about those earlier years before the salary revision.
_________________

9/18/2018

What the world would be like like without the USA or China?

Many people would have taken sides to praise or curse at the USA and China, being the two super powers on earth and influencing and affecting every country when they sneezed. Let's take a look at the world if one of these powers is not around.

What would the world be like without the USA?

Take the case of the world without the USA. The Red Indians or native Indians would still be the owners of North America and the buffaloes would roam the prairies. There would be no nuclear bombs, no air planes, no automobiles, no electricity, no apples or computers and mobile phones and many modern inventions and conveniences.

There would also be no wars of the scale the Americans are committing, no genocides of Red Indians and Arabs, no mass murders of the Koreans and Vietnamese, no Korea War or Vietnam war, no invasion of Iraq and Libya. Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi would still be alive. And no CIA to finance, train, finance and support terrorist movements. The Americans are desperately trying to save their terrorists holed up in Idlib, Syria, to avert them from being wiped out by the Russians. And likely no drug syndicates supported by the CIA to provide funds for the CIAs do commit more war crimes and crimes against humanity.

There will be no little USAs trying to punch above their weights, challenging and provoking China and Russia.

And there will be no democracy to talk about. The world would be a little more primitive, but more peaceful, without wars and all the sophisticated war machine for killing more people.

What would the world be like without China?

There would be no Belt and Road Initiative, no big infrastructure projects in Asia and Africa. There would be no rude Chinese tourists throwing their money everywhere and demanding attention. There would be no cheap consumer products for the poor and not so rich. Consumers would still be buying super expensive IBMs and Apple products, expensive computers and mobile phones, no cheap and good Xiaomis or Huaweis or Oppos and household appliances.

The third world countries would have no access to cheap financing to develop their countries. The raw material rich countries would not have big buyers like China to buy their raw materials, or according to the western narrative, to exploit their natural resources for cash or developments. The bulk of Australian natural resources in 480 bulk carriers now circulating outside Chinese ports is a good example of not just having the natural resources, you must have a willing buyer or else your natural resources would be as good as dirt if no one wants to buy them. Australia can try to sell to Europe, Japan and USA and see if there are takers. In this case, obviously no takers.

Without China, the Americans would continue to rule the world and bully everyone with regime change and military threats. I think there would be no wars as the Americans would over power every country and rule over them. There would be no resistance to the American fire power. There is another view to this. Wars would continue as the Americans need to create wars to sell their war machine or else their military war complexes and industries would close down, no buyers, no need for weapons and war machines.

Would the world be more blessed, a better place, without China or the USA?

PS. Without the Americans, there would be peace in the Middle East. Israel would be history. There would be several million Arabs still alive and populating the area instead of being war collateral, American's modern day version of genocide. If the Arabs are still fighting among themselves, they would be using knives and riding on camels.

9/17/2018

Chinese mega projects in Malaysia are dubious?

Below is Anwar Ibrahim's reply to questions on Mahathir's cancellation of Chinese projects while he was in Hong Kong attending a forum.

'Mahathir has made waves pushing back on Chinese investment, warning Beijing against ‘new colonialism.’ Should buyers beware?

Clearly what he meant was any form of neo-colonialism and imperialism will not be tolerated. I think most of us share that view. [The concerns are] tied to some of the cancellations of massive development contracts. This is partly due to the stark realities we have to face. We can’t afford a mammoth, 55 billion Ringgit ($13 billion) project now. And secondly, there were issues raised about these dubious deals made with Chinese companies. I think we have every right to reevaluate and reassess these projects, not only with China, but with all countries.

Below is Anwar Ibrahim's reply to questions on Mahathir's cancellation of Chinese projects while he was in Hong Kong attending a forum. ' Time

What were so dubious about these projects? The projects themselves were dubious, useless? Or were they too costly? How many infrastructure projects are cheap and good and not built with cost recoverable over long term, like the North South Highway or the Crooked Bridge?

Or were the projects dubious because the people approving it were dubious? Or were the money flow dubious? I make a qualification here. The 'dubious' project thing is not from Anwar. He is just parroting it as it is the right thing to do at the moment. He cannot go against whoever started this nonsense.

What is so dubious about these projects that one day they are useless but another day they are useful, one day cancelled and another day ok to build?  Or the projects were dubious because dubious people insisted to call them dubious for their personal dubious reasons?

The projects were approved by heads of govt and even the heads of states like the sultans. Are these people dubious? Are these people stupid, traitors to their own country to approve these so called 'dubious' mega projects? By branding these projects as dubious, it is as good as saying all those people that approved these projects are dubious, stupid and traitors to Malaysia, or corrupt leaders with their hands grabbing money from these projects. Is this the case? Is this the accusation?

Najib is in no position to make his case on why he approved all these projects. But there are other leaders and sultans involved. Were they given a chance to state their case or is it a case of power rules and the one in power decides to call anything dubious according to his fancy?

One word, 'dubious' has discredited and tarred the integrity and credibility of many Malaysian leaders, or at least saying that they are all fools, not knowing what they approved and were causing harm to Malaysia. Would Mahathir be prosecuting all those involved in negotiating, signing and approving these projects since they are 'dubious' for crimes against the state?

9/16/2018

Anwar lecturing Singapore

Anwar was invited to give a lecture at the Singapore Summit on 15 Sep.  It was  reported that the who's who of Singapore were there. The live broadcast showed ex President Tony Tan, ex PM Goh Chok Tong, ex Foreign Minister George Yeo and ex MP Zainul Abidin among the VIPs presence. No serving minister or MP were present, other than MP Goh Chok Tong. I am wondering why like dat. Maybe it is protocol that serving ministers and MPs need not be present to listen to an ex PM of Malaysia who is now not even an MP. Maybe they will all be present when Anwar becomes the PM.

In his response to a touchy question raised by moderator Ho Kwon Ping, Anwar said if and when he becomes the next PM. Everyone is asking about if and when and whether he would be played out by Mahathir a second time. Maybe this is another important point why no serving minister or MP think it is necessary to attend to get to know Anwar better to prepare for his next role as PM.

Here are some of the key points of Anwar's lecture to a Singapore audience. Anwar stressed that the main goals of the new govt is to ensure there is judicial independence and a free media. Under Najib's govt, there was corruption and abuse of power. Too much power rested in the executive and this must be checked. The new govt has given independence to the judiciary and allowing the media to speak the truth. No more fake news or half truths as under the previous regime. Even the anti corruption agency, MACC, is now answerable not to the PM but direct to Parliament To protect judiciary independence, the auditor general will not report to the PM.

What Mahathir's govt has done is to curb the arrogance of power, mismanagement of the country and crimes against the country and people and rooting out corruption. The other points raised was to stop govt intervention and political patronage in the economy. And also the parliament would not become just a rubber stamp for the govt.

Are there any relevance in what Anwar was saying about Malaysia and Singapore?

Fandi is finally easing into the national coach position

There seems to be an awakening that finally, after going around the world in circus for the last few decades, that we finally realised that we need to have trust and faith in our own talent. Or is it that after wasting so much public fund on foreign talents, the standard of our football did not improve but gone into the gutters to jolt some senses into our stupidity has no cure mind? We are now not  even able to compete with our Asean football teams and always kena whacked when they met. The delusion of being in the finals of the World Cup is becoming a reality. No amount of money thrown away could get us anywhere near that goal. It is not just money. Yes it is stupidity, the lack of pride and confidence in our people, shown everywhere, that angmoh or foreigner tua kee is the way to go.

The recent Asian Games in Jakarta is an eye opener, seeing so many of the Asian teams doing so well with their own local, oops, I mean citizens as their national coaches. They do not need to be coached by foreigners to do well. They don’t have the angmoh tua kee mentality, that only angmohs can help and do wonders. So finally they have come back to Fandi to save the day.

Other than this craziness for angmoh tua kee, what else have they found out that is wrong in our football? It is not so simple as not hiring angmoh coaches as there are more problems than meet the eyes.

Fandi and other Singaporean coaches have been exposed to foreign coaching, their strategies, techniques and trade secrets for many years. Unless they are so daft, which is not the case, they must have learnt and knew enough to coach the national team like the other Asean coaches of their respective national teams to success.

Leaving Fandi alone to carry the can is unfair to him. The whole football culture and organization have to change and Fandi needs all the support to turn a bad case around. He must fire all the prima donnas who thought they have arrived just because they are in the national team. He also needs time to do his job, not another few months or maybe a few years to do wonders. Remember, so many angmoh tua kee coaches, so many years and so much money wasted and we are not getting anywhere but from bad to worse.  Maybe we need to drain the swamp before there is light at the end of the tunnel. Do not expect Fandi to turn the average players into international soccer stars and the national team into a champion over night.

9/15/2018

Ministers and MPs were paid 4 months bonus? Or was it 10 months or more?


According to media reports, Hsien Loong made his reply to questions by Leon Perera ‘who had asked about bonus paid to Cabinet ministers in the last five years in terms of the average total of bonus months, and the highest and lowest total of bonus months paid to an individual minister.’ What was Leon Perera asking? What bonus was he talking about? The term he used is so general. Did he know that there are many kinds of bonuses being paid to the Cabinet ministers eg performance bonus, monthly salary bonus, 13th month bonus, national bonus and a variable component as reported in thenewpaper?  So there are at least 5 specific bonuses paid to the Cabinet ministers.

What was Leon Perera asking, all the bonuses paid to the Cabinet ministers or just the performance bonus? I think he is asking for all the bonuses that were paid to the Cabinet ministers, not just the performance bonus.

Hsien Loong’s reply in Parliament was about performance bonus and he said that in the last 5 years ministers got between 3 to 6 months of performance bonus with the average being 4.1 months and a high of 4.5 months in 2015. All the main media that reported on this issue printed in big and bold headlines that the ministers were paid an average of 4.1 months of bonuses and were silent on how many more months of bonuses they were paid in total.

It is thus easy for the public or readers of this news to go away thinking that the ministers only got 4.1 months of bonuses. Is this what Leon Perera wanted to know or he was asking for the total bonuses paid to the ministers, including all kinds of bonuses? If that was his question, why did he not ask Hsien Loong that he wanted to know not just the performance bonus? Maybe he did raise this but not reported in the main media and the issue was closed. No further question.

Roy Ngerng in his article posted in the TRE, including his computation of all the bonuses gave a different figure.  In 2014 Roy posted this in his blog thehearttruths.com, ‘But do you know that the prime minister is able to earn up to 26.5 months of pay?

This is what he gets to earn: 12-month pay, 13th month bonus, Up to 1.5 months Annual Variable Component, Up to 12 months national bonus.’

In his latest article posted in the TRE titled ‘Comparing the obscene salaries of our DPM and PM against Singapore’s poor’, Roy posted this:

Now, let me calculate the prime minister’s salary for you. He does not get a performance bonus because it is claimed that “there is no one to assess his individual performance”. (Shouldn’t his performance be assessed by you – his boss?)

So, what does he get? He gets 2 times the National Bonus (up to 12 months). Here’s the breakdown. [National Bonus (NB) formula: https://www.psd.gov.sg/docs/default-source/default-document-library/cos2018/annex-b-2017-salary-review-report.pdf]

(1) The base salary of the Singapore prime minister is S$2.2 million.
(2) His 13th-month annual allowance is S$220,000.
(3) Assuming he also gets an annual variable component of 1 month (max 1.5 months), he gets another S$220,000.
(4) The prime minister’s NB is twice as high as the other ministers, so he would have gotten 9 months of NB bonus last year. This would be S$1.65 million. His NB bonus alone is nearly 3 times the salary of the president of the United States.
(5) In total, the prime minister received a total bonus/allowance of at least 10 months.


In total, the Singapore prime minister would have earned at least S$4.29 million. This is nearly 2 times his base salary, and even higher than his base salary of S$3.07 million in 2007.

But this is not even it.

All the ministers also can get an additional Special Variable Payment. There is no stated limit to this payment.’

So, what do you think?

9/14/2018

$million Ministers

Recently, Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong incurred the wrath of many Singaporeans by asserting that “ministers are not paid enough” and that it was “very populist” to demand ministerial pay be slashed. To rub salt into wound, he said he had tried unsuccessfully to get two from the private sector (one earning $5 million and the other earning $10 million a month) to be future ministers, before adding that people who can’t even earn $500,000 a year are not minister material and in fact “very mediocre”.   

Netizens predictably gave him a earful.  Not a few pointed to the new bunch of ministers across the Causeway in PM Mahathir’s Cabinet, who are “all taking less than 20k ringgit a month”. In particular, they cited DAP secretary-general and former Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who in addition to being a double degree accountant, also has the distinction of being jailed twice for his political convictions (1987 & 1994) in a lengthy political career. Lim told the press that becoming a minister was something beyond his wildest dream, as must be any thoughts of snaring a big fat minister pay. No less inspiring was the example set by DAP MPs Tony Pua and Dr Ong Kian Ming who volunteered their “half-year, no pay” services to the Finance Ministry to help Lim settle in. Pua was an ASEAN scholar with a degree from Keble College, Oxford while Dr Ong was a Fulbright Scholar from Duke University (USA) with a degree in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Netizens said these are the people we need in government - people who are not in it for the money but for the spirit of public service.  They are right.  However, one must also not forget that Malaysia’s situation is vastly different from Singapore’s.  Malaysia is at the crossroads where the new government has the historic opportunity to lift the country from the morass to which it has sunk. The people are enthused and the leaders (and wannabe leaders) fired with a sense of mission to transform the country. They are at the same stage in which Singapore found itself back in 1965. The new dawn that Malaysians seek today is the survival that Singaporeans sought in our immediate independent years. In such ‘revolutionary’ situations, how much you are paid as a leader meant little to you.  

But two or three generations down the road, if Malaysia is successful and prosperous, it may not be so easy even for them to attract people into politics simply because that impetus for action will not be as urgent or great.  This was what happened to Singapore.  With security and survival no longer a pressing issue, the PAP realised that people were content to let the leaders carry on. Hence the PAP’s self-renewal process that focused (some would say over-focused) on remuneration as a key indicator of one’s qualification for high office. Kevin Lim’s article (“Politics is much more than just a contest at earning millions of dollars”, published in TOC, 5 Aug 2018) rightly asserted that “truly worthy politicians are either thrown up through very challenging circumstances or imbibed with years of high ideals to do something worthwhile for their countries”.  But ESM Goh was also not wrong when he said that “in peace and prosperity where there are no dragons to slay, personal aspirations, freedom, privacy and life-style take precedence”. These are very challenging times for Malaysians but if all goes well for Malaysia, a time may come when KL will have to pay their ministers Singapore salary to keep them in government or get people to join politics.

China standing up to American gangsterism

The Americans must be taken aback by the firm and strong stand of the Chinese in taking them head on in the trade war, a punch with a counter punch. The Americans thought the Chinese are still pushovers like before, like the time when they blatantly struck the Chinese Embassy with 4 Tomahawk cruise missiles for no reason and the Chinese could not hit back after suffering damages and lost of lives to the unprovoked attack. The American gangsterism must be stopped and China has been in a hurry to stop these international gangsters from their bullying.
 

The trade war is only the beginning, tit for tat, every move with a counter move and more. China is not going to be bullied again. In the preparation to invade Iran, the Americans have warned all countries to stop trading with Iran. The Nato countries have ignored this sanction. Russia and China too refused to abide by this unilateral and illegal sanction against Iran. Both Russia and China have increased their purchases of Iranian oil to the ire of the Americans.
 

The Iranians have warned the Americans that they would attack American ships and military bases if the American gangsters strike. China did not stop at just saying no to the Americans. For the past decades, the Americans had intercepted Chinese merchant ships in high seas on fabricated charges and even boarded Chinese ships to check their cargoes. This too would not be allowed to happen again.
 

China has sent 100 warships to the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, to protect their tankers and merchant ships from harassment by the Americans. The stage is set for a high sea confrontation between the PLAN and the American Navy. Chinese ships are strictly out of bound from the American gangsters and China is prepared to defend its rights for freedom of navigation.
 

Would the American gangsters dare to attempt to intercept Chinese ships again and provoke an open conflict in the Indian Ocean? A 100 warship presence in the Indian Ocean say the Chinese meant business and would react to any American hooliganism against their ships.
 

The Russians too are standing up to the Evil Empire in Syria and the Mediterranean Sea. It is conducting a big naval exercise and telling the Americans to get their warships out of the way or they would not be responsible for the consequences. And against the threat of the American Evil to protect the remnants of IS in Idlib, the Russian, Iranians and Syrians are mounting a final assault to rid Syria from American sponsored and backed terrorists once and for all.
 

The Persian Gulf and Syria could see the Americans triggering a major war with China and Russia any moment.

9/13/2018

The Evil Empire threatening the International Criminal Court

According to Wikipedia, ‘The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt)[2] is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in The Hague in the Netherlands. The ICC has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The ICC is intended to complement existing national judicial systems and it may therefore only exercise its jurisdiction when certain conditions are met, such as when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals or when the United Nations Security Council or individual states refer situations to the Court.’
 

This court has more credibility and support from the UN than the commercial private arbitration court that the Aquino govt used to judge the South China Sea island dispute. The American rogues are condemning this ICC as ‘unaccountable’ and ‘outright dangerous’ but told its little USAs to blare that the commercial court in the Hague was a UN linked court and its rulings must be abided by like a UN supported court. The little USAs happily accepted this edict from the Evil Empire and went shouting at China as told by the Evil Empire, only to kena slammed by China for their shameless stupidity.
 

The ICC has been directed to charge some American war criminals for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan and the rogues in the US are furious. They are not only above the laws, above international laws, they even threatened to arrest and sanction judges and officials of the ICC ‘if it moves to charge any American who served in Afghanistan with war crimes’.
 

The gangster in John Bolton threatened, ‘If the court comes after us, Israel of other US allies, we will not sit quietly down.’ This is not all. He added, ‘We will bann its judges and prosecutors from entering the US. We will sanction their funds, in the US financial system, and we will prosecute them in the US criminal system.’
 

What do these arrogant brags said about the Evil Empire? They are above the laws and can be lawless and no one can do anything to them even if they commit war crimes or crimes against humanity. And more, the Americans would use ‘any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court’. John Bolton is claiming that the ICC is illegitimate! The Americans would not allow any courts, like the ICC, to ‘have higher authority than the US Constitution and US sovereignty’.
 

Compare this to the silly countries that allowed the American courts to impose its will and laws onto them, violating these countries’ sovereignty and constitution. And these silly countries could not see any wrong with it and obediently do what the American courts told them to, like the Najib case, the seizing of his boat in Indonesia.
 

The rogues in Washington has told the whole world in defiance that they do not come under any law or jurisdiction of any international organisation but expect others to do so and to come under the jurisdiction and laws of the Evil Empire.
 

Anything wrong with this? Should the rest of the world accept this state of affair dictated by the Evil Empire? The Evil Empire had made use of the ICC and other UN and non UN agencies to incriminate other people of war crimes and crimes against humanity that are of very insignificant scale compare to the hundreds of thousands or millions killed by the American forces and their cronies. Now the Americans said no one is allowed to charge them for war crimes or crimes against humanity, even their chosen agencies, agencies they made use to do the same thing.

9/12/2018

Jack Ma is retiring

Jack Ma is a phenomenon that is short of a miracle. He is lucky that he is born and bred in China. If he is a Singaporean, he would end up in ITE and today may be a security guard or a taxi driver. But with sheer hard work and seizing on the opportunity available and an entrepreneur streak, today he is the richest man in China with a fortune worth at least S$50 billion. I think today Singapore's leaders would be calling him an above mediocre man, earning more than $500k a year and would be good enough to be invited to drink tea at the Istana and the potential of being a minister. And Jack Ma, if accepted the offer, could be a good case of telling the people that he took a big pay cut to be a minister.

Oops, I should not use Jack Ma as an example as it could interpreted as inviting a foreigner to meddle in Singapore's domestic politics. My sincere apologies. Jack Ma, please come here and apply for a Singapore citizenship. Sure get one, and then stand a chance to be invited to be a minister.

I got carried away with my adoration of this man. I brought this up because of his early retirement and opted to do philanthropy.  I hope when our millionaires here earn as much as him, they would also volunteer to do philanthropy, to give away some of their hard earned wealth.

Let me get to the crux of the matter. My first question is whether Jack Ma has gone on a world head hunting trip to find the best foreign talent to head Alibaba. I think this is more urgent as in China they did not have smooth talking talents to be the face of Alibaba. He should follow Singapore's strategy of looking all over the world for such an important position. It would be very good for Alibaba. And with more foreign talents to be brought in by the foreign talent head, Alibaba would look more international. You see, it is very important to have foreigners to run a company that operates internationally. The foreigners would have an advantage with their international exposure. Then Alibaba would be bigger than Apple. If not, Alibaba would remain as it is, cannot grow bigger.

Correct me if I am wrong. I read somewhere that Jack Ma has appointed a Frank Zhang, another Chinaman to replace him. This is a very serious mistake. To go international, Alibaba seriously need a foreign talent, never mind if the foreign talent has not build a company of his own or from the third world. A foreign talent is a foreign talent and an international company must be run by a foreigner. Even our kopitiams and char kway teow hawker stalls would be best to hire a foreign CEO.

Before Jack Ma makes the mistake of his life, he better change his mind and go around the world to hunt for the best man for the job. If that is too expensive, come to Singapore. This island has plenty of very eager foreign talents wanting the job. We may not have top talents among Singaporean. No Singaporean would apply as they have been told that they are daft and their degrees are useless. The only talented Singaporeans are in politics, in the govt. One thing for sure, we have many foreigners that are of top talent calibre here. Jack Ma better hurry up or these top foreign talents would soon be recruited to become ministers to run Singapore or GLCs, after given Singaporean citizenship of course. Singapore's political affairs can only be meddled by Singaporeans, including instant Singaporeans.

9/11/2018

Mahathir – Malays are lazy, untrustworthy….

Mahathir has finally lashed out at the Malays for being lazy, untrustworthy, poor work attitude, unwillingness to work hard and many other things. And I quote this from him as reported in thenewpaper, ‘We accuse others. We accuse the government, accuse other races. When we fail, they are at fault. We are never wrong.’
 

What Mahathir refused to admit is that all the faults and problems of the Malays in Malaysia is his fault. And he is blaming the Malays for it. Not his undoing. During his reign of terror, he made 3 very damaging and irreparable policies that led to the Malays being what they are today, to be scolded by him as lazy and untrustworthy.
 

His first major blunder was to tell the Malays that they are the owners of the land and can take everything from the other races. There is no need to work, just take. His 30% bumiputra ownership meant that the Malays simply took from the others what others had worked for, struggled to achieve. This was clearly reflected in Robert Kuok’s book when he related how Abdul Razak called him up and told him to hand over 30% of his company to the Malays. But that was not the end, not just 30%. After taking 30%, they simply sold them to the non Malays for immediate cash. And the subsequent years Razak would go to Robert Kuok for another 30% as the earlier 30% was sold to the non bumis and the cycle goes on and on.
 

Now Mahathir is telling the Malays to work hard to earn his keep. What for, so many Malays have become billionaires and millionaires without having to work, just take. Why would they want to work hard, to change their attitude when the easiest thing to get rich is to take and not by working? This is the tragedy of the Malays under Mahathir’s promise to making them rich without working.
 

His second major wrong doing was to blame the non Malays, especially the Chinese, for the economic plight of the Malays. This racist policy continues today when the Malays feel so free to wave the kris whenever they like threatening another May 13. Racism and Malay superiority, Ketuanan Melayu, has been entrenched in the Malaysian Constitution and psyche and would not go away for several generations to come, or forever. This Ketuanan Melayu doctrine is the foundation of the 30% take and the control of everything in the country for the Malays. This is Mahathir’s so called for the good of the Malays, to protect the Malay interests, Malays should own everything in Malaysia without having to work for it. Today he is asking them to work hard, to be like the Japanese!
 

His most damaging policy was to push for the use of the Malay language in everything, from administration, commerce and education. Mahathir had promoted the use of Malay against the use of other languages, especially the English Language that today, most of the younger Malays could hardly read and write English.
What are the consequences of this policy? Look at India, despite all the Indian pride, they have chosen to embrace English as their language of govt and commerce. And the Indians are now swimming like fish in the world where English is the lingua franca and excelling in science, technology and IT and also the academia. The door to the English language world is closed to the Malays for good, after 5 decades of promoting Malays at the expense of English. Any country that wants to chase the world of science and technology cannot do without mastering English. The Chinese and the Japanese are also embarking on big scale learning of the English language. Why? They know that English is an important international and scientific language and not knowing English would put them at a big disadvantage.
 

Mahathir, in his blinded rage and zeal to endear to the Malays, chose to discard the English language and Malaysia and the Malays are paying a very heavy price for his folly today.
 

Mahathir should not simply blame the Malays for his wrong doings. His NEP is in ruins. If he had charted the course of Malaysia with a bid of wisdom instead of racial pride, Malaysia and the Malays would not have fallen back so far behind. Mahathir has held back the progress of the Malays in Malaysia by 50 years. He is regretting as he is seeing the result of his failed policies. But as usual, it is not his fault but the fault of the Malays. Luckily he is not blaming the non Malays for this.
 

His war cry for the Malays, the superiority of the Malays, for the good of the Malays etc etc, has led to the Malays in Malaysia living on crutches, feeding off from the other races, happily, without having to work for it. His latest craze, fluttering between Tokyo and Beijing, begging for aids and free money and technology, is a reflection of his inability to know himself and his shortfalls, a dependence mentality, wanting everything for free without having to work for it, but not knowing it himself. He thinks the world owes him a living. Does he really believe China or any country owes Malaysia an obligation to build everything for free? Does he think Malaysia can go to the world to ask and to take 30% for free?
 

Who do you think should be blamed for the state of affairs in Malaysia today? The Malays or Mahathir?
 

PS. Mahathir is a typical politician shouting ‘it is good for you, good for the country’, but destroying the people and country in what he is doing. Do not trust any politician that claimed he is doing it for you and your country, for your own good. Judge them by what they did and the results of their actions. Are the results favourable to you and country or to the contrary.

9/10/2018

Who is running the USA

The anonymous letter appearing in the New York Times about how the staff of White House trying to bypass Donald Trump or to block him from making policies that are detrimental to the Americans gives the Americans and the world food for thought as to who is running the USA. If what was reported is true, Trump is a lame duck or at least only able to do so much and most of the American policies, especially foreign policies are dictated by his staff against the wishes of Trump.
 

This speaks clearly why the Americans are putting so much pressure on North Korea and literally doing things that Trump would not have agreed, offending the North Koreans by raising sanctions and placing more unacceptable demands on the North Koreans. Trump is saying and willing one thing while his staff is doing another.
 

The reasons for the White House staff to act in the way they are is due to Trump’s amoral activities and also his incompetence, his ‘impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.’ What it is saying is that when there is a rogue President, the staff under him will act independently to check on the President, to obstruct or hijack the President’s decision making process, for the good of the USA and the American people. The President could be the president and continue ranting and acting wildly, but these would not be allowed to derail policy making process and bad policies from being implemented.
 

This is perhaps one of the strongest point in American democracy when the power of the President is not absolute and good men and women would stand up to do what is right and good for the country. No rogue President or head of state could bring down the USA or work against the interest of the people and country.
 

How many countries in the world has such a system of checks and balance on executive power? Of course for such a system to function, there are conditions and also good people who are brave enough and not beholden to the President to think critically, logically and independently from the President. It calls for a lot of guts and conviction to work against the President to protect the good and interest of people and country. 

American is unlikely to have a dictator as his power could easily be checked. Trump may try to abuse his position of power, but it is not going to be easy and unrestrained. This is what democracy is all about.

9/09/2018

Give Mr Bean new life in Red Dot

There was news that Rowan Atkinson was thinking of retiring Mr Bean a few years back. Not sure if this is the end of Mr Bean. During an interview with the Daily Telegraph, he gave this replied. 'Atkinson told the Daily Telegraph's Review. "Apart from the fact that your physical ability starts to decline, I also think someone in their 50s being childlike becomes a little sad. You've got to be careful."' I think this is good advice for anyone above 50 to act childish or talk childishly. Anyway this is not my point. I was thinking of getting Mr Bean to produce a movie on Mas Selamat's childish escape from a high security prison. This movie would endear every Singaporean to it as the memory has been forever etched deeply in the psyche of every Singaporeans that lived through that hilarious episode of our history.

Below is a draft of my script for this movie, titled 'Mr Bean's Escape from Blue House'.

Scene 1. Mr Bean, the terrorist, is happily daydreaming of his success as a terrorist and being rewarded high heavens until the knocking at the door, at 3am woke him up. And a few men in dark glasses, in the wee hours, in dark suit and take him away.

Scene 2. Mr Bean, the terrorist, is taken on a tour of Blue House by men and women wearing dark glasses to impress on him how secured and heavily guarded is the Blue House, the patrols, guards, electric fence, cctvs etc etc. And this privilege knowledge is replayed in Mr Bean's head as he dry run his escape plan.

Scene 3. Mr Bean's family members visit him and under the watchful eyes of men and women in dark glasses, he manages to slip his escape plan to them. This part requires special talent from Mr Bean's arsenal of childish but effective tricks.

Scene 4. Mr Bean is led to the toilet by women in dark glass for a pee. This is followed up by his contortionist act of squeezing through the toilet window. But before that he would have to lay his carpet of toilet rolls nicely to break his fall.

Scene 5. Mr Bean is out of the toilet and out of sight of the men and women in dark glasses. He also changes into dark suits and put on dark glasses and walked out of the Blue House in style. But before that he laid a series of traces leading to the high security fence, attaching a piece of his prison wear on the fence to lead the men in dark glasses to go astray, thinking that he climbed over the fence.

Scene 6. Out on a limb, he continued to leave clues that he had taken a path into the nearby jungle before taking a lift from his friends waiting nearby. This would be followed by a mad scramble by the men and women in dark glasses running all over the jungle.

Scene 7. Mr Bean enjoying his pop corn watching TV in his sister's flat while the security forces were combing all the tourist sites and parks looking for him.

Scene 8. Mr Bean, now acting as the minister in charge with a little makeover, appeared on TV to make his famous assessment of his whereabout, something like, 'He is either in the island or he is out of the island.'

Scene 9. This is the interesting part with Mr Bean planning his escape to Malaysia. Several scenarios can be worked on like how he swims across the Singapore Straits, aided by his limping leg that actually became a super rudder or tail fin. Or he could be seen testing on different kinds of gear, plastic bags, drink bottles, oil drums or simply hanging on to a coconut trunk.

Scene 10. He abandons all the childish plans to swim across the Straits and confidently walks through the customs at the Causeway, wearing dark glasses and in dark suits.

Scene 11. How Mr Bean is enjoying his new freedom in a kampong but feeling dull with an unexciting life doing nothing. Then he hatches a plan to inform the Malaysian Police for a deal to hand him back to the men and women in dark glasses so that he could continue to enjoy his pleasant stay at the Blue House in Mount Pleasant. The End.

Actually there are many scripts for a Singapore version of Mr Bean or Missy Bean with Michelle Chong as the Singapore version of Mr Bean. It could be made into a serial with so many wonderful ideas coming from the political scene. Things like how Missy Bean buys a flat with a $1000 pay,  how she looks so dignified when she struck Toto, or how she exercises picking cardboards and pushing makeshift carts, or how she sneers at the 3rd, 4th or 5th raters by not wanting to join the opposition when invited, or trying to explain how GST is to help the poor, or why CPF is not your money and it is good to put more money into the CPF, safe forever. And her favourite, how to be a foreign talent and survives in this island that is so welcoming of foreign talents like maids and construction workers, how she takes a Grab taxi driven by her employer.....

There are just so many humorous things for Missy Bean in Red Dot to act on. I am sure all of you would have even better ideas and better scripts for Missy Bean.

9/08/2018

What has stupidity has no cure got to do with ride hail ride companies?

China is conducting a nation wide inspection of all ride hailing companies after a passenger was raped and murdered after calling a ride from Didi. It always needs a painful lesson for people to wake up. But for the stupidity has no cure type, no amount of lessons would change their thinking and way of life unless it affects them personally.

China is in a way quite homogeneous other than the autonomous regions. They too are quite homogeneous in their own ways. Any foreigner or stranger to their provinces would be noticeable. In Red Dot, when more than 50% of the residents are foreigners, with a large number of foreigners given citizenship, everyone is a stranger and no longer raise the red flag.

With ride hailing companies, and with taxis allowing locals, ie foreigners and new citizens to drive taxis, are there risk to personal security? Our strawberry generations are happily jumping into taxis and Grab rides without a single thought on who is the driver and his background. Singapore is very safe and safety is being taken for granted, not only by the strawberry generations but by parents and the govt.

The strangers, now locals, that were brought in are totally unknown elements, just like the maids. And they are given the right to drive our people, children and women in their cars to anywhere they like, and the maids are trusted to take care of our olds and babies with very little supervision, and to live in the homes. What kind of people are they, any psychiatric, psychopathic or mental problems, terrorist connections, paedophiles, sex maniacs, people with questionable morality and criminals?

The lackadaisical ways we go about allowing these foreigners to come in and live with us, and mingle with us like one of us is scary if one has any sense of fear and safety concerns. The exception clause always applies to Singapore. It would not happen here. We are very safe, very well governed. The foreigners we brought in are good people. They don't commit crimes, only Singaporeans commit crimes.

Good luck to the stupidity has no cures.

9/07/2018

AWAS - Sick minds at work

The MHA has issued a statement that Thum PJ and his group have crossed the red line for inviting Mahathir to bring democracy to Singapore. My eyes are rolling. What, what? Is democracy a bad thing for Singapore? Is not Singapore being telling the world that it is a democracy and not a dictatorship or any other not too nice sounding political names?
 

Let me put it in a different way. Would someone be crossing the red line for asking Xi Jingping to bring more investment into Singapore, or to bring the BRI into Singapore? The question to ask, are investments and BRI good for Singapore? Or would it be the same if Thum and group called on Mahathir to support the HSR?
 

Oh, the key is Mahathir is a foreigner, so calling a foreigner to do anything that is good for Singapore is crossing the red line, interfering in Singapore’s domestic affairs, even if it is good for Singapore, like democracy. Ok, I am assuming, I am assuming that democracy is good for Singapore. Is it or is it not?
 

Oh, does Singapore want democracy, does Singapore have democracy? For Thum and group to ask Mahathir to bring democracy to Singapore implies that Singapore does not have democracy or lacking in democracy? Tiok boh?
 

This is indeed funny. Does Singapore have democracy? Is Singapore a democracy? Why is bringing democracy to Singapore a bad thing, that Thum and group do not wish Singapore well? Bring democracy to Singapore is not in Singapore’s interest? Bring more foreigners to take over Singapore, oops, to become Singaporean, to steal Singaporeans’ lunch is good for Singapore, no crossing of red line?
 

Actually what did Thum, or actually Tan Wah Piow, invite Mahathir to do? It was reported that Tan Wah Piow asked him to bring democracy or to talk about democracy in SE Asia, not Singapore in particular. Well all pegs are round pegs as long as you hammer them hard enough into a round hole. This kind of contorted logic or injustice would be turned around when political power changed hands. By then the traitors would become the angels and the angels would become traitors. That day will come, it is a matter of when, like in Malaysia or in any country or empire for that matter. Nothing is forever. The wheel of fortune would turn and pity the rascals of the last empire or regime or the last emperor.
 

What do you think?

9/06/2018

Lawrence Wong – factually, legally wrong

‘It is "factually and legally wrong" to claim that Housing Board flat buyers do not own their flats and are merely renting them, said Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong.
 

That is because all buyers of leasehold properties - whether public or private - enjoy ownership rights over their properties during the period of the lease.
 

"They can also sell their properties and benefit from any upside, or rent it out if they choose to," he said at the Peak Forum for property industry professionals at HDB Hub on Tuesday (Sept 4)….
 

Mr Wong added that the Government welcomes all feedback and views on public housing, especially as the topic is one that Singaporeans care deeply about.
 

"But the debate must always be based on facts, not misinformation and half-truths," he said.
 

He did not name any commentators but The Straits Times had published a commentary on Aug 14 by International Property Advisor chief executive Ku Swee Yong, who recommended "that we be honest with ourselves and recognise that we are merely lessees who rent the HDB flats for their terms".’ Asia One
 

The controversy over whether HDB flat owners are lessees or tenants of rental flats continues. The people are increasingly taking the view that they are not owners of HDB flats but tenants on long rentals. The govt is very annoyed by this interpretation and insists that the HDB flat owners are owners but on a 99 year lease. This controversy is starting to sound funny if not of the legal implications like property tax and freedom to do what they want with their flats if they are the owners.
 

The govt is taking the high ground that it is agreeable to a public debate by the debate must be based on facts, not misinformation and half truths. In the above quote, Ku Swee Yong was quoted to say this, ‘that we be honest with ourselves and recognise that we are merely lessees who rent the HDB flats for their terms’, implying that this is either not facts, or misinformation or half truths or a combination of all three. I dunno which is which as the person quoting it would have his own interpretation and so would anyone reading it. There must be some misgivings on the govt’s part, or is it Asia One for quoting Ku Swee Yong. Now, what is the problem with this statement?
 

What about this statement by Lawrence Wong, ‘That is because all buyers of leasehold properties - whether public or private - enjoy ownership rights over their properties during the period of the lease.
"They can also sell their properties and benefit from any upside, or rent it out if they choose to.’
 

Are these statements facts, misinformation or half truths? Are public leasehold properties the same as private leasehold properties? Off hand I could point out a few differences. 1. The cost of the land is different in the sense that private leasehold lands are bought at market price. Some public leasehold lands are acquired under different sets of rules and prices. 2. There are many conditions attached to public leasehold properties that are absent in private leasehold properties. 3. The paying of a sales levy instead of the full sales price that means profits from price appreciation will be taken away by the govt. 4. No collective sales. 5. Cannot remortgage except under HDB terms. 6. No commercial loans after 60 years. 7. Stringent HDB rules on subletting. 8. Basically no full ownership rights. 9. Time restriction on resale after 5 years.
 

So, are public leasehold properties the same as private leasehold properties? Are the statements full facts, not misinformation or half truths?
 

When one is talking about facts and truths, one must be talking about apple and comparing apple with apples not apples with oranges. Tiok boh?
 

KNN, everyone claiming to be telling the truth, nothing but the truth, not half truth. Can anyone tell me who is telling the truth and who is telling half truth?

Talking Point & View Points 2: US Treasuries A Ponzi Scheme


Part  One:  The havoc of the Petrol Dollar.

US treasuries or bonds is a worldwide ponzi scheme to suck in the wealth and riches of all other countries. USA is a very  heavily indebted country. It has a national debt of about $US 26 trillion. So US sells treasuries to other countries to keep its economy afloat. China and Japan hold about two trillion and one trillion American bonds or treasuries respectively. Practically almost every other country holds some billions or hundreds of millions of US treasuries.

The ponzi scheme works because of the American toxic Petrol Dollar. It all began in 1973 because of the demise of the previous Bretton Woods Agreement of the Gold Standard where every American dollar was once solidly backed by gold and where every ounce of gold was pegged at $US35,00. In short if you hold three hundred and fifty billion American dollars you can demand payment from US government in real solid gold to the equivalent value of that amount at the exchange rate of $US35 per ounce of gold.

However, since 1973 the US dollar is no more supported by gold or other precious metals or resources. The dollar is then known as the Petrol Dollar. US tricked and armed twisted Saudi Arabia and other Arab oil producing countries in the Middle East to trade and sell oil or purchase other products only with $US dollars only. So eventually every country which wants to buy oil or trade with America and other countries must first buy $US dollars. America's Private Federal Reserve Bank just need to print all the billions or trillions of paper notes to meet this demand. It means US has actually been paying nothing for its trade with the world. The buying or selling or trading via the $US dollar must go through "SWIFT" the American control International Monetary Exchange. American dollars is now just fiduciary issues with no gold or asset backing.

America is now using the Petrol Dollar as a weapon to contain and constrain China's economic development. It denies China the right to buy US assets or companies under the fake distorted reason of for national security. America and its allies Australia, Britain, France and Germany are colluding to deny China to invest in their companies or assets. America needs Chinese loans to bail out its economy but will not allow Chinese companies to buy its failed companies. So China can continue to hold the toxic Petrol Dollar but unable to use it.

China may want to unload the Petrol Dollars and sell back the treasuries to US. Here comes the catch. As the saying goes "If you owe the bank one million dollars, you have a problem, but if you owe the bank one hundred  billion dollars the bank has a problem. China is now in this situation and America doesn't care. Even if China manages to sell the toxic bonds US Federal Reserves will just print the dollars to pay China and it comes back to square one. The only plausible avenue to get rid of the petrol dollars is to use it to buy gold and silver and other resources and then work out a solution to destroy the  Petrol Dollar. 

Russia has already got rid of almost eighty percent of the American treasuries. China and Russia and some other countries are already using their own currencies for trade to by pass the Petrol Dollar. The BRIC countries are working together to slowly getting rid of the Petrol Dollar. In fact many countries are already using the Chinese Yuan or swap their currencies for mutual trading.

PART   Two :   SANCTIONS



The Petrol Dollar enables America to use "SANCTIONS" to play havoc with other countries economy. When America sanctions your country it means you cannot conduct trading and commerce with other countries and vice versa. This is economic strangulation to destroy your country. It is a sort of collective punishment for the whole population of the country. Sanctions impoverish the country and make the people suffer. China was sanctioned by US and its allies for almost three decades after the Second World War. In early 1990s American sanctions wrecked the Soviet Russia's economy and caused the break up of the USSR. DPRk and Iran are now under US and its allies sanctions. However Russia and China being big continental countries can sustain with the strength of their huge internal economy. Iran and DPRK fortunately now has the strong support of Russia and China. But Venezuella is now a victim of American sanction and is now suffering badly .

US using Tariffs as a weapon

US is unable to compete with China in fair trade even though China is trading under American impose rules and regulations. In the last four decades American companies have flocked to China to take advantage of cheap labour. American companies have made hundreds of billions of profits every year. They re-export the products make in China to America and the Americans benefit greatly from cheap Chinese products. Now the American government claim that China is indulging  in unfair trade because US has a trade deficit with China of a few hundred billion dollars every year. Actually this trade deficit is due to America's refusal to sell China high tech industries and products. Other than commercial aircrafts and a few agricultural products like soyabeans, corn, fruits, poultry and beef or pork they have practically nothing worth to sell to China. Moreover they bar China from investing in almost all their big conglomerate commercial companies claiming it on grounds of security reasons. So Trump and his pack of extreme China haters impose high tariffs on practically every Chinese product to stop China from selling to America. It is another wicked set up to punish the Chinese people collectively. However they cannot do much harm to China now because not only China now has a huge consumer population but also China now trades with almost every country in the world and is now also the biggest importer and exporter to almost all these countries.

By weaponising the American petrol dollar and using sanctions and tariffs as additional weapons US is actually building its own death knell for eventual self-destruction. All these wicked schemes have galvanized victimised countries to become more resolved, more resilient and more self-reliant.

Southernglory1

Thursday, 6th September,2018

9/05/2018

Seah Kian Peng – Lighting a small fire

Seah Kian Peng’s criticism of Thum Ping Tjin for inviting Mahathir to bring democracy to Singapore and the remark ‘it appears quite clear to me that PJ Thum does not wish Singapore well’ is like lighting a small fire that threatens to burn down a forest. This comment is read by Thum as calling him a traitor is ‘ridiculous and unfounded’. No decent person would be comfortable to be on the receiving end of being called a traitor to his country.
 

The accusation has fired up two opposing camps, with those supporting the group that met Mahathir calling it baseless and a more dangerous development for the group that supported or believed in Seah Kian Peng’s finger pointing. The result as reported in thenewpaper is “‘a torrent of accusations of treason’ and death threats against the group”. Hopefully this is just wild reactions from the hotheaded and nothing more and nothing untowards happened to the threatened group of people.
 

Seah Kian Peng might have noticed the ginny out of the bottle and is calling for some calm and decorum and ‘not get personal or abusive’ about the matter. It is just a matter of ‘different viewpoints and we can agree or disagree and be civil about it’. It is good that Seah Kian Peng saw the severity of the accusation and reactions from the ground and wanted to lower the temperature. And since it is just a matter of viewpoints, hopefully there will be no follow up threats of calling Sue or police investigation on the group and Thum in particular. He added, “It is regretful that I see all kinds of abusive remarks that are made by many different individuals (and trolls) against each other. I do not support such types of comments, regardless of what views of positions they take.”
 

The master has spoken. Would the trolls or doggies stop barking and stop biting? It must be quite frightening to Thum and his group to be branded traitors in the media and by a MP of the ruling party. OK, Seah Kian Peng did not use the word traitor on them, but it is how they felt and perceived and how the trolls and public read and reacted to it.
 

I hope the general public would be mature enough to see the nuances and the real stuff and not be misled by any silly comments. Can I say let’s move on? Or would there be more sinister things brooding?
 

PS. Napoleon has unleashed his attack dogs to bite.

9/04/2018

CECA is good for Singapore and must be upgraded

Anonymous said...
India, Singapore to Undertake Third Review of Free Trade Pact

India and Singapore will initiate the next round of review of their existing free trade agreement tomorrow with a view to further promote commercial ties between the countries.

Commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu, who is here on an official visit, held discussions with Singaporean counterpart Chan Chun Sing.

"Both India and Singapore are looking forward to launch the third review of India-Singapore CECA on September 1. This will provide further momentum to the growing collaboration between our two countries," Prabhu said in a series of tweets.

New Delhi is trying to increase sharing of its resources and skilled manpower in the region. Singapore has emerged as Research & Development hub at its universities.

-- timesofindia

The above quote was posted as a comment in my blog and I think this is a very important development that requires more attention. Most Singaporeans would not have heard of it just like when they first signed the CECA and only after several years before it was exposed.

The CECA is a very important agreement between India and Singapore and must not be taken lightly by anyone. Recently when the MOM was trying to tighten the inflow of Indians into our island, the Indian govt threatened to sue our govt for violating the CECA. I think our govt must have softened the tightening as the Indian govt did not call on Sue. and everything quiet down. Just my guess. See how important this is, opening our govt to be sued with this agreement?

India and Singapore are both praising how great and good this CECA is to India and Singapore of course. It not only promotes more Indians coming here but also more trades and more jobs and is good for our GDP and bilateral relations. Singapore can also depend on India to defend the country if it is attacked, given the Indian's interest in our well being they would send in their mighty navy and air force to our defence. Singapore will have another strong military world power to depend on when it punches above its weight again.

Other than the Indian Singaporean ministers, the strongest supporters to improving India Singapore relations and to upgrade CECA must be Chok Tong and George Yeo. Chok Tong has proudly claimed credit for starting the Indian fever. And George Yeo was reported to try to convince LKY to invest in India in a big way. He was instrumental in raising funds for the Indian Buddhist University and was appointed the Chancellor for a while for his great financial contribution to the University.

Given their backgrounds and strong fondness of India and Indians, they should automatically be nominated to head the negotiation team to upgrade the CECA with India instead of Chan Chun Seng. The Indians would be more comfortable with them. Time to bring back George Yeo.

In brief, the CECA allows a few hundred professions from India to be recognised and Indians to work here with no conditions as to the qualifications and reputations of their universities or colleges. I dunno if this is applicable both ways or only one sided. Can Singaporeans of the same profession work in India as well? In a way, the CECA provision recognises all Indian qualifications per se, or on par with our world class universities and colleges like our NUS and NTU. This puts Indian universities above the universities all over the world, including the Commonwealth countries and the USA where not all are recognised here.

The nearly automatic transfer of staff or relocation of staff from India to Singapore offices is also a privilege that no country enjoys except India. Oh, it also applies to the automatic transfer of Singaporeans to offices in India. It works both ways.  Singapore is very happy with this term. This provision is the main reason why many Indian companies in Singapore are almost 100% staffed by Indian nationals and Singapore companies in India would be likewise, I believe.

With the prospects of the terms of the CECA being improved, I think Singapore should officially recognise all the universities and colleges in India instead of an implied recognition under the current CECA, ie not said, not written but all the same, all recognised.

The next important thing is to allow more Indian talents to work in Singapore, to be given citizenship and to head ministries, stats boards and GLCs. Then all the ministries, stats boards and GLCs would be as well managed as DBS and as profitable and reputable as DBS world wide. This is the greatest contribution of the Indian super talents in Singapore and Singapore will be as rich, powerful and prosperous as India. And can sell or rent properties to the Indian nationals here.

Oh, I almost forgot, allow Singaporean students to study in India en mass or bring in the Indian education system to replace our inffective education system that is good sounding in brand but cannot produce talents or trained graduates for the economy, and everyday complaining that we have no talents. If our universities were to run like the Indian universities, then we would not need to hire so many academics from India as our local graduates would then be just as good as those from India.

In the upgraded CECA, I am anticipating the new developments, Singaporeans could move freely to work in India and Indians could do the same in Singapore. Singaporeans could happily earn rupees and send them back to support their families in Singapore. Indians could also send back Singapore dollars to Indian to support their families. This is only fair. And with India recognising all our universities and colleges, Singapore should likewise recognise all the universities and colleges in India. This is also fair.

If this really happens, the Indians may build temples to worship Chok Tong and George for solving India's unemployment problem and making India rich and prosperous. Singapore could also build a few monuments of Indian leaders to recognise their great contributions in providing jobs for Singaporeans and helping Singapore to prosper.

What do you think?

9/03/2018

Square pegs, triangle pegs, odd shape pegs, are all round pegs.

How can square pegs, triangle pegs, odd shape pegs be round pegs? Very simple, just take a hammer and bang them into a round hole and proclaim, see they all fit. This is about everything Seah Kian Peng wrote in his facebook about PJ Thum, Teo Soh Lun, Jolovan Wham, Kirsten Han and others accusing them of not wanting Singapore well. I will not want to waste time explaining what he said or tried to say. What caught my interest is this part about what Barker said during independence.

'When moving this constitutional amendment in Parliament, our first Minister for Law, and the author of the Separation Agreement, Mr EW Barker, said that “in the methodology of the destruction of a nation by its foes, war by force of arms is not necessarily the only means employed. The independence of a nation may, by more subtle means, be subverted.”
He also said: “The seductive blandishments of foreign agents must not be allowed to succeed.”
Quite right and I am sure Singaporeans will agree with that.' Seah Kian Peng

Just take note of these two points: One, The independence of a nation may, by more subtle means, be subverted.' and two, 'The seductive blandishments of foreign agents must not be allowed to succeed.' In point one, think about the flooding of the island with foreigners and giving away citizenship freely to make the original Singaporeans a minority and with the foreigners stealing the jobs of Singaporeans. In point two, I would just say that the destruction of a country need not be by foreign agents but by Singaporeans acting for foreign agents or foreign interest that are againt Singaporean interest.

The foreign agents are dangerous and they wear a badge telling you they are foreign agents. The more dangerous ones do not wear foreign badges but tell you they are your friends, they are one of you, they are doing it for you, they are here to help. You would not have any clue that they are selling you away or robbing your money.

I would leave the readers to ponder over what I said and not be misled by red herrings.

This morning's thenewpaper has more to add to the controversy. Shanmugam correctly said that no foreigners should be invited to intervene in our domestic politics. The accused should wait for Mahathir to retire then ask him to apply for Singapore citizenship and become instant Singaporean. Never mind where his loyalty is, as a new Singaporean he can then interfere for all he likes in Singapore's politics in our foreign talent scheme. Just a caveat and I quote, Thum was quoted to invite Mahathir to 'take leadership in Southeast Asia for the promotion of democracy, human rights freedom of expression and freedom of information.' Is there any difference in this and inviting the Americans here to be the policeman of SE Asia?

Another point raised by Seah Kian Peng is that Thum's rejoice on Malaysia Independence Day 'does not wish Singapore well.' Everyone Singaporean must take note that they shall not participate and rejoice in other country's independence day or political celebration, and not to allow foreigners to celebrate their independence day in Singapore. Also, no one shall talk about joining Malaysia or become part of Malaysia. This is treason.

These are the new points that came out today and I am still pondering over them, whether they make sense or pure hogwash, or contradictory.

PS. If Singapore becomes part of Malaysia, it would lose its independence. If Singapore is taken over by foreigners, it would also lose its independence, or the original Singaporeans would lose their country.

9/02/2018

3 British ministers resigned on policy disagreement

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, is the third minister to have resigned from the Theresa May’s cabinet. The other two were Brexit Secretary David Davis and junior Brexit minister Steve Baker.
Within the May govt there are pro Brexit and anti Brexit ministers and MPs and they are standing up for and against Brexit on grounds of principles and ideas. In this issue May could not use the Whip to whip them into a corner to agree with her. This is British democracy where the MPs and ministers could take positions based on their beliefs and principles that may be against the majority of the govt or the PM.
 

Could such events happen in the Singapore govt? Would our ministers or MPs have the guts to stick to their principles and beliefs or the interests of their constituents to go against the majority of the govt or the PM? Unlikely as the Whip here is very strong and cannot be challenged. Any MP or minister thinking of going against the Whip to make a point would likely be asked to leave. The best they could do is to hide in the toilet.
 

Another big factor that is preventing MPs and ministers from going against the govt or PM is the big salary/income at stake. How many would sacrifice the millions just on the ground of principles, disagreement or to fight for their constituents against policies and decisions that were contrary?
 

Would the British ministers be so gung ho if their salaries/income were in the millions to resign like Boris Johnson and his two peers? It seems that the high salary of our ministers and MPs has become a stumbling block for ministers and MPs to act independently, to act on their conscience and the interests of their people. Or maybe not as they all agreed with the party and PM. So they are all in it together, for the party, for the PM.
 

So it is safe to say that they have been acting according to their conscience and beliefs and principles and the interests of the people by supporting every policy and decision of the govt and PM? Can this be the case? They all believe that all the govt policies and decisions are good and aligned to their principles and beliefs and so have no reason to vote against them or to resign?
 

What do you think? Is there a conflict of interest between high salary and principles and beliefs? Or they bo bian because of fear of the Whip? Or is it the loss of million dollar income?

9/01/2018

Patnaik is not going away

The main media is also dabbling in this Patnaik saga. Guess where they are coming from. It was reported that there are two camps on this episode, some finding the employer’s action too harsh and some disagreed.
 

I can think of a few camps and their views according to their vested interests and their backgrounds and their agenda. For the foreigners here, especially the Indians, their stand needs no introduction. They would be in the same boat if they have done the same and therefore would like Patnaik to be handled with tender loving care. Too harsh, a counseling and warning would do. Understandable.
In the Singaporean camp two groups stood up. The PGs or older Singaporeans, brought up with the idea of nation building, built the nation, served NS the hard way, raising the flag every morning, would not take kindly to any disrespectful acts against the country and flag. Their stand is that the sacking is appropriate, nothing more, nothing less. To them Singapore is a country, a home for Singaporeans they were taught and trained to protect and defend.
 

The younger generations, the millennia, are likely to look at things differently. These young people have had a good life, never experience hard times and how tough and painful it was to build a new country that they can call home and for their children. They inherited a country built by their parents and grandparents. And after years of being subject to brain washing, that foreigners are talents and here to help them, as long as they have their hamburgers and night outs and good time, nothing will shake them. Even if a million foreigners are brought into this island they would not see anything wrong with it.
 

In the Patnaik case, so what, small matter lah, don’t over react. Buy him a beer and all will be well. They did not call this generation the marsh mellow, or strawberry or whatever generation for nothing. Life is good and fun. They have not got into the cauldron of fire. There is no fire in their belly.
 

Patnaik is just having a bit of fun as far as the millenia are concerned. What flag? Just a harmless act lah. They could not see the importance of a national flag and its symbolism. They may use it as a table cloth or a mat to sit on, just a piece of cloth. The trampling and burning of a nation's flag is a very serious matter.
 

What about those people that everyday tell you how good the foreigners are and treating the foreigners like their darlings, calling them locals? Be nice to them, bring them into your homes, they are very nice people, never commit crimes? Be careful of this group of people. Don’t make them angry. They cannot be trifled with especially when you are unkind to their darlings, the so called locals.
 

Let’s closed this chapter quickly and move on.
 

PS. Is Patnaik still in Singapore? His PR still not revoked and looking for another job here? What about the rest that did the same thing? Only one scapegoat?

8/31/2018

Mahathir – angry old man in rage and in a hurry

The news of Mahathir banning any foreigner from buying properties in Forest City came like a thunderbolt for the owners and buyers and potential buyers of this city rising out from nowhere. This decision by Mahathir is going to shake the confidence of all foreign investors in Malaysia. Who would dare to put money in a country run by an unpredictable old man that has no respect for law and integrity? This may be the main reason why he came home empty handed from Japan. He must have told Abe of his plan to cut down on all the mega projects by China by changing the laws as he wished. The Japanese must have cold sweat when asked to pump money into Malaysia knowing what could also happen to them when this raging old man decided to turn against them.
 

What is pushing this old man to do what he is doing today? Is the failure of his crooked bridge got anything to do with his anger and vindictive acts today? His pet project to build an unnecessary and crazy bridge to replace a cheap and efficient causeway, wasting money for nothing and rightly stopped the moment he lost political power could be the answer to what he is doing today. He must be telling himself, these buggers brought down my favourite foolish billion dollar project, now is my turn to take revenge on them. ‘I will destroy everything they planned and built to make sure they could not outdo me. They removed my monument, I will remove theirs.’
 

This seems to be the key motivation driving this old man into his rage. How daring for these people to destroy my dream of a crooked bridge? Now all their dreams and pet projects must also go the way of my crooked bridge.
 

In his rage he does not care how the world looks at him and his Malaysia, a whimsical untrustworthy country with unreliable and unpredictable leaders and changing policies. Who would dare to invest in Malaysia anymore? And he thinks he could get away with it, tearing down all the multi billion dollar mega projects without having to pay compensation. The developers are likely to sue him and make him, not him, Malaysia, to pay compensation for his reckless decisions. They are not going to walk away without claiming back what they have put into Malaysia.
 

The next big project to go or close down would be the massive train factory in KL. With all the train projects gone, there would be no need to build trains and other parts in Malaysia anymore. The massive Port Klang project to replace Singapore would end up like his crooked bridge, hanging half way in mid air, half complete structures left to rot. Forest City would answer to his wishes, becomes a jungle, overgrown with forestation, with no resident.
 

Is this man doing good for Malaysia or is he out to destroy Malaysia, destroying everything his predecessors built out of spite? Without foreign investments, Malaysia is likely to hit negative growth or the lowest growth among Asean countries. Mahathir the savior of a corrupt Malaysia would instead become Mahathir the destroyer of Malaysia, destroying all the reputation, trust and confidence in the Malaysian govt. Malaysia is going to look like a dictatorship run by a tinpot unpredictable old man. Is this what he is doing to Malaysia?
Would Mahathir be chasing out all the foreigners that have bought properties in Johore, in Iskandar and other parts of Malaysia and staying there recently? How far would Mahathir go to rid Malaysia of foreigners who have bought properties and staying in Malaysia?
 

For the moment the Malaysian narrative is that Mahathir can do whatever he likes, even tearing up commercial contracts and causing parties to lose hundreds of billions without recourse. The Malay Mail even wrote a condescending article that Mahathir’s dilly dallying was his way of trying to save the Chinese face from the cancelled projects.
 

The Chinese leaders might have agreed to Mahathir’s request and on political ground accepted the cancellation of the mega projects. But commercial considerations and contractual obligations would not be swept under the carpet. The compensation clauses would be taken up by the Chinese companies. Even the Forest City developers could take the Malaysian govt to court, I mean ICJ if necessary, to claim compensation for the change of govt policies.
 

Mahathir may blame Najib for stupidity. The Chinese developers are not so stupid to plough in hundreds of billions of dollars into Malaysia without protecting themselves from controversial political decisions. Mahathir would be served with claims for hundreds of billions as compensation for these projects if they are aborted. If Singapore is firm enough to demand compensation, why would China threw away hundreds of billions and gets insulted by a vindictive old man? Mahathir has all the cards to play and China has no cards to play and has to walk away losing their pants? A political decision would not take away the contractual and monetary obligations in such cases.
 

My bet, all the projects would be reinstated when Mahathir found out that he has no money to pay for the compensation.