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.

8/30/2018

Patnaik - DBS foreign talent sent packing

DBS has reported that the foreign talent employee, a local from India, who posted a picture in facebook of a torn Singapore flag is no longer with DBS. This means he is not in DBS Singapore or DBS India or DBS anywhere else.
 

The posting by Avijit Das Patnaik stirred strong nationalist feelings among Singaporeans for violating their pride in Singapore as a nation. Some even threatened to close their DBS accounts. Hopefully this episode ends here and would not be repeated by any foreign talents be they local or not. There are several lessons to be learnt from this episode.
 

As I mentioned earlier, Singaporeans should not begrudged this Patnaik for his strong feeling and pride for being an Indian national. He should be proud of his motherland, India. Otherwise he would lose all respect as an Indian citizen. At least he can still be proud to be called an Indian, a patriot.
 

Many foreigners that are here are like Patnaik, be they locals, PRs or new citizens. This is a natural thing. Many of these foreigners came from big countries or bigger than this red dot and have strong ties and pride for their nation. They have long history and rich culture, not like our rojak dunno what way of life. They cannot be easily bought over by monetary incentives. They are not mercenaries.
 

Our little boys and girls must take note of this. Foreign nationals are not cheapskates, at least most of them, that they would betray their country and their nationalities just because we threw some money in their face. While there are Singaporeans who have this kind of thought, that money is everything, their childishness must not be used to influence govt policies. Money is not everything to these foreigners though it may mean a lot to some Singaporeans. Such Singaporeans are shameless and likely to sell their father and mother if given enough money, definitely their integrity and principles and their country.
 

Luckily many Singaporeans still have some pride in belonging to this island that resulted in an instantaneous uproar when their national flag was abused. Hopefully the na├»ve and childish boys and girls would wake up to the fact that a nation, a country and citizenship to a country is not something to be trifled with, to be compromised because of money. We don’t need foreigners that could be easily bought over by our money. Such foreigners or quitters that would quit from their country would quit from here when the situation changed. Call them locals or citizens but deep down inside them, many are still loyal to their motherland and Singapore is just a place to make money before they return home when time is ripe.
 

The simplicity in the thinking of our boys and girls is frightening and dangerous to the well being of our nation and our citizens. Patnaik has done Singapore a good service by telling the boys and girls to wake up from their foolishness. The foreigners don’t belong here, would not want to belong here, except for a few. They don’t call this piece of rock home. Stop wasting public money on the foreigners and giving them good jobs at the expense of Singaporeans.

8/29/2018

Singapore National Games – ‘Pian Ah Peh’

Singapore’s masters athletes signed up in full force to run in the Singapore National Games 2018. Everyone was there for a bit of fun and camaraderie. Nothing much was expected except for the individual athletes to try to do their best for a PB or to test their timings.
 

In the course of two weekends at the Home of Athletes in Kallang and Bishan Stadium there were a few pleasant surprises for the ah pehs and the ah mahs participating in the competition.
 

The first surprise came when they were told to open a PayNow account as all winners of individual events would be receiving a cash award. Wow, that’s a nice thought regardless of the amount. All the ah pehs and ah mahs happily gave their names and ICs/mobile numbers and agreed to register for their respective PayNow accounts to await the cash awards. Oh, they knew that no cash awards would be given to individual event winners except for overall winners of the respective age groups. That was stated in the rules and regulation of the Game.
 

The next pleasant surprise was when uncle and team won the 4x100m relay event. Again we were told that we would be receiving a cash award which we knew the rules and regulations said no. Only winners of events with 4 teams or more would be entitled to cash awards. We took it with half belief. The cash award was confirmed during the prize presentation ceremony when a letter stating the cash award in black and white was given to us. Too good to believe but it was a nice feeling.
 

The organizers cannot be so stupid to make such mistakes, to tell us that we would receive cash awards and even presented us a congratulatory letter with the amount stated. We were all very happy for such surprises. No one is complaining for sure. How can a nation going to turn itself into a smart city make blunders by saying one thing and doing another? We went home and registered for our PayNow accounts and very hopeful that we would be richer by a few dollars.
 

We waited and waited but nothing was deposited into our PayNow accounts. Then we received confirmation that all the pleasant surprises were just pleasant surprises and too good to be true. The only thing that we don’t believe is that the organizers could made such elementary mistakes and telling us things that should not be. This could happen in third world countries but not in a first world smart nation. We are going to turn the city into a smart nation. It is not that we were hard up for the few dollars that we knew we were not entitled. But the false hope was unnecessary. Was the false hope a gimmick to con the ah pehs and ah mahs to open PayNow accounts that otherwise they would find no reason to do so? Is this another ‘pain ah peh’ exercise? The mistakes were totally unwarranted. The organizers knew the rules, could not be so blur or so stupid to commit such basic errors right?
 

The ah pehs kena ‘pian’ another time. Or at least the ah pehs in my relay team were. We were presented medals for winning our events. We were at the podium and Kunalan the sprint legend shook our hands and placed the medals over our necks and photographs were taken. After the presentation ceremony we were told to return the medals. Why? Because nothing was inscribed on the medals. The medals were blank, no description of which event they were meant for. They promised to call us to return the medals to us after inscribing the events on them.
 

Three weeks have gone by and we even asked them what had happened to our medals. So far no reply. It seems that no one bothers after the end of the Game. It’s over. Let’s move on. We paid to run in the competition and the least we could expect is our medals. Did we kena conned again a third time? Cannot be lah. I think they are running short of metals and have to return to the mines to get some to mint into medals. And this would take time especially if the metal is coming from Australia or some foreign land. And it would take more time to print the words on the medals before delivering the medals to us. 3 weeks after the event is a short time. Just be patient. The Ah pehs must wait for their medals, hopefully they will arrive before the next National Games in 2019.
 

I think the Indonesians did a better job in Jakarta in organizing the Asian Games. At least the winners got their medals on the same day, after the event. Some, like the case of the swimmers, had their names printed on a certificate on the spot. That’s efficiency. How smart are we as a smart nation? Or is it smart nation but stupid people?

8/28/2018

Asian Games and the takeaways

The 2018 Asian Games are progressing well in Jakarta and Palembang. Everything is going as fine as if they were to be held here or in any other Asian countries. The Games have been going on for years and organizing it is more or less using a carbon copy of the processes of the previous Games. No need to reinvent the wheel.
 

There are a few takeaways from the Games so far. First is the appearance of North Korea, a country suffering from abject poverty if one is silly enough to believe the western media, and the medals they are winning. At this point of writing, 28 Aug, they have already won 12 gold medals, far ahead of rich and prosperous Singapore and even all the Asean countries except Indonesia that have 1 more gold. How could they produce so many sports champions when they did not have enough to eat, no proper training facilities, definitely cannot afford to hire super talented and expensive foreign coaches. If you are to believe in the western narrative, the North Koreans would be training with antique equipments and with half full stomachs. Their total medal tally is 12 golds, 6 silver and 7 bronzes, ahead of Thailand, Taiwan, India and of course Singapore with 3 golds, 4 silvers and 10 bronzes. And this is not counting their medals in the combined Korea team.
 

As the top medal winner nations are the richer Asian nations, it is foolish to say that North Korea is an exception, that it is very poor and still did better than the supposedly rich Asian nations. Sports competition today is a very expensive hobby that only the rich and able could afford. It is no longer simply about brawn and raw power but about training, systems, nutrition, equipment, medication and plenty of money for travelling, competition and coaches.
 

The other nation that stood out in the Games is Kazakhstan. This is a newly rich country, thanks to the wealth brought along by becoming a new transportation hub in the New Silk Road. The wealth of this landlocked country, once written off for good for many centuries, its natural resources untapped due to poor transportation network, is now a prosperous central Asian country. They sent in a huge contingent of 440 athletes, something they could not afford before and never dreamt of. Nevermind if they were not medal winners, they could afford to travel all the way from central Asia to Jakarta/Palembang to have a bit of fun and competition, to tell the world that they are around.
 

The other notable country is Bahrain. This Middle Eastern oil rich country is splurging its money on acquiring the best sports men and women from Africa. And their acquisitions are almost all winners and record breakers. This is how to use money cleverly. They have a lot of OPM to splurge and splurge they did, to buy winners. Singapore can learn a lot from them and turn our 3 miserable gold medals to a dozen at least. Money, especially OPM, if used cleverly, can achieve a lot of fame and glory, never mind if they are worthy of it or not. Compare to the OPM spent on footballs and table tennis, I think the Bahrainians are wiser or at least smarter in how they spent OPM.
 

Singapore can have a lot of sports heroes from Africa and a lot to cheer about if we go the Bahrainian way. There is still hope to hitch a ride on the New Chinese Silk Road, if we have not messed it up for good, and be as prosperous as the Kazakhstan. Our wealth cannot last if we are replaced as a commercial and transportation hub by our stupidity, arrogance and poor strategic thinking.
 

How many are still out there laughing at the ‘poor’ North Koreans, deceived and deluded by the western media? Without all the American sanctions and economic isolation pressure, North Korea would be as rich as South Korea. There are the same people, with the same DNA and intellect.

8/27/2018

Belt tightening versus belt loosening

Hsien Loong’s key speech during the National Day Rally was to teach the people how to change their habits to save some money given the high cost of living in this most expensive city in the world. To the masses, it is belt tightening time and this has been going on for the last few decades. Their lives have been a serial of downgrading and downgrading, from the 5Cs to smaller flats or even selling part of their leases, from country clubs to community clubs, from car ownership to riding bicycles, from eating in restaurants to foodcourts to hawker centres. And to make eating in hawker centres more palatable, without being undignified, like the best thing in the world, Singapore is going to apply for UNESCO recognition that hawker centre is Singapore’s treasured way of life.
 

minister has come out in support of this belt tightening exercise. “The Government will do its part – that is our commitment … But at the same time, we hope that people will also think through what they are able to afford and manage and also to make the right choices”: Second Minister for Finance Indranee Rajah on the cost of living in Singapore. Channel NewsAsia
 

On the other side of the rich poor divide, Chok Tong is telling the people that the ministers are underpaid. Is this the first hint that minister’s exorbitant salary, out of this world’s salary, is going to be raised and is he hinting that the ministers are not happy with their high salary? Are the belts of the ministers too tight and need loosening so that they could fatten themselves more? Looking at everyone one them, ruby and oily cheeks, they really look very well fed. And one MP is driving a Bentley, only an MP and can afford the luxury of a Bentley. Still salary not enough?
 

The people are told to tighten their belts and the ministers are thinking of loosening their belts, to consume more with higher salary? We are in it together, in the same boat? Anyone hallucinating?

8/26/2018

Crazy Rich Asians - The Awakening

I read some of the reviews about Crazy Rich Asians to find out what people were crazy about. Here are a few paragraphs from a Bourree Lam, she called herself American, about what was so startling to her about this movie. It is about Asian men, that there are Asian men that are really men, just like Joe and John, that can be desirable, and can speak and believe it or not, are human beans on this world. Before this Crazy Rich Asians,  there were no Asian men, only white men. Wow! What a great discovery.

This is a little bit from her article in Yahoo News titled Crazy Ripped Asians.

'This has hardly been the case in America.

Before the 1900s, Asian males were often portrayed as dangerous to Western society. In the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act and Yellow Peril, Asian men were depicted as cartoonishly cold-hearted villains. Anxieties that Asian men may marry white American women led to racist portrayals of Asian men as evil, feminine, and generally undesirable. “The Asian male figure was conjured as an Other who is threatening and dangerous at worst, and distasteful and dismissible at best,” said L.S. Kim, an associate professor of film and digital media at UC Santa Cruz, of that era.... But I posit that there’s one aspect of the movie that we can all agree on: I’m talking about the abs. All one thousand of them.

Serving up male bodies to gawk at is one of the oldest tropes of the rom-com genre. These movies are made for swooning, and swoon we did. Have you ever seen so many Asian Adonises who have misplaced their tops in one movie? Singapore is known for its tropical climate, but is it codified that a man must spend half of his waking hours (and 100% of his sleeping ones) airing out his upper half?
It’s not superficial, either. This display of Asian male beauty is fighting a decades-old narrative in America, a racist one where Asian male bodies were either portrayed as made for kung-fu or made for being laughed at. If you know the history, you might end seeing the abs in Crazy Rich Asians in a slightly sharper light.'

This Bourree Lam must have swooned over the male Asian bodies that she had never seen before all her adult life. Is she 25 or 35? She could not be older as she remembered this western bias existed only for decades, not centuries. Where had she been? Oh in America of course, she is American. And there were no Asian men in America, or at least in her life or in her association. 

This is not the only awakening. Since Bruce Lee kicked open the white men's only door of Hollywood nothing really happened after that. Perhaps if Bruce Lee could carry on kicking for a few more years, think would have changed a bit more. It was like they repaired and put back the broken white men's door after Bruce Lee left.

It seemed that every writer or actor/actress, I mean of Asian origin has suddenly woken up to the fact that there were no Asians in Hollywood other than the stereotyped, very nerdy, no character, the cartoons, or kung fu fighters. They have awakened, they have removed their blinkers, that Asians are also human beans but strangely non existence in Hollywood or in the USA!

Wow, unbelieveable. This is a great scientific discovery since they discovered the theory of gravity or homo sapien originated from apes. Now every Asian actor/actress is standing up and asking the same question that they did not think should be asked in the world of movie making.  But this is the world of the bananas. They did not know the existence of Bollywood and the movie world of Hongkong, Taiwan and now China. These movie industries don't exist or don't count. Their only world of make belief is the Hollywood stereotyped of James Bond, Tom Cruise, and who else, their white gods. And they were comfortable living in this world of white gods and nothing else. Now why would Hollywood want to cast Asians when their stories are western and catering to a western audience?

This is perhaps the greatest happenings of Crazy Rich Asians, the awakening of the bananas, that before this movie, they don't exist and they did not know. Now they know. But unfortunately this is going to be another flash in the pan incident and would be over when the light is out.

8/25/2018

Electricity tariff in Singapore versus oil price


Hsien Loong startled the audience of his National Day speech asking the people to ‘kee chiu’ if they think electricity tariff is lower than 10 years ago. Many got it wrong, believing that electricity today is higher instead of lower. He then showed two graphs, one on electricity tariff and another on oil price to show the complementarity of the movements of the two items. When oil price is up, tariff is up. The audience was astonished that electricity price today was lower than 10 years ago. Hsien Loong supplement his discovery with this statement:
‘”Describing the issue of electricity tariffs as “more complicated”, he noted that the current rate of 23.65 cents/kwh is more affordable than it was in the third quarter of 2008 at 25.07 cents/kwh.
’––Singapore’s electricity tariffs are dependent on the fluctuations in oil prices as the nation uses natural gas – all imported – to generate almost all of its electricity, he explained.’  Yahoo News
Many in the audience or watching the TV must be amazed for seeing that electricity tariff has actually gone down and their perception was wrong, that electricity price is high.  Here are the two charts.

For flashing the two charts in a speech and giving the audience very little time to ponder and understand what they were shown is a clever way of getting one’s point across. Now we have a bit more time reading the charts and see what they meant and whether they really made sense. Yes, the tariff is lower today, 23.65 cents against 25.07 cents. What about the relative oil prices for the respective time? I could not figure out the scale of the above oil price chart. To me the numbers were funny. Below is a 10 year oil price chart by Macrotrends.net. Oil price peaked in 2008 to US$140 per barrel and hit a low of US$30 in 2009 and below US$30 in 2015.

Oil price in 2008 was $140 per barrel against $60 per barrel today. If electricity tariff is to fluctuate in sync with oil price, when the oil price is halved, should not the electricity tariff be halved as well or somewhere near there? The 23.65/25.07 numbers showed that electricity tariff has fallen by 1.42 cents or 5.66%! Should it not be bigger for the 80/140 or 57%  difference in price of oil? The latter is the percentage of change  when oil price fell from $140 to $60.
Yes they both swing in the same direction but the quantum is vastly different. Does it make sense that one changed by 57% and one by 1.42%?
What is the problem with the numbers? What is the problem with the charts? Should the people be happy that electricity prices have fallen by 1.42%? Or should it go down by a bigger percentage? Why is the fall so miniscule?
The above chart shows the prices of oil over the last 10 years. The chart Hsien Loong presented showed the prices of electricity of the same period but the fluctuation is not more than 5 cents each way.

8/24/2018

Mahathir just gives Singapore a second chance

Mahathir has cancelled the US$20b East Coast HSR in Malaysia. Without this rail link, the super port in Malacca and the ports on the east coast would become white elephants and likely to be cold storage. The whole concept of these two mega projects is to make Malaysia the gateway to China and Europe by high speed train. Now the train would stop in Thailand, likely at the Isthmus of Kra. Cancelling the East Coast HSR would mean cancelling the port projects on both sides of peninsula Malaysia as well. All other projects linked to the BRI would become meaningless and likely to end abruptly. The Kra Canal project would take precedence now for China to by pass the Straits of Malacca and the port of Singapore.

The Kra Canal project is very costly and would take years to contruct and build and is a project that China would not want to commit if given a choice. This is a window of opportunity for Singapore to reposition itself as a major shipping node in the BRI. As far as Malaysia is concerned, even though Mahathir said he supports the BRI, Malaysia is out of the game. Whether Singapore can ease its way into the vacuum left by Malaysia would depend on what the Singapore govt is going to do to assure China that its interests would not be compromised by the American military presence in Singapore.

Here comes the tricky question. What is Singapore going to do to balance the American presence in the city state that virtually controls the shipping through the Malacca Strait? Two obvious choice, by allowing the Americans to continue to be in the island and also allow the Chinese to have similar access for their warships under the same terms as the Americans, nothing more nothing less. Another option is to ask the Americans to vacate Changi which is going to be a tough ride. Once in, the Americans would not be easy to leave this strategic little corner, just like their presence in Japan, South Korea and Iraq. They would not leave without a fight.

The future of Tuas mega port and Singapore's shipping and logistic industry would depend on how Singapore plays its cards. China has other options other than the Kra Canal. Qwadar in Pakistan and Myanmar ports would be fully developed to take on the role of channelling oil from the Middle East to China, by passing the Straits of Malacca if all else failed. Singapore must not think that China has no where else to go but come begging to use Tuas. This is a great opportunity that Singapore must seize and take full advantage of before Mahathir knows what he is doing and change his mind or step down and Anwar takes over to revive a dying Malaysian economy that is being bypassed by China's BRI.

For the moment Mahathir has chosen to go it alone. If Singapore is smart, it must quickly chope the vacated seat by selling to China all the favourable terms it can offer for Chinese ships to come calling at Tuas. Singapore would not have another chance if this window of opportunity is closed again. And it can close as quickly as it is opened now.

Would Singapore seize the moment and turn it to its favour?

8/23/2018

On what ground are the American soldiers in Syria...and Iraq?

WASHINGTON: The United States said Friday it is suspending US$230 million budgeted for stabilisation projects in Syria, citing the aid pledged by other partners in the coalition against the Islamic State group.
'The president has made clear that we are prepared to remain in Syria until the enduring defeat of (IS), and we remain focused on ensuring the withdrawal of Iranian forces and their proxies," she said....

Brett McGurk, the special White House envoy to the coalition against IS, said the militant group has been cleared from some 99 per cent of its former territory in Syria and that preparations for the final phase of the campaign are being made.

He said stabilisation operations involving demining, restoration of water and power supplies and other basic needs are well underway in recaptured areas....

"We are focused on stabilisation, getting people back to their homes," McGurk said....' Channel News Asia

From the above reports, how many of you noticed the hypocrisy and evilness of the Americans in their undeclared war in Syria, the occupation of Syrian territories by American soldiers and the red herring that they are going to stabilise and restore facillities in Syria...without having to ask the Syrian Govt and people.  They talked as if Syria is a state of the USA and they can do whatever they like in that country.

Before we get misled by this American rhetoric one must remember who planted the ghost of IS in Syria and used it as an excuse to send troops into Syria to fight IS and terrorism, without the consent or invitation of the Syrian Govt?  And after destroying 90 percent of Syria with their unrestrained bombings, they are now telling the world that they are the white knights, the angels that are there to stabilise and rebuild Syria, the country they bombed to Stone Age by inserting IS terrorists into Syria.

Get it? See how the evil and wicked schemes of the Americans are being played up in Syria and the rest of the Arab and African countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, to justify their military invasion of these countries, unilaterally, as the Evil Empire that rules over these countries.This is now a text book formula for American invasion of independent countries by inserting their IS terrorists and insurgents to create some kind of fear and terrorist acts. Then they will come marching in and occupy the countries so decided by them.

The Americans are in these countries not to fight IS or terrorists but to conduct regime change, to dethrone the legitimate govt of the countries and install their puppets to take over the countries.

And you have some European leaders crying crocodile tears over Syria and other Arab countries. Read this, also reported in CNA.

'PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced concern on Friday (Aug 17) about the humanitarian situation in the rebel-held Syrian region of Idlib, which is shaping up be the country's next big battleground....

They also called for an "inclusive political process to allow lasting peace in the region".'

In the first place there was peace in Syria and other Arab countries like Iraq and Libya. It is the Americans and the Europeans, former colonial masters, that started the wars in these countries.  They started the wars, bombed and burnt down the countries and now calling for peace. What the fuck. And no one is questioning them for their irresponsible acts and crimes against humanity in these Arab countries.

They are the good guys!!!!

Latest, the Americans announced that they would be in Iraq for as long as they are needed. Who decides that? The Americans of course. But Iraq is an independent country, not a state of the USA. Not any more. After using the excuse of WMD to invade Iraq, Iraq is now a part of the American Empire. The Iraqis have lost their territorial sovereignty. The Americans are their new masters.

8/22/2018

Crazy Rich Politicians


Crazy Rich Asians is screening to full house in the US, Singapore and neighbouring countries. It is a bit of fresh air on the dull thinking of Asians that rich people are angmohs and Asians are poor. It used to be when they came to plunder our wealth and took away everything they wanted and needed to build European cities. The Asians, particularly those influenced by Confucianist culture, tend to be low key and would hide their wealth to the extend that not many people know they are filthy rich.

The SPGs need to wash their heads, not brains, for thinking that only angmohs are rich. The crazy Anton or Anton crazy believed he is rich. Wait till he has watched the Crazy Rich Asians and he would not know where to hide.The rich people here, with some exceptions, are the Crazy Rich Asians. SPGs, please readjust your homing device, aim at the Crazy Rich Asians or politicians.

The Crazy Rich Asians may be crazy on the screen. But the really crazy ones are the rich politicians. Anyone see the politicians behaving like the crazy rich Asians, flaunting their wealth? No, they would not dare to. It is political suicide. But everyone knows that they are filthy rich, many are multi millionaires or billionaires. But they walked around like paupers, no flashy cars but production line cheap Mercedes and BMWs at most. No Richard Mille or Parmigiani, Hublot, Blvgari, no diamond rocks or moon rocks hanging on their necks.

But Singapore is the place for the rich to flaunt their wealth. They are completely safe, they would not be robbed or kidnapped for doing that. And for the politicians, there are more reasons to show off what they owned, having earned them honestly, legally and cleverly with their above mediocre talents. Why called themselves natural aristocrats when they moved around like hoi polloi? Aristocrats must look like aristocrats, must look rich, look classy and a bit snobbish, speaking with a stiff upper lip.

At least there is one such politician that is not pretentious for displaying his real worth. Unfortunately a minority of loud mouth Singaporeans are filled with envy and showing scorn when they see his beautiful stately white Bentley parked at his country club. For goodness sake, owning a Bentley is not a crime and the politicians deserve it. If politicians cannot effort to drive Bentleys, who else can afford? Some are criticizing him for this inappropriate showing of wealth as an MP. How disgusting, I mean the critics. This man made his fortune, not inherited old rich. He is an MP, a politician, a multi millionaire and not a mediocre man. He is entitled to live well and enjoy his wealth.

What, would it be better if people like him pretend to be poor, hiding all their wealth under their beds and eating in hawker centres? Would they then look like hypocrites, pretenders, fakes, dishonest, not genuine? I rather the politicians be honest and strut around, or move around in their Bentleys and Rolls Royces or in luxury toy cars that cost millions.

Is this not about transparency, about honesty, about meritocracy, not hiding anything? There is also a saying, money not spent is not yours. Why work so hard to earn so much money and wanting more every day, but not spending, afraid to spend the money? Is this not crazy? 

There could be good reasons for some wealthy people to hide their wealth when the source of their wealth is less than clean or respectable. But the politicians here earn their money in the most honest way one can think off. Not by cheating, stealing or conning the people, not be illegal means. They should be proud of their wealth. They deserve every cent they earned and no one shall gripe about them living well, living very well. It is really crazy and silly for having so much money and not using the money to enjoy a better life, a Swiss standard of living. And worse, to be accused of pretending to be poor or not rich and so insincere.

What do you think?

PS: Happy Hari Raya to all Singaporeans.