Teo Ser Luck apologised on Facebook

This is reported in the main media. ‘Mr Teo also apologized on Facebook to the YMCA: “The protestors were going after me but it affected the children and the event . For this I feel sorry and would apologise to YMCA and the children for this inconvenience caused because of my presence.”’ And in response to Roy Ngerng’s offer to apologise to the children, Ser Luck said it was a step forward. Then he added that Roy had spoilt the day for the children and , ‘For sure you have to apologise and more!’

Ser Luck did not explain what is the meaning of ‘more’. Is he saying apology must also explain? But Roy has already explained and not accepted. He had dismissed Roy’s explanation that he ‘didn’t know what was going on the stage’. So the best thing for Roy to do is to go and ask Ser Luck what is ‘more’ and what is enough or can be accepted. If Roy were to do the same and apologise on his Facebook, I think this way sure cannot.

It was gracious for Ser Luck to apologise to YMCA. It was also good for him to clarify that the protestors were there protesting to him and not to heckle the children. But in doing so they did frighten some of them and spoilt their day.

For those boys and girls screaming that the protestors were there to heckle the children, I think Ser Luck being the main target of their protest, is telling exactly what it was all about. Would this put an end to the ‘heckle’ accusation?

The Americans would say the affected children were collateral damages as they were not the target or the issue. Still it is good for Roy and Hui Hui to make an apology for interrupting their performance. But this part is very difficult. How? Put up a one page apology in the newspaper, as putting up on their Facebook would not likely to be accepted. I can’t advise them on this. And the best person is Ser Luck. Go ask Ser Luck what does he want in the apology before he can accept it, or what is the best way to apologise.

As for the parents of the children, it has been reported that they declined to meet Roy. What’s next?

Kopi Level - Green

The uniqueness of the Singapore stock market

Below is a description of the unique characteristics of the stock market that came to me in an email.

What's the difference between your response to an Alarm Bell and SGX Opening Bell?

a. When the Alarm Bell rings, you snap - and you are wide awake.
b. When the Opening Bell rings, you nap - and everything else can wait.

What's the difference between going into a Supermarket and into our Stock Market?

a. You go into the Supermarket to pick-n-choose - and pay for goodies from the shelves.
b. You go into the Stock Market to pick-n-choose - and then pay for losses when you sell.

What's the difference between Client who buy-n-keep for years, and a Client who buy-n-contra for years?

a. The Client who buy-n-keep for years may eventually become... Dormant.
b. The Client who buy-n-contra for years may eventually become...

What's the difference in the way to raise credit limit for a Dormant client and for a Delinquent client?

a. For the Dormant client, just simply call your Credit Officer.
b. For the Delinquent client, may have to call the Debt Collector.

What's the difference between ASX, KRX and SGX where they operate whole day without official lunch break?

a. Australia and South Korea Exchanges are so busy throughout the day - everyday - that even for lunch, they simply do not have the time.
b. Singapore Stock Exchange is so very quiet throughout the day - everyday
- that they simply can have lunch all the time and anytime.

Kopi Level - Green

Abe the compulsive liar

Below is a report by to show how sneaky Abe is when he made a speech in UN to project Japan as a peace loving country and himself as a PM for peace. He has reinterpreted the Japanese pacifist Constitution to remilitarize Japan, to commit Japan to wars outside Japan, to revise Japan’s military past of conquest and aggression until the leaders of China and South Korea refused to meet him.

He had provoked the Chinese by putting on military uniform and sitting in the cockpit of a war plane with the cursed and infamous 731 painted on it. He threatened China by scrambling fighter jets against Chinese civilian aircrafts hundreds of times, threatened to use force in the Diaoyu/Senkaku dispute.

He even committed to fight on the side of the Philippines against China. Abe is every thing a war hawk. Now look at what he said in the UN General Assembly on 26 Sep 14.

Below is an abridge version of the Rick Gladstone report.
Can Abe be trusted?

(New York Times) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan
sought on Thursday to counter the deep-seated anger among some
other Asia-Pacific countries over his government’s militaristic
shift, using a visit to the United Nations to denounce “war
culture” and express a desire to improve relations with Japan’s
neighbors, in particular China and South Korea, where memories of
Japanese wartime atrocities are never far from the surface….

Mr. Abe acknowledged at the news conference that he “would
like to improve relations with China and South Korea, precisely
because they are neighbors.”....

He struck a conciliatory tone in his General Assembly
speech, emphasizing Japan’s peaceful nature since the collapse of
its expansionist empire and defeat in World War II.
“Japan has been, is now, and will continue to be a force
providing momentum for proactive contributions to peace,” he
said, according to the official English translation. “Moreover, I
wish to state and pledge first of all that Japan is a nation that
has worked to eliminate the ‘war culture’ from people’s hearts
and will spare no efforts to continue doing so.”....

China, South Korea and other Asian nations once subjugated
by Japan have also expressed concern about Mr. Abe’s
reinterpretation of Japan’s postwar Constitution to allow the
Japanese military, known as the Self-Defense Forces, to expand
its functions....

Kopi Level - Green

Why is Asia so quiet on the ISIS front?

This is the heading of an article by ST’s Bureau Chief in Washington, Jeremy Au Yong, and Rachel Chang in Beijing over the weekend. The gist of the article is that Asian countries, particularly China, are not doing their part to kill the IS terrorists. And it is unfair for to the Americans to carry the can. How so? Everyone knows that IS was the baby of the US, they created them, trained them and armed them. Some Americans even named Hillary Clinton as the grandmother of IS. In fact the Taliban, Al Qaeda, the Khorasan were all babies of the Americans when they fit into the American scheme of things.

When the Americans created this monster, did they bother to seek the consent of other countries, did they bother to seek the consent of Asian countries? Now that they have created this monster and stirring the hornet’s nest, the Americans expect the Asian countries to come to its aid? Is this what these two correspondents are suggesting?

That is the impression I had after reading the article. Experts said Asian countries are steering clear of this issue as they are in the midst of a sea of Muslim militant activists. They have many domestic issues especially the Muslim states and fear retaliation from domestic radical groups. So can you blame them?

China is also facing a huge Muslim militant uprising in Xinjiang, the Americans may want to deny it, but can they blame the Chinese for seeing an American hand in their Muslim terrorist violence. So can the Americans expect the Chinese to lend a helping hand when the Americans are inciting terrorist activities inside China?

Experts also said, ‘China will not join the coalition as it suits its purpose better to stay out of the fray’. Prof Joseph Cheng of the City University of Hong Kong also said, ‘China does not want to alienate the radical anti Western groups in the region, and it also is not unhappy to see the US failing to get a clean retreat from the region.’

How so? Just before this flare up, what do you think the Americans were intend on doing, what was their intent with the Asia pivot? Why were the Japanese, Pinoys and Vietnamese, thumping their chests at China? Why was tension rising in the China Seas? The plain truth, the Americans thought they could get away from the Middle East and consolidate their forces to mess around with China. And how could anyone blame China for clapping and egging the Americans to go on and sink deeper in the Middle East? China may even provide cursory support to encourage the Americans to kill more Arabs to stay away from mischief in Asia.

This new war against the Syrians and Arabs, and also the tension in Ukraine are blessings for the Chinese and they could have at least another 10 years of peace to grow their economy and influence.

Shall the Chinese say good riddance to the Americans? What say you, Jeremy and Rachel? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Kopi Level - Green


YMCA under scrutiny

This is an interesting development and would change the nature of this episode. It is now an international issue involving the YMCA. And YMCA is now put under scrutiny. The fire is spreading and getting more difficult to control.

Here is a petition posted in TRE

Petitioning Rev. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik

This petition will be delivered to:

Secretary General, The World Alliance of YMCAs
Rev. Johan Vilhelm Eltvik

Investigation into YMCA Singapore for using children with special needs as Human Shield. YMCA’s Master of Ceremony shouted “WE LOVE OUR CPF” in presence of group of Protesters to stir up anger.

This is important because Charity Organisation supposed to help the underprivileged. Yet the action of YMCA Singapore goes against their own principle to bring social justice and peace to young people and their communities, regardless of religion, race, gender or culture.

They have placed the underprivileged kids in the line of FIRE and interfere in Politics in Singapore.

Petition by

Yee Meng Kum
新加坡, Singapore

Kopi Level - Yellow

Special Needs Children

These three words have now been used in a political battle to prove who is more caring and more like angels. Sad, very very sad that these children have become an issue in a political tussle for attention, become political tool or cannon fodder.

Anyone want to ask why I did not post a single photo of these children and actually refused to mention their condition? Let’s show some respect to them and their parents for a bit of privacy. I feel quite disgusted with people blowing their trumpets and carrying these Special Needs Children on their shoulders for cheap publicity and to score points for whatever agenda they have.

On hindsight, I love highsight, the best place to hold an event for these children, see I don’t use the phrase Special Needs Children, is the Istana ground. And the President could grace the occasion and chat with the children in full privacy from the public glare. I have been involved with many such activities in social service clubs and I am fully aware and very sensitive to these children and their families. I avoid intentionally to photograph them unless there is a very special reason to do so.

Let’s leave these children and their families in peace.


Kopi Level - Yellow

Did the Chinese or Marco Polo discover America First?

Lessons for Asian Regional Security Today.

Did the Chinese discover America (2640BC - 2200BC) or did Marco Polo (1271AD - 1295AD)? Marco Polo used Chinese Maritime Maps from the Yuan Dynasty dating back to the 13th Century. Original Chinese Maps were much earlier. A world map published during the Chinese Ming Dynasty in 1418 also suggests that the famous Chinese Admiral Zheng He (a Muslim) and his mariners had not only sailed in the Indian Ocean but had also circumnavigated the earth.

The Chinese Classic "Shan Hai Jing" or “Mountains and Sea Classis”, written 2200 BC, reported expeditions to the ends of the earth including "Fu Sang" or “Prosperity Mountains”, refers to a beautiful land to the east of China. Evidence has been found of wrecked Chinese junks in Florida, South Carolina, New York and Canada. An archaeological site in Nova Scotia at Cape Dauphin found by Canadian architect Paul Chiasson also indicated an early Chinese settlement. Numerous evidence exists of Chinese visits to America pre-Columbus.

Implications for Asian Regional Security – Learning from History
Chinese are not colonisers.  And Native Americans DNA are not from East Asia, according to a newly sequenced genome, one-third of Native American genes come from west Eurasian people linked to the Middle East and Europe instead of East Asia ie China.

Clearly, the Chinese came to America as far back as the 2200BC, and again in circa 1491AD. They came, they traded, they did not conquer and they left.

Despite being a Maritime Power from the 13th Century, China has never colonised any territories overseas unlike Britain, US and other European countries. Britiain projected her maritime powers to India towards East and South East Asia to build a British Empire that lasted more than 500 years from 1496-1997. The Dutch, German, Portuguese and Spanish also followed.

Japanese colonization adventures began later (1938-1945) under its “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” ideology of brutality, ethnic cleansing, rape and torture began in China.

If the Chinese had colonized America from 2200BC, what would America be liked today? They would have co-existed with Native Americans instead of killing most of them and drive them from their legacy ancestral lands. Later European arrivals would have simply settled down at their choice townships and co-exist.  African labour would have been imported to work on the lucrative cotton plantations but not as slave labour but as cheap foreign labour.  Politically, America as a Chinese colony would united under a Federation of “many systems, one China”.  And today, Chinese American would have none of the racial and class divides amidst fractious power elites that we currently witness.  A political fantasy, no less.  Because the Chinese never has, and never will have, expansionist ambitions.  Even today in Asia.  

The Chinese and Diaoyu Islands
Like many Japanese who revised history by denying neither Pearl Harbour nor the Nanjing Massacre actually happened, many "experts" chose not to attribute Diaoyu ownership to China. It was on Chinese Maritime Charts in early 13th century; but conspicuously absent on both the 1783 Japanese Maritime Charts and 1876 Official Imperial Japan Map. Japan occupied Diaoyu in 1895 after the 1st Sino-Japanese War, making it part of Okinawa. In 1900, Japan renamed it to Senkaku. In 1951, US appointed Japan to help administer Diaoyu; and in 1971, the US made Japan the Official Administrator of Diaoyu. This would not be necessary if Diaoyu actually belonged to Japan.

The resolution of Diaoyu island is key to regional security in ASEAN and the Western Pacific. US credibility is at critical stake unless the America returns Diaoyu to its rightful owner, China. The US should accept that China is not an expansionist power and honour its own terms for Japanese WW2 surrender regarding the return of all non-Japanese territories seized and occupied by Japan. It is difficult to foresee any credible role for the US in Asia Pacific, or the whole world, unless her impugned integrity and shameless injustice over Diaoyu is reversed.

Read Full Article with video and References:

‘Heckling’ at HLP – What would Ravi say?

Looks like Ravi is going have more businesses than he can handle at the rate things are happening. Roy and Han Hui Hui are going to need his help again after the ‘heckling’ incident on 27 Sep. A lot of heat has been generated and a lot of strong words have been uttered in the heat of the moment. In nature when dogs are in heat, nothing goes into the head except emotions and animal lust. Some people are going to regret for saying things they should not be saying. I am going to avoid participating and contributing more vile comments to the situation.

I was there at Hong Lim and without getting ‘emo’ and with the benefit of hindsight, I must admit I don’t have much foresight, at best not further than the tip of my nose, but I would like to pose a few questions that were shared with me by some senior gentlemen. Ok, the seniors may not be too careful and may be irresponsible with their money, but for an event like this, the wisdom of age counts, much better than boys and girls in heat, definitely.

And these are what they said, or the questions they thought Ravi would be asking should he have to appear in court on behalf of Roy and Hui Hui. Ravi would likely be asking the judge, ‘Your Honour, if a reasonable man were to know that there is going to be a mass protest in Hong Lim Park, what would he do?’

The facts are as follows: The Return Our CPF protest had ever attracted 5000 protestors and averaged about 1,000. And from hindsight, such protest can turn violent even if the participants are old uncles and aunties. They are very nice people for sure. But there is no guarantee that their behaviour would be as expected. They could be provoked by saboteurs.

‘Would anyone approve another event involving vulnerable young children and senior citizens that could add another one or two thousand people in the park? Would the organiser be putting these young children and senior citizens in a situation when their safety could be compromise?’ Remember that a friendly picnic at East Coast Park was not approved by the sensible police for fear of unexpected incident, like people rushing to meet the MP. Here we are talking about a mass protest, not a picnic.

‘A second question your Honour, would it be so easy and appropriate to inform the second party applying to hold their event that the park was already booked for another mass event?’

Would someone think it is wise, if Han Hui Hui was the subsequent applicant, to tell here to book another date? There was no strong reason for her to die die must hold it on the 27 Sep to clash with the other event. Did someone bother to tell her that the other group were vulnerable people that could even be scare of big crowds and loud noise? If she were to know that such an event was being held, it was likely that she would change the date of her event.

Or, if the organiser of the event for children and seniors were to know that there was a protest on the same day, would it not be reasonable for them to avoid taking any undue risk and change to another date? Would they think that the safety of the children and seniors are paramount and they could not afford to expose them to unnecessary risk?

I think these are very straight forward and simple questions that Ravi would likely ask if he were to be in court for this ‘heckling’ incident. Ravi does not even need to think like a genius to ask these simple and reasonable questions. If ordinary senior citizens could ask such questions, any reasonable person would be able to ask them as well. And the answers are obvious, and the two events would never have been allowed to be held at the same time and same place, and riskimg some uncomfortable and unacceptable incident to happen.

And Ravi will say to the Honour after asking the questions, ‘I rest my case your Honour’.

Coming back to the wild and mischievous accusations and condemnations, were those people there to know what was going on at ground zero? There were plenty of police officers there and if there see anything going out of hand, they would have stop them there and then and may even make arrests on the spot. And Ser Luck was the best person to give the order. He was right in the centre of the ‘heckling’.

Are the boys and girls with their loose mouths saying that they knew better than Ser Luck when they were not even at the scene? Ser Luck is not a greenhorn politician and must be fully aware of what could happen and mentally prepared to take swift and appropriate actions. He did not and the atmosphere was cordial. You want me to post a few photos of Ser Luck walking around with a smile on his face immediately after the ‘heckling’?

Boys and girls are best to behave like boys and girls and not to cry father and mother without knowing the real situation.

Kopi Level - Yellow


OPG? Only heard of OPM

I confess that I have not heard of this OPG. I thought it would be something like Other People’s God, Other People’s Govt, Other People’s Gas, or something like that. Actually this is an official public institution to protect the people, to look after the welfare of the people. It is called Office of Public Guardian.

The OPG has lodged a police report against Yang Yin after the news broke of the tour guide boasting after increasing his wealth to $50 million on line, and this is after he obtained a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to take charge of Madam Chung Khin Chun’s assets. ‘We reported this to the Commercial Affairs Department highlighting our concern of possible financial abuse.’ Public Guardian Daniel Koh said.

Now that the OPG has come into the picture, Madam Chung’s asset could be safer from her guardian holding the LPA. Thank God we have such an institution to protect the people. Maybe the OPG can do something to protect the oldies’ CPF money as well if they go and complain of being robbed.

Daniel Koh also mentioned that the LPA scheme was launched only 4 years ago and there had been no problems until this Yang Yin’s case.  And he assured the public that ‘there are enough safeguards to prevent abuse of the LPA scheme. Not only do LPAs have to be certified by experts – such as a doctor or a lawyer – and approved by the OPG, but the body also has the powers to investigate complaints of abuse.’

Daniel Koh ‘also made it plain that the onus was on LPA applicants to make sure they pick a trustworthy guardian – it is not the OPG’s responsibility to judge “the quality” of the decision’.  In the Yang Yin’s case, presumably he had gone throw the whole process, the LPA was certified by a doctor or a lawyer, or could it be both, and then approved by the OPG.  And no one can blame the OPG as it is not its ‘responsibility to judge the quality of the decision of an LPA applicant. But they could investigate when things go wrong and they are investigating now. Good work OPG. OPG has also sent its staff to visit Madam Chung and found her well.

I think the OPG would have a lot of investigation to do when more oldies got cheated of their CPF monies and start to complain.  Anyway good to know that there is an OPG institution to protect the people.

Kopi Level - Green


My trip to Hong Lim on 27 Sep 14

I did not want to make a trip there today. The appeal letter of Han Hui Hui changed my mind. I just got to be there to see what was going on. There was another big event organised by YMCA that virtually took over the whole of Hong Lim Park according to Han Hui Hui, and her team would have problems pitching their small tent and doing a token march around the field of Hong Lim.

The sun was very unkind, contrary to the prediction of our resident geomancer. Too damn hot. While at the traffic junction waiting to turn into Fook Hai Building I could hear Han Hui Hui’s voice piercing through the car window. And there was an equally loud male speaker alternating from her speech as if they were screaming for attention. A clash of loudspeakers perhaps, and it was just 5 minutes past four.

I hurried to the park only to be greeted by several huge red and white tents, the biggest the size of 3 basketball courts at least, pluck right in the centre of the field. There was no sign of the Return Our CPF tent. There were at least a couple of thousand people under the tents and in the main stage area. At the mole hill that resembled what Charlie Brown stood, there stood pint size Han Hui Hui screaming her heads out, under the hot sun, no tent. It was blazing and maybe 200 people were around her in a little corner squeezed between the tents. See photos.

The little mole hill is in between the two tents on the right.

The little lady did not want to bow out in defeat. Apparently there were some negotiations with the police and NPark officers earlier and she was using the loud speakers to thank them profusely for the privilege of the little mole hill to exercise her freedom of speech. And of course  to the police officers for making sure her safety was not compromised. Roy joined her later plus a couple of fiery ladies. They blew their lungs out under the blazing heat of the tropical sun. By the end of the session, Roy almost lost his voice.

The climax of the event was the march around the big tent when Teo Ser Luck arrived. By then the spectators of the Rally had swell to possibly a thousand or more. It was quite difficult to count when they were intermingled with the participants of the other event.  Roy caused a stir and some worried faces when he carried the national flag and  headed for Teo Ser Luck. They had a friendly chat and there were smiling faces all round after that.

There were many things to cheer and shared with the very supportive crowd. And they shared with the participants of the other event as well. It was a good thing after all as Roy and Hui Hui found a bigger audience to speak to. I overheard some saying that the next event should be held on a Sat when there is another big event at Hong Lim to capture their participants. The supposedly clash of event did not really affect the mood of the Return Our CPF crowd. In fact many went there specifically to support Han Hui Hui’s call, fearing that she would be in some kind of difficulties. Many in the crowd said the same thing, that they did not plan to attend this round but must turn up to support Roy and Hui Hui in view of the presence of another big event on the same day and same time.

Looks like future events will be held when there are other events organised at Hong Lim and at the same time. It was a good thing, getting a bigger audience without any effort. No need to pay for drinks and chicken rice. The slight problem would be that Roy, Hui Hui and their fellow speakers would have to drink more ‘liang teh’ to soothe their throats.

I have posted more photos in the previous posts before this.

Kopi Level - Green

Pictorial essay of Return Our CPF Rally 27 Sep

Rebalancing of US pivot to Asia

Former US Ambassador Curtis Chin and Secretary of State Susan Rice have spoken about a rebalancing of the US pivot to Asia after it has been stalled by lack of fundings and the expansion of wars in the Middle East. At the moment this pivot is being put on the backburner given the priority to feed the wars in Syria and Iraq and keeping the flame alive in Ukraine. China is having a bit of peace at the moment though Obama is still poking at whatever little holes he can find.

Both Curtis Chin and Susan Rice are talking about commercial, education and cultural balancing instead of war. The American pivot was all about war and about shifting their military assets and soldiers back to the region, warships, aircraft carriers, bases, military alliance, for PEACE! How many jokers believe that?

So, what is the new doctrine, what is the new change? From the pivot to war to pivot for trade? Let’s see what the Americans are doing towards this new direction. It is thinking of selling aircraft to Vietnam and ships to Taiwan. In the former it is about surveillance aircraft for Vietnam to spy on China. In the latter it is about submarines and frigates to fight China. It is also negotiating with the Malaysians for more bases to fly their surveillance aircraft. The Philippines are happily waiting for some aids and handouts, more warships that the Americans could do without.

All these measures are economic and commercial in nature. Not about war but about trade. Well done America, keep the pivot for trade and commercial dealings coming. Sell more arms and warplanes and warships to the countries in the region. Send more soldiers here for R and R activities to promote tourism.

Maybe the region has to wait as the war in Syria and Iraq just hotted up and big money is on the way. For every cruise missile launched, another more expensive will be needed to replace the old stocks. Think of how many bombs have been delivered to Syria and Iraq and all the arms needed to build up the anti ISIS forces and those in Ukraine.

This is big business that the Americans are adept at after continuously practicing it without a single day of rest since the end of the Second World War. American’s formula for trade and pivot to Asia, in commercial terms.

Kopi Level - Green

Ram Puneet Tiwary – Did he or did he not?

Ram Tiwary is writing a book about his ordeal in court and in jail. He was found guilty of killing two SAF scholars in Sydney in 2003. He appealed and was finally acquitted in 2012 after serving terms behind bars.

Today he has written a book that said he is innocent. The two young scholars have been dead for years. Dreams were dashed and hopes turned to agonies for the parents and wives. Many hearts were broken. The deep scars of hurt were still there, and now reopen, and bleeding again. Two young men died and one young man wrote a book about it. With a big question mark hanging in the air, is it not insensitive to splash this piece of news on the front page of a local media?

Legally Tiwary is innocent, the Aussie court has acquitted him, the injustice done to this man and the pain and wrong done to him in prison cannot be compensated in any kind.

If there was a miscarriage of justice, I dunno what to say. The families of the families must be fuming. What is the painful truth? Why made a big splash on this issue? Is this a proper thing to do given the circumstances? Anyone spare a thought on how the two families feel?

Kopi Level - Green


Seriously, Singapore NTU is Number One University; but ….

Seriously, Singapore NTU is Number One University; but …. 

The United Nations agency, UNESCO, challenged the validity and reliability, and therefore the usefulness, of University Rankings.

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore has secured top placing on a league table of the world's best young universities.  It has overtaken Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, who was No. one for the past two years, according to London-based educational consultancy Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). Of what value to Singapore is this NTU “achievement”?

Well, any good researcher would know that you will get what you measure, instead of what you want to claim the measure to mean.  So, what exactly does QS Ranking mean?

The United Nations agency, UNESCO, challenged the validity and reliability, and therefore the usefulness, of University Rankings:

“Global university rankings fail to capture either the meaning or divers qualities of a university or the characteristics of universities in a way that values and respects their educational and social purposes, missions and goals. At present, these rankings are of dubious value, are underpinned by questionable social science, arbitrarily privilege particular indicators, and use shallow proxies as correlates of quality.”

Indeed, Universities Ranking is itself conceptually problematic.  It embraced an “idealised” model of University to be achieved and in so doing generalize the failure of most Universities to achieve it.  The World-Class University has NEVER existed as a concept, or as an empirical reality. The status of “World-Class University” as the gold standard is the normative social construct of the rankers themselves.

In fact, even QS cautions against the use of the QS Ranking beyond its simple methodology and purpose “to serve the student consumer. Rankings allows the consumer to see how institutions stand against other universities." Adding: "As it became apparent that more and more undergraduate students were looking to study abroad, there was a need for an international comparison. We did not come about it from the point of view of an academic exercise with metrics."

This is a confession admitting to the fact that QS Rankings evolve around the metrics used to devise the tables including citations and peer review. The Rankers did not build their QS Rankings on any solid or vigorous foundation that would withstand the penetrative professional scrutiny of the Academics or Research Institutions which now used them to position themselves in spite of the lack of validity and reliability of these measures. Therein lies its fundamental conceptual and methodological flaw, confirming that the QS Ranking is therefore irrelevant and immaterial for any serious educational policy purpose.

In fact, QS rankers themselves were surprised at "the extent to which governments and university leaders use the rankings to set strategic targets. We at QS think this is wrong. Rankings are (just) a relative measure - if other universities do better and move up, you have to go faster." 
It is just plain mindless stupidity, I may add.

QS Rankings are akin to nothing more than a Market Consumers Survey, much like how marketing agencies rank the Apple iPhone with other handphones by Blackberry, Nokia, ZTE, Samsung, Sony, Motorola, Lenovo and HTC. 

Whither NTU’s Impact on Singapore?  NTU President and University Management, as well as the Ministry of Education, should be more concerned about the need to increase NTU’s, and other universities’, contributions to society, instead of obsessing with the ranking game. 

Kopi Level - Green 

Read Full Post with References:

Hong Lim Protest Rally getting complicated- Sat 27 Sep 4pm

Below is an extract of Hah Hui Hui’s letter posted at TRE. The details and comments are available at TRE.

Dear all,

I need you to bring your families and friends to come to HLP on 27 Sep 4pm.

Their (PAP) grassroots will have 5000 people coming to HLP this Sat.

Yesterday, a map which shows the route of the march this Sat was being released. I went to collect the banner for our stage at 5pm today, whistles, vanguard and markers are bought too.

When I reached HLP to meet up with the contractor to finalise everything, three tents were being built to block the path of our march.

4 grassroots leaders came out and negotiate with me. They were trying to persuade me not to organise any event.

Their event was supposed to be on Sat 10am, they said their tent will be demolished only on Sun. But if I were to insist in holding an event this Sat, they will change the timing to 4pm and ferry 5000 people down. They also showed me their generator and said that they will get more loudspeakers than us
Han Hui Hui


According of one commentator JayF, there is an event organized by YMCA and the Guest of Honour is Teo Ser Luck. The timing of the event is from 2pm to 8pm.

Kopi Level - Green

Relentless pursuit of population growth

Population grew from 5.3m to 5.47m in 12 months. The target for 6.9m, supposedly a planning parameter, will be reached in no time. Anyone still believes that it is only a planning parameter? The details of this ‘slow’ population growth are better left to Leong Sze Hian and his team to elaborate.

And like a programme reflex actions, all the horror stories are uttered, in fear, that there will be consequences of an economic slow down, of belt tightening, of labour squeeze. Did anyone say anything about the adverse consequences of 6.9m and an unceasing thirst for more population? The only people that said anything of this side of the coin were from the social media. The official view is that population growth is all goodness. Where got anything negative? You want growth with no bad consequences just add more population and you will have economic growth and growth.

Now, horrors of all horrors, the population is not growing as fast as desired, but still growing rapidly. Is there no goodness in a slowing down of the economic growth? Is there nothing good in slowing population growth? Everything is going to be bad? China is deliberately slowing its economic growth and the western soothsayers are all praying and saying see, China’s economy is crashing. But the Chinese know what is good for them and are engineering a slow down. And their economic growth is attained by real productivity growth and manufacturing growth, not by adding more and more people.

Why is it that there are no negative consequences in pumping growth by adding more people into a piece of rock? Why are there no benefits to a slowing down of population growth in a small red dot? Are the analysts and economists objective in their remarks and comments? Are they blind and can only see one side of the coin?

Are they real? Can they put up a balance report to reflect the other side of the coin? The people need responsible people to put up a balance picture of what is happening, and what is the real thing, what is good and bad for them.

Kopi Level - Green


Schoolings' good, degrees no good

Joseph Schooling scored a gold for Singapore in the Asian Games in Korea, and with a record time of 51.76 sec in the 100m Butterfly event.

Well done young man. We need more Schoolings to do us proud.

Given the right motivation, training and support, we can do it. No need more foreign talents. Singapore has talents.


University Rankings, be the best

Behind the success of Singapore universities
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 Posted by Abhijit Nag in pressrun.net

Congratulations, Nanyang Technological University. NTU is now No 1 among all the universities in the world that are less than 50 years old, according to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings. The question now: Will the university have more Singaporean postgraduates?

We should aim to be the best in the whole world. Maybe we will get there if we change all the teaching staff to foreigners. If that does not work, we can fill the universities with foreign students. That should do it.

Come on, let's get it done. Be Number One, be better than the Harvards, Stanfords, Yales, Cambridges and Oxfords. Aspire to be the best like aiming for the World Cup.

Kopi Level - Green

Lee Kuan Yew Series

This is a series of quotes from LKY in honour of his contributions as one of the founding fathers of Singapore. I will post a quote a day until I run out of quotes.

“But we either believe in democracy or we do not. If we do, then, we must say categorically, without qualification, that no restraint from any democratic processes, other than by the ordinary law of the land, should be allowed. If you believe in democracy, you must believe in it unconditionally. If you believe that men should be free, then, they should have the right of free association, of free speech, of free publication. Then, no law should permit those democratic processes to be set at nought.

- Lee Kuan Yew as an opposition leader, April 27, 1955

Kopi Level - Green

Hong Kong Tiananmen in the making?

The Hongkies are at their best again, protesting for more democracy. They did not see this as an important thing when hiding under the skirt of Queen Elizabeth. They were ruled by the British, a bastion of democracy, for 150 years without democracy. I think they were having a good time then. Then came Patten who taught them what democracy is all about and they now die die must have democracy, to the fullest. If they did not get their way they would not mind doing a Tiananmen in Hong Kong. Good luck to them if that is what they want.

Between the authoritarian rule of mainland China and what democracy could offer, it is undisputed that what the Hongkies are demanding for is a good thing. Bearing in mind that democracy can also be corrupted. I would agree that China needs more democracy and a pulling back on authoritarianism. It is not that the new regime is bent on ruling with a stick. I also think that with prosperity China would become more like western countries in practice and a communist state on paper. When life is good, when there is peace and prosperity all around, when the people are happy and living well, there will be lesser demand for authoritarian rule.

Having said that, the political culture of China and the mentality of the power oligarch need a massive change in favour of greater democracy, more rule of law, and lesser authoritarianism. And this must be enshrined not only in the psychic of the leadership and the people, but also in the political system. Hong Kong could be the spark that is needed to keep the spirit of democracy alive in China and to spread it across the country. China is also changing and despite being an authoritative communist state, the Chinese people are enjoying a lot of political freedom and expression as long as they did not threaten national security and interests. Less haste may be a better way to achieve this result in the long term.

As Hong Kong pushes for more democracy, it must never forget that Hong Kong is a small part of China and is being ruled under the ‘One country Two Systems’ model. Remember, ‘One Country’ comes first if ‘Two Systems’ is to exist. When ‘Two Systems’ threatens the ‘One Country’ formula, when national security is compromised, the ‘Two Systems’ would have to go. Hong Kong is expendable if it threatens China as a country. So don’t push your luck too far. Work within the system and know that Hong Kong is China. China as a unified country, a nation, must never be shaken if Hong Kong is to exist as a prosperous autonomous region.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive cannot be simply determined by the people to create problems for China, at least not now. The Chief Executive is like the one Golden Share, one vote that can over rule everything when national interest is at stake. Other than that, this Golden Share will be dormant and unseen, and Hong Kong could do as it pleases in almost anything. You don’t sell your country away by allowing the top post to be in the hands of a suspect, someone who would not mind serving the interests of foreigners or a foreigner.
Hong Kong should remain the catalyst, the stimulus to advocate for greater democracy in the whole of China, like the yeast that would change the character of the whole pack. But while doing it, it must not mess up the dough, it must always bear in mind that ‘One Country’ comes first

Kopi Level - Green

Back to Class, Hong Kong Students

GO BACK TO CLASS For Your Future please, Hong Kong students. Education drives out fear. Fear is frightening, no pun intended. Fear is birthed from ignorance, and driven by loud rhetoric not grounded in facts.

Why are Hong Kong students protesting? Because many speakers, news articles, politicians and so-called democracy activists have generated so much panic and uncertainties over the next Hong Kong Chief Executive (CE) due to be elected by universal franchise in 2017.  Fears were planted.  Fears that the next HK CE will be pro-Bejing and anti-Hong Kong? Fears that a “good” Pro-Hong Kong candidate will not be selected for the final ballot? Fears that HK Democracy (what this?) will die? Fears that the Nomination Selection Committee would be more pro-Beijing than pro-Hong Kong?  Fears, fears … and more fears feeding itself to derive the worst of bad scenarios.  

Read Hong Kong Politics for the truth and facts.

Go learn from the UK and US systems ... HK 2017 electoral procedures are in fact more democratic and consistent with democratic principles. The American people have never directly elected their President. Neither did the British people ever elect their Prime Minister. The candidates were also never nominated by direct popular acclaim. BUT, HONG KONG PEOPLE WILL ELECT THEIR CE IN 2017..! Back to Class now. LEARN

HONG KONG (HK) DEMOCRATS SHOULD LEARN FROM SCOTLAND. There was no mayhem, riots, demonstrations or Occupy London after the Scottish "No" Vote, despite more than 2 million "Yes" votes. WHY? The Queen, who was also the Queen of HK until 1997, credited this to "the nature of robust democratic tradition we enjoyed", but denied to Hong Kong during their 150 years' occupation. “We” presumably refers only to WHITE Britons. China introduced Democracy into HK in 1997. In any democracy, there will be "strong feelings and contrasting emotions which must be tempered by an understanding of the feelings of others". Hong Kongers should grow their own democratic tradition in a spirit of mutual respect and support for HK future, and indeed also China.

Kopi Level - Green

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More Singaporeans in top posts in foreign banks..hahahhahaha…

After Tharman talked about the vanishing Singaporeans in top bank appointments, today there is a report in the ST saying ‘more’ Singaporeans are now in top bank positions. I cried until I almost fell out of my chair. Oh there were statistics for this claim. Actually with the few number of banks here, there could be a good table to show what is the real situation, how many Singaporeans are CEOs, how many are in number 2 and 3 positions and how many are foreigners.

Also, how many are promoted recently for cosmetic reason, after Tharman raised the issue in public? Why has the situation degenerated to such a pathetic state of being when Singaporeans used to be the top bankers in our country? Who allowed this to happen? No body knows because it just happened, or everyone was busy counting their money or went to sleep?

No need to waste my breath laboring on this point. It is like the country is going the same direction if nothing is done to put a stop to it. If national leaders could not even bother, or did not see this as a vital issue, best to let it be.

Kopi Level - Yellow

Mega projects – What have we gained other than the intangibles

We have done great things, built great cities like Suzhou, Tianjin Eco city, F1, great Gardens By the Bay, and now we are going to build smart city or cities in India. We have contributed no small sum to the building of Nalanda University. How much have all these great projects cost us and what were the returns in absolute monetary terms? Let me touch on the intangibles first, like great publicity value, everyone now knows where is Singapore, endearing relationships, building goodwill, they will love us surely, if not at least for our money, they will help us now that we have helped them….etc etc. Ok, now that the intangibles are out of the way, let’s talk real numbers, the bottom line. How much we have spent and how much have we gotten back.? In other words, accountability.

We cannot be spending and spending public money on multi million dollar projects, or hundreds of millions of dollars per project without looking at returns. We are no Santa Claus or international philanthropists throwing our money everywhere for people to like us or be nice to us. It that why people welcome us?

Every project that costs hundreds of millions of dollars must be justified and accounted for. It is public money and no one should be thinking of using public funds casually for vanity. The hundreds of millions spent on foreign students, what is the return? Can I say zero except some goodwill, hoping that those scholars will be nice to us in the future? Oh, they helped to increase our talent pool and talents for the industries.

I believe every project of such high values is meticulously studied before approval. Do these mega projects need Parliament’s approval or need to be reported in Parliament? Have we not gone past the phase to tell the whole world we exist? Do we still need to keep telling the world that we are a world class city and please come and visit us in case the world did not know who we are and where we are?

What do you think? I think the whole wide world must by now know who we are and where we are and how good we are or how daft we are. Do we still need to spend hundreds of millions to advertise our existence or to affirm our relationships with other countries?

Kopi Level - Yellow

NATO intends to prohibit Russia’s and China’s Development

Below is a condensed version of an article by Thierry Meyssan on the role of the Americans and what they are up to in their domination of the world. It told what the Americans were saying in public and what went on behind closed doors. And look at what they are doing to Syria, violating national sovereignty and international laws to bomb another country. It totally ignored the UN and did not even bother to seek any face saving resolutions or consent before striking at Syria. The Empire is getting more and more arrogant and defiance in the use of power against other countries.

And where are the gore and blood they were pointing out at the gruesome beheading of 3 westerners? No, the cruise missiles and bombs would not lead to any blood shedding. No heads will be severed by the bombs. It is all a matter of pushing a few buttons. Nothing else happened, no one dies, no mother and child got cut into pieces, no grandfather and mother got killed in the process. It is so neat and nice. 

PS. I tried my best to shorten this piece but still a bit long. There are so many details of the treachery of the AngloSaxon conspiracy that were revealed and I could not cut it shorter.

NATO intends to prohibit Russia’s and China’s Development
by Thierry Meyssan


The Newport (Wales) Summit is NATO’s largest since the 2002 Prague edition. At the time, it meant to include new central and eastern European states within the Alliance. This time it’s about planning a long-term strategy to contain the development of Russia and China so as to prevent their competing with the United States [1]….

future of the Anglo-American imperialist project
Since the coup of 2001 [4], the United States is planning a confrontation with China. With this in mind, President Barack Obama announced the repositioning of US forces in the Far East. However, this agenda has been disrupted by economic, political and military recovery in Russia, which has been able in 2008 to defend South Ossetia under attack by Georgia and, in 2014, Crimea threatened by the Kiev coup…..
While performing its "pivot to Asia", Washington has exacerbated tensions between China and its neighbors, especially Japan. NATO, which historically vassallizes Europe to North America, has thereby opened itself to Asian and Oceanian partners, notably Australia and Japan, through association contracts. It has, in passing, broadened its field of action to the whole world. [5]

In this time of budgetary restrictions, the Alliance, which is not experiencing the crisis, is building a new headquarters in Brussels for the staggering sum of € 1 billion. It should be ready in early 2017. [6]

The issue of the Islamic Emirate
This summer, to the preoccupation with preventing China and Russia from controlling enough raw materials to develop the ability to compete with the United States was added the issue of the Islamic Emirate.
An intense media campaign has demonized the jihadist organization whose crimes are not new, but who just attacked the Iraqi people. We have repeatedly explained that the IE is a Western creation and that, despite appearances, its action in Iraq is entirely consistent with US plans to divide the country into three separate states. [7] For a project which constitutes a crime against humanity because it assumes ethnic cleansing, Washington has used a private army that could be condemned publicly while being supported covertly.
The United States would have taken the measure of the Islamist threat after the IE murdered two of their nationals, journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. However, a careful examination of the videos [8] suggests that they are not authentic. The problem had already arisen with the IE when it was supposed to have murdered Nick Berg in 2004 [9].

We have also often stressed that the IE was different from previous jihadist groups both by its communication services and its civilian administrators able to manage the conquered territories. So this is a group which is meant to last. As Alfredo Jalife-Rahme showed, the Caliphate, even if it is currently active mainly in Syria and Iraq, was designed to bear arms against Russia, India and China in the long-term [10] .
The issue of the Islamic Emirate did not therefore have to be added to the anti-Russian and anti-Chinese agenda. It was already part of it. Moreover, not wanting to risk that a Member State might express doubts about this masquerade, Washington shifted the debate to the sidelines of the summit. President Obama met eight other states plus Australia (which is not a NATO member, but only an associate) to develop its war plan. It was later decided to add Jordan to this device.

Summit conclusions
The summit held a hurried morning session to expedite the question of its long presence in Afghanistan. Certainly, NATO will withdraw its combat troops as planned by year’s end, but it will retain control of the Afghan army and national security. The summit even allowed itself the luxury of calling on the two candidates for the Afghan presidency to commit to signing without delay the criminal immunity requirements of the United States, while this election is organized and the ballots counted by American forces. Therefore, the candidate who does not agree should not be surprised if he is not considered elected....
In addition, the summit equipped the Alliance with two new tools: a cyber warfare service to counter Chinese military hackers, and a rapid response force of 4000 men from 7 countries placed under British command. Finally, the summit paved the accession process of Montenegro and, of course, requires member states to develop their military spending.
Some remarks

Despite accusations from the Ukrainian government - according to which Russia would have invaded the country ... but with only 1,000 men that no one has seen, as noted by Giulietto Chiesa [11] -, the summit did not decide to go to war against Moscow and merely posed a symbolic gesture. We do not understand therefore why such ostentation was put on display in Newport.

Unless the important things have been decided behind closed doors at the meeting of the Heads of State Friday, Sept. 5, it does not seem that secret wars were discussed at the summit, but only on the sidelines of the summit with certain allies only. Already in 2011, NATO had violated its own rules by not assembling the Atlantic Council before bombing Tripoli. It seemed effectively impossible that all would agree to such a slaughter. The United States and the United Kingdom therefore met secretly with France, Italy and Turkey in Naples to plan an attack that caused at least 40,000 civilian deaths in one week.

The final release is a rare hypocrisy [12]: the Ukrainian crisis is treated as a Russian aggression, without ever mentioning the coup of Maidan Square, or the installation of a government including Nazis. The Syrian crisis is presented as a conflict between “ a moderate opposition which protects minorities” and at the same time the “tyranny of the regime of Bashar al-Assad”, and “extremist groups”, without ever mentioning that the Syrian regime is a republic while the moderate opposition is paid by the dictatorships of the Gulf, nor that the crisis was triggered by a secret Franco-British war in accordance with the Annexes to the Treaty of Lancaster House, nor that President Assad has just been re-elected by 63% of the electorate, and that the Syrian Arab Republic is the only one to have protected not only minorities, but all its citizens, including the Sunni majority. Cynically, the statement claims that the Alliance has protected the Libyan people, in accordance with resolutions 1970 and 1973, when in fact it used these resolutions to change the regime in Libya by killing 160,000 Libyans and plunging the country into chaos.

Kopi Level - Yellow