Why need two ministers in one ministry?

'Singapore has a strange system. PM Lee appoints two minister to run one ministry and one minister to run two ministries.
For example, Josephine Teo is minister for manpower and second minister of home affairs. Lawrence Wong is minister for national development and second minister for finance.
Why is there a need to have this system?'

Tan Kin Lian posted an article in TRE with the above comments and asking why the need for such a system. Singapore being such a small country, the obvious observation is that the job is too small for a minister, not two plus ministers of states and parliamentary secretaries to make it full house.

Let me try to answer Tan Kin Lian so that he can sleep in peace.

One possible reason, contrary to what I said above, the job is soooo BIG, so naturally you would need two ministers to handle it. On the contrary, the job of a minister may be so senang, so got a lot of spare time to take on more jobs, like minister of another ministry.

Another reason, the ministers are incompetent, so need two to do the job of one to help each other out.

Third possible reason, too many people need to be paid in the millions, so must become ministers and to make it like they work really hard, have appointments in two ministries, to justify the millions being paid. Maybe on this they should emphasis that instead of working 8 hours they worked 16 hours or double of what a minister normally does because now they have two jobs, two minister's jobs, not ordinary jobs.

Another possible reason, it makes going on leave easier since there is another one around to cover the duty.

Maybe they are being prudent, in case, just in case. Being a minister is a high risk job, can fall down during walkabout and get hurt. Or they are just playing it safe in case one cannot perform then the second minister can take over.

Apologies, that is all I could think of. I do not know why they need to have two ministers in a ministry.

What do you think?


The death and rebirth of UMNO

UMNO suffered a shocking and humiliating defeat in the 2018 GE for its decades of extremist policies against the minority races, basking on the agenda of Malay superiority and self indulgence in the wealth of the country with corruption of every kind to benefit the UMNO leaders. It is a credit to UMNO to have ruled Malaysia in such an abusive way for so long without being challenged until 2018. Even on the eve of the GE, they continued to believe in their racist cards to rule Malaysia with the support of the Malays. This turned very ugly when the results were out. UMNO was badly defeated.

The death bell of UMNO is vibrating throughout Malaysia. UMNO leaders too seen this as the end and many switched camp or turned away from UMNO. It was the end. The bankrupt political ideas of UMNO's racist policies could not go on forever. There is no way for UMNO but to become history.

Who would expect UMNO to return to power again? At best it would remain a strong but irrelevant and antiquated opposition party with no new ideas to make Malaysia a better and richer nation. But the latest development in Malaysia is giving hope for a new UMNO in different guise, but still every inch UMNO.

The key player of UMNO, for having been in power for so long is none other than Mahathir. Mahathir returned to power by winning only 13 seats in his newly formed Bersatu Party. It is unbelieveable and near possible to ride on such a small party to power, to become PM once again. He did. How is this related to the death and revival of UMNO?

The lost sheep of UMNO has no where else to go but flocked to the old shepherd that once led them, in Mahathir. 7 UMNO members have just joined the fold of Bersatu in Pakatan Harapan. This is the opening of the flood gate. Other UMNO members may quickly join the flow and there are about 70 of them still kicking and walking and waiting to come in. If 40 or more of the UMNO furniture decided to join Mahathir, his Bersatu would have more than 60 MPs against PKR's 47 and DAP's 42. All it needs is for a few of PKR's to switch camp and a new majority UMNO would be reborn in the name of Bersatu, the same personalities, the same policies, the same thinking, the same agenda as the dysfunctional UMNO.

When this happens, UMNO will rise again to be the ruling party of Malaysia, and history will restart a new cycle from square one. Nothing will change except in name. Mahathir still in charge, his old thinking and mindset and policies, and the whole jin gang from UMNO tagging along.

UMNO died and revives.

Long live UMNO aka Bersatu. Long live Bumiputras. Long live Ketuanan Melayu.



Harvesting Korean Peace Dividends
Vietnamese Lessons for the US and Korean Peninsula

Ever since the era of peace arrived at the Korean Peninsula in 2018, the world has waited patiently with abated breath ready to reap and harvest the expectant abundant windfall of the Korean peace dividends.  Economic growth and trade benefits are the best guarantee for a lasting and sustainable Korean peace.   The US in fact holds the major key to unlock and unleash unto the world the tremendous prosperity from the Korean Peninsula. 

The 2019 DPRK-USA Vietnam Summit will see US President Donald Trump meeting DPRK Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam from 27-28 February 2019.  This is their 2nd meeting.

The significance of Vietnam as the venue for the 2nd Trump-Kim Summit has both symbolic and voluminous importance regarding President Trump’s indelible place in history for a major watershed landmark foreign policy achievement within less than 2 years of his Presidency.  

Historically, Vietnam shares much similarity and familiarity with Korea.  From traditional dynastic empires to occupation and involuntary colonisation by foreign powers and followed by a long war with the US over whom they had also prevailed.    

The Indochina Peninsula was forcibly colonised by the French in the mid-19th century after centuries of flourishing imperial dynasties.  Japanese occupation came in 1940 following World War II.  After the Japanese defeat in 1945, Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh declared independence and a 9-years war ensued with the French colonial power that they finally defeated in 1954.  The country was divided into a communist North Vietnam (or Democratic Republic of Vietnam) and South Vietnam supported by the US.  The conflicts (called the “American War” by the Vietnamese and “Vietnam War” by the American) lasted from 1965-1973, ultimately ended decisively with the North Vietnamese victory in 1975.

Within a period of just 30 years from 1945-1975, Vietnam had defeated 2 global superpowers namely, France and the US, in her fight for independence and freedom.  Her aspirations for independence and freedom should be well-understood and appreciated by similar bloody struggles in US history. 

Arguably, Vietnam is the only country ever to defeat the might of the American military through sheer perseverance, courage, strategy and political will.  And as the US retreated in defeat from Vietnam in 1975, it also imposed such crippling sanctions and trade embargoes so as to hinder the legitimate aspirations and efforts of the Vietnamese people in economic growth and national development.

On 3 Feb 1994, President Bill Clinton partially lifted the 19-year-old trade embargo on the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.  He also announced the formal normalization of diplomatic relations between the US and Vietnam on 11 July 1995.

On 23 May 2016, President Obama officially lifted the historical 50-year US trade embargo on Vietnam in a major policy shift in global trade.  This removed all the long-standing US sanctions and trade embargoes imposed on Vietnam in 1975 in the aftermath of her defeat in the Vietnam War.

Quite obviously, the Vietnamese peace dividends, albeit delayed by 20-50 years are simply astounding and staggering.  US-Vietnam bilateral trade grew from just over US$200 million in 1994 to more than US$50 billion in 2019.  In 2018, Vietnam ranked as the 17th US trading partner in total trade value by November 2018 of US$54.3 billion, with US$8.88 billion exports and imports of US$45.42 billion (a deficit of $36.55 billion).

Like Vietnam, the Korean Empire was forcibly annexed by Japan in 1910. Koreans were subjected to a period of brutal suppression and unimaginable atrocities until the Japanese defeat in 1945.  From 1945, Korea was partitioned at the 38th Parallel with the Communist “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” (DPRK) in the North, supported by China and Russia, and the “Republic of Korea” (ROK) in the South supported by the US and Western European nations.

In 1950, DPRK Leader Kim Il-sung launched the Korean War in an attempt to reunify Korea, meeting fierce and vigorous resistance from the US and Western European nations supporting ROK.  The conflicts ended in a ceasefire “Armistice Treaty” in 1953.  In 1991, DPRK and ROK were accepted into the United Nations.

Both the Korean and Vietnam Wars were fought for the same reasons to secure independence and freedom, albeit under different political systems.  Their respective national leaders refused to accept the division and partition of their countries by foreign powers.

As for DPRK and ROK, DPRK Leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea President Moon Jae-In also signed on 19 September 2018 the Pyongyang Declaration which affirmed their earlier April 2018 Historic Panmunjeom Declaration. Together, they declared to the world to abide thoroughly by and faithfully implement the 2 Agreements, essentially constituting the Korean North-South Peace Treaty, and to take practical measures to transform the Korean Peninsula into a land of permanent peace.  Before 80 million Korean people and the whole world, they solemnly renounced war on the Korean Peninsula to begin an era of peace.

The Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula was adopted between DPRK Leader Kim Jong-un and ROK President Moon Jae-in on 27 April 2018 during the 2018 Inter-Korean Summit on the South Korean side of the Peace House in the Joint Security Area.

According to the declaration, the governments of DPRK and ROK agreed to cooperate on officially ending the Korean War to begin a new era of peace and sharing commitments in ending divisions and confrontation by approaching a new era of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity and improvements to inter-Korean communication and relations.

In a culturally significant symbolic act, they stood with their spouses on Mount Paektu, the spiritual ancestral mountains of the Koreans to pay homage to their common ancestors and to proclaim that the North-South brothers are no longer estranged and divided, and to vow “never again” to war with one another, and to develop mutual relations for national reconciliation and cooperation for real peace and co-prosperity so as to realise the common aspiration and hope of all Koreans for cultural, social and eventual political unity. 

As the sun rose that fine autumn day, the dawn of Korean peace had begun.  I was then in DPRK for a different reason.

The Korean North-South Peace treaty ended the Korean War. The 1853 Armistice signed on 27 July 1953 was designed to "ensure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved”. The Agreement implementing the Panmunjom Declaration in essence and fact represents that “final peace settlement”.  Following the Peace Treaty, military exercises were cancelled, border posts removed and the number of border guards substantially reduced, among other confidence building measures to enhance peace building efforts.

With their terms and conditions fulfilled, the United Nations Command (UNC) established by UN Security Council Resolutions 83 and 84 are therefore rendered obsolete.  The dissolution of the UNC also has widespread implications and consequences for many countries who benefited from the Korean conflict.  These include up to 7 UNC Bases in Japan, nearly 30,000 US soldiers in ROK as well as other US assets and resources deployed in the Far East.    

In their 1st Singapore Summit last year on 12 June 2018, US President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and DPRK Chairman Kim Jong-Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. 

Even as they meet in Hanoi, Vietnam for their 2nd meeting, much focus has been on the DPRK denuclearization process in progress.  The US has yet to unveil its framework proposal for DPRK security guarantees as promised.  US security guarantees for DPRK is the major key to fully unlock Korean denuclearization.  In the meantime, crippling trade and economic sanctions on the DPRK should be eased or lifted to turn on the flow of Korean peace dividends so as to embolden and empower the ongoing North-South peace process.  

As they embarked on their 2nd meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, President Trump and DPRK Leader Kim should be mindful of the advice of President Clinton and President Obama:

The multiplier benefits to the global economy from immediate Korean peace dividends would be even more tremendously enriching when compared to Vietnam.  They must begin to be unlocked and turned on now, today.


Government looks beyond disinformation in targeting foreign influence in Singapore

SINGAPORE: Speaking in Parliament on Feb 12, Senior Minister of State for Law Edwin Tong opened a second front on Singapore’s war on foreign influence.

With legislation already on the cards for deliberate online falsehoods (DOFs), the Government’s attention has shifted in parallel to specific foreign and state actors, intent on interfering in Singapore’s domestic politics via other means.

Quite apart from dealing with lies and disinformation campaigns, which were well documented via hearings of the Select Committee on DOFs last year, Mr Tong stressed that “in the physical world, foreign actors may also interfere in our domestic politics through the use of proxies, by funding or donating to politically-involved individuals and organisations, or by taking on key leadership roles in their organisations”.

Substantiating his point, Mr Tong used the examples of foreign interference in the politics of Australia and New Zealand, channelled through political donations.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/deliberate-online-falsehoods-legislation-singapore-fake-news-11263036
The obsession to control the media, main and social media, is likely the real reason to start a Singapore version of McCarthyism here.  The social media is so great a threat, main media is not as it is well controlled and regulated, so new laws are needed and the hype of foreign influence through social media must look like a real and present danger.

Now the next phase, threats from foreign actors trying to influence the country's policies. I can only see the USA as a country that continuously hyped on threats to its national interest as it needs to protect its empire and its dominance in the world. Now Singapore is like copying the American hype of threats and threats relentlessly, but for what? Singapore does not have an empire to protect, neither does it have to protect its dominance in the world?

The real threat to Singapore's security is the presence of millions of foreigners from one or two countries that would change the demographic pattern of the population where political power is based. The huge concentration of any particular nationality is a grave concern and this is not even talked about or taken so lightly. The foreigners are so nice, so peaceful, so obedient, would not even commit crimes. When the day the foreigners turn against us, it would be too late as too many are already here and many in high places, even in the govt holding key positions.

We have brought in a Trojan Horse with a few million foreigners inside and waiting to explode.

This is not a threat to our national security? We are afraid of a few individuals trying to influence our policies and not afraid of the millions of foreigners on our soil, inside our country? The quoting of foreign influence in Australia and New Zealand is uncalled for as it is an indirect interference and meddling the affairs of other countries and would only incur the wrath of affected countries.

When you do not want others to interfere in your internal affairs, it is best not to interfere with the affairs of others. Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you. Remember the South China Sea island dispute between China and the Philippines? Now the Philippines are an ally of China, not even bother to mention about the fake and scandalous court rulings.

With so many foreigners with dubious intention in the island, we are waiting for a major crisis of grave proportion to destroy the peace and stability in this island. Does anyone care?

The foreigners are taking over our island with our eyes wide open but not seeing.


DBS Vickers Securities - Restructuring or Retrenchment

'The equities trading business is critical to DBS and we have no plans to shut it down...exploring different models with a view to delivering a stronger customer proposition with minimal employee impact.' This is a quote from Business Times when DBS was asked about the rumour that it was closing down its equity business.

In the townhall meeting, DBS told the remisiers that they would not be doing equity business anymore and the Company would speak to everyone of them to try to fit them into another job in DBS according to their experience and qualifications subject to its policy on employing employees after retirement age and market practices.

The above two paragraphs when read superficially brought a little hope to the remisiers that all is not lost and maybe they could still be reemployed in some capacity in DBS. The devil is in the details, so they said and I would like to look into the statements and see how meaningful or how meaningless they are to the remisiers, told to look forward to a new journey. By the way, the person that crafted these clever replies would be highly sought after as a potential politician.

In the townhall meeting, DBS spokesman said DBS Vickers Securities would not be closed down. But all the remisiers will no longer be engaged in equity trading but redeployed into other areas if found suitable. The equity business would be taken over by the bank. This simply means that remisiers cannot trade in equities anymore despite their years of experience in this trade, ie made redundant.  And the business they built over several decades would be taken over by DBS.

There will be minimal impact on employees, remisiers are not. Most of the employees, ie support staff in equity trading are likely to be absorbed by the banks to continue what they were doing. The remisiers would be like a clean sheet of paper, newbies, as their wealth of experience would no longer be relevant as they would not be doing what they were doing in the last 20 or 30 years. What do you think they can do in DBS when their only experience is equity trading? Would there be comparable jobs that pay them the same as what they were as remisiers when they have no relevant experience? What would be the likely jobs for them, customer guides in the banking hall, security guards, cleaners?

Another critical factor is age. Remember, retirement age is 62 in DBS though MOM specifically said that this is only the Minimum Retirement Age. Many of the remisiers are in the 60s, 70s and even 80s. How many would be found useful enough to be offered reemployment in DBS and if found suitable, likely to be on a one year contract, maybe renewable. Without this restructuring, the remisiers are looking to a lifelong employment in equity trading as long as they could churn up enough business to justify their existence. Very likely the majority of those above 62 would face unemployment, unsuitable and too old to be working. Those in the late 50s or early 60s could see a similar fate as 62 is around the corner.

In reality, this restructuring exercise would see many remisiers being jobless, not only the oldies but also those below 60s, if they could not find a job that fit their experience and qualifications unless they are willing to take anything that DBS is offering.

There will be minimal impact on employees of DBS Vickers Securities but maximum impact on the pool of remisiers. This is a retrenchment exercise in a different guise. Many of the remisiers will join the statistics of the unemployed PMETs. DBS could look very generous by offering a one year contract to a few remisiers to show how caring DBS is as an employer, but for how long and what kind of jobs and what kind of remuneration?

Let me summarise. DBS is telling the remisiers that they cannot practise their trade and all their clients and business would be taken over by the bank. Period. Many remisiers would be made jobless and a few could be offered jobs that are not comparable to what they were doing and not paying what they were getting as remisiers. They too would lose their jobs in a matter of time.

See the small prints or what is in between the lines? With the GE around the corner, this could be an issue for the opposition to kick around and DBS would be on the lips of everyone.


Another insensitive and stupidity has no cure event in NTU

The Nanyang Technological University‘s (NTU) Japanese Appreciation Club has drawn flak for hosting a Japanese Cultural Festival, which was touted to be the student club’s biggest event, on 18 Feb – the same date that saw the horrific Sook Ching massacre unfold, 77 years ago.

The Sook Ching massacre was a systematic purge of perceived hostile elements among the Chinese in Singapore by the Japanese military during the Japanese occupation of Singapore and Malaya. The operation was overseen by the Imperial Japanese Army’s Kempeitai secret police.

The devastating genocide, which took place from 18 February to 4 March 1942 at various places in the region, occurred a mere three days after the British colony surrendered on 15 February 1942 following the Battle of Singapore.

Thousands of Singaporeans died in the purge. While Japan officially said that fewer than 5,000 deaths occurred, Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew has said that “verifiable numbers would be about 70,000”.

In 1966, Japan agreed to pay US$50 million in compensation, half of which was a grant and the rest as a loan. They did not make an official apology....

The above is posted in theindependent.sg. Shaking my head. What is the root of NTU? Singaporeans must know their history, the good and the bad, to know how far they have come. Do not forget your past.

Life after 60 - Chan Meng Hui ran 101 marathons passed away at 89.


The above is a clip produced by Channel News Asia on Chan Meng Hui. He did his 100th marathon at 85. He started running in his 50s. He is an inspiration for the seniors not to give up on your physical body. Keep running and keep it healthy and functioning.

The South East Asia Masters is coming to Singapore on 3-5 May. This is the first time it is being held together with Singapore Open Masters. Venue is likely to be Bishan Stadium. Start training and join the fun. It has all the events like a school sports day, track and field events. It is not about winning but about getting down on the track, in the stadium with all the seniors reliving a time when we were young, like school boys and girls again.

If your timing beats the qualifying time for the Asian Masters in December in Kuching, Malaysia, you would be eligible for a fully paid air ticket and 50% subsidy for accommodation to represent Singapore in the Meet.

If you want to peep at the qualifying times, send me an email. It is in Excel and I am unable to post it here. Below are a few samples of the qualifying times.

Men Age/Time in seconds

100m   55/14.08   60/15.02   65/16.05   70/17.02   75/18.58
200m   55/28.76   60/30.25   65/32.28   70/38.27   75/40.25
400m   55/84        60/95        65/104      70/110      75/140

Women Age/Time

100m   55/17.34   60/18.24   65/18.95   70/19.28   75/20.15
200m   55/28.25   60/29.31   65/30.15   70/31.03   75/31.95
400m   55/95   60/102     65/120      70/170      75/179

PS. I will be running in the 100m for age group 65-69 in the SE Asia Meet and will be in the 70-74 age group in the Asian Masters in Dec. I am doing about 15 sec and hoping to go below 15 sec.


Bananas are very proud that they cannot speak Mandarin

'If you're Not Chinese in Singapore, You probably don't feel welcome in these places', is an article posted by banana Nicole Chia in Rice, about her experience in a Chinese or Taiwanese restaurant here. She was having dinner with her Australian Chinese friend and very likely both could not read or speak in Mandarin. And the frustrated China Chinese waitress exclaimed,

啊,气死人!她不可以讲华语。我还以为她是华人 …“ or 'Ah, so frustrating, she could not speak Mandarin. I thought she was Chinese'.

Because of this unpleasant experience, this banana turned the whole issue into a racist rant in Rice and Yahoo News happily propagated this with many bananas and non Chinese adding in to confirm that this is racism against the minorities. Is that so?

Read the comments by the Chinese waitress again, she was likely from China and could not or barely able to speak English. And coming from China, there is this expectation that anyone looking Chinese should or could speak Chinese. They are not like the worldly wise bananas that have travelled all over the world, probably came from some small villages with not much exposure to the outside world.

But the silly bananas were offended by her expectation, wrongly or otherwise, and twisted this into a racial discrimination incident. Of course all the bananas would echo the same feeling and some minorities would be encouraged to condemn the Chinese as racist.

This is a little country where Mandarin is an official language. But many bananas could not speak Mandarin and are damn proud of it, and even prouder because they could speak English and the China Chinese could not. And even if they could speak a few words of Chinese, they deliberately speak to the China Chinese in English to ridicule them as someone inferior. 'See, they could not speak English', as if speaking a foreign language and unable to speak your own mother tongue or your own cultural tongue is something to be proud of, especially in the face of angmohs. 'Hey guys, I am Singaporean, not Chinese, and I can't speak Chinese, it is so difficult to learn Chinese, I hate the language.' And the angmohs would laugh with them, nodding their heads but telling themselves how silly these 'Chinese' are, can't even speak their own lingo. No ethnic pride. No identity, chap cheng. 

Stupidity has no cure.

Speaking a foreign language is a good acquisition but nothing to croak about. And the reason why the bananas here only speak English is because of the history of colonialism and poverty, when their forefathers had to leave their home towns to seek a living here. If their forebears would still be in China, these new kids would be happily speaking Mandarin and be very proud of being a part of one of the greatest civilisations on earth. Unfortunately without knowing history, with little knowledge, they are acting as if they have arrived and are to be respected and looked up to because they can speak English but unable to speak their mother tongue. And they are very happy to despise the China Chinese for their inability to speak English or proper English.

They did not know what is the meaning of shame and cultural pride, and ethnic identity. A Chinese is a Chinese wherever you are or however you look or whatever you call yourself. You will not look like your angmoh friends and inside they will also call you a Chinese and will wallop you because you are a Chinese and discriminate against you in their countries. 

You bananas are so lucky that you still have this little piece of rock where you are a majority. Once you become a minority in this island, you will likely see signs saying Chinese and dogs not allowed, and the Chinese would be referring to you, even if you speak English. 

With so many foreigners given citizenship, be prepared for the day when you become a minority here.


India is a good role model for Singapore's future as a futuristic and modern country

E-Rickshaws to the rescue

Did you know that India boasts more electric rickshaws (e-rickshaws) than the total number of battery-powered passenger cars sold in China from 2011 to 2018?

Now the fourth-largest automobile market in the world2, the South Asian nation is leading an electric rickshaw revolution that could help reduce congestion and traffic pollution in India — and serve as a model for countries where rickshaws are a landmark feature. According to Rahul Mishra, a principal at consulting firm AT Kearney, as many as 11,000 new e-rickshaws hit the street every month — and sales of these cleaner, quieter and faster vehicles show no signs of slowing down....

The above is reported in Yahoo News. India is the darling of Singapore. Many Singapore ministers, now and before, including Chok Tong and George Yeo, are fascinated by this great country that is going to be the Number One super power in the future. Everything India did is astonishing and mesmerising and worth imitating. Indian talents, even from broken down village universities or armed with fake degrees are in high demand in Singapore over graduates from our world renowned super expensive universities.Many are now in positions to manage and teach our daft but highly educated fools.

The huge influx of Indians into Singapore has turned Singapore into an Emerging India. Not only Little India is looking every inch a part of India, the East Coast area has also become an Indian enclave. The rich Indians have bought into many of the condominiums and forming the majority or a substantive majority in these choiced housing. There are many enclaves of Little India in the East Coast.

Oh, I got carried away with my admiration of the Indians' progress in Singapore. This E Richshaw thing is exactly what Singapore needs for the future with cars already beyond the reach of many Singaporeans. And daft Singaporeans are so slow in reinventing themselves and still peddling 19th century richshaws on the streets using leg power.

Here is India's innovation and contribution to the unthinking Singaporeans. Go and learn from India, rebuild a new E Rickshaw industry and flood the roads with clean energy using rickshaws as our means of transportation. It is cheap and good, cheap low class engineering for the good of Singapore and Singaporeans and for turning Singapore into an Emerging India.

One thing for sure, the cost of living will come down and many PMETs can turn to this profession, and can paste their degrees and qualifications on the rickshaws to impress the foreign 'talents' and maids they are fetching to redeem their egos and low self esteem. I am a graduate from world class universities, so don't look down on me.


DBS drops bombshell on remisiers

Yesterday Business Times asked DBS if it was planning to close down its stockbroking arm. DBS replied that it would hold a townhall meeting with the remisiers on its restructuring plan.

Last night the DBSVickers remisiers were told that they could not continue with their stockbroking business and the bank would explore ways to redeploy them based on their qualifications and experience as well as age, subject to the bank's policy on hiring older employees, market practices and MOM regulations on retirement age. Their businesses and clients will be taken over by the bank.

Many remisiers were in shock and disbelief with this bombshell coming immediately after the Chinese New Year festivities.  Many have spent 20 or more years with the DBSVickers. With many remisiers quite senior in age and having been in the stockbroking business most of their lives, it is unlikely that they could find suitable jobs with the bank with comparable income. The younger remisiers are very concerned as they have young children to feed and their livelihood is likely to be adversely affected, rice bowl broken.

The remisiers are now pondering over their next move over this financial crisis in their lives. With the difficulties in finding another job, the older remisiers can forget about this option and join the statistics as retirees and not add to the list of the unemployed. The situation for the younger remisiers is just as bleak unless the bank could find them alternative employment with equivalent income.

This is looking like a fire that has just started in the industry and the fear is that other banks or broking houses could follow suit and the problem could spiral into something beyond recognition. The coming GE could have another hot issue to blow hot and cold about.

Hard times are here for the stockbroking industry, the remisiers and supporting staff. How would this add to the pool of the unemployed PMETs in Singapore?

Wonder what is the position of MAS and the govt with this announcement?


Brochez given front page attention in the media

He is so cute, so famous and so clever. Now they are calling him a pathological liar. I disagree. I think he is a genius, at least in the land of the blind where the one eye jack shines. This half baked, unqualified, probably did not have any respectable qualifications, could easily cheat and con a nation of well educated first world daft administrators is a lesson to be discussed seriously, not just slamming him as a pathological liar and let the thing rest. Harvard should use this as a case study for stupidity in public administration.

I quote this from thenewpaper, ‘He used fake degrees to get teaching jobs in Singapore, cheated on blood tests to hide his HIV-positive status, and leaked the data of 14,200 people with HIV.’ And this did not  include his employment as lecturers in the polytechnics and he did so well, was so highly regarded that he was allowed a clinic to practice child psychology or something like that. How could he conned so many people in the polytechnics is beyond words.

Wait a minute, this is a genius that Singapore is looking for, someone without any degrees and can do the job. If not because of his HIV status, I would highly recommend him to be employed as a lecturer in the university, maybe a professorship to teach how to con the daft and get away with it.

Singapore does not believe in degrees but in ability. Brochez is exactly the kind of talent Singapore is looking for, and a foreigner, and an angmoh to make him more likeable, and so cute looking to and could be the darling of many women here, if not because of his HIV and biased for the males.

Did Singapore learn anything from this episode? Is the govt still very happy with the 2m foreigners that were tagged as foreign talents here? No need to verify their certificates? How many are like this Brochez, with
fake degrees but very clever and can do the job?

Is Singapore becoming a paradise for fakes and cheats? If only 20 percent of those employed here are using fake degrees, how many are out there? The probability is that at least 50 percent are fakes.

So what now, conduct COI or do nothing? I bet they will do nothing because the exposure of this scam can be so very embarrassing. And to expose all the fakes hired in high positions could be so embarrassing. So they will pretend that nothing is happening and all is well, and bring in more ‘foreign talents’ and also tell the people no need degrees, can do the job ok oredy.

Below is a comment by Cheryl Gupta posted in TRE about this so lovely Brochez.

This is a city in decline, degenerating and spiraling down the tunnel into the third world of fakes and cheats. All cheats and fakes please come. You are better than the daft Singaporeans with good and expensive degrees from out world class universities. I see so many of them in Raffles Place and Marina Financial Centre.

To be fair, while Brochez is probably not a saint (he faked his blood test and lied about his educational qualifications), it is quite another thing to accuse him of stealing the data (which he did not have direct access to) and leaking the data into the internet (evidences?), while calling him a pathological liar so as to discredit him.
To be clear, I am not saying that Brochev did or did not leak the data. However, I would like to see concrete evidences that he had leaked the data. I don’t think it is right that we conclude that Brochev leaked the data to be the Gospel Truth simply because our government said so. If we looked at the list at the beginning of this article, it is not altogether obvious that the government is always telling the truth.
At the end of the day, these events may merely be distractions to focus attention away from the incompetency and un-accountability of the government in failing to ensure proper security of medical records.

Cheryl Gupta


The whole world is paying trillions of dollars to US for the use of 4G

In the internet and telecommunication business the whole world has been paying trillions of dollars every year as copyright fees to the United States for the use of 4G which has been under the monopoly of four US companies viz AT&T, Verizo, T-Mobile and Sprint. In so far as the use of 4G under US control is within the auspices of the United Nations and agreement of all countries there is no problem for all countries in paying copyright fees to the aforementioned US companies.

The world countries pay more than 10,000 trillion Yuan in copyright fees to to the four US companies  . China's 4G pays US$100 million  in annual copyright fees to the US companies.

If the countries around the world switch to Huawei's 5G which now has the blessing of the United Nations to operate in the 'Internet of Things' in the next one hundred years, the US will lose more than 10,000 billion yuan of foreign exchange each year, which is set at 20% of the Annual GDP of the United States. Therefore the United States will not allow Huawei's 5G in the world as it is leading by a huge margin against all other western 5G aspirant companies.

The United States being a poor looser will use all kinds of underhand vile methods to  destroy Huawei in order to protect the interests of the US such as stopping the loss of at least 20% of USA's GDP. The United States is just a dishonourable big bully.

The world must know this is really the true and ulterior reason for USA's insistence on bringing down Huawei.

US is playing a very dangerous game. It is far more dangerous than a trade war. China is now trying to lower tension by lying low in self restrain. But it won't be long when China under the weight of the anger of the Chinese people is forced to take a tough policy against US and Canada. Let''s hope this will not lead to war between a peaceful China and Russia against the hostile savage warhawk United States, the Evil Empire.


Tuesday, 19th February, 2019

Irresponsible retrenchment and irresponsible hiring

Irresponsible retrenchment of Singaporeans, especially the seniors and PMETs, has reached a crisis proportion.  It is a very serious affair for senior Singaporeans to be retrenched, dismissed or sacked under false excuses when finding another job at their age is almost impossible. The end result is financial difficulties and family hardship when there is no income and the paltry payout from CPF is unable to sustain a normal way of life in this most expensive city in the world.

Added to this is the irresponsible hiring of Indian nationals to replace the Singaporeans that were irresponsibly retrenched. Many Singaporean and non Singaporean CEOs have been adopting this foul practice to fire Singaporeans and replaced them with more Indian nationals.  I am not mincing my words.

The pervasive presence of Indian nationals in the ‘Chennai’ Business Park in Changi and ‘Mumbai’ Financial Centre in Marina Bay is a stark reminder of the pathetic state of affair affecting seniors and PMEs in Singapore. This reminds me of what an ex MP said about the blackout in Little India. Wonder what he would say if he visits the above two places and some corners of East Coast Park.

Let me first deal with the 62 year retirement age issue. Some Singaporeans are still thinking that 62 is the retirement age in Singapore. No, 62 is the minimum retirement age, something like the minimum sums in CPF savings, ie it is only a minimum and can be raised and raised. Here is a statement from MOM.

‘In accordance with the Retirement and Re-employment Act (RRA), the minimum retirement age is 62 years. Your company cannot ask you to retire before that age.
You have this protection if you:
 Are a Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident.

 Joined your employer before you turned 55.

Employees who turn 62 can continue to be employed in the organisation if they meet the eligibility criteria of re-employment.

Employers must offer re-employment to eligible employees who turn 62, up to age 67, to continue their employment in the organisation. The re-employment age was raised from 65 to 67 on 1 July 2017 to help older workers who wish to continue working as long as you are willing and able.’

Yes, employer cannot ask an employee to retire because of his age and must offer the employee post retirement employment up to 67, as in 2017. This age limit has actually been removed in practice and can be above 70 or more. In de facto, there is no retirement age in Singapore today.  Several politicians and govt appointees have worked way pass their 70s and still gainfully employed in govt services or GLCs.

To the many PMEs they may think this has nothing to do with them. The Employment Act protection is for the workers only. Not true. MOM has extended its services to PMETs who need assistance when they are
irresponsibly retrenched. The NTUC, the representative of workers, has also set up a unit called U PME Centre specifically to assist professionals, managers and executives that were irresponsibly retrenched.

The Govt and MOM did not go to sleep when this monumental problem is staring them straight in their faces.  As each day passes, more and more seniors and PMEs are losing their jobs and unemployed and in financial difficulties. They need help desperately and the Govt and MOM and the NTUC cannot look the other way. They are Singaporeans whose jobs have been taken over by the presence of hundreds of thousands of foreigners, particularly Indian nationals.

PMEs that are wrongly or irresponsibly retrenched or lost their jobs can go to U PME centre or the MOM to seek assistance. If these failed, they can petition the Prime Minister for help, to intervene into their plight when their rice bowls are affected. Seniors and PMEs have families to feed and dependents to take care of. If not manage properly this could turn into a political crisis for the govt.

What if all else fails? Well, the GE is around the corner. The elected Govt is supposed to take care of the people especially in providing good jobsfor them, not handouts and pittance subsidies that could not last the next day.

Irresponsible CEOs causing Singaporeans to lose their jobs and to replace them with Indian nationals must be put on notice that they cannot get away with crimes against the seniors and PMEs. Such malpractices must be put to an end immediately.

PS. Heng Swee Kiat's budget speech spoke about more restrictions on S pass and dependent pass for foreigners to deal with this problem. Hope it is not just lip service.

American white lie on Huawei unproven

Beijing and Washington traded barbs over Huawei Technologies and the South China Sea at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, as both sides also sought to sell their vision for regional security.

In a speech lasting almost 30 minutes, US Vice-President Mike Pence urged political leaders at the conference to reject the Chinese telecoms giant.

The US has been “very clear with our security partners on the threats posed by Huawei and other Chinese telecom companies”, Pence said.

“Chinese law requires them to provide Beijing’s vast security apparatus with access to any data that touches their networks or equipment,” he said, adding America’s allies must protect critical telecoms infrastructure.

Speaking immediately after Pence, Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi said China rejected “technological hegemony”.

“We need to follow the new approach of win-win and all-win cooperation and abandon ideological prejudices and the outdated mentality of a zero-sum game, and a winner takes all,” Yang said.
In a question-and-answer session following his speech, Yang added that Huawei was cooperating closely with European countries on the fourth industrial revolution.

“Chinese law does not require companies to install a back door or collect intelligence,” he said.

Total ban on China’s Huawei may be a mistake and it’s ‘more complicated than in or out’, Britain’s MI6 chief Alex Younger suggests

The Five Eyes intelligence alliance – the US, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand – as well as Japan have blocked or are planning to ban Huawei from taking part in building their 5G mobile network infrastructure, adding to pressure on the Chinese company. Other countries, such as Germany, are consulting telecoms operators before deciding whether to exclude the firm....

The above paragraphs were posted in Yahoo News.

The very fact that for so many years, and the recent spate of heightened investigation and scrutiny and intensive tests on Huawei equipment by many western countries, including the mischievous US putting Huawei under the microscope and still could not find any proof that Huawei's equipment are used to spy on other govt, this is the best proof that the Americans and 5 eyes accusation is a frivolous White Lie.  If Huawei is guilty, they would have lost not time to shown the evidence to the rest of the world with all the western media pasting them on their front pages. They could not as they could not find anything wrong with Huawei except making wild allegations and spreading lies.

The Huawei White Lie is about western hegemony and about economic dominance, about the fees that they would have lost to Huawei when fees from 4G becomes miniscule once 5G takes over the market. These are the real reasons, not spying or whatever mischievous allegations the Americans the the 5 eyes are telling the world.

The Americans and the whites are congenital liars. They cannot and have failed to prove their allegation is true.

Watch this short clip about American White Lie

US trying to sabotage Huawei, ZTE and Sino-5G. Too late. Game over. China
Rising Radio Sinoland


CECA - Unequal Treaty

Twelve years ago on 29 June 2005, PM Lee triumphantly went to India to sign the free trade agreement, the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement or CECA, with the Indian government. At the official dinner hosted by the Indian PM for him in New Delhi, PM Lee happily announced that a “New India” is emerging....
Cleverly hidden clauses
In the agreement, Chapter 9 provides for the movement of people between the 2 countries.
In particular, it provides very laxed rules for the so-called “intra-corporate transfer” of employees, encompassing some 127 different type of professionals described in Annex 9A: IT professionals, architects, civil engineers, electrical engineers, doctors, biochemists, pharmacists, lecturers, accountants, auditors, financial analysts, psychologists, career advisers, etc.
In Article 9.5, Clause 1, it talks about providing a “long-term temporary entry” to “intra-corporate transferees”. In fact the name itself should have raised a red flag to PM Lee. How can an entry be simultaneously “temporary” but yet “long-term”?

The clause stated that “each party shall grant temporary entry to an intra-corporate transferee of the other party, who otherwise meets its criteria for the grant of an immigration visa, for an initial period of up to two years or the period of the contract, whichever is less. The period of stay may be extended for period of up to three years at a time for a total term not exceeding eight years”.

Bottom line is an “intra-corporate transferee” can stay up to 8 years before he is “rotated” out of the country.
And the person shall be exempted from any labour market testing or economic needs testing, as specified in Article 9.3:

“Neither Party shall require labour market testing, economic needs testing or other procedures of similar effects as a condition for temporary entry, in respect of natural persons upon whom the benefits of this Chapter are conferred.”

That is to say, economic needs testing like Singapore’s fair consideration framework which ensures fair hiring of Singaporeans cannot be applied to “intra-corporate transferees”.

To top it all, CECA Article 9.6 even allows the “intra-corporate transferees” to bring in their spouses or dependents to work too:
“A Party shall, upon application, grant the accompanying spouses or dependents of the other Party the right to work as managers, executives or specialists, subject to its relevant licensing, administrative and registration requirements.”
In cases where their spouses or dependents are not professionals, they shall be allowed to work in other areas:
“Such spouses or dependents can apply independently in their own capacity (and not necessarily as accompanying spouses or dependents) and shall not be barred by the Party granting them the right to work from taking up employment in a category other than that of managers, executives, or specialists solely on the ground that they as the accompanying spouses or dependents are already employed in its territory as managers, executives or specialists.”

India IT companies exploiting the “intra-corporate transfer” loophole

Hence with CECA, Indian IT companies like Wipro or Infosys can exploit the “intra-corporate transfer” loophole, to move large number of Indian IT workers into Singapore since CECA does not set any quotas.

They do not have to hire a single Singaporean in their Singapore-based subsidiaries.
Before the PAP govt notices, tens of thousands of Indian IT workers have already quietly entered Singapore with many of them working and settling in the East side of Singapore, creating their own enclaves.
In recent months, driven by higher unemployment among Singaporean PMETs as well as discriminatory hiring complaints from Singaporean workers, the PAP govt started to slow down the approvals of Indian IT professionals to work here....

The above is part of an article posted in theindependent.sg on 4 May 2017 by a Voltaire.

The most dangerous and most unequal part of this Agreement is Chapter 9 on the Movement of people between the two countries. 127 professions were highlighted, now 128 with the recognition of Indian nursing degrees in the upgraded CECA in 2018. See Annex 9 below for the list. The free movement of people apparently looks so innocuous and fair on paper. But in practice and in reality it is something else.

Millions and millions of Indians would be moving into Singapore to work freely. On the other hand, NOT a single Singaporean would want to work in India. OK I might have exaggerated, maybe 1 or 2 Singaporeans would want to work in India and be paid in rupees. What, for earning rupees and in jobs that paid 10% of what it would be paying in Singapore?

Look at the picture above of the Indian masses in Singapore's Chennai Business Park in Changi, oops I mean Changi Business Park. It is the same in MBFC aka Mumbai Financial Centre in Marina Bay.

From the pictures you will know how serious CECA has turned jobs in Singapore into jobs for Indians from India, not for our PMETs.  Who are the big employers of Indian nationals? GLCs? Are GLCs giving good jobs to Indian nationals and sacking Singaporeans in the process, causing undue financial hardship to Singaporean and their families?

A picture tells a thousand words.

 When Tan Chuan-Jin was still Manpower Minister, he said this in parliament: (He is no longer a minister)

“We have also heard of situations where Singaporeans were retrenched or made to resign in the name of down-sizing, only to realise later that their positions were given to foreigners, who were coincidentally from the same countries as the business heads.”

“Let me be quite blunt. Would these practices not sound discriminatory? Would any respectable progressive company endorse these practices? If this hiring is indeed because they care only about choosing familiar candidates and not about hiring the ‘best man for the job’, then such practices have no place in Singapore’s workplaces. Discrimination will not and cannot be tolerated.”

1 System Designer & Analyst 2 Network System & Data Communication Analyst 3 Software Engineer 4 Computer and Information Systems Manager 5 Computer Operations and Network Manager 6 Application Programmer 7 Systems Programmer 8 Multi-media Programmer 9 Network System & Database Administrator 10 Database Administrator 11 Information Technology Auditor 12 Information Technology Security Specialist 13 Information Technology Quality Assurance Specialist 14 Building Architect 15 Interior Architect 16 Landscape Architect 17 Town Planner 18 Civil Engineer (General) 19 Dredging Engineer 20 Dock and Harbour Construction Engineer 21 Structural Engineer (General) 22 Building Construction Engineer 23 Sewerage & Sanitary Engineer 24 Soil Mechanic & Piling Engineer 25 Trenchless Technology Engineer 26 Quantity Surveying Engineer 27 Transportation and Highways Engineer 28 Electrical Engineer (General) 29 Electromechanical Equipment Engineer 30 Electrical Traction Engineer 31 Power Generation & Distribution Engineer 32 Lift Engineer 33 Electronics Engineer (General) 34 Telecommunications Engineer 35 Computer Engineer 36 Computer Systems Engineer 37 Computer Applications Engineer 38 Computer Hardware Design Engineer 39 Semi-conductor Engineer 40 Audio & Video Equipment Engineer 41 Instrumentation Engineer 42 Mechanical Engineer (General) 43 Industrial Machinery & Tools Engineer 44 Marine Engineer 45 Ship Construction Engineer 46 Naval Architect 47 Aeronautical Engineer 48 Automotive Engineer 49 Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Engineer 50 Chemical Engineer (General) 51 Chemical Engineer (Petroleum) 52 Chemical Engineer (Petrochemicals) 53 Manufacturing Engineer (General) 54 Production Engineer 55 Automation Engineer 56 Robotic Engineer 57 Biomedical Engineer 58 Biochemical Engineer 59 Biotechnology Engineer 60 Materials Engineer 61 Industrial Health, Safety & Environment Engineer 62 Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineer 63 Metallurgist 64 Quantity Surveyor 65 Ceramics and Glass Technologist 66 Food and Drink Technologist 67 Dairy Technologist 68 Leather Technologist 69 Textile Technologist 70 Oil Technologist 71 Pulp, Paper, Paint and Plastics Technologist 72 Biologist (General) 73 Botanist 74 Zoologist 75 Anatomist 76 Biochemist 77 Physiologist 78 Neurologist 79 Medical Pathologist 80 Clinical Pathologist 81 Veterinary Pathologist 82 Pharmacologist 83 Animal Scientist 84 Microbiologist 85 Bacteriologist 86 Immunologist 87 General Physician 88 General Surgeon 89 Specialised Surgeon 90 Anaesthetist 91 Psychiatrist 92 Obstetrician & Gynaecologist 93 Paediatrician 94 Endocrinologist 95 Dermatologist 96 Ophthalmologist 97 Cardiologist 98 Radiologist 99 Industrial Physician 100 Medical Service Physician (School) 101 Public Health Physician 102 Dentist (General) 103 Specialised Dentist 104 Veterinarian 105 Veterinary Epidemiologist 106 Pharmacist (Dispensing) 107 Other Pharmacists 108 University Lecturer 109 Polytechnic Lecturer 110 Accountant 111 Cost Accountant 112 Company Secretaries (who are Accountants) 113 Taxation Professionals (who are Accountants) 114 Auditor (Accounting) 115 Career Adviser 116 Financial Analyst 117 Credit Analyst 118 Fund Manager 119 Treasury Manager 120 Market Research Analyst 121 Advertising Account Executive 122 Economist 123 Sociologist 124 Anthropologist 125 Historian 126 Political Scientist 127 Psychologist