Asian Correspondent » Chua Chin Leng http://asiancorrespondent.com Asian Correspondent Fri, 26 Jun 2015 10:36:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 America losing face! http://asiancorrespondent.com/28446/america-losing-face/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28446/america-losing-face/#comments Thu, 04 Feb 2010 09:48:56 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28446/america-losing-face/

The Obama administration is losing face lately when China is taking the initiative in world affairs, from the financial crisis to saving the earth in Copenhagen. They are feeling slighted for being left out and the rest of the world not looking to it for leadership. Ha, Americans also think of face saving!

So now what? Sell arms to Taiwan, meet with Dalai Lama, threaten China with Google pullout? And trying to agitate China to a confrontation over trade? Washington and all the hawks are calling for war, to show China who is number one.

China should just stand firm and don’t cooperate if pushed too far. Kill the Iran sanction and see what the US does then. Let the Americans and its European allies take on the Muslim world alone.

The playing field is now more level and the rest of the world is looking for a new leadership that is less aggressive, less belligerent, less war mongering and less bullying. China should stand up to the American threats and bullying and show to the world that military might and war no longer work.

Stand up China, for the sake of the rest of the world.

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A familiar Gulf story http://asiancorrespondent.com/28428/a-familiar-gulf-story/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28428/a-familiar-gulf-story/#comments Thu, 04 Feb 2010 02:20:18 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28428/a-familiar-gulf-story/

Expat workers threaten Gulf existence

Feb 03, 2010

DUBAI – An influx of foreign workers in the Gulf poses a threat to the region’s existence, UAE daily Gulf News reported on Wednesday, citing Bahrain’s Labour Minister Majeed al-Alawi.

The minister said the situation could become like Singapore and the Maldives, where “foreign workers had been brought on temporary contracts and are now ruling these countries,” according to the report.

Speaking at a labour conference in Abu Dhabi, Alawi said one million citizens in the wealthy Gulf are unemployed even though the region employs 17 million foreign workers, describing them as “a threat to our existence”, Gulf News reported.

Alawi pointed out that while 50 percent of projects in the Gulf have have come to a halt due to the impact of the global recession, the number of foreign workers has not declined.

“Whoever thinks this foreign manpower in the region comes for a project and leaves on its completion is wrong. They come to stay. They buy and sell in their market created on our lands but accommodate no Arab,” he said.” he was quoted as saying.

Alawi added: “This way countries were lost and we, in the Gulf, are facing the same threat. If this is not happening now, it will happen in the next generation.”

Officials in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have for years expressed concerns over the presence of millions of expat workers who are needed to run their economies.

Still these countries continue to hire skilled and unskilled people from abroad to do jobs their citizens either cannot do or do not want to do.

The above story is from Maktoob Business .

Maktoob

The Gulf states fear that they will lose their countries to foreigners. In the Singapore experience, we consider ourselves as immigrants. And immigrants given citizenship becomes Singaporeans. So new immigrant citizens will take over and own this island when old immigrant citizens die or fade away. This is the natural state of affair. We don’t have problems with that. We welcome new immigrants to become our citizens and take over from where the old immigrant citizens left off. And we will have a more vibrant city state still populated by Singaporeans. And old Singaporeans that cannot live up to the challenge, they just have to be sidelined. It is their problem.

The difference in mindset between Singapore and the Gulf states is that we place the existence of the state above the existence of the people. The people can come and go, can die and disappear, the state lives forever. We live for the state.

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While Obama is reining in the beasts… http://asiancorrespondent.com/28425/while-obama-is-reining-in-the-beasts/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28425/while-obama-is-reining-in-the-beasts/#comments Thu, 04 Feb 2010 00:48:37 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28425/while-obama-is-reining-in-the-beasts/

While Obama is trying hard to rein in the beasts in Wall Street and the banks, what are the stupid Asians doing? Obama is not going to allow the beasts in the financial industry to continue to run wild, taking high risks and gambling with other people’s money, and issuing all kinds of toxic notes and derivatives. But in the Asian financial centres they are twiddling their thumbs and think that all is well under heaven.

The big funds are still gambling away using all kinds of technologies and advantages to exploit the simple minded Asians and robbing their coffers unhindered, with collaborations from the regulators, and laughing all the way to the banks.

Asian financial regulators must wake up from their drunken stupor and do something similar to what Obama is doing to complement him. If not, the beasts and con men will continue to do untold damage to the financial system and siphon as much money as they can lay their hands on. But my cry may be in vain. The party is still swinging and everyone is high on drugs.

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Flying the Medisave kite http://asiancorrespondent.com/28422/flying-the-medisave-kite/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28422/flying-the-medisave-kite/#comments Thu, 04 Feb 2010 00:25:33 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28422/flying-the-medisave-kite/

A week of silence after Boon Wan sounded the idea of raising Medisave contributions and finally I read a letter in the Today forum by a Alex Chan. Chan was concerned that the increase will hurt the young home owners as HDB has already targeted 30% of their income for its flats. These home owners have already budgeted what they could afford to pay for housing to the max. Anymore design on their CPF will mean touching on their disposable income or for those still waiting to buy a flat to revise downwards and look for a smaller unit. But surprisingly not many complain letters were sent to the ST forum. Maybe there is no problem really and Alex Chan’s concern is misplaced.

So far from the govt side, only Halimah Yaacob raised some concerns that it will affect the workers if this thing is pushed through. She is the only voice against the increase. So what about the rest of the MPs? Are there still studying the proposal and getting feedback from the people? It will be good to know which MP is for or against this proposal. It will also be good to know how they vote after they have expressed their views in Parliament.

I am deeply concern about this raising of Medisave contributions and locking up more of the people’s money. It seems that the govt is bend on holding on to the people’s money for as much as they can lay their hands on and for as long as possible. This is the message I am getting. Is the govt so hard up of money? Obviously no. GIC and Temasek are still globe trotting around looking for good buys and absorbing whatever losses in their stride. Still, the people will have their ways of looking at these monetary measures as a way of snatching their money from them and will have many negative thoughts and feelings. And to some it is not just feelings but very painful.

I would like to suggest that Boon Wan make it more painful by raising another 5%. A big pain for once instead of creeping pains every other year. This is textbook Machiavellian strategy. Or is it to make it less painful like raising property taxes every now and then instead of all at one go?

Looks like I am going to here for a while and I will just go on posting.

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The disproportionate reality and disproportionate truth http://asiancorrespondent.com/28378/the-disproportionate-reality-and-disproportionate-truth/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28378/the-disproportionate-reality-and-disproportionate-truth/#comments Wed, 03 Feb 2010 02:34:16 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28378/the-disproportionate-reality-and-disproportionate-truth/

Properties in Singapore are cheap, especially the high-end ones that are built for the super rich. At $3m or $5m a piece, it is too easily affordable. Many of the super rich will find properties at $20m or $30m a piece affordable as well. At the employee level, i.e. workers who earn a salary, this includes ministers and top civil servants, properties at $3m or $5m are actually as expensive as peanuts. They could buy one every year or every other year with their annual salaries. Isn’t that fun? Life is really good for these highly paid workers.

 

Then we have workers, the genuine low down working class, complaining that a $300k flat is expensive and unaffordable. And the ministers and top civil servants are telling them it is not so. These flats are really and truly affordable. It makes sense when one could pay a $3m to $5m property with one or two year’s salary. But the disconnect is quite obvious.

 

Why are the workers complaining? Simple, their incomes are just too little relative to the price of the flats they have to pay. And they need two incomes and 30 years to be able to pay that miserable $300k. So, is their complaint genuine or they are just a pain in the arse?

 

To these low paid workers, their perspective of affordability must be different, and real. They think so anyway. The cheap flats are expensive, very expensive to them. And the reality of the cheap private properties is also real, as the buyers need only cough out a couple of years’ income to pay them off. No need to take loans at all.

 

The disproportionate reality and the disproportionate truth divide the real workers from the surreal workers in paradise. Quite funny huh?

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The Battle for Tampines http://asiancorrespondent.com/28372/the-battle-of-tampines/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28372/the-battle-of-tampines/#comments Wed, 03 Feb 2010 00:33:56 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28372/the-battle-of-tampines/

It is not about the person but the policy. Mah Bow Tan is just a policy maker and should not be the issue in the election. Some may want to make it one but that is a private matter to those who want to do so.

Let Tampines be a contest of ideas, a contest for the people to decide whether the HDB housing policy is good for them or a daft one. From the govt’s perspective, it is an excellent policy that is good for the people. So, who should decide if this policy is good for the people? The people or the govt? The election will allow the people to say so, to make sure that they are heard, to tell the govt what they want and what is good or no good for them. It is the time for the people to say, ‘I say so!’

What are the issues at stake or what are the components of this HDB policy?

1. High HDB price is good.

2. HDB flats should be priced at market price with a market subsidy.

3. HDB will build flats only if there is demand for it. And demand is defined as applicants putting in their applications. HDB will not project demands and plan their building programmes on available information and demographic data.

4. Flats will only be available to move in after 3/4 years on application.

5. Affordability means 2 incomes and 30 years to pay for a smaller flat as sky rocketing prices means paying more and getting less.

6. Your children will get to pay more and more for HDB flats.

7. The actual cost of building HDB flats will remain a mystery. No need to know.

These are some of the key features of the current HDB policy. Would the people be daft enough to vote against this policy. Or would the people be smart enough to vote for this policy?

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Why high HDB prices is daft policy http://asiancorrespondent.com/28336/why-high-hdb-prices-is-daft-policy/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28336/why-high-hdb-prices-is-daft-policy/#comments Tue, 02 Feb 2010 01:42:43 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28336/why-high-hdb-prices-is-daft-policy/

Let me qualify. It is good for some but bad for others. For those who have bought a 5 rm flat for $27,500 and now worth half a million, great, but not so great. The half a million is worth much less today. Half a million could buy 10 freehold semi Ds then. It can only buy a 5 rm flat on 99 year lease. And it is good only for those with no children. For those with one child, ok, if they can pass down to him/her. But maybe not as they will need to liquidate the property for their retirements.

Then those with 2 kids, 4 kids, 6 kids, die, sure die. These poor buggers would have to pay through their noses to buy even a 2 or 3 rm flat. A $3k combined income could just afford that. And a forum writer today appealed to the HDB to let other occupants to help to pay for the highly price flats from their CPF. This stupid bugger even thanked the HDB and would be very grateful if more people can be allowed to pay for the miserable flat. It used to be one income and 15 years to pay up. Now 2 incomes and 30 years still not enough. Needs more heads to pay.

Oh, high HDB prices also good for the private property owners. They can upgrade and pay for the more expensive private properties and help to keep the prices high.

So, is high HDB prices daft? Depends on while side of the blade you are cut.

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Will Tampines be another Dien Bien Phu http://asiancorrespondent.com/28334/will-tampines-be-another-dien-bien-phu/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28334/will-tampines-be-another-dien-bien-phu/#comments Tue, 02 Feb 2010 00:35:59 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28334/will-tampines-be-another-dien-bien-phu/

The battle of Dien Bien Phu was legendary, when the ill equipped and peasant soldiers of North Vietnam defeated the well oiled and well trained professional armies of Imperial France. Dien Bien Phu was like a fortress and the French believed that it could be the mother of all battles, to draw out the North Vietnamese in a conventional battle to settle the score. The score was settled and the French suffered the most humiliating defeat by their former subjects. An under equipped Asian military force giving the European colonial power a thrashing.

Would the opposition parties here be able to turn the battle of Tampines into another Dien Bien Phu? For that to succeed, they need to pull in all their resources from all the parties, joined forces and stage a mother of all battle. And they can expect the PAP to do likewise, bring in all their big guns to defend Tampines. It will be a battle royale. And if the opposition succeeded, the dam will be broken. The opposition parties should take this golden opportunity to strategise carefully, put away their differences and make a go at it. If they failed, they only have to kick their arses for not capitalising on this chance. It does not come often.

It will take a lot of guts and leadership, like Anwar did, to bury all the differences and petty politics and personal interests, at least just for this election. Put in all the big guns from the different parties to form an A Team. Then it will be a good battle to watch. Make it the Battle of Tampines!

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US arms sale a message to Beijing http://asiancorrespondent.com/28330/us-arms-sale-a-message-to-beijing/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28330/us-arms-sale-a-message-to-beijing/#comments Tue, 02 Feb 2010 00:16:50 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28330/us-arms-sale-a-message-to-beijing/

According to a NYT report by Helene Cooper, the arms sales to Taiwan is a message to Beijing that the US is not going to be nice or be pushed around by Beijing. I think Beijing is also sending the US a message, that it is not going to be pushed around and the relationship is now one of two equals. And if Washington can play the game, so can Beijing. The US wants to be tough,  mess around with Taiwan and Tibet, and human rights and press freedom, Beijing will let Washington go and deal with Iran and North Korea on its own. And be prepared for more vetos by Beijing on US led sanctions. And the US can fight the Talibans and Al Qaedas on its own too.

Let’s play ball man. Washington can smash and so can Beijing.

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Time to try Tony Blair http://asiancorrespondent.com/28284/time-to-hang-tony-blair/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28284/time-to-hang-tony-blair/#comments Mon, 01 Feb 2010 04:21:32 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28284/time-to-hang-tony-blair/

The mothers and fathers of British lads and lasses should stop mourning and bring Tony Blair to justice for the death of their children, all because of a lie. The mothers and fathers of American boys and girls should do likewise and bring George Bush and his gang to be trialed for war crimes and the death of their children for the same fabricated lies.

The mothers and fathers of Iraqi children must take the injustice they have suffered to the International Court of Justice and sue both Tony Blair and George Bush for the death of their children and the destruction of their country.

Nothing further needs to be said. Bring them to trial for crimes against humanity and the death of all the innocent people in Iraq, Britain and the US.

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Thank you Khaw Boon Wan http://asiancorrespondent.com/28278/thank-you-khaw-boon-wan/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28278/thank-you-khaw-boon-wan/#comments Mon, 01 Feb 2010 02:35:56 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28278/thank-you-khaw-boon-wan/

The people of Singapore must stand up and say a very big thank you to Khaw Boon Wan. Boon Wan has been working tirelessly to plan for the well being of the people. He has planned for the people to have a big sum of money to pay for their expensive hospital bills. This now stands at about $30k per head in the Medisave Fund.

 

Now he is planning for the people to have more money to pay for good long term care services and to live peacefully, with a lot of money till 90 or 100 years old. The people better be grateful, be very grateful to Boon Wan for working so hard, planning the lives of people from cradle to the grave. And many will still have a lot of money unspent when they are in their graves, money stuck in the Medisave, unused.

 

I too will be very grateful if he is planning with the govt’s money and not my money. I will be very grateful if he says the govt is setting aside a big sum of money to provide healthcare and nursing home services to the people. Somehow I don’t think it is right or funny for the govt to plan for my life and dictate how much it should take from my savings for doing that. I may not be a supertalent, but I know that when people have designs on my money and take my money from me, it is wrong.

 

While I would like to thank Boon Wan for his kindness, compassion and passion to want to look after the people, I would want to tell him to take a break. Let the people take care of themselves for their old age. The govt has done too much already. Most of the people also have made their own plans and need not want to trouble the govt or Boon Wan too much.

 

Have a Kit Kat. Let the people think of how best to spend their own money. The people are not stupid. I hope the MPs have balls to say no to Boon Wan’s plan to raise the contribution of Medisave to 9%. I hope the MPs know that it is time for them to speak up for the people who voted them to Parliament and not to make decisions against the wishes of their voters.

 

And thank you once again Boon Wan. You are all kindness. Please give yourself a pat on the back and a break. You deserve it.

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More World Cup grievances http://asiancorrespondent.com/28271/more-world-cup-grievances/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28271/more-world-cup-grievances/#comments Mon, 01 Feb 2010 00:34:56 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28271/more-world-cup-grievances/

Singapore football fans are not going to be deprived of their World Cup matches. There are more letters complaining about FIFA becoming too greedy and running like a commercial organisations instead of serving the interest of football fans. They are now trying to differentiate the World Cup from EPL, saying the World Cup is not meant for profit while the latter is a commercial organisation running for profit. Can I believe this?

This is a valid reason that all stupid Singaporeans have been taught to believe. Just make an organisation private and it can go forth and make all the indecent profits it wants. FIFA should make a public statement, just for Singaporeans’ sake, that it is a commercial organisation and will make profit and maximise profits. Maybe it need not do so and just say it, as the window dressing does not make it more private and less of a public organisation.

And it is funny, really, damn funny, for Singaporeans to condemn FIFA for being greedy and making more profits. I think the real problem, as I can see it, is that in the case of EPL, Singtel and Starhub were doing the normal business thing, to outbid each other, to see who can afford to pay more for the rights. In this case, both are down bidding each other to see who can get the rights by bidding less. How can FIFA not be furious? This is crazy. It is against the norm. The prices of all things must go up. And good things must command higher value. If the price is cheaper than EPL, then it will mean that World Cup matches are of lower quality than EPL matches.

Singaporeans, just pay lah. And be happy that you are paying for quality. Forget about the stupid argument that we should not be held hostage by FIFA and have to pay more.  Aren’t we used to such tactics? If you don’t want to pay then just watch our S League lah, free some more. And we can promote our own football league and support our own footballers.

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Casinos… made in Paradise http://asiancorrespondent.com/28255/casinos-made-in-paradise/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28255/casinos-made-in-paradise/#comments Sun, 31 Jan 2010 02:50:54 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28255/casinos-made-in-paradise/

If there is a casino that is clean and wholesome, you can only find it in Paradise. The two casinos coming up are completely sanitised from sleaze and crimes. Several measures and regulations have been put in place to make sure that it is just another form of entertainment. From the top, beginning from the owner/management, mafia or secret society links are not welcomed and severed. They are operated by clean and honest businessmen. In the gambling rooms, better to call them games rooms, the croupiers or support staff have all been vetted and clear of crime, even infantile crimes. And small blemishes or involvement in criminal activities will be a reason to terminate employment. The gamblers should be rest assured that they are gambling in casinos that are free from all the illegal activities of secret societies and crooks.

There will be no ATM machines in the casinos and gamblers must bring in cash, a lot of cash. Security is not going to be a concern, so getting robbed or snatched should not happen. The ATMs are located at a distance from the casinos and gamblers needing funds or to replenish their funds need to walk a distance to get to them.  This is another build in safety mechanism to let them cool down and decide whether they should return to the casinos. I think no casino in the world would ever think of applying psychology to prevent gamblers from gambling their money away. One of the reason I read is that the hoards of cash in hand, $100k, $500k etc may itself prove to be a deterrent to remind the gamblers that it is a lot of money to lose. I hope they also provide trolleys to help the gamblers should they want the money in coins for the machines.

There are professional doctors and, counsellors on standby to counsel gamblers who are addictive or suffer nervous breakdowns from losing in the gaming rooms. They will be escorted to a safe place, have a drink and rest and advise not to go back to gamble.

And gamblers can declare how much they want to lose before going into the casinos. How come I never think of this. It will definitely limit the losses from the gamblers. This is very thoughtful. For problem gamblers, some have already been excluded from the casinos either voluntarily or by their family members. Oh, I forgot and use another wrong term. They are called gamers not gamblers, quite like playing computer games.

With so many safeguards, the gamers are safe. They would not lose more than what they want to lose and game in a friendly environment, with free psychiatric counselling if needed.

I would like to see a few more safeguards to make it even wholesome as family entertainment. Subject gamers to DNA screening for gambling genes. Vet the gamers for criminal records as well. This is necessary as the operators and staff are all crime free and it is unfair to subject them to the presence of gamers who were criminals or have criminal records. They will be exposed to unnecessary risks. At the entry points, they should set up screening gates and inspectors to sieve out undesirable characters from going into the games rooms. The first subject coming to my mind is loansharks.

As another precaution, they may want to engage a team of priests and monks or religious leaders to provide spiritual guidance to the gamers in times of need. Then they cannot blame the operators for keeping their gods away from them in their darkest hours when they have lost their fortunes. That will make the casinos as perfect as they can be.

PS. This is my last article in Asian Correspondent. Viewers can still reach my blog at www.mysingaporenews.blogspot.com with effect from 1 Feb 10.

 

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The two last American colonies http://asiancorrespondent.com/28232/the-two-last-american-colonies/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28232/the-two-last-american-colonies/#comments Sat, 30 Jan 2010 03:35:12 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28232/the-two-last-american-colonies/

Japan is renegotiating with the US to move American troops out of its territories. No nation with any self respect will allow foreign troops to be on their soil against their will under the pretext of protecting them. Japan was a major military power and almost ruled the whole of East Asia and SE Asia. Why does it need American troops on its soil for its protection? With the might of the Japanese Self Defence Force and their proven military prowess, Japan is more than capable of protecting itself.

 

The remnants of American troops in Japan is a legacy of the defeat of Japan during WW2 and the American military rule. America will still want its troops to be there in its former colony and also for its interests in projecting its military power in the region. It is never for the protection of Japan.

 

Similarly, the American troops are still in S Korea, its other semi colony. Surprisingly the Philippines were able to evict the Americans from its soil but the two most economically and militarily powerful Asian countries could not do so and need American protection and subject themselves to a semi colony status.

 

Maybe the S Koreans need the Americans more as they were defeated badly by the North Koreans in the early stages of the Korean War. And if they are to provoke the North Koreans into another war, the American presence will come in handy as they are no match for the North Koreans. If war started between the two Koreas, history will repeat itself and the North will overrun the South as before. They have more reasons to need American protection and American troops on their soil, and remain a semi American colony.

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Pangsai and Jamban solution http://asiancorrespondent.com/28231/pangsai-and-jamban-solution/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28231/pangsai-and-jamban-solution/#comments Sat, 30 Jan 2010 02:11:44 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28231/pangsai-and-jamban-solution/

HDB will build more flats and launch a project every month next year. What the shit is happening to HDB? More than 1m new citizens added over the last 10 years and they did not know and did not build enough flats for them. Now they are already here, then they are starting to build. And they said they will build more if there are more demands. They don’t know and don’t have any figures to work on to plan their building programmes. Now the sai or shit is coming out then they start to build jambans.

And they still don’t believe that there is a high demand and under supply of public housing. I just read this in the ST yesterday. ‘Mr Mah claimed the high subscription rates at recent launches – at popular projects such as Dawson, where 11 applications were received for every flat – was not a mesure of genuine demand.’ I like the reporter, Jessica Cheam using the word ‘claim’. Basically he did not believe in the data. That could be the reason why 1m more citizens did not wake him up. He probably did not beleive in the data either. No, I am wrong about this. The consensus in the govt is that the foreigners did not add to the demand for more flats and did not cause the prices to escalate. ‘We know that many of them are multiple applicants…they apply every month to make sure they have a better chance…that means the number of subscribers may appear large, but it doesn’t mean that that is the total demand,’ he said.

Talking about loopholes, I am seeing a gap as big as the Pacific Ocean. Can applicants make multiple applications for one project? Unimaginable. Or the statistician is mad, to add every monthly applications of an applicant together. So an applicant applying from Jan to Dec, becomes 12 applicants! Holycow! Is this how we got our statistics?

People need to pangsai and must have their jamban ready. Many people did not know when they are going to get married or how long it will take for the courtship before marriage. How many young people will go and register for a flat, so that HDB will register it as a genuine demand, with the person they are dating so that they will get their flat in 3 or 4 years time? It is foolish to apply this pangsai and jamban logic to building flats. It takes a flicking 3 to 4 years to build. Pangsai and jamban is easier, one can go behind the bush.

The people must not be dictated by HDB to accept this pangsai and jamban solution on the building of flats. The HDB must plan in advance to help the people when they decided to want to get married. The inefficiency of the past when people have to wait more than 7 years is a flaw reasoning and stupid excuse. In the past a minister got paid for less than $100k a year. Today a minister is being paid more than $3m pa. In the past the ministers were not super talent. Today they are. The people can accept the 7 years wait if the minister is willing to accept a $100k pa salary.

I think Ah Huay will probably think clearer and make a better housing minister.

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Two wild boar heads http://asiancorrespondent.com/28204/two-wild-boar-heads/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28204/two-wild-boar-heads/#comments Fri, 29 Jan 2010 07:37:30 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28204/two-wild-boar-heads/

Two heads of wild boars were found in two mosques in KL. The culprits were so familiar with the CCTV in the mosques that they could evade from being caught in camera. Who would be familiar with the locations of the CCTV cameras? And why wild boars? Would it not be easier to go to the butchers in the market and collect them? But of course people will know who you are.

What could you guys make out of these two incidents, and likely commited by the same person or groups of people. And the victims are agitated. Burning of churches, the victims were not agitated.

And Khairy Kamaruddin is threatening to retaliate. Does he know who did these to retaliate against? Why no Christians dare to talk about retaliating?

I am very sure Allah knows exactly who were the culprits to the mischiefs. Let them be punished by Allah.

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When cost overruns… http://asiancorrespondent.com/28183/when-cost-over-runs/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28183/when-cost-over-runs/#comments Fri, 29 Jan 2010 00:19:37 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28183/when-cost-over-runs/

Hospital bills are going to go up and the people will not have enough savings in their Medisave to pay for it. What is the solution? Simple, make them save more,or take more of their money from their CPF. That looks like the most brilliant suggestion coming from Khaw Boon Wan. He said that a paper would be put up in Parliament and the MPs will have to decide which way to go. Currently Medisave takes 6.5 percent from the CPF savings. His proposal is to increase it to 9 percent.

“You need more contribution into Medisave. right now, 6 to 8 per cent is for acute hospitalisation. But, if collectively we decided that we wanted to also save on long term care, then we must be prepared to inject more money,” …Said Khaw Boon Wan.

Hmmmm, who is the ‘WE’  who collectively decide to want to have more expensive healthway and to pay more? Did he ask the people, or the ‘WE’ means he and his team and the MPs who are going to vote for it in Parliament?

My comment is piss off. Don’t have further designs on the people’s money. Many people do not want to pay for expensive healthcare. Many people would just want to pass away as their miserable lives are not worth the hundreds of thousands that are needed to keep them alive. And why are people’s money being taken away from them without their consent. Remember, it is the people’s money, not your money and don’t suka suka decide how much you want to take from them.

This could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in the next general election. It is the mindset, that the people’s CPF contributions is there to take.

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Affordable housing policy is the right policy http://asiancorrespondent.com/28140/affordable-housing-policy-is-the-right-policy/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28140/affordable-housing-policy-is-the-right-policy/#comments Thu, 28 Jan 2010 02:18:51 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28140/affordable-housing-policy-is-the-right-policy/

No one can deny that such a statement and policy are good for the people. Affordable housing is what every good govt should provide for the good of the people. The issue is what is the definition of affordable. The affordable of 10 years ago, 20 years ago and today are totally different. And what is affordable today will be different from what is affordable tomorrow. The point is that until today, everyone will have his own definition of affordability and everyone will believe that he is right.

And the govt confidently believes that its afforable housing policy is right and anyone who disagrees is daft. I used to believe it too and a convert of this policy. I too have benefitted from this policy. Today, at the rate it is going, I am calling this policy daft. Basically I disagree with the way the balloon is being pumped. I believe it must burst, sooner or later.

How right this policy is will be decided by the people in the next general election, and in particular, by the people in Tampines GRC. When posed the question of three oppostion parties eyeing Tampines GRC, LKY said that Mah Bow Tan deserved to lose if he could not convince the people of how good affordable housing is. Or the people may choose to be daft and carelessly vote in the opposition to replace him and the affordable housing policy. The PAP will not run away from Tampines GRC. Mah Bow Tan will stand in Tampines to defend his affordable housing policy.

The opposition parties should take this opportunity to work out their election strategy carefully and make Tampines GRC the battle ground to determine if public housing is really affordable. And the people who are bearing the brunt of this affordable policy will be in the best position to say so. It is their money and their pockets that will be affected, including their retirement fund in the CPF.

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A Chinese statement in Australian Open http://asiancorrespondent.com/28135/a-chinese-statement-in-australian-open/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28135/a-chinese-statement-in-australian-open/#comments Thu, 28 Jan 2010 00:39:35 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28135/a-chinese-statement-in-australian-open/

Two Chinese girls made it to the semis of the Australian Tennis Open Tournament. This is a rare occurrence and something that only happens in the 21st century. It would have been inconceivable even 10 years ago for an Asian girl to excel in a game like tennis that is more brute than skill. Zheng Jie and Li Na won their battles against much physically stronger western opponents. The Williams sisters are the legacy of a new super race of physical prowess. Playing against them and beating them is no mean feat.

The Chinese victory is more than just Zheng Jie and Li Na. The greater victory is that for once, the Chinese athletes’ names were written in the correct way their parents wanted them to be called. It is also the correct and proper way to write a Chinese name. The way that the family name comes first and the individual’s name comes second is a reflection of not only the Chinese culture, when family comes first, but it is logical even in the world of internet and logic. It is so easy to sort and search logically.

A few months back, Zheng Jie was reported as Jie Zheng in some media. And Jie Zheng sounds like ‘terminal illness’ in Chinese. No one will want to be called terminal illness. Zheng Jie is Zheng Jie. Then Li Na, sounds so good and natural. What if some joker reporters were to write her name as Na Li? Na Li means ‘where’ in Chinese. It sounds silly again. In Singapore, who would dare write our Mentor Minister’s name as Kuan Yew Lee! He will deserve a boot in his ass for his ignorance. And there was our highly respected ex President Wee Kim Wee. Which joker would dare to twist the way his name should be written and write it in the western way, Kim Wee Wee!

The proper convention in the way Chinese names are written should be respected and followed. It is very rude to write a Chinese name in a wrong way and made it sound silly. There is no excuse as Chinese names are well known and common around the world. Who is Xiaoping Deng? It is Deng Xiaoping!

The westerners are not totally to be blamed as some are genuinely ignorant of the Chinese convention. It is some of the silly Chinese, especially from the diaspora, that chose to write their names backwards and confuse the westerns. Let’s stick to the millenium-old tradition which is logical and easy to follow. Nothing complicated and difficult to remember and understand.

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Opposition parties should not contest in the next GE http://asiancorrespondent.com/28101/opposition-parties-should-not-contest-in-the-next-ge/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28101/opposition-parties-should-not-contest-in-the-next-ge/#comments Wed, 27 Jan 2010 06:00:07 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28101/opposition-parties-should-not-contest-in-the-next-ge/

The ST reported that at least three opposition parties are interested to contest in the Tampines GRC. Showing an interest in Tampines can be expected given that Tampines will be one of the weakest teams in the PAP line up. So every opposition party would naturally want to have a go at it.

Now, that will be a problem and could be a disgusting one if the opposition parties could not find an amicable arrangement to only pitch one opposition party against the ruling party. If there is more than one opposition party to contest Tampines, I would suggest that they don’t waste their time and it is better not even to contest. They will only run themselves out of the race. They better sort out their differences and strategies and not let the voters down by wasting their chances in competing among themselves.

Maybe they need not have to face this crisis and Tampines would be splitted up or divided into two GRCs, or be absorbed into Marine Parade with a couple of independent wards. Or maybe we have a Marine Parade/Tampines GRCs with a minister and a senior minister standing in an enlarged GRC if the situation demands. Who knows, Mah Bow Tan could even stand in an independent ward. The permutations are many.

There will be several other hot GRCs in the coming GE and let’s hope that the opposition parties will only send in one party to contest each GRC. If not, they will only discredit themselves further and deserve to lose. The next GE is a golden opportunity that should not be squandered away by inter party rivalry and bickering.

 

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The blind followers of western financial systems http://asiancorrespondent.com/28085/the-blind-followers-of-western-financial-systems/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28085/the-blind-followers-of-western-financial-systems/#comments Wed, 27 Jan 2010 00:47:57 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28085/the-blind-followers-of-western-financial-systems/

George Soros said in Davos that the world needs an international police to regulate the financial system which was practically developed in Wall Street. After the 1998 fiasco and near collapse, no one is blinking an eye , I mean the stupid Asians,  to wonder what was happening. Only the western financial experts and Obama’s team are scratching their heads on how to rein in the financial crooks and revamp the whole system. Otherwise, the blind Asian followers are just happily plodding along as if nothing was wrong.

The whole financial system has been transformed from banking and finance to simply gambling and cooking the books. And everyone is in it for a quick buck. Under the old system, it was steady and cautious growth. But that would not be able to pay the greedy bankers huge bonuses in double quick time. They needed a system to bring in quick bucks and in big numbers to pay themselves. And they developed a system, convinced all the asses that this is the way it works and the way to go. And the asses lapped it up. And all the big funds were invited into their casinos with open arms and all patting each other’s backs that they have created vibrant and high volume financial centres churning out big money.

Let’s face it, the funds are there not for growth but for quick profit. And whose money will be turned into their huge profits? The small investors of course. And the big investors with their financial advisors are not much wiser and are also there to feed the fund managers and their funds. Now it seems that the investors have their pockets cleaned and not many are left kicking. Oh, they pay high rentals, provide the buzz and employment, and maybe pay taxes. No they don’t. It is the investors that are paying for them and lining their pockets with huge profits. It is daylight robbery!

Then some bright ass came out with the idea of forcing the remisiers to trade with the fund managers, thinking that the remisiers are up to it and have enough money to keep the market running. A financial centre cannot depend on a handful of remisiers to churn the trades. In no time, if they are foolish enough, they too will be taken to the cleaners. The most cocky thing is for people to even think of forcing remisiers to trade in something that they do not want to, knowing very well that they are in to be killed.

The banking and financial systems with all the high leverage products that are actually worth nothing must be cleansed. Go back to the fundamentals of slow and steady growth. The Lehman bonds, toxic products and derivatives are poison and harmful to the health of the world financial systems. It is time to rein in the madness and greed and do some proper business. Davos must come out with something strong and effective to curb the wildfire that is burning across the global financial industry.

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Harassing the public http://asiancorrespondent.com/28040/harassing-the-public/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28040/harassing-the-public/#comments Tue, 26 Jan 2010 04:32:57 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28040/harassing-the-public/

Some of the marketing practices adopted by companies selling their products and services must be stopped.  One specific instance is to receive a sms at 0246:12hr. Who would want to be disturbed at that hour by an sms? It is an unacceptable nuisance! It can be more traumatic for people who are expecting some unpleasant news to be hit with unnecessary shock at those hours.

 

This friend of mine received this from ADV Spa Infinity with the following message, ‘$25 CNY Treats Jacuzzi Pools + 45 mins massage or chiropractic Trt. Yr friend enjoys same treat FREE! ….’

 

Can such nonsense be stopped? Will CASE or whoever is responsible put a stop to such harassment? Or is there no authority responsible to look into this? Or would someone say this is private matter and the victim should take the trespasser to court?

 

The other practices that needs to be stopped, the stuffing of unwanted leaflets into letter boxes or sticking them at the occupants’ doors and nuisance cold calls from banks and credit cards. The poor recipients still have to pay for the calls. It is not so simple as not answering the calls as some are running a business and the calls could be from their customers.

 

Can someone wake up and do something?

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Checkmate the bankers http://asiancorrespondent.com/28028/check-mate-the-bankers/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28028/check-mate-the-bankers/#comments Tue, 26 Jan 2010 00:48:23 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28028/check-mate-the-bankers/

The ST editorial picks up from where Obama and his team have left off, to rein in the gamblers running banks and financial institutions. It is one of the most sensible editorial pieces in recent times. The main argument is to prevent the bankers from taking high risks with the depositors’ money and return to their more conservative business practices. Go back to the fundamentals of banking.

 

And the main culprit is also nailed. Derivatives. Creating and issuing of derivatives is like allowing the financial institutions to print money, often unsecured papers to be sold to the public. It is no different from the Lehman notes. These are high, or very high leverage instruments that are often worth nothing but only another proxy instrument for trading or gambling. Period.

 

Obama should just curb the propagation of these instruments in the market and it will save them and the banks from getting into more deep trouble. The market must be regulated. Under-regulation has proven to be deadly and destructive. And yes, that the free market and free market forces will correct the market is a myth. It will lead to disaster as greed knows no bounds.

 

Will people learn from it? Pray Obama and his team will succeed and other countries will learn to follow what is right from them and not from the previous regimes of gamblers and bandits.

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Choose an MP for what he can do for YOU http://asiancorrespondent.com/28024/choose-an-mp-for-what-he-can-do-for-you/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/28024/choose-an-mp-for-what-he-can-do-for-you/#comments Tue, 26 Jan 2010 00:18:19 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/28024/choose-an-mp-for-what-he-can-do-for-you/

This is a good advice for the voters in the next general election. Go for the candidate who can do what you want him to do, for you, and not what he can do. An MP supposedly can do many things. The difference is doing things for who?

 

In the next general election, if the opposition parties can really harness enough good candidates that are acceptable to the voters, we can expect a big swing. The sentiment on the ground is that the opposition parties could not put up candidates of good and decent qualities, not necessarily first class honours from the Ivy League Universities. If this is the criteria and expectation of the people, it should not be too demanding to meet.

 

Back to what an MP can do or cannot do. The people must know what their MP can do, and do it for them, for their own good. And rightly, opposition candidates cannot do many things. They can’t do anything about your CPF savings, your Medisave, ERP prices, GST increases, high property prices, they can’t even bring down hospital bills. Yes they can’t do all these things. They can only kpkb about them in Parliament.

 

Would kpkb be good enough? Or would they want MPs to tell them everything is affordable? More foreign workers are good? Increases in GST are good for them? Your savings in the CPF and Medisave will make you feel rich and happy?

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Internet is mainstream media! http://asiancorrespondent.com/27988/internet-is-main-stream-media/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/27988/internet-is-main-stream-media/#comments Mon, 25 Jan 2010 01:31:18 +0000 http://uk.asiancorrespondent.com/27988/internet-is-main-stream-media/

This is what a Chinese academic said of the Internet in China. Such a situation can only happen in a country when the mainstream media has lost its credibility and people are turning to alternative news. Not surprising given China’s control of the media.

 

Can the Internet become mainstream in Singapore? Do we have the conditions for people to turn to new media and dump the old media? There are signs that it is possible especially in areas that are not covered by the old media or when they cover, the news was crap or unthinking reproduction of other people’s views with other people’s agenda.

 

The trend here is increasingly turning to alternative media, in particular for political and social news. Readers are getting pretty disgusted with one sided views of things or not reporting of issues that are close to their hearts. How often would the old media give a thorough airing of opposition news or political mavericks on the wrong side of the equation?

 

For such news, actually the internet is already mainstream in terms of coverage and frequency of reporting. Anyone looking to read something refreshing instead of listening to parrots and tape recorders will inadvertently browse the net for a different perspective of things.

 

Yes, in some issues and topics, the internet in Singapore is becoming mainstream as well.

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