Wednesday, 15 August 2018

NDR 2018 - What will PM Lee speak on?

I feel that the National Day Rally speeches by PM Lee has less gravitas than those of his father. So I am not going to harp on it.

Instead is this what I think he should talk about, and maybe he will.

China-US Trade war

"When elephants fight, grass gets trampled." US and China are "elephants" in terms of their economic weight.

Singapore is so much grass to these elephants.

PM Lee should address this, and spell out the risks, and how we might try to deal with it.

Maybe there is nothing we can do about it. Grass cannot move to a place where the elephants are not fighting.

But maybe tell us what to expect. Tell as the worst case scenarios, and the best case we can maybe hope for.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

That Old Lament

CNA posted this on FaceBook sometime in May 2018:
"Glen Goei goes On the Record about what ails the arts in Singapore "Now that Singapore is the most expensive country in the world, it’s even harder to choose the arts. There’s no money in it and therefore there’s no future." Director, actor, filmmaker, Glen Goei goes #OnTheRecord."
It is to promote their TV interview with Glen Goei on CNA.

CNA didn't misquote Goei.

But Goei's response was more nuanced than that soundbite CNA posted on CNA.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Lease Decay Issue - One Obvious Answer. One Easy Solution

If you have not heard about the Lease Decay issue, here is a brief summary.

HDB flats are on 99-year lease. That means that when you buy a HDB flat, you "own" the flat for 99 years. At the end of the lease, the land reverts to the state, and your flat has no value.

This is not a problem for the original buyers. Assuming they bought the new flat at age 25, by the time the lease runs out they would be about 124 years old.

Most likely dead.

The lease decay issue was highlighted because there were many couples buying old flats with short remainder of leases left.

News React

Ben Davis

They are all very good points. On either side of the argument. Therein lies the dilemma. Yes, Country over Self, precedent, fairness to other young men who serve, who put their dreams on hold, all that is valid.

Similarly, window of opportunity, short career, chance of a lifetime, talent, a dream to chase. All equally valid and compelling arguments.

Whatever his decision, I shall not fault him. I have not the talent to face that dilemma at his age. He has to live his life, he has to make a choice, and he has to live with his decision, whatever he decides.

I hope he makes the best decision he can, and I hope he finds happiness with his decision, and I hope he does not pay too high a price for his decision. 

(Ben is considering renouncing his Singapore Citizenship to pursue his dream.)

Monday, 16 July 2018

Water, Water, Everywhere...

While most Singaporeans defended SG against "threats" by Mahathir to review the water agreement or "suggestions" by the Chief Minister of Johor to re-price water, there were some Singaporeans who tried to be ... "reasonable" (to be generous) or were downright "disloyal" (from their comments).

This post addresses the implied question from the reasonable, or faithless, Singaporeans:

Why is Singapore such an arsehole when it comes to the water agreement with Malaysia?

There is so much uninformed comments on FB regarding this. But then again, that's one of the two things the internet is for - Uninformed comment. (The other thing of course is Porn, but that's another story).

Before you comment on anything related to the water agreements, first know your history. A quick primer would be Water Talks.

If you have not read it, I GUARANTEE you at some point you will make an ass of yourself. Those who do not know history, will inevitably make an ass of themselves when they try to be clever or original. Or think they have a solution that no one else had ever thought of.

Yes, you might dismiss it as pure propaganda on the part of Singapore (cos, faithless Singaporeans), but know that Malaysia NEVER rebutted the facts within the booklet. Mahathir was of course discombobulated, and said something about Singapore not being "nice" to publicised his "love letters".

Know also that recently, the Crown Prince of Johor has called SG a good neighbour and friend. Why? This article shows how we have been friends. And it shows that accusations that we were profiteering from supplying water to Johor is patently false. If the price were too high, would they buy more than they had contracted to? If the price is too high, shouldn't they find alternative options?

And for a summary (if I may toot my own horn or blogpost), I would suggest this blogpost. "Sui Pian" also has my speculation as to why MY kept shifting the goal posts, and why MY is losing money on the water agreement.

Monday, 9 July 2018

This is how we raise productivity.

One evening, we were shopping at NTUC at Blk 95 Toa Payoh.

This is a new NTUC (well, a few months old) and it was "state of the art" in terms of technology and labour saving.

One thing you'll notice is that the cashier will ring up your purchases, but WILL NOT TAKE YOUR PAYMENT.

That's automated.

Facing the customer at the checkout, are two slots for you to put in your coins, and your notes. And the machine will make any change automatically. Presumably, there is also an option for cashless payment options, but I did not notice because I pay in cash.

There are two checkouts.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

The other shoe drops - a $4 Bata sandal

Bata Sandals, RM11.99, Mahathir's choice.
I had mixed feelings when Pakatan Harapan won, and Mahathir became PM of Malaysia again.

I don't trust Mahathir.

But then again, I didn't think Najib could continue. Or should continue. He was bad for Malaysia.

I'm not sure that Mahathir is that much better. But people seem hopeful.

And Anwar is waiting in the wings.

Certainly Mahathir tried to assure sceptics that he was totally focused on getting the job done.

The two years later, Anwar takes over. So, hope.

Mahathir was supposed to be the "cleaner" - take out the Najib trash, start to clean up corruption, terminate bad contracts with China.

And Singapore.