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Uniquely Singapore to Beyond Words
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 13853
Location: singapore

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rare Singaporean talents
The SMRT went round the world to find a Singaporean to be the next CEO of the troubled train system. I don’t know how much they have to pay to the head hunting companies to search around the world without knowing that the best man was the guy next door, a Singaporean working in Singapore. Lieutenant General Neo Kian Hong, they used to sign off as LG Neo, is the man they were looking for all over the world. He has meticulous credentials and work experience. This is rare in this city state of no talent. And after hunting around the world, comparing him with 19 of the best in the world, it is confirmed that he is the best. He is everything the SMRT is looking for. The SMRT is safe. For if the best in the world cannot save it, no one else can.

Thank God they did not miss this rare gem in our midst and opted instead for another third world talent with funny degrees and credentials. The same story was repeated in the appointment of another Singaporean talent as the President of the Singapore Management University, in Professor Lily Kong. They also went around the world only to look back and found the gem right here in our backyard, not another angmoh or another third world talent from God knows where. They must not have believed their eyes, what, another Singaporean that is better than the best in the world? Thank God again, they found her and did not look in Africa or some God forsaken place.

But the most talented of all Singaporeans has just been discovered. If not of this discovery, he would be lost in the tropical concrete jungle and forgotten for good. Here he is….

“I admire his boldness and experience in labour issues. Mr Lim is a one-in-a-billion minister, having garnered much experience through his work in the Labour Movement all these years… We have always worked well and harmoniously together. I think the current working arrangement is still a great one.”

This is what Josephine Teo said of Lim Swee Say. Please note that he is not ‘one in 5.6m’ but in a billion, more than nearly twice the number of people in Asean. Taking it numerically, in the whole of Asean you could not find one such talent. Such rare talent should not be let go so unceremoniously. He should be elevated to become a Senior Minister or Mentor Minister to mentor the young ministers, or at least an Emeritus Minister or his experience and talent would be wasted. Many world leaders would likely take a queue number to seek his advice just like when the ancient was around.
In a short span of a few weeks, Singapore has found three gems among the no talent Singaporeans that are the best or better than the best in the world wide world.
I hope they will discover more of these rare gems among the Singaporeans.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crazy Rich Politicians

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What do you think?
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ministers and MPs were paid 4 months bonuses? Or was it 10 months or more?

According to media reports, Hsien Loong made his reply to questions by Leon Perera ‘who had asked about bonus paid to Cabinet ministers in the last five years in terms of the average total of bonus months, and the highest and lowest total of bonus months paid to an individual minister.’ What was Leon Perera asking? What bonus was he talking about? The term he used is so general. Did he know that there are many kinds of bonuses being paid to the Cabinet ministers eg performance bonus, monthly salary bonus, 13th month bonus, national bonus and a variable component as reported in thenewpaper? So there are at least 5 specific bonuses paid to the Cabinet ministers.

What was Leon Perera asking, all the bonuses paid to the Cabinet ministers or just the performance bonus? I think he is asking for all the bonuses that were paid to the Cabinet ministers, not just the performance bonus.

Hsien Loong’s reply in Parliament was about performance bonus and he said that in the last 5 years ministers got between 3 to 6 months of performance bonus with the average being 4.1 months and a high of 4.5 months in 2015. All the main media that reported on this issue printed in big and bold headlines that the ministers were paid an average of 4.1 months of bonuses and were silent on how many more months of bonuses they were paid in total.

It is thus easy for the public or readers of this news to go away thinking that the ministers only got 4.1 months of bonuses. Is this what Leon Perera wanted to know or he was asking for the total bonuses paid to the ministers, including all kinds of bonuses? If that was his question, why did he not ask Hsien Loong that he wanted to know not just the performance bonus? Maybe he did raise this but not reported in the main media and the issue was closed. No further question.

Roy Ngerng in his article posted in the TRE, including his computation of all the bonuses gave a different figure. In 2014 Roy posted this in his blog thehearttruths.com, ‘But do you know that the prime minister is able to earn up to 26.5 months of pay?

This is what he gets to earn: 12-month pay, 13th month bonus, Up to 1.5 months Annual Variable Component, Up to 12 months national bonus.’

In his latest article posted in the TRE titled ‘Comparing the obscene salaries of our DPM and PM against Singapore’s poor’, Roy posted this:

‘Now, let me calculate the prime minister’s salary for you. He does not get a performance bonus because it is claimed that “there is no one to assess his individual performance”. (Shouldn’t his performance be assessed by you – his boss?)

So, what does he get? He gets 2 times the National Bonus (up to 12 months). Here’s the breakdown. [National Bonus (NB) formula: https://www.psd.gov.sg/docs/default-source/default-document-library/cos2018/annex-b-2017-salary-review-report.pdf]

(1) The base salary of the Singapore prime minister is S$2.2 million.
(2) His 13th-month annual allowance is S$220,000.
(3) Assuming he also gets an annual variable component of 1 month (max 1.5 months), he gets another S$220,000.
(4) The prime minister’s NB is twice as high as the other ministers, so he would have gotten 9 months of NB bonus last year. This would be S$1.65 million. His NB bonus alone is nearly 3 times the salary of the president of the United States.
(5) In total, the prime minister received a total bonus/allowance of at least 10 months.

In total, the Singapore prime minister would have earned at least S$4.29 million. This is nearly 2 times his base salary, and even higher than his base salary of S$3.07 million in 2007.

But this is not even it.

All the ministers also can get an additional Special Variable Payment. There is no stated limit to this payment.’

So, what do you think?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ministerial pay – In the name of transparency and coming clean
The govt organ has come out to debunk the various versions of ministerial pay put up in the social media. In summary, what the social media was saying is that they wanted to know what the ministers were being paid. All the guessing and interpretations, some right, some wrong, some partially right, some partially wrong, is unnecessary if the govt would come out clean, be transparent as they used to shout about, to dispel the half truths due not of intent but lack of official statements.
Yes, there is a formula in the govt website site on the formula recommended by the last ministerial salary review. But the formula did not tell the whole story as the formula and practice did not seem to tally or is perceived so. Why? Simply because the govt is not telling the way it should be. Just come clean and settle this issue once for all and stop the people from guessing and speculating the worse case scenario. When everything is legal and official, there is nothing to hide. When the govt is trying to hide by not telling, it only leads to suspicion and mistrust.
Yes, this is the third time I am saying, parroting the govt, to be transparent, to come clean on the ministerial salary. This means telling the people what the ministers are being paid, not just basic salary and performance bonuses, give the full pay of the ministers, including other appointments like directorship, chairmanship and whatever, as long as it is income to the ministers due to his ministerial appointment. Is this too much to ask for?
Anyone being paid by taxpayers’ money must come clean, be transparent, the fourth time I am saying this, to account and justify for his or her income. This is basic in a democracy, in a country that prides itself that there is no corruption, no abuse of power, everything is legal and TRANSPARENT, nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of, nothing that is illegal, nothing that is funny and unexplainable.
The govt owes it to the people to settle this matter once and for all to kill all the fake news and half truths and mischievous speculations. It is for the good of the govt to make this right once and for all.
What do you think? Would there be more bits and pieces here and there and more half truths than the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
PS. The govt formula for minister’s pay is based on a fixed sum, eg PM’s salary is $2.2m a year based on basic salary, 13th month, a variable component up to 3 months, a performance bonus, up to 3 months and a national bonus from 3 to 6 months.
The PM does not get the performance bonus but can get 6 months of national bonus, ie basic salary +1 +3 +6. Other ministers would get basic salary +1 +3 +3 +3, ie basic salary +10 months. The PM is also supposed to get a basic salary +10 months to give $2.2m a year. A MR4 minister should get $1.1m a year. These are supposed to be max they could get. True, not true?
This looks like it, with a max of $2.2m for the PM and $1.1m for an entry level minister. But this is not the case when the performance bonus can be 4.1 average or more than 3 months. If any of the variable bonus can be more than 3 months, it means the max is not the max. So the max of $2.2m and $1.1m is not the max as provided by the ministerial review committee formula.
So, how many months did they get over the last 5 years. No need to talk about those earlier years before the salary revision.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Singapore - Do less, achieve more
'Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group Annual Meetings in Nusa Dua, Bali, Mr Heng said: "I’m very disappointed to read the Oxfam report ... The report, rather erroneously attributed, measures the performance (of countries) by input and how much money the public sector is spending on education, on healthcare.

"As we know, what really matters to our people is the outcome. It's the health outcome, it's the educational outcome and those are fairly objective measures. So it is important for us to focus on the outcome and not get misled by input measures," he added. ' Quote from CNA

The economists and statisticians have certain ways of understanding an issue. One of the way that is making Heng Swee Kiat and other ministers unhappy is the correlation between input and output. The more you put in, eg money, the better will be the result. This is like paying higher and higher education fees to make sure the education is quality or paying millions if you want above mediocre ministers. You can't blame Heng and his peers for not understanding this relationship. Actually they should know better. They are the living practitioners of more money more results.

But why did Heng think otherwise, that it is not how much you put in but the outcome. The outcome in this case is not how much is being put in 'by the govt'. In this matter, you can spend less and get more, or do less or work less and get better results.

The first believer of this theory is Tharman when he was the Education Minister. He came out with 'teach less and learn more'. The trick is in the details and implementation. And this do less and achieve more catchphrase is gaining popularity. The latest from DBS, ''Bank less, live more" in a way comes from the same kind of reasoning. How about eat less and live well, eat less sugar to live healthier, or pay more sugar tax or water tax? Oops, I digress.

I am also a believer of this theory of doing less and achieve or getting more. I eat less, never full, and somehow feels healthier. I spent less on food, often a $3 meal is enough and still go kicking or running around. On this, never eat until your whole face is rough, rosy and oily. It may give one a wealthy and prosperous look, like towkays, but once lard start to ooze out from your pores and crevices, you are in deep trouble. I know it looks so rich and handsome, the wealthy and succesful look of having a good life, not the scrawny poor look, like a starving grey hound.

I digress again. I may like the do less achieve more catchphrase, but this is only good as a queer theory, an exception. In reality, in practice, it is more input, more output, more money, better quality. If not the ministers would not be asking to be paid in the millions and asking for more, or the universities would not be raising fees to improve their qualities. Same as the MRT, must raise fare to improve quality of service.

Then you ask, why they never say pay less and better quality of work and services? Should give it a try by paying the ministers less and see if the result would be better? Lower train fares, lower medical fees, lower tuition fees in universities, and achieve better results?

Would any minister be shouting, pay less get more? This is a good topic to table in Parliament.

PS. One glaring question. Can daft do less and achieve more? I think super talents can.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Singapore #7 most giving country?
According to British Charities Aid Foundation, Singapore is the 7th most generous countries in the world. What utter rubbish. This is the most biased and unfair poll, from a bunch of ignoramus. They really did not know what they were talking about. The top 3 generous countries were Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. Can you believe this nonsense? Singapore is definitely #1, many many times more generous than any country in the world. #7???? Nonsense.
The criteria used, giving of time, money and helping a stranger. So simplistic terms. This kind of criteria is best to use on individuals, not on a country. But never mind, let’s use these to see how generous Singapore is compares to the other countries.
Helping strangers, do they know that Singapore has been offering thousands of scholarships annually, for at least the last 20 years, to complete strangers, children of other countries, to study in Singapore schools and universities, up to doctoral level? You know how much this costs and how many strangers benefitted from this generous policy? Several billions of dollars and several thousands of students that otherwise would not have world class education. Not generous enough? And this was done at the expense of many Singapore children that have to give up their school and university places for these foreigners and their parents have to cough up their savings, some selling their homes, to pay for their education fees overseas.
And if you think this is not enough, not significant, think of the more than 2 million strangers allowed into Singapore, to take over the jobs of Singaporeans, to steal the lunch of Singaporeans. The 2m may not look big, but it is more than 50% of the Singapore population and to date they are a majority in Singapore. And over the years, several times this number have benefitted and got richer when they come and go, all at the expense of Singaporeans.
And what did the daft but generous Singaporeans do after losing their jobs? They either retired, and got themselves out of the unemployment statistics, or become taxi drivers or security guards, and kidding themselves that these are jobs of choice, freedom, independent, being your own bosses. Ah Q mentality or self delusion or being generous? The latter is not recognized or Singapore would be listed as the most generous country. They probably think Singaporeans are all daft, anything but generous.
The generosity of Singaporeans is at the nationals level, not just a few individuals that happened to be counted. And the policies of being generous are ongoing. It is even institutionalized in free trade agreements like CECA to benefit foreigners most and Singaporeans last and least.
How’s that? Still deserve to be ranked only #7 and not #1? Singaporeans are so generous until they are being regarded as stupid, daft, giving away so much but not recognized. Singapore and Singaporeans deserve a Nobel Peace Prize for their generosity in helping others, strangers and suffering in silence, becoming jobless and becoming taxi drivers and security guards while foreigners are allowed to come in and take on top jobs paying hundreds of thousands of dollars or millions of dollars. And the official excuse, these are jobs that Singaporeans did not want to do or have no experience of skill sets to do. Only third world people have the required qualifications, experience and skills sets to do these high paying jobs, with dubious and even degree mills degrees.
Daft Singaporeans must protest to this unfair ranking of Singaporeans. The ministers must also object to this ranking. Singaporeans must be number One, no less.
PS. On record Singapore must have provided scholarship and educated a few thousand students all over Asia and given jobs to several millions of the jobless from Asia. If this is not generous, what is? Which country could do better to look after foreigners at the expense of its own citizens?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go Jek going to operate in Singapore’s tiny market
The Singapore market, be it taxi driving or mobile phone, is really a very small market. Once you have two or 3 players, it would be saturated with the market share split by the few players. Why would Go Jek be so keen to enter the market after Uber and Grab, that have already been acquired? The answer is in the mobile phone business model. There was once only one operator with 100 percent market share. Then they opened up the market under the so called open leg policy, liberalization, to allow Uber and Grab to come in, in the mobile phone market they allowed M1 and Starhub to come in. And as expected, the market share was split.
The once only one operator then strangely realized that its market share was diluted by the new operators. This was bad and it needed to regain its market share, the whole market share. So what should it do? Buy up the new operators offering them a Singapore Premium to divest their investment in Singapore. And lo behold, the only one operator now had regained all its market share again, albeit after coughing out hundreds of millions of OPM. And the new operators took their prize money, pat their backsides, and laughed all the way to the bank.
Go Jek is jumping in, likely to follow this same successful formula. All it needs is to gain market share, even if at a loss. It would only need to hold on for a few years for the one and only operator to wake up to realize that its market share has been diluted again. And in panic mode it would decide to buy up Go Jek at a premium. And Go Jek would happily give up everything to exit the market, with a huge Singapore Premium. The only and only operator would again have the whole market share.
Why is this possible? Very simple. When one is holding a lot of OPM and needs to invest to be seen to do something, and if one has no idea on how to start a business, the easiest and most convenient way to show some results is to buy up another apparently successful company with a tested business model. The Singapore entrepreneurial story is about buying businesses without having to start one. It is not easy to start a new business and to be profitable when one has no idea how to start a business, without any business experience except some text book knowledge or knowledge from irrelevant industries or occupation.
After Uber and Grab, here comes Go Jek. And soon Go Jek will come to pass. And Go Jek will not be the last corporate raider in this sense. Many will come, to set up companies waiting to be bought over. Any company will do, no need high tech or high thinking. Kopitiam also can. The next target will be the share bike business. Some clever business entrepreneurs without entrepreneurial experience are eagerly waiting on the sideline, waiting for the right moment to buy up the bike sharing business, and pay the standard Singapore Premium to go with it. And the bike sharing companies could happily exit the market and laugh all the way to the bank, pocketing the OPM that has no owners.
This is Singapore’s entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial business model to buy and run a business.
Why invite outsiders to come in to steal a market share and then to buy it back?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MRT - Another stupidity has no cure thing



'Like travelers at airports, MRT commuters will be required to walk through a metal detector and put their belongings through X-ray scanners. Security officers at MRT stations will soon also be equipped with handheld metal detectors to scan commuters.
Such security equipment was first deployed at emergency exercises in Feb this year. According to a senior LTA official who spoke to TODAY, it took an estimated eight to ten minutes to organise and clear each commuter, before they were allowed to go through the fare gates.'

The above quote is from theindependent on the 6 month security check trial by the MRT. I am not going to discuss the rationale and goodness of this exercise. I am just amazed by the decision based on the numbers to contend with. Imagine that commuters take more than 2m trips daily. If each commuter were to take 10 minutes before going through the gates, this would mean 20m minutes of time needed to clear each commuter. Let's convert this to hours, ie 20,000,000/60 or more than 3 million hours would be needed or wasted.

Ok, MRT is not going to put the trial on every station, just 6 stations at a time. How many passengers would be affected? How much time would be needed for each commuter to add to their travelling time? Assuming this is conducted in off peak hours, with this kind of delay, every commuter is likely to be in a queue of at least 20 people. This would mean having to wait for 200 minutes before clearing. Does t make sense?

Then look at the problem during peak hours. The queue could easily be a 100 people at least and building up very quickly. If one is in a 100 man queue and each one takes 10 minutes to clear the gate, that would mean a 1,000 minute wait. This is more than 16 hours of waiting time to get through the gate.

I think if this is going to be the case, MRT should make an announcement to warn commuters that travelling time will be longer, and they need to start their journey one day ahead to be sure of getting to their destination on time.

Perhaps MRT could foresee this problem and cut the clearing time by half, ie 5 minutes. It would still take 8 hours at least, during peak hours, to clear through a gate. Of course I am calculating this only on paper and it may not be accurate plus and minus a few hours.

What do you think?

Some nitwits may say it can be done at the airports, why not the trains? Go figure. If you can add 1+1=2, you will not be too far off.

PS. If 10 gates are reduced to one gate, even without the screening, the stations would not be able to cope. With this screening process added on, how long would be the queue?
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