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corporate governance and misplaced trust
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is Singapore playing Santa Claus again?
Temasek was reported to have set up panel of advisers for the Americas and Europe with the biggest names that money can buy. In the ST on 17 June, it reported, ‘The Temasek Americas Advisory Panel(TAAP), …has seven members, including PepsiCo chairman and chief executive Indra Nooyi, Honeywell Internation chairman and CEO David Cote, and former US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner,…former DuPont chairman and CEO Ellen Kullman, online education platform Coursera CEO Richard Levin, Mr Ronald Sugar, former chairman and CEO of defence giant Northrop Grumman, and former chairman and CEO of agribusiness Bunge, Mr Alberto Weisser.
The report also said Temasek had set up an European Advisory Panel in January but did not name the panelists, presumably also high powered who’s who in Europe. Temasek has big investments in these continents and needed good advices that money can buy. And these eminent people would not serve for free and would definitely be paid handsomely. I am presuming of course. They may be doing charity for Temasek by asking for peanuts and being in the Panels would be a great honour itself that is more rewarding in non monetary terms. It is more likely and realistic that such high powered people would not spare their precious time for free. The big question is how much?
How many of such Panels have been set up world wide and hopefully the returns are worth it. A better panel to pay for would be membership to the illuminati if money can buy membership to this cloak and dagger mysterious organization.
Has Singapore become a better and economically more sound in the management of its economy and hundreds of billions of dollars of investments? Or Singapore is still throwing money at anything that moves? How many of the failed bankers and financial professionals made redundant after the subprime and world financial crisis have landed here and given lucrative jobs, with Singapore being the Santa Claus in another form? The number of academics flooding the academic and non academic institutions in Singapore and the money paid to them is no small change. What is the return or benefit to Singapore for spending so much of the public’s money on such academics? Are they worth the money spent? Or they are just like hobbies to be collected to boost one’s ego, that we have so many trophies to wave around?
Would be good if this is discussed in Parliament, to conduct an audit and to assess if it is money well spent? Does Singapore have a bottomless pit of gold that we can just keep sharing with the rest of the world just to feel good?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Kodak Moment – A management case study
The Kodak Moment was once the triumph of Kodak Eastman Color, one of the top successful corporations of the US and the world. It was successively used and identified with Kodak and every photographer knew what a Kodak Moment meant. Today the Kodak Moment is history. It is instead used as a case study in business schools to tell the story of how a very successful company failed to acknowledge all the signs of its impending fall, ignoring the challenges and kept marching arrogantly forward, alone, when the forces of the competition are going against to put an end to what it is doing.
Kodak Eastman Color had seen all the signs of its downfall but chose to ignore them, denied their existence, tried to sweep them under the carpet, and pretended that all was well. Well, all was not well. When things were wrong, they were wrong.
Are there Kodak Moment in our midst, when all the signs are bad, pointing in one direction, the end? And the people responsible, like the top management of Kodak, chose to ignore, to look the other way, to do more silly things thinking that the problem would go away? The problems did not go away, Kodak went away, together with its top management. Kodak Eastman Color is now history when it once controlled 90% of the photography film industry.
We have a glaring Kodak Moment in the stock market. Everything is going wrong. All the bad signs are there. All the wrong things being done to wreck the stock market like the CDOs in the subprime crisis. And those responsible are ignoring them like Kodak, not wanting to know, turning to look another way, and tried very hard to do more silly things, hoping everything would turn out well or for as long as they could hold before the roof fell on them.
The fall of Lehman Bros during the subprime crisis was also another great example of a Kodak Moment. They just did not want to know what were going wrong. By not acknowledging them, by not talking about them, there was no problem at all. But Murphy’s Law would come back to kick them real hard, that what can go wrong, or already went wrong, would fall apart below their feet.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGX outage – a positive perspective, just think everything is fine
The stock exchange was out of business for more than five hours yesterday, the system was down and no trading for the whole afternoon session starting from 11.38 am due to some system fault. And as usual there were a lot of hue and cry by the remisier community. This is only natural as the down time would affect their income. So SGX please bear with the noises. Luckily no one is thinking of suing the SGX for loss of income. Half a day got no business can be very serious especially when the income is already down to $1,000 pm. How to make ends meet? For those contra players that incurred losses as a result of the outage, just too bad, bear with it. The system cannot be perfect, sure got problems now and then. Nonetheless as reported in the Mypaper, ‘Frustration and disappointment gripped the trading floor, as remisiers took calls from anxious clients.’ What to do?
Oh, Jimmy Ho, President of Remisiers Society, don’t say this is unacceptable leh. Cool man. It is definitely acceptable. Hear this…
The most sensible comment came from David Gerald, SIAS Ceo. This was what he said and quoted in the Mypaper. ‘As I understand, duplicate trades are not problems unique to SGX…The trading halt is necessary in the interest of investors and to allow brokers to reconcile the positions.’ I must say this is true. With so many trades done, the brokers need time and better a lunch break to reconcile their positions. Now they have to wait for outages to do such a chore. So when there is no outage, I wonder how are they going to cope with their businesses and reconciliations? Really jialat. How nice to have lunch breaks to do reconciliation when they are so busy and cannot cope with the hectic trading.
David Gerald was also quoted in the Today paper saying, ‘Singapore is not the only financial centre where this sort of thing happens. It has and is happening in the American and European markets, as well as in Hong Kong and Japan,…Investors must understand that this is one of the risks they have to take in this market, like investors in the overseas market understand this risk well.’
I hear hear this kind of comments also feel shiok already. This is normal lah, so don’t get over excited. Boon Wan should also tell the critics of train breakdown that it is normal and common. So many trains running for so many hours, having a few breakdowns are normal mah. And when got breakdowns, can use breakdown time for repairs and maintenance and fault findings.
Quietly I said to myself, heng ah, that fella is no more around. Wonder what he would say if he could get up again. I think he would have to get use to new normal. Making mistake is ok. Only one question that I am unable to reconcile, why pay people millions to make mistakes? Maybe I will find time to reconcile this contradiction in the next outage.
And Kenneth J, hold your horses man. ‘Trading outages damage Singapore Stock Exchange’s reputation?’ It would not lah. The outages are normal lah. Everywhere also got outages. Not to worry, not to worry. Peace, peace. Everything is fine, will be fine.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

3 big banks, DBS, UBS and Stanchart, serious lapses in AML
I can expect the foreign banks to be involved in money laundering activities as many have been charged in the US and fined by the billions. It is looking like the main business of many big banks, to make big money to be paid big bucks. Were UBS and Stanchart also fined in the US for such ‘lapses’, not intentional money laundering? Anyone can confirm this?
DBS is as good as the national bank and to be found with anti money laundering lapses is a big surprise. It cannot be and definitely cannot be intentional. It must be due do some low level staff’s carelessness. DBS would never get stuck in this kind of shit. DBS would be the one setting the standard for everyone to follow, the flag bearer of Singapore, the cleanest and most incorruptible country in Asia.
I can swear DBS is clean and blameless. I have seen how it operates and have attended AML classes umpteen times, at least twice a year to remind us, little boys on the floor to be aware of money laundering activities. Anyone making payments of more than ten or twenty thousand dollars in cash would have to make a statement to declare where the money came from.
Here we are talking about millions, hundreds of millions. How can there be lapses for such big sums of money passing through the banks for so long and no one noticed, no one escalated this to higher management? The external parties transferring such monies must be very sophisticated to be undetected. They are professional money launderers, so cannot blame the bank staff. I am sure they have done their best and would have gone through intensive training on anti money laundering and would have known one if they saw one.
Trust DBS would do all the right things to check on money laundering. Not to be alarmed. Everything is fine. It happened everywhere, in every big banks, in UBS, in Stanchart and in many big banks in the US and Europe. It is part of the business risk in the industry. We are so lucky this is the first time it happened. I am sure nothing of this would ever happen again. All the holes would be plucked.
My only reservation is that little people like us would have to attend many many more AML courses to make sure we know what is money laundering and check on our clients closely, to know our clients well. We will make very sure that our little clients would not be involved in money laundering at our low level, at ground zero.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More transparency on the cheating under CHAS and PG card schemes

Would our MPs be asking more questions for more transparency and accountability in the cheat cases by medical and dental clinics? Or would it be that the question and answer session is over and everyone can go home and have a good sleep? Case aired in Parliament and case closed? How much have been claimed, how much have been cheated or falsely claimed by the clinics have yet to be established.

If people can be tarred and branded for life for a few dollars of indiscretion, what about the hundreds of thousands being pilfered from these two schemes? As Seah Kian Peng said, it is public money and a lot of public money at stake.

A few questions came to mind, what is the total amount of claims made by these
clinics since the scheme came into effect? How much were supposed to be subsidies? Can we have some numbers? Calling a few patients up to verify what kind of treatment they received in some suspicious cases would easily reveal the seriousness and pervasiveness of this scam.

How much public money have been wasted or cheated under the CHAS and PG
card schemes? Anyone think this is important enough to know?

All my rotten teeth can bear witness for nothing was done do them to improve their condition and well being. I am not accusing anyone of wrongdoings, but some verifications like audit checks on the patients, on what they were treated and the claims made on their behalf would remove all the doubts and expose any wrongdoing. Too difficult to do, not enough manpower? Don’t make aunty angry again.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Money laundering the most lucrative banking business
The big American and European banks are making really big money in money laundering and fraudulent banking practices or selling questionable derivatives and products. Money laundering seems to be the most profitable business for many banks. And they have been fined handsomely by the US Federal Courts to the tune of billions. The total came to US$150b by some 10 big banks, including BoA, Citi, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, BNP, Deutsche, Credit Suisse, UBS, Barclay and HSBC to name a few.
These banks are willing to pay the fines happily, for good reasons, as none of their CEOs were found guilty, or would be found guilty, or made accountable for the offences. The banks continue to run as per normal, and so were the employments of the CEOs, all sitting tight and happily as if nothing had happened. Surely they did not know the banks were involved in money laundering. With such latitude, would they be back to their monkey businesses again? There don’t seem to be any accountability or responsibility. It is business as usual and the banks are going to continue to make more monies laundering more money and selling fraudulent derivative products.
Actually the biggest winner of all the bank fraud is none other than the US Govt. They pocketed US$150 billion practically doing nothing, and doing something very legal. How many businesses can make this kind of profit with nearly zero cost? Is there a conspiracy between the Federal Court/US Govt and the big banks, with the banks allowed to do what is profitable but illegal but willing to pay the fines and the courts to enrich the US Govt’s coffer, like I scratch your back you scratch mine?
Who are the big gainers and who are the big losers in this game of money laundering? What a great game to play for the CEOs of these big banks. No responsibility when caught, only pay fines. If not caught, can chalk up big profits to justify big bonuses.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AGO’s report on lapse in recovering university loans
The two universities, NUS and NTU granted several million dollars of loans to mainly Singapore students whose parents could not afford to pay for the cheap tuition fees that are already highly subsidized. In the AGO’s report where it did some sample tests, it discovered that the recovery of student loans in 23% of the cases were delayed by 3.5 years, ie student unable, could not or somehow did not repay the loans in time. MOE has responded that it is working hard to recover the loans but in some hardship cases it has to delay or reduce the repayment sum.
What does it mean, young university graduates in hard times and unable to service their student loans? Were they not gainfully employed after graduation? Is there a problem that young university graduates are facing financial hardship and unable to repay their loans in time?
There was a time when getting into university was something that called for great joy and celebration, on the path to riches. And on graduation, crossing the last hurdle, life was supposed to be good. Today, on graduation is the time to face disappointments in getting a job, don’t bother about getting a good job. Some were unable to get jobs over a year, some graduates ended up working as temp workers! There is nothing to celebrate about on graduation.
Some thought they got to do better, went on to get a masters degree only to be more disappointed after wasting the money and time, unable to find a decent job. What is going on?
Nevermind, this is the new life of a graduate. What is more disheartening, actually I thought it was a good thing that students were helped by the universities with study loans. On second thought they would be better off if they were foreigners, being helped in a big way by the same govt, with free scholarships, no need to pay back, no need to worry about loans in arrears or rescheduling loans. How lucky are these foreign undergraduates. And how unlucky are our own undergraduates. Should not they wish that they were not citizens of this country?
By the way, how many billions were thrown to the foreign students in scholarships? Why no one think this money should be given to our own children? Why no one think this should be raised in Parliament, that out taxpayers’ money must be given to the taxpayers’ children, not to children of people that we have nothing to do about, who did not pay any taxes to us? Why are chasing after loans that the students cannot afford to repay while foreigners had a free ride with free scholarships?
Stupidity has no cure. Or is it more than stupidity?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AGO versus AHPETC
Recently the pages of the main media have been filled with reports from the AGO’s office and PriceWaterhouse about the lapses in the civil service and AHPETC. I think both are great readings for those who are wondering what is happening to this exceptional island. I must confess that other than the headlines, I did not bother to read more than one paragraph of the reports. I know what they are and where they are coming. I know the agenda and motives, oops, shouldn’t use such politically incorrect words. Let me rephrase, I know the content and objectives of these reports.
My question, which of the revelations is more important, the AGO’s or the KPMG's report? My impression, judging from what I saw and read, with Shanmugam appearing in the media and on TV, he is looking every inch iike the oracle, in style and delivery, the one that is more important is the AHPETC. Why so? Because no other minister, not even Shanmugam, appeared to be furious about the findings of the AGO reports. Some ministers even tried to explain that these were nothing to have sleepless night over them. They are just normal, it happened everywhere, in every country, just like the outages of SGX. Nothing to worry about really.
What about the AHPETC, is it also normal, happened everyhere? Administrative lapses, mismanagement, failure to do the due diligence, lackadaisical attitude, these are common in big organisations, cannot be avoided. Luckily we have stringent control mechanism in place and the scourge of corruption is not there. Here is the big difference. Nowhere in the whole world would you find an elected MP being made to run a town council, to be responsible to run a town council just to prove that they are suitable to run a govt. Not sure if Hillary or Donald Trump have had this experience to be the President of the USA. So, one cannot say that it happened everywhere and is normal. It only happened in Singapore in AHPETC, so it cannot be normal. And since it is not normal, it must be serious.
Please feel free to disagree with me. I think my age is getting into me and my standard of good and efficient management has changed over time. Ageing process? Maybe it is the air, the haze, or the Newater I have been drinking, too much shit in the head and affecting my vision and thinking.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AHPETC saga is ongoing – What is the point?
I don’t know and don’t really care. Any impact on the parties involved, on the residents managed by the town council? Plenty! The WP would be so tied up with the ongoings that not only they would be so frustrated, agitated but also got no time for anything else. They would be spending a lot of their time and energy answering to the other party and trying to take defensive measures, preparing and wondering what would be next coming. The other party has all the resources to sit on the matter, keep digging, keep asking, till the cow comes home, or till the next GE, hopefully the WP would be no more.
What about cost? How many man hours, how many professional hours would be charged to the affair? And who would be paying for it? The WP or the residents?
I hope the charges and fees would not be coming out from the residents, from their fees and charges paid to the town council, from the reserves in the town council. But I think it would come from the residents as the WP are managing the town council and the people’s fund and any cost would likely be paid officially from the town council fund as they are working in the official capacity as town council management..
As the unending saga continues, like the fairy tales of the unending story, would the town council be bankrupt at the end of the story? If so, who should be responsible for this sorry state of affair? Never mind the incapacitating of the WP, with little time left to perform their duty as town council managers and as MPs in Parliament. Tsk, tsk, tsk….
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGX, where got elephant in the room?
Goh Eng Yeow wrote a piece titled ‘SGX, where have all the investors gone?’ in the ST on 24 Oct. This is a surprising question to ask today as if it just happened. Remember all the good news when Bockers came on board, that with all the foreign big players, including the algo traders, liquidity would be all time high and broking houses could expect to do great business. He even invested $250m on a new high speed super computer for SGX to prepare for the big volume of trading transactions that it was supposed to handle. There were great promises of a highly strung stock exchange and smiling faces every where.
What is happening today, broking houses trying to break even, remisiers quitting the business, unable to chalk up even commission to pay for overheads, and the dearth of investors? And the best part, no one knows what is wrong with the stock market. Everyone in a state of denial. Everything is fine, just fine, nothing to worry about. This is the new normal.
What is happening, what is happening? Now who is asking what is happening, everything is fine, really, tomorrow will be better. We have seen worst, went through many crises, not to worry, SGX shall overcome.
This is what Goh Eng Yeow concluded in his piece, ‘No doubt it is now also facing big challenges in finding new ways to draw back the investing crowd. But I have no doubt that it will persevere and succeed. That must be the fervent hope of remisiers sitting out the trading drought.’ I would like to type HOPE in big capital letters. Not to worry, after the darkest night, the sun will surely rise.
Did anyone see the elephant in the room? No, the market is weak because of external factors, the world economy is slowing, China is slowing down, and what else? Still in a state of denial, refusing to see the elephant? This time the crisis is for real. No amount of monkeying around will do any good until the elephant is removed.
How about having more courses, diplomas, degrees, master degrees and Ph Ds for stock brokings? When we have so well trained and qualified remisiers to help investors to trade, definitely the market will boom. Let’s train more Ph D remisiers. It will sure help, if not improving the liquidity, at least the remisiers can print Ph Ds in their name cards and call themselves investment specialists. Never mind if they are still earning less than $2000 a month.
Any suckers want to acquire a Ph D or Masters degree in stockbroking? Plenty of courses available, to earn $2,000 pm or less.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sue the stock exchange
OK I must be careful here. When I said sue the stock exchange I am referring to the NYSE, not SGX. SGX is the best stock exchange in Asia, maybe the best in the world, with excellent governance, good checks and balance system in place, good people in charge, the best money can buy, and with a lot of stringent monitoring and controls to make sure everything is fine, and no donkey or monkey business, no foul or fraudulent practices allowed. Investors playing in the SGX are so blessed to be investing in the safest and best regulated stock market in the world.
OK let me return to the NYSE. The people managing this stock market must be sued till their pants dropped and be put behind bars for mismanaging the stock market and allowed all kinds of frauds and fraudulent practices in the system and pretending that all is ok, legal and good practices. How can it be ok when the stock market is turned into a casino?
Let me just briefly list a few things that the stock exchange did. Bringing in IPOs from countries far far away that they have no effective control and no means of taking legal measures against fly by night companies and allowing such operators to cheat the innocent investors of their hard earned monies. These half baked companies were allowed to list, to take the money from IPOs and then let the companies collapse and the investors losing their pants. And the stock exchange just look the other way, appearing so innocent, not their business, you play with your eyes open while they pocketed the listing fees. They would not take responsibilities for allowing snake oil salesmen selling fly by night companies to list. Not their problem. They did not do anything wrong, not just one case but hundreds of similar cases, and the poor investors left to lick their wounds, money gone. This is crime against the innocent.
What about algo and computer trading, high speed trading? These buggers were allowed to take advantage of their super computers, to even locate their computers next to the exchange to be nearer and faster, to trade against the innocent investors. Such unfair practices, uneven playing field, are accepted as normal, nothing wrong, fair practices? Aren’t these cheatings? Why are the innocent public investors being made to play in a stock exchange that was rigged against them and the stock exchange management proudly claimed that there was nothing wrong? Unfair practices, unfair advantages and nothing wrong? OK, I never said the exchange was rigged. I only repeat what the western media and experts were saying.
Is the stock exchange supposed to provide a level playing field, ensure fair practices, ensure that everyone has a fair and even chance to trade and make or lose money? Why are the supercomputers allowed to trade against ill equipped ordinary people? Fair? Where is the fairness, where is the justice when small investors are cheated or taken advantage of by the computer traders?
And there are many many advantages that the computer traders have over the small investors and the stock exchange management just closed an eye and said nothing wrong. The computer traders with their super computers are allowed, legally sanctioned to do what they are doing by the stock exchange!
Now, should not the American public sue the stock exchange and the management and send them behind bars? Difficult, because many senators and congressmen and women are in some way paid to shut up and not to look at the crimes committed against the small investors.
Surely there must be some righteous and honourable senators and congressmen and women that would be willing to take up this injustice in the stock exchange, to protect the interest of the American public, the small investors, from fraud and malpractices. No? no fraud, no malpractices?
Who is bluffing who? When rights and wrongs are brushed aside and ignored, it is time for the American stock exchange to collapse. The rot is at the top, at the management of the stock exchange, including the government. They must be sued and justice brought to bear on them.
Save the small investors and the stock exchange. Why are the Americans living in such ignorance and being cheated without protesting when they are so good at suing? They have many very clever lawyers to frame the charges to bring the crooks managing the exchange to justice.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Benjamin Lim - barking up the wrong tree?

Below is an extract from a CNA report on 7 Jan 17.

SINGAPORE: From April 2017, young suspects below the age of 16 under criminal investigation will be accompanied by a grown-up during interviews under a new Appropriate Adult Scheme for Young Suspects (AAYS) announced by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday (Jan 6).
The Appropriate Adults (AAs) will be independent, trained volunteers whose job at police interviews will be to look out for signs of distress as well as aiding communication and providing emotional support. They must remain neutral and not advocate for the young suspect, nor provide legal advice or disrupt the course of justice in any way....

On whether young people would benefit from having a neutral adult present at interviews, he said: "You have to balance between having to interview quickly in order to make sure there's no information leakage, and the need to consider whether it's helpful for a 12- or 13-year-old to have someone else present at a police station ... Regardless of how the police treats him, he's still in uniform."

The initiative comes in the wake of 14-year-old Benjamin Lim’s suicide in January 2016, after he underwent a police investigation over alleged molestation.

The impression I have after reading all the reports in the media about how the school officials and police officers handled Benjamin Lim's case, is that there was absolutely no issue at all. There were a lot of tender loving care shown to Benjamin, everyone was so kind and caring, so sensitive, and there was no undue pressure on Benjamin. My conclusion is that this amendment may be superfluous and an over reaction. When Benjamin was handled professionally by all the trained professionals, following proper procedures and protocols, and with kindness, consideration, and above all, sensitivity, anything that was wrong should not be on the part of the police protocol. The amendment is kind of an over reaction, an after thought that may not be really necessary. Some may label it populist. Or have they found some reasons to do?

There is a saying that if things are not wrong, don't try to fix it. Fix it only when it is wrong.

And the police were not in uniform in the school, that helped except that maybe one or two police officers would be less intimidating on a child. It is good that Shanmugam acknowledged the point that police in uniform is intimidating to a child, but not in Benjamin's case. Only in the police station that the police were in uniform. Maybe the amendment could include police not to be in uniform when handling cases involving children.

The appointment of a trained volunteer to look for signs of stress sounds proper and would be right if the police protocol and procedure are intimidating to young people. But were these present in Benjamin's case that led to his stress level and eventual suicide? Any meaningful linkage? If I remember, it was reported that Benjamin did not show any sign of stress at all. What I thought would be more appropriate in the case of children is to have someone close to him, like parents whom he is comfortable with, to provide the emotional and psychological support needed in such situation. Another stranger that the child does not know could hardly be reassuring to the child, and could add more pressure instead.

Which is more important, to look out for signs of stress or to provide the child with some sense of security, that he is not alone, and the parents are there with him? In the latter case, there will definitely be lesser stress than in the former case that could add to the stress level.

Shanmugam also pointed out that the police were very sensitive in Benjamin's case and suicide is more a case of the individual.

Oh, the MOE also introduced new measures to protect school children when investigated by the police, like being accompanied by teacher, counsellor or someone from the school.

No one deem it right, necessary and important for the parents of a child to be present. Why? Can a stranger in whatever profession be good enough in such cases? Touch your heart.

I hope Benjamin and his family could be comforted that his death is not in vain and the new measures would prevent other children from going through the same ordeal as Benjamin and no more Benjamin will fall in the future.

What do you think?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NTU to remove Chinese words in foodcourt signages
Below is a post in All Singapore Stuff on the removal of Chinese signages in NTU.
‘Food stall vendors in the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) are complaining about a new management regulation that is trying to force them to remove Chinese wordings on their signboards.
According to Chinese newspapers, the food court, North Spine Food Court, is managed by Select Group.

Vendors told reporters that they had received instructions from the management to remove Chinese wordings from their signboards by end August. Many stall vendors were unhappy with the change as the university has strong cultural ties with Chinese students.

However, many vendors said that they would comply with the instructions as they did not want to strain relations wit the management.’

What? NTU does not allow Chinese words in its premises? What is NTU? Nanyang Technological University! What was it before? Nantah or Nanyang University, a Chinese university built by the Chinese community to provide Chinese education to their children. To think that Chinese words cannot be put up in the foodcourt except English is outrageous. What is happening? Who decided on this ruling? Does the person know the history of Nantah? Who is this person? A Singaporean or a foreigner?

The same matter has been reported in the Straits Times and a Professor Kwok Kian Woon, the Associate Provost has come out to explain that this was a misunderstanding. A misunderstanding or not wanting to understand? He said, ‘NTU would like to assure everyone that Chinese can be used in the signage in its foodcourts, as long as the same information is also displayed in English for the benefit of non Chinese.’ What is this nonsense? Is there anywhere in Singapore where one has to put up a Chinese signage, the condition is that it must also be accompanied by English or else not allowed? When is this ruling implemented in Singapore, in NTU? Who set this ruling?

Chinese is an official language in Singapore. Why should there be restriction or condition for its use? ‘The issue was not limited to the foodcourt. Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao reported yesterday that Prime supermarket, at North Spine Plaza, was told by NTU it could not have Chinese promotional signs displayed inside the supermarket. The foodcourt is located in the plaza.’ Is this also another misunderstanding? How can such a serious and unacceptable ruling be made without anyone in NTU objecting to it? How can this be a misunderstanding?

What is happening to NTU? What is happening to Singapore? Tan Siah Kwee, President of the Chinese Calligraphy Society of Singapore said, also reported in the Straits Times, ‘that removing signs that had Chinese words on them “would not be acceptable at all”.’ Now, what would the Chinese Chamber of Commerce got to say about this? What would the Chinese Clans say about this? What have the Ministers of Education got to say about this? What has the Prime Minister got to say about this? Is having Chinese signage unconstitutional?

I suggest a Ministerial Committee be set up to find out why was this thing happening in NTU. Is it a misunderstanding? If not, the culprit must be made to answer for it. What is wrong with having Chinese signages in a university which has its roots in Chinese education? What is wrong with having Chinese signages in Singapore? Too many foreigners in charge?

Are we back to the Suharto era in Indonesia? My God, I almost faint reading this news. I feel so violated! This is Singapore isn't it, where Chinese is an official language and the language of the majority of its citizens. What has become of my country?

What would be next?
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 13465
Location: singapore

PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is nothing wrong with Singapore being pro Americans
Singapore or any country is constantly being pressured by circumstances to make choices especially in its relations with the big powers and with its neighbours. These are realities that Singapore has to live with and ignoring them blindly would court disasters to the country and people.
Singapore for many years has been sleeping with the Americans for good reasons. No need to explain this further. The problem facing Singapore today is the increasing demands by the Americans in their quest for world domination, to control the world by creating trouble spots all over the world. As long as the rest of the world is in trouble and bogged down by conflicts, these countries would not be a threat to the American hegemony and even have to depend on the Americans for mercies. This is the American game plan.
As such, Singapore has increasingly being dragged into the deep end and increasingly losing its own bearing and control of its own future. Singapore’s neutrality and national interest have been compromised by the Americans. Singapore is being cornered to become enemies of Americans’ enemies and unable to extricate itself from the quicksand. The Americans are very happy to be squeezing Singapore by its balls.
The earlier position of Singapore balancing between the big powers is past. Singapore no longer has this privilege to balance especially in its relations with China and the US. Though Singapore has been spurting about not being influenced by foreign powers, the overwhelming influence by the Americans on Singapore’s policies and decision is stark and very unfavourable to Singapore.
There is nothing wrong with Singapore being closely allied to the Americans. The caveat, it must not be compromised to become an American stooge and make enemies of China and Russia or neighbouring countries. Singapore must tell the Americans that there are certain positions that it must not take. It is like freedom. Singapore’s freedom or alignment with the Americans goes as far as it does not harm its relations with other countries or compromise the interest of other countries. The Americans, if they valued Singapore as a friend, an ally, must give space for Singapore to navigate in turbulent waters.
Singapore must not think that it has no leverage against the Americans and must be beholden to the Americans and do the will of the Americans. The Americans have no friends in the region. Many of the regional countries have fundamental differences with the Americans and American way of life in being Muslim countries. These countries are not reliable as long term allies of the Americans. Singapore is the only exception that can be closed to the Americans and be durable friends provided the Americans did not fixed Singapore to a point that it is forced to make a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea.
The Americans need Singapore more than Singapore needs the Americans. The Americans need Singapore to protect their interest in the region, to protect their Empire and to rule the world. Without Singapore, the Americans would not have a secure foothold in the region to promote their interests and project American power.
This is the bargaining chip for Singapore. Singapore can be good to the Americans but the Americans must also be good to Singapore and allowed Singapore room to breathe. Silly Singaporeans that chose to bury themselves together with the Americans and to become enemies of other countries are short sighted and dangerous. The future of Singapore is to be as neutral as possible while aligning with the Americans. Once Singapore forgot this basic principle, it is asking for its own irrelevance in being an important player in the region.
Would Singapore make itself relevant or allowed the Americans to make it irrelevant in realpolitik? Who is really influencing and pressurizing Singapore against Singapore’s interests? Some daft and shallow thinking Singaporeans would want Singapore to become little USA thinking that sitting on the shoulder of an evil Empire would allow them to talk like an arrogant spoilt brat. This is a very dangerous position for Singapore to take and has no room to escape when things turned bad.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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Location: singapore

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What, US$10 billion only?
The Malaysian govt is conducting an inquiry into the forex losses by the central bank in the 1990s. What is amusing is that the former assistant governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid was quoted as saying, ‘After I gave him the explanation, Anwar commented that should the true figures of the forex losses be revealed to the public, he would have to resign as finance minister.’
What, a finance minister would have to resign all because the central bank lost US$10 billion in forex trading? How can? Firstly the trading was not done or conducted by the finance minister but by professional traders and bank managers. Why should the finance minister be held responsible and had to resign?
Secondly, the trading personnel were just doing their jobs, though coming up losers, they were honest mistakes. Any fund managers would have such bad days and lost their pants once or several times in their life time. They are doing everything legally and professionally. Why should anyone be held responsible for the loss and of all the people, the finance minister?
Thirdly, it is rare to have fund managers with such experience, losing billions. The experience is invaluable and should be seen as a credit, not that it is something to gloat about. At least such experienced people, very rare to come by, would know how to avoid making the same mistakes again. They are invaluable. They should be promoted and given bigger bonuses to retain them in the banks. The experience is paid by a heavy price. Even if they cannot perform any better, they can be paraded around as living examples of people that lost billions for the country, people that lost the country’s national reserves.
Fourthly, if someone is to answer for the losses, pick a scapegoat at the lower level management. QED.
Fifthly, this happened in the 1990s, over, passé, why bother to bring this up again? This is water under the bridge. It is time to move on.
The Malaysian govt cannot be accused of wanting to make use of this incident to gain political mileage and to slaughter a few political enemies right? What is US$10 billion? Peanuts!
Sixthly, where is the mirror? Look into the mirror for the bigger culprit.
The daft Americans have sacked the Commander of the US 7th Fleet, Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, for the two accidents involving American destroyers. How stupid can the Americans be when the Commander was not driving the destroyers directly but sleeping in his office in HQ? He has nothing to do with the accidents. Just sack the Commanders of the destroyers would do. And to think about it, a Japanese Commander would have committed hara kiri in similar incidents.
So impractical, so daft. They would lose all their talents doing such silly things. Or no one would want to be commanders when they are held responsible for the mistakes of their subordinates.
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