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corporate governance and misplaced trust
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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Location: singapore

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Redbean’s Art of Management
Many are familiar with such concepts like Murphy’s Law, Peter’s Principles, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I have just had an enlightened and would like to share with everyone about a new management doctrine or principle while I proudly claimed and called Redbean’s Art of Management.
The basis of this management doctrine is derived from age old practices, culling from the great religions, the essence of their teachings and why they are so popular with the people. It is all about the promise that everything would be alright in the future. You see, all great religions promise a great future, a glorious future waiting for the believers if they believe. Great religions don’t want to talk about the trouble and pain the believers are suffering in the present. Some even claimed that the pain today is good and part of the process to reap the rewards in the future. Suffer now, never mind, the future is good, must be good, very good.
In a way the religions are deceiving the people into forgetting their present sufferings and pains and hope, and hope that the promised future is really good. In the long run, everything is good, or the prophets of good future would be dead anyway. No wonder Mao Zedong called religion the opiate of the people.
Putting this great stuff from the religions into management principles is akin to applying Sun Tzu’s Art of War to management. Redbean’s Art of Management is about talking about how good the future is, or promising the future and not talking about the present. In short, Talk about the future and Sell hope!
There are many advantages to this Art of Management. Yes, when you promise the future, you would not be around to answer if it fails. You also can buy time to sort out the problem or pretend to be sorting out the problem. And the people would forget about the present problem when no one is talking about it and would forget to complain about it. The best part is that the current problem is gone, not solved, but shelved. The people are in a way expected to accept the plight of the present.
The assumption of this Art of Management is that the people are daft and you can pull wool over their eyes. The daft would not question when you talk about the future, how good is the future. They would just believe and stop thinking about the problems right in front of them. They would not know that their attention has been directed away from the present to the future. Some call this kicking the can further down the road, procrastinating, or passing the buck to the future, buy as much time as you can. Some may call this bluffing, a deception. Anyway, it is a good management tactic for the inept when they could not solve the problem at hand. Why not, can continue to keep the job and pretend to be working very hard and all will be fine in the future when one is no longer around, but the problem still around.
Think can write a book about this, Redbean’s Art of Management…for the daft.
PS. I will be away for a week. Will try to post whenever I can.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Soh Rui Yong saga – All for nothing
Singapore sports cannot excel if the sportsmen and athletes cannot put food on the table. Period. Don’t ever think of getting world class athletes for free.
In many countries, the sports champions are paid handsomely, financially very well rewarded for sports excellence. Singapore’s table tennis team did well because the foreign players are paid to play. For the other sports, if they did well, it is sheer dedication and sacrifices. Runners like Soh Rui Yong, Dipna Lim Prasad and Shanti Pereira are trying their best with the little financial support they got from their sponsors to run. What great difference would it make if they could run full time, no worry about lack of a decent income, and can concentrate fully on their sports?
It is high time the national bodies spend real money to support the outstanding sportsmen and athletes to push them to their limits and be among the best in the world. Of course the criteria for financial support must justify by the performance of the athletes and be commensurate with their world standings.
Our masters just returned from an Asian Meet with 4 golds, 5 silvers and 9 bronzes without a cent coming from the govt. This is the kind of support the govt is giving to these senior athletes. Old and forgotten, not to be seen, not to be heard?
Why did I say Soh Rui Yong saga was all for nothing? In the first place, what is $10,000 to the govt? And what is $2,000 to SA? These are not even peanuts, insignificant, paltry sum for the beggars. But it means a lot to a struggling athlete trying to make ends meet and with financial responsibilities to the families.
There is an easier way out to this petty issue. It is all bad administration, bad policies and execution. There would be no problem by changing the rules and procedures. Just give the $10,000 to the runners and $2,000 to the SA. Problem solved. QED. Or if someone is so mean and think the runner is deserving of only $8,000, then give the runner $8,000 and SA the $2,000 without having to irritate the runners by saying 20% will be deducted from his awards for SA. This is pure administrative foul up that is designed to create unhappiness.
See, all for nothing with a stroke of the pen. And these buggers are still scratching their heads, still bitching and not knowing how to solve this little irritation due to bad administrative policies and procedures, all because of $2,000! Unbelieveable!
Stupidity has no cure.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGX proposes to make it easier to become remisiers
With an industry that is dying, and they still did not know why or refused to know why it is dying, SGX is trying very hard to want to prevent the industry from having to fold up. Unfortunately it is only a matter of when before the final nail is slammed into the coffin to seal its fate if they refused to see what is wrong with the stock market.
Good companies are delisting, trading volumes hitting record low, the gloating of increasing volumes in derivative trades would not help to tell a different story. It is so pathetic that a healthy industry, the envy of many, has reached such a state of despair, all because of a stupid decision to allow computers to trade against everyone and redesigning the whole system to facilitate the computers to make the killing.
So, what is there to attract more new remisiers into the industry? What is there to prevent good companies from delisting when listing in the exchange is meaningless, cannot raise fund and share prices being shagged to penny stocks?
The reality, the income in the stock market is worst than the income of fishmongers and vegetable sellers in the wet market. So, who would want to be a remisier in the stock market? If the income is less than $1,000 or in a good month, $2,000 net, without CPF, with no staff benefits, no paid leave, no paid holidays etc etc, I would think such jobs would only be good enough for people with 3 O levels. It just does not make sense for people who have better qualifications and could earn more to want to join the industry.
OK, for the investment specialists that could be earning $3,000 a month, maybe the qualifications and entry level could be a little bit higher. But how high before putting off the potential workers who could get more in any other jobs? With so many stringent requirements and examinations to take, just to earn $1,000 to $3,000, would it be more ‘senang’ to be a Grab or Uber driver, and earning much more, and could own a car some more?
Only the daft would still be thinking that smart Singaporeans would be crawling on their knees to come begging to become remisiers. Only the daft would think that the stock market would somehow come to live again without having to remove the cancer.
If one does not know the cause of an illness, or refuses to want to know the cause of an illness, how could the illness be cured? What is the point of prescribing medicine for flu when the patient is dying from AIDs? More cosmetics would not do much to stop a dying patient from dying.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Benjamin Lim - Do you still remember him?
Terry Xu of TOC tried to assist the parents of Benjamin to raise fund using GIVE.asia fund raising platform to sue the govt for the lost of their 14 year old son. After raising more than $2,000, the campaign came to an abrupt stop with GIVE.asia saying it is against their mission in this campaign. Some netizens are furious at the way the campaign was disrupted.
There is an article by a Ghui posted in the TRE on this subject and here is a comment from the same post.
Painful Justice:
October 20, 2017 at 4:42 pm (Quote)
Benjamin was just a very young 14 year old boy and did not deserve the heavy handling meted out to him even if he had misconducted himself as alleged. Oops, my apologies, this is what everyone thought or else he would not have taken his life. But the court found that everyone who had contact with Benjamin were very professional and very caring and thus free from blame. Benjamin's case was a totally unnecessary tragedy and no parents could have found closure losing a son under such circumstances. As parents, we empathize with the Lim family and fully understand what they are going through. We support the steps they are taking to seek redress.
I can feel the pain in the parents for losing a child at this tender age for something that did not deserve this kind of ending. You can bet how many tears have flowed in the family and how difficult it is to come to terms with losing a loved one. How can there be a closure to this case?
Would anyone who have directly or indirectly caused the premature death of Benjamin be man enough, be courageous enough, be honourable enough to kneel in front of the parents and beg for forgiveness? I think if such a thing happens, maybe healing will start. For the parents to want to pursue this matter, it is a sign that the grief is not going away and there is a deep sense of injustice in how they see how the case was closed.
It is very painful. It must be, and worst when no one owns up or found responsible for the lost of their beloved son, Benjamin.
Can this case be over because legally it is over, settled in the court of law? The court has already made its ruling that no one is found culpable to Benjamin's death?
Hope Benjamin would always be in the minds of those wielding power and authority to think very carefully, act very carefully, that such a painful tragedy would never ever happen to another child and another family. No amount of words and apologies can reduce the pain and sufferings of the parents and family members for losing a child in such circumstances. It was totally unnecessary and unacceptable and intolerable and inexcusable.
The law may say it is over. The conscience would not allow it, except for those with no conscience. Anyone think there is any injustice in this case?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGX –No lunch break reinstated
Is this an admission that the no lunch break decision was a failure or an act of farce? Before it was introduced they gave reasons like longer hours meant more business. Such a simplistic view was unbelieveable! Now that six years have elapsed and the business boom that was supposed to come along with no lunch break with longer trading hours failed to materialize and failed miserably, what else is new? Should every laugh or clap at the naiveity?
Another reason was to keep the market open for continuous trading across regions and across different stock markets so that the traders, were they funds managing millions and trading across borders or little kuching kurap traders thinking that their two cents worth of trades justified the market to open and to trade without breaks, could capitalize on this great scheme of things or not to lose out because the SGX was closed for lunch and they lost big monies or did not helped themselves with huge profits from the sacrifices of remisiers having to work with no breaks? Was there another stock exchange that thinks this is really necessary? What about the big funds in the USA and Europe and Japan, do they also believe in this myth that they cannot live with if their markets are not open longer, dispensing with lunch breaks, to breach the gap of different time zones?
Or were there other reasons that were not told, not spoken that made this no lunch break so bloody important? If it is, then it should not be changed. Or if the big funds or little traders needed the market to be open just in case they missed the golden opportunities or to cut positions when big changes happened in other markets then it is even more important to keep the market open with no lunch break.
So, would these funds and traders be complaining now if they made losses because of the market being closed for lunch? Now, would the return of lunch break, ie shortening of trading hours, reduces the trading volume further and reduces the income of remisiers even further?
What would happen to the future of the SGX when longer trading hours did not help and shorter trading hours too would not work? What is or are the real problems that are driving the stock market to irrelevance, becoming dysfunctional? Dunno leh.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When multi million dollar pay produces nothing
When the scheme to pay multi million dollar salary to govt scholars was introduced it was only a small dent in the budget. There were only a handful of such scholars to talk about and to be paid. No big deal. Today there are thousands of such scholars floating around waiting to be put into multi million dollar jobs, or was it thousands of scholars being paid multi million dollar salary but with only a few multi million dollar jobs available? In the end jobs that do not need to be paid multi million dollar salary would still have to pay multi million dollar salary because the incumbents have to be paid multi million dollar salary regardless of the jobs?
How did we end up in such a situation? How can this be sustainable? In a production and manufacturing economy, the people being paid multi million dollar salary earned their keeps. They created values, sell goods and services that brought in the revenue and profits. What did our multi million dollar scholars produce that are of value, what did they do that brought in the dole? Practically everyone is involved in pen pushing jobs, unproductive, no real value added jobs. They did not do anything of real value. They produced nothing. They are unproductive.
Oh, they raised taxes, raised fees, raised rentals, create COEs and ERPs. Oh they raised the values of properties in asset enhancements to make everyone a millionaire property owner. They are also very good at creating demands and turning them into revenue and profits by using the savings of CPF members by legislation. They are also very good at holding the people’s savings in the CPF forever. They are also very good at telling the people to put in more money into the CPF. Are these really productive work, work with real value?
Seriously, did they create or produce anything of real value, commercial value, goods and products like mobile phones and online businesses? Did they do anything that is real, of economic value to deserve being paid in the millions? What have they produced, the thousands of multi million dollar salary scholars in public services?
Do they deserve to be paid in the millions for being unproductive in real economic sense, for producing nothing of real economic value? How can an economy survive and sustain itself with so many thousands of people being paid multi million dollar salary but not producing a thing of real value, without producing anything that is useful economically? Can you believe that?
Here is a quote from Teo Ser Luck, MP, former minister, now a happy entrepreneur. ‘It gives me great satisfaction to see that I have created something and that it is helpful and beneficial of others. That to me is very fulfilling.’
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What, raising taxes again?
After so many tax hikes, grabbing more CPF money, higher ERP fees, higher COEs, 30% fee water hike, still want to tax more? What is happening, our treasury drying up? Something must be seriously wrong with our finances. With more tax revenue, with the huge profits of GIC and Temasek bringing in billions, still not enough meh?
What about cutting down on the grandeur items, on frivolous expenditure that is not necessary, not essential like the F1 and the fake garden and the free scholarships given to foreigners, just to name a few? What about cutting down on the hiring of so many foreigners in the academia and so called think tank agencies? When money runs out, isn’t it the first thing to do should be to look at the expenditure, cost cutting? What about cutting down on military toys and extravagance and stop spending as if we have a mountain of gold and money is not important, endless supply?
What about improving productivity, from the top down? Why is there a need for so many ministers, two ministers plus so many ministers of states, etc etc to helm a ministry, so many mayors? Is this productive or counter productive? What about the many million dollar jobs that may not be necessary or justified? Not every ministry is the same, not every stats board is the same, not every GLC is the same. It is time to cut down on extravagance and frivolous million dollar salary. If jobs do not justify a million dollar pay, then the incumbent should not be paid in millions. Let the highly qualified incumbents that could command million dollar salaries to go where they could be paid justly for their contributions. Anyone earning million dollar salary must account and justify by his contribution. Did they produce goods or services that are worth more than their million dollar salary? Million dollar salary in public service must not be a given. It is taxpayers’ money and derived from taxes, a big burden on the people.
The people have been squeezed dry to the bones. Even their CPF savings are said to be not their money and people can anyhow make them pay by compulsion for things they did not want nor agree to pay.
The belt tightening should be at the top, aim at those with a 50 inch girth than the lean and bony citizens that have nothing much left to be taxed. Take away a few hundred thousand dollars from a million dollar man is nothing compare to taking a few dollars from a pauper. Stop being so mean to the less able. They are poor but not idiots, not fools. Stop squeezing them so very often. Where is your heart?
Do you think raising taxes would raise cost of living and would turn this place uncompetitive and bad for the economy? Who cares? What is important is that high taxes mean that there will be enough money for big bonuses, for more pay hikes, and continued to be paid in the millions. You die your business?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Productivity would increase if supertalents are engaged in productive work in the private sector
For several decades, the crčme ala crčme of little Red Dot were given scholarships to be educated in the best universities around the world only to return to be employed in unproductive works, mostly administrative and policy making and in devising clever schemes to tax the people. What would it be like if these talents are released into the private sector instead, in manufacturing, in engineering, in financial services etc etc instead of becoming top civil servants and politicians?
The sinking feelings in the industries, in manufacturing are ringing loudly in the ears of many when productivity is at rock bottom, also thanks to the influx of dubious foreign talents into the island. Fortunately or unfortunately, the industries are supported and saved by the less talented, academically. What happened to the once very productive Singapore with the best workers in the region? When suddenly all are duds, unproductive and practically useless, only good enough to drive taxis and be security guards? Even first class honours from NUS are booted out by dubious foreigner with likely fake degrees and credentials. And these foreigners mostly came from sick countries and sick economies.
If only there is a change in policies to redeploy the best brains and talents in productive works, in the industries, things would likely change for the better, and productivity must go up instead of down and down. No? I stand corrected on this as some may continue to resort to sophistry to con their way instead of working and being productive. The only difference is that in the real economy, they do not have the political power to shaft shit into the people’s throat. Any incompetence would not last another day.
Or at least the high million dollar salaries of these super talents would be paid by the private sector, by their organizations, instead of the public services and the govt having to tax and tax and raising taxes in every opportunity to feed these million dollar gang of super talents. If their average salary is $1m, and if there are 3,000 of them, that would be $3b annually. How to find such money, how to earn such money from profits in services like MRT and bus fares and selling products? You need to earn $1 from 1 million trips to get $1m to pay a million dollar man.
When the best brains are not in productive businesses but in unproductive public service, how can productivity go up?
What do you think?
PS. The weaknesses of the mandarin system would be exposed, especially in the dying days of a dynasty when instead of working for the people, it is all about self aggrandizement and self interest. It will snowball into dreaded case of 升官发 财above everything else. How many more millions would be enough?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Archbishop William Goh’s speech on good govt?
Below is a speech attributed to Archbishop William Goh. I am unable to confirm, anyone who can confirm either way please let me know. From the content of the speech I have serious doubt that this is William Goh’s speech. It was not like him. I do not want to be seen spreading fake news. I do not know in what context or in what occasion he found it necessary to say such things in his speech. It is a speech about conscience above all things. This speech has all the signs of a fake news and is circulating by mobile phones and probably in social media. Here, read it.
‘…it is not about the form of govt but whether the govt works selflessly and without vested interests for power, glory and wealth. If those in the govt seek to enrich themselves at the expense of the people, this will breed jealousy and resentment. Only govts and leaders who work for the good and wellbeing of their people without discrimination and favor will earn their respect and appreciation.
The task of every govt is to ensure that there is progress for the people and that the economy grows to support the needs of its people. At the same time, they are to ensure peace and order by protecting the citizens from all harm, whether from within or without. When they do that, there will be less cause for rebellion and revolution. If these take place, it is because the people feel that they are being short changed by their political leaders who cling to power and wealth.’
This is as political as the church could be in talking about govt and leadership. In a way this speech has crossed the OB marker for a religious institution. I hope he would not be accused by the small minds of meddling with the politics of the country or trying to influence govt policies. Very likely it won’t as it is unlikely that William Goh would want to skirt so close to commenting about good govt. Nonetheless I think this is a good generic speech about good govt.
God bless. Amen.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why need to raise taxes when so many taxes have been raised?
The govt is taking it for granted that it is its right to raise taxes whenever it likes. The people must ask the govt to justify for the numerous taxes that it has raised and more to come, especially the monstrous GST which some clowns are still saying that it is good for the poor. If that is the case, some cynics suggested that it should be raised to 100% so that more poor people can benefit. Sophistry at works. The people voted for a govt to run the country efficiently, not to raise taxes. The people did not pay the politicians in the millions just to raise taxes. If that is what a super expensive govt is good for, might as well vote for a cheaper govt and pay lesser taxes.
The govt must explain to the people why there is a need to raise taxes, what are the taxes for, and how much is needed? It must not be a blank cheque without justification. And when the need and amount are logically explained and accepted, ie for public good and necessary and essential, not fake gardens, F1s, F35s, paying foreigners to study here with billion of dollars, paying millions in PA activities for PRs and foreigners, or building crown jewels. The latter is a business and should not be paid with taxes, should be self financing and profit generating from viable business models.
When the sum needed is justified, and before going the convenient route to tax the people, should not the govt first look at the reserves and see how much can be used? What is the point of having reserves for the sake of reserves and everyday thinking of raising taxes?
How much reserves we have and how much should be used first before resorting to increase the tax burden of the people should be discussed in Parliament. The people have been told that the country’s reserves are in the hundreds of billions if not trillions? Really ah? If we have so much money in reserves, why can’t some be used to lower the tax burden of the people?
Or we have so much reserves that it is so frightening to tell the people, that if the people know how many trillions we have they will die of shock! So better not tell the people, just keep on taxing the people and pretend the reserves did not have enough money and the govt must raise taxes and taxes and taxes to help the poor people.
What the hell does the govt need to raise taxes for, how much does the govt need, to do what, raise taxes for what? Boh lui is it? Didn’t the govt brag or said the reserves got so much money, chiak buay leow? Why every now and then think of raising taxes, fees, charges to burden the people already living in one of the most expensive places in the whole wide world?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More reserves, more taxes
The issue of our grotesquely huge reserves came into the spotlight again when Hsien Loong hinted of raising taxes to meet increasing expenditure of the govt. Heng Swee Kiat also chipped in to defend the govt’s decision not to touch the reserves, not a cent, despite appeals for the govt to use some of the reserves, just a bit more from the gains from investing the reserves. No one is asking to kill the goose that laid the golden eggs or a drumstick, just a few more eggs.
The discussion has gone to the social media, not a whimper is heard in the main media. Phillip Ang was so disgusted that he posted this on his blog and a copy in the TRE.
‘Perhaps Heng might also be hinting to Singaporeans there have been significant investment losses when he said “I will be very cautious about making statements about how big our reserves are…”.
So, could Heng enlighten us on what’s left in our reserves?
After 3 decades of planning, Heng wants us to believe that the PAP did not save for the anticipated rainy day? And reserves cannot be used because they have to increase perpetually to benefit our children?
I don’t think Heng expected his hogwash to be taken seriously.’

I do not know how much reserves we have, and I think not many people know, maybe a handful. This is may be public money but it is top secret! The public need not know. But from the main media and from the comments and nuances of the top politicians and the fun managers, oops, I mean fund managers, our reserves are growing and growing, though may not be in the scale of the past. The point I am making is that our reserves held in the deepest and darkest vaults are growing every year. There is nothing to worry. They are there for the future, for the rainy day. And the govt will keep growing the reserves, and there is no limit to how big this should be. It can be 10 trillion, 100 trillion, never mind, it is good to keep growing the reserves and knowing that it is there when it is needed.
I can only think of those govts that put their gold in Fort Knox for safe keeping by the Americans. They are not allowed to inspect their gold and cannot withdraw, but happily kept it there, knowing that the gold is there and safe in the vaults in Fort Knox. There is no need to look at them like looking at our CPF statements to bring smiles on the face. The thought of the huge reserves, like the bountiful of gold ingots in Fort Knox is comforting enough.
Phillip Ang should have faith that the reserves are there and growing. They would not be stolen. We have the most honest and honourable men and women taking care of them. The last thing that they would do is to lower their integrity to lie about the reserves. Just trust them. And there are two keys to keep the reserves safe. Never mind if the President did not know much is there. I am just presuming. She may know, unlike Teng Cheong. Have pleasant dreams that we are sleeping on a bed of money, plentiful of money.
Just pay your taxes when raised. The govt needs more money for bigger expenditure. The reserves are like the holy grail, untouchable by the untouchables. You need to be gods to touch them.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGX – Conflict of interests
Many in the industry have cried foul that SGX is compromising itself by holding the dual roles of regulator and of running the exchange as a profit making organization. The conflict of interests is so glaring that only when one is behaving like gods and infallibles that one would think otherwise. In this exceptional island, SGX is not the only place where conflict of interests were ignored as irrelevant and inapplicable. And this sad state of affair is going to continue unquestioned and unchallenged for as long as your life time if things did not change, if the political status quo remains as it is.
The underlying assumption is that this exceptional island is so blessed with very exceptional human beans that have impeccable integrity, honesty and are so honourable that you can believe they would not compromise themselves even if they assumed the roles of judge, jury and executioner. They cannot be compromised or are incorruptible! So to be the regulator to police any wrong doings in the exchange and also to run the exchange for profit with evident conflict of interests is a non issue. The duality of roles, conflicting roles, would not be compromised under the charge of infallible human gods, some admitted with a little humility that they were only mere immortals, not yet gods.
This morning I glanced at the SGX screen and found out that about 30 stocks have been suspended and about 20 of them were red chips. I have lost count on the number of red chips that had been delisted, with the owners run road.
Just a food for thought, what if the SGX did not take on the dual roles of regulator and operator of a profit making organization that it is supposed to regulate and police? This is hypothetical of course. Would SGX be allowed to bring in the numerous red chips and foreign companies and list them in the exchange given the hindsight that many had run road or about to run road and nothing can be done about it? And given this bad experience, would SGX be wiser and be more prudent and take lesser risk in allowing foreign companies, especially the kuching kurap companies, to list here when they have barely any control over them, no legal jurisdiction over them, barely knowing how they operate and the rule of law in their country of origin?
On hindsight, how many hundreds of millions or billions have been lost by the innocent investors as a result of the listing of these foreign shares that had run road or about to run road? How much money could have been saved or not lost if there was a stronger and more diligent hand policing the SGX and someone, hypothetically, took a position that such high risk adventures were not worth taking and forbid SGX from doing it and from continuing to flirt and solicit potential foreign companies to list in the exchange as every listing is money, income, revenue and profit to the SGX?
Are the risks acceptable risks, reasonable risks, bearable risks that losing millions or billions by the investors are justifiable for the pittance the exchange was and is going to get from such listings.
There is also the issue of integrity and soundness of the exchange in the long run as a solid institution where investors can park their money and invest safely. Would there be a difference if SGX was not allowed to take on the dual roles of regulator and operator of a profit making organization at the same time? Is it reasonable to question and to challenge the dual roles with conflict of interests by the SGX? Or should this be the normal, the right thing to do in this paradise ruled by gods or demi gods with impeccable and unquestionable integrity, that conflict of interests would never be an issue? Gods and demi gods are infallible, unlike ordinary human beans.
Would SGX be just a stats board, providing a service with unquestionable integrity and an uncompromising system that would not be subject to doubts, a sound financial system? Or would it be better to delink the dual roles to have another body policing the exchange while it continues to be a profit making organization that would make decisions for revenue and profits like before?
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Next PM, a succession plan that was not there
The statestimesreview has posted an article on Inderjit’s comment about Hsien Loong’s succession plan, and that is too late and too little. Here are a few paragraphs of the post,
‘Former PAP MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC Inderjit Singh yesterday (Dec 26) criticised Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for dilly dallying on his decision for a successor, saying that it is already too late to choose one now. The ex-PAP member said the successor should have at least 10 years of experience as a Deputy Prime Minister as preparation before taking up the PM role, like as was the case for Goh Chok Tong and Lee Hsien Loong:
“The next PM should ideally have served for two terms as a deputy and be given the exposure and responsibility on major policies before he or she can confidently take on the job. The future Prime Minister should have started taking key duties by now… It is already too late.”….
Former PAP NMP Eugene Tan told state media Today that he is worried that the new PAP administration have no time to be ready for governance:
“For a government that has always emphasised renewal and succession, this raises legitimate questions about the readiness of the fourth generation leadership, if not about the much vaunted process. By the time PM Lee steps down, he (could) be the oldest of our Prime Ministers.”
There are currently two front runners for the PM race – former army general Minister Chan Chun Sing and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. The army general however lack etiquette and depth to lead due to his numerous gaffes. Minister Heng Swee Keat may be more thoughtful and measured his words and actions, but his health was a major concern after he suffered a stroke during a Cabinet meeting in 2016. …’
My question, is there really a plan? PAP always bragged about its meticulous planning and thought processes, to be proactive, to plan ahead, and the succession plan cannot be an exception.
Taking Inderjit’s thinking, a typical PAP mindset that foretold of a dynastic thinking behind everything, that a political party is so entrenched that it has taken for granted that all the future PMs will be from the PAP, and PAP would forever be in power. With these assumptions, a PM must undergo 10 year apprenticeship to be fit to be a PM, to have time to learn the ropes on how to do the job of a PM. Without this training no one is fit to be a PM. This is typical ruling party hogwash.
How many PMs or Presidents in the world have such a privilege and opportunity to undergo 10 years or more of apprenticeship? And how did they perform for those that went through formal apprenticeship scheme and those that did not? Were those that had gone through political apprenticeship performed better than those without?
According to this PAP mantra, the one with apprenticeship scheme must be performing very well against those that did not. So opposition parties that won an election would be bound to fail as they would not have the chance for apprenticeship scheme, not just to be PM, but also as ministers and MPs.
Given that this is a serious premise to start with, why are the two potential PM material not acting PMs like Chok Tong and Hsien Loong to prepare them for the job? Why were the two DPMs appointed when they are not going to be the next PM and having the privilege of acting as PMs, ie learning the ropes?
Is this not queer? If there is a succession plan, it has to be put in place at least 5 years ago, with the crowned prince appointed and going through his apprenticeship. Who is the next crown prince and undergoing apprenticeship training? None? If this is the answer, where is the succession plan? It is one thing to put it into motion and another to talk about it without implementing it.
If Chan Chun Sing and Heng Swee Kiat are the successors and be put to take on heavier responsibilities, then the two DPMs would have nothing to do. How can, paying two multi million dollar DPMs for doing nothing?
The other reality or truth, many heads of govt around the world did not have the privilege of an apprenticeship scheme and are doing fine, very fine, excellent in their jobs. How much value should one put into such a political apprenticeship scheme except for princes of kingdoms and sons of dictatorship?
An apprenticeship scheme is not the prerequisite to become a PM or to become a good PM. A dud will never learn or will not learn anything good. Political leadership often is not nurtured but a product of history, a leader of the time thrown out by society and circumstances to deal with the issues of state and people’s livelihood. A leader in most circumstances is born and made by the events of the time, by history, a calling. A textbook leader is just what it is, a textbook leader.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keppel O&M cannot come at a better time
This thunderbolt from Brazil finally struck and many were stunned as to how to react. Damage control was uppermost in many people’s mind. The fine of a few hundred millions is nothing or of little concern. What is a few hundred millions? What is more difficult to deal with is the punishment for those involved. Fortunately, by an act of God, no one really knew what happened. Everyone did not know nothing about the scandal. Honest, trust me. So a warning from the AG office would suffice. This episode further strengthened the belief that Singapore is a country that is free from corruption. And if there is a corruption in a GLC and in another corner of the earth, it is reasonable to believe that those in charge in Singapore would not know, not a clue about it. It is so far away, for goodness sake.
But the severity of this corruption case involving tens of millions and only one PR, an American citizen, would still be a good reference to other corruption cases in Singapore. How this case is handled or dealt with, the severity and the punishment of people involved or associated with it would or could be used to measure how other corruption cases in Singapore are being handled. It will set the standard or what is acceptable or not norm.
The WP MPs must be quietly smiling. They would be comparing their Town Council case with this case. The Keppel O&M is a proven corruption case involving US$55 million. What about the Town Council case? Has corruption been proven and if it does, how much was involved? Can the WP MPs also use the excuse of not knowing, did not know, not aware, so may be a warning would suffice?
The debate in Parliament about how innocent the management of Keppel Corp in Singapore is and how they should not be held accountable for a crime they did not know would be carefully studied by the WP. How would the WP use this case in their defence of the Town Council case still in question would be interesting. The law is impartial and one set of law shall be applicable to all, one set of punishment must also be applicable to all. The lighter the punishment given to the Keppel management, the better would be for the Town Council case.
The WP MPs must be taking down notes of who and who saying what and what in the defence of the Keppel O&M case in Parliament and how to use the same arguments in their defence. Listen to the great arguments propounded and the moral high ground taken, and the excuses. The ‘not light or did not get off lightly’ penalty would come under the spotlight when the Town Council case is heard in court.
Godsend?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fake news stifling free speech?
In thenewspaper front page news on 11 Jan was this heading, ‘Will fake news end up stifling free speech?’ What a dumb question to ask? What are the factors that limit, restrain or control free speech? Fake news? What has fake news got to do with stifling free speech? At the most fake news would be misleading, telling untruths and falsehood and lies. As to stifling free speech, the answer is obvious. I will deal with this later, no rocket science.
The govt is setting up a high power Select Committee to look into the issues of fake news in social media. This committee is headed by Charles Chong, Deputy Speaker of Parliament and 7 PAP MPs and one WP MP. No fake news in main media? What about half truths or select truth or alternate news? Would these constitute fake news? Was the statement that CPF is not the people’s money fake news?
Would the committee also look into the definition of fake news and include half truth, select truth, alternate news and propaganda as fake news, to mislead the readers? This is the first and basic step to take to define what constitutes fake news.
Singapore today has the highest percentage of its citizens with tertiary education, more than 50%, not like the days under colonial rule when less than 3% went to university. In many instances, such high percentage of tertiary graduates would qualify the people as smart people, a smart nation, not a smart nation of daft and unthinking zombies, waiting for the govt to spoon feed them with real news and fake news and telling them what are fake news. Is this not a sad state of affair, when a highly educated people cannot differentiate between fake and real news? Has our education system failed the people to reach this pathetic state of affair?
Ok, the Select Committee is not to deal with the stifling of free speech. Many wise ones in Parliament have commented that it is falsehood that is the problem with fake news, spreading falsehood to mislead. But telling half truth or select truth can also mislead right? MP Sun Xueling said repeated falsehoods can lead to crying wolf. Would this exercise of setting up a committee to look at fake news and to justify stronger legislation be also a kind of crying wolf? Misleading the readers is not only a result of fake news. There are many kinds of falsehoods in all the media, even in so called reputable American and western media, telling untruths, fabricated truths and outright lies. Social media is not the only source of fake news.
A notable comment from Seah Kian Peng is worth mentioning here. ‘Heavy handed legislation may backfire on the Govt, acting as the judge, jury and executioner of what constitutes credible information. We may end up freezing free speech online.’ NMP Kok Heng Leun also cautioned against abusing the law against people who were just expressing their opinions.
What would stifle free speech is simply power and the abuse of power, not fake news. No need to elaborate this simple fact. It is everywhere. What is dangerous about this issue is that it will end up with more power than necessary to deal with fake news and ended up with the stifling of free speech. What is the real intent of this expensive exercise? To curb fake news, to help to educate the people, or to curb free speech? The grey area is so grey and fussy, more like fake news, more like crying wolf.
What do you think?
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