Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year 2012 - Flood Of Opportunities

Whatever must go, shall go ...

You only glance at your rear view mirror and never stare into it
Just as you look back momentarily but look forward steadfastly

You may have lost 2011 or earlier years
2012 is yours for keep if you start NOW

There is no looking back

Who cares if the World must end in 2012; its everyone's problem
And we will meet again in the next World
Live the best today and now

The World will still be around long after we are gone

Today next year; I hope you won't ask for another fresh page
Its here and NOW

Good luck...
The journey has just begun

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012 - A Year Of Opportunities 危机

Change is the only constant but fear of changes still persist...危机

The US is in a quagmire, EU is rescheduling and forgiving debts and China is plotting a soft landing and managing an ever-vocal populace hit by perceived, or real, discrimination and an 'engineered' decline in property prices.

Singapore - being a small nation, cannot but be plugged into globalization.

Can anyone deny that CASH is king?

Euro-area banks parked 445.7 billion euros ($576.8 billion) with the Frankfurt-based ECB yesterday, up from 436.6 billion euros a day earlier. Deposits reached 452 billion euros on Dec. 27, the most since the euro’s introduction in 1999 - Bloomberg. Why? Simply because even the big boys cannot trust each other's credit standing!

Although US's unemployment is declining but, like in most countries, unemployment fatigue forces the unemployed and/or under-employed to opt out of dole, live on their reserves, accept part time contract or piecemeal work or simply fade away from the statistics. Q-on-Q growth are insignificant and not able nor wide enough to offer mass employment. With declining earnings, demand dries up.

Asia, especially China, may be the only sparks around. But, domestic demand cannot replace international trade, aka weakening global demand. Banks are bloated with governmental-link companies (GLCs) loans, properties and non-productive loans which could potentially result in explosive Non-performing loans (NPLs). Matters may get worse if property prices decline sharply (soft landing? unlikely) and social discontents surge - a lethal combination!

ASEAN as a whole is still filled with opportunities; post-flood reconstruction in Thailand, business resurrection and a more organized Philippines, Johor's Iskandar, opening up of IndoChina, a more stable Indonesia and repositioning of Brunei and Singapore.

A united Korea (not necessarily political) and an awakened Japan will provide abundant opportunities.

Whatever happens, smart money and hot money have to find safe havens.

The World has seen enough industrialization. Commodities, especially hard commoditieswill take a back seat.

Cyclically, its time to get back to basics. Food production and agri-business will shine and medical and medicine will be the new engine of growth. Gaming and gambling will revert to the norm after phenomenal growth as new centres are opened and Laws relaxed.

The misfortune of calamities have silver lining too; reconstruction arise. Major wars are unlikely but proxy wars seem inevitable.

2012 is about opportunities and timing.    

How well, or how bad, will stockmarkets perform going forward? The tricks to identifying winners may be industry-centric rather than the market as a whole.

Typically, stockmarket experiences a cyclical quarterly low in January (Capricon effects), April (post-results), July (mid-year portfolio realignment) & October (Jupiter dynamism)

May you prosper in 2012; please spare some money to the less able, underprivilege and the poor thereafter. 


Monday, December 12, 2011

Down But Not Out

Waiting for an opportunity ... 

When you persist and dig-in, sometimes you succeed and sometimes you fail
But, if you give up, you fail absolutely
Success goes to people who try, adapt and changes their tact dynamically as the situation demands and not waiting or chasing blindly

Waiting for windfalls without efforts is 守株待兔 waiting blindly and mostly ends in vain


Life is cyclical; there are UPs & DOWNs, LULL and BOOM like the faithfulness of day and night
Capitalize on your strengths and manage your weaknesses
Use the lull period to upgrade, enjoy a hobby, expand your networking reaches, review and change your approaches to fit into the 'new-age' and newfound push
When boom returns, charge ahead!!!


Luck is where preparation meets opportunity


There are frustrations and setbacks on the journey to success
There are downtime, distractions and disconnect
Gains without efforts have minimum or zero utility


But, what if I have worked hard, spent a lot, a lot of efforts, tried different approaches and still success is far and unseen from the horizon? I have no answers for this but I do have a solution
- put everything aside and walk away from it all
- take a break and if the mind wander, let it wanders
- go chase a hobby or do what you have always wanted to 
- be free of bondage


When your mind is free and refresh, new shoots of ideas bloom


Because you have been trying very hard does not warranty success
Has it occur to you that you have been knocking on the wrong door? Don't just work hard, work smart
You will be pleasantly surprise how success slips in unaware and the answer props up from the blues in free minds


I may be wary and worn
But, my free mind floats in the breeze and dance in high spirits ...
... towards success



Forgive & Forget - Help The Fallen

For a better tomorrow ...

More should be done to allow least resistance re-integration of ex-offenders into society, not just token efforts.

When you have a brushed with the Law and had paid your dues like doing time, caned and/or a fine, shouldn't society at large be more magnanimous and allows unimpeded integration; saved for offenders of heinous crimes.

Just as a person who faces capital punishment is hanged for his offence, he is done with it. He should not, and (in this case) cannot, be hanged again. This is applicable to both criminal and commercial issues.

It must be noted that not all brushes with the Law are callous disregard for Societal norms, Statutory expectations nor intentional breaches and character flaws but possibly due to a moment of folly or ignorant of existing 'Do's and Don'ts', some would termed these as the grey areas, in Laws. Some will also argue that ignorant of the Laws are no excuses, but like 'dark spots', and if Laws are applied and enforced extensively and strictly by the book, many will be found wanting and infringements will be as common as common flu.


The presumption of innocence (innocent until proven guilty), Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat, can be an expensive experience where few can afford. I hazard to guess that many simply pleaded guilty due to the high costs of engaging lawyers to defend their cases besides the stresses and stigma attached to it. It is notable to know that there are free legal services and advices but how many really qualify? 

Moreover, although there are already provisions in Laws where restrictions are lifted after certain number of years, why wouldn't these be expunged from their records? Do offenders have to carry their past all the way to their graves? 

Of course not.

Support groups and programs such as ISCOS (*Making Tomorrow Better), SCORE (*Building Bridges,Changing Lives) and Yellow Ribbon (*Help Unlock The Second Prison) are trying to re-integrate and help ex-offenders and, by extension, their families to live lives as normally as possible. Even bankrupts are given a second change to make a come back.
(*motto)

It is disheartening to note that many companies, including Government agencies, are still shying away from employing persons who had brushes with the Law, however miniscule, but had paid their dues. They are just paying lip service and not walking the talk. 

It is overdue that institutions fighting the cause for ex-offenders be proactive and engage and speak out against discriminations through moral suasion and, if necessary, lobby for changes. As able and capable leaders and catalysts of change, you have to fight for the cause that you believe in and action it. The fallen need their anointed leaders to champion and lead them out of darkness; just being present is not good enough. 

The recent case of the property agent whose past caught up with him almost cost him dearly. Until today, I have not seen or heard anyone or any institution speaking out for him or address the issue of time bar or the expunging of past records. Justice must not only be seen to be done but has to be seen to be believed (J P Morton); ideally this phrase also applies to expunging of past records.

It is hopeful that agencies involved in championing re-integration will walk the talk more vigorously.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Help ... I Am Second Best

Help...

Any brilliant ideas hatched but not tried is like pregnancy undelivered
if you wait for others to endorse and support your dreams and plans
You will be searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

There are no sorrows in defeats and failures; only experiences gained
There are no victories without sacrifices
'Tears of Joy', 'Nearly Didn't Make It'; are words uttered by winners, not losers

Losers says 'I missed by a little', 'Didn't expect it'. 'I could have done better' ...
Omigosh, a loss is a loss by any other definition!
The World remembers the best, the winners

Either you race to win or you don't
Don't expect sympathy
Why bother to send second stringers or off-par players to the Olympic? For experience? Save it
Only the best need to be present and be presented

Steve Jobs make slaves and addicts of you (and the World) with his iPhone, iPads, iTunes
The World has forgotten and forgiven him for the supposedly ill-working conditions in the production of his iProducts
Look and be clear; he make you remember the prefix "I"
I am Steve Jobs... written as iSteveJobs

Winner Takes All

Before you join the race, accept defeats with grace; NO excuses, NO regrets
Glory and Victories are for victors and Winners 

You may be born poor but don't stay poor
Don't blame your parents and others for remaining status quo

Scraps are second best to natural resources; are you? Go, chase your dreams and follow your heart
The World is yours to keep if you dare and succeed

Do everything within your means; we have a distinct role
And no two person are the same
Be the best you can

I am the Winner
The best in my category; happy, contented and victorious
Fortune and Fame goes hand in hand

You CAN too



 

I Decide My Life

Will the egg turn into a chick or an omelette ...

I will never know what my future holds for me
But, I know what I want for my future

I have my goal and my ideal
I gravitate towards the ultimate; along the way I am guided by my heart
I flow and dance to the breeze; the winds beating against my sail
I shall arrive to my destiny; set for me, by me

Staying healthy, fit, knowledgeable and ready is my modus operandi
Being aware of my weaknesses helps me waddle away from the mines of life
Exhibiting my strengths allows recognition while taming exhibitionism
I shall shine

I shall conquer the World with my charm
And arrive at the destiny of my Life
A choice where Providence has inscribe but I decide
My preferred choice and my chosen path

Whoever lives in fear and on others command arrives in others harbour


Come rain or sunshine, day or night
I have my dreams or nightmares, my successes or failures
Aboveall, I will arrive at my own Port of Call


December; the last month of the year
The wintry winter with cold bites sending cold reminders
Another year will be out soon; how many 'one year' have you?


I don't need many but prefers qualitative, healthy years ahead


Man proposes, GOD disposes


Whether the egg will become a chick or an omelette, I Decide







Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Days Were Numbered Since I Arrived

My days; past, present and future ...


I matured ahead of my youthful years but slowed down aging as I get nearer to the other end
I pursued my interests and find like-minded friends
If my resources are insufficient and my knowledge and ability are lacking, I will make good over time
Nonetheless, I never over-stay my welcome

The past ...
passes too fast
reminded me of my foolishness, carelessness and weakness
similarly blessed me with victories and winnings

The future ...
is a dream and a plot
gives me chances to explore the unexplored and borderless frontiers
allows me to regain glories and better my achievements and perfect my imperfections

The current ...
is time to move forward fearlessly and redress past weaknesses
is prime - every moment well used, shall be will rewarded
is NOW - useful and lively

The past shall returns only as shadows
The future is a dream where reality challenges ideals
The current is my life and worth living every moments constructively, concretely and with zest


If I leave this World today, I leave willingly and with few, if any, regrets
I count lots of blessings, achievements and victories ... but I cannot bring any along

I came naked and shall return naked; the body and images I left behind shall fade by the day


Someday, somehow, I shall be forgotten

I knew this when I first arrived as a baby; when I cry, everyone laughs
When I leave, I laugh (in silence) while the rest cry

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Enlightened Materially

What is success? Or is there another definition that everyone misses by a mile?


If you have a family, car, house, money, friends, career, business; are these successes or just plain symbols? I don't know and I can't comment.

Sometimes, I am as blank as an A-4 sheet
As directionless as a rudderless boat with a broken compass
Like a spent force or a banana whose skins are split
A lost soul ...

Material success is an illusion with little, or without, peace of mind

What are we looking for in life when we can't bring along when 'the time is up'? I am no angel nor God and I have no answers.

Power, money and fame
Winner takes all
This is the 'norm'

The journey to enlightenment is the porous wall between an enlightened being and a lost soul; lost in the material world

Either we live normally or walk into the sunrise of an enlightened soul.

Poorer materially but manifested spiritually

Whenever we cross paths, its destiny; for the better or worse

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Life, Your Destiny

How am I going to live the rest of my life?

Life was tough when I was young
I worked in the morning if I need to go to school in the noon
I worked from noon through night if I studied in the morning
Time was tough, no doubt, but I have no time for worries
I lived happily, hastily I grew up.

Work was tough and pay was poor in recessionary time
Bosses took advantage to milk their staff and I was no exception
I was a top producer but salary was meagre and welfare none
I multi-tasked, learnt all that I could, read widely and never complain
I imbued new skill sets, learned psychology and humbly accept criticisms
From ashes, I evolved into a phoenix.

Sincerely, honestly and diligently, I progressed
Time flies and, before I knew it, I was promoted
Salary, status, rank and fame ...
You name it and I have it
But, my world crashed at my peak!

I lost everything except my family; their selfless support saw me through; thick and thin
I paid a very high price and 'bite the bullet', took the punches, laid low and marked my time for someone's else folly
I came back, done well and prospered again
I have more time for my family, enough to go round and can live reasonably comfortably .. But, without much work, I have time for WORRIES

Setbacks are few, successes aplenty! Nobody set out to fail but there are days when flood water rises, the Earth gives way, fire rages through - there are simply things that's beyond us and our control

I'd rather be busy upgrading, learning new things, conquering new frontiers than to indulge in worries!

What will tomorrow bring for/to me? I will never know!

Life never gives me certainty as answer nor choice
But, I rather be busy than spend time worrying

You can take over all my worries. I am good at being busy!

Need my help or care to share? Call me!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The New Economic Order III

Make or break ...

Europe is co-mingled in a debt crisis, US is locked in a political quagmire, China is slowing down, Japan is still in a deflationary doldrums while the rest of the World looks on helplessly.

Is the World so helpless or have we worked into a No-Through road? And, Why?

Capitalism : an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market

It is not Capitalism that fails, its Greed, Indifference and Complacency

Leaders rewarded themselves handsomely beyond reasonableness and leeched on the very system that cares for all and sundry. Regulators were too busy sharing the spoils unaware and unfamiliar with the complexity of issues at hand. In boom times, even fools make money and few complain.

In the Asian Financial Crisis (97/98), Asia was forced to open their industries for grabs following the meltdown. But, will the West similarly allow the more successful, powerful and cashrich entities to acquire their failed institutions for a song - restructure, recapitalize and revive - and recharge the ailing World economy? Probably not!

EU, especially their failing comrades. are looking for loans, grants and write-offs not equity participation. Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, even Iceland are overdue for a remake and change in mentality. EU's noble policies and ambitions were undermined by lackadaisical partners.

US is a limping giant living on borrowed money and an (American) dream. Perhaps, only a 'dictatorial' democracy, dosed with austerity, can cure US of her spending binge, not necessarily bad though; an unlikely, but necessary, move!

The backyard workshops in China are slowly evolving into characters of her own but current domestic demands are not able to power China into the forefront, albeit being a number two economic power. China should pan towards an Euro-Asia (Russia-CIS + China-ASEAN) including Australia-NZ. Already, China is benefiting from her transnational rail-links and roads and her friendlier, less abrasive diplomacy.

With divisive threats within EU, political gamesmanship in US and a power-to-be economic powerhouse, China, globalization does not equal to One World, One Voice; its simply a marriage of convenience.

In the meanwhile, sub-sets like the Russian-CIS, MidleEast, ASEAN and smaller, less organised groupings are swaying in the sea of threats and opportunities; their decisions being 'bought' and influence by sheer economics.

Russo-AustraAsia is the best bet; still growing without the excesses of established capitalism.

Large scale wars are unlikely but pockets of conflicts or surrogate wars are inevitable. Protectionism and nationalism will also rise in lieu of self-preservation and self-serving policies.

With contained demand and deflation and/or recession, commodity(ies) prices will ease. Land squeeze and deforestation will lessen. Stockmarkets will  come off and the pace of life will slow. The World is getting smaller with compact space and time and the wired environment will cause more confusion through misinformation.

The X-factors are natural (or man-made) calamities and diseases.

The current equation and socio-political dominance will change dramatically when X-factor strikes, not unlike the terrorists attacks of 9/11.

All is not lost; after the destruction, comes reconstruction; Dreadfully painful but necessary.

Doom and gloom, like growth and boom, are just part of the journey. If you are running through Hell, run faster and you will get out earlier!

In a wired World, where everyone can work from home, sparing time for home-base, soil-less food production, a whole new configuration and demand pattern will emerge. Home and delivery service will be the norm and logistics and supply-chain management rules.

When US, EU, Russo-AustraAsia globalized congruently again, this will be a better place for all.

You and I will live long enough to see this happening. Maybe, sooner rather than later.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Age & Aging



If life is an onion, every steps forward is as tearful as each and every peal
Its the result that counts, not the journey
Goals achieved in an honest day's work and a sincere longings; bathe with good intentions taste sweetest and benefit all

Time flies
The young rushes, middle age manages and the elder, slows towards the end
Physically able, mentally capable and wisdom dictates the pace

The young looks forward to birthdays while the elderly counts their birthday as all fade into time
The young acts recklessly as youthful energy is their capital
The elderly reacts to situation with a tinge of aged anxiety, hopefulness and wisdom

Generation Y abhor restraints
The elderly is wiser from experiences
There is NO absolute 'right' or 'wrong'

It is the youthful and wilful spirit that pierce new frontiers
The elderly-wise and smart make them relevant, convenient and applicable to the mass
The wise mind is a youthful mind; age irregardless

Youths used to asked "why wouldn't they listen to, or understand, me" or "Don't need to talk, they (the elders) cannot understand"
The smart and wise will try to convince and influence whereas the 'reckless young' will dismissed it as above.

More importantly, there has NEVER been any generation gap (as perceived by youths) but an economic gap
The youths can say all they wanted but its their parents who put meals on the table


Age is not about the physical
You are as old as you think you are
When you think you are old, illnesses creep in, the heart 'weakens' and your mobility stagnates and regress


 It is NOT age that separates the man from the boys; its WISDOM

You are as old as your mind but never any wiser


Saturday, November 5, 2011

11 Minutes Of My Life

That's all it takes for me to ...

Exercise in 'blocks of 11 minutes' so as to maintain my health
Write my blog
Do 100 push ups in two blocks of 50 each

Spend time playing with my Maltese and Silky Terrier
Feed my guppies
But 6 x 11 minutes is needed to prune the trees and tend to my plants

I finish a business plan within that time
Or to device a business proposition and to pen the structure
Meditate

Drive to the airport or flee into town within that given time
Finish a meal if I am alone
If I cannot stand someone for whatever reasons, I will disappear in less than 11 minutes

11 minutes is a lot of time if used properly

We don't need much time to achieve success
Like the lethal shot, you need the depth and potency
The focus and undivided zeal

Some day, somehow, somewhere ...you look back on why and how you succeed
You cannot deny that it was that 11 minutes of focus delivery, acute confidence and indepth preparation that separates successes and failures
Be it an interview, a public speech or an appeal to the world at large

The last breathe will definitely be much lesser ...

I only need up to 11 minutes to change my life
To focus and to re-focus
To decide Fate

You can change your life in less than 11 minutes

Monday, October 31, 2011

November - Winter

Winter can be alluringly beautiful yet harsh...

The last leave of October shall make way for November tomorrow; a mere two months before 2012 arrives
The Northern winds will send cold and chills southwards
As Autumn leaves, trees shall go bald

Leaves-less trees and warmth winter warms the Souls
We are forced to slow down, walk slower while insects and snakes hibernate
Steps; a step at a time down the slippery winter roads

What have I done since Spring, Summer and with Autumn departing soon? Nothing much
I live fruitfully and wholesomely the way I wanted to
My Way is not necessarily everyone's way

I live with a clear conscience, with focal determination and with zest
Never trying to be Bill Gates nor Steve Jobs, definitely not Lee Hsien-Loong or Tony Tan
I did not, and cannot even, be like the McAunty and McUncle

I can only be myself as all of us are made differently and have different roles to play on Mother Earth

I have never wanted to be Nelson Mandela nor Liang Wengen or Wee Cho Yaw
Neither Bernard Madoff nor Michael Milken
My make, my role and my destiny ... we are who we are and everything happens for a reason

I love winter
I take stock of my life and slows down with Mother Nature
Its also the time when I look back and say 'Holy Ghost, this year is no different from the last! All that I had planned to do I had done but the end results were not what I had bargained for. Not necessarily any worse"

I guess its the same everywhere and for everyone
Man proposes, GOD disposes

And, I am glad to say "I am as happy, contented and healthy as ever" Success or failure is a State of Mind. If I cannot be the oak tree, I shall be the grass; dancing, bending and flowing healthily and steadfastly.

You CAN too

Watch this show by written and directed by Woody Allen "Whatever Works"



Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Difficult Days

When the mind wonders, I let it be...

I am tired
Physically I am drained
Mentally - its empty but not void

I procrastinate
The body is willing but the spirit is weak
I did everything except what I am supposed to do

I ...
Some days, somehow the body is not one
There is a need to be focus yet like stray bullets, they are off-target; Off by a mile

The World passes me as the clock ticks
I float aimlessly and drift listlessly in space
I have no goal, no guidance and no end-point

This is of those days that is empty but not void
Listless but not dreadful
Alone but not lonely

I am not an oak tree but the grass dancing in the wind

When tomorrow comes, I shall regain my focus, spirit and fire
I shall walk on water and enjoy the baptism of fire
The steely mind shall be shaped and crafted to defeat all challenges and win all wars

My chameleonic qualities with positive reinforcement shall be the light of my darkest night 


I am who I am in my ZEN living; alive, seeking and thriving


Friday, October 28, 2011

Traffic Congestion, Road Usage & Car Ownership



Cars ownership is both, a necessity and a status symbol.

Despite its expensiveness, many people aspire to own one if the wallet permits. With an increasing car population, roads and car parks need to be expanded to ensure a freer flow of traffic.

Apart from import duties and road taxes, new measures, like Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) and Certificate of Entitlement (COE), were introduced to supplement existing 'deterrences'.  Such measures have only added to Government coffers with minimum to nil effects on traffic management and growth in car population.

While car ownership is not discouraged, their usage is. This is because usage contributes to pollution, congestion and economic costs due to lost hours in traffic jams and demands for parking spaces.

There is, however, no 'one glove fits all' solutions in traffic management.

Nonetheless, there are some socially acceptable solutions;

1. Ideally, the public transportation system should be as seamless and as reliable and punctual as possible. If its convenient and reasonably priced, most will switch to public transport.

2. Look around you when you are caught in a congestion the next time. Do you notice that most of, if not all, the cars have only one person, that is, the driver. Give incentives, like discount to ERP, for carpooling; this not only save economic resources but also allow co-mingling and a chance to know others. Who knows this may also improve the number of marriages, enhance social interaction and built cohesion among the people.

3. Allow co-ownership of cars - two or more families should be allowed to co-own a car without the constraints of co-operative rules and sub-leasing regulations.

4. Provide full-day parking at lower costs at strategic locations like MRT stations and bus terminals.

5. Incidentally, the buildings in our shopping belt (Orchard Road) and business district (Shenton Way) are not link nor are there sheltered walkways to allow and encourage walking. It is not uncommon to drive to the next building a few streets down the road instead of walk in our weather.

Of course, the above suggestions are non exhaustive.

It is noticeable that our traffic management has been based on disincentives and are punitive in nature. Why not take, or try, a softer approach by encouraging and incentivising instead?

An all inclusive society peppered with care and share through softer approaches instead of using the 'big stick'  will not only lower the cost of living but it will also built a happier and more cohesive environment where stress is minimize and harmony maximize


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Singapore - To Change Or Remain - Singaporeans are not choosy about jobs



Singaporeans are not choosy about jobs






Singapore - To Change Or Remain

The bottom 20 per cent of working Singaporeans saw their pay stagnate over the last 10 years, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM); little wonder are there so much disquietness and stress.

I hazard to guess that not only had the wages stagnated but for the same wages, working hours have lengthened, by extension, the standard and quality of living had 'collapsed' too.

This is compounded by the influx of cheaper foreign labours and a lack of protection for local workers. Is minimum wage a possible antidote? There is no singular best-fit answer to this issue.

It is also crucial to consider the plights of middle age wage earners too. When you are 35-45 years old and you loss your job, chances of you finding the same job with the same pay and status is almost impossible. 

What about the loud cries of 'working into the twilight years'? If you cannot find a job to match your qualifications during mid-life, what make you think there are jobs available when you pass 50 years old? 

The displacement of employees at middle age is a serious problem as it will destroy their self-esteem and drive and is detrimental to nation building. How can a nation remain strong if their aging population limp into their twilight years as a 'spent force'. 

Many can accept that there are some jobs that Singaporeans shy away or do not have the skillsets and inclination to accept but if you look around, there are many foreigners doing jobs that relevantly qualified Singaporeans are denied. Is it a mismatch of skills or are employers taking an easy way out by employing 'cheaper, better and faster' foreigners?  

I welcome foreign workers (call them foreign talents if you like) to fill jobs that Singaporeans cannot match. However, I also believe it is the depressive wages and long hours that are deterrent to locals more than the nature and type of work. 

Why can a foreigner accepts a job that pays lesser relative to locals and with longer hours? Its simple.  For a start, there are no jobs in their home country for them. Besides, with an advantageous exchange rate, their  wages are very much higher than in their home country; dollar for dollar conversion. Whereas Singaporeans need time to socialize with family, contacts and friends, the foreigners single-mindedness and focus are  'work, make money - more work, more money, then go home'!

It is too simplistic to dismiss Singaporeans as lazy and choosy.  

It is timely for our Lawmakers and Parliamentarians to look into the well being of, and to spare some thoughts for, Singaporeans. The well being of Singaporeans must take priority. If the rich-poor gap widened further and more people are underemployed or sub-economically employed, there will be more stress, discomfort and resentment.

Our President Tony Tan and our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have spoken out for our fellowmen; it is time for us all to set aside the past and work towards an all-inclusive growth, benefits and care for all Singaporeans.  


London Taxis - Wheelchair bound passengers needs


I have been following the issue of SMRT's insistence to phase out London cabs citing low demand, availability of replacement model  amongst others.

However, the feedback from the wheelchair bound customers strongly suggest that the London cabs are not only suitable but are also in short supply (some bookings have to wait for one week). Apart from this group of users, London cabs also feature in weddings, special theme events and corporate bookings.

Besides, according to a group of London cab drivers, they had a meeting before with SMRT before and were acceptable with a reasonable increase in rental costs, if need be. 

Of course, it is SMRT's prerogative to discontinue using London cabs but the provision of services to the public, in particular the wheelchair bound passengers, is paramount consideration. Furthermore, SMRT does not suffer any losses from continuing to bring in London cabs as the taxis are fully rented out. 

Perhaps, if SMRT has decided to discontinue bringing in London cabs, why not LTA allows another operator to do so? If there are any legal restraints or priority in bringing in London cabs that was given to SMRT, SMRT should graciously consent to give up and let other operators continue.

A qualitative transport system should cater to all, including the less able. The transport provider must not think solely on commercial consideration but to consider providing an all round, socially acceptable and politically correct service.   


(written 13 Oct 2011 - received kind attention of MOT)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Time Cycles

Everything goes round and round ...


Does history repeats itself?
Do we really learn from our past?
If yes, why is it our mistakes get bigger, graver and in greater degree?
On a positive note, discoveries, breakthroughs and advancements are also better

Stockmarkets are measured from low to low because price rises when hopes abound
Commodities markets reflect fear; prices rise as fears of shortages create multiplied demands. Cyclical prices are measured from high to high




The Kress conception of the 60-year Super Cycle:
The previous 60-year cycle/K-wave bottom was in 1954 and the next one is due to bottom around 2014. 


World War I centred in Europe : began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918
World War II started in 1939 and ended in 1945 with the released of A-Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The 1950s witnessed the decolonization of Africa and Asia, the space race, the challenges and conflicts posed by communist and capitalist idelogies, the birth of European Communities (EU) and the recovery post WWI & WWII.

Are we witnessing some of the worst times in History like an Economic armageddon before good times can return? Perhaps!

This is not a doomsday pronouncement but recalling an uncanny shadow from yesteryears. Rightly or wrongly, many of us will live long enough to see better times.

However, "belt-up" tight; it will have to get worse before it gets better!




What goes around, comes around





Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Temptation

All men are tempted.  There is no man that lives that can't be broken down, provided it is the right temptation, put in the right spot.  ~Henry Ward Beecher, 1887


This humanly world is filled with temptations
Many call it habits, additions or unavoidable chances ... guess, stolen kisses are sweetest

Excessive eating, drinking, vices, gambling
Greed, domination, selfishness... are undercurrents of temptations
Fighting back and trying to make good a 'last hand' is almost always impossible and destructive

In vices, if you cannot, and did not, win all this while what make you think the next 'draw' will be superior?
You can't put a face to/on a con artist, a demeaning person, terrorist nor a person bent on 'doing bad'
There are seemingly good guy who turn nasty, selfish, self-serving and cheats when their facade falls apart

Every man has a weakness
However and whatever you do to hide your hideous acts
Somehow, somewhere and/or someone will discover it
Deferred prosecution may rectify the material loss but you can never reinstitute life nor emotional scars

When Providence punishes you, you are lucky
When punishment befalls your offsprings and/or family, the pains are raw like 'salt on wounds'

Walk away from temptation and you walk away from inherent sorrows
The triumphs and tribulations that you gained at others' expense will return to hound you

Best friends, good neighbours and close relatives are choicest victims
Similarly, retribution are sweetest when it hits those closest to you, including yourself

Be forewarned
Most people don't get mad; they get even
But when retributions hit, you will be 'evenly rewarded' with sorrows in tow


I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it Mae West 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

When Time Is Finite

"You have at most 3 months to live," the doctor pronounced!

What goes on in your head with such crushing news?
How did you accept this cruel pronouncement?
Why me?
Who should I share this with or I should just keep mum and ...

Your world shatter in front of you.

Shocked, acceptance, denial & rejection, depression ...
No matter how strong, how brave or how indifferent you are
When your body clock is finite and will end soon
You will be devastated

I believe most, if not all, people cannot accept defeat let alone a deathly announcement
Knowing that you are in the clutch of death-gate and unlikely to get a reprieve is worse than dying itself
But, many also awake whilst living in death's shadow

I think its not the darkness of night that we find challenging but the lengthiness of night ...

Its a mirage and miracle that many manage to outlive such pronouncements especially if they live like there is NO tomorrow and lived happily

Do you or will you?

Don't wait till your days are numbered
Live happily, healthily and enjoy every moment - today, tomorrow and any days

Our time is always finite
We live on borrowed time as tomorrow is never promised

I ... try to live to the fullest
I stretch my day and cuts down on darkness
I sleep lesser

...somedays I have 25 hours day; can you?


Friday, September 30, 2011

NO ... nothing

There is emptiness
There is nothingness

The World seems at a standstill
My world seems warped and hollow

My thoughts are void
My mind is blank

Some days are just meant to be
The mind wonders, the Soul dispirited and the physique weak
No motivation and living like a shadow of yesterday's me

Man is a coward animal
Loneliness is a big challenge
Silence is a threat

Take away his freedom and ringfence his movement
He will wilt and drop dead

Man needs a community
Be belonged and wanted

Just another of those dull day... where nothing goes right and everything goes awry

Sleep the blues away and the rainbow of life shall return


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Singapore - Creativity is well and alive

If you don't have it, built it ...

Jurong Bird Park - The world's tallest man-made waterfall.& the world's largest walk-in aviary


Bishan Park - Rivers and waterfalls will soon dote the park 


Garden By The Bay - Where trees, flora and fauna sprout overnight to display a botanical miracle


Lake - The marina freshwater lake-to-be


Water - NEWater or reclaimed water are treated wastewater used to supplement water supplies


Dwindling and/or Aging Population - Import foreigners to fill, add and top up the population


Top Students - Offer grants, scholarships and sponsorships to potentially bright young foreigners to study locally


Sports - Offer citizenship to promising players to don national colors


Corporate Status - Offer OHQ status to overseas conglomerate, peppered with tax incentives and liberal employment  policies


Assets - The homeownership scheme make almost everyone a proud home owner and potentially a millionaire


There are pros and cons to creative solutions, not necessarily bad though! But, some are stretching the imagination a little and may breed resentment and wears patience as existing provisions and infrastructure  are 'max-out'.   


Perhaps, we should ask, examine and learn why Norway, Sweden or other lesser populated countries are just as successful and happy? Instant replacement and gratification is not the best answer. 


Do we really want foreigners, who over time become Singaporeans, to dominate true, blue-blooded Singaporeans in the long run? The Japanese and the Swiss has this answer!


Let us continue to be creative but pause a little to ponder on social issues... and their repercussions, if any.



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CNB gave wrong drug arrest numbers



It is rare and admirable that CNB director Ng Boon Gay readily took responsibility for the bureau's statistical oversight. More importantly, the bureau pursues qualitative approaches to rein in on drug abuse, trafficking and 'casual' but dangerous experiments on party drugs.

The discovery of statistical error would not have happened if the bureau had not relied on intelligence collation, mental and manual observation rather than following the hard numbers blindly. 

While enforcement and deterrence against drug menace lie with the bureau, the battle against the destructive forces of drugs is not CNB's alone. There is a need to educate the public on its danger, in particular our youths, and to create awareness through education, support and soft approaches.

Let us not plunge into a witch-hunt nor blame game but to support CNB for making Singapore as drug-free as possible. There must also be sufficient avenues for the abusers to be rehabilitated and support for their family to help them eke out a decent living during this turbulent journey.



Also published in www.straitstimes.com

Monday, September 26, 2011

Trust or Trusting

Truth is as scarce as trust...


History repeats itself because history never records the truth; it records what the historians want recorded. Sometimes, its clouded by selfish intent and what the Honchus want to hear; sometimes, it is a marriage of convenience, diplomacy and a bias towards nationalism.

Banks fail and drop like dead flies. Instruments like Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO), mini Bonds, Derivatives, Sub-prime make NINJA loans (No Income, No Job or Assets) looks like child-play. Banks survived on trust and confidence but when its performance driven, henceforth profit maximization, care and trust give way to reckless money spinning strategies; a dollar stretched 50 times is like a nuclear bomb in a suicide bomber custody.


Investors were peddled with unsafe instruments which carries hollow warranties; the truth is that these are banks originated instruments but the fact is banks/bankers betted against the very instruments that they created! 




The Opium Wars were the climax of trades and diplomacy disputes between Qing Dynasty and the British Empire. America was drawn into the WWII following the bombing of Pearl Harbour. Did someone deliberately waited for a reason to engage in wars so that history can explain why certain events took place.


As layman, we trust doctors to treat and heal us of any diseases. When National Taiwan University Hospital transplanted AIDs-infected organs to five patients, the element of trust was pivotal but the carelessness, if not recklessness, in which preventive procedures were missing speak volumes.


We learn to trust but the World is filled with half-truths. Monetary gains and fame precluded  ethics and integrity. Beware this world will be filled with false prophets peddling miracles and quick solutions. 


To conclude, we can trust most of the time but we must not be too trusting. Sadly, most offer half-truths. You must seek and be convinced by the other half. . . guess, we need to rely on gumption or gut feel.   


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The New Economic Order Part 2 : When greening is successful

Greening aka recycling, reuse and reduce ...

You may disagree with me but when greening takes root, it is almost when times gonna be bad, or becoming bad.

It is when everything is deemed expensive, especially factors of production, that the world looks into cheaper alternative and salvaging wastes is one.

Green energy, biofuel, eco-friendly produce and earth-friendly materials are never considered unless they become commercially competitive. So what are the factors that drive greening?

Simply, dollars and cents.

All the talks about saving Earth, lengthening the health of Mother Nature are ... but talks!

My observation is "when the green  movements gather momentum, it is also a sign that boom period is over, or almost over".

When money is not a problem, men will splash on the best (caviar, wines), the tallest (  the 828 m (2,717 ft) tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai,United Arab Emirates), the most luxurious car (Bugatti Veyron Pur Sang , Ferrari Enzo , Lamborghini Reventon) while fertile agriland and forests are cleared for golf courses and luxury villas.


Man will always find an easier way out; If alternatives are not price competitive, it will simply be equated as price-sensitive and 'no good'. 


Unless, our very existence is threatened, the green movement will always be a minority. We are not blind to reality; we are just blinded by money!


In similar vein, I feel the best is over and the World economies is/are going downhill. Demand for commodities will fall and price weakness shall follow. There will be a structural change in Capitalism and some currency(ies) may become historic, that is, banana currency.


This is not an economic apocalypse but long awaited change waiting to happen (In post WWI, the Austrian Krone disappeared).


Hopefully, we will learn the lessons of earlier years, that is, the greening of Mother Earth is not just about dollar and cents but survival. 


The consolation is that in our wired World today, recovery will come sooner and faster. The speed of change is greater due to compress space and time. But, sometimes, the night seems darker and longer... 


The next sunrise will be just as beautiful if we live to see it!
  




Monday, September 12, 2011

Singapore - My Home

There is no place like home...

I was born in the forgotten generation, the post-1960s - too old for the Government and policymakers to give any, let alone much, attention yet too young to die and fade away; economically stable and capable but ignored.

In our instant gratifying, disposable Society, age becomes a liability. How absurd? Wisdom comes with age!

Even experts and analysts of post-GE and EP missed out this group by a mile. Their focus were on the younger voters, the newly-mint citizens and the elderly.

The post-1960s (age 50s) are the 'power brokers'. They are able to influence the views of the younger voters (being their parents) and the senior citizens (their elders and parents). They bridge the young and old and their thoughts and decisions are incisive and definitive.  

This group is also economically able and capable; both as producers and consumers.

Terms like 'silver tsunami' and an 'aging population' not only stigmatised aging, but made them seem useless, unwanted and a burden to Society; are they? That's furthest from the truth!

My observation is that whoever ignore this group is doing so at their own perils! When you win this group's hearts, you also win a chained response from the young and old.

The post-1960s group provides for their children and their elders. They feed, cloth and house everyone within their abilities. Inter-dependency is well and alive. If their livelihood are threatened, their pleas are ignored and  policymakers sweep their cries under the carpet, the message to their young and old is one of survival. Wouldn't anyone expect a unified response?

This group is also better informed and, by extension, vocal. They are well wired and there is a constant need to air or ventilate their opinions. The very burden of looking after the young and old does not allow for indifference.

I believe negative sentiments and issues like late marriages, lesser babies, higher cost of living, foreign workers, housing and employment ('unemployment' or underemployment) would have abated if the post-1960s group's views and concerns were catered to - the chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Singapore is my home and change is the only constant. I trust our PM Lee when he said he want to, and will, reach out to the people. The post-60s group is a bridge to the young and old. Through us, the message is harnessed and actions manifested.
  



Saturday, September 10, 2011

I Am The Winner

I win, today and anyday...

Heaven is not a place to go neither is Hell
Once you arrived in Heaven or Hell, your choice is made
Whereas on Earth, you still have a choice; to go Heaven or Hell
Enjoy life to the fullest

Living wisely and smartly is everyone's gain
Trying to outdo and outfox others is to create an environment where trust is shallow and faith is hollow

You may gain materially
You may win some friends
But, you will have to be on your toes always; living in fear that you might be dethroned, defeated and drowned in your own game

Go live your life to the fullest
Climb the highest mountain
Swim the deepest ocean
Make sweetheart deals and charm the World

The World only gives recognition to the champions, the winners and the best

The World will never be ruled by mediocres; even ruthlessness stand a chance

Similarly, you can fool some people some time, most people most of the time but never be able to fool all the people all the time

The World awaits a winner in you; everyone makes it in their own right - you CAN too as no two persons are made equal or same

Be truthful to yourself and winnings are yours to keep





Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tire

When the mind wanders, let it wander...


Sometimes, the mind is blank
Someday, the Soul is tire
Somewhere in the body seems to ache but you are unable to pinpoint

You prayed for rain but you get sunshine
You asked for a job change but you get job enlargement
You want a quiet moment but your kids/friends/spouse need to talk to you

Life seldom turn out to be the way you desired neither will you get everything you want


Rest if you must but never quit

Sleep away your worries and pains and dream away all ills ... dreams provide the escapades that reality can't
Dreams allow the Soul to unwind; like cartoons, you can take maximum pains and smashes, wake up well, unhurt and in 'one piece'

Give yourself a chance that nobody will

I am the catalyst of changes

Tire ... YES
Rest ... I will

I rather be the grass dancing in the wind than the grand oak tree that falls resisting the (challenges of the) wind

I live to fight again tomorrow... my return will be swift and incisive that nothing but SUCCESS manifest

Monday, August 29, 2011

If you are going through Hell, keep going...

Nobody stays in Hell, work your way out ....

Keep going, keep smiling. It's not how good you can punch, it's how much punches you can take; it's a journey. When you get out, you will be the Winner...

Strange things happen when you least expect...

Mirage - mirage is a naturally occurring optical phenomenon in which light rays are bent to produce a displaced image of distant objects or the sky. Its like an omen pointing you in the direction of Success. Believe the unbelievable - you CAN! 


Nobody knows nor share your dreams, your inspirations, your goals; Yours is as unique as yourself. We are made to succeed; no "BUTs," no "IFs" ...

Don't wait for miracles. Life is tough; thats a given. Go create your own miracle (miracle is an event attributed to divine intervention). When enough is put in, miracles happen. 


Unexpected, unforeseen, surprising, unbelievable - these are challenges that you will encounter and must overcome. The sweet taste of victory comes after the test; only the best will rule.


When you are:
Sick - you shall be well again; when sickness strikes, fight back
Poor - you shall be rich; if you had hit the base, the only way is UP
Lame - you shall stand up and walk; the mind shall powered up the limps 


I am writing this to record my life's ebb, its not a bottomless pit. It passes after I publish this post...and I shall be back to my WINNING paths.   


(Defeats and failures never come alone, they come in batches; failures here, failures there. Well, guess such deaths blows are meant to be impactful and destructive! Blow by blow, punches after punches)


There are NO losers, especially YOU, unless you allow 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The New Economic Order

Time flies and changes occur but ...

The USA owes the world money.

The USEurope struggles to save fellow members from bankruptcies and collapse.

Asia - the lenders - lending in a big way to stall a total collapse and jumpstart the recessionary West; stalling for time and also hoping the West will recover and turnaround.

The West are used to spending while the East are used to saving.

Western cultures preach philosophical ideals, democracy, freedom & rights unlike the East that strives to keep hunger at bay, with unison response and social 'responsibilities' and 'to save for rainy days'.

The US$ is not back by strong reserves nor gold but by the sheer strength of bullets - sole superpower with ability to respond militarily; henceforth the Confidence大哥大!

The Euro$ is as stable as the unity of The European Union (EU); an economic and political union of 27 member states which are located primarily in Europe. Recent soverign debts within its member states are causing extreme strains and challenges骑在虎上,下虎难.
- the strongest link is also the weakest link.


Asia is still as divided as they are united by circumstances. Lending to the West to create multiplier and demand to fuel growth at home is a nightmare. With declining growth, unemployment, underemployment, corporate and soverign failures, rising non-performing loans and other ills, the West's ability to pay is evaporating by the day.借钱难,换钱更难。


Soverign debts, corporate failures, protectionism, 'social unrest', self-interest and weakened political will will lead to economic war; a war where most will loss and few, if any, gain.


The question is not whether will we get into a 1930s-type depression, its an implosion of the financial system and globalisation; it is the degree of restructuring, and the birth, of the New Economic Order. 


With declining to negative growth, demand falls; demand for commodities also fall. 


As global economies contract, demand decline and social disorder rears its ugly heads as jobs evaporate. 


The Stock markets and commodities markets will not be spared by this downswing. It is not the end of the economic world but it is a gross adjustment of excesses and greed built up over the years; pain will be felt, bitter medicines fed and unpopular actions employed. 


The days of easy money/credits and mutual assistance will give way to nationalism and self-serving political will. Any willful and selfish policies by the dominant economic entities will force further degeneration and sufferings. 

This (the economic adjustment) will not happen tomorrow but its sooner rather than later - a New Economic Order is in-the-making!


Cash is King有钱不是万能。没钱万万不能


The immediate recovery in the collapses of stock markets are things of the past as the cyclicals indicate major turning points with weak economic fundamentals and weaker political wills.


.Beware and be forewarned; you have been told
  
This is not an economic doomsday projection but the tsunamic changes that will re-balance exiting economic and political alliances.


Capital and commodities markets will recover in due course but do not be whipsawed and drowned by its volatility.      

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Singaporeans First

Foreigners are referred to as :

Orang asing in Malay = alien
Gaijin in Japanese = outsider
Walh in German = stranger
Firangi in India = not of the same color
Gringo in Latin America

Some of the terms used border on derogatory - read more
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:English_terms_for_outsiders

In Singapore, we call foreigners "Foreign Talents"; omigosh! Why did we find them so talented when the World at large grade them at best 'foreigners' if not other terms that clearly signal 'not welcome' or derogatory!

Furthermore, (with due respect) how talented can a clerk, waitress, factory workers, cleaners, entry-level administrators be? I accept that we need some foreigners as not all the skillsets are available here. (I always wonder is it true that Singaporeans don't want such jobs or is it because the pay is so poor that you have to slave it out?!)

If you care to open up your door wide, as in our more liberal immigration policies, you will have 6.6 billion people to choose from/ walk-in. If only 1% decided to come, our tiny island will sink.

It is quite unimaginable, when the guests misbehave, the host has to adapt; its quite the contrary. Must we stoop so low as to 'kowtow' to any foreigners? Also, cheaper doesn't always mean better.

If immigration policies can replace natural (national) births and booster population, then we should call ourselves UnitedNationals not Singaporeans. For better or worse, every nationals will return to support their own/home country when the need arise (as the Chinese all over the world supported China against Japan when she was invaded by Japanese) or returns when prosperity arrive.

Singapore is a country not a corporation. Instant gratification and solutions are deceiving and will self destruct in the long run. I hazard to guess; for every 5 persons in Singapore, 2 are foreigners. Of the 3, if one is a PR, then we only have TWO pure Singaporeans; I stand corrected.  

Why are we so happy to say the foreigners love (or love to come to), Singapore? Is it really for the love of Singapore? I guess its purely economic;

i. There are lack of jobs in their own countries and with exchange rates advantages, they will slog it out (being cheaper) and compete with locals in Singapore because the pay they are getting, and finding a job, is a 'dream' for a start! By extension, this depressed wages for Singaporeans.

ii. By sheer numbers (1.1bil in India, 100mil in Philippines and 1.3bil in China) competition for jobs are very, very stiff in their home country; competing here is a breeze.

iii. Coming here for economic reasons will also mean that when the tide changes, they will return home or leave for greener pastures. Like migrating birds, the will leave in droves when food is scarce.

iv. Many wealthy and prominent families around the World send their families and children to Singapore to study, live (and move on later) because we are stable and safe. There is no sense of belonging; its purely convenience and affordability just as rich and prominent Singaporeans do.

Following the opening up of China in the 80s, many bright Chinese were sent overseas to study and learn; today, they are returning home in droves. Its the same everywhere. When the home is prospering or prosper, its time to go home.

I can only wish and pray that we, Singaporeans, and those who choose to be leaders to lead Singapore, remember that

i. Singaporeans are here to stay.
ii. Going away is not a choice (only available to the wealthy and those terribly deprived or forced to move).
iii. We are not a nomadic tribe and cannot be removed, replaced nor 'topped up'! If importing "cheaper, faster and better" (young not necessarily committed) is a solution, then the Singaporean race will be extinct in due course.
iv. We don't need foreigners (Singaporeans must stand up to lead your fellowmen) to tell us how to lead our lives. Sure, we can, and will, take good/sound advises, if any.

Care and share. Make the lives of our fellowmen lighter and easier.

When war breaks out, Singaporeans will be the first to fight, defend and die. I am sure no one reading this article is naive enough to believe that the foreigners will defend us. If you always take care of your neighbours' children first, how do you expect your own children to take care of you when you are old. ceteris paribus?  

Singaporeans must be FIRST because we are Singaporean and this is Singapore. 


Anyone still doubtful?