Tuesday, December 24, 2013

How Fortunes Change?

Man proposes, GOD disposes ...

It's always nice to be a kid and not to grow up too fast
Living in a carefree, fantasy world, supported by parents and adults
Oblivious to the ongoings, sufferings, trials & tribulations and challenges

The more you know, the more you don't understand how & why this world is filled with contradictions
That heroes and villains are same; separated only by their popularity and reception by commoners
Hitler was well received, so was the Imperial Army; Robin Hood raided the treasury and helped the poor as the 'Beggars Clan' fight for the underdogs

Rich, wealthy merchants and traders make their bundles as some go on to fall flat on their faces
AIG, Citi, Blumount, Liongold, Wang Computer, MBF Holdings, AIS...were investors favourites while Hyflux, OSIM, FB started as 'darkhorses'
Some made it, some returned as victors while some disappear

Being dominant does not mean permanent
If you become dated, irrelevant and refuse to hear the world's calling
Some day, some time, you will be replaced and clipped into the annuls of history

The year is coming to an end and 2014 is a breath away
Problems and issues will continue
Make the best of today; for tomorrow may never come

Everyone need to survive and make a mark somewhere
If you are dead as dodo, there is zero chance of marking
Keep abreast, afloat and your queue is near...soon, you will make it

It doesn't pay to be a dead hero; live to fight another day 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December : Closing Time

The world was supposed to have ended a year ago
Not only it didn't end but life & living were more challenging
Almost every countries experienced slowing economy, rising unemployment & rising costs of living
Singapore was no exception except we continue to bring in foreigners to compete with locals
Jobs were created but with majority filled by foreigners (PRs are foreigners) & locals have to scratch the bottom

It's amazing that for every 5 persons, 2 are foreigners, 1 a PR & the last two are Singaporeans
We are fast becoming strangers in our own country
Another fast development is that foreigners who were educated here, went on to work, settle down & became PRs
A fair numbers became citizens when their babies arrived
Our Singaporean Sons have to serve 2years of NS & after they finish their education, they are 4 years late in working experiences
Alas, who is to protect our Singaporean Sons who protect the country while foreigners feast?

MoM said there will be fair employment practices

I hope so

Most HR that are helmed by foreigners bring in their same skin & comrades
It's not just kinship but they stand to make referral fees, consultant fees & the likes
Away in the distant land, safely & richly rewarded
I am not speculating; care to conduce check in their home country or those who came to seek their fortune?

The year will be over soon but our problems are far from over

Until, & unless, someone stand up & fight for our rights
Including the rights of our Singaporean Sons, the future is dark
Darker than night on the 1st of Lunar Moon

Care & share with our fellow men, our blue blooded Singaporeans
This will be the last time I talk about deprivation of rights of Singaporeans & our stolen lunches

If Fate is Destiny, then a change in attitude will change Destiny

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Understanding StockMarket

Stockmarket - Bulls, Bears, Sheep & Ants
The bulls buy with a hope that market will rise
The bears sell & profit from downswing
The sheep follow bulls or bears

The ants buy/sell on rumors, hearsay & generally make the least money & take extreme risks

*Time Cycle Analysis -
Market Moves In Cycles
They are the (see charts) :
4 Year Cycles
10  Year Cycles
40 - 60 Year Cycles – also read Kondratiev Cycle
( 1800 Steam Engines/Cotton  1850 Railway/Steel  1900 Electrical Engineering & Chemistry  1950 Petrochemicals & Automobiles 1990 Information Technology)

And the shorter term Quarterly Cycles – January, April, July, October

4 Year Cycle
2016 - ??
2012 - Global Recession/Slowdown
•2008 - Financial Crisis
•2004 - Argentinian Crisis/SARS
•2000 - DotCom
•1996 - Asian Financial Crisis
•1992 - Black Wednesday (British pound withdrawn from      European Exchange
•1988 - Norwegian Banking Crisis
•1984 - Third World Crisis -Philippines & Singapore Recession (PanEl)
•1980 - US – Savings & Loans (S&L)
•1976 - UK National Debt
•1972 - Overproduction, Under Consumption, Oil Crisis

10 Year Cycle

2007 •Global/Euro Financial Crisis

1997 •Asia Financial Crisis

1987 •Black Monday

Quarterly Cycle

January •Capricon Effect, Portfolio Re-alignment

April •1st Quarter Report

July •Mid-Year Review

October •Jupiter Effect/Performance Recalibration

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Singapore - Don't Despair

Where there is a will, there is a way...

I am quite caught up with the social inequality, discontent, maltreatment and disadvantages in Singapore and have always wanted to 'right the wrong'. But, many a time, there is little I can do except to voice out in the internet, be it through feedbacks, forums, Facebook and the likes.

I have also wonder aloud what can I achieve or is there someone out there listening, or even bothers to listen? Most times, I conclude that 'I am talking to myself'; not mad but a new normal afflicting many.

There are supposedly so much discord and uneasiness amongst the population. Issues like rising costs; housing, cars, food, medical & medicine - not a week pass without some price rises!

What went wrong?

Whether the Government (G) is looking into it, seems to be looking into it or will vigorously rectify the cries and bagful of issues is beyond me alone. But, taken as a whole, drips & drops fill an ocean. But, having said this, I am still hopeful.

I am aware there are many religious and charitable organisations and philanthropic people who go out of their way to help the poor, the needy, the sick, the less able and disable. Even the rag & bone aunty who comes around my area donates generously to charity & others in need.

It is heartwarming that our G do/must support these causes and efforts. The G must refrain from making things (eg rentals, leases or utilization of space) expensive and scarce. In fact, spaces should be made readily available for such selfless acts. I shudder to think that 'must collect fees' approach.

A friend of mine use to (and still does) organise charitable work together with CCs. The CC provide the tentage and he organise, including looking for volunteers, sponsors, helpers, cook and distribute. The CCs 'get the name' and he (and others) get to work. The only strange thing that I observed is, on occasion, even the VIP is absent (didn't turn up) to support the event.

Another two business friends I know run a soup kitchen and provide meals daily, come rain, sunshine or thunderstorm.

Many a times, I hear & read that G is not doing enough. It is not for me to judge neither will I. Well, The people can see. If everyone keeps complaining and nobody lift their hands, sufferings & pains increase, problems and resentment multiply; what good do we get?

May I suggest to all; help if you can, care & share. We can't wait until we have the last man standing. Instead of complaining about those who didn't do or support the/your cause, why not proactively offer yourself, your efforts & money counts.

To a better Singapore; to a better world...

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Truths : MSM versus Alternative Media/Blogs (AMB)

Information, misinformation, truths and half-truths...


reports usually pro-establishment

Its everything good, rosy and harmony

Statistics are polished to reflect the 'right' news

Pro-Govt views are praised and non-conforming, confronting and non-conventional views are caged

Surveys, comments and feedbacks are generally skewed towards pro-establishment

Weak in reporting frank, challenging opinions


reports dissent, discrimination & discontent

It dissect, discuss and present facts for their readers

Statistics are analysed and weakness reported

Pro-Govt views are scorned upon while most news are reported

You hear both/all sides of the comments with some brutally frank opinions

Report as 'it is' with minimal editing on those with expletives, cursing & 'mannerisms' issues

Conclusion -

Both serve a purpose; to allow comparison and to reflect preferred views or truer/factual views. However, its best not to distort views.  It's also good to know when you are consistently 'one-sided'. Nonetheless, a 'broken clock is right twice a day' & readers understand.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Do Not Tell Lies

A lie is a lie, including white lies...

When you lie to a kid, you give false hopes
Soon he will learn that this is a hopeless world where everything is promised until delivered
Trust is scarce
You kid learns to lie in order to survive & achieve what he wants

When you lie to your family, they live in uncertainty
Soon your family will have to make decisions without you as you are not dependable
Family warmth is absent & silence is deafening with your presence
Without you, your family becomes more hopeful

When you lie to elders or elderly, including your aging parents, you are hurting them
They may not blame you because its motherly/parental love but your hurts live and multiply within
They love to see you happy, bathe in your lies and sacrifice their time but wallow in misery
The biggest punishment is they die with a smile and you have not chance to say "I am sorry"

It's stressful to lie as you need to remember what you had said

No amount of redress and rectification can make those hurt by you recover
The physical scars remain & the emotional hurts is imbedded in the blood
Whatever you do, do not lie

Some  day, some time, the hyenas will dance around the aged, defenceless lion king
He lied that he is the king of the jungle as we all know, death is the leveller

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Money Does Wonders, Without Money I Can Only Wonder

What drives a gambler? He knows he will win
The more he wins, the more gutsy he becomes
The casino fears no winners but quiters
Ten wins can't cover one loss as when you win, you spend. But, losses come from your wallet

Tycoons are made & winners rule the stock market
Quiters get to keep their crown
Players never double or quit but increase their exposure via credit
Every rise multiply gains but every downswing doubly cleans

Nobody wins until he leaves the table or quit the market

When the chips are high, the smiles are wide
Friends abound & wines flow - feasting is a new normal
Crowd cheers you on

Frown, fears & tempers flare  as chips lessen
Friends turned foes while debts pile
Only dreams & hopes will cheer you on

I was their wonder & idol
Without money, I can only wonder...

Money makes the world go round
Without money only doubts abound

When you have cash in your pocket, doubts give way to confidence

I have a dream; I dream I am a simpleton
I don't chase money but I do welcome money aplenty
I need to spend freely, without concern about opportunity cost
Then, I am rich

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Stock Market - New High Or New Sigh

Who knows best about the stock markets?

The bulls, the bears, the sheep or the ants?
The bulls make money on upswing, the bears shine on collapses & downswings while the sheep follow & the ants spread rumors, trade on hearsay & pay dearly for acting on misinformation.

Everyone wants to make money but few do their homework.

We have seen some meaningful correction, followed by a rebound. Will the rebound last, create new highs or tumble into the wilderness?

Looking at the charts, the best is yet to be.

Companies do not fail; it's the management. Prices trade & trend in cycles. What goes up will come down, vice versa. There are a lot to learn & everyday is new.

October is an exciting & exacting month with the best & worst performers happening over a small window of time.

October 2013 will recover & perform well into 1st quarter 2014; Market rewards the brave & those who are prepared. Been there, done that!

Good luck; if you make money, spare some for the poor & needy.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday - The End Or The Weekend

Working life is never the same with the net & web
Any day & every day is a working day
Stress comes in all shapes & sizes, every seconds of the day; likewise rewards
The blind sees light whereas many live in darkness immersed in misery instead of basking in glory

Small winnings, like droplets, fill the ocean
Count your blessings & whatever the Kingdom brings, it's never permanent
The first, the champions, the greatest will always be challenged; I happened to be the second best
It's my size in the fight that makes the difference, not my size

7 days, 24 hours/day
Work never stops, life cannot stop & I would not stop
I do not contest everything nor do I run away when challenged
I pick & choose my fights

Winning is everything but I win wars, not battles
I lie low when the chips are low & every return is a Strike & three strikes is a Turkey
Every moments is cherished & every breathe counts
Tomorrow is better & today's the greatest

Whether it's Friday, Sunday, Wednesday or any day
Time has been compressed & many are caught in the web
Give yourself the break
Take yourself out of the race

Whatever is yours shall be yours
Whatever is stolen, you pay more
Be humble & be grateful
Most importantly, be yourself

Any day & everyday is ......... The Beginning

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Lone Ranger Without Pronto

When the baby is born, he must cry to signal life & it's beginning
CRY! Why cry when the rest laugh at his arrival? It's because life is a journey of struggles
The baby learns early that he must cry to get food & be fed
The screaming baby gets attention & gets what he wants

Without fears & worries, he walks, stumbles, gets hurt, stand up & walk again
His broken bones heal fast, his pain, if any, translates into worries for his caregivers
He is oblivious to worries
His curiosity motivates him to experiment & explore

Our lives are shape by the environment & everything around us
With maturity, cames carefulness & calculated risk taking
We learn to avoid pains & failures
We learn to eat humble pies, tell lies &/to survive

There is a motive in everything we do
We are motivated by agendas, goals & dreams
Winners take all & fallen stars aplenty
Success does not mean recess but success begets successes

Working hard don't always help & its not the answer but working smart leads to better results
Success is a lot of hard work, with large doses of luck
I have worked very hard with sprinklers of smartness
But, without luck, little can be achieved

I am the lighthouse & the light that glows within me is LUCK
Without the light, aka luck, I will be the darkest lighthouse
The Lone Ranger without Pronto (Luck) has a long journey to tread, alone & in loneliness
Whatever ... It's Luck that counts

Remember: if you don't raise your objection like a baby who cries to get attention, you will forever be downtrodden

Ask & it's given, seek & you shall find. Knock & the door opens for you
With luck in tow, everything is possible

Saturday, October 5, 2013

October - When The Cold Wind Blows

It's getting quiet, cold & lonely
The wintry breeze is being felt, the ground is freezing & the leaves are withering
9 months gone & 3 months to go before 2013 disappears
I have the feeling of void, emptiness & hollowness
Another page to turn for a tire soul

I have enjoyed every spring & summer
Autumn is getting a little cold for my liking with winter creeping in
I used to love the cold, freezing winter; will this year be the same? Guess, I will know soon
I am tire

Tomorrow will be a better day

It's not the size of the dog in the fight; it's the fight in the dog
I will fight destiny & I shall win
The route to my goal is within me
I will shine in the darkest darkness as always

Being alone is not lonely
Emptiness is not void
I ... I shall sail freely in the ocean of uncertainty
To my chosen destiny ...
Beginning immediately

When the cold wind blows again, I shall take the commander's view
I shall pilot myself to my chosen shore ...I am the lighthouse

The StockMarkets - Swinging & Singing

Many want to make profits but few want to do homework...

Bulls & bears make money but the sheep are slaughtered; the bulls buy & the bears shot with the sheep following blindly behind.

Nikkei Index (NI 14,024) - NI ran from end Nov 2012 & peaked in June 2013; its in a corrective phase

Hang Seng (HSI 23,138) - HSI had a volatile year. It saw lows in Nov 2012, April & July 2013 and Highs in Feb, June, Sep; it is recovering from the major sell-down seen in June 2013

Straits Times Index (STI 3138) - Like most, the low was seen in Nov 2012 & peaked in June 2013; not surprise to see the STI hitting near low of 2800 points before recovering. A move above 3300 will see STI testing & creating new highs

FT Bursa (KL 1776) - It's tough breaking KL 1800; even if it does, will turn down from KL 1850

Dow Jones (DJI 15072) - DJI has been rising on an uptrend since seeing the low in Nov 2012. Downside risk of DJI is 14800, with an (aberration) push towards DJI 14000; a likely scenario but should recover well enough to test all time high.

S&P (S&P 1690) - Uptrend intact since low in Nov 2012; may pull back to 1580 before the next rise

Nasdaq (NQ 3807) - The most promising chart with upside 4000 potential; short term correction expected

Stock markets go in cycles and typically October is the most volatile. Any sell-down in October 2013 (very likely) will followed by a good upswing into November. Carry through run into beginning of 1Qtr, 2014, reflects trend continuation similar to that the last cycle.

The game is old & the players are new. 
Guess, we will have an interesting year ending (2013) & an exciting new beginning (2014)

This is NOT an/any investment advice and nobody should rely on this; if in doubts, seek advises from your professional stockbrokers. lawyers, bankers and the likes.   

Trade with care; if you make money, spare some for the less fortunate

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Man build, Man destroys

It takes conviction & commitment to build the future
It is foresight & 'fighting to achieve' a cause that drives determination
No obstacle is too big nor onerous when life & death is fraught
In adversity, a new leader is born

Why don't successful companies last forever nor do successful families
It's not just adaptation nor creativity; it's values
When the right values, culture & practices are embedded
The roots of longevity is cemented

But, more often than not, when success gets 'into the head'
Nepotism, cronyism, 'yes-man ship' & groupthink seep in
The refusal to accept differing views & accept criticism are poignant in pre-collapses
It's the 'emperor without clothes' syndrome & compliance &  absolute obedience become the ultimate death nail

The first generation builds
The second generation strive for expansion, diversification & stability
The third generation enjoys & destroys
Death comes faster with incest, in-breeding & self-serving agenda

The furtherest views forward is only 'nose length'
Every honest mistakes is 20/20 hindsight
The best & ablest are 'yes-man' & groupthink prevails
How not to collapse into the wilderness

When leaders & their men becomes one
And dissenting views are frowned upon
The mass suffers

Is redemption near? Change will come, sooner rather than later

Sunday, September 15, 2013

September - where I look back & found nothingness

It's Autumn
Leaves are dropping in preparation for winter; the survival instinct of Mother Nature
With lesser to no leaves, there is more retention of water - the life source

What have I done over three quarters of the year - many things but mostly chasing my own tail
Not that I am silly but I am chasing my dreams filled with hopes
Hope - the power that drives everyone towards a possible, not impossible but "I-M-Possible"

In this early hours of Sunday morning where many are still sleeping & resting
I am up & awake looking towards tomorrow
I stay awake to watch this world goes by; I guess, when the time comes for me (& everyone) to rest, its permanent

It's hope that motivates us
It's prayers that keep us warm & hopeful
It's in us to look forward to a 'blissful' tomorrow

I have 'been there, done that' with some setbacks but peppered with successes
Do whatever you want & do not look back with regrets
Forward & onward we progress as time & tides wait for no man

Tomorrow is beautiful
Today is excellent
Yesterday ...is over

Go! Chase your dreams & rainbows
Climb the highest mountain & swim the deepest ocean
Everything is possible in your life

Thursday, August 8, 2013

There Are No Fools

Working hard is not the answer, you have to work smart
Many are highly paid but deliver next to nothing
Some talk their way up, some carry their 'boss' all the way up
Many resort to scheming ...

This world will never be fair
Not even the Laws of the land
Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely
Power, fame & money; once usurp will never be given up

In poverty & adversity, we fight together
In prosperity & growth, it's 'one for you & the rest are mine'
You can have more so long as you can pay
Where's the equity, equality & fairness? Reality sucks & stinks

Promises are made
Apologies are extended
Infringements are investigated
But, there are no rectification, ratification nor re-compense

I will complain & explain
I will offer constructive solution & suggestions
I will bear with it but...
Someday, I will action my thoughts to change destiny

If you feast & I am famish
If I have to eat out from your hands minus the dignity
Someday, somehow I will rewrite destiny
There are no fools

It is time to change, by hook or by crook
Change is the only constant

Everything is promised until delivered

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sometimes, We Worry Too Much...

My bamboo plants grow well and are green with fresh shoots emerging
I dutifully water the plants and added fertilizer
The taller ones bloom but ...the shoots floundered and were damaged by too much water and fertilizer
Within days, the shoots were damaged, then decayed and died
Too much haste, too much care and 'expecting speedy growth' is against Nature's clock

The butterfly has to crawl out of the pupae, rest and dry its wings before it can show it's beauty to the world
Fluttering in the wind, butterflies add colors to life

Many students worry about their results after sitting for their exams
Most pass & some with flying colors
Do your homework, be prepared and 'go for it'
There is no point worrying after sitting for your exams; the meal is cooked

Stop worrying and start living

There is no point worrying yourself to death
As you still have to face it when you are alive
But, when you are dead ...well, nobody worries at all
It's a closure - you bring along in your journey to the other world

So, now you know how silly it is to worry

Monday, July 15, 2013

The (Shadow) Class Struggle

..I am concern about you and your well being; trust me...

Is there a class differential in Singapore? That depends on who you ask, I guess. With 80% or more owning a house/HDB, even the bourgeois is confuse.


  [boor-zhwah-zeeFrench boor-zhwa-zee] noun
the bourgeois class.
(in Marxist theory) the class that, in contrast to the proletariat or wage-earning class, is primarilyconcerned with property values.

The working class is fast becoming a a struggling class in classless Singapore where rising costs of living is pushing them lower and lower on the affordability ruler. The stagnation to declining of income, coupled with more educated persons and professionals (PMETs), aged 40s and above losing their jobs, are putting pressure on the starch that holds everyone together for decades.

There is no real discontent nor challenges except the opposing 'noises'; (i)the promise of "we will prosper together" versus (ii)"you are prospering and we are sinking", with the latter getting louder by the day. It didn't help much with conflicting statistics - the official statistics almost always show a rosy picture but the netizens' sources almost always are able to point to selective reporting and deficiencies in the official numbers.

Why not call 'a spade a spade'?

Singaporeans can accept a frank, honest and sincere value proposition. What is it we have not seen? From fishing village, to being an entreport to high finance to gaming/integrated resorts; objections were always mild and the willingness to go it together is firmer than the finest glue on earth.

At the rate foreigners are coming in, its a fact that Singaporeans will become a minority in their own home; what's there to protect them as you would protect your homes? The locals do NS and have reservists' obligations while the foreigners come to feast and get free scholarships is/are an unacceptable equation. Charity begins at home; if you cannot take care of your own (kind), it's shallow and foolish to groom others in the hope they will stay and become one of you/your own!

There is no need, nor allow foreigners, to hide under the emblem "PR". Get it straight. PRs are foreigners. Let us have an honest and sincere relationship. Tell it as it is! Let us go back to basics:  

The Govt do what they are good at - Govern. The people works for their living and the entrepreneurs work on the multiplier and equitably pay their local staffs. Our domestic economy is re-engineered and rejuvenated and let the small industries and 'mom & pop' shops prosper manifesting more choices and opportunities for all.

Protect Singaporeans lives and livelihood. To all foreigners who scream 'xenophobic', allow me to say this; "pack up and go home and ask your own Government to open your door wide to welcome foreigners". We may consider coming to join you together with the 200mil globally unemployed.

When push comes to shove, if & when the locals feel helpless, 'impoverished', hopeless and ignored, many may seek alternative solutions just to ventilate and 'hope for the best'. What's it, I don't know neither can I predict. 'What the mind thinks, it becomes' - quote/unquote.

The future will be as bleak or as hopeful depends on our ability and willingness to re-engineer and share. The rich cannot live in a sea of poor as the more able must lead the mass out of this 'unequal paradigm'. Let us start working and stop bickering for a better tomorrow.

Strictly, there is NO anti-government elements but when & where policies strangle and the noose tightens, you get feedback and responses.

We, the Citizens of Singapore, ..... 

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Government政府, the Mandarins官 & the People人民

The government sets policies and the mandarins execute them. The people either benefit or suffer from the consequences.

When the government acquire land compulsorily at low cost and built flats to house the people, it was a harsh necessity then but accepted. When there weren't enough to go around, population planning was introduced to ease pressures and with lesser mouths to feed, there were more to share. Life was tough but happiness were abundant as we care and share; for the better or worse! We were the master of our own Providence.

Humanity has always been united during adversity and divided when the North-South divide widens.

Policies always served to achieve certain pre-determined goals but their effectiveness, efficacies and relevance may change over time; you may arrive at the right place but at the wrong time!

When Mr Goh Keng Swee decided 'we are price taker', he was a 'hardnose bargainer'; he haggled, slogged and gave to best price to locals, not just any price. Affordability was not measured against the upper half of society but using the layman's ruler. There were pains in army life but there were comradeship, belonging and a common destiny. Foot-nurses visited homes for pre-natal checks, compulsory vaccinations and the 'prevention is better than cure' approach built a healthier citizenry. Education and skills development empowered the people to climb the social ladder.

The Cabinet then included the educated, the citizen-leaders, the labor movement and the commoners. Everyone has a role to play to unite, live and fight as 'one'. The politicians of the day were committed and fighting for a common cause, that is, for the betterment of Singapore & Singaporeans. They were leaders who stand up and speak out for the people, not invited nor 'employed'.

Today's Cabinet comprises of many with scholarly achievement; an admirable mix. Even our Mandarins are academically superb. But, how many can claim to really empathize, understand and share the dreams, fears and aspirations of the mass? I am not doubting anybody's abilities but to think and act 'out of the box and against groupthink', where applicable, is fundamental in steering away from mines of failures and discontent. A successful group needs both, the scholar and the streetwise, guys. Strictly speaking, the army of generals cannot win a war without the soldiers.

My guess is we are paralysed by the 'need for perfection and there is zero tolerance for errors, even signs of weaknesses are frowned upon'. Adding meritocracy and persistent challenges from imports and foreigners, the equation becomes 'survival of the fittest - the Law of the Jungle'!

Many of my foreign friends said Singapore is an excellent nation; clean, green, organised, well developed with good city-planning but ...lacks EQ - the human side, or should I say 'the feel', of life.

I am not just hopeful but confident that Singapore and Singaporeans will unite as one once we get our equation right.

(This article is written with imagination and hopes and is NOT to be misconstrued as speaking against anyone. If anyone feel offended, my sincerest apology)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Alternative Economic Growth Possibilities - Singapore

Singapore positions herself as an open, laizzez-faire economy with a fairly low tax rate. Our growth is dependent on the global economy as we are too small to generate meaningful numbers unilaterally. Nonetheless, we had, and will, survive whatever economic activities and numbers we generate locally. This was proven from the days of fishing village, to entrepot trade, to labor intensive industries, to hi-tech, value add businesses, to today's high-finance & services.

We have been able to survive, outwit & outshine our competitors since our colonial Singapura era to the days of Malaya and Majulah Singapura aka Singapore.

Singapore did well in post-independence with jobs creation (labor intensive industries), provision of housing (Singapore Investment Trusts - SIT, then succeeded by Housing & Development Board - HDB) & defence. The development of the financial sector was swift and tourism was identified too. Except for strategic industries, most others were left to private entrepreneurs. Singapore's economy grew and local demand & the multiplier were in overdrive. Happiness was found in diversity and adversity; most, if not all, have a bite of the cherry. Income inequality was minimum and acceptable and Singaporeans were master of their own destiny.

Singapore entered globalisation and the 'Big Bang' with the foresight and hope that we will become global players one day. But, the consolidation, especially banks & financial houses, in my opinion, were and still remain, detrimental to private entrepreneurship.

*With fewer banks, come fewer loans. The bigger banks may not be interested in small loans; the 'mom & pop' businesses. Cottage industries died along the way. By extension, there were fewer finance-related jobs, lesser competition (banks become the 'buy side' and borrowers the 'sell side'), costs of borrowing go up and the multiplier contracts.

*(Note: Money is the lifeline of businesses. If there were more (small & big) banks around, credit creation would be amplified).

The need to 'grow overnight' through mergers and acquisition and to 'act big' on the global stage is not without faults. Deficiencies in management skills, international exposures, global 'games-rules', cultures, politics and practices were potent threats. Success were far and few in between.

A well planned immigration policy would have resulted in a booming 'local' economy with the building of more infrastructures, houses, telcos-capacity, provision of services to 'new comers' and benefited most sectors. Instead, we hear of shortages of schools, hospitals beds, MRT/transport bottlenecks, higher costs of living as a result of more demand created by more (new) migrants. Has someone forgotten that the local wing (of the economy) is equally important as the overseas business adventures? Have we missed out an internally generated economic opportunity?

We are not late to re-invigorate the local economy and to lessen our dependency on globalization. The government should look towards reducing costs of operations locally so as to encourage a vibrant internal economy. The sprouting of 'mom & pop' shops, cottage industries and niche services will provide employment, boost entrepreneurship and create 'a sense of achievements'; the made in Singapore 'feel'.

It is not enough to encourage hawking or 'hawkering'. Worst, if a big proportion of our university- and professionally- qualified citizens turn into insurance and property agents and taxi-drivers or are permanently displaced (I have high respect for every professions but I thought the years of education may have ended as broken dreams to many & wasted resources).

When tourists visit China, Australia, UK, Thailand, Taiwan and others, they look for night-markets, local 'roadside' food, flea markets, arts & crafts joints; these are small enterprises, alive and kicking. They bring in tourism dollars as well.

What's the point of bringing in foreign investments if they were to employ wholly, or almost fully, their own nationals? Perhaps, it is nice on the GDP but how does this benefits the citizens?

Our internal economy will provide some level of decent demand and earnings if adequately supported and encouraged. The injection of vibrancy, commerce and a sense of belonging will go a long way towards making a happier Singapore.  

We need foreign investments. We must take to the global stage but let us also not forget and retard our internal economy.

Maybe, not all can be big time businessmen but you have to start somewhere.

http://www.todayonline.com/voices/made-spore-feel - published in Todays Papers on 2nd July 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

Beginning Of The Second Half Of The Year

What have you achieved for the first half of the year?
Worry not if nothing's much been done as you have the other half.
Whatever is half done could be completed soon; it's better than not starting at all.
If you don't try, you will never know success as failures go to those who needn't try.

Not having money is not poor as you have friends around & having a lot of money may not be rich too as you don't know who you can really trust.
Health, contentment, peace & harmony are things money can never buy.
Knowledge & skillsets, unlike money, will always stay with you.
Start to acquire some skills & cultivate knowledge as you would ploughing the field; the rewards know no boundaries.

I achieved next to nothing in the first half but I certainly have sown many seeds, plough the land & ...pray!
I am not religious.
However smart one is, the difference between success & hugely successful is this thing called "LUCK"; we are all made equal except some are luckier.
You can plan, have the best plan, do your best, leave nothing to chances but without Luck, you are doomed.

So what's 'luck'?

Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.

I hope the second half will bring better LUCKs to all.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's No Fun To Be Poor

When the rich says "its no fun to be poor they are not referring to the poor but to themself".
How would the rich ever understand poor does not equals sad, unable or 'disable'?
Will the rich ever understands what's hunger & deprive?

The poor can stretch his dollar & lives within his means but a dollar is too little to be of any use to the rich.
The rich proclaims that he does 'charity' anonymously; well, how am I (the poor) to know if it's true as I never receive a cent of his help?
Whatever; the rich poor gap is the North-South divide.

When the rich/superior says;
'We will look into it' means 'no idea & still searching for answers'
'We will consider' means 'it may not concern me nor is it my territory'
'There are enough to go round, Don't panic' means 'I already have, you wait'
'No comments' simply mean 'don't ask me'!

The rich (golfer) walks the green while the poor (farmer) ploughs his land.
The rich enjoys the sea, the breeze & his cruiser while the fisherman have all but fish for a living.
The wealthy says 'I share your predicament'; it's giving moral support, meaning 'lip service'.

General Powell said he managed to win the war because his men in the trenches 'fought alongside him'. It's no fun being a foot soldier neither a responsible General. It's comradeship.

We are said to be equal but we are never, or will ever be, 'born equal', 'live equal' nor 'have equal opportunities'. It's the Law of the Jungle.

To all : you any be born poor but never lives poor. Everything being equal, I prefer to have the upper half!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Where Were You When I Needed You Most

What a divided nation we are today...

When there were common grounds to fight & to fight for survival, we fought as one.
We have come a long way; from independence to almost 1st world, from laborious work to value-add, high finance, from living in attap huts to high-rise apartments/HDBs but everything comes with a cost!

“Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think.” ― Gautama Buddha 

With wealth, comes class division, knowingly or unknowingly; the 'Haves', the 'Have-Nots', the 'Think They Have' & the 'Have Nothing'.

- The 'Haves' created elitism, carved & ring fenced choice jobs, can do 'no wrongs', have a string of followers worshiping for humanly blessings - up in the ivory tower & surrounded by a sea of poor.

- The 'Have-Nots' & the 'Think They Have' are the middle class & mid-class-to-be; struggling with costs-of-living issues daily & living like a rich-wannabe - Everything is financed & living on borrowed time and borrowed resources.

- The 'Have Nothings' are the un-class or under-class; 240,000 earning below $1,000, with many unemployed, underemployed & displaced; forever in the grip of financial deficiencies & said 'to be lazy and seeking handouts'.

“Most problems, if you give them enough time and space, will eventually wear themselves out” ― Gautama Buddha

From dusts to dusts, someday we will all return to meet the Creator. Everything artificial and hollow will collapsed into nothingness someday. Nations rise & fall, not through lack of foresight but, because of selfishness, greed, disguised goodwill & faking care.

Many do not speak out not because of fear but are hopeful that things will get better. Gags will only create a 'bubble of discontent & resentment' which when implode, like death, will be the equalizer.

Where Were You When I Needed You Most? 

Not enough hospitals beds, costlier healthcare, uncontrolled dengue, MRT breakdown becomes a norm, disconnect public transportation, higher education costs, floods, haze, expensive public housings, increased population without parallel increased infrastructure, curtailed & glass-ceilinged wages with cheap imports... these are not complaints but everyday basic needs. 

The 'Haves' will never understand as everything is affordable because they can afford the price. To expect everyone to be a 'price-taker' is a demonstration of indifference and a gross lack of empathy.

“Awake. Be the witness of your thoughts. You are what observes, not what you observe” ― Gautama Buddha

Mr 'Haves' - you can take all you want but spare some for the mass!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

How lost can lost be?

Crossing rivers & climbing mountains are never easy but it can't be any easier with life's challenges.

I have worked hardest, not just hard, tried to work smartly & definitely sincere.
I have put in limitless efforts, tried alternative solutions, even accepting less optimal suggestions; I am, & have been, too accommodating.

In the end, I was sold 'lock, stock & barrel' by my most trusted client, my best partner; people whom I helped without motives plus 'plentiful of gives'. I have traded my trust only to receive absolute betrayals.

I receive minimum to nil reward.

If there is God, HE must be very busy helping everyone except me.
The day when HE stopped helping me, I knew 'I am on my own'; for myself, by myself.
Alas! I'd liked to believe that I wasn't abandoned by HIM but HE is 'looking after others who have more pressing needs than me'!

I have been waiting for, & wishing that, HE will give me a break, a helping hand & plentiful of blessings.

If  HE is too busy, at least, do not test me further.
I am 'dead tired', losing hope, struggling ...I am working with 'back-up' battery.
Without re-charging, I am almost a dried prune.

I dislike my current stature, my position but I like my ability to be able to break out of glass ceiling & crash through obstacles.
I have enough to go on, to fight, to win, to overcome the odds but ...I am only a human.

God; give me strengths, guts, intelligence & help me walk through this sea of uncertainty.
In God, I trust.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Money & Power

Knowledge is power, power is money...

Study hard, do well in school & you will succeed, otherwise you will be a road sweeper 
These were the words I heard when I was young
Get a degree & you will find a good job & life will be a bliss

Use your initiative, be creative & think out of the box
Ask questions if you don't understand 
Express your ideas, freely & speak out against wrongs & wrongdoing 

Defend the country, your family & your loved ones with your life
Fight against injustice, stand up for rights & help the poor
Meritocracy reign, fair employment & more good years for all/you

Time change & people changes
Many things I learnt when I was younger doesn't seem relevant nor applicable
Obligations remain, equality is elusive, jobs opportunities are rarer 

Promises remained as Promises

The sunny island has gotten more developed & beautiful but crowded with foreigners

With many newbies called PRs, FTs or simply new citizens, our population doubles but our infrastructure remained constant, overused, under maintained & lacking
Fatcat pays kill initiatives, their willingness to work & breed ring fencing & protecting their choice positions & appointments

Everyone suffers but suffering is inversely related to wealth & income
The rich cannot live in a sea of poor
The poor cannot remained poor forever

What does the future holds?

The Truth About Singapore

the everchanging sides of Singapore...

What is right (or reading the right thing) or wrong?

1) in the battlefront - if U don't shot your enemy, he will kill U. ...uummm, killing is wrong!
2) IRs generate revenues & employment ...uummm, gambling is not exactly good nor right
3) our electricity/powerplant were sold/privatized ...uummm, the buyer is normally warrantied certain minimum returns & the consumers (rich or poor) carry this obligation
4) Uni-education does not warranty success in life ...uummm, true, so does this mean we can or should do away with Uni-education? 
5) control, control & more controls are good for U ..ummm, may I do the controlling instead?

Wiseman thoughts or fool's gold?

The mosquitoes are laughing...

Quote from a Forum writer "..Tip-offs about mosquito breeding sites in tree holes are diverted to the National Parks Board, those in potholes on the road come under the Land Transport Authority, drains come under the purview of PUB and places like back lanes are under the charge of the Singapore Land Authority.."

With so many agencies involved, I am not surprise that efficiencies & effectiveness are traded away 'tai-chi' style.

Do U know two different agencies handle 'birds complaints' - Crows, pigeons & other birds?

Maybe, this is job creation or 'protection'! 

I pray that when the/an enemy 'attack' our sunny island, we need not wait for the different units (land, sea, air) to respond because different agencies are in-charge! The mosquitoes are laughing...

Talk to the successful people, chances are U will be advised;

1) Don't give up
2) For every door that closes, the windows are still open
3) I almost give up, but...I made it
4) persevere, be patient, mark your time
5) I can, U can too

All these are very encouraging & motivating but try telling them to a hungry, desperate person with a few mouths to feed.

Those who feast daily will never understand what it means to be hungry!

Some ironies of life;

1) We can ban chewing gum but can't ban cigarettes
2) The regular use of MRT tracks do not get nor require servicing
3) SIA orders new airplanes but needed to 'mothball' a transport plane
4) Our military have one of the most advance attack weapons, potentially adding F-35s, for display but not enough is spent on healthcare & well-being (not welfare) for the citizens.

Last, but not least, the first dengue fatality - the professor said (quote from news reports) 'even if the patient had been admitted two days earlier, it would not have made a difference'! ... Tell that to our SARS team, Sir.

Oh, by the way, I am not a smoker but i'm not against smoking ...just have a good laugh

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Talk City

...talk is cheap but you may need to pay for opinions 

$50,000 - that's what you may need to deposit with MDA if you express too many opinions or your website or blog becomes too popular

To date, more are said than done
Plentiful of promises are said but few, if any, delivered
Funnily, what is said and what is actually done more often contradicts

What is correct & what is wrong seems to have merged and grey (outcome) is an acceptable result.
What is legally correct may not be morally correct; possible? Well, guess its not impossible as the Laws lag behind reality and practices.
合法; literally to mean comply legally, 合情; comply with culture & practices, 合理; comply with reason or reasonably correct
The Rule of Laws must be fair and equitable and the outcome must be consistent as in Case Laws but where the human hand is involved, the weight of Laws can be skewed towards a desired outcome.

As harmless as it may be, respect for the Laws of the Land will erode over time.

The mass are, by and large, indifference and live a 'carefree', non-politisize lifestyle, building upon their own dreams, chasing their dreamed rainbows and running round their own 'Garden @Eden' with lots of space for ventilation, complaints, controversies and self-worthy opinions. In simple term, its a 'world of their own'; the 'Gamers world', where reality and fantasies merged seamlessly.

There is no need to control nor regulate the 'Gamers World'; a world where fantasies and realities merged with plentiful of ideals but few ideas...ideals that float and change with time.

When Mao tried to immotalize his ideas and flood his thoughts throughout the populace with unquestioned authority, the country suffered (economically). Deng swung the pendulum to the other end and free the 'minds and thoughts' of the people and let 'free play' dictates the pace of the future. China enter an era of peace, prosperity and status few can challenge.

Let there be free play of ideas and ideals. There is no monopoly of ideas and wisdom.

If Martin Luther King didn't speak out, today's world may still be clearly black and/or white. For Singapore to breakout into a new era, a new paradigm must be allowed to manifest.

Friday, May 24, 2013

ERP; It's Costs & The Spy Traps

Whatever GNSS & ERP x; its a revenue chaser.

Car ownership has been, and will always be, expensive in Sgp. Apart from the variety of taxes currently in place, throwing-in 'charge by usage' will only further burden the users, minus the wealthy.

From experiences, the current system (or any new measures) are revenue centric; why disallow car pooling, car sharing & the likes. If every cars on the roads have four or more passengers (two in the case of two-seaters), half the car population will be parked at homes. What traffic jams?

With GNSS and ERP3 and a whole gamut of devices installed in-car, drivers are deprived of freedom, choice & privacy. Monitoring your movements, knowingly or unknowingly, becomes the norm. What's there to prevent a rogue government (if an evil group seizes power through the box) from misusing these for their selfish purposes?

Control at extremes will breed resentment and rebellion against the system and paralyze initiatives.

At the rate we are introducing, and passing more costs, to consumers/citizens, Sgp is a pressure cooker waiting to explode. The mounting stresses will create more zombies & cracks on the roads. The health costs of a stressful citizenry outweighs economic gains.

What's wrong with traffic jams? Economic costs? Sure, but if the health of the general citizenry is cracked or collapsed, what price are we paying?

Singapore is an experimental bed for many policies but our citizens must not be sacrificed like guinea pigs.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Country That Got Stuck In Her Path

...paralysis by analysis

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”  -  Confucius

Sir Stamford Raffles probably foresaw and reflected on this trading post islet and trust that it will be a great
trading point between East & West.

Mr Goh Keng Swee and his team strongly believed that we can transform this sunny island into a gem-of-sorts. There must have been a success story somewhere on Earth that whatever we want to do and forge ahead, we can imitate, adapt and create our Destiny.

In the early days, there were few educated men and information were not readily available. Who would have believe that there is, and will have, such easy access to info via www.?

Singapore started as (and progress):
- a trading post - 1800s
- an entrepot point - 1900s
- a labour intensive hub - 60s-70s
- mechanisation, automation, financial and value-add centre 80s-90s
- technology, knowledge-base, financial, leisure & value-add metropolitan - 2000s

With progress, comes costs.

Our strings of disillusions, disquietness and discontent is not without reasons; many were left behind in the name of progress and (GDP)growth. Our Gini-coefficient widens by the year reflecting our gapping income disparity.

The untame influx of foreigners seeking fun, abode, fortune & jobs took their toll on infrastructure, space, income and citizenry rights & privileges. Income were suppressed and jobs became scarce while costs of housing, medicine & medical care, transport, education, food rose in general.

Dissenting voices (often heard in alternative media/www) became louder but their cries were dismissed as noises.

Knowingly or unknowingly, Singapore had moved towards labour intensive industries like hospitality, medi-care, education, tourism and the likes; we have come 'one full circle' by experience.

With a global unemployment of 200mil and more, we must seek to protect the interests and well being of our citizens, not out of selfishness but, by necessity; Singaporeans are citizens and PRs & others are foreigners. To anyone who thinks and says we are xenophobic, please show me a country, preferably yours, that practices such liberal 'open door' policies to allow foreigners to work and reside here.

It's time to move upward & forward. But, please, Do Not leave our citizens behind.

For a start, all the leaders & leaders-to-be must step forward to serve and fight for the people's rights, well being and put 'Singaporeans First'. 

A good leader leads his men. An excellent leader leads his men and share his dreams, aspirations and fears. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Singapore; My Country, My Home

The toughness of being ...

There are cries about the tough lives and living conditions in Singapore.
Does anyone bothers or its just 'noises'?
Why & how did we reach this stage and how long can the people hold before they act to change their destiny?

Education, health costs, housing, transport and, to some extent, food are getting expensive and becoming less & less affordable to the poor, less able and bottom half of the population.

The stagnation of wages resulting from the onslaught of inflows of cheaper substitutes (foreigners who cannot find jobs back home & global unemployment, coupled with favorable exchange rates) have caused undue depression and stress to the body, the mind & the pockets. Statistics released showed that unemployed PMETs figures were higher last year.

When the economy was smaller, the pace was slower yet everyone was happy. Or at least, not unhappy.  Life & living were stress-free. The corporatisation of Singapore Inc had monetize everything; land, labour, capital including emotion - 'no money, no honey'.

Class division is a norm despite denials.

The elites & the mandarins get choice deals and jobs.
The entrepreneurs grease the economy while the working class work support the system & feed themselves. Many dread the possibility of displacement.
The poor, less able, less fortunate and the fallen ones pick up the crumbs. Worse hit are those who are geared; living on borrowed time & resources.

What has become of our sunny island nation?

Boys at their economically & educationally prime are conscripted to serve & defend the country while foreigners their age are en-route to finish their Uni education. By the time our boys finish their education, the foreigners are, and have, already gained two years or more of working experiences.

Jobs are hard to come by; good paying jobs are the exclusives of the elites & the 'connected'. Alas! Our boys fight, defend & die for the nation while the elites & foreigners feast. I pray this is fiction!

The rich cannot live in a sea of poor. Similarly, the hungry soldiers cannot win any wars. No generals, leaders & tycoons can be an island unto themselves.

I am born, live (& will die) here. I love my country & this is my home. I will not allow my country to go down the drain. If words & cries fall on deaf ears & nothing changes, we must act to save our little sunny island-nation called Singapore for our future generations.

Saying "You are free to pack & go", "It's cheaper to have retirement homes in JB", "Gang rape, afterall, is democracy in action" or "That welfare will breeds dependency & it's some form of scam" may mean well, or nothing, to some but these statements are very short on EQs, care & concern.

Again, I pray that whatever I have written is fiction & my understanding of the real situation is completely different; how silly & shallow I was - still deep in my dream?