Monday, 30 July 2012

Watz Buzzing - 30 Jul 2012

Yaacob beating the drums again

Since November 2011, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts (Mica), Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, has been calling for Internet practitioners to create a code of conduct by themselves, for themselves. His second-in-command at Mica, Chan Chun Sing, has also urged the same.

The code is to be some sort of guideline or signpost on what is acceptable and what is not. It is a means to self-regulation, Yaacob was reported to have said. "He said such guidelines, which were raised in Parliament recently, can moderate online opinions and discussions in a 'rational and sensible manner that will not offend other groups, other communities'." (Straits Times)

Chan said, in April this year, "We must agree that (the Internet) is our space ... so I would encourage everyone using and interacting in that space to come forward and define that space. Collectively, we will define the norms that we would like to see being exhibited in that space." 

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Interview with Dr Christopher Balding on Singapore’s SWFs

Temasek Holdings Press Conference. Left to Right: Simon Israel, Ho Ching, Leong Wai Leng 

NAR: What is your opinion with regards as to where Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF) should invest their funds, specifically should they be limited to investing abroad or be given flexibility to invest at home or/and abroad? 

Balding: From a financial perspective I see nothing wrong with sovereign wealth funds investing in their home markets. From a political stand point, it is very difficult to do so without creating extreme conflicts of interest. Let me give you a little background before answering your question.

First, most SWFs do not have capital markets that can be considered investment destinations so for many especially newer funds, this is not a problem. 

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Crazy rules in HDB

I just want to share my dissapointment in our MP of their 'trying to help fellow citizens'. I have been trying to get a Hdb rental flat since 2008. The are countless times that i made my visits to the HDB to appeal, hundreds of appeal email that i sent to the HDB office and also countless trips to my MP in Pasir ris, however till now, 2012, all the efforts FAIL

Their reasons are, 1) my father has got a sales proceed and its a straight NO without even trying to help and ask and understand why do we sell our old house in the first place. and 2) my salary is above $1500/-. Yes my salary is above such but are they looking at my family and how do we survive in Singapore with a number of 7 people in the family with a mother who suffers heart failure, sister who are physically disable, paying the renting house and our everyday needs.

I am truly disapointed with the MP of Pasir ris when i went there personally and told them that i have already applied for BTO and i need their help in approving that i pay my 5% cash using the deduction of my cpf as i cannot afford to pay cash. I am not allowed to purchase a flat using the HLE loan as i am not 35 therefore my chance is only the bank loan but i cannot afford to pay the 5% cash. however, up to this date, i have yet to received any letters from the HDB or the CPF board. thus, i left with no choice but to take 2 bank loans just to pay the 5% cash. 

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Forbes Rich List Scratches the Surface in Singapore

The latest list of wealthy Singaporeans from Forbes magazine showed lots of money sloshing around Singapore – but it may just be the tip of the iceberg.

The magazine’s latest annual ranking of the city-state’s wealthiest 40 individuals found that Singapore’s richest people have a collective net worth of US$59.4 billion, up from $54.4 billion last year, with 16 billionaires locally compared to 13 last year. But separate estimates from Wealth-X, a group which provides intelligence on the world’s high net worth individuals, suggests that there may be at least 10 others in Singapore worth over US$280 million who might have been left out of the list. ($280 million was the worth of the 40th ranked Singaporean this year, Ho Kwon Ping of Banyan Tree Resorts).

Boston Consulting Group, meanwhile, has said Singapore has the highest percentage of millionaire households in the world, suggesting there are lots of other big fish who have tons of money but just not quite enough to make Forbes’s roster. 

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OPINION: Big problem for Singapore : Stronger Sing Dollar, Higher inflation, Large Foreign Workforce

Happily I go to Malaysia change my S$1 to $2.52+ ringgit every few weeks to spend...however, some Singaporean ya-ya-papaya think that strong S$ means Singapore economy more powerful or gaining strength on Malaysia and so on. This is the view of IGNORANT people. 

1. Why did MAS allow Sing$ to go up so much despite negative GDP growth last quarter?
There is very high inflation in Singapore and raising the S$ makes the imported component of the CPI lower thus lowering the overall inflation figure to 5.3% which is already quite bad. Imagine at 6% our inflation will be higher than 3-month spanish bonds!!! This is a sign the Singapore govt is losing control of domestic price inflation and using the S$ to make imports cheap to hide inflation pressures. 

2. Our export sector is hurting and property bubble is prop up to keep us out of recession?
Why you think MAS allow 50 year home loan. If property sector shrink immediately Singapore will be in recession because export sector is weak. The govt is just playing the number to prevent a recession by artificially propping up property sector.  

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Let’s have more sex

While the govt is so obsessed with the utilitarian purpose of having babies, the populace are having fun in a different way, in having sex. But how come no babies? That is an interesting question isn’t it? So much sex but so few babies.
The fault lies in how sex is conducted, in car parks and in Paris and in budget hotels are not too conducive to produce babies. And paid sex is less likely to give the desire results.

There are two more serious issues. The men have a fetish craving for sex with the sweet young things. Anything above the legally permitted age is not desirable. Isn’t this serious? The wives better start thinking. If this is true to the majority, marriage is too late as the spouses are far from the desired age group to have sex… and babies 

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Lamentations of a Senior Citizen

Over the last two decades, I began to worry for my old age. My Camel Brand Cigarettes has gone over 11 times in prices and still keep rising. The 10 cents per cup of coffee or tea has gone up by as much as 10 times and that 4-room flat has gone up by as much as twenty times or more. What’s even more dire is that inflation which was unheard of before the 80s or too insignificant to mention then is now running at over 4% to 5% yearly.

Do you understand the pain that much of the current problems are brought upon us by our rulers’ policy with no remedy in sight?


The PAP has failed the us. The old cannot retire, families are slaves to debts (expensive flats), school leavers cannot find jobs, older workers get replaced by cheap foreigners. So many university degree holders driving taxi. Our 47th National Day is approaching. How to celebrate? What to celebrate?” 

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What Minister Yacoob Really Want

Apparently, Minister Yaacob Ibrahim had a fruitful afternoon addressing 800 secondary school children some afternoon ago. In the dialogue, he urged all netizens to come together to develop an internet code of conduct. [report] Who would have expected that?

What Minister Yacoob does not realise is that there is already a code of conduct in the internet. Do you know what it meant to TYPE IN CAPS? If you received an email you are reasonably expected to reply if you are the main recipient under "to:" and recipients under "cc:" and "bcc:" can reply but not expected to

There are some form of syntax in communication, be in it business emails, flaming wars on a random forum or gaming with your guild mates. The list goes on. Minister Yacoob's vision was both perplexing and unnecessary. 

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Woes of PRC teachers teaching Chinese in schools

Agreed that something is REALLY REALLY WRONG with the education system.

Chinese teachers have been replaced by those from PRC.

My kids used to come home saying how high the heels of the PRC teacher’s shoes were. How she keep her hair like a pop-star. How she scolded the children (in Chinese) “So easy also don’t know, you Singapore children are really stupid”. 

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Gifted My Ass

Mr Kelvin Ong Wee Loong, the founder of AristoCare centre, was told by MOE to stop lying about his credentials. Apparently, the private tutor who charges an arm and leg to help your child qualify for the Gifted Education Programme (GEP), was never a pupil or a teacher of the GEP, as he claimed.

He is so gifted that he cannot remember if he was in the Gifted program himself.:
"In response to the revelations, Mr Ong said it was his mother who told him that he was from the gifted programme and he could not verify it because he does not have the records from the past."
He also claimed to be from ACS (Prinary) but the school has no records of his ever attending the ACPS.

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Ang Mo Kio-Yio Chu Kang Town Council signage FAIL

[photo by Cyril on FB] 

It made my brain hurt just reading it. 

Can we not do anything to stop town council fee increase?

It was reported in The Straits Times that several town councils are going to increase their monthly fees soon, with the increase ranging from $1 to $12 per month, over a period of 2 years. Is there not anything that the HDB dwellers can do to stop this increase?

Town council fees are something HDB dwellers have no control over. Whatever the town councils want, we have to pay, with no bargaining, no negotiation, no service guarantee and KPI or whatever. We just have to accept whatever the town council delivers. We just have to “trust” that the town councils are using the best of our money. But are they?

I did a brief calculation for town council fees collected from my block, and allocated it out to the various usage of the fees as per the financial report of my town council. Below are my findings on a PER MONTH basis:

Sinking fund$1,563
Managing Agent’s Fee$385
Maintenance and others$426
Water and Eletric$1,049

Aljunied-Hougang Town Council not raising S&C charges, 28 Jul 2012

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Give This Guy A Gold Meda

The words on the banner said it all! This is a picture of Chen Guanming, a 57-year-old Chinese farmer who took over two years to cycle from China to London for the London Olympics.

Yes, you read that right. He CYCLED from China to London! Cycling over 60,000 km through 16 different countries, he first went through Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, but was turned back at the border of Myanmar (boo, boo, boo). Left with no choice, he changed course and slowly wound his way through the mountains of Tibet, traveled across Central Asia and then Europe. All in his rickshaw!

Now, that is what I called the "Olympic Spirit"! I’m from Singapore where people complain about a 10min delay on the subway so the Olympic authorities really need to give this guy a gold medal for this awe-inspiring journey that lasted more than 2 YEARS! 

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Orchard Road anti-flood measures to meet future needs

The following annual rainfall data was obtained from the government website [1].

1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
1563 1812 2287 1819 2826 1853 2480 2910 2077 2289
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
2277 1608 1807 2956 2066 1925 2167 1775 2766 2168
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
2326 1463 1582 1994 2687 1484 2536 2103 2599 2463
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
1524 1877 2261 2169 1942 2333 2418 1119 2623 2134
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
2371 2783 1749 2391 2136 1931 2753 2886 2325 1921
2010 2011

2075 2524

It shows that we have five decades of rainfall data but the expert panel only used four. Plotting the data on a graph below:

We see that rainfall has been fluctuating up and down over the last 52 years. If our period of consideration started on a trough year and ended on a peak year, we would more likely conclude that rainfall has increased. But if our period of consideration started on a peak year and ended on a trough year, we would more likely conclude that rainfall has decreased instead. Since our conclusion depends very much on which years we choose to compare, comparing actual rainfall between years is not a satisfactory way of deciding how much rainfall has increased or decreased over time. 

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Who Blew The Whistle?

After the big fook on the alleged top honchos of CNB and SCDF getting free sexual rides, the intriguing episode of sex for grade in NUS is getting too rich for my damaged heart! 

National University of Singapore associate law professor Tey Tsun Hang was charged Friday morning with six counts of corruption in a sex-for-grades scandal.

In two of the charges, Tey, 41, a former district judge, was accused of having corruptly obtained sexual gratification from a Darinne Ko Wen Hui in July 2010, when she had been a student at NUS, as inducement for showing favour in assessing her academic performance, court documents showed.

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Darinne Ko only got a B rating from Prof Tey

Reports by the local Chinese tabloid have pointed out that Prof Tey only gave Darinne Ko a B grade for sleeping with him. Thus far, they have not managed to interview someone who got an A from Prof Tey to find out the difference.

If Darinne only got a B, Prof Tey might not be guilty of corruption but only at fault for improper sexual conduct with his student.

Other reports in the Chinese tabloid said that she likes to wear mini-skirts and dislike wearing long skirts. Described as 'tomboyish', it is unsure if long skirts 'got in the way' of her movements. Her friends still cannot believe the RJC school runner would have an affair with her professor. 

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Ex-Chief of Defence Force and SAF Scholar to be new SMRT CEO

Mr Desmond Kuek, 48, a former Chief of Defence Force and SAF scholar will likely be appointed as SMRT CEO taking over the position vacated by Saw Phaik Hwa.

Kuek is currently the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources. He is slated to leave the elite Administrative Service on 30 Sep. The Public Service Division has announced in June that Kuek wanted to ‘explore new opportunities in the private sector in a career change’.

When contacted yesterday, Kuek said he was still waiting to hear from SMRT. SMRT, as a matter of procedure, has to write in to inform LTA of any CEO appointments. It is understood that SMRT will be making an announcement soon.

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67% of Singapore's Chiefs of Defences are and were Chiefs of Government-Linked Transport-related Companies 

By now, Singaporeans know that LG(NS) Desmond Kuek will be heading to SMRT, taking the top seat as CEO. While his appointment might have caught many Singaporeans by surprise, I am not surprised at all. Before the news was out, I have long predicted in June last month that Desmond will be SMRT's new CEO. 

And by the rule of statistics: 67% of Singapore's Chiefs of Defences are and were Chiefs of Government-Linked Transport-related Companies. Let me explain this as follows: