Friday, 5 April 2013

Watz Buzzing - 5 Apr 2013

SQ Girls New Look

I am probably not alone in not being able to tell the new look from the old one. Therefore I am going to leave this here and compare the next time that have a 'makeover'.

I can't even tell in this pic it is the old nor new look!

How the girls look is hardly the issue with SQ. Coming from reading a book on Venice, I am more worried if SQ and many of our businesses faced the same threat Venice had when the Portuguese found a way to the Orient and dis-intermediate them. Tired old thinking here. 

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Singapore Girl’s blue eyeshadow is very 80s

Maybe it’s a guy thing. I wish I could say this tiny change ‘blue’ me away, but it doesn’t. So what gives? Is this an ‘out-of-the-blue’ marketing stunt to get people interested in the Singapore Girl once more? It’s not as if more people will flock to book SIA tickets now because their stewardesses look less like Abba.

I personally never had a problem with our SIA girls looking like Twiggy or a roller skating disco dolly (maybe because I can’t afford to fly with them so often) as long as their reputable service standards are up to par, but it’s not so much the putting on of heavy makeup that bothers me, but the putting on of fake accents. No amount of physical grace or ‘subtle, trendy’ shades of blue will compensate for pretentious English in my opinion.

Still a great way to fly, no doubt, but the feathers on this majestic bird haven’t changed one bit. 

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Lee Wei Ling looks like her father

When I scrutinise myself objectively in the mirror, I realise that the part of my face that has changed the most are my eyes. They are slanted and slit, closely resembling my father’s eyes in his old age. The lower part of my face looks angular and gaunt despite my weight gain, for most of my extra weight consists of muscle.

Recently, at the World Orchid Conference, two women separately asked me if I was Dr Lee. I asked the first woman who questioned me how she had guessed, since no recent photograph of me had appeared in the press. ‘You look like your father,’ she said.

One small lesson I have learnt is that there is no purpose served in being attached to my faceor what used to be my face. George Orwell once wrote that after the age of 50, we all have the face we deserve. I, for one, am quite comfortable with the one I have earned. 

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In January 2012, Mr Fandi Ahmad, who was much loved for his prowess in the local footballing scene, gave an interview to theToday newspaper in which he recounted some of the hard times that have befallen him and his family.

In 2008, Mr Fandi's wife, Ms Wendy Jacobs, slipped and fell in her home. She suffered head injuries and had to undergo extensive medical treatment and care. This took a toll on the family's finances.

 Mr Fandi admitted: "The medical bills are mounting for me and made worse by the fact that her condition is not covered by insurance." 

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No, I won’t send my kid to an MOE kindergarten

I have three children aged five, seven and nine. They have completed or are finishing pre-school. If they were born a few years later and I can send them to one of the new MOE test-bed kindergartens which are sited within a primary school, would I?

Probably not.

In all fairness, none of these kindergartens will operate until 2014 and no one actually knows what they would be like. 

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There have been many voices calling for move to a single payer government-led model of healthcare financing. The Singapore Democratic Party has made this the lynchpin of its healthcare proposal, while various parties have highlighted the potential benefits of a single payer, e.g. increased bargaining power with pharmaceutical companies, aligned incentives for health promotion and disease prevention.

letter in ‘Today’ written by Mr. Wayne Chan forcefully challenged the notion that more health benefits meant higher costs which meant higher taxes, arguing instead: “… a single-payer universal healthcare system based on a compulsory national health insurance model can stem the rise in healthcare costs by increasing risk pooling among a larger population, and allow for more bargaining power with pharmaceutical companies and medical service providers”.

Has this been the experience in other countries? Most certainly, Australia uses its scale to compel pharmaceutical companies to develop intricate economic models to estimate the national costs of reimbursing a particular drug, and if the models are wrong, the pharmaceutical company makes up the difference. In Taiwan, reference pricing is used and Taiwan agrees to pay only the average price charged to a basket of 10 countries 

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Singapore Gay Magazine Finds a Safe Space

In a world filled with headlines about gay marriage, the launch of a magazine for gay men might not be expected to cause a stir. But in conservative Singapore, where criminal law still targets sex between men, Element magazine is so avant-garde that it plans to publish only in the digital world.

“Government licenses were a concern,” says Hirokazu Mizuhara, the magazine’s managing director and a former marketing manager at Harper’s Bazaar in Beijing.  “They tend to be particularly conservative when it comes to this sort of content.” 

Element launches later this month, billing itself as the “voice of gay Asia.” Its first issue features interviews with dancers at gay clubs in Thailand and profiles of gay-friendly luxury resorts in Asia, keeping with the regional focus of the magazine. Advertisers already include fashion label Paul Smith, and Avalon, a glamorous nightclub at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands casino resort. 

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Dynamic PAP or No Competitive Life Cycle? 

There is hardly any Competitive Life Cycle in Singapore politics. There is no shakeout or disruption in the parliament election and so is there a need for the PAP to be dynamic? As a result, its dynamism is mainly focused on management of changes (changes in preventing entry, high cost for political participation, game rules to its advantages, press freedom). 

The capability analysis of the PAP clearly shows that its design and innovation capability is weak and does not add value to the value chain.  Competitive dynamic in fact is referring to innovation-led economic profits.  Dynamism can add temporary advantages to an organization and help to maintain (or even enlarged) the enjoyed economic profits.  The PAP does not have a dynamic advantage but a monopoly-led and -managed dynamism.  However, it still enjoys economic profits. Why?

 There is also no Competitive Life Cycle in the election market as the PAP has an unbroken absolute majority in the parliament for more than 50 years. Why?

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