Monday, 27 November 2017

While China is transferring money to pension fund, our PAP wants to increase taxes.




The Ministry of Finance in China is to start transferring shares in State-Owned-Enterprises to pension fund for social security.  According to Caixin,

[A (China) Ministry of Finance document said that the move "demonstrates that state-owned companies are owned by all people and should benefit all people."]

China Daily adds that “the move will ensure the sustainable development of the country’s basic pension insurance system.” It can also improve the efficiency of SOEs.
Currently, there are more than 200 million people aged above 60 in China. And there is a shortfall in pension fund, especially in poor provinces and bankrupted state companies..

[Taxes as solutions in Singapore]

While in Singapore, the People’s Action Party government is going to increase taxes. Here are some the headlines:

Singapore to raise taxes as govt spending increases

No contradiction between PM Lee and DPM Tharman on taxes: MOF

As Singapore’s spending needs grow, raising taxes is inevitable: PM Lee


The PAP government says infrastructure investment and social spending are to increase, so do the taxes. Of course, they know how to divide social spending and Central Provident Fund which is the responsibility of individual members or family members. And so, the PAP is only helping citizens indirectly.

[Top up and transfer]

Many CPF members, especially senior citizens (they have low wages when the economy is booming), are not able to meet CPF minimum sum for retirement. Occasionally, the PAP will help to top up the MMS and Medisave.  However, most of time, they want family members to help to top-up CPF savings.

Indirectly, in case of need, mean testing is used to assess whether social welfare can be extended.

This means the country’s wealth is distributed according to PAP’s wish list.

While in China, the new policy will put money directly into the pension fund. This extra funding or top-up will provide additional money to pensioners.   
(state-owned companies are owned by all people and should benefit all people.)

[Temasek, GIC - doing right politically or financially?]

As a start, China will transfer un-listed SOE shares into pension fund. On average, the shares can generate 5% dividend which can then support the pension fund payouts.

This means if the PAP government is kind enough, some percentage of Temasek and GIC shares will go into CPF Board. These shares will generate dividends to support all, especially poor CPF members.

While we going doing the opposite. We are changing the phrase from:

(state-owned companies are owned by all people and should benefit all people.)


To:

(state-owned companies are owned by PAP all people and should benefit PAP all people.)


[Efficiency and transparency]

In an interesting and strange Financial Times report:

China rejects Singapore model for state-owned enterprise reform



FT seems to suggest Temasek model is for efficiency rather than politics: Singapore’s Temasek holds stakes in domestic and foreign companies and is known for making decisions based purely on financial considerations.

While FT claims that “Use of holding companies, a model based on that of Singaporean wealth fund Temasek, had been seen as a middle way between the privatisation of SOEs and the current system, in which top managers are approved by the Communist party and often put politics ahead of commercial considerations.”

As a Singaporean, FT is either too kind to the PAP or does not fully understand the transparency and accountability issue surrounding Temasek, GIC and Singapore reserve.

If Temasek is efficient as FT claimed, then she should report all financial information in a transparent and accountable way.

While we may laughing at Chinese SOEs which are always politics first. However, when the government is transferring SOE shares to pension fund, it means all Chinese pensioners are watching the operations of their shares in related SOEs. These “hungry” Chinese senior citizens are very different from our CPF members.

Comparing to Singapore, CPF members have no say in the operation of Temasek, GIC and our reserve. Which is the better offer?   

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

PAP的新加坡特产:义务政治人物、自愿行政高管



    【人民行动党的一项创举就是培养了一大批义务自愿的政治和行政精英。这批所谓的新加坡特产,往往以责任为前提,挂着为民服务的口号;事实上,在衡量责任和权益时,却把个人的权益收益、事业前途、和金钱收入,放在责任之上。权益高于、大于责任,才是他们真正的本色。】


人人皆知,李光耀推崇儒学、孔子的思想,希望新加坡的从政者,尤其是人民行动党的领袖,都有天下为己任的高尚情操。这基本上也是新加坡的成功之道。然而,李光耀过世才两年,我们现在才体会到李光耀提倡儒家思想的结果,竟然是一批批的新加坡特产:

【他们一边打着义务工作者的形象,自愿的为国为民服务,没有计较个人的得失,从事最没有人想要工作,忍辱偷生,默默的工作。另一边,却是考量事业前途光明,高薪照领,没有一点脸红。】

『或许,李光耀当初推崇的就是虚伪的儒家思想,只是表面功夫。李光耀只是要达到政治目的,而不是想要培养一股浩然正气。因此,他一走,什么气也跟着没有了。

    新加坡上至总统,下至部长,可以说都是义务的政治工作者。因此,与之互相辉映的政联公司主管、董事,当然,也是自愿的CEO和董事局成员。这可以说是新加坡人民行动党掌政50多年来,建立的政治官商文化。表面上,似乎,他们都是义务自愿的为国为民服务,担负重任,不计较个人的得失,一心一意把一生贡献给新加坡。真实面,在地铁事件,淡马锡,政府投资公司上,已经看得清清楚楚了。

    义务自愿的名堂,这是多么伟大的政治工作者和行政管理人员。他们几乎可以和张载、范仲淹比美:



    因为,只有在义务和自愿的高尚人格推动下,才可能把做到孟子的浩然正气,把天下当成己任。在这里,把天下缩小到新加坡,这些行动党的自愿义务的政治工作者,就是把个人的得失放一边,只争把新加坡带向新的高峰。

【责任和权益的衡量】

我们看看这些新加坡特产如何衡量他们的责任和权益:

¥2015年大选后,许文远接任吕德耀出任交通部长,因为地铁故障频频,这个部门已经是一个烫手芋头,吕德耀为此而不寻求连任。因此,许文远毅然扛下这个没有人要的部门。可以说,有‘以新加坡为己任’的勇气。身为人民行动党主席,许文远以身作则,把责任扛下,当然,他应该获得的权益自然没有少给,还应该多拿一些‘献身’花红,作为奖励。反过来看,人才济济的行动党,为何竟然没有一个勇于担当的部长,愿意冒政治风险,担任交通部长。这说明,行动党第四代领导都是一群权益高于责任的人。

¥郭木财五年前就出任SMRT总裁,勇气可嘉。许文远形容他是自愿出任这个艰难的工作。一个挂牌公司的总裁,五年内没有改善地铁的维修,还引用文化问题作为挡箭牌,这才是新加坡政联公司的特产。做不到改善,还有分红,这才是权益大于责任的铁证。

¥陈川仁放下部长职位,出任国会议长,权益收入当然减少。因此,他说议长的时间比较自由,有多余时间可以做一些其他工作,增加收入。他似乎忘记国会的重要性,议长的责任有多大。他考虑的是部长是全职工作,而议长是部分时间的工作。部分时间工作的人当然有权利去争取外快。

¥哈利吗还没有当上总统,已经买了豪宅。因为,她已经算计了责任和权益这笔帐。总统的权益当然高于国会议长。她还没有十拿九稳一定担任总统,就已经考虑到担任总统后的权益,自己的经济能力,完全可以买豪宅。至于总统的责任问题,在衡量责任权益的过程中,根本就不需要考虑。

¥有这么一个行动党白痴议员,曾经说过,如果部长的薪水太低,外面企业界的人会看不起部长,他完全没有考虑到‘以天下为己任’有多重。这充分说明,行动党上至总统,总理,部长,下至议员和基层领袖,如何衡量责任和权益。

【责任和权益在李显龙领导的行动党中失衡】

责任(responsibilities)和权益(rights)在李显龙的高薪政策下,已经失去了平衡。老一代的行动党领袖,把责任放在第一位。他们在建设新加坡的时候,没有把个人的权益,利益放在第一位。他们没有考虑扛下责任后,自己应该分到多少权益,应该为自己争取多少回报才是合理的。因此,建国一代把责任放在权益之上。

相反的,李显龙调教出来的行动党特产,不论是政治人物,还是行政人员,他们都沦为政客,商人。他们假借义务自愿的名义,事实上是斤斤计较。你要他们负起责任,他们就要跟你讲权益。责任是要有代价的,而且,这个价码,这个权益要高于责任很多,不然,行动党就告诉你,没有人才加入政府,找不到人负责人担任政联公司的领导,行动党就无法治理新加坡了。

难怪,李显龙已经事先声明,政府要加税了,表面上是为了建设,投资,社会开支。事实上,就是要安抚一批批的行动党特产,他们衡量的不是以新加坡为己任,而是个人的权益,个人的前途。当他们离李光耀倡导的(虚伪)儒家思想越来越远的时候,没有把新加坡当成第一选择的时候,他们如何取信于民?这样的政客,值得投他们一票吗?

Thursday, 16 November 2017

UOB, Wong Kan Seng and the Singapore’s sad story.



Wong Kan Seng is to be Chairman of United Overseas Bank after being appointed as a Board Director.

It is a sad story. It is not meritocracy.

It is a sad story. It shows the limit of entrepreneurship in Singapore.

It is a sad story.  It is a political decision.

In his political career, Wong Kan Seng had no financial or commerce experience.  


[A former member of the governing People's Action Party (PAP), Wong was a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Bishan-Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency. Wong served as the country's Deputy Prime Minister from 2005 to 2011. He also held the Cabinet portfolios of Minister for Community Development (1987–91), Minister for Foreign Affairs (1988–94), Minister for Home Affairs (1994–2010) and Co-ordinating Minister for National Security (2010–11).]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wong_Kan_Seng

One can easily claim that being a minister one is qualified for all management jobs, including banking and finance, as he/she is looking after the ministry’s finance too. So a minister is like a chief executive of a corporation. And we should have no doubt about his ability to discharge his duty as a banker.

While meritocracy may not be applicable here, we can give the benefit of doubt to him. However, Wong is certainly not an entrepreneur before entering politics. His so-called business experience, after retiring from government, is only heading state-owned enterprises under Temasek.  

UOB is an established bank in Singapore. Through merger and acquisitions, it has become one of the Big-Three here.  It is a private bank dating back to 1935.Whether we like or dislike the way UOB grows from a small bank to a big bank, it certainly represents some kind of entrepreneurship. It is able to make decisions on their own and making compromises along the way.    

However, Wong is not known to obtain business acumen.

It is sad that a successful Singapore business still needs a non-businessman to guide its future. Does it mean UOB can only outgrow her present form with some political connections, even though Wong is an ‘old wine’?

It is a sad and bad example.

The only asset that Wong has is his position of former PAP Deputy Prime Minister.

Since 1935, UOB has always appointed a non-politician as Chairman. And UOB in many ways is a family controlled business. In one way, it is good to bring in new blood to reduce family colors. But it is also good to get external expertise to expand knowledge base.

Does it mean the inclusion of Wong indicating a shift where political connection is critical factor for future growth and expansion? Or Wong can be a stabilizer for lesser government’s intervention.   

It seems to suggest political consideration is more important than entrepreneurship. And businessmen must know how to make use of their political assets.

UOB may gain something. Wong is certainly a winner. As UOB chairman, he will enjoy and be entitled to perks accorded to his position.    

This is so different from Lee Hsien Loong’s statement on ministers’ pay in 2011/2012.  

Source: (AFP) – Jan 17, 2012

The above report means PAP ministers has to be paid high salary as they have low or no income after retiring from politics.

On the contrary, it is a sad story and bad example as Wong, a former DPM, still has value to a bank. Lee Hsien Loong had not predicted a full picture in 2012.

Wong is certainly not the case, so do many other ministers and even former and current PAP members of parliament.  Many of them hold directorships in listed companies on a “voluntary” basis.   

Being a volunteer as CEO or director is not a bad option but a sad story to Singapore indeed.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

从地铁(行动党)次等文化看新加坡的未来: 随时误点误事,把持肥缺肥田不落人后。

随时面对误点误事,
自愿把持肥缺肥田不落人后。


人民行动党政府认为自己的地铁文化出现问题,间接承认地铁文化是次等的,不完善,不完美,令人蒙羞的。但是,地铁文化正是行动党治国文化的缩影吗?从地铁的次等文化,细看行动党的次等政治文化:无需制衡,一党独大的狂傲,新加坡的未来何去何从?

地铁公司经过五年的军人式管理,奖学金精英的领导下,还是无法改变旧有的文化,那么,再给它五年,是否真的能够改弦易辙,提高生产力,提高效率,提高公众的信心呢?

答案和新加坡的未来有关,可以说地铁的既定管理文化,不论是重商主义,维修问题,还是领导接班人的问题,不就是人民行动党的政治的反照吗?

而这个烂泥巴,不是始于五年前,而是更加早,甚至10年,15年前,当地铁公司转为所谓的私人管理,骄傲的告诉世人,我们的地铁服务是一门盈利的生意的时候。问题就出在这里,次等文化就此产生。私有化国有企业,可以制造很多肥田肥缺,照许文远的说法,可以让更多奖学金得主,政府精英主动自愿的加入,为党为国牺牲,而不是为了个人利益。

地铁次等文化的产生,就是在行动党政府盈利挂帅的背景下产生的。SMRT企业总裁兼首席执行长郭木财何其不幸,主动自愿为地铁服务,但是现在却背上坏名声。而其他奖学金精英,肥田肥缺自愿耕耘,有些不但把公司搞到关门,还可以扶摇直上,顺风顺水,如,报业控股执行总裁伍逸松,就是其中之一。

因此,在这样的背景下,地铁的次等管理文化产生了,这当然获得行动党的次等政治管理文化的加持才有可能产生。与其怪地铁文化,不如直接怪行动党的次等政治文化来得更加直接。这和李显龙出任总理以来的次文化路线也有关联。因为,他强调解决经济问题,追求高薪高利,而忽视文化问题。从而接受次等文化逐渐变成国策。

因此,如果我们认为,地铁的管理不会有所改善,行动党的行政策略和效率,也是如此这般,那么新加坡的未来,将是黯淡的。因为,我们的要求已经不是第一世界的要求,而是,容许误点误事,把次级表现习以为常的一种病态。私有化国营企业,即使亏本关门,也无所谓,只要政治正确,主动自愿为党请命就可以了。

而我们的人民,也像现在一样,无奈、无助般的接受这一命运,最多,也只是在社交媒体发发牢骚。选举一到,还是闪电第一,闪电最好,闪电样样行的迷思。如此一来,根本,无法做到制衡,改进效率的地步。

这就是未来的新加坡。面对地铁的次文化,面对行动党的次政治文化,欣然接受,无助、无奈又无情的得过且过下去。

当然,我们依然可以做着一千万人口的大梦。或许,这样的一个梦,只能依靠外来人口的努力,打拼,智慧,财力,才能做到。那么,这是新加坡梦吗?我们的奖学金精英做不到,我们的行动党政治文化做不到,一切都需要外来人口才能做到,这到底是不是新加坡精神,还是,李光耀精神骨子里的精髓?我们在这么多年后,才看到这个李光耀的真面目。

    次等文化的历史现实问题:

¥地铁是政治问题。许文远说武吉巴督轻轨基于政治原因而兴建的。行动党可以不依据科学数据,分析,利害关系,就我行我素,只要政治正确就可以。因此,用人,外汇管理,也是如此。

¥地铁文化不是一时产生。地铁次等文化的产生,几十年前就开始了。就像一个年轻人一样,20,30岁没有大的健康问题,地铁营运了几十年后,问题就来了,当然,不懂得保养,维修,身体就会出现严重的误点误事了。

    ¥最聪明的奖学金精英也改变不了文化宿命。从学业表现上,这些自愿到政府关联的企业工作的奖学金精英,可以说是社会上最上层的人。为何这些人无法完成任务?他们不单不了解新加坡文化,对于底层员工的需求,也不了解。新加坡前50年的成功,是一群没有受过良好教育,但是却很努力,刻苦耐劳,不计较高薪的华人,马来人,印度人共同努力的成果。时代改变了,而精英却认为现在的新加坡人还是和以前一样,不会斤斤计较。

    ¥纸上谈兵的军人式管理。地铁是重要的基础设施,需要纪律式管理。因此,引进一批前武装部队高级将领,企图以军事化管理来改变地铁的次等文化。事实上,地铁服务,尤其是维修部门,只需要一支工兵部队就可以。这是光有将军,没有士兵的地铁文化。从这里可以看出新加坡将会出现的严重问题,一大批受过教育的白领,而没有像样的蓝领。

    新加坡在行动党次等文化的调教下,事实上,正在吃着老本。地铁如此,教育,卫生,人文素养(达曼说“过去二三十年来,我们的习惯并没有真正改进),这些都是吃着老新加坡人的血汗而缺少反思反省的行为。我们以前主动要争取世界第一,努力做得更加好,不然,别人会跟上。现在,吃着老本,无力争取,被动接受次等的行动党文化,被动忍受次等的服务。这是一个危机,因为,别人很快就会跟上、赶上。

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Sponsored PAP social media content everywhere. A day to come!



From Russia to USA. From the PAP to Singaporeans. PAP sponsored social media content will appear overall Singapore.

Washington Post  National  World   D.C. Area News and Headlines   The Washington Post.png

This is a report from The Washington Post.

If Russians can do it in an open society, like USA, a country with freedom of speech, how do we imagine the same in Singapore when everything is controlled under a one-party state.

The US has no press control and many mainstream media was against Donald Trump during the 2016 US Presidential Election. Even with main stream media support, Clinton could not win the battle. Why?

Did Russian content in social media really have such a big impact on the outcome of the US election? It may be yes and may be no.  But certainly, Clinton campaign had her weakness. And the blame now goes to social media, especially the Russian content.

If this is true, the People’s Action Party will have to re-think their strategy. They have to worry the effectiveness of mainstream media. In Reducing Importance of Print Media, PAP turns to Social Media for a bigger catch”https://pijitailai.blogspot.sg/2017/10/reducing-importance-of-print-media-pap.html, the PAP is gearing up in the social media. There is a limit that the controlled print media and broadcasting channels can reach.  

The PAP is now talking a lot about their fourth generation leaders. The controlled media can print a handsome picture of whoever they are. But in social media, these PAP leaders are not only less popular, in addition, they are competent deficit.   

If Trump’s social media strategy is right (winning election with or without Russian assistance), then the PAP will have to be very aggressive online.  

If same thing happens in Singapore, the Russian content changes to the PAP content. It will definitely have a big impact, perhaps, a big election impact as big as the passing of Lee Kuan Yew.  While LKY’s impact is through controlled media not in social media. This social media deficit will have to sponsored by the PAP government.

In fact, we have already seen a lot of government sponsored social media content.  As indicated in the Post’s article, Facebook, Google and Twitter had unusual sponsored Russian content during the election period.

The GOP Tax Plan Tells Us Everything About Who Matters In American Democracy   HuffPost.png

Google and Facebook have 60% digital advertising market in the US. They may also have the same percentage share in Singapore. This digital advertising revenue can come  from everyone, including local and foreign governments. While in Singapore, it is less likely foreign governments will thrown money in our domestic market.  But the PAP government, for whatever reason, can legally advertise in social media.

When the PAP talks about the Fake news in social media, it ignores and excludes itself as they claim they have an “Ownself check ownself” system. But all other social media users are subject to their control.   

It is a great challenge ahead, from mainstream media to social media, for both the PAP supporters and alternative views. The PAP supporters and sites must try to attract as many 'likes' as they can. While the alternative views and sites and supporters will have to do the opposite.