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.