Saturday, June 28, 2008
After thinking about the threat to Singapore's survival posed by the opposition, I have come to the conclusion that it has become too risky to have elections in Singapore. Not only will we risk opposition members voted into parliament which will lead to Singapore's ruin, the whole election process is a total waste of time. The tea session system that MM Lee put in place to interview and select new MPs for Singaporeans is a far better system that elections....why should we bother with elections? Instead of having ordinary Singaporeans who may "turn crazy" or "vote for the opposition out of boredom", we can trust the judgement of our esteemed leaders MM & PM Lee to choose the best people for us. Ordinary Singaporeans without the necessary qualifications and experience cannot hope to pick the right people to lead them unless they vote for the PAP.
I know that many of you may be worried that if elections are eliminated, westerners may accuse us of being undemocratic. Don't worry with Dr. Chee's antics drawing so much attention, we are already accused of being undemocratic even when we have elections ....so what is the difference? Anyway Western style democracy is not suitable for us. Our leaders long for something like what they used to have in China - a scholarship system to select the best mandarins to run the country. Elections are worthless legacies of the parlimentary system we inherited from the British. Although we have made numerous improvements to the election process by introducing GRCs, linking votes to estate upgrading and creating many rules to hinder the ruinous opposition, the whole exercise is still a waste of time and a couple of opposition characters still occasionally slip into parliament to ask "inconvenient" questions in parliament. These elected opposition members cost their constituents to lose out in their estate upgrading thereby undermining the value of properties in their constituencies.
I'm surprised that many asian countries have changed their system by adopting Western style democracy. S. Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and now Malaysia. Don't the Indonesians appreciate what Suharto has done for them and the system he put in place for economic progress? What about S. Korea, they used to be under the rule of strongmen and military leaders, now their President has to bow to demand of the people over American beef. See the ruin the opposition is bringing to Malaysia - it is ruining Badawi and the UMNO.
Some of you may be worried that if there are no elections, you won't get the goodie bag (NSS etc) they give out before elections. I want to remind you of the strange phenomena that occurs after elections - price hikes which suck up all the goodies you receive before the elections.
Elections are unless and troublesome. It brings uncertainty to our nation which is now for all intent and purpose Singapore Inc. They don't ask the workers to vote for the management team in General Electric - given Singapore Inc is about the same size as GE and ordinary Singaporeans are really just workers in Singapore Inc, why is there a need for elections?
Thursday, June 26, 2008
MM Lee warns us not to vote for the opposition "in a moment of fickleness or just sheer madness" when we get "bored" at some point in the future. Not only is Chee Soon Juan a crazy psychopath, people who vote for the opposition may be suffering from sheer madness. No wonder Singapore will be ruined if the opposition is voted in- crazy opposition members voted in by crazy voters. Because the PAP has done such a wonderful job, it is not possible for the people to vote for the opposition because they have suffered pain from bad PAP policies ....if people vote for the opposition, they have to be crazy, bored or fickle minded.
MM Lee has also reminded us that "Western-style" democracy cannot work in Singapore because it is hard to get able people into power when " you are judged in accordance with your persuasive powers". I totally agree with him. We better watch out for people with persuasive powers who try to persuade us the PAP is not the best govt for us and their policies are not the best things that happen to Singaporeans. It is not necessary for the PAP govt to persuade us that the GST hike is good for us, CPF Life is good for us and means testing at hospital is done for our own good. They don't have to persuade us because we already know that the PAP is the best thing that happened to Singapore and we should all be thank and appreciative by not voting for the crazy opposition that will ruin us.
Opposition would ruin Singapore: Lee Kuan Yew
SINGAPORE, June 26, 2008 (AFP) - The Singapore opposition would ruin the wealthy city-state's achievements in five years if they ever gained power, the country's founding father Lee Kuan Yew said.
Lee, 84, warned Singapore voters against putting the opposition at the helm of government "in a moment of fickleness or just sheer madness" when they get "bored" at some point in the future.
Should this happen, "I think all bets are off because in five years they (opposition) can ruin this place," he told delegates at an international forum late Wednesday.
He stressed that, unlike many other countries, Singapore did not have natural resources such as oil, gas, forests, timber and aluminium.
"When you are Singapore and your existence depends on performance -- extraordinary performance, better than your competitors -- but that performance disappears because the system on which it is based is eroded, then you've lost everything."
Lee, widely credited for shepherding the underdeveloped port into one of Asia's wealthiest nations in one generation, said younger Singaporeans often tell him he is "playing the same old record" when he delivers his message.
Singapore's small opposition has only two seats in a parliament dominated by the People's Action Party which has been elected since 1959.
Despite its economic success, local and international civil rights groups have criticised the government for cracking down hard on dissenters and political activists.
Street protests are rare and public gatherings of five people or more are banned without a police permit.
Lee has maintained that Western-style liberal democracy is not the right model for Singapore.
He said one ingredient for a country's success is putting able leaders in government. This could be difficult under a more freewheeling US-style democracy in which "you are judged in accordance with your persuasive powers," he said.
Lee holds the cabinet rank of Minister Mentor in the government of his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I have just found out that the young man has passed away 2 days ago after a viral infection.
His wake is at Blk 38 Sing Ming Drive.
We should not make criminals out of troubled youths, destroy their lives completely for a single mistake wouldn't have been committed if they were not enticed into it by the people who were supposed to protect us. The newspaper reports in 2006 said "Dr. Yeo threw his future away"...I think he had his future taken from him by the system.
I'm still angry about it....and now I'm sad that it has to end so tragically.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
When the Worker's Party published their manifesto during the last elections, they were accused of planting "timebombs and poison". Now they are accused of being too silent and not taking a stand. See the problem with the WP is this - they are no good when they speak up and they are no good when they don't speak up. In other words, they are just no good. The PAP and Straits Times have been very kind to point out the problems with various opposition parties/members so they can reflect on their weaknesses and improve themselves. The way I see it the main problem with opposition parties is that they exist and that troubles our govt. For a govt as good as the PAP, it is not necessary to have opposition parties around to offer alternative ideas - the PAP itself is capable of generating the full spectrum of ideas and selecting what is best for Singaporeans. Why does Singapore need opposition parties? There is really no need when our elections are meant to show support for estate upgrading. Since the opposition cannot offer any form of upgrading, there is really no need for them to run.
Singaporeans are lucky to have a newspaper, The Straits Times, that frequently remind us that the opposition is full of flaws, weaknesses, and are devoid of good ideas. This prevents us from being seduced by the opposition when all we need can be provided by the PAP govt. As a responsible citizen, I too will do my part to warn Singaporeans about the opposition.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Download here MP3
"...Except demonstrating that in Singapore old people have the dignity of employment...the question is irrelevant" - Davinder Singh.
"....dignity of employment? When you're in your seventies and you're bent over when you have to work because the govt does not take care of you. Dignity? You give a whole new meaning to the word dignity, Mr Singh. Perhaps you can create your own Davinder Singh dictionary" - -Chee Siok Chin
Our PM might sound a bit subdued in the recording that is because he was facing Chee Siok Chin an activist who once tried to bite a police woman when arrested. The best moment camefrom Davinder Singh who explained why old Singaporeans have to work. I remember Davinder Singh well from his debating days in NUS, you can put Davinder Singh on any side of a debate and that side will win. I'm so glad he has chosen to join the correct side to help fend off irrelevant questions from these fiece opposition members and defend the dignity of old folks to work.
"Do you know what it's like for Singaporeans to squeeze like sardines, smell each other's breath in MRTs and have to wait, sometimes for a half hour, for the bus to arrive?" - Chee Siok Chin
"I resent being called a sardine Ms Chee. It took me weeks to overcome the smell and you have to go remind everyone how unpleasant it is to be packed like cattle...." - Lucky Tan
The questions asked by Ms Chee were totally irrelevant to assessing the damages. The issue of old folks working and ordinary Singaporeans struggling is irrelevant to the reputations of our leaders. Their reputations are built on solid achievements and you can read about their grand achievements in the mainstream media everyday and about how well Singapore Inc is doing under their leadership. Indeed, it is clear their reputations have been damaged by the Chees and the Chees continue to damage their reputations by asking irrelevant questions in court. It will take quite a few weeks of Straits Times to rectify the damage but the Chees cannot go unpunished. Bankruptcy, jail, and humiliation via the media - the whole country now knows Chee is a nut case and his sister scandalised the court. In Singapore, nobody in the right mind will criticise the govt the way that the Chees did - so it is natural to conclude that they are crazy. In any other country, they would have been just called "critics of the govt" and there are hundreds of thousands of them in S. Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. But in Singapore, there shouldn't be any critics in the same mold as the Chees because our govt is so perfect that any harsh critcism thrown at them would be unjust, scandalous, libelous and damages their distinguished reputation. There are 300 million American citizens and not a single one has been sued for defaming George Bush....they have 300 million people but they don't have people there like the Chees - psychopathic, anti-social, scandalous and downright evil. Singapore has jailed so many political dissidents to help stabilised our small island because although we are small we face unique threats in the form of wayward political thinking that western democracies don't have to deal with. Singapore is a safer better place now that the Chees have been sent to jail and the reputations of our leaders protected from harm. Singaporeans can sleep more soundly tonight...our island is safe....
Sunday, June 15, 2008
The recent CPI report from the US shows a large jump in headline inflation (0.6%) but no increase in core inflation which remains at 0.2%. Core inflation excludes food & energy and is the more important number as it tells us if inflation has begun to spread. In the US as in Singapore, inflation is very much concentrated in food and energy but has not spread to other things.
In Singapore I notice that the big jump in hawker price occurred after the GST hike and then stayed there. Similarly taxi fare hikes were one-off, that single hike probably caused demand to fall enough for them not to consider further hikes. I don't think they dare to hike the public transport & ERP cost anymore - the last hike pushed Singaporeans to the threshold of wanting to throw eggs at Raymond Lim. The point I'm getting to is we are not seeing the kind of infectious spread of inflation in the 70s. Business are unable to raise prices because the consumers are so stretched they will trade down, substitute or simply stop buying. American consumers are so stretched due to rising oil prices and declining values of their homes, any price increase will lead to a collapse in demand.
The key difference between now and the 70s is the wage-inflation spiral. For the past 3 decades, the power of unions have waned and workers are no longer able to negotiate for higher pay. While this may seem like a bad thing for workers, when it comes to inflation, this lack of power to raise wages is key to preventing inflation from spiralling out of control. The vicious cycle goes like this - inflation = workers ask for higher pay = business raise prices = more inflation...and so on. Today when prices are raised beyond a certain level, demand collapses....the economist call this demand destruction.
What about high oil prices?...can this go on forever?
On the day when oil reached $139 per barrel, I noticed a few interesting pieces of news:
1. Airlines announced withdrawal of a large number of routes due to high fuel prices.
2. Indonesia, Malaysia remove fuel subsidy because the govt could no longer "tahan" the cost. Overnight fuel in Malaysia cost 50% more. I guess Malaysians will be driving less.
3. I went to a Pasar Malam (night market) and every car was offered with a CNG option that will save the driver 60% in fuel cost. Several of my colleagues were pushed to switching to CNG cars
4. OPEC convene emergency meeting.
That $139 per barrel flicked a few psychological switches that might has seeded the demand destruction for oil. I've been looking at the cause of increase in price of oil - there are 2 key reasons I believe that have contributed to this. Contrary to what most people think, I believe that OPEC, Chinese & Indian demand are not the primary factors that drove oil prices from $27 to $139 in 6 years. The first reason is the consolidation of oil industry that resulted in the top 6 oil giants now producing more oil than OPEC. It is found that these giants have not increase production & refining capacity and they left a number of leases on oil reserves unused and these were taken back by the US govt. The reason is a 2% reduction in production leads to a 20% increase in prices and once the oil companies were consolidated with fewer independent players, there was little motivation to increase production - since they have much more to gain by not expanding supply, they simply allowed the price of oil to rise to maximise their profits. The 2nd reason is speculation - hedge funds, pension funds have poured billions into the commodities funds which can only go long (purchase) oil and commodities. The oil prices have reached a level that threatens the global economy and governments have no choice but to intervene in the marketplace or see their economies strangled by high oil prices.
This is the point they call "make or break". Food and energy inflation will be defeated either with a painful slowdown or some intervention from govt. Already we are seeing riots in Indonesia, protests in Malaysia and S. Korea - it is time for governments to act fast or see more pain.
Friday, June 13, 2008
First let me send an email to President George Bush, Condi, US Supreme Court:
President Bush is the worst president ever in the USA. He is a liar and took the country to war on a false premise. He is corrupted by special interests shaping his policies to favor big oil companies rather than ordinary Americans. He is incompetent and his cabinet of neocons are prostitutes to a failed ideology that has weakened his great nation and destabilised the world. His pardon of his crony "scooter" Libby shows that he has no regard for the law or justice. George Bush should be impeached he is a criminal who surrounds himself with corrupted men who serve the interest of the military industrial complex, oil companies and Wall Street financiers. His administration is worse than any kangaroo court in asian countries and is a joke in the eyes of many people. Dick Cheney & Rumfeld are men who have sold their souls and their conscience for money.
Mr. Bush look here. I, Lucky Tan, will be in the USA on 10 Jul 2008. I will be within your jurisdiction and that of your corrupt govt and your corrupt cronies. What are you going to do about it?
Holiday Inn LA, USA Room 438.
10 Jul 2008.
What will George Bush do to me? Nothing much, really. He has 20 million other insults on the Internet to handle so it will be a long time before he gets to mine.
Singapore leaders and top civil servants cannot be insulted unlike the leaders of other countries. They are protected by law from insults. This is about guarding the reputations and integrity of the people who run our system. They cannot be questioned on their independence, honesty, and competence. So why am I allowed to insult George Bush and his merry men....and get away with it? .....Why don't the Americans implement similar laws to protect their govt men and leaders?
The reason is quality. The quality of the people we have as leaders and civil servants are a lot higher than those in USA.
Quality is the reason why our media is allowed to attack the opposition in many ways - e.g. calling Chee a mad man, liar, scoundrel and psychopath. The quality of opposition members is so low, they deserve to be insulted, jailed, bankrupted and arrested. Quality is a treasured among our elites who possess so much of it. Quality is what Singaporeans pay for in our leaders - "you want quality, pay for it". American leaders don't have much quality and they don't get paid much.
Let me remind everyone to be appreciative of the top quality leadership that we have in govt. You should find ways to show your gratitude like writing letters of appreciation to the Straits Times Forum or starting a blog like me to help others understand the grand achievements of our esteemed leaders.
You may occasionally have the urge to say something inappropriate - perhaps after going through the ERP, or upon receiving your utilities bill or after the GST increase. Let me remind you there is a law in place to protect our civil servants from insults, you should try something else like blaming it on George Bush, the President of USA...he is not protected by law from insults so you can say as many nasty things you want about him. ....that will definitely make you feel much better. Gopalan Nair is guilty because as a US citizen for the past 10 years, he has not learned to vent his frustration on George Bush instead of our civil servants & leaders. If he wrote about George Bush instead of Belinda Ang & MM Lee, he would still be sitting in Starbucks sipping coffee instead of ChangiPrison - he has chosen the wrong people to insult....our leaders cannot take insults.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
According to Ms Chua, Chee's plight is all his own doing. He got himself bankrupted, jailed and arrested....of course, Chee has free will, if he sit around and do nothing like the rest of us, none of these things would have happened to him. So this is all his own fault - the result of his own actions.
The squandered potential of Chee Soon Juan
By Chua Lee Hoong,
Political EditorToday, one cannot help but conclude that the trailblazer is more a sputtering meteor, and perhaps one with an antisocial personality disorder.
MANY people will remember the stir caused by Chee Soon Juan when he first entered politics.
The year was 1992; the occasion, the Marine Parade by-election called by then-prime minister Goh Chok Tong. Chee was a psychology lecturer at the National University of Singapore. Just 30 years old, he was eloquent, photogenic and full of passionate conviction.Mr Chiam See Tong, then-leader of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), hailed his new recruit as 'perhaps the most courageous person in Singapore today'. He looked forward to Chee heralding a new era in opposition politics, one in which more well-educated professionals entered the fray.What has happened in the 16 years hence? Today, one cannot help but conclude that the trailblazer is more a sputtering meteor, and perhaps one with an antisocial personality disorder.
The SDP that is now under his leadership is no more than a ragtag band, hardly credible as an opposition party.
Nowhere was this more evident than in court last week, during the three-day hearing to assess damages in the defamation suit Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew had won against the SDP, Chee and his sister Siok Chin.
SDP supporters numbered not more than 15 or so, even though the public gallery was invariably full. Of those who started out as neutral observers, I would venture that not a few ended up even less sympathetic to Chee after observing his behaviour up close.
Chee and his supporters will argue that the SDP's sad state of affairs is entirely the doing of the ruling party. The latter, they will allege, has used all means at its disposal to suppress the SDP's rise.
Such a 'Poor me! I'm a victim' argument will, however, cut no ice with the majority of Singaporeans, who can point to Mr Low Thia Khiang and Mr Chiam as examples of opposition politicians who have managed to get elected in successive polls in spite of the uphill battle.
Going by anecdotal evidence, Chee has disappointed an entire generation of voters who had hoped that his entry into politics in 1992 would bring about more substantial debate on political issues here.
The disappointment began early enough - barely six months after the Marine Parade by-election in fact, as a series of shenanigans came to light in rapid succession.
There was the misuse of university funds to send his wife's thesis overseas. There was the 'hunger strike' during which he drank water with glucose. There was the ouster of Mr Chiam from the SDP that led rapidly to the party's decline.From three SDP MPs in Parliament after the 1991 polls, there was none by the next election.
Chee seemed to focus his energies not on getting his party into Parliament but himself into the spotlight.
At an election walkabout at a Jurong hawker centre in 2001, he heckled then-PM Goh loudly and persistently, right in front of the dozens of people having their Sunday breakfast. It was my misfortune to have witnessed the incident with my own eyes.
In 2004, another rude heckling incident, this time at a Washington think-tank which had invited Mr Goh to give a talk.
Last year, there was Chee's performance at the International Bar Association conference at Suntec City, when he used a question and answer session on the rule of law to criticise Singapore's judiciary and focus attention on his own political misfortunes.
The attempt to play to an international audience for his own gain did not go down well with Singaporeans.
Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim, a speaker at the symposium, distanced herself from him when she said Singaporeans are quite capable of deciding for themselves the kind of country they want and did not need foreigners to 'canvass our agenda for us'.
'Singapore is not perfect, and we don't pretend that it is. But neither should we make it out to be worse than it really is,' she said, in what seemed a rebuke to Chee.
This Monday, it seemed to be Mr J.B. Jeyaretnam's turn to distance himself from Chee.
Acting as Chee's counsel for a contempt of court hearing, the 82-year-old seemed to be making a disclaimer when he said that while he had a duty to present the best case for his client, 'the counsel doesn't have to agree with whatever has been done by the client'.
When two prominent opposition figures have problems accepting Chee's behaviour, what more the average Singaporean?
Not that I think Chee will care about this. He marches, at least in his own mind, to a different beat. 'My Christian faith guides me, and it is a faith that compels me to fight for justice and to treat my fellow men and women with compassion,' he said in court last week.
Back in 1993, he also cited his Christian faith when talking about his 10-day hunger strike: 'I am a Christian. I came into this hunger strike under the Lord's guidance and am leaving it the same way. My life is not mine to take.'
The question though is whether mainstream Christians will accept his pattern of behaviour as being particularly Christian.
He claims to fight for justice but the way he fights has been lamentable.
Irresponsible, reckless, impulsive, unethical are all words that describe Chee's behaviour. Interestingly, they are also all words associated with what American psychologists call antisocial personality disorder, which manifests itself in a disregard for truth and for social norms.
According to a medical website, one complication that might arise from this disorder is frequent imprisonment for unlawful behaviour.
We don't know if indeed Chee suffers from this disorder. If he does, we have got to feel sorry for him. If he doesn't - well, all I can say is, Chee has squandered his potential.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
I really don't know what Americans see in this feller. A rookie senator who has not gone through proper grooming. He is not even qualified to run for the president of Singapore who needs to have prior experience running a corporation with a turnover of $200M. He talks about "change" and that seems to go down well with Americans. Unlike Singapore, their system is imperfect and needs alot of change.
Friday, June 06, 2008
After the episode with Chee, I suggest the govt up our rebranding campaign budget by another $10 million to offset the damage Chee has done to our reputation. The rest of the world deserves an accurate picture of Singapore - a dynamic globalised city with numerous opportunities. Any visitor can come and see for himself the true Singapore - the efficient airport, the ultramodern infrastructure and smiling happy people.
When Chee criticises the govt, it gives the people the wrong picture. It makes people think that Singapore govt is harsh towards the people - this is not true, they are harsh only to the Chees and their sympathisers. As long as you don't do what the Chees do, bad mouthing our govt in public and in their writings, you will not experience any trouble. Yes, I know some of you are wondering why it is necessary for Singapore to bankrupt and jail people for saying bad things about our govt.....you can find plenty of bad things written about George Bush on the Internet and so far nobody has been arrested. Similarly, you can find S. Koreans openly criticising their President and they cannot be arrested. As a Singaporean, I know that these other govts cannot measure up to the high standards of the PAP govt - that is why they deserve the criticism they receive.
Singaporeans are lucky to be living in a country where there are laws to protect the reputation of their leaders and top civil servants. These laws help us to trust the system....the integrity of our system cannot be questioned because there is no doubt that they are just. We preserve the system by jailing people who question the integrity of the system. In other countries with less perfect systems in place, the views of people who question the system is used to reshape the system - for example here is a group of Californians demanding electoral reform because they believe the system is unfair : Link. After 300 years, these Americans still can't get their system right and need to change it all the time. In Singapore our system cannot be questioned because we got it right under the PAP govt....there is no need for change and criticism . We have to make an all out effort to preserve and protect the system by catching those who question the system.
You cannot question the independence of our courts because you have to believe in its independence without question. How then do you know? You know because the PAP tells you so and if you question the words of the PAP govt, you impugn on their reputation and that will land you in court. As an ordinary citizen, it is best for you to believe and not question....questions can get you into alot of trouble ...just look at the Chees!
Chees' potshots at Govt diminish our reputation (ST Forum 5 June 2008)
I AM one of the ordinary citizens simmering over the way Dr Chee Soon Juan and his sister Ms Chee Siok Chin have tried to embarrass Singapore by going out of their way to raise their reputations at the expense of the country's.
I do not claim to be a patriot but I am hurt when Singapore's reputation is diminished because of the potshots the Chees have taken against the Government.
As a union leader, I know this Government goes out of its way to canvass the views of ordinary citizens.
The ministries hold frequent conversations with union representatives and I have had the privilege to question leaders and Cabinet ministers including Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.
I take pride that my voice is heard. Being heard does not mean being allowed to demonstrate nor riot.
There are many ways to engage the Government but the worst way is to drag its reputation down through one's actions.
Lim Yao Ho
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Gopalan Pallichadath Nair a former Singaporean has been arrested on the charge of "threatening, abusing or insulting a public servant". Gopalan is now a US citizen but back in Singapore for a visit.
Insulting our capable honest civil servants is indeed a despicable criminal act. I'm glad Singapore arrests such people who impugn the integrity of our civil servants. I know some of you may be concerned about people getting arrested for posting highly negative views about our civil servants because you have never heard of any other country doing that (except N. Korea?). I understand your concern but let ask you if other countries have civil servants as good as those Singapore? Of course not, we must have laws to protect them.
If you know Gopalan's background you won't be surprise at all with his arrest. He was a member of the Worker's Party - I've told you guys many times these people are nothing but trouble makers. Even after living in terrible country like USA operating under an inferior system of Western style democracy for so many years, he failed to appreciate and acknowledge the superiority of our Singapore system and our govt. This guy is hopeless. Unfortunately, the ISD no longer detain such people for redoctrination - it could be they are beyond redemption and ISD have given up on this type of people.
I applaud the govt's prompt arrest of Gopalan. It demonstrates the openness that PM Lee has promised Singaporeans when he took office. We are now open to arresting former Singaporeans who insult our civil servants and govt on their blogs. Looking ahead I see great political progress for Singapore with this move, without such critics on the internet, our govt can only get better.
1. The recent rise in stock markets is a bear market rally.
2. The US economy is slowing and recession will come soon.
3. The stock markets will start to tank ...this rally cannot last.
The logic is so compelling, you might be tempted to sell all your investments, wait for bad times to come then buy everything back at a lower price. The other day, an analyst went on TV to say that private property prices will drop by 35% in Singapore. Now that is scary isn't it but will it come true? Should you sell your home and buy it back 6 months from now.
The problem with predictions is there are so many factors involved it makes most predictions useless. I find that except of occasional periods of over exuberance (which have unpredictable lengths) and periods of terrible pessimism (which also have unpredictable lengths).....when one may be more motivated to buy or sell....timing the market is usually futile exercise.
What about charts? One of my friends swear by this series of videos, he tells me not only have the been right on every major move, turning points on the markets, they are able to explain everything with great clarity.
Watch the video for yourself. They are saying the US stock market will start moving down next week starting on Monday or Tuesday ...and so on. There are a number of economic numbers out next week and there is a possibility of the market making big moves when that happens. However, the technical analyst is saying the market will move down with a greater probability than it will move up. He uses past movement in the market to divine the future. The market may move down just like he predicted ....but it can also move up because nobody knows what the economic numbers will show before they are released. While this technical analyst has been right, does it mean he is able to continue predicting the markets? Was it luck or skill? My belief is the market will end next week up with 50% probability and down with 50% probability. I find it interesting to listen to people's predictions and their views but I've never found anyone able to time the market accurate enough to follow. This feller might have been right for the past few months but going ahead, I still believe his predictions are 50-50. ...
For most people the best approach would be to forget timing the market all together. It is a waste of time and energy. Especially when the market has been restored from "crisis" mood to something more "normal" what is known about the global economy - US economic slowdown, inflation, bank losses etc is actually discounted by the markets and built into the prices. The best thing to do for people who are young is to make regular investments in a diversified portfolio and not waste too much time trying to time the markets. Your time horizon should be at least 10 years and in a few years this whole mess with subprime & US housing despite the severity will be just a small blip. In 1998, we had the Asian crisis, in 2000 the dot.com bubble burst, in 2001 we had 911, in 2002 we had widespread corporate malfeasance, in 2003 we had SARS, in 2007 we had the subprime crisis. But if you have invested in the stock market at regular intervals say every month, you would have still beaten the fixed interest rate by a sizable margin.
I'm not a big fan of property investments. I don't think people can time this market with any accuracy however, history has shown that if you buy when everyone is buying and developers are marketing a large number of condos to large number of enthusiastic buyers....the end result can be quite painful 12 months later. 12 months ago the showrooms were packed, there was "certainty" that the market can only get hotter and higher. There is no such thing as "certainty" in the markets. 3 weeks ago, people thought that rice prices will keep climbing and a number actually started to hoard rice. The price of rice has been falling steadily because Thailand released a lot of it to the market. Price falls, and those articles on "why there is a shortage because production has been falling" ....disappeared from the newspapers. It is strange but true, there is always a perfectly logical explanation whenever something happens. ..and very often once the explanation is published the opposite happens and the explanation becomes irrelevant.
Always treat your investments as something uncertain and risky, you overcome the risk by diversification and averaging over long periods. History will be on your side if you do this. ....but nothing is guaranteed in this world. ...even keeping your money in fixed deposits or keeping it under your pillow can become risky. Just take the recent bout of inflation, it has wipe off more than a few % off the real value of your money in the bank. People end up taking more risk by avoiding risk - the 3.5% return on CPF money has already been wiped off by inflation. Inflation will prompt the govt to now increase the minimum sum because it has become inadequate again....CPF Life is doomed before it even started - it probably won't be enough for Happy Meals when you retire, you can only live on French Fries. No amount of tweaking can get the CPF to work, the only way is to employ the best people to manage the money for Singaporeans to minimize the risk of insufficiency. A responsibility that our govt refuse to take while the govts of Malaysia, Chile, Norway, and numerous pension funds around the world do.......the govt uses our CPF for investments by lending it to the GIC, then it refuses to allow more transparency on what the GIC does with the money. Think hard about this. What is going on here?....