Sunday, March 22, 2009

Its the economic performance that counts!

During the minister pay debate, the main argument to justify the extraordinary pay packets of the PAP leaders was performance. However, when performance is no good, it is time for an explanation. Be it Mas Selamat's escape, having the worst performing economy in Asia or losing billions in bad investments, the explanation can be made that blame lies else where and not with the extraordinary leaders who are in charge of Singapore. Singapore will put in the worst economic performance in Asia and the explanation is that Singapore is an export dependent economy and when our trading partners slow down we are hit badly. If you swallow this explanation wholesale - it is basically saying that there is nothing we can do about it we are forever at the mercy of external demand. But why are we doing so badly? The rest of Asia is also dependent on external demand and Hong Kong is about the same size as us. Don't forget the govt plays a big role in our economy - they pick the industries Singapore chooses to go into casinos, biotech, etc, they strategically plan our economy and the level of domestic demand....they make all the moves on the economic chessboard and this is where they got us.
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"MM Lee took issue with criticisms of Singapore's economic model, such as that from a recent Wall Street Journal editorial which said the Republic needed to refocus on the domestic consumption of goods that are now produced for export. 'Four million people to sustain industries supplying top-end goods to the world? That's rubbish.' Singapore has no choice but to export, he stressed. " - Straits Times [Link]
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I don't think anyone in the right mind is asking Singapore to stop exporting or become solely dependent on domestic demand - that would be rubbish indeed. However, more can be done to strengthen our domestic demand so that our economic performance does not fluctuate so wildly on external demand - it is only one piece of the puzzle of restructuring this economy for more sustainable growth. The PAP govt had focussed primarily on GDP growth rather than sustainability of the growth - during the 'boom time' aka Golden Period, they would drive the export engine at the expense of almost everything else to chalk up high GDP growth figures - now we are seeing the downside of this strategy. You shouldn't buy the argument that 'there is no choice' because other economies with similar population sizes such as Israel, Finland and Hong Kong have a higher domestic economy component in their GDP.
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This recession is not painful just because of its length and depth. It is especially painful for Singaporeans because they are entering this recession with many problems the PAP govt did not solve when times were good. We are entering this recession with the highest household debt in Asia and the worst income inequality among developed Asian countries. At the onset of this recession 8% of the people have already defaulted on their HDB loans and many couldn't afford even afford electricity even before the recession. The govt ran an economy that swung wildly - this being the 3rd recession in 10 years but did not put in place safety nets that would serve as stabilisers for our society.
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The PAP claims that it can bring about positive changes on its own and that there is no need for a 2-party system. The 1st step towards change is to admit that things can be done better. They are not even able to take the 1st step....

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well argued, and sadly very true. It is like the old Soviet Union - every person knew exactly what were wrong, except the ruling government.

We put all the eggs in one basket - one party, one controller for all our money, - and we are suffering.

Anonymous said...

What else do you expect from a government filled with retards and fools, whose main concern is their ridiculously high salaries and massive GDP bonus of 7-8 months?

Oops...I forgot. They will not be having any GDP bonus this year. How my heart aches for them.

The old man is an idiot.

LuckySingaporean said...

MM Lee predicted a Golden Period. Then when the crisis started, he said banks are good investments. Then he said that Singapore may not enter recession because of China and India......


Are we suppose to have faith in what he said?

Anonymous said...

Circulation of money is a part of increasing domestic consumption, but alas, with the number of foreign workers repatriating a large portion of their income back to their home country, there is a leakage. They should be transparent and tell us as it is. If going by their rationale of "sitting in the harbour and wait for the storm to pass", and if their reasoning is that we are too small and open an economy, they are in fact shooting themselves in the foot as our past performance is attributable to the performance of the countries we export to, and not on the performance of this expensive A team.

Anonymous said...

I suspect the unnecessary controls and interventions have set back creative enterprises, affecting the spaces for people to make their choices. When policies are implemented with too much caution and conditions, it unnecessarily stifles and suffocates everyone.

To illustrate, we look at the latest hdb leasebuy back scheme, notice the conditions and targetting built into the policy which narrows the range and choice of beneficiaries. Whether this is right or wrong is not the issue here, but really are these conditions necessary to the point that it will be disastrous or fatal without them?

If on the other hand, policies are not formulated that tightly, people will have the breathing space to do as they want, perhaps then more enterprises may sprout eventually to support a diversified domestic market.

Anonymous said...

And there was this famous prediction that oil prices will not get pass this, and it did. Oh China is going to be BIG in 30, 50 years time. But I thought even kids know that too. If really such a good futurist, at least a crystal ball guru, shouldnt we have piled our reserves into china right at the beginning when we have all the right accesses, instead of piling into the other side of the globe at the end?

Anonymous said...

China alone is said to be able to supply all the manufactured products for the whole world, so if we do not change our economic model, it is going to be stagnation or downhill for us from now on.

Moreover, with excess manufacturing capacity in almost all the Asian countries like China, Japan, India, South Korea and Hong Kong competing for the shrinking US market, the problem is likely to get worse, not better.

If the argument is that we have 'no choice' but to export, as one wise old man said after dismissing all other views as rubbish, then we are really running blindly into trouble.

That wise old man already predicted a golden period that was way off course and supported investments in foreign banks that were disastrous. Can there be credibility anymore in what he says?

Lost Citizen

Anonymous said...

“公鸡不叫,太阳照样起来"

Whether the cock crows or not, the sun will rise. And the sun will set.

Same thing for Singapore's economy. Million dollar salary or not, brilliant or not.

But one thing I agree they are very brilliant.

That is, 50 % walkovers, 66 % mandate and 98 % seats at every election. In recession in 2001 even better at 75 % mandate!

After that can do what they like, million dollar salary, 8 month bonus, lose billions etc.

sgcynic said...

What to do? My bonus is pegged to (GDP growth) performance. That's my focus.

Onlooker said...

Beside not solving problems for the people when times are good, PAPer also created unnecessary problems by opening a flood gate to economic refugees who have no qualms of committing crimes or lying to get what they want and the people that PAPer are suppose to serve are left to fend for themselves.
Building Dorm for workers while they is no living quarters planned for citizens while playing golf is a vast expanse of land ,in land scare Singapore, and suggesting that Singaporean should consider dying in Malaysia

Anonymous said...

i like this phrase:

"The govt ran an economy that swung wildly - this being the 3rd recession in 10 years but did not put in place safety nets that would serve as stabilisers for our society."

This is the behaviour of a gambler.

Gamblers gamble because they are either desperate, clueless, or over complacent. In any case the root cause is incompetence.

Kaffein said...

To admit that things could have been done better means that they have goofed up in the first place, or rather didn't foresee or put in place robust policies that can whether Singapore through times of crisis.

That is something which the PAP will never admit. Since when have you heard a proper sorry?

"Sorry that it had happened..."
"...because you are all complacent"

It's never their fault but it's always global this, global that, and Singaporeans this and Singaporeans that.

Kaffein

Anonymous said...

Goodbye economic growth. Statements like this convince me that it is the end of the road for Singapore's boom. We cannot forever rely on an export based manufacturing economy that competes solely on cost, and yet the old dog refuses to learn new tricks.

LKY is a crackpot who has no clue about what he's talking about. He just happened to be in the right time at the right place. His ideas are unsound and have no basis in reality. Why we keep listening to him on issues such as economic and social policies is a mystery to me.

Jane said...

Are we suppose to have faith in what he said?

9:20 AM

Dear Lucky,

I enjoy reading your blog daily. So too is my son who now resides in NSW. Yours is the only singapore blog he will read. Thank you ,Lucky.

I've actually lost faith in MM since the time when he set the " stop at 2" policy. He already had 3 at that time. As a medical staff, I had to witness many young women being ligated and young men vasectomised.I felt that he was playing GOD! Now he has to bear the responsibility of Singapore's low population rate. It's just so sad!But he is always putting the blame on couples who don't want to procreate on his own senile reasonings.

Anonymous said...

hi Lucky'

That "CDC 8 months BONUS has dissapering in the main Media, Asiaone,,(many post has been delected after posted by Admin)
and also Channelnew,,,etc...

so,This CDC 8 months BONUS is untalkable by PAP?! I canot believe in so-called First Class can "SWEEP" under the carpet when the truth is out...
What a SHame!!!!

Anonymous said...

Elections are around the corner. Do what's right, people

Anonymous said...

incidentally, the person who 1st leaked the news about the 8 months CDC bonus is also missing.

Be careful when you decide to be a whistle blower. It can invite trouble (lim kopi with ISD?) if you are not careful

Anonymous said...

i wonder how long can Singaporean keep paying the old man and his gang their salaries, where is the money coming from huh, from town council or taxes, how long can we pay them their salaries, 10 yrs? 20? 30? By the time Singapore will surely go bankrupt also. And will they donate their salaries to help Singapore?

Anonymous said...

With the PAP, it will always be a case of ‘heads- I win,tails - you lose'。

Anonymous said...

they need their bloody asses kicked in the next elections!!! even if GOD ran for PAP in my constituency I will still vote for opposition!

cos in PAP LKY IS BIGGER THAN GOD

yamizi said...

Entitlment mentality? Believing that they are the best so they deserve to be paid a lot?

Anonymous said...

Anon

"Foreign workers repatriating a large portion of their income back to their home country"-the leakage was S$13 billion in 2007,reported in the 154th.

When time was golden period,it was not a problem,but at this time,it might well soon be one.

Where are all our world first class,Oxford,Ivy League economists,they are always rather reluctant to talk about their specialised field of study,except to say that PAP is wonderful.

Wang said...

Lucky

Would opine well argued.

Regards

Rialce said...

RE: Jane said,"As a medical staff, I had to witness many young women being ligated and young men vasectomised.I felt that he was playing GOD!"
Sorry I was too young to know anything, but was there law which force people to be sterilized when they have 2 kids; is there incentive to be sterilized; punishment if you do not?

Anonymous said...

Hi Rialce,

There is a research paper about the eugenic population policy in spore.

Read it here: http://www.springerlink.com/content/n5217110723l53x5/

Anonymous said...

so now that our GDP has gone south, are they going to give back part of their earnings?

Anonymous said...

I read lucky because:

He is funny and witty.

He is a talented man who cares about the well being of others (none of that, talent is best, must have best pay nonsens)

He can see the ugliness of the world, yet is not jaded.

I read lucky because:

Sometimes when he speaks, he speaks to my heart.

I pray that god grant u the good fortune u richly deserve. On my part I thank u, for speaking for us.

U know that ppl are evil, that many dun give a damn abt their fellow man. U have seen it in your blog, in the comments that have been made. Why fight for them? Most us are against the PAP because the PAP is against us. If we were the PAP, we would do the same as the PAPies do. Are these really the people u want to fight for? If tomorrow the police came for u, how many would turn up to demonstrate?

I am sure these are questions u have asked yourself. I respect u greatly for choosing to speak up.

Anonymous said...

when the economic model succeeds, they took all the credit, now that it fails, it' not their fault either.

sounds like the banks bailout isn't it? when they gambled and made lotsa money, it's in their pockets. now that they have lost the bet, the taxpayers cough up the money to cover the losses.

The similarities of greed, corruption, sense of entitlement, lack of moral sentiments, selfishness is on full display here.

Wake up sheeple!

They wiped out local enterprises by using their self-endorsed GLCs that got all the incentives and priority treatment. They reduced taxes so that MNCs can come here and get cheap labour to exploit. They cut down on cheap labour costs so that they can raise rent, utils and other operating costs (which goes back to their coffers).

They became a tax haven for US/European companies so that they can retain their earnings. This raises the GDP but none of that money is going to the plebeians, unless you are a GLC/civil servant that gets bonuses based on that GDP figure.

This regiment is so morally corrupt that it's revolting and disgusting. They are ruling with a sceptre because it's off with your head everytime you raise an eyebrow to threaten their supremacy.

Why leave their power unchecked? why allow the judges that has no distinction from the executive branch?

Are you such a dreamer
To put the world to rights
I'll stay home forever
Where two and two always makes a five
I'll lay down the tracks
Sandbag and hide
January has April showers
And two and two always makes a five
It's the devil's way now
There is no way out
You can scream and you can shout
It is too late now
Because you're not there
Payin' attention

Don't question my authority or put me in the box
Cos I'm not
Oh go up to the king, and the sky is falling in
But it's not
Maybe not

Anonymous said...

Lucky

Citigroup Inc is now 30 USD/SHARE
Would that equate to 10 times the investment LKY got for converting from preferred to ordinary shares?

I was right to comment that GIC should have invested more since its below $2/share.

WOuld it also meant that PAP would likely get a landslide victory?


Pathetic Singaporean

Anonymous said...

to Rialce

my parents delivered three kids @ KKH in the 70s. both have told me that the nursing staff gave cold shoulder to my mother when she was pregnant the third time.

I'm not sure about any official discriminatory policies because my parents were well to do and ran private business. But I can certainly imagine the kind of worry parents-to-be must have if they are not getting adequate medical attention.

Anonymous said...

to Rialce

my parents delivered three kids @ KKH in the 70s. both have told me that the nursing staff gave cold shoulder to my mother when she was pregnant the third time.

I'm not sure about any official discriminatory policies because my parents were well to do and ran private business. But I can certainly imagine the kind of worry parents-to-be must have if they are not getting adequate medical attention.

Deity of Cannons said...

So becareful ah.......These have been confirmed listening posts for the party.
Avoid them at all costs!

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March 24, 2009 by admin
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Anonymous said...

Lucky tan,
you have shut down your site just now, can you post the shutdown as one of your posts as a history to remind the citizen of prevailing fear culture that serve as boogeyman in Singapore ?

Anonymous said...

to Rialce:

My parents had 5 children in the 70's. They were harassed to go for sterilisation after the 2nd kid. They were also fined and threatened that the 3rd kid onwards would have difficulty registering for school when he/she hits schooling age. My parents were from the lower-average income group, with partial primary education.

I heard from some polyclinic nurses of a policy not in the open. Lower income parents with 2 or less children are given free-contraceptives and healthcare at the polyclinic if they agree to not conceive. However, if they should be pregnant accidentally, they will have to "pay back" immediately all the charges of all free-contraceptives and healthcare received over the years. Why the need for such a massive penalty? Eugenics through fear?

Anonymous said...

to Rialce:

Just a clarification. The polyclinic policy is still being practised currently.

Anonymous at 11:59 AM