Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Economic Strategies Committee : The usual + 2 decent ideas

Yes, what do you get with a committee of 25 people - 9 ministers + 1 MAS guy + 1 PAP MP representing NTUC + business leaders? People who are too busy or too much part of the establishment to come up with too many original ideas. So after 6 months of deliberation, we get more or less the same old ideas - raise productivity, skills upgrading, be more innovative and build a distinctive global city. Really scratch my head to figure out what is new - can someone please help me here. Even that part about being a globalised city was a National Day theme or slogan a few years ago. However, before I run down the entire thing, I would like to point out 2 ideas which I think are pretty decent. The first isn't exactly new but the idea about raising foreign worker levy to discourage the high level of foreign labor import is a reasonable one. By increasing the levy, the govt will discourage businesses importing labor purely for reducing cost - they will have to be more selective and bring in labor with higher skills or skills not available in Singapore. The higher levy will also push up the income of low wage Singaporeans by making this segment of the workforce to be tighter. Employers will be more willing to train Singaporeans rather than just import foreigners. The other idea is to use nuclear energy in Singapore. It will lower our energy costs tremendously thereby increasing out competitiveness and lower our cost of living. It will also make electric cars viable and help to reduce dependence on fossil fuel. Nuclear energy, however, is a little hard to sell to the public because there might be unfounded fears about its safety due to Chenobyl incident. If you have been to Europe, say France, you will see them in operation at scenic countryside and they have been there for decades. Singapore has the 2nd highest electric tariffs in the world so there is room to improve competitiveness by having a much cheaper source of energy.

What is wrong with the report? It recycles the same old ideas and they are still thinking within the same box as the past 30 years. The entire plan does little to restructure Singapore's export dependent economy putting us in direct competition with countries like China. The whole plan is similar to Lim Swee Say's cheaper, better and faster - only they drop the "cheaper" part giving greater emphasis to "better and faster". However, the ultimate goal of an economic system or the only goal worth pursuing is not to make more and more money by generating endless growth - we have done that already for the past 40 years! The ultimate goal has to be to improve the quality of life of Singaporeans. Unless we break out of a highly export oriented economy dependent on external demand, we will have to contend with the whole lot of Asian countries - Japan, Taiwan, S. Korea, Vietnam, China - all going for the same pie - our children have to out-study theirs, our factory workers have to outwork them...and whatever income we make we spend it the same way they spend it ..mostly on property. Its about being cheaper, better, faster and also working longer - so how does this formula lead to a better quality of life? It doesn't. Going with this old tired strategy can only lead to a faster pace of life, higher stress and later retirement( or never retire).

We can only get to our goal of better quality of life - less stress, healthier pace of life etc by doing things differently. We need to expand our domestic economy by increasing the disposal income of Singaporeans i.e. lowering the cost of living such as housing cost so that domestic demand can rise and the services sector can expand and make our economy less dependent on exports. In other countries with similar population size , the domestic economy has a far larger share of economic activity than ours. The domestic consumption share of our economy has slowly fallen to below 40% in contrast with many small nations where it is above 60%. If we don't change our economic model, we will not see significant improvements in our quality of life.


HanSolo said...

"unfounded fears about its safety due to Chenobyl incident."

I'm surprised you said this. The safety issue is a real concern. Would you wish to live next to one? Doesn't really matter because Singapore is so small, a nuclear accident anywhere on the island would wipe us out.

The other worry is disposal. Nuclear waste remains radioactive for essentially forever. How are we going to dispose of it, ship it to some poor 3rd world country?

LuckySingaporean said...

I was thinking of putting it on one of our islands. But lets not dwell on this - a multi-million dollar study will have to be done before we implement it. So safety issues have to be addressed.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure the 2 decent ideas are that decent after all.

1) Levy.

When PR is so easy to get, I think by increasing levy, they are encouraging these levy workers to apply for PR. ( As I am not too familier with immigration policies, I stand to be corrected)

2) Nuclear Power

Lucky , have you seen a nuclear plant in the middle of Paris? Unless the govt can lease a nearby Indonesia Island to built the plant, which I don't think the Indo will be keen, no way they can built a nuclear plant in Singapore itself. The first people that will leave are the rich people!

HanSolo said...

I do think that nuclear power is fundamentally unsafe, there is no fool-proof way of addressing the issues.

My guess is that the government is testing water by putting it up in the proposals, but it will not really get anywhere. At the least, they will get some kudos for being creative.

redbean said...

Lucky, you are too generous.

Ask any group of A level students and they probably come up with these ideas and some better ones.

yamizi said...


I think neighbouring countries or even ASEAN will have issues with us if we are really going for nuclear energy.

We are not far from their countries.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

I don't understand why they are considering nuclear energy.

I thought all that "green economy" talk was about improving energy efficiency and exploring renewable resources.


I am not against nuclear energy per se, but I have doubts regarding its suitability in an island city state.

Fievel said...

Im surprised you are for a nuclear Singapore.

Anonymous is right. Have u seen on in Paris? Or NYC? Or London. The entire Singapore, is much smaller than any of them.

The risk might be 0.0000000000000000000001%, but the consequence of that event is catastrophic of infinite proportions, such that the entire risk is still too great.

Catherine said...

Hi Lucky,

Just to share my humble views... it is decent to relook old ideas if they are to reinvent/re-align or put them into good use in an ever changing challenging modern environment. Good ideas must be follow up with passionate actions and not for just for the sake of looking good on paper by the Committee.

A highly skilled workforce will be useful for the country if only these skills are being put into good use and correctly utilised.

In S'pore, I've heard of many highly skilled and qualified Singaporeans being displaced in the name of cost cutting and operational efficiency. Foreign talents are then hired at lower cost and the skilled locals displaced. Unfortunately, the vulnerable older & skilful group will have to accept lower pay despite higher skills, accept any job for survival or remain displaced. This is a waste of human resources.

Singapore is short of land and other natural resources. Some of the strategic ideas should build on improving Singaporean skills & human relations to work on specific projects that helps improve the economy & partnering countries. E.g. balancing all factors of production ultimately to provide basic necessities and decent life to all citizens - food/drinks, housing, social cohesiveness and healthcare e.g. partnering with nearby countries to build synergise & pool resources land capital, technology, housing, water for mutual countries' benefits..

LuckySingaporean said...

On nuclear energy,

like I said it has to be studied and the place to locate it is off the island on another island.

There are no nuclear plants in cities because people just won't accept it - this I agree. But I think on another island, it should be possible. Also, like it or not Indonesia is already building a nuclear plant.

Anonymous said...

Nuke reactors are probably being conceptualised in SG - remember that the power plants have been offloaded from the balance sheet?

It's a step in the right direction, diversifying energy sources.

Just as with the Casinos, SG needs to recognise and accept - the good and the bad. e.g. Earthquakes will be accompanied with blackouts.

Anonymous said...

"Lucky , have you seen a nuclear plant in the middle of Paris?"

80% of France's energy needs come from nuclear power by the way.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

Lucky, nuclear energy is also not a new idea; the government talked about it a year ago.


Nuclear power not ruled out (ST 6 Dec 2008)


1. "Mr Lee's comments yesterday - in response to a question on whether Singapore has plans for nuclear power - are more positive than his stance a year ago, when he ruled it out as an option.

During the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali in December last year, he said nuclear energy was out because of the lack of a minimum 30km safety distance.

International standards require a 30km-wide safety zone around a nuclear plant.

This is an issue in small countries like Singapore, which stretches about 40km from east to west.

But Mr Lee said yesterday that technology may evolve, mitigating this consideration.

'Safety rules may evolve, there might be other possibilities such as putting it (a nuclear plant) underground,' he said.

This would help address the problem of safety - 'where we will put the plant, far enough away from dense concentrations of population'."

2. "Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew had also revealed that the Government had thought about possible locations for such a plant: Pedra Branca island east of Singapore, or on a floating platform out at sea."

To say that it would be unpopular among our neighbours would be a great understatement.

Also, unlike Indonesia we do not have the luxury of space like Mount Muria or Gorontalo on Sulawesi island.

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan,
why so serious ? This wayang show of keep using the same ideas as if it will be realizd is the precursor for election. This report is just the open ceremony for election. After election, life and business return to normal, and nothing will change. Gahmen will still laugh their way to bank.

Anonymous said...

"...raise productivity, skills upgrading, be more innovative and build a distinctive global city."

What's new? By raising levy, they are telling you that they will try very hard to get more highly talented foreigners to come here to achieve the above!

Problem is, the really talented foreign talents may not want to come here. So no choice still have to accept not so talented ones. No fish prawn also good.

Also for local talents, they may already have given up. If not why they want to import so many kinds of foreigners all this while?

Lim Leng Hiong said...

Hi everyone, here is a concise article about the operational, social and geopolitical implications of nuclear power:


Nuclear Power in ASEAN (by Donaldson Tan 11 Oct 2008)


1. "The health and ecological aspect of the Chernobyl Disaster is widely known but the incident is a social disaster too.

Former residents from Chernobyl were regarded as dirty and were socially rejected in many places for a variety of reasons such as increased competition within the localised job market and that a good number of them were visually sickly due to the radiation. This has created a generation of psychological trauma and inferiority complex amongst the former Chernobyl residents and their children. The City of Chernobyl remains uninhabited today."

2. "Illegal traffic of nuclear material, components and know-how is an emerging problem. In 2005, IAEA investigation discovered that the AQ Khan's network had infiltrated into Malaysia where local firms were unknowingly manufacturing centrifuges for clandestine nuclear weapon programs in Libya and North Korea. Dr AQ Khan is credited as the Father of Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program. It is logical to expect such problems to grow if nuclear technology were to be made available legally in ASEAN."

3. "Realistically speaking, the risk of a nuclear accident is actively managed by the plant operators, so it is essential that the plant staff are not only competent, but also adhere to international safety standards and culture. The Treaty of Bangkok confers the IAEA as the competent authority to assess the safety standards of the nuclear power plant and competency of the plant staff but it does not require the assessment report to be made public or joint accountability to the entire ASEAN region compulsory."

4. "Last but not least, the Chernobyl Disaster highlighted the risk of trans-boundary pollution. For years to come after the incident, food import restrictions were in place in many EU countries to minimise the entry of radioactive pollutants into the human food chain. Accidents are not the only source of radioactive pollutants. Radioactive pollutants can also come from poorly managed nuclear waste disposal sites. The threat of trans-boundary pollution is very real. An ASEAN convention on trans-boundary pollution by radioactive substances and an environmental pollution liability directive should be implemented."

As can be clearly seen, the use of nuclear power requires more than technological ability. It requires a new regulatory architecture for operations and waste disposal.

It also creates new social and political vulnerabilities.

Despite all these challenges, I think that nuclear power for Singapore might still be plausible if Lim Yew Hock didn't sell Christmas Island to Australia in 1957.

Pedra Branca is too near populated areas. Although it is 40km away from Singapore, it is less than 15km away from the coasts of Johor and Bintan. In addition, it is situated along a major shipping route.

Personally, I think that nuclear power in Singapore is a long shot.

Anonymous said...

we should have one nuclear plant to help us cut electricity costs and the best location is in istana since it is barely utilised.

we should have high levy on whatever foreigners who come here to work and hence take away our jobs.

Anonymous said...

Lucky, under PAP's control, what was 'cheap and affordable' HDB public housing became expensive pigeon holes requiring a lifetime to pay up.

Likewise you simply don't expect any energy alternative to be cheap. PAP is well known for milking the citizens to the last drop. They aren't referred to as "Pay And Pay" for nothing!

Anonymous said...

Lucky, you are smart and hope you can explain some things to me.

Government says it will control foreign workers by increasing levy. But some things I do not understand. Increase levy and money goes to government. It will not help us.

Who not have minimum wage requirement or local first policy. Then the people will benefit. Right

Lower levy for emploment pass workers. This are the jobs wanted by singaporeans. We should increase levey for this people and lower the levy for construction workers. This are the real workers we need.

xl said...

anon 15:41,
pap's ideology is ultra capitalism. As can see from health subsidies from PRs. Philosophy is collect as much $ as possible, not decrease cost from locals. School fees also same. Collect >$ from PRs than lower citizen fees.

Thus it is predicatble that they increase foreign worker levy. As for minimum wage requirement or local 1st, is out of their vocabulary of ultra capitalism.


Btw, i wonder where will PSA tanjong pagar go since redeveloping area after lease is up? Weast coast/pasir panjang seem up to capacity already. Relocating near Tuas/Changi naval base doesn't make sense. Seems to me is East Coast park area redevelop into port?

Anonymous said...

Business owners' expenses largely come from labour and rental. Rental is sky high. If the govt is going to raise labour costs, it only means that business costs go up, and the man on the streets will pay more.

Besides, hiring cheap FT can get kickback. I believe you've heard of this human trade.

Anonymous said...

The logic is that:

If Indonesia is going nuclear, then it don't make sense we don't go for it.

Just like Casinos, the world is changing, hence we have to have in order not to lose out.

or 4 Casinos if they make money since we will already have 2 then hahaha.

Well the future for Singapore will be a SIN CITY. We have nothing else but leisure and let the rich and people with money come here to spend spend spend and CASINOS.


Anonymous said...

Dun think whatever they are suggesting will work. Besides, they dug too deep a hole with their free for all immigration policies. Also tnink they will not learnt from what they have been doing as they still think whatever they WERE doing is still right and please....they are handling PRs like nobody business. The last I heard is that GLCs and GOCs account for 60% of the country GDPs. Immmigration policies are still here to stay. Remember they still lump citizens and PRs together. Their philosophy, after some years...you will just forget. Prepare for more roller coaster rides...haha

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

There was an interview on CNA yesterday whereby one business member of the committee was asked the difference between the proposed productivity approach and previous ones.

He could not give a decent answer, but only managed to cough out the as-you-know-we-have-done-this-before line.

My impression is that this is an after-thought thrown in to counter Reform Party's call to focus on productivity instead of immigration to boost growth.

Six months just to regurgitate what was done before...sounds like MBT's $300,000(?) search for a name for Marina Bay.

a kind of chicken said...

Hey lucky. I have learned a lot from you. You have pointed out the million dollar question... that the old strategies do not work. Now comes the big issue. What will work?

When the opposition wins big in this election, there will be a lot of hope. But we need a plan. Hope you can blog more about this. If the opposition can ussure in real change it will seal democracy into our soceity forever.

Towkay said...

Increase worker levy to restrict number of foreign workers? Hahaha, it is nothing unsolvable to us Towkays. Just deduct from our foreign workers' pay, make them work longer hours and squeeze more of them into smaller flats. They die die have to bear with it since they have paid thousands of dollars to work here. Towkays still prefer to hire foreign workers because they are cheaper.

Anonymous said...

I am very disappointed with the committee. Nothing new. What needs to be addressed were not even look into. One of the major underlying cause of some of the problems in Singapore is the underutilization of human resouces and talents. They talk so much about our scarce human resouces and yet they allowed the influx of huge numbers of foreigners to dilute the value of our own human resources. Whatever LKY may say about Singaporean workers, fact is Singaporean students are amongst the top in the world. Singaporeans are valued all over the world except Singapore for their diligence, honesty, integrity and law abiding nature. There must be a radical change in the way they wasted Singaporean human resources. First they must be properly valued. Second they must be better utilised. When highly qualified research scientist ended up as taxi driver, something is really wrong with our human resouces allocations and utilizations. Third, we must keep our workers fully utilized for as long as necessary.
A well rewarded, gainfuly employed, fully utilized workforce can do wonders to the happiness index of the country. When those who study hard and work hard earn enough to lead a fairly decent life, then society will be at ease and peaceful.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 2/2/10 12:42 who wrote "80% of France's energy needs come from nuclear power by the way."

Please provide the source of your data. If not, please read.



Extract: "...over 70 percent of France’s final energy is provided by fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal), with oil accounting for 49 percent of the energy consumption in 2007". Data source is listed in the article linked above.

Anonymous said...

Some corrections to errors:

1. 70% of France energy is still from fossil fuel.

2. Mah Bow Tan paid $400,000 to a consultant to rename Marina Bay,
Marina Bay. Money wasted.

Anonymous said...

Unless nuclear power technology advanced further, it is impossible to site a nuclear plant in Singapore.
This matter was raised to strengthen our bargaining position with our neighbours. The ultimate solution is an Asean Grid from which Singapore will buy electricity from the region. Getting this Asean Grid of the ground is very difficult. Bringing in the nuke may help to push things along.

DanielXX said...

People were worried about the noise staying next to the MRT in the past. Now they pay silly premiums to stay next to an MRT like Centro. Maybe in the future they'll pay a premium to live next to a nuclear station as well. Free tanning radiation and proximity to power source you know! Damn prestigious!

someone sad for singapore said...

Singapore 'should consider getting rid of useless ministers'.

Anonymous said...



Well, if you are a UNION member, you still need to be. Your UNION chief has already set your new positioning against foreigners that you need to be paid lower wages, but work "better" and "faster".

For the rest of the Singaporeans, follow the ESC.

Anonymous said...

Lucky, the following is from an interesting article. This is probably why PAP is so bold as to suggest nuclear power...


Ever heard of thorium power? You will. Thorium is a naturally occurring element, slightly radioactive, that is far more common in the ground than uranium. The first nuclear reactor fueled by thorium will be built in about five years, with more to come. Thorium has a lot of practical advantages over the more commonly used uranium, and it can churn out the same amount of emission-free electricity to power the U.S. Thorium is safer, produces less waste and is abundant here in the U.S. Plus it’s less likely to cause accidents and can’t be used by terrorists for dirty bombs.

Anonymous said...

either the elites are confused or they are paying lip service to populist or subversive ideas. but which ever way they decided to go,there is no doubt life will become even harder for the average citizens.

you just hope foreigners inflow will remain and better jobs are created for them otherwise, more poor will suffer here and more will become poorer!

Anonymous said...

1. Build the nuclear energy on Pedra Branca [Pulau Batu Puteh] after land fill to expand it 100 times;

2. All "policy adjustments" by pap so far only benefit their pockets. Increase foreign workers' levy; increase school fees, cut medical subsidy for non-citizens. These measures do not put money into our pocket. Are we supposed to be happy cause others are suffering more now?

Anonymous said...

"We need to expand our domestic economy by increasing the disposal income of Singaporeans i.e. lowering the cost of living such as housing cost so that domestic demand can rise and the services sector can expand and make our economy less dependent on exports."

you must be daft. lowing the cost of housing will just enable more people to expend on luxury goods(cars,renovation etc) and services(holidays,vanities etc) which only make already rich towkays even richer with little or no benefit to other businesses.

better to lock their monies in concrete and think of better ways to monetize their asset for their old age.

Anonymous said...

ESC needs a big push, I came across this, its being blacklisted I think by the Singaporedaily, I dont know the reason why, but the author seems to have given a very interesting take on the subject


Alexis de Tocqueville said...

Nuclear energy in Singapore? This must be the most stupid idea ever. Besides the geopolitical implications, but the costs of building a plant and disposing of the waste....(never taken into account)
Then again this being Singapore, you folks will probably kowtow, foot the bill, say nothing and take it up your arse as you have for the past 40 years. What a ridiculous country....

Kojakbt said...


If you have time, can you write something to rebut this idiot? He is the associate editor of BT and his article appeared on ST today:

Feb 3, 2010
The foreign-worker link in growth, productivity

He said: "The idea that cutting back on foreign workers will magically raise productivity is dubious. More likely, such a policy would reduce output and maybe even reduce productivity (which is defined as output per worker)."

And of all examples, he used Japan as an illustration. Now, we all know that Japan's zero growth for the last many years has got nothing to do with lack of FTs. But he is trying to "con" Singaporeans by writing such articles, which I think is really very unprofessional of him.

Pls also see:

If you decide to write the article to rebut him, let me know. My email is kojakbt@gmail.com. I would be more than happy to post the article around to let Netizens know.

Btw, he should have stated in his writings that he is an FT himself (he was born in India). Clearly, there is a conflict of interest here...

Anonymous said...

hi lucky,

i dont think rehashing some old ideas is necessarily a bad thing. globalised city, higher productivity etc are just great ideals that we should strive towards and should not change in the near future. If our guidelines/ideal case scenarios are changing so often (like everytime there is a crisis), then they arent worth very much in the first place.

One thing to take away from this report for me is that at least they have come up with some concrete steps as to how (!) and not where they are going to move in the future. Now that they have said what they are going to do, they will be accountable as to whether they do it or not.


Anonymous said...

the poor will always be with us. the question now is: more or less poor. if we listen to subversive idiots, then, be prepared to see MORE poor people and more middle class MADE POOR!

inevitably,our national resources will be severely taxed and politically wise - destabilized.

i think certain people want to see that happened.

Anonymous said...

There is no productivity issue in my opinion. Lucky said that wages are artificially depressed because of the influx of foreigners. I agree with him. Spare me the whatever suggestions they have made because they are more fallacies than concrete measures to improve.

As for the alternative energy sources, I am perplexed why they sold so many power stations to foreign hands. Interesting, right? Now, they want to build nuclear plant. It is more than just cheap alternative energy lah. Most countries keep certain sectors of the economy as state owned for a reason.

Back to retraining and skills, it is all bull because the crux of the issues is how to maintain competitiveness in the global world. If you have no sales, where got workers? Actually a bit like the chicken and egg issue. Point is that the demand is there, people will flock to the demand for skill and training. Not other way round, where you train and attain skills and tell people to hire you. Anyway, this is my personal belief.

Raise levy to increase productivity and decrease reliance on foreign workers...please..personal observation on the ground that SMEs are not the ones hiring foreign workers. GLCs and GOCs are indirectly or directly influencing or have the most impact on this. Most SMEs depend on the GLCs and GOCs for jobs. They force you to decrease your prices or play tough hand. There is no competition. Most SME got large no. of foreign workers by getting contracts from GLCs and GOCs. So more SMEs will die if they increase the levy. It is a deep rooted problem with many complexities and complications. So I think it is not so simple.

Innovation...please...of course it is important..without innovation..how to survive in the business world. Point is that GLCs and GOCs have grown very comfortable. They do not have to go out and get business. They are very big...so people kowtow to them. If SMEs are innovative, rest assured they will be put down very soon by the bigwigs. One thing the GCT said I tnk said about a woman waitress wearing many hats. Please lah...go and look at the SMEs, a lot of us have been wearing many hats for 4 5 years. That is why the last recession is still not bad for most SMEs. SMEs can still survive.

Seriously doubt whatever they say..they say must grow SMEs...haha..take care of own bottomlines first...and personal vested interests. Their priority also is to earn $$$ for themselves through policies, laws, GLCs and GOCs.....regulatory aspects...they dun care...then what happen..you get the society you see today.

Ultimately...I dun believe in people..the system has no checks and balances or not enough of it..please lah..I know no saints in this world..everybody selfish...therefore must have system run better..not a perfect system..but a system that make sure everybody is watching everybody as much as possible lah...

Anonymous said...

I hope Singaporeans can clear the huge pile of rubbishs put into their heads over 50 years by LKY.
At our stage of economic growth, why are we still so obsessed with economic growth for its' own sake ? Will more economic growth leads Singapore to become a better nation? Will more economic growth leads to a better quality of life for the average Singaporeans ?
To me we should be looking beyond economic growth. There is enough wealth accumulated to drive Singapore forward. It is time to bring out more of the returns on this wealth to enhance the quality of lives of Singaporeans and drive the economy. A $ spend on helping the poor also contribute to the economy as the $ is spent. A modest 5% return on over US$600 billions hidden away is more than enough to meet the yearly total government expenditure. Singaporeans pls think about it. Why are u not getting the good life u so richly deserved.

Intransit said...

Something is either wrong with me - which is probably the case, given the brainpower at work in the Economic Strategies Committee (ESC) - or there is something seriously missing in their report of 1st Feb 2010.

Why are the strategies sounding so familiar and ALL targeted at only the supply side? What about the strategies on the demand side? Yes, the availability of demand side strategies are limited given Singapore's small domestic economy. There is also a limit to one's ability to continually spend Singapore's precious reserves and the need to be ever mindful to avoid protectionism.

Are there absolutely no demand side strategies available to us such that we are completely at the mercy of external demand? Shouldn't we look at what the other countries do; especially those who are ahead and have achieved success in the pursuit of some demand side strategies which can be replicated in Singapore. See e.g.: http://www.transitioning.org/2009/03/10/helping-private-enterprises-create-jobs-apca/

What good is the availability of better skilled workforce, capable enterprises and a highly globalised city if there are insufficient demand for the utilisation of these capabilities and capacities?

Sturmtruppen said...

Excuse me...

I am TOTALLY against the idea of the ESC going nuclear nutty idea/recommendation [Unless they are talk about fusion process to get the energy then maybe it is still feasible] especially if using the fission process to get the necessary energy for the following reasons:

1) Our immediate/near-by neighbours like Malaysia/Indonesia will be very "concerned"...has any body in the ESC give some real independent thoughts of the real concerns from our neighbours.

2) A nuclear fission reactor is not some kind of toy you can keep or hide easily...it is fraking big...for a reactor of that size to feed the general required levels of energy to supply singapore's needs....well...put where? Underground? On one of the little islands next to singapore? Where?

3) A fission reactor produce long lived radiated waste and by products and radiated feed rods...all these have a half life of a couple of hundred years...emitting deadly radiation...who is singapore going to safely dispose of this waste? Where and how? And it is very expensive? Take the necessary funds from where again..the singapore public is it?

4)The logistics of disposing the such long live radiation garbage or waste is hell...special ships designed to carry nuclear waste are used...and years later have to be junk because of all that radiation still hanging around etc etc...

5) Radiation poisoning whether small or major caused permanent genetic damage...which means when one gets radiated...he/she will pass down that damaged gene to future generations...want to see your grandchildren with a extra arm or head or whatever...i don't think so...

I am totally againt the idea of going nuclear especially if using the fission way of getting energy...but if the ESC are thinking actually [which i doubt] the below hyperlink..then it is worth to explore further...


Hope someone read the above and go ahead and claim the credit with the ESC folks who must have lost their collective marbles somewhere in all that empty space in their collective heads..

No originality, no true understanding and no vision...

Please really truely think and re-think...there are consequences and these consequences can be avoided and addressed if the individuals involved just really think and truely understand...this is not some kind of wayang...this effects real people and real lifes in the long term.


Anonymous said...

No need to keep recycling those good old big plans that the committee had cut and pasted it to amuse us. Just take me back 20 years to year 1990, I was a lot happier then.

Anonymous said...

"Something is either wrong with me - which is probably the case, given the brainpower at work in the Economic Strategies Committee (ESC) - or there is something seriously missing in their report of 1st Feb 2010."

What kind of quality do you expect from a report that concoct to hoodwink the daft and the gullible in imminent election ?

Kojakbt said...

Hot News

Pro-FT columnist at Business Times turns out to be a “FT” himself. Some more trying to con S'poreans with his writings, thinking that S'poreans are stupid:


Sylvester Lim said...

ESC recommendations: Here we go again
Wednesday, 03 February 2010
Singapore Democrats

If an economy is in trouble and the government wants to look like it is doing something about it, the best thing to do is to set up a body, give it an authoritative name, and then issue a report.

The report need not say or recommend anything new. It just needs to look and sound officious, and it needs to occupy front and centre of the newspaper - with computer-generated graphics thrown in. That's exactly what the report by the Economic Strategies Committee (ESC), headed by Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, is about.

The ESC report recommended, amongst other things:

a. raising the foreign workers' levy to manage the inflow of guest workers,
b. investing more in R&D,
c. facilitating the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs),
d. pushing local companies to expand abroad, and
e. developing nuclear energy.

Save for the development of nuclear power, haven't we heard all this before?

In 1991 the Government came up with the National Technology Plan which would propel us into the “major league of a world-class innovation-driven economy by 1995.”

Five years later, then trade and industry minister George Yeo launched the SME21 plan “to strengthen the SME sector in Singapore” and “to promote SMEs is to help them tap into global networks.”

This was followed by a 2001 report from Economic Review Committee led by then prime minister Lee Hsien Loong which promised to “...carefully manage the inflow [of foreign workers] to benefit our economy and our people. An appropriate levy will regulate the demand for foreign workers, and ensure that they complement rather than displace Singaporean workers...” (emphasis added)

This "careful" management of foreign worker inflow through “an appropriate levy” has lead to our population being made up of 38 percent of non-Singaporeans.

Now the ESC is again proposing to use the foreign worker levy to manage the influx of foreign workers. Old wine, new skin.

The 2001 ERC report also pledged to “strengthen R&D efforts.”

Yet if all these initiatives had been effective why the persistent problem of declining productivity and the need for another report?

In truth, these recommendations are a rehash of old ideas, repackaged to make it look as if the PAP has a workable plan. It doesn't.

What the Government needs to do is to cease its dominance, and micro-management, of the economy that has been grossly and grotesquely distorted, both in structure as well as performance. This, alas, the PAP will not do because it will mean the end of its control of the country.

The reality is that we cannot continue to separate the country's politics from its economics. As long as the PAP insists on the kind of authoritarian control, the full potential of the Singaporean people cannot be realised, and no amount of reports generated by authoritative-sounding committees will help Singapore move ahead economically.

The Singapore Democrats will tackle - in depth - the difficulties presently faced by our economy and, more importantly, we will make alternative proposals in the days and weeks ahead as promised (see here).

Onlooker said...

Nuclear energy is a straw man issue.

But if they really implement it, They run the risk of giving our neighbor an excuse to infringe upon our nation sovereignty.

The Chenobyl incident is due to human error.

Raising worker levy will not work unless they raise it to the level that is equivalent to the average Singaporean CPF contribution.That will mean exactly or more than the average Singaporean's CPF contribution.

Sacrificing Quality based for quantity based profit will ultimately be the downfall of the employers who only see short term gain.

Anonymous said...

Oddly, no one has mentioned "Blue Fuel" or what is commonly referred to as Dimethyl Ether (DME). DME has been in use for a long time as the propellant in spray cans such as hair sprays, etc. It can replaced Liquified Propane Gas (LPG) as well as power most engines using diesel. DME is a clean source of energy and has low CO2 emissions and very little particulate matter. It liquifies under low pressure (LPG liquifies under higher pressure). Volvo has done tests sucessfully and currently the Japanese are conducting tests on engines. Many countries are now building plants to produce DME obtainable primarily from methanol which has it's source from biomass, LNG, non-bituminuous coal, etc. China has a few plants operating already producing DME. More plants are expected to be built all across the globe. Singapore's participation in this alternative energy is hardly in the news.

Lastly, when will PUB change its current usage of Chlorine to disinfect our piped water? It is a well known fact that many countries are using Chlorine Dioxide which is a better alternative. Check for yourself what are the bad effects the prolonged use of Chlorine. Drinking is not so bad as absorption through our skin when taking baths. I wonder why there is no one interested enough to ask.

Micheal said...

Hey Lucky,

This is one of the common tricks in politics. If you have a problem and you got no solution, tell your charges that you would set up a committee. A committee gives the illusion that the problem is being looked into. It also provides an excellent opportunity to pass the buck, deamplify the ruckus that got people all worked up - see, overtime, people will forget the original problem. It is nothing new that nothing new ever comes out of the PAP committee reviews. It is bullcrap. But you'll get "work in progress" excuses shaft up your ass. I've mentioned this before in some of your previous postings. It's all perception management for the powers that be. Their main fear is to lose control of the people. To be seen to be doing something is more important than actually doing anything. Also, I like to point to a recent upload on youtube. It's a recent interview on LKY by an American journalist. You might want to check that out. In that interview, LKY let loose a few key points. The gist of it is that he feels that Singaporeans are gettinng complacent because of the good life. So he needs more foreigners. He takes on those from struggling developing countries to force feed us Singaporeans with intense competition. But he fails to see that all this creates a climate where many Singaporeans do not want to give birth. I'm not surprise. LKY is a cut-throat social darwinist. He believes that competitive genes will be passed on to the next generation if he could get more foreigners who are hungry to come over and procreate.

Kojakbt said...


Do you have the link to the youtube video you said?

"LKY is a cut-throat social darwinist. He believes that competitive genes will be passed on to the next generation if he could get more foreigners who are hungry to come over and procreate."

The only kind of genes we will be getting are those from the PRC whores flooding Singapore by the thousands...

Pete of Perth said...

Nukes - one flash and you're ash

Anonymous said...

I think it's time to choose the leaders to lead us.

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