Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nation, city state, globalized-city : What will our future be?....

"You see, people in Singapore, they're pampered. They're not seeing how crowded Tokyo or Hong Kong or London or New York subway is. And therefore, they think it is very crowded. But Singapore has only 5 million. And I think if you plan it properly, I think we can live comfortably with 8 million"
I don't have to tell you what will happen if we listen to Tan Gek Yap. I take "pamper" to mean "enjoying a good quality of life" . Tan Gek Yap says we should be "less pampered" and learn to live with a population of 8 million. Why would a people want to "less pamper" themselves. If the purpose of having more people is not to deliver a higher quality of life then what is the purpose? We can't be emulating Tokyo, New York, London as an end in itself. There has to be a purpose in mind when we talk about growing our population.
When Paul Krugman received the Nobel Prize in 2008, there was a conspiracy theory that he was awarded it for political reasons - his left leaning views and support for Barak Obama. His Nobel Prize, however, had nothing to do with is ideas on income inequality and labor unions. It was awarded for his work on New Trade Theory and the New Economic Geography. Embedded in this New Trade Theory is the idea of  gaining economic advantages by forming big cities where various economic activities are in close proximity[Slides for Nobel Prize speech] [Summary of New Trade Theory]. What Krugman contributed to the old economic comparative advantage model was to allow capital and labor to migrate to seek higher returns - this migration is from rural areas to cities and free movement to foreign countries.
"n his 1979 article, Krugman not only laid the groundwork for a new trade theory; he also sowed the seed for a new theory of economic geography – a theory that he developed 12 years later. This new theory helps us to understand rapid worldwide urbanisation. Today, for the first time in history, more than half of the earth's population lives in cities.

As earlier, Krugman's analytical assumption is that there are economies of scale in production at the same time as consumers demand a differentiated range of goods. But he also adds a new dimension: labour mobility between different regions. Highly populated regions are attractive because they offer a richer choice of different goods. Companies, too, have incentives to move to highly populated regions, since they can thereby keep down transport costs and meanwhile benefit from economies of scale. A self-reinforcing process may arise, with migration to cities making possible greater economies of scale and thereby further reinforcing the attractiveness of cities. Krugman shows that the end result may be a concentration of most economic activity in one or a few regions. The exact outcome depends on the interactions among transport costs, economies of scale and consumer demand." - Citation for Krugman's Nobel Prize

Krugman foresaw the trend towards the urbanization of the world population in 1979 and described the urbanization as a self-reinforcing process -greater economy of scale leading to benefits which then results in more urbanization. Technology (transport, communications, housing) allows mega-cities of extremely large sizes to emerge. Tokyo has 34M people, Jakarta has 25M people and if you go down the list Paris is at 27th place with a population of 10M. China has 30 cities with population above 8M people and 200 cities with population above 1M [Link]- to put things in perspective, the German city of Frankfurt has less than 700K people.
For a govt whose priority is to keep the economy growing as fast as possible, the idea of a big city is very attractive. Such a city will have numerous economic advantages, attracting the best talents from all over to create numerous competitive advantages. If such a city is located within a country say KL in Malaysia, it will attract the best talent from the rest of the country - if you have a few cousins in Penang and you ask them where they want to work once they graduate, those who are more ambitious and academically talented will say KL, Sydney and the less ambitious ones will stay behind and take over his father's business in George Town and lead a slower pace of life. If you believe you're the next Siti Nurhaliza, you will try to make your way to KL to seek your fame and fortune. Today KL has a population of 1.8M people or less than a tenth of the population in Malaysia. Nobody in Malaysia needs to be KL unless they really want to, similarly no American needs to stay in New York unless they love the place.

Singapore is different from cities like New York, Tokyo and KL which can be filled by people living else where in the same country....and those who don't like the place can find other parts of the country to go to...for an American there are plenty of options from the east coast to the west coast of this big country. Singaporeans have no other options if they want to stay in their home country. The other difference between us and Tokyo or New York is although our population is still smaller than these cities. New York like most other American cities has a population density that is one quarter that of Singapore's. Because the city is located with a country, the city limits can be shifted as the population grows. Singapore cannot expand its land area except through reclamation i.e. our land area for the city is limited.
In order to grow to 8M, there is only one way - import people and increase the population density. If your goal is to make Singapore as big an economy as possible then enlarging the population size is a no-brainer. However, if your goal is to elevate the quality of life, there is an optimal size. If you want to maximise the per capita income, there is another optimal size. If you want to minimize income inequality and its effects, there is yet another optimal size. So nobody can say what the right size is for the Singapore population unless we can figure out what we want to outcomes we want. If we make it to 8M people as suggested by Tan Gek Yap, the number of Singapore born Singaporeans will shrink to 20+% how is that going to affect the Singapore identity and our nationhood?

One frustrating feature of the discourse on immigration is the leadership has not clearly defined the goals of immigration.  In a recent speech our prime minister suggested that the number is dependent on how well Singaporeans integrate....but what outcomes are we trying to achieve for ordinary Singaporeans? Minister Ng Eng Hen tried to sell this idea that if we don't accept more immigration our living standards will fall. But we know we cannot improve the quality of life indefinitely by importing people at some point the effects of overcrowding will negate the economic gains of importing people - most Singaporeans believe we have already gone past this optimal point and they want the PAP govt to reduce the absolute number of foreigners not just reduce the net influx. The reason for this is simple, they have felt a very sharp decline in the quality of life themselves in the past few years and no amount of talk by politicians can convince them that more immigrants is better. Big businesses like telcos, shopping center owners and property developers can benefit from the influx even as it erodes the quality of life of ordinary Singaporeans.

Building a nation and evolving a common identity are important to us as a people. At one time, nation building was a priority for the leadership - its is unfathomable this can be cast aside to import people. We cannot achieve a common identity if Singaporeans become a minority in their own country. If we are to preserve this goal and continue to strengthen our nationhood, Singapore born citizens should be kept well above  60% - if it falls below 50%, Singaporeans lose their sense of belonging and feel like foreigners in their own country. Today foreigners  (not including new citizens)form 38% of the population and because they are not uniformly distributed throughout the country many neighborhoods and workplaces are already dominated by foreigners. Even if there further economic gains to be reaped are we going to keep importing people if the goal of nation building and economic growth become mutually exclusive?

1990 National Day Slogan : One People, One Nation, One Singapore
1998:National Day Slogan : 30 Years of Nationhood/A Nation in Harmony

2006 National Day Slogan :  Our Global City, Our Home
2007 National Day Slogan : City of Possibilities

Notice how our "nation" has slowly be turned into a "city"...and they use National Day a day that is suppose to celebrate our nationhood to promote this idea of making Singapore a globalized city.
The idea of a globalized mega-city is extremely seductive to our economic planners. According to Krugman's New Trade Theory it will result in a highly competitive economy due to economies of scale and proximity between service providers and customers. Singapore's competitiveness is achieved mainly by importing cheaper foreign labor - productivity has falling across the board.

In our push to be a bigger city we have to be mindful of the differences between Singapore and, say, Seoul or New York. In Krugman's research he showed that labor will migrate from various regions with lower wages to cities in order to seek out higher wages. In the USA, city population is mostly enlarged by people migrating from suburban & rural areas - the  who gain by migrating are mostly Americans  For Singapore, it is different.  Our foreign influx is great for the Filipinos, Indian IT workers, and Chinese laborers here looking for higher wages compared with back home. Some of the wage increase they enjoy here is negated by the higher housing costs and cost of living - they overcome this by living in draconian conditions like packing 8 people into a small apartment. In the 90s, it was largely believed that the free movement of labor has net gains for native populations as it removes distortion in the labor market. The natives will enjoyed lower cost of goods and services while employers will enjoy gains from lower wages of immigrant labor. Those who compete directly with immigrant labor will see a loss but it is a wealth transfer internal to the natives from native employees to employer[Migration Theory : Talking across disciplines] . This is what you get if you keep immigration at a reasonable level - the key is right sizing immigration. However, the PAP govt turned many Singaporean wage earners into losers by importing foreigners at all levels - this resulted in a huge transfer of wealth from employees to corporations producing the largest income gap and the highest corporate profits as a % of GDP in history.

In a 2005, congressional hearing in the US,  Steven A. Camarota, the director of Director of Research for the Center for Immigration Studies listed 5 reasons why immigration will impact wages negatively[Link]:

  • Immigrants Might Work for Less.
  • Immigrants Are Seen as Better Employees.
  • The Threat of Further Immigration. This one is quite interesting. Camarota explains how immigration can produce a vicious cycle. If one company in a business sector starts to hire immigrants to cut cost, it will cause his competitors to do the same creating more demand for immigrants. 
  • Immigration Increases the Supply of Labor.
  • Workers not in Competition with Immigrants.  Workers protected from foreign competition enjoy higher wages causing income gap to increase.
Many Singaporeans have experienced all the negative effects of immigration and the greatest pain is among the low wage workers and PMETs suffering structural unemployment. The negative effects is increasing affecting the middle class. The issue now among many Singaporeans is not whether they will gain or lose from immigration,- they have already lost in terms of wages, competition for jobs, rising cost of living. The question is what else they will lose if the influx continues. Our sense of belonging, identity, strength of our nationhood.....seemed to have fallen in priority as the govt seeks to build a globalized city by expanding the population with immigrants from developing countries. We know economic growth through immigration is not sustainable as we are reaching the limit or have already reached the limit of how many people this small island can host. At the end of the day, what really is the purpose of getting there, what do we lose along the way? This reliance on immigrants from 3rd world countries for growth distract us from finding more sustainable ways to grow - through innovation, higher productivity, moving up the value chain...that will broaden the benefits of economic gains and help us to reduce the severe problem of income inequality in our society.

The PAP govt muddling along and failing to define clear goals of immigration has caused Singaporeans to be apprehensive about supporting this policy. Are immigrants here to complement the workforce to help us better compete against the world or are they here to compete against us? Will more immigrants result in a vibrant society or reduce the livability by over-crowding our country?  How do we ensure that economic gains are broadly distributed throughout our society...and labor immigration does not result result in a transfer from poorer wage earners to rich employers?

Should the citizens of Singapore trust the PAP govt with making the tradeoffs? Their track record of the last 10 years tell us that we better demand greater clarity, transparency and accountability. The day you stop questioning the PAP about immigration will the day you give away the future of your children to be shaped by their priorities and interests that may not be aligned with yours.


Anonymous said...

"...the leadership has not clearly defined the goals of immigration.

Yes, I agree completely with you on this and you have argued it well.
To what end does this policy help the country?

The truth lies somewhere between growth and ethnic portions. But along the way, the high octane gave them such a wonderful trip, they cant see clearly anymore.

Issues paper? more of a contrived feedback loop to suit their agenda.

I wish they all go away to Hainan island and never come back.

Seow Lee said...

Singaporeans are pampered?

Yeah, those who make these comments are part of the global elite. They enjoy their lives in luxury homes while the rabble in jam packed flats and MRT trains remain grateful for the crumbs that trickle down to them.

People are beginning to see through this scam in other countries. I hope Sporeans will find a way to keep their leaders from paying homage to the global elite.

Anonymous said...

"The day you stop questioning the PAP about immigration will the day you give away the future of your children ... "

How to do this?
Vote in more Opposition Parties into parliament.

60% of your friends & relatives voted for the Pro Alien Party.

It is your responsibility to convert at least one friend or relative into an Opposition voter.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky Tan, your writings are getting better and better. You're able to marshall disparate phenomenon and put it together into a big picture. Really appreciate it. Especially this and the previous article. Keep it up! Somehow you're knitting together thoughts that many Singaporeans have, but are just unable to put together into a big picture. You help us see the issue clearer and figure out our thoughts.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with 8 or even 10 million population as long as PAP can still win at least 60% votes and 93% seats to be a strong govt?

You don't like what PAP is doing? Then win over the 60% from the PAP lah.

No other way what, tio bo?

Anonymous said...

"Then win over the 60% from the PAP lah."
Anon 31/7/12 23:13

But how? By better and better writings in blogs? Even Chee Soon Juan write a lot of good books also no use. Street protests by him also no use. With Tan Jee Say as candidate also no use.

So how?

Anonymous said...

if i am an investigator i would dig up this Tan Gek Yap to see if there are any craps on him.

Anonymous said...

No use, then live with 8 million population lah, if that is what PAP want. Or emigrate to a better place lah, if you can.

What else can do?

Anonymous said...

one stooge on yahoo commented that foreign investors pay taxes to keep singapore going, if so, from here you can see the point of letting in FT is to largely increase the coffer but not create jobs for citizens, why?why the rush?
the more they invest in the service sector, the more FT u need. go see our shopping mall, how many new F&B and retail shops sprung up? when one field is saturated, the popular ones draw in more crowd, the less appealing have to give up. this is now happening in our HDB retailers.
all this ft investment scheme is to increase taxes to pay millions for senior officials and ministers, foreign students, and many many new projects in the south.

Anonymous said...

Can't even handle current 5m wanting to talk about 8? I wish him well and not become the victim of his own idea.

Anonymous said...

This population debate is an interesting one. The conventional wisdom is that we must keep growing the population to keep the economy growing as well. But common sense will tell you that china & India cant continue growing their population because it will get increasingly hard to house, feed & find employment for all their people. The japanese is going through a phase where they are shrinking their population apparently by design in order to reach a manageable size. It will be interesting to watch what happens there & china

Anonymous said...

this is a good one. it is not just about nationhood.

it is to have a ample supply of potential voters for themselves in case natives turned against them.

it is to preserve power.

I can tell you for one, you cannot recreate new york but importation. that's not how it works. same thing with London/paris.

Anonymous said...

Tan Gek Yap is hugely discredited. he teaches in lky school where all the losers in ge 2011 from pap, works at one point.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is: "Look, with proper planning, we can colonize Mars, Jupiter, Neptune, and the next nearest galaxy."

Anonymous said...

a mistake make:

what kind of immigrants will come in to make up 8 million from 5.5 million?

1. are we attracting the top calibre immigrants first? or the lazy 2nd generational rich?

what is in the current immigration system that stops the former from coming to Singapore if they haven't arrive already?
The top talent are not coming.

2. since the top talents are not coming, then to make up 8-5.5 milion ~ 2.5 million of immigrants, we will have to take in the same crap that we have been taking in to meet the target.

meaning the same shit that we have been experience because of the poor quality of the immigrants will be intensified by this 3rd wave of immigration in 6 years.

once again, pap is only interested in numbers not in the quality.

we cannot let them do whatever they like.

I can assure you it isn't to create more companies or to be more competitive.

It is to prevent the real estate from crashing.

without real estate at super high price, how is the govt going to mop up cpf savings and prevent citizens from taking monies out and then use the extra cash to cover their investment losses.

Anonymous said...

May be the professor should live in these "great city" for 5-10 years and share with us his experience.

Once must always bear in mind that Singapore is a country and not a city.
There is always an optimal point in everything, be it human, space, time, etc given a certain constraints. It is just like a sugar solution when it becomes saturated, there is no point adding additional solute when you cannot increase the quantity of solvent.
Worse still, we are talking about people, human beings and not sugar.

The life of next generation of Singaporean????
Cannot imagine.

Anonymous said...

Time to undo the damage done to Singapore by the past liberal policy of not ensuring only the right talent and quantity to bring in without harming singaporean interest and affecting singaporean right to fair wages and decent work.

The huge difference in income gap between the top and general population is no good for social harmony and nation building.Time to reduce this huge gap .

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading this post. I found it amongst the best on this blog, to date. Passionate and convincing. Thank-you for the effort.

Anonymous said...

"This reliance on immigrants from 3rd world countries for growth distract us from finding more sustainable ways to grow - through innovation, higher productivity, moving up the value chain...that will broaden the benefits of economic gains and help us to reduce the severe problem of income inequality in our society."

Talk cock. You don't have the calibre people. You rely on a few talent who are basically foreign trained or influenced. You let these talents lead, you get what you see today.

Moral of the story? A lustful man is never satisfied with his own wife. He constantly look outside for more conquest. When he goes out looking to seek pleasures, he inevitably returns home with diseases.

Anonymous said...

Just find the idea of stacking people into Singapore horrendous. That is not quality of life. Why compare with Tokyo, New York and Hong Kong? Singapore is extremely small compared to the countries where the cities are.

PAP wil be remembered NOT for its early achievements.

Veritas said...

Talk cock. You don't have the calibre people. You rely on a few talent who are basically foreign trained or influenced. You let these talents lead, you get what you see today.

Singaporeans have no problem with the highest or lowest sort of foreigners in our countries. Only those half-bake idiots are causing problems today. Besides, we are mass importing scums of the worst character, such as 6000 FT high caste unrepentent racist Indian, and "cultural-revolution-indoctrinated" Chinese.

Import all nobel laurate or bangala workers, pinoy maid, no problem for us

Veritas said...

typo, should be
"6000 years of FT high caste unrepentent racist Indian, and "cultural-revolution-indoctrinated" Chinese."

Anonymous said...

Who is pampered? The elites.

Certainly not the man on the street who was replaced by CT (cheaperer foreigner).

Instead of bringing in CT how about shipped out the elites if they love Tokyo, HK and NY so much?

Anonymous said...

Veritas smells like a PAP troll. He is probably the same matilah that frequent red bean blog.

Anonymous said...

Would Lucky be a better economic planner?

We need to look at his diet before we judge.

If he has a tendency to eat,live and work like Londoners, the New Yorkies or the English Bulls, then we can expect more or less the same.

If he eats kampong chicken, kiam chai or porridge, we may return to being colonized.

Anonymous said...

Sin is like CHC - led by a visionary. Those who support his vision will carry his balls for the furtherance of his kingdom. Those who think he is self serving and an asshole will stamp on his balls and hope he goes to jail

At the end, whether he remains to lead or ends in jail, you will always have another replacement and restart your worshipful ways all over again.

Anonymous said...

You guys are all balls carrier...it is as simple as that.

You just need to find your unique balls taste

Anonymous said...

Echo Anon @ 07:15 view.

The next question is what happens if we reach 8 million. If you extend the logic, then we need to increase it to 12 million to continue growing the economy.

But common sense will tell you that at some point you can't simply increase the population to grow the economy.

The key question is to determine the optimal population size and manage the transition to get there. Repeat the word manage because the problem we have now is primarily due to the fact that the immigration has not been managed unlike what happened in the past

Anonymous said...

Is a one way ticket o Hell. You are on SPEED movie. Slow down...boom...continue to maintain or regulate speed...crash or run out of fuel and ...BOOM

Consolation? The movie is a ..Hit. Many bought the tickets to watch it again

Anonymous said...

I think lucky eats lup cheong dog.

TokyoSingaporean said...

I take the tokyo subway daily and it's not as crowded as it's made out to be. I could always get a seat. If you're standing, chances are you're on the Yamanote line which is a loop train service. So many commuters are moving in it and standing for short duration of time to make transfers to other lines such as the Chuo Line or the Nambu line, etc., where they do not have to stand. Again, the rush hour traffic is occuring at the loop service where large movements of commuters are making transfers and to say that Tokyo subways are crowded is untrue and misleading. Trains in Japan run on schedules and commuters can plan their routes and time. You can check out http://www.hyperdia.com/en/.

Travelling in tokyo subways is pleasant as all the seats are cushioned. They are heaters in winter that blow warm air on the commuters' legs. I take the chuo line in Central Tokyo and I enjoy my rides as trains are not bloated to the seams. I can even opt for a Rapid train or a special rapid train that skips many stations that gets me to my destination. It's like having a special rapid train that runs from Woodlands to City to Changi without stopping at other discrete stops. Japan truly has the world's best transport systems. If I need to top up my Pasmo or Suica card, I could put in $100 note and the machine will return me exact change in notes and coins. Their control gates are safe as they are simply flaps. Ours, lock us in on our sides. In Japan, the gate flaps reaches your knees. They don't alarm you. Tokyo is crowded but tokyoites return to quiet and small town suburbs after work. Singaporeans return to still overcrowded pinoys, PRCs and Indian nationals at their hdb elevators. There is a significant difference in quality and life experience.

Many Singaporeans are suffering unnecessarily except that they won't have to, had they been citizens of another country.

Anonymous said...

You must like their naked sishi

Anonymous said...

City planners look at the entire Sin city and tell themselves...got space for more people what...just plan and build smart lor....

But problem is...this is hot humid Sin leh...people all like to seek out air con space....so actual aircon space how much ah? keke

So every weekend or after work...shopping malls pack like sardine...trains pack like sardines....lol

Only those high class people got money....eat in restaurant very few ppl go or chill in their large compound or their bungalows serve by servants...

The rests...ger use to sardines lah lol

Anonymous said...

Again, gd piece of work lucky.

"Conventional thinking" about population and economic development theories such as Krugman's work on the attractiveness of mega cities, Porter's critical mass, McKinsey's free flow of capital and labour etc have formed much of development economics for the last 3 decades - they all cite the need of "critical mass" to become a economically efficient and politically significant (and not be a little red dot forever). You read those ideas every day in The Economist, FT, Harvard Bus Reviews, in the mass media. That so much of PAP's so called "policies" on economics and hence immigration are derived, indeed copied wholesale from these "conventional thoughts" is hardly surprising. People need to understand that the PAP and our elites are far more conservative and mediocre than what LKY and our mass media and all the sycophantic western press want us to believe. What the PAP/elites have done is implement these "conventional theories" of economic growth by imposing their will on this small red dot: their "success" prove the theories can work on a small scale in a highly controlled experiment. Hence the accolades from the western media which reinforces the vanity of the PAP/elites and academics. But all "conventional theories" enjoy their day in the sun, only to be replaced by new ones. We are seeing a huge sea changes presently - Wall Street funded economic theories (eg Porter's critical mass, Mckinsey's scale, free flow of capital and labour, efficient markets, MNCs, globalisation) are under siege with the last 2 financial crises (Lehman now PIIGS and soon Asia Part 2), and threatening in the background are environmental considerations that are combining into a frontal assault on economic theories based on growth, more specifically debt-based unfettered growth - this could be the revenge of the logic of compounding: if global GDP grows at 5% pa as in last decade, soon we run out of energy, food, land, water even oxygen. For sure conventional economic growth still has a last card - inflation to cover up non preforming loans of banks and countries, natural gas discovered in Africa or the US. But eventually as we now see, income cannot catch up, loans default, and the house of cards fall apart. When countries go to war in the coming decades over water and food, new theories will appear. But as usual our elites will be slow to grasp these changes, they will wait and see, then act when everyone else have moved on. By then, we would have paid the price of an elite too inexperienced to understand the major global currents.

Anonymous said...

9:47, what cok you tok?

Anonymous said...

Is what balls he tasted before he churn out cock talk

Anonymous said...

Great piece. lee government would have been voted out in no confidence motion by now but what to do, we dont have the numbers in parliament. why? because they gerrymander, obliterated opposition, silenced dissent, bankrupted, defamed and demolished opponents, spent our monies in profligate ways, destroyed our souls.

baby lee thinks spore is too small to have two party system. hey lee hsien loong, spore is too big for your one tiny brain and smallminded thinking! cant lead? get the hell out

Anonymous said...

There's no one more pampered than Lee Hsien Loong, wife and his circle of thieves

Anonymous said...

How would you know if you are going be alive tomorrow?

At least Lucky has courage to write this article.

There will be better people than those who wear white but got only $ in their head.

Anonymous said...

spore is a tax haven for rich foreigners. as long as this anomaly is not addressed, the numbers will keep growing. lucky, time to write about this tax anomaly. why arent sporeans questioning the decision to award citizenship to eduardo severino, a US tax dodger? the US congress has called him a cop out loser. and pap accepts him and roll red carpet for him? what does it say about their mindset? $$$$

singapore citizenship can be bought. just name your price! in letting eduardo in, the pap government has cheapened citizenship, the hard work and sacrifices of all singaporeans who built this nation for outsiders to enjoy ?

singapore is a place for tax dodgers and thieves. the middle class has to press this greedy and immoral government to present facts on taxation and why we let this tax dodger in

Anonymous said...

Troll. VERITAS in disguise.

Anonymous said...

Another one from troll.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, sinkaporeans are balls carrier. That's what they do at work and since they spend so much time at work, the adults are used to carrying balls. So all their thinking gravitates to...whose balls shall I suck next!

Anonymous said...

Yes, some like lees balls,some like chees balls, some like lows balls, some like mee balls, some like krugs balls,some like kongs balls...so many kinds of balls people can choose to suck.

We are a globallized balls suckers

Anonymous said...

don't forget, we got lucky balls too

Anonymous said...

The future is already here. How do you know if the population now is 5.1m or 8.5m or ... ?

Anonymous said...

Count the number of balls

Anonymous said...

Paid by PAP master to write nonsense - troll.

Anonymous said...

Lucky, he is just jealous of you. Troll need to hit kpi before he can collect his peanuts from his master.

Anonymous said...

Think of our children. They will be in a worst Singapore than we are if PAP continue to import foreigners.

Anonymous said...

"The day you stop questioning the PAP about immigration will the day you give away the future of your children to be shaped by their priorities and interests that may not be aligned with yours."

Lucky, it is very simple and like this:

The Lee family, and the civil service, media, clan associations, business groups and academia that prop it up are practicing a kind of eugenics that is genocidal to indigenous singaporeans who don't fit into global city hybrid they have carefully implanted. it is nice to look into the mirror and see a reflection of your so-called genius selves.

This is a highly dangerous turning point for singapore. This must be stopped and quickly in the same way LKY tried to implant his harebrained graduate mothers scheme. Like father like son.

Calling all Singaporeans. Wake up from your deep political slumber and demand answers and actions! Don't let them take the country away from you. Pay attention to PM's rally speech and PROTEST if he keeps talking in abstraction through his power point gimmicks!

Happy National Day everyone! Take our country back! Say NO to political eugenics!

Anonymous said...

"Calling all Singaporeans"

No need to call all Singaporeans.
Not much use.

Just focus on the 60% of your friends & relatives who voted for the Pro Alien Party.
Convert just one into an Opposition voter.

If everybody does this.
40% becomes 80% in GE 2016.

Anonymous said...

eugenics in spore: bring in people like themselves: severino who is so-called innovator in the same way pap likes to laud their urban planning cred

same brains, all US or ivy league education, chinese clans links, all super duper rich like them.

but who pay for them in first place? uncle and aunty in HDB, NS men (which tony tan's son can suka suka skip), makchik and pakchick, muthu and samy who now has to pay higher S & C charges, higher food prices, live in hdb that is getting more squalid and crowded. and young couples have to share with sibling while waiting for their new flats.

old people in hdb can no longer relate to their neighbours because the newcomers cannot speak malay or singlish and they serve out their twilight years lonely, forgotten and feeling out of place.

is this how spore rewards its hardworking people??

Lye Khuen Way said...

Another scholarly write up by Lucky Tan !
As to what we can do , maybe we do need Heaven's intervention!

Anonymous said...

"Calling all Singaporeans"

"No need to call all Singaporeans.
Not much use.

Just focus on the 60% of your friends & relatives who voted for the Pro Alien Party.
Convert just one into an Opposition voter.

If everybody does this.
40% becomes 80% in GE 2016."

How to convert? sporeans so damn scared like anything. scared to lose jobs. they mostly work for government in government. they are bulk of the work force.

and new citizens will vote pap mah.

you can talk til cow come home n stupid sporeans will still vote pap. they have no more money in pocket and still vote pap

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky

I believe the antagonist we have here is Tan Khee Giap. Please confirm.

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan, Thank You for your blog. I've shared this article on my FB. We do need many more Opposition MPs in Parliament. In time they can take over.

The more I read of comments on your blog about how Pay&Pay forever & ever, the more confident I am they won't be. For this reason, on 1 August 2012, today, they set up MLC to make sure dissent is stifled. That way, they stay forever at our expense account.

Why I say this? I relate just one experience from my life as true blue local - MediSave & MediShield. Since inception, I contributed, now how? I, Senior Citizen - the older age category I enter, the higher the premium for MediShield. Enough to devour lifelong MediSave savings! If a ONE contributes MediSave for 40 years and MediShield for 40 years, how much they earn? How much cheap funds they have had? Why can they not provide better deal for old people. Whose interest are Make Poorer&Poorer locals serving? Surely it is the Pay&Pay Party, just impossible to be the getting older and older locals.

Second, the Mah Bow Tan "affordable HDB flats" at stratropheric prices. First they say affordable at 30-year loan, now 50-year loan for a 99-year lease and increasly shrinking sizes. Yes, bring in more immigrants every year. More & more lose jobs,servicing loans become stretched ever & ever longer. Whose interest is this??? The poor home buyer struggling to service loan?

Someone commented Pay&Pay make slaves in this way and vote them forever because of struggle to pay off stratropheric home loans & cling in chains to govt jobs for threat of being fired; being outnumbered by continuous influx of immigrants. I see it as more reason to abolish this type of debt slavery. Ask yourself, "Whose interest are you serving?" Do you honestly have a future with Pay&Pay?

Anonymous said...

can we get data on how many legit sporeans the govt chased away since independence? why was nothing done to get sporeans abroad to return instead of importing foreigners? why did they leave? the policy of denying foreign spouses of sporean women any status proved detrimental? was there such a policy which i remember caused some grievance years back. there were so many policies that basically DISCOURAGED sporeans from sinking roots here or multiplying. these ought to be discussed openly if we are to stop the flow

Anonymous said...

I remember an incident about ten years ago where Tan Gee Yap and Chen Kang, both formerly working at NTU as economists then but are now at LKY School of Public Policies, gathered data from various government sources about jobs created then in Singapore, and after some clever snooping and calculation between different data sets, came to the conclusion that most of the benefits were accrued to foreigners (data regarding the Singapore economy has since been housed and released from one single source singstat.gov to keep the lies straight, preventing such embarrassing episodes from occurring).

So the two came out publicly with their conclusions, which pissed off then-Manpower Minister Ng Eng Hen. He adopted an aggressive posture, insisting that their methodology and data were wrong. This created a storm which finally culminated in a Straits Times Front Page apology from the two, who cowed from the huge pressure heaved upon them.

I believe both of them must have felt like pariahs on the NTU campus then, avoiding by all, having lunch alone, walking around with a monkey on your back from the entire public apology episode that made them looked like fools…

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky, this is a very well written article and exactly my sentiments put very succinctly.


Anonymous said...

Troll keep doing this and Google will improve this site rankings. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

This fucking asshole who suggested 8 mio for Singapore has his brain stuck up his ass. Singapore is a very unique place. It is a city state. So it cannot be compared to any other city with a huge hinterland where those who grow old or got squeezed out can move to. On my annual visit home over the years, I can certainly testified that Singapore is getting more and more crowded. What I find shocking is where are the Singaporeans in the new city being created ? Even old places like China town r taken over by Mainland Chinese. Singporeans r pushed out of not only the top ends like Sentosa, Tanglin, Holland, Bukit Timat but places like Tiong Bahru r also being taken over. Now we are at 5.3 and if u take the huge number of tourists, there could well be 6 mio people at anytime in Singapore. With another 2 mio, where do u expect Singaporeans to live ? JB Batam ? Those capable and who can afford it can move to Australia, Canada but what about the vast majority who cannot ? The pap has sold us out. We must stop them. The only way is to kick them out.

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Anonymous said...

You don't need to worry about integration. The government has worked this one out easily. With 40% of this overbloated island packed with foreigners, you don't need to worry whether the foreigners will integrate with you. PAP is making the immigration so aplenty, it will be the foreigners integrating among themselves that they don't need to integrate with Singaporeans. PAP knows Singaporeans won't accept having to integrate with foreigners; so they brought the numbers in really big so that we have NO CHOICE BUT TO INTEGRATE with them.

I just want to say: "Fuck you every single one of your 60.1%." If there is a God, may He strike you all with misfortunes.

Anonymous said...

Education then and now
04:45 AM Jul 24, 2012
From Stephan Yang

Over two decades ago, at age 15, I started giving tuition to supplement my family's income. This continued till I graduated from university.

My pupils mostly shared a modest family background, and tuition was purely to revise concepts that were grasped well in class and to improve school grades. They were borderline pupils scoring barely 50 out of 100 and aiming for a commendable 75-80 score.

As one who moved up societal layers, from neighbourhood schools (primary and secondary) to a top-tier college, I shared with my pupils my circumstances and life values, and how thankful I was that my hopes were kept alive through perseverance.

I worked hard, which was all I needed for a fair shot at success in life.

Sadly, the profile of pupils needing tuition now is more varied. The possibility of finding a repeat story of my success is becoming remote, as growing affluence has skewed the playing field towards the rich.

It is even harder to find teachers and tutors who aspire to pass on both academic and valuable life lessons to the young.

I observe how teachers are under pressure to uphold school standards vis-a-vis other schools, and are assessed from the sidelines, rather than through active, healthy governance, to meet statistical key performance indicators.

When put on the line, the dilemma of "what's in it for me" versus "what's good for the children" boils down to a balance of reality, pragmatism and conscience in each educator.

In a totally unregulated market now, with no obligation to abide by a set of ethos, the enrichment and tuition centres fare worse.

Many are unabashed to flaunt stellar Primary School Leaving Examination results; some even impose barriers of entry to the less well-off through a stringent selection process of pre-entrance tests and high fees.

Overall, education has become a survival game, where the fittest, with the ability to buy access to better educational materials, better teachers and better enrichment exposure, wins. It is a perpetual cycle.

When I look back, I recall with pride and gratitude how civic education and Confucianism played a huge part in my student life. I attribute a huge part of my positive experience and outcome to the good governance and moral ethics observed in education then.

What would the children of today recall when they look back on their education years? Are we subjecting them to a backlash from a system managed by only broad guidelines and corporate-centric KPIs?

URL http://www.todayonline.com/Voices/EDC120724-0000026/Education-then-and-now
Copyright 2012 MediaCorp Pte Ltd | All Rights Reserved

Anonymous said...


Singapore continues to lure the super rich.
That's how you the average citizens' interests are aligned with them. They continue to sell the 'aspirational' dreams..without realizing the 'aspirational' part is waaay over long time ago. People don't buy the aspirational anymore, particularly not now. The aspirational has turned to become ugly envy and jealousness, especially at FT's wealth while the locals struggle. The psychological imbalance is very real. It might work for those new migrants coming from developed world, but not the locals. They foolishly think that they can just do a reset and repeat the whole 'spur in the hides' approach. That's their game plan. Years of squeezing the golden eggs from the goose, is proving to be detrimental. Now they need new goose, rich and poor to supplement the population.

Bravo Bravo.

Veritas said...

Overall, education has become a survival game, where the fittest, with the ability to buy access to better educational materials, better teachers and better enrichment exposure, wins. It is a perpetual cycle.

I am a former teacher. I disagree that our education system is the survival of fittest but rather-- it is rigged to benefit the useless English speaking banana as well as the rich who can afford tuition. Our education is utter failure that every student need to be bail out by tutors.

PAP do not like creativity and do not like students to think. Worse, subject such as Chinese is deliberately rigged to make sure students are as good as illiterate after 10 years of education.

Our education failed miserably. We produce no intellectual giants. We produce no one with good characters. The HK education system produces 2 Nobel price laureate (Charles K. Kao, Daniel C. Tsui) and 1 field medalist (ST Yau). Taiwan system produces 2 Nobel prize Laureate (C. C. Ting, Yuan T. Lee), 1 Turing Award (Andrew Yao). We produces nothing but shit and greedy politicians and useless scholars who cannot even come up with decent papers.

Taiwan school system produces great entrepreneurs both who excel domestically and overseas. We produce junk administrators and parasite that run useless GLCs that sucks blood out of our economy and damn honest entrepreneurs.

Very often PAP cited small population (so less smart alex) as excuse to cover their educational policy failure. They also blame Singaporeans are too lazy. But it is often the laziest countries and most welfare countries in the world that add lots of value to humanity.

Both Denmark and Finland has 5 million people, same like us. They has the world shortest working hours, longest paid vacations, free healthcare, free education to Uni, everything free.....etc. Their people like to fuck around and closer to 50% of their children born out of wedlock.

They have some of the most uncompetitive school system. Their CEO salary is not that far from janitor.

Their achievements is unimaginable. The best OS in the world Linux is a merely a part-time hobby of Finnish undergrad. Finland also gave us Nokia. Denmark give us Vestas, the most advance wind power company in the world.

The recipe of their success is anti-thesis to the wicked idea of PAP and LKY. LKY vision of ideal society is something like India. It compose of Dalits that perpetually lick up the ass of Brahmins like himself. Dalits however clever should be destroy. To enslave Singaporeans, code word like "competition" (aka backstabbing) are actively fostered by PAP.

In Nordic society, the people live idly. Their secret is not "competition" but rather "cooperation". Men help one another. We should overthrow and get rid of PAP if we want inner peace and gain our freedom.

Anonymous said...

Singapore Fairy Tales
(My favourite grandfather's story)

Limpeh kali kong;
Singapore's education system helps the poor to level up.

Anonymous said...

This chap is quite stupid,is he really a professor?from which university?

Anonymous said...

I'll vote for any party that returns us our cpf money and lets us use the money however we please! its our money, earned the hard way which no government has the right to withhold. who do these fuck alls think they are? milking and siphoning our money, enriching themselves and to add insult to injury, sell the nation to others. what is the punishment for treason?

Anonymous said...

Good blog entry.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is now a Global Hotel Cities.

As a Nation, it doesn't exist anymore neither is Singaporean.

There is only long-term occupancy or short-term occupancy.

Anonymous said...

Hey Veritas, agree with some of the stuff you mentioned - especially the bits about Nordic countries.

The problem in Singapore is that we have reached the plateau with PAP. It can't bring singapore forward anymore. It has max our its own ingenuity.

Schools are only interested in ranking and major examination results. So since our MOE teachers in all our secondary and primary schools are judged, criticise, appraised and ranked based on actual results, there is no incentive to do otherwise. Teachers teach to the syllabus. Our kids' interests are being killed and all singapore teachers know this.

Many students do not trust their teachers because they know their teachers only care about results and not about them. How do you expect otherwise when the teachers are ranked and appraised in this way? Every August, dirty politics of ranking occurs all over singapore schools. You have teachers and head of departments avoid having lunch even in the canteen.

Teachers have now been institutionalised to be competitors to one another. Cooperation is asked of them in school activities and projects and competitive ranking occurs thereafter.

This system will never produce any top laureates in any fields. Singapore schools is about conditioning and programming. Now, we have a new propaganda subject of citizen and character education. Citizen and character are linked together.

We may boast some top scores for PISA ranking but no noble prizes here. This is a country where even Yale has to debate extensively between its members as to even set up campus here.

There is no lesson in creativity. There is no lesson in critical thinking. There is no political education on human rights. There is no education on financial knowledge. There is no philosophical classes/lessons in neighbourhood schools.

But there is perfect rote teaching, conditioning and parroting in action.

Every other day, the Singapore teachers disseminate worksheets after worksheets to keep the pupils at bay.

Singapore teachers uses Singlish to teach their non-English subjects like geography or maths/sciences.

There is now more emphasis on national education.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is no longer a great city it used to be. Sinagporeans are short changed. Totally short changed. In the States and Japan, education is free up till high school.

That's 12 years of free education because these countries believe that education is a right. Not here.

PAP is the problem today. No creativity can grow on a soil that bans freedom of speech. Once you curtail freedom to speak, you curtail the freedom to be. In reality, Singaporeans are living a curtailed life. And they're OK with this because they are still healthy. They have not been tested yet fully by the overall Singapore system.

Singaporeans are really boring people. They don't really have a life. They're existing. Their idea of a life is a textbook. Backstabbing and work to get a promotion so that they can pay for their flat.

Those who are not oblivious will have to suffer looking at the pathetic outcomes of our ministers. They're producing magical GDP results at the expense of the people's quality of life.

Any smart people knows, there are better places on earth to live than Singapore and many singaporeans actually recognise this. Singaporeans are now living in an economic caste system crafted by the PAPies. Here, you need to be super hardowrking and sacrifice family or social life to be rewarded. There is no work life balance here. Only work.

Singaporeans are always complaining about survival. The topic of their conversations is never about how to improve the community, build a larger marina barrage, expand the green spaces or create a vibrant arts scene or playing music as part-time buskering. Their topics is how to pay for their flats, can get car or not? How to survive since CPF is locked and no money to retire? How come healthcare to expensive...cannot support? They are first world but they speak of third world issues. They're still 3rd world.

They feel first world because they're in southeast asia. Singapore can boast being the best in a south east asian situation. We are not the best in asia let alone in the world. So there is no point comparing with southeast asia.


Do you seriously believe this PAP team will be the party that will produce that unheard "made in Singapore" product? We're in big trouble now because we didn't do this for the past 47 years. We need casinos now to survive. We need to a new stronger party that doesn't have a lazy attitude to innovattion and enterprise.

Anonymous said...

WTF are you all Sinkaporeans waiting for? Waiting for the garberment to plan and decide your lives for you? Take your CPF monies and get the hell out ASAP.

If you can't change the country(garberment), CHANGE YOUR COUNTRY!!!

Veritas said...

WTF are you all Sinkaporeans waiting for? Waiting for the garberment to plan and decide your lives for you? Take your CPF monies and get the hell out ASAP.

If you can't change the country(garberment), CHANGE YOUR COUNTRY!!!

Be patient you idiot. KPKB is the precusor of revolution that saw heads of useless elites rolling like soccer ball. Once upon a time in France, cowards like Voltaire, Rousseau, cannot stop KPKB. Not too long later, their writings has wakened so many people that eventually those rich handsome clever man in France went up guillotine in 1789.

We must continue to KPKB. We must make our folks aware and angry about this system. The elites are getting more and more frighten everyday. Look at LKY now. He is hiding like a rat. Soon we will be free.

And besides, if someone rape your wife/daughter you dont just leave. You make sure you lynch that mother fucker.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is now very attractive to the foreigners whether to visit or to stay. That is why we are getting some really rich people from the world over. Tourist numbers have grown and grown till there is a shortage of hotel rooms. This is due mainly to the papist Leegime foreign-centric growth and development strategies. To the rich foreigners, Singapore is not only a tax heaven but a very safe for themselves and family physically as well as financially. There is little doubt that if u park your funds in Singapore, u will definitely get it back. This is an enormous plus in a world innundated with financial disasters. To the not so rich foreigners, Singapore is a land of opportunity. With such relax law on foreign employment and business, it is harl=dly surprising that people from all corners of the world want to come to Singapore.
At the same time while the foreigners are having a good go in Singapore, the indigenous population are not only missing out on the growth and development but also a deterioration in their already low quality of lives. Foreigners compete with Singaporeans for everything, including the air and space.
It is very very clear that the time to make Singapore not so attractive to foreigners are way pass. Why do we have to undersell Singapore at the detriment of our citizens. It just does not make sense. Do we need to give foreigners the scholarships ? Do we need to cut our taxes to attract the rich and famous ? Do we need to give tax concessions ?

Anonymous said...

@10:12 hey asshole, do you think we are not trying to CHANGE OUR COUNTRY?

Look at what they did to M Ravi.

There are many sporeans working hard to CHANGE THIS COUNTRY and you dont know about it because our fuck all media wont broadcast it

the editors of fuck all media should also be punished for TREASON

Veritas said...

Singapore is now very attractive to the foreigners whether to visit or to stay. That is why we are getting some really rich people from the world over.

Just one jihad kid commiting suicide bombing in Shenton way is able to send rich FT fleeing like dogs.

I hope PAP and their international banking cabal dont go down so much in the way that forces desperate people to jihad in a fomer peaceful country.

Anonymous said...

Singapore can import a lot of rich foreigners and make them citizens so that they can vote. And can even make them majority voters.

So therefore it is very possible to have majority voters who are rich and therefore will vote PAP for giving them citizenship and a safe place for their money and their life.

But also need a lot of cheap labour to replace not enough and also very expensive local born Singaporeans lah. So therefore must also import a lot of poor foreigners to be cheap labour lah.

That's why the population can go up to 8 million, with many poor but many more are rich.

That's one way to get 60% majority votes.

Lucky Tan can write or complain for all he want lah, but who cares.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lucky,

That guy is not Tan Gek Yap la. He is Tan Khee Giap.

His profile is here.

Veritas said...

You see, people in Singapore, they're pampered. They're not seeing how crowded Tokyo or Hong Kong or London or New York subway is. And therefore, they think it is very crowded. But Singapore has only 5 million. And I think if you plan it properly, I think we can live comfortably with 8 million"
Tan Khee Giap want to compare us with HK, now one of the biggest rotting cesspool in the whole world because of rich Brahmins there. Today, the 30 years ago pig stable Shenzhen, is much more advance than HK. HK ppl is now enjoying wet dream and opium their elites feed to them. Many ppl in Shenzhen are getting much higher pay not because they are smart, but because HK was damn by their elites. This is what AT wrote about HK few days back.


real life Hong Kong has absolutely nothing to do with a free economy encouraging competition on a level playing field. It's more like a rigged game.

The dark secret at the heart of Hong Kong is the unmitigated collusion between the government and a property cartel - controlled by just a few tycoons; the Lis, the Kwoks, the Lees, the Chengs, the Pao and Woo duo, and the Kadoories (more about them on part 2 of this report). These tycoons and their close business associates also happen to dominate seats on the 1,200-member Election Committee that chooses Hong Kong's chief executive.

In Land and the Ruling Class in Hong Kong (Enrich Professional Publishing, Singapore, 2011), Poon demonstrates how the Heritage Foundation's hard-on for government laissez faire is in fact mixed with an extremely non-competitive business environment. It all boils down to who really runs the show in Hong Kong; a group of cross-sector corporate giants controlling the property market, electricity, gas, the public buses and ferries, and the supermarkets (see them in detail in part 2 of this report).

The common denominator is that virtually all of them started with property - and then progressively gobbled up utility and public service companies.

We should be back again to a Chinese maxim: land is power. All the conglomerates controlled by Hong Kong tycoons are fattened on owning land. The local government is the sole supplier of land. So no wonder it keeps a vested interest in the property market - and that's a huge understatement - as it pockets fortunes from land sales and premiums on so-called "lease modifications".

This doesn't work for the public good - to say the least. A good example is the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong express rail link, which is bound to be the most expensive in the world, costing US$8.6 billion - partly because of choosing to build the terminus at West Kowloon. There was a cheaper and perhaps better alternative - to build the terminus at Kam Sheung Road on MTR's West Rail. But it was overruled because of, as some critics suspected, shady land speculation interests in West Kowloon

The mantra of the previous two Hong Kong administrations under "one country, two systems" - by Tung Chee-Hwa and Donald Tsang - was not to deviate from a high land price policy; keep a tight land supply; and postpone the introduction of a competition law (more on this on the second part of this report). There's no evidence this would change much under new Chief Executive C Y Leung.

The absurdly high rents in Hong Kong - derived from high land prices - hurt most of all local businesses, and prevent Hong Kong from attracting more foreign investment. If Heritage Foundation researchers didn't get it, they were probably researching some island in the South China Sea.

Anonymous said...

Funny. "You park your funds in Singapore, you're sure to get it back" Try selling this BS to endless numbers of Singaporeans waiting to get their funds back in the form of monthly payments from their own CPF funds. With CPF life compulsory next year where so sure to get any back? The winners who do collect other members' monies mostly rich. Many articles published about longevity produce evidence that people with money survive longest. How many members fall into this category.

ah lian said...

Yes, yes! What's the point of bringing in hordes and hordes of foreigners when Singaporeans' quality of life then get worse and worse? This is EXACTLY the ground sentiment! Which the gahmen pretend they dunno, or choose to ignore.

And worse still, the gahmen even maintain that we'll be worse off without foreigners!!!

The cocky Hen on foreigner influx: "...if you tighten too much, your jobs are at risk... you become less competitive in essential services... your quality of life will be affected."

So how many more foreigners do they want, for us to keep on being "competitive"? Which to them means only one thing: forcing us to be "cheaper, better, faster"!

HOW can we ever be cheaper than say, China or India? More importantly, WHY should we want to?!

Another big problem I totally agree with Lucky Tan is the one on national identity.

I love watching the Olympics. For the sports and for the fighting human spirit. There's also this element which is so NATURAL it's just a matter of course, for other countries' citizens -- the feeling of NATIONAL PRIDE! An American will cheer for the USA team. A PRC for China, the French for France, a North Korean for North Korea.

Did I cheer for Feng Tianwei? Did I feel proud that she won a Bronze medal? Unfortunately, NO. Label me "small-minded" or even "xenophobic", I just don't. And I don't think I'm the only one.

We actually have a National Integration Council. (What do they do, organise water splashing celebrations?) But no matter how much $ the gahmen spend to foster "integration"...

the PRICELESS sense of national pride that had made Singaporeans do the Kallang Wave, is gone.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky Tan,

Don't be nosy and think that you are always right !!! You are so arrogant. What you do is just copying and putting different articles together into one single piece.

Anonymous said...

To All so-called TRUE Singaporeans: Where did your grand grand parents come from???.
There is simply no TRUE Singaporeans.

DanielXX said...

There is now a perception that the garment has taken the easy way out by importing cheap foreigners rather than striving to build value-add through upgrading technological capabilities and branding through R&D and network-building. Once formed, such a perception cannot be easily erased.

This is the real reason why they're creating new ministries to try to undo this --- again not by real blood and sweat, but likely through the superficial efforts of propaganda and rhetoric. This is my perception.

Anonymous said...

The house of cards is going to start tumbling down.

Source: Christopher Balding's blog.


Posted on August 2, 2012
Yesterday I received an email from a loyal reader that Jake van der Kamp, the well known columnist from the South China Morning Post wrote a column questioning the returns of Temasek. Though I can’t find an ungated copy of the column and can’t repost the entire column, he makes a couple of great points about what Temasek is claiming.

“If you were a private investment fund manager with this sort of record, you would have every investor in the world getting down on his knees to you and bowing every time you showed your face in public. You would be venerated as a deity. The world would be at your doorstep asking you to manage its money.”

Investors today are lauded for much smaller returns much less keeping up 17% for 38 years. I have been unable to find any other investor that claims to have earned a similar return over a similar time frame. Furthermore, I cannot even find Temasek companies that earn the rates of return claimed by Temasek!!

He goes on to say “And if Temasek’s touted total shareholder return is much, much higher than the overall Singapore market’s, it exceeds that of foreign markets by an even wider margin. If it’s a stretch to get to 17 per cent in Singapore investments since 1974, we are looking at new properties of the elastic band to see it in markets abroad.” In other words, if Temasek beat the Singaporean market by such a wide amount it must beat foreign markets by a similarly large amount.

However, as he notes “And then you get that byword for loss, Chartered Semiconductor, Singapore’s foray into the wafer fab business. Temasek finally rid itself of this deadweight but its loss in chasing yesterday’s technologies tomorrow was likely in the billions….Also timed injudiciously were investments in Merrill Lynch and Barclays Bank. The timing of the exits from these acquisitions was equally injudicious. I cannot quantify the losses, but informed opinion generally agrees the figure ran into the billions.”

This means that Temasek’s winning investments must have earned significantly more than 17% annually since 1974 to produce the types of returns they are claiming. These are simply fantasy level returns.

Given that the South China Morning Post has now broken the cone of silence around questioning Temasek and Singapore, I wonder if others in the major press outlets will also begin to question Singaporean numbers?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 22:04

What does this mean? Would our currency be impacted if the truth is unveiled?

It is beginning to look like the Emperor's new clothes.

Anonymous said...

Anon 21:24

Lim peh built the roads here. Don't tell me that I am not a True Singaporean.


Anonymous said...

Ang moh said; "..a melting pot any country would be proud to have.." If you look at it deeply, the elites and foreigners are similar in many ways.. they are not like the 99% mainstream singaporeans. If they like to bring in 10 million foreign bodies, what can you do about it? If you dun know by now becos you are daft, the elites and scholars think differently from the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

///The conventional wisdom is that we must keep growing the population to keep the economy growing as well. But common sense will tell you that china & India cant continue growing their population because it will get increasingly hard to house, feed & find employment for all their people.///

Exactly. It is the growth of each individual local that we need to encourage and talk about. What is the use of overall growth (total figure) being boosted up by foreigners with the benefits going back to foreigners while the externalities (high cost locked up in commitment, jammed up place, etc) get mutualised among locals in the long term as the foreigners can always pack up & go home.

Anonymous said...

///Anonymous said...

To All so-called TRUE Singaporeans: Where did your grand grand parents come from???.
There is simply no TRUE Singaporeans.
2/8/12 21:24///

So what does that mean ?
Are you saying it should be "Free for all". Did your grand grand parents slide into a paradise when they came here or they took a big risk without knowing what held for them.

Anonymous said...

tan khee giap is an example my late grandma would love to describe as "someone who studied so much that his brain got fried".

it's obvious that the greatest traitor in singapore now is PAP - they sold out the country for their personal gain and glory. not surprising, see how their Great Leeder chose to work with japanese Kempaitai when the locals suffered under them.

yes, i love the idea of a jihad in shenton way, orchard road or any of the atas areas. i'm sure PAP is wary of that too, which explains why SMRT keeps playing "terrorist" messages. as if we cared...

lucky also pointed out a very ominous sign: PAP is trying to change "our country" to "everybody's city". and see how the newspapers are cheering for FT to show us the way when a PRC-born gal won a medal thanks to our taxpayer's money.

shame on PAP and its running dogs.

Anonymous said...

Uniquely Sinkaporeans! Complain and do nothing!

Anonymous said...

"You see, people in Singapore, they're pampered. They're not seeing how crowded Tokyo or Hong Kong or London or New York subway is...."

I don't see why Singaporeans should not expect a better quality of life from our Ministers who are even better at pampering themselves at making themselves instant millionaire once they are at the job.

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Anonymous said...


Came across this article by Bryan Caplan, and economist in the US.


In it, he mentions in the article that our Law Minister Shanmugam called Singapore a city rather than a country. The relevant quote is "'This is where most people make a mistake...I have tried to explain that we are different. We are a city. We are not a country,' he told 200 lawyers, many from America, at the New York State Bar Association International Section's meeting here."

Just thought you might be interested.


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