President Obama has infuriated Israel for working up a deal that was interpreted by the White House in Israel that Iran would be allowed to build nuclear bombs. The White House in Israel would not accept such a deal that it has vetoed and prevented for the last half a century. How could Obama allow this to happen as it would jeopardize the safety and security of Israel. Israel’s security is built around its absolute military superiority in the region and with its nuclear arsenal to obliterate any Arab states or Iran should they intend to mount a military campaign against Israel.
President Netanyahu has invited himself to speak to Congress to overrule Obama’s initiative that he and Israel would not accept. The de facto President of the USA is challenging the de jure President of the USA to have the latter’s plan dismissed and dismantled. Congress is going to be the battleground for the two Presidents to call their shots and see who is the one that is holding the real power to determine the policies of the USA.
And the Republicans are laying the red carpet to welcome the de facto President to turn the table against a lame duck de jure President on his last leg out of the White House. The true power of the President of the USA, in the hands of President Obama or President Netanyahu will be put to a test finally.
Who is the real President of the USA will finally be settled after President Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. The rest of the world will finally get to know that there are two American Presidents calling the shot at the same time, one elected by the people of America and one elected by the people of Israel.
The truth is stranger than fiction, so they said.
Is it lucky or unlucky that the columbarium idea at Sengkang West is scrapped for the time being? For those who were thinking of paying respect to their ancestors in HDB estates during Cheng Meng they must be quite disappointed. The convenience of walking downstairs without the hassle of going to Choa Chu Kang, Bukit Brown or Yishun or Mandai must be a let down.
There is a brighter side to it though. Think of the crowd and cars parking in the HDB estates like those along the roads in Choa Chu Kang, Mandai and Bukit Brown during Cheng Meng, and all the smokes that came along, which is better? The traffic jams in HDB estate would not be easy to bear for the residents.
Traffic jams during Cheng Meng normally lasted practically the whole day and for a few weekends. Can HDB estate residents tahan or not? I think it will increase the strains on our multi racial population and unpleasant incidents could happen when the estates are packed by the visitors descending on them at the same time. The new citizens would need more time to adapt and integrate into this social event of the locals.
Anyone still wants a columbarium in your backyard? Would there be more columbarium built in HDB estates?
This is no longer so straight forward. What is PAP is best described in two phases, the first 30 years and the last 20 and still counting. The PAP was remembered best in the first 30 years as a party that built Singapore and positively transforming the lives of the people. What the PAP did in the first 30 years is still being strutted around as a badge of good performance. The PAP leadership of early years no longer in the picture, mostly gone, sidelined or not really in the thick of things.
What was the PAP associated with or best remembered in the first 30 years? Let me try to put it in simple words, nation building, industrialization, eradication of poverty, building cheap housing for the people, progress, upgrading, home ownership, buying bigger homes, car ownership, happier times, committed and dedicated leaders, a party of the people, support of the people, brilliant leadership. Creating a confident and proud people that could achieve anything.
What is PAP equated to today? High cost of living, high cost of everything, unaffordable housing called affordable, depletion of CPF savings, withholding the people’s CPF savings and refusing to return as promised, downgrading, selling homes to buying smaller homes, forget about car ownership, elitism, super expensive ministers that are dwarfed in comparison with the pioneering leaders in many ways, job loss of PMEs, influx of foreigners to replace Singaporeans in good jobs, lost of direction, loss of ideas, losing support and trust of the people, questionable leadership, a subsidy dependent people, highly in debt, highly stressed and insecure of their future well being.
The most important, lost of confidence as a people and being despised by the foreigners replacing them in the job market. A country of no talent and needing 3rd world talents to help in the economy.
The above are just my views. Some may agree, some may disagree, no sweat. It is just an opinion. They are not the absolute right or wrong. It all depends on who you are and the colour of your lenses.
What can be more wicked than deceiving the families of the victims of a tragedy and leading them into a wild goose chase? The act of shooting down a civilian aircraft or hijacking it, or murdering all its passengers is already a barbaric act. But it is worse to mislead the families and govts to send their search parties in God knows where and telling them that was where the aircraft sank. How could people with no idea of where the aircraft is be so confident to tell the world that they knew what was happening and where to find the wreck?
It is almost one year since the disappearance of the MH370 with 239 passengers on board and a lot of mangosteens. In today’s ST, an Australian, Martin Dolan, now in charge of the search, confidently said the wreckage of MH370 would be found in 3 months. How did he know? John Abbott was equally confident on what he knew and now, after one year, he looked like a clown.
Is this Martin Dolan going to be another John Abbott? What did he know, what kind of information did he possess to be cocksure that the wreckage would be found? Why made so many govts spent their resources to go searching in the God forsaken Antarctic Ocean for an aircraft missing in the South China Sea and had no reasons to be there?
All the creepy and foolish theories of a mad pilot, suicidal pilot that got nothing better to do than to want to fly to the Antarctic to ditch the aircraft must have been looking very silly today though grudgingly accepted at a time when everyone was grapping for whatever straw available.
The real cause of the disappearance of the MH370 and its whereabout are likely to be further from the truth and further from the Antarctic Ocean that the Australians wanted the world to believe in. Come on, what is the logic of the aircraft to be there? Is there any believeable reason for the pilot to want to fly there?
What is the truth of this tragedy? Only the wicked people will know and hopefully someone pricked by his conscience would squeal to let the truth be known.
John Abbott and Australia, are you doing the right thing or doing something wicked and criminal to lead those sincere and earnest people on a wild goose chase? Spare a thought on the families of the victims of MH370. If you do not know, please do not mislead the world.
One year has passed and the only logically reason, when not a trace could be found, is that the aircraft could be lifted into hyperspace by aliens. This would be a more logical reason than the mad pilot theory.
Why is the world’s most sophisticated nation in aviation and space technology keeping so quiet? Why is this little upstart in the Antarctic Ocean thinking it got all the answers? The facts, after one whole year, is that there is not a single thread of evidence to confirm that MH370 was down, sank or blown apart in midair. And there is this assumption that it is lying in the floor of the Antarctic Ocean. How believeable is this?
Sivanithy of Business Times has an article in the Mypaper today discussing about the conflicting interests of shareholders and stakeholders and between the pull of derivatives and equities. The shareholders want more profit and derivatives are the instruments to do just that while equities are no longer able to provide the meat for the profit hungry shareholders. Equities are old fashion and no longer serve their purpose to the profit oriented shareholders in the SGX. In that case would it be a simple solution, remove the non performing equity market and consolidate all resources to the derivatives market for best returns. I am sure the SGX shareholders would love that.
The question is, can the derivatives market exist on its own without the equity market? Possible if the derivatives contracts are written on iron ore, rubber and mickey mouse. There is no need for equities and there is no place for an equity market. Is that true?
Why is there a stock market for equities in the first place? What was the primary role of the stock market and is this role no longer relevant and no longer needed? In theory Sivanithy said, ‘the equity market I sof paramount importance as,…at least it provides the economy’s link with the future by allocating scarce resources to their possible uses. What is this paramount role and possible uses? Other than the collateral benefits of an equity industry and the supporting services, the stock market is a source of fund for the industries, to support the growth and expansion of industries. Is this no longer necessary?
What are the major contributions of derivatives to the economy other than as another form of gambling chits? The derivative market can exist on its own steam by selling gambling chits based on fictitious non existing commodities, good and services or products. It is a pure gambling business once the link to equities is delinked.
The SGX is like a forlorn girl undecided which guy to go with, one stable, solid and conservative but lack the vibrancy and extravagance, and the other all hyped and very lucrative, all glittering tinsels but no substance. Actually the dull and conservative equity market could also be glittering and exciting as it was before. Its attractiveness and usefulness have been hijacked by the advent of derivatives that rode on it but relegated it to the backdrop as old furniture.
Whose interests shall prevail? Can the SGX survive and be viable without the equity market or can both exist separately without the linkage that is damaging the primary role of equities and the reason for its existence? Can the SGX have its cake and eat it as well, without destroying the whole equity market and industry and thrives on the fictitious gambling chits called derivatives? Or should it be, can the SGX continue to exist if it does not serve its original purpose to begin with?
Why should companies list their shares in an equity market that is dysfunctional and be used as objects of little value to support the derivative market at their expense. Why should the companies pay high listing fees for nothing or even risk losing control and ownership when the value of shares reaches junk status? Why should the supporting investors keep throwing money into an equity market to see the value being eroded by derivatives and algo trading that have no interest in the fundamentals of a business and the intrinsic values of the stocks?
I think it is not so much as a conflict of interests between shareholders and stakeholders but an issue of greed with no responsibility on the consequences inflicted to a whole industry, the viability, sustainability and the main reason for the existence of a stock market.
The Australian Govt is planning a slate of hikes in fees for foreigners buying properties in Australia. They believe in a level playing field for Australians and to protect the interests of Australians in property ownership. I quote Abbott, ‘This govt is determined to ensure that the aspirational people of our country get the fairest possible go.’ To the rest of the world such policies are short sighted, protectionist, nationalistic and anti free trade but Abbott and the Aussies are going to show them their middle fingers. To the Australians, the world can go to hell. They will protect the interest of Australians first. (Now you know why quitters are crawling back here to praise how good this Sin City is?)
If every country is to follow the Australian policies, and many are except the silly ones, Sin City will stand to make a lot of gains when property speculators have no where else to park their money with Sin City stretching out its open arms to receive them. Now Sin City need not even have to make its policies and regulations more attractive. All the rich property speculators will descend onto Sin City and snap up everything they could lay their hands on. Everything is for sale in Sin City.
Sinkie property owners and assets owners can be reassured that all their hoardings would go quickly and at very high prices. HDB flat owners too would benefit from seeing their properties appreciate in value as well when the private property prices shoot to the sky. With this golden opportunity opening up, everything could be put on sale. And when all the residential and commercial properties are sold, other national assets could also be tabled, like the MRT, the buses, the ports, the reservoir, the banks, etc etc. I think no more power stations left if I am not mistaken, all already sold.
When everything is sold, the islands too could come on board and would fetch really good prices. Sin City would be a haven for property speculators when everything can be bought. And the whole world will look at the Sin model as a great example of free trade, allowing the free market mechanism to determine the value of anything and everything. And all the Sinkies would be sitting on HDB flats that are worth millions.
The opportunities to getting rich are so plentiful and so easy that there is no need to work anymore. Just trade assets and sell properties to whoever has the money and offering the highest bid.
Boom town coming to Sin City. Just pray that more countries would be like Australia, chasing away investors from buying properties and they will make a beeline here, the shoppers paradise for properties.
After the first lesson on what is democracy and what is the meaning of serving the people, the second lesson for this course in govt for politician wannabes is about the differences between a republic, a monarchy and a dictatorship.
A monarchy is simple, the right to rule is by birth or by the mandate of heaven. The monarch and his family will rule forever. The people and country and everything in the country are owned by the monarch and his family. His children will become princes and princesses and become monarch to succeed him. And relatives would become dukes, duchess, lords etc etc and paid living expenses as an entitlement.
A dictatorship is simply a country and people seized by an individual or a group of individuals by force and the gun. Should be easy to understand when the dictator or dictatorship just ruled for their own interests and benefits and the people are merely another form of slaves or subjects.
For politician wannabes, the simple descriptions like the above are good enough.
A republic is very different. The country is owned by the people, the citizens, and if they adapt a democratic political system, then the people will elect their representatives to help them run the country on a contract basis, renewable every four or five years. Many citizens of republics know that power corrupts and put a limit to the number of years the elected representatives can be in office. They would also have many rules to prevent any scoundrel from usurping power and turn the republic into a dictatorship or a monarchy.
Politician wannabes in this country must be hammered into them the meaning of a republic, that this island is a republic and is not owned by any party, dictator or dictatorship or any family or individual. The people own this island and are the true masters of the island. And politician wannabes when they are elected to political office must remember that the people who put them into power can remove them from power. And don’t they dare usurp power to treat the republic as their own property.
And they must not forget to write the 1,000 lines, ‘A democracy is a govt of the people, by the people and for the people’ everyday.