PAP and Shareholders Value

I didn’t really follow this year’s election as I was pretty occupied by work. But in the build up to the election, amongst friends and young colleagues it was clear to me that PAP could test the support at 60%. Old friends who were at least neutral had turned opposition, almost all the young people I spoke to were opposition supporters.

This was the third time PAP tested the 60% region, but unlike the other previous times, there was no walk over, hence, it was a more accurate depiction of the canvas of support. Technically, a breach of 60% would have provided a scenario that the next elections could possibly mean a change of government, we are not there yet.

The reasons and the speculations, and the tit for tat, the bitch and the beast, and the flowery, the spit and spat are already out there. I would just like to share some readings I reread and some intriguing new ones.

The normative of economics is but an ideology driven by special interests. In fact, you could argue that ideas or narratives that support a certain class are justified with an intellectual discourse. It creates a myth, it even creates a romance that this framework of ideas are inevitable and sacrosanct. As it was with the idea that Kings and Emperors or even Popes are mandated by Heaven. The day you question what is heaven, the nuances then mushroom into infinite possibilities, and that immediately brings into question the halo of Kings, Emperors or Popes.

I am thinking that the whole globalization thing, the Reaganomics and Thatcherism, was germinated with an idea of what is called Shareholders Value. This was what Milton Friedman said on a fateful day in 1970 [ The New York Times ]:

For Friedman, social responsibility is a doctrine that politicizes corporations for which they are not equipped for, nor responsible for. [ Please read the article from the link for a better understanding of Milton Friedman’s opinion ].

“…..That is why, in my book “Capitalism and Freedom,” I have called it a “fundamentally subversive doctrine” in a free society, and have said that in such a society, “there is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception fraud.””

The context was a period of slowing economic growth, the Vietnam War, the more aggressive Unions in the US.

“Friedman’s article was ferocious. Any business executives who pursued a goal other than making money were, he said, “unwitting pup­pets of the intellectual forces that have been undermining the basis of a free society these past decades.” They were guilty of “analytical looseness and lack of rigor.” They had even turned themselves into “unelected government officials” who were illegally taxing employers and customers.” [ Forbes 2013 ].

The pushback to Friedman can be read in the Forbes link. It pertains to the legal definition of what is a corporation. And there is no legal ruling that ever said the purpose of a corporation is the maximization of profits. But this is not the purpose of my article but rather how Friedman’s idea was captured, propagated and became part of a normalized way to look at the conduct of business, and in Singapore’s case the Singapore Inc.

A major consequence of Friedman’s idea was:

“Sadly, as often happens with bad ideas that make some people a lot of money, shareholder value caught on and became the conventional wisdom. Not surprisingly, executives were only too happy to accept the generous stock compensation being offered. In due course, they even came to view it as an entitlement, independent of performance.”

“…between 1960 and 1980, CEO compensation per dollar of net income earned for the 365 biggest publicly traded American companies fell by 33 percent. CEOs earned more for their shareholders for steadily less and less relative compensation. By contrast, in the decade from 1980 to 1990, CEO compensation per dollar of net earnings produced doubled. From 1990 to 2000 it quadrupled.” [ Roger Martin ].

By 1994, PAP was persuaded by such a discourse. Raising the cabinet’s salary that is out of this world, well, definitely out of many charts. In the process, how many of our policies began to shift to the right as part of this ideology?

From 1999, our CPF rate was about 2.5%, but assets and profits from the investments reside with the government. And GDP growth is part of the cabinet’s compensation scheme, while nothing is ever said about raising the standard or income of the bottom 20% as part of their salary or bonus.

And in the 1990s, resale HDB and so called asset enhancement started to really drive land prices up. Enlarging the coffers for the government but in the process effectively transferring savings from citizens to government.

What’s wrong with more savings in government hands?

Now, I was never a firm believer that the Trade Wars was just about Trump going over the top. And I believe at the core, foreign policy is about domestic policy. Martin Wolf’s brilliant article gave me greater clarity and reaffirmed my intuition: Martin Wolf: what trade wars tell us .

“Trade war is often presented as a war between countries. It is not: it is a conflict mainly between bankers and owners of financial assets on one side and ordinary households on the other — between the very rich and everyone else.”

At the global level what happens is that as China grows, its citizens’ income as a percentage of GDP fell, the accrued profits are with the State and companies. Now, China chauvinists seem to imply that they are doing US a favor by buying US treasuries, yes and no. For the US elites, yes, but the inflow of capital to US (and all countries with surplus buy US treasuries because of its huge capacity and liquid markets) affect the asset prices in US, this in turn drive up prices for production, making products more expensive, hence, displacing many blue color workers, the inflow of capital directly affected the de-industrialization of US.

In fact, the best thing for US and China maybe a step back from the ideology of globalization, possibly for US to restrict capital inflow, and China starts to put more money into the hands of its citizens rather than some big investments that go nowhere. Primarily, the Trade Wars is a political adjustment to underconsumption globally.

And likewise, the savings glut in Singapore had given our government some hubris belief of being a global influencer through investments via GIC and Temasek. But this comes at the expense of massive social and economic disruptions to Singaporeans.

The opposition inroads today, is a consequence of a visceral discomfort felt by us, that can be located structurally at citizens surplus being transferred to government (which was what Chris Kuan said sometime back).

Going forward, it is clear that we need to generate demand rather than siphoning off citizens’ savings. Globalization is going to be less about supply chain but how to use capital and expertise to improve local demand in order to generate a profit.

 

BK

 

 

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38 Responses to “PAP and Shareholders Value”

  • Improve the life:

    The recent election results of a swing to the opposition is an indication of the unhappiness of the common man.Not that much to do with the Opposition performance although they benefited from it.
    Their quality of life of the common man has not improve …in fact it deteriorates significantly.
    Their wealth has reduce and they have difficulties to cope with the high costs of living make worse by the pandemic.
    Unless this is resolve…the swing will only get worse.
    The social divide is getting worse…many are suffering especially the bottom 30%.
    More money need to be pump into the common man…by creating decent job for them.Solve the unemployment and underemployment issue especially among the seniors PMETs.

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  • PAP has failed:

    BK, good article.

    Few areas where PAP failed :

    1. Forced Singaporeans to accept Halimah as the “elected” President. This was well executed plan… every knows the story.

    2. POFMA- Suppression of freedom of speech and yet the Govt will not share any facts.

    3. CECA-Too many FT taking over Singaporeans jobs. Singaporeans mostly working under foreigners or no decent jobs. Many civil servants who have been blindly supporting PAP for so many years, are supporting Opposition after their grown up children could not find decent jobs, which have gone to foreigners and new citizens.

    4. Covid-19 – Poor handling by Minister Gan, Josephine Teo and Lawrence Wong. It was a disaster.

    5. Holding election in a mid of a pandemic. We will soon know when community spread gets worse in coming weeks. PAP placed politics before safety of Singaporeans

    6. 4G Team of Ministers – a complete washout with so many inexperienced Ex Generals who are clueless and just take orders from the Emperor.

    7. PAP MPs – just a rubber stamp for supporting Party demands and supporting unpopular POFMA, CECA, Elected President changes for Halimah to be “elected”

    8. PA – using PA as a organ of the state to make political gain for PAP’s to win votes. This backfired terribly for PAP.

    9. Salary is a secret of one person – we all know who I’m referring.

    PAP is in a leadership crisis now, with Minister Heng struggling to win by only a poor 54% of East Coast GRC. Singaporeans have loss respect for the future PM’s poor standing if he can’t even win a GRC handsomely.

    PAP is in ICU……..

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  • Patience, patience:

    You need patience to read this.

    TRE, are you paying or being paid based on the number of words? (Just joking)

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  • Sengkangite:

    Shareholder value?
    The PAP took away the shares of many sgs by giving them $600 instead of $23K when distributing the $100 billion.
    Even aliens get much more shares of singaporean reserves.

    The PAP is a bunch of hyenas.

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  • TUMASIK Patriot:

    Cheem, but delightfully Enlightening…more of such PLEASE!!!

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  • oxygen:

    IF WE TAKE OUT THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC FEAR-DRIVEN flight to safety votes, PAPpypolitics’ TRUE support in the last election is, in my read, below 50%.

    WP’s average support of all contested seats was already 50.5%.

    The bottom has fallen out of PAPpypolitics support, not just among young voters edging to liberal politics. They all want transparency, accountability and contemptuous of gutter politics – the exact opposite of PAPpypolitics’ modus operandi. Trumponomic and Gonad Trump is now under fire too after turning up the apple cart in the 2016 election.

    Our GE 2020 was forced down the throats of peasants BEFORE THE FULL ECONOMIC IMPACT OF COVID-19 WAS ALLOWED TO SHOW ITS TRUE COLOR of damage to the economy, particularly the hundred/s of thousands of retrenchments pending and the obvious inability to exit the dorm-centered pandemic infection spread safely.

    PAPpypolitics/PAPpynomics have no plans EXCEPT the stubborn addiction to its tested and failed Population Recycling Economic of (denied) 10 million population target but in reality of information to Hyflux in 2011 already disclosed a 8 million population base – the projection from this point will reach 10 million by 2050, regardless. POFMA was caught out “lying” in pimping on a number of parties demanding corrections of what was truthful representations.

    Had PAPpypolitics waited till 2021 to disclose the pandemic’s full damaging impact on peasants life, jobs and future, IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN WIPED OUT of PAPpypolitics IN A LANDSLIDE.

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  • @oxygen

    I totally agree.

    Take away the flight to safety consideration and I would think they will lose another 5% of vote share. Then take into account those oppose that have more than 45% votes, they would have lost 2 more GRCs and a few SMCS.

    Keeqiu is therefore not wrong, the PAP can only win where there’s crisis. Under normal circumstances, they can only place the racial and fear card, which this GE has shown, no longer works.

    Since the PAP will never change (for the better), come next GE and without a pandemic or Twin Towers or LKY dying again to help, they will likely lose more seats as more youngsters are eligible to vote.

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  • oxygen:

    MY USUALLY RELIABLE INFORMED SOURCES have it that none of the PAPpypolitics winner takes to blowing trumpet and gong banging post the vote count in the early hours of the Saturday morning or thereafter.

    The reality of somber truth in substance is a HUGELY SHAKEN DEFEAT for PAPpypolitics.

    If the election was a referendum of leadership transition, it was an aweful spectacle of failure. Flubbing East Coast at slightly over 53% (and Cotton on Sheep’s back scoring an unimpressive slightly over 57%) were way below their own PAPpypolitics peer average of 61.4% – nationally.

    It calls into question how PAPpypolitics misread public support of its leadership selection/grooming of future leaders demonstrably unable to pull in political support nationally AND HOW ITS GRC-FORTIFIED BUNKERS AND SELECT HARVESTS from ex-military, civil servants and politically politically correct-aligned and next career-step crops have failed abysmally in the real test of a turbulent world.

    The remnants of GE 2020 still see deadwoods hiding within in bunkers and some discredited walking dead hanging around for another 5 years of publicly-paid checks.

    Amazingly, not a single minister ever public uttered the “expletive” of turbulence on the public stage – as if they are living and governing in a glass-covered protection of stable state easy to manage – that is until the glass is dropped and shattered like 10 July 2020. One minister even told the nation before election – it is not her that matter – when the Covid-19 pandemia has visibly engulfed her and the nation’s survival.

    We live in a turbulent world in which leaders must be capable of quick quality decision outcome under circumstances of accelerating unknown and uncertainty – not telling us that leadership is irrelevant in crisis management (why collect pay out of public purse I wonder??)

    The hard part now of unfinished business is PAPpynomics – why to rescue the economy that will smack the nation life like a cyclone swept past ( I been through one frightening episode Down Under), our jobs and our future.

    PAPpypolitics has been given the “clear mandate”.

    It should NOT pretends to demand “overwhelming mandate” to deliver outcomes post-Covid 19. It ALREADY HAD THAT BEFORE THE ELECTION, NOW A WEAKER ONE.

    If pre-election owning an overwhelming mandate VIA DICTATORIAL OPPRESSIVE RULE cannot deliver a safe outcome and success economic structural transformation, HOW IS PAPpypolitic going to lie convincingly that it can now deliver the same or better outcome AFTER THIS INJURIOUS “DEFEAT” AND BROKEN POLITICAL SKELETONS of walking corpses post the 2020 election?

    The entire political architecture and engineering has to change but is PAPpypolitics willing or indeed capable of change from within?

    They can turn back the electoral tide with lolly seduction and rape. Neither can they turn back the global tide of change.

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  • oxygen:

    Ooops, typo error there, sorry

    oxygen: They can turn back the electoral tide with lolly seduction and rape. Neither can they turn back the global tide of change.

    should be read as

    oxygen: They CAN’T turn back the electoral tide with lolly seduction and rape. Neither can they turn back the global tide of change.

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  • Going to the Dogs:

    They have truly lost their way. They have to really do extensive soul-searching and observe humility over their smirky smiles and uncaring faces.

    If they still don’t amend their condescending, arrogant and dishonorable style of governance, the popular underdogs will take over without much effort because people are totally fed up and hunger for the long overdue
    alternative voices in parliament.

    Kudos to famous JamusJerome aka JJ for making a handsome, heart-winning breakthrough that caught his opponents offguard. A brave, political heartthrob is he.

    Gutter Politics is now a nogo!

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  • The Emperor Dowager's Hubris:

    “The propensity to truck, barter and exchange one thing for another is common to all men, and to be found in no other race of animals … All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the Vile maxim of the Masters of mankind.”

    (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations)

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  • Billy ma:

    If lhl continues to stay in absolute power in PAP, don’t expect too much changes.
    In fact, with his character, he may tighten all the screws.

    And given his real needs to stay on top (to protect wife & to screw his own siblings), we may not see the last of him anytime soon.

    Many talk about how the younger generation is slowly shifting towards greater transparency & held accountability, this is probably a huge factor, on the other hand, PAP must be wondering how is that with hundreds of thousands of imported citizens that PAP votes count is so low.

    Will this trigger another bigger wave of imported new citizens before the next GENERATION?

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  • oxygen:

    @ BK

    THESE WORDS below reminds me of PAPpypolitic’s asset enhancement politics – the outcome of which transferred wealth from the poor peasants to the “unnatural” aristocratic rich (in LEE-jiapore context, it is the obscenely overpaid politicians and successful business enterpreneurs)

    BK :citizens surplus being transferred to government (which was what Chris Kuan said sometime back

    That scam is finely tuned of focus – not quite dissimilar to the diffused adverse outcome of government deficit spending in major western economies.

    Remember Alan Greenspan said this.

    “Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights.”

    THE FOREGOING DOES NOT MEAN I AM ADVOCATING ANYONE TO GO OUT TODAY AND START BUYING GOLD OR GOLD SHARES but merely serves to remind readers why shareholder value creation is a very hazy objective to chase in practical reality.

    Both Keynesian economists and what I called MONETARIST DEVILS like Milton Friedman, I suspect, all silently admitted in their mind inner thoughts at least that deficit spending is the curse and disrupter of smooth economic functioning and thus the impossibility of equitable wealth distribution and transfer.

    Why?

    Because wealth created only by the masses of poor peasants’s energetic efforts and slave labor – one way or another – is confiscated by governments to enrich themselves and their cronycrats – better by dictatorial rule and oppression to meet mininal resistance.

    IN DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY, VOTERS SOMETIMES UPTURN THE APPLE CART and switch “political devils” of evil mouths bluffing/deceiving peasants with 1% truth, 99% lies, fantasy and propaganda and now in LEE-jiapore the new invention of “float balloon” of seduction/rape (like we need an overwhelming mandate to save the country from the woes of Covid-19 pandemic WHEN IT ALREADY GOT ONE ON HAND) and its alternate.

    Glad the young voters in LEE-jiapore has woken up to the UNSUSTAINABILITY OF FAKE PAPpynomic modelling of asset enhancement scam (eating up all our retirement CPF savings on a no-ownership public housing so-called “property”) made worst by its most injurious Population Recycling Economics.

    PAPpypolitics/Asset Enhancement Politics and Population Recycling Economics are all CANCERS that require urgent surgical removal to save the body skeleton of peasants still alive.

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  • HDB is a "Ponzi scheme":

    HDB was used to “drain” the CPF accounts (retirement savings) of Singaporeans. Over the last 5 decades the price of public housing (HDB) increased 30x while wages only went up 6x. (Pay of ministers and senior civil servants went up over 70x over the same period.) HBD prices MORE THAN DOUBLED since LHL became PM.

    But HDB flats are basically depreciating assets because of the 99-yar lease. Basic economics says that an asset’s value depends on its “utility” i.e., usefulness. As the remaining lease gets shorter the “utility” of the flats goes lower and therefore and is ZERO at the end of the lease. HDB’s Lease Buyback Scheme proves this. The higher the remaining lease sold to HDB the higher the sales proceeds.

    To offset the UNDERLYING DEPRECIATION of HDB flats an unsustainable “property bubble” was allowed to take hold supported by “Asset Enhancement Schemes” like HIP1 and (later) HIP2. Politicians even claimed the value of HDB fats will never go down. The “property bubble” was an “easy way” (and “cheap’ way for the Government) to make HDB owners “feel rich”. But it depleted the CPF accounts of Singaporeans and “screwed” young Singaporeans who have not yet bought an HDB flat. This basically made HDB a Ponzi scheme where sellers of flats needed a buyer (a bigger fool) willing to pay a high price for a flat with lower remaining lease.

    Billions of retirement savings (CPF) are now stuck in what is basically a depreciating asset. The “property bubble” is not sustainable because the price of NEW HDB flats will be so high buyers will not be able to pay for it their entire working life. The government applied a “quick fix” to the problem it created by encouraging elderly “downgrade” to a smaller HDB flat to get some cash out of their HDB flat to put back into their depleted CPF account so they have something to live on.

    BTW, the people responsible for the above “Ponzi Scheme” live in freehold landed property worth millions getting/got million $ salaries.

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  • pap clown lies everyday:

    TRE Techie:
    @oxygen

    I totally agree.

    Take away the flight to safety consideration and I would think they will lose another 5% of vote share. Then take into account those oppose that have more than 45% votes, they would have lost 2 more GRCs and a few SMCS.

    Keeqiu is therefore not wrong, the PAP can only win where there’s crisis. Under normal circumstances, they can only place the racial and fear card, which this GE has shown, no longer works.

    Since the PAP will never change (for the better), come next GE and without a pandemic or Twin Towers or LKY dying again to help, they will likely lose more seats as more youngsters are eligible to vote.

    2 police reports on WP candidate for something said back in 2018. the May 2020 thing wasn’t even relevant.

    this kind of pap gutter politics still can win then all the nus ntu smu graduated sheep truly is cotton producing.

    fortunately, not those in Sengkang, Aljunied and Hougang. Very soon when more of those old folks in east coast, west coast, marine parade die off in the next 4 years, parleement FINALLY gets back its correct name of parliament.

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  • PAP d Problem ain't Solution:

    PAP has failed:
    BK, good article.

    Few areas where PAP failed :

    1. Forced Singaporeans to accept Halimah as the “elected” President. This was well executed plan… every knows the story.

    2. POFMA- Suppression of freedom of speech and yet the Govt will not share any facts.

    3. CECA-Too many FT taking over Singaporeans jobs. Singaporeans mostly working under foreigners or no decent jobs. Many civil servants who have been blindly supporting PAP for so many years, are supporting Opposition after their grown up children could not find decent jobs, which have gone to foreigners and new citizens.

    4. Covid-19 – Poor handling by Minister Gan, Josephine Teo and Lawrence Wong. It was a disaster.

    5. Holding election in a mid of a pandemic. We will soon know when community spread gets worse in coming weeks. PAP placed politics before safety of Singaporeans

    6. 4G Team of Ministers – a complete washout with so many inexperienced Ex Generals who are clueless and just take orders from the Emperor.

    7. PAP MPs – just a rubber stamp for supporting Party demands and supporting unpopular POFMA, CECA, Elected President changes for Halimah to be “elected”

    8. PA – using PA as a organ of the state to make political gain for PAP’s to win votes. This backfired terribly for PAP.

    9. Salary is a secret of one person – we all know who I’m referring.

    PAP is in a leadership crisis now, with Minister Heng struggling to win by only a poor 54% of East Coast GRC. Singaporeans have loss respect for the future PM’s poor standing if he can’t even win a GRC handsomely.

    PAP is in ICU……..

    Your 9 points comments is a Econs/Socio Politico Nobel Peace Prize winner.
    Congrats.

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  • PAP d Problem ain't Solution:

    oxygen:
    IF WE TAKE OUT THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC FEAR-DRIVEN flight to safety votes, PAPpypolitics’ TRUE support in the last election is, in my read, below 50%.

    WP’s average support of all contested seats was already 50.5%.

    The bottom has fallen out of PAPpypolitics support, not just among young voters edging to liberal politics. They all want transparency, accountability and contemptuous of gutter politics – the exact opposite of PAPpypolitics’ modus operandi. Trumponomic and Gonad Trump is now under fire too after turning up the apple cart in the 2016 election.

    Our GE 2020 was forced down the throats of peasants BEFORE THE FULL ECONOMIC IMPACT OF COVID-19 WAS ALLOWED TO SHOW ITS TRUE COLOR of damage to the economy, particularly the hundred/s of thousands of retrenchments pending and the obvious inability to exit the dorm-centered pandemic infection spread safely.

    PAPpypolitics/PAPpynomics have no plans EXCEPT the stubborn addiction to its tested and failed Population Recycling Economic of (denied) 10 million population target but in reality of information to Hyflux in 2011 already disclosed a 8 million population base – the projection from this point will reach 10 million by 2050, regardless. POFMA was caught out “lying” in pimping on a number of parties demanding corrections of what was truthful representations.

    Had PAPpypolitics waited till 2021 to disclose the pandemic’s full damaging impact on peasants life, jobs and future, IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN WIPED OUT of PAPpypolitics IN A LANDSLIDE.

    Shall I say in addition, the PAP Administration is NO TRUE CRISIS Managers.
    They are propped to be but even then sadly they even failed to fight a small flat on fire, so much less than a what $X billion economy.

    PAP Administration has no state craft abilities worthy to write about.

    When SG economy tanked the PAP Administration blamed globalization and tech advances and SG is plugged into the world supported by world press saying SG is the most open economy.

    But when presumably SG economy do normal, again wasalso due to globalization.

    PAP millionaires confused me.

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  • PR & image consultants:

    //Keeqiu is therefore not wrong, the PAP can only win where there’s crisis. Under normal circumstances, they can only place the racial and fear card, which this GE has shown, no longer works.//

    there must be many paid experts (psychologists & PR & image consultants) on the white monkey idiots’ payroll to advise them on how to work on the minds of simple average daft sinkies who cannot be bothered to understand the ‘dirty’ mind tricks played on them by the white monkey idiots and gang ? the white idiots would work & wait for the opportune timing to whack the braincells of the average daft sinkies ????

    somehow or rather, it did not work as effective (voteshare for the white idiots dropped) as last time ?? knowledge is power and perhaps more people are beginning to understand the white idiots are fallible (nothing very special & magical about them except that many of them are anointed ???) as anyone else ???

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  • Observer:

    Luckily LKY removed the communist influence from the primary and secondary schools.

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  • WoeWoeWoe:

    “Globalization is going to be less about supply chain but how to use capital and expertise to improve local demand in order to generate a profit.”

     
    Your solution is your problem, oh wi**** generation. Still after riches and serving the elites.

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  • Partial truth?:

    @Take away the flight to safety consideration and I would think they will lose another 5% of vote share. Then take into account those oppose that have more than 45% votes, they would have lost 2 more GRCs and a few SMCS.

    Possible yes and no.

    PSP , Mr TCB ‘s popularity and even with LHY backing ( LHY even posted several articles ) still failed to win ? Although by a margin, lost is lost.

    Another Example , Goh Meng Seng against TPL very disappointing results.

    Ruling party still more than 2/3 seats.

    And people like bus bunny can still win by 60+ % …. Very interesting tio boh?

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  • Partial truth?:

    Yes theres Mr Lim Tean who talk alot , criticise this and that but didnt do too well.

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  • Realistically:

    I think every sinkie, including BK, has heard of a guy named Lee Kuan Yew.

    Long long long long before arguably the worst US President (POTUS) called Donald Trump or so called trade war, LKY had warned of sinkie women working as maid in China.

    Please reflect on what LKY had said in their commentary.

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  • Sojoürner:

    How about, in addition to dialing down globalization that’s mostly profit-oriented for the shareholders of multinationals that often ravages the environment and exploits cheap labor, we also rethink our unhealthy obsession with GDP growth and quarterly reports?

    The most important question to be answered if/when we come out of this is: What rate of growth, at what level of efficiency, is sustainable without introducing a level of catastrophic risk on a planet slowly consuming itself into oblivion? We should be prepared, given the toll from the corona-virus and the near-term prospect of our devastating GDP change (-12.6%), that the answer may be very well be Zero.

    https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/singapore-in-recession-with-gdp-down-126-in-q2-flash-figures-show

    It is this very unsustainability that is revealed when something like a pandemic arrives, something that is immune to the mechanics of global efficiency. Ironically, this damages everyone. Free trade on a global scale ultimately benefits all nations. Just as individuals benefit from helping the needy.

    The fundamental problem that globalization seeks to overcome is an infinite growth curve on a planet with finite resources. There is no other reason for seeking out the unsustainable and largely mythological efficiencies of globalization and the inability of the world to maintain an upright posture in the face of this crisis clearly demonstrates that we have left ourselves no margin for error, the unexpected or the unmanageable. It has, in a very literal way, shown us just how unbalanced we are.

    We need a paradigm shift on how we produce and consume that’s sustainable. The time is running out, fast. Unless we act decisively and put up a committed and effective global response, it may truly be the end of the world economy and ours, period.

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  • AristoCATs - Old Tricks:

    oxygen:

    . . .
    Had PAPpypolitics waited till 2021 to disclose the pandemic’s full damaging impact on peasants life, jobs and future, IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN WIPED OUT of PAPpypolitics IN A LANDSLIDE.

    -
    Papaya still used old tricks –
    Disclosing “good news” before GE2020
    Temasek Portfolio above $300b, etc.
    -
    Disclosing bad news only AFTER GE2020
    GDP numbers horrendous due to lockdown.
    -
    Glad the young voters sent a strong message to the AristoCATs.

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  • Count Honestly:

    Is the vote share of the PAP really 61.2% or 56.4%? Please be very clear?

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  • Sis'Sy'Ass:

    Even if a Sis’Sy’Ass says C’otton C’omesfr S’heep,
    all the Silly Sixty% Sheeples nod in a duped, fool agreement.

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  • Pinky Smartest Man In Spore?:

    Pinky thinks he is the smartest man in Singapore. He looks down on Singaporeans and act as if he is the Emperor of Singapore. Given a chance, I think, given a chance many Singaporeans will spit at him. KNNBCCB

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  • Shareholder:

    Not only SHAREHOLDERS’ VALUE WENT DOWN LAST 15 YEARS,MORAL VALUES WENT DOWN EVEN MORE!

    SHAME TO PAP ministers who openly declared their skin become THICKER N THICKER.

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  • Greedy But Stupid:

    The moral of the story is: Don’t be greedy if one is stupid.
    How you fall for the asset enhancement scam if one is not greedy?
    Everyone wants to be rich, so who decides? The difference is who is smart(stay Landed/Freehold) and who is stupid (stay HDB). Just be content with your 50 years old HDB which by now, should be already fully paid. Be contented lah.

    HDB is a "Ponzi scheme":
    HDB was used to “drain” the CPF accounts (retirement savings) of Singaporeans. Over the last 5 decades the price of public housing (HDB) increased 30x while wages only went up 6x. (Pay of ministers and senior civil servants went up over 70x over the same period.) HBD prices MORE THAN DOUBLED since LHL became PM.

    But HDB flats are basically depreciating assets because of the 99-yar lease. Basic economics says that an asset’s value depends on its “utility” i.e., usefulness. As the remaining lease gets shorter the “utility” of the flats goes lower and therefore and is ZERO at the end of the lease. HDB’s Lease Buyback Scheme proves this. The higher the remaining lease sold to HDB the higher the sales proceeds.

    To offset the UNDERLYING DEPRECIATION of HDB flats an unsustainable “property bubble” was allowed to take hold supported by “Asset Enhancement Schemes” like HIP1 and (later) HIP2. Politicians even claimed the value of HDB fats will never go down. The “property bubble” was an “easy way” (and “cheap’ way for the Government) to make HDB owners “feel rich”. But it depleted the CPF accounts of Singaporeans and “screwed” young Singaporeans who have not yet bought an HDB flat. This basically made HDB a Ponzi scheme where sellers of flats needed a buyer (a bigger fool) willing to pay a high price for a flat with lower remaining lease.

    Billions of retirement savings (CPF) are now stuck in what is basically a depreciating asset. The “property bubble” is not sustainable because the price of NEW HDB flats will be so high buyers will not be able to pay for it their entire working life. The government applied a “quick fix” to the problem it created by encouraging elderly “downgrade” to a smaller HDB flat to get some cash out of their HDB flat to put back into their depleted CPF account so they have something to live on.

    BTW, the people responsible for the above “Ponzi Scheme” live in freehold landed property worth millions getting/got million $ salaries.

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  • Calling PSP, NCMP:

    PSP, can you give up one NCMP seat or not?

    People want Nicole to become NCMP and Shadow Minister!

    Nicole can be the Shadow Deputy Prime Minister and face Heng in Parliament!

    Please, tolong, tolong.

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  • xoxo:

    MOM POFMA PROF PAUL OF SDP?
    WHY?
    The persecution of oppo sgs continues and another good SDP sg is getting bashed.

    This is horrendous!

    Must we refrain from speaking TRUTHS that THE FEW GOONDOO MEN do not like listening to?

    Cant we communicate like civilised sgs,one group of citizens to another?

    So,let me ask is dumping PRs/FTs with SINGAPOREAN WORKERS a right thing to do?
    Isnt this trying to give A FALSE IMPTESSION TO THE PEOPLE?

    IF WE WANT TO BE SO STRICT ,THEN SET AN GOOD EXAMPLE.
    SPEAK N TELL TOTAL TRUTHS NOT HALF TRUTHS?

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  • xoxo:

    COvid n more such viruses/diseases will keep surfacing as long as THE POWERFOOLS N RICH OF THIS WORLD continue to behave IN EVIL WAYS.

    IF YOU HAVE NOT SINNED,PICK UP THE STONES AND THROW AT THE ACCUSED???
    HAVE “YOU” NOT SINNED YOURSELVES?

    GOD IS WATCHING.
    BUDDHA IS WATCHING.
    HEAVEN IS WATCHING.

    DONT THINK NO ONE CAN SEE YOUR EVIL DEEDS.

    KARMA COMES AROUND,YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW.

    POFMA?
    WHY NOT TIN PEI LING.
    SHE SAYS GOVT GIVES GRANTS OF $23K PER CAPITA OF SGS?

    I RECEIVED $600 N SO DID MANY OTHER CITIZENS!

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  • P.A.P. People Are Poor:

    There is a big poster of that big general offering $1 breakfast. Very basic toast, egg and coffee.

    Why are Singaporeans so very poor under 50 years of PAP rule?

    Lao Goh, do the Swiss go for $1 breakfast offers?

    Why can’t this general offer $10 breakfast of XO Kway Teow with abalone and oysters? Oh wait. People are too poor to afford $10 for breakfast even if the food is very fantastic.

    P.A.P. People Are Poor.

    No need soul searching. The truth is there but your eyes don’t see.

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  • Sojoürner:

    - Cont’d

    In reality PAP never had shareholder democracy, but management autocracy. A round robin of interlocking board members that made sure each other’s, and thereby their own, nest was padded. To the extent management worked to increase shareholder value, it was to keep the institutional investors and major shareholders on their side and thereby maintain their comfortable perches.

    Shareholder democracy is a misconception. It never was. Public corporations are controlled by institutional investors and, in some cases, by major shareholders who are either affiliated with or would like to replace senior management. Institutional investors, by and large, have sided with management, notwithstanding that many of them are pension plans obligated to act in the interest of employees. Far from it, otherwise CEO’s would not be taking home 600 times the compensation of their employees.

    These CEO’s are the product of the Milton Friedman psychopathology approach to business that defines the modern corporate era. I wonder how many of them admire Mr. Friedman’s “greed is good” clarity of vision?

    Corporations in this country are designed, by law, to be as ruthless in their pursuit of profits as possible. Fortunately for the individuals that run them, they are, for all intents and purposes, legally immune from prosecution for the negative consequences of their decisions.

    What possible reason is there for anyone to believe any of the promises by these executives? Their honesty? Their integrity? Their love of their fellow man?

    It is government, not companies, that should shoulder the responsibility of defining and addressing societal objectives with limited or no connection to long-term shareholder value.

    I read Milton Friedman’s “Free to Choose” series at that time, the ideas seemed so obviously correct, but we can now look back and see what was missing. Despite their oft-raised banner for free-market competition, businesses actually don’t like to compete and will, given the chance–use their resources and influence to make sure they minimize their competition in order to maximize their profits.

    A large amount of credit should go to the late, much lamented Lynn Stout, whose “The Shareholder Value Myth” demonstrated clearly how Milton Friedman’s view that shareholders are owners of the corporation and owed a fiduciary duty by the board was an ideology-driven fabrication contrary to elementary corporate law.

    https://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2311&context=facpub

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  • Agriculture or UglyCulture:

    A good municipal governance should:

    Focus on Urban Agriculture for the nation’s self-sufficiency in food security and survival during food crises.

    Convert gardens into minifarms: potato farms, durable fruits and vegetables, etc. using sophisticated AI urban farming methods.

    Beautify both sides of the roads with eye-catching, sweet-scented flowering plants.

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  • Bernard Kwan:

    Yo bros, especially to old kakis @ tumasik patriot, oxygen, tre techie & sojourner.

    Im not sure there is a solution, no permanent ones anyway, but to diffuse,adjust, help make better a scenario that is already violently fractious in the West.

    @ Sojourner, thanks for the much needed expansion of Shareholders value :)

    @ Oxy & Techie, u could be right about the 50%+ ….perhaps if the previous 60%+ for PAP were totally contested, then the support line would be higher, in which case a long term support level was breached, with dire consequences for PAP’s viability…certainly the concession to WP and with Pritam as leader of opposition would entrenched the role of alternative govt.

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  • oxygen:

    @ AristoCATs – Old Tricks:

    SPOT ON, here is the proof.

    Singapore Slumps Into Recession With Record 41.2% GDP Plunge

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-14/singapore-slumps-into-recession-with-41-2-fall-in-quarterly-gdp

    This kind of report card does NOT show PAPpynomics are good economic managers.

    AristoCATs - Old Tricks:
    Papaya still used old tricks –
    Disclosing “good news” before GE2020
    Temasek Portfolio above $300b, etc.
    -
    Disclosing bad news only AFTER GE2020
    GDP numbers horrendous due to lockdown.
    -
    Glad the young voters sent a strong message to the AristoCATs.

    And for Temasek Holding year ended 31 March 2020 is also overdue. It is rescheduled for release in September.

    Temasek to release annual report in September instead of July amid Covid-19

    https://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/temasek-delays-annual-report-until-september-citing-pandemic

    The title of the article write up would be more accurate if it states it will be released in September instead of July BECAUSE OF THE ELECTION implications.

    IT WILL SHOW MASSIVE PORTFOLIO LOSSES OF ITS QUOTED INVESTMENTS.

    Covid-19 happened already, you can’t turn the clock backward and pretend something else is true.

    ST article write up on this matter should have been POFMAed, imo.

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