Monday, March 23, 2015

Tears For Singapore

Condolences to the people of Singapore, for the passing of Lee Kuan Yew. Love him or hate him, nobody can deny his achievements or what he has meant for Singaporeans.

The sad thing is that Singapore is now at an economic crossroads, and probably needs LKY’s brand of pragmatism more than ever. Whether this next generation of leaders will be able to steer the country through the challenges it faces now remains to be seen.

38 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. oh Lee Hsien loong is capable enough, he's bright as a new pin. Only question is: who will be PM after Lee Hsien Loong?

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  3. He took a backwater and transformed it into a modern metropolis. In spite of naysayers who thought that Singapore would fail abjectly after being ejected from Mallaysia.

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    1. Singapore wasn't a backwater when he "took" it. Singapore was already among the most prosperous cities in Asia before self-rule. It was definitely better organized and enjoyed higher income/wealth vs nearby cities like Penang or Bangkok.

      The truth is that he took a relatively rich British colony and turned it into a richer city-state. The British administration didn't exactly do nothing.

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    2. I think this sums up:

      http://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/original-size/images/2015/03/blogs/graphic-detail/20150321_gdc865_4.png

      Started at around the same GDP per capita as Malaysia in the 1960s and look at that chart goes

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    3. @anon 6.04

      I prefer to look at the ratios, which is really more useful for policy-making.

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  4. Thanks Hisham. We are all mourning over here. You are right. We need his brand of pragmatism more than ever. I wonder who would have the nerve and the moral capital to push it through in a population that seems to me to want more and more while giving less and less...

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    1. @The Slug

      My very sincere condolences

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  5. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to have an accurate version of history, which provides us with a real connection to a reliable, honest past.

    If we don’t ask tough questions, we risk being brainwashed by state-supervised mainstream media propaganda. Furthermore, we risk being left in a permanently comatose and brain-dead state, from decades of propaganda which tells us what the right story to accept is — never mind whether it is real or not.

    http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/highlight/2015/03/26/lkys-legacy-separating-myths-from-reality/?google_editors_picks=true

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  6. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/lee-kuan-yews-ambiguous-legacy-in-singapore-mark-beeson

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  7. "In the 1970s, Singapore was upgrading its industrial capacity to use higher technological methods, including electronics. He personally went to persuade large Dutch electronics companies like Philips to set up production plants in Singapore. He also proposed that Singapore could be developed as a financial centre, as well as an international centre for air traffic and sea transport. Over the next twenty years, these predictions proved to be accurate."

    The forgotten hero amidst all the overblown hype and empty chatter:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Winsemius

    But silly people are always easy pickings for hype,propaganda and myth.

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    1. "....But it was Albert Winsemius, a Dutch economist, who became Singapore's economic adviser in 1961, who gave shape to Mr Lee's strategy of leapfrogging the stagnant neighbourhood to link Singapore with what was then the world's most dynamic economy and invite some 3,000 American-based multinational corporations to Singapore.....

      "Gradually, the "pestilential and immoral cesspool" (citing a British MP) burgeoned into the world's busiest port, the third-largest oil refining centre and a major hub of global manufacturing and service industries as well as the region's intellectual and technical centre. Singapore's annual per capita income rose from about US$400 a year to close to US$40,000. Mr Lee amply fulfilled Henry Kissinger's "mark of a great leader", which is "to take his society from where it is to where it has never been"".
      (Sunanda K Datta-Ray: "The leader who delivered - and made history" (Singapore Business Times, March 26).

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  8. Great comment, anon 11.50am. Yes, only stupid people who are too lazy to search for the truth and idiots easily sold on hype, propaganda and appearances would buy into the mystique which is actually trash. Scratch the surface and look deeper and you will see a dead emperor in all his naked glory.

    An economic miracle is easy to create if you dabble in manufacturing, marketing, and selling financial paper instead of real products. Ergo, low taxes, banking secrecy, loopholes to launder funds via casinos, property speculation etc and presto you have an economic marvel that would rival HK, the Swiss and the Caymans. Note that Winsemius quit about 1984 about the same time the emperor decided to unleash his financial alchemy. Winsemius probably knew the manufacturing hub could never move up the value chain given increasing labor costs, slowing productivity gains, lack of innovation/creativity, a small population and the advent of China. Emperor and gang knew that too but they also knew that a financial hub that doubled up as a launderette would propel them into the stratosphere. Ditto, HK, the Caymans,Bermuda etc all strategically located entities sponging off their surrounds.

    I await the day when some smart aleck comes along, turns Penang into an OFC financial hub with the same modus operandi and puts up a casino resort in Pulau Jerejak for the laughs . What is there to stop such a no brainer as all the ingredients are there. After all, Northern Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Indo China, Sri Lanka, India etc are there waiting abegging. And if the Penang wanker plays it right with Fed support, watch per capita incomes rocket.

    @ Kissinger or no Kissinger…the triad thug had better deliver for after all he had fleeced the yellow pigs’ life savings aka “god” for a good five decades ,hadn’t he?

    But Malaysians are too stupid to see all that. They would rather bask in a manipulative, double crossing, equivocating, dissembling ( read pragmatic)triad thug’s refracted glory. Bila sendiri hulur buntut , sudah pasti …………..tibai.

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    1. Wait a minute.....don't we have Labuan as an officially approved OFC, complete with federal government and Bank Negara approval?

      Has anyone vouched for the provenance of funds lodged in Labuan's financial institutions?

      Your logic seems to be that it is ok for Labuan, but not ok for Singapore?

      What a load of bull****!

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    2. Ah, so....the Malaysians didn't get fleeced by the "powers-that-be", did they?

      Maybe, as you wrote: "Malaysians are too stupid to see all that".....

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  9. Fair comments all, I think. For a long time, I have said I have been a fan of PAP economics, but more circumspect of PAP politics. I like the quote from the Free Malaysia article which says that the greatest disrespect one can give someone who has passed on would be to gloss over the shadier parts of his life. So doubtless to say I have my own views and after my humble assessment netting off the pluses and minuses, LKY and Singapore come out with high marks. Of course others may disagree and open discourse to my mind should be encouraged (maybe that was lacking for far too long in Singapore) for I have always thought that well-meaning comments, even if unfounded, were an opportunity to sharpen and crystallize one's convictions. I think that honest criticism should be allowed for all issues, countries people and it would be wrong to say that one should not criticize because one's self is not perfect. Finally, Albert Winsemius is not forgotten here. We have always placed great import on his contributions to society.We have a chair for him in one of the universities. His passing attracted strong coverage here. Admitted that the man, no, the university grad aged below 40, on the street would not know who he was and what he did. And that is my worry for Singapore. There is a generation, who, unlike their parents, never fought for anything significant, and armed with ostensible degrees and diplomas are extremely cocooned and narrow in their thoughts, who do not know and care about what happens in the greater environment let alone the world, who complain because they do not have the good life, who blanket oppose immigration (I'm not saying it's blanket good, just that its complicated) and cannot comprehend why a company would want to hire a foreigner who is twice as productive, works twice as hard and demands half their wage. All this while their grandparents were immigrants who worked 16 hour days just to give them the life that they have now. Sorry, I'm ranting...

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    1. Hi, Hisham

      I am looking at a chart that shows "Singapore's economic ascent" based on the growth in real GDP per capita (in purchasing power parity US$'000) from 1960 to 2011 (Singapore Business Times, March 27).

      It compares Singapore with the US, Hong Kong, UK, Japan, Malaysia, China, Indonesia and the Philippines over the same period.

      According to the chart, Singapore's real GDP per capita grew from US5,000 in 1960 to about US$50,000 in 2011 - the highest rate of growth among the countries shown in the chart.

      Malaysia doesn't show up that good, ranking fourth from the bottom, above the Philippines, Indonesia and China.

      Could you please throw more light on these statistics?

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    2. My thoughts...see http://stats.mom.gov.sg/Pages/Income-Summary-Table.aspx...
      GDP per capita is more average/mean right? Look at the median Singapore wage in 2014. That is S$3770 (inclusive of employers CPF contributions! In Singapore when we state expected salary for jobs it is always net off employer contributions). Even with that calculation, the average Singaporean wage earner earns $45,240 a year, making it (let's take the USD at its weakest in 2014, say 1.25) US$36,192 a year. Still not bad... But a lot further from USD $50,000 a year.... I read in one of Hisham's reports that the Klang Valley wages are RM7k+. If you look at the median salary of Singapore, it is not that far ahead of the Klang Valley standard and things are more expensive here. So I can understand why some people are disgruntled. Whether it is due to govt. policies or the evolution of a pampered populace or the average Singapore worker being unable to excel in the brave new world I do not know... I suspect it may be all of the three...

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  10. This is what myth busting is all about:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Security-Watch/Backchannels/2015/0329/A-look-at-Lee-Kuan-Yew-and-the-malaria-infested-backwater-myth

    In all fairness,the best comparison would be this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Equatorial_Guinea

    That would be the best barometer as to the monstrosity of Lee's achievement. Apologies to the resident oracle and his hangers on for pouring cold water on their raw grief.

    Resident oracle? How times have changed people!!!

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    1. Wowee...so many words!

      And for what purpose?

      Singapore, LKY's Singapore, is here and now, present front and centre.

      It's very existence is a "in your face" for Malaysia, showing the finger, if you will, to notions and concepts that have found root north of the Causeway.

      And no amount of cavilling, backbiting or trotting out of "commentaries" will conceal that uncomfortable and unwelcome fact.

      Singapore is here to stay. Deal with it.

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    2. Only idiots like you will idolize Lee, front, center, sides and back+ up and down included. For the wise and enlightened, there is nothing to be learnt from him or his ilk and we don't have to give a damn.

      And by the way, only the cuckold will praise the thug to high heaven especially after he split a country for selfish gains.

      Finally, wowee.....72 words compared to @anon 6.58am's 55 (links counted in!!!). Wonder who is scrapping the dicktionary for idiotic rants! Some first world brain!!

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    3. Heh, heh....got you going there. It is so easy to wind you people up. Just praise LKY &/or Singapore, stand back, and watch the bile and fireworks erupt!

      Now, I wonder who is the "cuckold" and who is the "thug"? Or who is/was the "chauvinist" at that point in time?

      Anyway, ribaldry aside, the facts about Singapore's success can't be denied. Even Hisham has accepted this, and it is, I suppose, an imprimatur of sorts.

      Like it was posted before by #Anon 8:55 AM: "Singapore is here to stay. Deal with it."

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    4. Looks like another cuckold(@anon 12.46pm) here wondering aloud who started it all given that his idiot brain cannot understand the England of @country bumpkin 8.55am (which by the way is his alter ego).

      In any case only a fellow numbskull cannot divine or comprehend another moron's mindless provocation. As they say, kindred spirits walk together. But do bear in mind we aint taking anything lying down...those good old days of your moronic master/slave past are gone.

      You give, we respond and we wont be any pansy boy to claim a hollow victory just to salve a deflated bruised ego after being socked in the balls ...Ouch!...that must have hurt real bad.

      Hisham imprimatur? Sez who? He speaks for himself if he is in that way of things....and if that's the case it aint anything surprising, after all half breeds or mongrels will search for pedigree even if it means lapping shit. And wouldn't that be yet another affirmation of Mr Capitalist's double crosses lately.

      We aint got any shit to deal with by the way. A failed money laundering banana democracy is not our cup of tea. It is Mr Lee, who left his shit unwashed as is the norm for the pork chomping slit eye ethnic. You see...all that crap about hard work blood sweat and tears is just that.....crap. Sez who? Says another pork chomper schooled in his master's very own institution:

      Sources of Singapore’s Economic Growth, 1965–2008: Trends, Patterns and Policy Implications
      Khuong M. Vu
      Assistant Professor
      Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
      National University of Singapore

      we knew all along as Andy Xie (hey! thug forgot to sue his arse off and let him go scot-free when he was in Singapore!!!) once said:

      http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aK7UIXigIxjM

      No wonder no Chingk from PRC ever turned up for the last rites, nor any Brits, Germans or French....only cuckolds and arselickers flocked to send off poor lonely wifey-bereft Harry...oh the poor thing...to be scorned by the motherland must be the ultimate comeuppance up his arse.

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    5. Looks like "Singapore is here to stay. Deal with it" has got #Anon 3:50 PM's goat, succeeded in winding him up good and proper.

      Pity that.

      It must be downright embarrassing, if not exasperating, when one's "meticulously researched" predictions fail to materialise, especially with regard to bĂȘte noires like Singapore.

      Be that as it may. We all have the right to indulge in delusional fantasies. It may be all we have to ameliorate our egos when others don't buy into our predictions and theories.

      Anyway, I believe that Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao attended the state funeral of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, along with British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Russia's First Deputy PM Igor Shuvalov.

      Of course, Narendra Modi, Tony Abbott, Shinzo Abe, Park Geun Hye, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Joko Widodo, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and Reuven Rivlin are mere nonentities who had nothing better to do!

      Let's not forget our own Head of State too, who was present. Or Bill Clinton who headed the US Presidential Delegation.

      Some "comeuppance"!

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    6. Scrapping your pit latrine's shit barrel now is it pig including inconsequential Veeps, ex-blown jobbed Presidents; minor ministerial pipsqueaks plus, of course, the usual posse of cuckolds, small cocked and small country potentates not to mention a Brahmin Hindu extremist pariah who will lick arse in a jiffy for some moolah. Yah, some pathetic sendoff. Hey, the ex-Jordanian bootlicker got a grander sendoff:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_and_state_funeral_of_King_Hussein

      Even Diana got a better one....hahahaha. Poor Harry, hardly 20 foreign arseboys turned up and nearly three quarters of them of the inconsequential variety. Some respect for a "great leader", a title bequeathed by a cuckold.

      Now go back to your pit latrine and scrap some more.....but remember no matter what you and your ilk say or blow job Harry up...he will remain an inconsequential tin can Napoleon of a pipsqueak banana republic. A moron serenaded by cuckolds but given the ultimate mid finger by his own motherland. That's the ultimate comeuppance.....hahaha

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    7. Seems to me that every time Singapore shows up for something, it's "in your face", mate!

      Deal with it.

      I wonder how you categorise HRH The Agong in your list? Or Najib, Daim Zainuddin, Muhyiddin or Kadir Jasin?

      I am sure that HRH will not be amused by your categorisation of the foreign dignitaries who attended Mr Lee Kuan Yew's state funeral as inconsequential pipsqueaks. Do we detect a hint of lese majeste there?

      So, go look for "softer" targets.

      Singapore isn't going anywhere. Suck it up and deal with it.

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    8. #Anon 6:33 PM

      While you are about it (whatever "it" may be), why don't you ask the powers-that-be how US$1 billion+ of funds belonging to 1MDB landed up in an account with the Singapore branch of a minor Swiss private bank?

      A "vote of confidence" in one of the largest private banking and wealth management centers in the world?

      Or just simply Singapore "being in your face"?

      Hahaha.

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    9. @anon 6.58

      The article referred to is here.

      FWIW, while I don't disagree with Pepinsky's argument, but the charts look wrong to me. Based on the latest PWT data, Singapore didn't overtake the UK in real terms until the mid-80s and in nominal terms until in the mid-90s. He might have been a little too loose with the facts to prove his point.

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    10. Trying to play the devil's advocate,eh Hisham. Well give a pat to yourself on the back, grin like a Cheshire cat and feel smug for a day at least for a job half done. After all, I bet the pride for being Mr Devil's advocate must be pretty gratifying to both soul and cock..... Pepinsky's wrong charts or not....there is nothing to deny that Mr Devil left nothing behind but a dreadful legacy except his strong arm tactics that is worth a second look.

      It is a lesson on how democracy and liberty should be damned for the sake of prosperity (even laundered ones! hahaha). It is a similar proposition to the "unholy trinity" of economics and Lee, give him credit for that,understood it well in any which way but loose....hahaha

      In any case,the same rabble who are so quiet as a pliant horde church mice over there under all those imposed limits and restrictions are all boisterously riotous and self righteous right over here as a mischief of gutter mice. Same ethnic remember, which begs the question as to why. You wanna know why? That's what they call sabotage aka Mao's fifth column.

      I would remember Mr Devil as a hypocritical demon. He cavils about Malaysia's being a Malay dominated coop without realizing that his own sty is a Chingk dominated one based on some effing concept called meritocracy the elucidation of which is as shoddy as his prattle about democracy,Asian values blah blah blah.

      Ask the Malays there about meritocracy and they will burst out laughing. The fact that he retains Article 153 in his Constitution and continues to eff the Malays speaks for itself. What more those Articles about Bahasa Melayu etc. Humbug.

      Fact is when he gazes across the mists from sheol, barzakh, parallel universe or from wherever in the other dimension into reality and right across the Causeway,he will see a mirror image of his creation staring back at him in the reverse. They both deserve opprobrium in a way but at least the Malay version is more ethical and honest with itself for it makes no bones about what it actually is and why . That is so unlike the crap Chingk version on the other side, staring back at it. For that is a hypocrite's reality and delusion come true where outright discrimination is clothed in high falutin ideals like ' meritocracy and equal opportunity', and where democracy is a dodo and liberty and free speech lies squashed under the Law's mallet.

      Commentators here and elsewhere from garden slugs to deluded madcaps fail or purposely avoid the obvious. Why did he need to do that seeing that his citizens were starting off from a higher comfy base. But the fact he did speaks for itself. The most damning indictment is that here is a moral pygmy who was cuckolded by superiority thoughts and driven by inferiority insecurities. His wifey had huge role in that if you read his mea culpa.

      No wonder 2885313 folks couldn't give a damn or for that matter 3324000 didn't deign getting wet in pouring rain to say bye bye and good riddance to a worthless corpse aka garbage:

      http://www.news.com.au/world/asia/teenager-in-singapore-arrested-after-posting-youtube-video-attacking-lee-kuan-yew/story-fnh81fz8-1227285866372

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    11. @anon 9.54am

      Mighty stupid of you for bowling me, in cricketer parlance, a full toss.

      Now I am going to smash that for a six right down your throat, through your innards and out through your arsehole, you A-hole.

      The question you should have asked first is that given Singapore's claimed "squeaky clean" business environment as an OFC, what on earth is the shady BSI bank doing in that launder free, shenanigans zero, clean as a polished whistle cosmopolitan playground of the rich and the famous plus international frontwater for all sorts of above board,hard earned fiat money. I mean what on Jupiter really:

      https://en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com/swiss-bank-bsi-fined-211-mn-us-tax-184049374--sector.html

      Now go back to your pit latrine and scrap some more ...deluded worthless idiot aka garbage

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    12. A couple of questions to the "Singapoo in your face" trolls and the 457000 wake hogs plus the 100000 soaked in the rain morons cum all other sundry cuckolds and madarses here:

      1. Could it be that 600000 followers of school dropout know something about the "great"leader that all the other 557000 don't?

      2. And doesn't the figure 600000 indicate that there are more smarter people in Singapoo than the 557000 have given us to imagine about?

      Now solve that riddle numbskulls,fuckheads, cuckolds and stupid fellatists....hahahaha

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    13. Here is the link to the above:

      http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/singapore-teenager-charged-for-anti-lee-christianity-video-115033100302_1.html

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  11. Well, I guess LKY's achievement is that more than 90% of Singaporeans on the street would be able to read and comprehend more or less the comments in this blog(dunno what the figure would be for Malaysia.) I think the next step would be for the majority of people to be able to dissect, analyse and then make considered supported arguments upon them. That, I believe, is what is required for the knowledge economy. And I think that is what LKY was trying very hard to do - to upgrade the general workforce emphasis from literacy and numeracy to initiative, innovation, analysis and use of discretion. Tough transition.

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    1. I would agree.

      Singapore is, and will always be, a "work-in-progress". Chalk that up to the thinking and mindset instilled by LKY - never rest on your laurels, be paranoid always, never take your security for granted, keep on learning and upgrading, plug yourself into the global community and economic linkages, make long-term planning a mantra, keep looking out for the next big thing, be relentless in tackling crime, corruption and race/religious extremism and fanaticism and never be intimidated by your opponents when fundamental values are at stake.

      As a Singapore Business Times journalist pointed out in a commentary, the fact that middle-class Singaporeans are seeking a more "balanced" life is because they have the economic wherewithal that has been built up over a period of 50 years.

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    2. Betul, betul! Or shall we say "correct, correct"?

      How much of the LKY "thinking and mindset" has been instilled into Malaysians by PMs from Tunku Abdul Rahman onwards till the present day?

      There have been isolated attempts here and there, but nothing systematically planned, monitored and sustained.

      So, who do we blame?

      I wonder if economics, be it an art, science or an amalgamation of the two, can provide the answers?

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  12. To be honest, my fear is that the "thinking and mindset" has not been very instilled in Singaporeans (this generation esp?) either...

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