The Quad wants to build alternative Belt and Road to compete with China

The troublemaker Quad members, comprising USA, Japan, Australia and India are contemplating of building an alternative Belt and Road after failing to derail the Chinese Plan. Now from envy they are scratching their heads on how to build something to show that they too can think and plan. They are so clueless and hapless that they could only think of copying what China has done. And they claimed that they want to make it more efficient and economical. To do so, they must have the technology, the money and the cheap engineers. The only country that has the money is Japan. The US could print more fiat and useless banana currencies and hopefully they will still be in demand. Australia has no money and no technology. India could perhaps provide all the cheap engineers and labour.

So, what are they going to build, parallel roads and rails along side China’s leading to China? Or are they going to build roads to nowhere?

I can imagine that they will be building bridges instead as all the roads needed are covered by China’s Plan. What is the point of building all the roads and rails to India or Japan, definitely not to USA and Australia. What is there to buy or sell to India that needed such a grand plan? Perhaps they can build bridges, yes, build bridges across the Indian and Pacific Oceans to USA and India and Japan, from Australia.

Desperate men would come out with desperate measures and desperate plans. They forgot that the roads and rails would only be useful if there is trade and with buyers and sellers. China is the factory of the world, selling everything. And the rest of the world wants to buy and sell to China, the world’s biggest consumer market. Who cares about Australia and India? Who wants to buy from USA and Japan when they can buy the same thing cheaper from China, S Korea, and Taiwan?

The Quad is looking very comical. They can trade among themselves after they have built their bridge over troubled waters.


Budget - Generous govt giving angpows to the people

When people told me that when a govt is so desperate to scheme to keep the CPF savings from returning to the rightful owners, the poor people, and worse, even used compulsory schemes to take away the people’s life savings, it is a sign that the govt is really desperate, very short of money. Why, because the CPF savings are the people’s life savings, saved over a life time, it is SACRED. The CPF is different from the so called sacred cows. The money does not belong to the govt but the people, blood and sweat money, hard earned money.

Faced with this kind of logic, I must admit that I also agree with this assessment, that the govt is desperate. But after Heng Swee Kiat’s budget speech, I kinda change my mind a bit. I am very flicker minded and easily persuaded by good news. Now I am not sure. How can the govt be short of money when it has a budget surplus of $9.6b? This is real news from the main media, not fake news from the social media. And to support this fact that the govt has the money, it is going to give big angpows to the people. Everyone, oops, I think only citizens, they cannot be so silly to give to PRs, yes new citizens also will get this angpow as long as he/she is above 21.

The angpows are from $100 to $300, more for the lower income, ie less than $28,000 will get $300, $28,000 to $100,000 will get $200 and higher income will get $100. This is so generous, even millionaires will get $100 angpows. Where in the world got such generous govt? And more, there will also be enhancements to Edusave, housing grants as well.

I think in the next GE the percentage of votes for the PAP will go up to 80% or higher.
This is a budget of good news, a time for celebration. The 2% increase in GST will only kick in around 2012 or even 2015. Why? Because if the govt can make more money, like GIC and Temasek investments, then maybe no need to raise GST. See, better pray that the fund managers are good and lucky and make more profits. Maybe they should be encouraged to do well by paying them more bonuses in advance.

If not, the govt said, after prudent spending, saving and borrowing for infrastructure, there is still a gap. How big is this gap, I dunno. Not sure if the govt will continue to spend lavishly on big parties, on fake gardens, or F1s, on buying gold medals, on giving billions of dollars to educate foreign students? Not sure if there will be more schemes to spend the people’s life savings in the CPF.

In the meantime the govt is saying, have a prosperous new year with more angpows….when tomorrow comes, then see how. For you, with you and for everyone.

Heng ah, Huat ah!


If Singaporeans were to decide or elect their PM – Tharman it shall be

Below is an extract from a post about the curious case of a wildly popular politician by a Augustine Low posted in the TRE on Tharman.

“Tharman Shanmugaratnam is a one-of-a-kind politician. He has more ardent fans than any other. Netizens have long clamoured for him to be Prime Minister. Even critics of the PAP have heaped praise on him.

Yet Tharman never sought adulation. On the contrary he seemed discomfited by it and has done his best to deflect attention, protesting “I’m not the man for PM. I say that categorically. It’s not me . . . I know myself, I know what I can do, and it’s not me.”….
How cool is that – a poet and a David Bowie fan who became a Deputy Prime Minister?

The supremely smart and brainy side of Tharman is most apparent to people. He has a sterling record as Finance Minister and is the first Asian to chair the G-30 – a prestigious global body of top financial experts. He has also been named Finance Minister of the Year by Euromoney magazine.

For someone who is not attention-seeking or rhetoric-driven, who is in fact diffident at times, he actually has a great common touch and rapport with citizens. In the 2015 general election, Tharman outperformed all others, securing 79.3% of the votes for Jurong GRC….

In fact there are a surprising number of people who still harbour hopes of Tharman being Prime Minister. It may be wishful thinking. But it just goes to show that Singaporeans are not looking for sound and fury in their leader, for someone who is ever generous with promises. Rather, Singaporeans are dying for someone who is smart yet straight talking and sincere, and whose imperfections make him all the more human and relatable.”

If Singaporeans were to elect their PM, Tharman will win hands down. Unfortunately Singaporeans do not have this right to vote and elect a PM of their choice. The PAP elite, the inner circle, or is it one man, will decide who will be the PM of Singapore. Singaporeans have been living with this myth for a long time, that the electoral system allows them to elect the PM. No, never will they be allowed to choose or elect their PM. The PM is not the people’s choice, then, now and going forward under the current system.

In the same sense, Singaporeans did not and will not elect a President of their choice though they think they did. The system has excluded the people’s president and allowed the ruling govt to decide who the Singaporeans can elect as the president in a small pool of you know who.

But if providence would have its way, Tharman looks set to be the next PM. All the factors and schemings are working in his favour. The more they schemed the more likely Tharman would become the PM.


Contempt of Court?

Below are some discussions in the TRE regarding MPs writing to the courts. This issue was also reported in the main media. The discussions assumed that it was alright and an acceptable practice to write to the court on a pending case or a case under trial. Do these people understand the meaning of contempt of court?

What is contempt of court? To influence the judges to make decisions for or against the parties in a case. And knowing how sensitive and easily influenced are the judges even to social media, Shanmugam had warned the public not to anyhow write about a case when it is in court. Think about it, if the judges can be easily influenced by public opinions of nobodies in social media, not I say one, how much more would they be affected by letters from MPs or even ministers? (Personally I think the judges are highly trained professionals and with high integrity and would not be easily influenced by any Tom, Dick and Harry). Read below and form your own conclusion on the arrogance, ignorance and insensitivity of MPs writing to judges on a case.

And the party has no specific rules regarding writing to judges except a few words by LKY not to do so but nothing about writing to the judges is contempt of court! Is influencing the judges a contempt of court?

"Two weeks ago, High Court judge See Kee Oon questioned an appellant’s use of a letter from her MP Lam Pin Min (Sengkang West) to play down the offence she was convicted of. (Juz wondering? MP White Horse? Or spouse White Horse or grassroots tua kee?

Kee Chui, Minister and Chief Whip, was then quoted by ST as saying that the PAP has “no specific governing rules” on the sending of MP letters to the courts or other agencies or ministries.
A retired district judge, Mr Low Wee Ping, who was the Registrar of the Subordinate Courts and Supreme Court in the 1980s, in a letter to ST, said one Harry Lee had instructed all MPs, in writing, that they should not write such letters to the courts.
Mr Lee was also of the view that if the MP’s constituent resident perceived his sentence imposed by the court as lenient, he might attribute it solely to the MP’s letter, and, therefore, feel obligated or grateful to vote for the MP in an election wrote
MPs approached by TODAY, such as West Coast GRC MP Patrick Tay, said they are aware of the “long-standing practice” for PAP MPs not to write to the courts on behalf of their constituents*."


The Lunar New Year homecoming

2.98 billion trips, not 2.98m trips would be taken in the 40 days before and after the Chinese New Year of the Dog. Hundreds of millions of Chinese would return home for family reunions, a modern day migration of people working in the cities and overseas and making it a point to be reunited and to be in touch with parents, children and siblings during this festive season. These people will be travelling by land, rail and road, by trains, coaches and private vehicles, and by air and sea/river to be home all over China, some in remote villages, in the mountains and in the deserts.

The logistics to bring these people home safely and on time are a nightmare to the transport providers. Additional trains, flights, coaches, boats etc etc would be added to the routine trips. What is unspoken, unimaginable, are delays, breakdowns or accidents when the travellers commute to and from their homes and places of work. If errors or mechanical faults were to occur for 3% of these trips, it would mean 90 million trips affected.  A 1% error would mean 10 million trips affected.

The wonder of it all is that this annual mass migration have been going on smoothly, like clock work precision, with very little delays. A coach delay, a flight delay may just affect that coach or plane, a breakdown in a train, or track fault, would bring down the services of that particular line and many trains and passengers would be held back. It would not be simply detrained and the passengers walked to the nearest station and all is well. The journeys are in hundreds and thousands of kilometers and the stations are tens of kilometres apart. The providers of these services cannot afford to have train faults and delays. They did not have such luxuries to play with. They cannot simply apologise for the delays as thousands of people will be affected and you can have a riot in hand.

The Chinese transport providers have silently been providing these efficient services and have been taken for granted that it is part and parcel of life, normal, nothing unusual. The passengers, the govt, did not even have to say a thing or to acknowledge such seamless and efficient moving of people, transferring from air, sea and land services as if it is routine, to their destinations in time.

It is all about efficiency, technology, meticulous planning, work attitude and responsibility and many things more, to make this migration a success every year, every Chinese New Year, for the hundreds of millions of Chinese travellers. Nothing to crow about.


Keyuan - A touching new year story

Below is an extract of an article in Channel News Asia online that speaks about the goodness of being humans, to empathise, feel and to help when help is needed. Bless  the Yaps and Keyuan for a happy new year and many more to come.

"Given up when he was just a few days old, Keyuan was seven at the time of filming and already considered too old by a number of prospective parents, who preferred a child that was younger and female. In China, children become ineligible for adoption once they turn 14.

It was Keyuan’s poignant quote that did it for the Yaps. “I must be patient,” he said, the optimism shining in his eyes. “We can’t rush it. If we all rush for it, we’ll end up fighting!”

Said Dr Lim: “At the end of the documentary, I was in tears.
I remember thinking: What if everyone thought that someone was going to do something, and nobody did anything, and he just ended up waiting and waiting - and nobody came?
“The human heart can only take so much grief... so we thought - we can’t do everything but we can do this one thing.”

So the couple, who are Singapore permanent residents and United States citizens, flew up to Beijing to meet Keyuan and got the process going. And on Jan 29, 2018, he was officially adopted into the Yap family – with whom he is spending his very first Chinese New Year in Singapore, in a real home to call his own."

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/china-disabled-orphan-keyuan-singapore-adopted-alenah-9965340


Redbean wishes everyone a Happy and Prosperous Year of the Dogs

This Year of the Dog has a lot of great things for Singaporeans. A lot of them will be happy anticipating and celebrating to pay more taxes, something that the govt knows the Singaporeans love to do and can afford to do, be they working, not working, semi retired or retired, got money no money, never mind. And in return the govt will be working happily for more schemes to help the Singaporeans to put more money into their CPF accounts so that they not only can smile every time they see their CPF statements but also knowing that the govt is busily taking good care of them and their CPF savings.

The Year of the Dog is indeed a great year for celebration for Singaporeans, a great year for the dogs.