Outside a shopping mall in Taiyuan, north China’s Shanxi province, a giant sculpture of a chicken that looks like US president-elect Donald Trump has been erected.
With its tiny wings parroting Mr Trump’s distinctive hand gestures, replicas of the bird are also available on the Chinese shopping site Taobao, priced at around 12,000 yuan (S$2,504) for a 10-metre version.
Mr Trump has captured the Chinese imagination, and riled its authorities, with his threats to talk turkey about massive tariffs on Chinese exports.
With his crowing tweets on Twitter, including attacks on China’s foreign and economic policy, it is no surprise that China wants to flip the strutting American leader the bird.
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Media articles
President Barack Obama says he could have been re-elected for a third term and that the nation still largely embraces his political vision despite last month’s election of Donald Trump to succeed him.
The US leader’s remarks were made in an interview posted on the podcast The Axe Files, produced by CNN and the University of Chicago.
Obama, who winds up his second and final term in office in just over three weeks, said he believes the American public still supports his progressive vision, despite having voted for Trump – his political opposite.
He was proud of the way the progress made in the two terms of his presidency, thanks to the “spirit of America,” especially evident in the younger generation.
‘White men’: the most dehumanising insult of our times
by Brendan O’Neill, December 2016
The one good thing about Twitterstorms is that they tend, witlessly, to prove the point of the person they’re hounding. In the very act of whipping up fume and fury against someone who’s said something you’re not meant to say, these virtual pitchfork gangs confirm that person’s point, which was normally something like: ‘Have you ever noticed how risky it has become to express your thoughts on [some heated issue]?’ ‘You can’t say that!’, hollers the Twittermob in response. Well, yes, quite. So it was for Simon Jenkins this week. He wrote a column in the Guardian saying the one group of people you’re allowed to hate these days is old white men. ‘Stupid privileged white old man why doesn’t he STFU’, responded the Twittermob. Let’s call it Jenkins’ Law: the fury that greets anyone who says old white men have become hate figures proves that old white men have become hate figures.
Jenkins’ piece was good, knockabout stuff. On the back of this week’s description of the Football Association as a bunch of ‘old white men’, Jenkins said that PSMs — pale, stale males, like him — have become targets for humiliation. All identities are celebrated now, except oldness, maleness and whiteness. Institutions are ‘hideously white’. Old voters are ‘selfish’. PSMs are blamed for Brexit and Trump, for decades of discrimination and much else besides, said Jenkins. Twitter melted, of course. The Huffington Post huffed. Radio phone-ins were held. But if Jenkins committed any wrong, it’s that he didn’t go far enough. He should have said that ‘white men’ has been the most dehumanising phrase of 2016, speaking to the terrifying and casual way in which the politics of identity erases those considered ‘problematic’. It’s now really easy to tell when someone is prejudiced: they use the term ‘white men’.
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Media articles
With the Philippines aligning itself more closely toward China and the election of President-elect Trump and the ensuing uncertainty about a continued U.S. “pivot to Asia,” China seems to have started laying out a new approach in dealing with its Asian neighbors. Recently, it has embarked on a charm offensive aimed at Malaysia, which led to the signing of 14 cooperation pacts worth RMB144 billion ($20.8 billion) including a major defense deal, and not least significant, the promise to handle South China Sea disputes bilaterally.
On the other side, China has over the past two weeks shown Singapore it is not content with the way the Lion City has interpreted the “one China” policy while still cooperating with Taiwan.
Singapore is heading for a recession, or two straight quarters of economic contraction, after the economy shrank 2 per cent in the July-September quarter. Overall this year, the government reckons growth will be no faster than 1.5 per cent.
To make matters worse, high costs are beginning to bite. The elite joke about packing up and selling one overpriced home for several overseas. A recent UBS survey of top-earning millennials found Singapore’s youth among the least confident of achieving their wealth goals.
Singapore’s top problem is that global demand remains weak. That is taking its toll on export-oriented sectors, especially oil services companies, where there have been high-profile defaults. Finance is a drag too; the sector accounts for about one-eighth of GDP and is suffering from sharp declines. Big names like Goldman Sachs and Standard Chartered have pared back local operations.
Asian countries make top spots in latest PISA survey for teaching of science, reading and mathematics
Asian countries dominated the top places in the latest PISA survey of 15-year-olds in 72 countries and economies. Singapore came top of the table for its teaching of science, reading and mathematics.
“Singapore is a standout performer,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria at the global launch of the report in London. “In Singapore, one in five students master the most advanced scientific problems and demonstrate that they think like scientists.”
The five top-performing countries in the PISA tests, which were carried out in 2015, were Singapore, Japan, Estonia, Taiwan and Finland.
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Media articles
Donald Trump has pulled off a public relations coup by persuading Carrier, the air conditioning company, to reverse plans to offshore hundreds of jobs from an Indiana factory to Mexico. That fulfills a campaign promise before the incoming president even takes office. But the kind of corporate arm-twisting Trump is engaging in could easily backfire and end up destroying more jobs than if Trump were to do nothing.
Trump has reportedly struck a deal with Carrier to keep half of the 1,400 jobs it planned to outsource in Indiana, with details to be revealed later. Beyond jawboning the company, Trump supposedly promised relief from regulations and lower taxes, which in theory ought to offset some of the additional costs of paying higher wages to American workers. It’s a highly unusual arrangement, since elected officials rarely, if ever, make such deals with individual companies. If anything, it allows Trump to claim a win while Carrier gets off the hook.
Excerpts from the SBF Alfresco Forum run by Sam Leong
These excerpts are taken from here. (Clicking on the hyperlink will open a new browser window or new browser tab, depending on your browser settings.)
By now keen observers would have realised that it has been a disastrous week for Chee and the SDP.
Firstly it shows that no one in SDP including Chee could not understand simple statistics and how to interpret a poll. The poll was conducted by blackbox Research between 30 April to 3rd May. And it was massive howler. Or worse, was it a deliberate attempt at misleading the public, reminiscent of incident that led him to be convicted for deliberating misleading Parliament 2 decades ago. Their erroneous interpretation was carried in SDP website and Chee wrote about it in his Facebook this week . To those who followed his journey cannot but think it was deja vu. And sadly Lawrence Wong brought it out in the TV panel discussion on this particular trait prior to the General elections last year.
The second incident is rehashing the Chiam ouster. There is nothing to be gained from this. And to make matter worse they linked Justice Khoo’s judgment and took an except from it which is not exactly in context. Again another attempt at misleading the public. Not only was the judgement scathing of the SDP CEC, it reflected badly on Ling, Chee primarily and only painted Ashleigh Seow in relatively good light. Warren Khoo made that statement to substantiate why Chiam had to bear one third of the cost. Everyone knows that Chiam’s leadership style was major contributing factor but who drew the knives goes to character.
The third is the rehashing of GCT and Chiam allegedly collusion both in SDP website and Chee Facebook. Both Chee and SDP was successfully sued for defamation by Chiam for this very reason 20 years ago. Chiam was awarded $120k. Why are we seeing this again. I won’t be surprised another lawsuit in the making.
Don’t think sdp has any problem interpreting the poll. I notice they have this tendency to spin tales just to make themselves look good especially after some unpleasant incidents.
Look at what their proxy Wong wee nam wrote.
Why the PAP lost so badly in the Punggol East by-election
I remember the article as it made the emails rounds and was the butt of jokes. Note whose website it was carried on. Some of the guys behind the book “Paths not Taken” thought he was an idiot and a charlatan as he attempted to contact the foreign authors of the articles offering his profound insight for future work on Singapore politics.
Thankfully 2 other medical doctors not PT sat down and persuaded Chee not to contest Punggol and not for WP’s sake but for SDP’s sake. Look at what happened to KJ and DL and their deposit.
Goh Meng Seng launches missive against SDP and Chee Soon Juan – calls Dr Chee to step down from politics
By Goh Meng Seng (People’s Power Party)
written in May 2016, after the Bukit Batok By Election
Warning: This article may make you feel uncomfortable, increase in high blood pressure… read with care.
Reflections on Bukit Batok By Elections
Right from the start, the deal looks just too good to be true. Nobody has talked about David Ong’s scandalous affairs but PAP imploded the issue on their own accord.
Curiously, Bukit Batok was just carved out from Jurong GRC during last GE2015. Then, PAP announced quickly that it will be sending an Indian candidate who had contested in Aljunied GRC to become its candidate for this BE.
Written by Ng E-Jay
13 Feb 2016
Why do I always say that corporations have a responsibility to society? It is because corporations use society’s infrastructure to move their goods around and communicate with others. They use infrastructure built with TAXPAYER DOLLARS to conduct their business and earn a profit. And they also rely on our law enforcement agencies, which are also funded by TAXPAYER DOLLARS to ensure their property and intellectual rights are respected.
That is why all corporations have a duty to society. They have a duty to be fair to their workers and to pay them a respectable living wage. They cannot just outsource and disregard the impact that this has on their own workers.
Look at the issue at another angle: If a company has to pay its workers a meager wage just in order to survive as a going concern, do we really want such a low-class business model to thrive in Singapore? Do we want Singapore to embrace inefficient business models that can only be profitable when workers are exploited? The answer is no.
We only want businesses which can pay all workers a decent living wage, and which can invest in becoming more productive and more competent, rather than simply reducing service levels and exploiting workers just to stay afloat.
We only want businesses that can rely on local talent even whilst they tap the expertise of foreign talent.
We only want businesses that take a long term-view of profit and social accountability, and are prepared to devise business models and strategies that can stand the test of time. We most certainly don’t want fly-by-night companies that are just interested in making a quick buck by paying workers a low wage. We want high-class businesses, not low-class businesses!