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!
The report by the Independent Review Committee (IRC) has found that sloppy practices, including poor infection control, led to the Hepatitis C outbreak in Singapore General Hospital’s (SGH) renal wards 64A and 67.
A total of 25 patients were infected between the period of April and June 2015.
The independent review committee is headed by Professor Leo Yee Sin, the director of the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology, and the review committee was convened on 28 September by the Minister of Health, Gan Kim Yong.
The review committee concluded in its report that a combination of overlapping factors was the most likely explanation for the outbreak. The virus spread due to gaps in infection control practices, lapses in disinfection protocol, as well as a deficient working environment in which staff had been shifted from one ward to another.
The review committee also found fault with SGH’s detection procedures, as it did not recognise the outbreak in a timely manner.
The committee also stated that there is no division within MOH which has clear responsibility to deal with outbreaks of unusual Health Associated Infections (HAIs), and this hindered MOH’s ability to respond in a timely way to the unexpected event.
Of the 25 affected transplant and renal patients, eight have died.
09 December 2015
BEIJING (AP) — China on Tuesday criticized enhanced U.S. defense ties with Singapore that include the deployment of U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft to the Southeast Asian city state.
A stronger U.S. military presence does “not conform to the common and long-term interests among the regional countries,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chuying told reporters at a daily briefing.
“So we hope the relevant side does more to enhance mutual trust among regional countries, and thus benefit the regional peace and development,” Hua said.
Her comments followed the signing of an enhanced defense cooperation agreement Monday between U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carton and Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen.
Written by Ng E-Jay
15 May 2015
I do NOT understand why people would go after the bottled water industry with pitchforks when the soft drink industry causes far more environmental damage, and markets a far more unhealthy product. The soft drink industry also liberally uses plastics, non-biodegradable containers, and other environmentally-unfriendly agents. They also draw water from drought-affected areas for their own selfish use. Why condemn bottled water and leave soft drinks alone? It makes no sense.
The environmentalists would have me drink a can of coke rather than a can of plain water after a workout. And they always say I can go drink from water fountains or bring my own water bottle. Well I don’t trust public water fountains because of hygiene, and even if I did trust them, I don’t see the government providing water dispensers all throughout the island for people to use.
There was once, on a very hot day, when I was stuck at Upper Thomson Road with no source of hydration except for a seven-eleven store. Imagine if the environmentalists had succeeded in banning bottled water in Singapore. To quench my thirst, I would have to buy a soft drink from the seven-eleven store. What a joke!
The bottled water industry is under attack because of a group of environmentalists who are on the payroll of the soft drink industry to undermine and discredit a simple, perfectly healthy, calorie free product. It is as simple as that. Shame on you, California, for banning a healthy product whilst ignoring the slew of unhealthy beverages being forced down the throats of the general public.
Shame on you, you hypocritical environmentalists.
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Media articles