Friday, August 31, 2012

Mad Chase for 'Toilet Paper' Certs

Mad chase for paper is especially chronic in confucian centric societies. In effort to shore up its dwindling support among exasperated parents, s'pore's ruling incumbent party announced 4th & 5th universites for this tiny island.

Many working sinkies with degrees already know their paper certs have degenerated into toilet paper when the floodgates are opened widely & workers with unknown paper certs(incl. Drs) from 3rd world countries can get hired & displaced locals.

Situation in S Korea provides a glimpse for what's down the path for S'pore.- Young South Korean graduates face jobless woes

"I've worked really hard to get all these qualifications, though... the thing is, there are too many people like me & too few jobs for us. If I have children, I'll never press them to go to college/Uni like my parents did. I'll tell them to find their real passion first instead of just following the pack."-23 year old Korean grad

Similar fate already happening & will continue in S'pore. Many youngsters being young have no idea of what they want. Coupled with pressure from parents & the herd, many just go along blindly. In paper-crazed societies many parents want their kids to be Drs/Lawyers so as to have 'face'- Watch Rich Son Poor Son

"Excessive 'education inflation' of our country is causing so many problems socially & economically" -Korean President Lee Myung-Bak

President Lee even proposed setting a hiring quota at government bodies for high-school graduates -- a measure intended to encourage more teenagers to seek work after school ends, instead of heading straight for college with no clear goal.
  • Overall unemployment rate is low at around 3%, but rate for those aged 25-29 is more than twice as high.
  • In the 2nd quarter, unemployed college or university graduates -- estimated to total 373,000 -- outnumbered jobless high-school graduates for the first time in more than 10 years.
  • Even at Seoul National University, nearly 30% of its Ph.D holders were jobless in 2011 compared to about 15% 2 years earlier.
  • Korean labour ministry warned of shortage of 500,000 jobs for college or university graduates by 2020 & an oversupply of 320,000 jobs available for high-school graduates.
Given the dismay statistic, one has to question the ROI (return on investment). What's the returns after getting into a pile of debts & then facing a bleak prospects upon graduation? Simple issue of supply & demand. With oversupply the wages of many degree holders are definitely downwards.

Economist Chang Ha Joon sums it up best:
  • Even subjects like maths or science which are important for raising productivity, are not relevant for most workers - investment bankers do not need biology or fashion desginers maths in order to be good at what they do.
  • A higher proportion of knowledge becomes embodied in machines. eg. shop assistants do not even need to know how to add- a skill that their counterparts in earlier times must need. Technicians at small electronics shop of poor countries can fix more things than individual workers at Samsung or Sony.
  • Degree inflation has become like a theatre in which some people decided to stand to get a better view, prompting others behind them to stand. Once enough people stand, everyone has to stand, which means that no one is getting a beter view, while everyone has become more uncomfortable.

Thomas Stanley wrote in his book 'The Millionaire Mind':
  • If you love what you are doing, your productivity will be high & your specific form of creative genius will emerge.
  • Even analytically intelligent people often select vocations that are filled with competitors & discover that they don't love their careers. Even if they are genius, it's hard to win a competitive economic battle if your heart & emotions are not completely dedicated to victory.

4th & 5th universities are a cashcow for the govt & the govt-owned banks. Sinkies are already heading for extinction with pathetic fertility rate. More debts on the smaller future young generations will speed up the 'sinking of the ship'.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Higher Share of Sinkies Likely to Leave Current Job Within 2 Years

2012 Towers Watson Global Workforce Study on attitudes of Singaporean employers & workers has thrown up these findings:
  • 34% wanted to leave their current employers within next 2 years, higher than global average of 28%.
  • 54% of respondents from S'pore believed have to join another organisation in order to advance to a job at a higher level.
  • 30% of respondents feel senior management is doing a poor job in grooming future leaders.
  • Middle managers were in the worst shape, with lowest levels of engagement & willingness to stay.
  • 39% of respondents feel senior management shows interest in their well being.
  • 32% felt they were paid fairly compared to people in other companies who held similar jobs.
  • Proportion of S'pore employees who believed they are paid fairly compared to peers in other companies is lower than global average.
  • On retirement benefits, just 20% agree their retirement benefits are being met compared to global average of 46%
  • Only 39% felt that workplace health care & wellness programmes meet their needs.

Nothing surprising about the results as i've written about Gallup's Survey Showing Sinkie Workforce Among Worst Disengaged in World.

Workplace healthcare & wellness programmes? People are already spending bulk of waking hours at work. Why spend more around co-workers & at workplace? I'll rather spend the time alone or with friends outside of workplace.

Middle managers are like hamburgers-sandwiched between senior management & their subordinates. Many got their manager status through years of work or simply of their toilet paper 'degrees'. Manager doesn't mean they can manage people well. Unfortunately in status conscious S'pore, many sinkies desire to be manager in order to have 'face'. Those fallen into this trap are slaves to that 'mgr' title to supply them with self-esteem.

Related read:
- 98% of S'pore Workers Are 'Bochup' aka Disengaged in 2010

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kiasuism Being Reaffirmed Again in Independent Survey

I wrote about economist Graeme Maxton who has lived in S'pore describing S'pore as a toxic place to live due to kiasuism.

Nothing has changed as a recent survey- S'poreans see society as kiasu, competitive, self-centred shows:

Singapore residents were asked what values & behaviours described Singapore today.
Besides being "kiasu", Singapore was seen to be:
  • competitive
  • self-centred
  • defined by material needs
  •  "kiasi', a term which literally means being afraid of death.
Study polled 2,000 Singapore residents & Permanent Residents representing different gender, ages & living in different housing types.

Certain amount of competitiveness is healthy but overdose is toxic. Self-centered & defined by material needs are natural offshoots of kiasuism.

Being scared of losing out:
  • people are more concerned about themselves
  • people consume consume consume, buy buy buy in attempt to win through material needs arena.
Respondents were also asked what values & behaviours best described themselves. And these were:
  • family
  • friendship
  • health
  • happiness
  • being caring.
I find it laughable. Gaining respect of others through material needs(Keeping up with the joneses) together with kiasuism & self-centered. Those values seem incompatible with friendship & being caring.

when asked what residents desired in Singapore society, the top 5 answers that came up were:
  • affordable housing
  • caring for the elderly
  • effective health care
  • caring for the disadvantaged
  • compassion.
These 5 values are what the ruling regime has neglected. Many sinkies know they are being screwed. Let's face it, life is not all smooth sailing. Even professional atheletes like Lee Chong Wei & Jeremy Lin suffer injuries & disadvantaged. There's ups & downs.

Caring for elderly? Many sinkies already know of the sorry plight awaiting us. Tourists & us can look at the fabulous marketing job the current ruling party is doing by the way it is treating the elderly who helped built S'pore in the early days.

Sinkies can also see how the incumbent ruling party treats Tan Howe Liang, S'pore 1st olympic medalist with 'compassion'. Another fantastic marketing effort to sinkies.

Monday, August 20, 2012

High Food Prices Will Force Many Elderly Sinkies Sell Homes to Buy Food

World must brace for higher food prices. Climate change has already brought about more natural calamities & intensity of storms.

Poor harvest from climate change = Higher Food Prices
End of cheap oil era = Higher Food Prices
7B+ population
Result: Higher & Higher & Higher Food Prices= Less income for other stuff.

In case you are wondering what does cheap oil got to do with food, look at the harvester picture- it runs on oil. Oil are also used to make fertilizers & pesticides. Oil is used to transport food especially to faraway places.

S'pore's current ruling party's myth of monetising their homes as retirement income will have devastating consequences for the 30% elderly sinkies by 2030. Much of population already strained under high cost of living with depressed wages. By 2030 many of those elderly would be forced to sell their homes just to put food in their mouths.

CPF (Central Provident Fund) as the retirement fund is now known are used to service mortgages. If it is used to pay mortgages then it defeats the purpose of being a retirement fund. By 2030, as prices collapse due to massive selling by the aged, it would be known as CPF (Cheat Peasants Fund).

Earth getting sicker & sicker.
In 2012 as per poor harvest reported
By 2030, what do you think?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Algae as Biofuel, Not Crops As We Ain't Enough to Eat

I wrote about the trend of rising fossil fuel prices. For all the talk about alternative sources such as biofuels, i only see algae biofuel viable. Biofuels from crops such corn, soy beans etc ain't gonna work. Not enough to feed 7B+ population on whatever arable land that's degrading on the planet- gap in food supply & demand is widening & widening.

- Grows super fast compared to crops
- Doesn't need arable farmland to grow
- Relatively harmless to environment if spilled compared to fossil fuel

Summarised in 2min 45secs:

We already have algae (most likely toilets/bathrooms) in our homes. I find it annoying in my cycling water bottles. I ride to the beach which i'll pour sand + seawater & then shake vigourously to get rid of it.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sinkies: 19% Thriving, 75% Struggling, 6% Suffering

Gallup is using another indicator to measure people's well-being since gdp is highly misleading. For many more countries see: Gallup's results showing countries around the world in their poll from 2005 - 2009.

Gallup's poll grouped the countries according to regions.

In Asia Pacific region, S'pore scored around the same as Thailand-> S'pore's ministers are way overpaid to deliver such 'fantastic' results. Oh by the way where is Turkmenistan on the map? Let me look it up & improve my geography......

Since S'pore's ministers are way overpaid & claim they are world-class, let's see how S'pore measures against other 1st world nations.

European countries with 50%+ Thriving. Oh gosh look at Norway with 0% suffering!!! Nordic countries are tops! Even Switzerland which WAS S'pore's role model is already 3 times more thriving population than sinkies.

Americas countries with 50%+ Thriving:

S'pore is more like these 3 African countries. How come 75% of sinkies are struggling, 6% suffering like these africans despite what the govt controlled mainstream media likes to boast about gdp up up up?

Is now 2012. Poll results are aggregated from 2005-2009 so i reckon S'pore now has even more % struggling (me included) & suffering.

Instead of pegging their ministerial salaries to gdp growing like cancer, it ought to be pegged to sinkies' well being according to aggregated results of outside independent polls.

My other related posts:
- 98% of S'pore Workers Are 'Bochup' aka Disengaged in 2010 (Gallup Poll)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Msia's Olympic Winners Prize $$$ Circulates & Stays in Msia

Lee Chong Wei who won silver united 28M msians despite losing to Lin Dan(China) in Olympics badminton. He plan to build badminton stadium to develop his country's future talents. Prize $$ circulate & stay in Malaysia. Talk about return on investment in Malaysia's case. Mutual respect between native born malaysian citizen & his country.

Different from mercenaries:

Malaysia has also won an olympic bronze medal in diving. This girl bought her dad a new Proton Exora from winnings in past competitons. Again $$ circulate & stay in Msia. Msia nurture & support their native talents. In return the winners repay back their home country's support which in this case this bronze winner supported Msia's car industry & suppliers- jobs. This is multiplier effect.

Different from foreign mercenaries who repatriate much of their S$ back home countries stimulate their economies.

I reckon that some Malaysians are laughing at S'pore's Pro Alien Party. Throw so much $$ to buy medals(2 bronze) with foreign imports & what is the return on investment? United nation or divided nation?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mother Nature's 'Cards' Will Force End to Growth At All Cost

UN chief on Sunday announced an initiative to protect oceans from pollution & over-fishing & to combat rising sea levels which threaten hundreds of millions of the world's people.

Ocean acidification (from absorbed carbon emissions) is eating into the very basis of our ocean life; & sea level rise threatens to re-draw the global map at the expense of hundreds of millions of the world's most vulnerable people.
Infinite economic growth is not possible on Earth's finite resources. Achieving the standards of living of the west along with their wasteful consumption habits is not attainable for the vast populations of India & China.

Earth is already very sick & world populations is at unsustainable levels.

In S'pore, much of the asset prices are held up by the false assumption of endless growth. It is a myth as Mother Nature has many cards to play - we already witness China getting hit by 3 typhoons in a week. USA is hit by severe drought that threaten to send crop prices soaring.

Those 'cards' that Mother Nature dish out to rid earth of humans will put an end to mentality of infinite growth on Earth's finite resources. When that happens many sinkies will see huge swathes of their retirement $$ wiped out. When food prices soar especially in 2030 when 30% of sinkies are elderly, many will be forced to sell homes to buy food. With so many sellers desperate to sell the direction of price is a no-brainer.

Card of sea level rise to tiny island S'pore will have devastating effects too.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

S'pore 'Folding Up' = Sinking Ship

I've written that S'pore is on track for long term decline a few times on this blog.

Now 'Old man' has spoken that the country would 'fold up' if sinkies don't procreate. Toxic environment which his ruling party created has already been summarised by the flowchart which i came across in a forum.

Grow gdp at all costs like cancer also shiok (feels fantastic), nevermind that healthy cells are wiped out in the process. Can grow can already.

A sinking ship. More imports who are mostly in 30s & older to grow old will sink the ship faster when in 2030 elderly sinkies make up 30% of population.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Short Rides to Reece 'No-Hanging' Flags in Rich & Heartland Areas

As national day draws closer, i went for 2 short rides to look at number of flags around the neighborhood & also to survey changes. Situation is still same as i've written few days ago - this year is new record of 'no-hanging flags'.

25km Ride around rich neighboorhood- Holland Road area
I first rode to end of Rifle Range Range Road before detouring back & headed for Turfcity. Renovation is ongoing for the shops fronting the road. Their shopspace is doubled at expense of pedestrian walkway. No guessing about the new rents... Isolated supermarket there is still a favourite haunt for the wealthy judging from the no. of cars at the carpark.

After surveying Turfcity i rode through the rich neighboorhood of Holland Road area. No. of no-flag hanging among the rich is as 'good' as heartland areas.

22km Ride around heartlands - Bukit Batok & Jurong East areas
First went to the viewing gallery of Hindhede quarry at bukit timah nature reserve for some fresh air. Then headed north till Bukit Batok road which i rode to recee 'no-hang' flags phenomena through Chua Chu Kang & Bukit Batok heartlands. Then turned southeast to reece jurong east heartlands before riding through the light-industrial area of Toh Guan on the way home.

At present rate of decline of S'pore, i won't be surprised if next year we witness another new record of 'no-hang' hangs among citizens(more like economic digits).

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Deadwood in Govt Agencies Encouraged to Alert Suppliers to Opportunties in Tenders

Following Nparks $2200 foldable bicycles corruption scandal, the Ministry of Finance now said that govt agencies are encouraged to alert potential suppliers to opportunities that are published on the govt's procurement website.

Most workers in govt service are a bunch of deadwood. Publish their tenders on procurement website & expect others to know. Sure there's email notifications for suppliers who signed up in the website. However with spam filters how many email notifications get through?

Ernie Zelinksi sums up the work culture in govt, govt-related companies & large corpserations:

Most employees, including managers in the highly echelons of organizations, tend to resent stars. Middle-of-the-road behaviour & mediocre performance are preferred to displays of initiative. When a highly creative individual does step forward to advocate new & innovative ideas, he or she is viewed as a threat & is quite often ostracized by co-workers. Co-workers view him or her as a dangerous competitor who may soon by promoted ahead of them. Many managers will go out of their way to make it difficult for someone who doesn't fit the norm, despite the fact he or she adds immensely to the success & profitability of the organization, much more so than the people who fit the norm.

Many managers are looking for a yes-man or yes-women to work for them because they are threatened by the traits of the highly creative. Consequently, insecure managers tend to promote people who aren't highly creative.

Here is what Thomas Watson of IBM said:

I never hesitated to promote someone i didn't like. The comfortable assistant-the nice guy you like to go on fishing trips with-is a great pitfall. Instead i looked for those sharp, scratchy, harsh, almost unpleasant guys who see & tell you about things as they really are. If you get enough of them around you, & have patience enough to hear them out, there is no limit to where you can go.

Instead of hiring a bunch of yes-men/women lackeys, the Nparks $2200 bikes corruption saga might have been prevented if there are a few of such men hired as described by Thomas Watson.

New entrants to the workforce need to be aware of the dangers of staying too long in those large corpserations thereby immersing in the unhealthy corpse culture as described by Ernie Zelinski. Rare is the large corporation that still behaves small & thus lively.

What 'Team player' means in most cases

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Online Price $19.24 vs Bikeshop Price $35 Is A No Brainer

Went to bikeshop to buy new tube after suffering a puncture. With that puncture i had 2 punctured tubes. Tried patching the holes but didn't work. 1 of the tube was patched with sticker type patch(given by a cyclist). Other was with rubber cement + patch. Both leaked. All the while i carried a patched tube as spare & thought it ought to work...

Repairing is a way of saving $ & making the earth's resources last longer. It didn't work this time round. Mechanic told me that road bike tubes are hard to patch since there are slimmer compared to MTB tubes.

What shocked me at the bikeshop is seeing the price of the 8 speed chain of what it might cost me in future if i do need a replacement. I checked its price on

It sells for S$35 at the bikeshop. Even with $11.99 shipping fee it is cheaper by $3.77. $3.77 might not seem much but it is around 10% cheaper. How often do you get a 10% pay raise?

Irresistible deal & what's killing local bikeshop businesses laden with killer rentals(manipulated by govt) is the free shipping on orders $250+. $19.24 vs $35 is a no brainer. Again this brings us to:
"From biz owner's point of view, there's a limit how low costs can go, a limit how much people will pay for stuff, but there's no limit to rising rentals."
When more & more businesses close shop which is why i wrote in the past about why i consider REITS risky. Wide gap for the prices is why the retail scene here is on very shaky ground. Not to mention that sinkies are being sucked dry of their retirement $ & high costs of living.

Online shopping is the preferred way when possible. No need waste time in infested malls & the myriad of foreigners in overcrowded tiny island.