Saturday, September 23, 2017

WiFi speeds on my devices

The Asus VivoMini PC

The Galaxy Tab A 10.1 with S-pen

ZenFone 3 5523KL

The unbeatable old Galaxy Note 4

Friday, September 22, 2017

PM's most important meeting in China

The meeting with Xi Jinping is essential and so it was with Li Keqiang and Zhang Dejiang but the most important meeting go to be with Wang Qishan. The real talking and understanding with the Chinese is with him. The first three were the top three in the PSC. Wang Qishan is ranked 6th but effectively he is number two. The PM can speak his mind with Wang Qishan much more than he could with Xi Jinping. It would be good for us and China as well if Wang Qishan continues to be in the PSC after the October meeting.

We have a lot to do and Zhang Feng have put it nicely into a table.

"Quality has declined since LKY's time" is a view shared by all three groups. These classifications are only out of necessity. In real life it is a spectrum of degree from left to right. To the Chinese the friction between us and them would not have happened if LKY were around. 

The Chinese are master par none at the oblique. Here is a lesson from Wang Qishan when he met PM Lee. I excerpt from Today Online. 

Mr Wang, who heads the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said he was surprised but happy that a request had been made to meet him.
"So I sought permission and I am here meeting you and your delegation today ... Singapore is among the countries I have the most contact with," added the 69-year-old during their meeting held at Zhongnanhai, a former imperial garden that now serves as headquarters for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Mr Wang also paid tribute to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's founding Prime Minister.
"I had the privilege of having personal conversations with him on multiple occasions. He (was) such a visionary figure full of political wisdom.
"I gained a lot every time I talked with him ... I'm really greatly saddened by his passing. He was indeed a great man," said Mr Wang

Without making us lose face, the Chinese think we have "learned the lessons"

Did he really need to seek permission? That was meant for us.

No LKY but we need to move on with vision and wisdom. Since LKY is no longer with us, you know the Chinese would have enshrined his writings as scripture to guide them into the future were he a Chinese leader. We can do no better than that until we are lucky to have another LKY.

And that is the message of Wang Qishan to us.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Tharman connects better with us

Tharman will never be PM but he connects much better with us, and he has a way of sending a return message that he heard and understood us, which is very unlike the other ministers except Tan Chuan Jin, now out of Cabinet.

Here are some lines I lifted from the story:

The DPM, who said he himself would have also preferred a contest "like most people", said however that the aspiration for race not to count is something that requires working towards.

"It cannot just be a pledge, it cannot be just an incantation," he said. "Sometimes it requires a conscious act of the state."

"The reality of the matter is, not just in Singapore but anywhere else, including the most mature democracies that everything else (about a candidate) being equal, race, ethnicity, religion, matters."

If a leader cannot connect with the people he/she leads that leader has at best limited effectiveness. It is our unique circumstances that such bad communicators can still lead but clearly it is not sustainable. Such leaders will also eventually lack confidence and constantly worried about their positions.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Remembering Stanislav Petrov: He saved the world

That is a picture, not sure when it was taken of the former Lt. Col Stanislav Petrov. He passed away practically unnoticed on May 17 this year. His main contribution to humanity was he saved the world from a nuclear war. I have read about him before and I read his story again today when I got news that he had passed away.

The world would have ended if he didn't have the sense to recognize that the system was buggy and sending a wrong signal that the US had launched missiles against Moscow.

For his immense contribution what did he receive? Look at his apartment, it was not much.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A look at Braddell View

A view of my late parents' place which I have never seen before. The place will not last since more than 80% of owners are enthusiastic about selling it en bloc.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Borrowing Aung San Suu Kyi for LKY vs LHL

(click on pic for enlarged view)

Good piece by Nirmal Ghosh but he is not going to be read by those who needs it most. I am going to appropriate this for our domestic politics use in an analysis of LHL vs LKY.

Politics is messy and complicated business, so complex it is hard to write about quickly and simply. Ghosh piece is a good foreign example which also happen to be highly visible. Now every political leader eventually faces difficulties like those Aung San Suu Kyi is having. The difference is only a matter of degree. Her situation would be my shorthand of what LKY vs LHL faced. The son is borrowing his late father's methods minus the brutality but for opposite reasons.

Abraham Lincoln moniker was Honest Abe. For decades he was a political leader who is deemed to be perfect and beyond criticism. Well it is still politically incorrect to criticize him. Nevertheless the Honest Abe myth made him to be far more honest than he is. It is a reputation he used with great effectiveness to become president. When faced with an impossible situation, he lied in an impeachable way that the Confederates are not in town to seek peace. He did that so that he could get the law to emancipate the slaves to pass in Congress. Without explaining himself because LKY said he would leave it to history to judge him, he had emphasized that his motives were honourable. I think the results speak of them themselves. That is why I have overlooked LKY tactics and mistakes but not his dishonorable son.

The people can be ignorant, believe in fairy tales and keep their ideals but political leaders have to get real, get the job done without diminishing society's ideals. If such leaders succeed the minority who understood will keep mum indulge in selective amnesia and leave to history to judge what happened, as they have for America's founding fathers and Abraham Lincoln. If we are not done in by a morally bankrupt government, we will also live this rite of passage. That would be when we can begin to entertain ideas of maturity as a nation.

British society waited for hundreds of years before they are confident enough to entertain the possibility that their preeminent scientist Isaac Newton was gay.

From Malaysian maid to Singaporean butler(ess)

I thought Malaysia have left this behind them as they got richer. This is deja vu, never imagined this happening there and wondering if it would come to pass as well in Singapore as a higher class version. In my imagination, some classy lady butler/nanny to the ultra rich families. Quietly we already have a critical mass of them here. When the super rich demand something they usually get want they want. Perhaps it is already happening but they are doing their best to avoid the publicity.

I think Jim Rogers' family would buy but they relocated here too soon.

In our hearts we live forevert

I remembered I wanted to blog about this when their daughter Carmen passed away, but as usual never found the time to.

This is sort of emotional reunion for this couple with their daughter, and also caused me to remember another story. The bride's father had passed away and his heart was transplanted to another man more or less the donor's age. He took her late father's place and give her away at the wedding. It was beautiful occasion.

We will always find ways to live even when we are dead. There is eternity imprinted in our hearts.

Friday, September 15, 2017

US so late with removing Kaspersky

I had Kaspersky antivirus on my PC easily more than a decade ago when it came free with the machine. Shortly afterwards I discovered they were Russian, I immediately had it removed. Now I use Norton, AVG or Avast.

The Americans are so trusting. When I worked for one of the top Wall Street banks, they accepted my resume at face value. They never once asked for any supporting documents.

SG Presidency with a "natural sunset"

How we got to Halimah Yacob as president is a series of intelligence insulting moves by people who are very smart. The PM should just have accepted the Chief Justice and his committee suggestion to scrap voting for the president and return to an appointed one. Now we have got the worst of everything instead.

In April the Chief Justice said as reported by the ST.

Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, who chairs the Commission, said the provision had a "natural sunset" as it would not be invoked if Singapore progressed towards a race-blind society and elected a minority president on its own accord.

What natural sunset? That is just disingenuous. Look across the Causeway, the NEP is supposed to achieved a natural sunset as well. History and our founding fathers would also add that there is no such thing. This is like giving a little kid a calculator hoping that he will learn mental sums. People don't give up their crutches. You PM and cronies have humiliated the Malays and dishonored our pledge.

Here is a couple of comments on the story above. Her very beginning speeches show that this president is one who would ask "how high?" when the PM said "jump!"

Halimah you are LHL and the PAP "Yes Sir" president. You are not our president. We have effectively only one key to the reserves.

Today the government is morally and politically dishonest, tomorrow it would be criminally as well. It is not a matter of if but when.

Why do the government want to gut the system unless in case they need to abuse it? When the time comes they will say they are doing it in the name of the people but that is just self deception.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Others have said far more than I wanted to say, so there is no need to repeat them here. Mostly I agree with Bertha Henson's PE2017: Mad at the G.

It was easy not to meet Tony Tan when he was president and it would be as easy to avoid Halimah Yacob as well. I can't do anything about her ridiculously high pay but I can try my best to pay as little taxes as possible. This is a small thing, my worries are over the future of this vulnerable little red dot especially the future of my children and their generation.

I don't know much about the former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama aka "Ahok" but I certainly respect him much more than any of our leaders. His former boss President Jokowi is also a good man but serving under very difficult conditions.

Every person has its price and I guess we have discovered what is the price of  Halimah Yacob. It is not more than $4 million and $24 million if she behaves well.

Plenty of moral hazard in Singapore and it has gone all the way to the highest office of the land. The PAP presents their kelong president. Yet another act of coup de grĂ¢ce by them. How do you govern Singapore successfully without moral authority and a bankrupt political capital account?

The silent brain drain will get more furious. Those who remain will again be tempted to protest with their vote and that is dangerous brinkmanship in the next GE.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Political cost of this Presidential Election

I just responded to a friend who pointed me to an article in Mothership which I only read now. I have seen it earlier and ignored it.

Well for something so constitutionally important, why did the PM fail to try persuade the people at the recent National Day Rally? I don't know what is the matter with this PM. He used to be better. Perhaps he is recoiling from the big hit his sister and brother had served him with.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

SG Population: We have opted for the harder problem to solve

I first got the above story, the Bloomberg version in an email. It has a useful chart which is absent from the ST one.

A long time from now, I would still be able to read the Bloomberg's one but the ST would be much less accessible. I might even have given up my ST subscription by then but I digress.

After a while I was convinced that our graying population could not be reversed and we have to live with its consequences. The cure which LKY tried to persuade us to have more babies is much better than the disease but it was impossible to persuade the people. To most that negate the reason why they work so hard to get rich in the first place. It is already too stressful to have one or two kids. I hope we are much more determined to solve this problem when the time comes than when it was easier. We were less determined simply because twenty years into the future is simply too far out when most of us are fire fighting today's problems. It is human nature to work incredibly harder putting out fires than preventing them.

Our external wing will get even more important than now. Many and more of us will travel the region and beyond. In fact the more innovative we are the farther we will go because the demand for our creations will be more widespread.

The more successful we are externally the richer we are and the more expensive things will be at home. Those who make their living mostly from the domestic economy will suffer. Their income will also rise but fail to catch up. They become price takers of those who make their living from our external wing.

At that time quite a few will leave or simply live overseas permanently than come back because their dollar goes much further against a very pricey Singapore. Therefore sprouting an even stronger external wing is not a solution if it provides little attraction for them to be based here. Nevertheless no matter how much we try, we will lose talent at a higher rate than now. It would be more practical to have a bigger front door whilst the flow out grows than trying to keep people home. A very attractive quality of life ranked among the best in the world is not just nice but a matter of survival for Singapore.

For those harboring ideas of retiring in Singapore, most of you will discover that you are dreamers. Unless you are among the few rich ones and being upper middle class will not cut it, either you forget about retirement and continue working or relocate to another place to retire. Now the problem may not even be a choice between continuing working and retirement. It might be you are not employable.

Friday, September 1, 2017

It was only just fish

Salmon mis-labeled as Batang fish which we did not realize until we brought it home.

No math needed. Relativity tells you Batang was obviously cheaper

Now I wonder if we would see this mistake again in future. Always in a hurry perhaps we would only check after we have brought it home eh?

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Dr. Florida got it wrong and we paid the price

LKY was so impressed with him and like other global cities we bought his ideas and now we are paying for it. He was also partly responsible for turning LKY gay friendly because the data seemed to suggest that wherever the gays congregate the place is more creative.

Now Dr Florida after observing his ideas put into practice across so many leading cities have concluded that he was wrong.

Today we are all paying a hefty price for that mistake. Now our public libraries do not even bother to carry his latest book.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Role reversal: Singapore and China

The Chinese used to look to us to learn as much as possible to bootstrap their development. Increasingly the roles are being reversed as in more and more sectors we will be learning from them. It has now gone to the using technology in the courts. We were an early innovator in this game but the Chinese have clearly sped ahead of us.

I once told my ex boss that in business and employment, the most difficult moment for us is when the Chinese are catching up and overtaking us. It will get easier when they are ahead of us. Globally this is clearest when the developed world were the customers for the Chinese but it is now shifted very much to the Chinese being the customers instead.

Fortunately not all economic sectors suffer this transition at the same time or the strain may be too hard to bear. But it is coming, one by one and like it or not, all of us in Asia would become economic vassals to China. Then the Chinese will use their economic might to bolster its military and extend their security umbrella over Asia challenging the Americans inch by inch with the Indians, Japanese and Aussies among the last to fall in line. This is not the foregone scenario though, the future reality will also depend on how the Japanese, Indians and Americans react to China's obvious strategy. We do not need to care about these big powers except how they might price the external environment which we must make a living out of. The issue is can we pay the Chinese price? Everything falls into the place after that.

If you cannot make enough sense of what is happening, you would say the future is unpredictable and bears watching closely developments. That is the stance of our PM and his ministers. The issue is not its unpredictability but our inability to make enough sense of it. Without having a sufficiently clear idea of what might come, we do not know how to get ready for tomorrow. Singapore performance as a society and economy is going to suffer.

We have done quite well but I am not sure if we know how to continue doing so. How do you know what to pack for the trip when you do not know where you are going? Meanwhile a party which place its interests ahead of the nation will prevent the next LKY if we have one at all from emerging. As always good is the enemy of the great.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

More youths dying of Colon Cancer

A friend's daughter died from this slightly more than a year ago. She was barely 22 years old. This threat has appeared on the scene stealthily, and it is probably not unique to America which the story is based on. A month before the Israelis have reported similar findings among its youths. Perhaps we are well on the way to knowing what the data for us is like. I hope I am wrong but would not be surprised if the trend here is similar to the Americans and Israelis, rich societies with somewhat similar lifestyles.

This is not Science yet but eat and run about like your parents when they were young and it might helped reduced your risk.

Monday, August 21, 2017

National Day Rally 2017

That was the PM's dinner before he delivered his NDR 2017 speech in English. You get some idea of what eating healthily looks like especially the staple: brown rice. Many will say this is taking out all of the fun in life. They would say living a shorter and pleasurable life is better than a long and boring one. Of course the idea isn't between shorter and fun versus longer and boring, it is the on average eight years of poor health before death, much of it related to diabetes that is the problem.

The PM spoke on three issues this year: pre-school education, diabetes and smart city. Seemingly smart things with big impact down the road. Nothing mentioned on our external environment which suggests to me that he has finally taken Kishore Mahbubani advice that he is not LKY. We do need our leader to share with us what he thought of the region and the larger world because we are totally dependent on what is outside for our security and livelihood. Unfortunately he cannot do it safely or with sagacity.

Remember we are price takers. We can make all the plans we want but as always it will be what happens outside Singapore which will finally decide the choices available to us.

We badly need someone who can climb up the tall mast and look ahead. Every year the old map bequeathed to us by LKY gets more outdated.

Update: Aug 22 4:30 pm

These are extraordinarily abnormal times and even the taciturn Ray Dalio had chosen to share his views publicly on this issue. At home our PM had kept mum and since then I have told friends this year NDR speech was the worst ever.

Quoting Dalio from his essay,

History has shown that democracies are healthy when the principles that bind people are stronger than those that divide them, when the rule of law governs disputes, and when compromises are made for the good of the whole—and that democracies are threatened when the principles that divide people are more strongly held than those that bind them and when divided people are more inclined to fight than work to resolve their differences. Conflicts have now intensified to the point that fighting to the death is probably more likely than reconciliation.

That is between countries but within America, he had observed backed by repeated poll numbers and concluded,

..the majority of Americans appear to be strongly and intransigently in disagreement about our leadership and the direction of our country. They appear more inclined to fight for what they believe than to try to figure out how to get beyond their disagreements to work productively based on shared principles

I don't believe our PM is ignoring the elephant in the room. I think he does not have the confidence to talk about it publicly. Earlier this morning I came across this by Bilahari Kausikan.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Bad idea: Reserved presidential elections

What is the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter? They could be the same person depending on which side you are looking from. So is the reserved presidential elections system a unique stabilizer? Not to me but I am open minded enough to understand there are other ways to look at this. I just happen not to agree with them.

A reserved elections make minorities look like losers i.e., they can't compete on their on merit and need help. This brings us closer in thought and spirit with Malaysia's pro-Bumis policies than one based on meritocracy.

I am for giving more help to the Malay community to achieve but not for lowering the bar for them. The community will lose self respect. They are not suffering like in a game of reading, handicapped by dyslexia. Even my daughter worked to overcome her dyslexia over time and she competed as equals with her course mates by the time she got to university. If I thought like the PAP government then I would have asked NUS to give her more time for her exams. Bad idea. Instead we worked hard to overcome her handicap. Never give up.

With such a loser attitude encouraged by the government, the Malay community will fall further behind. I do not wish for the Malays to spoil their votes in the upcoming presidential elections reserved for them, but I would understand why if they do. For their own self respect.

The Malays are as Singaporeans as the Chinese. If this is not true then we will find convenient reasons for all sorts of discrimination e.g., against women, older workers etc., In fact we are already doing all these as hypocrites. Now the hypocrisy is enshrined in the highest public office. We are not foolish enough to fast track ourselves to hell but not wise enough to avoid the slow long road to perdition.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Nazis against Nazis – Germany's most involuntary charity walk

My daughter was telling me about this amusing incident in Germany she caught off Huff Post. I saw a version of it this morning from the NYT.

Non-violence with faith and patience works. It is not natural because it is spiritual. I recall from the 80s a remarked made in the movie Gandhi played by Ben Kingsley, "An eye for an eye, makes the whole world blind" The Christians were learning their own teachings from a non-believer. God is "promiscuous" and surprising because Jesus Christ is the only way to him.

Quoting from the NYT article with reference to the methods of Martin Luther King,

This reminds me of the importance and effectiveness of  the spiritual disciplines, many of them from even before the Roman Catholic church which was passed down through millennial.

Prayer answered: Bannon is leaving

Woke up to the news that Steve Bannon has been fired. This is wonderful news. He will do what he wants to do but the White House is not the place for them.

When is Trump going to resign? I would think he would prefer that than get impeached and kicked out.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

We are less happy with our employers

Deja Vu for me. I remember day after day as a young executive looking at those people at least 20 years older than me back then. They lived such comfortable lives working out of those rooms and we secretaries to do their chores. If only their boss, the VP wouldn't so demanding they would have succeeded at creating heaven on earth. I am still in touch with this VP who has long retired from the company but none of these self centered managers.

I recognize how at personal or atomic level it could be aggregated into findings in this ST story despite the many years of separation. All the opportunities I had to try new things and learn were mostly driven by this VP but what can one person in a large division do? In the end all of us left for other employers only to discover that by and large we are ruled by happy golf playing bosses who work out of rooms and resist change, only interested in the sweet spot they have navigated themselves into.

It is a different world now. Most of those rooms have been torn down but that basic bo-chap attitude find every opportunity to surface. The only exception was the time I was at a leading Wall Street bank when people like that inevitably got shown the door, where bad luck was also your fault but the bonuses if you can survive was really good and embarrassing if you perform.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

SG: Between American and China, an adjustment of course

Standards has been falling at ST and also the SCMP. I was surprised at the writing in this article. Midway I detoured to check who wrote this. It was one of our own veteran journalists, Zuraidah Ibrahim. Her other half is Cherian George, a good writer and incisive thinker. We lost both of them to Hong Kong.

To me this was the most important sentence in the story.

"maturation process" in SG-China relationship.

Ms Ibrahim provided the context for our expulsion of Huang Jing by reminding us of our the expulsion of the first secretary of the US embassy here way back in 1988. Fast forward our relationship with the US strengthened. Ditto what will follow from our action against Huang Jing. In private, Singapore is steering a different direction, not a complete change of course but just as in leaning in more toward the US before, we will be building our relationship with the Chinese more rapidly like we had with the US now. In other words the environment changed, we adapt. Whoever drove the change we ride with the driver. Post Cold War it was the US, now it is China.

This just a game of best friends and better best friends. The focus is on "best" rather than "better". Whoever makes more sense and earned the "better" that country now is China.

It does not mean that our relationship with America will weaken but it does mean there is more growth between us and China vis a vis the Americans. The ball is in America's court when it becomes post Trump to catch up or lose out.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Fake news: ICA fuel tank scanner

I received many copies of this via Whatsapp with some providing more intriguing pictures. This one is the most detailed and "convincing".

Only two of them follow up with messages that the news was fake.

The fake news problem is getting more serious but this is also the moment to get familiar with them and learn to spot them. Some of us are conscientious students but most are either lazy or stupid, swallowing hook, line and sinker.

My worry is that as part of the natural sorting process, the shrewd and the suckers are organized into separate groups. We will have to depend on common members of both groups to keep pointing out such hoaxes to the lazy gullible ones. I have noticed some are just too lazy to learn, always leaning on others to look out for them. To add insult to injury, quite a few even enjoy fake news because they are often juicy and conspiratorial. I have also noticed agnostics and atheists seem to do better.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Changi Airport T4 Open House

Took quite a few photos at the Terminal 4 open house yesterday and reproducing by favourite three here.

Beautiful ornamental orchids line the whole length of the departure hall.

This is not just a picture, it is fully animated between three shows but this one showing how luggage overly creatively handled was wifey's favourite. Good for distracting restless people as they wait for their turn to have their travel credentials and security checked.

The the picture before part of this wall is animated as well. It presented a show of romance between a Peranakan young man and woman who were neighbors. The show ends when the couple got married. 

Mr. Singh wore one of the most beautiful turban I have ever come across :-)

And I just have to add that the temperature was a slightly chilly 22.2C but give me this anytime over the hot weather outside. 

All in it was quite fun.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Halimah running for President

If this is a reserved for Malays only presidential elections, I am not voting for Halimah. I have nothing against her, in fact I like her. It is the PAP that I have a problem with. So if the high court would to rule that only the next PE is a reserved one, I might vote for her.

MTR 10-hour train delay

This is not our MRT but the standard setting HK MTR. I was keen to study the difference between them and us during such an event.

I don't track such things closely enough to compare the potential penalties they face vis a vis our MRT in an incident like this. What is noteworthy though is that they have a much clearer idea of what went wrong. For us, we would simply have said, "signaling fault". With them they explained how three computers controlling the signaling to ensure the tracks are safe had experienced an unprecedented failure, which had not happened in well over ten years. In other words they know their system much better than we know ours. For us, we cannot even anticipate a sliding door coming off its rollers and intermittently tripping the power. Looks like we have a near impossible problem and the solution is to replace many bits of the system gradually until we know the behavior and health of each bit. This will take many years. The government and operators screwed up but never come clean about it and so we also never stopped getting angry with them. I believe HK commuters would mostly just brushed off this rare delay. Here we would asked for heads to roll but of course to no avail. What for? Rolling heads will not solve our problems. The guys now in charge for fixing our system aren't the ones who created the problems in the first place but they are getting all the brickbats.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Galaxy Note 8 based on leaks

This is the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 8 based on leak. It sure leaked more than the White House.

Would be very interesting to compare against the real thing when it is released in a couple of months time. Too bad the display purportedly at 6.4 inch is too big for my pocket. I think it would be very expensive as well.

Below an updated July 21 version.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

No longer read Anti-Trump magazine stories

I realized I haven't been reading lengthy anti-Trump magazine articles for several months now. I think they are published as an emotional outlet than adding light to the issue. This is a huge business opportunity for the liberal media catering the to the visceral hate toward this fool.

Yep, a part of me still wonder if he is really the US president. When this is over we will add a lot to our understanding of the United States of America. Our image of that powerful nation would be changed forever. Perhaps I should say, it already has. At the very least we would wonder if American voters would put another cartoon character like him in office.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Catching Dunkirk

For what Dunkirk veteran Ken Sturdy said about it, I might just go and see it.

Sometimes I feel that Facebook is a waste of time but on the other hand it has opened new horizons for me too. You can predict what you will get. I know many people have their filter on and inflate their bubble with it making them more convinced of that they are absolutely right in their bigotry. I guess I am using Facebook in the opposite way. E.g., I take note of Trump's ardent supporters posts. I never imagined some of my friends of many years ended up as his die-hard supporters. It was so unexpected. Often my friend in Canada also remarked the same and it seemed we never got over that.

I think I would just get the DVD when it comes out.

Sonny Liew's Charlie Chan

I have seen this comic book in the library many times. Several times I read portions of it whilst waiting for others to pick the books they want to borrow. Many times I was tempted to borrow it but knew I would be too busy to read it when if I take a copy home. Now I would have to wait for a long time if I submit a reservation. On the other hand I could buy the Kindle version for about USD 16 bu I have decided I have no time.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Useful Bilahari Kausikan

His public sharing can be very useful. He is more willing to talk compared to many other diplomats. No doubt he is a very smart guy with disappointingly matching arrogance, but I don't care. He only needs to be useful. He thinks his loyalty is to Singapore but I think his loyalty is to LHL and the PAP. Sure, he would be able to justify his positions but I would in the absence of evidence always err on the side of safety with Occam's razor.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Halimah Yacob will run for President

I imagine as President you would be a rubber stamp one. What check would you be towards the government of the day? I think you are a good person but your loyalty would still be to the PAP even when you cease to be a member. There is too much tribalism and too little independence from the PAP. It is as always party above nation for you guys.

It is the same predictable script. First you say you would consider or indicate then it happens.

I hope the Malay community can offer someone who does not need any special approval from the committee because he or she fails to meet every requirement to stand for election. On that score Mr. Mohammed Salleh Marican and Mr. Farid Khan Kaim Khan do not qualify. Also will the Malay community accept Khan as one of them? He culturally but not racially Malay.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Post LKY: There are "no lessons" from the past

How can there be lessons from the past when different people draw diametrically opposite lessons from their long working relationship with LKY? Even his children seem to disagree with each other. The elder son has not come to a firm conviction about the house which at least half, possibly lots more think his father wanted it torn down. No, the man is alive as with anyone is, you let him explain and do not second guess him. Now he is gone, can you interpret him when in life you do not but check with him? How do you hope read him correctly? You might not succeed with a regular guy, what is the chance of doing the same with a genius? History informs us that societies have regularly failed to continue the legacy of the great leader once he is gone. We learn what we can and make up the rest ourselves.

Now we read the great man not with our thought but our hearts. Science have caught up with the faith books on this - our thoughts are directed solely by our hearts. Anyone can easily cherry pick quite a few sayings and speeches from LKY to support either an optimistic or pessimistic case. People regularly do the same to their religious scripture too. The words and works LKY left us will be used or abused according to where our hearts lead us.

History is only a guide. It is not easy to draw lessons from history. If history is a treasure map then the terrain has changed and the treasure might also have. We have to update our maps and careful about getting it right whilst working together on it.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Volunteer divers, the siblings and LHL

These do-gooders get it and will frequently do better job than the tax payer funded ones.

This line from the story captures the values of this group of life-savers. Not mentioned but I would understand it that every single life saved is the most important, and if they had only saved one that would be good enough. Sure they had saved many as well.

Running public services and companies, to be realistic you cannot avid numbers based KPIs. Being practical keep us going but only ideals secure our future and check moral corruption. In this sense, I personally feel that the siblings were too idealistic and the PM too realistic.

I probably can take my chance with the presidential elections to protest the PAP lack of idealism which must turn their values hypocritical over time. As a realist I would still feel compelled to vote for them to form the government because there is not other viable choice.