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09 December 2008

ICONOCLASSING Pt 3 or RH Zero Sum Game Theory


1. Today's essay is Iconoclassing Pt 3, which continues from "Iconoclassing Singapore GDP Myths" and "Iconoclassing Pt 2", whose urls are just below :

19 June 2008

19 June 2008

2. Today's essay takes off from a speech "The Puzzle That Never Was" given by Dr CHEE Soon Juan in 2001 to Stanford University, Institute of International Studies, url and complete text just below :


January 29, 2001
Dr Chee Soon Juan
Secretary general, Singapore Democratic Party

Speech given at Stanford University, Institute for International Studies

Singapore society confounds the theory that wealth leads to an opening up of society. The Lion City is an affluent society unable, some say unwilling, to break out of its authoritarian mode. Therein lies the puzzle that the Singapore is.

A. THERE is a myth that goes something like this: Singapore's post-independence story has been one of a money-making miracle and the miracle-maker is, of course, the People's Action Party. We all know a myth, when repeated enough and left unexploded, gradually becomes fact. When you add to this another myth which is that Singaporeans, having become rich, seem not to mind living in an authoritarian state, a veritable puzzle develops.

B. Sieve out the hubris and scoop away the public relations puff, however, you have a reality that is very different and a politico-economic puzzle that is very explainable.

C. Singapore's economy has been designed to maximize GDP gains in the shortest time possible. The best way to go about doing this is to yell like crazy to foreign investors about the generous tax incentives that are on offer with cheap wages to boot. To make sure that the locals go along with the plan, the opposition, labour movement, and civil society in general is dismantled through laws such as the Internal Security Act which enables the ruling party to arrest anyone at pleasure and detain them at leisure. Workers must also be maintained on a strict diet of intellect-numbing presentation of government pronouncements sans critical analysis through a controlled mass media. Once these conditions are in place, one will be surprised how quickly multinational companies come in.

D. More than 7000 of these multinationals, involved in every type of business conceivable, have setup shop in Singapore. They account for more than 90 percent of investments in the manufacturing sector, 70 percent of the gross output in the manufacturing sector, over 50 percent of those employed, and 82 percent of direct exports.

The addiction to foreign capital

E. As foreign capital poured in and employment grew, the PAP started to get too comfortable in government and rationalized that continued discipline brought about by its austere measures was the way forward.

F. Of course with growth, cost has also risen. With its neighbours competing for foreign investments, the government has had to rethink its strategy. One solution would be to get Singapore out of direct competition with its neighbouring economies for low-end, labour intensive industries. Thus in 1979, the government embarked on a series of measures to encourage the influx of high-tech industries to replace low-tech ones. With typical authoritarian efficiency, the PAP raised the level of real estate prices and wages of the workers. Political economist Garry Rodan wrote: "Without any apology, the PAP tried to force lower-value-added, labor-intensive industries to upgrade operations or close operations in Singapore altogether."

G. The result was that unit labour costs rose by 40 per cent in six years.

H. But instead of responding to the PAP's call to upgrade their operations in Singapore, many of the low-tech companies simply moved to cheaper countries. Magaziner and Patinkin wrote: "The EDB [Economic Development Board] people explained that they'd misunderstood why companies had come to Singapore. Good infrastructure was important, but it wasn't the main driver. Cheap wages were."

I. In 1985, this policy resulted in a full-blown crisis. A combination of a 40 percent decline in investments and slothful international trade saw Singapore's economy plunge into a recession with the GDP registering a negative 2 percent down from its usual 8-10 percent.

J. Then, as it is now, it is the people who end up picking up the tab. With the same autocratic style that announced the switch to a high-wage, high-skilled economy, the government now decreed that wages of the workers be cut by 15 percent. Lee Hsien Loong, who was then the Minister for Trade and Industry, exhorted workers to increase their working hours to "44 hours a week...and to do third shifts and keep plants open 24 hours per day." In the meantime, the government declared that it no longer mattered whether the techs were high or low, "all forms of investment which can make profits were welcome."

K. And so with wages cut and dissent muffled, the government went about serenading foreign investments again and growth was subsequently restored. The question was for how long and how much do the people have to sacrifice again when difficulties revisit the economy?

L. By the early 1990s the economy was wheezing and puffing again. In 1994, nearly 8000 workers were laid off by more than 200 companies. This was an increase of 19 per cent of retrenched workers over 1993. In 1995, the number of retrenched rose to more than 14,000. By 1996 there were unmistakable signs of an imminent recession. Again the government pointed to the "restructuring" and "upgrading" of the economy. Then Minister for Trade and Industry, Yeo Cheow Tong - without a hint of knowledge of the problems that the triggered the 1985 recession - said: "In actual fact, such restructuring and upgrading are signs of a healthy manufacturing sector." Someone forgot to tell him that the companies that were moving out were high-tech electronic ones which the economy was supposed to be upgrading to.

M. As it turned out, the PAP was saved from an embarrassing situation by the Thai government which buckled under the weight of the baht and devalued it on July 2, 1997, sending Asia into its worst economic nightmare. Perhaps, we will never know the severity of that economic downturn because of the Asian crisis. It does, however, make the PAP's claim that Singapore's economy tumbled during the crisis only because of it was dragged down by its neighbours' financial misfortunes seem, at best, disingenuous.

N. As before, the workers end up having to make yet more sacrifices. In 1999, the Singapore government announced that it was cutting wages by 10 per cent. The retrenchments continue into the present and is set to get worse. The government's latest explanation for the loss of jobs is not very different from that in given in 1994, or for that matter, way back in 1979. Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong told Singaporeans that "economic restructuring also meant retrenchments will rise" and this was because "low-skilled jobs are being lost and high-skilled ones created." Here we go again.

O. The fact of the matter is that Singapore cannot, or doesn't know how to, get out of its dependence on foreign investment. Walden Bello and Stephanie Rosenfeld noted: Despite its seeming prosperity, Singapore in 1990 is trapped in the treadmill of the export-oriented economics that it once so enthusiastically embraced. Having so completely opened itself up to the world market and the multinationals with the illusion that it could influence the former and manipulate the latter, the PAP technocrats now see that their policies have reduced Singapore's economy to a mere service economy, the fate of which is totally dependent on the calculations and whims of the multinationals.

Economic growth for whom?

P. The reliance of Singapore's economy to foreign investment exacts a significant toll on the welfare of the people. The government's willingness to sacrifice workers' wages whenever economic conditions become unfavourable means that Singaporeans are consigned to having to work harder and harder just to maintain a standard of living that, contrary to government pronouncements, is not all that its made out to be. Let me give you a few indicators.

Q. In the Global Competitiveness Report 1999 which surveyed a total of 59 countries, Singaporean workers, especially those in manual jobs, were found to be relatively one of the worst paid in the world. The median wage of an office cleaner or driver, adjusted for productivity, "is among the lowest in 59 countries worldwide." Only Russia, Ukraine and Ecuador are paid less. Secretaries don't do much better, their wages rank 50 among the 59 countries.

R. During the Asia crisis, monthly wages for low-skilled workers fell up to 34 percent from $746 in 1998 to $492 in 1999. During that period, 16 percent of the work force earned below $1000 a month. Nearly 30 percent of households were not earning enough to afford the minimum standard of life. But when the crisis was over, salary increases among 14 Asian economies was the lowest in Singapore. While Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan had rewarded their workers between five to eight percent in wage increments (after accounting for inflation), Singapore averaged only 3.6 percent with the number predicted to decrease to 2.9 percent this year. It was reported that between 1998 and 2000, the average monthly income of the lowest 10 percent of households fell further by half to $133. The subsistence level in Singapore is estimated to be $1000 for a household of four persons.

S. All this in a city that is consistently ranked as one of the most expensive in the world. In the mid 1990s the Union Bank of Switzerland ranked Singapore as the 7th most expensive city - even costlier that Paris, New York and London. Just last week, the London-based Economic Intelligence Unit rated Singapore as the ninth most expensive city in the world.

T. And yet Lee Kuan Yew, without batting an eye, recently boasted: "Foreigners have noted how the people of Singapore have responded, putting national interest first by taking CPF cuts that helped this rebound (from the Asian crisis)." With trade unionism rendered comatose by the government - the umbrella National Trades Union Congress' chief is a government minister - a significant question arises: How do the workers tell the Senior Minister that they are hurting? How do they tell him that they don't want to be the ones having to put 'national interest first by taking CPF cuts' when the ministers increase that own salaries, which is already the highest in the world? Under the new pay scheme Goh Chok Tong's annual salary will jump by 14 percent to S$1.94 million, five times that of the US President's. How do they let him know that they don't want their employers to cut their wages by 10 percent when in the same period, the average household income for the top 10 percent rose by more that 3 percent while the number of millionaires in the country increased by 40 percent to a record high 742?

U. Gerald O'Driscoll, Kim Holmes, and Melanie Kirkpatrick wrote in the Index of Economic Freedom report 2000 that in Singapore "the authorities strive to be first but at the cost of efficiency and the ultimate well-being of the people."

V. For all the hype about Singapore being a near-paradise, 20 percent of its citizens indicated that they want to leave the country predominantly because of the stressful lifestyle and high cost of living. In 1999, a consumer health survey found that among the various Asian societies, Singaporeans are more likely to have suffered depression, stress and fatigue.

W. But in spite of all this, the PAP apologia will point to the political stability in the country and the notable lack of strife, and tell you that this is due to the ruling party's sound economic record and the people's contentedness. If the lack of civil strife is taken as an index of a government's popular support, then the North Korean regime must be one of the most loved ones in the world; Saddam Hussein, still in power after the rest of his counterparts in the US and Europe have left office, must go down in history as one of the most endearing political figures; and Burma's military outfit must be doing everything right since the crackdown in 1989.

X. Just because the surface of the water is calm, don't always assume that there is nothing lurking beneath. In an authoritarian state, the seeming tranquility is more a reflection of fear and of the effectiveness of the tactics of repression, than it is an indication of the masses affection for the ruling elite.

Y. There is no question that economic growth can occur in authoritarian states under the guise of free market regimes. There is no puzzle here. However, for there to be economic development, one that genuinely benefits the masses and one that is sustainable, the people must be active participants rather than mere digits of the assembly line. For this to happen, democracy is vital. History has shown that how right wing, free-market authoritarian regimes were not able to hang on to power forever. Singapore is no exception. The reason why the regime is still firmly in place is that the founder of the authoritarian system is still alive and very much in the political equation. The second reason is that Singapore is a much smaller country both physically and in terms of its population and because of this control is that much more effectual. Put Lee Kuan Yew in charge of a bigger country like say Malaysia (let alone even bigger ones like Thailand and large ones like Indonesia) and the results could be very different.

Living with fear

Z. I have related how much of a myth the PAP's economic achievements have been and shown you how the picture of the rich, fat, and politically contented Singaporean is just as fictitious. Let me now tell you about the climate of fear that Singaporeans live under and how this fear is induced.

AA. On the eve of nomination in the last general elections in 1997, I received a phone call from a woman who was the wife of one of our candidates. She pleaded with me to persuade her husband not to stand for elections. She was in tears. When I tried to explain to her the situation, she grew increasing desperate and threatened to jump off from the flat and take their children with her. We quickly sent some of our women folk to see her to make sure that nothing tragic happened. In between sobs she said that they had a family to look after and joining the opposition would ruin everything. She didn't want to see her husband again unless he agreed not to stand as an SDP candidate. Our candidate later managed to return home and pacify his wife. He continued on with the elections but hardly campaigned as he stayed home most of the time to make sure nothing happened.

BB. On an earlier occasion, I met up with an academic to discuss the possibility of him standing as a candidate. He picked me up and we quickly drove to a field that was unlit. We sat in the dark and started talking. He was visibly nervous and suggested another spot. And so we found another darkened place, this time in a carpark to talk about the business of his candidacy. We were behaving as if we were planning something illegal when we were just making plans for the elections.

CC. Another instance involved a well-known Asian author who had come to Singapore to work as well as do some research for her book. She told her Singaporean housemate that she was going to have lunch with me, whereupon the housemate became so terrified that she immediately asked the author to move out.

DD. In 1998 I was in Perth, Australia, to give a talk. A professor there told me that some students confided in him that they were interested in attending my talk but were afraid they would be blacklisted. In a similar occasion in Sydney, I was walking to the toilet after giving my presentation when a few students came up to me and said they were very supportive of what I was doing, but didn't want to be seen in public talking with me.

EE. We presently have a few younger Singaporeans who started the youth wing of the SDP. It is called the Young Democrats. Each and every one of them has come under intense pressure from their families not to get involved with the opposition. I am very glad they were able to persuade their families otherwise and stand firm in their convictions. Needless to say, I'm very proud of them.

FF. In case you think that these are just anecdotes that may not be reflective of the political situation in Singapore, a recent survey found that 93 percent of Singaporeans are afraid to speak out against governmental issues.

Is such fear unfounded?

GG. Singapore still retains the Internal Security Act (ISA) that allows the government to detain citizens indefinitely. Scores of opposition leaders, trade unionists, and social activists were arrested under the ISA and detained for years. Chia Thye Poh was one of them. He was imprisoned for 23 years without given a trial.

HH. Then there are the lawsuits. J. B. Jeyaretnam has recently been bankrupted because he could not pay the costs and damages outstanding to his opponents some of whom are PAP MPs. He has been sued repeatedly by Lee Kuan Yew and other PAP leaders and has paid more than a million dollars to these people, selling all his possessions in the process.

II. Tang Liang Hong, a successful lawyer who stood as an opposition candidate in the last elections has also been sued. He was declared a bankrupt and charged with tax evasion. He now lives in Australia.

JJ. Francis Seow, the former solicitor-general, was also detained under the ISA. He later ran for elections with the Workers' Party. He now lives in exile in the US after he was charged and convicted in absentia while he was in this country receiving treatment for his heart condition.

KK. These are just some of the higher profile cases. There are many more which time does not permit me to relate. I tell you about them because you will not read them in political science books or journals. Nevertheless, they are very real cases involving real people. The next time you read or hear anyone telling you that Singaporeans live in the comfort zone under cheerful climes with relatively little to fear, you can at least carry on a discourse with some intelligence.

More obstacles

LL. Which brings me to my next point. Why is there such a mistaken impression of Singapore in the first place? The mass media has much to do with this. Singapore's local media has been comprehensively subjugated in the 1970s when editors and journalists who crossed the government with their reports were put in prison. Many of the newspapers were closed down. Today all of the country's newspapers are published by state-run companies, the biggest being the Singapore Press Holding which is run by a former cabinet minister and a former ISD director.

MM. What about the foreign media? Time, Newsweek, the International Herald Tribune, Asiaweek, Far Eastern Economic Review, and the Economist have all been either sued or have had their circulation restricted, or both. The foreign broadcast media also recently came under attack. These actions by the PAP has had a lasting impact on the way the foreign media tends to report about Singapore.

NN. In such a situation who are the losers? The PAP? Hardly. It was a resounding victory for the government over the international media. The owners of these foreign publications? Not when you consider that their bottom line is to keep up their sales. The real losers are the people who have been deprived of yet more independent and uncensored sources of information. The PAP may have won the battle this round. But it has not solved the problem of the people being denied the right to freedom of information. All it has done is to set Singapore up for a much bigger fall in the future.

OO. This is not the only way people are deprived of dissenting opinion. Books critical of the PAP system, cannot find their way onto shelves in bookstores. None of them would carry my books. When I sell them on the street, I am prosecuted for illegal hawking. When I call up the Ministry of Environment to apply for one, they say that no such licenses are given. None of the newsvendors dare sell newspapers published by opposition parties.

PP. I have not even begun to relate all the appalling tactics employed by the ruling party during elections. Because of time restrictions, I will instead refer you to a report entitled 'Elections in Singapore: How free and how fair?' published by the Open Singapore Centre, copies which are available for sale here.

QQ. Having heard all that I've just said, can you truthfully say that this sounds like a government that has the kind of support it claims? Does this sound like a people who are unafraid and willingly allow the PAP this continued control over them? Or is there some truth to the fact that the PAP knows that the people want democracy and the only way to deny them of this is to institute more controls and device more ways of intimidating them?


RR. It is important to disabuse ourselves of the notion that the PAP is this visionary architect of Singapore's economy and, worse, that Singaporeans are so comfortable that they will just roll over and play dead every time the PAP cracks its whip. Why should Singaporeans be any different from the rest of the world which has unreservedly embraced democracy. From Mexico to Mongolia, Soviet Union to South Africa, people want to live in freedom and dignity, and to be able to hold their governments accountable. The last time I checked Singaporeans are humans too. And because we are humans we have this one thing in common that cannot be crushed. It's called the human spirit.

3. Dr CHEE is the only person in Singapore who has spent his entire recent life, >a decade, fighting/understanding/critiquing/writing/exposing the crooked, corrupt, nepotic, murderous, torturous, election-rigging, greedy, venal, LIE KY LHL WKS Cronies PAP LIEgime. He is also the only one who has done this well, with courage, skill, talent that no one else has displayed in Singapore. That makes him uniquely qualified to not only know and identify what is wrong -- and the entire system is hopelessly wrong -- but also how to fix it, given the chance. His books are not mere rants but contain insights into the problems and solutions to the problems.

4. As a sometime essayist/blogger, I would today like to take off from his above Puzzle speech, that portion relating to cheap labour that I have paragraphed-named as F to J and L, N and O.

5. It is my contention that Singapore has all along been a cheap labour economy, despite the few showcase high-tech and service sectors that are always trotted out and boasted to foreigners, like when they are bussed to some spanking HDB township touted as evidence of success. Dr CHEE has done me the service of stating the facts and figures in the paras mentioned. However, as in my 2 previous Iconoclassing articles, my theme is how LIE KY's GDP is a Myth. In today's article, I would like to postulate that "Singapore has always been a cheap labour economy." Evidence of this is in Para O : "O. The fact of the matter is that Singapore cannot, or doesn't know how to, get out of its dependence on foreign investment. Walden Bello and Stephanie Rosenfeld noted: Despite its seeming prosperity, Singapore in 1990 is trapped in the treadmill of the export-oriented economics that it once so enthusiastically embraced. Having so completely opened itself up to the world market and the multinationals with the illusion that it could influence the former and manipulate the latter, the PAP technocrats now see that their policies have reduced Singapore's economy to a mere service economy, the fate of which is totally dependent on the calculations and whims of the multinationals."

6. If you allow my arguments in my first 2 Iconoclassing articles and allow Para O, then it is clear that LIE KY is far, far, from being the genius and miracle worker that he and his lapdog media have endlessly portrayed him to be, but a total failure whose overhyped image is due to faked statistics, the Green Lever Effect, and an economy driven to ruin through 'managing FOR numbers'. The collapse of the Singapore economy and country will be when the Housing Bubble and Foreign Cheap Labour Bubble burst, as burst they must, as is inevitable with all bubbles. If you allow that "Singapore has always been a cheap labour economy", then you understand why so many citizens are unemployed, their woeful statistics disguised by renaming citizens + PRs as "Residents" and why an astounding 35% of the people on this tiny 700 sq km islet are FOREIGNERS.

7. Singapore has always been a cheap labour economy, only that, in the early days, we Singaporeans were the cheap labour, nowadays, the foreign workers are. This is inevitable. Through the years, due to the moronic policies of OverTax & UnderSpend in order to amass huge surpluses and reserves, which are regarded as evidence of success, as all money wealth seems to indicate success, the LIEgime raised the prices of everything, especially HDB flats where a typical tiny 4-room flat that costs S$30,000 to build, as proven by successful contractors' published tender prices, are now selling for >S$640,000. This Bubble can only burst and it will make the US subprime crisis seem modest. So, with frequent price hikes in GST, HDB flat prices, transport, utilities, every single possible cost, Singaporeans cannot pay their mortgage and eat 3 meals without a salary of at least S$1,000, which would be subsistence level. So, in order to keep the cheap labour economy going, Singaporeans are deliberately undercut by importing cheap foreign workers, until now they comprise 35% of people on this islet. UnderSpend means that the housing, transport, whole infrastructure do not keep pace, hence overcrowded metros, buses, malls, even parks. So, high GDP growth is at the expense of or balanced by ruinous social policies and conditions of life for the vast majority.

8. The common thread running through my Iconoclass series is that the supposedly high GDP growth that LIE KY got is false and distorted. Today, I would like to postulate that "True GDP growth is almost impossible and growth in one sector is always offset by decline in another or in a future foregone." We can call this the Zero Sum Game Theory.

9. Let us look at this puzzle or paradox by briefly checking the GDP growths of the advanced economies, especially that of Europe. After all, they have many of the best economists, planners, experts, think tanks, economic data gathering and studies, in the world. So how is it that they can manage no better than the ~2.5% in the best of times, even less in the inevitable troughs and downturns? If you minus the bad times GDPs from the good times, you get No Growth. Even the ~2.5% in good times becomes 0 when inflation and other factors are factored in. So, it is entirely possible that my Theory is right, that GDP Growth is impossible.

10. What of China and Singapore and other seemingly high GDP growth countries? Remember my Theory about 'future foregone'? In the case of China, its laudable record of >10% GDP growth over 3 decades is probably due to its one-child policy in which 2 adult parents pay taxes and contribute to economic activities while producing only 1 child to use back some of those taxes, mostly in minor expenditures such as schooling and a little healthcare, etc. This gives the China govt a big surplus for every family of 2 adults taxes/economics - 1 child's spending. Further, when that child leaves school to work, all 3 contribute for many years thus giving the China govt all 3 surpluses in economics. Any wonder China developed so quickly in just 3 decades? This may seem to contradict my Zero Sum Game Theory that no true GDP growth is possible and any growth is just a rebalancing of different sectors in which some sectors' growth are balanced by others' declines OR balanced by a future foregone or decline. In China's case, when the demographics turns bad, when there are many more old non-working people than young working people, the Zero Sum Game will happen and all the years of positive growth will then be nett off by years of decline. 7 years fat followed by 7 years lean.

11. The US also has had better GDP growth than the advanced European countries but this is offset or balanced by poorer societal conditions and many poor sectors. There is also future foregone in the huge deficits that future generations will have to pay back for the current generation's enjoyment. Zero Sum Game again. Nothing is for free. There is no free lunch.

12. If my Theory is right, then govts and economists must be very, very, careful what they wish for. If they want Big Growth in some sectors, then they must be very careful to ameliorate the declines in other sectors, or society, which will be inevitable. Or costs to future generations. The one salutary effect of my gloomy Theory is that govts and economists may stop chasing the mirage of high GDP growth and ask themselves what it is they really want to do, what they want for their societies. They may then become more like the advanced but slow-growing European countries and try to better the lives of their people, not just feed the economy. Better childcare, better healthcare, better schools, better public transport, better and more rewarding careers and jobs, more fulfilling lives. In the end, isn't this what govt should be all about?

RH Zero Sum Game Theory : "True economic growth is impossible. Growth as measured by GDP and other accountings are possible in some sectors, but are always negated by declines in others, usually measured over-optimistically for the growth sectors and under-pessimistically for the decliners. True growth over a defined period is possible, but only at the expense of future declines, like booms are always followed by busts and bubbles eventually burst. All this is due to the finite natures of Man and his systems. An emphasis in one area/s of endeavour is negated by neglect in another/s. A gain now leads to a loss later. In the end, it all adds up to zero."

Related somewhat to :

and .







23 November 2008

Idea: Low Rations, Propellor Disabling, etc, Strategies to defeat pirates hijacking of ships for ransom

Pirates Seize Saudi Tanker off Kenya
from International *News* - The New York Times
The Saudi-owned supertanker loaded with more than $100 million worth of crude oil is the largest ship ever hijacked, according to U.S. Navy officials.

Somali pirates vow to resist any rescue efforts
MOGADISHU (AFP) - Somali pirates holding an oil-laden Saudi super-tanker will fight back should any military intervention to free the ship be attempted, a member of the pirate group told AFP Saturday from the coastal village of Harardhere.

1. One solution may be for all vulnerable ships passing this pirates-infested region to carry no more than say, a week's worth of food and water. If pirates succeed in boarding and taking control of the ship, they and the crew will have only a week's worth of food and water. This forces them to bring their own food and water along, which raises additional work and difficulty to hamper their operations somewhat.

2. If they dont or cannot, they will need to be resupplied with food and water. Then, this will create logistical and other vulnerabilities that their supply boat may be blocked, arrested, interdicted, etc. Thus, hampering the otherwise smooth and easy hijacking.

3. So, if police or navy boats can race to the hijacked ship fast enough to lay siege to the pirates, the hungry pirates may surrender after the week's food and water are consumed. [The pirates will consume the food and water and deny these to the captured crew but the crew will not be allowed to die because then, nobody can operate the ship].

4. If this Low Rations strategy is standard for all ships passing this region, piracy may be much reduced, since it will no longer be plain sailing.

5. It is not a good idea for the crew to jettison all the food and water [even if arranged to be thrown overboard at the touch of a button] because the pirates will exact revenge on the crew for this jettisoning of food and water].

6. After passing safely through this region, a waiting small supply boat can resupply the ship for the rest of its voyage. Quite a nice little business and wont take too much time.

7. If a hijacked ship needs to be stopped from being sailed to Somalia, etc, a last resort can be to disable the propellors much like a car illegally parked can have its wheel/s clamped. Inventors can start designing a Propellor Clamp/Disabler such that it would be easy to, in the case of a Rope-type Disabler, coil round and round the rotating propellor until the nylon rope strangles the propellor into stopping.

8. If a Tube-type Jammer, this jammer should stop the propellors without damaging it too much. Probably made of a hard plastic like the fibreglass material of kayaks and canoes. Once jammed into the propellor housing, this Clamp/Disabler device should be jammed and stuck into the propellor housing until removed. Even if only 1 Disabler is used on only 1 propellor, this would prevent the ship from being steered, maybe only going round in circles, etc. This jammer should be easy to jam from a small boat or dinghy. Another possibility is to disable or jam the Rudder/s, which would make the ship unsteerable.

9. With more time to develop from standard torpedo technology, a Torpedo-type Jammer could be perfected, that can be fired from afar, travel under its own power, and steer itself towards the propellor housing. Maybe a sea version of the remotely-controlled Predators. Torpedo technology is already very advanced and a minor modification to current tech is enough to make a good Disabler.

10. If this Propellor Jamming Torpedo can be carried and dropped/launched from a helicopter or plane, this will be much easier to do, since helicopters and planes can get to a ship by air far quicker than any sea ship. It is also possible to deploy these torpedoes around a pirate-infested sea region at floating buoys and markers, etc, then activated remotely when needed. It would be cheaper to make these torpedoes re-useable, since only the front part of say, nylon rope coils or fibreglass tube needs to be jammed to disable a propellor. So the rest of the torpedo carrying the electronics and engine can be re-used because only the front nylons or fibreglass will be damaged by the propellor rotations, leaving the rest of the torpedo behind it undamaged. Some disengaging/separation mechanism like the explosive bolts for warplane cockpits can instantly separate the front jammer part of the torpedo from the rest of the expensive torpedo the moment the jammer hits the propellor.

11. An even easier way is to fit an Electronic Disabler, that, at an encrypted radio signal bounced off from a satellite from the ship owner, commands an electronic circuit to disable the electrical system controlling the propellor/s. This will not damage the propellor or its housing at all. However, in all these propellor-disabling strategies, care will have to be taken to ensure that the motion-less ship does not drift onto rocks or aground, although this is a relatively minor problem. In heavy seas such as during storms, a motion-less ship may capsize more easily, too.

12. Finally, it may be possible that another encrypted radio signal from a satellite also controls the Anchor-Lowering circuit such that the anchor is also lowered to the sea bottom, to prevent the ship from moving, also for its safety from rocks or aground. The captain and crew should be powerless to restore normal functions of the propellor/s and anchor until the correct code is entered into the system, [radioed to the captain once the hijack is over].

13. However, while the signal may disable the propellor/s and lower the anchor, care must be taken to NOT disable the engines that generate the electricity for communications and safety operations of the ship. Communications and normal operations should continue for the safety and comfort of the crew and expensive cargoes on board.

14. You may want to consider having a helium airship constantly hovering over the area for surveillance and operations guidance and control. A stationary airship is better than high-up satellites or too-fast planes and helicopters that cannot stay still for long.

15. In addition, if, as I suspect, the only way pirates can board a ship is by throwing up grappling hooks, possibly with rope or rope ladder attached, then wouldnt it be simple to thwart this method by replacing all the straight horizontal railings with say, a series of separate-standing railings THAT ARE CURVED DOWNWARDS TO SLIP OFF THE GRAPPLING HOOKS, each downward curving railing leading outward and downward so grappling hooks slip off, unable to catch on to any part of the railing/s? The separation distance between each free-standing [upturned Ú'] railing should be wide enough to slip off even the biggest grappling hook but small enough to prevent crewmen and loose objects/cargoes, etc, from rolling/slipping off overboard in heavy seas/waves.

Idea: Airport Naming Convention to reduce runway accidents



1. From this article [ ], we get :

“The report showed that the 2007 global accident rate of 0.75 losses for every million flights by Western-built jet aircraft was slightly higher than the 0.65 rate recorded in 2006.

“The number of global fatalities declined 19 percent to 692, as passenger numbers increased by six percent to over 2.2 billion passengers in 2007.

“In total, there were 100 accidents in 2007 -- 57 for jet aircraft and 43 for turboprop -- compared with 77 accidents in 2006.”

2. The above Para 1 mentions only 'real' accidents on the runways and real fatalities but the total number of what is termed “runway incursions”, that is, mostly near-misses of airplane collisons, is far higher.

3. Specifically, I would like to refer to the tragic case of SQ 006 which took off on the wrong runway [closed, with construction pits and equipment halfway down the runway], crashing, burning, killing ~82 people on 31 Oct 2000. See :

4. A report is given in this url, from which the airport maps are taken :

5. This is the map of the whole airport layout. The beginning of the fatal wrong take-off on [closed] Runway 05R instead of the [correct] parallel 05L, occured top left of this map, circled in red and also detailed in a closer, zoom-in smaller map of the area circled [click on pictures to enlarge] :

6. Look at the closer map just above and note that in this fatal accident, SQ006 was suppposed to taxi along NP, then turn a right angle 90 degrees onto taxi-way N1 to taxi across Runway 05R to the correct Runway 05L. This means that SQ006 should have cut across and passed Runway 05R towards the further Runway 05L. From the taxi-way NP into N1, after turning right, SQ006 would taxi ~100 metres to reach Runway 05R but ~300 metres to reach the correct Runway 05L. Instead, SQ006 taxied from NP, turned right 90 degrees onto N1 BUT TAXIED ONLY THE ~100 METRES INSTEAD OF ~300 METRES ONTO THE CORRECT RUNWAY 05L. It may seem incredible that an experienced pilot and his officers could mistake 100 for 300 metres and thus take off from the wrong runway but this happens very frequently in airports all over the world even in the best of visibility and conditions. I believe the main reason is an over-reliance on abstract, technical procedures that are totally divorced from our daily, human experiences and judgments. For example, in this case, the pilot and his flight crew had runway and taxi-way lights, signboards, painted letterings on the runways and taxi-ways, control tower instructions, even advisory notes in hand, but still took off from the wrong runway BECAUSE NONE OF THESE CATER TO OUR INNATE, HUMAN EXPERIENCES AND JUDGMENTS.

7. So the crux of my idea is to build in clues or data into the runway procedures through nomenclature such that the very Name of a runway would have enough data that are cognizant to all pilots' human experiences to make it that much more intuitive and 'normal' thus hopefully, preventing such runway incursions or accidents.

8. For example, suppose we try to name humans. It is perfectly OK to name them Tom, Tan, Thambu, etc. But if you want to add data to these names, you could, for example, name them Tom28, Tan32, Thambu67, etc, the numbers signifying their age. Similarly, you can name them Tom75, etc, to signify their weight in kilos. Thus, this addition of data to the names makes them a lot more informative, even more meaningful.

9. In the case of our Runways, naming them, as currently, 05R and 05L, is like Tom and Tan. But if we rename them Runway 05R100 and Runway 05L300 or shorter, Runway 100 and Runway 300, WE WOULD HAVE ADDED THE DATA OF 100 METRES AND 300 METRES [FROM THE NP TAXI-WAY], THUS GIVING A VERY HUMAN, INTUITIVE DATA THAT ALL HUMAN PILOTS CAN FROM THEIR OWN INNATE EXPERIENCE, UNDERSTAND, 'FEEL', AND ESTIMATE PRETTY ACCURATELY. All pilots drive and experience [mostly road] distances in metres and yards, so this Data is directly relevant, intuitive and easily estimated even without any training or special effort. Thus, making runway taxi-ing and manoeuvring less abstract, more easily and intuitively understandable, almost like driving a car to a carpark or onto roads nearby. So, overall, much safer. From the air, pilots can also 'see' and estimate say, Runway 100 and Runway 300, especially when the Starting Point from which the 100 and 300 metres are measured, is clearly indicated.

10. The numbers should be taken from METRES because most of the world thinks and estimates in metres but since Metres are close to YARDS, non-metric pilots can also estimate pretty well, too. Thus, only the Number needs to be given, to the nearest 10 metres or so; no need to state Metres or Yards, etc.

11. Of course, all measurements and numbers must be taken from a clear and obvious Starting Point. In the case of this Taipei Airport, and probably in the vast majority of airports in Asia and probably also the world, I believe most runways are parallel, like in Taipei, so the Starting Point would be the Turning From NP. This should be clearly indicated by the usual Big Signs, Special Lights, Painted Letterings on the runways and taxi-ways, etc. As well as in Control Tower communications and literature. This would be about the cost of this idea. A lot cheaper than Airport Surveillance Radars [ see ].

12. This Naming System can make for easier and hopefully, safer, more intuitive, control tower instructions. For example, suppose you want a pilot to taxi 50 metres onto NP, turn Left, taxi another 400 metres, turn Right onto N1 taxi-way, taxi another 300 metres to Runway 300, you could use shorthand thus : 50=NP/L=400/R=N1=300@Run300. You could even SMS this. Since all distances and turnings on the runways and taxi-ways are already mapped and calculated to the nearest metre, this is easy to implement.

13. However, not all airports are so symmetrical. Some, like the one just below, are pretty confusing in layout, especially without a detailed plan drawing or blueprint. For this minority of airports, I leave the task of improving or implementing my idea to people more familiar with airport and runway operations. This kind of layout is putting me out of my depth.

Robert HO; Sun 16 Nov 2008.

26 October 2008

Idea: Towards a 7/7 economy and New Communes

Idea: Towards a 7/7 economy; 24 Oct 2008

1. For most of China's 5,000 year history, its people, mostly peasants -- still today numbering 800 million -- worked every day, resting only when tired or other chores require a change. They took time off work only on festivals and other celebrations. It was pretty much the same in the cities and towns. Business people also worked every day and took time off only when tiredness, rest or other chores required it.

2. Like the Western sartorial suit and tie, which today is worn even by China's leaders, the 5 or 5-1/2 or 6 day week is a Western invention. In the Christian Bible, God rested on the 7th day after creating the heaven and the earth. So, in the West, and later through Western hegemony, throughout the world, the 7 day week was adopted, with the 7th day, the Sunday, ordained as the Rest Day, like the Christian God rested on the 7th Day.

3. Today, there is no reason to stick to this 5- or 6-day Western work week. Indeed, there are many, many advantages to a 7/7 work week. To list but a few :
...2/5th increase in work thus higher employment;
...2/7ths better use of otherwise wasted office/factory rented space;
...stock markets that open all week thus avoiding the end-of-week defensive buying/selling;
...traffic flows that thus 'evens out' over the week instead of jamming roads and other transportations over 5 or 6 days while being under-utilised on weekends;
...electricity use also evens out over the week [electricity capacity has to cater to peak use but cannot be stored during slack use];
...malls, leisure and entertainment centres, etc, all also evened out in patronage rather than suffering peaks and troughs;
...this all leading to better utilisation of expensive and even scarce resources. When everyone is off-work on weekends, this creates crowds and inefficient use of leisure resources which are then, under-utilised on weekdays;
...this idea even greatly reduces corruption;
...greater work arrangements flexibility leading to better work arrangements such as part-time work;

4. In jobs, simply by having the whole city or country operate 7/7, this means that every job now done by 1 worker working 5 days a week = 5 worker-days can be increased to 7 worker-days, an increase of 2 worker-days or 2/5 x 100 = 40% increase in work-jobs. Of course, if there is no demand for the extra worker's output, then there will be no increase or a smaller increase than 40%. But the potential is there. China already has hundreds of millions unemployed or underemployed, so this is an idea that should be considered. Plus the fact that many of the 800 million peasants will want to move to the cities for a better life, which may be possible with the new land policy, makes this idea worth considering.

5. Why is this idea not thought of before? Besides the obvious, the main resistance against this idea is human nature. A manager who rose to his position only after much hard work and politicking does not want someone to deputise for him when he is not around. This human nature resistance is present at almost every level, not just the manager position. Of course, a check-out girl at a supermarket check-out counter does not have such misgivings because her job is easily interchangeable and so lends itself perfectly to a 7/7 job.

6. So, some measures are needed to ensure that in every dept, company, govt dept, city and the entire country, the workers who most fear someone taking away their jobs be given some reassurance. This is important for the 7/7 economy to be implemented smoothly and even successfully. In most big companies nowadays, especially in important or critical positions, the worker must take leave each year for at least 1 week or 7 days consecutively. This is to ensure that the job is handed over to a deputy who can then, in the course of doing his/her superior's job, find any corruption or criminal wrongdoings of the main jobholder. This is now standard practice to reduce corruption and wrongdoings but clearly 1 week is not enough. If all jobs in China, both in the govt and in private companies, have this 7/7 work week with at least 1 day done by a deputy, most corruption in China will be eliminated, thus also reducing mistakes and cover ups like the tainted milk scandal. When you have someone deputising for you every week, looking at your work, you have to be a lot more careful. It is also much harder to bribe someone who is sharing his job and responsibilities with another.

7. There are other reasons for a 7/7 economy. With computers and modern communications and processes, each and every employee now does a lot more than a similar employee in a similar job did say, a decade ago. In fact, each employee is now so productive that he/she does so much that in almost every dept, when 1 employee is away for even a few weeks, nobody can do his/her job. There is no back-up. The more efficient a dept, the less each employee knows about the work of his/her colleagues because work is now complicated, complex, highly efficient and computerised -- even though each colleague is sitting only arms-length away and they lunch together every day. Thus, a 7/7 work week will automatically make back-ups of each and every job so when 1 employee is gone for weeks or for good, the stand-in can continue business as usual.

8. Office space and factory space rental is a big item in every company's monthly and yearly expenditure. By leaving the expensive office and factory space empty each weekend, 2/7ths of the rental is wasted. You pay 7/7 office rentals but use only 5/7ths. You waste 28.57%. Imagine how much this translates in renminbi. Of course, to work 7/7, you will need to pay more aircon, electricity, maintenance costs, as well as hiring 2/7 more workers, but if you have enough business or demand for your output, reclaiming 28.57% of wasted office rentals can translate into much bigger profits.

9. Another reason why this idea was not done before is that it requires a whole town, city or country to do it all together at once. For example, a family has 2 grandparents, 2 parents, and 1 child. Both parents work and the child goes to school. Thus, both parents and their child must coordinate their work week so as to have the same days off together, like they do now on weekends. But this is not difficult because even the schools and teachers will also work 7/7. So, suppose everyone works 5 days a week with 2 days off as required by labour laws, then offices and companies must allow employees to choose their days off to coordinate with their spouses and child. This is not difficult.

10. Since the major jobholder will work 5/7 and the stand-in or deputy only 2/7, the deputy can actually stand in for another 1-1/2 employees. This versatility and back-up of all the functions in a dept can only be good. Much of today's jobs are computerised and mechanised [as in factories], so this versatility will promote learning of more diverse skills and trades. This is good for the individual as well as the company and the country as a whole. Indeed, for many boring, dead-end jobs, this working as back-up in varied jobs and job functions will appeal to many.

11. Currently, there is the illogic of employed workers being worked very hard while unemployed people have no work at all. By implementing a 7/7 economy, work will be more évened out' so that the employee with a job can choose to work a little less while the unemployed can get some work. This leads to greater flexibility. For example, a working mother may want or can work only 2 days a week. This 7/7 economy allows this flexible working arrangement when previously, a worker has to work 5 or 6 days a week or not at all, as unemployed. Thus, many part-time work will be possible. Thus, in the 7/7 economy, the lines between employed and unemployed will blur. It may even make no sense to report statistics on employment and unemployment since most people will work as much or as little as they want.

12. Even professionals may implement this 7/7 week. For example, a doctor operating a clinic may work 4 days a week and have a locum stand in for him/her on the other 3 days. Lawyers, consultants, stockbrokers, etc, can all implement this 7/7 week.

13. After or maybe before the successful implementation of a 7/7 economy, the govt may want to consider new labour laws. For example, the old definitions of employed vs unemployed may need to be revised. Some may work 1 day, others 2, and so on. Thus, labour laws may need to recognise payment on a daily-rated basis instead of the monthly wage. This is optional and depends on what the govt wants to do for its economy and workers.

14. In mixed populations like Malaysia, which has big populations of Malays [muslims] and Chinese and Indians, the Malay muslims may want to take Fridays off because that is the day of prayers. Thus the muslims may take Fridays off while the other races can take other days off. Thus, the 7/7 economy caters to different rest-day needs.

15. When this 7/7 economy is implemented, maybe as a pilot project in some town or city first, like, say, Shanghai, the road traffic will be evened out over the whole week thus reducing jams. But this gain is only a one-time gain and if other measures are not done, soon the roads will be jammed all 7 days a week. This evening out also applies to other public transport such as buses and metro trains, all of which will be better utilised.

16. Stock markets will open all week so a sudden bad news over the weekend can allow for buying/selling stocks. This leads to more stable stocks trading. With events happening so fast nowadays, this is important.

17. Electricity use will also be evened out over the week. Currently, power stations have to be big enough for peak use during the work week but cannot shut down or reduce production during weekends since electricity cannot be stored.

18. Similarly, leisure and entertainment complexes will be patronised all week instead of just weekends. This evening out will reduce weekend over-crowding and ensure better utilisation of all the facilities.

19. You may want to reinvent the week. For example, you can have a work week that is 10 days, with workers getting 2, 3 or even 4 days off. Everything is now flexible and can be reinvented. There is no need to stick to the Gregorian calendar [ ]. You can use back the old Chinese Lunar calendar if you want. Or invent something new. With modern computers and the Internet, it will be easy to 'translate' from the standard Gregorian calendar to any calendar you choose to invent. Just like now we can, with 1 click, get the time anywhere in the world.

20. The needs of a modern economy and society require new work-life balance and arrangements. A 7/7 economy is most likely to provide the best arrangements for everybody.

21. China is now trying for more GDP growth through greater domestic consumption, since exports to the US and EU are decreasing in the financial turmoil. With a 7/7 economy, Chinese spending will take place over 7 days instead of the current weekends only. This will increase domestic spending as desired. Also, with more people employed, spending will also rise.

22. RH: "A 7/7 economy solves EVERYTHING. Creates 2/5 or 40% more Work-jobs, at only [2/5 more Workers Pay - 2/7 Office/Factory Rental costs]. PLUS Immeasurably, Many, Many other recurring Benefits worth $b $b $b pa!!!"

23. RH: It is entirely possible that the above BOLD may even be LESS than the ITALICS, thus leading to NO COST of the extra 2/5 or 40% workers, or even SUBSIDISED, that is, when BOLD - ITALICS returns a negative, that is, the savings in Office/Factory Rentals exceeds the extra 2/5 or 40% workers pays, in which case there is an overall REDUCTION in ALL the workers salary costs, both the 5/7 + the extra 2/7 of workers. In other words, moving to 7/7 could actually REDUCE the total wage costs while increasing the workforce by 2/5 for free or even for an overall wage costs subsidy.

HOW TO DOUBLE YOUR ECONOMY WITH NO PAIN[added 5 Sep 2011; added 20 Sep 2011 new paras 12 and 13 plus some edits]

1. First, please read this:

26 October 2008
Idea: Towards a 7/7 economy and New Communes

Idea: Towards a 7/7 economy; 24 Oct 2008


2. Although I deliberately slanted the article above for China, the same ideas and principles can be used by ANY country, although some will benefit much, much, more than others.

3. Of course, no govt is ever going to do anything more than 'more of the same', so I did not see, nor expect to see, any govt rushing to implement my 7/7 Economy, although every single govt will benefit and will suffer hardly any pain at all in implementing it. Govts were invented in an era when societies were largely agrarian, slow moving and exceedingly simple, with even the few cities being mostly small and simple. Today, however, societies are huge, hugely complex and complicated, with the huge numbers of populations by itself creating unsolveable problems simply by the huge numbers. Thus, govts today, ARE the problems and not the solution. This is the main reason why my 7/7 Economy has still not arrived.

4. However, if govts and politicians cannot change, they may change when desperate. Is Japan desperate enough? If so, then Japan may want to implement my 7/7 Economy. Indeed, there are obvious clear benefits. For example, an economy that works 7 days a week is clearly far more productive than one that works only 6 or 7 days. Thus, a gain of 20% or 40% more production of goods and services. In the economic competition and race among countries, when even a 1 or 2% extra can mean victory, a production gain of 20 or 40% is a winner by a long shot. Question is, is Japan and its leaders and new PM, desperate enough to want and implement Change? Or more of the same?

5. If Japan wants to attempt my 7/7 Economy, here are some practical considerations. For example, since Japanese men still matter more than Japanese women, it is therefore better if the main jobholder, that is, the one working the main job 5 or 6 days a week, be mostly a man, with a woman filling in the 1 or 2 days when the main Man-jobholder is off. This will be the least disruptive of current work routine and habits, and therefore easiest for everybody. So, for 5 or 6 days a week, the job functions are exactly like now, so very little change/pain. Thus, only on the other 1 or 2 days would a woman take over the job, thereby acting much like a temp or part time worker. So, the first principle is for a Man to be mostly the main jobholder and a Woman be the temp or Filler for the day/s when the Man is off work.

6. So the first principle is: Man mostly main jobholder, Woman Filler.

7. Since the Woman may work at 2 or more Filler jobs, companies will require some protection from loss of privacy, secrecy and trade secrets if she is not working all her Filler jobs in the same company. Thus, some new Labour Laws will be needed in which a Filler may not work in the same industry as the other job/s she temps at. This is slightly unfair to the Woman because it prevents her from holding a substantive job on her own, or even as a Main Jobholder, although like any job/s, she may eventually get a Main Job for herself -- this is not precluded, neither by law nor practice. In fact, the 'apprenticeship' she gets experience in, like any apprenticeship and experience, can help her get a Main Job later, even if she starts her career as a Part Timer. Even though in Japan, like in most workplaces in every country, women are seldom promoted to substantive positions anyway, so this is mostly enshrining an already existing practice. Since many women stay at home after marriage, this system of Man mainjobholder and Woman filler can work to the advantage of women as a whole because it opens up a huge number of temp or part time jobs that would otherwise not be available. In fact, my 7/7 Economy creates an entirely new economic class, that of the Temp, Filler or Part Time worker. Also, by making Part Time jobs an established institution, bosses become more agreeable to hire part timers and this alone, will create many, many, part time jobs, not only for women, but also for some men who may not be able or want to hold, a fulltime job. Thus, the main effect of my 7/7 Economy is to promote Part Time Work as an established institution. This is important for flexibility in a modern economy where now and then, a recession may come along that retrenches many fulltime workers. Thus, an institution of Part Time Work creates a new flexibility for companies to re-organise to survive a recession or adverse business conditions. For example, companies may fire some part time staff to save costs if business is reduced or production needs to be trimmed. Or companies may fire some fulltime staff if they are too costly and rely on [presumably] cheaper part time staff. Part Time Work can save many companies from going under in adverse business conditions. In this way, Part Time Work strengthens an economy by giving bosses flexibility in work arrangements as well as 20% or 40% more productivity. This may be what Japan needs at the moment.

8. Unions in Japan must understand all this and agree to some changes in union contracts and agreements. For example, the clauses in a Part Time worker's contract will need to state that if a Part Timer is found to be working a Second or Third Job, etc, in the same industry, he or she may be sacked without compensation, etc. There needs to be sufficient punishment to deter Second Jobholders from working in the same industry as the First [Part Time] Job. In addition, employee benefits such as bonus, medical care, etc, will need to be studied and clauses worked out to the mutual benefits of both bosses and part timers. This is not difficult. For example, part timers can be given some extra allowance with which they buy their own medical care insurance, etc. [It is probably best for the employer/s to pay the medical insurance company direct, to ensure full and proper medical coverage]. Unions also need to study all these and propose and agree to, such clauses. In time, the govt can publish standard or template clauses as guide for employers, unions and workers. All these are not difficult or painful.

9. Even with this new system, women can continue, like now, to hold fulltime jobs. There is no change in this. However, what is created is a new class of Part Timers, mostly women, who can now find part time work to suit their needs, from working 1 or 2 days, to holding several part time jobs and thus work a full week.

10. The most important single result is FLEXIBILITY for both employers as well as workers. Flexibility can mean the company survive a recession better while for the workers, it can mean that if they are laid off, he or she can quickly and easily find 1 or more part time jobs to put food on the table. Inflexible company and work arrangements are often the main reasons why companies and workers suffer in recessions. Once you build in this flexibility, both companies and workers benefit. This is the way to go in the 21st Century. Good Luck!

11. In my original article, I wrote that to test my 7/7 Economy, an entire city may need to do this experiment. This probably frightened off any govt that might have been interested. I now consider this requirement to be most unwise. A single big company of about 1,000 employees would probably be enough. However, even getting a private company to try this experiment will be difficult. Fortunately, there is a good way to conduct this experiment quietly and without any profit/loss/inconvenience consequences to a private company and that is for one of Japan's 47 Prefecture Govts to try it first. Or it may even be the Mayoral govt of a big city. The number of employees required to try this would be a minimum of a few thousand employees. The experiment can be done slowly and quietly over a long time of many months before it is evaluated and published in reports. Since it is a Japan govt that is involved, no private companies are inconvenienced and the govt involved can try out many methods and observe as closely as it wants before it concludes whether the 7/7 Idea works or fails. This is probably best. If this first experiment is a success, then the national govt may want to be the first 7/7 Govt in the world, after which it can persuade a big company or several, in different industries, to try the experiment. By this time, the Japan Govt will have much experience and methodologies to guide the implementations in the private companies.

12. By this time, the Japan Govt will be able to formulate legislations relating to these Part Timers work and once these legislations are published, publicised and explained, companies will quickly see the benefits [as well as from the various Japan Govt experiences and maybe also from some famous private companies that have tried it] and adoption nationwide should then follow. However, there is no need for the entire country to adopt 100% this 7/7 Economy. The key is flexibility. Those companies who benefit most will automatically adopt it while those with constraints may not. It is all about flexibility. The govt only needs to make the legislations available. As simple as that. It need not push or promote this idea, except give some concessions and incentives if it really wants to push the idea [because of such advantageous side effects as reduced congestions on roads and public transport, etc, and to spread out the patronage of what used to be previously mostly 'weekend' recreation and leisure facilities].

13. Thus, simply legislate to make it possible. This will probably be the first fundamental change in the employer-employee relationship since the Industrial Revolution and maybe since Marx analysed this relationship. The employer-employee relationship is basically antagonistic, in which both sides try to gain maximum benefits while giving the other as few benefits and concessions as possible. With this Idea, employers can get the maximum out of, and thereby optimise/reduce, their fixed costs such as factory/office rentals and work assets such as machines and computers, thereby become 20% or 40% more productive, which, with multiplier effects, can double the economy; while the employees can choose a new lifestyle in which they are no longer wage-slaves to their employers but can work as much or as little as they like or want, thereby organising their work/s around their lifestyles instead of the other way round. Thus, for employees, for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, they can work to afford the lifestyle they want and not simply to be a wage-slave to their employer's needs and not their own. The capitalist gets his 20% or 40% increase in production while the employee can arrange his work/s around his lifestyle and not the other way round. Thus, both capitalists and Marx will approve. It is an Idea for the 21st Century. Good Luck!


NEW COMMUNES [written 7 Dec 2010; added 21 Jun 2011]

1. I believe that Capitalism is self-defeating and will eventually collapse and that the US, currently the most advanced capitalist economy and country, is collapsing. However, the US is collapsing not because the capitalism system cannot work indefinitely -- I believe it can -- but more because the VALUES and SOCIAL MORES created by capitalism are so bad, poisonous and parasitic that these values and social mores, once taken root in the country and have become widespread, kills off the host, that is, the country hosting the capitalism. So the more advanced the capitalism economy, the sooner it destroys its society and country, like what is happening in the US now.

2. Some reasons for this self destruction is that capitalism creates selfishness in individuals and companies and even politicians and govt. A society in which every man cares only for himself, fights hard only for his own selfish interests, every man for himself, survival of the fittest, you die your business -- must fail, given how complex modern societies are, where even a single misfit or aggrieved individual, or social outcast, can do big damage to the entire society.

3. The capitalist economy is brilliant for efficient production of goods and services, but quickly goes past being an efficient producer of basic and important goods and services to more and more esoteric and even frivolous goods and services, that is, all bells and whistles, until the advanced economy is producing literally worthless goods and services. For example, as I have pointed out, the US economy is 70% consumer spending, predicated on cheap oil so that any increase in the oil price will probably kill off the US economy, and an economy based on advertising-news-entertainment-esoteric-financial-services. This means that capitalism must be stopped once the economy has developed enough, otherwise the entire economy over-develops into more and more esoteric goods and services that are basically, not needed. All bells and whistles.

4. An industry begins, grows and ends up this way: First, someone has an idea, gets capital to develop his idea into a business, makes money, so others quickly also do the same, thereby creating a new industry. Soon, there are many competitors and Darwinian survival of the fittest, happens. With competition, companies struggle to make their goods and services better and different, so you end up, from the Ford Model T to the current SUV. In the latest industry, the computer industry, the industry developed from the very important and useful email, web browser and search engine [these latter 2 are what makes the internet possible] to social media like Facebook and Twitter. These new esoteric goods and services like Facebook and Twitter can make money and so are 'successes' in money terms, but these esoteric developments add little by way of service to society, just like SUVs do not transport passengers any better than a Corolla. Thus, all industries develop from basic usefulness to esoteric and exotic products that serve less and less useful needs. Do we really need an iPhone 4? This diatribe makes the point that, allowed freely to develop, capitalism develops goods and services far beyond what society really needs, into esoteric products serving frivolous and marginal whims. An advanced capitalistic economy produces mostly marginal goods and services. Thus, it is better that someone, some institution, or govt, actually brakes the development of every industry once it starts developing into fanciful, esoteric, marginal, levels. The US financial industry is probably another good example of overdevelopment. This posits the theory that capitalism should let its magic work to develop industries, to develop the goods and services needed by society, but to brake or even stop development once it becomes too esoteric, marginal and whimsical. This is probably impossible in capitalist democracies but may be possible in communist countries.

5. Having made the point, I hope, that capitalism, taken to its logical conclusion, is collapse, is communism any better? Communism, taken to extremes, has starved millions to death, produced feeble, weak and misdirected economies and impoverished peoples and society lacking even the basic necessities of life. However, those countries like China that have combined communism with capitalism, may do well. However, China is communist only in govt, while its economy is pretty capitalist. So, China has to brake any development of its capitalist economy once it knows [very difficult] that it is overdeveloping. Currently, China is producing the basics -- the washing machines, fridges, cars, houses, TVs, computers, etc, so seems quite a long way from overdevelopment. Note that overdevelopment can be imported or forced, in an open global economy, by others doing it first, so you also do it in order to be competitive. Few countries can shut off outside pressures but a govt like China's can probably do it better.

6. If China is still a long way from capitalist economy overdevelopment, but only its govt is communist, can China re-introduce some communism back into its society? To balance against the self-destructive Values and Social Mores of total selfishness that capitalism creates? In typical capitalist societies, the rich [the ones with capital] become richer and richer while the rest can remain very, very poor. This is glaringly true in the US and is also happening in China today. In the US, the rich capitalists have seized control of the political system, both political parties, even the govt and society, and have parasitically deformed and distorted govt and economy to serve their own selfish interests. In China, the govt is still intact, free from such deformation and distortion. However, the communist govt in China has lost its ideology of communism, since it has to run a capitalist economy. It is now communist only in name and power structure. So, this little essay is to try to re-introduce some communism back into China.

7. MAO Ze Dong rose to power and govt on the backs of the Chinese peasant, of whom there are about 800m. So, any effort to re-introduce communism back into China must work on these 800m mostly poor peasants, and certainly not the rich capitalists in Shanghai, who can take care of their own private jets. MAO and his communists created the Commune system, so maybe we can call this effort "New Commune".

8. The old commune grouped about 5,000 families, mostly in the countryside but there were also urban communes. Agricultural communes failed in their collectivisation attempts to farming so we may not succeed any better with a new attempt. However, since the scrapping of the old commune system in 1982, much has happened, so our New Commune can take a different form. The basic idea of the old commune was Sharing. Except that in those days, there was little to share, except land and some simple hand tools for farming. Our New Commune has much, much, more to Share. So, if Sharing is the basic principle of the commune, what can we share?

9. If we compare the old commune with our New Commune, the old commune had little to share except land and simple hand farming tools. Today, a typical home has a TV, radio, fridge, washing machine, computer, even car or van or truck. Thus, we have many opportunities to share. Suppose, instead of every home owning and operating its own fridge, washing machine, etc, we have collective ownership, that is, Sharing, like in the old communes? This can work, to improve the lives of all those in the new commune.

10. Just Sharing is important enough to be its own argument, and an antidote to capitalism's Selfish pursuit of individual interests. [Capitalism creates Individuals while Communism tries to create Societies, in smaller groups called Communes]. But if you need an economic, efficiency, financial, even ecological reason, I can supply them. For example, a washing machine can easily wash a dozen loads of clothes a day, without shortening its lifespan by much. Yet it is used only once a day in most homes. Thus, it is wasted for most of the day, for most of its life. Similarly, a car can be driven on the roads for a dozen hours a day but instead is parked at the office most of the day, and at home, most of the night, thus a huge waste of an expensive resource. Thus, by Sharing, almost every resource in the home can be better utilised. This means that our New Commune can share many Common Assets or Common Properties, which not only saves money but also create a Sharing Society and thus a better society than the Individualistic Society that capitalism creates. Sharing is a good antidote to capitalism's selfishness.

11. Suppose a New Commune of 5,000 families pools money to buy 200 cars. These cars can then be shared and be more fully utilised than the typical car now, which is used by only one family and in fact, usually used only by the father. Other Common Properties can be an electric drill, aluminium step ladder, desktop computer and printer, fax machine, even telephones -- both landline and cellphone, etc, etc. For practical reasons, these Common Assets should be conveniently and centrally stored and managed by a New Commune head or manager. For example, if the Commune cars are nearby, several housewives who are neighbours may do their grocery shopping together at the same time, so 3 or 4 housewives share one car, whereas now, a single housewife uses one car for herself. Thus, the old commune had little to share whereas now, there are many useful and important home appliances that can be jointly owned and shared.

12. In the cities, people are less likely to share because they are richer, can afford their own appliances, and the dense living makes people prefer to keep to themselves. In the countryside, the 800m poor peasants will find sharing very attractive. A point to note is that, currently, fridges and washing machines, etc, are all designed for single families, so initially, buying a fridge big enough for 3 families will only be slightly cheaper than buying 3 smaller fridges, but once capitalistic supply and demand happens, the big fridge for 3 families will be much cheaper than 3 small ones. For washing machines, etc, same principle. In terms of production, it uses less materials and labour and is far more efficient to manufacture 1 big fridge for 3 families than 3 small fridges. Same for washing machine, etc. Ecologically better, too,

13. Thus, sharing in a New Commune system creates better society values and social mores than the selfishness created by capitalistic systems. In China, the one child system may make these single kids lonely and maybe even distort their social development. By having New Communes in which neighbours share and jointly use Common Properties, the single child gets to meet and play with other single children, thus creating a better society. This bonding of neighbours is more important than the economic arguments for a New Commune. A country of One Child Families -- one child and 2 parents or even with 4 grandparents -- fragment society into very divided small society units. With Sharing, the social unit becomes much bigger than just a One Child Family. It becomes several families whose daily sharing and interactions build harmony and closeness. This makes it easier for mutual help, mutual caring and makes society stronger and more cohesive. When neighbours help each other, look out for each other, many, many good things also happen, such as reduced crime rates and better care for old, elderly or the very young children. All good and no bad, I believe. Thus, the New Commune can be a good basis for building a strong and cohesive society, and a much happier one, too. This New Commune or Sharing System can be a good basis for a 21st Century Communism.

14. Although Sharing is possible in the cities, too, our first aim are the 800m peasants in the countryside. If we can make countryside life more comfortable, fewer peasants will need to move to the overcrowded cities to find a better life. Here are some suggestions for Common Properties:


a large room or hall with a bathroom

with folding chairs and tables
with electric fans
with a flat panel tv of at least 40 inches
with a Nintendo Wii game console and games, Sony Playstation Move games, XBox 360 Kinect games
with radio
with xianggi, weiqi, mahjong and other games
with a small library of books and magazines for children and adults
with desktop computers, printer and internet access
with landline telephone and cellphone
with fax machine
with First Aid medical kit complete with antiseptic bandages and plasters and solutions
with some common over-the-counter medicines for flu, coughs, fever, pain, etc
with thermometers for measuring fevers
with blood pressure monitors, both manual and battery-operated
with weighing scale to measure body weight and a calculator for calculating Body Mass Index
with eye test chart pasted on a wall
with aluminium ladders, regularly checked for safety
with various stationary items such as paper, rulers, cutters, protractors, compasses and dividers, calculators, etc
with snacks and drinks from vending machines or just a pantry
with a kitchen for light cooking
with washing machines
with fridges
with fire extinguishers, regularly checked for proper functioning
with tool box containing electric drill, screwdrivers, measuring tape, etc
with agricultural hand tools like spades, shovels, hoes, etc

parked nearby, a car, regularly checked for tyre pressure, oil, battery, etc. These regular servicings and maintenance can be outsourced to an agent or company who can submit a bid or contract for an entire commune of 5,000 families

All these managed and supervised by a manager or village head, who can be chosen or elected by the 20-30 families.







Idea: Random thoughts on World Govt

Idea: Random thoughts on World Govt; 17 Oct 2008

1. Although it is possible to conceive and implement a World Govt from scratch, which has many advantages, given that humans are slow to change mindsets or embrace startlingly different ideas, proponents of a WG may need to build upon the current UN, just as the UN was based on the old League Of Nations. One advantage is that building from the UN allows use of many current UN agencies and procedures.

2. The US will try to take over the WG and thus achieve what they tried but could not as a big power, that is, turn every country into its control. Now even impossibler given that the US is now in terminal decline. So the WG may anoint as its first World President, a person from a small state that has no or few world domination ambitions.

3. A WG needs money so one way would be for it to issue the Fiat Currency, the W$ or World Dollar. Probably all oil trades would be in W$ to reinforce this as the universal currency. Then so would all other trades. For a while, individual currencies may remain as the respective medium of exchange and interchangeable into W$ but eventually, only the W$ would circulate, in every country. When this universal currency is established, no country would be able to stay out or opt out of the WG.

4. The WG should 'worldise', as in 'nationalise' as many of the global resources as possible. The easiest would be to worldise all the Earth's oceans. The current 200 mile exclusive economic zones may need to be abolished. Thus, any use of the oceans whether by ships transporting goods, fishing, mining, or oil and gas production, etc, would come under WG control. A WG tax may be levied for use of this global resource. All fishing boats would be licenced and taxed by the WG and licences would be distributed to all, even non-coastal or landlocked countries.

5. One justification for the WG would be that 'global problems require global solutions' which only a WG can do since single countries acting selfishly have glaringly failed. Among the global problems that WG is best able to tackle include ozone depletion, climate change, water insufficiency, clean energy, natural disaster help, human poverty, human diseases, pandemics, genocides, refugees, failed states, etc.

6. The air, atmosphere and near space may need to come under WG control as well, which can levy a tax on any use of the air and atmosphere by planes, space satellites, or air pollution.

7. Individual govts may need to pay a tax to the WG as well.

8. All supra-national agencies such as the World Bank, IMF, WTO, etc, would come under the WG, which will then establish the Rules for world trade and financing, etc. These may allow for more WG taxes.

9. All govts are ultimately based on force, so a WG must have a big standing armed forces to settle disputes. The soldiers can be drawn from various countries and trained. Having different nationalities of soldiers will make it easier to send in those nationalities soldiers who would not have a national interest or agenda to push. The Gurkhas would be a good start. A World Police is necessary to investigate crime, whether by individuals or govts, for prosecution.

10. Prosecution would be in World Courts, according to World Laws. Judges, prosecutors and juries would be drawn from all over the world's judges and lawyers. A World University will produce World Lawyers.

11. The World University will also produce graduates trained in global disciplines, such as World Laws, World Govt Studies, climate change, water issues, clean energy, oceans sustainability, pollution [since this transcends national boundaries], etc. This is better than the ad hoc, random studies done by disparate groups currently.

12. World Research Institutes would focus on global problems ignored by the advanced countries, such as Malaria, which still kills millions in poor countries. Also, WRI can develop better products, systems, procedures to alleviate poverty and wretched living conditions in poor countries.

13. The WG may need to be physically sited somewhere but not necessarily forever. It can move every decade or so to another continent, thus by its location, help to understand and focus on its region or continent. The WG needs this kind of perspectives to be effective and obeyed.

14. The World President would need to have a World Legislature to draft laws and debate issues. He or she will also need a Cabinet for implementing various functions.

15. The WG would need to have its own World Media, that is, TV, Radio, Internet, Newspapers, etc. This is to propagate its existence, its policies, its leading personalities, its works, etc. It should own its own satellites.

16. World Passports would be issued to its members and employees. This will be universally accepted.

17. World Citizens would be able to live and work everywhere. However, there may need to be some limits on the number any country has to take. Refugees without a country will be considered for WC.

18. There are already some failed states. The WG can take over some failed states to establish a territorial presence or even to site its headquarters or base its military or various agencies. It has money, so it can quickly build the buildings, roads, airports, telecommunications, etc.

19. Proponents of a WG can first spread the idea through a novel, movie, tv series and computer game. WG is an inherently dramatic concept and lends itself to many dramatic possibilities, from wars against rogue anti-WG states and insurgents, to strategic manoeuvrings and alliances between various country-groups, etc.

20. For the last few decades, the main obstacle to a better, more effective UN was the US. The US, President after President, saw no need for a stronger UN because that would hinder the unfettered action of America upon the world. So it single-handedly prevented the UN developing into a more effective world body that could truly develop 'global solutions for global problems'. Today, America is beginning to realise that it has severe limitations disproportionate to its ambitions; that it no longer calls the shots. It now has to choose whether to recognise and acknowledge its limitations and cede power to a WG and then try to use that WG to attain some of its cherished world objectives -- OR FACE 1 OR MORE RISING POWERS WHO WOULD TOTALLY ACT AGAINST ITS VERY SURVIVAL AND INTERESTS. Thus, American support for a WG is in its mid and long term interests. Either it transfers power and authority to a neutral WG over which it has some influence, or totally lose all influence when push comes to shove and a new Coalition of the Willing Anti-American Powers coalesce to undermine its very existence, as all top dogs are reduced by former under dogs. Here is an insightful article that lays out the facts and the dwindling options that America now faces :







19 June 2008


1. An Iconoclass is an iconoclast who does it with class. This essay is an expanded version of a comment I penned in The Online Citizen 2 days ago on January 15, 2008 at 6:10 pm as Comment 22 in in which I first publicly penned thoughts I had recently conceived. Thoughts that are a sudden realisation of something I had skimmed recently, probably a UN Report on Cities and its mention that many/most? people are now living in cities. The sudden realisation was that this fact, that many/most of humanity are now living in cities, must be because of the many advantages/efficiencies of city life versus suburban or countryside life. This instantly crystallised the thoughts that Singapore's -- and Hongkong's as well as other similar cities' -- economic progress owe much to the efficiencies of CITIFICATION and HIGH DENSITY LIVING. AS WELL AS TINYNESS. These latter thoughts are not new and I have had them for some time, maybe even a year or more, and have exampled them in the closeness of bus stops in Singapore -- and Hongkong, etc -- where buses can come far more frequently than in Less Dense Cities. There, future historians can now trace these ideas that follow in this essay.

2. We all know vaguely that cities, especially very dense cities, offer higher efficiencies and therefore a higher quality of life. For example, to reprise my Bus Stop examples, bus stops in Singapore -- and Hongkong, etc, can be sited less than 1 km apart and buses come frequently, even 5 minutes apart, and it can all be still profitable. Thus, high density = high efficiency = high quality of life. The 3 HIGHs Theory. Another example; in dense cities, you can find everything nearby, from cardiologists and toe transplant surgeons to shops selling pet chihuahuas. If you un-migrate from the city to the suburb or countryside, you will instantly suffer loss of or unreliable cellphone signal reception as well as a host of other inefficiencies and inconveniences from sparse petrol stations to lack of Chinese restaurants. Thus, I don't need to labour the point further.

3. Given that cities are automatically far more efficient than suburbs or countrysides, we can now examine Singapore, Hongkong and similars. Singapore and Hongkong are among the densest cities in the world and renowned for their efficiencies and high quality of life. The S$3.7++ million dollar question is then, "Are these the achievements of their govts or simply the inevitable effects of simple economic laws such as supply and demand, low costs of logistics, the efficiencies of tinyness where a deliveryman and his van/truck can do a dozen trade deliveries a day compared with say, having to drive 50-100 km to each delivery point and hence only making 2-3 deliveries a day. In shopping [very important for economics and quality of life, since life and economics revolve around buying and consuming], a Best Denki or Challenger electronics store can revenue even S$1 million a day and hence can afford to display lavish displays of laptops and flat panel TVs for shoppers to try and experience, etc. A Giant hypermarket need only be a km or 2 away and offer a vast cornucopia of products you can never try them all even in a lifetime.

4. Thus, the unending PAPaganda of Good News and Even More Triumphs of LIE KY LHL PAP and its controlled, fawning, worshipful, media must be countered with the understanding that almost all of Singapore's -- and for that matter, Hongkong's, etc, economic achievements ARE DUE TO CITIFICATION, TINYNESS AND ULTRA HIGH DENSITY OF POPULATION. In fact, I will proffer that even China's astounding economic progress over the last few decades, is largely due to Density. Of course, being Chinese, with all the usual, typical, Chinese characteristics and cultural values, etc, also help but it is probably Density that explains everything. Realising and proving this is important because it offers lessons for the rest of humanity and the world. An indication of my theory as expressed in China is the fact that almost all of China's economic juggernaut progress is in the Dense Cities and not the suburb or countryside. Point proven? Probably.

5. The fact that Hongkong never had a LIE KY -- or China, or Taiwan [among world's 20 biggest economies], for that matter, proves conclusively that LIE KY is not the reason for Singapore's progress. Singapore would have made similar progress under LIM Chin Siong, if he had not been treacherously supplanted by LIE KY in a secret deal with then British PM Harold MacMillan, to serve British interests in return for the arrest, jailing and political elimination of LIM without charge or trial under the ISA. LIE KY's treacherous nature also saw him collaborating with the Japanese during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore in WW2, when other young Singaporeans were going into the jungles to fight and resist the Japanese.

6. However, although with some research, I could probably draw many other cities and countries as examples of my theory, I consider it proven, even with these limited, unacademic examples. I would like to finish by comparing Hongkong's progress with Singapore's, since they are almost as identical as twins. At first glance, Singapore and Hongkong's economies seem comparable, with Singapore slightly ahead [2006 estimates of Nominal Per Capita GDP puts Singapore slightly ahead at 21st spot with US$34,152 against Hongkong's 27th spot with US$29,149] but these figures OVERSTATE for Singapore due to LIE KY LHL PAP incessant manipulation and falsification of statistics so the Cabinet can pay themselves bigger million-dollar 'Performance Bonuses', since these bonuses are directly correlated to GDP! while the Hongkong Govt gains nothing from exaggerating GDP numbers and so doesn't lie about it like LIE KY LHL PAP.

7. In fact, I believe that Hongkong's GDP is grossly UNDERSTATED and exceeds by far that of Singapore's. For example, prior to around 1978, Hongkong was the biggest toy maker in the world and every kid in the world had at least 1 water pistol or model car Made In Hongkong. After Deng Xiao Ping opened the adjoining Shenzhen SEZ around 1978, Hongkong's toy industry disappeared. Relocated to nextdoor Shenzhen. Thus, although official statistics would seem that Hongkong today has little or no toy [and other] manufacturing industries, THESE STATISTICS ARE CAPTURED AS CHINA [SHENZHEN] PRODUCTION EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE OWNED AND DRIVEN BY HONGKONGERS. Hongkong has no manufacturing? Only services, mostly financial? That is erroneous. To correct this, economists should include most of Shenzhen's economic output to Hongkong, not China. Worse, Hongkongers, having conquered Shenzhen, went on to other parts of China, especially Shanghai and Beijing, not just in toy manufacturing but also a vast outpouring of goods and services industries. Hongkong businessmen are so brilliant they dance circles around the Singaporean, whose Chineseness and business acumen and native ingenuity have been distorted by LIE KY into obedient, even STUPID, fearful, cowed sheep who cannot think, let alone solve problems or start and run businesses. Every Dictator produces stupid people and since LIE KY is an Absolute Dictator, the most powerful in history over his people, naturally the Singaporean is now very, very stupid. The GLCs' dominance and deliberate elimination of small businesses so as to reduce the ranks of financially independent [and hence politically independent] Singaporeans to render all subservient to LIE KY also deleted the business genes from Singaporeans.

8. Thus, there are several lessons for humanity here. High density living = high efficiencies = high quality living. Town planners and architects, please note. Cities offer better lives than suburbs or countrysides. Hongkong is what a truly free and open society and economy can achieve in quality living as well as GDP, trumping Singapore by far in everything. LIE KY LHL PAP are stupid and cheats, not only cheating in elections but also true GDP figures and other statistics. Overpaid, incompetent, cheats. I rest my case.


Recommended Reading :


Recent 500-page brilliant, extensively-researched book, “Lion Without Teeth” that proves that everything most people, especially foreigners, know about Singapore and LIE KY are carefully planted and fabricated LIES.