Thursday, August 30, 2012

Budget Terminal - What a waste of public funds

Changi Airport opened in 1981, and it made Singaporeans proud.

When Terminal 2 was built in 1991, it was a marvel

However, when budget terminal was built, and subsequently, terminal 3, many people simply questioned, with terminal 1 and 2 not running even close to full capacity, are the 2 new terminals necessary?

Trying to justify with the government's aim to grow tourism, the new airport terminals were simply built, whether the the public disagrees or not.

Terminal 3 was underutilized, and budget terminal flight could totally fit in the still available Terminal 2, however with Terminal 1 under renovations, more flights were going to Terminal 2 and 3.

Still, the budget terminal seemed like a very stupid place to fly from. Airport tax is unbelievably high, walking up and down the plane and saving a few dollars just does not make much sense. Jetstar in fact was flying out of Terminal 2, and I would pay $50 more to fly from Terminal 2 rather than Budget Terminal.

It is sad that after all that construction, and $$$ spent, Budget Terminal is going to be closed, and Terminal 4 will be in its place. I can be certain that pretty much, a lot of the structure will be torn down, making it a big waste of funds, not to mention, very bad for the environment.

-- Iron Bowl

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The elite pledge

Is your average income of your family more than US$56k a year? (Family of 4, US$224k annually) If you are, you may consider yourself an elite. -- Iron bowl

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Phua Cheebye

Hokkien lesson: "Phua Cheebye" If you don't know the meaning, read the following article Vagina Ripped Apart by Water Fountain If you curse someone enough, she will get this. -- Iron bowl

Sunday, August 26, 2012

#1 GDP but no buying power?

I'm talking about Singapore, the country that has an excuse for everything.



Singapore imported trees and placed them in air-conditioned domes.

Singapore will have any excuse for killing wildboars which has their natural habitats threatened. "NParks steps up efforts to manage wild boar nuisance" And yes, and Mr Wong, Director of Conservation at NParks said: "In the past, if you come to Lower Peirce, you may spot a mousedeer six or seven times out of 10 times. But now, it's very rare to spot a mousedeer. And we believe this is due to the presence of wild boars affecting the habitat and scaring away the mousedeer."

The recent news that Singapore is #1 again, and is now the richest nation in the world seemed to not really thrill the citizens. In fact, it seemed to have done the opposite.

Locals unhappy with ‘World’s Richest’ tag

Uber-wealthy class of people

According to the Wealth Report, Singapore will see a 67 percent increase in centa-millionaires over the next four years – an uber-wealthy class of people with over 100 million dollars in disposable income. The Boston Consulting Group’s 2012 global wealth report, released in June, said that Singapore had the highest percentage of millionaire households in the world.

It is very clear that the average Singapore, (The majority of them) do not earn anywhere close to the average in Norway, US or most Western European countries, however, bring #1 GDP, the uber wealthy is clearly skewing the numbers.

There are many people with structural unemployment or underemployment. I have a lot of friends who have college degrees, and do not have a proper job, even enough for them to pay taxes. (under S$20,000) a year.

I've spoken to several old people collecting newspapers and cardboards, cans and other recyclables. They are above the age of 70, and have to work because the state does not give handouts, and the local businesses do not really give any opportunities.

The number of US$56k per capita, which for a family of 4, may mean that an average family makes US$224k a year, is incredibly skewed. Just look and ask an average Singaporean you see, does his family earn US$224k a year?

In the past 10 years, gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 83.3 per cent, whereas median household income grew only 21.9 per cent in real terms. The bulk of growth went to corporate profits and the income of high earners. About 42 per cent of Singapore's GDP goes to wages here, which is one of the lowest such shares in the world. The rest goes to corporate profits, interest and dividends.

With the large influx of foreigners, mainly the low paying kind, (to be "competitive") salaries remain depressed, not only for retail, F&B and many other jobs which businesses claimed, "Singaporeans" are not interested to take up the job, you can find foreigners as programmers, managers, and many other jobs you can think of, including lawyers, doctors and bankers.

High GDP, Low Buying Power.

Domestic purchasing power: ... To add insult to the injury, Malaysians living in Kuala Lumpur have higher domestic purchasing power than Singaporeans in both years though our diplomats had decried them as being governed by ‘incompetent’ politicians!

Cost of living: ... In 2006, Singapore is ranked the 32th most expensive city in the world after Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo in Asia. Its ranking shot up to 11th in 2010 and Singapore is now the second most expensive city in Asia after Tokyo...

Selling "Organic" and Green products in Singapore, you get to feel that most Singaporeans do not have buying power. People look out for sales, offers and deals more than anything else, but if its for something they cannot brag about, they would spend less.

Like my friend complains, people will spend $3 on lunch and buy $5 for a cup of Starbucks.

Another thing that is disturbing is the data from Temasek Holdings. People have the right to know and there is a lack of transparency, even though most of the funds are sovereign funds which belong to the people.

This article is a good read. Temasek and Singapore Puzzle – Is it another Madoff crisis in making?

So where do you think the country is heading, and just food for thought,

Q) If you fund a company which owns all the properties in your neighbourhood, they have enough funds to create monopoly and set their own rents causing everything to be more expensive while earning record profits, will that benefit you at all if you do not get any parts of the profits or dividends from the company you fund?

-- Iron Bowl

Friday, August 10, 2012

Xenophobeer

Made in Singapore, by Singaporeans, for Singaporeans.

Not made by aliens. (Xenos)

100% refreshing, 100% real, 39.9% like it.


-- Iron Bowl

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Sports Perspective - Foreign Talents


Olympic games, a time where people unite together to support their countrymen in sports. This is true for most countries, and in Malaysia, the whole nation seemed to be behind Lee Chong Wei, regardless of race, language or religion. Everyone feels for Chong Wei as he battles with an ankle injury and battles the World #1 and seemed dignified as he clinches the silver medal with his tough battle, finally losing in a close game.

In Singapore, Feng Tian Wei won the bronze medal, and many Singaporeans are not proud of her achievements.

Now in the news, the government feels it is important to justify the Foreign Sports Talent Scheme.

In 2008, According to figures mentioned before the House, 54 foreign-born athletes have since become Singaporeans.
But only 37 of them are still in active training. Table tennis player Zhang Xueling, badminton's Xiao Luxi - both from China - and Brazilian footballer Egmar Goncalves are among those who have packed up and returned to their native homelands.
The 30 per cent drop-out rate prompted Nominated MP Jessie Phua to say in Parliament on Wednesday: 'It is certainly not a case of a few bad apples.

What exactly has changed after 1 General election which has seen PAP's popularity dropped to 60.1%. An all time low even with twice the amount of population in 2011 compared to the year 2000. (And yes, not all of them were born in the 10 years or so)

'What's important is also the legacy they leave behind, whether these stars can transfer their expertise and inspire our home-grown youngsters.'
The big question is, are local players even allowed to play in a sport dominated by mercenaries.
There are many FTs in all the other sports, but what have they shown after all the money spent on them, shouldn't the money be spent by sending top local talents overseas for training (if necessary)
After so many years, have FTs inspired any local players, or have they totally replaced our locals in the top sports events -- the London Olympics 2012?

-- Iron Bowl

Friday, August 03, 2012

Olympics 2012

Does population play a part in winning medals?
One might argue that China is leading because of its population size. But for New Zealand, they have 3 gold medals now.
Did they have to buy athletes? I guess not. Will the Olympics bring their nation closer to celebrate the medals? I guess so.
Now are Singaporeans proud of their success? We can just go online to find out. -- Iron Bowl