Thursday, September 24, 2015

Inflation is down by 0.8%

These are the Singapore inflation rates for 2015:
January: -0.4%
February: -0.3%
March: -0.3%
April: -0.5%
May: -0.4%
June: -0.3%
July: -0.4%
August: -0.8%

For the month of August, both Education & Food rose by 3.7% and 1.9% respectively year on year. Inflation has been trending up month on month, most noticeably on Housing & Utilities, but inflation is negative most probably due to the high base last year.

I am still of view that US is going to slowly raise their rates at least once this year so we might be in a state where inflation is low, but interest rates are ticking up.

Visit Rhinestic's Knick Knacks @ Etsy for handmade goods and supplies!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Don't complain when you are not recognized at work

I thought that I should write a short note on the outcome of the recent general election results. Let's stop harping on what happened previously and look forward to the future since the election is over.

However, some Singaporeans have lost their right to complain that they are not recognized at work because some of them voted out a member of parliament that was working full time on their issues, unlike most of the other members. If you don't recognize the hard work that your mp put in, don't expect others to recognize what you did. That's the precedent that you have set for yourself. 

I worry for our future. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

What I have not yet heard so far

I have been very busy for the past few years so I have not got much time to blog about issues close to my heart. Looking at the current election rallies, I think some of the points have not yet been brought up, which I find important for us to move forward. 

First and foremost, the focus on GDP. Just google around and you will realize that there are many papers written about the focus on GDP does not necessarily translate to benefits for the citizens. In my opinion, this is especially true for us. Why?

First, our workforce. Most of our workforce are foreigners coming in. They don't have roots here. Some do not have families here. What do they do? Send most of their money back to their own country. What is the effect? No downstream effect to the rest of the businesses that usually flourish due to more disposal income. Evidence? Franc franc, borders, provision shops. All of them are leaving or closing. Why? Think about it. 

Next is the over focus on what I term as elitism education. Why do I say that? Let's go back to the basics. Do you learn how to build a wooden chair by reading the theories, going to exams and getting an A? Ask all the graduates of our universities on their practical experience. Look at all the highly paid CEOs , permanent secretaries of our statutory boards and ministries. How many have practical experience in the domain of which they are supposed to lead in strategy and direction? Is running a business all about money? Did Microsoft and Apple get to where they are because of the bottom line?

Last but not least, the unfair advantage of foreign companies in Singapore. Yes. You heard me right. In other countries, local companies usually have the home advantage but not here! I am not even going to cite examples because if you are in the SME, you will know this issue very well. You have foreign companies bringing in cheap labour from other countries to be based in Singapore due to some unknown pacts that were signed by our government. These people come for the short term, earn little from our perspective because their standard of living is not as high as Singapore, and go back. Quality may be questionable too. How do SMEs compete against such unfair advantage? The worst part is that this unfair advantage is totally supported by the government. Our standard of living is very high so there are expectations of a higher salary. We have families here and houses to pay for. When we try to hire foreign workers we get slapped by a high ratio quota. Coupled with the fact that we  may sometimes face an entitlement issue with local workers who sometimes don't even have any shred of practical experience and yet ask for high pay, how can local companies compete and most importantly, innovate?

I leave it as that for anyone who bother to read this to ponder on it. It's not like we don't have money. We are making money but yet, we only spend 50% of what we earn on ourselves. As I recall, I don't think we are a listed company. Even then, look at Amazon. They plough their profits back to r&d to improve and innovate. 

What are we doing? A case of scrounge mcduck?

Let's step back and think about what we want for the country. We are unique in the sense because all we have is human capital. If we don't invest in ourselves and be happy, how do we move forward?

Something to think about. I have reached my mrt stop. Another day of meetings.  

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fill in excel form to register with MFA?

I've been repeatedly seeing the MFA encouraging Singaporeans in Bangkok to register with MFA. However, does MFA realized that their eregister system is not yet functional and the webpage only ask the person to fill in a complicated excel file and email to an email address? Who will bring a laptop overseas so that they can fill in the excel form? Shouldn't they provide an easier way to do it for this situation???

Friday, August 7, 2015

Lack of creativity and collaboration

Just read a Bloomberg article that pretty sums up the major issues that Singapore faces today, most importantly, the education system which is going down the wrong direction for a long time with its obsession in theory tests, which is in reality useless in the working world. 

Below is a snippet of the Bloomberg article: 
The rapid buildup in the immigrant population, from 5 percent in 1980 to 29 percent in 2014, has spurred a fierce backlash. Rising living standards have led to plunging fertility rates and longer lifespans: Singapore is now one of the fastest-aging societies in the world. The emphasis on big multinationals and government-linked companies has held back the development of small and middle-sized enterprises. In education, standards are world-class -- except when it comes to creativity and collaboration.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Government really pro small businesses?

The Singapore government has always highlighted that they are pro small businesses, helping SMEs but is that really felt on the ground? The key issue for small businesses is always about cash flow, where you may get lots of deals but unable to get any cash because of the constant changes in requirements or because of outside competition from other countries who are not affected by the manpower quota and can charge much cheaper than Singapore based countries. 

In the United States, very often quoted as a hub of innovation, has bills that allow banks to make loans to qualifying small businesses, and the agency in-charge guarantees them, allowing lower interest rates and companies with short credit histories to obtain capital.

That is something that is missing over here. Is it because we have policy makers who have no idea the issues that the SMEs really feel on the ground?

Visit Rhinestic's Knick Knacks @ Etsy for handmade goods and supplies!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Inflation is down by 0.3%

These are the Singapore inflation rates for 2015:
January: -0.4%
February: -0.3%
March: -0.3%
April: -0.5%
May: -0.4%
June: -0.3%

For the month of June, both Education & Food rose by 3.1% and 2% respectively year on year. Inflation has been quite stable compared to previous month but it is slowly ticking up as mentioned previously. The trend will continue, bearing any external shocks.

However, US is going to slowly raise their rates so we might be in a state where inflation is low, but interest rates are ticking up.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Result of withdrawing bus routes parallel to train routes

What does the recent breakdown of the North South Line and the East West Line tell us? It was a wrong call to withdraw bus routes that duplicate the train routes. When the line is down, there is absolutely no way that a person can get home and all the buses deployed is of no use because there are just too many people stranded at the same time. 

Don't go comparing with other countries having train breakdowns because I know for the fact that at least one of the countries, Japan, has parallel train routes and their railway is designed in such a manner that they can bypass certain stations if need to. 

Immediate need is to reinstate bus routes that run parallel to the train routes. That would also incentivized the train operators in doing preventive maintenance properly, not corrective maintenance. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Reap what you sow

For those who were quick to criticize about the Amos Yee issue, just remember one thing. It was his choice to be remanded. 

Amos Yee had previously rejected the option of probation and a term in the Reformative Training Centre as a sentence, sticking to his original plea for a jail term.

Be objective in your criticism.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Inflation is down 0.4%

These are the Singapore inflation rates for 2015:
January: -0.4%
February: -0.3%
March: -0.3%
April: -0.5%
May: -0.4%

Apologies as I was quite busy the past few months, so much that I forgot that I have not yet posted last month's inflation rates. For the month of May, both Food & Education rose by 1.8% and 3.1% respectively year on year. Transport inflation was surprisingly trending higher, even though inflation seems to be tame in many parts of the world.

As mentioned, Transport inflation has trended higher but surprisingly, housing & utilities inflation is trending lower than usual. Inflation is slowly ticking up but looking at the inflation trend, it seems that it is still on a downward trend.

Inflation is going to be negatively impacted this year. We have not yet have any months with positive inflation so far, so we might be having near 0 experience
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...