Friday, February 27, 2009

Lee Kuan Yew's opinion on the current economic crisis

Lee Kuan Yew(李光耀). A strong man in Singapore. A well known smart and respectable politician in the world. He has gone through the upheaval era back in the 20th century. His voice is always not to be missed by any leaders in this world.

Here is his statement adapted from www.news.gov.sg:

SPEECH BY MR LEE KUAN YEW, MINISTER MENTOR, AT THE TANJONG PAGAR CHINESE NEW YEAR DINNER , 06 FEBRUARY 2009, 8:20 PM AT HENDERSON SECONDARY SCHOOL

2009 WILL TEST THE CHARACTER OF SINGAPOREANS

2009 will test the mettle, the strength of character, of Singaporeans. The PM and Finance Minister have described this worldwide financial crisis that has reached us. This is the first time that all banking systems in all countries are concurrently facing a credit crunch. They have lost confidence in themselves, in their fellow banks and other financial institutions, and even in their customers. US and EU banks have been brought down by complex derivative securities, now called “toxic assets” because they may be worthless.

In 9 months, we will know how President Obama’s economic and financial plans are doing. We will have an indication of when America’s economy will bottom out and start to grow again. With luck, it could be by the end of 2009 or in early 2010. However, many leading American economists contend that spending this huge sum of money, they may still not succeed in kick-starting the economy. Some argue that prices in the mortgaged housing sector must hit bottom and recover before confidence will return. When they do, banks and financial institutions worldwide will be more confident.

The outcome of America’s economic and financial policies will affect the EU, China and Japan, because the US is their major export market. By the end of the year, we will know where the US economy is heading. The “Resilience Package” may have to be updated.

Our external trade is more than three times our GDP. Therefore, the level of international trade is a decisive factor for our economy. Indeed, in this globalised economy, no country - not the US nor the EU, nor Japan, nor Singapore - can single-handedly decide its economic performance.

Big countries like China and India can still make substantial 6 to 8% growth despite this meltdown. They have giant domestic markets and can spend to meet their large infrastructural needs. But China’s GDP is only one-quarter, and India’s less than one-tenth that of America’s. We may get some spin-offs from their growth, but they cannot lift us like a US recovery.

Singaporeans and their government are not in panic. We have got the wherewithal to survive this recession, even if it goes on for several years. We knew such a recession must come from time to time. It is in the nature of the free markets of the western world that our economy is plugged into. People and systems tend to be carried away by exuberance. Investors get greedy and rush in to buy, believing that prices will only go up. When prices collapse, investors find they have lost huge sums. Despair and depression then set in.

Everyone in the world is poorer. US$7 trillion has been wiped off the world’s stock markets. According to a BBC report from Davos, the world’s assets (stocks, properties, pensions, gold, jewellery, etc) have lost 40% of their value. Rupert Murdoch speaking at Davos said personal wealth in the world has fallen by US$50 trillion. Forbes estimated that in Hong Kong, the 40 richest billionaires and millionaires have lost half their combined wealth. Property values have gone down in every country, so have profits for companies and wages for workers. In Singapore, our SGX market capitalisation lost half of its value last year. Properties at the high end, residential and commercial have gone down. However, HDB prices have held up because many are downgrading from private condominiums to purchase HDB flats.

Everyone’s wealth has shrunk as our assets have lost value. But if you have not borrowed excessively to buy assets and have sufficient cash to service your loans, you can hold on to your investments until the market turns up and prices recover.

Singaporeans need not despair or be depressed. We will have to endure some hardship. But nobody will be destitute, depending on soup kitchens or begging in the streets. Everyone has a home, 95% of Singaporeans are home-owners. They will receive U-save rebates and S&C subsidies, GST credits, Workfare Income Supplements and other forms of assistance. Most importantly, the government has launched the Jobs Credit Scheme to save jobs for Singaporeans by giving employers a maximum grant of $300 per month for each Singaporean worker. These measures will help Singaporeans meet their basic living expenses and defray their utility bills and conservancy charges. Support is tilted towards the lower income families in the two and three-room flats, and also the middle-income in four and five-room flats.

Some professionals have written to the newspapers that we are ignoring those in the private condominiums and landed properties. The government has not overlooked them. They are getting income tax and property rebates, and GST credits. But it is right that the low income groups should get more help, as they are in greater need.

Ministers and senior civil servants are taking pay cuts of up to 20% as the economy has slowed down substantially. Middle and lower-ranking public officers would also receive lower salaries, but with smaller reductions. It is to share the belt tightening that other Singaporeans have to bear in this difficult period.

Most of what we consume is imported. We do not grow our food, nor manufacture the goods we buy. Whatever we do, retailers will find customers more cautious, because they are preparing for what could be a longish period of negative or little growth. Retailers, like other companies, will get up to $300 per month for each Singaporean employee through the Jobs Credit Scheme, and should also benefit from the 40% property tax rebate, which is the least that landlords should pass on to tenants. Along Orchard Road and many other shopping centres, tents have been put up next to shopping malls for the mall tenants and others to sell their wares to passers-by at lower prices. The market will adjust. This experience will be remembered by everyone, especially by all those who were born after 1971. After 1971 and the oil crisis which caused oil prices to quadruple, our economy has grown steadily year after year. So this generation may believe that Singapore and Singaporeans will automatically go up the escalator every year. This is not so.

In testing times, we must have the guts to face our problems, maintain solidarity and work together, learn new skills and knowledge through the SPUR programme that the government has launched. We will overcome our present difficulties and emerge stronger from the experience. We will get fresh investments again, higher value investments that will employ more workers who are better-skilled and more knowledgeable. Our standing with investors worldwide is high. They know we are restructuring and that we will pay for our workers to be trained by them, and by other institutes, under the SPUR programme to match the skilled workers that they need. We should take this opportunity to go for training and upgrade ourselves for these higher value-added jobs.

Singapore’s security, stability, reliability and good labour relations are well known. Whatever your job, you are better off in Singapore than if you are in a similar job in any other Asian country, including China and India. The only country where job for job, you can be better off, is in Japan. The Japanese have huge reserves, top class infrastructure and a highly skilled, industrious and knowledgeable workforce.

Do not be discouraged by the present hard times. I am confident the younger generation of Singaporeans have the grit, stamina and resourcefulness to bounce back.

My generation of Singaporeans will never forget the 1960s and early ‘70s when we had only $100 million in our reserves. We faced separation from our then economic hinterland, Malaysia, and “Konfrontasi” and no trade with Indonesia. That generation kept their nerve and were determined to succeed. Your parents’ and grandparents’ generations had hard lives in shanty huts with no running water or modern w.c, not knowing what the future could bring. They simply concentrated on hard work and built the foundation for the Singapore of the 21st century.

We will go through with restructuring our economy. And retrain and educate our workers to higher levels of skills and knowledge. When recovery comes in the US and EU as it must, we will be ready for a higher level of economic activity.

Your generation can take Singapore forward to become one of Asia’s most vibrant and beautiful cities. We will have a spectacular marina in the Central Business District; the island will have many beautiful streams and water bodies; our housing estates will be clad in exuberant foliage and ringed by gardens, recreational and sporting facilities. This is not a pie in the sky. It will be realised in the next 5 to 10 years, even with the current financial crisis.

The success of Singapore came from the hard work, resourcefulness and ingenuity of your forefathers and their leaders. You are the descendants of these lion-hearted pioneers. You have it in you to succeed. Joining you are hardworking and talented new emigrants from Asean, India and China. Together we can make the grade.

His statement is basically practical. You can see that he is very much concerned on the benefits of all Singaporean regardless of the races. That is the mindset of what a true nation leader must possess.

To our Malaysian leader. Please do not neglect the fact that Malaysians consists of different races. When you speak for Malaysians. You actually speak for all races. Is not it great that you represent all Malaysians rather than just one single group of Malaysians?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

亚洲各国节节败退!

2008年第四季度坏消息频仍:

中国 - GDP增长了6。8%

台湾 - GDP下降了8。6%

香港 - GDP萎缩了2。5%

新加坡 - GDP也下滑了12。5%



触目惊心!大中华区域经济体都遭到重创!中国看起来没事但不知能熬多久。

马来西亚方面,据称即将宣布去年最后一季国内生产总值,情况不容乐观。

可想而知,美欧日都完蛋时,亚洲各国无一幸免,甚至可能跌得更重!

世界的钱如果都象中国日本那样购买已成垃圾的美国国债,丢进无底洞的话,最后伤得更重的人是自己,名副其实帮倒忙!

世界经济,呜呼哀哉!

世界性的战争将不远了。

Blood pact between monarchy and race!!!

It is really unhealthy when a group of people say "if you do not respect the my kings, it means you do not respect us too!"

Come on?! Let us not talk about whether monarchy system shall be reformed or shall even be abandoned first. If the people accept monarchy, it means the kings belong to the people, the whole country, but not only a certain group of people. Here, why do these people try to relate the monarchy system with their own dignity? Are they trying to say, people who do no belong to their group do not have the right to share the honor of having the same kings?

Well, you do not want "your kings to be my kings".

"You do not have a king, you are at your own. They are my kings."

Are not this ridiculous? Can they please rock their mind? Can they please don't make such a stupid statement?

Please, everyone is a Malaysian here. Whatever belong to Malaysia is open to every Malaysians! In the above case, the kings belong to the whole Malaysians. The kings are ruling every Malaysians! Can you say besides your race, the other races do not serve the same king? Please drop this kind of illogical yet ridiculous theory today!

Every race has contributed to Malaysia today. Even tough there is a problem with racial integration. However we are considered to be lucky to have enjoyed what we have now!

The Malay Peninsular used to be one of the most prosperous countries in Asia back in the 50's and 60's. After that we were caught up by Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore! Imagine, our people here used to spend big buck in these 4 areas!

Think about it. What happen to us today? As a Malaysian, we should really work something out to help the nation to move forward. My thinking is, think all of us as 'Malaysian' instead of race first, then our mindset will be different when making all kinds of policy to run the country!

Try it, esp. those who do not agree with me. You must try it then you will see the result. Trust me. We all want a good, prosperous and strong Malaysia. With capable leaders, everyone of us will live a good life here. When you have a good life, the skin color, the religion and the race of the leaders are not important anymore.

閱讀黃潔媚小姐布羅閣文章有感

读了黄洁媚小姐部落格的一篇有关华人被卖猪仔历史的文章,写了些感受如下。

我们的祖先(马来西亚华人)飘洋过海惨被人当猪仔卖到这里(当然,不是全部),在争取独立的过程中做出巨大贡献,到头来还是有人认为我们掠夺了他们的财富!

资源没有好好开发,哪来的财富?哪来的繁荣?哪来的大蛋糕为坐享其成者来享用?

马来西亚在近百年来大部分的繁荣景象都是由华裔的商业活动所带来的,谁能否定这一切?没有华商,马国又会怎样度过一次又一次的经济难关?

我希望偏激的种族主义者能仔细考虑这点,不要为了哗众取宠而来这一套,例如“寄居论”。

黄小姐的大作常在独立专栏出现,我深感欣慰,竟有这么一位年青美女关注社会课题!!!而且拥有很棒地写作功力,以至于拥有专栏,真是青山代有人才出!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

推广华文之路错了?

马来西亚推广华文之路错了?

今早在南洋商报看到了君的文章。他说到沈慕羽老先生“白璧微瑕”,穷其一生为实现华文教育“大三通”而奋斗,可惜对社会的效果甚微,引为沈老先生走错了路。

他以自己在马六甲求学的经验为例。他与同学要找一个华文书店或华文公共图书馆都很困难。这说明如果社会没有华文兴盛的风气,那么华校学生将“英雄无用武之地”,这对华文教育前景不利,始终需要自愿人士来苦苦经营,力保不失!

说得对。如社会没使用华文的风气,受到在再良好的华文教育也无济于事。情况就像马来文,如不是政府强制官方文件都使用马来文,那马来文将渐渐消失,因为没有诱因使人人都想学习。换句话说就是没有市场!

华人社会的经济蓬勃,所以一直以来都有使用华文的习惯。这情况在中小企业界尤其明显!我的第一间公司就是如此。那是一间信息咨询软件屋,同事老板们的日常用语都是华语,除了开正式会议之外。只是,基于国际标准(我们的顾客来自新加坡),我们的文献都是英文至上。这是英语程度好的人才好好发挥的领域!除非,华文的地位能提升到成为国际文献标准语言的地位,否则很难避免以上所说的情况。这就有赖于他族能否觉得学习华文非常重要了。一旦华文流行了,害怕它地位不会提高?

我坚信,只要本地华人不放弃在日常生活中使用华语,日后将会形成一股强大的华文势力!数十年维护华教也有了成果,今日入读华小的友族同胞也与日俱增,有些微型华小甚至要靠少许的友族同胞来维持学生人数!如华教能出产一批品学兼优的优秀生,直到他族父母以他们为榜样时,那么,华教的光辉之路可期!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Monarchy again!

Well, i see the ugly side of the kings again...

Where do kings get money from? From the government! Where do government get money from? From the people!!!

What now? Kings deserve a good service whereas people have to treat them like something majestic? The government have to grant them special status ? What is this? They are just some normal human being who are so lucky to be born in royal family!!!

What do they care first? It's about themselves! They want to protect their statuses, their fortune and everything. Hence they do not need to care about people. Sometimes they will do some trick to show people that they still have power and they deserve to be respected!!!

Monarchy is something terrible. It is 21st century now and yet these ancient system still exists! This is not tolerable at all!

Come on, let's kick Monarchy out!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

“华人世界语言规范问题”讲座

听了讲座,很不错,老师对华文规范的看法很开通、很实际。

主讲人是暨南大学华文学院院长郭熙先生及全球各地区华语词典编辑者汪惠迪老师。

我最赞同郭老师认为该以“提供服务”的思维来看待华文规范,而不是强制性的,这会为华人世界提供方便而非负担。当不同地区的华人要沟通时,自然需要规范服务以有效沟通,到时你不求人人求你,如有提早准备那么有关服务就很快会被采用。

这是很好的点子,毕竟,要求不同地区的华人使用同一种标准的华语有违常理。语文是会随周围环境而进化的。所以才会有英美澳纽加各地区英语使用情况不同的问题。

当各地区的华人要沟通时,就能以所谓的“规范”为依据,不强制整个过程,而是根据社会需要,这才是实事求是及精明的方法,省了不少资源尤其是时间。

至于对媒体广泛应用英文字母词汇现象的看法,郭老师表示相当无奈。他说有相关机构对CEO、PK等英语词语的广泛应用感到不满并采取措施,可惜事与愿违,目前还无法改变人们使用这些英文字母词汇的习惯。我想,主要原因是这些词汇非常方便传神,而非“首席执行官”等所能取代的。有关当局需要创造更活泼更传神又兼顾方便的词汇好让人们使用。好消息是,郭老师已就此事拟定一个方案并已交上有关当局以作参考。

中英文参杂现象在信息行业尤其明显,我想路经此文的中国信息业朋友也会认同。信息行业新词汇日新月异,新东西出现得快,创造者又是欧美人,想当然尔翻译方面确实无法跟上。翻译需要时间,不能随随便便。我想,就让时间决定正确的译词吧!

象JAVA,还是没看到其相应的华文词汇。偶尔看到“爪哇”,但使用程度不广,是失败的。

当然,人人有时对新词汇不习惯,尤其是音译的。但是,“菩萨”“佛”等梵文翻译词现在以在我们的日常生活中出现,大家也没觉得不妥。这证明了“意”也能于稍后附在字上的。要不然就学日本人的创意吧!他们竟然发明了“民主”这样棒的词汇!

谢谢南洋商报提供本地人一个这样的讲座!希望日后本地会有更多此类的讲座!

Human used to live with dinosaurs?

There has been a lot of evidences that human might have lived with dinosaurs in ancient time. That's pretty interesting!

All evidences were found from ancient paintings such as human riding on creatures that look like dinosaurs and etc.

Also, it is believed that in ancient China there was dragon! The dragon has 9 children. Each child possess different outlook and characteristics! For e.g. some of them like eating very much, some of them like drinking very much, some of them like fire very much, some of them like fighting very much and so on. Now some scholars said that these 9 children of dragon are most likely dinosaurs!

In one ancient China scripture "Shan Hai Jing" (山海经) even talks about dragon transport for human! These saying matches some legends that ancient emperors of China normally travelled by riding on dragons!

Also, a lot of Chinese ancient legends are strange to modern people like us. For e.g. there is a saying that Dragon is actually a spaceship. It spits fire, it has scale, it can fly! Does not it sound like spaceship? The fire to push spaceship forward, its scale to cool its body down, and it flies!

Well all these are yet to be proved with more supporting archeological findings!

推广华文惠及世界!

看到了一些外国人在中国生活的相关文章,就觉得中国地位着实提高了,吸引了世界各地各色人种来淘金。

这不但能促进中国与各国的文化交流,更重要的是能推广华文的国际地位!就像每一个到美国谋生的外国人需懂得英语一样,如果每个去中国的外国人都努力学习华文,那么以华文为母语者必能得利!就像英美澳纽加等国人无需浪费时间资源学习外语般!善用剩下的时间资源来促进社会发展!国家将更迅速强大!

想想,无需学习外语将为大家省下了多少的时间!利用母语来学习各科知识更为可靠实用!

当然,外国人既要到中国谋生或吃喝玩乐(黄赌毒等),当然也要融入中国社会,努力学习汉语华语!!!

期待更多外国人把汉语当成首席外语!这将显示了中华文化的软实力、巧实力!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Terrible Project, Terrible Day

Bad news hit me last Thursday, i would have to help out in a Proof of Concept(POC) project for a famous Telco company in Malaysia!

I went to the meeting place in the morning. Met with new teammates. Obviously everyone was still trying to adapt to this adhoc situation.

On the first day, I was spending the whole day getting help from a few experts to set up the development and testing environment. They helped me to install IBM Websphere Portal Server, IBM Rational Software Architect for Websphere and etc. All these are resource hungry giants. They made the computer to run so slow! Also, in order to make sure i am developing on the same environment, they migrated their Virtual Machine Image to another laptop that has higher spec than my computer.

I started building simple stuff the second day. After several trials and errors, i managed to build and test run the first portlet! This is my first ever portlet that i built in my life! I was excited and i thought mission completed. Well, demand is never enough. I was assigned a few more tasks and my attendence was expected the next day.

On Friday the POC initiator expected to wrap up everything so that the sales team is able to present a nice thing to the potential client! I was thinking things were done so hurrily the quality will surely does not meet client's expectation. In the end i managed to built 4 portlets: some with static data, some queries data from the DB2 database. During the migration of my war file to the core laptop which one of the technical sales guy is going to use to present to the client, i was facing some database connection issue. Well that was easily solved. After that i was asked to enhance the UI on the portlet. Man! what is this! The scope of work will never end?! It's too much!

I kept quiet and finally completed my tasks at 2am in the morning. After that the technical sales guy was able to ping from A machine's VM to B machine's VM! Double good news! He said i stayed to help and that boost his morale and actually i did not find out the solution. It's him who found it.

I learnt a lot of things in this POC project. I learned how to use Rational Software Architect for Websphere to build portlet. I learned how to deploy a portlet using Websphere Portal Server. Also i have explored a few good features in the WPS. I also learned a lot of things on Virtual Machine. The idea of using Virtual Machine is cool. The Virtual Machine helps each developer to counter the barrier of different development & testing environment. It can reduce unexpected events especially due to environment setup when you are demoing your application to your client!

My teammates also shared some valuable stories with me. For e.g. the technical sales guy told me this is also his worst ever project in our company. Normally some other POC projects are simple. I was considered very unfortunate to get involved in this.

Anyway, i don't really like this kind of ad-hoc call up for help. I hope this is my first time and last time doing this shit. At least please tell me one week earlier, and also let me know the overall plan so that i can get ready.

I still prefer a plan. Hurry can't help win a client.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

公平的政治制度

来探讨一个公平的政治制度,有效的分配利益于所有的团体,而非只盲目的服从多数人的利益。

现在的中国大陆最适合发明及实践这一种优良制度,一该数千年来纷纷扰扰、战争不断的历史,全民得利,万象更新!

民主制度当然是一个很好的选择,又很实用,因有美国为例。

最重要的是共产党政府能允许各利益方如士农工商等成立各自的团体以与政府定期讨论各自的问题并检讨政策,这样共产党即能维持统治利益而人民也有所得,何乐而不为呢?该以经济为主,因为人人要的还不就是安居乐业!看看新加坡,选举永远只是个幌子,李氏父子统治了数十年,有人反抗么?我跟你说其反对力量微弱无比。人民乐于现况则不理民主与否,那些不能解决吃拉问题的东西关我屁事?

政治制度公平,大多数人都有所得,谁会阻止你继续当政府?!

Friday, February 06, 2009

馬來西亞華教元老沈慕羽先生過世!

沈老先生, 一路走好!

看这

沈老先生这一生为马来西亚华文教育打拼,甚至为了捍卫华文教育而遭马华工会开除及后期被送入内安法令扣留营也在所不惜!

他于96岁高龄而走,也算是一大喜事了!

我深深为沈老的气节折服,他乃我们马来西亚华裔子弟的榜样!他的精神值得学习。

我们该永远悼念他!

在马来西亚金马士(gemas)已有一个沈慕羽纪念馆,我打算在下一次回乡时拜访此馆。那馆就在我回家乡的路途中,对我而言非常方便。

如您也想参观,可以看这里

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Shame on Jamaluddin Radzi & Osman Mohd Jailu

These 2 guys! Are not they shameful of their deed? How could they face the people that have selected them as ADUN!!!

Well, i think after this 'politic frog' incident, the corruption charge against them will be dropped!

Someone would order the Anti Corruption Agency to drop the charge against these 2 guys after this!

Dirty!!!

Disappointing!!!