Archive for March, 2015

AIIB – New Challenger

2a76f58bf47f40ed87a28eb6b4b58be2WikipediaThe Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is an international financial institution proposed by the government of China. The purpose of the multilateral development bank is to provide finance to infrastructure projects in the Asia region. AIIB is regarded by some as a rival for the IMF, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which are regarded as dominated by developed countries like the United States. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hardness of Heart

imagesThe death of Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, 91 invoked a torrent of social media discussions. Going by the views expressed, there are two distinct camps. State controlled media pounded the print and air news with praises beyond praises of the great achievements by the late Lee. Not a trace of negative words was mentioned. The mourning period is a solemn time. Perhaps, it is only “courteous” that the dead should be spared harsh words, and the family allowed some grieving space. The social media on the other hand went overboard with tirades highlighting the not so great deeds of Lee. Whether good or bad, dead man doesn’t speak. Read the rest of this entry »

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Weekender: Water from Greenhouse

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Double Standards

imagesIn the satirical novel Animal Farm written by George Orwell, unhappiness with brutal and unjust masters led eventually to a revolution ruled by a new group of animals (read Animal farm Redux). The quest for equality lies latent in all man. As inequality grows, so will tension. Communism is a utopian ideology that promises equality. History tells us that this utopia is not achievable. In Animal Farm, a revolution started off well, as in most revolutions. Soon, the realisation that all is not well will sink in.  ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS. Read the rest of this entry »

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Another War Erupts

yemenThe conflagration in the Middle East continues like a musical chair. The chair of destruction moved from Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria and now into Yemen. Located at the heel of the Arabian boot, Yemen commands a strategic chokepoint for access into the Red Sea, thus the Suez Canal. Yemen has a long history of tribal conflicts. Yemen became a republic and President Ali Abdullah Saleh was the first elected President in reunified Yemen in 1999. The country is plagued by corruption, scoring 164 out of 182 countries surveyed in the 2009 international corruption Perception Index by Transparency International. Read the rest of this entry »

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Iranian Conundrum

indexWhat would you do when someone threatens to destroy you? It would be inconceivable to expect you to smile to the threats and counter propose providing arms concession to him so as to appease him. Sounds illogical but that is exactly what we are witnessing in the US-Iran “deal” that is in the making. “Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei called for ‘Death to America’ on Saturday, a day after President Barack Obama appealed to Iran to seize a “historic opportunity” for a nuclear deal and a better future, and as US Secretary of State John Kerry claimed substantial progress toward an accord.”Business Insider. Read the rest of this entry »

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China-USA: Modus Vivendi

indexFor many years, USA had been acting like the world’s de facto protector and governor. It uses a two-pronged military cum financial hegemony to hold the world hostage. During the days of Gorbachev in th 1980s, perestroika (Russian: перестро́йка; IPA: [pʲɪrʲɪˈstrojkə] brought Russia out of the Cold War and into “acceptance” by the western world. Until then, Russia was the military counter-balance against US’s “military interests”. After perestroika, USA gained greater military omniscience with the melting of the Cold War. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Legend Dies

imagesOver in the tropical paradise Singapore, news went viral on 18 March 2015 that the founding patriarch, Lee Kuan Yew had died. The news was reported in major newspapers, such as CNN and major Chinese newspapers. Pictures of journalists piling up in front of the Singapore General Hospital started circulating all over the media were further confirmation that Lee had died. Having been warded since 5 February for severe pneumonia, the passing of the 91-year-old Lee was no surprise. But news took a turn. The Prime Minister’s Office denied the stories and posted the official news that Lee was in a critical condition, but he was still alive. The efficient police quickly arrested 16-year-old student suspected of posting the fake news. Read the rest of this entry »

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Weekender: Supersonic Transporter

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News.com.au – ACCORDING to a Kremlin propaganda media outlet, Russia plans to be able to deploy its army anywhere in the world within seven hours. It’s a future that involves a fleet of huge heavy transport aircraft that will be capable of moving around 400 Armata tanks, with ammunition anywhere in the world.

According to the Military-Industrial Commission in Moscow, a new aircraft, named the PAK TA, will be capable of flying supersonic speeds (up to 1235km/h), can carry up to 200 tonnes and have a range of at least 7,000 kilometres. Or roughly the distance between Sydney and Hong Kong.

Russia is supposedly hopeful to build 80 of the new PAK TA cargo aircraft by 2024.

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When is Enough ENOUGH

indexBusiness Insider: Singapore’s Lee Hsien Loong earns 12 and a half times more than Putin at a whopping $US1.7 million. Loong’s salary is large enough to pay the for the leader’s salary of India, Brazil, Italy, Russia, France, Turkey, Japan, United Kingdom, South Africa, and Germany.

Loong’s Singapore is also the world’s most expensive city for a second year in a row, according to the Economist’s bi-annual Worldwide Cost of Living report.

(Note: what is reported excludes bonuses, which are classified as “secret” in Singapore, meaning disclosure is an offence. Bonuses could amount to many times annual salaries. Part-time jobs pay circa USD$3 an hour, cleaners you see at the beautiful first class Changi International airport are paid less than USD$1000 per month) Read the rest of this entry »

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