Saturday, September 23, 2017

WiFi speeds on my devices

The Asus VivoMini PC

The Galaxy Tab A 10.1 with S-pen

ZenFone 3 5523KL

The unbeatable old Galaxy Note 4

Friday, September 22, 2017

PM's most important meeting in China

The meeting with Xi Jinping is essential and so it was with Li Keqiang and Zhang Dejiang but the most important meeting go to be with Wang Qishan. The real talking and understanding with the Chinese is with him. The first three were the top three in the PSC. Wang Qishan is ranked 6th but effectively he is number two. The PM can speak his mind with Wang Qishan much more than he could with Xi Jinping. It would be good for us and China as well if Wang Qishan continues to be in the PSC after the October meeting.

We have a lot to do and Zhang Feng have put it nicely into a table.

"Quality has declined since LKY's time" is a view shared by all three groups. These classifications are only out of necessity. In real life it is a spectrum of degree from left to right. To the Chinese the friction between us and them would not have happened if LKY were around. 

The Chinese are master par none at the oblique. Here is a lesson from Wang Qishan when he met PM Lee. I excerpt from Today Online. 

Mr Wang, who heads the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said he was surprised but happy that a request had been made to meet him.
"So I sought permission and I am here meeting you and your delegation today ... Singapore is among the countries I have the most contact with," added the 69-year-old during their meeting held at Zhongnanhai, a former imperial garden that now serves as headquarters for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Mr Wang also paid tribute to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's founding Prime Minister.
"I had the privilege of having personal conversations with him on multiple occasions. He (was) such a visionary figure full of political wisdom.
"I gained a lot every time I talked with him ... I'm really greatly saddened by his passing. He was indeed a great man," said Mr Wang

Without making us lose face, the Chinese think we have "learned the lessons"

Did he really need to seek permission? That was meant for us.

No LKY but we need to move on with vision and wisdom. Since LKY is no longer with us, you know the Chinese would have enshrined his writings as scripture to guide them into the future were he a Chinese leader. We can do no better than that until we are lucky to have another LKY.

And that is the message of Wang Qishan to us.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Tharman connects better with us

Tharman will never be PM but he connects much better with us, and he has a way of sending a return message that he heard and understood us, which is very unlike the other ministers except Tan Chuan Jin, now out of Cabinet.

Here are some lines I lifted from the story:

The DPM, who said he himself would have also preferred a contest "like most people", said however that the aspiration for race not to count is something that requires working towards.

"It cannot just be a pledge, it cannot be just an incantation," he said. "Sometimes it requires a conscious act of the state."

"The reality of the matter is, not just in Singapore but anywhere else, including the most mature democracies that everything else (about a candidate) being equal, race, ethnicity, religion, matters."

If a leader cannot connect with the people he/she leads that leader has at best limited effectiveness. It is our unique circumstances that such bad communicators can still lead but clearly it is not sustainable. Such leaders will also eventually lack confidence and constantly worried about their positions.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Remembering Stanislav Petrov: He saved the world

That is a picture, not sure when it was taken of the former Lt. Col Stanislav Petrov. He passed away practically unnoticed on May 17 this year. His main contribution to humanity was he saved the world from a nuclear war. I have read about him before and I read his story again today when I got news that he had passed away.

The world would have ended if he didn't have the sense to recognize that the system was buggy and sending a wrong signal that the US had launched missiles against Moscow.

For his immense contribution what did he receive? Look at his apartment, it was not much.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A look at Braddell View

A view of my late parents' place which I have never seen before. The place will not last since more than 80% of owners are enthusiastic about selling it en bloc.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Borrowing Aung San Suu Kyi for LKY vs LHL

(click on pic for enlarged view)

Good piece by Nirmal Ghosh but he is not going to be read by those who needs it most. I am going to appropriate this for our domestic politics use in an analysis of LHL vs LKY.

Politics is messy and complicated business, so complex it is hard to write about quickly and simply. Ghosh piece is a good foreign example which also happen to be highly visible. Now every political leader eventually faces difficulties like those Aung San Suu Kyi is having. The difference is only a matter of degree. Her situation would be my shorthand of what LKY vs LHL faced. The son is borrowing his late father's methods minus the brutality but for opposite reasons.

Abraham Lincoln moniker was Honest Abe. For decades he was a political leader who is deemed to be perfect and beyond criticism. Well it is still politically incorrect to criticize him. Nevertheless the Honest Abe myth made him to be far more honest than he is. It is a reputation he used with great effectiveness to become president. When faced with an impossible situation, he lied in an impeachable way that the Confederates are not in town to seek peace. He did that so that he could get the law to emancipate the slaves to pass in Congress. Without explaining himself because LKY said he would leave it to history to judge him, he had emphasized that his motives were honourable. I think the results speak of them themselves. That is why I have overlooked LKY tactics and mistakes but not his dishonorable son.

The people can be ignorant, believe in fairy tales and keep their ideals but political leaders have to get real, get the job done without diminishing society's ideals. If such leaders succeed the minority who understood will keep mum indulge in selective amnesia and leave to history to judge what happened, as they have for America's founding fathers and Abraham Lincoln. If we are not done in by a morally bankrupt government, we will also live this rite of passage. That would be when we can begin to entertain ideas of maturity as a nation.

British society waited for hundreds of years before they are confident enough to entertain the possibility that their preeminent scientist Isaac Newton was gay.

From Malaysian maid to Singaporean butler(ess)

I thought Malaysia have left this behind them as they got richer. This is deja vu, never imagined this happening there and wondering if it would come to pass as well in Singapore as a higher class version. In my imagination, some classy lady butler/nanny to the ultra rich families. Quietly we already have a critical mass of them here. When the super rich demand something they usually get want they want. Perhaps it is already happening but they are doing their best to avoid the publicity.

I think Jim Rogers' family would buy but they relocated here too soon.