Tolong, tolong, please send rain so that our construction workers can carry on working.

A hazy tale of PSI and two ministers

SINGAPORE — A week of record haze levels has tested the resilience of a country, and brought out the best and worst of Singaporeans. Spontaneous acts of Singaporeans coming together to assist the poor and elderly are marred by accounts of profiteering on N95 masks and citizens accusing one another of spreading half-truths on the haze. According to one health expert, “What doesn’t kill us now can only make us stronger — I mean, making us a stronger risk to lung cancer in future.” “But any risk of casualty so far is not so much from the haze itself, but…

Why do we attract hedge funds to Singapore?

Why do we attract hedge funds to Singapore?

Besides the reader who contacted me with his thoughts on my post “Why a front office Singaporean core is important”, fellow London-based blogger Limpeh Is Foreign Talent has also responded with a post suggesting it’s not all the bad for Singapore’s financial services sector. I will comment further on what he wrote on. First of all, I believe the point Limpeh is trying to make is that Singapore is still doing okay as a financial centre because top banking talent from around the world are still heading to the country. But he points out that this is more because our government…

Front office Singaporean core: Response to a reader

Front office Singaporean core: Response to a reader

Hi Void Decker! I refer to your latest article “Why a front office Singaporean core is important” ( I assume that you’re not working in the financial sector. Please forgive me if I’m wrong). I would define myself as a determined individual with a strong passion for finance. I graduated with a diploma in banking and financial services and I intend to pursue a related degree at LSE. I would never claim to be an expert on the financial sector (after all I’m just a student), however I just want to share with you my experience based on my dealings…

Why a front office Singaporean core is important

Why a front office Singaporean core is important

At a recent discussion, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam reiterated the importance of banks in Singapore, particularly the foreign ones, to develop a “Singaporean core”. Besides having Singaporeans adequately represented in these banks, “it is also important that they take on a good spread of positions, including the best jobs in front office for treasury and trading”. We only need to look at what’s happening in cities like London to know why this last bit about taking up “the best jobs in front office for treasury and trading” is so important. This is not simply about appeasing Singaporeans with fancy…

Hogging

Middle-lane hogging and undertaking: Are you guilty?

How well do you know your highway code? Hopefully better than I do. We are all aware that we shouldn’t hog the outermost lane when driving on the expressway, because technically it is only for overtaking. But how many of us realise that this rule doesn’t just apply to the right lane, but to the middle lane of a three-lane expressway too? In fact, as I found out recently here in the UK, it is against the law to stay in the middle lane when the left lane is available, even if you are driving at a proper speed. Apparently,…

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One-third of applicants unsuccessful in BTO exercise

On Thursday, MDA-licensed — and therefore we can trust to be factual and not misleading — The Straits Times reported  on the latest HDB Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise that closed on 5 June. The report “One applicant for each BTO flat” declares: There was one eligible buyer for every flat offered in the latest Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise as of 5pm yesterday, one of the lowest subscription rates since the system was introduced in 2001. This meant it was likely that most of the applicants would get to select a flat, analysts said. It is happy days in Singaparadise as almost every one…

Keep the rallies going, and the quality too

Keep the rallies going, and the quality too

By Lorong Cat The period of 12 months from when Lehman Brothers collapsed in September 2008 to its anniversary in 2009 was a tumultuous one. This period was marked by an unprecedented wave of financial meltdown with some of the biggest banks in the UK getting nationalised with taxpayers’ money and also coincided with an Israeli incursion into the Gaza strip. Both of these developments spawned weekly large scale demonstrations in central London. I was new to London and my first “participation” in a major demonstration was during the 2009 G20 summit in London where world leaders representing 20 major…

Free My Internet

In support of #FreeMyInternet

As you are well aware by now, various members of the Singapore blogging community have organised themselves as #FreeMyInternet to protest and petition against Media Development Authority’s new licensing regime for news websites. While not part of the group, I have signed the petition in support. There will also be a symbolic ‘blackout’ (assuming it works on your device) on this blog on 6 June, but you can still access the contents. Personally, I won’t go as far as to suggest that the government is looking to clamp down on websites such as The Online Citizen (TOC) and TR Emeritus…