Saturday, 25 October 2014

Hawkers - foreign and domestic

In the news: "Penang bans foreign cooks at hawker stalls"

This was apparently to "preserve the state's food heritage".

How is this different from the Bumiputera policy?

If you discriminate based on race or nationality instead of ability or meritocracy, then what you will end up with are local hawkers. But are they able?

Not to say that ALL foreign hawkers will be good, but I would rather have one foreign hawker who managed to master a local dish than 100 local hawkers who are in it because it is a protected job that they can do without having to worry about competition from foreigners.

That said, yes, currently there are no "gatekeepers" to ensure that hawkers who run their stalls are capable let alone able to authentically replicate the food of yester-years - regardless of whether they are local or foreign.... well, no "gatekeepers" except for their customers.

If this policy is intended to ensure that hawker food are authentic, why is it necessary. If there are authentic local hawkers, they will blow away the non-authentic foreign hawkers.

If you need to protect the local hawkers, it may well mean that the local hawkers are not much better than the foreign hawkers.

And the net effect of this policy is simply to protect the incompetent local hawkers. How is this better for the customers?

I would rather have an authentic tasty szechuan mala hot pot provided by a foreign hawker, than a bad, tasteless, laksa by a local hawker. And if I could get a good, tasty, authentic laksa at hawker prices, I won't care if the hawker is local or foreign.

A comment from the Food Editor is here.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Is Singapore a Fascist State?

I found this website with 14 characteristics of a Fascist State.

And as I read them I couldn't help comparing them to Singapore, and also the bastion of democracy, USA.

Thursday, 16 October 2014


The Sunday Times editorial/opinion editor asked,  "What would move Singaporeans to Protest"?

In her opinion, it would be "whether there are fair rules, and whether government and people play by those rules."

That is, Singaporeans will protest if they perceive the rules as being unfair, or there is an uneven playing field, like say if there were corruption.


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Singaporean Beautitudes

From some years ago.

Happy are those who are not Kiasu: They have WON true peace of mind.
Happy are those who are not Kiasi: They shall LIVE life to the full.
Happy are those who are not Kiaboh: They shall not WANT.
Happy are those who are not KiaZhengHu: They have emigrated.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Revisiting the White Paper

The Population White Paper was debated over a year ago, and it invoked a lot of responses.

Here's a ST forum letter that was savaged in a blog post.

And an excerpt of that forum letter:
The real issue is how we can control the cost of living - and, by implication, the labour component for businesses - and the rise of commercial rents, as well as ways to improve productivity.

I used to be amazed that a plate of fried rice in the United States could cost US$15 (S$19), and worry that this could happen in Singapore if inflation is not controlled.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

And a child shall lead them..

I wondered, what does a 22-year-old know about CPF? How much does she have in CPF? When you were 22 (if you are over 22) how much money did you have in your CPF?

Even the 33-yr-old don't seem to understand CPF or the way it works or how investment works.

Well, if you add 22 to 33, you have a 55. That's the closest they will get to being 55 at this time.