Sunday, March 01, 2009

Pseudonyms and anonymous blogging- Are nom de guerre still needed in Singapore?

Hi Friends,

Introduction

What do Vladimir Il'ich Ulyanov, Yosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, Saloth Sar and Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, have in common with Samuel Clemens and Charles Dodgson?

They are all famous personalities in history and they all had pseudonyms.

Their nom de guerre (French for “war name”) or nom de plume ( pen name) were Lenin,Stalin,Pol Pot, Carlos the Jackal, Mark Twain and Lewis Carroll respectively. (see wikipedia on Pseudonyms here)

Singapore also had her Chin Peng (real name Ong Boon Hua) and The “Plen”-ipotentiary (Fang Chuang Pi) who were leaders of the Malayan Communist Party. (See here and here on the Plen)

In the debate about anonymous blogging and use of pseudonyms, it is useful to remember the historical context in which pseudonyms were used.

History context on Pseudonym Usage

In times of war( especially guerilla warfare), the need was obvious. In other times, it was mainly tradition eg Monarchies (King George VI was born Albert Frederick Arthur George); Pope Benedict XVI was born Joseph Alois Ratzinger; Actresses including pornstars (Linda Lovelace (Deep Throat), the most famous porn star of all time, was born Linda Boreman); online world (use of handle,avatar or nicknames common eg Lucky Tan).

Perhaps of more relevance to the discourse about Singapore’s politics is the fact that from the late eighteenth to early nineteenth centuries, it was established practice for political articles to be signed with pseudonyms. For example the pen name Publius, was used by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, in writing The Federalist Papers. And in Britain, political writer Junius (who was never identified) used his shroud of anonymity to great effect to expose corrupt. See wikipedia on Junius here

Junius’ letters were “considered by some to be invective though close inspection of his writings reveals a principled man centuries ahead of his time, exposing blatant corruption by the only means available (anonymity) in a country struggling with the idea of freedom of speech”.

I had written a post on my blog on this (here) and it was also published in the ST forum page.

Despite what I have written above ( esply about wartime use of pseudonyms), I still sincerely believe that in Singapore’s present political context, it would be more useful and more credible to use real names.

Lucky Tan's contention that “for many bloggers, our anonymity is to keep our friends, parents and relatives from worrying and not for any other purpose” is quite lame. (see here). I still read Lucky's satire and I like them as they are like a breath of fresh air.

Unless we are no better than Burma and N. Korea...

If you really believe that in present day Singapore ( let us not dwell in the past), to write or utter any alternative opinion would cause one to be jailed ala Burma and North Korea, that government agencies (eg ISD) are at this moment trailing your movements and tapping your communications and that we live in a make-believe Matrix world that would eventually reveal its true nature just before the ending credits rolled, then it is understandable to resort to anonymity.

But if you are not so paranoid ( or delusional), you should be like Gerald Giam, Alex Au and myself who feel that despite Singapore’s political scene being less than perfect ( to put it mildly), the establishment can and should can be engaged in a “real-world” basis.

We must have testicular fortitude

I still am convinced that one must have the testicular fortitude (balls) to stand up for what one believes in. We cannot help what our friends and relatives think about our political stands, but to live our lives cowering behind false camouflages is just plain “ sad”. And bloggers who only make anonymous comments which are nothing more than unconstructive barbs and diatribes are childish ( and should be ignored just as we ignore children’s antics).

Many people I know – who when they found out about my blog or my forum letters, were genuinely supportive. They would pull me aside in hospital corridors or even sms/phone me to say that they agreed with what I said or that they wished they had the courage to tell the government that all is not well on the ground and that it is time for substantial changes in our political governance.

No persecutions (so far)...

My work as a doctor has not been affected and patients (even from government-linked agencies) continue to see me. My interactions with government agencies (eg traffic police/telecoms/media etc) have not changed and my relatives’ chances of getting scholarships or employment are not diminished in any way just because of my outspoken views. I continue to be active in the medical circle ( election to councils and committees etc).

Fear as an excuse?

I used to say (and I say again) that “fear of the government” is very often used as an excuse to be inactive and apathetic. Period.

I may not agree with all the views of Dr. Chee Soon Juan nor am I completely comfortable about the notion of “gay marriage”, but I respect CSJ for his dogged determination and Alex Au for being open about his sexuality and using legal avenues to try to effect change.

Would we be better if dissenting views are "closeted"?

In a thought experiment- would Alex be as effective in changing government and public mindset about gay rights if he had remained “closeted” ( no disrespect intended)? On the same vein, if all non-establishment personalities ( eg Catherine Lim/Tan Kin Lian/Leong Sze Hian/Siew Kum Hong etc) had remained anonymous, would Singapore be better off? No, we could then just be conceding media space to the government’s propaganda machinery ( we know who these are) who already have near-monopoly of MSM.

On critical mass

I may be naïve, but I believe if there is a critical mass of people who dare publicly be associated with non-establishment views, the people and in turn the government would have no choice but to take notice and try to change in order not to lose support and votes.

Government's failure in allaying fear

From the palpable fear prevalent in Singapore, it is obvious that the government has been less than effective in convincing Singaporeans that it is interested in an “open and inclusive Singapore” as alluded to in PM Lee’s speech when he first took the oath as Singapore’s third Prime Minister in August 2004.

PM Lee said (click here for whole speech),
“We will continue to expand the space which Singaporeans have to live, to laugh, to grow and to be ourselves. Our people should feel free to express diverse views, pursue unconventional ideas, or simply be different. We should have the confidence to engage in robust debate, so as to understand our problems, conceive fresh solutions, and open up new spaces”…” Ours must be an open and inclusive Singapore.”

Notwithstanding this, I will continue to engage openly and I hope you will too.

Friends, my blogname (nofearsingapore) is not ironic.

I believe in it and I put my money where my mouth is.

Dr.Huang Shoou Chyuan

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its a great pity that the brotherhood doesnt bother to read what you regularly write.

I wonder why?

nofearSingapore said...

Hi anon:
I cannot control what anyone (including the seclusive brotherhood) reads or does.
They are obviously intelligent people but are they effective change agents?
I think of them more like school-boys playing make-believe games. One can only read so much of their stuff.

Anonymous said...

Like you said.

"And bloggers who only make anonymous comments which are nothing more than unconstructive barbs and diatribes are childish ( and should be ignored just as we ignore children’s antics)."

The problem there is it might just cut both ways.

Bye Bye

tony said...

Greetings, Doc! Can anyone seriously believe that being anonymous is a safeguard against detection in our modern technological era? With all the technical paraphernalia at its disposal, it’s child’s play for any State to track whomever it wants. And it doesn’t stop there. We simple citizens are helping the State by watching one another. Do something like this and within minutes the entire world is watching it on YouTube. Anonymity is a thing of the past…

gigamole said...

SC,

As if we don't know they know who we are?... I'll bet they have a file on Gigamole already. But so what? It's not that difficult to find out.

The psueudonym keeps a certain mask on so that the usual information sources don't suddenly dry up in your face... :)

Cheers.

Anonymous said...

If anonymity is an illusion.Then why insist that those who may choose to hide come out?

As for the brotherhud I spend many hours wondering who they are. Their leader has a sexy way of writing. I think who they r matters not. Imagination is sometimes much better than full frontal. For some strange reason I actually find their anon status appealing. I know this sounds perverted but I can't help it. Nice write up.

JJ

Anonymous said...

If they drive him away, who will serve us all those lovely korean love stories? R u going to do it Dr Huang?

Demand and supply

Gerald Giam said...

I believe The Plen (short for Plenipotentiary) was a name given by Lee Kuan Yew, because he was the plenipotentiary representing the chief of the MCP, no?

nofearSingapore said...

Hi Gerald,
As mentioned in the link, Plenipotentiary, according to the dictionary, is a representative of a ruler with absolute or discretionary powers to deal on the ruler's behalf. Fang was an emissary of the CPM that met Mr Lee four times.
Also in the link was something about how Fang tried to get MM to allow ex-CPM members back into Singapore but MM still bore grudges and so these ex-communists who are now 70-90 years old are still in Thailand and Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

Dear Doctor;

may I just say that anonymous and pseudonym bloggings and postings make readings at Blogoland much more interesting. And apparently, there are strategic reasons as well.

As said by many, though some elusive netizens are difficult and tedious to indentify, most can be hunted down and most netizens are awared. Not all, in fact few, use monikers and anonymities to avoid responsibility and liabilities. Other netizens and authorities can respond anyway and anyhow they want too.

The free for all nature of the Net is its' most interesting and valueable character which is most desired.

Rgds.

nofearSingapore said...

Hi anon12.19,
My only concern is for serious political discussion and debate.
I want Singaporeans to welcome and participate in an environment where serious ideas are floated around for all to read and think about.

Just think for a moment- if Gerald/Andrew Loh/Tan Kin Lian/Leong Sze Hian/Alex Au- did not write under their real names and continue to hide behind names like Rojak Man or Mooky the Dog, would non-PAP Singaporeans be encouraged to know that it is all right not to believe everything the PAP says?

Before the blogs became so common- do you hear many people say out loud that the PAP may be wrong on this or that? We were like Burma or North Korea where even to say anything in a coffee shop setting – we were afraid.

If we encourage everyone to post anonymously- we are telling people, we must be afraid. If you want a job or a scholarship or a place in the Uni- do not say anything or if you must- do it only anonymously.

I don’t believe that it does not matter who says the message- how do I know who Rojak man is? He might be a provocateur trying to draw you out into saying something defamatory? Maybe he is the Minister himself- that’s why he is always so defensive about everything PAP?

But if Leong Sze Hian says something- I know he has thought it through from finance point of view and that he stands by what he says or his integrity is in jeopardy.

Thanks for you comments

Anonymous said...

It might come as a surprise to you but I trust the Brotherhood more than any of the following:

"Gerald/Andrew Loh/Tan Kin Lian/Leong Sze Hian/Alex Au"

Why? Because I believe in content and motives, not just names, anonymous or otherwise.

That is why I have no qualms about being labeled as a cowardly or childish anon.

nofearSingapore said...

Hi anon 4.16

This was never about the brotherhood.

The first comment(er) asked about the brotherhood and I answered.

I am happy that you enjoy reading their stuff. I am sure many do.

My contention is that if we want to play a role in the real world (esply in politics), it is very difficult to be taken seriously if one don’t even want to say who one is.

But many out there just want to enjoy reading stuff from the net and make a few comments (positive or negative) here and there- then its fine.

Just imagine a town hall meeting- there will be those with serious statements to make but there will be the hecklers, the jokers (who make light-hearted comments that keep us from falling asleep) and the silent majority who would not show their loyalties until they are behind the voting booths etc.

All kinds make this world.

But don't you think that in Singapore’s blogosphere, we have an abnormally large proportion of anonymous bloggers?

Anonymous said...

You asked - "But don't you think that in Singapore’s blogosphere, we have an abnormally large proportion of anonymous bloggers?"

Have you yourself wondered why..

Whether they are anon or not is irrelevant. If the blogger who goes by a pen name like "Lucky Tan" writes interesting, accurate articles, you read for what is is worth. The credibility to the pen name is increased over time if what the writer writes and information provided has been consistenty accurate.

anon 4.16 said...

Dr Huang, I think you might have misread me.

6:13 PM, March 03, 2009 has got my point. What is important is not the name or whether the blogger is anonymous or not.

Credibility does not come automatically once you declare your name/identity. It is what a person writes and the intention behind it that counts with me.

I don't care if he is a big shot or small fry, or whether he is an anti-social recluse speaking his mind behind the safety of his computer.

Perhaps this need to identify someone before believing him is rooted in our sense of (false) security and conditioning, even preconceived notions and prejudices.

Tell me, if a person makes sense and what he writes/does comes across as sincere, does it make a difference if he is anonymous?

Let me throw this question back to you - to whom would you accord higher regard, an anon who donates generously to charity or one who advertises his name to all and sundry whenever he donates?

A blogger who writes anonymously has a much credibility (if not more) if what he does is for the good of others. He does not need recognition to further his cause. His satisfaction comes with having done his part, and that is all that matters to him.

Chee said...

Hello!

I admire your courage to reveal your identity. I blog too but I choose not to reveal my identity.

The reason?

Even though I very much like to reveal my identity, to allow my views to become more credible of sorts, I am afraid.

Afraid of? Mainly of being sued for contempt of the court for the blog does discuss the transparency of Singapore Judiciary, which has so far been a crime which many have been sued for. Think WSJ asia, and Gopalan Nair.

A post discussing the independence of the judiciary can be found here:

http://secretpoliticalblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/picture-that-spoke-thousand-words.html

Defamation is not an issue because I don't launch personal attacks on the old man himself.

So I suppose I am condemned to hide in the dark? Am I an exception to your argument?

And by the way, this is a good post =)

nofearSingapore said...

Hi Chee,

Thanks for your comments.
Contempt of court is a very sensitive issue and I know why you want to remain anonymous.
There are other issues that you can engage in openly and we must be wise to choose our battles.
There are many ways of saying things. You can say that “someone is beholden to another” or say “ someone is known to be share the same philosophy about…”
I know it is tedious and a longwinded way of saying things but in life, nobody likes to be accused of nepotism or favoritism esply if these cannot be proven.
Anyway, I respect your tenacity. Do be careful.

nofearSingapore said...

Hi anon 4.16:

"A blogger who writes anonymously has a much credibility (if not more) if what he does is for the good of others. He does not need recognition to further his cause. His satisfaction comes with having done his part, and that is all that matters to him."

It is good that he does not seek recognition and that he has self-contentment.

But will he be able to convince the fence-seaters and neutrals in the political sphere? He might be preaching to the converted. The people who read and lap up all the posts by unnamed bloggers are already on his side. How will he overcome the propaganda that is bombarding the fence-sitters everyday?
Cheers

Anonymous said...

You wrote "But will he be able to convince the fence-seaters and neutrals in the political sphere? He might be preaching to the converted. The people who read and lap up all the posts by unnamed bloggers are already on his side. How will he overcome the propaganda that is bombarding the fence-sitters everyday?"

As I wrote earlier - "...The credibility to the pen name is increased over time if what the writer writes and information provided has been consistently accurate." I am for one a neutral in thepolitical sphere..what makes you think that people who read and lap up all the posts by unnamed bloggers are on his side - you are too presumptious.

I believe that there are still many neutrals and fence-sitters in the political sphere, and who are internet friendly, are able to differentiate fair and accurate statements, views and opinions of anon bloggers. The current propaganda that is bombarding the fence-sitters everyday is in the mainstream media? not in the internet, where people have alternate choices to read. There is so much choice in the new media to read and obtain information from, to the extend that the PAP is now reconsidering their strategy on how to penetrate and control? the new media.

As anon 7.23 said - "Perhaps this need to identify someone before believing him is rooted in our sense of (false) security and conditioning, even preconceived notions and prejudices." - Information provided by anon bloggers can be verified via other sources. People don't just normally read one anon view and swallow this lock stock and barrel. There is usually, and in many cases so far, for several anon bloggers, and sometimes even known bloggers to write on the same subject, issues long before the MSM is raising or writing about it.

Being anon. also protects the source of the information...

nofearSingapore said...

Hi
About my theory that in the new media, we may just be preaching to the converted-my conclusion comes from my interaction with those around me. These are of course anecdotal.
Those around me are those mainly in the healthcare industry (docs/nurses/pharmaceuticals/medical equipment) and are mainly above 35 years old. These are still lapping up the Straits Times and other MSM. They are still new to blogs ( really!) and though some of them regularly read emails that are sent to them (like chain-mails), others read the stuff in the net only if they need to.
For them credibility is everything and they probably never heard of Lucky etc.
Your anecdotal evidence is different. But it is still anecdotal!
I am not sure- neither are you. That neutrals will take what they read from non-real named bloggers to heart.
I think, at most these anonymous bloggers ( or those with monickers) play a peripheral role.
In Malaysia, those bloggers that made impacts in the last GE- if I am not wrong were people who penned posts on their real names- eg Jeff/ElizabethWong/Petra.
I suppose we must agree to disagree.

Anonymous said...

"Those around me are those mainly in the healthcare industry (docs/nurses/pharmaceuticals/medical equipment) and are mainly above 35 years old. These are still lapping up the Straits Times and other MSM. They are still new to blogs ( really!) and though some of them regularly read emails that are sent to them (like chain-mails), others read the stuff in the net only if they need to.
For them credibility is everything and they probably never heard of Lucky etc."

People buy the ST for many reasons besides reading to get news. I buy it to find out about sales and discounts. My other friend buys it to find out abt houses.

As for your prerojative comments concerning the BP, you obvious know very little about them. And even less abt their make up.

Did you know the average age of their readership is 27 and above?

Why do you think they are the only people who still write 3 pages essays in the internet? Have you asked yourself who can bear 3 pages these days? Maybe you should go and find out Dr Huang.

Pls go and research yr information bfr you write next time. Otherwise you will not come across as credible Dr Huang.

Anonymous said...

I am one of those sitting on the fence, if that helps to dispel any myths.

anon 4.16 said...

Opps, forgot to add that I (8:21 PM, March 04, 2009) am anon 4.16, the presumed converted fan of anon bloggers.

SHIMURE said...

Basically i write with my Pseudonym of Shimure.

This is to dissociate my real name and my other profession which is a tarot reader.

However, i agree what you need is that the thing good... is to go with your real name for politics.

Asia Economic Institute said...

Hey not sure if you looked into this but what do you know about the relations between Japan and Africa, or Singapore and Japan? I've read this really great article and would like your thoughts and comments.

Japan Leads the Way in Africa’s Economic Development
01 Sep 2008

In the last 15 years, Japan has emerged as the global leader in the development of Africa. By doing so, it has also strengthened its bilateral relations with the continent and has secured economic benefits for both parties.
A major way Japan has spearheaded the task of invigorating Africa’s economy is through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). The TICAD is a conference in Tokyo held every five years to improve relations between Africa and its development partners. The first TICAD, TICAD I, took place in 1993, and the most recent, TICAD IV, wrapped up at the end of May of 2008. At all four conferences, Japan has reinforced its long-term commitment to promoting peace and economic stability in Africa.
During TICAD I, Japan took the lead in producing the “Tokyo Declaration on African Development,” a document that aimed to encourage high-level policy dialogue between Africa and its development partners. Japan remained optimistic about Africa's potential though many other of Africa's development partners began to lose interest. At the end of TICAD I, several prospects appeared promising, though almost nothing was guaranteed.
Five years later, TICAD II generated the “Tokyo Agenda for Action,” which was much more action-oriented than the Tokyo Declaration on African Development. This document called for poverty reduction and a push for Africa’s integration into the global economy. TICAD III drew over 1,000 African delegates including the Chairperson of the African Union, Thabo Mbeki. This conference analyzed the achievements of TICAD over the past 10 years and developed future goals for African development.
TICAD IV took place from May 28-30 2008. Japan's Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda met with representatives from 51 African countries, 22 donor nations, and 55 international organizations. In all, more than 3,000 people participated in TICAD IV making it the most heavily attended TICAD of the four. The conference aimed to boost economic growth, ensure human security, and address environmental issues in Africa.
The conference recognized that the key to Africa's growth is the development of the continent’s infrastructure. History has proven that improvements in transportation infrastructure attract more private investments. Japan has targeted Africa's infrastructure as the main area it will develop, pledging $4 billion in Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans by the end of 2012. Increasing ODA loans will encourage Japanese private-sector investment in Africa. Furthermore, Japan will double its grant aid and technical cooperation in the next five years. The Japanese government will also establish a fund at the Japan Bank for International Cooperation that aims to double investment in Africa.
At the conference, Prime Minister Fukuda also tracked Africa’s economic progress over the past decade. Sub-Saharan Africa's economy grew at a rate of 5% from 2004-2007 and reached 6% in late 2007. Japan will look to further increase Africa's economic growth by helping the continent double its rice output to 28 million tons by 2018. Furthermore, Japan will give a significant portion of a $100 million global emergency food assistance package to Africa.
Africa has long complained that though it contributes very few greenhouse gases, it must still suffer the effects of global warming. Africa only contributes about 3.8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. By taking the lead on climate change initiatives, Japan has indirectly assisted in resolving Africa’s environmental problems. Japan’s “Cool Earth 50,” introduced in 2007, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050. Japan has also led the way in the creation of the $10 billion Climate Change Fund. In addition, Japan automakers have made a push to produce cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars including many hybrid models.
In the next five years, Japan will train 100,000 people as health workers who will travel to African countries that suffer from a shortage of health care. Japan has also pledged $560 million to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, about $330 million of which will go directly to Africa.
The TICAD conferences have given Japan tremendous opportunities to strengthen diplomatic and economic ties with Africa. As a resource-rich continent, Africa can offer Japan many precious metals that the country needs for its high-tech industries. Africa is home to 89% of the world's platinum, 60% of its diamonds, 34% of its chrome, 37% of its zirconium, and 53% of its cobalt. Because the Japan Bank for International Cooperation is providing $490 million to co-sponsor a nickel mining project in Madagascar, Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation will have the right to purchase 30,000 tons of nickel annually. In addition, Japan will begin to import platinum, nickel and cobalt from Botswana.
With strong bilateral ties with Africa, Japan also has Africa’s support as it seeks a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. The African countries account for 25% of the UN General Assembly. Africa’s support has been crucial to Japan winning the Asian non-permanent Security Council seat in 1996 and the election of Shigeru Oda to the UN International Court of Justice. If it is to secure Africa’s political support and imports of raw materials, it is in Japan’s best interest to continue to assist Africa in its economic development. As long as Japan continues to invest in Africa and solidify ties with it though future TICAD conferences, both parties will continue to gain significant benefits.




Here's the other

Japan, Singapore CRE Investors Brave Liquidity Crunch
MBA (8/30/2007)

Large-lot deals and office sector activity spurred Japan and Singapore into a strong first half of the year, as the current global liquidity crisis does not appear to stall real estate investment in Asia.
Japan and Singapore, with collective investment amount in large-lot deals during the first and second quarters, accounted for more than half of the regional total, and international institutions and real estate investment trusts continued their activity throughout the region, according to research from CB Richard Ellis International.
Research analysts said investors remained “overwhelmingly positive” toward the Japanese real estate market with nine consecutive quarters of economic expansion and an annualized real growth rate of 3.3 percent during the first quarter the year.
Indeed, Reuters reported earlier this month that New York-based private investors, The Blackstone Group, will open a real estate office in Tokyo to look for deals in Japan's property market, and Bloomberg reported Farifield, Conn.-based GE Real Estate could increase its Japanese property holdings by more than 60 percent this year to reach $8.6 billion. GE Real Estate has been in Japan since 1998.
“Japan has been ready for global investments for a long time. Now, it is coming to fruition and a lot of investment will go to Japan,” said Raymond Mobrez Ph.D, director at www.asiaecon.org, Los Angeles, Calif.
The combined value of the first quarter’s 10 largest investment deals totaled $6.9 billion in U.S. currency, including the acquisition of a portfolio of industrial properties by Tokyo-based Secured Capital Japan and DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners at a price of nearly $1.4 billion.
Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings, New York, reported that the losses from subprime exposure in certain Japanese banks would be "comfortably absorbed" by a portion of the bank's annual earnings.
“None [of the banks] should see its solvency threatened from this factor alone, as the exposures are only a small fraction of the banks' equity,” Fitch said. “The large Japanese banks have sponsored and provided liquidity commitments to a number of conduits; to fulfill these commitments they may need to raise liquidity in yen and dollars, although these banks are unlikely to encounter difficulties raising the necessary liquidity, given the limited size of these commitments versus their balance sheets [up to 5 percent].”
“There is more order in the financial infrastructure in Japan than in any other nation in Asia,” Mobrez said.
CBRE International said Japanese REITs remained dominant players, adding to their portfolios in Tokyo and the rest of Japan. However, with the financial markets pricing a further interest rate increase, the report said that the 10-year Japanese Government Bonds yield increased from a 1.6 percent average in April to a 1.9 percent average in June, shrinking the positive spread of net operating income yields.

In Singapore, investment transactions totaled more than $15.8 billion in the first half of the year, a 70 percent increase from the previous year, according to CBRE International. Development sites drove acquisitions as private equity groups and foreign funds gained interest in office properties.
MCP Raffle, a unit of Macquarie Global Property Advisors, purchased Temasek Tower for nearly $660.8 million, making it the most significant office transaction in the first half of the year, CBRE said.
Average rents for Singapore industrial space also increased in the second quarter, with high-tech space posting its largest gains in five years, according to CBRE. Analysts expect supply constraints in the office market and optimistic business conditions to increase demand and rents.
The Singaporean banks were the most transparent in Asia, according to Fitch. The overall collateralized debt obligation exposure in the Singaporean banks was at nearly $1.5 billion, which could potentially give rise to losses that would dent annual earnings. However, Fitch said it would not materially weaken the banks' capital,
“Singapore has always been an attractive investment hub," Mobrez said, in reference to Singapore’s financial stability, based on policy and infrastructure. "Financial market discipline is a role model for China to copy from Singapore.”

Development Bank of Singapore disclosed $850 million of CDO/collateralized loan obligation exposures, including asset-backed securities exposure of $188 million. Not all of the $188 million is subprime-related—some is A-paper or higher—and it amounts to nearly 1.5 percent of DBS Group's equity.
Fitch’s data indicated limited exposure to problematic subprime mortgage assets among life insurers and—in a worst-case scenario—losses related to subprime exposures are likely to be within 6 percent of equity even for the more aggressive investors among the life insurance companies.
Mobrez noted that Asia as a whole requires fiscal discipline from investors rather than overaggressive investment.
“Financial balance is a key element in Asia. Investors have to look at that,” Mobrez said. “Investors have to walk into Asia with open eyes, rather than the belief that they just have to invest for the sake of investing.”

Kelvin Teo said...

P.S. This has little to do with the topic on hand. Please refer to http://kentridgecommon.com/?p=2000

Dear Dr Huang:

Interesting that you mentioned that the electorate expects their MP to be whiter than white. For the PAP's side, do you think they are the victims of their own high standards? They have been the dominant party, and the MSM has always given them a clean cut image. Perhaps, the electorate who are exposed to the MSM now expect their MPs to live up to that standard? Speaking of years of conditioning!

Actually contrary to your assessment regarding the hypocritical nature of the electorate, I thought that their reaction with regards to the slip ups on part of the PAP MP is quite natural. When a chap goes out and proclaims himself to be the gold standard of morality to the masses, he has to live up to the gold standard. If he slips up, the mass will descend upon him like hawks. And this is what the PAP has done with the marketing of their candidates as people whose conduct is of gold standard. The opposition on the other hand has never ventured to make such a bold claim about being the gold standard of personal conduct because they know that every little chink in their armour will be exaggerated and make known to all and sundry.

That being said, Steve Chia doesn't seem to suffer any ill effects of his minor hiccup, no? Perhaps, Steve has never proclaimed himself to represent the gold standard of personal conduct to begin with in revisiting my point in the second paragraph.

However, I think the pertinent question is whether Singaporeans are a pragmatic lot when it comes to electing their officials or character matters?

Sincerely yours

Kelvin Teo said...

Dear Dr Huang:

Thanks a lot for your compliments. BTW, I just replied to your email which you sent yesterday.

Sincerely yours

Civic Advocator said...

Some of us have balls.