Category Archives: New Year

Numbers Mostly Lie!

… in Political and Business Contexts

Happy 2018!

So Singapore had a good 2017, with a 3.5% growth, which is significant for a First World economy! Well done!

I am not going to be carried away by such statistics, given the suspicions I nurture about jugglery, even manipulation and some reverse engineering. After all, these are not uncommon in the marketing-driven world of business!

Moreover, as PM Lee points out, the year began with uncertainty, with security and terror concerns adding to economic jitters. Still, the year appears to have ended in euphoria! How?

Okay, let me assume it was all because of good governance – with the leadership going “beyond immediate problems without settling for quick-fixes”, something the Third World is prone to!

Singapore has no reason to fudge data, the political stability in the country keeps populism at bay.

Economic sagacity, nonetheless, demands some sobriety in reacting to analytics, reports and projections without giving room for any overblown enthusiasm or cautious gloom.

It is up to the people to map a career path for themselves, whatever the data being dished out – upbeat or downbeat!

Have an awesome, dreams-come-true 2018!

G Joslin Vethakumar


Singapore economy grew by 3.5% in 2017, says PM Lee Hsien Loong in New Year message


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My Wishlist: Less Globalisation, More Localisation

The economy is not everything, particularly so if globalisation leaves local populations in the lurch.

From Brexit to Trump and more to come (Germany, France, the Netherlands, etc.), globalisation is proving to be the farce it is.

Mediocrity, Terror and Crime

A borderless world is welcome only if you are prepared to bring in mediocrity while being open to the risk of terrorism and imported crime from rapes to murders.

Locals in each of the advanced countries have begun looking for jobs elsewhere as:

  • their countries are being flooded with personnel from the Third World merely because businesses want cheap workforce
  • they are losing their identity in their own land and peace has ground to a halt because of the refugee influx

The Labour Crunch Claptrap in Singapore

And in countries such as Singapore the locals are being led to believe that there is a labour crunch when they themselves are going without jobs.

Singapore is already filled with more people than it can take, with foreign mediocrity accounting for a significant chunk of the population. The casualty is the high quality of life that Singaporeans used to enjoy not too long ago.

But then they are a complacent, nervous bunch worried about having to stare at bankruptcy because of any resistance.


Citizenry-First Strategy Paramount

The state of the economy is not everything, but a citizenry-first strategy is paramount. To restore the high quality of life of the past, Singapore must start to trim its population by at least 10%. I hope to see that happen in 2017.

I came up with my 2016 wish-list at the start of this year. I had then argued that Singapore has to look at ways to reinvigorate its citizens with an inward orientation.


I have not seen any of my yearnings from that list fructify, so I am linking this post to my January 1, 2016 Wishlist for Singapore.

Let me also link to another of my posts from January 2016, where I talked about jobs for every Singaporean must be a matter of right.

I hope the Singapore Government learns from the globalisation lessons the world came to grips with in 2016, including in the most open of all countries (the U.S.) and does not take its citizens for a ride.

I really wish I will not have to repeat the wishlist at the start of 2018!

G Joslin Vethakumar

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What a boring list of things to do in 2017 in Singapore!

Only The Straits Times can come up with such trivia. Reading it will make one wonder if Singapore is so old generation, given that the list includes replacing 2G-only phones and moving away from analogue broadcasting to digital TV.

And you thought Singapore was racing towards becoming the world’s first Smart Nation!


Buying new parking coupons, staying fit and using less electricity are some of the other 2017 actions that the newspaper lists out! Insipid stuff but will still be relevant to some.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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New Year Fireworks in Singapore, Around the World

This New Year-eve turned out to be more interesting than the earlier ones as we were able to end 2015 and usher 2016 in with a service at the Cathedral and step out at the stroke of the midnight hour to have a glimpse of some spectacular firework displays at the Marina Bay.

Fireworks explode in Marina Bay against the skyline of Singapore during New Year's Day celebrations

Fireworks explode in Marina Bay against the skyline of Singapore during New Year’s Day celebrations January 1, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su

The church service started at 10.30pm, an hour earlier than usual, as they wanted to wind the service up as soon as the midnight bells chime to give:

  • The congregation an opportunity to step and out and capture whatever is left of the celebrations outside – healthy intention!
  • To avoid the service having to contend with the noise from outside after the dawn of the New Year – a more appropriate reasoning

New Year eve in LondonNY London

Whatever the reason, it worked well for us and we were able to return home earlier than the earlier years.

Here is a video of the fireworks I took using my iPhone 6+ camera. While the church is very close to the Bay, we could have had it better if we were by the river for a fuller view.



Many other cities have had an even more breathtaking celebration, as you will see from images in this site.






New Year London





Fireworks light up the sky over Wat Arun

Fireworks light up the sky over Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) during New Year celebrations in Bangkok on January 1, 2016. / AFP / CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULTCHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images

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Countdown to 2016!

Countdown 2016Exciting events are lined up in Singapore to usher in 2016 and spectacular fireworks are expected across key pockets of the country, particularly by the Bay.

Marina Bay appears to have the best events for the evening given its sparkling, prime location. Other locations are not falling way behind as you will find here.

MediaCorp has an interesting seven-hour lineup that includes a show by American singer Adam Lambert. That does not excite me, though!

Countdown to 2016

We will be near the area as our church, St Andrew’s Cathedral, is located around there. As is our practice, we will attend the watchnight service there. My two daughters told me this morning that we need to leave home by 9.30pm as the service starts at 10.30pm.



I intend to survey some of the colourful areas prior to that.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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