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Messages - MariaSharpie

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MI6 chief Alex Younger said a shortage of equipment providers is a factor as Britain mulls how to balance security risks against its development of a fifth generation communications network.

“There are some practical points about the number of vendors who exist at the moment,” he told reporters in Munich on Friday. “It’s not inherently desirable that we have a monopolistic supplier of any of our critical national infrastructure. We should be aiming for the maximum diversity as a matter of good practice.”

A report on the resilience and security of Britain’s telecoms supply chains is due to conclude in March and Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright will use it to make recommendations to the National Security Council. Huawei faces bans in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the US over fears the Chinese government could use its systems to spy on other countries.

“We need to take a principles-based approach to this and the first is around quality,” Younger said. “This has got nothing to do with the country of origin; we should be insisting on the highest level of quality in any form of technology platform or service we choose to use and in particular security quality.”

Britain insists on high standards of cybersecurity and will continue to tell providers where they fall short, Younger said.

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I think we can accept the Minister for Health’s explanation that his  ministry made an honest “judgement call” not to inform the affected  patients of the data breach back in 2016, and that it was not unreasonable for them to assess then that putting out the information  would have caused more harm than good. So there was no (intentional) cover-up. Of course now with the benefit of hindsight, we can argue that they should have made a different assessment in 2016. But as they say, hindsight is 20/20. The real test is whether given what Ministry of Health (MOH) knew in 2016, was their decision then a reasoned and reasonable one? And my answer is yes.

If you agree with the above argument, wouldn’t you also say that when Sylvia Lim suggested (during  last year’s Budget debate) that the government had floated the GST increase as a “trial balloon”, it was also an honest assessment based on what she knew then?

With hindsight, she changed her mind, but again the real test is whether given the facts at the time, was her  assessment a reasoned and reasonable one, even if it was later shown to  be wrong? And I think most neutral observers would say it was a reasonable opinion (that many others at the time also held) and she didn’t need to apologise.

Why is this comparison important? Because as Harvard’s Levitsky and Ziblat argue in their excellent book  “How Democracies Die”, one of the ways in which democratically elected  governments undermine democracy is their constant denial of the legitimacy of political critics and opponents, and their characterization of the opposition as enemies, not just political rivals.

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It is just both sad and funny to read that PAP ministers were calling Mikhy Farrera Brochez a “pathological liar”. Let’s take a look at how much we can trust our PAP ministers.

1. PAP ministers made no qualms about showing “utmost love and respect” for Lee Kuan Yew (LKY), to the extent of building a 5-acre  gigantic Founders’ Memorial Park, even though LKY had repeatedly  stressed that he did not want to be worshipped like a cult leader.  However, despite all the “utmost love and respect” for LKY, his dying will to demolish his own private house was blatantly ignored, with a  secret government committee set up to ensure Lee Hsien Yang (LHY) and Lee Wei Ling (LWL) could not carry out his last wishes to demolish the house.

In the process, LWL pointed out Lee Hsien Loong (LHL) might have lied in his statutory declaration. There were never any follow-up explanations nor investigations made concerning this matter.

2. From 1980s to 2017, PAP ministers had asked the Singaporeans to embrace the Asset Enhancement Programme. They told Singaporeans that votes were traceable to flats and flats with high PAP vote shares would  be prioritised in the upgrading programme with promises of increased  asset values. PAP ministers assured that “HDB flats will never fall in value” and people were “daft” to reject such a lucrative house-ownership programme. After receiving more than 40 years of support at the voting booths and with no further old HDB flats to upgrade, they decided to pull the plug and informed Singaporeans that HDB flats will indeed become worthless at the end of their 99-year leases.

With the coming elections, LHL decided that the government would have a VERS programme to re-upgrade the flats at 60 years old and buy back these flats at 70 years old, with details to be revealed 10 years later.  However, conservative estimates show that the government needs to pay up to $3 billion every year to buy-back the flats if each HDB flat is  compensated with an average of $250,000, which is hardly enough to buy  another HDB flat. It does not take an idiot to realise that this is not sustainable to spend $3 billion every year to buy-back old flats that would eventually be worthless.

In the meantime, a significant number of Singaporeans had already poured their entire life savings and CPFs into buying their dream HDB  flats.......welcome to a whole new nightmare.

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本地电子产品零售商Newstead科技(Newstead Technologies)清盘,拖欠的债务超过6000万元。


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SINGAPORE: A Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) regular serviceman died on Thursday (Feb 14) at Kranji Camp II, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said in a statement.

The 33-year-old was found motionless at a stairway landing of a building at 5.10pm, said the ministry.

The police and Singapore Civil Defence Force were activated by the unit, and the serviceman was pronounced dead on site at 5.30pm by an SAF medical officer.


 SINGAPORE — Beleaguered bike-sharing operator Ofo has been suspended by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) for failing to comply with its regulatory requirements.

............ The authority had earlier given Ofo up till Wednesday to reduce its bicycle fleet to the stipulated maximum fleet size of 10,000 and set up a QR-code parking system.

LTA said it “will only lift the suspension if Ofo meets all regulatory requirements”.

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News, Current Affairs Discussions / 54yr old writes letter to CPF
« on: February 14, 2019, 03:10:50 pm »

Dear CPF Board,

You are the appointed agency to manage my retirement fund, which comes from my monthly contribution from the day I started working. I had no options to self manage my fund, or to appoint better fund manager. In short, I was forced to work with you. Nonetheless, I thank you for the hard work all these years to provide me an impressive 2.5% interest on my contribution. I ought to be grateful that my MONEY IS STILL THERE. If not, tell me about it. Don't keep deferring the payouts. That is a bad habit you have acquired over the years and I am highlighting it today as feedback.

When we first began, we agreed for a complete withdrawal when I get to 55 years old. That would be more than 3 decades from my first contribution. It was an absolute peach sweet and juicy to you. Even the worst local bank would offer me more than 2.5% for a crappy structural deposit on a 10 year term, capital guaranteed. If I use them, I would be able to do an early withdrawal of my funds before maturity, albeit with a penalty charge. You could certainly do better than 2.5% for a complete lock in for no withdrawal option for 3 decades. Never mind about the yield. We are friends and it hurts our relationship if we get too calculative. That is why it is unacceptable for you to charge me an interest for any loan I take from my OWN money. We should give and take but unfortunately, you are the only one enjoy the taking till now.

Things turned a nasty corner when you begin to think it is rightful for you to dictate my retirement age and how to live my life. What make you think you can manage better and are you? We agreed on a complete withdrawal at 55 years old at the beginning of our contract. You revised it, because you told me you cared for me. So you suggested 60, then 63 and you urged me to stretch my non-withdrawal to 65 years old, by giving me a bonus of $1,200 for a 2 year extension. that would amount to a total of more than 40 years of keeping my money with you. Oh, is that how things work around here? I would have offered you $12,000, to withdraw my money 20 years earlier. I would if I could, if you HAVE THE MONEY to return me in the first place;

And eventually, it became 65 unknowingly, now again, you cunningly postphoned it to 70 and do whatever mean to stretch it to 93.

I'm must apologise for my lack of faith in you but that has been lost ever since you told me I would not be withdrawing my retirement fund at whatever age you decided, and THE GOAL POST IS STILL SHIFTING as we speak. Instead you told me I will receive only payouts like an unemployed working receiving handouts from Centrelink in Australia. The key difference is, the Australian Government pays the unemployed from tax receivables and the money I left with you, come from my pocket. Despite that, you think you have the right to hold a bulk of my money in which you called Minimum Sum, and even tell me I will receive no payouts if I fail to accumulate enough money beyond the Minimum Sum. The problem here is that the Minimum Sum keep increasing and may I ask who is responsible for the increasing in the Minimum Sum? Cost of living? And who is responsible for the increase cost of living? You just simply made me responsible for your mistakes again and again till l no longer make it and more and more people cannot keep up with it. Thus, I cannot help but wonder if the Minimum Sum is created to keep me alive or to keep you afloat.

Over the last 20 years, you have dropped too many hints to suggest things are not the way you thought to be, so when can you get it right then? I do not want to interfere with your affairs but do not make me pay for your mistakes again and again. I entrusted my money in you because I was not given a choice. It is more than a privilege for you, an entitlement in fact. Do not abuse it. This is not a warning, just a simple advice from a CPF member. Perhaps you should consider changing the three keys inside the logo to three locks since you like to change so much. You have it all locked rather then I having a key to open anyway. If it goes on like that, I can't imagine what will be the changes when I reach 64?

Sincerely yours.
A 54 years old veteran chasing after his life long retirement fund.

European aviation giant Airbus says it will stop making its superjumbo A380 in 2021 after struggling to sell the world's biggest passenger jet. However, the company still announced a significant rise in profits for 2018.

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus on Thursday announced it will end production of the A380 double-decker passenger jet in 2021.

The Franco-German company had hoped the superjumbo would challenge Boeing's 747 and revolutionise air travel in the 21st century.

What's behind the move?

The decision came after Emirates reduced its order of the model from 162 to 123 aircraft.The company said it had "no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production."Airbus had warned in January that it would stop making the plane if no new orders came in.

'Disappointing' and 'painful'

Dubai-based airline Emirates is the biggest A380 customer and had built its global brand around the model.

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In Algeria, it was banned from bidding for public contracts after one of its executives was convicted of bribery.

In Zambia, it was probed over allegations of bribery involving a  multi-million-dollar contract to build cell towers in rural areas.

In the Solomon Islands, it was accused of offering millions of dollars to the ruling party in exchange for an undersea fiber optic cable contract.

In all three cases – and half a dozen others in recent years – the alleged perpetrator was Huawei Technologies, the Chinese telecom behemoth facing scrutiny from Western nations over allegations of  intellectual property theft and espionage.

Saying it poses a national security threat, the U.S., Australia and New  Zealand have banned the company from building new, state of the art 5G  telecom networks. Other Western countries are debating over a similar ban.

Security concerns about Huawei and other Chinese telecom equipment providers are mounting after U.S. prosecutors last month charged the company founded by a former People’s Liberation Army officer with  violating U.S. sanctions on Iran, purloining trade secrets from T-Mobile  and encouraging its employees to steal intellectual property.

The focus on national security concerns about Huawei has eclipsed a little reported aspect of the company’s operations: Huawei’s involvement  in corrupt business dealings.

The company has denied the allegations of corruption and said it has strong safeguards against corporate graft.

In a statement on its website, Huawei says it has a “zero-tolerance” policy on graft.

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The firm behind the Republic’s major art fair which was abruptly cancelled last month — after an eight-year run — was placed under provisional liquidation on Jan 31.

The winding up of Art Stage Singapore was announced on  Tuesday (Feb 12) by the appointed provisional liquidator, Mr Tee Wey Lih from Acres Advisory. Mr Tee is now arranging to recover the company’s assets and records.

A creditors’ meeting has been scheduled for Feb 28, and creditors will receive a notice of meeting shortly, Mr Tee said in a press release.

When a company undergoes liquidation, its business ceases to operate and its assets are seized and converted into cash. The proceeds will then be used to pay off the company’s debts and liabilities.

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Chit Chat Corner / FUNNY: So who are the real robbers here?
« on: February 13, 2019, 01:36:44 pm »
During a robbery in Guangzhou, China, the bank robber shouted to everyone in  the bank: "Don't move. The money belongs to the State. Your life belongs to you."

Everyone in the bank laid down quietly. This is called "Mind Changing Concept” Changing the conventional way of thinking.

When a lady lay on the table provocatively, the robber shouted at her: "Please be civilized! This is a robbery and not a rape!"

This is called "Being Professional” Focus only on what you are trained to do!

When the bank robbers returned home, the younger robber (MBA-trained) told the older robber (who has only completed Year 6 in primary school):  "Big brother, let's count how much we got."

The older robber  rebutted and said: "You are very stupid. There is so much money it will  take us a long time to count. Tonight, the TV news will tell us how much we robbed from the bank!"

This is called "Experience.” Nowadays, experience is more important than paper qualifications!

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