Monday, August 12, 2019

Singapore Economy Going Forward

Read a write up in this week The Edge Singapore titled "A New Growth Formula" as shown below

To summarize this article was about Singapore economy is at a crossroads and still relying on the GDP as a measure of progress is no longer adequate.  Other yardsticks should be considered to measure the progress.

After reading this article, it reminded me of a blog I wrote in 7th Oct 2015 (Singapore Economy -- Looking Ahead).  The main point of that post was since 2010 I already felt something was not right in the Singapore economic growth model and what should possibility be done to change it.  I gave a very layman description of the Singapore economic model then and it is reproduced as followed.

Singapore economic model in layman description is like a football team with speedie wingers, creative playmakers and lethal strikers (export, tourism, manufacturing, GLCs, etc).  Upon weak opponent (good economic condition), can easily bang in dozen of goals to make the scoreline very impressive but when matches up against a tough opponent (bad economic condition), we can't score goals and our midfield and defense (SMEs, agriculture, construction & retails sectors, etc) either missing or too weak that allow opponent to over run easily leaving us with the goalie (national reserve) as the last line of defense to save us for the day.

Comparing to my assessment then to what was written in The Edge Singapore magazine and what's the Government lately have been doing.  It is not difficult to realize the crossroads Singapore is facing now is actually a decade old problem.  A problem that decade ago the Government should realize and tackle on it and not now then start to talk about transforming, restructuring.  As an average Joe I was able to read and sense the problem but those forever arrogance pseudo elite that ran the Government basically what are they doing after getting million dollar of salary annually ?

 Another fact that puzzle me was back in 2015 after the General Election, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat was tasked to chair a newly setup committee to plan on Singapore Future Economy.  He explicitly said during a dialogue session with entrepreneurs (in quote) "The global economic and financial situation is changing very rapidly, and in Singapore we are also restructuring our economy."  Well now after 4 years have passed they are still talking about Singapore economy in need of restructuring.  Puzzling, really puzzling, Singapore just have a 4 years of kosong !  Bravo ! A job that is so well done that only the pseudo elites could do it.

Presently, Singapore economy is in danger of being the first nation to enter a recession in the world due to the uncertainties in the global trades.  Have you ever wonder should they realize the need to change and act upon it a decade ago (just around the time when I sensed something was not right), Singapore might not be in the situation we are facing now.

Let put in some statistic.  Since the 1997/98 Asian Financial Crisis (AFC), Singapore has entered recession in 2000/01 due to dotcom bubble burst, 2003 due to SARS and 2008 due to US sub-prime GFC.  That is like for the past 22 years, Singapore entered 4 recessions.  If next year Singapore is to enter another recession, that will be 5 within 23 years.  A statistic to be proud of ?  During these 2 decade plus of years, majority especially the middle class people were like doing 2 steps forward then 1 step backward financially while those pseudo elites that ran the nation are richer each year via their million dollar salary regardless of the economy condition.  Thus, at the rate things are going, it will not be a total surprise that 5 years later they are still talking about transforming and restructuring the economy.   Better be prepared for that kind of scenario to happen at individual level.

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