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Thread: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

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    Default Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    THE latest Singapore Budget was prominently reported in Taiwan yesterday, with many Taiwanese heaping praise on Singapore's generous measures aimed at cushioning the impact of rising costs.

    News of the $1.8 billion surplus-sharing package even made it to the front page of the mass-circulation daily, the United Daily News, a rare move for the Taiwanese media, which tends to focus heavily on local news.

    In Hong Kong, where the government is slated to announce its Budget on Feb 27, newspapers also carried related reports, even though the coverage was smaller in scale.

    The extensive coverage in Taiwan comes ahead of the island's presidential elections on March 22, which is expected to be dominated by issues such as the island's sluggish economy, rising inflation and a widening income gap.

    The Taiwanese media has taken a special interest in the Budget announcement, because Singapore is often regarded as a benchmark for comparison by the Taiwanese.

    Economists quoted by the United Daily News said that Taiwan's presidential candidates could take a leaf out of Singapore's book.

    The main opposition Kuomintang nominee Ma Ying-jeou is leading Mr Frank Hsieh of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, according to polls.

    National Cheng Kung University professor Hsieh Wen-jen lauded Singapore's 'brilliant' moves, scrapping estate duty and giving out $380 million worth of personal income tax rebates.

    By making these changes at the same time, it could deflect criticism that the abolition of estate duty benefited only the rich, Prof Hsieh told the United Daily News.

    The bonanza Budget triggered soul-searching among Taiwanese.

    'Looking at Singapore, I can't help but think about ourselves... Why is it that they can do it, but we can't?' a Taiwanese reader wrote in the United Daily News.

    Taiwan's economic officials said that Singapore's 'company style' of governance and handing out of dividends could work only in small countries.

    But some observers blame the Taiwanese government's pre-occupation with politics at the expense of economics. Last year, Taiwan posted a budget deficit of more than NT$100 billion (S$4.5 billion).

    'Singapore's Government has proven its economic ability, while the newly elected South Korean president has pledged to focus on the economy,' said the Commercial Times in a commentary yesterday. 'The future Taiwanese president should ask himself: How long more must ordinary Taiwanese put up with all these?'

    Over in Hong Kong, a newspaper commentary noted that the handouts from the Singapore Government were exactly what analysts and lawmakers had been calling for in the city's upcoming Budget.

    The Hong Kong Economic Journal noted, too, that Singapore's abolishment of the estate tax validated Hong Kong's decision to do so in 2006.

    This, it said, reflected both cities' commitment to positioning themselves as offshore tax havens and significant global asset management centres.
    cos no one put up, so i must do it lor.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    Singapore should be compared to HK only and not to Taiwan........it is a different scale lah.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    Quote Originally Posted by hongsien View Post
    Singapore should be compared to HK only and not to Taiwan........it is a different scale lah.
    people always compare us to uk, us, europe

    best part is, using information that they see from movies, not reports or real-life facts

    i guess, in that sense, the taiwanese do that too, without seeing the holistic picture

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    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    people always compare us to uk, us, europe

    best part is, using information that they see from movies, not reports or real-life facts

    i guess, in that sense, the taiwanese do that too, without seeing the holistic picture
    As nothing is perfect, Singapore is not perfect too, so there is always room for improvements.......by comparing ourselves to other countries serves as a goal for improving ourselves, don't always see it as talking back about Singapore.

    Always try to get the best of other countries......

    HS

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    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    Quote Originally Posted by hongsien View Post
    As nothing is perfect, Singapore is not perfect too, so there is always room for improvements.......by comparing ourselves to other countries serves as a goal for improving ourselves, don't always see it as talking back about Singapore.

    Always try to get the best of other countries......

    HS
    i do not disagree, in fact i have stated that there is a lot to change

    a pet peeve of mine, in fact is our education system. i think a lot of singapore's shortcomings stem from that very root, as cliched as it sounds. i'm not exactly sure that any country has a perfect system however..

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    Senior Member azul123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    One acronym missing from HKG, GST.

    ../azul123

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    Senior Member azul123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    a pet peeve of mine, in fact is our education system. i think a lot of singapore's shortcomings stem from that very root, as cliched as it sounds.
    This one I agree..

    Altough there has been constant review of our Educational system, but I think more shuold be done, especially for higher secondary onwards, they should have programs for students to develop critical thinking, allow them to challenge ideas etc.. Something is missing.

    ../azul123
    Last edited by azul123; 20th February 2008 at 07:24 AM.

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    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    Quote Originally Posted by azul123 View Post
    This one I agree..

    Altough there has been constant review of our Educational system, but I think more shuold be done, especially for higher secondary onwards, they should have programs for students to develop critical thinking, allow them to challenge ideas etc.. Something is missing.

    ../azul123
    is not just that, i think the secondary to tertiary is still barely tolerable, it has worked for many generations

    but i do not find myself inclined to want to continue to higher learning in singapore, the system is warped to that where one is literally immersed in academia and school life wholesale, with not much room for development outside of schools apart from the holidays.

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    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    is not just that, i think the secondary to tertiary is still barely tolerable, it has worked for many generations

    but i do not find myself inclined to want to continue to higher learning in singapore, the system is warped to that where one is literally immersed in academia and school life wholesale, with not much room for development outside of schools apart from the holidays.
    Well, I am not schooled here from primary to tertiary, but what I can see and hear is that the students have just too much homework?

    I thought MOE already revamped the curriculum a few times and put in more project based items? Or was this done on top of the normal curriculum, so in the end there was even more work?

    I went to highschool in Holland and had to learn 6 languages, plus the other things like maths, geography, history physics, chem, etc...and we didn't complain, actually, I can not remember having to work till late at night (unless it was the days before the exams). Most people get minimum 4 languages at school, so I don't understand why there is so much stress here? Or is it self-induced stress? Alll schools are made to compete, so in the end it all boils down to the students and teachers :-(

    And it also teaches the students to be the best but there can only be one the best, how about the others who are not that good? This creates a way of thinking that one has to be the best, making the young very selfcentered, and I see that in society here beginning with youngsters who only think about themselves......Remember the "I Not Stupid" movie?

    I think it is not important to be the best, it is important to be the best in YOUR capability, whatever you do you need to put 100% of yourself, thats important......

    I think quantity is not important but quality, having more things to study doesn't make one a better student, or having high grades for that matter. Asian schooling methods was based on rote learning, which to me is insane, cause the only thing you test is the ability to memorize! Al those quizzes I see on TV also is useless, it only shows how good ones memory is! Too much knowledge based, which is not as important as

    Knowledge and wisdom are two DIFFERENT things! Knowledge and being intelligent are also two different things!

    HS
    Last edited by hongsien; 20th February 2008 at 10:31 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    Removal of the estate duty is a great move.

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    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    to be frank... surviving in places like hongkong and taiwan is very tough.

    do u know ? hong kong people worked like mad round the clock... they had to fight hard against lower cost labour from mainland china.


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    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    Quote Originally Posted by azul123 View Post
    This one I agree..

    Altough there has been constant review of our Educational system, but I think more shuold be done, especially for higher secondary onwards, they should have programs for students to develop critical thinking, allow them to challenge ideas etc.. Something is missing.

    ../azul123
    i think it should be from primary school onwards. the entire system is geared towards academic excellence and my opinion is that because of this paper chase attitude, sg-an's all get some form of elitist thinking instilled into them. This is where the divide comes about, because of the practice to sweep the bad under the rug, we do not know how to deal with failure.

    And the very thing that is missing to me is a very great taboo, "Never challenge the system".
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

  13. #13

    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    Quote Originally Posted by hongsien View Post
    I thought MOE already revamped the curriculum a few times and put in more project based items? Or was this done on top of the normal curriculum, so in the end there was even more work?

    I went to highschool in Holland and had to learn 6 languages, plus the other things like maths, geography, history physics, chem, etc...and we didn't complain, actually, I can not remember having to work till late at night (unless it was the days before the exams). Most people get minimum 4 languages at school, so I don't understand why there is so much stress here? Or is it self-induced stress? Alll schools are made to compete, so in the end it all boils down to the students and teachers :-(

    And it also teaches the students to be the best but there can only be one the best, how about the others who are not that good? This creates a way of thinking that one has to be the best, making the young very selfcentered, and I see that in society here beginning with youngsters who only think about themselves......Remember the "I Not Stupid" movie?

    I think it is not important to be the best, it is important to be the best in YOUR capability, whatever you do you need to put 100% of yourself, thats important......
    i think most of the stress here is self-induced. in part that is not wrong - to make a fair comparison the singaporean students across the board here are much more self-motivated in terms of academic studies, but then again that could be a null comparison since one might say that the ones you see here have generally done better on paper before already.

    i think project work was a bit of a farce which was not implemented too well - still too much emphasis on results, instead of the process, and in my view most teacher-mentors were not sufficiently interested nor involved in the entire thing for it work the way it should have. the students, being students were already cynical about the whole thing before it began.. add that on and you see that two hands clapped to produce nothing good. from what i saw many groups ended up being a one-man show, the person who cared most about results would literally do everything. although the same happens everywhere, it is life after all and there is always someone to exploit.

    i do agree with the "always be best" mentality - it is true at least amongst the better students. i have had experiences/encounters with the less academically inclined bunch today though, and perhaps the situation in the movie mentioned above is a lot more real than we give it credit for.

    but even then, one could say that wanting to do well is ok until one becomes too obsessed with the concept. one of the key problems i do see in my generation (hopefully without being too condescending) is a general lack of purpose or passion for anything. most of what they do or decide on , even major decisions are almost wholly driven by the herd instinct, there is no individualism or sole perception or viewpoint, not one that is significant anyways. for example, the common example about how better jc students always end up applying for medicine first choice, law second choice, then some funny thing they have no real reason to apply for other than a safety choice as the third. it really irks me, somehow.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    Quote Originally Posted by raincool2005 View Post
    to be frank... surviving in places like hongkong and taiwan is very tough.

    do u know ? hong kong people worked like mad round the clock... they had to fight hard against lower cost labour from mainland china.

    yes, hong kong is a very competitive place from what i've heard, some say even worse than singapore, and singapore is already a mad rat race.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    is not just that, i think the secondary to tertiary is still barely tolerable, it has worked for many generations

    but i do not find myself inclined to want to continue to higher learning in singapore, the system is warped to that where one is literally immersed in academia and school life wholesale, with not much room for development outside of schools apart from the holidays.

    Agreed, we could talk more about this if we have an opportunity to meet!

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    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    yes, hong kong is a very competitive place from what i've heard, some say even worse than singapore, and singapore is already a mad rat race.
    HK is a lot more stressed than Singapore! Just look at the speed people walk on the streets, overhere, people are much more relaxed when they walk (so much so that they even block the walkways for other faster walking people), in HK the speed is about as in New York.....

    Strangely enough, I found that the Bangladeshi people here walk much faster than Singaporeans! In fact about the same speed as in HK!! :-)

    As for me, I always walk fast, even with two heavy bags, I walk faster than most Singaporeans, don't know why :-)

    HS

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    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    The education system here is, in one word, efficient. Though I do agree that it's missing something. I used to feel quite strongly about the level of stress and the paper-chase in our system here, until I heard about the horror stories from my friends in other Asian countries like in South Korea and Taiwan. As far as I know, most high-schools in S.Korea have time-tables from the morning till at least 8/9pm in the evening just to prepare students for their university entrance exams. And in Taiwan, they have cram schools for students from elementary school all the way up to Ph.D levels!!! In fact, they have cram schools for whatever exams you want to take, Microsoft certification, civil servant exams etc etc.

    So not all's bad with our system here, I suppose we need is probably some variety and emphasis on strengths other than academic abilities.

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    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    Quote Originally Posted by hongsien View Post
    HK is a lot more stressed than Singapore! Just look at the speed people walk on the streets, overhere, people are much more relaxed when they walk (so much so that they even block the walkways for other faster walking people), in HK the speed is about as in New York.....

    Strangely enough, I found that the Bangladeshi people here walk much faster than Singaporeans! In fact about the same speed as in HK!! :-)

    As for me, I always walk fast, even with two heavy bags, I walk faster than most Singaporeans, don't know why :-)

    HS
    hrm. actually i don't know, i always find my path being blocked everywhere in the world i've been to. maybe i should walk slower

    can't really say if they are more stressed or not, i mean, all i have is hearsay. but i guess stress is what you get out of it, it's not there in the first place. put different people in a most stressful situation, say defusing a bomb with 10 seconds left, and they will react differently.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    Quote Originally Posted by Prismatic View Post
    The education system here is, in one word, efficient. Though I do agree that it's missing something. I used to feel quite strongly about the level of stress and the paper-chase in our system here, until I heard about the horror stories from my friends in other Asian countries like in South Korea and Taiwan. As far as I know, most high-schools in S.Korea have time-tables from the morning till at least 8/9pm in the evening just to prepare students for their university entrance exams. And in Taiwan, they have cram schools for students from elementary school all the way up to Ph.D levels!!! In fact, they have cram schools for whatever exams you want to take, Microsoft certification, civil servant exams etc etc.

    So not all's bad with our system here, I suppose we need is probably some variety and emphasis on strengths other than academic abilities.
    for taiwan not sure -

    but i know this korean family, the poor kid has school, and the rest of his day is piano lessons, tuition lessons, really super jia lat.

    definitely there will be good coming out of any education system, the singaporean way definitely has its merits - we do perform a lot better academically than most, the self-motivation when it is there is strong, so is the discipline..

    what i do think though, is that we are a cookie factory. there is a set definition for every type of role, and say, leaders, we demand that every leader have this, have that.. administrators have this, have that. it's just some fixed mould where you do it a certain way. a tad too rigid, if you ask me. i think we need much more opinionated individuals if we are to do better. people with a good sense of what they want in life, rather than what is handed to them to fulfill.

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    Senior Member azul123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Singapore Budget lauded by Taiwan and Hong Kong

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    what i do think though, is that we are a cookie factory. there is a set definition for every type of role, and say, leaders, we demand that every leader have this, have that.. administrators have this, have that. it's just some fixed mould where you do it a certain way. a tad too rigid, if you ask me. i think we need much more opinionated individuals if we are to do better. people with a good sense of what they want in life, rather than what is handed to them to fulfill.
    Another post I agree with. Yup, must try to break free from this Cookie-Cutter mould if you want to compete with world's best.

    ../azul123

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