As multiple nations search for the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 frantically, reports are emerging that the plane was spotted by some people near the Maldivian islands. Maldivian news website Haveeru Online reported that residents of the remote Maldives island of Kuda Huvadhoo in Dhaal Atoll said they saw a “low-flying jumbo jet” around 6.15 am ( Maldivian time) on March 8, the day when the flight disappeared. It also said the residents reported that it was a white aircraft, with red stripes across it like the planes operated by Malaysian Airlines.
There are billions of dollars worth of U.S. military equipment at Diego Garcia. It is difficult to believe that MH370 did not appear on the Diego Garcia radar, or on U.S. Awacs in the area.
From Haveeru Online
Mar 18, 2014 – 02:55
B52s and Stealth Bombers on Diego Garcia
Residents of the remote Maldives island of Kuda Huvadhoo in Dhaal Atoll have reported seeing a “low flying jumbo jet” on the morning of the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Whilst the disappearance of the Boeing 777 jet, carrying 239 passengers has left the whole world in bewilderment, several residents of Kuda Huvadhoo told Haveeru on Tuesday that they saw a “low flying jumbo jet” at around 6:15am on March 8.
They said that it was a white aircraft, with red stripes across it – which is what the Malaysia Airlines flights typically look like.
Eyewitnesses from the Kuda Huvadhoo concurred that the aeroplane was travelling North to South-East, towards the Southern tip of the Maldives – Addu. They also noted the incredibly loud noise that the flight made when it flew over the island. “I’ve never seen a jet flying so low over our island before. We’ve seen seaplanes, but I’m sure that this was not one of those. I could even make out the doors on the plane clearly,” said an eyewitness. “It’s not just me either, several other residents have reported seeing the exact same thing. Some people got out of their houses to see what was causing the tremendous noise too.”
Mohamed Zaheem, the Island Councilor of Kuda Huvadhoo, confirmed that the residents of the island had spoken about the incident.
Mar 18, 2014 – 04:13
In reference to investigative teams, some Malaysian news have written that the Captain of the missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 Zaharie Ahmad Shah had been practicing landing at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) of Maldives in the flight simulator he had built at his own home. Investigations into the flight simulator taken from the missing pilot’s home showed a software for five practice runways, including INIA: three airports in India and Sri Lanka, and one belonging to the US military base in Diego Garcia. “Among the software we checked so far is the Male International Airport in Maldives, All,” a source told the Malay daily. Malay Daily has written that all of these airports have a runway length of 1,000 metres, which is suitable to land a Boeing 777 plane. US had previously stated that the plane could not have landed at their base, Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
Mar 18, 2014 – 09:44
Maldives police on Tuesday announced an investigation into reports that residents of the remote Maldives island of Kuda Huvadhoo in Dhaal Atoll have seen a “low flying jumbo jet” on the morning of the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. But the police did not reveal any details.
U.S. Diego Garcia Air Base
Our source in Singapore report to us five days ago that Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 was diverted by the CIA, This was done because there were dangerous biological weapons aboard destined for China.
Flight MH370 has landed safely at the US Diego Garcia base in the Indian Ocean.
Apparently, the Malaysia government knew in advance of the toxic weapons on the flight, which explains their lack of cooperation.
The positioning of Diego Garcia is consistent with predictions and satellite information regarding the flight path of MH370.
Diego Garcia – Click to enlarge
The Diego Garcia runway found in Captain Zaharie’s flight simulator.
MH370′s landing at the Diego Garcia matches all the evidence.
The United States Navy operates Naval Support Facility (NSF) Diego Garcia, a large naval ship and submarine support base, military air base, communications and space-tracking facility on Diego Garcia.
Here is the unedited report from our source in Singapore.
March 16, 2014
From the latest input gathered from my research, I have come out with a very bizarre and spine chilling picture of the whole puzzle which I hopeis not true. The main reason why the plane was hijacked is because of highly dangerous items in the cargo compartment of the plane.
1. The MH370 flight is also code shared with a major airline from China.
2. China is trying to smuggle highly dangerous biological items into China through Kuala Lumpur.
3. The CIA got wind of this and forced to hijack and divert the flight.
4. The danger here is that should there be any leakage of the dangerous cargo, there may be widespread catastrophic destruction of human lives.
5. The obvious place which is within the fuel range of the flight to land will be the secret US base in the Indian ocean called Diego Garcia.
6. Flight MH370 has probably landed there with all the passengers safe and sound.
7. The US may be rushing all their biological experts there by now to assess whether any dangerous leakage of the biological bugs have taken place.
Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah of flight MH370 was said to a ‘fanatical’ supporter of the country’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim – jailed for homosexuality just hours before the jet disappeared. Captain Shah could have hijacked the plane in an anti-government protest.
We have received intelligence direct from one of our sources in Singapore:
I guess you may also be following the news of the MH370 incident. After analyzing all the available input, I may be able to put in my two cent’s worth to theorise as follows:-
1. Najib knows a lot but trying hard to distract and hide the truth which will eventually destroy him.
2. That’s why he was so desperate to jail Anwar last Friday (07MAR) & MH370was announced to be lost on Friday night. Isn’t this a very unusual coincidence?
3. If Najib was exposed & step down, Anwar will become the next de facto PM.
4. The Mongolian government is behind the plot to do justice to Altantuya who was murdered in cold blood to shut her mouth. (Altantuya: wikipedia)
5. Motive of plot: to negotiate for heavy compensation & to expose corruption of Najib in submarine deal with France. Altantuya was translator in the deal.
6. They may have enlisted top (Russian) experts to check & jam the aircraft systems and manually fly West to land in Nepal, Bhutan or Tibet (within 8 hr fuel range) which may be sympathetically linked to Mongolia.
7. Najib may have been notified that justice will soon be executed before the incident.
8. That’s why he had to desperately put Anwar in jail.
9. What a double news shocker for the Malaysians on Friday 07MAR.
Latest developments have confirmed my original hypothesis that the plane
was hijacked. It also appears that the whole plot was quite brilliantly
planned. Here are the fresh possibilities which I have figured out as
1. To avoid radar detection from the Indian mainland, they may have flown
all the way across the Indian ocean to land in Maldives which one of
the most inconspicuous place in the Indian ocean with perfect runway
length (3200m) for refueling and then proceed somewhere to the Ural
mountains or even African desert.
2. They may even hide the hostages safely on one of the remote atolls of
Maldives until their demands are met.
3. If such is the case, the MH B777 aircraft may never be found.
Runways withing range of flight MH370
Captain Shah was an ‘obsessive’ supporter of Ibrahim. And hours before the doomed flight left Kuala Lumpur, the 53-year-old Shah attended a controversial trial in which Ibrahim was jailed for five years.
Anwar Ibrahim is a broadly popular democracy icon and former deputy prime minister whose prosecution on a charge of sodomy is seen by many Malaysians as political persecution.
Minister Najib Razak said that investigators had found ‘deliberate action’ on board the plane resulted in it changing course and losing contact with ground crews.
In confirmation, FBI investigators say the disappearance of MH370 may have been ‘an act of piracy’ and the possibility that hundreds of passengers are being held at an unknown location has not been ruled out.
Officials revealed that it is possible the aircraft could have landed and transmitted a satellite signal from the ground.
Data showing the number of plausible runways where the plane could have touched down – which need to be at least 5,000ft – offer hundreds of potential locations.
Kerry – as his wife wonders
In spite of President Obama’s harsh warnings, Russian armed forces effectively seized control of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula on Saturday. In addition, the Russian Parliament granted President Putin the authority to use military force in response to the deepening instability in Ukraine.
This is a real slap in the face to President Obama.
Russia’s parliament will ask President Putin to recall Moscow’s ambassador back from the United States.
Ukraine’s fugitive president surfaced on Thursday in Moscow, where he was photographed with his good friend President Putin.
To further raise tensions with the West over Ukraine, Russia says it is negotiating with eight governments around the world for access to military facilities, to enable it to extend its long-range naval and strategic bomber capabilities. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday the military was engaged in talks with Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Algeria, Cyprus, the Seychelles, Vietnam and Singapore.
Access to the new locations would extend Russia’s military’s potential reach well beyond its current extraterritorial bases, at the Syrian port of Tartus and in former Soviet states – Ukraine’s Sevastopol, Armenia, Belarus, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and the occupied Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Shoigu said Russia was also beefing up its existing military presence in the post-Soviet region, doubling its troop numbers in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and deploying a regiment of troops to Belarus where it already has fighter aircraft stationed.
Russia’s RIA Novosti state news agency broadcast, “Now, Moscow needs to place such military assets in strategically important regions of the world to make them work effectively toward the goal of expanding Russia’s global influence.”
Since his return to the presidency in 2012, Putin began exploring options to renew alliances with the communist countries, and Russian Navy chief Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov said that year Cuba and Vietnam were in the frame.
Russia is now helping Vietnam to upgrade facilities at Cam Ranh Bay, including a submarine training center, and Russia is negotiating for preferential access to refueling and repair facilities there for its ships.
As for the Western hemisphere, Russian Navy ships in 2008 made their first visit since the end of the Cold War, holding joint maneuvers with the Venezuelan Navy in the Caribbean, navigating the Panama Canal, and making a port call in Havana.
Just days ago, a Russian intelligence-gathering ship, the Viktor Leonov, docked in Havana harbor with no explanation from the government or state media coverage.
In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and its other moves, the U.S. has uttered some harsh words – no only from President Obama, but from Secretary of State, John Kerry, and even from Sarah Palin. The dazzling red-head young and glamorous U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, an Irish national, is threatening to bring the matter to the United Nations.
Rahima and George Clooney have yet to weigh in, however Ben Affleck has visited John Kerry in Washington.
If it weren’t so sad, it might be funny.
Kerry called upon Russia to “clarify its intentions.”
Clarify? Russia’s intentions seem obvious, as Putin marches on.
Mexico has captured 18% of North American auto production and that is expected to increase to 25% by 2020.
Mexico’s auto industry employment has soared 46% to about 580,000 jobs since 2009, according to the Brookings Institution. U.S. auto employment has gained a paltry 16% in the same period.
Other U.S. high-value industries such as aerospace and electronics will also face competition from Mexico’s, according to the Brookings Institution.
Mexico’s aerospace industry is on the rise exporting more than $5 billion in 2012, a 16% increase over 2011.
Of all industries, however, Mexico’s auto industry is the leader thanks with low wages, high productivity, great quality and Mexico’s proximity to the U.S. not only by road, but by rail.
Harley Shaiken, a UC Berkeley labor professor said, “The auto industry is critical, because it is among the most sophisticated of manufacturing technologies,” he said. “If you can build a Honda Fit, then almost all other manufacturing is vulnerable.”
Mexican autoworkers earn about $8 an hour compared with the U.S. average of $37. How can the U.S. auto worker compete?
Honda has decided to produce its subcompact cars in Mexico. Its Celaya factory will employ 3,200 when it reaches full production this year.
A new Nissan plant opened last year. Mazda is starting production of its Mazda3 compact car in Mexico this year. Volkswagen’s Audi luxury brand is building a $1.3-billion factory near Puebla, Mexico, near where VW assembly plants already build the Jetta, Golf and Beetle for the U.S. market. Finally, Mercedes-Benz is also considering locating a plant in Mexico.
Mexico’s bottom line is that its automobile production is projected to double to more than 3 million this year as compared to 2009, according to IHS Automotive.
As even more automobile factories are being built in Mexico, there are no new auto factories being built—or even planned in the U.S.
Is Mexico the new China? Looks like it.
At the Cold War’s end, the aspirations of Middle Americans to preserve their country’s values collided with the profit motive of Corporate America.
President Eisenhower had warned America about the danger of the “military-industrial complex.” How right he was!
The Fortune 500 companies wanted to close factories in the USA and ship production abroad—where unions did not exist, regulations were light, taxes were low, and wages were a fraction of what they were here in America—plus their compliant lobby-run government gave them super tax breaks, even financing and guarantees against loss!
Corporate America was going global and getting rid of its American workforce, the best paid and most efficient on earth, and replace it with cheap foreign labor.
While manufacturing sought to move production abroad, hotels, motels, bars, restaurants, farms and construction companies that could not move abroad also wanted to replace their expensive American workers.
Thanks to our compliant government Corporate America got everything it wanted.
Tens of thousands of U.S. factories were shut down. Millions of their American workers were out of a job. Cheap, foreign-made goods poured in, killing the manufacturers who had stayed behind, loyal to their U.S. workers.
As U.S. businesses and services catering to the American consumer reaped the rewards of cheap foreign manufacturing, they too wanted to enjoy the benefits of cheap foreign labor. By backing of on the inflow of illegal immigrants, the government assisted them in replacing Americans with cheap foreign labor now working in America.
Since the early 90s, an estimated 40 million immigrants, legal and illegal, have entered the U.S. More Americans lost their jobs and the wages of those still working have stagnated for over twenty years—and still stagnate with no end in sight.
What was great for Corporate America, along with its owners, lobbyists, and even government officials was living death for the American worker.
Organizations such as GATT, and NAFTA were formed as alliances to let more foreign countries flood America with cheap goods mad with cheap labor.
Of course, all this makes no sense. How can Corporate America continue to profit, while the consumer market in America shrinks? Does Corporate America care? No, and why should they. Their money is in the bank, thanks to their exorbitant profits, outrageous salaries and sky-high bonuses.
And yet, the top one-percenters complain about America becoming a welfare state. What, on earth, did they expect?
The formula for the restoration on the American worker is no amnesty for illegals, and protective tariffs to stem the flow of cheap foreign goods into America, forcing Corporate America to manufacture in their own country—America—or die.
Meredith Kercher’s 2007 murder in the idyllic hillside town of Perugia is getting its third trial after Italy’s highest court annulled an appellate ruling overturning the 2009 guilty verdicts against Knox and her co-defendant and former boyfriend Sollecito.
Both were convicted in the first trial, and sentenced to 26 years and 25 years, respectively.
Knox was also convicted of slander for falsely blaming Kercher’s murder on a Congolese-born bar owner, Diya “Patrick” Lumumba. Knox’s slander conviction for lying to the police has been upheld by the high court and is still in effect—carrying a fine and a probable prison sentence.
Kercher’s body was found in a pool of blood in her locked bedroom on Nov. 2, 2007. Her throat was slit and there were signs of sexual assault.
Both Knox and Sollecito deny any involvement in the murder, saying they were not in the apartment and that they had no motive to harm Kercher. Knox is currently being tried in absentia and would become a ‘fugitive’ if she fails to return to serve her sentence should she be found guilty.
Knox has said, “In that case, I will become, what do you call it? A fugitive.”
Raoul Weil, a 54-year-old Swiss citizen and former UBS banker who was charged by US authorities five years ago for allegedly helping Americans dodge taxes via secret Swiss bank accounts. Weil agreed to go to the US to face trial after being arrested in Bologna, Italy, where he was vacationing with his wife.
Weil would have been safe in his home country, as Switzerland does not extradite its own citizens to other countries in cases of tax evasion.
When Weil could have been safe in Switzerland, why did he make it so easy for the U.S. to extradite him?
Has a deal been struck?
Is Italy giving up Weil in exchange for getting Knox extradited (should she be convicted of murder)?
And has Weil struck a deal with the U.S. to beat or to minimize the charges against him for his cooperation in being exchanged for Knox.
Weil arrived at the Broward Sheriff’s Office in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Dec. 13, 2013. He was charged with tax fraud and then freed on a $9 million bond.
Maybe Amanda Knox should move to Brazil—or any of the other 159 countries that don’t have extradition treaties with Italy.
Balraj (aka Baldev) Naidu
Singapore Reform Party chief, Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s friend and associate, Baldraj Naidu was released from prison in the U.S. and deported to Singapore.
Singaporean Balraj Naidu, 51, spent years in a U.S. prison after trying to funnel arms to a Sri Lankan terrorist group
He has now been deported from the U.S.
Considered to be extremely dangerous, he was accompanied on his flight by heavily armed officers of the U.S. Customs Enforcement and Removal Field Office.
“As a convicted felon, Naidu is prohibited from re-entering the United States,” U.S. Customs Enforcement and Removal Field Office director Simona L. Flores, said in a statement.
In 2010, Naidu was convicted in Baltimore, Maryland in the U.S. of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and sentenced to nearly five years in prison. Prosecutors say Naidu tried to buy $900,000 in illegal weapons from an undercover business in Maryland.
In April 2006, on being introduced to a U.S. undercover agent, Naidu negotiated to buy weapons worth $900,000, including grenade launchers, sniper rifles and machine guns.
One of his co-conspirators, Haniffa Osman, test fired several of the weapons in the summer of 2006 in Baltimore.
Osman, 62, was convicted and sentenced in the U.S. He has completed a 37-month jail sentence and testified in Naidu’s trial in 2010 before returning to Singapore. Osman’s term was shortened as he gave evidence against his friend, Naidu.
As a result of the trip, Tamil Tiger representatives wire transferred US$250,000 into the undercover business’ accounts as a down payment on a US$900,000 weapons deal. About 28 tons of weapons and ammunition, which the conspirators believed they were purchasing, was airlifted to the US territory of Guam.
On September 29, 2006, after inspecting the weapons and transferring an additional US$450,000 into the undercover business’ accounts, Naidu’s four co-conspirators were arrested and indicted.
A total of US$700,000 were paid by Naidu and his co-conspirators for the weapons and ammunition.
Where did these terrorists raise $700,000? Who financed them?
Recent Tamil rioting in Singapore
December 8, 2013 Singapore Riot
The Tamils are becoming an increasing power in Singapore. Thousands of Tamils are arriving in Singapore to take up positions as laborers. Naidu, who was also a friend and associate of J. B. Jeyaretnam, father of Kenneth and Philip Jeyaretnam, after serving his time in the U.S was deported and arrived in Singapore on Wednesday, December 18, 2013.
In December, for the first time in decades, there were riots in Singapore. The riot started around 9:30pm after an Indian national, like the Tamils, was killed by a private bus in a district known as Little India. The bus was driven by a Singaporean.
Immediately, about 400 foreign Tamil workers took to the streets, throwing objects at the police and setting police cars and an ambulance on fire.
During the riot, several police cars were overturned and five vehicles—three police cars, an ambulance and a motorbike were burnt. Several private vehicles were also damaged. Singapore’s Special Operations Command personnel and Gurkha troops were called to the scene.
In total, five police cars and nine Singapore Civil Defense Force vehicles were damaged. In addition, there were 18 casualties including 10 police officers, four Singapore Civil Defense Force personnel, as well as the Singaporean bus driver and his assistant. At least 18 people were hurt, most of them police officers, before the violence was brought under control. Six people were rushed to Singapore’s Tan Tock Seng hospital.
December 8, 2013 Singapore Riot In Flames
Twenty-seven of the foreign rioters were arrested.
Police commissioner Ng Joo Hee said it was the first rioting in Singapore in more than 30 years. He condemned it as “intolerable, wanton violence”. “It is not the Singapore way,” he added – but the rioters were not Singaporeans, but immigrant laborers – Tamils.
In an attempt to boost its sagging economy, Singapore depends heavily on foreign workers, with migrant laborers dominating sectors like construction.
A statement from Singapore’s Civil Defense Force (SCDF) said that emergency services were alerted to the killing.
“Upon arrival, there was a man trapped under a bus. An SCDF paramedic pronounced him dead on arrival. SCDF rescuers extricated the body using hydraulic rescue equipment.”
“Projectiles were thrown at the SCDF rescuers while they were extricating the body.”
Nine SCDF vehicles were damaged in the incident, including five which were burned, it said.
Tamils taking over power in Singapore
Philip Jeyaretnam, a Tamil, has infiltrated Singapore’s Public Service Commission, where he will “approve” Singapore Civil Service hirings and salaries. As such, he has a role in determining who gets promoted and who does not.
Philip Jeyaretnam is also the Managing Partner of the prestigious Singapore law firm, Rodyk & Davidson. He took over the firm when the former Managing Partner, Helen Yeo, became involved in a botched attempt to ban Escape from Paradise in Singapore.
In this effort, Helen Yeo was assisted in this effort by her husband, Yeo Cheow Tong, a former Singapore cabinet minister—he also lost his job over the incident.
Since they were unable to get Escape from Paradise banned in Singapore, the Yeos threatened Singapore bookstores with lawsuits if they sold the book. With the influence of her husband’s position as a cabinet minister, Helen Yeo had all 25 copies of Escape from Paradise removed from Singapore’s National Library—save one copy which was placed on “restricted distribution”—meaning readers had to sign for the copy (giving the Yeos access to their name).
Let’s not forget that Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s father—failed politician, Joshua. B. Jeyaretnam, was the lawyer who helped Naidu change his name so Naidu could hide. Both Kenneth and Philip Jeyaretnam are sons of Joshua B. Jeyaretnam.
Kenneth Jeyaretnam is now the head of Singapore’s Reform Party—thanks to Balraj Naidu. On April 26th 2009, Kenneth Jeyaretnam ‘become’ Secretary-General of Singapore’s Reform Party with the help of Balraj Naidu. A “Gang of 4,” spearheaded by Balraj Naidu executed a coup d’état to help Kenneth Jeyaretnam seize the post of party Secretary-General that day.
Singapore’s Tamils are a rising power along with the Jeyaretnam brothers.
From Wikileaks – Secret message from the U.S. Embassy in Singapore to the U.S. Secretary of State.
“Burlesque and Billions Of Dollars Later, Singapore,” the title of this document (and post) is taken from the U.S. Embassy’s secret message to the U.S. State Department.
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHGH RUEHHM RUEHNH RUEHVC
DE RUEHGP #0394/01 0580953
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 270953Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2528
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 5580
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 SINGAPORE 000394
SUBJECT: BURLESQUE AND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS LATER, SINGAPORE
STILL SEEKING SPONTANEITY
REF: A. 05 SINGAPORE 2058
¶B. 05 SINGAPORE 2609
¶1. (SBU) Summary: The Government of Singapore (GOS) is
attempting to steer the economy to become more
knowledge-based and entrepreneurial to counter the
competitive challenges China, India and other lower-cost
exporters pose. Characteristically, the GOS is taking the
lead, putting schemes in place to encourage creativity and
entrepreneurship, particularly in "strategic" sectors. It
has even tinkered around the edges of its tight political
controls, mandating a relaxation in social mores in order to
give Singapore "buzz." But the dominance of
government-linked corporations in Singapore's economy, an
educational system that stifles independent thinking, and the
continued presence of the government in many aspects of
Singaporean life perpetuate "habits of constraint" that may
hinder the development of entrepreneurship in Singapore. The
recent failure of a French topless revue franchise, part of a
GOS-led effort to pump up Singapore's nightlife, has laid
bare the limits of such top-down efforts. End Summary.
Creativity by Fiat
¶2. (U) A strong record of economic success notwithstanding,
Singapore's leadership recognizes that further growth will
depend on finding economic advantages over the rapidly
growing and low-cost economies of China, India, and ASEAN
neighbors. As a developed nation, Singapore must also
compete with other developed economies. To continue
thriving, the GOS believes that Singapore must transform
itself from an efficient platform for manufacturing and
logistics into a global, knowledge-based and more
entrepreneurial economy. With a small population, no natural
resources, and a trade-heavy economy, the GOS is acutely
aware of the need for Singapore to develop a strong
entrepreneurial class that can adapt.
¶3. (SBU) Pursuing the objective with its usual vigor, the
government is pouring in resources. Prime Minister Lee Hsien
Loong chairs a Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council
(RIEC), established in 2005 to promote R&D and innovation in
"strategic" sectors of the economy. In 2006, the RIEC
announced it would provide $916 million (SGD1.4 billion) over
the next five years to fund entrepreneurs. Also in 2006, the
Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) unveiled its Science and
Technology 2010 Plan (STP2010) which commits $4.9 billion
(SGD7.5 billion) over the next five years to encourage
raising R&D spending to 3 percent of Singapore's GDP by 2010.
¶4. (SBU) GOS efforts to promote entrepreneurship continue to
encounter a risk-averse Singaporean mindset, government
domination of the economy, and discouragement of critical
thinking and inflexibility in the educational system. The
2007 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report (GEM) showed
that, among the surveyed OECD and developed economies,
Singapore was consistently below the mean for all indicators
of social and cultural attitudes toward entrepreneurship.
For example, only 57.8 percent of Singaporeans believed that
new business success was accorded high status in their
country, compared to an average of 66.2 percent among all the
countries in the survey, ranking Singapore 21st of 24.
Government Itself a Cause
¶5. (C) Entrepreneurs continue to face obstacles in a number
of sectors in the form of Government-Linked Corporations
(GLCs), which account for nearly 60 percent of the national
GDP. Temasek Holdings, the government's investment arm, is
by far the largest investor in Singapore, with an estimated
50-percent stake in Singapore's GLCs. GLCs often compete
against each other in key markets, making entry by an
independently-held company difficult. For example, SingTel
and Starhub, both Temasek Holdings companies, compete
directly in the wireless service market and will soon do the
same in the cable television market. The strong GOS role in
directing the economy likely has the unintended result of
"crowding out" natural economic development, according Dr.
Sha Reilly, Chief Knowledge Officer at the National Library
Board (NLB), which has a mandate to encourage creativity and
entrepreneurship among young Singaporeans. She believes
SINGAPORE 00000394 002 OF 003
Singaporeans look first to the government, rather than the
private sector, to be the innovation leader.
¶6. (C) Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) -- a
potential source of innovation and commercial nimbleness --
find it difficult to secure financing for their businesses
since financial institutions, accustomed to an abundance of
large corporate customers, are reluctant to lend to riskier
SMEs. The 2007 GEM report ranked Singapore 17 out of 21
countries for venture capital availability. The Singapore
Stock Exchange (SGX) is similarly inhospitable to SMEs, with
many Singaporean entrepreneurs opting to list in other
countries. SGX Executive Vice President Lawrence Wong told
us that the SGX targets SMEs with a capitalization of SG$500
million to SG$5 billion ($327 million - $3.27 billion). Wong
characterized the amount as "not a lot," but it does put SGX
listing out of the range of many SMEs. He says a GOS
proposal to develop an exchange catering to smaller firms was
"still under discussion."
7.(C) While the government has allocated various funds to
encourage SMEs, a number of business leaders told us that
funding is still inadequate. They suggested that even if
sufficient funding were available, it would still take at
least a generation before an entrepreneurial culture would
truly take root. Of the $4.9 billion STP2010 budget, less
then two percent has been allocated for SME financing.
Inderjit Singh, a Member of Parliament and an entrepreneur,
told us that the proliferation of entrepreneurial schemes for
SMEs was "government lip-service that fails to address the
critical need to divest GLCs and open markets."
Political System Discourages Risk-Taking
¶8. (SBU) The GOS's tight political control and the "habits of
constraint" it fosters have inhibited the development of an
entrepreneurial spirit and risk-taking culture, according to
Nominated Member of Parliament Kum Hong Siew and others. G.
Jahyakrishan, Assistant Director of International Enterprise
Singapore (IE), a government entity responsible for helping
Singaporean companies grow globally, believes that a
prevailing atmosphere of restraint "subtly" leads to less
risk-taking behavior by firms and individuals. Siew believes
the government's attempt to encourage economic risk-taking
while limiting political and social freedoms is unsustainable
because it discourages the kind of critical thinking required
Education System Not Helping
¶9. (C) Singapore boasts a highly competitive and
well-regarded primary and secondary education system, but the
number of Singaporeans completing a tertiary education is
relatively low. Only 23 percent of Singaporean students
entering primary school complete a degree at a local
four-year university. In other knowledge-economies such as
Japan's, around 50 percent of students complete a university
degree. However, according to Cheryl Chan, Assistant
Director of the Planning Division at the Ministry of
Education (MOE), the government does not plan to encourage
more students to get a higher education. The university
enrollment rate will continue to be maintained at 20-25
percent because the Singaporean labor market does not need
everyone to get a four-year degree, she asserted.
¶10. (SBU) Singapore's education system has been criticized
for being heavy on memorization and light on critical
thinking and creativity. Based on the British model, the
system is highly test-focused and separates students (a
process referred to as "streaming") at an early age between
high, middle, and low achievers. The GOS has slowly begun to
introduce greater flexibility into the system by allowing
"streaming" in subjects (rather than based on total average
scores) and has created new magnet schools focused on
mathematics, the arts, and sports. But there are only three
such schools, and the overall education system has changed
Some "Strategic" Sectors Suffer
¶11. (SBU) Growth in the "strategic" media sector may be
hampered by limits the government sets on freedom of speech
and expression. Filmmakers such as Martyn See (reftels) or
productions that touch on sensitive issues often find their
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distribution and broadcasting rights disapproved by the Media
Development Board (MDA), a governmental agency responsible
for regulating and promoting media industries. Cheah Sin
Liang, Deputy Director of International Relations at MDA,
admitted to us that the GOS's tight control over
controversial political, religious, or social topics does
limit growth in the media sector, but argued that such
controls are necessary to prevent negative social
¶12. (SBU) Singapore's approach to promoting R&D development
in the biomedical field, another government-identified
"strategic" sector, has also been criticized by foreign
education specialists as too focused on quick economic gains
rather than fostering the "holistic approach" necessary for
sustained innovation in science and technology. Dr. William
Broady, President of Johns Hopkins University, told the local
press in January that in order to be a leading center for
R&D, Singapore had to get away from "trying to measure
short-term economic returns. There has to be a mindset
change... in tolerating and being comfortable with failure
and ideas that don't seem to be going anywhere." (Note:
Johns Hopkins stopped development of a $53 million (SGD82
million) Biomedical Sciences research unit after its
Singapore Government partner, A*Star, accused Johns Hopkins
of not meeting performance benchmarks. End Note.)
Casinos, Kumar and the Crazy Horse
¶13. (SBU) The GOS appears to recognize the need to give
citizens freer rein in order to foster creativity and
entrepreneurship. Unwilling to loosen political controls, it
has focused so far on easing social restrictions. The
government made a highly controversial decision to allow
casinos, and has awarded contracts to open two integrated
resorts in 2009. Kumar, a popular transvestite nightclub
comedian whose material focuses on taboo subjects including
race, sex and the foibles of government personalities, has
been allowed to perform on television and in public venues.
Singaporeans returning from long stays overseas have told us
of being shocked at the mushrooming of racy billboard
advertising. MDA's Cheah pointed to the opening of the Crazy
Horse French Burlesque in December 2005 (which subsequently
closed in January 2007 due to poor attendance), and to the
"success" of the Singapore Biennale (an arts festival) as
further signs of greater social openness.
¶14. (C) Ever thinking strategically, Singapore's leadership
will keep pushing innovation in order to stay competitive in
a rapidly changing Asia. To its credit, the government
appears to recognize that its own penchant for control --
however enlightened its policy choices or soft its
authoritarian touch -- may be at odds with the kind of
free-wheeling atmosphere it needs to achieve its economic
objectives. Time will tell whether it can promote
creativity, critical-thinking, and innovation in society by
loosening up on social issues and tinkering with the
education system while keeping politics in quarantine. One
way or another, Singapore's flirtation with openness will
provide another interesting chapter in its unique history as
a social-engineering petri dish.