Sunday, 28 August 2016

Taiwan Tsai's policy indecision fails to transform into a real leader

Policy indecision marks Taiwan President Tsai's first 100 days in office

Video: channelnewsasia.com http://www.newsjs.com/url.php?p=http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/policy-indecision-marks/3075912.html

President Tsai Ing-wen, who was voted into power following a wave of discontent towards the previous government in Taiwan, has faced a tough start in office.

Saturday is the 100th day since Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen was sworn into office. In the past few days, local media have been publishing polls on her falling approval ratings. The worst poll had only 39 percent of people supporting her.

The scores are worse than the 100-day polls about previous leaders Ma Ying-jeou and Chen Shui-bian.

Tsai told the media that she did not want people to rate her performance based only on her first 100 days of governance. This response backfired after the opposition Kuomintang shared online pictures of Tsai's anti-Ma campaign eight years ago that was launched after Ma had been in office for just 100 days.

Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) used to adamantly oppose nuclear power in Taiwan. Now they are changing their tune. The DPP used to oppose the import of US pork, now it has switched sides.

What is real about her is that she does not accept the 1992 Consensus that emphasizes that there is one China. She has been trying to get closer to the US and Japan. She advocates more cooperation with ASEAN members in order to be less dependent on the mainland.

She is not likely to succeed. Tsai is facing challenges similar to what Ma encountered in terms of "domestic" policies, that is, she has to develop the economy and improve people's lives.

Ma made a large stride in pushing forward cross-Straits economic cooperation. But he failed to transfer the benefits of closer cross-Straits ties to ordinary people on the island.

What Ma encountered was a problem also faced by many other developed places. Tsai and her party fellows are not magicians.

At least the KMT administration improved cross-Straits ties, introducing a surge of tourists from the mainland. Now the DPP has been in a hurry to cut off cross-Straits ties before it finds new economic pillars. DPP politicians are not like real leaders. They are still obsessed with their unrealistic ideology.

The US and Japan cannot give Taiwan much. "Taiwan independence" is only a political slogan for the DPP, but does not offer any real power to it. If Tsai cannot make any progress in improving people's living standards, but instead focuses on Taiwan independence, it will be like drinking poison to quench a thirst.

The Chinese mainland's rise has changed the geopolitics of the Asia-Pacific and the global economic structure. If Taiwan tries to stay away from the mainland, it will marginalize itself.

Cross-Straits ties are no longer a matter solely about the 1992 Consensus. They are linked to Taiwan's long-term prosperity. If Tsai chooses to head the other way, she's going to hit a wall sooner or later.

Source: Global Times

Related:

Tsai rating low after 100 days in power - Global Times

Polls conducted by Taiwan media show that around half of respondents are dissatisfied with Tsai Ing-wen's first 100 days in office and mainland experts said that Tsai's failure to recognize the 1992 Consensus and her "foreign policies" have added to ... Global Times



President Tsai sees approval drop to 48.5% - China Post;President Tsai sees approval drop to 48.5% - China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Tsai Ing-wen's approval rating slid to 48.5 percent in a survey released Friday, which showed even weaker public support for her premier. Taiwan Think Tank's survey showed 48.5 percent satisfaction with Tsai's performance ... China Post
  

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Saturday, 27 August 2016

Be an entrepreneur or a politician?


Let your children decide on their employment choice


Most parents in their fifties are looking at retirement options when their children starts looking for employment after their studies. There is this transition moment in our family circle of life where the baton of employment, career or business is being passed to the next generation.

The older generation after 30 years of slogging, looks forward to easier passing of days without the responsibilities and worries whilst the younger generation looks forward with optimism and high hopes of securing a good career ahead.

As an entrepreneur with businesses and investments, my natural instinct is to rope them into the family business, if any, as any typical old generation Chinese businessman will do. But I made up my mind some 7 years ago when my first born started his A Level, that my children will make their own choice whether they will prefer to seek employment elsewhere or participate in the family business. It will be their choice and decision and I will support whole heartedly whatever decisions they will make. 7 years later, I still have the same conviction.

I had this feeling that the business world and environment will be much different with all these globalization and technological advancement and the businesses that I was in will be operating in a much more competitive and disruptive world order. This has proven to be true.

The traditional brick and mortar businesses are under tremendous stress to keep up with new disruptive technologies and new business ideas.

My children will have to learn new skills and insights and they definitely will not be able to learn from my traditional family business unless I had instituted changes to my existing business to join the new business order. But I did not know how.

So it is better that they decide on their choice of employment in whatever industries they choose as long as they are working for a forward looking company who is able to embrace the new technological changes that is changing the business order across the global markets. And if they do decide later after some years of working experience to venture out as an entrepreneur, I will also support them wholeheartedly.

Assuming they are up to it, with the right attitude and skill sets.

Not everyone is capable of being a ‘successful’ entrepreneur. It is easy to start a business, call yourself a founder and entrepreneur but chances of being successful is limited to the capable few. For most cases, you are better off building a good career in a good organization rather than struggling in a small scale business for the rest of your life.

If you planned to be an entrepreneur, just make sure your business potential is scalable to a size that will earned you nett, double what you would be earning in a good job. Or else it will be a waste of time. The thrill of being your own boss wears thin over time when you are not doing well financially.

I have many friends who have done very well in their corporate careers and they seem very happy when we do meet up. They definitely look younger than me, with less stressful lines, a radiant and happy face. Compared to my aged face filled with worried lines and scars of agony suffered through the years. Was it worth it?

With the wisdom of hindsight, I am now able to advise my children on their decision making process on whether they should be a corporate suit or to go on their own. My only guidance to them is whatever choice they make, just ensure their actions are productive and contribute towards the well being of the economy. Don’t be lazy, do good where you can and be as good as you can be. Then start a family. Circle of life starts again.

The only career that I totally discouraged my children from is the job of a politician. Good politicians are hard to find nowadays. Since integrity left the politicians, good virtues and honesty followed. What is left is a shell of a conniving and corrupted politician using whatever means they can to stay in power supposedly representing the people’s interest.

All over the world, the politicians together with religious and racist bigots have caused total mayhem to our daily lives. People are divided by race, religion and skin colour. Nothing makes sense anymore. Throw in lots of money into a politician’s hands and we have absolute corruption across the ranks. Cash is king. Everybody can be bought. And I mean everybody.

What is really sad is the complete breakdown of morality and integrity of the human politician. Where he suffers no shame when he is openly corrupted. When he can sleep well even though he has done many evil things destroying the moral fabric of the society which he swore to protect. I have nothing but despise for these toxic politicians.

The few genuine politicians who stand up their grounds to all are few and far between. Eventually, they too will engulfed by the all pervasive influence of corruption.

To the younger generation joining the working community, my only advice is to pick a job that fits your personality and your skill sets. Make sure you enjoy the job. Get some proper working experience under your belt and you can evaluate your options in a more leisurely way.

You will know when there is a calling for you to become an entrepreneur. You will be unhappy with your job, your bosses irritates you, there is a burning desire that has just lighted up in your belly, a brilliant idea suddenly appeared and you feel that you are now ready to be an entrepreneur. Are you?

From experience, it takes a long time for an entrepreneur to make big fortune. If you do not have the patience, I recommend you a job that makes money faster than an entrepreneur.

Be a politician.

 Source: Tan Thiam Hock, On Your Own/Starbizweek

The writer is an entrepreneur who hopes to share his experience and insights with readers who want to take that giant leap into business but are not sure if they should.

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Thursday, 25 August 2016

China cracks down on P2P lending to curb illegal activities

BEIJING: China's banking regulator issued tough new rules on Wednesday to tighten regulation of the country's $60 billion peer-to-peer lending sector, which has been dogged by scandals and fraud.

The measures mark the latest attempt by China to reduce risks to the world's second-largest economy by cleaning up the its rapidly growing but loosely regulated online financial sector.

Peer-to-peer lending (P2P) platforms will not be able to take deposits, nor provide any forms of guarantee for lenders, according to a joint document issued by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), Ministry of Public Security, Cyberspace Administration of China, and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The regulator said some P2P firms were running Ponzi schemes and raising funds illegally, and said it would bar firms from 13 "forbidden" activities.

Under the new rules, P2P firms would not be permitted to sell wealth management products which are popular with many Chinese investors, nor issue asset-backed securities, and must use third party banks as custodians of investor funds, the regulator said.

It added that P2P firms cannot guarantee investment returns nor investment principal, and they would be subjected to higher disclosure requirements.

The regulations follow the April passage of a plan by the State Council, or cabinet, to clean up the non-bank financial sector after rare demonstrations by angry investors stoked fears of social unrest.

The banking regulator is responsible for tightening regulations over P2P, online trust businesses and online consumer finance firms

China's online P2P lending platforms, which match small business and individual borrowers with retail investors with spare funds, has seen rapid growth in the past two years largely due to the lack of regulatory oversight.

The industry raised more than 400 billion yuan ($60 billion)by November last year, CBRC data showed.

But among the more than 3,600 P2P platforms, more than 1,000 were problematic, the CBRC had said.

The rise of P2P lending was originally seen by the government as a type of financial innovation that could make funds accessible to credit-hungry consumers and small businesses, which continue to struggle to get loans from traditional financial institutions.

Beijing's hands-off approach to promote the rapid development of the sector, however, led to a large number of high-profile P2P failures, scandals and frauds.

The consequences have devastated many retail investors, who dumped their life-savings into P2P platforms in hopes of receiving double-digit returns, threatening China's social and financial stability.

 Ezubao, once China's biggest P2P lending platform, turned out to be a Ponzi scheme that solicited 50 billion yuan ($7.5 billion) in less than two years from more than 900,000 retail investors through savvy marketing.

Investor funds were squandered by Ezubao executives on lavish lifestyles. Retail investors are still unable to get back their hard-earned money, and many have blamed Beijing for its lack of regulation and scrutiny. - Reuters

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  • China tightens rules for troubled P2P lending sector. China released new rules on Wednesday to tighten regulations covering the country's scandal-tainted peer-to-peer lending sector. Government officials say reducing risks and illegal activities in the US$60 billion sector has become a key