Saturday, April 25, 2009

Parameswara's Weekly Round-Up (12th – 18th April 09)

Hi All – An incident happened this week that is worrying; at least to me and you should too. Reported in Reuters on 23rd April at 4.51 am, “An Iranian-flagged freight ship was aground on Thursday after colliding with a container ship in the busy shipping lanes off Singapore”. Fortunately no one was injured.

Reuters also reported that the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said "It's in a stable condition -- it will have to be moved, adding that “the cause of the collision, the only one this year, was being investigated.”

It is not the incident that is worrying, especially when no lives were lost, and the ship owners and shippers have insurance anyway. It is the perception that Singapore seems to be decaying; the attitude of the highly paid people that are supposed to be responsible; the indifference of the media when it is not government propaganda.

Singapore was warned about this on 3rd April 2009 by the American Club, a shipping group. In fact it also alleged that collision had occurred (see report here). On 13th April SEATRADE carried this same report on its online edition.

The response from Singapore’s Maritime & Port Authority portmaster Lee Cheng Wee to Lloyd’s List queries on this matter: “Over recent months, the utilisation rate of our anchorages has been fairly stable. In other words, our anchorages have not become more crowded as a result of the economic downturn. Concerns over increasing congestion are hence unfounded.”

Does “stable utilization rate” mean no congestion? Why waffle? Address the issue directly – yes or no and do something positive if it is a “yes or even maybe" situation. Actually Mr. Lee need not even mention “economic downturn". The issue is: are the channels crowded or not; does it pose a danger or not.

In the same report, visual checks by Lloyd’s List confirmed the Eastern anchorages to look very crowded with a growing number of offshore support vessels adding to the larger ships at anchor.

Capt Lee responded: “While hundreds of ships are reported to be laid up across the globe, there are no vessels laid up in the Singapore port. Singapore does not encourage the laying up of vessels in our port waters, due to the limited sea space available.” However, he did note “an increase in the number of vessels at anchor for over 10 days to around 70 each month of which around 30 were awaiting orders; concerns over congestion and navigational safety are not warranted.”

The “We can do no wrong syndrome” seems to be a contagious disease in Singapore. At the end of the day, we are our biggest fear and enemy, not our neighbours.


Investigate this too:


14th April 2009 – 32 hurt in bus collision – by Carolyn Quek and Teh Joo lin

1. Are the bus drivers locals or foreigners, if foreigners, are they holding local driving licenses?

2. How many hours of driving both drivers had already clocked in before driving these buses?

3. How road worthy were the buses at this point in time?

4. What’s happening to the injured; is fair compensation ensured?


Other headlines:

PARA: MAYBE PREPARING FOR PROTESTS FROM THE UNEMPLOYED AND THE HUNGRY.

13TH April 2009 – Business Times - Singapore says new law will prevent meeting disruption

PARA: MINISTERS LOOKING INTO THIS?

13th April 2009 - Reuters - Singapore economy shrinks 11.5 pct y/y in Q1

14th April2009 - Bettina Wassener - Singapore Forecasts Even Worse 2009 for Its Economy

14th April 2009 – Financial Times - Singapore devalues currency as economy slows

14th April 2009 - AFP - Singapore dollar depreciated as contraction looms

PARA: BIG KAMPONG QUARREL – BOUND TO HAPPEN WHEN KAMPONG GETS TOO CROWDED

17TH April 2009 – Straits Times - DBS rebukes Aware president;Disregarded code twice; DBS holding an internal review over Josie Lau's conduct

17th April 2009 – Today - She did it not once, but twice

17th April – New Paper - What’s good for the goose ...Isn’t for the gander? DBS has other multi-taskers too, besides Aware’s president

17TH April 2009 – The Straits Times - DBS tells why it rebuked Josie Lau; Bank holding an internal review over her conduct

PARA: FIRST WORLD MAKE HEADLINES IN THIRD WORLD

16th APRIL2009 – Jakarta Post - City warns spread of flu from S’pore

16th APRIL 2009 – Jakarta Post - Workers stage protest rally outside Singapore embassy


Cheers

PARAMESWARA

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