Monday, 30 November 2015

My Portfolio - Recent Actions

It has been a quiet week in terms of blogging. This is mainly because of my traveling last week in Europe and apparently, I am flying off to China again in few hours’ time. 

My last real stock portfolio update was on 22 Aug, here. Since then I had sold most of my stock holdings to sit on a more than 60% cash position now. The cash includes E funds. I also updated my Total portfolio, which includes property and other financial assets here in Sep.

As you can see, it's been awhile since I updated my portfolio. You probably will also see less of my portfolio updates as I progress in my blogging journey. In particular, stock buys and sells details will not be explicit. The whole idea is for the blog to be more “educative” in nature, and reduce ‘manipulative” impact to a minimum.

Anyway, some of my recent buy actions as follow. I will not update the sell since 22 Aug, because there are seriously quite a fair bit of them. Moreover most of the sell actions are not strictly related to fundamental deterioration of the company’s performance per se. 

It is more associated to my need to have more cash in view of the current hazy economic conditions. This is especially relevant due to the depressed Oil and Gas industry that I am working in, which sees job cuts everywhere. Furthermore the extra cash will come in handy when Market takes a dive, for me to buy good companies at cheaper prices.  

Singapore Saving Bond (SSB) - Sold Oct SSB (2.63% ave ret) to buy into the Nov SSB (2.78% ave ret) due to the better spread in Nov. This is after taking into account the trading fees incurred and it was still worthwhile to do so. For info, the 3rd tranche upcoming in Dec will have 2.44% ave return. 

Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) - Topped up my SRS to enjoy tax rebate on my next income tax. To me, everyone who pays income tax and has excess cash to plan for retirement should consider to topping up their SRS account.

Stocks Buy

Starhub (SRS) - Averaged down existing holding and to continue receive a relatively good yield for income. Other reasons are related to my 3 beliefs in this stock. First, the belief that Starhub will eventually spread her wings into overseas market (just like Singtel). Second, the “reluctant” belief that our government will turn Singapore into a 6.9 million populous island by 2030 with more Starhub subscribers. Yes, even after the addition of more Telco operators. Third, eventually the subscription fees will only go up and not down! 

Keppel DC Reit (SRS)  - The belief that the future world will be more extensively data-connected!

ARA Asset Mgt - Sold off entirely in Sep at a higher price. Buy back again at a lower price and also lower volume now, comparatively. This is after ARA announced 18 for 100 rights. Will continue to buy more if price slides again. My confidence in John Lim, CEO of ARA is still unshaken. Refer here and here for my articles related to John Lim.

Global Logistic Property – Mostly for speculative reason, since this is one stock that helped me generate good returns via trading buy and sell before.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Mark Zuckerberg’s 3 Stories - Mission, Care, Look Ahead!

Last month, I watched the video of Mark Zuckerberg’s 20-minute speech at Tsinghua University. Similar to Steve Job’s Standford University speech ten year ago, there are also three stories. The difference is Mark Zuckerberg gave his speech in Mandarin. That probably also exudes Zuckerberg’s respect for most of his Chinese audience and his belief in China’s future. Subsequently, I asked my daughter to watch the video and write a summary on it also. Because I think it is so important myself, I am going to summarize it and keep it here in my blog library as well.

Believing in a mission
  • Not “how” but “why” you should build! Do something you think it is really important, and forget about the how.
  • When you have a mission, it helps you to focus. 
  • People are the most important thing in our lives, that is why focus on people.

  • If you know your mission, you do not need to know the whole plan to go forward, you just need to care more.
  • You will meet with many problems, others will doubt you, but don’t give up.
  • Care more, keep working hard and you can change the world. 
" 只要功夫深 铁杵磨成针 "
(As long as you work hard, a piece of metal can become a needle.)

Looking Ahead
  • It does not matter if you do not know how to solve the problem, most important is to know that the mission is so important and continue to look ahead. 
  • Learning is the key to innovation and with each step forward, you can do new things.
  • If you can help people around you, then in the future we will benefit from it also.

“Compare to 15 years ago, we’re big. Compared to 15 years from now, we’re still a baby.” – Jack Ma
looking ahead. 


Ask yourself why you are doing. Believe in your mission. Solve important problems. Care deeply about them. Don’t give up. And always look ahead. Make life better for people around you.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Marco Polo to cancel rig contract with Semb Marine - The need to understand Rig ownership versus speculation!

"MP Drilling has today (17 Nov 2015) issued PPL, the builder of the New Rig, a notice of termination of the Rig Construction Contract following the latter's failure to comply with certain of its material contractual obligations. In arriving at this decision to terminate the Rig Construction Contract, MP Drilling has taken into account various factors including cracks found on all three legs of the New Rig during two rounds of tests, notwithstanding repair works carried out by PPL after the first round of tests. In view of the termination of the Rig Construction Contract, MP Drilling will not be taking delivery of the New Rig and it will be seeking, among others, a refund from PPL of the initial amount of 10% of the contract price (approximately US$21.4 million) previously made to PPL pursuant to the Rig Construction Contract together with interest.” refer Marco Polo website here.

Semb Marine PPL Shipyard has vehemently denied Marco Polo’s announcement and said that it is a “repudiatory breach” of the contract. The rig contract was announced between MPM and SMM on 26 Feb 2014 for value of US$214.3mil.

Recent Oil & Gas "kopitiam talk” 

Just last month, I was talking to a friend who also worked in the local O&G industry for more than a decade. Specifically, we talked about WHEN Marco Polo will cancel the rig contract?  We also mentioned how Sembmarine being a reputable yard will have a more balanced contract term (not always true also!) and is unlikely to let Marco Polo cancelled the order just like that. This is when you compare to Rig speculation in China yard.  

Some desperate Chinese yards who, during the good times in order to get the Sales order is willing to sign contract with Rig owner with as little as 5% or less down-payment. Not only that, some yards is likely to sign contract without paying much attention to the terms of the contract proper. In the face of crisis like now, they will then incur huge financial risks if the owner just terminates the contract due to the “loop-holed” contractual terms. And because many of the Chinese yards are famous for schedule delays, owners often use this as reason of cancellation and claim back their full refunds.

Well, now is MRM Vs SMM? 

Story is slightly different as opposed to the commonly used reason of schedule delay! Now it is material defect in rig legs! Let’s see how Semb Marine is coming back with her story? 

If there is a charter contract in place for the rig to be in operation urgently, do you think there will still be a claim like this? Or will both parties try all their best to resolve the technical issues immediately? Maybe the technical defects cannot be rectified hence the claim?

Why cancellation not surprising? 

Cancellation in the current environment is not at all surprising. Straight forward. With cheap money all around the world in the past years, the likelihood of companies taking escalated risk is higher when times is good. Aftermath : Oversupply of vessels!

I remember last year when Rig owners announced their foray into the rig segment, there were hustle and bustle of excitements all around vested retail investors. Some say these new rig players are drilling for higher income, some say they will become a true player in the rig segment, and more nice words…. Yes, good times! Then you also see many other players herding. Speculation causes bubbles today! Not just in the rig segment, but also the OSV segment. It happens in 2008, and now it happens again. People never learn? 

June 2014, I wrote an article and mentioned:
“While many believe that the new rig additions will be well absorbed by the market due to new units substituting older rigs, I am particular concern about the digestion of the incoming huge supply which may affect future charter rates.

Moreover 31 out of the 119 jackups under construction were from speculators and asset players, and not true rig drilling contractors. Be aware that any twist of fate will sink the speculators. Marco Polo, Falcon Energy, Viking Offshore etc are among some of the speculators listed in SGX.  ”

October 2014, I wrote another article and mentioned:
“I mentioned in my post in June this year (refer here) that Jack Up Rigs oversupply will be a concern. Now with oil price potentially falling in the next 2 years, we should be careful with companies who are not true drilling contractors without oil majors contracts. These companies are speculators who ventured into rig-owning business to expand. Be aware that any twist of fate will sink the speculators such as Marco Polo, Falcon Energy, Viking Offshore.

Evidently, Keppel O&M and Sembmarine orders from Jack up will decrease after hitting a peak in 2011. In particular Semb Marine Drillship orders for deepwater should also see a decline as it is more costly for oil production in deepwater. Cut throat competitions from China is another concern.”

What is rig ownership and speculation?

What most people who are not familiar in the O&G industry really do not know is “What exactly is Rig ownership?”

I remember asking fellow friends last year when oil price is still high, who eventually will own the speculative rig? Some escaped the questions, and some retorted that it is of course the buyer of the Rigs lar…..

Many retail investors believed that the buyer is the owner of the Rig and is going to charter the Rig out and start to get streams of income to boost their bottom line and hence the stock price. Even so -called experienced investor believe in that and sometimes mislead others. On the contrary, most "rig owner" who ordered speculatively, wanted to do sale and purchase rather than leasing. 

For instance in this case, an OSV owner like Marco Polo who has no prior experiences in rig building, are not really the “true owner” of the Rig. They are more like speculator and the rig in SMM has no buyer nor charter contract yet. Very similar to “flipping properties”! When time is good, interest rate is extremely low, you borrowed cheap money, orders a newbuild rig from a shipyard, and then try to find a buyer during this time.

Speculation of rigs does not require whole lot of knowledge or resources about drilling. All you need is to be come out with little money and find the right source of financing, employ a small team of people, can be 5 or less people. Then go find a shipyard that is willing to accept ridiculous payment terms to finance the rest of the project for a typical 30-36 months delivery timeframe. The upfront payment can be as low as 1%, and 99% upon delivery of rig. Then during this 30-36 months, praying that there are no crisis, and find a buyer for the rig!

Flipped correctly, you win big. Otherwise?

What is bareboat charter?

If you do not sell the rig, you can also try to find a bareboat charter. This means that the Oil Company will actually have their own crew to operate the rig, while you just lease out the Rig as it is “bare”! Bareboat charter for OSVs and liftboats that are of lower complexity and value are more common.

When it comes to rigs that involved handling of the complex drilling equipment, I reckon that Oil company will prefer to hire a drilling contractor who has the experience crew who is very familiar to handle his own equipment on his own rig.  This can greatly reduce the hassle from the charterer (i.e. Oil company), as risk is placed with the drilling contractor operating her own rig, which is normally more efficient with lesser downtime.

Alternatively if the oil company is going to buy a rig “bare”, they will prefer to already be very involved during the pre-project-built stage. This is so that the eventual operator of the rig knows exactly what kind of specifications and equipment they are getting!

Typical experienced drilling contractors are Transocean, Noble Energy, Diamond Offshore, Seadrill etc

Rolf’s Final Thought

So if the oil price continues to stay depressed going into 2016, the question to ask is are we going to see more cancellations of rigs and vessels?

Your guess? 

Oil and Gas is cyclical and sometimes can be “too hard” for most of the people who are not familiar. Even for people who are familiar, it can also be considered as "hard"!

You really need to exercise caution when dabbling with it.

Related posts:

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Top down or Bottom Up Investing - Which is better?

Economy is not doing well, the top down investor may advise to stay away from the stock market, diversify, hold on to your cash, and pounce when the market crash. 

The bottom up investor will not be bothered on how the market is performing in general. He is more concern about how the company that he owns is performing over time and if the fundamentals remain sound. He will buy more if the stocks become cheaper during a crisis. 

Which strategy is the better? 

Perhaps there is no right answer to that. It really depends on which strategy you are more comfortable with. Anyway, both strategies work if employ correctly. 

Understand and believe

It will be great to understand both strategies by reading and more reading. Then choose the strategy that you are most comfortable with. The strategy of choice often can associate with the successful person employing the strategy as well.

For instance, if Warren Buffett is your idol, you will go for bottom-up approach. For this approach, you normally carry on investing on a regular basis regardless of how the world is at the moment. Just find the best company at the right price that will perform over time, and stay invested for a long long time. You only sell when the fundamental of the company changes. And yes, you need a strong stomach to withstand even a 30-50% decline in your portfolio.

For top down, understand the dynamics of how the world is inter-connected and inter-dependent. Know how one event will affect another and their effects on various financial instruments. Know how to create a diversified portfolio that is mixture of stocks, bonds, precious metals, cash, and properties that can weather all situations, hedging against different situation the economy is facing! Know when to be patient and when to pounce.

Stay consistent

Be a strong believer of your strategy. Aside from reading, you should continuously reinforce your belief by talking to people around you and also via writing.

Stay consistent!

You may realize Warren Buffett during interview, rarely talks about how the world economy is currently. He focuses on the company’s fundamentals and how is it going to perform over a long period of time.

Jim Rogers always mentioned US is the largest debtor nation in the world and will collapse in anytime soon. He is a firm believer of China, commodities and agriculture.

And there are these two guys by the names of Peter Schiff and Marc Faber who had been talking about a global financial crisis for so many years now.  They never deviate from their belief even over time.  

All these people appear on television quite often and it seems like they are using the opportunity to reinforce their beliefs and are always consistent.

So, are you Top Down or Bottom Up?

Friday, 13 November 2015

How well do you know yourself – Psychology Test

Those who follow my blog will know that I am a strong advocate and believer of “Know Yourself” first before knowing what you really want in life. In fact, my nickname Rolf Suey is actually derived from “Yourself” when the letters are re-arranged.

The importance of knowing yourself

Understanding yourself is very important in your life to achieve personal, interpersonal and professional fulfillment. Many of us will like to think that we know ourselves very well, because we know what food we like to eat, what clothes we like to wear, what songs we like to listen etc. It definitely goes beyond that! The understanding of your own personality is greatly important to identify your strengths/likes and even more importantly your weaknesses/dislikes. It is also about knowing the PURPOSE of life with the right values, beliefs, priorities and dreams. Above all, to know our body (health) and it’s limits as well. It is only after you truly know yourself, when you can be truly yourself (most of the times!). This is when you can define your own purpose and success in life, to attain true happiness.

For instance, do you frequently go on to be someone else just to impress? Consider in work, you will try so hard to pacify your boss or certain colleagues just to be politically correct and without your own opinion? Or in a relationship, you will try everything you could just to please your next half and totally forget who you are and what exactly you want? If the above-mentioned are true, then you have not found your true self. And you will not be truly happy, even though you think you are! 

That said, I am not saying that you need to be extremely direct and start offending everyone around you, just to be yourself. To be truly ourselves in an intelligent and tactful manner requires both IQ and EQ, which are few prerequisites to be successful and yet happy. And of course there are certain circumstances that you must be smart enough not to be "too yourself!". 

The PEAKS Profiling Workshop

There are many ways to know ourselves better. One easy way is by doing a personality assessment test. Just last month, I attended a ½ day psychology profiling workshop organized by my company together with my colleagues. The workshop leader is a psychologist - Dr B.   The psychometric technology used is called: PEAKS (Purpose . Energy . Affirmation . Knowledge . Sustainability)
  • Purpose is a personality factor that describes a person’s focus and goal orientation.
  • Energy is the factor that defines how people relate to others. It affects how people form, manage and maintain human relationships.
  • Affirmation is a personality dimension associated with human relationships that measures how an individual demonstrates positive declarations of praise, encouragement and support to others.
  • Knowledge expresses a person’s penchant to process ideas, create strategies and innovate.
  • Sustainability is a measure of an individual’s propensity to handle stressful situations.

PEAKS is locally developed by Research Communication International (RCI) founded by Dr Shirley Lim to measure and optimize human potential. Refer here to understand more.

Prior to the workshop, you will have to spend 45 minutes of time without distractions to answer 270 statements. There will be five selections to each statement – Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Neutral (or when you cannot decide), Agree and Strongly Agree.

A validated prediction
Due to the number of questions and time constraint, we were told by the Dr B that this is essentially a very accurate and validated way of predicting our natural disposition if you are truthful in answering. Even if you answer inaccurately on few questions, it does not matter, because many of the 270 statements are actually repeated but phrased in a different manner, such that most of your answers will still capture your general trait. 

Note also that the test is by no means trying to appraise an individual to be more successful or more superior to another. The test is more a strength-approach profiling helping us to understand ourselves better. Bear in mind that for every characteristic “score” there is always a flipside story.

There is a beauty and strength in every nature! 

Different stages of life
During the workshop, we also asked if different stages or experiences in life affect our personality.

Personality is one’s characteristic way of feeling, behaving and thinking. We were told by Dr B that, in essence, our personality and behavior should not change very much due to environment and experiences. For e.g. if our score is from 1 to 100, the score change should be within a range of +/- 5.
The only time the score should deviates significantly, is when one go through a life-changing experiences.

For e.g. Dr. B mentioned that one of the participants use to have high scores for “Energy”. Few years later when she did the test again, her score deviated significantly. And later Dr. B found out that the demise of the participant’s mother contributed to the extreme deviations in her natural disposition.

The Personality Report

A Personality Profile Report of approximately 20 pages was handed to each of us. The first part consists of my personality descriptors on each of the five factors (PEAKS) that distinguish personality (PEAKS). The second part of the report is an inventory of my personality-driven competency traits. There are 8 main traits which are further divided into 4 sub-traits, totaling 32 work competency traits. The 8 main traits are as follows:
  1. General work related traits
  2. Change related traits
  3. Emotion related traits
  4. Team related traits
  5. Administration related traits
  6. Management related traits
  7. Entrepreneurial and sales related traits
  8. Service traits.  
Basically the five factors of PEAKS is sufficient to distinguish our personality. Within each factor, it is can be further divided into 3 segments depending on your scores. Refer below picture. 

E.g. for Energy, you can have “Dynamic” and “Latent” at two ends. In the middle you will have “Ready”, which means the person is generally more neutral and has the flexibility to be dynamic or latent. .

Please note copyright – RCI.

Then within each Factor, it is sub-divided into 5 different elements to measure our personality. For each element, there will be scores in 5 different ranges; 0-35; 35-45; 45-55; 55-65; 65-100 which correspond to a particular trait. Refer below for an example of my own score in “Energy”.

 Please note copyright – RCI.

Rolf’s Summary Profile

Please note copyright – RCI.

Highest score in "Purpose"

I scored the highest in Purpose, and hence below is a glimpse of my Personality Driven potential related to Purpose:

Related posts:

Monday, 9 November 2015

How good (bad?) is the Singapore economy now? – Global Perspectives (Part 2)

On the eve of the public holiday - Deepavali, I took leave today. It feels good to be relaxing on a Monday. I decided to continue where I left behind. In my earlier post, I discussed about the current situation of Singapore economy based on an informal survey, gathered from my own experience as well as collected during chit chat sessions with friends, relatives, business associates across various industries in this country. Since the world is getting “smaller” today, it is inevitable that Singapore’s fate is also largely tied to global economy today. Therefore it is important for us to know what is going on in the world today. In particular, the economic outlook in both the world’s number one power (USA) and world’s number one emerging power (China), is of great importance to Singapore.

Just like Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of LKY school of public policy, splendidly put it during a lecture in Harvard Kennedy School this year, when he mentioned that the world is no longer 7 billion of people living in 193 different ships with different captains, just like in the past. Today, it is 7 billion of people living in 193 cabins in one ship. And with no captain. That is why you have global financial crisis, global epidemic crisis etc.   


US has reported a set of relatively strong economic data lately, with low unemployment rate (5.1%) and strong consumer spending in the country, despite manufacturing data weakness persists. Last week, Janet Yellen has hinted on a rate raise within this year if the data is strong enough to support the hike in December. And note that post rate hike, USD will likely to devalue, and vice versa!

Is the US economy really doing well now? Some argue that the data is misleading. The official unemployment figure only takes into account people who are actively looking for a job. It does not include people who have lost hopes searching for a job after months of hapless job seeking. The quality of jobs has also declined, with more part time jobs replacing the full time professional positions, meaning while employments rise, it does not mean the standard of living is better off. 

Notwithstanding economic data as importance indicator to the US’s economy, in my opinion, the most important question really is how long can debt continues to fuel US economic growth? US public debt is >$18 trillion today compared to 7.3 trillion in 2004, where about 1/3 is foreign and 2/3 is domestic.  As of Aug 2015, the largest foreign holders of U.S. debt were Mainland China ($1.27t) and Japan ($1.19t).  As of Aug 2015, Singapore is the 12th ranked holder of US federal debt at approx. $116 billion.

This means that any mishaps that USA might face, the tiny red dot will not be spared lightly either.  


Do you really believe in China 6.9% GDP growth published in the last quarter compared to a year ago? 

China is a big country and the figures that make up its GDP are very complex. It is undoubtedly that some service and consumer sectors are rising, but the driver of an emerging economy is really the industrial production and its exports, which are both falling. The one thing that is rising, which is bad, is inventory level and debts! Six cuts of interest rate in a year tells a lot about the current state of economy China is in, and it will not be surprising if the next rate cut is coming soon. 

Another potentially huge problem China faced is shadow banking. In the last decade or so, China has injected ample of funds into their state-owned-enterprise (SOE) to facilitate investment-led growth. As the country slows down, many SOEs are heavily in debts. The same problem of government sponsored enterprises (GSE) took place in US when the federal government sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to stimulate the home ownerships growth. This created the sub-prime crisis, which will eventually lead to the GFC in 2008.

Marc Faber, publisher of Gloom, Doom & Boom report during a recent interview with Bloomberg, said that China is expanding at a real rate of 3-4% and warned investors of a bubble of "epic proportions" as well as the "very heavy capital flight" from Chinese investments.

I believe that China is undergoing the transformation from an export-led to a consumer-led economy, and during this transition, economy is bound to slow down, while the longer term future still remain positive as China becomes the world number power! For now, the short term headwind in China is destined to affect Singapore, since we are the single largest foreign investor in China.

Europe & Japan

ECB President Mario Draghi has hinted more QE to come towards the end last month. Perhaps it has come to a point that if there are no loans, there will be no growth in Europe? If there is more QE, it also means that Euros is expected to decline?

In Japan, Abenomics three arrows of 1) massive monetary stimulus, 2) increased government spending and 3) significant economic reforms fail to hit their targets. Wage growth is sluggish and Inflation is below central bank target of 2%. Aside from the failed policy, one of the biggest problems Japan is facing today is demographic problems. The population is rapidly aging and people are moving out of the country.

Brazil, Russia, India

Both Brazil and Russia are greatly hurt by the falling commodity prices. Their currencies had fell off the roof with looming inflation problems. As a result there is a great deal of emerging market risks developing. Having said that and on a positive note, with the falling commodity price index, the consumer story in these countries is still a good one.

With China’s slowdown, India will probably take a share of the limelight in global growth. Given Indian’s large population and it’s resilience to adverse economic conditions, it is likely that India will steer its way out of any potential headwinds ahead, albeit still be affected if any drastic global crisis take place. As of Apr15, Singapore is the single largest foreign investor in India.

Rolf’s Thoughts

Without any doubts, the global economic outlook today is definitely not as rosy as compared to one year ago. I am not going to predict if there will be a crisis in the next one or two years, because nobody will know. Whether there is a crisis or not in the roads ahead, we still need to face it. Hence the whole idea is not about worrying what will happen, but instead the greater importance is for us to understand, anticipate and then take appropriate measures now.

  • How the world is smaller today and the significance of countries inter-dependency?
  • What is truly happening in the world today and how Singapore will be affected?
With the understanding, we will be able to:

  • Which events have a higher chance of happening?
  • What will happen to interest rates, currencies, stocks, commodity pricing etc?

And then, we can:

  • Whether to increase or decrease expenses/debts and how to plan our financials now?
  • Where to invest our money now and in the future, when the anticipated events happen?
  • How to prepare and plan for our/or our Children’s future in anticipation of what the world is becoming to?


I am not proselytizing that you becoming a pessimist, who only fear and fret! The message I wanted to put across is to be a paranoid and yet stay confident, positive and take charge of your life. 

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said this year that he admitted that Singapore is "paranoid" and constantly worried that it could lose all of its accomplishments, saying that such concerns are "necessary".

"You don't expect to go back to where you were in the 1960s, and yet it is not natural that you stay at this place. Is it to be expected that the population of three-and-a-half million citizens and maybe a million foreign workers will have the best airline in the world; the best airport in the world; one of the busiest ports in the world; a financial centre which is one of three or four key financial centres in the world; and an education and healthcare and housing system which gives us a per capita GDP which is - at least by World Bank calculations, if you look at PPP (purchasing power parity) - higher than America or Australia or Japan?

"It is an entirely unnatural state of affairs, and one which we should count our blessings for - if not every day, at least (at) every election,"

- PM Lee in July this year while at a SG50 conference organised by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP).

"It is the Government's responsibility to be paranoid about the future of Singapore. But I think that the paranoia is not shared by the population. As the odds are against the longevity of a small state like Singapore, "you've really got to work extra hard to survive; you've always got to be paranoid".

- Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of  Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy