2016 would be the year where all the geopolitical forces combined unwittingly to give singapore death blows.
Not just 1 lethal force but 3 different forces, each on its own far beyond the ability of singaporeans to handle.
Oil + Global Trade + Financial Sector + Casino Tourism
1) Oil is never coming back.
Do you know that Singapore is the #1 oil refinery in the world, by volume? We do not have a single drop of oil produced in Singapore but yet we can boost of having the number 1 oil refinery in the world, serving the region well with our oil industries and chemical industries feeding on it. Thank god the pioneers were smart enough to capitalise on this where our region, giants with tons of oil reserves could not build on it.
However, oil is a fossil fuel of the past, and its glories day are over.
The cost of generating electricity via SOLAR has already reached parity with fossil fuels, and that is including coal, the cheapest fossil fuel of all. No doubt it is still cheaper to burn coal in china / india etc, but even that is ending as cost of renewable is still going down. And that means it is far easier to use less and less oil.
And the important thing about solar and renewable cost is that this is due to tech, the costs of generating electricity goes down because of new technology, new and better ways of doing things. That means it stays down PERMANENTLY….
If you think our cars still need oil, well, not in the near future. We all know Tesla and almost all major carmakers have embarked on large electric car programs. Mercedes is one such big investor and is poised to churn out huge varieties of electric cars
The vehicle that I think still need oil is probably the modern jet and its jet fuel, but even that won’t last forever.
We have huge amount of workers, economic production in the oil industry. A lot of them would be lost forever.
2) Global Trade
President Trump is going to be the President of the largest economy of the world, and won power promising more jobs in America, and lambasted globalisation and world trade.
Not only did he win power, but his party, the Republicans won more power in congress and senate as well, ensuring that they would have less of a obstacle to imposing their viewpoints. President Trump is bad news for world trade and we would suffer for it.
As if the next 4 years (or 8 years) of bad news to global trade is not enough, we have news of a permanent nature. News that can deride Singapore as a global port.
The first freight train from China is launched to UK just recently, with the journey of around 18 days (including stops at major european cities along the way) half of the days needed on a sea route.
And with global warming, the melting of ice at the artic is going to open up new routes from east to west such that bypassing the usual straits of malacca trade is possible.
And even without the artic rough, there are proposals to open a Kra canal across thailand, that brings sea trade from North Asia to europe shorter by a few days, saving fuel and money.
Guess who loses out the most with all the shorter trade routes?
We have thousands of workers and companies in the port, logistic, and shipping business. Say goodbye to them
3) Financial Sector
Many years of low interest rates have seen profits drop at all banks, both local and foreign. Now that interest rates are finally creeping up, promising higher profits, we have other problems that spelt permanent problems.
The financial Great Recession of 2008 has forced many banks to shed their trading operations, with retail banks sticking to their operations and other different banks sticking to to their core operations and abandon trading and speculation. Banks are no longer as profitable as before, and there are more and more regulations and conflict of interest that suggest financial companies are shedding more and more worker that were in the past, essential to them.
Many of them are bank jobs in Singapore
Fintech is disrupting banks, the bitcoin way of transaction promise to remove the middlemen and what are banks but highly sophisticated middlemen between the lenders and the borrowers?
And the most disrupting fintech of all would not just be the bitcoin but something new coming up…. and just like how Uber destroyed all the cabbies’ jobs. Fintech will do so too
The 2 casinos we have are badly hurt by China’s crackdown on corruption, dirty money, and capital controls that reduce the outflow of reminbi. Not only there are less money, less tourists from china to tour our city, we have bigger competitors coming up.
Japan just legalised casino. The philippines have also plan on building new casinos. Taiwan is plotting the same. And all these countries are nearer and offering something newer to the china tourists. Not only that, they will also reduce the amount of tourists from these countries to gamble and spend in their own domestic market too.
We are screwed. Singapore’s 3 major component that build up our economies are poised to die. And whats left of manufacturing, airport, pharmaceutical sectors, biotech, educational hub etc are just not large employers or big money earners. I am not smart enough to know what we can do. I honestly think the current government is not that smart too, but what choice do we have.
Sorry to pour cold water on the opposition, I myself cannot expect any opposition members to do something capable and smart to steer singapore. I mean, look at Tan Jee Say! can u expect him lead?
What about Goh Meng Seng or kenneth jeyaretnam. My brain is burning up imaging them leading singapore…..
I think with them at the helm, Singapore would probably be taken over by the malaysians or the indonesians to be administrated as province.
I am sorry, but there is nothing much in leadership that i think can lead, not even current leaders in PAP. But among all of them, at least the PAP has long term farsight and a systemic structure to groom leaders and filter out capable people. This is why we have to vote PAP, because if Singapore is dying, we better get the highest chance of success from the PAP.
Prepare for the funeral of Singapore!