Thursday, January 17, 2013

Depression in Bangkok!

I just got back from Bangkok and I was rather sad. I am working on a Bangkok IPO and things are getting very interesting over there. There is a wave of interest in investing in South East Asia and countries like Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand are benefitting. Given their young populations and natural resources, it is no wonder that the dogs of the Asian financial crisis are now darlings of the market again.

Khao Pad Poo
I am a fan of Khao Pad Poo. Nothing fancy, just fried rice with crab meat. I walked into a coffee shop and ordered my dish, turned out to be yucky. What was interesting however, the waiter turned out to be Singaporean. Surprise, surprise. He is a youngish chap of about 30 and was selling vegetables in the former Pasir Panjang Wholesale Market. He just found it too competitive in Singapore, sold his HDB and is now waiting for his payout. He has no long term visa and is making monthly trips to Cambodia to stamp his passport. He can only take on odd jobs and is competing with the likes of the Burmese and other low cost labour.

There is a generation of Singaporeans who are not in tune with the changes of the Singapore economy. This reminded me why I studied Economics as a major in the first place. To help with any countries advancement economically! That was my lifelong ambition. I suppose I am doing my part given the hundreds of people my companies are employing in Singapore and thousands internationally.

I certainly wish my own countrymen well in this new era and hope the government can do more for this segment. However, what they can do must go in tandem with the iron will of our people. Many seem to be disillusioned and I hope all the best for them.

Your Friend,
Andy Ong