Today the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) is saying the economy expanded by 1.8 percent in the December quarter, reversing a 6.3 percent contraction in the July-September period. Maybe MTI is hinting to us the PM Lee can't read the statistics submitted to him, or can't add, subtract or divide without an expensive calculator. After all, those fancy degrees from Cambridge were just pieces of paper issued decades ago. Someone should check the expiry dates.
OCBC Economist Selena Ling said, "The Singapore economy escaped a technical recession, probably the skin of its teeth as both third and second quarter growth data were revised lower." Can they actually do that? Simply change the numbers if they don't look good enough to justify a GDP bonus?
Let's imagine what happened. A mathematician, an accountant and an economist apply for the same MTI job.
The interviewer calls in the mathematician and ask,s "What does two plus two equal?" The mathematician replies, "Four." The interviewer asks, "Four, exactly?" The mathematician looks at the interviewer incredulously and says, "Yes, four, exactly."
Then the interviewer calls in the accountant and asks the same question: "What does two plus two equal?" The accountant says, "On average, four - give or take ten percent, but on average, four."
Then the interviewer calls in the economist and poses the same question, "What does two plus two equal?" The economist gets up, locks the door, closes the shade, sits down next to the interviewer and says, "What do you want it to equal"?
Chandra Das may not be much of an economist, but he seems just as deft with numbers. Blatantly ignoring the fact that AIM was a dormant company with $2 in the kitty as paid up capital, he wants us to tell us this whopper: "AIM has been in business for 20 years. It has got cash and it paid the $140,000 in cash." What do you want to believe?