Thursday, September 07, 2006

Another World No. 1

Hurrah! We have achieved yet another World No. 1.

A report in today's Straits Times reads:

“Singapore is the easiest plaice in the world to do business, according to a World Bank study out yesterday.

It found that people setting up businesses here had far fewer hoops to jump through than in other countries.

That allowed Singapore – placed second last year – to knock New Zealand off the top spot.”

Now isn’t that a cause for celebration. But before you bring out the champagne, may I ask you to consider one other piece of news which I heard on Radio 938 Live yesterday evening.

A cleaner, who earns only about $600 or $800 a month, is being sued by Singtel for chalking up thousands of dollar of mobile phone bills (plus legal fees). Apparently, in our country, it’s not only easy to set up a business; it is also a breeze to open a mobile phone account. All you need is a letter of authorization and a photo-copy of your identity card. So the cleaner’s supervisor, claiming to be her son, was able to open several broadband internet and mobile phone accounts with different telcos; and chalked up thousands of dollars of bills. He has since disappeared and the police are unable to trace him.

I estimate that this poor lady, a divorcee with 2 sons, will have to slog to her dying day to settle her bills.

Okay, now you can bring out the champagne.

** By the way, setting up a company is easy here, but wait till you try to close it.

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