Bangladeshi migrants: HK is ‘not for humans to live’

Bangladeshi refugees thought Hong Kong was paradise, now rather die than continue to live

Hong Kong, one of Asia’s wealthiest cities – the continent’s luxury hub

Hong Kong, one of the world’s richest and most developed cities known for its flashy billionaires and upper-class lifestyle, transmits an image of prosperity, comfort and convenience. It is the wealth hub of the Chinese world, a city that hosted 3 of the 5 wealthiest men in Asia, but beyond the facade of pristine skyscrapers and bustling shopping malls, a darker life exists for some of the territory’s newest residents from Bangladesh.

Deep into Hong Kong’s New Territories, close to the border with Mainland China, lies Ping Che, a poor village that has become a prison for many of its inhabitants. One of them is Arif, 26, an asylum-seeker from Bangladesh. His house, barely more than a few slabs of sheet metal propped against decaying beams, runs along open sewers. Flies circle near the improvised toilet – basically a hole in the kitchen floor. The water is dirty and the electricity supply unreliable.

With only a shoddy air conditioner salvaged from a garbage dump, he wilts in the humid summer weather and freezes in the winter cold. One night, while sleeping, part of the roof dropped onto his head. “I need to live in a better place,” he complains with a hint of irritation.

Arif’s nightmarish living situation is typical for the hundreds of people who arrive in Hong Kong each year to escape torture or persecution in their home countries. But that’s when their troubles begin. While they wait for their claims to be screened, in a process that can take years – and usually ends in rejection – asylum seekers are barred from working, forced into crumbling housing and are given just enough food to survive.

Bangladeshi refugees living a dilapidated life in Hong Kong

According to some rights activists, this is intentional. “The government tries to dissuade refugees from seeking protection by intentionally causing hardship,” explains Cosmo Beatson, who directs Vision First, a Hong Kong refugee aid organization. “It’s not humane.” Like many other East Asian states such as South Korea and Japan, the Hong Kong government frowns upon immigrants who are not of East Asian descents, though it is not an official policy.

With no way to join society and no way to return home, these survivors languish in miserable situations like in Ping Che, hoping for a reprieve that often never comes. “Many of us came here to save our lives,” says Arif. “But I think better die. Better die than live like this. How we’re living is not life.”

Four years ago, Arif was a pharmacology student in the Khulna district of Bangladesh. Described by Beatson as a “really smart kid,” Arif ran a business to support his family. But his success drew the envy of terrorist groups in the war-torn country, who burned his vehicle, assaulted him, and threatened to kill him if he didn’t pay huge sums of “protection” money. Fearing for his life, he enlisted the help of an agent, who promised to take him to Ireland, his “dream country.” Instead, the agent stole his belongings and left him stranded in Hong Kong.

The source of drinking water for Bangladeshi refugees – directly from the tap

“I lost everything,” says Arif. “When I learned I was in Hong Kong, I was so shocked.” Arif was safe, in a technical sense. Like many other countries and territories, Hong Kong is bound by international laws preventing the deportation of refugees to countries where they risk harm. Refugees are allowed to file claims for protection when they arrive, and may legally remain until their status is officially determined. Those who are successful may be relocated to a third country, where they can attain legal status. In theory, Hong Kong is a big “waiting room.”

But in practice, Hong Kong is more of a prison. Left with unpleasant memories of the 1970s influx of Vietnamese war refugees, which swamped its support systems, the Hong Kong government does everything it can to discourage refugees from integrating into its society. Barring immigrants from mainland China, the only time in recent years Hong Kong opened its gates was for the Indonesian Chinese escaping Indonesia during the anti-Chinese pogroms back in 1998, many of whom are now legal residents.

Long known as a haven for overseas Chinese fleeing instabilities in their home countries, the former British colony has been criticized for its stringent treatment of foreign asylum seekers. But Hong Kong says it is at least better than Singapore. The city-state of Singapore has clearly announced that it can’t take in any asylum seekers given its small size and limited resources.

Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka Shing, controlling a conglomerate of businesses bigger than the entire GDP of Bangladesh

To prevent economic migrants from trying to claim asylum, the government bans refugees from working – those caught working face 22 months in jail. Instead, it forces refugees like Arif to depend on a non-profit organization, the International Social Service (ISS), for welfare. Every month, ISS gives Arif a HK$1,200 ($155) stipend for rent – which barely covers his room in Ping Che, with nothing left for deposits or utilities. Like other refugees, he gets HK$900 ($116) worth of food – a bit more than US$1 per meal – which must be picked up from faraway collection depots and then carried home.

Salim is another 43-year-old asylum seeker from Bangladesh who lives with Arif. Nine years ago, he escaped Bangladesh after terrorists seized his retail business and tried to kill his family. But, he says, “Hong Kong is not a better life.” His broad frame fills his cramped bedroom, which is littered with filth-encrusted objects: old appliances, cookware, and furniture, many held together with tape. Because ISS aid only covers the bare minimum, Salim and his cohabitants hunt for clothes and other household essentials in a nearby garbage dump.

Salim says the ISS does not provide adequate medical care. “When I am sick, the doctors say, ‘we cannot check you.'” Instead they give him tablets of Panadol, a feeble painkiller that Beatson says refugees receive whether they have migraines, dermatitis, venereal diseases, cancer, or are giving birth. “The suffering caused is purposeful,” continues Beatson. “[The government] causes so much slow pain that the people have no choice but to leave.”

Hong Kong: If you are not East Asians, Jews or Whites, we will have to think about it

A spokeswoman for ISS says that each client is “individually assessed for needs, special concerns, and vulnerabilities,” and that medical assistance is provided at the discretion of social workers. In response to suggestions that aid is insufficient, she replies “any assistance program will always be a compromise.” ISS does not determine aid levels, she adds, as the agency is funded directly by the government and only carries out government instructions.

Hong Kong officials stand behind the austere policy, which they say is designed to keep its welfare system from getting overloaded with outsiders. “The objective of humanitarian assistance is to provide support, which is considered sufficient to prevent a person from becoming destitute while at the same time not creating a magnet effect,” Hong Kong’s Social Welfare Department wrote in a statement emailed to CNN. But Salim has a simpler explanation: “The Hong Kong government doesn’t care. To them, we are not people.”

“It’s a tunnel with no light at the end,” says Beatson. “When it dawns on refugees what they’re stuck in, they’re in shock. They conclude that Hong Kong is safe, but they would’ve rather died. It’s like finding out that heaven is fake.” As for Salim, all he wants is an opportunity for dignity. “In the United States, Canada, Australia, they give people a chance,” he says. “It is 2013. We should give a chance to everyone.”

The life of a Bangladeshi asylum-seekers in Hong Kong

Some of these flimsy shacks house up to a dozen people, in stark contrast to the multi-million dollar luxury apartments to be found elsewhere in the city. One asylum seeker from Bangladesh who identified himself as Ali was smuggled into Hong Kong through mainland China four years ago. “We are refugees, not beggars or criminals,” Ali said, saying only that he left Bangladesh because of “some political problems, because of political pressure.”

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Source: Bayoubuzz/WSJ

11 Responses to Bangladeshi migrants: HK is ‘not for humans to live’

  1. The Truth July 5, 2015 at 6:43 am

    When Apple surpassed Exxon in market cap last time, there was a flurry of news for it, which mentioned Apple is now the world’s largest company and such. Many publications like Forbes also compared Apple with country’s GDP, saying if it was a country it would match Switzerland.

    So why people compare market cap with GDP? GDP is the most commonly accepted way to measure the size of an economy, and while there are many metrics to measure the size of a company, market cap is the most commonly used figure for investors. Forbes stated that Li’s companies account for 15% of HKSE market cap, but why doesn’t it measure in revenues instead? Apparently, Forbes put market cap above revenue in determining a company’s size.

    Note that when I said a conglomerate bigger than Bangladeshi GDP, I did not specify whether it is revenues or others. If you want to get deeper into it, very well. In the business world, to measure the size of the company, on whether it is ‘bigger’ or ‘smaller’ than rival businesses, the 3 most popular metrics are revenues, market cap and assets.

    By market cap, Hutchison, Husky, Cheung Kong won out (by the way, Husky is independent even it is 70% controlled by Li, it is publicly traded on Toronto and Canada is sensitive about letting a foreign company control its energy sector)

    By revenues, Bangladesh GDP won.

    By assets, Li’s companies won out again with $188.4 billion

    So out of the 3 metrics to measure size of companies, Li takes 2 while Bangladesh 1. With that, is it fair I say Li’s companies are bigger than Bangladesh? Note that we are comparing size of companies and size of country’s economy.

    By the way, it is only these 3 we know. There are other businesses controlled by him that we aren’t so sure of. Li is a person who like to use complex shareholding structure, like when he bought UK’s Wales and West Utilities he used 3 of his controlled companies, and 1 of his charity foundation for the buyout. Others include Concord Pacific Developments, Canada’s leading property developer, Power Assets Holdings, Hong Kong electricity duopoly, and more that we don’t know. Even though his Cheung Kong and Hutchison may be the largest shareholder of these companies, they remain independent and the figures are not merged into this of his 2 flagship companies.

    Reply
  2. Bader Rammal July 5, 2015 at 6:55 am

    There is a fundamental lack of understanding exhibited in your commentary.

    You are not alone in that.

    The alleged Forbes article must have expressed the same lack of understanding, if indeed they compared the size of a country’s GDP with the market capitalization of a company.

    http://www.nasdaq.com/investing/glossary/m/market-capitalization

    Market capitalization

    Definition
    The total dollar value of all outstanding shares. Computed as shares times current market price. Capitalization is a measure of corporate size.

    http://lexicon.ft.com/Term?term=market-capitalisation

    market capitalisation
    The market value of a company’s issued share capital, i.e. the number of shares multiplied by the current price of those shares on the stock market. Companies are ranked as large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap depending on their market capitalisation (market cap), though the actual criteria for classification depend on the market concerned.

    We can read two definitions of market capitalization above.

    They more or less convey the same message.

    Market capitalization is the total ‘value’ of all outstanding shares – measured by the total number of shares, multiplied by the current price of those shares.

    There is no corresponding metric for countries, that I know of.

    This measure is mostly a speculative measure. That’s why Apple might have soared to above $600 billion in market capitalization one day, and worth ‘only’ $409 billion today.

    It has little to do with the actual ‘output’ of the company.

    For example, Hong Kong stock exchange’s market cap, as you have rightly pointed out, is more than $2 trillion.

    Yet, in a much larger economy like Australia, the market cap of all listed companies is less than $2 trillion.

    Speculation, gambling, or such, can not be the basis for any sound and objective comparison of two distinct entities.

    Comparisons always need to be made, based on comparable metrics that are easily verifiable, relevant and objective (i.e. not subject to the whims of some authors for some finance magazine, or some amateur author of some research paper).

    Now that the issue of Market Capitalization is hopefully settled, we can move on to the other two metrics you have mentioned.

    Thank you.

    I thanked you, because you mentioned a new metric for comparison – the assets of companies.

    However, once again there is a fundamental flaw in understanding.

    “Asset” is a ‘stock’ variable, whereas ‘revenue’ is a ‘flow’ variable – that’s introductory economics, for starters.

    Let us consider an example to understand the distinctions better.

    If you work for your boss, then what you earn every month in salary is a ‘flow’ variable. This variable (salary) pours in periodically (every month).

    If we want to compare if Mr X earns more than you, we can compare the respective salaries earned by Mr X, and you.

    On the other hand, your total lifetime ‘savings’ is a ‘stock’ variable. This variable (savings) does not pour in periodically (every month, every year, every decade etc). Rather, it is the net accumulation of all your past earnings/incomes/inflows, excluding your expenditures.

    If we want to compare if Mr X is wealthier than you, we can compare the respective lifetime ‘savings’ of Mr X, and you.

    However, we can not compare your monthly/annual salary with Mr X’s lifetime savings, and declare that Mr X is wealthier than you because his ‘savings’ is greater than your annual salary.

    Likewise, we can not compare your lifetime savings with Mr X’s annual salary, and declare that Mr X earns more than you because his annual salary is greater than your lifetime savings.

    Those were mere examples, which I hope, helped everybody erase some of the fundamental misunderstandings about ‘flow’ variables, ‘stock’ variables, market capitalization and such.

    If we want to compare the GDP of Bangladesh with some ‘companies’, then the only comparable metric is ‘revenue’.

    If we want to compare the assets (accumulated over the lifetime of the company, not produced in a single year, like revenues, or GDP), then we have to calculate – through our own extensive, painstaking, time consuming, field research – the collective worth of every ounce of natural resource, the collective ‘net worth’ of all capital (machineries, building, automobiles, office equipment like computers, mobile phones, power producing equipment etc), and all human resources (this will be difficult), alongside some intangibles like goodwill or whatever accounts use these days – to arrive at a final figure for the total ‘assets’ of Bangladesh.

    Although I can not find any comparable figure for Bangladesh upon a quick search (do let me know if you can find it), I have found out just one (out of many) seemingly comparable figure for Japan.

    Do note that Japan’s (annual) economic output, or GDP, is around $5.9 trillion (in 2012, based on IMF data).

    http://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/handbook/c04cont.htm

    4. Financial Assets

    The Flow of Funds Accounts Statistics, which is a comprehensive set of records of financial transactions, assets and liabilities, indicates that financial assets in the domestic sectors totaled 5,794 trillion yen according to preliminary figures at the end of March 2012. Of these assets, those of the domestic nonfinancial sector were 2,925 trillion yen. The household sector (including the business funds of individual proprietorships) had assets of 1,513 trillion yen, in the forms of deposits, stocks and other financial assets. In Japan, the household sector holds more than 50 percent of its financial assets in cash or relatively secure forms of assets.

    For the period from Apr 1, 2011 to Mar 31, 2012, the average exchange rate of the USD against the JPY was 78.87.

    http://www.oanda.com/currency/historical-rates/

    Therefore, Japan’s financial assets (only financial assets, excluding other assets) totaled $73.46 trillion at the end of March, 2012.

    For a country with annual GDP in the $5.8 to $5.9 trillion ballpark, only the domestic financial assets totaled $73.46 trillion.

    I can’t find the comparable figures for Bangladesh at the moment. Do inform us, if you can find the comparable statistic for the entire country of Bangladesh.

    As a distant observer, any member may ask, would Bangladesh’s “official” $141 billion GDP point to total domestic assets that are at least 12.45 times as high as the “official” $141 billion GDP? Would Bangladesh’s total domestic assets be at least $1.76 trillion, then?

    Once again, thank you, for introducing this statistic ‘assets’ to the discussion.

    However, I request you, not to compare two variables of fundamentally different natures (i.e. do not compare a ‘flow’ variable with a ‘stock’ variable).

    If you can find the comparable statistic for Bangladesh, do let us know.

    As of now, we only have access to “official” GDP data for Bangladesh to compare with the revenues of all the companies controlled by Li Ka Shing.

    In that case, it turns out all of his conglomerates together probably contribute less than 40% of Bangladesh’s GDP.

    It may be of interest to members, that there are dozens of companies around the world that produce annual revenues comfortably larger than the entire GDP of Bangladesh.

    One such Japanese company is Toyota (more than $230 billion in revenues), one such German company is Volkswagen (more than $220 billion in revenues), or Saudi Aramco (whose financial reports are never made public, though, estimates based on its oil production show that its annual revenue in 2012 must have been more than $365 billion).

    To further illustrate the futility of comparing a company’s market cap with a country’s GDP, let us observe that Saudi Aramco is expected to have a market cap of $10 trillion, if listed on the stock market.

    http://www.constructarabia.com/construction-news/aramco-wins-midyan-gas-project-contract/

    Saudi Aramco’s value has been estimated at up to US$10 trillion in the Financial Times, making it the world’s most valuable company.

    http://www.zenitharabia.com/Site/En/Customers.aspx?customerid=5

    Aramco’s value has been estimated at up to US$10 trillion in the Financial Times, making it the world’s most valuable company.

    Compare that figure (wrongly) with the Chinese GDP of 2012.

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2013-01/19/content_16142156.htm

    Based on yearly growth of 7.8 percent, the government announced on Friday that the country’s 2012 GDP was 51.9 trillion yuan ($8.28 trillion).

    Can somebody claim that King Abdullah, or Ali al Naimi, controls a conglomerate of companies larger than the entire GDP of China?

    No.

    There are fundamental flaws in that comparison.

    The two compared metrics are of fundamentally different nature.

    One is the result of speculation, and fluctuates wildly, from day to day, and within intraday trading.

    The other is the summary of the result of the combined effort of all economic ‘agents’ within a certain political boundary – within a country, usually, within a financial year.

    Reply
    • The Truth July 5, 2015 at 7:10 am

      I don’t know if you come with Bangladesh pride or something, but look, no need to make it so complicated. Simple as that, people DO compare GDP with market cap. CNN did that:

      http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/29/technol … /index.htm

      International Business Times did that:

      http://www.ibtimes.com/apple-if-market- … omy-214178

      Bloomberg did that:

      http://www.bloomberg.com/video/will-app … 9KxFA.html

      I bet now you will also say CNN, IBTimes and Bloomberg must have expressed some lack of understanding?

      There is no definite comparison between companies and countries, it is just not fair, a country has far more people, resources, assets and lands to enable the output than companies. There is no way to directly compare a country with a company, but people will always be using some metrics for comparative purposes. Whether to accept or not it is entirely up to you.

      Reply
      • Bader Rammal July 5, 2015 at 7:13 am

        Thank you for the message.

        Indeed, it is true that some of those amateur authors wrongly compared the market caps of some companies (at one ‘point’ in time) to some country’s GDP.

        That exhibits a fundamental lack of understanding.

        It is quite simple.

        Even if three, five, ten or twenty authors in different countries were to wrongly publish, that “4 times 24” equals 28, that would still be a mistake. Grasp of simple arithmetic would provide any member with the knowledge that “4 times 24” equals “96”, not 28.

        Likewise, market capitalization (which fluctuates daily, and within a trading day) can not be compared to the GDP of any countries.

        Besides, if those authors are human beings, they too can make mistakes.

        Just because a certain “Palash Ghosh” thinks that no company in history has reached the trillion dollar market capitalization mark, does not mean it is true.

        http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0f6f45a4-8b88-11dc-af4d-0000779fd2ac.html

        November 5, 2007 10:28 am

        PetroChina became the first company in the world to be valued at more than $1,000bn Monday after a dramatic stock market debut in Shanghai that saw its shares nearly triple in early trading.

        While PetroChina breached the $1 trillion market cap mark in 2007, a certain “Palash Ghosh” is still under the impression that no company has ever breached the trillion dollar mark in world history.

        Was my earlier explanation really complicated? I intended to keep it very simple.

        Even if that explanation really does elude the members, is not it true that we can not say “King Abdullah controls a conglomerate of companies worth more than the entire GDP of China”, or that “King Adullah controls a conglomerate of companies worth more than the entire GDP of Germany”, or “King Abdullah controls a conglomerate of companies worth more than 5 times the entire GDP of India”?

        Reply
      • Bader Rammal July 5, 2015 at 8:12 am

        Actually, I thought my explanation would be quite straightforward. Seeing that there is still some general confusion about comparison of market capitalization with GDP of countries, I think I’ll provide the following explanations from the links below.

        Perhaps, this time it will be easier for people to understand.

        http://times.konradturski.com/archives/307

        No, Apple is not worth more than Poland. Here’s why.

        Every time Apple stock reaches a new high, journalists love to report on how the firm is now worth more InsertYourFavoriteBigThingHere. Even CNN recently got in on the act, reporting earlier this year that Apple was now worth more than all of Poland. What made the story stick that it seems, in a hand-wavy sort of way, to be plausible. Apple makes expensive, popular products that are sold around the world. Poland makes sausages. It could happen! Right?

        Not even close. Bloggers (I’m not quite ready to let journalists off the hook for this one) can be forgiven for confusing two Very Large Numbers – Apple’s market cap (which recently approached $650 billion) and Poland’s nominal GDP, which stands at about $530 billion. The problem is, these numbers mean completely different things. Here’s why.

        Let’s start with the meaning of market capitalization. Arithmetically, the market cap is very simple calculation: the number of shares a firm has issued, times the price each shares trades at in a stock exchange. Conceptually, it’s just slightly more complex: the market cap is the market’s best guess at Apple’s profits this year, plus next year, plus next year, and so on. That’s because the market cap is composed of shares of stock, and each stock represents ownership of a share of a firm’s current and future profits. Economists use a process called discounting to decrease the size of future profits to account for the fact that they are, well, in the future. They are uncertain and you can’t have them now. Put all this together and you have the conclusion that Apple’s profits from today until the end of time (or at least until we stop caring) are $650 billion. Incidentally, this is also the cost of buying Apple Inc.

        What about GDP? To visualize Poland’s GDP, imagine a room containing all the products produced and sold by Poland in the year 2011. There’d be a big pile of sausages for sure – along with mountains of Ikea chairs, thousands of piles of wheat, and a cornucopia of amber, just to name a few choice specialties. For good measure, we also need to include intangible but completely real services that people purchase in Poland – millions of haircuts, plumber repair jobs (you needn’t visualize that one) and web designers typing away in front of their PC’s. Add it all up, and you’ve got Poland’s 2011 GDP.

        So what’s the difference? The answer is time. Poland’s GDP is simply the value of the products and services produced in 2011. Apple’s GDP is the value of Apple’s profits this year, as well as next year and every year after that. It’s a bit like comparing you salary this year with a (discounted) version of all the salaries you will ever earn. The second number is going to be much, much larger.

        Apple’s market cap is still an impressive figure – historic, even. But comparing it the value of Europe’s sixth largest economy is a bit overblown, even by our own inflated American standards. A more appropriate comparison would be to compare Poland’s annual GDP with Apple’s annual revenue – the letter being the total value of all products Apple sold in a given year. According to Apple’s most recent annual SEC report, that number is about $108 billion in 2011. That leaves Apple tied with Angola, Iraq, and Morocco. Oh well.

        There’s always the iPhone 6!

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/01/24/things-that-apple-is-worth-more-than/

        Things That Apple is Worth More Than

        I’ve just found this very amusing site, Things Apple is Worth More Than.

        Given that Apple, powered by the iPhone and iPad, is now the world’s most valuable company by market capitalisation there’s a rather large list of things that it is worth more than.

        However, pedant that I am, the working out of these values isn’t quite right.

        For example, it’s not worth four American Civil Wars. You can, if you like, take old monetary values and upgrade them by inflation. But it’s not quite right. As a percentage of the GDP of the two times gives a better idea of how much the event affected the economy. The Civil War estimates of perhaps $8.5 billion should be compared to the GDP of the time and Apple’s $350 billion valuation to current GDP. The US Civil War cost rather more than the 2% of current GDP which is Apple’s valuation (rough mental calculations before anyone accuses me of inaccuracy).

        Another way is to look at not GDP growth but wages growth. A third is to look at the cost of the dead (which the $8.5 billion number includes) not in terms of the value of life then but of the value of life now.

        Taking the fairly standard $5 million for a life statistical value gives us, with 700- 800,000 dead, something more like the Apple valuation than one fourth of it.

        Also, Apple just isn’t worth more than the entire economy of Singapore. Can you buy Singapore for $350 billion? Can you buy Apple for that? Well, yes, you can buy Apple for that (ignoring take over premiums to be sure) but you most certainly cannot buy Singapore for that.

        For GDP is the annual value added of Singapore, not the capital value which is what the stock market valuation of Apple is. The correct comparison of GDP is to annual value added by a company: essentially, wages paid plus profits. Which, for Apple, is still pretty high, agreed, but it’s not $350 billion.

        There’s a few other comparisons which are a little off in similar ways and some that are just spot on. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to work out which…..

        Reply
        • The Truth July 5, 2015 at 8:13 am

          You are too nationalistic. In here you’re saying CNN, Bloomberg, IBTimes writers are amateurs, on other thread saying Indian medias are worthless, as if yours is the most experienced, then spluttering out wall of texts non-stop attempting to promote your beloved Bangladesh, telling Malaysians Bangladesh is the bulwark against Indian aggression on their country, etc, etc. Continue more if you want. I doubt any read further. Overly-nationalistic posts actually lost readership.

          Reply
          • Bader Rammal July 5, 2015 at 9:45 am

            Looks like you may have lost it.

            No need to take it personal.

            I have written it very clearly, I don’t hate you or some other unknown member.

            It’s just a discussion whereby a statement of questionable validity is rightly, investigated.

            I have explained, in very simple terms, why market cap of a company can not be compared to the GDP of another country with any validity.

            Since my explanation was apparently a tad too difficult to understand, I provided two other explanations from two other different people.

            You can tell me if you find any of them difficult to understand.

            Frankly speaking, they are as easy as it gets.

            One of the explanations I have provided is from Forbes, since you have also recently created a thread based on news from Forbes.

            Would you now say Forbes article writers are amateurs since that Forbes explanation contradicts CNN, IBTimes and Bloomberg?

            To be frank, it appears you are relying on argumentum ad auctoritatem, or appeal to authority.

            This line of argument rests on the idea that if some person, some institution, maybe some print media is seen as an ‘authority’ in its field, then by default, every single item published there must be valid without any question.

            I am not singing paeans for Bangladesh.

            Otherwise, I would have cursed Hong Kong in this thread, and tried to compare Bangladesh and Hong Kong.

            Instead, I have merely asked for an explanation of the question, “How is Li Ka Shing controlling a conglomerate of companies larger than the entire GDP of Bangladesh?”.

            The discussion from the other thread is different from this one.

            I don’t see how the two issues are related.

            Maybe, some members are ill aware of Hindustan’s nefarious intentions. I had to clear people’s doubts in this forum, about those intentions and bring them up to speed on the malicious spread of radical Hindutva ideology through a combination of deception, violence, propaganda, terror, false flag attacks and a myriad of other means.

            However, that discussion had better be left to that thread.

            Here, I am merely asking, if there is any basis to the statement
            Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka Shing, controlling a conglomerate of businesses bigger than the entire GDP of Bangladesh

            Apparently, the only ‘basis’ for this statement is that Li Ka Shing controls a few companies whose market cap is larger than the GDP of Bangladesh.

            Notwithstanding that market cap can not be accurately compared to GDP of countries, you could have actually written that Li Ka Shing controls a conglomerate of businesses bigger than the entire GDP of Hong Kong.

            That may have provided adequate clue to the readers not to take any such comparison of market cap to GDP seriously.

            In any case, I am not personally against you or for you. I don’t know you personally. I’m merely conducting discussions.

  3. The Truth July 5, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Neither nor I am against you, but you feverishly and unnecessarily complicate matters. In addition, any other materials provided to you, you simply discard them. Bloomberg, CNN? Amateurs. Indian media? Worthless. With such belief, continue arguing is a waste of time.

    Market cap is one of the metrics to measure size of a company. By using market cap, I stand correct in saying Li’s companies are bigger than Bangladesh GDP. You want to make things complex through wall of text, I won’t stop you but I won’t read all either. As I mentioned, I accept your argument that Bangladesh GDP is greater than Li’s company revenues, but disagree on that it should be the one and only comparison to be used.

    It is just the same if we compare size of countries. We can say Malaysia is bigger than Bangladesh, on what metrics? GDP and Area. Others will say Bangladesh is bigger than Malaysia. By what? Population. I can now claim Malaysia is bigger than Bangladesh, and you will come argue with me saying otherwise. We can go on and on with GDP, Area and Population, but guess what, both could be correct, just the metrics we choose to use.

    The case is the same here, I did not reject your ‘revenue-to-GDP’ comparison. What I emphasized to you is that I choose to use market cap over revenue as the metric in this article, and that is a widely-acceptable comparison as shown in CNN, Bloomberg and such. You come, and you want to impose that only your ‘perceived best measurement’ should be used. Like the country size comparison above, I find it pointless.

    Of course you won’t curse Hong Kong, it would make you ridiculous. The HK government did not invite these people to go there. Also you won’t compare Bangladesh with Hong Kong, you will embarrass Bangladesh in front of readers here. What is there to compare between one of Asia’s poorest states and one of its richest territories? Malaysian themselves already find it embarrassing to compare with Singapore, what’s more Bangladesh whose per capita GDP is around 10 times less than Malaysia? That’s why you try to salvage all the remaining pride you can by insisting on that Bangladesh GDP didn’t lose to Li’s companies in size.

    I admire your persistence in the discussion and agree that any debates should gear towards finding truth, but your accusations against India and the West in other thread left a bad taste in me. The arguments you use here is good but the other one led me to think of typical Middle East conspiracy theories. Guess my perception changed there and believe that you only argue for sake of nationalism.

    Reply
    • Bader Rammal July 5, 2015 at 10:46 am

      I am sorry to say you have no idea what you are writing about, and sounding like a sore loser who can not accept that he has lost the debate.

      You argued that Malaysia’s GDP or area are greater than Bangladesh’s.

      Sure, that’s because you compared the same variables for both countries.

      You compared Bangladesh’s GDP with Malaysia’s GDP.

      You compared Bangladesh’s population with Malaysia’s population.

      You compared Bangladesh’s area with Malaysia’s area.

      In all those cases, the variables are the same.

      When you compare the assets of a company with the GDP of a country, are the variables the same? No.

      When you compare the market cap of a company with the GDP of a country, are the variables the same? No.

      Despite the fact that I have provided you with multiple explanations from multiple sources, you fail to understand the simple fact that the variables are different.

      To further show the futility of your false argument, I ask, why don’t you write that Li Ka Shing controls a conglomerate of companies that are bigger than the entire GDP of Hong Kong? Isn’t the market cap of Li Ka Shing’s companies greater than the GDP of Hong Kong?

      Regarding your irrelevant and delusional rant about comparison with Hong Kong and Bangladesh, that is false, and off topic.

      Bangladesh is a rising economic power, whether you like it or not. In fact, Bangladesh is one of Asia’s fastest growing economies. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s economy is becoming more and more irrelevant as Mainland cities take over that mantle. I have no intention of belittling Hong Kong, but if you insist, open a new thread.

      For a start, Hong Kong was not even independent until 1997.

      And, finally, whatever taste is left in your mouth is your concern.

      I did not ‘accuse’ Hindustan or the West out of no reason.

      If you do not know any facts about geopolitics, geostrategy, military balance, economics (e.g. you compare the market cap of companies to GDP of countries, despite the fact that I have provided you with ample explanations, and links to articles from many sources, including Forbes – sth you apparently trust – to indicate why that is an invalid comparison), then you had better not dabble in those issues.

      Furthermore, if my intention was to belittle Hong Kong, I could have easily done so.

      Whether you (as a Chinese Malaysian?) feel embarrassed by Singapore is your concern.

      But, we know very well, that Hong Kong was built by the British, and it was a fishing village, just like Singapore, prior to British arrival.

      Whereas, Bangladesh was the wealthiest country in the world, so much so that the British, French, and other Europeans arrived in Bangladesh in droves to set up their trading companies.

      Bangladesh’s history is etched in numerous foreign travellers’ records. Hong Kong has no history.

      Bangladesh probably has a bright future ahead. Hong Kong is only declining further.

      Bangladesh is an independent, full fledged country with a capital, with multiple ports, world’s largest natural sea beach, world’s 8th largest population.

      Only the number of internet users in Bangladesh exceed the total populations of Hong Kong, and Singapore.

      http://www.theindependentbd.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=171715:33-million-internet-users-in-bangladesh&catid=132:backpage&Itemid=122

      33 million Internet users in Bangladesh

      But, the fact remains, that I hold nothing against Hong Kong, and thus, I won’t try to insult it.

      That is exactly why I had mentioned in my earlier post, that you were completely wrong numerous times.

      You wrongly accused me of being overly nationalistic. I have proven your false accusations, false.

      If you insist that Hindustani media carry any weight, that only reduces your credibility.

      Reply
      • The Truth July 5, 2015 at 11:02 am

        You asked me why I didn’t write that Li’s companies are bigger than Hong Kong GDP and instead say Bangladesh, this prove you are sore about that statement on Bangladesh. Your biggest problem with me is that you feel I undermine the greatness of your beloved Bangladesh.

        But why not? Li’s companies market value are indeed bigger than Hong Kong GDP, that’s why he is regarded as the most powerful businessman in Greater China and a dominant personality in Hong Kong. In Eastern Asia, Malaysia included, most people have no problem with that, even if I’m to say Apple Inc. is bigger than Malaysian GDP, you will barely find any Malaysians getting offended. But people of some country are different.

        In countries like Singapore, Malaysia or territory like Hong Kong, they don’t think it is a big deal. The market cap of stocks traded in Bursa Malaysia is bigger than Malaysian GDP, so is Singapore. Having the word ‘companies bigger than countries’ are normal to them. But it is different in Bangladesh, market cap is a fraction of GDP, I didn’t check how much after the share scam 2011, amazing… entire country rocked by share market scam that time. That’s why to you maybe it is an insult.

        Now tell me, can you compare similar variables between a country and a corporation? No. Because there are no such same variables for the two. So how could you insist yours is the most accurate and mine is false.

        Bla bla bla… Bangladesh is a rising power, rising power that has refugees all over the world due to violence at home, bla, bla, bla… Bangladesh was the wealthiest country in the world, bla, bla, bla, Bangladesh has rich histories unlike Hong Kong… bla, bla, bla, developing so fast better take back the above refugees in Hong Kong or put a stop to all illegal immigrants who want to get out from Bangladesh. Bla, bla, bla, case of illegal immigrants are so serious India wants to construct a barrier fence along the border of Bangladesh. Bla, bla, bla, Indian medias are worthless and Bangladesh one the most supreme.

        Yes Bangladesh is growing but don’t be arrogant. Surpass India and Pakistan first, then Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia before talking about rising power. This Bangladesh and Pakistan are really twin brothers. The Pakistani on the other hand is talking about becoming a supowerpower while economy remains in the dump.

        And you are saying I falsely accuse you of overly-nationalistic? Lol.

        GET OVER IT. SOME PEOPLE READ THE STATS AND SAY WE WILL WORK HARDER TO SHOW THEM WE COULD DO BETTER THAN THIS. THE KOREANS, TAIWANESE, SINGAPOREANS, GERMANS, SWISS ARE FINE EXAMPLES OF THESE. SOME PEOPLE, ON THE OTHER HAND, WILL GIVE LIST OF EXCUSES TRYING TO PROVE THE STATS FALSE SO TO SATISFY THEMSELVES, EVEN TO THE EXTENT CLAIMING CNN, BLOOMBERG, CIA WORLD FACTBOOK ARE ALL AMATEURS. THAT IS WHY WE HAVE MORE DEVELOPED AND LESS DEVELOPED COUNTRIES.

        Reply
        • Bader Rammal July 5, 2015 at 11:03 am

          You are unfortunately retarded beyond redemption.

          I was hoping that you actually believe in worthwhile arguments.

          Meanwhile, you proudly ‘flaunt’ the “vaunted” credibility of CIA World Factbook (when CIA was the probably the one most culpable for the most grave human disaster of this century, by providing false intel on Iraq’s alleged WMD).

          You don’t even know who (BAL – a Hindu terrorist organization installed by the West) organized these share market scam, for which the entire country is rightly aggrieved. Now, you try to paint as if it is the fault of Bangladeshis themselves.

          Absurd.

          It’s a Hindu terrorist organization which caused this trouble.

          What the heck does that have anything to do with Pakistan?

          What the heck does that have anything to do with illegal immigrants?

          Illegal immigrants are the proof that BAL – a Hindu terrorist organization – has virtually put a stop to any and all natural development and progress in Bangladesh.

          The more appropriate question should be, what are Chinese like you doing in Malaysia? Shouldn’t the Chinese be stripped of their citizenship and packed back to their bustling homeland in Guangzhou?

          But, due to my respect for many good Chinese individuals in Mainland China, I don’t ask that question.

          Where did you see me claim that Bangladesh is a superpower?

          Really, you are low IQ.

          When I talk about market cap and GDP, you now change the topic because your flaws have been exposed.

          I am sorry to say, since your low IQ has been exposed, you had better live in the USA as an immigrant.

          Not only were your forefathers immigrants to Malaysia, now you have also immigrated to USA.

          Whereas, other people have the courage and the dignity to stay and work in their homeland, for further advancing it.

          That in itself is a massive difference though you may not understand it, since you can only understand how to copy and paste. No more.

          Reply

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